How To Stop the War of the Roses in EU4

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There are two ways to handle the “War of the Roses” disaster:

  1. You can prevent it, or
  2. You can resolve it

Resolving the disaster is the recommended option. It’s fairly easy to do and you’ll get a competent ruler to replace your current one, who has 0/0/0 stats.


Option 1: Prevention

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Progress Meter for the Disaster

The disaster’s progress meter is already active at the start of the game. You can check this in the Stability and Expansion tab.

Hover over the small bar below the disaster’s icon to view how much progress you’re getting and why.

If you can somehow remove all of the active ones, you can indefinitely delay the disaster. The progress you’ve already accrued will remain dormant but will not be removed.

To actually prevent the disaster, you’ll need to meet either of these conditions:

  1. You have an heir who’s from the York, Lancaster, or Plantagenet dynasties.
  2. Your ruler has died, and you’re in a regency.

Hover over the disaster’s actual icon to see these.


A. Getting an Heir

Your starting ruler is infertile, which means he has a -25% chance of producing an heir.

Immediately at the start of the game, send out marriage proposals so you can get a consort ASAP.

Who you get and what their personality is will be random. Hopefully, you can get one who has the “Fertile” personality, which can offset your ruler’s incapability.

Continue to propose royal marriages to other nations even if you already have a consort. Each one increases your chance of gaining an heir by +5%.

Have as many royal marriages as you can. England has four Diplomatic Slots. You can go over that limit, but each extra relation incurs a -1 diplo mana generation penalty.


B. Getting Rid of Henry VI

Your ruler is young and unlikely to die from natural causes. He can still fall in battle though.

Give your ruler military command and assign him to a large army. Go to war with anyone and use your ruler-led army to fight battles.

Always have your ruler lead the vanguard. If you’ve other generals, the one who initiates a battle will be the commanding officer. You want that to be your ruler.

His chance of dying increases the longer a battle goes on.

Combat between two equally large armies usually lasts several days. Make sure your ruler is right in the thick of it.


Option 2: Resolution

How to End the Disaster / EU4
How to End the Disaster

Ending the “War of the Roses” is quicker than trying to prevent it.

There are only three things you need to do:

  • Wipe out all pretender rebel armies
  • Liberate any province occupied by pretender rebels
  • Kill the pretender

Killer King

The Disaster Begins / EU4
The Disaster Begins

When the disaster breaks out, your useless starting ruler will automatically die.

Two noble houses will present their claimants for the throne. You’ll be given two choices:

  • Support House Lancaster – Their claimant has the “Well-Connected” personality, which gives a -20% discount on advisor costs.
  • Support House York – Theirs has the “Tactical Genius” personality, which adds +1 maneuver skill to all of your generals.

Both will have randomly generated ruler stats. Pick whoever has the better attributes.

The one you’ve snubbed will raise a large pretender army in their home province (Lancashire or York).

You’ll also lose -2 Stability and 2.5 years’ worth of manpower.

Lastly, you’ll get +5 national unrest and +12.5% mercenary manpower for the duration of the disaster.

Tip: You’ll want to hire mercenaries for fighting the rebels. You don’t want to drain your manpower reserves any further. Your instability and lack of manpower may trigger the “Peasants’ War” disaster right after finishing the “War of the Roses”.


Under Pressure

For the first few months into the disaster, you’ll get a series random bad events, such as but not limited to:

  • Provinces may declare their support for the pretender. They’ll get increased unrest, and their potential rebels from the pretender’s faction.
  • One of your rivals will aid the pretender, which causes a small rebel army to spawn on a random province.
  • Many of your soldiers will desert. You can lose 2.5 years’ worth of manpower and -5 legitimacy if you allow this.
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Random Events during the Disaster

Generally, unrest will increase as the disaster goes on. You’ll want to end it quickly before it spirals out of control.

Tip: England starts with a -50% discounted admin advisor whose skill is a -2 national unrest modifier. He’ll be helpful in alleviating the turmoil during this time.


The Great Pretender

Rebel Factions Section of the Stability Tab / EU4
Rebel Factions Section of the Stability Tab

In the months leading up to the disaster, station your entire army near Lancashire and York. You’ll be able to intercept the pretender army as soon as they appear.

After you wipe out every rebel army, the pretender can escape — especially if you manage this within a few months from the disaster’s start.

His plot armor only works once. He’ll reappear after 2 months with a new army. Crush that one, and he’ll be dead.

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The Plot Armor Thickens

Another One Bites the Dust

Once the pretender is dead and no rebel armies remain, the “War of the Roses” will be over.

You’ll get +1 stability and 50 prestige.

The Disaster Ends / EU4
The Disaster Ends

Tip: If you can, raise your stability to 1 before claiming this reward. You’ll also be getting the “Rise of a Dynasty” event one month after the disaster ends. This gives you another +1 stability boost.

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Louie Nelson Zafico

As a frustrated otter who dreams of getting published, Louie instead wastes his life cuddling his cats. He spent his childhood playing Suikoden, grew up with Total War, and matured (somewhat) with EU4. He hopes to someday find a geopolitical JRPG with the 4X systems of a Paradox game.