• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

iain_a_wilson

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I must say, Iain, I discovered the trailer for this AAR a while ago and loved it. Sadly, at the time I saw the trailer, I did not have time for actual AAR reading. But this was among the AARs that I wanted to read once I got out of school and had more time. And now that I'm out of school and have that time, I figured I would officially subscribe to this AAR. :cool:
Thanks for taking the time to let me know! It's always great to have a new reader.

To the rest of you, an update should be following pretty soon. Those of you who read my Suenik AAR will know that I'm pretty mentally busy at the moment with work, but I should have a lull in the storm soon.

Stay tuned!
 

iain_a_wilson

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Part 15


AUTHOR'S NOTE: many apologies for the long delay in an update - real life has been mental!

The conference room on the HMS Alexander Bay was huge and opulent. Rich, shiny, wood panelling adorned the walls, and a deep red carpet - so plush that it sucked at the feet of those that walked on it - covered the floor. The dark mahogany table that dominated the room was large enough to comfortably seat a dozen people and its flawless surface was so well polished that it shone brightly in the light cast by the room's oil lamps. Mounted on the wall behind the head of the table, peering down gloomily over the proceedings, was a portrait of Queen Victoria.

For the current occupants of the room, were it not for the slight rocking motion and the myriad hissing and clanking sounds that echoed throughout the vessel, it would almost be possible for them to forget that they were on a ship and instead imagine that they were seated in a British manor house, so lavish were their surroundings.

At present, half a dozen officers sat around the table, swathed in the smoke from cigars and pipes, and mulling over various pieces of paper, maps and arguing in that animated way that only senior people who are used to getting their own way can do (1). Two orderlies stood in the background, occasionally serving drinks or catching a painting or ornament that came free when the ship lurched one way or the other.

Colonel Taggart, a corpulent, sweaty individual dressed in a cavalry officer's uniform that clearly was having trouble keeping his vast expanse under control jabbed his pipe in the direction of one of his colleagues.

"You're not listening to me. Nothing like this has ever been tried before. Until we've had time to test this ship in these conditions we are vulnerable. These Boers are more dangerous than you imagine."

The object of his pipe-jabbing was a young, aloof officer wearing the uniform of a Royal Navy captain. His face appeared to be twisted into a near permanent sneer (2) and when he spoke his voice dripped with upper class conceit.

"Dangerous to your horses, Colonel, not to this ship!"

Taggart growled and was about to answer when one of the orderlies opened the door and coughed out a quick "'ten-SHUN!" In response everyone in the room snapped to attention as Brigadier Menzies-Campbell and Lieutenant Colonel Van Moordenaar swept into the room. The Brigadier hauled out the chair at the head of the table and sat down, whilst Van Moordenaar hovered behind him like a ravenous hawk. The Brigadier waved his hands.

"Sit down everyone. Sit down."

He snapped his fingers at one of the orderlies.

"You there. Cigar. Now."

The orderly shuffled over with a large box of cigars and held it out humbly. Menzies-Campbell mused over its contents for a while before plucking a cigar out and sniffing it. Seemingly satisfied he held it out to the orderly who clipped one end and lit the other. The Brigadier puffed on it a couple of times before smiling in satisfaction. He waved the orderly away.

"Superb cigars that man. Wonderful beard too. Extra bushy. Sign of good character a bushy beard!"

The orderly's eyes danced nervously above the massive beard (3) that occupied the majority of his face and he tried to affect a smile. Menzies-Campbell nodded.

"Uncle Bernard, he had a great beard too. Huge bushy number. Sort of beard that birds could nest in. In fact, a think a couple did once. Little sparrows. Set up a home in Bernard's beard. Didn't bother him one bit though. That's the sort of chap he was. Good character. Good breeding. Good beard."

The rest of the room stared at the Brigadier with awed expressions. Even the normally unflappable Van Moordenaar appeared slightly lost for words. The Brigadier, clearly satisfied with the effect of his words, nodded.

"That's what this war needs gents, more beards. Big, bastard, bushy beards. Beards like that" he pointed at the orderly "will strike fear into the enemy. British beards. You won't catchy Johnny Boer and his performing pigs being able to grow a beard like that. No, that's a good, stout, British beard. The sort of beard that says 'I mean business' and 'Give me your diamonds you filthy Boer wastrel'. A man's beard. What's your name son?"

