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Militantti Talitintti

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Hello,
After having enjoyed a good amount of EU4 I thought that a Pdx game with more emphasis on internal management would appeal to me. A friend of mine (who is a big fan of this game) bought Vic2 basegame for me many years ago but I never gave it a real try. I bought the two expansions yesterday on sale.
Feel free to give any advice suited for a total newbie. I know that I should look up YT videos (and I will) but some discussion doesn't hurt.
My friend suggested playing with HFM/HPM (I can't recall which), should I first play without mods though? Any other recommendations?
 
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Napean

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Welcome to Vicky 2!
Haiti may be a good noobie island. There probably won't be much military game play, but good chance to learn the economic game.
This playthrough may be a little tedious, but isn't too long running full speed on a modern rig.
 

TemporalAnomaly

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First of all, welcome!

I would recommend learning the base game and getting a few runs under your belt before messing around with mods.

One big thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the game mechanics have changed a lot between patches. For example, emigration to the new world used to be massive. If you played in Europe you had to take precautions or you would bleed out population. In the current patch, even the worst emmigration is barely a rounding error in population growth. Most people writing online about playing Victoria are not good about making it clear which patch they are on. Keep this in mind, and take what you read with a grain of salt. I find that the wiki tends to be very well up to date.

The guys here might think this is weird, but I would recommend starting with a peaceful Prussia campaign. Try to form the NGF and prosper without ever using the 'declare war' button. You are a little small but fairly rich and have great POP growth and research speed, and the other great powers will tend to leave you alone. It will help you learn about economy, influence, and political reforms.

Anyway, good luck and, once again, welcome.
 
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Kovax

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Prussia would make for a great second game, in my opinion. First, you may want to try to stabilize the economy of some quiet country, just to get a handle on some of the basics. Promoting Clerics for the Literacy gain, Militancy reduction, and Research points would be the usual recommendation for your National Focus point(s), but you may need to promote Bureaucrats in a few regions first, to improve your income. Don't over-do it, because paying for more bureaucrats than you actually need is a waste of money. Once you've got a stable income, promoting Clerics up to AT LEAST 2% of your population is recommended (the max which will produce Research Points), and can be helpful up to as high as 4% (the max which will increase Literacy). Once serious industrialization takes hold, you might want to promote Clerks instead of Clerics, for better industrial productivity.

Taxing at 100% isn't really 100%, since your tax efficiency is probably terrible, so only a small portion of that will actually be collected. Feel free to boost taxes to the max at the start (some government forms will limit how high you can raise them). Hovering over the various sliders should give some insight into what's ACTUALLLY happening, although it's far from perfect in several cases. You can begin lowering tax rates as your tax efficiency rises and you start to gather a decent surplus in the treasury. Ideally, you can set general tax rates for social "classes" and individual salary sliders for soldiers, bureaucrats, and clerics to balance them, so that they get their basic and life needs, but don't get TOO many luxuries and promote out to some other profession. Achieving a balance, or an intentional imbalance, will shift population to and from various "pops" over a period of years. The REAL trick to this game is figuring out how to manipulate your pops through indirect actions, but don't expect instant or even reasonably rapid results.

The problem with playing Prussia right away is that you need to learn about the micromanagement-intensive Spheres of Influence mini-game right away, or else Austria will run rampant and take away a lot of your sphere members before you figure out how to stop them. Other than that, they're pretty much "easy mode". You can form the North German Federation without any wars, but will need to take Alsace-Lorraine from France by force to create Germany. Playing France or Austria, you can prevent the formation of Germany by holding even a single North German state in your sphere, so NGF never forms.
 

Amtep

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Sweden is also a nice starting country. Industrialization is easy because it starts with a stupendously high literacy rate, which also means you see the political changes early. You can practice some small wars with Denmark, make alliances to keep Russia at bay, and work on becoming a Great Power yourself. Later on you can get in on colonizing Africa; you have a distance problem, but on the other hand you have a lot of coastline for naval bases.
 

RELee

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Welcome to the group!
 
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elektrizikekswerk

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My first game was with Japan. All DLC, but no mods.
Start as an "uncivilized" country, westernize, expand and ultimately become a world power.
 
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Krissotep

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Hello,i'm also a big beginner in Victoria 2, i will try your advice ! Thanks !
 

