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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Ashantai

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Ooh a conversion AAR!

Great work, though things are a bit messed up there. Very impressive start!
 

Avindian

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Long borders plus dire EU3 relationship ratings seem to make for a whole heap of border incidents. Even with your infamy you're getting a steady stream of CBs.

You seem to be teching at a good pace, and I'm very jealous of your liberal politics.

A big help there is the events that give you free RPs (mitigate discriminatory policies is the option). And, as you can see for the last election, the days of liberalism are over.

is this huge powerful Manchukuo roughly where its supposed to be?

I think because Russia is more central to the EU3 dynamics I'm struggling a bit more with your world's V2 geography than with Dewirix's.

Still fascinating stuff and wonderful to see Russia as the nineteenth century powerhouse of classical liberalism

Yeah; think of it as China plus Korea. To make things more confusing, there's also a China in the game, but it's an OPM (and my vassal).

Ooh a conversion AAR!

Great work, though things are a bit messed up there. Very impressive start!

Thanks for the kind words!
 

InnocentIII

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Great stuff, looking forward to more!

I'd love to try another conversion game myself (played one months ago), but personally I'd like to "fix" some of the tags so it looks closer to real. Which means I'd have to figure out how to do that :D
 

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I'd love to try another conversion game myself (played one months ago), but personally I'd like to "fix" some of the tags so it looks closer to real. Which means I'd have to figure out how to do that :D

Tag conversion is actually working fairly well now (it's gone through several iterations since Avindian converted his game). There are still a few rough spots where V2 simply doesn't have enough tags (France, Russia, sometimes Ireland, sometimes Italy), but we've also introduced a country-merging mechanism which can help you avoid some of those problems (for instance, by merging the French minors into France). And if you want to take the time, it's pretty easy to set up explicit mappings before conversion.
 

Avindian

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Great stuff, looking forward to more!

I'd love to try another conversion game myself (played one months ago), but personally I'd like to "fix" some of the tags so it looks closer to real. Which means I'd have to figure out how to do that :D

Tag conversion is actually working fairly well now (it's gone through several iterations since Avindian converted his game). There are still a few rough spots where V2 simply doesn't have enough tags (France, Russia, sometimes Ireland, sometimes Italy), but we've also introduced a country-merging mechanism which can help you avoid some of those problems (for instance, by merging the French minors into France). And if you want to take the time, it's pretty easy to set up explicit mappings before conversion.

To add to dtremenak's comment, my version of the world was really weird to begin with, so I doubt very much that my experience is typical. Take a look at the Novgorod AAR I've got in my inkwell (although I distinctly recall you commenting on it initially, unless I'm misremembering).
 

Avindian

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Chapter 5, part 1: What's better than one war? Four!​

May 14, 1854 -- We start off the update with an outbreak of smallpox. That's a bad omen if I've ever seen one.

November 28, 1854 -- My first instance of Mechanized Mining; this is one event that can fire as much as it wants. +150% to one province's RGO and a +15% to mine size. It happens in Sitka. Is it just me, or am I the only power who has a nearly useless capital province?

October 4, 1855 -- Bavaria leaves Switzerland's sphere of influence; Switzerland asks me to help them get it back. I offer primarily moral support and free vodka. We'll see how useful that is.

chapter5bavarianwar.jpg


October 15, 1855 -- Nationalism and Imperialism! Surely, I can now colonize the entire world with no effort.

chapter5colonization.jpg


Or... the northern parts of Alaska and Canada. I guess that's something.

Meanwhile, my new tech is going to be Breech Loaded Rifles.

chapter5newtech.jpg


I also trigger Valley of the Kings, since it's my valley anyway.

chapter5valleyoftheking.jpg


And, to wrap up a busy day, I take out my frustrations in colonization on Manchukuo.

chapter5manchuwar.jpg


Here is my opening invasion; the large province Jilin is what I'm after. It will clean up my borders considerably. Never fear though, I have other ambitions.

chapter5invasioninthefa.jpg


November 7, 1855 -- The war so far is going splendidly. The Manchurians have more armies than I do, but mine are superior, as the battle below proves.

chapter5battleofchoncho.jpg


Beating up on far eastern armies; that brings back memories of the EU 3 predecessor to this AAR. Most battles are going to go like this. To save screenshots, I'll only show the most interesting ones.

