Stuyvesant
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Fri May 03, 2013 3:39 pm

loki100 wrote:... and in truth I have no realistic expansion goals in Europe (Split, Salonika and Adana are not really worth taking). Now I realise a later, rather infamous Austrian said that too.


Oh my god, you're going for Danzig now?!? :p

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Fri May 03, 2013 4:12 pm

Now, on to the actual update. The overall losses do seem disproportionate to the territorial adjustments effected. A few million people dead (screw it, I'm sticking with the 'If it's a casualty, it's in a coffin' mentality for this game), Austria comprehensively wrecked... And the price for you, in terms of experienced troops, was quite high, too.

But you won! Europe is your oyster! A closed oyster, but still. And one that's balanced precariously on varying competing alliances, but still...

At least you have Africa! Coffee, trains, fortified palace-villas... I picture Gari enjoying a nice Hemingway-style retirement, exterminating the local wildlife, drinking himself silly and messing around with a fair proportion of the local female population. Does that image have anything to do with the historic Garibaldi? No, but it's certainly the image that I have built up of the man over the last few months. :)

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Fri May 03, 2013 5:36 pm

So, the Austrians(-Hungarians) still had a little of fight in them ... and your top generals decided to retire right at the time the war was over ( now that was a smooth move , Gari :D ). Anyway, this war is over and hopefully this is the last time you need to walk to Wien with bayonets in this game.

But ,as a certain "Greek" commander said in the Roman days, this war and the Prussian-English one left quite a battlefield for you and GB: a isolated #1 with #2 and #3 ( you and Germany ) with no direct feud between them , but with revanchist side claims on and by their defensive pact allies and a Russian joker that no one really knows what side it is ( if it is on any side besides his own ;) ) and with ambitions that can make things derail fast. Now seeing this from the Italian side, it is pretty clear what to do gamewise: you need to keep Germany and GB relation in bad blood as much as possible, to avoid a Germany-GB coalition ( story wise you might want to do the exact opposite, though :p ), be friendly with the Russians and keep the French happy with you.

But the GB position at this point is the really interesting one ( if a inteligent being was controlling it and not the PON AI ): GB has no feud with you and, besides the souring effects of the rapid rise in prestige of Italy, there is no reason to think that Italy has a reason to attack GB at all. OTOH Italy must be contained somehow ... but also the newly united Germany. Austria is as much a sick man of Europe as the Ottomans , and it is most likely the target of possible future Russian pan-slavism ambitions, another confusion point to add, besides the so far unchecked Russian Asian expansion. There are a couple of options for GB, but all are bad in one way or another:

- The more sensible one: try to get France out of the Italian aliance while being also friendly enough with Russia ( the OTL path that led to WW I, but with Italy in the place of Germany and France in the place of Italy :D ). It would at the same time weaken Italy and stop Germany ambitions in both East and west right on their tracks. it has the serious side effect of basically allowing free reign to Russian games in the Balkans and pushes both Italy and Germany to the wall right to each other side, maybe leading to a "enemy of my enemy is my friend" situation.

- Assume that Italy is the guy to take down and align with Germany. This one would need some hard pride swallowing from both sides of the recent war, but atleast joins two powers with a common enemy alliance. BTW this has the side effect of throwing Russia to the other side, with all that can come from there ...

- Get some kind of deal with the Russians and use them as a bat to hit Europe as needed if the Italians and/or the Germans get too out of their place. Ok in theory, but what to give to the Russians in exchange? Free hand in Asia? Free hand in the Balkans ? Maybe a chunk of Prussia ? And besides, can GB really trust those pesky orthodox Czars ?

- Keep playing the splendid isolation game , without major commitments with no one ( the whole " no permanent friends , just permanent interests" thing ). With the steady decline of the prestige difference between GB and the competition and with two reunified and victorious countries wanting to show up their might and/ or clear old feuds out, can really GB allow itself to risk being sidelined like a ageing formerly important person?

OFC that in the game GB with only do as scripted, but we can always wonder :D

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Fri May 03, 2013 7:00 pm

I have to ask, what is going on with the weird Italian hats/head gear? In your picture on the last page, your engineers had some sort of gas hood? or something?, so apparently, if it's not feathers, it's rubber?

I blame Gari.
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Stuyvesant
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Fri May 03, 2013 9:29 pm

Jim-NC wrote:I have to ask, what is going on with the weird Italian hats/head gear? In your picture on the last page, your engineers had some sort of gas hood? or something?, so apparently, if it's not feathers, it's rubber?

I blame Gari.


Blaming Gari is always a wise course of action - as long as he can't take an army to come after you. :) Upon closer inspection it appears to me that the engineers are carrying flame throwers. Which is a scary thought (it's not as if these Italian soldiers need to be any more destructive). And won't mix well with all the feathers worn by the other units...

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loki100
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Tue May 07, 2013 11:28 am

Stuyvesant wrote:Oh my god, you're going for Danzig now?!? :p


If there is any prestige in it, I'm up for it ... but yes you may have seen my final territorial demands in Europe (for a while)

Stuyvesant wrote:Now, on to the actual update. The overall losses do seem disproportionate to the territorial adjustments effected. A few million people dead (screw it, I'm sticking with the 'If it's a casualty, it's in a coffin' mentality for this game), Austria comprehensively wrecked... And the price for you, in terms of experienced troops, was quite high, too.

But you won! Europe is your oyster! A closed oyster, but still. And one that's balanced precariously on varying competing alliances, but still...

At least you have Africa! Coffee, trains, fortified palace-villas... I picture Gari enjoying a nice Hemingway-style retirement, exterminating the local wildlife, drinking himself silly and messing around with a fair proportion of the local female population. Does that image have anything to do with the historic Garibaldi? No, but it's certainly the image that I have built up of the man over the last few months. :)


You'll be pleased to know that Gari's retirement oddly coincides with a substantial war in that particular corner of Africa, so obv just shooting the passing wildlife was not enough for him

The alliance structure is interesting, as is the implicit German threat. As I'll discuss a bit in the next post, I now don't think I can win unless I badly damage GB. So their isolation is rather fortunate, but I daren't leave my northern borders exposed, so I am going to rely on France but keep in with Germany if I can. Russia is the wildcard. It likes me, but won't give me an alliance as I have poor relations with Bulgaria and Serbia. So, indirectly, I am smooching those two (not least they fit my wider anti-Ottoman, anti-Austrian (sod, it, anti-almost everybody) strategic options.

r_rolo1 wrote:So, the Austrians(-Hungarians) still had a little of fight in them ... and your top generals decided to retire right at the time the war was over ( now that was a smooth move , Gari :D ). Anyway, this war is over and hopefully this is the last time you need to walk to Wien with bayonets in this game.

But ,as a certain "Greek" commander said in the Roman days, this war and the Prussian-English one left quite a battlefield for you and GB: a isolated #1 with #2 and #3 ( you and Germany ) with no direct feud between them , but with revanchist side claims on and by their defensive pact allies and a Russian joker that no one really knows what side it is ( if it is on any side besides his own ;) ) and with ambitions that can make things derail fast. Now seeing this from the Italian side, it is pretty clear what to do gamewise: you need to keep Germany and GB relation in bad blood as much as possible, to avoid a Germany-GB coalition ( story wise you might want to do the exact opposite, though :p ), be friendly with the Russians and keep the French happy with you.

