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Thread: Novum Romanum Imperium 2.0 -- a Vicky 2 AHD Conversion AAR

  1. #121
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    At least Yemen finally suffered the fate of annexation without attempts to justify war with her being bungled once again. The growing support for rebellion is a bit worrying but still in hand at present. It will be interesting to see how things play out.
    Thanks for the kind words. I shall send your bribe once I've received all the bribes you've promised me in the past

    Quote Originally Posted by EU3NOOB View Post
    Execute the rebel scum by defenestration! UNACCEPTABLE!
    Quote Originally Posted by Sakura_F View Post
    LOL... Ah, inter-Avindian AAR references. ^_^
    I hope it doesn't get too meta, is all I'm saying...

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    oh my god!
    we have a Robespierre in the forum
    I hope not. One Robespierre was enough!
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  2. #122
    Quote Originally Posted by Sakura_F View Post
    LOL... Ah, inter-Avindian AAR references. ^_^
    I was also referencing Powerthirst 4. It's unacceptably awesome!


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  3. #123
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EU3NOOB View Post
    I was also referencing Powerthirst 4. It's unacceptably awesome!


    Oh and by the way, I'm not big, I'm not blue, and I am most certainly not a blob.
    That's good. I was worried for a minute.

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  4. #124
    Lt. General scholar's Avatar
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    It took me far too long to find this.

    Subscribed.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by scholar View Post
    It took me far too long to find this.

    Subscribed.
    Glad to have you aboard! I seem to recall reading (and enjoying) one of your AARs in the past... the Portugal one, maybe?
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  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    Glad to have you aboard! I seem to recall reading (and enjoying) one of your AARs in the past... the Portugal one, maybe?
    Glad to be here.

    Portugal was probably it because it remains the only Victoria II AAR I have ever written.

  7. #127
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scholar View Post
    Glad to be here.

    Portugal was probably it because it remains the only Victoria II AAR I have ever written.
    There we are then.

    New update still on track for Monday; we'll see how the Empire deals with the political pressures being placed upon it from below!
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  8. #128
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Chapter 3: Winds of change


    30 December 1837, the Imperial Senate, Rome

    Benjamin O'Connor, as Foreign Minister, spent most of his days examining declarations of war and peace treaties. Since July, there had been no fewer than six wars declared. Many of them were very short, such as Poland's absorption of Krakow. For a change of pace, Benjamin decided to attend the final Senate session of 1837. Although he could not formally hold a seat in the Senate, the debates were open to the public. With the Emperor's decree that only those individuals that belonged to the ruling faction could take their seats in the Senate, on an average day there was not much debate. The most contentious thing he'd seen in the last two weeks was the Senators arguing about where to have lunch; that of the 100 Senators only six had attended that day did not bode well. In moments of privacy, Benjamin often asked his Aunt Kathleen why the Emperor even bothered having a Senate. She'd never answered his question satisfactorily. Benjamin's supposition was that the Emperor wanted to maintain the facade of republicanism to satisfy the most radical citizens of the Empire.

    As Benjamin crossed under the arch that marked the entrance to the Senate, he immediately knew that today was no ordinary day. The Emperor's box, normally a pure formality, was occupied. Given that the Emperor attended, at most, two sessions a year, that was unusual. Even more unusually, both the Senate chamber and the seating for visitors were completely full. Benjamin stood in the back, and found himself craning his neck as best he could just to see who was speaking. His father completed his annual report on industry and science -- both were doing well, which was a surprise to no one -- and was taking his seat. Chancellor Decimus thanked Minister O'Connor, and opened the floor for any questions. On an average day, this was mere tradition. Benjamin had a feeling that tradition would not be the only casualty today from the buzz from the members of the public.

    The first man to ask the Chancellor a question was the editor of the Roman Times, the Empire's official newspaper. "Chancellor Cato, why do you continue to tolerate the spread of this filth?" As he spoke, the editor raised a copy of Vox Populi.

    "Honored editor, I can assure you that every effort is being made to see the suppression of this illegal newspaper."

    The editor was not going to be denied, however. "What efforts? Even in my own home, there are more readers of Vox Populi than the Times. Have you made any arrests?"

