[Beta Mini-AAR] Next Stop: Greater Germany

[Beta Mini-AAR] Next Stop: Greater Germany

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delra

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What do you research first when you're playing Prussia? A country with a large sphere of influence to defend, but also needing to expand it considerably to unite Germany might need better ability to influence others coming from the Market Structure technology. A country without a navy is in a dire need of Steamers to defend the coast, unblock the ports, challenge other Great Powers at sea and researching them could also lead to establishing a strong shipyard industry in the Pommern, a region that desperately needs some additional source of income, because it's not like Gold is going to get discovered there all of a sudden one day (lol).

Sphere of Influence map mode:


A country squeezed between Russia, Austria and France always could use better rifles and cannons. A country with a revenue much lower than the aforementioned might need better RGO outputs from engine or market inventions improving population's very much taxable incomes and imports. Being more modern and plural than neighbours and researching Ideological Thought seems like a great idea. Getting Medicine so the population stops shrinking wouldn't be bad either when your neighbours are as populous as France and Russia. Finally a country with upstart industry needs every bit of early efficiency it can get.



So which of the above do we pick? None! The first technology on the shopping list for Prussia will be trains, Experimental Railroad. Why trains? Because they run on rail tracks, obviously. And rail tracks is something you can build abroad, all over your sphere and all over the spheres of influence of other great powers. And all over other civilized countries' territories when you want to make inroads into someone else's sphere. Sadly, not all over uncivilized countries, they call it a black dragon, or a black bull, or a black beast, and generally prefer to fight it, or at least will run from it... But back to the point, when you invest in rail tracks, you make it harder for others to influence that country, and that's exactly what we need to do all over the future Germany to make it easier for us to maintain and expand our sphere of influence.



Hey, but why tax our people so heavily to build others railroads? Makes no sense, let's build some here in Prussia. Well, they aren't "others", they are "us", or at least will be if we could somehow convince them it pays off to hang out with us Prussians rather than white, blue, red and green blobs around us. We will inherit all this land eventually when we turn into Germany, it'll be our railroad when that happens, all our prior investment will come back to the fatherland! Just look at the new Nationality map mode, how many Germans need to get to work on time.



Okay, fair enough, but why not factories? We could build a factory or ten in Bavaria and they would love us as much as for the rail tracks, if not more! Yes, they would, but what if those factories actually make it, are filled with workers and start producing? Bavaria will explode industrially, and that means they will outpace the Spaniards and the Ottomans in score and become a Great Power in their own right. Another GP with plans to expand its sphere of influence inside Germany would be a disaster for Prussia, there's enough competition as is. Trains are great because they won't turn anyone into competition, they will only make them like us more than others.



We will build factories for some minors though. Minors can get a score allowing them into the GP club, but won't become a GP if they are one state only. So we can build them some really nice factories together with railroads. There's another limitation to our OpenTTD behaviour too. Certain radical parties just won't accept foreigners running around the land of their fathers laying tacks left and right, or open factories, or both. We can't build in countries ruled by nationalist reactionaries, Wurtemberg is one of those.



We also couldn't invest abroad if we were liberal, our "yellow" government wouldn't allow investing at home, and won't allow investing abroad, laissez-faire applies to the whole world, not just homeland. That's one extra reason to fight against that nonsense of liberal revolution in Europe and remain conservative. Party loyalty map mode shows Spain is mildly yellow already, while France clings to conservatism, meaning that there won't be much activity in foreign investment from Spain, their government won't allow it:



While we're doing this, we'll anger France. France is mean in A House Divided, meaner than it ever was because a lot of their early massive industrial developments from vanilla game are gone due to unemployment issues being addressed. This means that France won't have a huge industry right away and will compensate by invading countries all around it. This is a lot of land to cover, so I'm just going to hold CTRL and invest into railroads in entire regions, not having to click a province after a province is quite a relief. Another problem is Switzerland, we can't build railroad in the Alps, it's too difficult and we need more advanced technology (3 more levels!) than we currently have. Which means the Swiss are going to remain neutral for a while.



What France wants inside their sphere of influence is basically everyone bordering Germans. They want Belgium, they want the Netherlands. They want Sardinia-Piedmont and Switzerland. Finally they will make strong runs for Baden and Luxembourg. How we annoy them? We build factories and rail tracks in all those countries! Our investment will slow down their influence, limit their sphere's expansion and maybe even encourage them to give up on certain countries in the long haul. Worst case scenario, we'll GP the Dutch or the Belgians, so if we can't have them, France also can't. Best case scenario, France won't give up fighting for influence over our neighbourhood, and our investment will slow them down so much in the end it'll heavily reduce their influence in the other parts of the world. Less friends France has, better for us.



