• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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To the Faire ReadAAR:

The tale you are about to read is a strange one, and I will make no pretense of it, despite the pretension currently being generated by this pretentious introduction. But you must understand this AAR's strange history. Suffices it to say it, it is strange, for the history is long, the gaps wide, and the tone and style swings about dramatically, oft intentionally so. And to ease the reading of this somehow-lauded work here, I have assembled these following links to every update in this AAR. Enjoy.


Opening the AARk(2/13/05)
The Half-Lobster in the AARk(2/15/05)
The Half-Lobster that is not in the AARk(2/16/05)
The plans of the AARk(2/20/05)
The...um...meeting that really doesn't have to do much with the AARk(2/20/05)
The shutting of the AARk(2/23/05)
The subtle political commentary of the AARk(3/5/05)
The flight of the cover of the AARk(3/12/05)
The pictures I couldn't really put into the last update but wanted you to see anyway. Umm... AARk(3/12/05)
The newscast of the AARk(3/15/05)
The waffles of the AARk(3/19/05)
The council-meeting-type-thing that is occuring in the room next to the room that contains the AARk(3/26/05)
The insane ramblings of the AARk(4/21/05)
The series of pictures of the AARk(4/22/05)
The...uh...second newscast of the AARk?(4/25/05)
The...um...second council-meeting-type-thing of the AARk(4/28/05)
The Prisoner of the AARk(4/30/05)
Escape from Secrets of the AARk: The Video Game! Coming to stores near you!(5/1/05)
All Your Base Are Belong to the AARk, pt. 1(6/3/05)
All Your Base Are Belong to the AARk, pt. 2(6/3/05)
The Ministry of Truth. I mean, the Ministry of the AARk(7/12/05)
The blatant continuity breach of the AARk(8/27/05)
The re-using of old jokes of the AARk(9/3/05)
The Meta-AARk(9/10/05)
The... something... of the AARk. I got nothing(9/14/05)
The Special Guest Appearance of the AARk(9/16/05)
The infinite recursive self-referencing loop of the AARk(9/18/05)
The Last-Minute Non-Update Announcement that Managed to be Humourous of the AARk(9/21/05)
The Shaggy Dog Story of the AARk(9/24/05)
The Insane Ramblings of the AARk - The AuthAAR's Cut(9/30/05)
The bAAR at the centre of the AARk(10/12/05)
The ballots of all shapes and sizes of the AARk(10/14/05)
The New Character Introduction of the AARk(2/4/06)
The Great Crossover of the AARk(2/13/06)
The AARk Where Everybody Knows Your Name(4/15/06)
The Journal of the AARk(4/22/06)
The Dramatic Movie Parodies Of Dramatic Movies Of The AARk(4/29/06)
The Secret Project of the AARk(5/6/06)
The Movie Trailer of the AARk of the AARk of the AARk(5/13/06)
The Plot Development of the AARk(5/17/06)
The Further Plot Development of the AARk(5/20/06)
The Plot Convergence of the AARk(5/27/06)
The Ministers of the AARk(6/03/06)
The Puppet of the AARk(6/11/06)
The Theme Park of the AARk(6/12/06)
The Letters of the AARk(6/14/06)
The Alliance of the AARk(6/19/06)
The Peace of the AARk(6/20/06)
The Replacement of the AARk(6/21/06)
The Return to Abnormalcy of the AARk(6/23/06)
The Promotion of the AARk(6/26/06)
The Superhero Summoning of the Country Next To The Country With The AARk(6/28/06)
The Cabinet Meeting of the AARk...With a Twist!(6/29/06)
The Coin Matrix of the AARk(6/30/06)
The Infiltration of the AARk(7/01/06)
The Firing of the AARk(7/08/06)
Yet Another Council Meeting of the AARk(7/09/06)
The Goats of the AARk(7/14/06)
With Apologies to MacRaith, Pt 1(7/19/06)
With Apologies to MacRaith, Pt 2(7/20/06)
With Apologies to MacRaith, Pt 3(7/21/06)
With Apologies to MacRaith, Pt 4(7/24/06)
With Apologies to MacRaith, Pt 5(7/25/06)
With Apologies to MacRaith, Pt 6(7/26/06)
With Apologies to MacRaith, Pt 7(7/29/06)
With Apologies to MacRaith, Pt 8(8/2/06)
With Apologies to MacRaith, Pt 9(8/4/06)
With Apologies to MacRaith, Pt 10(8/5/06)

The Best Update
Ever


However, there are certain things in the thread not linked here, such as the Readership OscAARs, the wacky responses to reader comments, and the whiny posts complaining about the lack of replies and/or readership interspersed throughout. So if you wish to get the full experience of this AAR, it might do you well to read the whole thing straight from the beginning, as monumental a task as it is.

