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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Agenor

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This is my first AAR attempt. I do not know how long the game will last, because I have set myself stringent politcy constraints, many of which I think democracies face in reality. I may well go bankrupt, in which case the game is over. As of writing this I have survived to 1840.

The aim of this campaign is to make Chile a prosperous, culturally and technologically advanced country while playing as realistically as possible. 'Realism' in this case will impose some specific constraints on my playing and policy choices, and eliminate most exploits. Primarily it amounts to ensuring that literacy never declines, the country remains largely free of crime, and our pops can get 100% everyday needs as long as these are available on the market.

So you will see at once that this is not a military conquest AAR, nor will there be a great colonial empire (or, indeed, I suspect any colonies at all), and 100 million people are not going to come and live in Chile. It would be nice if these things happened, but, given our resources, it is very unlikely. Of course we are not entirely without national ambitions. We are painfully aware of the fact that our big Northern neighbour, the Confederation of Peru-Bolivia, is in illegal possession of three of our national provinces. This is a source of national shame that cannot be tolerated, at least not for more than a few decades...

Basically, playing realistically means playing subject to the following specific constraints:

1. Tax Policy

Pops may not be taxed at more than 20%, nor may any tariffs be levied, unless all national culture pops in that tax group can afford both 100% subsistence goods and 100% everyday goods. If some everyday goods are not available on the world market, taxes may only be raised to the point where all available everyday goods can be bought by all national pop groups. Taxes may never be raised to the point where savings are negative. Stealing the public's savings to fund military adventures or manipulate their political choices is thus ruled out.

Minority culture pops must, except in a state of emergency (see below) be able to afford at least 100% subsistence goods. The economic situation of colonial pops (an academic question anyway in our case) imposes no political constraints. (All pops face the same tax rates but national culture pops are more productive than others and hence have higher incomes, hence these specific rules). This reflects harsh nineteenth century political realities. A government, particularly a Liberal government, may well feel under a moral obligation to ensure 100% everyday goods for minority culture pops as well, or 100% subsistence goods for colonial pops, but there is not political constraint to do this.

The only exception to these rules is the declaration of a State of Economic Distress, or State of Emergency. In this case taxes may be raised to the point where all national culture pops can afford only 100% subsistence goods. Under no circumstances may consumption fall below this level. Failure to provide 100% subsistence goods means that your population is malnourished and you are in effect a failed state, and have lost the game. A state of emergency may not last for more than 12 months except in wartime, when it may last for the duration of the war (colonial wars excluded). It cannot be imposed more than once during a Party's term of office, or every five years if early elections are called.

2. Educational Policy

Education must generally be funded at 50% or above. "School holidays" of up to six months may be taken in (non-colonial) wartime. Otherwise, if the level of literacy falls below 1% from its previous peak, the country is deemed a failed state that is drifting into illiteracy and the game is lost.

3. Crime Funding Policy

In reality no country can survive entirely without a police force or judiciary. Even the Wild West had sheriffs, judges and (occasional) trials. Thus crime fighting must be maintained at at least 25% of total funding at all times. If less than 25% is ever spent, or if crime buildings appear in every province of the country, then the country has descended into lawlessness, banditry and chaos and is a failed state. The game is lost.

4. Social Services

All social services must be funded to at least 50% all the time. There are no exceptions. A government that introduces a social reform and then refuses to fund it has perpetrated a fraud on the electorate that will never be forgiven. Hence we never undertake social reforms unless we are sure we can fund them for ever thereafter. We may of course misjudge our capacities, but then we have to live with very painful consequences, or the game is lost.

5. Unemployment

No pops may be unemployed for more than one year, unless a factory in the state is being built or expanded. RGOs must be expanded if there are unemployed worker or farmer pops that are unlikely to merge. Thus, immigrant clerks or craftsmen must be sent to work in the mines, the fields or into the army after one year, if there are no factory slots for them. Furthermore, no pop may be converted to a clerk or craftsman unless there is a factory space available.

