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TheButterflyComposer

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I'd say this was a terrible way to decide head of state and goverment but then again, this is russia...
 
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The Bolsheviks will be seething in fury when they find out that a daughter of the Tsar is about to be crowned as monarch. This will be the crossroad for Russia alright, I wonder if old George V of England will be at ease when he finds out that a child of his cousin survived after all these years.

Anastasia's husband certainly has come a long way from being a lowly soldier of the Red Army and now consort to a scion of House Romanov. I wonder how will Congress react to this interesting turn of events.
 

Specialist290

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I wonder if old George V of England will be at ease when he finds out that a child of his cousin survived after all these years.

Sadly, given that the latest chapter is taking place in December 1936, I think George V has already passed on at this point.

That is, unless there's something else that HvK isn't telling us...
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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The hour of destiny is upon us! Let’s see how Wrangel manages this one.

Future updates shall reveal!

Long live the Tsarina!

*God save

That's a crucial moment in the history of the world not just Russia , tbh i am glad Wrangel is depicted like this , would be even better if he could stick as an advisor ;)

When doing a narrative AAR, writing historical characters can be tricky, as you can run the risk of writing them as stereotypes of how they really were. I mean sure, it's fun to write about a Hitler that rants and raves and yells at everyone, but history can be more complicated than that. Wrangel, far as I could see in my research, really was considered one of the best commanders the White faction had to offer, even if he isn't as widely known as someone like Kolchak. Which is why I try to portray him in a fairly positive light.

Well this will certainly spice things up in the Congress.

You mean the Duma? Russia at this time is known as the Russian Military Junta, and I've been playing it as a conglomeration of military leaders ruling the government.

If you mean the U.S. congress, I'm sure it'll give the senators something to talk about with their wives over morning coffee.

I'd say this was a terrible way to decide head of state and goverment but then again, this is russia...

There are far worse ways. For example, it could be like the Roman Empire at one of its lowest points, when the Praetorian Guard actually had an auction for the emperor position (then beat the guy to death when he couldn't actually make payment).

On the other hand, you could have strange women lying in ponds distributing swords..

Wrangel actually didn't give her much of a choice, but then again he doesn't have much of a choice either.

The key here is to try to get her to make the choice willingly, which was his goal. True, he left her with no other option, but it's better she makes it with some enthusiasm or sense of duty rather than a nonchalant acceptance that it's fait accompli.

The Bolsheviks will be seething in fury when they find out that a daughter of the Tsar is about to be crowned as monarch. This will be the crossroad for Russia alright, I wonder if old George V of England will be at ease when he finds out that a child of his cousin survived after all these years.

Sadly, given that the latest chapter is taking place in December 1936, I think George V has already passed on at this point.

That is, unless there's something else that HvK isn't telling us...

As Specialist said, George V is dead. Historically, he died 20 January, 1936, and we're well past that. All the same, I'm sure he would be happy to know a child of his cousin has survived. :)

Also, there will be no plot twist involving George V coming out of hiding or anything like that. My apologies to all George V fans out there.
 
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All caught up again. I thoroughly enjoyed all the lead up to the big reveal. And I’m liking Wrangel as portrayed here. To think he has been trying to balance all these diabolical problems for what must seem an eternity. Now, a ray of light emerges. Presuming the plans go as hoped for, I’m also curious to see where Russia emerges in the increasingly unstable world situation: will they lean towards an existing bloc, or found their own?
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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All caught up again. I thoroughly enjoyed all the lead up to the big reveal. And I’m liking Wrangel as portrayed here. To think he has been trying to balance all these diabolical problems for what must seem an eternity. Now, a ray of light emerges. Presuming the plans go as hoped for, I’m also curious to see where Russia emerges in the increasingly unstable world situation: will they lean towards an existing bloc, or found their own?

Russia's a lot like GB in that it doesn't necessarily need to be in an alliance or bloc, but it's usually a good idea. While they rebuild though, there's not much need or desire I think. When the country stabilises and they go looking for the lost bits of the Russian empire (eastern Europe especially) then they will need some friends, unless its in the middle of a world war and no one cares...
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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Presuming the plans go as hoped for, I’m also curious to see where Russia emerges in the increasingly unstable world situation: will they lean towards an existing bloc, or found their own?

