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Rovsea

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Welcome all to my second AAR, this one is designed to be focused on game play, just as the first one was, except this time as a twist. I will be playing as the United States primarily (my hated enemy in the Mexico AAR, I know), and I will be seeking to explain and showcase various game mechanics as I go. For instance, have you ever wondered what the utility of suppression points is? Do you even know what suppression points are? Have you ever used them before? let's try another one: what is the long term effect of the immigration national focus? Does it actually improve my immigrant intake? What about in a state by state comparison? Would Pennsylvania with immigrant focus on all game eventually overtake New York in Population? There are many more where that came from as well, and while I definitely have some game functions already planed for me to experiment with, I will also be allowing you, the viewer, to decide what feature you want me to explore next. As well, to keep me more active and motivated in this AAR, I will be setting myself a deadline of every Friday (failing that, Saturday) to have something done. Considering how often I will be playing the United States, I may well and truly

As an aside, while i expect most of this AAR to be in PDM as the United States, simply because they have access to a wide range of game features, I may switch over briefly to the Vanilla game or possibly even an unciv to investigate a reader requested bug feature.

Table of Contents (sorted by topic explored):
The Utility of Suppression Points
What is the purpose for the Colony/Protectorate split?

Requests (If these are minor I may include them in larger updates):
Mild Interactivity Approved by Mr. C
 
Last edited:

loup99

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Rovsea

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Attalus

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Count me subbed as well!

You could do something about the difference between the colonies/protectorates, especially on colonies since well they don't serve much and you will evenutally make them protectorates. So maybe there is a hidden reason for colonies ? Enlighten me wise one! :p
 

Rovsea

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Count me subbed as well!

You could do something about the difference between the colonies/protectorates, especially on colonies since well they don't serve much and you will evenutally make them protectorates. So maybe there is a hidden reason for colonies ? Enlighten me wise one! :p
And welcome to you too! I honestly never thought about the difference between protectorates and colonies. I may look into that later.
 

Rovsea

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OK, this is just a quick update. I've started playing as the US, and I'm mostly just getting a feel for my "base" start, the closest I can get to a baseline so that results for later tests and play-throughs are as close as possible. One small thing I did change is leaving Wyoming as a protectorate (you turn them into colonies. Or was it the other way around? Oh well.) It didn't change anything yet, although we're only 7 years in. Demographics still look about the same, but I'll keep it as is for a few more decades and see if there's any change. Mostly, I think protectorates are just a way of conceding that you're unlikely to ever turn that area into a state, so you're conserving Colonial Points by not investing in a colony. It might not make sense for the UK to ever turn some areas of Africa into Colonies, for instance, simply because their points tied up in colonies is so high. I haven't really investigated Colonial Maintenance yet, that may also be a factor (it may cost more to have a less-integrated protectorate than a full colony). To be honest, I haven't really gotten a chance to do much of anything with suppression points yet.
 

Rovsea

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Rovsea

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Nice! I'll definitely be reading this. I'm looking forward to knowing more about supression points, for one.
 

Rovsea

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Nice! I'll definitely be reading this. I'm looking forward to knowing more about suppression points, for one.
Yep. I may not actually be able to finish the suppression points update by Friday, because of the remarkably small number of Movements early on in the United States (I've had precisely one Movement and one organizing Rebel Group so far, and both of those are off and on. I'll talk more about the relationship between rebel groups, movements, and suppression points in the future. I'm seriously considering not even looking at the United States for the Suppression Point update, simply because right now the country is far too stable.

Also, welcome to the AAR!
 

TheExecuter

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Fascinating.

And yes, the US isn't all that interesting from a political view...unless you are trying to actively break the country.
 

Rovsea

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I know what you're thinking: "Rovsea, you said you'd get an update out by Saturday at the latest, and it's almost Monday!" Here's the deal: this update is going to be longer than I thought, and it's going to include a good deal of exposition in order to explain my start, and all the important things that happen. And then I'm probably going to have a part two going in depth about movements, rebel groups, and how suppression points factor into them. Oh, and also political and social reforms. Yeah, maybe I should break this up into multiple updates...
 

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Oh, and to put into perspective what I'm talking about, I've played 3 sessions, taken 122 screenshots, and still haven't satisfactorily answered what the "utility" of suppression points is.
 

Idhrendur

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If it were simple, I don't think we'd be so eager to have someone explain it. :D

Take the time you need to do a good job (and not go crazy trying to do it). We'll be here when you're ready.
 

