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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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blklizard

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Sounds like some uplifted Soviets are on the way if they have an alien ship in their possession. Space is always in need of some communism. :p

I don't think the survivors will be bring communism to space. :p

Nice, I will be following this.:)

Welcome! :)

I'm gonna have to follow this!

Glad to have you aboard! :)

Tomb- world preference :p?

Maybe not. Doubt humans like nuclear winter planets. :D

A Soviet victory in a third World War is an interesting path, and that sudden alien apparition must be an advantage for them.

A Soviet victory would be interesting... :p

Interesting setup so far. Should be a treat to watch the transition into gameplay segments.

Poland SSR can into space?

There's a lot I can do with the background but I don't want to take forever to get to the actual game. I don't think Poland will be making an appearance in this AAR. Or a lot of nations for that matter. :p

Ah, I see First Contact is happening much earlier than for most. I imagine that shakes up the status quo of WW3.

WW3 might have went differently than what you think.

Prologue 3

Glazkov punched the wall in frustration after leaving his brother's room. His little brother had gotten terribly ill and, without the medical supplies he desperately needed, he might not even survive the night. Glazkov had never felt so helpless as the last member of his family was dying. The war had taken so many of his loved ones but, as the only good news at the time, the war was finally over. There was no clear victors given the devastation brought about by the nuclear weapons.

Glazkov, his brother and hundreds of others were cramped into the underground bunker soon after the war began between the Soviet Union and the United States. Those in the bunker only wished for a peaceful life following the Second World War. The atrocities and the lives lost in the last world war were still fresh in the minds of many, especially those who had retired from the military. Glazkov and his brother still remembered the stories told by their grandfather who was one of the lucky few to not only survive the major engagements but see Berlin for himself.

It was during the middle of day when Galzkov's family was informed that a war was breaking out and they needed to get to the nearby bunker. His family was one of the many living in Volgograd, the former Stalingrad, and the race to the bunker was a hectic one. The Soviets never ran any actual drills for the civilians to get into the bunkers because they never believed that war would break out between the two nations. As a result, it was complete chaos as the families rushed to get into one of the few bunkers near the city.

There was simply not enough bunkers for everyone in Volgograd which many discovered shortly after being informed about the war. Many began to head elsewhere in hopes of finding a bunker which could shelter them from the nuclear weapons to be rained down on the Soviet Union. From the propaganda that the Soviet Union fed them, the people were convinced that the United States possessed enough nuclear weapons to level all of the Eastern Bloc and parts of China.

Glazkov and his brother were separated from their family when they tried to get to the nearest shelter but they were fortunate when a couple kindly offered them their room when they discovered the bunker was full. The fate of the couple remained unknown but the siblings survived the terrible Third World War which indeed had a major impact on a global level. Even the Soviet Union was no longer her old self after the Americans used nearly their entire nuclear arsenal on her.

With the conclusion of the war, those in the bunker should feel relief and happiness. They should feel comfortable leaving the safety of their bunker and search for their loved ones who were scattered all over the Soviet Union. Yet, the outside world was no longer safe and only the most foolish dared to tread it. Glazkov began to think he might have to join the most foolish if he hoped to save his brother. After all, there was no hope for his brother if Glazkov remained in the bunker doing nothing.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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This is a very Fallout-style beginning for humanity's journey to the stars. I'm imagining they'll be Pacifists as a result of their past.
 

FortTell

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A nice beginning, so good when it's not from the dreaded "America Hell Yeah!" point of view.
 

sebas379

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Great chapter! I wonder wether the postapocalyptic world will have more of a Fallout or Metro vibe :)
 

loup99

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No one decisively winning the war is an different take, it will be interesting to see what emerges of the devastation.
 

blklizard

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This is a very Fallout-style beginning for humanity's journey to the stars. I'm imagining they'll be Pacifists as a result of their past.

The beginning might not go the way you imagine.

A nice beginning, so good when it's not from the dreaded "America Hell Yeah!" point of view.

I must admit that I'm having a lot of fun with this background. Sadly, we have to get to the actual gameplay eventually.

Great chapter! I wonder wether the postapocalyptic world will have more of a Fallout or Metro vibe :)

Maybe neither. Let's just say there are certain limitations as to what I can add to make the plot fit together. :p

No one decisively winning the war is an different take, it will be interesting to see what emerges of the devastation.

Nothing good ever emerges from nuclear warfare. :p

Prologue 4

Once he entered the storeroom, Glazkov was reminded just how dangerously low their supplies were. Food and water were greatly rationed and, even then, they were doubtful they could rely on it for another month. Some had ventured outside to gather what they could but most of them failed to return. Their fates remained unknown but everyone inside the bunker was convinced they were dead. Otherwise, they would have returned already.

