How To Get The Habsburgs as Spain/Castille (EU4)

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Spain has a very powerful tool in her disposal in-game. This tool comes in the form of an event aimed at simulating the historical ascendance of the Habsburg family to the Spanish throne.

While you would assume this event would help the Austrians more than the Spanish, it’s the other way around.

Whether you want a Habsburg monarch on the throne for roleplaying purposes or want to use the event to improve your nation’s position, there are simple ways to force the event and make sure it happens.


How To Trigger the Habsburgs Event

The event is called “A Strategic Marriage”.

Its only effects are that it creates an heir for Spain, of the Habsburg dynasty, while giving Austria 5 prestige. Its specific conditions are:

  • Is Spain or is Castille and Spain doesn’t exist
  • Does not have an heir, but can have one
  • Is NOT the lesser partner in a union
  • Have a royal marriage with Austria, while Austria has a “von Habsburg”
  • Ruler is NOT of Austria or France dynasty
  • Ruler age is at least 20
  • France is rivalling Austria AND you
  • You are not rivaling Austria or vice-versa
  • You are at peace with Austria
The event giving a mediocre heir / EU4
The event giving a mediocre heir. The stats are completely random.

The event’s conditions seem like a lot, but they aren’t. You essentially need to be on good terms with Austria and rival France. France and Austria are historical rivals and will ALWAYS rival each other at game start.

Then you just need to have a ruler over 20 and no heir.

Since disinheriting your heir is an option, this condition can also be fulfilled at will.

The event’s mean time to happen (MTTH) is 6 months. This means it’s almost certain you won’t have to wait more than a couple of years for it to fire.


The Secret Event

There’s a variation of the standard event that can trigger under specific circumstances, and this variant has additional effects.

It’s substantially more powerful, and it’s advised you attempt to try getting this evrsion instead of the standard one.

This secret event is called “A Very Strategic Marriage”. Its conditions are:

  • Is Spain, or is Castille and Spain doesn’t exist
  • Does not have an heir, but can have one
  • Is NOT the lesser partner in a union
  • Have a royal marriage with Austria
  • Ruler age is at least 20
  • You are not rivaling Austria
  • You are at peace with Austria
  • Austria or a subject of theirs own any province in the Low Countries region or the Picardy area
The secret, more powerful event / EU4
The secret, more powerful event.

This event has an MTTH of 120 months, which is substantially more than the standard one.

However, this expected time of 10 years can be reduced if you fulfil the following requirements. Each one fulfilled cuts the MTTH by half and they stack multiplicatively:

  • Ruler is NOT of Austria dynasty
  • Ruler is NOT of France dynasty and France is rivalling both you and Austria
  • Austria has a “von Habsburg” ruler
  • Austria and its subjects own at least 5 provinces in the Low Countries region and Picardy area

Fulfilling all of them cuts the MTTH to 15 years, meaning you will usually get the event to fire in a couple decades.


Differences from the Standard Event

When “A Very Strategic Marriage” triggers you get two options.

The second option just gives you a “von Habsburg” heir like the standard event.

The first option, on top of giving you the random heir, also gives you all Austrian land in the Low Countries and Picardy region.

It peacefully transfers all that land to you, giving you full cores while destroying Austrian cores on these provinces. This means your relations with Austria won’t be destroyed due to the event.

Almost all the Netherlands transferred to Spain with the event / EU4
Almost all the Netherlands transferred to Spain with the event.

Tips for Handling these Events

There’s little reason to rush with these events. The optimal time to try and fulfill the conditions (aiming for the “Very Strategic Marriage”) is after Austria inherits Burgundy.

In most games, Austria will still be the HRE emperor in the early 16th century and will choose to fully integrate Burgundy in the “Burgundian succession crisis” event chain.

Unless something goes completely wrong for Austria, they will have their Netherlands inheritance by 1530.

Obviously, the amount of land will fluctuate from campaign to campaign, depending on how Burgundy is doing up to that point.

What you can do to make sure you end up with the Burgundian lands in the Netherlands is allying and helping Burgundy.

By being married and allied to Burgundy you can ensure their territorial integrity. Then, when the event chain happens, Burgundy will choose either you or the emperor to form a union with. Since the emperor will usually be Austria, using the event can end up getting you the Burgundian lands regardless!

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G. Tsechilidis

Born and raised Greek citizen. His love of history, geography, and all things map-related, are certainly a contrast to his pursuit of a master in civil engineering. An avid gamer from a very young age, he found the perfect match in Grand Strategy Games. If not for a good chess match or a round of carambole billiards, you'll certainly catch him firing up EU4 or a Total War game to spend the evening.