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Blood Royal

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Jun 1, 2007
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This will be my first AAR, but I've read dozens of them here over the years, so here goes my try at one :p

Just a quick background of pre-Victoria timeline events: I started out as the Byzantine Empire in the Crusader Kings 1066 scenario, as the mythical "Invictus" dynasty - I was just playing around at the time, so I gave the Emperor and his son 20/20/20/20 stats to represent some kind of superhuman ability to rule - as in the mythical "Benevolent Monarchy" as the *theoretically* best form of government. In Crusader Kings half the fun is trying to improve your dynastic line through careful grooming of the future family tree, but in this case my goal was more to keep the purity of the original line intact.

It worked, more or less, and my empire prospered under my godlike rulers for almost 200 years. I took over the Muslims in Persia and North Africa, helped Europe turn the Mongol hordes back sometime around 1250ish AD, and then... well, then I got tired of the game since I was too powerful and nothing could stop me.

So I transferred the game to EUII using the export function, and started in 1419. The EUII game was rather uneventful since I'm not a very good EUII player, but I did manage to hold on to my gains and almost max out my tech, plus save up a lot of money. Then around 1820 I transferred to Victoria Revolutions, and it is here that my AAR begins.

***

The World in 1836, after almost a millenia of struggle and brutal bloodshed - at least, for the Europeans! As you can see from the maps below, the people of the Americas, Africa, and East Asia have prospered each in their own ways:

Europe:



Africa:

screensave1ss2.jpg


South America:

screensave2vw8.jpg


North America:

screensave3xw4.jpg


Asia:



Now what you'll immediately have noticed is that except for a very late Byzantine attempt at colonizing Brazil in the 1700s, all of North America is still virtually untouched by all the usual suspects (except for one British colony in Trinidad, The Cherokee, Aztecs, and Mayans rule unchallenged.)

I grabbed the coastline of South America, the southern tip of India, and parts of the islands north of Australia (I was thinking ahead to all the rares that I'll find there in Hearts of Iron II, if I ever got that far along!) That was all from map trading, throughout the entire game I never got a single naval explorer.

Asia is powerfully dominated by the Chinese and Mughalistan, that massive pink blob that took all of India.

Europe on the other hand, is very weak! Yes, they're all civilized, they have a handful of factories all together, but nothing like a regular Victoria 1936 GC. Their populations are also quite small and backwards, I loaded up as a few of them and there's not dozens of free clerks, craftsmen, and capitalists floating around! Overall I'd say the population (and strength) of Europe is well below half of what it should be in a normal campaign.

So, to make up for this (no one likes playing a boring game) I'm going to make myself a worthy adversary. I'm gonna let China start as civilized, edit Beijing with a couple of craftsmen, clerks, capitalists (and by a couple I mean the entire provincial population of 2 million+ ) and put the entire nation at 70% literacy. That's the highest in the game, I have 50ish, and Prussia and UK are up in the mid 60s. They'll still have 0 tech to begin with, but that goes for a couple of European countries as well! In fact, in this alternate timeline its pretty meaningless to talk about civilized and uncivilized areas, because clearly only the Byzantine Empire is worthy of the name Civilization :)

China could end up being very scary though, they have a population of 360 million - compared to mine at 160, and Europe at (I'm guessing) less than 200 million. I don't really know how to really customize edit AI files in save games, but since I imagine China has a pretty limited and isolationist setting, I'm gonna give them the same general settings as Germany, where applicable.

Now since this game isn't entirely meant to be played from 1066 to 1960 (CK to EUII to Vic to Hoi2) I have made minor edits to the transferred save.

I've straightened out some borders, stupid things like England having St. Petersburg and Denmark having 2 provinces in Norway that looked really ugly. Sweden also had southern Italy, and I gave that to Austria. I also had Austria release Sardinia-Piedmont as a vassal to give Italy a chance of forming later... right now all those Italian pops are worthless since Austria doesn't have a full citizenship government, IIRC.

To deal with the countries that have laizzes faire governments, I've put 100k capitalists in each European capital plus converted some pops (again, only in the capital) to 100K size and made them clerks and craftsmen. I don't know if it'll do much good without factories, but I do want Europe to start industrializing sometime this century, so if I absolutely have to I'll go back sometime in the 1850s and give UK, Germany, Austria, Russia and France the basic factories to get started - machine parts, furniture, clothing, steel etc, one of each, the basics needed to industrialize.

Besides that, no other edits.

Oh, well, it has no impact on gameplay but I edited Greece to look more like Byzantium. I got a flag and shield off the Byzantine Mod, and I renamed the Greek pops to Byzantine and the country is called Byzantine Empire.

I also (for purely RP reasons) decided to represent the heirs of my Byzantine King, the original Sol Invictus, as a separate ethnic group called the Blood Royal. I used the Romanian marker, changed all the Romanians to Hungarians in the save game, and then made small populations of the creme de la creme, the four hundred thousand or so of the upper echelons of Byzantine Society, the ones ruling the 160 million peasants beneath them! I mean... loyal subjects, not peasants. And if I meant peasants I meant it in a good way :)

Constantinople is something like 20-30% Blood Royal in its population make up, and they're all Aristocrats, Clergymen, or Officers. Except of course a 100K soldier stack, which represent the youth of the nobility, who aren't afraid to go fight on the front lines... this is supposed to be a Benevolent Monarchy, not a just a parasitical idle rich society!

There's also a strong presence of Blood Royal in Baghdad (Capital of the Mesopotamian Region) and Alexandria, Capital of my North African holdings.

On a much smaller scale, there's a couple of thousand in Buenos Aires in Argentina, and a similar amount on some island off the Philippes.

Now in game mechanics terms that means absolutely nothing, but since I like RPing in my games, especially when I make an AAR out of it, I will take extra care of those provinces since they're the Emperor's blood kin who will get killed should enemies enter, and not simply peasants! I mean, loyal subjects, who are every bit as important to me as ... ahh, who am I kidding?

