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Thread: tips for a new player

  1. #1

    tips for a new player

    I just got Victoria 2 and A House Divided a couple of days ago and I'm trying to get started now. I played the tutorial and everything, but it's just not making any sense. I used to play eu3, but victoria 2 has so much stuff going on. I started as sardinia-piedmont which is a secondary power and I couldn't really do anything. I started out with some money, but I ran out in a few days and I just don't get it. How should I go about doing stuff? I realise this game is less war-oriented than other ones and is more about economy and stuff like that but I just don't get it... what am I supposed to do?

  2. #2
    Master of Orion delra's Avatar
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    To begin with? Balance your budget, work on your literacy, build an industry, conquer some ports around Africa.
    “Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by delra View Post
    To begin with? Balance your budget, work on your literacy, build an industry, conquer some ports around Africa.
    So I should increase the taxes? What about the expenses? And should I build factories that use resources that I'm already producing? There's so much stuff going on that I just don't know where to start really.

  4. #4
    Master of Orion delra's Avatar
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    You are (or will be) in the French sphere of influence, and they can provide your industry with more than it needs. I'd advise producing Wine early on.

    About spending, cut your national stockpile spending (keep it low unless at war), boost your education/administration spending (100% and 91%) and military spending (71%). Raise tariffs and taxes if you can't keep it up, tax the poor the most, try to remove taxes from the rich and the middle if you have space for manoeuvre.
    “Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”

  5. #5
    Alright, thanks. How do I use the National Focus though?

  6. #6
    Master of Orion delra's Avatar
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    First bureaucrats until your admin efficiency is 100%, then Clergy until you have 3%-ish of them in the country, then some Capitalists (but you need to cut rich taxes to 0% so they don't vanish), then as many Clerks as you can make to boost your research even further. Small countries like that have an advantage of easy manipulation of POP percentages to maximize their science, another example is Belgium, or Two Sicilies, which can be turned into tech powerhouses with just a few touches.

    Your tech is the fastest when you have 2% Clergy, 4% Clerks, 100 plurality, 100% literacy and maximum Philosophy tech.
    “Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”

  7. #7
    Cheers, I'll try to do what you said and see how stuff goes.

  8. #8
    Master of Orion delra's Avatar
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    To become Italy you need to take Milan from Austria (not that hard to do with French and German/Russian help, if you can get them to ally you and join the war, which is arguably easiest done still in their sphere of influence), become a Great Power (conquering Tunisia and Yemen should put you there) and put the rest of Italy into your sphere of influence (AI will not fight if your influence tech is better than theirs, your investment in the target is big enough and you go all into it). Then you'll be a proper major power with 5 million people of your state culture and can do all the many cool things Italians get to do like colonizing or beating Austria like a redheaded stepchild so they cough up the rest of your historical lands.

    It's one of more pleasurable campaigns of this game.
    “Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”

  9. #9
    I just won a war (by that I mean that I occupied everything) vs the swiss to get their eastern part and then added the wargoal to make them a puppet and I called Spain into the war (they kinda helped) and now they're warleader and won't negotiate a peacedeal. It's been like 5 years and I'm just standing there waiting for them to negoatiate a peacedeal... what's going on?
    Last edited by moldeh; 21-05-2012 at 20:13.

  10. #10
    Master of Orion delra's Avatar
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    No idea, Spanish AI must be doing something horribly wrong. Try reloading the save, might unclutter them. If not, white peace out of the war?
    “Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”

  11. #11
    I reloaded and just didn't call them in the war, I managed to win anyways. How good is puppeting people btw?

  12. #12
    Master of Orion delra's Avatar
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    In the case of Switzerland it's pretty much pointless. French AI is insanely active in trying to tie them to their sphere of influence, and Swiss own market is very tiny and irrelevant to the big scope of things in the game. French, germans or Austrians might attack you later demanding to free the Swiss people. Don't bother attacking Switzerland, there is very little to gain there, rather plot the downfall of Austria or conquer yourself access points to colonization in Africa and in the Pacific.
    “Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”

  13. #13
    I think I'm sort of getting the hang of things, but there's still some stuff I'm not quite sure about. Do I keep the national focus on my capital? How come I tried to build a factory but it wouldn't start construction? Should I increase tariffs or not? Where should I build factories, what kind of factories and how do I make them make me more money? Should I get lands from uncivilised nations whenever I can, or are colonies kinda lackluster, like in EU3? How do I get reforms (it says I can't pass any) and should I be passing them? Which parties are better? And finally, how can I tell if I'm doing things right? It just looks like my situation isn't getting any better or worse.

    I know that's a crapload of questions and I'm being a bit of a pain in the ass, but this game has a stupidly steep learning curve. It just throws a bunch of stuff in your face and it's just too much to take in all at once... and the tutorial (as with most paradox games) isn't all that useful.

