Am I the only one who thinks somebody should start posting updates again?
Am I the only one who thinks somebody should start posting updates again?
Sorry this is so long, but I believe I have some very relevant questions.
Although I've been playing Paradox games for a while, I never really got off the ground with V1, so POP's, RGO's etc. are all new to me. I do read the manual and strategy guide and search their contents for answers. I did review the "necromancy" rule, and I'm pretty sure this meets the criteria. Plus it's only been a few days.
I started a Japan game last night before I discovered this fine AAR. I never came close to the pop tax revenue numbers that Singleton shows on his first screens and was pretty much reduced to drastically lowering expenses to keep my budget from exploding.
I am playing with a post-release registered version of the game. I'm also playing a slower game, trying to reign in my budget problems before moving forward to go for Civilized status.
At this point I'm in mid-July 1837, so I could be so early that the problems I'm outlining will straighten out. I haven't discovered Gold.
My budget is running a deficit of about 15-20 a day. I have 3335 in funds. Currently, in July of 1837 my tax revenue from the Poor is 32 (Singleton's is 61) from the Middle 1.3 (Singleton's is 5.3) and from the Rich 5.8 (Singleton's is 18.31). My taxes for the same three groups (post switch to Liberal) are 50%, 19%, and 29% respectively (Singleton's are 50%, 50%, 50%). As mentioned above, I didn't get any "Gold discovery" event, but I'm betting that had to do with how laborer POP's evolved. I'll put a NF on them when I replay.
I switched to Liberal to give some tax relief because my artisans were not getting anywhere close to their needs met and I was afraid I was going to lose them all to demotion. Even before, with the Shogunate party, where I couldn't go below 50% I don't think I saw numbers approaching Singleton's.
Then, I noticed another very curious thing: my product needs for the pops were through the roof. Plus, I was exporting lots of these very needed Living Needs resources. I tried to set up some manual trades to alleviate some of the pressure (setting the "buy from stockpile option to on) but that didn't seem to do much good either. Besides, it blew up my budget even when I set the max stockpile very low for those specific goods.
So the low revenue and the POPs not getting even their Living needs met are my two biggest problems. I can post some screenshots for critique by the thread, but I didn't think that was probably appropriate.
I'd love the thread followers' reaction to some of the challenges I've outlined above. It'll help me and others as well. After reading this AAR, I plan to replay Japan because I too think it's a great learning experience.
The gold event will happen early in any Japan game, I don't believe there's anything you can do to help or hinder it. You just got unlucky, in my Japan game it fired within a couple of weeks.
My experience is that you shouldn't be so sensitive about your POPs at game start. I set taxes to a flat 75%, and tarrifs to 25%, until I had both the gold event and freedom of trade. With those, I was swimming in so much money that I could drop taxes back to 50% and tarrifs to 0%. The short term heavy taxes didn't seem to make any long term difference.
As for spending, I haven't seen any point to changing from 50% defence funding. You get enough soldier POP growth as is, and it's a very costly part of your expenses. I've actually had much higher clergy growth with 75% funding than I did with 100%. This may be because the extra money made them promote to other things, or maybe because I civilised. Despite all the stories of setting bureacracy funding to 0% to limit blowout, I found that 100% was a slow and steady growth rate as an unciv, followed by cutbacks after the Meiji decision.
Finally, don't rush into massive build programmes till you know what your situation is. The trade AI is going to spend a bit of money getting things how it wants, any you can afford to wait a few months till things steady. Then start building modern army and navy units as you can afford them.
Also: I've seen no reason to go anything other than Court Faction. The majority of your population is conservative, and as things stand in 1.1 the policies are better than those of the liberals.
That was very helpful, Capt. Kiwi. It gives me a lot of ideas on restarting my game. I'm just now (after an embarrassingly long time with Paradox games) starting to appreciate AAR's (some of them) as learning tools. It'll probably re-energize my interest in all of my Paradox games. I finally got my registrations in as well. Thanks again. I may have more specific questions on your comments once I'm underway. Obviously, the gold event would've changed everything.
sdrga, like you I was having a lot of difficulties at first to make ends meet. The first thing, therefore you have to research if 'Freedom of Trade' which will give your economy a tremendous boost. As Kiwi said the goldmine event helped a lot, without the gold I would not have been able to pull of the China trick as early as I did.
