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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Chilango2

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"Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States!" -Unknown, but usually attributed to Porfirio Diaz, ruler of Mexico from 1884 til 1911.
[HR][/HR]
Prologue:

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna looked north. The Nueces River flowed past, a seemingly harmless body of water, but, in his mind, it was red, red with blood.

The morning was quiet. The army of some nine thousand soldiers sprawled around him, disorganized and chaotic. The vast majority of the soldiers sleeping either in makeshift tents or simply on the ground with some sort of blanket could not read, a not significant portion could not speak Spanish.

It was a flawed instrument that he wielded... but it was the one he had.

What had gone wrong? He remembered so clearly now, turning his back on the Spanish and joining his countrymen in their revolution. Despite first fighting against what he saw as a mere bit of trouble on the part of peasant rabble, he had eventually joined the ranks of those who resisted the mother country. It had seemed right. The Spanish had failed, they were but sad puppets of Napoleon. Mexico would be better of without them, no? The United States had seemed to do well after its Revolution, why not Mexico?

It had seemed so logical, but on days like this, he doubted himself. Had he been wrong all along? Should he had stayed with the Spanish, quashed the rebellion?

It was too late now, one way or another. Mexico was on her own. Stumbling. He had waited, with what seemed like infinite patience, for his country to put itself on the right path, to reach the potential he knew was there. But it had not happened. His country had stumbled, rather than taken flight, from one mishap to the next.

He had grown tired of waiting. He did not relish the thought, but his country needed a firm ruler. A Napoleon to save it from its Republican foolishness, for it was falling apart at the seams.

It was always the north and the south. Troublemakers seemed to be wise enough to stay far away from the Capital, gathering their strength in the jungles of Yucatan or the deserts of northern Mexico, gathering strength until they were stronger than the center. Texas was just the same thing, once again. It was why he had seized the mantle of ruler, why he was here, with these men who barely qualified as solders. He could wait until the reinforcements from the south came in, but time was precious. He must move now, and begin nipping this rebellion in the bud, before the giant in the north awoke.

The call to assembly sounded, and he put his thoughts away. It was time, time to set right what others had done wrong.
[HR][/HR]
The Basics:

This is a story based/narrative AAR, playing Mexico, obviously, Grand Campaign, Normal Difficulty.

Updates currently occur roughly once a week, usually on weekends.

The navigation section below is organized into Chapters. The link to the first post in a chapter is in green, and a link to every update from that chapter is below it.
A description of the chapter and the time period it covers is also there to help you keep track of things. Each chapter looks at events in Mexico through that time period from a particular viewpoint. Sometimes, that viewpoint is one person, sometimes, it is several.

Finally, I'm proud to say that this AAR has received the following awards:
Character Writer of the Week [post=13535134]Mar. 4th, 2012[/post] and [post=14411496]Sept 30th, 2012.[/post]
[post=14126260]Weekly AAR Showcase[/post], July 22nd,2012.
[post=14559919]Second Favorite Victoria 1/2 AAR, Round 3, 2012[/post]
[HR][/HR]
The story so far:

Part I: Perspectives
Mexico through various eyes...

[post=13381726]Ch. 1: Messing with Texas[/post] (1836-1837)
Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana goes to war to keep Texas part of Mexico.

[post=13384029]A meeting..[/post]
[post=13401429]The Second Battle of San Antonio[/post]
[post=13410990]One step forward[/post]
[post=13422690]In at the death[/post]
[post=13442790]The last enemy that shall be destroyed..[/post]


[post=13468652]Ch. 2: Rags to Riches[/post] (1836-1852)
Carlos Sandoval, a young capitalist, experiences and helps develop the rise of Mexico as an industrial power.

[post=13497185]Creative Destruction[/post]
[post=13527824]As fast as dreams[/post]
[post=13541222]Bottoms Up[/post]
[post=13571238]The Difficulties of a Free Market[/post]
[post=13581038]Conservation of Momentum[/post]
[post=13597098]The Undiscovered Country...[/post]

[post=13609956]Ch. 3: The Word and the World[/post] (1837-1849)
Mexico undergoes a cultural renaissance and a priest by the name of Pablo Fierro wrestles with what it means to be Mexican and what it means to be literate.

