Great Britain, a powerful island nation with a rich history, is a popular choice for players looking to dominate the world stage. However, for the easiest way to form Great Britain in EU4, players must start as England and conquer both Lothian and Aberdeen while reaching administrative level 10.
In this EU4 Great Britain guide, we will cover everything you need to know about leading Great Britain to glory, from early-game strategies to late-game objectives. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner, this guide will help you navigate the complexities of playing as Great Britain and achieving your goals in.
Europa Universalis 4: Great Britain Guide
Great Britain is a country in Europa Universalis IV that can be formed by England, Scotland, or Ireland. However, for the focus of this playthrough, we are going to form Great Britain as England.
Forming Great Britain
To form Great Britain as England, the player must control all of the British Isles, including the provinces of Lothian and Aberdeen, while reaching administrative level 10. Once this requirement is met, the decision to form Great Britain becomes available in the decision menu.
Forming Great Britain grants various benefits, including increased diplomatic reputation, trade efficiency, and naval force limit. Additionally, it changes the national ideas and flag of the country to reflect its new identity as Great Britain.
Expansion to North America (Colonial America)
After you form Great Britain, you should have been starting to expand into Colonial America around the Hudson Bay trade node. After you fully colonize 5 provinces in the colonial region, you will form the thirteen colonies (or whatever you choose to name it).
From here you will want to keep colonizing the region until your colonial nation can start to expand for itself. Giving them a gift of golf can often speed this up. If you haven’t done so already, you will want to send a merchant to the Hudson Bay trade node and steer trade back to the English Channel.
In my playthrough I had Spain begin to challenge me in the region, forming colonial Florida. If you see other nations begin to colonize the region, make sure to prioritize coastline provinces to block out as many regions as possible.
You can also quickly gain land by conquering native nations in the region which should be easy as you will have far superior military technology. If you maintained your relationship with Portugal (as mentioned in our EU4 England guide), they are likely to help you as well.
Expansion to West Africa
Once you have a firm foothold on Colonial America, you will want to turn your attention to the coast of Africa around the Ivory Coast trade node.
In my playthrough, I found that no other nation had touched this region which should be the case most of the time. You will want to colonize as much of this land as possible and gain the primary foothold in that trade node.
Eventually, most of the trade from the East Indies, India, and Asia will have to flow through that node to get to Europe. Having the most power in the Ivory Coast node will be very profitable. This land will also serve as a great launch point for the Conquest of Mali and the Congo. Both lands are filled with valuable trade goods and more trade nodes that will give you further power in the Ivory Coast if steered in that direction. It will take time, but as the game progresses you will want to conquer all this land and control a large portion of Africa.
When given the opportunity, make sure you send one colonist to the Cape of Good Hope region in South Africa. Even just one piece of land will be important as it will serve as a jumping-off point to the East Indies.
Once you colonize the Cape of Good Hope, the Ivory Coast region will be your next colonial target.
Expansion to the East Indies
As mentioned above, once the empty colonial land of the Ivory Coast is taken, you will want to shift your focus to the East Indies. To reach East Timor (the first island of the East Indies I colonized), I had to hire a diplomatic advisor that increased my colonial range by 25%.
Depending on the land you are able to colonize in the Indian Ocean, this may or may not be necessary. Once your first colony is established you will want to send a battalion of at least 5 thousand troops to the colony. This will allow you to deal with native uprisings and act as a base for your eventual army that will be stationed in the region.
In my playthrough, I was lucky enough to be the first European nation to reach the islands. Spain was close by in Colonial Australia, but this was no concern as the Islands should be the priority. You will want to colonize as many free islands in the region as possible.
This new land will increase your navy size, this increased size will be important for building a navy in the East Indies. Building 2 or 3 heavy ships with a priority on galleys and transports will be a good start. You will want to do the same with your army cap increase. Starting to build an army in the East Indies will save you a lot of headaches when you begin the conquest of the East Indies. Otherwise, as you can imagine, transporting your main army to the other side of the world is a major pain.
Mid-End Game Wars
For the remainder of the game, if you choose to go with this style of playthrough, you will be fighting most of your remaining wars in both Africa and the East Indies. As mentioned before, both lands are incredibly valuable and relatively easy to conquer.
In Africa, most if not all of Mali’s land will be under your control at this time. You will want to keep expanding in the region, even into North/Central Africa. The same will go for the Congo region located in the lakes region of Africa. You will have the majority of Africa under your control, leading to an untold amount of riches.
In the East Indies, you may find a slightly greater challenge when it comes to conquest. Often times the nations of South East Asia and modern-day Indonesia will be more established with good chunks of land and comparable military technology.
Nations such as Brunei and Malaya will likely be your targets of conquest. In my playthrough, I was able to win this war with the help of Portugal (and its colonial nations), plus even my thirteen colonies made the trip to help in the war effort.
At one stage I had to transport some of my main armies to the East Indies, but this was not a major deal at this stage in the game. Through these conquests, you should gain primary control of the trade node in the East Indies. This land can also be used as a launch point for the conquest of the South East Asian mainland.
For the remainder of the playthrough, there is no real right or wrong approach for how you wish to proceed. You will have anywhere from 100-150 in-game years left, which is not much time for remaining conquests. If you are going for points ranking at the end of the playthrough, it would be wise to expand somewhat rapidly. Some great targets for further conquest are the remainder of Africa or even South East Asia.
You may also have to deal with the American Revolution which can be quite fun. I find you can prevent it from triggering by managing tariffs to decrease their desire for freedom. Staying further ahead in diplomatic technology than the Thirteen Colonies can also decrease this. Worst case, if they attempt their freedom in the Age of Revolution you will have a fun and interactive war during the ladder years of the playthrough. Once you reach the end of the game you should have a top 10 military, be one of the leaders in total land and have a decently high score.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Playing as Great Britain
Here are some quick benefits and drawbacks to playing as Great Britain:
- Multiple Options for Overseas Conquest and Colonization: As Great Britain, you have multiple options for overseas conquest and colonization. This allows for a lot of flexibility in terms of strategy and playstyle.
- Dominant Navy: Great Britain has a dominant navy, making it a formidable force to be reckoned with on the high seas. This allows for a lot of control over trade and protection of your colonies.
- Strong Army: Great Britain also has a strong army, which makes it a force to be reckoned with on land as well. This allows for successful expansion and conquest in both Europe and overseas.
- Difficult Expansion on the European Mainland: Great Britain faces challenges when expanding on the European mainland. Many of the conquerable lands in Europe are controlled by powerful nations such as France, which can make it difficult to win a war without a considerable alliance.
- Protection of Minor Nations in the Holy Roman Empire: Minor nations in the Holy Roman Empire will be protected by the emperor, who can rival even France in terms of strength. This can make expansion and conquest in this region particularly challenging.
- Requires Dedication to Conquer Europe: If expanding on the European mainland is a goal, it requires dedication from the beginning of the game to accomplish it successfully. The first 80 years or so are critical in terms of establishing alliances and building strength, so it’s important to have a solid plan in place.
Playing as Great Britain in Europa Universalis 4 can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. By focusing on diplomacy, naval power, and colonization, you can lead Great Britain to become a global superpower and dominate the world stage. Remember to prioritize building a strong navy and expanding your colonial holdings, while also maintaining positive relations with your neighbors to avoid being isolated in Europe.
With patience and strategic planning, you can successfully guide Great Britain to greatness in EU4.