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Yep, I am playing the Two Sicilies. This is meant both as an AAR and a guide as how to play the 1.02 economy. I am going to be a democracy, which means, there will be no triggering the change to ITA until I actually conquer all of Italy (if there are a couple of capitals left, it's ok, as long as I own Rome). This includes Corsica!

Mods: If I occupy a lot of Austria, and they refuse to make peace for 1 prov, I may manually trigger peace. If I get to +7 or +8 WS with the UK, I may manually trigger a white peace - I heard they are even more stubborn that the Austrians. If a power starts declaring war 1 week after peace, I retain the right to restore my economy to some normalcy, by triggering manual peace. I may only do this for 6 months or so.


Goals:
1. Unite Italy, under a democracy!
2. Africa will be my playground, as well as a method of gaining VP's (claim colony), and a way to get manpower.
3. Italy uber alles!
4. Grant as much of Africa statehood as possible.

Methods:
1. This will be an economy-driven Sicily/Italy. Factories, Factories, and more factories, making lots of money to finance my wars. Wars, financing the acquisition of more territory.
2. My initial wars (I plan to take on the Papal States, and events force me to confront Sardinia-Piedmonte) will be fought by mobilization and lots of manpower. No extra tech!
3. Infra and commerce only will be researched for a while. Education will be set to 100%. This will make me wads and wads of money. This also has some side benefits, as you will see.

I plan to begin this AAR in a week or, when my schedule clears. I have already played to 1900. No hints, other than I am doing well.
 

Morpheus506

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Sounds nice. I trust there will be a good bit of screenies? ;)
 

Elias Tarfarius

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I was planning on doing a Two Sicilies aar first :mad: ;) . I did ok with the economy and conquest, but when I faced Austria, everything fell apart. So I wish you good luck and will be watching this aar.
 

coz1

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I am very interested to see how this game goes. I have not yet taken the plunge into 1.02 so this will be an education for me. Looking forward to it!
 

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Oops, I was planning to write my first Victoria AAR with the same country. I've just written down a sort of prologue and I'm going to start playing when finished my USA GC... Calcsam2, we are going to write a parallel AAR!

(mmh, maybe I'll delay some days to avoid a complete justapposition of the two)
 

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I wish you good luck! I'm currently playing with them and is in the year 1909 and had my very first election (with Two Siciles that is). Austrians where quite easily kicked out of Italy, but that may have been because they where having troubles during that time. It took two wars, in the first they where being crushed by the Ottomans, so I joined the fight and took the provinces along the Po river all the way from Milan to Venice, the second I declared after they had been crushed by Russia and grabbed the rest the provinces (including most of Switzerland actually).
 
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Thanks for the enthusiasm -

Morpheus: Yep, plenty of screenies!
Seidita: I hope so to.. We'll see...
Elias, Hastu - Weird! Great minds apparently think alike... :)
coz1 - Thanks!
Lofman - No such luck in my game, unfortunately. By the way, I hope you haven't abandoned your Nogai AAR?

Ok, prologue coming soon.
 
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Prologue: Part 1

December 1, 1835

Pietro Magliocco sighed. Looking back on his fruitful life, he was happy. Happy to live, happy to still be in this world. Though he would soon leave this life, he had cherished the company of his son Paolo, his only relative. What would Paolo inherit? A prestigious position to be sure – the Maglicoccos, led by his uncle Renato, had been instrumental in the 1816 formation of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and had been amply rewarded. He himself occupied the position of economic advisor to Ferdinand II, king of the Two Sicilies. Upon his death, Paolo would inherit this position.

Paolo was his only son, his most trusted friend, and his only pupil in the ways of life. He had taught Paolo all he knew about court politics and economics, as well as taken him around the countryside to show him the economic status of the country. This was kept secret, as Pietro was an outspoken moderate in a court full of aristocrats whining about the “good old days”. These visits had, to some degree, taken the aristocrat out of Paolo and replaced it with reality. On the other hand, Paolo was thereafter prone to liberal tendencies - dangerous in the present time and place.

It had been dangerous enough for Pietro. He mostly backed up his bark with bite, though, and other aristocrats generally left him alone – until now. Whoever had come after him hadn’t hired a particularly good team of assassins, though. They had come in the middle of the night, but he hadn’t been able to sleep, and heard them. Trying to escape, he jumped out of the window. The fall broke both of his legs. He could have crawled away for help, but an assassin found him.

