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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

loki100

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Opening credits:

It is the Year 2011

A major electrical storm



Hits New York



Causing a major IT breakdown

A young technician traces the fault back to an old server



When power is restored he finds it still works and when he switches it on he finds a large number of data files in a strange format.

His life will never be the same again

He has stumbled on the:

Emails from Etaarnity.

Tentatively he reads the first and stops. He looks up, plainly terrified[1].



He checks the door is locked and starts to read them in order. Slowly the full horror dawns on him, everything he has been told about the history of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was not quite true.

Many hours later, he leaves ... human history will never be the same again ... if he survives to tell the tale.

[1] - and, of course as is tradition in these tales, he has: (a) aged a lot; and, (b) his hair/beard has gone white
 

loki100

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Last edited:

loki100

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Voice over as the titles roll

Introduction
best read in a dramatic voice

Once upon a time forces beyond our comprehension interfered directly in human history. It is 1834, and now they are back.

Trying to regain what they believe was rightfully theirs and to right old wrongs. Their struggle will again disrupt the course of human history.

Even as they recommence their eternal struggles, other, even older beings seek to reclaim what they (too) think was theirs.

Whoever wins, Latin America will lose.

Cast:

Harry, (who has other names too). He was evicted from Hell in 1317, for incompetence and failing to deliver sufficient high grade souls,by his supposed assistant.
Astarte, (who too has other names),in addition to running her own University she has a taste for a heady mix of sex and disease. In this time line, she may, or may not, be Queen Victoria.
Gabi, who fell from celestial grace when he lost a serial killer he was trying to keep out of Harry's hands, and was sent to Hell for work experience. He ended up running a series of leisure facilities (a beauty and health club in Hell and a nightclub in the refugee camp) and acting as Harry's confident.
Rafe, who went bonkers when he managed to recast 350 years of incompetence by Harry as in fact an ultra-subtle plan.
Michael, who has a major problem, as he fell in love (unrequited) with Astarte.
Odin and Freyja, who may well smuggle themselves in as Scandinavian immigrants when they realise what is going on.
Since Harry and Gabi have abandoned the bar, it is quite plausible that some of the livelier Rurikovich kings may re-appear too.


This AAR is very loosely based on a game played with Venezuela (as well as using a number of characters and sub-plots from my recently completed Crusader Kings AAR: Tales from our Faarthers). I've run a couple of test games and for several reasons that seems to generate the type of events I need for the approach I'm taking here. In so far as there is a gameplay goal, its to recreate the united Latin America of Bolivar and this, of course, means finding a way to overrun Columbia. If I succeed in this, I'll then look to see if I can reunite Central America.
 

Stuyvesant

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Aha! I see you're taking the Rensslaer approach to AAR writing, seeing how many you can juggle simultaneously before you fry your brain? ;)

This should be very, very bad, in a very, very good way. :)
 

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I'm incredibly intrigued. I've not read your earlier AAR (I generally don't read AARs for games I've not played), but I'm a sucker for anything Vicky II. Subscribed!
 

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This seems quite plausible so far. Latin America has had its fair share of rulers as destructive as a marriage to a byzantine princess. Perfect place for Harry et al to enjoy the sun.
 

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Aha! I see you're taking the Rensslaer approach to AAR writing, seeing how many you can juggle simultaneously before you fry your brain? ;)

This should be very, very bad, in a very, very good way. :)
Naturally, I'm on board. Although I tend to find that after I start running more than two AARs one of them will inevitably implode. I'm sure you are made of stronger stuff :D
pah ... I think Rens' plan is to have 2 active AARs in every forum. Also I've just cracked a major research project (Qualitative Comparative Analysis proved to be just what was needed), so have a wee bit more time than of late.

Can't wait to see what happens.
I've done 2 test games with Venezuela to get used to the options, in one I ended it in 1920 as almost nothing actually happened all game - the events and pop ups would have delivered a good AAR though (with some creative licence)

I'm incredibly intrigued. I've not read your earlier AAR (I generally don't read AARs for games I've not played), but I'm a sucker for anything Vicky II. Subscribed!
don't expect any subtle game play, the key with this is to take down Columbia and the chances really depend on how the alliances and SOIs work out.

