EU4: How To Form Jerusalem as Provence (Good King René Achievement Guide)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Any non-endgame Catholic country can form Jerusalem if they meet the following criteria:
- They’ve moved their capital to anywhere in Egypt or Arabia.
- They own the following core provinces:
- They’ve made Palestine into a state.
- They mustn’t be the Holy Roman Emperor.
- It’s still the Age of Discovery or Reformation.
That last condition serves as a time limit for most of the Catholic world. The Age of Reformation ends in 1610. After that, ordinary Catholics can no longer reestablish Jerusalem.
The only ones who can do it from that point onward are the following Crusader States:
- The Knights
Among them, the Knights and Cyprus share an achievement for forming Jerusalem. But there’s also a regular Catholic that gets one as well. And that’s Provence.
As such, this guide shall focus on their path to the Holy Land. The Knights/Cyprus will have their own separate guide fit for their playstyle.
Good King René
|Start as Provence, form the Kingdom of Jerusalem.|
- Complete Strategy as Provence
- I. The Emperor and the Pope
- II. Naples, Aragon, and Hungary
- III. France
- IV. Forming Jerusalem
Complete Strategy as Provence
Provence has a mission tree that’s short and sweet. Among your rewards are permanent claims on these areas and regions:
- France (region)
The rest of the rewards will either be claims or Personal Union (PU) casus belli (CB). It’ll depend on whether the targets are independent or not.
If they are, then you’ll be able to force them into a PU. Otherwise, you’ll get claims (or cores) on their original provinces:
- Naples (cores)
Your final missions also give you a couple of permanent modifiers. The most notable is the “King of Kings” modifier. This gives you a massive -20% diplomatic annexation cost. Getting that requires conquering or subjugating all the ones mentioned above. This includes Jerusalem.
Like most nations with broad ambitions, your initial expansions will depend on RNG. You must be opportunistic as you go on your trip to Jerusalem.
On the way there, there are some goals that you’ll want to do:
- Befriend the Papal State and join the Holy Roman Empire (HRE)
- Force a PU over Aragon, Naples, and Hungary
- Overthrow the French
- Conquer Jerusalem
Note: If you simply want the achievement for forming Jerusalem, you can skip Step 3. All these objectives are to help you get the powerful “King of Kings” modifier. That’s going to be useful if you plan to continue playing as Jerusalem for a world conquest later on.
Before anything else, check first if you’re a rival of the Papal State or Austria.
If so, restart until they don’t. You’ll need to have a friendly relationship with them for Step 1.
For your own rivals, Savoy is your priority.
The Pope often excommunicates Savoy at the start. As they’re your neighbor, you’ll get the “Excommunicated Ruler” CB on them. That’s an optional war that you can do to speed up your expansion.
You’ll also get permanent claims on two of their provinces after doing Step 1. Which means you’ll be attacking them anyway, even if they don’t get excommunicated.
Any other small nations can be your other rivals. Brittany’s a good pick, as you’ll be eclipsing them soon. That’ll give you extra Power Projection without doing anything extra.
Provence has the basic estates, so you should grant them the usual privileges:
- All three +1 power generation privileges
- All available monopolies
- “Religious Diplomats” to the Clergy
- “Patronage of the Arts” and “Private Trade Fleets” to the Burghers
- “Right of Counsel” to the Nobility
You start with an alliance with France. But it’s a potentially toxic relationship.
First, there’s the “Surrender of Maine” event, where England can declare war on France. Then when France reconquers Gascony, they’ll get claims on your provinces. This causes them to end your alliance and make preparations to attack you.
So dissolve your alliance with France as soon as the game starts.
Instead, you’ll want Austria and the Papal State as allies.
They’re both necessary for your opening missions.
You may also need Castile, depending on how fast you conquer Naples and get the CB on Aragon. Castile’s also one of the few who are competent enough to help you against the French. But it’s highly likely that they’ll end your alliance after you’ve subjugated Aragon.
Lastly, you’ll want to curry favors with Castile and/or Austria.
You need 10 favors so you can get them to help you against Aragon.
You must first know about Provence’s starting position.
It’s one of the worst in the game due to two reasons:
- Your holdings are split between three exclaves across France. You’ll be at the mercy of the French, and they will turn on you after they’ve recovered Gascony.
- Your capital and main trading city is Anjou, which is part of the Bordeaux trade node. On top of that, your two merchants are collecting trade from downstream nodes. These are inefficient, and you’re stunting your economy if you stick with this setup.
The solution is to move your capital to Aix.
It’s a center of trade that’s part of the Genoa trade node, which is an end node.
