• 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

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Second Lieutenant
Feb 16, 2004
154
0
Prologue: The Stage is Set

VIP:R v2.01


1836 - The Victorian Age dawns on a Persia that, compared to the glory of its imperial past, is a ruin. It's territory lay shattered, torn apart piecemeal by the Turks and the Russians, even the vast British Empire now coveting the lands that once were its southeast flank. Once extending from the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush, the far-flung Persian Empire is a wasted shell now confined to the Iranian Plateau. Its people are illiterate, its army tiny, its economy barely a trickle, and its government backward and mismanaged by the Qajar dynasty, each Shah more inept than the one that came before. It seems all that is left for this former powerhouse is to wait for the circling vultures to tear the last scraps of meat from its bones...

And yet... It seems that history is not yet finished with Persia. And so there is one last chance to avoid what seems to be the inevitable abyss of partition and erasure from the world. 2000 Miles separate the British East India Company's holdings from the Russian Empire. 2000 miles, and the edge of a knife. As the Great Game plays out in diplomatic cat and mouse, the British and the Russians seek to curry favor throughout the theater of Central Asia, each plotting, planning, and waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike the other down. It is the original cold war. And at the center of this stage, lay Persia herself. She appears humble, yet defiant. Around her lay her former lands, and the possibility of their redemption. With the right leader, striking the right balance, at the right time, Persia could regain her former splendor and stand once more alongside the great nations of the world.

The history of the Persian Empire is written in the blood of great men: Cyrus. Darius. Xerxes. But these men are an ancient breed, and their blood now runs thin in the veins of those who would, by birth or by blade, inherit their legacy. Like the Caesars of Rome before them, the Shahs have fallen into corruption and decadence. The possibility of such a leader emerging to lead his empire to salvation now seems at best unlikely, at worst a delusion. How fitting, then, that the next should be the most singularly unlikely creature: a Qajar Shah...

--------------------------------------------------
And so opens my first AAR. I've been playing a certain alternate history for Persia in vicky since I first turned my attentions to the little country so long ago. Now I thought it was time I record that history, for your entertainment and my own satisfaction. I'm still not too familiar with the overall format of these things, but I think I've read enough to get something of an idea. If anyone has any (constructive!) comments or criticisms for me on that please don't hold back, by embarking on this I also hope to learn the ways of what seems to be a very well refined writing/alternate history community :).

Also, a note: this will be more about me telling a story than playing the game, thus a very small amount of cheating will be undertaken. Rest assured explanations within the context of this history will be given, I just wasn't sure what the standard for purity around here is. If you can stand a little heresy in the name of a good story then I thank you and hope you'll enjoy :)
 

germanpeon

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Good set up. I have a question: will the AAR all text or text with screenshots and/or pictures?
 

unmerged(25818)

Second Lieutenant
Feb 16, 2004
154
0
Text with some screens/pics. I just thought that the Initial Screen of Persia had been overused. I'll start off the first chapter with it, though. This was just intro anyway :)
 

Davisx3m

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Recreate the old persian empira!
 

robou

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Perisa... interesting! Never an easy game, especially with VIP, at least thats what i found. I wish you good luck sir, and i will be following!
 

likk9922

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Only a couple days old... :p

Looks good. I hope you follow through! :)
 

unmerged(81390)

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PERSIA!!

Restore the Acheamenid Empire!
 

stnylan

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It's been a while since the last Persian Vicky AAR I read. Will look forward to see what you can do.
 

unmerged(25818)

Second Lieutenant
Feb 16, 2004
154
0
Chapter 1: The English Reform


The Persian Empire at the dawn of the Victorian Era

Tehran, January 1836
For the past few days Mohammad Shah Qajar, Shah of Persia, worked like a man possessed. Indeed, his ministers were left to speculate as to the state of the king's mental well-being after 3 weeks spent locked away in his study. Finally, on January 22, the Shah emerged to satisfy the growing curiosity and frustration of his ministers.


Mohammed Shah Qajar

"Two weeks ago, I awoke from a vision. A vision of our land, vast and prosperous and mighty. And the path to this future was revealed to me. We will sacrifice, and endure much hardship, but I tell you now that I am the light of the Aryans. I will make this country the most modern of all time! Our people will regain their splendor!