    "Surely you cannot expect --"

    "I'll tell you what I expect, you simpleton! I expect you to do your damned job!" Everybody gasped, for the voice that had spoken that insult was not the editor, but the Emperor, Charles I. The Chancellor quivered and stammered, but the Emperor would not tolerate the Chancellor's usual tricks. "If you cannot answer the man's question, sit down." The Chancellor complied. The Emperor stood and addressed not just the Senate, but everybody present.

    "Citizens of the Empire, I know some of you are scared. The Jacobins have only engaged in small scale violence at the present time, but the threat of open rebellion is real. Very real. The deployment of troops to Sicily has done some good in mitigating unrest, but there remain key centers across the Empire. Perhaps my greatest failure is appointing such a fool as this ignorant whelp as your Chancellor, one I intend to rectify now. Effective immediately, the Senate, as presently constituted, is dissolved. I am authorizing the Militares to form a government and choose new Senators. I have chosen Marshal Bartolomeo de Ruyter as acting Chancellor until a suitable replacement can be found."



    While the crowd applauded in appreciation, Benjamin was concerned. A quick glance at the Marshal, only a few feet away, showed that he wasn't completely comfortable with what was essentially martial law. Benjamin scanned the crowd, looking for his father and his aunt. Aunt Kathleen was nowhere to be seen, but Alexander, who never got excited over politics, sprang to his feet angrily.

    "Emperor Charles, with all due respect, I wonder if you have been given the wrong information. The Jacobins are no real threat to the Empire's security; they are the future of our Empire!" Benjamin silently applauded his father for taking a stand, although the consequences would be both dire and immediate. The Emperor angrily gestured for his guards to arrest the Minister of Science and Industry, and then proceeded to go a step further in his quest to stop the rebels.

    "Citizens, you cannot listen to Ivory Tower intellectuals who never set foot outside a lab. We all know that the Jacobins intend serious harm to our Empire. Since we cannot find their cowardly leader, the only alternative is striking at their greatest strength: Vox Populi. Owning, distributing, or writing for that wretched rag is henceforth a capital offense. Guilty parties will be tried immediately by military tribunal."

    Benjamin's jaw dropped, and the murmurs from the crowd around him told him he was not alone. The Foreign Minister had read Vox Populi and found nothing the slightest bit treasonous. In fact, the figure most often lampooned was Decimus, not the Emperor. The Jacobins were another story, but again, Benjamin did not think them traitors but genuine reformers who were concerned about the Roman Empire. Yes, there were violent men who joined the Jacobins, but there were even more in the Militares.

    Benjamin wished Bartolomeo de Ruyter the best of luck, but he feared that the Marshal would be a casualty in a war that nobody had ever thought possible.

    The Emperor, the very symbol of all that was right with the Roman Empire, against the people who made the Empire possible. There could be no winners. Only losers.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    17 January 1838, office of the Minister of Science and Industry, Constantinople

    Valerian, Regent for the Princes of Constantinople, thought himself a reasonably cold individual, a man who did not let his emotions rule his heart. Yet even Valerian knew that the Emperor had lost his grip on reality. The Regent's intelligence network told him that, at most, the Jacobins could mobilize 43 brigades, and they would not be concentrated. The Imperial Legions numbered more than twice that. He didn't believe, like the O'Connors, that the Jacobins were wide-eyed dreamers and innocents, but he did agree that any threat they presented was minor at best. Unlike Alexander O'Connor, however, he wasn't stupid enough to tell the Emperor that to his face, in a large crowd. That was what separated realists like Valerian and idealists like Alexander O'Connor.

    O'Connor's replacement as Minister of Science and Industry had been "awarded" a new office in Constantinople. The office was larger, more luxurious, and just over 1000 miles away from the Empire's capital. Valerian knew that the third message was the most important. The new Minister -- Publius Tullius Cicero, the former head of the Militares -- was certainly a capable industrialist, and he'd already granted considerable freedom to the capitalists of the Empire to invest in whichever ventures they preferred. He was no scientist (which, of course, was another clear distinction between the new Minister and the old one), but had kept Samuel Morse on as Deputy Minister of Science and Industry. Morse's newest program, after significant breakthroughs in Medicine that were going to be announced the first day in 1838, was to focus on a better educational system for the children of the Empire. He placed a Frenchman, Auguste Comte, in charge of the educational reform package, who called his central theory "Positivism."



