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Thread: An Empire Under the Sun -- An England Gameplay Tutorial AAR

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    Major Rhadok's Avatar
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    An Empire Under the Sun -- An England Gameplay Tutorial AAR

    Welcome all of you to this After Action Report! In this AAR I will provide sufficient information about the game mechanics and all questions related to the game. It is designed to help new players start a new game up at the basic level. Bit by bit more advanced topics are introduced. By the end of this tutorial, a new player can pick up any country in Europe and will know how he can play it and direct it the way he wants it to go. I will introduce new gamers to the concepts of the game, help them understand what they are doing and when to act but more importantly, when to be patient.

    This AAR will be played in Heir to the Throne 4.1b (latest beta patch here - you must have registered) as England starting on 14th October 1399 (game start date) and will end probably around 1650 - 1700 as most features will be discussed by then. Its planned that England will set sail for two destinations: a colonial trade empire and a more war orientated empire state. As these two objectives are incompatible, the story will be divided into two sections when the time is ripe. Someone else will then take over my save game and continue from there.

    Our objectives are simple:
    1. Form Great Britain and lose continental possessions;
    2. Establish colonies in the New World;
    3. Create a CoT in London;
    4. Become reformed;
    5. Establish colonies in India;
    6. Dominate the world trade;
    7. Hold naval supremacy

    For the split-off section the focus will be on:
    • Holy Roman Empire
    • Continental Europe Expansion
    • Attrition
    • Fighting a Major
    • Blockading and its consequences

    The purpose of this AAR is that new players are to be well introduced into the game, not to tell them how to cheat. If necessary 'gamey exploits' will be explained and the player will be told how to utilize them, in this AAR however no such things will occur.

    It is important to know that every EU3 game plays differently and many things are random. You, the player, will get lots of different events, dynasty changes, succession wars and occasionally a lot of bad luck compared to my game. Thats why its good to emphasize that this AAR will not tell you exactly when to do what, but is more what you can do if it happens. I assume that you wont get the same events as I will have as I play through the game at the same day or even same century. However every event I have will be explained in detail so you will know how to handle it yourself when in that situation. Of course you may post and ask or even create a thread yourself on the board, we will be delighted to help.


    So, without further ado, lets go to the first chapter of our journey!


    Table of Contents


    --------------------------paused section------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter one: Basics and message settings
    Chapter two: The Interface
    Chapter three: Diplomacy
    Chapter four: The Coat of Arms menu. Part One.
    Overview, Court and Technology
    Chapter five: The Coat of Arms menu. Part Two. Inflation and Monthly Income
    Chapter six: Coat of Arms menu. Part Three. Brief Military, Policies, Advisors, Tradition, Missions and Decisions

    --------------------------unpaused section------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter seven: Your First Gameplay Day! Assign Generals, Reorganize the Navy, Set Up Trade and Command Your Troops
    Chapter eight: Prepare for War. Casus Belli, A change of Mission, Your First Fight

    Special! Intermission. Trade and Production -- Made by naggy
    Last edited by Rhadok; 19-07-2010 at 13:24.

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  3. #3
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    Will do. The servers were down when posting this. Thnx for noticing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhadok View Post

    Our objections are simple:
    You mean objectives.

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    Major Rhadok's Avatar
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    Yes I did. Thanks . Mods have been sent a message to delete this and another thread.

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    Lt. General anweRU's Avatar
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    I'll be following, and throwing in my 2 cents if needed :-).

    I recommend NOT giving up your continental possessions. England can actually defeat France easily in HTTT, as opposed to In Nomine. Further, don't forget that more coastal provinces under your rule = larger naval force limit = better tariff efficiency, so you can hold off the navy size doubling NI as well as viceroys in favor of several better NIs. You'll eventually take those two, but can do it late in the game.

    As a reminder, any coastal province not connected to your capital but on the same continent will increase force limit by 1/4 of what it would do if it were connected. Overseas coastal provinces will increase it by 1/20th of that value.

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    We discussed that approach in this thread: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...=485060&page=2 .

