Terra Invicta – Cohesion: The Importance of Rivalries

The definition and effect of ‘near-peer’ rivalries on national cohesion is not properly explained. This guide will attempt to correct that, as well as recap some other info about cohesion.


The definition and effect of ‘near-peer’ rivalries on national cohesion is not properly explained. This guide will attempt to correct that. First let’s recap the basics.

National cohesion is important for research and unrest:

  • Research output increases as cohesion gets closer to 5
  • Unrest increases gradually as cohesion gets closer to 0
  • Unrest increases exponentially while cohesion is at 0

There are two ways to affect a nation’s cohesion by spending investment points:

  • Increasing national Knowledge causes its cohesion to move towards 5 by 0.01
  • Increasing national Unity causes its cohesion to increase by a small amount

Base Cohesion

Every nation has a ‘base cohesion’ that is affected by various factors such as knowledge level, democracy score, and maintaining a balance of popular opinion with the control point owners.

As a side effect of increasing unity, each control point owner gets some popular support, so dumping IP into unity can be a brute-force fix for low cohesion, but it can be a waste of precious IP to go this route with small nations; Public Campaigns can balance it instead, but popular support alone is not enough to make rapid strides in base cohesion.

And since democracy and knowledge are both very slow to change, using them to affect base cohesion is a long-term goal at best.

So, how can we affect cohesion in the short term?

Near-peer Rivals

Adding ‘near-peer’ rivals is the secret sauce to keeping national cohesion at a good level. Let’s say you are trying to quickly turn around a smaller nation with poor base cohesion which happens a lot in third-world countries.

In a recent Academy campaign I experienced this with Bolivia:

As we can see, we are bleeding cohesion: it is down to 1.5 and will continue to drop until it reaches 0.21 which leaves it dangerously close to 0.0 where it will exponentially build unrest.

However, I can turn this around quickly by adding ‘near-peer’ rivals, each of which will increase the base cohesion by 1 to a maximum of 5. As long as the rival in question has the same number of control points or more it is considered a ‘near-peer’ and therefore a valid choice.

What affects which nations can become rivals?

  • Nations below 3 control points must be neighbors to rival each other
  • Nations below 3 control points with a naval army can rival any nation (very rare)
  • Nations with 3 or more control points can rival any nation anywhere

Here are the nations I chose to rival for Bolivia in my campaign:

What made me choose the nations in my screenshot?

  • They are ‘near-peer’ rivals because they have the same or more control points, and they all have 3 or more control points, so it doesn’t matter where they are located.
  • I am focusing on Bolivia in this campaign so that I can babysit the parent nation of the South American Union, which I intend to form in a decade, so I want to avoid declaring rivalries with Bolivia’s neighbors, because I may wish to unify some peacefully.
  • As a pet peeve, I prefer rivaling nations that my faction controls, because otherwise the AI will CONSTANTLY try to end the rivalries; the pop-ups every phase get tiresome after a while.

As we can see below, now that Bolivia has 4 ‘near-peer’ rivals, its base cohesion has instantly changed from 0.21 to 4.21, and it will now increase by 0.1 per month until it gets there:

The Wildcards

There are two other ways to change cohesion rapidly, however, I don’t recommend using them specifically for cohesion as they will also change many other things besides cohesion.

Declaring Wars

Declaring war on another nation requires an army, which is expensive on IP to build and maintain, and can have a lot of unintended side effects for both the nation and its controlling faction. Atrocities will pile up at random while a faction is at war (even if no armies are fighting…) and alliances are always being made. It is rarely a good idea to declare war for the sole purpose of increasing cohesion.

Triggering Revolutions

It is also possible to dramatically change cohesion by using Increase Unrest in a nation until it hits Unrest 10 and triggers a regime change, BUT this will affect MANY other factors of a nation in ways that are at the mercy of random number generation; democracy score could skyrocket or plummet, and control points could go to you, another faction, or be left empty.

Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3012 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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