|Please help improve this article or section by expanding it.|
Influence and Spheres
Think of a "sphere" as a group of client-nations that are dependent on the sphere leader for guidance. This is distinct from a "Satellite". A good example from this time period would be the Slavic states of the Balkans, which generally fell into Russia's "sphere". In Victoria 2, members of a sphere form a common market, on which goods are purchased and sold first, before going to the world market. This can be beneficial to ensure resource availability, as well as a captive market for finished goods. It is important to note that tariffs will not apply to goods purchased on this "common market".
How does sphering work?
Great Powers may influence other countries to join their Sphere, which makes forming alliances much easier. 50 points is needed to increase Opinion up until "friendly". 100 additional influence is needed to add the country to the Great Power's Sphere when said nation has a friendly status. 50 influence can also be used to decrease the relation of another great power. If another great power has sphered a nation you will need 100 points and friendly status to remove the nation from sphere. After a nation is removed from the sphere, the Great power will have a friendly status.
A great power status can vary from "hatred", "Opposed", "Neutral", "Cordial", "Friendly" and "Sphere Of Influence". Most nations will have a status of "neutral" with most great powers.
Last but not least, 25 influence can be used to discredit another Great Power, which will make them gain less influence over a certain time period. Influence can only be used to harm other great powers influence, if they are at the same status level. The exception is that it requires a friendly status, to remove a country from a sphere of influence.
Tricks and Tips
Great Powers may choose to deplete the existing influence of their rivals by establishing a tiny bit of influence at each country where any Great Power has at least 25 influence. Most of the time, the great powers will think that you have an interest in that country and therefore spend their 25 influence by "discrediting" the Great Power trying to advance its own influence. This can result in the destruction of several hundred influence at the cost of 3–5 days of influence. The Great Power may then allot its influence freely in any country where it is not discredited, assured in the knowledge that its rivals are months behind in sphering their own.