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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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When I start up Europa Universalis III, it steals focus (apparently that is the term for it), that is, when I try to tab-out, the loading screens forces itself to the foreground again. Only when the game has finished loading will it deign to let me tab out. Any way to fix this? It doesn't take too long to load, but I kinda got used to having control of my PC.

Also, if I may ask, do production boni like from docks also increase tariffs from colonies? And should I bother colonizing Africa at all? Caribbean and South America seems MUCH more lucrative, I will played as Portugal and will start over after having to (re-)learn a lot of stuff.
 

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I haven't found an easy way of stopping or pausing the loading process once it's started.

Docks will increase production, which will indirectly increase tariffs from the colonies where you build them. It's not a big effect, though. Note that building the first tax structure (normally a high priority in core provinces) in an overseas colony unlocks a rather significant revolt possibility, so you might want to skip that in colonies which have low tax income, to reduce the number of provinces where such revolts can occur. and concentrate on maximizing trade and tariff income instead. By the 1700s, you'll be glad you don't have a lot more of those pesky independence revolts.

Colonizing Africa depends on whether or not you can gain access to the New World by other means. If you can spare the colonists, it's not a bad thing, but if colonists are needed elsewhere, it becomes a lower priority option. Since a lot of those provinces have Tropical conditions and hostile natives, they're difficult to create colonies in unless you concentrate on them, because the natural growth rates are terrible.

From a pure monetary perspective, the Caribbean and S. America are more lucrative, but the fastest approach to gaining a secure foothold is to declare war on one of the indigenous tribes in Central or North America and take their stuff. You can gain instant colonies that way, rather than waiting several years to send enough colonists to create a colony from scratch, and there are a couple of Centers of Trade that you can appropriate (although building a new coastal CoT may be a better approach in some ways than taking an inland CoT). Note that sending one colonist to a colony under 10,000 population will convert it to your culture, so you can easily seize and convert those conquered tribal provinces to your own culture. Religion will take a bit longer, but they're low-difficulty to convert. Use those conquered areas as a base to secure the better islands and coastlines, and lock out the competition, while you save the cut-off inland provinces for later.

Once you've got a few campaigns behind you, and a better understanding of the game mechanics, it's possible for Portugal to gain a near-monopoly on the New World, and have most of the coastal areas settled before the other powers even discover it.
 

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I haven't found an easy way of stopping or pausing the loading process once it's started.

Docks will increase production, which will indirectly increase tariffs from the colonies where you build them. It's not a big effect, though. Note that building the first tax structure (normally a high priority in core provinces) in an overseas colony unlocks a rather significant revolt possibility, so you might want to skip that in colonies which have low tax income, to reduce the number of provinces where such revolts can occur. and concentrate on maximizing trade and tariff income instead. By the 1700s, you'll be glad you don't have a lot more of those pesky independence revolts.
Wasn't that changed for Divine Wind? I got all the DLCs, the Paradox Wiki gives extra revolt risk from Constables for the older versions only.
Colonizing Africa depends on whether or not you can gain access to the New World by other means. If you can spare the colonists, it's not a bad thing, but if colonists are needed elsewhere, it becomes a lower priority option. Since a lot of those provinces have Tropical conditions and hostile natives, they're difficult to create colonies in unless you concentrate on them, because the natural growth rates are terrible.

From a pure monetary perspective, the Caribbean and S. America are more lucrative, but the fastest approach to gaining a secure foothold is to declare war on one of the indigenous tribes in Central or North America and take their stuff. You can gain instant colonies that way, rather than waiting several years to send enough colonists to create a colony from scratch, and there are a couple of Centers of Trade that you can appropriate (although building a new coastal CoT may be a better approach in some ways than taking an inland CoT). Note that sending one colonist to a colony under 10,000 population will convert it to your culture, so you can easily seize and convert those conquered tribal provinces to your own culture. Religion will take a bit longer, but they're low-difficulty to convert. Use those conquered areas as a base to secure the better islands and coastlines, and lock out the competition, while you save the cut-off inland provinces for later.

Once you've got a few campaigns behind you, and a better understanding of the game mechanics, it's possible for Portugal to gain a near-monopoly on the New World, and have most of the coastal areas settled before the other powers even discover it.
Thanks a lot. My problem on the first try way money, always far too rare. I figured out the exploit to hold on to the Lisbon CoT until it doesn't disappear from stagnation, so I should be good with CoTs.I managed to get most of the coast of today's Brazil, but then Holland blocked me north and Castille south.

