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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Darth Moose

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The text written in italic have I added just now. I believe I'm quite clear about other techies? If you disagree then I need to remake this part of text.

All the research advisers are obsolete later on - including statesmen. Why are you so partial to them? You probably want to get to tech level 4 to take an NI ASAP. But I would definitely take a 6 star natural scientist or army reformer over a 5 star statesman anytime. You should be clear why the player should choose a particular adviser, and how to evaluate which is better.
 

King Nothing

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anweRU sums up my thoughts about the advisors pretty good so I'll leave it at that. :) Statesmen are just another tech guy. Nothing more. Ok. It seems I had to add one last mark about it. But now I''m done. :p

One thing that could also be mentioned a little extra, perhaps the first thing when you came to the interface, is that a lot of things get a lot clearer if you hold your mouse over it. You have mentioned it a couple of times for specific things but as I see it it's one of the absolute most important things to know if one wants to learn more. Pretty much everything in the game has a little tooltip. :)

And when I read the part about the sliders. Is there really anyone here that favours quantity over quality? It can't be many at least. :)
 

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Maybe it would be best to add that as you play the game and have a better understanding of how the bonuses that the advisors give work, you will probably change your strategy, based on your personal play style?
 

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If he doesn't finish this AAR because you guys are nitpicking him to death I will put a gypsy curse on you guys.
 

flavioso20

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Great job! I think you should mention that some inflation is tolerable. Most of my games I mint some money to make the yearly balance a bit positive.
 
Last edited:

Merrivale

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I think the best way to handle minting is to think about it this way:

Ideally, you don't want to mint at all. However, your first priority has to be keeping a positive yearly balance or you're going to eventually hit bankruptcy. So, particularly in the early game, you mint as little as you can get away with. This is particularly important when you aren't playing a superpower. What any player who has to mint in order to stay positive on the yearly balance, in particular if the minting is causing inflation, needs to think about is what costs are causing this situation and are they all necessary. Perhaps you don't need your army maintainence on full or don't need that many regiments or don't need that many ships or are spending too much money trying to compete in COTs that the % chance is too low in or have too many colonies or too many missionaries. But there are times where you need all of the expenses you're paying out and you need to add some inflation. With the idea that later on you're going to get rid of it.

In my opinion inflation is something to be managed: it should neither be ignored or avoided at all costs. If you're going to need to mint, be sure to take the National Bank and look for/create Masters of the Mint. Try to minimize the times where you're really pushing the needle. If you're gaining large amounts of inflation consistently, you need to back off and alter your goals. But if you're gaining no inflation at all, you're probably not maximizing your potential. Colonizing is always a race, wars tend to be opportunistic, buildings give you constant bonuses to the end of the game.

It's also important to remember that if you have a big country, it's laughably easy to lower inflation in the mid to late game (between the ability to create 6 star advisors and spammed tax assessors)--the key is not getting behind the 8 ball before you get there.
 

A_Dane

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ofcourse some inflation is tolerable, but when you just start playing it should only be used when you're in dire straits, as it might go overboard :/
 

Darth Moose

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Aye, inflation can be bothersome. I started my very first IN game in Easy, which has some inflation reduction, and learned the ropes in a mild manner. It can get a lot nastier in normal and above, especially if you need to mint for decades to replenish your military after rough wars. A player who has learned how to reduce inflation in time, and can estimate how much inflation would be tolerable over several decades (5%, 10%, all depends on size and strategy) would do fine to mint. A brand new player could lose control pretty fast. Especially as EU3 economics don't actually correspond to real-world economics with regards to these monthly investments and minting concepts.
 

thebigj_a

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I think we're forgetting, this is meant for brand new players. I think it's appropriate to emphasise the negativity of minting, newbies aren't going to know how to manage it, most of them (like myself at first) assume that a negative monthly income was bad, so mint immediately until they learn better. Besides, he's already said that when the time comes for him to mint a bit, he'll explain it. First you teach a child not to play with fire. It's not until later that you teach him to build a fire.
 

Rhadok

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If he doesn't finish this AAR because you guys are nitpicking him to death I will put a gypsy curse on you guys.

Don't worry, I can face the music whenever it starts to play ;).

