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May 11, 2017

Do you care about others? Do you worry about how the rest of the world perceives you? Are you content with your current land holdings & the size of your "fortune"? If you answered yes, to any of these then this is not the place for you. If however you wish to hold power over more lives than you ever have before - read on!


Welcome to what is I think one of the most complete early 4X games – Frog City Software’s Imperialism II.

It is I think the best turn-based strategy / 4X game until Civ IV & EU 4 were later released.

It has a heavy primary focus on the economic aspect of running an empire, where you can direct your civilian workforce to build different refined resources, refined resources built from basic resources that your empires transportation network has brought back to your capital.

Unlike many other 4X games (even today, let alone 20 years ago) you can not build new units for cash, you have to have the correct resources to build a unit as well as the food supply available to sustain both your armed forces as well as civilian population!

The game itself starts at 1500, right at the beginning of the great age of exploration, a chance for all the great nations of Europe to stake a claim in the New World, with the aim of owning over half the provinces (available in game) of the Old World. If no one owns over half, at the game end, whoever owns more, will be triumphant.

We will of course be flying the flag high as the English in this particular LP (if there is extreme interest we may explore other, lesser nations as well), as after all, its not exploitation of natives if they have something you want!

Welcome to my first LP here, and it will be told in a narrative style, with input available for voting on several matters, which will become increasingly important after the first 30 or so turns.

I will attempt to explain in due course as we go through the game any queries people have to make more informed decisions when voting, and the more audience interaction the better!


The Great & Glorious English Empire

Chapter 1: 1500-1520, A First Step

stimpius fucked around with this message at 17:19 on Jul 29, 2021


May 11, 2017

Chapter 1: 1500-1520, A First Step

A History of Europe, 1500 onwards by J F Talreith

The year is 1500, there are no real wars engulfing the continent, and rules of great nations have started to turn their gaze Westward. Rumours have started to reach the courts of all the great nations of a New World. A New Land, unexplored, filled with riches beyond anything that you could dream of. Riches that would enhance the coffers and reputations of anyone bold enough to stake a claim.

These swollen coffers would then be used for the great nations of Europe to barter, beg, steal & conquer their way through Europe until it is as we would recognise it today.

We will first study the impact of the English and how their reforged and re-invigorated nation shaped not just Europe at the time but the world as we see it today!

Henry VII currently sits the throne, 15 years have passed since the end of the Wars of the Roses and the generation born immediately after the conclusion of this bloody civil conflict are starting to come of majority.

As it stands, the English hold a few minor advantages over other Great Nations. They have easy access to Iron Ore, Horse Pastures as well as plentiful Sheep Hills. In addition there are 2 minor nations not only within easy striking distance, but that should be uncontested from other great nations. They do have a major glaring drawback however, there is a lack of any real copper deposits within the England main, meaning they have no means of manufacturing Bronze as it stands.

As you can see from this map, in 1500 there are the monstrously large nations of Spain & France, sandwiched between Portugal, The Netherlands and then Sweden is outside of the rest of Europe as a whole. Thankfully for the English, all nations at this time are coming out of either a war, an upheaval in society or other major events, which means that no nations have any real manufacturing prowess outside of the capital province. This is something which the King Henry VII intends to change as soon as possible.

He swiftly issued orders to both the newly founded Royal Engineer Corps as well as the Household Building Corps to start building a road network out towards Wales and then North to Cumbria to ensure that there was a plentiful supply of both iron ore and timber for refining into Cast Iron & Lumber for future building projects. Unfortunately for the hapless Cartographers Guild, the entire nation was already fully explored, so they were sent down to Cornwall to watch the seagulls and reminiscence about life a bit more.

Upon further inspection, the current state of Englands transport network was really quite poor. There was barely enough food for the current combined civilian and military complement across the entire Kingdom, (which lets be real, was basically the London province and royal demesne right now) and only enough resources to be gathered every 2 years for half a unit of Fabric and half a unit of Lumber to be generated by the manufacturing work force.

