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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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stnylan

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Back in the day I loved Victoria, and especially Victoria: Revolutions. Indeed in the later I had one of my all time favourite Paradox game experiences with Portugal. Alas, Victoria II's release and development cycle co-incided with my Paradox lull, and although over the years I have acquired the game and all the DLC I have never truly played it. Indeed, until about a month ago my Steam time in the game was 20 minutes.

However, I want to change that. I also want to write another AAR. I though this was a perfect opportunity (perhaps a perfect opportunity for disaster, but you never know). I have now racked up about 5 hours in game, playing a few years in both Sweden and Brazil just really clicking around learning where (some of) the stuff is. And also to choose which country to play for this AAR.

I have chosen Sweden, because I want to concentrate more on mucking around on the economic side and it seems this would be easier from the start with Sweden. Also Sweden looks to be in a more interesting geopolitical position.

My update schedule is likely to be only 1 or 2 per week. My first game session is likely to be this weekend. Any and all advice is welcomed, but I retain the right to ignore it, mis-interpret it, or perhaps even follow it (though possibly by accident :) ). My aims for this game are simple enough.

1) Have fun
2) Learn a bit about Victoria II
3) Write an AAR

The game has all DLC and no mods.

I have no set objectives in game, other than I won't be overly ambitious because of the whole "l don't really know what I am doing" angle.

And with that I throw myself on the mercy of the community. Be gentle :)
 

volksmarschall

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First! :D

And with that I throw myself on the mercy of the community. Be gentle :)

Are we really that bad? :p

I have always loved the Victoria series. So I bid you luck, and hope you come to love it as much as so many other people on this forum do!
 

loup99

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Subscribed! I like both Victoria 2 and playing Sweden. :)
 

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Well I've now played the first five years - I hope to have a proper update up by the end of the weekend.

And I really have no clue what it is I am doing :D
 

volksmarschall

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Well I've now played the first five years - I hope to have a proper update up by the end of the weekend.

And I really have no clue what it is I am doing :D

Not knowing what you're doing and making an AAR out of it is the best type of AAR! ;)
 

loup99

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Well I've now played the first five years - I hope to have a proper update up by the end of the weekend.

And I really have no clue what it is I am doing :D
As volksmarschall pointed out, that will probably be advantageous to the AAR! The less you knew, the more you have left to learn. ;)
 

stnylan

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Not knowing what you're doing and making an AAR out of it is the best type of AAR! ;)
I have always thought that the inherent optimism of Americans are their best collective virtue. I guess we shall see whether New World optimism triumphs over Old World self-deprecation and cynicism.

As volksmarschall pointed out, that will probably be advantageous to the AAR! The less you knew, the more you have left to learn. ;)
How true! Or un-learn, as the case may be.

Try fighting Russia for Finland ASAP, you have cores on it :D
Now now, I may be a novice at Victoria II, but I do believe this advice may be in jest. :D
 

stnylan

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1836-1841

wMsVmwk.png


So as I mentioned I have played a couple of years previously in both Brazil and Sweden to really just get a basic clue of where various things are, but this is my first attempt to play “properly”.

To begin - Sweden is not so bad a place. Well, it does have a load of Norwegians to deal with, but if the Danes could manage the Norwegians for five centuries surely Sweden can manage to hold onto them. Our population is well educated, homogenous, and hopefully desirous to work in a factory.

Except I don’t have any factories of course, being the start of the game. So the first thing I do is to start building a cement capital in Svealand. My logic is very simple: cement is used in all kind of things. Plus it is the only one I can afford straight away.

When it comes to technology I have picked up enough from other AARs to know that culture techs/inventions grant prestige, which will be useful. I therefore begin researching Romanticism right away, and my intention is alternate culture techs with other techs. Meanwhile I set my initial two national foci to get more clery.

Then it just comes down to sorting out the budget. Up goes tariffs, down goes military spending. I bump education up enough to make literacy growth positive, slightly increase administration, and then tinker until I get a small positive balance.

1vIQNUZ.png


I let the game run on - I start getting a number events about liberal sentiment on the rise - which I am guessing has the possibility of ending up in an 1848-style situation. My first factory completes and I switch one of my foci to get craftsmen to work in it. There is more liberal agitation and some slum clearance going on, and then Romanticism is completed. Hooray - my first tech. Only takes to October 1837 - which I have no idea if that that is good or bad. Anyway I choose Experimental railroad next.

FUebDa7.png


I refuse Norwegians the right to have their own flag - don’t want the fisherfolk clinging on the fjord-sides getting ideas after all. There is more liberal agitation up and down the country, which frankly feels a little bit repetitive. I realise about this time the message settings are not what I want, but I haven’t yet (as of writing) gotten around to properly setting them up. Basically I like to know about wars when they happen, not after the fact when I read about it in the newspaper. I also begin work on a Lumber Mill, since Sweden has no shortage of trees.

