Reliving the Restoration (for n00bs!) -- A Japanese AHD Tutorial AAR

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(271387)

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I shall look forward into this!
 

Avindian

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While there's some readers who are probably familiar with the series, I think for the sake of the newbies (those who see the "tutorial" part of this) it'd be beneficial to give us a newbie overview anyway.

That's probably fair.

I'll be following this AAR, it'll be very beneficial to me and a fun AAR to read.

Glad to have you along!

Don't pressure me into any decisions :p

:)

No sweat on forehead :)

Looking forward to this one! Been following all your AARs lately and all of them are very good, and I hope this one will be good as well :)

I shall look forward into this!

Welcome aboard, both of you!
 

Avindian

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I look forward to another chance to read one of your wonderful AARs

Thanks! It's been a long time. :)

I've got the screenshots now; I just need to do some editing (probably tomorrow or Thursday) and I'll have the first update out.
 

unmerged(539438)

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I am looking forward to follow this AAR.

I´ve just bought the game and I am currently trying to unite Germany with Bavaria. (will may be make an AAR about it afterwards)

As Japan surely will be one of the very next countries that I am going to pick for my game this is going to be both very interesting and instructory to me.

Can´t wait for your update :)
 

PrawnStar

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Subbing - I haven't got AHD and probably won't bother but I still want to know how it works (I should get out more).
 

Avindian

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I am looking forward to follow this AAR.

I´ve just bought the game and I am currently trying to unite Germany with Bavaria. (will may be make an AAR about it afterwards)

As Japan surely will be one of the very next countries that I am going to pick for my game this is going to be both very interesting and instructory to me.

Can´t wait for your update :)

I've never played as Bavaria, although I have united Germany with Prussia. Have fun with that!

Subbing - I haven't got AHD and probably won't bother but I still want to know how it works (I should get out more).

I'm delighted to have such a distinguished personage subscribing and, for what it's worth, I enthusiastically endorse AHD. ;)

Going to work on the screenshots now; should update tonight!
 

Avindian

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Chapter 1: Basic Concepts, pre-pause move

I want to begin with a commonly asked question: which country should I start with?

Ideally, you'd want to pick a country that's relatively large (but not so big you can't manage it effectively), safe from attack, and has most of the ingredients for industrialization. My first game of Vicky 2 vanilla was with Argentina; that's still a good starting choice in AHD, although since wars aren't as easy to provoke, you won't grow as quickly.

Other good ones include:
-- USA
-- France
-- Prussia (only if you have AHD, which makes managing spheres easier)
-- Belgium/the Netherlands

The tutorial for the game is in Belgium, if that matters.

Countries to avoid:
-- United Kingdom (too much to manage)
-- The Russian Empire (ditto)
-- China (ditto +100, although substates do make this slightly easier in AHD)
-- Any of the German OPMs (One Province Minors) (you'll get eaten by Prussia)

I'm not saying these aren't fun countries to play; they are. I'm saying you'll probably get overwhelmed, which isn't ideal if you're learning.

What about Japan? Well, you'll have this tutorial, for what it's worth. Japan almost never gets attacked, another point in your favor. However, it's Primitive (AHD-ese for Uncivilized). As you'll see in a bit, there's a lot we can't do.
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So, after you open Victoria 2 and choose Japan, you'll see this map.


It's the Japaniest!

I've cut out the top part of the screen for now. The most important thing you can see above isn't our beloved country. It's the box in the top left. Country ranking may be, all things considered, the single most important statistic in the game. It controls your access to the world market, determines your status among the world's powers, and even affects diplomacy. Let's break it down.

The number in the tiny circle to the lower right of our flag (68) is our nation ranking. That means there are 67 countries that are better than us in some way. (Boo!) There's also a whole bunch who are worse; there are 131 countries in A House Divided, so we're almost in the top half. That counts for something, right? Your nation ranking is composed of three parts: Prestige, Industrial Score, and Military Score.

Prestige: There are lots of ways to get prestige, including events, decisions, winning battles, winning wars, and technologies. You can usually get Prestige without trying too hard.

Industrial score: When we industrialize, I'll show you how the game comes up with this number.

Military score: The size of your army, navy, quality of your leaders, and your technologies all play a factor in this calculation.

