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  • 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

Raden Shaka

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That's one hell of a political manouver. Heavy blow to the dukes and their supporters.
 

Director

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Ruling from the center is the most powerful position. Lucky Bismarck - he gets to define the meaning of 'center'. :D

I find myself agreeing with Bismarck in almost every particular except one: were I in charge of Germany, I hope I would know when to settle down for an extended era of peace. With Germany's potential for militarization and industrialization, you won't need any major wars to shape Europe (and the world) to your form.

I realize that makes for a boring game of Vicky, but I can't help that. :D
 

robou

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Apologies in advance, but I doubt we are going to have an update for while. Things have been a little hectic; my computer died on me, so I have been unable, obviously, to play the game further and write an update. Don't worry, have no fear, the game is safe (we saved the hard-drive and have extracted the information) so this is not abandonded, it is just on a temporary hold until I can buy a new computer which on the money I get is no easy task. Sorry, Rob.
 

unmerged(81979)

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...until I can buy a new computer which on the money I get is no easy task. Sorry, Rob.
Where can I send the cheque? This AAR must continue soon!!! :D
 

comagoosie

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Wow you write politics too good! :eek:

That was some impressive feat by bismarck. Let's just hope that the Ducal faction does not keep a grudge!
 

Nikolai

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Like, the event the assassination of Bismarck?;)
 

robou

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Edit: The file is safe! False alarm! The file is safe!!!!!!!!!!! Just have to wait for that computer...
 
Last edited:

Kordo

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Huzzah! Its about time we had another update of this!
 

TheHyphenated1

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Just dropping in to let you know that I'll be catching up with this soon. Well done so far, robou!
 

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Ok to pass the time with getting my new computer set up and victoria up and running, here is a quick treat that you will have seen if you read AARlander. Enjoy.

[anchor=I3]You've Been Robbed![/anchor]



Welcome, one and all, to this absolute rip off of the great “You’ve been Canonized”, comically titled “You’ve been Robbed”… yeah, very funny… Anyway, this is, of course, on kind permission from our grand master; that’s right, canonized himself. I don’t think this will need much of an introduction. Basically, I interview someone each month, get to know a bit about them, what they think of my AAR (yup, I demand to have something of value out of this!), that is Carefully Applied Force if you didn’t know, and I ask them about the projects they have going at that time, and their plans for the future. It is a familiar format to the most of you.

As an act of gratitude for allowing me to do this interview program (though we all know it is publicity payment, don’t deny it) I decided that the first interviewee would be canonized himself. So, with no further ado, it is time for me to ‘Rob’ *sighs deeply* my first …*ahem*…victim…



Part I: The Hochmeister
Introducing the man himself


Rob: Firstly, thank you for allowing this program, and also thank you for agreeing to appear as my first…victim, so lets get an introduction in to who exactly you are and what you are about. Would you introduce yourself, please?

canonized: Sure. I'm canonized. Most people will have known me from my first (and for the longest time only) AAR Timelines: What if Spain Failed to Control the World. A while back I also happened to get the job of running the AARlander after the previous editor in chief left the forum and I'm also the founder of the Tempus Society which seeks to honour excellent AARs whilst and especially promoting new and rising writAARs

Rob: You’re a veteran of AARland, and you must have had a couple of scrapes and experiences in your time. If you can, and believe me I can’t even remember yesterday… or was I Drunk… anyway, can you remember all those years ago what got you onto the forums?

canonized: I do, actually. Two years ago (gosh has it been that long already?) I started Timelines on AARland and entered the fray although by then I had only come on the forum to ask questions in the EU3 section and all this. Lots of experiences mostly good but some tough times. Some of the highlights include the welcome I received from people like grayghost as well as having lots of great fun cooperating and brainstorming with others in the Tempus Society and meeting new friends that way

Some of the hard struggles had been managing time nowadays and especially how long Timelines has gotten, but lots of the new fun things happening every now and then like new readers popping in to add a new flavour to the community always keeps me running hard and having great fun. I got to know a lot of people through the interviews I used to do once a week and that set the bedrock for further AARland integration so that was good .

