There are 3 distinct types of countries that play very differently: Republics, Monarchies and Tribes.
Those then have a number of subtypes with different bonuses.
Only one of those worth mentioning is Migratory Tribe that has access to the unique migration mechanic.
Countries with the same government type will play very differently based on the populations as well as terrain in and around them.
Map is split into Cities.
Cities are grouped into Provinces.
Provinces and grouped into Regions.
Almost all interactions happen on city or province level.
Each province has a city that is a province capital. They are marked with a white column on the map.
Each country has their Capital Province and Capital Region based on where their Capital
City is located. Capital City is marked on them map with a white column adorned with a golden wreath.
Each country has a ruler who’s abilities and traits may have a major effect on the whole state.
Gold is generated by taxes and commerce (see: Pops, Trade) and spent on armies, fortifications and wages for characters, among other things.
Army upkeep will be your main cost and a limiting factor.
Manpower is generated by certain pops and spent to reinforce your armies or train new units.
Military, Civic, Oratory and Religious Powers are generated every month based on the 4 matching abilities of your ruler with additional points for matching government civics.
Each government type has 2 or more civic slots to be filled with available bonuses for 50 oratory power a piece.
Each of those slots has assigned a type based on a country’s government. Matching those types will provide important bonuses, including additional monthly power income.
It’s important to fill those asap.
New civics become available upon reaching rank 6 and then 12 of the matching research.
Countries are ranked by the number of cities they control: City State, Local Power, Regional Power, Major Power and Great Power.
Each subsequent rank provides increasing bonuses and unlock new diplomatic options.
Becoming a Regional Power (25 to 99 cities) doubles your governmental bonuses including ones to power income. It is important to reach that level as soon as possible.
Only countries of the same rank can be allies. For example a Regional Power can’t ally with a Local Power, it can only guarantee it.
You are eliminated from the game by being annexed or losing a civil war.
Civil wars can be VERY scary and need to be managed with utmost caution.
There are no piece deals in civil wars – side loses when it runs out of territory.
Territory taken in a civil war siege instantly switches to the besieger. There is no occupation like with normal war.
In Diplomacy screen (F7) you can switch your diplomatic stance for a base cost of 100 oratory power. Bonuses they provide may be very significant depending on your situation.
Stability is decent, but not nearly as crucial as in EU4.
Declaring an early war without a casus belli is a valid strategy most of the time, but has some limitations (See: Military)
At the same time religious power is usually something you have plenty of to spare.
Aggressive expansion up to 50 points can be managed fairly easily if you assimilate your newly conquered pops fast enough. It will mess with your trading tho.
Past 50 points aggressive expansion starts to increase all your power costs, so it would be expensive to stay that way for long.
Tyranny can be very difficult to get rid of to any country that isn’t an Aristocratic Monarchy. Avoid when necessary, the bonuses it provides are not worth it.
Value of different power points can vary greatly based on your country and overall situation, but Civic seems to be almost always a frontrunner.
Your country will have a number of important characters in it taking roles of rulers, governors, generals, government officials as well as pretenders and rebels.
Characters are split into families.
Families can become scorned causing all their members to slowly lose loyalty if less than 2% of state income is paid to them.
You won’t be able to keep all the families happy, but it will be wise to satisfy the most powerful ones.
Wages are paid to characters as a % of state income based on their job. Government officials and researchers get 1%, generals and admirals get 2% and a leader gets 5%.
Each character has a number of statistics that describe them, including abilities, traits and personal relations with other characters.
They also have their personal wealth used to pay for their own troops and in some events.
Martial Ability is very important for generals and admirals. Three points of difference are enough to offset crossing a river into a mountain. Make sure your best generals fight your most crucial battles.
Finesse is crucial for governors in provinces with pops you want to assimilate (change their culture to yours).
Zeal is crucial for governors in provinces with pops you want to convert (change their religion to yours).
All 4 abilities of your ruler influence your monthly power income by adding half of that number rounded down.
Traits can have different effects based on characters occupation – rulers, governors and generals, respectively. They can also add special rules I.e. “Honest” characters can’t be bribed.
Your ruler is also considered a governor of all the provinces in your Capital Region.
Keep a close eye on a loyalty of your generals and governors including modifiers that affect it.
Cohorts will on occasion become personally loyal to general and you won’t be able to disband the or take them from their command.
Loyal cohorts are paid for by the character using their personal wealth, but they still reinforce using state manpower (except clan retinues). Disloyal general with 20 cohorts running around the desert may drain your manpower reserve in a couple of months.
