Nobody expects the Spanish expedition!: Part II - Africa gets Scrambled

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Avindian

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Part #1 is here.

It's time for the second update to this AAR! There'll be a little bit of naval stuff in this update, but that'll come more in the next update. We're focusing purely on colonization and the scramble for Africa in this update. Now, as I stated earlier, I restarted the game to take advantage of a new build that fixed some important bugs. Here are the major changes:

-- UK allied with me in 1861
-- Russia enforced a Humiliate War Goal on the UK as part of a crisis (I was not involved; this was during my war with Johore).
-- I took the lead in one of the crises to free Poland; I'll do this again in a later update, so you can see how crises work if you're the man (or woman) in charge.
-- Germany hasn't formed (and neither has NGF) in this timeline, as it did in the previous update.

Now, on to the actual update!

I choose a new tech school in January of 1872; I do this mostly to help my naval techs. Nothing really shocking about it, but it's a major decision I've made, so that's why I'm sharing it.

techschool.jpg


I notice the Dutch start to colonize the rest of Brunei in August of 1872 (while I'm busy conquering it); that must mean Colonial Negotiations is about to hit me. I'm almost done with Machine Guns at this point too, so we'll just have to see which happens first. I notice Belgium colonizing Western Morocco, too. Finally, in October, the scramble begins in earnest:

scramblebegins.jpg


Where do we begin, now that we can colonize anywhere? Well, I'm mostly going to stay out of the Pacific. This is less a strategic decision as it is a decision to push hard for Africa. If you are the first person to start colonizing a region, it will cost you 100 colonial points. If you have a border with the colony, it's only 80 CPs. I choose to start at the Horn of Africa. When the temperature gauge turns solid orange-red, that means that this area is now a Flashpoint. Flashpoints are what generate crises: any non-GP can use a national focus to turn a flashpoint into actual crisis, and the presence of nationalists will do the same. There's a general cooldown for crises, so you don't get three or four in a row. That's very handy.

firstcolonychosen.jpg


Why? First, because I can beat the British there, which is no small feat. Second, I'm interested in the Cotton, as I've developed quite a nice little industry based around Regular Clothes. (I cannot emphasize enough how much more strategic the game is with the synergy bonus, in terms of planning industry chains!) Next, I'll take advantage of Fernando Po to hit up the west coast of Africa, for the Coal, Tropical Wood, and especially Coffee.

otherchoices.jpg


Finally, I'll grab some more Cotton and Coffee a little farther north.

otherchoices2.jpg


All of this colonizing leaves me with 141 colonial points left, and I'd love to get into West Morocco too, so I do. Here's a really handy tooltip you get, to help judge how wise jumping into a colony is.

ausefultooltip.jpg


As you can see, if Belgium decided to stick in this and only this province, I'd get beaten, but I also want to show you a colonial crisis, so I'll ignore that for now. To give myself more colonial points, I crank out 3 more ironclads and 6 more commerce raiders. You only get colonial points for completed ships and no colonial points if you're over the supply limit. Keep that in mind! I finish Machine Guns in October, a little late, but good enough. A lot of the army techs have been rebalanced; I'll leave that for the war AAR to discuss. One thing I can tell you is that the Power series of techs (in Industry) has been greatly rebalanced; it's only a 15% boost to RGO output, not the previous 40%. In November, we get an invitation:

wanttobackpoland.jpg


I wish the Poles the best of luck, but I've really no interest in backing them, especially since I know Austria and Prussia will never agree to releasing Poland, and the UK is Russia's ally. Getting involved in this crisis is a mug's game, as Douglas Adams would put it. I do declare interest, but I immediately join the Russian side. I find the Source of the Nile in January, which is fun. As predicted, the crisis ends with Russia winning via white peace. Jump forward for July of 1873, and several of my colonies are finished. Look at the helpful icon in your toolbar.

