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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Evans

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Modern Life Is Rubbish​

A German Diplomacy AAR​

imperial_german_flag_150.gif

Chapter 1 - For Tommorrow​

Age of Bismarck

Differences between France and Prussia over the accession to the Spanish throne of a German candidate - whom France opposed - led to the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71). Following a French declaration of war, joint southern-German and Prussian troops, under the command of Moltke, invaded France in 1870. The French army was finally forced to capitulate by the fortress of Sedan. French Emperor Napoleon III was taken prisoner and the Second French Empire collapsed. Following the capitulation of Paris, the Peace of Frankfurt am Main was signed: France was obliged to cede Alsace and the German-speaking part of Lorraine to Germany. The territorial cessions deeply hurt the French national feeling, creating an obstacle to Franco-German understanding.

On January 18, 1871, in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles, the Prussian King Wilhelm I was proclaimed "Emperor of Germany". The German Empire was founded, with 25 states, three of which were Hanseatic cities. It was a "Little German" solution, since Austria had been excluded. Bismarck's domestic policies as Chancellor of Germany were characterized by his fight against perceived enemies of the Protestant Prussian state. In the so-called Kulturkampf (1872-1878), he tried to limit the influence of the Catholic Church and of its political arm, the Catholic Centre Party, through various measures - like the introduction of civil marriage - but without much success.

The other perceived threat was the rise of the Socialist Workers' Party (later known as the Social Democratic Party of Germany), the declared aim of which was the establishment of a new socialist order through the transformation of the existing political and social conditions. From 1878, Bismarck tried to repress the social democratic movement by outlawing the party's organisation, its assemblies and most of its newspapers. Through the introduction of a social insurance system, on the other hand, he hoped to win the support of the working classes for the Empire.

Bismarck's priority was to protect Germany's expanding power through a system of alliances and an attempt to contain crises until Germany was fully prepared to initiate them. Of particular importance, in this context, was the containment and isolation of France, because Bismarck feared that France would form an alliance with Russia and take revenge for its loss of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany.

In 1879, Bismarck formed a Dual Alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary, with the aim of mutual military assistance in the case of an attack from Russia, which was not satisfied with the agreement reached at the Congress of Berlin. The establishment of the Dual Alliance led Russia to take a more conciliatory stance, and in 1887, the so-called Reinsurance Treaty was signed between Germany and Russia: in it, the two powers agreed on mutual military support in the case that France attacked Germany, or in case of an Austrian attack on Russia. In 1882, Italy joined the Dual Alliance to form a Triple Alliance. Italy wanted to defend its interests in North Africa against France's colonial policy. In return for German and Austrian support, Italy committed itself to assisting Germany in the case of a French military attack.

For a long time, Bismarck had refused to give in to Emperor Wilhelm I's aspirations of making Germany a world power through the acquisition of German colonies ("a place in the sun"). Bismarck wanted at all cost to avoid tensions between the European great powers that would threaten the security of Germany. But when, between 1880 and 1885, the foreign situation proved auspicious, Bismarck gave way, and a number of colonies were established overseas: in Africa, these were Togo, the Cameroons, German South-West Africa and German East Africa; in Oceania, they were German New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago and the Marshall Islands.

In 1888 Kaiser Wilhelm I died, followed only 99 days later by his son Friedrich III. The young and ambitious Wilhelm II, Friedrich's son, acceded to the throne. Political and personal differences between Bismarck and the new monarch, who wanted to be "his own chancellor", eventually caused Bismarck to resign in 1890.
[edit]

Wilhelminian Era

When Bismarck resigned, Wilhelm II had declared that he would continue the foreign policy of the old chancellor. But soon, a new course was taken, with the aim of increasing Germany's influence in the world (Weltpolitik). The Reinsurance Treaty with Russia was not renewed. Instead, France formed an alliance with Russia, against the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. The Triple Alliance itself was undermined by differences between Austria and Italy.

From 1898, German colonial expansion in East Asia (Jiaozhou Bay, the Marianas, the Caroline Islands, Samoa) led to frictions with the United Kingdom, Russia, Japan and the United States. The construction of the Baghdad Railway, financed by German banks and heavy industry, and aimed at connecting the North Sea with the Persian Gulf via the Bosporus, also collided with British and Russian geopolitical and economic interests. To protect Germany's overseas trade and colonies, Admiral von Tirpitz started a programme of warship construction in 1898. This posed a direct threat to British hegemony on the seas, with the result that negotiations for an alliance between Germany and Britain broke down. Germany was increasingly isolated.

Age of the Triumverate

But all this changed in 1899 when Kaiser Willhelm suffered a heart attack whilst out strolling in the foothills of the German alps. Or so we are told. All we know is that an interim government has been set in in control of Germany at the turn of the century, a triumvirate of Army, Civil Service and Chancellor.