Again, my problem is money. I find it necessary to send colonists to one colony until it has 900+ inhabitants, since I cannot afford too many colonies simultaneously. My first idea is National Trade Policy, Trade made up the bulk of my income. Second I take Quest for the New World, then Colonial Ventures. Not sure about the third, though I guess I will go Patron of the Arts?

I also have the highest level Mint-Master I can get to mint as much as I can without getting inflation. Furthermore a collector for better trade efficiency, not sure who would be best for third. slot. Maybe a Philosopher? Prestige seems to help a little bit with a lot of things.

I can reach the New World all right via the Atlantic Islands (Azores, Madeira, Canares, Cap Verde), so I feel do not need Africa.

I guess I should limit my expenses more, like making buildings only if they are really worth it, even if I have the cash and the magistrates? I am worried though that I do not calculate properly. A Constable costs 50 ducats and increases direct tax by 25%, does that mean that in a 10-tax province, the advisor will have paid for himself by 20 months or 20 years or somthing else entirely?
 

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20-50 years is about typical for a payoff in this game for a lot of things. Don't expect overnight results. I rarely go for tax collector advisors or anything of that sort until/unless I've got a large economy that can recoup the costs of hiring AND the monthly salary of that advisor. For a smaller country, they won't even see enough benefit to cover the salary, and a mid-sized economy might take decades to pay off the initial hiring cost. Advisors to boost Government or Production research, along with Prestige, are my preferences in the first century or so, and after that I go for Infamy reduction and various trade advantages. Late game, those advisors who boost tax revenue become pretty powerful, but by then I've generally got more money rolling in than I can spend. After some point, Magistrates become the limiting factor, and you can't build improvements without them.

Getting that first tech increase to allow Constables is an absolute priority in a lot of games, although in Portugal's case, getting that Trade level high enough to allow QFTNW might be more important. Even there, I'd shoot for the initial Production tech increase first to boost tax revenues via Constables, and then Trade tech will research faster due to the higher income. Note that minting takes money directly away from research, so in the long run it can put you behind on the tech race, even if you have the Master of the Mint to avoid inflation. Again, a significant part of that extra revenue goes toward his own salary. As the one starting tip says, "Do the math", although having done the math for one or two cases, I've given up on those "percentage increase" advisors. 105% of nothing is still nothing.

Constables no longer cause revolt risk directly in colonies, but they do unlock an event for independence movements, and those MUST be put down with extreme prejudice before even a single province is held long enough to defect, or else they will form a nation created from ALL of that nation's cores, no matter who owns them. I had one game with extensive holdings in the New World, and lost about a third of them due to independence revolts in OTHER countries' provinces. Next game, I secured military access through my competitors so I could put down those rebels in THEIR colonies, in order to protect my own. That occupied most of my attention for the majority of the 18th Century, and I didn't make a lot of progress elsewhere because I couldn't spare the troops. That was on the order of several revolts per month, sometimes several on the same day, and a few of them even had cores in both Africa and South America.
 

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First of, thank you again very much.
20-50 years is about typical for a payoff in this game for a lot of things. Don't expect overnight results. I rarely go for tax collector advisors or anything of that sort until/unless I've got a large economy that can recoup the costs of hiring AND the monthly salary of that advisor. For a smaller country, they won't even see enough benefit to cover the salary, and a mid-sized economy might take decades to pay off the initial hiring cost. Advisors to boost Government or Production research, along with Prestige, are my preferences in the first century or so, and after that I go for Infamy reduction and various trade advantages. Late game, those advisors who boost tax revenue become pretty powerful, but by then I've generally got more money rolling in than I can spend. After some point, Magistrates become the limiting factor, and you can't build improvements without them.
Oh I know to take the long view, it's just I worry that in some poor provinces, some buildings will not pay for themselves until most of the game and as you pointed out, towards the endgame, one might actually have enough money.
Getting that first tech increase to allow Constables is an absolute priority in a lot of games, although in Portugal's case, getting that Trade level high enough to allow QFTNW might be more important. Even there, I'd shoot for the initial Production tech increase first to boost tax revenues via Constables, and then Trade tech will research faster due to the higher income. Note that minting takes money directly away from research, so in the long run it can put you behind on the tech race, even if you have the Master of the Mint to avoid inflation. Again, a significant part of that extra revenue goes toward his own salary. As the one starting tip says, "Do the math", although having done the math for one or two cases, I've given up on those "percentage increase" advisors. 105% of nothing is still nothing.
Thanks for the avice regarding rushing constables. On my first playthrough, until the mid 16th century, research seemed to do all right despite all the minting. When I got a new trade tech, the next level was 1 or 2 years too far in the future and other technologies were only one or two levels behind.
Constables no longer cause revolt risk directly in colonies, but they do unlock an event for independence movements, and those MUST be put down with extreme prejudice before even a single province is held long enough to defect, or else they will form a nation created from ALL of that nation's cores, no matter who owns them. I had one game with extensive holdings in the New World, and lost about a third of them due to independence revolts in OTHER countries' provinces. Next game, I secured military access through my competitors so I could put down those rebels in THEIR colonies, in order to protect my own. That occupied most of my attention for the majority of the 18th Century, and I didn't make a lot of progress elsewhere because I couldn't spare the troops. That was on the order of several revolts per month, sometimes several on the same day, and a few of them even had cores in both Africa and South America.
Thanks for the advice regarding the independence movements! You are quite sure that Constables increase the risk for these to happen? I cannot find anything on this in the Paradox-Wiki, is it not reliable there? While, taxes in the colonies seem low, the Counting House seems like it would be really nice in all those sugar and despicably coffee provinces.
 

