Victoria 2


I looked and looked but didn't see a dedicated thread for one Paradox Interactive's latest games, Victoria 2.

Who else is playing it? I picked it up when it was one of the daily deals in the winter sale.

I'm still in my first game as Switzerland. I'm up to about 1850 and haven't done a whole heck of a lot. I have tons of money in the bank but can't bankroll a huge army because I'm population limited. I don't seem to have the opportunity to expand anywhere as all my neighbors are allied with great powers and I would get stomped on. My goal has therefore been to try and make Switzerland an industrial powerhouse. I only have two factories though, and I can't seem to get my capitalists to want to build more.

Overall I think it's a fun game and look forward to my second round when I try a bigger country with more military ambitions.

For the uninitiated, what is Victoria 2 about?

Great question. Victoria 2 is a grand strategy game in the same vein as Europa Universalis or Hearts of Iron. As the name suggests, the game takes place in the Victorian age with games going from 1836 to 1936. This roughly fills the gap of time between EU and HOI.

Do you like spreadsheets? Do you like numbers? Do you like trying to figure out why your garment factory can't seem to stockpile enough cotton to maintain steady production? Then Victoria 2 just may be for you. In addition to the general bookkeeping of running a country there's diplomacy between nations, war and combat, and colonization.

And the "secret sauce" for Vicky 2 is the same as the first one. You have to manage the transition from an agricultural, mostly uneducated highly divided society to a modern, educated society with a substantial middle class.

As a rule, I'd suggest learning EU3 + expansions first; it's the easiest to pick up. The social considerations are easier in V2 than in the first game - more automated and streamlined - but it's still an added complication. Of course, if you really love the period, go for it. There are plenty of online guides and such (as for all Paradox games, register your game at their site to get full access to the forums and downloads.)

Not to kill your thread, but for discussion about Paradox games we tend to talk about them in the Wargamer's Corner. You'll find some Vicky 2 talk and a lot of EUIII talk there.

I really do love the time period of this game. Lots of interesting stuff happening. I also think it's by far the best-looking implementation of the EU game engine. (That's one of the reasons I'll be picking up Divine Wind, the latest EU expansion. It includes a welcome graphics update.)

I don't know if I would say that EU is much easier than Vic to pick up, especially when you add in all of material added by the expansions - but they're both definitely easier than Hearts of Iron, even with all the optional automation built into that game.

As far as guides go, one of my side projects has been adding in bookmarks to the Victoria 2 documentation. It baffles me that Paradox doesn't do that in the first place. Once I get one of them wrapped up I'll put it up for download.

Ha, there's a lot of great things to watch play out. I had a fabric factory in West Switzerland that, for whatever reason, just could not be profitable. I was subsidizing the hell out of it (which was a drain on my budget, but the Swiss are cash-rich at this point) and it had the maximum number of employees but it was constantly hemorrhaging money. Also in West Switzerland was one of my two steel factories and a brand new glass factory. Both of these were doing well and in the process of upgrading to bigger sizes (these were also maxed on employees).

Reluctantly, I cancelled my subsidies on the fabric factory. Not having cash coming in from the government, the factory couldn't afford to pay its workers and started laying them all off. I had a huge population of unemployed craftsmen for a few months, but then my glass and steel factory upgrades finished. All of the unemployed fabric workers went to the other two factories and life is good.

garion333 wrote:

Not to kill your thread, but for discussion about Paradox games we tend to talk about them in the Wargamer's Corner. You'll find some Vicky 2 talk and a lot of EUIII talk there.

I don't mind the game having its own thread. The ol' WGC can get a bit messy at times, as is.

Scratched wrote:

For the uninitiated, what is Victoria 2 about?

rule #0: ...under no circumstances click "China" on first screen

wordsmythe wrote:
garion333 wrote:

Not to kill your thread, but for discussion about Paradox games we tend to talk about them in the Wargamer's Corner. You'll find some Vicky 2 talk and a lot of EUIII talk there.

