it is almost a real AAR you know, except you have it a bit simplified, almost 30years in a go as a resumee - but gives the big trends and noticeable features
a) How to make a powerhouse :
I thought Russia had potential for building a powerhouse - coal fields, huge population, large internal market, access to many natural resources, it is nothing besides germany (remember, germany adds to huge population, more coal, an excellent productivity, less need for railway - still I added more to maximize
tropical goods production and contentment
, or minerals production (needed for my HUGE industry
) and ensure mobility of my army
(i can move swiftly a full army by rail, which, with allies allow me to move almost from Lorraine to Balkans and from memel to Dalmatia in one turn (perhapps not from Lorraine, but from berlin, breslau or Konigsberg, be sure)
you won't have yerar by year detail, just it was a balance between profitable resources - has been Textile in addition of Luxury goods for me, for long, then evolved with market - and , as said the 19th century german economist Karl M... "build the material base, the infrastructure on which build the capitalist social relationships - superstructure"
, in clear heavy industry, that is : coal, steel, manufactured goods, mechanical parts (electric parts later), iron, minerals - buy them when you need, produce them if you can, it's usually cheaper when you produce them yourself (else, buy), give work and increase contentment, and if you produce them yourself, you're first served
that means A LOT micromanagement, you build trade fleets too,
-you ensure the goods which are in rare supply and you produce to be all bought - you buy them to everyone, redispatch them ensuring 98% of needs are satisfied (not 100%, offer and e demand, price rise, even if rubberband has been implemented)
- from time to time you buy coal steel or manufactured goods by regional decision, will make investment cheaper for you- rubberband implemented too, with deflation, you're going to lower world prices, but depression is for all, cost cutting is for you only ! - avoids inflation - arbitration to make between investment and income - you'll pilot by sight
- you buy and redispatch goods everywhere, when there is more need than you produce, you buy, when you produce enough for your demand, no need, make your market available, and make trade treaties
- no need to create shortages - if prices are low for a good, buy it largely, and invest prioritary elsewhere, still, if you can produce it yourself , produce, a slight benefit for you is betetr than a slight benefit elsewhere - if prices are high, produce, buy and resell, - your fleet will gain a margin - and satisfy most demand - will make a hub of your country - and if most demand is satisfied, other nations will produce most goods in demand, therefore alleviating scarcities and allowing you to maximize population contentment, therefore productivity
- you balance your builds into consumption goods and heavy industry - depends on demand and your industrialization need
you should get, by careful micromanaging (full review of world market for each good every turn, large use of F4, T, B , occasionally F1 and closing factories when occasionally needed - barring stock constituting) a reral powerhouse (in 30 years at lest)
privilege private money to state funds, limit taxes, you have army, research and other needs, so balance at best
when you can, even if no immediate need, lauch industrial builds for future needs - you may not need a coal mine now, but it will become necessary in the future - stockpiling money which will attrite is a poor choice - don't come into debt and provoke inflation
do this (boring ?) task during 30 years, and final result will be impressive
this is coal production, it is slightly increased by temporary occupation but basically marginal - what matters is that Germany spared, built, spared, built in all and every german spot available, then used all her coal mine capability to invest in her economic partners : Austria, Russia, Belgium (one spot available) and even one in Ottoman Empire, as coal is likely to be the limiting factor of RUNNING industrial capability - close the tap, and foreign industry will run half speed, be in shortage andyour own industry will run half speed
minerals hunger has been alleviated, besides home development, by intense colonial activity (Morocco, Südwest Afrika, even infringing on normal Portuguese area), I ferared an iron hunger, but it seems OK - roughly Germany has nearly all other needed resources, with slight import needs (especially after unification), and of course, taking over allied ones when I crushed revolters helped germany somehow (and guess handicapped a bit our allies - taking over was a nice bonus, but goal was training generals, remaining is , well, comfort)
I won't enter in details of market evolution, suffice to say that world market surpluses vary with time, and that monitoring prices, needs, offer and demand help a lot, usually coal is lacking in the long run, manufactured goods may lack at some time, not at others, basic consumption goods are abundant at first, then rarefies as population grows faster than economy, therefore early game problem is getting good prices and customers for his production to get money to invest and grow, late game problem is to get enough goods, and diverse enough to keep contentment growing, a hard task in endgame. usually all rare luxury and tropical goods are in short supply, so are wine and fruit. timber and food may vary, food becoming in short supply as game advabces - in my german game textile was rare at start, then abundant, then cycles; minerals and steel vary. iron is usually abundant, and so are minerals and mechanical parts at start, after as game progresses, they are more and more needed.
