- Aug 1, 2002
Some very kind words. Very kind. But I must protest, often I do see you post before me. As for new threads, I must confess to watching most of the AAR forums to give me an alert for a new thread. Makes it harder to miss new workIt's closing in on Sunday, my time. I've been thinking over this week who deserves the the awAARd for the coming week. There's a lot of worthy candidates. Some have got their recognition recently too.
One was on my mind from day one, but I was sure he would have had the awAARd in his pocket recently. Because this man, and oldtimer like me, seems to be everywhere before I get there. A new AAR? He has posted. A new update? He has posted. Always with a kind word, a much needed encouragement, or a short or long comment showing his continued interest in the story at hand. I initially discarded nominating him, as I was *so* sure he had won lately.
But you know what? He hasn't won for months! (initally I thought since 2014, but it seems the OP is not updated properly ) So it's really time for a rewAARd for his time spent here!
Aliens, if we should have any in our audience.
I present you the Fan of the Week, @stnylan !
In that, you are not aloneThanks a lot! Yeah, I guess I use an ungodly amount of time in here, eh?
It is every time deserved for one of the finest readAARs of our world. Congrats for yet another, my friend!
A belated congrats to Nikolai and a current congrats to stnylan, well deserved gentlemen!
Congratulations, Stnylan! Well deserved, as with all the other times! Your thoughtful comments are always a joy to receive.
Very many thanks all of you.
The motto of my old school was "Go and Do Thou Likewise". It is a motto that I probably fail to live up to as much as I should, but in this place it fits very well. I know how much I like comments in my own AARs. From the very first one I got in MonAARstery Chronicles from @J. Passepartout I wanted more. From that AAR I picked up the habit of commentating from others such as @Storey @Valdemar @Lord Durham @Norgesvenn and others, many no longer with us, though a few still are. It seemed especially natural to comment in other AARs too. I say to myself "If I don't make the effort myself to comment in someone else's AAR, why should they make an effort to comment in mine".
Of course, it frequently is not that easy, with the demands on time, and especially for people for whom English is not fluent. I know I play these games a good deal less than I might, because I choose to spend so much time commentating. However that is a trade-off I am happy to make because I have had the pleasure to discover some tremendously good AARs along the way.
I have said before I consider the "Fan of the Week" to be the highest little accolade this place grants, because whilst the writAARs make the content, it is the commentatAARs who create the community. It is from within this community that I have formed friendships that have stood by my side during some very dark times indeed.
It is traditional to proffer some recommendations on being given this awAARd, a tradition I very much encourage. But what to choose? My Watched Threads list shows dozens of active AARs, and it is not easy to restrict myself (which makes voting for things like the ACA darned hard). Lack of inclusion in the below doesn't mean I like that AAR less. Here goes.
Baltic Lightning: a Grand Campaign AAR [EU4 Branch] by @Centurial
This AAR tells the tale of a Jewish Livonia state that was created in the middle ages (as told by the CK2 portion) and what I find most refreshing about this AAR is its limited nature. This is not a conquest spree. It is an AAR about a nation that feels a good deal more organic, and therefore plausible. We are now entering the latter stages of the EU4 timeline, and Livonia is still locked in a centuries old struggle with Bohemia and the Uyunids, fighting to keep the hope of Star of David alive.
The terristial kingdom of God by @Blust
This AAR has only just started, and is the second AAR by this writAAR. His first was a grand little tale of Wallachia. In this one he is playing The Knights - perhaps he just likes playing small nations facing off against the Ottomans? However, I mention it because if anyone is looking for a new writAAR who crafts a good AAR, this is one that is worthy of support.
The TTTUNA (Tales of Torrid Tunisian Nights Aar) by @fabiolundiense
Tunis is, I think it is fair to say, a rather underplayed nation, even from amongst thos in the Maghreb. What this writAAR is doing is again crafting a tale not of rapacious conquest, but carefully building up their realm. These AARs tend to really get focused on certain struggles, and allow a far greater connection to the world being created. This AAR allows one to view a familiar playground from an unfamiliar perspective.
