• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Bullfilter

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There is just a small pedantic part of me that objects to the idea of their being no game there at all, it is an aesthetic issue I have with the idea and not a practical problem. It's not one I expect anyone else to share and it's something I should probably start ignoring. ;)
I harbour the same pedantic streak, but same as you only as applied to my own AARs.

If we’re looking for some OTL shenanigans, financial scandals in London and Paris and a fictitious third world country to boot, then perhaps the great (whatever) grandson of Gregor MacGregor to could invite everyone to by a parcel of land in Poyais? More a Vicky2 era character I suppose, but who cares? Certainly a truth stranger than fiction life story of someone who always seemed to get away with a tragicomically bigger lie than the last one.
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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Christ, I literally just wrote a vague plan for three series of six episodes each...

This was supposed to be a joke!
 
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Bullfilter

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El Pip

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:p It might still be! In fact, it is meant to be!
Unless that is the real innovation being proposed - A Comedy AAR with no jokes. It's happened before, but never deliberately.
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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Unless that is the real innovation being proposed - A Comedy AAR with no jokes. It's happened before, but never deliberately.
It may yet happen, but probably not by design...
 

Le Jones

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Update

I'm not dead, just coming to the end of a very busy work week. The next chapter will be published tomorrow.

LeJ
 
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Update

I'm not dead, just coming to the end of a very busy work week. The next chapter will be published tomorrow.

LeJ
*poke poke*

The stick doesn't lie, folks. He's not dead! Cancel the pyre and parade.
 

stnylan

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Update

I'm not dead, just coming to the end of a very busy work week. The next chapter will be published tomorrow.

LeJ
Looking forward to it.
 

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*poke poke*

The stick doesn't lie, folks. He's not dead! Cancel the pyre and parade.
Pfft. It's barely been 10 days, a gap that is too miniscule to even be called a gap. Unless standards in the HOI4 forum have fallen even lower than I had previously feared.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Pfft. It's barely been 10 days, a gap that is too miniscule to even be called a gap. Unless standards in the HOI4 forum have fallen even lower than I had previously feared.
No, no, these amateurs barely scrape a week without posting something. They have no concept of majestic pacing.
 

Le Jones

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1.png


Chapter 36, Fort Belvedere, 2 Aug 1936

1598189531008.png


This was not Churchill’s first visit to Fort Belvedere, but even so he was struck by how escapist it felt, a funny little toytown castle, he thought, before recalling that George V had been even more scathing, asking, incredulously, of his son why he could possibly want ‘that queer old place’. The choice of venue, Churchill felt, was deliberate. This was the inner sanctum his real court, his Camelot. Shifting next to him, David Lloyd George seemed similarly puzzled. The two had agreed to travel together, burying past differences, recalling their occasional alliances, and relying on shared experiences. Lloyd George had muttered that the tension building in Whitehall felt, to him, ‘very 1914’, before quipping that it could be ‘rather 1911’; Churchill had readily agreed, before ruing the older man’s choice of precedents.

A gloriously over the top footman (wearing, Churchill realised immediately, a new, presumably made up livery) welcomed them with an elaborate flourish (he had overdone, Churchill felt, the sense of theatre) and they were led past what looked like a dining room, being set up for some form of party. Somewhere else in the building there was a faint sound of music and what, to Churchill’s disinterested ear, sounded like female laughter. It was a warm (for Berkshire) day, bright and with (thankfully) a Mediterranean dry heat rather than a more tropical balmy heat, the wind feeble and unsupportive in the stuffiness of the Fort. Neither Churchill or Lloyd George were young men or fit men, and both had undignified beads of heat on their brows, Churchill wondering if it was as much apprehension as the heat. Finally, they were led to a wonderfully bright room, with wide, tall French-style windows washing the room in the summer’s glory. The wallpaper and decorations were similarly bright and summery, all yellows and gold (and with Churchill thought sourly, an absence of taste). Lloyd George grunted and Churchill realised that the King had jumped up from behind a desk and was advancing towards the two politicians.

“Mr Lloyd George,” he said warmly, preferring (rightly, in Churchill’s view) to treat with the older man first. “Mr Churchill,” he turned to Churchill, who offered a deep bow.

“Your Majesty,” both men said in unison.

“Sit sit,” Edward said airily, waving them to a sofa. He sat to one side, in an arm chair. It was evident that he was in some form of pain. He stared at them expectantly, perhaps, Churchill considered, hopefully. As if these venerable politicians wielded the means and skills to wave away his troubles.

The door opened and Wallis Simpson entered the room, all magnificent hauteur and a look of (Churchill imagined, feigned) surprise on her face. “David,” she said, injecting the words with expectation.

“Yes Wallis, of course. You remember Mr Lloyd George, and Mr Churchill.”

They both put their best ‘face’ on it, agreeing, seemingly psychically, to offer a slight bow to her. The King was visibly pleased (or, Churchill wondered to himself, is it relief?), and her tight smile confirmed that they had made a wise decision. She seemed to preen in the face of this genuflection. Churchill sensed that Lloyd George shared his feeling of desperately bitter distaste.