[post=13616852]The importance of the act of reading[/post]
[post=13629080]Making the strange seem familiar....[/post]
[post=13644892]And the familiar strange...[/post]
[post=13669535]No one can serve two masters...[/post]
[post=13677479]Actions speak louder than words?[/post]
[post=13700872]A picture is worth....[/post]
[post=13710645]The Last Supper[/post]

[post=13729636]Ch. 4: Blood and Gold[/post] (1836-1850)
A tale about the power of money, told from the eyes of the working class.

[post=13766461]First, you get the money[/post]
[post=13814785]Then, you get the power[/post]
[post=13831872]Then, you get the women[/post]
[post=13899834]All I want to do is take your money[/post]
[post=13970717]Turn my sorrow into treasured gold[/post]
[post=13979433]Arise, ye workers from your slumber[/post]

[post=14022387]Ch. 5: The Shadow on the Wall[/post] (1836-1850)
A young bureaucrat learns about the nature of power in a young democracy

[post=14109020]Power to (some of) the people[/post]
[post=14120218]The worst form of government...[/post]
[post=14144285]Except all those other forms[/post]
[post=14157225]The more things change?[/post]
[post=14240695]Objectively wrong[/post]
[post=14286077]El pueblo unido...[/post]

[post=14293193]Part I Epilogue: The silence from the top[/post]

Part II: Complications
A different set of eyes, a different set of assumptions..

[post=14315486]Prologue[/post]

[post=14348806]Ch. 6 The Will to Power[/post] (1850-?)
The president of Mexico decides to take the fate of the country in his own hands and in new directions...

[post=14358140]Out of the barrel of a gun[/post]
[post=14370297]Out of the wallet of a rich man[/post]
[post=14410661]Of all the passions none is more powerful than ambition[/post]
[post=14445766]It is not truth that matters, but victory[/post]
[post=14507145]Red in tooth and claw[/post]
[post=14536474]A Few Good Men[/post]
[post=14622270]A House Divided[/post]
 
Last edited:

Chilango2

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Ch. 1: Messing With Texas

Jesus Cruz was pretty sure that by now, he had hiked through every god forsaken mile of this country. He had joined the Revolution somewhere around 16 years of age, some 20 years ago. Was he really that old? The time seemed to have flown by..

He had been busy the last two years, ever since the General had taken power. He didn't know the reasons and he didn't care, but apparently a whole lot of people got angry once he took over, because him and his unit had been marching all over the country, putting out one fire after another. The General had let them loot several of the places that resisted too hard, so that was good.

He had a suspicion the upcoming fight was going to be a whole nother deal, tho. Tejas wasn't Zacatacas, after all, no sir.

The had marched into southern Tejas as the new year rolled around. He couldn't help but notice the sorry state of most of the other so called soldiers, the army marching north was really more of an organized mob. The country was also decidedly unfriendly, houses were vacant, and there were few people anywhere. Those who did see them gave them flat, unfriendly looks before making themselves scarce. After about two weeks of marching, they had reached a reasonably wide river, they stopped at that point, it seemed to him, to take stock.

They camped by the river for the next few days, waiting. What for, exactly, no one but the General seemed to know.

They got their first hint a few days after arriving there: dust to the north. Word came around that the rebels were marching south to meet us. Clearly, the General had hoped they would do so, and intended to use the river as a defensive position. Jesus approved.

The next morning, the Texan rebels came into view.

If he hadn't known better, he would have thought the world had gone upside down, that he was fighting for the rebels rather that as part of the government's army. Compared to the clearly ragtag nature of the men around him, the Texan army on the other side of the river was a more organized force. He could see what looked like cannons in their rear ranks, and they had a fully decked out Calvary division. Their sole infantry division was clearly made of different stuff than the bits and peaces that most of this army consisted of.



He didn't get to think about it much longer, because right around then the cannons opened up.

The Mexican army had not really formed any sort of ranks yet, and had only begun to place themselves in a way that would prevent the Texans from crossing the river. The artillery exploded right in the middle of their ranks and tossed what organization they began to have back into chaos.

