I picked up the game and I’m at somewhere around 1900 as Belgium. Gotta say, I’m really loving it. I understand how different nations might end up being pretty samey but I’m nowhere near there yet (I mean, obviously, since I’m only halfway through one game).
However, it does seem a little… easy? Maybe that’s just Belgium, though. I started with a pretty big gold reserve and went fairly deep into debt in the first decades of the game just massively industrializing, and now I’m just super rich. (Or I was, until I decided that the poor need welfare, for some silly reason.) Belgium is #3 right now, and honestly I’m not sure if I’m going to be able pass the UK (#2, though I just beat them in a war without too much trouble) or France (#1, close ally).
I cheated a couple times and reloaded when France or England sided against me in early diplomatic plays. It’s kind of confusing to work out what they’re going to want. For some reason England was really keen on opening up the Ashanti market; they’re a subject of mine, and since I usually have a trade agreement with the UK my understanding is that they basically have access to Ashanti goods anyway.
Speaking of opening up markets, the US was busy faffing around with Texas and Mexico (took them a long time to come out on top, and Mexico still has a Coloradan enclave) so I set about opening up Japan. They got the UK on their side but my siege artillery just absolutely smashed their peasants while British regulars tangled with Belgians and well-trained and equipped Nigerians (more or less) in deepest Congo. Japan capitulated out and I had basically fought the British to a white peace, but I figured I’d let them open the Ashanti market because maybe then they wouldn’t be so keen to oppose me anymore. So now the Ashanti have free trade, just like that, when it took me decades to finally get a set of party leaders who made it barely possible, and even then needed some help from the King.
And after like a hundred thousand dead and a hundred million spent, AFAICT I’m getting bupkis out of the Japanese market–I wanted oil but it’s just whale oil which isn’t going to run an assembly line, I think. Oh well, seemed like the thing to do at the time.
So to make up for it I actually cheated (considering the other reloads as “learning experiences”) and looked up where oil might spawn and it looks like the Belgians are heading for Borneo next.
I do have a few questions/frustrations:
- How the hell do you figure out who’s going to be in a battle and who’s going to win it? If there are 100 Belgian regiments and 50 British ones on a front, the makeup of a battle seems to be just randomly chosen numbers of 3-10 on each side, and it feels like I’m always outnumbered despite having the bigger army. And then I have a higher offense compared to their defense (or vice versa) and inflict more casualties and still lose the battle.
- I somehow got a whole bunch of radicals (25%) in Flanders. Is there a way I can figure out why? I’ve tried looking at some pops but haven’t been able to figure out the rhyme or reason, and of course there are way too many. And how can un-radicalize them? I guess change the laws or improve SoL? It’s already top of the world and if I do manage to boost it it’s just going to come down, probably.