• We have updated our Community Code of Conduct. Please read through the new rules for the forum that are an integral part of Paradox Interactive’s User Agreement.


29 Badges
May 16, 2002
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • PDXCon 2017 Awards Winner
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • 500k Club
  • 200k Club
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
1. 1836-1847, Reforms and the Beginnings of Industrialization

In the early 19th century, the world was rapidly changing. The United Kingdom had led the way in the Industrial Revolution and neo-colonialism, now called imperialism, as a response to the Napoleonic wars and her isolation from the continent. With Napoleon defeated, and the balance of power restored, the rest of the empires of Europe followed in her footsteps planting their flags anywhere the local populace would allow.

In the western hemisphere, the United States was still a young child compared to the great powers of Europe. With the proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine, South America as well was allowed to grow on it’s own, no longer under the influence of the once great powers, Spain and Portugal. In the east, China and Japan continued to resist opening to the west, but found this harder and harder in an age of industrial power and European imperialism.

The prime area of European interest was in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands and what was once referred to as the Near East, later to become the Middle East. To most of the West, these nations, if you could call them such, were considered uncivilized and in need of European guidance. Yet many of these entities were once proud empires - the Indian Maharajas, the Chinese and Japanese Emperors, the tribal chieftains of Africa and most of all, the Empire of Persia.

After regaining independence from the hordes of the previous centuries, Persia had re-established itself as a viable nation-state, able to resist further encroachment from the dying Ottoman Empire and the growing appetite of the Russian Tsars. The Shahs had been able to bring cohesion within the people by relying on the strength of the Shiite sect of Islam, while still allowing freedoms of religion for Christians, Jews and others. Yet, as the 19th century dawned, they were rapidly falling behind the industrialized world and would face losing independence without the help of the world’s teacher, the United Kingdom.

In 1836, Spain was involved in a civil war. Belgium was trying to gain freedom from the Netherlands. France, Prussia, Austria, Russia and Sweden were holding the balance of power on the continent of Europe, and together with the U.K. challenging each other to the balance of power in the rest of the world. Mexico and Texas were in a war, joined by the United States in July of that year.

Persia was ruled by the Shah Mohammad, and with the help of the United Kingdom had begun to reform the government and economy. Education, crime fighting and defense were left to decay as the main concern for the Shah was using whatever funds available for developing a solid industrial base in which to support it’s people and possible further claims to it’s surrounding area, namely the Muslim world slowly falling out of the Ottoman’s grasp. Persians were gifted with many natural resources, which they were able to trade on the open market, thus increasing little by little the amount of taxes the Shah could extract from his people.

What army they did have was Jominian in theory and they had very little in leadership, yet their manpower was strong, convincing the Shah that his hopes of future glory were not in vain. However, that manpower base was currently unhappy with the rapidly changing nature of government and increasingly less secure in the safety of religion. Persia was not poor, but her people were. Almost monthly revolts were to be the norm as the Shah and his advisors attempted to move from an agricultural economy to an industrial one. Gaining precious resources from the world market was to be difficult, but not impossible and slowly factories were built to house the small, newly trained class of craftsmen and clerks, many trained by Englishmen.

The Shah attempted to straddle a fine diplomatic line between the British who controlled most of India to the East, and the Russians to the North. He was concerned that the British might gain too much influence and thus wanted other friends that he could turn to in time of need. Further, he felt that by currying favor with the great northern bear, he might stave off possible invasion until such time as he was able to strengthen the defense of his country.

In 1838, another blow was struck to the neighbors of the west, that sick man of Europe – the Ottoman Turks. After attempting to reform their own government and economy, aided by Prussian and British advisors, they were to declare war against their former satellite Egypt, itself once a strong power but since weakened by instability and revolt. Though the British and Austrians supported the Turks, they did not fight with them. Egypt, on the other hand, was assisted by France thus gaining the upper hand. By 1844, peace was struck with the Ottomans giving up several provinces on their border and Egypt claiming to be the new Caliphate, that once great unifying power of the Muslim world. Though a worry to the Shah, he was secure in the notion that no further aggression was aimed at his own country.

Elsewhere around the world, it seemed that the “civilized” nations were strengthening their position. Mexico won their war gaining further territory along the Rio Grande. Spain ended their civil war. The United States forced marched Indians, many to their deaths, into the Oklahoma territory opening up valuable land for settlement. The United Kingdom put down rebellion in their colonies in North America while also gaining strong influence and economic power in China through the opium trade. Even in Persia, museums were opened to rejoice at their proud heritage. Young nobles joined the army giving it much desired leadership to put down revolts. The Shah even attempted to allow criticism of the government in the hopes that providing a voice to the people would convince them to put down their arms and take up the challenge of reform peacefully. [From an event - the press in Persia is state run]

Yet, all was not secure as Persia was to witness the wrath of the United Kingdom if their will was not obeyed. The Chinese had grown increasingly disillusioned with the British as she saw her peasants fall further under the influence of opium. The commissioner of Guangzhou finally declared opium imports unlawful in 1839 thus causing the British to declare war that same year. However, this was to prove a disastrous effort. By 1842, the British had to face defeat at the hands of the Chinese. They were still ably to develop the opium trade, but their influence and power in Chinese territory had waned considerably.

This was not the only incident that gave hope to those that wished to thwart European imperialism. The Japanese refused a Dutch envoy hoping to open Japan up to free trade. Annam continued to isolate itself from the Christian world, even fighting the French to a status quo peace in 1842, perhaps aided by the lack of stability in France herself. Burma would stand up to further European encroachment in 1846 with all the great powers of Europe ignoring its blatant hostility. Things began to look good for those nations not considered civilized by Europe. The Shah even decided to show off his small but trained army in a great parade in Teheran in 1840. He assumed that even though he could not use it, perhaps a show might dissuade those wishing to show aggression against Persia.

The United States, though considered civilized, was still not considered on par with Europe. Yet they were to continue their march to continental dominance. Annexing Texas as a state in 1842, they would go back to war when Mexico re-opened hostilities in 1843. Working diplomatically with the British, they would fight the Mexicans to a standstill and agree on treaties dealing with land in the northeast of the American continent, first the Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1843 and then settling the northern border at the 49th parallel in the Oregon Treaty of 1846.

Europe itself would see unrest as the mid-century approached. Austria was forced to include more and more minorities in everyday government. And the monarchies of Europe would be forced to face growing desire for liberalism when the Greek Constitution was put into place in June of 1844. Even the Poles began to reassert their desire for independence pushing Russia, Austria and Prussia for such in 1846, though failing in their attempt.

