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PostPosted: May 01 2008 
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Sergeant

Joined: Apr 09 2008
Posts: 17
Location: Sydney
OK!

I've been playing the second scenario in the "Australia" campaign for about a week... and constantly been going bankrupt. This was mainly because my supply was very tight on pretty much everything. To cover this I was building more industries, which was slowly sending broke. I would start the scenario with $18Bil, sell off military units, and get to $87Bil. I would then start trying to build my industry base. After repeated goes at it I would finally arrest the fall at about $5-10Bil, at which point the backside would fall out of the prices o the commodities market, Indomalayan would declare war, the Philippines would declare war, or any combination of these, thus sending me very broke again..... |O


I was just about at my wits end. And then.......

I discovered that some of my industries were extremely inefficient! Extremely inefficient! I found that if I invested carefully in upgrading the plants I could arrest the treasury's slide at about $60Bil. Which is fantastic.

Anyway, I know I could probably do an even better job at economic management with more practice, but the point of my post is that I find this game to be very, very, very rewarding! And I haven't even fought a war yet.....

No doubt there is a lot of hair pulling to come yet! Followed by more "Woohoo" moments!

Top stuff BG Studios!

P.S. - I think that the developers continued support of fans ought to be applauded. Can't wait for 2020! 8)

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War? Hughhh, Good god! What is it good for? Making lots of money!


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PostPosted: May 01 2008 
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Sergeant

Joined: Apr 09 2008
Posts: 17
Location: Sydney
Well.... the woohoo moments don't last long. I'm bankrupt again.

It seems I'm just not smart enough to play this game....

How can a country that has low unemployment (4.2%), low inflation (4.8%), and surpluses in all products, spending well below the recommended levels on research and social services go broke? It seems that any time I create a surplus my prices increase causing my products to become uncompetitive on the WM. Oh, and I have no units on the board and I'm at Defcon 0......

Is this because I have created too great a level of surplus across my industries? Should volume not lower cost per item, particularly in a low inflation environment? Why is Paul Li, my Commerce Ministe completely incapable of making my industry competitive......

It seems any way I handle the economy in this game the result is the same. Bankruptcy. I thought I had worked it out, but it now only takes four hours to go broke, not one......

I'm finding this game to be very, very, very frustrating!


Grrrrrrr!

Damn you, BG Studios!

:evil:

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War? Hughhh, Good god! What is it good for? Making lots of money!


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PostPosted: May 01 2008 
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try posting a screenshot of your expense report and your income report, that should get you lots of suggestions...

Have you checked out the Treasury section on the Wiki?

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BattleGoat Studios
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PostPosted: May 01 2008 
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General
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Joined: May 23 2006
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Location: Texas
Two ideas to check... what is Paul spending on efficiency? Did you give him any orders? Are your industries ordered to produce at full capacity? or to meet demand? Check his export/domestic prices against production costs.

Screen shots would indeed help.

-Light

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"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” -Winston Churchill


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PostPosted: May 01 2008 
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Location: In a vast zionist plot ...RIGHT BEHIND YOU ! Oh Noes !
Two ?
That must be an example of that "new math" i keep hearing about .

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PostPosted: May 01 2008 
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Well Bugs, if you break down the various "sub" questions, you will notice that I really did ask just two basic questions.

1."What, if anything, have you ordered the minister to do/not do?"

2. "What sort of spending/pricing mistakes might he be making sans orders?"

Yes, I realized after clicking "submit" that I had broken my two questions into several separate parts. They must have put extra Geritol powder in your mush this morning... :P

-Light

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"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” -Winston Churchill


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PostPosted: May 01 2008 
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Sergeant

Joined: Apr 09 2008
Posts: 17
Location: Sydney
Thanks for your responses!

I'm sorry, I realise this would more appropriately be in the "Economics" thread. Woops!

I'll Google "How to take a screenshot" shortly....

I've asked Paul Li to "Increase Efficiency" and "Maximise Profit opportunities". I'm making huge surpluses on most goods after my campaign of upgrading facilities. As far as I can discern, my industry just isn't efficient enough so production costs are indeed high as a result. The crux of the problem seems to be these production costs (they are by far my biggest expense) but the whole time Paul has been set to increase efficiency. Generally the minister will run industry at full capacity while there are buyers and will pull it back to demand when the prices get too high. There is now no demand for any of my goods (including Uranium, which only Australia and the WM produce in this scenario) due to their high price.

I tried to increase efficiency in stages from electricity, raw materials, and then on to manufactured goods.

I'm guessing that Australia should be one of the more economically stable regions to play? Obviously I'm doing something very, very wrong!

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War? Hughhh, Good god! What is it good for? Making lots of money!


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PostPosted: May 01 2008 
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Sergeant

Joined: Apr 09 2008
Posts: 17
Location: Sydney
Just a quick one.

Are Export Duties applied pre or post sale? In other words, can I increase the competitiveness of my goods by educing export duties or are the duties levied on the exporter, rather than the purchaser?

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War? Hughhh, Good god! What is it good for? Making lots of money!


