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BAMman100

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Prologue: Inspiration

The place was a palace in Portici, a picturesque Italianate structure with gleaming, golden outer walls and a rich red roof that overlooked the Bay of Naples. With Mt. Vesuvius looming overhead, the earth tones of the palace, evocative of both Mother Earth and the fires at the center of the planet, were especially fitting. Still, more than architectural feature, one man made this palace truly special. For the King and his young family resided and ruled a nation from this place.


Ferdinando Carlo di Borbone-Due Sicilie, known to his people and fellow sovereigns as Ferdinando II, King of the Two Sicilies, had ruled the Neapolitan and Sicilian lands for just over 5 years in January of 1836. So far his reign had been peaceful and mildly progressive: the first railway in all of the Italian Peninsula had been built at his direction between Naples and this very Royal Palace at Portici; likewise, the first steam powered warship in the Peninsula belonged to the Sicilian fleet and bore his name; and so far, even the more liberal segments of his people had not made much noise about upsetting the ancient foundations of the realm. As Ferdinando was well aware, his Kingdom was a new entity – an experiment in the adhesive powers of dynastic trans-nationalism. If the tree of the realm was a sapling, however, its roots were that of an old oak. Sicily and Naples had formed an integral and closely linked part of the Aragonese and Spanish Empires and, yet further back, the two regions had been ruled as a united entity under the Normans. Briefly, the two lands had fallen to Austria, until the Spanish re-conquest had installed a series of Borbone kings, who nevertheless governed the two regions as separate realms between 1734 and 1806. From 1806 to 1816, the Neapolitan estates had been under the thumb of a king of Bonaparte’s choosing. With the fall of the Little Frenchman, the fall of his lackey lord soon followed and the Borbone’s were restored to their rightful thrones; however, to preserve those thrones from future assault they had to be made one, so that united the Sicilians and Neapolitans might be strong enough to resist any aggressor. So far, unity had prevailed and strength certainly did pervade the realm. The Kingdom was the largest state in Italy in area, population, and wealth with the benefits of enlightened yet firm leadership now showing.


Now, as Ferdinando peered proudly down upon the cradle that held his newborn son, Francesco, he fretted that the firmness was not enough to ensure the future. He had received a number of dispatches from government officials from the Sicilian estates, warning of roiling discontent, which might grow into rebellion shortly. The peasantry and the bourgeoisie alike it seems were entranced by the enticing words of liberal nationalist orators and pamphleteers. The cherubic face and delicate eyes of his son caused him to worry more, for they resembled more his wife’s features than his own. If the forces unleashed by the beastly Bonaparte were this enduring, his son perhaps might have the fight them when he was king. But what if he had not the stomach for it? Clearly, he thought, something must be done to distract his people from the sinister seductions of these so-called “liberals.” At this thought, the King brought his gaze upwards from his infant son to the ceiling, and that is when he caught a glimpse of inspiration.

Tied to the chandelier and hovering just inches above his face was a fantastical mobile of ships and sea creatures. The whole thing was hand enameled in blues, ivories, and whites with the occasional touch of gold or silver gilding. He reached out and touched the children’s sculpture, causing it to clang gently. Francesco made some delighted infant noises. The King had found a counter-seduction. Naples and Sicily had once been hubs of trade. They had produced their share of great sailors, merchants, and explorers. Why could not they do so again? And why could not the acquiring of new lands in the unexplored reaches of Africa or the Pacific serve as the perfect outlet for a restless and rabblerousing people? Ferdinando looked down upon his son, kissed him on the forehead, and left the room. After closing the door ever so gently, he let out a loud cry of exultation.

“Aha! That is what I shall do!” said His Majesty. “I shall replace the seduction of the sinister with the seduction of the sea.”