Rob: Ah yes, Timelines. As we know Timelines has become one of the highest read pieces of work on the forum, and rightly so for its length and detail. You have won awards for it for the past several years, and it didn’t appear you would stop anytime soon, unless you had ordered that Timelines would no longer be competing in the ACAs. Firstly, what brought you to the decision that you would stop Timelines running streak? It must have been a difficult choice.

canonized: It was in some senses, but at the same time it was a good relief. As I told comagoosie, the length of Timelines is becoming a major friction point. A lot of people, especially new ones, are just skipping by Timelines because even if they might like it, they're intimidated by the length. This past ACA marks 2 years of ACA victories so I also thought that it would be a good symbolic stopping point. It would allow a lot of new writers to step up to compete and I'm really rooting for them. Plus , it would give me extra mental energy to focus on my work with Tempus and expanding the services we've been trying to do for the community from running co-op AARs to help highlight writers , to keeping the AARlander afloat with our staff , to other projects that I can't give away here yet until they're finalised.

Rob: Yes of course, and you have been very busy helping out AARland in your time. Schemes like AARlander and the Tempus society have done much over the years to raise awareness in projects over AARland and bring members to work as a team rather than as competitors for the comments. During the time you have been in AARland, do you think the community has advanced somewhat, and how so?

canonized: Oh definitely, I think that AARland has grown so well and it really has made it a vibrant community. With newer individuals streaming in with great talent it's really made it wonderful as the selection of AARs has grown. I don't think it's lost its casual nature either. It's been positive so far.

Rob: And to end this section, in your personal work, would you like to tell me what inspired you so much in these last ACAs? Mainly considering the ACA Renaissance, give us some insight as to what you are thinking.

canonized: I think the ACAs represent one of the best avenues for the advancement of a growing AARland. Unlike the weeklies which only work with one person per week, the ACAs as a nomination system goes far and beyond. It allows the awards system to be SCALED according to the population of AARland. Meaning, there is no cap to participation so all of AARland gets to participate and compete. Furthermore it allows for even a few recommendations to be visible and allows people to see that "hey , my friend robou liked this AAR even if they didn't win maybe I should check it out" in that sense , the ACAs not only award the most , but also give the most nods per year . In that sense it seems to me that it advances community participation especially as AARland grows and represents probably the best award system thus why I wanted to protect it and help it from the slump it had last quarter

I hoped the ACA Renaissance Project which a lot of the Tempus really helped to bring to the fore would enliven the voting and we did reach a great spike in voting this quarter so turnout's been excellent. I just hope we continue that in the future and keep the ACAs alive.



Part II: The Iberian View
Canonized shares his views on CAF


Rob: Ok, so now let’s talk about Carefully Applied Force. For the author of a highly detailed narrative, it must have been an interesting experience reading a highly detailed History-Book. What were your first impressions of the style of CAF, as a narrative writer?

canonized: CAF, in my opinion, really strives to have that history book feel that I've been so used to in other AARs, but it adds the flavour of Vicky particularly to it. it has the imprint of a scale that matches the time period of the time and integrates that into its speaking style. To that end, the history reads with a kind of suspense yet a gentlemanly calculation that really makes me want to play vicky again. It's not as fast paced and 'epic' in its scope as a CK AAR history-book, for example, but it shouldn't be. It presents politics in its maturing form and in that sense it's exciting

Rob: And have you had any personal favourite moments in Germany’s slowly advancing history yet?

canonized: For me, it's a tossup between the careful negotiation with the French recently and the heavy handed attacks of the Russians earlier on. Both represented tense geopolitical situations that you would only get in something like Vicky and I think the ethos of the history book and the way you described the situations went very well not only in its believability but also the tension of the situation. Though I did really enjoy the little tricks with the small polish city of Krakow haha.

Rob: Yes, I have to admit, I was very proud of myself for that. Talking of that, and thinking that that was Bismarck's earliest scheme, have you picked up on who might be the shaping characters in the suffering plot yet? I spose with this it is quite simple to see who is important. Who is your favourite character, even if we haven’t seen too many. A General? A Politician? The Kaiser?

canonized: Hmm, that's a hard question. I'd have to say the various politicians working as an ensemble cast do it for me. I don't think I can say I have a favourite character because they seem to foil each other so well sometimes. The Kaiser makes me feel a bit stuffy, which he should since he's the Kaiser, but I like the scheming of modern politics much better. Coming from a narrative background especially when it comes to intrigue , I have my theories , but I'm a bit of a conspiracist ; I’ll wait and see ; I’d be too embarrassed to say anything otherwise XD

Rob: Also on favourites, I try and balance out, as you put it, the ‘full tapestry of events’ going on in Germany through political, military and economic events. Which is your personal favourite topic? And which was your favourite chapter from that topic?

canonized: Well going back to this recent chapter a bit ago about the negotiations and troubles with France. It's definitely the political that revs me up the most. Political manoeuvring always beats out military manoeuvring for me although I do enjoy war manoeuvres every now and then. I think the way each particular government worries about legitimacy , honour , prestige , and authority in a way we haven't seen in previous ages really is teased out by the text so that's definitely my favourite portion

Rob: Moving on, you came in late reading and CAF is getting a little on the longer side now, so what tips would you give to anyone wanting to catch up but who might be put off by length or style?

canonized: I would suggest taking it easy. When I read CAF I like to have it with afternoon tea and just sitting on the couch with my laptop raised by a few pillows next to me and just sipping while I have an AARland break. If you take it easy you can really put yourself into the Victorian Era situation and the AAR becomes a wonderful interlude to an otherwise busy life, I would say.