We decree the empire's policies shall now be as follows:

- For the Empire to gain glory, we must redeem our lost territories. As such, the claim to Herat must be maintained. Our armies shall be moved near to the afghan border to demonstrate our seriousness and resolve. If the khan refuses to give the city, we shall take the country. Afghanistan shall be the first step of our great drive to the east, and the gateway to the reconquest of the southeast tribes.

- However, to do this will require the consent of the British and the Russians. As such, for the time being the Empire's foreign policy shall seek to keep the two balanced against one another. Our diplomacy must tread upon the edge of a sword, but I am confident that your wisdom, with my guidance, shall see Persian independence ensured and enhanced.

- To retake the southeast it will be necessary to maintain a strong military. I therefore decree the defense budget shall be increased, that the Empire's reinforcement pools will be able to reinforce our armies. We also hereby elevate two generals, Muhammad and Naderi, to lead our armies in the coming dawn of the new empire.

- For the Empire to prosper, and begin the work of catching up to the west, it must be able to gain knowledge. For too long the Russians and the British have subjugated us with their vast technological superiority. To remedy this, the education budget must be raised to its maximum level. Only when our people are no longer mere peasants will the west begin to respect us.

- In order to pay for these new policies, we must seek aid from our greater neighbors, until the economy can be built up and we may at last gain wealth. Additionally, all funding to corruption investigation is hereby withdrawn and redirected. The maximum import tariff shall be levied, and the tax rate for the lower classes is to be 75%.

I understand these new policies will cause mush hardship in the short term, but it must be done for our Empire to lay claim to a better future!"

The Shah's pronouncements were greeted with great furor among his ministers, but his authority was absolute. The people had neither the means nor the ability to resist, but resentment they had in spades. For now they would be harmless, but an influx of new ideas could provide a different perspective on that particular subject...


The Persian economy following the enactment of the Shah's policies

Nevertheless, the Shah's words were law. And also strangely prescient. Several days later the Russian request for permission to send a new ambassador was granted, along with an offer of Russian military aid and a grant of 5000 pounds. In order to balance this and prevent souring relations with London, the British ambassador was summoned to the palace to discuss closer ties between the two empires, and an agreement was struck: Britain would allow the Persian conquest of Afghanistan and Kalat and grant new technologies in exchange for the Shah's appointment of British advisers. Britain would also bestow an immediate grant of 5000 pounds. The status of Punjab and Sindh would be discussed later. Though under ordinary circumstances this would have brought Russia to declare war, the British had responded in kind to Russia and also guaranteed the Empire's independence. For the time being, the Persian Empire was safe.

The English Reforms began the process of modernizing Persia, enhancing the nation's technological status and allowing it to begin technological innovation from a roughly equal position. Though Persian research was achingly slow, it had been given an excellent starting point. The ties gained through the Shah's diplomatic maneuvers also gave both of the superpowers a stake in Persia's continued independence, as well as its success.

But for everything there was a price. The amount of interest the Empire was paying on its loans erased any economic benefits gained from increased exports, and left it even more dependent on foreign aid. By placing itself so squarely between Russia and Britain foreign policy gained a new urgency, and any misstep would spell the end of millenia of Persian history. Finally, the conquest of Afghanistan was no longer merely a quest for glory. Debt left the Empire in desperate need of further income sources to maintain solvency, and prevent giving the superpowers an excuse to intervene militarily. The redemption of Persia's old lands was now a matter of national survival.

However, the most far reaching consequence of the English Reform was also the least noticed at the time. The increase in education, combined with the influx of western ideas, would lead to an irreparable rift in Persian society. On the one hand, the religious conservatives, resistant to outside influence and paranoid about the effect they perceived it would have on national morality, found themselves questioning the Shah's wisdom, the legitimacy of the secular monarchy, and grumbling about taking the reigns of power for themselves. The other hand held the new generation of Persian youth that would be raised under the new program of education. Exposed to western philosophies, they would grow up questioning the justice of a system where the ruled must unconditionally submit to the ruler, the legitimacy of the Persian monarchy itself, and grumbling about taking the reigns of power for themselves. In time, being caught between these two forces would prove deadlier than being caught between the Russian and British Empires....
----------------------------------------------------
Thanks to everyone for the expressions of enthusiasm and encouragement. I hope you enjoy the opening of my little wrinkle in history :p
Ahura Mazda said:
PERSIA!!

