Victoria 2

Really looking forward to more! After I finish my current USA game, I will probably move on to play a European Power, so I am looking forward to reading your progress.

BTW, how many games of Vic2 have you played before embarking on this game?

Never a full round, I got pretty far along with Switzerland before getting distracted by some other shiny game. I've got about 10 hours in Vic2 with various false starts and general futzing around. Between Vic2, EUIII, and HoI3 I've never really gotten past a surface-level depth and I figured I would pick this game and really dig in. I'm excited to get into the meat of it.

A short update on the budget. Here's an early screen:

IMAGE(http://www.michaelhermes.com/Victoria2/4EarlyBudget.png)

Probably the most important number is in the bottom right, my projected daily balance. Fortunately for me, Austria starts cash-rich and with a very healthy budget. With only minimal time in, I can see I've got a lot of money to play with. Based on my goals, my first decision was to max out my Education slider. My income is still healthy even while dumping as much as a I can into get my pops educated. More education will produce more research, which means I can move through my tech tree faster.

To the left we have debt, of which I have zero. Even better, other countries owe me money. I wish there was a little more control when it came to handling loans, but it appears that the Ottoman Empire is in pretty deep with us, which I think is a good thing.

Moving up from there, we have some helpful pie charts regarding my lower, middle, and upper class. The teal wedges in the pie chart indicate what percentage of each class is making enough money that they are getting as much of their luxury needs met as they want. As you can see by my pie charts, the majority of my pops are fat, dumb (well, not so dumb) and happy. My middle class especially is making enough money that the vast majority of them can live a luxurious lifestyle. I'm okay with that for now, only because we're already in the black. I'd rather keep my pops happy at the moment than piss them off and make more money. I like having the options of taxing each class differently, but I won't I won't be futzing with the taxes just yet.

Other points of interest include my industrial subsidies, which are currently at zero. Once factories start to open, I can choose to subsidize them if they are losing money. This would be done in the interest of keeping workers employed as opposed to watching the factory close down and have a large population of unemployed and depressed citizens.

What the heck?! Flat taxes? Terrible. Soak the rich.

Soak them!

The middle class seems to be doing quite well for themselves (hovering around 97% getting their luxury needs), so I've pressed on them a little more. I'd like to keep the upper class happy for now - they seem to be critical for developing my economy, which brings me to my first point:

Factories play a big role in Victoria 2, and at the start of the game I have... none. In order to fix this, I’ll set my National Focus. This will spur my citizens to follow the path that I lead them towards, and in this case it will be toward Capitalists. Capitalists become investors in opportunities for factories, so if I want more factories I need more people to invest in them. I only have one national focus point to spend, and I can only spend it in one region. Since Vienna is my capital, I’ll be spending it there.

At the beginning of the game I have no Capitalists, but that changes relatively soon, and by July I have the beginnings of my first factory. Some investors are pooling resources for a winery in Osterreich, the region where I spent my National Focus point and where my capital resides. Slowly but surely they're acquiring the raw materials they need: iron, cement, and machine parts. When all is in readiness, the construction of the factory will begin. Things do not move quickly in this game.

IMAGE(http://www.michaelhermes.com/Victoria2/6FirstFactory.png)

Prussia has amassed 30,000 troops at my border. What’s up with that? Are they moving into Krakow? Looking at our Relations, it appears that we can’t get any friendlier - we have the maximum rating of 200, and an Alliance, so I guess I’ll pretend they’re not there for now. Maybe they’re looking into absorbing poor Krakow.

IMAGE(http://www.michaelhermes.com/Victoria2/5PoorKrakow.png)

A popup early on said that Gold was discovered in Karlovoc, which happens to be on the Ottoman border. Since we seem to have a surplus of cash, now’s the time to develop some stuff, so I started construction of a fort there, and moved 6,000 troops there from my central capital of Vienna. I also started construction on a fort in Venice. I have a feeling I'll be doing more defending on that side of the map. Speaking of developing, my first tech research was to develop railroads. Hopefully I'll have enough money to throw around to develop a solid infrastructure early.

Already in May of 1836, the occupying forces of Milan are running into resistance after an incident where a young boy harassed the local guard, who responded by punching him in the face. This caused a local incident, and in the spirit of keeping the people of the the region happy, the officer was reprimanded.

