19th century diplomacy and what I'd like

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Waplo

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19th century was, in some regards, the peak of classical state-centric diplomacy. Concepts of political realism that developed thorughout the modern era saw their purest application in this period. Victoria 3 promises to be a game about diplomacy just as much as it is about war: devs said everything you can obtain through war you can through diplomacy. So, how does this changes things compared to vicky 2 diplomacy or EU4?

1) Military alliances, as in alliances where you start an aggressive war and then call your ally, were almost non-existent especially among great powers
2) Defensive alliances were the most common, often with intricate clauses and casus foederis (f.e. aimed only against a specific aggressor)
3) There were a lot of Neutrality pacts, often as part of defensive alliances (f.e. Germany will defend Austria if attacked by Russia and stay neutral if attacked by another power)
4) Alliances had a specific duration and had to be renewed every few years (even alliances that lasted 30 years as the Triple Alliance)
5) Conferences of great powers (Concert of Europe) were not necessarily a zero-sum game like crisis in Vicky2 (A wins, B wins, or status quo), conferences resulted often in great changes to the map of areas of Europe while trying to balance and satisfy both contenders (see the Berlin Conference in 1878 where Bismarck tried to split the Balkans in a russian sphere and an austrian sphere).

In short diplomacy was made with a lot of treaties that each major power signed to advance a specific interest. Now let's see the two most important points in my opinion.

Treaties (points 1, 2, 3, 4)
I would love if treaties where handled sorta like the feudal contracts of Ck3 are. Not just as a "click... we're allied!" button, more like something we're you can negotiate a more specific limited agreement.
I already made this expample above, Germany-Austria alliance of 1879 obliged Germany to defend Austria if attacked by Russia but only assured the neutrality of the partner if Germany or Austria was fighting another State. At the same time if it was Austria to attack Russia, Germany would stay neutral instead of being called to help in the aggression.
Almost all major alliances of the time were made like this. Even alliances that were clearly aimed at fighting an offensive war still required an aggression of the enemy (see France-Piedmont alliance in 1858, Cavour had to provoke Austria to declare war against Piedmont).

Casus belli
I think the Vicky2 system where you fabricate a temporary casus belli (that expires after a while) through staged incidents and building tension agains another State represents very well the era. Maybe it could be tweaked into a tension-building mechanic where you kinda push both nations to war through provocations, at the cost of aggressive expansion/badboy/whatever. Though if a player is trying to bully a much smaller nation and they do their best to avoid war it should give a ton of badboy because everyone would see how fabricated the whole thing is and see the player as the aggressor.

Crisis/conferences (point 5)
Let's say you are Russia and asks for Costantinople and to free all slav nations under the Ottomans, starting a crisis. At first all other powers would disagree with you, likely also the nations you are friendly with. UK would want to prevent Russia from being too powerful and would be concerned of having the russian fleet in the Mediterranean. Austria would be against it because they also have their interests in the Balkans. Germany (who was friendly with Russia at the time) would want to avoid being dragged into a war between Austria and Russia.
At the end of the day how is the crisis solved: Austria gets Serbia in its sphere, Russia gets Bulgaria, the Ottomans lose something but are preserved. Russia kinda lost and is angry, though it actually gained something.

Another examples. Bulgarian crisis of 1885, how Bismarck plays both his friend (Russia) and his ally (Austria) to avoid them starting a war.
He calls Austria and remind them their alliance is defensive, meaning "if you attack Russia I won't help you".
Then he calls Russia and tells them "look, don't attack Austria because I'd have to defend them. But I'll be neutral if they attack you, so I'm still your bro"
Then he calls his other ally (Italy) and asks them to make a treaty with the UK, just stating they'll protect the status quo in the Mediterranean, thus sending a signal to Russia "don't try to push to the straits again because we don't like that". Though Italy asks for Germany to recognize her interests in Libya (can easily be simulated through and exchange of favors).

