Victoria 2

This is just me spitballing, but it could be that your two main issues with the game make sense when taken together. E.g. 1) you set an absurdly high tax rate/tariff rate, but don’t see the push-back you expect and 2) every single one of your citizens is rebelling. The problem might just be a missing tooltip, that expresses that citizens are unhappy over the taxes, which is pushing them to join rebellion movements. At a guess, your pops start out very conservative, so when pressed they start joining right-wing groups like the the Reactionary Rebels (RR).

if you lower your tax rate, does that reduce the number of RR over time?

Another thing, while 100% education is ideal, you might not be able to afford it. Russia is a basket case at the start of the game, and you probably can’t afford everything you need. From what I remember it’s a 100 year long effort to bring Russia to some semblance of rational and effective governance

Another thing to watch for is migrations over time. It’s possible to use the sliders/laws to make your country a terrible place to live, but over the decades you will see large amounts of your population emigrate to countries that aren’t so terrible. To quote the famous general: “The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers”. Your country’s population will be steady or decline, while other countries will have sky rocketing growth.

Yes, that helps some. As long as you have low administration, 100% tax policy does not lead to 100% tax take. But this still strikes me as rather wacky on two levels. First that you can very effectively get around woeful tax collection ability by aiming to take everything. And second, that an effort to take everything does not lead to extreme reaction, and not just from those opposed to liberal reforms. (In modern times, tax collection is often tied to funding of liberal reform, but no such thing is going on here.)

I definitely understand that setting tariffs extremely high should not automatically be a winning move – that is part of my point. It actually works extremely well to jack up tariffs and intended tax collection – the economy is soon humming, and thus you no longer need to those settings so high.

On the surface, it would make sense, but in-game it does not appear this way. 1) First high tariffs and high taxes successfully get the economy humming. 2) Then I gradually lower both. 3) Only then does Reactionary pressure really kick in.

I cannot escape the impression that the game simply assumes you are enacting liberal reforms, because that is clearly the route to making your nation a power. So they inflict the consequence (reactionary rebellion) automatically, quite apart from your actually enacting reforms.

Now that I’ve refreshed my memory a bit more on military matters, it isn’t completely arbitrary. Your army force limit, outside of Mobolization of the population for war, is fairly consistently determined by the size of your Soldier pops. This Reddit thread probably does a better job than I could do of explaining exactly how the number of brigade you can raise is determined mathematically.

Remember that Soldier pops effectively portrays full-time/professional soldiers in your nation, to supplement their numbers you can use the mobolization option to conscript pops from the lower classes into the army, typically as infantry brigades for “civilized” nations. Which depending on factors such as the nation’s population size, can provide quite a large boost to your army’s size once everyone is fully mobilized.

Thank you. That helps immensely in understanding the number of brigades a nation can field. (Although it does not shed any light on the fact that an internal foe with no specific demands or location or other method of mitigation may have four times that number. That part still strikes me as arbitrary.)

Whether that is fair or not is a different question I guess, but it isn’t arbitrary in the sense that is tied to the Pops model like most things in this game. I guess you could consider it mobilization turned against you in a sense, and the Wiki entry on Militancy, Rebels & Revolutions and this Reddit thread might help enlighten you on how the strength of rebels is broadly determined.

It’s a rebellion. Your troops are better (hopefully). But there are a lot of rabble to form enemy units.

This situation smacks of “basket-case” Russia as @RothdaTheTruculent pointed out. The spiral of costs to constantly have troops mobilized (which require higher Taxes) to fight rebellions caused by high taxes, no reforms and pops rebellious for many reasons (lack of liberty, ethnic nationalism, etc.) makes Russia a real challenge in the game.

I,like Victoria in that it’s the only Paradox game that does’t take history and try to make it a 4X (like HOI).

Let’s talk about “Black Boxes” in HOI, @SamS. :)

I don’t know much about Brazil, but Russia was a mess in 1836, wasn’t it? Every country in Victoria 2 isn’t fun, and most of them don’t have much of a route to success. History!

As for the rebels not advancing militarily, how could they? Who would be training and arming them? They’re just a bunch of guys with pitchforks and hunting rifles. But there’s a whole lot of them, which makes sense. They fight for free, unruly mob style. Your guys need to be paid and organized and such.

I think what people like about Victoria 2, or what I like about it anyway, is not that it’s a fun, fair, or elegant game, which it isn’t, but more that it does an interesting job of simulating an interesting time in history — industrialization, the age of revolutions, colonization, the birth and spectacular collapse of balance of power politics — all in a way that more or less works and puts the player in a situation where in order to succeed, you’re trying to do what the prime minister of your country would have been trying to do. For example, as a strategy gamer, I know full well that getting dragged into a losing war to defend my national prestige is dumb. But Victoria 2 makes it really hard to avoid, just as it was for Gladstone, et al!

For me, a little bit of incomprehensibility in the interface is a small price to pay.

One of the great things I appreciate about Victoria 2 is that the game is more than just militarily painting the world your own colour, as is often the case in Europa Universalis. Whilst military power and aggressive expansion can still be important facets of a nation’s strategy there exist other equally valid methods of ascending to\maintain Great Power status and exerting one’s influence upon the globe. I find the meat of the game revolves around more than just wars and external expansion (“growing wide”) thanks to the deeper portrayal and simulation of facets such as populations, domestic affairs, and internal development.

