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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Actinguy

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A bit of housekeeping:

First, lest you be confused, this is NOT Jestor's brilliant "The Beautiful Girl and the History Class." Further, I am not (and should under no circumstances be mistaken for) Jester, the awesome creator of "The Beautiful Girl and the History Class."

If at any point you DO become confused, ask yourself:

"Is what I am reading very awesome?"

If the answer is yes, then you are reading "The Beautiful Girl and the History Class." Good for you. It is a very awesome story, and I highly recommend heading there immediately without wasting another moment here.

But if the answer is no, then you are reading my tale. May God have mercy on your very soul.

Anyhow, all of that aside, I am Actinguy, on a mission to trick the devout readers of brilliant AARs by having similar AAR names, and then entrap them so that they can never escape. This is my first Victorian AAR...in fact, I have yet to successfully play past 1860ish. It's a GOOD game when I see the start of the American Civil War. :D

But I have done a ton of Crusader Kings AARs...and I'm slowly getting better at Victoria (this is a lie)...so here we go!
 

likk9922

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Pfft. Sounds like an idea with some comedic potential. ;)
 

Actinguy

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"Automatic A for the first person who can name one war that Martin Van Buren was involved in."

It was a trick question, of course. For anyone to be able to name one of the wars, they would have to have at least an elementary school education. These were high school seniors...they had no such thing. Many of them didn't even bother to make the effort to stare blankly back at him.

"Okay...okay. Automatic A and a free lunch to the first person who can name just one of the things that Martin Van Buren did for a living."

In the very back row, something amazing happened.

There was a hand. In the air.

Shocked...at a loss for words, in fact...the teacher shuffled papers on his desk until he found his seating chart.

"Yes...in the back there...Tricia...White? Are you telling me that you can actually name one of the careers that Martin van..."

"Furniture?"

"What?"

"Yeah...I think he totally owns that furniture store at the mall. Van somethingsomethings? Why? Is he a friend of yours?"

At first, he assumed that she was just kidding...there was always a class clown, and frankly, it might be refreshing if this year's was a girl. But then...he realized nobody was laughing. Not only did this Tricia actually believe that Martin van Buren owned a furniture store at the mall...but the rest of the class assumed that this was true, and that there was a genius in their midst.

Holy shit.

"No. No, no, no. Not even close. Okay. Answers I would have accepted: Lawyer. Senator. Governor. Secretary of State. Vice President. President of the United..."

"Mr. B!"

"Yes, Tricia?"

"I know you don't think we're very smart, Mr. B, but we, like, totally know that Martin van Whateverhisface isn't the President."

"...Not the current President, Tricia. This was a long time ago."

"Like, in the 80's?"

"Yeah...but if it makes you feel any better, my opinion of you has improved greatly. Because despite what you just said, the majority of your classmates did not know that Martin van Whateverhisface isn't the current President."

The lack of blank stares, confirmed this fact.

"So...I get an automatic A?"

"Depends. Can you tell me who is the current President of the United States?"

"No."

"Okay, then. Moving on."

He glanced back at his notes, then up at the class once more.

"Automatic A and a free lunch to the entire class...plus a free car...to the first person who can tell me one of the many things Martin van Buren was the first to do."

Nothing. Even Tricia was stumped.

"Answers I would have accepted: First President to be born in the United States. First President to not have English as his first language. First President to resign from..."

"First President to be named Martin van Whateverhisface?"

"...No. There has never been a President Whateverhis..."

"OH!"

"Yes, Tricia?"

"First President to get stuck in a bathtub!"

A few students snickered...at least they were paying attention.

"No, Tricia. But, again, I am impressed with your vaguest knowledge of American Politics. It was actually President Taft, not President van Buren, who..."

"I'm pretty sure van Whateverhisface was stuck in a bathtub."

"I'm positive that was not the case."

"I'm going to check tonight...and then, when I'm right, you're totally going to buy me a car."

"You're going to check tonight?"

"Totally."

"In a book?"

"I'll google it or something."

"Well...I'm pleased with the sentiment at least. If anyone of you should decide to accidently learn something by attempting to prove me wrong, I welcome the notion. Anyhow...on to the Presidency of Martin van Whateverhisface."

He opened his history book. He didn't bother telling the students to do the same...he knew none of them had bothered to bring it.

"I think you're going to like him, Tricia. You two have similar hair styles."
 

El Pip

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I think I'm going to like this one, the other half is also a teacher with a class thicker than two very short planks so it's something I can sort of relate to.
 

CountArach

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Haha that was great. I particularly liked the line about not having an Elementary Education :D
 

Actinguy

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(@ Everyone: Thanks! So many comments after just one post...before the historical portion of the story has even begun, for that matter...is very encouraging! Hope I keep your interest, and always open to suggestions, questions, "You suck"s, etc!)

