I'm a new player playing the USA. I researched Ideological Thought but it didn't do me any good because I only have 2.27M people with Yankee culture. This number is fluctuating but steady or growing very slowly. How can I assimilate immigrants so I have more Yankees or otherwise increase my national focus points beyond 2?
The game starts out with Washington and Oregon as national colonization focuses, with around 25% progress in each, so I let those go. I've read advice that I should try to colonize British Columbia, but that seems like a waste since it looks like if I switch I lose all the progress in Oregon. So I let those two go. Now I'm in a race with Mexico to grab Colorado. They're ahead. I read somewhere I can put army units in the area to help my cause, is there any magic number of units that gets you the maximum effect? Does it help to put units in every part of the state? Is there any other way to speed this up?
Finally a really dumb question: I meant to set the game to very easy but somehow in bailing out of an early give-up and starting the current game it got back to normal. If I set it to very easy will that take effect on the current game or do I need to start over to have the difficulty take effect?
Forgot to say I'm playing Victoria II, not the expansion. This is my first paradox game and I wasn't sure I'd like it...
Army units may or may not help depending on how far you patched the game. If you are playing 1.2 or earlier they help, 1.3 or 1.4 they don't (although the tooltip still says they do). In AHD the help is turned back on again. 1 brigade anywhere in the colony is all it takes. Otherwise progress just depends on luck. You might get (or lose) 10% from luck but unless its close its not worth staying in the race.
Manifest destiny will allow you to conquer it off Mexico infamy free later in the game. This is why its better to compete with the UK for a bit of Canada rather than Mexico for territory that you will eventually be able to claim as rightfully yours and conquer.
Avoid unemployment by keeping building and expanding factories and immigrants will pour in and assimilate. Reforming will make them come a little faster, but the only thing that will stop them is unemployment. It will take a little time before the immigration flow starts because every POP starts the game with 0 CON, and that kills emigration. Once Europe has had time to accumulate some CON, they will come flooding in.
Yankee culture soldiers will stay loyal come the civil war and Dixie ones won't. If you are intending to stay with the US, avoid recruiting your army from Dixie soldier POPs.
The difficulty settings make very little difference to the game difficulty. You might as well leave it on normal.