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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Psychedelic Sou

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20 years after bloody defeat at Waterloo and the Bourbon Restoration, France is still a deeply divided country. Nearly 25 years of constant warfare and revolution had bled the French nation dry, and the Congress of Vienna had left France stripped from large tracks of land gained during the Imperial period. But there are signs of change: the French are once more standing up, head raised. The next 100 years will define the future and the fate of France. Will the French once more obtain hegemony over Europe? Only the Almighty Lord knows for sure...

Prologue

http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showpost.php?p=11466280&postcount=2





Chapter I




 
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Psychedelic Sou

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Prologue



"The Concert of Europe hadn't been a nice tune to listen to for the defeated French Empire. What was once the master of Europe was now reduced to a mere shadow of its former self. To make matters worst, they forced upon us a monarch no-one wanted, and the proud tri-colour of the people was replaced by a horrid (Bourbon) white flag in an attempt to completely curb republican sentiment within our nation. But what seemed so stable in 1815 was rapidly falling apart. Within 6 years Italian revolutionaires were standing on the barricades, shouting for freedom and independence. The Great Power's reaction to this (crushing the Italians) is a prime example of the reactionary principles that are being upheld by these "Great Powers". In 1830, the oppressive reactionary Charles X was deposed by the French people, but in his place came Louis-Phillipe d'Orléans. Seeminly liberal, after he consolidated his power he removed freedom of press and limited voting rights within France. But the initial revolution of July 1830 inspired the people of the Southern Netherlands to rise up against the Dutch, resulting in the establishment of the Kingdom of Belgium. But despite these sporadical moments of revolution, Europe remained far from free. Although our nation possesses a constitution, it is often ignored and only serves to legitimize the near absolute power of the king.



The Ancien Régime has indeed been broken, but in its place has risen an even worst class system which has been responsible for the deaths of thousands, and is still inflicting daily misery upon our people. I believe that we alone are responsible for our own faith, and that If we want to be free we will have to fight for it. I promise you that the French fight for freedom is far from over. We, the French people, are thirsty for freedom, searching for blood and revenge. We shall not rest until we have liberty, equality and brotherhood for all. The Concert of Europe was just an interlude to what is going to be the most glorious chapter in all French history."

- Jean-Jacques Dubois
Left-wing radical, democrat and politician​

 
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Tommy4ever

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Will France secure glory through a second Republic or a second Empire?

Either way I wish you well in France's struggle for worldwide dominance.
 

Psychedelic Sou

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Will France secure glory through a second Republic or a second Empire?

Either way I wish you well in France's struggle for worldwide dominance.
I'm going to steer towards a liberal course during gameplay (I always liked liberals :D), but I'll see how the game develops and write my story accordingly. I intend the gameplay to be the most important here, but I'll try to write a narrative for it with my limited writing skills :)
 

Psychedelic Sou

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yay good see the second Vicky 2 public aar up and running:)

ah but you have chosen my Prussia's natural liberal enemy:D
There's something about France that always attracts me in Victoria :p
I figured it would be a good country to start out with, and it has loads of possiblities. I just hope I won't implode my country :D
 

Nikephorus16

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Go liberalism! Crush the reactionary forces wherever they cower!
 

Bob Ilyani

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[off-topic] was anyone else reminded of Inception by the AAR title? :p [/off-topic]

If possible, you should definitely try to recreate the largest borders of Napoleon's France. Maybe an invasion of GB to free Scotland and Ireland would be cool too. Good luck!
 

Psychedelic Sou

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[off-topic] was anyone else reminded of Inception by the AAR title? :p [/off-topic]

If possible, you should definitely try to recreate the largest borders of Napoleon's France. Maybe an invasion of GB to free Scotland and Ireland would be cool too. Good luck!
I was actually inspired by the song of Edith Piaf, and it refers to the French not regretting anything from the revolution :p But I'm going to see Inception tonight, so maybe I'll see what you mean then :D

I was thinking among the lines of releasing Ireland myself, but I'll see If an opportunity comes along to liberate it from those British oppressors!

EDIT: I've seen Inception now. I get your point :D
 
Last edited:

Psychedelic Sou

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"The people still have fond memories of the Napoleonic era. They don't remember the hardships from 1812-1815, or the widespread nepotism within the Empire. No, they remember the glory, the economic stability, and above all, remember the pride they had in being French. That pride is now all but gone. I myself have once served in the French Army. I wasn't part of just any old unit, no, I was part of the 2nd Foot Chasseur Regiment, where I held the rank of captain. I have seen what mere pride and glory can do to people, experienced what it did to myself. It made me do horrible things, but I regret nothing. No one does. Public morale is low, but flares up from time to time at special occasions. Life goes on, even without liberty or freedom of speech. The reality is a truth hard to bear, but we have to cope with it. Just like we did in Russia in 1812.