In due course Experimental Railroad finishes and I begin Ideological Thought. I also begin to get a large number of Liberal Insurrection events. Almost on reflex I start sending in troops, but then I start choosing the other option now and then for variety’s sake.

The lumber mill completes, as does Ideological Focus. I thought this would give me another National Focus, but apparently it does not. Clearly there is something I am not getting here, and the chances are it is very very obvious. Hopefully I will discover it. I switch foci so I get Craftsmen in the new factory state (Christiana) whilst getting more clergy somewhere else. I also begin Medicine.

o7ijQTw.png


It is 1840 and an election campaign starts - and ends - with a massive victory for one side:
NIseejg.png


I smell something fisky going on here, and I realise my voting is set to Landed. Oh well, I think, knowing that will most likely change and sooner rather than later. Romanticist Art and Individualism fire, as do regular Liberal agitation/insurrection events. The year rounds off with Determinism. Along the way I also start a canned food factory, since I recall in Vicky 1 there was always a need for canned food.

The start of 1841 greets me with the realisation I can trigger the Folkskolereformen decision. I have two thoughts on this - firstly I actually know what this is without having to read the event text (though not in detail). I can’t remember why I know - perhaps an event from Vicky 1? The second is that whoever wrote the event text was having some fun.

VaSdSug.png


The next thing I realise is I should start promoting capitalists so they can build railroads for me. I feel slightly silly since I could have started this much earlier, but better late than never. Medicine finishes, and I begin Realism. The play session ends in 16th April 1841.

It appears I can sometimes do a few political forms (but I have somehow neglected to get a screenshot of the options). I sort of feel I should expand the franchise soonish, in the hope it will stop some of this liberal insurrection spam. I also appear to have my first potential rebels appearing, but no actual threat as yet. Must keep an eye on it.

xb6WzoO.png


So that is it. I know not much has happened. As briefly mentioned earlier I really have no idea what I am doing, but I am so far having fun doing it. A particular note of my ignorance I have absolutely no idea what determines the shifts in the upper house.

So from here I am thinking I should perhaps go after Denmark at some point in time, but not sure when. I have a vague idea of watching what happens with Europe and Russia, and perhaps try and take advantage of any Russian weakness. As you can see my thoughts are a bit unformed. Closer to home I want to continue my nascent efforts at industrialisation.
 

loup99

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Those 100% scores are always scary, although depending on the voting system it has a different signification. With First Past the Post and solely the Landed voting as you noted, the Conservatives gaining all seats isn't too odd. On the Upper House Composition, it also depends on the existant political regulation, with the different variants leading to completely different situations.

Concerning Denmark, you could otherwise just sphere it when you are a great power and then form Scandinavia, rather than attacking it militarily. Probably less of a risk if you don't feel confident with warfare, although it does require you to reach that great power status.
 

Nikolai

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Boo! Hiss! Give us our flag dangit! :D

As for the national focus not showing up, you need more population IIRC.
 

Idhrendur

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As for the national focus not showing up, you need more population IIRC.

That's what I recall as well.

Regarding money, you can safely raise taxes much higher. The sliders set a nominal tax rate, but the actual tax rate is much lower due to administrative ineffifiiciency. If you hover the mouse over the slider, you'll get some details

And were you anywhere but Sweden, waiting until your literacy was up before encouraging capitalists would have been good. But you start with good literacy.
 

coz1

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Got the chance to read through the first update and it will be especially interesting to me. I've not yet purchased Vicky 2 so your gameplay experience may be just the thing to sway my opinion one way or the other. Good luck! I will be watching closely and hope to keep up with this one far better than your last.
 

Sebastian Jarl

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Boo! Hiss! Give us our flag dangit! :D

Appears that glorious herring salad* was just not meant to be ITL. (* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_mark_of_Norway_and_Sweden)

Fun fact, the Norwegian flag was the Danish flag with a cross of Swedish blue - a sign of Scandinavism. Unfortunately, the Swedes changed their shade of blue later on, meaning that this symbolism is not apparent anymore.

----

Stnylan:

- With vanilla treating both Norway and Finland as ordinary provinces, the border in Fennoscandia looks hideous. Please do seize any opportunities to make the border easier on the eye!
- As mentioned above, you should be able to form Scandinavia without attacking Denmark. If you go that route, fighting alongside the Danes to protect Schleswig-Holstein would be a nice touch story-wise, as the failure to do so historically is widely regarded as a blow to Scandinavism.
- If you do go after Denmark, may I suggest starting with the old Norwegian dependencies of Iceland, Faroese Islands and Greenland? After all, when Norway was ceded to Sweden it was considered necessary to specify that the "western islands" was not part of what was being ceded. It doesn't take too much imagination to think that rising romanticism could lead to some revanchist sentiment.
 

