Azure Three Bezants: Workers and Peasants

We have fought for the God of our Fathers. We have struggled for Dominion over Palm and Pine. Six centuries of combat, and what has been the use? Countless human lives lost, yet the Wicked Warden of the West spreads his dominion over the world, as softly as falling snow and as resistlessly. Prayer has failed, commerce has failed, monarchy has failed, republicanism has failed. But we do not despair. There are means yet untried; in this new century we will turn our trust to Reeking Tube and Iron Shard, and try to win by steam and rail what musket and pike failed to do.

This megacampaign has converted to Victoria! World maps in EU4:

EU4 map

and Victoria:

Victoria map

A colourful description of the players (some of them now gone) is here. The game has, to this point, been dominated by England, also known as the Wicked Wardenate of the West. However, the English player is known to be weaker mechanically in Victoria than he is in CK and EU4; it remains to be seen whether the momentum of the first two games will carry him through the era of industrialisation to come out a world power in 1936. It does seem possible that the sheer size of Fox, in North America; or Germany; or the Indian power formally called Peshawar but universally referred to as War, will force a reconsideration of just who is hegemon around here.

However that turns out, Venice is currently not in the running. In 1836 I am at war with Byzantium, largely because just building stuff got a bit boring in the last EU4 session. In our first session, played on the 14th, I mopped the floor with the Byzantine AI as Blayne was unable to be present; unfortunately the Byzantine peace rules of Victoria prevented me from making off with more than three states. For reasons I shall shortly outline, there will be a rematch on the 21st, perhaps against somewhat more formidable opposition.

To create some uncertainty and avoid everyone knowing exactly what regions they need to annex to have coal, we added a custom feature to the EU4 -> Victoria conversion: We scrambled some (not all) of the province resources. Thus everyone gets some coal – for example Ferrara in Italy now produces the black gold. However, in writing the scrambler we neglected to consider the difference between workers and peasants. In particular, the workers are the only truly revolutionary class – no, wait, wrong difference. In particular, Victoria’s engine requires labourers to go in coal mines; if you have farmers, they won’t produce anything. And the scrambler didn’t move the POPs around nor change their type, so Ferrara initially produced exactly zero coal. No, literally. Throughput 0. By the time I became aware of the problem some of the farmers had converted and were actually working, so the production was about 0.08 units a day; but as a basis for running a world-spanning trading empire, it wasn’t quite the thing. Testing during the week confirmed the problem; the GM listened to my appeal, and issued a Vermilion Rescript, majestic in the simplicity of its language and the justice of its verdict:

Rollback is a go.

The scrambler has been repaired (thanks oddman!) and when I re-fight the Balkan War (as I have named it for the location of most of the fighting) I might actually have a functioning economy. (Modulo starting with a laissez-faire party in charge. But testing indicates that I can get to interventionism in one election, and that should tide me over until the first reactionary rising; then it will be no more Mister Oligarchic Republic, we’re restoring the Principate.) Then again, so will my opponent.

A new era, and all the world in play; old certainties shaken, and room for an agile nation with the second navy in the world to make some room for itself. Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet!

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Filed under Azure Three Bezants, Recessional, Reeking Tube and Iron Shard

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