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PostPosted: May 02 2008 
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Joined: May 23 2006
Posts: 2973
Location: Texas
Alright, export duties first. While I would hope that export duties be levied on the buyers, I have no idea if they are added into the cost you (or Paul) set, or tacked on during the sale. Removing them would seem to make you more competitive, but overall production cost is where your problem lies.

If I am not mistaken, you are suffering from a combination of two things. My guess would be that your GDP/labor costs and your efficiency investments are too high, and driving up your production costs. Remove the "improve efficiency" orders, or at the very least check to see how much he is spending on this. The efficiency investment has a break even point, where further spending begins to seriously add to overall production cost beyond any gain in production rate. Basically the AI interprets the order as, "Produce as many of item "A" as possible, regardless of cost." This not only eats up growing chunks of your overall budget, but it starts pricing your goods out of the market. Secondly, your economy may be too "hot". With sustained periods of high employment and production levels, your GDP grows larger. While this may be excellent for your citizens, it translates to higher wages for them. What happens is exactly what is happening to the United States currently. Other countries can make the same product much more cheaply because of lower labor costs (among other things).

One of the things I do to combat this and trim costs is to remove or at least "unplug" less productive facilities. By this I mean checking the detail lists of all facilities from agriculture to military goods. Mainly concentrating on "surplus" items, I will scroll down to the bottom of the list, and mentally set a cut off level. Example: My country, Examplistan, has facilities that will produce, at full tilt, 150% of the fresh water my population will consume. On the bottom of my water facility list are several plants that produce water between 9% and 17%. I decide that operating these plants costs more than they are worth, and order them torn down. After the day/turn clicks over, my top end production is still about 140% of domestic demand, so I look at the list and notice five more water plants producing at a 25% rate. Above them on the list it jumps to 33% and higher. Since these 25% plants are not completely worthless, I order them shut down (but not destroyed). The overall effect of this is to keep the majority of my production, while slicing off a larger % of my operating costs. In essence, this is a different type of efficiency upgrade. Unemployment may rise a little bit, but GDP should also drop some, dropping my labor costs as well. While you check your lists of facility details, it often pays to highlight each facility that you started the game with and pay the upgrade cost for those that are upgradeable. This might turn a few of those 33% water plants into 38%-42% water plants, making up the production difference for plants you shut down or destroyed.

Usually, I will disable enough facilities to drop my top end production to about 110%-120% of domestic demand on everything but my big money making export items (if any), very early in the game. For industries/raw materials I am short on, the upgrades can help relieve the shortage somewhat. Then, with a solid base, I can assess the market and my unexploited resources and form a plan to cover my weaknesses and take advantage of my strengths.

-Light

_________________
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” -Winston Churchill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 02 2008 
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Joined: Sep 08 2002
Posts: 2616
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Location: Ancaster, Ontario - BattleGoat Studios
TigerPJM wrote:
Thanks for your responses!

I'll Google "How to take a screenshot" shortly....


press "print screen" on your keyboard. then open "paint" and paste will add the screen shot there... then use a free website like photobucket.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 03 2008 
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Sergeant

Joined: Apr 09 2008
Posts: 17
Location: Sydney
Light,

As usual and once again, thanks for your generously detailed reply. A virtual beer (or your drink of choice) at the bar for you! Your estimate f my position is pretty much spot on. This is why my DAR keeps rising to beyond 35% even though I take the razor to service spending and my coffers run dry.....

What I had done was something very similar to what you suggest. With a twist! I had gone on a campaign of shutting down expensive and inefficient facilities while upgrading those where a significantly large enough gain can be made. Probably where I have gone wrong was misunderstanding the exact effect of the "Increase Efficiency" function. My understanding was that this would be applied with consideration to the actual efficiency of the investment spend, i.e. if I have to spend 20% more for a 5% efficiency gain which then nets a lower return overall after the investment, then this isn't an efficient investment and that investment would therefore not be made. As a matter of fact I was getting quite frustrated with "Paul" as I often saw industry efficiency dropping below the 70-80% efficiency band and would then manually invest. This had a short term benefit (goods being exported at profit), but my goods would quickly be priced out of competitiveness once again.

So, with this in mind I have a couple of questions.

1) If I invest in upgrading a plant from, say, 10% to 100% efficiency, does that plant still employ the same amount of people after the upgrade as before or is there an increase?

2) In a scenario with only two opponents, do I only trade with those opponents? My understanding was that there was a broader "WM" that existed outside of the scenario. I'm now not so sure. The reason being that I'm producing Uranium at well below the WM price, but there are no buyers.

3) Given that I had actually aimed to create large goods surpluses (to make export dollars) is there actually anything wrong with this per se, or is it only in light of low unemployment and high GDP environment? You mention 110-120% surpluses are what you aim for, is this for the same reason?

I don't know whether anyone else has played the Australia campaign but I suspect the developers had an inkling about the difficulty of the Australian economy. The reason for this suspicion is the size of the Australian military when you get into the second scenario of the Australian campaign. In reserve, on numbers alone, you could go toe to toe with the USA! I sold off a lot of units and raised just on $100bil. And I'm still going broke!