EmperorofMordor

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Thought you could slip past me, did you? Not today sir, not today. Subbed! (though Paradox has a nasty habit of not sending me the updates it promises)
 

Rovsea

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Update 1:
On the Importance of Suppression Points; and Other Related Functions:

Allow me to preface this by addressing a few issues that need to be sorted right out the gate: I will be aiming for as consistent play-throughs as possible, but this may not always be feasible, for instance early this game I got the Model Colony event, which almost certainly won't happen very often in future games. In addition, I will be addressing the question set to me, "What is the purpose of Colonies if you will eventually turn them into protectorates?". Lastly, keep in mind that Suppression Points act as a cog in the gears of greater political implications, most specifically here passing reforms and interacting with your Upper House.


So, let's begin:
The starting POPs screen for the US. Note that I will be setting my national foci on immigration in the two most populous states. I almost always prioritize immigration when playing a new world nation, although I understand that this may be less important as the United States. For consistency sake I will be keeping them there (unless I tackle an immigration update sometime in the future). I will mention any time that I move my national focus (such as trying to rush turning California into a state for the Gold Rush bonus).

My starting colonies. Interestingly enough, I will not have enough colonial points right at the start to turn all colonies into protectorates and colonize all of these states as well. For this reason, the US never gets Columbia when the AI is playing because it prioritizes the protectorates first, and so can't invest in both Washington and Columbia at the same time, essentially ceding it to the British. The British will almost always focus on Washington over Columbia, in my experience, but almost never contest both.

Our Guinea Pig for the question of "Difference between Colonies and protectorates" will be Wyoming, since I turned all the other colonies except this one, when I ran out of points. Because Wyoming is on my home continent, I can't compare overseas maintenance costs for before and after (I might be able to do so in a Cuba play-through I currently have going). We'll let him sit and compare his demographics a bit later, although since the state is still considered a "Colonial state" I'm unsure if we'll see anything major.

The starting economy of the US is remarkably strong. I set my expenditures to maximum, lower taxes on the Rich to nothing, lower tariffs to -25% (I may do a test in a future update to see if this impacts industry or is just me wasting money). For future reference I will increase income in the following priority: cut soldier spending (note, this is not military maintenance, it's the salary we pay the soldiers), increase Rich taxes, increase tariffs (but not too high, say capping at 40ish%), cut education and administration funding, raise tariffs even higher (up to 100%), cut funding on admin and education more, cut military funding. If I'm not at war, I'll cut maintenance earlier.

I get Army Professionalism first, possibly because I need it for Manifest Destiny (I will be rushing the techs for that), also possibly for the extra tactics, which is always nice (I can also cover the importance of tactics in a later update).

After I disband all the division's whose soldier POPs could no longer support them, I'm left with this. There are 5 Regulars, 1 Dragoon, and 1 Artillery here. I can still recruit plenty of troops, so don't worry about the army size. I also start to build ports along all the cost I can. I'll try and maintain maximum port size in all of my states whenever possible.

This will be my early game army composition. I choose Dragoons over Cuirassiers because I like that they have reconnaissance, and also because they are stronger and scale better than Hussars. In the late game, Dragoons are the most powerful cavalry unit (although cavalry is nowhere near as useful late). I find that having one more infantry than artillery ensures that the vast majority of the time my artillery at least starts a battle shielded by a front line, which dramatically increases the usefulness of artillery (to the point where they do most of the killing in battles).

As far as diplomacy goes, I will start by influencing Texas, which I think is usually a no-brainer. Not sure if the Texas chain of events will fire if you don't have them in your Sphere, but since I know that I'll need Texas for Manifest Destiny (which isn't even needed to later declare war on and kill Mexico), I want to make sure that it's well protected. I find that with the US you're usually pretty free to act influence wise outside of Canada and sometimes Brazil. Later on Colombia is usually under contention, but the US has a natural advantage there, I find.

Because of our high early relations, I can also get Texas into an alliance immediately, which I decide to do. The alliance not only means that if Mexico attacks again I can intervene, but the relations boost also helps me sphere them even quicker. Shortly after this I get an Ivory Tower Intellectual as my first First Minister. The Ivory Tower Intellectual is particularly good for low-tech nations, as he provides a +1 to the base research points.

Just in case my economy wasn't strong enough... I find that I often get this event early as the US, to the point where I get it just about every game. The factory and RGO boost helps out a bit, and generally just makes staying afloat even easier.