The man hadn’t the heart to kill Pietro, so he just bound and gagged Pietro, leaving Pietro for the man’s fellows to find. And here he was, the victim of some petty piece of politics. He had argued, the previous day, that the world was changing, and industrialization coming. The aristocracy had refused to accept this fact, and here he was, being killed by a man that he offended. A pathetic ending to his life.

He heard the sound – a shout. “There he is!” it sounded like. But he no longer knew, or cared. His interest was roused when he heard the shout, “Father!”. But this shout, and a vision of his son running towards an approaching dark man, was but momentary. He felt a penetration of his skin, and darkness overcoming him.
 
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The Magliocco coat of arms:
magliocco.jpg
 
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Prologue: Part 2

December 31, 1835

Paolo Magliocco was, for the first time in the last month, happy. Happy in a sort of vengeful way. He had avenged his father. He had killed the assassins whom he had caught killing his father, of course. But they confessed to taking funds from a shadowy intermediary. Using every last favor he had in his bank, he traced the money back to one Palminteri.

Palminteri was a reactionary’s reactionary. He had recently lobbied the Pope to remove anything made by Michaelangelo from the Sistine Chapel, on the grounds that the Renaissance had “corrupted mankind”. Palminteri’s goons were even caught attempting to defile the Protestant Cemetary in Rome, where Percy Shelley was buried. This caused muted outrage among some, but the reactionary nature of the court allowed Palminteri to stay. And now, his father was dead. A deed avenged: Palminteri was to be executed on the morrow, at high noon, by the king’s order.

His father’s murder had, once the grief partially let up, clarified to Paolo what he was already seeing: The spirit, not just the body, of Palminteri must be defeated. Just yesterday, he had convinced a reluctant Ferdinand II to a radical plan of action - letting the pen be mightier than the sword.

The pen marking a check on the ballot would determine the party to be primarily consulted by Ferdinand. Paolo had convinced him that this would remove much court intrigue, and make Ferdinand vastly more popular. The bonus was that the conservative Italian populace would still elect conservative leaders, so Ferdinand wasn’t too concerned about radical change. Yet.
 

coz1

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The interest has got you excited, I see. "Exxxcellent," as Monty Burns would say. Very nice beginning. Looking forward to more! :D
 

Hastu Neon

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I'll keep reading. I like your writing, and I like even more that it's completely different from mine, which is more like "history-book style". Hopefully, we'll give readers two parallel AARs without duplication
 

Judge

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Good start. I am curious on your industrialization plans. Steel and paper I guess. Might be difficult to buy all the raw material on the VM perhaps though coal and iron usually are available :)
 
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thanks for all the encouragement guys!

The next installment is right here:

The Early Years (1836 - 1844)

“Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire!” - Metallica, Fuel

Paolo had soon realized that, in the end, his plans all rose and fell on one thing. Power. But, the question remained, how to get it? Paolo, after all, had read Machiavelli, and had some good ideas, both short and long-term. In the very short term, he had enough of Ferdinand’s ear to put policies in place. In the short-term, well, Machiavelli was right. The reactionaries running the military would never love him. But they would fear him – Paolo controlled the army’s rations. And an army marches on its stomach….

In the long term, Paolo had decided, he would go by Machiavelli also. In the 16th century, Machiavelli wrote: “It is seen also that Italy is ready and willing to follow a banner if only someone will raise it.” In the long term, the new industrialization would bring about massive changes that could trigger this sentiment. And the new Italy would be a People’s Italy. A democracy, along the lines of America or Switzerland. Slowly.

Indeed, his planning had gone well. With the king’s ear, Paolo had the Two Sicilies join the wave of colonization sweeping the world. The Army of the Two Sicilies invaded Tunisia. While this temporarily empowered the army, the economy was strengthened by the addition of populous North Africa provinces. Also, the armies were kept on North Africa to quell revolts – and Paolo had bribed the captain of the navy to disobey orders to transport the troops back without Paolo’s permission.

