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Kensai
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Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:01 am

One million men is a lot of men if used correctly! :w00t:
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Matnjord
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Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:56 am

It reminds me of that chinese torture, where you drop a single drop of water every 10 seconds or so on the victim's forehead for hours on end. Who's going to be the next droplet? The Ottomans? Greece? Bulgaria?


And yeah for the suicide of Europe! Madness has overtaken every european leader (I'm just waiting for Switzerland to join the party) and all that because Italy wanted to make sure she was the meanest biggest bully on the playground! Except for the bloody nose from that british kid who is always hanging out alone in his corner she is succeeding quite well.

Do you have any plans regarding Spain? Do they still have any colonies worth taking? Has America already taken everything?

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loki100
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Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:18 pm

Stuyvesant wrote:You have to admire the British tenacity in hurling themselves against the defenses of Melbourne - to the very last man, horse and cannon. But then, given the large number of surrenders, perhaps they were just anxious to come in? An early wave of unwanted asylum seekers flooding into Australia? How unsporting of them to come over land, where the navy can't intercept them and turn them around. ;)

So far, so Spain... Nice way to gain access to Barcalona and the surrounding beaches (Lloret de Mar, brings back memories of ill-behaved Dutch teenagers in the mid-nineties). You still killed 3 times as many Spaniards as that 1-million-strong mob managed to kill of yours. Perhaps they mostly inflicted friendly fire on themselves?

I see the Spanish General's name is Augustin de Luque y Coca. Perhaps the latter part explains why Cuba costs 1088 war score - the whole island has been turned over to industrial-scale cocaine production?


Och I think at Melbourne they realised it was near closing time and were desparate to gain access to the civilised licensing laws of the Italian zone (any body who has found large parts of Australia shut at around 8pm will recognise the problem).

Spain is going to see a lot more dodgy dancing than an on-beach disco till I finally find some terrain where I can set up a decent defensive line.

By the end of December, Luque certainly needs something to cheer himself up ....

Director wrote:Man, I go to Hell for a week - sorry, meant to say Cleveland, a simple mistake that anyone could make - and I come home to three feet of snow and Europe turned upside down!

Gen. Monkey-Bear, the distinction between Egads and Gonads is subtle but ultimately simple: the definition of gonads you can look up for yourself, while Egads are of course their electronic counterparts - the Email of reproduction and pleasure, if you will, readily available in any quantity via the internet. No, no, don't thank me - happy to be of assistance; glad we cleared that up. Right.

Let me see if I have this in proper order. Germany beats Russia but loses to France, Austria goes down swinging against Italy and is mostly dismembered ("No! No! The Czechs we wanted to KEEP. It was the Hungarians we told you to get rid of!"), Britain pulls off a creditable defense despite the failure of the Stuffed Admiral Brigade and now... NOW... Spain wants to give it a go? While Russia, disdaining the possibility of fighting a strong foe when there are actually friends and allies available, is now determined to take on the bruised and vindictive German Army all on its lonesome?

At this point my voice has risen in incredulity to a pitch that only dogs can hear, and only specially-bred, very sensitive dogs at that.

Holy hoppin' Hanna. The only possible response to that, is this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhRUe-gz690

"Look you stupid bastard, you've got no arms left!"
"Yes I have!"
"Look!"
"Just a flesh wound!"

Europe, clearly, is run by the Black Knight.


Cleveland sounds a wee bit like Falkirk. For those less than fully aware of the nuances of the geography of the Central Belt in Scotland this is a small ill-favoured industrial town that happens to be mid-way between Glasgow and Edinburgh. So if there is one thing we can agree on (and in truth there may only be one thing we agree on) its that Falkirk is a mistake. As a friend of mine puts it – 'its not actually the end of the world, but you can sure see it from there'.

Your summary of both the factual elements to Europe's diplomatic stushies and incredulity is spot on. Yep, I've managed nearly 70 years of game play with few AI wars and now they are at like ferrets in a ... well where-ever it is that ferrets do their thing in.

Crixdaz wrote:The war against Spain has been weird, it's like they've declared war to the Great Britain of France in 1919 :bonk: .

But if they've their remainder empire intact it means that USA is pacifist in this game or the events for the 1898 hasn't been fire. In real history the USA wanted to get rid of the last european colonies in America by 'liberate' Cuba, but in the end they annexed the Phillipines and Puerto Rico. And the cost of keeping the Phillipines was high costly in lives (mostly for the population) because they continued the war of independence against the invaders, spanish or american.

I think that this event is important for the game, because this is the point where the USA started to look outside and to intervene in other nations. Also is interesting because Spain lost his global focus and Japan started to see USA as an rival, because the american possessions in the Pacific (Phillipines, Guam, Wake...)


One of the projects I'm going to give some serious attention to once I've finished this game is the various multi-event chains. Most seem to fall apart as the key conditions are not met. The Spanish ones around 1898 are clearly something to add to the list. As you say, its pretty pivotal to the US engaging with the outside world.

The odd thing is in the crisis, Spain was utterly determined on war and picked some very aggressive options.

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:Italy in Spain, sigh, not again: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Civil_War_and_Foreign_Involvement#Italy

My God, you are at it again. The communists must be having a ball stirring up anti-war sentiment in Europe. [What's that? You mean the population supports these wars?]. To be honest, you have me a little disillusioned with so much bloodshed. I need time to sort it all out . . . I'll go play Pride of Nations meanwhile.


My militancy is around 3-4%, contentment at around 95%, so yep, it seems that being sent to die in large numbers in an increasingly random war meets with domestic approval.

Once this is resolved (and Puerto Rico is now my goal), I'll try to keep the peace for the final few years ... maybe

Jim-NC wrote:The Spanish army has 1 million men??????

What do you mean (as you shuffle your feet) that you cooked both the automobile and air-plane factories????

So what Spanish factories do you plan to burn *ahem* "cook pizza for"???

Apparently Russia decided to man up and try to really crush Prussia. Now if they can only get their army out of the capital.


Yep, when I handed back most of Southern England, there were some #gaps# where a few factories had once stood. I wrecked things that they need for prestige and domestic contentment, but which I have never seen for sale on the world market.

