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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Divi

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The settings will be at very hard/aggressive. My first game at these settings.

Hopes - Reach, and stay at Great Power level, even if it's just position 8. Get something from the scramble for Africa. Hopefully retain Slesvig, but drop Holstein. Remain Denmark.

Also hopefully, I won't crash and burn (as I did with my ahistorical Albania after my last update), or be steamrolled by historical events (Tuscany (which made me notice the Italian Unification sequence would benefit from some revisions), Transvaal) I didn't manage to avoid.

I'll just have to write a modified sequence for the Gold Coast to take into account the danish possession (and later sale) of Christiansborg, and a possible sequence in which it stays Danish.

As for the title, my appreciations to anyone who gets the two Schleswig question references I thought about :D
 

Divi

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First, the Mods List

Since it's not fully Vanilla VIP ( ;) ), here is a list of the modifications I made.

- I switched Gambia and Sierra Leone to Guinea; I also made Sierra Leone a colonial province for what I think is more accurate (it was already a crown colony at game start). Most other modifications have to do with the italian peninsula.
- I wrote an event sequence which includes two British offers to buy out Accra; the first offer, however, is slept if the duchies crisis doesn't fire. The second british offer happens if the Dutch have not sold their holdings to Denmark before (I've also made a small series of events for mutual offers, with a fun series of Asante events for whoever keeps Ghana :D ). If you want, I can post them; I tried to do an event pic based on Osu Castle (Fort Christiansborg), but I'm thoroughly incompetent with graphics, so for now I'm using tribesmen as a placeholder :( . The AI is set to mostly follow the historical outcomes, though.
I'm still trying to smooth them.

I added the Military Determinism, Ideological Thought and Economic Structure mod; again, first game with them, I was curious to try them out.
 
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Divi

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Well, let's get started

ASlotSanatorium.jpg

February 8th, 1933
In the small town of A* (the name is linked to one of my bonus questions)

I hadn't stopped hearing about him, and for some reason I still clinged on the vague hope that, maybe, somewhere in the world, some of his knowledge could have survived. As soon as I heard the A* Sanatorium had a man reputed to be something of an idiot savant about the history of Denmark, I thought fortune had favoured me for once. Certainly, he could have heard of him, maybe he could have known him by name, or known of his reputation.

I was introduced to the director for the afternoon tea. He was a fairly tall, thin and wiry man. His voice was weakened by the winter chills and age, and he had the melancholy of the old man who feels he has lived too much.

He agreed to present me the man, and warned me that he had been an important civil servant for the Danish crown, before he finished here. He added that while he was not likely to be a danger to me because of what I wanted to talk about with him, I should always maintain a certain decorum with him, as he is still very attached to the memory of his position.

With that advice, he gave me my leave, with a note which would allow me to be welcomed in the patient's aisle, and in his room, from tomorrow on, so that I could know what he could possibly tell me of Denmark, and the crisis.



(Damn, I had to renumber the whole dutch sequence because I forgot to check in the flavour events files, but on the sixth try, I had it all ironed out, yeah!)

The Danish Situation in March 1836, once the production stockpiles have filled up​
ScreenSave1-2.jpg

The army is rather big for such a small country, with three division. The navy is also bloated: I removed every solitary ship, except for the transports, leaving a total of one manowar, two frigates, all with corvettes, and two transports.

At minimal upkeep, the military costs 90 pounds a year.

I can expect a long-term deficit if I don't do some judicious tech trading.
 
Last edited:

Ksim3000

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Certainly a nice beginning, especially with the chap in the asylum. Looking forward to how it progresses. I do recommend you get on the colonial train for a little bit of Africa. Will certainly help with tax, prestige and land, not to mention manpower. ;)
 

Divi

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1836-1849; To the end of the first Slesvig War

The Spring of Nations

I was woken up at 8 by a knock at my door. It was the groom, who had received a small folded and laced note for me, with the word "urgent" written on the outside.

[
Dear Sir
I have much appreciation for your desire to meet me. I have been told it was a subject I was very well read about. Would you, if you please, meet me at two at my quarters for a modest luncheon. Good bearing is of course expected.
Bartram af Lehn​
]

I was rather puzzled by this note, and wondered how it could have reached me, already, even in such a small town, given the particular circumstances of my... host.

Precise like a clock, I reached my host's room at two in the afternoon. He was waiting for me dressed simply under a velvet dressing gown. His entirely normal exterior made me suddenly apprehensive. What if he was much worse than I expected, than I could face?

"I appreciate your punctuality. I was told that you were looking for information on the history of Denmark behind the throne. And in particular, maybe to find a certain understanding of the duchies crisis."
"Exactly, sir."
"Then you might have come to the right place. Let's start a little before the great revolutions. This should give us enough time to understand some of the elements behind the crisis as well.
You see, after the defeat of Napoleon, the other powers of Europe saw fit to punish us for daring to ally with the loser. Or maybe for confusing the english... No, this won't work. You see, for these exposes, I need pacing in the room, and since I am hurt today, I will have to ask you to pace in my stead."
"You mean?"
"Of course I mean. You're an intelligent man, surely you understand what pacing is."

