God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 16

Author: ElvenAshwin
Published: 2017-02-06

Part of the campaign:

God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR

Previous part:

Game: Victoria 2

God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 15

Images: 105, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06

All Hail the Consul, he is the Dictator for Life!
The fires that have raged across Europe are now finally extinguished. The spirit of resistance, of nationalism and of pursuit of glory have died, buried under the weight of the bodies of seven million young men.

With the unconditional surrender of France and Austria-Hungary on 3 December 1918, the war to end all wars has finally come to an end. As Roman troops leave the fields of France and Austria-Hungary, and return home to their families, they leave behind a continent devastated. What was once a fine Concert of Europe has now been replaced by the Roman Axis. Or the German Axis, depending on who you ask.

All thanks to the Great and Glorious, Protector of the Republic and Destroyer of France, Consul Claudio Alescio.

As grieving wives receive news of their husbands who died defending the Republic from those dangerous "women and children hiding in Paris who posed no threat", Alescio calls for a massive Triumph, choosing not to honour any of his commanders in it.

This is his moment of glory. There is no one else. He is the saviour of the Republic. He is the Republic.
And the Saints Come Marching Home
Alescio orders a massive naval buildup - nominally, to replace the ships lost during the French final stand in the Red Sea. The upgraded navy, however, will be far bigger than the previous one, and there is only one possible reason for that. As the British Empire watches, it knows what's coming.

The British had already warned the Romans not to annex land in Europe - an order that was blatantly ignored with the annexation of the province of Venezia.

But our Consul will not be beholden to foreign interests. He represents the Roman People! And the Roman People put Rome First - who cares about allies, enemies or competent foreign policy? Rome will be Great, and we will crush anyone who stands in our way!
Tank production begins
The civilian goods industry - briefly damaged during the war - faces a massive boom in output in the wake of the post-war recovery. All thanks to the wise hand of the Consul.
The Liberation of Venezia
The newly annexed province of Venezia joins the 1919 Senatorial Elections. They elect Christian Socialists and Conservatives. Meanwhile, a reactionary wave sweeping through the nation in the wake of the Great War has damaged the Liberal Party.

The Fascists lose ground for the first time, and many blame the elections in Venice. The Consul, however, instructs for calm in the Roman Front, assuring them that Venice will soon be integrated.
All that's thine shall be mine
Once again in defiance of the British "Red Line" of demands, we choose to seize control of several french colonies in Africa.

The British response is non too pleased - some begin to already call for war to contain the Roman Republic. But our wise Consul knows that the British will not risk war with us - the Roman Axis is not possible to crush. This is the New World Order.

Meanwhile, a violent spat breaks out between Roman and German delegations over the division territory. They insolently believe that they deserve anything at all! Our Consul started the war, the Germans were merely an accessory. We would have won with or without them!
Roman Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast is annexed into the Roman colonial empire. A Governor of Ivory Coast is appointed and sent there, as the Germans withdraw their occupying forces and accept out claim.
The division of Austria-Hungary
A crisis breaks out in Transylvania when the Hungarian National Assembly - rulers of a de facto independent Hungary in the wake of the collapse of the government in Vienna, refuse the German terms to surrender Transylvania.
Demobilization
As the realities of peacetime settle in, the Roman jingo begins to cool. This, of course, is only temporary, as our dear Consul informs the public of continued German obstructionism in the reshaping of Europe. Things may, he warns, heat to a point where they will be a need to establish Roman superiority.
The Anglo intervention
The Romans choose, in violation of British recommendation, to back the Germans and force the Hungarians to surrender land to Transylvania.

The British take up a hostile position, promising to prop up the Hungarian National Assembly if need be.
The Treaty of Pest
Delegates from the former Empire and the Hungarian National Assembly meet alongside their counterparts from Germany and the Roman Republic in the city of Pest. Here, the division of the Austro-Hungarian Empire is arranged. His Empire is split into several successor states, with Hungary also agreeing to cede Transylvania
to Romania, presumably because they finally decided all those gypsies weren't worth it.

The Emperor now rules over a drastically reduced Austria. Whilst he signs the terms at the Treaty, he refuses to acknowledge the Hungarian National Assembly's abadonment of Transylvania, and the British continue to support the Austrians in revoking Romanian gains.
The Roman Continent
Africa, the Dark Continent, is now dominated at large by the Romans - with the entire eastern half ruled over by one of our governors or by those of our spherelings.

Also pictured: the new state of Egypt, owning Suez and... that's really it. As the Germans and Romans both jostled over control of the crucial canal, straining relations, they both decided on the Suez Compromise, creating the neutral Suez Republic. The Republic informally refers to itself as Egypt, and claims control over all of Egypt. This is a strange claim we do not intend to recognize.
British Threats
In North Africa, the dreams of a Roman dominated Mediterranean have gradually been realized, as the Algerian state is fully restores and the French are kicked out of Africa.