after, it depends on stage and activity - consumption goods are always needed - as game progresses technically, more coal, and chemicals, industrial parts, and then electric parts are needed, for example operating advanced fishyards is incredibly more coal consuming than operating basic ones (you just need money, and will get more by selling production) - cost can even be a deterrent to modernize mines, or shortage of crucial production goods can event prevent modernizing - last stages of economy are more difficult for AI - some catch 22 situations can arise , and priority to profitable goods, needed for morale
(cars, planes, more luxury goods) can siphon off rare production goods
(mechanical parts, minerals, electric parts, coal, possibly steel or manufactured goods), making economy, or at least growth, come to a halt
coal hunger is imho uneluctable, is certainly a needed limiting factor and balancing tool
- conversely, too much a shortage could result in sort of monopoly of coal supply, unbalancing game, and strangulating Japan, Italy, France (possibly handicaping Tussia) other nations are less coal/activity vulnerable - so there is a balance to strike
balancing economy is a tricky task - on one hand, a human played nation WILL become a powerhouse, an early powerhouse - so trying to harmstring economy excessively may result in human player monopolizing resources and AI starving, no good - or a beginner, not tempted by micromanaging, finding development too hard (players beginning in 1850 with Italy, Japan, or russia will certainly understand what I mean). another point is that[color="#008000"] economic resources have to be taylored to nation role and missions.
besides industrial needs steel is needed for railroad warships and new economic facilities (especially factories), the remainder , including army , consume little, coal is necessary to operate industry, modern warships as well as modern trade ships, and railroad - consumption can skyrocket with a powerful navy
(the one who'll sink the enemy wooden one) and a vast and efficient railroad net
. modernizing mines is a need, but shortage of coal or mechanical part may force their closing. while finished products are the ones supplying big income, it's the intermediary goods which allow industrial growth - if a shortage happens, growth halts at best,a large part of industrial activity at worst. I have seen british industry stagnate in two games. and manufactured goods serve for all, industry, economy, military, and regional decisions, you can't possibly have too much of it.
Britain has indeed big needs - is supposed to build a powerful modernized navy
, which she doesnt' do usually, perhaps because of threat evaluation, perhaps because of another AI evaluating problem (never saw AI build a single ship), perhaps because of high cost.[color="#FF0000"] would she(and other powers) do, an increase of coal production would absolutely be needed (and not only for britain, but IF sizable war flets are not built and coal productio n is significantly i,ncreased with fix, then balancing and limiting role of coal will be thrown out of the window[/color]. She has to protect and create a huge Empire
. and last but not least, should play a role of balancing power
another problem I observed in my two games is that [color="#FF0000"]britain has very high global military - while an undersized fleet[/color]. which means a strong land army - while her needs are certainly considerable - Colonial army is needed because of her huge colonial Empire, first of the world, needing her to project her power in Afghanistan, Egypt, central africa, south africa, burma, malaya, scattering colonies around the world, protecting india and somehow canada and british isles, and intervene in crisis.