December 10, 1855 -- Like this one -- how's that for a casualty ratio?

chapter5battleofyjc.jpg


January 17, 1856 -- After more successful battles, it's time to add a new war goal.

chapter5newwargoal.jpg


January 20, 1856 -- Another battle screenshot, but the main attraction is my tiny province of Ningxia; the purpose of this war goal is connect it to the rest of my territory, so it isn't completely cut off.

chapter5thenewtarget.jpg


January 26, 1856 -- As I wait for the provinces to fall, I get a message from Switzerland; it seems they've been attacked. I wonder who could possibly pick on them?

chapter5warwithczech.jpg


Normally, if this weren't an AAR, I'd say no. But since entertainment is my primary objective, and there's nothing more entertaining than fighting two wars hundreds of miles apart, let's go for it!

If not for pause, I'd probably get dizzy switching back and forth.

The northern half of my invasion:

chapter5northczechwar.jpg


And the southern half:

chapter5southczechwar.jpg


You may notice something here; some of my armies have no generals. It's honestly what's holding my army back. I have a lot of troops (and ships), so almost by default I'm constantly running short. I'll have to try to work on promoting officer POPs; more on that in a later update.

February 3, 1856 -- Tahiti cores. That's nice.

February 20, 1856 -- Now I know how Manchukuo feels. :(

chapter5battleofelbing.jpg


Oh, and as if my life wasn't hard enough, it looks like Czechoslovakia called in an ally. I'll leave you in suspense for a bit, while you try to guess amongst yourselves who it is.

February 23, 1856 -- Pretty much my only defeat against Manchukuo; this battle lasted for a couple of months, too, which just goes to show you the power of mountains and quality weapons.

chapter5battleofningxia.jpg


I can be forgiven for letting two brigades fall to nearly 200,000 Manchurians, right?

March 29, 1856 -- Mecklenburg insults my ambassador. I'm in no position to do anything, so I go the relations boosting "Thank you sir, may I have another?" route.

April 11, 1856 -- The Siberian region of Vanavara gets a clergy boosting NF, with my African colony finishing.

April 14, 1856 -- There's a meat grinder for you.

chapter5battleofkattowi.jpg


April 27, 1856 -- I realize those sneaky Czechs mobilized without my paying attention; two can play at that game!

May 3, 1856 -- The tale of two wars.

chapter5taleoftwowars.jpg


I wish Manchukuo would surrender already.

September 1, 1856 -- Parma kicks Brazil out of GP status.

November 26, 1856 -- Woo hoo! Manchukuo surrenders!

chapter5manchuvictory.jpg


The Russian territory around Ningxia is new.

April 7, 1857 -- The definition of a heated war; you're so busy fighting it you don't take any other screenshots. If you haven't guessed to yourself who I'm fighting, I'll give you a minute.






Ready? Here goes.

chapter5britishinvasion.jpg


The fact is, I got caught here with my pants down. The British wiped out about 40,000 troops. I've beaten them around a little in Italy and their one province in Anatolia, but I gravely underestimated the number of troops the British could raise.

April 9, 1857 -- Possibly from having to hoof it over all of my mountains, the UK offers white peace, which I greedily accept.

chapter5ukpeace.jpg


That's it for part one of this update: stay tuned for part two (probably tomorrow), where you can see if I turn the tide against the Czechs!
 

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It seems that we all neglect military technologies in the early game relative to the AI. Still, the British didn't do a whole lot in the war and then ducked out leaving their allies in the lurch. I have a feeling that Russia will be more determined, which bodes ill for the Czechs.
 

Avindian

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It seems that we all neglect military technologies in the early game relative to the AI. Still, the British didn't do a whole lot in the war and then ducked out leaving their allies in the lurch. I have a feeling that Russia will be more determined, which bodes ill for the Czechs.

I was maxed out on military tech until 1850; the only thing I can think of, re: the Czechs, is that they used the interval to pick a military tech while I went for N&I.
 

Ashantai

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Wonderful update...even suspenseful!
 

Avindian

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Wonderful update...even suspenseful!

Thanks, and welcome aboard! I don't know if you've been on this thread before, but I remember you as a loyal follower of the prequel to this one.
 

