God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 6

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 5

Images: 66, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06

Friends, Romans, Countrymen!
Despite the hatred for the Pope among the revolutionaries, Pius is treated with respect. Many of the revolutionaries are suprisingly religious, and only view the Papacy as being temporarily corrupt. Some, in an excellent show of cognitive dissonance, maintain the Pope's position as pure and always correct, whilst also fighting to oust him.

Pius and Molinelli enter talks, where Pius agrees to give up his sovereignty and any claims to ruling the land previously encompassed by the Papal States. He also agrees to accept the legitimacy of the new Roman Republic, and accepts demands that he remain politically neutral. In exchange for this, he will be kept safe from harm and the Papacy, as an institution, will continue to be preserved.

As Papists everywhere lament the new Republic (before promptly being hung for insubordination), Freedom is born once again, in the heart of Europe.
Anyone want to be my friend?
As the new Republic purges the remnants of the old regime, Europe looks on in horror. Even the French, staunch ally of Rome since the 1830s, back away from Molinelli's offer of an alliance. Realizing that political isolation would be disastrous, Molinelli sends a delegation across the ocean, to the United States, pleading for an alliance in defense of Liberty.

Unfortunately, the Americans do not wish to get on the wrong side of much of Europe, and turn down our offers.

France considers intervention to restore the Papacy, but as per his agreement, Pope Pius turns down the offer, recognizing that he has no claim to Rome.
Does no one need shirts?
Molinelli's personal economic ideology is on the side of interventionism - he remains staunchly against the state capitalist ideology that was commonplace at that time.

This, however, exposes cracks in the Revolutionary Coalition, and indeed, within the Romanist faction themselves. Whilst it had been generally assumed that all three major factions of the coalition would arrange themselves into their own parties, there is too much disagreement on economic and social policies.

Molinelli proceeds to found the Liberal Party, espousing views such as small government, a strong military and secularism.
Prohibition
As the Republic stabilizes in the month following the great victory in Rome, the staunchly religious members of the Restorationist Party bring up the issue of alcoholism and immorality.

Molinelli attempts to push back against what he decries as "far right incursions" into the lives of everyday citizens, but religion and moralism trumps all, and ultimately he is forced to agree to the beginning of alcohol prohibition.
The Roman Senate
Between October and December, the Republic is presided over by the Supreme Council, consisting of Molinelli and other top generals. This includes those who were fighting in Egypt and returned to a rather surprising new political reality, and hence lobbied for political power or threatened revolt.

During these months, the new Republic's ruling institutions are crafted. The Roman Senate is designed as the primary legislative institution, where Senators are elected from each Roman Province on a yearly basis. Senators must register a formal party affiliation.

Besides this, every four years a Consul is to be elected by the people of the Roman Republic, all of whom can vote, except the filthy Muslims. The Consul is to serve as the head of the executive branch of government. Each province will be run by a Magistrate - effectively a governor but with fancy, Romanophile descriptors.

There is considerable debate over the structure of the executive branch. Alberto, in The Roman Republic, advocated for a system whereby the magistrates had near dictatorial power over their provinces, unless the Senate or Consul stepped in, in order to ensure maximum executive efficiency. Furthermore, he advocated for the magistrates to be appointed rather than elected, again on the basis that the people would not elect the most "effective" governor.

Molinelli, once again, strikes back against this, and ultimately they reach a compromise, allowing the Consul to remove a Magistrate from power but having the Magistrate be elected by the people every 4 years. Furthermore, he insists that the magistrates be politically independent - not elected from a party but from the people. The rest of the political establishment agree to this whilst laughing about his naivete.

Meanwhile, the debate moves on to voting systems. Whilst everyone can agree that the Muslims, as fundamentally evil and subhuman, should not be allowed to vote in this progressive liberal democracy, the question remains over the weightage of votes. Ultimately, they decide upon a weighted voting system, where your vote matters more depending on your wealth. This still remains highly contested.

