“The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia.”
-Otto von Bismarck
Introduction to diplomacy
Good diplomacy is a key to victory in Victoria. Setting up alliances can mean the difference between a long slog of a war and a quick, overwhelming victory. Considering the way the Badboy system functions, and especially in the later patches, diplomacy can allow your empire to continue expanding its borders and influence even after conquest is no longer a worthwhile means of furthering the national interest.
In order to make treaties with other nations, you must first have diplomatic points. These represent the number of diplomatic missions you can send to other countries. The rate at which you accumulate diplomatic points is based on your prestige. The more prestige you have, the more diplomatic points you get.
Accumulation of diplomatic points
A country gets a basic allowance of one diplomatic point per year, standard. If the country is considered a Great Power (i.e. if it is one of the eight most powerful nations in the world) it will get a second point per year. If the nation is at war, it will receive a third point per year. Beyond this, the number you receive depends on prestige. Uncivilized countries recive half the points civilized ones recive.
Effect of prestige on accumulation of diplomatic points
Once twenty-five prestige points have been attained, you will receive a quarter more points per year. At one hundred prestige points, you will receive a further quarter of a point. You will get another quarter at five hundred and twenty-five hundred prestige points as well. There are no more thresholds beyond this. It is possible to build up a supply of diplomatic points, but be aware that your stock cannot go above ten.
Effect of events/inventions on accumulation of diplomatic points
The number of diplomatic points you get can also be changed through certain events, such as “Aristocracy vs. Meritocracy”. Aristocracy increases your rate of gain by twenty percent, whereas Meritocracy reduces it by twenty percent. The satellite nation status decreases the rate by fifty percent.
Once you have your diplomatic points, there are several diplomatic actions you can take in Victoria. Note that some actions require cash as well as that you have positive prestige.
This is perhaps the most simple to comprehend of all the diplomatic actions. When you declare war on another country, you announce your intention to send your soldiers into their territory and take from them either land, money, access rights, or prestige, depending on what you ask for in the peace treaty. Declaring war can cause a chain reaction wherein you call on your allies to join on your side, and your enemy calls on theirs.
Declaring Colonial War
This is a special kind of war. Colonial wars can only be declared if both belligerent powers have claimed colonies (Claimed, not just have claim buildings). In colonial wars, no states of either country can be invaded, only the colonies. For example, in a colonial war between France and the United Kingdom, the UK could not land troops in Normandy, nor the French in Dover, but the French could take Australia and India and the British could attack the French holdings in the Carribean or North Africa. Colonial wars are good for seizing another country’s colonies without bringing your homeland—or, in fact, your national existence—into jeopardy. Colonial wars are also the only kind of war that can be declared against an uncivilized country. In this situation, a colonial war will allow you to invade the uncivilized country’s homeland and the attacked uncivilized country to invade yours. It also does not require that the uncivilized country has claimed colonies.
Colonial wars cannot be expanded to full wars, so declaring a preemptive colonial war can be a good tactic to keep someone from declaring a full war on you. This is especially true as the war will not end until you accept peace, and because your homeland is safe in this kind of war.
This is how you propose to another country that you formally unite your interests. There are two forms of alliances: defensive and full. Defensive alliances come into effect when either side is attacked, but not when one of the countries initiated the war. Full alliances (known in the game as Military Alliances) are for all circumstances, including when one ally declares the war. In both instances, there is the ability to make one exception to the alliance. For example, Prussia can form a full military alliance with the Russians except in the case of Austria, meaning that Prussia will be required to come to Russia’s aid if it declares war on anyone except on Austria. Alliances do not come into effect when a country enters into a colonial war.
This is how you break your existing alliance with someone. Keep in mind that alliances (except for those among the German states or between satellites and their home countries) dissolve on their own every five years and must be renewed or allowed to expire.
This is the way to increase the friendliness between you and another country. The minimum they can increase is ten points, but if you’re lucky, they can increase much more than that. The better your relations with another country, the more receptive they are likely to be to deals you offer. Bear in mind that relations between all countries naturally erode at one per month.
Send Expeditionary Force
This is the way you send one of your country’s military units to aid a friend in war. You don’t have to be allied to do it, either. Your troops will be put under the direct control of the other nation, but you can take them back at any point. Remember that the enemy will make no distinction between your troops and the country’s with which they are at war, so there is a risk you will lose the division you send.
The hosting country pays for the upkeep and maintenance of the troops they are sent, so sending expeditionary forces to secure allies can, in some instances, be a tricky way of avoiding high army maintenance costs in peacetime.
Ask for Military Access
This is the way you secure permission to move your troops across another country’s land. You already have the ability to do this with allies, but this allows you to move across another country’s territory if they are not your ally. This is useful when trying to enter a war with a country with which you have no border or for opening a second front in the war (for example, if the US gets military access through Great Britain, it can attack Mexico from the north as well as from Belize, a British holding.
