Asher413
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My first GC: The good, the bad and the ugly

Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:28 am

I couldn't decide if this is an AAR or general post... so general it is :)

Today I (almost) completed my first GC, as Russia. I started this experience in May, with little to no idea what was going on (I was an average at best player of AACW, did some tinkering and tutorials, and then dove in.) I'll break up this summary into four parts: The course of events, the good, the bad and the ugly. The ground rules for my exercise were normal settings (except extended claims for the first 25 years or so, along with the modifying of leaders per the excel file), and I only used scripts three times (I wanted to test out Vanilla and not let my whims change too much). Also keep in mind I don't have too many notes, so this is mostly what I recall unless I deemed it worth a note.

Course of Events:
My primary strategy was three fold:
1. Ensure security (via dipolmacy or war) on my European borders
2. Industrialize Russia
3. Link my borders via rail in case of attack (Specifically, Poland<->Moscow, Black Sea<-> Moscow, Afghanastan<->Moscow, Pacific<-> Moscow)

1850's- The first 10 years saw peace, and empire building. Colonially, I went hard after a link to the Indian Ocean (Bachulastan) and Afghanastan. The British didn't really fight me there, so a clear link to the Indian Ocean gave me a peace of mind for supplies, and gave me my second year round Port (remember, St. Pete and Vladivostok both freeze in the winter, and at the time I wasn't sure how well the Turks could keep my fleets in the Black Sea).
I also diplomatically worked toward alliances with Sweden, Prussia and Austria to secure my western borders and allow me to focus on a land war in Asia.

1860's-1870's- in no particular order
Ottoman wars: In three wars, I took Costanaza into my empire, beat the Ottomans and realized the warscore for anything useful was through the roof, fought them again out of boredom, and then scripted the freedom of the Balkan States as my plunder from the two drubbings. Up until the Second Balkan War, I focused on buying every single good from these countries at a premium, with hopes of giving me a strong buffer from the Turks (should they ever rise again from the ashes).
Persian War: Sheer boredom and an objective of Tabriz lead me to beat up the Persians, and after that, I left them alone.
Chinese Wars: This may have been later, but I know prior to 1885 or so, the Chinese were my military testing ground. I know I took over their whole country at least four times, pulling off Uzebistan, Xinjang, Xizang, Mongolia and Manchuria, while 'liberating' the Tibetian people (They have remained in some state of war or territory changing actions with China since). I could not find a way (I occupied China for 3 years once, and they had no army left) to take Korea off their hands.

1880's-1900- boredom sets in, and the UK almost wins
British Wars: To be fair, this may have been earlier as well, but at one point the British Empire was above 90% of winning, and I launched into a desperate attack to stop that. Turns out by accident, I also burned all of India down the first time as well! After stopping their victory, I struck a short time later to ensure they would never win, with aims of liberating Scotland and Ireland (which succeeded, but it didn't rip off any of the territory I expected, left Ireland constantly under rebellion, and wasn't the knockout blow to British industries that I hoped for.) The final British was was a war for resources. The US was catching up, and I decided Canada had nice resources and a nice land front to fight the Americans if need be. Sadly, I only took BC and Alberta from the British, even though I had burned down all of their Canadian friends (again, by accident, discussed later). This ended the British hopes of victory, but didn't leave them as the full shell I had hoped for.
I also went resource hunting for colonies: The Russian Empire started to grow so fast in population that I couldn't keep up with their needs, and had no more cards to play on many goods. So, I searched for those goods I still had cards for, and went for those colonies. In time, I took Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai, Yemen, Eritea, Abyssinia, Burma, Laos, Fiji and much much later (about 1910, but I still had most of the Rice resources) Tonkin. This kept me busy with Colonials and developing the infrastructure to succeed there. I had a flirtation with Nepal to link Moscow to Mandalay, but the Chinese territory of Lhandak and British Tawang stopped those efforts.

1900-1915-
Here, not much happened. One careless crisis with France (I didn't choose the cards... completely missed it) led to a short war (during which, I completed Colonization of Tonkin since the French held the city of Hanoi, stopping me from getting enough CP to use the Colony card.), with a white peace. I watched a Balkan mess, where Bulgaria's army crushed the Ottomans, then again crushed any and all neighbors. I didn't have the updated scripts to fix the end of the Balkan Wars until 1915, so the Archduke lived a bit longer.

