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Gustav II Adolf (9 December 1594 – 6 November 1632, O.S.), widely known in English by his Latinized name Gustavus Adolphus, was the King of Sweden from 1611 to 1632 and is credited as the founder of Sweden as a Great Power. He leads the Swedes in Civilization V: Gods & Kings.


Gustavus Adolphus (Civ5)

Gustavus Adolphus in game

Gustavus Adolphus speaks Modern Swedish with a slight Gothenburgian dialect. On his diplomacy screen, he is standing in front of a fireplace in Strömsholm Palace with the portrait of King Eric XIV in the background. Gustavus's beard and overall appearance seem to be modeled after those of Eric XIV, rather than the historical Gustavus Adolphus.

Capital: Stockholm

Unique Units: Carolean, Hakkapeliitta

Unique Ability: Nobel Prize

Voice Actor: Emil Winkler

AI Traits[]

Trait Amount
Competitiveness 4 (6-2)
Wonder Competitiveness 5 (7-3)
City-State Influence Competitiveness 5 (7-3)
Boldness 5 (7-3)
Diplobalance 7 (9-5)
Hate Warmongers 5 (7-3)
Willingness to Denounce 5 (7-3)
Willingness to Declare Friendship 6 (8-4)
Loyalty 6 (8-4)
Neediness 4 (6-2)
Forgiveness 6 (8-4)
Chattiness 6 (8-4)
Meanness 4 (6-2)
Offensive Unit Production 6 (8-4)
Defensive Unit Production 6 (8-4)
Defensive Building Production 5 (7-3)
Military Training Buildings Production 8 (10-6)
Recon Unit Production 4 (6-2)
Ranged Unit Production 4 (6-2)
Mobile Unit Production 7 (9-5)
Naval Unit Production 5 (7-3)
Naval Recon Unit Production 3 (5-1)
Air Unit Production 5 (7-3)
Naval Growth 5 (7-3)
Naval Tile Improvements 5 (7-3)
Water Connections 5 (7-3)
Expansion 4 (6-2)
Growth 5 (7-3)
Tile Improvements 5 (7-3)
Infrastructure (Roads) 5 (7-3)
Production Emphasis 6 (8-4)
Gold Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Science Emphasis 7 (9-5)
Culture Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Happiness Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Great People Emphasis 9 (10-7)
Wonder Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Religion 4 (6-2)
Diplomacy Victory 8 (10-6)
Spaceship Victory 5 (7-3)
Nuke Production 5 (7-3)
Use of Nukes 5 (7-3)
Use of Espionage 5 (7-3)
Anti-Air Production 5 (7-3)
Air Carrier Production 5 (7-3)
Land Trade Route Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Sea Trade Route Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Archaeology Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Trade Origin Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Trade Destination Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Airlift Emphasis 5 (7-3)
Likeliness to Declare War 7 (9-5)
Likeliness to be Hostile 5 (7-3)
Likeliness to be Deceptive 3 (5-1)
Likeliness to be Guarded 4 (6-2)
Likeliness to be Afraid 4 (6-2)
Likeliness to be Friendly 6 (8-4)
Likeliness to be Neutral 5 (7-3)
Ignore City-States 4 (6-2)
Friendliness to City-States 7 (9-5)
Protection of City-States 7 (9-5)
Conquest of City-States 4 (6-2)
Bullying of City-States 4 (6-2)

Personality and Behavior[]

Gustavus Adolphus tends to try for a diplomatic victory.

Gustavus will try to produce as many Great People as possible, and also focuses on developing Science Science.

Gustavus is not especially bold and not at all likely to backstab, but he can often initiate wars against other civilizations.

Gustavus tends to develop a rather large army consisting primarily of mounted units, which he will later replace with armored units. Additionally, his heavy emphasis on military training means the Swedish military units will be among the best trained.

Gustavus will try to befriend and protect city-states. Trying to demand tribute from or make friends with his city-state allies will easily provoke him, so consider carefully before doing so.

Civilopedia entry[]


Revered Swedish king and military commander Gustavus Adolphus, known most famously as "The Lion of the North," ascended to the throne at the age of 17 and quickly established his reputation as both a skilled military strategist and an innovator in the art of warfare. Inheriting a complex web of domestic and foreign conflicts from his father, the usurper King Charles IX, Adolphus wasted no time in forming alliances with the once hostile nobility, crushing the enemies of Sweden, and leading his nation to the upper echelon of power in Europe during the 17th century.