By making it your home trade node, you’ll get more value out of your trade network.
Relocating your capital to Aix costs 210 admin power.
You’ll have to wait for several months to have enough admin to make the move. Once you can do it, click the crown button at the top-left corner of Aix’s Province screen.
Be sure to reassign your merchants after moving your capital. Have them transfer trade from Valencia and Alexandria.
You should also dismantle your forts in Anjou and Verdun. They’re both a liability and an unnecessary expense. You only need the one in Aix.
Lastly, you start with a PU over Lorraine, which is a small two-province state.
Open their Subject Interaction screen and activate the “Siphon Income” action. This gives half of their annual income over to you. And they get +10% liberty desire while it’s active.
Both the benefit and the penalty aren’t significant, but every little coin matters.
I. The Emperor and the Pope
For your opening moves, you need to work on getting at least 150 opinion with the Emperor and the Pope.
You should send diplomats to improve relations with them. You can also get immediate opinion boosts from these:
|+50||Having an alliance|
|+25||Having a royal marriage|
|+25||“Religious Diplomats” Clergy privilege|
|+25||Scornfully insulting their rival|
|+10||Giving them military access|
Why do you need to do this? Here’s a quick rundown of why across all of these:
150 opinion from the Papal State for your “Negotiate for Avignon” mission
They’ll return your core province of Avignon to you when you hit that number. Completing this also gives you permanent claims on Southern France. Two of those claimed provinces are owned by Savoy. You’ll want to attack them ASAP to fulfill your other starting mission.
158 opinion from Austria so you can join the HRE
This lets you attack HRE members like Savoy without having to fight the Austrian Emperor.
You’ll come under Imperial protection too.
This can dissuade non-members from attacking you. Note that you’ll need to have already moved your capital to Aix to be able to join the empire.
Alternatively, you can skip this part if Savoy’s a rival of Austria.
The Emperor’s unlikely to defend Savoy if they’re not on good terms. If that’s the case, then you can freely attack Savoy.
Not joining the HRE also has another benefit.
You can upgrade your gov’t rank to Kingdom after doing the “King of Naples” mission.
Once you do that though, you won’t be able to join the HRE later.
You’ll have to dismantle the HRE as an alternative for completing your “Join the Empire” mission. You do that by occupying the capitals of the Emperor and the electors. After doing that, the “Dismantle HRE” button in the HRE panel will become clickable.
That’s easier to do if the Protestants win the League War or if Austria doesn’t get re-elected as Emperor. Do note that these occur late in the Age of Reformation. You must go after Jerusalem first so that you’ll have enough time to dismantle the HRE.
II. Naples, Aragon, and Hungary
The left side of your mission tree gives you claims or PU CBs on Naples, Aragon, and Hungary.
This depends on the situation of your next target when you claim the rewards.
Refer to the table below to see what their conditions are and what you’ll receive. The cells in green are the best results if you want an optimal playthrough.
|Mission||Situation after Doing the Mission||Corresponding Reward|
|The Claims of King René||Naples is still under a PU with Aragon.||
Cores on every province owned by Naples
Permanent claims on the Western Mediterranean Islands
Naples has gained independence from Aragon.
This can happen after Aragon’s starting ruler dies.
“Restoration of Union” CB on Naples
Permanent claims on the Western Mediterranean Islands
|King of Naples||
Aragon no longer exists or has been subjugated by another nation.
They’ll be under a PU with Castile after the “Iberian Wedding” event.
|Permanent claims on Aragon (area), Catalonia, Valencia, and Sicily|
|Aragon is independent.||
“Restoration of Union” CB on Aragon
Permanent claims on Sicily
|King of Aragon||
Hungary no longer exists or has been subjugated by another nation.
If they have a lower development than Austria, the latter can force them into a PU.
There’s also the “Mátyás Corvinus” event around 1450–1457, where Hungary can become a PU of Austria. This has a small chance of happening though.
|Permanent claims on Slovakia, Transdanubia, and Alföld|
|Hungary is independent.||“Restoration of Union” CB on Hungary|
To sum up the ones in green: Cores > PUs > Claims.
So this means you must move fast to get your cores on Naples before Aragon’s ruler dies. Then you need to reconquer your cores.
Immediately after that, you must PU Aragon before the “Iberian Wedding”. And then PU Hungary before the “Mátyás Corvinus”.
All of these sound daunting, but there’s an easy formula for them. The key to that is Savoy.
The Claims of King René
This opener mission requires you to either have:
- At least 100 total development, or
- Ownership of Corsica
Corsica is owned by Genoa at the start. But fabricating a claim on it will take time.