I don't mind the game having its own thread. The ol' WGC can get a bit messy at times, as is.

I missed this first response when I was typing up one of my other posts... I guess we'll see if there's enough interest in Vic2 to warrant a dedicated thread. If not, it will probably just fizzle. Another forum I post on has a Paradox Interactive specific thread, and that's pretty healthy. It seems like PI games might not be enough for discussion on an individual basis, but there's enough fans of the various series in general to keep a thread happening.

Wife's out of the house tonight, I'm taking Switzerland to the 1900's!

UCRC wrote:
Scratched wrote:

For the uninitiated, what is Victoria 2 about?

rule #0: ...under no circumstances click "China" on first screen

I had an easy time picking between my usual Paradox first-run choices of Sweden and Poland. :\ I suppose there's always a chance that the Swedes can help release Poland, though.

The social aspects of Vicky 2 are fascinating. So much attention was put into details of individual cultures. The tutorials sure could use an editor, though.

I'm struggling with a couple legibility concerns here. From what I can tell, there are two different kinds of friendliness rankings between countries, but you can't see them both from the same page.

Also, I had a cassus belli to "capture state" or somesuch due to a border altercation event, but it wasn't listed as a reason to declare war or a war goal. It shows up in my diplomatic view of the other country sometimes, but only if I'm a secondary power, because the diplomatic view changes when you go from secondary to great power, and then I don't know where the old info (like when our truce expires) went.

Also, cross-posting from another thread:

Michael wrote:

One step ahead:

Victoria 2 Manual
Victoria 2 Tech Guide

I've never seen a quick start for Vic2, and the strategy guide is uploading now.

I think I'm starting to figure this out. There are, all told, three somewhat distinct measures of your relations with another nation.

There's the number at the top right of the diplomacy screen, which goes from -200 up to 200. That goes up and down in the traditional ways, and you can use diplomatic points to shift it--by 25pts, I think.

There's the amount of influence you have over a non-Great Power. This works a bit like localized diplomatic points. You only get to use this while you're a Great Power, and you earn them automatically as a Great Power, but you can allocate your focus on the same 0-1-2-3 priority ratings that EU3 uses for COTs. Influence points can be used to change how friendly or unfriendly a non-great is toward you on some adjective scale, which is the third measure of relations (friendly-cordial-neutral-?). Each shift costs 50, you max out at 100, and it takes 100 to bring someone into your Sphere of Control. What spheres mean is as-yet beyond me.

On the plus side, I'm two provinces from uniting Scandinavia. Next up: retaking Finland.

Glad you guys have been enjoying the game so far. I've had one game to completion so far and really loved the experience. Behold the Ottoman Empire of 1936:




Some interesting tidbits and highlights:

  • Managed to get up to 49.5% literacy by the end, up from 8% or so at the beginning if I remember correctly.
  • Prussian Constitutionalism government.
  • The population was divided about 1/3 each into Conservatives, Liberals, and Socialists by the end.
  • The jewel of the empire is the state in southern China. Made it a state by the end and it has a huge industry rating.
  • The Empire's sphere of influence includes all of the Middle East, Egypt, and Austria by the end.
  • Had several tough wars throughout the game against Russia, Austria, and France. Note that Austria didn't fare too well. (The second and third maps show the full extent of it being carved up.)
  • Britain was rocked by a series of liberal and reactionary revolutions that managed to topple the government several times. Scotland broke away from the Republic of Britannia during one of these and managed to stay independent since.
  • Final score came out as:
    • Great Britain - 49680
    • France - 19137
    • Ottomans - 19124
    • Germany - 15241
    • USA - 14548

I'm looking forward to going for another serious game when patch 1.3 comes out. Word is that they're working on the late game economic and rebel balance, which is a very good thing. At the final tally I had over 200 dreadnoughts with another 50 being constructed and I still had a huge surplus. To say nothing about the indescribable monster that is Britain.

My favorite aspect, aside from laying the beatdown on Austria in the closing decades, was watching my society undergo a careful transformation from its illiterate, rural, and poor roots into a modern industrial powerhouse. Has a very different feel from normal strategy and even other Paradox games in that the focus is mostly internal.

