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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

aldriq

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No Iron, One Lion, Maybe Zion
An empire well under the sun



This is the account of my first ever Victoria game, played with the nation of Ethiopia. It might not be riveting enough stuff for an AAR, but I thought it would be nice to share the experience and dispel the myth that this is a difficult game to play. It really isn't, there is no situation that can't be overcome by following PrawnStar's rule #1: if in doubt, hit pause. Pause as often as you need to, review the situation, have a think, have a cup of tea, then resume the game when you are clear and ready.

And before I start, some recommended reading: Rensslaer's I Am Siam - A V2 Minor Strategy AAR for the detail, Singleton Mosby's Under the Rising Sun - A V2 Review AAR for the ambition, and Deaghaidh's The Heart of Africa: A Visitor's Guide to Modern Ethiopia for the flavour.
 

aldriq

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1
It's the economy, stupid


The main reason I chose Ethiopia for my first game, after doing the tutorial, is the limited amount of things to do for an unciv with just one neighbour. Victoria is not a difficult game, but the sheer quantity of options available to the player can be overwhelming to start with. Ethiopia, I thought, would offer a nice, gentle learning curve since as you can see, Africa in 1836 is a lonely place for uncivs...


Ethiopia doesn't start very high in the world ranking, but we have peace and plenty of coffee to get on and build up. The Egyptians don't concern me too much as northern neighbours, they should have enough to worry about down the Nile anyway. And if they do attack, I have plenty of lovely mountains to show them :D

The very first thing to do is hit the technology section and select the first tech to put the bright minds to work. No rocket science here, for an unciv the one and only tech to pursue first is Freedom of Trade, the economic foundation of any modern nation. It's also unsurprisingly needed (along another four techs) to be able to westernise.


Politically Ethiopia is not very complex yet. We have a king/emperor, no elections, and a comfortably conservative upper house. Everybody loves the emperor, and those who don't... well those who don't are clearly not proper Ethiopians :rolleyes:


The population is overwhelmingly farmers, across the three Ethiopian regions. Slaves also make up a significant portion, something that will have to be addressed later in the game as the upper house becomes more liberal. The second thing to do after tech is setting your national focus to encourage a particular type of profession. I think the first one I chose was to promote bureaucrats in Ethiopian Negele (always choose the most populated region first, in order to get the most effective impact in the nation), they seem to be even scarcer than clergymen.


And finally the economy screen, the scary one, have a look a it. And then ignore it. It's what Rensslaer would call the first month economic mirage. Supply and demand have yet to work through the system so that prices reach balance. Which means the money you allegedly earn on 1 Jan 1836 is an illusion.


Now look at the same screen in May 1836. That's when I finally manage some budget balance, after learning the harsh truth: coffee and all I only make around £12 a day. The cost of a balanced budget is high: hike up taxes to 90-85-90%, tariffs to 27%, lower military upkeep to 30%. Leaving just a small margin to increase education and administration upkeeps to 55-60%.


The good news is that you don't really need to massively increase these upkeeps, you can see that a small nudge (and the national focus in the capital state) have already increased administrative efficiency from 5.2 to 7% in the space of 5 months.

The bad news is, well, the population is not very happy to have such extortionate taxes upon them. I don't blame them :( They'll have to put up with it for a while, though, if they want to have a modern, efficient, powerful nation.

And I'll need every penny of tax, and even those 9 brigades of irregulars, as Egypt comes knocking as early as May 1837... :eek:


 
Last edited:

Tommy4ever

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Nice and detailed AAR. After seeing the other Ethiopia AAR I was considering giving the Empire a spin, hopefully I can find some tips here.

However I'd like to say that one thing I always do is lower the admin slider to 10% or 20%. The admin efficiency goes up really fast anyway and that money can be better spent elsewhere, it also helps you avoid a massively bloated administration.