Anyways, on to the first update ever!


Emperor Haile Selassie was trembling, which was odd, because he was not the trembling type. Though over the past two months, there had been much to tremble about, such as the imminent occupation of the Ethiopian state by the armies of fascist Italy. Two months ago, the Italians launched an invasion of Tigray from their Eritrea, and a simultaneous invasion of Ogaden from Italian Somaliland, and since then, there had been nothing but defeats for the obsolete Ethiopian Army. Luckily, just before Axum fell, he had had its most important treasure moved here, to Addis Abbaba. The Ark of the Covenant, which was now laying right in front of him.

That was probably the reason why he was trembling. He was about to open the Ark of the Covenant, which was certainly not an every-day event. Who knew what secrets it contained? Perhaps, just perhaps, the power to stop the Italians, somehow…

Should the Ark contain:

a) An Alien Transponder, which immediately sends a message to the alien fleet telling them to invade Earth.
b) An amusing 6000-year old half-crustacean that helps Haile Selassie with his knowledge of the future.
c) The power to call upon divine intervention in the favour of the Ethiopians.
d) Two tablets, a pot of very, very old manna, and a stick. Nothing that affects the military campaign.

(The voting is over. I didn't even take a vote, really. I just decided on b) without any of your input.)
 
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Sorry for the short intro, but I already have a long AAR I'm working on, and I just can't do two such things at once. Ethiopia, v1.1, 1936 campaign. A nation that is doomed in more ways than one. I have attempted many times to survive as them, every time failing, but maybe I can throw in an alien invasion or 'divine intervention' (blatant cheating) to even the odds in my favour this time. Who knows? Depending on how the first few months go, I'll make my decision.
 

Semi-Lobster

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The title of this AAR seems familiar! ;) Well anyway, all I can say is good luck because you'll need it! :D
 

The Yogi

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I cast my vote for the semi-lobster. And best of luck!
 

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I cast my vote for option D. (Yes, I know you put it in there for comedic effect, but if it gets chosen...) ; )
 

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After about ten seconds of hesitation, Haile Sellassie opened his eyes and looked into the Ark, to find it...

Empty. Well, not exactly empty. The Ark was empty except for some red thing of some sort lying down in the middle of it. It looked like a scorpion. No, it wasn’t a scorpion. It was a lobster. Half of a lobster, in fact. Its entire left side was missing, so the lobster had only one claw. What kind of a joke was this?

<Hey, you> a voice said in Haile Sellassie’s head. He looked around, but his chambers were empty, as they were supposed to be. The opening of the Ark was secret.

<It’s your grandfather,> the voice clarified. “Grandpa?” Sellassie asked, a bit confused.

<No, you idiot! It’s me, the half-lobster thing in the Ark.>

Now Sellassie was even more confused. “Wha-what’s going on? Isn’t this the Ark of the Covenant? Where are the tablets with the ten commandments on them?”

<Yeah.... About that....> The lobster took its one claw and rubbed the back of its half-neck with it. Sellassie blinked, and the half-lobster thing was indeed moving. By now his capacity for strangeness had been filled to the brim. Nothing could surprise him anymore.

<You’re familiar with that legend, right? The one about Menelik?>

“Menelik I? Yes, he was supposed to have taken the Ark back to Ethiopia from Israel.”

<Yeah...well... You see, the night before we left, we kinda had a big party, and we all got hammered. Menelik especially. Let me tell you, this dude was lit. He got it in his head to steal the Ark of the Covenant, so that night he snuck into the room where the Ark was being kept. I followed him, against my better judgment. But he took the wrong one, the one that was booby-trapped. I told him so after he managed to drag that thing all the way back to his quarters, but he wouldn‘t listen. He said, ‘If it‘s the fake one, why don‘t you open it and check it out?’ Then he passed out, and I opened it, and the next thing I remember was waking up the next morning with the great-uncle of all hangovers, without my entire left half, and worse yet, I was trapped inside the Ark. I‘ve been in there for the past however many years it has been.>

Haile Sellassie took that all in stride. “So, did the booby-trapped Ark make you a lobster as well?”