But the GB position at this point is the really interesting one ( if a inteligent being was controlling it and not the PON AI ): GB has no feud with you and, besides the souring effects of the rapid rise in prestige of Italy, there is no reason to think that Italy has a reason to attack GB at all. OTOH Italy must be contained somehow ... but also the newly united Germany. Austria is as much a sick man of Europe as the Ottomans , and it is most likely the target of possible future Russian pan-slavism ambitions, another confusion point to add, besides the so far unchecked Russian Asian expansion. There are a couple of options for GB, but all are bad in one way or another:

- The more sensible one: try to get France out of the Italian aliance while being also friendly enough with Russia ( the OTL path that led to WW I, but with Italy in the place of Germany and France in the place of Italy :D ). It would at the same time weaken Italy and stop Germany ambitions in both East and west right on their tracks. it has the serious side effect of basically allowing free reign to Russian games in the Balkans and pushes both Italy and Germany to the wall right to each other side, maybe leading to a "enemy of my enemy is my friend" situation.

- Assume that Italy is the guy to take down and align with Germany. This one would need some hard pride swallowing from both sides of the recent war, but atleast joins two powers with a common enemy alliance. BTW this has the side effect of throwing Russia to the other side, with all that can come from there ...

- Get some kind of deal with the Russians and use them as a bat to hit Europe as needed if the Italians and/or the Germans get too out of their place. Ok in theory, but what to give to the Russians in exchange? Free hand in Asia? Free hand in the Balkans ? Maybe a chunk of Prussia ? And besides, can GB really trust those pesky orthodox Czars ?

- Keep playing the splendid isolation game , without major commitments with no one ( the whole " no permanent friends , just permanent interests" thing ). With the steady decline of the prestige difference between GB and the competition and with two reunified and victorious countries wanting to show up their might and/ or clear old feuds out, can really GB allow itself to risk being sidelined like a ageing formerly important person?

OFC that in the game GB with only do as scripted, but we can always wonder :D


that really summarises my reading. If the GB AI was doing long term planning, its best option is a linkage of the German speaking nations. It has no real quarrel with Prussia (not least I am the major colonial rival) and Prussia gives them the army, and the ability to project land power they clearly lack (if their was with Prussia is any guide). That would create a stalemate in Europe with Russia as the deal breaker - if it joined with Prussia then they have the dominant alliance, if it joins with Italy then I think there is a rough continental balance, perhaps allowing me to play the naval strategy.

I need a fleet and the means to sea lift two of my main armies (ie the ones around 3000pwr) plus colonial flexibility at any one time. That means I need steel and manufactures, that in turn means for a while I need peace and economic development.

But I can't ignore any opportunities. Oddly I was afraid that if I ever put Austria in its box and secured my 1919 borders, the game would lose interest. As it is, the knowledge of the need for war with GB and the complex diplomacy of Europe makes this all too interesting.

For what its worth, I have defensive alliances with France and Belgium and good relations with the US and Russia. The scope to end up in conflict with Germany is very real.

Jim-NC wrote:I have to ask, what is going on with the weird Italian hats/head gear? In your picture on the last page, your engineers had some sort of gas hood? or something?, so apparently, if it's not feathers, it's rubber?

I blame Gari.

Stuyvesant wrote:Blaming Gari is always a wise course of action - as long as he can't take an army to come after you. :) Upon closer inspection it appears to me that the engineers are carrying flame throwers. Which is a scary thought (it's not as if these Italian soldiers need to be any more destructive). And won't mix well with all the feathers worn by the other units...


I think they are a fashion protest. We've had the elegant straw boaters, the Brian Eno style ostrich feathers, those are the boys in the rubber/plastic bondage gear. Since it is obv too early for flame throwers (I guess ??? .... does anyone know), its best not to think too deeply where they have to insert those hoses in order to harm their opponents.
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loki100
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October-December 1882, A quick review

Tue May 07, 2013 11:36 am

This update will be my usual post-war catch up. In a way this war was less dramatic in its impact so this will be brief and take us to the end of 1882. So all I’ll do below is to bring you up to date with the main industrial and colonial changes while the focus was on my latest attempt to humiliate Austria.

While I was at war a tech that gives me the third level of shipyards fired. Now these are still usually loss making but give large lumps of prestige. Also I now own Trieste so that gives me a third one.

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Also that gives some idea just how many manufacturing plants I have open or that are under construction. As discussed, this game does not reward autarky, but there are times when you have to set out to solve a global shortage on your own terms.

Brief catch up on the main production screens.

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As you can see manufactured goods have remained a problem, I slowly build up my stocks but its hard to really get on top of the situation. Also steel stocks internationally are dropping and my next factory will be a new steel plant (I suspect the shift to the second level of rails and more states building early battleships).

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The non-manufactured is less of a problem. Now that I have a regular source of silks (Lombardy and the Veneto), I’m also doing a lot better in terms of satisfying demand for luxury goods. I’m mostly meeting population demand, apart from for food, but this doesn’t seem to be causing any problems.

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Given the size of my state cash pile, I have most taxes set low. I drop tariffs soon after this which gives me quite a nice boost in relations with my neighbours.

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My exploration in Arabia continues, as I find even more rebels running around (fortunately not my problem)

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And over in East Africa, I carry on with my railway building campaign. I just really have to add Cairo at some stage for this to make sense.

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This gives an overview of my E African Empire.

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Not that in addition to the colonies (the solid blocks) I have influence in the region to the north of Lake Garibaldi and the source of the Nile. One thing I have noticed is that, if a border region is not contested, over time your CP will increase due to your presence in the wider region. This is why I’ve pushed beyond my E African colonies and have some influence in the modern day Sudan.

This shows Arabia and the Middle East. Here, I hold what I want and my territory in Palestine has expanded across modern day Jordan. The Ottoman holdings on the Red Sea are pretty much isolated.

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Overall I am number two in terms of Empire, and gaining 6 prestige points per turn.

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The population is happy. Since contentment is now around 99% and militancy never above 1% I’ll stop adding those figures. One thing to note, for some reason neither Udine nor Trieste actually appear on this list.

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I’ll not repeat this too often but that shows all the main columns. The first 5 are population (% Italian), military control, contentment, behaviour (Puglia is working harder – the single face) and militancy.

The second batch are development and population. Then the population spread across the social classes.

The final batch give some idea of military and industrial levels. City Size (so Romagna has the largest cities in Italy, followed by Piedmont), Port Size (dominated by La Spezia which is the heart of my maritime empire), Depot Size (could maybe do with a few more), Transport level (3 is a railway, 4 is a double track rail) and then the number of agricultural, mining and industrial sites.

Overall prestige is pretty good.

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Austria and Prussia/Germany are appearing on that list following Umberto’s Viennese jaunt. In reality, in this period, Prussia was trying to detach Italy from its French alliance and backing Italy over Tunis. I’m not going to co-operate but I’m happy to defuse tensions for the moment – especially given the size of the Prussian army.

I’m gaining 100 PP per turn from industry, 34 from objectives and 6 from the Empire. To which the firing of regional decisions (universities etc) is adding a steady flow (varying by turn).

