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Thread: Australia: Rise of a Constellation

  1. #1
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    Australia: Rise of a Constellation

    Being the account of an Australian game in mostly vanilla Vic2. The only changes being different colours for some nations, and nerfed bureaucrat NFs (they work at 1/3 the vanilla rate and cannot be used on colonies).


    In 1836, in an attempt to permanently cut off the more dysfunctional part of its empire, the UK abandons Australia to its fate. It also decides to maintain New Zealand as a mere dominion, but the latter is practically a Maori state, with very few Europeans living on its two islands. Singapore now marks the south-easternmost outpost of the British Empire.

    Australia, after this, emerged as a land of almost 400,000 souls, most of them Aboriginals. The first ten years were tough. The land had to be tamed, and there were not enough people or money to do so, but eventually advances in medicine and culture allowed for some early measure of prosperity. A railway began to be built around the continent, while the uncolonized parts of New Zealand were settled by Australians eager to escape their uncrowded continent for a cozier place.

    Isolated as they were, the Australians could afford the luxury to apply their criminal masterminds to more theoretical problems of human existence, making profound contributions to the fields of art, philosophy and education. As a result, within a decade Australia was recognized as a significant presence in the world and the Australians began to entertain bigger ambitions for their role in Oceania, the Indian and Pacific Oceans and history at large. And so it came to be that for the next two decades Australians spread their raids and their influence across the lands like a pirate empire, its reach gradually expanding in the surrounding oceans. First Bali was made a protectorate, then Brunei. As the British expanded in China and they and the Russians exerted influence over that vast country, Australia influenced Korea and Madagascar, pulled New Zealand into its sphere of influence and then Oman. In the early 1860s Australians plundered Johore and made contact with British Singapore, while a more daring assault brought Hawaii under Australian control. A network of allies and protectorates had arisen in the south to stand up to the two Great Powers that were vying for influence in the region, the United Kingdom and the Russian Empire, and the lesser Great Power, the Netherlands, with its strong presence in Indonesia. The Indian-Pacific Co-Prosperity Sphere (IPCOPS) had been born.


    The world in 1864, from an Australian cartographic perspective

    After that, Australian diplomacy sought to increase its influence in Arabia, especially since Abu Dhabi was annexed by Austria and it looked like other colonial nations would follow suit. And sure enough, in December 1869 Spain attempted to acquire Hedjaz and would have succeeded if it werenít for Australian intervention.

    A greater crisis arose in 1873. Mexico was on the rise and threatened to displace Australia from great power status. Since it was in a losing war with the USA (which had already lost the CSA), the council of Australian kingpins decided it was time for their most daring operation to date. A war on Mexico to annex California. The distance was large but Hawaii served as an indispensable base of operations and the Australian army by then had 12 whole brigades at its disposal. One thing that had not been taken into account was that Russia decided to intervene, and that changed the war significantly. The Australian army fought in California and Russian Oregon, eventually coming out on top, but its victories meant little towards the heavy price that Mexico and Russia were willing to pay to keep California.



    When the war started the Australian navy had 4 commerce raiders, 2 new ironclad battleships and 12 steam transports. When the Russian navy swarmed the seas, blockading all of Australiaís ports, a massive construction program was initiated to bring the number of ironclads up to 10. By the summer of 1875 enemy activity in California and Oregon had been suppressed, and most of the army could be ferried back to Australia to fight off a Russian invasion. Meanwhile, the Australian fleet started sweeping the Russian commerce raider squadrons, picking up new ironclads along the way at each port that was opened up.

    Combat operations continued in North America, with all Mexican and Russian territories north of the Gulf of California being occupied by 1878, and the invasion pressing into Mexico proper. Meanwhile, the Australian fleet had converged to the Persian Gulf, where an amphibious landing was conducted on the Russian shores of Persia.



    That caused a mobilization in Russia, which caused the latterís army to shoot up from about 20 brigades to over a hundred. After some plundering and an initial military victory in Persia, the Australians had to pull back and most of the army was sent back to America to Finish The Job there.

