Stuyvesant
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Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:43 pm

loki100 wrote:Just to add to the regional chaos, the navy decides to restart its training programme of shelling passing Continents.

Image


Erm, you gain prestige from wantonly shelling British and Spanish colonial structures? I'm sure it'll help with the Italian reputation for being the loose cannon of the international arena, but I must admit to being puzzled how blowing up a Spanish farm is all that prestigious. ;)

Your economy is growing nicely, the UK still lies broken... All pretty safe and steady. Well, 10,000 Italians lie dead in the colonies, but they don't count - dead people can't complain. Or vote.

Wedged in between all the notifications about the vast sums of money you're raking in that Brazli has upset your businessmen. I would think upsetting Italian 'businessmen' would not be a smart decision, but there you go. Can you intervene on behalf of your aggrieved entrepreneurs (giving your navy a chance to shell an exotic new continent), or is the language of that notification merely flavor?

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Director
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Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:26 am

Spiffy looking uniforms! And of course new battleships are always in style. Bismarck had his wars against Austria and France to unify Germany and make her the central pivot of European politics. Seems to me that your wars with Austria and Britain have done the same for italy - Rome is now the hub around which revolve the other powers.

Having emulated Bismarck I hope you will be careful not to follow on and copy Wilhelm. A little spice is exciting; too much causes great distress.

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loki100
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Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:54 pm

Stuyvesant wrote:Erm, you gain prestige from wantonly shelling British and Spanish colonial structures? I'm sure it'll help with the Italian reputation for being the loose cannon of the international arena, but I must admit to being puzzled how blowing up a Spanish farm is all that prestigious


well you know how it is, you start out to shell a continent and a small church or farm just gets in the way ... ;)

Stuyvesant wrote:Your economy is growing nicely, the UK still lies broken... All pretty safe and steady. Well, 10,000 Italians lie dead in the colonies, but they don't count - dead people can't complain. Or vote.


In some parts of Sicily they do, similar to the famous graveyard vote in some districts of Northern Ireland

Stuyvesant wrote:Wedged in between all the notifications about the vast sums of money you're raking in that Brazli has upset your businessmen. I would think upsetting Italian 'businessmen' would not be a smart decision, but there you go. Can you intervene on behalf of your aggrieved entrepreneurs (giving your navy a chance to shell an exotic new continent), or is the language of that notification merely flavor?


I think that is related to one of the taxes, in effect you pay them for production you have in their territory. Since I am good mates with France, Brazil and the USA (who all inflict that tax on me), they can whinge all they like. As to shelling the Americas, well I'm not that greedy, one continent at a time has been my motto all this game

Director wrote:Spiffy looking uniforms! And of course new battleships are always in style. Bismarck had his wars against Austria and France to unify Germany and make her the central pivot of European politics. Seems to me that your wars with Austria and Britain have done the same for italy - Rome is now the hub around which revolve the other powers.

Having emulated Bismarck I hope you will be careful not to follow on and copy Wilhelm. A little spice is exciting; too much causes great distress.


I do find as the game has gone on, the flamboyance of uniforms, and indeed the nattiness of hats, has declined. But I still have some units with impressive head gear.

I can imagine that the 'Italian problem' is much discussed in European diplomatic circles, esp as I have gone all nice and peaceful (well apart from a small war in the next update).

Hope your moving traumas are resolved (or at least less traumatic)
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1896: The thieving Boers and sporting Zulus

Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:05 pm

I'll keep to making these updates cover a complete year. My overall logic at this stage is I want to see if my estimates about winning are correct – in other words to confirm an approach that seems to work for vanilla SP play.

Once I have reached that threshold, I have a script that has been developed by Christophe.Barot, and I'm trying to adapt and improve. The goal is to try and make the diplomatic AI more aware of upcoming threats and search out allies. In my case, I think this should send Britain in search of continental alliances (thus annoying UKIP), most likely with Germany as France has a long standing friendship with Italy. Now I could simply script in such an alliance and play around with the WW1 event chain but I'd be interested to see if the AI can be convinced to look out for itself.

My overall view is that any other power in PoN needs to take on GB in a war at some stage. I'd guess the bigger potential powers – US, Russia, Germany or France – could do this earlier in the game than I risked. Not least, remember that group need 4 times the next most powerful state to win the prestige game so would need to be in front much earlier. Even with a focus on industrialisation as the core to prestige gain, you need to undermine GB, not just outproduce it. So, especially with a weaker power (ie any but America or Russia), I think it helps that GB tends to diplomatic isolation – in this game, I could not have taken on an Anglo-German alliance as I would have needed my entire army in Italy just to defend. Having said that, it would be more fun if GB was prepared to take a potential rival more seriously than it does.

With that out of the way, time for the update ... and this one features a war with the gold snatching Boers and the ever helpful Zulus.

Non-Boer/Zulu War stuff


Manuf

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Coal is, as so often, the issue there. Not least very little is now up for sale and demand is high. This leads to another flurry of building coal mines in America. This adds another 4 so I think I have around 10 in the USA now.

Image

Non-Manuf

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One issue here is I have stopped playing most of the development cards (that in turn boost population growth in an attempt to manage to meet their food demands). In January demand was 712 and I was supplying 691, by the end of December, it was 743-727. So roughly I am keeping in step with natural population growth, but not really closing the gap. To do that, ideally I think I need access to rice from somewhere.

Militantism hovvers around 66-68% but contentment remains around 98-99% so the failure to meet their food demands is having no adverse affect at the moment.

Colonial issues

The Italian navy demonstrates its versatility ... just because a province is inland does not make it safe ...

