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Thread: My experience with Greece (a bit of whining about NF)

  1. #1
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    My experience with Greece (a bit of whining about NF)

    I decided to give Greece a try and started off with a few ideas in mind:

    1. Colonize Africa
    2. Retake Greater Greece eventually

    My starting strategy are:
    1. Annex Tunisia and Algiers
    2. Attack Egypt and take as much land as I could when Ottoman declares war
    3. NF Bureaucrats

    That came off fine and I practically wiped Egypt off the map (while staying clear of Ottoman cores). After I got all the bureaucrats to 1%, I got a few hundred capitalists and then pumped clerks. Even with high poor tax, low tariffs, and zero middle tax, there's practically no promotion to clerks - zero - unless I NF the clerks.

    And then here comes the awful part, Greece is perpetually stuck with a small accepted culture population and thus a grand total of 1 NF. So despite having large stretches of land, I am stuck with almost no development at all. I got some factories but a 0.03% clerk population despite using my only NF on it.

    Ok, fine, so that means I need to retake the cores in the Ottoman Empire right? Well, thing is it is always either allied with Russia or Britain. I managed to sneak in an invasion while Britain was busy but France was the war leader and peaced out without enforcing my claims. And then by the time I was strong enough to take on Ottoman Empire alone, it was allied with France (who answered to call to arms anyway despite the big war with NGF) and it became a Great War - one that I could probably win with Britain and Austria but little chance of getting anything (Britain's the war leader and I can't get a separate peace with Ottoman Emprie).

    As for the colonizing goal, I had some initial success by beelining the life rating techs. And then I saw Spain colonizing 4 states simultaneously. I have a cap of 5 NF, still have a NF score of 1.0, and my country had 5 million people. I can possibly reload, abuse the dumb A.I., and get Britain to attack its Asian spheres + China with me, but I've already done that in my past two games (without needing to abuse the A.I.).

    Anyway, the deal-breaking for me in this particular game as a minor is the way NF is distributed. Not sure if others have similar beef.

  2. #2
    Second Lieutenant ingwaz's Avatar
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    First, why do you want clerks? Focus on clergymen to get that delicious literacy. And Clerks don't really do anything if you don't have a sufficient craftsman population, as they only make the craftsmen better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ingwaz View Post
    First, why do you want clerks? Focus on clergymen to get that delicious literacy. And Clerks don't really do anything if you don't have a sufficient craftsman population, as they only make the craftsmen better.
    Already did clergy to ~4%. Also had some craftsmen around.

  4. #4
    Clerks arent really the way to get ahead it seems. They make your crafties better but only if you have thousands of them. Id stick with NFing soldiers from Egypt. The Nile delta has tons of manpower that can make troops to help you retake your ottoman cores.

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    The pops to national focus ratio is also in defines.txt, I usually edit mine to a more reasonable number than the default value.

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    Field Marshal calvinhobbeslik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Shade View Post
    The pops to national focus ratio is also in defines.txt, I usually edit mine to a more reasonable number than the default value.
    What value? 100k? 50k?

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    Greece is very difficult. Attacking Egypt can quite often just end up with a millstone around your neck- mostly rubbish land that you pay out out maintenance for, and in some games you'll find yourself at war with GPs who are sphering Egypt. I've long since left it alone.

    You are never going to get that second NF for colonisation unless you get your cores back (and maybe beyond). Yes, the Alliance thing makes that very difficult, but that's the core of the Greek game.

    Bear in mind that even if you get your cores, your NF, a load of Africa colonised and the Byzantines restored, you will always be a second rate GP. Greece just has too many issues with poor literacy and no cultural cohesion to ever be top notch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corelay View Post
    Greece is very difficult. Attacking Egypt can quite often just end up with a millstone around your neck- mostly rubbish land that you pay out out maintenance for, and in some games you'll find yourself at war with GPs who are sphering Egypt. I've long since left it alone.