If the general runs out of money or dies the cohorts will return to the state.
Each loyal cohort provides a stacking drain on character’s loyalty.
Characters below 33 loyalty will be considered disloyal and will seek to start a civil war.
You cannot unassign characters once they become disloyal. If 33% of your army is under the command of disloyal generals a timer for the civil war will start.
Giving a character a job will increase their loyalty by 20. Sacking them will lower it by 20.
This can be very important for pretenders, clan chiefs and party leaders.
Corruption is another thing to keep track off. It will increase character wages as a base effect but it gets worse for rulers and governors. It also enables a number of nasty events.
Corruption of the ruler will increase all power costs while they’re in charge.
Corruption of governors will severally increase unrest in all the cities under his or her administration.
As a ruler you can try to make friends with other characters. It helps with their loyalty and with support of the senate in republics.
Attempting to befriend someone causes 3 consecutive events to fire ranging from very good (ruler giving their friend-to-be some of their wealth) to very bad (+5 tyranny).
As of 1.0 you seem to have to always pick the most meaningful option to succeed.
Otherwise you always fail.
If you are forced to pass on one of the friendship events (to avoid tyranny for example) just pass on the rest and try again hoping for the better set.
Characters will sometimes have an ambition that will affect their stats and which fulfillment can have some additional effects.
There are too many big and small interactions between statistics themselves and other elements of the game to include them all here, so try to read the tooltips.
Each pop has 3 defining characteristics: type, culture and religion.
Base happiness is 20% for citizens, 25% for freemen and 100% for both Tribesmen and Slaves.
Base happiness is then changed by type-specific, culture-specific and religion-specific modifiers resulting in the happiness value for each and every pop.
Average happiness of each pop type (citizens, slaves etc.) in the city determines the base output of that pop type. (I.e. 2 citizens with happiness of 100 and 1 with happiness of 40 will result with base output of 240/3=80 for that whole strata).
Bonuses to pop output are multiplicative rather than additive (I.e. +10% citizen output with average 50% happiness will only result in 55% output) only reaching their full potential when average happiness is 100%)
Happiness of a pop can’t go over 100% and excess happiness doesn’t count for average happiness of the pop type in the city.
Bonuses to happiness are better than ones to output when the former is low, but become worthless once it’s maxed out.
Every single pop with happiness below 50% will produce unrest in the city (see: Cities and Provinces)
Culture of the pop has by far the most impact on its happiness.
Happiness of pops of the main culture are only affected by country’s Tyranny score as well as low ruler’s popularity.
Happiness of pops of the wrong culture but of the same culture group gets a 10% hit and then and additional 0,5% for every point of Aggressive Expansion score.
Happiness of pops of the wrong culture group gets a 30% hit and then and additional 1% for every point of Aggressive Expansion score.
Assimilating pops to your culture is crucial for making them productive and your real stable.
Best way to assimilate pops is using a “Cultural Assimilation” policy in the province, but you can also manually assimilate them for the base price of 20 oratory power per pop when necessary, but it gets very expensive very soon.
Happiness hit for wrong religion caps out at 15% (5% for wrong state religion and 10% for wrong religion of the local governor).
Wrong religion among pops will lower your religious unity and thus affect your omen power, but that’s about it.
Best way to convert pops is using a “Religious Conversion” policy in the province, but you can also manually convert them for the base price of 20 religious power per pop when necessary.
Pops can be promoted from tribesmen and slaves to freemen as well as from freemen to citizens for the base cost of 10 oratory power.
Pop type makeup of your cities can be also affected by “Civilization Effort” and “Social Mobility” edicts.
“Civilization Effort” gradually turns tribesmen into slaves and freemen with a speed based on civilization level of the city.
“Social Mobility” will slowly balance out the number or citizens, freemen and slaves in the cities without affecting tribesmen.
Citizens are the only pop that produces research points. They also produce some commerce income.
Citizens’ base happiness of 20% is modified by the civilization value of their city. Which makes them quite easy or very difficult to please based on a country you play.
Freemen are your main source of manpower, but they don’t produce anything else.
Freemen’ base happiness of 25 is modified by the half of the civilization value of their city. That makes them quite easy or difficult to please based on a country you play.
Other happiness bonuses for freemen are easier to come by than the ones for citizens.
Tribesmen provide both manpower and tax, but not as much as freemen or slaves respectively.
