This is a starting guide for Aragon in Europa Universalis IV, that want to go for the Consultant of the Sea achievement. The achievement is one of the very hard achievements in EU4 because of all the provinces you must conquer. A lot of the provinces are in the Middle East and North Africa, which becomes dominated by the Ottomans. But if you follow the steps below, you should be in a good starting position and long game position.
Step 1: Allies
The starting area for Aragon is on the Iberian Peninsula. So, this means that you have Castile on you left and France on top of you. For you to be in a good safe position for the achievement run, you will want to be either: A- Allied to France and Castile, B – Allied to France, or C – Allied to Castile. Now getting them to want to ally you at the start of the game may require you to restart your game a couple of times. The reason why is that the game RNG system to determine what happens in the game. So, for option A to happen you would have to be very lucky. However, for both option B and C, you do not have to be as lucky; just make sure whoever you do not ally is not rivaled to you. If you are trying to get option A and not getting lucky, I would suggest just going with option B because you will more than likely get Castile in a Personal Union with the event “Iberian Wedding.”
Step 2: Improve Relations
The second step is improving relations. The main people you want to improve relations is with your allies and the one Personal Union you start out with, which is Naples. Once your allies and PU is maxed on relations, have your diplomats jump around from bigger countries than you to countries that have high aggressive expansion against you. The reason why other countries are going to be mad at you is because you will be declaring a dirty war at the start of the game.
Step 3: No CB War on Byzantium
This step is one of the most important steps that will help you in the long run of the game. You will declare war on Byzantium as soon as you can declare war, which is the first month after you have started the game. The declare war screen will say it is a bad idea to declare a war because you have no casus belli. But for you to be in a good starting position, you need to have Byzantium and you cannot wait for your diplomat to claim a casus belli on them. Because if you wait, the Ottomans will conquer Byzantium. When you attack Byzantium and have enough war score, peace out with the option of having Byzantium becoming your vassal. If the Ottomans have attacked Byzantium during your war, then you will be called in as the defensive leader.
Step 4: Defensive war on Ottomans
Now this step may not happen with you but do not worry if it does not happen. If it does happen for you then good for you. You will be able to weaken the Ottoman very early on. With you being the defensive player in the war, you will be able to call in all your allies because they are honored bound to join you in defensive wars. If you have both France and Castile, the war will be a cake walk. However, if you have only one, the war will be a bit more challenging. Either way though, be careful and do not spread your troops out. You will want to keep your troops on the provinces that have crossing tiles from the Balkans into Turkey. By doing this, it should stop the Ottoman from sending reinforcements to the Balkans, where you want your allies and vassals to siege down everything. As soon as you have enough War score, you want to peace out with the Ottoman returning all of Byzantium’s cores.
Step 5: Dealing with Aggressive Expansion
This step is a big step if you are able to do step 4. If you did step 4 then, you will want to take a couple of years off in game from attacking anyone. This will allow for your Aggressive Expansion modifier with other countries to go down. It also helps if you improve relations with those certain countries with high AE against you. If you do not do this and have strong allies, you will get into a collation war and those are never fun. This break in war should also be a time for your manpower reserves to recover and for you to strategize your next move. You should take a break from war when ever your AE gets high with other countries.
Step 6: Expanding
This is the final step. For the rest of the game you will want to fabricate claims on all of the important center of trades. To start off in this step, you should work on the North Africa and Middle East centers. Starting there will cause you to gain less AE with every province you take. This means that you are able to take more provinces and have more wars often. Once the Shadow Kingdom Event fires in the HRE, you should switch your focus to the Italy region center of trades. However, do not get to aggressive, because the European provinces have a lot higher AE. To be safe, switch between attacking North Africa and the Middle East with attacking Europe.
Following these simple steps will set you up for a great and smooth start for the rest of the game. If you play your cards right, you may even be able to get a couple of extra achievements.