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Powloon

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Welcome to my first real attempt to ride the steep learning curve of this monster game and for that matter my first attempt at an AAR.

Content (Last updated: 27/02/2013)

The Game So Far - June 1855
1855 Jul to Dec - Building a nation / Majerteyn declare war
1856 Jan to Jun - Alliance with Two Sicilies / First Research
1856 Jul to Dec - Slow and steady / Parma gives military access
1857 Jan to Jun - Building a nation (again!) / Trade lovely trade
1857 Jul to Dec - War war war! / Congress of London
1858 Jan to Jun - Diplomatic breakthrough / Stalemate in Somalia
1858 Jul to Dec - Treaty of Plombiere / War in the desert
1859 Jan to Jun - Piedmont on war footing / Sheewa attack
1859 Jul to Dec - American Civil War / Shiney new rifles
1860 Jan to Jun - Garibaldi lands in Sicily / Mombassa liberated
1860 Jul to Dec - Invasion of Albania (sort of..) / Commerce in the Americas
1861 Jan to Jun - Garibaldi captures Sicily / Mountain warfare in Ethiopia
1861 Jul to Dec - Austria invades Parma / Garibaldi lands in Calabria
1862 Jan to Jun - Italy Unified (sort of) / Roma O Morte
1862 Jul to Dec - Rome capital of Italy / Protectorate of Somaliland
1863 Jan to Jun - A Place in the Sun / More Shiney Rifles
1863 Jul to Dec - A Bloody Nose / Drawing Breath
1864 Jan to Jun - A Policy Change / Military Build Up
1864 Jul to Dec - We Love the Greeks / War Plans
1865 Jan to Jun - The World Falls in Love With Italy / Cruising in the Med
1865 Jul to Dec - The Sheewa Defeated / The Army Deploys
1866 Jan to Feb - The Eve of War / Garibaldi Returns

Italo-Ottoman War
1866 March Early - D Day
1866 March Late - Adrianople or Bust
1866 April - Garibaldi Gets Mad
1866 May - Adrianople Falls
1866 June - Opening the Bosphorus
1866 Jul to Sep - Constantinople Besieged
1866 October - Götterdämmerung
1866 Nov to Dec - Peace Talks

1867 Jan to Jun - Peace in our Time? / New Threats

Introduction

I picked up this game around a year ago but never got further than a few turns put off by the seemingly impossible task of preventing my economy from tanking. Recently I was inspired to play again by the rash of new AAR’s on this forum (not least of which was Loki’s AAR) and I am glad I did as I am having blast (having become not a little obsessed) as I try to master the intricacies of this very deep game.

The game has reached the beginning of 1854 and going forward I intend to update every half game year and more frequently should any juicy wars occur.

For this game I chose Sardinia-Piedmont to bring to the heights of glory (or more likely the depths of humiliating defeat). Why this particular nation I hear you ask? Well there are no colonial commitments and you have the clear goal of uniting Italy plus you start out in control of only 7 provinces which gives you a good chance to get to grips with the strengths and weaknesses of this nation.

To be honest there seem to be more weaknesses than strengths.

You start with a small but (probably importantly) professional army and therefore with a slight qualitative edge to the larger conscript armies of the nations you are surrounded by. I’m not sure but probably linked to being a professional army the number of conscript/officer replacements is very low (something like 5 a turn for conscripts). Bearing in mind a Brigade costs in the region of 50 conscripts I won’t be doing too much expansion of the army.

You start with what I would describe as average leaders to command this army but on the plus side more than enough to lead them with out any combat penalties

There is no navy to speak of other than a few sail frigates. You do however start with 3 merchant fleets which should allow me to trade for the items I am short of.

On the economic side probably the most important resource coal is completely unavailable within our current borders meaning all coal at least initially will need to be imported. As everything in this game relies on having coal this is a major problem. Of the other main strategic resources Steel and Manufactured goods (needed to produce most structures and units) I have one steel mill and 3 factories producing manufactured goods which providing I can keep them open with the necessary inputs should cover my basic needs.

Of the other goods you produce you have enough to nearly cover the food and common goods requirements of the population whilst my luxury goods factory (again if I can keep it open) should cover about half of my populations thirst for luxury goods.

