Firstly I’d like to say that this is an amazing(if frustrating) game.
That said, I must really suck at running a country. I’m playing the 1st scenario where you have national debt, homelessness crime, technology backwater, health and pollution problems.
I am able to solve some of the problems (like pollution, technology backwater, homelessness and some crime) in the first term. But then I hit the national debt ceiling by the next elections, and worse still, no one likes me - the most I have got was a measly 20% vote.
Can I get some tips on how people survive the first term/election?
I’ve tried not spending too much too soon, and I do get a surplus for a few turns, but then the economy takes a dive.
Makes me appreciate how hard a task our leaders have in balancing everything.
First, an over investment in the economy, to completely boost it. That means any technology development can be great (getting rid of the backwater), as well as different grants for businesses. All in all spending much more money than I have to boost the economy. As the debt ceiling is a bit far off, and as I am not investing on anything else at first, the deficit reverses to become quite a nice benefit.
And from when money does not become a problem, it becomes quite easy, it’s just a matter of massively investing in different services (hospital and education for example), reducing some costs in energy, cutting down a bit military while raising national help (costs less and has a bit of an impact on international trade and a bit less terrorism) and setting veteran funding (for the patriots who do not like the cut costs in military ). Etc etc etc
All in all, after 3 years this way, I started with a very low approval rating (0 as everybody, but I mean it didn’t rise much), but when elections arrived, I was in technological advance, I had been able to reduce taxes a bit a year before (no cynism and I had not raised it before), the economy was in recession but I had a profit of 10B per quarter and a positive (no debt) treasury of 50B around. And all red problems were solved (appart asthma but that was near).
So when the debt allows it (here it is barely but still manageable), my big advice is to drop the problems and start by building an economy that deserves its name. Then you can make people happy, and they’ll not even be too mad at you for having made you wait. Though in my system capitalists and motorists hate me. And patriot don’t like me too much, of course.
Do you play with political capital turned on or off? (I play with it on)
When you mean investment in nothing but economy, do you cut EVERYTHING else from the budget?
Even with political capital turned off, cutting the big spenders like military/police/health will decrease the number of state workers, which means increasing the unemployment which leads to poverty which leads to crime which leads to…vicious spiral
Debt is bad news, but the actual deficit at election time doesn’t upset voters too much. Concentrate on the economy, but at election time, concentrate on approval.
2)Pick your base. Its no good trying to be all things to all people. Pick a base that has a sizeable chunk of people in it
3)Keep an eye on the everyone group. By definition, it influences all voters, no matter how happy your base groups are, this group can pull their opinion below 50%. Remember, everyone is in multiple groups.
4)Plan ahead. some policies take ages to work. Kick those off early. Don’t make slow changes before an election, its a waste of time.
5)Where you don’t have mandatory voting, try and have a few real happy groups in order to build up party membership. Sometimes turnout can swing the election.
Don’t try ans solve all problems equally. Some really upset people (like diseases and class war) some are relatively tame. Compare the effects before deciding your priorities.
Freedonia is the easiest mission. If the games hard, start there, or lower the difficulty level .
I play with political capital on, I actually didn’t know you could turn it off
I’m not cutting any budget (a bit military, true, but not that much, 2-3B), instead I’m just over-spending in economy. So I’m keeping health/education/police/welfare budgets as they are, and using my political capital on new innovative policies (innovation and small business grants for example) as well as completely boosting other budgets (who said schools and science?). With 5-6 different policies/budgets (and around 60 to 70 points I’d say), you get to be spending quite a couple of millions… in the economy only.
If this does not overstep the debt (because for a couple of months your budget looks like a nightmare), then it will gradually reverse and deficit will become profit in a year or so. From there, I’m starting to boost the rest.
Needless to say my elector basis is quite obvious, then. Capitalists hate me, patriots are out, soon joined by automobilists, while state employees and self-employed love me, soon joined by parents (education funding), retirees (health spending) and ecologists (environment spending). This allows me most often to get the religious angry (stem cells and creationism) while stroking the liberals the good way though they don’t like my health-related laws (no prostitution, games and few alcohol).
Do not forget to pick ministers that are friendly towards the good target groups. When I begin with a minister that is “patriots religious”, there’s no way I’m keeping him. Fired and replaced directly with a bit better, so that you don’t have to do it later on, when you’ll then waste the experience he had gotten over time.