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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Part One - The Changing of the Guard
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    Part Two - The Collapse of the Crown
  • Le Jones

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    The Butterfly Composer's "The Great Big List of Madhouse AAR prompts and Ideas (from A Royal Prerogative)"
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    The Great Big List of Madhouse AAR prompts and Ideas
    (from A Royal Prerogative)

    Okay so the first few pages aren't prompts as such but we do have a big old discussion about cults, old boy networks and edward being dropped right in it from the off (thus all of us being briefly very sympathetic to his plight). This leads on to a discussion of HOI4 intelligence departments and the idea of them in general, which leads to:

    My favorite conspiracy theory I've ever invented is the one where Enigma was never actually cracked, Himmler was actually an Allied agent and that's why they whacked him.

    Which has potential, I must say. And following the King's speech, we all worried about whether or not he was a secret socialist.
    Which led to the immortal line:

    Of course, I forgot that this is HOI and becoming fascist gives you superpowers.

    The first crisis comes up next with Germans entering the Rhineland. Everyone wishes everyone else would do something about it. Leads to a discussion on French gold and French insanity, and @El Pip provides his first prompt:

    This could be Eddie's great service to the nation, on a trip to Paris he could meet Gamelin and then bring back to Londond the vital intelligence that the French High Command is riddled with VD. I imagine that as a great philanderer he was adept at spotting the signs, if only to avoid it himself.

    Near the top of p. 8 @Le Jones first decides that one of the prompts is a good idea for an AAR. Unfortunately it's my recommendation for how to play as Italy in HOI4, which involved swiping Austria as early as you can and taking down the axis yourself.

    P.11 sees pretty much everyone fall out of love with Edward and start hating both him and his bitch of a sex partner. It is also where the now infamous concept of a Berlin Olympics airship disaster first floated:


    Still not sure where the Divergence is going to be. Ethiopia gone. Ruhr gone. Is there going to be a plane crash at some point during the olympics?
    An airship crash, you mean?
    The Hindenburg did famously fly around the site during the games, if it were to burst into flames and crash into the Olympic stadium, taking out the entire Nazi leadership in the fireball, that would be a novel POD and I for one would read the hell out of it.

    Alas I fear it is an idea too magnificent for this world and will never see the light of day.
    I might actually write the Hindenburg crash, given that whilst I would quite like to give an account of some of my crazier HOI games, I don't actually (as many can attest) know or care much about this period of history. So having absolutely everyone of importance OTL die in several unfortunate and spectacular accidents sounds quite appealing, and makes what the AI and myself did afterwards make a kind of twisted sense.

    I'd probably roll a die or flip a coin for HOI AAR favourites. So the like of Churchill and Halifax probably wouldn't die right away but are doomed to sooner rather than later. And I'd keeping a tally, so the longer they last, the more horrific death they've earned.

    Actually I don't even need a game account for this do I? HOI4: Lets kill Hitler...and then everyone else.
    What, Baldwin has a thunderclap heart attack, dies and the cabinet is thrown into chaos, parliament is deadlocked, the marriage goes through and suddenly there's a huge public political crisis with the Kings side full of popular orators and the government more looking pathetic?
    Who knows what will happen? Frogs falling from the sky? Cats and dogs, living together? A sharknado at Brighton Pier? Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of A Royal Prerogative!
    Maybe there shall be a terrible accident at the 36 Olympics...
    Lang attempted to bully, humiliate and cower him. Nope – he’s an arse. Can I ask that he be put on the Hindenburg, please, @the Butterfly ?
    My list of people to put on that dammed zeppelin is growing with each update…

    And then completely out of nowhere:

    We need Hitler having one of his well-known "brain farts" and, after considering that Baldwin and Chamberlain are far more dangerous for him than Stalin, sends Skorzeny to kill them :cool:.

    Which may well prove interesting if anyone gave it a try.

    After that, we have several moments where @DensleyBlair and @El Pip look poised to fall and fight in various bear traps I dug but they were too polite. Once again we spoke on espionage, especially electronic stuff. This thread might be on a list now.

    @Director then starts off a corker of an economic discussion and AAR prompt:

    I do have a question to put to readers from Britain. Were the deep austerity measures of the day necessary or could other policies have succeeded?
    Such are the magical properties of debt. Used properly, it's basically, to use a horrible phrase, a magic money tree. There are of course, some horrible drawbacks to the system but if you happened to have an empire made up of economies also in the debt game, you could lend and borrow from each other, and because the whole economy of the empire was growing, and managed if not controlled centrally, deficit financing make a lot of sense for the empire.

