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Eu4 - How to form Italy without DLC

With the aid of Europa Expanded.

Eu4 is one of Paradox’s most refined historical map games, featuring diplomacy with foreign nations, developing your lands, and destroying your enemies. One downside of this amazing game is the amount of DLC and other paid content locked away. It costs somewhere over $400 to fully pay for all of the unlockable content in Europa Universalis. Eu4 is an amazing game that can be enjoyed with, or without DLC. Thanks to the community, this game can enjoyed without busting the bank. On eu4’s Steam Workshop, there are hundreds of mods that add content and variety to your somewhat bland base game eu4 campaigns. This blog post will show you how to download one of eu4’s best expansion mods while showcasing how to form Italy with Florence.

How to download Europa Expanded

One of the first steps to download any mod onto Steam is to head over to the Steam workshop page. Once onto the Eu4’s workshop page, you can either search for the mod you are looking for or browse for a unique expansion to add a little extra touch of flavor to your game. In this case, we can head over to the all-time popular page, where we can find Europa Expanded. After we find Europa Expanded, make sure to subscribe to the mod, where it will be added to the Paradox launcher.

Europa Expanded Steam Page

When you boot up the game, make sure you enable the mod in your launcher. You can tell if the mod is working if a unique tone is played when loading up the game, rather than the vanilla Eu4 song. Once loaded up, you can view all the new missions that are added, adding flavor to countries such as the Austrians, all the way to the Aztecs.

Early Game Set Up

Once loaded up into Florence, you are going to want to first look for viable allies to help you in battle. Personally, I think Switzerland and the Papal States are two very good early-game allies. At the start of the campaign, I started by rivaling Sienna, Lucca, and Milan. As we want providences in Sieena and Lucca to form Tuscany, the extra bonuses gained by rivaling them will surely help us. Although it brings us over the force limit, I hired the Free company, as it helps us conserve manpower and money, rather than hiring our own men. As for my diplomats, I sent one to improve relations with Switzerland, and one to spy on Lucca. Unless they gain significant allies or enter a trade league, I recommend attacking Lucca first, as they are usually the main target of its neighbors. Although we got claims after building the Free Company, the spy network will help with sieging. I then proceeded to send my merchants to collect in Genoa and to transfer trade power in Alexandria. If you are using DLC in this campaign, you could use the establish communities feature in your home node, as this will lessen the impacts of Aggressive Expansion when going to war. As for the estates, I summoned the diet, gave Religious diplomats to the Clergy, Patronage of the Arts, and Indebted to the Burghers for the Burgher class, and gave the +1 mana bonuses to all the estates. I then seized land to gain back some of the crownland lost.

Early Wars

After you first set up, you are going to want to either go to war with Lucca or Sienna. Both countries are good to go after, but it more preferable to go after Lucca, since Genoa tends to annex them very early on. Depending on Once you take on either Lucca or Sienna, try to take the other, as unifying the Tuscany region grants you good buffs for uniting the Tuscan region. After you take on both Lucca and Sienna, you may have to take a good look at what you have to do later down the line. Florence is the perfect nation to play tall in, and Europa Expanded complements Florence's nature, offering great bonuses for those who develop their coastline through the mission tree. Also, by unifying the Tuscan region, you could form Tuscany at Admin Tech 10.

An ideal Florence, building buildings and slow expansion

Bonfire of the Vanities Disaster

At around this time, you may encounter the Bonfire of the Vanities Disaster. This disaster involves a preacher, Savonarlo, who has gained a significant following and somehow seized control of your government. Although this seems bad, this disaster isn't as major as some other Civil Wars that Castile or the Ottomans face. If this disaster fires, Savonarlo seizes control of the Republic, and your government turns into a monarchy. Although there is a minor chance for your government to stay this way or an even smaller chance for your government to become a Theocracy, the Republic should be restored after Savonarlo dies. Depending on your luck, you can gain stability or admin points through unique events that come and go with each month tick. This disaster shouldn't slow you down that much seeing that your ruler is a 5/5/3, enabling you to still be able to take technologies and ideas.

With Savonarola dead, you can reinstate the Republic

Gaining Wealth with 5 (or more) Provinces

As Florence, it is very important that you develop your land and build buildings. As you start to gain tech, you will unlock more and more buildings that you can invest in. As soon as you get the opportunity to, start building workshops, churches, and other buildings to boost your income. Although a province might say it will get 0.30 ducats by building a workshop, with a little bit of time, the workshop will generate more than 0.30 ducats. If you have to, take burgher loans in order to build more buildings, and if you have DLC, take the loans, embrace Renaissance, and then sell it to a wealthy ally. With the money gained from this, use it to build more buildings on your land. You can determine how good of a game you are having based on how many provinces are fully maxed out with buildings.

The Florentine Experience

What Next?

After you gain control of Tuscany, most games will start the vary heavily. It is recommended to take out the two minor countries above Tuscany before you start to deal with Genoa. Taking on Venice is also a good idea if you are able to call in a bigger country, such as Castille or Austria. If the Pope is looking weak, strike southward and gain yourself a border with Naples. Since Southern Italy isn't as developed as the North, your aggressive Expansion will start to be less and less the more you go South. With that in mind, the opposite is true as you grow more and more North. To form Italy, you require the provinces of Genoa, Milano, and Rome. As for the Shadow Kingdom, it is heavily recommended to leave the HRE unless you are allied to the Emperor, or if a fair amount of Italian Nations decide to stay. During times of peace, it is a good idea to invest in your navy as well. Since the cost of galleys is extremely cheap and effective in the Mediterranean, you can easily build 10-15 galleys over the force limit to dominate the waters. It is also recommended to build a trade fleet, consisting of light ships, that will ensure the protection of your trade. As for ideas to do, I started off with innovative and offensive ideas to get a 10% siege ability and an extra siege pip for my generals. Later down the line, Florence is able to colonize Colombia, through its mission tree, so it is recommended to go expansion next. Infrastructure, Trade, and Economic are all good ideas to use as Florence.

Beware of a low Republican Tradition - You could accidentally become a Monarchy


Florence, as odd as it sounds, can also make a great colonial campaign, being able to bring New World Wealth into The Genoa Trade Node. With Europa Expanded, Florence gets claims in the Colombian Region after developing the coastline. Creating a colonial nation will enable more wealth and a greater force limit to defend your riches. When establishing trade in the New World, watch out for the Sevilla trade node, as Spain and Portugal love to siphon your trade when it comes back to you. As for African colonies, your mission tree allows you to get claims all on Tripoli's coast, allowing trade to come in through the Tunis Trade Node as well.


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