<Of course not! I’ve been a lobster all my life! 6000 years, in fact! You know the original Ark? The one with Noah and the Great Flood? I was one of the two lobsters that went on. Speaking of Noah, you remind me a bit of Ham. With a little bit of Shem in there, of course. After thousands of years, all you humans must have some blood from all three of ‘em.>

“Wait, wait, you’re a lobster, are you not?”

<Catch on quick, don’t you?>

“But if you’re a lobster, why would you have needed the Ark’s protection in the Flood?”

<Well...I...> The half-lobster was rubbing the back of its neck again. <Look, I never admitted this to anyone. Not even to Menelik, and he and I were best buds. But I can’t swim. I know, I know, I’m a lobster, I should be able to, but I can’t. All right?>

“But...”

<Look, I just don’t want to talk about it. Why am I giving you my life story? What’s your story, Question-Boy?>

“I am Haile Sellassie, Emperor of Ethiopia.”

<What’s that to me? I’m a magical half-lobster that was trapped in a box for thousands of years. I don’t care if you’re the Lion of Judah.>

“But I am the-”

<Look, I. Don’t. Care. Just tell me why you opened the Ark.>

“Well, you see, um... What’s your name?”

<Just call me Semi-Lobster.>

“Right. Semi-Lobster. My kingdom is under attack from a foreign power, who have no justified reason to seek war with us except for the greed in their hearts. Our allies have deserted us, leaving us to fend for ourselves, even though our armies do not stand a chance. We are decades behind the Italians, and most of my men are armed with nothing more than spears or bows, while they have machine guns and bombers.”

The Semi-Lobster was silent for a few minutes. At last, he finally spoke.

<Well, what do you expect me to do?>

“I don’t really know. Maybe, smite the Italian armies with your great powers?”

<Look, if I had great powers, don’t you think that I would have been able to get myself out of this box?>

“I...I suppose so,” Sellassie stammered sheepishly.

<I see. Well, sorry, but I don’t have any magical powers except the power to survive without half of my body for thousands of years. Also, the power of telepathy, of course. And I make the best spam musubis. But that’s about it.>

“So, you cannot help me or my kingdom?”

<Not really. Did I mention that I can make the best spam musubis?>

“Yes.”

<Oh. Then I don’t really have anything else. Sorry.>

“Great.” Sellassie sighed. “So my nation is doomed.”

<Basically. But I’d like to thank you for freeing me from this Ark. I haven’t stretched by tail for ages. Though of course, there enough room for me to stretch my tail in->

Sellassie shut the Ark.
 

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Well, I chose option b), as you can plainly see. Now I'm going to try to get a few screenshots loaded, and try to survive past May as Ethiopia. So far I'm in April, but the situation is grim...
 

Semi-Lobster

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Wow!... I don't really know how to react to this!

So have 1000 funky lobster points!

Anyway, the secret for my quickly forgotten Ethiopian AAR was to start off with a more historically accurate OOB that I made up... and that's about it! My only hope was that the Italian AI screw up! :D

Perhaps this lobster's other half is EVIL!!! (in all caps and with three exclamation marks) and works for Mussolini!
 

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In HOI1, playing as Ethiopia would have been actually much, much easier. It takes months to march from Eritrea to Addis Abbaba in HOI1 for the Eye-talians, but in HOI2 it takes only a few weeks! Also, the power disparity was not as much in HOI1, IIRC. And you could ask Britain to let you in their alliance every few months. In HOI2, due to the money thing, I can never do a trade agreement or even ask UK to let me in their alliance, since trade efficiency is 0% for every nation on earth!

So while Ethiopia is screwed in HOI1, it is royally screwed in HOI2.

Also, about the Lobster's other half, well, you don't know the half of it. :D

Thanks for the Lobster points, BTW.
 

Semi-Lobster

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*Funky Lobster Points
- Currency of the extinct Cambodian Semi Lobster (Metanephrops Angkorius), native of the Gulf of Thailand and the lake of Tonle Sap. These large semi sentient lobsters once menaced fishing boats with short, meaningless posts. Semi-Lobsters where both paranoid and from reports 'kinda itchy' and spent their days truly living up to their status as bottom feeders by posting on internet forums. The Semi-Lobster was believed to have gone extinct after it depleted it's creative resources attempting to write unpopular and poorly written AARs. It is believed the last Semi-Lobster was eaten at a Red Lobbster in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan by a Mr. Phillips and his portly wife. After dining on the Semi-Lobster they described the flavour as, 'kinda like goat, but only if the goat was raised by Momar Qaddafi and fed a diet of deed fried tooth paste. Otherwise though, not very filling'. The 'funky lobster point' is the Semi-Lobster's last remaining contribution to society, on it is an engraving of a lobster with the head of James Brown shooting lasers at the 1992 Toronto Maple Leafs.
 