If unemployment subsidies are available at the "acceptable" level, the above rules become void.

6. Industrial Policy

Industrial policy must take national needs as well as profits into account. If there is a shortage of everyday goods, the first factory that is built must produce one of those goods, eg, you cannot build a steel factory if your pops are short of glass. The second factory built can be any factory you choose. If then there are still shortages of everyday goods, the third factory (or factory expansion) must address these shortages. The fourth factory you build can be any you like and so on. Thus at least half your factories should address everyday needs until these are fully met.

Similarly, railway development must proceed sensibly, in the first instance connecting the capital to the major cities and ports. You cannot start off by putting a railway in a gold mining province in the middle of nowhere. All major cities must be connected before expansion can proceed to other provinces. In the case of Chile this means that the first railway must connect the port of Valparaiso with the capital, Santiago de Chile, and then go down to the town of Concepcion. [An aside: for speed and simplicity I avoid using accents on Spanish names. I hope Spanish speakers will forgive me.]

7. Rebels

The only exploit allowed is in defeating rebels. We try to get them while leaving a captured province, so we can defeat them in three days. The reason is that otherwise, in a normal battle, the attrition suffered by a small pop risks wiping it out if it rebels two times, and certainly if three times.

_____________________________

So, this is the basic scenario. If I have left room for any other exploits, I shall try not to use them. I have never played a GC subject to these rules before, and I don't know how feasible it is. Chile attracts me because it is a challenge. It is comparatively poor, given its population. But, being in the New World, it has great immigration potential. If I fail, I guess I shall have to try an easier country. :)

I shall be narrating events in the person of the Minister of Finance. More specifically, I shall be the Spirit of the Minister of Finance, since no one individual can hold the post for sixty-four years. I am above party politics and so good at my job that I will hold the post regardless of which party is in power. I seek only to serve the nation of Chile. Generally, individuals are not important, except as holders of particular offices or political viewpoints. The focus will be on events, rather than persons.
 
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Cinéad IV

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I like the sound of this one! Not very often we get AARs on Chile.

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unmerged(47162)

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ahhh chile...good luck! :)
 

unmerged(37096)

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What, I'ts been an hour now and still no update???

Just joking

Seriously though, youve' certainly picked a tough nut to crack. Good Luck, I think you are going to need it with those restrictions.

By the way, you say there won't be any colonies, but is there any chance you will try to beat Argentina to those open South American provinces?
 

unmerged(17581)

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Those are pretty restrictive economic rules! Do POPs fill their needs 10 times easier in 1.4?
 

Agenor

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Quirinus308 said:
By the way, you say there won't be any colonies, but is there any chance you will try to beat Argentina to those open South American provinces?

The Argentinians already have claims in all of these colonies, so it would either mean war, or trading/buying their claims. I'm not really thinking that far ahead right now.

And it is much easier for pops to get their subsistence and everyday goods now. I've completed the AAR for 1836, and will try to type it up here later. But I'm a very slow typist.
 

Agenor

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-- 1836 --

Basic Facts for Chile

Government: Democracy
Ruling Party: Conservadores
Voting Rights: Landed
Press Rights: State Press
Trade Unions: None Allowed
Political Parties: Right to ban

State Funds: $1250
Exports per day: $13
Population: 1,075,000
Literacy: 12%
Number of Techs/Industrial Score: 14
Military: 1 inf., 1 cav., each 5000 strong.

We are one of the poorest and most technologically backward countries in South America. All the others start with industrial scores ranging from 18 (Paraguay, Brazil) to 21 (Uruguay), with those for Peru, Ecuador and Argentina at 19 or 20. They are also much richer than we are - their daily export income, adjusted for population, is generally 2 - 3 times more than ours. In the case of Argentina, even higher than this.

On the positive side, we are a democracy, have high population growth, are geographically isolated and therefore in a relatively quiet part of the world (I hope).