By the year 1837, Persia was confident that the ongoing reforms would eventually allow her to take her place among the great powers of the world. Rebellion seemed to be slowing down. Money was being spent on education and raising the rate of literacy. Factories were filling up with skilled workers producing glass and steel. The great European powers seemed to be struggling in their own right thus giving security to those civilizations wishing to maintain their autonomy. The Shah, approaching the end of his life, felt confident in his hopes for the country and her people. Though unrest still abounded, he knew that his mission would eventually succeed and Persia would once again find her glory.
Last edited:
Good luck on your AAR as Persia! I suggest you annex the two Baluchi states south of Afghanistan after your revolts die down. After all, why not use your Arabic and Baluchi state-cultures to make your own empire! Be careful of Russia though!
Notes and Introduction:

Patch 1.01

I bought the game soon after it was released and have played games with USA, Bavaria (really fun game), Argentina and now Persia. I was just testing out the game and figuring out how to play, but I had such a good time with Persia that I had to share. My techniques may not be sound quite yet (if they ever are) and I have yet to try a game on 1.02, but given that, I felt I did pretty good with this one.

It has been played in its entirety; so offering suggestions as to what to do next are rather moot. But as this is a country that I have limited knowledge on, any feedback on errors and/or events is welcome. Also, I only have save games from 1891 onwards so screenshots will be limited. I do apologize for that, but I did not decide to write up an AAR until a few days ago and the game was finished over a week or two ago.

I plan on writing a two-leveled AAR. You will get updates on the action of the game, including OOC notes when needed for further understanding and then I plan on writing a few interludes in which I attempt to write on a more fictitious level. If you have perused my previous attempt at an AAR, you will be somewhat familiar with this technique. I find it difficult sometimes to get into completely character driven AAR's simply because they require an immense amount of time and effort to read them and understand the inner workings of the game. This does not mean that I dislike them. Quite the contrary, I find them quite fascinating. I just don't have the time to read them all and I imagine many of you do not either.

For this reason, I will try to offer both historical entries for those that simply wish to follow the game play and then some more in depth character driven entries for those that enjoy alternate history fiction. I doubt I will be able to rise to the level of many from this forum, but I will try. In that effort, I may make mistakes or mischaracterize certain people, events or mindsets from the period or culture as I am not from there nor do I intend on doing copious amounts of research to get it "just right." I will do some because I don't wish to seem like an idiot and I think it's necessary to understand this history (even if it does diverge from RL), but if you find something completely wrong or out of character for this region/religion/culture please do not hesitate to point it out.

On a final note, I will try my hardest to complete this baby. I feel very badly that I was not able to complete or even sufficiently wrap up my previous attempt at an AAR (listed below) and do not wish to duplicate that here. I thank anyone that reads this right here and now, as I know how difficult it is to follow every AAR on this forum. If I can gain any amount of readership, it will have been a success.

Let me know if you have any questions on settings or game play. Things go rather slowly at first, but they will pick up - believe me. ;)

Edit - also, I did not see a monthly update thread in the Victoria forum, so Stroph1, if you are reading this, I'm starting a new AAR. :) If I need to post that elsewhere, please let me know. Thanks.
December 1847

As the sun was setting, the Shah Mohammad was just finishing his evening prayers and in struggling to lift himself from the ground realized that he did not have much longer to live in this world. Soon, he would go to meet Allah. Did he have the strength to continue until that time? He did not know.

The Shah was not an old man, yet his years in power had brought aging upon him years ahead of his forty-year-old body. He found his strength giving out on him when he should still have plenty of spring in his step. Sometimes he was nearly unable to walk yet his mind was as vigorous as any young man. He had studied briefly at Oxford in his earlier years while his grandfather was Shah. He was able to sit in on classes as a favor to Sir Peter Strachen, a highly respected diplomat given a post in Esfahan in late 1795, in order to gain favor with Fath’Ali. Well educated, Mohammad Shah was always open to new ideas that might further wishes that his native country might regain the former prestige it previously held in the world. He recalled studying the famous Kings of ancient Persia – Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes. He longed for the days that the former empire might once again be feared and respected.

This was the Persia that converted the great Alexander. This was the Persia that warred with ancient Greece. Yet this was also the Persia that lost all to the Mongol hordes, the Persia that was just now beginning to find itself again. Would it be able to? He did not desire such a strong influence for the British, yet he welcomed Sir Strachen at his residence and he hoped that he could learn all Sir Strachen could offer before leaving this world.

As he shuffled to his bedding, he heard the guards outside turn the key to his room and enter. Without looking up, he asked,

“What cause requires such an interruption at this hour?”

“The honorable Sir Peter Strachen, my lord,” came the reply.

“Well, then let him pass.”

Sir Peter entered the room as delicately as the Shah might have. After all, Sir Peter had the advantage of a good twenty-five years over the king. Shuffling to a chair situated to the side of the Shah’s bedding, the aging British Lord sat and closed his eyes for a moment. After resting, he said,

“Most honorable Shah. It is kind of you to receive me at this hour. I recognize your prayers are most important to you as they should be for any man of spiritual need. But I fear I have been recalled by home office. I shall have to take my leave shortly and I shant be back again I am afraid.”

“This is most unwelcome news, my good friend,” the Shah replied. Sitting up, he was now able to take full stock of the old Englishman. He could see the well-worn years in his face and understood that it was not the home office calling him back. It was most assuredly his age and desire to die on English soil that pushed the issue.

“Whatever shall I do without your wise guidance and expertise my good man?” The Shah asked Sir Peter.

“I should think you have had enough of my wisdom, sir. After all, you no longer fear for your life, do you? Your people begin to take to our ideas, do they not?”

“It may be so, old Strachen. But yet, I still feel a sense of unease if I should leave before we have achieved that ultimate goal.”

“And what goal should that be, eh?”

“Well, I hesitate to say for fear you might warn your Queen. We should have the entire British navy at our largest port before sundown tomorrow had you all the knowledge in my head.”

“Ahh, you mean to conquer the world, is that it?”

“Quite,” replied the Shah in a humor both the men knew well. Sir Peter rose to his feet and went to a table filled with fruits and meat. Taking a small portion into his mouth, he chewed for a moment and then spoke,

“Most honorable Shah. I should not think of leaving you totally unarmed against the rising tide of rebellion, if you feel that is the ultimate course. I have instructed my son to stay by your side and that of your successors until he too meets his maker. As you well know, he has been raised in the environment of this great culture and I dare say not even Alexander himself took to it as strongly.”

“He is a very smart young man, old friend. But I dare not deprive you of your prodigy. He is meant for great things, this lad. How could he ever achieve them in our meager world?”

“He shall surprise you, of that I am certain. He is a true Englishman, there is no doubt about it, but as so many before him have realized, being English does not require one to live on the island. Being an Englishman means being of the world, does it not?”

“Some might say being of the world means being an Englishman.”

“Quite, though I dare not be so forward as that. It is simply his mindset that keeps him here. He was offered a post in Delhi last fall and turned it down. He is too much taken by this world of yours to leave it for another. He shall find his calling here, if anywhere.”

“Well, I cannot turn down such a bright star. He will be well looked after, of that I can assure you.”

