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

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Avindian

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Hmm, probably should go lower my tariffs in my Austria game now then...

It's probably not a bad idea :)

That said, with a large and powerful country like Austria, tariffs are less likely to hurt you as badly because you most likely import yet (although you'll get gouged on stuff like Tea and Coffee if you haven't been colonizing, sphereing, or conquering.)
 

Xihu

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I just want to thank you, Avindian, for making this AAR! Paradox games are not the most friendly to noobs, however, they are great once you learn them. I bought this game a few days ago and have not yet played it. I have already learned so much from this AAR, and I will continue to follow it! :)
 

Avindian

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I just want to thank you, Avindian, for making this AAR! Paradox games are not the most friendly to noobs, however, they are great once you learn them. I bought this game a few days ago and have not yet played it. I have already learned so much from this AAR, and I will continue to follow it! :)

I'm glad it's working out so well for you; you're right, Paradox games have a steep learning curve (with CK2 perhaps being the lone exception), but they're worth it.
 

Cpl Wilding

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I'm glad it's working out so well for you; you're right, Paradox games have a steep learning curve (with CK2 perhaps being the lone exception), but they're worth it.
Really? I found CK2 harder to grasp than Vicky (at least in terms of military - I have no clue how military works in CK2).
 

Chilango2

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Really? I found CK2 harder to grasp than Vicky (at least in terms of military - I have no clue how military works in CK2).

In many ways, CK2 is a more intuitive game than Vicky: its clearer what doing certain things will do, whereas in Vicky, it can be a great deal less clear.

That being said, what I personally find frustrating about CK is the fragility of an empire, I know to a certain extent that's part of the *design*, but I like to build things, and having my beautiful kingdom torn to shreds because my king died too early and my young heir is unfortunate enough to have a jackal as his regent, or my vassals simply decide that's the perfect moment to rebel, which of course brings the neighbors knocking as well with their hungry armies...

The military game in CK is not that complicated, in a sense: God tends to side with the big battalions, so long as they are led competently, its the fact that the game very easily can overwhelm you with stronger forces that becomes frustrating...
 

Avindian

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Really? I found CK2 harder to grasp than Vicky (at least in terms of military - I have no clue how military works in CK2).

In many ways, CK2 is a more intuitive game than Vicky: its clearer what doing certain things will do, whereas in Vicky, it can be a great deal less clear.

That being said, what I personally find frustrating about CK is the fragility of an empire, I know to a certain extent that's part of the *design*, but I like to build things, and having my beautiful kingdom torn to shreds because my king died too early and my young heir is unfortunate enough to have a jackal as his regent, or my vassals simply decide that's the perfect moment to rebel, which of course brings the neighbors knocking as well with their hungry armies...

The military game in CK is not that complicated, in a sense: God tends to side with the big battalions, so long as they are led competently, its the fact that the game very easily can overwhelm you with stronger forces that becomes frustrating...

I think you both make excellent points; lest we go OT, I'll leave it at that :)

At present, this AAR is fourth in the queue for updates; We, the People is first, then Chaos's Revenge, then NRI, then this.
 

TugoTugo

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Enjoying it so far, keep up the good job
Barely can wait for the industrialization, I always seem to direct my country to a bad base on it
 

Avindian

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Enjoying it so far, keep up the good job
Barely can wait for the industrialization, I always seem to direct my country to a bad base on it

Glad you're liking it!
 

Minigrinch

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The military game in CK is not that complicated, in a sense: God tends to side with the big battalions, so long as they are led competently, its the fact that the game very easily can overwhelm you with stronger forces that becomes frustrating...

The lack of strategy and the absurd rate of reinforcement (even after all the patching) is what turned me off CK2 as much as I want to love it.



Bad luck with the Zulus, although I'm surprised you only sent 9K troops for that first attack.
 

Avindian

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The lack of strategy and the absurd rate of reinforcement (even after all the patching) is what turned me off CK2 as much as I want to love it.



Bad luck with the Zulus, although I'm surprised you only sent 9K troops for that first attack.

Yeah, I probably deserved to lose that war, in hindsight. It would help if my ships could have made more than one trip before they all sank.