Economic Policy

It is surprising how high one can set taxes in 1.04 and still have pops getting all subsistence and everyday goods, and have savings still increasing. After some experimentation I decide on the following tax rates:

Poor: 72,66%
Middle: 50%
Rich: 75%

These settings are high, but they still allow the aristocrats to buy 100% of subsistence, 100% daily and 100% luxury goods, and save some money, even with tariffs set to the maximum level. Perhaps this will change as world population increases over time.

Crime fighting: set to 85% of total.
Defence spending: minimum allowed
Army: maintained at 75% of full pay (doesn't affect size, which is a half strength.) One has to pay them this much, if soldier pops are to afford 100% everyday needs.
Education: max, giving 0.47 research points per day.

By mid-1836 the buget looks like this:

Income:
Tax: Poor 4.0
Middle: 0.4
Rich: 0.8
State Bonds: 0.4
Total: 5.6

Expenditure:
Education: 2.0
Crime: 1.8
Defence: 0.2
Army: 1.76
Total: 5.8

Tariff income varies between $1.5 and $1.8 daily, giving a small daily surplus of between $1.3 and $1.7. So far so good.

Since we are so poor, I persuade the Cabinet that the lawyers and academics at Santiago College should begin to develop the framework for a stock exchange, to increase our daily incomes.

We are hit by crime

We have been chugging along nicely, when in September 1836 I notice a sudden mysterious fall in our income, to $1 per day. We have a crime building. Aaargh. I knew I should have funded law enforcement at 100%, but wanted to save a few pennies (well, 30c p.d. to be exact). If I get another couple of cime buildings, I'll be broke.

The Police Minister tells me that machine politics have affected the province of Valparaiso, and corrupt politicians are creaming off funds meant for the Central Government. [I know the game models crime as increasing crime fighting costs, but I prefer to interpret it as a fall in government revenues - crime and banditry mean less taxes are being collected/more government money stolen. If the game had modelled it this way, crime fighting would not be such an irrelevance.]

This calls for action. I decided to see El Presidente. He sighs and draws deeply on his expensive Havana cigar. "I will write a letter, personally, to the Governor of Valparaiso State," he says. I frown. "A strongly worded letter." I am still frowning. "What more do you expect me to do? We are a democracy," he says philosophically. "Now, in a Dictatorship like they have in Paraguay or Argentina, there are ways of sorting such problems out more quickly, but here..." He shrugs, waving his cigar.

He is quite right, of course. We are one of only fourteen democracies in this wicked world. We must set an example.

I notice that Uruguay has crime buildings in two out of its three provinces. Such a rich country, and refusing to fund its police properly. Quite disgraceful.

We are the Paupers of South America

Our per capita export income is among the lowest in South America. Dividing export income by population (expressed in millions) gives the export income per milliion of population:

Chile: $12.09 ($13.3 p.d. divided by 1.1)
Venezuela: $45.83
Ecuador: $23.07
Paraguay: $30.23
Argentina: $127.71 (a staggering $106 p.d. divided among only .83 million people)

I suppose I could carry on with other countries, but frankly, this is depressing me too much. It is terrible to be so poor. And we are given no respect in the world, ranking so far down the League Table of Nations, in 66th place. Among civilized nations only Georgia and Oldenburg (which are going bankrupt) and Ionian Islands and Haiti are even less respected. I know this troubles El Presidente greatly. He looks miserable whenever anyone mentions the League Table of Nations, let alone our place in it.

But, what to do? As the song goes, "Always look on the bright side of life". We may be the paupers of South America and at the bottom of the League Table for Civilized Nations, but at least our pops have a good, peaceful life. Unlike the poor pops in other AARs, they are not going to be taxed to the point of starvation in order to change their political allegiances or fund mad military adventures. We are not going to put half our pops in uniform and make them fight endless wars of conquest to build a great empire. They are not going to die of tropical fever trying to colonize Africa. And they will not have to endure mass immigration, with 100 million Europeans descending on them, half of them heretics and all of them godless socialists. No Señor. All that will be spared them.

