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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(57215)

First Citizen
May 20, 2006
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I'm certain this idea has been used before, but although the nation this AAR focuses on is no democracy, I figure that a democracy among the members of this forum might make for a good AAR. So at the end of each interval, I'll give a series of options, great readers, which I want your input on which to take. Of course, feel free to present an alternative course of action of your own.
Whenever I come back to this, I'll tally up the votes, implement the winning course of action, and report back.

I'll keep my introduction brief:

this is us.

We're number 1! We're awesome!
But growing the Hapsburg Empire into such a size- well it's caused everyone else on earth to be angry.
They're jealous of our awesomeness!!!
You see, after the Italian Revolution, we put off reconquering Venezia in order to punish the other states. Resuming an offensive against the Venezians only after grabbing land from all other Italian states. We later finished them off in successive wars of conquest.
All the world belongs to Austria! And that includes Italy!
Germany fell under the control of the Hapsburg crown after we won the seven weeks war- thanks to an event scripted by jonesy 1289 although I altered it to stay as Austria rather than to become Germany.
All the world belongs to Austria! And that includes Germany!

After solidifying our great emperor as the ruler of Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary, Bohemia, Slovakia, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia- am I missing anything? Anyways, needing a way to make manufacturing more efficient, we made our ruling party socialist. Able to promote citizens from all cultures this way, we put them to work in our factories and then built more. Big powerful industry!
All the industry belongs to Austria!!!
Our bigger military grew even bigger with the backing of the bigger industry (which all belongs to Austria, mind you), and this was a necessary step given our current state of international affairs.
For you see, our big bad enemy is:

FRANCE! Grrrr! They beat us back when they still had Napoleon (the orignial). Now they've got a new Napoleon and I'm sure they'll want to do it again. In fact, they did briefly declare war against us but after losing tons of troops to our fortresses in Northern Italy, made white peace. We weren't exactly in a position to make an offensive anyways. For some strange reason they keep saying that Savoie and Nice belong to them, even though we know for a fact that we stole them from Sardinia, not France! Their military keeps getting bigger, and though we remain ahead its an arms race to keep up! We build fortresses along our borders to protect us from their aggression, although someday we may have to be aggressive ourselves.

Another big enemy:

TURKS! Grrrr! They declared war on us during the seven weeks war! We beat the pussies-er-Prussians fast and were able to turn and halt their offensive but, being busy with other things (like constant rebellions) we cut our war with them short and offered a white peace. It works for now.

A potential enemy:

RUSSIES! Grrr! We had an alliance with them on several occasions, and they were grateful that we were way too busy bullying small countries to attack them during the Crimean War. Namely, we were bullying small countries that they'd guaranteed independence to so it worked out just fine.
Lately they've been huge dicks to us! Our relations have gone under -100 and the Tzar called us names! Clearly he's jealous of our awesomeness. We consider punishing him, as our military rating is several times that of his own.

Basically the story is everyone we share a border with doesn't like us, but we're very strong. At the moment, we've got some room left for more industrialization, but not all that much as you can see from the population stats. Revolts due to events and conquests have, at long last, mostly calmed down. And with the iron railroad, we can hit them anywhere in our realm relatively fast. I say its time to conquer again!
We could attack Russia and get embroiled in a long war which we would inevitably win in the end and gain some territory in Ukraine and Poland.
We could attack the French, since they're at war with OE and are somewhat weaker, but as they still have lots of troops along the border that could turn into an ugly stalemate.
We could attack the Turks since they're at war with France, and we would certainly win and gain some more Balkan territories.
I suppose we could attack Scandinavian countries as well and either take some territory or make satellite allies of them.
We could attack the low countries, again more territory or satellites.
We could conceivably attack Spain (nobody's guaranteed their independence at the moment) and bring them back into the historic fold under the Hapsburg crown as a satellite or just take some territory.
Or we could start looking elsewhere around the world: we have no colonies! Those uncivs in Africa and Asia have no idea whatsoever that all the world belongs to Austria! This would give us raw materials and let us mobilize more of our population for industry, but this might bring us into conflict with the British, who have a way bigger navy than us.