Finally, the Senate is decided to be based on a proportional representation system, where each province elects a representative, and then parties are allowed to add non-representative senators to the Senate in order to bring the party loyalty proportions of the Senate in line with the overall national vote. This, they proclaim, would ensure an electoral system far superior to the Americans.
The Parties of the Roman Senate
The First Roman Senate gathers on March 15, with most of the political parties already established.

Molinelli leads the liberal party, which promotes secularism and full citizenship for all, including the Muslims and Jews.

Molinelli's pro-military stance makes the bleeding heartiest of all bleeding heart liberals rather upset, who split and form the Republican Party - a name synonymous with young, idealistic voters who believe in unicorns and rainbows, and the strong invisible hand of the free market.

Meanwhile, the Fundamentalists largely gather into the Restorationist Party, whereas the Romanists and Nationalists scatter among the various parties.

Most interestingly, however, is the Socialist Party, led not by an individual but by the Supreme Socialist Council. Nominally far-left, the Socialists espouse highly moralistic viewpoints, which combined with their belief that only Italians should get Citizenship and their pro-military stance makes them nearly indistinguishable from the right-wing. The only leftist thing about them, it seems, is their blatant disregard for economics, as they are protectionists.
The First Roman Consul Elections
The first ever Roman elections begin. The Liberals field Molinelli, who campaigns on the basis of preserving the "true ideals" of the Revolution, as well as keeping religion out of politics. The latter truly defines him, as every other party remains conservative on religion. The moderates field Cesare Grifeo, who argues for religion in politics, war with Savoy and decries Molinelli as naive. This final strategy, proves to backfire as Molinelli's popularity amongst the populace cannot be understated.

Finally, the Socialists field Bernandus Sandio, who goes on about the big banks or something. He gets some votes.

Ultimately, Molinelli emerges victorious, as the moralist vote is split between Sandio and Grifeo.
The North African Situation
As the Army of God (now the First Legion of the Roman Army) was stationed in Cairo during the Roman Revolution, the Egyptians were stopped from attempting to use the chaos to attempt any shenanigans.

Meanwhile, a Roman Embassy is opened in Morocco, Tunis and Ethiopia, ensuring that ties from the Papal States are carried on well into the future. All in all, there are no major losses for Rome in this front.
The 1872 Revolution
The victory of the revolutionaries in Rome only contributed further to the spread of the revolutionary wave through Europe. Taking advantage of public distrust of the French government ever since the defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, socialists and liberals rise up across France in order to overthrow the monarchy and replace it with a liberal democracy.
Roman Embassy in Vienna
The Consul, realizing that he urgently needs an ally and afraid of Savoyard retribution for the Romagna War, opens up the Roman Embassy in Vienna, and pays a state visit to the Emperor of Austria-Hungary. The two discuss foreign policy and the strategic advantage Austria could gain by have a strong Italian ally against France and Savoy.
A Capable Revolution
By June, most of the French army seems defeated, and the revolution turns in favor of the Socialist revolutionaries.

The Moderates and the Socialists urge Molinelli to support the revolution, but, afraid of a European backlash, Molinelli does nothing.
Muh Banks
The Socialists experience numerous strokes as the banking industry develops in Rome, encouraged by the Consul's pro-free market ideology.
The Roman Schooling Act of 1872
In 1872, the Roman Senate sees a major policy debate over the state of religious school system established under the Papacy. The Liberals push hard for religion to be removed from schools and for the school system to be better managed by the state. The Socialists, on the other hand, push for reform away from the Papist curriculum, but still argue that Catholicism is the "heart of the Republic" and ought to be taught in schools.

Ultimately, the Roman Schooling Act is passed by the Consul with support from the Moderates.
Freedom must not remain divided
In late 1872, as the Second Roman Senate draws to a close, Molinelli brings up aggressive action against the Republic of Naples, in order to annex them into the Roman Republic. This way, the two major democratic states in Europe can be unified, allowing for a better defence against tyrannical incursions or attempts to overthrow the Republic.

In particular, Molinelli warns against the possibility of a Savoyard attack.

