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Thread: So Far From God- A Mexico AHD AAR

  1. #81
    Mexico City Boy Chilango2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    great pair of posts and a superb use of the in-game messages ... I remain deeply impressed at how you are handling this
    Thanks again for the terrific compliments/comments.
    ---
    I think it's time we moved onto the next chapter. Once again, we will be going back and time, looking at various events through yet another lens.
    Honestly, I sometimes wonder if I will ever stop writing about the period from 1836-1850ish. :P

    My original plan was for the next chapter to be like all the previous ones in terms of length and period of time covered through its own lens (looking at the working class), and then one final chapter to go back one last time and perhaps bring us further forward in time than we have have gone until recently through *its* lens (politics).

    I'd appreciate comments/thoughts on how that sounds to people.

    Either way, next update is probably going to be Saturday, so make your thoughts known before then if it matters to you.

    EDIT: Just to be clear, the "story I would be relating" has already occurred, one way or another, its just a question of whether or not I tell you more of what occurred or less. Think of as a "fast forward" vs "extended version" choice as regards the story.
    Last edited by Chilango2; 18-04-2012 at 01:30.
    “As both a dream and a fact the American Empire was born before the United States.” -Bernard DeVoto, The Course of Empire

    "Acquisitions of territory in America, even if accomplished by force of arms, are not to be viewed in the same light as the invasions and conquests of the states of the old world." New York Morning News, 1845 CE

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  2. #82
    Irken Tallest Arilou's Avatar
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    I love your handling of those random in-game events! Very nice!

    It's too easy to forget that every single one of these brief events could probably be the subject of a novel
    "Man is free; but his freedom does not look like the glorious liberty of the Enlightenment; it is no longer the gift of God. Once again, man stands alone in the universe, responsible for his condition, likely to remain in a lowly state, but free to reach above the stars.."
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  3. #83
    Mexico City Boy Chilango2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arilou View Post
    I love your handling of those random in-game events! Very nice!

    It's too easy to forget that every single one of these brief events could probably be the subject of a novel
    That was sort of the idea behind this whole approach, actually, was to dig down as deep as possible and tell as many of the stories "behind" these events, make the grand sweep of history visible, as it were, in each individual tale.

    It's not an original idea, I should note: I remember reading about some EUII AAR that made a long series of posts about a rebellion (which, in game, in EU2, would just be some random thing), the causes of it, etc. It always stuck with me as the kind of thing an AAR could do in general, if it so desired. The specific AAR in question has been losts in the mists of my memory, but the idea clearly stuck with me. :P

    I'm glad I've kept it interesting, I know its caused this AAR to be a bit of a leisurely stroll through time.

    --
    In other news, it has come to my attention that the quarterly AARland Choice Awards are accepting votes at present, so you should get yourself over there and vote for your favorite AAR's. Needless to say I can always hope you'll vote for me, but either way, more voters is always a good thing, so get yourself over there.
    “As both a dream and a fact the American Empire was born before the United States.” -Bernard DeVoto, The Course of Empire

    "Acquisitions of territory in America, even if accomplished by force of arms, are not to be viewed in the same light as the invasions and conquests of the states of the old world." New York Morning News, 1845 CE

    Currently writing So Far from God- A Vic 2 AHD Mexico AAR.
    Won Character Writer of the Week Mar. 4th, 2012 and Sept 30th, 2012. Weekly AAR Showcase, July 22nd,2012.
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  4. #84
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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    Good updates! As mentioned earlier I like how you're using the in-game messages to drive your AAR without losing a semblance of the plot. I also enjoy seeing what is so far a very socially focused AAR instead of the usual military focus AARs inevitably seem to take. I didn't end up voting for you in the ACAs, but I will say that you were #2 on my shortlist, so in all likelihood you'll be seeing votes from me in future ACAs! Thanks from a demi-mod for helping with advertising as well.
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  5. #85
    Irken Tallest Arilou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilango2 View Post
    That was sort of the idea behind this whole approach, actually, was to dig down as deep as possible and tell as many of the stories "behind" these events, make the grand sweep of history visible, as it were, in each individual tale.