Our total score is, at present 14, all of it coming from military score. (The number next to the crossed swords.) You'll note that we have the ninth largest military score in the world! That won't last, but it sure feels good right now!

Your nation ranking determines what type of country you are. There are four categories.

Primitive: You exist. You can't build factories, every civilized country can annex you with less infamy (if you're one state before Nationalism and Imperialism, or four states afterwards), GPs can kick you around (if you have two states), you can't colonize, and you're technologically backward.
Civilized: You can build factories, it costs more infamy to annex you, and you can research technologies.
Secondary Power: The Civilized Countries ranked #9 through #16 get this distinction. You can do everything a Civilized Country can, but you can also colonize.
Great Power: The top eight Civilized Countries in the world. All kinds of fun things happen as a Great Power, but it'll be a while before we get there, so we can leave that for now.

That's pretty much all we need to know from this screenshot. Let's move on to the ribbon, which has tons of critical information in an aesthetically pleasing package.

The Ribbon


Ooo.... Aah...

Going from left to right, the first box is labelled "Production." Right now, there isn't much there. It does tell us our top five produced goods -- Timber, Tea, Grain, Cloth, and Fish. There are three greyed out icons below that; we'll discuss those later.

The next box is our Budget. You have the total amount of currency we hold (in £) and our daily change, as well as a handy graph for the last thirty days. It looks like we're losing money, but it'll take a couple of game weeks for the economy to be modeled property; we'll leave that, and most other economic stuff, until we have usable information.

The Technology box is third. It mocks us for being Uncivilized. There are two important numbers here: Literacy (the book) and Research Points (the magnifying glass). These will both affect how quickly we become a Civilized Nation, and we'll discuss them in detail later on.

The Politics box has our current Ruling Party (The Shogunate Faction), the number of Suppression Points (the boot stomping on the frowny face; we'll get to those in another chapter), our infamy (the red flag, currently at zero), and four icons, one of which is lit. The piece of paper with the check mark means we can take a decision. That decision will come later. (I know, I know, I promise a lot of things will come later. You have to be patient. ;))

The Population box has our total population, the daily change (that number will change once we unpause), and three key things we have to talk about now.

National Focus: You get one NF for every 400,000 citizens of your accepted cultures (a change from Vicky 2 vanilla, which only took primary cultures), with an upper limit defined by your tech. NFs are really important, and we'll use ours in a bit.

Militancy: MIL for short (the fireball). This is how angry your people are. Militant people join rebellions and force you to do things you may not want to. Unless you purposefully want a revolt or to pass a reform, this number should be as low as humanly possible. Until we become civilized, reforms are meaningless, so let's keep MIL nice and low, eh?

Consciousness: CON for short (the guy with no brain). This is how aware your people are of what they want. Higher CON POPs are more willing to speak their minds, have better (and often more important) jobs, and tend to be more educated. CON is, after a fashion, MIL contained. It's a mixed bag; yes, you'll have higher literacy and smarter POPs (which are good), but they'll be more willing to vote for things they want, not things you want, which could be bad. They'll also join movements. CON will almost never be lower than MIL.

Imagine three countries. A country with low MIL and CON are a bunch of ignorant sheep, bleating away happily. This is good for absolute monarchies (like us); not as good for promoting more refined citizens who do important things. A country with high CON but low MIL is generally fat, happy, and prosperous, but with an eye to making sure things stay that way. They'll expect reforms in a reasonable time, and will vote for whomever they please. A country with high CON and high MIL is really angry with the way you've mistreated them, and they're smart enough to do something about it. These are bad POPs. If you want historical comparisons, A would be a nation of zombies with plenty of brains to eat; B would be something like Iceland pre-debt crisis or the United States right after World War II; C would be Russia or France right before their revolutions (more France than Russia).

The Trade Box is the top three goods you export (Tea, Timber, and Fish) and import (Grain, Wool, and Fruit). Not much else there.

The Diplomacy box has any wars you're in (we are at peace, as the box helpfully reminds us), the number of diplomacy points you have (next to the scroll; we have 1), and two greyed out icons we won't get to for a while.