“Won’t you join us for our little soiree? We’ve just had the ballroom decorated. David, thirty minutes, no more.”

“Yes darling,” the King said in a simpering tone. Mrs Simpson swept out of the room, the King beaming with evident warmth. “Isn’t she marvellous,” he said, only half in question, to the two older men. Both grunted their assent, the King was still distracted, fixed upon other worries.

“Your Majesty,” Lloyd George began, as they agreed that he would, but a look of petulance crossed the King’s face. He seemed to ‘pull himself back’ as he forced a charming smile.

“Look, I think that I start this”, he said slightly sharply, again softening his petulance with a smile. “I wish to marry Wallis,” he said bluntly, with a note of pleading, “but Baldwin,” his mention of the Prime Minister was laced with scorn “is resisting my will.” Churchill noted the emphasis on ‘my’. “I know that he is now consulting widely in Whitehall, and with the Dominions, but I also know that not everyone supports his stand on this,” the King said pointedly. “I understand from Walter that you may stand with us.” The ‘us’, Churchill pondered, probably meant the King and Mrs Simpson. This is all so protracted, Churchill felt, but knew the dangers in rushing ahead. The gossip, both malicious and supportive, was increasingly rampant and Churchill wanted action, to be done with the ‘shadow boxing’ and endless skirmishing. With a writer’s sense of pacing he wanted to be done with the preface, but feared the risks of not investing enough in the scene setting.

“Sir,” Lloyd George began, as they agreed that it must be the older man taking the lead on this, “Winston and I are both here to see what we can do to prevent this becoming that crisis which we would so fear.” Churchill wondered about that. He liked Lloyd George, but knew that the Welshman wanted to be relevant again, wanted it as badly Churchill himself. He wondered if the Welshman wouldn't create as much chaos as he could. “The big thing, here, is not to slow it down.”

Churchill coughed, that wasn’t in the bloody script, he thought angrily.

Lloyd George wasn’t to be deterred. “I understand the need to get everyone used to the idea of the marriage, get Mrs Simpson…”

“Wallis,” the King corrected, swiftly but not sharply. Churchill was glad that the King had clarified what was a thorny, difficult area; referring to her by her former husband’s surname was hardly sensitive and tactful, but neither was simply calling her by her first name.

“Wallis,” Lloyd George acknowledged with a nod. “But not at the expense of inaction, doing nothing. We can do quite a lot now, you know. Get her legal business concluded,” he was trying to be tactful, although the King was wearing a petulant scowl, “and to start to win over the country. A few speeches, some appearances, not rocking the boat too much, give the Establishment nothing to hang their hats on.” His soft, melodic Welsh lilt was soothing.

The King nodded, turning his gaze to Churchill. “Winston.”

Churchill wondered if he had the latitude, in this conversation, to start a debate that needed to be had. With a nod he decided to try. “Sir, no one holds the Monarchy of this land in higher esteem than I,” he drawled, his cadence steady, his tone assertive but not disrespectful. “I agree with the views of our colleague here, but the obvious way to proceed, in this hour, would be to buy you time for Your Majesty’s charm and character to flow down to his people.”

“Lawn, I see your point,” Lloyd George said without thinking, using a Welsh word for ‘yes’, “but I’m not sure that’s right Winston.”

"But with Parliament in summer recess,” Churchill said, holding his lapel with his left hand and jabbing his points at the King with his right, “our allies are scattered across the points of the compass…”

“…aye! And with Chamberlain busy with the Exchequer and Eden sinking beneath a torrent of foreign crises…”

The King frowned as he looked at the Welshman. “You want to get on with it?”

“I do, Sir, I do.”

The King continued frowning, and then, in a most unregal way, broke into a relieved smile. “Finally, someone who understands.”

Churchill felt not unlike someone who had opened a dam, and worried that what had been said could not be undone. He tried again to advocate for his position. “But, Sir, speed is not, er, haste…”

“…Beaverbrook wants to wade in.” The King, having heard what he wanted to, was not to be constrained. “He is prepared to publicly back us.”

Churchill was alarmed; like the King he was a friend of Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook, the ‘first baron of Fleet Street’ whose hatred of Baldwin was a reliable constant of Westminster life. But he feared what hasty action could do. “Sir, we must not be precipitous; this is a careful advance rather than a cavalry charge.”

The King smiled at Churchill’s warry metaphor. “But what if it is Baldwin that races the pace?”

“What do you want to do?” Lloyd George was curious, and slightly exasperated, and wanted to focus on the King’s proposals.

“An interview, in one of Beaverbrook’s papers. Perhaps a radio address.”

“Damned unlikely,” Churchill growled, “Reith and his goblins will never let you near the BBC.”

The King smiled. “I thought about that. A radio address from overseas, but one that could be used here?”

Churchill, no stranger to whimsy, felt that the King was being fanciful. “Sir,” he began, “David is quite right. That would be too great a challenge to Baldwin. This must be done carefully.”