Avindian

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Chapter 5, part 2: In which your humble author forgets to take screenshots

June 13, 1857 -- Another defeat. I swear, I have actually won battles, but for some reason I didn't take any screenshots.

chapter5novysacze.jpg


June 28, 1857 -- Once again, the AI wants me to go to war with Norway. Yes, they're neighbors, but they also have nothing I want.

chapter5whynorway.jpg


July 16, 1857 -- We are at peace!

chapter5whitepeacewithc.jpg


I'm really sorry that I don't have more on this war. It's really hard fighting a war that spans three continents and trying to get good screen shots to document it. This is perhaps the curse of playing a huge Russia. The real shame is that the last few weeks were actually incredibly dramatic; while my new soldiers moved west and held the line, a quick mostly cavalry army (one of my favorite tricks) ran, evaded the Czech army, and took Prague. That's what convinced them to sign the white peace, leaving Switzerland intact.

September 19, 1857 -- After a demobilization shortly after the war, we finish Breech-Loaded Rifles. Our next tech is Inorganic Chemistry; I want to boost my supply limit, but more practically I want Nitroglycerin so I can build the Suez Canal.

chapter5inorganicchemis.jpg


October 12, 1857 -- In EU 3, owning India (or the parts I did) was incredibly lucrative. I had great COTs and the East Indian Trade route modifier. That's not as true in Vicky 2, and so I make a decision that will hopefully reduce the screen zipping if there's another war.

chapter5freeindia.jpg


October 27, 1857 -- Oh yeah, and it's time to put our new tech to work.

chapter5theguardsarecom.jpg


This is going to come close to doubling my armies; I do plan on phasing out some of the infantry. More importantly, it would be very poetic for Russians to cause a worldwide liquor shortage (as well as making life unpleasant for everybody else, a welcome bonus).

June 10, 1858 -- We wag our fingers at Filipino slavery.

chapter5suckitphilippin.jpg


June 17, 1858 -- I have no idea what, if anything, this alliance will do, but it's been so long since anybody asked to be my friend that it's hard for me to say no. :(

chapter5alliancewithcan.jpg


June 28, 1858 -- I actually kind of take offense to having a Westernizer Party, when I'm way more advanced and powerful than any western nation. Then again, Russianizer sounds weird.

chapter5elections.jpg

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Apologies again for the short and anti-climactic update; is there anything you guys are interested in seeing? I don't know if I'll have them in the next update, but it's something I'll keep in mind.
 

Dewirix

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I'm really sorry that I don't have more on this war. It's really hard fighting a war that spans three continents and trying to get good screen shots to document it. This is perhaps the curse of playing a huge Russia. The real shame is that the last few weeks were actually incredibly dramatic; while my new soldiers moved west and held the line, a quick mostly cavalry army (one of my favorite tricks) ran, evaded the Czech army, and took Prague. That's what convinced them to sign the white peace, leaving Switzerland intact.

In the case of having missed taking screenshots I'd be tempted to just take shots of the post-war map and then annotate them to show how the war progressed. Speaking of which, I'd like to see a map of the new Indian satellite you've created.
 

Avindian

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I am interested in seeing more DEATH! BY VODKA!

Then that is what you shall have! Perhaps not immediately, but soon. Very soon.

In the case of having missed taking screenshots I'd be tempted to just take shots of the post-war map and then annotate them to show how the war progressed. Speaking of which, I'd like to see a map of the new Indian satellite you've created.

That's a fine suggestion; I may consider that in future updates. Consider the map of the Indian satellite on my to-do list.

NRI should be updated today, most likely, which will leave me in a position to play through the next update. Anybody else have any special requests? I'm anticipating a relatively peaceful update, so I should have some extra spots for screenshots.
 

Ashantai

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Great update, even if you did forget screenshots! Still, happens to the best of us! :D

Loving your progress.
 

Avindian

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Great update, even if you did forget screenshots! Still, happens to the best of us! :D

Loving your progress.

Thanks for the kind words!
 

Avindian

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Chapter 6: A Great War? Again?!

By popular demand (okay, only Dewirix), here's my new Indian satellite in the purple.

chapter6india.jpg


Let's get this show on the road!

June 28, 1858 -- My hopes of creating a world wide liquor shortage are thwarted by the inconsiderate jerks that produce so much liquor. I should declare war on the #1 producer and take their land!

Oh, wait. It's me. :rolleyes: Even building almost 150 guards isn't enough to use up the world's supply of liquor. I hope I at least mildly inconvenienced a few foreigners; it would make me feel better.

September 27, 1858 -- I build forts in Regina, Maple Creek, Great Falls, and Billings, to provide a stiffer line of defense in case the British get squirrelly again. Some of my Guards brigades are being built in North America, which should also strengthen my presence.