It took two years to crush the Tunisians – though apparently because at the news of Russia annexing Khiva, the Moslem inhabitants Gabes and Djerid savagely attacked the garrison, resulting in the loss of those provinces (ie, the annexation bug was occurring). Paolo did his utmost to get the news of this around – it brought humiliation to the army’s commanders. The ends justify the means.

The use of any means necessary to defeat the reactionaries continued. A public museum was opened in 1837, chronicling the revolutionary struggles of France under Napoleon. Nationalism was a dangerous fire to kindle, but it was merely fuel. A match was needed, and the volatile combination stood a chance of blowing Italy apart.

The preparations were nothing much. Most great movements start from less. It had long been a tradition in monarchies that some funds mysteriously disappeared from the treasury. These funds typically went to shadowy operations, run by a shady man with shadier connections. These funds – or at least the portion not embezzled by middlemen – eventually made it to people receiving bribes or aristocracy with power. It was time to play the nobility’s game – and to beat them at it.

The money siphoned from the Treasury would be used, eventually, to pay for the logistics of a democracy – the ballot boxes, security guards of the ballots, and administrative costs. But until then, it simply gathered dust under a mattress. Paolo’s mattress, in fact. It had also been occupied by his new wife Nicola, who had even more recently born him a son, Lorenzo. His father would have been overjoyed.

Meanwhile, progress marched on in ignorance of personal loves and vengeances. A practical steam engine was discovered in 1837, and a leading scientist defected to the Two Sicilies in 1840, and a fabric factory, to supply the clipper shipyard, was started. But the preparations finally came to fruit in 1843. The first election campaign, to the office of Chief Adviser, was held. The Moderati, a conservative faction, annihilated the reactionaries in the 1844 election.

The next day, Paolo’s office burned down. Call it coincidence, but playing with fire tends to annoy those who have explosives. One step was over with, and a thousand were yet to climb. And always the force of reactionaries to overcome. Would Paolo’s crusade for Italy overcome the noble backlash that it created?
 
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Excellently written! I've never actually run an industrial country in 1.02 yet. Actually having craftsmen encourages me to hemmorage cash to obtain MPs and factories, and I always have a psychotic urge to see that every craftsman has a slot in a factory, leading to huge monetary losses.

Anyways, you've done a great job in incorporating game events into your excellently written narrative. I'll be reading this AAR.
 

coz1

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Good update. Love the Metallica references! Keep it up. :D
 
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Thanks coz1, anonymous4401. Metallica is my favorite band. By the way, I like your Ethiopian AAR, anonymous. I acutally have an abandoned Ethiopian AAR in EUII. Next installment

Solidifying and Preparing (1844 - 1850)

“I'll tear thee open make you gone
No longer will you hurt anyone
And the hate still shapes me
So hold me until it sleeps” - Metallica, Until It Sleeps

The backlash hit with the power of a wet noodle. The nobles were up in arms, but their rally somehow turned into a debate of trade issues in Napoli. Given that both the Ristorazionista (reactionaries) and the Moderati were protectionists, it was no surprise that the protectionists won. In fact, the only real difference between the parties was the Moderati’s limited citizenship stance – and who ran it: democrats rather than monarchists. The whole exercise was a clever façade to obtain power for democrats. Without power, the monarchists would be in the quicksand.

The whole situation was not helped, though, when the Greek constitution was passed, spreading new ideas, dangerous to the aristocracy. Several revolts followed in the former Tunis, thought to be raised by noblemen trying to establish a Duchy of Tunis safe from Sicily.

Little happened in the next few years. Lorenzo grew, and was proving to be as bright as his father and grandfather. He had little of his father’s bitterness and hate against the nobility, simply a strong conviction that they were wrong and a stronger conviction to pound them into the ground. His sister, Sara, was born in 1845, though she barely survived infancy. A sickly baby, she had almost choked to death more than once.

A war flared up between Prussia and Denmark over Schleswig and Holstein. It soon ended, though, with no gains by either side. Around this time, French troops were seen landing in the French colonies in Algeria. They had no reason to invade the Two Sicilies, whom they had a defense pact with. That left only one target – Al Djazir. This was unacceptable to Paolo, who saw how easy the current French colonies were to overrun and how hard all of Algeria would be to overrun. Paolo easily convinced Ferdinand II of this fact, and consequently war was declared against Al Djazir. Ensuing debates in Napoli resulted in people adopting a pro-military stance shared by the two parties.