Spain gets off lightly. While I quite fancy Puerto Rico (lots of sugar), if needs be I'll settle for forcing them to release Catalonia. So at the moment, I'm being very restrained and all pizza ovens are at 9 or lower.

Kensai wrote:One million men is a lot of men if used correctly! :w00t:


Or if you are General Coca, wasted in a series of assaults on well dug in Italian troops ...

Matnjord wrote:It reminds me of that chinese torture, where you drop a single drop of water every 10 seconds or so on the victim's forehead for hours on end. Who's going to be the next droplet? The Ottomans? Greece? Bulgaria?


And yeah for the suicide of Europe! Madness has overtaken every european leader (I'm just waiting for Switzerland to join the party) and all that because Italy wanted to make sure she was the meanest biggest bully on the playground! Except for the bloody nose from that british kid who is always hanging out alone in his corner she is succeeding quite well.

Do you have any plans regarding Spain? Do they still have any colonies worth taking? Has America already taken everything?


I'm really surprised at what is going on. I think its due to low relations between a number of states making them more likely to risk war. For myself, I'll be happy if Spain is the last war though.

I could have finished off the British but it was clear I was going to take near 1-1 losses to do so. One problem to that is you lose a lot of prestige with the lost elements, so it becomes a really pointless exercise after a while. Its not as if I stood to gain a lot.

Cuba would be great, loads of sugar and tropical fruits but too expensive. Puerto Rico and West Africa are feasible (both have rare resources), liberating Catalonia would be fun ....

But I have no great desire to really damage Spain, its no threat and has mostly been a good trading partner.
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loki100
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1916: July - December, the Zaragoza battles, Italian colonial victories

Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:23 pm

And Europe nears the start of its fourth year of warfare. Just to keep the record straight the current wars are Spain vs Italy, Russia vs Germany and Britain vs Japan (I clearly missed when that one started).

A new tech fires (I think this is the very last one) and I can build an aircraft carrier. No reason why not:

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My main problem is I am finding it hard to gain a tactical advantage against the Spanish army. Here I am trying to find away across the Ebro without risking a direct assault.

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Again my losses were relatively limited as I had set the stance to allow a withdrawal if the enemy attacked in force.

As I fell back, the Spanish attacked again

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In consequence, I also lost control over Barcelona.

At least good news came from the West African campaign

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That pretty much finished off the Spanish army in Africa and I then sent the bulk of the forces north to take the Canary Islands.

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In the meantime I am trying to break the stalemate along the Pyrenees. Having fallen back into France, I gamble on a repeat of the Bilbao gambit again, this time catching a small Spanish force

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Again, the main Spanish army reacts and I fall back without battle. Having brought up a number of fresh formations from Italy, I decide to gamble on grabbing a central position, splitting the Spanish army away from Barcelona

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My goal is if I can bring the bulk of the army into the province, and dig in, I'll gamble on all out defense in an attempt to seriously damage that Spanish force.

In the meantime, much to the excitement of the Italian navy, the West African campaign means they go back to firing shells at large continents and small furry mammals

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And by the end of December, the entire Italian army is now well dug in around Zaragoza

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The Spanish army finally reacts and wins the first round of fighting

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But the Italians regain their balance and settle down to the grim business of defending well dug trench lines

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My losses were predictably awful but at least I have enough replacements to allow my formations to recover. It helps that I lost very few elements, unlike the Spanish.

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The battles at Zaragoza converted this from a series of skirmishes to the traditional industrial scale slaughter.

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In terms of overall prestige, another year of war has seen Italy gain 10,000 (from 331,993 to 342,189) and the peaceful US gain 12,000 (from 250,260 to 262,214). In the time left, I can't see any of the other nations changing relative positions.

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Kensai
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Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:09 pm

I am noticing that General Coca is quite weak in defending in respect to your Masi's attack. Perhaps the trick is not allowing him attack while putting him in defense continuously. Now that the Spanish attacks failed it might be time for some good pounding. Way to go! :)
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Matnjord
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Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:00 am

That general, Tulio Masi, is a real monster! 4-7-6! Does he have any special traits? From what I can remember from RUS some traits made even mediocre generals into very competent ones (Yes, I'm looking at you Stalin, damn you to hell Stalin!)

That million men army might look intimidating but then you realize they have mostly militia, no tanks, half your artillery and a mediocre general. And they brought marines to a land battle :wacko:
I agree with Kensai, with 0 in defense an attack now would be good.

620 000 casualties in only 15 days at Zaragoza, business as usual. There's already been more than 11 million casualties in this conflict, nothing to write home about...


...You've really plunged Europe into a nightmare, haven't you?

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Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:51 am

Yes, business as usual. I think taking their African provinces is best, as they seem most retainable. The Americas are too far away, and so close to the U.S., for Italian ownership to be real. So much bloodshed . . .

Hooray for Russia! They must feel so empowered now, though I can't help but think that a victory for them here would delay the Revolution by at least another 20 years.

And to Stuyvesant: to say "cocaine" in Spanish we actually say cocaína. And to my knowledge, the plant is not grown in the Caribbean, but it is sold there :) On second thought, Loki should take Cuba after all. He already controls the world's opium supply.

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Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:55 pm

loki100 wrote:In the meantime, much to the excitement of the Italian navy, the West African campaign means they go back to firing shells at large continents and small furry mammals


To be fair, it's the most excitement the navy's had in all 70 years so far. The naval 'war' with the British proved to be a bit of a letdown, so why not take your mighty dreadnoughts and use their 15-inch guns to blow up some straw huts and stray cattle? Are there any camels in the Gulf of Guinea, by any chance?

The war in Spain is fought mainly not in the plain. But plenty of rain, when you count your artillery shells or the Spanish blood raining down. 450,000-odd Spanish casualties in two weeks. Zaragoza is making the Somme look like a friendly amateur match. Sheesh. It's almost enough to wish for peace, though your population does not seem to share that concern.

