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.
- When a country becomes a subject, all their agreements with other countries are broken.
- The overlord and subject will always have military access to each other's territory.
- Subjects 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).
There are many ways to acquire new subjects over the course of the game:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Many events and missions also offer opportunities to get new subjects, both from releasing new countries out of currently owned territory (such as the many colony and feudatories available in the Carthaginian mission tree) 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.
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.
|Subject type||Requirements||Payment||Dip. slot||Join wars||Integrate||Break||Limit dip.||Effects|
|Tributary||None||15% of income||None|
||15% of monthly manpower gain||Subject:|
||15% of monthly manpower gain||Overlord:
||25% of income||Overlord:|
||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, the only risk being that the former overlord will get a casus belli for the slight on their honor.
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 in Phrygia.
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 to Carthage and various states on the border with Rome. When a vassal tribe adopts a civilised form of government it will instead 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 don’t enjoy a privileged status in the same way. Client states may be created from the player's provinces in the Nation Overview. A client king is separated from a governor mostly by his level of autonomy and having local ties to the ruled country.
Satrapies are a special type of subject that is only available if the junior party belongs has Persian military traditions. 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 Phrygia.
Satrapies are notoriously independent minded and troublesome. Events will periodically require interacting with to keep satraps happy.
Colonies represent subjects descended from the a mother nation that have a 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 only be created through certain options on the Carthaginian mission trees.
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.
Each subject has a 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.
Below a loyalty of 33 a subject state is considered disloyal, with the following effects:
- This reduces the tribute pays to overlord, sclaing up to 50% (at 0 loyalty)
- If a rebellion happens of this culture the subject will join that revolt. If the subject has a different culture group than its overlord then it will also count towards the percentage of pops in disloyal provinces that determines whether or not the country is at risk of rebellion.
- 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.
Loyalty is 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.
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, which can be increased by 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, 0.10 for the silk capital bonus and 0.05 for the export bonus, 0.10 with Roman heritage, and by varying amounts with different event/mission modifiers.