He began to yell at his fellow solders, trying to get them organized, clearly the main part of the enemies force would be arriving soon.

Around him, he could see the other veterans trying to do the same thing: cajoling and yelling and pushing and doing any other old thing to get the men together, lined up, and with their guns loaded and ready to fire. The artillery continued to explode among them, which really didn't help. Jesus wondered why they didn't have any sort of organized artillery battalion. Some of the cannons the infantry brought with them were firing, but there was nothing focused about it, there was no direction. When the enemy fired, it was clearly a large number of cannons all going off at once and trying to hit one particular area: it was as though thunder from heaven itself briefly descended on a particular spot in the battlefield.

All room for such thought went away when he saw the Texan infantry coming close. He had managed to get some of the men back into a semblance of ranks, and he was pretty sure they had each loaded their weapon. Now it was just a matter of waiting until the Texans were close enough....smoke went up from their weapons, and men around him screamed, hit. That distance! Clearly, their guns were better than the ones he and his fellow solders had. They continued forward, reloading as they advanced. He grinned, they would return their bloodying and them some, for they outnumbered the enemy. Finally! Close enough!

"Aim!" Guns went up with satisfying quickness. "Fire!"

The battlefield quickly shrunk to what little he could see. Smoke from the muskets and dust from marching and combined to shrink the battlefield. Him and his fellows reloaded, fired. Reloaded, fired. But the guns of the Americans were better, and they reloaded quicker, despite the Mexican larger numbers, the Americans were taking a bigger toll.

He wondered how the other flank was doing against the Calvary...Reload. Aim. Fire. Reload, Aim, Fire.

Here they came, across the river. Him and the others were ready with any old weapon that came to hand, swords, daggers, anything would do. The battle became even smaller, descending into a melee.

A few minutes later, he looked away after killing his latest foe and noticed he was nearly alone. He looked around spotted the river, and ran away from it, figuring he would find his fellow solders somewhere back of it. He vaguely recalled hearing a bugle, but he couldn't tell what the signal had been.

It was nearly sunset before he caught up with the even more disorganized remnants of the Mexican army, retreating south past the Rio Grande.

It was only then that the reality hit him: they had lost.

 
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Archam

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Good luck !
I have done many many games with Mexico and I know it can be pretty hard sometimes, but finaly annexing the United States feels good enough to compensate :)
 

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Go Santa Anna!
 

Chilango2

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@Archam- *Annex* the United States? Madness! We'll see how things go, but remember, one of my goals this AAR is, when/if I get into a war with the US to *lose* in an interesting manner, to lose *gloriously*! Of course, maybe I will end up in more than one war....

@General Hoth I find it amusing that you are cheering Santa Ana as he, well, loses a battle. :)

EDIT: I plan to post an Update later today just to get this AAR up off the ground before the week starts, as its unlikely I'll be able to update again one it does so until next weekend.
 
Last edited:

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A meeting...

Agustin Muzquiz started pacing again. He wondered if it had been a terrible mistake to ask for this meeting.

Martin Perfecto de Cos, after all, was married to Santa Ana's sister. Still...something things had to be discussed. The small elite cadre of Mexican officers that had put Santa Ana in power were a wary bunch: they had each and every one of them lived through the tumultuous period of infighting and back stabbing that characterized the Revolution and the period afterward. What had united them was seeing the Church denigrated, the fear of the wrong sort of Revolution: the Republic must, after all, be led by the right men, the right kind of leaders. But they were men who all lived nervously, with one hand on their sword, always ready for the next round of betrayals.

Santa Ana had the qualifications, but it was well known that he sought his own interests first. He was, it was well known, an opportunist. As such, questions were being raised, among some of the officers, about the way the campaigns against the rebels had been conducted. Some of the officers, especially the more liberal ones, had seen the looting of Zacatecas as... excessive.

And now, Tejas. There was a fear that Tejas was a different beast altogether. It was not just any bunch of rag tag rebels. The United States almost *had* to be supporting them... If they lost Tejas....no.. if Santa Ana lost Tejas.....

There was a knock on the door. Finally!