    Mainly, the focus will first be how to colonize, then later taking on France. (though i think Naggy will do that part).
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    Quote Originally Posted by A_Dane View Post
    We discussed that approach in this thread: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...=485060&page=2 .
    I posted on that thread a long time ago ;-). If this is going to be a guide for new players though, we should point out important game play details and pros & cons of each approach in this AAR :-).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhadok View Post
    --------------------------paused section--------------------------
    Chapter one: basics and message settings
    Chapter two: the interface
    Chapter three: diplomatic actions
    Chapter three: the Coat of Arms menu
    Chapter four: advisors and tradition


    --------------------------unpaused section--------------------------
    Chapter five: you're very first gameplay day
    Um...you have 2 chapter threes, and it's 'your very first gameplay day'.

    Minor nitpicks, I know.

  10. #10
    Major Rhadok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naggy View Post
    Um...you have 2 chapter threes, and it's 'your very first gameplay day'.

    Minor nitpicks, I know.
    Corrected, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by anweRU View Post
    I'll be following, and throwing in my 2 cents if needed :-).

    I recommend NOT giving up your continental possessions. England can actually defeat France easily in HTTT, as opposed to In Nomine. Further, don't forget that more coastal provinces under your rule = larger naval force limit = better tariff efficiency, so you can hold off the navy size doubling NI as well as viceroys in favor of several better NIs. You'll eventually take those two, but can do it late in the game.

    As a reminder, any coastal province not connected to your capital but on the same continent will increase force limit by 1/4 of what it would do if it were connected. Overseas coastal provinces will increase it by 1/20th of that value.
    Thank you for the info but I'd like to pursue a new players' guide to EU3. Its possible to hold on to those provinces but for the essence for the AAR, we will intend to lose them so the focus is directed on colonization. After the split, the one writing that can made it a goal to 'obtain previous possessions.'

    Quote Originally Posted by Zitanier View Post
    You mean objectives.
    Yes, also corrected.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by anweRU View Post
    I posted on that thread a long time ago ;-). If this is going to be a guide for new players though, we should point out important game play details and pros & cons of each approach in this AAR :-).
    Ofcourse, but i'm pretty sure his main objective is to just lay out the basics of the game. If you look in the thread, you'll see i proposed doing both options, leaving France behind, and conqueroring France from start, but he felt it was better to leave France behind (i think), and turn back for a war when the basics have been lain out, later .
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    Chapter One:

    The basics and message settings


    So you have purchased Europa Universalis 3: Complete and Heir to the Throne (henceforth HTł)! Congratulations, a new gaming era will commence! Install both games and apply the latest beta patch. ---you need to register EU3 to have access to the tech forum where you can download beta patches--- Once that is done its time to fire the game up!

    The first time the game starts, it needs to make a new map cache which takes some time. If you don't delete these files -what you must do when you want to use a mod- the game should be starting faster the next time.

    ---Oh, do want to make screenshots too? It's quite easy. Just press F11 for a screenshot of what you're viewing right now, F12 for a screenshot of the entire world and shift F12 for your country on the world including vassals. They can be found in your EU3\Screenshots folder.---

    Now you will see the openings screen which should look like this:


    Notice the checksum in the bottom left corner. It should say HYTM. If you got anything else, ask around here in the forum. Make sure you set the options the way you want them to. One thing to note is that you set your Auto Save options on a yearly interval. This way every year an auto save will be created as a fail save. After this is settled, click on Single Player.

    ---You will probably see Tutorial there as well. I don't encourage newcomers to do this one though as it is simply a bit bugged. They are doable but you will be left with tons of questions the tutorial fails to answer. Stick with this AAR and you will come a long way!---

    Now you will see the following screen:


    Well not exactly the same. Find England on the map and click it once so it will be selected. Make sure the bookmark to the left is selected The Grand Campaign. Now click on options at the bottom right. Set your options the same as mine.
    Here is some info about the options if you want to configure them for a later game.

