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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Athalcor

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Or, if you prefer fancy AARland titles, Han[n]oveAAR.


Prologue

We are the people of the city of Hanover. We were here when Charles the Bold of Burgundy defeated the Holy Roman Empire and usurped the title of the King of Burgundy for himself in 1483. We were here when the Religious Wars of the 17th Century ravaged Germany, only to tighten the foreigners' grip on the Empire. We were here when the Hansa was abolished in 1621 and our lands became part of the Duchy of Hanover, awarded to Friedrich Julius von Brunswick-Grubenhagen, a turncoat whose flexible allegiance helped at times both Eric Stewart and Sigismund Jagiellon but ultimately his loyalty belonged to none other that to Friedrich Julius von Brunswick-Grubenhagen. We were here when the German Wars started spilling even more German blood on German soil, when Graf Radetzky defeated the Burgundians just outside the gates of our city in 1806 and even when the Bohemian governor was sent packing in 1807.

And now we are here in 1836, just as Johann Georg von Brunswick-Grubenhagen-Hanover, the 9th Duke of Hanover, starts wondering about a new Germany and his role in it. And we will be here when his plans, just as plans of all ambitious rulers before him, drown themselves in blood.

Or not?

We are the people of the city of Hanover. And we shall prevail.

----------------------

OK, I am totally unsure where this is going. I might not even properly start this AAR and leave it dead after just a few chapters. Or not. It may turn out well or it will be a total trainwreck but now I am just happy that I got rid of some of my exams this semester so I thought that I just might try to do this (a looong sentence - try reading it in one breath!). The only thing I know now is that I will be playing Hanover (or Hannover, whichever count of 'N' do you prefer. I do not know myself...but Ewan McGregor seems to have this sorted out) in Victoria 2 with the Divergences mod. So...we might just get into this.

 
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DKM

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subbed

Always love to see DoD AARs.
 
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Dr.Livingstone

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Subbed
 

Athalcor

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Athalcor

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Chapter One - Quite a lot of stories begin in 1836

I do not know what you were told in school, but this is Europe in 1836:



Seems familiar, doesn't it? Fine. The weird yellow splatter in the red circle is us, i.e. the Duchy of Hanover. (Or Hannover?)



It seems even less impressive when you zoom in. Germany might as well be the most crowded place in the world with everyone being entangled in a network of alliances and guarantees. It is not as straightforward as, say, Ameriga. You actually have to make some diplomatic decisions here and there, not just declare a war and lose. Or win. I mean, lose. For example, here in the picture you can see Scandinavia (no.2 GP) and her sphereling Bremen, (almost) Burgundy (no.3 GP) and her spherelings all-the-countries-west-of-us, Bohemia (no.4 GP) and her spherelings Braunschweig and Hanover, i.e. us. Just for your information, we are no.23 totally-not-a-GP. For now, we will have to obey the Emperor until an option to snea-



OK, that was quick. The Emperor returns us to his flock few days later, though. But the questions stands: What can we do, being such an insignificant country? Well, this game being Victoria 2 and us being a Western country in the 19th century, I know of a very fancy way of killing time: colonising (as in attacking natives somewhere around the globe and enforcing the civilisation on them).

By the way, I just want to pause here for a bit: I do not plan to rush cultural technologies to amass prestige or to conquer an insane amount of oversea territory and then use the colonial troops to fight wars on European soil, because both of these things feel cheesy. For the moment, we can consider the house rules being
- no more than 75% of the total population may be living in colonies
- a maximum of a third of my ground forces in Europe may comprise of colonial troops
Not that I cannot break these rules, though. They are mine, you know. I will just try not to.



Before we engage in colonial exploitation, we get rid of the expensive, useless frigates (especially the one with two 'N's in her name) and replace them with some transport ships. The target of choice of our expedition will be my usual favorite, the country with a happy elephant flag - Dahomey.



Sorry, Dahomey. Nothing personal, it is just that you make for such an excellent base for local adventures.



And so, after three months and about ten points of infamy later, the grand Heer (9,000 men) under general Dietrich boarded on the ships of an Asiatic-looking sailor claiming to be of noble German ancestry (some branded him an impostor...he was really good at navigation, though. And swearing in Japanese.)


(Admiral Friedrich von Sachsen-Meiningen, contemporary picture)

-----

After getting through the Channel and practicing some steering in the Bay of Biscay, the Ducal Fleet started her long journey to the deep unknown. Who knows what awaits it?

...

...

...


I do. Surprisingly, it is the Kingdom of Dahomey.

 
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Crushric

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Well, I was a huge fan of the old AAR, and this one strikes me fancy right quick. Plus, DoD. Count me in as subbed with great happiness.
go Hanover!
 

DKM

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I found that sarcasm at the oddly funny. Also, I, for one, use Hannover.
 

Skyhascheese

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Subbed.
Good luck uniting germany!
 

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Subscribed!
 

Attalus

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Random imperialism for the win ! :p

Your rules are sensible and quite close to what I do when playing little countries.
 

NPmister

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It has just started but I need more!

Subbed!
 

Nikolai

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Athalcor

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Subbed. Very entertaining AAR!
Thank you :)!

Well, I was a huge fan of the old AAR, and this one strikes me fancy right quick. Plus, DoD. Count me in as subbed with great happiness.
go Hanover!
Glad to have you here!

I found that sarcasm at the oddly funny. Also, I, for one, use Hannover.
'Oddly funny' is strictly better than 'boring as hell', so I will count this one as success.