First, the Army leader, F.M. Von Hindenburg. Hindenburg was educated at the Wahlstatt and Berlin cadet schools and he fought at the 1866 Battle of Königgrätz and in the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War. In 1898, he gained promotion to the rank of general. During his time in the German Army, Hindenburg was regarded by his superiors as an imposing, but mediocre officer. He was not charismatic, but he did possess an ability to impress people. This is why he was chosen to represent the Army in the new triumvirate.

Second, the Chancellor, Bernhard von Bülow. After serving in the Franco-Prussian War, von Bülow entered first the Prussian Civil Service, and then the diplomatic service. In 1876 he was appointed attaché to the German embassy in Paris, and became second secretary to the embassy in 1880. In 1884 he became first secretary to the embassy at St Petersburg, and acted as charge d'affaires; in 1888 he was appointed envoy at Bucharest, and in 1893 to the post of German ambassador at Rome. In 1897, on the retirement of Baron Marshall von Bieberstein, he was appointed state secretary for foreign affairs (the same office which his father had held) under Prince Hohenlohe, with a seat in the Prussian ministry. As foreign secretary Bülow was chiefly responsible for carrying out the policy of colonial expansion (or Weltpolitik) with which the emperor had identified himself, and in 1899, on bringing to a successful conclusion the negotiations by which the Caroline Islands were acquired by Germany, he was raised to the rank of Count. On the resignation of Hohenlohe in 1899 he was chosen to succeed him as Chancellor of the empire and Prime Minister of Prussia.

Finally, the least well-known figure in the German triumvirate, the obscure and mysterious, shadowy and curious, enigmatic Peter von Evanstein. To most people he is but a name whispered in shadows and it's reputed that noone has seen his real face, and his past is a closely guarded secret... the truth is that noone else wanted the job and poor Peter was lumbered with it. A nobody found bumbling around the Government Offices with nothing much to do, his past is uninspiring, his charisma lacking and his knowledge of Diplomacy rudimentary. But the future holds great things... For he shall have a great future, a great tommorrow.

So let us toast, "For Tommorrow!"
 
Last edited:

Evans

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Chapter 2 - Advert​

Essential information about the AAR

First of all, yes, I am Peter von Evanstein as pictured in the above post posing with a cocktail (it was bought for me I'll have you know.) If you hadn't realised this AAR is meant as a fairly tongue-in-cheek affair mixed with historical characters. It will follow me through my second game of Paradox's new game Diplomacy where I will rather obviously be playing as Germany. My knowledge of Diplomacy is rudimentary, being confined to PBEM games with the DPJudge mostly on the "1900" Varient. Check google for more information :)

Now, some stuff about the game itself, I'll be playing on normal difficulty with normal short limits for negotiations. Hopefully this will put some kind of pressure on the negotiating side of things whilst allowing me to actually make some headway in the diplomatic side of the game- I found playing on hard that the AI never listened to any proposals I made and always demanded things of me... that might have been because I was Austria though :rolleyes:

The first proper chapter shall introduce the "characters" behind the AI players, but here's a list for referance or those who might be interested (and to bulk up this rather short chapter.)

Austria- Eagle, after the fact they have an Imperial Eagle to be honest, nothing more "deep" or considered than that.
England- Lion, after of course the "British lion," fairly obvious choice to have made.
France- The Dragon, well they're not Wales, but Dragon seemed to suit the stereotypical French arrogance and flamboyance.
Germany- Me of course :)
Italy- The Monkey, because in the Great War they hedged their bets a little and entertained possibilities with everyone. Plus I wanted a Monkey.
Russia- The Bear, again blatantly obvious why I chose him...
Turkey- The Jackal, I felt the "sick man of Europe" would be a scavenger.

Here's a screenshot of the starting positions...

germany7tz.jpg


Finally, I hope you enjoy the AAR :) Feel free to heckle, comment or offer advice. And remember, there will never be another first Paradox Diplomacy AAR :cool:
 
Last edited:

Estonianzulu

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*insert random heckle*

Interesting start, and you get the dubious honor of being the first Diplomacy game I will follow start to finish. It would be great if you could post screenshots as the game progressess. Though I have a copy of the game (obviously) my Virtual PC isn't working with any OS of late, so I can't play it :(
 

Evans

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Of course, I ran through a practice game on the setup so I have some idea of my aims... I'll do a turn by turn account, but I don't want to get bogged down particularly... just a bit of light releif from my degree :)
 

Evans

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On behalf of Sir Humphrey.

Sir Humphrey said:
I would comment, but I cant since you are not allowed to post in it unles you have registered the game. Anyhoo a great start.
 
Last edited:

Estonianzulu

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We'll tell Sir Humphry I agree, but get to watch the AAR from this forum anyway :)
 

Castellon

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First the Good:
Excellent start, I liked your use of the juxtaposition of using both historical figures and yourself in the story. That gives it both a historical feel as well as a personal one.

And congrats on the First Diplomacy AAR on the forum!