    You are never going to get that second NF for colonisation unless you get your cores back (and maybe beyond). Yes, the Alliance thing makes that very difficult, but that's the core of the Greek game.

    Bear in mind that even if you get your cores, your NF, a load of Africa colonised and the Byzantines restored, you will always be a second rate GP. Greece just has too many issues with poor literacy and no cultural cohesion to ever be top notch.
    I think one of the very sad thing with Greece is that automatic promotions to craftsmen and clerks is so little that it's negligible. I remember getting Naxos 100% administrative efficiency and then some decades later, I found that it lost all its bureaucrats (and I don't even tax them, wtf). IMO, one of Greece's biggest problem is a very fragile middle class where as that has never been a big problem for the likes of Mexico and Netherlands. It is the only nation I've tried so far that needs to have craftsmen NFed. Those lazy Greeks.

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    AHD makes it easier for Greece to get NFs, because the primary culture population for each is lower than in vanilla (400k I think?). Still, there aren't that many Greeks and I only got my second NF at some time around 1870 (after I had liberated Crete, Thessaly and I think also Macedonia). I had earlier conquered Tunis but not Algiers or Tripoli, so I could not colonize from there because the Ottomans cut me off (they actually colonized more of Africa than the Spanish). Not having meddled in Egypt since liberating Crete, I decided to pursue the old-fashioned African strategy by declaring war on Oman and getting some of its African territories to use as a base from which to colonize East Africa. Djibouti was also within colonization range, so I didn't technically need that war, but it made it easier for me to cut off the Ottomans, Spanish and British as they encroached towards Kenya. Keep in mind that in AHD troops speed up colonization like they did in the early versions of vanilla. All in all, I got the best land in East Africa (which is arguably the best part of Africa, due to its population and resources) and later, when Egypt started going through civil wars and no GP was friendly with it, I started conquering that too, until all its African territories became Greek (the Ottomans took all of its Asian territories at around the same time). The prestige from hosting the first Olympic games was just the nudge I needed to become a GP, so I was able to implement the Megali Idea and by 1907 I had formed the Byzantine Empire.

    Becoming a GP is really helpful because while you're in the UK's or France's sphere you have great difficulty making ends meet. Tariffs are practically useless because you buy and sell almost exclusively within the sphere, where they do not apply. Greece's middle class is fragile due to low population and (relatively) low literacy. If you keep education spending at maximum and keep researching literacy-boosting techs, the latter problem should eventually dissipate. Greece has it better than the majority of the world (the rest of East Europe, Iberia, almost all uncivs, Latin America at the start of the game) concerning literacy, but if one has primarily played northern European countries or American countries (which get a lot of literate immigrants), it may come as a bit of a shock.
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    The Greek literacy thing is compounded by a Byzantine restoration, because all of those Turkish conquests plummet the rate still further.

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    Yeah, that's a big problem. Greeks in Greece and the Ionian Islands start out in 1836 with 22% literacy, but Turks in the Ottoman Empire start out with 8%(?) and Greeks and all other non-accepted populations within their empire with 10%. Thessaly has more POPs than all of (initial) Greece combined, so the impact is appreciable. In my AHD Greece-Byzantium game I was lucky in that the Ottomans pursued an aggressive education policy, so the drop in literacy after each conquest was never that steep.

    Edit: I forgot to mention, after restoring the Byzantine Empire and getting almost all its Greek POPs within my borders, I had reached 5 NFs by around 1930. Too late for colonization, but they help manage the new territories.
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    Started a new game as Greece with AHD. I have to say having those extra NF's helped quite a bit although the fragile middle class is still an issue. At 1870 now and OE is allied to UK AND France, so I am so not getting my cores back any time soon.

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    Alluccate: "Viva 'o Rre!!!" Ciccillo Rre's Avatar
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    I've seen successful Greeces/Byzantia (in terms of building a strong economy) only in cases where the player is successful/lucky in taking back the cores and complete the byzantine restoration by 1860. It's very hard but yet possible. This way you can try to boost the literacy of the conquered provinces early on, to better eventually develop.