Self imposed rules of the AAR:

This is a continuation of a Crusader Kings game, and the original Dynasty which has steered Byzantium through almost eight centuries is still in power. This means that I will stay a Monarchy, and should the Monarchy fall, then the game ends. I *might* consider going Constitutional Monarchy if it comes to that, but that's only going to happen when there is no other way. Until there is a VERY compelling reason to do so, I won't do it. In any case, if my people start electing liberal or socialist governments then they've shown that they're unable to handle the responsibilities that come with voting, namely voting for what the Emperor thinks is best.

I won't reload, ever, if I make a tactical or strategic mistake. I'll only reload if I *accidentally* push the wrong button on something, but if I go into a war and start losing, I'll have to make peace somehow. If my main army gets encircled I'll just have to build a new one, and if Anarcho-Liberal scum take Constantinople, shoot the Royal Family and overthrow the entire Monarchy... well, then I really should have defended it better, but now they're all dead!

I will probably do edits, but never in my own favor. If for example China (the Arch Evil enemy of the game, or so its intended to be) just sits there, I will load up as China and have them declare war on their neighbors and start acting like the Evil Empire I know they can be :)

If the AI starts stupidly colonizing, I will load up and redistribute their claims amongst themselves so that the map looks nicer.

If America doesn't get any colonists due to the general low population of Europe, I might - if I can justify it under the circumstances - start moving some pops there manually just so that I don't end up with an unrealistic Hearts of Iron II game where the Cherokee still rule half the continent. Realism will trump gameplay, but again, only under exceptional circumstances and never for no reason. To avoid blank spaces in the map, I might change the colonization build time to one day instead of 3 years at some point, just to insure that everything is covered before the end.

Stuff like that I will probably have to do at one point or another, but the gist of the rule is that it can never be in my own favor and I will keep such interventions to an absolute minimum, preferably none at all.

My units will be limited by the fact that at least half of them have to be Greek (Byzantine) culture. Since the Blood Royal ruling faction doesn't have full citizenship allowesd, it means I won't be able to build hordes of units by taking over India for example. I'll have to rely on my Byzantines to do the dirty work, but that's only fair since they're the ones who are benefitting the most from it anyways.

OK, well that just about covers it. Haha, this AAR might fizzle out and die, but right now I'm having much more fun playing since I'm thinking about a story arc at the same time. So hopefully I'll make it to Hoi2!

First installment to follow shortly, I played right up until the beginning of the liberal revolution in 1845.

This might end up being a short AAR, lol, I wonder if it's even possible staying a Conservative Monarchy AND a major industrial and scientific power throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th! My farmers and labourers are happy enough, but those damn craftsmen and clerks have dangerously liberal tendencies, but unfortunately I need them to remain semi literate to invent and build new upgrades for my war machine... or industry, whatever they call it...
 
Last edited:

Blood Royal

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It was early January, 1836.

The old Emperor had passed away during the night, and the young Prince - now the young Emperor - Lucius was sitting in council with the highest advisors of the Realm. It was a cold morning that day in Constantinople, and the air up here in the highest tower of the Imperial Palace almost reminded one of the cold air one might find in the mountain highlands. The first rays of the morning sun would be hitting the golden roofs of the palace by now, and the white marble of the city would be radiant as well. In the room, known as the Chamber of the Sun, there were eight large open arches leading to balconies looking towards all the points of a compass. In the center of the room was a large round golden table worth more, people might suspect, than a small country. The high backed chairs were silver, with purple silk draped around them, the heraldry of each advisor's respective family drawn in gold.

Sitting in these silver chairs were the highest ranked among the Blood Royal, and in the large golden chair, not at the head of the table - for here more than anywhere else the Emperors needed to be reminded that they were not tyrants - but around it like all the rest sat the leader of the Byzantine Empire, Lucius Invictus. There were twelve advisors and one Emperor, the significance of which was part of a longstanding mystical tradition going beyond the time of their saviour, Jesus Christ. The disgruntled among the populace (few in number, but growing every year now) whispered that it was heresy, likening the Emperor to the son of a God, but the State Press frequently reminded the people that Sol Invictus, according to official religious doctrine, had been the Holy Spirit made flesh... which naturally exempted him and his heirs from the laws of man, and in fact made any lies concerning them the *real* heresy.

Here in the Council Chamber however, there were no such illusions. The Blood Royal were men. True, they were exceptional men, but there were good and bad among them as in all others. As if to remind them all of this fact, the Chancellor (and Prince of Nikomedia) Valerius brought the most bitterly contentious point forward first.

"My Lord Emperor, the period of mourning for your father is over, and you must choose. The late Emperor, God keep his soul, put off the matter for too long. The world is changing. Many of our people want to embrace this change, and in the lands of Europe entire governments have been overthrown in the name of freedom and democracy. We cannot burn all the revolutionary books circulating in our Empire, nor can we -"

"Point of fact, Prince Valerius", an old man dressed only a black robe and and gold cross hanging from his chest hissed angrily. The High Priest of the Realm had succeded for decades in keeping the previous Emperors from dealing with this problem in a realistic way, and was obviously hoping the young heir would now go so far as to implement real change - his kind of change. "We *can* in fact burn all the books that are spreading lies about the Blood Royal, and we can in fact imprison or kill anyone who openly or secretly advocates revolution. Or do we have a lumber shortage, or a shortage of ammunition which I am not aware of?"

The Steward, and High Prince of Anatolia, Lord Verenus, looked at the High Priest with barely disguised contempt. "Point of fact, your eminence, peasants cannot work in the modern factories, nor do peasants contribute much to the knowledge and learning that our Empire needs in order to keep up with the rapidly growing power of our rivals. Already in England, which I visited last year, I saw technologies which we do not possess. Not just new fire arms or more advanced ships, but also treatises and theories about mathematics, astronomy, and chemistry. We need to double the money allocated to education - for all our subjects - and we need to train a work force of clerks and craftsmen, and we need millions of them if we are to continue and accelerate the industrial expansion of the last few years. The land of Chin is also stirring, and we have perhaps been too free in trading openly with them - they might also be a world spanning power in the near future."