[color="#FF0000"] It seems to me Britain AI may
do what paul kennedy* would call "overstretch", asphyxiating her economy by oversizing her military [/color]- Real world britain operated economically, was a liberal country , military was a cost, necessary, but a cost to avoid, taxes and so on, the thin red line was thin indeed - Britain managed her huge Empire with her fleet, and a reduced colonial land military, even in india, stuffing it only when need arised ![color="#008000"] solution would be perhaps, not limiting her force pool, but by setting parameters to lead her to build less military (and be more fleet oriented/ with scuttling of old models)[/color] that is teach AI (in general and britain in particular) to do what AI did -[color="#008000"] build economy first, and then (only) military question is not the force pool military, but British economy ability to grow and so tendancy to build too much[/color] guess can be done by parametering AI (with AI setlandbuild and AI set navbuild) - in my two games i have seen considerable british land forces - in Nigeria, in central Asia, in Indochina, facing Boers presently , in Ottoman Empire, invading US, and in Indochina in my russian game, starving crossing Africa, or starving in Balkans ... sure with such a vast empire, is a hard task for AI [color="#FF0000"] (some arealocalinterest to fix ?,)[/color]
- guess with india bordering indirectly Russia and china, (and india is a prime target for british industrialization, british AI builds there almost more industry than in british isles), canada bordering USA, and african needs (boers, but not only) threat evaluation in britain is high - but british militarizing massively early kills his growth - perhaps there is an explaination to look there
* author of decline and fall of great powers
[color="#40E0D0"]I guess there may be some sort of things like that in france [/color]
- AI france (it's AI, always) has to crush russia in crimea, crush austria in italy, a loadshit of colonial actions (indochina, china, north africa, africa, mexico), offer a challenge to Prussia (at least) then expand her colonial Empire, keep enough size to resist to prussia somehow would a duel occur, and build a navy meanwhile, that is a lot
of course, it's difficult for everybody but US after civil war, start is difficult for russia who has to keep a huge military (continental neighbours, vast territory + garrisons), germany, Italy have to unite and are undersized before , especially Italy - germany is supposed to offer a big challenge to opposite coalition endgame, Austria is split between different spheres (Italy germany balakans) but so is russia, and germany has a potential 2 front wars enedgame, Italy is (usually, when not played by Loki) weak, and so is usually japan, who has to crush a mamooth with considerable superior forces like Russia, a real challenge
still delay of france in colonization strikes me much !
guess she too has too much to do compared to her strength, extending widely in Africa (provoking British aside) crushing Tonkin, and keeping a force almost able to hjold off prussiansd defensively is much - of course I'm Prussian, didn't help her
here's economic comparison, I excluded France (presently invaded, so analysis isnt valid, pre meiji japan and not united Italy are too weak)
images are a bit mixed, can't correct it, bug ? anyway, let's see figures
apart from oversized micromanaged germany (any micromanaged nation will be ahead in power and on schedule), and USA who seem to develop normally, other powers backwardnes strikes me , especially Britain
Austria and Russia I can explain by indirect effect of German actions - besides investment, it is widely possible that seizure of economic assets from rebels have destabilized tyheir economy, possible ...
but [color="#FF0000"]Britain[/color], there is no reason - unless considering her destabilized by german competition - [color="#FF0000"]her development is reallyabnormally low compared to US one, clearly[/color] : compared to history, Britain imlporting coal, producing in 1880 40% of US production, barely more than Russia, steel is in same situation, british is a net importer of manufactured goods, and textile !!! luxury goods(albeit so profitable) is abysmally low compared to Austria and Russia (Sweden too and so would france wouldn't her be invaded) and british importing fish is more than surprising - clearly Britain economy is undersized compared to real world historic one - even with Germany not buying preferentially to one of her main rivals, there are enough customers (plus interior market) to ensure a steady growth, which makes me wonder - AI analysis shortcoming ? or Military and taxes oversizing ? - edit, checking it, that [color="#FF0000"]must be the explaination, British taxes are set at at a maximum [/color]- it may be recent and due to their war with Russia (they
declared !) but they're going to ruin temselves
other values are surprising, besides very low productions, as Austria-Hungary
importing corn, Austria not producing mechanic parts at all
, and absolutely no american exports of corn and meat (could be imports compensating exports if US acted as a hub redispatching production, but it isn't the case ..
guess we have somethiung here, possibly many nations taxes are set too high, [color="#FF0000"]AI should be fixed to balance her economic and military needs better no need to accumulate state funds if there are important economic needs [/color]- to check with other countries and in other games