Image

Beard Watch

Antonio takes over and restores the beard to its central position in Italian politics

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Boer/Zulu War stuff


Well before I had a war, someone else decided it was a good idea

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But then the evil Boers struck (or more accurately stole, its the Swiss who are always on strike).

Image

Now I did think long and hard about this. If you recall from my second Egyptian war, these CBs linked to stolen structures are pretty useless, in that you cannot claim very much. Equally I like the idea of strong Boers for when they do their thing with the British Empire.

But, I fancy a war, and this is a chance to improve the experience (and thus Command Points) of a number of my generals.

Image

The point of all those 'promise local supports' is they are all tribes with whom I have relations that are just negative. That set of agreements ended about 75% of my niggly colonial actions and allows my explorers to move freely in the Niger region.

Anyway war starts with the evil gold stealers learning they may have made a mistake.

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But just when it seems as if it was going to be too easy, the rather sporting Zulus join in.

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This means I deploy another army from Italy.

Which is timely as the evil gold stealing Boers attack and massacre my garrisons.

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One of the new armies engages the sporting Zulus, who opt to fight on open terrain in good weather like the good sports they are ... pity the Italian army so likes to use big long range guns.

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Just to make this all the more sporting, the revolting Najd's are back.

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Anyway, having captured almost all their territory and driven their army to hide in Mafeking, I offer the Boers peace.

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There are, unfortunately, no Zulus left to make peace with.

Prestige

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As ever, probably the most important single image. The main issues are that my prestige is up by 10,000 (from 138,434 to 148,286) and Britain by 2,200 (from 105,644 to 107,915). The war with the Boers gave me a small bonus (battles and captures) but not enough to make much of a difference.

This indicates a small improvement for Britain (they gained 2000 in 1895) and a slight slow down for me (I gained 11,000 last year). The only reason I can think of is the relative scarcity of oil and coal has meant my industrial production has been reduced a little. I am now at 69% of the target, compared to 66% at the end of 1895, so should 'win' around 1907 (ie back on my earlier estimate).

My losses are much the same and have increased from 3.56m to 3.57m. I think there has been a trade off with some losses in the Boer-Zulu wars but these offset by ending the majority of my colonial skirmishes.
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Jim-NC
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Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:09 pm

You need some of those Boer horse raider men. 50 of them took out 4,000 Italians. Imagine if they had been working for the British. Your dreams of conquest would have gone down the drain.
Remember - The beatings will continue until morale improves.
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Stuyvesant
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Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:53 pm

Jim-NC wrote:You need some of those Boer horse raider men. 50 of them took out 4,000 Italians. Imagine if they had been working for the British. Your dreams of conquest would have gone down the drain.


That is what I noticed - fifty men and fifty horses slaughtered 4,400 Italians. Without a single loss on their part. Did the Boers use horse-powered B-52s to carpet-bomb your garrisons into dust? Or did South Africa develop its nuclear program about 70 years early in this game?

Anyway, embarrassingly one-sided garrison slaughters aside, you managed to outwit (out-kill?) the Boers, your government managed to out-beard Kruger, and you won the war. Does that mean you got your goldmine back, or does that require some creative scripting?

Finally, the Najds... That's an itch you really need to scratch. Can you perhaps organize a naval demonstration in the inland desert province where those naughty Najds hide out, to convince them of the error of their ways?

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Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:20 am

Congratulations, just saw your article over at "Wargamer".

This has been a great and fun ride.

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loki100
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Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:49 pm

Jim-NC wrote:You need some of those Boer horse raider men. 50 of them took out 4,000 Italians. Imagine if they had been working for the British. Your dreams of conquest would have gone down the drain.


I know, they were awesome, one reason for ending the war was that I didn't want to kill them off, I feel they may do more use to Italy, alive and at war with the British, than dead. Their first triumph was about long range combat, but the second time they did their thing in the assault phase :)

Stuyvesant wrote:That is what I noticed - fifty men and fifty horses slaughtered 4,400 Italians. Without a single loss on their part. Did the Boers use horse-powered B-52s to carpet-bomb your garrisons into dust? Or did South Africa develop its nuclear program about 70 years early in this game?

Anyway, embarrassingly one-sided garrison slaughters aside, you managed to outwit (out-kill?) the Boers, your government managed to out-beard Kruger, and you won the war. Does that mean you got your goldmine back, or does that require some creative scripting?

Finally, the Najds... That's an itch you really need to scratch. Can you perhaps organize a naval demonstration in the inland desert province where those naughty Najds hide out, to convince them of the error of their ways?


mmmhh, the gold mine, yeah, um well, it got burnt down ... and it was all their fault, really

for some reason I can't shell the Najd's (at least not from the sea) so that irritant has to be solved the traditional way

jokeon wrote:Congratulations, just saw your article over at "Wargamer".

This has been a great and fun ride.


thank you, hope it gives a few readers an idea what the mid/late game looks like and encourages them to either start playing again or pick up the game for the first time
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1897: Elimiating the Najds, and the population becomes choosy eaters

Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:54 pm

As with the previous set of updates, the main goal in this year was to manage domestic dissent. This remains high and I am not meeting their food needs. This is not helped by a global coal situation that makes any substantive expansion of agriculture a challenge (remember that level 2 and level 3 farms often need coal). To slow population expansion, I've stopped blanket use of the development cards except if I want to reduce revolt risk – a side effect of this is some slowing in terms of prestige gains.

