I am writing to you guys today to tell you what I am having the most problems with right now in Victoria 2. And ironically, it's probably the same thing that the AI is having a problem with too: Naval warfare.
Naval warfare just doesn't seem that interesting to me! The costs are very high and once you've defeated the navy of the enemy you've got not much use for them except to block off trade from their navy ports! And from what I've seen, it doesn't really have that much affect on you even when you're fully blockaded. Sure it brings up your warscore a little bit, but besides that and hurting the economy of your opponent a little bit it doesn't really do much after they have had a chance to build up their economy and war-chest a little bit. So in recent games I have usually just disbanded my entire navy and ignored Navy tech in favor of a large land army capable of slaughtering their enemies easily.
However, a few games with small nations with port provinces later and I'm starting to wonder if this is the best thing! The problem with having small nations with uber-teched armies is that it is often hard to hunt down and finish off enemy armies. There is just so much delay tactics that the enemy army uses that is coded into the game. For instance, the enemy having artillery units can greatly extend the amount of time needed to defeat an enemy army. It takes a new dice-roll turn for other units with 0 troops to retreat and the same for units with 0 morale. Battles last 12 days before the enemy army can retreat. You cannot attack enemy artillery units until there are no units in front of them. There is only time for two and 2/5ths dice rolls before an army is allowed to retreat. After you've taken this all into account, it can take a several province chase for you to finally defeat a 42k megastack from the enemy. And all of your hard work is for naught if the enemy army suddenly retreats into another 42k army stack! You've got to do it all over again.
If it wasn't for these things happening so often, I would be happy to field a ubertech Army and ignore the Navy game. But you can't do that in the current build of Victoria 2 AHD. So in conclusion, it becomes necessary to participate in naval warfare and attack weaker uncivilized nations in order to build up your own armies to become equal to the enemy. What are the rules for such? How many frigates are equal to an Ironclad and how many Ironclads are equal to a Deathnaught? What navy ships can carry troops, how many troops can they carry, and how much is a good stack to bring them against the enemy with? Is it a good idea to try to cut a hole through Africa so that you are landlocked with the African land you wish to colonize later, or is it just more land to defend that a small nation like Greece cannot effectively defend against large empires?
/End OP post.