    In fact it makes so much sense that I suspect there is a horrible nasty hole in the centre of such an idea that several people are bound to drop kick me on. Still, it would make for an interesting AAR idea to have a group of accountants from modern times dropped into the 1918 Treasury and told to make it run 'properly', what would happen?
    I am just about the furthest one can get from understanding how finance works, but reading this I do get the sense of watching The Big Short. And now I'm thinking that this 1918 Treasury AAR probably has to star Christian Bale...
    That said a hypothetical group of accountants dropped into 1918 would probably do fine, they'd get on well with the Treasury and probably not change much. Because they are accountants and so don't do grand economic theory. You could try it with economists, but they'd just fight amongst themselves and achieve nothing, as is traditional for their caste.
    It's difficult to argue however that GB should have done anything differently, since they didn't really do anything wrong with their recovery and managed to rearm fairly promptly when they needed to...I suppose you'd have to really like british industry and want it to be boosted back up to the numbers it was at in the 1870s, comparative to the rest of the world. But, the OTL 30s industry base was pretty good, the british didn't have much trouble rearming with home-grown stuff so far as I know.
    Just so. It's actually one of those scenarios which sounds good but wouldn't change much because by post-war November 1918, it's all far too late for the big changes you would probably want to make in an AAR. Probably more beneficial to have this team sent back earlier and instructed to make sure all the what-if machines invented in the 19th century but didn't get off the ground until after ww2 actually got made properly. Stuff like the difference engine.
    To me the Empire never really ‘got it’s groove’ on in the 30s and exploited that it was, as TBC has mentioned, a massive cartel. I agree with El Pip that the UK didn’t really have it as bad as others, but demoralised and pessimistic administrations seemed to have concluded that it did. And rearming your way out of trouble is, as El Pip has commented, slaying one dragon to create another.
    As distasteful mercurial as the brits were in the 19th c. you can't help but feel sorry for the old folks watching their hard work crash and burn because the current crop of administrators and politicos are too weak to rodger the empire for all its worth while they still have it. They could have done so much better than they did, and I doubt the dominions would have done much to stop them (King might try, and Canada was always the strongest of the bunch, but I think that if the empire came knocking most of them would pick mother england over the struggling US, at least until the early 40s and by then they were at war).

    There's probably a story in there somewhere. An AAR where GB gets struck by lightning and they pull out all their dirty old tricks and have a good go at imperial preference. Then having rode out the depression on a cash possitive high, safely ignore the fires in europe until the nazis regime inevitably collapses and sweep in to rebuild and meddle afterwards. Might have to do a few time skips to avoid being too dry...

    doing it seriously (and within the constraints of good old fashioned Westminster democracy) would be an interesting ride. We can add it to the wish list after the fatal zeppelin fireball Nazi AAR.
    Yeah I would prefer to do the everybody's dead dave aar first. It'll keep. Hopefully hoi4 has some better economy stuff in it by then.
    I'm coming round to the view that Halifax was just a man out of time. His judgement remains appalling and his personal faults numerous, but had he hit his prime say 25 years earlier things would have gone better for all involved. Making strenuous efforts to stay out of WW1 might have worked and certainly would have been better for Britain than actually fighting the damn thing - Imperial Germany was at least a rational(ish) country you could work with. Alas it was his fate to take that attitude against the Nazis.
    That is the most positive (or rather least negative) opinion on Halifax that you've ever expressed! I think that it's very fair, actually; he was by any measure a late Victorian rather than a man of the 30s and had he risen earlier he might have found his moment.

    Then for some reason, I and @El Pip come up with a plan for saving the French Empire, giving GB all the gold in the world and potentially stopping the Great Depression...and also Churchill's well diaries:

    Well, y'know...money. The french can't afford anything in this period, with even inaction being incredibly expensive in the long term.

    Probably should get a new financial advisor. And take away all sharp implements before showing them their situation.
    Technically France can afford to do things and did so, sadly the things it spent on did not work out (where 'work out' means "Not being defeated by Germany in the next war"). A lot of money was spent on nationalising large chunks of the the defence industry, then more was spent on modernising the industry and then even more on nationalising the railways. And of course the whole 'Trying to make Paris the world's financial capital by buying up all the world's Gold' plan was quite pricey.

    Stop any one of those and quite a lot of funds are available for other things. Hell just go off Gold right now, as opposed to September, and the earlier start to the recovery would fund a reasonable Spanish intervention.
    A full on naval blockade of Spain by the RN and MN would keep out basically all German, Italian and American Aid (Franco's army ran on US oil that was sold on credit). If the Republican government asks for British and French assistance then legally it is fine, they are just supporting the legitimate government of Spain to secure it's borders. Trading rights for neutrals only apply to governments not rebels, and who is going to risk the escalation by recognising a bunch of failed coup leaders? (This assumes UK/France act relatively promptly and can set the terms, if it is scene as 'just' a bad revolt not a civil war things are automatically much better for the Republicans).