Now in game turns, the thing that matters is with the UK. I need double their prestige to win. The relative ratios over the last few years have been:

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Clearly things are varying, so between 1877 and 1880 I had the benefits of the second Ottoman war, my first with Austria and all those successful diplomatic disputes. The second war had enough defeats to mean less overall gains. Worth noting it looks like GB is relatively stable in prestige gain (around 2300-2400 pa). Nonetheless, I think that restates the obvious. I can’t win unless I take GB down in terms of prestige and it maybe that I will even struggle to occupy first place without actually taking prestige off them.

Equally, although industry, objectives, development and empire all give me a nice regular flow of prestige, I need the boost of war.

Now this has some impact on what I am going to do and the next few updates. I need a period of peace, to develop, ensure production of key goods (manufactures and steel in particular) and then the prestige boost of more war. Sorry Egypt.

And then … by the 1890s, time to deal with Perfidious Albion. My reckoning is this will require multiple attempts.
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Stuyvesant
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Tue May 07, 2013 6:58 pm

Flamethrowers were invented in the early 20th century by those geniuses of finding more interesting ways to kill more people, the Germans. ;) I'm not sure what I find a more terrifying scenario: the Italians inventing stuff twenty years in advance, or part of the Italian army deciding to dress up as bondage freaks (I mean, to each their own, of course, but visualizing a batallion of people in fetish gear is... <Shudder>).

Interesting to see the steel shortage evolving out of the game - though with your plans to railroad-ize all of Eastern Africa, I can't say I'm surprised. It's a nice gesture to throw a 500-mile spur to Gari's villa, just so that the old man can get his canned prostitutes and fresh sturgeon delivered in a timely manner (wait, wrong facial-hair-bedecked-psycho, wrong universe).

If you're going to go through the trouble to build a railroad from your colonial empire to Cairo, then the logical conclusion is that you must turn south and incorporate the Cape into your budding empire as well. Let's face it, 'Cairo to Kenya' doesn't have the same ring to it as 'Cairo to the Cape'. The cause of appropriate alliteration demands it! To the Cape!

<Ahem>

Your analysis of the Italian-British race is sobering. You definitely ain't going to catch them, unless you can A) beat them in a war and B) make sure that you bleed them profusely of prestige while doing so. A fine challenge for the endgame.

Last thought: how in the blazes did the Austrians manage to get their morale to 178?!? They have no army, they've been on the receiving end of two whoopings, they barely have a state to speak of (and half of it is now run as a private members club by the Hungarians)... How did that happen?

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Wed May 08, 2013 1:31 am

how in the blazes did the Austrians manage to get their morale to 178?!? They have no army, they've been on the receiving end of two whoopings, they barely have a state to speak of (and half of it is now run as a private members club by the Hungarians)... How did that happen?


Perhaps in this alternate universe, the song "The Blue Danube" was just written and is lifting people's spirits after the Austro-Italian Wars? I mean, it's a great song, it certainly brings my morale up to 178 :)

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Wed May 08, 2013 6:42 pm

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:Perhaps in this alternate universe, the song "The Blue Danube" was just written and is lifting people's spirits after the Austro-Italian Wars? I mean, it's a great song, it certainly brings my morale up to 178 :)


It is a nifty tune and your theory is certainly more plausible than anything I could come up with. :)

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Wed May 08, 2013 7:22 pm

Well, your analysis about the prestige combined evolution of you and the GB only empathizes the fact that you need one or two wars with them to peg them down and those wars must bleed them dry in terms of prestige and stop them from recovering. I'm not sure about this, but I assume that, based on the posted map, India is the thing to get to do those kind of damages. This means that you need the Suez ( and most likely Egypt and Sudan ) under control in a couple of years or so and not sucking your troops out in a hunt for the Mahdi, so you don't actually have much time if you want to go two wars with the GB ( the more safe option ), given that the GB most likely is a division or two above Austria in terms of difficulty of handling ( most likely not in the land sense, but the naval aspect will surely need extensive preparations ). So, to Egypt , young man :D

@ Stuyvesant

Actually the Brits never did the "Cape to Cairo" railroad ( the propaganda was about it and not only about land possession ... as a counterpart of the Berlin -Baghdad line, made by the Germans ). Neither the French, the Belgians or the Germans showed up as very cooperative with the British in this endeavour before WW I ( you needed to pass either French, Belgian or German territory to do the railroad ) and after WW I , when the German cooperation was no longer necessary :/ , the UK had lost the will ( and probably the means ) to do so... But who knows , Rome to Nairobi might be a interesting alternative :D

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Thu May 09, 2013 3:43 pm

r_rolo1 wrote:@ Stuyvesant

Actually the Brits never did the "Cape to Cairo" railroad ( the propaganda was about it and not only about land possession ... as a counterpart of the Berlin -Baghdad line, made by the Germans ). Neither the French, the Belgians or the Germans showed up as very cooperative with the British in this endeavour before WW I ( you needed to pass either French, Belgian or German territory to do the railroad ) and after WW I , when the German cooperation was no longer necessary :/ , the UK had lost the will ( and probably the means ) to do so... But who knows , Rome to Nairobi might be a interesting alternative :D


Yeah, I know the British never actually managed to put the railroad in place (wasn't it one giant pipe dream from Cecil Rhodes, anyway?), but that's no excuse for loki! I demand an Italian Cape to Cairo railroad, so that Gari can shoot exotic animals all over the continent from the comfort of a Pullman wagon - the man's getting on in age, we can't expect him to do his slaughtering on foot anymore. ;)

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Fri May 10, 2013 10:25 am

Stuyvesant wrote:Flamethrowers were invented in the early 20th century by those geniuses of finding more interesting ways to kill more people, the Germans. ;) I'm not sure what I find a more terrifying scenario: the Italians inventing stuff twenty years in advance, or part of the Italian army deciding to dress up as bondage freaks (I mean, to each their own, of course, but visualizing a batallion of people in fetish gear is... <Shudder>).

Interesting to see the steel shortage evolving out of the game - though with your plans to railroad-ize all of Eastern Africa, I can't say I'm surprised. It's a nice gesture to throw a 500-mile spur to Gari's villa, just so that the old man can get his canned prostitutes and fresh sturgeon delivered in a timely manner (wait, wrong facial-hair-bedecked-psycho, wrong universe).

If you're going to go through the trouble to build a railroad from your colonial empire to Cairo, then the logical conclusion is that you must turn south and incorporate the Cape into your budding empire as well. Let's face it, 'Cairo to Kenya' doesn't have the same ring to it as 'Cairo to the Cape'. The cause of appropriate alliteration demands it! To the Cape!

<Ahem>

Your analysis of the Italian-British race is sobering. You definitely ain't going to catch them, unless you can A) beat them in a war and B) make sure that you bleed them profusely of prestige while doing so. A fine challenge for the endgame.

Last thought: how in the blazes did the Austrians manage to get their morale to 178?!? They have no army, they've been on the receiving end of two whoopings, they barely have a state to speak of (and half of it is now run as a private members club by the Hungarians)... How did that happen?


