Victoria 3: a Historic Economics Sim

Thanks for the suggestions getting started. I am doing better by steering less and setting buildings to auto build. I definitely was not expanding enough. I still have to figure out how to successfully add new industries, but am having fun trying.

So I’ve managed to start pumping out ammunition, raising a decently sized army of skirmish infantry, as well as a humble navy. I managed to colonize the South Island of New Zealand (where I’ve discovered TONS of gold!) as well as Papua and some Indonesian islands. I also used my new navy and advanced troops to vassalize some of the native unrecognized kingdoms, giving me a solid power base in the region that I plan to use to take over from the Dutch eventually.

I also fought a few wars in Arabia, finally vassalizing Oman and some other minors in the process. Oman gives me a toehold in Africa as well.

Before I can get to these grand ambitions of an empire stretching from Africa to Southeast Asia, though, I need to continue industrializing. I’m in the process of upgrading my arms and fertilizer industries, as well as steel, and should hopefully begin adopting steel buildings soon.

I’ve also been working on modernizing. I want to ban slavery so that all those pops can earn wages to spend in the economy, and I want to adopt Multiculturalism, so I can fully benefit from my conquered lands (and so that I can populate them with the downtrodden from other countries). My first attempt to band slavery has been foiled by the Landed class, though.

In a lucky break, a wave of Radical revolutions is sweeping Europe, including Russia and their ally Austria. I was able to invade Russia and conquer Khazakstan as well as forcing them to recognize me while they were too busy to react. Unfortunately because of where the revolt spawned I couldn’t get back the Caucuses, and Radical Russia despises me as well, so I assume a real war with an undivided Russia is coming soon. I must prepare.

So three things happened all at once. My efforts to abolish slavery resulted in the Landowners rebelling; Khazakstan revolted against my rule; and Italy decided to “cut me down to size”, meaning that 300 Italian regiments landed on my shores and started marching towards the capital. If they took it, they would force me to give up all my vassals and puppets, as well as any territory acquired in the last 10 years.

Things looked grim. But in one key way, this was actually a good thing. The Landowners were entranched in my government, because the Shah is a member of the group, and so without them in government my legitimacy drops to 0. During their open rebellion, however, their interest group is gone from the nation completely, and so the Progress party composed of the Intellegentsia, Industrialists, and Armed Forces is able to pass a succession of quick reforms, banning slavery and instituting Multiculturalism. With the slaves freed and all people equal under the law, I now have a much larger population of full-wage-earning, fully-resource-consuming, fully-taxable pops.

I crush the Khazak rebellions and send my generals to hold off the Italians just as they crest the mountains south of the capitol. At first I’m just barely holding the numerically superior Italians off, but by heavily straining the arms industry and national budget I am just able to afford widespread conscription, as well as advanced equipment for the draftees.

The rebel landowners, luckily for me, may have a large army but they have no arms industry at all (they took Afghanistan and Baluchistan, which I hadn’t built up too far yet - although Baluchistan DID have many of my naval bases). Soon enough they were taking massive penalties due to lack of equipment. I wiped them out as well, then sent my entire army towards the Italian beachhead. A few more big battles, and the Italians were sent packing.

What happened next is that the Italians got into a massive war with France and never tried invading again. However, the fleet I could muster from my 7 naval bases wouldn’t be sufficient to make an unopposed landing at Italy’s colony of Algier, much less invade Italy itself. So there I was, waiting for Italy to tick down from 40 to 0 war support over a painfully long period of time, at something like 0.40 per week. And I was unable to demobilize my massive 300 battalion army. I was going into massive debt, but continuing to spend on construction because I didn’t want to take the economic hit to my resource industries. This means I’ve gone into massive debt - something like 20 million - but it seems to have paid off, because with the war over I am making more money than ever before.

Economically things are going great. I am about to go heavy into steel, adopting steel frame buildings. I will need lots more iron, coal, and steel - all things which can be found in Khazakstan, where I want to raise the standard of living anyways.

Politically, I want to make some more major reforms, but the landowners are back in government and standing in my way again. It may be time to provoke a final confrontation with them, before removing them from political power for good.

It is the late 1890s and I’m running out of time to achieve my vision of ruling everything from India to Africa. I’ve adopted a new philosophy towards Infamy, based on the words of a wise sage on Reddit:

I have embraced this philosophy, and fought off Cut Down to Size wars from a wide array of Great Powers, such as Russia, Austria, and France.