My initial birth rate is OK. I personally prefer as high a birth rate as possible (even when playing high pop nations like China or India), so I'm generally in favor of events like these. This ultimately isn't as important a factor in America as the high immigrant rates and generally good tech that raise pop levels pretty rapidly compared to most other nations.

Speaking of high immigration rates, here's the opening immigrants to the US of A. In the first few months immigration rates are fairly high as people who want to leave European countries decide to leave, but this usually calms down. One major exception is when there are large crises wars in Europe, where multiple nations are put under siege. In these conditions immigration tends to shoot up a bit as the war makes people leave.

I will always side with the anti-slavery viewpoint in these minor pre-Civil War events. Ironically, because many of these are focused on the South, and several of them make the population more liberal, you will often have Southern states end up more liberal (and therefore anti-slave) than the north. Keep in mind that there is no pro-slavery movement or possibility of Southern Rebels rising up due to the movement and rebels game functions; it's all handled via event. There can be abolitionists, but they're almost always resolved via the actual Civil War.

Here we have the British competing with us in Washington. I don't feel like fighting them for it, so I'll eventually give in, but not until all of my other colonies are founded so that they can't compete with me elsewhere as well. This is a general reflection of my colonial policy. Usually, I don't consider colonies worth going through a colonial crisis, so I avoid them.

But here's what we came for, time to try out Suppression Points! Except that there's nothing to try them on... This is actually a problem I had with the United States; nowhere to spend suppression points. If there was something here to Suppress, I would need as many Suppression points as it had radicalism in order to suppress it. As can be seen here, the low number of Bureaucrats and open society of the US makes Suppression more difficult because I have a much smaller suppression point generation than a better administrated more oppressive regime. This means that I can only really feasibly impact low-radicalism movements anyways. By suppressing a movement it will disappear for a short while (I believe a year), and when it returns it's initial supporters will be small in number, but the radicalism will have increased. At least, this is the theory.

A little while later and we can see that I'm actually receiving an abnormally high number of immigrants for some reason. This is something to keep in mind for future play-throughs, and it also provides a nice little boost early.

This is the population of Oklahoma before the Trail of Tears decision. For some reason, there is already a sizeable population of Cherokee in the province, despite their removal from the Southeast not having occurred yet. Clearly, somebody somewhere was not paying attention (or their removal was done in stages and only the Trail of Tears is well known?).

The result of the colonizing in the American Northwest. Shortly after this, I include Texas in my Sphere of Influence, securing my hold over them.

With Texas in my Sphere I move on to Colombia. I know they'll be important later (the AI doesn't) so I can sphere them now with almost no opposition (besides the rebels that often pop up in Colombia).

In research I move on to Romanticism in pursuit of my Manifest Destiny, as it's another prerequisite tech.

In industry whenever possible I try to let my capitalists run things so that I don't have to micromanage which factories are failing and why (you could play this game as an industrial simulator if you wanted to). In pursuit of the Capitalists' success, I have negative tariffs, low taxes, and I'm funding their projects. However, I won't be wasting money subsidizing failing factories unless they are truly vital (like a steamer convoy factory if I have no other means of building up my navy).

Here's the Model Colony event, which will probably screw up the consistency of gameplay just slightly by boosting my prestige and research just a bit. Liberals are about 25% of the electoral vote at this point, but only make up about 21% of the population. In elections, I'll be going for the liberal decisions. If requested, I can cover Election decisions in a later update.

I decide to back Texas because not doing so loses me prestige. I won't follow through though since I know I'll just get it all later and there's no reason not to delay and build up both my military advantage in both tech and size. The military access is handy, but not something I'll ever need for a war with Mexico, considering.

Horace Mann I believe is hardcoded into the game for the US, and provides a nice research boost early to rush through a few of the more important early techs (*cough* Idealism *cough*). Colombia also accepts an alliance, which should boost my relations enough to give me a decisive influence edge over any competition.


We have our first rebel group, but we have no movements. Suppression points, to my knowledge, have no effect on rebel groups whatsoever. Rebels corresponding to a movement (such as liberation movements and independence rebels) won't even disappear if you suppress their movement, and neither will they increase. Though the two systems can be related in some respects, they have no real correlation in my experience. That being said, I haven't yet had the opportunity to put this opinion to the test. I also turn South Dakota into a state, a Free State. I'll be turning all states into Free States (amusingly, I once turned all colonies in the lower 48 into slave states before the Civil War and played as the CSA).

