The complete Victoria manual
(If you wish every chapter to be on its' own page, take a look at The Victoria Manual instead)
"I would give no thought of what the world might say of me, if I could only transmit to posterity the reputation of an honest man." -Sam Houston
I have had the distinct pleasure of being a member of the Victoria forums for a little while now, and yet even in my relatively brief time there, I have found that there is a severe lack of knowledge about the workings of the game. There have been many attempts to correct this, and valiant efforts put forth by several dedicated members have indeed produced results. These answers, however, tend to be scattered around the forums, and even when they are found, they are mixed in with discussion threads so that distilling the legitimate information is often difficult. More importantly, there is hardly ever a definitive answer given to the more difficult questions. That is why I undertook to write this manual so that there would be one place where players with questions could go to find the answers they sought.
There have been many negative comments made about the original manual. I, for one, believe that given the constraints on space the writers had, as well as the complexity of the game itself, they actually did an excellent job summarizing some of the more difficult concepts. Therefore, it is not my intent to replace the current manual only to supplement it. This document assumes a prior understanding of where certain screens are, as well as what the buttons do. I do not bother to delve into installation instructions, nor into how to load or save a game.
My hope is that this effort of mine helps clear up some of the more pressing problems that result in several repeated threads being posted in the forums. I also hope that this manual will give even experienced players a new understanding of the game, at least in certain areas. This manual is, to the best of my ability, 1.03 compliant. The latest game version is 1.04 and the information here is being gradually updated.
I do not profess to know everything about this game quite the contrary, in fact and if there is anything wrong with this manual, please do not hesitate to contact me at once. I can be reached via the open forums or by private message if you wish.
I want to thank Rafiki for all the time he put into correcting the drafts of this second edition. Rafiki's webpage (http://victoria.nsen.ch) is where you should go for all the tables that this manual leaves out, as well as for a bevy of other information. I also want to thank Darkrenown for his extensive commentary, as well as always being available to answer my questions on the forums. Thanks also to Derek Pullem for reviewing the first draft of this document and correcting my many errors. I also want to thank aprof for allowing me the use of his leadership modifier chart, and Carligula for his superb essay on Plurality and Consciousness, which I reference. Thanks also to Johan for reading this over and approving its release.
Last but certainly not least, I want to thank the members of the forums for patiently and consistently answering my questions. This manual is, in reality, a reflection not of my own knowledge but of yours, for most of the facts contained herein I learned from you.
BOUNDARY, n. In political geography, an imaginary line between two nations, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of the other."
There are five ways to view the map, each with a different use. The buttons activating each of these views are on the bottom left of the main task window, beside the minimap.
This is the first map mode. It is the default form you see when loading the game. This map will show you the kind of topography of the province mountains, hills, grassland, forests, etc. It also shows where the major rivers are. These factors are important to keep in mind when conducting a war, as terrain acts as a combat modifier. The types of terrain are described in the fold out sheet packaged with the game.
The Political map is perhaps the most frequently used mode. This shows you clearly the borders between all countries, as well as the demarcation of provinces. It also shows the location of capitals by placing a city icon in the province where the capital is located.
The economic mode shows what resource is produced by each province. This resource is represented by the icon in the center of the province. Each province produces only one kind of resource, but certain in-game events can change the type of resource produced in the province.
The infrastructure map shows the layout of the railroads and factories of a country. Railroads appear as dark, straight lines connecting provinces with one another, whereas factories are represented as small factory icons. Provinces where railroads may be built are shown in green. Fully developed provinces (for the current technology level) are shown in white. Although the icons appear in a particular province, factories are organized not by province but by the state (see below).
This mode shows in red those provinces that are in danger of revolting. No red means no revolts and the greener the better. This map also shows, through the placement of small icons, the various types of crime in each province. Provinces can only have one form of crime at a time.
The map is organized into three levels.
The highest level is that of the nation. These are clearly shown in their own color on the political map. Each nation is sovereign over its own territory and (unless it is a satellite or a dominion) has control over its international relations. Taxes and tariffs and literacy are examples of factors determined at the national level.
The lowest level is that of the province. These are also clearly illustrated on the map they are the smaller territorial demarcations within a country. Battles, railroads, resources, crime, revolts, and POP management are all handled by the province. Provinces also have an individual life rating which shows how hospitable the province is to human habitation. The better the life rating, the more people will want to move there, the higher the growth rate and the lower the penalties suffered by invading armies.
Between the province and the nation is the state. States are visible as the highlighted region on the terrain map after only one click, or as the slightly darkened region on the political map after only one click (clicking again selects a specific province).
The state is merely a collection of provinces, geographically related. It is at the state level that factories are managed. The factories are spread across the entire state, even though the icon appears in a specific province. POPs in any province in the state can be assigned to work in a factory within that state. Factories can only be built in states that have been granted statehood in your country. Statehood can be granted only when the majority population of at least one of the provinces in the state is your national culture. Keep in mind that all territory conquered or purchased from civilized countries, regardless of its population, is a state.
States are unique in Victoria in that they are the only demarcation of land that transcends national boundaries. Land allocation in treaties is done by the province, not by the state, meaning that states can be split up among two or more nations. Examples of this at the outset of the 1836 scenario include the state of Azerbaijan, which is divided between Russia and Persia, and the state of Maine, which is divided between the United States and Great Britain.
States divided between nations can still have factories built in them, but only those POPs inside your country can be assigned to work in them. When an entire state is conquered, all factories in that state are transferred as well, but keep in mind that as long as even one of the provinces in a state remains in the hands of the other country, all the factories will remain in that other country.
“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”
What is a POP anyway? POPs are the basic population units in Victoria. They are in every country and every populated province. They are the basis for your entire economy. In fact, they are your economy. POPs come in various sizes, from 1 to 100,000.
POPs come in ten flavors: Officers, Aristocrats, Capitalists, Clergymen, Clerks, Craftsmen, Farmers, Laborers, Soldiers, and Slaves. Each contributes in different ways to your economy. Most POPs are convertible by you, the player, assuming they are at the right level already and you have the resources to promote them to the next.
What do the different POPs do?
Note that most POPs that give certain bonuses (i.e. Clerks granting research points) must be of one your National Cultures for you to receive that bonus.
Aristocrats and Capitalists are considered “Rich”; Officers, Clergymen, and Clerks are considered “Middle Class”; and Craftsmen, Farmers, Laborers, and Soldiers are considered “Poor”. This is important to keep in mind when deciding how much to tax each class of your citizenry. Slaves, as mentioned earlier, are not taxable.
POP merging is one of the more controversial concepts of the POP system. Merging takes place between POPs which are less than 10,000 in size and essentially prevents a situation that there are dozens of small, hundred or thousand person POPs, in a province. An under-10,000 POP can merge with a larger POP as long as the resulting POP is not larger than 100,000. When any two compatible POPs (that share the same culture, religion, and type - i.e. Clerk, Craftsman, Farmer) are located in one province, they may merge and form a single, larger POP, as long as at least one of them is less than 10,000 in size. In other words, if both POPs are bigger than 10,000 they will never merge (although one of them can merge with another, small one). Merging will lower POPs combined production output so it's best to avoid it if you can.
The direct effect of POP merging is that industrialization is easier in multi-ethnic empires, as the small POPs of different cultural groups will not merge, thus creating more available POPs to place in factories. Since a 500 person POP is just as efficient in the factory as a 19,999 person POP, this kind of multi-ethnic industrialization can make a big difference in production.
POPs not only merge but split as well. When a POP grows to be 100,000 in size, it will split into one 25,000 person POP and one 75,000 person POP, each of which will continue to grow as separate entities, eventually splitting themselves once they reach 100,000 again. This is how the game simulates population growth.
POPs can also degrade (devolve). If a specific POP is taxed too high (above 55% of its income) AND some other conditions are met (notably satisfying POP's needs) it will devolve into a "lesser" POP. In other words when you tax POPs below 55% they will never devolve, no matter what. When you observe middle and/or rich strata POPs decrease in size by a small amount every few days while your poor strata POP in the same province increases in size by the same amout you may be sure it's devolvement. Thus it is wise to never overtax your upper and especially your middle class unless you know what you are doing.
How do POPs produce? POPs add to your production output by working directly in either factories or in RGOs. Neither will produce goods without POPs to work them. When choosing which POPs to assign to a particular factory, you must keep in mind the POP’s size. Different sizes of POPs produce more than others (see section “Industrialization”). Every factory or RGO can accommodate only five POPs per level, regardless of their size.
Another factor to keep in mind is that you are limited in the number of clerk POPs compared to the number of craftsmen POPs in a factory. Clerks are more beneficial to you, so if possible you should always try to aim for the maximum allowed number of clerks (both in number of POPs and POP size).
POPs will not remain forever in one province. If they are unemployed, they will eventually seek work elsewhere. All POPs migrating are programmed to seek jobs within your country first, then in your country’s colonies, and lastly in other countries (this is called emigration). This way, if you have open factory slots in one state and unemployed Clerks and Craftsmen in another, they may migrate to the open jobs. Keep in mind that this process, as in real life, is not perfect and many POPs will not always go where you want them to. When you see an unemployed POP that decreases in size every month and some other compatible POP (the same culture, religion and type) in a different province increases in size by the same amount you are observing an (internal) migration. When such POP disappears from one of your provinces and doesn't show up in any of your provinces you are probably observing emigration, your people found a better place to live in another country. Ledger, page 17, contains migration overview in the last 30 days.
POP migration is also affected by the life ratings of your provinces (the little thermometers), which show how good they are for human habitation. The better the life rating of the province, the more people will want to move there.
POPs' concerns and needs
All individual POPs come with individual thoughts and issues. Each POP will tell you what their specific issues of concern are, what chance they have to revolt, and how politically conscious they are of themselves. Each POP type also comes with its own demands for specific goods. These are in three groups: life needs, everyday needs, and luxuries. The more of each they get, the less likely they are to revolt and the more you tax them, the less they can buy. The specific goods that fall into each class can vary by POP type. For example, Farmers, unlike all other POP types, have fertilizer set as a luxury good.
The worth of the state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it.
-John Stewart Mill
Managing your budget is key to any successful game, and knowing what the various sliders mean helps tremendously.
There are three tax sliders, one each for the poor, middle, and rich classes. The first thing to remember is that POPs don’t like being taxed above a third of their income, but they’ll stomach it for a while. The worst thing you can do is consistently tax the middle and upper classes above 55%, as this will probably lead to devolvement among the POPs (see section “POPs”). If this happens, your Clerks, the driving force behind your research, can fall back into farmers or laborers because of tax-imposed poverty. High taxes will also lead to high levels of emigration. But of course, it also leads to lots and lots of money, so do your own balancing. A proper management of tax sliders is one of the most subtle aspects of the game. Another downside of high taxes is that pops will be less able to afford the goods they need each day, raising their militancy.
There is a second idea related here—tax efficiency. This is the rate at which your collectors are actually able to impose your tax legislation on the people. In other words it is the portion of the tax which you collect that goes into your treasury. There is an overall tax efficiency as well as a class-specific efficiency. To see how much of your POPs' money you’re actually getting, you have to multiply the tax rate by the tax efficiency by the class-specific efficiency. Both are displayed when you hover the pointer over the slider. Since 1.04 at the start of the Grand Campaign tax efficiency is low and slowly reaches 100% with the progress in Commerce techs.
Though not actually a slider, bonds represent your population’s investment in the government of your country. Remember the reasoning behind this: the more of a financial stake a population has in its government, the more likely they are to rally to its support in time of crisis (by the way, for all you history buffs and econ majors, this was part of Alexander Hamilton’s financial plan back in the Washington administration, and was the original reason the United States federal government developed a permanent system of national debt). Though the citizens rallying to the flag in a crisis to save their money is not actually represented in the game, your income from selling bonds is.
Citizens will buy bonds if they have extra capital left after purchasing all their needs. Even if your government is in debt, your citizens can still purchase state bonds.
This slider determines how much your government spends on raising the literacy rate and on funding research and technological development. Holding spendings at fifty percent keeps the current literacy rate steady. Put the slider above fifty percent and literacy will gradually increase; put it below and it will gradually decrease. The amount of spendings also determines how many research points you gain. Skimping on education yields few points, regardless of the number of Clerks or Clergymen you have. Spending much lets you get the most out of your research base.
This determines how much money your government spends fighting corruption and illegal activity in the country. Reducing crime helps reduce militancy, directly affects the revolt risk, and can help remove issues like immoral business practices which can lead to a collapse of your economy. There is always crime developing in your country, but the higher the slider the more quickly the government moves to stamp it out. Each month the computer runs a check on the amount of crime in you country, and depending on how much you have invested, a crime “building” (such as immoral business or machine politics) may appear or disappear. At zero percent funding, Revoltrisk is 40% higher; at fifty percent funding it is normal; at one hundred percent funding, it is 40% lower.
This is a related concept. Crime buildings represent the crime that is in your country. Every province can have only one type of crime building at a time. You cannot build crime buildings, they appear and disappear automatically depending on crime fighting slider setting. In fact crime buildings are usually (very) bad to have.
