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Thread: Last Tango in 1.3 - An Argentine AAR

  1. #21
    First Lieutenant Vaya con Queso's Avatar
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    Ouch. That's really all I have to say about that. A "Chile First" strategy seems to be almost essential for any aspiring South American empire.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

  2. #22
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    This is bringing back painful memories of my first two Victoria 2 games (both also as Argentina). I concentrated entirely on getting good industry techs, with forays into other branches for faster teching and more efficiency. I may have researched some military techs, but I have a sneaking suspicion I ignored them completely. That worked pretty well until I became a GP and one of my spherees got into war with France.

    I threw many, many brigades against a small French expeditionary force, but our Napoleonic-era musket infantry were met with machine guns and poison gas. From that point on I've followed the rule that I must research a military tech for every civilian tech I get.

    Your update is also a good reminder of why I love learning AARs. Things are on a knife-edge and it could go either way.

    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentIII
    I fed troops into Santiago against what I thought (still think) were conscripts, now back up to 7500 men.
    Conscripts have the same stats as regular soldiers, they just reinforce more slowly and cost more to support. Speaking of which, it's a bit gamey and depends on you being able to hold the line in the interim, but to reinforce them more quickly you can demobilise and re-mobilise. Of course, the new brigades start at low morale, but they'll be at full strength.
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  3. #23
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Watch the terrain; I think that's having more of an effect on you than the tech level differences (which could also be playing a role). The battle you entered at the end of the update looks like you might be in for some trouble in that battle too.
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  4. #24
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    Looks bad, I feel for you since I've done these kind of bone headed plays too. Underestimating your enemy ranks right up there in this game with not looking at the Diplomatic screen before you start a war and finding out that your enemy has friendly relations with three GPs who all come to their defense! :-)
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  5. #25
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter Seven: How Will it End?

    Vaya con Queso Yeah, that's pretty much what I said. Chile first is the way to go for Argentina or Peru, certainly, and the rest will have to deal with Chile before long. However, I've seen Chile, Ecuador and Peru up in the GP rankings, even pretty late in the game.

    Dewirix Yeah, tech makes a huge difference, and it's tough to know you're behind until it's too late. Good to know on conscripts, I'd always treated them as irregulars with day time jobs.

    Avindian You're right, but unfortunately the terrain works better for my enemies than it does for me.

    brycef It's usually pretty tough to underestimate someone with three brigades when you yourself go to eleven.

    Previously on "Last Tango" - an "invisible army bug" in the game turned a cakewalk, which was meant to start with the defense of Talca, into a thrilling slugfest. Argentina was in the midst of fighting Chile's Professional Army in a desperate battle in Chillan. On December 6, I achieve a victory of sorts.



    I lost 5700 men, to Chile's 4300 losses, but I hope my next win will be better. Here you can see the current status of the war. The two provinces Chile took from me are worth 3.3 total, less than any one I have taken. I've been winning small battles, but losing big ones, so I have a well-deserved negative in battle score. My overall score of fifty is surprisingly close to what I need, though Chile is in the process of recapturing their capitol.



    A few things to note in the image. First, the ACW is going well for the Union, I hope. A CSA win almost always uses up a second GP slot, sometimes forever (I've seen the CSA finish the game in 2nd place). Also, I think that the Dutch might be one of the "lucky" nations, i.e. one which constantly starts wars. Finally, take a look at Chile's numbers! (Above the "Peace Deal" 9/72/47) No prestige, but their 72 industry swamps my 5. Chile is still ranked 13 in military score, a reminder how much industry counts for, I think. Most importantly, however, if I win this war, my industry score should jump. Chile has three states, the capitol, the state I want and one in the inhospitable reaches of South America. I might add 25 points to my industrial score if I win the war. At Christmas I get an unpleasant surprise: the "invisible army bug" strikes again! My navy is bringing the rest of my army home, three cavalry brigades. One from Zulu arrived, and I march them through an unoccupied province. The instant they arrive they are caught. Well, it's either that "invisible army bug" again, or else enemy troops hidden by the fog of war are allowed to reappear in any contiguous province. Obviously another bug. I tell you, one the most important numbers in Vicky2 is the mandatory 10 days of fighting, these guys do not come out of the fight in good shape.



    It wasn't my fault! In February I lose Santiago, but kill another 3000 newly recruited troops in Cauquenes. Overall in this war I kill 12,000-15,000 Chilean troops just as they finish being trained. That's like becoming a flying ace shooting planes on the ground (it's also a reason to occupy the enemy provinces, but don't tell me I said that). In March I take back San Rafael province. I then defend Talca from the 9000 Chilean conscripts who had reconquered Santiago.



    It was a quick win, and I killed 3000, losing 2000. I occupy Santiago and move to combine my forces and follow the conscripts. Fortunately, I have several individual armies, some with artillery, some without. So one of the faster armies beats the conscripts to the next battle, and I am technically defending again in Chillan.