I haven't read all of your comments just yet, tomorrow is a busy day but I'll try to make an update either tomorrow (Saturday that is) or if all else fails, Sunday. This AAR is written by Paradoxians for Paradoxians, so I welcome all the comments. Be they constructive or positive, I don't mind.
 

Blastaz

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Reposting this here as I think that it is a valid viewpoint but seems a bit overlooked:

Minting at about 0.06-0.12 is useful in 2 situations.

1) When you have just researched a new building and want to get it built all over your empire quickly. Waiting 30 years to build a constable out of your census tax is just far too much like boring micro to me and you get the rti faster doing it that way anyway.

2) Waging sucessful wars. If you mint and spend it on a bigger army that is not a problem if that bigger army then goes off and conquers some new territories for your empire. In the first 30 years or so you should feel free to mint like crazy to get yourself set up, take your starting core provinces, buy some merchants etc. For example if you ever want to play as Byzantium, where you have a huge ammount of core provinces owned by other people, minting and taking them back has a much, much MUCH beter return on investment than just putting your tiny starting income all into research.

I often find i let my inflation creep up to about 2-3 percent after half a century or so of minting too much, and then get it back under control in the same amount of time. I don't think this ever holds you back too much in SP. 3% inflation is almost unoticable and it allows you to get enough cash early enough to knock out your nearest rivals. I know you want to get rid of your continental possesions, but with a bit of minting you can cripple France and Burgundy, and long term I think that kind of aggressive play puts you in a better position.
 

Javaslinger

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Don't worry, I can face the music whenever it starts to play ;).

I haven't read all of your comments just yet, tomorrow is a busy day but I'll try to make an update either tomorrow (Saturday that is) or if all else fails, Sunday. This AAR is written by Paradoxians for Paradoxians, so I welcome all the comments. Be they constructive or positive, I don't mind.

Really looking forward to the next update! First days of gameplay?
 

Rhadok

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All the research advisers are obsolete later on - including statesmen. Why are you so partial to them? You probably want to get to tech level 4 to take an NI ASAP. But I would definitely take a 6 star natural scientist or army reformer over a 5 star statesman anytime. You should be clear why the player should choose a particular adviser, and how to evaluate which is better.

Okay. I understand your concern about the statesmen preference. In my games as a western nation, I'll always try to race to the first NI. Even if that means neglecting land technology the first few years. I will change the post so that the statesman is a handy choice for this NI racing, but that land and production advisors are equally important, depended on your goals in the game. Thanks.

anweRU sums up my thoughts about the advisors pretty good so I'll leave it at that. :) Statesmen are just another tech guy. Nothing more. Ok. It seems I had to add one last mark about it. But now I''m done. :p

One thing that could also be mentioned a little extra, perhaps the first thing when you came to the interface, is that a lot of things get a lot clearer if you hold your mouse over it. You have mentioned it a couple of times for specific things but as I see it it's one of the absolute most important things to know if one wants to learn more. Pretty much everything in the game has a little tooltip. :)

And when I read the part about the sliders. Is there really anyone here that favours quantity over quality? It can't be many at least. :)

I believe I mentioned the tooltip somewhere in the interface chapter. Will check that and makes sure that it is mentioned. Well some time ago there was a thread about quality or quantity, and there I noticed there were some arguments. Personally I like quality more, even when Im a small nation.

Oh, about your PM regarding your concern with locking the sliders, I believe its in here somewhere. Will look it up and make sure there is note of it.

Maybe it would be best to add that as you play the game and have a better understanding of how the bonuses that the advisors give work, you will probably change your strategy, based on your personal play style?

Will do, as I mentioned to AnweRU, the piece about the advisors will be rewritten. Thanks!

If he doesn't finish this AAR because you guys are nitpicking him to death I will put a gypsy curse on you guys.

I lol'd sooo hard when I read this post :D! Thanks for your undying support! But hey, these guys are here to help. Furthermore, I haven't felt being really nit picked quite just yet ;).

Great job! I think you should mention that some inflation is tolerable. Most of my games I mint some money to make the yearly balance a bit positive.