Everyone turned to face the orderly who blanched (4). His panicked eyes went from them, to the Brigadier, to Van Moordenaar, to the floor. Menzies-Campbell snorted.

"What's wrong man, cat got your tongue? Sparrow in the beard?"

He chuckled and everyone else dutifully joined in. The orderly shifted nervously from one foot to the other. His hands fidgeted. He then said, very quietly (5) "Tom Anderson."

Van Moordenaar's ears pricked up.

"Say that again."

The orderly, eyes on the floor took a deep breath.

"Tom Anderson."

"Well, Mr Anderson, that's an odd accent you've got there. Where are you from?"

The orderly's eyes were darting around the room, looking in vain for the answer to his question. After what seemed like forever they settled on a plaque on the wall.

"The Cape Colony, sir. Alexander Bay."

Van Moordenaar growled and was about to say something when the Brigadier raised a hand.

"Lay off the poor chap Colonel. He's probably just nervous being amongst all us big wigs. Not often you get to sit and see the big decisions being taken, eh lad?"

"But sir, his accent..."

"Yes, yes. So he sounds like one of those stinking Dutchmen that we're fighting. So do you Colonel in case you haven't forgotten. Now, let's hear nothing more of it. You - Anderson. Off below decks with you and do...do whatever it is you non-commissioned types do (6)."

Without having to be told twice the orderly snapped off a salute and practically sprinted through the conference room doors. Menzies-Campbell took another puff at his cigar.

"Splendid. Right. Back to business. Remember that plan we talked about a few months back?"

Everyone looked blank.

"Excellent. Well, we will proceed with it as planned. Let's see how determined those Afrikaaners and their filthy trained hogs are to continue their resistance when we flatten one of their towns. In fact - make a note of this Van Moordenaar - I want a town AND a fairly large sty flattened. That'll teach them to defy Her Majesty!"

Everyone stared back at the Brigadier. He raised an eyebrow.

"What?"

Silence reigned for a few moments before the ship's captain gingerly raised a hand.

"You haven't actually told us the plan sir."

The Brigadier's brow furrowed. He looked up at Van Moordenaar.

"I thought I'd told them all the plan."

Marius shook his head.

"I don't believe you ever have, sir. You started to tell me once, but you couldn't contain your laughter and I left you clutching your sides, twirling your moustache and mumbling 'They're doomed. Doomed I tell you!'"

The Brigadier stared at Van Moordenaar.

Van Moordenaar stared back.

The Brigadier turned to everyone else.

He smiled.

"Well, let's move along. The plan is a bit like this. We move this ship into range of one of their major settlements, let rip with our guns and BAM!" here he thumped the table sending bone china tea cups shuddering "lots of dead Afrikaaners and plenty more with tattered morale. Let's see them want to keep up the fight after that!"

He twirled the end of his moustache and giggled.

"Any questions?"

Colonel Taggart raised his hand. The Brigadier pointed at him.

"You there - fat chap from the stables."

The Colonel smiled politely.

"Brigadier - may I suggest that we limit our initial targets to military installations only? Were we to go around flattening towns full of women and children international opinion of us would plummet."

The Brigadier waved his hands.

"International opinion? You're worried about international opinion? You big girl. Let's see - who's going to get upset? The French? Oooh. I'm so scared! What are they going to do? Breathe on us? The Germans? They're too busy building sausage factories in every god forsaken scrap of Africa that we didn't want! The Americans? Oooh. Maybe they'll get lucky with their six-shooters and lassos and manage to ride off into the sunset dragging one of our battleships behind them? We're the British Empire, Colonel, and we dictate what the world thinks and does - not the other way around! So - with that settled, does anyone have a town they'd like to see flattened?"

A shocked silence fell over the room. Menzies-Campbell sighed.

"No favourites? Right - we'll have to do this the old fashioned way. You - orderly! Bring me over a map of the Orange River and some darts."

