Part 12: Update 10 (Jan 1900 - Sept 1911): Carry a Big Stick
A war against France and Russia wasn't something that I wanted, but now that we're a part of it we will need to commit. Our colonies in Mauritania and Guinea are under assault by hostile forces. A squadron of steam transports are under construction and will be accompanied by a small contingent of ironclad warships which I panic-built in an attempt to save our great power ranking a few years ago. This transport fleet should be more than adequate to quickly ferry our armies between Pernambuco and West Africa
Large-scale wars can change the nature of the world economy. Heavily militarized nations may have vast forces that they don't fully fund in peace time, and then when war breaks out between several large powers it can cause goods necessary for military use to become scarce and expensive. The combination of war along with the construction and maintenance of our first navy hurts our economy. Our budget is actually in the red for a time, but luckily our own national bank acts as our lender. Expenses need to be cut in order to remain in the green, because I definitely don't want us to go bankrupt.
The hostile Italian forces come upon our smaller 3rd army. This is a smaller force which I created to take care of threats that our larger, main armies wouldn't be necessary for. It isn't standing up to the Italian forces very well, but our main army is closing in to assist.
The incursion is turned away and our forces quickly act to lift the Italian occupations in Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Norte. It's hard to see the occupations at first glance, because Italy's green is fairly similar to our own, making their diagonal occupation dashes blend into our own political map color.
Italy expands the scope of this war to dispute a portion of our colonial holdings in West Africa.
The shift of focus to social issues continues in Brazil. War-time stresses leading to rises in our population's militancy and consciousness actually helps to make these reforms come more quickly. A small boost to health care will make our nation a more attractive target for immigrants, and also increase our population growth rate.
French Guyana falls quickly to our 2nd army. This isn't going to turn the tide of the war, but every bit helps and I feel safer knowing that France won't be able to land troops as quickly or as safely without an open friendly port.
Our navy intercepts an Italian transport fleet just off of our coast. The naval battle screen displays what each ship is doing on both sides. Naval combat occurs in phases where ships seek targets, approach them, fire on each other, and then flee or pursue. Capital ships tend to have much more firepower and survivability. Screening vessels such as frigates, commerce raiders and cruisers are much weaker, but have a chance to avoid attacks and can perform disproportionately powerful attacks for their size once you get torpedos via inventions. Transports are fragile and should not be put into combat at all if possible. In EU3, it's safe to include transports with your battle fleets, but in Victoria 2 transports will get wrecked in combat. I tend to have main battle fleets with heavy ships and screens, and transport fleets with just transports and some screening vessels so that they can combat undefended enemy transport fleets.
Our navy wins the battle handily, what with us having warships and the other side having none. We should be safe to transport our armies to the African colonies now.
You can order an army to move into a sea zone that contains transports, but a much quicker way to load an army onto ships is to dock those vessels in the same province as the army and then click the circled icon on the army panel. This instantly loads the army onto the docked fleet. Remember, you need 1 transport per regiment. This 60k stack is 20 regiments, so it needs at least 20 transports. If you lose transports along the way due to battle, you will lose an equal number of regiments. Having more transports than necessary can provide a bit of a buffer, because you'll only lose regiments once the number of transports falls below your number of transported regiments.
If we had an open friendly port in our colonies, we'd be able to simply sail into port and instantly unload our troops. Since our colonies have since been fully occupied, we need to select our embarked army and then move it from the sea zone into the occupied province. Once we drop off the first army, our fleet heads back to Brazil to bring our 2nd army across as well.
While we've caught up a bit in army techs, we're still a full 2 rows behind in every possible category. We'll certainly be fighting opponents with more advanced equipment and modern tactics. The best equalizer we could hope for is to quickly rush to 'Military Directionism'. This gives access to the inventions for gas attacks and gas attack defense. The gas attack invention gives an additional bonus to your combat rolls unless your opponent has gas defense capability, and the effects of this can be devastating.