The Marshall General of the Empire, a man looking like he could fight in the front lines amongst the best of them, even in his gem encrusted silk tunic, agreed. "A powerful industry means a powerful army. Already now, supply of weapons cannot keep up with demand. Your father neglected the army, young Emperor, and does it not scare all of you that we only have fifteen - *fifteen* - divisions guarding an empire of 160 million people? They could overthrow the entire Blood Royal in a week should even one tenth of them decide it needed to be done."

The young Emperor had sat quietly and listened. He was no fool, nor were his advisors. For all their flaws, the Blood Royal had been bred for over eight centuries to rule. Each of them had a valid point, even the High Priest. The people were not militant yet, they were not yet calling for the right to vote, but in just the last ten years the trend had been clear for all to see. A revolution would come if changes were not made.

((( I don't know if it's due to the transferred game from EUII, but all my pops have militancy 5 and consciousness 5. That's high for a Monarchy with a huge minority population, only something ilke 35% of my people are Greeks/Byzantines and the Blood Royal Ruling faction only has "Residence" as minority policy. ))

"I have heard you all," the young Emperor Lucius said, silencing the room instantly. They all had great hopes for him, he was a man of the new times, not bound by tradition and dogma like his predecessors had been.

"I am not the man my father was. He belonged to another age, an age of chivalry and nobility. The peasants rebelled in my father's day, it is true, but they did so for religious reasons, or because they had genuine grievances. Revolts were isolated and easy to put down. This... this new trend, liberalism... it is dangerous precisely because it appeals to both the reason of a man *and* his passions. Should not all men be equals? Why should the Blood Royal live like Kings while they live modestly? They have forgotten the lessons of history and the nature of man. There will always be rulers, and those that are ruled. They may tear down the old ways, burn the palaces, kill the Blood Royal and destroy our entire way of life - but they do not know that something similar, and almost certainly worse, will take its place.

These money men, these capitalists and high minded social architects, they are the ones funding and guiding this new revolutionary spirit. They do so precisely because they know that it is they who will replace us should go; they may try to create their perfect state, but when the dust settles, the limitations of power become apparent, and the revolutionary fervor fades as it must, then the people will see that their new rulers are much worse than their old ones. We, of the Blood Royal, have kept this Empire together for almost a thousand years. Can any merchant king and his heirs say the same? We turned back the Islamic tide, we defeated the Mongol horde, we have let our people live and prosper, beyond what anyone other people have achieved, we have given them centuries of peace, and have we asked for anything else except their loyalty?

Have we stopped people from making money, from expressing their opinions, or pursuing their own dreams? No. We have only stopped them from ruling, because we know that we are quite simply more fit to do so. We are the guardians of our people, not their tyrants. Everything we do, we do for the greater good of the Empire. The people who love money and are jealous of our rightful place of honor hate this, and they hate us, because they know that they can never turn us to their ways.

I have thought on this matter, and discussed it with my closest advisors. Change is needed, and change will happen. It will be our hand guiding this change, not the hand of our enemies.

Lord Verenus, my Steward, am I not correct in saying that our treasury is overflowing with gold, silver, and jewels?"

The Steward nodded. "Yes, Emperor. We have 160,000 gold bars in our vaults, and we make almost 300 each day. We have kept our position as guardians of the lucrative East-West trade, and we are probably the richest Empire in the world."

"Good. Then lower all taxes from 33% to 20%. If our people are taxed among the lowest rates in the world, perhaps they will appreciate more that they do not have it so bad as they think. To compensate for the loss of revenue, raise tariffs on imported goods. It will stimulate our home industries and make us money at the same time.

Lord Valerius, my Chancellor. I want you to double the education budget and coordinate efforts with Lord Verenus to begin training all the clerks and craftsmen which our new factories might need."

The High Priest slammed his fist into the table when he heard this. "Lucius! Listen to me boy, this is madness, it will be the death of the Empire! It will - "

"That's *Emperor* Lucius to you, Priest. And I suggest you remember it unless you want to be on the next ship to Brazil, bringing the word of god to the heathens of the great jungle. Nevertheless, I have heard your advice, and yours, Marshall General. I will accomodate you both, because you both speak wisely, and for the good of the Realm.

High Priest, you will commission an expansion of the clergy, and you will be given funds to triple their numbers at least. I want them spread out in all provinces, preaching the old values instead of this revolutionary garbage. I also want some new Universities opened, and they will be open to all - not just the clergy."

The High Priest was at a loss for words, but only momentarily. "Open to... all? But what about that new dangerous group of liberals, the ones claiming all sorts of things in Western Europe? The... what are they called?"

"Scientists."

"Yes, Scientists! Surely you don't want *them* in our Universities!"

"Open to all, Priest. And the clergy will keep an eye on them... it is safer to keep ones potential enemies close, after all."

"And the army, Emperor?" The Marshall General looked almost as if he had already been granted his dearest wish. Young men loved guns and armies, after all.

"These changes are radical, and will our change our Empire profoundly. Yes, Marshall General. I want you to work with the Steward to create a massive arms industry in our European holdings. I want ammunition factories, explosives factories, small arms and artillery factories. And I want a lot of them. We will massively increase the army as new weapons become available on a running basis. When we have enough men, I want one division stationed in every province of Europe and Anatolia. I don't want this industrial revolution giving birth to a liberal one. Perhaps the sight of Imperial Troops stationed nearby will convince them that rebellion is pointless. And Steward, I want Anatolia to be the only region outside of Europe where we train the people to work in factories. The great size of our Empire is a weakness that rebels can exploit... as far as possible, I want these new changes isolated to a manageable area should things go wrong.

Now, on to the specifics..."

*****************************

Well, that was it in broad strokes.

The following ten years were good for the Empire.

I launched a truly massive industrialization campaign (thankfully I started with a machine parts factory!) and built something like 30 military factories in Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia. I also built lots of other types of factories in Anatolia (Turkey) and still have lots of room left to expand since I have some huge Greek/Byzantine peasant stacks left to upgrade.