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Thanks for the advice regarding the independence movements! You are quite sure that Constables increase the risk for these to happen? I cannot find anything on this in the Paradox-Wiki, is it not reliable there? While, taxes in the colonies seem low, the Counting House seems like it would be really nice in all those sugar and despicably coffee provinces.
As said, it doesn't affect the risk rate, but it seems to enable a different type of revolt (Triggered by a "Quest for Independence" event for any New World country that doesn't exist) that's even nastier, which will become painfully apparent in the late game if you do a lot of colonizing in the New World. The game will go WAY out of its way to create some of the historical nations in the New World, even if it has to shoehorn pieces of them into Africa, or put one of the South American countries in Alaska.

Not having a Constable at least appears to disable those revolts from STARTING in that provinces, although they can still gain cores there by the event happening elsewhere, and ALL of those cores defect if a revolt succeeds in even one other province with the same core. Pretty sure it was added in the DW expansion, and a few changes in DW are still only marginally documented. Basically, if you only have a couple of colonies, it's not that important, because the event will just happen elsewhere, but if you've colonized heavily, it can be very significant. I limit Constables (and the following upgrades) to colonies with the highest tax values, and leave them out of those which won't generate much revenue anyway.
 
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As said, it doesn't affect the risk rate, but it seems to enable a different type of revolt (Triggered by a "Quest for Independence" event for any New World country that doesn't exist) that's even nastier, which will become painfully apparent in the late game if you do a lot of colonizing in the New World. The game will go WAY out of its way to create some of the historical nations in the New World, even if it has to shoehorn pieces of them into Africa, or put one of the South American countries in Alaska.

Not having a Constable at least appears to disable those revolts from STARTING in that provinces, although they can still gain cores there by the event happening elsewhere, and ALL of those cores defect if a revolt succeeds in even one other province with the same core. Pretty sure it was added in the DW expansion, and a few changes in DW are still only marginally documented. Basically, if you only have a couple of colonies, it's not that important, because the event will just happen elsewhere, but if you've colonized heavily, it can be very significant. I limit Constables (and the following upgrades) to colonies with the highest tax values, and leave them out of those which won't generate much revenue anyway.
Ah, now I get it, Constables replace one colonial independence event with a worse one? Nasty.

What about East Asia? I am wondering about getting South Africa and then the Indian Ocean islands as stepping stones to Indonesia. I understand only the Americas suffer from these revolts, or did I get that wrong?
 

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A few African provinces can be affected by the events on rare occasions, but won't cause them.
 

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Thanks for all, hopefully by tomorrow I get to start my newxt attempt.

Ah, but one more question, should I build manufactures in my colonies or is that a bad idea?
 

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"Manufactures"? If you mean workshops and such, that will increase Production, which translates to tariff income in a colony, but won't have much of an effect until those colonies become cores. Trade income offers an immediate benefit, production income follows (because it affects those trade goods to a degree), and tax income is least important in a colony (pretty much the exact opposite order from a core province connected to your capital), although upgrading just a few of the better colonies can provide a decent tax revenue without too much risk.
 

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Thanks for the advice. Though I meant refineries, are there any drawbacks of building refineries in colonies instead of the homeland? I only recently learnt that one shouldn't build his military in the colonies, at least not the ships.
 

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