Sorry to be a complete pest, I don't know whether anyone else is as painful as me! Obviously a lot of people are grasping the concepts on their own so I appreciate your guidance! I'm actually enjoying the fact that I'm not completely getting it as I'm finding it a real challenge. I'm also enjoying that it is a game that can be discussed and played to a particular style, which is quite unique.

Cheers once again!

Pete

Cheers once again!

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War? Hughhh, Good god! What is it good for? Making lots of money!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 03 2008 
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Joined: May 23 2006
Posts: 2973
Location: Texas
Pete-

I knew there was a reason I liked you... my name is Pete as well! :lol:

The reason I always suggest Paul Li as Production/Commerce Minister is because he is such a hyperactive manager. While other ministers sit on their hands and might get around to half-heartedly following your orders, Paul jumps on them like a starving dog on a bone. This is a good thing most of the time even when no orders are given, but he can go overboard. So like any AI minister, tis best to keep an eye on him. He was probably trying to lower efficiency investments to lower product costs and be able to perform the export surplus orders. As you have figured out, the efficiency investment is better used to cover a supply shortage than to increase exportable tonnage. I find that 60%-80% is plenty in most cases, and too much even when natural supply is plentiful.

Tiger wrote:
1) If I invest in upgrading a plant from, say, 10% to 100% efficiency, does that plant still employ the same amount of people after the upgrade as before or is there an increase?

Come to think of it, I don't know the answer to this one. On one hand, the factory might well be upgraded in size, leading to more employees. On the other, you might just have more people actually working at previously nonfunctional work stations, instead of pushing brooms or playing cards beside broken equipment or joking with their mates in the break room. Regardless of the effect on employment levels, I will start upgrading factories in the highest supply levels. This allows me to shut down crappier supplied factories and save maintenance costs.

2) In a scenario with only two opponents, do I only trade with those opponents? My understanding was that there was a broader "WM" that existed outside of the scenario. I'm now not so sure. The reason being that I'm producing Uranium at well below the WM price, but there are no buyers.

This is another one I am fuzzy on. It has been quite a while since I played a scenario smaller than North America, so I am used to quite a few individual countries being available to buy my exports. If I remember correctly, the WM is a supply only trade partner, and actual countries are the only ones to buy stuff. Heck, it may just be that the WM has too much stock and isn't buying Uranium at the moment.

3) Given that I had actually aimed to create large goods surpluses (to make export dollars) is there actually anything wrong with this per se, or is it only in light of low unemployment and high GDP environment? You mention 110-120% surpluses are what you aim for, is this for the same reason?

The 110%-120% mark I mentioned was sort of a starting place. It leaves enough surplus to sell some, or for your minister to perhaps drop the domestic price and sell more at home, without creating a shortage. The main goal was to turn the power off on as many facilities as possible until the export market clears up and settles down. There is nothing wrong with creating a major surplus intended for export, if the market is right for it. Before I invest towards that goal, I like to make sure that some other country isn't supplying arseloads of the same thing at 1/2 the price I can afford to sell it at. Hence the short period of "hide and watch" before charting my industrial course. Sort of like losing extra weight and getting in decent general shape before starting serious training at a specific sport.
If my price is right for export, I'll reactivate some of the more marginal facilities and boost export production.


Trust me, you are not being a pain. Actually I haven't had the time to play lately and chatting about it is a decent substitute. As you mentioned, this game is pretty unique in that there is no "right way" to play it. Don't feel like the lone ranger when it comes to the economy frustrating your efforts. I am passing along what I know, but the closest thing to a hard and fast rule in this game is only right "most" of the time! :P I still have plenty of, "What the Hell!!?!?!" moments. As you are learning, each scenario, heck each country in each scenario, has it's own optimum methods, so just keep fiddling around and you will find the tactics that suit you best (and how to change them when they don't work in another country! lol).

Be well and get rich!

-Light

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"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” -Winston Churchill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 03 2008 
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Supreme Ruler
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Joined: Jun 04 2002
Posts: 11943
Location: In a vast zionist plot ...RIGHT BEHIND YOU ! Oh Noes !
TigerPJM wrote:
Light,


1) If I invest in upgrading a plant from, say, 10% to 100% efficiency, does that plant still employ the same amount of people after the upgrade as before or is there an increase?

Hmm, i dont remember.I "think" increasing efficiency raises unemployment,so in effect the answer technically would be yes.
Ill try and remember to look in the near future and verify.


2) In a scenario with only two opponents, do I only trade with those opponents? My understanding was that there was a broader "WM" that existed outside of the scenario. I'm now not so sure. The reason being that I'm producing Uranium at well below the WM price, but there are no buyers.

The WM does buy from you and other regions.It seems to depend alot on how they feel towards you on how often they buy from you.They can in fact boycott you completely if they dislike you enough.

3) Given that I had actually aimed to create large goods surpluses (to make export dollars) is there actually anything wrong with this per se, or is it only in light of low unemployment and high GDP environment? You mention 110-120% surpluses are what you aim for, is this for the same reason?

I dont understand the questions in 3 :oops:


Cheers once again!

Pete

Cheers once again!

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This post approved by Tkobo:Official Rabble Rouser of the United Yahoos
Chuckle TM


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