    It's not an original idea, I should note: I remember reading about some EUII AAR that made a long series of posts about a rebellion (which, in game, in EU2, would just be some random thing), the causes of it, etc. It always stuck with me as the kind of thing an AAR could do in general, if it so desired. The specific AAR in question has been losts in the mists of my memory, but the idea clearly stuck with me. :P

    I'm glad I've kept it interesting, I know its caused this AAR to be a bit of a leisurely stroll through time.

    --
    In other news, it has come to my attention that the quarterly AARland Choice Awards are accepting votes at present, so you should get yourself over there and vote for your favorite AAR's. Needless to say I can always hope you'll vote for me, but either way, more voters is always a good thing, so get yourself over there.
    I'm doing a lit. course recently and we're on the 19th century (Flaubert, Maupassant, Dostojevskij etc.) and so it's notable
    "Man is free; but his freedom does not look like the glorious liberty of the Enlightenment; it is no longer the gift of God. Once again, man stands alone in the universe, responsible for his condition, likely to remain in a lowly state, but free to reach above the stars.."
    -Jean-Paul Sartré

  6. #86
    Mexico City Boy Chilango2's Avatar
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    Ch. 4: Blood and Gold

    Sometime in the next century, romance would be attached to this job. People would look at the man (and the romance attached to this job would have alot to do with the gender insecurities of that century), at his "free roaming" life style, "close to the earth" and be enchanted by the image.

    The reality was altogether different. It was hard work, up before dawn, riding alot of the day, herding cattle. Often cold, often hungry, and always one bad streak of luck away fro becoming broke.

    To Manuel Obrador, this was just life. Everyone around here was involved in the cattle herding business. You'd go on trips from the ranch out to the various pastures, guard the cows against coyotes, wolves, and thieves, and then herd them back to sell them off to slaughter.



    Up here by the mountains, grass was sparser, but it was safer, at least against cattle thieves. More wolves and coyotes, but he could deal with those more easily: they didn't have guns.

    The mountains of the Sierra Madre Oriental loomed over him, seeming close enough to touch.

    He looked at his herd and sighed. It was going to be a hard year, he could tell. He had been herding cattle since he was ten or so, and he'd learned to pick up on the subtlest things: a sense of what the weather was going to be like, whether the pasture was going to be thick or thin this year, how desperate everyone was feeling, how many buyers for the cattle he could expect.

    It was going to be a hard year. The weather was going to be cold this coming winter, but most important, the buyers were not going to be buying. Money was tight everywhere, he wasn't sure why, but the people who came from out of town to buy heads of cattle had not been coming as often as the year progressed, and hadn't been buying as much cattle when they did come. Without them, the town was drying up, and everyone around the town with it.

    The cows calmly munched on pasture, unconcerned with the larger issue that nobody might be around to buy them. Well, he supposed it meant they might live longer.

    He got of his horse to stretch his legs a bit and check on the camp he'd made. Him and the cows were situated in a mid size canyon formed by the descending sides of the mountain splitting. The canyon was wide enough to allow sunlight in, so a healthy amount of grass grew at its floor. He had found some thorn bushes and other obstacles and used them to form a sort of barricade against predators on either end. That had been two days ago, however, and he should check on it. The afternoon sun was shining directly into the canyon as he walked, the wind had the feel of fall in the mountains, ripe with the promise of winter. He would probably have to move the herd in a week or so out of this pasture and further away from the mountains, he thought. Soon, this close to the mountains, there might be early fall snows, and it would be cold enough that the cows would be shivering and not fatten up the way they needed to.

    He was lost in his thoughts as he walked to the barricade of thorn bushes he had made and so he almost missed it: a small cave formed by a fold in the canyon. Caves might have predators, so he got his gun ready and headed in.

    The cave was deeper than it looked, but it was obvious no animal made its home here. He turned to leave, when he caught a glimpse of a small pebble on the ground, near the entrance, the sun causing it to gleam slightly. He bent over to pick it up idly.....