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:rofl:

Though for the record, none of your AARs are poorly written. They're just not updated very often...
 

Semi-Lobster

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anonymous4401 said:
:rofl:

Though for the record, none of your AARs are poorly written. They're just not updated very often...

Hey, I updated yesterday! :D Sometimes there's just massive gaps in updates that last several months! :D
 

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During the hours since Haile Sellassie first opened the Ark, he had had a lot of time to think. He was by now sure that he had seen, and heard, a half-lobster creature talking to him in the Ark. That was it. He must have gone insane, had a lapse in sanity. After all, he had been under intense stress over the past many months.

Or perhaps... Perhaps he was simply not worthy to view the awesome holiness of the contents of the AARk. Perhaps it was like staring into the face of God, which would perfectly explain that mad hallucination. Perhaps his mortal mind simply could not take the wonder, and imagined up some crazy vision of a 6000-year-old Semi-Lobster.

He would open the Ark again. This time, if he imagined some crazy thing again, then he would simply shut the Ark, walk away, and never open it again, for he would not even have been able to peer into it without going insane. On the other hand, this time he might actually find something that could help him. Either way, he had nothing to lose. Once again, he lifted up the lid and looked into the Ark.

Not only was the Semi-Lobster really in there, but he was also reading a book. He was holding the book with his one claw, and reading its contents with his one eye while turning its pages with his one antenna. The book was an odd one. The title was in English, of all languages! It read, ‘HOI2 Guide for Half-Crustaceans and N00bs’, which Haile Sellassie couldn’t translate.

“So, you are real,” he said calmly. It was official. He had snapped under the strain. It was only natural, after all. What else was he supposed to do, with the destruction of his empire looming so closely ahead? “Sorry for shutting the Ark like that.”

<It’s all right. I’ve been trapped in there for millennia. What’s a few more hours? Besides, I wanted to get some reading done.>

Haile Sellassie didn’t even ask where he found a book to read, or even how the Semi-Lobster learned how to read in English. But his mind still objected. “How can you read in there? The inside of the Ark must be completely dark.”

<Simple. I’m a lobster. Half of one, anyway. Lobsters can see in the dark.>

“They can?”

<How am I supposed to know? What do I look like, a marine biologist?>

“But if you can‘t-”

<Why do you ask so many questions? Is that your job? Are you a Question-Asker, as well as an Emperor?> The Semi-Lobster had put his odd book down by now, and was looking straight at Sellassie with his one eye.

“No-”

<Then stop asking questions.> Sellassie could have sworn that the Semi-Lobster was wagging a claw at him. <So, why did you open the Ark again? Guilty conscience?>

“Well, actually, I was worried that I had gone insane and was imagining that there was a Semi-Lobster in the Ark of the Covenant. I opened it to make sure, and now I am sure.”

<Don’t worry, Sellassie. You aren’t crazy, at least by human standards. Anyways, since you’re here, I might as well start giving you advice.>

“Advice?”

<Yeah, advice. That was my last gig. Advisor and best friend to the first Menelik. But the sorry sod’s probably been dead for thousands of years. So I might as well start giving you advice. What’s your problem again? A kingdom of some sort?>

“Yes, my kingdom is in peril.”

<Well, there are undoubtedly factions within your administration that prefer peace to war, the so-called ‘Dove Lobby’. You should give more power and preference to those who are more prepared for war.>

“But we’re already at war with the Italians!”

<Really?> If the Semi-Lobster had eyebrows, it would have raised one. But it didn’t so he didn’t. Instead, he picked up that book of his and began flipping through the pages. <Death, Destruction, Digging In, Dogfights... Ah, here we go. Domestic Policies. ‘When deciding on how to change your domestic policies each year, unless you have other priorities, such as changing your government or going more towards Intervention to declare war on that belligerent warmonger, you should make it a priority to move your Hawk Lobby/Dove Lobby slider all the way to the left, followed by moving your Intervention slider all the way to Intervention. There are few exceptions for this, such as Germany in ‘36, as you will maximize your Hawk Lobby and Interventionism sliders via events by 1939.’ So there.> The Semi-Lobster then slammed the book shut, which was amazing, because he only had that one claw.

