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safferli

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I just wanted to say that I really like your initiative, and your AAR. Nicely written, and beginner guide AARs are always good to have! :)
 

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Who would have thought I'd be learning so many new things after all the games I've played...
I'm loving this ARR so far. I'm eager to take a new EUIII lesson, professor Gela. :p
 

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Great initiative !!!

Hail the Blue Lion!

I've just bought EU III Chronicles and I'm really gratefull to you for starting this "AAR for Beginners - A Guide".

I hope you will be able to update it regularly.

Many, many thanks !

Regards, Amadeus
 

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Hail the Blue Lion!

I've just bought EU III Chronicles and I'm really gratefull to you for starting this "AAR for Beginners - A Guide".

I hope you will be able to update it regularly.

Many, many thanks !

Regards, Amadeus

Welcome aboard, Amadeus. I'm glad to see this is helpful. Fortunately, the wait for a new update shall not be long!

Who would have thought I'd be learning so many new things after all the games I've played...
I'm loving this ARR so far. I'm eager to take a new EUIII lesson, professor Gela. :p

This game is so in-depth, I'm constantly amazed by all the new stuff you can learn.

I just wanted to say that I really like your initiative, and your AAR. Nicely written, and beginner guide AARs are always good to have! :)

Ah, thank you! I hope this helps beginners for a little while to come.

I'll have to try a trading republic one of these days. Another nicely written, clear update.

Trading republics are really fun, at least in my opinion. My favorite games have been pacifist money-mongering ones.

As a beginner that has read and re-read the manual and started and stopped numerous games with little-to-no progress, this has been an extremely interesting and useful read.

Will be eagerly following!

Hope this helps, and welcome aboard!

Those really important CoTs like Lubeck get a lot of products traded there, so when you'll have 2 merchants in that CoT you will recieve some modifiers that depend on the good you're importing and have a very wide range of effects
Alternatively you can get these goods in multiple CoTs, so if you trade in 33% of the world supply(you can see that in the trade map if you tip over a province that produces a certain good) you get the modifier

One thing i have to say is that Lubeck will soon be eclipsed by the stupid minors that like to build their own CoTs, only the colonial CoTs(Andalucia, Lisboa and those like Mexico) will be worthy to monopolise

CoTs are always worth monopolization, since you get a whole extra share of income. But I understand what you mean. Fortunately, Holland techs up so fast that I'll get monopolies before the Hanseatic League falls apart.

"However, red should be used if you only want the trade benefits" What do you mean by this?

This is great by the way, please continue!

Once again, sorry for the lack of clarification. See Lama43's quote above if you haven't already for the answer. Glad to have you aboard!

This is great! I just started playing EU3, and had no idea about trade and the importance of sliders. I wish I could go back and change what I've already done in my first game as Austria, without restrating it though.

As Austria, fortunately, you can do just about anything and the game forgives you with a few murmurs of "Forgive me, mon emperor,".

As a land power, you really don't need to worry about trade too much, for reasons we'll cover later.
 

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Lesson 5: Trade and Its Management

WARNING: Long blocks of text with no pictures ahead!

Welcome to another installment of the guide. In short review, last time we left off with Holland beginning its economic conquest of just about everything by trading in Lubeck.

Because it's repetitive and boring, I've cut out the same sequence for several CoTs. Specifically, Lubeck, Novgorod, and Antwerpen are all at five merchants while Andalucia is about one merchant.

Would you like to see the effects? Of course you do!

EU3_71-1.jpg


Look at that monthly income, it's kind of sad. I mean, come on, 3.8 tax? Puny! 0.9 production income? Pathetic! 21.3 trade income? Sa-- Wait. WHAT?

Yeah. And that's just the effect from three CoTs (Andalucia is negligible) At this point, I have about half the monthly income of England, if memory serves. That, my friends, is the power of trade. But what makes this so special? Why not just play a huge nation that makes far more per month?

Well, you see, to prevent larger nations from completely outstripping smaller ones in technology, the prices scale per province owned. To simplify:

Nation A owns one province, and their tech is about five hundred ducats invested per level. That means that with a monthly income of, say, six ducats, it'll take almost seven years to complete one level of technology.

Nation B owns ten provinces, and their tech costs four thousand ducats per level. So with a monthly income of about 50, it takes about seven years to complete one level of technology. Sound familiar?

Nation C is like us, and has decided to actually trade, thinking that it'll make them money. (Trade making money? Impossible!) They also own one province, and their tech costs about five hundred ducats per level. Except they have a monthly income of 20 instead of 6 thanks to trade. It takes them two years to complete one level of technology.