    The war dragged on, and in 1880 Spain once more attempted to conquer Hedjaz. Australia responded with an invasion of the Philippines and by the summer of 1881 the Spanish conceded their defeat and signed a white peace. Soon afterwards, Italy, which had formed sometime in the mid-1870s, attempted the same, but its imperial ambitions were met and crushed in Mecca. Finally, in December 1882, after almost a decade of fighting, the Russians accepted the Australian annexation of California.

    California changed everything for Australia. Up until then, the nation had no industry to speak of, with just a couple of small pilot factories in Australia which were chronically undermanned. California gave Australia an industrial hub, with 8 fully staffed factories, catapulting the countryís industrial score from 0 to 58.



    Australians welcomed this peace, after so many years at war, but it was interrupted in 1884 by the Portuguese who, like everyone else in South Europe, wanted to annex Hedjaz. As Australia prepares to face down another European empire, it can contemplate the growing success of IPCOPS with satisfaction. China has passed to the sphere of influence of the UK (but its position is threatened by Russia) and Australia has not yet succeeded in displacing American influence in Japan, but the oceanic network is spreading and Australian colonists are consistently beating the Dutch in settling islands in the Pacific.


    The world in 1884, from an Australian cartographic perspective. Note that the UK has taken New York.

  2. #2
    Interesting choice, I look forward to later entries. The map is cool too, although it is a little hard for me to understand it.

  3. #3
    Second Lieutenant Surume's Avatar
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    I like the interesting perspective. How did you do the Australian Cartographic perspective?

    Also, who controls easter island? That seems like the only area of the pacific which you are not involved in.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by zanzibar42 View Post
    Interesting choice, I look forward to later entries. The map is cool too, although it is a little hard for me to understand it.
    That's because it's upside down.

  5. #5
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    I inverted and mirrored the map, making it upside down, and then I cut it west of Iceland and pasted the American part left of the Eurasian part. Thus, we have a map centered on the Pacific, with Australia top-center, in the most prominent position. I find this change of perspective one of the most fun things about this game, since it changes the geopolitical perspective, and it's one of the reasons I decided to write an AAR about it.

    Easter Island has not been colonized yet, and it will take me some time to get there, since it's one of the most isolated inhabited islands on Earth.

  6. #6
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    Oh, Australia-! Land of the free, home of the brave, and - er, those who annex California? It makes sense in context, I suppose. Although it pains me to see Russian expansion in the USA that will be stopped (as a fan of Nabokov, I can only wonder at an alternate timeline where it is Russia that colonizes the West coast), I have to say that your methods are impressive. I don't know how your navy is going to turn out, but I'll be watching eagerly to see the Co-Prosperity sphere (aha) reach it's ultimate form.
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  7. #7
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    I decided to take California when I did because Mexico was set to displace me as the 8th great power, and I wanted to weaken it. I didn't expect the war would drag on for as long as it did, or that my position would frequently be threatened because of it - as I occupied Mexican provinces, their RGOs emptied and the people went to work in the factories, raising Mexico's industrial score; I had a few close calls. Afterwards I was faced with the choice of keeping it or releasing it as a satellite, and I decided to keep it.

    Don't worry though, I don't intend to threaten Russian Oregon at any time in the future.

  8. #8
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    In October 1885 Portugal accepted peace, with the term of the liberation of Zanzibar. The latter expanded Australia’s influence in Africa, and on the Indian Ocean as a whole. After that there was finally peace, and Australia took advantage of that time to reform its armed forces. The armies of old were transformed into the 1st and 2nd Marine Corps, and a process of gradual expansion of the military was initiated. That peace might have lasted quite longer if it weren’t for serious events in Europe. Spain had a revolution, and lost all its alliances and guarantees. France took that opportunity to extend its conquests in Iberia, while the people of Cuba shouted viva la revolucion! while their colonial masters were busy. Seeing as freedom fighters in the Philippines were not as promising in their results. Australia decided to help, and declared war on Spain to liberate the Philippines. The Spanish were loath to part with those lucrative islands, but after little more than a year of fighting, in mid 1890, they agreed to recognize the independence of the two southern regions of the Philippines.



