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 Post subject: France guide, by Glorfyndel
PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:10 pm
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France


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    Starting points (1836):
  • Status: Great power (rank 3)
  • Prestige: 90 (rank 2)
  • Industry: 15 (rank 2)
  • Military: 25 (rank 7)*
  • Literacy: 58.3%
  • Research points: 10.68
  • Population: 8.78M

    *Military points are calculated with Liberal party, as Anti-military, if changed to Reactionary, they would change to 45 (rank 5).

    Ending Stats (1874 - post-colonization):
    Spoiler:
  • Status: Great power (rank 1)
  • Prestige: 951 (rank 1)
  • Industry: 488 (rank 2)
  • Military: 313 (rank 2)*
  • Literacy: 92.5%
  • Research points: 46.46
  • Population: 21.25M

    * Keep in mind that i stopped game as soon as colonization finished, and with 50 more brigades i could have made at that point, France would have been 1st.



This guide is supposed to give you insight in how to play France on basic level, how to defend from certain Franco-Prussian war, one that happened in history, and that have shifted power in Europe to Germany, which is what you will try to avoid any way you can, and remain as Europe strongest force. France being one of greatest nations of that period can be played on many different levels. As said being one of strongest powers in world France alongside Great Britain, Germany, and USA if played in single player will surely be strong enough not to be bothered by any other great power, and not bound by any rules, infamy included, so for those reasons i will stick to peaceful way of playing, and focus on how you would want to play in MP games.

Before i start explaining basics, i want to say again that playing France, one thing you have to be aware of whole time is Franco-Prussian war over Alsace-Lorraine, even tho in history it was in 1870, in game you can expect it as soon as North German Federation forms. Prussia and NGF are two forces that France can defend against, it is not easy for sure, even harder if experienced player plays one of those countries. Germany on the other hand can get out of control really fast, with best industry, thus great income, insanely good generals (i can't confirm this for sure, but as far as i know, my playing experience, generals are not totally random, and Germany has much better ones than France), military power matching any other country and overcoming fast, good literacy and research points. All of those are reasons why you never want Germany to form. More about stopping Germany later on, but i just had to say how much it is important for you.

Now lets start from the beginning. Upon starting game with France, there are few things you need to be aware of.

Political party:
Majority of your people are conservative, which means that you will most likely become conservative party after first election, even tho you start as liberal. Now if you keep ruling party liberal or reactionaries you will have militancy rising, and possibility of rebellions, which is something you want to avoid. Now first 3 parties you have are quite bad, and as mentioned earlier liberal and conservative have anti-military, and you never want to fight any war with that. Reactionary on the other hand has pro-military, and, which is even more important on start, you can build factories with them. If you want to be efficient you can try to keep reactionaries as political party before elections so you can build factories you want and have party instantly changing back to conservative so you don't upset population. I personally like to change to them on start, and build factories in few most populated provinces, that should boost you in industry score fast. And when i say build factories, its not just any of them, but ones that use products you have in your provinces, that is most important on start, because later on you can conquest better ones, for any type of factories. One more thing, if you don't build vine factory in Champagne, you should not play France ;). I will discuss more about factories when i get to economy part, I just wanted to point out how can you build factories without any penalties. Back to parties now, later in time, around 1850s, you will get more political parties, one of them being Bonapartist party, which is conservative with all good perks and are jingoist, so that would be party you want to roll with until the end of game (or until you learn how to work with them and chose one that is working for you at that time for any of your needs). To sum it all again, upon starting you want to be conservative, unless in one of big wars (vs some of great powers) in that case you want to be reactionary, or in case you want to build factories, then again you should switch to reactionary, all of that until Bonapartist show up, from which point you should keep them.

