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'Micro' Player nations

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Jason
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'Micro' Player nations

Post by Jason on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:00 pm

What do people feel is the smallest viable nation to play in game? In the time of the game, as we all know, some of the nations in the HRE were quite small.

I have played a Denmark, stripped of Norway and Iceland, and in G3 we have an Americas Republic.

I doubt anyone would want to play an Imperial Free City but what is the smallest nation that can be played? Is a population of 1 million the lower limit? is it a certain technological level? Does a nation need something to offer to other nations? Is it a combination?

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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by J Flower on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:08 pm

The vatican is small, but has a lot of power due to its leading role in the Catholic Church.

When I first started some of the smaller German States were unhistorically put together to make them more playable, there was a Mecklenberg-Brunswick position for example.
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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Deacon on Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:03 am


I think 1 million is the lower limit, or really some unique edge that makes you relevant to the rest of the world.

the Papal States is pretty darn small by game standards, but at least you're the pope, so you have some relevancy to global politics.

I think some of the smaller german or italian states would be even worse.

Part of the problem is the issue of scale. The rich, big nation have a lot more resources, and the game is ahistorical in some senses on how much you can build, so over time the difference between the big and the small nations grows even larger. (I am glad, since really starving players of resources would just make the game less fun I think, but it does have knock-on consequences)

In Game 3, where I picked up the Papal states, I'm having fun with the roleplay, and fun experimenting with advances, but other than being Pope, I am pretty irrelevant power-wise by 1737. I don't think there's a way I could become relevant. (It is probably also true in 1700, but I've not played the position then, so won't speculate.)

Another factor that I don't like about the smaller positions is that you're hurt a lot more by some of the game rules than larger nations.

For example, my population is about 3.3M. So to implement any 1k per 1M population advance, I've got to commit 4K people (Richard rounds up). that means I have to pay a 700 person premium as it were in that 4K, or effectively or about 20% more men.

Consider if I were spain with 8.3M population. that same 700 extra bodies is only a 8% premium.

And when recruits are hard to come by, that does add up.

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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by jamesbond007 on Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:53 pm

As pope you can gain in other ways. In game 6 spain and france are fighting Morocco and giving it to the pope and papal states. So you can prosper and gain that way. You just need freindly catholic rulers. Mainly france and spain, as they are the big boys militarily. So that is the way very small nations can make large gains. Best wishes all.

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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:33 pm

Apart from the special case of the Papacy for the reasons jamesbond007 suggests, I think it depends on what you want to achieve in the game. If you are content to play for honour and influence then size is not important. And I have seen some nations be played very successfully in this way (not by me!) It also depends on having players around you who are not eying your success. To play any small German state with an expanding Sweden to the north, France to the West and Austria or Prussia to the East means that sooner or later you are going to be attacked and annexed.

If you want to expand economically or geographically then you really do need cash and recruits as Deacon has stated. If you have a sub-1M population then why bother introducing doctors/lawyers/tax officials, etc as the net benefit in doing so is minimal? It doesn't just affect the obvious, but a smaller population makes it hard to achieve research advances. Most of the other costs are scaled back. You can't afford to raise or support a big army so you don't need recruits for that. It is possible to be inventive in gaining recruits for trade, but to tiny countries even 1,000 recruits are like gold dust!

Resources are a problem even for medium-sized nations if they have been badly played in the past (key territories sold off or recruits wasted in investments which were lost).

I also think it was easier to play a small nation when game turnaround times were faster. It is worth making a 5 year plan if you can see results within a couple of real world years, but not if it is going to take 5 real world years to see if it works out. May as well play a more powerful non-European nation with a minimum population of 2M and no near neighbours?

Anyone ever been brave enough to ask to play a Bedouin Camel Trader?
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Jason
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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Jason on Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:34 am

jamesbond007 wrote:As pope you can gain in other ways. In game 6 spain and france are fighting Morocco and giving it to the pope and papal states. So you can prosper and gain that way. You just need freindly catholic rulers. Mainly france and spain, as they are the big boys militarily. So that is the way very small nations can make large gains. Best wishes all.