The bearded orderly bowed and scurried off to find some darts.

~~~​

1. Anyone who has ever been at a meeting of senior managers at work will appreciate this. Such meetings are like games of poker where the participants wager ego and pride to win a shot at getting their agenda fulfilled.

2. This was actually the result of a riding accident and nothing at all to do with disdain for others. See how quick you were to jump to a conclusion about the young captain's personality?

3. Some might say "massive, FALSE beard"...

4. Not that you could tell - this really was a HUGE beard. Think Brian Blessed with volumizer. Saying that, I'm not sure you can get beard volumizer. Can you?

5. This wasn't intentional, but he was busy trying not to swallow strands of beard every time he spoke.

6. The Brigadier had as much idea of what the lower classes got up to as Mel Gibson had of Scottish history when he wrote Braveheart. Therefore whatever he imagined they did for entertainment was probably just as factually sparse as Mr Gibson's butchering of history was. However, the accents were probably better.
 

Enewald

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Ships bombing Boers?
That is no normal ship! :eek:

British fearsome beard?
Pics or didn't happen. :cool:
 

Johan11

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Oh joy.

van Moordenaar is baffled.

Oh joy...
 

Vesimir

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I like Campbell. He's a decent british chap. Good attitude. Good man.

There! I have it! Han Solo will be a cowboy with a trained bear.
 

Vesimir

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or even more apposite:

Han Solo will be a cowboy with a trained beard

that'll confuse the general or what
I was talking about Chewie. And from what I know, he didn't sit on Hans face all the time. :p
 

Johan11

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I was talking about Chewie. And from what I know, he didn't sit on Hans face all the time. :p
You know, I could have lived all my life without having that picture in my brain.
 

Eams

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You know, I could have lived all my life without having that picture in my brain.
It could have been worse, you could have been subjected to one of the stories detailing that exact scenario that are bound to exist in some particularly squalid corner of the internet.
 

Johan11

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It could have been worse, you could have been subjected to one of the stories detailing that exact scenario that are bound to exist in some particularly squalid corner of the internet.
I think I may have seen still fotoes of certain cartoons from that corner once...
 

Eams

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I think I may have seen still fotoes of certain cartoons from that corner once...
And now lets never speak of that again.
 

Eams

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"International opinion? You're worried about international opinion? You big girl. Let's see - who's going to get upset? The French? Oooh. I'm so scared! What are they going to do? Breathe on us? The Germans? They're too busy building sausage factories in every god forsaken scrap of Africa that we didn't want! The Americans? Oooh. Maybe they'll get lucky with their six-shooters and lassos and manage to ride off into the sunset dragging one of our battleships behind them? We're the British Empire, Colonel, and we dictate what the world thinks and does - not the other way around! So - with that settled, does anyone have a town they'd like to see flattened?"
This was a particularly brilliant part of an otherwise brilliant update. Maybe it's the ruddiness of your complexions, the nature of your accents or the uniform silliness of your leaders, but there's nothing quite as pathetic as jingoistic British xenophobia.
 

morningSIDEr

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Cracking stuff. So good indeed I've just thrown out my shaving gear, time to best Blessed! Or maybe I hope to be blessed better than Blessed! Uhm...I'm growing a beard in otherwords...
 

iain_a_wilson

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Hi guys,

More feedback shortly, but this is a quick note to say thank you to all of you that voted for Oranjes in the ACAs. Your continued support is a wonderful source of inspiration for me!

Hopefully another update will rear its ugly head either tonight or tomorrow.

Thanks again,

Iain
 

AllmyJames

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Aww, and I was hoping it was France that would be obliterated by the Dea..HMS Alexander Bay. ;)

This was a particularly brilliant part of an otherwise brilliant update. Maybe it's the ruddiness of your complexions, the nature of your accents or the uniform silliness of your leaders, but there's nothing quite as pathetic as jingoistic British xenophobia.
I sometimes think our ancestors did it for pure comic effect.
 

iain_a_wilson

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British fearsome beard?
Pics or didn't happen. :cool:
I give you the most fearsome British beard EVER.

