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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Horace

Second Lieutenant
Dec 1, 2006
127
0
I thought it would be nice to try a Ha'il AAR as, in other games, I tend to feel rather sorry for this pathetic little sandpit of a country that typically sits there, going bankrupt several times, and ends up being swallowed up by the Ottomans.

Mind you, this is not enceptionally surprising given the capabilities of the country. It has 3 land-locked provinces, each of them barren desert with a life rating of 10, and each producing a tiny amount (0.1) of wool, one of the world's cheapest goods. It's daily income is less than one and its pops consist of a handful of beduin nomads, most numbering only a thousand or thereabouts, and all of them farmers (research point generation is initially 0.1 per month with maximum education).

Ha'il's biggest asset is its army, and even that consists of two undermanned irregular divisions that atrite away like nobody's business at the mere mention of the word 'war'... It has no leaders, no officers, and starts with -7 manpower.

My goals for this game are as follows:

1. Survive.

2. Become the dominant power in Arabia. (Ideally Ha'il should own all arabian territory, but I'm not quite sure how to get rid of the British as yet.)

3. Civilise.

4. Great Power status.

5. Whatever else there's time to do by that stage (if I ever get that far...)


Guidelines to be used:

No bankruptcies. No 3 for 2 ect. land trading. No being too ahistorical until Ha'il is dominant in Arabia.

Ha'il must have some sort of navy to speak of before colonising anywhere.

First installment to follow shortly...
 

Cinéad IV

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This is brilliant! You've got a hard job ahead of you though. I once tried Ha'il, and left the computer in utter despair at just how useless it was.

Good luck!

CMcU
 

unmerged(59737)

Strategos ton Exkoubitores
Aug 9, 2006
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Hopefully it'll turn out to be as good as Mike's Oman AAR a while back. Good luck!
 

unmerged(62890)

Second Lieutenant
Nov 22, 2006
125
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Sounds interesting. what version are you using?
 

KuzuX

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Dec 31, 2005
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You must use the sands of time to become powerful :D :rofl:
 

unmerged(60841)

General
Sep 13, 2006
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Those are ambitious goals. Good luckl.
 

Sir Humphrey

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Looks like a very interesting start, and to see what you can do with this "nation". :p
 

Horace

Second Lieutenant
Dec 1, 2006
127
0
Cinéad: Ha'il's a strange country in that what works sometimes in initial gameplay fails completely at other times. I don't quite understand it. Earlier on, I played for this AAR not realising my screensaver programme wasn't working properly and it went entirely differently. Also, mostly when playing major nations in Victoria, other countries' quarrels matter very little in the long run; here, on the other hand, whatever happens to Egypt is rather important, and changes the whole direction of the game.
I too gave up on the uselessness of it long ago, until a few days ago when I decided to have a go at Abu Dhabi and succeeded remarkably, inspiring my stratergy for Ha'il! In some ways, Ha'il is easier, as it has basic techs to begin with and therefore doesn't have to fight its way out of a technology hole later - although it does however have to fight its way out of Arabia to begin with. And it can't even station an army to guard its capital during peacetime without it atriting away due to the climate...

DukeLeo: VIP 0.4, I think, normal/normal difficulty/aggressiveness. No modifications.

KuzuX: the sands of time certainly get a lot of action here, at times. One of the problems with countries with pathetic economies...

Thanks to all who have wished me luck; I have a feeling I'll need a good deal of it!
 
Last edited:

Horace

Second Lieutenant
Dec 1, 2006
127
0
Part I


It is 1836. Abdullah Rashid has ousted Mohammed Ali as ruler of the erimate of Ha'il. however, unbeknownst to history, Abdullah bin Rashid was actually kidnapped and replaced with a double in elaborate disguise. his name was Horatio Bonaparte, a secret and illegitimate son of Napoleon and the wife of an hourglass maker, smuggled to Arabia in order to be kept from the eyes of the world. From his father he inherited the irresistible urge to conquor. From his mother he inherited an utter hatred of sand...


Ha'il in 1836. We have 2 divisions, 4000 men a piece, of irregulars. 3 pops of 1000, one soldiers, the other two farmers, and one of 10,000 or so in the capital.








Horatio first noticed upon taking charge of the country (or really, the city state surrounded by vast swathes of completely inhospitable desert such that no-one else could be bothered to claim it), that it could not possibly afford to maintain its tiny army on its national income. Nejd, he reasoned, could not have much greater an income, as it produced the same materials (wool) and had a similarly small population, and yet had a considerably larger army.
Beduin spies were sent to the border on january 1st to watch the army of Nejd. Horatio felt sure that it could not be long before his neighbour's military spending was slashed. At that point, the time would be ripe for an assault on a country whose territory rightfully belongs to Ha'il (along with the rest of the world). That time would come in but 12 days...