Anyway, to the details

Industry

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Agriculture etc

Image

In an attempt to increase production, I carry on upgrading as much as I can (this is linked to the nitrates tech I had in 1896). At the start of the year, demand for food was 743 units and I was supplying 727. At that stage, I was hopeful that I could bring the situation under control but by the end of the year, following some population increasing techs, demand is up to 865 units and supply around 700 (I think the problem is population supply comes from stocks not production and I'm finding it hard to produce substantive stocks).

Overall its clear I've reached the outer edge of feasible production. In 1898, I spend quite a lot building key production (especially coal) in other countries in an attempt to boost global supply. Another goal is to return to my older plan of being nice to China. If I can push relations over 25, then there is a lot of rice that I could start to exploit, and if I am having problems with volume, it maybe I can ease the situation with more variety.

Colonial wars

After my recent experiment in being friendly, most of my colonial wars ended. Equally the most recent outbreak of Najds is speedily eliminated.

Image

And later in the year, my explorers reach Lake Chad, only to find the British there before them – I mean its this sort of thing that causes wars.

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Research

Early in the year a number of techs fired. Some of these affected militantism, but Female Suffrage has an indirect benefit

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Others help with contentment

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And, the speed of population growth is increased – just what I need.

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With the new options, I push militancy down from around 65-67% to 56% but it soon bounces back to around 65%. Contentment remains at 98-99% and there is no actual revolt risk.

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The main non-Italian event is Japan and China are back at war with each other.

Image

Worth noting that the 'businessmen' who do this mysterious buying and selling are now completely clueless as to the real value of their purchases.

Prestige

With the emerging domestic problems, and these are going to get worse in 1898, it feels a bit like I am staggering into the end game, rather than triumphantly sweeping all before the new Roman Empire. As one of my cats often implied – 'if you think I am in a bad shape, you should see the other cat' (this is the one as my avatar), so:

Image

Overall, I am at 71% of the target having grown from 148,266 to 156,351 (ie down to 8,000 from my high of 11,000), Britain has gained 2,000 (from 107,915 to 109,965), down from their gain of 2,200 last year. To conserve coal I do have some industry shut down.

My colonial gains are now up to 10 per turn – reflecting the slow acceptance that most of my gains are now part of my SoI.

On balance, this looks like I will have double by around 1907-8 so the relative slowdown appears to be having no long term consequences.

Losses were low, as I have very few border raids or skirmishes since the shift to being 'nice to the neighbours' was suggested to the Italian diplomatic corps. I lost 1,400 and overall losses remain around 3.57m – the Italian army becomes a much safer place.
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Jim-NC
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Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:46 am

Something appears to be seriously out of alignment in your production/transportation network. Looking at your screens, it appears that Tea, Coffee, Tropical Fruits, Sugar and Opium are in the same "boat" so to speak. If you are actually producing them (the problem is the F4 screen shows "planned" production, not actual), they are not getting shipped back to the homeland. So there is something wrong with those colonial areas I am guessing. Have you checked your collection of goods? It's one of the filters in the lower left of the screen.
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Director
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Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:00 am

Were this a different game I know exactly what I would think. "We need rice. Where can we find rice? Let's ask the scouts. Where are the scouts? In the Army. So let's send out the Army to find some rice. Of course we will have to keep the land the rice is growing on - that's nothing but common sense."

You haven't stirred much from your European and African backyard. Perhaps it's time to send the armed forces on a little tour of Asia?

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Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:50 pm

loki100 wrote:Worth noting that the 'businessmen' who do this mysterious buying and selling are now completely clueless as to the real value of their purchases.


Looks like the Italian mafia has perfected the art of money-laundering on an epic (or should I say 'Industrial', given the era?) scale.

Seems your new Roman Empire needs more sustenance. Perhaps it's time to call up a certain bald-headed egomaniac to lead your country, get the trains running on time and start looking for <ahem> 'living space'? I hear the Ukraine is a good producer of cereals... Or, if you want to hew closer to Roman tradition, then perhaps the various former bread baskets of the Empire (Sicily, North Africa, Egypt, Anatolia) should be incorporated into your state?

I like the simplicity of Director's thinking, but then A) I don't play the actual game and B) I don't know how much of that simplicity disappears if you actually decide to implement a more aggressive foreign policy once again.

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Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:37 am

Jim-NC wrote:Something appears to be seriously out of alignment in your production/transportation network. Looking at your screens, it appears that Tea, Coffee, Tropical Fruits, Sugar and Opium are in the same "boat" so to speak. If you are actually producing them (the problem is the F4 screen shows "planned" production, not actual), they are not getting shipped back to the homeland. So there is something wrong with those colonial areas I am guessing. Have you checked your collection of goods? It's one of the filters in the lower left of the screen.


Jim/Loki, I'd love to hear more about this, as I (as Russia) seem to have had the same issue with tobacco in America. I gave up and sold it, then tried to buy it back, but it didn't appear to really get to my people. Hopefully there's an answer to be learned here from you guys!

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loki100
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Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:28 pm

Jim-NC wrote:Something appears to be seriously out of alignment in your production/transportation network. Looking at your screens, it appears that Tea, Coffee, Tropical Fruits, Sugar and Opium are in the same "boat" so to speak. If you are actually producing them (the problem is the F4 screen shows "planned" production, not actual), they are not getting shipped back to the homeland. So there is something wrong with those colonial areas I am guessing. Have you checked your collection of goods? It's one of the filters in the lower left of the screen.


Asher413 wrote:Jim/Loki, I'd love to hear more about this, as I (as Russia) seem to have had the same issue with tobacco in America. I gave up and sold it, then tried to buy it back, but it didn't appear to really get to my people. Hopefully there's an answer to be learned here from you guys!


