[EU4] War Academy III: Military Idea Groups

hello EU four players my name's Riemann and welcome to the third episode of the war Academy in this video I'm going to break down military ideal groups how they balance out and when you want to pick them while technology has an overall bigger impact on army quality as I stated in the last video most players and the AI understand this well enough that they don't lag behind enough for it to make a sustained difference hence we look to the second most important source of army quality to estimate the relative martial prowess of different nations first I'm going to do a broad overview of all the military groups taken together to explain how they fit into the game and whether taking them is a correct decision then I'll examine each of the sets one by one to show its main strengths when you want to use it how it holds up against other groups and some of the main policies that are worth while before I get into it now I want to throw a disclaimer that a lot of discussions on the military groups eventually become an argument on which one of them is the best but there really isn't one that is objectively superior to the others due to differing play styles and the use of incomparable z' what works for you might not work for somebody else even the best players often disagree on this topic however there are pics that are more correct than others in certain situations which is what a large portion of this video will cover to start there are seven military idea groups in eu4 if I were forced to make a tier list out of them it would look like this again this isn't some objective truth but rather it's what I see as the general consensus of their value by the community I can get one of them out of the way quickly naval ideas are okay if you want to control the waves and there's some rewards for doing so it can be useful to block off certain straights sometimes and the seizure onus to coastal forts is always helpful the problem is that oceanic supremacy isn't useful enough to justify an entire group it will almost never be a bottleneck for sufficient time that it'll be a large concern in my thousands of hours playing I don't think I've ever had naval concerns be a main limiting factor to an extent that the naval idea group was an an ironic ly good choice as such I won't be talking about it for the rest of this video leaves six real idea groups as a whole for newer players I'd say the more military sets you take the better they're always helpful and are much easier to use in something like influence ideas it's completely respectable for players who are learning the game to plan on taking foreign military groups throughout a campaign more experienced players will generally find that things besides combat to be the main bottlenecks in their game so they can get away without any military groups until the third fourth or even fifth set in general whether you decide to use a military idea group or not should be the same process you'd use to decide on any other group try to estimate what the main limiting factor will be to what you want to accomplish and pick a set that will help to us wage that if your goal is the standard one of expansion try to figure out what will hold you back if it's something like admin points internal stability or money you'd want to pick a non-military group that corresponds to your needs like administrative humanist or economic respectively if the main bottleneck is enemy soldiers on the other hand that's when you want to pick a military group but which one should you pick if you're undecided you should stick with the mainline ones offensive defensive quality and quantity are all pretty good and can be applied to a lot of situations however you can get a bit more out of them if you use them in the right way for the right reasons as for timing quantity and defensive are a bit better in the early game while quality and offensive are a bit better in the late game all of them are good throughout but they each have a little something that makes them shine a bit brighter in a certain portion of a campaign let's start with quantity it's my personal favourite idea group and when I take in almost every serious game and Men deadly though it's not very elegant a lot of newer players probably discount quantity more than they should because everyone wants Prussian Space Marines that can win when significantly outnumbered it's a lot less fashionable to have the mind of a Mocambo keeper that understands the use of piling the bodies of conscripts so high your enemies won't be able to surmount the massive mountain of expendable fleshies flung against them but I digress this idea group solves three bottlenecks for you and how useful it is depends on which of those solutions is relevant if manpower is an issue this set is a paralleled the 50% direct increase along with a 20% recovery rate increase combined multiplicatively to give you 80% more manpower each month the second major bonus it gives is 50% more force limit this is almost always overkill early on but later in the game when you have more money or if you start in a rich area like Italy or East Africa you can use us to its full potential since this also boosts the amount of mercenaries you can hire as well finally it makes armies cheaper the 5% maintenance cost reduction and 10% regiment cost reduction end up shaving off about a sixth of army costs with all the extra manpower as well you can