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Thread: In the Shadow of the Iron Cross

  1. #1
    The One and Only BBB BigBadBob's Avatar
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    In the Shadow of the Iron Cross

    This is my first AAR where the main story is completely narrative, so be gentle.

    On a more serious note, I'll be playing as Great Britain in the 1938 scenario. The Difficulty will be Very Hard.

    So wish me luck, comment, and most important of all, have fun when you read:

    In the Shadow of the Iron Cross



    Contents

    Prelude

    1938

    1 l 2 l 3 l 4 l 5 l 6 l 7 l 8 l 9 l 10 l 11 l 12 l 13 l 14 l 15 l 16 l 17 l 18 l 19 l 20 l 21 l 22 l 23 l 24 l 25 l 26 l 27 l 28 l 29 l 30 l 31 l 32 l 33 l 34 l 35 l 36
    Last edited by BigBadBob; 28-10-2011 at 18:18.
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    Current V-President: William Gallatin (R)

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  2. #2
    The One and Only BBB BigBadBob's Avatar
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    Prelude


    June 14th 1941, Berlin, Germany

    The two men slipped into the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church through the backdoor, unnoticed. They proceeded up the steps of the bell tower. The sounds of the rally outside echoed throughout the church. Someone had left the front door open.

    “Goddamit. Sticks?” the other man whispered in English.

    The man called Sticks turned around for a second.

    “What?” He spat out with a whisper.

    “I think there’s someone else in the church, and they aren’t a priest”.

    Sticks seemed to consider the possibility for a while, before continuing up the stairs at a quickened pace.

    “You’re just jumpy Runner. Jerry doesn’t go into churches. He’s afraid the lord will see him”.

    Runner looked back down the winding staircase, gulped, and followed Sticks to the top. Once there, Sticks placed his cello case on the wooden floor, and pulled out the disassembled pieces of his Mk 1 Lee-Enfield.

    “Runner, watch the stairs. We don’t want a priest trying to ring the bell while we’re up here”.

    Runner did as told; he took off his saxophone case, and began assembling his Thompson.

    “You have got to love the Americans. This little bastard will beat any Kraut…” he began, but was silenced by a hush from Sticks.

    “He’s coming to the stand”.

    Runner froze. He began breathing heavily.

    “You going to get him?” he asked.

    Sticks didn’t answer. He laid himself down on the floor, and began peering through his sights at a man ten centimetres shorter than him. Sticks’ breathing began to slow down, and he adjusted his aim to put the reticule on the man’s forehead. He was about to pull the trigger when he heard a man shouting in German.

    “Mein Gott! Engländer!”

    Sticks swivelled around to see Runner hammering the butt of his Thompson into a German officer’s face.

    “Jerry doesn’t go to church, eh?” Runner said with a hint of excitement.

    Sticks stared at Runner, who was now pulling out his knife. He continued to stare until Runner noticed his paralysis.

    “Sticks! Shoot him!” Runner shouted. Another German’s voice rose from the staircase, calling for someone named Hans. Sticks realized that was probably the officer Runner was busy killing, and pressed his eye against the scope. The reticule hovered in the face of Adolf Hitler. Sticks took a deep breath. He heard Runner grunt as the second German pushed him off of Hans and rushed toward him.

    “Mein Fuhrer!” the man shouted, almost as if it could prevent the bullet from leaving the barrel.

    Without taking as much as a millisecond to make sure his aim was right, Sticks curled his forefinger around the trigger. A shot rang out in the Breitscheidplatz.
    Last edited by BigBadBob; 02-02-2011 at 20:19.
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  3. #3
    Captain Maximus_96's Avatar
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    this sounds very interest. subscribed
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  4. #4
    The One and Only BBB BigBadBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maximus_96 View Post
    this sounds very interest. subscribed
    Nice to know I've got a reader. Hope there'll be more.
    Sir Robert, OLIR, Sovereign of the Order of the Large and Intimidating Robert
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  5. #5
    The One and Only BBB BigBadBob's Avatar
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    Part One


    August 29th 1938, Dunmow, near London, England

    Bradley Ellis left his house in the early hours of the morning. The sun hadn’t even come up when he took the right turn that led to the Dunmow train station. He walked the road in silence, the sound of his brand new shoes echoing in the silence of the street. He entered the train station and went to the ticket salesman.