The last box, the Military box the size of your army (18 brigades out of a possible 30), how many ships (1), how many free brigades you'll get if you mobilize (in our case, 0; we'll talk about mobilization later), and your leadership points (of which we also have zero; you need 20 to create a general or an admiral).

We're going to go into more detail about some of these boxes now. The first one we'll discuss is the Population Box. (If you're a veteran of Vicky 2 vanilla, you might expect we'd start with technology; well, we won't, as I'll explain later). The first two areas aren't helpful until we can get some more data.

The Population Box


Look at all of our people!

On the left hand side are our states. In Victoria 2, the game is divided into states, each comprising three to seven provinces. For two of them, we don't have the whole state; you can tell because it says "Japanese Shumshu Region" or "Japanese Bonin Region." Factories are built on the state level, and elections take place on the state level. Since we can't do either of these, it's just a handy way to organize your people.

The six pies give you useful data at a glance. We have "Japan" selected, so it gives us numbers for the whole country. If we clicked on a state or province, it would give us more localized information. The workforce pie tells you the percentage of POPs in the country; most of them, for us, are Farmers or Laborers. The religion pie tells you exactly that. Religion isn't terribly important in Victoria 2; it's got a couple of uses, but we'll cover them later. Ideology is how people think, and what you can expect in the upper house. Since we don't have elections, we won't have a lower house. Ideologies do affect whether people will support reforms; again, not relevant to us at the moment. Nationality has a couple of uses, including determining NFs and some effect on MIL. Since we're 97.6% Japanese, we won't worry too much about it. The dominant issues graph will be important for elections, as is the next one; since we don't have elections, we'll skip them.

It's time to talk about POPs. A POP is a group of people based on four factors: province, nationality, religion, and job. Each province will almost certainly have multiple POPs. For gameplay purposes, pretty much only the job matters. What are those jobs? I'm glad you asked!

Aristocrats: The fat cats who run your Resource Gathering Operations (RGOs). They get a percentage of the RGO's profits, and provide efficiency bonuses.
Artisans: For factory adverse countries such as ourselves, these are the only way to get manufactured goods. Each POP makes a certain kind of good, pays for the raw materials, and keeps the profits.
Bureaucrats: The guys who run your government. They produce Administrative Efficiency, which is calculated for a variety of things, most importantly crime fighting, collecting tariffs, and distributing money for social services. Ideally, you want 1.0% of your population to be Bureaucrats; we're not quite there.
Clergy: Your teachers. Vital in producing research points; each state needs about 4% of its personnel to be Clergy to maximize research gathering.
Farmers: RGO workers. They raise things like Grain, Wool, and Fruit.
Laborers: If it isn't done by farmers, it's done by laborers. Includes Timber, Coal, and Iron.
Officers: Those that generate leadership.
Soldiers: Those that do the fighting and dying. With enough soldier POPs, a province can raise one or more brigades of troops.

I've skipped over some POPs, as you will undoubtedly notice; we'll come back to them when we can make factories and thus care about them.

Let's take an in-depth look at one particular POP and see what makes them tick.


Tea, anyone?

These guys are farmers from Osaka, and they're Buddhist. You can see three categories of needs: Life Needs, Everyday Needs, and Luxury Needs. Life Needs are needed, well, for life. A POP without them will starve. Everyday Needs keep POPs content and working. Luxury Needs make them extra happy; if they don't have Luxury Needs, they won't get angry, but they won't be as happy as possible either. You'll notice a lot of the information from the Population Screen is copied here, but it's only relevant for this particular POP.

One of the most important things you need to know about a POP is how to get them to be the kinds of POPs you want. That's what the Promotion Chance table is for. I've highlighted Clergy here, because I put my only NF in Osaka; notice how powerful it is. This is checked once a month, at which point certain individuals within the POP will join a new POP. I don't have control over all of those things, but I do over some, which is important. The next box we'll look at is the Politics box.

Politics


The secret to having less pathetic technology

You will notice that we have three political parties; as absolute monarch, I can choose any of the three to run my country. Every party has five policies, with multiple options in each one. We'll take this opportunity to look at each policy in detail.

Trade Policy
Protectionism: Tariffs have no maximum, but import subsidies (negative tariffs) can only be set to -25%.
Free Trade: Import subsidies have no restrictions, but tariffs max out at 25%.

