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

  1. #201
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Chapter 7: The Militares go to war!


    1 May 1848, Chancellor's office, Rome

    Publius Tullius Cicero hadn't had much time to himself since his appointment as Chancellor. Publius looked around his office in quiet satisfaction. I've finally done it. A Cicero is Chancellor! Nobody begrudged him his success, not even his predecessor, Agrippa Germanicus, who had settled in more properly as head of the Provincares. Valerian approved of his new Chancellor, and early polling suggested that the electorate was generally favorable towards the new coalition of the Militares and Pecuniares. Publius had further solidified his position by keeping a Provincare in the cabinet -- Benjamin O'Connor remained Foreign Minister, although his wife had recently given birth to baby Aaron, so he'd been out of the capital for a couple of days. The rest of his cabinet was pretty straightforward. His son, Gaius, remained Minister of Education. Marshal Contadino was, of course, immune to replacement by anybody but the Regent. Magnus von Horgen remained Minister of Information, but he was a Militare anyway. The Regent, with five distinct factions, had also elevated Deputy Chancellor to a Cabinet-level post, with unofficial duties in the Curia. Although Publius was uncomfortable with him, he had no choice but to name Decimus Deputy Chancellor. His talents at building consensuses should serve us well, especially in the Curia, where the liberals still have a firm grip, Publius hoped.

    Decimus had insisted upon one other change to the Cabinet. The Senate had recently passed a law requiring all Cabinet members (apart from the Marshal) to be Senators, effective January 1849. That wouldn't be a problem, as all of his appointees were running unopposed in their various provinciae -- except one. Karl Marx. Marx had privately hoped his former hometown would be integrated into the Empire, but it was not, and Marx had not officially changed his residence. Given the recent cooling of liberal and revolutionary fervor, nobody was particularly eager to welcome Marx as a resident of their district, and so his only official role in the government would be leader of the Republicares. That was when Decimus recommended a good friend of his for Marx's post of Minister of Science and Industry; Edward Vickers.

    Publius knew and liked the British industrialist, and had no real concerns about Edward's ability to do his job well. However, Marx had taken particular glee in attacking Vickers in editorials in the Roman Times. Marx accused Vickers of all kinds of things, but only in the most circumspect way, so that he could evade the Empire's censorship laws. Regardless of how he did it, Marx had successfully weakened Vickers' public image in the eyes of some artisans, a key part of the Pecuniares base. Without his "sister" faction, Publius knew it was highly unlikely that he would retain power after the next elections. He'd told Decimus that Vickers needed to shape his act, perhaps selling off some of his stock in various Roman factories to shake the charges of "monopolist." Decimus always politely listened, but firmly rejected Publius' worries as foolish.

    Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, Publius would not have long to worry about it.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    28 July 1848, office of the Imperial Regent

    One of the few joys for Valerian was tutoring the two Farnese boys in the policies of good government. Although they were in the very peak of health, the recent scare of viral influenza -- the so-called "Spanish Flu," as some doctors insisted that it came from Hispania -- and the death of Chancellor Cicero had resulted in the recall of both Constantine and Trajan to Rome, as Constantinople was hit particularly hard.



    Valerian smiled at the two adolescents as they entered his office. The poor kids had never even met their father, and "Uncle Valerian" had been a de facto father. With the relatively smooth operation of government, Valerian had to do less and less personally, which gave him more time to make sure both Farneses were capable of handling the job of Emperor someday. The Regent nodded to Corporal Orsatti, the youngest member of the Praetorian Guard at the tender age of 16, who was the personal guard for both children. It was largely a ceremonial post, a recognition of Arturo's fine work in recognizing the Wallonian rifle design. Trajan was particularly fond of Arturo, which was no surprise given his military ambitions.

    "All right, Signori. Let's begin."

    Constantine and Trajan dutifully took their seats and opened their notebooks.

    "Constantine, who is our current Chancellor?"

    Constantine looked confident as he answered. "Marcus Porcius Cato Decimus."

    Valerian shook his head. "Incorrect. Trajan?"

    Trajan thought carefully for a moment. "We don't have one?"

    "Very good, Trajan. Why don't we?"

    "Only the Curia can confirm a new Chancellor, and they have not returned from emergency recess."

    Constantine interjected, "Yeah, but Decimus is Deputy Chancellor, so he's the guy in charge for now."