    I kill 1400 and lose 800, and we all head south to do it again. Chile's professional army is away in Bariloche occupying another worthless province of mine. The AI hasn't read my AAR, either. In late April, I win the battle of Temuco, killing another 2400 conscripts (2000 remain), while losing only 400. We head south again, and once again my quicker armies make me the defender. In this next screenshot you can see three things. The Chilean conscript army is not long for this world, my Prestige research is paying off, and Chile's professional army is back on the menu, boys!



    Chile's only remaining troops head for Santiago, which I am re-occupying, and all the men I have who are battle worthy head for what will probably be the decisive fight. Meanwhile, I pile up Prestige, and move to Rank #17.



    This is the battle I meant to have at the start of the war. I am defending in mountains with a +2 Defense general. Chile attacks with a +3 Attack general, who compensates for the terrain, but I have far more troops. Perhaps the AAR should have consisted of a shot of this battle and a note saying "then I beat Chile in a war". Hey, look who's Rank #16!



    I kill 3000 and lose 2300, and Chile retreats south. I hope that this will look very much like the string of wins against the conscripts. The battle in Talca has me defending again, and dug in! Mid-battle, my elections begin. More importantly, my remaining troops from Johore have arrived: 6000 fresh cavalry ride through Santiago. I have no troops outside the Chilean combat zone. I had to send the transports well north, because Chile has a real navy.



    I win before the cavalry arrive, killing 1500, losing 1100, so we all head south to do it again. I fight the Chilean professional army on open plains, but what matters in the image below is what have I got in my pocket?



    I kill 3400 and lose 1800, but the 2000 survivors surrender. All that's left is to spread my troops out, bump up the game speed, and wait for the reward to drop into my hands. Kuplach!



    This war was like the real ACW and the USA's bits of WW2 - lots of massive screw ups early on led to buckling down and getting serious and prosecuting the war with more efficiency. I guess I'm lucky I cannot be replaced. My brilliant victory brings us to the 25 year mark. Next chapter I'll review my progress so far, and take a brief look at the rest of the world.
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  6. #26
    Major brycef's Avatar
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    Great job! That was a tough war to fight. It also gives me great thrills to win ones that start out badly.
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  7. #27
    First Lieutenant Vaya con Queso's Avatar
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    Whoo! That was a close one. Glad to see you live to fight another day.

    Another warning: do not attack Brazil if they are in the sphere of/ allied to France or the UK. You might think you can get away with it, but they will blockade your entire coast and land 40k deathstacks and ruin your day (unless you have a lot of ironclads).

    And, yes, keep an eye on Ecuador, too. Especially if you plan to take territory from Peru; in my Argentina game they annexed half of Peru and as of now (late 1880s) they have 3.5 million population (a little more than twice mine), 47 brigades (12 more than me), and are the #7 great power.

  8. #28
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentIII View Post
    A few things to note in the image. First, the ACW is going well for the Union, I hope. A CSA win almost always uses up a second GP slot, sometimes forever (I've seen the CSA finish the game in 2nd place). Also, I think that the Dutch might be one of the "lucky" nations, i.e. one which constantly starts wars.
    The two things you don't want to see as an aspiring GP: China or Japan civilising, and the South surviving the ACW. If all three of those things happen together you can easily see all of them in the top eight.

    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentIII View Post
    Finally, take a look at Chile's numbers! (Above the "Peace Deal" 9/72/47) No prestige, but their 72 industry swamps my 5. Chile is still ranked 13 in military score, a reminder how much industry counts for, I think. Most importantly, however, if I win this war, my industry score should jump. Chile has three states, the capitol, the state I want and one in the inhospitable reaches of South America. I might add 25 points to my industrial score if I win the war.
    Industry score doesn't count towards military score. I suspect Chile's got a lot of soldier POPs, which is why its score is so high. Fortunately, you'll inherit a lot of these when you take Los Rios.

    Well done on winning the war. It was a close one, but now you should be set for dominating the region.
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  9. #29
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter Eight: That Could Have Gone ... Better

    brycef Thanks! Yes, it's nice when a plan comes together, eventually.

    Vaya con Queso All the true Democracies down here can become powerhouses. Hope to grab more reforms and become a Pop magnet myself, but that is slow going.

    Dewirix Very true about Japan and China. I thought military factories had a multiplier effect like Tech does? I read old materials and may have remembered it wrong.

    It's nearly 25 years into the game, so let's look around at my "empire", the world, and what I've done so far.