October 4, 1858 -- Ah, bureaucratic bloat. My mortal nemesis. I've got 1.4% of the population as bureaucrats, so I'm purposefully underfunding them so they'll demote into something useful. Unfortunately, there's very little effect. Instead, I use my surplus to cut taxes on the poor to 15% and add a -5% import subsidy.

December 9, 1858 -- Some merchants from Bremen harass my shippers; I'd declare war on them if I could be bothered to figure out where they are in this continuity.

December 24, 1858 -- The Northwest Territories are a new member of the Russian Republic; I decide to encourage clergy in Gansu. I also turn my first colony into a state -- St. Augustine, Florida. I honestly don't remember getting that in EU 3.

January 16, 1859 -- With yet another new colony being founded, I decide to encourage bureaucrats in British Columbia (well, Russian Columbia). My hope is to turn North American colonies into states as quickly as possible; they're my largest colonies (by far).

January 29, 1859 -- Another member of the Crazy Cavalcade of Colonies, Farafra (in Africa) leads to bureaucrat promotion in Alberta.

February 28, 1859 -- The last new colony is Alaska -- the bureaucrat NF goes to Washington State.

March 13, 1859 -- The Czechs have the nerve to ask for military access; it'll be a cold day in hell before I'll let them have it.

April 27, 1859 -- That goes double for you, United Kingdom.

May 13, 1859 -- I don't have the heart to say no -- maybe I'll get to intervene in their Civil War, which might harm a couple of chickens and the odd duck!

chapter6alliancewithusa.jpg


September 18, 1859 -- I finish Inorganic Chemistry. At this point, I seriously consider working towards Biologism. In 99% of games, I would, but here's the thing. With only a handful of clergy and my starting techs, I've gone from 10% literacy to 24% literacy. That means, even with no new techs on my part, I could theoretically be over 50% by 1909, assuming a similar rate of growth. That's pretty awesome. I decide, for now, to keep supplying my industry with new tech, since my Guards are kind of expensive.

chapter6steamengines.jpg


October 28, 1859 -- I do away with the import subsidies. Yes, I've got a sizable currency reserve (5.86 million £), but the fiscal conservative in me hates deficit spending. I'm back to a healthy 1000 £ per day.

December 13, 1859 -- Mecklenburg throws Hanover out of my sphere, not realizing that I've got 100 diplomatic points in my back pocket. Hanover is returned quickly. Note, I really have no use for Hanover; it's just fun to deny it to Mecklenburg.

January 1, 1860 -- I have a momentary heart attack when I see that China gets "End Manchu Domination", which mentions something about modernization. Then I remember that A) it isn't westernization and B) China's my satellite anyway. It's Manchukuo that is my great rival.

April 9, 1860 -- You've waited patiently enough for some action. I decide to pick on Oman, mostly because they make my borders ugly.

chapter6warwithoman.jpg


Yemen and Persia are Oman's allies; they both run away as quickly as possible with tails between their legs. I don't blame them.

May 2, 1860 -- My first Socialist party; the Populists.

chapter6populists.jpg


That's a pretty ugly party, all things considered. Worst of all is jingoism -- the last thing my economy needs is to make my army even more expensive. I'll need to do my best to keep them out of power.

August 9, 1860 -- We're down to 16 guard units in queue; if I have some spare screenshots I'll show you where my armies are positioned. There's not much rhyme or reason at this point; I try to get as many troops in North America, the border with Czechoslovakia, and the border with Manchukuo as possible. I don't really bother with composing ideal armies (which at this point would be 8 guards units, with some maybe getting 8 artillery as well -- I generally stop bothering with cavalry altogether once I have guards except for a few sneaky all-hussar corps once I get those), just putting guards where they can do the most good.

My army is so big at this point, and it's such a hassle, that I don't even know if I'll bother swapping out existing infantry for guards. I really wish there was some kind of upgrade mechanism in Vicky 2 -- maybe we'll see it with A House Divided?

October 6, 1860 -- I certainly don't need huge armies to face Oman; they have all of 2000 troops. I'm successful enough that I add a new war goal.

chapter6newwargoal.jpg


Oman is one of the few countries that's almost exactly where it ought to be. I've circled my new war goal in the screenshot.

July 5, 1861 -- One more region ought to do it; this will essentially just leave Oman the tiny strip of land from Tabouk to Mecca, at least as far bordering me goes. They're welcome to the tip of the peninsula.