    This is the fun part: it's a challenge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciccillo Rre View Post
    I've seen successful Greeces/Byzantia (in terms of building a strong economy) only in cases where the player is successful/lucky in taking back the cores and complete the byzantine restoration by 1860. It's very hard but yet possible. This way you can try to boost the literacy of the conquered provinces early on, to better eventually develop.

    This is the fun part: it's a challenge.
    But unlike real life, the challenge's on whether UK/Austria/Russia/France will DoW instead of the task of taking down the sick man of Europe alone.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ywhtptgtfo View Post
    But unlike real life, the challenge's on whether UK/Austria/Russia/France will DoW instead of the task of taking down the sick man of Europe alone.
    I managed to take them solo, after annexing tunis and parts of morocco and algeria (and I think johore as well, but I'm not sure). If you go one on one, it's doable. It's hard and it will take some reloads, but it's doable. The thing is, though, that you can't get them to fight you one on one. Being a GP, they can ally themselves to however they like. Greece on the other hand can call in the UK at best and all they do is blockade and then ignore your demands and take that piece of land in the balkans that borders Russia (which is what France will do as well, assuming they unsphere you and ally themselves to you that is). And if you wait for them to drop out of gp status, you're screwed because: a. they get sphered in no time b. the greek pops get assimilated.

    Basically, this is the exact opposite of what happened (the gps helped greece get its cores back). Having Russia attack Greece to protect the ottomans is at the very least absurd. Frankly, I cheated to dissolve their alliance. After a few reloads, I eventually managed to beat them, got all cores except one and they dropped to civ status while I became a GP. The truce ends and, once again, they're allied with GPs. And they're also friendly with a few others. At that point I figured I didn't wanna cheat again so I just said 'screw it' and quit. Besides, Byzantium is filled with turks and you just end up with a bunch of non-accepted pops everywhere.

  16. #16
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    That sick man seems pretty healthy when you gotta face him alone. There is so much luck involved in a Greece game, it can be rather frustrating. I've managed to forme Byzantium in PDM but never in standard. The almost complete lack of Balkans events and the fact that the Ottomans really don't get that weak in vanilla, they may drop to like 20th or lower, but will still have a standing army of like 70+ modernish brigades depending. Compared to maybe 15-20 with Greece, and that with NFing, but not too much as to destroy your economy, as you do have that tiny population. Getting Crete is usually the easy part, and a good first step to resoration. In some games its all I get.

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    Alluccate: "Viva 'o Rre!!!" Ciccillo Rre's Avatar
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    You should be able to do this without cheating/reloading, otherwise it's no challenge.

    It's all about being lucky/managing alliances and strike at the first chance possibly in the 40s to occupy all of European Turkey. If you can't, restart the game (so that you won't be cheating). You should be able to get at least half of your cores. Truce, repeat at the end of the 40s / early 50s; and free Bulgaria. Complete the Byzantine restoration by the late 50s /early 60s hoping you are getting the Ionian islands back from the UK.

    Then, you have a bunch of non-accepted Turks, which on one hand makes for a good challenge, on the other hand I'd agree it's quite of an issue. But you have saved much of your Greeks in time, and you can manage those newly conquered POPs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorlaan View Post
    That sick man seems pretty healthy when you gotta face him alone. There is so much luck involved in a Greece game, it can be rather frustrating. I've managed to forme Byzantium in PDM but never in standard. The almost complete lack of Balkans events and the fact that the Ottomans really don't get that weak in vanilla, they may drop to like 20th or lower, but will still have a standing army of like 70+ modernish brigades depending. Compared to maybe 15-20 with Greece, and that with NFing, but not too much as to destroy your economy, as you do have that tiny population. Getting Crete is usually the easy part, and a good first step to resoration. In some games its all I get.
    In Vanilla you can block the straits to cheat the Ottomans, which is what allows safe occupation of European Turkey. It's a hell of expensive yet doable. This is a common tactic in Paradox games when it comes to Greeks/Byzantines vs. Ottomans (thinking of EU3/MEIOU).

