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  1. #1
    Sergeant KingFred's Avatar
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    America, 1836...

    Ok, so I realize that PI isn't an American company, and I can't really blame them for not understanding the situation here in America in 1836, but the starting situation in the U.S. in 1836 is hilarious. To wit:

    -Conservatives (Democrats) control 100% of the UH (Senate) at the beginning of the game. In reality, the 24th Congress (which sat 1835-1837) in 1836 (before the addition of Michigan and Arkansas) 24 Whigs (Anti-Jacksonians, technically, as the first Whig Party convention wasn't held until December of '36), 20 Democrats (Jacksonians, as the Democratic Party didn't officially exist until 1848), and 2 that I would consider reactionaries (Nullifiers John C. Calhoun and William C. Preston).

    -I didn't check the makeup of the LH at the startgame, but just for the record, historically there were 91 "Whigs" (75 Anti-Jacksonians and 16 Anit-Masonics; both of which eventually folded to form the Whig Party that history knows), 140 Democrats (Again, Jacksonians), and 7 reactionary Nullifiers.

    -There were only 24 states at startgame. Michigan and Arkansas were added later in 1836. If this is correct in-game, my apologies, as I didn't take the time to count them.

    -I really find it awful that the ACW is triggered by something unrelated to politics. The whole name of the game in the antebellum period was the balance of power between the slave states and the free states, since this determines control of the Senate. Slavery Debate should trigger the rise of the Free-Soilers, followed by the Republicans. I also feel like (and again, I have to apologize, I know nothing about the inner workings of the game) these liberal parties should have a much easier time being accepted in free states. In fact, I'd say most of the North should start out dark yellow. It's hilarious that New England is well over half Democrat at the start-game, and stays that way for about 20 years, even if you NF it from the start. Furthermore, the ACW was triggered by the ascendancy of the slightly more radical Republican Party in the person of Abraham Lincoln. Seems like there would be some way to replicate this, though - again - I'm no expert on how the game works internally.

    -Even then, Lincoln dared not free the slaves. He had no real intention of ending slavery - just of limiting it. Freeing the slaves came about as politically expedient way of crippling the southern economy, placating radical northern abolitionists, and catering to European diplomats - 3 birds with one stone.

    I know there's more I wanted to write about this, but I can't remember what all it was right now. I'll come back when I remember.
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  2. #2
    I've noticed some electoral oddities in my current US game too. First, the election years are off (ie, there's an election in 1858 and 1862, but not 1860 as per history).

    Second, I'm up to 1862 now, and the election map is upside down. The north is more conservative, hence majority Democrat; the south is more liberal, so it's ... you guessed it, solidly Republican!

    There is a Southern Democrat (Reactionary) party, but since game start it's never managed to poll higher than 1%.

    Seems to me the problem is that slavery is not one of the 5 hot button political topics. If it were voting patterns might start to make more sense.

  3. #3
    Russian serfs?
    Did anyone ever seen them?
    The productivity of weat-gathering aristocracy should be cornerstone to Russian politics.
    Right?

  4. #4
    Covert Mastermind Demi Moderator Secret Master's Avatar
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    First of all, since the game's political structures have to be relatively the same for all countries, you end up with oddities like the USA political situation in 1836 or bizarre state setups (New England is one state, and you are complaining about the other states?). Every country in the game has issues like this. Short of coding a unique government type for every country in the game, you have to expect to see this sort of thing.

    Second, if you think the political situation in 1836 is a problem, you obviously haven't played past 1870. Since Paradox only included a limited number of parties, and each party can only have one policy on each issue, you end up with Democrats being all one flavor for 100 years, and Republicans being all one flavor from the time of Lincoln to Alf Landon. Factions in the major parties that impacted the policies of those parties? Not implemented. Shifts in party policies over the years? Not implemented. Volatile elections that swing between the two major parties? Not really there unless you work at it. (When was the last time the Republicans won an election in your game without you deliberately using NFs to promote that party?) Having a powerful president from one party, but Congress controlled by another party? Not anything to worry about in Vic2.

    When playing the US, it helps to keep in mind that the UH isn't really just the Senate; it also represents the courts' ability to block legislation, the president's veto power, and the federal powers of the states to do their own things. I personally don't see it any more screwed up than things like the UK being able to appoint a new political party into power (the Royal Assent was last withheld in 1708) or Japan being able to appoint any party other than the Shogunate faction before the Meiji Restoration is fired.
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  5. #5
    Since Paradox only included a limited number of parties, and each party can only have one policy on each issue, you end up with Democrats being all one flavor for 100 years, and Republicans being all one flavor from the time of Lincoln to Alf Landon.
    Couldn't they fix this by having a Modern Republican and Modern Democrat political parties?