1916-1919 "World War I"
I'll go into detail under the 'bad', but WWI at first didn't happen, as Austria and I were still allies. I couldn't click away the alliance, and kept cancelling the wrong things, so I said screw it, and gave up until 1916. Then, again out of bordeom/duty to have a great war, I made my own WWI, based on the political landscape of my world.
First, the Noble Austrians and Bulgarians teamed up to stop Serbia, Montenegro and Greece from interfering with Russian interests (namely, allied buffer states). Two weeks later, the British realized their old enemies and game leader Russian cousins weren't going to stop this, and joined on the Serbian side. Following that, Prussia, S-P, Baden and Saxony decided the British should lay out of continental politics, which two weeks later led to rogue Hasse-Kassel joining the British, and Russia seeking a chance to end it all, going for India one last time.
Then things went crazy in my script world. Hanover, Ireland, Scotland join Russia/Austria/Prussia and Ottoman, Belgium, Oman, Armenia, USA and France join the British cause.
The final peripheral DOWs were as follows: China, Korea, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay on the Russian/Austrian/Prussian side, and Japan, Panama, Cuba, Morocco, Chile, Peru and Venezuela on the British/US/French side.
I now had my war, and it was... tame. I beat the British out of India, while our side attacked France from three directions, and were dining in Paris in 6 months. I was the first to go with peace on those two powers, leaving the British with 70% of their forces demilitarized, and the french with 65% (and still with Prussia, Austria, S-P and Italy hitting them). Over the next 12 months, the US took my southeast Asian holdings (as peace with the British actually cut my lines... whoops), France lost Alsace and colonies in treaties, and Mexico took back Texas and New Mexico.
Then, the US hit my Western Canadian 'force' and took the great white north, I mounted two failed sea invasions of California (both times, Alcatraz held, and thus my ability to every supply my army failed.), so I settled for giving the US my now abundant money for peace.

With a game lockup (see, 'ugly') I decided to go ahead and call it on the Late April 1919 turn. At this point, I had 72% of my prestige goal, the US 2nd with 12%, and France 3rd with 13%. (For humor, Bavaria has 251 prestige points... it's on my F10 screen!)

The Good:
I loved playing the game, for the first 50 years or so. It was a challenge to keep Russia going, I had military disasters as I learned the system, and managing the economy was a great time.
Playing as Russia, I had unique challenges in the size of the empire (thus my quick push into railroads... if Japan got testy, I didn't have a big enough army or supply chain to leave a giant task force in Siberia all the time), the sheer number of people as a positive and negative (easy for conscription issues, I never came anywhere close to running out, but their needs became impossible the last 30 years or so to meet), and there was no question that the issues I faced were unique to my chosen side (unlike many games, where outside of a tactical decision or two, most countries play similarly).
The diplomacy system was easy to learn, as was the economical system once your really took the time to learn it (you can't just set it and forget it for the first 30 years or more.) Colonization had some frustrations, especially in determining why I can't play card X or Y, but on the whole, it was a great way to force calculated planning and effort and to simulate the race of the European powers to 'plant their flags'.
As a given, the AGE is great for war, as always known.

The Bad:
I love AGEOD games, and this list is simply things *I* would change if I had the unlimited resources and programing team to do it.

