Welcome back to another HoD DD, the topic this week is Colonisation. This is something we've changed in many ways in this expansion, it's one of our major focuses.
The first change is that the two techs that used to allow Colonisation, Nationalism & Imperialism and Machine Guns, now no longer directly do so. Instead, the Minimum Life Rating effect which allows you to colonise has been moved to Inventions tied to previous level techs, but with triggers that require someone has researched Nationalism & Imperialism/Machine Guns. The effect of this is that anyone reasonably up to date in techs will receive the Inventions around the same time, preventing one nation from having a monopoly on Colonisation.
The next change is that Colonisation no longer uses National Focuses, instead we have Colonial Points. These points are generated by a combination of your Naval Bases and your Navy, plus you get a base level from an early Naval technology. This means that you need a good level of Naval infrastructure to support a large Colonial Empire, and you can cripple a rival by destroying their fleets and bases. You spend Colonial Points to claim and maintain Colonies.
We also now have two levels of Colony. The first is known as a Protectorate, the second is a full-fledged Colony. Colonies almost always start out as Protectorates and you must pay more Colonial Points to upgrade them to full Colonies. The difference is that Colonies cost more in Points upkeep, but they provide you with more Tax, and you can raise troops there with few people in Soldier Pops. You also need Colonies if you hope to upgrade to full States later.
But how does this all work? Well I'm glad you asked, here's what happens:
Once you have the right Inventions and have the Naval Range to reach an empty State you spend some Colonial points to send an Expedition. This takes some time and a reasonably large Points investment, but if no one else sends an Expedition you'll end up with a Protectorate with no further investment and your CPs will return to your pool (Minus upkeep costs). However, if someone else does get involved in your State you enter a Colonial Influence Race:
In a Colonial Influence Race up to four Nations compete to invest CPs in building Colonial Influence, represented by a series of building levels. You start with an Expedition, then you send Colonists, then build an Outpost, a Settlement, and finally a Guard Post (If the Race is still inconclusive at this point you can reinforce your Guard Post as often as needed). If you decide the State isn't worth the hassle you can Withdraw from the race and regain your CPs to use elsewhere, but of course you lose out on this State. The Colonial Influence Race continues until one Nation is ahead by three levels, at which point the leading two powers move onto the second stage of the Race and any trailing Nations are kicked out.
The second state of the Race is between only two Nations. It is much like the former stage, with one crucial difference: The State becomes a Flashpoint, and the longer the Race continues the more Tensions in the State rise. Either side may still Withdraw, or can win the State by getting two levels ahead of their rival, but if it continues long enough without a result it will become a Crisis over the Colony and may result in war.
Once you have gained some Colonies there's a few things you can do with them. As I mentioned, you can upgrade your Protectorates to Colonies to get more out of them. But this all costs Colonial Points, Points which you still need to compete for the increasingly limited unclaimed States. So what can you do? Well one option is to upgrade Colonies to States if you get some Accepted Culture Bureaucrats there, but there's a twist: Upgrading Colonies to States also costs Colonial Points, although there is no upkeep cost afterwards, and the cost increases drastically with distance from your Home Area (that is, the area connected by land to your Capital), so while Russia may make Siberia into States, and France may do the same with Algeria, it isn't very practical for the UK to do the same in Canada or India.
The answer for Nations with far-flung colonial empires is Dominions. You can spin off your Colonies into self-governing puppets. The downside, of course, is that you no longer harvest their resources or gather taxes directly, but as long as they remain in your SoI you still have good access to what they produce (And Dominions have a Influence modifier making keeping them somewhat easier), you no longer need to pay CPs for their State's upkeep, and you get to control their Armies when you go to war together. In areas with cores already present, like Canada for example, you can release these as your Dominions, while for areas without them we have added 50 dynamic countries which will take their name from one of the States that make up their area. Here, for example, I have created The Confederation of West Morocco:
In general you'll want to first grab what colonies you can without competition from other Powers, if possible, before sinking too many of your Colonial Points into fights with other nations. When your CPs grow scarce you will need to decide whether to be satisfied with what you have or if you want to start converting Colonies into States or Dominions to free up points for further expansion. Is it worth fighting for a key State to keep your pretty borders, or will you just grab whatever Colonies you can? Then again, perhaps a war can sort things out once all the Colonies are taken? We hope you'll find these choices interesting!
Next week: Industrial improvements!