    Valerian grinned wryly. "Crudely put, Constantine, but absolutely correct."

    Both brothers beamed, and chimed at the same time, "Thank you, Professore."

    "Today's lesson will be on the intervention in Imperial industry." Valerian scanned his notes, then looked up at his students. "Part of Deputy Chancellor Decimus's plan has been a radical government investment in industry. How can a Chancellor intervene in the economy, under the policies of the conservatives?"

    Trajan raised his hand. "He can subsidize factories, expand them using the Imperial coffers, and place factories on a priority list for new hires."

    "Very good. Which factory recently received a subsidy, Constantine?"

    "The explosives factory near London."

    "Why? Shouldn't we let unprofitable factories close?"

    "Yes, but there are over 5000 unemployed craftsmen near London, and the winery and shipyards won't be expanded for another few weeks. The explosives plant can carry the slack until the more profitable industries are upgraded."

    Valerian nodded. Constantine had an excellent head for business and administration. Trajan's strengths laid in his military knowledge and gift for foreign languages. The two would be a formidable team some day. "Trajan, who owns the London factories?"

    Trajan frowned. "Southampton Shipping is owned by Edward Vickers and Samuel Morse. Vickers owns the explosives plant. The winery is owned by... Juan Carlos de Farnese." After a couple of moments of frustration, he sighed. "I can't remember who owns the clipper shipyard."

    Constantine chuckled. "Willem van Dijk, Trajan. It's easy to remember because the Dutch are good at ships."

    Valerian rolled his eyes gently at the slightly elder twin's terrible grammar, but nodded anyway. "Excellent. Who else has been the beneficiary of government funds?"

    Trajan desperately wanted to redeem himself: he hated getting anything wrong. "A cement factory in Lombardia and a furniture factory in Northwest England -- near Manchester, I think -- were both expanded to ease unemployment in those areas."

    "Very good, Trajan. One last question today, and I think we'll let Constantine handle this one. Who did we sign an alliance with just a couple of weeks ago?"

    Constantine started to sweat. He'd never been good with foreign countries. Latin was hard enough; those Atlantic languages were strange to him. "Ummm... Zanzibar?"

    "Yes, we are allies with Zanzibar, but that's an old alliance. Another try?"

    "Ireland?"

    "Closer. Ireland does have land in South America thanks to their war with Austria, but it's not much. One more guess?"

    Constantine grew more and more frustrated. Why does he always pick on me? grumbled the youth. After a few more moments, he cursed and knocked his notebook off his desk.

    "Watch your temper, boy!" snapped the furious Regent. Privately, Valerian was pleased that Constantine cared so much, but the bigger concern was the future Emperor's temper, which he'd never controlled well. "Trajan?"

    "Paraguay, sir."

    "Molto bene. That's all for today. Enjoy your weekend."

    Both boys nodded -- Constantine a little shame-faced -- and left. When they were gone, Valerian chuckled.

    Our Empire is in good hands, I think.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    6 August 1849, office of the Foreign Minister, Rome

    Benjamin O'Connor wasn't sure what was more exhausting -- being Foreign Minister or the father of a toddler again. Aaron was trying to learn how to walk at the age of just over 1 year, six months, and generally making a mess of their expensive home. Shannon was 10 and James was 8, so they were hardly grown up themselves. However, a few international events had made his day job much more interesting. Braunschweig had won a victory over Nassau, claiming parts of the German Rhineland. The Russian Empire had added the Chengdu region from China. Norway was part of the Roman sphere.



    However, easily the most exciting event had been the foundation of the Kingdom of Czechoslovakia, replacing Bohemia-Moravia. The announcement pushed Austria out of the Great Powers, with Czechoslovakia taking her spot.



    Benjamin had sent Trajan to Prague, along with Corporal Orsatti and a handful of Praetorian Guardsmen. It was important for the boy to get some seasoning, and Prague was both beautiful and, more importantly, stable. The Roman ambassador to Prague was a kindly old man who'd requested the assignment as his final one before retiring. O'Connor couldn't remember the ambassador's name -- he knew he was French or something -- but his file spoke well of the man, which was good enough for the Minister. A brief knock on the door announced the arrival of Edward Vickers.

    "Good afternoon, Mr. Vickers."