Currently in-game Russia has its own bloc: the Pact of Petrograd (see chapter 2).

Russia's a lot like GB in that it doesn't necessarily need to be in an alliance or bloc, but it's usually a good idea. While they rebuild though, there's not much need or desire I think. When the country stabilises and they go looking for the lost bits of the Russian empire (eastern Europe especially) then they will need some friends, unless its in the middle of a world war and no one cares...

Plus, with the HoI4 mechanic where common enemies are placed together in a war and the AI starts bombing you with military access permissions, it's almost not worth worrying about other factions.
 
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Currently in-game Russia has its own bloc: the Pact of Petrograd (see chapter 2).
Ah, so it is an actual faction - thanks for reminding/clarifying. That’s good: if a war does emerge, better that Russia gets to choose sides and timing. Unless of course they are the initial object!
 
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Hello,

I'm the lead developer for DWRV and I came up with the writing and lore for Russia in the mod (my team helped me with the later entries like Ukraine and Finland). I've got to say, this is absolutely fantastic. You've filled in a lot of the blanks I left (like the family's names) as I felt I couldn't really do some things justice through the medium of a HoI4 mod. It also seemed more tactful to not go into specifics about the husband, as being married to a peasant is a touchy thing for some modern Russian monarchists, and a large portion of the players are likely Russian. But even your description of how things go down at the execution was better than I had envisioned. In my mind, Anastasia's future husband was just the driver for the truck and he simply drives her to the nearest doctor rather than to the burial site. In my eyes, your prologue is the real canon. I also appreciate the attention to tiny details many probably didn't notice, like the truck parked outside to try and drown at the noise and even the Bolshevik bringing the chairs down for Alexei and his mother. Having done my own research I recognized those details immediately. Anyways, I'd love to upload the chapters onto our discord server for the mod, and maybe even integrate your prologue directly into the mod, if that's all okay with you. You should also swing by the server if you haven't already and dm me (I'm Mr.ShadeO in the server). I'd like to talk to you about even writing some other events for the mod and my other upcoming mods. Here's the server (all are welcome): https://discord.gg/zq5gw9A

Cheers
Can I just say in all my many years of AAR writing, this is perhaps the best and most flattering response I've ever received? If the maker of a mod says he loves your AAR, that's a compliment enough. To be told my prologue is now canon is another! I certainly didn't intend to canonize anything, because everyone has their head-canon when it comes to the details of a mod or a what-if scenario, and as you said, going into specifics for a game like HoI4 is either unnecessary or won't do enough justice. However, if it's well liked enough or is decided to be helpful, I won't complain.

I will definitely swing by the server and DM you, although I can't promise it immediately at the time of this post. (I have some RL things to take care of, also I have an update I'm about to post after his one!) However, you should definitely get a message from me over the weekend. Also, you have my permission to upload chapters to the discord server, or share them however you see fit. (Or, if you want me to do it, I can do that as well.)

Also, I'm glad for anyone who catches the little historical details I throw in here. I mean them as little Easter eggs for those who have done their research or know the full story.
That's one hell of an accomplishment! Congratulations! @Henry v. Keiper :D
 
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Very well done! you deserve all the accolades Keiper! It takes skill to write so many characters and their motivations in a complex lore. I haven't played this mod yet, so i am tempted to check it out with the way you've presented all this!
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Very well done! you deserve all the accolades Keiper! It takes skill to write so many characters and their motivations in a complex lore. I haven't played this mod yet, so i am tempted to check it out with the way you've presented all this!

Thanks! Glad you're enjoying it! And I'm glad this AAR has increased interest in the mod. I would definitely check it out. It's quite an ambitious one, just for the sheer number of historical paths involved.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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rBKVCB2.png

Chapter 8
Masha


February, 1937

Masha’s eyes stared at the bulb in the corner, watching it with an intense glance. At last, the light flicked on.

Dobroye utro. This is Maria Stepanova for the Moscow service. Here is the news.”

She glanced down at the sheets before her.