averyusefulicon.jpg


This same icon also tells you when you can upgrade a colony to a state and when you're losing a colonial race. Pretty cool, huh? We'll start in Somaliland.

createprotectorate.jpg


The first step is to create a protectorate. Soldier POPs must be larger to get you troops from a protectorate, and there are penalties to RGO efficiency. After you've done that, you can upgrade it to a full fledged colony by paying a small, variable, amount of CPs.

createprotectorate.jpg


I'll build off my new colonies and expand further into Africa's interior: I won't bore you with which places I chose and why, but I will show you the results at the end of this update. Here's another important use for colonial points:

thecostofastate.jpg


Note how expensive turning Visayas into a state is. That's because it's so far away from Spain (it's part of the Philippines). It is much harder to turn colonies into states if they aren't attached to you or at least on the same continent. As a point of reference, I have 805 total CPs at the moment, of which all but 50 are tied up in colonial maintenance or founding new colonies. 1200 is obviously not going to happen any time soon. That is a one time cost (they don't go away or anything; you just need 1200 free), and it does eliminate the maintenance cost of CPs for the colony, in addition to the other advantages (and disadvantages) of turning colonies into states.

In August of 1875, I start justifying a war to annex all of Morocco; thanks to the UK's decision to give me military access, I can walk to Morocco. Very handy! (I took part of Morocco earlier.) Here's my reward for all of this colonizing: #4 GP!

gptime.jpg


In October of 1876, the Dutch finally withdraw from Volta -- this has been a heated colonial battle, but I have triumphed, and to the victor the spoils!

thedutchgivein.jpg


By mid 1877, I'm not doing so well with CPs, so I do something fairly drastic:

dominionm.jpg


Dominions existed before in Vicky 2, but didn't have a big purpose apart from a quick way to lose infamy. They're much more dynamic in HOD, with dynamic names based on the region. All contiguous land is released as one dominion, so you'd better make sure you want to do it! Now, you've got a couple of reasons to do this. First of all, they stop costing you CPs. I go from 21 to 167; no mean feat, and this means I can continue to compete elsewhere in Africa. Second, for the first time in a very long time for PDS games, you get this ability:

puppetandcommand.jpg


That's right -- you can command your puppet's military units during a war! Note also the nice influence bonus you get for a puppet. Puppets are, as you can see, much more worthwhile in HOD. Just a couple more things to show you in this update. First, our first example of a fizzled crisis.

crisisfail.jpg


This happens when the "attacker" (i.e. the country on whose behalf the crisis is being undertaken) cannot get a GP backer. That means there are three possible outcomes to a crisis.

1. It fizzles with no GP backer.
2. One or the other side reaches a diplomatic solution, possibly enforcing one or more war goals, and some prestige is altered.
3. It turns into a war.

I'll get my single non-African colony in Fiji in 1879. A colonial battle actually triggers a crisis in 1880 (Western Morocco, which I have long since abandoned). Since I'm at war with Zanzibar at the time, I can't participate: France forces the UK to give in and Belgium acquires the colony. The Dutch and I are locked in a death grip over Kasai, the final remaining colony in Africa. We're both at level 6 guard posts, so it's pretty serious, and it's already a flashpoint. I build 8 more Ironclads to help keep the CPs coming. In 1882, the USA becomes my Ally (I lost the UK at some point, probably over a crisis). The colonial battles continues, up level 14 overall for the Dutch and level 13 for me. A South American crisis fizzles in 1883, but more importantly, the Dutch withdraw in June of 1883, and the scramble for Africa is officially over.

africascrambledpt1.jpg


africascrambledpt2.jpg


You can see my dominion -- the Confederation of Sierra Leone -- there in the light blue. It's a pretty reasonable scramble, with four major colonizers (Spain, Netherlands, France, and the UK), along with Portugal. Even Belgium gets a colony!