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:And to Stuyvesant: to say "cocaine" in Spanish we actually say cocaína. And to my knowledge, the plant is not grown in the Caribbean, but it is sold there :) On second thought, Loki should take Cuba after all. He already controls the world's opium supply.
Ah well, I figured the Spanish had gotten enterprising. Perhaps they took some plants with them after they were kicked out of South America? Anyway, it's just my entirely reasonable assumption as to why Cuba is worth more than four times the cost of Czechoslavakia, that 30-million-strong industrial powerhouse. ;)

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Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:19 pm

So far, all these wars have proven that the games are too complicated for the AI. On the one hand, I'd like to play single player without the rest of the world falling apart due to the cluelessness of the AI, but OTOH such an AI would probably be smart enough to create the Matrix. So, tough call.

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Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:26 pm

Kensai wrote:I am noticing that General Coca is quite weak in defending in respect to your Masi's attack. Perhaps the trick is not allowing him attack while putting him in defense continuously. Now that the Spanish attacks failed it might be time for some good pounding. Way to go! :)


ah but I'm in no rush to attack. Not only is there a real bias to the defense, but I am well entrenched in hilly terrian and Tulio has some awesome traits – a level 12 defender. So on balance this is what I want, an enemy destroying themselves on my defense lines.

Matnjord wrote:That general, Tulio Masi, is a real monster! 4-7-6! Does he have any special traits? From what I can remember from RUS some traits made even mediocre generals into very competent ones (Yes, I'm looking at you Stalin, damn you to hell Stalin!)

That million men army might look intimidating but then you realize they have mostly militia, no tanks, half your artillery and a mediocre general. And they brought marines to a land battle :wacko:
I agree with Kensai, with 0 in defense an attack now would be good.

620 000 casualties in only 15 days at Zaragoza, business as usual. There's already been more than 11 million casualties in this conflict, nothing to write home about...


...You've really plunged Europe into a nightmare, haven't you?


Aye, uncle Joe in RUS is proof that great traits overcome rubbish stats. Having said that, if I manage to get him killed its never a source of any regret. Have you discovered Klim Voroshilov's special 'sailing on the Volga' ability yet?

Also I'd suspect, the Spanish are at least one generation behind in terms of technology, the final stage of this campaign is very one-sided for a war between 2 European powers.

Gen. Monkey-Bear wrote:Yes, business as usual. I think taking their African provinces is best, as they seem most retainable. The Americas are too far away, and so close to the U.S., for Italian ownership to be real. So much bloodshed . . .

Hooray for Russia! They must feel so empowered now, though I can't help but think that a victory for them here would delay the Revolution by at least another 20 years.

And to Stuyvesant: to say "cocaine" in Spanish we actually say cocaína. And to my knowledge, the plant is not grown in the Caribbean, but it is sold there :) On second thought, Loki should take Cuba after all. He already controls the world's opium supply.


I think I do actually have all the opium production under control – there maybe one or two more resources, but it is mostly an Italian industry.

At the end of 1917, I am ahem a little bit closer to the Americans … I promise not to put any missiles on Puerto Rico

Stuyvesant wrote:To be fair, it's the most excitement the navy's had in all 70 years so far. The naval 'war' with the British proved to be a bit of a letdown, so why not take your mighty dreadnoughts and use their 15-inch guns to blow up some straw huts and stray cattle? Are there any camels in the Gulf of Guinea, by any chance?

The war in Spain is fought mainly not in the plain. But plenty of rain, when you count your artillery shells or the Spanish blood raining down. 450,000-odd Spanish casualties in two weeks. Zaragoza is making the Somme look like a friendly amateur match. Sheesh. It's almost enough to wish for peace, though your population does not seem to share that concern.

Ah well, I figured the Spanish had gotten enterprising. Perhaps they took some plants with them after they were kicked out of South America? Anyway, it's just my entirely reasonable assumption as to why Cuba is worth more than four times the cost of Czechoslavakia, that 30-million-strong industrial powerhouse. ;)


I've not had much chance to play the 'shell the wildlife' card for a while so it felt appropriate to do so at the first opportunity. If there were camels there, I'm sure they are extinct now?

Cuba is actually very valuable. It has about 10 sugar resources and given that both sugar and rum are in very short supply, well worth taking – but I couldn't achieve the war score.

enf91 wrote:So far, all these wars have proven that the games are too complicated for the AI. On the one hand, I'd like to play single player without the rest of the world falling apart due to the cluelessness of the AI, but OTOH such an AI would probably be smart enough to create the Matrix. So, tough call.


Wee bit harsh imho.

The grand strategy AI is not there – but then you really wouldn't expect it. I think the work that is going on will improve the strategic/dhplomatic AI so it will be more structured in seeking its own goals and a bit more aware of threats. The operational land combat AI is good, it will try to outflank and if you are careless, beat you badly.

But yes, at the end of the day its an AI. But I've found this game the best challenge I've ever had outside PBEM, a combination of game mechanics, a decent enough AI and Italy's weaknesses has made this quite a struggle.
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1917: January-December, Italy reaches the Americas

Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:34 pm

By the start of 1917, Russia had made peace with Germany (no territory changed hands), the Anglo-Japanese hissy fit continued as did the Italian-Spanish war. At least no new wars had started.

However, early January commenced with the Spanish general sending more of his army to their deaths

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As a bit of light relief I capture Fernando Po, which seemed to be full of rebels. For some reason I can never see the name on the map without thinking of the relevant scenes in the utterly bonkers 1970s book Illuminatus. Well its safely in Italian hands now.

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After the slaughter at Zaragoza the two armies stared at each other over the Ebro. I was keen to spend a few turns allowing my damaged forces to recover.

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But by mid-february, the Spanish tried again

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To break the stalemate, by early March, I'd taken control of most of northern Spain and decided to outflank the Spanish army by capturing Burgos. This would both avoid the need to fight across the Ebro and directly threaten Madrid.

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The Spanish took the bait and tried to drive me back

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Again, I was content to let the main army recover and by early May, the force that had captured the Spanish colonies in Africa was deployed to take Puerto Rico, and, later, Cuba.

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At the same time, the main army moved south from Burgos to attack Madrid.

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[1]

With their capital lost, Spanish morale dropped and I tried to encircle their army at Tarragona

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The rest of the campaign saw most of Northern and Central Spain fall (along with Cuba) and the frontlines established in Andalucia

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Beaten, Spain offered Puerto Rico and their provinces in West Africa.