Good point JB Smile and good to hear from you, have missed your postings lately

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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by J Flower on Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:33 pm

There maybe some historical examples for Micro Positions.

Take the Duke of Brunswick, he allied hi shouse to Prussia & became a field Marshal in their army. Or Eugene of Savoy, his land fought for with France, but he was the Best General the Empire had.

In Game turns it would mean Larger positions taking other smaller positions under there wing. A degree of trust & cooperation is also required.
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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Jason on Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:07 pm

J Flower wrote:There maybe some historical examples for Micro Positions.

Take the Duke of Brunswick, he allied hi shouse to Prussia & became a field Marshal in their army. Or Eugene of Savoy, his land fought for with France, but he was the Best General the Empire had.

In Game turns it would mean Larger positions taking other smaller positions under there wing. A degree of trust & cooperation is also required.

Those are good examples! In G3 I did have a similar situation with England (once I got them to get over their desire to invade me!) and it did help as a small power and someone new to Glory. Interestingly it has effected the way I play, leading me to be helpful to new players I encounter.

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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Stuart Bailey on Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:24 am

What may have hit "micro" positions a bit is the introduction of unlimited military change orders and less emphasis on 10 Units per ten points of honour.

If for example France, The Ottoman Sultan, Austria, England or Russia had six honour points but 400 units and 3/4 Military Changes a turn then German/Italian/Ottoman & Cossack Princes with say eight honour points & two military changes were vital additions to the larger powers military or colonial organization.

This provided a game reason to appoint "foreign" Princes to command in larger military establishments. Quite a common happening in the period........Austrian armies for example were commanded by a Duke of Lorraine, a Elector of Baden, Also several members of Italian Princely Dynasties.

A good example of this in G7 was when the Spanish appointed the head of the HWIC Viceroy of Africa purely because with limited MC orders they could not protect their small and scattered African colonies from Pirates.

If press reports are anything to go by a Spanish Colonial backwater is now doing well & the HWIC seems to be having fun trying to corner the market in Slaves & Ivory.
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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Deacon on Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:10 am

Interesting point on how the change in order limits made it much more viable for larger positions to go it alone.


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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by J Flower on Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:12 am

It maybe an idea for Micro positions to have a lower price scale, with limited Orders, MC. It could be possiable to band some of these together in a future game as a semi team position, In G7 I beleive most of the larger positions started with at least two players. So an expansion on that ideya maybe workable, Ideas could be The Chinese Empire, or THe HRR, both have a figurehead leader, but the component parts of the Empire have a certain degree of freedom.

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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by J Flower on Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:20 am

It appears the Classic micro position could well be the varous Pirate players. They need a high degree of luck & cunning to survive. If they get a powerful patron Nation then they stand a better chance of survival. However as soon as one of the Major maritime Nations decide to put an end to them then there days are usually numbered.
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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Ardagor on Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:49 pm

It is the classic pirate dilemma.

If you have a low profile and do not attack any high profile target the position may last a while, but is it fun to hide for years?

The extreme option is of course to attack as many high profile targets as possible, getting a lot of bad press. Making just about everyone trying to stamp on you, and some of them will be dedicated to the job. Probably a short career but it should be very exciting while it lasts.

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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by J Flower on Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:28 pm

It is probabbly the Glamour dise that many pirate positions go for.

The position is on the edge, one falsch attack or slip up & your character is doing the Hemp Tapdance routine.
I guess it is fun while it lasts, you never know which turn will be your last.

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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Guest on Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:56 pm

J Flower wrote:It appears the Classic micro position could well be the various Pirate players. They need a high degree of luck & cunning to survive.