Diplomatically you start out hemmed in between the great powers of France and Austria and the minor powers of the Swiss Confederation, Parma and Tuscany. France has claims on my 2 western provinces of Savoire and Alps-Martimes whilst Austria has no desire to see a united Italy on its southern border. Austria also has 4 of my objective regions within its borders.

1850 - 1853 (The plan)

Economy
My initial goals here were fourfold:
1) Become self-sufficient enough to operate all my starting factories without relying on imports. In game terms I would need to build several new mine and farm buildings plus ensure that no new factories would be built until I could sustain my existing ones comfortably.
2) Try to maintain a positive balance of trade.
3) Import or produce enough resources to satisfy my population’s needs.
4) Increase manufactured goods output.

Diplomacy
1) Boost relations with France in anyway possible. From a strategic sense this should enable me to concentrate my limited army against Austria with the hope of grabbing my claimed provinces. Economically if I could obtain a commercial agreement with France I would be able to build coal mines their and hopefully alleviate one of my biggest problems. There are also event chains which require good relations with France and poor relations with Austria to achieve unification (or so I believe)
2) Cultivate relations with all the Italian minor states particularly Tuscany which has the only coal rescourse on the Italian peninsular. Get mutual supply and passage rights with the Papal States and Parma.

Colonisation
1) Use all 10 merchant options (each merchant costs 25 private capital and 2 manufactured goods to place but also produces 5 private capital per turn for 25 turns if they don’t disappear giving a clear profit) around the horn of Africa to try and raise CP to the maximum 35% (I think this is the maximum value until Italy is unified and the full range of colonial options is available I hope).

Military
1) Assign leaders to both the starting infantry corps and the cavalry division
2) Form 2 armies commanded by my starting 3* generals based in Piedmont and Liguria.

I Army to contain the Guards Corps, Cavalry Division, Siege Artillery, Labour Regiment and Supply Wagon.​

II Army to contain the Infantry Corps, Light Cavalry Brigade and Supply Wagon.​
3) When money and resources allow add “Conscript Light” support and artillery units to maximise the abilities of each force
4) Again when resources allow upgrade my existing fortifications from pre-industrial to maximum level industrial level forts.
5) Increase and upgrade the port level in Liguria to allow my Grand Fleet to be created after Italy is formed

Next time I will deal with what actually happened hopefully with some current screenshots should I actually figure out how to do them.
 
Last edited:

loki100

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Well this should be interesting. There are certainly enough significant choices even with S-P to produce quite different strategies and it becomes a good way to test out the validity of those options.

And there cannot be too many PoN AARs :eek:o
 

hgilmer

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I will watch this AAR as well. Good luck, sir. It seems like many are picking S-P which seems very interesting. I am currently in a 2nd Prussia game working to unification. I may do a Prussia AAR since I am becoming very familiar with what is required and some certain tricks (legal tricks), too.
 

Stuyvesant

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Good luck to you and I will follow with interest! With all these AARs popping up and people playing, I might actually - if work lets up; if my youngest gets over her repeated illnesses; if I finish Deus Ex: Human Revolution; and Fallout: New Vegas... Well, okay, I won't be playing PON anytime soon. But I'll feel bad about not doing so. ;)
 

Powloon

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The Game So Far - June 1855

Diplomacy
We are on friendly terms (over 25) with all the Italian nations including Parma. In addition we have a defensive alliance with Tuscany (their single infantry brigade will obviously help turn the tide of any conflict we get into!). We have also managed to conclude commercial agreements with all these nations enabling us to build a coal mine in Tuscany and a dye factory in the Two Sicilies (both resources being unavailable to us within our current borders and ones which we will hopefully inherit come the unification). In addition we have mutual supply and passage rights with the Two Sicilies.

Outside of Italy we have raised our relations to 100 with France and signed commercial and defensive alliance agreements with them. This has led to the building of 2 coal mines in France.

In the past year we have been working on charming Switzerland with an eye to building on their coal resource and obtaining supply and passage agreements to potentially use them to out flank Austria in any potential war.

For the same reason when we get our next set of diplomats we will be working on obtaining supply and passage agreements with Parma and the Papal States. It is my intention to use these states as routes of invasion into Austria should the time come. I will not be seeking defensive alliances with them as I wish to keep their territory inviolate from Austrian attack (more on this later)

Elsewhere France and Austria currently have a cool if not hostile relationship with each other (Currently 0) whilst our relationship with Austria is -5. I am hoping this is enough to kick off the required event chain that leads to one of the routes to unification

With our diplomatic focus firmly on our neighbours we have ignored everyone else and consequently have neutral relations with the rest of the world.