Diplomacy: It was irritating to say the least when countries were involved in C-B and crisis that weren't on the map. On the C-B subject, the fact that a C-B had the tendency to mean little (that I could see) on AI decisions (and rarely led to war) was disappointing. Also lacking was an alliance peace in war, which led to situations such that France lost Paris three separate times in my World War I, when in reality, there would've been one treaty. The diplomacy system, while neat, felt too rigid (I never again worried about Prussia, Sweden or Austria once I had an alliance), and the random rejection responses bothered me (I know it was a different age, but sometimes the reasons made no sense- when my military power was a 'problem' but I was 7th in the world, etc.).
Upgraded Farms: In hindsight, I'll never upgrade my food production again, as the reliance on coal for a coal-strapped world meant I had to cut food out. I'm not saying to provide the lower level version or a downgrade, but as a first play-through, there was no way I saw upgrading in 1865 meaning I'd have to shut it down in 1900.
Colonial Scorched Earth: When taking another countries Colonial lands, your troops (or their troops) involuntarily have a scorched earth mentality. I would rather see some sort of unrest production issue or small scale sabotage rather than India's industry being ground to dust.
Weather charts: Probably because I'm American, but it was frustrating to have no knowledge of when weather would go bad in specific areas: For example, I have no idea when the monsoon season occurs in Indochina, or when and which ports would freeze in the winter, so I simply had to take notes over several years. I would be nice if there was a way (in game) to see when these bad weathers are 'typical'.
Liberation of Countries: As has been stated, it's a shame that when a country is liberated, it's just the capital territory, and without even a peacekeeping army. I'd like to see different levels from peace terms, from releasing Dublin to the whole Island of Ireland, of course at different warscore costs.
Military Control of the City vs. Countryside: In peace, one country can control a colonial city, while another controls the territory. This was frustrating in planning movements (I am allies with the city and not the territory), colonial cards (France still owned Hanoi despite being in my protectorate, and then I couldn't play cards to get my CP up for a colony), or losing a city to an ally (my Prussian allies helped me in Africa against a rebellion... then owned my colonial capital the rest of the game)
General management: I wish there was a way to know a general would potentially be up for retirement, or have some sort of smooth transition. Nothing was worse than midwar in France or India, 1/3rd of my generals retire, their replacements spawn in St. Pete, and half my armies are underled or without a leader, while on the front. I don't have an elegant solution, but it got to the point I declared wars right after the yearly retirement, and then try to have peace before it hit again.
Free railroads: Are great... but in game there is no way to know which ones you'll get for free if you wait, or when.
Event descriptions: I have a rough idea what the First Duma and Second Duma were- but I have no idea how it impacts my current empire (even if it was a vague "Happiness increases" or something like that)

The Ugly:
My preface here is I am no programmer and I don't even claim to be able to do better.
Game lockups/bugs: I believe three times my game crashed to a point I had to come here for help, I also couldn't offer peace within the game several times, I couldn't see/cancel the right treaties, and these were very frustrating as a player. (on the plus side, all of you here at the forums and aegod are very helpful when these things come up).
Event Chains vs. current situation: The immediate example was the WWI chain, where as a human, I couldn't even use my C-B against Austria without having to cancel treaties, and I wouldn't have cared if my Ally kept a Balkan uprising down. I also know I missed some Russo-Japanese wars along the line. While this didn't really bother me, I felt like I may have missed a lot of historic events since I had alliances or wars in the 'wrong' places at the wrong time.
AI Behaviors: Three stand out that drove me batty: Stack of Doom, Failure of German and Italian Unification and Switzerland. S-P owned Switzerland for roughly 50 years in my game, and in that time period, either A. the other powers would've brokered peace or B. It would have been annexed. I'm not sure how (if at all) I impacted those items, but the Stack of Doom made the destruction of France trivial (You defend Lorraine with your whole Army... I'll go through Belgium and take Paris, and you'll still stay there.)

I know this is a serious novel- but hey, it's feedback and thoughts from 8 months of play. I'm going to take a break for a month or so, then delve in again and try to keep an AAR to keep my interest up- I'm debating on France, Prussia or Austria and I'm open to suggestions. Keep up the VERY good work Aegod, and keep the forums fun everyone!

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loki100
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Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:03 am

thats a great post, from different perspectives I recognise all you are saying and would concur with your view as to the bits that work and that don't.

and much respect for taking on Russia as your first game ... :thumbsup:
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Kensai
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Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:46 pm

Your comments are very constructive. Actually, I understand most of them even if I am only half way through (1880s) and I am playing a very custom game (morphed out of a 20-human player PBEM at its peak time). If I didn't know how to script certain effects (including cancelling those diplomatic arrangements that the UI does not allow) I would have abandoned the game long ago. I have to say though, when under the right circumstances, the battle AI can give you a run for your money, even if it makes several mistakes (huge stacks of doom, no attempt for multiple fronts, few naval invasions, stalemates, etc).