Martin looked disheveled as usual. He had not been treated kindly by Tejas, and now he was expected to return there. His uniform, previously resplendent, showed signs of hard travel. He walked in, looking around, then focused on Agustin, nodding silently as he entered the room. Agustin silently offered him a drink, which Martin took, drunk quickly, and then looked up, staring at his fellow officer intently.

"You wanted to see me?"

Agustin nodded. "I wanted your thoughts..on where we are headed."

"We?"

"The entire army, yes, both your force and mine. Holding down the rest of the country will be left to the local forces. Santa Ana is gathering all thirty thousand some solders we have and is sending them north."

"The Americans will not like that."

Agustin shrugged. "Do you think it will suffice?"

Martin looked thoughtful. "If the Americans stay out of it? Yes. I saw what fighters the Texans are first hand, but with that many solders against them...."

"And if it doesn't?"

"It should, if the men are led well."

Here came the moment of truth. "And if they aren't?"

Martin, who had looked lost in thought just a moment ago, looks up, focused, staring at him.

The silence hangs there. Agustin lets it hang there, willing himself to not be the one to break it.

Martin sighs, nods. "Well, then perhaps different leadership may be necessary. The Republic must be saved the indignity of losing Tejas, it would undo all the progress we have made elsewhere, quenching these rebellions."

Agustin very carefully attempts to disguise a sigh, then continues, still carefully. "The other officers here in the capital are... of the same opinion. They have made sure I know this."

Martin nods, lost in thought again. "I see. Well then. Let us head north and make sure that nothing unfortunate happens."

--

Martin and Agustin meet in the Capital before heading north....
 
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Archam

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@Archam- *Annex* the United States? Madness! We'll see how things go, but remember, one of my goals this AAR is, when/if I get into a war with the US to *lose* in an interesting manner, to lose *gloriously*! Of course, maybe I will end up in more than one war....
You're not forced to loose you know, it's doable, you just have to always invest 100% on military spending and always have at least one focus on soldiers !
Also I would recommend to take the Western provinces of the US first, they are poorer and less populated but if you start to take provinces like Louisana or Texas you are in fact weakening the CSA and you don't want to do that.
I already annexed the USA by 1910 or so in PDM so it's possible !
 

Chilango2

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You're not forced to loose you know, it's doable, you just have to always invest 100% on military spending and always have at least one focus on soldiers !
Also I would recommend to take the Western provinces of the US first, they are poorer and less populated but if you start to take provinces like Louisana or Texas you are in fact weakening the CSA and you don't want to do that.
I already annexed the USA by 1910 or so in PDM so it's possible !
No, I know it's possible. But there is a reason I say my *goal* is to lose. See, AAR's that have the nation winning all the time are a dime a dozen. If I can make a *loss* occur in a semi-natural manner and make it into an interesting *story*, then this AAR, I feel, will be alot more interesting.

In short, since this is a story AAR rather than a gameplay AAR, I'm not interested in proving I can beat the AI. :)
 

Le Pix

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I love Mexico in Paradox games (and in real life as well), I'll definitely be watching this. I always play as Mexico in a paradox game and I've had varying levels of success, sometimes I create a Mexican Empire that stands proudly among the Europeans and the US, or I get completely occupied and lose everything :( Good luck to you!
 

Chilango2

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Thanks for the kind words. :)

I've edited some of the posts for spiffyness slightly, but otherwise everything remains unchanged.

I've managed to get some writing on the next update done and may have it posted by tomorrow or Wednesday, here's hoping.

Turns out not being able to play the game until I post my updates so I don't get to far ahead of where I am writing and lose track of stuff is a great incentive for writing...I'll have to keep that in mind for the future. :rofl:
 

Chilango2

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The Second Battle of San Antonio

Cos agreed that Agustin should be in overall command of their joint forces as they headed north into Tejas. Technically, Cos outranked Agustin, but his previous campaign in Tejas had gone disastrously. A different overall commander might be better for morale...that is, for those among the solders they were leading north who were not here simply because it provided a solid meal at least every few days.

As they got close to Tejas, the news wasn’t good. Apparently, Santa Ana had decided to go ahead with his own force and gotten his nose bloody, he had reorganized his army southwest of San Antonio. Agustin looked at Cos when the messenger bearing that news came in, but his expression was one of studied indifference. Not yet then. Not yet.

