I like to avoid conflict Europa Universalis IV as much as possible, preferring to play small nations prioritising survival, and seeing what happens if I decide to convert to protestantism. The new Art of War expansion might compel me to dabble more deeply with the grand strategy game's options for aggression and conquest, though. It's got 100 new countries, it revamps the Reformation to encourage more religious conflict, and it makes it easier to gather soldiers and form armies.
It's out now and there's a launch trailer below.
Europa Universalis IV is one of those games that looks outwardly terrifying - vast in historical scope, and in the number of countries and provinces available to control - but which reveals itself to be much simpler than it initially appears. Or rather, it's exactly as complex as you think, but you quickly learn which numbers, menus, mechanics you can ignore if you wish, and which you need to get to grips with immediately. EUIV was the first entry in the series where I did that, and I'd now much rather spend my time pootling over Europe than, say, attempting to conquer Civilization.
Paradox say that Art of War is arguably their largest expansion ever, featuring:
- Revamped Papal election and curia system
- Religious leagues in totally redone Reformation structure, to encourage religious conflict
- Hundreds of new provinces and dozens of new nations throughout game history
- New revolt system that traces general unrest
- Greater flexibility in managing and sharing fleets
- The creation of client states as a new form of subject ally
- Army construction template for easy rebuilding of destroyed forces
Which perhaps justifies the slightly higher-than-normal price, as the expansion will set you back £15/$20 on Steam.