Europa Universalis III (also known as EU3) is a grand strategy game of nation building. Any nation that historically existed during the game's time frame (1453-1789 in the original game or 1399-1820 with expansions) is playable.
There is no defined goal to the game, leaving players free to choose their own style; colonization, warfare, diplomacy, trade, and religion are all included at the strategic level. Battlefield tactics are abstracted by the game.
Four expansions have been released:
- Napoleon's Ambition, or NA, expanded the timeline to an 1820 ending date to allow playing through the French Revolution and Napoleon.
- In Nomine, or IN, moved the start date back to 1399, making the Byzantine Empire playable. It also introduced a goal-driven rebel system, allowing the player to bargain with rebels.
- Heir to the Throne, or HttT, introduced a more dynasty-driven monarch system and added casus bellis that target specific war goals.
- Divine Wind, or DW, focused on China, Japan, and the Mongol hordes, adding several new gameplay mechanics for their special situations. It also was the first expansion to use Paradox's achievement system.