    I started off grabbing Zulu because in my Haiti game that led to taking Oranje and later Transvaal. Which worked very well. As a weaker power there's only so much conquering you can do. Here, I am convinced that it helped my being sphered by the UK, which I'm happy with. I then grabbed Uraguay, hmm. It makes sense in the abstract to grab the Plantineans I can, but as Dewrix said right off, probably not worth the 20BB. With CBs I took a three provinces from Bolivia, and while the battles were sloppy, I'm not too upset about that aspect of the game. Two things I haven't talked much about bear mentioning. I made small payments to Bolivia in two Brazillian wars, perhaps helping it force a WP on Brazil (which finally did get la Paz). I built clergy up to 2% in almost every state. Literacy grows slowly even with 2% clergy, but it's tough to keep an NF in place all the way to 4%. As we know, I killed my Bureaucracy. I still don't know how I managed that. It was probably taxes and high tarrifs. I grabbed Johore, and after a long, painful fight against Chile, took Los Rios. I successfully raced to Democracy.

    In retrospect, I should have grabbed Johore instead of Zulu. Johore is money in the bank, and also provides a land border with the UK. I could have then grabbed Zulu or another unciv, and forget Uraguay's 40k population, even if we are related. Also, I would not race to Democracy again. I'm used to HM's Government, where the election of one party doesn't deprive me of the power I need at times. As Haiti, Democracy came late, when my economy was up and running. Now I'll be struggling to keep State Capitalism for as long as I can, since I cannnot swap back and forth as needed. The prospect of having invented Automobile and waiting a decade before I get a factory is already annoying me. Forget Barrels. The NFs for specific industries are not that effective, and if I turn to LF while my industry is weak it may stay weak forever. I need to learn when the immigration pace quickens, and work to Democratize around that time. I notice that Chile has massive population compared to me. I had 10,000 unemployed in Los Rios at one point, and hardly 40,000 craftsmen in all my other states combined. I'm guessing that Chile has more than just Democracy going for it. I have only one social reform and the bare minimum in political reforms. That's around 4% immigration boost, and Chile could have 25% for all I know. Hmm. That means that if I try to stay conservative/reactionary as long as possible (through decisions in elections which manipulate my whole population), I might slow down the reforms which would make me a Pop magnet. I recall in my Haiti game I had every reform under the sun before I finally became a Democracy when I allowed other parties. I'll have to consider that. Do I restrict the vote to rich liberals, like they do in NYC, or do I let all the conservative poor vote, too?

    As for my battles, ah my battles. I sit at my computer thinking "people are watching me play, and I look like an idiot!" Still, I must say that I learned far more about what I did wrong from the screenshots than I could ever have remembered from playing. In my defense, I've played many larger nations, and I just get used to having a few 3k armies to spare to occupy territory. My advice is to kill the enemy - fighting defensive battles if at all possible - then occupy territory. Also, make sure you check generals when you have the chance, they matter a great deal. Many wars come down to two or three major fights. I lost two of the three most important battles in the Chilean-Argentine war.

    What will I do next? Well, I have repeatedly promised to do something stupid, but I have to clarify that. I promise to do something stupid on purpose. My intent is to get into a reasonably strong position, pick a target I should not pick, and attack it. Options are limited. It's still going to be a while. I don't mind if I lose, minding would make me timid and boring. Also, I'd still like to take Sokoto and begin colonizing.

    Let's look at Argentina and the World. Hey, the world is so impressed by my skin-of-the-teeth victory that Argentina is now ranked #12. prestige through research is some of that, but mainly my industry jumped by almost 30 taking Los Rios from Chile.



    Here's my budget. Finally I have a decent surplus when I am at peace. My Admin % has gone up, conquered Bureaucrats FTW!



    Here is my culture tech tree. I spent more here than I would have thought, but research-boosting techs are the best investment in the game, and I need to boost literacy. That's two must-have columns. Once I decided to go for prestige as well, culture became my primary tech focus.



    My Industry Tech has lagged behind, probably another reason my IND score is low. I am not a big coal/iron producer, and I've had to cut corners. I took RGO boosting techs because I've been dirt poor most of the game, and those are instant tax boosters.



    Here is the Great Power table. France is #1, for now. The US suffered during the ACW. Nobody loves Argentina but the Brits.



    Here are my states. As you can see (I think the detail is Los Rios), Los Rios has many immigrants, and about half of my non-colonial population. It was worth the struggle, and I'd hate to think of Chile ten years from now if Chile had this state instead of Argentina.



    Instead of the whole world, here is a look at Europe at the close of 1860. As you can see, not much has changed, though it looks like the Dutch found someone they can beat in a war.



    Here is Argentina. Looks better than it did, though it would be nice to clean up the west coast someday.