“A while ago, we reported on the start of the Spanish Civil War. The war started with a failed coup attempt by the military to overthrow the government on Christmas Day, at four in the afternoon. The nation was then split in two, between the Republic side still run by Prime Minister Manuel Azaña Díaz, and General José Sanjurjo among the various Nationalist and Carlist sects. However, General Sanjurjo died in a plane crash at the beginning of this month, and leadership has passed into the hands of various leading generals. The Azaña government has expressed optimism that the war will come to a quick end, as Republican forces overrun Nationalist holdouts in the southern part of the country, while Republican troops push towards the Nationalist headquarters at Burgos. In the meantime, Italy and Germany have both sent troops and material to aide the Nationalists in their struggle.”

1wVXtSe.png

Masha turned the page over.

“Great Britain continues its push towards decolonization and the dismantling of the British Empire. Stanley Baldwin is preparing to withdraw from contested territories around the world. There are many examples of this exchange: Northern Ireland will be returned to the Irish Republic; Hong Kong will be returned to China; Newfoundland will be returned to Canada; and the Falkland Islands will be returned to Argentina. Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin has denied accusations from those within his own party that this is being done to appease Communist factions within the United Kingdom. Many other British officials are asking if this is a wise move to do with the recent militarization of the Rheine by Germany. However, Prime Minister Baldwin has assured his critics that this decision is being done carefully, and with the full scope of the world in mind.”

Masha turned to the next page.

“In the Far East, Japan has begun the formation of a new alliance they are calling the Greater East-Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. The ideals behind this formation include opposing the influence of western colonialism and the intervention in the life of Asian nations by major regional powers such as Britain, France, the Netherlands, and even Russia. Japanese officials have compared this action to the Monroe Doctrine, which declares the United States the automatic defender of the United States. However, European critics have called this a ploy by Japan to consolidate her control in the region under the guise of Pan-Asian sentiments. So far, the only founding members will be Japan, Manchukuo, and Mengkukuo. General Wrangel’s government has yet to comment on this development.”

The page was turned to the next written portion. Masha smiled as she came across this story, and her voice took a noticeably chipper tone.

“There is further development on the story of the revelation of Anastasia, the former Grand Duchess of the Romanov Dynasty. Anastasia has been moved, under protection of the military, to her family’s former palace in Petrograd. General Wrangel, in cooperation with various Russian lawmakers, has managed to execute a revision of the Pauline Laws regarding the Tsardom. These laws were instituted by Emperor Paul I in 1797, and among their rules included a stipulation that a female could only inherit after all potential male inheritors had been abolished. The new succession laws will now be similar to many other European nations, where a female issue of the ruling monarch can inherit if there are no other direct male successors. Wrangel has also revised the law to legitimize and grant special royal standing to Anastasia’s husband, Mikhail, and her children, Alexander and Olga. Wrangel has justified this move by pointing out that the Pauline Laws were heavily revised throughout the course of their use, and that, beforehand, the laws enacted by Peter the Great permitted the monarch to designate anyone as their successor.”

5WL7kxT.png

After turning the page, Masha saw Ivan lift up two fingers. She nodded quietly.

“General Wrangel’s government has also begun an inquiry into constitutional reform. It is unclear at this moment what the finished product will look like, but many politicians are suggesting that Anastasia is being set to rule over Russia. It is unclear how far her rule will take, in comparison to past monarchs, or even if her rule will be anything other than ceremonial. Given the monarchy was abolished back in 1917, there may be no short controversy to Anastasia rising up to the scene.”

Ivan lifted up a finger and waved it around in a circle. She nodded again.

“That was your news at the top of the hour. We now turn to Fly away on the wings of the wind, from Alexander Borodin’s opera Prince Igor. This is Maria Stepanova, with the Moscow service.”

As the light flicked off, Alexei stormed into the room. He plucked the cigarette from his mouth, creating a comical pop sound with his lips. “You sounded far too enthusiastic with the Anastasia story.”

Masha shrugged. “I think it’s an interesting story. I mean, a princess running off to be a peasant girl, then being whisked back to her father’s throne? It’s like something from a movie.”

“It does sound like a film, but you’re supposed to be impartial when you read!”

Ivan’s voice came from the audio room. “Yes, Maria, God forbid you show any emotion.”

Alexei spun around towards Ivan, his cigarette-decorated index and middle fingers waggling at the technician. “You don’t get the producers yelling at you! Remember how upset they were at me when she stumbled last week?”

