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Of all factions, Germany has the toughest startups: her territory is divided into several areas, bordered by the League of Nations, Austria and France on the continent, and Sweden-Norway in the Baltic. Of these, Austria and France are among the most dangerous. Worse, Austria controls several provinces vital to your progress: Saxony and Bavaria. Other components are held by the French (Alsace-Lorraine) and the British (Hannover). Of these, only Hannover is the easiest to obtain, you will need to fight the others for their parts.
You start off in control of three key areas: Berlin-Brandenburg, which is your capital, along with Pomerania to the east and the Rhineland to the West. Sadly, of your two ancillary territories, only Pomerania is reinforceable from your capital. Declaring war on any European power always results in a backlash, so you'd best be careful where and when you invade especially given the size of your own nation compared to Austria and Russia.
Although in the Grand Campaign, your relations between Russia, Turkey, Britain, France, Italy and America are somewhat limited, there is no end to the number of powers you can ally yourself with. However, there is one faction you must pay attention to: Sweden-Norway. An alliance with Sweden will keep Russia off your back, and will ensure that should a pan-European conflict break out you will have an ally you can trust.
Should you choose to take the fight to France, you will be given a choice of whether to establish a protectorate, or to annex or occupy France. Take note that should you choose to annex France, it will result in several claims against you by Spain, and Austria, thus you should be wary. Perhaps a better strategy would be to take on France as a buffer between you and Spain, while you pilfer Spanish territories in South America.
Elsewhere, there are several other options. The USA will enter a Civil War - as with other factions, you can either support the USA - which guarantees an alliance - or the CSA, which will result in the creation of rebel areas in the USA, and harm any possibility of diplomatic relations with the Americans. The upshot however is that if the Civil War lasts for a sufficiently long time, the Confederacy may even choose to join you. Note, however, that should any extra-American faction take on the weaker South American states, the USA will not tolerate such moves and this could result in serious repercussions. You should consider establishing a beachhead in the Middle East or Africa, as the Portuguese and the Dutch faction of the League of Nations would not mind selling their colonies to you.
Starting territories and diplomatic stancesEdit