Two updates today, from a few years down the line in 1839. (As the game progresses I’ll probably zoom out in terms of detail and time frame, but I like laying a foundation of unnecessary minutia.)

My indirect method of prodding capitalists to invest in factories wasn’t moving as swiftly as I would have liked. Victoria 2 allows for different levels of government intervention with the economy, with the intent that a successful regime will follow the real-world model of moving toward a laissez-faire system (in the more civilized areas of the world). Since it’s early in the game, I decided that my current level of “Interventionism” was not getting the job done. I changed ruling parties which allowed for “State Capitalism”, which gave me the power to open my own factories, even if those factories would cost much more than they normally do. (An “Interventionist” party can only close and fund factories that are already open.) While looking at my economic policies I also glanced at my social policies. That didn't take long, because there are none. It's the 1800's after all. You can see my Safety is set to "None", my work day set to "Unlimited hours", and my Minimum Wage is set to "lol".

IMAGE(http://www.michaelhermes.com/Victoria2/9WhatPolicies.png)

Considering Austria is swimming in cash I figured the monetary penalty was a non-issue, though there was some harumphing and mustache-waggling by the general populace. The the few capitalists that were lazily building their winery got miffed and started building their own railroads instead. Should the my pops make a stink of this in the future, I’ll happily change back to a more progressive, hands-off economy, but by then I’ll have several factories built and craftsmen employed. Below you can see my list of options. When was the last time you saw the word “jingoism” in a game? (Bioshock-related scenarios notwithstanding.)

IMAGE(http://www.michaelhermes.com/Victoria2/8Factions.png)

I started factories in a few different states. Starting them all in the same area wouldn’t be as lucrative as spreading them out, as there are only so many factory workers to go around, and I’d like to get as much of my population migrated from a primarily agricultural economy to an industrial one. If I lose any territories they will likely be on the outskirts of my empire, so it’s worth noting that I’m building my factories and railroads more centrally, which will help minimize potential losses. As you can tell, I have a bright future as an actuary.

In the Polish front there have been some incidents of unrest and/or rebellion, but nothing too serious. When given the option, I’ve taken the “firm but yielding” option as opposed to other options of “let them do what they want” and “they’ll do what I say, dammit”.

Finally, I got a seemingly random event where I found that Kutch (had no idea where it was) decided to bar some Austrian travelers from their country just for the sake of being jerks. This gave me my first Casus Belli of the game, which basically means I have a reason to go to war. In this case, my specific goal is “Cut them down to size”, which means I need to put them in their place. Had the glorious Austrian regime allowed this slight to go unpunished, I would have looked weak in the eyes of the world and lost 5 Prestige. Austria is not weak. Austria will not be tampered with! Austria shall use her minimal navy to transport troops halfway around the world to avenge an insult from a tiny province near India!

IMAGE(http://www.michaelhermes.com/Victoria2/7KutchMoreLikeDouch.png)

What I've found in my games is that capitalists are pretty stupid at the beginning of the game about building factories. If you can get State Capitalism and "seed" some factories, the Capitalist AI seems to work much better later in the game. It's like they need a kick in the rear to get going. I've seen similar complaints about this on the Paradox forums. Once you've built "some" factories, you should be able to switch back to Interventionism. In my USA game, my ruling party for the past 50 or so years has been Laissez Faire, which means I don't worry about production beyond the odd National Focus here and there. My caps do a good job now; I'm third in Industry, rapidly catching up to France and should pass her within the next decade. No way to catch the damn Brits though unless something major happens to them.

yeah I'm definitely of the mind that I need to "kickstart" my economy. One thing I don't understand is the "Allow pops/factories to buy from stockpile" checkbox. Even when I do have it checked, it doesn't seem to help a whole lot. Example: my cement factory has a hefty coal requirement to keep running. Even though I have a bunch of coal stockpiled and have my box checked, the factory's supplies of coal frequently dip into the red. Can't figure that out.

I have that problem as well. I think (total supposition on my part) that your infrastructure has something to do with with shortages. Build more and better railroads and that seems to happen quite a bit less. Also, factory input techs will help as well. For second stage industries, output techs will make pre-requisite goods available downstream more quickly too.

I think.