You need your diplomats to woo the Pope and the Emperor as well as curry favors with your allies.
It’s faster to hit the first goal of 100 development. You’ll be at 84 development after recovering Avignon from the Papal State – so you only need to conquer one or two more provinces.
Good thing that the Avignon mission also gives you claims on two Savoyard provinces.
If you’re part of the HRE or Austria’s set Savoy as a rival, then winning against them is easy.
Here’s how you can do it:
Step 1: Take out Burgher loans or bank loans.
Step 2: Hire mercs, preferably ones that have leaders with siege pips. Recruit them on Barrois so that they’ll be next to your subject’s army.
The Flemish Company and the Free Swiss Guard are great picks due to their combat bonuses. But prioritize the siege pips over any combat modifier. You only need one merc group for this war.
Step 3: Set Lorraine to focus on being “Supportive”, and toggle the “Allow Attach” option on your mercs.
Step 4: Ally Milan and the Papal State (if you haven’t yet). Milan’s a temporary ally for this war only. You can break off with them after winning against Savoy.
Step 5 [Optional]: If one of your diplomats isn’t currying favors with an ally, have them build a spy network on Savoy. You can also put a merchant in the Genoa trade node then toggle the “Hostile Trading” policy.
Step 6: Declare war on Savoy. Set your war goal as Bressia, and promise land to Milan and the Papal State.
You’ll want to honor that promise after the war. In the image below, you can give Siena to the Pope, and parts of Savoy to Milan.
The latter won’t matter, as the Emperor will demand that Milan return the provinces after the war. You’re only honoring it so that you don’t lose trust with your other allies.
Step 7 [Optional]: Peace out Savoy’s minor allies. You can remove them from the war by occupying their capital. A simple white peace will do. With them gone, you and your allies can focus on sieging down Savoy.
As mentioned in the previous step, you’ll be giving Siena to the Papal States.
Don’t peace them out so that you can honor that promise.
Step 8: Besiege Ciamberi using your mercs. Avoid direct combat. You may have the superior morale modifier with Provence’s national traditions. But you don’t win wars with battles.
You need 10 regiments on top of Ciamberi to progress the siege. So you may have to split off some of your regular units to join your mercs.
The rest of your main army can carpet siege the nearby provinces — including Bressia.
You should also keep monitoring the location of your enemies.
If you see them getting close, break off your siege and fall back to Bressia.
Don’t fight them on top of Ciamberi, as it’s a mountain fort. They’ll get the defensive bonus if they catch you there.
Step 9: Sue for peace as soon as Savoy’s willing to accept your terms. You may have to siege down Savoy’s other provinces to get them to negotiate.
Step 10: Right after winning the war, immediately claim the rewards of the “Claims of King René” mission.
You’ll get the cores on Naples, which you’ll use in the next phase. If you still haven’t reached 100 development for some reason, then you can dev up Aix.
King of Naples
For this next mission, you have to wait for Naples to become independent. This often happens with the “Neapolitan Succession” event.
You shouldn’t attack them while they’re in a PU with Aragon. You don’t want to get a truce with the latter as you’ll be attacking them right after conquering Naples.
Ideally, you’ll want to invade Naples on the day of their independence.
That way, they won’t have time to establish alliances.
However, Provence starts with a truce with Naples, which lasts until December 1449.
You’ll be forced to delay your war till that’s over. So while waiting for the truce to end, continue currying favors with Austria and Castile.
If you do get to attack Naples right after their independence, then you only need the Papal State as your ally.
It’s the same concept as your Savoyard war, except much easier.
They have a weaker army, and their capital is a farmland province.
But if the war happens later, Naples can get a powerful ally like Venice.
That’s where Austria comes in.
Ask them to join your war for 10 favors.
Their armies can do the heavy lifting against Naples’s allies. Meanwhile, you can focus on sieging Naples’s provinces.
Depending on Naples’s development, you may not be able to fully annex them in one war. In that case, annex every possible province except Avellino. This traps them within your borders, and makes it easier to conquer them later.
After the war, you should promote Neapolitan as an accepted culture in the Government tab.
The Neapolitan culture will comprise about 43% of your nation after reconquering Naples. Hence why you should have them as an accepted culture.
You should also lower the autonomy of your provinces. Doing these lets you get the full tax and manpower yields of your Neapolitan holdings.
King of Aragon and of Sicily
As soon as you finish the previous war, claim the rewards for the “King of Naples” mission.
Then immediately declare war on Aragon using the PU CB. Call in Castile for this.
