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Thread: Manufacturing Italy: A PoN GC (... sort of)

  1. #21
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    An attempt to book my Summer holidays fails ... and other incidents

    In this update, I'll discuss parts of the colonial and diplomatic systems. The manual suggests concentrate on Italy first and that is probably good advice, but the lure to do something is rather overwhelming. Also Italy is not exactly a major player in the diplomatic or colonial world so I don't think I can do myself too much harm.

    This is also a welcome break from obsessively monitoring my wood stocks (more on this later).

    Colonialism for a beginner:

    The colonial mapmode is one of the four on offer (right hand corner of the screen) and like the others it has a sub-mode where you can find the things you can build. This works like the others, click on an object and the map will go green (can build), orange (can't build) or light green (can build but can't afford it).



    Here I want to send merchants, from the tooltip, they sound like they have the capacity to pay off as each turn they operate returns me 5 private capital for an investment of 25. In theory they can last 24 turns so a return of 120 (if they survive that long)

    So lets dump them in Tripoli (I was tempted to Tunis but that might mean upsetting the French)



    Diplomacy for beginners:

    And while we are risking the outside world, time for some diplomacy. Parma is one of my close neighbours so I consider drawing them onto my side. I have a number of options



    and a commercial agreement sounds harmless

    I also ask Prussia for a state visit (Berlin would be nice for a short city-break in May), and the Ottomans for a commercial deal too



    I can review (and cancel if I want) all these proposals



    I also, closely related to diplomacy, have decisions I can play. Again this is a map mode and you can select things to 'build' and places you can build them in.

    Italian Unification sounds a spiffing idea.



    So lets dump that on Tuscany.

    Next turn all looks rather good



    Turn after it all goes ... slump



    My merchants lasted 1 turn (so I spent 25 to gain back 5 ... sounds like the state of my current account). And Europe regards poor wee moi as a threat ...

    And while they all think I am a threat, look at what the beastly Austrians are up to



    Now I could have intervened, but it doesn't seem very wise, and it was all resolved too quickly



    Now time flies while you are having fun on the diplomatic cocktail circuit, and I come to the view I need more merchant ships (primarily so I can either spread my trade network out or build some dominance in areas I already trade in).

    So I can afford to build a new merchant fleet and to celebrate the start of June, that is just what I do



    If I can't have a paid for holiday, I'll have a state cruise instead.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  2. #22
    Second Lieutenant Matto's Avatar
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    Great AAR, I always find something new for all I playing PoN more then half of year

  3. #23
    I'll start watching all of the PoN AARs. I have started 2 games as the U.S. The first I stopped because it needed to be patched and the second, I just kind of drifted away. It didn't seem too hard, but the U.S. seems to almost run itself even if you don't know what you're doing. Fighting the Indians was interesting and compelling. I did not get to the Civil War, though which would have made things very interesting.

  4. #24
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    Great AAR, I always find something new for all I playing PoN more then half of year
    I know what you mean - the revised manual is very good but some of it only really makes sense in hindsight. Its good there are a number of GC PoN AARs at the moment as its very instructive looking at differeng playstyles and approaches

    Quote Originally Posted by hgilmer View Post
    I'll start watching all of the PoN AARs. I have started 2 games as the U.S. The first I stopped because it needed to be patched and the second, I just kind of drifted away. It didn't seem too hard, but the U.S. seems to almost run itself even if you don't know what you're doing. Fighting the Indians was interesting and compelling. I did not get to the Civil War, though which would have made things very interesting.
    I find the idea of the USA in PoN more interesting than in V2. You in effect have an essentially isolated domestic economy and the slow expansion westwards, it would be interesting to see how the Civil War is modelled too. My logic to S-P was the relative lack of scale makes problem checking and searching that bit easier though
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  5. #25
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Of matters of coal and wood

    In economic terms, the latter part of 1850 was a tussle over access to 2 resources.

    Should confess, I tried to solve this in isolation, I should have adopted 2Coats' solution of effectively stabilising all the assets and then worked out the remaining problems.

    Anyway, the first crisis was a steadily worsening lack of coal.



    I also, oddly found I was over-buying a few things such as minerals, so by working between the F4 (industry and commerce) and the B-screen (assets balance), I brought that pretty much under control



    This also had the advantage of easing a loss of my capital stocks.

    Now by the end of August the coal crisis was very worrying (and this was before my railroads were complete)



    Quite simply I can't trade my way out of the mess.