Colonisation
This is mainly a sideshow at the moment as S-P is without many of the colonial options available to the major nations until after they unify. Still there are some benefits to colonisation not least of which it gives you something else to do other than endlessly tweaking your economy every turn!

Very early on we decided to avoid any attempt at improving our colonial penetration in Tunisia as the risk of a potential conflict with France was perceived as too high. Instead our limited colonial effort has been focused on the horn of Africa.

From the start we have attempted to have all 10 merchants we have available constantly active. As well as improving the colonial penetration of the province they are in up to a maximum of 35 (the highest S-P can obtain currently) they also provide an income of 5 private capital a turn for as long as they are active (I think it is a 2% chance to fail per turn). They require a starting investment of 25 private capital and 2 manufactured goods so obviously any merchant lasting over 5 turns (to a maximum of 25 turns I think) should turn a healthy profit. I have found this very useful as private capital availability has proven to be the main limitation to expanding my economy.

In Mogadishu and Addis-Ababa where there are an opium and coffee resources respectively we have placed trading posts to give us a limited supply of these precious goods for our economy.

We have built missions in both these provinces as well. To give some limited backup to these investments we have recruited a colonial brigade, an exploration party and prospecting party and transported them to Mogadishu. Both the exploration and prospecting parties require considerable private capital to use (probably best spent else where at the moment) Despite that we have used them to discover 2 interior Ethiopian provinces and an additional resource of fish at Mogadishu (yeah fish just what I needed not!)

Currently we have an average colonial penetration of 32 in Somalia and something in the region of 10 in Abbysinia.

Economy
This is where the main focus of the early years with S-P has been.

In addition to the 3 coal mines and a dye factory built in foreign lands we have built the following resource structures

An iron mine
A sheep farm (to produce a domestic supply of cotton/wool)
A wood logging farm
A minerals mine
A chemical factory (to give us a domestic supply of chemicals and dyes)

In terms of finished goods we have built

3 vineyards
3 manufactured goods shops
1 luxury goods factory (with a further one currently being built)
1 machine parts factory (again to develop a domestic supply)

The majority of these structures were built in Liguria or Piedmont to take advantage of the railroads which get completed their 6 months into the game.

Initially we shut down the arms shop, ammunition shop, a textile shop and the shipyard in order to conserve resources. At roughly the 2 year stage we were comfortably producing enough resources to have all our industry operating. Up to the present we have not yet had a factory shutdown due to lack of inputs.

From the very beginning we have focussed on buying up as much coal as possible per turn. Apart from a single month around 3 months into the game where the coal supply dried up completely it was possible to build up sizeable stockpile. To aid in this our merchant fleet from the Mediterranean was moved to the North Sea to double up our fleets there as the majority of the available coal was produced by the North German states and Great Britain. In addition we agreed to pay 25% extra for coal and reduced our maritime tax to 1%.

At the beginning of 1855 our stockpiles of the three main strategic goods all look healthy
Coal 332 Steel 186 and Manufactured Goods 115. With the addition of the manufactured goods shops we currently have a surplus of 15 per turn.

Our other spending has been concentrated on building Merchant Fleets of which we have completed an additional 4 (of the small sail class) to give a total of 7 operating fleets and railroads which have been built in Savoire (to connect to the French and Swiss rail network), Alessandria and most recently a railway was ordered to be built in La Spezia.

Our trade surplus is healthy in most turns usually with a profit of 200 or so private capital. Sales domestically have been fully satisfied in the food and common goods categories for most of the time period played so far however we have not yet been able to provide the full amount of luxuries required by our population. This in turn has led to a rise of public satisfaction of around 0.4% per turn. Our current average overall satisfaction is 76%

Military
With the lack of conscripts available to S-P a massive increase to our starting forces has not proved possible.

The units we have added to the army in this period are

1 Colonial Brigade
2 Field Hospitals
1 Labour Regiment
2 Pioneer Regiments
2 Engineer Regiments
6 Field Artillery Battalions
1 Exploration Party
2 Prospecting Parties
3 Fortress troops (to give a basic garrison in each city)

With regards to replacements all our current units are at full strength with a single replacement chit in each category other than the Light Cavalry (for some reason).