The King looked away, then directly at them both. “What if were not quick enough? What if Baldwin resigns?” The questions were asked rapidly, fired like bullets.

That the most extreme point had been scrupulously avoided so far made it so much more dramatic when it was bluntly asked. Lloyd George looked at his King with a fatherly eye. “Sir, it won’t come to that, let’s make sure…”

“No!” The King barked the word furiously, practically roaring. “If Baldwin resigns, taking his National Government with him, what do I do then?! Eh?!”

This was the moment that would either see them break a sovereign’s heart or condemn them to a constitutionally uncharted course. They looked at one another, the older man seeking the younger man’s support. Churchill paused, before offering the slightest of nods.

“Your Majesty,” Lloyd George began, formally, “if it came to it, the power to appoint a Prime Minister is retained by you”.

“I know all that…”

“And”, Lloyd George forced down the King’s interruption, throwing caution to the wind; he was risking the destruction of his own reputation here, “after the convention that you would give the incumbent Prime Minister first refusal, you would approach the Leader of the Opposition to determine if he can command a majority in the House.”

The King gave a testy look, Churchill took up the reins. “Sir, I have it on good authority that while Macdonald as National Labour will follow Baldwin, so too will Attlee. He will refuse your commission to try and form a Government.”

“They are trying to force your hand,” Lloyd George said with a tight smile.

“And are succeeding,” the King said bitterly.

“There is, perhaps, some hope, a core around which your friends can form.”

“Sinclair?”

“Sinclair, Sir,” Lloyd George confirmed.

“But even with Sinclair most of the Commons will still be against…” he didn’t finish the sentence.

Lloyd George spoke first, “Winston here has his friends, Bracken and the like,” he stroked his moustache, reminding the King, and Churchill, oddly enough, of both Eden and Chamberlain. “There is that young lad Sassoon, and Boothby.”

“But if their parties choose to resist?”

Lloyd George smiled. “They can choose only to not follow you.”

“What do you mean?”

Churchill looked up, he had been content for Lloyd George to discuss the possibility of Sinclair, the Liberal Leader, supporting them, as well as the tawdry elements of the Conservative Party. “The ancient power of the Monarch has not been removed,” he said grandly. “You choose the Prime Minister using your Royal Prerogative powers.”

“So,” the King smiled, “if I chose someone sympathetic to us, he could establish a government. But what could they do?” The King’s knowledge of Parliamentary procedure was not instinctive, but enough of his childhood tuition was retained for this purpose. “Surely they will call a vote of no confidence at the first opportunity?”

“The buggers probably will,” Churchill said in agreement, “but it will give Your Majesty time to reach out to your subjects.”

“An election will almost certainly follow,” Lloyd George said in a pointed effort to calm things down, “but the other side will be in as much chaos as we will.”

Churchill doubted that, knowing, at least from the Conservatives’ perspective, the power of the Whips and the survivor’s instinct that compelled the Tories to resist the exotic. He wondered if the Welshman was being deceitful. The King, he sensed, felt the same. “Your Majesty has a point?”

“And if we lose?”

“Some form of statute, perhaps a declaration that Your Majesty is unfit to rule. Baldwin and Laing would demand that you abdicate to save the constitution and the Church of England.”

The King pursed his petulant lips, and seemed to genuinely be wavering. Not for his love of Wallis; that, it was obvious, was a core principle that could not be questioned, but for a job that he was increasingly bored of. Abdication, which both Baldwin (tacitly) and Monckton (quite bluntly) had asked him to consider, was a terrifying prospect, of swapping his birthright for an uncertain, purposeless existence wherever they (his brother and the Government) sent him. He also feared for Bertie; while his brother and Elizabeth’s icy politeness had wounded Wallis deeply, he still wondered if Bertie’s ailments would his ensure his reign as King a disaster.

“No,” he said with conviction, “I will remain as King. I just need to get past Baldwin and the others, to speak directly to my people.”

“Your Majesty,” Lloyd George tentatively sought to break the King’s monologue.

“Mr Lloyd George, Mr Churchill”, he said formally, drawing himself up to his full height. “We would be grateful for your support at this time. A man’s choice of marriage is not a matter for abdication and disgrace, and I will not be bullied by Baldwin.”

1598189581205.png


The two politicians looked quickly at one another, then back to the King. “Sir,” Lloyd George began, “what does that…”

“…mean? Next week the Courts will hear Wallis’ divorce. The clock is ticking, gentlemen. Get Sinclair, get the others. It is time.”

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

GAME NOTES

Well, there we go, a pretty major step along the way and a significant POD from the real world abdication crisis.

