Victoria 2

Michael, I really like reading your first person economy stories.

Thanks, I wish I had more time to play and write. The Paradox forums are full of really good, better-written-than-mine AARs.

Great writeups Michael, I've enjoyed many Paradox games, so Victoria II was on my list, but your posts (and the Siam AAR someone linked to) have sprung it up to the top of my list. Fired it up tonight for the first time and I'm giving Bavaria a try.

Hmm, what are some things that you can spend money on in this game, I'm too rich (I know, a good problem to have). I am surrounded by the SOI of Prussia and Austria (who I am in) neither of whom I can fight, so war is out of the question. I have already developed so many factories that I don't have enough Craftsmen for them, my Education and Administrative sliders are full, the military is high enough for me, my taxes are at the minimum, and all my provinces have full railroads.

At this point I am slowly building forts, but other than that I can't think of anything worthwhile to do, I really think that at this point I am just population constrained. I researched Medicine for the little bit of help that will give me, and now I am just waiting for my NF to keep spitting out Craftsmen. I think I've done pretty much all I can, but wanted to double check.

Hey... after my sprint towards Industrialization, along with being the first to get all the Romanticism Inventions (60 prestige) I was just recently bumped up to a Greater Power. Now it's time to find a country in the SOI of Austria (I allied with Prussia after upgrading and leaving Austria's sphere, Austria wasn't interested) but who isn't allied to them. I can work on removing them from the Sphere and then finally get some fighting done.

So at this point I feel like I'm having a very odd game (way different than any game of EU I've every played). It's 1873 and I haven't been in a war yet. In fact as far as I can tell there hasn't been a war of any significant size in Europe since the start of the game. I am anxious to start a war, but I'm surrounded to the North and East by Prussia, to the South and East by Austria, and to the West by France. Any small powers in the are are either in my SOI or in one of the other three. I'll I can do is watch and wait for one of these powers to be in a weak position and I'll hit them, but it hasn't happened yet. I have a very, very slow growing population at a million people, and that's the main thing that makes it hard to compete. Austria has 43 million people, and Prussia has 17 million. In fact it seems to me that I am mostly a great power as a fluke. I have tons of prestige, 411 puts me at the third highest in the globe, but that's mostly due to research leads, plus 115 from throwing money at the Nile expedition.

I'm not too shabby as an Industrial power though, my 182 Industrial Score makes me the 12 highest in the globe, but that's still less than a third as much as Prussia has, which makes it unclear if I can even catch up to my weakest competitor.

I'm definitely an Advanced country though, no one above me in Industrial score has less than twice my population (the 11th, and my Sphere Partner Wurrtenburg) and most have 8 million or more people.

I am still looking for things to throw my money at. Right now I am fully funding the Administration, Education, and Military, and I have lowered my lower, middle, and upper class taxes to 10, 12, and 9% respectively, and my tariffs are at 7%. And actually due to my Administrative efficiency I'm pulling in less than half of those requested taxes from everyone. More than half of each of my POPs are getting the Luxury goods that they like.

With these low taxes I'm still making a profit of 244$ a day, and after decades of a similar situation I have $700k stashed away, but I'm not sure what I can do with it other than fund another few hundred Nile expeditions.

I'm actually experiencing an annoyance right now, and I'm wondering if it's a bug. I have been working on training 5 Guards units for months, but it hasn't started them because they don't have any of the ten liquor they each need to start. They have gotten the food, guns, luxury clothes, etc, the only thing they need is the liquor. The weird part is that I have a factory in the same Region I am training these troops in that makes 66 liquor a day. Looking at the trade screen I have 75 liquor available to me for purchasing for my stockpile. I have turned off automatic stockpiling for Liquor and made a purchase order for 80 cases. I am still getting no liquor, so I'm not able to modernize my army.

You could always start building railways, though if it's anything like my Argentina game that is one of the few things that capitalists will queue up to stick their money into.

I'm fully railroaded too. I actually had to fund three-quarters of my level 1 railroads myself. But at this point due to my low taxes and tariffs all of my Capitalists are fat cats with full luxury needs and thousands of dollars in the National Bank. The instant I research a new railroad every one of my provinces is building them.

So ever since I've become a Great Power I have acted in the only way I knew how. Stealing SOIs, I started out stealing Wurttenburg and Baden from Austria, and then as Austria started getting more and more powerful, and Prussia weaker and weaker (relative to each other and me anyways) I turned on them and stole Saxony and one of the Hesse's.

My hope was to goad Prussia into a war with me. In such a war Prussia may not call in their allies, at first, and my Sphere would come behind me. Combined we had the military size to threaten Austria or defeat Prussia. In preparation for this war I turned my considerable research strength (optimal number of clergy, many clerks, 95% literacy rating, lots of plurality, and all of the research boosting techs) towards modernizing my army.

