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Conqueror Suggested Tactics
So hopefully you’ve got an idea of the key mechanics in play here and you’re wondering how to make some cash? As I have likely mentioned many times, I’ve only really played the conqueror style so I cannot say if this is the best way or not. However when I played through on medium on my second run-through I had a bank worth around 25mil which was around 17mil more than the bank in second place. I had over 45 countries, 200+ regions and oodles of cash lying around by turn 150. I had bankrupted the Iron Bank before turn 50.
I saved it there as I could go for any of the wins at this point. So for medium difficulty at least, I would say this is a solid strategy.
Ok, so as I mentioned I would recommend the Conqueror. I guess you could go for any of the others too, but hell 25% discount on countries? With this style? You would be mad not to!!
I’m assuming that you have skipped the tutorial, got your first 4 staff, and you have opened a country with a single region. So you should have around 25k in the bank to start out. The first thing you will want to do is to invest in a property. It doesn’t really matter which, you just want the most expensive property you can afford without risking bankruptcy. Also issue your first loan. The tactic at this point is to get the rewards from completing the tasks and flip those investments. After 3 loans do not issue any more, the value of these loans are negligible compared to flipping properties and it will tie your money up for multiple turns. You should notice though that as you purchase a property that the value is immediately higher. So you can either sell it again (useful for getting a little more money for a war or bank loan), or keep it a turn to receive a turn of it’s resources and sell it again.
Why are we not holding onto the properties you say? This is twofold, firstly we want to get that money in as fast as possible. The market prices are affected by things I have no idea about at the moment so they are just as likely to stay where they are or lower on the nest turn as to rise (unless I guess you are doing diplomacy, although that also costs gold and is useless early game). So we are living of the profit from the sale after the initial increase. Secondly our money is not tied up in properties and at risk of being rendered useless for 5 turns and stopping our profits when war inevitably starts.
So the goal is to flip these properties, keep your assets liquid and start working up to around 50k. You will want to go for the investment increase of 10k by researching The Big Game in the scence tree to start out. If you want more info on this, look above. Make sure that if you get any wood or iron that you turn these into weapons for either extra cash if needed, or perhaps a little more importantly defence from attack.
Once you have around 50k you will want to open your first new country / region. You could do this through war (I think this is preferable as it will mean that you only spend 12k instead of 20k). To do this, get your relations up high enough with the country, and select the start war option. Select a neighbour and time to go liberate them, first though make sure that you don’t have property in this region. War lasts 5 turns, and if you have started then from the point it starts all banking activities are suspended in that region. As this is the only one you have then you can do nack all for 5 turns. So make sure you have sold everything and you have that gold to hand.
Tactics for war is simple. We will make money from the investment that we put into the war by selling the property we receive that will have been boosted by our win. To do this, as you now have no property owned in that region then you will have a nice 40k or so that you can invest, which you converted to gold before you started the war. Simply invest that gold into the war, you can sell any weapons you have also if you like for a little additional boost (although I wouldn’t really do this unless absolutely needed) and wait to win the war (assuming you invested more than the other country). You will see that whilst you invested around 40k for that war, that it’s probably increased in value to closer to 50k. And that’s how we will now make money.
However we don’t have the licenses for all those countries that are at war in the current war tab. So you will look to get to a decent amount where you can invest that 32k (so around 50k – 60k gold at least). Then look at the wars and find one with a turn left, use the map to view that country and then buy the license if it’s one you can afford. Invest, win the war, sell the property and profit. You’ll find that as you do this you may not be getting far in the leaderboard at first, but you are opening regions and countries which means you are more likely to have a war started against you etc. It’s a very good way to earn money I think.
As you carry on, you will be looking to slowly increase your HQ and depts. by unlocking the upgrades as you open more regions. Be careful starting out not to enter a region without enough money to then carry on investing, make sure you always have a decent cash reserve. Also be careful when upgrading too. I would say that the important ones to upgrade are your investment dept and your workshop, then diplomats and guards. I have yet to bother with the industry etc, I’ve not needed them with the flipping. You don’t want to open a new country and then find that after being able to invest and flip 30k that you can now only do that with 8k. Or for the same to happen because you upgraded your buildings too much. Also be sure to upgrade your staff when you can, they will quickly become redundant as you get upgrades.
Also be sure that as soon as you can when you hit lvl 3 investment you also start to upgrade the region before you invest in a war. To do this, let’s assume you own England. England has had war declared on them by France and Normandy is attacking Wessex. You can find the information on the country and region in the war interface (fiddly but possible). So because your investment dept is lvl 3 you can invest in a region in a country you own, assuming it’s not on cooldown. So you could either upgrade a random (or not so random region) everytime it unlocks, or you can invest prior to a war. That’s what we’ll be doing, so because Wessex has 1 turn left before the battle, we go into the investment screen, select England and then choose Wessex, we invest all we can (probably around 1.6k at first) but that will then allow us to invest an additional 10k of so in the battle. The more investment the more profit!