I repeat. Two years. Two years.. That's absolutely nothing compared to seven years.

This is why trade is so powerful, especially in the hands of small nations (Making huge trading nations like Novgorod ineffectual)

If you look at our screenshot again, I'm over halfway to trade tech 4, and it's only 1403!

But, there's one small problem with this: Despite our huge monthly income, our annual income (as in, what we actually get to keep) is puny. This is because trade doesn't affect annual income at all.

If you didn't know, a healthy EU3 economy comes from having negative monthly income while still making money (or breaking even) at the end of the year thanks to yearly income.

Yearly income is pretty much entirely tax, and we only have two tiny provinces to tax! It'll be many, many years before taxing the illegal-everywhere-but-Amsterdam strategy will bring us income, so instead let's focus on how to rectify this with other methods.

Although there's a few strategies, only two are feasible at this point. One is to expand, crushing our trade advantage. That seems.. counterproductive.

The other is to mint, which removes some of the monthly income from investments and puts it directly in our coffers. This slows our technology, but at this rate, we don't need to worry about falling behind. Unless you're playing on Easy or Very Easy, however, minting anything will usually give you inflation.

There's a few ways to avoid this (someone will correct me with a full list in a comment, I imagine):

  • Master of Mint advisers
  • National Bank Idea
  • Centralization slider

Combining all three of those (which won't happen until much later), we can get a possible total of -0.27 inflation. That means we can put 27% of our investment directly into our money stockpiles, which is far more than we'll ever use.

But what if you're not playing a nation with a high trade income, or you aren't yet able to have those? Well, if you really can't manage with just your yearly income, inflation isn't all that bad. All it does is make things more expensive (in a perfect scenario you inflate enough money to cover the costs of the resulting inflation).

This is a bad thing, but don't listen to the signs on the proverbial-street corners of the forum. Inflation isn't the end of the world, it does eventually come down and you can often manage with it if you have a high trade income covering the increased technology costs.

EU3_63-1.jpg


It's far, far past time to get back to the game, I think. Using a time machine, I have brought us back to our latest tech-up, resulting from specialization. See, by dumping all the money we get from trade into one technology, I can hit milestones much earlier than a nation that balances its technology. The side-effect, of course, is that other technologies fall behind.

Milestones that you want to hit are frequently in government tech, as an extra National Idea can completely change a conflict or make you a ton of money.

Others will be discussed as we get to them, but some very important ones are Land Tech 18 (Muskets) and Trade 7 (Unlocks Quest for the New World). The first one you really, really want before anyone else if you can manage, and the latter is optional, but you want to get in the colonies early if you plan on being a heavy settler.

In case you haven't noticed, Government Tech 4 gives a new National Idea. We'll talk about the options next lesson.
 

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Great update again, I still don't quite understand the whole inflation thing though. Other than that, I've had to find all this out the hard way from going bankrupt many times xD
 

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The only major ways to kill off inflation you've neglected are the Tax Assessor and the Implement the Gold Standard decision, both of which are quite far into the future.
 

safferli

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A very good summation of the advantages of a trade-based approach. What I'd like to know is how a small trader manages to survive against more conventional states given its low manpower.

In a nutshell (gela can do this much better and more eloquently): bribe your way to allies, be nice to everyone, and use mercenaries like there is no tomorrow! :)
 

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Don't forget that Tax Assessors and implementing the Gold Standard are generic methods to get another 0.09 or 0.10 inflation reduction (can't remember which) and a few nations have extra decisions (like the Bank of Amsterdam for the netherlands) on top of that. The dutch can get almost 0.50 inflation reduction eventually.
 

safferli

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Don't forget that Tax Assessors and implementing the Gold Standard are generic methods to get another 0.09 or 0.10 inflation reduction (can't remember which) and a few nations have extra decisions (like the Bank of Amsterdam for the netherlands) on top of that. The dutch can get almost 0.50 inflation reduction eventually.

Beware of the gold standard if you think inflation will rise. If your inflation goes over 10 (I think), an event (decline of the Gold Standard or something) triggers causing massive economic mayhem.
 

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As I have just bought and started playing HTTT I have found this extremely useful in helping fill some important gaps in my learning of the game. More updates please, I can't wait.
 

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Random events...
Every random event has a (usually much-preferable) alternative to inflation (-1 stability, -2 stability, -200 ducats, less investment, -Trade Efficiency, etc), so there is really no excuse.
 

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Every random event has a (usually much-preferable) alternative to inflation (-1 stability, -2 stability, -200 ducats, less investment, -Trade Efficiency, etc), so there is really no excuse.