    All in all, I took a very messy path to a pretty good position. My hope is to grab a bit of Sokoto and work on colonial expansion. My long term goals are the same as when I started, I think. Build, progress, research, and then risk it all in a foolish enterprise done solely to amuse the audience. Well, the audience and myself. I'm thinking fifty year mark, but my foolishness will be consistent with my capacity at the time it begins. No DoW of China with 15 brigades.
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  10. #30
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentIII View Post
    As for my battles, ah my battles. I sit at my computer thinking "people are watching me play, and I look like an idiot!" Still, I must say that I learned far more about what I did wrong from the screenshots than I could ever have remembered from playing. In my defense, I've played many larger nations, and I just get used to having a few 3k armies to spare to occupy territory. My advice is to kill the enemy - fighting defensive battles if at all possible - then occupy territory. Also, make sure you check generals when you have the chance, they matter a great deal. Many wars come down to two or three major fights. I lost two of the three most important battles in the Chilean-Argentine war.
    But you won the last one, and that's all that matters. Killing the enemy has to be the primary objective in any war. So long as they're still around they can reinforce and generally make life very difficult for you. Once they're dead you're free to split your army into single-brigade stacks and seige everything you can.

    Defensive battles are absolutely key to winning when you're evenly matched. That becomes even more the case after 1870, when everyone starts fielding machine guns and defence scores are way above attack scores.
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    Interesting stuff. Don't neglect your Social Thought path -- that will increase educational efficiency, which will also create literacy in the long run.
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  12. #32
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter Nine: Into Africa

    Dewirix Definitely true on the last battle. By the way, up to 1600 on your Japan AAR, looking forward to see you carry it over into Vicky 2. My attempt at a conversion had crashes, but that was some time ago (it was still fun in any event, as far as I was able to play).

    Avindian Thanks! Hope it stays that way. Too true about the Literacy boosting techs, especially when you get Darwinism.

    Previously on "Last Tango" - Argentina is Ranked #12 in the world, and so colonial dreams can now be realized.

    I could have sworn I saw Life Rating 35 areas northeast of Sokoto, and based my plans on that. When I mouse around there, however, I cannot find them. Still, I press ahead with my plan, and figure I'll be able to colonize Life Rating 15 areas before too long. I'll grab Machine Guns shortly after 1870, and Nationalism & Imperialism even earlier. My path is made easier when I complete Empiricism, with it's significant boost to my RPs. While my literacy is a disappointing 26%, my RPs are now over 20 per day.



    I therefore DoW Sokoto, demanding a nice high population state. It's inconveniently located (after I conquer it, I'll have to march north to get to the southern coast), but there will be time for a second war before 1870.



    So I land my force in Sokoto, and notice that the african nation has a few more men than I expected. Check the ledger against an african unciv? You must be joking. Granted, I will have a tech advantage here, but as I saw all those troops (with cavalry, I'm not facing 100% irregulars) I had the same thought that a potted plant might have, falling from a great height. "Oh no, not again". So I occupied a few provinces and sent for a second army. The full-service British Empire has ports conveniently located for invasions of Sokoto. Very thoughtful of her majesty.



    I started moving troops away from one province, and that invited the enemy to offer battle just as my second army arrived in Africa. Note that I will soon complete some research which will give my men further technological advantages over Sokoto.



    I wish I could have Sokoto's generals (+4 ATT), but this fight will not be the embarrasing mess the last war was. Sorry. It's very difficult to make a successful war all that interesting, and one against an unciv is doubly difficult.



    I had the enemy surrounded, not remembering that undeveloped areas are free to flee to. Still, I kill 7600 initially, losing 3600 myself, and give chase. Meanwhile I do have the resources to occupy territory while fighting. On August 29 I discover breech loaded rifles, and due to the efficiency of Argentine communications, production and distribution, my men benefit mid battle. I kill half the remaining troops, losing 1300, and in the final battle I win instantly. Argentine soldiers settle in to occupying Sokoto and easily wipe out the smaller force in the north. In January (bottom left of the image below), Sokoto agrees to my terms. In November, I discover a predecessor to N&I, the tech which will get me -10 LifeRating. The map shows my new possession in Sokoto.



    In February 1866 I catch up on coal production, Inventing Coke, +75% to coal mines. In July 1868 I discover Nationalism and Imperialism, reducing my minimum Life Rating to 20. I am also offered Valley of the Kings, which with any luck will give me the prestige I need to stay in the top 16 and move closer to the front of the line at Walmart. I notice that I can colonize the Kufe Region northeast of my possession in Sokoto, and I start my first colony. Notice that I have not selected a research goal. When 1870 arrives I want to grab Machine Gun asap, and by happy coincidence, my truce with Sokoto runs out January 22 of 1870.



    In September, we invent the Mission to Colonize, granting 10% more colonial prestige. When January 1870 rolls around, work on Machine Guns move rapidly. As you can see, by the time I can declare war on Sokoto, my Machine Guns are nearly finished. Sokoto, unfortunately, avoids having machine guns used against them by the clever device of not having an army. My men run around the countryside shouting "let's do it, man, let's do the whole village!"



