The UK starts powerfull and the US is sort of set up to become powerfull by design.
The player is the only one that can change that. You have to beat the UK directly in war to get Number 1.
The UK is somewhat build on sand though, they arent as strong in wars as the score suggests, their military is scattered all over the place so you need to beat their fleet instead of worryingabout mobilization. Block Gibraltar or Suez and the Cape region and you are fine, in fact even if you dont they can only ship a tiny fraction of that army at the same time.
What I dont like is that being a GP or SP gives so many boni while due to the way the game is designed they already have a huge advantage, and that KI Uncivs are so extremely restricted, makes the gameplay very repetitive, especially before the 80´s and 90´s event RGO boosts kick in.
Rather see the current game than being able to make Zulu GP by 1870. If in every single game absurdities like AI Uruguay and Zulu become GP was the norm, it would break completely the mood of the game.
That is why i usually never "trust" UK as a powerful land allie whenever i am on the European continent. This often bothers me because they have a sick military score but most if it is overseas (or in Ireland for some reason), they fail to ship big chunks of armies to invade places like France, Prussia, Russia etc. I would like them to be a bigger land player so you actually had to fear them besides getting blockaded for however long it takes them to white peace again.
I am very disappointed by how the AI plays UK in the game. They build so much warship but not enough transport.
I consider USA the only true superpower in the game, if players don't check her growth early.
But then, I find that holding on to USA's holding is the source of all my rebellion problems, there lie the dilemma...
i've arrived at a conclusion after reading all the things said in this thread, please post a screen of GB or USA totaly dismantled! For example, one guy in youtube post a let's play, with Mexico, and he managed (playing as Mexico) to convert USA into the almighty people's republic of america, that at the end collapsed bellow GP status, alongside the CSA. It's good to see those images...he he he....
I'll start a new thread....
About the UK, the more I think about it, the more strongly I believe that the UK starting out with so much land all over the place is actually a hindrance, rather than a blessing for the AI. The AI simply is not smart enough to do any rational analysis of army & navy force allocation based on potential geopolitical threat. It simply splits army and navy up based on number of providences’ it has in that geographical location, also without taking other countries’ force allocation into consideration.
Take navy for example, instead of concentrating its warships in Europe, it sails those wooden ships half way across the world to Australia and Northern Canada??? What is the potential threat in those areas???
UK is a unique country with holding literally all over the world, all other countries (other than Portugal and Spain, to a lesser extent) have one cohesive landmass, which the AI is then able to properly allocate army and navy. But in the case of UK, the AI simply fails this important task miserably.
So, in my opinion, UK is NOT a superpower as claimed. Kinda sad, as the game is called Victoria...
In a recent game I played, the civil war never triggered for the US, and they only had really high militancy, which triggered so many revolutions! First it was a bourgeois dictatorship, then democracy again, this repeated about five times. Then when a bourgeois dictatorship was overthrown by reactionaries, it became and absolute monarchy! This regime lasted about 20 years, which I think was the longest period of stability for America in that game. It then collapsed a few more times, becoming democracies followed by more bourgeois dictatorships. They fell to 8th place by about 1850, and never returned to GP status, then were a secondary power until 1860, then rose occasionally 9th place, sinking to 21st after each revolution. All the while, Mexico became 3rd GP by about 1880, and slowly gobbled up all the land West of the Mississippi! It stayed a stable democracy and became the no. 1 place for immigrants for a few decades, I think by about 1920 its adult male pop was something like 18M, Americas was only 3.1M!
So, if you want America to plop, just somehow stop the Civil War from firing.... or use other methods. But it's not inevitable for it to be a GP forever.
(The same game also saw the spectacular fall of France, which after 1860 never had a regime that lasted more than 3 years or so. by 1890 it never rose above 23rd place, and was eaten up by a very powerful Italy and Germany. Austria collapsed as well, with Slovenia and Croatia being lost to Italy, and it never really being more than a secondary power after 1870, even though for a few years in the 1840s it had been the no. 1 industrial power). By 1936 the great powers were the UK (me), Germany, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Scandinavia, Italy, and The Russian Empire. Spain and Portugal did very well in this game, holding 9th and 10th place respectively, because of me using my ample cash reserves to industrialize them both, which meant for once Portugal colonized its African colonies! One of the more interesting games i've played! Even though I was the UK, I barely touched other countries other than protecting investments by sending troops to countries overrun by rebels)
I've seen plenty of wars between AI USA and AI UK. If there is even a hint of a possible war between the two countries, basing a navy in Canada is a sensible decision. The USA is a GP sitting right on their doorstep.