I was worried that it would be a boring game since Europe is so weak, but China is more than meeting my expectations. They declared war on Tibet and SouthEast Asia and grabbed some provinces, but even scarier, their industrial power has jumped from something like 200 to 2000!!! Yes, and and all in less than ten years (I've played till 1845). Mine is only 1400 by comparison, and UK and France are at 200ish. I think they'll put up quite the challenge, especially if they take over India and I get a land border with them :p

I started slowly building colonies in North America, with the idea that I'd let them rebel one day should they do that and build an independent USA. It took a while, since I had a massive shortage of explosives to do the colonizing with, and no one has steel steamer tech so I had to build colonial fortresses all the way through. Really, in the first ten years, I've had to basically build every manufactured good I wanted myself. The world market is useless for anything except raw materials at this point.

In another surprising development, the Murder at Guangzhou event happened, and maybe due to some weird chain reaction alliance system, almost all of Europe decided to join in!



So far it's been a rude wake up call for them, I think, because by the looks of it they get annihilated as soon as they land anywhere. In 1845, war exhaustion is near 30% on all sides, but they're still fighting on. I think they just woke the Dragon, unfortunately... China's military has grown to a dangerous size, 66 now in 1845 compared to my 100 (where 30 are naval units) and they started with something like 10.

Alright, next update will follow ... damn liberal revolution just started in 1845, the moment I'd been dreading. In my first game (before I restarted and decided to make this an AAR) I only had my original 15 divisions, and the rioting scum almost took over half the empire since I had a weapons shortage and couldn't build new divisions fast enough - a mistake I'm not going to make again, as you can see :p
 

Blood Royal

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It was 1845.

Lucius Invictus had grown into his position as Emperor better than anyone could have hoped. People whispered (well, according to the State Press they did) that he was Sol Invictus reborn, come back to save the Empire from the ruinous forces that threatened. Whatever the truth was, it could not be denied that in the last 8 years since assuming power the Empire had been given a new sense of hope, dynamism - and not least, a sense of its own true power.

The army had been vastly expanded, powerful enough to withstand any
enemy. Arms factories were working around the clock, bringing thousands
of new weapons to the armories every day. Factories in Anatolia produced clothing, furniture, steel, cement, and luxuries like never before. Colonial dynamism had taken hold again, and South America - and even the fertile coasts of North America - had begun to be settled. Relations were good with all the powers of the world, and hope for a better future filled the hearts of all but the most cynical of the people.

Unfortunately, wealth and prosperity and newfound knowledge among the
working classes did not make them happier. In fact, it seemed that as
their wealth grew, their happiness decreased. The newly educated and
empowered craftsmen and clerks began to organize themselves, and since capitalists had been denied the opportunity to plan an independent economic policy (the Blood Royal practiced state capitalism) they spent their time, efforts, and money in spreading discontent.

Even on the marble streets of Constantinople, universally regarded as the most beautiful and wealthy city in the world, the new classes of young students and labor union activists would - loud enough to be heard - mumble "... When the revolution comes..." every time a member of the Blood Royal even looked at them side ways.

By contrast, farmers and laborers everywhere were praising the Emperor and his policies, mothers by the hundreds of thousands named their sons after the Emperor.

Since by most estimates 80% of the population of the Empire were farmers and laborers, Lucius Invictus had refused to give in to liberal demands. No right to vote, no labor unions, no political parties. The Press would remain in State Hands, since obviously if it did, then Liberal Newspapers would spring up in all the major cities and spread their lies among the urban classes, just making the situation worse.

In the end, it probably would not have mattered. In the new century ideas traveled across borders with frightening speed, and all over Europe the revolution came. Despite all evidence to the contrary, despite all the Blood Royal had done for the people, the urban classes took up arms sent out the clarion call of rebellion to all who would listen.

Fortunately, the Empire was prepared.



Paranoia, some had said. Oppression, others had argued. Foresight, was what the Blood Royal had called it. When the Revolution came, the students and anarcho liberal activists found that overthrowing an Empire which had lasted over a thousand years and faced and defeated some of the fiercest enemies in the history of humanity was easier said than done.

"Solidarity, brothers!" someone in a crowd would scream (Yes, the irony of Anarcho Liberals calling for solidarity was not lost on the more educated members of the Blood Royal officer Corps). Right after screaming that, they would put up a half hearted fight and then run back to regroup. Show up again a few months later, run, and regroup. So it continued for five years, and while they did take a handful of isolated provinces, it had no impact except to harden the hearts of the Blood Royal. By 1850, it was clear even to the most rabid anarchist that the Empire would not be overthrown this time around.

Once the leaders of the Rebellion had called for their followers to lay down their weapons, the Blood Royal was inclined to listen to their pleas. If they wanted power, freedom, and prosperity, no one would stand in their way. They would not, however, gain a single inch of land to rule which the ancestors of the Blood Royal and the noble soldiers of past armies had fought, died, and most importantly lived for. In other words, if they wanted to rule a nation, they would have to go build their own. There were wide lands in the Americas, many of them virtually unsettled.

If they thought they could build a nation better than the Blood Royal, let them do so. But they would have to do it on their own, and not use the roads, factories, and cities which the so-called oppressive elite had designed and funded. A general amnesty was declared for anyone who would agree to set sail into the far west, never to return. Not surprisingly, only a hundred thousand or so took up the offer. It was much easier to take over a nation than to build one, they had probably reasoned.

Nevertheless, some did agree, the first official act of the so-called United States of America was to declare war on the Byzantine Empire.



It was a symbolic gesture, and the Blood Royal did not even bother to invade them. Their was no point, they most rebellious of their subjects were now gone, they had no army, no navy, and let them try to build a new world if that was what they wanted.

There was still work to be done, and with the Revolution over the Empire could finally begin to look outwards again. And there was much that needed to be paid attention to.

The Germans had somehow organized a union with their Austrian brothers (no idea how it happened so soon...) and were now a major power on the continent of Europe:



China, the merchants who returned from the East were reporting, had been awoken from its slumber. After the murder of a British merchant at Guanxzhou, the British had foolishly demanded reparations. The Chinese had haughtily refused, and executed the British Ambassador for even suggesting such a thing. Outraged, the nations of Europe had banded together and vowed to punish China for this insult against Western Power.