Tribesmen start with basic happiness of 100%, but it is lowered by the civilization value of the city. You want to start getting rid of them once your civilization values start reaching the 40s.
Slaves provide tax and can produce trade good surpluses in cities (see: Cities and Provinces)
Slaves start with 100% base happiness and have no inherent modifiers.
Unhappy slaves can revolt. If not defeated quickly they will enlist slaves from provinces they occupy bolstering their numbers.
Pops can be moved between cities within the province or neighboring cities (even between provinces) for the base cost of 5 civic power for slaves and 20 civic power for others.
As of game version 1.0 there are no easy way to look through all those pop characteristic at one place, but there are few views that when combined will give you a close to full picture:
Nation screen (F1) allows you to see how many pops of each type are in every province and city (upon hovering over the province number).
Nation screen’s (F1) total number of pops will list the religion+culture group of pops in your nation when hovered over.
Religion screen’s (F6) Religious Unity value will tell you how many pops of wrong religion are in your country when hovered over.
Switching to culture mapmode (T) and hovering over cities will list the inhabiting pops by their cultures and split into pop types.
Switching to religion mapmode (Y) and hovering over cities will list the inhabiting pops by their religions and split into pop types.
Going into Macro Builder (top left of the screen, just under the flag) and selecting “Convert” or “Assimilate” action will allow you to quickly highlight the cities that have the pops of wrong culture or religion. Hovering over those cities will provide similar details to ones shown using mapmodes above.
Similar technique can be employed to look for those elusive tribesmen later in the game.
Cities and Provinces
Each city has an assigned terrain type and a trade good produced. All the other stats are subject to change.
For each 15 slaves in the city (base value) it will produce and additional “copy” of its trade good.
That number can be affected by local (I.e. -2 for “Farmland” type of terrain) as well as country-wide modifiers.
First copy of each resource produced in the province will always stay there providing bonuses to all the cities in it, but the subsequent ones (be it via multiple cities producing the same thing or by slave-induced surplus) can be traded away. (See: Trade).
For each 10 pops in the city you can build an additional building.
Marketplaces will increase tax and commerce income as well as both current and max civilization value.
They work best in cities with a lot of slaves and/or citizens and in provinces that import/export a lot. Very useful for increasing the civilization value when needed.
Training camps increase local manpower and in turn both maximum and monthly manpower of your country.
Training camps only make sense in cities with a lot of freemen or (less likely) tribesmen.
Fortresses are also buildings so you can only build them if there are free slots in the city and the province is loyal. (See: Military)
Fortresses also cost a pretty penny every month, so try not to build to many and check every other war or so if you shouldn’t demolish some of the conquered ones.
Granaries mainly serve to provide pop growth, but with the current 0.06% increase it would take a single granary 138 years to produce a single pop. Spam responsibly.
Each city has a civilization value between 0 and the max (hover over green bar under the number to check it).
Civilization value increases population growth and supply limit as well as affects the happines of the pops in the city(see: Pops).
Civilization level will usually slowly climb towards the max. It can be sped up using “Civilization Effort” province edict.
Civilization level can go down rapidly if it’s pillaged. Even more so if it is done by the AI controlled neutral barbarians that periodically spawn in parts of the map. Check barbarian power mapmode (Ctrl+Q).
If your province borders a barbarian stronghold and your civilization value is high enough (not sure about exact numbers) your “Civilization Effort” edict will gain another effect – chance of increasing the civilization value of the stronghold eventually resulting in its destruction.
Dominant culture and religion of the province is determined by the most numerous option among all the pops regardless of their type. In case of the draw there will be no change.
As of 1.0 both dominant culture and religion don’t properly update, often taking months or even years. You can force an update by manually assimilating or converting a pop in the city. (see: Pops).
Each city is a part of the province, which is a part of a region.
Each province has an automatically generated capital – it’s most populous province at the given time. It has to be conquered to allow demanding the whole province in the peace deal.
If province is split between multiple states each of those parts will have its own capital for the time being.
All provinces in the region share the same governor.
Capital region has the ruler as its governor.
Governor policies are applied to every province separately and are changed by the AI every time a new governor is appointed (except for capital region).
Changing a governor policy costs base 50 oratory power and an additional 1 tyranny when done outside capital region.
Choose your governors wisely. Young (to prevent having to change the policies after an old appointee dies), loyal, not corrupt with high Finesse (for assimilation) and Zeal (if conversion is needed) is what you’re looking for.