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With, that the sequence of wars in Europe from 1912-1917 ended.

The final phase had seen massive Spanish losses as their army was constantly forced into battle on Italy's terms.

For the entire period it was estimated that Italy and its allies had lost 5m (I'm making a guess for Serbian and Belgian losses here) and its various enemies almost 10m. For this, two new states now existed in central Europe, 3 small colonies in Africa had changed hands and Spain had lost Puerto Rico.

Thus by early September, for the first time in almost 5 years, Europe was at peace. My first job was to re-organise the economy away from prioritising the war to a more balanced structure

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And to develop the substantial resources I had gained in Puerto Rico [2]

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Prestige

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I've gained 11,000 (from 342,189 to 353,516) and the US 15,000 (from 262,214 to 276,630). I can't really claim that five years of bloodshed has really paid off in terms of either prestige or territorial gains.



[1] – by my reckoning that means I have captured Istanbul three times, Vienna, three times, London twice and now Madrid.
[2] – I'm sure this won't worry the Americans at all?
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Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:18 am

Oh, peace, nice to see you again, it's been a while.

So, as a result of those 5 years of war you have crippled an opponent that wasn't even a real competitor anymore (since Germany has escaped pretty much unscathed from this mess) and stolen the candy factory of the spaniards (Won't somebody think of the Spanish children!). Oh and Russia has managed to look mighty silly. And the expensive Italian navy at least has found some new camels to lob shells at (briefly). And you have potentially upset the sleeping American giant (who might give your navy something more substantial to do) as I would assume having a decaying empire on their turf isn't quite the same thing as having the number 1 world power at the same place. Aaaaand the newly formed Czech nation has quite the potential to ruffle some feathers.
You really are an architect of peace, aren't you? ;)

I suppose the next update will show the fallout of this series of war?

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Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:19 pm

Well, everybody knows how should be the end for this game: a war with the USA. Is the only country in the world that is able to dispute you the world hegemony. If you've landed in London twice, Washington D.C. should be trated equally. :mdr:

Is it possible to release nations from the USA like Texas or California?, I guess that release the confederation could be really hard. :thumbsup:
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:17 pm

Matnjord wrote:Oh, peace, nice to see you again, it's been a while.

So, as a result of those 5 years of war you have crippled an opponent that wasn't even a real competitor anymore (since Germany has escaped pretty much unscathed from this mess) and stolen the candy factory of the spaniards (Won't somebody think of the Spanish children!). Oh and Russia has managed to look mighty silly. And the expensive Italian navy at least has found some new camels to lob shells at (briefly). And you have potentially upset the sleeping American giant (who might give your navy something more substantial to do) as I would assume having a decaying empire on their turf isn't quite the same thing as having the number 1 world power at the same place. Aaaaand the newly formed Czech nation has quite the potential to ruffle some feathers.
You really are an architect of peace, aren't you? ;)

I suppose the next update will show the fallout of this series of war?


Well do add to the mess, the Balkans are split. We have an Italian dominated Croatia, the Austrians hold Bosnia and can only assume the Serbs are pretty much not happy. Bulgaria is of course the top regional power, now holding land claimed by Serbia, Greece and Rumania.

And yes. I can see the Americans sort of accepting the vestiges of the Spanish empire, but maybe not Italy arriving off its coast.

Crixdaz wrote:Well, everybody knows how should be the end for this game: a war with the USA. Is the only country in the world that is able to dispute you the world hegemony. If you've landed in London twice, Washington D.C. should be trated equally. :mdr:

Is it possible to release nations from the USA like Texas or California?, I guess that release the confederation could be really hard. :thumbsup:


Unfortunately, I ran out of time. But I'm so economically dependent on the US (about 60% of my coal comes from them) that a war would have been a disaster.

You can release all sorts of odd regions and nations. With Spain I could have forced the release of 'Carlist Spain' so I'd guess with the Americans one option would have been to force the release of the confederacy.

More than Washington, I feel the capital I really should have marched into in triumph was Berlin. That would have really made the point that Italy was now top nation as per 066 and all that
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1918-19: The march to stalemate

Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:23 pm

I'm going to conflate these two years together. Started to put together a 1918 update and realised I had 15 screen shots for 1918 and 12 for 1919. Since I usually end up conflating about 60 into the 12-15 I use in each update, this may give you some idea of what happened (not too much).

For the most part, my actions were around slowly rebalancing the economy, and intermittently running down some areas to sustain others and then shifting direction. Not, to be honest, that interesting to read about. If you've followed this far, you'll know the tools to use for this.

So here's some economic reports, first for 1918 and then for 1919

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The main thing there is the Puerto Rico production coming on line late in 1918. That gave me +12 sugar, +18 rum and +44 tobacco.

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Not too much to say there, a lot of juggling to stand still. The only things easy to buy are canned goods (comes and goes) and rubber – left hand column.

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Colonial Matters

Briefly in early 1918 I was the number one evil imperialist nation on the planet.

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This shows regions where I have a positive SOI (remember colonies with negative SOI cost prestige). In effect, my control over East Africa has now been accepted, at least by the other imperialist powers (and lets face it, no one was actually asking the locals for their opinion).

In addition, my hold on Melbourne is seen as legitimate (and good news for the locals) as is a small part of my incursion into West Africa.

I'm not sure why the Belgians were so interested in Rhodesia, but it did seem to attract a large part of their African armies.

The map below, shows everywhere where I have some degree of colonial influence:

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So the Italian empire spans most of the globe, from the frozen wastes of Greenland, to the South Pacific to the sugar factories of Puerto Rico.

Unfortunately, soon after, Britain returned to its official role of the 'most hated evil imperialists' leaving Italy as #2.

As above, no-one asked the locals about this, and they carried on complaining at being forced to eat pizzas and learn a special past tense just to read Italian books [1].

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Just to prove its not just about me, Britian oust Russia from Northern Vietnam

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Domestically, Italy has some really good news [2]

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What was to become the Christian Democrats was formed. The party that in later years was to have a leader who kissed a mafia boss (ie an oath of allegiance), ran a faction that got Stalinesqe levels of voting support from Sicily, had at least one journalist murdered [3] and then, and lets be kind here, utterly botched the search for their, at that stage, own party's Prime Minister, Aldo Moro, leaving him to be killed by his kidnappers [4]. Despite this, I personnally think that Craxi was actually more corrupt than Andreotti – but its a contestable view.

