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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

badger_ken

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SPF (18)36 - The Danish quest for the perfect tan

Welcome to another attempt of mine to understand Vicky2! :)

My AARs are gameplay/learning, as I don't have the time or skilz to write a narrative one, and my AARs have a habit of veering into 'learning mode' as I try to understand just how in blazes this game works - join me, won't you?

In my earlier AARs, I had largish, technologically challenged, non-European land powers (Mexico and Persia). So for my next country, I wanted to play a smallish, technologically advantaged, European naval power. I narrowed it down to Sweden or Denmark, and chose Denmark because (a) Tanzhang and Alfredian recommended it (thanks!), and (b) they are red and white



How could I say no when surrounded by this adoring throng of Danish Pops? :)

The Basic Idea

The basic idea in this AAR is that I'm going to try and get heavily into the Scramble for Africa, which I haven't touched in any of my games yet. I'm not ruling out other places entirely, but my main focus is going to be Africa, and maybe the Pacific. I'm going to try and avoid entanglements on the European mainland as much as possible - if I could saw Denmark off and pole it away from Europe I would! I'm imagining a Danish population in search of the perfect tan - <warning: bad pun ahead> manifest Danestiny. <see, I warned you!>


MODS

I'm using two mods this time - Alexspeed's Map Improvement Package (I love me them pretty graphics) and Chann's unofficial fix pack for 1.2 which, as the name implies, limits itself to fixing bugs - no major gameplay changes. Many thanks to the authors!

Sadly, these two mods conflict on some country files, so sayeth JSGME, when they conflicted I went with the fix pack :(.

And now, on with the show, this is it!

Table of Contents
 
Last edited:

badger_ken

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Chapter 1: the initial situation

Chapter 1: the initial situation

Firing up the game, and turning to the Politics screen, we get the lay of the land:



(1) Denmark starts the game as an absolute monarchy - no voting yet. Huh - I wonder when this change happened historically? Evidently not until 1849 (thank you Google!). See how educational this AAR is already? :)

(2) Denmark starts with 70% literacy and 6.26 RP - yes! I'm going to try and take this initial advantage and maintain/accelerate it - technology, technology, technology.

(3) pretty small country - under 500K people. As we'll see in the next chapter (pardon the foreshadowing), I didn't handle this limitation well at the start - learn from my errors...

(4) pretty small military, to boot.

(5) as seems to always be the case, the country starts heavily Conservative.

(6) Denmark starts with some social reforms already in place - Low Health Care, and Low Unemployment Subsidies. The former seems to help population growth (yay!), I'm not sure what the latter does - maybe people don't get as mad when unemployed?

(7) Slavery is allowed, initially

(8) One unexpected disadvantage of playing Denmark - the Decision titles are gibberish, at least to this Ugly American :(

The Populace



(1) "Outlaw slavery" just barely beats out "Allow slavery" in popularity.

(2) country is overwhelmingly Protestant - wonder where the Catholics are living?

(3) I start with two colonies - Iceland/Greenland and the Danish West Indies. This seems a bit of a booby prize, as it seems hard to defend them. Oh well.
 

badger_ken

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Chapter 2: Opening moves

Chapter 2: Opening moves

I do some opening moves immediately, some wise, some perhaps less so :)

(1) I want to keep that research train chugging mightily along - accordingly, my first research is into "Ideological Thought", which will boost my plurality, and hence my research for the rest of the game. The sooner, the better, is my thinking.

(2) Speaking of technology - you can't really expand seriously into Africa until you get (a) Medicine (Industry, L2) , (b) Machine Guns (Army, L4), and (c) Nationalism and Imperialism (Culture, L4). This is going to take quite a while - Machine guns aren't even eligible to be researched until 1870, for example. However, this doesn't mean I have to sit still for 35 years - I want to grab a 'foothold', with a naval base, so that I'll be ready to roll when the day comes.

There are really only 3 non-GP-owned footholds left - Zululand, Madagascar, and Oman. I decide that as soon as a leader becomes available, I will load up my navy and head off for southern africa - whichever of Zululand and Madagascar seems easier pickin's, I'll go for.

I decide, in line with this, to immediately start construction of my 5th transport -
, and get introduced to a problem that will bedevil me - the Danish economy is so small at this point, that even something like building a ship strains it to the utmost. More on this later....

In May 1836 I get my leader -
- decent! I immediately load up 12K soldiers, and the leader, onto my navy and set sail....

Zululand

by August 1836 I have made to to Zululand, and see



To my delight, that (1) their army consists of only 3K soldiers! To my not-delight, however, note how low my army org is ((2) above), even though the org is high on the individual units. I don't quite get this.

At any rate, I don't even bother to check out Madagascar - I immediatley DOW Zululand, and land my expediotionary force....



Where I get another unpleasant surprise - they land in condition 'red' :(. Basically, my economy has so little 'slack' that I can't afford all the military stockpile needs for this expeditionary force. Luckily, the Zulu's don't attack me, and ever-so-slowly I'm able to increase the funding for the forces - however, it's not until March 1837 that they even turn 'yellow', at which point I go ahead and attack the Zulus -



Luckily, I avoid becoming the laughingstock of Europe, and win.

By August 1837 Zululand (1) is the first addition to the Danish empire!



Sorry that Danish red and UK red are so similar :(

I immediately order the construction of a naval base, but again I am hamstrung by the inability to get the needed supplies, and it takes a very long time to complete - almost 4 years.

Diplomatic Cluelesness

I now have 4 new neighbors - the UK to the south, Portugal to the north, and the little independent states of 'Transvaal' and 'Oranje' to the west - both blocking my (eventual) advance into the Heart of Africa. I can't decide whether to decrease relations with them (and hope for a border incident), or increase them (and eventually make them my satellite), and so instead for now I do nothing. See, I told you I'm not an expert at this game :)

More Diplomacy

My diplomacy so far has been largely limited to periodically increasing relations with Prussia, in the hope that they'll leave me alone. So far it's worked :).

Otherwise, I've been bombarded by alliance offers by small guys, all of which I decline. However, in March 1839
Belgium offers me an alliance - I ponder this, and when I notice that
they are allied with the UK, I accept - my thinking is that this will deter people from attacking me, as it might pull in Belgium, and hence the UK. We'll see....

More colonizing

Oh, by the way, I turned Iceland/Greenland into a state. It seems the right thing to do, somehow :)

By May 1841 my naval base at Ulundi is finished. It turns out that there are some islands off the coast of Madagascar that are now immediately colonizable



I start the process - first to deny them to anyone else, second because it seems what a good imperialist would do!

It's the economy, stupid

Some things to note in October 1842:



(1) I continue my quest to pump up my RP whenever possible, as I choose 'Idealism', not just for the RP boost, but because it can give some major prestige bonuses if you unlock its inventions quickly.

(2) The one industrial tech I did research was experimental railroad, however construction is going very slowly because I'm having a hard time getting the cement I need - not sure whether this is because of my lack of prestige, or my small economy, or both.

(3) To get around this, I change government to 'reactionary' for a year (it's nice to be king) just so that I can order the construction of two cement factories - my capitalists have shown no enthusiasm for building anything yet. However, once the factories open, it seems my capitalists weren't as dumb as I first thought :), as I have a devil of a time getting any craftsmen to work in said factories - as soon as I finish colonizing near Madagascar, my focus will switch to this.

(4) Note how my small army, in peacetime, is 'yellow' - I have spending at, I think, 0% - I just don't have the money to spare yet. I'm thinking I may have to invest in one of the 'Adm Eff' techs, which I hate to do, but gotta get some income!

Idealism - the gamble pays off

I ever-so-impatiently watch things slowly progress, when in June 1843:



(1) The idealism gamble pays off, as I get a whopping 20 prestige for unlocking 'Hegelian Idealism'

(2) This rockets me all the way to 8th place! Great Power status on the horizon!

(3) I am researching Medicine, for the population growth as well as being a pre-requisite for the Scramble for Africa.

(4) My literacy overall has actually gone down slightly due to conquering Zululand, but overall my RP have gone from 6ish at game start to 10ish now, in just 7 years.

(5) I am still just barely eking by financially. The game seems not to want to let me go into debt - I went bankrupt once, already :(

(6) No factories being built, and no unemployed craftsmen. Sigh.

This seems a decent stopping point - I'm at peace, have taken my first bite out of Africa, and am waiting for my rickety economy to get to the point that I can expand again (probably Madagascar or Oranje or Transvaal), and hoping that the calm on the European mainland (Prussia has done absolutely nothing so far) continues.

Until next time!
 

LordTempest

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Yay a Danish AAR! *subscribed*

Invade Oranje and Transvaal! They'll fall easily :)
 

Poh

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(8) One unexpected disadvantage of playing Denmark - the Decision titles are gibberish, at least to this Ugly American :(
Danmarks Riges Grundlov - is the danish constitution from 1849 ;)

How big is Zululands population? i know Madagascars is around 600.000 with a literacy around 35% however its also a two State country.
 

BootOnFace

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Will you be working on a Sphere of Influence? If so, will Sweden be your main target and will you have the eventual goal of Scandinavian unification?(doubt it)
 

badger_ken

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Yay a Danish AAR! *subscribed*
yeah a danish aar:D subscribed
Good choice, and nice start. I'll be following with interest, I want to play a German nation for my next game.
thanks for the positive feedback!

Invade Oranje and Transvaal! They'll fall easily :)
thanks for the advice - I'm a little worried as my Army hasn't progressed at all, I might want to wait until I at least get tactics.


Will you be working on a Sphere of Influence? If so, will Sweden be your main target and will you have the eventual goal of Scandinavian unification?(doubt it)
No, my main goal is going to be all that wide-open space in Africa, but if Sweden becomes a good target, I'll take a look. I'm more interested in keeping them neutral than anything else, right now.


Danmarks Riges Grundlov - is the danish constitution from 1849 ;)
thanks for the translation! Certainly didn't mean to disparage Danish :), it's just that I can't read it :(

How big is Zululands population? i know Madagascars is around 600.000 with a literacy around 35% however its also a two State country.
Here's a screen grab of the province in question, very interesting:



To speak directly to your question - zululand (Ulundi) has 187K people, over 25% of my total population now.

Check out the "population changed by" numbers - very interesting:
- I'm getting solid immigration already. I think this may be hurting my need for craftsmen at home, as they're already setting sail for Ulundi!
- What's the deal with the "Religious Conversion" - does this mean that 1131 people decided they'd rather leave Ulundi then convert to Christianity? If so, then it should be called "Religous Emigration" shouldn't it?
- I don't understand why the 'promotions' show up here - that changes the occupation of the POPs involved, not whether they're in the province or not, doesn't it?

Also note how 3.6% of the pops are Danish, and 3.9% are Protestant - I assume this reflects the immigrants. I wonder why there are more Protestants than Danish - does this somehow reflect the 'Religious Conversion'?

Finally, interesting that the Zulu's should be in favor of allowing slavery!
 

Alexspeed

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Hey there badger_ken, thank you for using my MIP!

Great AAR, i am following :)
 

Baltasar

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I'm completely baffled seeing neither Prussia NOR Austria dowing you right at the start of the game o_O
 

AllmyJames

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This should be interesting to follow. I think your main problem is going to be population - better get hold of some more people as soon as you can. In my experience the French often steal Madagascar and the Portuguese take Oman's African provinces from under your nose if you're not quick.

Of course the Zulus are in favour of slavery! No doubt they just have a different opinion of who should be the slaves!

That population change is baffling. But I'm a bit of a noob at V2. I'd be interested to hear an explanation.

EDIT: On reviewing the POP charts, the nationalities pie is missing 0.3%. Could it be that you have a 0.3% Boer population, which doesn't show up because it's so small? That would account for the extra 0.3% of protestants in the province as well.
 

badger_ken

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Help! military stockpile costs killin' me

hi all,
Remember how I said that this would veer from being a "gameplay" AAR to a "learning" AAR? Well, here's the first example - I need some teaching!

I've played a little bit ahead, and been stumped by the fact that my economy is just in horrible shape. Even though I've never recruited a single soldier, and built all of one ship (a transport, at that!), stockpile costs are killing me, even in peacetime - what am I doing wrong/not considering?

Here's a screen grab that illustrates my dilemma:



Note that:
  1. I am at peace
  2. At maximum taxation - this brings in a gross income of £34.5
  3. I am spending almost nothing on my military budget
  4. And yet, if I put my national stockpile at 100%, it costs me £60.3 - a little less than twice my gross income!
  5. Using the tool-tip, I see that £47 of that is from 'clipper convoy' costs
  6. It's not on this grab, but the 'allow pops/factories to buy from stockpile' box on the trade screen is NOT checked.

Why this enormous expenditure? I tried moving all my troops in Zululand (a tiny 9K force) home, just in case it was some sort of overseas supply cost, and it made no change (either to the clipper convoy cost, or the other costs, like the £7 on canned food).

Is it that there's a high 'fixed cost' for having overseas provinces, and this is what's killing me? Was it that bad an idea to colonize the Comoros?

Or is this because I'm somehow importing a massive amount of goods? I'm only building some railroads, and no factories - and this wouldn't explain the huge need for canned food. Going to the 'trade screen', under government 'needs', I see this huge needs for canned food and clipper convoys (and, oddly, artillery), but it doesn't say why.

Sadly, I don't have reference to the strategy guide at the moment - I looked on the wiki and forum and saw nothing.

Any input much appreciated - this is killin' me - playing ahead a little, I find that my army/navy are nearly useless, as I can't get their ORG above zero due to this.

thanks!
 
Last edited:

Commandante

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Since I learned a lot from your Persian AAR I'll be sure to read this one as well! I join the throng of Danish pops and salute you!
 

General01

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How many clipper transports did you build for the invasion of Zulus? The supply cost of a transport is ~0.064 clipper transports/day. Assuming you just had the four, that covers about a seventh of your demand, and I'm pretty sure that all overseas provinces have a certain demand of clippers/steamers to supply them like in V2. I'm all but -certain- that it isn't 0.5 clippers/day, though. Perhaps try an experimental save game with deleting your navy or releasing Zulu, just to see what happens.

In other news, I'll be watching this AAR with great interest. Let's see how far you can take Denmark!

Edit: I just loaded up Denmark and checked their starting navy. The supply costs of those 3 men of war is 0.72 clippers: the 4 frigates should cost you 0.64 overall, giving a theoretical 1.616 clippers demand from your navy. If anything, your supply costs are -lower- then they should be: ships were made vastly more expensive to maintain in 1.2. In theory to nerf Britain, in practice to stop anyone else from having a navy >.>.
 
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badger_ken

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How many clipper transports did you build for the invasion of Zulus? The supply cost of a transport is ~0.064 clipper transports/day. Assuming you just had the four, that covers about a seventh of your demand, and I'm pretty sure that all overseas provinces have a certain demand of clippers/steamers to supply them like in V2. I'm all but -certain- that it isn't 0.5 clippers/day, though. Perhaps try an experimental save game with deleting your navy or releasing Zulu, just to see what happens.

In other news, I'll be watching this AAR with great interest. Let's see how far you can take Denmark!
Thanks mon General :)
I only built the one transport, moving my mighty navy from 4 transports to 5.
So 5*0.064 = 0.3, still far less than my demand. And who'se needing all that canned food?

And where did you get the 0.064 number from? Is there a reference source I've missed?

Unless I get more input from other posters, I think I will take your advice, and engage in <insert drum roll>some experimenting</drum roll>...
 

Dewirix

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Another AAR and this time we're neighbours. I'm playing as Prussia at the moment, although it's 1878 now and I've formed Germany and SoI'd Denmark (sorry).

I'd follow General01's advice and scrap some of those Men o'War you have. You won't really need them against Prussia as your problems will come from closer to home. Things could get interesting if Austria declares war though.

You went for Ideological Thought before Idealism? I'd have taken the instant +50% RP over the more drawn out plurality boosts first, but would have probably got them as my first two. Medicine and Early Railroad are good too, although I have a rule that I need to get a military tech for every non-military one. It's the only way I have anything like a decent army as otherwise I'd just concentrate on building a super-industrialised weakling.