I am sorry to the Churchill-philes here, but this is one of those rare examples where the Liberals, notably two of their three leading statesmen, Lloyd George and Archibald Sinclair (the other is the hated National Liberal Sir John Simon) are the key to giving the King any hope. We have already seen Sinclair’s procrastination: of the three party leaders to be briefed by Baldwin, he was the one to equivocate (as he did when he and Attlee were briefed in the OTL). We’ll look at this shortly but there is real, genuinely credible evidence that Sinclair and much of his party was more agreeable to exploring the options for supporting the King than the Conservatives or Labour. This support is still hesitant, tentative, and probably will be caveated and qualified, but already names and possible alignments are being freely discussed (from all wings, factions and parties) in support of King Edward. And in this TL, the King has a huge fillip; in the real world, as has been said previously, when the crucial meetings took place Lloyd George was on holiday and couldn’t provide immediate advice. While it sounds fanciful and rather silly, he really was the leading advocate of the varying schemes lurking in the shadows in 1936; what is intriguing is his motive. For what it’s worth, I can see him acting as described, both (a a la Beaverbrook) to harm Baldwin, but also to have another shot at power, or if that is too ‘high’, then relevance. I have, I hope, captured his canniness and guile; he is leading the King to a certain conclusion, trying to steer the King toward resisting Baldwin’s insistence on a ‘take it or leave it’ decision on the Crown or Mrs Simpson. Here I have to balance the game environment and the real world, and I apologise if you disagree with my approach to either. I also think that while Churchill and some anti-Baldwin Conservatives (Channon, in addition to the other names mentioned, is a possible) would wade in behind Lloyd George, any help from the other parties would turn a tiny minority (I’m guessing, but I doubt that they’d get beyond fifty or so mad rebels at this stage) into a possible minority administration. Lloyd George would probably inspire the Liberals over to the cause, particularly his family and close friends (poor Sinclair! I fear he will be overshadowed). But I genuinely view the game’s breezy “King’s Party” idea as a fairly desperate roll of the dice (which is why I have Edward agonise over it – given that in the real world he backed down, it shouldn’t be easy!).

Churchill’s role is far more complicated. Some argue that he would have strongly supported the King come what may (but he was also viewed by all as a trusted interlocutor), but my view, which I have hopefully portrayed here, is that he viewed any talk of a “King’s Party” (a term I will deliberately avoid the character uttering – it is a made up term, and I cannot find the source for it, just that everyone dismisses forming a “King’s Party” out of hand) as a means to buy time (in direct contrast to the King and Lloyd George, who wanted to get on with it asap). Churchill differed from the diehard supporters – he respected the Monarchy (but he also revered Parliament as an institution – neutering it would not have crossed his mind) but was no fan of Wallis. He seems, from what I can gather (and everyone differs on the degree of his support) to have wanted the King to come his senses and dump Wallis of his own accord. So, to balance the game and reality, I think he supports forming an alternative Government (or, actually, calling Baldwin’s bluff that they could form such a Government, leading him to back down and probably hand over to a Chamberlain seemingly more malleable), and rightly noting that its life expectancy would be judged in days (not the months that the game suggests).

As ever I have tried to be balanced towards Wallis – she certainly loved the attention, but only to a point, and during the real crisis retreated to Belvedere in the wake of truly offensive letters/editorials. It is also apparent that the decision to marry was probably Edward’s, I think semi-official mistress with ministers and officials acknowledging her probably could have been sold had Edward not insisted on her being his wife and consort. As we have seen, though, her domineering, almost bullying treatment of Edward, even in front of visitors, is sadly well recorded. It was, as my northern granny would say, “quite a queer thing” indeed.


There is a pervading sense of rudderless-ness though to the British situation. The oxygen is being sucked up by the domestic spectre of the King's marriage and the foreign spectre of the Spanish War. One can sense it surround Vansittart like a fog, getting him wet without even raining.
That is a fair assessment @stnylan, and one that the HOI4 concept of "political power" actually does quite well. Going down the morganatic or royal marriage options saps any British Government's ability to do more than just hold on at home while hoping for the best internationally.

I had no idea that much of the Olympic pageantry is a Nazi inheritance. I suppose the whole "celebration of youthful athletic glory" schtick does fit quite well with the fashier elements of 1930s Europe.
The torch relay in particular was a real surprise to me.

As others have said Vansittart is a joy in this, though in part this may just be because I agree with his views on future events so am pre-disposed to like him. In any event he was the perfect choice to observe the Olympics and the fluff and ceremony around it.
Thank you, and I agree - and therefore writing him in is quite difficult as I don't want to overdo it.

It may have been 1936, but there were still plenty of drones around. Enough perhaps for them to form a club, with Bertie Wooster there to brighten things up? I can almost imagine him competing in some obscure sport at the Olympics as one of those gentlemen members of the British team (think supporting characters from Chariots of Fire), entertaining the team with songs accompanied by the banjolele, and getting into some horrid scrape with the local constabulary - stealing a Stormtrooper’s hat or some such.
TBH that's not far from the standard of a lot of the British competitors in '36.

Someone really wants to write Rupert Bear books. But with Nazis...
For some reason this had me giggling maniacally...

Also is the pigeon thing OTL? Those poor yanks...
Yes it is! Almost precisely as portrayed.
The Great Big List of Madhouse AAR prompts and Ideas
(from A Royal Prerogative)
Threadmarked.

