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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

WJS

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I'm considering running a game as an experiment.

Since you can switch nations throughout a saved game, I'm considering the following:

1. Play as the nation ranked #17 in the world. Do the best you can.
2. After four years, switch to whatever nation happens to be ranked #17. Do the best you can, again.
3. Keep switching, until you've completed all 25 4-year periods. What does the world look like?

Maybe I'll take big chances. Make mistakes. Have great victories. Set things in motion I won't be around to finish. Will it make a mess of the world? Will it destabilize the Great Powers or entrench them further?
 

TK-XD-M8

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First Quadrennial: Greece, 1836-1840

Admittedly, Greece doesn't do much at the start of the game. The economy is in shambles, even with top-level tariffs and taxes, I was still dropping all spending to their near-minimums. I recognized that I needed to expand, get more people, in order to start doing something, somehow. So, I managed to build an extra transport and started agitating in Thessaly. Yes, I know the standard strategy is to get that Clergy up at the start, but I wasn't paying for education, anyway. Then, I waited. I waited for the inevitable war between the Ottomans and Egypt (began November 1838), then invaded Egypt for Crete. I brought the UK along for the war, but they don't seem interested in actually fighting.

Otherwise, the standard wars occurred around the world. Texas and Tripoli went as normal. One odd note was that I caught France justifying a war to take over Yemen, but they never followed through with the actual war.

I leave Greece with them still fighting, having landed and occupied all Crete. The horrendous economy resulted in Greece slipping in ranking to #25, but much of that can't be helped.

Next Quadrennial: Nassau. Main goal is not to get absorbed.
 

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Second Quadrennial: Nassau, 1840-1843

(Yes, for the purists out there, the first quadrennial ended on January 1, 1840, so it was actually 1836-1839.)

I figure these OPMs are going to be the major feature of the next few quadrennials. At the #16 spot is Saxony, with Mecklenburg at #19 and Bavaria at #20. Going to make the going interesting.

Nassau starts 1840 with a far better economy and education system. The smaller military seems to be key to having kept spending in check. Capitalists are trying to build a luxury clothes factory. It's not a great choice, but not the worst.

Allies are Prussia, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and Hesse-Kassel. First thing to check: How's Prussia doing in its quest for Germany? Saxony is Friendly with 75 points (Austria is in sphere at 40 points). Hanover is Friendly at 53. Holstein is sphered. So, keeping this from happening is going to be tough (Why do you never care about Saxony, Austria? It's your grave undoing.) If I have to restart this, I will, but my first strategy is going to be to drag Prussia into a war with one of these minors.

I first tried starting a war with Hanover for land, but Prussia sphered them before the justification was complete. So, I then justified war with Saxony (make a puppet, it's faster but requires a high war score). I didn't have any time to waste; Prussia had released Saxony from Austria's sphere and it was a race to sphere Saxony. But the quick half-year justification happened and I convinced Prussia to join in the war! Perfect, I figured, as long as Prussia doesn't add a sphere war goal and as long as Prussia doesn't win too handily. Austria, Bavaria, and Wurttemberg came to Saxony's defense (Saxony was good with alliances). I, of course, stayed home.

The war ended on August 6, 1842 as a crushing defeat for Prussia. They handed the Rhineland to Bavaria and Silesia to Austria. In addition, Prussia now has truces with Bavaria, Wurttemberg, and Saxony, so they won't be sphered any time soon. I took a prestige hit, but all in all, mission accomplished.

News of the rest of the world: Portugal conquered Zulu. Burma and Vietnam took chunks out of Siam. Bolivia shrunk. Britain took Columbia by crisis. And Greece took Crete. I'm so proud.

Ending ranking: #37, but oh, so worth the continued existence. Incidentally, the German minors are now dominating the Secondary Powers, with Bavaria at #15, Saxony at #13, and Mecklenburg at #11 (they must have done something right!). Given that the NGF had a rather shattering blow, it'll be interesting to see how they do in the years ahead.

Next Quadrennial: Switzerland!

 
Last edited:

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This is fantastic, can't wait to see how it turns out. Wish I'd thought of it for my channel.
 

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This is fantastic, can't wait to see how it turns out. Wish I'd thought of it for my channel.
You can still do a Seventeen Challenge for your channel. Although it'll start the same, I'm positive it'll end up differently.
 

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You can still do a Seventeen Challenge for your channel. Although it'll start the same, I'm positive it'll end up differently.
Hm, I just might when I finish up my Krakow game. I just didn't want to totally rip off your idea. ;)
 

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Third Quadrennial: Switzerland, 1844-1847

Sometimes a nation needs to sow chaos to survive, like Nassau. Sometimes, though, peace and order is the way ahead.

Switzerland started 1844 in a safe but lackluster situation. They had a closed fabric factory, but three other active factories. They were encouraging craftsmen, but the open factories they had were near capacity, and their clergy was still not yet at 2%. They had just started researching Army Professionalism, letting a number of their possible decisions lie fallow. So, instead of looking for places to conquer, I focused on cleaning house.

Diplomatically, Switzerland was a mess. No one really liked them; even France, who had sphered them, had relations at -10. So, I invested in improving relations with France and Sardinia-Piedmont. The House of Savoy started trying to get to know us better, and I was able to broker a military alliance with France--a far better deterrent right now than military techs at this stage.

Techs focused on culture and industry, both to exploit Switzerland's Corporative Industrialism and to get the tools necessary to reach the Neuchatel, Geneva Convention, and Gotthard Tunnel decisions, all with nice prestige gains (and in the case of the tunnel, railroad). I succeeded in Neuchatel, and all Tunnel needs now is for the right invention to be discovered.