“Very well, I shall do as you advise.” Haile still didn’t know what giving the Hawk Lobby more power meant. For a delusion, the Semi-Lobster sure didn’t make much sense.

screensave16om.png


<Also, you should begin modernising your army, even as you are fighting the Italians.>

“But most of my army is nothing more than spear-wielding provincials! How can I modernise them?”

<What about your Imperial Bodyguard? They can be modernised further, yes?>

“I suppose. I will divert some of my resources to that task.”

screensave26ld.png


<Good. Are you also arming your conscripts with rifles as fast as you can?>

“Yes, I am, though the weapons embargo against us has not helped us in the least.”

What was the League of Nations thinking, starting an embargo against both Italy and Ethiopia? As if Ethiopia was the aggressor in this war! Such actions only confirmed everyone’s view that the League of Nations wasn’t worth the promises of a drunkard.

<Beg, borrow, steal, or whatever. Just get that militia armed. Otherwise, they might as well not be represented as even an understrength militia division.>

screensave35mv.png


Again, Sellassie didn’t know what the Semi-Lobster was referring to. But he would do it anyways.

<Also, one more important thing.> The Semi Lobster scooted across the bottom of the Ark, revealing a map of Ethiopia and the current positions of its armies. There was the 2. Militia Corps, in the north, near Dese, and the 1. Militia Corps, in the southwest, near Ginir. Then there was the Imperial Army, in the centre, protecting Addis Ababa. <You see this army in Dese? Move it more south and east like this, towards Dire Dawa. Your strategic position is more consolidated that way. Also, if the Italians push you in Ginir, withdraw back to Jima. Then your position will be near-ironclad. But keep them there for now.>

“Very well, I shall tell Ras Mikael.” At last, this he understood. Sort of. “But what about the Italian Army striking down south from Eritrea?”

screensave46cj.png


<Ignore them, for now. They’re not a threat yet. Trust me.>

“But if I ignore them, I leave the north at their mercy!”

<Look, trust me. I’m a 6000-year-old magical half-crustacean. If you can’t trust me, who can you trust?>

“All right, Semi-Lobster. I shall do as you advise.” Of course, the absurdity of listening to a figment of his own imagination struck him right then. But why not, after all? If it did not work out, then he had indeed gone insane, and would simply never return to the Ark again, as he had decided before opening the Ark. If the advice worked...

<Good. Now, can you shut the Ark? I want some quiet time.>

Sellassie shut the Ark.
 
Last edited:

De_Genius

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great AAR. I am really exciting about how the AAR goes down. With this author you NEVER know what to expect next ;)
 

unmerged(17581)

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All right, I've put in screenshots retroactively. I'm known for my retroactiveness, so people who are new to my writing should look out.

A disclaimer: I have not done any historical research for this AAR. Despite this, nitpicks on historical accuracy will be very welcome. This means you, Semi-Lobster.
 

unmerged(11447)

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This is quite amusing, probably because of its utter silliness. :D

Nice dialogue, too.

anonymous4401 said:
A disclaimer: I have not done any historical research for this AAR. Despite this, nitpicks on historical accuracy will be very welcome. This means you, NL_Oxcart.

Well there's the whole thing about the 6000 old lobster and the ark... :rofl:
 

Taelyn

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Ethiopia

Well, yesterday I played a bit of '36 Ethiopia on Very Easy. I've managed to destroy about a half dozen Italian divisions and retake most of Ethiopia proper, but I'm still outnumbered. Its half way through 1938, so hopefully I can hold out until the British can save me. Its a rough haul, especially since its so incredibly easy to hit the TC cap and you can't build ICs at the start (not that you have the resources to spare...)
 

unmerged(17581)

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Halfway through 1938? I'll be lucky to survive to 1937! I think I destroyed one Italian militia division so far, but I'm not even sure how I did it. No encirclements, or anything.

Of course, Very Easy does give you a lot of bonuses...
 

Machiavellian

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This AAR is going to end with Ethiopia conquered and a bunch of Italians opening the AARK only to discover the semi-lobster isn't it?
 

unmerged(17581)

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Ethiopia? Conquered you say? Never!

I have an update in the works. It shall be ready by today. It features General Rodolfo Graziani, too!