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The Conrad Is On: Victoria II - Heart Of Darkness

Victoria II has always felt a little incomprehensible to me and it's not just the time period or the focus on industry and empire. When I play strategy games, grand or otherwise, I tend to prefer taking control of a small entity. I'm no Ozymandias - my pedestal would read "Look upon my works, if ye like, I mean, if ye have a minute to spare" - so I'm more naturally drawn to the small-scale squabbles, exploration and expansion of earlier ages. The next piece of DLC, Heart of Darkness, could be just what I need to give the game another shot. As the title suggests, the expansion concentrates on the 'scramble for Africa', but it also promises to make the game more interesting for smaller powers. Details below.

  • New colonization system that emphasizes competition between expanding powers and the possibility for minor disputes to escalate into crises

  • New naval system with greater detail in battles, including gun ranges and positioning, and more types of ships to bridge the gap between ironclads and dreadnoughts
  • International crises that will test the resolve of Great Powers and force them to decide what price they will pay to maintain their prestige. As a smaller power, stir up crises to force the world to pay attention to your grievances.
  • A newspaper system will allow you to track all the most important events in your world instead of relying on the game log. With over 60 papers to choose from, find those that will tell you what you really need to know.
  • The newspaper system intrigues me and reminds me of something that I forgot to mention when writing about March of the Eagles - battles in that game now have flavour text, describing the events. It's a small addition in many ways, but along with the newspaper system it shows that Paradox are experimenting with ways of interpreting data and representing information to the player in new forms. That's something to keep an eye on.

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