Ditto for the Pacific, but also add Japan. If the USA owns Hawaii, it has naval range to threaten British possessions in the Pacific. If Japan has gotten GP status, it's within striking distance of Singapore.
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The problem is not how they base it, it´s how they use it. Even if they have complete superiority the AI doesn´t blockade as it should. Making navies pointless since so few countries actually need them, and money is usually better spent elsewhere. Better to make forts to win the land war than going for navies, for example.
I would really like that once GB declared war on you/or visa versa, you would have a certain amount of time to prepare before massive waves of transport ships ended up on your shores. If the AI would be able to do this i think it would add a lot more to the game play. As it is now unless you are Mexico/America you don't really have to worry about them much. Also i have noticed when GB mobilizes a bunch of units just sit and do nothing (I'm looking at you 30 brigades in Ireland).
Also, I've beaten GB as the Boers (to gain more of South Africa and prevent their northern expansion, in the 1880s or so) and as USCA (to grab, I think it was Belize, though if there's one closer it was that... it was industrialized and I didn't know to promote capis to get my free market started so I took theirs. It was during the 1860s IIRC).
So yeah, definitely a 'paper tiger'. Get the combat bonus for them landing, move troops into that province. Simple.
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I modded away all of England's Indian territories, puppets and sphering (to Indian minors and India) as well as their Burma and Johore areas... and they are still number 1 by 1890. Taking away the US's events that give them immigration bonuses weakens them, but there are still in the top 8- wheter they are number 1/2 or 5 depends on wheter they take out Mexico and get their cores back or not.
A thing that is also important: ENG has a headstart in industrial developement, and IND score of the first 2-3 nations usually goes whacky during the game due to their access to goods and ressources from the world marked.
I guess that is currently one of the bigger V2 problems: Games where ENG has 12.000 IND score around 1920, the USA has 10.000 and the rest of the world... has 1.000 at most... :/
I'm currently playing as The USA with V1.3 and am currently 2 years into a war with the Godmod Britain and am currently in the early stages of kicking their a$$. I'd have to agree with the Paper Tiger comment. 2 years in and the only naval action I've had was my 138 ship Pacific Fleet against 15 British transports who were landing 41k troops(landing was successful by the way). They haven't blockaded any of my ports. Though I will say that I have been ignoring the naval war and focusing on Canada.
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Ive seen GB SOI China as a whole and watched the utter and complete collapse Due to cheap crap thrown into the system. In that game England got revolts cause of no workers, the revolts made Canada, Ireland, India, Australia, and New Zealand pop-up. England shortly thereafter fell to number 14 on the big board. With the topo 8 Being: U.S.S.R. , U.S.A. , Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Japan, France who had also made the mistake of SOIing China, and Spain who had Industrialized.
Britain seems to get screwed over by a bunch of factors, the first being the ridiculous amount of people in India. In my current game the british wont move there(in any realistic amount) and the indians wont leave meaning these states will be colonies for the entire game.
The second is immigration. I collapsed UK into GB when the jacobins took over and while this stops emigration, I won't be seeing any immigration till the americas are full. The main problem for this is GB is considered a European territory even though it has many territories that should benefit from the factor4 bonus for being in america or oceania. This is a problem any colonial power can run into but more obvious for britain.
The third is... the ridiculous amount of people in India. You can guarantee there will be some states with 50% or more unemployment, these people being both a drain on your economy and killing any remaining chance for immigrants.
The AI suffers from a fourth, where it is simply too big and the AI isn't good enough to manage multiple areas in different parts of the world.
All these together lead to a powerful but fragile nation that needs tender loving care if it wants to do well. Luckily it has one major advantage; it can survive a world economy collapse.
The world economy will die in a horrible fire at some point during the game, usually when someone sphere's china or the player builds enough factories to run the world alone. At this point UK is sitting there laughing with its 5k industrial score and number 1 position while everyone else goes bankrupt.