My new philosophy has led to England invading. I was able to force them to give me Australia, as well as some minor concessions in Arabia.

I had poor luck with Persia. I couldn’t break the slave-holding aristocrats and couldn’t train the population fast enough for the economy I was trying to build. Complete bust in the 1860s: failure of market connectivity, not because there weren’t enough railroads, but because there weren’t enough engineers to run them.

I’ve found that the only way I can get reforms done is through civil war. In my Persia run, I eventually pissed the landowners off enough that they rebelled; I kicked their asses and then while they were rebuilding their powerbase I passed a number of major reforms (like Multiculturalism) that killed their power.

For my next run, I’ll try “social” first and try to have a well-educated population before building out railroads. Not sure which country; I might try a European minor like Netherlands or Belgium.

I really like how interconnected the game elements are. There’ll be a lot replayability.

My game with Sweden might be played out. I’ve climbed to #11, but not in a sustainable way. I still need to figure out how to grow new industries.

I had pitched in to help with a few defensive battles, but had not tried being the aggressor. I decided to attack Costa Rica because it would make the fewest nations angry. Britain and a couple of neighbors joined in to help. I like how the war goals and support work. I didn’t realize that the goals were somewhat independent. I started by helping Britain not realizing it was doing nothing for me.

I might restart as Chile and try a more aggressive strategy next.

Major update came out today, with a long list of bug fixes. I haven’t had time to play recently, but this makes it very enticing.

I just bought Victoria 2 because it was way cheaper, and am getting well obsessed with it. Do people think it’s worthwhile to upgrade to V3? Someone said 3 is less war-oriented, which appeals to me.

Because I am weird and masochistic, I have been picking nations at random. First two runthroughs I played tiny German states which ended up getting absorbed into the Empire, though I did get Oldenburg to the brink of Great Power status at one time (seems like it’s fairly easy to rise up the rankings early in the game by spamming prestige techs). Next I played as Awadh, a tiny Indian principality which IRL was absorbed into the British Empire in the 1850s. I made it to 1935 as an independent civilized nation, which I thought was pretty good. At one point Britain was distracted by a revolution and I took the opportunity to conquer Nepal just for the heck of it, earning me access to its tiny population and lack of resources. (Given that my only other neighbor was the British Empire, it wasn’t a hard choice). Currently I am doing my first runthrough as a semi-serious country, Switzerland, and I’m bouncing back and forth between being a Great Power and not. I’ve built my military up to the point where I think I can quickly overrun Sardinia if some sort of crisis comes up to distract their French protectors. That will give me seacoast and allow me to start stealing bits of Africa, but it’s already 1860 so that crisis better come soon. If I can’t get colonies, I’ll probably have to revise my goals to just still being a Secondary Power in 1935. Also, I’m falling behind in industry. Not sure if that’s because I’m doing something wrong, because my population is just too tiny, or because all of the political parties are united in not letting me build my own factories.

Well, my moment came. France invaded Germany for the third time and I took the opportunity to strike. I was correct that I was capable of beating Sardinia, but unfortunately the French were able to spare an army five times my size to sort things out while also fighting Prussia at the same time. Looks like I will not be getting a place in the sun this game.

It’s 1871. A revolution in Sardinia removed them from France’s sphere of influence and I pounced, eventually forcing them to cede Nice to me and giving me that dreamed-of port.

Unfortunately, I’m still not entirely clear on how to move armies, so it wound up that I have literally my entire army sitting in Nice, which isn’t contiguous with the rest of my territory, and Sardinia isn’t going to do me any favors, so unless I declare war again that army can’t move anywhere and if my homeland gets attacked I’m just going to have to make do with mobilized conscripts. Also, still haven’t gotten a government that will let me build any factories, so industrialization continues to lag.

I think 3 is a huge upgrade, but a bit broken at the moment unless you mod it.

Broken how so? Like as in unbalanced game play, or as in randomly crashing all the time (definitely a problem with V2)?

A problem I keep running into in every game is a near-total inability to build any artillery because of a worldwide shortage of liquor which lasts the entire game. This is true even when I produce liquor myself. Is there some workaround here? Can I direct my liquor production to military use rather than having it automatically go on the market?