The navy remains unchanged other than one of the recce squadrons which starts under strength with 3 elements has been built up to full strength.

Torino and Genova have upgraded their fortifications from the starting level 2 pre industrial forts to level 3 industrial forts. Alessandria and Sardina have been upgraded to an industrial fort and are currently completing the final fort level. La Spezia is building a 1st level pre industrial fort.

Genova has increased its port from a level 5 harbour to a level 10 naval base. Now all i need is a fleet worthy of the name to fill it.

I will go into a bit more detail of force dispositions and future plans on the next update again hopefully with a few screenshots to show the current situation.
 
Last edited:

Powloon

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Good luck to you and I will follow with interest! With all these AARs popping up and people playing, I might actually - if work lets up; if my youngest gets over her repeated illnesses; if I finish Deus Ex: Human Revolution; and Fallout: New Vegas... Well, okay, I won't be playing PON anytime soon. But I'll feel bad about not doing so. ;)

Thanks hope you enjoy. Sounds like you aren't struggling to fill your spare time!

I will watch this AAR as well. Good luck, sir. It seems like many are picking S-P which seems very interesting. I am currently in a 2nd Prussia game working to unification. I may do a Prussia AAR since I am becoming very familiar with what is required and some certain tricks (legal tricks), too.

Welcome. I definately think Prussia will be my next port of call in this game although considering how long it takes to complete one of these things it might be sometime in the next decade before i get the chance.

Well this should be interesting. There are certainly enough significant choices even with S-P to produce quite different strategies and it becomes a good way to test out the validity of those options.

And there cannot be too many PoN AARs :eek:o

Good to have you on board. Just writing the first couple of posts makes me appreciate how much time and effort you must put into your many AARs! Hopefully as you say it will be interesting to see the validity of the various strategies available to S-P and in fact if there is much replayability for this nation in the longer term. Now if 2Coats picks up his excellent AAR again we should between us have S-P completely covered!
 

Stuyvesant

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I don't really have any spare time - I just have ambitions that vastly outstrip my available spare time. ;)

Anyway, on to the update: sounds like you've improved your economy nicely, and you have some good stockpiles of strategic goods.

Is there any economic benefit to increasing your harbor in Genova, or is it purely a military thing, for the (distant) future when you'll have a Grand Fleet of your own?
 

Powloon

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Mostly a long term investment. The actual cost per level is actually fairly small in terms of time and resources ( in my opinion this kind of investment should be very expensive). In the short term it boosts the production of supply (not really essential as I am swimming in supply anyway) and gives me river transport points which are used to move men and supplies by river ( I think!)

It also let's me pretend to be a great power with delusions of grandeur
 

Sir Garnet

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Bear in mind that the cost of an upgrade looks a lot more expensive for a small minor country - while Britain would scarcely notice the cost. Sardinia-Piedmont is playing in the major league, even if starting low in the ranking of the powers.
 

Powloon

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Bear in mind that the cost of an upgrade looks a lot more expensive for a small minor country - while Britain would scarcely notice the cost. Sardinia-Piedmont is playing in the major league, even if starting low in the ranking of the powers.

I think I would disagree slightly even for a minor country such as SP the cost of 40 money 10 manufactured goods and 10 steel to either upgrade a fort (to industrial) or expand the fort level is so cheap that the decision at least for me is a "no-brainer". The cost represents 1 perhaps 2 turns of production even in the first couple of years of the game. For me the decision to build fortifications should have to be considered long and hard and it should not end up being the case where you fortify every city in sight just because you have nothing else on right now.

What I do like is it takes a long time to build around a year (about the same time as a factory for comparison) but even here I think there is scope for extending the time required. Long build times mean you have to plan to get building earlier rather than later particularly as SP when it seems you have a date with destiny with a certain Austria
 

Powloon

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1855 July To December

1855Current.png


Diplomacy



As stated previously we have defensive alliances with France and the mighty Tuscany.

We have been focusing on building relations with Parma and Switzerland. We now have good relations with both.
Unfortuneatly we have so far failed to achieve our main goals which were to reach a commercial agreement with the Swiss. This is mainly so that we can build on their coal resource and reduce our dependancy on our French coal mines.