We should probably stop the CK2 discussions in thread; we can continue them in a more appropriate setting at a later time.
 

nanomagnetic

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that's an interesting take on tariffs. for my japan game i spent all the pre-westernization decades with the taxes and tariffs pegged at 100%. i hit the world stage at #7 when i westernized with over £500K. i had to fight back maybe 100K rebels in the first few years. but when you can bankroll cutting-edge soldiers, it's no more than swatting flies.
 

Avindian

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that's an interesting take on tariffs. for my japan game i spent all the pre-westernization decades with the taxes and tariffs pegged at 100%. i hit the world stage at #7 when i westernized with over £500K. i had to fight back maybe 100K rebels in the first few years. but when you can bankroll cutting-edge soldiers, it's no more than swatting flies.

That can be a problem, certainly.

Update coming up!
 

Avindian

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Chapter 3: The secret to success, new and shinier guns, and Japan moves forward (ever so slowly)

So, we got our noses bloodied by the Zulu last time. In case you didn't believe me, here's photographic proof that there is a price to losing a war:



High MIL isn't a guarantee that your people will revolt -- very little in Vicky 2 is -- but it doesn't help. Going from .06 MIL to 2.06 is certainly moving in the wrong direction. Our lower total score (thanks to the loss of prestige) also kills our revenue some, so we go up to 20% tariffs. The Poor and Rich have all yellow pies, while the Middle class is half red and half yellow. As I predicted, the artisans are taking some serious losses. The best thing we can do is recover as quickly as we can.

What's the best way to do that? Find a doormat closer to home. To improve our chances even more, let's do our first reform!



As you can see, every reform comes with something good (a 10% bonus to ORG, which means we'll last longer in combat) and something bad (a lot of angry reactionaries). We also get our first 10% in civilization progress; once we hit 100%, we hit that big sexy button labelled "Westernize" and all sorts of wonderful things happen. For now, we're at least on our way. Mark July 2, 1840 on your calendars as the day we moved closer to westernizing! Unless, of course, you don't have 1840 calendars for some reason.

In world news, Spain is replaced by Portugal in the GPs. I have no idea what Spain did to screw up so badly, but this might have implications for us later on, say, if we want to go after the Philippines. Something to think about, anyway.

October 14, 1840: A fun little event fires.



While this won't decrease MIL by much, every little bit helps. Between the reform and the lost war, we're at 2.84 MIL. It's dropping, but not quickly.

October 17, 1840: Doormat located. We begin justifying war against Brunei. (Since I played this late at night, my math was bad. I could have gone over the infamy limit with some bad luck!) You may ask, "Why Brunei?" As a commenter noted last time, Johore is an easy target and has gold. However, Brunei almost invariably has Oil, and Oil is much harder to come by in the late game. I'm probably looking a bit too far ahead, and if I played this over again, I'd target Johore instead of Zulu, but we can always go after them later, if we must.

December 2, 1840: Since my lazy soldiers refuse to swim to Brunei, I build them boats. Ingrates. 6 Clipper Transports and 2 Frigates.

December 8, 1840: For once, being a loser is a good thing.



I don't want more MIL, so I'll take a little less prestige.

December 30, 1840: Brunei catches us, but fortunately, we're still well under the infamy limit. That's reassuring.



February 20, 1841: This is normally an unwelcome sign, but it's actually a blessing in disguise.



Our boats aren't done yet, so we couldn't declare war right away anyhow. This gives us an excuse to go much more slowly.

March 24, 1841: Examining the diplomatic screen tells us several useful things. Brunei has only one brigade, is completely unwesternized, and most importantly, has only one friend: Johore. It's a shame we can't annex them too, but we'd go over the infamy limit, and I promised we wouldn't in the opening post. Sorry.

May 22, 1841: We get the CB, but our boats still aren't ready. We'll have to wait a bit longer. Don't worry; their time will come.

September 1, 1841: Time's up, Brunei.



April 2, 1842: The first province falls. My goal is to isolate their troops, stationed in Brunei province, then take them out.

July 25, 1842: All right, I got a little antsy. Still, I won.



I still took a good amount of casualties, but that's because Brunei has really rough terrain.

October 8, 1842: I have most of Brunei's provinces now, but Johore is being a jerk. Surrender, jerks! Give me Brunei!

