EU:tPoP – Defying Destiny DD #1

Announcing a New Crowdfunding Campaign

Announcing New Crowdfunding Campaign: 

Defying Destiny Expansion for EU:tPoP

I guess the cat is out of the bag already, but here we're making it official: A new Expansion for Europa Universalis: The Price of Power, named Defying Destiny, is coming to a crowdfunding platform near you (or Gamefound if you like) in Q2 2024! More campaign information, details, and the exact launch date will follow in a later update. We'll also put up a Campaign Preview Page as soon as we can. 

What can you expect from Defying Destiny?

In this expansion, we will zoom in on a lot of new Realms that we didn't have room to feature in the base game. Some of these will be Realms that took the center stage at a later date than 1444, some will be Realms that had great potential but for various reasons collapsed or faded out of history, and yet others will be Realms that had roles to play throughout the EU timeline but never attained the status of great powers – now, you will have a chance to defy destiny, and bring these Realms the glory they (perhaps) deserved!

So, what will be the actual contents of the expansion box, you say? Well, we are going to be a bit coy about it, and not reveal everything all at once, but rather bit by bit in coming Updates. But we can tell you that the box will be jam-packed with cards! We are talking 180+ bridge-size cards, and 100+ mini-cards, including tons of new Events and Missions, as well as new Action Cards and Milestones! 

One thing that we have decided for this expansion is, as much as possible, to avoid adding new rules. This decision is both based on our own conclusions and on the feedback that we have received – while there are always those that want us to add more of everything, there are many who think that there is enough to sink their teeth into in the current rule set. Also, this will allow us to develop the expansion much faster, and to focus on making content that adds more replayability and variation, rather than more complexity. Of course, there may be some cards that add new effects, and, as seen in the Scenarios III booklet, we may include some new scenario-specific rules to spice things up. But that is about how far we will go this time.

Speaking of scenarios, there will certainly be a new scenario booklet included with the expansion too. With the new scenarios, Realms, and Events, we are talking hours upon hours of new gameplay to explore. We will return to these a bit further down the line, giving you a chance to test and try things out. 

A New Series of Development Diaries

Going forward we will publish a series of rather frequent Development Diaries, revealing more playable Realms and more content with each diary entry as we move closer to the crowdfunding campaign, and the first entry is here for you to read right now:

Warning: This content is currently being playtested at the moment, none of it is final. 

Defying Destiny: Development Diary #1 – Persia, The Empire of Iranians, or Eranshahr

We couldn't overlook the fact that Persia, as a clear winner, came out at the top of the poll that we did a couple of months ago, on what Realms YOU would like to see in an expansion, so we dived into it. 

Persia, however, is one of the trickier Realms we have had to make Events for because Safavids seemingly come from nowhere to overrun a fractured Timurid Empire in the historical blink of an eye – initially a religious movement rallying from smaller Sufi sects, gaining followers among marginalized groups, placing strategic diplomatic bets on rivals of the ruling Qara Qoyunlu clan, and it worked out. It worked for more than 2 centuries for the Safavid dynasty, even if Ishmail I died young. His son Tahmasp I ruled for 9 days short of 52 years and Abbas the Great reigned for more than 40 years. The Persian Empire lasted well beyond the Safavids of course, with the still powerful Afsharid and Qajar Dynasties.

The challenging part of making the Events for Persia is its tumultuous beginnings and the fluency of its borders, culture, religion, and people. We have decided to view Persia as the legacy of its people and geography more than that of its ruling elite. Therefore, we have decided to let Persia, as a Player Realm, start the game with the Provinces ruled by the Qara Qoyunlu clan in 1444, serving as a cocoon for the rise of the Safavid dynasty, and you as a player can build from there. 

We want every game session to tell a story within history and within the constraints of the rules of the game. While the Realm-specific Events come out in a certain sequence, they are also open enough to be played in different ways and have meaning by themselves, allowing them to be used for different start dates and scenarios.

Víctor: My father (who is from Iran) used to tell me, and this has been confirmed later in books and documentaries I've read and watched, that the Iranian culture has been alive since thousands of years ago in the same manner, welcoming the conquerors of many empires, like the Assyrians, Sassanians, or the Timurids, assimilate and letting them go, in the knowledge that empires are ephemerous. So, while every dynasty eventually dies out and another comes along, the Iranian culture all along has kept its identity, and even put theirs onto the intruders making them one of them, "the same" until today.  

  Still a work in progress! The illustrations are merely placeholders.

The Persian Empire, like any other empire, tells a story of huge personalities, with skills and luck, who reigned and destroyed their enemies. Then, in their opulence, these emperors had big families with equal parts of debauchery and luckless ambitions, consequentially destroying the country from within, making other neighboring empires taking advantage. This ebb and flow is something we are trying to capture in the Events we are writing. 