My great power status was always weak however. My population couldn't hold up a large Industry or Military. My reign was all about technology, and when the Prestige points from those techs flagged as I completed them, so did my combined rating.

I was finally revoked Great Power status, and Austria declared war on me that day. My allies, no longer as indebted to me as before, declined to join me. A month later Prussia also decided to take their share of my scraps.

At this point I almost quit in disgust to try a country that wouldn't go through 40 years of impossible expansion, but I decided to try this out. After all my opponents would be stretching their supply line, and I would probably be able to apply more pressure at any particular point. In addition there was a good chance that I had a technological advantage over them, and I still had military access from my old SoI countries, I could use those as havens to rest and recuperate. Lets try this.

The Battle of Nuremberg will long be remembered by the Bavarians. If we win this war it will be remembered as the turning point. If we lose it will be remembered as a great stand for the Bavarian people, the point at which the Austrians paid in endless tides of blood for our homeland.
Austrian Initial Army: 181976
Austrian Casualties: 115626
Austrian Survivors: 66350
Bavarian Initial Army: 85892
Bavarian Casualties: 15323
Bavarian Survivors: 70569

It started out as a medium sized siege. My armies, recovering in Wurrtenburg after the initial fighting, poured out and fought them, sending them fleeing. My stronger forces gave chase and left to break another, smaller, siege. My weaker forces stayed to recover longer in friendly ground. Soon Austrian reinforcements came to retake the soil, however the Austrian General knew nothing of attack, especially on the rough terrain and against a province with three levels of forts. The Bavarian commander, on the other hand, was a master of defense, with a bonus of 4. This is where I would make my stand.

Things went poorly for the Austrians, and they began bringing in reinforcements, both from their homeland and splitting off units of the armies sieging every one of my provinces (except the two the Prussians were sieging). As my two other armies finished their work I sped them back to Nuremberg to help with my great stand. We cut down the Austrian interlopers by the thousand, but they arrived by the tens of thousand. Every time victory was in our grasp another contingent of 30,000 troops was marched witlessly into the slaughterhouse. Finally as each armies struggled with unmatched fatigue, the Austrians sent their entire force sieging Munich, the capital and province closest to falling, to crush the Bavarian insurgents.
Knowing that by relieving the capital from hundreds of miles away the Bavarians had won a greater victory than any more fighting could accomplish, they conceded defeat and fell back into Wurtenburg. With another defeat like that we will be able to take the fighting to Austrian soil.

Bavaria lost their last battle. It was another colossal defeat, fittingly enough at Nuremberg. We fought like lions, mowing down 6, 7, 8 of the Austrian menace for every one of our glorious heroes that fell. Unfortunately it was becoming increasingly clear that the Austrians could afford to pay such a price, at least in the short term.

There would be no long term. Halfway through the battle the General received the news that spelled Bavaria's doom. Wurtenburg had been forced once again into Austria's sphere of influence, and the path was closed. They were trapped, there would be no fade into the mountains, no fight another day. Only today. The death of Bavaria's sons, and with them Bavaria herself.

Ah, I was looking at the wrong map. The Austrians did indeed finish their siege in Munich before advancing, not to mention in much of the rest of my country.

I sued for peace with the Prussians, giving them the province they wanted. After one brutal battle I learned that whatever technological advantage I had over Austria doesn't exist with Prussia. I simply can't handle both countries at once, and Prussia is asking for less than Austria does. If I can turn this war around and grab Bohemia from Austria my country will probably gather the momentum needed to revisit the Prussian incident. And if not the Bavaria is done as a Nation. Austria will steal a full half of my country, and there won't be any going back from that.

Stand tall, my friends - the beer aficionadoes of the world are coming to your aid !

New Dev Diary for A House Divided. This expansion is looking better and better all the time. I can't wait for it!

Oh man. Another tasty treat to throw on the pile.

It seems like the DD on AHD are winding down as we approach the supposed Jan 24th release date. As they say in the post from the 16th, all the big stuff has been shown and it's mostly odds and ends now.

One thing they did post in this latest update that I really like, however, is the ability to invest in your capitalist's projects. One of the more frustrating parts of the game is waiting for the capitalists to get off their butts and start commissioning things, and then on top of they at they take so darn long. This will really help speed things up.

Michael wrote:

It seems like the DD on AHD are winding down as we approach the supposed Jan 24th release date. As they say in the post from the 16th, all the big stuff has been shown and it's mostly odds and ends now.

One thing they did post in this latest update that I really like, however, is the ability to invest in your capitalist's projects. One of the more frustrating parts of the game is waiting for the capitalists to get off their butts and start commissioning things, and then on top of they at they take so darn long. This will really help speed things up.

Oh god yes. In my Argentina game, all they would fund were railways - and then railway upgrades every time I researched them. By the time the game finished you could get on a luxury train from Buenos Aires to Patagonia, and just watch the rest of the rubbish industry from your window.