This determines how much your government spends supporting its various social reforms. In order to gain the benefits of your reforms, you must spend at least fifty percent of the slider. Funding below reduces the benefits, whereas funding above leads to Trust in Government (see section “Reforms”).
This is where you decide how much you put into national defense. The amount of money you allocate here determines your rate of increase in manpower and leadership points, as well as the maximum of each that you can have. When you convert a POP into a Soldier or Officer, the current level of defense spending determines how much manpower or leadership you get for that particular conversion (this number will not be constant, but dependent on the size of the converted POP. However, overall, the higher the defense spending of your country, the more effective conversion to Soldiers or Officers is in increasing you manpower and leadership). Having high defense spending also increases prestige slightly.
This determines how much money you give to the upkeep of your army and also, together with defence spending, how fast your manpower pool regenerates and what is the maximum you can reach. This can—and sometimes must—be low due to the expensive nature of industrialization early in the game. Funding Army Maintenance at one hundred percent means your divisions can be at full strength. Placing the slider below one hundred percent reduces the number of men per division, although the divisions themselves can never disappear, even at the lowest Army Maintenance possible. At zero percent maintenance number of men per division is reduced to 19% of the maximum; a fully maintained division may have 10,000 men (or 12,000 with a brigade attached). Cutting maintenance also reduces morale of your troops.
Once the slider is lowered and changes take effect after one day has passed, those men have gone home. They will not automatically return when you increase the slider again. The only way to bring the divisions back to full strength is through reinforcement (see section "The Army").
This influences your individual ships the same way Army Maintenance influences individual divisions. Lower it below one hundred percent and the strength of your ships declines. Unlike with divisions, the strength of your ships will rebuild at no cost when the maintenence is brought back up. The only requirement is that the ships must be in a port, and, given enough time, they will come back to full strength. Note that ships take considerably longer to regain full strength than land units.
Loans and Interest Payments
Whenever your country spends more then it has in its treasury, it doesn’t shoot you into negative territory. Rather, you take out a loan, the amount of which is located in this box. This loan will remain until you repay it. Repayment is not automatic. You can hold the repay button to speed up the process for big loans.
It can be profitable to take out some loans in order to speed up your industrialization. Be careful with what you do with your loan money, wasting your loan money on laying a railroad track in a scarcely populated low value resource producing province may not be a good idea. Ideally, you want to use your loan money to either build or expand a profitable industry (consult your ledger to see what industries are profitable right now) or build railroad in your factory provinces to boost efficiency, thus improve your income.
Alongside this number is the interest rate. Not only you do have to repay the loan, but you also must pay daily interest. This number is usually only a few pounds a day at most, unless you are a very reckless spender.
The interest rate can be reduced through discovering several technologies in the Commerce area of research. These include things like Ad Hoc Money Bill Printing and any other techs that make capital flow more freely in the economy.
One thing to keep in mind: if your country goes too far into debt, you will be forced to declare bankruptcy. If this happens, not only do you lose a tremendous amount of prestige, but you lose all your stockpiles of goods and half of your factories as well. Having gone bankrupt once makes you more likely to go bankrupt again, and sooner as well, as the trust bankers put in your government goes down with each successive declaration (this can even lead to so called cascading bankruptcies). Suffice it to say, bankruptcy is a bad thing.
Tariffs were one of the most hotly debated issues in the Victorian time period, and, similarly, they are one of the more powerful—and potentially destructive—tools you can use to manage your economy. Tariffs are taxes on imported goods, which, for the purposes of the game’s mechanics (see section “Trade”) means that you’re putting a tax on every good your POPs buy from the world market, except the ones that are produced domestically.
Tariffs are, to some extent, an alternative to taxes, although usually you'd want to use them both. Often taxes are enough to cover merely the needed spendings from the sliders and the budget surplus is archieved thanks to tariffs. Taxes and tariffs differ slightly in the effects they exert on your population so you have to decide what suits you better.
The larger your population, the higher your tariff income should be. Tariff incomes are also higher for countries whose POPs are more advanced (i.e. Clerks, Capitalists, Officers, Clergymen, and Aristocrats over Craftsmen, Laborers, Farmers, and Slaves). This is because well developed POPs demand more goods and more expensive goods, thus raising your tariff revenue. But tariffs also make the goods your POPs seek to buy more expensive, and thus, potentially out of their reach. One of the modifiers of Militancy is how many of their desired goods POPs are able to purchase, so leaving high tariffs for indefinite periods of time can be quite harmful to your domestic tranquility.
Moving the tariff slider below the break-even point should, in theory, act as a subsidy to your POPs, but, thanks to testing done by dedicated members of the forums, it seems this is untrue. The sentiment of the moment is that trying to use the tariff slider for subsidies is akin to throwing your cash away.
There is a certain balance to keep in mind when imposing tariffs and constructing factories. If you produce an item domestically in any quantity, your POPs will try to buy it from your own sources first. Even though they will buy it through the world market system, there will not be a tariff imposed because the product was created domestically. For this reason, producing at least a little of all your POPs’ desired goods within your nation will benefit them by reducing the cost of those goods (as there will be no tariff on them) but it will kill your tariff income. If your POPs demand more than you are producing they will have to import the lacking amount from the world market and it will be taxed.
Keep this in mind in the early game, particularly for players of countries with one one or more liquor factories. As Russia, closing your liquor distilleries on day one of the game can lead to a very large increase in tariff income for the early game with very few if any immediate repercussions.
Remember, though you may make changes to the sliders in this window, none will take effect until you have actually exited the window.
“Red-hot iron, white-hot iron, cold-black iron; an iron taste and iron smell, and a Babel of iron sounds.”
Introduction to industrialization
Industrialization is the key to the Victorian economic system. Though it’s possible to survive on an agrarian economic system, your country will go nowhere. All players seeking to achieve or keep Great Power status must industrialize.
There are three aspects to successful industrialization.
The first aspect is the construction of factories. As mentioned previously (see section “The Map”), this is done at the state, not provincial level. To construct a factory, open the particular state’s information screen. At the bottom, there will be a button allowing you to build a new factory. Factories cost a certain amount of raw material to build. Many nations start out with a certain amount of these raw materials—lumber, cement, and steel—and with a small stockpile of machine parts. Use them wisely, especially the machine parts. Many nations do not begin the game with machine parts.
When choosing what factories you wish to build, try to keep in mind the various prices and uses of the products you are considering making. For example, in the early game, steel is a well-priced commodity considering how cheap it is to produce. Keeping this process in mind can help you quickly amass enough cash to continue industrialization.
Also keep in mind the system of vertical production. By this I mean the way that one factory uses the products produced by another. For example, let’s say you take timber and turn it into lumber in a Lumber Mill. You can then take that lumber and use it in a Furniture Factory to make furniture, a generally highly-priced good. That furniture can then be used to manufacture luxury furniture in a Luxury Furniture Factory. Luxury furniture, situated as it is at the top of a long vertical production chain, tends to be very highly priced and thus very valuable to sell. As a rule, remember that the longer the production chain, the higher-priced the goods towards the top tend to be.
Most factories are able to be built once the technology Freedom of Trade has been discovered, although there are some that cannot be built until later (Telephone and Automobile factories, for instance) and some that can be built before (Liquor Distilleries, Wineries, and Glass Factories). Note that most uncivilized nations start the game without having discovered Freedom of Trade.
POPs and how they affect production
Once you have built your factories, you want to ensure that they actually produce things that you can sell. This brings us to the second aspect of successful industrialization — POPs.
You need POPs to run your factories for you. They are the labor that runs the machines, the strength behind your economy. There are two kinds of POPs that work in factories—Craftsmen and Clerks. Craftsmen do not need Clerks with them in a factory; they can run it on their own. Clerks, on the other hand, cannot run a factory on their own, and, in fact, there is a limited number of Clerks you can put into a factory. You must have at least one Craftsman for each Clerk in a factory; there cannot be more Clerks than Craftsmen in any particular factory at any time and you cannot have more than two clerks per level of the factory.
Unemployed Clerks and Craftsmen will automatically be placed into newly constructed factories as soon as they are complete, but eventually, you will run out of unemployed workers and will have to convert more. You should take these new workers from the ranks of the Farmers and Laborers of the state. To convert another type of POP into a Craftsman or a Clerk (or, in fact, into most other kinds of POPs), simply click on their specific box and then click the button that says “Convert to [insert POP type of your choice here]”. If you have enough of the required goods in stock, the POP will be converted immediately and will be auto-assigned to a factory at once.
But not all POPs are equal when it comes to factory assignment. As you will recall, all POPs come in sizes between 1 and 100,000. Obviously, a thirteen man POP is not as good in a factory as an eighty-five thousand man POP, but the differences are slightly more esoteric than that. Rather than having a set value increase in proportion to the size of the POP, there is instead a system based around several POP size thresholds.
Before you can understand this concept you must understand the idea of production efficiency. Factories do not start out running at maximum possible capacity. There are, in fact, several discoveries that increase the output of the factories using their efficiency as a modifier. POPs also have efficiencies for production based on their sizes:
|1 – 499||33% efficiency|
|500 – 19,999||50% efficiency|
|20,000 – 49,999||75% efficiency|
|50,000 – 100,000||100% efficiency|
So a fifty-thousand person POP produces exactly as much as a hundred-thousand person POP, which is three times the amount of a three-hundred person POP. Note also that POPs of non-National Cultures are half as efficient than those of your National Culture(s).
POP efficiency is also affected by literacy level. The values listed here assume that all factors, therein literacy, are maxed. At 0% literacy Craftsmen efficiency is half of that. The formula is: Craftsmen efficiency = 50% + (literacy/2). Clerks get an additional 50% efficiency bonus. The formula is: Clerk efficiency = 100% + (literacy/2).
For example, France, which begins the Grand Campaign with a thirty-two percent literacy rate, will, at the outset, have Craftsmen that can operate at a max of sixty-six percent efficiency [50% + (32%/2) = 66%], assuming their efficiency has already been maximized through all other means. Clerks will operate at a max of one hundred sixteen percent efficiency [100% + (32%/2) = 116%].
You can see how efficiently a factory is running when you have it's screen open. You'll see white and grey number under the icons showing the factory's intake and output of goods. The grey number is the default efficiency while the white number is the actual efficiency. For much of the game your white output number will be lower than the grey output number untill you have maximum railroads and large, high literacy, state culture pops working there.
Railroads and infrastructure
Managing POP sizes is not the only way to improve factory efficiency. This brings us to the third aspect of successful industrialization—railroads.
Railroads are the last link to gaining the highest possible factory efficiency because, unlike POPs, their efficiency increases over time with new technologies. There are several levels of railroad in the game, and each successive level further improves the efficiency of your factories. To build a railroad, simply go to the information screen of the province in which you wish to build the railroad and click on the button beneath the picture of the current transportation type (for almost all nations in the start of the game this should be a horse-and-carriage). Assuming you have the requisite materials in stock and researched the required technology, the railroad will immediately begin construction.
In order to receive the benefits of railroads, they must cover one province in the state in which the factory is situated. Otherwise, they will not be effective. The average railroad efficiency of the state is calculated and used for factory purposes; the more railroads you have in the state, the higher the efficiency. Never forget the importance of railroads in improving factory efficiency; it can make all the difference in the world in the later game. Besides, railroads are always a good investment because they also allow your troops to move across your territory much more quickly than they otherwise could.
"Free trade is not a principle, it is an expedient."
Introduction to trade
The last remaining issue with the economic system is trade. Understand trade, and you will be able to make a quick fortune.
There are many, many products you can make, buy, and sell in Victoria, and all of them are available for trade on the world market. All commodities start the game being auto-traded by the computer. A word of advice: turn this feature off. History has shown that the computer will purchase items you need, but in quantities and at intervals not usually suited to your budget constraints. To turn off this feature, you must go through and unclick all the little boxes on the left of the screen that have Xs through them. An X signifies that the computer is trading the commodity for you.
In a normal game, however, it is usually safe to leave some basic raw materials auto-traded. These include cotton, wool, coal, sulfur, and timber. But check your economic map first. If you country is short on any of these goods, it is better to leave them under your control.
Manually setting trade
You should rarely leave your higher-end goods under computer control. Allowing the game to auto-trade luxury clothing has lead to several second-year bankruptcies among new players. To set the orders for buying and selling manually, click on the box for the particular commodity. That commodity should then appear at the bottom of the trade window. Click the box to the left to indicate whether you want the game to buy or sell, and then move the slider to the amount desired. Remember to click “Confirm Trade” or else the order will not take effect.
Supply and demand for goods
Victoria's economy is an open one, meaning that, like all open economies, the price of goods is determined by supply and demand. As mentioned earlier, all types of POPs have different demands. The game keeps track of how much of each good (furniture, clothing, precious metal, automobiles, etc.) is produced on the market, as well as how many POPs are demanding them. Based on the amount of demand for goods, and their relative scarcity, the game will churn out a number for the price of that item. This number is found in the standard, humdrum, Econ 101 supply-and-demand graph.
