Control of province: How long does one have to be in the province to control it? The manual says that winning a victory gives control, when this is clearly not the case. It appears that control comes from holding on to a province for a consequtive period of time. That time is a direct function of how many troops are in the territory. So 40,000 troops should be able to change the control of a territory four times faster than 10,000 troops. This appears to be regardless of what type of troops they are.
Attrition: Pay attention to attrition. Forts of various types, including trenches, cause 4% attrition per adjacent fort. So in the 1914 campaign, French and friendly units in the territory of Nancy suffer 12% attrition per month by being adjacent to three German fort territories. This only appears to be suffered when the territory is owned, and not just occupied, by the enemy. So if the Germans move into Belgium and take over the various trench territories that are adjacent to the Franco-Belgian border, the French units do not suffer.
Attrited units can be brought back up to full strength, but their organization and morale suffer temporarily. The amount suffered is something like in direct proportion to the proportion of reinforcements. So if the unit was at 50% strength and then took the full reinforcements to come back to 100% strength, the morale and organization will fall to 50% of what they were.
Units also suffer attrition in enemy territory, because of overstacking and for being in undesirable territory. I forget the exact term.
Consumer Goods are mentioned in several places, as in, if so and so doesn't get enough consumer goods, they may become socialists. Yet the manual doesn't appear to mention where one gets consumer goods.
Why is it sometimes not possible to build any factories at all in spite of having the resources and the money and the available technology?
How does one get rid of slavery? It looks like a liberal has to come into power, and then slavery automatically gets repealled. But a liberal government will only come to power when there are enough liberals, and that requires making choices along the way to make the population liberal. Note that the Civil War came (right on the historical start date) and went with slavery still in place as I was playing the US.
How do research points become negative? This happens through exchanging research with another country. I'm not sure if exchanging ends up being beneficial in the long-run. However, in the short run, it can be a way of getting badly needed technologies when one is not spending on educaiton or when one is about to go to war or something. Then getting one's hands on a new military technology, for instance, can be very beneficial.
Why does research stay the same even though the slider is set to 100% for years on end.
Is there any way to have the trade be automated, but still increase levels of things like steel?
Does building more factories of a certain type increase levels of that type? No. Pops have to be allocated to those factories either by converting laborers to craftsmen and/or clerks or by subtracting them from one factory and then assigning them to another.
All else being equal, should factories be built where the factory efficiency is 100% over states where the efficiency is lower?
Stacking - Are stacking limits determined by the number of units or the number of men? It looks like it is by number of units. However, that may be further categorized by number of units under a single nation or leader since I was able to stack quite a few Belgian, UK and French units in the same province during WWI without any attrition.
Mobilization - How does mobilization affect provincial populations? What happens to those populations when those units are demobilized?
*I know the answers to these, but it would have been a nice part to include in the manual.
**No answer necessary.
Railroads - Expedite military movement
Railroads - Increase efficiency by around 8% per level
Railroads - First level costs $2000, then $3000 for the next level
Railroads - Connect points of likely war (e.g. Texas to Maine if you are the US anticipating attacks from Canada and/or Mexico).
Reinforcing - pay special attention to which are the best units. Reinforce them first, all else being equal. You can only reinforce in friendly controlled provinces. Units such as Regular are better than Native, for instance, even though it doesn't show up that way when you are purchasing them. Also note that reinforcing does not affect "Dig-In" numbers. So if you reinforce a unit that is already dug in at 100, it will remain at 100 even after being reinforced. Loaned units cannot be reinforced.
Purchasing - purchase units by right-clicking on any of your provinces or by clicking on the cannon icon toward the top left of the screen. You have to have enough manpower (at least 10) and enough resources (varies by unit type) to be able to purchase either land or naval units.
Destroying - units with no friendly provinces to retreat to are destroyed. Be very careful when clicking since you may inadvertently "retreat" a unit without meaning to do so. And if it is surrounded by enemy controlled provinces, it will instantly vanish even if your unit or units were stronger than those of the enemy.
Mobilization - will increase your manpower by 1 for each 1000 men mobilized. This is 10000 men per division unless the division has attachments. [So total cost in manpower can run from about 10000 without attachments to 13000 men with attachments.] So if you can mobilize three divisions, it will increase your manpower by 30. An easy way to mobilize/increase manpower is to go to various provinces and convert various POPs to soldiers. Another easy way is to have a good alliance with one or more nations. They may provide you with units when there is a war. However, your manpower will decrease by 1 for each 1000 men they provide.
Control - weak units appear to take control as fast as stronger and bigger ones, but the other factor appears to be the number of men in a territory. So use weak units to try to capture enemy controlled provinces that he might eventually have to retreat to, and then try to get him to retreat there. Units with no friendly territories to retreat to have to surrender.
Attrition - Units will attrite rapidly if the Army Maintenance slider is set low and/or if the unit is in enemy territory or a non-self controlled trading post. They will also attrite faster if they are overstacked. I'm still trying to figure out what exactly constitutes overstacking.
