The Let's Play Archive

Victoria II

by Kersch

Part 2: Update 2 (Jan 1836 - Sept 1837): Getting Started & The War of the Pacific

Now that we've finished poking around in all of the different screens, why don't we just get started. Before we unpause, we'll want to handle some basic setup and maintenance of our nation though. For one thing, our treasury only contains about 5000 smackaroonies, and it looks like we're running a small daily deficit. We'll need to visit the budget screen to make sure we are making money. I should note however that nearly all budget, income, expense, and pricing information takes at least a few days, or possibly a few weeks of game time to get set straight. All of the world's RGOs need to start producing and selling materials, artisans and factories need to start producing goods, and pops need to earn some wages and start buying things before the world economy settles into a groove that we can make sense out of.

Our nation has a pretty bad literacy rate: 7.7% and rising slowly. This deficiency contributes to slower technology research rate as well. This should be one of the first areas that we focus on trying to improve. We'll do this by heavily promoting clergy throughout our country and by focusing on researching techs which improve our literacy gain and research rate.

In order to promote literacy growth, we're going to need to promote the growth of our clergy demographic. If you recall, having up to 4% clergy in each of our states will help considerably with improving our literacy over time. We're going to want to max out our education slider as well as our administration slider. Military spending can stay at half funding for now. If our budget begins to show a healthy surplus, we can slide that up as well later. I'd like to max our tariffs out as well, but our current trade policy is capping us at 25%. That is something I'd like to change.

Over to the politics screen, we can see that our current party's trade policy is Free Trade. This prevents us from setting higher than 25% tariffs. At this point in time, I am more concerned with funding our education, government, and military than promoting free trade, so let's try to set a different party in power which gives us the capability to set higher tariffs. If we were a democracy, the only way that we could attempt to do this is by holding an election and trying to steer the results in the direction that we want. Since we're a type of monarchy, we can actually just click on the button which lists our Upper House's party name and select a new ruling party of our choice.

On the selection screen to choose a new party, we have 3 choices. Partido Conservador is our current party, so that doesn't concern us. Partido Caramuru is our nation's reactionary party. Reactionaries are radical conservatives who want to repeal reforms which are already in place. They favor a Free Trade policy as well, so I'm not interested. Our liberal party however does follow a protectionist trade policy. This is exactly what I want right now, so I pick Partido Liberal.

The new upper house is formed from the party we've chosen. Now we can return to the budget screen and finish cranking up tariffs to maximum.

There is a bad side effect of simply changing your ruling party at your whim, though. It raises the militancy of all pops which don't support your newly chosen party. This brings us up from 0 to 1.18 average militancy across our nation. Contrary to what this tooltip indicates, I think that our militancy should trend downwards over time this early in the game, so I think we should be good.

Tariffs are raised as high as we can, but the effective tariff rate is still pretty low. As we grow our bureaucrat demographic and increase our state administrative efficiency, this will rise along with it.

Next, I want to pick a technology for us to begin researching right away. On the culture tab, there is a column of technologies under the heading 'Social Thought' which all provide a bonus to education efficiency. Researching the techs down this column will help us raise the literacy of our pops much more quickly. I choose to begin research on Malthusian Thought, the first technology in that column.

Next, we should really get our two national foci placed. On the population window, we can click the tiny national focus icon next to a state's name to choose a focus to set in that state. here's the list of things we can choose for the national focus to do in the state of Rio de Janeiro. While clergy is what we ultimately want, I'd like to get a healthy amount of bureaucrats first. I set Rio to promote bureaucrats, and then do the same thing for our second most populated state as well.

Rio and Bahia are now set to encourage bureaucrat growth. Once the number of bureaucrats in those states grows high enough to give that state 100% administrative efficiency, we can remove the national focus and move it elsewhere. The outlier on the right side of the game window will keep us up to date on the progress of our NFs.

This is Admin Efficiency map mode. Bright green states indicate 100% administrative efficiency in that sate. Right now, the best we have are some unhealthy looking yellows.

Clicking the diplomatic flag icon at the top of our screen brings up this offer from Chile. They'd like to form a military alliance with us. It helps to have friends, so I accept their offer.

I would like to point out that while we aren't in the middle of the struggle between great powers in Europe, we do happen to share a border with some of them. Along our northern border we touch British, Dutch, and French Guyana. I think it would be a good idea to stay on friendly terms with these neighbors in particular. Especially the UK and France.