Economy:
I mentioned earlier that you should never have any problems with economy as France, and you shouldn't given that you do few steps on beginning. You should always fit taxes/tariffs/spending according to your game plans and possibilities at a moment, but after game start you should always look to max spending on education and administration in order to have your population converting to bureaucrats and clergymen and thus helping you with administration and research. This would be one way of arranging your economy, and actually the one i like to keep all the way through game, with some small differences, main one being max spending on navy as well. As i said you should always look to arrange those according to your needs and possibilities. This is the way you don't **** off anybody in progress and having everything funded. Few more notes about your budget, if you set taxes to 100% that is actually 25-30% or something like that effective tax, so if you were wondering setting it to max will agitate your population, but most of them will still be fine. Also you should keep an eye to those pie charts on the left where you can see how good your pop is living, so you can work around it. If you play some other country with less or no industry keeping tariffs on 100% has no real downsides, but as industry depended as France is you should try to avoid that, and keep it on 0-25%. Now little more about factories.
Frances main profit comes from great industry they will have in few years after starting date. With good managing you should always keep in top 3 industry powers (next to Great Britain, Germany, USA). Now there are 2 ways you can go about factories, you can keep building ones that use goods you have or already produce (if you check Production > Production, you will see which goods you produce the most, for instance grain, cattle, fish fruit, timber, coal...) and you will not need to subsidise factories, or you can build ones that produce something that is in high need and that you can subsidise for max profits out of it. On start you should keep building ones that can start using your own goods and that way max the profit from your provinces. Someone might think that war and military supplies are all there is to it, but in fact much more profitable are factories that produce goods for regular people needs. In political parties section i mentioned changing to reactionaries just in order to be able to build factories, and you should do that, but keep in mind that not all provinces can have good population of craftsmen and some of those factories will be more of economy loss. That is why you should only build few factories on start, and only in most populated provinces. I like to build in 6-8 provinces 1 factory and you can add 1 more in Ile de France. Those provinces should not be random ones, but those with most population in them, since they will be able to fill in your factories in short amount of time. Since explaining trade would take full guide on its own, i will keep this to minimum, and just tell you that if you build too much factories of same sort, you will ruin market for those goods and lower their price since there will be more supply than demand, which you want to avoid, because lack of some goods will never affect you since you are in top of great powers and have priority on buying stuff from trade market. Now that you have good start with factories and economy, if you don't want to bother with it anymore you can just let capitalists deal with factories, and they will do decent to good job, and you can keep spending all that nice money on armies, rail roads, naval bases, forts, war funding (you can help in others wars even if u don't bring armies :) ) etc.

Technology:
Technology is one of main factors in becoming greatest power in the world. Perks of those researches is quite big when it comes to battles ( military and naval tech), industry (commerce and industry tech) and sheer population control and further technology development through culture tech tree. With good literacy France is potentially country with most research points, and with that most technologies, but in order for that to be true you will need to focus on that, and i literally mean focus, since you will use a lot of your focus points to improve it. Research points are gained each day, and can be saved up to one year, which means if you want to be first one to grab some research that becomes available for example 1870. you would start saving res points from 1869. which means you wouldn't research anything in that period. Now about points themselves. Research points are affected by few things, which boost them, clergymen, clerks, country status (great power, secondary power, civilized, uncivilized), literacy, plurality, and technology bonuses. Technology trees Philosophy, Social Thought and Political Thought are most important for research points improvement, which is way of getting more technologies. Military wise you will be trailing behind Prussia from the start, but you should always look to be at least close to their level of military tech. Army leadership is most important tech to always have maxed, and order which you should follow would be Army Leadership > Military Science > Light Armament = Heavy Armament = Army Doctrine ( last 3 are in different order depending on your armies construction and military goals ( if you are attacker, defender, how much you rely on artillery etc.) you should focus them as you like). Naval tech are not as important until later game where naval battles can actually mean something and have greater impact, since on start only Brits and French have some decent fleet, but still for colonization you will need to grab Naval Doctrine and Ship Construction, in order to get as much colonial power as you can, keep in mind that great ships give you colonial power, and better ships give more colonial power, which is what your goal should be, getting stronger ships that will be useful in fights later on and provide you with as much colonization as possible. For industry there are a lot of tech that affect it, but i find railroads to be best one to max as soon as possible and build them in all provinces, since each level provides you with 16% Factory Throughput and 16% RGO output, rest of perks aside those two should be enough of reason to get them. There is so much tech that improves industry that i will not even talk about it, you should just see if some of them provide you with better bonuses. Medicine is one more research that should be done as soon as possible.
Now little more about focus points. Number of focus points is limited by your core population and Political Thought. They are quite useful in all stages of game, for managing your country in different ways, from political party to enhanced production of certain goods. But your main goal on start should be maxing bureaucrats in all provinces possible ( having 100% administrative efficiency in all core provinces for obvious reasons), after that focusing on clergymen up to at least 2% total population, keep in mind that 4% is max but 2% is optimal, same goes for individual provinces. After that you can encourage craftsmen (but you should always have enough and this should not be main goal), military ( if your goal is to fight as early as possible, with as great army as possible, influencing military will soon get you to first place on military score, also 5% pop as military is max so its useless focusing on them more than that) and clerks, bureaucrats, aristocrats, all of them give your industry and economy boost ( clerks also provide research points improvement), influencing each of them in conjunction with good economy management will give you a lot of population of chosen sort.


Military:

Diplomacy:


...in progress...



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