    When playing the US, it helps to keep in mind that the UH isn't really just the Senate;
    More importantly having an upper house with 52% liberal (24 liberals/46 total) means you could immediately implement a political reform and if it reflected population composition you could do one every year. It would be a bit odd if the US abolished slavery on January 2nd, 1836 and by 1840 had abolished the senate and adopted a parlimentary system (proportional representation and by population represent that sort of set up).

  6. #6
    Sergeant KingFred's Avatar
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    I think that this thread, so far, kind of sums up what I was getting at. As advanced as the V2 game is, it has a lot of difficulty with a dynamic political system such as the United States, or really any modern political system. It was easy in EU3, when everybody was a monarchy and politics weren't particularly dynamic.

    That said, I think V3 does a way better job modelling the Westminster pariamentary systems than the bicameral federal system of the United States. One would almost have to set up a separate system for each, I suppose, to be truly realistic.

    On another note (as I mentioned, I figured I would think of other things I had forgotten):

    - It's a bit infuriating when you win the Mexican War and (if you're any kind of general at all) you win all that Mexican territory, and immediately have it become states. Historically, Arizona, New Mexico and a lot of the former Mexican territory had to wait many decades (over half a century, in fact) to become states. The net effect of this, then, is that you immediately admit something like five states instantaneously, and raise your conciousness to around 7 or 8...
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  7. #7
    That said, I think V3 does a way better job modelling the Westminster pariamentary systems than the bicameral federal system of the United States.
    In fairness, given how abstracted the game is there isn't any real difference. The game automatically assumes coalition parties (reactionary and conservative, liberal and anarcho-liberal), but that is about it.

    The net effect of this, then, is that you immediately admit something like five states instantaneously, and raise your conciousness to around 7 or 8...
    I think that's the point. It assists in modeling expansion of the US lead to the civil war. Otherwise it would be much simpler to avoid by using NF to increase clergy, having high taxes (because fullfilled luxery needs increase conciousness) and not creating states.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingFred View Post
    It's a bit infuriating when you win the Mexican War and (if you're any kind of general at all) you win all that Mexican territory, and immediately have it become states. Historically, Arizona, New Mexico and a lot of the former Mexican territory had to wait many decades (over half a century, in fact) to become states. The net effect of this, then, is that you immediately admit something like five states instantaneously, and raise your conciousness to around 7 or 8...
    States in the game and states as defined by the US law are two different things. States in this game mean that it is not a colony.
    A territory that has already become a civilized land, and granted statehood by one country will remain a state for all other countries as well.
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  9. #9
    PON Beta Aragos's Avatar
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    Back in yon olden days of Vic1/VIP, we had a dynamic slave/free state system set up. It worked, but you could get some odd things (e.g., if you made Florida a Free State, it would not secede, but if you made Wisconsin a Slave State, it would go CSA). It worked and added a lot more depth to the overall game.

    Agreed that Vic2 isn't just about the US. The devs had to find a system that would work for the USA, Imperial China, Prussia, et al. Tough to do. On the flip side, this is part of the overall theory of game design--do you make a game or an historical simulation? Do you lead the player by the hand, limit options, etc. in order to replicate history, or go the sandbox route and have no rules at all? Vic2 sort of sits between those two poles--sandboxy and pre-determined as well at times (e.g., player options plus events).
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  10. #10
    Given the title, I expected you to talk about America, not just the USA. Disappointed

  11. #11
    Given the complex nature of what this game attempts to cover I'm pretty happy. Could it be better, of course. That leads to why there will be a Vic3 or a HoI4 etc etc. I'll take those games with a grain of salt as well and the expectation that years down the road there will be a thread similiar to this in that game too.
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  12. #12
    Covert Mastermind Demi Moderator Secret Master's Avatar
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    Well, I think there could be improvements using the existing system.

    For my part, I would have created 3-4 parties for the conservative and liberal ideologies in the US. I would have given them the names of various Republican and Democrat factions and give them various appropriate policy positions. During elections, changes in POP issues might actually result in different parties moving in and out of power, but since the parties are set up with the same ideologies, the winner would almost always be Democrats or Republicans, just different factions (coalition governments would ensure that even if liberal Party #4 won the vote, it formed a coalition with all other liberal parties, forming a solid Republican bloc). This might make US politics interesting.

    After all, even using NFs last week, I still spent an entire game with the Democrats in power. 100 straight years...
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  13. #13
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    It would be very hard to model every country in the game accurately at the 1836 start. Maybe there is a mod specifically for playing USA.

  14. #14
    Yeah I was wondering if it might be possibly to simply mod some of political silliness away ... sounds like it can be done to an extent.

    I checked the mod section, but did not see many USA improvements ones there ... yet. Makes me wish I knew more about modding ...

  15. #15
    Covert Mastermind Demi Moderator Secret Master's Avatar
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    Well, some things can't be modded, but if you understand how the current system works, and you know enough about the political history of the country in question, you should be able to mod political parties to get some interesting results.

