1836-1837 : Portugal - country profile
Meet Portugal, April 1836. It is a small country in Europe, who has only three regions : Douro, Alentejo and Estremadura.
I will use this opportunity to introduce you to the "region" mapmode, which in Victoria 2 is very helpful. Because in Victoria 2 it is "regions" you conquer and colonize, while provinces are smaller entities inside of regions. That's one feature of Victoria that puts it apart from Europa Universalis.
Portugal is a small country, but it has great ambitions. Or it "had" great ambitions. Either way, Portugal colonies are scattered all over the globe. Apart from Brazil, who has declared independence, Portugal has colonies in Southern Africa, on both oceans. Portugal dreams of connecting them.
Portugal also owns the islands of Madeira, Azores and Capo Verde, who are all part of the "Macaronesia" region. Which, according to the Wikipedia, is "a modern collective name for several groups of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Europe and Africa".
In this picture there is also "Portuguese Gambia", on the coast of Africa.
Then there are two small provinces in Asia : Goa, part of the "Portuguese Bombay" region, and Macau, part of the "Macau & Hong Kong region".
We are not done yet, there is the province of Dili, part of the "Portuguse Bali" region.
Now we are really done.
Portugal may have a glorious past, but he does not seem to be doing too great at the moment. The country has a very miserable literacy, and is lagging behind technologically. Lacking better ideas, we start researching the cheapest technology, "Early Railroad", and we set our focus on Clergymen on Alentejo and Estremadura, the two most populous mainland regions.
Portugal is nowhere near being a Great Power, and is a Secondary power - but only just. It is at the 16th place in the global ranking, and is probably even going to be demoted pretty soon - by Danemark, who has a better score.
It is pretty hard in the beginning to get a positive balance sheet. Probably we should tackle the bad administration problem as soon as possible.
We have a small army, and it is only infantry. Maintaining our navy is our biggest cost, and therefore, as a first measure, in the trade screen we unautomate buying Clipper and Artillery. That will mean that our navy won't be fit for combat at first, therefore we'll try and stay out of trouble.
In Portugal, in 1836, there are no capitalists. Where is the money in the country ? Well, it is the artisans who are making the most money.
Who needs factories when you have artisans ?
Actually, there are provinces that Portugal can colonize from the very start. Learn about the "Colonial Map", that I just learnt how to use. I didn't start colonizing immediately, since Portugal is not a safe Secondary Power, and you cannot colonize if you are just a "Civilized" nation.
We have access to a lot of Grain, Fruit, Wool, but our artisans are also producing a lot of stuff, using the raw materials they find on the free market. Artisans are our asset, obviously.
By April 1837, we have scored a diplomatic victory. We are allied with Great Britain, the greatest country in the world. And with Brazil, our former colony.
But, as we feared, we have been demoted from Secondary Power status. It is necessary to get some prestige, and at the same time expand our empire. We need an easy state to conquer, and we pick Brunei. The best choice would have probably been Johore, but we consider that country in the UK's sphere of influence - at first.
Brunei is an "uncivilized" country who has only one region, and therefore it is possibile to establish a protectorate on him for a maximum of 10 infamy. Let me introduce you to the "Civilization" mapmode, where you can see what countries are civilized and what are not.
Brunei has just ONE brigade, and it is uncivilized. Therefore we just need to take there a couple of our brigades and it should be easy to take the country from them. Our navy can only carry three brigades, and we pick up the ones who are in Africa on the way there.
I find out that even if you don't buy clippers and artillery your ships still sail and can take you to your goal, but of course, you better not involve them in a fight.