August 5, 1861 -- The gods of Victoria II have decreed that I must be punished for picking on Oman.

chapter6mecklenburgwar.jpg


This is technically a Great War, since Mecklenburg is #8 in the world. However, their friends amount to nothing and we only border in one place; Washington State-Oregon. I very much doubt the Czechs will let Russians pillage across their land to get to Mecklenburg (or vice versa), and I'd love to see Mecklenburg try.

Speaking of military access, loyal satellite Hedjaz (also in the right place!) lets me cross through their land to finish off Oman, who stubbornly won't surrender despite having no way to oppose me.

Meanwhile, the 4th North American Division (15,000 Guards) marches into Sacramento. Once again, I fail to give it a proper leader. One of these days I'll remember.

September 27, 1861 -- It turns out that leaderless mobs, even with fine weapons, can get beaten pretty badly by competently led troops.

chapter6battleofsacrame.jpg


I can't prove that Mecklenburg doesn't have guards, but the circumstantial evidence (the slow speed of their army, the results when I do have a leader) seems to indicate they do not, at least in North America.

I finish steam engines, and given what is apparently my mantra, I research the only logical technology.

chapter6decisionmaking.jpg


((In another AAR, I think tamius23's, the author asked for advice for why he was getting chewed up. I said to train tactics, because TACTICS = GOOD!))

October 25, 1861 -- I put a fine general in charge of the 4th North American Division -- Alexei Gurko, +2 attack, +1 defense, -20% Morale. Unfortunately, since Morale is ORG regain rate, it's exactly the wrong thing to give a battered army. Casualties are much better, but I still lose the Battle of Portland.

chapter6battleofportlanw.jpg


Never fear, General Gurko! The Second REF (Russian Expeditionary Force) is on the way!

December 24, 1861 -- Yay! I won!

chapter6portland2.jpg


Of course, that's something of a Pyrrhic victory.

February 11, 1862 -- I decide to invade Northern California. What could possibly go wrong? (Hint: Look at the two armies in the screenshot)

chapter6invasionofnorth.jpg


May 6, 1862 -- I lose Second Sacramento, thanks to my leader being dead. At one point, I had general deaths as pop-ups, but it happened so frequently and with most countries, I have an overabundance of generals. Oops.

June 1, 1862 -- I've had about enough of you, Edwin von Spee.

chapter6klamathfalls.jpg


June 23, 1862 -- Boris Kolchak exacts revenge, thanks to two special traits. 1) +2 to attack; 2) Not being dead.

chapter6klamath2.jpg


Perhaps the tide is turning?

July 19, 1862 -- Third Sacramento goes swimmingly.

chapter6sacramento3.jpg


Please forgive the pun; it was entirely unintended.

New elections are afoot, and the news looks somewhat grim. Jingoism (because I'm in the middle of a war) is incredibly popular, which could boot the Westernizers out of office.

chapter6jingoism.jpg


August 8, 1862 -- The bludgeoning continues.

chapter6sanfrancisco.jpg


August 28, 1862 -- It is poetic justice that Mecklenburg's army is obliterated at Fourth Sacramento.

chapter6sacramento4.jpg


I kind of wish I hadn't used my infamy to beat up on Oman; Northern California would be a fine addition to my North American empire.

October 12, 1862 -- Speaking of Oman, they finally surrender, and you can see my nice clean borders.

chapter6omanfalls.jpg


December 28, 1862 -- The Westernizers win in a close finish.

chapter6election.jpg


The Westernizers are clearly the largest party, but the next three split the vote between them. With the Panslavs being a non-factor, and the Slavophiles and Populists unlikely to form a cabinet, the only thing I need to watch out for is the Socialists overtaking the Westernizers.

That's all for tonight!
 

tamius23

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You know that to find the makeup of your enemies' armies, you can go to a battle screen and hover over the unit fighting? It'll say, for example, 1st Hannover Guard.
 

Avindian

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The situation seemed fairly precarious on the West Coast for a bit. How long does it take you to bring reinforcements over from Russia proper?

Too long. I don't have steam ships yet (because I tend to ignore the navy with Russia games until I've got my army and industry maxed out), so I'm usually stuck with whatever happens to be there.

You know that to find the makeup of your enemies' armies, you can go to a battle screen and hover over the unit fighting? It'll say, for example, 1st Hannover Guard.

I did know that; I am, however, not very good at remembering it at the time.