Both sides were shocked by the outcome of the war. China was stunned to see foreign troops landing on its shores, and Europe was stunned to see that they had so disastrously underestimated Chinese military and industrial might. They had thought them a backwards nation producing little of use except silk, chinaware, or spices, but they found massive armies with modern guns and military tactics facing them.

The misunderstanding was based on the fact that Western merchants had never been allowed outside certain coastal enclaves, so they had no idea of how strong China really was. The Chinese, isolated for so long, had never dreamed that outside kingdoms would dare invade them. The result was almost a decade of warfare and bloodshed that shook both continents to their core.

The Europeans had asked the Byzantines to join them several times, but were rejected. The Byzantines, who had long controlled the land route to Asia, knew all too well the power of China. They also knew that China had the latent capacity to be the most powerful kingdom in the world, with a massive, and highly educated and organized, population.

The 1850s would force Byzantium to start a more aggressive foreign policy. It was either rise and act pre emptively, or be crushed between the rising powers of Europe and Asia in the conflict which was almost sure to start again.
 
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Jolly good! This seems to be rather interesting. I note that the royal family don't seem to have Greek names. Has this Roman Empire taken on a different kind of culture? Is it so hellenistic anymore? I'd like to know more about the Empire and it's religion and population. If you could add in some general background history for this general era, it'd be much appreciated too.

Still, looks to be a cracking good AAR. Keep up the good work.
 
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Cool Ck - Eu - Vicky aar :)
 

das

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Yes, its neat. Why isn't Blood Royal one of the national cultures, though?

if Anarcho-Liberal scum take Constantinople, shoot the Royal Family and overthrow the entire Monarchy... well, then I really should have defended it better, but now they're all dead!

Surely a ruling family THIS extensive would be able to launch a countercoup, and willing to do so even if it means a ruinous civil war against hordes of anarcho-liberal rebel scum? The Blood Royal soldiers sound ideal for a White Guard scenario.

Btw, shouldn't it be Imperial Family? I mean, its an empire, not a kingdom.
 
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SeanB

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Why are you using the Commie flag for a Monarchist Byzantium? :p
 

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Thanks for the comments, its always nice to know people read it :)

As for more background story, yes, it'll probably be useful - It's all quite clear in my own mind, but that doesnt help the readers much! The reason the Royal/Imperial (I use the terms interchangably, because in CK I had several King titles in addition to my Emperor title!) uses latin names is because it was a conscious choice to do so on the part of the powers who brought the original Sol Invictus and his heirs to power.

The historical Greek tradition of free city states, and even the example of Alexanders Empire which only lasted a short while before splitting into three contentious parts was not something which the powers-that-be at the time felt they could create a new "national idea" with. It is highly doubtful that Sol Invictus was named so by his mother, for example! The name "Undefeated Sun" would be a little pretentious to say the least for an unproven baby, and he would surely grow up with massive egomania issues ;)

The Invictus family were the implementers and original figureheads of an attempt to create a sort of Platonic state, ruled by Philosopher-Kings; the "Benevolent Monarchy" mentioned before drawing on all the political ideals of ancient times. They also consciously identified themselves with the glories of Imperial Rome, where the Emperors had quite a bit more power than the feudal rulers of 11th century. They had allies among the most loyal and honorable members of the Byzantine Courts, and gradually succeeded in changing the culture of the Empire to one that was more suited to the realities of the 11th Century as opposed to the old Roman times.

The result by the 19th century was a ruling class which had the power of myth as their strongest ally. Orthodox Christianity had been infused with certain pagan elements, and it was certainly not "the meek shall inherit the Earth" Catholicism or Protestantism. It valued order, loyalty, and honor and it was not so much divine-right-of-kings as it was rule-by-god-kings! Needless to say, the European Christians thought the Byzantines bordered on heresy, but due to the power of the Empire and out of gratitude for the help offered against the muslims and mongols, the issue never came to warfare.

So while the Empire is still dominated by the Greek/Byzantine element in almost all "middle-class" activities, and while Greek is the language of all commerce, literature, and bureaucracy even among the subject peoples, the Blood Royal speak a kind of latin among themselves. Of course it has evolved over the centuries so that it no longer quite resembles the old latin of Imperial Rome.

That´s why the Blood Royal are so paranoid of the new Age... not only are they unashamedly aristocratic, and reject out of hand the equality of all people, they are also viewed by some as an oppressive elite who isn´t even "really Greek"! If the Byzantine Empire was cut off from the world they would have little to worry about, but they will have a massive challenge trying to convince the people that even with all the new scientific evidence coming up questioning "fairy tale myths" and religion in general, that they are still a "Benevolent Monarchy". The times are also moving towards materialism and atheism (in Europe at least) and this will definitely be the death-blow to the Invictus dynasty should these ideas take hold in the Empire as well.

It´s the same general dilemma the Austro-Hungarians faced in the 1800s, I think... nationalism was the driving force of countries like Germany, France, and England and those governments could mobilize massive support by appealing to this idea of national interest in times of crisis and war. But how does an Empire composed of a dozen ethnic groups keep a lid on nationalism (separatism, by extension) and at the same time ask people to sacrifice for the nation/Empire?

As for the era itself, well actually come to think of it, it makes pretty good alternate-history sense, considering the implications of a resurgent Byzantine Empire in the Middle Ages.

For one thing, the muslims were quicky dealt with in the East and the Byzantines took over the ludicrously profitable East-West trade. For the Europeans (I consider the Byzantines a separate group) that meant that Venice never existed in the form that it did, and that probably stifled the growth of a banking system based on letters-of-credit backed by the gold in Venetian banks. In fact, gold and silver seemed to travel pretty much in a one-way direction, from Europe to Byzantium to China, and then in the other direction all kinds of trade goods like silk and spices came back. This must have made Europe as a whole quite a bit poorer.