    Smug from their recent victories, Australians proceeded to influence Japan and Colombia. In the former much ground was gained but in the latter they were consistently thwarted by American actions. As it seemed like a more serious antagonism with the USA was developing, the Australian armies, five Marine Corps of 7 brigades each were stationed in California to guard against any eventuality or to be ready to take offensive action. As it was, the Americans struck first. On 3 March 1893 they declared war with the goal of annexing California. For half a year Australians fought against greater odds, managing to survive through skillful maneuvers, as the Yankees occupied northern California. Then, the tide slowly changed. The Australian marines began to reclaim the lost ground, defeating the American armies in detail, even as they struggled to avoid encirclement themselves. A year into the war, the Americans asked for a white peace. Their request was turned down. It had become obvious to Australian leaders that a border with the USA was too dangerous, as it would incite similar incidents in the future. Instead, they demanded that the USA release Deseret in Arizona. The Mormons would serve as a buffer state, affiliated with Australia but still neutral unless commanded otherwise. After another half year, and the liberation of Arizona by Australian Marines, the Yankees had to accept.



    The USA soon found itself in a hopeless war against the CSA and USCA, while Australia enacted administrative reforms. In Christmas of 1894 five colonies were officially declared states, in addition to the four existing ones (two mainland states had become colonies after their lands were expanded in central Australia and hadn’t developed a sufficiently large population of Australian bureaucrats to become states again). Those new states were Bali, Aceh, Singapore, South Island and South Australia.

    In 1897, a border incident gave Australia a casus belli on Portugal. Immediately war was declared, claiming the state of Macao. That war was ended in the Christmas peace of 1898, but before that Australia had become entangled in a war on the other side of the world. Frustrated at the lack of success in influencing Colombia, a plan was instead carried out to liberate Panama, which would be more pliant to Australian interests. The USA, however, was no longer the weak federation that couldn’t take on the CSA a few years back. It intervened on the side of Mexico and brought a powerful navy into the war.

    The value of Deseret was then appreciated, as the Americans were reluctant to break its neutrality and could thus not threaten California directly. With that front covered, four of the then six Marine Corps invaded Colombia (one was fighting in Africa while another guarded California from unrest). The new Australian cruisers, previously stationed in California and recently operating off Madagascar, were ordered to redeploy to Colombia. The shortest way there was through the straits of Magellan, thus circumnavigating the globe. However, at those straits they encountered an American fleet and engaged in a fierce battle. The American ships were more in number, so the Australians had to finally retreat north, steaming to California at full speed. There, 4 new cruisers began to be constructed, doubling the cruiser fleet.

    In 1901, Colombia was finally completely occupied. Still the USA refused to accept Australia’s terms, so the Marines were brought back to California to prepare for an invasion of New Mexico. Meanwhile, the cruisers and ironclads of the Australian fleet steamed around South America, arriving at the occupied Caribbean ports of Colombia. From there they operated in the Gulf of Mexico, facing off the US Navy and gradually wearing it down, albeit with the loss of two ironclads. In 1902 the Marines swept through the American southwest, eventually reaching the shores of Texas. In 3 April 1902, after four years of war, Panama was officially liberated! Almost immediately afterwards, the Panama Canal was built on land leashed to Australia in perpetuity. Liberty prevailed, and Australia lost some infamy in the eyes of the world.

    When the Portuguese got in a third war with Australia in 1904, the Australian navy immediately departed from Balboa and blockaded the European coastline of Portugal. While the Portuguese colonies were being overrun in Africa, the 3rd Marine Corps landed in Casablanca on May 1905. For the first time in its history, Australia showed that it could project power at the gates of Europe. A peace was soon agreed upon, with Portugal ceding some territory to Zanzibar.

    The Australian-led IPCOPS stands expanded by liberation, colonization and influence. An Australian colony in Somalia makes the area off-limits to European powers, although the Swedes still hold on to Eritrea, previously conquered from Egypt. The French recently built the Suez Canal, after their Ottoman allies annexed that region, while the Netherlands are competing with France and the UK in the scramble for Africa.


    IPCOPS in 1905

  9. #9
    Lost in Time Ashantai's Avatar
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    Yay for Oz! Extraordinary work. I am just...amazed at your progress. I initially despaired of doing anything with Australia in 1836. Fantastic!
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  10. #10
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    Thank you! Australia is impeded by a very low population density, but if it can establish some protectorates that give it soldier POPs, it's a whole new game after that.

  11. #11
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    1906 shook things up, quite literally for San Francisco.