Ha'il's army rushed over the border as soon as war was declared. A decisive victory was achieved in the first battle, Ha'il outnumbering its enemy easily. Following this, the armies of Nejd marched two and fro after successive defeats, back and forth from combat until they atrited away into nothing. The (now considerably smaller) army of Ha'il occupied Riadh by early October.



By now, however, our army was but a shdow of its former self, numbering barely over two thousand men, with a steady rate of attrition of 7%. It was marched to Ras Al Mashid but, six months later, it feared amongst Ha'il's military that both corps may soon disintergrate into nothing. An urgent order of regular clothes was placed, although none were available on the world market at that time. Al Mashid was finally occupied on December 14th, more than a year later.



The troops marched into the last free province of Nejd, AL Qatif. At this point they numbered less than 500 per division. Clothing finally became a few months after this time (at cost of considerable debt), and the units could be reinforced, claiming the province and anexing Nejd on the 22nd of Novemeber of the same year.





To be continued..
 
Last edited:

Horace

Second Lieutenant
Dec 1, 2006
127
0
hasskugel said:
Watch out for Egypt!
Why 'watch out of Egypt' but not 'watch out for the Ottoman Empire'?! The latter's a far bigger threat to uncivs with large badboy.
 

GeneralHannibal

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Looks like there is some unclaimed territory to the south, you should take it.
 

Horace

Second Lieutenant
Dec 1, 2006
127
0
Getting away from all that sand, part 2.


Although Nejd had been annexed, it was hardly much of a prize. Other than a slightly higher population, the former provinces of Nejd were as barren and useless and Ha'il's. Now, after its incorporation into Ha'il, the country was still operating on a negative budget. There can be no rest for us yet!

Ha'il's two irregular divisions, now partially reinforced, and now with a little experience to improve their performance, were ordered back to Al Qatif and, on December 11th, the Sheikh's Council recieved a diplomat bearing a written declaration of war in Dubayy.



Both divisions were immediately marched into Mariyyah, and easily won a battle with the Sheikhs' small, 1000-man army marched from its capital. Mariyyah was liberated on the 10th of March, and the victorious army of Ha'il turned to Dubayy, entrapping and destroying what remained of the Sheikhs' forces.




Dubayy fell on June 18th, and the army was ordered into the remaining, undefended province of Abu Dhabi, Ad Dawhah. Again, attrition had had a heavy toll, and 15000 farmers from Rash Al Mishab were recruited into the military using clothing obtained from the world market in the intervening period in order to reinforce them. Ha'il's debt rose, though the additional population of Nejd was sufficient to cushion it from bankruptcy, for now...



Ad Dawhah fell on October 9th, 1839, and Abu Dhabi was annexed. Ha'il's population nearly doubled, from 233,000 to 407,000. She was £2200 in debt (a lot for a country that could hardly break even with maximum tariffs and two undermanned irregulars), and still losing around £2 a day.



However, the previous 3 years had been well spent. Ha'il's greatly increased population temporally protected her from bankrupcy due to unsustainable military spending, and buying supplies, and, most importantly, she now had direct access to Oman's capital, Muscat. There were, at the time, rumours abound that the Omanis were imminently considering relocating their capital to Zanzibar, one of the principal reasons why Nejd and Abu Dhabi needed to be conquored as quickly as possible. Ha'il needed to acquire the rich Opium province of Schedjer, and other provinces contiguous with her other territory, in order to amass a useful amount of funds. (Oman is very reluctant to give up this province unless its capital is occupied, and amphibious assaults with irregulars are not pretty!)

The budget in 1839:


War was declared in late November, as soon as the troops had got back into Dubayy.

As soon as he received news of the declaration of war, the Omani sultan orded that his army be reinforced to its maximum numbers, immediately reducing its moral to nought. Clever move, Oman!



Consequently, the Battle of Musquat was easily won, with Oman's soldiers surrendering in droves.



The city was occupied on St. Valentine's day, February 14th, and one division was sent to begin occupying Al Jiwa. However, this proved unnecessary as, on the 11th of March, Oman offered us the settlement we desired.

 
Last edited:

Horace

Second Lieutenant
Dec 1, 2006
127
0
(Continued...)