We begin seeing more and more events allowing us to either promote or discourage socialist ideology in our nation. I'm torn, because I'd enjoy seeing how things would play out under our our socialist party compared to how our liberals have done, but our socialist party has an 'anti-military' military policy. Our current party has a pro-military policy. Military policy affects your military score, so under an anti-military party our total score would be somewhat lower than under pro-military or jingoism.
Our armies see great success against the remaining local forces in West Africa. Our forces are comprised of professional soldiers and supported with substantial artillery, military engineers, and cavalry. This French army is a mass of mobilized infantry with very little military hardware to support them. The result is a tremendous victory for our forces.
We run into a problem of numbers, though. The French, Russian, and Italian mobilized armies continue to pound our main armies. While reinforcements seem to come endlessly for them, our own armies have no additional support on the way. I don't consider mobilization to be an option, because the economic effects of doing so would bankrupt us. As more enemy forces arrive, it becomes clear that some of them are standing armies with artillery and cavalry as well.
Our armies retreat across the coast of Africa to a British colony on the Gold Coast. Battered down from an initial 120,000 men to a mere 5000, it will be several months before they have any modicum of fighting capacity again.
The French don't give us the opportunity to recover, though. A large contingent of French infantry and cannon catch up to our battered armies and scatter the remnants. With our armies destroyed, all of the pops which were attached to those regiments are now unassigned. We'll need to go to our military screen and rebuild our main armies from scratch.
Communist rebels rise up against our government while we're still in the process of rebuilding our main armies.
Our newly recruited regiments are too spread out and unprepared to fight an organized uprising such as this. Luckily, our third, smaller army was left at home just in case they were needed for an event such as this. Our navy ferries them down the coast from Pernambuco to meet the majority of the rebels in a battle at Rio, along with the scattered recruits we've gathered so far. Coinciding with this rebellion, we gain the opportunity to pass another social reform. I pick one that has a large movement, and once the social reform it passed it actually disbands a large amount of the remaining communist rebels.
The USA accepts a peace offer from Russia which includes the handing over of much of our African possessions to Italy. I'm relieved to be at peace with France and Russia, but I'm irritated by the loss of our colonies.
The Brazilian nation makes impressive strides forward in the years immediately following that disaster of a war. A team of explorers from Brazil is the first to successfully reach the North Pole, raising our flag there before anyone else in the world. This is a very prestigious achievement.
Our thinkers manage to distinguish our nation as well, with one winning a Nobel Prize in medicine.
We are given the opportunity to host a trade fair as well. Doing so gives us the chance to show off our advancements to our neighbors and brings us further gains in prestige.
Though it wasn't researched in time to be deployed in our recent war, the discovery of a weaponized gas compound promises to make future wars a dangerous affair.
Our recent massive gains in prestige launch us back into great power status easily. The first order of business is to reassert our influence over our neighbors to return them into our sphere of influence.
Our army technologies are in a much better place now, but we've seen what it means to be unprepared for a war with other great powers. Further investment in army and navy technologies takes priority with me at this point.
We complete construction of our first level 4 naval base in Rio de Janeiro. I immediately begin the construction of 3 battleships. Each one of these has a supply weight of 50. This means that these 3 battleships alone will require 150 naval forcelimits to support. They are incredibly strong though, and they will be the core of our new Imperial battle fleet.
More events appear which promote socialist ideology. I take the option which reduces militancy in a segment of our population.
Our first post-war election takes place, and while the liberals retain power it is clear that they've lost a great deal of support. Our previous election saw the liberal coalition take around 65% of the vote.
As the game goes on, inventions tend to give more defensive bonuses than offensive ones. This makes being the defender in a battle become far more desirable than being the attacker. As your numbers grow large enough and defensive bonuses grow high enough, it becomes viable to form a 'front' of units completely blocking passage to your opponent. Anything you can do to force an engagement where you are fighting as the defender is worth doing.
Further social reform continues to come rapidly, and I've opted to just pick whichever one has the largest movement supporting it each time. This seems to work well when it comes to keeping our population content (and less rebellious).