Each city has an unrest score affected by unhappy pops (see: Pops), corrupt governors (see: Characters), war exhaustion, laws, local modifiers, edicts and others.
Positive unrest score of the city will affect city’s output as well as lower the loyalty of the province the city. The loyalty hit will be based on the % of the province population living in the city.
If the province loyalty falls below 33 it becomes disloyal disabling almost all the interactions, including ones that would allow you to rectify the problem.
Your capital province is always loyal.
33% of the pops lives in disloyal provinces and subjects a countdown to the civil war will start.
Turing a province from disloyal to loyal may take a while so it’s important to monitor the loyalty before it’s too late.
The short term solution is changing governor policy to Local Autonomy or/and lowering the local unrest by changing laws or activating a proper omen.
Since the most common cause of unrest are unhappy citizens of wrong culture group the best long term solution is using “Cultural Assimilation” governor policy to slowly but surely disarm the problem.
Colonization is done by moving a single pop to the new city using a “Colonize” button on its interface. It costs base 20 civic power.
To colonize a city you need to have a neighboring one (be it by land or sea) with at least 10 pops and a dominant culture and religion matching the state one.
It may be beneficial to move some slaves around or manually convert some pops to enable colonization.
Citizens are the only source of research points.
Your capital city, province and region each provide a serious, stacking modifier to citizen output, so getting a lot of citizens close or in your very capital, making them happy and then showering them with further research point bonuses is a good way to boost your tech.
Same goes for other provinces with a lot of citizens – importing some papyrus there can do wonders.
Most important value for research is Research Efficiency – a ratio of research points produced in the country in a year to the total number of pops in it.
Research Efficiency tooltip is confusing. The 1st number is a yearly research output which is just Research Points (as shown to the left of it) multiplied by 12.
That in turn gives a Monthly Research value which is then affected by research speed multipliers as shown next to every research type.
Most effective bonuses are usually Research Point ones (since they ten to have higher values), then global research speed bonuses and finally ones affecting only one of advances.
Make sure to periodically check your assigned researchers – every single point of the ability in question gives you additional 10% speed – an amount difficult to come by using other means.
Each level of advances gives the stacking bonus in its field (hover over “Current level: x” and a green bar for details).
Each level also gives access to 3 predefined inventions.
Inventions can be picked up for a base cost of 100 oratory power each.
As of 1.0 only 3 inventions per advance type are accessible with the recently unlocked replacing the older, unpicked ones.
To be able to pick the older inventions you need to “dig” for them by selecting the newer ones until you reach the ones you want.
Depending on your research speed and(to lesser extent) oratory power income you may struggle to keep up with the torrent of new inventions.
Value of inventions varies a lot, both situationally and objectively, so choose them wisely and cherish every point of civic power, especially if your research speed is up to par.
You can get “ahead of time” in your research resulting in increased cost of new advances and serious diminishing returns.
Still – bonuses provided by each level are powerful, especially the military one.
In general smaller and slower to expand nations will research more quickly while more expansionist ones and bigger may struggle. Especially if they’re tribes that have difficulty keeping their citizens happy.
Cities produce predefined trade goods at base rate of 1 per city
For every 15 slaves in the city (base value) that city will produce another “copy” of its trade good.
In some situations it may be worth it to move some slaves in order to produce a surplus of a key resource. (See: Pops)
Trade goods are managed on the level of provinces.
First copy of every trade good produced in the province will stay there and provide local bonuses to all the cities in that province.
Subsequent copies of a trade good make up a surplus that provides additional, albeit smaller bonuses for every copy present.
Surplus trade goods can be exported both internally to your different provinces and extrenally.
First copy of every trade good exported abroad provides a unique country-wide bonus.
First surplus in the capital province also provides a unique country-wide bonus, usually even more powerful one.
You can block other countries from requesting your capital surplus goods by switching a toggle in the top right corner of the Trade screen (F9).
Specific bonuses are of very different value depending on the country and the situation.
Both importing and exporting goods provides you with commerce value.
Commerce income provided by trading goods tends to scale much faster with expansion than tax income.
To import goods a province needs to have a free trading route available. Those are created by laws, inventions, achieving a power rank, governor policies other country modifiers and even events.
Creating a trade route costs base 25 civic power, but that cost can be lowered by selecting a mercantile diplomatic stance on diplomacy screen (F7)
Capital province trade routes are by far the most important and almost always worth spending the civic power to utilize.
You can only import goods from countries in your diplomatic range. It gets bigger as you climb the power ranking.