This seems quite plausible so far. Latin America has had its fair share of rulers as destructive as a marriage to a byzantine princess. Perfect place for Harry et al to enjoy the sun.
exactly, & from the test games, I get lots of immigrants from all sorts of interesting places ... so that should mean the celestial region gets pretty crowded after a while
 

loki100

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1836, things begin

Scene 1: A mountain in the Amazon region



It is sometime in 1834, on an inaccessible mountain, shapes are moving around. They do not sound all that happy.

"Are you sure this is the way"

"Oi, give us a hand me hoof is stuck"

"We should have stayed in the bar it was dry there"

"Be careful with those lights"

"Argh, my head aches"

"You should have stopped drinking then"

"When"

"About 1600 would have done it"

The rain lashes down, the jungle drips, small furry animals scuttle around.

"Oi Gabi, stop polishing your glasses and help us move this booze"

"But ... but I need to practice ... human tastes in drinks have changed you know"

"later, later ... help me open this box"

Another shape enters

"Sire ... it works we have a message"

"From ... "

the sound of foot dragging can be heard [1]

"Err ... 'she who must not be named'"

"Hand it over"

"Sire it is a modern message you must come to the machine" [2]



"Oh, she's not happy is she? ... and why is her writing smudged?"

"My liege ??? ... oh thats just a fly that was squashed in the screen"

"Still she's still got that problem with Michael ... ah well there is some justice I suppose ... Oi you lot get a move on, we don't have eternity you know"

Scene 2: 1 January 1836, a new smart bar has opened at Caracas




Gabi, now the head bar tender stands beneath the gleaming bottles behind the waxed wood counter. Coffee is being roasted in the corner, in the very special oven.

Harry, the owner stands at the door greeting new arrivals. He seems rather ill at ease in a smart suit and is still suffering from halitosis.

Inside voices are heard as the customers discuss the events, gossip and news of the festive period.

"You should have seen his face when he realised what we meant"



"Its true, the Spanish are coming back"

"We need to live up to Bolivar's example"

"She did what?"

"Wouldn't vote for any of them if you paid me ... oh thanks, yes I'll have another beer"



"My liege"

"Don't call me that here"

"S.."

"No not that either"

"There's another message, you need to come and read it"



Scene 3: Early the the next morning, the last clients are leaving and staff are clearing up.

Gabi is checking his emails



Harry is at the bar reading a newspaper, he looks increasingly worried

Finally he folds over the page and pushes it to Gabi



"What do you think" .... "she's not" ... "has she?" ... "it does look a bit like her doesn't it" ... "one of her monastery phases?" ... "could be"

"oh well, we'll find out soon enough"

Outside, the ominous sound of drumming is heard from the dock area, it sounds as if a strange ceremony is being conducted




[1] – that is, if you can make a noise while being unwilling to actually say something.
[2] – which is a problem with emails
 
Last edited:

Stuyvesant

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They might well be divorced (apparently), but they still carry on like a married couple. :D

To spite Harry, Astarte takes form as the monarch of the most powerful nation on earth? Hoo boy, you better hope that the Monroe Doctrine holds, otherwise you'll soon be swarmed by more British troops than there are people in all of South America...
 

loki100

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Aaah. It's like they never left :D
same when writing it ... characters are always good when you can hear their voices in your own head (or is that just a sign of madness?)

They might well be divorced (apparently), but they still carry on like a married couple. :D

To spite Harry, Astarte takes form as the monarch of the most powerful nation on earth? Hoo boy, you better hope that the Monroe Doctrine holds, otherwise you'll soon be swarmed by more British troops than there are people in all of South America...
Given the way the UK operates in a typical game of V2 it seems quite appropriate ... but of course, we've yet to find out who is in charge of the US ... it maybe, if you forgive the pun, better the devil you know?
 

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In which coffee is roasted along with the Foreign Minister

Scene 1: That very night, late, in the pouring rain

The drumming finally ends in a final blast of lightening, 4 shapes are briefly illuminated



Eleggua looks at Illapa

"Man, you need to exercise some control"

"Anyway great party, but like, what are we here for?"