    In March, my research is complete, and work begins on Strategic Mobility. In my next war, I don't want to lag in technology if I can help it. Having the BB to spare for a second region, and figuring Chile's last non-capitol state can be taken later, I demand Benin to give me easier access to the sea (none of Sokoto touches the Atlantic). In July the war is over. I recruit far more soldiers from Sokoto than I have from Zulu (which hasn't given me a new brigade in ages, though it has replaced many losses). I had thought that the bonus to colonizing from having troops present was eliminated, and I see that it's not, so I send troops to Kufe [Ed - from 1.4 Dev Notes "Fixed tooltip so it doesn't show the troops bonus, for provinces under colonization"]. Still, for a country with one NF, the process is agonizingly slow. For some reason the expected end date slips constantly. Nonetheless, in November 1871, Argentina creates it's first colony! I switch to a coastal province so that I can't be cut off from the sea. Here's a look at what I have, what I am capable of colonizing (green), and what I am colonizing (tan). Note that Argentina seems to be the first in Africa, certainly the first in Central Africa.



    Not long after, I notice that Chile (which was trouble enough with 9000 men) now has 54,000 troops. Yuck-o.
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  13. #33
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    Yep, you better beef up your army in South America. The Chileans are going to be out for blood.
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  14. #34
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    That's 54,000 plus whatever's in their mobilisation pool. I think you should still outnumber them pretty handily with the 87,000 you've got in your standing army. Just concentrate on the defensive, sending smaller armies into unoccupied provinces and following them up if they get attacked.
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  15. #35
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter Ten: Fighting A Great Power

    brycef Should be able to. I'll try to avoid my past mistakes, too.

    Dewirix True on the conscripts, though it's such a small place I'll get to them before they organize. I'll have plenty of small armies from now on, I expect

    Previously on "Last Tango", I almost got my butt kicked by a weak Chile, now I face a strong one.

    I grab another part of the Tactics tree, and notice that Chile has 54,000 troops. I also notice that with my new soldier factory in Sokoto, I am spending >300 a day on military pay, 50% of my income. I reduce spending somewhat, but I do appreciate how the citizens of Sokoto have welcomed their Argentine overlords. I February 1873 my continuing poor relations with Chile pay off: a Border Incident! How fortunate, this will simplify everything.



    I would have taken the state later, but it would have been a few years before I freed up the 10BB. My traditional check of my enemy's diplomatic status reveals that Chile has become a Great Power, and was in the process of removing me from the UK's SoI, or trying mightily. Maybe I should look at that stuff more often. That could have been a problem. Note that Chile has no prestige, but a huge industrial score for a backwater nation. It's as though I've been living next Italy all this time and didn't know it, with Chile's combination of big industry and small military.



    On April 30, 1873 I DoW Chile, demanding its last available state. In early May, I try to draw the Chileans into a battle in my mountain by withdrawing half of an 18,000 man force. Since Chile cannot see the troops I have in the second tier of provinces, I hope to crush an army or two.



    We go back and forth, with Chile's armies stopping for reasons unknown. In the end, Chile's 36,000 man army takes the bait, attacking 9000 men who are led by a +3 DEF general, while the 18,000 Chilean troops in her capitol head south to occupy territory. Occupying territory before the fighting is done? Morons! On May 17 battle is joined, with 9000 Argentine troops buying time against 36,000 Chileans. The 9000 I had withdrawn arrive back the next day, and two more armies are in transit. Even with 18,000 vs 36,000, we can see that my position is not that bad. Chile has a +0 ATT general, -2 due to terrain, and I have a +3 DEF general.



    After five days of fighting, the forces are 33,000 Chileans to 41,000 Argentines. A screenshot I took on May 24 shows Chile with a bright red 1887 to my one-day loss of only 244. This is the battle I meant to start the conquest of Los Rios with. On May 28 (the minimum?) I win the battle. My losses are 2000 to their losses of 13000. The successful strategy, and all my new army techs, made a huge difference.



    In June we fight again in Copapio, and I work to surround the enemy (did I even need troops in my own territory? I forget).



    Mid battle I discover Point Defense system. On July 1, I defeat the army, and the 6000 men remaining from a 36,000 man army surrender. I begin to occupy all of nothern Chile, move four cavalry brigades recently arrived from Sokoto to the four southern Chilean provinces, and move my main army south to finish off the other Chilean army and her conscripts. I wipe out 6000 conscripts in Talca, and move on the 18,000 regular army troops in San Rafael. Along the way, they encounter and destroy Chile's other 6000 conscripts. In September, the final battle of the war is something of an anti-climax, and the enemy all die in the fighting.



    Let's face it, wars which go as planned are very tough to turn into interesting reading. In January 1874, my elections begin. What fortunate voters I have, every election comes mid-war. In January and February I occupy northern Chile. Later in the war I'll be able to enact my first social reform, and I'll choose health care for the population growth. In March and April I take the provinces of southern Chile, and she acknowledges defeat. Note that I'd added Humiliate as a wargoal. Merely taking one state required me to completely dominate Chile, so I added Humiliate for the prestige, and a bit of revenge. Probably a waste of 1.6BB. Meh. Note also that I am rank 14 when the war ends. I had noticed it bouncing around, sliding down now and then, and was unconcerned. Then I recalled that I need to keep rank 16 to continue colonizing.