    Now those of you with lots of experience at PoN will know I'm missing the obvious (all I can plead is not really understanding what the option led to), as the solution is to offer a coal import subsidy



    In effect, every time from now on the coal stock runs out, I just play this option. In effect 30 units of coal appear in my stockpile.



    Now I have 2 other solutions but they will take time build a coal mine in Tuscany or France (but for either I need a commercial agreement and to be able to afford the mine).

    My new ships are sent to the naval box off NW France



    At this stage, I check out the Census screen. Now my overall happiness is ok, not good but ok at 51% (so that is up from game start), but it started to diverge by region.



    None of these are deeply worrying, just something to keep an eye on for now.

    By October, a new shortage has become my focus. Wood.



    Which I need for a lot of my factories that in turn produce valuable goods (especially the mechanical parts factory)



    I have one domestic logging operation



    (note you can track in your structures both by input and output when trying this sort of problem solving, just ensure that all other variables are masked)

    Trading doesn't seem to work



    Except I now spot a new potential source. So I move the new merchant fleet from W Europe to the Carribean to trade with Mexico.

    The other option is to build more facilities, but I don't want to use up my relatively limited slots in my own provinces if I can help it. So I look around, in theory I could build one in modern day Epirus



    But that would mean a commercial agreement with the Ottomans and is in a volatile region. Equally, at some stage I'm plotting war with the Ottomans to reclaim the lands of the most Serene Republic (Venice) and grab bits of North Africa.

    But I can build a wood logging operation in France (who I am trying to make like me in any case).

    Which we do



    Now in the short term, wood from Mexico relieves the problem



    Thus ends 1850. In addition I did some more sending merchants to the Horn of Africa and around Tripoli and played some Italian unification cards on Tuscany and the Two Sicilies.

    On balance at the year end my economy is mostly stable and I seem to have a solution in place for my two worst problems. The next year will see a fixation with finding enough manufactured goods to allow further industrial expansion.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  6. #26
    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
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    Informative as always Loki100.

    Good move building what you are short of and dont have resources of at home. Ive managed to self-destruct my economic gains from the first few months and have been playing catchup ever since.

    This concept of being able to build commercial structures is great. Just one question do they provide shared amounts of PC, taxes and resources? How does income generated for a foreign built structure in a foreign land work? For that matter who pays the expenses and how are the inputs handled?

    I may have look at this option in my game.
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  7. #27
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    well - I'll confess I don't understand all the ways that the PoN economy slots together, but I am pretty sure that (a) I paid the start up costs and (b) I'm paying the ongoing input costs (which is just capital). In return I get the timber to either use or sell and depending I get taxes etc from where it ends up.

    So my instinct is its as good as a domestic site. The risk is what happens in the case of revolt/unrest where you can lose control. So working on the assumption that France will have one more round of turmoil as Louis Napoleon ends the Second Republic and installs the Second Empire and then should be calm till something happens to shake his control lose, then my investment should be safe for some time. Thats why I sort of reasoned not to build in NW Greece because who knows what'll happen there, esp as in my game (I'm up to Aug/Sept 1851) the Ottomans are being eaten alive by Russia with no sign of any support from the British.

    If all this is the case, then it seems that outsourcing is a good idea - I took it from the comment in the manual about building coal mines in France (but at the moment I find paying 300 capital for 30 coal trade pretty efficient, esp as the Manuf Goods shortage is hampering my ability to spend my capital in other ways).

    Its an odd but very engaging economic game, and I guess I'll realise in 5-6 years time that I've made some fundamental mistake
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  8. #28
    Maestro Director's Avatar
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    I have a love/hate relationship with AGEOD games, or perhaps love/fear is closer to the truth. Anyway, I'm enjoying your explanations of what you are doing and why.

    Hoping for a new post soon.
    "That which does not kill me, has made a grave tactical error." - Jerry Pournelle

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  9. #29
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Director View Post
    I have a love/hate relationship with AGEOD games, or perhaps love/fear is closer to the truth. Anyway, I'm enjoying your explanations of what you are doing and why.

    Hoping for a new post soon.
    aye I know what you mean, if you are used to the Paradox model then they can be a bit confusing. I still find Wars In America an odd mix of utterly beguiling games and utterly confusing - no fault of the game engine, just the scale of the blessed place and the lack of units makes any idea of a strategy based on front lines completely redundant.

