Other Concepts

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“Unexplained, obscure matters are regarded as more important than explained, clear ones.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

There are many concepts in Victoria that, if not grasped, will lead to frustrating game play. This section contains five of the most complex concepts in the game.


This is perhaps the most important concept in the game, as far as victory goes. Prestige means the amount of glory and honor your nation has amassed over the years. It is the amount of respect given you by other countries. In effect, it determines your perceived rank among the countries of the world, and, as a result, it is the primary component in score calculation.

Gaining prestige


You do not have fixed prestige. Though the most powerful countries begin the game with a few prestige points, a well run great power should have amassed several thousand prestige points by the end of the game. This is done through the claiming of colonies (see section “Colonies”), winning wars (see section “War”), constructing capital ships (see section “The Navy”), high defense spending (see section “The Budget”), enacting reforms, researching culture techs and triggering associated inventions and through some events.

What is prestige good for?

Prestige influences many more things in the game than is obvious to new players. For example, the prestige of a country is part of the calculation of the cost to declare war. If the country has less than negative one hundred prestige, declaring war on it will only cost you one prestige point. When playing as an uncilvilized country, you need a certain amount of prestige to civilize yourself, and it determines who has first dibs on goods offered on the world market.

Guard your prestige with care, and seek it for the entire course of the game. With careful prestige management and cultivation, even minor countries stand a chance of being able to rise to the level of the top tier powers.


Badboy is one of the more annoying concepts in the game. Many have been the times when an aspiring conqueror has found himself stymied by a failure to understand this idea. Badboy is the game’s attempt at representing the desire of countries of the period to maintain the balance of power in the world. Badboy, therefore, is a numerical calculation of how much disruption you have cause of this closely guarded ideal.

The calculations for badboy are as follows:

  • For each war you declare, you receive one badboy point.
    • For each province you take as a result of that war, you will gain two badboy points, unless you have a claim to that province, whence you will receive none.
    • Provinces to which you have claims show up in green on the diplomatic map.
    • If war was declared on you, then you receive one badboy point, not two, for each province you take.
      • Same is true if you go to war on the side of a nation who received a declaration of war.
    • If you annex a country as a result of a war, you gain one badboy point per province annexed.
  • For each colonial war you declare, you receive no badboy points.
    • You gain two points for each province taken from a civilized nation in a colonial war.
      • If colonial war was declared on you by an civilized nation, then one badboy point for each province you take
    • You gain no points for provinces taken from uncivilized nations.
    • If you annex them, however, you will receive one point per province annexed.

Therefore, it is possible to completely occupy a country such as Oman, demand all their provinces except their capital in the peace deal, then wait five years until the expiration of the peace treaty and annex them then. This tactic would mean your country would amass only one Badboy point instead of the ten it would have taken to annex Oman outright. This process is called “two-step annexation”.

There are two ways to lower your badboy score:

  • Just wait. You lose 0.5 BB per year when playing on normal. You lose more on easy and less on hard.
  • Release satilites. You lose 1 BB per province released as a satilite.

"Badboy Wars"

Badboy is important to keep in mind because as your points get higher, there is a greater chance that the other nations of the world will see you as a threat and declare war on you to make you stop. These “Badboy Wars” are notoriously difficult to manage, as taking land from a defeated enemy in a Badboy War will further increase your Badboy score, leading to even more wars. Having a high military strength can help deter these kinds of wars.

National Cultures

Every country has at least one National Culture. This represents the most important ethnic group or groups in your nation, the peoples from which the ranks of the ruling elite are taken. The important thing about National Cultures is that they are often the prime motivator behind the actions that countries take. Prussia seeks to unify Germany under the banner of a Romantic sense of German nationalism. Austria has trouble controlling her vast empire because of competition between her several National Cultures. You can see your particular country’s National Culture by looking at the dark letters that are written across the bottom of the “Population” button on the main task bar.

When purchasing land (see Diplomacy), a country will never sell you a province whose majority population is one of their national cultures. It is good to try to keep your countries as proportionally full of your particular National Cultures as possible, as, later in the game, non-National Cultures see a dramatic rise in militancy and consciousness (see above).

War Score

Florence nightingale.jpg

War Score is a percentage that represents the extent of your victory or loss to another country during a war. A positive War Score indicates that you are winning; a negative War Score, that you are losing. Every province occupied in a war gives a certain War Score value. Typically, the more important the provinces are, the more War Score they yield if occupied. Furthermore, capital provinces give an immediate additional twenty percent increase to War Score upon occupation.

Taking allied land also increases your war score against each individual ally. For example, Austria starts out allied to all the minor German states. If Prussia declares war on Austria, all the minors will get involved. Prussia may not be able to occupy any Austrian land, but if it occupies enough land of the German minors who allied with Austria, it can get a high enough War Score to get a substantial peace agreement. Note that upon annexing an allied country, you lose that country’s war score value with the other allies, so in the previous example, it would be in Prussia’s best interest not to annex all the small minors unless it thought it could defeat Austria on its own.

War Exhaustion

This represents the fatigue level of a country towards its current war. This value, a percentage, is calculated based on the number of troops the country has lost in a war. It also has something to do with the ferocity of the war in general, including whose land is being taken, but the calculations have always remained a bit shady. What is for certain is that the longer a war drags on, the higher War Exhaustion goes. This can lead to eventual revolts of the population in the home country. Note that war exhaustion rises much faster in countries with smaller populations.

Another factor to keep in mind when analyzing War Exhaustion is that, in a war between a civilized and an uncivilized country, the civilized country tends not to develop much, if any, War Exhaustion, while the uncivilized country is subject to the normal calculations.