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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Howdy, and welcome to my tiny little corner of AARland! For those of you who don't know me, my name is Matt. This is my third AAR, although this will probably be the first one I complete! My other ones (which can be found in my signature) were both EU3 AAR's with the first being ended by hard drive failure and the second by just having to much on my plate. Anywho, on to this adventure. This will be a Dai Nam AAR, and will be a narrative & gameplay hybrid.

The goal of my AAR's is to have memorable character's that you remember, be it Albert or King Renald (old characters). The problem is with these games is that they cover such a long span of time, they have a bit of a stretched life span. So I got about thinking how to deal with this issue, and with this AAR I won't even attempt to dabble in realism. So this AAR will be written from my perspective and the tiny little fella on my shoulder, Emperor Le Loi, perhaps the greatest leader of Vietnam ever. Hopefully he will guide me as I am quite bad at this game. Remember, don't take this to serious! Enjoy.

Dialogue inbound! There won't be so much next chapter.​
_________________________________________

So this is how I met Le Loi...


Chapter 1 - Why You Never Look Under The Carpet!


December 16th, (Year Omitted)

I was a college student, and a decent one at that. Not to brag, but I was pretty good looking too. Those were the days. Anyway, I was a history major, and as such I was touring Asia with a few friends. We saw the everything from the Great Wall to Edo Castle, hitting all the major spots. Everything was going great, I was having fun and couldn't wait to see Vietnam, as that was our last stop. However, what I got was a whole lot of trouble.

___________________________________


I grimaced and looked at the doorway.

"Do we have to? You know I hate tombs."

My friend Jack smiled and laughed.

"Stop being such a girl. Le Loi was a pretty important guy dude. How can you not go in?"

"By going back to the hotel."

Jack smiled and grabbed my arm. He then shoved me into the tomb.

"Come on it will be fun!"

"Fine! Let's get this over with."

We walked into the tomb. It was cold, dark, and dingy. Just like I expected. We walked for a short bit until we finally arrived at the tomb. Jack looked at it through the ropes.

"Let's touch it!"

I shook my head. Jack always wanted to see what was under the carpet.

"Why? What kind of historian are you?"

"The edgy kind!"

With that he leaned over the ropes and pushed the casket lid. Then he was gone. I blinked and shouted for him. Then suddenly I felt something tapping on my shoulder.

"He is gone boy. His soul is mine. I am live once more!"

There was a small man in ceremonial armor sitting on my shoulder. And he looked alot like engraving on the tomb. I laughed.

"Ha, ok Jack very funny. Come on out now."

I poked at the man on my shoulder.

"You are pretty cool for a projection."

I poked the small man in the stomach again. He screamed. With that he pulled out a tiny blade and stabbed my finger. It bled a little so I sucked on it. I almost soiled myself.

"Ah, you aren't a projection. So I am insane."

"No, it is very simple. I ate your friends soul and reincarnated myself."

"Why are you small?"

"I don't know! This is the first time I have been reincarnated."

"Well, I have to look for Jack."

The small man looked into my eyes.

"SAY MY NAME!"

I couldn't resist.

"Le Loi, my highness. How can I serve you?"

"Leave this place! It is dingy!"

"Yes master!"

With that we left the tomb. Once we were oustide I regained control of myself.

"How did you do that!"

"Magic..."

I glared at him. He stared at me with a blank expression. I shook my head.

"Ok, let's say that you are the real Le Loi for a second. How do you speak english?"

He shrugged.

"With the soul comes the vocabulary I guess."

I was a open minded fellow, so I began to accept all of this. I was obviously off my rocker.

"Fine, leave me now. I want to mourn Jack."

"Two problems with that. First is that I can't leave...

"WHAT!"

"Well, form what I understand is that I need a soul and a tether."

"A tether?"

"Something to keep me in this universe. Guess we better get to know each other."

With that he slung his tiny arm around my neck. I shook it off as gently as I could.

"What is the other problem?"