My artisans were a bit like yours btw, never content. Most of the rebellions in my Japan originated with them.
Good luck on your quest and have fun!
'Any system which aims at taking freedom by open force to other peoples will only make that freedom hated and prevent its triumph. '
- Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord
I ended up (just to see what would happen) by switching to FoT and then switching back to the other, half researched, technology. You lose all the accumulated research. I wouldn't expect it to carry over to the new research, but having it totally disappear, (I could see it gradually degenerating if left untouched) doesn't seem realistic, either.
Thanks for the encouragement.
I'm happy to help Japan is a great way to get into the game, but it still takes a lot of work. My first game went ok, but only because I've had years of Vicky 1 and this AAR to get some idea of how things would go. AARs really can be invaluable to pick up tips and tricks, or to get some idea of how more experienced players work towards goals.
Other than that, it just takes some try and try again effort till you hit on what works for you. My first time through, I annexed Korea in one go (as in this AAR) leaving me short on prestige. I didn't get a prestige event, so I had to go off and humiliate SE Asian minors like Singleton Mosby was going to. In a second play through (probably after 1.2) I'll instead try Cutting Down to Size + Humiliating Korea the first time, then once my infamy is low enough Annex. Maybe it will work, maybe not, but it's worth a try. So stick at it, you'll get a feel for how things play out, and more importantly what makes for a fun campaign.
This AAR has been a great introduction to the game. Good luck with your next project, whatever it may be!
Great AAR, as every time.
Looking forward for the next one
I'm trying to follow this AAR (once again, see above) loosely to play Japan. I restarted my game (as I indicated I would, above) and indeed I got the gold event about three months in. I'm the kind of player that thinks it's kind of "gamey" to use as a key part of my strategy a crystal ball that tells me I'll discover gold, but I gave myself a break. Japan is hard enough for a new player of Victoria 2.
I'm rethinking my single-minded pursuit of the trophy of "Civilized" status. I'm still pursuing it, but it's obvious that the Prestige issue (needed for the Meiji restoration decision) is going to require a lot of activity on the world stage... just Cultural Techs aren't going to get the job done. I'm going to try to turn China into an ally and friend instead of taking Singleton's path in that regard.
I have no experience with writing AAR's, but would it be appropriate to use this AAR to proceed forward with my "replay?" I'm still planning on taking a lot of pages from Singleton's strategy, except for the China part. It may make the AAR even more valuable.
I'd be interested in what people thought about the China strategy. I don't necessarily want to know any "spoiler" events that I might fire since I want to avoid the "crystal ball effect."
The big problem with making friends with China is the inevitable war with the UK. If you're allied you'll get called in, and rejecting the call costs prestige. Accepting it... yeah, well it's probably doable to get a white peace out of the UK if you've really focussed on a navy, but it wouldn't be easy. Not a great situation for a beginner game.
After you're a great power (ie civilised) you should be fine to get China in your sphere and ally. China should have top mil score and you second or third, and the UK is less willing to take on those odds. Till then, you're probably better staying out of China and sticking to Korea/SE Asia.
Hmmm... I went ahead before I had a chance to consider your post... I guess I'll keep working on that navy!
I haven't tried it myself, but the theory would be that if you have a big enough navy to deny the UK freedom of movement the massive sledgehammer that is China won't have to spread out or keep turning around. If the UK can't land at a dozen places along the coast, China might even sweep through Burma, or at least stalemate. I'll be interested to hear how it goes, or if other ways of handling it are better.
You might even luck out and get no trouble from the UK till you're a GP yourself. It's worth a try, it may even be easy. It's hard to judge how the AI will handle human interference sometimes.
In historical real-life, if you substitute "XXX Country or Alliance" for "AI" in the quoted sentence of yours above, many a diplomat over most of history probably made very similar remarks.