However, this now evokes fear among the British who cannot be certain of the balance of power in Africa and the safety of their holdings when only the Roman Axis has colonies left in Africa.
The Emperor stands down
The Austrians agree to recognize the new Romanian-Hungarian border, thus ending the crisis over Transylvania. Whilst the Germans celebrate, the British as well as those who enjoy good-looking borders are horrified.
The division of French Indochina
The Japanese Shogunate, Germany and Rome all get slices of French Indochina - this is Rome's first East Asian holding. Tensions flare between Rome and Berlin when Consul Alescio accuses the Germans of fleecing the Romans and seizing more land. The Kaiser resents this, and argues that the Germans, who fought the majority of the war, are not obliged to grant the Romans anything beyond scraps.
The Partition of Madagascar
The Consul forces his way into talks between Britain and Germany over the division of Madagascar. The British, in the interest of maintaining balance in Africa, insist that some parts of the old French Empire ought to be turned over to them. The Germans, in good faith, propose dividing up Madagascar - not intent on fighting another war with the British.

Despite this only being a token gesture, the Romans will not stand for any gains by the filthy anglos, and insist on involving themselves in the partition. Ultimately, all three states get a slice of the island.
The Colonel Ascends
As the Romans, Brits and Germans joust over the corpse of the French Empire, trouble stirs up in the Balkans when the Serbian fascist dictator known as the Colonel, invades neighboring Bosnia in the hopes of creating a united Slavic nation. The Romans broker peace, moving troops into the region, and force all the various Balkan states into the newly forged Republic of Yugoslavia - with the Colonel installed as President of the Republic.

Back at home, the Consul disseminates his "Balkan Initiative" grand strategy, focusing on seizing power across the Balkans and using them as a powerbase from which they can topple all other remaining states - including the treacherous Germans.

If anyone thought Rome's rise ended here - they do not know our Consul!
Yugoslavia pls
For some strange reason, the Colonel is not a fan of us, despite us having been responsible for destroying his great oppressor. Consul Alescio personally visits Belgrade, the capital of the Republic, where he courts the Yugoslavian dictator and note their similarities, such as both their titles beginning with "Co".

This is an incredible bonding moment and the two become slightly less distant.
ROMANS IN INDIA, ROMANS IN INDIA
Take that, Alexander the Pleb! The Consul delivers to yet another great height as he sends a fleet to seize control of French Madras. Several German soldiers who had been occupying the colony are arrested - some are killed in brief fighting. The arrested soldiers are deported back to Germany, where a very angry Kaiser is demanding the Roman ambassador provide an explanation.
The World Following the Great War
France has been entirely disemboweled, losing land even in Europe to Belgium and Spain. The Austro-Hungarian Empire - a dream of multiculturalism and the swan song of the Habsburgs - has been wiped out in entirety. Russia lost little more than their pride, and several million men.
The military industrial complex cries out!
Consul Alescio is contacted by the Military-Industrial Syndicate - the end of the war has resulted in a massive collapse of demand for military goods!

The Consul is, of course, unswayed by their attempts to corrupt him and send his nation to war for the greed of the capitalists! In an unrelated note, he begins talking up the need to crush the Anglos - to have a bigger, better navy and to drive them out of Africa.

The British Empire, already considering a containment war on the Roman Republic, is none too pleased. It begins a naval expansion of its own.
Damn Jihadists
The Palestinian Liberation Organization makes its explosive entrance into the world. Realizing that lack of manpower might make it difficult to wage their struggle against their Jewish marxist overlords, they opt to blow themselves up in crowded places.

This thus helps rally the Arab populace around against those evil oppressive old innocent Jewish women shopping for groceries. To Arms!
Bailout time, boys!
The Roman Senate authorizes the bailing out of the Military-Industrial Syndicate. The bill passes with near unanimous consent. A follow up bill passes with unanimous consent, with the previous dissenters not showing up for work that day.

Or any of the days after.
The Fatherland Front
Inspired by the Roman Consul, a young idealistic Austrian politician by the name of Engelbert Dollfuss, founds the Fatherland Front. Dollfuss and the FF claim to be a nonpartisian party aiming to unite all of Austria, ignoring class divides and religious divides(but certainly not racial divides). He seeks to overthrow the Habsburg Monarchy, and install in its place a one party state aimed at promoting Austrian nationalism and, in particular, opposing pan-German attempts to unite with the "traitors" to the north.

Their revolt begins in October 1919 when their paramilitaries attempt to seize control of numerous important Austrian cities, thus beginning the Austrian Civil War. An attempted putsch in Vienna fails, leading to the death of numerous important Fatherland Front party members, and prolonging the civil war.