I'll do a normal 1898 update over the next couple of days but wanted to explore the question that Jim raises about my missing coffee et al.

This is recent, so its not patch related, a couple of game years back I had a huge stock.

Equally, goods in small production do tend to fluctuate substantially in terms of stocks. The main reason is that sales to population come from stock not production – sensible both from a realism perspective and in terms of coding the process. The result is every now and then you sell far more than you produce for a few turns, the stock collapses as a result, sales then decrease and stocks rebuild.

Now I have no answer, but I think I can eliminate some options.

First here is my collection screen:

Image

Green is where I can collect my production, orange I can't. Now most of the orange is useless terrain producing nothing but at some stage my collection centre on the Yemen coast has been lost. So a useful double check, I'll add that back as there is coffee and opium I can take from those two provinces.

So its not the simple answer.

Second question is whether what is being produced is coming up for sale. Well yes:

Image

Those are the production from Ethiopia and Yemen, key is that the total I am holding back (right hand side) pretty much matches each turn production from my sites:

Here is coffee – (I've blocked those sites in this particular region)

Image

So I am producing around 151 from those locations which matches the shown stock pretty well. So its not piling up as stocks and not being forwarded to Italy. I'll not show it, but the same applies to the opium production. But that tends to remove the explanation that the problem is the production not actually happening.

I probably could do with more trade ships so I'll built a few more, but I don't think this is the bottleneck.

Image

If we look at the flows for tropical fruits, I'm not sure it makes much sense. What this doesn't show is the transfer from my trading posts (these carry on sending a unit every third turn even if a full production unit is there) which will explain some of the jumps in stocks.

Image

Looking at tropical fruits, my guess is that the large stock 9 turns back was a 'businessman' event. The jump in turn 5 is the consequence of a one-off success on the normal market.

Sales to market are 65% ie 5. Now accepting rounding, that indicates the baseline number is 7-8 which matches the stock shown at the top.

Here is the same for coffee and opium

Image

Image


So I producing the stuff, it is not staying in the colonial regions, it is being shown as production on the F4 screen, but all I have available seems to be imports from other nations and the random events.

This relatively recent. The attached is the non-industrial items for 1894, as you can see I was awash in coffee, the others less so, but then I had marginal production levels for those items.

Image

So its not – no production happening, no transfer from production region, F4 shows the production, but clearly its never arriving in my main stocks or being sold to the population.
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Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:06 pm

FYI, it appears that in 1894, limited amounts of Opium were being sent back home (you stock is 15-16, but your production is 42). Thus at that point, only about 13-14 units were making to Italy each turn.
It also appears that tea may have been having transportation issues in 1894 (it also seems to be a problem in the last turn).

So in 1894, I would say that coffee was being shipped home, but tea and opium were not.

This has been an issue for you for a while now.
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loki100
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Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:49 am

Director wrote:Were this a different game I know exactly what I would think. "We need rice. Where can we find rice? Let's ask the scouts. Where are the scouts? In the Army. So let's send out the Army to find some rice. Of course we will have to keep the land the rice is growing on - that's nothing but common sense."

You haven't stirred much from your European and African backyard. Perhaps it's time to send the armed forces on a little tour of Asia?

Stuyvesant wrote:Looks like the Italian mafia has perfected the art of money-laundering on an epic (or should I say 'Industrial', given the era?) scale.

Seems your new Roman Empire needs more sustenance. Perhaps it's time to call up a certain bald-headed egomaniac to lead your country, get the trains running on time and start looking for <ahem> 'living space'? I hear the Ukraine is a good producer of cereals... Or, if you want to hew closer to Roman tradition, then perhaps the various former bread baskets of the Empire (Sicily, North Africa, Egypt, Anatolia) should be incorporated into your state?

I like the simplicity of Director's thinking, but then A) I don't play the actual game and B) I don't know how much of that simplicity disappears if you actually decide to implement a more aggressive foreign policy once again.


The problem with that type of war is the game engine doesn't give you much reward. As in Egypt (over Suez) and with the Boers (over gold), you have your war and sit there looking rather silly as there is nothing to claim in terms of concrete gains - other than converting warscore into good will (sounds odd but if you white peace, the unused war score gives a boost to relations).

However, in the next update, I am going to try something quite shocking - viz: 'being nice' and it seems to pay off with a commercial agreement in China. That opens up a huge amount of undeveloped resources (rice, silk and tea in particular), so the era of Sino-Italian friendship is upon us.

As to what 'our friends from the South' are up to in this timeline, I hate to think. I'd assume given my industrialised and modernised state, there will be little emigration to the Americas, certainly not the mass search for security that underpinned the exodus from the South. But on the other hand, here is a huge empire, with ample supplies of narcotics and stimulants and trade routes across the globe - that may be were all my coffee is going?



Jim-NC wrote:FYI, it appears that in 1894, limited amounts of Opium were being sent back home (you stock is 15-16, but your production is 42). Thus at that point, only about 13-14 units were making to Italy each turn.
It also appears that tea may have been having transportation issues in 1894 (it also seems to be a problem in the last turn).

So in 1894, I would say that coffee was being shipped home, but tea and opium were not.

This has been an issue for you for a while now.


I'm not so sure, problem is I only have snap shots but I think the apparent stability of say opium is a bit false. What happens is a cycle, where stock was added to the pool, drawn down for consumption and so on. At some stage consumption outstrips supply (its a % of stock) so the stock falls to very low, and then rebuilds. This is a pretty regular mechanism around any low production good. It seems as if you need critical mass to gain a situation where the process is in stasis (in effect to be able to supply them more of that good than they want).