afford to swap out some of the mercs for regulars thereby saving a few extra ducats the full effectiveness obviously depends on how mercenary having you were before but as a general ballpark if money is the main issue quantity will allow you to afford about 30% more troops it also has a few moderately useful policies pairing with religious can boost morale by 10% which while not being as strong as defensive can still help to close the gap furthermore with trade you can get 20% more goods produced I've never taken this myself since I don't like trade ideas that much but if I ever thought it was necessary to take them this would be a must pick goods produced is the strongest economic modifier in the game and 20% is a massive amount easily justifying the one dip low point cost per month another bonus quantity gives you that's not talked about much as the boost to military score military score is a very opaque system that nobody fully understands but from experimentation it's been discovered that this system influences AI war declaration probability AI Alliance acceptance and allied favor generation a couple patches ago paradox introduced one place that explicitly shows the score and using this I ran an experiment to test how much each of the idea groups raised the score the results are shown here from my testing it appears that the score is excessively concerned with force limit and manpower while it doesn't care at all about discipline or morale or army tradition hence quantity gives you a bigger boost from the ai's perspective than any other set this makes it easier to secure alliances she's less likely to get targeted for a tax of opportunity and improves your favorite generation rate you can see here my alliance with Bohemia is generating favors every two years but when I take quantity it goes up to every one year if I take other sets instead like quality its back down to two years these types of benefits happen behind the scenes and can go almost completely unnoticed but nevertheless they have a fairly substantial impact quantity is at its best when most of the battles who fight have less than full combat width if 30 to 50% more troops allows you to outnumber the enemy in the situation when you otherwise wouldn't no other military set can compete this is the main reason why quantity is better early on because those types of battles are more numerous with smaller nations that haven't had a chance to expand yet when combat width is being raged it starts to fall behind a bit compared to the discipline combat ability and leadership bonuses other groups provide but even then it's far from mediocre even if you have so many armies you can't fit them all into one front having that 50% extra force limit can allow you to run a parallel war somewhere else in the world moreover manpower can still be an issue late in the game if you're constantly seizing down half the planet and quantity can ensure there's always enough gas in that tank to keep your military engine running because of all the strong bonuses it provides quantity is a very powerful set that I and many of the best players of EU for frequently pick up its counterpart is the other early game ideal group defensive while most of the best players I've seen prefer quantity there is some notable dissent with at least a few top players preferring this group instead first off you shouldn't be fooled by its name it's true some of its bonuses are only really useful if you're defending but it has enough modifiers that apply to any situation that it can be used when attacking as well which is where you'll be doing most of your fighting the most prominent advantage you get from the set is the plus 15% morale which can be a game-changer early on it's especially useful in short sharp Wars that are decided by a single engagement that you can quickly follow up with carpet seating of course this is that it's most useful if it's the difference that puts you over one of the morale thresholds I talked about in the last video if it will at least reduce casualties on both sides by speeding up battles that's really what this group is about quantity gives you an advantage in numbers by directly giving you more troops while defensive gets you an advantage in numbers by making your troops die and less that's how you should view the control afforded to you by the morale and the attrition reduction from the modifier maneuver Pip and army traditions beyond this defensive helps you afford more troops through another modifier by deferring reinforcements costs in multiple ways and through reduced fort maintenance adding up to about 15 to 25% more troops finally that plus one army tradition shouldn't be forgotten it provides some nice bonuses directly from tradition and indirectly through pip rules on generals on the policy side defensive has two main standouts pairing with humanists gets you another minus 25% attrition allowing you to chop your passive loss of soldiers in half given attrition can be a significant portion of your casualties later on when the lovely fort's fan starts this is an obvious pick if manpower is ever even remotely an issue remember stacking modifiers is always good next pairing with influence gets you minus 0.03 monthly war exhaustion ever since the introduction of absolutism finding a way to deal with war exhaustion has been mandatory since pressing the reduce war exhaustion button also lowers your administrative efficiency which is