Subject nations, or vassals, are countries in a subservient relationship to another state, paying tribute or fulfilling commercial or military obligations to their overlord in return for protection from other states. They are restricted in their diplomatic actions, especially with countries other than their overlord, and certain subject types can be integrated directly into their overlord.
Each kind of subject state is different but there are general guidelines all subject states must follow.
- All subject types pay some sort of resource to their overlord, with the exact type and amount depending on the subject type.
- Other than for trade, a subject can never enter into diplomatic agreements with other countries. except for allowing military access.
- When a country becomes a subject, all their treaties with other countries are broken.
- Use this property to your advantage by diplomatically forcing your target's allies to become your subjects before declaring war.
- The overlord and subject will always have military access to each other's territory.
- Subjects always have military access to the territory of other subjects of the same overlord.
- A subject can always leave a subject relationship by declaring war on their overlord. They cannot declare war on any other country.
- Overlords will always be called to war and become the war leader if one of their subjects are attacked.
- If the overlord and its subject state are both involved in the same war, the overlord can always transfer occupation to and from any of their subject states and can annex territory on their behalf for half of the aggressive expansion (compared to if the overlord was annexing the territory directly).
- For subjects which can be called into war, if their loyalty is too low, they can refuse to join their overlord's war.
Subject nation types
- Requirements: These conditions must be true for this relationship to be possible.
- Payment: The subject makes this payment to the overlord on a monthly basis.
- Dip. slot: Whether a subject of this type contributes to the overlord's diplomatic relations limit.
- Join wars: Whether a subject of this type is automatically called into the overlord's wars, if it is loyal.
- Integrate: Whether the overlord can integrate the subject.
- Break: Whether the subject can break the relationship through a diplomatic action (i.e. without a war).
- Limit dip.: Whether the overlord limits the subject's diplomatic interactions.
- Effects: Modifiers given to the subject and overlord, if any. If an overlord has multiple subjects of the same (or different) type, the modifiers will stack.
|Subject type||Requirements||Tribute||Dip. slot||Join wars||Integrate||Break||Limit dip.||Effects|
||15% of income||None|
|Feudatory||15% of monthly manpower gain||Subject:|
|Tribal vassal||15% of monthly manpower gain||Overlord:
||25% of income||Overlord:|
|Client state||25% of income||Subject:|
||15% of income||Overlord:
||10% of income||Overlord:
Perhaps the most basic subject type in the game is the tributary. This is a loose relationship where the subject is simply looking for protection in exchange for tribute. Unlike most other subject types, the subject can at any time cancel a tributary relationship if there is no truce, the only risk being that the former overlord will get a casus belli for the slight on their honor. This will happen for AI-controlled countries if there any of the following conditions are met:
- Has less than 35 loyalty
- Has more army cohorts than the overlord
- Has less than 50 loyalty, owns more than 3 territories, and borders the overlord
A feudatory is a state that has obligated itself to follow the lead of a larger and more influential country in the same culture group. Historically these are countries that would often have been part of some sort of league with their overlord’s other subjects, in many ways this is a privileged subject type, if one with large obligations.
Feudatories provide manpower to their overlord and are expected to take part in their wars. Historical examples are the Roman Socii, the Punic cities of North Africa under Carthage, or the city leagues in Aegean under the Antigonids.
A tribal vassal is a tribal kingdom, chiefdom or federation that has a close relationship to a nearby stronger civilized state. For the tribal state this means a significantly easier route towards civilizing, as it will increase both the countrywide level of civilization and the growth of it in all their territories. The tribal state in turn pays with its manpower to the overlord who, will also promise to protect them. Historical subjects of this type would be the Numidian kingdoms subject to Carthage and various Roman clients on the later imperial border. When a vassal tribe adopts a civilized form of government, it will become a tributary.
Client states are in some ways more tightly integrated with their overlord, but unlike the feudatories they are not necessarily of the same culture and they do not enjoy a privileged status in the same way, paying a large part of their income instead of providing manpower. A client king is separated from a governor mostly by his level of autonomy and having local ties to the ruled country. Client states can be created by subjugating existing countries like most other subject types, or released from the country's currently owned provinces in the Nation Overview.
Satrapies are a special type of subject that is only available if the junior party has Persian military traditions. The fundamental unit of organization in Persia since the time of the 20px Median and Achaemenid empires, a satrap is in some ways similar to a governor but is expected to have greater authority, bigger obligations, and a more imposing realm. As having powerful satraps is an expectation in the east a few of them will also help with maintaining the legitimacy for their overlord kingdoms. Bactria, Parthia, and Arachosia start off as satrapies of the Seleukid Empire, while Cappadocia starts as a satrapy of the Antigonid Kingdom. Satrapies are notoriously independent minded and troublesome, however, and events will periodically require interactions to keep satraps happy.
Colonies typically represent subjects descended from the mother nation and have a loose, largely mercantile relationship with their overlord. Like tributaries, they neither provide manpower nor can be called into wars, but importantly each colony also provides a boost to the commerce income of the overlord that usually far outstrips their direct tribute, and so can be highly advantageous to establish. Colonies can mostly only be created through certain tasks in the Carthaginian mission trees, though it is also possible for Athens to become a colony of the Antigonid Kingdom if it finishes the loyalist path of its unique Athens in Chains national mission tree.