I'm going to have another poke around when I get time, if I can't work it out I'll post that short update as a bug report with a current save. As I said, its not patch driven, nor is it some legacy of the British war (a hole in my trade network due to commerce raiding), so there must be a systemic reason.
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1898 - a year of revolts, beard loss and the benefits of being nice to people

Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:51 am

Well you will be impressed to know (probably not really) that all my files have survived a complete reformat of my laptop – aided substantially by one of my cats stealing the data sticks I'd used to save key files.

So, this is the normal report for 1898. The key issues are the same – high militancy which is not yet creating worse problems, the global coal problem makes any industrial expansion impossible, but I do start being nice to China. Oh and revolts.

Industrial Reports


Manufactures

Image

Non-Manufactures

Image

At the start the food situation wasn't too bad, they wanted 865 and I was supplying 793. Militantism was around 66-68% across the year (so no worse than it had been in 1897).

My solution is to carry on exploiting unbuilt production sites in other countries. I build a batch of fruits and coal in France, the Balkans and the USA. In truth, I don't really care if I lose them, the idea is to try and boost global supply. I think the European sites will be less vulnerable to the issue of production not being transferred to my domestic stocks.

Image

At the same time I close a fair bit of industry. While this costs me the prestige, I need to ensure that key production is sustained and need to channel scarce resources to where it is most important.

Image

My 'be nice to China' plan pays off, when they give me a Commercial Agreement.

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I am going to use this to build rice, tea and silk plantations. I start with just one rice in case they take it off me. The China-strategy is a bit of a gamble as there is a danger of being pulled into a war but the rewards in terms of potential resources make this worthwhile. I'm not sure if there is a Boxer Rebellion style event chain in the game.

If this pays off, it will make a real difference in terms of availability of food – or more importantly, in terms of the range of food goods available.


Revolts

There were two unrelated (I hope) revolts in this period. I've not had a colonial revolt (i.e. rebels with no national identity) for a while, but this lot were a pain:

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That destroyed a valuable coffee plantation as well as other colonial buildings.

At the same time, the PSI organised the first of its many flawed attempts at revolt [1]

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In game, all this does is to add to the militancy across a number of regions (overall up to 77%), there is no actual revolt. Well it does have one outcome, Italy loses its global domination of the beard market:

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Pelloux is the new man in charge.

Oh and talking about revolting events, the Najds are back

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Clearly fed up with the idea of having to run around the sand dunes of Arabia once more, the generals who had won the war with Britain resign en-masse. This worsens my command problems with the army as I lose a group of 2/3 star generals and gain some 1 star replacements.

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Inspired by the resignation of all their officers, the Italian army rubs out the Najds yet again [2]

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Prestige

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The main changes there is my prestige is up by only 8,000 (156,351 to 164,6530 which is a drop from the 10,000 between 1896-7. The main reasons are the closure of a lot of industry and that I am no longer playing the domestic development cards (in an attempt to keep population growth as low as possible). I'm still making progress towards double the score of GB (71% to 73%) but at this rate its starting to look like I won't achieve that till 1911.

GB is showing some signs of recovery as well, up by almost 2,500 (110,000 to 112,300), so that is something I need to keep under review.

Losses were minimal as my 'being nice' strategy has meant very few colonial skirmishes and are around 16,000 over the year.



[1] – It may be clear that the PSI (Italian Socialist Party) is not my favourite political party. In the period 1890-1925 it often used very radical language (to the left of the nascent PCI in the 20s) but never did the organisational work needed to make that a reality. This particular revolt was one of a series of poorly organised revolts that allowed the state to engage in repression but never threatened the existing order. In the 1950s they were co-opted into Government by the Christian Democrats in order to exclude the PCI. By the 1980s, led by Benitto Craxi, they set world standards for corruption – Berlusconi was so impressed that he saw Craxi as one of his mentors.

[2] In 1899 I give up, and let Riyadh and the other collections of sand revolt. The Najds then seem to be content to run around this controlled playground.
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Jim-NC
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Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:46 pm

loki100 wrote:I'm not so sure, problem is I only have snap shots but I think the apparent stability of say opium is a bit false. What happens is a cycle, where stock was added to the pool, drawn down for consumption and so on. At some stage consumption outstrips supply (its a % of stock) so the stock falls to very low, and then rebuilds. This is a pretty regular mechanism around any low production good. It seems as if you need critical mass to gain a situation where the process is in stasis (in effect to be able to supply them more of that good than they want).

I'm going to have another poke around when I get time, if I can't work it out I'll post that short update as a bug report with a current save. As I said, its not patch driven, nor is it some legacy of the British war (a hole in my trade network due to commerce raiding), so there must be a systemic reason.


The reason I say there is probably a problem, is that your starting stock in both instances is below your amount you build each turn. For example, your opium is 15 and 16, but you are supposedly producing 42 each turn. It appears that you are selling approximately 80% of your stock in Opium each turn (12 of 15, and 13 of 16). Thus the opium level the turn before the snapshot would have needed to be 75 and 76. You might be right, but I doubt it. Looking at the update for 1898, your opium appears to still be in the same predicament.
Remember - The beatings will continue until morale improves.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

Stuyvesant
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Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:51 pm

I am actually quite impressed that your game survived a laptop reformat, considering how often AARs die due to savegame corruption, hard drive failure, computers dying, etc. So yeah, bit of a noteworthy feat.