November 25, 1842: The last province falls. Now all I need to do is wait.

December 9, 1842: Gee, I don't really want to annex you, but if you insist...



The Japanese Empire now has four more provinces. It's not all good news, since our literacy ticks down a bit with our absorption of less educated citizens, but it's only one tenth of one percent. We'll live. Johore is hanging on. Calvin Coolidge, what should we do about Johore?

Silent Cal said:
If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you.

You're right! More often than not, the best strategy in Vicky 2 is to do nothing. Things can sometimes sort themselves out, and in this case, they will.

March 1, 1843: Johore offers white peace. Even better, they added a war goal (free Brunei), so they'll get an infamy hit. Eat that, Johore!

June 27, 1843: We've started reforming our country, but it'd go a lot faster if we were in a Sphere of Influence. The nearest GP is Russia; however, they're not very technically adept and have a worse literacy rate than we do. That's not going to change soon. It's a toss up between the British and Americans. I choose the Americans.



While we're here, let's go into diplomacy a bit more.

Diplomacy

Like EU3, Victoria 2 has a four hundred point scale of relations (four hundred and one, technically, since 0 is okay too): +200 to -200. The better your relations with a country, the harder it is for them to declare war on you, the easier they can put you in their sphere, and the more likely they'll agree to other fun things. You cannot declare war on any country with which you have relations of 50 or higher unless you're called in by an alliance or some other circumstance. I'm not worried about the Americans taking us over, but the other items are important.

How do you do diplomacy? Every country gets diplomacy points, which you use for actions. Most actions cost 1 point. You can have a maximum of nine points; how quickly you get there depends on your tech. If you look at the picture, only the left column (and justify war) apply to us. We'll discuss each one in detail.

Form Alliance: If either of you gets attack or you attack somebody, this will trigger and they can join you. It's voluntary, although you'll take a prestige hit if you say no once you're called. Most Great Powers will ally with only two other GPs. Other than that, anybody could theoretically ally with anybody. I wouldn't bother asking until you're over +100.
Call Ally: If you declare war on somebody, you can use them to call them in later. (If you're the defender, you automatically call all your allies.) The only free action, costing zero points.
Military Access: You can move your units through this country. These are very difficult to pull off; I've seen countries with +200 relations say no.
Give Military Access: Other countries can move units through your country.
Increase Relations: +15 to relations. Costs 2 points.
Decrease Relations: -25 to relations.
War Subsidies: You'll pay another country X number of £ a day as long as they're at war. Very useful way to participate in a war without really participating. Make sure you can afford it, since you can't cancel them for 30 days.
Declare War: Duh.
Justify War: Also duh, since we've talked about this a lot already. :)

That's all you need to know for now. When/if we become a GP, the other actions will matter to us.

October 13, 1843: Want to save money, but not cripple your army? This handy little trick is a good way to do it.



If you aren't at war, navies aren't all that helpful, whereas sometimes, you need your army to fight rebels. What I've done here, by clearing the check box under Automate Trade, is forced the AI not to buy clipper convoys. When we go to war again (and we will!), we just tell the AI to buy them again.

Or, it would have worked, had I remembered to click Confirm Trade.

January 1, 1844: We're getting close to another reform, but I'm going to delay it for a bit. This reform is our target.



If you care about such things, the bonus is added to output efficiency. The important thing is that every single RGO in our entire country will get better, automatically. It's a bit more than we have now, but it's worth the wait. Also, Liberals like economic reform, and get less angry about it.

July 25, 1844: UK declares war on Siam. Good for them. (The UK; it's likely to be very bad for Siam.)

September 15, 1844: While we're talking about reforms, here are the next three military reforms.



They offer a wide variety of bonuses, and they all include free techs, which are nice. You'll note the last one contributes 15% to civilization progress, not 10%, as the others do. Again, we're skipping these for the moment, but we'll come back to them.

February 2, 1845: Our first rebellion!



Some rebellions are huge, and you need to deal with them. This one is pretty small. I'll end up sending the army after them, but some will disappear before I even get there. One benefit to fighting them in battle is that, well, they're dead: they can't rebel against you later on. If they just dissipate on their own, you can't do much about them. Something to consider.