"Girls, you started this, why us, why now"

"Well we got this message from an old friend ... you know we met on one of those female dieties networking things that have become so popular since good old Mary wrote her book"



"Lets see then ... oh, him ... we need to do something about this"

Scene 2: A few months later, Harry's Bar.

Senor Pedro de Villa-Santos, the foreign minister, is visiting.

"Senor Harold, I don't know how to thank you ... that coffee, ah the Ecuadorian representive he was ... how can we say this ... enamoured ... blown away ... he so loves your coffee"



Harry smiles (everyone else takes a step back)

"Ah just part of the service, anything for our adopted country"

"And also, Senor Harold, that coffee for the Columbian .. hah, another masterpiece, just right, to express our contempt in such a small cup ... that too was genius. One day you must show me how you do this"



"Of course, Pedro, ... you don't mind if I call you Pedro? ... of course ... one day we'll show you the roasting process"

"oh thank you, but Senor Harold, there is one difficulty. Perhaps rather sensitive, but forgive me, my government wants to know"

"Yes"

"It is this bill from the British, they say we have a loan ... when we asked, they sent a very confusing message ... it seemed to imply you were stealing their heating source?"

"Oh I'd heard about that too ... well you know the British ... probably best you pay really"



"And, Senor Harold"

"Yeesss"

"They also want to know why we are ordering so much alcohol"



"Pedro, you don't mind being called Pedro did you ... good, lets just step out the back ... its time to show you the roasting process"

Scene 3: The University (in a place yet to be identified)

"Empress, Professor ... you have a message"



"ah ... so thats his game is it. Oh well, send the next one in ... I'm bored"​
 

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Bickering back and forth. I would say that Astarte has a bit of a vindictive streak: she's already won, but will she cut poor Harry some slack? Nooo... Seriously, why does she even care about South America? It's a little early for the Columbian Coke bonanza from the 1980s, so it's not like there's an inordinate amount of hell-related activity going on.

On the other hand, what is Harry planning down there? He's given up on the comforts of the bar, he's interacting with people in ways that are not limited to temptation/torture/death... There must be a sinister masterplan (which will come undone due to Harry's natural prospensity for mucking things up, but still).
 

morningSIDEr

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Wonderful to see them both back in action. Liking the email format very much, especially the full email addresses for everyone involved. Good to see Harry, or perhaps Harold as he now seems to be better known, getting settled in and already influencing the Venezuelan government quite considerably, lucky them! I do hope he manages to gather more of the gang to his new bar, I would especially like to see some of the Rurikovich family making an appearance.

What really interests me now though is how poor Venezuela is going to fare and, far more importantly, how many Venezuelan generals are going to meet painful yet amusing ends. I really hope you are paying your officers a great deal as once the casaulty rate begins to shoot up, as it surely must, you may have few left!
 

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Bickering back and forth. I would say that Astarte has a bit of a vindictive streak: she's already won, but will she cut poor Harry some slack? Nooo... Seriously, why does she even care about South America? It's a little early for the Columbian Coke bonanza from the 1980s, so it's not like there's an inordinate amount of hell-related activity going on.

On the other hand, what is Harry planning down there? He's given up on the comforts of the bar, he's interacting with people in ways that are not limited to temptation/torture/death... There must be a sinister masterplan (which will come undone due to Harry's natural prospensity for mucking things up, but still).
I fear you may have missed the hint that the unfortunate Pedro, has, so to speak, joined the coffee grinders? Well for the first time in mucking about with this start, I think I've had a bit of luck, which may at least kick start the masterplan as well

Wonderful to see them both back in action. Liking the email format very much, especially the full email addresses for everyone involved. Good to see Harry, or perhaps Harold as he now seems to be better known, getting settled in and already influencing the Venezuelan government quite considerably, lucky them! I do hope he manages to gather more of the gang to his new bar, I would especially like to see some of the Rurikovich family making an appearance.