Diplomatic range can be seen both using a diplomacy mapmode and by selecting a trade route from the province menu. It is shown as the lighter shade of gray.
As of 1.0 diplomatic range seems borderline broken in some places so your milage may vary.
Import request from other countries are based on their diplomatic range, not yours.
Non-capital trade routes can be very useful as well, but I’d advice restrain considering their cost.
As of 1.0 AI tends NOT to break trades when they start hating you, but they’ll be automatically canceled when you end up at war with your partner, or the city that produced the good you import changes hands. It may end up costing you quite a lot of civic power if you aren’t careful.
At the same time high aggressive expansion resulting in lowered opinion will prevent you from establishing new international trade routes. It may be wise to let it tick down and/or to improve relations with key future partners (*cough
Egypt *cough*) between the series of wars.
Importing from other provinces to your capital is often a good idea. You may review your current exports in trade tab (F9) and possibly cancel an export agreement of something you need there as it will not show up on the province trade route screen.
Both high and low commerce taxation settings in Economy tab (F6) can be quite useful especially early on.
Additional import routes provided by “Free Trade” setting will easily provide enough income to pay for that -15% debuff few times over, but you need to have both goods to import and civic power to burn. Use with caution and trade route cost discounts.
“Transaction Taxation” on the other hand gives a basically free +15% commerce income to countries that are nowhere near getting 15 slaves in one of their provinces.
If a military unit requires an access to a trade resource to be built, you won’t be able to reinforce it if you lose access to it.
Countries are ranked by the number of cities they control: City State, Local Power, Regional Power, Major Power and Great Power.
Diplomacy is limited by diplomatic range. You can extend it via inventions and by climbing the ranks as world’s power. As of 1.0 it seems to be off at times, especially on the eastern side of the map.
Diplomatic options available to you change with your rank.
Only countries of the same rank can be allies. For example a Regional Power can’t ally with a Local Power, it can only guarantee it.
Opinion penalty given to you by aggressive expansion will be the main limiting factor in your diplomacy.
Aggressive expansion decays over time by 0.20% of its current value when you’re at peace. It may be a lot or very little depending on how much of it you have.
Additional aggressive expansion decay can be provided by your government officials, inventions or even trade goods. That kind works both at peace and at war.
You can slowly improve opinion of other country by up to base 50 points by paying a base cost of 50 oratory cost. Both the amount and the cost can be changed via various modifiers.
Increasing improve opinion maximum also increases the pace in which the opinion is gained.
Increasing opinion is twice as effective towards your subjects.
You can also improve opinion by 25 by sending a gift, but keep in mind that it is capped at 25 so subsequent gifts will only refresh the bonus.
There is number of subject types providing different bonuses, but keep in mind that neither Tributaries not Tribal Vassals can be integrated.
Other subject can be integrated after 10 years and reaching 190 opinion.
Integration takes at base speed 4 months per every pop in the subject country.
Base integration speed can be doubled by picking Subjugative Stance and for every 5 points of Diplomatic Reputation.
Each point of Diplomatic Reputation increases the likelihood that out diplomatic offer will be accepted by 1. It’s not nearly as powerful as in EU4. It also speeds up subject integration.
Each country has a diplomatic stance that can be change for the base cost of 100 oratory power in the Diplomacy tab (F6).
Bellicose Stance will allow you to save 20 oratory power on claim creation, but it’s main use is lowering the warscore cost in peace deals which may allow you to take more land at the same time. Keep that option in mind when putting together a peace deal.
Appeasing Stance doubles your innate aggressive expansion decay (it only happens at peace!) and lowers the cost of improving relations by 12 oratory power a piece. It seems most useful after a long conquering spree when we want to be able to do trade with the world again.
Mercantile Stance significantly increase the commerce income and allows to save 7 points of civic power per trade route created while it’s active. Good choice when we’re struggling with money and outright necessery one if we plan on creating a lot of trade routes (See: Trade).
Subjugative Stance, as mentioned above, doubles the base speed of subject integration.
You can fabricate a claim on a province for the base cost of 200 oratory power.
You can declare a war without a claim, but it will cost you 2 stability. It can be worth if oratory power is more valuable to you than the religious one (it usually is).
“Show Superiority” cassus belli will make all the land taken in the peace deal cost 3 times the normal amount of warscore.
Taking land of a subject state in a war costs double to warscore.
Declaring the war with a claim lowers the warscore cost by 25%.
You need at least 10 warscore to be able to demand anything in a peace deal.