Restore the Acheamenid Empire!
I will literally put them to shame ;)

likk9922 said:
Only a couple days old... :p

Looks good. I hope you follow through! :)
I do plan to keep up with this, but a full time job will prevent me from jumping onto vicky every night. I plan to update AT LEAST once per week, though.
 
Last edited:

Aethis

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Cool a Persia AAR is always fun :)

I trust you will reform with the help of the British!
 

stnylan

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Take from the British and Russians everything you can ... eventually you will be strong enough for a confrontation.
 

likk9922

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I do plan to keep up with this, but a full time job will prevent me from jumping onto vicky every night. I plan to update AT LEAST once per week, though.
Great! That's more than I can play. :rofl:
 

unmerged(59737)

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*Subscribes*
 

Jaspume

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Looking very nice. (The AAR that is, the Persian economy is looking battered...)

It will take a great deal of work to restore Persia to it's former glory, and beyond.

I shall be following this with great interest. :cool:
 

unmerged(25818)

Second Lieutenant
Feb 16, 2004
154
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Chapter 2: The Drive to the East

Kashmar, April 1836


War is Declared on Afghanistan

Much to the relief and delight of Tehran, the Khan of Afghanistan refused the Shah's demands. On April 21st, war was declared. Persia's three armies were consolidated into 2: the 4 division Army of Persia and the 3 Division Army of Northern Persia. Both were stationed away from the border region, in Kashmar and Kerman, to draw Afghan forces away from their defenses. The deception succeeded, and on May 1st the Army of Persia was ordered to march on Herat. 2 days later, the armies of Northern and Southern Persia were merged and given orders to march on Farah. After being reinforced, the two armies advanced, with the battle of Birjand setting the tone of the war: faced with a larger and more organized force, the Afghan 1st corps was quickly crushed and forced into a retreat. This pattern would continue, with every afghan army being captured, disarmed, or destroyed. The army of Northern Persia entered Kabul in January 1837, and after a failed last stand Feyzabad fell on June 15, 1837 and with it, organized afghan resistance came to an end. Due to the slow pace of communications throughout the region, the Shah had invested his generals with the authority to annex new territory immediately in his name, and so the nation was erased four days later. In commemoration, the Army of Northern Persia was renamed the Army of Afghanistan.


Afghanistan was the first state to be returned to the fold

It was not long until the revolts began. Though Herat was largely quiet, the rest of Afghanistan had gained a sense of nationalism since separating from the Persian bosom, and it would not die quietly. Mazar-i-Sharif rose within one month, but were quelled as troops passed on their way to their staging point for the invasion of Kalat. However, it was a troubling sign for Tehran and an indication that they would need to use great force to hold onto their new possessions.

The sword of the Imperial army was quickly diverted to fall on Kalat. With the victory against Afghanistan renewed a sense of national pride, and for the first time in a long while the nation felt its backbone stiffen. Volunteers added to the nation's manpower dramatically, allowing slight cuts to the defense budget, easing the country's financial woes somewhat.

On August 16, 1837, the invasion of Kalat began. As with Afghanistan, any resistance was highly disorganized and swiftly cast aside. Though the advance was slowed somewhat by the Army of Afghanistan being sent home to put down rebellions in its home state, Kalat was nonetheless subdued. The nation was fully occupied on February 12th, and like its northern neighbor, returned to the Imperial fold a week later. Unlike their more erstwhile neighbors to the north, the people of Kalat granted the Persian Empire that rarest gift of providence: popular acceptance of conquest. Though this was probably more to do with the majority Baluchi people being granted full citizenship under Persian law, Imperial propaganda would paint it as a manifestation of their right and duty to unite the southeast provinces under the Persian banner.

