Part 3: 1818-1822 : Depots & Diplomacy
Foreign correspondents report that Wan is experiencing food shortages. As much as we do not wish to see the Waner people suffer, it is unfeasible for us to provide assistance at this time.
We have enough cargo to purchase from our three favored partners, although we must start consistently producing and selling enough goods to balance the cash flow.
We've retired our prospector and instead trained a new set of workers to build mines in the coal fields. Our engineers continue to guide rail construction; another depot was set up in Banköy province to bring in more food to the capital.
A new marvel of modern technology has appeared! The cotton gin promises to greatly increase the speed at which raw cotton can be processed. At the moment, we have not really developed our cotton farms, and don't see the need to invest in this technology.
Our agents in Mone have informed us of the relative strength of their steel mill sector.
This information is more usable as a monitor of what other countries are doing than a suggestion of what we should do. Early on, each expansion doubles capacity of the mills anyway, so it's not as though we are falling behind that far.
We enter the cotton market, as both Niridna and Qak are producing it in decent quantity.
We aren't processing much in the way of resources or materials, leaving the warehouse fairly empty. Although we have some pretty sizable stockpiles of coal and iron.
Mone has quickly begun to court Porgindris after we backed off from our trade deals with them. What is more worrying is that their relationship with Ash Mukkun is growing stronger.
Let's ignore that for the moment and examine the development of our infrastructure.
Here's our engineer planning out a depot. A depot gathers the resources of the tile it is placed in, and those of every adjacent tile, as long as it's part of our nation. Depots must be connected to the transport network to deliver their goods, meaning a rail line connecting their tile, or a port in the same tile. Properly connected depots will have the green flags showing; if not connected to the transportation network, they'll show red. Remember, this isn't about just producing materials for the nation, it's about developing Visisik City to be the greatest city in the world.
The resources produced by most tiles should be fairly clear. Forests produce wood. Farmland, orchards, and grazing land all produce different types of food. Ore deposits require a mine to produce anything. Open grassland (solid green tile) does produce 1 grain. The pre-fenced horse pasture here is a fairly rare tile, and produces horses usable by the military. Marshland, desert, and tundra are clearly useless land that will never be valuable, and in addition our rail lines can't go through marshland. Also, although they are never really drawn as such, tiles are laid out hexagonally (this is readily apparent from the rail lines).
That all adds up to the resources that will be available when this depot is finished (Laying track takes just one season; building depots requires 3). Two coal from the mine, one grain from each grassland tile, and then meat and horses. We'll need to keep expanding our transport capacity to freight it all in.
Just to prepare for good times ahead, we decide to expand the furniture factory.
As the strength of the capital increases, so does that of the whole nation. We are indeed a wise ruler!
This is a direct result of our expansion of the factory. It's something that is covered in the game manual, but it's kind of confusingly described and easily missed. Essentially if you have enough unused factory space, the provinces will start to process additional resources to fill the need.
Karanka has set up mills of their own! (sadly no animation for that windmill). In order for outlying towns to grow, there must be a depot either in the same tile or an adjacent one. Then, once the factory and rail capacity is available, the province will produce bonus processed materials.
This is the effect of that, shown on the transport ledger. Lumber is being produced in Karanka, in addition to the six wood already coming from its depot. (The other three wood we aren't shipping yet is from the second depot built.)
The sharp-eyed may have noticed something about the nation's balance in those last few pictures. It had gone negative! There is nothing wrong with this. We are the government, we can do whatever we like, even spend nonexistent money.
Okay, if we do that for too long then the country does go bankrupt. Note the 'credit limit', which was lower at the start of the game. We can borrow up to the credit limit without anyone even caring. In fact we can even exceed it, and as long as we pay it all off, the credit limit is raised, and that allows us to go deeper into debt the next time.
Evace is intent on sabotaging our relationship with Niridna. They are growing more troublesome.
The delivery of horses to the capital allows us to create cavalry units, and I order one to be built right away! It will look beautiful at our next parade.
We must stay ahead of Evace, and thus resolve to purchase all the coal and any other commodities available from Niridna. That will keep Evace from ever getting anything out of their ports.
Mone has constructed warships! Sure, it makes sense, them being on an island and all, but the pressure is on to put some of our own in the water.
The Spring of 1821 sees a major change in world politics: Pfessöttirg has chosen to unite forces with Wan, while at the same time Evace and Kova are now working together. That second one worries us more, as they could well be conspiring against us.
Our economy has really picked up, in part thanks to record high prices for consumer goods.
Steady supplies of cotton and wool from trade allow us to sell fine clothing as well as furniture.
Domestic cotton is finally being produced in quantity too.
We continue to buy up as much as possible from Niridna. Evace is nipping at our heels in these markets. It could be a good time to consider allying with Yakakkie.
Why are our diplomats always the last to know about these deals?
This presents a more delicate situation. Pfessöttirg is allied separately with Wan and Yakakkakie. Any conflict involving them could draw in the others, making it less wise for us to align with that group. The current state of the world is that there are several multi-nation pacts, with only us and Mone standing on our own. And we're not likely to pair up with them any time soon.
We had also hoped to have some new warships built this year, but it turned out that the weapons being saved for the navy ended up delivered to our new cavalry instead. I told them to just put the horses on the ship, but they say it cannot be done. We'll just have to wait.