    I'm sure my game play in this is not even sub-optimal, but it seems useful to engage in the AAR equivalent of thinking aloud ...
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  10. #30
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    January - April 1851 (its the stupid economy again)

    As mentioned at the start, I'm not going to handle this as a normal AAR, and in fact as the game progresses I'll compress more and more time periods, till we get to some action over Italian Unification. In game, I'm up to mid-1852 and have managed to produce a pretty stable economy so what I am going to do is concentrate on how I got there.

    This post covers January to April 1851, mostly on the economy as that was my focus with a sideshow of diplomacy and a salting of colonialism.

    Now so far, I've worried about buying the goods I need. At the start of 1851 I decided to see if I can balance up my economy by selling stuff too.

    For this you need the trade map (you can access this by pressing T or pushing one of the little buttons that surround the world map.



    This gives in turn access to the Trade Screen. Now unlike the buy screen (B), this varies by trade region, but for the moment this is what I sell/buy from N Italy



    What I did was to link it to the F4 (Industry and Commerce screen) and work steadily across the columns for anything where my stockpile was growing larger than I wanted (since I'm not planning war, in the main increasing stockpiles is a bit of luxury)



    So as we can see above, at the moment my fish stock is growing. No gain to this so I'll sell some more. I opt to end by only keeping 69 and sell 3 (as you can see I've also gone seriously into the wine trade).



    I'll let all these changes run a couple of turns to make sure nothing is unbalanced.

    Now while I am being all economical, the French are still whinging about the size of my army, while Russia seems to be planning WW1 all on its own.



    As we will see later, Russia takes these CB options very seriously. Anyway back to the economy.

    This is the trade screen a bit later. Fish seems to be in balance, but I'm selling too much wine, so I cut the sales back by a bit.



    For a bit of sport, I carry on doing colonial actions, mainly around the Horn of Africa and some in modern day Libya.



    As time goes on, I carry on trying to smooch with the French ... I do so want them to be my friends, and I am making slow progress in terms of their opinion of me



    Anyway various things happen over the next couple of months. My new Mechanical bits factory opens



    Which is good as that is becoming a bit of a bottleneck as I need more Manufactured Goods in order to build up more industry

    My population run off



    (Unlike V2, PoN handles long range migration by event, I believe that population will move locally according to available work)

    I increase my involvement in the Horn of Africa with a real proper Trading Post



    My new wood farm in Bearn opens



    Even as I hit yet another coal crisis



    So again opt to solve this by subsidy (ie effectively buy a stock of 30 to tide me over). However, this is becoming a recurrent problem, that I need a better solution to than just buying in a stock and nursing my usage till the next time I can play this option.

    My fundamental problem is even before I can think of building a coal mine somewhere else I need to get both Commercial Agreements and enough Manufactured Goods for the purchase. Ideally I'd like to build one in Tuscany (on the assumption that will be mine in the end) but if needs be I'll pop one down in France. I also want to build a railway east of Torino to link up to Milano.

    As to my future plans. I'll stick with the original idea and play this till I have the 1870 boundaries of Italy (or its clear I've failed utterly in that goal). There is a new 1.3 beta patch available on the AGEOD forums but I'm not going to download that till I've wrapped this up. Even if somethings change, I think keeping on with this is of use.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  11. #31
    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
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    Super update Loki100. Pretty similar panning out of action for me too, though alot of different events for me. The main thing is that the game focus' colonial expansion to the historic areas of the globe for the nation being played, and even though you can strike out to areas that were controlled historically to do so take a monumental effort.

    Re: economy I had problems with chemical and then mfg goods also. The thing that gets me is the lack of control in terms of structures. Or at least thats what I thought until I turned off conversions and switched off the buildings. Cancelled all imports and exports. Then I activated the buidings one by one watching for the changes to the commodities needed. By around the same time as your update I managed to actually get the economy balanced and had all my buildings back on. There is a trick to it, which Im writing up as I type - but its just not that intuitive. Better screen/interface design would have helped here.

    Anyways...I wonder how the immigration event(s) will affect your census. In my game Im getting the first signs of revolts in some of my unhappy (read French) provinces. Colonially though its going pretty well. Unfortunately most other areas of the game S-P ranks have fallen rapidly!

    Avoid the beta-patch, at least for a few more years.

    Good luck w/ the rest of it.