But by buying from the stockpile I believe you get the goods at "cost", so they are cheaper (no tariffs involved). However, it makes building things (like armies, ships, forts, etc.) take longer (more demand for the resources). Again, this is based wholly on my experiences, so take that as you will. The economic portion of the game is pretty deep and very hard to understand how it all fits together, for me at least.

Haven't forgotten about this - my desktop is out of commission until I get my video card back from Sapphire, and this game is pokey as hell on my laptop. Even if no one's reading it, I have fun writing it.

Also, I forgot to post this over here. Details on the upcoming expansion!

Special E3 Announcement - just for you!
Ok, I have a bomb to drop, are you ready?
.
.
.
Really ready?
Here goes. The first expansion for VII is brewing in the Paradox office.
Ok, maybe you are not completely shocked.

The aim is to improve upon mainly the political and economical aspects of the game, with focus on the American Civil War era.

I'll list a few of the features here:
New starting point in 1861, allowing players to experience the US Civil War from the start.
Manufacture reasons to go to war with other countries, all in the name of the great game of power.
Civilize your country with various new reform paths to ultimately become equal to the western nations.
Invest in building infrastructure and factories in other countries to strengthen their ties to you.
Deeper political system with new national focus options and new types of reforms.
A new system of popular movements that can be appeased or suppressed, but if ignored, will become the revolutionaries of tomorrow.
Improved interface, with more information easily available and improving gameplay.

Let the praise/critique begin!

I hope there's still an option to start before 1861.

I think they mean an *added* start date. There's no reason to cut out all earlier starts.

Still playing, still updating - lots to catch up on since the last post. I’ve learned quite a bit about the war and combat systems and now we have more of a “war game” on our hands.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is an axiom we’ve all heard plenty of times - I’m not sure why I chose to ignore but, it it certainly took the game interesting places. I appear to have annoyed Russia something fierce. I was slightly amused to see that Russia went to war with the Ottomans, my planned enemy, but with Russia being one of the other great powers near me in rank and geography, I did not want to offer them too much support. Russia asked me for military access, meaning they could shuffle troops through Austria to get to the Ottomans. I politely declined. They asked again. I declined. They proceeded to ask at least six more times (I lost count, honestly), and each time they were rebuffed.

Fun fact: each time I refused I was (apparently) dinging our relationship with a -10 hit. All those refusals ended up with Russia and I in a tumultuous relationship somewhere below 0. Doh.

A year or so later, opportunity came a knockin: The Ottomans arrested one of my Austrian citizens, and I was given a Casus Belli to obtain one of their states. Serbia seemed to fit quite nicely into my empire, and therefore became my target. War was declared, and I called my numerous allies down like the Hammer of Europe onto the anvil of the Ottomans.

IMAGE(http://www.michaelhermes.com/Victoria2/10OttomanJerks.png)

When going to war I had the option of “Calling my Allies”, which meant that every nation I had struck up an alliance with would be obligated to send aid and troops. My allies were numerous, but not all of them were willing to comply with my request. I made a note of those that did not honor our alliance. Jerks.

Troops poured into the region, and many battles were fought. The Ottomans had many more troops than I thought, and apparently really, really wanted to keep Serbia. Not sure how war was actually resolved, I camped out the bulk of my forces in Serbia while my allies stormed further south. Watching the “Occupation” bar change from red to green in each territory seemed like a good thing, but once it filled the territories were still part of the Ottoman empire. On the map each are was hatched with my colors and theirs, so I assumed more needed to be done.

IMAGE(http://www.michaelhermes.com/Victoria2/11WarWereDeclared.png)

Sure enough, my “War score” was relatively unchanged, and apparently was only affected by battles I was actually taking part in. The more battles I won, the more war score points I got, closer to my goal (which was 20, if I remember correctly). South the great Austrians marched, only to be rebuffed by the startlingly large number of Ottomans. I had assumed that my Allies had been softening them up, but apparently assumed incorrectly.

After a while I started getting peace treaties from some of the Ottoman’s few allies. Belgium wants peace? Fine, I have no beef with them. England wants peace, sure why no-

Oh. I guess I should have read that popup more closely. England, being the largest power in the alliance, was negotiating for all countries involved, not just themselves. I inadvertently accepted a White Peace (everyone picks up their toys and goes home) and ended the war. My troops sheepishly marched back north across the border, the military was de-mobilized, and my attention turned back to my factories. The Ottomans and I now really hate each other.

