I was going to post a couple of things this weekend but something came up. That something was a computer game called Victoria II. I installed it Friday night and spent most of the weekend playing around with it to learn tactics. First I tried it as the Zulu and after conquering the Orange Free State and nearly completing my conquest of the Transvaal the UK declared war on me. I abandoned that game.
My second attempt was playing as The Kingdom of Alaska. In order to play that nation I had to start as Russia, I released all of the 15 nations they could release. I released The Kingdom of Alaska last and opted to play it. Needless to say it was a somewhat boring game. I started with a population of less than two thousand and never got much above 5 thousand. Thus I had no military. It did give me a chance to learn how the technology developments worked even if I could not exploit them. I also had fun watching the AI nations fight with each other. Here is a brief report of the state of the world in 1936:
Over the century of game time I more than tripled my land area ---- however it was all just more tundra. Despite various plagues over the years decimating me I ended up having a higher population (thanks to the territorial additions). I started with 6,390 people (of who 1,590 were able bodied men) and ended with 22,270 people (5,560 able bodied men).
I also managed to hold an overall ranking among nations of 17th place at the end. At one point I was as high as 11th, that allowed me to colonize the rest of the tundra around me.
Since that experimental game I've tried a few other nation:
*New England: going with my theme of breaking a small nation off a great power to start. Put this one on pause after reaching Great Power status and accidentally getting into a war with France.
*Afghanistan: conquered two additional nations and took Zanzibar from Oman. Promptly lost Zanzibar to Portugal (and let me tell you those guys lost a lot of troops invading coastal Afghanistan and fighting my allies and myself before they won). Lots of rebel uprisings and government changes - Modernization looks impossible.
*Russia: Started by focusing on North America. Conquered Haiti as a staging ground to invade Mexico. Got numerous territories in southern Mexico and the Panama canal zone. When African colonization opened up I got over half the available territory! This game is on pause as I consider invading the USA!
*Zulu (second attempt): another underdog game. I conquered the Orange Free State and Transvaal having to free one of my starting territories to reduce infamy. Took Zanzibar from Oman. Just modernized --- after all of the rest of Africa has been colonized. Now seeking weak, friendless nations to conquer. (I'm having some weird bug in this game where my entire military completely vanishes despite full funding. Weird.)
That's a lot of game time - but it is a new game for me so I have a lot to explore. Still, I'll have to cut back on it a bit the next few weeks. I have a lot of projects I want to get done this summer.
In any case Victoria II overall seems like a great game. Looks like it has great re-play value. Well worth the money it cost.