    EDIT: One of your pics is broken.
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  12. #32
    Private Ellesthyan's Avatar
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    One little feature that you both might have missed, is that it is possible to alter the percentage of goods sold to your national market. This can be done in the f4 screen, by pressing on one of the goods icons in the fourth layer. A left click increases the percentage, a right click decreases it, for a maximum of 80% sold to the national market, and a minimum of 5%. One or less stocks results in zero goods sold to the national market.

    This is vital as it will allow you to sell the maximum of stuff to your own population, increasing happiness and giving you a reliable source of income. Also it is possible to minimize the selling of important goods such as mfg. goods or coal, by setting the percentage sold to the national market to 5%.

    If you already were aware of this feature please disregard, otherwise I hope it helps!

  13. #33
    Excellent. I recently re-started playing this game and looking forward to reading your AAR.

  14. #34
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Yet another AAR, loki? Pulling a Rensslaer, are you?

    Looks interesting and informative. Who knows, I might eventually break down and give this game another try - but then I wouldn't have any time left for AARland. Oh, the dilemmas...
    Hollow Little Reign - A brief Crusader Kings tale about family ties in Byzantium.

  15. #35
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Coats View Post
    Super update Loki100. Pretty similar panning out of action for me too, though alot of different events for me. The main thing is that the game focus' colonial expansion to the historic areas of the globe for the nation being played, and even though you can strike out to areas that were controlled historically to do so take a monumental effort.

    Re: economy I had problems with chemical and then mfg goods also. The thing that gets me is the lack of control in terms of structures. Or at least thats what I thought until I turned off conversions and switched off the buildings. Cancelled all imports and exports. Then I activated the buidings one by one watching for the changes to the commodities needed. By around the same time as your update I managed to actually get the economy balanced and had all my buildings back on. There is a trick to it, which Im writing up as I type - but its just not that intuitive. Better screen/interface design would have helped here.

    Anyways...I wonder how the immigration event(s) will affect your census. In my game Im getting the first signs of revolts in some of my unhappy (read French) provinces. Colonially though its going pretty well. Unfortunately most other areas of the game S-P ranks have fallen rapidly!

    Avoid the beta-patch, at least for a few more years.

    Good luck w/ the rest of it.

    EDIT: One of your pics is broken.
    Agree about the beta, in any case it won't change the things I want to explore in this AAR. I suppose I'm more interested in setting out the various economic and diplomatic management tools -which I guess will say much the same - than any particular gameplay. By Summer 1852, I think I have a viable economy, but I really should have done your more systemic approach as opposed to my rather piecemeal one.

    I actually drive up population happiness by passing laws etc. Its a bit costly in terms of prestige (if you fail), but as in the next post, it really does pay off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellesthyan View Post
    One little feature that you both might have missed, is that it is possible to alter the percentage of goods sold to your national market. This can be done in the f4 screen, by pressing on one of the goods icons in the fourth layer. A left click increases the percentage, a right click decreases it, for a maximum of 80% sold to the national market, and a minimum of 5%. One or less stocks results in zero goods sold to the national market.

    This is vital as it will allow you to sell the maximum of stuff to your own population, increasing happiness and giving you a reliable source of income. Also it is possible to minimize the selling of important goods such as mfg. goods or coal, by setting the percentage sold to the national market to 5%.

    If you already were aware of this feature please disregard, otherwise I hope it helps!
    Thanks for that - I wasn't aware of that option and it might have been invaluable both for economy balancing in terms of allocation of key goods, happiness and boosting income by domestic sales. When I restart the game (I'm up to June 1852), I'll explore the potential of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by baris30 View Post
    Excellent. I recently re-started playing this game and looking forward to reading your AAR.
    Thank you, and welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Yet another AAR, loki? Pulling a Rensslaer, are you?

    Looks interesting and informative. Who knows, I might eventually break down and give this game another try - but then I wouldn't have any time left for AARland. Oh, the dilemmas...
    I think you just have to take this one slowly. A few times I have just jumped through some turns but that is rare. It might work with the US or UK where you are either pretty isolated or have a robust economy at the start, but I'm finding with S-P that even once I get the economy sort of stable, there is a lot to fuss over. So if I play for 45mins-1 hour, I guess I get through 4-5 turns. On that basis there is no point taking into account that this game lasts almost 1450 turns.

    I think the other consequence of that is being prepared to take your time. In RoP I've come up with a view that with the Austrians in the first year you can't win (so don't push it) but you can lose - I guess this one is the same on a larger scale. You can probably wreck your economy at the start, but you are not going to win early (even with my own invention of what a legitimate end point consists of).
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  16. #36
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Happiness, Turkey is stuffed, a Christmas shopping trip to Paris

    In addition to my new coal crisis, I decide to explore other ways to cheer up the populace (ok they are cold, the factories are shut, but I demand that they can be happy). This I opt to do by passing (or trying to pass) certain laws.