The acquisition of Schedjer's poppy fields, and all three provinces' moneyed population, caused Ha'il's national income to shoot up to an eventual £10 or so per day. As always, taxes were minimised and tariffs maximised. Had a more economically liberal party been on power, taxes for all classes would have been set at nought.



During the next few years Ha'il settled down to a period of peace and prosperity. Her first transport flotilla was commissioned, and debt was slowly reduced. A library was also opened in 1841, increasing literacy by 2%. However, education spending was still non-existent, and the nation's priority was in saving money and slowly stockpiling goods in order to get the best possible prices for them.



Meanwhile, things were not going well for Egypt in the oriental crisis.



At length the ottomans forced Egypt to become their satellite, and, more importantly, took over control of the provinces of Mecca and Medina. This was the worst case scenario, and meant that Ha'il now has an inescapable border with the Ottoman Empire. (Previously, the plan was to gift the three northernmost desert provinces to a harmless nation such as Yemen. Now, however, we cannot risk increasing our badboy score until we can buy or trade for these two cities, or we must be prepared to take on the Ottoman Empire if we do. Luckily, our relations with constantinople are reasonably congenial at present, at 58.)

(Along with the improving budget situation)


Ha'il's first transport division was deployed in May 1842.



That month also saw construction begin on a tradiang post in Guinea, now that enough money was at hand to finance it. This would serve two purposes:



1. it would provide a large, tariff-paying population, substantially increasing Ha'il's daily takings.

2. it would give us a border with Portugal...
 

Horace

Second Lieutenant
Dec 1, 2006
127
0
GeneralHannibal said:
Looks like there is some unclaimed territory to the south, you should take it.
In time I imagine we will, but it's a very expensive way of getting useless desert! It would also give us a border with British India, which we certainly don't want at the moment.
 

Horace

Second Lieutenant
Dec 1, 2006
127
0
Cautionary Ta'ils?

Over the next year or so, the government of Ha'il stockpiled. Small arms, canned food, wine, precious metal, luxury clothes, luxury furniture, paper, clipper convoys. Yes, there was a certain military flavour to this stockpiling.



Eventually, when stocks were deemed suficient, a couple of large populations of Africans from Guinea were recruited into the army, and training began for 8 new professional divisions, half infantry, half cavalry.



Three new transport flotillas were comissioned, bringing the total to 5.

Lastly Ha'il began training its first commissioned officers in Mariyyah.



All this didn't come cheaply, but the tariffs in place still seemed to be producing a decent daily surplus.



On June 12th, 1847, the divisions were ready. The remaining clippers would be finished in aproximately two months.



Now, Horatio's plan was this: Ha'il would declare war on Portugal (which her colony in guinea bordered). Spies reported that the Portugese had only 2 infantry divisions guarding their entire empire. However, their navy far outclassed Ha'il's, so our clippers would need to be nimble.
Four divisions of cavalry would be strategically place around Africa to requisition portugal's various claim buildings in Angola and Mozambique. They would them head for Portugal's colonial holding themselves and occupy them. Meanwhile, the four infantry divisions would march on Lisbon, hopefully securing a quick peace. Over ten claim buildings would then be ours, and our friends in Turkey would jump through hoops to get them.

That was the plan.

Unfortunately, during the excitement at the procuration of Ha'il new army, one small development had been over looked. Just a little small not very large diminutive nonsizeworthy and absolutely unbig development on the Portugese diplomacy front since it was last investigated. Despite its biglessnessine smallitude it caused some considerable consternation amongst the government when it was discovered.



So whereas the original plan ('Plan A') had been this:

Go to war with Portugal.

it was clear that a new plan was now required. Such a new plan ('Plan B') was quickly developed. It was as follows:

Go to war with Portugal, the United Kingdom, British India, the Ionian Islands, Cree-Athabaska, Aotearoa, Oranje, Bastar, Awadh, Beroda, Holkar-Sindhia, Hyderabad, Mysore, Nagpur and Kashmir. Then proceed with Plan A as quickly as possible and try not to be horribly mutilated in the process.

'Oh well, Allahu Akbar!' cried Horatio, being under the vague impression that that was what Arabs shouted when they were just about to die. 'And all that.'

However, in the words of one military advisor: 'If WE can't station our OWN ARMY in our OWN CAPTIAL without it disappearing into nothing, what hope does anyone else have?'

War is declared on the Portugese. Many people in Ha'il suddenly get the feeling that they're going to be horribly butchered. By the British. Quickly. With a melon.

What will our small patch of desert do? To be continued...
 

Corbett

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Awww ha'il naw. :D

Good luck!
 

GeneralHannibal

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I don't know who'll be the idiot here, you or the brits.