    "And to you, Mr. O'Connor." It was a rare opportunity for both men to use English, and they didn't waste it.

    "How can I help you today, Edward?"

    Vickers reached into his bag and extracted the signed law, allotting increased funding to a new, sturdier rail for transit in hilly country.



    Benjamin carefully examined the map of the proposed route.



    "We need some assistance, Ben."

    O'Connor looked perplexed. "I'm not sure why. None of my people have any experience whatsoever at building railroads."

    Edward smiled. "Very true, but none of my people have any experience in speaking Bulgarian or Turkish, and most of the local workers do."

    The Foreign Minister nodded in understanding. "I can see why that might be a problem. Talk to Giovanni Pasquale in Constantinople; he's my deputy there, and should be able to get you some translators."

    "Excellent!"

    "Did I hear that you're working on improving the family heirloom," Ben asked with a chuckle. The "family heirloom" was his father's steam engine, which ensured that the O'Connors would probably never have to worry about money.

    Vickers handed over another signed law for new funding.



    "I think your father would approve, Ben. We licensed an American design -- a chap named Corliss devised it -- and I think we'll surpass his original design."

    Benjamin's face clouded briefly at the thought of his father, but he shook off the ill feelings and distracted himself with his own surprise. "Did you hear about Cyprus?"

    Unfortunately, to Vickers, it was no surprise. "Yes, I did. Rather foolish of the buggers to remind the Regent they hadn't been conquered yet."



    Benjamin burst out laughing. "You should have seen the look on Valerian's face. He was practically ready to order the invasion, but he was concerned about Magnus's ability to generate a casus belli in time. We had a rating of 8.04 on the O'Connor scale of infamy."

    "Have we got a bit of an ego?"

    Ben shook his head in mock horror. "Who, me? Of course not. It's named for my dear aunt Kathleen, not me. It was Karl's idea when he was Minister of Education."

    Vickers's own face darkened at the mention of his arch-nemesis. "I wish I knew why you liked that detestable German. Do you know he's accusing me now purposefully firing capable workers from my shipyard?"

    Ben grimaced. "Look, I know you don't get along, and I've tried to tell Karl to back off, but the only way to keep his mouth shut would be to bolt his jaws together."

    Edward muttered, "Now there's an idea."

    "All right, Ed." Benjamin hardly ever used his friend's nickname, but it seemed to calm the British industrialist down. "I'll talk to him again."

    "Thank you, sir. I must be back to London; the workers aren't going to oppress themselves!"

    Benjamin rolled his eyes and waved Vickers out of the office.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    26 August 1850, Syndicate Headquarters, Sydney

    The board of directors of the Syndicate was short one member, with the untimely demise of Juan Carlos de Farnese, a victim of another outbreak of influenza.



    Still, with a capable replacement -- Eugene Schneider, a French artillery manufacturer -- the Syndicate had a lot to celebrate. They'd almost finished colonizing all of Australia and New Zealand with the addition of Western Australia and South Island. Eugene's experience with metallurgy had already paid dividends, as a new gold mine was discovered in Gibson's Desert.



    While the Syndicate would see little direct profit from the mine, thanks to the law which granted the Imperial government a monopoly on all precious metals, they were able to use the influence gained from the new mine to re-open three of Eugene's artillery factories in Picardie, Andalucia, and Sardinia. Even better, Decimus, now officially Chancellor with Gaius Tullius Cicero as his Deputy, had made significant gains in the Senate.



    With Titus Cato's stranglehold on the Protectores, the liberals could almost be entirely ignored in the Senate. That meant that imperialism could be formally endorsed by the government, making sure that if Australia were integrated into the Empire, it would be on the Syndicate's terms.



    Best of all, thanks to Syndicate resources, Karl Marx had been shut out of the Senate for the second year in a row. Without an active political voice, Marx was slowly fading into the background, which meant that nobody asked uncomfortable questions when the first factory built after the American alliance just happened to be owned by Syndicate member Samuel Morse.



    The Massachusetts Steel Mill would certainly pay dividends in the future, but it also fueled Morse's sense of pride. The directors of the Syndicate clinked their champagne glasses together. A recent government subsidy reopened an ammunition factory in Normandy and a Midlands Fertilizer Factory -- the former owned by Schneider, but the latter by a dummy corporation owned by somebody with the ridiculous name of "Nemo Posside" -- how the censors had missed that little joke was beyond any of the directors.

