Announcement

Collapse

Welcome to the New Server!

Apolyton.net is now pointing to the new server. Please let us know if you spot any oddities or have any suggestions for what to add to the site!
See more
See less

Imperialism - Recovery of France Scenario

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Imperialism - Recovery of France Scenario

    I hope someone remembers Imperialism, a turn-based strategy game about the industrial era released in 1997. I enjoyed playing the game a lot at the time. The economic system is relatively sophisticated and requires careful balancing, but all production is concentrated in a single city (the capital), so the game mechanism is quite different from the city-state-approach that is common to most games of the genre.

    The standard game is played out on random maps with fictional countries, but there are three scenarios set in the (more or less) historical Europe of the 1800s. One of these scenarios has proved rather challenging to me and I have not finished it successfully either during my initial enthusiasm with the game or in my annual relapses. After more than eight years, I think I'm allowed to ask for help.

    The scenario is called "Recovery of France". It starts in 1820 with France having no railroads and no navy at all and only a minimal army and merchant marine. About two years (each year comprising four turns) into the game, Britain inevitably (?) declares war.

    Now, here is the dilemma:
    - You have only a short timeframe in which you can safely trade for coal and iron (to turn fist into steel and then arms) on the world market. After the British navy shows up in the Channel your merchant ships are at risk whenever you buy resources abroad.
    - Your domestic sources of coal and iron are limited and far from the capital. It takes about five years to get both of them connected and total production is limited to 4 steel units or 2 armaments per turn.
    - The British will attempt naval landings. You cannot defend all coastal provinces, so you need to move your tiny army as soon as you see them establishing a new beachhead. You need to spend the first armaments produced to equip cavalry units that can move fast enough to arrive before the enemy. Once the British have taken a coastal province, they are very hard to dislodge.
    - The construction of a credible navy takes a lot of time. Each Ship of the Line requires five armaments, so even after your arms production is in full gear, you can only build two of them every five turns. It takes very long to even get enough ships to escort your merchants.
    - By the time you have a few escort ships assembled, other Great Powers will have become favourite trading partners of the minor countries that sell coal and iron, so you will hardly get any offers on the world market.
    - Diplomatically, the other powers won't help you out. You can get alliances from everyone but Britain and Russia during the first few turns, but they will be broken when Britain declares war.

    Most of this should be familiar to those who have played the scenario, but maybe they will notice aspects that I have missed or that they perceive differently. So far, my success has been limited to keep the British out and slowly build a navy that is strong enough to escort merchants, but not to defeat the British fleet until either Britain gains a diplomatic victory in 1835 or, shortly afterwards, the other Great Powers declare war as well.

    I know this is a very specific question for a very old game, but maybe there is someone nostalgic enough to dig out his memories and talk about his approach to the 1820 scenario.

  • #2
    Hmm. France in 1820 is quite a challenge. I tend to gravitate towards medium difficulty in my games, so I don't think I've ever won as it.

    By the time you have a few escort ships assembled, other Great Powers will have become favourite trading partners of the minor countries that sell coal and iron, so you will hardly get any offers on the world market.


    Even if you give discounts? With the 1.1 patch, ctrl-clicking on a minor sets the discount to the optimum needed to become the most favoured trading partner.

    You cannot defend all coastal provinces, so you need to move your tiny army as soon as you see them establishing a new beachhead.


    Save and reload in case they do succeeed? ^-^

    or, shortly afterwards, the other Great Powers declare war as well.


    On the graphs screen, how does your military compare to theirs? Great Powers like to declare war whenever they have you outnumbered on an individual level, I think.
    Blog | Civ2 Scenario League | leo.petr at gmail.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you for commenting.

      I've used moderate trade discounts (up to 25 %) with little success. Offering higher discounts would certainly get me more offers, but I couldn't keep that up financially for more than a few turns. The problem here is not just the increased cost of resources, but the loss of income from selling my goods. However, I agree that this is an area where more experimentation could be fruitful. Maybe I find a minor country where the other Great Powers quickly lose interest when they find that they have to outbid me.

      Reloading ... well, I'd have to look up whether the initiative rules have a random factor. If not, I'd have to use a save from two turns earlier which would only be useful if the next target was predetermined at that time. This sounds awfully complicated, so I think I'll stay honest for the time being.

