Faction Overview Holy Roman Empire in Rise of Chivalry Holy Roman Empire in Renovatio Europam
The Holy Roman Empire have the power of Dominion. They replace the French.

Faction Type: Catholic
National Bonuses:

  • Receive a free supply wagon each time a new siege factory is built
  • Supply Wagons can heal nearby units.
  • Siege factory units 25% cheaper and 50% faster
  • Start with Lumber Mill, and upgrades for free
  • Woodcutters holds +2 citizens
  • +10% Commerce cap on Timber
HRE Flag

Unique Units:


  • [1] Brigand
  • [2] Merchant Cavalry
  • [3] Super Bombard; Battle Wagon

Available Unique Buildings:

  • Chartres Cathedral (wonder)
  • Apostolic Palace (wonder)
  • Aachen Palace Complex (wonder)

Available Unique Techs:

  • Centralisation

Suggestions and spoilersEdit

  • Strengths: Very good all-rounder civ, excellent modern infantry
  • Weaknesses: very costly late game units, although added timber production should ensure that commercial development can continue smoothly
The HRE is one of the few factions with the backbone of its special forces being mainstream infantry (the others being China, Japan, Spain, and England). This advantage continues to be played well into the Imperial Era, where it also excels with the use of pike-and-shot tactics as do the Spanish. Generally speaking, German unique infantry and gunpowder infantry have a good, if not best, production time record. The only other faction to do this better is China, but Chinese light infantry and gunpowder units are substantially weaker. While Chinese unique units may be known for their cost, neither does the Feudal Retinue line suffer from combat penalties,
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Imperial unique units are known for their fast training times.

nor does the Landsknecht gunner suffer from a diminished rate of fire. It can often be said that these units form a bunch of "hidden mercenaries" in that their use and recruitment are mostly available to the Empire alone, and that they train very quickly — additionally, Imperial medium infantry are known for their ability in despatching the mercenary units of their foes. Other units aren't neglected, though: if Bohemia and Turkey are known for spamming siege weapons, the Holy Roman Empire's siege units are more efficient, taking far less time to unpack or up sticks whenever so required.

Timber is also an important resource. It goes into economic structures, boats and siege machines. The Empire doesn't just have a wood production bonus, it also receives timber production and building enhancements for free as well, meaning that its buildings are also sturdier and also built faster (with the right Age and correct tech levels). This, however, pales in comparison with what its suppy caravans can do - they heal units around them, allowing for some trench warfare on your behalf. Thus, with fast-producing infantry, fast-working siege weapons and super supply caravans, the Holy Roman Empire seems to be a highly effective nation with good offensive, defensive and economic capabilities. The only major downside to it is that by its economy must be more stringently managed by the Imperial Era - the cost of its unique units during the Imperial Era will balloon, as its light, heavy and gunpowder infantry units will also demand added coin to be produced.

Faction summaryEdit

  • All-rounder faction that prefers, over other things, siege weapons, naval forces and infantry.
  • Snuff Powder — With so much timber harvested, the Empire can be said to be better suited for spamming archers and siege machines, rather than gunpowder units. Yet this should not be a deterrent for matchlock-mad players: your Landsknecht arquebusiers might prove to be potent units indeed.
  • Bob the Builder — As the Empire has a knack for harvesting timber constructing buildings, you should find it not difficult to create a more efficient town faster than others.
  • General Hospital — The Holy Roman Empire is best suited for pitched battles. Your supply wagons have the ability to heal nearby friendly units, so it might well be possible to use missile infantry to seal off areas to deny the enemy ground. Of course, one must always be wary that the enemy may bring siege weapons...
  • Business is Business — The Empire's unique medium infantry are the best units you can use against mercenaries, and deal damage against all mercenary infantry save for one unit: their hated rivals, the Swiss Reisläufer.
  • The Siege Perilous — Germans excel in the art of creating siege weapons. While theTurks and Hungarians might be masters at the art, it is the German siege artillery which might prove to be more cost-effective. After all, you have Berthold Schwartz to thank for discovering the art of creating gunpowder!