March 28, 1845: Prussia forms the NGF. This is the first time I've ever seen it happen this early.

May 24, 1845: I find out I'm losing money hand over fist.



See what happens when you don't click a button when I tell you to? I fix my mistake and my problems are over. No more unnecessary Clipper Convoys for us!

August 9, 1845: We pass Land Reform.

August 18, 1845: I went from -£32.5 a day to this in just a few days, thanks to Land Reform. See why I wanted it?



I cancel the tariffs right away (not pictured). That should calm people down some. Note that the red share of the middle pie is much smaller now.

October 2, 1845: This rebellion is a mite bigger. Fortunately, the lovely folks at PDS have given us a great new option in Vicky 2!



If you click the Hunt Rebels button (which I've helpfully circled), you will automatically go after the nearest rebels, unless they're too powerful. Most of these, as before, will melt away before we get to them.

April 23, 1846: I check on our Clergymen; we're almost at 2% as a nation. While I'd normally take every clergyman I could get my hands on, they're also insanely expensive. I'm going to cut Education to 70%, the thought being that some will change jobs. I switch the Clergyman NF I had to Hiroshima, and make it a Farmers NF; I'd like my RGOs to be full.

July 24, 1846: A peek at diplomacy shows that nobody loves Japan. The country with the most influence (14.2 out of a possible 100) is Portugal. That's disheartening.

August 15, 1846: More happy (or at least not angry) people in Osaka? Sign me up!



March 1, 1849: Almost three years with nothing going on. Nobody said the first few years as Japan were exciting :D Still, we get another reform, which is good. We also get our first tech!



Look what the new tech does. First, all Armies (this includes all land combat units) get +1 to attack. Second, our combat width drops by 1. That'll come in handy if we fight a huge primitive nation, like China or one of her substates. There's a price, though: increased supplies for all of our units. Every army reform increases supply consumption. That's something to keep in mind if you're hurting for cash. We also get a new unit!



First, I've given you another neat feature of AHD -- you can build units in bunches by continent. Second, compare Infantry to Irregulars. You'll notice our tech is already helping even our Irregulars; they're now 3 attack instead of 2. But Infantry is 5/4 instead of 3/2, and doesn't have the discipline penalty. What does all of this mean? Well, regular infantry will eat irregulars for breakfast. However, they also take different supplies -- Canned Food and Small Arms. Unless there's a massive war, we should be fine getting both of those.

With our new troops, we end this update! As always, comments, corrections, and concerns are welcome. Thanks for reading!
 
Last edited:

loki100

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again, well put together and you are covering the key stuff in an engaging matter. More strategically I think your focus on SE Asia is a bit wiser than your earlier African adventures though
 

Avindian

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again, well put together and you are covering the key stuff in an engaging matter. More strategically I think your focus on SE Asia is a bit wiser than your earlier African adventures though

I couldn't agree more. The whole "no naval base" is really what killed me, in retrospect.
 

Vrael_1492

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Please grab Johore while you are at conquering SE Asia :)
 

Sakura_F

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Japan is easy to play, I just played a campaign and did... relentless damage to the entire world...
 

Herbert West

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What is your westernizer reform sequence?

I always go with "enable infantry", the +30 reform, the plus 20 reform, then you can grit your teeth, wether a few rebellions, and you can hit the Early Reform without a penality if you hoard enough RP to westernize with the RP you get. Once you westernize, MIL 10 will start to drop like a rock.

Good point about tariffs.
 

Avindian

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Please grab Johore while you are at conquering SE Asia :)

I will do my best (although, as a minor spoiler, I have not done so as of 1868).

Japan is easy to play, I just played a campaign and did... relentless damage to the entire world...

It certainly can be, when you aren't going after the Zulu. :)

What is your westernizer reform sequence?

I always go with "enable infantry", the +30 reform, the plus 20 reform, then you can grit your teeth, wether a few rebellions, and you can hit the Early Reform without a penality if you hoard enough RP to westernize with the RP you get. Once you westernize, MIL 10 will start to drop like a rock.

Good point about tariffs.

I don't normally choose one particular path over another, just what makes sense at the time. I think (though I'd have to check) I follow a similar path to yours, but with a couple of differences.