    Take away all the foreign support for the Nationalists and have the 'Moscow Gold' used to actually buy weapons and not just enrich the USSR and the Republic has a decent chance of victory even without any British or French troops being committed on land (though the navies will be busy).

    Not a guaranteed plan, and it requires a lot more commitment and confidence than Paris or London ever displayed inter-war, but it's certainly doable. And if the Spanish Republic isn't salvageable all the better, major reform was required in any event so maybe 'doing a France' and starting a new Third Republic to replace the old broken one isn't that bad a consequence.
    Still, it is a wonderfully Victorian master plan that is truly ludicrous in scale and hubris. Of course if they actually did go someway to gaining a huge pile of gold, they'd be in a never ending spending spree of buying more from the gold producing colonies, many of which weren't owned by France...

    Wonder if the british could make some money tricking france into spending a fortune buying their gold they just dug up so they can put it back in the ground again (but in Paris this time)?
    There is an IMF research paper that argues the Great Depression is France's fault. Their great gold buying spree was the early 30s, i.e. after the Wall St Crash and Credit Anstalt bankruptcy, so a recession was going to happen but not necessarily a depression. Instead as the French sucked gold out of the market and into their vaults they reduced the money supply for everyone else (because everyone was on the gold standard, so less gold meant less money in circulation) and this caused the deflation that made it the Great Depression not just a bad down turn. The paper states this also explains why the Depression hit France later than everyone else, they didn't experience the contraction in the money supply as they had plenty of metal to back the currency so didn't (initially) experience the deflation everyone else did.
    I think my point is that had all the gold gone to Paris and the weapons been brought on the open market, the Republicans would have got a lot more weapons for the same money. In fact just the threat of being able to do so would have forced the Soviets to be a bit more fair with the pricing, but once the gold was in Moscow the Spanish lost a lot of leverage.
    There's an AAR idea in there, somewhere. This thread seems to be good at throwing out those...
    That would need someone to an Interwar mod for a game (could be late Vicki 2 or very early HOI), but they are vanishingly thin on the ground. Best I've seen is the Great War mod which attempts to cover the post-WW1 period, certainly actual late game Vicki II is utterly unsuitable for such a work as it is so rebel happy.

    Plus of course Churchill falling down a well, Britain not going onto Gold Standard and then bestriding the world like an economic colossus is, while a beautiful thing, not an particularly long lived subject for an AAR.

    I suppose one could do a narrative "Lords of Finance" style work on central bankers and traders playing games with the Gold market during the Depression period. From a certain, very specialist, perspective it was an interesting period and certainly full of opportunities for a more confident Britain (or indeed France) to engineer a very different outcome. Still hits on the problem of the lack of a game to base it on, so you would be inventing it out of whole cloth. Which is fine obviously, but it does stop being even slightly an AAR at that point.
    I'd be interested in Churchill's down the well diaries.
    A three part epic, with how those days transformed international relations for the next century.
    That’s the format sorted for our nineteenth Royal Prerogative Hypothetical Spin-off AAR (TM) then

    This then evolves into a most excellent 'Allo 'Allo rip off:

    I am shuddering at the idea of an ARR with every protagonist being either a French treasury official or a bullion trader...
    Thats the prequel where everyone is a french pirate trying to steal a gold hoard directly.
    Now that is a high concept AAR I would absolutely love to write. I'm thinking outrageous French stereotypes for the narrative scenes, interspersed with history book economic updates about the Gold Standard.

    It would be beautiful. No-one would read it, it may in fact be unreadable, but it would nevertheless win several literary awards.
    Allo allo with bankers would be surreal. Potentially highly entertaining. Everyone would be completely insane and drunk on wine and power. No one understands written French yet insist upon writing everything in that tongue. And they're classical econommists, so they read classics at university and have spent most of their lives bullying the underclass of their own country and natives in colonies.

    If push came to shove, they could not find europe on a map and think Belgium is a bar in the doldrums of Paris (and thus is to be avoided at all costs). They have a massive army and military budget, and are terrified of using it. Obsessed with wine and cheese, and carjacking.

    To round it all off, and this is most important, the rest of the world must never come into the picture, except in jokes. Absolutely nothing outside the borders affects France and vice versa. Except, perhaps, in one episode, possibly the last one, where the gang are convinced that electing the last bonaparte (or whoever) is a good idea, hijinks issue amongst everyone until the last few minutes, when the coronation is about the begin and the rest of europe shows up and kills everyone except the would be monarch (who got lost) and steal the huge pile of gold the economists have managed to gather the whole series through before setting the set on fire and leaving.
    Oh my Lord - beyond my talents, mon brave...
    But who would write this - I mean, it would be brilliant, but, just, who?
    I do like Top Gear Maths.
    sigh...I'll add it to the list.
    *zeppelin looks forlorn in background*
    *nervous laughter*
    Indeed, who could do such a thing?