Settlements: Magdeburg; Aachen; Köln; Lübeck; Mainz; Fellin; Augsburg; Mailand; Leipzig; Hannover; Stuttgart; Bolzen; Innsbruck; Landeck; Trier; Luttich; Koblenz; Heidelberg; Reutte; Nuremberg; Bremen; Waiblingen; Halle; Spandau; Dorpat; Hamburg; Dresden; Karlsbad; Marienbad; Franzensbad; Paide; Constance; Kassel; Marburg; Rakvere; Pärnu; Narva; Krajina; Königsberg; Bern; Imst; Schwaz; Kufstein; Kitzbühel; Lienz; Riga; Danzig; Praha; Budejoviçe; Ostrava; Plzen; Ziln; Olomouç; Pilzen; Sezimovo Ústí; Kutná Hora; Nebovidy; Smiluv Brod; Hořice; Ústí nad Labem; Tachov; Trnava; Domažlice; Lipany; Strakonice; Milevsko; Brno; Jeglava; Libereç Bílina; Bludov; Tabór; Šternberk; Hengst; Karlstein; Melnik; Okor; Podebrady; Teplice nad Becvou; Trebon; Velké Losiny; Korczyn; Stříbro; Žatec; Opava; Jindrichuv Hradeç; Pisek

Leaders: Rudolf, Lothar, Otho, Charles the Bald, Frederick Redbeard, Frederick Hohenstaufen, Manfred, Konrad, Götz of the Iron Hand

Best age(s): Castle to Imperial


The story of the Holy Roman Empire begins when the Franks, a Germanic tribe, settled in Gaul (France) and conquered the other tribes in Northwestern Europe, establishing the Merovingian Dynasty from 500 to 751. It is during this time that the Germans adopted Christianity. The Frankish Kingdom continued to expand gaining more power, reaching its zenith under the rule of Charlemagne (768-814). He established the Carolingian dynasty and formed what was called the Holy Roman Empire, spanning territory from the Spanish marches into central Germany and south into the Northern half of Italy.

After Charlemagne's death the Empire broke up into three parts: the West Franks, which became France; the East Franks, which became Germany; and the Middle Kingdom which was the territory between the two. However, pressures from invading Vikings and Magyars caused the Eastern Frankish Kingdom to break up into a number of small kingdoms and city-states. These polities were loosely affiliated and elected a King, Conrad I (911-918) from the Duchy of Saxony. He established the Saxon dynasty and his grandson Otto I the Great managed to halt the Magyars westward expansion and even absorbed the Middle Kingdom.

He then took the title Holy Roman Emperor. However this move also caused the German Kings, who were still elected by the nobility, to spend too much involved with Italian politics and to neglect the governing of Germany itself. The Saxon dynasty ended in 1024 and power passed to a Frankish tribe, who established the Salian dynasty (1024-1125) This period saw the various duchies grow in power and a breakdown in relationship between the King and the Church, which further weakened an already ineffectual monarchy.


The HohenstaufensEdit

It then fell to the Duchy of Swabia to reunite the Germans under the Hohenstaufen dynasty in 1138. One of its Kings, Frederick Redbeard (or in Italian, Barbarossa) attempted to reassert imperial power, but sparked a war against the Papacy and its allied states. Despite winning many battles, Barbarossa's efforts came to naught and in fact his years at war in Italy allowed other German princes to become even stronger and impinge on Slavic territory. The Order of the Teutonic Knights was also formed at this time, being the most notable in the effort to the eastward colonisation. The various German principalities eventually became more and more fragmented as inheritance split each polity into ever-smaller parts. This period was called the Great Interregnum (1256-1273).

The Habsburgs and the Rise of AustriaEdit

The anarchy of the Great Interregnum ended when Rudolf of Habsburg (in Austria) was elected King-Emperor. It was by no means a fast recovery, nor did it mean the Emperor had any real power. In fact the Habsburgs were more concerned with enriching their family holdings than governing Germany. Some principalities degenerated to no more than kleptocracies that would rob travellers in their territory in order to sustain their holdings.

However, by the 16th century, it was clear that Germany, due to its central location in Europe, became extremely active in international trade. Local alliances between various polities saw the rise of the Hanseatic League and Switzerland as virtually independent from the Empire in 1499.

The ReformationEdit

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Intellectual growth in Germany followed economic empowerment. Several universities were founded during this time, as well as the invention of movable type by Gutenberg in 1450. However, these developments would destroy what little unity remained of the Empire. The increased intellectualism in Europe soon resulted in dissension with Church practices, and soon enough, outright rebellion and war would break out again. The intellectual climate and the changing socio-economic conditions of Europe eventually led a disgruntled professor of theology at Wittenberg University in Saxony to publish a series of 95 damning theses, which denounced the inefficiency and corruption of the Roman see.

This professor was Martin Luther, who having translated the Bible into his particular dialect of German, contributed to creating a national language for all of Germany. His attempts to spearhead the Reformation, however, divided the German peoples into old-school Catholics and those who disagreed with them, who were called "Protestants". Various principalities clung to Catholicism, while others promoted the Protestant cause. This attempt to reform the church would soon result in war in Germany and soon would have violent repercussions for Europe and the rest of the world well to the present day. By the end of the 16th century, the Holy Roman Empire was a mere shadow of what it originally used to be, but its Habsburg masters would with only a few interruptions continue to retain hegemony over Catholic Central Europe until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806.