    “As both a dream and a fact the American Empire was born before the United States.” -Bernard DeVoto, The Course of Empire

    "Acquisitions of territory in America, even if accomplished by force of arms, are not to be viewed in the same light as the invasions and conquests of the states of the old world." New York Morning News, 1845 CE

    Currently writing So Far from God- A Vic 2 AHD Mexico AAR.
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  7. #87
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    all of sudden I get the feeling the cows may not be the most important thing around these mountains?
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  8. #88
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    Stick with the cows Manuel, they will be profitable for the next two years. Not as profitable as selling pickaxes but still profitable


    Apparently I need to buy some more gravel.


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  9. #89
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    So much for the cows! Perhaps the gold rush will bring some much needed prosperity while Mexico fumbles around in the pre-industrial age. Sooner or later they'll figure it out...
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  10. #90
    Mexico City Boy Chilango2's Avatar
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    First, you get the money

    He no longer recognized his home, and he was starting to think that it was time to get out.

    It was not exactly surprising that his discovery of gold had prompted more people to come here, but he wasn't sure he had comprehended *how* many people would come.

    The money had come easy at first, it was found in stream beds, or loose on the ground, and, being the first to find it, he had made pretty well for himself. Thing is, having money just sitting around was not something which he had ever experienced, he was used to living hand to mouth. So that first infusion of money had really only gone towards things he could think to spend it on: some alcohol, to be sure, but he'd given some money to the various parts of his family, and they it turn had used it for various small purchases here and there.

    Pretty soon, as people kept streaming in, the easy stuff was gone. All of a sudden, the hills leading up to the Sierra Madre were littered with crude mines, some little more than glorified holes in the ground.

    The cattle business for all intents and purposes died at that point: the business of digging up gold became all anyone was willing to work in. And why not? It was practically free money, all you had to do was dig it out of the ground. It was a lot quicker and seemed a lot more certain than herding some cattle and hoping for a buyer.

    Pretty soon, the amateurs had run out of easy mines and the professionals arrived. It was at that point that things really began changing. The company paid you to dig the gold and paid you, but you didn't keep the gold anymore, they did. What had started as a way for anyone to get ahead had transformed into dangerous, backbreaking labor which other people profited from. And yet people had still come, because while you could no longer strike it rich, you could get a job that paid better and with more certainty than anything else around.

    The hills where his cows used to pasture were unrecognizable now, they were dotted with various mines, tunnels, and camps, filled with the teeming masses of mine workers that had become the dominant presence in this community.



    He had decided awhile ago that it was time to leave, and now he had the money. There was cheap land up north, maybe he could make a good start there, have a big farm, get married. The usual kind of thing.

    ----

    Up north, the emptiness of the land was a lie, and always had been. The fundamental lie of the new world: the "unpopulated wilderness" was in fact populated by the natives. No one was used to counting them, so this was part of why it was considered "empty", but the fact remained that they were there, and resisted attempts to take what they saw as there.

    The weapons they had begun to use were more sophisticated. Manuel didn't really understand how, but every time he tried to buy a farm, he found the land had already been purchased. Where on earth had the natives gotten the money and the organization to found a bank anyway?

    Well, he was pretty sure the governor wouldn't be amused by their antics, it was well known that the government was trying to encourage immigration in the north as a buffer against the Americans. He headed off to raise a ruckus. He hadn't traveled all the way here just not to be able to purchase a farm...



    ---

    It was strange, even up here, the impact of the money from his home could be felt.

    He could feel it, of course, every time he rode through his farm, it was a good few acres, and he had people working for him now. He still had to work hard as hell himself, but didn't everybody?

    Well, he supposed whoever owned the damn railroads was probably not having to work very hard. But it was not given to most men to be that fortunate. There might be more money flowing around Mexico these days, but there was still only so much of it. The government was more energetic about getting its share too. They tried to collect anything that wasn't nailed down, the only saving grace was that they were very bad thieves, and what they did manage to take from him and everyone else amounted to a reasonable amount.



    The government, there were another group of people who had it easy. He might even be able to respect the rich men who ran the railroads: at least they did something useful. As far as he could tell, the main thing the government did was take his money and make it vanish into thin air. Probably paying themselves.