I think, as below, Cape to Cairo was a fantasy of Cecil Rhodes who was well on his way to carving out his own personal empire in Africa with not much regard for the locals or any other European power. So I'll content myself with running my line from Cairo to Mozambique. Now it just maybe that the Cape is one of my targets in any UK war, but as below, secondary to causing mischief in India.

There is a chance that my massive rail plans may kick off another coal shortage, but I can build more in the US and France so to boost world supplies.

Since those calculations I've been keeping a closer eye on the situation and I have more or less stalled in terms of gains relative to GB. Which makes the war inevitable (I can't lose second place so in that sense its a zero sum option for me). This does though, raise the question of what that prestige gain shown on the F10 screen is actually measuring. Its clearly not absolute gain or even per turn gain but it misled me a while back into thinking there was a peaceful development route (well apart from colonial slaughter) to #1.

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:Perhaps in this alternate universe, the song "The Blue Danube" was just written and is lifting people's spirits after the Austro-Italian Wars? I mean, it's a great song, it certainly brings my morale up to 178 :)


There are odd events that you don't see, so I'm wondering if something to do with the shift to the Triple Monarchy (ie more autonomy for the Czech lands) has fired? In any case, the Balkans are in full revolt. Of course it may just be that they are happy that Umberto didn't stay long and that Gari has retired?

Stuyvesant wrote:It is a nifty tune and your theory is certainly more plausible than anything I could come up with. :)


Of course it could have damn all to do with the Czechs or Gari's retirement :)

r_rolo1 wrote:Well, your analysis about the prestige combined evolution of you and the GB only empathizes the fact that you need one or two wars with them to peg them down and those wars must bleed them dry in terms of prestige and stop them from recovering. I'm not sure about this, but I assume that, based on the posted map, India is the thing to get to do those kind of damages. This means that you need the Suez ( and most likely Egypt and Sudan ) under control in a couple of years or so and not sucking your troops out in a hunt for the Mahdi, so you don't actually have much time if you want to go two wars with the GB ( the more safe option ), given that the GB most likely is a division or two above Austria in terms of difficulty of handling ( most likely not in the land sense, but the naval aspect will surely need extensive preparations ). So, to Egypt , young man :D

@ Stuyvesant

Actually the Brits never did the "Cape to Cairo" railroad ( the propaganda was about it and not only about land possession ... as a counterpart of the Berlin -Baghdad line, made by the Germans ). Neither the French, the Belgians or the Germans showed up as very cooperative with the British in this endeavour before WW I ( you needed to pass either French, Belgian or German territory to do the railroad ) and after WW I , when the German cooperation was no longer necessary :/ , the UK had lost the will ( and probably the means ) to do so... But who knows , Rome to Nairobi might be a interesting alternative :D


Of course an overland Cairo to Rome railway sounds very nice ...

I have a lot to juggle. There are gaps in the industrial production chain, so I need to spend steel and manufactures now to create more capacity later. I need the navy as large as possible (at least 2 fleets built around battleships and a lot more transports). I need rails. I need regular development. If I take Egypt/Sudan then I can have 1 large (tailored to my rail cap) army somewhere in E Africa as a mobile force and a couple of local defense armies. And I think the first GB war has to start at some stage early in the 1890s. All of a sudden, the timeframe of this game appears limited. Unless it all triggers a major European war, my land army is plenty for my current needs and I'm building up some key forts in Italy (just in case).

Stuyvesant wrote:Yeah, I know the British never actually managed to put the railroad in place (wasn't it one giant pipe dream from Cecil Rhodes, anyway?), but that's no excuse for loki! I demand an Italian Cape to Cairo railroad, so that Gari can shoot exotic animals all over the continent from the comfort of a Pullman wagon - the man's getting on in age, we can't expect him to do his slaughtering on foot anymore. ;)


You do seem to have poor Gari muddled up with Narwhal's foul slurs about Trotsky. Most readers will be lost at this stage but we had a 3 way RUS PBEM in which my 2 esteemed white opponents implied that Trotsky's train was not the beating heart of the proletarian revolution but instead moving around Russia to ensure access to the freshest sturgeon and the most liberated of the women. All lies of course.

But someone needs to keep Gari in sturgeon ... and for that he needs his own personal railway.
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January-June 1883, Trainspotting and Arabia Felix

Fri May 10, 2013 10:34 am

I’ll try a slightly different reporting style for the next 4 or so updates. I’ll keep to six months but each will include a more detailed look at one or another or my emerging colonial regions.

After my somewhat sobering re-estimate of the prestige game, I now have quite a complex task. I want to expand domestic production of steel and manufactures so that in turn I can create the type of navy I’ll need for war with GB.

At the same time, Egypt becomes more important to my mind as it gives me an overland route in E and N Africa. That means I only need a defense force in the Persian Gulf (if the UK attacks there its lost) and a decent field army (plus natives) somewhere in E Africa. That can then react overland meaning my fleet is free to carry out other missions. Oddly the game agrees me. Sorry Egypt.

Image

This has happened as Fashoda now has a high Italian CP, I’ve not particularly pushed this but I’ve noticed that in border regions your CP spreads even without intervention.

To this, I’m of the view that no war with GB will be quick and that, I rather suspect, a single war will not be enough. So I am aiming for the first round sometime in the 1890s.

Anyway, in terms of production, the main issue is that manufactures and steel are still hard to come by. I have enough, and with expansion this will improve, but ideally I’d like a lot more. Here’s the reports (I’ve done them on a 2 monthly, not monthly basis):

Manufactures

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Main thing there is that in terms of both steel and manufactures my stock is fluctuating. I am gaining/producing enough for some development but till those new plants come on line it is a bit hand to mouth.

Non Manufactures

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Less to say there, I’ve marked by ‘x’ the 4 items of which I have no production (either domestic or colonial) – rice, sugar, tobacco and rum. In addition, for tropical fruits I have a single trade post (in E Africa) and tea is all from my Indian holding.

Population

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As I mentioned, I’ll stop adding the overall contentment and militancy figures. There are small changes due to how and when I play the various cards (education, social security, plebiscites) but, for the moment, neither is of much concern.

In the main, population growth (3rd col from the right) is steady at around 3% and this is reflected in overall population (final column). Education levels are pretty much keeping up and the few larger jumps (eg Tuscany) reflect where I have played the University development option.


[CENTER]Events[/CENTER]


Colonial developments pay off with several small towns appearing.

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There is a steady stream of these events over the next couple of years.

And the Cape-Cairo rail carries on expanding southwards.

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And Italy sees continued investment in the new dual track lines.

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Also, railroad electrification is just around the corner. This will be a useful production boost for all the provinces with advanced railways.

The creation of Italy’s first national park is also due, which will of course be in Gran Paradiso [1].

Image

In effect, its another of those techs that increase demand by the population.

Overall prestige supports my analysis in the last report.

Image

In a peaceful six months, my prestige has gone from 43,084 to 44,648 (so plus 1600) which implies an average gain of around 120 per turn (it does fluctuate according to builds, shifts in the small colonial wars etc). GB has gone from 70,308 to 72,069 (so plus 1700). This rather supports my new belief that without a war, I am not really catching up and that equally I need both more prestige for me and less for them.