I began pacing slowly around the room. With a glass in the hand.

"Magnificent. Now, where was I? Ah, yes. Besides the theft of most of our navy, we were now faced with the loss of Norway, and over a third of the overall population of the Danish crown along with the Sund tolls. The situation forced us to reduce the plans for the navy and pray that our existing industries could sustain our economy and bloated military. By 1838, as the old man told me, the first Sjaelland train line was finished. Obviously many questioned the logic of railroading a single island; but never our old selves. And we were right, since by 1846, we were already building rails over Iceland.
We were increasingly close to Russia and Sweden, mainly because the germans seemed to have taken to detesting us. It might have had something to do with the great conference our old selves at retold us, where the king of Denmark and the dukes of Holstein, Schleswig and Lauenburg had come to an agreement: calling these countries Denmark looked better on paper, particularly for schoolchildren. But they would have none of it, and with the support of Prussia, the germans decided to be rash about it.
Denmark's allies would have none of it, and along with a slew of volunteers, the Danish army simply took positions in Lauenburg and Copenhague. This soon proved to be useless, as the Prussians had no possible way to land troops past our new steam frigate, and Austria never had the luxury to leave the Adriatic. Particularly during the war, when its naval bases in Venice were under revolutionary control, leaving them with only Trieste, as Fiume was now part of the Hungarian republic.
During the war, we came to the conclusion that Clausewitz was possibly right, and that war was simply politics as usual. We also decided to convince our sailors that they were nothing without their crew. At least this one functioned, since I can never see sailors unless they are close to or on a ship.
The poisoned gift came after the war; as the war had been a complete stalemate after its two or three battles within the first few months, the London Protocol simply maintained the statu quo antebellum. But Prussia accepted the offer of the Frankfurt assembly, and Holstein went to us, instead of the German Confederation, according to the protocol.
But I see that you haven't eaten much. Quite frankly, I should have proposed to allow you to eat standing. But, please, do sit and eat. My expose for the day is done."

As he enjoined me to sit, I realized I had been pacing in the room for a good time with only my now empty glass of wine, and indeed, I was now hungry. For the entire length of this first encounter, I rarely dared to speak, for fear that I might fail to grasp his peculiar rules of courtesy.

OOC
Note - I did all the metropolis before I started putting rails in Iceland :p
I also maintained the army ready for war during the 1st SH conflict; there is no need to be too sure of ourselves, particularly when it's, as I already noted, my first time at this difficulty level.

OOT and OOC
I'm not sure if you've played VIP (I've played on two versions), but it's quite problematic to precipitate the scramble - the prestige and badboy cost to take over african minors is horrible, and it's impossible to build claims before the late 70's, or even the 80's, not to forget the constant revolts which pile up (e.g. since there are two countries in Burkina Faso, you'll face an overall +12 rise in militancy - keeping the peace will be costlier, particularly for Denmark, than actually conquering the place). The first Schleswig war is the easiest won anyway: historically, it consisted of Holstein and parts of Slesvig trying to breakaway, while Denmark (with Scandinavian volunteers) on one side, and Prussia (and German volunteers) on the other, moved about in Holstein and Slesvig in an indecisive fashion (making Austria take part in the 1st SH war is a mistake - the other Great Powers were quite adamant that the crowns of Denmark and the duchies remain in personal union at the time, many of them threatening war - hence the London protocols). IG, it is very possible to leave Holstein out, leaving you with only the naval front to contend with. Since Prussia usually builds up the clippers, and I keep the naval funding at lowest, I've actually seen my real navy defeated by the Prussian clipper flotillas once, because I had made the mistake of leaving two ships in port for refits, and waiting until they reached about 100.
I consider this a minor exploit considering the sheer power imbalance between the two countries within the game.

[Next update - maybe sunday; probably wednesday]
 
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likk9922

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Nice update, and nicely done.
 

Divi

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Ah, damn, I deleted it while cleaning my saved games folder (I had about a hundred saves that never went past the 60s).

I'll redo the first decade on monday (i.e. the mad bureaucrat's exposé; I'll probably also try to add a few images), not that I expect it to change much.

This is also an occasion to revise the demographic situation in Schleswig-Holstein (no way that Lauenburg and Holstein would have a Danish majority, or that the Holstein diet would recognize them as equals; I'll probably equilibrate by making the Danes a majority in Schleswig, something like 50/50 in Flensburg and somewhere between 75/25 and 90/10 in Ribe...).