RossN

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Sweden is an interesting place to start in Victoria 2 and I'm looking forward to reading how you handle this! :)

Don't be afraid to make friends with Russia if they appear to strong - from my experience Russia can vary widely from steamroller to surprisingly fragile.
 

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Your first paragraph is so similar to my own experiences with Vicki II that I have to follow this, hopefully it will inspire me to take the step you did and go beyond a handful of minutes play time.

Unfortunately I cannot wish you good luck as you are playing Sweden, so instead I will hope your dismemberment and annexation by Russia proves a valuable and entertaining learning experience for us all.
 

Alex Borhild

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Unfortunately I haven't played Victoria II, though I've thought about buying it someday. I remain hopeful that Victoria 3, when it arrives, will be Linux-native. :D

This should be interesting. Hopefully 1848 is kind to Sweden, and the game is to you - on the other hand, an anarcho-capitalist or Communist Scandiavia would also be interesting for the brief period before Russia and Denmark crosses the border to "restore order". ;)
 

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Those 100% scores are always scary, although depending on the voting system it has a different signification. With First Past the Post and solely the Landed voting as you noted, the Conservatives gaining all seats isn't too odd. On the Upper House Composition, it also depends on the existant political regulation, with the different variants leading to completely different situations.

Concerning Denmark, you could otherwise just sphere it when you are a great power and then form Scandinavia, rather than attacking it militarily. Probably less of a risk if you don't feel confident with warfare, although it does require you to reach that great power status.
Here's the thing, as I understand it. To become a great power I need prestige. While I get prestige a number of wars, war is an effective one. Of course culture techs are another. Not sure what else in Vicky 2 as yet - colonisation or capital ship construction maybe?

Definitely going to be keeping an eye on this :) I'm definitely no Vicky2 expert myself; I've only played maybe a session or two.
Ah, well perhaps this will enlighten, but perhaps it will confuse.

Boo! Hiss! Give us our flag dangit! :D

As for the national focus not showing up, you need more population IIRC.
Thank you. And the Norwegian populace shows its opinion on this matter quite clearly :D

That's what I recall as well.

Regarding money, you can safely raise taxes much higher. The sliders set a nominal tax rate, but the actual tax rate is much lower due to administrative ineffifiiciency. If you hover the mouse over the slider, you'll get some details

And were you anywhere but Sweden, waiting until your literacy was up before encouraging capitalists would have been good. But you start with good literacy.
Ah well, lesson learned for future times. Thank you for the infos.

Got the chance to read through the first update and it will be especially interesting to me. I've not yet purchased Vicky 2 so your gameplay experience may be just the thing to sway my opinion one way or the other. Good luck! I will be watching closely and hope to keep up with this one far better than your last.
Hi there my friend. Hopefully it will tickle your fancy.

Appears that glorious herring salad* was just not meant to be ITL. (* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_mark_of_Norway_and_Sweden)

Fun fact, the Norwegian flag was the Danish flag with a cross of Swedish blue - a sign of Scandinavism. Unfortunately, the Swedes changed their shade of blue later on, meaning that this symbolism is not apparent anymore.

----

Stnylan:

- With vanilla treating both Norway and Finland as ordinary provinces, the border in Fennoscandia looks hideous. Please do seize any opportunities to make the border easier on the eye!
- As mentioned above, you should be able to form Scandinavia without attacking Denmark. If you go that route, fighting alongside the Danes to protect Schleswig-Holstein would be a nice touch story-wise, as the failure to do so historically is widely regarded as a blow to Scandinavism.
- If you do go after Denmark, may I suggest starting with the old Norwegian dependencies of Iceland, Faroese Islands and Greenland? After all, when Norway was ceded to Sweden it was considered necessary to specify that the "western islands" was not part of what was being ceded. It doesn't take too much imagination to think that rising romanticism could lead to some revanchist sentiment.
Well I have decided not to go for war to begin with, but I leave the option open. If Russia looks vulnerable (presuming I actually notice) I could easily be persuaded to join in. I suppose I could provoke a crisis if I get some other GP backing?

Sweden is an interesting place to start in Victoria 2 and I'm looking forward to reading how you handle this! :)

Don't be afraid to make friends with Russia if they appear to strong - from my experience Russia can vary widely from steamroller to surprisingly fragile.
Hi there. Well, so far they have gobbled up some Central Asian states and lost a crisis. I guess we shall see.

Your first paragraph is so similar to my own experiences with Vicki II that I have to follow this, hopefully it will inspire me to take the step you did and go beyond a handful of minutes play time.