A great deal of medical supplies was used the first week the bunker was occupied because the evacuation had been so hectic. There was no real way of rationing the medical supplies and, as a result, they eventually ran out and Glazkov's brother was at death's door. If nothing was done, everyone would die from either starvation or dehydration, neither fate seemed like a good way to go for Glazkov which convinced him to take on this foolish errand.

There was nothing worthwhile to take in the storeroom so Glazkov left empty-handed. He only brought an old bag with him which could at least help him carry more stuff home. When he arrived at the bunker exit, there was no one there. The people were all conserving their energy in their rooms. In a way, the people had given up on their future and were waiting for their time to die. The gloomy atmosphere was another factor that convinced Glazkov to at least go down fighting.

The young man stepped outside the bunker for the first time since he and his brother arrived a year ago. The city he knew and love was no more as a number of nuclear weapons were targeting Volgograd. There was no point for him to explore the city since what could be scavenged were long retrieved by those who ventured out before him. If he hoped to get anything of value, he needed to leave the city and head for a nearby town. Sadly, he had no maps to work with and had to rely solely on luck.

Some communication was established with the other bunkers in the city but they were all in similar dire situation. Glazkov could go there but, even if they had any medical supplies, the people there might not be willing to part with them. Therefore, the young man needed to find some sort of transportation because it wasn't plausible to reach a nearby town solely on foot. The nuclear radiation had vastly changed the landscape and he simply didn't have enough, if any, supplies to last him that long.

There was a garage by the bunker which housed a working jeep along with other junk collected over the months. One of the men in the bunker was a mechanic and got it working. Sadly, the radiation killed him in the end and the jeep was left unused ever since. Glazkov had never driven before but this was not the time to ponder over that. He had to learn as he went and hoped that the jeep could actually start up after all this time. The young man got inside and turned the ignition switch.


I need to know if my readers want the background more developed. Feel free to share your opinion. I could either summarize what happens and solely focusing on the gameplay afterwards or I could intertwine the more detailed (and hopefully more fleshed out with more stuff added) background into the story once we get to the gameplay. Thanks! :)
 

loup99

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Driving for the first time in such a dire situation is probably not the easiest, but hopefully Glazkov will manage to make the best of it.

I need to know if my readers want the background more developed. Feel free to share your opinion. I could either summarize what happens and solely focusing on the gameplay afterwards or I could intertwine the more detailed (and hopefully more fleshed out with more stuff added) background into the story once we get to the gameplay. Thanks! :)
I would love to read more background details! An intertwined story with more information sounds like a nice idea. But I think you should be the one who chooses, as I don't want to give you too much of a workload.
 

FortTell

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Please continue the background unless the version we get together with gameplay is much more fleshed out.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Asantahene

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I'm going to disagree with the others and say cut to the gameplay or intertwine-it kinda feels to me like you are just marking time
 

Michaelangelo

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Well I'd certainly like to hear more about this post-apocalyptic Earth before we go into space. You'll need plenty of background if you intend to reach 2k chapters like your Langobards AAR. :D
 

blklizard

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Driving for the first time in such a dire situation is probably not the easiest, but hopefully Glazkov will manage to make the best of it.


I would love to read more background details! An intertwined story with more information sounds like a nice idea. But I think you should be the one who chooses, as I don't want to give you too much of a workload.

It won't be too much of a workload. It will be fun but the AAR will definitely be noticeably longer.

Please continue the background unless the version we get together with gameplay is much more fleshed out.

I'll be sure to flesh out the background the best I can with the version I choose.

I'm with @loup99 and @FortTell on background details. I love lore...

I'll see what other things I can add. There's a lot of things that could be added in a 200 year time span.

Moar lore !

I'll add whatever I can without overwhelming my readers.

I'm going to disagree with the others and say cut to the gameplay or intertwine-it kinda feels to me like you are just marking time

Intertwining can certainly work. I'll get into the player setup first before we get to the actual gameplay.

Well I'd certainly like to hear more about this post-apocalyptic Earth before we go into space. You'll need plenty of background if you intend to reach 2k chapters like your Langobards AAR. :D

2k chapters is too much. I think I'll stick with a more conventional length for an AAR. :p

Thank you everyone who provided feedback. I will be intertwining the present and the past to show gameplay and the lore leading up to the formation of the empire. Given the incredible support, I'm thinking of

Chapter 1

Mikhail was yanked out of his seat and he wasn't pleased one bit. If there was anything he hated the most, it was being interrupted from his tasks. He took off his helmet and his anger dissipated almost instantly. If there was anyone he dared not make angry, it was his wife, Akilina. She was possibly the only person he feared and getting into a fight with her was a losing cause from the very beginning.