The force, some 18,000 or so strong, was by far the largest force that Mexico had fielded against any of the rebellions that exploded after the old Constitution was revoked and Santa Ana put in place the siete leyes and attempted to put an end to the semi-autonomy of the states of the republic.

It was this force that now marched into southern Tejas to put an end to the rebellion once and for all, maybe then, with a proper central authority in place throughout the country, Mexico could become what it should be.

A few days into southern Tejas, the army ran into some of the separated survivors of the earlier engagement of the Nueces river. Agustin managed to convince one of them, a regular of course, to answer some questions.

The rebels, it seemed, had better discipline, better guns, more and better cannons, but numbered around eight thousand men strong. The cannon fire , the better range of the muskets, and the better rate of fire had meant that Santa Ana’s army had suffered more losses despite being on the defense. It was.. grim.

Still, he had twice as many men, and word had it that Santa Ana was on his way back into Tejas after getting his forces reorganized.

Surely, even if the rebels have better guns and more disciplined men, he can turn sheer numbers to his advantage...

He turns the problem over, but can’t come to many conclusions. He stops at the Nueces, where Santa Ana stopped, and sends out scouts. A few days later, he hears back: the rebels are coming. He is more than happy to take the defensive. He works hard to get the men organized for the attack to come, has them dig some basic entrenchments.

The Texan forces can be heard marching through the night to get into position for the battle in the morning.

Come morning, he heads to a small incline, barely deserving the name of a hill, not too far from the river. On top of his horse, the clear wheather lets him see most of the battlefield clearly. He is pleased by what he sees: his forces, even without Santa Ana here, outnumber the Texans, his lines stretch out far past their flanks, he had hoped for exactly such an outcome. The portion of the river where he set up his positions curved slightly south, like a “U”, and his forces hewed to the line of the river. If the Texans insisted on attacking, his troops on their flanks would be able to fire their volleys enfilade, if only slightly.



Still, the outermost portions of his line would be firing at extreme range for their guns, and wouldn’t lend much to the battle...hmm...

His though was interrupted by thunder. No, not thunder... cannons.

Santa Ana could have warned him about the impact of the Texan artillery, but it wouldn’t have made a diffrence. The sheer impact of the sound alone was shocking. The earthworks his men had dug were rather basic, and only provided the most rudiementary of protection. He could already see the center of his lines shifting: not buckling, not yet, but bending, if ever so slightly. A hurrah came from the other side of the river, and the infantry and calvary began to move forward.

He rode quickly to the center of his lines, where the action would be, and got off his horse. No point making himself too much of a target.

The thunder of the enemy cannons struck again. His infantry regiments had their own cannons, but no organized artillery battalion, and the return fire was sporadic and disorganized: its impact on the Texan advance was limited. The Texans fired from outside the effective range of his infantry, the shots ripped into his lines, mowing men down. He could almost feel this battle slipping out of his control.

One or two shots rang out from his side. “Hold your fire dammit! Let them get closer!”

They were obliging, they kept moving forward as they reloaded and fired. They were arrogant bastards, but dammit it, they had earned some right to arrogance. If they had kept their distance, who knows how long it would be before he would be forced to attack them, throwing his forces out of balance at a crucial moment?

Finally! “Aim!” A moment...”Fire!”

His men fired their first volley in something best described as ragged unison, not quite together...but mostly. The smoke from the guns made it hard to see what the impact was.

The battle descended into volleys and counter volleys, punctuated by the earth shaking impact of the Texan artillery. The enemy stopped on the other side of the river, clearly waiting to soften his lines before crossing...their fire continued to wither away at his forces, even with superior numbers, the Texans were simply better..he could practically feel the mood around him turn. Morale was like that, one moment, a man is focused on the enemy, the next, on himself, his life, the danger he is in, an army starts to become nothing more than a mob of individuals..

How could this be happening? He looked up at the sky, as though answers were hidden in the smoke..

The battle fever was in him, the entire sky seemed red with the blood around him...and in the smoke, he saw...

“La Virgen! La Virgen de Guadalupe!”