A mercenary state is a particular type of client state that has been created by granting control of a city to a mercenary company, much like the historical 20px Mamertine Republic. As well as fighting alongside their overlord, each mercenary state will also reduce the overlord's costs when hiring other mercenary companies. As well, if the overlord is a monarchy with the Mercenary Contract Law enacted, the overlord can use Elect New Leader Character Interaction to replace their current leader with that of the mercenary state at the cost of some stability, much like Agathokles himself once did. Mercenary states can only be created through the unique Syracusae Create Mercenary State action, which represents the rich mercenary-using traditions of the Siceliotes.
There are many ways to acquire new subjects over the course of the game:
- Waging war and defeating a country will allow for forcing vassalization of existing states in a peace deal. A country can be vassalized if its capital is occupied in a war, with a smaller warscore cost and halved aggressive expansion compared to directly annexing the country. Defeated countries can be forced into any subject type that they and their future overlord fulfill the potential for, with all subject types being equivalent in terms of warscore cost and aggressive expansion gain. Like all other peace deal demands forcing vassalization is not possible if the warscore cost exceeds 100, e.g. if the realm is currently too large. Both independent nations and countries that are already subjects of another country can be subjugated this way.
- A more diplomatically inclined nation can offer vassalization through various diplomatic influence actions. This requires that the potential conditions are met and that the target country have at least 100 opinion of the potential overlord, but is generally unlikely to be accepted unless the target is much weaker than, and has a very high opinion of the potential overlord. Targets are more likely to accept becoming certain subject types (such as tribal vassal or tributary status) over others (including feudatory and client status).
- Countries can use the Demand Subject Transfer diplomatic action to peacefully take existing subject states of other nations if they are disloyal, and the target has at least 80 opinion of their potential new overlord. As with offering vassalization, military strength and the target's opinion of their potential new overlord are important.
- The Release Subject action in the Nation overview screen will allow you to release a new client state out of any non-capital province. This country will be dynamically created and take on the name, culture, and religion of its capital territory.
- Syracusae has a special Create Mercenary State action that instead allows releasing a mercenary state out of any non-capital city. This is the only way to create new mercenary state subjects.
- Many events and especially missions also offer opportunities to get new subjects, both from releasing new countries out of currently owned territory (such as the many colonies and feudatories available in the Carthaginian mission trees) or from vassalizing existing countries (such as in the Italic League mission/event chain of the Roman mission tree). This is the only way to create new colonies.
Each subject has a subject loyalty value towards its overlord, visible in the diplomacy screen. This value modifies how much tribute is actually sent to the overlord and whether or not they will support and join rebellions and civil wars against the overlord.
Subject loyalty is a value between 0 and 100, where 100 signifies total loyalty.
If a subject's loyalty drops below 33, it will become disloyal, with the following effects:
- The tribute paid to the overlord is reduced, scaling to 50% at 0 loyalty
- If a civil war happens and a subject is disloyal, it will join the revolting side.
- A disloyal subject will never accept an offensive call to arms, and will not act in a defensive war except to defend its own territories.
Subject loyalty has a base of +10 and is determined by the total of the loyalty of subject states modifier of the overlord and the loyalty to overlord modifier of the subject. These are affected by many factors, with the most important being the subject's opinion of the overlord, the relative size of its army, and the current aggressive expansion of the overlord. Laws, diplomatic stances, national ideas, inventions, military traditions, and many event/mission modifiers can also affect subject loyalty.
Converting subject types
The subject type of a particular vassal is typically fixed, but can be changed under certain circumstances.
Tribal vassals will be automatically converted into tributaries upon reforming from a tribe to a republic or monarchy through the [ROOT.GetCountry.GetName] and the [SCOPE.sCountry('overlord_country').GetAdjective] Treaty event. As tribal vassals have a bonus to maximum civilization value and growth, this will typically not take as long as tribes would normally reform.
Tributaries can request closer relations with their overlord and offer to become a client state through the [SCOPE.sCountry('tributary_more').GetAdjective] Gratitude event, which requires that the tributary to not have a truce with the overlord, not be at war, and to have at least 85 loyalty, and can only trigger once per country. As client states can be called to war and integrated this can be highly beneficial to the overlord if it is seeking to expand in the area and has enough relationship slots, and means that it is possible to eventually integrate tributaries (and tribal vassals) as long as they can be made loyal enough to make the client state request.
The type of a subject can also be changed indirectly by first releasing it and then diplomatically re-vassalizing or forcibly subjugating in a war, but this is still subject to the requirements of each subject type (i.e. cannot be used to get new colonies or mercenary states) and can take a few years given the need to wait for the to expire. It is mostly useful for converting a tributary into a client state, if it is too difficult to increase its loyalty.
Only the more closely associated subject types - as a rule, those that can be called to war - can be integrated, including feudatories, satrapies and client states. Other subject types, including tributaries and tribal vassals, cannot be integrated or annexed without first breaking or changing the existing subject relationship.
Starting integration requires that the vassal has at least 190 opinion with its overlord. The cost of integration is equal to its population and is always at least 10. Integration progresses by a base of +0.25 each month and is affected by the integration speed modifier, some of the more important sources of which are listed below:
- +0.05 per point of diplomatic reputation
- +0.25 with the Domineering diplomatic stance
- +0.30 with the monarchy King of Kings Law
- +0.05 per country rank, up to +0.25 for great powers
- +0.10 with Roman heritage
Integration can take anywhere from a few months for a small city state to many decades (or more) for a large, populous client state. In some situations, it may even be faster to release the subject, allow the truce to expire while fabricating claims, and then annex the former subject through war.