      You are quite correct about the military strength chart. By 1835, I'm usually still in 6th place before the Ottoman Empire. The goal has to be to get more guns and ships on the board by that time, but that's where we get back to the scarcity of coal and iron.

      Comment


      • #4
        I didn't bother with it after a while. Sorry for boasting, but I was very good at game yet I found the challenge simply was too hard. I've succesfully played the Ottoman Empire in that scenario ("the sick man of Europe") but I couldn't do France.
        I think it's very likely that the scenario wasn't thought out well and that the creator didn't consider that Britain would instantly attack France.
        The AI is written to attack whenever the military balance is lopsided, also taking into account the military strength of the opponents allies and relations. The more lopsided the balance and the worse the relations, the more likely the attack and the less likely it is to make peace afterwards. Also, whenever a country is at war, and it suffers defeats, there's an increasingly high probability other countries declare war at the losing side. Finally, the AI will not ally with a country if its military is too weak compared to his, nor will it honour alliances if the military balance is too lopsided (unless relation are max).
        If you take all these factors together and the mathematical impossibility to build a sufficiently large military to scare off Britain before it declares war, you'll find that it indeed is inevitable Britain declares war.

        Now that I've done my job demoralizing you , the best option you probably have is firstly to annex or diplo-annex Belgium for resources. Can't remember if I diplo-annexed or not. If Belgium has several regular divisions it's probably best to diplo-annex so that take over their military but that of course requires valuable time and money.
        Secondly, you'd want to build a fleet of frigates in order to block Britain's capital. The longer you block a countries main port, the more likely it will accept a peace proposal.
        Thirdly, the iniative for a battle is based on the movement speed of the units you're sending in. If you send in cavalry and the opponent is sending in infantry, your units will already be in place before they arrive. Hence, you'll want to send in light artillery, not heavy artillery. Heavy artillery will always make you too late. Subsequently, build as many light artillery units as can. Heavy artillerly is a luxery you can't afford.
        It will be necessary to constantly save-and-reload. This is an exploit though and if you need exploits to win a scenario, the scenario isn't worth playing IMO.
        DISCLAIMER: the author of the above written texts does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for any offence and insult; disrespect, arrogance and related forms of demeaning behaviour; discrimination based on race, gender, age, income class, body mass, living area, political voting-record, football fan-ship and musical preference; insensitivity towards material, emotional or spiritual distress; and attempted emotional or financial black-mailing, skirt-chasing or death-threats perceived by the reader of the said written texts.

        Comment


        • #5
          That was a nice example of constructive demoralizing, Colon. Are you a teacher?

          I've had my doubts about the scenario design as well. The scenario description is slightly misleading by stating that France's borders are secure because of the lack of unity in Germany and Italy. That's true, but Britain's attack in the early 1820s comes as a nasty surprise when you play the scenario for the first time. However, I don't believe the designer just overlooked that point. After all, France is the recommended Great Power to play in this scenario, so I think it is meant to be a challenge. (Maybe, I'm a bit naive here, but the game design in general is rather thoughtful, so I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.)

          Some thoughts on your recommendations:

          1) Annexing Belgium.
          I don't see how I could pull off a peaceful takeover within the timespan that we are talking about. I have certainly no money left for bribes. Improving relations by trading takes a long time and is very difficult under the circumstances of this scenario.
          On the other hand, an attack on Belgium is a fascinating option that I had not considered yet. A coal mine in Belgium would be close to the French iron deposit in Lorraine, so my steel production could start that much earlier. Later, after connecting the coal deposit in central France and another iron deposit in the south, I could produce twice as much steel (and arms) as I was able to so far.
          An important aspect here is that in 1820 Belgium does not exist as an independent minor country, but is part of the Netherlands. This means that the regular divisions should be stationed in Holland, not in the Belgian provinces. I don't believe minor countries move troops away from their capital. The Netherlands have offered coal on the world market, so they have some. If that coal is located in the Belgian provinces (as it should be) and if those provinces are only defended by militia, I think we have a valid plan. The downside is that I will have to use my initial steel stockpile to make arms for a small attack force rather than to expand my transport capacity, but that seems a price worth paying.

