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Pirate nations plunder Spanish gold in Europa Universalis 4: Golden Century

The next expansion for Europa Universalis 4 is taking the grand strategy game into a particularly high-stakes part of history. Golden Century is set to expand on the naval aspect of the game, building on the Spanish Reconquista and a broad focus on the Iberian peninsula. Where there’s mountains of stolen Aztec gold, there’s opportunity, and the chance to tussle with or even play as entire pirate nations. You’ve got until December 11th to whittle your perfect peg-leg or pick out the perfect plumage for your Spanish helm. The announcement trailer shines below.

This new expansion focuses on a notably dark and violent time in history (aren’t they all?), so my eyebrow may have been elevated a bit by the cheerful announcement of ‘minority expulsion’ as a feature. Hard to argue that it wasn’t an important historical force, but perhaps not the best phrased in the official announcement. Still, in-game it will allow you to force out minorities from your homelands, and shuffle them off to your outer colonies or subject territories. Iberia will also be able to appoint clerics as governors to accelerate conversion and bring the pious in line.

There’s a focus on missions for Iberia and Northwest Africa, giving the Spanish empire plenty to do. To aid in these goals, there’s a bunch of new naval units and mechanics, including flagships and naval sieges, pummelling forts with cannon-fire. I’m curious how pirate nations will play – presumably working on a much smaller scale than others, but with similarly minor goals to plunder and stay afloat as long as possible. I’m just hoping Paradox slip in some easter eggs into this too, or else this expansion might be forever in the shadow of Crusader Kings 2’s animal kingdoms.

Europa Universalis 4: Golden Century launches on December 11th. You can find it on Steam and Paradox Plaza, and will cost £7.19/$9.99.

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