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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

badger_ken

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hi everybody,

This will be an unusual AAR - I hope some of you find it interesting.

I've played two full AARs now (Denmark and Persia), and in each case, and in some of the AARs of others, I've been noting how well countries do that don't engage in warfare - in the Denmark AAR, for example, Colombia finished above France, without ever firing a shot, while France held close to historical behavior. In the Persia AAR, Switzerland was actually a GP for a short while! In both AARs I found that often my ranking increased the most when I wasn't fighting, not when I was. It made me wonder if we all focus too much on warfare/expansion.

So, which country to play? I was tempted by Chile (Democracy, New World immigration, next to no GPs), but this strategy just seems so quintessentially Swiss that I decided to listen to that inner voice - also, Switzerland has Red and White national colors :)

The idea is to be 'as Swiss as possible' - no conquests, no colonization, no alliances. All peace, all the time.

Since this (hopefully) won't be a very action-packed AAR, and I think it won't be very exciting to read an AAR with lines like "and then I lowered tariff rates 5%", my plan is to make this a pretty compact AAR, posting only updates every 25 years.

Oh, and as for mods - I'm using
(1) Alexspeed's Map Improvement package
(2) Shauf's rebel fix, and
(3) The 'Age of Colonialism' mod, as it subsumes the 'bug fix pack', and also tweaks colonies and elections.


So please join me in singing kumbaya, hugging trees, and turning the other cheek, as we embark on our adventure:

 
Last edited:

badger_ken

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Chapter 1: 1836

Let's see how Switzerland starts off. Taking a stroll through the top strip:



1) We start in 17th place, a little starting prestige, and two factories:



2) Literacy is a nice high 70%, we're in good RP shape.

3) The ruling party is conservative, as it seems it always is

4) just under 500K people, about the same as Denmark, who I just finished 2nd with. My goal in this AAR is to finish higher than 6th, as that's where I got Persia, by a fighting-intensive strategy.

5) dinky military, even dinkier reserves.

The Economy

Here's the initial budget: nicely profitable right off the bat:



Politics



(1) We're a true democracy - no appointed anything. Vox populi, vox dei.

(2) Overwhelmingly conservative overall,

(3) yet the Liberals have 25% of the UH.

(4) No social reforms at all, but a goodly amount of political reforms are already in place.

Population



Technology

Switzerland has the first row of everything, with one exception - no experimental railroads yet.

My strategy will be to focus on the RP/Prestige-granting culture techs, and of course the industrial techs, with hopefully just enough army tech to keep me from being invaded :)
 

badger_ken

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Chapter 2: 1836-1861

My, that went quickly! :)

Switzerland was, indeed, not attacked through this period. Looking around the rest of the world....

The World



(1) Brazil has been steadily expanding.

(2,3) The two biggest losers on the world stage in this period are Denmark and Persia. This is curious because these are the two countries I previously played - looks like the AI was thirsting for revenge :). Prussia DOWs Denmark 3 times in this session, stripping it of all its mainland European provinces, and Iceland/Greenland just to rub it in. It then forms the NGF in 1850, by far the earliest I've seen this yet happen. Russia, meanwhile, DOWs Persia twice and munches off two provinces.

(4) In a surprise move, the UK annexed Tibet. Otherwise, China has been growing a little.

And now, back to Switzerland:

The Top Strip



(1) For most of this session, due to early prestige gains, Switzerland was a GP, peaking at 7th place. As these gains have receded in importance, we're back to 9th.

Sadly, we are still at our original two factories, though both at least are profitable and slowly filling (they are level 2 now, too):




(2) Literacy has steadily climbed to almost 80%, RP are all the way up to 21, mainly due to culture techs.

(3) though the ruling party has stayed Conservative this entire time, a slew of reforms have been passed - more on this below.

(4) military is still tiny, though reserves have quadrupled.

The Budget



Mainly due to technological improvements (I'm up to level 2 railroads, for example), Switzerland is quite profitable, even with (very) low taxes.

Politics



(1) Even though the populace overall is still heavily conservative, I've had a slight liberal majority in the upper house for most of this period, which has let me pass political reform after political reform.

(2) As you can see, all political reforms have been passed except for those which widen the franchise - I've tried to do this last, as widening the franchise will make the country more conservative.

Here's the cause of this disparity of a heavily conservative country with a majority liberal upper house:



The capitalist class is overwhelmingly liberal. A bit a-historical, but I'll take it - in my earlier games getting reforms passed was like pulling teeth, here it's been a cakewalk.

Umm, that's really about all to say for now - let me know if there's anything else you'd like info on, otherwise I'll plan to post come 1886.
 
Last edited:

Melrick

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Interesting. I've wondered about this strategy myself. I'll be watching to see how it goes.
 

LordTempest

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I'm very disappointed that you didn't give Chile a go and to be perfectly honest a Vicky 2 game as Switzerland with no conquest or colonisation sounds VERY boring, and this is coming from a HoI2 player who prefers building IC and researching to actually fighting.

I'll follow though, just because it's a badger_ken AAR.
 

WelshDude

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I think this strategy would've been a lot easier with an absolute monarchy, bur there you go. Also, a sudden, horrifying(for you) question has struck me... How many points would my home country get with this strategy!
Hope you do well though and I will follow this. Could give Chile a try afterwards and compare results.
 

Mico94

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i tried to do the same thing once, only to get attacked by Sardinia-Piedmont backed by France in 1840 :(
i then simply quit

good to see this ain't happening here, keep up the good work
 

Timmie0307

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For Peace!!! :D well, nice intermezzo for another AAR with a lot of fighting, maybe Britain in WC?