I reopened the fabric factory, and it performed well before deciding to fire everyone and close again. With my help, Capitalists opened an ammunition factory and another was started.

Although I stayed peaceful, I did seriously consider invading Baden. It was in a three-way battle with Prussia, Austria, and France for influence, and it had been removed from Austria's sphere. But, in the end, I figured that was more trouble than it was worth.

Ending ranking: #15. Prestige and Industry increased greatly under my care. I'll post a screenshot when I have the chance. Of note, Austria is #4, Prussia is #6, and Mecklenburg, Bavaria, and Saxony have ranks 11, 12, and 16, respectively.

Next Quadrennial: Denmark.
 
Last edited:

Selzro

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This is a splendid idea!
 

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Thanks, everyone!

Here's the screenshot of world ranking.


(And Baden, since I was considering them.)

And heck, I thought Switzerland's diplomacy was bad? Denmark's is even worse (and they have actual expansion potential). This is going to be interesting.
 

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Fourth Quadrennial: Denmark, 1848-1851

With Denmark, I figured I would have some easy opportunities to grow. Get them set up for the Scramble for Africa, possibly find a way to hold Sweden to form Scandinavia, maybe even invade some German land while Prussia's trying to recover. But then I got a look at their diplomacy.

The five worst relations are with France at -50, Russia at -50, Belgium at -45, the UK at -42, and Prussia at -41. The influence level with the UK, Prussia, and Austria is Opposed. The Great Powers hate Denmark. What, do I have pickled herring breath or something? Whatever I do, I'll have to do it on my own.

After Holstein, I have Sweden at +51, and the Netherlands at +30. Hawaii, too, but I doubt that matters. Sweden might be good, but they've got half their army parked in Malmö, just across from Copenhagen. That's not exactly a gesture of trust and friendship. So, I started out with the following goals:

  • Get Swedish relations above 100. Ally if possible.
  • Then, ferry units to Danish Ghana, and start an invasion of Sokoto.
  • Pursue colonization techs and improve homeland industry.
Thankfully, Denmark's economy is solid, so housekeeping isn't as big a priority.

Due to "Political considerations," an alliance with Sweden isn't in the cards, but Netherlands might be interested, if they get to know me better.

I began 1850 starting to learn Breech-Loaded Rifles (good for the military even if you can't get the colonization invention yet) and began shuttling troops to Ghana. Sokoto was friendly with the USA, but the Americans were losing troops quickly in their Manifest Destiny; apparently Mexico was putting up a good fight.

News of the World: Prussia sphered Saxony on December 28, 1848. Spain picked up the Taza concession, and Persia took land from Khiva. Switzerland built the Gotthard Tunnel on June 6, 1850. The UK attacked Johore in 1851.

And on June 20, 1851, Prussia invaded Austria in an attempt to win back Silesia. The UK is joining Prussia in battle, so it's going to be tough. As is the Danish war in Sokoto. I just need more than one stack down there, and that means I'm sending my entire army. My first stack got demolished. I have to be more careful.

Ending ranking: #17. I'm still battling for Denmark's glory. A furniture factory has been built. Things are still in process.

Next quadrennial: Denmark, for four more years. It'll be a good seat to see how the war for Silesia turns out.

 
Last edited:

WJS

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Fifth Quadrennial: Denmark, 1852-1855

This is the first time that I'm repeating a country back to back. So, at the start of 1852, I'm busy shuttling troops to my war with Sokoto. In the meantime, I've got to make sure that I don't look like an acquisition target. Prussia still has yet to form Germany, but if the war goes well, they can do just that. So I need to keep watch on the war. Defenses include releasing Schleswig or conquering some German minor, but either will cause trouble later.

Also, Sweden has done well for themselves for the past quadrennial and are ranked 10 now. If they become a Great Power, then suddenly our relations become a problem: Too high, and I'm sphered quickly and absorbed into Scandinavia, too low and I'm a war target (for sphering and absorption).

The Prussian war for Silesia ended on 6 February 1852, with a victory for Prussia. However, they did not take Rhineland from Bavaria, and are now in truce with them until 6 February, 1857. So, Prussia should not be a threat this quadrennial.

One bit of maybe-good news: I was originally worried that the US, with nothing better to do, might decide to enter the Sokoto war, but the CSA rose early, and the American Civil War began on 21 June 1852. Damn, 1852.

The Sokoto War ended 28 June 1853, with Denmark claiming Sokot Benin. It's a small prize, but strategically positioned to do well in the Scramble for Africa. I can now afford to return half my forces to Denmark, and I'll be in decent shape to meet European issues.

1853 and 1854 were quiet. The USA won their Civil War, and the Chinese Empire broke out in their own civil war. But things were too quiet. Saxony slipped in the rankings, but Hanover climbed and we might end up with Denmark again. Not so interested in that, I started a Humiliate CB against them in October 1854. But in the end, I figured that that would just get Prussia and the UK upset at me, and I can't afford that. Better to simply prepare for Sokoto Round Two.

On 20 November 1854, Belgium replaced Spain as a Great Power. This is the first replacement in this game. Spain is at #15, suddenly.

In the end, I don't have the diplomatic support to justify war against many. I'm slowly building my industrial base and improving both my army and navy stacks.

Russia went to war against China for land, but that's really all I've seen. The civil wars did not change power around.

Next Quadrennial: Denmark again. We'll see if Sweden (at #9) becomes an actual threat or not.
 
Last edited:

TheDungen

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Is getting integrated as part of a unification a game over? Would be much more interesting if the player was simply moved to the new tag.