God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 13

Author: ElvenAshwin
Published: 2017-02-06

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God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR

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Game: Victoria 2

God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 12

Images: 52, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06

Making Rome Great Again
The Establishment is the cause of all evil. The problems facing the Republic are simple and easy to solve: but The Establishment chooses not to solve it. Marxists are infiltrating our government: what happened in Constantinople will happen in Rome. The Muslims are threatening our way of life: what use is a nation if not pure?

Rome will be made great; but we need a strong and firm hand. Consul Alescio will lead us into glory: into the Golden Age. Who needs The Establishment and their politics?

Hail to Alescio,
Long Live the Consul!
The Roman Front is Here
Whilst Alescio rides to the Consulship on the back of a great electoral victory: uniting people across the political spectrum (save the Liberals) in a valiant stand against the career politicians who have refused to show Roman strength in the international stage, he retains little control of the Roman Senate.

The Roman Front, as a party, will not be able to lead the Republic as Alescio desires. But everyone else hates him - why would they support the Consul who calls for their blood?

Surprisingly, however, Alescio's platform is not too far deviant from that of the Christian Socialist platform, merely taken to its extreme. Almost immediately after assuming office, Alescio backtracks on rhetoric in private meetings with Senators: promising cooperation on domestic affairs, in exchange for loyalty on foreign policy.

Meanwhile, Alescio undoes the acts of Ciervo as Dictator, removing nearly all the magistrates of Rome and forcing a large by-election, granting him greater control over the executive branch. He is praised as a hero of the people.
The State of the Roman Economy
The massive Roman industry is fairing well, although producers of military goods are reporting losses. Alescio implements the first part of his economic proposals, organizing the producers of military goods into a Military-Industrial Syndicate. Not too far off from the Christian Socialists' state capitalist model, the proposal wins Socialist support but sees some opposition from the Liberal Party and the Moderate Party.

Moderate Senators are harassed outside the Senate building by pro-syndicalist protestors, accusing them of "stopping the people's revolution" by opposing Alescio. Eventually, Alescio pushes through his plans.

He addresses the collection of industry experts, promising to "make their industry profitable" by "driving up demand for military goods".
Rob them blind
Our looters - archaeologists, we mean archaeologists - discover a tomb of an Egyptian Pharaoh. The discovery makes headlines in Roman newspapers, and Consul Alescio orders the removal of important artefacts in the tomb to Rome, where they can be used to decorate the Senate.
Keynesian Economics
The idea that governments can recover from recession by boosting government spending (or attempting to boost total spending in general) is popularized among economists in the Economic Advisory.
Hail to the Kaiser
International reaction to the election of Consul Alescio is somewhat muted. Spain, our long time ally, takes over a week to send its congratulations to the new Consul. Kaiser Wilhelm II arranges a meeting with his advisors before sending congratulations.

Alescio makes a point to pay a state visit to Germany. In order to secure his grand dreams, he needs support of the strongman of Europe. Wilhelm, who enjoys gambling with millions of lives himself, is somewhat approving of the proposal to dismantle the Turkish Socialist Republic.
Let the natives starve
In Sudan, the Roman Governors orders the export of large quantities of food to Rome, in the midst of a famine, thus resulting in large scale suffering.

A delegate from Sudan arrives to speak in the Roman Senate, pleading for help, but he is laughed down by the Senators. Alescio orders his removal from the premises. The move draws condemnation from the Ethiopian Republic.
The Viterbo Massacre
In mid-1909, news arrives to the Consul that a speaker in Viterbo has promoted the notion of a "worker's revolution", accusing the Roman Senate of disregarding factory safety standards and work hours. Whilst the man helps voice worker's concerns, Alescio immediately targets him as plotting a "Constantinople-style" Marxist uprising.

He orders the man shot, and soon after orders the police to fire on workers on protesting the execution. Thousands of civilians are killed on June 22.

In response to unfavorable news reporting of the event, Consul Alescio introduces a bill massively expanding the definition of libel and allowing the government takeover of "offending" papers, in the interest of national security. Believing that such a bill would protect their own careers, much of the Roman Senate approves it.

Alescio justifies the bill to the people as "striking back" and against the "mainstream media" that has sought to "persecute" him.
Opening of ties with the Turkish Socialist Republic
Since the Communist Revolution, the TSR has been blocked from trading with most of Europe, thus severely hampering its economic capabilities. In a rather unusual move, Consul Alescio reopens trade with the TSR, but only allows them to buy at inflated prices.