That Pelloux. His name is suspiciously Francophone, and his lack of a manly chin glove is... disturbing. Nothing good can come from one so hirsutially (I just made that up, didn't I?) challenged.


loki100 wrote:[1] – It may be clear that the PSI (Italian Socialist Party) is not my favourite political party. In the period 1890-1925 it often used very radical language (to the left of the nascent PCI in the 20s) but never did the organisational work needed to make that a reality. This particular revolt was one of a series of poorly organised revolts that allowed the state to engage in repression but never threatened the existing order. In the 1950s they were co-opted into Government by the Christian Democrats in order to exclude the PCI. By the 1980s, led by Benitto Craxi, they set world standards for corruption – Berlusconi was so impressed that he saw Craxi as one of his mentors.

[2] In 1899 I give up, and let Riyadh and the other collections of sand revolt. The Najds then seem to be content to run around this controlled playground.


[2] The "controlled playground" phrase brings to mind a bustling schoolyard full of screaming, racing, and fighting 8-year-olds. A fitting analogy. Except that the 8-year-olds presumably don't get shot if they wander beyond the gate. :)

[1] Ouch. I'll have to Wikipedia Craxi now to learn more about the man. If Berlusconi cites him as an influence, then he must be quite something.

Overall, I am surprised by the effects of "being nice". Who would've thought it. I might have to try it sometimes myself! ;)

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Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:38 pm

Jim-NC wrote:The reason I say there is probably a problem, is that your starting stock in both instances is below your amount you build each turn. For example, your opium is 15 and 16, but you are supposedly producing 42 each turn. It appears that you are selling approximately 80% of your stock in Opium each turn (12 of 15, and 13 of 16). Thus the opium level the turn before the snapshot would have needed to be 75 and 76. You might be right, but I doubt it. Looking at the update for 1898, your opium appears to still be in the same predicament.


spot on and thanks for all the help and advice - solution is in the next update

Stuyvesant wrote:I am actually quite impressed that your game survived a laptop reformat, considering how often AARs die due to savegame corruption, hard drive failure, computers dying, etc. So yeah, bit of a noteworthy feat.

That Pelloux. His name is suspiciously Francophone, and his lack of a manly chin glove is... disturbing. Nothing good can come from one so hirsutially (I just made that up, didn't I?) challenged.

[2] The "controlled playground" phrase brings to mind a bustling schoolyard full of screaming, racing, and fighting 8-year-olds. A fitting analogy. Except that the 8-year-olds presumably don't get shot if they wander beyond the gate. :)

[1] Ouch. I'll have to Wikipedia Craxi now to learn more about the man. If Berlusconi cites him as an influence, then he must be quite something.

Overall, I am surprised by the effects of "being nice". Who would've thought it. I might have to try it sometimes myself! ;)


the key drama in the reformat (other than downloading 5 million, and still counting, microsoft urgent updates) was when one of the cats discovered that data sticks fit well into ones mouth and roll very pleasingly when chased around on the floor - wasn't sure quite what is covered by the manufacturers guarentee.

Well the loss of beard cover will have serious consequences, but you'll need to wait to the 1900 updates for that tale of disaster and death.

Yep, Nejd-world as it becomes known is well policed. Its sort of an NRA fantasy school, except here the weaponry is used to keep the denizens in. Craxi was a real gem, even up against someone as bad as Andreotti (kissy kissy with the mafia, bumped off inconvenient journalists etc, quite possibly set up Moro's kidnap, certainly botched the hunt for where he was being held), he was the stand out of Italian politics in the mid-late 80s. After Tangentopoli he went to hide in Tunisia to escape mutliple court case.
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1899: Arrivederci Novecento

Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:50 pm

[1]

Despite its seminal date with the next turn being January 1900, in truth this was more of the same as the last few years. Or to be precise, it saw a massive rebalancing of the Italian agricultural, mineral and manufacturing sectors. Picking up on the discussion in recent posts, and the invaluable advice, it was clear I've been being too lazy in reviewing my full production (in truth I've been more interested in the prestige gains).

Anyway, I decided I really needed to sort out the food and common goods problems even at the expense of lost prestige – the risk of serious social unrest otherwise was too much. So there is a substantial section at the end of this update on how I did that – feel free to skip (it is right at the end) or see it as one approach to late game industrial planning [2].

Heres the usual opening and end industry reports. As you can see, things look quite different (I did most of the changes in about June-July).

Image

In January, food production/consumption was 959/994, common goods I was meeting their demand of 856. By the end, for food I was producing 972 (demand still at 994), common goods and luxuries 547 of 572

The main changes are the explosion in coffee (this I try to adjust by putting a lot up for sale and closing some sites) and that tobbacco, wine and opium come back into regular production (who says I don't care about the health of my digital citizens). Production of all the food items (apart from sugar which I mostly rely on imports for) again stabilises. Key at the top is that row #2 shows planned, not actual production.

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As with the changes in food, its clear that putting my production on a sounder basis has improved supply of key goods. Coal really shows what I have done, direct production is now covered by my own coal output (almost all located in the US and France), this is the shift from -410 to +77. Equally, as discussed below, my goal of improving my stock seems to be working out.

So thanks to all who helped spot the problem. Such a complete recalibration is easier in 1899 than it was in 1850 as you have much more stable production and trade flows. Having said that, it also takes a lot of time, with the volume of input and output flows.

Diplomacy, War and Colonial Events


For some reason Bulgaria decided to threaten me. Well the old, not-nice, screaming opera star diplomatic corps would have arranged for a war. The new nice Italy, just shrugs.