    The upshot was, as Valerian understood it, increased literacy throughout the Empire. Of course, only approved books were allowed. Kathleen O'Connor's biography of her father was on the list, surprisingly, but only in a heavily redacted version. Any criticism of Charles or his father was absolutely unacceptable. Valerian had already read the first edition, and her remarks on Ferdinand were hardly a threat to either Emperor. Still, overzealousness was now the order of the day. If Marshal de Ruyter had any doubts about the Emperor's plans, he kept them to himself, and served the Empire to his fullest capacity as he always had. Perhaps the most unfortunate victims of the tyranny of Charles were his own sons. Constantine and Trajan were sent, along with Cicero, to Constantinople for "safekeeping." In fact, they'd never even seen their father since their birth. Valerian's younger sister, Sofia, looked after them as her own children. The Regent knew that anything less would probably result in the arrest of his sister and himself.

    Valerian, for a split second, considered just leaving. He was still a Grand Duke in Russia, and his older brother knew that Valerian was certainly capable. Yet, strangely, the Russian Regent actually had grown to love his adopted homeland. For the first time in his life, he felt affinity for a cause, for something greater than himself. That was the magic of the Roman ideal.

    All that Valerian and the others had to do was keep Charles from killing it.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    24 February 1838, office of the Marshal, Florence

    Marshal Bartolomeo de Ruyter was glad he wasn't Chancellor any longer. Charles' rule was still that of a brutal dictator -- hushed comparisons to Caligula were absurd, but far less absurd than they had been -- but he'd come to rely less on the legions to carry out his will. Instead, Emperor Charles had turned the Chancellery into an instrument of bureaucratic oppression. The new Chancellor, Samuele Visconti was distantly related to the famous and honored trio of military heroes that had guided the legions in the 18th century. There the similarities ended. Chancellor Visconti had never been a soldier; his profession had been as one of Valerian's most gifted infiltrators and agents. He spent nearly every waking moment searching for even the slightest hint of disloyalty among the Empire's elite and not-so-elite. Only the army was immune, and if the Marshal had wavered even a tiny bit in his earlier duties, that immunity would have been gone.

    Bartolomeo had given up on his Emperor; he was still loyal to the Empire, but his real fealty, at least in the short term, was to the institution that had been so kind to him. One positive of the rule of the Militares was increased funding for the army, and an additional 76 brigades were going to be raised and added to the legions. New mustering centers were opened in Rome, Cairo, and Hakkari, near the border with Russia. 44 of the legions would stay in Europe; the remainder in Africa or Asia.





    The Marshal scanned the list of Generals, and smiled when he saw the one at the top. General Bava-Becaris had really saved his inferior counterpart back in 1837, killing 10,000 Yemeni rebels at the price of 500 men, most lost under the commander of Carlo d'Absburgo. If not for his complete satisfaction with General Contadino, Bava-Becaris would be Chief of Staff. Talented officers still called the army home, much to the delight of the Marshal. None had resigned their commissions, although some had been tempted, thanks in large part to the Marshal's aggressive lobbying. Nicola Fara, a former Colonel of Engineers, and the elder Ceccherini were outstanding in their own right. Political appointees were few and far between. The navy was in equally good shape. If not for the crushing weight of the Emperor's reign, Bartolomeo would have considered himself one of the luckiest men in the Imperial legions. He'd gotten what every military man had wanted since Maso I in 1399; an absolutely free hand in constructing the military the way he wanted it. His perfect legion was 8 brigades of infantry, 2 brigades of cavalry, and 10 brigades of artillery; an absolutely unstoppable machine of destruction. Since his armies were, at present, mostly to control the Jacobins, they were almost entirely infantry, but he hoped to see some of his legions enter production soon.

    He just prayed they would not be used on his own people.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    30 July 1838, London

    Kathleen O'Connor busily wrote her latest article in Vox Populi. She'd resigned as editor since her brother's arrest, at Alexander's insistence. After all, the Emperor had his son close at hand, and if Charles got it into his head that all O'Connors were untrustworthy, the repercussions would be dire. A trusted friend -- she neither knew his name nor his location -- was editor now. Her current piece was on the recently announced Russian war with China.