  14. #14
    National focus operate on a state. Your capital is in a state and you'll need to move your focus to another state because you want to have 1% bureaucrats and 3% clergy in all states. So if you now own East Switzerland that's another state. As time goes you'll get more focus through techs and you'll be able to influence more pops.

    When a factory is "paid", it still needs to gather the materials (cement, steel, machine parts and some other stuff), so it takes some time before the construction start and it can be a long time if there's a world shortage of one of these components. Your prestige is your rank of access to the world market, so if you have a very low prestige you'll have a hard time buying materials. By putting your mouse on the "factory in progress" either in the outliner or in the province view, it'll tell you what it lacks or what it is gathering.

    Tariffs ? Well that depends, it helps balance your budget but it just makes everything you import more expensive so your population may not be able to afford its need, it can protect your factories but only if your internal market is strong enough and I don't think that's the case for Sardinia.

    It's better to build factories for which you have the resources but don't feel too limited by that.
    Colonies are important, they'll provide you with ressources and manpower. Without colonies it can be quite hard to buy some ressources late in the game. And they provide prestige! With Italy you're in range of Africa so you should go for it. Tunisia and Algeria are good early game targets. Some people like to hit Egypt for the Suez Canal and a lot of cotton (that you can turn in fabric, then in clothes).
    Dai Nam can be a mid-game target, tobacco and some manpower, plus it gives you a border on China, making it easier to either attck it or influence it and get them into your sphere.

  15. #15
    Hey bud,

    I'm a fairly new player my self, bought Vic2+AHD off of steam 2 weeks ago. I came from playing Hearts of Iron 3 a lot, so I had no idea how to manage all the little intricacies there are in vic2, just like you. But I just read a lot of AAR's, and they really helped.

    So anyway, I'll help out with what I learned so for, so maybe others can correct me on some stuff.

    Try to place your national focus in regions you need them the most. So if you need clerks in an eastward province of your nation, place a national focus there. You can
    pretty much place them anywhere, there isn't any exception as far as I know.

    Factories are something I'm not 100 percent too sure about; however, it's pretty important to understand what kind of factories you build and where you build them. So if you've got a lot of timber as a raw material produced in your countries, find the province that produces it a lot and place a lumber mill there; maybe down the road build a furniture factory in the same province. Basically, build factories that take advantage of your province's raw or produced goods (ie, if you're building a lot of lumber, and have tropical trees in the same province, build a luxury furniture in the same province). Also, it's very important to build railroads as they really help out with the output of your factories and rawgoods.

    As for tariffs, I try to maintain it low, in case if my factories need to import materials, the price for those imported goods aren't too high to make my factories expenses go too high and close down.

    As for warring for lands and colonizing. Just check what kind of raw goods they got, and see if it benefits you. Colonizing is always good since it can give you access to materials you might not find in your home land. It comes down to what you want for your country.

    As for reforms, it all depends on your population and how you treat and spend on them. For example, if your population has a high literacy rate they will be more conscious about the government, and demand for reforms. Usually, if the population doesn't get what they want, they will rebel and force your political party to give what they want. Lastly, picking which political party impacts how often you can reform things; just read what stuff the party supports (ie, are they in support of laissez faire, state capitalism...so on). As for what kinds of political parties are the best, it all comes down again to what YOU want out of your country, and you'll figure that out by playing the game more.

    How to tell if you are doing it right...well, the objective of the game is be #1, so it largely depends on how your country performs compared to the rest of the world. But, it's also fun to set personal objectives for yourself, and see how that works out. Like, invading Great Britain as USA, or being the #1 industrial nation without a big army.

    Finally, the best advice I can give to you is just to play and experiment with the game first hand. It's certainly a lot more intuitive than just reading.

    I hope that helped.
    Last edited by Xill; 22-05-2012 at 03:11.

  16. #16
    Private Sharpe7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by delra View Post
    To begin with? Balance your budget, work on your literacy, build an industry, conquer some ports around Africa.
    I did exactly that - played as France and conquered Algeria since troops were already stationed there at the start.

  17. #17
    By and large, it doesn't matter where factories are placed. Lumber mills need to have timber in their region. Steel mills need coal or iron (not both). Clipper/Steamer shipyards need to be on a coast. All goods are first pooled in your country. Then all goods countries don't use are pooled globally. So a cement factory is just as profitable in a region with coal as anywhere else in the world.

    IMO, the most profitable factories are the lumber chain (lumber mill, paper factory, furniture) & steel mills. Glass/wine/liquor/cement are goods your country or pops will always need. I'd stay out of cloth/clothes unless you're Britain since they have a near monopoly on dye. Later factories like dye, fuel, and the electronics can all be very profitable if you get the need raw materials. Most important thin when you're small and have low prestige, is to have factories for what you produce. For Sardinia-Piedmont specifically, I believe they get some coal and a good amount of fruit, so go with a glass factory & winery. Winery in Turin, glass on the island. This would be my ideal, you may have something different in place already in place that's just as good.