"Before we start today...Tricia, did you have a chance to blow open this whole President/bathtub conspiracy?"

"Very funny, Mr. B. Okay, yeah. You were right. It was President Taffy."

"Taft."

"Whatever. But, like, you were totally wrong about van Boring."

"Buren. But I'm still impressed...you actually decided to learn about him in your free time? And you found a mistake of mine? Assuming that you're right, that actually might be cause for an automatic..."

"Yeah. I looked at google images. And you were totally wrong. Our hair styles are like, way different!"

Sigh.

It was going to be a long year.

39.jpg

Martin van Buren: Eighth President of the United States​

"Okay...so President van Buren may not have had the greatest hair style...he did still have fine taste in other things. Food, wine, even clothing. All of these things cost money, of course, just like they do now...and when you spend all of your allowance at the mall, what do you do?"

"Ask daddy for more!"

"Very good, Tricia...not so good for your Daddy, I'd suppose, but correct. Of course, President van Buren's daddy didn't control how much the President made. That was congress' job. And congress claimed they couldn't give anymore, because they were practically broke.

"So van Buren spent the early days of his presidency trying to find ways to cut the country's spending, so that he could pocket the difference. He raised taxes against the poorest citizens, he cut anti-crime spending by nearly 90%, claiming that crime was the states' responsability, and then he took the most drastic step of all. He eliminated the office of Mahlon Dickerson. Automatic A for..."

He glanced around the classroom.

"Oh, who am I kidding. Mahlon Dickerson was the Secretary of the Navy. Van Buren eliminated his role, and then eliminated the entire Navy. There were several key members of congress who attempted to fight this, of course, but the American people were generally against American intervention in foreign affairs. Van Buren successfully argued directly to the people that a navy was only necessary for invasions. Should someone try to invade the United States, it had already been proven several times over that America was capable of defending itself on land. It needed no navy. And so every boat was sold, and every sailor fired. Unfortunately for van Buren, just days after disbanding the entire navy...Mexico attacked the independent nation of Texas, an ally of...yes, Tricia?"

"Uh, Mr. B, you're wrong again. Texas is a state. I'm pretty sure. It's like one of the United ones."

"Yes, Tricia. Very good. But it wasn't always...back in the 1830's, Texas had just recently declared independence from Mexico, and gone to the American government for protection. Which is why...when Texas was attacked...van Buren's hand was forced.

"He had to prove that America could defend it's interests...against a much larger country...and without a navy."
 

robou

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I think the class will have some difficulty of understanding Mexico as a major world player... especially invading Texas. Lets hope there are no Texans in the class :eek:
 

El Pip

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I think robou's main point needs ammending;

robou said:
I think the class will have some difficulty of understanding. Anything.

Much better. :D
 

Actinguy

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robou said:
I think the class will have some difficulty of understanding Mexico as a major world player... especially invading Texas. Lets hope there are no Texans in the class :eek:


You are assuming, of course, that in this future timeline, Mexico ISN'T a major world power. Hehe. This has actually been something I'm trying to avoid where possible, since I've only played so far through aroudn 1840-something. In the modern timeline, WAS there a President Taft? Is Texas one of the United States? Heck...IS there even a United States?

El Pip, on the other hand, is absolutely correct.

:D
 

Actinguy

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"President van Buren knew that, with his army outnumbered and his navy non-existant, the United States needed a fast, decisive win...with as little fighting as possible. His plan was to send the entirety of his army to the Rio Grande, but in relatively small 1000-men teams, so as to involve Mexico in countless indecisive skirmishes rather than three or four major battles...because losing a skirmish wouldn't be a very big deal, whereas a major battle or two could lose the entire war. Meanwhile, the skirmishes would actually be a distraction...while General Winfield "Old Fuss and Feathers" Scott would sneak an army of over twelve thousand men to Mejico City, the capital of Mexico, and force the Mexican government to beg for peace.

"Of course, the most obvious course of attack for General Scott would have been to utilize the navy, and make a surprise landing somewhere along the gulf coast here...but with no navy, Scott's only choice was to march his men along a direct route, staying as close to the shore as possible, to avoid accidently encountering the Mexican army ahead of schedule.

"Naturally, this plan went to hell...when General Scott and his army of twelve thousand...marched past Houston...and right into a trap laid by the Mexican general Miramon...

"And thirty thousand of his closest friends."
 

El Pip

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Next lesson; President van Buren was also the first US president to be thicker than two very short planks of wood AND the first to be publicly slapped with a kipper in the face on the steps of the White House, as a warning to others.