Generals / Admirals - When assigning generals, mouse over their picture to see their rating. Chances are, if it sounds negative, like chicken-hearted or inept, that you are better off keeping the default or current general unless the one you have is even worse. If you don't have any other good generals, then try to recruit one as soon as possible by sliding the ________ slider to the right.
Another very easy way to raise officers is to sell off POPs such as Clerks (?) and so on which have an option to convert to officers. But other POPs like Craftsmen and even Laborers can also be converted.
Cavalry - keep one or two units of cavalry around to encircle possible lines of escape of enemy units weakened and now retreating because of your infantry units. Cavalry are also good for zipping from one side of the country to the other to destroy "rebel scum" units. They are lousy on defense. Dragoons are a bit better on defense. A good railway network helps them move about more rapidly. So does a good general with positive speed modifiers. Sheridan and Custer are good examples of such generals.
Defense Spending - changing this slider does not affect existing units. So even if you set the slider far to the left which will probably give you negative manpower, your existing unit strength will remain the same (unless you change the military spending).
Keep in mind that when something has been researched, there is nothing else that gets automatically researched after that. So as soon as something has been completed, go to the main screen and select something else to be researched.
Budget - Leave the Budget panel to effect changes.
Loaned Units - Returning loaned units back to their original countries increases the manpower by a corresponding amount. So a 10,000 man unit returned to its owner will increase your manpower by 10. It will also decrease your military cost correspondingly.
Peace - Unlike in HOI, the enemy may accept peace terms even if you ask for more provinces than the victory points are worth. For instance, I had a 31% victory as the US (vs. Mexico), but was able to ask for 73% or so and Mexico accepted on the first try.
Watch out for troops of other nations massing along a common border.
The United States
Get on England's good side buy Improving Relations as often as possible. This may come in invaluable during the Civil War. With relations with England at 200 and an Alliance in place with England as well, I found that England supplied me with around 120,000-150,000 troops in 1861 alone. This was more than I could have raised otherwise. Plus England invaded the CSA taking over about half of the provinces while I worked on the other half; CSA armies were quickly routed and destroyed within about 14 months. Before I could complete my half, however, and possibly put an end to the war, England settled for peace with CSA forcing the CSA to surrender four provinces to the USA, but that's it. Somehow magically, the CSA was able to put about 115,000 troops back in the field instantly and all of the rest of the provinces were back in CSA hands. Now we had a full-blown Civil War back on, but with only the USA vs CSA, with a more than even fight for the CSA since it now had more troops in the field than the USA. Inexplicably, the CSA surrendered in Aug. 62 even though it had perhaps 10 provinces unoccupied and armies in the field. But in the interim, Texas became independent even though the US occupied all Texan provinces and had about 8000 men in Austin. As I moved my US units to the borders of Texas, my British loaned units were returned without any say so from me.
Another approach I used was to sell off territories to England in exchange for badly needed cash. I did that on three occassions selling off about six territories in all. I'm not sure how I'll get them back except to possibly buy them back at a later date. I tried selling them to France and Mexico, but they didn't have much in the way of money.
The Confederates get three ironclads rapidly. It wasn't worth going out to meet them in battle until having three of my own, which was at least several months later.
Note that units are "made" with the technology at the time of purchase. So units I commissioned were stronger than the ones already on the field at the start of the 1861 Campaign. Unlike in WWI, units with the Engineering attachment are very weak. The units to buy are the ones with artillery. They have some real fighting power, at least on offense. I didn't leave my units lying around long enough to test them on defense.
Be careful in accepting war with Spain. Make sure Spain isn't allied with France or someone. And watch out for aggressive invasions from Spain and any allies. This is where having a few decent naval units is very helpful. Park them at sea and they can take out enemy naval transports relatively easily.
It's also fun to invade Mexico from time to time. It's territory that is relatively easy to get. Advance on "Mejico" - the capital - as rapidly as possible since it's easy to capture with 40,000 or so troops and because it's worth 20% at the bargaining table if you decide to Sue for Peace.
France in 1914
Trade technology for money with Russia. Two or three techs may be worth 30,000 or so.
Trade territories for money and/or technology - especiall indirect artillery - with UK. I started selling off ones in Vietnam since Vietnam is prone to revolution anyway. Three or four territories ends up being worth 80,000 or more.
Disband cavalry. They are expensive and pretty ineffective at this point since they have low defensive values and this campaign is all about the defense.
I'm still not sure which affects attrition more: defence spending or army spending.
Use the navy to transport North African units to mainland France as quickly as possible. As soon as that's done, cut funding for the Navy to almost zero. That will save a great deal of money over time.
Don't toggle out of Victoria, or it will crash.
The key strategy for fighting war appears to be as follows:
Keep several divisions on hand at all times at all times, whether fighting or not. If not at war, then keep them on stand-by, just large enough to fight any rebellions, but small enough to keep them from draining the budget.
Keep the military spending slider, navy slider, and defence sliders all almost completely to the left to minimize costs unless actually in a war.
Remember that cutting spending by $3 per day equals an increase of cash reserves of $1000 per day.