That said: as in all games, you need to play with your own house rules and respect them. As a challenge. You will find it much more interesting. There is a filter for current weather and one for weather zone. Yes, as Japan I learned the hard way myself when the monsoons strike in Southeast Asia. It was quite cool to google it and find it indeed stroke that part of the year. :)

Unfortunately, many events fire without checking for the right conditions and some event chains (mostly the unification ones) do not fire always properly, meaning they may screw the historical flow of things. There is a team Christophe has assembled (that includes me, loki100, and others) that is constantly looking at these things and proposes fixes.

In any way, congratulations! Next time, if you ever get stuck at a situation drop us a line and I can personally write you a script to fix a situation to your liking. If a war is interesting enough, I (or others) could even jump in and make it as a PBEM for as long as the war goes on for you to have an extra challenge. This is the power of AGEOD games! ;)

Check my Game of Victorian Thrones. In the PS you will be surprised how many times I make a comment about passing a script as a fix.
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Crixdaz
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Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:09 pm

Asher413 wrote:I couldn't decide if this is an AAR or general post... so general it is :)


You can't be serious, this is an awesome AAR. Seems that a lot of people love so much this game even with all the things that can be improved. This makes me optimist for the future.

Some pictures would be nice :w00t:
Excuse my bad english, don't doubt to correct me ;)

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Kensai
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Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:16 pm

Btw, regarding those retiring Generals. You know you could have strategically relocated the new ones to the front, don't you? :)
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Asher413
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Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:35 pm

Kensai wrote:Btw, regarding those retiring Generals. You know you could have strategically relocated the new ones to the front, don't you? :)


Yes and No- there had to be a rail connection to St. Pete, so in Europe yes, but in Asia, rarely.

loki100 wrote:thats a great post, from different perspectives I recognise all you are saying and would concur with your view as to the bits that work and that don't.

and much respect for taking on Russia as your first game ... :thumbsup:


I found Russia as a safe starting point- Holland and Belgium bored me, and Russia didn't have colonial things to worry about as a Newbie, just massive size :)

Crixdaz wrote:Some pictures would be nice :w00t:


Wish I had pics... but I didn't think about it until near the end. Next time!

Kensai wrote:That said: as in all games, you need to play with your own house rules and respect them. As a challenge. You will find it much more interesting. There is a filter for current weather and one for weather zone. Yes, as Japan I learned the hard way myself when the monsoons strike in Southeast Asia. It was quite cool to google it and find it indeed stroke that part of the year. :)


Agree fully, I've already started pondering my rules for my next game- I just wanted to make sure I let the 'design' run once to see what it does, instead of assuming.

Kensai wrote:There is a team Christophe has assembled (that includes me, loki100, and others) that is constantly looking at these things and proposes fixes.

In any way, congratulations! Next time, if you ever get stuck at a situation drop us a line and I can personally write you a script to fix a situation to your liking. If a war is interesting enough, I (or others) could even jump in and make it as a PBEM for as long as the war goes on for you to have an extra challenge. This is the power of AGEOD games! ;)

Check my Game of Victorian Thrones. In the PS you will be surprised how many times I make a comment about passing a script as a fix.


Just seeing the work you guys have done has me VERY excited for this second round. I'm also a bit more comfortable in at least saying "I want this to happen... let me try" versus being terrified of crashing the game :)

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Kensai
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Sun Jan 19, 2014 8:48 pm

Indeed, as in real life, it is of strategic importance as the Russian Empire (or the USA) to create a transcontinental railway soon enough. Both these nations have by design cheaper railroads in order to help the player achieve these historical projects without breaking the bank.

I am out of town for a few days, but when I get home I can give you a Russian save game of 1884 (from the PBEM) you could sink your teeth into. The human player that used to man it had completed the Transiberian Railroad to control his far neighbors in China and Japan (played by me). It is good to compare what other players had done by mid game in their own game. :)
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Christophe.Barot
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Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:22 am

interesting AAR, lots of things to comment

my first nation to play was russia - will comment later and ask more questions

indeed Russian population is a godspresent for raising huge armies, securing territories and winning wars - still innthe endgame, keeping em content is a nightmare - by optimizing barely managed to a positive number

coal is a short resource (but still in terms of game balance and tempo, I think an irrepecable limiting factor- Russia has plenty, but not enough for a powerhouse, and at some point, world market supplies become erratic, my whole enedgame was riddled by "managing coal resources " - sometimes I even filly stopped producing steel and bought all of it to spare my coal, ditto sent fleets at sea just to spare it) l, I wish we could downgrade

colonies as a solution for population needs - yes - did that for germany in Africa and oceania - your russian areas colonization are unusual (ahistoric), negative SOI - did you discard victory points coming from it, or did you play "sandbox", for my information ?

how could you get Manchuria ? I fought china during years with objective getting manchuria - there is coal in it - never was offered by China - did you write a script ?