[EDIT - Final Demographic Modifications to Holstein and Slesvig]
Holstein - loses Danish culture. The Danish minority falls to 10% in Lauenburg and 18% in Kiel. The country also gains a 6% catholic minority.
Slesvig - The german minority falls to 20% in Ribe, while the Danish are now 48% in Flensburg. Flensburg has one more pop (2k danish clergy).

[Second Edit - why did I ever say Monday? Wednesday will be much better; since I'll be past my exams and one class away from a 4-day weekend with only a two page-assignment to hand over next week and some reading to do]
 
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Divi

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For this re-update, I will momentarily quit the fictional mode. Few things changed, save for two very major elements, which had a quite small chance of happening together to begin with: Austria did not recognize Hungary, and the Frankfurt Diet's proposal was rejected.

Overall, the entire metropolis had rails by February '42, the colonies by May '42, except Groenland, where I built the most useless railroad ever conceived in February '46. Which puts us at position 4 in the world.

All of Europe was taken aback when the peace of London was signed just a month after the constutional reform of 1849, which abolished what had been one of the world's only absolutist constitutions. The dukes of Augustenborg were stripped of their rights to anything, and Denmark and Prussia agreed on splitting the duchies following the boundaries of the Deutscher Bund as established by the Congress of Vienna*.

There is now little possibility of there ever being a Scandinavian Union, as Norway (which hated our guts for some reason) gave us a resounding No!, while Sweden sent us a paltry one division of volunteers and barely enough cash to raise a single small squadron. Most of the war was fought with only two divisions on the frontlines, and the Mecklemburg campaign lasted nearly two years of going back and forth (with Russian help in the east) before I finally gave up on Holstein. The Kiel squadron had precedently been renamed to Bornholm, while the Niels Juel became our first steam-powered warship. Not that the fleet served much of a purpose in the actual fighting (well, besides covering Sjaelland), as the Bornholm squadron sitting in the Hanöbukten was apparently threatening enough for Prussia to keep its fleet in port.

I managed to do this conflict without taking debts, despite running the upkeep of a Holsteiner division, volunteers and two brigaded divisions at the height of the Mecklemburg campaign. I am, however, running low on cash, and am quite happy to see the crisis over. Now I can happily focus on my economy. :D

Lombardia and Venetia now have home rule, but explicitly in personal union with the other imperial lands.

*Honestly, while this was a possibility which Napoleon III raised during the second SH war, the sequence would need some heavy rework. Being slightly more confident with events, I could offer to do some of it, but not before reading week, or else I'll turn :wacko:
Unless it has already been done in 1.05 :p

As things stand, the Venstre will be in charge exactly a year and that's a bout it.
 
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Divi

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The Unexpected Revolution

Law_speaker.jpg

The following day came, and I was, this time, invited to the sanatorium library. I was rather surprised, but then I realized my interlocutor must not have been the only one who was not sufficiently dangerous to have some freedom within the asylum. His illness may not have been as bad as I feared yeasterday.

"Good day, mister, I was hoping you would come."
"I couldn't deny you the pleasure of coming to your invitation."
"Ah, yes, the invitation. I forgot. That boy deserves a better pay."
"What boy? You have a servant? Here?"
"Oh, no, but the guardians stay idle so long during the day, I decided to put them to good use. After a few tries, one of them accepted my offer without asking too many questions. Balbbermouthes all of them, at least he does as I expect; he takes my notes, asks the address, goes there, and gets paid. Good boy really. But you were not here to ask me about my employees, were you?"

After the revolutions and the signing of the new constitution, we in the privy council, along with the new cabinet, came to the conclusion that some structural changes needed to be made. Our focus on reggressive taxation and high duties were stifling the economy. The liberals favoring free trade, we ended up rising direct taxation to a vaguely progressive, but high, level, and reduced duties to the point where they would barely be noticeable. We also encouraged population movements towards the urban centers. Although the Højre won the election, the liberals were satisfied enough to calm down. This left us with a very problematic new situation, as many of the rural poor seemed convinced absolutism had been better to them, and the german minority who wanted out of the Kingdom, preferably with the entire province of Schleswig, the peace of London making them a clear minority in the lands held by the Danish crown.

The social conflict brew up for some time until the summer of 1852, when the Icelandic peasantry revolted. We sent Julius de Meza with the II. Korps to recover control of the province, which took nearly four months.

Despite the difficult political situation, the Danish finances were as healthy as ever, although this did recquire cuts in defense, but any debt we had was quickly eliminated. And as British representatives came with an offer to acquire the Danish Guinea for 20.000 pounds*, we gently turned them down.

Gradually, peace returned to the kingdom of Denmark.

*The real-life price, not the in-game price, and I mean, come on, how desperate was Denmark to actually sell its colonies for the price of a 38-gunner? I think I can do better than that :D

[OOC - I'm really starting to regret my early economic policies that time]
 
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