    *tucks away file with two completed episodes*
    If I ever do find the time to write L'or, L'or (because what else could you possibly call a French gold bankers based pastiche of Allo Allo?) he will be the model for the City of London based gold trader who semi-regularly ruins their plans to smuggle tons of gold into Paris, the gold being hidden inside several rings of onions or inside the shells of giant African land snails being imported for a Bastille Day banquet, that sort of thing.
    Coming next Fall...

    "TREES!"

    A groundbreaking new series on the dangers of finance.

    "Er...Francis, where 'as all de money gone?"

    Heads will roll in the new phenomenon that is:

    L'or, L'or!

    "You British FUCKS!"

    Waving the white flag, November 2021

    And now time for a quick fire round of Slippery Slope Time! (copyright TBC):

    I do not envy Baldwin one bit. After a brief resurgence he seems once again a thoroughly defeated man, and Chamberlain is being more than a little obnoxious in trying to capitalise on it while not appearing too obvious. He truly is coming across as a grubby little coat-tail rider. Are you sure there's no prospect of Chamberlain accidentally doing himself a grief while shaving and Stanley being elevated as a compromise candidate? :p
    Slippery slope time! Arranging for the accident of Simpson and Chamberlain dying tragic and drawn out deaths would be nice but would lead to someone like Churchill going too far with it and murdering all the enemies of the state.
    I hope he blows his brains out to be honest. Him sticking around in Amercia was a nightmare for everyone and it's still up for debate how much of a nazi collaborator he was.

    Honourably taking his licks and living quietly somewhere in Canada is the best we can hope for, and honestly I would not fault the goverment for arranging an accidental drowning on his yacht type occurrence for him and his wife.
    Slippery slope time! Arranging for the accident of Simpson and Edward dying tragic and drawn out deaths would be nice but would lead to someone like Churchill going too far with it and murdering all the enemies of the state.

    (Guillotine > yacht accident anyway)
    ...shut up.

    Then again, it is different if he really does commit suicide. Or is suitably convinced...
    Finally, it appears we will have to add a new AAR Idea to the list generated by this thread. This one is "Slippery Slope - A serious of tragic accidents" The tale of Churchill going to far with it and arranging accidents for all the enemies of the British state;

    "Hitler is dead. So is Mussolini. Franco. FDR. Stafford Cripps. Today I settled all the Empire's business, so don't tell me you're innocent. Admit what you did." Churchill growled.

    De Valera started sobbing and begging for mercy.

    "One day, and that day will definitely come, I will call upon you to do a service for the Empire. But until that day, accept being Governor-General as my gift." Churchill sat back with his cigar and nodded.
    Or have it be Churchill desperate to murder everyone, only to be unable because there genuinely are tragic accidents at every turn. Eventually devoles into him desperately trying to end someone to say he helped restore the Empire.

    Everyone in the High Church died in Mass when the roof caved in. Northern Irelane disappeared into the sea. FDR fell off a ship. Edward fell on a gun. Halifax burnt himself to death trying to fix his own cooker rather than pay for service. Chamberlain died attending to chamber business. Etc. etc.
    Mr Hitler, we shall duel in Parliament Square!

    Somehow, Hitler agrees... and is struck by a car while crossing Westminster Bridge to get to the duel.
    It actually ends up being a great benefit to GB because all the 'bad people' are gone, Churchill provided the impetus to try to restore the empire and then immeidatly got distracted on his quest, leaving Eden and increasingly Macmillan to do everything home and away.
    Big Godfather refs - nice! :D All we need is for Churchill/Corleone (cue one of those German “the big three are gangsters“ posters) to be supported by a devious Cabinet Secretary as Consigliere (cue Sir Humphrey) and Britain will murder and obfuscate its way to world hegemony, in one climactic scene. Because not only do all the murders need to be done simultaneously, as part of an insanely complicated plot. They need to be explained away by a glib and urbane mouthpiece.

    ”Your ex-Majesty, you broke my heart!”