[CENTER]Arabia-Felix[/CENTER]

So onto the first of the more focused updates. In this case, I’ll start with my colonial holdings in the Arabian peninsular. Although it is mostly linked (& at some stage I’d like to clear Najd troops from that final province), in reality it is two separate regions.

And this is the wider region.

Image

The first part of my Empire, along the Persian Gulf is pretty rich in terms of raw materials (at this stage oil is of no interest, but I suspect that will change).

Image

I’ve shown that in more detail than I will in the other posts as its quite a mixed picture. To deal with the labour shortage, I started to send emigrants to Trucial and Dubai. At some stage, those two ceased to be colonies and became ‘non-national territories’ (I think as the population is overwhelmingly Italian) – hence the 101% CPs.

Use of the telecommunications cards (as they no longer are colonies) has pushed up development level, so that those gem fields are now producing at near to capacity. I’ll swap focus now and develop Kuwait the same way, starting by building another gem field.

Also note that over time, I have managed to move my SOI value to neutral. Qatar I lose ground to GB (their higher SOI value) but I am sending migrants in the hope that it too flips to Italian territory. Then I’ll work on Kuwait and start to build the gems pit. I’ve not developed the local oil resources yet as there is no real demand.

Image

The holdings centred around Yemen were once the core of my empire. The region has been peaceful for some time and is well developed. Lots of opium and I’m slowly improving coffee production.

Image


[1] – historically one of the first national parks in Europe. Less impressive though when you realize it was an attempt by Umberto to convert what had been open access mountain and pasture to his personal game reserve (to shoot the local ibex population). It also happens to be one of my favourite regions for climbing and ski touring.

Image
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r_rolo1
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Fri May 10, 2013 1:20 pm

You don't need to feel bad about Gran Paradiso history, given that most of the first European national parks have exactly the same origin :/

Apparently the GB prestige evolution is even worse ( for you ) than I thought ( I was under the impression you were making a slight advance against them in peaceful years, but that most likely was a erroneous perception ). You will really need two wars with GB to take them down and that might not be enough by itself ... you might need to complement it with trashing someone else in between just to juice out some prestige, preferentially someone weak that you have a CB on ( say, like the good ol'Turks )

The economical situation looks good enough, except the steel ( and coal ) situation, but with so much demand in the form of battleships and rails, it is not exactly a surprise to see that. You will most likely need more steel factories and coal pits for your projects, though .

To end, it is good to see that finally the situation on Yemen is somewhat stabilized and that it is not as rebel infested as the Ottoman Arabia still is. A fine display of the Italian superior civilizing ways ( that or the rebels heard that Gari was in the other side of the Red Sea and fled to safety :D ) ;)

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Fri May 10, 2013 5:29 pm

The prestige gain that shows on the F10 (I think) screen is I belive from the regions held only. I don't believe it includes either colonial actions/gains, nor does it include the amount from manufacturing. Thus, it severely understates what is happening later in the game (where a good manufacturing sector can bring around 100 PP a turn).
Remember - The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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Stuyvesant
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Fri May 10, 2013 8:05 pm

Y'know, this AAR has made me hold my breath and double-click the dusty 'PON' shortcut on my laptop again last night. I brushed through two tutorials, started a new game as S-P... I even ended the turn! Mind you, I mostly ended the turn because I was utterly clueless about what to do in the turn itself, so I didn't actually do anything in the first turn... But still, more PON activity than I've had since... well... <long bout of really hard thinking>
Probably since I played two turns as Russia after I had just purchased the game a couple of years ago. :)

I might try to advance another turn or two tonight, possibly even tinkering with the trade screens and ordering a structure or two! I even obtained some library books to tide me over during the turn resolution.

Anyway, back to the actual AAR: I'm impressed with the colonial gains you've made since the start. And that's quite a nice opium operation you've got going there in Yemen. :) Now, after a whole update dedicated to peace and development, how about another war? Preferably one that's bloody and one-sided? ;)

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Sat May 11, 2013 2:14 am

Y'know, this AAR has made me hold my breath and double-click the dusty 'PON' shortcut on my laptop again last night. I brushed through two tutorials, started a new game as S-P... I even ended the turn! Mind you, I mostly ended the turn because I was utterly clueless about what to do in the turn itself, so I didn't actually do anything in the first turn... But still, more PON activity than I've had since... well... <long bout of really hard thinking>
Probably since I played two turns as Russia after I had just purchased the game a couple of years ago.

I might try to advance another turn or two tonight, possibly even tinkering with the trade screens and ordering a structure or two! I even obtained some library books to tide me over during the turn resolution.


Good to hear! :)

There's never too much to do the first turn, so no worries. If you keep at it, it'll make sense eventually. Or as we say in school, if you fake it long enough, eventually you'll understand (or you'll flunk the class!) ;)

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loki100
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Tue May 14, 2013 2:26 pm

r_rolo1 wrote:You don't need to feel bad about Gran Paradiso history, given that most of the first European national parks have exactly the same origin :/

Apparently the GB prestige evolution is even worse ( for you ) than I thought ( I was under the impression you were making a slight advance against them in peaceful years, but that most likely was a erroneous perception ). You will really need two wars with GB to take them down and that might not be enough by itself ... you might need to complement it with trashing someone else in between just to juice out some prestige, preferentially someone weak that you have a CB on ( say, like the good ol'Turks )

The economical situation looks good enough, except the steel ( and coal ) situation, but with so much demand in the form of battleships and rails, it is not exactly a surprise to see that. You will most likely need more steel factories and coal pits for your projects, though .

To end, it is good to see that finally the situation on Yemen is somewhat stabilized and that it is not as rebel infested as the Ottoman Arabia still is. A fine display of the Italian superior civilizing ways ( that or the rebels heard that Gari was in the other side of the Red Sea and fled to safety :D ) ;)


As Jim-NC says below, its clear the F10 screen is not telling the full story, which is why a while back I actually reckoned I could win without taking down the GB (even if that would be a pretty tedious task) but I was becoming suspicious as I wasn't really catching up with them. Below in another, very peaceful, six months, I gained 1600 and they gained 1700, so I do need to do something.

I don't know if revolts are purely random or if some combination of improved SOI (legitimacy?) and loyalty gives stability over time. But I've not had a revolt in Arabia in about 7 years, since the last Ottoman war while before that they were neat constant.

Coal I can manage, there is now a global overproduction and still quite a few slots left in the US. I'm finding it easy to keep relations with them in the 40s and have no interest in conflict so that is now my preferred option for overseas building. Iron, I have my own shut down, so the shortage is at the secondary level. While I am not aiming for autarky at all (in fact when a new plant opens I deliberatly up my international sales of those goods) but for a few key goods I am building the capacity I need for myself. Trade is too unreliable.

Jim-NC wrote:The prestige gain that shows on the F10 (I think) screen is I belive from the regions held only. I don't believe it includes either colonial actions/gains, nor does it include the amount from manufacturing. Thus, it severely understates what is happening later in the game (where a good manufacturing sector can bring around 100 PP a turn).


Ah that makes sense. I'd started to wonder if it was like the military power column and more of a ratio than an absolute. But yes, at the start, most prestige would come from objectives since it was only shipyards that yielded prestige for production.