We secure Luxembourg for our sphere, it has a considerable German minority so can become a part of Germany when we unite. But the French are not going to give up so easily on their little pet country, they need it because it allows them to extend the front line with Germany and outflank our border garrisons. They want it as much as we do, and here's where new defence mechanisms of SOI come to play. When we build up our influence to 100, everything on top of it will be used to reduce France's influence, if it's active. If France isn't active, our investment will automatically revert to 0, so we don't "spill" too much influence into countries that aren't attacked. Isn't this great?



Meanwhile in Hannover, Queen Victoria inherited the thrones of theirs and the UK... and got deposed because her gender isn't compatible with their constitution. Someone could tell Hannoverians she's going to be one of the greatest and most successful monarchs in history. But it won't be me... UK's loss is my gain, I start influencing Hannover right away.



But but. It goes suspiciously slow for some reason? I go to the foreign investment tab, sort by cash put into a project. Oh no, they didn't. Austrians have invested into Hannover already, those bastards. Now I have to match and outbid their investment before my influence there reaches the full speed. I hope to finish sphering them and unite at least towards the North German Federation before our bidding wars turn any of Hannover, Baden or Bavaria into a Great Power. Being too trigger happy with investments is risky like that. And when they become Great Powers, they are going to nationalize what we've built, make it theirs basically, meaning that when beaten out of the GP status, our investment there still is going to be zero-ed and we'll have to start over with taxation and construction.



A few good years later, after squeezing the single last dime out of Prussian people, Germany has the most modern transportation system, and everyone knows it's owed to our investments. Other Great Power will have much harder time influencing German countries and we can unite the country faster, inheriting all that we've built.
 

tedescooo

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I love the way foreign investment is being used to increase influence. :)
 

podcat

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I love the way foreign investment is being used to increase influence. :)

yeah, it makes it a lot more interesting and easier to hold onto your sphere
 

LordTempest

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Prussia must be the perfect nation to illustrate the new influence and investment mechanics. :)
 

Darkrenown

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So RR still get spammed because they are still too cheap?

You really need to stretch to find something negative here, but good effort. Going by his income shown it'll take him ~3 weeks to afford each province's railway assuming he builds nothing else...
 

delra

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It's a fair question. I wrote there somewhere that I couldn't afford to invest in my own railroads and factories when I was trying to cover such a wide sphere with tracks. It bled the population dry of their savings as well, and it's not hard to imagine what effect this has on promotions and the middle class.
 

Searry

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Well, very intresting. I just hope POPdemand gets ported quickly, so I can buy this.
 

Uliono

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I was just wondering, the AAR says Laissez-Faire countries can't invest abroad. Does that mean the government's can't invest abroad and the capitalists in the country invest abroad based on their own whims, or does it mean a laissez-faire country doesn't invest abroad at all?
 

RedRalphWiggum

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It's worth bearing in mind that to a large degree, railroads were 'spammed' in real life. However, I find it happens a lot less often than in vanilla.
 

Soulstrider

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Oh nice, I thought we could only make factories in other countries, had no idea we could also make railroads.
 

Krautkopf

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Impressive. I always was addicted to the SOI game, but this makes it even more interesting and realistic (with investments), as well as it addresses the one main PITA complain I had (need to always watch your SOI for intruders) by providing this kind of "auto-defence-mechanism".

This is really good work. Not just "look, we have a new feature, brand new!" but an intelligent (sic!) new feature, blending well into the base game and expanding the experience.
 

mortfyn

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Why France always have to be the bad guy when everyone know that Germany and United kingdom are the bad guys ? ;)

Otherwise I can't wait to play the game. Foreign investment seems very interesting.
 

Crispin

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And the fact that we can ctrl click and buy the same building in many provinces at the same time makes me wanna jump with joy. A feature long overdue, but yay its finally here. Makes it an instant buy, and I really would like this feature in future PI games. And I would kill for it in eu3, but that train has probably gone :\
 

delra

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A lot of people are surprised when they find out that Germans actually were (all things considered) the cool kid on the block up until the 1890s, when Wilhelm turned them into "the Huns" in his vanity of pursuing a colonial empire.

Myself I like to play nice nerdy Germany and not go HoI3 on everyone around me, maybe that's why other kids constantly pick on me. Especially that mean French dude...

And the fact that we can ctrl click and buy the same building in many provinces at the same time makes me wanna jump with joy. A feature long overdue, but yay its finally here. Makes it an instant buy, and I really would like this feature in future PI games. And I would kill for it in eu3, but that train has probably gone :\

Johan wrote on his Twitter that they haven't decided yet what Podcat's team will be doing after the AHD is done...
 

Orinsul

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Really cool and clear and interestingly written, Great work at showcasing the new features!
 

unmerged(436829)

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I really hope there's some sort of an auto-build feature for non-laissez-faire governments because it's tedious to build everything by hand. In capitalism you got entrepreneurs building stuff but in state monopoly you got all the bureaucrats so there's no excuse to make the executive leader to build them by hand. A "Build Railroad in all provinces in this state" button would be sweet.

And I haven't really followed the DDs much but I hope micromanaging influence and relations will be less tedious.