Spraetter's Guide to Sweden
Table of Contents
- Enemies And Potential Allies
- Your First Turn
- Master of the Baltic Sea
- Translations of Unit Names, From English to Swedish, by Ulfnor
Sweden, the country in the north, where polar bears roam the streets and every woman is blond and beautiful.
At the start of the setting for Empire: Total War
, Sweden has been a major European power for a little more than 50 years. The 30 Years' War saw Sweden rise from a regional power to a nation that matters, most of all thanks to the genius of Gustavus II Adolphus. The Swedish Empire is an aggressive Empire, hungry for conquests and to assert it's rightful place amongst the great powers of the world.
At the start of the 18th century, however, the Swedish Empire is in danger of declining. It's three arch-enemies, Denmark, Poland-Lithuania and Russia, are allied together in an alliance with the goal of disputing, disrupting and thwarting Swedish hegemony of the Baltic Sea, and thus the source of Swedish power. Denmark has been the foremost enemy since medieval times, and Russia has always coveted the Swedish territories on the eastern shores of the Baltic. To the south lies another potential enemy in Prussia. The Prussians are no fans of Sweden, the Baltic is their link to the world beyond Europe and they will not see that link severed.
As you can see, Sweden starts with four regions under their control. The starting position may seem more precarious than it actually is, Sweden has the potential to grow extremely quickly if managed correctly.
If you take a look at the victory conditions for the Long Campaign, you'll see your goals set out in stone. The Baltic Sea and the lands that surround it are your targets. Denmark, Russia, Poland-Lithuania and Prussia are the nations that stand in your way.
On your first turn, your Swedish Empire looks like this:
As stated above, Sweden's starting position is really not that bad, it's actually quite a good one. You start with strong armies, a decent economy and no war, although the last is bound to change very quickly.
Sweden has great potential to become an economic powerhouse. You have an excellent home region in Sweden with numerous ports and towns. The ports will make sure that you have several trade lanes to fill with trade partners. Sweden and Finland also has fur trading posts, giving you access to a trade commodity right off the bat. You also start out with trade agreements with both Britain and France, two lucrative trade partners. Timber and mines are all over the place, which coupled with the normal towns ensures substantial regional wealth once you get your nation developed a little bit.
What you do not have is infrastructure. The roads in your empire are of the dirt variety, and Finland doesn't even have roads. Roads are something that most people overlook. A developed infrastructure goes long ways toward improving your economy.
Another thing you lack is population. Maintaining a steady population growth in your starting regions is both hard and important. Farms are pretty scarce and of poor quality. This makes it impossible for you to raise the taxes for the lower classes, you want population growth in all of your regions, most of all Sweden which has many villages left to develop. Due to this it's advisable to keep the fishing fleet on Gotland (the island to the south of Stockholm) intact.
Your starting armies are fairly strong and will enable you to get a head start on your enemies. The majority of your troops are located in St Petersburg and Riga, which is actually beneficial. You'll see why further down. You'll notice though that your military is of fairly poor quality. Your two units of Line Infantry and your unit of Regiment of Horse (located in Riga and outside St Petersburg) are very valuable to you, don't throw them away.The majority of your early armies are comprised of Militia and Provincial cavalry. Don't fret though, you have several military advantages over your enemies, especially over Russia. Sweden has larger units of cavalry than other nations, on large settings your cavalry units will number 60 men as opposed to 45 men for everyone else. In addition, the only nations that can field better Line Infantry than you are Britain, France and Prussia.
As far as generals go, you start with one decent general in Ingria. Worth mentioning is your starting admiral:
The rest of your starting navy is not very impressive, but it is enough to cope with your only enemy on the sea, Denmark.
The main point I would like to make here though, is that your empire is divided into two parts, the western and eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. These two parts will largely have to fend for themselves at the start, with their bases in Stockholm and St Petersburg respectively. Reinforcing by shuttling troops over the Baltic is not productive at the start and should not be counted on. You will need all ships you can get to deal with Denmark.
Sweden starts out as an Absolute Monarchy, meaning that your King's traits (both the positive and the negative ones) have double the effect stated in the tooltip. You are also able to move your ministers around and replace the ones you don't like to your heart's content.
Your starting cabinet is one of your main strengths playing as Sweden. You have access to some really powerful ministers which will aid you substantially. This is why I recommend that you keep your government form and refrain from establishing a Republic. Of course, if you really want to, you shouldn't let some dude on a forum tell you that you can't.
Your King, Carl XII, starts the game as an 18 year old, so he's not going to die anyway soon. This means that you can build him up to become an extremely impressive monarch.
This is what your cabinet looks like when you start your campaign:
Notice the two high-ranking ministers in the "Candidates" field. They are people that we will instantly make use of. The optimal positioning of your ministers looks like this: