Vive la France!!! ...and I mean the Whole World
Not ambitious enough.
Whereas previous French conquerors failed, I, in my infinite wisdom and my insatiable appetite to annex everything, shall succeed...even though I'm not French.
I've only fiddled around with the game a few times as Russia, but I'm convinced the same basic strategy laid out in my 1st edition Victoria Russian AAR Tsar of the Whole World will work like a charm. In fact, the limiting factors placed on army sizes should make conquering the world easier. I'm not much for story-telling, so this AAR will just demonstrate my basic strategy as well as certain things that just seem to work (even though I am not always sure as to why).
I have a feeling 1.2 patch will change a lot of things in the game, but as this basic approach worked in the previous Vikki, I venture it will work in 1.whatever. 1.1 it is then for this AAR.
I was going to use Russia again, but I heard some whispering on the forum that it's too strong. Tech pacing is painfully slow, but yeah, once you get Freedom of Trade (always get this first!) and rails and clean coal, yeah, Russia can steamroll anyone. I don't know the ins and outs of the game, so Ill hold off on Luxembourg for now. France should pose an interesting twist on WC because it's geography is kind of unfavorable - the pink elephant that is the UK is just across the English Channel and a lot of places I want to go are on the other side of the world which will force me to actually pay attention to my navy.
I think industrializing is a pain, inefficient, expensive, too micromanagement oriented, relatively unprofitable, and, since everything is available on the world market, UNNECCESARY. RGOs + Rails + tariffs = cha-ching!! Unless your Belgium, I think RGOs are the key to maintaining a robust and consistent economy. So I'm just going to build a few token factories to employ a few craftsmen and ensure I get vital materials I need just in case an unforeseen feature in the late game prevents access to stuff like guns and steel.
Ostensibly, the biggest hurdle to WC is getting enough soldier POPs. I suppose turning everyone into a soldier back in Vikki 1 was an exploit, but damn, it's hard to "encourage" my POPs to march into recruiting stations. So rather than waste my efforts to encourage Frenchmen to take up arms, I'll get my POPs from somewhere else...CHINA
There's a silly expression: "Never fight a land war in Asia." HA! For the weak-willed, perhaps, but there are over one hundred million screaming Chinese working in obscenely rich RGOs that are just waiting to pay tariffs and join the French army! Of course, the biggest problem is getting there...
The French start with what is perhaps the worst government possible, the Orleaniste. Laissez Faire sucks! Rather than build decent profitable factories to start like steel or wine, instead you have to rely on your overzealous capitalists who all seem to want to build fertilizer factories where there are no craftsmen and will go bankrupt anyway. Control is good; go with state capitalism. Reforms? LOL, what's that :rofl: And what's this anti-militarism nonsense? Who am I, Mahatma Gandhi? One of the few things Mao Zedong was absolutely right about was the Politics power comes from the barrel of a gun!
In order to field a respectable army, lacking the ability to conscript, we need to find creative ways to "encourage" farmers to trade in their pitchforks for rifles. Unemployment is by far the best motivator, however, I can not think of anyway to forcibly unemployed people (exploit: Allow rebels or enemy forces to occupy your provinces. They'll be quite unemployed then and will demote into soldier POPs). 100% taxes and 100% tariffs will cause many laborers to be unable to fulfill their life needs and will prompt them to demote (farmers will always get even their everyday needs filled...I guess one of the benefits of growing food!). I don't max our Admin and Education because I want the ones who promote to become soldiers and not clergy/bureaucrats. Not only does this policy give me soldiers, it also gives me a ridiculous amount of income so a double-win.
I go with medicine first because I don't need money and it's absolutely critical I don't lose my invading army from Chinese attrition. Literacy is good and the research points per month is decent. This will stagnant under my settings but that is an acceptable trade off.
Note: I'm allowed 62 brigades to start.
I will subsidized all industries with the exception of consistent money-makers (from my experience steel, wine, glass, cement, lumber, ships. Paper, furniture and liquor are reasonable). I'm not sure what how the mechanics work for getting craftsmen, though I do know that I am better predicting it than my idiot capitalists so I will destroy most of their projects and simply manually build a few industries as indicated in my plan. I build a steamer factory in Aquitaine. Steel in Picardy. Liquor in Rhone. Cement in Ill de France. When I notice I have some unemployed craftsmen waiting for a stupid capitalist project like fertilizer (avoid at all costs!), I'll build a glass and gun factories.
I've noticed your tax revenue will crash from the beginning so it's best to wait a bit to see where it will level off at. Tariffs income has all but disappeared; most likely since my poor POPs can't buy anything.
After two years:
I do appreciate that my capitalists build railroads so France is well on its way to being completely railed. Though they don't always build them in your best RGO provinces (they seem to prioritize factories), so use the ledger and find out which of your provinces produce the best RGO income. Rails make a huge difference! The Russian coal and iron provinces like Poltava and Perm go from 100 pounds to 150. We now are allowed 113 brigades, an increase of some 30 per year. Since we can afford it, a mass recruitment project is underway as you can see.
My second tech is army professionalism. The others aren't in the same league. For some reason, photobucket's images aren't at 100% zoomed (anyone know why this is?), so it might be hard to see what I have underlined. That's +100% to military tactics, which will save lots of my precious French soldiers from dying in battle (under my leadership they fight rather than surrender ) While I am flattered by the likes of Denmark asking me for an alliance, I'm not fooled by their Machiavellian schemes to prevent me from eventually annexing them! The only diplomacy I am doing is increasing my relations to the UK for two reasons: If I can prevent them from DOWing me after I conquer China but before consolidating it, I've got to try and I am going to ask for military access so I can attack China from their soon to be border in Burma. I had originally intended on using Russia as my gateway and walking my troops all the way across Siberia but for whatever reason, I can't maintain good relations with them.