Low initial population is problematic, but the healthcare reforms should really help. Between 1836 and when the last population screenshot was taken (the one showing the population of Danish Ulundi) your original states have increased from 404,000 to 497,000 adult males. If it was taken in 1843, this is a population increase of 0.25% per month! That's a massive increase over the game as a whole, although you'll still only have a little under 8 million people by 1936.

If you can get to good healthcare, the sky's the limit!
 

badger_ken

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Hey there badger_ken, thank you for using my MIP!

Great AAR, i am following :)
No, thank you! Seriously, I really appreciate your efforts.
On a very-slightly-less-serious note - I'm a bit bummed by how close the Danish red is to the UK red. This will make it harder to distinguish my glorious expansion from their perfidious imperialism. Anyone have any recommendations for a good NOT-red color for the UK?

I'm completely baffled seeing neither Prussia NOR Austria dowing you right at the start of the game o_O
Prussia has done absolutely zippo so far - no 'brothers war', no nothin'. Austria has been fighting in the middle east, of all places, I think they've fought Hedjaz and maybe Oman - maybe the CB gods.

If Austria DOWs me, how would they reach me? Walk across neutral Germany? Can you do that in this game?


This should be interesting to follow. I think your main problem is going to be population - better get hold of some more people as soon as you can. In my experience the French often steal Madagascar and the Portuguese take Oman's African provinces from under your nose if you're not quick.

Of course the Zulus are in favour of slavery! No doubt they just have a different opinion of who should be the slaves!

That population change is baffling. But I'm a bit of a noob at V2. I'd be interested to hear an explanation.

EDIT: On reviewing the POP charts, the nationalities pie is missing 0.3%. Could it be that you have a 0.3% Boer population, which doesn't show up because it's so small? That would account for the extra 0.3% of protestants in the province as well.
Wow, good sleuthing on the Boer population, I bet you're right, I'll check.
I agree on the need for POPs, that's one reason I'm doing Medicine as quickly as possible.

Since I learned a lot from your Persian AAR I'll be sure to read this one as well! I join the throng of Danish pops and salute you!
Thanks!

...
Edit: I just loaded up Denmark and checked their starting navy. The supply costs of those 3 men of war is 0.72 clippers: the 4 frigates should cost you 0.64 overall, giving a theoretical 1.616 clippers demand from your navy. If anything, your supply costs are -lower- then they should be: ships were made vastly more expensive to maintain in 1.2. In theory to nerf Britain, in practice to stop anyone else from having a navy >.>.
wow, that's insane - that means that Denmark basically can't even afford it's starting navy, let alone expand it. I assume that explains why for some reason my military maintenance cost is including a significant 'artillery' component as well? Boy, that's gonna make things really tough.

Another AAR and this time we're neighbours. I'm playing as Prussia at the moment, although it's 1878 now and I've formed Germany and SoI'd Denmark (sorry).
I promise not to take it personally :)
How are you liking Prussia? I've read so many posts that say it's a nightmare trying to keep all the SOIs needed for unification straight.

I'd follow General01's advice and scrap some of those Men o'War you have. You won't really need them against Prussia as your problems will come from closer to home. Things could get interesting if Austria declares war though.
But .. how does one become a globe-trotting power without a navy? How can I defend the Danish west indies, Iceland, etc.? Just wait until later when I am rolling in dough? Bummer :(


You went for Ideological Thought before Idealism? I'd have taken the instant +50% RP over the more drawn out plurality boosts first, but would have probably got them as my first two. Medicine and Early Railroad are good too, although I have a rule that I need to get a military tech for every non-military one. It's the only way I have anything like a decent army as otherwise I'd just concentrate on building a super-industrialised weakling.
I think I did Ideological first, Exp. railroad 2nd, Idealism third, Medicine fourth - if I remember correctly, you can't do Idealism until 1840.
I agree that I need to start focusing on military very soon, it just seemed there were so many starting 'must-haves' (Ideological Thought, Idealism, Medicine, Experimental Railroad).


Low initial population is problematic, but the healthcare reforms should really help. Between 1836 and when the last population screenshot was taken (the one showing the population of Danish Ulundi) your original states have increased from 404,000 to 497,000 adult males. If it was taken in 1843, this is a population increase of 0.25% per month! That's a massive increase over the game as a whole, although you'll still only have a little under 8 million people by 1936.