[color="#FF0000"]wiping out all economic facilities[/color] in colonies is indeed horrific ([color="#FF0000"]a point to remember[/color] when improving game) - happened to me in Ottoman Empire - quietly moving leaders of future civil war (Russian one) in Palestina (you guess there was little turkish left north) and corn field or minerals mines just disappeared, frustrating (happened also to other facilities, like naval bases, no way Russian or japanese can take port arthur and use it) - very frustrating, to change but need chaning things in coce - seems some things were fixed, you can now build fortress and naval bases in colonies

more remarks later - we'rre traying to fix what we can, good thing you help us to have a census of problems

hope you had fun :)
[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]

Asher413
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Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:39 am

Christophe.Barot wrote:colonies as a solution for population needs - yes - did that for germany in Africa and oceania - your russian areas colonization are unusual (ahistoric), negative SOI - did you discard victory points coming from it, or did you play "sandbox", for my information ?

how could you get Manchuria ? I fought china during years with objective getting manchuria - there is coal in it - never was offered by China - did you write a script ?

hope you had fun :)


Looking at the final SOI's- there were all 8-10 positive except Abyssinia (1), Djibouti (-1), Eritrea (-1) and Laos (4). Looking at the 10's vs. 8's, it appears that I did enough work (telegraph lines, upgrading naval/depots and immigrants) that if I had a colony long enough, I moved to positive SOI. Djibouti was the last I took, and Abyssinia was given a lot of attention to access inland Africa and to get the Abyssinian army to stand down (to gain colonial status). I believe I had historical SOI on all along- so I don't know if long term I cost myself prestige or gained with the extra resources and eventual positive SOIs.
I'm not sure what these numbers are, but a bit more final data- "Presitge to be gained" (per F8) was: 15 Abyssinia, 54 Yemen, 10 Kuwait, 8 Qatar, 4 Dubai, 140 Burma, 12 Laos, 50 Tonkin, -4 Eritea, -10 Dijbouti, 10 Fiji.

My memory is fuzzy on Manchuria- I believe since I started with Extended claims, I nickel and dimed the borders in the first two wars (taking the full border each time), then Manchuria was a resonable warscore. But, I can't promise I didn't get fed up and script and forget that I did. I know I took all 5 border territories the first time, but after that its fuzzy.

As for fun- it was a great time: but more fun before it became clear I would win, and I was just clicking end turn, and checking coal, then clicking end turn, then checking coal...

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Kensai
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Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:48 am

Hehe, indeed there is more fun when you are not sure at all that you will win or when you play desperate scenarios. Consider trying Shogun's Defiance mod and go against the Americans that are 3x your size. :p

Regarding SOI... it will fluctuate as Asher reports given that you hold and develop a colony long enough. The positive/negative values are to portray the historical appeal these had for the nation (leaders, intelligentsia, collectivity). Sometimes, a strategic choice must be made to gain a colony that is not in the best interest of the nation short term (SOI), but perhaps gives important income (resources) or access (ports, etc) to other places.
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Christophe.Barot
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Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:48 pm

Asher413 wrote:Looking at the final SOI's- there were all 8-10 positive except [color="#FF0000"]Abyssinia (1)[/color], Djibouti (-1), Eritrea (-1) and [color="#FF0000"]Laos (4)[/color]. Looking at the 10's vs. 8's, it appears that I did enough work (telegraph lines, upgrading naval/depots and immigrants) that if I had a colony long enough, I moved to positive SOI. Djibouti was the last I took, and Abyssinia was given a lot of attention to access inland Africa and to get the Abyssinian army to stand down (to gain colonial status). I believe I had historical SOI on all along- so I don't know if long term I cost myself prestige or gained with the extra resources and eventual positive SOIs.
I'm not sure what these numbers are, but a bit more final data- "Presitge to be gained" (per F8) was: [color="#FF0000"]15 Abyssinia, 54 Yemen, 10 Kuwait, 8 Qatar, 4 Dubai, 140 Burma, 12 Laos, 50 Tonkin,[/color] -4 Eritea, -10 Dijbouti, [color="#FF0000"]10 Fiji.[/color]