I think the best way to handle minting is to think about it this way:

Ideally, you don't want to mint at all. However, your first priority has to be keeping a positive yearly balance or you're going to eventually hit bankruptcy. So, particularly in the early game, you mint as little as you can get away with. This is particularly important when you aren't playing a superpower. What any player who has to mint in order to stay positive on the yearly balance, in particular if the minting is causing inflation, needs to think about is what costs are causing this situation and are they all necessary. Perhaps you don't need your army maintainence on full or don't need that many regiments or don't need that many ships or are spending too much money trying to compete in COTs that the % chance is too low in or have too many colonies or too many missionaries. But there are times where you need all of the expenses you're paying out and you need to add some inflation. With the idea that later on you're going to get rid of it.

In my opinion inflation is something to be managed: it should neither be ignored or avoided at all costs. If you're going to need to mint, be sure to take the National Bank and look for/create Masters of the Mint. Try to minimize the times where you're really pushing the needle. If you're gaining large amounts of inflation consistently, you need to back off and alter your goals. But if you're gaining no inflation at all, you're probably not maximizing your potential. Colonizing is always a race, wars tend to be opportunistic, buildings give you constant bonuses to the end of the game.

It's also important to remember that if you have a big country, it's laughably easy to lower inflation in the mid to late game (between the ability to create 6 star advisors and spammed tax assessors)--the key is not getting behind the 8 ball before you get there.

ofcourse some inflation is tolerable, but when you just start playing it should only be used when you're in dire straits, as it might go overboard :/

Aye, inflation can be bothersome. I started my very first IN game in Easy, which has some inflation reduction, and learned the ropes in a mild manner. It can get a lot nastier in normal and above, especially if you need to mint for decades to replenish your military after rough wars. A player who has learned how to reduce inflation in time, and can estimate how much inflation would be tolerable over several decades (5%, 10%, all depends on size and strategy) would do fine to mint. A brand new player could lose control pretty fast. Especially as EU3 economics don't actually correspond to real-world economics with regards to these monthly investments and minting concepts.

I think we're forgetting, this is meant for brand new players. I think it's appropriate to emphasise the negativity of minting, newbies aren't going to know how to manage it, most of them (like myself at first) assume that a negative monthly income was bad, so mint immediately until they learn better. Besides, he's already said that when the time comes for him to mint a bit, he'll explain it. First you teach a child not to play with fire. It's not until later that you teach him to build a fire.

Reposting this here as I think that it is a valid viewpoint but seems a bit overlooked:

Minting at about 0.06-0.12 is useful in 2 situations.

1) When you have just researched a new building and want to get it built all over your empire quickly. Waiting 30 years to build a constable out of your census tax is just far too much like boring micro to me and you get the rti faster doing it that way anyway.

2) Waging sucessful wars. If you mint and spend it on a bigger army that is not a problem if that bigger army then goes off and conquers some new territories for your empire. In the first 30 years or so you should feel free to mint like crazy to get yourself set up, take your starting core provinces, buy some merchants etc. For example if you ever want to play as Byzantium, where you have a huge ammount of core provinces owned by other people, minting and taking them back has a much, much MUCH beter return on investment than just putting your tiny starting income all into research.

I often find i let my inflation creep up to about 2-3 percent after half a century or so of minting too much, and then get it back under control in the same amount of time. I don't think this ever holds you back too much in SP. 3% inflation is almost unoticable and it allows you to get enough cash early enough to knock out your nearest rivals. I know you want to get rid of your continental possesions, but with a bit of minting you can cripple France and Burgundy, and long term I think that kind of aggressive play puts you in a better position.

All the inflation posts:
  1. I completely agree that minting for wars, important buildings is far more important than a zero tolerance policy regarding minting.
  2. However, inflation is a very hard topic for new comers. So I repeat once again that I want to make sure that they understand inflation before tinkering with it.
  3. In the game I will mint, don't worry. It will be covered in detail that gaining inflation doesn't need to be bad, if you know how to handle it.

Really looking forward to the next update! First days of gameplay?

Yep, making screenies available as we speak. Well no actually, finish my coffee and start GIMP to get crackin' after this post :).

Really really really thanks for all your input people. I can't do this without you :)!
 