In the next update, I will demonstrate how drastically naval combat has changed, as I get involved in a pretty big war. There have been a couple of naval battles in this update, but they were over very quickly. One important difference I can show you is this:

navalbattle.jpg


That's right: dynamic war score AND prestige for naval battles! No more sinking half the Royal Navy and only getting +.1 war score. I'll see everybody again on Saturday for the conclusion to this beta AAR!
 

Lexar_kg

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Thank you for this AAR! It is great!

I like new scramble so much.
But what about using troops in such things?
 

masteriw

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Does the AI ever create colonial dominions to free CPs?
 

Avindian

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eleinvisible

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Swiss-Baden War of Honor? *sigh* Baden, how could have you angered the Swiss so?

More seriously, Switzerland needs a special AI.
 

Thoctar

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This looks really awesome, I'm really excited for this. However, I'm confused, what was the point of colonizing West Africa if you were thinking of releasing it anyway, besides demonstration purposes? Was it to gain access to the resources through the sphering?
 

Jorlaan

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So many things that are going to make this game even more awesome than it already is. I am so excited I have actually been counting down the days in my head.
Great informative AAR! Very happy to hear the troop bonus is being removed for colonising, evens things out. I have high hopes that this expantion will finally make the map look differant at the end of the game than it does at the beginning with crisis and stuff.
 

OrdepNM

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Insteresting update. Does the size of the dominion released affect the number if CP's freed? (Ie releasing the whole of Canada frees more CPs than say Yemen)
 

Spricar

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Insteresting update. Does the size of the dominion released affect the number if CP's freed? (Ie releasing the whole of Canada frees more CPs than say Yemen)

Since every colony (which is represented by state) takes CP to keep, the number of freed CP depends on how many colonies (states) is included in a new dominion.
 

delra

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Spain seems to be having way more fun than ever before. :)
 

tarpoon

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Very nice update.

I've got some questions:

By mid 1877, I'm not doing so well with CPs, so I do something fairly drastic:

dominionm.jpg


Dominions existed before in Vicky 2, but didn't have a big purpose apart from a quick way to lose infamy. They're much more dynamic in HOD, with dynamic names based on the region. All contiguous land is released as one dominion, so you'd better make sure you want to do it! Now, you've got a couple of reasons to do this. First of all, they stop costing you CPs. I go from 21 to 167; no mean feat, and this means I can continue to compete elsewhere in Africa.

Do Dominions cease being Dominions if they become a great power / secondary power? I'd imagine that if you were to release that large "spanish africa" block, the resulting nation might be able to gain 8th place within a few years.

Second question: can I colonize inland provinces which are connected to a dominion of mine?
That might be useful to counter the above effect, take a few provinces -> release, take a few more, release again, albeit it might be difficult to balance.
 

LMEvans

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Quick question. Why does Sierra Leone have British as the primary culture? Are all dominions just using a British placeholder for now and the dynamic cultures or whatever just haven't been implemented yet?
 

carpetano

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Thank you for this informative AAR!

I have some questions about the dominions: Are they civilized? If yes: Do they have the same technological level as you? Are their provinces full states or colonies?

Edit: I've just seen in the screenshot that Sierra Leona is civilized
 
Last edited:

Variton

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Liked the update. One bit of information was of special interest: "Soldier POPs must be larger to get you troops from a protectorate"

Does the same apply to colonies? And what is the penalty like for protectorate soldier POPS?
 

Lexar_kg

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Is spending CP rate state-pased or province-based?
So is there difference between state of 5 provinces and 2?
 

Phalanxia

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It would be nice if there was an option for countries with coastal colonies (e.g. Portugal and Angola in your example) to dispose of their partition of the state just to keep the borders tidier.
 

Sathariel

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Since I gave you a thumbs up for declaring support for the Polish independence in the previous update, it's only fair if I give you a thumb down now for abandoning the poor Poles :p.

On a serious note - the game really looks interesting. I haven't followed the DD's (though I've already pre-ordered HoD anyway): are there any major changes to the economy?