Note: OK, well obviously I'm playing as the Two Sicilies. I'm using the 1.3 patch with no mods. My basic goal is to build one of the larger colonial empires, mostly in Africa and the Pacific while maintaining an industrial score in the top 5 or so. I will not unite Italy and shall try to avoid for as long as possible a change in the form of government, although social reforms and some limited political reforms will not be resisted (i.e. healthcare [this one will actually be encouraged], censored press, non-socialist unions, etc.). I've played ahead quite a bit, so you can expect updates fairly frequently, although they will probably be written in more of a history book kind of way, instead of the more novelized narrative I have in the prologue. Oh, and this is my first AAR, so yeah, be nice. :D
 
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King50000

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this seems like a pretty cool idea. just watch out for those pan-italian nationalists. i tried doing what you're doing, and they showed up and united italy, kicking me from the game. it was embarasing to lose the game within a year to some peasant rable >.<
 

HabemusZlatan

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Ok, I definitely need to get this game.
I'll be following this AAR out of curiosity though.
 

SirCliveWolfe

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Brilliant start sir, I went on honeymoon to Naples and the Amalfi coast last year, and I must confess that I fell in love with the place :)
 

BAMman100

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this seems like a pretty cool idea. just watch out for those pan-italian nationalists. i tried doing what you're doing, and they showed up and united italy, kicking me from the game. it was embarasing to lose the game within a year to some peasant rable >.<
Yes, well, I've found that maintaining a large standing army in the homeland prevents that, although when I first tried Two Sicilies something similar happened to me, except that it was a bunch of reactionaries.

Brilliant start sir, I went on honeymoon to Naples and the Amalfi coast last year, and I must confess that I fell in love with the place :)
Sad to say I've never been, although I know some people who have and they all say that its a wonderfully beautiful place. I'll see if I can get some scenic descriptions into the AAR, though, since I've always found that they're good for setting up a mood for a story.

Ok, I definitely need to get this game.
I'll be following this AAR out of curiosity though.
You really should get the game, its great fun.

Oh, and the first update should be out this evening.
 
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Avindian

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Enjoying it so far -- I do hope you include screenshots to make your progress easy to follow :D Subscribed!
 

Morrell8

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Are you aiming to seize any land from the Ottomans to use as your base of expansion into Africa?
 

BAMman100

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Are you aiming to seize any land from the Ottomans to use as your base of expansion into Africa?
Not until after 1840, but I do hope to conquer both Tripoli and the Libyan Coast in the 1840's.
 

BAMman100

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dont forget to go after tunisia
Unfortunately, France went after them before I was able to finish the transports for my army. In my games, they tend to DoW Tunisia within the first month of the game. But I have some other target(s) in mind to begin with, which will help in getting the supply range extended enough to build a colonial empire in Africa.
 

King50000

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Unfortunately, France went after them before I was able to finish the transports for my army. In my games, they tend to DoW Tunisia within the first month of the game. But I have some other target(s) in mind to begin with, which will help in getting the supply range extended enough to build a colonial empire in Africa.
im gona guess morroco but ill wait for the update to see
 

BAMman100

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Chapter I: Preparations and Protests

To carry out his strategy for the future stability and greatness of his realm, King Ferdinando first turned towards his military. Although by far the largest and best equipped army in the Peninsula, the Esercito delle Due Sicilia was ranked 25th worldwide and possessed only a shadow of an officer corps to command it. Should a truly national rebellion emerge, Ferdinando was not sure his 42 thousand soldiers would be enough to crush it, especially since, according to his agents within the ranks, approximately 30% of soldiers favored reductions in the size of the army – favoring a return to their farms over service to their sovereign. Thus, early in January King Ferdinando issued a memo to his Treasury and War Ministers detailing his desire for increased expenditures on soldiers, recruitment, equipment, and other materials of war. His Majesty also ordered that the Army be reorganized into a Guardia Reale (Royal Guard) and several Corpo d’Armata (Corps of the Army) so as to make the chain of command and logistical management more efficient. Nor did Ferdinando neglect the fleet. Although the fleet had the first steam warship in the Peninsula, the shipyards necessary to construct them in large numbers were not yet complete; as a consequence he ordered the commissioning of several more traditional sailing ships including 4 new Men-of-War and 2 clipper transports.