Rob: Haha, I can just imagine you doing that... scary! And finally on this section, what are your guesses as to what the future holds for the newly united Germany?

canonized: I suspect that the other powers aren't going to stay still. As I've always said throughout the AAR, I don't trust the Russian Bear and somehow I don't trust England to be anything but double dealing haha. I mean , don’t' get me wrong , I love England , but I also know they're a bit fickle when it comes to the Continent . I get this feeling that perhaps it won't be an external conflict that will threaten Germany, but an internal one especially with an Empire that large and jealous nations everywhere.



Part III: The Sated Giant
Canonized gives us his thoughts on Timepiece


Rob: A prequel to Timelines? An interesting idea, but surely with Timelines still going as strong as ever, season three still in its (proportional) infancy, it is a lot of work to do two AARs. What made you decide to do a prequel, and why at this time?

canonized: One is that I wanted to experiment. I thought this might be a way of me to try something new without putting too much into it. Second, I really wanted a way to introduce new readers and writers to the Timelines Universe without too much investment. It's definitely a lot of work and I don't update as often as I should on Timepiece, but it's a work in progress. We didn't really get to see a lot of Renault de Fronsac's life in the course of Timelines and everyone else was so young in the series so I wanted to give him a chance to show how he was like as a youth

Rob: While we are there, I wanted to ask, why study Renault? I mean, he is definitely one of the most interesting characters in Timelines, and certainly has a few metaphorical skeletons hidden in a metaphorical cupboard, but why him over others? There are some more important to the story in a similar situation as him...

canonized: Indeed, the Panzerkardinal was an old guy too, but I also wanted to make it a smaller scale project so I didn't want to pick the ever popular Cardinal just in case it's not as fast paced in updating as some people expect. It's really just a side project that I'd like to cultivate and explore although most of my energies are still pushed into Timelines. Renault, too, I enjoyed because of his stark intelligence so I thought it would be fun to exploit that and to add some interesting twists for Timelines readers as they might get some secrets out of Timepiece about ... the Timepiece XD amongst other things

Rob: Talking of the main character, let’s take a look at Renault in Timpiece. It hardly seems to be the caring, loving uncle-effect Renault we know and love from Timelines. He beats people up, almost tears Brother Jean in two, has been accused of killing someone and doesn’t go to mass. What made you make Renault so… nasty, this time round? No doubt it will shape what he will become?

canonized: Part of it was experimentation. I thought it might be nice to have a gritty character to play around with. I also wanted to lay the foundations for why he has such a complex mind sometimes (c.f. the Inferno chapters in Season II) and why he made certain decisions that weren't explained in Timelines. I thought mapping out his transformation from an uncouth young man to an adult would be a story that I could relate to in my own way. I haven't killed anyone or anything like that , but I thought a dynamic character would be more unpredictable , fun , and meaningful especially after the kind of soul-searching I've done this semester which has helped me to understand adolescent behaviour more XD

Rob: Well on the idea of discovery, will things we discover about Renault, and his intimate knowledge about Dante and the Timepiece ect, lead us any further into understanding what is going on in Timelines? The Timepiece has always been at the very centre of the story of Timelines, and the title of this new work would suggest we are to find something about it.

canonized: You'll definitely find out a lot more about it: things that won't appear in Timelines till the very end. It's not going to give away all the secrets, but it will definitely be a reward for those of the regular crew who want to sample the side project. Dante will also be a big feature in the ordeal since I'm obsessed with The Poet. XD

Rob: Yes... we've noticed that…I know Timepiece is still quite short, with only three chapters and a prologue, but already, it can be noted just from the chapter titles, that surely this is to be a quite character driven narrative, unlike Timelines which was always driven by the light at the end of the tunnel and the interweaving plot lines. Equally it is so far all set around one main character, whereas Timelines jumped around plots much more. What is it like to try a different style of weaving your tales?