[color="#40E0D0"]imho can't possibly be the historical Russian SOI - most of those you quote are negative (red in F8), that this is deterrent or not is another matter, but for me only historical SOI data anomalies for Russia are Syria and Palestina (an attempt to simulate the, monk quarrel for crimean crisis i guess, but treating that by slices of territory with holy places seems inappropriate to me - is to be attempted in IOttoman empires sovereignty restrictions and alignment - perhaps you played with extended SOI at siome stage ?[/color]

My memory is fuzzy on Manchuria- I believe since I started with Extended claims, I nickel and dimed the borders in the first two wars (taking the full border each time), then Manchuria was a resonable warscore. But, I can't promise I didn't get fed up and script and forget that I did. I know I took all 5 border territories the first time, but after that its fuzzy.

[color="#40E0D0"]extended claims, hadn't the idea to switch on them, I understand better - thanks[/color]

As for fun- it was a great time: but more fun before it became clear I would win, and I was just clicking end turn, and checking coal, then clicking end turn, then checking coal...


[color="#40E0D0"]for the later, - know that, been there with russians - how familiar :neener:

- am not that advanced in my german Game, but Germany has won (unless US industry proves crushing in the endgame) - a luck Austrians and British were overagressive

- makes no sense for Austria (they just made peace with French now, no idea what they could get -

French is busting me with peace proposals, now reparations but I don't want to let the hook out of him before I have
a) destroyed his armies - I don't want them roaring in my back when i'll fly rescuing my Russian ally and declaring on Britain -
b) upgraded his facilities, at least the ones which aere in short demands on international market (especially agricultural, but minerals and coal as well, france needs more coal, I can sell her my mechanical part surpluses if needed, after, well, she'll be free d to go get hubng elsewhere, or finish off Tonkin if she can manage it)

- has more sense for Britain, but is an economic and strategic suicide,

she's backward in developing her assets, coal especially, compare it to US (my human micromanaged germany is fatally über alles) ,

and of course, once France is done, I'll test my modern navy - regrouped, british ships don't stand a chance with her wooden decks - just need avoid to overlook crucial places, but I have Port Moresby (British by script) and a few Nigeria cities to get back (don't even know how to get back cities by script).

next step,Belgium, not that much itself by implementing Pangermanist event, than connecting my African Empire - German Kongo MittelAfrika is written on the wall (and by this time, Britain will have been dispatched by self choice) will try to make a railway connecting my possessions then

wouldn't be that, game would be less interesting now - every game, once you've won, is sort of over, mopping up isn't a challenge

[/color]
[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]

Asher413
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Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:39 pm

On the SOI's, I'm confident it was historical, and it shifts over time. Every so often I'd get a message (rough quote- by memory) saying "Due to our efforts in XXXXX, our SOI has increased to Y." (Which also made me giggle when it made Siberia national territory, but I was still getting that message for national territory areas).

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Kensai
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Location: Freiburg, Germany

Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:03 pm

Hmm, there is a small bug here, due to how very high CP areas (colonies) eventually become national territory (or non-national, if not connected by land to the capital). Actually, unless you are GBR and have the special Dominion colonial stage, it might be better to STOP your colonial penetration BEFORE you arrive to national territory.

When a colony becomes national territory it stops giving prestige (disappears from F8). On the other side of the coin, national and non-national territories can be further developed and taxed as if they were national regions. One has to always weight the plus and minuses. I haven't done the calculations, but it might be better not to develop a good-SOI colony to national territory, unless you really need (want) it to develop it.
Care to unify Germany as Austria? Recreate the Holy Roman Empire of the 20th Century:

Großdeutschland Mod

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Shogun Defiance Mod (completed AAR)

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