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!
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!
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!
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…