Because of the game's reliance on this system to calculate price, you can, of course, manipulate it. To do this, you simply have to understand the way supply and demand systems work. If the demand goes down, the price drops, but if the demand goes up, so does the price. Similarly, if the supply drops, the price of the remaining items will rise as well. Therefore, if you are a large producer of a certain item (precious metals, for example) and are unsatisfied with the price per unit you are receiving, all you have to do is stop selling the good for a little while. As required by the system, the price will rise. Once the cost of the good has reached a satisfactory level, you can sell your stockpile and reap enormous cash benefits. Of course, flooding the market that way will drop the price back down to a more reasonable level. Be cautious, though, for messing around with the supply of certain items can increase your POPs militancy, because they, along with everyone else, will have trouble getting them.
Stockpiles and the need for them
It is always good to have stockpiles of certain essential goods. Steel, lumber, and cement, for instance, are necessary for building almost every type of building in the game, including railroads. Products like paper, furniture, and regular clothing are necessary in order to convert POPs into Craftsmen and Clerks, so it is also good to have a small stockpile of these on hand, though it should not be your first priority. You should also try to have at least fifty small arms and fifty canned food in stockpile if you can, as this is the cost of increasing mobilization.
Domestic and international availability of goods
Trade in Victoria is always international. There is always a domestic market for the goods you produce in your factories, but the fact is that the system makes the POPs buy their desired goods from the world market. This means that if, for example, you are the world's only producer of furniture and you don't offer your stockpile onto the world market, then your POPs won't ever get any of it. This situation, recall, increases their Militancy.
This means that stockpiling your goods can be a very, very bad thing. Though you may be tempted to keep the other countries from industrializing by not providing them with the materials to convert their POPs (such as furniture and clothing), you will also be robbing your POPs of goods they need to live a happy life. Remember, free trade is a good thing in Victoria.
It is, however, fine to stockpile certain goods. War materiel, for example, is not demanded by any POPs and is generally a good thing to stockpile as you do not want to be supplying the armies of your enemies. Clippers and Steamers are very well priced, but they are also good to keep off the world market if you can afford it, as it will stymie the attempts of other countries to build up their navies. Of course, you can always utilize the commodities in your stockpiles whenever you want.
Economic benefit of trade for you
Trade also adds to your income. Any products you sell puts money directly into the pockets of your POPs, money which is then taxable. Your trade balance is clearly visible on the main task window inside the “Trade” box.
"The Empress is Legitimist, my cousin is Republican, Morny is Orleanist, I am a socialist; the only Bonapartist is Persigny, and he is mad."
Introduction to politics
Victorian politics is an incredible complicated business. There are several factors to keep in mind, from national ideology to the specific ideals of political parties to the types of political and social reforms you grant.
Every country has a specific government type. These are: Monarchy, Constitutional Monarchy, Democracy, Presidential Dictatorship, or Proletarian Dictatorship. The vast majority of countries in the game will start and end as monarchies, although there is a great deal of transfer to constitutional monarchy and democracy by the end. Presidential and proletarian dictatorships are few and far between, and can only be arrived at through revolution. You cannot purposefully achieve either through a combination of political reforms (see "Reforms").
Every country also has an Executive Designation, which is directly related to what form of government you have. "Laws by Decree" reflects a monarchy, presidential, or proletarian dictatorship; "HMS Government", a Constitutional Monarchy; "Parliamentarism", a Democracy.
Each nation also has specific party system which determines how elections are run. In a One-Party state, the ruling party will continuously hold power and be reelected. In a Two-Party system, there exist third parties, but they receive a large penalty when votes are counted. In a Multi-party system, all parties have a chance at the election.
Countries come with a National Value. This represents the sentiment of the majority of the population, regardless of their political actions. This is the way the game reflects certain cultural determinants, such as the British and American aversions to despotism, or the German and Russian desires for a strong, central government. This is not to say that National Value does not change, but it tends to do so more through revolution than through political reforms. National Values come in three flavors: Order, Liberty, and Equality. Countries that value order will have more efficient crime fighting and military research. Societies upholding liberty will speed up non-military research, and societies valuing Equality will make social spending more effective at reducing militancy.
Political parties and their stance on issues
Each country also has files representing the political parties that can come into power, and each has its own qualities. But there are universal ideals that are combined in various ways among the parties:
The effect of these policies, obviously, is directly related to your ability to raise and spend money as you wish.
This means little or no government intervention in the private sector. A party with this kind of belief will not allow you to ever tax any class above fifty percent of its income, nor will it allow you to grant social reforms or spend more than fifty percent of the social budget. However, Governments ruled by a party with a laissez-faire policy get imports at half the price.
Interventionist parties allow all types of social reforms, and social spending is allowed between ten and eighty percent of the budget.
This is the essence of a socialist government. You cannot remove social reforms, only add them, and you cannot tax your population below twenty percent of their income. The minimum social spending is twenty percent.
This is Victoria's equivalent of a communist economic policy. Planned economy parties do not allow the taxing of classes at below fifty percent, and social reform spending can only be thirty percent at a minimum. In Planned economies, you can add social reforms, but not remove them.
These policies have a great effect on your citizens. Religion is one of the strongest motivators people have, and a party that attempts to crush religion in a very religious country (or one that seeks to promote it in an atheist country) will suffer revolts galore.
Pluralist parties allow all religions in a country.
One religion is dominant, and, while others may be allowed, they suffer for lack of funds or state support.
There is freedom of religion in the country, but the dominant mood is one of secularization and non-religion as people are accustoming themselves to the ideas of modern science.
Religion is forbidden in the country.
The type of minority policy your government has effects how content your minorities are to be living there. A strongly xenophobic party will virtually eliminate immigration and encourage emigration, whereas an open government can draw hordes of foreign workers to your shores, thus giving you free labor and costing your rivals.
In Full Citizenship governments, all people have the same rights, regardless of race, creed, or color. Minorities can vote only in this kind of government.
These kinds of governments distribute rights unequally, but the bottom-most class can still do everything but vote.
Residence governments allow foreigners or other ethnic groups to work in the country but allow them few liberties.
Governments of this type put the less favored classes into forced bondage.
These policies have an effect on the happiness of your POPs. Since a part of their happiness is determined by their access to goods, if the cost of those good is beyond their reach, they will be unhappy. Free Trade governments limit how much of a tariff you can impose and Protectionist governments limit subsidies for your POPs. In the latest patch subsidizing doesn't seem to work at all though.
Free Trade governments impose a maximum 25% limit on tariffs.
Protectionist governments limit subsidies for your population at 25%.
These policies determine how much you can spend on national defense, which is directly related to how much manpower and leadership points you accumulate. With low stockpiles of either, it is difficult to fight a successful war, especially a prolonged one.
A pacifist government does not allow defense spending above fifty percent, and you can't convert POPs into soldiers.
These governments do not allow defense spending to go above eighty percent.
These governments do not allow defense spending to fall below ten percent.
Jingoistic governments do not allow defense spending to be below thirty percent, and you can't demobilize soldier POPs.
"The more is given the less the people will work for themselves, and the less they work the more their poverty will increase."
Introduction to reforms
Once you understand how the political system in Victoria works, you can consider granting reforms. There are two types of reforms: political and social. These work in different ways. Political reforms extend rights to your population. These include such things as public meetings and the right to form unions. Social reforms, on the other hand, involve the state shelling out cash to provide services to the people. Such services include health care, pension funds, and minimum wages. Both kinds of reforms reduce the militancy of your population, but neither is free, monetarily or otherwise.
This is perhaps the most important political reform, as it can determine what kind of government your country takes as a whole. There are several levels of voting rights. First, there is the "None" option. This is pretty self-explanatory, so we'll leave it at that. Second is the "Landowners only" choice. This means that you will be allowing your Aristocrats and Capitalists to vote, but no one else. "Wealth" means that suffrage is extended through the middle class, enveloping Clergymen, Officers, and Clerks. And finally, "Universal Suffrage" means everyone can vote (note: this does not include women until late in the game, if at all; note 2: cultural minorities can vote only under parties with Full Citizenship).
The people allowed to vote determine what kinds of governments are elected. The upper classes tend to be quite conservative, even reactionary, in their leanings, so with very restrictive voting rights, those are the kinds of parties you will see elected. The lower classes tend to be more liberal and later, socialist, and granting them voting rights may get those kinds of parties elected. Before extending voting rights, look at the parties that can currently be elected and make sure you understand what kinds of restrictions they could put on your government.
Effect of voting rights on government type
The type of voting right you have also tends to determine your overall form of government. Many states with no voting rights, when granted suffrage of any sort, become Constitutional Monarchies. Extending this to Universal Suffrage tends to shift the government to a democracy, though with the more conservative nations of Central and Eastern Europe they will stay Constitutional Monarchies.
The classes that are newly allowed to vote are happy to be able to do so and generally receive a decrease in militancy, but understand that those who can already vote are unhappy to see the privileges extended, and will be unhappy.
This is where you choose whether to allow public meetings, one of the staples of popular government. Prohibiting them will make your liberal classes angry, but it will reduce your crime fighting costs as everyone (including criminals and political protestors) can no longer congregate without breaking the law. Allowing them will keep your crime fighting costs up, but it will mollify your more liberal POPs.
This is how you choose how much of a license the press in your country gets. Providing the "State Press" option puts the newspapers in the control of the government. Make no mistake, people are not fooled by this, and though it helps keep people in control, they can get unhappy. "Censored Press" means that the newspapers have some freedom, but they are being watched by government censors. This allows for a reduction in militancy among the population without suffering the burdens of a truly free press, and seems to be a balance point with which many players are comfortable. "Free Press" means that you remove all restrictions on your newspapers, allowing them to print whatever they want. You will find that this can often include government criticism, which can itself lead to an increase in Consciousness and Militancy for a segment of your population.
This is where you choose what kind of power you will have over the parties in your country. The first choice "No Political Parties" is self-explanatory. The second is Right to Ban. Selecting this means that you are allowing elections, but that the monarch retains the right to dissolve a government with which he is unsatisfied. This allows you to expel a party from power if it has imposed restrictions on you with which you are unhappy. All Allowed means that you agree to allow whatever party gets elected into office, and agree to go along with that they legislate. Banning a party or expelling it from power creates a tremendous amount of unrest among the adherents to that party within your citizenry.
As with press rights, the more freedom there is the lower the militancy of the majority of your population, but remember that allowing all parties can lead to the election of Pacifist or Socialist parties that restrict how you can manage your military or economy.
Here you select what kind of collective bargaining rights you assign. You can of course select the "No Trade Unions" choice. Besides that, you can select the "Non-Socialist" choice, which makes all POPs, besides socialists, happy. Choosing "Only Socialist" makes the socialist POPs happy while angering all the rest. "All Allowed" means that all trade unions, even the most extreme, are free to form.
All political reforms will reduce the Militancy of one or more strata of your population, but they will increase the Militancy and Consciousness of others. A good rule of thumb to follow: whoever benefits from the political reforms will be happier, but whoever loses political power will be unhappy. For example, if you extend voting rights from landed to wealth, you will include Clerks. These will be happy, while the Aristocrats and Capitalists will be upset. Furthermore, if you then extend voting rights to universal suffrage, the Clerks, who will have less power after the next reform than before, will be upset by it.
All social reforms are a good way to reduce militancy, but they cost a great amount of money. As you can see, the social reforms come at several levels, from "trinkets" to "good". The higher the rate, the more money it costs to run. There is both an establishment cost and a daily cost that comes out of your budget.
This sets how much of a minimum wage your workers get.
This sets a limit on how long employers can force their employees to work. Reducing the number of workhours also reduces the efficiency of your workers, as they have less time to produce.
These set how much safety your workers should be provided. This, again, reduces efficiency as it leads to slightly slower rates of production.
This establishes a national health care system for your POPs. Unlike the previous reforms, this one counts both employed and unemployed POPs. On the positive side, though, it leads to an increase in population growth as well as the typical decrease in militancy.
These provide an allowance for your unemployed citizens. Recall how it was mentioned that all POPs have desired goods. Unemployed POPs, since they do not have a salary, will quickly run out of cash, lose the ability to purchase their desired goods, and become unhappy, leading to revolts or emigration. Unemployment subsidies reduce this by giving those without a job some money so that they can still purchase goods.
Although there are no "retired" POPs in Victoria, pension funds are also a good way to reduce militancy overall, for, like health care, it is calculated for all POPs, employed or unemployed.
The cost of social reforms depends on the size of your population as a whole, not on who is actually using it. For example, even if you have no actually unemployed POPs in your nation, you will still have to pay for unemployment subsidies (Reforms, their costs and their effect on militancy says otherwise?). Furthermore, if you fund your social reforms more than fifty percent, you increase their effects. In other words, they will reduce Consciousness, and through it, Militancy (see section "The Big Three").
Note that all social reforms will reduce the militancy of one or more strata of your population, but most of them raise the Militancy and Consciousness of rich POPs.
“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.
“Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules;
Of Hector, and Lysander, and such great names as these;
But of all the world’s brave heroes, there’s none that can compare
With a tow, row, row, row, row for the British Grenadier.”
-The British Grenadiers
Introduction to the military and the army
Running the military is an important aspect of a successful game of Victoria. Given the aggressiveness of the contest between Great Powers, the military can often mean the difference between a successful game and one of total annihilation.