    ”What the Prime Minister actually meant was ...”
    A slip and Churchill becomes holy roman emperor, as he is when time stops in Dr who.
    Oh god, I remember that one. Despite my best efforts.
    Alternate, more cheerful, Story Lines;

    "The Collapse of the Crown" - Due to the Beefeaters refusing to co-operate King Edward is unable to get access to the Crown Jewels for his coronation and is forced to use a cardboard crown coated in gold foil. As Archbishop Lang refuses to crown him a junior lackey has to do it and they cock it up, their nervousness meaning they accidentally crush and collapse the cardboard crown. Unable to take the shame of the farce he has created, Edward runs away crying. This is taken as abdication and everyone agrees to never speak of it again.

    "The Collapse of the Crown" - Due to excessive stress and rage King Edward's teeth grinding gets out of hand and the crowns of his teeth collapse. An unfortunate mix-up at the Royal Dentists means he is given psychotropic drugs not novocaine and so ends up on a psychedelic trip during the dental work. During this trip he meets many past monarchs of England and the United Kingdom, all of whom take it in turns to slap him about for being an idiot, except for Queen Victoria who headbuts him and then hoofs him in the gentlemen's area. Suitably chastened the King awakes a new man, dumps Simpson, and becomes the model Imperial monarch.

    "The Collapse of the Crown" - While inspecting the newly built Ramsgate narrow gauge railway tunnel there is an unfortunate accident and the crown of the tunnel collapses, killing the King and the royal party. Everyone is secretly relieved the issue is solved, but mildly disappointed at such a deus ex machina resolution.
    What about Edward not stepping down and forcing people to chose between parliment and George, and the actual current monarch?

    Given the choice, it only takes a portion of the public, parliment or the dominions to say screw it, keep the crown but we'll be a republic now for the moanrchy to be in serious trouble.
    I love the idea of someone utterly humble and inoffensive going nuts. Perhaps Stanley, or Inskip. There is more pathos to that than Churchill.

    And we are now up to date. As you can see, already an extensive and impressive list of madness.

    EDIT: 22/10/2020

    The List was well received by the masses, to the extent that I once again had to refuse being declared King of AARland. Alas, it was at this time that I realised the old blog post system had been destroyed in the Great Sweep, and thus the Butterfly Summaries were lost forever. Fortunately, this list was thread marked for posterity instead.

    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.
    Threadmarked
    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...

    L'or, L'or refused to die and much discussion was had on what to do with this most excellent idea. Two schools of thought emerged, a fully realised script series of comedy episodes written out like a 70s/80s British sitcom, or an A-Team like spoof of ridiculous plots and insane situations like all the drugs in the world put through a blender.

    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.
    @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.
    Well I do have everything for hoi4 (because someone else got it me) so I can certainly do an up to date france game. However, I'm not an expert at this period of history in general and french fiance in particular. So I can play the game and write the funnies, but someone else would have to write a postscript essay after each episode explaining what is actually going on:):D
    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?
    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.
    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.
    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'm more than happy making things up, editing saves or just ignoring the game completely as and when required. 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 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.
    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.
    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.
    Instead of waitresses the lead Rene banker should have a string of advisors. While he has to follow the advice of the official government economic advisor, he regularly promises the others he will implement their schemes first chance he gets.

    The advisors schemes should be mad and contradictory. One of which should be Bimetallism, because the world needs more aars involving bimetallism. They Occasionally get discovered taking to rene about policy and he has to explain why they aren't talking about gold.

    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.
    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?
    That sounds like great fun! I'd enjoy knowing what happened. 'The Gnomes of Montmartre' doesn't have quite the same ring to it as 'The Gnomes of Zurich', but the idea amuses me.
    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...
    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.
    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.
    I am marginally more upbeat about this, my position is that either TBC writes it or I will end up doing it. And as I refuse to let so much research and thinking time be wasted on a oneshot joke thread it will be something more substantial than just prompts.

    'Best' case outcome is that we end up with two; TBC doing the A-Team inspired version that we are workshopping up, while I do the 'Allo 'Allo inspired pastiche script that my soul longs for.
    As for the project, we need more talk on it but I'm certainly willing to give it a go, but I suspect the only way L'or L'or as outlined would work would probably be a collaberative script writing process. Or have two writers one thread, a script of allo allo gold team style and irreverent insanity going on in between (because we've gone compeltely nuts with other things to do with france but not gold).

    I do really want to make much of this project though, it has a lot of potential given what we've already planned, researched and written.
    For L'Or L'Or there should be a departmental newsletter called The Gold Standard. In England, the Gold Standard of St George ;).

    Thanks to some truly bizarre musings by the Author, we have thus little and very specific niggle:

    @Bullfilter writes Rupert bear and the Nazis Picnic.