Furthermore, the Republic begins sinking Turkish ships engaging in black market trading with opportunistic businessmen, thus forcing the Turks to rely on the Romans, and the Romans alone.
The Power of the People
As the radio becomes more prevalent throughout Roman society, the power of mass media can be heard loud and clearly. Consul Alescio moves to regulate the new medium, so that only the people who make sense and support the Republic can be heard.
Another Socialist Bill
The Socialist Party pushes through a bill building prisons throughout Italy, opting to move away from the deportation of criminals to the Congo - believing that the practice allowed for violent criminals and communists to continue nefarious practices away from the Senate's eyes.
Oh dear me
For the first time in several decades, a crisis hits close to home.

In al-Rif, the Spanish National Guard fires on several protestors wishing to return to Morocco, triggering a major crisis which results in exchanges of fire across the border.

With both Spain and Morocco being among our closest allies, Consul Alescio takes a neutral position.
Morocco Restores Its Honor
The move by Alescio disappoints both Spain and Morocco. Hoping to improve their standings in what was once uncontestable pro-Roman territory, Austria-Hungary sides with Morocco, whilst Britain sides with Spain. The continental powers all side against the Spaniards, resulting in the British accepting the Austro-Hungarian deal, and demanding the Spanish withdrawal from North Africa, save a small enclave.
Who cares about the suffragists
Consul Alescio orders the release of a violent suffragist, preferring the strategy of "ignore them" over fighting them.

This however backfires greatly among his base, who already begin to consider him a disappointment to his campaign, given his relations with the Turkish Socialist Republic.
LOW ENERGY
Reports emerge from our tiny colony in Baluchistan that the local governor has ordered the hands of people who didn't meet quotas to be cut off.

Needless to say, the event prompts overwhelming international condemnation, the first major international reaction to Alescio's brutal practices. Consul Alescio is egged on to stand up to the globe by his supporters, but the Senate ultimately votes to apologize for the incident and undo the practices.

Massive anti-Alescio protests fire up in Rome, with former supporters betrayed by his "weak" stance. Alescio orders the police to fire on the crowd, in a heavy-handed response.
Under Our Thumb
Alescio's grand plan for Turkey continues, as he now achieves total political domination over the communist dictatorship. With the Roman Navy now patrolling its waters, and it relying on Roman military goods to sustain its own meagre army, the Socialist Republic is forced to obey his every command.
Build a massive wall around Israel, and throw the Jews in there
Consul Alescio invites the Turkish Communist dictator Mustafar Suphi, to Rome, where he proposes crafting a Jewish state within the borders of Palestine, where Rome could then deport all their Jews to.

The proposal meets... confused reactions from the dictator, who ultimately approves the notion, given the Roman military position.
The Arabian Union
In that very same meeting, Alescio also pushes further and demands the surrender of Ottoman Hedjaz to Roman authorities, so as to craft an Arabian protectorate, headed by the House of Saud and under Roman control.

Mustafa Suphi rejects this notion, but later that week Constantinople is shelled by the Roman Navy, and Nejdi troops cross the border into Hedjaz. The Turks agree to withdraw entirely from Hedjaz, in another "diplomatic" victory for the Roman Consul.
Turkey at War
As this is going on, the Turks find themselves embroiled in conflict with the Bulgarians, who attempted to invade the Turkish ally of Romania, believing that the TSR would not respond.

Consul Alescio hopes to use the opportunity to pressure the Turks into giving up as much as possible whilst they cannot resist.
He's against the rich... he just takes their money
Consul Alescio receives warnings from the Socialist Party that several capitalists have infiltrated local unions and are hampering the workers' welfare.

In an amazing display of ideological consistency, Alescio chooses to do nothing. The Roman Times attempts to report on the events, but is seized by the state for libel soon after.
For the people, by the people
Alescio takes to giving regular speeches on the radio as well as in public, and writing in the Roman Times, so as to constantly wash the Roman people with his messages.

He ues these as an opportunity to point out the "great success" they've had in removing the Jews and forcing the Turks around, and also to attack those who protest his rule as "unroman".
They're allied to commie Romania
The Romanian communists reaffirm their loyalty to the Turkish Socialist Republic in signing the Pact of Blood, and the two nations establish the Comintern, to direct international communist efforts.

This prompts backlash from the Roman Republic. Consul Alescio now demands a handover of the Turkish colony in Libya.
The Turks resist
The Turks oppose this, leading to the Roman Navy establishing a blockade around Constantinople and Tripoli. Our aggressive actions see an uncomfortable, muted response internationally. Much of the European powers are comfortable with the slight weakening of a communist enemy, but also wary of Alescio gaining strength, and then turning around and destroying them.