    A few months later, a border incident gave Australia a casus belli to acquire a state from Mexico. Direct territorial expansion in North America was not deemed desirable, but the warmongers in the recently victorious Australian Labour Party convinced the rest that this was a good opportunity to prop up Deseret. Mexico still owned Nevada-Utah, in an awkward geopolitical arrangement. In December, war was declared with the intent to join those states with Deseret. The war lasted for over two years, but in the end Australian marines were victorious. Little did those Australian cabinet members realize that their voters were not amused by those military adventures and instead demanded political reform. For the next ten years Australia would be rocked by continuous revolution, as the Communists (and other groups, to lesser extents) sought to take advantage of seething public sentiment to depose the constitutional monarchy.

    While most marine corps and the Australian Home Army were in constant operations against rebels, the Portuguese attempted to annex Zanzibar and were met by the Australian Navy and two marine corps that were eventually spared for the purpose. In May 1913 that war was won, with Portugal granting Goa its independence, as the tiny country of India.



    In the course of the next years, Egypt, already dwindling in size after repeated wars with the Ottoman Empire, became carved up by Italy, Sweden, the Ottomans, and Ethiopia, through the actions of its new protector, Australia. Meanwhile, France declared war on the Netherlands with the goal of conquering Java. It was a war that would last a decade, with the French occupying the Netherlands and almost all Dutch colonies except Java, which was well guarded by competent armies. The decade of turmoil reached its dramatic climax in 1918 when the Soviet Union was formed in Russia, while in Australia, after much political effort, the vote franchise was made universal, appeasing the majority of the population and getting all but a few die-hard communists to lay down their arms. A war started by Mexico to annex Deseret, which was defended by Australian marines, was an afterthought to those more important events. However, in 1919 Portugal made another attempt to get Zanzibar, and this time it was made to part with Lindi region, recently expanded through colonization. Australia, Zanzibar and Ethiopia dominated East Africa, while the former kept an alliance with Sweden, owner of the land north of Ethiopia, while Madagascar and Zulu were firmly within IPCOPS, or at least that was the assumption.



    That assumption was proven wrong in 1923, when a revolution in Madagascar deposed the previous government and severed all diplomatic ties with Australia. France had recently given up in its attempts to force the Netherlands to part with Java and found this opportunity to invade Madagascar. Fortunately, Australian diplomats had managed to quickly build up relations to such an extent that their country could intervene in that war, to save the island. And so it was that in 30 November 1923 Australia went to war against France.

    The war lasted less than a year and was fought mostly at sea, with the exception of some small battles in Madagascar, which saw the Australian 4th Marine Corps defeat and capture the French expeditionary force on the island. At sea, the French had a huge advantage in numbers Ė over 400 ships, many of them cruisers. However, they were spread out all over their large empire, and Australia had 10 cruisers and 12 dreadnoughts, which converged in East Africa, which was the main theatre of war. Initial clashes proved that they were insufficient to combat the French, and the fleets withdrew to safe ports, with the loss of one cruiser. Ten new dreadnoughts were then commissioned, but they didnít get to see action before the war ended. In the summer of 1924, the Australian navies once again contested the seas, but were unable to link up and were engaged in two separate battles



    Forunately France, seeing the futility of the conflict, proposed a white peace in September, which Australia graciously accepted. Relations between the two countries were not strained much by that small war and Madagascar was easily reintegrated into IPCOPS.

    In 1925 womenís suffrage was enacted, as Mexico was defeated in another war started by it to annex Deseret. At the first quarter point of the 20th Century, Africa is all colonized and Egypt is reduced to two states. Australia has managed to dowse the fires of revolution, even as the Soviet Union appeared in the north, and the former expanded its influence in South America and Africa. IPCOPS spreads across the wide oceans like a constellation encompassing half the terrestrial sky. One more decade remains on this voyage.




    IPCOPS in 1926. Allied Sweden is marked in darker blue.

