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Field Marshal
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Oct 23, 2003
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Alexspeed's V2 AAR contest, the 1.2 patch, and some extra time to myself have conspired to bring you a new AAR - with the Ottoman Empire!

Like most of my AAR's, this will be gameplay focused. However, since I'm certainly not the expert at Victoria 2 that I am with EU3, feel free to set me straight if I explain something wrong.

January 1, 1836 opens a new age for the Ottoman Empire. A quick look at the Empire shows that there are two possible paths: a slide into irrelevance, or a tough, hard climb into possible relevance.

The map looks promising: look at all that land! Why, we have more contiguous land than everyone but Russia! Unfortunately, that land is half filled to with illiterate peasants, and half empty.


One good thing, however, is the fact that Egypt holds a swath of land that has our core (as shown by the Diplomatic mapmode). This is actually better than us owning the land - we'll get 10 prestige per state (there are 7 states there) when we take it back. We have 40 prestige, UK has 103. If we move fast enough, we could be (very temporarily) #1 in prestige.


A look at the budget graph looks promising too: we're making a daily surplus! If we drill down to the budget screen...we actually have a deficit. And to make things even better: both numbers are completely fictitious. It'll take a month to get a handle on our actual finances.


I'd show you the production screenshot, but seeing as we don't actually have any factories, that would be rather pointless. Suffice to say, our illiterate peasants do not work in factories. Our illiterate artisans, however, do produce a small amount of small arms, artillery, and ammunition. Those shall be exported to our enemies, while we shall buy our arms from people who aren't trying to make cannons out of sticks.

Finally, a look at technologies: we have 14 total technologies, all of which are in the first tier. (Britain starts with 30 something, IIRC).


Our glaring omissions:
Military Staff System (we can't recruit cavalry, who are very useful for sieges)
Early Classical Theory and Critique (allows Lumber/Furniture/Paper/Lux. Furniture factories)
Freedom of Trade (huge modifiers to farming and mining efficiency)
Mechanized Mining (allows Steel/Explosives/Small Arms/Artillery/Ammunition factories)
Experimental Railroads (so we can't build any railroads at all yet).
All of the Social Thought tier in culture (no education efficiency bonuses, so our literacy rate will crawl upwards).

But other than that, we're in great shape!

*whisper from advisor*

Oh. Yeah. We're at war with Tripoli, with an infamy-free chance to annex them. However, in traditional AI style, most of our army starts nowhere near the war. (I mean really, if you're going to annex someone, why would you bring your army?)

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Chapter 1: Reasserting Dominance

Our first orders of business are:

* Pick a tech. Our tech situation sucks, but we can't afford to address the research boosting culture techs yet - we need to stabilize the economy. Freedom of Trade must come first. This will boost farming and mining output by 50%, while reducing the max size of those RGOs (Resource Gathering Organization) by 2%. Given that few of our RGOs are near max yet, the reduced size will not have an immediate effect. Over the long term, as inventions lower the max size of RGOs, we'll see farmers and laborers forced to promote to other pop types or migrate, and our population will shift from a rural to urban society.

* Move troops to attack Tripoli. I currently have 2 brigades of cavalry on their border (6K men), and 2 brigades of Irregulars 2 provinces away. No one has any leaders, so attacking with my cavalry will just get a lot of them killed for no reason (and remember, I can't recruit any more yet!).

To bolster my forces, I'll move the 2 brigades of Irregulars to the border, and move 3 brigades of irregulars from Tirana (Albania) to the coast so my navy (which conveniently has 3 transports) can bring them over. Tripoli has 2 brigades of irregulars (probably), so 5 brigades of irregulars should easily take care of them, while my cavalry can start occupying Tripoli.

* Move troops to the Egyptian border. To speed up the occupation of Egypt, I'll move the cavalry and irregulars from the northern states to Egypt, split the army that's already on the border in half (to provide more coverage), and move 3 brigades of irregulars from Kirkuk to Rutbah on Egypt's eastern border.

One advantage: since the provinces I will start attacking when I declare are core provinces, I get the full supply limit. This will support having a couple of medium size armies in the front, while the rest of my brigades spread out to occupy a large swath of land at once, until I can bottle the Egyptians up in Palestine/Sinai.

Since we have no real tech advantage, I will have to concentrate on hiring good generals (with leadership provided by my Officers) and getting a numeric advantage.

A map with all the army movement:

* Start industrializing. Since I have a State Capitalism party in power, I can build a couple of factories (glass and cement) in my two most populous states (Thrace and Izmir). I don't want to switch to another party (which would give me Interventionism) yet, since I have such a limited choice in factories. Capitalists will build based on profit and whatever technology allows, so if you let them build factories when you only have 5-6 choices, you'll end up with unprofitable factories.

I'll end up taking loans out of this (since I have to pay cash to start the factory, then buy the raw materials), but I can't afford to keep an industry score of 0 for long if I want to remain a GP.