Wow you sure do hate Dahomey? Why not just let them live and be Dahomie of Hanover?
Sounds legit! Make the preparations!
But I want that crown :(.



Subbed.
Good luck uniting germany!
And that's what I call...unrealistic expectations!

Subscribed!
Thank you :)!

Random imperialism for the win ! :p

Your rules are sensible and quite close to what I do when playing little countries.
As always, random imperialism is the best imperialism.

All Hail Hannover?
I have been considering this but, unfortunately, everyone is already hailing Britannia.

It has just started but I need more!

Subbed!
Great to have you here!
 

Athalcor

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Chapter Two - Blobhemia strikes back


As our soldiers are being shipped to wreak havoc in Africa, we can now talk about stuff I skipped in the first chapter so that you would feel we are jumping right into action. You know, the usual 'pilot episode' stuff. The first thing is the actual history of the Duchy of Hanover - because this timeline's Hanover can't be the same thing as in ours (this is actually pretty obvious since ITTL it is yellow and IOTL it is green so.) I am not going to dive into the complicated history of the Welf dynasty and all their fiefs in Brunswick (it is amazing how much you can divide such a small territory...Gott sei dank for the Golden Bull of Sicily) but let's just say that in the world of Divergences, the original Welfs of Brunswick are now running the Principality of Braunschweig and, as I already laid out in the prologue, the Duchy of Hanover itself was created in the 17th century and awarded to a minor branch of the Welf family. The Duchy was originally under the control of Scandinavia but the Emperor eventually managed to reconsolidate his influence in North Germany as the Scandinavian presence waned. During the German Wars, Hanover was - as all the other principalities in the area - occupied by Imperial Forces.


(Third Imperial Army observed by Graf Radetzky after the surrender of Bremen in 1805, 1827 painting. Radetzky's bold campaigns coupled with his strategic genius earned him much renown and inspired many pieces of art, most famous being the Radetzky March from 1848)

After the end of the early 19th Century chaos, the Duchy found itself back under Bohemian control...which is still the situation in 1836. Hanover is just one of a set of weak North German statelets with her only positives being the possession of a port in Stade and a small industrial base. While the South German countries emerged from the pre-Victoria history with a certain degree of freedom and power, the North, being a diplomatic and also a literal battlefield of three great powers, is pretty much bound in imperialistic shackles. I know one thing for sure: the independentist breeze might still be blowing along the Danube but certainly not at the banks of the Elbe. And Hanover is definitely *not* going to inherit rule of Great Britain anytime soon.

So...what can we actually do, aside of the aforementioned adoption of the doctrine of random imperialism? I mean, what are our goals, where do we see us in ten years or so? Do we still want to live in this place? How about the current job...erm, I got carried away a little. OK. The good news is that Hanover can enact the decision to form the Kingdom of Hanover if we take control of the entire state of Hanover and not just Hanoverian Hanover (we do control the actual city of Hanover in Hanoverian Hanover, just FIY.) Not really a stunning accomplishment but it will do as our short term (i.e. the next hundred years or so) goal.

Whoops, too much text, at least considering my standards!



It is December, 23rd of 1836 and it seems that the Heer will spend Christmas fighting Africans.



We swiftly move into the theater, eliminate the Dahomeyan army together with their warrior king and start colonising the area. That's the good news.



The bad news is that we have somehow forgotten to take care of our fleet. And without any proper port, the Ducal Fleet will sink together with its brave leader. Sayonara, Friedrich von Sachsen-Meiningen! You will be missed.



While our troops are busy being stuck in the middle of nowhere, the Emperor decides that it is time for a rematch. The Scandinavians have foolishly abandoned their alliance with Burgundy and will now have to face the Bohemian-led coalition in a war over Pommerania. Notable is also our rise to no.28. In June we will continue the steady climb and approach no.33.



We also take Cotonou in June. Nobody even remotely cares.



In Autumn we decide to honor our ancestors. Our people are proud of our great nation.



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October is also the month when we finish the colonisation of Dahomey. Local artisans show great aptitude as elephant flags are swiftly resewn into horse ones. The people of Dahomey will make a fine addition to our nation.



Our troops are still stuck in the horsephant land, though, as the Stade harbors lack clippers to produce, well, clippers.


(even the shipment of special-tailored Swiss clippers was not enough to build a new fleet to rescue the Heer)

The situation starts to get quite critical with one of the options actually being abandoning the Heer and recruiting a new one, instead. But since that is not the Hanoverian Way, we decide to scrap the clipper idea altogether and develop steamships to replace it.



The people in Hanoverian Hanover start to get upset a bit, since they are now living without armed protection. But their fears have no rational basis since
a. The Heer would be unable to protect them for more than three seconds (and it would not have to - Johann Georg has been practising his signature lately. Just in case he would have to sign a surrender treaty or two)



b. Why would you attack a country you can already fully access?


(if you are unsure about the flag, it is the Kingdom of Uruk-hai)

During early 1838, the Heer actually finds some clippers in Cotonou and orders locals to produce ships for them. After some misunderstanding (it turned out that neither side of the conversation actually knew how a ship looks like), the shipyards of New Hanover manage to build something keeping itself afloat and the Heer decides to colonise another portion of Africa.



The Bohemian-Scandinavian war ends in 1839 with Bohemians successfully expelling the Nords from Germany. Now we need to find someone who will expel Bohemia from Germany and then kindly leaves. We will be grateful, thanks.

And how about our heroes? Will they ever return home? Will they ever enjoy a fine dish of Grünkohl mit Pinkel, Kassler und Speck again?



See? Lecker.
 
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