However, the Moderates attack this plan as being needlessly aggressive towards a friendly state, and continue to pump up the rhetoric against Savoy.
The Third Austro-Prussian War
Even with the capture of Alsace-Lorraine, Austria-Hungary has continued to put up a fight against German unification. Finally, in 1873, things boil over when the Bavarians expel the Prussian embassy at Austrian demands, triggering a Prussian declaration of war.

Desperate to get on someone's good side, we support both sides of the war. This is not a historically wise decision.
This time, we have the UK
The United Kingdom awakes from its 30 year slumber and realizes its the dominant global superpower, and decides to exercise this power. It aims to support the Germans so as to prop up Germany to deal with its main rival in the form of France.

I mean, what could go wrong?
WE HAVE FRIENDS!
Even as the major European powers continue to treat us, and the Kingdom of Naples, as pariahs, we finally find a friend in the strong and capable nation of Belgium.

In other words, we're fucked if Savoy declares war.
Sure, come along!
The British request use of our ports against the Austro-Hungarians. We say yes, and then whisper "Would you like an alliance" into their ears seductively.

They are not pleased.
Damn Socialists!
A key point of contention between the big government Socialists and the small government Liberals is the free market, with the Socialists believing in greater government intervention.

The minimum wage debate is kicked off in 1873 as Molinelli prepares for war with Naples. The debate is largely centered around news emerging from the unions that many have begun to collude and attempt to force their own wage standards in order to protect their members.

Seeing that he needs political capital in order to gain support for the war, Molinelli urges the Liberals and Moderates to side with the Socialist proposal, despite it being antithetical to his own economic policies and beliefs. This shakes voter confidence in him, whilst simultaneously boosting the Socialists.

The Labor Standards Act of 1873 is passed.
LOVE ME
The Consul pays several more visits to Vienna where he complements the Emperor on his fine mustache.
The Conquest of Naples
Molinelli bases his reasoning for the invasion of Naples on supposed "violent" actions taken by liberal supporters to remove the remnants of the old regime, and believing that the neighboring democracy was at risk of being destabilized.

The international community, largely disinterested in two isolated nations going at it with each other, ignores the increasingly aggressive Roman rhetoric.
MUHHH BANKSS
The Socialists have a seizure as the economy booms thanks to free market policies and the growing financial industry. Whilst empirical evidence shows the benefits of the stock exchange, the socialists argue that this is morally wrong as it violates their preconceived beliefs.

The liberals, on the other hand, argue that it is entirely right as it validates their preconceived beliefs.
There can only be one
The Senate votes in July for war with Naples in order to integrate them into the Republic, as justified by the principles of Manifest Destiny. The Consul now enters a rush to end the war before the end of the year, in order to positively impact the Senatorial votes.
The Three Legions
The entire Roman Army marches into Gaeta, capturing it within two weeks, and then marches on Naples, where it engages with the Napoli Army, now stuck in a desperate last stand and demoralized.
That was painful
Incompetent commander Fabio Diaz once again causes us our greatest casualties.
There was literally no point to this fight
The Roman Army chases down the Napolis, however they run straight into numerous traps. The Napoli Army regroups and strikes back, inflicting heavy casualties but ultimately still being forced to withdraw.
Government Spending problems
The Liberals copy the Papal spending policy that involved keeping small reserves, with constant reinvestment into the economy. This, however, results in our coffers bleeding dry as October rolls around, plunging us in a deficit.

The Socialists hence use this to attack Molinelli, despite his claims that he only intends to reinvest into the people, and something about deficit spending being good.
October draws to a close
With october drawing to an end, all remaining major Napoli cities are under siege. A five decade long rivalry has finally come to an end.

The President, having already fled the country, is no where to be found. Ultimately, the country's top generals present themselves to the enemy, surrendering unconditionally.