The bad:
Non registered users can send comments to you by PM and ask game play related question in the Diplomacy general forum. However in general PM comments should not be reposted in the AAR thread. Let's not clutter this AAR with this discussion on that though. Further comments on this question can be posted by all at: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?t=215405
 

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Nice start :) Perhaps a screenshot?
 

Evans

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Chapter 3 - Colin Zeal​

Prelude

Tucked away in the highest room, in the highest tower of a castle somewhere in Brandenburg, the Triumvirate had secretly assembled for a crisis meeting. The room was full of various clutter, dominated in the middle by a large map, cluttered itself with troop dispositions, with an assortment of antique weaponry and armour lying here and there around the edges.

As the three men sat pondering over the board, the sun worked it's way through the sky. The rays of light poured into the room through the windows creating a rather picturesque play of shadows within, shafts of light illuminating the map.

"I say" ventured von Hindenburg in his... native English... "The way the lights' shining on that map, well, why it gives me an idea!"

At this the other two men stirred, von Bülow cleared his throat to show his attention had been gained whilst von Evanstein simply groaned and shifted position uncomfortably.

"Yes... Yes! Quite clearly what we need to do is flex our military muscle. The world knows that Germany deserves her place in the sun, but we have to make that deserving nature a reality."

"And how" asked von Bülow haughtily "do you intend to do that?"

"Quite to the point my dear fellow! Well, we need to make a statement don't we. An announcement to the world that Germany is the top dog, and noone should dare question her authority. The lights quite clearly show that Denmark and Holland are both within easy grasp of our armies, and relatively undefended. By gosh, if we were to take those two countries into our sphere of influence we'd have the power to dominate European power politics!"

At this von Evanstein snapped. "You mean to say we've been sitting in this bloody tower for the whole day, waiting to think up some kind of strategy for our armed forces... and you've only just got inspiration from the play of the lights? Not to mention the fact that at the onset of this century, *every* Great Power will be looking to expand their influence in Europe? After all, there's nowhere left to colonise, I mean, we took all the places noone wanted already, and I don't fancy the look of those Abyssinians... So where you see Germany taking a dominant position in the world, I see Germany matching the growth of her neighbours. No, we need to be more ambitious than this."

von Bülow probed coldly in reply, "What does your great "intuition" suggest then Herr Evanstein?"

"Well... What's the diplomatic situation we're in? We're friends with the great Russian bear right?" The other two men shifted and looked nervously at this, von Bülow pulled at his collar and coughed again before giving an explanation.

"It seems... I'm afriad... our predecessor deigned to decide that renewing any co-operation with Russia wasn't important. Seems he felt making a very powerful enemy was more in our interests."

"Well why the bloody hell did he think that.. Oh never mind! I've heard enough of this Willhelm II and his bloody policies. What about Austria? They're still our friends. They'll always be our friends."

"Well Herr Evanstein... you see the late Kaiser messed up there as well. Shortly before his death he gravely insulted the heir to the Austrian throne. Seems the Archduke disliked being told that he could have it so much better if he were of the German royalty. I don't know much about the royal life in Austria but I can't imagine anything beating being the Kaiser of the greatest power on earth."

"Yes well, you would say that being German wouldn't you. Surely we must get over this nationalist nonsense if we're ever going to see the world as it really is? Otherwise we'll all ride into a war "we're bound to win" and end up slogging it out for years to no avail. No, we must be realistic. What about France and England? Do they like us?"

"We have no idea, I imagine the French hate us but they have no love for the English either. The English just want whats best for them, so maybe if we should offer them something they'll aid us? To be honest I don't know, the late Kaiser's foreign policy was a little.. unrefined to say the least."

"Hmm, well, we've got to go about our task with zeal, open diplomatic channels with all the Great Powers and get the feel for what's happening before we go any further. And then, report back here with an update as soon as possible. Agreed?"

The other men nodded an affirmative. The last thing the men did before leaving to carry out their duties was to toast "For Tommorrow!" It seemed to have become recurrent theme.

wilhelm.jpg

With a hat like that von Evanstein wasn't surprised at the late Kaiser's lack of success in foreign policy or the fact he got bumped off.
 
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Estonianzulu

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"With a hat like that..."

Excellent :) So, going after the French in the near future?
 

CatKnight

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I liked the initial historical overview. A review of how we 'got here' never hurts. I see you're going for some humor which is always worthwhile.

Germany has a real problem in Dip. I hope the AI is feeling friendly today. Good luck!
 

SirCliveWolfe

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Indeed nice start... am I the only one who likes the hat?? ;)

Just a quick question... does the title have anything to do with the Blur album of the same name?

Anyway keep up the good work..
 

unmerged(24857)

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Vincent Julien said:

What he said.
I hope that the first Dippy AAR won´t end up abandoned...

And I like the bits of humour showed in this AAR.
 

coz1

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Very nice start. I like the historical overview as well, and I am enjoying the characterization you are bringing to this. I echo the others - update please. :D

Now that we can comment, you can be assured that this AAR will be followed.