  12. #12
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    The second half of the 1920s saw Australia involved in yet more distant wars, to protect her allies or friendly nations. Oranje was repelled from the lands of the Zulu, the USA and Colombia were fought to maintain the status quo, since they were in a war against the CSA and the USCA, and by 1930 Mexico was at it again, trying to annex Deseret. This time, Australian policy-makers decided sterner measures were called for. After the initial formidable Mexican advance was beaten back after a year of fighting, Australia called the USCA to join the war and expanded the war goals to acquire Sonora (it didn’t hurt that Australia still had a casus belli for it, from 1906). As Australian and Deseret troops pushed in from the north and Central American troops pressed up from the south, it was obvious that Mexico’s days as a trouble-maker were numbered. The USCA added Yukatan to the war goals (which, together, totaled a warscore of 100 if completely occupied) and Deseret later joined the conquering glee club by demanding the region south of Sonora.

    The war was still raging in 1933 when news came that China embraced westernization, and would now compete with the civilized nations on an equal footing. A bit late perhaps, but that still made it the first ‘uncivilized’ country to take that bold step. Meanwhile, in Mexico, Deseret signed a separate peace, allowing it to take its claimed territory while Australia and the USCA continued the occupation to receive their own pieces of the pie. Finally, in September 1933 the war was concluded, and the map of North America was redrawn.


    Arguably, it would have looked better without the Deseret bit sticking into Mexico...

    The result of that war significantly reduced the threat of Mexico for the future peace of Australian interests in North America, but it also added a volatile demographic to Australian society. Before Sonoto was gained, Australian society had experienced a long drop in militancy, leading to the near elimination of all extremist groups. The people of Sonoro, on the other hand, had something about them that hinted that they wouldn’t fit in.


    Yes, that’s a 49% fascist population that votes 67% communist. It’s like Hitler and Stalin had a baby in Mexico and Australia was left to raise it.

    Perhaps as a result of those new and strange demographics, the reactionary “Nationalist Party” won the 1935 elections, getting 20% of the vote in a country with over 50% socialists and only trace amounts of reactionaries... Still, Australia was none the worse for it, while Mexico soon descended into civil war, with the fascists overrunning the country. Meanwhile, north of the Rio Grande, the USA’s new war against the CSA drew in the UK, which opened the flood gates of Canada and deluged the USA with soldiers. At the end of 1935, the situation does not look good for the Union…



    At this point our journey ends. Australia has achieved the position of 5th most powerful nation in the world – and in a much more envious position than number 4, the USA, at the moment. Australian society is one of the most liberal in the world, with 99% literacy and a well-oiled state infrastructure enabling a high degree of socialist care for the people. As importantly, the Indian-Pacific Co-Prosperity Sphere dominates the greater part of the planet’s surface, connecting the many states and nations across its shores like the stars in a constellation, with the brightest star being Australia itself. The flag has become the world; as above, so below.

    And that’s that.












  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selzro View Post

    Yes, thatís a 49% fascist population that votes 67% communist. Itís like Hitler and Stalin had a baby in Mexico and Australia was left to raise it.


    *Eh hem*

    Good show.

  14. #14
    This is awesome.

  15. #15
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    Thank you, good sirs.

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    Second Lieutenant Kaltorak's Avatar
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    I saw the first couple of posts of this last week and as an Aussie was certainly loving things. The map especially if I can be so vain! I haven't really given my Australia game a chance, but this is certainly inspiring to its chances. I've caught up only to find out I missed most of the juicy bits! Hehe. Bloody exams have made me castrate the internet from my life for the most part recently. Cheers for the AAR Selzro!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Selzro View Post
    Yes, thatís a 49% fascist population that votes 67% communist. Itís like Hitler and Stalin had a baby in Mexico and Australia was left to raise it.
    and 30% clergy, to boot! That was one weird province!

    Congrats on a short but very sweet AAR - looks like a lot of fun, and it was a nice non-standard take on the game.
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  18. #18
    First Lieutenant Communitarian!'s Avatar
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    Maybe their, eh, literacy... And because... Militancy... So high? No... That the population... State capitalism? Ah, perhaps... Lack of goods?

    Eh, screw it. I've got nothing. That is one of the strangest things I have ever seen in a game. Well, on the plus side, IPCOPS is looking particularly brilliant!

    And as a side note? I wanted to say that line about the flag becoming the world was pure brilliance.

    Seriously, this was a wonderfully entertaining AAR.
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  19. #19
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! I've started a new game/AAR about Albania, but it's less ambitious and will not feature a constellation map...

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