"Your friend isn't dead. He is in this tiny little body with me. Before you hurt me though, you must help me fufill my goal. He will then be free."

"Will he be tiny?"

Le Loi shrugged.

"Fine, I will help you. What is this goal?"

"I never lived long enough to see that my state developed to the superpower status it deserved! We are going to do this!"

"How..."

Le Loi waved his hands around and started chanting. It was then that I realized I was obviously the only one who could hear him. I didn't have time to consider this though as there was suddenly a flash!

Le Loi looked around and smiled. The tomb was gone and we were now in a dense jungle.

"Son of a...."

Le Loi looked at me and smiled.

"Welcome to 1836! It is from here we will guide my nation to greatness and you will earn back the soul of your friend!"

I could already tell. This was going to suck.

________________________________

Hope you guy's enjoyed! One more pure narrative update and then we get some gameplay.
 
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Omega124

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Good luck. I recently played as Dia Nam. It was really boring; the only thing you really do is research and wait, and build a few fleets to raise the mil. score. And of course, as soon as I westernized, a huge anarcho-liberal revolt just /had/ to happen.
 

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@Boris Thanks man, good to have you back on board.

@Omega Ha, yeah in my test game it wasn't that exciting. But with a little Le Loi style roleplaying I think it will hold your attention. Thanks for the post and good to have you with us.
 

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This will be the last pure narrative update!

______________________________________________


Chapter 2 - How To Overthrow A Monarchy!

______________________________________________

"So, how do you like Vietnam?"

"It was cool until I became a puppet to a ancient monarch."

"Don't think of it as being a puppet, more like uh... actually, just think of it as being a puppet. Now onward, we have a country to take control of! A monarch to kill! So much to do..."

Le Loi faded off into what seemed to be deep thought as we walked through the jungle. I had no idea what direction we were going in, but occasionally Le Loi would point in one direction or the other. I took this time to study the little guy. He was dressed in what appeared to be ceremonial armor, though it was hard to tell seeing as he was only about 6 inches tall. He a thin but muscular body, but I couldn't make out his facial features for his face was far to small. I wondered if he would suddenly grow to normal size. Seeing as he was sitting on my shoulder, that would be rather unfortunate. I could not enjoy this silence long however.

"Can you pick up your feet boy? You are hurting my back!"

"Oh no! I hurt his little back!"

With this he pulled out his tiny little sword again and stabbed me in the shoulder. Furious, I flicked him off, sending him soaring into the jungle. But before he hit the ground, there was a poof and he was gone. Into thin air. Before I got excited though, he reappeared back on my shoulder.

"Where did you go?"

He was breathing heavily.

"I... was in this place called Grenadea or something like that. It was horrible, they were conquering all of Europe. And worst of all...."

He stopped for a second, looking distraught.

"I am pretty sure it's Granada and I know they never conquered Europe. What was the worst?"

"There was a spider! And I swear, it was planning something. I could almost here it scheming."

"Bull. This may be weird, but spiders don't plan nor scheme. You are as insane as I am."

We continued on, but he didn't talk for the rest of the night. I now knew how to get to him. When he finally spoke again he surprised me though.

"Ready to take control of this nation?"

"How?"

"We are right behind the palace right now. You sneak me in and I will do the rest."

"Uh, ok."

After quite a bit of effort I managed to locate a tree that I could climb. Once at the top, I made the short jump to the open balcony that led into the bedroom. I was surprised however when a guard walked through the same doorway. Before he could open his mouth or raise his gun, Le Loi pulled out a small tube and blew a dart out of it. It killed the guard instantly. I supressed a shout of surprise. Le Loi simply smiled at me and pointed for me to walk beside the still sleeping monarch.

"Hold still. This will only hurt alot!"

Before I could react he had started chanting, and I felt myself well, leaving my body. I was a whisp, as was the monarch and we were rapidly moving towards each others crumpled figures. I felt pain shooting throughout my sort of body. I turned my attention the monarch, for fear of what was happening to him. Before the monarchs whisp could reach my body however, Le Loi said a word and his whisp ceased to exsist. Then, I was in the emperor's body. It had happened so fast.

