Victoria 2

Yep it was a call out in first AAR installment for the campaign that the Ottoman literacy is abysmal, we started at 7.4% and while it’s been a focus it’s still a slow dial to move, we’ve managed to double it to 15%.

Hey man, you’re going to give my illiterate Ottoman’s low self-esteem with comments like this!

Bravo Zulu mate! Does this have a noticeable effect on economy?

Well, I know for certain it affects research which is definitely slower than I’d want it to be, I’m afraid of falling behind the military power curve and getting carved up down the road.

While I’m less sure I’d assume it affects pops and which careers they migrate change to, slowing down presumably officer recruitment or say clerks and factory workers, the latter couple affecting factory productivity.

So I’d have to say it’s certainly one of the bigger challenges with the most impact affecting the Ottomans.

Is the effect of increasing literacy self-reinforcing? In that more people reading leads to more people learning to read? Giving an exponential growth curve to literacy?

The effect does circle back on itself because increased literacy speeds up research that allows you to do research on things that speed up literacy. Social thought research increases education efficiency.

And Philosophy increases research. so next up I’ll probably hit up empiricism in that category because it gives 50% increase to research which is huge.

Like every well designed research tree you’re always weighing competing needs. Take for example right now, I should be researching either Social thought or Philosophy but I’m doing chemistry right now because I need the 25% supply line bonus for the military because my supply lines in this desert empire are lousy. And the tricky part about any research decision is you’re fully committed, changing research restarts and loses all progress.

A thankfully relatively peaceful time for the Ottomans for that report. As said, no doubt sooner or later matters will change though, flashpoints or strife are never too far away. Good to hear that literacy is slowly edging its way up across the empire as well.

Education and literacy plays an important role in boosting the base POP promotion rate, boosting Research Points generated, and all that good stuff. So while I do not know if the growth is literally exponential in mathematical terms, it sure can feel like it in the game at times.

January 1860

The Shewa sensing their military power regionally far exceeds their neighbors took pride in being written up in the paper and their armies are on the march against Tigray who clearly stand no chance against them.

Brief domestic report for the Monarch:

The conservatives enjoy a comfortable majority at present but the liberals have been on the rise.

As a result the empire is reliant on capitalists to build factories and railroads. The monarchy has tried whenever possible to keep taxes lower on the upper class to encourage investment and the state has steadily invested as well. Factory efficiency isn’t where we’d like it to be and Railroads are only getting finished off so far in parts of the country as the intel below shows. But there is progress!

In other world news the Italians are feeling their oats having joined the Great Power club and are flexing on Austria-Hungary (currently ranked 10th) and declared on them with an annexation demand on Venetia, their closest shared border:

March 1st 1860

Shewa campaign goes well for them, Tigray are attacking our closest region but we’re not responding as we expect Shewa to win the day an annex them out of existence.

According to the March paper looks like Britain has declared on Ireland and in Germany new forms of politics are developed that one could guess might spread to other nations.

June 1860
Foreign office war update: The Italians not surprisingly with effectively no army are making on head way in their war with Austria-Hungary. Whereas our ally Shewa has nearly wrapped their annexation war with Tigray!

July 1860

The USA makes the papers with news of confederation, looking at the map one suspects Texas is their next logical acquisition:

Mid July 1860

We’ve received an offer of peace from Tigray agreeing to the annexation terms for Shewa, we’re accepting and are delighted with the increased size of Shewa as they’re already in the Ottoman sphere of influence so this was effectively a zero effort annexation:

Last bit of news is once again about infrastructure, railroads continue to be built and factory count as of mid year 1860 is 26 factories. Encouraging to see continued investment private and public to build out the empire.

end of dispatch

In the base game, I’m not at all familiar with the main mod easytarget is using, literacy helps with research (which can unlock econ boosting techs faster), the odds of a population promoting (so more skilled populations such a bureaucrats), and unlock clerks at factories once literacy reaches 50% in a state. Literacy also pushes your population to support more “self serving” demands like state funded health care and independence movements for minority ethnic groups. Unemployment insurance is strictly bad for the economy.

Anyways, economies can improve in a handful of ways, including conquering/colonizing new lands with desired resources, building factories which turn goods into more advanced goods, and building infrastructure which increases both raw good production and factory efficiency. Plus, worker types. A farmer is only ever going farm, but if a factory opens they might covert population type into a factory worker (the exact name escapes me), which is more profitable than just making more grain.

Literacy, and its direct contribution to research, affects all of that.

August 1860

The monarchy has ordered the foreign office to put diplomats to work on a casus belli for Gonder, the nation next to Shewa, as a part of ongoing efforts to finish pulling all the small nations SE of Egypt into the sphere of influence of the Ottoman Empire. It will take the rest of the year it’s estimated.

The 21,000 man army of Abdi Pasha is on the march to the border in anticipation of the order to invade.

Also, while the diplomats had the monarch’s ear they also raised a concern about one of the other nations in the region (Oman) currently in the Ottoman sphere of influence being interfered with by Britain, this move needs to be countered immediately:

October 1860

Regional diplomatic news:

As previously reported Italy declared on Austria-Hungary for the purpose of annexing the border nation of Venetia despite having an army half the size of Austria-Hungary they won or at least Austria agreed to terms and let the region go?!