Mr Blessed...



Oh joy.

van Moordenaar is baffled.

Oh joy...
You're assuming his bafflement is going to result on him taking that out on others, aren't you?

You'd probably be right to be fair...

There! I have it! Han Solo will be a cowboy with a trained bear.
Close but no cigar.

Han Solo will be a cowboy with a trained beard
I was talking about Chewie. And from what I know, he didn't sit on Hans face all the time. :p
...and that's the last we shall speak of this whole, sorry affair. Agreed?

This was a particularly brilliant part of an otherwise brilliant update. Maybe it's the ruddiness of your complexions, the nature of your accents or the uniform silliness of your leaders, but there's nothing quite as pathetic as jingoistic British xenophobia.
Hey - it's what made us great :)

And we're not all ruddy you know. Take us Scots for example - the only ones amongst us that are ruddy are the alcoholics...

...

...ok so maybe the Scots weren't the best example, but as a whole us Brits are pretty much pale and interesting.

And what's wrong with our accents???

Cracking stuff. So good indeed I've just thrown out my shaving gear, time to best Blessed! Or maybe I hope to be blessed better than Blessed! Uhm...I'm growing a beard in otherwords...
And are you going to develop the laugh to go with the beard?

Aww, and I was hoping it was France that would be obliterated by the Dea..HMS Alexander Bay. ;)
As much as I know that many people enjoy seeing the French harmed in all sorts of ways (although, personally, I quite like them) it would take genius more twisted than mine to work France into this little saga.
 

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Ever been to the West country?
I went on holiday there last year.

Beautiful part of the world.

Complete comedy accents though.

We visited Bristol.

Or Brizzzzal if you're a local.

You'll be pleased to know that in UK television, whenever producers want to make clear that someone's some kind of country bumpkin with barely three brain cells to rub together then they give them a West Country accent.

Saying that, I do quite like it as an accent. It's not grating at all like some others.

Ever heard attempts at Cockney humour?
The only real problem with the Cockney accent is that they have a tendancy to be SOOOOOO LOOOOOOUUUUUUUDDDDDD!!!!

"AWWW WIIIIIIGHTTTTT MAAAAAAAATE???!?!?!?!" Yes, I'm fine thanks.

There's nothing wrong with Cockney, per se. What's really wrong is the Mockneys of this world like Lilly Allen and Fern Cotton who put on a Cockney accent from time to time to appear "a bit street".

Ever wanted to stab Margaret Thatcher through the thigh to see if she could sound human, even if only for a brief moment in time?
In fairness to Maggie, she was simply insane and believed herself to be the Queen. And she went to elocution (no, not ELECTROCUTION) lessons to learn to talk that way.

There are many, many Britons though that would happily stab Maggie - but not necessarily because of how she spoke ;)

Anyway, whilst we're on the subject of accents, what's with the Swedish Chef?

;)
 

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You'll be pleased to know that in UK television, whenever producers want to make clear that someone's some kind of country bumpkin with barely three brain cells to rub together then they give them a West Country accent.

Saying that, I do quite like it as an accent. It's not grating at all like some others.
Precisely, it's a wonderful and beautifully bizarre accent that brings a smile to your face when you hear it, but it's not exactly how a cruel, imperialist colonial overlord is supposed to sound.


The only real problem with the Cockney accent is that they have a tendancy to be SOOOOOO LOOOOOOUUUUUUUDDDDDD!!!!

"AWWW WIIIIIIGHTTTTT MAAAAAAAATE???!?!?!?!" Yes, I'm fine thanks.

There's nothing wrong with Cockney, per se. What's really wrong is the Mockneys of this world like Lilly Allen and Fern Cotton who put on a Cockney accent from time to time to appear "a bit street".
And while this again is not really the fault of the Cockneys themselves, the fact that they have been portrayed in the media as being cheerfully stupid loudmouths and annoying poseurs does little to equip them with an aura that seems to shriek "Empire!"
Do I get a medal for not knowing who the f**k Fern Cotton is?


In fairness to Maggie, she was simply insane and believed herself to be the Queen. And she went to elocution (no, not ELECTROCUTION) lessons to learn to talk that way.

There are many, many Britons though that would happily stab Maggie - but not necessarily because of how she spoke ;)
Leaving the whole "stab Maggie" issue aside, just because a manner of speech is fabricated doesn't mean it's not an accent. Scots, for instance, used to all sound like the glorious lovechild of James Mason and Laurence Olivier until those nefarious English brainwashed them into sounding like Mel Gibson with his mouth stuffed with overcooked haggis through the devious use of alcohol and Hollywood.

Anyway, whilst we're on the subject of accents, what's with the Swedish Chef?
;)
He's our Braveheart moment. Yes, we really are that pathetic.