Leaders represent especially capable men: daring naval explorers and conquistadors, and especially notable generals and naval captains.
Types of Leaders
There are several subtypes of leaders:
- default leaders: every army and fleet has at least a default leader.
- conquistadors: land leaders who can explore terra incognita
- explorers: naval leaders who can explore terra incognita
- generals: non-default land leaders
- admirals: non-default naval leaders
- land leaders: conquistadors and generals
- naval leaders: explorers and admirals
Note that in the EU2 wiki, "leaders" used by itself means "non-default leaders".
All leaders have statistics that parameterize their effect on any military unit they are leading. For land leaders, the statistics are: (manuever, fire, shock, siege). For naval leaders, the order is the same but there is no siege statistic. Default land leaders have the stats (2,2,2,0). Default naval leaders have (2,2,2).
The manuever number affects the attrition the unit will take. The fire and shock numbers are the bonuses that a military force led by that leader will get in combat or in an assault. The siege number is a bonus applied during sieges.
Leader statistics can be affected by their country's domestic policies: with high Offensive all leaders get +1 shock but land leaders get -1 siege. With low offensive, all leaders get -1 shock and land leaders get +1 siege. With high Quality all leaders get +1 fire; at low quality, -1 fire. The minimum for all statistics is zero: if a leader has zero for a trait, domestic policy cannot make it be -1. (The only trait you'll usually see this effect on is siege, where default leaders keep their zero stat even with high offensive.)
All leaders have a rank, which is used to determine which leader will be in charge in two circumstances:
- at a siege, the country with the highest ranked leader controls the siege
- if multiple leaders are present in the same army or fleet, the highest ranked one is in command. His name and stats are shown when you select the unit.
The rank of your own leaders is indicated by the icon you see when you select his unit. (Pictures would be nice here.)
In addition to their rank, some leaders are also flagged as monarchs; their icon is a crown. Leader-monarchs' rank is not visible from within the game. Although leader-monarchs are supposed to represent particularly gifted monarchs as military leaders, and usually a monarch and a leader-monarch have the same start and death dates, leader-monarchs are not otherwise linked to monarchs in any way. If a leader-monarch is lost in combat, the current monarch is not killed, or in any other way affected.
Ranks are defined in the leader files for each country. In general, reading leader files is necessary to determine the ranks of monarchs, and the ranks of leaders of other countries.
Most of the leaders you see in the game are generated under the direction of so-called leader files. The leaders files for all countries are found below the EU2 directory in DB\Leaders. There's one leader file for every country that gets any leader. Each leader that the country gets (or may get), is encoded in the file, and will appear with the same stats, rank, etc. at the same time in every game of EU2. A leader will always appear unless:
- his country does not exist,
- he has been "slept" by a scripted event, or
- he is specified as "dormant" and has not been "waked" by a scripted event.
Many of the leaders specified in the leaders files are little better than ordinary in their stats (and some are actually worse!). But all of them outrank any default leader, and can be very powerful tools in the hands of a human playing solo, because any leader can go about stealing sieges. Some countries, especially the major powers, get a lot of leaders, and often also they get leaders with much better than average statistics. This is a great advantage.
Generals and admirals cannot be created by events, but explorers and conquistadors can be. Event-generated conquistadors always have stats (3,2,2,0) before modification for DPs (if any). Random explorers always have base stats (3,2,2).
A few countries have scripted events that give an explorer or conquistador. All countries can get conquistadors via random event after 1500, and this is not uncommon because there are no preconditions. Theoretically all countries can also get random explorers, but they are much rarer in the game because they have high tech requirements.