“I would expect nothing other from my most trusted friend. Trust me, good sir, I will be in constant contact and will advise as best my rattled brain provides me, and the wind to carry it. But I must see my Lucy once more before God and I meet, and I would feel most at a loss were I to travel onwards without spying our wondrous Victoria just once more.”

“Would that my subjects fawned over me as yours do that giant of a woman. Do you have any words before your departure that have not yet been offered, good Peter?”

“Only this, my Shah. Let your people be free. A mind cannot fulfill it’s potential if burdened by chains. I understand your devotion to scripture and need to remain pure to your God, but do not ever forget that we pray to the very same deity and thus must always give credit were credit is due. These are not heathens we speak of, these are human beings. Wonderful human beings whom I’ve had the pleasure of dining with many times. I should be very sad to think that they might never experience true freedom as we British have for so many years. I dare not say your culture is better or worse than mine. Only that we have shown the results of a freed mind as opposed to one always at the whim of a tyrant.”

“Do you suggest that I…”

“Allow me to finish, good sir. It is simply a matter of perception. All too often the uncivilized have remained thus because of the need for those in power to keep them in this position. Were this to be the state of things forevermore here, you and yours should never know true respect and prestige in the world. The people of Persia, err…Iran, pray pardon my Shah, the people of Iran are bright people. They carry a rich heritage in their memories and it would simply be a shame were it to remain there. But you must give them the opportunity to prove this; else you doom them to the life of the Turk. And this would be truly sad, and wasteful I might add.”

“I understand your meaning and pray to Allah that your words are just and true. I have no desire to throw my people into bondage. This they have suffered under for too long. Would that we were young men again and could witness what shall become of this world into the next century.”

“Speak for yourself, my good man. I dare say, I have seen enough of this mortal coil, what, what? I shall be grateful to take my leave of this liberty and find one much more satisfying in the world beyond. We shall be able to see all at such time, do you not agree? Surely your Allah allows such pleasure.”

“Trust in that, yes, trust most certainly in that.”

“Well, I have disturbed you enough for one evening. I do beg your forgiveness once again for my lateness and know that I shall see once again before I am off.”

“I would have your ship turned around and returned to me if you did not, sir. But know how grateful I am to you and all that you have done for me and my people. Sir Peter Strachen, if no one has ever told you, you are a man among men.”

“I am an Englishman sir, is this not a given?” Sir Peter replied with a wry smile. With that, he slowly moved to the door and giving a final tip of the hat, was off. The Shah reclined once again and pondered his lifetime. Slowly drifting into a slumber, he recalled many a day spent with Sir Peter, both in England and back at home. His last thought before succumbing to sleep was,

“If only it were so that it was a given with all Englishmen. Sir Peter surely towers above them all.”
Last edited:
Semi-Lobster - quick on the draw, aren't you? ;) Posting my notes last night while you responded so I did not see it until later. Thanks for checking this out so soon after my initial post. As you can tell from my notes section, the game is already played, but you will be happy to know I followed the very same strategy. Don't want to give too much away, but you are spot on - those cultures do come in handy. :)
A few more notes:

One, I wanted to provide a glimpse of the starting position of Persia in 1836.

I just fired up the game and took a screenshot to give you an idea of where it was compared to everyone else.

Also, I thought some of you might like to take a look at a picture of Mohammad Shah:

He does not look that old, but in my world he is far older than his years would suggest. I am allowed some poetic license, am I not? After all, this is alternate history.
Last edited:
February 1848

As the fourth son of Mohammad Shah, and the first surviving male offspring, Nasir al-Din was due to succeed his father as Shah of Persia. Mohammad Shah had died in middle age, due to a disease that no doctor could precisely identify. Some had called it the will of Allah that he should die at such an age after forcing unwanted reforms upon his people, but those that benefited mourned the passing of the late Shah as a man who brought the beginnings of modernity to the stagnating Persia.

Nasir al-Din sat at a small table in his main hall contemplating his next move.

“Well, good king? Do you think you can get out of this one?” asked the young man sitting opposite him. This was Henry, the son of Sir Peter Strachen. He, like the Shah, was also the fourth son of his father, yet all of his brothers, save one, were still very much alive and doing rather well for themselves. His one deceased brother had died in a skirmish during an uprising in Ireland during the previous decade. Being the youngest, Henry had looked up to all of his brothers, yet the loss of Stephen, the oldest, was still very much on his mind.

“Have patience, Strachen. The Shah will move when the spirit moves him and this has not happened yet,” Nasir al-Din responded.

“Perhaps this is because there is no feasible move for the spirit to contemplate, eh?”

“Do not be so rash, good sir. I will best you yet.” As Nasir al-Din continued to stare at the chessboard in front of him, a flurry of activity began to gather in the hall. Approaching the young Shah-to-be, Mirza Taqi, the boy’s advisor and constable, spoke,

“My king. The crowds begin to gather in the capital in anticipation of this afternoon’s ceremony. The Imam’s are prepared to give blessing and all other arrangements have been made. Is there anything I can do for my lord to help with his majesty’s words to the people?”

Without looking up, Nasir al-Din replied,

“Thank you my loyal servant. But no, I have prepared them already and do not plan on changing a thing. We will continue to see to the reforms my father started, whether the clergy likes it or not.”

“I understand, my Shah. There is also the question of titles to be bestowed on the family of his majesty. We have gone over most of them, but there is one…well, I hesitate to mention it at such a time but…”

“Good Mirza, you will be honored as well. Trust in that. You shall be my prime minister and serve me as dutifully as you served my father before me. I grant you the title Amir Kabir and trust that you shall live up to all that is required of such an honor.”

“May Allah continue to bless his majesty’s health, my king. I apologize for even speaking on it.”

“Do not worry yourself. I understand your apprehension. Did you think I had forgotten how you have tutored me and ensured my succession? I shall never forget your steadfast loyalty.”

Mirza Taqi glanced at Henry Strachen as the Shah spoke these words. Henry could not tell, but it appeared as though the minister was trying to say something to him with his expression. What was it? Did he fear that Henry had more of the Shah’s ear than his own prime minister? Henry would not mention it to the Shah, but would keep it in the back of his mind. Better to be safe than sorry. Times of change in the ruling body of a country was always a time of consternation and intrigue if the succession was at all questioned. Though Persia was ruled on the hereditary principle, the Qajar dynasty was a prolific one and there were never shortages of those that might challenge the new Shah for leadership.

As Mirza Taqi moved away from the table, Nasir al-Din spoke after him,

“Make sure I have been notified when the banquet is over so I may have enough time to prepare for the ceremony.”

“It is as you wish, my lord,” Mirza Taqi responded. Henry eyeballed the young man opposite him as the Shah continued to peruse the chessboard in front of them.

“Does the Shah have any wishes for his humble servant, Henry Strachen, during these days of succession?”