Thankfully, there was a stockpile of both raw goods and manufactured goods to give his grand ambitions a kick start, he currently could call upon enough civilians to manufacture finished goods of a reliable standard to generate 1 lumber and 1 cast iron every two years. In addition he spent the stockpiled fabric making clothes and accoutrements to recruit enough “skilled” workforce (although by modern standards you wouldn’t even call them apprentices) so that he could ensure the kingdom started generating more fabric, to make more clothes to recruit yet more of a workforce.

England had long since been the centre of higher learning in the whole of Europe, not only by now the world famous Oxford University, as well as its lesser counterpart in Cambridge, but also because the grand University at Paris had in recent years started to produce fewer and fewer world class minds. This meant that the English had an opportunity to exploit, a chance to focus their collective minds on new research, along with longer term ambitions. Henry set two such ambitions – to be the first nation in Europe that could field horse drawn artillery – meaning quicker, more manoeuvrable cannons as opposed to large lumbering heavy beasts that took 3 days to set up before you could fire. In addition he wanted more universities, if after all 2 was good, more could only be better.

Finally he cast his eye over the currently arrayed forces that the English could muster. They could go toe to toe in open combat against any of the other Great Nations armies, but could most certainly not win a siege. He was content with the forces for now but knew that he would be required to build up a more militarised presence before long, or the other Great Nations would be able to smell blood in the water.

Time continued its march onwards, as it is want to do, and Henry found news from around the rest of Europe, not so much troubling as humours. The other Great Nations had spent a fortune, up to 1,500 ducats of their coffers in building relations with the Minor Nations throughout Europe. Sure this could confer benefits in 100 years or so, but right now? Right now Henry is clearly of the opinion that there is better things for him to spend the English Crown’s money on.

We jump ahead now dear reader to 1520. Henry VII had passed in 1509, and his son Henry VIII took his place upon the throne. The great projects his father had started were progressing, the first iron mines had been connected to the transportation network of the Capital, as well as research continuing abreast for both lighter cannons as well as more centres for learning. However, this is not what Henry’s reign would be about. Henry’s reign dear readers, was punctuated by not only arguably the single greatest accomplishment of an English King to date, but of any European monarch to date. Not only had his navy discovered a New World, filled with untold wonders and riches, but had actually conquered the first piece of this land from those filthy savages that claimed the land was their own!

There was even better news however! The land held the one resource which England desperately needed but she had none of in her own lands to begin with – copper. The elusive metal with which to make Bronze, Bronze that could be forged to make cannons and muskets to equip our military units with.

The only question was, how would the English ensure they could transport this home safely.


The Grand Council:

Henry has called his Grand Council for several important matters, whilst his vote was final, he could not afford to have the nobility turn against him.

He wanted to know the nobilities thoughts on several over-riding policies:

1. Policy towards The New World:

A. Do the English - exploit massivley, constantly engaging forces that can be defeated, to the detriment of the home transport network, and with the knowledge that if we overextend other Great Nations will simply smash us and take what they want.
B. An attempted balanced approach, we develop both the home network and the New World equally, conquering what we can hold, without overextending.
C. A full development of the home network whilst ignoring the New World entirely now we have a foothold.

2. Policy towards Minor Nations:

A. Do we invade as soon as we are able (3-4 light artillery) and take what we want by force, adding first Scotland then Ireland to our home transportation network?
B. Do we invade, but when we have overwhelming force, to beat off other Great Nations (more likely 8 light artillery minimum)
C. Do we not invade, and instead set up diplomatic ties, and attempt to "buy" the Minor Nations (Minor Nations can choose to defect, giving their provinces and most impotantly their forts to whichever Great Nation they have the best relations with at that point)

3. Policy towards Research:

Research is cheaper when other nations have already discovered it, but you have to wait for that nation to have the tech, so can be 10-12 turns behind minimum.

A. Should England be at the cutting edge of research once Henry VIIs grand research plans have come to an end?
B. Should England follow a single other Great Nation and commit to a research project when 1-2 other nations have completed it?
C. Should England only research new technology to use, when at least 3 other Great Nations already have that technology.

stimpius fucked around with this message at 17:29 on Jul 29, 2021

May 11, 2017

This chapter covers quite an extensive period of the formative history of both Europe and the Greater English Empire.