Their help makes this the easiest war you’ll fight yet.
As their neighbors, the Castilians can besiege Aragon fast.
Meanwhile, you can stay in your own provinces and drive away any enemy attacks. Aragon can invade Naples via their Sicilian holdings. They can also march straight from Iberia to your capital. In either case, you can beat them easily because of your better army morale.
By the way, Aragon owns Sicily as well.
By subjugating them, you’ll also complete the “King of Sicily” mission. This is the one that gives you claims on the Holy Land.
After PU-ing Aragon, start improving relations with them.
You need to reduce their liberty desire to under 50%. This is so that their units will actively participate in your wars.
You can also click “Enable Support Loyalists” in the Subject Interaction screen. As long as it’s active, Aragon will have -20% liberty desire. You’ll have to pay 10% of their monthly income to maintain this option.
Note: Aragon may get a PU over Navarra via their events and missions.
When you enforce your PU over Aragon, they’ll also transfer their Navarra PU to you. This may get you over your diplomatic relations limit. It’ll reduce your monthly diplo power income by -1 per relationship over the limit. You may want to break off your alliance with the Papacy to accommodate this.
King of Hungary
Completing the “King of Aragon” mission gives you the PU CB over Hungary.
Before you go for Jerusalem, it’s recommended to add Hungary in your PU party.
They’ve got a stronger army than Aragon. They’re also strategically located near Constantinople. They can be your knife against the Ottoman throat.
This is important if the Ottomans have taken Jerusalem from the Mamluks.
You can also feed Hungary provinces around the Balkans and Carpathians. Doing this further denies the Ottomans’ expansion into Europe.
As for your war on Hungary, you can ask Austria to help you. Aragon should also be loyal before you declare war. Like Lorraine, set Aragon on “Supportive” so they’ll follow your forces.
Unlike your war on Aragon, you’ll want to take the lead against Hungary.
Austria’s a distraction and a repellant for the Hungarian army. While they’re busy, you can methodically siege and peace out each of Hungary’s allies.
After that, besiege Hungary’s capital and the surrounding provinces. Usually, their capital doesn’t have a fort. There’s also nothing preventing you from walking there from Austria. So you’ll have a faster time at occupying their capital.
After you win the war, be sure to start improving relations with Hungary. Like Aragon, Hungary will be disloyal.
So do the same things you did with Aragon to reduce Hungary’s liberty desire.
One of your missions needs you to completely eliminate France.
Note: While this isn’t necessary for forming Jerusalem, it’s required for the “King of Kings” modifier. If you’re not interested in that then you can skip this step.
Like the Ottomans, France is meant to be one of the final bosses of EU4. And like the Ottomans, it’s highly recommended to contain France in the early game. They’ll only get harder if you allow them to blob and grow.
The best time to attack France is when they’re at war or they’ve recently fought one.
Along with your PUs, you’re going to need other allies to beat the French.
The best one would be Castile, but they’ll likely be hostile to you after you’ve taken Aragon. In their place, you can settle for Austria instead.
It’s also good if you can get Burgundy onboard.
Then there’s also England.
The AI’s known to be unreliable in using transports effectively. This would rule out the English as a good ally.
However, they can be actually useful if they still own Normandy and/or Gascony.
They’re even better if France has Scotland as an ally. These reasons can force the English to actively participate in your war.
Note: In the above image, we haven’t PU’d Hungary yet as we saw a chance to attack France early.
Since you’ve allied with England on short notice, you may not have accrued favors with them yet. But they’re always willing to attack the French if you promise them land.
You should honor that promise too. You can give them any province in Northern France.
It’ll speed up France’s demise.
It’ll also deflect some aggressive expansion (AE) onto England too.
The point is to erase France’s existence. England’s gains can be retaken from them later.
You’ll get permanent claims on the entire France region after you’ve annihilated the French.
For the actual war, you’ll want to set the war goal on a province you can occupy quickly. Montpellier’s a great war goal as it doesn’t have a fort and it’s next to your borders. Setting it as your war goal then occupying it lets you get the ticking war score easily.
You won’t be able to annex all of France in one war.
So when you’re satisfied with your war score, go ahead and sue for peace.
Avoid taking land from France’s vassals.
Annex provinces that’re directly owned by France.
By weakening them, you’ll increase the liberty desire of their vassals. If they’re disloyal enough, France won’t be able to diplomatically annex them. The French vassals also won’t do anything the next time you go to war with France.
IV. Forming Jerusalem
The timing for when you do this step depends on who holds the Holy Lands. In either case, you will need a sizable navy. So build shipyards on all your coastal provinces and on your subjects’ lands as well.
