The Let's Play Archive

Victoria II

by Kersch

Part 8: Update 7 (Jan 1870 - Feb 1881): Colonization, Political Confusion & Economic Woes

I set a research target for Analytic Philosophy at the beginning of 1870, with plans to move on to Expressionism immediately afterwards.

Each of these techs are key to our strategy of focusing on prestige. We need to get them first so that we have a higher chance of being the first to discover those juicy prestige inventions.

We're slowly edging closer to great power status, thanks in part to our quickly growing prestige, the boost in military score from fielding a second standing army, and our fledgling industry.

The UK completes the Suez Canal early in 1871 and takes direct control of the Suez province. This opens up a quick route to the Indian Ocean from Europe.

In Brazil, a march for woman's suffrage occurs in Rio de Janeiro. I choose the option which steers more of our pops towards a liberal ideology. Enfranchisement is an area that I'd definitely like to improve, but we haven't had the opportunity to pass any further reforms since the ending of slavery. The overall happiness and prosperity of our nation is actually kind of working against us in this regard. Their lower levels of militancy and consciousness doesn't help with passing reforms.

Uruguay sees its fourth fundamentally different government type in just as many decades. The absolute monarchy of Uruguay is overthrown by a middle class uprising of anarcho-liberals, leaving the country with a bourgeois dictatorship.

The final invention needed to begin colonization is discovered by us. We aren't the first to discover it, though. With these 3 inventions necessary for major colonization becoming ubiquitous among the other great and secondary powers, we'll see the scramble for Africa begin.

Colonization map mode shows us where we could potentially send colonial expeditions. The blue striped provinces indicate what is within our range. The green areas are colonizable and uncontested, while the yellow is colonizable with someone else already attempting settlement there.

We simply need to click on a colonizable province and then click the 'Send Expedition' button next to our nation's flag icon. Each level of every colonial expedition we maintain costs us some of our 'Colonial Points'. Colonial points are determined by our naval infrastructure, which we admittedly don't have much of. I don't have high hopes about out-competing the other great powers for colonial land, but I try all the same. I send an expedition to 3 states: Guinea, Gambia, and Mauritania.

We don't have many colonial points to spare, so if we end up in a tug of war with France or the UK, it's likely that we'll lose. They'll have the capacity to send more expeditions to the same state than us, and whoever has the highest level of expedition in that state after a period of time is the one who the region goes to.

I'm surprised by the results of our next election, during our colonial adventures. A coalition of liberals and anarcho-liberals wins for the first time. This possibly thanks to a new liberal party, the Pardido Caricoa being thrown into the mix. It's the Partido Caricoa which, in fact gains control of the upper house.

This new party has more in common with our anarcho-liberal party than our original liberal party. I guess it could be thought of as a less radical, more mainstream version of our radical party. The defining feature of this new party is its lassiez faire economic policy. Every party that we've had up until now has been either interventionism, or for a brief time state capitalism. Our industry has gotten used to relying on subsidies, so it's uncertain how this change will play out.

When you hover over the daily net income number for a factory, it brings up this tooltip. The 'Current factory budget' line is probably the most important piece of information for a factory under lassiez faire. Current factory budget is essentially that individual factory's retained earnings. The factory budget has a cap of 10,000 per factory level, and income after expenses are added into it every day. So, if a factory is doing well it may cap out its factory budget. Then, if that factory begins suffering a loss it will begin drawing out of that stored 'factory budget' until 0, at which point the factory closes down. If a factory remains closed for long enough, it will be destroyed and removed. Our glass factory only has a current factory budget of around 34. Considering how many years it has been open, this probably means it has been surviving on our subsidies.

Our winery in Rio has capped out its budget though, indicating a greater capability to be successful over a long period of time.

Prestige discoveries continue to bolster our total score, causing our overall rank to begin teetering between 10th and 11th.

The colonization icon on the diplomacy tab lights up, indicating that we can take an action with our colonies.

The United Kingdom has sent its own expedition to Guinea, and in order to maintain our lead on that area we must send an additional expedition of our own. Each additional expedition sent will reserve more of our total colonial points in maintenance for that region. I try to keep up with the UK here in the hope that they may spread their own colonies out and abandon a single region with competition.

Our new upper house has more strict taxation limits due to their lassiez faire economic policy. This hurts Brazil's income since I've grown accustomed to taxing at the maximum limit.

I'm forced to make more drastic cuts to our expenditures than I've ever had to make, before. Our middle class is hurting thanks in part to bureaucrat, clergy, and officer salaries suddenly tanking completely.

Miraculously, nobody else attempts to send expeditions of their own to Gambia or Mauritania. Since our small expeditions have sat here for a full year with no interference, they automatically become eligible to be turned into a protectorate state. We want to do that as soon as it becomes available.

Our colonial progress so far.

We can now push inland with further colonies, as can be seen with colonial map mode. The coastlines that we can reach are becoming too competitive for us to succeed, so our best option is to go inland.

Two more initial expeditions are sent inland while we continue to try to compete with the UK for Guinea.

Once our initial colonies are turned into protectorate states, we are immediately notified that we can perform an action with them.

Both Gambia and Mauritania can be upgraded from protectorate states into colonial states by clicking the circled button. I'm honestly not sure what the difference is between a protectorate and colonial state. I think it has something to do with colonial states having a bigger pull for internal migration, but if someone can fill me in here I'd appreciate and update this section. There is another category after colonial state - full statehood. A full state is exactly what our states are back at home. Colonial states can't have factories and don't participate in elections.