Economic Policy
Planned Economy: Minimum tax of 50% on all people. Only the State (you) can build factories and railroads. Factories are cheaper to build, but less productive when built. It's a terrible system, most of the time, but since we don't have any factories, it's not the end of the world.
State Capitalism: Minimum tax of 25% of all people. States and Capitalists can build factories, but Capitalists pay a little more (60% more). A small penalty to efficiency.
Interventionism: No tax restrictions. Only Capitalists can build factories, but you can still build railroads and use subsidies. Factories are cheaper than in State Capitalism. No penalty to efficiency.
Laissez Faire: Maximum tax of 50%. Only Capitalists can build factories and railroads, no subsidies. Factories are cheaper than anything but Planned Economy for Capitalists. Flat 25% bonus to ALL factories.

Religious Policy
Religious policy has almost no effect on gameplay.

Citizenship Policy
Residency: Only Primary Culture POPs vote.
Limited Citizenship: Primary and Accepted Culture POPs vote.
Full Citizenship: Everybody votes.

Military Policy
Pacifism: -50% supply cost. 50% max military spending. -50% to organization regain and reinforce speed. -40% to casus belli (henceforth CB) generation speed. Mobilization is 100%. That means you get one brigade for every regular army brigade you own.
Anti-military: -25% supply cost. 75% max military spending. -25% to organization regain and reinforce speed. -20% to CB generation speed. Mobilization is 200%, or two brigades of militia for every brigade of regular army.
Pro-military: No supply cost modifying. 100% max military spending. +25% to organization regain and reinforce speed. +20% to CB generation speed. Mobilization is 300%, or three brigades of militia for every brigade of regular army.
Jingoism: +10% to supply cost. 100% max military spending. +50% to organization regain and reinforce speed. +40% to CB generation speed. Mobilization is 400%, or four brigades of militia for every brigade of regular army.

We'll leave the Shogunate in power for now; perhaps later we'll change.

The other important stuff on this screen is our Reforms. This is not what a normal, civilized country will see. Instead, you build up research points; when you get to a certain number, you can choose a reform on either path. Different events can adjust the cost of reforms, including how much of the upper house supports reform and your level of literacy. 50% of liberals will back military reform; 100% will back economic reform. Readers: The numbers I'm getting in the tooltip for Westernization are just weird, and possibly wrong. Either the tooltip is wrong, or the game files are wrong, or I'm just missing something. Help is, as always, appreciated. Each reform gives you bonuses (or remove a penalty) and gets you closer to complete westernization. Once you Westernize, you either get a percentage of your sphere master's techs (weighted appropriately towards economic or military) or, if you're outside a sphere, the lowest level of the Great Powers techs.

Now, we're not just any primitive country. We're Japan! That means we get a little boost, if we want it.



As you can see, we get two options. With either option, we get a permanent boost to Research Points (at least until we Westernize), some prestige, and a big fat pile of RPs at the get go. We also get a free reform for doing Early Meiji Reformation. There's just one tiny problem.

We will make a lot of people angry if we choose the early reform, which could mean rebellions, which could bring down our country. If we wait until we get sphered, we can choose the second option. The rewards are high for the first option, but so are the risks. We don't have to decide now (and I won't), but it is a lot to think about.

Without these little boosts, the only way to increase our westernization speed (that we can control) is to increase our Research Points. Where do Research Points come from? Well, when a Mommy Research Point and Daddy Research Point love each other very much...

Ahem. Right. This should be better.



The primary creator of research points are Clergy. The more Clergy you have, the more RPs you get. Clergy also help you gain literacy, which in turn gives you more RPs. The ideal % for both is 2% and 4%, respectively; since Clergy tend not to cost very much, I always go for 4% in every state.

The other thing you can see here is Plurality. Plurality increases with certain techs and affects CON. If you're encouraged to think for yourself, you'll come up with neat toys, but you might also decide you want more freedom.

There are other modifiers, but we can't do much with them at present. That wraps it up for politics.

Diplomacy


Look at those smug Great Powers, all Great and... Powery!