Good luck against Egypt, they always seem to be eager to bully Ethiopia and annex all their lands. :(
 

PrawnStar

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There is no situation that can't be overcome by following PrawnStar's rule #1: if in doubt, hit pause. Pause as often as you need to, review the situation, have a think, have a cup of tea, then resume the game when you are clear and ready.
Well after that I'm going to have to follow this AAR aren't I.

Looks like that Egyptian DOW was definitely a cup of tea moment :)
 

dinofs

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Oh dear. Let's hope that those mountains of yours will keep the Egyptian stacks safely at bay.
 

Bob Ilyani

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That doesn't sound good. Good luck against Egypt and in your AAR, I'll be following.
 

Rensslaer

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Most excellent, Aldriq! And thank you for that fine plug.

I had never really thought of it before, but Ethiopia is sort of a "where the sidewalk ends" kind of place in 1836. Kind of like "you can't get there from here" -- not by sea, and not really by land, except through the territory of your mortal enemy.

I do love Prawnstar's advice. Very well said, and true! :D I do that often.

Looking forward to your "showing the Egyptians a few mountains!" :)

Rensslaer
 

Vesimir

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I'll follow!

You can thank Prawnstar cause I probably wouldn't find it otherwise. ;p
 

Davout

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I pity the fools in Egypt who have declared war on you!

Getting in early because this may the quickest Vicky 2 AAR yet unless there is a plan B to relying on 9,000 tribesmen to stop Egypt.
 

Vesimir

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Getting in early because this may the quickest Vicky 2 AAR yet unless there is a plan B to relying on 9,000 tribesmen to stop Egypt.
Nah. Egypt only takes the westernmost state, it never annexes Ethiopia.
 

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I shall follow this :)

Have you changed the map colours somehow yourself or using a country colour mod? I dont recall to see a blueish Austria before just to name a example.
 

morningSIDEr

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Very glad I caught this early on and its excellent to see you beginning a V2 AAR, I'll certainly be following. Hopefully Ethiopia's mountains will indeed turn back Egypt's attack. If nothing else, drop some sacks of coffee beans on them from the mountain tops.
 

Athalcor

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Count me in! Btw. how much I have to check Mamma Mia? Will the updates come in longer time periods?
 

Blxz

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Well, its been a week and no update. I'd guess that egypt raped him and then reach out the computer screen and just kept raping. Shame really, I wanted to see this country played in this AAR style.
 

aldriq

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Welcome everybody and thanks for all your comments! It's nice to start with a full page of them!

Tommy4ever - Thanks! I see your point about admin maintenance, although, doesn't it make sense to get admin efficiency growing as fast as possible first to increase the tax take?

PrawnStar - No obligation ;) Not sure if Egypt declared war late at night, in which case it might have been a dram-of-whisky moment :rolleyes:

dinofs - Mountains are a great defence, as you'll see.

Bob Ilyani - Thanks!

Rensslaer - Where the sidewalk ends... I do like that for a title.

Vesimir - Thanks! I pay PrawnStar well... in high quality, luxury pebbles.

Dewirix - Indeed, it was one of the very few African nations to preserve their independence through the scramble.

Davout - Hey, some respect, it's 9 brigades x 3,000 = 27,000 proud imperial tribesmen :p Just like a guinea had 21 shillings and 1 shilling had 12 pence :rolleyes:

Alexspeed - I think that weird colour of Austria is a JPEG quirk, in the original map it's off-white.

Strategic Fail - I hope so too.

badger_ken - Thanks!

Enewald - You've suggested that in another AAR... can't remember which one. Always wise advice.

morningSIDEr - The coffee is mine, all mine! If the Egyptians want some they'll have to pay for it!

Athalcor - Thanks! Mamma Mia! updates will have to wait for a bit, I'm afraid.

Blxz - No rape, only weekly updates being my fastest setting :rolleyes: I've played to mid 70s so far, so I've got a few updates left to write without even playing.

gabor - I know, I was hoping for at least 5 years.