Second effect of a strong Byzantium was the inability of the Europeans to realistically cut the middle men out of the deal as they did in the 1500s by going around Africa. Well, the Portugese did so, but in this game, Portugal (and Spain) are ruled by a muslim Al Djazier! But even if the French or British tried to go around the horn of Africa, Byzantine naval power in the Indian Ocean was so dominant that they could never escape paying tariffs anyways. So either way, the dynamism of exploration and the whole point of Columbus sailing West towards China and India was made kind of moot - there was a steady and secure trade route already in place, and the Byzantines did not abuse their position to overtax or exclude European merchants anyways. Relations were friendly throughout the entire history of the Empire; exception the Annexation of the Balkans, there had been no wars between Orthodox and Catholics/Protestants since the Invictus family took over.

On the other hand, China benefitted greatly also from having such a secure trade route through the Mughal Empire (now Mughalistan) and the Byzantines. In the 1600s it was not uncommon for Europe to start sending trade goods Eastwards, including new weapons, and there was a sense of mutual respect between the Imperial families of China and Constantinople. They might be the Middle Kingdom and the center of the world, but any Chinese Ambassador stationed in the Byzantine Courts could not help but be impressed by the power and wealth he saw there, and vice versa. This accounts for China being "civilized" at game start, even if they had zero techs. They were a lot more outwards looking than they had been historically in 1836.

As for the Americas, well the EUII game was dominated by wars between England/France and the German states, and Russia took a very long time to form as well (Tver ended up winning by default). There was not much interest in expanding West into the new world since it quickly became apparent (the Byzantines probably told them as they had good maps of China and India) that this was NOT any of those places :p Money was spent on European wars, not expensive colonizations of what was essentially a North America that had little except furs and potential farm lands at the time to offer.

As for Blood Royal not being a national culture, it's fixed, I just never got around to it before :p

Regarding counter coups, das, well yes... but keep in mind that the Blood Royal do NOT view themselves as an oppressive aristocratic elite keeping the masses down by force of arms. They want to stay in power because they honestly believe that they are the best suited to rule, and should the people turn against them, many of them (not all of course) would rather simply go into exile than stay and rule as tyrants. It's all part of the mythology they've built around themselves, and they've come to believe it over the centuries... though to be fair, the historical record does show that they can back up their claims to a large extent!

And a Communist flag? Well I don't have the game on this computer, but I´m pretty sure I chose the one tagged "gre_monarchy" in the Byzantine mod file, and that thing in the center looks like an Imperial Eagle to me.

Btw, nice AARs in your sigs Severance and SeanB, I bookmarked them and will have to see how your Byzantines managed compared to mine :cool:

I´ll probably play through the 1850s today and write up a next installment tonight or tomorrow morning. Now that the liberal revolution and the majority of my initial industrialization is over with, it's time to raise an Imperial Army(one not spent as a police force keeping liberals down!) plus a large fleet and decide where I want to go from here.

Ï'm thinking about satelliting Hungary... I get the feeling those Germans might try something later, and they'll be a good buffer zone, though the last thing I want is to get bogged down in European power politics. Still, as it is, should Hungary ever go to war with me in alliance with Germany then I've got a seriously difficult border to defend, and all my arms factories are in that region so I would hate to lose it!
 

unmerged(52728)

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Very interesting.

By the way, what is that plum colored nation that is snaking its way through Germany?

Edit: My guess is Poland
 
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Blood Royal

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Lu Yan said:
Very interesting.

By the way, what is that plum colored nation that is snaking its way through Germany?

Edit: My guess is Poland

Thanks, and it's Bohemia-Moravia, actually :) Their national culture is Czech, so they'll almost certainly turn into Czechoslovakia if they make it to Hoi2... which is doubtful, since when Germany formed it got claims on all its national provinces, which take a big chunk out of its neighbors, name France and the aforementioned Bohemia.

The white chunk in Spain is Al Djazier (sp?), and Moroccan lands are (strangely enough!) called Egypt. I guess they formed an Empire-in-Exile once the Byzantine Armies drove out the Mameluks from the real Egypt.

Crimea is the blue spot in southern Russia, and the brown blob east of Russia is Khokand, which I think was Nogai in EUII. I doubt they´ll last long either, as they're uncivilized and Russia has claims on almost all their lands as well.

Spain is the little yellow province in Southern France... don't give up hope, Spaniards! Reconquistas take time... just hang in there, you´ll get around to it... therë's always hope, isn't there? :rofl:
 

das

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But how does an Empire composed of a dozen ethnic groups keep a lid on nationalism (separatism, by extension) and at the same time ask people to sacrifice for the nation/Empire?

Ottomanism was an OTL attempt, though it didn't quite get off the ground (but the Blood Royals can do better than some Turks, for sure!). The Soviets in WWII employed a peculiar mixture of internationalism with several different nationalisms; that one has more or less worked out, but Byzantine internationalism would be harder to pull off.

Regarding counter coups, das, well yes... but keep in mind that the Blood Royal do NOT view themselves as an oppressive aristocratic elite keeping the masses down by force of arms. They want to stay in power because they honestly believe that they are the best suited to rule, and should the people turn against them, many of them (not all of course) would rather simply go into exile than stay and rule as tyrants. It's all part of the mythology they've built around themselves, and they've come to believe it over the centuries... though to be fair, the historical record does show that they can back up their claims to a large extent!

Well, they're a Benevolent Monarchy and the best rulers anyone could have, so if they get overthrown I think that it would be reasonable for a Blood Royal faction to assume that this only happened because some demented scholars and power-hungry demagogues managed to trick the poor witless peasants into rising against them. Clearly the people need to be saved from themselves if they're stupid enough to launch a revolution! ;)

What is the ethnic composition of the empire, exactly, besides the Greeks and the Blood Royals?

Spain is ruled by Muslims? Why don't any European nations launch a Reconquista? The French are well-positioned for that. Is "Al Djazier" even civilised?

For your strategy, the Germans are getting alarmingly strong so it may make sense to establish a foothold in Italy - and reclaim Rome for old time's sake while you're there. Bohemia might prove to be a useful ally, though.
 