Now, there is no way the AI can handle this exactly how it was in history and I don't even think it would be that enjoyable for the players. What to do? Instead of the Vicky2 system it should be more like bartering a trade deal. Imagine a conference system that works like an hybrid between a trade deal and the Stellaris Galactic Senate system.
You make your proposal, the opponent make his. Other great powers can propose a compromise. Then each great powers invest their influence and use favors on the others to push them to support their proposal. Each great power has its diplomatic weight and at the end of the crisis the most voted proposal is adopted or a war is started!
Proposals would be things like remove or gain cores, switch ownership of regions, free nations, etc...
It's important for great powers to take into account the balance of powers and not just their opinion of the powers involved (f.e. I'm friend with Russia but I don't want them to be too powerful so I'll support the compromise). Since there is a score I don't think it's too hard to make the AI consider balance as a factor.

Great war diplomacy
Promise stuff to neutral powers to call them into your world war! Promise them the moon and then not be able to deliver! Promise them conflicting stuff and piss them off once the war is won! Promise both a jewish state and a united arab nation to create fun scenarios for a century to come!
They said it was a war to end all wars. Boring, why not make it a war to crate a hundred more areas of conflicts?



ok that's it, I can't be bothered to proof read all this, if there is broken english that's it o_O
 
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skiesofred

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I've said this in another thread but to add onto this, I sincerely hope there is bilateral peace treaties in addition to these mostly peacetime diplomacy actions. I don't want only unilateral treaties where only I and my allies get stuff and suffer massive aggressive expansion. I should be able to cede land I don't want or demand revocation of cores or claims to territories in peace conferences to get more of the land/claims that I do want thus avoiding the 7th liberation war of alsace lorraine between France and Germany. The only worry for me with these points, while awesome, is programming an AI that will be able to handle this intelligently. If I as the player have to way overpromise to get anything done it is going to be very frustrating. I just worry that this will push much more of a workload onto the AI developers and they will not be able to balance it very well.

Overall, great points and I sincerely hope there are this many diplomatic options.
 
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Skales

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I've said this in another thread but to add onto this, I sincerely hope there is bilateral peace treaties in addition to these mostly peacetime diplomacy actions. I don't want only unilateral treaties where only I and my allies get stuff and suffer massive aggressive expansion. I should be able to cede land I don't want or demand revocation of cores or claims to territories in peace conferences to get more of the land/claims that I do want thus avoiding the 7th liberation war of alsace lorraine between France and Germany. The only worry for me with these points, while awesome, is programming an AI that will be able to handle this intelligently. If I as the player have to way overpromise to get anything done it is going to be very frustrating. I just worry that this will push much more of a workload onto the AI developers and they will not be able to balance it very well.

Overall, great points and I sincerely hope there are this many diplomatic options.

Bilateral peace treaties were the mainstay of European diplomacy for most of its history. Seriously, there were very few wars that were actually decisively won by one side or the other, usually, the end of the war involved both sides gaining and losing something. (Look at the war of the Spanish succession, the French got their claimant on the Spanish throne, got to keep some cities in Germany, lost some others, and Spain had to give up its European empire).

Really, the only exemption to this rule were the Napoleonic Wars and World War I. Though the Victorian era wars usually did have a clear winner, this could have easily not been the case, so it should be possible to have bilateral peace treaties.
 
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luxfelix

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I agree with a bilateral peace treaty feature as well as specific alliance agreements from original post.

Maybe these could incorporate not only the national diplomacy, but the pops/interest groups as well?

For example, if at war with the Ottomans to help liberate the Greeks, that pop/interest group leader would have a seat at the table?


Likewise, peace could be in two parts:

First, two parties (interest group leaders &/or national representatives) agree to a truce for a set time period (pause hostilities between them) in which to attempt to declare a final peace.

Then the various interested parties and national representatives wheel and deal, making good on their wargoal promises or breaking them as they race to reach an agreement before the truce expires. Some may declare a separate peace while others carry on with the war.


Expanding on the interest group part:

It's not just nations that can declare war.

Interest groups from one nation can ally or fight against interest groups from another nation, some seeking direct aid from state sponsors known or unknown.