Hope to hear more about how your guys' games end up. Preferably with pictures too!

Wow, nice job as the Ottomans! Your transformation of the society sounds like one of the AARs I read on the Paradox forum of a China game - he managed to westernize the country quickly and develop them into a super power in relatively short order.

My Switzerland game has been pretty... uneventful. My capitalists are finally getting some legs and building more factories. It doesn't seem like I have anywhere to go though. Playing the Swiss Way I have no alliances or real enemies and I don't have the population to crank out any large military forces. So I think my map is going to look a lot like it did when I started! I've been building some some good prestige (the Geneva Convention was a big boost) and managed to peek into into the Great Power rankings for about a year before I got bumped back out by the Ottomans. I think my goal is to finish as a great power based on my industrial rating and prestige, probably ranked #6 or so. I'll be working my tech tree accordingly and hoping no one decides to invade as I've completely ignored the military branches...

I think Switzerland was a good introduction as I could learn the systems and how to run my country without having to juggle too much foreign policy and military action (or even a navy). Next game is definitely a bigger power, maybe France or the US. Perhaps the CSA?

Hardest part of Paradox games for me is in building up population. But I think Sweden's doing alright at it.

I'm noting that, as a European nation, you have to go out and grab colonies in habitable parts of Africa in a hurry if you're ever going to have supply beyond Liberia.

ffffffuuuuu So there Switzerland was, minding its own business. "Steady as she goes" said the Swiss, and much hot chocolate was made. Things were going so smoothly that I had the game in windowed mode while I was browsing the internet. We even reached Great Power status! Then Sardinia-Piedmont, tired of the Swiss lording their watches and cheese over the heads over the heads of the oppressed southerners, declared war. Jerks.

Oh Sardinia-Piedmont, you roguish rapscallions!

I picked the game up during the Christmas sale as well. I will return to this thread once I finally get the time to dive in... up, up and away!

Picked this up recently and have been playing as the Netherlands. I took back Belgium, solidified my position in SE Asia (with a couple wars of aggression to expand), own 80% of Africa, and have marched on Paris twice to convince the French to leave my stuff alone. It's 1895 and I'm looking to finish up my first game (of any Paradox title, actually), but ... the game is performing really poorly. It's really, really slow, so slow I don't think I can continue. Does anyone else get this chugging? My machine isn't top of the line anymore, and I recognize there's some serious number crunching behind the scenes, but this is ridiculous. I assume WWI is coming and I'll be involved, and I already struggle to move around the map and order troops around.

Like, regardless of your speed setting?

How much RAM, Staats? What OS? What kind of processor?

If I were wanting to have a go at this, would I be better off buying the complete Vic I on Steam, or waiting until the 2nd one goes on sale ?

Vicky 2 is a better system than Vicky 1, so I would not buy v1 at this time.

wordsmythe wrote:

Like, regardless of your speed setting?

I went back and checked, and no, it's usable at slower settings. Bouncing back and forth between speed 1-2 and paused works. I frankly think that is too slow a game.

Robear wrote:

How much RAM, Staats? What OS? What kind of processor?

2 gigs, Windows XP SP3 (or whatever's the latest), and some processor that was pretty good in 2008.

I installed the Age of Colonialism mod which supposedly addresses some of performance issues indirectly by reducing the size of standing armies late game and lowering the crazy-fast assimilation rate.

Robear wrote:

Vicky 2 is a better system than Vicky 1, so I would not buy v1 at this time.

Good call - I've found Vic 2 for £9 brand new on, so I shall take your recommendation and go with that.

I've read that Vicky2 was pretty buggy at launch - how are things looking now-a-days?

The late game performance issues are pretty well known, so you are not alone Staats. The patches have helped a bit and the next one promises to work on it more, so there is that.