    I can't mirror US politics using mods (the way the UH works in the game, despite having a two per state format, just doesn't really do justice to US politics), but if I had more time, I could really make a dent in making a reasonable facsimile by playing with parties.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the game and I understand how the game designers made certain choices (every country in the game has problems like this, so it's not like they are just anti-US or something), but I also recognize that the bizarre results we get in some cases could be mitigated somewhat.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingFred View Post
    -Conservatives (Democrats) control 100% of the UH (Senate) at the beginning of the game. In reality, the 24th Congress (which sat 1835-1837) in 1836 (before the addition of Michigan and Arkansas) 24 Whigs (Anti-Jacksonians, technically, as the first Whig Party convention wasn't held until December of '36), 20 Democrats (Jacksonians, as the Democratic Party didn't officially exist until 1848), and 2 that I would consider reactionaries (Nullifiers John C. Calhoun and William C. Preston).
    This is because of the current setup for the American Civil War which I will explain below.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingFred View Post
    -I really find it awful that the ACW is triggered by something unrelated to politics. The whole name of the game in the antebellum period was the balance of power between the slave states and the free states, since this determines control of the Senate. Slavery Debate should trigger the rise of the Free-Soilers, followed by the Republicans. I also feel like (and again, I have to apologize, I know nothing about the inner workings of the game) these liberal parties should have a much easier time being accepted in free states. In fact, I'd say most of the North should start out dark yellow. It's hilarious that New England is well over half Democrat at the start-game, and stays that way for about 20 years, even if you NF it from the start. Furthermore, the ACW was triggered by the ascendancy of the slightly more radical Republican Party in the person of Abraham Lincoln. Seems like there would be some way to replicate this, though - again - I'm no expert on how the game works internally.
    The issue is that the ACW began because Abraham Lincoln was elected President, and the southern states were afraid that he'd ban slavery, take away states' rights, etc. Unfortunately, only the upper and lower houses are represented in-game, and there is no in-game head of state.

    The solution Paradox came up with was to make it so that once Liberals occupied 40-50% of the Upper House, the southern states would leave and the ACW would begin.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingFred View Post
    -Even then, Lincoln dared not free the slaves. He had no real intention of ending slavery - just of limiting it. Freeing the slaves came about as politically expedient way of crippling the southern economy, placating radical northern abolitionists, and catering to European diplomats - 3 birds with one stone.
    The "slavery debate" modifier only exists to allow slavery events to fire and eventually for the ACW to occur. However, when you are at war with the Confederacy, you eventually get a decision called the Emancipation Proclamation that allows you to ban slavery. Other than that, there's nothing related to Lincoln (or the Republican Party's) stance on slavery.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1alexey View Post
    Russian serfs?
    Did anyone ever seen them?
    The productivity of weat-gathering aristocracy should be cornerstone to Russian politics.
    Right?
    Yes, you are absolutely correct.

    But crying out for attention in a thread completely unrelated to Russia is counter-productive. Perhaps you should create your own thread about Russian politics and discuss it there.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZomgK3tchup View Post
    Yes, you are absolutely correct.

    But crying out for attention in a thread completely unrelated to Russia is counter-productive. Perhaps you should create your own thread about Russian politics and discuss it there.
    I believe he was trying to say that no country in V2 was done 100% right, many abstractions and compromises had to be made. With a game of V2 scope it just isn't possible, even for major nations like USA, GB, Russia etc...

    Those nations usually get some more flavour events and decisions, slightly better researched parties etc... but that's it.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by SDSkinner View Post
    Couldn't they fix this by having a Modern Republican and Modern Democrat political parties?



    More importantly having an upper house with 52% liberal (24 liberals/46 total) means you could immediately implement a political reform and if it reflected population composition you could do one every year. It would be a bit odd if the US abolished slavery on January 2nd, 1836 and by 1840 had abolished the senate and adopted a parlimentary system (proportional representation and by population represent that sort of set up).

    No, they couldn't because that would be even worse. The GOP was formed in 1854-- 18 years after start date.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by EU3NOOB View Post
    No, they couldn't because that would be even worse. The GOP was formed in 1854-- 18 years after start date.
    Just have all three-four factions of the Republicans activate at different times, and deactivate any factions that become obsolete. I don't see the problem.

    One thing that would be really helpful for this would be to make it possible to activate political parties with the same triggers with which you can activate an event. Thus, you could have Republicans form when consciousness gets to a certain level. It would also be nice to have the upper house actually consist of representatives from parties in the lower house, but I have no idea how that could be implemented without a ton of work.

    EDIT: Oh, and to the OP, the USA is 100 percent conservative to keep slavery from being outlawed early. It's a pretty heavy abstraction, but it keeps the civil war from firing in 1840.
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  20. #20
    In my US 100% of Afro Americans favor slavery and over 30% Is Beifaren. So yeah a lot of wierd things happen in the US.

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