Among economic modifiers, in vanilla, two are exceptionally significant: the "Sound Toll" and the "Bosphorus Toll". Both increase "global trade income", by 20% and 15%. The modifier's effects are explained in the thread's third post — despite the name, they don't concern trade income so much as production income. In short, "global trade income", which has been renamed to "trade worth" in the mod, alters goods prices
— which in turn affects production value and the trade contribution a province makes to its affiliated centre of trade.
All in all, at 100% production efficiency, the "Sound Toll" would be equivalent to a nation wide
20% increase to production income
— without considering the quite tangible and beneficial effects on centres of trade. As long as you control the Danish straits, and sit two notches shy of full free trade, those cozy province you acquired in Bangladesh and Hawaii will earn you 20% and bits more.
In "Omnium Contra Omnes", the control of the straits has concrete consequences, but ones that are local
. Very simply, they:
- increase yearly merchants by 0.65
- increase "trade worth" in their respective regions
- offer the possibility to levy "tolls" — as in inflation-free ducats
Provided they are owned by the controller of the strait
, the "Sound Toll" will increase the following provinces "trade worth", by 18%. They're twenty seven:
The "Bosphorus Toll", on the other hand, will increase these provinces "trade worth" by 25%. They're sixteen:
Requirements were also changed, it isn't sufficient
to own the straits anymore — it's also required to "control" them, that is occupy them. A prolonged occupation will negate the positive effects of the two tolls.
The Ottoman Empire conquers Constantinople, it holds its historical provinces and qualifies for the "Bosphorus Toll". The +0.65 merchants won't be particularly enticing to them, but the +25% trade worth in every province bordering the Black Sea will likely increase their appetite for conquest in the area. While interests in Crimea and the Caucasus were previously unjustified, unless one was short in manpower and naval force limits, there now is a compelling economic argument to challenge other players expansion in the area.
Sweden or Denmark's expansion in the Baltic was not particularly profitable in vanilla — provinces therein are mostly poor, both in tax base and goods value. Trade goods prices were heavily changed in the mod, and the +18% trade worth could be an encouraging argument to gain naval supplies, fur and copper monopolies, in the Baltic.
Scandinavian tax bases are strikingly low, compared to their Northern European neighbours. This aspect in the game is reflected by historical, demographic, facts. As a consequence though, the Swedes and Danes, who had their modest say in European history, have few tools to play with and raise armies, navies, send merchants and spies. I am quoting: "Frederik II and the Protestant Cause", by Lockart: "[…] the blossoming of the Baltic trade in the mid sixteenth-century and the introduction of a more onerous customs scheme transformed the Sound dues into the single most important cash revenue of the Oldenburg dynasty."
The mod uses an historical argument to re-balance northern dynamics: controlling the Kattegat strait will now provide inflation-free ducats, as census does — and alienate neighbours, traders. Any country, featuring two merchants or more in a centre of trade located in the Baltic region, and requiring to pass through the strait to trade in these spots, will have to occasionally cough up a few ducats that will go to the strait controller.
In practical terms:
The English player trades in Lubeck, she has placed two merchants there. Denmark controls the Oresund and retains a mercantilist attitude. The English player may receive an event proposing that she either coughs up a few ducats (relative to their income), or lose two merchants in Lubeck. When the English pays up, the Dane will receive an event granting ducats — according to their trade efficiency.
The "Sound" controller has the option to spare his allies or friends from paying dues: trade agreements are necessary. Good relations will otherwise slow down the rate at which tolls are collected. These items, on the other hand, will have the opposite effect, increasing the frequency of tolls collections for trading nations:
- high reliance on trade income
- large presence in Baltic centres of trade, as in placed merchants
- mercantilist position of the Sound controller
- trade embargo by the Sound controller
- war with the Sound controller
The "collection" event has a base frequency of six years. The collecting one can expect, at the very least
, twenty five ducats. Dues go up as the Sound controller's trade efficiency increases, so that their relevance lingers on during the middle game. It goes without saying but the more traders in Lubeck, Novgorod and other possible Baltic centres of trade, the more ducats the Sound controller will cash in. If trade in the Baltic were to cease, centres of trade shrinking, the toll would cease to be levied.
The "Free Shipping Through the Sound" mission grants the Hansa a positive modifier increasing census taxes in Lubeck. When the Hanseatic league benefits from "free trade" through the Sound, the Sound controller can't collect tolls.