Bravo all round I say.
Excellent work TBC. Please be sure and keep it updated as more ideas develop.
Will there be a prize for the most outrageous and unreasonable idea that could still feasibly work as an AAR?
Umm...possibly? Especially as I think some of these might actually end up written at some point, even just as one shots in a collected edition. Something might happen on that score when I have reliable Internet again.

I quite enjoyed doing the collation though, very similar to the summaries of Butterfly Effect done months ago...as for keeping it updated the old practice was to put it on a forum blog post but I think pd killed them in the last grear sweep.

Everyone just remember comment #512.
I echo the love for this, I am delighted that you have done this, @TheButterflyComposer - as I say it's threadmarked so let's get some work done on the ideas. Oh, wait...


The main thing stopping me doing L'Or L'Or as my post King Haakon project is the horrible realisation I would have to buy HOI4 and some DLC to get a 1930 mod to base it on.

Of course I could just make it all up completely with no reference to any game at all and hope no-one notices or cares. But that sort of thing is not quite cricket for an AAR forum, so I am reluctant to take that path.
Pleeeeeease, Pippy. 'twould be hilarious.

@El Pip - On the contrary, it is an old and honored AAR-Land tactic. I'm not sure if it has been used lately, but I know of a number of classic works that hang 'very loosely' upon a game.

As music depends on rules to close off possibilities, so does writing. If you are told you can write absolutely anything you might stare at a blank page, overwhelmed by possibilities. But if you start making choices (and eliminating others) then the shape becomes much more perceptible and writing (and plotting) becomes easier.

A Paradox game, for our authorial purposes, can be a construct around which we form a narrative and whose events we may use as plot-points. It would be perfectly possible to write such a perfect simulation that no-one would guess the author's creativity had replaced the game underneath - it was done, at least once, that I know of.
That's all very true @Director
Tell you what, why don't I play a test game focusing on french fiance and the metropolitan area and let you know what happens?
Yes! Do it!

Not to be too shameless by using my own work as an example, but, well, it is an example. Echoes is a 175,000 word (and counting) opus based off exactly seven years of Vicky 2 gameplay. I went into the game knowing what scenario I wanted to play out, then I stopped playing as soon as the infamously iffy late-game Vicky engine started doing things I wasn't a fan of.
Shameless be dammed. Your work is a masterpiece and in my top three of all AARs.

Since we are talking about insane prompts and stuff of that nature, I have just now been informed that there is a series online that serves as a sister series to Thomas the Tank Engine. The rub is, its set on the mainland NWR that Sodor links to, which makes it a nightmarish hell for trains and staff alike as they try to stay alive and sane under the insane and incompetent rule of the Thin Git and his goverment/private enterprise masters.

I'm currently reading Lords of Finance and, as previously stated, a lot of my degree and personal reading was and has been on this stuff. I'm therefore happy to act as part-time consultant on international finance in the 20th Century for any attempt to write L'Or, L'Or. Like 1901, it would be a good excuse to brush up on my own knowledge.
There you are - we have a financier / experty thing. It does prompt a thought that we have a random assortment of real-world experience on this and other threads: academics, engineers, architects (which are not the same as engineers, even though it still involves designing and building stuff).

It really does seem like the trailer for L'or, L'or! Fall 2021 seems increasingly and disturbingly likely. What would be best, you all think? An actual script layout or traditional narrative AAR just set out like a comedy show? I am totally up for writing/helping write this but need to actually check what a french hoi4 fame looks like first just for reference. As everyone has said, it's not vital, but would be nice to have...
I was thinking of doing it as script layout and really leaning into the homage, complete with a central Rennie type character who talks to the audience and does the exposition. I also really wanted to get the ridiculously plots going, I had half mapped out an idea around 'the Madagascan gold' which the banker are trying to pretend is both still in Madagascar and in Paris (so they can count it twice), so lots of iron bars painted gold, fake bars and trying to dodge League of Nations inspectors who keep trying to actually count how much Gold France has.
A script would be hilarious.

I will just pipe in to note that the subtitle of the forum is, and has been for many years AARs, LPs, and Fanfiction - For ... ten years now? A goodly long time anyways.

In other words @El Pip you cannot use "But that sort of thing is not quite cricket for an AAR forum, so I am reluctant to take that path. " as an excuse :)
Well put mon brave.

Wait, so can we actually use my French-somalian pirate idea then? Seems ideal for Madagascar episode.
I certainly think so, much swapping around of bars and confusion as to who has the fake gold and who has the real stuff. It's that or the A-Team option;


In 1930 a group of French bankers and economists was told to make Paris the Financial Capital of the World. These men promptly realised they'd been asked to do the impossible and escaped to a maximum starred Parisian restaurant. Today, still being paid by the government, they survive as the French Central Bank Open Market Operations and Precious Metals Reserves Committee. If you have a current account deficit... if no one else can balance your payments... and if you can fund their expense account... maybe you can hire... The L'Or L'Or Team.
Hon, hon, hon, honhon, hon (to the A team theme).