Also the short sited politicians in Parma and the Papal States are still refusing to ratify a mutual passage agreement. This is going to be the main plank of my strategy to confront Austria as we want to be able to use these states to attack Venezia and cut the rail line hopefully isolating any force mired outside our defences in Alessandria. Still a new year approaches we can but hope the new batch of diplomats will be more successful than the last.

Colonial Affairs

Somalia.png


The good people of Somalia decided they would object to our commercial exploitation by declaring war on us. We quickly lost all our buildings outside of the capital Mogadishu together with an exploration and prospecting party. The colonial brigade we had their fended off several attacks and in return gained miltary control over Mogadishu and next door Baidoa. In what was probably a mistake we built a coaling station, started a fort and built an Opium farm. As quickly as the war started it was over and as a consequence we are losing military control. Not sure what will happen to the buildings when MC reduces past 50% but I guess I lose the strucures I built. We live and learn.

Trade1.png


Elsewhere we are a couple of weeks from completing 4 trading posts on the Arabian peninsular. When completed they should give us intermittent access to both Opium and Gems.

Economy

Economy.png


We are keeping a balance of at least 1800 private capital as this ensures that our buisines men keep bringing us the luxuries we require. With their help we are now meeting our populations needs in all areas (17 Food, 14 Common Goods and 10 Luxuries). Our average public satisfaction stands at 91%

We are building an iron mine and wood looging facility to meet our industrial requirements. We have also started another Luxury good factory.

We have completed building vineyards on all our available fruit resources (7). The world market it seems cannot get enough of our wine with an output of 28 and regularly 50 to 60 requests.

Next on the list is an ammunition shop as there is currently a world shortage.

We have completed the railroad in La Spezia.

Our stockpiles organic

Organic.png


Military

As previously mentioned our basic military plan to face Austria is to draw their main Army against Alessandria whilst a corps plus supporting arms advances through Parma (or the Papal States) to attack and hopefully capture Venezia cutting off the enemy from supply.

To this end Alessandria has been built up to its maximum fortification level and its garrison has received reinforcements

Alessandria.png


I Army based in Piedmont will support the garrison hopefully with French Support

IArmy.png


II Army based in Liguria will advance via the rail network to La Spezia and attack Venezia via Parma or the Papal States

IIArmy.png


Well so goes the plan anyway.

In addition we have just completed Police units for each city and a mixed expedition brigade for Somalia

Finally how we stand amongst nations

Prestige.png


Thankfully there is a long way to go!
 
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Stuyvesant

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Sounds all good and proper. Regarding your little war in Somalia (a war-ette?): you can't decide to keep it going, it's the computer/Somalia AI that decides when it ends?
 

loki100

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like your strategy of developing a colonial presence in modern Yemen etc, all I'm getting is the occassional cotton things which is pretty much useless, but a slow supply of luxuries would be rather nice to achieve.

I'm not sure how these colonial wars end, you'd hope you had some say but it maybe related to the limit on colonial actions open to S-P?

and the few times I've had a decent stock of private capital I've really appreciated those inflows of hard to access goods, if you can it certainly makes it worthwhile to keep back a reserve.

The only thing I wouldn't have done is the agricultural expansions as world demand falls below supply by 1855-6 onwards. But then you will have had a few years of returns, they are cheap and I guess always useful into the future.
 

Powloon

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Sounds all good and proper. Regarding your little war in Somalia (a war-ette?): you can't decide to keep it going, it's the computer/Somalia AI that decides when it ends?

I am more than a little confused by this episode. There was a message in the log to say it had started which is fair enough but no message telling me it was over. More to the point I didn't get any choice in the matter and I was so looking forward to actualy using my shiney military toys!

As Loki mentions above I am pretty sure this is down to S-Ps limited colonial options. In any case the lesson has been learned no major colonial expansion is possible I need to wait for Italy to form.
 
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Powloon

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The only thing I wouldn't have done is the agricultural expansions as world demand falls below supply by 1855-6 onwards. But then you will have had a few years of returns, they are cheap and I guess always useful into the future.

I'm guessing you are referring to all the vineyards?