    1850 was shaping up to be an excellent year for the Syndicate.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    8 September 1850, Office of the Regent, Rome

    Valerian was normally happy to see his elder brother Peter. That didn't happen very often, since Peter was the Tsar of the Russian Empire, but when it did it was always a big party. With Peter, Valerian didn't have to be quite so emotionless; with Valerian, Peter could complain about how stupid his ministers were. It was something of a win-win. But this was not one of those times.



    "Pyotr, are you sure about this? I know Karelia is ancient Russian territory, but Sweden is the number two Great Power and we just got embarrassed by Wallonia, of all places."

    His brother grunted. "Valerii, you know I wouldn't ask if it weren't important. Besides, your contributions will mostly be naval, I think. Aren't you always going on and on about your fancy steam-powered boats?"

    Valerian grinned broadly. "I do brag a lot, don't I?"

    "Yes, you do. When will the Rodina get some of these wonderful advances, brat'?"

    Valerian's grin disappeared. "You are my brother, and I love you, Peter" -- explicitly Latinizing his brother's name -- "but I will not compromise the Roman Empire because of your jealousy." Before Peter could get too angry, Valerian sighed. "If Russia needs Roman help, Tsar Pyotr, Rome will come to her aid.

    I just hope we don't regret it."
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The joke in the company's owner, by the way, is that Nemo Posside means, roughly, "Nobody possesses [it]." Rodina is Russian for Motherland; Brat' is brother.

    The war with Sweden is a big one, and will take more than one update. It's almost a shame the new patch wasn't out yet at the time -- as a minor spoiler, it would be considered a Great War (Russia and NRI vs. Sweden, Austria, and Poland; Austria is a GP again, bumping out Bavaria just before the close of the update), which could have meant some sweet, sweet territory, instead of what I actually end up with. Still, it was a challenging war to fight, and I'm sure you'll like it.

    Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by Avindian; 07-04-2012 at 05:12. Reason: Minor corrections
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  2. #202
    A really enjoyable update. I love your bit of humour their with Cyprus and the Syndicate is certainly shaping up to be an epic conspiracy

  3. #203
    Finally you can build the "Orient Express"

    I hope you add Cyprus to the Empire and get a new Mare Nostrum

    Big update

  4. #204
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anjwalker View Post
    A really enjoyable update. I love your bit of humour their with Cyprus and the Syndicate is certainly shaping up to be an epic conspiracy
    Thanks very much!

    Quote Originally Posted by varetta View Post
    Finally you can build the "Orient Express"

    I hope you add Cyprus to the Empire and get a new Mare Nostrum

    Big update
    Cyprus is on the short list of things to do.
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  5. #205
    I'm amazed that the USA hasn't begun expanding to the west, I mean, those indians ought to be uncivilized, right?
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  6. #206
    Major Vrael_1492's Avatar
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    How can Austria lose their position as GP to Bohemia-Moravia, when Czechoslovakia is there??
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  7. #207
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Santiago View Post
    I'm amazed that the USA hasn't begun expanding to the west, I mean, those indians ought to be uncivilized, right?
    I'm amazed too. In fact, North America has been very quiet as a whole. Must be just not getting CBs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vrael_1492 View Post
    How can Austria lose their position as GP to Bohemia-Moravia, when Czechoslovakia is there??
    Heh. It should be Czechoslovakia, the game probably just acted weird.
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  8. #208
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    I like the rail line a lot, always nice to see sensible line development instead of a map spammed with new railroads.
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  9. #209
    Indefatigable Psychotic tamius23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrael_1492 View Post
    How can Austria lose their position as GP to Bohemia-Moravia, when Czechoslovakia is there??
    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    Heh. It should be Czechoslovakia, the game probably just acted weird.
    As soon as B-H gets to be a GP (and with a certain amount of prestige?), it enacts the decision to form its cultural union, Czechoslovakia, and since there are no Slovaks in EU3, it's easier than the others. It also gains Slovak as an accepted culture, which is entirely pointless, as there are none in converted games. In this case, I assume, it enacted it before you could take a picture.