“You are kind to ask, my friend, but simply by being by my side and giving me your counsel is enough. I do not suspect the times ahead to be peaceful, and I shall need someone who has the knowledge and experience of the Strachen clan. This is assistance enough for a young ruler.”

“All you need do is ask, my friend. My father has taught me well the ways of diplomacy and government. Any expertise, however limited, is at your disposal at all times.”

“What have I done that Allah should bless me with such skilled men to help me guide this great country into her most gloried age? I do not know, but I feel confident that with this knowledge, Iran may finally become the land my father and great-grandfather envisioned. By the way, have you heard from your august father yet? Has he made it safely to the shores of your homeland?”

“I have not, your majesty. He was to stop on the continent before arriving in London. Our Queen never tires of enlisting envoys into service even if their time in service has expired. He should be back home in a fortnight, I suspect. I look forward to his letter when he arrives. I know my mother will be joyful at his return for she has too long done without the men in her life.”

“Most incredible, the women of your country. I doubt our women would have such strength and fortitude.”

“Begging your pardon, sir, but if you allowed them such, they might surprise you.”

“Do you compliment me? It does not seem such.”

“As I said, good king, I do beg your pardon.”

“Then it is given. But be careful that others at court do not hear the tone in which you take, for they might be emboldened to do the same. I should not like to start my reign as Shah with a stoning.”

“As I am sure you hear all too often, it is as you wish,” Strachen replied with a smile reminiscent of his aged father. He watched the young king place his finger on the rook to his left, lift it and place it down on the board and then move it back.

“Oh, for the love of God, Allah and all other things holy. Can you not move?”

“Patience. I tell you patience, Henry. Rome was not built in a day, is this not what they say? If I am to conquer you, I shall have to be most wise and skillful. It does take time to form the best move, don’t you know?”

“Yes, and I have three more waiting depending on the mistake you make next.”

“Well, since you are obviously far better prepared than I, perhaps you would bring me that book over there. I think you should find some interesting reading while I formulate my next push,” the Shah said pointing to the bookshelf along the east wall.

“And let you cheat while I’m not looking?”

“Do you suggest, sir, that I…”

“I speak in jest, good Shah. But I shall keep my eye on you,” Henry said as he stood and walked to the bookshelf. The book the Shah requested was a book on astronomy by a Prussian scientist. It was a study of the cosmos and had recently been updated due to the discovery of Neptune two years prior.

“Very interesting reading, sire. I wonder if we shall ever know the true nature of all that is out there,” Henry asked as flipped through the pages.

“I should think we never will, else what would be the point of inquiry anymore? If we knew it all, where is the mystery then? Where is the drive to learn more?”

“In your religion and mine, we know we shall never know the truth until we pass from this world, yet we continue to have faith and wonderment at it all, do we not?

“Yes, but our immortal souls are at stake. I think that calls for continued observance and reverence, else we find ourselves heretics burning with the other souls in hell. Still, I knew you would be interested in the man’s book even if to denigrate his work.”

“On the contrary, I find it fascinating. But when there is still so much to discover here on Earth, I see little point in spending so much time worshipping stars.”

“Dear Henry, always so serious and practical.”

“Perhaps, but that has not harmed my endeavors thus far. I trust this behavior will continue to benefit my actions.”

“Let us hope so, but for now…you, sir, are in checkmate.”

“Blast!” Henry exclaimed as he looked over the board to make sure he had not missed anything and realizing that his hand was finished admitted defeat, “Good show, old boy. Good show.”
2. 1848-1860, Reform and Revolution

As the year 1848 began, Persia found herself mourning the death of the Shah Mohammad. The Shah’s son, Nasir al-Din was to be the next ruler. He was very much of the same mindset of his father. The reforms of the previous decade would continue. To the outside world, Persia seemed to be catching up and becoming civilized, yet to the people of Persia, especially the clergy and religious fundamentalists, this was not a good thing. Militancy would rise in this year causing unprecedented unrest and rebellion. One province after another would fall to the rebels and for a time, it appeared that the Shah should fear for his life.

Europe, at the time, was preoccupied with Prussia’s growing appetite for more territory, as shown by their invasion of Slesvig-Holstein. Though Austria would back down in this crisis, Hannover would come to Prussia’s aid and eventually take land of their own. The rest of the European governments watched on as the German giant slowly awoke. Though Prussia would reject the request of the smaller German states to take the mantle of King of Germany at the Frankfurt Assembly of 1849, many felt that it was only a matter of time before they would be forced to face down the hungry state.

In that same year, after five separate revolts in the capital of Teheran, and half the country under rebel control, the Shah was forced to listen to the leaders of the rebellion. To the outside world, it appeared that Persia had suffered a revolution, but this was not entirely the case. It was true that the Shah was to lose some of his power, especially allowing a public assembly to meet and handing over much of the government’s role previously held in the name of the Shah, but the Shah’s trusted prime minister, Amir Kabir, would yield much of that power and he was most certainly still beholden to al-Din.

Once the reformation of government itself was underway, Nasir al-Din actually found it far easier to carry out many of the reforms he desired. He now had the voice of the people, in the form of the assembly, as an ally in his attempts. Though many groups would still question the need for certain changes, with worker strikes and farmer uprisings normal, the Shah could always say that it was not just the will of Allah but also the men that made the laws.

Further, it was becoming easier to move troops around the country due to the experimental railroad being built slowly in every province. Begun in 1849 in the capital of Teheran, a network of railroad was to cover the country by 1856. Improving the infrastructure too, the people began to applaud the work of the Shah and the people’s assembly. In fact, freedom of movement was to be increased to the point that in February of 1850, a colony was set up in northeast Persia in the province of Geok Tepe. Though merely small villages with a fortification close by for protection, it was the first sign of expansion for the country, now considered civilized and independent to the rest of the world.

Nasir al-Din and his advisors, namely the aforementioned prime minister and the young Englishman, Henry Strachen, would continue to develop the relationship with their neighbor to the north, improving relations with Russia on a constant basis. Not only was fear of invasion behind this, but also that Russia had begun to colonize Central Asian territory as well and the Shah did not wish to ruffle too much of the bear’s fur.

As the mid-century dawned, vast changes were taking place across the globe. Brazil had ended the slave trade in 1850. The USA had sent Commodore Perry to open Japan to trading, this time succeeding where the Dutch had failed. They also won the 2nd and 3rd Mexican-American Wars, extending their western territory through modern day New Mexico.

The United Kingdom had declared a short war against Russia when the Russians were attempting to incite nationalism in the Balkans, thus worrying the Ottoman’s and others of a pan-Slavic movement. It was to last only a short while with no territory changing hands, but it was clear that the British would stand up to anyone trying to disrupt the balance of power, especially Russia as they continued to gain more territory on the Black Sea. Yet the British were also fine connoisseurs of foreign goods and practices, hosting the World Fair in 1851.