"Aren't you a bit old for these virtual simulators?" she asked.

Mikhail shook his head. "I was just experiencing the past through the eyes of my ancestors. This is as close as it gets."

"Explain to me why I chose to marry you," said Akilina as she helped her husband out of his seat. "Anyways, you have a meeting you must attend to. Your officials have some matters they wish to discuss."

With a sigh, Mikhail left the room to attend what he expected was another boring meeting. Nothing really important had happened for the last decade or so. His predecessors did all the hard work in making Earth its current state. As the new leader of the Soviets, Mikhail really had little to do. The people were happy and growing steadily while there were limited decisions for him to make.

Akilina was always by his side and gave his advice on how to deal with his officials who he didn't exactly get along. He did, after all, inherit his position instead of proving his worth through merit which meant he didn't have the full support of his people. His wife had been working hard in the years leading up to his ascension to gain support for him. Currently, he had roughly a ninety percent approval rate and it was still rising.

The officials weren't so easy to win over but, given time, they too would stand by his side. Of course, Mikhail never understood why there was so much pressure on him. Earth had finally entered a time of peace and prosperity. The planet wasn't completely populated but it would get there eventually. Industrial wasteland and sprawling slums were still issues to be resolved but such took time and resources, both of which he had limits to.

Then, Mikhail had a brilliant idea which saw him revisiting the virtual simulator. As a kid, he loved this invention as it gave him a chance to live through the histories through his ancestors. The data was based on the facts in the history archives which, sadly, only went as far back as the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was just starting the adventure of his ancestor, Glazkov Lazarev, when his wife interrupted him.

S9erL3A.png
 

TheAnguishedOne

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The species is Soviet, eh? I take it they come out on top of WW3, one way or the other.
 

blklizard

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The species is Soviet, eh? I take it they come out on top of WW3, one way or the other.

Depends on how you define come out on top. :p

Found some extra time so I did this extra update. I might intertwine the past and present like this but I'm still undecided.

Chapter 2

Mikhail sat down in the meeting hall where the other officials were already present. His wife sat beside him which had become a custom if the wife of the leader could prove her worth. Akilina had more than proven herself on several occasions and the officials oddly enough trust her abilities more than her husband's. With her present, they felt more comfortable knowing matters would be dealt with swiftly.

It was not to say Mikhail was incapable. His skill sets would probably see him a better governor but, as the heir of the previous leader, he naturally ascended following his father's death. Mikhail wasn't too happy with his new position which was filled with too much responsibilities and pressure. He would rather prefer his old carefree life but those would only remain in the past and forever out of reach.

No one could deny that Mikhail cared about his subjects. He was overall a kind person who was well loved and called by many as the "Champion of the People." Yet, there were those in the government who saw kindness as weakness claiming that the empire wasn't built by kindness. Lives were lost and sacrifices were made for the eventual rise of the empire. Mikhail might be better suited to heading a charitable foundation than actually ruling over the Soviets.

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The negative views towards Mikhail could easily see divisions within the government which could ultimately see his downfall. However, Akilina took precautions by entrenching her husband deep in the political machine. She used persuasion, bribes and coercion to accomplish her goals ensuring her husband had a solidified position above everyone else. Her ruthlessness was admired by those who viewed Mikhail as weak and, as a result, they could tolerate his presence as long as she was also present to take part in the decision making.

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As the undisputed ruler of the empire, Mikhail held power which many only dreamed of but could never obtain. While the officials were present at the meeting hall, they could only discuss issues and speak their opinions. The one who had the final say in any matter was Mikhail. Akilina was quite influential in the decision making due to her relationship to Mikhail and, for the first time in the empire's history, a woman held this much power in the empire.

Some might even consider Mikhail a puppet of Akilina but the couple never saw it as this. Mikhail had never been interested in politics while his wife thrived in these sort of situations. In the end, both of them got what they wanted. Mikhail was relieved of the terrible burdens of a ruler while Akilina acquired incredible power to decide the fate of the empire and all those in it. It certainly didn't hurt that Akilina seemed very capable at what she was doing.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Glazkov was only partially relieved to see the jeep starting up. The hard part was getting it to go where he needed without getting himself killed. While inside the bunker, he heard plenty of stories about bad drivers killing themselves by crashing into buildings or into highly radiated locations. The young man would prefer to avoid this and thought it was wife to take it slow and steady.