Realizing that, as a major opponent to pan-Germanism, the Fatherland Front and its proposed fascist regime would be a massive boost to the Roman Republic and serve as a buffer between Germany and Rome, the Consul begins tacitly supporting their attempts to overthrow the Habsburgs.
Do not, in fact, shoot workers "as pranks" so as to reduce excess supplies of ammunition
The Roman Senate passes yet another bill unanimously, the Workplace Safety Act - which allows the state to seize all companies and firms that violate it.

The Consul immediately springs into action, seizing the remnants of the civilian industry that weren't nationalized during the course of the war. His various syndicates are ordered to answer to the Consul's Office - not the Senate. The Praetorian Guard ensures there is little complaint from Senators.
The State Burden
The Liberal Party finally decides that enough is enough, and speaks out against the bailout packages arranged for the military-industrial complex. They judge that - as the largest party, and by picking an enemy of the public, the military-industrial complex - attacking the Consul through his policy of corporate welfare will be the ideal way to bring an end to his regime and reclaim the Republic.

The Consul, however, was well prepared for the final stand of the democrats. The Liberal attack lands, barring the Consul from immediate, violent retaliation.
The Shogunate falls
The Imperial Japanese state seizes control of Japan in a palace coup, overthrowing the Shogun and restoring the Emperor to his full glory. After brief fighting, supporters of the Shogun are driven to the north, where they found the Republic of Ezo - the Republic falls soon to invading Imperial forces.

The reign of the Shoguns is over.
The Puglia Artillery Factory
The Consul responds to the liberals by fiercely attacking their devotion to the state and its defences - arguing that war could break out at any moment.

Meanwhile, he orders a rapid acceleration of the naval buildup, and begins pushing for more and more reckless border infringements in Africa against the British. He continues his bellicose rhetoric against the British Empire and such fire is returned. This return of fire is then used by the Consul to justify the need for a strong military. With complete control over the nation's radio networks, he controls the narrative. The Liberal Party fights back - introducing a bill in the Senate to outlaw state radio networks and remove the libel laws that have destroyed the free press in the Republic. They hide this under the purpose of privatisation - the state cannot efficiently manage media corporations, let the private sector do it.

The Socialists are desperately urged by the liberals to vote for the bill - to strike back against the Consul and save the Republic. The Socialist Supreme Council, however, has largely been captured by the Roman Front. The bill gains support among moderates, reactionaries and several socialist senators, but not enough to stop a filibuster, which the Roman Front politicians opt to do whilst the Consul finds a response.

In a surprising move, the Consul shuts down the Puglia factory, stating that he had yielded to Liberal Party pressure, and accused them of plotting a "coup".
Steel for the steel factories
A new steel factory begins construction in puglia to employ those affected by the closure of the artillery factory.
The Campania Ammunitions Factory
The Liberal Party sees another great victory with the shutdown of the ammunitions factory in Campania.

The public celebration of the Liberals, however, results in anger from many belonging to the working class, who view themselves as having been robbed of their jobs by the Liberal Party. "The Party of the Capitalists and the Rich" they are termed by one Roman Front politician.
The National Radio Networks
Realizing that his hold over printed media is weak outside of his control of the Roman Times, the Consul begins promoting the production of radios, aiming to make them affordable for all Roman families, and only allow state-licensed networks to perform. This was not in violation of the Principles of the Roman Republic, which protected freedom of the printed press according to the Roman Supreme Court.
Radios for you, Radios for you!
A telecommunications syndicate is established and production of radios begins throughout the Republic.
Military-industrial stabilization
With the easing of the oversupply, the remaining ammunitions factories begin to experience a profit. Meanwhile, the Liberal Party doesn't stop using its momentum, railing strongly against the Consul and his "dictatorial" policies. A media war ensues, with the Consul calling for strength and unity.

Outside of the Republic, the British Prime Minister began aggressively campaigning for war with the Romans following a Roman colonial regiment-led raid on British colonial territory. Furthermore, angry at bellicose Roman rhetoric and the support of the anti-German Austrofascists, the German Empire began to back down from their support of the Republic.
Austria, your time is over
The Austrians lose the last bit of their sphere of influence, as the Yugoslavians realign themselves as anti-Habsburg and anti-liberal democracy, and begin openly supporting the Fatherland Front in the Austrian Civil War.
The Romanian Prize
The Romanians, the Consul muses, are likely to be the hardest country to pull in as part of the Balkan Initiative, and hence will remain a steadfast member of the German Axis. With the Romans now looking to distinguish themselves and move away from Germany, Romania will prove to be a great threat to the Roman Balkan powerbase.
The French Fascists Rise
The French Kingdom is now on its last legs. With the deeply humiliating defeat in the Great War, compounded by the loss of territory in Europe itself to her neighbors, and the liberation of the Bretons, the French have fallen far. Fascists begin to rise up across the nation, calling for the replacement of the monarchy with a strong government, led by the people, for the people.