canonized: You're correct that the style is a bit different. One major difference is that the Interludes are conspicuously missing from the first few chapters. It's actually quite difficult trying this style. To that end, I'm still trying out different styles and different types. I have some curve balls I feel like throwing in there ever now and then , and I can assure you though that as the chapters go on and we finish introducing some of the main characters that you'll start to see the Timelines style reassert itself …we may even see interludes soon XD

Rob: And finally, to end the robbery of…err…information… can we expect more Timelines based writing coming soon? I mean, Timelines doesn’t look like stopping anytime soon, Timepiece is going slowly but steadily, and of course English Patriot has started Timelines: Deus Ex Machina. Is there anything to stop you?

canonized: haha, I am actually aware of one other Timelines spinoff that's in the works. I'm really excited for EP to continue T: DEM since it's really capturing lots of Timelines themes but definitely in his voice and his own unique twist which I definitely love. I will probably have one side AAR always running about Timelines so long as Timelines continues. After Renault, if it's successful, I'll probably try my hand at Timepiece: The Adventures of Father DeWitt about a young Panzerkardinal or even a Timepiece: The Name of The Rose which would star Davout's favourite Nia Obidos XD

Rob: Right, that just about rounds up my work here. I will leave canonized with a thank you for his participation. I will leave you all a thank you note… perhaps a chocolate on the side if you’re nice… and just give you warning that I will be committing more robbery next month. See you there!
 

robou

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I just noticed, I haven't given you feedback from the last update.

To All: So, right, yes, I have Victoria up an running again and I have played a little way into the future and, boy, does it get interesting! I played a little to long so am no longer in a fit state to write an update, so you understand that i'll keep it until tomorrow. But then, I promise an update.

Lord_D: No split happened in game, but new parties came in, and the old ones went, so I decided to go with my story it would make quite a nice change. The Liberals dissapeared in-game, so that was the coalition between them and the conservatives, who are still in game. The Nationale Party came into being so they became the in-game Dukes, which had just been a story line up until them. The update made it sound a good deal more interesting, I think.

Enewald: Well remember that the Dukes still have influence and power, and the people are suspicious of their Prussian overlords, so a secession wouldn't be out of the question. Unlikely under the circumstances but still very possible.

demokratickid: If, perhaps, I can stop fighting so many wars. We'll see what the world holds for us.

Irencius: Indeed, Germany will prosper with the right politics. Reactionism was not the right politics, but neither, as you quite well note, is a coalition. I am sure Bismarck has a few plans to get Germany on track.

Raden Shaka: Yeah he is pretty good at those. The effects of his split are still untested, but as I said, he probably has something planned. You can already see he has the Kaiser on his side, and that always helps.

Director: He does have a unique position, and the power now to define centre, as you said (though with an american spelling... grr!). An extened period of peace would be to benefit, but you know I can't bear too long without war, and when at war too long without peace. The curse of being Gemini. I also try and keep this interesting with wars here and there, and then peace, and then more wars. The War with Russia, in fact, I started simply because I thought it would be too boring without it.

comagoosie: I can't really say much more about the split without repeating myself yet more times. But thank you for the compliment. I felt I wrote that update slightly differently. More from inside Bismarck's mind, but not narratively so. I personally liked it, which is rare for me.

Nikolai: I must admit I had totally forgotten about that event. Would make an interesting twist on things. But I doubt it, at least for now. The Dukes will likely try what they can through politics. Ordering murders, especially on someone as high key as Bismarck, highly regarded by the politicians, the army, the Kaiser and the people is a most dangerous operation.

Treppe, Kordo, TheHypenated1: Thank you, and welcome if your new, and welcome back if your not.
 

unmerged(87106)

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Don't forget that in addition to copying canonized, you also copied my "glorifications." :D

Great AAR!
 

robou

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May I just say, before hand, I am not particulaly happy with this update, the stuff is quite boring, but it must be covered. I apologise in advance.
 

robou

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1847: Brutal Reforms


Bismarck had won a great victory over the reactionaries, but he was still in no place to make large decisions, not actually having a political position in the Reichstag. His official title was ‘Primary Imperial Adviser to the Services of the Kaiser’ which was a position that meant the Kaiser could appoint him to any position he felt like, and with Bismarck that usually meant trouble zones that needed sorting out. That all changed on March 2nd 1847. Chancellor von Arnim-Boitzenburg, a man that had done little in his position but had not annoyed anyone to the extent that he would be displaced, suffered a serious stroke. In his much weakened state, he was forced to resign from politics and would live the rest of his life in comfort with a large government pension until his death in 1868.