In the post-war world I decided that the entire empire needed to be covered in railroads. So I started building them. Everywhere. It gave me a good reason to use the Infrastructure Map Mode, one that I don’t click on too often. Below you can see the bird’s nest of existing railroads in the center of the Austrian empire, while around it the cross-hatched areas are railroads in development. Territories in blue are country bumpkins who have not yet seen the lumbering, steam-spewing iron beasts that are trains. These updates were only available because one of the first techs I researched was Experimental Railroads.

IMAGE(http://www.michaelhermes.com/Victoria2/13InfrastructureMapMode.png)

One of the second techs I researched was Cultural, in the hopes of gaining another National Focus point. Alas, though I my point cap is now slightly higher I do not have the population yet that is required so said point is unclaimed. The cultural tech made a ton of “random cultural discoveries” available, so while my opponents have been improving their factories the Austrians have been increasing their philosophical skills and making discoveries that increase their Plurality. (Which I still only kind of understand, and will probably write about in the future.)

As this update closes in the year of 1846, Prussia, one my closest allies, has declared war on France and all the countries associated with France. As an ally, I am obligated to mobilize my troops once again and send them West, into the belly of Europe. Below you can see the bevy of calls made to Prussia’s allies. Austria seems beset with danger, with simmering anger in the East, outright hatred in the South, and new enemies to be made in the West.

IMAGE(http://www.michaelhermes.com/Victoria2/12PrussiaCallsAllies.png)

Michael wrote:
Haven't forgotten about this - my desktop is out of commission until I get my video card back from Sapphire, and this game is pokey as hell on my laptop. Even if no one's reading it, I have fun writing it. ;)
I'm reading, so you at least have an audience of one Sorry to hear about your video card. I'm looking forward to the next Austrian update.

Also, good news on the update; some of the things mentioned sound pretty cool.

Nightmare wrote:
Michael wrote:
Haven't forgotten about this - my desktop is out of commission until I get my video card back from Sapphire, and this game is pokey as hell on my laptop. Even if no one's reading it, I have fun writing it. ;)
I'm reading, so you at least have an audience of one Sorry to hear about your video card. I'm looking forward to the next Austrian update.

Also, good news on the update; some of the things mentioned sound pretty cool.

Thanks, I appreciated your comments earlier in the thread. I've been reading more AARs in the Paradox Forums - there are some really good ones.

Michael wrote:
Nightmare wrote:
Michael wrote:
Haven't forgotten about this - my desktop is out of commission until I get my video card back from Sapphire, and this game is pokey as hell on my laptop. Even if no one's reading it, I have fun writing it. ;)
I'm reading, so you at least have an audience of one Sorry to hear about your video card. I'm looking forward to the next Austrian update.

Also, good news on the update; some of the things mentioned sound pretty cool.

Thanks, I appreciated your comments earlier in the thread. I've been reading more AARs in the Paradox Forums - there are some really good ones.

Indeed there are. There was one about Siam (this) getting to be #3 by 1936 that inspired me to get off my butt and figure this game out.

Poking through the mods forum yielded the Vic2 Advisor, which is a neat little program. It analyzes your save game file and points out any "duh" type things that you might be missing. (Having a mobilized military while not at war, unused National Focus points, etc.) Kinda handy, especially to someone that might be new to the game and doesn't have someone looking over their shoulder correcting obvious mistakes.

edit: the board's tags don't seem to like the url. Here it is in plain text:

http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...(a.k.a.-Lint)

That's a good find. I downloaded it and will try it out in my next game.

Michael wrote:
Poking through the mods forum yielded the Vic2 Advisor, which is a neat little program. It analyzes your save game file and points out any "duh" type things that you might be missing. (Having a mobilized military while not at war, unused National Focus points, etc.) Kinda handy, especially to someone that might be new to the game and doesn't have someone looking over their shoulder correcting obvious mistakes.

edit: the board's tags don't seem to like the url. Here it is in plain text:

http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...(a.k.a.-Lint)

This is a great tool.

Despite the slowness, I started a game with Sweden on my laptop. It's a fun, non-combative country to play. I've gotten the government completely liberalized and have been riding an 80% literacy rate most of the game. Things are humming right along in the early 1850s.