Perhaps it was a change in focus by Austria-Hungary as back in September Banat asked if the Ottomans would agree to an alliance (which we declined) and in October Austria-Hungary then declared on Banat (which their diplomats must have seen coming). Good that we dodged that bullet. On a side note the Russians declined to aid Banat as well. Banat’s days as an independent nation are numbered.

November 1860

The monarch upbraided the diplomats handling the casus belli for Gonder for their inept handling. Not only did their incompetence result in an increase in Ottoman infamy among the other nations, they failed to anticipate that Shewa as the regional power would do what they’ve done previously and declare on Gonder, as it turns out they’ve done just that and requested we join (which we accepted).

Time and effort best spent elsewhere and an army marching across the desert for months to no purpose was the end result of bad inteligence, but on the upside the Shewa army will now do our work for us.

December 1860

Shewa army takes the lead on the invasion while the Ottoman army stands by to lend a hand (show the flag and not fight):

February 1861

Foreign Office update:

The United States appears to be less than united, a civil war has started there. For the Ottoman empire this doesn’t change much as the Americans have mostly kept to themselves with little involvement in Europe or the Middle East.

end of dispatch

Thanks for writing these up! Victoria 2 is the game I’ve always thought looked fascinating, and then always bounce off of when I try to play it. I love the historical period it covers, but I hate pop management.

Gondor, nooooo!

Oh, wait, Gonder. Carry on.

Things that make you go “hmm”. I wish games like this and Crusader Kings had been logging tools so you could go through past events and figure out what happened, how it happened, and why it happened. Within the limits of fog of war and whatnot, of course. But it’s always frustrating to see the state of the map got very different at some point when you weren’t looking, and you have such limited tools to find out what happened.


I know, there are more than a few balls in the air so it’s easy to miss some especially if they don’t directly relate to your country. I enjoy seeing what happens around the world so I periodically check, but I missed this one. Last time I looked I reported out on it just because it amused me the country with half the army attacked.

There is sort of a one liner log at the bottom of the screen, but it’s pretty cryptic.

Funny thing about Victoria 2, I doubt many would have picked this one as the gateway game to PDX games, but here I am looking forward to the next sale for EUIV and CK2.

You know you can go into as much depth on that as you want, but just one casual observation that might help is that while it looks like an excel graph dump, you don’t have to wrestle with it all that much. It’s there as an additional layer of information, but I don’t spend that much time in it.

February 1861

As anticipated the Shewa army is making short work of Gonder who will likely be a goner shortly:

May 1861

Our ally Kathiri, (not to be confused with the rather belligerent Kilrathi), and also in our sphere of influence (one of the small nations the foreign office has been recruiting SE of Egypt) has been declared on by the British (who of course bring along an alphabet soup of allies). Naturally the Kathiri are requesting the Ottoman empire join to defend them.

And here is a map of the region, one arrow pointing out Kathiri, the other pointing out another British nation under their dominion as a puppet called British Aden, the point being the British are likely to prove a long term nuisance in the region.

The Ottoman foreign office and military mulled this one over for awhile debating between two options:

  1. Join the war, move one army down to secure Kathiri and the remaining forces north in anticipation of invasions by the British.
  2. Let Kathiri fend for themselves, release from the alliance and work diplomatically to pull them back under the Ottoman sphere of influence at a later date.
    The military position was based on the last time we were dragged into a war with the British we completely decimated the army and it took two years to rebuild. They opposed joining a war and carried the day suggesting the diplomats earn their keep this time and work to resolve whatever diplomatic outcome came of it.

September 1861

As expected the British showed up with a sizeable land and naval force and made short work of Kathiri:

November 1861

Besides the issue of German and British armies marching about SE of Egypt, we’ve now got a new Egyptian uprising to contend with:

The armies we had in place in Egypt have already engaged, this is makes the decision not to take on the British look like the right call.

January 1862

Most of the main rebellion has been put down, the combined Ottoman army marches south to subdue the stragglers, and then march on to Gonder where the Shewa army has inexplicably spent the entire year fighting a completely defeated army and still failed to get Gonder to peace terms. The Ottoman Generals are taking a sizeable force down to investigate first hand once the rebels are finished off.

May 1862

The army on the way to Gonder to inspect why Shewa hasn’t managed to finish the campaign off against them is met along the way by yet another rebellion that will also need to be subdued (1862 has turned into the year of the rebellions, on the map they carry the not very imaginative red/black flags):

August 1862

The Ottoman empire arrived in Gonder and finished annexing it on behalf of Shewa, the Shewa generals had no explanation why with no military resistance they couldn’t in a year succeed and instead took only 3 of the 4 regions that made up Gonder and never the last one which the Ottoman army had to do for them. Here is greater Shewa now as a result:

In their general’s defense their armies did prove useful in putting down rebellions east of their nation in the southern portion of what had once been Egypt.