    Advisors - Normal. You can choose between normal, event and historic. Ignore by event, that is made for modders. Historic means you only can get historic advisors which really limits gameplay. If you do want to play with historic advisors, please note that outside of Western Europe there are very few historic advisors available. For now, leave it on normal.
    Leaders - Normal. Same as above. Historic leaders are limiting your game experience and should only be used for small campaigns, like you want to fight Napoleon as the Tzar. Historic Leaders prevent you from entering into royal marriages ---hence they're historic--- hiring generals, admirals, conquistadors, and explorers, and changing government. Also, if you form a nation early ---like Great Britain--- you'll get noleader and nogovernment, and if you play a nation that was annexed in our timeline, you have an immortal monarch. So for now, leave it on normal.
    Colonists - Normal. Here you can select either free or normal. To make this game as real as possible, leave it on normal.
    Merchants - Normal. Same as above. Leave it on normal.
    Missionaries - Normal. Again, same as above. Leave it on normal.
    Inflation - Normal. Inflation is one of the most difficult things to grasp for new comers. Turning that off would reduce your learning experience. Leave it on normal.
    Size of colonists - Normal. Here you can select the size of a colonist send to a colonizable province. You can chose between: 200, 300, 400 and normal. Normal is 100 colonists. Again we leave it on normal.
    Diffic ... - Normal. As you probably have thought, it stands for difficulty. Different options are available: very easy, easy, normal, hard and very hard. Those settings give you bonuses on the very easy to easy settings, and start to give the AI certain bonuses on the hard and very hard levels. For now, leave it at normal.
    Ai aggressiveness - Normal. This option influences the AI attitude towards war. It can be set on low, normal and high. Contrary to popular believe, setting this option to low makes the game harder as countries have less difficulty keeping themselves together. We play with normal aggressiveness.
    Spread of land provinces - 50 years. Tweak with this option if you want to delay colonization by other nations. As you soon will found out, discoveries of land provinces 'spread' to you automatically, here you can say how much time is needed before that happens. We leave it at the normal 50 years.
    Spread of see provinces - 50 years/. Same as above but with sea provinces. Set it to 50 years.
    Spies - Normal. If you want to have spies that can do missions for free, set this option to free. We don't want that, so leave it on normal.
    Lucky nations - none. This option was implemented to make sure you have some large nations in the mid and late game to compete with. You can choose historical, random and none. We will start this game with none selected.


    Now the options are set, time to press PLAY.



    Take note that the game starts paused. You are free to explore the map this way until you unpause with either spacebar or clicking on the date at the above interface.

    Ready for your first game? I bet you think you are! Well, you are not -yet-. There are a couple of things we need to care of before we can unpause the game. Don't worry, all will be well in about 15 minutes.

    We need to start with optimizing the message settings. The world you are about to be a part of has literary hundreds of events every month. We don't need to know about all of them, but events related to our nation are important. So lets set that up. Go to the menu:



    And click on message settings.


    Now you see a whole list of events we need to pour through. This needs to be done once, as this is your first game. The game remembers these settings in all your future games. So take a look to these screens and implement them. It will only take a few minutes. You can find them attached to a .rar file on the bottom of this post.

    ---Alternatively, you can download this .rar (linky link). There you'll find a .txt file which needs to be placed in your c:\program files\Paradox Interactive\Europa Universalis 3 folder. If asked to overwrite, press yes. It is recommended that you make a copy of the file that you will overwrite, just in case.---

    Phew, glad we got those out of the way! Time to move on to the next chapter: the Interface
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Rhadok; 14-07-2010 at 17:41.

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    Chapter two:

    The Interface


    It's time to tell how the game presents its information to you. Here you see the default start screen with one exception to your start screen: you don't have the list in the upper right corner enabled. We will get to that bit in a moment. Glance this screen and whenever you are ready, we will go into detail.



    I bet you'd like to know what you are looking at exactly! Let's start in the upper left corner and work our way down.



    In the top left you see your nations' flag, also known as a Coat of Arms. Don't click on it yet! We will discuss that later.