    I should not have worried!

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  16. #36
    Their capital state must have some great industry. You'll have to annex it at some point

    Let's hope your economy can survive being removed from the UK's presumably rather beefy sphere.

  17. #37
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter 11: Great Power Games

    Rabid Yeah, it will take some time to afford the 20BB, but Santiago is a powerful state. We'll see how I do un-sphered, and how long that lasts.

    Previously on "Last Tango"



    I'm startled to find myself a Great Power. The reason is simple: I stole a lot of industry!



    My IND had been around 5, here I am at 350. That's less than Sweden, and half that of the lower order GPs (Prussia, Russia and the USA), but it's a far sight more than I have built myself. You have to look past many Chilean factories on my profitability list before you get to Buenos Aires. The BA profits are around 1% of the best Chilean factory. I have to admit, I do like the map. When it comes to fonts, size matters. Ask Chile. I might not have been a great power if I had conquered Chilean states before Chile turned them into powerhouses. Potosi is an industrial backwater because I took it early. You have to time your acquisitions. Take states early enough that you can defeat their owner, but after they become valuable.



    Several risks occur to me. First, my industry might stagnate or fall, dropping me out of GP status. I know how the rest of the game goes for other powers, more or less, this is very likely. Second, my military is fairly modern, but hardly enough to fend off any serious opponent. If the UK breaks the alliance while at peace, or dishonors it in wartime, I'm going to have troubles. Still, all in all, making GP in under 40 years is a very lucky break. Let's see how long it lasts, and what we can make of it.

    I begin work in 1874, four years late, on the next Philosophy tech to boost RPs. In September the side effects of GP status begin, Chillan becomes a core, Potosi will be added to my patrimony in September 1875, and Puerto Guarani May 1876. I send a botanical expedition to Yukutat. I then get my first Jacobin revolt (I'd already had a revolt in Sokoto, but nationalist I think).



    In April 1875 I successfully colonize the Warri region. My hope is to cut off France from much of Africa, so I send my next colonial expedition north of Sokoto to Niger. I'll link my land to the Ottoman Empire's Tripoli state. That will give me a solid block of territory from the Atlantic to the OE. France might still colonize past me via the sea, but the AI appears to prefer land routes. They are certainly easier.



    I spend my Great Power influence on Brazil, and a few other targets. I'm in no hurry as to any of them, but my thought is to knock Brazil from France's SoI, and then below Friendly, to potentially create opportunities for expansion. France would still be allied, but the chance would be there if the alliance breaks. Portugal is a neighbor of mine, and of usually-weak Spain <wink, wink>, Paraguay and Bolivia are not worth 20BB to annex, so they are decent SoI candidates if I am a GP for long. At Rank 7, I seem to have a shot.



    My Niger colony's estimate completion is July 27, 1878, without troops present yet. Let's see how that holds up. In June 1875 I add troops, moving the completion date to June 24, 1876 [Note - soldiers present has no effect, but the tooltip erroneously says they do]. In November 1875, Sardinia-Piedmont forms Italy, which is a bad sign for my GP status, as Italy jumps to a Rank S-P could not reach. I'm still militarily powerful, only six nations have more than my 54 brigades. I have no mobilization capacity to speak of (7 brigades), but I can field a decent army. Only France's 210 brigades and the UK's 1173 are relevant to me, as Russia, the USA, Austria and China are not likely to be an issue. In December I discover the next +100% research tech, Analytic Philosophy, taking my daily RPs to nearly 29. By June 1876 a combination of the formation of Italy and the Industrial strngth of Sweden push me into GP-in-danger status. Note that my IND score, which had been as high as 400, is now 353. Some variation is to be expected, but I suspect that Chile has a higher score with the same factories than I have. I don't simply stagnate, I lose ground.



    I'm working on catching up, though, and in September 1876 I discover early railroad. Not enough, in December I lose my GP spot to Sweden. Interchangeable Parts are discovered in September 1877. This phase is largely devoted to waiting patiently for both colonizing and research. By the end of 1877 I remain some 50 points below Sweden for the last GP slot. I notice, in looking at the other GPs, that I somehow missed the UK breaking its alliance with me. I'll have to check my message settings, since I know I didn't see one which told me that I was all alone in this world. In April 1878 I get a Rally to extend the vote, in Chaco. This will be an important decision, when the time comes. Do I want more conservative voters, or go liberal and take my chances on an LF government? My Chilean states have the industry to handle one, the rest of Argentina does not. In August 1878 I complete my colonization of Niger. That is within days of the original estimate when no troops were present.