It looked promising when we first set off. I had never seen so many men under arms at once, all marching under the same flag, singing the same songs, looking forward to final victory and the return home. But victory never came. The Russians retreated, luring us deeper and deeper inside Russia. Suddenly we were marching towards Moscow. I don't have any exact memories from the march; all I remember is being covered in sweat, blood, mud and, later on, snow. I do remember when we finally did make it to Moscow: the city was ablaze, leaving us starving men without provision. The winter was very cruel to my men and I: out of the 50 men under my command, 23 froze to death and myself have lost my left foot to terrible frostbite. We were ordered to retreat. Being part of one of the "Old Guard" regiments has saved my life: many others, mainly German soldiers, were left behind to take care of themselves. Of the Grand Armée that had entered Russia during the summer of 1812, counting almost 700,000 men, only 65,000 ever came back.



I have seen Napoléon, a broken man by then, refusing to give up even despite his catastrophic defeat in Russia. He rallied us once more into battle at Liepzig the following year, in 1813. Twenty-three years on, the expression on his face and his words still inspire me, they are the fuel that keep me going amidst all this misery."

- Captaine Jacques Durel
2nd Foot Chasseur Regiment​
 
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Nikephorus16

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Wow. Great writing... really looking forward to see what will happen
 

Psychedelic Sou

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Wow. Great writing... really looking forward to see what will happen
Thank you :)

I intend to write every episode from someone's perspective: it could be King Louis-Phillipe, the leader of the opposition or maybe some Parisian woman in the industrial slums. I'm not a great writer, and I'm neither a native English speaker, but I'll attempt to get the most out of my limited writing and language skills.
 

Nikephorus16

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Well I think your grasp of the English language is very impressive! You convey the feeling of dissent really well!
 

unmerged(166917)

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Great, I'm in of course ! :D
 

Psychedelic Sou

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Dear Louise, my beloved daughter. It isn't usual I write you on matters of state or politics, but I have to now for this concerns both you and your beloved Leopold. Public opinion hasn't been favourable the past few years. The people demand more freedom, but as much as I'd like to grant them this, I simply am not capable to. The political climate is still very unstable, with French society being deeply divided and opinions rapidly polarizing. There have been several riots in the Parisian suburbs, which don't promise any good. And although the population is deeply divided among themselves, the overall message is the same: freedom. But If I grant my beloved French people more freedom, I risk foreign invasion by the other powers in Europe. My hands are tied to my back and a knife is set on my troat.


Louis-Philippe I, King of the French

I know I haven't got much time left, but I will use the time that remains to guard the French from themselves as much as possible. Now, I know that on first sight it looks like all this won't be of concern to you. But it is. If a radical regime should overthrow me, it might be possible that Louis-Napoléon, nephew of Napoléon I, ascends to power. The Bonapartists have named him before and it is possible he'd get popular support as well. Should he ascend to power, it seems very probable he will attempt to re-establish the grandeur of the First Empire through conquest. There are two obvious targets ideal for these purposes: the Italian kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmonte and your own country: Belgium, "The Battleground of Europe".


Largest extend of the First French Empire, with both Belgium and Piedmonte annexed into France. Sardinia had not yet entered a union with Piedmonte at this point.


William IV, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

I know the British guarantee your safety, but I have serious doubts If they will be able to enforce their promises in reality. They have the greatest navy in the world, but the biggest part of their land forces are in Africa and Asia, not Europe. The British Army in Europe is even smaller when compared to that of other great powers such as Austria or Prussia. Not only would Louis-Napoléon bring down France, he'd also drag the whole of Western Europe with him in a war the world has never seen before. The peace conditions imposed onto us would be immeasurably harsher than those imposed at the Congress of Vienna, maybe even to the point where France no longer compromises a single nation-state (like todays Germany and Italy). I do not want this to happen to my people, and I don't want any harm bestowed upon my family of the likes of the Revolution. I feel it is my duty to inform you about my worries, as a father and a concerned head of state. I do not wish to see the demented angels of death descend upon Europe once more.

- Louis-Philippe d'Orléans
King of the French​
 
Last edited:

Psychedelic Sou

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Sheer awesomeness! France is one of those I may try for a first game tomorrow. (and maybe an AAR :D )
I'm going to try France out with a friend tomorrow :D Then I'll start the AAR once I've got the hang of it :p