Things to keep in mind when dealing with the army
When looking to build a strong standing army, several variables have to be kept in mind:
This represents the amount of soldiers that can be currently sent to fight. Manpower allows you to raise new divisions and reinforce existing ones. This number depends on the number and size of soldier POPs you have in your country, their rate of growth, and the level of defense and maintenence spending you have. The higher the spending, the faster your manpower rises and the higher the maximum level becomes. There is always a maximum manpower, but never a minimum. If your country gets screwed in the war manpower can go negative, possibly even very negative. You get no monthly growth then until you convert additional soldier POPs or dismiss existing military units.
Leadership points represent the strength of your country’s officer corps. The more Officer POPs you have, the higher your leadership points. These are useful for two things: Colonies and producing generals. Defense spending influences leadership points in much the same way as it affects manpower points.
One of the most under recognized tools in the military arsenal by new players, generals can make or break an army. For more information, see War#Leaders
Building military units
To build a new military unit, click first on the cannon icon in the top right hand corner of the task bar. This takes you to the military management screen. Here you can train new generals, commission new ships, or recruit new divisions. To build a ship, click on the “Commission new ship/flotilla” button”; to recruit a new division, click on the “Setup a new division button”. Each division, fully reinforced, can consist ten thousand men.
Types of units
In the recruitment of divisions, you will have various choices to make regarding their composition. The first is the type of unit. In Victoria, there are four types of units:
These are troops that represent pre-modern forms of military technology. These cannot be built by civilized countries, but for many uncivilized countries they will be the only troops you can build at the outset. The weaknesses of irregulars are many. It's possible for twenty thousand well-equipped Regular troops to defeat upwards of a hundred thousand irregulars.
These are the basic, gun-wielding ranks of men who march into battle. These are the staple of every modern army and should form the backbone of every substantial military force in Victoria.
These are the men who ride on horseback, useful for breaking lines, scouting operations, or quick maneuvers behind enemy lines. Cavalry are noted for their speed, which is their greatest asset.
These are a type of soldier trained to fight both mounted and on foot. These move faster than infantry, but not as fast as cavalry. They are good supporting units for clearing up the partisans that develop after an army has occupied enemy territory.
Once you have selected the type of unit you wish to build (infantry, cavalry, or dragoon), you must select whether it will have any attachments. Attachments modify the variables of the division itself. For example, divisions with engineering brigades attached will be able to dig in more substantially. Divisions with artillery brigades attached will receive a bonus in offense and in defense. Of course, these divisions tend to move more slowly, but they also add two thousand more men to the total count of the division. For a complete list of attachments and their modifiers, see below.
Next, you must choose the quality of the unit. There are four quality levels in Victoria:
These soldiers are the standard, well-trained troops produced by civilized countries.
These are the troops raised from the colonies of a given country. The men come from the stock of your national culture in that colony, and are based there as well. If the colony has already been granted statehood, these soldiers will be of Regular quality.
These are troops coming from the conscription and mobilization (see below) programs of civilized countries.
These troops are the result of native populations being trained by trained, civilized professional soldiers. These soldiers are equal in quality to Regular quality troops except for a penalty of negative two towards reliability (see below).
The cost to maintain a native division is 10% of that of a regular quality division. The build screen does not say this, but if you look at the ledger, you will see that a native division is 10% of the cost of a regular quality division. The implication is that if you think your army budget is too expensive, then you might want to train native troops.
If there is no attached brigade, The fire power of a native division is the same as a regular quality division. If an artillery brigade is attached, the native division will have somewhat less fire power than a similarly equipped regular quality division.
For most military production, you will not be able to select the type of quality. Rather, it will be assigned to the unit based on its home province and the culture from which it was recruited (see below).
Next, you must choose the culture of the men forming the division. Recall how in the “POPs” section, it was described that each POP has a specific culture attached to it. The game records how many of each of your soldier POPs pertain to particular cultures, and reflects those numbers in your ability to build troops.
Cultural limitations on number of divisions
Each division, recall, is ten thousand men. Recall also that you have a limited number of soldier POPs, each of a given size. Each time you build a division you use up a certain number of these soldiers in the process. There is, therefore, a limit on how many divisions of that culture you can build at any time. The limit reflects the amount of soldiers in your country (note: actual soldiers, not soldier POPs. The larger the soldier POP, the more soldiers it contains). If you cannot build any more divisions of a particular culture, that culture will not be selectable from the dropdown menu.
Nevertheless, there is a way to get around this restriction. If you can build any soldiers of a particular culture at all, you can avoid the restriction. To do this, amass a large amount of manpower and resources to build divisions. Once you have built up large enough stockpiles, enter the military screen and go about the process of building a new unit. As long as you can build even one division of the culture you want, you will be able to select that culture from the dropdown menu. Once it has been selected, simply increase the number of divisions as high as you can afford. Even though you may not have the proper amount of soldier POPs to pull this off, the game still allows all the divisions to be built. Though this is an exploit, it is a way around a rather restrictive part of the game. As far as is known, it is useful for any amount of divisions as long as you can build at least one division of the culture.
Finally, you must choose the home province of the unit you are building. The game not only keeps track of the cultures of the various soldier POPs, but also their home provinces, and you must select the one from which the men will be recruited. This is important because if you sell or lose in war the province from which the men are recruited, the men themselves, as well as the divisions they constitute, will disappear. For example, if Great Britain recruited most of its army from Ireland, and then granted Ireland independence, Great Britain would lose all the troops it had recruited from Ireland, as they would now be citizens of another country.
Similarly, if the province from which the army is recruited revolts, the units from that province can join the rebels. For example, any Irish military units Great Britain may have recruited could throw down the Union jack and pick up the Irish flag if their homeland rebelled.
Lastly when creating a military unit, you can examine the specific traits it has. These come in as qualities:
This is the amount of damage the unit can take before it is destroyed.
This represents the efficiency of the unit’s use in battle, as well as how fast its morale regenerates. Note that, unlike in previous patches, 1.03 has removed the bonus to province occupation time for high organization armies. Instead, there is now a bonus given to armies which share the same culture as the province they are occupying.
This determines how resolute the troops are. This is important because a unit’s morale decreases as a battle drags on, and if it runs out of morale it will retreat, even if it has not yet been destroyed.
This determines the likelihood that the unit will desert or mutiny in the field. This stat also impacts attrition, the loss of manpower while in hostile territory. Generals who receive bonuses to reliability, therefore, also reduce attrition in their command.
This is the strength of the unit in terms of actual damage-inflicting power. This represents how strong the unit’s offensive capabilities are in doing damage to the enemy’s Strength modifier.
This represents the unit’s ability to destroy the morale of the enemy.
This shows, quite literally, how well the unit can defend itself.
This shows how quickly the unit can move across the map. Speed has no meaning in a battle situation.
This determines the cost of the unit, calculate yearly, which is fed into your overall Military Spending budget slider.
As mentioned above, you can select brigades to attach to a military division. Attachments add two thousnad men to the standard division.
These are brigades of higher-trained standard soldiers. They give a bonus in the areas of fire and shock attack.
These are brigades made up of the largest soldiers, and they are highly trained. These give good organization and morale benefits, as well as the same bonuses to shock and fire attack as regulars.
These brigades improve the ability of divisions to fortify themselves by digging into the surrounding earth (entrenchment). Engineer brigades give a high morale and organization bonus, as well as a modest defensive bonus.
Artillery units were used to pummel enemies into submission from a distance. These give a high fire attack and modest shock attack bonus, but they also take a modest speed hit. On top of the bonus they give to the division itself as an attachment, artillery also give a combat bonus to any army that has it.
Fast-moving light cavalry divisions, Hussars give a high morale boost and a modest speed bonus to a cavalry division.
Known for their strength and ability to break through enemy lines, these heavy cavalry give good morale and organization boosts, as well as a decent shock attack bonus, to cavalry divisions.
Field headquarters for officer staff, these provide their divisions with a hefty organizational bonus.
Named for the tanks in a series of alternate history books by Harry Turtledove, barrels were useful for breaking through heavily fortified enemy positions. Divisions with these attached receive an extremely large shock attack bonus, but also take a good sized hit in speed. They are also supposed to have an advantage against entrenched troops, but, as of 1.03, the feature is still inactive.
Hiding your military strength from (would-be) enemies
Here’s a tried and tested little trick for those who’ve managed to read this far:
The combined strength of your army and navy are the factors that determine your overall military score, visible at the top of the main task bar to the right of your flag. This number is visible to all, and it helps you determine if you will defeat a county you are thinking of declaring war on. Now, when you build a new military unit, that new unit gets added to the calculation for your military score—but only after you deploy it. In multiplayer games, you can lull your human opponents into a false sense of security by building huge numbers of military units, but leaving them undeployed and in limbo. Then, just when your opponent thinks he’s got you over a barrel, deploy those three hundred divisions you’ve amassed and crush him before he knows what hit him. This has been tested and still works under patch 1.03.
"There is a homely old adage which runs: "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." If the American Nation will speak softly, and yet build, and keep at pitch of the highest training, a thoroughly efficient navy, the Monroe Doctrine will go far."
Building a navy is similar to building an army. You go to the same screen and go through the same process. Even though they are ships, they still require manpower to run, and you still must choose a culture for the men as well as a home province. There are many different classes of ships in Victoria,
These are the small sail ships that represent quick mobility on the seas at the start of the game. They include frigates (F), sloops of war (SlpW), brigs (Bg), & schooners of war (SchW) and were often simply armed and impressed merchantmen. They are useful for protecting transport groups, but given their lack of firepower, that is pretty much their only advantage. Frigates become obsolete very quickly.
The large capital ships of the age of sail, Men-o-War include the 1st & 3rd rates that are the backbone of modern navies at the outset of the game. These ships remain competitive for a little while, but the success of the exploding Paixhans guns required the development of ironclad hulls.
These represent the flotillas of schooners, barks, brigs, clippers, and packets which are your first transport units. Amphibious invasions are still difficult matters, so landing a province away and moving by land will often be best.
Unlike other sail ships, except for their speed, clippers don't go obsolete. They are often still as useful in 1915 as they were in 1840.
Representing the first incorporation of steam engines onto combat ships, Commerce Raiders are quick, efficient combat ships.
Replacing Clipper Transports with steam engines, these ships are just faster transports, though they have better defense and lower visibility as well. They can still do all that Clippers did, and they can still only hold one division per ship.
These were wooden ships that had iron plates bolted to their hulls, making them more resistant to cannon shots than wooden-sided ships. These can do a great deal of damage to old wooden ships, and their arrival signals the true end of the age of sail.
Unlike Ironclads, Monitors were made entirely of metal, but as a result, they tended to remain in coastal waters as they were difficult to navigate and manage and tended to fill up with smoke from their boilers. In many important areas, Monitors are weaker than Ironclads even though they are higher up the development tree.
Cruisers represent a successful implementation of Monitor technology to a high-seas ship. They remain as powerful as Ironclads except in one area, speed. Cruisers can move twice as fast as Ironclads. Cruisers are the first ships that can launch torpedo attacks. Beginning now, all combat ships will remain effective at least to a certain extent until the end of the game.
These ships represent large developments in defense and in gun attack strengths. They are not as fast as Cruisers, though. Countries building large amounts of Battleships should begin considering scrapping their Ironclads and Monitors. Unlike the ships around them, Battleships cannot launch torpedo attacks. However, thanks to an ability to bombard, Battleships will contribute to a land battle when placed in an adjacent coastal square and not engaged in naval combat. A naval force with a large number of Battleships can significantly alter the outcome of a land battle, potentially cancelling out an opponents' advantages of either manpower and/or entrenchment. Each battleship will lower the enemy land unit's fighting effectiveness by 2%.
These seek to combine the speed of Cruisers with the strength of Battleships, and succeed in finding a happy medium between the two. These, like Cruisers, can also launch torpedo attacks.
These ships represent the culmination of capital ship technology in the game. Far outpacing Heavy Cruisers and Battleships in defense and gun attack strengths, Dreadnoughts rule the waves. Unlike Heavy Cruisers, though, they cannot launch torpedo attacks.
Previously, the dreadnought shore bombardment was not working. In v1.04, the dreadnought shore bombardment has been restored. This is how dreadnought shore bombardment works in v1.04. For each dreadnought in coastal zone, enemy land unit effectiveness is reduced by 3%.
These seem almost an afterthought in the process of naval design. Indeed, their strength in combat is low compared to Battleships and especially to Dreadnoughts. Their one advantage is their torpedo attack strength. At four, it is twice that of a Cruiser and four times that of a Heavy Cruiser. A group of submarines, used effectively, can make life hard on a Dreadnought-based navy, but without surface support, a submarine-based navy will never rule the waves.
When building ships, you must keep in mind that there are five ship classes in Victoria:
- Men-o-War and Frigates
- Commerce Raiders
- Monitors and Ironclads
- Cruisers, Battleships, and Submarines
- Dreadnoughts and Battle Cruisers
Each class is progressively more powerful, and can defeat any ship in the class below it. This is important to keep in mind because, by looking at its stats, you would think that a Commerce Raider would be defeated by a Man-o-War. This is not the case; a Commerce Raider would actually defeat a Man-o-War because it is in a higher ship class. This has the effect of rendering ship stats effective for comparisons only with other ships of the same class. Note: Clipper Transports and Steamer Transports are not included in the ship class system as they cannot actually attack.