(Whoops, in the deep end we go...) ;]
 
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joe9594

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I would love if treaties where handled sorta like the feudal contracts of Ck3 are. Not just as a "click... we're allied!" button, more like something we're you can negotiate a more specific limited agreement.
I really like this idea. It would be cool having enough flexibility to the system to actual be able to model the continuous varying types of occupation, protectorate, unequal treaties etc. Some levels inside your empire, others more like vassals but in any case this kind of thing would work well for that.
 
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Waplo

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I agree bilateral treaties should be a thing, dividing between the capitulation and the peace conference may be a good way to handle it.

As for interest groups as belligerents and then having a say during peace treaties there are historical examples in the vicky era. In my opinion the issue is how are rebels handled. If they are a purely internal issue or something that involves the international community (like the Greek war of independence).
 
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maxk94

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I hope we see much less wars between the great powers than in Vic2. The "long 19th century" was comparable peaceful.
 
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skiesofred

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I hope we see much less wars between the great powers than in Vic2. The "long 19th century" was comparable peaceful.

I think that this is a great point, very few wars were fought during this time in Europe, but there were myriad small provocations and conflicts on foreign stations.

I wonder if there will be any limited wars like colonial conflicts. It would be very interesting if there was a way to simulate border conflicts that could potentially escalate later especially during the colonization of Africa and leading up to civil wars. Like it would be very interesting to see something like burning kansas where pro and anti slavery settlers literally battled each other.
 
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Casus belli
I think the Vicky2 system where you fabricate a temporary casus belli (that expires after a while) through staged incidents and building tension agains another State represents very well the era. Maybe it could be tweaked into a tension-building mechanic where you kinda push both nations to war through provocations, at the cost of aggressive expansion/badboy/whatever. Though if a player is trying to bully a much smaller nation and they do their best to avoid war it should give a ton of badboy because everyone would see how fabricated the whole thing is and see the player as the aggressor.
This is a great suggestion that PDX might be able to expand on and integrate into the domestic political situation.

I immediately thought of how Bismarck goaded the French into war with the Ems dispatch. It would be fascinating if you could pressure a state into war better if you offer a gratuitous insult and the opposing country has a particularly large jingoistic population (who would cause a huge backlash if the gov't chose a 'peace at any price' mentality).

You have a good point that insulting/ bullying weaker nations would lead to greater threat levels, and if a looming war would be completely one-sided, even the "war hawks" would overlook an insult.

It would be an interesting way to bring domestic politics into international diplomacy at the very least.
 
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19th century was, in some regards, the peak of classical state-centric diplomacy. Concepts of political realism that developed thorughout the modern era saw their purest application in this period. Victoria 3 promises to be a game about diplomacy just as much as it is about war: devs said everything you can obtain through war you can through diplomacy. So, how does this changes things compared to vicky 2 diplomacy or EU4?

1) Military alliances, as in alliances where you start an aggressive war and then call your ally, were almost non-existent especially among great powers
2) Defensive alliances were the most common, often with intricate clauses and casus foederis (f.e. aimed only against a specific aggressor)
3) There were a lot of Neutrality pacts, often as part of defensive alliances (f.e. Germany will defend Austria if attacked by Russia and stay neutral if attacked by another power)
4) Alliances had a specific duration and had to be renewed every few years (even alliances that lasted 30 years as the Triple Alliance)
5) Conferences of great powers (Concert of Europe) were not necessarily a zero-sum game like crisis in Vicky2 (A wins, B wins, or status quo), conferences resulted often in great changes to the map of areas of Europe while trying to balance and satisfy both contenders (see the Berlin Conference in 1878 where Bismarck tried to split the Balkans in a russian sphere and an austrian sphere).

In short diplomacy was made with a lot of treaties that each major power signed to advance a specific interest. Now let's see the two most important points in my opinion.

Treaties (points 1, 2, 3, 4)
I would love if treaties where handled sorta like the feudal contracts of Ck3 are. Not just as a "click... we're allied!" button, more like something we're you can negotiate a more specific limited agreement.
I already made this expample above, Germany-Austria alliance of 1879 obliged Germany to defend Austria if attacked by Russia but only assured the neutrality of the partner if Germany or Austria was fighting another State. At the same time if it was Austria to attack Russia, Germany would stay neutral instead of being called to help in the aggression.
Almost all major alliances of the time were made like this. Even alliances that were clearly aimed at fighting an offensive war still required an aggression of the enemy (see France-Piedmont alliance in 1858, Cavour had to provoke Austria to declare war against Piedmont).

