EU4: What Does “Blobbing” Mean? (Playing Wide Vs. Playing Tall)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Playing wide and playing tall are two common terms in 4X games.
In playing tall, you concentrate on improving your country’s existing assets. Your focus will be on these:
- Developing provinces
- Constructing buildings
- Leveling up technology
- Passing reforms
With playing wide, you expand your nation by gaining new territory. You’ll mostly be doing these:
- Conquering neighbors
- Annexing vassals
- Integrating junior partners
- Colonizing the world
Blobbing is an EU4 slang for playing wide aggressively. A “blob” usually refers to an empire that has rapidly grown large and difficult to defeat.
Are These Playstyles Exclusive?
Not really. It’s normal to switch between styles depending on the situation.
Certain countries start strong and can use their early advantage to play wide. Others begin with only a couple of provinces and must bide their time by playing tall.
You can do both, but you may not have the resources to manage it.
Here’re two example resources which show the differences in the playstyles:
|Resource||Wide Nations||Tall Nations|
|Monarch Points (MP or mana)||
Needs mana to:
Uses mana to:
|Reform Progress Points (RPP)||
– Slow generation of RPP due to their large number of high autonomy territories
– May need to spend RPP to increase governing capacity
– Generates RPP faster because they mostly have states with zero autonomy
– Rarely has governing capacity problems
– Can focus on passing reforms
Characteristics of Wide Nations
Nations that are great for playing wide have access to these modifiers:
- Core-creation cost reduction (CCR)
- Administrative efficiency
Since wide nations are mostly conquering provinces, CCR can help them budget their admin mana spending. Admin efficiency functions like CCR, but also reduces diplo-annexation costs.
Furthermore, it lowers the impact of conquered provinces’ development on:
- War Score Cost
- Aggressive Expansion
Wide Nations with Unique Features
Certain special mechanics also fit this playstyle better. Some examples are:
1. The Empire of China’s Mandate of Heaven
Mandate generates faster if the EoC has many tributaries and prosperous states.
2. The Holy Roman Emperor’s Imperial Authority
Imperial Authority generates faster if there’re a lot of members in the HRE.
3. The Mughals’ “Diwan” cultural assimilation system
Individual cultures can be assimilated (i.e., become accepted) by conquering all of the provinces that they’re in.
4. Russia’s ability to claim entire areas and their “Siberian Frontier” colonies
They’ve the option of claiming areas instead of just provinces. They can establish colonies by spending diplo mana, even if they don’t have a colonist.
5. Native American tribal federations
Native tribes in North America can band together to form a large, unified federation.
Characteristics of Tall Nations
Tall nations primarily benefit from development cost modifiers. These are numerous but are usually miniscule.
A tall nation is usually stacking these modifiers on just a few provinces, hence the term “playing tall”.
Here’s an example list:
|Development Cost Reduction||Cause|
-5% to -50%
(scales with total national development)
|-1% to -10%||“All Power Costs” modifier|
|-20%||Completing the Economic idea group|
|-20%||Province has a university|
|-10%||Province is producing cloth or cotton|
|-5%||Province is a farmland|
|-10%||“Encourage Development” edict|
|-10%||States with prosperity|
|-5% or -10%||Areas with a level 2 or 3 Center of Trade|
|-5%||“Trading in Tropical Wood” strategic bonus|
|-5%||Nation has embraced Renaissance|
-2.5% to 10%
(scales inversely with Burgher influence)
|Burghers with at least 60 loyalty|
By stacking any combination of these, a tall nation can massively reduce the mana costs to develop a province.
Small but Tall Nations
- Their starting area has plenty of cloth-producing farmland with numerous centers of trade.
- Their unique government guarantees a ruler with high stats, which contribute to their mana generation.
- They’re in the English Channel end node. This incentivizes them to focus on developing their provinces.
- They’re in a secluded area with mountains guarding the only land routes into their country.
- They have lots of paper-producing farmland as well as cotton provinces. Paper is a valuable trade good. Developing their production is an easy way to make money.
- They’re a one-province minor surrounded by military-minded nations.
- Their sole province is a center of trade with an estuary.
- Their mission tree requires that they stay within 6 provinces or less.