    Now from left to right:
    ---If you hold your mouse over each statistic, a tooltip will appear. Use this to get a grip on your finances and gain information about all statistics. This works for every mechanic in the game. If you don't understand something, hold your mouse above it for a couple of seconds.----
    • Manpower. This statistic indicates your manpower reserve. See it as how many people are ready to be recruited in your army or can be sent as reinforcements. This number will go up every month and will rarely run out. Even when it does, it will replenish itself without you having to do anything. It is calculated according to your provinces, slider settings and triggered modifiers, like a crusade or being the Holy Roman Emperor.
    • Stability. Stability is easily one of the most important things you must keep track of. It represents civil unrest in your country where +3 is the best you can have and -3 the very worst. Empires rise and fall because their stability is decreasing. Note that it won't decrease over time, but are one time events. You however gain stability slowly over time. It influences revolt risk in your provinces, interests rates, legitimacy, number of merchants, merchants compete chance, merchants trade efficiency, monthly tax income, yearly tax census income, moral of your troops (I need confirmation of that!) and much much more. It is recommended that it should be as high as possible. How you do that? We'll come to that when we are discussing research.
    • Money. This is your treasury. Your friend and your foe at the same time. Here is how it works: every new year (1st of January) you will accumulate a census tax. This is the amount of money get to spend in a year. However, don't go spilling immediately! Every month you will lose money. These costs are upkeep for you army, research costs and if applicable, interests costs and war subsidies. The game needs you to balance these expenses so that you at least run break-even at the end of the year. ---''A gamey exploit'': your monthly costs in December will only be subtracted after you gained your census tax at the start of the new year. So basically you need to run positive until November and spend the remeaning money in December. Some consider it a exploit, I do not. We will make use of this tactic throughout the game as it will keep your finances in the green.---
    • Prestige. Prestige indicates how prestigious your country is in comparison to other nations. It goes from +100 to -100. In HTł prestige plays a important role and it is best to keep this as high as possible, this can be difficult to achieve as it has a yearly decay. Over time your prestige will fall. When it reaches any number below zero, it will go up to 0 again and stay there if you don't intervene. So how do you get prestigious? The following increases your prestige: get into a royal marriage, win a land battle, win a sea battle, occasionally when you successfully deploy merchants, philosophers advisors, triggered modifiers ---like taking part in a Crusade, be the Papal Controller and being Defender of the Faith---, province decisions and nation decisions. All-in-all prestige affects everything from combat to trade, thus, large losses of prestige can greatly disrupt a nation. Prestige is also gained/lost based on the outcome of peace settlements. With high prestige your diplomatic actions will go smoother and your chances of getting in a personal union or inheritance of another country are greatly higher.
    • Infamy. Infamy represents your reputation among the world, where zero is the best and anything higher than 10 is bad. With a high infamy your trade will be badly damaged and the chance of getting alliances are reduced. Even worse, every country has its own limit, when you break that limit, other countries will get a casus belli ---henceforth CB--- to destroy you because you are the spawn of the devil. Just like in the real world, getting rid of your reputation takes time, a long time. Your ruler will set the yearly decrease, but this can be enhanced by hiring diplomats. You get infamy points for annexing other countries and demanding other demands than why you started the war over. We will be playing a peaceful game, so it is imperative that we keep infamy as low as possible! As we need to form Great Britain, some infamy points are unavoidable to get.
    • Legitimacy. This score represents your legitimacy of your rule by your people. 100 points is the highest and zero the lowest. It effects your National Revolt Risk, stability costs modifier, increases your upper infamy limit, increases your tolerance of your own faith and that of others. When your legitimacy is considered to be low ---under 33 points---, you run the risk of getting your throne claimed by another country or get a pretender revolt upon your monarch death. All-in-all, very bad things! We need to keep our legitimacy as high as possible throughout the game. When we switch to a republic, this statistic will cease to exist for us.