Conflicts of his Father[]

Much of the turmoil awaiting Adolphus upon his succession was the direct result of his father's brief reign as king. At the time of Adolphus's birth, his father was Duke Charles, serving as regent over Sweden in place of his nephew, King Sigismund of Poland. While both King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, Sigismund was also the rightful king of Sweden, son of the prior Swedish king, John III. However, by this point in history Sweden was a majority Protestant state, with Charles being a vocal Protestant himself, while Sigismund was a devout Catholic. Fearing the potential for Sweden's forcible return to Catholicism, a personal union between Sweden and Poland was formed instead. Sharing the same king - but independent of law and culture - this union allowed Duke Charles to lead as regent over Sweden while Sigismund remained in Poland, separating the opposing religious factions.

As regent, Charles was seen as a protector of Protestant beliefs, and he used the increasing religious tension to his own advantage. Exerting his own authority over the regional governors in Sweden still loyal to the king, Charles incited a civil war with the followers of Sigismund. After a number of brief conflicts, the situation culminated at the Battle of Stangebro in 1598, when the invading army of Sigismund was soundly defeated. Captured and returned to Poland, Sigismund was left with little support in Sweden. In 1600, the Riksdag, Sweden's parliamentary council, acknowledged that Sigismund had abdicated the throne and named Charles as King of Sweden.

The events leading up to Charles's coronation would have a lasting impact on the future reign of Adolphus. Not only was the personal union between Poland and Sweden broken, but Sigismund maintained his claim to the throne of Sweden, and refused to end his pursuit of the lost crown. As a result, a near constant state of war between the two nations followed for the next 50 years.

Early Reign[]

While Charles is credited with protecting the Protestant beliefs of the Swedish people, his right to kingship was dubious at best. After leading Sweden for only seven years, Charles died in 1611, leaving his son to bear the burden of his tumultuous reign. Adolphus, who had already served with his father in the military during the prior years, was crowned king at age 17. Immediately after his ascension, he sought to quell the concerns of the Swedish nobility, whose involvement and authority in governing via the Riksdag had been reduced under Charles. According to the regulations of the parliament, Adolphus was too young to become king at 17. However, a compromise was reached, Adolphus became king, and in return he granted the nobility seats on his Privy Council, a collective of the king's closest advisors.

Adolphus was faced with conflicts from three distinct rivals, with growing tension from Denmark and Russia coinciding with the ongoing feud involving Sigismund and Poland. With the potential for wars on three fronts, Adolphus quickly moved to ease some of Sweden's military engagements. The ongoing conflict with Poland and Sigismund was tenuously settled with a truce in 1611, a peace that was renewed each year while both sides dealt with turmoil elsewhere.

The Kalmar Conflict was brought about by Sweden's attempts to claim the region of Finnmark in Norway, allowing Swedish traders to circumvent the Danish tax levied on those who passed through the strait connecting the Baltic and North Seas. Relying heavily on these taxes, and fearful of the Swedes developing an alternative trade route, the Danes declared war on Sweden in 1611. The Swedish effort was initially led by Charles, who died soon after and left Adolphus with little means to win the war. After two years of conflict, and the loss of several key Swedish fortresses, the war was finally settled in 1613 with the Peace of Knared. Although Sweden paid a hefty price to regain its lost fortresses, they managed to gain an exemption from any future tax when passing through the sound.

The Ingrian War with Russia arose in 1610 from attempts by Charles to gain the throne of Russia for his other son, Charles Philip. Charles's death shortly after the start of the war left Adolphus to settle the conflict. Battles waged throughout Russia for seven years, with gains and losses for both sides countering any real progress. The war was concluded in 1617 with the signing of the Treaty of Stolbovo, whereupon Sweden gained several provinces, but also returned some of the territory acquired in conquest. Sweden also acknowledged Michael Romanov as the rightful Tsar of Russia as part of the agreement.

These early conflicts provided Adolphus with an opportunity to hone his skills as both king and commander. Learning the ways of diplomacy and warfare at an early age provided Adolphus with valuable experience, preparing him for the greater battles looming in his future.

Political Reforms[]

Per the agreement reached upon his succession, Adolphus granted increased authority to the Riksdag council, elevating its status from that of a ceremonial body to a governing council that could convene at its own behest and make decisions impacting national policy. As a result, Adolphus formed a close working relationship with Axel Oxenstierna, a noble who he named High Chancellor of the Privy Council. Through Oxenstierna's careful guidance, many of Adolphus's most notable domestic policies were formed. Among their most notable achievements, in 1617, the establishment of four clearly defined "estates" within the Riksdag - consisting of the nobility, the clergy, the burghers, and the peasantry - ensured that every member of Swedish society was given a stake and a voice on the national stage.