Tim
 

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Glad to see another badger_ken AAR! Hopefully your mistakes and successes will serve as another great lesson in this game, as your earlier AARs certainly did :D
 

Selzro

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I like this! A short AAR that shows how the game can be played differently! The main threat to peace should be if a GP (i.e. France) puts you in its sphere of influence and then drags you into a war of alliances, but if you can manage to hold on to GP status that should be averted.
 

Danking

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Peace is a b*tch b*tches don't get chances.
I'll be following this, nonetheles.
 

badger_ken

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Thanks for the inputs everyone, really appreciated, especially for such a "non-standard" AAR. [EDIT: Aldriq, Danking, our posts crossed - thanks for the inputs!]


Interesting. I've wondered about this strategy myself. I'll be watching to see how it goes.
I'm very disappointed that you didn't give Chile a go and to be perfectly honest a Vicky 2 game as Switzerland with no conquest or colonisation sounds VERY boring, and this is coming from a HoI2 player who prefers building IC and researching to actually fighting.

I'll follow though, just because it's a badger_ken AAR.
Yeah, it was tough, but I felt that I was better calibrated as to what to expect from Switzerland - this is really a big experiment, after all. If I did Chile, and they finished, say, 12th, would that be better, worse, or equal to what I would have expected from playing them "normally"?

re boringness - I agree :), that's why I'm going to try and make it short and sweet.

thanks for the compliment at the end, though - a spoonful of sugar :)

I think this strategy would've been a lot easier with an absolute monarchy, bur there you go. Also, a sudden, horrifying(for you) question has struck me... How many points would my home country get with this strategy!
Hope you do well though and I will follow this. Could give Chile a try afterwards and compare results.
Re absolute monarchy - yes, Democracy sucks :). Not only is it a Democracy, but one where I'm limited to economic 'interventionism'. (With the liberals being laissez-faire, as I recall).

I would love it if you would do Chile and we could compare and contrast.

i tried to do the same thing once, only to get attacked by Sardinia-Piedmont backed by France in 1840 :(
i then simply quit. good to see this ain't happening here, keep up the good work
I think luck has a lot to do with it. So far mine is holding. I do have 200 relations with France, Austria, and Prussia, and have L2 forts in every province, I don't know whether these factor in or not.

For Peace!!! :D well, nice intermezzo for another AAR with a lot of fighting, maybe Britain in WC?

Tim
Yes, think of this as a 'palette cleanser' :).

Glad to see another badger_ken AAR! Hopefully your mistakes and successes will serve as another great lesson in this game, as your earlier AARs certainly did :D
Thank you sir, I hope the mistakes are decreasing :)


I like the concept very much. Will be checking on this. Liberal capitalists bettering the situation of conservative lower classes - how utopian!
Yes, it's quite upside-down, and I've found this in every country I've played so far. If I understand naggy's explanation of this, it's because of national value being 'order', and CON being low, which makes the farmers conservative RP-followers (and with a conservative RP, that makes them doubly-conservative).

I like this! A short AAR that shows how the game can be played differently! The main threat to peace should be if a GP (i.e. France) puts you in its sphere of influence and then drags you into a war of alliances, but if you can manage to hold on to GP status that should be averted.
Yeah, it's a tough dance, as is historical. If you do ally, you might get dragged into things. If you don't ally, you are a more tempting target. So far I'm doing the Swiss thing, and refusing all alliances.

I've noticed that IND score tends to skyrocket towards the end, so my hope is that my ranking will follow a 'horseshoe' - high at the start due to the prestige-granting techs, then low in the middle as that becomes less important, then high at the end as my industry kicks into high gear.

Anyone want to predict final rank? Think of the glory that could be yours :)....
 
Last edited:

PrawnStar

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As with all your previous efforts I'll be fascinated to see how this pans out. I'm itching to try Vicky 2 but I daren't install it until I've finished my EU3 AAR since I can't successfully play more than one game at a time.
 

Timmie0307

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mmm I guess Switzerland will end in 5th place...I believe that UK will be nr. 1, France and Russia will score high as well and either Austria or Prussia (Germany whatever) will benefit from only AI war actions in Europe...
 

Julius.R

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This looks very interesting, I'm looking forward to following this. I'm a bit sad you you didn't try to go after the ethnically similar territories near Switzerland, and save them from the horrors of war in the future ;)

I vote that you take a referendum on that ;) Haha, I'm just joking, keep on being Neutral and supplying the world with chocolate and Coocoo clocks
 

WelshDude

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Re absolute monarchy - yes, Democracy sucks :). Not only is it a Democracy, but one where I'm limited to economic 'interventionism'. (With the liberals being laissez-faire, as I recall).

I would love it if you would do Chile and we could compare and contrast.

Ready to load up ! Pity Chile's a Democracy... wonder how Denmark would do? And what diaster has befallen persia!
I'm thinking about developing a mod to deal with the ideolgy problem, but not sure I could devote time to it.

EDIT: Another problem with Chile, it has NO Craftsmen, Clerks or Capatalists. Unless anyone 's got a way round it, I think I'll pass.
 
Last edited:

Kaltorak

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An interesting approach. Definately looking forward to how it progresses. I guess you'll have to get into the population boosting techs quick. Out of curiousity are you noticing any immigration?
 

J. Passepartout

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I am of the opinion that peace and focus on internal matters can be the opposite of boring. Of course, I enjoy reading dry economic history.