* Place my National Foci. I have the first NF granting technology, but not enough population to take advantage of it. (You need 1 million primary culture people for each NF point, plus the appropriate techs to unlock more NF's).

I have three main problems:
* I need clergy and clerks to boost research, and clergy to boost literacy. Clerks are pointless right now, but clergy are not.
* I need soldiers. I'm near my max # of brigades, which will drop as I lose men in combat. Soldiers = military score = 1/3rd of ranking to stay a GP, and I have Russia on my border.
* I need craftsmen for my new factories. Normally, I'd use an NF to boost craftsmen to get a factory off the ground.

My long term need, however, is literacy. I need clergy to boost my literacy and research. Thus, my NF will be placed in Thrace to promote clergy.


Unfortunately, until my economy improves, promotion will be somewhat slow. Ironically, clergy promotion % drops as literacy rises, but promotion % in general increases as literacy rises.


* Use influence. With the 1.2 patch, the AI will intervene in wars if they are friendly, and of course, they will almost always answer a call to arms from an ally in their SOI. Thus, you need to use your influence not only to carve out your SOI, but to clear out the influence within any potential targets.

Egypt isn't near anyone's SOI, and I'll take what I need from them in the first war. Thus, my next best choice is to get Persia in my SOI before Russia decides to carve out chunks or grab it for its own SOi. Persia has 6 million people and lots of coal and iron. However, she may become a strategic nightmare in the future.

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3.) Dewirix: Maybe. Not any time soon - I'm still getting a hang on the game, and RL is still busy as can be. I just now finally found time to log into the forums for a few minutes a day. :p

So your definition of "Not any time soon" is "Not today, but probably tomorrow"? :D

Great to see you doing this anyway. Your literacy situation doesn't look too bad, but what's your plurality like? Tech wise I'd go for Ideological Thought, which is a long way of as a tier 2, but gives you nice plurality boosts to raise the tech rate.

I agree that education techs should be another priority, but maybe snag Freedom of Trade first for the extra income. It looks like you'll need it. If money's really tight you could always disband some troops. That won't directly affect your military score, but will reduce your stockpile spending.

Of course, if Russia or Austria come calling you might be in some difficulty.
Great! someone finally decided to do an Ottoman AAR!

I personally would go for Freedom of Trade first up, and then go for Ideological Thought. It will take some time due to your Military-Industrial complex tech school, but the Plurality bonuses should be well worth it. While waiting for said plurality bonuses to kick in, I'd research Military Staff System or Experimental Railroads just because you can do it quickly, then go for State & Government. Due to your tech school, I'd avoid researching any Culture techs other than those in the Ideological Thought column.

Also, can you use a conquest casus beli on Egypt or not? I heard that in 1.2 you can't use it on a nation with 5+ provinces.
Dewirix: Plurality = 1%. Ideological thought might be next, so I can get those plurality boosts early.

My thoughts for #2 tech are:
Ideological Thought: +50% plurality over the next 1-3 decades as inventions fire, +1 NF, other useful stuff
Early Classical Theory and Critique (allows Lumber/Furniture/Paper/Lux. Furniture factories)
Mechanized Mining (allows Steel/Explosives/Small Arms/Artillery/Ammunition factories)
When I played the Ottomans I went staight for Tunisia after I took that Libyan state. Whilst your going for your cores in the Levant your wasting valuable time that could be spent burning off bb.
I took a quick gander at Prussia (starts at #5):

60.8% starting literacy
7.13 RP/day
28 starting techs

That should give some good comparison to what OE has to deal with.
Thank you for taking part in the contest and good luck!
I linked your thread in the contest list and will follow your AAR :)

I am curious how you will do as the OE, its not so easy to make that old man healthy again.
Glad you choosed the "Freedom of Trade"-Tech first, its a huge boost moneywise that eases the pain to balance your budget.
And it dosent take too long to research also :)
My thoughts for #2 tech are:
Ideological Thought: +50% plurality over the next 1-3 decades as inventions fire, +1 NF, other useful stuff
Early Classical Theory and Critique (allows Lumber/Furniture/Paper/Lux. Furniture factories)
Mechanized Mining (allows Steel/Explosives/Small Arms/Artillery/Ammunition factories)
I'd wait a little while before building Steel Factories, as you only have two provinces with either Iron or Coal (i think...) and both have a population of under 300K

Oh, and have you thought about doing something diabolical like, say giving yourself cores on Greece?
Due to your tech school, I'd avoid researching any Culture techs other than those in the Ideological Thought column.

If this is 1.2 you've got to go for the philosophy techs too. They give massive boosts to research with every level. I didn't know the Ottomans were already in a tech school - that might not be too good in the short term.

Dewirix: Plurality = 1%. Ideological thought might be next, so I can get those plurality boosts early.