    He shook his head, clearing it of useless thoughts. The farm wasn't going to run itself, and whatever other people might be able to do, he still had to work to earn a living.
    “As both a dream and a fact the American Empire was born before the United States.” -Bernard DeVoto, The Course of Empire

    "Acquisitions of territory in America, even if accomplished by force of arms, are not to be viewed in the same light as the invasions and conquests of the states of the old world." New York Morning News, 1845 CE

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  11. #91
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    again a really neat development, like the way you're following the money chain from random gold find to a farm and then to its infrastructure and surroundings
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  12. #92
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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    Very interesting update, I like the description of how Mexico's economy is developing. I feel for our poor farmer. That's a huge gold rush, and yet even with the gold money Mexico struggles to make a living. Sounds like this country needs some industry and stat.
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  13. #93
    Mexico City Boy Chilango2's Avatar
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    You two are the bestest commenters ever.

    I'm glad you liked the update. This one was among the more difficult ones to write and felt like one of my least "focused" updates. There's a dearth of random events for this chapter which makes it hard to have something to pin the story on, is part of the problem. Guess I'll just poke around and show you all more of the country through this chapter as I tell a story less based on random events.

    --

    It's possible that the next update will be slightly delayed: its the penultimate week of the semester at the University I am attending and I have A Mountain Of Work to do.

    If I do update this week, it will be Sunday or Saturday, but don't be shocked if next update occurs as late as Wednesday of next week.

    EDIT: Oh, and for those that haven't seen it, check out the first post of this AAR again, as I significantly redid the navigation section and am pretty happy with it.
    “As both a dream and a fact the American Empire was born before the United States.” -Bernard DeVoto, The Course of Empire

    "Acquisitions of territory in America, even if accomplished by force of arms, are not to be viewed in the same light as the invasions and conquests of the states of the old world." New York Morning News, 1845 CE

    Currently writing So Far from God- A Vic 2 AHD Mexico AAR.
    Won Character Writer of the Week Mar. 4th, 2012 and Sept 30th, 2012. Weekly AAR Showcase, July 22nd,2012.
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  14. #94
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    Just caught up and needless to say, I'm hooked! Subscribed!
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  15. #95
    Mexico City Boy Chilango2's Avatar
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    Then, you get the power

    Jesus Cruz was damned if he could understand it.

    As far as he could tell, the country already had too much damned empty land, but he and the rest of his unit were here to grab some more.

    Despite the emptiness of it, a sort of manic land hunger had set in. The gold strikes down south had meant more money floating around, and so capitalists and the government had invested that money in railroads. Railroads had shrunk the country, and people were moving north. The people who were getting rich off the railroads felt like they could see settlers coming in large numbers, and so they bought land so they could sell it to immigrants coming in.

    And for some reason, that meant that him and the rest of the veterans from Tejas were, for some dammed reason, ordered by their officers to defend the coming immigrants. Guess the officers were being bribed. Well, if they could make out, he wasn't sure why he couldn't make out.

    Being out here in what the locals, such as they were, called okla-oma for god knows what reason was no picnic either. Defending against Comanches, "convincing" American families to pack up. It was an ugly business. If he hadn't seen things like Zacatacas, it might have even bothered him.




    The Americans had started moving in here before the government started encouraging Mexicans settlers, but the Mexicans seemed to be settling in faster. He'd heard that some of the other men had been told that if they served long enough, they'd get a few acres of land. Maybe he was a sucker, but he figured serving out his term was worth that chance. He'd left the village he'd been born in it seemed like more than half a life time ago, only God knew if there was really anything to return to. Getting a small farm up here would mean he might get something for marching around the country for 15 some years other than some steady meals, which, mind you, wasn't anything to sneeze at, but he was getting a bit old for the soldering game.

    ----

    He looked around. This was his. This land.

    The new government had wanted to reduce the amounts it paid for on the military quickly, so they'd offered a lot of men free land, which it had plenty of. Hanging in there had worked.



    He was dammed if he knew how or why that worked, but he had a deed, so who was he to argue with the decisions of the rich men insofar as who should be running things?

    The land was filling up surprisingly quickly. The fact that it wasn't a state seemed to draw people, especially those unsatisfied with the state of things further south.