From the Chronicle of South America for the Year 1836

The year has been a peaceful one for the continent. There were no reports of rebellions. No alliances were formed, and no wars were fought.
 
Last edited:

Agenor

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-- 1837 --

February, 1837: Our daily balance has picked up again, from 70c to $1.10 p.d. El Presidente has finally dealt with the gangster politicians in Valparaiso.

I Receive a Distinguished Visitor

I am expecting a visit from a really distinguished person, Don Andrés Bello, Rector of Santiago College, and possibly the leading scholar in all Latin America.

Don Andrés Bello, writer, poet, philosopher, law-maker and philologist, was born in Caracas in 1781, then the most cultured city in Spanish America, and attended university there. In 1800 he accompanied the great Alexander von Humboldt on part of his South American journey. He was briefly tutor to Simon Bolivar, and was involved in the struggles of Spanish America to free herself from Spanish overlordship early on. In 1810 he went to London as an emissary of the newly independent Venezuela. To the great honour of our nation, he settled in Chile in 1830.

Now, while it is an honour to have such a visitor, it is not necessarily a pleasure. There is only one reason why people came to see me in my capacity as Minister of Finance, and for me this is never a pleasure, and usually neither for them. And so it is this time. After the usual courtesies are exchanged, the purpose of Don Andrés visit becomes clear. He wishes to found an academic circle, and hopes the government will support this to the tune of $500.

Regrettably for the Rector, we are in Santiago de Chile, on the edge of the civilized world, not Berlin or London or Paris, and at the moment $500 is more than our annual budget surplus. The gain from financially supporting the circle would be two research points. If we support them in spirit only, we gain 1 research point - roughly two months research. We have total funds of $1752, and I would have to give up $500 of this for a gain of two months research.

I am so sorry, I tell the Rector, but the fiscal situation, the general poverty and backwardness of the country, etc. etc. Of course, they have the full moral support of the government, and we wish them every success, but money is out of the question.

Little did I know it at the time, but this self-same circle would go on, five years later in 1842, to found the University of Chile, of which Don Andrés Bello was to become the first Rector. And as I say to people in later years when the topic comes up, they had my full support from the start.

Technological Progress

June 1837: Alas, crime has struck again. Immoral businesses in Cochrane are refusing to pay their taxes, and our budget balance is back down to 70c p.d.

27 June 1837: Excellent news. Our academics, led by the excellent Don Andrés, have developed a stock exchange. The daily balance soars to $1.10.

Since we are so poor, I have decided we should research Ad Hoc Money Bill Printing next. The Industry Minister objects to this. Now, we have no industry in Chile, and this post is a pure sinecure, held by the nephew of El Presidente's wife, a nice lad, but not really all that bright. He urges me to research Practical Steam Engine. What for? I say. Even if we could build railroads and factories, we have no money, and even if by some miracle we did gain a factory, how would we staff it? No craftsmen from Europe would come and live in this impoverished backwater. Not given present conditions.

I Decide to Get Tough on Crime

Frankly, I have had enough of this crime business. I tell the Police Minister that I am going to fund crime fighting to 100%, and if the Criminales don't like it, they can go and live in Uruguay.

Result: Surplus down to 60c per day.

The Army and Navy have decided to go Clausewitzian.

September 1837: Aah, my new tough approach to crime has brought results. The crime building has vanished, and the surplus is up to $1.30 p.d. Am tempted to reduce crime fighting costs once more, but resist the temptation.

Uruguay still has crime in two out of three provinces. They have a huge export income of $10 p.d. for a mere 133,00 people. What are they spending their money on?