"What the, how could you do this, look at me! What happened to that guy?"

"Don't worry, we will switch you back over when this king dies or we have finished our work. Just put the body in the closet. Oh, and that idiot is dead."

I was in a dead guy's body. Nice. Le Loi floated over to my new bodies shoulder.

"I... I am stuck like this aren't I."

He nodded, I swore. Knowing I had no choice, I picked up my body and put it in the closet as gently as possible. I tossed the guards over the rail, much to the distress of the tea servants who would soon frequent the pathway below.

"Well, you better get some rest! Tomorrow is a big day. We have a country to reform."

He said this as if nothing had happened. Reguardless, I closed my eyes and appeared to be asleep. I knew this was going to suck.

___________________________

Hope you guys enjoyed! Thanks to Boris.
 
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Callendor

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LOL! That's just genious! I'm waiting for the game-part of the AAR. I never tried Dai-Nam before. Can it really become a power?
 

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@Boris Glad you liked it!
@Clendor Ha, thanks, and yes if you move fast enough and the British don't get too excited you can become a world power.
@Ivir That made my day!
 

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Here we go!

__________________________

Chapter 2 - Shameful Display!


I waved my arms about, trying to get the feel for my new body. I hadn't had a wink of sleep. Apparently Le Loi doesn't sleep either as I could feel him watching me all night, which was very creepy. As soon as I showed signs of movement that morning though, he jumped me.

"Ready my emperor?"

"Shut up! This isn't funny. We have a country to run."

Apparently I spoke Vietnamese now. I asked Le Loi why I had gained this new ability.He shrugged and we walked out of the room. I was still nervous we would be found out, but no one seemed to notice. I did hear mumblings of a dead guard being found. Shame, but I pressed on until I found what seemed to be the place where national affairs were conducted. I still couldn't read Vietnamese though, and Le Loi seemed to enjoy my confusion. When I walked in the people looked up in surprise. Apparently the old monarch did not dabble in politics nor economics.

Once I reassured the shocked people that they were not in trouble I managed to spit out a weak story about wanting to guide the country more directly and told them to leave. Still confused they shuffled out the door. Le Loi was chuckling, enjoying the nervous atmosphere. He pointed me over to a table and looked at some charts.









Le Loi had a look of disbelief on his face the whole time. I couldn't help but laugh when he spoke again.

"Apparently my people have taken to knocking their heads against rocks for fun. I suggest mass genocide as the most reasonable course at this point."

I looked over the charts myself. Things were certainly doom and gloom.

"That isn't happening. Now what do we do?"

Le Loi sighed and climbed up closer to my ear.

"Call the lackeys back in. I have work to do. Say exactly as I say."

Over the course of the next hour or so we arranged for the complete reformation of Vietnam. The advisors were ordered around like dogs, to the point where I felt bad for the things Le Loi was telling me to say. The first thing he improved was the economy. He spoke into my ear in a harsh tone.

"Raise taxes for all classes and raise tariffs to 37%. Increase education funding to the max, even if that means banging our children's heads against textbooks. That is all."



Next he turned his attention to the map. I saw a small gleam in his eye when he saw the tiny and undefended state of Luang Prabang. Like I expected he wanted to declare war. He pointed to them on the map and spoke.

"Boom!"

I waited until the advisors weren't paying attention and snapped at him.

"We have no reason to declare war. I bet this will be looked down upon."

He crossed his arms and adopted a annoyed expression. He spoke in a exasperated tone.

"Boom or I switch your body again!"

Can't argue with logic like that.

"Fine...."



We ended the session for today so we could go command the army. We walked out to the stables to mount up. I got on the horse and suddenly realized something.

"I don't know how to ride a horse!"

"What's your point?"

"I could fall and break my neck!"

"Fine, I will take control!"