    As you can see, I have completed what I hope to be a land block which will hem the French in western Africa. In October 1878 I discover Functionalism, another 10% boost to literacy. In April 1879 I get an event which will result in war in the next chapter: a Border Incident with the Ottoman Empire, granting me a free Ottoman state, if I can take one.



    The good news is that I am up to 68 brigades (nearly all African-recruited troops). That's good for 6th place now, I passed the USA. The better news is that the OE has 31 ships, but no standing army whatsoever. I have no idea who they've been fighting, the only wars I've really noticed are the dismemberment of Persia. The bad news starts with the allies, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and two satellites. This is not too worrisome, though I've seen Italy field very serious armies in other games. The tough part is the GPs who are Friendly with the Ottomans (which is not in anyone's sphere): France and Russia. Russia is far away, but I share a land border with France, and the state I want is Tripoli, which is contiguous to France's possessions in Africa. Nonetheless, the chance to take a state which gives me access to the Mediterranean from a country with no army is too good to pass up. I cross my fingers, and DoW the Ottoman Empire.

    Last edited by InnocentIII; 25-09-2011 at 20:39.
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  18. #38
    Lt. General atomicsoda's Avatar
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    Great AAR. I had a good time playing Argentina. Nice cliffhanger ending to this chapter.
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  19. #39
    Historically plausible Dewirix's Avatar
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    That's a brave move given who's friendly with the Ottomans. Hopefully the size of your army will make people think twice before jumping in.

    Switching to a liberal party might have other benefits than just kick-starting your industry. I'm guessing that the reactionaries you have in power are Residency on citizenship: that will deter immigrants. If you can a Full Citizenship party in power you might see immigration levels increase, which in turn will give you the population you need to grow a decent industrial base.

    I sympathise with your plight. Many's the time I've just scraped into the GPs only to be booted out by some rising star.
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  20. #40
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter Twelve: Playing in Traffic

    atomicsoda Thanks, though knowing how it turns out I feel a bit bad about that, now.

    Dewirix Thanks, I was shooting for stupid-ish, might have overshot. I'd love even more immigrant attraction once my industry seems ready to survive governmental indifference.

    When I play a mid-sized power trying to grab territory from another mid-sized power, I am sometimes stuck doing it when my enemy's powerful allies are busy fighting other Great Powers. In such a case, I have to hope no one will notice my little war until it's too late, because the big boys could easily smash me. I call this strategy "Playing in Traffic". Well, my war with the OE is a little more risky than that, since France isn't fighting anyone. On the other hand, neither is France allied with the Ottomans, so I have some hope of a quick victory, or France becoming embroiled in a real war. If France does jump in, I face two problems, one large, the other perhaps insurmountable.

    First, let's assume that I can run away from France's armies long enough to let desert attrition take it's toll, then fight them to a standstill. This still leaves the large problem: the combination of France's navy and Vicky 2's substantial warscores for blockades. The perhaps insurmountable problem is that whatever crappy warscore I'd earn against the OE for Tripoli provinces, that score disappears when those provinces are valued as part of an alliance of the OE and France. I can get a concession from the OE if the war goes well, even with a warscore of 10ish I'd think, if I own the target provinces. Especially if the Ottos have other nations jump them. The AI does a good job kicking someone when they're down. However, there is no way to get a win from France if, as far as France is concerned, I'm losing the war because I have +2 points in provinces and -8 in blockades. With those concerns in mind, I move quickly into position by breaking up my 18,000-24,000 man armies into groups of 9k or 12k, to minimize attrition. They'll break up further to occupy the Ottoman Empire's Tripolitanian state. A steady stream of troops from central Africa walk north.



    All of the Ottoman allies beg off this war, except the two satellites, Wallachia and whatever. I wonder if the fact that I am not fighting, say, Austria, isn't worse for me. If it was me vs Austria and the OE, then major powers could figure the war is well in hand. If it's me vs the Ottos alone, maybe France thinks she needs to act. I dunno. Probably not a coincidence: I get a Blood and Roses event, allowing me to 'overextend' and bump Jingoism nationwide by 10%. I don't see a downside here The Ottomans mobilize, giving them 27 brigades. I hope I see them. Warscore may be hard to come by with just desert provinces and no safe access to the main Ottoman holdings. In August I discover Machine Tools, boosting Machine Parts production 15% (I built three or four factories), and my advance armies arrive in Tripoli itself. By September, the entire state of Tripoli and parts of the nearby Libyan Coast are under Argentine occupation, waiting for an opponent. In December I capture my first state, coastal Misratah.