    In these cases you have a potential gain and a loss in prestige if you fail (now since prestige is hard to come by for a small state at the start and its the means to win the game, then this is quite a threat)

    Some of these you find on the government page, some on the census page.



    In this case, the new electoral law was passed but they decided to protect the aristocrats. At least I have some more coal now.

    And a happier population



    I carry on smooching the French ... one day they will decide to like me (ie the relations go above 25)



    But Russia has gone to war and China seems to have a minor local difficulty by the end of June



    Now by early July, the economy seems pretty stable. Mfg Goods are slowly growing, and capital is abundant (as I can't build anything due to the lack of Mfg Goods which is invariably a critical input)



    Anyway I decide to explore if there is anyway I can optimise my growth. My working factories take 5 Mfg Goods per turn to operate but are so profitable I'd rather not shut any down.

    I'm producing 11 per turn if I can make the shipbuilding factory stay open (I can stand the cash loss). In any case this should give me +5 per turn.





    If you are hunting a particular problem, going over this screen with care can really help you understand the key flows in your economy. Come 1852, we will be back on this quite a lot.

    Anyway, Russia has stormed into E Anatolia. Over the next few months it looks like they will eat the Ottomans in a single campaigning season with no response from Britain or France. I start eyeing up the possibility of a bit of action on the E Adriatic or N Africa where I have valid claims.

    However according to the French, despite Russia approaching the Eastern Med, I am the threat to world peace



    Still with my new stockpile of Mfg Goods its time to build. As with Victoria, railways give large boosts to productivity, equally building in Alessandria will conect Turin to Milan (a move that appeals for some reason or the other).



    Having spent my Mfg Goods stockpile, I replenish my stocks of those and coal.



    Again, I have 30 of each now.

    And rather optimistically I decide to build something else. Taking advice



    I opt for Mfg Goods shop (which lets face it, I need) in Piedmont

    Even while I am being so industrious, the Russians are wailing on the Turks (my guess is their NM is over 100 due to victories in the war.



    As Christmas is approaching, time to cheer everyone up even more. We'll ban childrens work



    Well I'd like to, but Parliament is more reactionary. Anyway, France finally agrees to a state visit so I can do some shopping in Paris



    And the Russians approach the coast.



    So there we have it. 1851, a year of coal shortages, hard nosed parliamentarians and a nice shopping trip to Paris. 1852 will bring me a new Mfg Goods plant and a shiny rail extension. And, at the moment, the economy seems under control. As we will see this optimism is the result of too much grappa at the Festa de Bufana. And, of course, Russia is well and truely stuffing the Turkey.

    And with that bad pun, its time to remind you all to vote in the ACAs. Early signs are of more participation which is good ... but even more vote(r)s is even better-er ... you know what I mean
    Last edited by loki100; 13-07-2012 at 15:28.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  17. #37
    You have mighty stockpiles of fish and cereals is there a reason you are stockpiling them or are they jusy not selling? I have had a hard time working out if there is any advantage to maintaining stockpiles of food stuffs that I am producing over and above my domestic need. It has certainly been profitable selling them off.

  18. #38
    First Lieutenant Fadi_Efendi's Avatar
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    Ah, the infamous Crimean War - the one which lasts well into the 1860s and where Crimea never sees action. In my game, it marked the point where my 2 min turns became 5 min ones...

    Don't forget that you don't need to be completely self-reliant: steel, mechanical parts and even manufactured goods should be available for import. In your shoes, I'd focus on agriculture, which only needs capital investment and is absorbed by your internal market.

  19. #39
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    5,645
    S-P is chugging along like the Little Engine That Could, the Russians are beating the stuffing out of Turkey and I spy that the Chinese have already managed to rack up 100,000+ combat casualties... Sweet Jesus, that's a lot of people dead, even for China.
    Hollow Little Reign - A brief Crusader Kings tale about family ties in Byzantium.

  20. #40
    In post 30, you showed us the button to bring up trade mode. What button or where did you click to get that screen right below this text?

    So as we can see above, at the moment my fish stock is growing. No gain to this so I'll sell some more. I opt to end by only keeping 69 and sell 3 (as you can see I've also gone seriously into the wine trade).

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