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Compulsive CommentatAAR
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Aug 1, 2002
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Many years ago I wrote a narrative AAR based around a handful of random events and the general gameworld of a Castile/Spanish EU2 game. This started off as a piece for Guess the Author, and ended up turning into In Memory of France. As the details of the Megacorp expansion have been revealed I got an idea of a telling an AAR of the future of the world of In Memory of France. This will be that AAR, and now we have a release date I have decided to get started.

The first portion of this AAR shall be to cover the history. I hope to wrap that up by or shortly after Megacorp is actually released. After that we will continue on with the gameplay. I suspect the style will be a mix of narrative, history-book, and gameplay elements, but obviously that will depend a bit on what happens.

Whilst some of the details of the future nation are still up in air, two elements are not. This will be a game with the Corporate Government, and the Criminal Heritage civic. I am also strongly considering Quarrelsome and Wasteful traits. Ethics are proving harder to pin down. Once all that is decided I will post a summary of the Empire info at the top here. I will also here provide a link to the gameplay as and when it starts.

I should also say that there is absolutely no need to read In Memory of France. It is, in some ways, my inspiration - but the history that is covered there will be dealt with in the history section.

Naturally I shall update this post as it becomes necessary.
History - 01 Intro
Excerpt from "A History of the Red Lion"

It is said that some events are like the eye of the needle - that the thread of history has to pass through them to make any sense. Some of these events are obvious indeed - the battle of Salamis, the fall of Rome, or the union of Spain. Others are less so - on the outside does it really seem likely that the death of a carpenter’s son in Jerusalem would have such an impact on the world? Likewise an Arabic merchant apparently getting lost in the desert would not strike the casual observer as at all being momentous. Or of a scientist allowing a petri dish to be contaminated. Thus it was when an English exile by the name of Charles Simmonds escaped the collapse of the King’s cause in England and made his way to Spain, to Madrid, in the middle of the 17th century.

Captain Simmonds arrived, with some fellow survivors and their families, if not penniless then certainly not wealthy. There were far from the only refugees of the English Civil War, or many other wars, that found their way to the Queen of Cities.

That was more than five hundred years ago. Look at us know. The world we live in is dominated by his descendants. The Red Lion group are the most influential power on Earth today, and with the signing of the Treaty of Baikonur it is only through the aegis Red Lion that group that humanity will venture beyond the gravity well of our sun into the unknown worlds beyond.

Some scoff at this, and say that the Red Lion are but merely an arm of the Spanish Imperial State, and that this is merely an underhand way for the Spanish to achieve world dominion. To be sure, there were that for a time, but if they took Spanish money and achieved Spanish aims they never solely worked for Spain. The Red Lion has always looked after its own.

Now as humanity is upon the precipice of interstellar space this work is meant to serve as a brief introduction to our world, to stand as a testament of how we got to where we are. I do not seek to condone or condemn in what follows - if you wish to read the hawkings of propagandists there are many who will sate your desires. I write as I see things, and what I mostly see is how the Red Lion have overtaken our planet and our race. Not for Spain, and perhaps not even for themselves, but because they have won the Great Game of human politics, and now they strive to play on a larger board.
Looking forward to this, my friend! :)
Nice start for this AAR, keep on work, stnylan:)
I'm always up for a new stnylan AAR, and seeing a classic tale from the days of AARland past (that I will actually get around to finishing one of these days) get carried on in such a manner is most pleasing indeed :)
Looking forward to this, my friend! :)

Definitely sounds interesting and knowing the quality in your AARs I am definitely going to follow this. Subbed!

Nice start for this AAR, keep on work, stnylan:)

I'm always up for a new stnylan AAR, and seeing a classic tale from the days of AARland past (that I will actually get around to finishing one of these days) get carried on in such a manner is most pleasing indeed :)

Thank you all. :)
History 02 - Origins of Captain Simmonds
Excerpt from “A Brief History of the Red Lion”
Chapter 1 - Origins of Captain Simmonds

Charles Simmonds first appears on the pages of history in the 1630s, in court documents and the diaries of a couple of local priests, where he is accused of smuggling in the south-west of England. His operations stretched from Cornwall to Dorset, and whilst it would be wrong to suggest he was in control of of the smugglers of the south-west (who, after all, remain active to this day) it would be right to say he was pre-eminent amongst them. We do not know his exact age - even the Red Lion official history only notes he was “in his thirties” when the English Civil war broke out.