Yet it was still Prussia that gave most ruling parties pause when they incorporated the smaller German states into the conservative empire of Germany in the spring of 1851. Within two years, France would find themselves at war with the newly formed empire. Beating them to the punch, Russia began the 1st Crimean War in May of 1852 against the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom and tiny Serbia with only Sweden as an ally. Even China would begin the practice of expansion as she declared war against and shortly annexed the small state of Ladakh late in the same year.

But reform was still in the air the world over. The United States would see their struggles increase due to their slave population, and the Russians would begin a steady program of reform of their own under Alexander II. Even tiny Oman would be forced to grant the independence of Zanzibar at the death of their latest Sultan.

By the time 1857 came and went, Germany would face defeat at the hands of the French and Belgians handing over choice border provinces, Russia would be declared a winner gaining further territory in the Caucasus and at home Persia would be faced with underground newspapers attempting to criticize the government, traitorous generals hoping to overthrow the Shah and many new discoveries that both excited and worried the people and ruling elite of the country.

The development of new medical treatments, professionalism in the army, the practical steam engine and a form of stock exchange would be beneficial to the well being and growth of Persia. Yet for all its positive effect, there was still unhappiness in the lower class as they found themselves working longer hours for less pay. Coming to a head in 1859, the commissioner of Tabriz was assassinated by a Kurdish nationalist in July.

In 1860, unrest and instability seemed to cover the globe from sea to sea. Though Persians were excited to learn of theories in art and science, namely the new expressions of romanticism and Darwinism, unrest abounded, and Nasir al-Din Shah would wonder if his people would ever appreciate fully what he was attempting to do. But he and his advisors could see the growth of the tax base and were encouraged to begin building up the military in the hopes that soon they would be able to flex their muscles and stake their claims on the surrounding land that the Shah felt belonged as part of greater Persia. Only time would tell if his hopes and dreams were to come to fruition.

OOC - In regards to the revolution, a rather strange thing happened. I continued to be ruled by the Shahist Faction, but the government type changed to a proletarian dictatorship. So I guess I was supposed to be communist, but the Shahist Faction remained a conservative government. In the story outline, I used the assembly idea to get the point across that the people had much more say in the daily workings of the government. It may not be precise, but makes for a better storyline and makes a bit more sense given the country.

I cannot tell if this happened correctly in regards to the game mechanics or if perhaps I encountered a bug of some sort. It would make sense, that I would not become communist as that was not yet a viable idealogy (at least in real life) and the fact that Persia would still remain influenced by powerful clergy, yet I find it somewhat incredible that this game could mirror such minor details depending on the country. I am constantly in awe of the game mechanics, be they good or bad (and there are both), but I have doubts that this was the case. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I sure as hell would not have wanted to go communist at this or any other time of the game. But it was certainly strange and in some ways may explain some other inexplicable situations that occur later (of which I will detail at such time as they become necessary.) Anyway, if anyone else has experienced this with Persia or another country, please share your ideas as to what may be the cause.

Also, on an unrelated note, you may notice that I tend to go back and forth with the use of Persia and Iran. From my education, I was taught that Persians think of themselves as Iranians (which is why they changed the official name to Iran in the 20th century) but as a westerner I have always known the historical name as Persia. I tend to use this more often since this is the name used for the country in-game and for ease of understanding, but I will from time to time utilize Iran in the Interludes when a person from the region is speaking of their own country. I may not be perfect all the time, as I may forget, but I will try to maintain some form of continuity.
Mr Kaputt, gzav and Semi-Lobster - thanks for the compliments and for reading.

Semi-Lobster - no, I have not downloaded 1.02 yet. Considering some of the immense negative feedback it received and the fairly quick patch updates Johan and company provide, I was kind of hoping patch 1.03 might surface before I ever got around to getting 1.02. I have hesitated playing Prussia and any Italian state in 1.01 just because of the issues involved with their forming. I guess I am trying to hold off until some of the other aspects are addressed before climbing onto the next patch. I may just have to suck it up and give it a try though.

Perhaps after I finish this, which shouldn't take too terribly long, I might do an interactive AAR with 1.02 so you kind souls can follow along as I make mistakes learning the changes.

Anyway, thanks again for reading one and all. :D
I'm trying to get my screenshots to show in the actual thread, rather than making you link to it, but I seem to be having a bit of trouble. It will show up one minute and then give me the old x-box the next time I log on. Not sure what the issue is, but if anyone has any ideas, I'd me most appreciative. I've been playing around with the screenshot techniques suggested by LD and others, but some of it's rather new to me and thus may not work quite right at first. Hopefully I will get it right eventually. :)

Edit - I am hosting my screenshots at anycities. Is it considered leeching their bandwidth if I use the .jpg stored there? The pictures seem to show up as long as I am logged in over there, but the moment I log out there and refresh here, the screenshots go away again. Argh! :confused:

Edit 2 - Well, screw it. I'm just gonna have to have you link to them until I figure out what's going on. Rather have you see them with an extra step than risk them not showing at all. How do you guys get your screenshots inside the AAR rather than linking to them?

And here I was all excited that I could have a purty lookin' AAR like the rest of you guys. :( Should at least have an update for you later in the day or tomorrow.
Last edited:
July 1860


Henry Strachen peered over the edge of the boat and looked down into the murky waters of the Mediterranean Sea. He was slightly drunk due to that evening’s celebrations. Henry Strachen was now 30 years old, the age of his oldest brother at his death. Invited by one of his closest friends, Alain Herold, on a six-week vacation aboard his private boat, they had recently docked near the ancient Egyptian city of Alexandria and had begun festivities without waiting for the anchor to hit the sea floor.

Alain Herold had been an associate for several years now. Strachen had first met him while traveling to Egypt on a mission for the Shah. Over the years, they had become fast friends. Herold had even named his first-born son, Henri, after him. Recently, it had been difficult to keep in touch with his old friend, so he jumped at the chance to spend time with Alain and his friends. Henry had grown tired and had come outside to think. He knew Alain would come to find him eventually, but he was content to wait on the deck for him to finish dancing with a rather saucy young thing. She was someone’s sister or cousin. He could not remember.

Henry watched the waves splash against the side of the boat and it made him think of a philosophy class he had attended as a youth. He remembered the idea of the ebb and flow – that the Eastern religions had always taught that life was in constant flux. One minute you are up, and the next you are down. He remembered thinking very deeply about it at the time and had decided to try and live his life in such a manner. But he could not get his brother’s face out of his mind.

Sneaking up behind Henry, Alain Herold placed a scarf over his eyes and said in a fake feminine voice,

“Guess who?”

“Alain, are having fun yet,” was all Henry could think to say.

“This is not the question, mon amie. The question is, are you?”

“Well of course. You’ve no idea how nice it has been to get away from my work and relax on this trip. I cannot thank you enough for your invitation.”

“Then why are you out here when you could be inside dancing the night away with some beautiful mademoiselle?”

“I just got tired for a moment, that is all. I shall return soon enough after I catch a few breaths of fresh sea air. Besides, I’m not much of a dancer.”