“Length of the war” will make peacing out quickly difficult, unless you achieve total victory.
To be able to demand a province in a peace deal you need to conquer its capital (marked by a white column and mentioned on the peace deal screen) and all the forts in it. You don’t need to conquer any other city.
You can also demand single cities, but you need to directly control all of them.
You cannot demand territory you won’t be able to reach via land or sea (military access and subjects or allies do NOT count).
You cannot fabricate a claim on such lands either, otherwise you’re just limited by diplomatic range.
Each country follows one of the military traditions. Few countries can change those via scripted events, but the vast majority is stuck with what they got.
Each tradition provides a starting bonus you can check by hovering over a picture in the top right corner of the Military tab (F3).
You can only select a tradition of the one above it has been taken. You don’t have to focus on a single column tho.
Base cost of the tradition is 800 military points and increases by 50% for every tradition already selected.
Each level of Military Advances (See: Research) lowers the cost of military traditions by 25%, so it may be wise to stockpile military points for a longer while if the bonuses aren’t immediately needed.
Traditions on top of various combat bonuses provide access to unique abilities and tactics for our armies.
Armies are made of various cohorts, each with different cost, requirements, statistics, abilities and combat match-ups vs. one-another.
Some cohorts require specific resources or even traditions to recruit.
If you lack the required trade resource needed to recruit a cohort you won’t be able to replenish the ones you already have.
Armies move at the speed of its slowest units, so and army of 10 light cavalry will move at the speed of 4 while the same army with 1 additional light infantry will move at speed of 2.
Maneuver determines how many tiles to the side a cohort can attack during the battle.
Unit with maneuver of 1 will only be able to fight enemy right in front of it as well as its neighbors on both sides, while a cohort with maneuver of 5 can reach up to 11 enemy cohorts (1 in front and 5 on each side).
More numerous army with high maneuver units on the flanks can quickly overwhelm a superior but shorter enemy line.
Keep in mind the bonuses and debuffs different cohorts suffer against other unit types.
Your heavy infantry may laugh at enemy light infantry, but their horse archers is an entirely different thing.
In the top right corner of the army screen you can switch a tactic used by that army.
Each nation has access to 5+ tactics and new ones can be sometimes unlocked via traditions.
Try to counter an enemy tactic or at least not allow an enemy to counter yours – it may turn a potential win into a costly defeat.
You can hover over tactic effectiveness number below the tactic’s icon to see what constitutes it.
Tactic effectiveness is of secondary importance as it only comes into effect if you managed to counter and is utterly worthless in 2 other cases.
Keep an eye on river crossings and terrain, those can cause harsh penalties for the attacker in combat.
An army besieging a fort is considered an attacker in every battle in the province.
You need to have at least 5000 men per level of the fort to besiege it. Keep attrition in mind.
Check if the enemy fort isn’t undermanned. Sometimes assaulting it (base cost: 20 military power) may be a better option.
Only certain unit types can assault the city.
Forts provide a zone of control to all cities around themselves. Those can be viewed using fortification mapmode (Ctrl+T).
An army in a zone of control can only move the the adjacent fort or back to the city it came from.
Battle result indicators on the map can be useful, but they aren’t always right.
Army (and navy) without an assigned commander will suffer a 25% morale penalty.
Military skill of the commander is extremely important. 3 point difference in commander skill with offset attacking across the river into mountains.
Only 1, best commander will actually lead in the battle,
Economy tab (F6) provides a lot of useful information so make sure to give it a read
All of the economic policies can be switched in an instant for free so feel free to use them.
But keep in mind that armies, forts and fleets will not replenish their lost men or morale in an instant.
Deficit will give you nasty modifiers as well as periodic bad events – avoid as much as possible.
Most of your income is a result of pop and trade management so look for clues there.
Religious power is used for stability, omens, manual pop conversion and in some events. It’s usually one of the more plentiful powers.
Each religion has the same omens, just named differently.
You should usually judge omens based on how difficult to obtain that kind of boost would be by other means.
By that the two most powerful ones are a pop growth one (for a long term) as well as a national unrest one (when risking a civil war due to disloyal provinces) and the discipline one (when in a really tough war).
Others can be situationally useful as well, but should be approached with some reserve.
Base omen duration is 5 years and can be increased with modifiers
That being said longer omen duration locks us out of changing the omen when we may need it for a small benefit of saving a bit of religious power.
Omen power is based on religious unity so it’s nice to convert your pops, but it’s not nearly as important as assimilation so focus on that one first.