I Try to Economize on Defence, but am Forced to Spend Money Instead

I am tempted to economize on our armed forces, and reduce the standing army of 5000 cavalry. and 5000 infantry. I put the matter to Cabinet. The reaction of the Defence Minister is predictable. The saving would be modest, I admit, perhaps 40 or 50c p.d., but it would be a permanent reduction in our costs.

"The Argentines have a permanent infantry division stationed on our border in the province of Vichina," says the Defence Minister. El Presidente mutters something that sounds like "untrustworthy dogs" under his breath. It is only a division of 1000 men, I point out, a mere token garrison, to deter local rebels. The President looks relieved.

"But what if it does come to war one day?" someone asks.

And then I let my big mouth run away with me. I reply, "If we did have a war, a mere 5000 cavalry and 5000 infantry would hardly save us. We would have to draft a large number of miners and farm-workers into the army to bring our two units up to full strength. But even that would not save us. We would have to recruit at least one or two more infantry divisions. At the moment, we do not even have the uniforms for more men, although we do have guns and canned food.

"Then we must buy uniforms," says El Presidente grimly. The Cabinet choruses agreement. I know when I'm beat, and I throw up hands and say emphatically, as though it was my idea all along, "Of course we shall buy uniforms, Señor Presidente." The Cabinet is looking very smug. They know this is the first time they have actually forced me to part with serious money. The bastards.

The purchase of uniforms costs the better part of $600, even though I buy them slowly at the best available price.

From the Chronicle of South America for the Year 1837

In May rebellions broke out in the Confederation of Peru-Bolivia, in the capital province of La Paz and in three provinces in the South of the country...

In November, the Sabinada revolt occurred in Brazil, in the northern province of Salvador. The rebels were said to number 20,000 men. Government forces were moved to the North of the country....

During the year no alliances were formed, and no wars were fought.
 
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stnylan

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Very stringent house-rules. I like the diary.
 

unmerged(22087)

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Have you considered going to war against Peru at any point during the game? It would allow you to annex Bolivia, which will provide a good population boost.
 

Agenor

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Thanks for your support, guys.

No, I had not thought of annexing anybody (too much badboy), but am determined to get those 3 national provinces back... one day. I think with 1.04 Peru always splits into Peru and Bolivia in the early 1840s (still only 1839 with the game and I want to get the AAR up to speed before I continue). In reality Chile did go to war with Bolivia in 1843, iirc, and get Bolivia's coastal provinces. Their army was obviously in better shape than my own.
 

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Very strict rules you've set for yourself. I must confess that I would have trouble with them, but it looks like you are doing alright.

Good luck, and I'll be watching. :)
 

Agenor

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Thanks, guys. The real test will come if the laissez-faire, free trade Liberales get into power.
 

Agenor

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-- 1838 --

One thing you must know, because it is relevant to our story, is that El Presidente likes a tranquil life. I think he suffered greatly during our War of Independence. "Alfredo," he said to me once, "I had all the excitement one needs in a lifetime during the War."

A Bit of History

The trouble really started with Napoleon. He invaded Spain, deposed the Spanish king and put his brother Joseph on the throne. And, as my father remarked at the time, with a Corsican upstart on the throne of Spain it really makes you think about what loyalty to the Crown means. And many people in Spanish America began thinking, with the result that ruling Juntas began to appear that declared their autonomy from Spain.

And so it was in Chile in 1810. But this led to a new source of tensions, between the Realistes, who were loyal to the deposed King, and the Patriotes, who were tired of being ruled by grandees and prelates from Spain and wanted complete independence. What followed were several years of turmoil and strife, but worse, much worse, was to come.

For the Spanish were not going to give the beautiful country of Chile up gracefully, no Señor! They were determined we should remain part of the Spanish empire, and in 1813 landed an army in the province of Valdivia. In 1814 they resoundingly defeated the independence forces at the Battle of Rancagua, popularly known in Chile as the "Disaster of Rancagua". During the years that followed, known as the "Reconquista of Chile", they reimposed Spanish rule. Many leaders of the independence movement were taken prisoner and banished to the deserted and remote Juan Fernandez Islands in the Pacific, 670 kms off the coast of Chile, where they remained, several of them, including El Presidente, under sentence of death. During the following three years the country suffered terribly as the hated Spanish special forces, the talavera, sought to extinguish all opposition to colonial rule.