    @Le Jones then makes the truly terrible mistake of asking for character suggestions for inserting into the narrative. Thus:

    If you have a favourite figure from Britain in 1936, and he / she is reasonably well-known, I am willing to have a punt and write them into the narrative.
    Oo...so many british actors and directors and authors. Maybe have a roundup of 'hang on a minute, they're still alive?' From the old fuddies from the victorian empire, coming out of the woodwork now to wage one last great battle either for or against the crown.
    Sir Arthur Harris, please.
    At this stage of the narrative RV Jones probably does not count as being well-known - heavens at any point in the narrative, but perhaps he might make an entry later on?
    Seconding, and might as well throw in Cunningham and Mountbatten for good measure.
    A scene in a pub with RV Jones and Tommy Flowers sharing some pints and comparing notes on the vissitudes of public opinion and the unfairness of one's contribution being ignored in favour of fashionable dilettantes. They are occasionally throwing peanuts at the back of Turing's head.
    DYAEiOu.gif
    As this is not an engineer thing you could pick one of the dozen other academic/theorists who had a bigger impact on code breaking (Bill Tutte, Dilly Knox, etc), you could pick Hugh Sinclair who brought Bletchley Park with his own money and got things going pre-war when the the government weren't taking it seriously, you could pick Strachey who managed to break Japanese codes despite not speaking or reading Japanese! Any of them are more deserving of fame than Turing.
    I was unaware of the SCW Jock Cunningham, but I am delighted to see he was almost exactly what I expected - A committed communist who got utterly betrayed by his own movement for baffling internal reasons, probably involving ambition and obscure points of doctrine. He never founded his own left wing party or provoked a split, so he does lose points there. But he gains points for the Jamaica Mutiny, it could have just been him making a scene, but as he did get one other solider involved it did get classified as a mutiny. Admittedly one that had no effect on anything at all, bar getting them both sent to prison, but that is just the sort of pointless and self-destructive gesture I look for in my left wing figures. Thank you for bringing him to my attention. :)
    It has occurred to me - as regards to RV Jones - that there is a route "in" for him. Jones was the protege, in many ways, of Frederick Lindemann, who was very friendly with (and something of an advisor to) Churchill. Lindemann himself might well be an interesting character to pop up here and there regardless.
    Why not Macmillan?
    So the list, so far, is Jimmy Maxton, Mountbatten, @TheButterflyComposer with his "Oo...so many british actors and directors and authors. Maybe have a roundup of 'hang on a minute, they're still alive?' From the old fuddies from the victorian empire, coming out of the woodwork now to wage one last great battle either for or against the crown," Sir Arthur Harris, Cunningham, Mountbatten, RV Jones, Lindemann (why?! Dear God why?!), Macmillan,

    We move to the mystical magical trust tree of friendship, where everyone is happy, wonderful and together:
    If I am candid (and why not, we're all on the Trust Tree here
    We either all sit together or hand together on the Trust Tree. Like that song, George's Nuts.
    TLDR, Baldwin needs to have a firmer grip on cocks.
    :eek: A comment I now can’t unsee. You are a bounder and a cad, TBC!:p

    Speaking of climaxes, it wouldn't be this prompt list without some more murder and shaggy dog story endings. This time, with a legal twist!

    Fingers crossed this has a curmudgeonly magistrate actually apply the law and refuse the divorce on the grounds it was a complete charade (which it was). If nothing else the fact that it was poor Mr Simpson who pretended to be the 'adulterer', and not Wallis"Bury me in a Y shaped coffin" Simpson, always make me laugh. As does the fact they botched the first attempt as the hotel staff were too discrete or, my preferred rumour, the staff knew Wallis from previous visits, didn't like her (no-one bar Eddie did) and so refused to make any statements because they could completely understand why someone would want to cheat on her.

    Certainly the OTL judge really wanted to declare it all a farce, but couldn't find grounds to. If they have rushed it this time round, maybe Eddie's agents cocked it up and it will indeed be declared a sham.

    That would be an excellent anti-climax to all this. Eddie gets desperate on the teetotal yacht, starts drinking the fuel just to numb the pain of Wallis, and ends up falling in and drowning in an actual tragic accident.

    This led on to the topic of Edwardian scandals and sex. Naturally, @El Pip immediately decides to write a bible on the subject and sell it to the world:

    Hmm, tempting but not quite prompt material I think. The obstinate judge forcing the two solicitors to argue ever aspect of the case to the full limit of the law and a little past it sounds fun though.