  10. #210
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    I like the rail line a lot, always nice to see sensible line development instead of a map spammed with new railroads.
    Railroads are much harder to build in AHD; there are terrain penalties, and until you reach a certain level of tech, you can't build in some terrains at all. (Note the red areas in the screenshot; those are mountains.)

    Quote Originally Posted by tamius23 View Post
    As soon as B-H gets to be a GP (and with a certain amount of prestige?), it enacts the decision to form its cultural union, Czechoslovakia, and since there are no Slovaks in EU3, it's easier than the others. It also gains Slovak as an accepted culture, which is entirely pointless, as there are none in converted games. In this case, I assume, it enacted it before you could take a picture.
    That explains it.
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  11. #211
    Major Vrael_1492's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    That explains it.
    Ok, still weird though

    Also, Latvia and Lübeck just look hilarious
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  12. #212
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrael_1492 View Post
    Ok, still weird though

    Also, Latvia and Lübeck just look hilarious
    Yeah, they do
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  13. #213
    Liberal Imperialist Legosim's Avatar
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    Took the last couple of days to finish up the EU3 part of this story, plus your bit into Vicky. Enjoyed it just as much as last time, great story you got going on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Legosim View Post
    Took the last couple of days to finish up the EU3 part of this story, plus your bit into Vicky. Enjoyed it just as much as last time, great story you got going on.
    Thank you very much! I'll have a new update this weekend.
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  15. #215
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Chapter 8: The Swedish War begins


    29 November 1850, Office of the Imperial Chancellor, Rome

    Marcus Porcius Cato Decimus tried not to scowl as he abandoned the office that had never truly been his, in the eyes of some of his colleagues. Tried, but did not entirely succeed. With another year or two, I could have done so much more for the Syndicate, he thought. It wasn't that the election of 1850 had gone bad. Not at all. With the Protectores, Pecuniares, and Militares united, the Provincares held the largest number of seats in the Curia, but their total was just barely eked out by the coalition.



    Unfortunately for Decimus, since the Militares were the largest member of the coalition, even with a very small margin, they were entitled to name the Chancellor, and so Gaius Tullius Cicero was given the Chancellor's slot. Decimus remained Deputy Chancellor, and Decimus's son, Titus, claimed the Ministry of Education as his portfolio. The rest of the cabinet remained unchanged, and that was bad news for the Syndicate. Edward Vickers was drifting towards Benjamin O'Connor as their friendship strengthened. Magnus von Horgen remained the loyal subordinate of Regent Valerian, which meant he would vigorously persecute the Syndicate if he'd known who they were. Marshal Contadino had never trusted Decimus, which meant that, at best, Decimus could count on two votes in the cabinet, maybe three if Vickers voted for his meal ticket instead of his conscience. That still left two who would vote against him: the Ministries of Information and Foreign Affairs. Worse still, Chancellor Cicero was much more concerned with winning the war than further industrial investments, and without the Chancellor's formal approval, Decimus had no authority to act. He had just enough influence to find a new gold mine in Broome, Australia, and to ensure that the final piece of Australia, Northern Australia, would be colonized under private ownership. More subsidies for Syndicate members appeared out of the question, however.

    Decimus had made one last effort to push his party over the edge right before the election; recommending a subsidy for the Brazilian army in exchange for an attack on Sweden's African colonies.



    However, Sweden and Brazil signed a white peace a few weeks later. That left Russia and the Roman Empire to tackle Sweden, Austria, and Poland. Valerian had even promised troops and ships this time, instead of financial support, the common method of intervention for the Empire. While this would indirectly benefit the Syndicate -- if the Empire wanted to expand her army or navy, either Vickers or Eugene Schneider was sure to profit -- the Syndicate also had a great deal of trade with Sweden. It remained to be seen how the balance sheet would reflect the new international situation.

    Of course, other Romans had much more important concerns.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 January 1851, Palazzo di Farnese, Rome

    Emperor Constantine XII had held his position for less than a couple of hours, but already felt as if it had been days. Normal procedure involved an elaborate coronation ceremony, a speech by the Emperor, and a jubilee, but with a war going on, Constantine XII didn't have time for such frivolities. The Senate had agreed to advance his coronation forward as it was; technically, he wouldn't be 14 until May. For better or worse, Constantine was the Emperor, and that meant that, ultimately, it was his Empire to run. His first Imperial decree had been to send his brother to Constantinople. Although Constantinople wasn't far from the Polish border, Trajan and Constantine needed to be kept as far apart as practical until Constantine married and had a son. Valerian, the former Regent, had gone to Moscow to discuss strategy with his brother as a special envoy to the Russian Empire. Constantine couldn't help but feel a little lost without the man who was, for all intents and purposes, his father, but he had good people to rely upon, one of which was his personal guard and close friend, Arturo Orsatti.