Military Innovations[]

Among the many names bestowed upon Gustavus Adolphus by his peers and historians alike, his reputation as "The Father of Modern Warfare" comes from the pioneering military tactics and weaponry developed during his reign. Numerous innovations still in use by modern armies were conceived of by Adolphus, including mobile light artillery, varied formations with mixed troop types, and aggressive offensive tactics that countered the formal defensive strategies employed during his time. Adolphus is notably credited as one of the earliest to equip his men with paper firearm cartridges, combining pre-measured amounts of gunpowder with the projectile in a paper cone. By eliminating the need to measure and pour gunpowder while in the field, Adolphus increased both the reliability and speed of his men's weapons.

On the Battlefield[]

The heart of Adolphus's legacy was his ability to command on the battlefield, and he was something of a natural, learning the ways of war during his early teenage years while his father was still king. Adolphus was injured several times in battle, including a gunshot wound that left a musket ball entrenched near his neck. Never one to back down from his duties, Adolphus soldiered on with the wound, fighting in a number of battles while wearing only a flexible leather cuirass to ease the pain caused to him by wearing heavy iron armor.

Of the numerous battles fought by Sweden under his watchful eye, his most notable came during the Thirty Years' War. Primarily a conflict between the Protestant states and the Catholic forces serving the Holy Roman Empire, the Thirty Years' War was a highly destructive conflict that left an indelible mark on Europe. Although a number of factors led to the outbreak of fighting in 1618, Sweden remained neutral until 1630, when Adolphus saw fit to aid the German Protestants and defend Sweden from the expanding ambitions of the Holy Roman Emperor. Led by Adolphus and his charge "Gott Mit Uns!" meaning "God is with us!" the armies of Sweden enjoyed a number of early successes, crushing the Catholic forces and stalling their advance.

Perhaps his most famous confrontation, known as the Battle of Breitenfeld, was fought in 1631 in Saxony (present-day Germany). With effective use of mobile artillery, and a series of astutely timed maneuvers led by the Finnish light cavalry, the "Hakkapeliittas," Adolphus and his army crushed the Imperial forces, capturing the enemy artillery positions and using their own weapons against them. A complete and utter triumph for the united Protestant forces, the victory at Breitenfeld cemented Adolphus's reputation as an able leader and dangerous foe to the Holy Roman Empire.

Shortly thereafter at the Battle of Lech in Bavaria in 1632, Adolphus led an army of 40,000 Swedish troops against a smaller contingent of Catholic forces led by Count Johan Tzerclaes. Under the cover of mobile artillery support, Adolphus sent his Hakkapeliitta across the river Lech using temporary bridges. Once across, the elite cavalry units dug in and created a defensive position allowing the remainder of the army to cross. Adolphus quickly led a charge against the Catholic forces and Tzerclaes was wounded, later dying of his injuries.

Adolphus's final battle would come at Lutzen, Germany, late in 1632, when he was separated from his men while leading a charge through dense smoke, and was killed by gunfire. Bewildered by the loss of their great king, the Swedish ranks were soon in chaos, yet somehow still managed to force the Imperial army's retreat. Although Sweden suffered several defeats following Adolphus's death, by the signing of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which ended the Thirty Years' War, Sweden had emerged as one of the strongest nations in Europe, due in no small part to Gustavus Adolphus's brilliant leadership.

Judgment of History[]

Nearly 200 years after Adolphus's death, esteemed French commander Napoleon Bonaparte sung his praises as one of the greatest military commanders in history. Consistently leading his forces to victory on the battlefield, Adolphus shaped the future of warfare through his previously unheard-of tactical innovations and strategy. Although his father left a legacy of conflict for Adolphus to resolve, he rose to the occasion and elevated the Kingdom of Sweden to the height of military and political power.



Gustavus Adolphus always addresses the player with formal pronouns (ni for "you", era for "your"), even if he is otherwise informal due to hostility. He also uses the more formal/archaic konung ("king") instead of the more informal/modern kung.