“She stumbled once. The last girl could barely speak. Remember she mixed up ‘Trotsky’ for ‘Wrangel’?”

Alexei shivered, his face turning pale. “I couldn’t sleep that night.” He placed the cigarette to his mouth and inhaled half the drag. He paused to blow the smoke through his nostrils, sending them spiraling into gray cones like horses breathing in the dead of winter. When his eyes opened to look at Masha, they looked far softer, and his voice now took on a much more relaxed tone. “Just… be careful, is all I’m saying.”

Masha nodded gently, a smile on her face. “I’ll be careful, sir.”

“Thank you. I’m sorry. You just wouldn’t believe the stress I’m under…” With a turn, Alexei was walking out of the studio, and out of the control room, and grumbling to himself all the while.

“He should get out more to relax,” Ivan remarked, speaking loud enough for Masha to hear him through the glass and open studio door. “Maybe go see a movie.”

Masha laughed. “They’re having a reissued showing of By the Bluest of Seas tonight. I might go see that.” Trips to the movies were one of the few luxuries she could afford at that moment. “Have you seen that?”

“I saw it last year.” Ivan’s eyes never left the control panel as he made adjustments. “I can’t say it was my favorite.”

Masha stood and stretched her back, hearing a few satisfying pops. She couldn’t help but notice Ivan, his vision formerly glued to the controls, now gave her form a sideways glance, though he tried to be subtle about it. Funny how men thought you never noticed when they looked. Still, Ivan had treated her with nothing but respect since she’d worked there, and, as the previous scene had shown, he was often the first to stand up for her when Alexei was upset. “I’m going to get some coffee, Ivan. Would you like something?”

“Yes, actually. I’d like a new technical director.”

She giggled. “When we get a new empress, send her a petition.”

“I just might.”
 
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stnylan

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A new technical director probably isn't hard. A competent one ... possibly more chance of another Romanov popping onto the scene.
 

Specialist290

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It's interesting to note that, despite their vastly different circumstances on paper, Masha and Anastasia actually have quite a bit in common: Both of them are thrust in a rather novel situation with relatively minimal preparation and are essentially learning their trade as they go, under the direction of others who see her as their last hope to keep a rather precarious enterprise from falling apart completely.
 
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DensleyBlair

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Northern Ireland will be returned to the Irish Republic;

Ah, the famously plausible HOI engine at work I see. Baldwin’s gunna have one hell of a time explaining that one away.

Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin has denied accusations from those within his own party that this is being done to appease Communist factions within the United Kingdom.

Frankly I am amazed the Tories haven’t shot him.

I do like getting to see the world through Masha’s eyes. It’s a neat way to get an overview of events. I’m also very heartened to see the Republicans hanging on in Spain. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a playthrough, actually.
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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Ah, the famously plausible HOI engine at work I see. Baldwin’s gunna have one hell of a time explaining that one away.

I'll be honest, there is pretty much no reason outside of ideology to decolonise. Not only does it garuntee a communist uprising if you take that focus path unless you a) ban communism and ruthlessly suppress it, and b) hurry very speedily along the focus path ignoring all useful game development in favour of heavily restricting your ability to fight a war by removing large (by which we mean, all) chunks of the empire outside of the island of great Britian. The ONLY reason you'd do this at all I see if you are secretly planning on turning communist AND picking a fight with the entire worlds including the soviets because the only thing you'll get out of decolonisation as a decision branch is millions upon millions of pops added and only having to worry about defending the incredibly easily defended island of Britian which will eat all the attacking pops in the world.

So Baldwin is either a secret communist megalomaniac whose going to take over the world or so utterly hates the British that he wants to gather as many of them as possible from across the globe and then nuke the country to death.
 

DensleyBlair

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I'll be honest, there is pretty much no reason outside of ideology to decolonise. Not only does it garuntee a communist uprising if you take that focus path unless you a) ban communism and ruthlessly suppress it, and b) hurry very speedily along the focus path ignoring all useful game development in favour of heavily restricting your ability to fight a war by removing large (by which we mean, all) chunks of the empire outside of the island of great Britian. The ONLY reason you'd do this at all I see if you are secretly planning on turning communist AND picking a fight with the entire worlds including the soviets because the only thing you'll get out of decolonisation as a decision branch is millions upon millions of pops added and only having to worry about defending the incredibly easily defended island of Britian which will eat all the attacking pops in the world.