This is similar to asking for military access. When naval access is granted, you can dock your ships in another country’s port. Keep in mind that while you have naval or military access with another country, you cannot declare war on them. Since ships in Victoria have unlimited range, this feature is useful only if you want your ships to have a port to retreat into so they can avoid combat.
Demand Cessation of Colonialism
This is the way you get a country to stop constructing colonial claim buildings. In a sense, you are threatening them if they do not stop. When making this demand, you must specify the continent on which they must stop. Making this demand naturally lowers your relation with the other country.
This is the way you establish a measure of protection over another country. Not quite an alliance, a country whose independence you have guaranteed will come to you for help if war is declared on it, but it will not come to your aid of war is declared on you. If you are a powerful country, your guarantee of independence acts as a deterrent to any other country declaring war on the country you have guaranteed.
This is the way you begin the more complicated dealings of the diplomacy function of Victoria. This is the place to trade technology, provinces, cash, and claims.
Remember that technology is not free. Any technology you give to another country that is not matched by a corresponding province, claim, or other technology costs you ten prestige points. This was done to prevent the selling of technologies for huge amounts of cash exploit.
Also keep in mind that each technology you receive costs research points to make up. If you have negative research points, your current research does not advance (unless it already has the maximum ten points invested). This penalty is meant to represent the retro-engineering your scientists will have to do to catch up with the new technology, although you can utilize the benefits of the technology immediately. You only lose research points for techs in trades initiated by you, however. If the computer offers you a trade which includes giving you techs, you will lose no research points for it.
Also you cannot exchange cultural technologies.
Purchasing land in Victoria requires attention to several factors:
First, make sure you have good relations with the country from which you intend to buy. Only countries with which you have positive relations will even consider making the deal, and the better the relations, the cheaper the cost to you.
Second, make sure you haven’t racked up too many badboy points. Nations will hesitate to make trades with you if you’re seen as an aggressor (this goes for all trades, not just land).
Third, be sure to pick the right provinces. There are two things to look at here. The first is the population of the province. Every nation has one or more national cultures (you can see what they are in the game files, or you can open up a new game and play as the country from which you want to buy. The national cultures are the names listed at the bottom of the Population button on the task screen). No nation will ever sell you a province whose majority population is one of their national cultures, no matter how much you offer. The second thing to look at is the diplomacy map. Once there, click on the country from which you want to buy. Every nation has provinces it will never sell, regardless of the offer or population. These provinces are represented by little dots on the diplomacy screen when that country is selected. You cannot purchase these in diplomatic deals.
Fourth, remember that a little bit of money can go a long way. A country might give only a sixty percent acceptance chance to an offer of one tech for one province of land, but load them up with a couple of thousands pounds and their mind can change quite quickly. It need not be a lot, but cash can take you places.
The price of a province depends, at least somewhat, on the overall population of the province (ie. Bangladesh will cost more than Chad) and on the sellers cash store at the time of the deal (the more money they already have, the more they’ll require to sell it).
Asking for claims
Getting other countries to cede you their claims is notoriously difficult, mostly because not only are they giving up the claims, but also the potential prestige that could come with claiming the colony. Countries do tend to be receptive to offers for claims when the offers themselves include claims the other country might find useful. Otherwise, trading claims works just like trading land, except that no claims are unable to be traded.
Note that all successful diplomatic missions, be they for any cause, lead to a positive increase in relations between you and the other country.
One last diplomatic act you can do as a country is creating satellites. If you have the land of a possible country within your borders, you can release that satellite, thus granting it independence. Of course, this is only a false independence. The new country, though it has control over its domestic affairs, has none of its own international policy. They cannot conduct any diplomatic activities on their own. Basically, their governments are puppets of yours.
Satellites automatically have a defensive pact with their home countries and can be called into a war. Dominions have a full military alliance with their home countries. Satellites can also be created as a result of warfare (see section entitled “War”). What exactly it is that distinguishes a dominion from a satellite is not yet clearly understood, but it seems, at least for now, that certain countries have been hard coded to be dominions, whereas others have been hard coded to be satellites. But this is just the theory-of-the-day. By the way whenever an uncivilized country creates a satellite it always becomes a dominion.
Satellites are useful as buffers between you and aggressive neighbors. For example, Prussia can release Poland as a satellite. Poland absorbs most of Prussia’s border with Russia. If Russia declares on Prussia, Prussia can decide not to call on Poland to enter the war, and thus the Russians cannot enter Prussia, but the Prussian army can still cross Poland and attack into Russia at will.
Offering money in diplomatic deals
One more tip for exercising efficient diplomatic overtures: when offering money, holding down the Ctrl key will increase the rate of money offering, and holding down Shift and Ctrl at the same time will increase it even further. This is a great time saver for when you have to make those massive payments of cash to purchase an essential province.