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Britain isn't so lucky, as the Boer war breaks out. This should be an interesting test of their recovery from the damage I inflicted.

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Well the British surrendered to one bunch of Boers pretty quickly

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Italy's new model of being nice, rather catches on

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Here's a broad overview of the Empire. As you can see, Prussia is back to being a real pain in Tanganiyka. Zanzibar and Urundi, if I wasn't so committed to 'being nice', this is the sort of thing that could lead to war. I also spot the Ottomans engaging in Yemen.

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Prestige

The major shift of production priorities has an impact on my prestige gain.

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So, the main thing is my growth is now around 9,000 (from 164,653 to 174,375) so despite all my fiddling with the economy, its actually improved a little. Britain is up around 2,500 (112,281 to 114,602) and I have gone from 73% of my target to 76%.

However, I am becoming more reliant on industrially generated prestige as I am playing very few development cards (I want to keep population growth under control) so I need to keep progress under careful review.

In terms of losses only 700 soldiers managed to get themselves killed (from 3,582,371 to 3,583,071) and my NM is slowly falling towards 100 (its at 112 now).

Anyway, its new years eve 1899, party time

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And new exciting techs. Most of those are the building blocks to the Dreadnoughts and a useful artillery upgrade.

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[1] I know the Twentieth Century doesn't start to 1901, but its time for a big end of 50 years game play party
[2] Below here is the industrial planning discussion.

Unlike early game, I don't have multiple problems (ie Capital, Manufactures, Coal and so on). So my goal is to ensure I don't over consume coal and that the stocks go to where they are needed.

Production under my control is 870 and looking over the import pattern, though it varies, I think I can assume around 200 per turn.

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Of that, a net 175 is being used before it is available for production (I can't depress domestic sales below 40%)

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Now what I did was tedious but useful. I calculated how much coal was needed for all my open production sites. This came to 1026 (below). I wanted to improve my stocks by 95 per turn so decided I could only use 800 in actual production.

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Key here was back to my trusty B screen to look for goods that were easy to import. Steel was one which really hurt after all the effort I had put into creating a large steel industry. So I closed down 4 out of my 10 steel plants. Basically I prioritised agriculture and luxury goods as far as I could. Shipbuilding took a hit (3 of 5 closed as they used 17 coal per turn each). This was painful, to put it mildly.

Once this was done, I kept an eye on coal stocks – which started to improve

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Also the shift in focus moved me from around +2000 balance of payments surplus to a 1000 deficit

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Thereafter as some stocks built up, I worked within the 800 constraint and opened and closed items to come to a better balance. So for example, my canned goods plants (these produce manufactures) were closed to diver the coal to other options and to ensure my limited imports of canned food went to feed the population. I juggled between coffee and other uses and so on. Giving each change a couple of turns and reviewing the coal stock as my principle concern.
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Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:46 am

Congratulations on stabilizing your economy.

Did you ever destroy that useless Swiss coal mine, and build it somewhere more useful? You really need some coal from that mine.
Remember - The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:10 pm

I thought I had commented already, but that was clearly wishful thinking...

's Good to see you get the (inaptly named) Invincible techs. Big, hulking, smoking battle cruisers with enough armor to withstand a ferocious hail storm - what could possibly go wrong? Still, could come in handy for the prerequisite African Wildlife Management program (AKA "Shelling the camels"), as they don't tend to fire back.

If I'm deciphering your economic policy correctly, you're mostly correcting the food and other shortages, but at the price of shutting down some of your production. Apart from the slower prestige gain, does this hurt your endgame plans in any way? I guess what I'm asking is: do you still have the economic and industrial muscle to build the military toys you'll need when you're ready to kick off your version of WWI?

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Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:20 pm

Jim-NC wrote:Congratulations on stabilizing your economy.

Did you ever destroy that useless Swiss coal mine, and build it somewhere more useful? You really need some coal from that mine.


I just stopped maintaining good relations with them - as in the next update they then steal it from me. Since it has been open for about 4 weeks in the last 20 years I feel they are very welcome to it.

Stuyvesant wrote:I thought I had commented already, but that was clearly wishful thinking...

's Good to see you get the (inaptly named) Invincible techs. Big, hulking, smoking battle cruisers with enough armor to withstand a ferocious hail storm - what could possibly go wrong? Still, could come in handy for the prerequisite African Wildlife Management program (AKA "Shelling the camels"), as they don't tend to fire back.

If I'm deciphering your economic policy correctly, you're mostly correcting the food and other shortages, but at the price of shutting down some of your production. Apart from the slower prestige gain, does this hurt your endgame plans in any way? I guess what I'm asking is: do you still have the economic and industrial muscle to build the military toys you'll need when you're ready to kick off your version of WWI?


Aye the Battlecruiser was a strange concept. It obviously seemed like a great idea at the time ... and you are right, the ideal ship to use when I need to shell a continent and/or passing wildlife.

Up to the major restructure I was trying for both guns and butter. I guess I shifted to butter and champagne as the focus of those changes. When the dreadnougts come around (I guess 1902 or so as there are some precursor techs first), then I need a lot of steel and manufactures. Steel at the moment is easy to buy internationally - and I am maintaining a high stock. Manufactures a bit more of a problem, so I am minimising usage as far as I can - I am building very little (rice in china and some more coal mines) and not enacting many colonial/development cards.
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1900: Bye bye Umberto, hello VE III

Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:28 pm

A new century dawns. The main consequence was some wild parties that rather got out of hand. Perhaps the best place to start then?

Events

Image

The celebrations start with the Swiss stealing my coal field – they are very very welcome to it.