The stats for naval combat are also different than those for the army:
This represents how much damage the ship can take before it sinks.
This represents how well the ships are used in attacks, as well as the rate at which its morale regenerated.
This represents the early means of defeating your enemy's strength factor. It causes low strength damage.
This represents a more modern means of reducing your enemy's strength factor, causing high damage.
This shows how well the ship can bombard enemy land units in coastal provinces when combined with an assault from land.
This represents how well the ship can defend itself from attack while at sea.
This shows how quickly the ship can traverse the seas and oceans of the world.
This shows how costly the ship is to maintain, a figure added to your overall naval maintenance costs in the budget window.
Sea Detection Capability
This shows how good the ship is at locating enemy ships while at sea.
This shows how easy it is for the ship itself to be found at sea by the enemy.
Capital ships & prestige
Note that capital ships also have one more aspect to them: prestige. For each capital ship you build, you receive a certain amount of prestige. As of the newer patches, disbanding those ships costs no prestige, but having them sunk in battle does.
As with land units, you can assign "brigades" to naval squadrons as well:
These give small boosts to detection and gun attack, as well high bonuses in morale and organization. They also give a speed bonus.
These give their squadrons a torpedo attack bonus of two, on top of morale, organization and detection bonuses.
These give a hefty gun attack detection bonus, along with substantial morale and organization bonuses. They also give a slight advantage in gun attack, speed, and torpedo attack.
These give small bonuses to detection, morale, and organization, but they take a hit on speed in order to do it.
These, like Minelayers, give small bonuses to detection, morale, and organization, but take a speed reduction in the process.
Note: in regards to Minelayers and Minesweepers, you cannot actually lay mines. These are just representative additions to the battle fleets.
As with the army, you can assign Admirals to run your navy. Like generals, admirals cost twenty leadership points to train and will be "killed in battle" eventually. These men can modify your ship's modifiers just like generals can modify those of their armies.
There is a widely held belief that navies in Victoria are underpowered. Those making the argument say that it is possible to run a huge empire without any naval strength at all. To a certain extent they are correct, but it all depends on geography. Russia, for example, should be able to succeed without a correspondingly large navy, as should a conquest-oriented Prussia/Germany, but for island nations such as the United Kingdom or for countries that wish to leave the balance-of-power in Europe stable, navies continue to be an important facet of force projection.
“The people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them.”
Introduction to mobilization
Mobilization is the ace-up-the-sleeve of every country in Victoria. Mobilization is the process of taking large numbers of POPs and conscripting them to serve in the armed forces.
The mobilization interface
Every country can create a mobilization pool. To do this, open up the military screen and look at the bottom right. There you should see three buttons:
This increases by the number of divisions you can mobilize by four. Increasing mobilization can be accomplished once every 6 months of game time.
This calls all your marked POPs for draft duty. Mobilization takes a full two months from the day the button is pressed, so plan ahead.
This reduces by five the number of divisions you can mobilize. This can be important to do if you find that you’re spending way too much money on military costs, but it is a rare button to find yourself in need of pressing.
Cost of increasing mobilization
The cost for creating four new mobilization divisions is only fourty small arms and fourty canned food. Most importantly, it costs no cash or immediate manpower, meaning that you can build up large mobilization pools to use if someone ever becomes brash enough to try to invade you.
Limits to size of mobilization pool
There are a maximum number of divisions that any country can mobilize. This is tied directly to the size of your population, and prevents, for example, Sardinia-Piedmont from having eight million man armies unless they’ve conquered or grown enough to support it.
What happens when you mobilize?
When you mobilize, wait three months, and you should be able to deploy all the divisions you can mobilize. They will appear in provinces across your country, reflecting the location where their supporting POP lives (or you can deploy them manually to a specific province). These divisions can be full-strength, ten thousand man armies (though the actual size depends on your level of army maintenance when you hit the “Mobilize” button), and immediately armed and ready for action. You also receive a huge temporary boost in manpower in order to reinforce any losses your mobilized troops may take in combat. This boost disappears after you have demobilized. The size of the boost is determined by your defense spending level at the time of mobilization.
One thing you can do is use that extra manpower to build new units for your standing army, but this should only be done in emergencies because once you have demobilized, the extra boost is taken away. Recall that there is no limit to how far manpower can drop, so if you use up the boost on anything other than the already existing army, upon demobilization you will most likely have a large negative manpower.
Benefit of simply having a mobilization pool
Mobilization potential is what can prevent small countries like Switzerland or Denmark, which may have problems supporting a large standing army, being swallowed up by the larger powers, since the mobilization pool is taken into account when evaluating military strength.
The back-side of mobilization
But, like many seemingly wonderful abilities in Victoria, mobilization does not come free. When you mobilize your troops, the game will draw on the POPs it has assigned to the draft. These will be the men working your economy—Craftsmen, Clerks, Farmers, Laborers—and their jobs will be vacant until they return, unless you have other workers who can fill them. Therefore, in heavily industrialized countries, mobilizing troops for long periods (ala First World War) can tank an economy. Also, the POPs supporting your mobilized troops absorb the combat losses suffered in wars, so the POPs returning to the factories and farms after the conflict is over will be smaller. Some may even have been eliminated altogether.
Most importantly, all POPs that have been mobilized do not return to their original jobs or development levels. In fact, Clerks and Craftsmen, when demobilized, reappear as Farmers and Laborers. This feature can really tank an economy.
Restriction on when you can demobilize
Remember one more thing about mobilization—it is effective for the duration of the war. You cannot demobilize while still at war.
Reserves as in "newly constructed units"
Reserves are a strange little position somewhere between mobilized troops and a standing army. There are two areas that generally fall under the title “reserves”. The first is the place where all your newly constructed standing army units go, awaiting deployment. To look into the real, click on the box surrounding the “Recruit new division” and “Commission new ship/flotilla” buttons.
Reserves as in "newly mobilized units"
The second area, more often referred to when somebody mentions reserves, is the place where all your mobilized troops go after the two month period has passed but before they have been deployed. This is accessible by clicking the box around the section of the military screen that deals with mobilization. Joining them here are other troops—cavalry, infantry, or dragoons—that come to you through events. Occasionally, an event will fire telling you that “young nobles join our army” or “recruits rally to the flag”, giving you a free division. These are available in this reserve pool.
Reserves as in "units I had to withdraw all of a sudden"
Also appearing in this reserve pool are any military units that may have been in lands you sold. If you have a division in land that you give to another country through a diplomatic action, you will find that it disappears. Fear not, it is hiding in your reserve pool and can be redeployed to its home province after a short amount of time has passed.
Reserve troops can be deployed at any time, and you do not have to mobilize your pool in order to do so. To deploy your reserve troops, simply click the “Deploy all to home” button at the bottom of the reserve screen. To deploy manually, click on the specific unit and then on the province to which you want it deployed.
“Peace is merely the curtain between acts.”
Introduction to wars
War in Victoria is arguably the most complicated action a country can take. Especially late in the game, wars can drain both your population and your treasury, and, of course, there’s the constant chance that you’ll lose the war and be crippled as a result.
Starting a war
War in Victoria can only be begun after there has been a formal declaration of war, either of full war or colonial war. Once this has been declared, both sides are free to march their troops into one another’s territory. Note that if you are allied to a country that you have to break the alliance to declare war, and that it takes a week before you can send another diplomat to declare the war.
Generals and Admirals can make or break a military. A nation with an otherwise weak navy can have its way on the seas if it has a powerful admiral while the other nations have none. Generals can make the difference on the battlefield between a victory and a rout.
Every general comes with two modifiers: background and personality trait. These affect the way the general commands. For a full listing of these, take a look at Leader Traits.
When it comes to admirals, they will have personality traits and backgrounds taken from the same list, except that modifiers that would increase or decrease a generals “fire” and “shock attack” instead modify an admiral’s “gun attack” and “torpedo attack”, respectively.
Each general costs twenty leadership points to create. These generals can then be assigned to specific armies. To assign a general, click on the picture of the default leader of the army. The game then takes you to a list of your existing generals, and you can then select the one you want to lead the army. Note that once a general is assigned he cannot be removed unless being replaced with another specific general. Generals cannot be replaced with default generals. Generals do not live forever. At some point after their creation, a general will be “killed in battle” and disappear from your list. You will not receive a reimbursement of the leadership points it cost to create him.
Certain countries have historical leaders that will appear at their proper points in history. The Confederacy, for example, can create Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
When two armies enter into battle, the game calculates the strength of either side according to several variables:
First is terrain. Units defending in mountainous or wooded provinces get a heavy advantage, as do armies defending an attack from across a river. There are also certain straits that can be crossed by armies in the game. The strait between Sweden and Denmark, the Kattegat, including the islands of Odense and Copenhagen, can be traversed by land troops in either direction. This ability can be negated, however, if there is a navy of the opposing side controlling the strait. Attacking over a strait is more difficult than attacking across a river.
A second variable is the leadership of the armies. Generals, as mentioned earlier, each have specific fortes or foibles which can add or detract from the strength of their armies. One thing to note with generals is that the default generals an army receives are almost always worse than the generals you create. While a general created by you may have a serious deficiency in speed or in rate of fire, he is competent in the other levels. Meanwhile, the automatically assigned generals are deficient in every level, so it is almost always to your advantage to use your generals, even if they seem terrible.
A third variable taken into account by the computer is the size of the armies. This seems natural: all else being equal, a 50,000 man army will defeat a 20,000 man army.
A fourth variable is the quality of the armies themselves. Due to the influence of military technologies, one army can have an advantage over another. For example, an army whose country has discovered breech-loading rifles will be stronger on the battlefield than one that still uses older kinds of rifles. The strength, organization, morale, and other modifiers of the specific divisions (see section “The Army”) also help determine the outcome of the battle.
Entrenchments and fortification
A fifth variable is the effect of specific entrenchments or fortifications. Forts can be built in provinces during peace or war, and add great strength to the defending unit. Forts come in seven levels, from basic fortifications all the way up to complicated trench systems. One thing to keep in mind, though: if a fort is lost, it can be utilized by the enemy with no penalty. Forts are represented on the map as small hut-like buildings appearing within the provinces (different level forts have different icons). Army units, if given time, can also dig-in. This requires that the unit have had a certain amount of free time in the province before hand, and a unit that has had time to dig-in receives a substantial bonus, though not as large as one in a fortification. At higher technological levels, the entrenchment bonus can be quite large. Railroads also provide a bonus to defenders.
A sixth variable is the effect of any particular attachments to military units. Artillery units add to the strength of the entire army attacking or defending, and even one Engineer attachment can add to the entrenchment and organization of the entire army.
A seventh variable is the experience level of any of the units involved. An experienced unit receives a bonus in combat reflecting its veteran status. The bonus is 1% per experience point above 10, and it is capped at 20% bonus. So a division with 5 experience will get no bonus, while one with 20 exp will get +10% combat bonus, and one with 30 exp or more will get "only" a 20% combat bonus.
Lastly and perhaps most importantly, is the effect of strategy. Units that have been encircled receive a tremendous penalty when being attacked, and if a unit is defeated when it has no province to which to retreat, it is destroyed. Units being attacked from more than one direction also receive a penalty, as do units making amphibious assaults. The combined effects of successful encirclements and multi-directional attacks can quickly bring your enemy to his knees. Thus in Victoria, as in real life, the more effective your strategy, the quicker and the more successful the war will go.
Occupying a province
When an army unit reaches enemy territory, it immediately begins to occupy the province. The speed at which it does this depends on the strength, level of technology, and number of units in the army, but generally speaking, it will always take at least a few days to occupy a province. Once a military unit has occupied a province, that province counts towards the occupying country’s war score calculation.
Hindering enemy occupation of provinces
If a unit gets attacked while occupying a province, the occupation process will be suspended while the combat lasts, but if the occupying unit wins the battle, it will continue occupying at the point where it was when combat was initiated. This can be used by sending a fast unit first to start the combat (e.g. cavalry) to stop the occupying while slower units (e.g. infantry) are on their way to really throw out the occupiers.
Units do not have to stop in and occupy each province they cross. On the contrary, sending cavalry units or fast generals on raids behind enemy lines to create multi-directional attacks and encirclements is a common tactic, but be forewarned that moving through unoccupied enemy territory takes considerably longer than moving through friendly or occupied territory.
Reinforcement and manpower
Manpower is utilized to reinforce divisions in the field, or to create new divisions. To reinforce an existing division, click on it so that its own sub-window opens, and then click “Reinforce to maximum strength”. This will draw as much manpower from your pool as is necessary to reinforce the division. If you do not have enough manpower, it will take as much as it can before it runs out. To find out how much manpower it takes to reinforce a division, simply hold your mouse over the reinforce button and a popup will inform you.
Reinforcing whole armies at once
You can also reinforce entire armies (conglomerates of many divisions under one leader) at once. To do this, simply click on the small fist in the top right hand corner of the army’s information box. Just like with a single division, the manpower to reinforce will be taken from your pool. To find out how much you need to reinforce the entire army, simply hold the mouse over the fist as you did with the reinforce button.