    Ghat falls days later, and three more fall before Tripoli on January 4, 1880. On the 23rd of January, France intervenes in the war, bringing in 353 ships and 211 brigades. Well, either I was unlucky, not fast enough, or this was just a very bad idea all along. I'll go for unlucky. Add Austria or Italy and I'd have had a real fight, which the French needn't have interfered in. I might have lost, but I would not face France. Fighting the all-but-defenseless Ottomans, France had to jump in. Or maybe I was foolish to be hopeful. The majors do tend to intervene, but I've seen plenty of wars, for example, where Egypt was left hanging. In any event, this is a completely different war. I take another province on the 25th of January, and note that the Ottomans are occupying defenseless Johore with one conscript brigade. I consider demobilizing one brigade drawn from there, and retraining them, but if that's all I have to worry about, it'll be fine. Look below and what I was on about in Warscore:



    I've taken nearly all the provinces I'm asking for, but my needed warscore is still 16. Holding those provinces counts for +0.7. France blockading my capitol counts as -2.8, four times that, and I have a net -3 score without having lost a province or a battle. Granted, the +0.0 provinces were +0.1 when I was fighting the Ottomans alone, but I was winning, at least. A worn out Ottoman empire (or one where I'd defeated some armies), would have accepted my terms, and having stripped away her GP allies, she was in real danger of being attacked by everyone around her. And then something mildly unfortunate happened. I occupied a French African province, more to have a look-see at the surrounding area than anything else, when one of the AI's traditionally overpowered colonial armies makes an appearance. I considered my advance troops disposable. It seemed to me, clicking madly for ten days, that when you try to retreat too soon, the game could offer an option to retreat as soon as it's permitted.



    My troops suffer remarkably few casualties for being so badly outnumbered. Frontage ftw. Good thing the French all have to stay in a stright line, if they could have surrounded my troops, they'd all be dead. Later in March I take the last province in Ottoman Tripoli. The large French army thinks better of entering unfriendly desert, and move out of my line of sight. My warscore is down to -6, with no hope of meeting my objectives. I look at the Offer Peace screen, I remove my demand of territory, and it says that France will not accept what amounts to a WP offer?! However, I click "Offer Terms", and see that while a Status Quo offer counts as +1, and I'm at -6, France will still accept it. On March 25, we agree to a White Peace. I wonder, and maybe I should have tried something, is there a way around France in a war like this? The Ottomans cannot accept a separate peace giving me Tripoli, because it would end the war. What if I add a wargoal of "Humiliate France" (forget for the moment the warscore I'd need to add a Wargoal), could I then offer the Ottomans a separate peace demanding Tripoli? It wouldn't end the war, right? Granted, there's no way I could get that here, but assume I'd grabbed serious Ottoman territory on top of what I wanted, it might make sense for them to bow out. I have no idea if that would work.

    My militancy jumps to 2.70 because of my failed war, and I am rewarded! I can adopt another social reform. I choose another boost to health care. Then, I notice that I can convert to Military Industrial Complex. Since I am largely done with Culture - and I plan to I ignore Commerce and Navy - Industry and Army will be the main development goals in the future. So I accept. I then spend the next few years on Culture techs, reminding me that just because something is a good idea doesn't mean it's a good idea right now. The rest of 1880 winds down without much incident, rubber was found in Johore, what were the odds? I discover P&H, yet another 100% research boost, and I begin work on Biologism, which includes the wonderful +50% to literacy invention, Darwinism. It's about this time I regretted taking Militarily Industrial Complex the minute I saw that I could. January of 1881 brings me another health care reform, bumping my population increase from that reform to +0.10%.



    In 1881 the remains of Persia are annexed by the UK, but Argentina largely minds its own business. October brings us Biologism, with an immediate 10% boost to literacy gains. I currently have 37% Literacy, with nearly 34RPs per day coming in. In November I finish colonizing South Cameroon. I decide to go for Lagos, which has a large population and is contiguos to my african holdings. France has become active in the colonizing game, as you can see.



    I notice in November that the UK has me back up to friendly, I'm down to Rank #10, so probably won't be a GP for a while yet, and I'd like to be in the UK sphere. January 1882 brings Darwinism, and I look forward to seeing literate peasants replace illiterate ones throughout Argentina. Having seen armies not reinforce while at rest for a long long time, I research Associationism. In July 1882, noticing that France is "Likely" to accept an alliance proposal from me (I got us back near 200 from the 100 we reached after our little misunderstanding), I propose, and France accepts! I'm thinking that I could DoW the Ottos, if France were merely Friendly to them, and France could not intervene because France and I were allied? Does that sound right? Well, they break the alliance and intervene, I guess.

    Overall, I have to apologize for this update. Too bad about the war. I could not see passing up the opportunity, but I could not see continuing against France. The next update is certain to be better, for reasons which will become clear.

    In January 1883 I stumble across quite a sight: 150,000 Chilean soldiers! I also notice that one-state Chile is ranked 12th in the world, only slightly behind me. It's going to be some time before I get below 5 Infamy which will allow me to annex Chile, but it will be a battle, and it will be soon.

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