Alescio assures the French Kingdom that Rome would prefer cooperation over contest.
Rome is here for you
The Roman Senate attempts to pass a bill banning the Roman Front Soup Kitchens set up in Sardinia to assist those who the Roman government couldn't assist themselves.

The Liberal Party spearheads the charge, afraid of losing their stronghold in Sardinia, accusing Consul Alescio and his party of buying votes. This finds support with members of the Moderate Party and Socialist Party, although some Senators remain afraid of backlash from Roman Front supporters.

The bill passes through the Senate, but is vetoed down by Consul Alescio, in a move that boosts his support and paints his opposition as uncaring and interested only in political supremacy.
Libya Will be Ours
The blockade on the TSR continues, and in the wake of revelations of
"Turkification" programs espoused by Mustafa Suphi in the Middle-East and in Libya, Consul Alescio begins building support for a war with Turkey.
The Doctrine of Fascism
An author in Rome writes a book titled the Doctrine of Fascism, based on the Roman Front party line. The term Fascism derives from the word "fasci" (meaning league) used to describe the Syndicates formed as part of Roman Front economic policy.
Would you like a dose of Freedom?
Alescio sends numerous agents into Turkish territory in Libya and Chad to spread anti-communist and pro-democracy messages, hoping to instigate conflict and violence so as to better justify his invasion.
The Roman Olympic Games
In light of the recent, more active role Rome has played in Europe following Alescio's election, the IOC offers us the Fifth Olympic Games. Alescio agrees, seeing it as an opportunity to showcase the glory of the Roman youth.

And the international community approves to move, hoping to build friendships with the Republic. After all, when has anyone started a war immediately after hosting the Olympic games?
Kick the Marxists out of Africa!
The Communists cannot be allowed to subjugate the native peoples of Africa: their turkification policy is only a step away from Genocide. It is part of the natural duty of the Roman Republic for us to stop these movements by the TSR, to liberate the people of Chad and Libya and to bring them under benevolent Roman rule.
Sweet mother of deficit
Alescio orders a massive boost to the military budget, and begins purchasing huge quantities of military supplies. He refuses to raise taxes on the poor or to reduce import subsidies, believing that the large Roman coffers can sustain the war.

In a speech to the Roman Senate, he assures them that the war will be short, and that the Roman public should "not feel a thing".
Europe watches
Alescio poses no threat to Europe: he merely asks for Libya, and nothing more. He should be granted that.

Throughout Europe, most of the great powers largely agree not to interfere in the upcoming Roman-Turkish conflict over Libya. The Germans, meeting with Consul Alescio, even agree to assist.
Prepare for annihilation
Much of Rome is consumed in jingoistic frenzy, happy that war with the Marxists has finally arrived. Alescio addresses the public, promising to "seize everything", in a speech that raises eyebrows.

The Roman Senate, seeing public frenzy, dares not oppose the passage of the declaration of war.
The Shelling of Constantinople
On May 24 1911, the Second Fleet, led by Admiral Clary, who led the defense of Cuba over a decade ago, begins the shelling of Constantinople.
The Declaration of War
Later that day, the Roman Senate approves the declaration of war on the Turkish Socialist Republic.
Germany Declares War
Germany accepts Consul Alescio's request, and declares war on the Turkish Socialist Republic.
The Battle of Marmara
A massive naval battle erupts outside of Constantinople. The Turkish Navy, having been reclusive and afraid of attacking the Romans whilst still technically at peace, attacks the Second Fleet.

We have an advantage in light ships, but the Turks have far more heavy ships (but no battleships). Admiral Clary hopes that the RNS Molinelli and RNS Augustus can help carry us through the ensuing battle.
Into Libya
The First Colonial Legion spearheads an attack in Libya, aiming to seize the coast, led by General Ferrari, famed for his speed and high prices.
That was anticlimatic
The Turkish fleet retreats into the harbor after the battle turns against them. We take no losses, and sink one of their ships.
Ohgodwhatshappening
The turks have several more of their ships sink as they accidentally stray too far away from the harbour.
Waitno this isn't my fighting fleet
A second fleet carrying Roman troops to Libya is engaged by a previously unseen Turkish-Cypriot fleet, putting the lives of tens of thousands of men at risk.
Get out of there
In between engagements and fleeing from the Turks, Admiral Colonna of the First Fleet manages to get the troops on board the fleet safely to shore, where they fight through the beaches of Libya with little opposition.