If you can get to good healthcare, the sky's the limit!
Agreed on all counts. Do you have any insight as to what the "religious conversion" population loss is about?
 

winsingtonIII

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This has probably already been answered, but Denmark starts with a huge navy considering the size of its economy. Given that naval upkeep was hugely increased in 1.2, I'd assume that's your biggest problem.

On the other hand, that huge navy is quite useful, as it is more powerful than the Prussian or Austrian navy at the start of the game, and thus, if they declare war for Schleswig early on, you should easily be able to maintain naval superiority and thus be able to only have to defend one province (Aabernaa? I forget the name) against an invasion. That is, unless Sweden is a Prussian/Austrian ally and gets called into the war, but one ship placed in the straits between Sweden and Copehagen will stop them crossing over. But beware the Swedish navy, because it may be more powerful than yours.

Medicine and Early Railroad are good too, although I have a rule that I need to get a military tech for every non-military one. It's the only way I have anything like a decent army as otherwise I'd just concentrate on building a super-industrialised weakling.
The thing is, Medicine really is a great military tech, even if it isn't listed as one. It gives you +25% supply limit, and many of the inventions improve military hospitals and reduce attrition. It's actually quite good for your military overall.
 
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Dewirix

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I promise not to take it personally :)
How are you liking Prussia? I've read so many posts that say it's a nightmare trying to keep all the SOIs needed for unification straight.
I formed Germany in 1853, so it's not too difficult. I've taken to playing on the second slowest setting in a effort to force myself to engage with the complexities of the game, so keeping track of your sphere is pretty easy. You only need the North German states sphered to form the NGF, at which point you can concentrate all your efforts on the South Germans.

But .. how does one become a globe-trotting power without a navy? How can I defend the Danish west indies, Iceland, etc.? Just wait until later when I am rolling in dough? Bummer :(
Who are you projecting that power against? France or the UK easily outgun any fleet you could possibly afford. The uncivs typically won't build anything heavier than clippers.

I think I did Ideological first, Exp. railroad 2nd, Idealism third, Medicine fourth - if I remember correctly, you can't do Idealism until 1840.
You're right about Idealism. In that case, I completely agree with your choices!

I agree that I need to start focusing on military very soon, it just seemed there were so many starting 'must-haves' (Ideological Thought, Idealism, Medicine, Experimental Railroad).
That's the great thing about research - so many tempting options! I'd fear Prussia though - they start the game with the second level of military tactics unlocked, which means they'll take a third fewer losses in combat even if everything else is equal.

Agreed on all counts. Do you have any insight as to what the "religious conversion" population loss is about?
Unfortunately not. POP management is the one area of the game I have next to no idea about (besides the obvious, like promotion). I'm running into militancy problems at the moment which I can't figure out how to deal with.

On the other hand, that huge navy is quite useful, as it is more powerful than the Prussian or Austrian navy at the start of the game, and thus, if they declare war for Schleswig early on, you should easily be able to maintain naval superiority and thus be able to only have to defend one province (Aabernaa? I forget the name) against an invasion. That is, unless Sweden is a Prussian/Austrian ally and gets called into the war, but one ship placed in the straits between Sweden and Copehagen will stop them crossing over. But beware the Swedish navy, because it may be more powerful than yours.
This is true, but if Prussia declares war they've got easy access to everywhere else. Prussia can just walk into Schleswig Holstein and Jutland via access agreements with its spherees.

On the other hand, Austria is unable to get to Denmark except via the sea (from the Med to the Baltic). If your relations with Austria are bad it might be worth keeping at least one Man 'o' War.

The thing is, Medicine really is a great military tech, even if it isn't listed as one. It gives you +25% supply limit, and many of the inventions improve military hospitals and reduce attrition. It's actually quite good for your military overall.
It's certainly good, but not so much in the present situation. Denmark can't really field an army of a size where attrition becomes a big problem (unless they go fighting in the Sahara or Arabia), so supply issues aren't that relevant right now. Getting +1 to attack or defence would be an instant boost.