So Baldwin is either a secret communist megalomaniac whose going to take over the world or so utterly hates the British that he wants to gather as many of them as possible from across the globe and then nuke the country to death.

I suppose this is what we call the game engine 'having a normal one', then.

Still, should make for a chaotically fun little sideshow while we watch Russia navigate its way back to imperial glory.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Presumably the game was set to turn the uk communist or the AI just decided to do that for yucks. I assume the former only because the UK going red And the republicans effortlessly backhanding the fascists in Spain with no help is pretty rare.
 

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A new technical director probably isn't hard. A competent one ... possibly more chance of another Romanov popping onto the scene.

Speaking as someone who has quite the bit of experience in news media, I concur.

It's interesting to note that, despite their vastly different circumstances on paper, Masha and Anastasia actually have quite a bit in common: Both of them are thrust in a rather novel situation with relatively minimal preparation and are essentially learning their trade as they go, under the direction of others who see her as their last hope to keep a rather precarious enterprise from falling apart completely.

I hadn't even thought of that while writing, but I guess you're right. I'll take this literary parallelism as a "happy accident".

Ah, the famously plausible HOI engine at work I see. Baldwin’s gunna have one hell of a time explaining that one away.
I'll be honest, there is pretty much no reason outside of ideology to decolonise. Not only does it garuntee a communist uprising if you take that focus path unless you a) ban communism and ruthlessly suppress it, and b) hurry very speedily along the focus path ignoring all useful game development in favour of heavily restricting your ability to fight a war by removing large (by which we mean, all) chunks of the empire outside of the island of great Britian. The ONLY reason you'd do this at all I see if you are secretly planning on turning communist AND picking a fight with the entire worlds including the soviets because the only thing you'll get out of decolonisation as a decision branch is millions upon millions of pops added and only having to worry about defending the incredibly easily defended island of Britian which will eat all the attacking pops in the world.

So Baldwin is either a secret communist megalomaniac whose going to take over the world or so utterly hates the British that he wants to gather as many of them as possible from across the globe and then nuke the country to death.
I suppose this is what we call the game engine 'having a normal one', then.

Still, should make for a chaotically fun little sideshow while we watch Russia navigate its way back to imperial glory.

The growth of Communism in the United Kingdom, as well as their attempts to decolonize, are indeed all actions of the AI, and not any kind of interfering on my part. I admitted in my opening post that I would be using the console a few times to keep things balanced, but for the most part I left Britain alone. Besides, whenever I play HoI4, I can't help but notice the UK AI either goes towards decolonization or it ignores that whole focus tree entirely. Heck, I had one HoI4 game where I brought back the Kaiser in Germany, and Britain invaded Holland to secure their place within the Allies.

I do agree with Monsieur Butterfly that, from a gameplay perspective, there's no need to decolonize unless you're going the Communist Britain route, but even then, knowing that Germany and Italy are about to crazy in a few years, why would you put yourself in that weakened predicament? Unless the German AI is also going an alternative route (eg., bringing back the Kaiser), it seems silly to initiate that tree.

All that being said, I've mentioned in a previous post that the world in this timeline goes some interesting routes, and, well, this is but one example. There will be quite a few "fun little sideshows" as the game progresses.

Presumably the game was set to turn the uk communist or the AI just decided to do that for yucks. I assume the former only because the UK going red And the republicans effortlessly backhanding the fascists in Spain with no help is pretty rare.

That last part is a good point to bring up. There's no Soviet Union to send aide to Republican Spain, and to my knowledge no one else has sent expeditionary troops up until this point. So everything you see Republican Spain doing here is by it's own power.

I do like getting to see the world through Masha’s eyes. It’s a neat way to get an overview of events. I’m also very heartened to see the Republicans hanging on in Spain. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a playthrough, actually.

Yeah, my goal with Masha's storyline is, working in news, she gives me a chance to give an exposition of what's happening around the world, or even in Russia, without it coming across too much like info-dumping, or just dry, bare bones After Action Report writing. ("This happened, then this happened, then that happened, then I did this with the AI...")
 
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