I check our relations with both of them on the Great Powers tab of the diplomacy screen, and it looks like we have slightly lower relations with The UK. I target them with an 'Increase Relations' diplomatic action, using up 2 of our 3 starting diplomatic points. These points build up pretty quickly as time passes, so I will go ahead and say that I'll be spending those behind the scenes to continually raise relations with these two great powers.

Our relations with the UK increase. Relations between two nations can range from -200 to 200, so we're still right about in the middle. I'd like to get to at least 100+ with both the UK and France. You can't justify wars against nations which you have higher than 100 relations with.

A few weeks pass, and I take a look at our budget window. Our artisans are getting murdered by those high tariffs, but we need the money! Sorry guys.

Chile finds itself in a war against our shared neighbor of Bolivia and calls us in to aid them. Bolivia shouldn't be too much of a threat, so I opt to have us join in.

Diplomatic map mode shows Bolivia in red now that we're in a war against them. Note that they hold a province which we have a core on. We should be able to reclaim that land during this war if all goes well.

Being the more powerful nation on our side of the war, we are considered to be the 'war leader' for this conflict. This means that we negotiate peace terms on behalf of all belligerents on our side of the war. Ending the war by making peace with the other side's war leader will end the war for all involved parties. Bolivia begins mobilizing its forces.

I move our two starting armies to the border with Bolvia. Our lager army from Rio heads out across the Amazon, towards our border with the Bolivian province which we have a core on. The smaller army moved north and positioned between our capital and the Bolivian border.

On the military tab, I click the Mobilize button to begin mobilizing our forces as well. This tooltip is displayed while hovering over the Mobilize button. It tells us that with our current technologies and modifiers, we can mobilize 2% of our poor pops as temporary soldiers. We have an upper cap on how many regiments we are allowed to mobilize, equal to 300% of our current standing army of 6 regiments. Our current capacity to mobilize will bring up far fewer regiments than that, so the cap doesn't affect us currently.

I want to be able to focus on other things while our mobilized forces slowly appear and gather, so I set a rally point on our capital by clicking on Rio de Janeiro and pressing the hotkey 'x'. Clicking this circled checkbox has the same effect. Now, all mobilized regiments that appear will automatically head to Rio and combine into a single stack.

Our larger army wanders into a Bolivian army sieging our territory on its way to its destination. The Bolivian army is larger than ours, I believe a max of 15k troops compared to our main army's 12k. We can click on our army here and take a closer look at the battle by clicking on the circled 'Battle of Forte do Principe' panel. Doing so will open the following battle window:

This screen shows the number of troops involved on each side, how they are lined up and which specific units are engaging one another, and all of the modifiers involved in determining the battle results. This does not look good. We can see that our forces have no commander, and the modifiers stacking up on our side include a -2 due to having no leader, a further -2 for attacking into bad terrain (we wandered into them in a jungle province), another -1 to our roll from crossing a river on the way, and another -1 due to our opponent already being there a few days before us and digging in a defensive position. On the other hand, the Bolivian army has no penalties against us and in fact has a skilled general who provides them with a +1 on their roles due to his defensive skill.

Staying in this battle for any longer than we need to would be a bad idea, but we can't retreat right away.

Hovering over this icon in the top left will show how many days you must wait before retreating. After 11 days, we can retreat by selecting our army and right-clicking on another province, just as we would move them normally. Note that you can retreat to whatever province you like as long as it is reachable and under your control, not just adjacent provinces. And armies which are retreating multiple provinces away cannot be engaged again until they've reached their retreat destination.

A small force does begin to cross over from Bolivia further to the southeast from our current engagement. By now, our mobilized forces have gathered in Rio. I move them over to engage the Bolivian forces already there, as more newly mobilized Bolivian forces move into the same province to join them.

At the earliest possible opportunity, I have our main army retreat from the lopsided battle that they wandered into. This counts as a loss for us, and we do end up taking about twice as many casualties as the other side. It could have been worse. We lose just a bit (0.4) of War Score from this battle and retreat northwest towards our original intended destination.

War Score is what determines the winner and loser of a war. When you go to war against another nation, it's for a reason: to seize a province, to humiliate them, or something else. That war goal has a warscore cost attached to it. War score can slide from 100 points in your favor all the way to 100 points in the opposing side's favor. 100 war score generally signifies a complete and utter defeat, with all armies demolished and all territory occupied by the winning side, or all targets related to the war goal being occupied and uncontested for a very long time. In this case.