Stuyvesant wrote:Y'know, this AAR has made me hold my breath and double-click the dusty 'PON' shortcut on my laptop again last night. I brushed through two tutorials, started a new game as S-P... I even ended the turn! Mind you, I mostly ended the turn because I was utterly clueless about what to do in the turn itself, so I didn't actually do anything in the first turn... But still, more PON activity than I've had since... well... <long bout of really hard thinking>
Probably since I played two turns as Russia after I had just purchased the game a couple of years ago. :)

I might try to advance another turn or two tonight, possibly even tinkering with the trade screens and ordering a structure or two! I even obtained some library books to tide me over during the turn resolution.

Anyway, back to the actual AAR: I'm impressed with the colonial gains you've made since the start. And that's quite a nice opium operation you've got going there in Yemen. :) Now, after a whole update dedicated to peace and development, how about another war? Preferably one that's bloody and one-sided? ;)


Yep, I'm Europe's No#1 Opium dealer ... all we need to do is bedeck Umberto in a few gold chains and white trousers and the image is complete. Next update is awful I'm afraid, no battles anywhere, but then Gari provokes a decent conflict near to his retirement home.

As to starting, it is hard. I think with a new game you are looking for feedback loops and that takes time. So used with many computer games to the approach that your opening moves are critical, here its a bit mheh. As to countries to try, I'm now of the view that Prussia is a good beginner state. Ok you are even more locked out of the colonial game than S-P was, but your fate on the unification process is much more in your own hands than it is for Italy.

I kept on trying to start with Russia and getting utterly lost. When I finish this, and recover from the shock, I'll give Russia a go, be fascinating to see how it plays if it is nearly impossible to contain domestic dissent.

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:Good to hear! :)

There's never too much to do the first turn, so no worries. If you keep at it, it'll make sense eventually. Or as we say in school, if you fake it long enough, eventually you'll understand (or you'll flunk the class!) ;)


A key bit to the start is to trust the advice at the top of the 'B' screen. That actually helps a lot with both early builds and trade policy. I'm sure a deep subtle analysis with 20 spreadsheets could come up with a more optimal opening set of choices but in a 1500 turn game the opening moves are most likely to turn out to have not been critical
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July-December 1883, Not much happens

Tue May 14, 2013 2:34 pm

Overall, not too much happened in these six months. My main aim was filling in the gaps as discussed, so more heavy industry to underpin the development of the type of navy I am going to need. In colonial terms, trying to consolidate what I hold rather than expand.

So here are the usual reports, again reduced to bi-monthly as that seems to show the underlying trends fairly well.

Manufacture

Image

Main things there is that I can no longer even manage to spend the state cash (despite pretty low taxes). Manufactures remain hard to build up, I generate a stock, spend it and then have to wait a while for it to recover. I’ve also show (right hand column) the private capital used in production. This is varying quite a lot, mainly as I am juggling around production and imports and letting some stocks run down.

The main goal is to build up my heavy industry and this period sees a new steel and a chemical plant commissioned.

Image

They are now taking around 2 years from order to completion. For various reasons I’ve opted to spread my industry around (less vulnerable if the UK invades) and as you can see, I’m also now adding advanced rails down into the Mezzogiorno. As far as I can, I’m trying to balance out the development of Italy but places like Sardinia and the Adriatic Coast are lagging behind.

Non-Manufacture

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I spent most of those six months converting food to canned food (the column I’ve highlighted) which had the effect of reducing my stocks of cereals. I’ll now run that down in turn and keep some of the agriculture closed. Its not that I particularly need to conserve PC (as the bottleneck to production is in manufactured goods and steel) but more there is no point to having stocks too large as wastage starts to set in.

People

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The increase in militancy is due to the sequence in which I played the main cards (referendum, social protection, education) rather than any underlying problem. Other than that, average growth stays at around 3%, education levels have dropped a little (as above, the education card was not available in this period) so the jumps reflect the provinces where I have played the university cards.

Several useful techs fire or reveal their consequences.

As a result of an electrification tech, I now have access to Urban Transportation. This sounds useful but in truth is rather limited in its application.

Image

If I had a lot of provinces with no rails then it would have been useful but the only gaps are Trieste and Udine (actually hadn’t realised that), so since it gives prestige I make use of it (and then build the missing railway units). So it’s a bit like the very early ‘wetlands’ card, something I’d make use of if playing Russia but less use in a small western European state.

A more useful tech in terms of naval protection.

Image

That improves the armour on my new warships.

In naval terms, one goal is to create a transport fleet large enough to carry one of my 3000 power armies in a single operation. This round of building will give me that, I have a second fleet in E Africa that can shift around 1100 power and ideally I need a third fleet to give me the capacity to shift another 3000 power army at the same time. Worth stressing in this respect power does not directly equal weight for transport but it’s a good proxy.

Image

In colonial matters, my East Africa railway is now being extended to Dar es Salaam.

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Also, slowly my explorers push west, encountering Belgian territory.

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Its of no interest to me so I’ll leave it to them.

Another Italian volcano blows up but I doubt this is some subtle warning by the Belgians for me to back off.

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Prestige

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So, again in a peaceful six months, I’ve gone from 44,648 to 46,241 and GB from 72,069 to 73,755. I’m gaining +1,600 and them about +1,700. Peace is nice, and often rather necessary, but I need the prestige from beating someone up.

So as part of the colonial series, lets have a look at Ethiopia and the surrounding regions.

Image

In raw material terms, actually not as valuable as Arabia (mostly coffee) which I am slowly exploiting as the rails improve the development levels (solid lines are built/being built, the dotted line is the planned extension to Cairo). The hatched areas to the west are where my CP has spread. This is mostly by accident, although I now have a few trade and mission buildings especially in the southern portion of that zone.

Within this, there are a few provinces worth a closer look.

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Addis Adaba/Markos is the capital of Ethiopia and a large military centre (I have a huge colonial army there that I break regiments off every now and then).

Image

Fashoda to the west is besieged by the Mahdi and his bunch (not at war with me). As you can I have an overlapping Colonial presence with Egypt (and my SoI is much higher), hence the regular CB I now have on Egypt.

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Finally Djibuti. Those with long memories will recall this was my first colony. It has a large port (level 5), fort and naval guns and a large depot as well as a railway. In economic terms, the dyes have become more useful but its not exactly as useful as either Arabia or East Africa.


Ok, sorry that is a bit of a dull update. I’m putting together all the bits I will need in the medium term. I’m not actively into more colonial expansion (though I do gain a bit more) and this phase is all apart preparing for the struggle with Britain.
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Tue May 14, 2013 6:14 pm

If you want to start a game I would suggest GB, it gets to do whatever it likes and is required to take an interest everywhere.
So I think it makes the best starting country.

vaalen
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Tue May 14, 2013 11:35 pm

Loki, I want to thank you for this fascinating AAR. I am an experienced player, yet I have learned a lot just from reading this. You have a gift for showing exactly what is going on, and the reasoning behind your decisions.

This AAR shows a great deal of work on your part, and I thank for all your efforts, which are very much appreciated!

Soulstrider
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Wed May 15, 2013 11:57 pm

Be careful with Mahdi, if it works like in the MP games, he will apparently start to declare war against random European powers

Stuyvesant
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Thu May 16, 2013 8:35 pm

loki100 wrote:Another Italian volcano blows up but I doubt this is some subtle warning by the Belgians for me to back off.


