Part 5: 1825-1830 : People & Developers
In the aftermath of the first council, we are determined to improve our ranking so that all nations will put us on top.
Although our transport network is one of the best in the world, we must improve it to gather the abundance of resources in our provinces.
Spies from Evace let us know that we cannot allow our military strength to fall behind.
Our touring ships spot that Pfessöttirg has also built their own navy.
Agricultural development is leading to more grain production as we continue to improve our nation's infrastructure.
Now we can talk about how the population grows. The Capitol is where new citizens are added. The size of our country in provinces determines the amount by which the population can grow each season. (I'm not aware of a fixed scale for units, although a reasonable guess is that one food unit supports 100,000 population). To add one worker, we must provide goods - furniture, clothing, and finally, some canned food for them to eat.
If this process sounds strange, consider that we're increasing the population of our capital, not that of the whole country. Effectively this is the cost of attracting new citizens to come and work in Visisik City, although healthy growth in the capital, and agricultural development in the provinces, likely means the country as a whole is growing in size.
Newly-added population shows up as an untrained worker (shown in the left-hand labor column, which displays the total uncomitted labor, and the number of each type of worker below). Untrained workers only provide 1 unit of labor, and since all tasks require 2 units of labor to be committed, these workers aren't terribly effective.
Fortunately, we have the trade school (the red brick building on the left). Training workers requires an expenditure of money and a diversion of some of our wood to be pulped into paper. Turning untrained workers into trained workers is cheap (only $100), but the extra training to turn out more productive expert workers is another $1000 and more paper. Units in school cannot be otherwise working, and so there is a 'labor' requirement that represents a free worker of the type needed.
All the workers in the capital insist on eating, even after we gave them all that canned food. Food consumption follows an interesting pattern. Each worker will only consume a particular type of food - either fruit, meat, or grain. If the food type they want is available, then they'll eat it, be happy, and do their work. If the food they want isn't available, they will eat canned food instead. If there's no canned food, they'll reluctantly eat food of another type. However, such food will cause them to become sick, and they will be unable to work. If there's not enough food of any type, the workers will starve [and die/leave the city].
The type of food that workers prefer is such that for every two workers that eat grain, one will consume meat, and one will be the fruits and nuts type. Thus we need to aim for a ratio of two grain delivered for each unit of fruit or meat. Delivered food is displayed in the right-hand column of the city screen for reference.
That ratio of grain and meat is also easy to recall, as it's the same required for processing canned food. Processing food actually reduces the amount available to feed the populace. Since all food types can be stockpiled in the warehouse indefinitely, canned food is only really necessary for creating new workers or selling off to countries with a shortfall. Although the latter is an inexpensive way to gain friends, it is kind of situation-dependent.
In truth, food isn't likely to ever be an important part of this particular game. It's something that needs to be managed, but with sufficient farming and ranching, we're unlikely to have any problem procuring it. Visisik has plenty of fields ripe with grain, lush orchard trees heavy with fruit, and slaughterhouses soaked with the blood of our livestock. Also, ice fishing is pretty popular down south.
We renegotiate our trade deal with Niridna: No more subsidies, but we guarantee to purchase all products they will produce. This requires us to drop out of the world lumber market, but we are producing so much of our own that we have no need of anyone else's wood.
A few new ships and land units put our military on a more competitive footing.
An exciting event occurs in 1827 when a Developer shows up. We can't quite make use of him yet, as we need to establish more formal relations with a Minor Nation, and train up a few other units.
Beyond the Trade School, there is the specialized training for workers at the University. The expense varies according to the type of unit required, and this requires still more paper. (What are they doing with it? We never give them pencils...) The University is the source of all the specialized units that can travel around the globe to improve the land. As they are out of the capital, they do not contribute to our labor pool (but also don't consume any food). They can be reverted to Expert Workers if we desire, although the expense of training them is then lost.
The Developer does not get trained via the University. In fact, he just kind of appeared in a puff of smoke with a funny smell about him. They say nobody's ever seen him with his boots off, either.
To send a developer to a Minor Nation requires an Embassy. This is one of the few (only?) expenses that cannot be done on credit, so we wait to build it.
In 1828 we gain an embassy in Niridna, with great hope for the future.
This is what the Developer is able to do: Purchase land in a Minor Nation. This allows us to send our own units (such as Miners and Farmers) to develop it, increasing its output. Importantly, land developed in Minor Nations does not require us to build depots or rail lines; the country will get the items to their port on their own.
In addition to establishing an Embassy, we declare a non-aggression pact with Niridna. This is a pledge that we will not take any military actions against each other, and we promise to intervene if another country attacks them.
Minor Nations cannot actually declare war, so this is really only about the second part of that.
Our prospectors can also begin to search the hills and mountains of Niridna for exploitable resources. Here we have the great fortune to have discovered gold! We will quickly move to purchase this land and mine it. (Visible here is the wool tile previously purchased, marked with a purple Visisik pennant.)
Once our developer purchases the land, we are also entitled to most of the proceeds from the sale of its products. As seen here, we purchased the wool from Niridna at the market price of $126, and then received $95 of that via the development company. It is an excellent arrangement that promises to be beneficial to the economy of both countries.
Having established a reliable surplus of clothing and furniture, we will be able to increase our population rapidly while still bringing in trade income.
Currently, we've gained a positive relationship with our three most-favored partners. But we lack the ability to expand in all directions at once. We must make a choice as to where to spend our money.
Time to vote in the thread for our priorities. Development requires a pretty decent outlay right now and some time to for it to pay off. There's also the question of where our Prospector should be searching. We did find gold in Niridna, but other countries may have their own wealth of resources.
To assist with the decision, here's a partial view of our other
What should be our next course of action?
Focus on developing Niridna. They are our nearest neighbor. On the other hand, nobody is able to gain a greater relationship then we are, so perhaps they can wait.
Switch to development of Qak. This requires purchase of an Embassy, but can more quickly bring us an extra colony.
Switch to development of Manfil Maran. Roughly the same as with Qak. Based on what they sell, it's more likely that we'll find Manfil Maran's iron deposits faster, but we may have a better chance to find gold in Qak (more hills in Qak overall).
Try to court another trading partner. There are about 4 Minor Nations currently without a Trade Consulate from any country: Kolumbu, Traligi, Unaraco, and I think Napallaanga. Could be a way to get the jump on the other Great Powers.
Take care of domestic matters first. We can invest in a few technologies, develop our own lands, and strengthen the military. [We're up to four Ships of the Line now, and solidly in the middle of the military rankings.]
(In the latter two choices, the Prospector will continue to search Niridna, but we won't purchase anything discovered.)