Best of all, I'm now starting to understand how the Sphere of Influence system works. Sweden starts just outside Great Power status, and once I was in I was able to get Denmark in my sphere. Now I'm going piecemeal after some of Prussia's other countries. There's also an option for unifying Scandinavia, so that should be a fun goal.

Thank you for writing this up Michael. You inspired me to get the Paradox pack during the steam sale and now I'm trying to make Japan into the world power it was meant to be, only a year in but already rolling up Korea.

Michael wrote:
Despite the slowness, I started a game with Sweden on my laptop. It's a fun, non-combative country to play. I've gotten the government completely liberalized and have been riding an 80% literacy rate most of the game. Things are humming right along in the early 1850s.

Best of all, I'm now starting to understand how the Sphere of Influence system works. Sweden starts just outside Great Power status, and once I was in I was able to get Denmark in my sphere. Now I'm going piecemeal after some of Prussia's other countries. There's also an option for unifying Scandinavia, so that should be a fun goal. :D

It is!

1.4 beta patch released (on 8\25).
Long patch notes, too long to post here.

Ooo, nice and meaty. I especially like:

  • Industrial score is now based on profitability and people working in it.
  • Added new entry to the outliner, about the provinces being occupied by rebels.
  • Any_greater_power effect now affects all great powers, not just the first.
  • Clergy promotion changes

Quick question from a casual (ie not very good) player.

How the heck do I....

1. Get investors to put money into anything but railway infrastructure ? I've tried setting national focus, reducing taxes on the rich, but all they want to do is build flipping railways, so I end up trying to wait until the entire country is at one level before researching the next one. And I'd really like them to invest in some factories to save me doing it.

2. Change my mode of government - I'm currently stuck at presidential dictatorship at the moment.

Sorry, some info - I'm playing as Argentina, it's 1885 and South America is pretty much as was, apart from Uruguay having loads of revolutions and the French creating a little colony for themselves by nipping the top off Chile around the Potosi area, which is full of silver.

On the good side, I'm proving to be both frugal and benevolant...taxes are not high, we're making loads of money and have a fully funded education system, so literacy is at a whopping 45%.

Edit - having looked at that screenshot of Michael's Austria, I'd like to amend 'making loads of money' to 'making loads of money for a South American country' - I'm at +49 per month. I would like to add that I've moved our ranking from 59th at the start to 36th now, though. And we got railways all the way down to the Cape

I think from my limited experience that the investors really really want to raise infrastructure before investing in factories. But that's not based on a whole lot of experience.

It is with great reluctance that I must declare that my Austria game save file is gone forever. It was lost in the Summer of Computer Woes, though my computer is now awesome and healthy and fast.

I think for my next escapades I'm going to start a game with Sweden and outline the process for unifying Scandinavia. Or educating and mobilizing Russia. Or China.

Dave - Are you currently subsidizing unprofitable factories? If I've interpreted what's happened to me in the past correctly, capitalists like building factories when they know they can run their business and be profitable. If you are helping some factories limp along try biting the bullet and letting them close - when capitalists see workers and raw goods they may be more liable to start up a new one. Otherwise, yes, national focus and reduced upper class taxes should be doing it. Do you have a lot of your own resources to be used as inputs or are you importing a lot?

As for the government, it's not really a switch you can just throw. If you enact certain policies than over time the opportunity to change to a different type will present itself. The manual says it's based on the Political Reform choices you make.

I *will* get back to this game.

Finished my Argentina game with a final rank of 22nd..the final decade saw a massive industrial expansion powered by our investors (finally), although I never did get away from an enlightened presidential dictatorship. In political terms the world seemed very much like it did 100 years previously, as neither Italy nor Germany unified - the only significant differences seemed to be that the USA was dismembering Mexico and China had taken much of SE Asia.

Time for another game, I think.

Some quick bullet points from the A House Divided Developer Diaries:

- New Goods Detail screen (check update for link to picture)
- Capitalists get a "big boost" and can build railroads and factories for much cheaper than the government
- Railroads will be 10x more expensive and are affected by terrain (it's more expensive and requires more tech to build railroads through mountains than over easy terrain)
- Manufacturing casus belli!