unacceptable usually you'd fix us by either becoming the defender of the faith or by going revolutionary but in some games neither of those are available making this policy a better fallback option than taking the mediocre innovative ideas as a whole defensive is at its most useful when controlling battle outcomes is of paramount concern this usually manifests itself as a conflict between two small or mid-sized nations where a defeated army can be stocked stack wiped and its nation stomped quickly after it becomes less useful when wars get dragged out into a battle of national resources given that morale has a negligible impact on the casualty ratio it could theoretically mean the difference between staying on a siege or being forced out but typically that's decided by raw numbers more than anything past the mid game you'll get more use out of the attrition mitigation and the army tradition so the set is still respectable even if it's not in its prime between the two early gay military groups unless you're playing multiplayer are new to the game are a role playing for super soldiers I would suggest taking one and only one of these two groups with neither of them manpower is too limited and I've often found myself having to end wars prematurely due to running out of resources discipline can lower casualties from battle but it does nothing against attrition on the other hand in game sir I've taken both I've often found I have too much manpower and it ends up being used inefficiently or overflowing and being wasted choosing between the two is more difficult in theory than in practice as most players already have their favorite which one is better in a head-to-head competition depends on many factors like which bottleneck is relevant for quantity and how long the word would last for defensive morale bonus quantity tends to be more on the reliable side the manpower is consistent month after month and it's easy to shrug off a few bad battles the better diplomacy it brings also helps to prevent random war declarations that can happen if you're in a bad spot defensive tends to be higher risk and in some cases higher reward your troops are better but it's more costly to lose them it makes it much easier to stack wipe which can completely blow apart enemy resistance and also looks pretty cool so if you're a twitch streamer who wants to impress an audience this is your stuff you have to make your wars very deliberate and you should blitzkrieg as much as possible if you can do that defensive is an excellent choice after the early game groups we have the late-game ones offensive and quality unlike with quantity and defensive wear I'd suggest taking one and only one of the two these sets are much more free-flowing you can take both either or neither of them depending on how your campaign is progressing first up is offensive this group rotates around improving army quality through general pits and discipline with a side order of seizure ability for taking down forts it also adds a bit of force limit and the rest is forgettable for policies pairing with economic can get you 10% artillery compatibility for more general army quality and pairing with religion gives you a must-have if you plan on converting everything instead of accepting other religions taking innovative gets you a very strong policy that extends the Siege bonuses of the set and going with humanist gets you – five years of separatism and – one unrest since rebellion management is so important now this is the one policy in the game that costs admin points that I consistently find worthwhile it shaves three and a half unrest off every newly conquered province which can alleviate lots of headaches with whack-a-mole revolts if you took this group early the best thing you'd get is the extra shock pimp other than that though there wouldn't be much to recommend discipline is nice wherever you can get it but quantity or defensive would give you bonuses that are much more applicable to smaller nations with smaller Wars once the 18th century rolls around though offensive is so good that it's easily my second favorite military group overall the firepit is great the force limit bonus is usually applicable you've unlocked other groups to use the policies which are wonderful and a discipline advantage is essential to coming out on top of long resource training warfare that occurs between two great powers or in multiplayer the biggest prize however is the seizure ability breaking down level eight forts is one of the most common activities in late-game eu4 in fact if you're big enough and your enemy's armies are sufficiently scared of you it's the only activity and endgame Wars bonuses to doing this are surprisingly rare and expensive so it's nice to get them where you can the final set of the four main groups is quality the most notable boosts it has are the discipline the army tradition and the 10% increase in damage for all unit types just like offensive these bonuses only really become better than the early sets when you're in the late game with large armies that fill the combat width in terms of a straight fight it's actually slightly worse than offensive in terms of winning battles especially if offensives 20% first limit increases relevant it also lacks offensive sees ability trading it out for a bunch of naval stuff that like I said before isn't worthless but typically isn't what you're looking for the way I see it there are three