You can see the top eighteen countries here. The flags under each GP are their spherelings; we'll talk about spheres later. If you look at the right side, you'll see some interesting stuff for us, including our Primary Culture (Japanese) and Accepted Culture (Ainu) and how much the GPs like us (not much). The top number for each GP is their total influence; everybody starts with zero for Japan. The second is how much sweet, sweet cash those wonderful Europeans pump into our economy. They can build us factories and railroads, if they like us (once we're civilized).

I won't talk about diplomatic actions yet; I'll save that for later. We've got one last major area to cover. The military!

Military


Fear us, everybody! But not too much. We don't want wars yet.

The right hand size gives us a quick overview of our army and navy (of one ship). The basic building block in AHD, as it was in Vicky 2, is the brigade. A brigade is 3000 men. Thus, if we have three brigades -- as all of our armies do -- we have 9,000 men in that army. Simple, right? The two colored bars are total strength (the green one; this tells you visually how many people aren't dead in your army) and organization (the brown bar.) Organization is the key stat in AHD: when Organization gets to zero, that unit runs away. We don't want that.

The upper left hand pane would show us our awesome Generals and/or Admirals. We don't have any.

The bottom left hand pane has a lot of critical numbers we need to know. We'll go through them one at a time.

War Exhaustion: How tired your people are of war. This will drive up your MIL really fast. It'll take a lot to get WE up really high.
Supply Consumption: How many supplies your units use on a regular basis. 50% is the default peace time setting; your Ruling Party can adjust it. If we declared war tomorrow, it would go up to 100%.
Organization Regain: How much faster you regain organization (duh) once you're out of combat. Again, modified by your Ruling Party. We are 25% faster than the baseline.
Land Organization: Some techs and inventions will give you a blanket boost of ORG (as organization is often shortened) to all land units.
Naval Organization: The same, but with boats.
Unit Start Experience: The Psychology school of techs increases this; to the best of my knowledge, nothing else does. We'll talk about them later. Experience makes your units more effective in combat.
Recruit Time: How quickly you build new land units. Again, this can be modified by techs and inventions.
Combat Width: How many brigades you can fit in one row. We'll talk about rows when we get to actual combat.
Dig-In Cap: How many days a unit can "dig in", which creates a bonus to defensive combat.
Military Tactics: How good you are at avoiding casualties.

Let's look at the stats for one brigade of irregulars and one ship.



Attack and defense are your ability to hit an enemy unit and said unit's ability to avoid being hit. If my side is firing, I compare my attack to your defense. If your side is firing, I compare your attack to my defense. This is not the same as being the attacker or defender in battle; we'll clarify that later. Our irregulars have a discipline of 66%, which means they inflict fewer casualties than a standard infantry unit. Maneuver affects the ability to change ranks; irregulars, with a number of 1, can't. Neither can most infantry. Max speed is kind of obvious. Supply Consumption here is how many supplies it consumes compared to a baseline unit of this type. This number will increase as your techs get better.

Naval units are slightly different. Attack is how much damage your unit can inflict; Hull is how much damage it can take. These are more relative numbers. This doesn't mean if one clipper transport hits another clipper transport, it's dead. The actual number of HP a ship has is mysterious and hidden.

So, that's all I need to cover before we actually start playing. This post was probably quite a slog to get through; the later ones will get better, I promise. More action, less description. I try to target five years per update in a game of Vicky 2; it might be more, and it might be less, depending on how interesting it is.
 
Last edited:

calvinhobbeslik

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National Focus: You get one NF for every million citizens of your accepted cultures (a change from Vicky 2 vanilla, which only took primary cultures), with an upper limit defined by your tech. NFs are really important, and we'll use ours in a bit.

Actually, for AHD, they made it 1 NF per 400,000 primary/accepted POPs to help smaller countries.

If my side is firing, I compare my attack to your defense. If your side is firing, I compare your attack to my defense. This is not the same as being the attacker or defender in battle; we'll clarify that later.

I'm not 100% sure, but I thought they changed that in a vanilla patch so that attacker continually uses the attack value and same for defence.


Anyway, great AAR so far; even though I've played it for a while, I'm hoping to learn some new things here.
 

Avindian

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Actually, for AHD, they made it 1 NF per 400,000 primary/accepted POPs to help smaller countries.

You're totally right. I checked the math. I'll edit the post to reflect that; good catch!