    Since he'd acquired it, his own acres had gone up in value. He was never going to be a wealthy man, he decided, but he might very well become an independent one.
    Last edited by Chilango2; 18-06-2012 at 18:40.
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  16. #96
    Mexico City Boy Chilango2's Avatar
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    Sorry about the delay. This chapter's update as I mentioned, have been slightly difficult to write, but I think I'm starting to get a handle on it. That and I'm recovering from the aforementioned mountain of work, a portion of which still remains.

    Good to see new readers. Glad its enjoyable.

    Next update should be Sunday.
    “As both a dream and a fact the American Empire was born before the United States.” -Bernard DeVoto, The Course of Empire

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  17. #97
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilango2 View Post
    [
    Being out here in what the locals, such as they were, called okla-oma for god knows what reason was no picnic either. Defending against Comanches, "convincing" American families to pack up. It was an ugly business. If he had seen things like Zacatacas, it might have even bothered him.
    presume the 'convincing' bit is an inverse to what actually happened?

    So Jesus has his farm, right in the middle of America's 'manifest destiny' ... do hope he gets to enjoy it
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  18. #98
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    Mexico getting all up in America's business?

    Seems like a mighty clash between the two is inevitable...and that doesn't sound pretty to me.
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  19. #99
    Mexico City Boy Chilango2's Avatar
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    Then, you get the women

    Out here in the iron mines, there were more jobs than you could fill.

    It meant that we didn't mind the newcomers..much.

    Seemed like every day a few of the younger men would head off somewhere else, towards the city, to work in the factories. But the work here didn't stop, and even if you got paid better because they had to compete with the factories, you still had to work harder. Longer and longer shifts were the rule. But new people were coming in these days.



    Alot of them couldn't speak a lick of Spanish, but that was fine. Hell, the indios usually didn't speak Spanish either, and they were from here, or as close as made no difference.

    There was one problem though. Well several.

    First off, rich men had bought most of the land by now, so the money he was earning did him no good. Not like he was going to set himself up with a farm, become independent, maybe even vote, for all that it mattered.

    Secondly, life out here wasn't easy. Was still pretty much frontier territory.



    Here in Arizona, we kind of had the worst of both worlds. Out in Colorado and Oklahoma, you could either buy land or maybe steal it. The government out there was so basic it might as well not exist. Here, in Phoenix, it wasn't effective, but it was well entrenched. There had been a little bit of change when the Liberals got elected, but not much. It was still pretty much the same assholes collecting the bribes and giving favors, its just that they sent the money to a slightly different address. Maybe.

    So, the land was empty, was a frontier, but wasn't as attractive as the true frontier. People passed through Arizona and just kind of kept going. Still, there were immigrants coming. Some of them were even Catholic. He wasn't sure how it followed that Polish people came from some place called Russia, but, hey, whatever. They worked hard.

    But most of them were men, and that was the third problem. Comanche raids that were still fresh in the memory of everyone as the recent past and a hard life weren't exactly attractive propositions. He'd like to maybe get married some day. He'd come out here after leaving the army after the Texas campaign, hoping to make some money, and he'd done that. He'd figured that with some money, he could find a wife. No such luck, tho. The few women out here were of the kind that negotiated their affection. They were fine, so far as that went, but not exactly family material.

    Well, he supposed that he could save up a bit more and maybe move somewhere else, maybe a little closer to home, or somewhere that wasn't quite the desert waste that Arizona was. Might have better luck then.

    Well, he supposed the railroads that were springing up all over the place might make that easier. He heard you could buy a ticket for a decent price and end up saving money since you traveled faster and didn't need the supplies you would if you were going on horseback, or even worse, on foot.

    He decided to do just that. He'd work extra hard, make some more money, and then go somewhere else. There would be some more Russians or Poles or Jews to take his place, he was sure.

    Last edited by Chilango2; 18-06-2012 at 18:43.
    “As both a dream and a fact the American Empire was born before the United States.” -Bernard DeVoto, The Course of Empire

    "Acquisitions of territory in America, even if accomplished by force of arms, are not to be viewed in the same light as the invasions and conquests of the states of the old world." New York Morning News, 1845 CE

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  20. #100
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    again an impressive handling of a small set of events ... & of making sense of the V2 migration system
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

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