Umberto has a few personal problems later in the year

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In celebration, more of my war winning generals retire.

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Or maybe protest at being required to have a strange moustache?

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In addition, all night parties get out of hand on Corfu and in East Africa. The resulting confusion leads to several large battles.

Industry

Industrial dynamics

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Agriculture

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A lot of juggling went on here. As stocks recovered, I shifted between allocating the coal to other production (re-opened the shipyards for example) or putting the surplus up for sale – good examples of this are fruits, coffee and tobacco.

Ideally I would like more rice, sugar and canned goods but am mainly dependent on low levels of trade. The Chinese confiscated some of my paddy fields but most were left in my hands.

The re-adjustments seemed to have paid off. Food demand was 994 and I was supplying 973 (I think the issue here is that they want variety and I am struggling with sugar, canned goods and rice).
Luxuries 542/575 and Common Goods 856/856.

Militantism was at 66% (basically stable).

At the start of the year I was running a balance of payments deficit of just under 1000 PC as I gradually adjusted production and sales, this moved into balance (I was able to put a lot of coffee up for sale).


Overviews. As is traditional when this AAR hits an important date, lets have a quick review of the rest of the world.

Here's Europe

Image

Not many surprises, given the PoN mechanics, and the relative lack of European wars, the map is much the same as 1850. If I recall the wars in Europe (apart from mine) have been one between Prussia and Denmark and the Anglo-Prussian war. Alsace-Lorraine has remained French. The exception is that Poland has managed to survive but Russia has other ideas about that.

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NW Africa.

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Main thing here is that southern Morocco has retained its independence but Spain is in control of the North. France is in control of modern day Algeria and Tunisia.

Central-West Africa.

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A glorious and complete guddle. I have some degree of control over Lagos and the coast, other provinces belong to Britain or native forces. Control shifts from turn to turn. I'm busily extracting all the prestige I can for exploration but have no interest in asserting formal control.

South Africa

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The British have lost big time to the brown Boers. They are going to lose more to the purple ones.

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How the landlocked purple Boers plan to administer Belize is a problem I will leave them to sort out.

Australia

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Showing the liberated Italian zone.

Arabia

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Showing Nejd-world.

Prestige

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To pick out the main information:

Prestige is up from 173,375 to 181,650 (so more or less the same 8,000 I gained in 1899). Britain is up from 114,602 to 117,748 (a worrying 3,000 despite their defeats to the Boers). In 1899, Britain gained +2,500, so this seems to imply that their industry has recovered, even if (judging by their defeat), their army is still weak.

I only gain 1 percentage point (76%-77%) to my target in consequence.

This is worrying and I have a few options. Return to prioritise industry (and thus prestige) and hope to overcome any militancy among the population. Another war with the Ottomans, as they hold 2 provinces that would give me more prestige and I have an accepted SOI in Lebanon-Syria. The final option is another war with Britain, so as to damage their prestige gain. The Italian diplomatic corps are ordered to scout out culturally significant monuments that can be desecrated and blamed on the British.

I have some time before I need to act, so I'll play out 1901 (just started) and review the prestige situation at the end of that year.

Military losses are up quite a lot due to the new years celebrations. A total of 4,300 soliders managed to get themselves killed as a result (and, of course, poor Umberto).
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Stuyvesant
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Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:31 pm

Who'd have thunk that merely firing grape shot at unruly protesters could come back to haunt you? Poor Umberto, so misunderstood. And those new 'taches. Tsk. It simply won't do. I suspect that Italy's relative decline in dominance is directly correlated to the decline in manly facial fuzz.

To be honest, not a whole lot going on (what's another 4,300 dead Italians? Can't amount to much in the scheme of things. And another dead king? Well, there's always a new one available). The most interesting thing - to me, at least - is to see how things are running slightly off the rails, even in the more tightly controlled environment that PON offers (relative to Paradox titles). The Boers beating up the Brits - okay, that could happen: I assume they got their horse-powered B-52s out of storage for that one. The same Boers deciding that it'd be much nicer to own Belize (rather than, say, any piece of South Africa currently held by the British)... That's where the train of predetermination begins to derail. :) By the way, wasn't Belize known as the Mosquito Coast? Really sells the place, doesn't it?

I halfway expect the Swiss to pick up their tools and turn that coal mine into a top-notch operation, running like an exquisitely crafted and ultra-efficient cuckoo clock. Just to spite you. I'd say an invasion is in order - if only the game would let you extract any meaningful concessions.

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Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:31 pm

a wee teaser for what is coming up ... and its actually much worse than it looks ...

Image
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Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:41 pm

Ah, the Teutons are coming south once more to wreck the Roman state! Time to appoint a dictator, raise fresh legions and have at it!

Seriously, this sounds pretty scary. I hope the hated Hun will have to come at you through the Alps, so you can set up some good killing fields. Combined with your bug report about 'immortal Turks', this might prove to be a bit of a challenge...

But hey! You made off with the majority of the prestige pot! That's worth something. Must have something to do with the fact that the Germans can barely muster the same amount of mustache as the Italians.

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Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:50 pm

Stuyvesant wrote:AMust have something to do with the fact that the Germans can barely muster the same amount of mustache as the Italians.


nah, it was because Marconi was bugging the Kaiser ....
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Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:21 pm

I see that during the debates, someone "stole" at least 4,800 prestige points (even before the final split that gave you 90% of the pot). Would that have been the dashing Italian Diplomatic Corps?

Also, what happened to the "be nice" to others diplomatic approach?
Remember - The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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