"Wait, what?"

Before I knew it the horse was pounding away and Le Loi was sitting in my lap with the reigns in his tiny little hands. He seemed to have no trouble controlling the horse, despite the size difference. I was scared, but I enjoyed watching the peoples jaws drop as I seemingly controleld the horse with my mind. It would become a legend that made me a god-like figure. Rightfully so I might add, considering what I was going through I deserved the praise.

We soon arrived at the battle. It wasn't much to see as we easily overwhelmed the enemy forces. Le Loi greatly enjoyed the event though.



Then, we quickly occupied the country. They had no other military. Le Loi made it no mystery that the waiting game bored him. During this waiting game we attended to more national affairs, most importantly deciding a path of research. Me and Le Loi agreed that the pursuit of Freedom of Trade was the best choice. After a few weeks passed we heard of the complete occupation of the enemy.



We soon arrived at peace dealings and agreed on a annexation. While the disgraced leader left the royal palace I lounged while Le Loi watched him from the nearby balcony. Le Loi, before I could react, pulled out his tiny blowgun and shot one of the deadly darts at the now ex-monarch. Luckily he missed, instead hitting the horse, sending the man toppling into the mud. Le Loi found this equally amusing though.

When the business of war was over we had only one matter to debate before the end of our first month in Vietnam. Slavery.



Le Loi spoke before I could open my mouth.

"Of course we extend slavery. It is one of the ancestral right!

"We killed a monarch and you are worried about the ancestral rights! We are not extending slavery, in fact we are going to outlaw it as soon as possible."

Le Loi was about to speak but he was discouraged by my finger, which was ready to flick him into the other dimension.

"SPIDERS! No, please... do what you want reguarding slavery."

I nodded my head, satisfied. This may be more fun than I first anticipated.

_______________________________________

Hope you guys enjoyed! I am open to suggestions.
 
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@Boris I talk about it more in the next update.

No update today guys, I caught the jungle fever.
 

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Chapter 3 - A Funny Smell

I am still sick, so I only have creative juices for a small update.
______________________________


Several days have passed since the succsesful conquest of the enemy. Me and Le Loi were managing to transform a backwards and poor nation into a uncivilized power! But not everyone was so pleased.

______________________________

"I don't think we should be here right now."

A man steps out of a alley and chuckles.

"Why? We are but two civilians visting the market!"

"I hear this emperor is magic though. He can ride a horse without using his hands!"

"Lies. Do not take magic for more than it is. There is a outside force at work here. We must find it."

"What are you talking about? We need to report back to Beiping, it isn't gonna walk to us."

"Go ahead, I will follow."

The other man nodded and walked off. The man from the alley walked into the crowd, weaving through the masses of people with ease. He blended in masterfully, for this time he was just another civilian. There was a goal though. He was working his way towards the palace. Without a hitch he made it out of the crowd into the small yard of a hovel. Here he stole a scarf and wrapped it around his head. His identity was to remain a secret. With this he climbed on top of the building and began to work his way across the skyline.

When he arrived outside the palace he sat and waited. He watched the balcony of the emperor's room. They would come eventually. It was not long before he felt a tiny tapping on his shoulder. He spoke in whispers.

"You are wrong. He does not have him."

A small man appeared on his shoulder and spoke.


The Man Called Yongle

"He is here. I can smell him. We can always find others like us."

"Forgive me. I should not question you Yongle."

"You should not. Now we must wait."

And wait they did. It was several hours until the people they were waiting for walked out onto the balcony. Yongle spoke.

"He is there."

_________________________________

I walked out onto the balcony with Le Loi after a productive day. We were really making progress. I thought I would have Jack back in no time.

"That was a good day."

Le Loi was sniffing around.

"What are you doing?"

"Do you smell something?"

"No."

"Nevermind. I sometimes forget your incompetence."

I didn't let him get to me anymore. I could always send him into the Twilight Zone with a good slap. I walked back inside. I now had a funny feeling though.