Oh god yes. In my Argentina game, all they would fund were railways - and then railway upgrades every time I researched them. By the time the game finished you could get on a luxury train from Buenos Aires to Patagonia, and just watch the rest of the rubbish industry from your window.

I'm astounded as always by the realism.

Dangit. I was just thinking about this at work today - the original date was tomorrow, IIRC. Oh well. The Steam version will probably get an extra delay as usual anyway.

A House Divided is out. Steam version is supposedly out around 1PM Eastern.

Paradox Interactive wrote:


  • 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 with 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

I know what I'm firing up tonight after work!

Edit: Supposedly there is a day 0 patch for this, bringing the version to 2.1. It is not clear whether Steam will have the 2.1 patch (GG did not for a while, evidently, but does as of about 5AM Eastern (assuming the timezones on the Paradox forums are translating correctly ); could not find info about other DDL sites), so check for updates after launching for the first time.

I didn't see an update for it on GG this morning. Have not checked recently, though.

You may have gotten the update already, apparently they went live with 2.0 but had intended to go live with 2.1 (such that they didn't even prepare patch notes for 2.1). 2.1 was rolled out shortly after 2.0 went live so if you downloaded it this morning Eastern time, you probably already have 2.1.

The base game is today's daily deal on Steam. Everything but the House Divided expansion is on sale.

Victoria II
Victoria (I) complete

Oh lordy.

Well, AHD is kind of on sale - mine was only $17.

I bought it while I was at work via the Android app - I came home to my desktop (which had been running with Steam open), sat down, hit play, and it was already updated to 2.1

The future!

Unfortunately I have to go out tonight and won't be able to give this a proper shakedown until the weekend. I am very happy that they integrated the same map updates (smooth zooming/panning, zoom-to-cursor) that they put into For the Motherland.

Michael - I think you got a discount because you bought Old Vic, which won't work with AHD due to changes in the UI.

I played a little tonight but not enough to really see a ton of the changes. I like the new map modes though and the ability to set NF from various places in the UI is a nice touch. The economy appears to settle down quite a bit quicker than I remember. also like some of the touches they've made to building factories. You can help out the capitalists by partially investing without having to build everything yourself.

Still early though, but I like what I see.

Haha - didn't know that. All I can say is thank goodness. Anytime I installed Vic2 I was always following up with a fan patch to "disable" Old Vic.

If they managed to get the economy to settle quicker then that will definitely be a nice touch.

Here's the launch trailer. I love these games, but they never make for compelling video:

“The Russian colossus exercised a spell on Europe. On the chessboard of military planning, Russia’s size and weight of numbers represented the largest piece. Notwithstanding, her shoddy performance in the war against Japan, thought of the Russian “steam roller” gave comfort and encouragement to Britain; dread of the Slav at their backs haunted the Germans.

Although the defects of the Russian army were notorious, all the Russian winter not the Russian Army, had turned Napolean back from Moscow, although it had been defated on its own soil by the French and British in the Cremea, although the Turks in 1877 had outfought it at the siege of Plevna and only succumbed later to overwhelming numbers, although the Japanese had outfought it at Manchuria, a myth of invincibility prevailed.”

Barbara Tuchman - The Guns of August

The above quote from The Guns of August (a terrific WWI piece that everyone should read) sets the stage for Russia in the age of this game: untapped potential. Russia starts the game as a Great Power and #3 in the world - this is largely based on population and prestige.

Some of the struggles I'll face:
Factories: 0. Industrial rating: 0. Infrastructure: 0. Literacy: a woeful 10%.

The positive side:
Russia’s military rating is second only to China, whose high ranking is even more one-dimensional than Russia’s - China is elevated to a high position based on manpower alone. I have little to fear in the way of full-scale invasion, and every other nation starts the game with at least a cordial attitude.

The goals:
Educate my people and turn Russia into an industrial powerhouse. Expand relations with Asia and keep a civil front with Europe, avoiding any wars until absolutely necessary.

Here's the western borders at the start of the game. The Russian Empire extends all the way to the Pacific, a vast land of trees and... not much else.


To get this party started, I've already played through the first year. I stabilized the budget through the first rocky period, and this is what I ended up with going into year 2:


My highest priority is education - all else takes a back seat while I get my people creating research points and moving the Russian Empire up the technological scale. I had two National Focus points at the beginning of the game, and used them to promote Clergy (to help with education) and capitalists (to help get the industrial capabilities going).

Speaker of capitalists, I started the game with no factories and nothing in queue to be built. With my current form of government I have little say in what goes on, but I would like to highlight one of the additions to the game that came with A House Divided:


There are two projects that have started, and though I don't have the option now I will be able to invest in my country's factories in the future.

Below is a summary of where we are at the end of year one. Literacy is up a bit, and the budget is still in flux. I've started the process of rolling Norway and some Asian countries into my sphere of influence. Despite starting the game as a great power, Russia has no one in its SOI.


I look forward to some future AARs.