Welcome to my inkwell, listing my current and past AARs. I'm a great fan of Paradox's approach to game design (& more recently have discovered the very different AGEOD approach) and an avid reader of other people's AARs (for fun, entertainment and also as a way to learn how to play the particular games), so this is my attempt to contribute something back.
My first CK AAR was a comedy-history of the Princes of Novgorod told when they are being assigned to the appropriate corner of eternity after their demise: [thread=461594]Tales from our Faarthers[/thread]. This AAR (which draws in equal part on Dante and Andy Hamilton) quickly became more about the tussles of Satan (Harry, as in old Harry's game) to acquire souls, deal with rebellions in Hell, inept builders (he's not actually good at any of those things) and still find time to fit in some acts of demonic excess (well usually his sidekick Astarte does the stuff that actually works). Over time, it steadily evolved to the point where the actual doings of the current Rurikovich was somewhat overshadowed by the ongoing arguments between Harry (who was evicted from Hell in about 1300), Astarte (who did the evicting), various Archangels (at least one of whom ended up running a dubious night club in Harry's refugee camp and another fell in love with Astarte - which did nothing for his position in the divine order of things) and the attempts of the Norse Gods to muscle their way back in. This rather odd AAR won me Writaar of the week
for 21 March 2010, Character Writer of the Week
in April 2010 and the Q4 2010
and Q2 2011
CK Comedy Category 
The AAR finished in December 1452 (in game terms), with Harry getting tbe bar and Astarte getting Hell in their divorce settlement, and the assembled Rurikovichs being allowed to carry on bickering and drinking for eternity (which since 3 of them had murdered their predecessor may not be the happiest of outcomes) while locked into Harry's bar. I must confess, this remains my personal favourite, it was such fun to write.
When CK2 first came out, I did a quick AAR, mainly written to explore the event chains for narrative purposes - The Ramblings of John McNab
starting with patch 1.2 and running to 1140. My third CK AAR is rather different. Its a narrative tale (told by 3 very different narrators) and starts on New Year's Eve 1098 with most of the Sultan's subjects plotting revolt and Hassan Sabbah newly installed in Alamut. Read more at: If with evil you punish ...
. This won me Character Writer of the Week for 28 October 2012
but an overall lack of readers/comments and a feeling of not knowing how to end the plotlines effectively led to its early demise.
Buried deep in AARland is my first EU3 AAR The Secret History
which seemed a good idea when I started and ran out of steam immediately. Anyway, in an attempt to redeem the situation a Ming DW AAR featuring the immortal (& very grumpy) Queen Mother of the West, can be found at: The Queen Mother's Diaries
(& this has guest appearances by Harry et al). Various emperors receive her 'advice' and most manage to ignore it, concentrating on expanding towards India rather than liberating her palace in Central Asia from the steppe nomads. The only problem with the 'India-first' strategy is when Harry and the Queen Mother realise just who has taken control over the sub-continent. And this is before any Europeans are sighted. Strangely, the initial casual reference to peacocks, has, over time, become a major theme in the narrative and, even more strangely, this became the weekly showcase for 8 April 2012
. I also completed this one.
Hearts Of Iron
My very first AAR used HOI3 1.2 and can be found at: [thread=428389]A USSaaR[/thread]. A somewhat different HOI 3 1.2 AAR was the goal of rebuilding the Ottoman empire, at: [thread=440093]Breaking the Sevres: A Turkish Bull in the Mediterranean China Shop[/thread] it is perhaps a bit coffee-centric, which is also fascinating - I did after all rebuild the Ottoman empire c1800 and then start collecting the rest of the Med, this too was ended in mid-1944. With HOI3 v 1.3 I did another Soviet AAR using the 1941 Barbarossa scenario:B'aar Baa Red Sheep
. Using Semper Fi I produced The Great Patriotic War
, lots of non-game maps, posters and pictures (& text of course). This collected a steady stream of wins in the ACAs for best HOI History Book AAR: Q3 2010
, Q4 2010
, Q2 2011
, Q3 2011
and Q4 2011
. It ends in late 1945 with the final defeat of the remaining Axis powers in Latin America and concludes with a couple of alternate history posts that sketch out a very different set of USSR-USA cold war dynamics.
Just to ensure that I do an AAR for every part of the major Paradox franchise, here is a Rome AAR: The Punic Curse
. Follow the Roman Republic in a century of tumolt with expansion, greed, civil war and rebellion after it has destroyed Carthage once and for all. Rather nicely this won the 'Other' category in the Q3 2012
ACAs. This ends in 711 AUC (so slightly before the notional end point for the game) as it became mired in small scale revolts leading to rather repetitive gameplay. But it was an interesting exercise in taking one of the later start points.