scenarios when quality is worthwhile the first is if you actually need a naval boost if you're pretty evenly paired with an opponent that little bit extra could put you over the top and since naval dominance typically swings entirely to one side or the other coming out as the victor can pay dividends if it's the difference that lets you blockade all enemy forts moreover quality will still retain some usefulness after the decisive naval battles have concluded the second reason you'd take quality is if you've already taken offensive and you still wanted more the third reason you take quality is if warfare was pretty much the only concern and you're willing to pay through the nose to get any combat bonus as you can this is because of some of the policies the group has to offer pairing with economic is a common opener and crowded multiplayer because it gives you 5% discipline but it costs admin points to have it on which just isn't worth it in most single-player games beyond this going with innovative can get you 20% infantry combat ability which is nice but I mean you have to take innovative and going with religious gets you some morale and siege ability on its own quality is somewhat lackluster but if you're willing to pay anything to get military bonuses the policies ii offer are more impactful than any other group there are two other groups I haven't discussed yet the ones I put under the label of highly situational aristocratic and plutocratic could be nice if you get them but the opportunity cost is quite high they rarely end up being optimal over other picks I'll start with aristocratic it's available to every nation that isn't a republic and the bonuses it gives are unusually varied some give you more of an army some give you a higher quality army one lets your army siege stuff faster and a couple aren't related to your armies of all the two noteworthy policies continue this trend going with administrative helps you with aggressive expansion and pairing with espionage of all things improves your cavalry further the main issue is that it doesn't do anything especially well the manpower boost is less than what quantity provides the seizure is worse than offensive seizure ability the army tradition decay is less useful than getting army tradition directly from defensive equality and the policy for aggressive mix Antron is less useful than what you get from influence in theory you might think it would sometimes be good to get a sprinkling of a bunch of unrelated bonuses even if they were less powerful but in reality that's almost never the case campaigns are almost always dominated by specific bottlenecks in arrastra cracks simply doesn't help enough with the ones that matter the one thing it does do better than any other set is cavalry and the first idea alone can sometimes make it worthwhile to consider Unruh chores that have easy access to gold mines or you can go full winged tosser mode on poland and stack all the cavalry combat modifiers you can which isn't efficient but is always entertaining the other small niche this group has is if you've already taken a superior set but you still want to stack a certain modifier if seizing is the only thing you're doing and you've already taken offensive then the +1 leader sees PIP can give you something at least if you really have no better alternatives finally plutocratic is a set that can only be taken by Republic's in many ways it's very similar to err Stoke Radek it has an unusually varied set of bonuses that aren't particularly good at anything making this more of a support group the morale bonus is less than what you'd get from defensive it's less effective at dealing with unrest and humanists it gives you much less monthly manpower than quantity you get the point pairing with influence can get you minus 10% annexation cost and minus 1 and rest while going with diplomatic can get you diplo rep and better relations over time again campaigns are usually dominated by specific bottlenecks but if you've already taken the group to deal with them and this can be a little something extra remember that a lot of deciding which military groups to take comes down to personal preference if you're annexing vassals out the wazoo maybe the fifth diplomat from aristocratic is worth more than offensive seizure ability if you're a newer player I'd recommend sticking to the four main line groups if you're ever unsure of what to pick experiment with them discover the ones you like and learn to utilize them in the correct way then as you start getting the hang of things you can think of sometimes including the situational aristocratic and plutocratic groups just make sure you know what you're doing with them and have reason you taken them over other sets lastly I'll share the way I personally pick my groups and normal games I almost always take quantity sometime in my first five idea groups to give me a big early to mid-game boost then I take offensive as my sixth or seventh group to help me in knocking down level eight forts and finally from my last group I switch between quality if there's some stubborn late-game blobs airstrike Radek if there's a lot of forts or plutocratic if I'm sick of dealing with rebels at the end of a world conquest that's all I have for you today I hope you'll continue with me in the next episode of the war Academy my name is Raymond and until next time thanks for watching

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