    Who is the woman?
    Show me her.
    Together with the husband.
    In that room.
    ...in felatio.
    The AAR prompt would have to be "A Legal Voyeur's History of the World". Court cases / legal incidents in which the judge takes far too much interest in the titillating elements of the case. Starting with this divorce, throw in the Blomberg–Fritsch affair ending up in court, one of FDRs many affairs becoming public, the quite odd David Walsh incident (where a US Senator may, or may not, have been a regular customer of a Gay Nazi Honeytrap Brothel), anything involving J Edgar Hoover. Plenty of scandals to go around

    Each time the judge being obstinate (and asking the dirty questions) means the case collapses or gets the opposite result to the historic one. Everything unravels from there.
    The Filthy Records end up being an international bestseller collection of all these cases that rocked the bed, the boat and the world.
    That wouldn't be the judge (well, not at this stage in 1936). The next stage, if foul play was suspected, was to appoint the King's Proctor to investigate. This was the development that everyone feared (I wonder why Beaverbrook didn't push for it - perhaps his wagon was too hitched to the King to play both sides off) and which everyone tried like hell to avoid. The judge is the one person who could genuinely thwart the easy passage of the Simpson divorce.
    Am happy to be legal consultant on this. Normal Chambers fees apply...
    He is based on a real judge before whom I have (incompetently) appeared.

    And speaking of lawyers, the head of the Government Legal Department resigned today. I met him (we're in the same Inn) an he was a trainer on the Advocacy and (I'm not making this up) Ethics modules. Oh Dear.
    Apparently not shocking enough not to sell your services though. :D
    Studying law at the moment is indeed a surreal experience. The EU classes are...well, quite.

    Ethics of course is one of those words.

    We then moved into classic historical conspiracy mode and decided the reason the Crisis existed was because everyone involved was secretly gay:

    The updates are arriving thick and fast now! I liked the detail of nobody knowing precisely where the King is. :eek:
    Turns out he's with Baldwin and this was all a gigantic smokescreen for their illicit and passionate homosexual relationship. After this crisis, they both retire out of public life and can vanish into the sunset together.
    That would be a great length to go for a smokescreen but I suppose you can't be too careful!
    Its the only way to be sure. Chamberlain was bought off by them and is going to deliberately appease Germany into war to cover them even further.
    That is a truly horrible concept. "The Adventures of Big Spoon and Little Spoon" is an AAR concept that I'm not gonna explore...
    And yet, as per the laws of the lands, it must go on the list.

    Everything is ruined when we get back to actually discussing HOI4 and how Paradox does not understand how Parliament works. It is decided that there is a lot of scope for wacky hijinks between Mosley's Mob and Churchill's people throwing bombs at each other, Chamberlain trying desperately to scheme (and being shit at it) and everyone desperately waiting for the Liberals to do something:

    Consider a delayed election where Chamberlain wins, but with a tiny majority that actually depends on National Labour and National Liberal (in OTL the Conservatives alone had a huge majority). Yes Parliament can oust the King because there is a cross-party majority for that, but that does not mean things subsequently carry on as before. A PM Chamberlain having to manage a coalition is a very different beast from OTL, suddenly he has to manage parliament (very much not his skill set) and if Eden and half a dozen others get nervous about appeasement that could collapse the government, rather than just see them sent to the back benches. Appeasement as we know it could not happen under those circumstances and the story of what happens instead is, I submit, is very much an interesting tale.

    The game, as we'll see in one (game) month, just doesn't understand how Parliament works, particularly in its way of assembling Governments. As @TheButterflyComposer comments rightly, it just waves a wand over things and then in a flash Mosley is suddenly in coalition with Lloyd George and Churchill. Spoiler alert, I'm not even vaguely interested in this madness.

    But...

    To make the story more interesting, and to align roughly with the game played, I have dialled up, although only mildly, the loyalists while nerfing, slightly, the Government. What does this mean? If an MP was wavering, perhaps thinking of supporting the King, I have tended to interpret the evidence in a way favourable to the rebel bloc. We'll see this, clearly, with Duff-Cooper next update.

    Why on earth not even vaguely? The conspiracy theories alone are interesting. Given that both chruchill and Mosley had *ahem* 'followers' that did various 'things' for them, I can only imagine the gambit pileup. Small bombs, hostages, dealings with the Irish, dealings with the dockers...thrilling pistol battle in the houses of parliment that ends with Churchill beings just too late (oh no!) to prevent Mosley from plugging chamberlain and Halifax through the testicles, but quickly enough to silence him once the deed was done.

    Yes, lets all wait for the liberals to do something!

    *it is getting colder here. The lights have gone out. I do not think the liberals are coming.*

    And, much like Lee's Dracula, every time they come back, they lose a bit more soul and seem a bit worse than before.

    Hmmmn. The problem that the Liberals have is scale, mass. They've lost the high profile (but odious) Sir John Simon to the National Government, and have a dominant Conservative Party happily sucking in supporters from other parties. They're minnows compared to Labour, and Attlee's party is much reduced after the disaster of the 1935 election.