People of the forum, what shall we do?
1.Attack Russia for territory!
2.Attack France for territory!
3.Attack Ottoman Empire for Territory! Don't forget they were once at the gates of Vienna!
4.Attack Scandinavia!
5.Attack the low countries and take some territories!
6.Attack the low countries and make them satellites!
7.Attack Spain and take territory!
8.Attack Spain and make them satellites! The French would never raise the banner of war against us on two fronts!
9.Go gettem colonies! Gettem resources and bring the banner of our emperor to Africa and the Far East!
10.I'm a sissy and don't want to attack anyone, even though all the cool kids do it.
11.Have you forgotten about Switzerland? Seriously, they're just sitting there waiting to be conquered! What if France gets to them first? Then your fortified lines on the French border will be worthless!

Alternatively, give me another course of actions, I welcome your input!
 

unmerged(83789)

Major
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Sep 10, 2007
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10! 10!
 

unmerged(57215)

First Citizen
May 20, 2006
324
0
Ok, as of the time of me writing this there were:
1 vote for number 1
5 votes for number 11 (plus an extra that, upon a recount, was found to actually be written on a ballot for the 2000 US election and was confiscated by republican and democratic party authorities, who fought over it vigourously until it was torn to shreds- I'm not going to count it for the time being :)
2 votes for number 10- silly pacifists :rolleyes:

The verdict is in! Switzerland must fall!
All the world belongs to Austria! And that includes Switzerland!
Their excellent chocolate and watches will soon be ours. The continual Swiss claim of neutrality cannot be perceived as anything but a direct threat to the national stability of the Austrian Empire!

Most of switzerland has minimal defenses- still we cannot take the chance that, in their easily defensible mountains they'll be able to hold off our advance long enough to deploy their reserves. (In case you're wondering, there are French troops inside of Austria because in spite of our hatred for France and the Turks, we granted them both military access on the basis that it will allow them to kill each other. French and Turks killing each other is key to Austrian interests at the moment)
Fortunately, a gap in their defenses exists here, as shown on the battle plan:

The operation will go as follows- in addition to attack forces from the south and the east, forces from the north will attack the unprotected section:

Two corps to the north along the french border also participate in the hard, forward thrust as shown below:

this plan, according to- why is everyone laughing? Anyways, according to all military experts (me) this should lead to a swift defeat and occupation of the Swiss nation.

Yay! It worked!

The peace deal allows them to keep their capital and all its factories, leaving a bunch of unemployed pops. Instead of converting them to laborers and then spending money again to re-promote them for industry, we just build three factories that only take a year to build. Let them starve in the meantime.

Taking all this land makes the border with the French longer, so we build fortifications along the French border in Switzerland and raise 15 new Swiss divisions with engineers to protect us, moving the rest elsewhere. Now there are over 60 divisions available for any other conquest.

For some reason, we failed to take screenshots of some events, but I'll fill you in:
Ignorantly failing to realize that they belong to Austria, some scoundrel writes a book about "Yugoslavism"
How silly. This causes greater militancy among the peasants!
Fortunately, we were able to decrease our militancy by liquidating half of the Austrian officer corps. Apparently, they were corrupt but we didn't want to hurt their feelings and tell them they were fired, so we told them all they were assigned to a top-secret intelligence-gathering mission within the empire whereby they would need to pose as farmers. To make it realistic, we told them they'd need to dress act, work, and live like farmers and that they wouldn't receive any pay so that nobody would suspect their association with the government. Collecting their findings in reports, they are to once a year report to Vienna and deliver the findings to the Emperor's personal garbage bin. Nobody suspected anything!
In the meantime, a corps of dragoons has been pulled from the regular army and re-designated as the "1st Corps to Keep Peasants under the iron boot of Austrian Rule By Killing them".
however, this generated numerous complaints so it was renamed the 1st counter-rebellion corps. We're considering making more if the national political situation deteriorates and more peasants need us to kill them.

In global affairs, Turks and Frenchman continue to die, causing great celebration in Vienna.