          2) Blockading London
          This idea seems somewhat ... er ... reckless? Don't get me wrong. I've often blockaded capital ports to force a peace, so I know the basic idea is sound. However, in this scenario, Britain has such a huge fleet that it could probably break the blockade within a few turns.
          I'm also uncertain about your advice to use frigates. They are cheap and the manual specifically recommends their use for blockades, but in a case where you must expect a forceful attempt to break the blockade wouldn't you think it necessary to include Ships of the Line?
          I'm desperate enough to try blockading London, but I'm not too optimistic here.

          3) Thwarting British landings
          The manual is a bit vague about initiative. It says that the order of resolving battles "depends" on the initiative rating which is in turn determined by army composition. This doesn't necessarily exclude a random factor. Having said that, I've found that three to four Hussars dispatched as soon as the British establish a beachhead always arrive before the enemy.

          4) I agree that reloading takes away the fun.

          Again, thank you for some new ideas with the Belgian gambit appearing most promising.

          Comment


          • #6
            1)Hmmm, It's been a while since I've played that game so it could be I'm not remembering things correctly. Diplo-annexing indeed far too much time so that's probably something I didn't do.

            2)Yes it's reckless, but the way the AI works, it's your best option. With that kind of military imbalance the AI is not going to accept peace because it tires of the war. I don't think I ever had any succes with it though. Already told you the scenario simply isn't doable.

            3)Yeah, it's based on the slowest unit in the army you're dispatching.
            DISCLAIMER: the author of the above written texts does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for any offence and insult; disrespect, arrogance and related forms of demeaning behaviour; discrimination based on race, gender, age, income class, body mass, living area, political voting-record, football fan-ship and musical preference; insensitivity towards material, emotional or spiritual distress; and attempted emotional or financial black-mailing, skirt-chasing or death-threats perceived by the reader of the said written texts.

            Comment


            • #7
              Gentlemen, I am pleased to report that in the Winter of 1833 a small French expeditionary force has captured London in a surprise attack sending the nation of Great Britain into anarchy. Vive la France! (Given the number of times I have lost this scenario to Britain, I hope I'm forgiven for gloating a bit.)

              A short summary:
              - I built two Hussar regiments almost right away. With these and my initial army (2 regular regiments, 1 heavy artillery reg.) I attacked the Netherlands taking the provinces of Belgium, Brussels and Ardennes. Interestingly the militia in Brussels was reinforced by a regular infantry unit.
              - After discovering coal near Brussels, I made peace, because at that point the British landing attempts started and I had what I wanted. (Probably a mistake, because the Dutch wouldn't have made a counter attack anyway.)
              - The light cavalry units - I soon added two more - were able to prevent the British from landing (no reloading).
              - First I connected the French iron deposit in Lorraine, then the Belgian coal deposit, finally the coal deposit in central France. Before I had coal, I had to stockpile iron for a few turns, which came in handy after connecting the second coal deposit later.
              - After arms production came into gear, I started building Ships of the Line. I stopped when I had six of them and a seventh added for free as a flagship. Then I started to produce light artillery units.
              - After the first ships were done, I was almost bankrupt so I rushed to sell furniture that I had built in the early days, but not sold because of the war. Apart from that I did not do any trading at all.
              - When I had 6 Hussars and 6 Horse Artillery units, I sent the fleet to the North Sea. During the next turn, I established a beachhead at London, but also lost Belgium to Britain because I needed to keep the army in the capital. Finally, I attacked London with all Hussars, Horse Artillery units plus a general. (I had left the infantry and heavy artillery in southern France because they would have reduced my initiative rating.)
              - My forces arrived first and took the hardly defended capital. The British reinforcements were beaten back, but killed two of my Hussars. (This is just from the combat report. I had turned off "Tactical Combat".)
              - During the invasion, the British destroyed my fleet. This is odd, because I would have thought that in that case my invasion force should have drowned with the fleet. Apparently, land battles are resolved first.