<<From Augustus the Caesar...>> The Tale of the Tsars by @Khanconette
The level of research into this AAR is impressive by any standard. The introductory post detailing the history of Russia up to game start I would recommend for anyone who has a cursory interest in the Rurikovich dynasty. The AAR starts at an odd starting date compared to most, starting in the year 1580. The idea is to try and prevent the Time of Troubles and take Russia and the Rurikovich dynasty to new heights. A faux history, it is written in a full and engaging style that rewards the time it takes to engage.
Sarig Yogir: Horde at Large [1.22] by @firezatswill9
I might have given the impression above I don't like conquest AARs, but nothing can be further from the truth! They offer different pleasures. This AAR is a very enjoyable romp, currently through Central Asia, India, and Middle East. This AAR comes with a serious health warning though: the borders will hurt your eyes.
Before I recommend anything, can I just say it is wonderful to see just how active the CK2 AAR forum is. Of course partly that is down to the game itself. Paradox games have always been good fodder for making stories both simple and complex, but Crusader Kings with its character-based mechanics is just a gift for such inventions. Add in a collection of wonderful mods, well, the effect is truly wonderful. Indeed, I am going to break this up a little by mods that change the setting (so not HIP or CK2+).
CK2 - Game of Thrones
The Songs of Sheeran - A CKII AGOT Narrative AAR by @EmpireofOne
Inspired by a certain cameo, this AAR I think offers one of the best tellings of the various childhood trait events in CK2 I have ever seen. It is also an AAR from the position of a humble count, doing his best to forge a way in uncertain times.
The Wolves of the Snow - A Game of Thrones AAR by @DaRedMage
This AAR has only recently gotten off the ground. We get an additional Stark sibling, Torren Stark, who seeks to hold the North now the rest of the family is dispersed. If some AARs give us the perspective of Counts, this one grants us the view of a Lord Paramount, trying to retain the land he loves.
Fires of Valyria - AGOT Century of Blood AAR by @LudoOttavio
This AAR uses one of the less utilised start points - just after the Doom has struck Valyria. The Dragonlord Aurion takes up the title of Emperor of Valyria, to salvage something from the wreckage. For all that Aurion is our protagonist, we have yet to have an episode from his point of view, as the author is slowly building up a picture of Aurion, one piece at a time.
Valyrian Steel: A Game of Thrones Mod AAR by @Henry v. Keiper
One of the things that makes the GoT mod so well-loved is doubtless its many start possibilities. This AAR is set against the background of the Dance of Dragons, and features I think the best villain written in AAR-land in quite some time. Cersei? An amateur. The Mad King? Just a doddering old fool. No, true villainy requires something else.
And what happens whe the villain is overthrown? Well, read on and find out with rest of us.
Tainted Blood - A CKII A Game of Thrones AAR by @Captain Waffles
This AAR starts during the first Blackfyre rebellion, telling the tale of a Targyraen cast-off making their way in the world. Another engaging tale showing just how richly imagined Westeros now is in our minds.
CK2 - WtWSMS
WtWSMS stands for When The World Stopped Making Sense. This is a mod that begins in the late 5th and early 6th centuries AD - as the Western Empire collapses. A member of our own AAR community is very involved in its development - @loup99. I haven't played it myself yet, but the handful of AARs out there has seriously whetted my appetite.
WtWSMS AAR: The Old Roman Limes by @abian363
This AAR has only just started, but has me hooked. The title itself intrigued me - the Limes are the old Roman frontiers. To say there is a certain amount of chaos in the world is possibly a minor understatement.
WtWSMS AAR: Dullahan of the East by @iisbroke
This AAR takes place in one of the most fascinating cultures of Classical and Late Antiquity - that of the Galatians. The writer has just completed a wonderful Elder Scrolls mod AAR with an innovative and engaging style, and this AAR looks to be a worthy new effort.
CK2 - Other Mods
The Devils of Jersey - an After the End AAR by @shalmelo
The After the End mod is set in the year 2600 in a post-apocalyptic America. AARs about this period are a delight as much to learn about this strange and curious environment as about the regular gameplay. This AAR posits what happens when you have a devil ruling a post-apocalyptic state? Well, this AAR answers that question, and is wonderful for its detail and irrepresible humour. Be careful, the devil now has a gun.