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So this is what I've made out of it. I think it should please everyone :) and be helpful to the newcomers.
Here you can select a new advisor. I won't go into full details here about them all, but you will see different advisors than I do as they are randomized at the beginning of the game. So how do you know who to hire? Here are some recommendations for start advisors.
  • If you see a Statesman ---my pretty avatar picture---, you can hire him. Hire the highest star ranked statesman advisor. He will help you with your governmental research ---explained below--- to make sure you'll get a National Idea ---will be explained--- as fast as possible. I personally always go for a statesman, other forumnites don't. I really depends on your game style.
  • Depending on your strategic goals, a natural scientist or a land reformer are equally important as a statesman for being starting advisors. If you are going to war soon, a land reformer can help you to get better land technology ---technologies will be explained---. Natural scientist are important too as they will help speed up production technology which you need to get workshops.
  • If you don't see a statesman, land reformer or a natural scientist, consider hiring a Master of Mint. He can help you battle inflation ---will be discussed in the next chapter.---
  • A Master of Mint isn't always required at the beginning of the game. In stead I've chosen to increase my monthly income ---explained in the next chapter--- with a sheriff.
  • Other high ranked advisors that you can hire at the beginning of the game:
    Treasurer, Statesman, Natural Scientist, Army reformer and Naval Reformer. They become obsolete later in the game, but are terrific for a game start. Any of those are great for getting an edge in a technology you wish to specialize in.

What do you think?
 
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Don't forget diplomats and ambassadors for the late game.
 

dinofs

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Why yes good sir, but those are not good beginner (at least, not most of the time) choices which were discussed ;).

Fair enough. Still, they deserve an eventual mention.
 

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Chapter seven:
Your First Gameplay Day!
Assign Generals, Reorganize the Navy, Set Up Trade and Command Your Troops

Finally we're there. We are now at the point were we can actually play this game, the whole reason why you are reading this AAR! I'm no annoying TV presenter, so without further ado....let's pause the game just a bit longer!

We need to get some things done first. Do you remember Sir Robert Knolles in the military tab? He is a moderate general, but without troops, he's of no use whatsoever to us. Shall we get him assigned to our troops in London? Click on our troops in London. We see this little box appearing.
1Noleaderyet.jpg



In the box you can see what that army consists of. In this case the army is 7.000 men big, consisting of 5.000 men and 2.000 cavaliers. The 0.0% is attrition which will be dealt with in the split off, don't worry about it for the moment. Now click on No Leader below the armies name, Royal Army. You should see the general in a list appearing. Click on the general. If all went well, this is what you should see now.
2withleader.jpg



This means our general is now commanding our troops. It's possible for him to be reassigned, simply click on the generals' name and when the lists appears, click on No Leader in the bottom. Don't do this now though.

As England, we start with one of the largest navies in the game. That's a powerful position. Our ships are now stacked ---remember stacked? That's multiple regiments or ships in this case, grouped together in a stack--- in one big group in the port of London. When we go to war its not a good idea to send our vulnerable transport ships of the cog type into a battle. We're going to split them up. First we need to select our navy.

Select your navy by creating a box ---hold your left mouse button and move--- near London. It's important to mention that land armies are prioritized above navies. So when you make a box, make sure that no land armies are inside of it, otherwise you select them in stead of the ships.
3selectnavy.jpg



A box should pop up, similar like the one we saw when we selected our troops in London.
5dividenavy.jpg

We find here that the navy consists out of 42 ships, which 29 are Big Ships of the Carrack-class and 13 Transport Ships of the Cog-class. Do you also notice that this navy is not lead by an admiral?

We are going to split the cogs from the carracks. As you can see on the screenshot, there are two arrows pointing away from each other. There we can divide our navy. Click on the two arrows pointing away from each other.
Yet another screen pops up!

Scroll down and press the arrow to the right at every cog-class ship. After you've down that, this is how it should look. ---The game does not arrange ships by class in a navy stack. So sometimes you need to look hard to find certain ships you want to split off. The large icons dedicating the amounts of ships of each class can help you if you are not sure you've got them all.---
4breoganisenavy.jpg

Now click Close.


Okay, the troops are ready, the navy is organized. We are ready to go right!!? Well not quite yet. Hold on a second longer ;).

Remember that we have a couple of merchants available in the toolbar at the top? We need to get them to work for us. As a member of the Hansa Trade League, it's only logical that we send them to a Center of Trade ---CoT--- of the league. So why not the capital of the Hansa itself, Lübeck?