Vohen

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I support the Prussia recommendations.
It was my first played nation in the game, and I don't regret it in the slightest.
It's one of the few nations which you can engage with pretty much all aspects of the game actively and from the get go, but it's on a good enough position where none of them will feel overwhelming, thus giving a much smoother learning curve.
The US, Russia and the UK are arguably easier overall, but the experience isn't nearly as smooth, the two former have quite a slow early game (while waiting for immigration and literacy, respectively), while the UK is heavily spread around the globe, it can be quite overwhelming (the UX does not help here).
As a bonus, I also find that Prussia gives the best feeling of progression by forming the NGF and then Germany proper.
It almost feels like evolving you starter pokemon, having played a good amount of EU4, you surely understand the dopamine from taking those decisions is very real.

For a second playthrough I'd recommend Japan.
If Prussia has the most well rounded experience of the game, Japan is the uncivilized equivalent of that.
 
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cacra

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I recommend the UK. I don't think you will find it overwhelming with your experience with pdx games, plus it is nice to start out with industry and a decent economy. It is pretty hard (but not impossible!) to screw things up and you can have a really nice colonisation game pretty easilly.

Also, personally, I think the mods add a lot of flavour to the game and don't really increase complexity that much for a noob.

Here's my tip: High literacy is very important, it is one of the primary drivers of technology (it also increases consciensousness which increases disrest.) Clerics increase the literacy rate in that province (consider them teacher pops) although this effect is capped when clerics reach 4% of province pop. (When cleric rate is below 0.5% literacy shrinks.) Many players say the optimum rate is 2% cleric, so at the start of the game you should try and get your most populus provinces up to 2% cleric rate.
 
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elektrizikekswerk

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Many players say the optimum rate is 2% cleric, so at the start of the game you should try and get your most populus provinces up to 2% cleric rate.
That's because beside the effect clergymen (as the game calls them) have on literacy they also increase research.
The literacy improvement is capped at 4%, correct, but the research improvement is capped at 2%.
While literacy also improves research medium to long term you want to improve your research as fast as possible. With only limited national focus slots (especially at game start) it's simply more efficient to swap clergymen promotion to another state once you've hit the 2% mark in one state.

Oh, and don't forget to pay your clergymen ;)
 
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I would recommend you give Sweden a try. They're pretty safe, can unite Scandinavia via military conquest or diplomatic means, and are still strong enough to affect the world outside its own borders. You can also practice warfare against Russia, which might sound daunting at first, but your military should be able to hold them in the forest as your army will be much more technologically advanced. But whatever country you decide to go for, these are my main tips to new players:

1) use national focuses to increase the number of clergymen in your states to at least 2%. If literacy is very low, you should consider increasing it to 3%.
2) make sure to build at least one cement factory in case there's no more cement left on the world market. The same goes for machine parts factory once unlocked.
3) make sure to build factories in states who at least produces some of the goods needed for the factory (they get a production bonus).
4) build railroads all over the place (they buff all sorts of things).
5) if you become a Great Power, use the sphere of influence mechanic (diplomacy) to gain access to countries that produce trade goods you're importing (as you'll be able to buy them before the resources go to the world market).
6) tax all your pops at 100% at the early game. Low tax efficiency means that they're only taxed at 25%.
7) don't be afraid to increase tariffs slightly if you need money, but understand that this makes your factories a bit less effective if they import trade goods.
8) focus on technologies that increase pop growth, literacy rate growth, and give you more national focuses unless you're in need of a stronger army/navy early on.
9) make sure to upgrade factories in order to keep unemployment low.
 
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Vohen

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If your starting literacy is already high (say, above 60 or 70%), you really don't need to go for 4% clergymen or even prioritize education efficiency techs/reforms.
Just keep the slider up and your literacy will naturally go towards 90%.
Your NF would be much better used for encouraging other pop types, like capitalists and craftsmen if you're ready to industrialize (which, at high literacy, you should be), bureaucrats if you have low admin efficiency and are having money issues, or even soldiers to strengthen your military.
Of course, if they are not at least 2% or your literacy isn't high, clergymen focus takes priority.
 

LeandroB

Second Lieutenant
On Probation
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May 29, 2017
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Welcome!
Vic 2 is a really great game. Personaly i love to play with Brazil and Japan, both are easy for begginers!