    I am deliberately opaque here, as I believe that it is not certain as to why Sinclair was prepared to be tolerant of the King. Was it to outmanoeuvre the ever tricksy Lloyd George, or was it because he genuinely believed in the King? Both seem valid.

    All of the traitors in the land meet up, decide to stop being so unpleasant, and start a cheese factory in Yorkshire:

    Unfortunately, no. He and his other would-be traitors, spies, cohorts and various 'useful idiots' all met up at a mid-range hotel in the Midlands quite by accident, realised they were all in the same sad business and elected to have a change of heart. They pooled their collective resources and opened a dairy produce facility and shop in rural Yorkshire called 'Cheese of Four Seasons and of All Nations'. They would go on to be a most beloved British institution, and one of the more progressive. To this day, the cheesemakers of England are amongst the most inclusive, kindly and good-natured proffesions for anyone of any creed to enter.

    Of course, that was only one universe. There is the other, where Churchill tries to ambush them all at the conference but gets waylaid and they accidentally burn the place down with them inside it.

    All of the other buinsesses freak out over this Crown v Empire affair and changed their names to get as far away from the crisis as possible:

    Wonder if it means many businesses will make the ultimately empty show of switching their brand from 'Crown' whatever to 'Empire' whatever, or something like that.
    Or how many pubs might have to be renamed…
    Or just add a seven to the end of the King Edward signs.
    Huh...OK then. Did this happen in otl or is the crisis going to be so bad that people just can't look at king edward potatoes in the same way ever again?

    Another round of Paradox DLC gets our ire up about their practices:

    There's another AAR prompt - Top of the Flops. Due to the relentless awfulness of naval combat in all Paradox games the AAR represents all naval battles as actually being games of Top Trumps between the national leaders, complete with outrageous stereotypes, fourth-wall breaking verbal jousting and far too much over detailed tech pron. Bonus points for when the chasm between the actual unit, and whatever monstrosity has been put in the game, is particularly wide.
    AAR prompt, heal the divide between both sides of the fuel strategy debate.
    Final game note: it would be interested to play a HoI4 game where the Empire is largely split up into subjects of varying levels. I understand one reason why it isn't right now - it would end up being a massive boost to the UK from having them all get the default focus tree and access to their manpower via puppet-building etc. (which is why I think you can't release them except as part of the decolonisation focus path in MtG). Still, with a reworked focus tree that isn't quite so powerful might make an interesting mod. Not that I have any time or ability to create such.
    But New Zealand does have the truly catastrophic Bob Semple and Schofield Tanks, as well as the entirely fictitious but just as meme worthy "Big Bob" super heavy tank. All of which are clearly worthy of their own individual focus, because they are memes and that's the sort of thing Paradox like.

    Actual alt-history options about New Pharaohs and Caliphs or Egypt doing anything interesting would be the wrong sort of fun, so Paradox will never do anything like that. They have strong views about what is the wrong sort of fun and enforce them rigidly.
    Memes get YouTube time. And lots and lots of social media time. CK2 pretty much runs its own ad campaign at this point. Makes a lot of business sense.

    Can I-

    NO. THAT IS THE BAD KIND OF FUN.

    I wonder what monarchy options they will give Egypt then (cos they will. They've done that for everyone so far). Napoleon again?
    Mamluks for the Twentieth Century as some weird monarcho-populist movement?
    Coptic Pope John XIX becoming ruler of Greater Egypt and gaining cores on the entire continent, in line with his grandiose claim to be Patriarch of all Africa.
    HRE but in Africa is probably meme enough.

    And, finally, there is a question of what to do with The Great Big List of Madhouse AAR prompts and Ideas (from A Royal Prerogative) when the AAR ends:

    In an unrelated matter, its time to update the
    The Great Big List of Madhouse AAR prompts and Ideas (from A Royal Prerogative) [threadmarked] once again.

    And I'm wondering how we might utilise this resource for the betterment of aarkind. Recent and past threads have demonstrated a strong thirst for topic threads on the writing process, aars, ideas, narratives and all that stuff. Should there be a separate thread somewhere for the prompt list so we can continue to add to it (even post short story/rough drafts of ideas) and talk about stuff like that and just have a general natter, much like the old bAAR system? Or is it a product of this thread that would die swiftly if I foolishly tore it out?

    The prompt lists does risk crossing over with Guess the Author I think. Not quite the same thing I know, but similar ground. That said I have a pile of prompts and ideas that didn't come from this thread and that I know I will never actually have time to write, so somewhere to share and discuss them would be good. Let GtA finish this round (and see how popular it is), then pick the best prompt to post/discuss and stick it up as a new thread?

    We are now once again back up to date.
     
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