With Afghanistan and Kalat now reunited with the Empire, the Shah's objectives reached their next major obstacle: negotiating with Britain on the status of Sindh and Punjab. With Persia now extending east to Kashgar, the British East India Company felt they had a protective cover under which to expand their frontier. Luckily for Persia, the British were leaning more toward caution in the area, and neither they nor their Indian surrogates had yet defined a policy towards their northwest frontier. Using this as an opening, Persian diplomats used the acceptance of Persian rule in Kalat, as well as ongoing tensions between the British East India Company and its hindu population, as backing for the argument that a muslim empire would be better equipped to govern muslims, which formed the great predominance of the population in the remaining lands between Persia and the Company. Impatient for such a resolution, and fearful of the Company's own plans for expansion, troops were already being placed in eastern Kalat in mid-march of 1838. In July, Persia invaded Sindh, inflating an otherwise minor border dispute leftover from Kalat into a pretext for war. After a brief battle, Karachi was liberated on September 17. The last Sindhi armies were defeated in Hyderabad a month later, and the country was annexed to Persia on November 8th, 1838.

Punjab would require a much more delicate approach. The nation was much larger and resource rich, and more heavily coveted by the Company. In addition the Persian military now had the concern of keeping newly annexed Afghanistan and Sindh pinned down. However, an opportunity would eventually present itself. Despite waging no less than 3 wars in 2 years, Persia suffered few diplomatic repercussions. Aside from its hasty seizure of Sindh, the fall of a few uncivilized tribal states caused little stir in the civilized world. Nevertheless, Teheran sought to polish its image somewhat, and played host to a diplomatic conference which did much to improve relations with an otherwise ignored Russia. The most important development was the signing of a technological exchange treaty: Russia gained advancements in naval design from a rapidly modernizing Persia in exchange for badly needed cash. The Shah also kept a watchful eye on the building crisis in China, hoping a war would prove sufficient distraction to allow for the Persian conquest of Punjab. Cover would soon arrive, both with the renewal of Russia and Britain's mutual guarantees of independence, and the outbreak of the first Opium War in mid 1842. But even with British and Company forces diverted, taking Punjab would be no easy task. Though still weaker than the empire, it was the largest and most powerful tribal state Persia had yet attempted to subdue. But it's vast population and resources made it too rich a prize to pass up. And so, in late May 1843, the Empire began the last phase of the eastward drive and invaded Punjab.

Although the Punjabis managed to mobilize a large army of 110,000 in Lahore, and though they had a numerical advantage over the Persians they were poorly organized and equipped. What little strategic advantage they would've had by drawing the Empire into a deadly game of cat and mouse throughout Punjab was eliminated as the Punjabis were quickly surrounded and trapped in Lahore. Nearly two weeks later the largest Punjabi army ever assembled had been destroyed, and with it any hopes of maintaining independence. Following occupation of the rest of the nation and the subjugation of the last of its armies, Punjab was returned to the Persian Empire on March 27, 1845, one week after Nowruz.

The annexation of Punjab, combined with the opening of the Teheran Stock Exchange earlier that same month, at last made the Persian Empire a profitable enterprise. With money coming in to pay off the still large national debt the country was no longer solely dependent on foreign aid to stave off bankruptcy. And wit the debt evaporating there would soon no longer be a need for such punitive tax rates.

And yet...

Even despite the vindication of the Shah's policies, there were other challenges to be dealt with at home. Despite the influx of Russian cash and continually high taxes the Shah's education policies continued to prove quite expensive. The military was largely being tied up putting down tribal rebellions in the new eastern provinces, allowing rebellion to begin to boil at home. A massive uprising of liberal farmers in Qahremanshahr in late January 1840 was not put down until July. For as much adroitness as the Shah had demonstrated in playing the Great Game, he showed little understanding of how to govern his own people. The fast pace of modernization continued to rankle religious conservatives even as it emboldened the liberals to demand further reforms. Additionally, a drawdown of reserve troops in economically important provinces preserved the solvency of the national budget, but left the shah with few friends in the military. By 1845, whispers of rebellion were beginning to rise into shouts...


The Persian Empire at the conclusion of the Eastern Campaign

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Whew, I would've had that out sooner but I wanted to finish the entire drive before posting. Enjoy this post and your memorial day weekend :)
 

likk9922

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Wow, big moves...
Good expansion. :cool: