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Sweden Campaign Overview

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Starting off


The bridge south of Riga should be guarded.

Congratulations for choosing Sweden. They are a potentially very strong faction once you secure Scandinavia but their start is something of a challenge.

Your initial provinces are Sweden, Estonia-Livonia, Finland and Ingria. This means that Denmark borders you to your west/south-west and there is a long border with Russia to your east. Courland is immediately south of Estonia-Livonia and south of them but not directly bordering, you have Poland-Lithuania and Prussia.

Your immediate objective should be to secure Scandinavia but this is easier said than done because of the alliances the Danes hold. If you go to war with them, their allies Poland-Lithuania and Russia will probably be at war with you in the east where your hold is quite precarious. Solving this diplomatic impasse is your immediate priority to solve in order to be able to expand in the European theatre. Do this by being patient and building up enough strength to force your enemies into making foolish moves.

Courland is a protectorate of Poland-Lithuania. For such a small province, they can be quite belligerent and often declare war on you before you're ready to move against them. Make sure to guard the bridge south of Riga as that is where they will try to cross. Russia tends to be relatively quiet at the start of the game so St Petersburg should be guarded but not heavily so. Your missionary should be moved into Ingria as that is where he is needed most. With 60% Orthodox faith, there is a danger of unrest due to religion. Nip it in the bud before it begins! Your other provinces have high Protestant faith so there is no need to worry about them at present.

It's the economy stupid!


High Orthodox faith in St Petersburg.

Before you can do anything (and that includes not jumping into potentially intractable wars), you need to improve your economy. This can be done by expanding your trade network and investing in upgrades. The farms should all be upgraded to give you population growth and for maximum and quickest return on investment, you should upgrade the craft workshop at Gothenburg as well as the iron mines in Finland. These will give you biggest bang for your buck at this stage. Visby (the port in the middle of the Baltic) should be converted into a shipping port where you will build your navies. Fisheries are not much use really. The port near St Petersburg can be converted into a trade port to maximise income. You have trade agreements with France & Great Britain. Get more! You may have to offer money to get trade agreements and even if the cost seems steep, bear in mind that you'll often make the money back in a few turns and make a clear profit after that. There will only be so much you can expand your trade at this early point in the game but every bit helps. Be especially careful that the Baltic doesn't become a landlocked lake. This can happen all too easily if the Danes block the straits near Copenhagen.

Concentrate on upgrading your infrastructure for the first few turns as without cash, you will not be able to fight effectively. While investing, slowly build up your armies. You need one good army in Sweden and another in Estonia-Livonia. It is possible that a faction could declare war on you while you are still building up. This is to be welcomed as it saves you the bother of being the aggressor and at war with multiple factions.

With productive towns and a number of productive trade routes, you should be in an advantageous position in comparison with your rivals. Now it's time to begin the process of dividing & conquering.

Picking your fights


Craft workshop at Gothenborg.

As mentioned, Courland tends to be quite aggressive but they only have one province. If they pick a fight by declaring war on you, you can sit at the bridge and wait for them to attack you. With such favourable ground, the battle is an easy one leaving the siege of the city as a straight-forward exercise. Cannons are useful for such a battle and doubly so if you have researched cannister shot. In my first battle defending the bridge the two cannons killed over 300 troops.

Denmark are not quite as simple. They have three provinces and until you eliminate them all to destroy their faction, you will get unrest in any conquered province. Typically, the third and last province is halfway across the Atlantic ocean. Copenhagen is a key city to conquer but leaving Norway till after means leaving your rear unprotected. Personally I prefer to grab Norway first and then march quickly to Copenhagen but there is a danger that the Danes will blockade the Sound separating Denmark from Sweden. You only have one fleet with four ships and it may not be sufficient to chase away a Danish navy. You could be stationed at Copenhagen for a while so if you take that first, you will need to raise another small army to take Norway. Mind your finances while this is going on!

Iceland will also need to be taken to destroy the Danes and reduce unrest but you may also need to look at your government type. Sweden starts with an absolute monarchy, Denmark is a constitutional monarchy and your new citizens will not be pleased at swapping a benevolent and kind monarch for your tyrannical rule. Consider changing your government to either a republic or constitutional monarchy to ward off potential problems later. Find out how to to that here.

Moving further afield


Iron mines in Finland.

With Denmark out of the way, you're no longer at the mercy of Baltic nations disrupting your trade. You position in Scandinavia is secure and you can start looking further afield. Hannover is just to the south. It's a good candidate to test your methods of getting protectorates but if that doesn't work, you can assimilate them. Extending too far into the German states leaves you vulnerable to attack from all sides so I personally prefer to conquer Russia first as Moscow is the strongest city. Once that falls, the rest of the faction will follow suit so start recruiting new armies for the Eastern Front. You do need to keep an eye on the Poles as well as the Prussians. You could try to stoke up war between them to keep them distracted. There is always Austria to their south. Fomenting trouble in Central Europe allows you to fully concentrate on the Russians.

When I took Iceland, I tried a little experiment and sent that ship with it's army off to India. They landed and immediately took a Mughal province. From this beginning, it was possible to eventually absorb the entire Mughal empire. Once a few trade ports were built & upgraded, I was able to earn an enormous amount from trade, which enabled me to support a gigantic military. Trade is how you make your money in this game and the more goods you have to trade, the more money you'll get.

You will eventually have to deal with the Poles & Prussians as you need their provinces to fulfil your campaign goals. By this stage you should have encircled them from the north, west and east. Your economy should be spectacular and your armies should be capable and experienced.

Good luck!

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