—end of dispatch

A wise decision to not try and take on the British and their numerous subjects and allies I say, with the restlessness of the Egyptian nationalists firmly hammering home the good rationale behind abstaining. Not that familiar with HPM’s version of Ethiopia, which starts out as a bunch of different tribes. However, I presume the Shewa must be getting close to being able to transition into Ethiopia proper.

November 1862

Not sure why it took the paper so long to report on the Gonder victory, but it did finally make the paper.

December 1862

Foreign Office end of year world report:

The United States has quickly finished off their civil war and in the process annexed Texas into the nation, their manifest destiny was completed quickly:

Europe looks much as it did at the beginning of the year. We doubt Austria-Hungary is happy about Banat being a sphere of Germany.

And last but not least, current outline of Ottoman Empire including spheres (the green is Ottoman or sphere of Ottoman):

Update from Foreign Office: Austria-Hungary had an uprising and are now the Denubian Confederation! Looks like Austria-Hungary did not make it thru to the new year.

January 1863

Elections resulted in liberals formed a coalition government that supported a free trade stance which annoyed the monarchy enough they mandated the upper house be returned to the conservatives who are protectionist and therefore pro tariff. Besides it’s hardly like this is even anti-democractic, they’re a 59% majority.

March 1863

This is no doubt kicking the bear, but we indulged the foreign office request to pursue pulling Romania into the Ottoman sphere of influence which was completed this month. To prepare for possible repercussions as the map of the region shows Ottoman armies have been raised recently and are consolidating near the Russian border:

April 1863

Ottoman secret police informants are passing along the nascent nationalist groups in the “European” portions of the empire currently under an Ottoman sphere of influence. We’ll need to keep an eye out for rebellion in these areas:

And also in April, and to no one’s surprise, the Romanians are calling us to join a war against the Danubian Confederation over a border territory. It was decided to roll the dice and join hoping others don’t join in, probably a mistake. At least they didn’t decide to attack Russia, yet.

July 1863

As expected a Danubian force has begun annexing regions on our border, the army being built for a response to Russian incursions will first get field tested repulsing the Danubian army and hopefully the Romanians get on with their campaign and finish it up before this turns into a wider war.

-end of dispatch

July 1863

The war with the Danubian Confederation made the papers. What they failed to mention was the increasingly good relations between the confederation and Germany.

August 31st 1863

Update from the Romanian – Danubian campaign: One Ottoman force is retaking the regions taken at the upper NW corner of the empire and chasing off the 3,000 man army attempting to poach more regions. Also taking a 2nd army north to aid the Romanians in taking the regions needed to complete their campaign as an army in equal size to their own is coming at them from further north. The monarchy wants this war over sooner than later given the relations between Germany and the Danubian Confederation improving as that couuld lead to entanglements we don’t need.

Of equal concern is the Ottoman Empire status relative to the other Great Powers. To not put too fine a point on it, we’re slipping and this is starting to become a real concern. Here is the diplomatic corps assessment of our current standings, the following show #7, #8 and #9.

The spread between the Netherlands and the Ottoman Empire is razor thin. If the empire drops to eighth they assume the unenviable position of nation on the bubble with Belgium waiting in the wings ready to kick us out entirely of the big boys club.

This keeping the Monarchy up at night trying to strategize what to do next.

September 1863

Neither the generals nor the diplomatic corp found this announcement surprising, not finding something surprising doesn’t mean you’re happy about it nonetheless. The Germans entered the war on the side of the Danubian Confederation just as we feared would happen:

The diplomatic corp amused themselves with a bit of gallows humor by sending around the current Great Power rankings highlighting that Germany is the #1 world power. No one laughed. In their defense It was really just their way of belly aching over the enormous amount of time and effort they’d put in courting the Germans into a possible alliance that has now gone completely up in smoke.

October 1863

The first of what will likely be many German armies has arrived at the border, the 1st army having completed the retaking of two regions there was marching to help complete the campaign with the Romanians but now must be called back to deal with the Germans.

Ever stop before doing something and realize what you’re about to do was a bad idea and then do it anyway? If so you can commiserate with the Ottoman monarch’s decision to pull Romania into the empire’s sphere of influence.

When next we pick up the thread we get to find out just how bad an idea it proves to be.

  • end of dispatch

This AAR is marvelous. I’m almost inspired to begin one myself. I just need to solve two problems:

1.) I need to install the Historical update mod and need instructions walking me through how since it isn’t a Steam workshop thing. Any help out there?

2.) While noodling with Victoria 2 a few weeks ago it hangs with steam thinking it is still running after its been closed. Any advice from anyone on this?

This thread had some tips, including right-clicking on the .Exe and disabling full screen optimizations. Futzing around in the compatibility tab might yield some results.

That solved the hanging issue, thanks Kevin. Now if I could just get a link for the Historical Mod and instructions on how to install it, I may be cooking with gas.

I believe this is the download:

This is going off of years-old memory, but I believe in your Vicky directory there should be a mod subfolder. Extract the contents of the mod download there, it would likely contain a .MOD file as well as a folder.

If Vicky 2 has a launcher now, there should be a way of enabling mods via the launcher. If not, I can’t recall, but probably is done via the main game menu somewhere.

Hope that helps get you started at least. One of the folks running the mod might be able to chime in with better instructions later. :)