So maybe this episode kicks off with the gold being stolen by pirates, and the French team panicking because of course, if the gold was in paris like they said, that should be impossible. So they either have to tell everyone what they did, hunt down the pirates or fake a pirate attack on the paris gold vault and 'steal' the bullion themselves.

They do this, only for the actual pirates to show up on holiday, not realising that the loot they stole from Madagascar was acrually french in the first place. The team decide to hire them to break into the paris vault to put the gold back, leaving the pirates off with a holiday in France, the french team with the gold back in paris and the wankers at the parisian gold exchange looking like idiots having been broken into by the same pirate crew twice in one day.
I know it breaks the previously stated idea of the outside world never even being mentioned but, since we're bringing in Somali pirates;

It is September 20th, 1931, a pair of Bank officials show up in Paris with an offer to sell a substantial amount of British gold. As die-hard supporters of the Norman school of thinking, the English are of course utterly insufferable about it, gnashing their teeth, driving a hard bargain, generally thinking they're ending Sterling as a world currency by doing what they're doing. As the Englishmen leave, practically sobbing in public over the fate of England in the elegiac way we've learnt to deal with any setback, our French protagonists toasting expensive champagne to the coup they have performed by robbing Britain of the most precious metal, the script has the camera pan down to the - naturally binned without a first, much less second, glance - foreign section; L'ANGLETERRE A ABANDONNÉ L'ÉTALON-OR.
The third world is fine. Made up names where appropriate of course. So not Somalia but sunnymayliac. Maybe the French map maker was just drunk that day.
Wait so the main guy has to hide from his team that he's very obviously sleeping with several random advisors from differing economic schools? And the joke is when he is found in comprising positions, he strenuously denies they were talking about anything other than the gold standard? Is his name Jean Paul Succour?
So I'm just going to let this stream of consciousness and depravity run its course apart from...

Possibly could have John Maynard Keynes, in a silly hat and bad accent, as an officer crabtree type character trying to get France to agree to the idea of a proto-Bancor.
Pleeeeeeeeeease do this.


In the last update I notice the main characters seem to have no great dislike for the Germans - mild distaste, perhaps, but no more so than is expressed for the French or the Americans. Historically, when did this change?
Well the Nazis were pretty much just extreme or less subtle versions of late victorian imperialists (both British and non) with various ideas of race, the might of civilization, fanatical pride in the homeland that never was etc. The distaste before the war came mostly from people who found them a little too obvious, a little too lacking in 'good excuses' for their ambitions (since they were always fairly upfront about what they were going to do to minorities and conquered peoples) uncouched by various comfortable late victorian excuses.
@TheButterflyComposer - that is a perspective I had not quite seen. I will share the wrath by saying that I agree that it is true today.

The Nazis were pretty open about what they wanted to do - but not, perhaps, the lengths to which they would go to achieve it. That's why the revelations at the end of the war were so deeply shocking, I think. That and the recognition that where the Germans had gone others could go also - no-one was immune.

'Beware the perils of pure logic, Spock. Humanity can't live with a purely rational answer.'
As we've discussed, there was a lot of apathy and indolence about in British politics (and elsewhere) in the 30s. An energetic and active system, one which was visibly getting stuff done, even if you didn't agree with what was being done, was going to look attractive to some. Particularly when the reality of the actual progress (or lack of it) and the terrible costs were being kept hidden.

There was also the moderately widely held view that Germany had been treated badly by Versailles, no-one was wildly passionate about the subject but there was a certain degree of sympathy that, for example, the Rhineland should either be a bit of Germany or taken away, not mucked about with so much. Th

To drag things back to the subject, in 1935 Eddie VIII (when still PoW) was calling for better understanding with Germany "to safeguard peace" and was threatening to make a full state visit to Germany when he became King, in order to help improve relations naturally. The general principle, that co-operation with Germany was better than confrontation, probably was fairly popular, particularly given no-one really knew what was happening in Germany and, besides, everyone knew the Communists were the real threat.
Must… not… take… the bait.
I literally cannot discuss this as per forum rules. I most certainly cannot say go and look at the banned topics and indicate they did all of them.
Never said they were nice, particularly not the Belgians, but there are surely obvious fundamental differences. Pol Pot did the entire banned list as well, but no-one calls him a Nazi. Because it is possible for other ideologies to do unpleasant things, no matter what the internet may tell you.

Fundamentlaly I disagree with your position that the main difference between, say, the Marquess of Salisbury and Hitler was the facial hair and that Hitler was a little bit more extreme.
Didn't really mean to imply ideological similarities between 19th century liberalism and 20th century facism but in practice, they did much the same thing to conquered peoples, just for different reasons.
Another intriguing thread (or sub-thread, or conversation, or, never mind...). My views are these, and they start at Versailles.