It's the Austrian Emperor, I tell ya! Yes, you [s]blew up his Death Star[/s] destroyed his armies. Twice. But he's got a new secret weapon and he is plotting his revenge! It probably also involves turning Gari to the Dark Side, although it's hard to imagine how Gari could be any Darker than he already is (I mean, he's the man who torched Mecca and stormed Jerusalem - and that's just getting started on things)...

On a more serious note, I'd be a little bit concerned about the Mahdi, seeing as his army is right on your doorstep. Eventually Fashoda will fall, I assume, and then what will he do with his thousands of holy fanatics? You present somewhat of an attractive target.

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Fri May 17, 2013 1:50 am

That's not an Austrian plot, it is just Neapolitans being Neapolitan. :)

Be careful when twisting the tail of the British lion. Your empire is basically just one big long coastline, and (historically) they had the ships and the ability to deploy large armies. With the home islands and India they have an enormous manpower pool. If they were still at war with Prussia, I'd say go for it. As it is... be careful.


There is a great scene from 'The Court-Martial of George Armstrong Custer' where one of the surviving Indian scouts is testifying about the battle. As he leaves the stand he stops by Custer's seat and says, "Too many, Yellow-hair. Too many!" It has been a favorite saying of mine for many years and I intone it whenever something catastrophic happens. Like the Germans launching a 25-division death-ride at my lines, or (in my current Vic2 game) the Ottomans launching a six-great-power Great War in their fourth bid to get Mosul back. (Seriously: get a life, Turks, really. Please!).

Be careful. And if possible set up some nice traps where you can beat them piece-meal. Whipping Austria and coming in second with Italy is victory enough for me... it wasn't so very long ago we thought you'd never even get to form Italy.

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Sun May 19, 2013 7:42 pm

Director wrote:Be careful when twisting the tail of the British lion. Your empire is basically just one big long coastline, and (historically) they had the ships and the ability to deploy large armies. With the home islands and India they have an enormous manpower pool. If they were still at war with Prussia, I'd say go for it. As it is... be careful.

True enough, but again loki has been ramping up the shipbuilding so he will probably be ready to atleast achieve local superiority. You also have to add the fact that it will be Italy that owns the Suez, that allows interior lines play. The Indian manpower is a issue, though ... :/ Loki will definitely need some kind of killing ground like in the first Austrian war to grind out the Brit manpower...

On the update proper, Ethiopia surely was a good investment ( and given how relatively bloodless was to get, it was probably one of best cost/profit relation of your colonies ) and it probably is quite lucrative even without the rails. On the Mahdi ... well, don't go to Khartoum without a rail behind ... learn with Kitchener and not with Gordon :D

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loki100
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Tue May 21, 2013 9:32 pm

jokeon wrote:If you want to start a game I would suggest GB, it gets to do whatever it likes and is required to take an interest everywhere.
So I think it makes the best starting country.


I think thats good advice, its just I find it easier to start small and build up. In both PoN and Victoria, I find managing the global spread the British start with too daunting, but then I agree its one of the countries that is very forgiving of mistakes

vaalen wrote:Loki, I want to thank you for this fascinating AAR. I am an experienced player, yet I have learned a lot just from reading this. You have a gift for showing exactly what is going on, and the reasoning behind your decisions.

This AAR shows a great deal of work on your part, and I thank for all your efforts, which are very much appreciated!


thank you, I'm glad you find it useful. I've confessed a few times I partially started this as a 'teach myself PoN' exercise (I pay a lot more attention when I am taking screenshots and writing it up rather than just playing), but it is such a wonderfully deep and addictive game

Soulstrider wrote:Be careful with Mahdi, if it works like in the MP games, he will apparently start to declare war against random European powers


aye, I've been keeping an eye on your thread, not least as we're more or less in the same time frame. One advantage I have is a large native army (mostly from Ethiopia) so that, plus supply wagons may help me to deal with that threat

Stuyvesant wrote:It's the Austrian Emperor, I tell ya! Yes, you [s]blew up his Death Star[/s] destroyed his armies. Twice. But he's got a new secret weapon and he is plotting his revenge! It probably also involves turning Gari to the Dark Side, although it's hard to imagine how Gari could be any Darker than he already is (I mean, he's the man who torched Mecca and stormed Jerusalem - and that's just getting started on things)...

On a more serious note, I'd be a little bit concerned about the Mahdi, seeing as his army is right on your doorstep. Eventually Fashoda will fall, I assume, and then what will he do with his thousands of holy fanatics? You present somewhat of an attractive target.


The Mahdi is a worry, esp as his region borders onto Libya as well as Ethiopia so a war could be a very messy affair, but with quite a nice prize if I can manage to defeat them. G is in retirement ... which is why there is a large campaign being waged near his bungalow.

Director wrote:That's not an Austrian plot, it is just Neapolitans being Neapolitan. :)

Be careful when twisting the tail of the British lion. Your empire is basically just one big long coastline, and (historically) they had the ships and the ability to deploy large armies. With the home islands and India they have an enormous manpower pool. If they were still at war with Prussia, I'd say go for it. As it is... be careful.


There is a great scene from 'The Court-Martial of George Armstrong Custer' where one of the surviving Indian scouts is testifying about the battle. As he leaves the stand he stops by Custer's seat and says, "Too many, Yellow-hair. Too many!" It has been a favorite saying of mine for many years and I intone it whenever something catastrophic happens. Like the Germans launching a 25-division death-ride at my lines, or (in my current Vic2 game) the Ottomans launching a six-great-power Great War in their fourth bid to get Mosul back. (Seriously: get a life, Turks, really. Please!).

Be careful. And if possible set up some nice traps where you can beat them piece-meal. Whipping Austria and coming in second with Italy is victory enough for me... it wasn't so very long ago we thought you'd never even get to form Italy.



aye too many chilli flavoured meals and the nearest mountain just blows up.

As to GB, I feel I have to have at least one go. I'm nailed on for an honourable second place but the temptation to push things is there.

My vulnerability to a power with naval superiority is very much in my mind. Italy, historically, has always been vulnerable to any power that has naval superiority. So I'll cover this in detail over the next few updates but one part, obviously, is to develop my own navy. But in addition, I'm trying to build up a small number of provinces as very tough forts (both land and sea facing), then I can concentrate my army and wait (equally I can gamble on sending some outside Italy). The logic is such strongpoints will channel any invasion, slow them down and allow me to respond.

I can only go on their performance in their war with Prussia, where, whatever they did, it was none too effective. But then, as below, I intend to tweak their tale by going for both India and the Cape.

r_rolo1 wrote:True enough, but again loki has been ramping up the shipbuilding so he will probably be ready to atleast achieve local superiority. You also have to add the fact that it will be Italy that owns the Suez, that allows interior lines play. The Indian manpower is a issue, though ... :/ Loki will definitely need some kind of killing ground like in the first Austrian war to grind out the Brit manpower...

