I am a great fan of the game Europa Universalis IV, mainly because I love strategy games, especially grand strategy games developed by Paradox. I love to play the game alone, but just recently I could convince a friend to play the game with me together in multiplayer. The timeframe of the game starts in the year 1444, that means there are thousands of nations to choose from, because at that time most of the todays big nations still had not form. If you can choose from so many nations it’s really not easy, but eventually we nailed it down to Saxony (Sachsen) and Teutonic Order (Deutscher Orden).
I played the game so often that I have experience with several nations in the game, but since my friend didn’t play the game that often, I wanted to let him choose a nation, although I gave him suggestions about what difficulties there could be. My friend asked if there would be Prussia (Preußen) in the game, and I said yes, there would be several nations that could convert to the country name Prussia later on. After I listed all nations that could form Prussia, he did choose to start with the Teutonic Order (Deutscher Orden), and I wanted to play Saxony (Sachsen) for the fun of it.
There are some problems with this combination, both countries in the game share some special missions that only one of us could finish, like the decision to form Prussia, because both of our nations could do it. Also both of us wouldn’t be able to form Germany unless we share some provinces that are needed to form Germany. Anyway, I told him that playing ahistorical is a lot of fun, and that he could just form Prussia mid-game to strive for power in Europe, while I would make Saxony a great nation. Of course, our goal was to do it together, our idea was to make both nations great, to form an alliance between Saxony and Prussia.
At the game start there are several challenges with this combination. We knew, our most important goal would be to border each other, because that is not the case in the year 1444 of the game, but it’s very essential to help each other with troops in future wars. One of his Teutonic Order provinces in the west was not bordering the rest of his provinces, it was basically split by Pomerania. Seen from this single province, there would be Brandenburg between us, another German nation. Poland and Lithuania was a difficulty too, they were close to us, and you don’t want to get in trouble with them when you are still little.
We just started the game and created a plan. My friend is not unexperienced with Europa Universalis IV, he played the game a couple of times in multiplayer, but still I am much more experienced and I suggested several methods to get the game going. Eventually we both agreed to ally Bohemia and a couple of other big nations in Europe, but it was not easy to do this. At some point we were ready to conquer Brandenburg between us, and Pomerania, that was the main goals to have borders together. Poland was in a personal union with Lithuania, and later even with Muscovy, that would put them in an alliance, a real problem.
It took us quite some time to find a solution to weaken the Poland personal unions, we just waited it out, we focussed to conquer provinces for me and Saxony (Sachsen) , because that would strengthen my friend too since we had an alliance. But then Muscovy and Lithuania fought for independence against Poland, they were too big and too strong for Poland, and we seized the moment and attacked Poland as well. From there one real difficulty disappeared and we could start to conquer provinces for my friend and Prussia (Preußen) too. After some time the map changed, our both nations became bigger, and he could form Prussia!
This is where we stopped, but we will continue to play the savegame, because this is now a lot of fun. We strived for power in Northern Europe, the result is totally ahistorical, but that is the fun of Europa Universalis IV, you can choose your path, you play a role in this game world. I might write more about our multiplayer sessions, because we will probably continue to play our savegame this week or at the weekends. We have a rainy and cloudy summer at the moment, but you can use the weather to sit inside in the cozy room and play a strategy game together with a friend, that is cool too!