Britain (including Lloyd George, the PM by the time of Versailles) was not vengeful (well, not to the extent of the French) but nor was it idealistic (a la Wilson and his approach) at the conference(s). While each leader of one of the big three (sorry Italy, you're play acting) felt 'hemmed in' by the others, I actually think that Lloyd George had a point to his frustrations. Clemenceau was a bitter old sod by 18 / 19 and performed the role that is ordained every Frenchman will play at a summit; ridiculously haughty and obsessed with France still being seen as a Great Power. Clemenceau should have trademarked this, De Gaulle would have owed him a fortune. Wilson was extravagantly whimsical, with mad ideas that the European colonialists just couldn't stomach (my trademark point for the French also applies to the US).

Britain's view was more complex; the UK had no desire to humiliate Germany, even when she did, she really didn't, and was determined to get back to trading and everyone buying (British) things as soon as possible.

The above fed a perception prominent in the UK, the Upper Middle and Upper Classes particularly, that Germany had been badly treated at Versailles (and subsequent moments) and that Germany was somehow 'owed some leeway'. As the economic calamities set in it was fashionable to applaud someone, anyone, doing something about those dammed (insert minority / political faction here) people responsible. It is also trite but true that a lot of the downright abhorrent views so loved by ze Nazis were widely held by people across the other Western powers. Even as the darker moments became more evident (and in '36 they're there, just not as apocalyptically awful as they would become) the Western powers all had their own internal problems where questionable methods were used.

So no, the Germans aren't (yet) hated.
I harbour the same pedantic streak, but same as you only as applied to my own AARs.

If we’re looking for some OTL shenanigans, financial scandals in London and Paris and a fictitious third world country to boot, then perhaps the great (whatever) grandson of Gregor MacGregor to could invite everyone to by a parcel of land in Poyais? More a Vicky2 era character I suppose, but who cares? Certainly a truth stranger than fiction life story of someone who always seemed to get away with a tragicomically bigger lie than the last one.
Christ, I literally just wrote a vague plan for three series of six episodes each...

This was supposed to be a joke!
:p It might still be! In fact, it is meant to be!
Unless that is the real innovation being proposed - A Comedy AAR with no jokes. It's happened before, but never deliberately.
It may yet happen, but probably not by design...
Marvellous

*poke poke*

The stick doesn't lie, folks. He's not dead! Cancel the pyre and parade.
No worries :)
Looking forward to it.
Pfft. It's barely been 10 days, a gap that is too miniscule to even be called a gap. Unless standards in the HOI4 forum have fallen even lower than I had previously feared.
No, no, these amateurs barely scrape a week without posting something. They have no concept of majestic pacing.
Good things come to those who wait. ;)
Thank you for your forebearance
 
Last edited:

TheButterflyComposer

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This was the inner sanctum his real court, his Camelot.
A toyland castle? I hope chruchill was being deliberately scathing there.

Shifting next to him, David Lloyd George seemed similarly puzzled. The two had agreed to travel together, burying past differences, recalling their occasional alliances, and relying on shared experiences. Lloyd George had muttered that the tension building in Whitehall felt, to him, ‘very 1914’, before quipping that it could be ‘rather 1911’; Churchill had readily agreed, before ruing the older man’s choice of precedents.
Jesus Christ, one of them at least is thinking big dick constitutional overturns here. This is going to go downhill fast if chruchill thinks they're just here for support.

(wearing, Churchill realised immediately, a new, presumably made up livery)
Utter heresy.

Neither Churchill or Lloyd George were old or fit men
They are both young and fat?

They both put their best ‘face’ on it, agreeing, seemingly psychically, to offer a slight bow to her. The King was visibly pleased (or, Churchill wondered to himself, is it relief?), and her tight smile confirmed that they had made a wise decision. She seemed to preen in the face of this genuflection. Churchill sensed that Lloyd George shared his feeling of desperately bitter distaste.
How repulsive. I think even I feel a Kings party came about, the newly empowered aristocracy are never going to accept wallis. Which is a problem if an increasingly unstable monarch keeps getting more and more power, since by game standards he ends up in control if Mosley doesn't, and we certainly aren't going there...

Might have to fluff it and say he's a more powerful monarch on the lines of late Georgian constitutionally monarchs etc. Rather than have him literally being an absolute ruler.

Baldwin,” his mention of the Prime Minister was laced with scorn “is resisting my will.” Churchill noted the emphasis on ‘my’.
Uh oh. He's waving his will around!

Churchill wondered about that. He liked Lloyd George, but knew that the Welshman wanted to be relevant again, wanted it as badly Churchill himself. He wondered if the Welshman wouldn't create as much chaos as he could. “The big thing, here, is not to slow it down.”
Now they're all doing it! Yeah, so this is where Churchill would probably start to panic and worry about destroying or dangerously splitting the Conservative party forever.

“Some form of statue, perhaps a declaration that Your Majesty is unfit to rule. Baldwin and Laing would demand that you abdicate to save the constitution and the Church of England.”
At minimum. More likely getting rid of the royal perogative in all but rubber stamping parliaments choice, and restricting the monarchy even further down to modern day standards or less.