My thoughts for #2 tech are:
Ideological Thought: +50% plurality over the next 1-3 decades as inventions fire, +1 NF, other useful stuff
Early Classical Theory and Critique (allows Lumber/Furniture/Paper/Lux. Furniture factories)
Mechanized Mining (allows Steel/Explosives/Small Arms/Artillery/Ammunition factories)

Definitely go Ideological Thought for the plurality boosts. It'll pay back in terms of extra research points and will give you an extra NF to boot. Cement and glass are solid choices for first factories, so if you can afford to build one in each province you should be OK for now. You can start unlocking others in a little while and should possibly consider getting Experimental Railroads as your first industrial tech.
Dewirix: That extra NF won't help all that much at the start (taken in late '37)

unless this too has changed in 1.2...
off to a great start, very good read - subscribed!

Oh, and I echo what others have said - it's all about the RP - don't worry so much about the industrialization, your RGO's will be plenty productive (especially with railroad) - instead focus on plurality, education efficiency, research boosts - the sooner these exponential curves start, the better.
To Vienna and beyond!
Our illiterate artisans, however, do produce a small amount of small arms, artillery, and ammunition. Those shall be exported to our enemies, while we shall buy our arms from people who aren't trying to make cannons out of sticks.

You can make cannons out of something other than sticks?! Madness!

Delighted to see a Victoria II AAR from yourself. I've not actually played V2 with the 1.2 patch yet (I played far too much on 1.1, thus had to force myself to stop playing the game as it was interfering with mildly important matters such as work, eating, sleeping, socialising etc. - all clearly trivial things), thus I'm looking forward to following this and picking up some tips for when I do finally return to V2.
Chapter 2: Crushing Tripoli under the bootheel

March 12, 1836: Our cavalry is sneaking south to start sieges, and our 5 brigades of irregulars have engaged the enemy in Tripoli. At first I considered waiting for a leader except that Tripoli would have fallen first, and I don't want to have to pay the increased stockpile costs.

One downside: the supply limit is so low with deserts that our armies will take attrition while occupying, even with 1 brigade.

Here you see why leaders are useful: default leaders have -2 attack/defense!


The result of good rolls + numerical advantage is a smashing victory. All that's left is running down the army and killing it, and waiting on sieges.


April 22: With Tripoli's army dead, I can reduce my stockpile expenditures. Your max organization is based on your stockpile % expenditure (and how much is actually available to buy) - if an enemy army actually wandered up to my armies right now, I'd be hosed. In a scant 4 1/2 months, I've racked up almost 6500 pounds of debt that need to be paid off.


July 8: Our first leader is auto-hired...so of course, the game gives me an admiral. That will be extremely useful against Tripoli (who has no sea access) and Egypt (who at best has 3 ships to my 25). At least my navy will be slightly more experienced from sitting around.


July 26: I have paid off enough debt and am making enough now to justify increasing Education spending to 80% and military spending to 60%. Why those numbers?

Bureaucrat/Clergy/Soldier/Officer promotion % is based on spending in 10% increments, with a max benefit at 80%. Increasing spending from that point actually causes your people to start promoting up to capitalists/aristocrats because they have spare money.

September 7: Montenegro has a cholera outbreak, and they decide to share. For some reason, this stops migration into Niksic cold...no idea why...


October 12: I've never had this happen before in any Paradox game. I almost reflexively said no, after all the annoying white peace offers.


To celebrate, we increase relations with Russia. I want relations over 40 to reduce border incidents - last thing I need is Russia getting an Acquire State CB on me.

October 31: Tunis offers an alliance. Stupidly, we agree.

November 30: Mostar (Bosnia) has cholera spread to it. Argh!

January 1, 1837: Our upper house rearranges for the first time, and the Ottomans lose over half their liberalness.


We've built up a small nest egg (that will be wiped out quickly), and it's time to invade! We assign our only general to our cavalry force, which will zoom down to Acre and form a forward monitoring force against any Egyptians that come up to play. The irregular brigades will split off and siege, and I'll keep the infantry around to back up my cavalry.


Don't be afraid at crappy general stats - the worst general you can roll is still better than none.

We send the declaration of war to Egypt to get the party started. In retrospect, I did this backwards: my first war goal should have been to demand the region with Suez (which is not a core and costs infamy), so that my infamy burn could start immediately. Oh well.


One thing I absolutely love about V2: when you select multiple armies, the green arrow tells you which ones are moving, and mousing over the arrow will tell you where they are going. It's much easier to manage multiple armies at once this way. In this case, I can invade without having to worry too much about supply limits until I hit the Sinai, since everything is a core and has relatively high supply limits. The key for Ottomans is to keep an eye out for those pesky deserts (adds +2 to the supply weight of your army). The game will tell you what the total weight will be when your army arrives, but won't show the total weight if you have multiple armies moving to/through the same province.

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