A report detailing the discontent of the soldiery

To supplement this military buildup, Ferdinando sought to put his nation on a better diplomatic footing. By May of 1836, just 4 months after the beginning of his military buildup, the King had signed alliances with the temporal government of His Holiness, Pope Gregory XVI, and the Kingdom of the Hellenes. According to his ambassadors in Rome and Athens, the fact that his army was now ranked 17th instead of 25th and was capable of fielding 63 thousand regular troops instead of only 42 thousand, had prompted the Greek and Papal foreign ministries to decide it was better to be friends than enemies with his realm. Still, his efforts were not wholly devoted to foreign policy or military matters.


A formal request from the Papal Foreign Ministry for a military alliance


A notification from our Ambassador in Athens that the King of the Hellenes has accepted an alliance with the Two Sicilies

With the able assistance of entrepreneurs within the estates of Campania, Ferdinando’s Minister of the Treasury began the buildup of a clothing and cloth industry in the Two Sicilies. By June of 1836 and luxury clothes, clothes, and fabric factory were being built in Campania, Puglia, and Sicily respectively. Sicilian artisans had long been known for their large surplus of high quality cotton cloth, so this new industry was logical. A source of cotton within the realm might prove necessary in the future to maintain the industry, but Africa was known to have nations with large cotton production that might, at some point, fall to Sicilian arms. Still, for all these geo-strategic initiatives, domestic political concerns remained at the forefront of Ferdinando’s and his Ministers’ minds.


A report on industrial development from the Treasury Minister

Beginning in July of 1836, liberal groups across the Two Sicilies began formal agitation for political reforms and a limitation on the powers of the crown. In province after province, liberal groups began protesting and generally making a nuisance of themselves, a movement that would continue to greater or lesser degrees for a decade. Depending upon the composition of the groups, Ferdinando chose to negotiate local settlements or send in the Army. The occasional troop riot or clerical protest were met with conciliation, while the protests of farmers, clerks, artisans, and laborers were put down with unsparing harshness.


A report from the Ministry of the Interior detailing the effects of organized liberal agitation

Despite the tight control exercised by his government, however, Ferdinando became even more convinced that a war was needed, soon, to distract his people from these liberal troublemakers. Finally, in early 1837, with a large scale rally sponsored by the Puglian Chartist Society threatening to mobilize the bourgeoisie of an entire state, Ferdinando decided a war must come within the year. The questions were, where should this war take place? And for what object?


Note: An update detailing the upcoming war will be out tomorrow.
 
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King50000

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this is getting good :D
ive never seen someone build up a military that fast before
 

BAMman100

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this is getting good :D
ive never seen someone build up a military that fast before
Yeah, I'm not sure why exactly but in 1.3 the Two Sicilies builds up an army damn fast. I played a practice game with the new patch before deciding to do this AAR and in that it was even faster to the point where I could not in any way afford it and nearly went bankrupt. At this time in the game I had the military spending level at about 80%, I think, and it moved right along as you can see. It slows down from here on out, but I didn't need any more soldiers anyways.
 

King50000

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Yeah, I'm not sure why exactly but in 1.3 the Two Sicilies builds up an army damn fast. I played a practice game with the new patch before deciding to do this AAR and in that it was even faster to the point where I could not in any way afford it and nearly went bankrupt. At this time in the game I had the military spending level at about 80%, I think, and it moved right along as you can see. It slows down from here on out, but I didn't need any more soldiers anyways.
if only your nazy was stronger, with that speed you could have wiped out what ever the ottomons could field in just a few battles
 

BAMman100

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if only your nazy was stronger, with that speed you could have wiped out what ever the ottomons could field in just a few battles
Don't worry, I'm doing fine against the Turks... although you'll have to wait another update or two to find out just how well. :D
 

FelixMajor

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Interesting and well written AAR thus far. I've been interested in trying a Two Sicilies game since they assisted me to reconstitute the Byzantine Empire in a previous game; I'll content myself with following your efforts for now. I'm eager to read your next update.
 

unmerged(260909)

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Don't worry, I'm doing fine against the Turks... although you'll have to wait another update or two to find out just how well. :D
May I give you another assignment to further your goals?
Since you've allied yourself to the most glorious and sublime Hellenic Kingdom(stop giggling you!!!) why don't you help us reach our modern borders? Then sphere us and use us as a buffer against the Turks? Your faithful Greek allies will be forever in debt to you(oh, yes we're pretty good at that) if you do!