    “One to London, please”, he said, waking up old Sammy Rogers. Sammy took a deep breath, and fingered the cash register painfully slowly.

    “Where are you going all spiffed up in military clothes at this time of the morning?”

    “I’m going to London”.

    “I can see that. I asked, where in London?”

    “That’s secret”, Bradley said, a smirk crossing his face.

    “I see. You Ellises always were a weird bunch. Here’s your ticket. The train will arrive any minute now”.

    Bradley took the ticket and walked onto the platform, just in time to see the train come into view. It ground to a halt, and Bradley got in. He searched for a booth for about two minutes before settling for one where a man was reading his newspaper. There was a long silence as the fields drifted past and became suburbs.

    “Morning”, the man said to him. Bradley was slightly taken aback by his forthrightness.

    “Morning”, he answered unsurely.

    “Military, eh? What branch?” the man asked, without lifting his eyes from the newspaper.

    “Who wants to know?” replied Bradley, unwilling to talk to a complete stranger about his new position. The man looked up, and Bradley recognized him now.

    “If it makes you feel more comfortable, I’ve served in the military, the 4th Hussars to be exact”, said Winston Churchill. Bradley felt the smallest bead of sweat run down his forehead.

    “I’m in the Secret Intelligence Service, Mr. Churchill”, he managed to blurt out.

    “No need for that, just call me Winston for now, you’re not on duty yet. That brings us to the question of your name, which is?”

    “Ellis, Bradley Ellis”.

    “Tell you what Bradley. I’ll give you some advice. Watch out for that Hitler bloke, if you’re on the European sector, he’ll be giving you headaches like no tomorrow, mark my words. Even now he’s after the Sudetenland”.

    “I’ll make sure to keep an eye out for Hitler”.

    “Good boy, now if you’ll excuse me, this is my station”.

    Bradley looked outside, and saw the House of Commons, and Churchill getting off at the platform. Churchill gave him a short tip of the hat, and he responded in kind as the train lurched forward. Now, for the first time since the beginning of his training in June, he felt nervous about arriving at his destination. The train stopped once more, and Bradley stood up, took one more look out the window at Waterloo, and stepped of off the train. He looked around for a moment before spotting a man in uniform. The man was signalling for him to follow. Bradley jogged to catch up to the man.

    “Bradley Ellis”, he said, offering a handshake.

    “Connor Brower”, the man said taking Bradley’s hand.

    “I’m just as new as you, but I arrived early, so they sent me to pick you up”, Connor told him.

    “Good to see I’m not alone. So what section are we in?” Bradley asked.

    They took a right turn, and Connor knocked on the door of a quite inauspicious building. An SIS officer answered the door.

    “Ah, the recruit’s back with the new kid. Come on in lads. There’s coffee and tea on the table, take whichever you want”, he said as he let them in.

    Bradley asked again, “So what section are we in?”

    “I’m Captain Levinson, and I run the European Section”.
    Last edited by BigBadBob; 22-03-2011 at 21:44.
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  6. #6
    The One and Only BBB BigBadBob's Avatar
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    I can haz at least constructive criticism of my writing?
    Sir Robert, OLIR, Sovereign of the Order of the Large and Intimidating Robert
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  7. #7
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    Add some pictures; not too many people really like to read walls of text. Then again, don't go overboard either. A good idea, and one the various AAR contests normally have as a rule, is to have a paragraph between each picture.