The Burning Islaes: A Winter King Anglo-Saxon AAR by @wave-man
The Winter King mod is inspired by the books of Bernard Cornwall of the same name, and is set in Western Europe following the collapse of the Western Empire. This particular AAR begins in 489, as Britain is wrenched this way and that by the terror of times.
Dan Kukati and the rebirth of of Qesani by @Zamarak500
There are a lot of clever people in mod developments, and I suspect a certain insanity is required. This AAR makes use of the CK2 Random Map and History Generator to give us a completely new world, with an Empire that was reduced to just its rump and now seeks to expand. The writer does an excellent job of characterising his rulers - who tend to the paranoid, it must be said. He had a nice guy become a ruler - but he died quickly. Even the world changes, CK2 stays the same.
CK2 - Main Game
Before Plantagenet - a House d'Anjou AAR by @JabberJock14
This is a true gem of an AAR, following Foulques, a young man with a burning ambition. Well, nearly twenty pages later and Foulques is far from young, and whilst his ambition burns a little less brightly it burns still. It may yet burn him.
The Eastern Vikings - Baltic Megacampaign Part 1 by @RedTemplar
If I were to tell you an Estonian Viking would not only sack Rome, but sacrifice the Pope, and spend twenty years fighting never-ending civil wars, would you not agree that sounds like a fine tale? Well it is, but it doesn't start like that. From a humble hole in the ground (more or less) comes this AAR, engaging and amusing, with a world that is just as wonderfully confusing as our own.
O Shimmering Isle of Emerald - A Grand Campaign by @B5Alpha
Those Court Physicians can wreck havoc with their honeyed tongues. In this AAR Ireland is led away from St Patrick towards Mecca. But it is a slow thing - the spread of Islam to a new place, and this AAR neatly captures the struggles such a strange event might have caused.
Road of Queens - a CKII India AAR by @Eurasia
It is fair to say India is not entirely well-loved by the CK2 community. In this AAR a Greek warrior-queen descends on a county and takes it, and then has to learn to do civilised warfare and deal with things like truces and whatnot. There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Meanwhile a little Greek Buddhist island is being nurtured, who know if it will last.
The Bold Prince by @coz1
Part 2 of a tale that began with Eadgar Aetheling and now continues with his son. Uhtræd has long been absent from England, an England rent asuner by war when he was a boy. Now middle aged with children grown Uhtræd has returned on his father's death, but he is a different man, and the Kingdom itself has changed. The perfidity of Normans, however, remains ever the same.
Story of the Little Kingdom - Wales AAR by @Janha
Another AAR only just off the ground, set in an underplayed little country. Things don't come easy for Welsh, and now with a long regency they have become that much harder yet.
The White Hart by @jasondroth24
I grew up in Cornwall, which might be why I am partial to this AAR with its tale of Cornish resurgence. But the real reason to read this AAR is the work and effort gone into the battle sequences, which are some of the best I have ever read on these fora. Bursting full of detail and elegant shifts in perspective, the writer takes the battles that the game gives him and turns them into something utterly captivating.
Republic of Sol by @Nikolai
I cannot ignore this engaging tale of Earth, that started 30 years in, charting the Republic's rise and its struggles. There have been more than a few of those.
Stellaris: The Jeremiad by @volksmarschall
So, an AAR written in blank epic verse might sound not for everyone, but I truly encourage you take the time to get to know this one. My one tip - read it in a place you can read it aloud. This is verse, after all. It is designed to be heard.
The Bayvor Hive: Project Soul Search AAR by @CamCam2265
This intriguing tale is in a tale within the tale. There is the study of the Bayvour as they devour other life, and then there is the study of the research team. There are ... oddities ... occuring.
Regere Imperoi Populos: The Romans Bring the Gift of Peace to the Universe by @Uriah
So far they have not yet created a wasteland, which is how one writer once described a Roman's view of peace. That said there have had a hell of a ride - that could even be said to match the travails faced by the republic against Carthage. DQT delenda est.