You are right I'm guessing soon the demand for wine will slacken off but currently I reguarly have buy orders of over 60 or so (and this has been the same since the beginning of the game) it is one of the few products which I am guarenteed to sell (I am even buying up the stocks of wine from other countries I have commercial agreements with to try and meet the demand). It also fits in with SPs only mission that is at least feasable to be the biggest producer of wine and luxuries. I don't really expect to achieve it but it does feel right to try.

I should probably point out that I have Spheres Of influence turned off so there are no negative effects for attempting colonisation outside of Italy's historical areas.
 

loki100

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I'm guessing you are referring to all the vineyards?

You are right I'm guessing soon the demand for wine will slacken off but currently I reguarly have buy orders of over 60 or so (and this has been the same since the beginning of the game) it is one of the few products which I am guarenteed to sell (I am even buying up the stocks of wine from other countries I have commercial agreements with to try and meet the demand). It also fits in with SPs only mission that is at least feasable to be the biggest producer of wine and luxuries. I don't really expect to achieve it but it does feel right to try.

I should probably point out that I have Spheres Of influence turned off so there are no negative effects for attempting colonisation outside of Italy's historical areas.

I've just double checked in my own game and you are spot on about wine. It is very much in demand, so creating large amounts of domestic supply both feeds into your set goals and is a means to bring in income (& make use of other domestic production)
 

Powloon

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1856 January to June

Diplomacy
Good and bad for us on this front.

The bad is we have still singuarly failed to get passage agreements with the Papal States and Parma despite increasingly warm relations. As for the good we manage to conclude a defensive alliance with the Two Scilies.

Diplomacy.png


Economy
With the completion of our 3rd luxury factory our trade surplus rises from on average 200 to 300 a month.

We have started the construction of the following
  • Railway in Sardinia
  • Trade fleet
  • Ammunition factory in La Spezia

We have completed the following
  • Wood logging in Savoire
  • Iron extraction in Piedmont

Our internal market demand is
  • 18 Food
  • 14 Common Goods
  • 10 Luxuries
We are supplying our internal market at 100% modifying our satisfaction on average by 0.5% a month. Our average satisfaction stands at 93%

Organic stockpile
Organic.png


Inorganic stockpile
Inorganic.png


We are paying 192 private capital to maintain our current structures.

Markets we are looking to further target are ammunition, luxuries and supply where world demand is high and supply is low.

Military

Only minor variations here

We have added
  • 2 Field artillery regiments
  • 1 Labour regiment
We have continued to expand the naval base in Liguria currently it is now level 14 with level 15 under construction.
Alessandria completed its expansion to a level 3 fortification.

We commit to funding our first research Miltary Decorations in an attempt to boost the quality of our armies.

Research.png


Replacements
Replacements.png


Colonisation
We haven't yet lost military control of Mogadishu.
The Opium farm has an output of zero not sure if that has to do with the development level of the province or the fact we are losing military control. The coaling station is flying our flag and the fort continues to be constructed not sure for who yet.

We complete our 4 trading posts in the Arabian peninsular although the lesson to be learned is never build in a rebel held province as one is burned down minutes after completion.

If anyone wants to see anything specific please let me know
 
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loki100

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looks good, I can't get Parma/Pope to give me access either, so it may just be a case of plugging away.

I'm impressed at your dedication to the naval base, be good to see you get to the stage when that investment pays off

about the screenshots, I wouldn't use the 'attachment' mechanism for this forum (its really designed to upload info for tech/bug reports). Use one of the many free (ish) image hosting sites - photobucket and imageshack are popular with many (but there are plenty of alternatives). If you opt for imageshack (I use this one) download their freeware 'uploader' it makes organising images and embedding them a simple task
 

nemethand

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We have added
  • 1 Labour regiment

Sorry to interrupt - what are you planning to use the Labor reg for? I have tried to use them to speed up railroad building but have not had any success. I wonder what they may be good for.

Nice and informative AAR.
 

Stuyvesant

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The difference between yours and loki's replacement screens is monumental. :) I can certainly see myself playing with the historical option turned off, if I ever make it that far.

It'll be interesting to see how the situation in Somalia evolves - whether you get to retain anything at all, or if it'll all just fall away slowly.

nemethand, you're not interrupting anyone: you're simply asking a question (and a good one, too - if I had been aware of it, I should've asked it myself). :) Please do comment: comments are appreciated anywhere, but especially in the AGEOD subforum, which is a bit of a quiet niche in the Paradox empire.