    If the Emperor read her article, he would probably approve of it. She wasn't writing it for his sake, of course, but she happened to agree with his policy in this one instance. Russia was a loyal friend to the Roman Empire, and while some of the capitalists in the Empire practically salivated at the thoughts of Chinese goods entering the market, Kathleen much preferred Russia to China. She even liked his method of supporting the war; providing cash to the Russians instead of soldiers, a very wise move.



    In gratitude, the Russian Empire had decided to sign an exclusive contract, providing Russian labor and goods at competitive prices to make up for the loss of trade with China, a very savvy move by Peter III.



    Only three people in the entire Empire knew who had started Vox Populi: herself, her brother, and her nephew. She was, oddly enough, the most conservative of the three, for she disapproved strongly of the Jacobins and their increasing threats of violence. Great, another thing the Emperor and I agree on. We both think my brother is a misguided fool for believing the Jacobins to be benign, she thought. In fact, Jacobins were not on the editorial staff of VP, nor were they permitted to pen articles. All Kathleen had intended when she founded VP was to provide a way for literate Romans to get the truth without censorship. She'd never wanted wholesale political change or rebellions, just the plain unvarnished truth. Even with the arrest of her brother, Kathleen kept her tone respectful. Even in 1838, she had written zero negative words about the Emperor; she truly believed that Charles was being led astray by somebody or something. She didn't know what or whom was responsible, but the distinction was very clear to Kathleen. She'd lived through the civil wars, through her father's coup de'tat, through the instability and chaos that had plagued the Empire. The last thing she wanted was more.

    Unfortunately, Kathleen's personal politics were losing in the battle for readers. The new editor kept Jacobins out of the bylines, but had sold a stake in the paper to some prominent Jacobin businessmen. VP wasn't very profitable in a monetary sense, but it held influence far in excess of its circulation. Jacobins argued about her paper in salons or cafes, waved it in the faces of authority whenever they could, even wrapped copies around bricks that they threw the windows of active Senators or other bureaucrats. To most of the public, VP meant radicalism.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    13 July 1839, Rome

    Most Romans were absolutely stunned. Not by the Russian victory over China; the Roman Times was the only paper that gamely pretended the war with China still mattered.



    Everything began in October 1838. Alexander O'Connor died in prison at the age of 66. Charles I had strictly forbidden him burial in the Imperial crypt as his service to the Empire would have ordinarily entitled him; instead, he was burnt at a funeral pyre. Benjamin and Kathleen had been mortified, as had Alexander's two younger children, Stephanie and Michelle, but they did not register a single note of protest. Michelle was fired from her job as a Professor of Logic at the University of London for missing a single class to attend the funeral. Almost at that exact moment, massive demonstrations occurred across the Empire, especially in Spain and Vienna, where Imperial rule was weakest.



    A few Jacobin leaders were urging direct and immediate action; they promised to muster 135 brigades. With an Imperial army of only 157 brigades, that constituted a pretty big threat. Only Kathleen's direct intervention prevented an outright rebellion. Still, as 1838 turned into 1839, nothing appeared different. Charles continued to repress his people as before, the Jacobins got angrier and angrier, and Kathleen was caught in the middle. One sunny day in May, Kathleen took a look at an innocuous article in VP, noting the rise of Russia to Great Power status.



    Something purely factual rarely appeared in VP in 1839 without extensive radical commentary. The editorial board was now entirely Jacobin, and Kathleen had washed her hands of her creation. She still read it, and an item with so little fanfare got her worried. Her worry was very reasonable, it turned out, as it was a signal. A small cell of assassins struck, killing Charles I, Samuele Visconti, and Marshal de Ruyter on the same day at almost exactly the same time. There were even rumors that Regent Valerian and the Princes were targeted as well; if they were, they had survived. Although Constantine was nominally the Emperor as the slightly older twin (by about ten minutes), a regency council was formed. Valerian headed it, named General Contadino Marshal of the Empire, and kept every other living cabinet member. Valerian's choice for Chancellor, however, was almost as stunning as the assassinations.

    Agrippa Germanicus, better known as the leader of the Provincares.