We move on to Idealism, arguably the most important technology in the game, although that depends on who you're playing as (uncivs might feels differently). You should always rush this technology the minute it becomes available, the tech boost is just incredibly strong this early into the game. Granted, this technology becomes mroe and more important the more base research points you have. Base research points is base don a couple of things, including a certain amount that everybody gets, population, and the number of capitalists, clerks, (more importantly) clergy, and bureaucrats. Our low number of bureaucrats has a really meaningful impact on the number of research points I have, which is only compounded by the lost potential when I have Idealism. (1.00% bureaucrats means +2 research points, I started with 0.18% Bureaucrats, which means that I'm losing out on 1.6-ish research points; this is a lot early on to lose from one source.)

I take the Trail of Tears decision to reduce Consciousness. I'm not joking about the reducing consciousness thing. Despite me searching for (and not finding) Cherokee POPs in the Southeast, we will note that:

The number of Cherokee in Oklahoma has indeed raised a substantial amount. This is one of the Consciousness reducing events that leads up to the Civil War. I will be taking every decision as it becomes available.

We get our first movement. The middle number under the burning fist is Radicalism. Because it is at zero even my measly 4.6 Suppression points (shown by the boot crushing the face) allows me to suppress the Suffrage Movement. We'll note that under the Suffrage Radicalism, the main reason they are not radical is the lack of suppression, and the already granted voting reforms. This means that by suppressing them I should be able to increase their radicalism.

Important! So Suppression Points can be used to increase Radicalism, but what does this mean? We'll note that under Political reforms here, only the Liberal Party is willing to support Political reformations. 0% of the Conservative party are willing to pass reforms in this category. As the radicalism of movements that correspond to reforms in the Political reforms tab (such as our own suffrage movement), the Conservatives will become increasingly willing to pass reforms in the Political Reforms section. note that this applies to all Political Reforms, not just the reform that the movement corresponds to. So, if you need to pass political reforms (such as immigration reform if you're a more closed off new world nation), suppressing any political reform movement will enable you to pass any other desired political reform. Because of this, I actually advise not passing reforms that correspond to movements until last, thereby using one movement to pass reforms across the board. To me, this is the primary utility of Suppression points. If there's anything unclear here any and all questions will be answered to the best of my ability.

I immediately begin influencing, and allying with, Rio Grande to weaken Mexico for later wars, but in the end Rio Grande just dies. I probably won't bother to do so unless Rio grande wins by itself in the future.

I move on to Medicine, another very important tech. It helps tremendously with Supply limits, has nice discoveries which can significantly boost your natural population growth, reduces attrition, and even lowers Life Rating needed to Colonize. I wouldn't advise going to war anywhere that attrition is potentially harmful until you have this tech, assuming that you're a civilized nation. (Obviously, uncivs may wish to do so, since they can't get the tech until they're civilized). Specifically, this heps reduce attrition a lot when invading Mexico.

Behold the terribly low numbers of Bureaucrats and Clergy that are reducing our research points. Our great Power Status, Ivory Tower Intellect First Minister, and Idealism boost our point total by a lot.

I get Colombia into my Sphere early on. Typically, where I spend influence from here is more of an open bag depending on what I am looking to do, but I generally still focus on the Western Hemisphere unless I'm going for the Suez Canal.

We next get Ideological Thought, because it's also necessary for Manifest Destiny, and generally just a good tech for the extra National Focus and Diplomatic Influence. So far, we have seen no crises or major wars in Europe, so world diplomacy has been fairly boring. At this point there's not even any flashpoint tension.
 
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Rovsea

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Continued (35 image limit):

Radicalism hasn't gone up yet, but perhaps this is just because we haven't suppressed the movement enough?

A nice overview of North America to help us conclude this first update.

And here's our resign screen overview.

As a bonus, here's what happens when you delete your army and you're playing as China. I had very good reasons for doing this (like the fact that I was already civilized and the primary rebel group was the liberal Jacobins). be warned, however, that this happened within seconds of the army being deleted (AKA a few in-game days).

Any questions please leave in below. I may pursue the Suppression points question a bit more later with actual evidence to back me up, but there are a lot of mostly-irrelevant screenshots along the way. A lot of them mostly document my standard build.
 
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TheExecuter

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Its back!

<Pops popcorn>

So, just like reform desire, you can use suppression points on anything to get the most reforms passed.

Interesting...