Back on topic, I had a new Prime Minister. The decline of decent levels of facial hair has become irreversible?

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Prestige

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So I've kept my roughly 80,000 prestige point lead over the US. I'm very impressed with Brazil, 70 years of turmoil and their army has had zero losses. Italy on the other hand, has managed to lose 7.3 million. I'd suspect the only other nation with similar losses may be Austria.

And something you really do not see every day:

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I don't have a clue what any of the numbers in the surrounding boxes mean. But there you have it, from five provinces in NW Italy to global domination in 70 game years and 20 real months (So I have kept to roughly a year a week).

Some comments

I'll do a round up post on the state of Italy at game end and how I got here later this week. But in effect, there we are, so many thanks to everyone who has read this AAR, both here and on the Paradox forum. Knowing it was of use, and responding to your delightfully erudite comments, kept me plugging away.

I'm very glad I didn't end it after the first British war. This was tempting as it appeared it was simply a case of running the clock down. The emergence of the US was a shock, and a testimony to the superb game design, also the chance to play around with the late game events gave the final sections a different feel.

I probably will do another PoN AAR. I really wanted to do Russia but I kept on getting lost, which is why I opted for S-P in this case. I suspect that will be more narrative based, as I'd like to exploit the rich event and character aspects of the AGE games. It will be some time though. My immediate goal is to put some serious time into event writing and reviewing the various event chains to clean them up. Having got to the end, I've got a pretty good idea where this needs to focus.


[1] – Yep, what is in English and French, the past definite – ie 'I went home' is not used in spoken Italian but it the main tense used in the bulk of Italian novels.
[2] – Nope I am not being serious here
[3] – Sorrentino's film, Il Divo is a good representation of this impressive career. For links to the far right and non-Mafia organised crime see Romanzo Criminale (the book, film and TV series are all equally good).
[4] – or to be less kind, set up and organised the kidnapping
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

Stuyvesant
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Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:30 pm

You... you actually finished this? I am very much impressed (and more than a little lost for words - I had a hard time conceiving of this ending before I had both of my daughters in college).

Belated congratulations on the takeover of Puerto Rico (somehow, 'Porto Ricco' doesn't have the same ring to it). More healthy <ahem> pharmaceuticals for your locals to enjoy. If the game would simulate Prohibition in the US, you would've been well-positioned to profit from state-sponsored booze running.

Must admit that going out on two-ish years of peace (well, slaughtering uncivilized nations doesn't really count anyway) felt a bit anticlimactic. And I don't know where I missed it, but when did the Russians and the Germans kiss and make up? I was hoping for a nice bit of entertainment from the Eastern Front, possibly heralding a Revolution Under Siege.

Anyway, I must applaud you for A) finishing this beast of a game and B) writing an AAR about it. Neither feat I can copy. Do let me know if/when you start a Russian AAR - I'll be sure to drop by for that one. If it features assorted Red leaders meeting an untimely death, I'd be pleased as punch. :)

r_rolo1
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Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:58 pm

[CENTER]Image[/CENTER]

Congratulations ! ( I know I have been out of the comments, but mainly because I really would not be much of help in managing a Italian superpower :p ). The only real beef you had was to have not been able to stem the rise of the US ( the thing that stole victory from your fingers ), but again you had invested so much in there that any war involving the US would probably be highly damaging to you ... OFC that in hindsight all is easier, but in the end you should probably had spent as much time worrying with the yankees as with the perfid Albion. Live and learn , I guess ...

A final note: I guess your game shows the weakness in some parts of the scripts of the game ( *cough* evil Garibaldi twin *cough* ), especially if you stray a little out of the historical path. OFC you can't predict all , but the inaction of the UK regarding a Italy like your with the allies it had ( added to a Germany with the allies it had ) is staggering. RL UK in the XIX century did far more for far less and it is hard to believe that the perfid ALbion would not do all it could to break a Italian-French-Russian block in the bud or allow it in conjuction with a German-Austrian one, barring some highly isolationist stride of governements ...

Anyway, good game and if you go Russian be careful about priests that refuse to stay dead even after poisoned and drowned and some commies in Switzerland ;)

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Dewirix
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Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:36 pm

I'll echo those who've applauded all the work you put in to bring this too us. A really magnificent achievement, even if you didn't win outright.

I wonder how PON Italy would have developed for the rest of the 20th century. It's had a spectacularly bloody few years, racking up military casualties much higher than those it saw in the First World War. Personally, I think I'd prefer to be a Brazilian citizen, but your lot have probably got the nicer uniforms.

I'd be really interested in seeing a Russian AAR - I assume that staving off/succumbing to revolution would be a big focus.

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Director
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Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:36 pm

Congratulations on your victory! A first-place finish and a golden laurel wreath is not to be sneezed at! And I have to say, I'm sorry to see this end.

On Puerto Rico (or Porto Ricco - thank you, Stuyvesant) I think the US might have a slightly less hostile response to Italy assuming control than, say, the UK or France. Those historic rivals and colonial powers set off louder alarm bells in the US of the day, I think. Italy's, um, aggressive foreign policy would of course be a source of concern. Perhaps the two powers could negotiate out some US investment in the island, or quietly agree that there would be a path to independence at some future point.

So long as the Union Jack or Tricolour isn't waving over San Juan or the Italian battle fleet swinging 'round anchors there, I think the US would be easily mollified.

Again - congratulations, and thanks for this! I've enjoyed it.

cohimbra
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Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:08 pm

Thanks to take the time to do this great and useful AAR...congrats!

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Asher413
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Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:35 am

Helpful and Entertaining, what else can you ask for.

Great job Loki, and I enjoyed every paragraph. You not only have laid out a very stout storyline with twist, turns and intrigue, but you've also created a brilliant beginners guide, as once you read this AAR, you learn about so many techniques and insights to playing PON well.