He actually had a chance to ask the mechanic at times how to drive because, since a very young age, Glazkov developed a liking to vehicles in general. He even considered joining the army one day so he could drive around in a jeep. He finally got his chance but this wasn't exactly the scenario he had in mind. There was a lot at stake and each minute he wasted in the garage was another precious minute his brother lost.

The young man messed around with the controls for a minute before he finally got the jeep moving. He purposely had the jeep move slowly so he could maneuver more easily and avoid collisions. This was his only chance of saving his brother and he would rather not botch it. The jeep crawled out of the garage which was certainly a good start. Now, Glakov needed to made a decision where to go from here.

Without a map or anything serving as reference, he simply took a left turn and went from there. The jeep was moving along slightly faster but Glakov still felt he was in control. He also took quick glances at the ruins of what was once his home. Most of the buildings were destroyed and there were shadows of people on the ground which puzzled him. The sun was also setting soon so he had only an hour or so of light before it got dark.

There wasn't a soul around and the eery silence disturbed the young man. Even back at the bunker, he could occasionally hear the cries of the ill and young. This, combined with the fact that it was getting dark soon, made Glazkov consider turning back. Yet, he feared that, with the jeep now working, it might no longer operate the following day. He had taken his first step so he must continue moving forward.

Soon, the sun was gone and the moon along with the stars in the sky were his only companion. By then, he had grown more accustomed to the jeep and dared to drive at a faster speed. He had, for the first time in his life, left the city for the countryside which seemed very barren. There was still some sort of road but the infrastructure had been neglected for a very long time.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mikhail took off his helmet as soon as he smelled the food. He knew his wife was purposely passing the doorway of this room so he could get a whiff. She always said that his nose was pretty good, especially when it came to food. If there was one thing that could get him away from the virtual simulator, it was food cooked by Akilina who had also proven to be an excellent cook. Mikahil honestly didn't know what he would do without his wife.

He reluctantly left knowing Akilina wouldn't be waiting for him forever. If he failed to show up, she would finish her meal and let Mikhail cook his own food. Both of them knew that he was more likely to start a fire in the kitchen than actually succeeding in making any simple, edible dishes. Luckily, his growling stomach was enough reason for Mikhail to step away from the virtual simulator. He could return shortly with a full stomach.

"Look who finally showed up," said Akilina who was already digging into her meal. "So, are you having fun?"

Mikhail nodded and sat down to dig into his meal. The two of them ate quietly because they agreed to not talk while they were eating.

"I hope you remember their names," said Akilina as soon as she finished her meal. "The three of them are heading a different department of our research department so you better familiarize yourself with their names at the very least."

Pointing to his mouth, Mikhail was conveying that he couldn't talk with his mouth full. Akilina shook her head as she put her plate and utensils in the dish washer. She put a timer on it and waited patiently for it to get cleaned. Meanwhile, she stared at her husband who had noticeably slowed down the pace at which he gulped down food. Akilina could only smile because she knew her husband far too well.

"Listen very carefully," said Akilina. "The woman heading the physics department is Julianne Hunter. The woman heading the society department is Felicity Sexton. Finally, the engineering department is led by Nathan Haygarth. If there's anything I want you to take away from today's meeting, it would be these three names."

Akilina turned around when she heard the beep from the dish washer. She pressed a button which saw the cleaned plate and utensil placed in the storage. When she turned around, her husband had already sneaked out of the room with his plate and utensils still on the table. This wasn't the first time he did this and Akilina had gotten used to it. She went to clean up the table so she could return to the documents meant for her husband.
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Mikhail and Akilina work well together; I rather enjoy their dynamic. Also, blending backstory as you set the stage for the present is working nicely for me.
 

loup99

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Akilina seems to be the one who dominates both the couple and the Soviet Union, but the two together complete each other, making for a good tandem to lead the Soviets into space.

I like having the backstory, and if you don't find it to be too much, it will maje for a good additional part of the AAR.
 

Michaelangelo

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Now the real question is can this virtual reality device be used to play Stellaris? A game within a game. :p

Sounds like Mikhail will keep the people happy while Akilina does the hard work.
 

Duke Dan `the Man`

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Subbed!
 

FortTell

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Julianne Hunter...Felicity Sexton...Nathan Haygarth
Can the namelist be fixed to include more Soviet names? It is kind of strange to see that people with English-speaking-world names get to the top positions of the (Soviet Union?)