When the Civil War came Charles Simmonds followed the Crown. Why he did this we do not know. My personal belief is that he thought the Crown would more liable to accede to his desires after the war - the Parliamentarians being less open to bribery, extortion, and corruption. The Red Lion history just notes “that although he was a criminal he was not a traitor”. Equally however it should be noted that the south-west of England was a stronghold of royalist sentiment, and maybe that is explanation enough. It was during this time that he became Captain Simmonds

Of course it transpired that the Crown was the losing side. The south-west was where some of the final royal fortresses lay, including the twin forts of Pendennis and St Mawes. St Mawes fell relatively swiftly through treachery on the part of the commander, but Pendennis held out for many months. It was a desperate fight, and protected by the fortifications was Captain Simmonds’ ship, called - what else - the Red Lion. For years he had procured supplies from the continent - chiefly from the Spanish Empire, and now he was involved in the final death throes of the royalist cause.

Charles Simmonds though did not intend to die. Whilst most of the soldiers and officers might have counted on a parole after surrender - as eventually happened - Charles Simmonds knew it was going to be the gallows for him and those closest to him. For he had not just conducted supplies, but prosecuted the war through piracy (or privateering if you will). Escape, however, was blocked by a squadron of Parliamentarian ships.

Now we have to depart the certainties of attested history and rely on tale and fable. Charles Simmonds was patient, and waited for his chance. It came when most of the Parliamentarian ships had been forced to return to port due to a bout of inclement weather. Only one ship remained on station, captained by a local who had nevertheless signed onto the Parliamentarian cause right at the start. He knew those waters, and his commander trusted him to both keep watch and keep his vessel safe.

Unbeknownst to the Parliamentarian admiral however this particular captain was an agent of none other than Captain Simmonds. Even before the war had officially started Captain Simmonds had been instructed him (along with a handful of others) to join the Parliamentarian cause. He had established his bona fides, and fought on the Parliamentarian side with apparent conviction and a much-valued competency.

Now though he sent a signal to the shore - benign and un-noticed by any but those who were looking out for it. Then he and his companions drugged the ship’s grog. After night fell the Red Lion set out, loaded with Charles Simmonds, what was left of his organisation, and their families. And, it is believed, the last of the royal gold and precious stones. Their fellows from the stricken Parliamentarian ship rowed out to them on a small boat as they passed, and went aboard. By the time the rest of the Parliamentary fleet realised what had happened the Red Lion was far out in The Channel, and safe.

Did this actually happen? We know one of the captains of the blockading squadron died “due to enemy action”. It is quite possible the Parliamentarians would have have tried to cover up the defection. Ultimately there is no proof, but like with so much of the Red Lion group, neither is there proof against.

Why do I tell this tale - given its lack of historical provenance? I do so because it illustrates something important about Charles Simmonds, and about how the organisation he founded operated. He always tried to ensure he had a plan to escape, always tried to ensure he had people on the other side. Whilst this tale may or may not be fanciful, the method of operation became a hallmark of the Red Lion in the many years that followed.
Masterfully told, as always. :)
Oh right! Subbed.

You know what they say about lions and debts... ;)
Tsk tsk tsk, you start a new AAR and don't inform me! :p
The life of Captain Simmonds sounds like it would make a rousing tale in its own right -- treachery, intrigue, and plenty of derring-do to go around.
It certainly would. It is actually great to flesh out this story, which was always part of the history of In Memory of France, though only reference a time or two as I recall. Incidentally the surrender of St Mawes and siege of Pendinnis are real history events (EU2's event system sometimes causing history to track much more closely). I have visited both forts. If one is ever in that part of Cornwall they are both very worthwhile a visit (as is the Maritime Musuem, also in Falmout (the closest town)).

Masterfully told, as always. :)
Thank you.

Oh right! Subbed.

You know what they say about lions and debts... ;)
Oh indeed.

I remember 'In Memory of France' quite fondly. A good beginning: Civil War, missing gold and jewels, smugglers and thieves... and Spain...
Great to see you.


Tsk tsk tsk, you start a new AAR and don't inform me! :p
By your presence I judge that I didn't need to :D
History 03 - The World of the mid-17th Century
Excerpts from “A Brief History of the Red Lion”
Chapter 2 - The World of the Mid-17th Century

It is worthwhile reminding ourselves of how the world was when Charles Simmonds arrived in Madrid, probably in 1648. The first thing to note is that many of the major powers of more recent times were already well established: England, Denmark, Russia, China, Japan, and of course Spain. Some other nations that were powers then are remnants, if that, today - like Bavaria, the Ottoman Sultanate, or the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

England, from which Charles Simmonds fled, was the sole power in the British Isles. The Scots and Irish had been overcome the century prior. The English also retained their Norman possessions, a consequence of the situation in France (as I will describe in a moment). Across the sea that had established colonies in New England, Newfoundland, and along the St Lawrence. They also maintained some isolated outposts in the Caribbean and down the coast of Africa. They were only second to Spain when it came to colonisation and exploration, but largely did not seek to challenge the latter. The Civil War was a low point, but already there were well positioned to fulfill their destiny as the shipyard of the world.