Arcadia or Bust! A Belgium to Arcadia Divergences AAR by @zealouscub
Divergences of Darkness is a mod that plays with a rather different history, but remains recognisable enough. Here plucky little Belgium is to be found on the East Coast of America, along with Vinland and some other states. But Belgium has a sense of destiny.
L'Empereur est mort: A French AAR by @RossN
I personally think this tour de force is one of the great history-book AARs of all time. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, well, let me just say if I could write a single history-book chapter as well as this writer has, I would be more than a little pleased.
Empire for Liberty: American in the Long Nineteenth Century by @volksmarschall
From one superlative historybook AAR to another. This one takes a less geopolitical approach to the history, writing about movements and little people more than the good and the great. It is a treasure.
Hearts of Iron IV - Kaiserreich
Just like in CK2 I think Kaiserreich deserves a separate entry here. For those that don't know Kaiserreich is a mod with development stretching back to HoI2, positing that Germany won WW1. But all things pass, and the world of 1936 stands on a precipice as everything is about to go to hell ... again.
The Sleeping Giant Awakens: A USA Kaiserreich AAR by @History_Buff
The USA has a difficult time in this AAR, and more often than note descends into a second civil war. This is what happens here, and the writer is telling us the tale of the fightback. Hard decisions have to be made, even harder struggles have to be fought. Perhaps the USA may yet survive. Perhaps.
A Better World is Coming - KR CSA by @vyshan
Another American AAR, but from one of the opposing factions. The larger conflict is echoed in the small focus here, as our protagonists are confronted between the gap between their idealism and the reality.
The Enemy Within - A Kaiserreich Union of Britain AAR by @George_VI
This writer had a great British India KR AAR on the go, that was unfortunately lost to version incompatibility. Such is the live of modded AARs sometimes, but this second AAR shows great promise too. It is early days, the Union of Britain is just being painted in broad strokes. An excellent time to start reading.
Kaiserreich Austria | Habsburg Return! by @SamEskenazi
I don't follow many Let's Plays, for simple reasons of time. I can read quickly - very quickly if I want to. But one can only watch a youtube video at one speed. Therefore I must ration what I can do. I find Aldra Hill (as he is known of Twitch and youtube) has episodes of a most convenient 20 or so minute length. I also think his persona is engaging and useful, and able to laugh at his own mistakes.
Hearts of Iron IV
Red, White and Blood: An American AAR by @xSCAR45
A new-ish AAR telling us the war from the perspective of America with a focus on naval rebuilding. The war has yet to reach American shores, yet it grows closer with each update.
Hindsight 20/20: a Dutch narrative AAR by @J_Master
Time travel and a desperate struggle for survival - there is nothing not to love. But most especially I recommend this now to follow the exploits of the Dutch Armoured Division. They have only been in the field for two updates, and already they are crafting a legacy that will be the envy of all other Armoured Divions for evermore!
Hearts of Iron III
I have only recently dipped my toe in to the HoI3 forums, so I only have one selection here so far.
Early to War: 1936 Germany With Itchy Trigger Fingers (HPP) by @Rensslaer
The author who first came to prominence with Fire Warms the Northern Lands has not lost a step. This is a more gameplay focused effort, as he tries to rush the war. There is some excellent discussion going on in the comments as well.
Likewise, I have only just started to explore this particular cranny of AARland, where Kaiserreich AARs are also prevelant.
Fear God, Honour the King. Canada/British Commonwealth Kaiserreich AAR by @oberstbrooksy
Full of rich detail leading up to the start of the game proper, this delves quite a bit in the backstory of Kaiserreich. It is worth a read just for that, and I look forward to when the gameplay starts.
And that is where I am going to have to stop. I have been writing this post for nearly three hours, and it is now almost 0230. I said I spent a lot of time here, but still this is perhaps excessive. But I wanted to get this post written, to try and give some sense of the myriad and varied AARs being written around our neck of the interwebs. There are AARs I have missed, AARs I would like to have included, but heavy eyes and space means this is where I have give way.
Thank you again @Nikolai for the nomination.
And remember, whilst to view is human, to comment is divine.