Casus belli
I think the Vicky2 system where you fabricate a temporary casus belli (that expires after a while) through staged incidents and building tension agains another State represents very well the era. Maybe it could be tweaked into a tension-building mechanic where you kinda push both nations to war through provocations, at the cost of aggressive expansion/badboy/whatever. Though if a player is trying to bully a much smaller nation and they do their best to avoid war it should give a ton of badboy because everyone would see how fabricated the whole thing is and see the player as the aggressor.

Crisis/conferences (point 5)
Let's say you are Russia and asks for Costantinople and to free all slav nations under the Ottomans, starting a crisis. At first all other powers would disagree with you, likely also the nations you are friendly with. UK would want to prevent Russia from being too powerful and would be concerned of having the russian fleet in the Mediterranean. Austria would be against it because they also have their interests in the Balkans. Germany (who was friendly with Russia at the time) would want to avoid being dragged into a war between Austria and Russia.
At the end of the day how is the crisis solved: Austria gets Serbia in its sphere, Russia gets Bulgaria, the Ottomans lose something but are preserved. Russia kinda lost and is angry, though it actually gained something.

Another examples. Bulgarian crisis of 1885, how Bismarck plays both his friend (Russia) and his ally (Austria) to avoid them starting a war.
He calls Austria and remind them their alliance is defensive, meaning "if you attack Russia I won't help you".
Then he calls Russia and tells them "look, don't attack Austria because I'd have to defend them. But I'll be neutral if they attack you, so I'm still your bro"
Then he calls his other ally (Italy) and asks them to make a treaty with the UK, just stating they'll protect the status quo in the Mediterranean, thus sending a signal to Russia "don't try to push to the straits again because we don't like that". Though Italy asks for Germany to recognize her interests in Libya (can easily be simulated through and exchange of favors).

Now, there is no way the AI can handle this exactly how it was in history and I don't even think it would be that enjoyable for the players. What to do? Instead of the Vicky2 system it should be more like bartering a trade deal. Imagine a conference system that works like an hybrid between a trade deal and the Stellaris Galactic Senate system.
You make your proposal, the opponent make his. Other great powers can propose a compromise. Then each great powers invest their influence and use favors on the others to push them to support their proposal. Each great power has its diplomatic weight and at the end of the crisis the most voted proposal is adopted or a war is started!
Proposals would be things like remove or gain cores, switch ownership of regions, free nations, etc...
It's important for great powers to take into account the balance of powers and not just their opinion of the powers involved (f.e. I'm friend with Russia but I don't want them to be too powerful so I'll support the compromise). Since there is a score I don't think it's too hard to make the AI consider balance as a factor.

Great war diplomacy
Promise stuff to neutral powers to call them into your world war! Promise them the moon and then not be able to deliver! Promise them conflicting stuff and piss them off once the war is won! Promise both a jewish state and a united arab nation to create fun scenarios for a century to come!
They said it was a war to end all wars. Boring, why not make it a war to crate a hundred more areas of conflicts?



ok that's it, I can't be bothered to proof read all this, if there is broken english that's it o_O
I would like to see all this in the game hehehehehe;)
 
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BasherXV

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This is a great suggestion that PDX might be able to expand on and integrate into the domestic political situation.

I immediately thought of how Bismarck goaded the French into war with the Ems dispatch. It would be fascinating if you could pressure a state into war better if you offer a gratuitous insult and the opposing country has a particularly large jingoistic population (who would cause a huge backlash if the gov't chose a 'peace at any price' mentality).

You have a good point that insulting/ bullying weaker nations would lead to greater threat levels, and if a looming war would be completely one-sided, even the "war hawks" would overlook an insult.

It would be an interesting way to bring domestic politics into international diplomacy at the very least.
I particularly like the idea that the Powers That Be could be at the mercy of jingoistic pops after a certain threshold. Obvious parallels to the first WW but also some others.