Our contemporary records show that Henry VIII convened the first and only Grand Council of his entire lifetime, collecting thoughts from the greatest nobles in the land, with regards to three key elements of the policies of England at that point in its history.

It is no exaggeration to say that these talks took place over 3 days, with no clear result being favoured, but with his own vote helping to swing the pendulm, it resulted in England almost going entirely down the middle pathway, the pragmatic pathway, and he knew that these plans could take the best part of a century to succeed. Even when the engineers would be able to display his fathers great project – that of light artillery, as well as a balanced approach to developing both the New World and the Old World, it was likely that England’s power would be overtaken in both, slightly. This would of course be rectified by the end of the century.

A map depicting the “extent” of Englands industry in 1520;

England was still developing its iron mines & lumber mills. Each Iron mine produced enough raw iron to be used in half of a construction project every 2 years
(You need x2 raw resources to generate x1 finished resources, trees = lumber, iron ore = cast iron, sheep = fabric & 1 copper & 1 tin make bronze. Steel will be discovered later.)
The first thing Henry did was recruit a stronger civilian work force to help produce finished materials. It was no good having raw materials build up with nothing to use them for. He did have an issue – but that was one for future monarchs to deal with. Civilians were cheap, they didn’t cost must but you did have to feed them – and the country right now was transporting literally just enough grain & meat for the kings dedicated work force.

We know he relegated this issue for a future monarch, and was happy to go through the resources stockpiled within the royal warehouses, and pay no mind to the future cost.

In 1526, word came back to Henry that a much larger establishment of savages had been discovered;

There was nothing to be done for it, the English simply must occupy this province for 2 reasons. Firstly, it had a port, this was a HUGE construction at this phase in history, it cost the combined resources of 10 years of the nations production, as well as both the Engineering Corps & Royal Building Corps sitting on their hands and doing nothing (as we will see later in this chapter)

In 1528, we see the first impact of the great meeting of the King & the nobles, the future direction of technology within England.

The important thing to remember for research, is it cost a huge amount of the treasury to be at the cutting edge of research. Therefore, the decision had been made, to only follow in the footsteps of at least 1 other nation, outside of the immediate requirement of light artillery

In 1532, we saw the first expansion of any civil corps of England, the construction of a 2nd Royal Building batallion.

Any future civilian deployments were a costly undertaking, it took the nations paper production of 6 entire years to be able to generate enough paper & ink to train the formation of a whole Corps.

As England had taken the savages “Captial” – in reality just a larger collection of mud huts, there was never the less, a pre-planned out lumber camp, enough so that it generated an entire unit of lumber, as opposed to simply the raw materials – it was important that this was shipped back to the Capital immediately, so that it could be put to much better use.

By 1544, King Henry VIII had been forced to “re-evaluate” the ongoing operation within England. England as a whole was starting to produce far more finished lumber, cloth & paper than it could realistically use. It needed far more Cast Iron & Bronze than it was producing – whilst the idea of not being self sufficient must have rankled, he knew that doing this now, would result in a MUCH stronger country in the longer run

In 1546, the Catholic upstarts in Spain recognised the clear supremacy England had in matters both domestic & international, and came asking for not just a truce, but a full alliance! More surprisingly to his nobles was the fact that Henry accepted. It has been recently gleaned from his own private documents however, that he intended to accept any and all alliance offers, until the nations artillery complement was not only deployed, but had a few battles under their belt and prepared to conquer those savages North of the Border,

The next event of note for the English Empire during its formative years was over 14 years later. The nation FINALLY had generated enough finished resources to build a 2nd port. One that would allow for the transporting of copper back to the Royal Demense, which meant that bronze could finally start being produced directly, as opposed to buying it in from over sears. This would of course be a huge boon – the cannons took up 8 years worth of bronze, and even rudimentary fortifications build around settlements to hold them with no troops took 6 years worth of production!