My first Victoria 2 AAR is, in a strange way, a sequel to 'Tales' (this maybe the first CK:V2 conversion with no intermediate EU gameplay). So try out The Emails from Etaarnity
, where 400 years later, after some never explained events, Harry and Astarte (plus others) re-appear and again interfere in human history (and exchange emails). Harry, as his way, opens a bar in Venezuela, Astarte may, or may not, be masquerading as Queen Victoria. Features a killer crocodile that is soon made into a handbag (it attacked the wrong person),the most dangerous kitten-rabbit combination in human history and various demons and archangels having problems with the modern world. And, just to prove you can't keep a good (bad?) demon down, Harry won me Character Writer of the week
for June 2011 and, again, in September 2011
as well as the best comedy category in the Q3 2011
awards. Amazingly by 1936 Venezuela was #2 in the world despite all this celestial input.
Alea Jacta Est
With this on the verge of release, I was convinced to do a 'how to' PBEM AAR with Narwhal. This is similar in style to the how to AAR for Wars In America (below). We used the Sulla vs Marius vs Mithradates vs the annoyed Spanish scenario. The last two were handled by the AI, Narwhal took Sulla and I took the Marius (Populares) faction. Obviously this was punishment for constantly supressing them in my Rome AAR. Anyway read the fun in The Hero, The Traitor and the Barbarian: An AJE PBEM Beginner AAR
here. I'll leave it to the readers to decide who is who.
Pride of Nations
This started out as a planned short (short by PoN standards) AAR with the Kingdom of Sardinia-Piedmont with the goal of exploring the economic system and stopping with unification: Manufacturing Italy: A PoN GC (... sort of)
. As of now, its looking like I'll end sometime in 1920 as the game has deepened as a colonial empire is created and Italy bids to be mistress again of the Mediterranean, and this won the Q3 2012
AGEOD category in the ACAs. due to the closure of the AGEOD forum on this board, the Pride of Nations AAR was transferred and completed on the main AGEOD forum
. In addition there is a thread on the AGEOD board that links to a series of lets play videos for Pride Of Nations. Not, as such an extended gameplay but more dipping in and out to explore issues of army management and how to cope with the economic model.
Rise of Prussia
In an attempt to make an utter fool of myself, check out my first AGEOD AAR using Rise of Prussia
: The White, Blue and Green
. Single Player with lots of bonuses given to a very competent AI also played from the Austrian perspective and, at least in part, an attempt to elicit advice on how to play the game as to offer any great insights of my own (which is handy as by the end of 1759 I'd managed to reduce the anti-Prussian coalition to a complete shambles). This ran to January 1764 ending with a narrow defeat. Its a brilliant game system and the AI is a genuine challenge, this final post
has a discussion of both in-game strategy choices and some game mechanics not well covered in the manual. This won the open category for AArland Choice Awards Q2 2011
After an abortive attempt at a History Book style treatment of a MP game, here's a more conventional report of a PBEM, Rise of Prussia between myself and Narwhal: The Mightiest Empires Fall
. Again I'm playing the Austrian side and it ends more like Germany 1945 than anything you find in a history of the Seven Years War, but still great fun (complete with the 18th Century equivalent of 8 Guards Army crashing into Berlin and clearing out strongpoints along the Oder). Much to my delight, this AAR was the weekly showcase
for 15 July 2012
Wars In America
Maintaiining the spirit of publicly making a fool of myself, this is based on the Seven Years War in North America: Wars in America: A How to AAR
, this is the first time I had ever played WiA and the first time I had played PBEM. Warning, contains a lot of careless use of matches (& countless massacres and violence towards the British and French aristocracies) and it ends in a total defeat of France in May 1762 (so its good how not strategy guide - from my side but you can read Narwhal's posts as a masterclass in how to play the game) when the ravenous English finally capture the elegant patisseries of New France. Despite this, it was great fun and a really good introduction to the joys of MP in the AGEOD game system. This shared the award in the Open Category for Q3 2011
in the ACA awards and was the runner up
in the 2011 Aarthena Awards.
Since that was such a success, we started a new game (again this has posts from both of us) using the 1812 scenario, with me playing the Americans and this can be found at Burning down the Houses
. This rather surprisingly won us a joint award of AARtist of the month
for January 2012 as well as sharing the prize for the open category in the 2011 Q4
ACA awards. As is traditional, it ends with me suffering an absolute and complete defeat (even though I was besieging Montreal at the end).
Something totally different is Defending Leningrad
a PBEM using War in the East (and in the OT forum). Using the same base game here is a PBEM of the entire campaign, snappily titled The Great Patriotic War
. As in the original HOI3 version, lots of images (new ones even) and also the fun of getting kicked around by a human opponent rather than having to take pity on the HOI AI. You can also find a tale about messing about in boats as: WiTW
Various Things I have won
Writaar of the week 21 March 2010
Character Writer of the Week 16 April 2010
, 12 June 2011
, 18 September 2011
; 28 October 2012
Fan of the week, 12 February 2011
, 8 May 2011
, 7 August 2011
, 26 August 2012
; 16 March 2013
AARtist of the month: January 2012 (shared)
Weekly AAR Showcase: 8 April 2012
; 15 July 2012
 - as well as a much treasured single vote for the 'best history book CK AAR' in an earlier round