On the update proper, Ethiopia surely was a good investment ( and given how relatively bloodless was to get, it was probably one of best cost/profit relation of your colonies ) and it probably is quite lucrative even without the rails. On the Mahdi ... well, don't go to Khartoum without a rail behind ... learn with Kitchener and not with Gordon :D


Its going to be harder to find an obvious choke point as till they land in Italy (if they do) they have complete freedom of choice as to where. So I intend to use some major forts, which I am building, to allow me to concentrate and hopefully catch any invasion force.

Its hard in PoN to maintain a naval blockade (ships run out of fuel and cohesion fairly quickly -esp now most are coal powered), so, at worst, at sea I can play cat and mouse, use Suez and hopefully be able to retain some global movement
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January-June 1884: Industrial and Colonial expansions

Tue May 21, 2013 9:42 pm

The first half of 1884 was again mostly a period of preparation, however, Gari’s presence in E Africa (even when formally retired) did have some consequences.

[CENTER]Regular Reports[/CENTER]

Manufactures (again I’ll keep these to bi-monthly)

Image

Main thing there is manufactured goods and steel are still fluctuating but am able to continue with key elements of my industrial expansion. Note also I’m upgrading the fort at Rome as part of building up some key defensive positions.

Non-Manufactures

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As ever, less to say on this aspect. Basically I engage in stock management and try to sell as much as I can (hence the low stock for opium which reflects demand not my production). Overall I’m running a small balance of payments deficit (about 100-200 PC per turn) which is fine but I don’t want it to become too large.

Population

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Again not too much going on there. This six month period I was able to play most of the cards that reduce militancy (hence the drop – see column 5), population growth remains around 2.9% and reflecting the cards I’ve played, average education level is up a bit (and the University card was played in Lazio).

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This is something I don’t usually show but it indicates how population expansion alone changes demand for key goods (no relevant techs fired in this period). So for example, demand by peasants for food went from 83 to 86, common goods from 72 to 75 and luxuries from 46 to 48. On the other hand, the changes for the upper classes and the parasites are probably as much a matter of rounding as any real growth (for eg upper classes have gone from 19 luxuries to 20).

So that steady population growth is fueling an equally steady uplift in demand.

[CENTER]Events[/CENTER]

One of my goals in preparation for war with the UK is to review my defensive arrangements. One part of this is to create a huge well defended fort system on my northern borders, in particular in Tirol and around Trieste. To assist with this, the garrison force originally at Turin is moved to Trieste.

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My intention is to create a large fortification system at both Trieste and Tirol and stock both with garrison units and artillery, That should give me some protection if I do end up having to deal with Prussia.

I’ve started developing fort systems at Genoa, La Spezia, Rome and Sicily with a view to war with the UK. The idea is that any landing there will be bogged down and, if I’m lucky, fail utterly. But it also means I don’t risk losing something critical due to being caught off balance.

I’ll cover all this in detail in a later post when my plans are a bit closer to being realized.

Colonial wars

Somewhat unintentionally, my colonial power is spreading southwards. Well if I do want a rail from Cape to Cairo I guess I need to take advantage.

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At the same time, Gari decides to have a small war near his retirement bungalow

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Those battles took place in the province to the east of his villa. Again its as much a case of me following my CP expansion as any particularly deliberate plan.

Inventions

A new addition to my navy is now available.

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I can’t afford one at the moment (which is why the counter has a red line) but I’ll add a few to the fleet as soon as I can.

One thing to note, building ships costs prestige (not a lot – 6 is one turn of colonial gain – but I guess its one to reflect the vanity nature of a modern fleet).

Diplomacy

In Europe, I’m trying to build up decent relations with Serbia and Bulgaria. One reason is this seems a good idea as they, in turn, are hostile to two states I have CBs on (Austria and the Ottomans). But mainly, I want a defensive treaty with Russia and they won’t agree as I have poor relations with their mates in the Balkans.

Prussia, of course, is taking a somewhat more aggressive approach

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Much to my surprise, the US backed down, not sure why it reports it as a US diplomatic victory when most of the prestige stash went to Prussia.

Overall in terms of prestige, progress is much as expected.

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I’ve gained 1900 in those six months and the UK 1700. This is a welcome catch up and I think reflects my new industrial plants and a regular stream of victories in the smaller colonial wars.

[CENTER]E Africa[/CENTER]

So lets have a look at the third of my main colonial regions.

It’s a bit of a complex picture (mainly I suspect as I am out of SoI) but I have 5 colonial capitals (if we include Somalia) spread across the region.

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This is in some ways not as rich as my Arabian provinces but does promise access to some goods I either lack completely or have in short supply.

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In particular, the tropical fruits and, inland, as the rails are put in place, I’m developing coffee and tea plantations.

My new region to the south, around Songea, has some potential in terms of more tropical fruits, sugar and coffee.

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The key to this area is holding onto it. Germany has got very interested in colonial actions, so I expect my CP will be challenged. Equally worrying is the scope of this type of tussle to erupt into a full war. In turn, that takes me back to my goal of fortifying Italy’s northern borders.

So again, not much happened except an awful lot of colonial skirmishes as I established military control over the border provinces.

Given my growing list of tasks in preparation for war with GB, there will be a lot of peaceful development. I need more industry, better fixed defenses (I’m happy enough with the size of the field army), a larger navy and of course to create an environment where war doesn’t see me swept from my hard won colonial gains.
AJE The Hero, The Traitor and The Barbarian
PoN Manufacturing Italy; A clear bright sun
RoP The Mightiest Empires Fall
WIA Burning down the Houses; Wars in America; The Tea Wars

r_rolo1
Private
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:53 pm

Thu May 23, 2013 3:56 pm

Well, your CP leakage is putting yourself in crash course with a number of really unwanted guests. First the Prussians/Germans, then the Mahdi ...I sincerely hope you will not have issues big enough to distract you from beating GB, but I really don't expect that you can avoid atleast a crisis with Germany for what in OTL was German Tanganyika. But on the other side, it would be useful to have the southern flank closed by the Portuguese possessions, as it would save you from worry about that side ... and you most likely need those pineapples ;)

BTW, where is Umberto nowadays? ;) I heard that there is a nice area near lake Vict ... er, Garibaldi where there is a lot of wildlife to be hunt... er , protected :D , so you should probably send him there :p

Stuyvesant
Lieutenant
Posts: 144
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:06 am
Location: Wilmington, NC

Thu May 23, 2013 6:30 pm

loki100 wrote:Much to my surprise, the US backed down, not sure why it reports it as a US diplomatic victory when most of the prestige stash went to Prussia.


Well, you could claim it's simply a matter of lowering your expectations enough: the US didn't utterly selfdestruct, so it counts as a victory? ;) More soberly, I wonder if it's a matter of the relative amount of prestige each power contributed to the kitty. Perhaps the US deposited very little prestige, got more out of it in the end and therefore was considered the winner, even though Prussia got the larger total?

You have some ambitious building plans to gear up for your grudge match with the UK. How much of a strain will it be for you to increase industry, fortifications, navy and colonial holdings all at once? And how do you rank those four items, in terms of burden on your economic resources?

r_rolo1 wrote:Well, your CP leakage is putting yourself in crash course with a number of really unwanted guests.

Great phrase, 'CP leakage'. Now I have a mental image of Italy as a drunken and incontinent matron staggering across the African continent. :)

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