Vicky2 actually had a pretty good launch. Aside from late-game performance, I haven't and don't think others have had any technical issues to speak of. Sure there are some gameplay imbalances and quirks, but those are things that will never go away for a system as complex as this one. Goes with the territory I'd say. Stuff like goods being overproduced worldwide by the late game and colonial assimilation happening way to quickly.

If you have a chance, try going to 3GB RAM. (shrug) It's a thought, it would be generally good for game performance.

Thoughts on why my armies are always yellow and never green? Do I need to spend more on national reserves? More infrastructure?

And how am I supposed to take a chunk out of anyone when they have so many huge allies? I got Sweden (now Scandinavia) and my then-sphere ally the Netherlands into the top 8, but I'm feeling a bit stuck now. Maybe time to just cash out and focus on building up. A little "me time" for the Norse?

Industry! Social and political reform! Tophats! This is the Victorian age!

This game begins in 1836 (as they all do) with the great Austrian Empire. Austria starts the game at #4, only behind the UK, France, and the Russian Empire. Those near or around us in the rankings include Prussia, the USA, the Ottoman Empire, and Spain.


I am not a history buff in general, and would not claim to have any more than a superficial knowledge of the era. Some historical perspective can’t hurt though, so here’s what makes Austria an interesting choice: As the games starts in 1836 the Austrian empire is composed of a diverse group of cultures and territories. The Austrian Empire has expanded and is about as big as it’s going to historically be. It’s an empire that has boomed and is about to be deflated, should history be allowed to take its natural course. To that I give a booming, saber-pointing “NAY” -the goal in my game is to keep it together. Some of these areas have been part of the Austrian Empire for over a hundred years, some are relatively “new acquisitions”. The goal is not to rule with an iron fist, but to be a benevolent dictator that allows each area to maintain its cultural heritage, while expanding to the southeast and avoiding the Major Conflict.


SPOILER: If you look at a map of Austria in 1836 and a map of Austria in 1936, the latter a lot smaller than the former. Why the big change? It was mostly due to a nasty little tiff of World War I, which falls smack dab into Victoria 2’s timeline. Will the Great War start in 1914 with the assassination of post-punk band Franz Ferdninand? Can we avoid WWI altogether? I have no idea, but my goal is to see if the Great War can be bypassed and the Austrians be allowed to maintain their glorious regime.

Here are my goals:

1. Keep my expansive and diverse population happy. The Austrian empire is quite the hodgepodge of regions and customs. With so many different groups of people and a focus on being a social simulator, I’m expecting some conflicts as cultures come to grips with being part of the Austrian Empire. Gotta keep those pops happy.


2. Expand toward the Ottoman Empire. There are a few reason for this, but the biggest is that Europe to the North and West of me is one big cluster that I’d rather not deal with. I’m going to let Prussia and France do their thing, and I don’t really want to get into dealing with Russia. That leaves the Ottomans, who start the game near and a little below me in rankings. They also start the game owing me a ton of money, so maybe I can leverage that later. Historically the Ottomans would be part of the Central Powers that fight alongside us during WWI, but we’re rewriting history here, and in this history the Ottoman Jerks are going to get infringed upon.

3. Develop Austria into an Industrial powerhouse. Industry is the name of the game in Victoria, so I want factories, more factories, and maybe some factories that actually create other, smaller factories. My main method for expanding my industrial capabilities will be by racing through the tech tree by making my population educated and happy. I’m not going to min/max my tree as I think culture is important too, but the focus will be on industry.

4. Since Austria seems to have money to throw around (and we’re not yet land-locked), I’d also like to play a bit with colonization.

A brief technical note: I’ll be playing vanilla Victoria 2 with no mods. I haven’t played enough of the game to find what some consider to be its flaws and foibles, and I don’t like playing with mods until I’ve experienced what the base game really has to offer. I might throw in some cosmetic mods along the way because I’m a sucker for that kind of thing, but all of the AI and economy will be as Paradox made it. So there.

I’ve already played a little bit in this game and got the ball rolling. In the next update we’ll review the budget, our pops, and how I’m going to get these factories going.