    BTW, what happened to your USA AAR?
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  8. #8
    The One and Only BBB BigBadBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBromgrev View Post
    Add some pictures; not too many people really like to read walls of text. Then again, don't go overboard either. A good idea, and one the various AAR contests normally have as a rule, is to have a paragraph between each picture.

    BTW, what happened to your USA AAR?
    Thanks, I didn't really think of this as an AAR in which I'd use much pictures, but I'll find a way to incorporate them.

    Arsenal of Righteousness is still ongoing, and getting just as much attention as In the Shadow of the Iron Cross.
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  9. #9
    Field Marshal TheBromgrev's Avatar
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    You need to look at views instead of comments. A lot of people will look at your AAR, but won't leave a comment. Take this AAR for example; it's been out for about 2 days yet about 220 people have viewed it. That's not bad at all. You also won't get a lot of comments until the fighting actually starts or you're going to use a unique or unorthodox strategy.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBromgrev View Post
    You need to look at views instead of comments. A lot of people will look at your AAR, but won't leave a comment. Take this AAR for example; it's been out for about 2 days yet about 220 people have viewed it. .
    That's not quite true, remember that the author views his AAR each time he posts an update.

    The best way to get comments is to comment on other people's AARs, in particular those of similar styles to your own (ie. HoI3 narratives), otherwise you're just part of the problem and not the solution. The best way to improve your work is to read the work of others, as they say.

    Another important thing is to be careful how often you ask your readers to comment. Once or twice is fine, but when you do it once or more per chapter in lieu of content it becomes an annoyance and can make people refrain from commenting, or even reading. I remember there was a point in your first AAR when you posted for no other reason than to keep your AAR on the first page, you may have noticed I only commented once after that, and that was when your AAR was completed.

    Anyways, I'd like to see a few pictures once you get into the actual gameplay (I can't imagine a pictureless HoI AAR being much fun, even if it's a narrative) but you don't really need any at the moment since it's just a prelude (or a prelude after the prelude, to be precise).
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  11. #11
    The One and Only BBB BigBadBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanzhang (譚張) View Post
    That's not quite true, remember that the author views his AAR each time he posts an update.

    The best way to get comments is to comment on other people's AARs, in particular those of similar styles to your own (ie. HoI3 narratives), otherwise you're just part of the problem and not the solution. The best way to improve your work is to read the work of others, as they say.

    Another important thing is to be careful how often you ask your readers to comment. Once or twice is fine, but when you do it once or more per chapter in lieu of content it becomes an annoyance and can make people refrain from commenting, or even reading. I remember there was a point in your first AAR when you posted for no other reason than to keep your AAR on the first page, you may have noticed I only commented once after that, and that was when your AAR was completed.

    Anyways, I'd like to see a few pictures once you get into the actual gameplay (I can't imagine a pictureless HoI AAR being much fun, even if it's a narrative) but you don't really need any at the moment since it's just a prelude (or a prelude after the prelude, to be precise).
    Thank you for this very sobering analysis of my addiction to commentmongering.
    I'm still thinking of how to include pictures in a way that pleases both me and the readers.
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  12. #12
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    Part Two


    August 29th 1938, London, England


    Levinson walked up the steps that led out of the small corridor that constituted the first floor of the house. He signalled for Bradley to place his belongings in the small room that the second floor’s first door opened to.

    “That’s your room Ellis. Put your stuff in it”.

    Bradley did as told, surveying the room as he dropped his bag. It was relatively small, with nothing but a desk and a chair, and already those two items took up half of the space. He placed his bag on the floor and went back to following Levinson. They walked for a while, and Levinson pointed at rooms, simultaneously talking about their owners. This continued for around five minutes, until the three walked into a large room with a huge map of Europe pinned to the wall. The map was filled with erratic circles and had pictures of politicians pinned onto it. Bradley immediately noticed the number of red arrows pointing at the picture of Joseph Stalin.