Harnessing such attitudes could have obvious pluses to reducing the penalties for other wars which you DO want with the risk that you get pushed into something else much more dangerous.
 
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cursorhiker

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The first thing I hope is massively different from Vic2 is multi-great power wars. In the time period there were very few of these, while in Vic2 it was extremely difficult to have a 1 v. 1 war as a great power as the AI usually had an alliance with at least one other GP that they'd immediately call in. Prussia calling the UK into the Brother's War, Russia and France double-teaming Prussia in the Franco-Prussian War, or the U.K. fighting against Romania in the Romanian War of Independence are all examples that were common in Vic2.
The only way to get two great powers to fight side by side against another GP should be if the lone GP has generated a ridiculous amount of threat (the only historical example would be the Crimean War). Of course when Great Wars become available that's a different story.
Coalitions - temporary alliances with a singular goal in mind - would also be a good addition, as it would allow for a historical Allied intervention in the Boxer Rebellion or a Balkan League against the Ottomans.
 
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Waplo

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The first thing I hope is massively different from Vic2 is multi-great power wars. In the time period there were very few of these, while in Vic2 it was extremely difficult to have a 1 v. 1 war as a great power as the AI usually had an alliance with at least one other GP that they'd immediately call in. Prussia calling the UK into the Brother's War, Russia and France double-teaming Prussia in the Franco-Prussian War, or the U.K. fighting against Romania in the Romanian War of Independence are all examples that were common in Vic2.
The only way to get two great powers to fight side by side against another GP should be if the lone GP has generated a ridiculous amount of threat (the only historical example would be the Crimean War). Of course when Great Wars become available that's a different story.
Coalitions - temporary alliances with a singular goal in mind - would also be a good addition, as it would allow for a historical Allied intervention in the Boxer Rebellion or a Balkan League against the Ottomans.
I totally agree.
If alliances are defensive and directed against a specific threat, this would already make things more historical during the first half of the game.
 
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BasherXV

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I totally agree.
If alliances are defensive and directed against a specific threat, this would already make things more historical during the first half of the game.
How about the possibility of making these arrangements either Public (to serve as a deterrent or otherwise) or Secret.

AI countries will take any public agreement into their consideration. Secret agreements can be revealed via some sort of espionage system which would only factor into decisions if they’ve been discovered.

Would add an interesting wrinkle.
 

Skales

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How about the possibility of making these arrangements either Public (to serve as a deterrent or otherwise) or Secret.

AI countries will take any public agreement into their consideration. Secret agreements can be revealed via some sort of espionage system which would only factor into decisions if they’ve been discovered.

Would add an interesting wrinkle.

Secret agreements should also be really easy to break...
 

iagocor

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I think that both, other ways of entering and exiting wars should be avaliable.

Bilateral peace teatrys should be the normal way, but unconditional surrender and should be another way of solving things too. You shouldn't be able to totally conquer a country and keep going as if nothing happened. You also shouldn't be able to take control of a war and then inmediatelly sign peace screwing your ally wishes or land.
If you completely lost your country war, you should be able to give in unconditional surrender and, if given the case, your country went to ruins (maxed war exhaustion, or all your regions conquered, or your military power broken and about to go to bankrupcy), debelliato should kick in and force a peace deal bettween both contendants, considering you don't have an ally backing you.

Second, if you enter a war deffending a small country or an ally, you should always have the option to forfeit and exit without having the war going. Or to, as the war leader, close the "original" war and then proceed to a new war, with added wargoals and different score and, maybe, war leader or allyes.

2 things i ask here: separate peace deals and forced peace.

Similary, i would like to have more than just the genebra convention. There were a lot of them. And you have the option to both, break it and to get in a war, leave a war, or demand more score, when a signed enemy doesn't obey them. Not only being able to pay war subsides to one country, but to subsidice all, send men, make an embargo, give/cancel military access etc. And those actions let you put yourself, or the enemy, in the same war (in order to get military access, you add the country that won't give it to you as enemy, without wargoal, in the war. Some sort of ultimatum system).