Build as many heavy ships and galleys as you can. Try to have a ratio of 1:3 heavies to galleys.
You’ll also need transports if you’re fighting the Mamluks.
But you can do without them if it’s the Ottomans you’re facing. In the latter case, you’ll want a full fleet of heavies and galleys. You don’t need light ships.
If you’re already at Military Tech 7, then you should recruit cannons. You need 10 of them to get the max artillery bonus on a siege. But having extra will always be better.
If the Mamluks still own Palestine
If it’s the Mamluks, then you’ll want to do it when the Ottomans attack them.
They’ll be weak during or in between their wars.
Alternatively, you can just attack them straight away. With all your PUs and your own growth, you can beat the Mamluks even without help from your allies.
Also, the Mamluks’ allies are usually nations that are further inside Arabia. This means that you only have to worry about the Mamluks own navy. Together with Aragon, you can establish naval supremacy right from the start of your war.
As usual, set the war goal on an undefended province. In the image below, Gaza isn’t near a fort. So select it as your war goal.
Before you land on Gaza, have your fleet destroy the Mamluks’ navy. Then split off your ships on the sea tiles along the Mamlukean coastline.
This gives you vision on their coastal provinces. You may be able to see the location of the Mamluks’ armies.
Observe their units first.
Then when they’re far from Gaza, do a naval invasion on it. With Gaza occupied, you can ferry in your armies faster.
From there, you should make your way to Qahirah, the Mamluks’ capital. Siege it, and use an artillery barrage to create a breach on their fort. This speeds up the siege significantly.
Taking Qahirah won’t be enough.
You’ll also have to take the fort on Al-Kerak. It’s protecting Al-Quds (Jerusalem).
So if you don’t occupy the fort, you won’t be able to annex Jerusalem. Then after that, carpet siege as many provinces as you can.
When you’ve got enough war score, go ahead and sue for peace.
Prioritize taking Jerusalem, Gaza, and Jaffa. They’re the three provinces needed to form the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Aside from those, annex your other claims around the region too.
Take as much as you can. But you should only core and state the three target provinces. Once you form Jerusalem, you’ll get cores on the areas of Transjordan and Syria (except for Dimashq and Homs). This also includes Aqabah province. You don’t need to spend any admin power for these cores.
If the Ottomans control Palestine
The Ottomans have +33% siege ability during the Age of Discovery. So attacking them then is risky.
It’s better to do it during the Age of Reformation.
Even then, you’ll want to be at your best before going to war with them.
Try to get Poland (or the Commonwealth) as your ally.
They may not be willing at first due to your PU on Hungary. But you can improve relations with them or even propose a royal marriage. The Polish will be a great asset against the Ottomans.
However, you’ll also need to max out your own forces. In particular, you should have a good navy to wrest control of the seas from the Ottomans.
If you’re lagging behind in Military Tech, delay your invasion until you’ve caught up with the Ottomans. Even a single tech level can make a difference.
For your strategy, it’s better to attack the Ottomans from Hungary.
Hungary should also have claims on the Ottoman provinces around them. They’ll have that if you’ve set the Ottomans as a rival.
If you haven’t, then you’ll need to mark provinces of interests manually.
This tells your subject that you want them to claim those provinces.
You do this by opening your own Diplomatic screen. From there, switch to the Diplomatic Feedback view. Then you can click on any province to indicate that they’re of interest to you.
It’ll take time for Hungary to create claims on the Ottomans. But you only need one.
The reason you want this is so that your war goal will be nearby.
It’ll be accessible to you instead of marching all the way to Palestine. You can still demand for Jerusalem even if you’re using your subject’s claim.
A naval invasion isn’t feasible as you’ll want your entire navy composed of warships. That means no transports.
You also want your subjects’ armies to attach to your own army. And the AI’s incapable of ferrying their troops alongside yours.
Lastly, you’ll also want to wait for when the Ottomans are at war elsewhere.
It’s better if they’re on the far end of their empire before you attack. That way, you can head straight for Constantinople. Remember to use an artillery barrage to bring their capital down faster.
After Constantinople falls, you use your ships to block the crossing from Anatolia.
The Ottoman armies will have to go around the Black Sea. This gives you time to carpet siege more provinces.
If Poland is with you, then they can harass the Ottomans as they make their way back.
As always, focus on sieges to win the war.
It won’t be easy, but you’ll eventually amass enough war score to demand for the target provinces.
After that, go ahead and press the decision to reestablish the Kingdom of Jerusalem.