I'm not 100% sure, but I thought they changed that in a vanilla patch so that attacker continually uses the attack value and same for defence.

I remember hearing that too; I'm going by the manual in this case. If anybody can definitively prove it, I'd appreciate it.
 

Vildayyan2003

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I'll be following this game play and thanks for the "newbie" style layout you are putting this in since I just bought Victoria II: AHD and its also my very first Paradox game so it's ALOT to take in and learn but its fun as hell so far! Thanks!
 

Omega124

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Another error I found. Primitive states can be annexed outright if they have 5 or less states at some point of the game. Not sure if it is at the start or if it requires a tech in order to do that, but it is possible.
 

Last_Revanant

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Another error I found. Primitive states can be annexed outright if they have 5 or less states at some point of the game. Not sure if it is at the start or if it requires a tech in order to do that, but it is possible.

I want to say Nationalism and Imperialism lets GPs do that, but I wouldn't swear to it.
 

Vildayyan2003

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We will make a lot of people angry if we choose the early reform, which could mean rebellions, which could bring down our country. If we wait until we get sphered, we can choose the second option. The rewards are high for the first option, but so are the risks. We don't have to decide now (and I won't), but it is a lot to think about.
I chose the Early Meiji restoration in my first ever game of Victoria II last night and by the time I Westernized, I had MASSIVE rebellions. Do you think choosing the Early Meiji Restoration was the cause?
 

Avindian

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excellent so far :) please continue!
also maybe a big focus on the econonmic part of the game which seems to go right over my head would be nice ;)

It will be a main feature of the next update.

I'll be following this game play and thanks for the "newbie" style layout you are putting this in since I just bought Victoria II: AHD and its also my very first Paradox game so it's ALOT to take in and learn but its fun as hell so far! Thanks!

Glad to help!

Another error I found. Primitive states can be annexed outright if they have 5 or less states at some point of the game. Not sure if it is at the start or if it requires a tech in order to do that, but it is possible.

I want to say Nationalism and Imperialism lets GPs do that, but I wouldn't swear to it.

I believe primitives can be conquered via "Protectorate" CB that some partially westernized countries do. However, only works on primitives.

After considerable testing, here is how Establish Protectorate works. It exists from the beginning of the game for all GPs, but only works for OPMs. After Nationalism and Imperialism, it works for up to four state primitives. I loaded up the 1861 scenario, and cannot use the CB on a five state Primitive, like Morocco, but can on a three state primitive, like Afghanistan. (I'm not sure if there are any four state primitives.) I will correct the update; thanks for having me check!

I chose the Early Meiji restoration in my first ever game of Victoria II last night and by the time I Westernized, I had MASSIVE rebellions. Do you think choosing the Early Meiji Restoration was the cause?

I'm sure of it.
 

jaearess

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Attack and defense are your ability to hit an enemy unit and said unit's ability to avoid being hit. (If you're a D&D guy, think of To Hit and THAC0.)

...

Naval units are slightly different. Attack is how much damage your unit can inflict; Hull is how much damage it can take. These are more relative numbers. (Again, in D&D terms, we'd be talking Damage and Armor Class.)

A small nitpick, obviously, but To Hit and THAC0 are more or less the same thing (THAC0 being an acronym for "To Hit Armor Class Zero".) THAC0/To hit for attack and Armor Class for defense are closer analogs. For ships, it's more like Damage and HP (armor class determines how hard it is to hit or damage you, not how much damage you can take.)

Very nice start, by the way. I look forward to the rest of this AAR.
 

Avindian

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A small nitpick, obviously, but To Hit and THAC0 are more or less the same thing (THAC0 being an acronym for "To Hit Armor Class Zero".) THAC0/To hit for attack and Armor Class for defense are closer analogs. For ships, it's more like Damage and HP (armor class determines how hard it is to hit or damage you, not how much damage you can take.)

Very nice start, by the way. I look forward to the rest of this AAR.

This is probably why I shouldn't update so early in the morning :rolleyes:

I did mean AC and not HP for ships. Unless Hull isn't a 1:1 comparison to guns, which I suppose is possible. Otherwise, it would imply that one hit from a commerce raiders would kill another a commerce raider. But yeah, you got me on THAC0. I'll probably just take that part out. :)