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Byzantine Internationalism would be nearly impossible to pull off in the 19th century, yes! Convincing the world that they should go back to the old Aristocratic ways and willingly accept a ruling class which is viewed by most as outsiders and elitists is definitely against the general trends of the period :)

That's why I'm liking this game though, from an alternate historical period. In the real 1800s there was no great power which was unashamedly aristocratic in the medieval sense of the word AND technologically and industrially advanced. The challenge here will be in seeing this mode of government through the Age of Revolutions... I'm hoping it's possible, I'm not really a pro Victoria player, and only just recently discovered that pops with consciousness 10 raise plurality, and that plurality is bad :eek:

That's part of where my not-so-disguised hatred of liberals come from in part, lol, playing as Prussia as I've done several times I usually have the entire county in martial law lock down from 1840 onwards. That¨s not an option this time however as at last count I had something like 360 provinces in my Empire.

And yep, Europe will be have to be dealt with somehow, the world is getting a lot more crowded, very fast. I expect they'll start colonizing soon as well, in my previous game the UK started doing so in the late 50s, taking Quebec and the coast of Africa.

Al Djazier is civilized, yes, and I might take Italy and Spain back and re-create the old Roman Empire if I get powerful enough to do so! If Germany ever gets all their cores back and elect a full citizenship government however, they'll be a monster, and might be too much to handle.

K, well I'm gonna start playing now, and I'll remember to put in some screens of the Empire and world stats in general, populations, ethnic compositions, etc when I make the next AAR.
 

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Whats that blob between Germany and Hungary?
 

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That's quite an interesting alternate-history setup, but if the original events were left in I can see some very strange and nonsensical things happening.
 

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The Blob is Bohemia-Moravia.

And yes, I was worried about weird events like the US civil war and whatnot... but so far there's been none of that. Maybe it's because a lot of countries are missing, or national provs are missing from others. In any case, the AI seems to be acting surprisingly realistically, with the "Democratic" governments of Germany and UK sticking together in alliance, and even guaranteeing US independence.

I'll look at China's event file though, and cut out the ones that are unrealistic.

I did the same for Greece, I didn't want that Greek Constitution event happening to me... completely unrealistic, given this atlernate timeline. Greece is NOT a little idealistic country about to write a liberal constitution in this timeline and inspire revolutions across Europe... quite the opposite, really :p
 

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In 1854, when it looked like the threat of liberal revolution had subsided for a while, Lucius Invictus and his High Council of the Blood Royal began to look
outwards. With the invention of the telegraph, and with cables now running between most major European capitals (one was even - slowly - being constructed towards China and the Mughal Empire) the affairs of the world were moving faster than ever. Constantinople no longer felt like an island amidst a sea of instability, but rather, it felt like it was at the heart of a ever-growing storm. Twenty seven divisions with brigades of sharpshooters (regulars) were commisioned to act in the role of Imperial power projection, along with clipper transport flotillas. Thirty Arab divisions were commissioned to guard, and police, the regions of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Persia.

The raising of the new armies had happened at an opportune moment.

Europe, it seemed, had split into two warring camps, on one side England, Bohemia, and Germany, and on the other Russia and Hungary, with France joining Russia-Hungary soon afterwards and Sweden joining Germany-England-Bohemia. Both sides sought to get Byzantium to fight on their side, knowing that the entry of the Empire would shift the balance of power decisively to whatever alliance it joined.



Some among the Blood Royal wanted to fight on the German and British side, knowing that they were the strongest, but others rejected any intervention in European affairs.

For sure, if the Empire joined the Germans and British, they could help force a decisive peace, perhaps even vassalizing Russia and letting Germany annex its historic claims among the provinces in the Rhineland. They could also vassalize Hungary, creating a buffer zone against future German expansionism should that happen. The war would be over quickly, in a matter of months at the most, the generals said. None among the military staff suggested intervention on the side of Russia, France, and Hungary, fearing that this would lead to a century of warfare against the more powerful Germans and British, a rivalry which might destabilize the entire Empire and keep them all locked in a Westwards looking direction.

The non-interventionists argued that the Blood Royal were not mercenaries to be hired by foreign rulers, nor were they about to let Imperial Foreign policy be dictated from Berlin or London. Europe was rising, but it was not rising against Byzantium - yet. Why open the can of worms that the political landscape of centuries old grudges between European rivalries had become? Best to let them sort it out amongst themselves and maintain friendly relations with all European states, as the policy had been for a thousand years.In the end, the Emperor Lucius Invictus decided against intervention. Byzantium was not a Western power, and had no desire to become one. Alliances with Germany (a Democracy!) and England (A Constitutional Monarchy) would introduce nothing but undesirable elements to the Empire and its policies. In fact, Germany had even gone so far as to guarantee the independence of the anarcho-liberal exiles who had founded the United States of America, a clear insult to the Blood Royal whose views on that nation were clear to all. Together, those three nations (USA, UK, Germany) represented the very core of the New Age that was dawning, and while it seemed that they had the winds on change on their side, the Empire would certainly never help them move forward faster towards their "liberal" goals. Tradition and honor would supercede political convenience, as it always had in the Empire.

Instead, the Emperor decided on an independent course.

Mare Nostrum, "Our Sea", the Romans had once called the Meditteranean. North Africa would be the first destination of the 27 divisions of the newly raised 1st Imperial Army. AlDjazair (Spain) held the lands around Tunisia and might put up stiff resistance, but the so-called Egyptians in Morocco would be easily conquered. In addition, the strange state of Lucca, where a minority of Italians ruled traditionally Arab-Muslim lands would also be taken.

So it was decided, and so it was done.

Morocco was almost entirely annexed, and all the African provinces of Lucca were also taken... the Byzantines were surprised to find that the Luccan ambassador also offered lands in southern Ireland as part of the final peace deal, but keeping their aristocratic reserve intact, the Blood Royal diplomats accepted as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Since no Byzantines or Blood Royal had bled for these new lands in the North Sea, the Emperor magnanimously told the fishermen of these three poor provinces that they were now free.

"Go forth now onto the stage of history, and build a nation in what manner seems best to you," read the message that the Emperor sent, along with best wishes for the future.

Out of gratitude the Irish offered to become loyal vassals of the Empire, and with honor intact, the Emperor could not refuse though it might lead to future conflicts with the English.