From the start of construction in 1560, it took 4 years (2 turns) to complete the building of this port, so long infact that Elizabeth was sat upon the English throne by the time it was completed!

Then, 8 years later, in 1572, the news that all the English had been waiting for, was announced. Their scientists & engineers had finally discovered the secrets of much lighter, easily manoeuvrable cannons, unlocking the only true weapon that would be able to take castles, for over 100 years.

In 1576, the Swedes came looking for an alliance, one that was very begrudgingly accepted. Some 30 years prior, the English had discovered diamonds in the deserts of the New World, but the Swedes had conquered the province before the English could get their forces in place to attack. However, the English had taken a step back, and the Swedes were now the pre-eminent power in the New World, one that it would not do for Elizabeth to underestimate. As such, it was decided prudent to accept their offer of friendship & alliance.

Then, 6 years later – in 1582, the first English light cannons graced the battlefield of the New World. And what an overpowering awe inspiring sight they were. They swept before them the remnants of savages, beating them into a bloody pulp before they could react to what was happening.

By the time 1590 had rolled around, England had fielded 4 entire battalions of these cannons, causing enough damage, that any single contemporary battalion simply crumbled before them. They had conquered 2 more provinces in the New World, and were returning to England, ready to get in place in Yorkshire to start the invasion of Scotland, intending to bring Scotland to heel by 1602 (so it made sense narratively).

Then, as the cannon battalions and their escorts had been returned to Yorkshire in 1594, back across the Atlantic, bells rang across the nation, bells that had not been heard in over 100 years. England had been called to war….


1. Do we help Spain against Portugal?

a. Yes – if Yes, our New World holdings bordering Sweden & Holland are both at risk. The AI is simple, and basically they will always defend against the aggressor – Spain in this. We would probably win, but it would be bloody, we would get very little if any Old World territory but we would get some of the riches of the New World.
b. No – If No, our alliance breaks with Spain, people will not ally us for 50 years (25 turns) but it means we can pounce after the war to try and mop up some leftovers, and attack Scotland & Ireland in relative safety.

2. Do we attempt to push the research angle a touch more –

a. There are some great unlocks, but they are expensive. Cash that we will need to invade provinces – cash had only 2 uses, you use some to invade every time you attack a province (paying the armies wages) as well as research
b. Continue as is – letting 1-2 other nations discover it first to drop the cost
c. Save the cash for just attacking now (we will likely steamroll anything for 20-25 turns now) and then consolidate and try and fend off the other Great Powers at that point?

3. Our Old World territory is pretty fully maxed out now – I have focused primarily on the food provinces, as they are fundamental to everything –

a. Do we continue to improve this territory – we can get 2, 3 and even 4 resources from each tile (with research), and if it is connected to a road, does not touch our shipping transport network, so no balancing act required. It does require 4 times as much in terms of finished materials to upgrade a level 1 to level 2 resrouce.
b. gently caress the old world, everything at tier 1 is fine, smash the new world, take the important ore provinces, along with luxury resources as needed (sugar for apprentices, tobacco for journeyman & fur for hats – there is generally 2-5 fur tiles PER GAME, and we know where they are)

4. Do we take Scotland AND Ireland, or Scotland then develop and see if Ireland is still takeable after?

a. Just Scotland
b. Both

Any questions about any elements to help play with the voting & roleplay angles, let me know!

May 11, 2017

For those querying the current state of affairs in terms of alliances, England is currently allied with all the Great Powers but France.

This means whichever way we side we end up at war.

France is staying out because they are rank 1 at the moment but only just, Spain wants Portugal's Old World lands, and Sweden & Holland will both end up in the war, but on which side, only the AI knows.

As fair warning - I had to Alt F4 out (the way the game is designed you can't save on that screen and come back to that screen) - so it may take 2 or 3 turns, but the war will happen and we will go with the majority vote when it fires!

The tech tree is OK for such an old game, you get railroads later one (and need 3 different techs after that for terrain types) there are 3 or 4 military unit upgrades per unit

Yes its limited in many ways compared to current games, but has an elegance about it without bloat that I still love to this day.

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