Bascially, he's gambling the remains of his stations power on this.

For some reason this had me giggling maniacally...
Enough to be an AAR prompt? @Bullfilter writes Rupert bear and the Nazis Picnic.

Threadmarked
This is how you subvert a thread, children.

I echo the love for this, I am delighted that you have done this, @TheButterflyComposer - as I say it's threadmarked so let's get some work done on the ideas. Oh, wait...
Pleeeeeease, Pippy. 'twould be hilarious.
Yes! Do it!
There you are - we have a financier / experty thing. It does prompt a thought that we have a random assortment of real-world experience on this and other threads: academics, engineers, architects (which are not the same as engineers, even though it still involves designing and building stuff).
A script would be hilarious.
So I'm just going to let this stream of consciousness and depravity run its course apart from...
Pleeeeeeeeeease do this.
a la Wilson and his approach
Marvellous
Right so, at the moment, there is merely myself throwing ideas and research questions at El Pip everyday, and tentative series plans and episode summaries for three sets of six episodes each. I don't know what if anything would ever come of this or whether someone or a group could write this as a script series, but there's enough content for a oneshot joke thread right now I guess. Perhaps it's best to literally have a thread of the prompts as oneshots and having written up an example, people can pick and choose ideas to go away with and write?

L'or, L'or! Could happen, but I have to write a lot more outlines and characters, and el Pip would probably have to finish all his comedy side AARs first. But there's plenty of material on the list to be getting on with, I think.

Also...absolutely no one blinked an eye at the existence of The Other Railway. Did you all already know about it or has this thread just got so mad that grimdark Thomas the tank is by the course?
 

Cromwell

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As usual the Simpson woman manages to irritate both the politicians and this reader even with very few lines to say.

I can't see his Majesty inspiring a great deal of loyalty even amongst his "own" supporters. It will be a very precarious new order right from the starting line. Lloyd seems more up for it than Winston though on balance.

As for the future I can't wait for more sneaking, spying and skulduggery when the time comes for another one of those updates. ;)
 

Specialist290

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One thing that strikes me about this chapter is the air of unreality that runs like a thread through this entire chapter, starting with the very fairy-tale nature of Fort Belvedere itself. I get a strong impression that the King simply doesn't want to face the reality of his situation, both in his relationship with the Government and in his own personal life. One can, of course, chalk up the latter at least partially to the influence of That Damnable Woman, but I feel that there's an equally powerful compulsion on the King's own part to be seen as a "strong" figure (even if, in truth, he's playing at being much stronger than he really is).

I also find it somewhat ironic that he's worrying about Bertie being fit for the throne when he's about to drive his own kingdom headlong into a constitutional crisis essentially on a whim. On the one hand, it's sweet that he really cares enough about his brother to think in those terms; on the other hand, it does come off as just a little patronizing, as well.

Also...absolutely no one blinked an eye at the existence of The Other Railway. Did you all already know about it or has this thread just got so mad that grimdark Thomas the tank is by the course?
Honestly, with "grimdarkening" apparently being such a fad these days, nothing surprises me anymore.
 

DensleyBlair

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My oh my. David is really stepping up his game, isn’t he? The fallout in Parliament is going to be delicious, never mind the fact that the entire constitution is probably about to get torn up (and rewritten?) By the end of the year Britain is going to have a ministry chock a block with all the worst bounders, cads and rotters you could care to think of.

And I think you’re quite right: the “King’s Party” as a name really does bludgeon the point over the head a bit, doesn't it?

“Lawn, I see your point,” Lloyd George said without thinking, using the Welsh word for ‘yes’, “but I’m not sure that’s right Winston.”
I’m sure you had little idea, given everything else treated in the above chapter, that you’d be stepping on so great a landmine by invoking the Welsh word for ‘yes’. The wild truth is that there is no Welsh word for yes, and that one’s response to a question is entirely dictated by the verb used in the question itself.

‘Iawn’ is like ‘right’ or ‘okay‘, which of course works fine. But I couldn’t resist delving into Welsh grammar so humour me please. :p

and Boothby.
Excellent. Bring the bugger in, that will make everything much better.

Shameless be dammed. Your work is a masterpiece and in my top three of all AARs.
Far, far too kind my friend.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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The wild truth is that there is no Welsh word for yes,
I hated reading the ancient Welsh chronicles. Mostly Latin, but when they went Welsh they really went welsh and it makes no sense.
 

Le Jones

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They are both young and fat?
I’m sure you had little idea, given everything else treated in the above chapter, that you’d be stepping on so great a landmine by invoking the Welsh word for ‘yes’. The wild truth is that there is no Welsh word for yes, and that one’s response to a question is entirely dictated by the verb used in the question itself.

‘Iawn’ is like ‘right’ or ‘okay‘, which of course works fine. But I couldn’t resist delving into Welsh grammar so humour me please. :p
Blast it! Amended on both counts, and thanks!