Take a playthrough as China for example, often it focuses less on external expansion and instead consists of managing your internal affairs and playing the diplomatic game to avoid being torn apart by the Great Powers (e.g. Britain and Russia) whilst you attempt to ‘Westernize’. If you can carefully steer China past the race to ‘Westernization’ then it is like waking a slumbering dragon, because a ‘Westernized’ and industrialized China can be a real behemoth in Victoria II.

Similarly, apart from possibly wanting to participate in the ‘Scramble for Africa’, you can feasibly turn smaller European nations like Belgium into a Great Power without having to be a warmonger thanks to industrialization and the resources at the nation’s disposal. Once you achieve the prestige of being one of the eight Great Powers several options open up to the player that allow for the application of soft power over hard power to advance your nation’s agenda and standing. Having the option to feasibly advance your nation’s “power” via more diplomatic means, such as bringing another nation into your ‘Sphere of Influence’, feels satisfying after playing so many games where the application of hard power via military action is either the optimal or only option.

Different nations have different kinds of approaches to how they can advance themselves in the world and aim to become one of the eight Great Powers and what works for one nation doesn’t necessarily work for another. From memory, Brazil for example, either has to aggressively expand its borders in South America or bide its time before it can effectively leverage industrialization to its benefit due to the RGOs (resources) accessible to it. So there is a subtle, or not so subtle, variety to how each nation seeks to grow its “power” and ascend in the rankings.

Now it can certainly be an obtuse UI\game to understand at times whilst first learning all the gameplay systems, and sometimes it is better to take a more hands-off approach to some matters until you gain a better understanding of how to manipulate certain systems. A certain Tom Chick has certainly had plenty of positive things to say about Victoria II when the game and its expansions featured on past Three Moves Ahead episodes, such as Episode 217 for the Heart of Darkness expansion.

Well, despite the best laid plans a couple years ago I never did take the plunge and pick this up, this steam sale that changed. So I’m finally taking the plunge into Vic 2, interestingly enough this will be the first paradox developed game I’ve played.

As previously planned I’m thinking about starting as Brazil to keep things manageable as I try and learn my way around. I expect a good bit of glorious failure to ensue and once I’ve got (hopefully) a decent handle on the core mechanics I may for my own amusement do an AAR like I did with Aggressors: Ancient Rome. I realize they’re a bit out of style these days, but for some reason with strategy games they still appeal to me.

A Victoria 2 AAR?

swoon

-Tom

Played about 10 hours over the weekend, watched some youtube, slowly getting my bearings as Brazil.

Fought and won a minor war, getting the economy up and running, planning my next 2 military excursions (one against a core in Paraguay and the other a year long process of fabricating casus belli that’ll probably end in tears against Venezuela, want to beat the great powers from expanding their toe hold right next door).

My first impression: This was probably not the best choice as my first paradox game to play as there’s just not much chance I’m going to like anything else they’ve done as much as this.

Victoria 2 isn’t their most successful game by a long shot but it definitely has a cult following if you will. I’d love to see an updated version with the substantially improved UI that their later games have while retaining a lot of the core experience that makes Vicky special, warts and all.

I should probably fire this one back up, it’s been a long, long time.

Probably my favourite Paradox game, so consider me part of the cult. Hopefully, one day we see Vicky 3, because as KevinC said I wouldn’t mind having an updated and improved UI among other things. It can feel baffling at times at first, and like it plays itself when the levels of control are mysterious, but I love it warts and all.

I’m down for reading an AAR too.

I’ll likely run the 2nd campaign as an AAR then.

I can’t help but circle back with news from the current one as I learn the game.

I’m not sure how to increase the military pop, it seems like every time I raise an army I end up shinking my available pop for armies, I mean I know getting some of them killed off is part of the reason but the replenish piece has me puzzled. I maxed the pay to them and crank up middle class taxes to convince them the army life is the life for them and it’s not really getting it done. I’m missing a lever or three on this.

Oh, and I was right about those Great Powers hanging out in a couple regions at the top of Brazil, Great Britain sphere’d Venzuala before I could put the casus belli to use just as I had feared. I did grab the region I wanted from Paraguay.

If I can figure out soldier resupply I’ll begin the new war effort south and head away from the Great Powers to the north, I wonder, is Brazil doomed to get sphere’d too? I’m currently a secondary power at 16.

From memory, the most direct and easiest way to influence that would be to use a ‘National Focus’ (NF). Target an ‘Encourage Soldiers’ NF on the region with the highest population within Brazil for the best effect and over time it should encourage Pops to promote to the Soldier type. More indirect means of potentially encouraging Pops to promote to the Soldier type through the use of levers such as wages and taxation usually aren’t as effective as just straight up instituting a NF.

As for Spheres of Influence, anyone who isn’t a Great Power can become Sphere’d by a Great Power so the only true escape is to become a GP yourself. Now, to be fair, becoming part of a Great Power’s Sphere of Influence isn’t necessarily a bad thing and it can certainly come with advantages (such as accessing goods on the global market).

Agree completely - its my personal favorite of their titles. Sadly, it’s desperately in need of update, just for stability reasons as it has become unbearably crashy on my PC (using Steam).

I still prefer Ricky! At least you can make sense of the market in that game.

??

Gotta split dem pops!!