Is playing as Germany "easy mode"?

This is basically a repost of my comment on RPS because I’m really surprised at how easy everything was:

First post:
It took me all of 10 turns to create an educational utopia. Shortly before the first election, my country was virtually crime free. I am now 3 turns into my second term and my country is now a citadel of higher learning where religion has been all but wiped out, homelessness is about to be a thing of the past, alcohol abuse, poverty and urban unrest are on the decline, I have an ever growing GDP, have reduced my country’s debt from almost 1 trillion to 100bn and I have an approval rating of 92%.
Oh yeah, and I did all that during a global recession and a market crash.

Second post:
As head of the Peoples Front of Judea, I just won my third election with 97% approval. Were this the real German parliament, the Jehovah Party opposition wouldn’t even get any seats due to not reaching the necessary 5%.
Germany is now absolutely crime free. Everyone has perfect education. The country is debt-free, with reserves in excess of 300bn. There is no homelessness, no poverty. Obesity as an issue is non-existent. As the world leader in technology and science, we have just launched a space program.
The only problems facing us are a slight penchant for alcohol abuse (which I put down to Oktoberfest) and internet crime.

So, my question is: is playing as Germany “easy mode”? Or are there some balancing issues to work out?

I don’t really remember all the steps I took, but I basically started by raising some taxes to spend on social stuff like education and making stuff affordable for the poor. After my credit rating was lowered to B I cut pensions drastically and from then on it basically was smooth sailing. My debt kept getting smaller and smaller even though we were in a recession, I had the funds to spend on lots of social reforms to turn the country into a liberal socialist utopia and basically just concentrated on eliminating homelessness. Somehow all the other good stuff happened and everyone liked me except for capitalists and the religious. Both groups were small enough to safely ignore until companies started leaving due to my anti-capitalist policies. I simply lowered the corporate tax by a slight margin and introduced one other policy (forgot which one) and just spammed “next turn” (of course I also did some minor tweaks along the way to keep my people happy. But never anything big). My reserves were large enough to cushion the drop in GDP while the big companies left, but since they were at 300bn, a drop of 50bn was nothing. Then that crisis was over. Now everyone is voting for me. The capitalists still don’t like me, but I got 92% of their vote. The religious just stayed at home.

Particularly for people who’ve played Democracy 2, in my opinion, the default difficulty is very easy. Run it again on 200% and see if that’s more challenging.

I find Germany relatively easy. The hardest one is definitely the USA, and I have issues with Australia for some reason.

Yep. Germany was pretty easy for me too, but I felt like France was beginner mode. Australia got rough after my first term but I still managed to squeak two additional terms. US is still the only country where I haven’t gotten reelected, and also the only country I’ve been assassinated with.

I found the UK easy to turn into a Liberal Socialist utopia. I had the Liberals so happy, that I even had policies making Conservatives’ approval in the green even though there weren’t any in the country. And they were still giving me 100% approval. I think the nations probably ARE set up according to difficulty levels. Australia is definitely hard and the U.S. is the hardest to get re-elected in. But I have done it. I agree that increasing the difficulty will solve this problem if you take issue with it. Do that if you like playing Germany, but want it to be a challenge.

The difficulty comes from changing society from it’s starting position. Try making the UK a totally free-market small state society and you will find that much more of a challenge than just sticking with it’s initial setup and muddling through each election. Plus obviously the difficulty slider is your friend here :smiley:

On a related note, Cliffski, what does the difficulty slider actually do? I mean, obviously it alters the difficulty, but how does it do this? More expensive policies? More frequent negative events?

it does make tax income lower and policy costs higher, but changes a whole bunch of game variables such as minister loyalty, terrorist group stuff etc.

Similarly, trawling through the code I find that a number of the nasty events (Market Meltdown, Bird Flu, etc.) have a trigger condition denoted “winning”. How is that one determined?