I am a big fan of history – I like to read books about it, I like to watch history-based movies, I love boardgames – especially wargames – connected with that topic and I am always open for possibility to play good video game regarding that topic. Recently I thought a lot about it – well, forced lockdown made you rethink a lot of things – and an idea came to my mind to write a series of articles – with working name “My passion for History” (capital letter intended!). This will be loose collection of articles on some of the medias (books, boardgames, movies, videogames, etc.) I like which allows me to pursuit my history hobby.

As my blog is mainly about boardgames, I will start with different media. There is a specific series of computer games – from Paradox company – which I simply love for the fun they are giving you to replay and what is most important, to change history. And they will be a starting point as I have also a nice session report to back it with. I am talking of course about Europa Universalis!

The game


Europa Universalis is a grand strategy video game developed by Paradox Development Studio and published in 2000 by Strategy First. I played it from the first version and loved the possibility to change history, like partitioning of Poland in 18th century.

The fourth installment (EU IV) was released in August 2013. It is a strategy game where players can control a nation from the Late Middle Ages through the Early modern period (1444 to 1821 AD), conducting trade, administration, diplomacy, colonization and warfare. More about game from the publisher website:

The game has been formed to begin historically, with real events occurring in real time. The game itself is an interactive map of Earth divided into the provinces that compose nations. Each of these provinces contribute to their country either positively or negatively, as provinces can both provide resources to a nation and serve as a point of unrest and rebellion. The gameplay requires the player to lead a nation by finding a balance of military, diplomacy and economy. The player does so through their choices as sovereign of their nation.

Players can choose to conquer the world by military might, become a colonial superpower, establish trade dominance, etc. as one of over 500 different nations. These nations range alphabetically from Aachen to Zuni. The game is a sandbox environment, and while there is no strict rule on winning the game, a loss occurs when the player’s nation is removed, or annexed, from the map.

The session report

Enough of the introduction, let us now together travel through the ages!

Europe 1444 AD (click to enlarge)

Everything started in year 1444, when Europe looked like above. Two young princes took over the responsibilities for their countries – Michal (me) for Hungary and Krzysztof (my Paradox games buddy) for Naples. Why those countries? No particular reason, Krzysztof wanted to reunite the Italy, I played previously with Poland (my home country) and Hungary is always close to Polish hearts. The idea was also to have common border – at least one safe direction!

In below set of maps I am providing quick input into main actions – mainly military – of our coalition. You can click on each of them should you be interested in details. Enjoy!


Europe 1507 AD (click to enlarge). First 50 years is focused on gradual territorial expansion (Wallachia  Bosnia, Sycilly) culminating in grand war with Turkey in which Constantinople was captured by Hungarian army! A Hitchcock beginning!


Europe 1532 AD (click to enlarge). Next 25 years was a peaceful period of stabilization after Great Ottoman War. A small gain in Bohemia for Hungary plus inconclusive war between Krzysztof’s Naples and Venice.


Europe 1555 AD (click to enlarge). After a period of stabilization, a period of war started – Serbia becomes (peacefully!) Hungarian Vassal and then is being incorporated. Krzysztof takes over Dalmatia and Albania. Small but important progress.


Europe 1570 AD (click to enlarge). Next 15 years was devoted to military buildup and preparation for Naples (Krzysztof) war with Papacy – the only way to reunite the Italy later on. No land gains as you can see above – unusual situation!


Europe 1584 AD (click to enlarge). And here it comes – due to coordinated effort, Krzysztof takes over Papacy, while I conquer parts of Asia Minor from broken Ottomans.


Europe 1601 AD (click to enlarge). A huge preparations unfold. Small gains (Albany, parts of Papacy) should not cloud the real intentions of our two countries which was…


Europe 1607 AD (click to enlarge) …attack on Holy Roman Emperor – Austria. Our previous ally become very inconvenient  – the edicts issued by him were really hitting our economy as well as reputation. So with meticulous preparation we attacked – successfully – Austria from two sides.


Europe 1688 AD (click to enlarge). Now we do a significant jump in time. There is no more Naples on the map? Why? Because Krzysztof managed to unite Italy! Also, he created the Vassal from Croatia – that would be very fierce ally, who would travel with Italian troops to Alexandria and to Stalingrad 🙂 As for me – I finished what left of Austria.


Europe 1711 AD (click to enlarge) Time when we had a peaceful session and an expansion session are gone. Now we expand each time! Krzysztof conquered Venice but most prominent war was with… EGYPTThat was completely crazy endeavor of our countries but paid off well – I took Alexandria and Kris Libya. Italian and Hungary colonist in Nile delta in 18th century – well, you didn’t know, did you?


Europe 1740 AD (click to enlarge) The end of game is near so time for decisive expansion in all directions is a must. In the Great War To Connect Egypt with Homeland I conquered all countries between Asia Minor and Egypt. Kris takes over Ethiopia and Cyprus. And we have another war with our great ally – this time Poland. Most of southern provinces are annexed by Hungarian Empire.


Europe 1767 AD (click to enlarge) We are not decreasing the pace. Another 30 years are very eventful – another powerful opponent is being defeated. It is hard to see him at a first glance but please have a look at Iberian Peninsula


Europe 1790 AD (click to enlarge) We are getting close to the end. When you said A, you have to say B. After Castile, Portugal falls. We also finish off war with Poland, with me getting to Gdansk and Krzysztof creating a colony near CrimeaGreen people appeared there – sounds familiar?


Europe 1810 AD (click to enlarge) The almost last session of our epic game. A really ground-breaking events are taking place here. Where Polish soldiers in 1610, where Napoleon in 1812 and Wehrmacht in 1941 failed, we succeeded – we took and hold big chunk of Russia, including Moscow!


Europe 1821 AD (click to enlarge) The last turns were crazy. I extended my territory to Archangel and Murmansk while Krzystof reached Jemen. A truly different Europe at the end of our game 🙂


The final scores in our game

That sandbox game gave us tons of fun – the map at the end is simply hilarious, but it is nice to look at it. I love the game and how it allows you to shape the history – not necessarily in quite probable way on Normal difficulty, but try at Very Hard and you will only gain part of above successes. It has also specific scenarios allowing to replay key events of the period.

We will continue with same countries, with another strategy game from Paradox. But this time in 20th century. Stay tuned…