    He glanced over at the newly promoted Sergeant -- Constantine's second Imperial decree -- who returned a tight but honest smile. The Emperor waved Arturo over.

    "Is there a problem, Sergeant?"

    Arturo shook his head vigorously. "No, sir. Of course not."

    Constantine snickered. "Sir. I'll never get used to that. Arturo, you seem distracted."

    "Well... permission to speak freely, Emperor?"

    Constantine rolled his eyes. "Arturo, you're like my older brother. You may speak as freely as you like."

    "Very well. Although I have grown very fond of you and appreciate your company, I can't help but feel like a fraud."

    "How so?"

    Arturo let out his breath slowly. "I'm a nineteen year old Sergeant. I'm pleased about the promotion, but did I really earn it? There are men twice my age who are still Privates."

    "It isn't like you haven't earned it, Arturo. Both as a companion, but your discovery of those rifles saved a lot of lives in the war against Wallonia."

    The Sergeant shrugged. "For which I was promoted and given a commendation. But why was I given this new promotion?"

    Constantine frowned. An older man might have gotten angry at apparent ingratitude, and Constantine still had a decent temper, but he also knew Arturo wouldn't say these things if he didn't think they were true. "It is an Emperor's privilege to encourage talent when he sees it, and I might remind you that Marshal Contadino, Admiral di Medici, and your old Lieutenant all signed off on this."

    "Yes, sir. It's just... Well, I miss being in the field."

    "You do?"

    Orsatti nodded. "It's why I joined the legions. Not for glory, or rank, or fame, but to prove I can succeed without my father's help. To prove that I'm not just the youngest of four brothers, but that I can be my own man."

    Constantine reflected on that, and came to a quick decision. "Then perhaps a transfer is in order. You know of the Legio XXIX 'Gaul'?"

    "General Bava-Beccaris' new legion, based in Paris? Yes."

    "It's going to be the spearhead of our attack on Sweden. I know he's short on sergeants -- a 57,000 man legion will do that. Would that be more acceptable?"

    Orsatti smiled, a genuine one, for the first time that day. "Sir, I would like nothing more."

    "I don't suppose I could convince you to stay away from the front lines?"

    "Sergeants have to lead from the front. If you ordered me, I'd do it, but you'd be compromising my effectiveness and the effectiveness of the squad."

    Constantine shook his head in admiration. "I envy your freedom, Arturo. I will inform the Marshal. And Arturo?"

    "Yes, sir?"

    "Try not to be too big a hero."
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    26 May 1851, office of the Chief of the General Staff, Florence

    Admiral Giovanni di Medici carefully examined the placement of his ships around Copehagen.



    Disease had killed more troops than Swedish bullets; the one direct confrontation between Rome and Sweden was an inconclusive naval battle. General Bava-Beccaris was taking Denmark without much combat, but the attrition was horrendous, with casualties already nearing 20,000 troops. Most were injuries of one kind or another. Italians weren't used to the cold North Sea winds, which only exacerbated even minor ailments. A few -- thankfully not many -- had died. Remembering an important task, Giovanni scanned the casualty list, finding Arturo Orsatti's name absent. di Medici didn't mind taking time out to do that; he genuinely liked the young man, and would probably have done it without the Emperor's gentle prompting.

    Satisfied with that bit of paperwork, he checked the progress of the Third, Fifth, and Eighteenth Legions, who were going to the Polish border. The Poles had neglected to invade thus far, but that didn't mean they wouldn't. Giovanni half-expected that fear of the Russians prevented them from being too aggressive.