The options for voting remain mostly the same for the next course of action as not much else has changed.
1.Attack Russia for territory!
2.Attack France for territory!
3.Attack Ottoman Empire for Territory! Don't forget they were once at the gates of Vienna!
4.Attack Scandinavia!
5.Attack the low countries and take some territories!
6.Attack the low countries and make them satellites!
7.Attack Spain and take territory!
8.Attack Spain and make them satellites! The French would never raise the banner of war against us on two fronts!
9.Go gettem colonies! Gettem resources and bring the banner of our emperor to Africa and the Far East!
10.You bully! how could you do that to the Swiss! Give them back their provinces and apologize at once!

We await your collective decision!
 
Aug 3, 2008
736
1
11!

Annex Switzerland to prepare for the final and ultimatively inevitable showdown with France. You know you want it!

Edit: Argh! Four minutes late. Well, at least you did the right thing.
 
Aug 3, 2008
736
1
2!

France has been at war with the Ottomans for years. Their armies are depleted and far away, but most of all they have already amassed quite some war exhaustion. If there ever has to be war with France (and they will eventually attack Austria, considering their strength and your badboy), let it be now!!!
 

volksmarschall

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Bring back the Austrian Netherlands!
 

unmerged(57215)

First Citizen
May 20, 2006
324
0
You'll never get an ally with that kinda BB, so head east and take out Russia! Number 1!
Yeah, almost all nations are mad at Austria -with the exception of Britain who I always improve relations with to avoid getting into a pointless war with- and probably will be throughout the entire game. I find that it will provide a wonderful consistent protagonist, namely everyone.
Personally I too am leaning towards an offensive against the Russies, they're still quite weak but have the potential to become very powerful as they have so many people. The ottoman empire, however, are truly the sick man of Europe. I've never seen them amount to any position of global power when left to their own devices in any game I've played, ever, unless I had something to do with it. What surprised me was their attack in the middle of the seven weeks war this game, before I'd started this AAR. Thinking back on it, I came to the conclusion that it was a result of my reserves being mobilized and ready but not deployed, giving the illusion that Austria's military strength was much lower than it actually was. Ironically, Austria's military strength was at its peak potential as over 100 divisions could be deployed anywhere on the map. Anyways, the Ottomans will always be a potential source of territories easily gained whereas I see Russia as a window of opportunity which may or may not close and, if it does, I will not know when it will happen.

Sorry to interrupt, everyone go back to your voting :)
 

Vesimir

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Oct 1, 2008
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Number 3! Make them regret trying to destroy you 200 years ago!
 

unmerged(57215)

First Citizen
May 20, 2006
324
0
Two votes to go against the Russians.
One vote against the low countries.
One vote against the Ottomans.

Those in favor of a war with Russia win the vote.

Now, something quite unexpected occurred before we could get our invasion force into position:

We demanded the treaty retracted! On what grounds, you ask?
All the world belongs to Austria! And that includes Bulgaria!
We must restore them to their place under our Emperor's blood-stained iron boots of justice!
Big Bulgaria stays around, as a Satellite of the Russians. We tried to reason with the Russian Tzar Alex no. 2, but to no avail. He simply could not get over his jealously of our awesomeness and the fact that we are number 1.
We even sent him a really nice portrait:

but he got even more angry! There's no pleasing some people. He even went so far as to claim that we didn't even paint it but just vandalized a photo.
You see, we wanted to take Bulgaria the way we had done with other Balkan states- specifically, while the Tzar was guaranteeing their independence, but we could find no peaceful solution to deal with the totally irrational player hater which occupied the Russian throne!
Clearly his guarantee to a defenseless tiny country forced our empire to war!
It's all his fault, you see.

We called up our reserves and deployed them to strengthen the standing army. Then we made our totally justified declaration of war against the Bulgarians and marched. As expected, Alex was a douche about it and declared war on us so we marched against him as well.

It was May when we made our first offensives, and by June we'd cut off a bunch of Russian troops in Central Poland by attacking from Schleissen and East Prussia.
Gains against Bulgaria looked like this:

By the end of summer, our gains in Russian territory were substantial. Alex asked for peace but offered too little, so we politely told him to fornicate with himself.