This reform progress noticeably increases our pull for immigration. Only the USA draws more immigrants than us, and no other nation comes close. Over 6000 pops have come to Brazil from other nations in the past month.
Picking up the final Influence increasing technology will be a good investment at this point, as well. This will help us rebuild our sphere of influence more quickly.
Our long-time ally of Chile is requesting our assistance in another attempt to reclaim lands they view as rightfully theirs. While I'm hesitant to enter a war against those nations which I'd prefer to peacefully influence, it does present a good opportunity for us to quickly claim one of the more difficult targets of my desired sphere. Venezuela's border with British Guyana gives them benefits to their own influence there, so taking a shortcut in asserting our position in that country may be helpful.
We add a war goal against Venezuela to 'Add to Sphere'. If we are victorious and demand this concession, it will do just what it says - add them to our sphere of influence.
The first political group in the world which could be described as fascist is seen in the USA. It seems like they didn't take their humiliating defeat at the hands of Russia and France very well.
Once the ideology becomes active, political parties supporting it begin to appear in countries across the globe, including in Brazil.
And of course, we begin getting a variety of events surrounding the appearance of fascism. I'm going to try and keep these folks as marginalized as I can.
Our influence grows in neighboring states quickly. It doesn't take long to re-add most of the South American nations to our sphere.
And once the 2nd War of the Pacific ends, we have Venezuela in our control as well. Chile still hasn't taken their cores back, however. They panicked and left the war early with a white peace after suffering a walloping from Peru.
All of South America is once again in our sphere, aside from Argentina and Peru. Since we've just come out of a war with them, we cannot influence them. We're required to wait for our truces to end with them first.
We spread our influence outside of South America as well, expanding our protection to the Kingdom of Portugal. A fitting partner for us.
I give some solid attention to the soldier populations of our largest states, encouraging them them to around 5% of the populations there. One good thing about recruiting your armies mostly from a few, very populous states is that you can simply encourage soldiers in all of those states during war. This can keep your soldier pops large enough to continually reinforce the armies linked to them without dwindling.
A world coal shortage put our battleship construction on hold for some time, but our coal stockpiles are filling now and our first ship finally comes into service in 1907. This single battleship raises our military score by roughly 20 points. The next two will come into service about 6 months apart from each other, and this core of 3 battleships will be joined by several modern cruisers to form our dedicated battle fleet.
As our new army and navy grows stronger with greater numbers and higher technology, I consider revisiting the 'Italian Africa' issue. I want those colonies back! We hadn't had them for long enough to gain cores on them though, so in order to take them we'll need to justify an appropriate war goal against Italy.
The screen for justifying a war looks much like the screen for adding a wargoal during a war in progress. You pick a desired wargoal from the left, and the tooltip on the right tells you roughly how long it would take to generate that war justification as well as how much infamy you may generate from doing so. The amount of infamy you actually accrue from justifying a war is based on when you get caught during your justification. This tooltip says that it will take around 154 days to justify a 'Place in the sun' war goal on Italy, and we can gain at most 10.0 infamy from it. If we manage to get about halfway through the justification - to 77 days in - before getting caught, we'd only end up receiving 5 infamy for this war goal. Then, once the justification runs its course and completes, you can declare your war.
Also, since the description of these different CBs is somewhat lacking in-game, I'll go through the effects of the visible ones here:
Add to Sphere - This is one that we've just used recently. Justifying an Add to Sphere wargoal against a nation will allow you to add that nation to your sphere.
Acquire State - Allows you to pick an entire state of your choice from another nation when declaring war. Victory in the war will transfer all the provinces of that state to you.
Place in the Sun - Similar to acquire state, but this is the one you have to use in order to take colonial states. Has a slightly lower max infamy cost and takes fewer days to justify.
Cut Down to Size - Forces the opponent who you justified this war goal against to disband 50% of their military, and prevents them from building new military units while requiring them to pay you reparations for 5 years.
Free People - This war goal allows you to pick a state to transfer from your opponent to another third party which has cores there. For example, if Italy exists but Austria controls Northern Italy, Germany could potentially 'Free People' against Austria to return Lombardia to Italy.