One last thing to call out is the bank loans. These are also opened when you hit tier 3 for the credit dept. I would recommend that you start out looking for bank loans for perhaps a turn or 2 and loaning them, in the hopes that they default and go bankrupt. On the last play through, I loaned the Iron Bank around 42k at the start of the game. They couldn’t pay, I profited and also took out the bank with the most mental starting bonus.
As you start to get more money, you should be rolling in it soon enough. You’ll then be able to start getting involved with all the bank loans and the business loans too. So whilst the loans don’t work at first, once you have enough cash to burn then why not?
Also don’t forget your fear. You build that up quite quickly and the second row of perks, where you get resources can give you a really good boost when you sell those civilian goods at the exchange.
Finally all that is left for you to do is to decide how you win.
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Skip the Tutorial
After you, hopefully took my advice, and chose Conqueror you’ll get thrown straight into the tutorial. If you’ve not played before and need an introduction to the layout etc. then go ahead and do this. However once you have done this tutorial, restart the game and skip it.
The tutorial forces you to recruit in an inefficient way, so the first thing to do in a new game is skip that and then choose the most excellent name for your bank. A personal favourite of mine at the moment is ‘The Rot’.
Recruit Your First Staff
First thing to do after you’ve had that champagne and you-know-what-else breakfast to celebrate the opening of your new investment bank, is to recruit your staff. You are limited to 1 employee in each dept, this is based upon the level of your HQ, you can have up to a maximum of 9 staff in each dept. Make sure that when you recruit your staff that you select pro (better stats than the others) and search for 9 each time from the drop down menu.
Employee stats are grouped into the following;
- I – Investment. This is used by your investment department and directly affects the amount of money you can invest into a region.
- C – Credit. This is used by your credit department and directly affects the amount of credit loans you can issue at once.
- D – Diplomacy. This is used by your diplomacy department and directly affects how much influence you receive a turn.
- G – Guard. This is used by your security department and directly affects how much fear you receive a turn.
- S – Science. This directly affects how much science you receive a turn.
And then there’s the employees salary requirement.
Good thing is that this is right at the start of the game so if you get particularly bad RNG you can always restart. However I’d expect to do perhaps 2 – 4 searches, you will need 1 of each type for all your depts. I would be looking for anyone with a stat of 7 or above in the correct field and if I was struggling then I will take a 6 to start out. i.e. if I had a 8, 7, 8 and then a 6, for my last employee stat, I’d take it. Be aware that you will be charged to recruit an employee as well as the cost of the upfront search. Once you’ve recruited recruit them and leave them to go about their scheming ways.
I’m forever forgetting to set this going and it’s easy to miss when you’ve completed a part of the branch. However the good news is that even if you didn’t set your research going, you will have the points and can go and unlock bonuses, although you will have missed out on not having those benefits available for certain turns.
First things first, you can have a scientific victory. This is achieved by getting to that last skill int he tree. Other than that, there’s a bunch of useful and perhaps not so useful skills in here. As I still have limited understanding of some of the mechanics, I’l concentrate on what I feel are key skills.
Starting out I would select ‘The Big Game’, this will also unlock ‘Secure Citadel’ which gives you a reduction in the salary of your staff. The Big Game itself, well that allows you to invest an additional 10k in property. Starting out, if you chose magnate and have around 45k in the bank then you could not spend that 45k on a single property as you are limited to the amount that you can invest based on your investment depts. limit. That limit is affected by the staffs Investment stat, whether you have invested within the region via the investments dept. and also this. This is an important skill to help you start making money starting out. It’s all fairly straight-forward but after that I’d start to mop up some of the early skills but always looking for these types of skills
- Increase the amount you can invest.
- Increase the number of investment opportunities.
- Increase the amount of either fear or influence generated.
- Open regions generate gold per turn.
- Reduces countries political skill cooldown.
- Starts a revolution.
Map – Selecting a Country
The map and it’s overlays are mental, it can be very cluttered and difficult to select a small country sometimes. But that aside, you will be using this a fair bit and starting out you’ll need to select a country. If you look at the country view then you may be able to see the countries divided by colour, there are a lot of small single region countries, like West Ireland, that may or may not be difficult to see. However starting out these are important.
I would select a single country like Western Ireland. There’s a whole bunch of info in the country screen and I’ll be honest, I’m not sure how things are affected. On the left you will see the country info and then on the right any regional information, including the ratings for Agriculture, Infrastructure and Real Estate. You can affect these through diplomacy, and I think if it goes up (20 is the highest) it increases the value of your property. That said, I don’t keep my property long and I’m constantly flipping. The ratings made no difference to my play-style or whether I bought the license or not. On the bottom left you will see any special luxuries that are produced by the country. In the top left have a look at the economic indicators, a good 1 region starting country may have perhaps 140+ gold and you should be looking at an investment size of around 32k starting out.
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