“Well, neither is Sabine, yet that has never stopped her from trying. I do admit, however; she is far better on her back than her feet,” he said with a smile. Not registering a response from Henry, Alain continued,

“What is it, mon amie? What is this blue mood you have brought on board my boat? Don’t you know it is not allowed? All ill moods are to be checked on the dock. Only fun and good cheer are allowed.”

“I am sorry, Alain. It is this damned crises with the Russians that bothers me.”

“Surely you jest? Your Queen will honor her word and we shall assist. I have assurances from my government. It shall be over before we even get there. Mon Dieu, Henry – it has barely begun. Even the Austrian dogs are lining up to take pot shots at the tsar. Why should this trouble you so?”

“It is war, my friend. And personal memories…my brother…”

“Ah yes, Stephen. You have told me about him. But he is gone. There is nothing you can do about this now. He is in a happier place and died heroically. What more could you ask given the circumstances?”

“You are right, I know. But sometimes it is difficult to simply allow life to happen. Sometimes I feel like pushing against the tide and not settling for whatever may be.”

“Ah, this way is madness. You should be swallowed by the ocean were you to push so hard. She is not a forgiving mistress…but there are plenty inside. Why don’t you come in and push against them, eh?”

“Always the gentleman, eh Alain?”

“If I am not, who will be?”

“You do make me smile, my good friend. I am sorry for ruining your party.”

“But this is your party, not mine. You are only ruining it for yourself. And you need not do so. If Sabine is not to your liking, perhaps Monique…or, dare I suggest, Letitia. She is Corsican. She is wild. She will conquer you as Napoleon did the Germans, eh? How about it?”

“I say, Alain…for a happily married man, you sure do find enough time to satisfy your mistresses. I don’t know how you do it.”

“It is nothing. We French enjoy life. What is it for, if not that? You should not be so serious all the time. Perhaps you would be married right now…and have a mistress.”

“It is rather difficult to do either at the Persian court.”

Recognizing that he could not interest Henry in the party, Alain began walking with him down the deck of the ship.

“Ah yes, this most important post. What keeps you there my friend? You could easily come to France and spend far more time with my family and me. We would love to see you all the time and Henri misses you greatly. By the way, the kite you sent for his birthday fascinated him. He has not stopped playing with it since. I fear that though Persian silk is very fine indeed, even it must fray eventually.”

“I am glad he enjoyed it. But I stay there because I believe in what I am doing. The Shah is an important man. I should think my lifetime will be worth it if I can assist him in bringing that country into the modern world.”

“From what I understand, you already have. The Persians do not seem such a poor folk anymore. The ones I have met seem quite western, indeed. Perhaps this is your influence?”

“I dare say I am unable to influence an entire country. But I have let the Shah know much about our world. Of course he doesn’t really need much of my help in that regard. He is most attentive to the latest fashions, the newest theories. He is willing to try anything, though I sometimes wonder what his ultimate goal really is.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, he talks quite a bit about his neighbors and how they are such poor people. I cannot argue with this, but I fail to see his interest unless he feels he can do something about it. And what could that be?”

“I haven’t the faintest clue.”

“He means to take control there, that is what he can do about it.”

“Would this be so bad, really? Surely your country and mine feel likewise. Don’t we do the same? India, China, Africa?”

“Yes. It is so. But Persia is different, Alain. They are a young country. We are old. We have the benefit of hundred’s of years of colonialism to guide us. We understand what it means to deal with indigenous people. Does he?”

“Again, I am at a loss for words.”

“First time for that, old friend.”

“Ah, you mock me. Here I throw you a fantastic party and all you can do is stay out here and make fun of your friend. What is this?”

“Please forgive me, Alain.”

“I joke with you, as the Americans say. You must cease this useless worry. And I know just the thing…”

“I’m sure you do. But it’s more than just worry. Here we are facing a war with the Russians, who sit directly on the border with Persia. They know what kind of relationship Her Majesty has with the Shah. They know that we support Persia. What would stop them from attacking?”

“Perhaps the combined might of Britain, France and Austria. It is just a thought.”

“Now you mock me. But you are right. If we can defeat them swiftly, they will not be able to do such. You are right.”

“Of course I am. And I am right that you should be dancing with Sabine right now.”

“Sabine? What about Letitia?”

“I only said that to get you to come inside,” Alain said with a frown.

“Is it not my birthday?”

“Yes, you are correct. You shall have the time of your life and ride that fair Corsican until the dawn, eh? Come on, or she will find someone else. I have never known Letitia to wait for any man, not matter how big he is…that is I mean, how important he is.”

“Yes, I’m sure that’s exactly what you meant.”

“Well, let us see how “important” she thinks you are, eh”

“Sold. I say, Alain, you’re quite the salesman, don’t you know.”

“If you believe that, I have a dog you might like to see.”

The two men laughed as they walked inside to rejoin the party. Henry was confident that he would be important enough for Letitia. But was he important enough for Persia and the Shah? That was the question. For if he was not, Persia might face a war sooner than she desired.

Later that evening, as Henry lay in his bunk, he fell asleep to the sweet scent of Letitia on his body and the sour stench of war on his brain. Letitia’s scent would win out this time, but he knew this would not always be so. Best go with the ebb and flow and enjoy while he could, he thought to himself.
Last edited:
3. 1860-1865, War and Peace

The year 1860 would see the great powers of Europe go to war. The term “world war” had not yet been invented, but this was as close to total war as the world had seen since the late 18th century. Once Russia had started the Crimean war against the Ottoman Turks, the British were forced to honor their pledge of support for the dying empire. Convincing France and Austria to join them, Russia would find herself in a most precarious situation, assisted only by the army of Sweden, though truth be told, they did not offer very much support. Persia, through the help of Henry Strachen’s diplomatic ties, was able to support the allies without having to go to war herself, as she was still in no way ready to clash arms with the neighbor to the north.

Less than six months after the beginning of the war, the United Kingdom and France were also forced to consider war with Mexico due to the unrest and liberal nature of the Juarez faction. Liberalism was a good thing, but it only went so far. If Mexico were allowed to form a government dedicated to the masses and peasants, what would eventually happen in Europe? It was fine to grant slow reforms, but to allow a revolution in what had been a secure conservative government so close to the colonies still owned by the great powers would have been suicide, to be sure. France, in the end, would decline to intervene. The British however were never one to back down from a fight and declared war in January of 1861.

To complicate matters in North America, the United States was still struggling with their slave population. The Republicans, a party sworn to abolish the practice, had been in power since the mid 1850’s yet had not been able to pass the necessary legislation that would satisfy both the southern slaveholders and the abolitionists. They were not in a position to keep the Europeans out of their hemisphere thus weakening their position in regards to the decades old Monroe Doctrine.