On December 14, 1849, Al Djazir was formally annexed. The economy expanded more, and Paolo was happy. A defense pact with France and Spain ended, and the pact was renewed with Spain.

In the rest of the world, a testament to democracy’s power grew as the Dominican Republic revolted from Haiti and joined the United States. A war between Russia and the Ottomans ended with no gain to either side. Britain and China went to war, and a western Chinese province was given to Britain. None of this concerned Paolo. Let the great powers fight each other to exhaustion – Sicily would take their place when they were gone.

By 1850, Paolo had a good economy behind him, and much more power. Power enough to invent a credible story about Papal aggression. The story was that the Pope would soon call on all Catholics to rise up against the nobility. Paolo let this story circulate in gossip circulate for some days before telling the king of it and asking for permission to take the Pope out of secular affairs. Permission was granted, and three days later, armies led by enraged noblemen and noble officers crossed the border into the Papal States. The means of expanding Sicilian power and defeating reactionaries was quickly justifying any means.
 
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coz1

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Another great update. Just one question:
Britain and China went to war, and a western Chinese was given to Britain.
You mean they are trading in people now, too? ;) Sorry, I just laugh at unintentional typos that end up meaning something completely different. Funny stuff! :rofl:

Now go get that Pope! (woops - my anti-papist sentiments are creeping back again.) :D
 
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Interlude

Paolo smiled as he watched Sara at play with her friend, Bellisima. They joyously frolicked about the courtyard, blissfully ignorant of the tens of thousands of grim-faced Sicilian men preparing to kill or be killed by the Pope’s soldiers. Good Catholics all, they had been sent into battle for one real reason: to bring more territory under Paolo’s benevolent hand and out of the cruel tyranny of the Pope.

It was this fact which Paolo was attempting to explain to his fourteen-year-old son Lorenzo. In the last two years, he had begun teaching Lorenzo of politics and power rather than geography and history. Lorenzo had read Machiavelli, and while he saw the useful applications of the school of though outlined in The Prince, Lorenzo mostly disdained the cold and cruel calculating nature of Machiavelli.

If only Paolo could have had the luxury to do so. Lorenzo was blessed with security, a quality that lends itself to idealism. However, there is no point being idealistic and naïve if you are under imminent threat, as Paolo had been fourteen years ago, two years before Lorenzo’s birth, after the murder of his father.

In a way, it made sense. The Liberal Party, founded in 1844, had gotten about six percent of the votes in the 1848 elections. The population was conservative, and anyway, it knew that you needed to be secure before you could deplore the military as a killing machine. You needed to be economically secure before you could afford to be laissez-faire and eliminate tariffs. But the Two Sicilies only had enough security for young people like Lorenzo to be idealistic.

Paolo’s mind returned to what Lorenzo was saying to him.

“-but you can’t just invade the Papal States for no reason! Think what hardship you would put all the people, both here and there, through!” Lorenzo finished.

Paolo smiled. “Lorenzo, look at the big picture.” He unrolled a map of Italy. Gesturing at Sardinia-Pidemonte, Paolo began. “Our spies have been reporting for years that the Piedmontese are planning on unrolling some claim to being Italy in the future. But-“

“We should help them!” Lorenzo exclaimed.

Paolo tutted at this outburst of youthful enthusiasm and naïveté. “If only things were so simple. Sardinia-Piedmonte is a 'constitutional monarchy' – in other words, the aristocracy and king struggle for power, so they can steal from the people while espousing fine words about their victim’s role in government. Backed by France as they will surely be, they will never venture anywhere near democracy with a ten-foot poker. Not to mention Austria, who will certainly not make peace with anything resembling a Swiss or American democracy. So then who will carry the democratic torch?”

Lorenzo’s eyes widened. Paolo continued. “The Papal States are inherently opposed to democracy. Florence and Tuscany are a collection of assorted principalities who would be gobbled up by Austria, the Pope, or Sardinia-Piedmonte – take your pick – if they even said the word ‘democracy’ in public. The land which was, two millenia ago, a budding republic is now a refuge of reactionaries. Except for its South, which –”

“Shall grow in territory as democracy grows within!”, burst Lorenzo. Paolo laughed in happiness, knowing that his son finally understood.
 
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