You can only reinforce a unit or an army in either a friendly province or in an enemy province that has been occupied by you. You cannot reinforce an army unit that is in territory still controlled by the enemy.
One last concept affecting warfare is attrition. This represents the gradual loss of military strength through disease or desertion. The attrition rate varies by the province, and there are certain generals that reduce it, but in general it is around three percent. As the number of troops in a province increases, so will the attrition rate. Attrition affects your units not by the day but by the month, so be aware that if you can get your troops into and out of enemy territory within the span of one calendar month (i.e. January 1 to 31, not as in March 15 to April 15), you will not suffer any attrition. Troops never suffer attrition while in their home territory, but they do suffer attrition in all enemy territories, even ones occupied by you or your allies.
Province terrain effect on attrition
Attrition is also affected by the life ratings of the provinces you invade. The lower the life ratings (as in the desert, for example), the higher the attrition rate will be. Conversely, if your army marches through amber waves of grain and such (territories with higher life ratings), there will be less attrition.
(Note: there are some provinces on the map that experience fixed attrition for any military units positioned there, even if you own them, even if you are at peace. These include Iceland, Greenland, and several provinces in Siberia and in North Africa)
Grabbing colonial claim building
A commonly unrealized tactic by new players is stealing colonial buildings in wars. If there is a colony that you wish to claim, you can send a fast cavalry unit or a quick general at the head of an infantry division and seize the claim buildings in that colony. To take a claim building, your troops need only have been stationed in that province for one day. They must be stopped though; a unit simply passing through will not take over the building.
Also, these buildings are yours permanently once they have been taken. They do not count towards War Score, but they are yours forever after being stolen. You do not have to negotiate to keep them in the peace treaty as you do provinces. Remember, claiming colonies gives a great deal of prestige, and the AI tends not to be very good at using this same tactic against other AI players or against the human. The AI also has a blind spot when it comes to defending its own claims againt you.
One last important tactic in many successful wars is the amphibious invasion. To invade from the sea, you must first load your army onto transports, be they steamers, clippers, or any combination. One division will require one full transport, no less. To load them, simply place your transports off the coast of the province in which your army is stationed. Then select the units you wish to load and right-click their destination as the transports offshore. They will walk onboard in a few days.
Once they are onboard, sail the ships to the coast of the province you wish to invade. Select the ships and click “Unload troops”. Then right click on the province to which you wish them to go. This begins a naval invasion. Be forewarned that if the province is defended, your attacking troops will receive a stiff penalty for fighting while making an amphibious attack.
There is one more aspect to wars in Victoria, an aspect that has been the downfall of many an ambitious campaign—partisans. Once an enemy army has occupied a province, there is a chance that loyal citizens will rise up to defend their homeland. These citizens are called partisans, and they carry the flag of their home country. They are not standard military units, and are, in fact, of a lower quality, but they can spring up in any occupied province, even ones in which there is currently an occupying army. Partisan divisions, like all others, can range up to ten thousand men in size, and they can liberate provinces and move around like other armies. Unlike normal divisions partisans cannot be reinforced.
The chance of a partisan unit appearing and the size of the unit when it does appear is closely related to the population of a province. This means that holding Southern China or the Ganges valley will lead to more 10 000 unit partisan units than holding a Saharan province where a partisan unit, if one does appear, is likely to only be a couple of thousand strong at most.
Note that you get partisans too. If your country is invaded, your citizens can rise up and fight their occupiers as well.
Keep partisans in mind. Leave sufficient holding troops behind your lines to put down these troops, or else your victorious army may find itself cut off by an army of angry partisans you never knew existed.
Ending wars and negotiating peace
Upon winning a war, you can demand several things of your vanquished opponents:
Yes, you can annex a civilized country that you have completely occupied, but only if it is three provinces or less. Any civilized country larger than this requires more than one war to completely absorb. But on the other hand, uncivilized countries can be annexed in one go, whatever their size. Yes, the result of this is that Ecuador is not immediately annexable but China is. This is true, but it is an extreme example. This will come into play more frequently with nations such as Madagascar, Oman, Morocco, Korea, and other prized imperial holdings. It also prevents Sardinia-Piedmont or Guatemala or Texas from being gobbled up in one go.
You can demand specific provinces from a conquered enemy. Though you can demand only those provinces which your troops currently occupy, in asking you for peace, a defeated enemy may offer any of the provinces under its control, regardless of their location or occupation status. Each province you take in a peace treaty gives you a certain amount of Badboy (see section “Other Concepts”).
As you will have noticed, declaring war costs a certain amount of prestige. At least part of this cost is determined by the prestige of the country against which you declare war. A humiliation treaty removes three hundred prestige points from the defeated and gives you a substantial amount of prestige in return. It also makes the next declaration of war against that country less costly in prestige, assuming the humiliation has brought them below -100.
This treaty allows you to move your troops through the defeated country’s territory. Your ships can also use their ports.
The intent of this type of treaty is to cap the amount of military units a defeated enemy may produce. NB: There is substantial disagreement as to whether or not forced disarmament actually has any effect in the game, and whether this is intentional or not. Even if it does have an effect, nowhere has anyone been able to show to what extent the enemy’s military strength is reduced.
This treaty forces an enemy to pay to the victor of the war a certain amount of its monthly income for the extent of the agreement (three years). Depending on the size of the country, this can add up to a substantial amount.
This treaty will install a government loyal to you in the defeated country, bringing them into an equal position with any satellites you might have released during the game. Making a country your satellite effectively ends your ability to conquer them, as you will be allies, but you can always break the alliance and take them over.
Getting your core provinces by force-satelliting
One more thing to mention about satellites as a result of peace treaties: land acquisition. Looking on the diplomacy map, you may see that there are certain provinces which have dots on them when it is your country that is selected. These are provinces to which you have claims. For example, Prussia has claims to Karlsbad, a province of Austria; Sardinia-Piedmont has claims to all of Italy; France has claims on three provinces in Sardinia-Piedmont. When you satellite a country, all your claimed land goes over into your possession.
This means that, if you are playing as Sardinia-Piedmont for example, you can satellite The Papal States in a war and get all their land—except their capital, which will always remain in their hands in any peace treaty except for outright annexation.
General notes to peace negotiations
You cannot take claim buildings in peace treaties. To get colonial claims out of a war, you must take them yourself through outright occupation.
These treaties can be combined in any way, individually on in groups. But remember that each costs a certain amount of war score to demand.
Nationalism in newly conquered provinces
One more thing to keep in mind before going on a conquest spree: not only will conquering increase your Badboy, but the conquered provinces—even if you claim them or they are of your national culture—will try to revolt for the next ten years. There’s little to nothing you can do about that, just stick it out. Nationalism starts strong and gradually diminishes to disappear completely after ten years have passed.
Gaining prestige from wars
The main benefit of going to war for many players, over and above the seizure of land, is the prestige benefits incurred from a successful war. Even if you fail to take land from an enemy, a successful war will net your country a positive gain in prestige (though it will not necessarily be larger than that spend on the declaration).
Every province you annex from an uncivilized nation will yield 5 prestige points.
Annexing a single-province independent nation, e.g. El Salvador, will earn 30 prestige points.
Before undertaking expansionist wars, be sure you fully understand the ideas of Badboy and War Score, explained in “Other Concepts”.
Plurality, Consciousness, and Militancy
“To dine, drink champagne, raise a racket and make speeches about the people’s consciousness, the people’s conscience, freedom and so forth while servants in tails are scurrying around your table, just like serfs, and out in the severe cold on the street await coachmen—this is the same as lying to the holy spirit.”
Introduction to "the big three"
Herein are contained the three concepts of Plurality, Consciousness, and Militancy—three ideas so powerful and yet so complicated that they merit their own section. Here is my humble attempt at an explanation:
The first of the Big Three, Plurality is essentially defined as your population’s demand of and desire for social reforms and democracy. Think about it: even the name itself implies the meaning—the higher the level of personal input into a society, the higher the level of personal expectation from the government. This value—a percent visible in your country’s political screen—can be thought to stand for how Liberal your country is becoming.
Plurality and the next of the Big Three, Consciousness, are directly related. High Plurality causes the rate of Consciousness to increase and high Consciousness causes the rate of Plurality to increase, so letting either of the two get out of hand can cause a particularly nasty situation.
Plurality can be good for you
Plurality, though, is not necessarily a bad thing. First of all, as mentioned above, Plurality increases Consciousness, which for democratic governments is good because, as shown below, it makes your citizens vote more in line with their desires. So in high Consciousness democracies, the people will vote into power a government that actually represents them. Therefore, since acceptance of the government is a direct factor in the calculation of Militancy (see below), plurality in a democratic government decreases militancy, whereas plurality in an autocratic government increases it. For constitutional monarchies, plurality has no effect on militancy. High plurality also attracts immigrants to your country.
What to do about Plurality
But yes, Plurality on its own—and even cobbled with Consciousness when in an autocratic government—is bad, so what do you do about it? Unfortunately, there is little you can do to decrease plurality. Certain technologies, such as Ideological Thought, lead to inventions which either increase or decrease plurality depending on your form of government, but aside from this, all you can do is try to stem the rate of Plurality growth or reduce its effects.
First of all, keep in mind that if you switch to a democratic form of government, then your plurality can actually help make your citizens happier than they currently are. Second, realize that plurality also increases your Militancy in monarchies, but that the higher Plurality is, the more effective the Militancy-affecting Social Reforms get. So, if you have high Plurality, your health care and minimum wages (see section “Reforms”) will be more effective at mollifying your people.
Besides this, all you can do is try to stem the growth of Plurality. To do this, remember what is the main contributor to the growth of Plurality—Consciousness. Reducing the rate of Consciousness increase will help reduce the rate of Plurality increase. Read on to see how.
The second of the Big Three, Consciousness can be defined as your population’s ability to judge what is best for it. Consciousness is what allows segments of your population to see themselves as interest groups, band together, and try to gain a voice in government. If your POPs are not self-conscious, they cannot do this. The higher your population’s Consciousness, the better their political votes reflect their desires. This way, if your population is majority conservative, they are more likely to vote into power a conservative government than a liberal one, which can happen if Consciousness in very low. Overall, though, low Consciousness POPs tent to reelect the sitting government.
As mentioned above, Consciousness and Plurality are directly related, and the best way to keep Plurality from getting out of hand is to reduce Consciousness. There are several ways to go about this:
Effect of taxes on Consciousness
First, and foremost, taxes contribute immensely to Consciousness. POPs are content being taxed at thirty-three percent of their income. Any higher will lead to an increase in Consciousness directly proportional to the amount over, but place taxes lower than thirty-three percent and POPs will receive a negative Consciousness modifier. Taxes set at maximum produce a positive point sixty-seven Consciousness modifier, while taxes set at zero will produce a negative point thirty-three Consciousness modifier.
One note on this: because of the economic system running in the game, it is very hard to industrialize in the beginning without raising at least some taxes above thirty-three percent, thus increasing your Consciousness. If you must do this, it is recommended that you tax the middle and upper classes instead of the lower, as there are almost undoubtedly more of the lower class that the middle and upper, and the actual number that increases Plurality is your average, not total, Consciousness. Therefore, if ten percent of your population (the middle and upper class) have high Consciousness, while ninety percent (the lower classes) have almost none, your average Consciousness—and, by extension, your plurality—will be low. Keep in mind the negative aspects of consistent over taxation of the middle and upper classes, though.
Effect of clergymen on Consciousness
A second way to reduce Consciousness is through the use of Clergymen. A Clergyman in a state will reduce the Consciousness of all Farmer, Worker and Soldier POPs throughout that state, even if they are of different religions. This works because the game constructs religion as a social factor open to all classes, regardless of creed, color, or wealth. Therefore, religions utilized wisely in the game will prevent classes from discovering their own political identities, and thus becoming angry at the current government. Clergymen, though, do actually increase the Consciousness of Aristocrats, Capitalists, Clerks and Officers. The Consciousness effect is +/-0.25 per each Clergymen POP.
Effect of events on Consciousness
A third way to reduce Consciousness is through certain events. As most countries—and especially in democratic governments—random events will occur with titles like “Slavery Issues Hotly Debated in Missouri” or “Trade Issues Debated in Posen” (these events will appear during election campaigns; other events affecting Consciousness can appear outside of elections). The choices you have to resolve events such as these come with both Militancy and Consciousness modifiers. If possible, try to spread the modifiers over as wide a number of people as possible. Siding against one class repeatedly will make them so Conscious and Militant that they will revolt constantly. Caution: when choosing which groups to side with, remember that Consciousness will also affect how cognizant the groups are of the political demands, and events such as these can also modify Consciousness spread enough to lead to a change in government
Effect on Consciousness from funding reforms
Yet another way to reduce Consciousness is through over funding social reforms. Doing this creates a “Trust in Government” feeling among your POPs, where they feel certain that the government is watching out for their needs. Because they feel this way, they have less of a need to form their own political groups, and hence, lower Consciousness. There is a point zero one percent negative Consciousness modifier for each ten percent over fifty your government spends on the social reform budget. Over funding, however, is not always possible to do because, first, you may have a Laissez-Fair party in power (see section “Politics”) or it may be far to expensive.