Our mobilized army wins a big victory against Bolivia's 2nd army, resulting in probably all of their mobilized forces being scattered.

After finishing its occupation of one of our provinces, the main Bolivian army heads southwest to respond to the Chilean attack. This gives us the opportunity to strike back unopposed. Our first army moves down to siege their province which we have a core on, while our mobilized troops move to retake the province that the Bolivian main army just finished occupying. While the province is under Bolivian occupation, it is actually still our province. The actual owner of territory can only be changed by terms in peace treaties.

The Bolivian main army meets up with Chilean troops in the south. Once again, that Bolivian army with the general is coming out on top, but I think there's just too much going on for their one army to handle. Argentina has declared its own separate war against Bolivia as well, and currently has the province of Cochinoca occupied.

During the war, one of our national foci finishes its job of encouraging bureaucrats. The state of Bahia has grown to 0.81% bureaucrats, which is more than enough for the state to reach 100% admin efficiency. The tooltip tells us as much, and the % text turning red is an alert to let us know that we have enough bureaucrats there as well. Leaving the focus set here will just keep promoting bureaucrats, but we don't want more than we need since we pay their wages ourselves. Clicking on that particular NF entry in the outlier will open a province window Bahia:

With a province in Bahia selected, we can just right click the NF icon above to clear it, giving us 1 free NF to set somewhere else. We could set another type of focus here in Bahia, but what I really want to do is set another bureaucrat NF in our next most populated state.

The population window lets us do that relatively easily. Minas Gerais is up next for the bureaucrat treatment.

The Bolivian army scatters the Chilean attackers, but after it moves to retake a province sieged by Argentina the weakened Chilean armies just come right back in.

Our mobilized forces finish retaking the province that Bolivia had occupied and then moves in to Bolivian territory.

Bolivia remains preoccupied with its southern front while our main army and mobilized troops continue their occupations of its northern territory.

Chile even begins making progress in the south, while Bolivia is now occupied with its fight against Argentina.

Bolivia offers terms. They are willing to give up the territory that Chile originally went to war for. But since this war is going so well, why not just take our own core back as well? This offer is declined.

Opening up diplomacy with Bolivia allows us to Propose Peace with them. It looks like the only terms we can demand though is Chile's acquisition. In order for us to demand our own core back, we'll need to add a war goal.

The button to add a war goal is on the diplomacy panel as well. Adding a war goal in the middle of a war requires your populace to be somewhat jingoistic. Your people have to be 'into' the war, more or less. Doing well in a war will make jingoism tick up slowly over time, so if you're winning a war but don't have enough jingoism to actually add a wargoal, all you really need to do is maintain your performance and wait until you do.

On Add War Goal screen, we select 'Acquire core', then 'Acquire Bolivian Amazonas', which is the only option there. Clicking Proceed will now add that goal to this war. Since this is a core of ours, we can add this goal without incurring any infamy. This is indicated by the 'Acquire Core' option being yellow instead of red, like the others. Adding any other goal to this war would result in us building up some amount of infamy.

The goal is added, and now we can attempt to make peace with the inclusion of the added wargoal.

Our technology research completes just as we add the new wargoal, as well. Our literacy gain should be increased a bit, and we can pick a new technology to research.

Now that Malthusian Thought is researched, we could go straight down that column and begin Positivism as well, which is another education efficiency increasing tech. I'd actually prefer getting Ideological Thought next, though. The techs in this Political Thought column all give +1 to your maximum number of national foci, but this idea in particular contains several good inventions. Plurality is supposed to represent your populace's overall desire to seek reform, but another effect that it has is to increase your daily research points. Essentially, +1% plurality has the same effect as +1% research point gain. This idea contains 6 different inventions to give +5% plurality. +30% to our daily base research points isn't too shabby.

Bolivia offers us terms again, including the new wargoal that we just added. This is exactly what we wanted, so I accept this offer.

Our province is reclaimed from Bolivia, expanding our own border with Peru. Chile receives their provinces from Bolivia as well. Bolivia remains locked in a separate war with Argentina - things are not going well for them.

With the war over, we're free to demobilize our troops and take our standing armies back home.

And finally, I just wanted to show off the Admin Efficiency map mode again. It's only been about 18 months since we started, but our full funding for Administration and promotion of bureaucrats is having a visible effect on the administrative efficiency across our country.

The next update will begin with us taking a look at how the this war has impacted us, and what else has changed in the 18 months since we've started.