By March of 1861, the British had begun to turn the tide against Russia, occupying several of their African and Pacific colonies and Austria had made expansive gains along the eastern front. With the bear wounded and possibly ready to break, Germany decided to take advantage of their weak state and declared war as well. Certain Persian aristocrats wanted to follow suit, but Nasir al-Din was able to compromise with them. He offered some valuable crown lands to the north in exchange for their patience. In good time, the Shah felt confident that he and his army would be able to take the field against any army, but most especially Russia.

In the fall of 1861, Austria met with British officials. Secure in a victory yet concerned with Germany’s rapid expansionist policies, they agreed to sign a status quo peace with Russia in exchange for support, mostly financial, if they were forced to go to war with Germany. Seeing that their hand had been called, and a massive buildup of troops along her Austrian border, Germany too signed a status quo peace on December 11th. With Russia beat and the central European powers at each others throat, the British made peace with Russia in the following February gaining Alaska and Russia’s Pacific colonies, angering the Japanese who also laid claim to may of them. Further, Persia was forced to recognize the realist diplomatic policies of their benefactor, as the British did not require the Russians to make peace with the Turk. By the fall of 1864, Russia had occupied and eventually won in the peace further key border provinces in the Caucasus.

Nasir al-Din Shah, feeling confident in the success of his previous reforms, continued to focus on the countries infrastructure. Continually building new factories, for small arms, lumber, paper, regular and luxury clothing and luxury furniture, the government coffers had grown to the point of allowing increased funding for education, crime fighting and defense. Taxes had been slightly lowered on the lower classes allowing them to keep more of their hard earned money. Though the people of Esfahan would find one reason after another to rise up, they were each time crushed and Nasir al-Din was secure in his rule.

With money steadily coming in, the Shah was also able to increase the funding for his army, building several new artillery and guard corps. By 1862, Persia had both a sufficient home army to put down revolts and several key divisions readying themselves along the border to the east. The Shah had his eyes on the lands of Makran and Kalat, situated just south of neighboring Afghanistan. Nasir al-Din considered the Bulachi peoples part of the greater Persian Empire, and was soon to prove it to them.

As the great Otto von Bismark was consolidating his power in Germany, Persia was preparing for war. On May 1st of 1862, a declaration of war was presented to the small country of Makran along the Persian Gulf coast. Rich in goods to trade, and small in armed forces, they were quickly subdued and integrated into the empire by June 20th of the same year. Less than a year later, as France was signing a peace with Russia and declaring war on belligerent Germany, the Southern Army of Persia was marching on Kalat. This second small war lasted only for a month and a half and on May 30th of 1863, Kalat too was annexed as part of Persia.

Immediately expanding the railroad network into these newly gained regions, Nasir al-Din Shah also introduced small liberal reforms to allow for minority cultures in both the government and the economic structure of the country. There would be only one further instance of his liberal nature during his rule, as the Shah continued to focus more and more on subjugation of small neighboring countries rather than reform in his own. Seeing how swiftly and deftly his armies had taken control of Makran and Kalat, the Shah soon turned his eyes to their neighbor, Afghanistan.

But this would have to wait. It was important to make sure he had a strong economy before fighting a much larger war than his army had previously faced. New divisions would be needed and this would cost him precious funds from the treasury. However, having funded expensive research of new ideas and techniques mostly on commerce, assisted by a leniency towards new ideologies at the universities, he would find the money necessary to build his army.

1864 would witness several important events around the world. Already mentioned was the peace made between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. It would also witness further unrest of the Polish people, mostly in Germany, though Russia had her share as well. Belgium would join the 2nd Franco-German on the side of the French, yet would not make much of a difference. The balance of power had shifted from France to Germany, and though this war would not end soon, France would begin a precipitous fall out of the ranks of great powers.

In the United States, the American President was assassinated. Abraham Lincoln had governed in the middle, hoping to keep the Southern states from seceding from their Union. However, in 1863, he had given a momentous speech declaring that all men, black and white, were created equal and that to keep anyone enslaved without a will of their own would be to go against their founding document. It had been such an impassioned plea, as Lincoln had always been a gifted orator, that many Southern politicians began to work with him to find a solution.

On October 4, 1864, a pro slavery Southerner, John Wilkes Booth, would shoot him as he watched a play at Ford’s Theater setting off a momentous reaction both within the populace of the country and in the halls of government. His Vice-President, Andrew Johnson, a Southerner himself, would institute sweeping reform calling for a reconstructed south devoid of all slaves. Causing much rancor among the congress, he was impeached for trying to circumvent the constitution of the country. But given the feeling of loss and uncertainty following Lincoln’s death, the Senate acquitted him and eventually passed new amendments abolishing slavery and giving sweeping new powers to the executive branch to deal with southern poverty and racial inclusion.

Spurned by the revolts of both the Poles and Southerners of the United States, a high-ranking general in the Shah’s army, tired of the Shah’s reform and leniency to the working classes, attempted to overthrow Nasir al-Din. Quickly brought under arrest however, the Shah had him executed as a warning to any other that might try to challenge the leadership of Persia.

By 1865, the British had routed the Mexican Army, ending their intervention and gaining further provinces in formerly Mexican Central American. France, in the hopes of holding off her final fall from status among the great powers, convinced several smaller European countries to join a commercial pact called the Latin Monetary Union. Within the next few years, many other countries would join with her, though this was not to achieve the result France desired. She was a sick as the Turk and Germany new it. There would be little peace between the two countries from that time forward.

And in Persia, the Shah would open an Opera House in Teheran to showcase artistic talent from abroad. Though a mighty expenditure, funded mostly by himself, Nasir al-Din was convinced that it was time the Persians found what the British would call culture. He was beaming at the opening as he was proud of his accomplishments and knew something that many of the patrons in attendance that evening did not know. His newly built army was now fully trained and he had hand picked many of his best generals to lead it. Their mission? The conquest of Afghanistan.

OOC - Once again, I must apologize for my lack of screenshots from this period. I tend to discard my save games as I go and thus only have them from 1891 and forward (and not many of those either, I am afraid.) Please refer to the original screenshot provided above as it lists both Makran and Kalat to the east of Persia. And thanks once again for reading.
I played Persia three times in a row (my very first games, I just got Victoria Jan 1) and would like to comment on Persia and the revolution, but I don't want to interrupt your AAR. On the other hand, others might be interested too..? Shoud I PM you?

coz1 said:
OOC - In regards to the revolution, a rather strange thing happened. I continued to be ruled by the Shahist Faction, but the government type changed to a proletarian dictatorship. So I guess I was supposed to be communist, but the Shahist Faction remained a conservative government. In the story outline, I used the assembly idea to get the point across that the people had much more say in the daily workings of the government. It may not be precise, but makes for a better storyline and makes a bit more sense given the country.