After initial encirclements were successful, we launched wave upon wave of troops against the Russian defenders. A big battle was fought in Vilno in October as we cleaned up the majority of Russian resistance:

Lookit us beating them! Man that was awesome.
Past this point, there wasn't much stopping our glorious advance.
In November, we made peace with the Bulgarians. They got to keep two provinces on the condition that we'd be back as soon as the peace treaty expired to finish them off, perhaps sooner if we felt like it.

Its not like breaking a treaty would make the rest of the world hate us more- they couldn't possibly envy our awesomeness any more than they currently do. Losers.
We lost an incredible number of troops but don't worry, we didn't care a bit about their deaths because we won. We murdered and pillaged our way across the Russian countryside, demolishing their military capability and generally raising hell.
By January they were totally in the bag:

Now tired of all the fun we'd had in Russia we made peace, keeping a good deal of our gains in the treaty. Now Austria looks like this:

Next time, Alex, we won't be so gentle.

The white blob grows larger, and what with it now being 1880 we start to think about colonies again. Our navy consists of 45 ironclads and some transports, so it's enough to support global interests overseas. Russia has been subdued as a threat and now, much like the Turks, they'll be waiting for us whenever we decide to beat them once more. We'd bet money that next time it wont even be necessary to call up our reserves!
It wont take us long to prepare for another offensive. However, once more, people back at home are angry about the war, or on their periods, or whatever. A few revolts occurred during the war, nothing we couldn't put down with brutal force though. Still, it worries us that we're suffering such increases in militancy every time we penetrate another country unconsentually with our big, hard, throbbing military. You'd think that everyone would support these unconsentual penetrations, but oddly enough, they don't.
And they say we're crazy, violent, and a threat to society that ought to be locked away, imagine that!
Anyways, thinking on ways to reduce our militancy of population, I suppose we could do any of the following:

Social reforms: cost money, but Austria is VERY wealthy from all the industry.
All the industry belongs to Austria!
It's worth considering.

Political reform: We could change to a liberal LF government and lower our taxes on everyone. That might work, but we'd give up control of the economy!
Or we could allow democracy. HAHAHAHA! Just kidding that's not going to happen.
We could take this socialist thing a step further and install a proletariat dictatorship. Hmm... we wonder how badly the Emperor would hurt us before allowing us to die if he knew we were contemplating such a course of action.

Of course we could potentially leave everything as-is and wait for this to become a significant problem before we do something about it. After all, with these new territories we have the opportunity to build even more industry than ever before, perhaps we should secure even more industrial power before we spend money changing everything internally.

Well in this case it seems that we've got two sets of choices, ladies and gentlemen, I'll need two votes from each of you.









Internationally, should we:
1. Gear up for a major offensive against France, beginning with the low countries and sweeping through into Paris once they've capitulated
2. Secure the Northern and Southern flanks of the Empire by campaigning against Scandinavians and Turks.
3. Hey what's all this continental warfare about? Are you forgetting you're playing VIP? In 5 years all the countries of Africa will be open to conquest and those other Europeans are going to be all over the continent. Don't let them get there before Austria!
4. Break the peace treaties and conquer Switzerland and Bulgaria totally, then re-declare war on Russia and take even more territory. Remember, all the world belongs to Austria so peace treaties don't apply to us!
5. Sit tight for 5-10 years to focus on domestic issues alone, build up the armed forces further, increase industrial output, and make no offensive moves!
6. Such incredible violence! You have no soul!

Then Domestically, should we:
a. Maintain the status quo, militancy doesnt mean a thing unless revolts are everywhere and the economy's going good there's no reason to tamper with success.
b. Initiate some social reforms to keep the population happy
c. The current government isn't revolutionary enough. Time to usher in the dictatorial proletariat!
d. Look here, people will be happy with lower taxes. Economy's already plenty powerful and you have all the industry you need, just let some LF party take power and leave it to them. Lower taxes will stop militancy from increasing.
 

robou

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I agree, 2 and b, but take all of Scandanavia! And most of European Ottoman Empire. And then go against the Russians again, your treaty wasn't harsh enough!