Codename Quote (English translation) Quote (Swedish) Notes
Attacked Ha ha ha, Captain Gars will be very glad to head out to war again. Ha ha ha, kapten Gars kommer att bli mycket glad över att ge sig ut i krig igen. Captain Gars was an alias Gustavus Adolphus used when traveling; "Gars" stood for "Gustavus Adolphus Rex Sueciae" ("Gustavus Adolphus King of Sweden").
Declares War The Hakkapeliittas will ride again and your men will fall just at the sight of my cavalry! Gott mit uns! Hakkapeliterna kommer rida igen och era män kommer att stupa vid bara åsynen av mitt kavalleri. Gott mit uns! "Gott mit uns" means "God with us" in German.
Defeated I am Sweden's king. You can take my lands, my people, my kingdom, but you will never reach the House of Vasa. Jag är Sveriges konung. Ni kan ta min mark, mitt folk, mitt rike, men ni kommer aldrig åt Vasaätten.
Hate Hello Oh, it is you. Jaså, det är ni.
Hate Let's Hear It 01 What is it now? Vad är det nu?
Hate Let's Hear It 02 So? Så?
Hate Let's Hear It 03 Go on. Fortsätt.
Hate No 01 That is unacceptable. Det är oacceptabelt.
Hate No 02 You can't be serious. Ni kan inte mena allvar.
Hate No 03 What did you say!? Hursa?
Hate Yes 01 Aargh, very well! A, mycket bra! This line and Hate Yes 02 are most likely overly literal translations of the English lines that weren't caught during recording, since saying mycket bra (lit. "very good") in this context would sound odd in Swedish. A more fitting translation for "very well" would have been nåväl.
Hate Yes 02 Hoo, very well! Håå, mycket bra! See Hate Yes 01.
Hate Yes 03 Bah, I guess I have no choice. Bah, jag har väl inte något val.
Intro Stranger, welcome to the Snow King's kingdom! I am Gustavus Adolphus, member of the esteemed House of Vasa. Främling, välkommen till Snökonungens rike! Jag är Gustav Adolf, medlem av den aktade Vasaätten.
Neutral Hello Oh, welcome! Ah, välkommen!
Neutral Let's Hear It 01 Let us hear. Låt oss höra.
Neutral Let's Hear It 02 Go on. Fortsätt.
Neutral Let's Hear It 03 I am listening. Jag lyssnar.
Neutral No 01 I must decline. Jag måste avböja.
Neutral No 02 No, absolutely not. Nej, absolut inte.
Neutral No 03 We must decline. Vi måste avböja.
Neutral Yes 01 Very good! Mycket bra!
Neutral Yes 02 Gladly! Gärna det!
Neutral Yes 03 Hah, excellent! Hah, utmärkt!
Peaceful Enjoy your victory while you can. It will not be long-lasting. Njut av segern medan ni kan. Den kommer inte bli långvarig.
Request My friend, it is my belief that this settlement can benefit both our peoples. Min vän, det är min övertygelse att denna uppgörelse kan gagna både mitt och ert folk.


Gustavus Adolphus Loading Screen (Civ5)

All hail the transcendent King Gustavus Adolphus, founder of the Swedish Empire and her most distinguished military tactician. It was during your reign that Sweden emerged as one of the greatest powers in Europe, due in no small part to your wisdom, both on and off the battlefield. As king, you initiated a number of domestic reforms that ensured the economic stability and prosperity of your people. As the general who came to be known as the "Lion of the North," your visionary designs in warfare gained the admiration of military commanders the world over. Thanks to your triumphs in the Thirty Years' War, you were assured a legacy as one of history's greatest generals.

Oh noble King, the people long for your prudent leadership, hopeful that once again they will see your kingdom rise to glory. Will you devise daring new strategies, leading your armies to victory on the theater of war? Will you build a civilization that stands the test of time?


See also[]

Civilization V Leaders [edit]
Ahmad al-Mansur BNW-onlyAlexanderAshurbanipal BNW-onlyAskiaAttila GodsKings5 clearAugustus CaesarBismarckBoudicca GodsKings5 clearCasimir III BNW-onlyCatherineDarius IDido GodsKings5 clearElizabethEnrico Dandolo BNW-onlyGajah Mada BNW-onlyGandhiGenghis Khan1Gustavus Adolphus GodsKings5 clearHaile Selassie GodsKings5 clearHarald Bluetooth1Harun al-RashidHiawathaIsabella1Kamehameha1Maria I BNW-onlyMaria Theresa GodsKings5 clearMontezumaNapoleonNebuchadnezzar II1Oda NobunagaPacal GodsKings5 clearPachacuti1Pedro II BNW-onlyPocatello BNW-onlyRamesses IIRamkhamhaengSejong1Shaka BNW-onlySuleimanTheodora GodsKings5 clearWashingtonWilliam GodsKings5 clearWu Zetian
1 Requires a DLC

GodsKings5 clear Added in the Gods & Kings expansion pack.
BNW-only Added in the Brave New World expansion pack.