    So what do we see next?
    • Merchants. These guys will be our best friend. They can be send out to Centers of Trade ---henceforth: CoTs--- throughout the world to make money.
    • Colonists. We will be needing those guys to start our colonies in the New World. As a Catholic nation we gain a colonist every four years by default. This is increased by having a special National Idea, owning CoT's and certain decisions.
    • Diplomats. Whenever we need to ask someone to be our ally or simply ask for permission to march through his lands, we use up one diplomat. They are also required when we want to create a general. We won't be running out of them as they replenish very fast.
    • Missionaries. Luckily we won't be really needing them for about a hundred years. They are used to act out a religious decision and to convert a province to our state religion. As we will convert our faith to the Reformed one, we will be needing them as our peasants won't switch lightly.
    • Spies. They are used for covert operations. From time to time we will use them but they are not that very useful.
    • Magistrates. Magistrates made their first appearance in HTł. They are deemed important as we need them to act out important province decisions. At first we will reclaim them slowly, but in time we will gain them fast.

    So, let's go a bit further to the right shall we?



    Here we see the current date and the speed what the game is running. Suffice to say that the game starts as early as 14th October 1399 and goes all the way up to 1st of January 1821. What's even better: you can start at any time between them. Notice the universal 'pause' sign ||. If you click on that, the game will start running at its slowest speed. That speed can be turned up by clicking on it again and again until it goes at its fastest: 5 bars. You can easily manage the game speed by pressing spacebar for instant pause and the + and - on your numerical section of your keyboard.

    Now when we go to the right, you will not see this yet.



    It's easy to open this summary. Simply click on the upper right icon and a similar list will appear. We will use this summary to keep track of almost everything in the game: number of merchants at any CoT, all our armies, all our navies, all our ongoing sieges, all our besieged cities, every naval battle, every land battle and our colonies size. Convenient isn't it? We can even list all our provinces here, but we won't do that as it makes the list a bit too long. ---If you prefer some extra data or less, you can customize the list by right clicking the icon in the upper right corner.---

    Let's see what that long list of icons is right under the summary.



    If you click on the arrow, a window will appear with every province listed in the game. Here you can search for provinces you can't find on the map.

    By clicking on the crown beneath the arrow, we will be directed to London. This is a shortcut directly to your capital.

    The weird looking crown is a shortcut to our national focus province. Now it is the same as our capital, we will change that however over time. We will come to that later.

    If you click on the book icon, a nice window will appear with a brief summary of our national history. As we haven't even begun to play, it will say almost nothing yet. It can be a fun read but it isn't beneficial for our gameplay.

    You might recognize the following icon if you've ever been to Rome. It is the Coat of Arms of the Holy See. Here you can find the current Papal Controller, your influence with the pope and the chance of England getting a cardinal appointed. We will go deeper with this when it pops up in our game.

    The eagle is the sign of the Holy Roman Empire ---henceforth: HRE---. By clicking on it you will see all the members of the HRE, all the electors and the nation who hold the title of Holy Roman Emperor---also HRE, watch the context wherein it is written---. The current Holy Roman Emperor has feature called Imperial Authority. Here you can see how many points he has. Furthermore take a look to the decisions in the right corner of that screen. The Emperor can enact them. If he really wants to, he can make all the nations in the HRE be absorbed into one big badass nation called The Holy Roman Empire. This is something we need to keep track of.

    Then you will find the main menu, which we've already discussed.

    Now here comes an interesting one. Below the menu you will find our second best friend next to the merchants, the ledger. All the info we will need can be found in this section. Go ahead and click it. Go through the pages and just be in awe with the amount of information. Living in the 21th century sure beats the administration back in 1399 .

    Now, let's take a look to the different map modes available.