Some years later, in 1858, war was still ravaging Europe. The Germans had knocked Hungary out of the war, were advancing deep into Russia, but were now losing badly on the Western front against France. Britain had signed a white peace with the French. Seeing an opportunity that might not come again, and perhaps still feeling the exhilaration of victories in Morocco and Algeria, the Emperor authorized the 1st Imperial Army to move into Hungary and create a buffer zone against any future European aggression. Normally, this would be against the strict code of honor among the Blood Royal, for they had long had a policy of not interfering in European affairs or acting aggressively towards their Christian brothers, but there were ancient claims which had not been forgotten.

Centuries ago, in the early 1200s, a Prince of the highest ranks of the Blood Royal had been granted dominion of Wallachia. after defeating the Pechenag Pagans that had previously ruled there. Being of a rebellious character, this Prince had naturally rebelled. He was forgiven, since he had been passed over as heir to the Empire in favor of his younger brother (who had better stats :) ) and was left alone and allowed to rule unmolested, even after he committed the cardinal sin of betrayal, swearing allegiance to the King of Hungary. Still, while the Blood Royal may forgive, they never forget. Hungary was invaded and vassalized, and the lands of Wallachia returned to the Imperial Dominions after 600 years of Hungarian control.



While the Empire consolidated these gains, as well as spending time subduing new lands in South America (the "Indians" I colonize have militancy of 9!), the character of the war in Europe changed. Initially, Germany had fared badly, but now they fielded 68 divisions towards the 58 French and 20 Russian. Being invaded by both Britain in the Crimea and Sweden in the north (which had joined Germany) the Russians sued for peace, and the full might of the German army began to move back towards the Western front. They soon forced France to admit a stalemate, and by 1861, after 5 years of war, it seemed that Germany was destined to continue, its stars in the ascendant.

Meanwhile, across the Ocean, word reached the Empire of trouble in the Americas.

The Blood Royal, feeling sorry for the Cherokee nation (whom they considered "noble savages") had helped them lay official claims to the lands west of the Appalachians, while in return they had brokered deals that gave the USA the lands east of the mountains. Disease had ravaged the native Americans upon contact with the Europeans, but in the 100 years since first contact, they had recovered somewhat, and were now a vast confederacy of more or less independent tribes. They were still regarded as "uncivilized", but Blood Royal diplomats had brokered contacts between them and the European powers, and had delineated internationally recognized borders.

((This was a semi-cheat, but according to the rules I set forth, never in my own favor. I colonized several Cherokee and Pueblo cultured provinces, and using

the Neville F12 cheat, I traded them for lands east of the Appalachians and gave these to the USA. This was to give USA a fair chance of being a proper nation. I should also mention that I set the colonial build time to 30 days, since I do want everything to be colonized before the Victoria Era ends. With South America also needing to be colonized, I felt it was too slow being limited to colonizing 4 states at a time as is apparently the rule in the new patch. Also, a massive artillery shortage, and complete lack of steel steamer technology, has so far prevented anyone besides me from doing any colonizing.))



It had obviously been too much to hope for that the same anarcho-liberal scum who had been exiled for rebellion against their betters would respect such an agreement. Greedy for new lands and resources, they declared war upon the Cherokee in 1862. It was no surprise to the Blood Royal. Fully 48% of the U.S population voted freely for a jingoistic, pro-slavery party!



So much for building a new, better world. The mob was cruel, as the Blood Royal had long known. Better to keep power in the hands of the enlightened few. Slavery had been abolished for centuries in the Byzantine Empire!

Due to such horrendous acts of war and oppression (and all in the name of freedom and democracy) the Blood Royal was tempted to intervene military, but this might lead to a wider conflict. Germany had guaranteed the independence of the USA in the past, and might join their alliance, as might the United Kingdom. Though never discussed openly, it was also widely believed among the Blood Royal that having a "safe haven" for liberals wanting to emigrate overseas would be in the best interests of all. The Cherokee were left to their fate, despite the objections of the most honor-bound of the Byzantine Aristocracy, but at least they had a fighting chance. Byzantine diplomats reported that the Cherokee could muster at least half a million braves (irregulars) while the USA could muster some 25 modern divisions, including full-scale mobilization of their reserves. Perhaps the Cherokee could fight to a white peace, at the least.

On the home front, the Blood Royal was succeeding in stemming the revolutionary tide. Notions like Authoritarianism and Traditionalism (culture tech) had helped turn even some of the most liberal clerks towards a more Conservative viewpoint.

((My Pluralism was -5 at some point, but soon advanced back to 0. I wonder if I should continue researching cultural techs... do monarchies usually get events that LOWER pluralism? I'd been avoiding cultural techs because I feared that it would increase it!)

In the East, China had continued growing, with now 125 modern divisions under their command. They had engaged in wars with their neighbors in South East Asia, officially explained to the Byzantines as moves to counter French Aggression (the French had almost all the coastline of Indochina, probably hard coded in their AI to declare war on the minor uncivs there). They had also declared war on the Mughal Empire, taking some provinces in Bangladesh and Central Asia.

This was another "cheat" on my part, I wanted China to dominate Asia so I loaded up and had them declare war on Burma which they annexed, and then the Mughals, with the intention of taking Central Asia and getting closer to Europe. They took one or two in Central Asia (Kazahkstan area) and 3 more in Bangladesh.

Alrighty, well that it for this decade, pretty much. Another quick update will follow with stats of a more statistical nature (duh...) just to give an idea of the state of the world in 1862ish.
 
Last edited:

Blood Royal

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Strange... does anyone know why I can't take F11 screenshots of the ledger stats, like world population comparisons? I can click F11 ten times, but nothing gets saved in the folder, nor does PrintScreen seem to work...

In any case, here's the Byzantine stats at least for 1862, they worked fine.

Ethnic composition:



Form of Government:

 

unmerged(17581)

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Jun 12, 2003
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PrntScrn doesn't work? It really should.
 

Blood Royal

General
37 Badges
Jun 1, 2007
2.223
516
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
No, apparently not. Well, this is a Spanish keyboard on this laptop unfortunately, and it's using English settings on windows, so hang on... let me try some other keys in that general area...

Edit: Nope, pressed every key on the top of the keyboard except F12, and still nothing.