Enjoy the virtual beer I'm opening up for you! :thumbsup:

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Pocus
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Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:16 pm

That is, Sir, quite an achievement! Congrats! :)
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Hofstadter's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's law."

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Christophe.Barot
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Thu Feb 27, 2014 1:09 pm

Director wrote:
On Puerto Rico (or Porto Ricco - thank you, Stuyvesant) I think the US might have a slightly less hostile response to Italy assuming control than, say, the UK or France. Those historic rivals and colonial powers set off louder alarm bells in the US of the day, I think. Italy's, um, aggressive foreign policy would of course be a source of concern. Perhaps the two powers could negotiate out some US investment in the island, or quietly agree that there would be a path to independence at some future point.

So long as the Union Jack or Tricolour isn't waving over San Juan or the Italian battle fleet swinging 'round anchors there, I think the US would be easily mollified.

Again - congratulations, and thanks for this! I've enjoyed it.


first, congrats to Loki - winning with Italy is quite an achievement - winning with Russia, Germany, and I guess USA and Britain seems rather easy - micromanaging then letting industry run - I wonder for France (coal must be a really big limiting factor), but must be way easier, ditto for a standard Austria (isn't supposed to colonize, smaller Navy - but which AI builds one - worse productivity, but in present state of game, properly managed Austria can win her wars) - if Italy can do it, certainly Austria can too

but WINNING with Italy or Japan is certainly an achievement - because normally, bigger nations can theoretically (in this case, US) develop their industry enough to win the game by sheer industrial power ... some rebalancing to do I guess

about leniency to European infringements, Director, I apologize for strongly disagreeing, as military and especially Naval Power of USA grew, their defence of Western hemisphere against European infringements was ferocious - remember the venezuelian crisis (against Germany, Britain ...and Italy) and the Roosevelt corollary - it wasn't a specific anti british or French stance - actually germany was seen as main colonial rival of USA (relations with britain had patched, France was ideologically seen on a favourable light and wasn't much a rival, but several clashes in Asia and Oceania - Samoa, Philipines sea - drove them close to war, even not counting venezuela in yankee backyard)
[color="#FF0000"]- (ordnance) Your Lordship, sorry to awake you, but The french are at our door !

- Alarm, alarm, how did you let this happen and not awake me ! repel them, counterattack at once !

- err, your Lordship, ahem... French are our allies, Marshal de St Arnaud is expected to attend to a conference with you !

- ahem, well, .... very well ..let them in !

(charge of the light brigade movie)
[/color]

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Director
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Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:42 am

We'll just have to agree to disagree. I do think American antipathy to Germany was driven by Germany's tactless diplomacy and constant saber-rattling. Loki's 'militant' diplomacy has been aggressive but mostly directed at undeveloped peoples or the Austrians and Turks. Seizing Cuba would probably have sparked a strong American response. Puerto Rico... I think not so much, and I did stipulate that Italy would have to pay lip service to the Monroe Doctrine by allowing American influence or by laying out a path to PR independence.

Making a country like Italy (or similarly resource-poor Japan) into a super-power is a real achievement, and being able to effectively wage war from the Channel to Bombay is another. Congratulations - Italy missed a great chance by your being born 'just a bit' too late and too far north.

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loki100
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Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:41 pm

First, sorry for the slow production of the final post. I seem to have had the best part of two years with PoN churning away in the background and now find it hard to find the time to open it do do some final screenshots etc.

I know the turn processing is a huge turn off, it certainly, combined with not having much of a clue, tended to send me back whimpering to my cave. In reality its allowed me to make a lot of progress. So I fought out most of the first British war while painting a lot of our house (& it being a traditional Glasgow tenement the cielings are 2.5m high). The last two years were played out while having the traditional annual struggle to get the marmalade to set. Other times, especially if I was data coding or doing an edit job, it was quite nice to dip in and dip out of.

So in a fit of guilt, here's some feedback comments, I'll try and gather the material for the final post soon, not least I really need to do some more testing of a few Italy events designed to make the Garibaldi chain work.

Stuyvesant wrote:You... you actually finished this? I am very much impressed (and more than a little lost for words - I had a hard time conceiving of this ending before I had both of my daughters in college).


Aye, it was so odd towards the end, opening it and seeing '10 turns remaining', almost as if it was a normal game.

But as you know, I never started this expecting to finish. My logic was playing to about 1870 would do to set out the basics of the economy and represented a reasonable end point. At that stage I didn't really appreciate just how addictive (even SP) this game is.

Stuyvesant wrote:YBelated congratulations on the takeover of Puerto Rico (somehow, 'Porto Ricco' doesn't have the same ring to it). More healthy <ahem> pharmaceuticals for your locals to enjoy. If the game would simulate Prohibition in the US, you would've been well-positioned to profit from state-sponsored booze running.

Must admit that going out on two-ish years of peace (well, slaughtering uncivilized nations doesn't really count anyway) felt a bit anticlimactic. And I don't know where I missed it, but when did the Russians and the Germans kiss and make up? I was hoping for a nice bit of entertainment from the Eastern Front, possibly heralding a Revolution Under Siege.


Well I ended in control of 100% of the world's opium. Just wished I'd taken on Spain earlier – hadn't realised what nice goodies they had in their empire just waiting to belong to Italy.

I missed the end of the Russo-German war. I don't always pay as much attention to all the messages as I should and the ending of war between two major powers is hidden away in the diplomatic trivia. I think they gave up early 1917 and went back to the situation pre-war.

In the current version there is almost no chance of a Russian Revolution, Russia needs to be at war with both Austria and Germany. I think to get a good set of events around that would take a lot of work – you don't want it to fall out of the sky, so I think I'd start with anything over 1914 and very low Russian NM and try and build something realistic from there.

Stuyvesant wrote:Anyway, I must applaud you for A) finishing this beast of a game and B) writing an AAR about it. Neither feat I can copy. Do let me know if/when you start a Russian AAR - I'll be sure to drop by for that one. If it features assorted Red leaders meeting an untimely death, I'd be pleased as punch. :)

The information in all the AGE games would support a narrative style – one of my many 'things I might do one day' would be to pick one of the important but secondary commanders in Rise of Prussia (say Keith or Nadasdy) and do a 'biography' with the war told from their point of view.