This rise of far right fascists across all of Europe and in the Balkans in particular alarms the British, who view the defence of liberal democracy as something of importance. Many are now compelled to contain the Romans. The British Prime Minister presents his war strategy to his newly assembled War Cabinet, proposing to cut off all the Roman colonial territories, but not invade their mainland, so as to avoid escalation.

The formation of the war cabinet allows the Consul to whip his populace up into a jingoistic fervor. He uses this as a lifeline, giving him immunity from liberal attacks on domestic issues.
Synthetic Polymers
To revitalize the fabric industry.
TO ARMS!
The Romans begin a conscription effort as the Consul approves the creation of a new legion. The Senators who stood in opposition now watch in dismay as the Consul generates support around a war that doesn't even exist yet.

The liberals now attack the Consul in the Senate, calling him out for leading the nation into war for his own political goals. They find silence, however, from the Socialist Party, now largely whipped to do the Consul's commands.

In late July, Fabio de Vitis, a senior Senator in the Liberal Party and son of Carlo de Vitis, one of the founders of the Republic, is found dead the day after a Praetorian Guard raid on his office. This blatant murder of a senior politician would certainly meet an outraged response from the public, the Liberals reason. And all they find is silence, as the nation is entranced by the prospect of a new "other" to blame all their problems on.
The British declare war
On August 13 1920, the British Empire issues the declaration of war on the Roman Republic, aiming to contain and destroy the "mad regime and unbounded ambition" of Consul Claudio Alescio. In a move that shocks both the Consul and the Roman public, the Germans refuse to join the war, leaving an unprepared Republic at war with the British Empire, alone. The British reasoned that they needed to strike before the Romans could muster a sizeable navy.

The Consul now makes an impassioned plea to the Senate, requesting a Senatus Consultum for him to be proclaimed Dictator for the defense of the Republic. This request is granted.
Come back, brother!
The Romans spend the initial part of the war effort focused on convincing the Germans to renew the alliance - the Germans accept.
They do not join the war
However, negotiations to enter the war fall apart, and in anger Dictator Claudio Alescio tells the Kaiser to sod off. The Romans, he proclaims, will win this war themselves; against an enemy far, far greater than themselves.
The odds are stacked
The bloody Jews join the war against us. WE MADE YOU, ISRAEL. If you ever needed proof that the Jews weren't to be trusted.

The Austrian fascists join our side, in the hopes of receiving help in their ongoing war against Yugoslavia.
The British Monster Lurches forth
Several hundred thousand British troops are already stationed in Africa, and begin advancing. There is not much hope for victory.
Transports!
In a show of just how unprepared the Republic was, our transport fleet was still not rebuilt after it was annihilated by the French in the Battle of the Red Sea. The Consul angrily orders for it to be rebuilt.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Party argues for the Consul to attempt to sue for peace, and cut Roman losses.
The Corsicans strike
Sardinia is invaded by a Corsican force, loyal to the British Empire.
You pieces of shit
This is treachery! Treachery! We stood by you, and now you desert us!

The Romans will win this alone. We have won harder wars, alone. And our Consul will lead us to victory.

All around the Roman Republic, the people gather in unison, marching under the flag of the Republic and singing praises for Consul Alescio.

All Hail the Consul!
All Hail the Consul!
The Little Guy Strikes Back
Fighting breaks out in Armenia, where the Armenians bravely resist against a Persian invasion. The Armenians, unlike the Germans, are greatful for our help in their liberation. They promise to defend the Romans against the great enemy.
Republic Falling
On every street it is clear: the Roman people want someone who can lead. The Roman people desire strength. The Roman people do not want to deal with the shortcomings of liberal democracy - they already have their ideal leader. Consul Claudio Alescio will lead them forth with a just and kind hand.

And on September 1, as the Liberal Party gathers in the Senate to challenge the Consul's dictatorship, the Praetorian Guard marches on the Senate building. The Roman National Guard is told not to obstruct them. The city falls silent, as the Praetorians storm the Senate building.

Screams are heard. Bullets ring out. Blood is spilled.

But when all is said and done, the Consul steps outside the building to an awaiting crowd. He turns to them and proclaims: he is the Dictator for Life.

Next chapter:

Game: Victoria 2

God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 17

Images: 89, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-13

Check out another AAR:

Game: Hearts of Iron III

Die Kaiserzeit : Chapter 1, A Thousand Year Reich

Images: 48, author: Mattekillert, published: 2017-02-01