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The Netherlands covers what was later called "Benelux" and has more cash and units, etc, than in the original Europe scenario. It has the Ottoman flag, presumably for programming simplicity. A desirable further improvement would have been to place the inland ports each another step up-river to pick up some wool and timber.
The following AAR was published on the zetaboards forum (noted below) by user AdmiralNelson in April 2010:
I would not say this is a "Nigh on Impossible" scenario, to be honest, given my experiences with it last night.
The Netherlands has a capable army at start, and I expanded it by four regulars because I had excess labor and nothing to do with it yet. I took advantage of the British declaration of war on France to invade France myself. I drove directly south through Alsace-Lorraine (to cut off the Prussians who, like all the other Great Powers, will dogpile into the war) and then all the way down the Rhone Valley to Provence (which cut off the Sardinians). From there, I moved fast enough to get everything but Normandy, Paris and Picardie before the British landed in Normandy. This gives you even more resources to exploit, because it's essentially all of France except the farms & orchards in the north.
I'm not sure I would vary from this strategy at start, because even though the territory you start with has abundant forests and a good base of iron and coal reserves, there's really no reason not to take most of France if given the opportunity. It's certainly better to take France for yourself than to leave it for the other Great Powers.
I've been operating on something like a shoestring budget industrially (having just enough raw materials to keep my mills making just enough intermediary materials to make 1 or 2 of each finished good) but I have begun a systematic plan for industrial growth that should work quite well. I've also kept up steady trade with several minors: Sweden, the Ottoman Empire--which has become a minor with the elevation of the Dutch to Great Power, South Germany, Spain, North Africa and Denmark. Portugal, Sicily and Greece I also trade with occasionally. Sweden is friendliest at present (about 1826, I think) and I just got a developer.
I should also mention that I tried invading Britain when it declared war on France, but the Royal Navy continuously sank/captured my merchant marine (which I expected) and I couldn't really contest them at sea with just two frigates. They do offer peace after you take the northernmost provinces, and if you're going to try invading Britain as a way of stunting their growth/power/votes in the Council, it's probably best to take the first or second offer you get, so that your own growth isn't also stunted.
So, to sum up, this is probably a "Hard" difficulty scenario, because of the Netherlands' small size. Otherwise it has some good advantages and it's certainly been a fun game for me. :)
Others' comments on the above reportEdit
No need to wait for GB to DW on France: do it yourself on your first turn or (after trying to get allies) second turn. New army units should make use of those horses, and you have enough lumber and fabric to build a Clipper for more profitable trade.
- It's just three steps to Provence with its established port via Lorraine and Burgundy. There's little harm in letting weak Sardinia then try for Dauphine and Alsace if it likes, and that could help it to divert the attention of bigger GPs. Probably more than three turns, allowing for a bit of recovery.
- Next target could be Brittany with its grain-and-timber port and linked grain-and-wool depot. Several ways to get there: Picardy-Normandy may not be the fastest (because your transport won't get your whole army next to Picardy in one turn) but it is one of the shortest and does the best job of keeping other GPs away from Paris.
Following on from the above map, which of course did not result from exactly the suggested campaign, I take Alsace, Anjou, and Paris - which being a blocked port produces nothing - and start a wool+iron+timber port in Gascony; GB gets Picardy; by mid-1824 I have the rest of the French mainland and GB has Corsica. 1825 council vote gives GB 105, not enough to win, and Russia 29. Next turn, my railway reaches Paris, giving me horses, lots more food, and the linked fruit and timber in Anjou. At last I can expand population beyond 17. Next turn, GB DW on Austria, whose ally deserts it. Now it's Summer 1826; with population 17, 51 freight cars, and 16 ship holds I'm close behind Russia in the Council Projection but I must pull my Military Strength up from 4th place while sending my railway to the coal in Auvergne and spending $4,000 to raise to level 2 the coal and iron elsewhere. I should ideally have built some forts by now too. Watch this space. -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 15:02, April 25, 2012 (UTC)
In 1829 Austria, having been consistently bottom of the tables since France went out, gets picked on by the rest of us. Prussia, Russia, and Sardinia can do it easily, just across their borders. Poor old Netherlands has to do it the hard way getting a couple of ships all the way from the East Anglia Sea to the Gulf of Venice to establish a beachhead; gets Carinthia and Salzburg, having not quite enough strength to take the fortified capital before GB comes back to take that. Sardinia (stupidly?) breaks alliance and makes peace with Austria. Sardinia is lining itself up to be the next target of GB and Netherlands after Austria goes, because Netherlands uses its high rating in industry, labor, and internal transport to pull itself up to a clear second place in Military Strength and by early 1834 is either first or second in every department! -- Robin Patterson (Talk) 11:05, April 27, 2012 (UTC)