Naples is annexed into the Roman Republic.
This is why a national bank is a good thing
The government subsists entirely on bonds issued to its own citizens, allowing the Consul from having to chase down foreign governments willing to loan money. Meanwhile, military funding is cut and the Consul hunkers down, preparing for large integration costs for the new Roman provinces.
Campania is here
The annexed territories is organized as the State of Campania, managed by a Magistrate appointed by the Consul until the next election. Six new provinces are created and added as Roman Provinces, with full rights. All non-Muslim residents are granted citizenship, as per a compromise between the Socialists and Liberals.
Right, a constitution
Until now, the Republic has not been subsisting on a formal constitution but rather been using "The Roman Republic" as its basis. Carlo de Vitis, a prominent liberal, pens "The Principles of the Republic" which the Senate votes to act as a constitutional document, despite not containing much of anything substantive.
The Liquor Revolt
The annexation of Naples begins the basis of the North-South divide, with the northern provinces (and Sicily) having a drastically different political viewpoint as compared to the southern provinces (Specifically the provinces of Campania and Puglia).

As part of the integration of Naples, liquor is banned. This, however, angers the locals, who had taken to alcohol to get over the fact that they were Napoli. A revolt is soon triggered during 1874, which Consul Molinelli gets significant praise for putting down.
The Molinelli Act
Molinelli continues his liberal crusade, and in 1874, knowing that it will boost the socialists whilst harming the liberals, attempts to push for the abolishment of the Weighted Voting System and its replacement with a universal voting system.

With public anger at the system at an all time high, it is pushed through the Senate with ease.

Meanwhile, to the north, a new King of Savoy is crowned. Once more, the warhawks among the moderates use this as a way to push for war with Savoy - triggering the King to decry Roman expansionism.
Dig-in harder boys
The King of Savoy continues his staunchly anti-Roman rhetoric, demanding the return of Romagna. Molinelli silences the hawks within the Senate, threatening to invoke his right to temporarily proclaim himself Dictator should war break out. He consults with his top military experts, who assert that they cannot win any war against both the French and the Savoyards.
Fuc u, Japan
Meanwhile, as we stand petrified of a Savoyard attack, our international standing drops. In other news, Germany unified.
The wealthiest 1%
As we enter 1875, Molinelli continues to rail against war-talk, attempting to sway international opinion against Savoy and attempting to secure an alliance with Austria-Hungary. Meanwhile, the Senate debates raising military expenditure and taxes on the rich, but this faces lobbying pressure.
To Arms, Citizens!
As talks with Austria-Hungary in May appear to be going somewhere, the Savoyards pull the trigger in an attempt to take Romagna back before an alliance can be finalized.

On June 1, the first war of the Roman Republic begins.

Also, fuck you Belgium, next time Germany invades you can die in a hole.
40:1
We are outnumbered by far, as tyranny seeks to close in and destroy our fine Republic. But, despite the odds, we will not give up.

Democracy and liberalism will prevail!
Defend your liberty!
All of Rome is at war! You will fight to the very end, in defence of your Republic and your freedom.

We will not surrender, until every Roman is dead at his doorstep.

This is A Call To Arms!
The Battle of Ferrara
Why is Fabio Diaz still in charge?

Roman High Command struggles to deal with the challenge placed before it. They ultimately conclude that there is no hope for victory, but if the Savoyards suffer large defeats before the French armies arrive, they may agree to a truce.
Dislodged at Ferrara
We take unacceptable losses at Ferrara, despite outnumbering our foe.
Stand down, Fabio
Molinelli, still situated in Rome as much of the Senate flees south to Sicily, berates Fabio for his poor performance and has him replaced.
Fuck, fuck
We lose Perugia as the enemy launches a suprise attack aimed at seizing Rome before the Consul can flee. We move south and counter, defeating the French Army at Viterbo and the Savoyard army at Rome.

Under advice from the military Consul Molinelli flees south, but declines to enter Sicily, believing that he needs to prove to the people his willingness to defend the mainland.
Perhaps we should stop winging it
As the war rages on, the officers and commanders of the Republic, still recovering from purges following the Roman Revolution, get vital field experience regarding executing plans.
The French Blockade
France's Navy arrives, imposing a massive blockade that drastically drives up prices and forces rationing. The entire country is now mobilized. This is total war.
A budget freefall
The money earned during the months of peace rapidly begins to diminish as our income sources drop and trade approaches a standstill.
The Battle of Viterbo
To the south, an army purely made of reserve forces - the Roman People's Army - begins attacking the French en masse, using the natural peasant instinct of chasing official looking men with pitchforks to the Romans' advantage.

