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.