The third of the Big Three, Militancy is simply a numerical value representing how likely your population is to revolt against your rule. Militancy is the bane of every new player, leading to massive headaches and frustrating games. When your entire country seems to hate you no matter what you do, there doesn’t seem to be much point in continuing the game. Understanding Militancy helps prevent this.
As mentioned above, Militancy is directly related to Plurality and Consciousness. Under autocratic forms of government, Militancy is increased by Plurality and Consciousness; under democratic forms of government, Militancy is reduced by Plurality and Consciousness. The degree to which Plurality modifies Militancy cannot be better explained than it was by Carligula in his excellent treatise on the subject:
The mathematics of it
The exact degree to which it does this is determined, once again, by your population's average consciousness, subject to hard caps. If all your POPs have consciousness = 10, and plurality is 100%, militancy will have a plurality modifier of +0.40 in a monarchy and -0.20 in a democracy. If average consciousness = 5 and plurality is 50%, the numbers would be +0.25 and -0.20. Militancy increases from plurality in a non-democracy are capped at 0.40; militancy decreases from plurality in a democracy are capped at -0.20.
Constitutional monarchies fall between monarchies and democracies in the effect of plurality. In constitutional monarchies, plurality neither increases nor decreases militancy.
Using the revolt-risk mapmode
Militancy can be seen directly in three ways. The first is on the Revoltrisk map (see section “The Map”). When in this view, any provinces that have POPs likely to revolt will appear in red.
Using the province overview screen
The second way to see Militancy is to actually click on the provinces themselves. Doing this brings up the province information screen, at the bottom of which is a box listing the form of crime and chance of revolt in the province. The percentage chance that appears here is the chance, per day, that a POP in the province will revolt against you, so, though a three-and-a-half percent revolt risk doesn’t seem like much, remember that that chance is played each day, and a about one day per second, the revolts can quickly build up to an intolerable level.
Using the POP details screen
The third way to see Militancy is in the information screens for the individual POPs themselves. To see this, open up a particular province screen, select the population button, and then click on a specific POP. Here you can see what goods, specifically, this POP desires and whether or not it is getting them. Now hold the mouse over the information displayed on Consciousness and the like. This should open a popup window showing all the factors contributing to the overall Militancy and Consciousness of the POP. This information can be vital in locating common factors in rising Militancy and Consciousness.
Understanding any one of these three concepts hinges on understanding the other two. A whole manual could be written on these three ideas alone, and there is nowhere near enough room in this work to go over all the effects these concepts have on game play. As with any other idea, the only way to truly grasp them is to play and watch how they work. If you master these three concepts and their relationships to one another, controlling your POPs, and through them your society at large, will be simple, and your government—whatever its form—can continue to exist peacefully until the end of the game. Whatever you do, do not make the mistake of ignoring these concepts—it will come back to haunt you.
“Unexplained, obscure matters are regarded as more important than explained, clear ones.”
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.
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.
- You gain two points for each province taken from a civilized nation in a colonial war.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
“We will now discuss, in a little more detail, the Struggle for Existence.”
Introduction to technology and research
In Victoria, research and the technologies it brings is crucial to a successful game. Military technologies can give you an edge over your enemies in war; cultural technologies can load you up with tremendous prestige; and industrial technologies help you produce more, better, faster.
Each technology researched usually yields immediate benefits (such as the ability to build a higher level of railroad or a better kind of musket).
Further, many technologies open the possibility of inventions. These appear as popup event screens, letting the player know that something has been built. For example, discovering the technology Combustion Engine is the prerequisite for the individual invention called “Daimler’s Automobile” which allows the construction of automobile factories. Another example: the discovery of the technology Interchangeable Parts allows for the discovery of the invention “Precision Work”, which allows the construction of machine parts factories.
The speed at which inventions follow the requisite technologies depends on your prestige, but many inventions do not become available until a specific date after the game has begun, even if you discover the technology that triggers them early.
There are five areas of research in Victoria: Army, Navy, Commerce, Industry, and Culture. Each yields discoveries in its own field, and in no others, although certain technologies in one field can be required to unlock those in others. There are twenty-five technologies in each category, grouped into five subfields per area.
Most civilized countries start out with several technologies already discovered, though the specific ones vary by the country. Uncivilized countries start off far behind, hence the term “uncivilized”.
The rate at which you discover technologies depends on your rate of research point accumulation. Research points represent the strength of the intellectual establishment of your country and the rate at which it comes up with new ideas.
Effect of education spending on RP accumulation
The number of research points you get is dependent on several things. First, the higher your education spending, the more research points you accumulate. Education spending determines how much money the government feeds into research, and the more money the scientists get, the more they produce.
Effect of literacy on RP accumulation
Second, research point accumulation depends on your literacy rate. The higher your literacy rate, the more people can contribute to scientific development. If you keep education spending at fifty percent exactly, your literacy rate will remain steady. Put the education spending below fifty percent and your literacy will slowly drop; put it above, and it will slowly increase. The rate of increase or decrease depends on how far above or below fifty percent the slider is.
Effect of POPs on RP accumulation
Third, the number of Research Points you accumulate depends on the number of research-producing POPs in your country. These are Clergymen and Clerks. Both produce Research Points, on top of the other benefits they yield (see POPs).
But only Clerks remain the best producers of Research Points until the end of the game — Clergymen become slightly worse after the discovery of an invention called “Darwinism” that comes as a result of researching the technology called Biologism, in the culture field. When “Darwinism” is invented, Clergymen have their scientific output reduced by twenty five percent, while clerks have their output increased by twenty five percent to compensate. To take advantage of this, you can convert few to no Clergymen during the game while simultaneously creating large numbers of clerks (who, remember, have uses other than as researchers). When “Darwinism” is invented, it is not unheard of for the rate of Research Point accumulation to considerably increase.
The number of Research Points necessary to complete the technology is dependent on your country’s National Value. If it's Order, army and navy techs take 90% of cost in RP's and time to finish; if it's Liberty, the same applies to commerce, industry and culture. If it's Equality, all fields cost the full amount (but social reforms become more effective for those nations).
Time-limits on research
Each technology requires an input of research points before it can be discovered, but this is not the only requirement. Most technologies also have a minimum research time of one year. No technology can be discovered earlier than one calendar year after it has been assigned, no matter how many research points you have accumulated. The most advanced technologies have their cost in RPs increased as well as researching time.
Getting the most from your research points
Because of this, there is obviously a threshold at which you will produce exactly ten Research Points per year, and beyond which you will be accumulating spare Research Points. You can use these extras to trade technologies with other countries. You will need those extra points because for each newly received technology in a trade you lose Research Points. This loss represents the reverse engineering your scientists will have to do in order to incorporate the traded technology into your system.
The other factor to keep in mind when researching is your Intellectual Establishment. This represents the focus of the leading scientific figures of your nation. Different establishments have different foci, and can be useful for making up a serious deficiency in one area. There are six Intellectual Establishments from which you can choose:
- Traditional Academic Circle
- This is the normal, standard establishment. It gives one research opportunity in each of the five areas of research.
- Army-Industrial Complex
- Focuses on the army side of the military. This gives three army, one industrial, and one random research opportunity.
- Naval-Industrial Complex
- Focuses on the naval side of the military. This gives three naval, one industrial, and one random research opportunity.
- Industrialist-Science Factory
- Focuses on industrial development and economic strength. This gives three industrial, one commercial, and one random research opportunity.
- Banker-Science Factory
- Focuses on commercial development and economic strength. This gives three commercial, one industrial, and one random research opportunity.
- Radical Academic Circle
- Focuses on cultural development. This gives three cultural and two random research opportunities.
Changing intellectual establishments
You can change Intellectual Establishments at will and as frequently as you want, but note that you cannot choose what it will change to, and each time you change you will lose ten prestige points. Therefore, changing Intellectual Establishments is only worthwhile if you have prestige to waste looking for the right one and if you have a very serious deficiency in one specific area. Remember, once you make up that deficiency, you will have to change back to something else.
“If Germany is to become a colonising power, all I say is, ‘God speed her!’ She becomes our ally and partner in the execution of the great purposes of Providence for the advantage of mankind.”
Introduction to colonization
Colonies are an important part of Victoria. They were the way in which the great nations of the era expanded their hard power overseas, and those nations which sought to become great powers—Germany, Japan, the United States—did so through acquiring colonies.
The colonial system is structured around four building types:
- Missions were supposed to be a way of spreading your country’s religion to the people of the region you are colonising, but no-one has seen any evidence that it works this way.
- Trading Posts
- These were supposed to allow you to immediately begin using some of the resource in the province that contains the post, but no-one has seen any evidence that you get any resources.
- Colonial Fortresses
- These are just special types of fortifications. They can be used by your troops when defending the province, but they also increase native aggression.
- Coaling Stations
- Upon completion, a Coaling Station creates a port at which your ships may dock, something which otherwise would not occur until you had claimed the province. However, since all ships have unlimited range, the port provided by a coaling station has more use as a simpler way of unloading troops into a province.
All building types cost five thousand pounds, one leadership point, 0.5 machine part, and some other resources, different for each building. The inventions that affect cost of factories apply here as well as described in Industrial_Overview. The construction time for all colonial buildings is three years. You can build your claims only in provinces that are not currently being claimed by someone else and to which you have access (the province is coastal or borders one of your completed claims).
In Victoria, colonies can only be claimed at the state level (for distinction between a province and a state, look at section “The Map”). There are two ways to claim a colony:
Claiming when you have all buildings in a colony
First, if you have your claim buildings in every province of a state, and they have all finished construction, then you may claim the colony. In this situation, the type of building does not matter. All the buildings could be Missions, but as long as all the provinces have been secured by you, you can claim the entire colony.
Claiming when you don't have all buildings in a colony
The second form of claim is more complex. If you have constructed all four types of buildings in a colony, then it is possible for you to claim it, but only if all the other provinces in the state have been claimed by somebody. It does not matter who the other claimant is; as long as you have build a Mission, a Trading Post, a Colonial Fortress, and a Coaling Station, and as long as all the other provinces have completed colonial buildings in them, you can claim the colony for yourself. In a non-coastal colonies, you don't need the coaling station; just the other three.
This second form of claiming colonies provides several benefits to calculating players:
- You can quickly place your four buildings in a large state, wait a few decades for the others to be filled by various aspiring colonial powers, and then claim the whole thing. Or,
- You can build your four buildings for yourself, as well as several extra Missions or Trading Posts, and then sell the extras to other countries for provinces or large amounts of cash. (This is considered an exploit by some, since the AI doesn't check whether the claim you offer will do it any good.) Then, assuming you have retained the original four buildings, you can claim the colony anyway. Given the high going price of colonial buildings, you can rack up quite a fortune with this tactic.
Note that both types of colony claim require that each province in the state has a completed colony building. This often causes confusion, so it's worth repeating : You cannot claim a colony until all the provinces of the state have a colony building in them. When this is true, you can claim the colony if a) you own all the colony buildings or b) you own one of each type.
Prestige gain from claiming colonies
Claiming colonies is important mostly because it yields a high amount of prestige. The amount you get is proportional to the number of provinces of the claimed colony: the larger the colony, the more prestige it gives when claimed.
Colonies as a source for manpower
Colonies are also good sources of manpower. As you continue to industrialise, the population of your home country available to be used as soldiers becomes smaller. This can be supplemented by colonial manpower. Troops produced here have “Native” status (see section “The Military”), but this can easily be overcome by strength of numbers or talented generals.
Granting statehood to colonies
Keep in mind, though, that unlike provinces in your home country or provinces taken from other civilised countries, colonies cannot be granted statehood immediately. Only when they have been granted statehood can they be used for industry, but they can be used for military production immediately after being claimed. You can grant statehood if at least one of the coditions are met:
- the colony lies on the same continent as your capital,
- your national culture is a majority in at least one of the provinces in the colony.
The second condition can be fulfilled by migration of your national cultures to colonies. Only long range cultures can migrate further than a few provinces so countries with a short range national culture are penalized in ability to grant statehood around the world. Most long range cultures belong to european countries that made colonization historically. Short range cultures usually belong to countries that are either former colonies or uncivilized.
Curiously, if an uncivilized nation takes a region from a civilized nation, that region will lose its statehood. Uncivilized nations don't declare war, but if war is declared upon them and they win, normally with help from a civilized ally, then the uncivilized nation can seize provinces which then lose statehood.
"Italy is only a geographical expression."
-Klemens von Metternich
How do I unify Italy?
Only Sardinia-Piedmont, the Papal States or the Two Sicilies are able to unify Italy. Other minors can conquer the penisula but after that Italy will not form. There is a very complicated event chain for France that decides which of the three will get the French support in the Italian Question. The events in that chain are random but Sardinia-Piedmont has slightly higher chance of getting the support than the remaining two. The support deciding event may appear around 1858 at the earliest. Then the chosen country gets an option to start unification war or to drop the matter. If the first option is taken ("Unify or Die") the country is put to war with all the minors and often with Austria too but gets France as an ally and ten infantry divisions. Other italian countries get an event "Rapid Loss of Authority" that lowers army reliability making it easier to beat them. When all six provinces (Parma, Modena, Massa, Firenze, Torino, Naples and Rome - six of the seven listed here besides the country's capital) are occupied "The Birth of Italy" event will fire ending the unification chain. You will inherit all the remaining italian minors and later get an option to move the capital to Rome. You don't necessarily need to own the provinces, just controlling them is enough.