    His last order of business for this particular day was reading the progress reports on naval construction. 20 new Commerce Raiders had been ordered from Southampton Shipping. The Admiral smiled; one of them would have a rookie Lieutenant, Federico di Medici, the Admiral's only son. Federico had shown a lot of promise in gunnery at the De Ruyter Naval College, and as junior gunnery officer in one of the new ships, he'd have a chance to prove that. Commerce Raiders, with powerful guns and iron hulls, could withstand even the mightiest barrage from a Man 'o War, so Giovanni wasn't too worried, but he couldn't convince himself he was totally at ease. There was still a war going on, and accidents happened even with the best and newest vessels. The Admiral shook his head to clear his worries for the moment, and verified that the naval base expansions in Southampton and Rome were proceeding on schedule. Unlike some politicians, Admiral di Medici thought the war would last longer than sixty days. Giovanni corrected himself, wryly. I'm a politician too, since I'm the new Senator from Naples, as of January's election.



    Under Regent Valerian, active officers were unable to run for political office, but it was an unwritten rule, not a formal law. Emperor Constantine, unusually for such a young leader, had decided to relax the custom, on the condition that any officer that suffered in either job would lose both. That had been sufficient to frighten away most officers from campaigning. If Giovanni's father hadn't insisted, the Admiral probably wouldn't have done it either. As an Admiral, Giovanni was considered a noble in the Empire -- the patent was granted automatically to all Commanders/naval Captains and above -- but the patent wasn't hereditary. However, Senators and Tribunes of the Curia, after holding office for ten years, did get such a patent. A noble's patent entitled the holder to four things, all of which were valuable: 1) a regular income from a partial share of one of the Empire's Resource Gathering Operations, or RGOs; 2) twice the vote of a middle class person; 3) free tuition to any University in the Empire, with guaranteed acceptance for at least one year (tuition was free in the military colleges, but acceptance was not guaranteed); and 4) the right to appeal directly to the Emperor for justice. The holder no longer received land, and all nobles were theoretically equal -- Patrician was the official title held by all nobles, apart from those who still miraculously held older titles, like the Ciceros and the Catos.

    It was much harder for civilians to gain such patents; only the Proconsul of each provincia even got non-hereditary nobility automatically, and hereditary nobility required a twenty year term in the Senate or Curia. Cabinet members were also typically given a patent of nobility, but that was tradition, not law. The Roman Empire had always taken care of her soldiers (her sailors were a different story, although the sailor in 1850 enjoyed most of the same privileges as the soldier). Best of all, the salary from the RGO was in addition to, not instead of, one's military salary. That made Giovanni's lifestyle very comfortable.

    He only wished he could pass that comfort onto some of his soldiers.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    20 September 1851, Constantinople

    Trajan di Farnese grimaced as he read his copy of the Roman Times. "Another bout of influenza in Italy? Somebody needs to stop this."



    His guest held out his hands. "What can we do, Prince? There's absolutely no support for a public health care plan; the only active movements are nationalist or suffragist."

    "Valerian, you always know how to frame the situation in such a way that doing nothing seems the best course."

    The former Regent grinned. "It usually is."

    Trajan was surprised to see Valerian so relaxed. He even looked a little younger since returning from Moscow, as if not being Regent was a huge weight off of his shoulders which, in all fairness, was probably true. Valerian had offered to assist in Constantinople, which was of great help at the moment; 15 brigades were being raised to form an army to invade Poland, if need be. Valerian's knowledge of Eastern European languages ensured that the best possible recruits were selected, since the Empire retained a growing surplus of potential manpower. In fact, according to the latest report from Marshal Contadino, an additional 100 brigades could be raised, if necessary. 300,000 Romans were a powerful force indeed, even if they were purely speculative at the moment.

    "What are you going to do after the war, Valerian? I'm sure my brother would love to have you in Rome."

    Valerian actually laughed openly at the thought. "No, Trajan, I have one last task, and then I will retire. I might stay here -- somebody needs to keep an eye on you -- but I won't serve publicly again without an absolute emergency."

    "What's your last task?"

    "Finding two women I can trick into marrying you and your brother. It may be my biggest challenge yet."