The men around him looked at him, startled, then looked up, where his finger, shaking, was pointing.

The cry went out, like some sort of spell.

“La Virgen! La Virgen!”

“Guadalupe! La Virgen!”

The mood, so precarious before, shifted instantly, the army, as one, fixed bayonets and charged across the river.

He pulled out his sword, charging with the rest, laughing like a madman. Of course! Bayonets! Their better guns wouldn’t mean anything if he just...

Like pikemen of old, his men slammed into the startled Texan forces, they held for one second, then another, and then split like a rotten fruit.

They tried to reform their lines later that day further north, but his men simply charged, ignoring the initial casualties from the guns, and rammed their superior numbers home, and they broke again.

They were on a hill now, north of the Nueces. The Texan army was scattered. They were each of them panting, drunk on battle, on blood.

The cry started somewhere, but they all began yelling it, a rolling cadence bouncing off the sky, into the Texan countryside.

“ME-JI-CO. ME-JI-CO. ME-JI-CO. VIVA! VIVA! VIVA MEJICO!”

[
 
Last edited:

Heroicnoodles

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Very Nice, my fist game in AHD was as Mexico. I just let them occupy one or two of my provinces so that they would add a war goal, crushed them, and the USA couldnt say anything about it because they had added that war goal.
 

Chilango2

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One step forward....

The army continued to head north. Cos insisted on having Agustin stay behind with the forces cleaning up any resistance San Antonio, and led the rest of the men north.

A messenger had arrived from Santa Ana saying he would meet Cos around Austin, their two armies would attempt to catch and encircle the rebel army and eliminate it, quashing the rebellion once and for all.

They did manage to get their forces to meet, but not to encircle the enemy, about a week later: the Texan forces were a bit too quick for them, they had a skirmish with some of the Texan forces just south of the Brazos River and sent them running.



Santa Ana, no fool, left Cos behind to deal with any remaining resistance around Austin and followed the Texans northeast, towards Houston.

Cos methodically began stamping out the resistance around the fort at Austin as he began to siege the place itself, gritting his teeth that Santa Ana would claim the victory when he hadn’t even been at the Second battle of San Antonio.

A few weeks later, a messenger arrived.





Could he kindly march north? The Texan Army had turned back Santa Ana's forces, he would head back to Austin to reorganize, Cos should head north and "finish off the bloodied remnants of the rebellion."

Unbelievable! Santa Ana had been handed the Texan army, on the run and with a shell of its strength left, and had nine thousand men to crush it with...and he hadn’t managed to do that!

Cos began to organize his forces. The American army was reputed to be marching northwest, towards Dallas, even as Santa Ana’s forces retreated, again, towards Austin.

In disgust, he abandoned the siege of the fort once all the men he had patrolling the countryside were back with his main force and marched north.

As he marched, he began to feel some concern. The campaign against Texas had taken eight months now, and the Texans had managed to defeat the reputed Napoleon of the west not once but twice. The United States cannot be viewing these events with any sort of disinterest..they were bound to support the Texan rebellion even if only from behind the scenes.

As he marched north, he sent a man on a fast horse headed south..he needed information.

It was almost two weeks later when the man returned, riding into his camp with a look of glee on his face. He almost couldn’t speak, he was laughing, and after trying for the third time to relay his message, he simply handed Cos a letter from the Capital....

Minnesota? The....Cos began laughing. The United States? It would be far, far too busy to worry about Texas.



He marched into the environs of Dallas, ready to put the final nail in the coffin of this rebellion.

And then? And then, he decided, things would change..
 

Chilango2

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Thanks for the compliments. :)

@Heroicnoodles, as you see, doing such a thing to avoid US entry in the war turned out to be unnecessary. I'm not sure when the war started (I missed it when it occurred, I am pretty sure), but it definitely kept the US out of the war, and in previous test runs as Mexico, they definitely tended to do so reasonably quickly. I would prefer, for this AAR to lose Texas honestly than game the computer into not having the US participate. It worked out in my favor in an unexpected way anyway, but there you go.
 

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that was rather fortunate, are the British open to an alliance? That may really help you consolidate your position in the south and west without having to worry too much about the Americans?