What really interests me now though is how poor Venezuela is going to fare and, far more importantly, how many Venezuelan generals are going to meet painful yet amusing ends. I really hope you are paying your officers a great deal as once the casaulty rate begins to shoot up, as it surely must, you may have few left!
I fear they come to rely rather too much on Harry for advice, & there is ample evidence that is not always in your advantage. Does V2 have a mechanism to ensure your generals are maimed ... well if there is I'm sure I'll trigger it
 

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Some international relations take place

Scene 1: The Bar

Harry and the defence minister, Jesu de Santiago are talking at a table

"Ah Senor Harold, you do not grasp the geopolitics ... you see we are smaller than, pah, Columbia, we cannot attack them"

"yeeesss, I see, but this alliance of theirs? [1]"



"Ah that is what I mean it is irrelevant, they do not need Bolivian troops to overwhelm us ... and, we cannot make our army larger due to the, ... well I know this is tactless of me, but the liquor problem ... anyway, let us not just talk politics ... yet again, I must congratulate you on your coffee"



"And I on you ... your new general ...."



The two sit in silence for a while

"And Senor Pedro de Villa-Santos?"

"Ah, who knows, Senor Harold, a mystery"

A bit later, Gabi comes up to Harry

"aren't we meant to be living quietly ... not interfering ... you know new leaves and all that"

Harry agrees this is so

"I found this on the way back from town"



Harry looks

"Oh well, pity he was such a good customer too [2]"

Gabi looks unconvinced but wanders back to the bar. As he settles himself he glances through the back door and spots Harry's new pet



Scene 2: A crossroads

Drumming is heard, shapes move, thunder thunders, lightening forks

Illapa and Oshun are arguing

"You new comers should show some respect"

"We may be new, but we're more popular"

The sounds of fighting follows



Harry is seen wandering off whistling as he goes[3]

Scene 3: The new cabinet meets (it is the same as the old one)




"So, what do we do, about Senor Harold?"

"Well he is very useful, his coffee really helps our diplomacy"



[4]

"And the disappearances ... and the disputes with the British"







"Ah, maybe we need a war to calm things down?"

"I mean the last one ended in our favour ... at least I think it did"



Notes

[1] - this is the first time I've seen Columbia ally with Bolivia, the advantage to me is that when Brazil decides to recover its Bolivian cores, Columbia will be dragged in. At least, their army will suffer attrition and this early on they won't be able to replace the losses
[2] Harry is heating the bar & his coffee roasting machine by stealing heat from Hell (hence the bill from Astarte), in a plot line yet to be developed, he's retained a small corner for his own personal acquisitions, including the unfortunate Pedro
[3] Brazil does indeed go for its cores, in this case, I've described it as a fight between the gods of Santeria and pre-Columbian Incan dieties
[4] remember Harry's new pet?
 
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morningSIDEr

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Does V2 have a mechanism to ensure your generals are maimed ... well if there is I'm sure I'll trigger it
Sadly I don't think they can be maimed, but they can certainly pass away at an alarming rate.

Harry now adopting a crocodile as a pet leaves me rather worried. I'm all the more worried that he seems to be having an increasing influence over the Venezuelan government. One thing is certainly true; South America will never be the same again.
 
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Stuyvesant

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Was that Bolivia and Colombia that were at war with the regional powerhouses of Brazil and Chile (those South American flags are so similar, it's hard to keep them all apart)? Was that what Harry was trying to get the Venezuelans to realize, that Colombia (with its awe-inspiring '1' rating for military) was already royally screwed, that Venezuela would've been perfectly fine in attacking them?

Even with Harry's rich history of mistakes and shooting himself in the foot... Even with all that, berating Astarte and in the same breath suggesting 'Would help if you could send us some soldiers though' - that is just asking for it. He should consider himself very lucky that she only responded with a request for military access. I suspect that, sooner or later, she's going to fulfill Harry's ill-thought request by landing a half-million strong invasion army. :)

So, is Harry feeding people to his alligator, or to his coffee grinders, or both? Oh, and speaking of that:
loki100 said:
I fear you may have missed the hint that the unfortunate Pedro, has, so to speak, joined the coffee grinders?
There's your problem: you went subtle on me. :p If the hint isn't hammered home with the force of a wrecking ball, I'm liable to completely miss it.