              I am quite willing to admit that this approach was even more reckless than the blockade suggested by Colon. Also, using the initiative rules to such an extreme - Britain won't even be able to respond the next turn because they are out of the game - is a bit of an exploit, but under the conditions of this scenario, I don't feel too guilty about using it.

              I have to add that the scenario is not at all won. After losing my entire fleet, I am again in last place with respect to military strength, so I need to rebuild quickly to avoid the next declaration of war. That's easier said than done because my industrial capacity is not that impressive. During my military buildup, I even had to disband all of my civilians but the engineer in order to keep the factories going. That's not a real problem, because with all the English provinces I intend to save from the perils of anarchy, transport capacity and workforce will be my main concern.

              At any rate, I'd like to thank both of you for discussing your experiences with this scenario. In case you want to take a look, I have attached a zip-file containing the saves from Summer 1832 (when I dispatched the fleet) and Spring 1833 (after the capture of London).
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes,also a very good game;I keep playing it.
                About this scenario,I just remember the first thing was to take Belgium'coal.I even forgot if I won or not.
                (BTW,are you able to play with winXP and 64 processor?).
                Best regards,

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hello, fed1943, didn't I just see you in the Colonization forum? It's always a pleasure to meet someone who shares my weakness for the classics.
                  I must admit that I am somewhat embarrassed that I didn't think of Belgium until Colon suggested it.
                  With the v1.1-patch, I'm able to play on WinXP (no 64 processor, though) without any problems except a very minor one: The game crashes whenever I use the zoom-out map before having moved all my units. It's a small inconvenience when moving fleets, but nothing serious at all.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes,Verrucosus,was me.I don´t care if a game is old or new,just if I like it.I play usualy:advanced civilization,master of magic,colonization,imperialism1,civilization2,caes ar3,alpha centauri,starcraft 1 and 2,and civilization4.
                    (With any change of hardware or software,I have big problems to keep playing some games,because,after 21 years,I keep knowing nothing of computers,really).
                    Best regards,

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yeah, you did it man. Must say I never even considered just attacking their capital.
                      DISCLAIMER: the author of the above written texts does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for any offence and insult; disrespect, arrogance and related forms of demeaning behaviour; discrimination based on race, gender, age, income class, body mass, living area, political voting-record, football fan-ship and musical preference; insensitivity towards material, emotional or spiritual distress; and attempted emotional or financial black-mailing, skirt-chasing or death-threats perceived by the reader of the said written texts.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Still, your suggestion to blockade the capital gave me the idea.

                        By the way, I have finished that game successfully last weekend. Developing France to become an industrial power was a lot of fun and quite a different experience from the standard game. The scenario map is much bigger than the random maps and there is a huge amount of territory to connect. This requires a stronger emphasis on increasing the industrial workforce in the capital and transport capacity as well as a different mix of civilian units.

                        Anyway, Imperialism is always a refreshing change of pace from the decentralized economic systems of other games. For now, I'm more in the mood for a new game of Civ4, but I will certainly return to Imperialism at some point.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi there all

                          Recently I reloaded the games, and replayed some scenarios. Of course met with old problems.... Then I learned something on a forum about hamlet-growth into material producing town. With it, I could win with the Ottomans in 1875, by voting. (alomst in `65), started un 1820. After that I started the good-old France. Verr. detailed the problem perfectly, just as I know it. The idea of netherland sound interesting, i`ll try it. Btw congrat to your success. I found keeping british off the land is quite easy, i had 3 hussars and LA. Also built a large railway system, but forget the importance of steel, and lost the game at `35. So again, to everybody, how trying to do that:
                          1, be patient
                          2, allways attack
                          3, grind steel as much as you can, and even more
                          4, kick the british capitol.
                          5, chill out and win the game

                          Btw Capitol. I won the game 1882 with Turkey, not long after I first started to play this game, by move the navy to london, and declare war, and than rush for other english territories before others do so...

                          good luck and the steel be with you...

                          Gilgames

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            ....eh, i`v just made it, killed the british in 35, and won the game in 55. but now its out of fun and mystery, i am sad....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Great game, and interesting discussion even though it is five years old.

                              I think another exploit you can use is to give a country a grant each turn, and they will not declare war on you before you end granting them money, which should bid you some time (albeit for a price).

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X