The UK continues to keep up with us in Guinea. They'll be able to keep this up for longer than us, unless they decide to 'withdraw', which removes their colonial presence and frees up their colonial points to be spent elsewhere. We could withdraw as well, but we don't really have anywhere else that we can reach for colonization, so we stay invested.

We're once again caught up with prestige enhancing research, so it may be a good time to focus on technology that would make our industry more profitable.

Our capitalists have been busy shutting down unprofitable factories and attempting new projects such as opening a luxury clothes factory in Rio. This has caused a problem with unemployment. We have thousands of unemployed craftsmen and clerks sitting around waiting for new sources of work. If we focus on technologies that make our factories more profitable, we can help more of them stay in business and keep more of our population employed.

the 'Organization' column in the Commerce tab is full of technologies that improve our factory output efficiency. Time-saving Measures is a good one in particular since it gives an additional possible +6% from inventions. Let's say that we grab organized factories, scientific management, and time-saving measures and then discover most of their related inventions, that would be an increase of over 10% output efficiency. If our factories generate an additional 10% output from the same amount of input and the same number of workers, that would definitely make them more profitable. The Economic Thought column is good as well, as it gives input efficiency technologies. Input efficiency would make our factories require less input to produce the same amount of output. Filling out these two columns can help our factory profitability to a great degree. For now, I'm planning on going to Time-saving Measures and then getting at least Late Classical Theory.

We can also work on our nation's revenue inside the Commerce tab. the Stock Exchange technology can increase our tax collection efficiency by up to 8% including inventions, and the Ad-hoc Money Bill Printing tech under the Monetary System column, while being primarily an administrative efficiency tech, contains +6% worth of tax efficiency inventions as well. These are older techs, so they should research quickly and would help make up for the lower tax collection cap imposed by our new upper house.

It looks like other powers have beaten us to some of the philosophical prestige techs, but we manage to be the first inventor of Expressionist Art.

Our competition with the UK has reached the limits of our capabilities. If the UK doesn't withdraw and our colonial expeditions remain even, this could erupt into a war. If they continue to invest, they will simply beat us by having a larger colonial presence.

Another new political party is formed in Brazil. This time, it's a new conservative party. This party seems to share characteristics with our old reactionary party, having an economic policy of state capitalism.

The UK finally beats us in Guinea, but in the mean time our other colonies go unchallenged deeper inland. This looks to be the extent of what we could manage in the scramble for Africa. Every other potential area where we could invest in colonies right now already has a larger presence owned by a more dangerous world power.

Our new colonial states show up on our population window, just under our lowest population full state.

More woman's suffrage movement events occur. I keep taking the liberalization events, but we still don't have quite enough to pass further reforms.

After a few years, our commerce tab is looking much more healthy. The tax efficiency increases in particular have noticeably helped our national budget.

In the Industry tab, there are a few goals that I believe are worth aiming for. Organic Chemistry will allow us to make synthetic dye for our fabric factories. The throughput and farming bonuses from additional inventions aren't too shabby, either. Iron railroads would let us construct an additional level of railroad infrastructure across our nation, which is honestly something we want to keep as high as possible. Mechanized Mining is worth getting, as well. Its main purpose is to provide bonuses to our coal, iron, and precious metal mining. We don't have any of those, but it also contains the inventions for ammunition, small arms, and artillery factories. Having some industry to support our military might be good, even if we do have to import most of the raw material.

New technologies and improved tax collection allows us to restore our expenditures to a more reasonable level and still maintain a positive daily balance.

The next round of elections result in the liberals being replaced once again with a conservative coalition, under the leadership of the newer conservative party.

Since this party is state capitalism and we're now rolling in cash again, I take the opportunity to put our people all back to work instantly. Closed factories are reopened and new projects are begun. I add a regular furniture factory to Minas Gerais to support the local luxury furniture operation, as well as a regular and luxury clothing factories in Pernambuco to go along with its local fabric industry.

Research into iron railroads completes. This is the first level of railroad which can penetrate our inhospitable jungle provinces. By the time I open the infrastructure map more, our capitalists have already begun construction on several railroad projects around the capital. I think that I'll wait and see if they jump on any others in short order before I start spending funds from our national treasury on the rest.

As we near 1880, I hold off on continuing any further research in order to bank research points for the next Philosophy tech becoming available at the turn of the decade.

By early 1881, our increases in prestige and industry have raised our total score just high enough for us to be considered a great power! But we're not a great power yet. The previous holder of the 8th great power position has a year to attempt to maintain their position before dropping out of great power status.

In this case, it's Austria. And we may actually need to wait longer than a year. Their score has plummeted due to war. They have no military and essentially no industry due to complete occupation by enemy forces. Since a great power cannot drop out of great power status while at war, we'll need to wait for this war to end.

It rages on due to the UK's involvement. Austria suffers the brunt of the invasion from the North German Federation, Bavaria, and others, while the UK remains more or less untouched on the British Isles and abroad.

If this lasts for long enough, it's doubtful that Austria will be able to recover to any meaningful degree for decades. Its factories will decay away, and I'd be surprised if they don't suffer from a plague of revolutions afterwards.

All in all, I would say that we carved out more colonies than I was expecting with our woefully unprepared naval infrastructure. France seems to have been the most prolific colonizer, pushing through the interior of Africa to link 2 different oceans we well as the Mediterranean Sea with a contiguous strip of territory.

Spain has managed to do quite well for itself, too.

In the next update, we should finally reach great power status assuming that Austria doesn't remain a permanently occupied dystopian nightmare for the entire decade.