    Agrippa was among the most radical Senators in the Empire prior to Charles I's decision to force the Provincares into hiding, yet he was no Jacobin. In fact, he even claimed that among his most important priorities was punishing the assassins and ordering an even bigger crackdown on Jacobin clubs throughout the Empire. Kathleen O'Connor praised Agrippa's actions in public, even to the extent of admitting her own involvement with VP at great personal risk. VP was closed, its presses smashed. As a gesture of the new government, Agrippa named Kathleen O'Connor the editor of the Roman Times. She was given a spot on the regency council as well.

    The message to all Romans was clear:

    Rome would reform or Rome would die.
    ------------------------------------------------------
    A bit past the deadline, I know, but I hope it was worth waiting for! Expect another update at the end of this week -- maybe earlier.
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  9. #129
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    great stuff, the political dynamics are really building to a head, lots of plotting and wonderful names for your political parties
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

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    You surpass yourself in each update. I forward wait for the next.

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    Will you update the railroad map of the empire?

  12. #132
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    A very engrossing read. I was slightly surprised at Charles' sudden assassination, although only slightly. He imposed so oppressive a rule that there was always the risk of such action being taken by the growing rebel prescence within the Empire. Valerian's choice of chancellor is very surprising though, looking forward to seeing what comes of it.

    Russia becoming a great power so short a time after you added her to your sphere is rather irksome!
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  13. #133
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    great stuff, the political dynamics are really building to a head, lots of plotting and wonderful names for your political parties
    Thanks for the kind words!

    Quote Originally Posted by varetta View Post
    Will you update the railroad map of the empire?
    There is one coming in a future update (after I research the next tech in the railroad tree). Thanks for your kind words as well.
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  14. #134
    By the way another question,
    1) Are you going to keep updating your researches? (I love your explanation of each tech)
    2) Are you going to update inventions? only importants? no one?

  15. #135
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by varetta View Post
    By the way another question,
    1) Are you going to keep updating your researches? (I love your explanation of each tech)
    2) Are you going to update inventions? only importants? no one?
    I will always make a point to bring up new techs; new inventions will only be the most important. I tried going over every invention in a previous AAR and it wasted too much time.
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  16. #136
    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    I will always make a point to bring up new techs; new inventions will only be the most important. I tried going over every invention in a previous AAR and it wasted too much time.
    I agree with you and I am happy you update technologies.

  17. #137
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by varetta View Post
    I agree with you and I am happy you update technologies.
    Great! I look forward to your continued patronage
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  18. #138
    bezrodniy kosmopolit Morsky's Avatar
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    Conversion games are always fun. Haven't read version 1.0, but I think it's easy to grasp the general balance of forces and interests in the Empire. Having a liberal chancellor should prove interesting, although it remains to be seen whether it'll stem the tide of revolutionary fervour. I gather the Ruling-Party-Only Senate will make reforms a lot easier.

    Also, a female university professor (of logic, no less), in the 1830's? The Empire is awfully progressive on the gender relations front.

  19. #139
    NK Foreign Minister Sakura_F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morsky View Post
    Conversion games are always fun. Haven't read version 1.0, but I think it's easy to grasp the general balance of forces and interests in the Empire. Having a liberal chancellor should prove interesting, although it remains to be seen whether it'll stem the tide of revolutionary fervour. I gather the Ruling-Party-Only Senate will make reforms a lot easier.

    Also, a female university professor (of logic, no less), in the 1830's? The Empire is awfully progressive on the gender relations front.
    Roman's have always been the forerunners of civilized society!
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    Unable to start or complete any of his AAR's.

  20. #140
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morsky View Post
    Conversion games are always fun. Haven't read version 1.0, but I think it's easy to grasp the general balance of forces and interests in the Empire. Having a liberal chancellor should prove interesting, although it remains to be seen whether it'll stem the tide of revolutionary fervour. I gather the Ruling-Party-Only Senate will make reforms a lot easier.

    Also, a female university professor (of logic, no less), in the 1830's? The Empire is awfully progressive on the gender relations front.
    Glad you're enjoying it so far!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakura_F View Post
    Roman's have always been the forerunners of civilized society!
    Exactly right
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