Unfortunately I cannot wish you good luck as you are playing Sweden, so instead I will hope your dismemberment and annexation by Russia proves a valuable and entertaining learning experience for us all.
What is it you have against Sweden? :D

Unfortunately I haven't played Victoria II, though I've thought about buying it someday. I remain hopeful that Victoria 3, when it arrives, will be Linux-native. :D

This should be interesting. Hopefully 1848 is kind to Sweden, and the game is to you - on the other hand, an anarcho-capitalist or Communist Scandiavia would also be interesting for the brief period before Russia and Denmark crosses the border to "restore order". ;)
Read on :D
 

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1841-1845

So when I start up the game I suddenly realise this Projects tab on the Production screen, and get very excited.

NSYYPDk.png


I do invest several thousand pounds in various projects over the next few years, but only end up having one railroad to show for it. I feel like I am missing something here about what might or might not be required.

Otherwise I also play around with the message settings so I get popups for declarations of wars and peace treaties between other nations. My canned food factory completes, taking my total number of factories to three, and there I pause it for a moment. I am still getting loads of Liberal Agitation/uprising events. I have mostly switched now from sending in the troops to negotiating with leaders. Then in 1842 I get this rather nice event about compulsory education, which boosts my research and prestige a little. All welcome.

bLU6llJ.png


Shortly after this though I get my first rebellion:

h96aFnV.png


This one proves quite easy to tame, even with my underpaid troops. It does make me take a look at my budget though, and I up my military spending a little, as I can see further rebellions are now likely. I also discover Realism, and immediately start researching Idealism as I am not sure what non-Culture tech would be best, and I figure Culture techs are usually good.

3VwVxN7.png


1843 starts off with more rebellions - this second one proves to be far more serious than the first, and I get handed my first defeat. I also make a mistake (or was it) and do not undo the rebel occupations once I finally defeat the main force. Along the way I whack my military spending up to 100%. My budget strains a little, but actually stays mostly in the black (or green as case may be) only occasionally slipping into the red. 1843 ends as it starts - with more rebellions, this time the Norwegians stark throwing their fish into the ring as well.

9IwVwFr.png

PNjpxY3.png


On the plus side I research Idealism, which if I had bothered to read it properly and its +50% research points I would doubtless have gotten it sooner. Given all the fighting I am doing, and perhaps seeking to distinguish myself from the Norwegian rabble I start researching Army Professionalism.

S6nNFZR.png


That said, in part because I had not undone earlier occupations, and in part because my army was chasing rebels in the north of the country chasing one group of rebels when these extra groups spawned, soon Stockholm and a few others places fell, and then this happened:

UuvulLE.png


It is February 9th 1844. So a few years early for some revolution, but I can’t actually claim to be displeased with this. My governing party stays exactly the same, most of these reforms I was leaning towards anyway, and with a stroke most of my rebels have gone. It is the End of the Revolution, or so the game tells me.

2AGdjnV.png


Whilst all this has been going on the first Crisis of the game occurred. I must admit I paid not attention to it, something about Western Macedonia. It ends with Russia being humiliated. Perhaps I should look to ally Prussia rather than Russia - will need to watch these shenanigans more closely in the future.

XKmsNEt.png


Meanwhile the Revolution has not freed us from the terrorism of Norwegian rebels, who prove to be good training opportunities for my reconstituted army. In the revolution I ended up losing three regiments. These are rebuilt, taking me back to ten, and then are stationed in Christiana to be close to any further ‘training opportunities’ that might arise. This makes the Danes nervous, or so I am informed.

PwljbJc.png


The tail end of 1844 also sees the first election campaign since the revolution, but it mostly seems a dull affair. After all the exciting stuff happened the year previous. Konservitiva Partiet returns to power again, but instead of getting 100% of the vote gets a mere 95.57%. Army Professionalism is researched, and Positivism begins, and is itself completed in the late summer, whilst I conduct more live-fire training exercises in Norway. Those exercises are completed in the autumn, and the play session ends on October 22nd 1845.

So overall this was a fun few years. Most fun I have had with rebels since my Livonia game (which I had an aborted AAR for) back in EU2 days. Also brought something home to me about Victoria II that I did kind of realise intellectually, but not in practice - rebels aren’t all bad. In pretty much every other PDS game rebels are bad. Sure they can be exploited, but there are really few upsides to rebels in CK2 or EU4 (unless you want to do otherwise disallowed religious conversion I suppose). But in Victoria rebels represent something a bit more, or so it seems. In this case the rebels took me to where I wanted to go anyway, probably a few years early. And didn’t break my nation.

The constant fighting also put a brake on further industrialisation. I was playing around with investing in projects, but the return seems to be slow, so I think I may manually build some railroads. Also given the number of hilly places I have I should probably get early railroad too I reckon. I also tried to invest in a furniture factory, but so far nothing happened. Maybe need more capitalists? Will see.

My intention to play in five year chunks, unless something intersting happens to divert this. I will do a "round-up" of both the country and the world in 1850.