It was only in 1817, after another decisive battle between the Spanish and independence forces, that it was possible to free most of Chile from Spanish rule, but only in 1826 did we recover all of Chile from them. To this very day they refuse to recognize our independence and threaten to send gunboats to show us "who is still the boss". After 1817 it was possible for the banished leaders of the independence movement to return to Chile, and several of them went on to become prominent politicians, even presidents, of the Republic of Chile.

I Receive a Troubling Report, and Am Forced to Lower Taxes

So now you know that El Presidente appreciates a tranquil life. But you must also know that El Presidente is married to a very strong-willed and formidable lady, Doña Maria Teresia, and he learnt early on in his married life that if he wanted tranquility it was better never to oppose his wife. Now his wife is a very sensible woman, but she has one pet cause, and that is the native people of Chile, the Patagonian peasant farmers.

So you can imagine how disturbed I was when a report of the Diocese of Santiago appeared on my desk, which found that at present tax rates Patagonian farmers in the provinces of Santiago and Magdalena were unable to buy all their everyday goods. Their old-fashioned farming methods are not so productive. I know exactly what Doña Maria Teresia's response will be when she sees this (and she will). I grit my teeth and reduce poor taxes to 55%, so the Patagonian farmers can afford 100% everyday needs as well.

As a result our budget surplus is down to 40c a day. Was ever a country so poor?

Foreign Matters

10 April 1838: A force of rebels is besiging the Peruvian capital, La Paz. They are, regrettably, only 200 strong. I wish that I could tell you that we in Chile are sorry for the trouble that our big northern neighbour is experiencing, but really, it would be a lie. The Confederation of Peru-Bolivia is a nation of 2.9 million people with a per capita export income 2.5 times our own. They could have us for breakfast.

The Foreign Minister tells me there are signs that the Confederation of Peru-Bolivia is disintegrating. We would not be sorry. It is better to have two smaller northern neighbours in illegal possession of your land than one big northern neighbour.

5 June 1838: The Foreign Minister is terribly excited. It seems that Britain and the United States have gone to war. Now, if I were Mexican I would be dancing in the streets (and buying all the guns and uniforms I could afford), but, way down here in Chile, how does this affect us? "Are you interested in anything that does not directly concern the national budget of Chile?" he demands. Well no, actually not. We all have our place in the scheme of things.

From the Chronicle of South America for the Year 1838

During the course of the year number of rebels besieging the Peruvian capital of La Paz increased to 1500. They defeated the 1st Infantry Division of Peru which attempted to relieve the city. Further unrest continues in the southern provinces of Peru-Bolivia, with sporadic fighting between rebels and government forces.

In Brazil, government troops recaptured several provinces that had fallen to rebels, but no engagements were fought. Recent reports suggest that rebel activity is now centered on the eastern part of Amazonas province.

No alliances were formed. No countries went to war.
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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A nice way to introduce a little backstory
 

unmerged(49082)

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Good luck with your AAR.
I have two remarks: Firstly maintenance budget and defence spendings don't affect pops income. The flow in this case is budget > nowhere. Other than roleplay there is no reason to keep them high if you are not planning wars. Secondly crimefighting affects the rate at which crime disappears not at which it appears. So if you are running at no crime buildings funding can be cut untill one shows up. Again unless you need it for roleplay (which I think you do anyway;)).
 

Black Lotus

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Very nice backstory.
 

Rensslaer

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I definitely like the way you're telling this! Cleverly done.

And your restrictions -- and the self control you maintain to abide by them -- are quite impressive.

Good job!

Rensslaer