Persia also has a unique position geographically, in how it bridges the connection between East and West, in game terms, having one foot on the main map and one foot in the India & Arabia continental map, providing very different paths of expansion in each direction. Another aspect that makes Persia particularly interesting, is of course the religious divide between Shia and Sunni Islam, which sets Persia apart from other Muslim Realms in the region, and we are working on making that a significant factor in the Persian narrative. 

We have chosen an array of Rulers for the mighty “Eranshahr”, either by how long they ruled,  by their mighty feats, or by their role the eventual demise of the empire. Through these rulers and the Events representing them, we're trying to tell a story of a sudden and explosive rise, of wobbling attempts to stabilize while competing with mighty neighbours, and of a rapid decline and diminution of one of the most powerful empires worldwide during the timeline of the game. We will give you a summary of its beginnings here: 

  • Jahan Shah – As the Timurid Empire started to crumble and break up, as happens with most empires, it got divided within the family, and Jahan Shah assumed control of the part of the former empire that was centred around Tabriz. Initially, Jahan Shah was very successful in expanding the domain of the Qara Qoyunlu both in the east and south. Then he got involved in a conflict with the Aq Qoyunlu clan, and while making progress to begin with, his fortunes would soon make a turn for the worse. All the while, Sufi sects, and especially the Safavid sect, had been growing in influence the region.
  • Uzun Hasan – The cunning and opportunistic Uzun Hasan had assumed control of the Aq Qoyunlu clan, and as brother-in-law to Shaykh Junayd, leader of the Safavids, had the support of the Safavid sect in the conflict with the Qara Qoyunlus. At the Battle of Chapakchur managed to get the upper hand against his numerically superior adversary by luring him into an ambush, killing Jahan Shah and defeating his army. The Safavids, of course, benefitted from this dynastic change and got even more influential.
  • Ismail I – As the Safavids grew increasingly more powerful, and with the help of the Qizilbash turned into a military force to be reckoned with, their relationship with the Aq Qouyunlu rulers got ever more strained. The new Safavid leader, Ismail (grand-son of both Shaykh Junayd and Uzun Hasan) gathered 7,000 Qizilbash troops and rebelled, defeating a 4 times larger Aq Qoyunlu force at the Battle of Sharur and claiming the throne for himself (the irony of fate or history repeating itself?), and so began the Safavid dynasty and the rise of a new Persian Empire.

The portrait for Ismail I is coming soon

This chain of events is something we have tried to capture (but not pre-determine) in the Persian Event Cards, and you'll soon be able to try them out on Tabletop Simulator. Just pay attention to our coming Development Diary entries, and to the Announcements channel on our Discord server.

In Other News …

Thanks to Everyone for your Support!

We were super happy to see the great response for the Scenarios III booklet following our last Update. Thank you so much for your continued support!

Expanding the Dev Team for Defying Destiny

Most of you already know our +3 Diplomatic Advisor, Roberto Méndez (Mikhs), through his tireless efforts to answer your queries on BGG and the Discord server, or teaching the game at our booth in Essen. Well, Roberto is an asset on many levels, and we are bringing him on board to the writing and development team for Defying Destiny. Roberto already provided us with a lot of valuable feedback on the assets for the base game during the previous development process, and he has shown he can contribute even more through his fan-made content, such as custom scenarios, Bot targeting charts, and more. Now, he's gonna help us pack this expansion full of new and exciting stuff for you to explore.

New Language

Czech Localization! Well-renowned Czech publisher, Fox in the Box ( has just signed up with us to make a batch of EU:tPoP in čeština, tell your Czech friends! These guys have previously made localized Czech editions of many GMT titles and Phil Eklund designs, as well as Pax Pamir (🚨) among others, so they are the perfect partners!

We Broke 3 Minute Board Games! 

One of the Titans of the board game YouTube world has gifted us, not just with a video, but with the type of response to this game that we have always wished for. We know that we're not a mass market game, we are not competing to be at every family household's table, but we are competing to be on the gaming table of your house, the history-buff, the turn cruncher, the one that takes joy in a multitude of possibilities and telling a story no one has told before.

Jarrod from "3 Minute Board Games" is one of us. Watching his video I could feel how much childlike happiness he had playing it, and in the comments, he already revealed planned games in March. So, for him and for all of you, please enjoy, now and for years and years to come!

Come see us at UKGE, 31 May – 2 June

Last but not least, we have booked a booth at UKGE together with our great friends at Hegemonic Project this year, and hope to see many of our UK friends and followers there! We'll talk more about this later.


For many years of historical gaming!

Eivind & Víctor @AegirGames

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New Scenarios III Booklet - EU:tPoP DD #35
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