    In PDM the straits are land connected, but the sick man is otherwise nerfed (I did not try to form Byzantium in PDM but the presence of Balkan events should make it easier).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciccillo Rre View Post
    In Vanilla you can block the straits to cheat the Ottomans, which is what allows safe occupation of European Turkey. It's a hell of expensive yet doable. This is a common tactic in Paradox games when it comes to Greeks/Byzantines vs. Ottomans (thinking of EU3/MEIOU).

    In PDM the straits are land connected, but the sick man is otherwise nerfed (I did not try to form Byzantium in PDM but the presence of Balkan events should make it easier).
    Again, the challenge's not really in taking on the Ottoman, but the fact that France/UK/Russia/Austria (and Spain, to a lesser extent) can all steam roll you.

    Anyway, I just got a free opportunity to be in a war with the OE since I allied Serbia and OE DOWed it. However, Austria-Hungary is its ally and I hope it doesn't answer OE's call later in the war!

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Ciccillo Rre View Post
    You should be able to do this without cheating/reloading, otherwise it's no challenge.

    It's all about being lucky/managing alliances and strike at the first chance possibly in the 40s to occupy all of European Turkey. If you can't, restart the game (so that you won't be cheating). You should be able to get at least half of your cores. Truce, repeat at the end of the 40s / early 50s; and free Bulgaria. Complete the Byzantine restoration by the late 50s /early 60s hoping you are getting the Ionian islands back from the UK.

    Then, you have a bunch of non-accepted Turks, which on one hand makes for a good challenge, on the other hand I'd agree it's quite of an issue. But you have saved much of your Greeks in time, and you can manage those newly conquered POPs.
    It's not cheating if it's a remedy of in-game errors. The GPs are supposed to help Greece; instead, they will help the ottomans and those that are willing to actually join on greece's side will ignore the war and eventually enforce their own demands using the warscore you gained without their help. Taking on an enemy 20 times your size (that's after you get some serious colonies) is fine, but having to take on both them and a GP is not just hard, it's impossible. Well, it's impossible unless you get yourself a colonial empire. But I don't like doing stuff that way. I won't cheat by forcing the gps to help me, but I will use the console to break their alliances with the OE. Restarting 20 times to be able to face them alone just because you got lucky is the exact same thing. It's the exact same thing as reloading, except it takes more time. I also consider the whole 'using your navy to block the straits' thing to be a major exploit as well, but that's a different issue altogether.

    Of course, if you don't feel like restarting/reloading/using the console, you can use cuulture techs to become a sp, colonise for prestife and use your influence. But, what exactly is the point in waiting 30 years before you can use your influence to isolate the ottomans diplomatically (with Russia and Austria also bordering them, that's how long it'll take)? You get a main culture population of one million and a bunch of provinces with 7% starting LIT and non-accepted pops (by then, all greek pops will have been assimilated) that are extremely homogenous culturally and will therefore always revolt? Might as well just get your cores and screw the rest. At the very least, you should get armenians as accepted pops. I mean, come on, there were armenian byzantine emperors and they were a an accepted minority in the empire since the beginning. If you're gonna become byzantium, then it's only right.

    The way the decision works atm, you get something that looks like the polish-lithuanian commonwealth, but with polish as the only accepted culture. What exactly is the point in conquering the rest exactly, other than to have pretty borders? Sicily is right next to you, has a good population, a LIT much better than yours and doesn't get sphered so it's always fair game. Basically, you have to either get lucky so that the ottos don't get any alliances or use the console to dissolve their alliance, and once you do that and get all your byzantine cores it's basically game over. There's no incentive to do anything else. You can conquer some random stuff just for the fun of it, because vanilla allows you to use non-accepted cultures for regular soldiers, but in PDM you can't even do that (which is how it should be in vanilla as well).

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