But the norm on the AGE forums tends to be gameplay and it will take a lot to get me back to the paradox forums.


r_rolo1 wrote:....

Congratulations ! ( I know I have been out of the comments, but mainly because I really would not be much of help in managing a Italian superpower :p ). The only real beef you had was to have not been able to stem the rise of the US ( the thing that stole victory from your fingers ), but again you had invested so much in there that any war involving the US would probably be highly damaging to you ... OFC that in hindsight all is easier, but in the end you should probably had spent as much time worrying with the yankees as with the perfid Albion. Live and learn , I guess ...

A final note: I guess your game shows the weakness in some parts of the scripts of the game ( *cough* evil Garibaldi twin *cough* ), especially if you stray a little out of the historical path. OFC you can't predict all , but the inaction of the UK regarding a Italy like your with the allies it had ( added to a Germany with the allies it had ) is staggering. RL UK in the XIX century did far more for far less and it is hard to believe that the perfid ALbion would not do all it could to break a Italian-French-Russian block in the bud or allow it in conjuction with a German-Austrian one, barring some highly isolationist stride of governements ...

Anyway, good game and if you go Russian be careful about priests that refuse to stay dead even after poisoned and drowned and some commies in Switzerland ;)


aye I know what you mean, its sometimes hard to see what to say, especially when its all going pretty well.

There was nothing I could do about America. By the time I was clear of my immediate European problems – say about 1890, I was also heavily entangled in their economy so any war would have cost me. But if you are playing say France, Germany or Russia its something to keep in mind. You are going to need to find someway to divert that late game economic explosion from the US.

Again, agree about the event chains. They all need some care and attention as none of them quite work at the moment.

The bigger issue is the need for a more interactive diplomatic model. At the moment, for the AI that is largely a matter of some event driven interaction, the linkage between relations and the likelihood of crises (and how serious they can be), what it needs is some sense of longer term threat, and alliances that really work.

Dewirix wrote:I'll echo those who've applauded all the work you put in to bring this too us. A really magnificent achievement, even if you didn't win outright.

I wonder how PON Italy would have developed for the rest of the 20th century. It's had a spectacularly bloody few years, racking up military casualties much higher than those it saw in the First World War. Personally, I think I'd prefer to be a Brazilian citizen, but your lot have probably got the nicer uniforms.

I'd be really interested in seeing a Russian AAR - I assume that staving off/succumbing to revolution would be a big focus.


Well in addition to the events and characters provided, one thing about PoN is you can't go that far from our reality. So you can't do the Victoria trick of liberalising Russia, you are stuck with Tsarism and its incoherent attempts at reform. Going by what I saw, late game there was a lot of unrest but the revolution chain is a bit weak – of course in terms of the PoN timescale its right at the end.

In terms of this reality, to me I think its akin to a German victory in WW1. We have a dominant European power (Britain's nightmare) with a range of colonies, but not so dominant that it can ignore everyone else. No reason to believe that Italy's empire would be any more stable than our reality, so lots of tension and no real ability to dominate.

A lot of the losers – Britain, Germany and Austria – are still potent powers, with a variety of grudges, so no real reason for optimism ... unless you are Brazilian. As you note, its impressive to have managed 70 years with no military casualties at all.

Director wrote:Congratulations on your victory! A first-place finish and a golden laurel wreath is not to be sneezed at! And I have to say, I'm sorry to see this end.

On Puerto Rico (or Porto Ricco - thank you, Stuyvesant) I think the US might have a slightly less hostile response to Italy assuming control than, say, the UK or France. Those historic rivals and colonial powers set off louder alarm bells in the US of the day, I think. Italy's, um, aggressive foreign policy would of course be a source of concern. Perhaps the two powers could negotiate out some US investment in the island, or quietly agree that there would be a path to independence at some future point.

So long as the Union Jack or Tricolour isn't waving over San Juan or the Italian battle fleet swinging 'round anchors there, I think the US would be easily mollified.

Again - congratulations, and thanks for this! I've enjoyed it.


Glad you did, all the nice comments did keep me going, and rather determined to reach January 1920.

I guess that US-Italian relations would be the big issue going forward. As you say, there is no long tradition of animus between the two, so they may opt for peaceful co-existence, even mutual interest in keeping the world as it is. On the other hand, I can see Puerto Rico being a point of contention, I agree, plausibly handled by a move to independence with both powers keeping control?

cohimbra wrote:Thanks to take the time to do this great and useful AAR...congrats!


Thank you, must say it has been the most engaging incident of SP game play I've ever had. The level of planning for the future, and then the late game US problem really does make PoN quite superb.

Asher413 wrote:Helpful and Entertaining, what else can you ask for.

Great job Loki, and I enjoyed every paragraph. You not only have laid out a very stout storyline with twist, turns and intrigue, but you've also created a brilliant beginners guide, as once you read this AAR, you learn about so many techniques and insights to playing PON well.

Enjoy the virtual beer I'm opening up for you! :thumbsup:


thank you again. As I've confessed a few times, I started this as a 'teach myself PoN' exercise. Even at the level of keeping and cross-checking information makes you more aware of the dynamics but hopefully it will help others, especially with the initially daunting economic aspect.

Pocus wrote:That is, Sir, quite an achievement! Congrats! :)


I should have said in the last post, just how much I appreciated you sorting out my save game twice. There are not many game companies that would do that. Plus of course designing and crafting such a compelling game.

Christophe.Barot wrote:first, congrats to Loki - winning with Italy is quite an achievement - winning with Russia, Germany, and I guess USA and Britain seems rather easy - micromanaging then letting industry run - I wonder for France (coal must be a really big limiting factor), but must be way easier, ditto for a standard Austria (isn't supposed to colonize, smaller Navy - but which AI builds one - worse productivity, but in present state of game, properly managed Austria can win her wars) - if Italy can do it, certainly Austria can too

but WINNING with Italy or Japan is certainly an achievement - because normally, bigger nations can theoretically (in this case, US) develop their industry enough to win the game by sheer industrial power ... some rebalancing to do I guess


The unrealistic bit was the relative disinterest as I went on my mid-game rampage against the Ottomans and the Austrians. Given the controls of nineteenth century diplomacy, I think that would have created a consensus that this upstart needed to be stopped.