    “This, gentlemen, is the operations room. It’s a bit small for now, but the moment somebody starts making trouble in Europe, you’ll be up to your ears in resources and new colleagues. As you can see, Joe here is our main concern”, Levinson said, pointing meaningfully to the picture.

    “He’s been getting real uppity lately, and the Finns or the Baltic States seem to be about to get the worst of it. Joe will be on the naughty list for quite a while. Our second little troublemaker is Mr. Mussolini. He just won’t stop blabbering on about how he’s going to create a ‘New Rome’. Unfortunately for him, this ‘New Rome’ happens to include Egypt, and we won’t allow that”.

    Levinson took a pause, allowing the information to sink in. Bradley and Connor looked at the map, dazed by the texts written next to each picture. Each little sentence described a possible reason why that particular person might want to declare war on Britain. Most worrying was the little number they put on each picture. It demarcated the threat level of the politician’s country. The Soviet Union and Stalin stood at 21, while Germany and Hitler, the very man Churchill had warned him about, stood at a meagre 10.

    Levinson apparently sensed his confusion and asked “What’s the matter Ellis? Have we got something wrong on our fine map?”

    Bradley looked at Levinson, slightly puzzled as to why he was being asked, ostensibly, for advice.

    He replied with a question. “Why’s Germany so small compared to the others?”

    Levinson looked at Bradley, an amused expression on his face.

    “You mean Hitler? He’s nothing but very hot air. As the Americans put it, he talks the talk, but he couldn’t possibly walk the walk”.

    Bradley was surprised even more by this assessment than the threat level.

    “But... Doesn’t this Sudetenland thing worry you?”

    Levinson’s expression turned from amused to frustrated.

    “Ellis. He’s hot air. Jerry hasn’t been a proper threat since Versailles, and he never will be again”.
    Last edited by BigBadBob; 01-02-2011 at 17:32.
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  13. #13
    The One and Only BBB BigBadBob's Avatar
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    Would this at least slightly satisfy your picture hunger, or must I get in more?
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  14. #14
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    Nah, cool pictures, even if they were random are always a bonus.

    There are not really that many commenter's on the AARland, many just lurk and others visit the forums infrequently.
    And then there are people like me.

    Try to keep your text more divided into paragraphs, makes it easier to read.

    Otherwise it is quite good.

  15. #15
    Lots of readers, might wanna wait a week to review the amount of views as some people just browse 1 time per week.

    Keep up the good AARwork

  16. #16
    The One and Only BBB BigBadBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Nah, cool pictures, even if they were random are always a bonus.

    There are not really that many commenter's on the AARland, many just lurk and others visit the forums infrequently.
    And then there are people like me.

    Try to keep your text more divided into paragraphs, makes it easier to read.

    Otherwise it is quite good.
    Thanks for the advice. I've separated them now. Is it better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodlance View Post
    Lots of readers, might wanna wait a week to review the amount of views as some people just browse 1 time per week.

    Keep up the good AARwork
    Thanks for the compliment.
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  17. #17
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Uh, I meant that every update has some paragraphs, not that every line is a paragraph of its own.
    So that instead of a great wall of text, it is divided into parts, making it more readable.

    Not too much space, but lines of speech apart from each other is a good start.

  18. #18
    The One and Only BBB BigBadBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Uh, I meant that every update has some paragraphs, not that every line is a paragraph of its own.
    So that instead of a great wall of text, it is divided into parts, making it more readable.

    Not too much space, but lines of speech apart from each other is a good start.
    Hehe. This is embarrassing. I made the changes without looking enough, and instead of just differentiating dialogue from the rest I accidentally cut intended paragraphs in half. I hope it's better now that I took the time to fix that.
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  19. #19
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    You will improve with time. Do not worry.
    Readers will come.

  20. #20
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    An AAr which begins by having Adi facing certain death cannot be bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    You will improve with time. Do not worry.
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