Perhaps they also manage to reinvent themselves or take on the name of a famous pirate to perpetuate the legend? There do seem to be some remarkably long-lived pirates about who survive the destruction of their dens, the capture of their ships and crews, yet within a few turns can hit back hard against their enemies.
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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Deacon on Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:33 am


I think that's for simplicity's sake, if nothing else. Richard doesn't have to keep coming up with new names all the time, because certainly there were no shortage of new pirates...


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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Guest on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:02 pm

Has anyone ever played any of the American Indian Tribes? RKL, didn't you give it a go once? Or consider it?

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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Guest on Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:57 pm

No - sorry to disappoint you. Never played a position in the Americas.

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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Guest on Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:21 pm

Not you? I'm sure someone did, back in the day. I'm sure they established a federation of tribes. Perhaps I'm imagining it.
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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Deacon on Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:34 pm


Boy, I'd think that would be a difficult and thankless position. You have very few people, small pox is obliterating you, and you have tons of inter-tribal conflicts that the white colonists can exploit.

I don't think I'd want to pay money to be that frustrated!

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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:08 am

In G7 France did establish understandings with many Indian tribes which effectively turned the majority of them against the English, but this was through diplomacy. Oddly American Indians were rather concerned about the prospect of English expansion westwards over the Appalachians from the 13 colonies. Such diplomacy was enhanced by studying Indian culture and methods in the colonies; getting tribes who were historically enemies to ally against the English was quite an achievement. So you see France was not completely devoid of diplomatic successes as Indian tribes tended to appreciate fair dealing and were not swayed by European propaganda! They seemed quite content to accept French protection (and trade). This line was probably developed further by the French Viceroy of the Five Dominions of the French Colonial Empire, the Duc de Bourgoyne. However, there is a huge difference between establishing such a federation as the most powerful nation in the game, and playing an Indian tribe and doing so. As Deacon points out the challenges are simply beyond the time.

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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:26 pm

Theres a good chance I've imagined the whole thing - it wouldn't be the first time. It's hard to believe that I've been playing this game so many years now - since I was 19/20 years old (if my poor memory serves). In fact, I don't think theres anything else I've pursued for such a long time - other than smoking Rolling Eyes
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Jason
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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Jason on Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:37 pm

An Indian tribal position would be interesting to play I'm sure! I guess its one chance might be if it was played early on and the European powers were busy in Europe...and if the player didn't raid their colonies...

I have wondered about how viable it might be to play a Pacific island position? Tonga springs to mind, it did (I think) in the 18th Century become centralised and powerful, building a naval 'empire' (with warships capable of carrying 100 warriors) but I suspect it is too isolated and limited in resources/population to develop much.

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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by J Flower on Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:37 pm

I would imagine the technology levels would be your major problem, so long as you are up against a similarly developed enemy everything is alright, once you bump up against a more advanced one your days are numbered. An historical example could be the Zulu Nation in S. Africa, they swept virtually all before them before they encountered the white settlers in hte form of initially the Boers, and eventually the Brits.

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Re: 'Micro' Player nations

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:41 pm


I have known of 2 African nations which have been played successfully in different games: the Asante and the Rozwi. Both of those are much larger nations than you might think and with few local challenges it is easy for them to get much larger. The Asante have gold and slaves, and can field formidable armies, expanding easily along the grain/ivory coasts. The Rozwi (roughly equivalent to the Zulus) have vast copper resources and can push against poorly defended Portuguese cities as was done very successfully in at least one game I remember. If they don't start with populations of around 2 million, then they can quickly grow, and they have advantages in local terrain which European armies can struggle with.


Jason wrote:I have wondered about how viable it might be to play a Pacific island position? Tonga springs to mind, it did (I think) in the 18th Century become centralised and powerful, building a naval 'empire' (with warships capable of carrying 100 warriors) but I suspect it is too isolated and limited in resources/population to develop much.

I guess one advantage with playing Tonga would be that European nations would struggle to find the islands. Perhaps it is a job for Catholic religious orders?

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