I perhaps didn’t fully appreciate this in my Europa Universalis IV preview because I was swimming in Ming Dynasty soldiers and gold that I couldn’t spend on technology, but warfare will be rather costly in the game. A protracted war will drain your manpower and cash reserves quicker than you can say “FOR KING AND COUNTRY,” and that manpower takes a fair while to return.
Before long you might find yourself with a whole “lost generation” of the population and have to sit out the next decade or so while your country concentrates on having more babies. ‘National ideas’ and discoveries might improve your manpower too, but a war will still drain it.
But what if you’re a smaller, merchant nation and don’t have much access to manpower to begin with? In that case, you’ll be hiring mercenaries. They don’t eat into your manpower at all; hooray! Instead they cost sizeable amounts of money to employ.
Watch the ups and downs of warfare in Europa Universalis IV, below.