I cannot tell if this happened correctly in regards to the game mechanics or if perhaps I encountered a bug of some sort. It would make sense, that I would not become communist as that was not yet a viable idealogy (at least in real life) and the fact that Persia would still remain influenced by powerful clergy, yet I find it somewhat incredible that this game could mirror such minor details depending on the country. I am constantly in awe of the game mechanics, be they good or bad (and there are both), but I have doubts that this was the case. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I sure as hell would not have wanted to go communist at this or any other time of the game. But it was certainly strange and in some ways may explain some other inexplicable situations that occur later (of which I will detail at such time as they become necessary.) Anyway, if anyone else has experienced this with Persia or another country, please share your ideas as to what may be the cause.
Gezz Inti - please share. I don't think it will give anything away in terms of the story I am building. I have a feeling I know what the issue is. Persia is only given one party in it's list, so regardless of what happens it will always remain under the Shahist faction (unless the game were to contiue until 1979.)

There were a few more strange things that happened in regards to this, but I think this explains the more peculiar aspects of the revolution and later events.
4. 1866-1871, The Afghani War and Other Developments

Nasir al-Din Shah

Directly to the east of Persia lay a valuable and populated land called Afghanistan. Nasir al-Din knew this, but he had no idea how valuable it really was. What he wanted was to extend his borders to meet with China. He assumed that if he could do this, perhaps an alliance with China might be useful against the Russians to the north. After all, China shared a long border with Russia as well, and they certainly did not lack the manpower to wage war against the northern behemoth.

By the start of 1866, the Shah’s armies were situated along the Afghani border waiting for instructions. On April 1st, in the hopes that the war would not last longer than it took the snows to fall, the Shah sent word that a state of war existed between Persia and this poor, backward country. Immediately, the Eastern Army of Persia marched on Farah while the Army of Persia itself marched on Dalbandin. By April, both armies had won their battles and began taking hold of each province. Before the Southern Army of Persia had even arrived in Quetta, Dalbandin was under Persian control.

By May, Quetta was subdued as the Eastern Army held the line in Farah. A scouting party was sent to Herat to see if further armies were on their way and engaged a small force, quickly overtaken, and had taken that province by June. After achieving victory in both Farah and Kandahar, things looked grim for the meager Afghani forces.

As the summer drew to a close, Farah, Heart and Kandahar were flying a Persian flag, yet strong Afghani rebel fighters continued to harass the Southern Army in Ghazni and kept the main army tied down in Mazar i Sharif. It would take another month before the Shah was told that both were in Persian hands. On September 4th, Kabul was put under siege and an army was marching on the last remaining province, the mountainous Feyzabad. In less than a month, Kabul was under control and the remaining Afghani forces were routed. Feyzabad would fall by November 5th, just missing the winter snow.

On the 14th, Nasir al-Din Shah rode in a glorious parade down the streets of Kabul declaring for one and all that this was no longer the country of Afghanistan. It was now the eastern part of Persia, and as such would contribute to and benefit from the blessing that was Iran. There were a few revolts challenging this view, but it did not take long to pacify the Afghanis once they saw the railroad network being set up and the work to be done in the many factories that would eventually be built in this manpower rich state. In just four years, the Shah had almost doubled the size of his country and added an immense amount of citizens in which to work for the betterment of the empire.

As the new year dawned, Persia was beginning to see fruits of their previous labor. The economy looked better than it ever had. More factories were built while agricultural production remained high. A bout of bad weather destroyed several crops in midyear, but it was soon back to normal production, and the Shah began to plot where he wished to go next.

Also in the summer, the tiny protectorate Krakow joined Germany in her fight against the French and Belgians, but they would have little effect on the outcome of the war. Austria would re-open hostilities with the Russians. And Nasir al-Din retired himself from the army as he spent more and more time pouring over maps with a slightly disgruntled Henry Strachen. By the fall, the world would hear that the United Kingdom had given independence to her North American possessions in the form of Canada as a dominion of the greater empire. Greece would join the Latin Monetary Union in the next year, but it was still not enough for France to overcome the mighty German army.

Mechanical Production and Clean Coal had brought further riches to the people and government of Persia so much so that by the summer of 1869, the Shah had decided it was time to go to war again. This time the victim would be the country of Bukkhara, to the northeast. In a quickly fought war, the four provinces had been subdued and incorporated by late September of that same year. Once more, workers quickly began expanding the rail network into the conquered area.

As word came to the Shah in December that the French Faction was now to rule in Greece, the Shah wondered if he even needed the protection of the British Queen anymore. Further, the Japanese went through what was termed the Meiji Restoration early in the following year. It seemed that old Europe was no longer the soul arbiter of the world. Without missing a beat, the Shah ordered his armies to the border of Kokand, a small but rich Central Asian country. This war would last from March through July.

The Shah was in such a good mood, that he commissioned and opened a library in Teheran in November of 1870. He began sending letters to the Emperor of China, hoping to gain that alliance he had hoped for years back. But he was disheartened to know that a socialist movement was sweeping Europe. He did not want to see this revolutionary liberalism enter his country. As he became more and more conservative in his own views, he would hear of more lower class revolts, both at home and in the newly conquered provinces. His old friend Henry Strachen even began having trouble gaining an audience.

In February of 1871, the Shah was disturbed to hear that the small country of Sind to the east had declared war against the even smaller country of Kutch. Recalling that Kutch was in the past considered a great trading city and that he might want this as part of his own territory, he sent many letters to the ruler of Sind. His words would not be headed, as Kutch was annexed by that July.

Henry Strachen was saddened to write home of this incident and especially the Shah’s reaction to it. He was even more saddened to learn that Germany had finally declared an end to the hostilities against France and Belgium, taking Kaiserslautern and Pforzheim as well as indemnities in the peace. Had it simply been the end of a war, he might have had some solace. At least the fighting would be over, but three days after signing an armistice with France, Germany turned around and declared war again against Russia, again trying to take advantage of the Russian weakness. Not to be outdone, Nasir al-Din took this opportunity to swallow the small country of Khiva to the north, bordering on the Russian colonies in Central Asia.

Russia would not be put so far down however. When Christian separatists found themselves persecuted in the Ottoman Balkans, Russia threw her weight behind them, further fanning the flames of the Eastern Question. Would a second Crimean War be at hand? Russia was already at war with both Austria and Germany. Strachen would write in his diary that these had been the most precarious days of his life in Persia. He was unable to gain the ear of the Shah anymore. The armies of Persia were quickly occupying the smallest of the eastern states on her border. The Russians were bleeding but still getting up to fight, and Germany was proving that it needed no country to house it’s army - others would do just fine.

When he was instructed in August of 1871 that military scientists had developed more precise naval plans, all Strachen could do was exclaim to himself, “My God. For what will he use that? Nothing good I’m sure.” The Shah’s reaction, however, was quite different. He ordered more ships of the line. He might never catch the British, but given Allah’s blessing, he could sure as hell try.
Last edited:
Oohh looks good! Once again another wonderful update! You must have a lot of troops up north putting down revolts though. I wonder what that navy you'r making is for! ;) ....really I have no idea!