    • Terrain map mode. This is the mode where we are in now. It emphasizes on showing the terrain. I prefer playing in this map mode all the time. Others don't. One unique aspect of this map mode is that it shows you the percentages of the terrain, either land or sea. This will explained when going to war.
    • The political map mode. This is a favorite map mode throughout the forum. It shows you every country in its own unique color. If you have difficulty seeing where your borders end, I recommend this map mode. Try it now and familiar yourself with the different colors of the world.
    • Religious map mode. If you want to see the various religions of the game, press this map mode and it will show you where every faith is. It will also show you if the current state religion of a nation coincide with the religion of the province. We will use this feature when the Reformation hits. Try it out now. Notice that we are Catholic.
    • Imperial map mode. The Holy Roman Empire is always gaining and losing territory. With this map mode, you can easily see who are part of the empire, who are not and who the Electors are.
    • Trade map mode. In this map mode you see the various trade goods produced by a province. Furthermore you can see where they conduct their trade and whether or not they are part of a trade league. When enabling this map mode you will notice that we are part of the Hansa trade league. That's okay for now.
    • Diplomatic map mode. By clicking on this icon, the world turns into grey with some shades of blue and green. When you click on any country, the colors represent other nations attitude towards them. So, make you sure you click on England and you will see Portugal bright up. That's because we have an alliance with them. Now, click on France and you will see different colors on Scotland. That's because Scotland is allied with France.
    • Region map mode. Some missions require you to conquer a specific region. The mission won't always say that it's about a region. For example, we as England can get the mission 'Colonize the Antilles', there is no province called 'Antilles'. So then we must switch to region map mode to locate a province in the Antilles region. This map mode is not used very often.
    • Culture map mode. Here you can the various cultures. As we want to conquer and form GB, culture is not much of an issue. Ignore this map mode for now.
    • Sphere of Influence ---henceforth: SoI--- map mode. This shows you whoever is in our SoI or someone else's. You can put a nation under your SoI if you want to limit every other countries interactions with them. If they do interfere, you get a free casus belli on them to declare war. To put a nation under your SoI, you must pay prestige points. Small nations require 10 points and bigger nations 20. Not every country can be put under your SoI as they may have one of their own. They must also be smaller and weaker than you, and must be near an owned province.
    • Revolt Risk map mode. Every province has its own revolt risk percentage. In the past you had to click every province individually to see their revolt risk percentage, now, with this map mode you can see it in a glance. If a province turns red, it has a high change of being a revolter. Send some troops there to squash them!
    • Colonial map mode. Here it's possible to see where you can colonize as colonizing requires a certain distance to be covered. It was simply not possible to colonize New Zealand in the 1500's. If you enable this map mode and go to the oceans, you will notice big red arrows. Those arrows are called winds of trade or trade winds. They influence the speed your ships can sail when crossing the ocean.

    Ok we are almost done, just not quite yet. There is something I haven't shown you. Remember you going through the messages? There you could click on four different icons about how the information was to be displayed. One of these icons was called 'display in the log'. So I'm going to show you the log.



    Simply press on the + icon and voilŕ, there it is! The log. Now it is empty, but when we will start our game, it will fill itself with information.

    Let's conclude this chapter. Now we will move on to chapter three: Diplomacy.
    Don't unpause just yet, hold on a bit longer.
    Last edited by Rhadok; 17-07-2010 at 21:28.

  14. #14
    Major TonyJoe's Avatar
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    Very comprehensive. Thanks for all the info.

  15. #15
    In Hiding dinofs's Avatar
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    This is a great idea, and it's very informative. I'm sure that more than a few people will be helped greatly by this AAR.
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  16. #16
    Field Marshal A_Dane's Avatar
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    Nice to see it's going
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  17. #17
    Lt. General Mico94's Avatar
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    very nice,
    but AFAIK the narrowminded slider doesn't increase the number of colonists you get,
    it affects colonial growth & colonist cost (+ other stuff) tho
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  18. #18
    Field Marshal sprites's Avatar
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    that will benice for the new players
    no more unfinished IN AAR's

  19. #19
    Banned Iwanow's Avatar
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    I suppose it is good for new players. Will you continue? Like you would do: How to fight in war : Tutorial ?

  20. #20
    Captain Javaslinger's Avatar
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    I'll be following closely. This is perfect for me.

    However, I warn you with this much detail you may grow bored with it sooner than later and it will whither on the vine.

    I hope not!!

    Keep up the great work.

    Javasligner

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