    It's almost always good to take land from civilized countries. Prior to researching nationalism & imperialism (available in 1850) you can annex countries with only one state. Tunis is a good option. The ottomans usually beat up on Egypt, so you could sneak in and take a state or two. Taking Dumyat would give you the option of building the Suez canal later in the game.

    Regarding industry, to make it profitable, there's several factors.
    Railroads - better railroads increase the efficiency of your workers in factories & RGOs (farms/mines etc). This concept is called throughput.
    Techs - Certain techs improve your factory efficiency. Input/output/throughput increase profitability. The right half of the commerce techs & most of the industry page give these bonuses.
    Markets - People to buy your produced goods. This can be your country, the sphere you're part of, or the world market. The more people you have, and the more wealthy people, the better.
    Raw materials - If your steel mill can't get enough iron or coal, it can't make money.

    To help you with some of the definitions/concepts:
    Throughput is the efficiency of a worker. If a worker turns 1 coal into 1 cement each day. With increased throughput, he can turn 1.1 coal into 1.1 cement.
    Output efficiency increases the amount produced without changing the input. So 1 coal becomes 1.1 cement.
    Input decreases the required raw materials needed. So .9 coal becomes 1 cement.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by falloutboy14 View Post
    By and large, it doesn't matter where factories are placed. Lumber mills need to have timber in their region. Steel mills need coal or iron (not both). Clipper/Steamer shipyards need to be on a coast. All goods are first pooled in your country. Then all goods countries don't use are pooled globally. So a cement factory is just as profitable in a region with coal as anywhere else in the world.
    So, lumber mills and steel mills need to have the stuff they require in their region and other than that it's better to have what they require in my country so I don't have to import it. I'm not sure I understood the part about the cement factories, though. Did you mean that if my country produces coal it doesn't matter in which region I build the cement factory?

    The other stuff you mentioned helped me a lot (as did the stuff other people mentioned) and I think I'm starting to understand things. My real issue is that I can't tell how I should balance my sliders really. In eu3, I'd mint a little if I had to get even, but here I'm not sure if I should raise my tariffs/taxes and what short-term or long-term effects that would have on my people. If I'm understanding it correctly, then it's kinda like that: If I raise my tariffs too much, my factories might not be making a profit if they have to buy stuff I'm not producing and their workers and owners won't have a good income for me to tax and similarly if I tax people too much they might be demoted or a poorer strata or leave the country. Similarly, I'm not sure about the expense sliders and when to raise/lower them.

  19. #19
    The cement thing was an example to make the point that the game doesn't factor in transport cost. So aside from the lumber/steal mills, the most important factor when placing a factory is the population of the state, and it's likelihood to be taken through war.

    For the sliders, your national stockpile can be set around ~50% if you're not at war. (This slider keeps your army supplied, and pays for things you purchase, railroads, factories, boats etc).

    Clergy should be maxed out unless you hit 100% literacy. This is essentially your clergymen's salary and effects pops promotion to clergymen. Your clergy rate effects your populations literacy gain and research points.

    Bureaucrat slider I tend to have at 90 or 100%. This is your bureaucrats salary and effects promotion to bureaucrats. I'm fairly sure there's a % in this menu. If your administration efficiency hits 100%, you can lower the slider to around 50%.

    Your army spending pays your officer/soldier salary, I keep this at 100% unless you're desperate for money. Same as the others more or less.

    For your taxes, it sort of depends. If you're a state capitalist economy, you can gouge your upper class, since you don't rely on them to build stuff. If you're laissez-faire and want your capitalists to build factories, or your pops to promote to capitalists, you'll want to lower taxes on them, so they have money to invest/promote.

    Another way to think about it is ... if your factories produce too much, to the point where stuff goes unsold and they can't turn a profit. You can lower taxes dramatically and raise tariffs. This puts more money in their pocket, allowing them to buy your goods.

    There's no real right or wrong way to go about it. At the start you'll likely have to keep taxes high to pay for your first factories. Once that's taken care of, lower tax/tariff so you're just barely in the green.

  20. #20
    I was 10-15th rank and breaking even and I had some north africa (tunis, tripoli and bits of morocco and algeria) and got hedjaz, yemen and finally the suez region. After that, for some reason, my income plummeted. Up to that time, I was doing ok, but I've got no idea what happened. Is it because the jacobins started revolting? I gave them landed voting to switch to prussian constitutionalism but that didn't fix my income issue. Even if I went full tariffs and full taxes on everybody and 0% stockpile, there was no way I could break even. I'm baffled.

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