Move the game map until its centered on modern day Germany. There you will find Lübeck somewhere in the north of Germany. You can also click on the search province icon I told you about and search for Lübeck.

7tradelubeck.jpg



Select the province of Lübeck. When you've done that, you see in the bottom of the screen some information about the province. Click on the Lübeck CoT button which is highlighted in the screenshot above. ---You may notice the map is trade map mode right now, this is not necessary. I don't know why I did that :).---

You should see the following now.
7btrade2-1.jpg



That's a break-down of the Lübeck CoT. Its total value of trade being traded there is 1026.87, which is a lot for a CoT. Our value is 0.0 right now, because we don't have any merchants there yet. All the shields in the bottom are merchants from other countries trading there. ---I'm not going into trade detail just yet, all trade mechanics will be explained.---

To the left of the big Send Merchant button you see a price. Here it is 4.55. This means that if we want to send a merchant, it will cost us 4.55 ducats. Below that you will notice a percentage, 54.20% in this case. That is our compete chance. In other words, we have a 54.20% to kick a merchant of another country out of this CoT to take that place for ourselves. ---How you can affect this percentage will be covered later, in a special Trade chapter.--- A CoT has a limited number (Twenty?!) of places available for merchants. If it's full, we need to compete somebody else out of business before we can take over. Every nation can have a max of 5 merchants in a CoT, unless they manage to create a monopoly where you can have 6 merchants ---again, more on trade later.---

It can be quite annoying to send merchants, so our friends at Paradox made an auto-send feature available. It's off right now for Lübeck, but we will set it on. There are three levels of auto-sending merchants.
  1. Green. Green is the highest priority. The game will send merchants to a green prioritized CoT until we have a monopoly of 6 merchants established. This is above yellow. If we lose that monopoly, the game will keep sending merchants until we have it back.
  2. Yellow. Yellow is the second priority where the game will send merchants to CoTs where we do not have 5 merchants available yet. It will first send merchants to a yellow prioritized CoT rather then a red prioritized CoT. If one our merchants get kicked out, the game will auto-send a new one until again 5 has been reached.
  3. Red. Red is the lowest priority, which means the game will send our merchants to a CoT until our max limit of 5 merchants has been reached. If one our merchants get kicked out, the game will auto-send a new one until again 5 has been reached.

As you can imagine, that auto-sending can costs us quite a bit of money. Luckily, the game stops auto-sending automatically if we ever lose too much money to go break-even in a year. More on that later.

So how to set it on? Click once on the 'traffic sign'-like icon until it looks like this.
autosend.jpg


---A more convenient way of setting the auto-send feature on, is going to the ledger on page 24. An overview of every CoT is given. It's also possible to send merchants to CoTs here by clicking on the owners shield.---


Remember that rebels popping up because I moved the Centralization slider? It's very likely that you didn't have rebels!. But in case you have, we need to squash those...those...peasants..! So select the Royal Army by clicking on it once, and then right click where you want them to move. They should get moving once we unpause the game.
5squashrebels.jpg



Okay, we are there. We are ready. Now I'm serious, we can play. But before we unpause..do you know what to expect?
  • We've send an invitation to Castille to become our ally, we expect an answer.
  • We've send merchants to a CoT. Money will be drained from our treasury.
  • Our army will move to crush the rebels.
  • We will be given a mission.

So now, you may unpause the game. Either hit spacebar or click on the date in the top.

9Unpause.jpg



There it was, your first gameplay day!!
What mission did you get? What did Castille say?

Now to fulfill our goal of forming the UK, chapter 8 will be: Preparing for War.
 
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thebigj_a

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Great update. One little thing though:

"Yellow is the second priority where the game will send merchants to CoTs where we do not have 5 merchants available yet. It will first send merchants to an orange prioritized CoT rather then a red prioritized CoT"
 

Rhadok

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Great update. One little thing though:

"Yellow is the second priority where the game will send merchants to CoTs where we do not have 5 merchants available yet. It will first send merchants to an orange prioritized CoT rather then a red prioritized CoT"

Thanks. Yeah yellow was orange first, I changed that later. Forgot one word :).