    Trajan chuckled along with the former Regent. "I bet it will be, Valerian. I bet it will be."
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    27 May 1852, Odensee, Denmark

    Sergeant Arturo Orsatti knew it was May. The calendar said it was May. But it didn't feel like May. Arturo had been one of the lucky ones; he'd avoided injury and disease, and given that his legion possessed perhaps 26,000 able bodied men, that was a considerable accomplishment. The flu hadn't escaped Denmark, and even at this very moment, his own lieutenant was in the field hospital. That made him leader of the squad until the lieutenant recovered or a new one assigned. As a private, his huge size made him a butt for practical jokes and a glorified pack mule; as a sergeant, his size and phenomenal strength inspired respect and awe. Arturo didn't consider himself very charismatic, but his men did, whether the sergeant noticed it or not. At the tender age of 20, he had six years' experience in the legions; some of his thirty year old privates had one or two. That also earned him a lot of respect. There were still plenty of jokes, but they were much fonder and a sign of his acceptance.

    His century's Centurion approached as Arturo considered how far he'd come. "Sergeant, are your men ready to leave?"

    Arturo saluted. "Of course, sir, but shouldn't we wait for Lieutenant Gambini?"

    The Centurion shook his head. "No time. Here's what's going on." He unrolled a map.



    "The General is under orders to attack Copenhagen in the next few months. He'd been waiting for the delivery of some of the new rifles we've been promised, but that seems unlikely to happen before 1853, and there's a lot of pressure to win this war. The Senate is doing everything they can, including authorizing an expedition to Egypt to attract more men and women to our universities -- even giving sizable grants to the military academies and engineering schools across the Empire -- but those effects will take some time.





    "Our 'big victory' at sea seems to have a sizable number of politicians convinced that the military is just dragging its heels. In particular, the Provincares and Pecuniares are complaining about the cost of the war."



    Arturo wasn't politically very astute, but "Yes, sir" is always the right answer, and it worked here as well. He followed it with another safe phrase, "What's our mission, sir?"

    The Centurion grunted. "It's a covert operation. We have reason to believe that some officials in the Swedish embassy in Norway have been trying to convince them to abandon us and join Sweden. Minister von Horgen will be here in a couple of days to prevent this from happening, but he'll need an elite squad in case force is needed. That's why the Captain chose you and your squad."

    Arturo felt a swelling of pride in his chest. "We're honored, sir, and we won't let you down."

    "I'm sure you won't. Once the Minister has convinced the Norwegians to eject and ban the Swedish diplomats, you'll return to Rome to report for a new assignment."



    Arturo was confused. "Rome, sir? What about Copenhagen?"

    The Centurion chuckled. "Son, I have the feeling that even the best squad of nine soldiers will make little difference in an assault on Copenhagen. The Swedes can't leave without our navy's say-so, and I think that permission is likely to be denied. In any case, those are your orders."

    Sergeant Orsatti saluted one last time, and went to rejoin his squad. Only one thought lingered.

    I hope this attack on Copenhagen will be as easy as he thinks.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thanks for reading! Next update will be mid-week sometime.
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  16. #216
    An awesome update once again. Love your character building, it really makes the story interesting.

    PS: Interesting GP list you have there.
    Last edited by Anjwalker; 07-04-2012 at 09:36.

  17. #217
    Second Lieutenant wzhang29's Avatar
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    What the heck! Austria is... *looks at great power list* ...oh. However I don't see it on the map.
    For the want of a nail the horseshoe was lost, For the want of a shoe the horse was lost, For the want of a horse the rider was lost, For the want of a rider the battle was lost, For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost, and all for the want of a horse shoe nail.
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  18. #218
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anjwalker View Post
    An awesome update once again. Love your character building, it really makes the story interesting.

    PS: Interesting GP list you have there.
    Yeah; Hesse-Kassel is, I think, the last of the purely prestige based GPs. All the others are legitimately worthy of their spots.

    Quote Originally Posted by wzhang29 View Post
    What the heck! Austria is... *looks at great power list* ...oh. However I don't see it on the map.
    In NRI, I drove Austria to their colonies in South America. So, Austria is more realistically Argentina+Chile and bits of Uruguay, I think. There will be a world map in the 1860 update.
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  19. #219
    Second Lieutenant wzhang29's Avatar
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    And is that--*points to Austria-like flag*--Hesse-Kassel????
    For the want of a nail the horseshoe was lost, For the want of a shoe the horse was lost, For the want of a horse the rider was lost, For the want of a rider the battle was lost, For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost, and all for the want of a horse shoe nail.
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  20. #220
    You made Austria migrate? XD

    I was attempting to do that the other day, but I couldn't do it in the timespan of Vicky2; I assume that tookk place when this AAR was still in the EU3 stage?

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