In the north, the massive Battle of Viterbo rages on. The Romans have superior formation and numbers, allowing for them to blow through the front line of infantry.
The Battle of Ancona
After victory in Viterbo, the Savoyard and French armies retreat to Ancona, where they regroup. The Roman armies gather together, slamming directly into them as they struggle to form up in an effective formation.
Fucking Fabio
Seriously, why does vicky pick the *worst* general among all the armies you have. EU4 auto-picks the general IIRC.

Anyway, Fabio loses us the Battle of Ancona, though we retreat having taken less losses.
Just.. a bit... more
The successive defeats at the hands of the Romans have not only proved that we will resist and bite, but have also broken Savoyard morale significantly. A string of large victories should be enough to force a Savoyard surrender.
The Second Battle of Ancona
Our retreat from Ancona is disastrous, buying huge amount of time for the enemy to push south. Fabio is shot for being a jackass, and replaced with Nicola Faliaicantpronouncethat, who proves to be extremly effective in offense, and returns to Ancona.

However, Fabio's damage is done, as Savoyard armies pour towards Rome as we are stuck in Ancona.
di Robilant
In Ancona, the famed General di Robilant arrives. An old an experiences man, he has fought against both the Austro-Hungarian and Papal armies, and is a master of defense. His arrival hurts morale and causes the battle to swing against us, buying even more time for a siege of Rome.
We're... almost... there
Despite the victories faced by the Savoyards, many have begun to doubt the high cost of the war.

For Savoy, this war is a land grab. For us, this is a struggle to the death.
A periodic recovery
Cuts to civilian expenditure across the board allow us to barely break even. At some point, civilians, losing trust in the government, stopped purchasing government bonds, thus limiting our ability to loan from the populace.

In response, we sent a delegation across the ocean, begging the Americans once more for their help. They offered a loan, but refused to enter the war on our side.

Finally, the British, who supported the Roman Revolution, also agreed to loan money.
The Battle of Perugia
The sieges of Rome are periodically broken as troops rush into Perugia to assist the remnants of the army fleeing from Ancona.
Victory is ours
As Rome lays on the verge of falling to the enemy, we break them at Perugia. Our armies rush over to Rome.

Meanwhile, throughout Europe, the war has bought the Roman Republic a large amount of prestige. Our valiant stand against tyranny is romanticized among liberals across the continent.

The fight against tyranny will never end. To Arms!
The Battle of Rome!
A massive battle emerges outside Rome as we rush to break the siege of the city. Our troops are demoralized, broken from weeks of constant fighting, but we shall not falter!
Victorious!
By January, we win in Rome and push further south to Gaeta where we hunt down the remaining armies.

Meanwhile, the dam has broken and foreign troops continue to pour into the country, and another army rushes towards Rome.

Meanwhile, the Roman Navy is sent out into the ocean, engaging the French navies and lifting the blockade.
Liberty will not Perish
As the blockade is lifted, and we defeat the newest army at Rome, the enemy gives up.

Despite occupying half our land, and French troops just arriving en masse and fully capable of defeating what remains, the AI - er, strategic decision makers, decide that enough is enough. Having lost almost all battles, and having been stung hard for what was supposed to be a quick landgrab, public opinion of the war in France and Savoy have plummeted to all time lows. The French and Savoyards have lost almost 400 000 men, and have little to show for it. Finally, in late January, a ceasefire is called, and both sides agree to return to status quo ante bellum.

Molinelli breathes a sigh of relief, but as he returns to Rome he finds a political climate rather different than what was expected - and he fails to receive the hero's welcome he had anticipated. But, at the end of the day, the war is over.

Seven months have passed. Half a million men are lost.

And Liberty burns bright in Rome.

Next chapter:

Game: Victoria 2

God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 7

Images: 64, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06

Check out another AAR:

Game: Civilization V, Sid Meier's

Rhode Island Bowl - Part 0 - Yo, I heard you liked unhappiness

Images: 6, author: PoblanoLimozeen, published: 2018-06-07