Denmark had survived the breaking of the Kalmar Union, and in the sixteenth century had forcibly re-integrated Sweden. They also dominated northern Germany, becoming the prime continental Protestant Power. The end of the Wars of Religion around this time see them became suzerains of Brandenburg. With their southern flank secured by diplomacy they began to be drawn into the affairs of the eastern Baltic.

If northern Germany was under Danish sway, southern Germany had become the dominion of Catholic Bavaria. Bavaria was arguably more powerful than the Austrian Hapsburgs during this time, for though their realm was geographically smaller the Empire was a far more vital place that the plains of Hungary that were the basis of Austrian power. Austria, largely shut out of Germany (though they retained an honorary Emperorship) had focused on the Balkans, engaging in a number of bloody wars with the Ottomans.

The Ottomans had been the terror of the world two centuries prior when they took Constantinople. They advance into Europe had been checked a hundred years prior however. The Mamluks of Egypt had also managed to stop them advancing from the Levant into Palestine. The Mamluks themselves faced the Ottomans in the north and the Ethiopians in the south. It is now plain though that by the 1650s both nations were already suffering from what proved to be a terminal decline.

Russia in the mid-seventeenth century was emerging from its own period of civil war, a turbulent period known as the Time of Troubles. They had fought off several invasions from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and had began to expand eastward, crossing the Urals at around the turn of the century. Despite an impressive military power though they remained comparatively backward compared to the rest of the Christian world.

In the East China and Japan were both inward nations, yet to peek out of their shells. The Chinese had the greatest knowledge of Europeans through the Portuguese - now Spanish - enclaves established by treaty in the south.

India was dominated by two native powers - Delhi in the north and Vijayanagar to the south. By this time however Europeans - chiefly Portuguese and Spanish - had begun their penetration of the coast. Persia and Mesopotamia was a confused mess of states following the collapse of the Timurids in the latter part of the sixteenth century.

And Spain? Spain was already the world’s largest power. Castile had completed the union with Aragon by 1500, and by 1650 had almost entirely swallowed up the Italian peninsula and the Maghrib area of northern Africa. The Portuguese and Spanish crowns were joined in personal union at the start of the seventeenth century, and by the mid-century Spain’s attentions were largely absorbed with the full integration of the Portuguese realms into the Spanish one.

Even before this Spain had a large colonial Empire, down the coast of Africa, in India, in the East Indies, and even in Australia. To the West they had conquered the old native Empires of central America and the Andes, and had started to colonise up the Mississippi river to the north, and La Plata to the south. The Portuguese crown brought with it Brazil, more islands in the Caribbean, and more land scattered about the rest of the globe.

Finally Spain was, by now, the effective ruler of much of France. This process had begun more than two hundred years earlier, when Aragon and England fought a war, in which Castile fought on the Aragonese side. As thanks for their efforts, when the peace came, Castile was awarded Gascony. In due course this lead to several defensive wars with France who tried to gain control of what they regarded as their territory - but each time the French lost more territory in turn. It is said that the Spanish conquered France by accident, and there is some truth to this. By the 1650s all of France south of the Loire, save Savoy, was administered by Spain. France had also lost her nascent colonial holdings in the Caribbean. By the 1650s however they had began afresh in the Hudson Bay.
A note on the above - I am basing all the above on the game. I am fairly sure the original save still exists somewhere, but I must admit I have no desire of (a) trying to find it, or (b) getting EU2 to work on my current machine. Therefore the above is from memory of a game I finished playing in 2004 iirc. Also it does display the somewhat more railroaded nature of the EU2 event system. Those who remember EU2 will know what I mean. Those who don't, well, it is probably not important. But it did mean that certain events were more likely to happen than in EU4, but the Ottomans were usually a disappointment.
Nice overview of world in 1650s
It's good to get a birds-eye view of the period. In many respects it helps to put many of the goings-on of the original story in context.

EU2 is a game I remember all too well -- back in the days when armies that had to be replenished manually, everything was controlled by billions of sliders, and you never really managed to get the "Falalalan" song entirely out of your head :D