There was now a serious power vacuum in the Conservative-Liberal Coalition. Command of the party should have fallen on the shoulders of Heinrich Von Gagern, the Liberal leader, but in the days that followed the Kaiser intervened, and ensured that Bismarck be made Chancellor. It was not that Von Gagern would have made a bad Chancellor; he was a very well respected politician, but Fredrick-Wilhelm was still too cautious about letting the Liberals gain too much power. Instead, a stalwart Conservative, whom everyone was sure was the foremost politician of his day, was put in place. Von Gagern, knowing he would never get his chance to run for Chancellorship resigned his seat, but was called back by Bismarck to be the Treasurer; Bismarck no doubt seeing the use of having a leading industrialists on his cabinet. This also helped to quell any discontent among the Liberals, and hold the coalition together.

However, the people of Germany were not content. They wanted reform and change. If anyone was going to give it to them, it would be Bismarck. The German economy, though, was still not strong enough to support the funding of any major social welfare schemes. Bismarck turned to von Gagern to sort out an economical plan that would pave the way for Bismarck’s social change. The reforms were vicious to say the least.

The speedy industrialisation of Germany had led to serious problems in the cities. Hundreds of thousands of workers had come to cities in search of work in the factories rather than the paltry income they got off the land. However, the tales of huge factories popping up all over Germany were not true, and the workers were coming in quicker than factories could be built. It was estimated that by March 1847, there were over 1,000,000 unemployed workers all over the country. This simply wasn’t good enough. That was a million people that were not working the land and not working the factories. Von Gagern’s solution was simple and effective, but quite brutal. German Police forces were mobilised all over the country and forced the people out of the cities. Each was given a plot of land depending on family size and they were told to work it and make a living. To aid them in a situation that had not worked in the past, he set minimum prices for agricultural goods within Germany and put heavy tariffs on all agricultural goods coming into Germany.

The solution worked, and around 90% of the people sent back to the country began earning enough to live off again. To also lessen the burden of the social reforms to come, taxes were increased by 7% but it was reasoned that the reforms effect would far outweigh the effects of the increased taxes. Von Gagern’s ‘Welfare Economic Reforms’ had worked well, and now it was time for Bismarck to do his own part of the plan.

It was agreed that, for now, reforms would be limited. If they were introduced quickly and with massive change, the conservatives would be angered and the liberals would be crying out for more. It was also agreed that, seeing the agricultural workers had been protected by the ‘Welfare Economic Reforms’ through the standardisation of prices, that the industrial workers would now have to be looked after. Without much ado, and hardly worth the great efforts von Gagern put into his stage, Bismarck announced the first part of what would be the ‘Workers Rights Standards’. Part one of this reform constituted placing a minimum wage for industrial workers at 2 Marks per hour. Some industrialist argued it was too much, but it was not a huge increase on the 1 Mark workers had been earning before that. Still, it was met with some enthusiasm from the workers. Most thought, though, that more could be done. Bismarck hoped it would.

Bismarck had a good excuse why so little was being done at the time, though. More important change was happening. The German Empire was not working quite as well as some had hoped. Administration was hampered by a serious lack of Germans moving out to the colonies. Four thousand had accompanied Gustav to Mexico, and were residing in Mexico City, but in Haiti, Puerto Rico and Vera Cruz, the situation was bad. The colonies simply weren’t as efficient as they could be. The military was safe enough. Four Mexican Divisions, not counting the eleven Imperial Mexican Divisions that were at Gustav’s command, and six Creole Divisions, all who were loyal to the German Crown with German officers at their head, made sure the region was secure; but it wasn’t profitable. Added to that, many Germans who were moving out of Germany were heading to America, rather than to the German colonies. Bismarck sought to remedy this.

He had considered force migration to the colonies, but that would not go down well. Instead, he had sought other means. The purchase of California was just that. Not only would it provide a large, profitable area for German settlement, but it would also further destroy American dreams of western expansion. It was the perfect buy. Although Gustav didn’t want to give up California, he had no choice but to accept Berlin’s decision; one that was made warmer with a huge shipment of rifles and mining equipment to Mexico City. The deals were signed and on July 23rd, the Santo Domingo Squadron, consisting of the ships Haiti, Dominica and San Luis Potosi landed the 4th and 5th Creole Divisions in California.

But, as usual, events in Europe made sure such trivial affairs were soon put aside and out of mind...



 

Enewald

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You should have sent workers abroad to new world instead local countryside. :D