"Do you think we should get something to cover the balcony? I always feel like I am being watched."

_______________________________

Hope you guys enjoyed! Next chapter will be longer...
 
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Avindian

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Just found this -- another treat, like the Poland one, hope all is well with you and your family! I'm subscribed.
 

Ashantai

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I loved the Boris reference! :D

Great work so far!
 

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@Boris Yeah, if you know both of these men from a historical stanpoint you can probably guess what will happen.
@Avindian Thanks, glad to have you back on board! Loving both of your current AAR's by the way.
@Ashantai Thanks, nice to see you again.

Next update in about a hour.
 

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Chapter 4 - Goodbye Hanoi!

I am back on top of things so here is another update!

_________________________________

"You know, I think we should give our army another look."

I looked up from my economic reports.

"Why what's wrong with it?"

"We armed a whole bunch of peasants with sticks."

"We didn't have any trouble with Luang Prabang or whatever they were called."

"That's because they were peasants with slightly less sharp sticks."

"Fine, but what are we supposed to do about it?"

He looked into my eyes, and I felt myself lose control again. Everything was a blur as I talked to several advisors and officers. It was not long before I had negotiated for the entire army to disband. I shook my head after I had accomplished my task.

"Why would you do that? You will get us slaughtered!"

"Once we build a new army it will be the enemy who is slaughtered."

"How do we build this grand army you speak of? Preferrably before we get invaded!"

"We import weapons from the West to arm ourselves. Give me control once more and I will do this for you."

"I don't like it when you take control."

"I don't like being six inches tall."

"Fine..."

I let him have control again. The experience was uncomfortable no matter what way you cut it. It was like a two legged race with one of the people being a olympic runner and the other being severely obese. In this rather lackluster comparison, I am the obese person.

"There, I don't know how long it will take to finish, but it is done."

I was coughing as he sat back down on my shoulder.

"Fantastic, but forgive me if I don't jump for joy."

"Stop your crying, we have more pressing matters. Not everyone is satisfied with our new, more absolute rule. One man in the Upper House claims that we should reclaim some ancestral lands."



"So what are we going to do? Reclaim them?"

"No, we have no military. He won't speak anymore though. But it is the idea that the representatives are thinking on their own that scares me."

I sighed. He had tried to brush over it but I saw the not so well hidden message.

"When did you kill him?"

"When you gave that speech...."

"Try not to do it again. Now, before you do anything else to offend the state, what else is on the agenda."

"Research!"

"Well, what going on on that front? Do we have the sharpest sticks yet?"

Le Loi chuckled and pointed to our planned research.





I stared at the papers with a blank expression. I guess that was just one more thing Le Loi would have to handle. The rest of the day moved on without a hitch though. We fiddled with spending in a attempt to further promote our artisans and middle class as a whole.



Needless to say, this was hardly going as expected. Luckily, despite our small income, our lack of spending had been a major boon to the economy. I decided that until we industrialized that there would be no completely beneficial setting. I retired for that night. Several weeks passed without anything interesting. But one day, everything changed. It was a dull morning. I awoke to find quite the surprise in the court. A white man had arrived!



I could tell as soon as I saw him. He was not hostile. And he spoke English!

"Greetings Emperor. My name is Christopher. I have come to examine your country and help it through the difficult process of westernization. I was sent by the British goverment, but think of me as independent, for I do not answer to them."

I surprised him by speaking English back.

"Thank you. We gratefully accept your offer... but my associate is calling for me. We will speak more later!"

I walked to the nearest bathroom, for Le Loi had been poking my ear.

"What could possibly be more important than this?"

He took control of me and took me to the balcony of our room. I looked out. The army was complete. Thousands upon thousands of soldiers stood at attention with their shiny new muskets at the ready. All at once they saluted me.



This is what I called a show of power.

____________________________________________

Thanks for reading guys! Hope you enjoyed.
 

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@Lazyguy Thank you and what a honor!

Tomorrow will be another full update!
 
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