It can seem a better option than losing stability when you don't know about "Debased Currency", which I imagine was the point of Safferli's warning.

Edit: Though you really shouldn't need that kind of reduction for an extended period of time anyway.
 

gela1212

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Lesson VI: What A Good Idea!

If a mod is reading this, I accidentally posted this early. That's why it appears I double posted this lesson, since if I'm not mistaken mods see deleted posts.

---

To paraphrase one of my favorite WritAARs, Junuxx, "Our collective intelligence is so great, we can now ponder five ideas!"

It seems a similar situation has befallen us. Finally we managed to come up with a completely unique idea! (that a whole bunch of other people had too)

Yes, that's right! We have finally managed to grab ourselves a National Idea. If you aren't aware, National Ideas (or NIs) are cool little bonuses you get as your government tech increases. Let's talk about some of the best.

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Ah! Military Drill. This is the one most recommended idea in just about the history of everything. Or at least EU3 I guess. You will often find people on the forums automatically saying "First national idea should be MD," and they are for the most part correct.

If you're wondering why +1 morale is a big deal, then you should probably look at your morale numbers in the early game next time you play. Mousing over the little green bar will show you your maximum morale numbers. If you're lucky, it'll be slightly over 2. That means, essentially, that your soldiers will be around 50% better than anyone without military drill up until land tech 18, which won't come for a while. Even after then, it's still a good boost for your military.

There's only one slight problem. With only ~6,000 soldiers and being right next to Burgundy, it just doesn't matter how good our soldiers' morale is. Seriously. So, moving on!

EU3_65-1.jpg


National Trade Policy! Good to see you again.

This is another highly recommended NI for just about anyone who plans for trade. It's quite straight forward, it increases what percent of your total trade value you get by ten. If you weren't aware, near the beginning of the game this number will be around 20-30, which is really low.

For example, your trade screens might say you should be getting 100 ducats a month from trade, but a 20% trade efficiency (TE) will make that 20 ducats. Thus, this national idea instantly gains you ten ducats a month. Not bad, eh? This is a really good one for Holland, but let's keep looking.

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This one, Shrewd Commerce Practice, is the friend of aspiring traders the world over. It just applies a flat 10% increase to all compete challenges, which can turn a +1 free trade nation into a first-class trader overnight.

An idea that is really good if you're looking for the edge on the competition, I can find this one being used a lot. After all, what good is National Trade Policy without good compete chance?

There's another slight problem than this. The fact that our nation name is spelled H-O-L-L-A-N-D pretty much instantly gives us an entire knife over everyone else, let alone an edge. (I'm very punny, I know.)

EU3_67-1.jpg


This one is actually useful for its bonus, but that certainly doesn't make it qualify for this list on its own. No, the effect is only helpful for large nations.

The real good side of the NI is a hidden gem called 'Gilded Iconography'. It basically lets Catholic and Orthodox nations ignore the Patron of the Arts NI by taking a decision. The effect of the decision also doesn't disappear if you switch the idea, but doing that incurs a hefty stability hit.

We could take a stability hit, but it requires a church, which we don't have. Also, it's crazy gamey to take the idea for its decision. Your prerogative, though.

EU3_68-1.jpg


Now this one is a bit of a hidden gem itself. I've rarely seen people recommend it, but it has a good effect all game long, instead of being good early game and decent late game as the rest of these.

Army tradition gives you better generals. This NI gives you more army tradition. Ergo, this NI gives you better generals. The awesome of this one is pretty self-explanatory, I think. Still, this is one that is a lot like winning the lottery. Generals don't last very long, and army tradition takes quite awhile to 'charge up' with this idea.

Another thing it's really good for is holding off tradition decay, however. This makes it really good if you don't get in wars too often and all your tradition decays by the time you want to use it.

EU3_69-1.jpg


Oh, my old friend..

This idea, National Bank, used to hold Military Drill's current position as most recommended idea. Back in the days of IN, this was the most ridiculously overpowered thing there was.

It's still useful, though. It lets you mint at 10% with no consequences, which is really good for trading nations like us, as minting is the only way to turn our trade into cold, hard cash.

Also good for reducing inflation if your national leader is Barack Obama (buh-dump-tch). Or just if you have inflation. Whatever.

And that's our list, folks! An analysis for all those delicious NIs that are good first-picks, depending on your situation. For our particular uses, we shall go with...

EU3_70-1.jpg


National Trade Policy! Congratulations, you're the next contestant on "Actually Do Something to Help Holland!"

Next week we will be discussing.. something I haven't thought of quite yet. But it shall be informative! I hope. But it shall at least be light-hearted and follow the adventures of our good friend Holland.