The chain sometimes doesn't work properly so since 1.03 there is also a way to unify Italy without French intervention. To do this, simply occupy all the necessary provinces in war, just as in the unification chain, and an event will fire creating Italy. This is propably the easiest and the fastest way to unify and it's available right from the beginning.
How do I unify Germany?
- Main article: Unifying Germany
Only Prussia is capable of creating Germany. There are four ways to create Germany, but only three to unite it (excluding outright conquest). For more information please visit the German Unification Guide.
Note that Darkrenown has made a mod that fixes the bugs/problems with how the German unification is set up in Vanilla Vicky.
The Three Hurrahs
The first is the historical route. The only requirement is that you (or some of your allies) control Paris in 1870 or later. It doesn't matter whether you declare war manually or the war is triggered by event. The Three Hurrahs event itself creates Germany and gives 200 prestige. Then German states are offered to join you (they do get a 5% chance to refuse) and France cedes Alsace-Lorraine, as well as German posessions if it has any (basicly all German cores). This, again, is the historical route. Do some research on Bismarck, copy what he did and it should all work out for you.
The proposal of the Frankfurt Assembly
Of all ahistorical ways to unify this is the most historical route. If you are a monarchy and not at war with Frankfurt-am-Main on 2nd July 1849, you get an option to create Germany. This transforms you into a liberal constitutional monarchy but at a hefty prestige hit. North German Federation and South German Federation are created, made satellite of Germany and Austria respectively and German states are offered to join NGF or SGF respectively (they get a 5% chance to refuse). After that you can either conquer them or wait for the Three Hurrahs to unify.
The Conservative Empire
The second ahistorical way to unify Germany is through The Conservative Empire event. As any player playing a German state will know, there are substantial 1848 revolutions in the region. The event might trigger in the second half of 1850. If by that time all of the German states have remained monarchies or constitutional monarchies, then it will unify them in a sort of conservative empire dedicated to preventing liberalism from infecting their governments. There are some additional requirements that need to be met but even then there is only around 1 in 4 chance that the event will trigger at all. These requirements are:
- you must have more prestige than Austria, Hannover and Bavaria
- you must have a stronger army than Austria
- you must be a great power
Though you cannot directly influence the government type of nations without making them your satellites, you can station your troops in the German states' territories, thus protecting them from liberal rebels, or you can send your troops as expeditionary forces. Furthermore, you can always conquer any states that manage to become democracies despite your efforts.
Once the event triggers and you become Germany, other German states are offered to join you (they get a 5% chance to refuse).
Finally, there is the Popular Unification. If by the end of 1851, as a result of the revolutions of 1848 or through natural progression, all of the German states are democracies or constitutional monarchies, an event will fire where the people demand and vote into power a unified German government. This event turns you into a democratic Germany with equality national value and other German states are offered to join you (they get a 5% chance to refuse). This is quite similar to The Conservative Empire route only that, obviously, the resulting government is different and the event is sure to trigger once the conditions are met (which may be a problem in itself - it is very unlikely that all required countries get a revolution).
What makes this method so unique is that it may include Austria in unification. If Hungary exists and Austria is not at war with Germany, they get an option (again, they get a 5% chance to refuse) to join Germany as well. The only problem is that despite an event helping Hungary to form during the revolutions of 1848, they are unlikely to do so without the help of the player. If Austria says yes, the country created will be a powerhouse, although BB could be a problem.
Of the three unifications in Victoria this is the one that didn't happen in real life history so it's the least probable. Only Denmark and Sweden are able to unify Scandinavia. The unification chain revolves around the conflict for Slesvig. An event "The Slesvig Question" can trigger (from 1847 to 1860) that gives a choice to keep that province or hand it over. Then Sweden gets an option to back Denmark in the war with German states. But only a full support ("Scandinavist Surge") leads to unification later. After that Prussia and Austria decide if they want to start war. That war can be crippling for a small country like Denmark, even with the support from Sweden. The war needs to be ended in a normal way.
If Denmark still owns Slesvig (by surviving the war or if the first part of the chain got interrupted at some point) an event "The German-Danish Crisis" may trigger (from 1863 to 1870) giving a similar choice as earlier, but it can be avoided as long as Denmark is a monarchy. If Denmark decides to keep Slesvig, Sweden gets an option to back Denmark in the war with the German states. Again only a full support ("Scandinavist Surge") leads to unification later. After that Prussia and Austria decide if they want to start war, but the chances they will back down are significantly lower this time. The war needs to be ended in a normal way.
The final set of events in that chain concerns unification itself. "The Scandinavian Union" may trigger after 1863. The conditions for that are: Denmark, Sweden and Prussia/Germany may not be at war with each other, relations between Denmark and Sweden must be over 100, Sweden must choose "Scandinavist Surge" in at least one of the previous conflicts and both countries must own some of their starting provinces. Then the country with greater prestige gets an option to create the union and when the second country agrees to join, it is inherited and Scandinavia is created. Additionaly the unifying country gets all Scandinavian cultures.
I'm playing as an uncivilized country. How do I become civilized?
- Main article: How to bring civilization to the uncivilized
As of 1.03 and 1.04, the way to become civilized is amassing each type of point. Once you have built up one hundred prestige points, fifty industrial points, and at least ten military points, you will become civilized and be able to really play with the big dogs.
Of all these requirements, achieving the ten military points tends to be the most difficult for uncivilized nations. This is because irregulars, which are the only units an uncivilized country can build, are given so little of a weight in the point system.
Also, three nations - Japan, China, and Persia - have event chains that, if followed correctly, lead to civilized status by the end of the game.
In Victoria:Revolutions, the following inventions have to be available as well: Army Professionalism, Naval Professionalism, Market Structure, Ad-Hoc money bill printing, Early railway. Also, the invention "Ministerial Government" must have been triggered.
What country should I play as?
For beginners, Belgium is often suggested as a good starting country. It is small, rich and is in a good position to observe how the European system works. It is also very easy to manage, as long as your goals are not too ambitious. Brazil is also suggested. South America's relative isolation, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, provides the ideal sandbox for new players. There is also a wonderful guide for new players specifically for Brazil available on the forums.
Large empires like the United Kingdom and Russia should be avoided. They are organizational nightmares even for experienced players. Prussia, France, Austria, and Sardinia-Piedmont tend to have too many scripted events to provide a new player with a good feel for how to run the game. But if you're feeling ambitious, go for it anyway, or you can try the United States.
One other option is to play a handsoff game. This means a game where you turn off the autosave, set the speed up, turn off fog of war and just watch the map change colors as people get conquered. It's a good way to get a feeling for how the AI plays the game. Good handsoff countries are Hawaii, Liberia, and Bali.
What factories should I build?
That depends on where in the game you are. Towards the beginning, you ought to focus on two things: first, getting a steady supply of vital resources (ie. steel, lumber, cement), and second, producing cash industries to run your economy (steel, clothing, furniture). The cash-producing industries tend to be much more expensive and harder to maintain, as well as requiring a larger supply of refined goods. Basically, as of 1.03, steel seems to be a safe way to go. It's always in demand on the world market, it's cheap to build in terms of machine parts, and it's necessary for internal infrastructure developments.
Make sure to ration your machine parts if you can, because once you have a basic-level industry, you should look at the factories the game starts you with. Depending on these, you can choose what fields of production (furniture, clothing, arms, foodstuffs, etc) you want to enter into. Just make sure you keep the production chains in mind when constructing factories. Just because luxury clothing costs a lot on the world market doesn't mean you can just build a factory and churn it out (for a detailed description of the production chain, see the fold-out chart that came packaged with the game).
Why can't I get any machine parts (or anything else) off the world market?
Purchases off the world market are made in order of prestige. If you're having trouble getting goods off the world marketÃÂÃÂand you're sure the commodity is for sale try claiming a colony somewhere to boost your prestige.
For machine parts in particular this goes double. There is only one country in the world that can produce machine parts at the beginning of the game;ÃÂÃÂGreat Britain. It will offer these first to the highest prestige player, and then only if it doesn't use them itself. If you are fifth or even fourth down the prestige line, expect to have a very tough time getting your hands on machine parts until the 1850s roll around. About then the discoveries will be made allowing you to build your own machine parts factories, assuming you have discovered Interchangeable Parts.
Also, see Machine Parts 101
The American Civil War
This is an attempt at explaining the conditions and various paths that can lead to the American Civil War.
First, the CSA must secede; there are a number of ways that can happen:
- If you don't choose "Pro-South" in the "Compromise of 1850"-event, and follow it up by choosing "Free States" in the "Kansas-Nebraska"-event that follows, there is a 25% chance that the CSA will secede on Jun 12th 1854. You will have the option of avoiding it.
- Following any variety of the "Kansas-Nebraska"-event, the "Republicans"-party will come into existence in July 1854. If you experience the "Bleeding Kansas"-event in February 1856 (which you must, since there is no random chance for it), and have the Republicans in power in December 1860, the CSA will secede on December 20th 1860.
- If you find yourself facing possible New England secession, but choose "reconciliation" in those events, there is a 50% chance the CSA will secede on December 20th 1860.
If the CSA secedes, the USA is given the choice of accepting it (at the loss of 200 prestige), or declaring war on the CSA. If the USA accepts CSA secession and doesn't start a war, the CSA will remain very small, only encompassing South Carolina. The other states will only join the CSA if USA and CSA are at war. Be aware, though, that if there is no civil war the slaves in the USA will not be freed. When freed, they are converted to Laborers, which are then possible to convert into factory workers. Slaves, on the other hand, are not convertible. Even if there is war, you might still not get the "Reconstruction"-event which frees the slaves (among other things), since the triggers for the event seem to be "buggy".
Note that VIP has redone all this, making the event-chains leading up to the southern secession and possible ACW more flexible and robust. Definitely worth checking out, especially if the vanilla ACW is bugging you.
Can I avoid the Liberal Revolution?
Yes; again, most historical events are avoidable in Victoria depending on what choices you make. As of 1.03, the Liberal Revolution can be entirely avoided in several ways:
- You have an (anarcho-)liberal government in power.
- You are a democracy.
- You allow "socialist" or "all" trade unions.
- You have voting rights set to "wealth" or "suffrage".
- Your press rights aren't "state press only" AND your party rights aren't "none allowed".
As long as you have at least one of these conditions met, you won't get the revolution. At the very least, try to avoid the liberal revolution till Feb 21st 1850, since that's the earliest date that the event that ends it will fire.
But be aware that, if you are playing as Prussia, there is a nasty Counterrevolution event that will fire if you have converted Prussia into anything other than a pure monarchy. Unlike the Liberal Revolution, the Counterrevolution does not have an end date where the Militancy and Consciousness settings revert to their original levels, though the event itself cannot occur after 1851.
Can I avoid the Socialist Revolution?
After February 21st 1890, you can get "The Socialist Revolution", an event that raises the CON and MIL of your lower-classed POPs and gives you a hefty plurality boost (35%).
However, it is possible to steer clear of those pesky commies. If one of the following is true, you'll avoid it:
- You have a socialist or communist party in power.
- You are running a proletarian dictatorship (sort of makes it moot with a socialist revolution, tho ;))
- You allow all trade unions
- Your voting rights are set to "suffrage"
- "Political parties" is set to "right to ban" at the same time as "press rights" is set to "free press".
The danger of a socialist revolution lasts till the game ends in 1920.
How do I get a colony to become a state?
Colonies function just like any other states in Victoria. The only way you can grant the state statehood is if at least one of the provinces in it has a population whose majority group is your National Culture or the colony is on the same continent as your capital (Note: this does not just mean that there is a land connection. Russia, for example, will not be automatically able to grant statehood to Kazakhstan. This is because St. Petersburg, Russia's capital, is in Europe, while Kazakhstan is in Asia). Getting your colony to have a majority population of your national culture will only happen through emigration from your home country. The issue can be forced by leaving Farmer or Laborer POPs unemployed in the motherland while expanding the RGOs in the colony, thus creating an incentive for the out-of-work Farmers and Laborers to go to the colonies. Of course, there's always the chance they'll just go to another country instead.
What is the ledger, where is it, and why should I use it?
The ledger is your key to understanding the world in thirty seconds. The ledger contains many screens worth of data, telling you everything from the number of factories in a country to the number of cavalry divisions in its army to the progress they have made in cultural technologies. Literally everything you want to see about another country can be found here. The ledger can be opened by clicking on the second button from the left at the very bottom of the main task window, right beside the Options button. It can also be opened by pressing F6.
The ledger is descibed in more detail in Guide to the Ledger.
Why can't my pops afford all their needs?
You're probably taxing them too much, the more money you take from them the less they have to spend on themselves. In the early game many pops cannot afford all their goods even when they are untaxed, there just aren't enough being produced worldwide and the price is too high. However, note that upper and lower class may never be able to afford all their goods due to the expensive tastes of the former and low income of the latter.