Having said that, you need some unrealism to give a player some space or it becomes completely deterministic. So its a careful balance.

Austria would be interesting to play. Very European, but the scope to face down Germany and assert interests in the Balkans, Ukraine and south Germany – in effect what Kensai is doing with his mod.

Christophe.Barot wrote:about leniency to European infringements, Director, I apologize for strongly disagreeing, as military and especially Naval Power of USA grew, their defence of Western hemisphere against European infringements was ferocious - remember the venezuelian crisis (against Germany, Britain ...and Italy) and the Roosevelt corollary - it wasn't a specific anti british or French stance - actually germany was seen as main colonial rival of USA (relations with britain had patched, France was ideologically seen on a favourable light and wasn't much a rival, but several clashes in Asia and Oceania - Samoa, Philipines sea - drove them close to war, even not counting venezuela in yankee backyard)

Director wrote:We'll just have to agree to disagree. I do think American antipathy to Germany was driven by Germany's tactless diplomacy and constant saber-rattling. Loki's 'militant' diplomacy has been aggressive but mostly directed at undeveloped peoples or the Austrians and Turks. Seizing Cuba would probably have sparked a strong American response. Puerto Rico... I think not so much, and I did stipulate that Italy would have to pay lip service to the Monroe Doctrine by allowing American influence or by laying out a path to PR independence.

Making a country like Italy (or similarly resource-poor Japan) into a super-power is a real achievement, and being able to effectively wage war from the Channel to Bombay is another. Congratulations - Italy missed a great chance by your being born 'just a bit' too late and too far north.


I think this is one of the many delights of PoN, what the game produces is close enough to our reality to allow a mapping of real world dynamics to what we see.

I do think that any long term attempt to hold onto Puerto Rico would have seen major tensions and perhaps to how Italy operates now it has mastery in Europe. Further aggression could have led to a perception that Italy was out of control, a move to co-operation and mutual support could lead to the perception that this is simply the inevitable new order of nations?

Again, thanks to all for the comments, very much appreciated. I will do a final review post, but probably not to the end of next week now. Both busy and off to Skye for some climbing (rock in the north of the island, hopefully some ice in the Cuillins) for a long weekend.
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

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loki100
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January 1920 and a short recap

Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:57 pm

So, rather belatedly, here's an overview of the world in January 1920. Given this is PoN, rather than Victoria, at least in Europe, the map is pretty close to our own reality, but first lets do some domestic stuff.

My final Prime Minister, Francesco. Note the continuation of the sad decline in the levels of facial hair of the Italian political elite.

Image

The population is pretty content as they should be.

Image

As a rough estimate the working population (col 11) is roughly 14 million compared to around 9 million in 1882 after I'd finished conquering Northern Italy from the Austrians.

As indicated, the map of Europe has no big surprises.

Image

Croatia and Czechoslavakia have been carved out of the Austrian Empire and Russia seems to have a significant rebel problem (as does Spain).

The distribution of colonial control is a bit different as you'd expect.

Image

Not least in that Italy isthe #1 colonial power as I finally gained positive SoIs in a lot of the areas I took in the 1880-90s.

These maps are based on military control not colonial penetration, but give some idea of the state of Africa.

Image

Image
Here the British captured a lot of provinces where I am the colonial power (but can't move beyond 'influenced') in the last war.

Image

In terms of trade and industry

Image

In the end I was running a balance of payments of deficit of -£2000 per turn (easily covered by domestic sales) as I was importing evetything I could (so as to prioritise my own domestic production).

So how did all this come about. Well lets do a brief recap.

1850-1864

Not much happened. An unimportant prime minister (Cavour or somebody) was in power for a while and Italy lost its first ever battle at Kanbara. Thinking about it, I never did find out who was responsible, or even where the province actually is.

1865-1869

The strange saga of the evil twin Garibaldi unfolded, in which, unlike the real Garibaldi he took potshots at cities of major religious importance. Fortunately, the real Garibaldi returned,

Image

Just in time for

1870-1878

The first and second Ottoman wars. In which to prove that he was not really his evil twin, Garibaldi burnt down Mecca (twice) and shelled Jerusalem (twice actually).

All that lot ended with me holding Albania, the Dodecanese, Libya and Palestine. The other main issue in this period was the Anglo-Prussian War and the numerous German tourists cluttering up the beaches in the Adriatic.

However, a callous attack on VE II while he was out shopping. Fortunately, the Prime Minister, Agostino, is a man of a much facial hair:

Image

So Italy was ready for its biggest challenge yet.

1878-1882

The first and second Austrian wars in which Austria was the big loser.

This was followed by

1883-1890

Mostly peaceful (if you ignore 2 wars with Egypt) and Perfidious Albion stealing my tea plantation ... and lots of bad puns about scratching the Nejds. Peace ended when the British were caught daubing ungramatical latin slogans in Jerusalem.

The result was a genuinely global war lasting from 1890 – 1893 and seeing conflict in India, Africa, the Mediterranean region and finally in Britain itself. A number of things were burnt down, the Italians discovered why Pizza ovens should be turned up to 11. It ended with Scotland freed (and promptly occupied by Italy), Melbourne handed over along with the British colonies in the Persian Gulf.

From 1893-1912, the world was mostly at peace. Ok someone shot Umberto and standards of facial hair declined.

Image

but apart from the third Ottoman War and Germany suddenly attacking Italy, not that much happened.

However, by 1912 everyone was bored with peace. The result was a sequence of wars that drew in most of Europe. The Franco-Italian alliance beat Austria and Germany, the second Anglo-Italian war ended in a stalemate and the first Italian-Spanish war saw Italy gain colonies in West Africa and the Caribbean. Which more or less brings us up to 1920.

........... Thank you for reading and comments.

... and the scariest moment in the entire game? Declaring war on the ottomans for the first time, I really expected to lose all my carefully created army.
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

wadeyboy
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Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:13 am

Fantastic AAR. Please do some video tutorials on youtube

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H Gilmer3
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Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:28 am

Wow! Someone finished and won! Excellent!

Soulstrider
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Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:49 am

Impressive

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