Liberate Country - Forces the opponent to release all core provinces of a chosen nation which doesn't exist. For example, you could do a 'Liberate Country' against Austria to force them to release Hungary, and Hungary would receive all of their cores.
Dismantle Fortifications - This forces the target nation to remove forts and possibly the naval base from a chosen state.
Humiliate - Removes a significant amount of prestige from your opponent.
The 'War Justification' tab on the diplomacy screen will display all discovered war justifications currently in progress. Hovering over the justification shows us some information related to how long it will take. You can receive events that hasten or slow your justification speed. Our military policy provides us with a 20% bonus towards our justification speed as well. Jingoism gives an even higher bonus, and following that trend, Anti-war and Pacifism are the slowest. Justifying a war quickly is good, because you have a chance to get caught every day, and the more progress you make before you are caught, the less infamy you'll receive.
Our plans are discovered by the public almost immediately, causing us to suffer nearly the full cost for justifying this war goal.
As our war justification attempt continues, I decide to start supporting party loyalty for socialists in Brazil. I'd really like to get access to protectionism and the capability to subsidize factories once again, and with the military score boosts we've received from building those battleships I think we can afford to lose whatever military score may be lost from the transition between pro-military and our socialist party's anti-military war policy.
Supporting socialist party loyalty will essentially cause a greater proportion of our population to actually vote for socialist parties in elections than would do so normally. Our nation seems to have a rising socialist trend anyway, and this will just help tip the scales sooner.
Our justification completes, allowing us to declare war for a colonial state of our choosing. I declare war for Mauritania, and I plan to add a second war goal during the war for full cost to take Inner Mauritania as well. I'm not even sure what the population or relative worth of Inner Mauritania might be, but damnit, that's our stuff!
Portugal comes into the war on our side against Italy, Germany, and Russia. Spain and The Ottomans come into the war on their side shortly afterwards. It may seem unreasonable for me to put myself in a position where I'm against Germany and Russia, but I did actually check the ledger before initiating the war. Russia's fleet is quite small, and Germany's is actually non-existent. Even if they could get all the way to West Africa, they would have to march there by land. The Ottomans and Spain are less of a worry to me.
Our battle fleet moves to the Strait of Gibraltar, ready to intercept any hostile ships coming from Italy or Spain towards the western coast of Africa. This fleet should be more than enough against our current opponents, given what I've seen of their naval state on the ledger.
Both of our main armies are transported to West Africa to take part in this campaign. One of them has an early encounter with an Italian standing army, full of infantry support. Our combination of strong leadership and gas helps us overcome their defensive bonuses. With victory secured against the only local Italian resistance, we quickly move to occupy all Italian colonial territory.
Early victories in the field give us a commanding lead in war score. Portugal is forced to bow out quickly due to pressure from Spain, but we seem to be doing well otherwise.
With the war going as well as it is, we can add another war goal. I add a second 'Place in the Sun' goal to take Inner Mauritania from Italy as well.
The colonial territories of Italy and Spain in West Africa fall with very little resistance, but this isn't enough to force a peace. Somehow, Spain has emerged as the war leader on the side of Italy, so I decide to put pressure on Spain. I figure that dropping our armies off in their southern mountainous regions will give us a solid place to dig in and draw in disadvantageous attacks by the Spanish.
Our Initial landing force is met by the Spanish regular army, but the battle quickly swings in our direction and the Spanish army quickly routs.
Their main forces retreat north, and our armies remain dug in in their southern hills.
They cannot resist the idea of pushing us out of their country, but our positions are just too good, our armies are too modern, and our leaders are too skilled. They can't seem to get any traction against us, and suffer heavy losses.
The war is punctuated by a massive Spanish offensive of mobilized infantry pushing into our fortified position in the mountains of Málaga. I'm not sure what else I can say about this.
After that horrific battle, Spain is more than willing to cede to our demands and negotiates a peace which returns our colonial lands to us.
Brazilian Africa has been returned to its original state, and Brazil's military has proven itself on the world stage.