Colonna is now stuck, with news that Admiral Clary's navy is unable to leave its position

(this was a weird bug, my navy in Marmara was unable to budge. Is this a mechanic where if you don't control a strait you can't move through it? I've never seen this before)
Back to Italy
Colonna orders a retreat back north to a Roman port, but receives word of another Turkish fleet lying in wait. He hopes for the best as the fleet sails further north, dogged by the Turks.
Minimal losses
We manage to escape the Turkish fleet, losing only a single transport ship, but now we have no way to deal with the second fleet lying in wait. Admiral Clary is asked to turn around from Constantinople.
Trapped
Clary is not able to pass through the narrow straits into the Aegean Sea, due to the risk of Turkish shelling as the navy passes through.

(I'm clicking, as you can see, but no path is drawn)
Benghazi
General Zunica leads his legion into Benghazi, where we find a mysterious stack of letters containing classified American military information, several dead American diplomats and some water white in color.
You actual what
The First Fleet avoids the Turks, who seem to return to a port in the Balkans, and manages to dock in Brindisi. In a surprise maneuver, the Turks stage a landing on the beaches of Brindisi, where Alescio hadn't thought to place any major defenses.

This leads to the first Roman civilian deaths in war in over two decades.
Ottaviani to the rescue
General Ottaviani is tasked with relieving Brindisi. The Turks are unable to break out of their beachfront, and are pushed back into the ocean by Ottaviani's forces.

The Turks are taken aback by, and have no defences for, the use of chlorine gas and other chemical weapons. They die en masse.
Massacre on Brindisi
In the first major instance of chemical warfare between European states , the beaches are drenched in blood, and the invasion force of 14 000 is almost entirely wiped out, with minimal Roman losses. Europe watches with great interest.
We're running out of cash: print more!
If only this game had monetary policy, I too can enjoy the full Robert Mugabe experience.
The Turks don't make good decisions
Despite the horrific losses experienced in Brindisi, Suphi orders an attack on Catanzaro. Now relegated to sending Turks to their deaths, he is talked into surrendering over Libya.
Niger is good this time of year
In preliminary division talks, Germany expressed their interest in seizing Niger. Alescio postpones further talks, stating that the "war is not over".
The Anschluss
Rome will not rest under the Turks are annihilated.

In a move that sends shockwaves throughout Europe, Consul Alescio rejects peace talks, suddenly drastically increasing his demands, demanding the annexation of the entirety of the Turkish middle-east in the Roman Colonial Empire, as well as the liberation of the Balkans and Armenia.

Europe reacts with panic, not expecting Alescio to go as far as he did. In the British Parliaments, there are calls for intervention in favor of the Turkish Socialist Republic: at the same time, there is a risk of war with Germany should that happen. Kaiser Wilhelm II is frustrated by the development, but opts to continue supporting the Roman effort, if only to hamper British interests.

Ultimately, even as Europe panics, the desire not to help a communist enemy overrides all, and they stand silent, just as Alescio predicted.
The Republic At War!
Rome Will Rise! Alescio, our great leader, has announced his intention to vanquish the ancient enemy! Byzantium will be avenged, the Empire will be reclaimed! The world will shake at the mention of the name of the Roman Republic!
Approval ratings soar
The war drastically improves approval rating of Consul Alescio. The major political parties resign themselves to the understanding that Consul Alescio will most certainly secure the re-election.
... Where did you come from?
53 000 TSR troops storm Ferrara, now realizing that the fate of their entire nation is at risk. Mustafa Suphi reaches out to the European powers, begging for their intervention: warning that Alescio will never be placated.
The Battle of Ferrara
A battle erupts once again as the Romans attempt to eject the Turks out of their beachfront. The turks have arrived without proper chemical masks, and are hence utterly decimated. Many, having heard tales of the horrors of the yellow gas, panic even before the Romans fire the shells into their midsts.
Meanwhile, in North Africa
Most of Libya has fallen to our attack, only a few months on. The French begin moving a huge number of troops into their North Egyptian Coast territory, perceiving the Romans to be a major future threat.
10:1
Over 37 000 Turkish troops are killed, with the remainder surrendering to the Roman Army and taken as prisoners of war. On the other side, only 3543 Roman servicemen lost their lives, with several hundred civilian casualties.

News of the grand victory is spread across the Republic in the papers, with the "invincibility" of our army clearly shown. Rome will only march from victory to victory! It is sweet and honorable to die for your nation!
The fascist rise
The fascist party sees significant gains in the 41st Senate, with the war on the Turks extremely popular. The major parties, having avoided speaking either for or against the war, lest they risk promoting the Consul or sabotaging themselves, lose ground. The Liberals maintain their majority in the Senate.
Damnit, Austria-Hungary
The Austro-Hungrians grant the Turkish Socialist Republic the right to march through their territory, in a move which results in the Germans threatening war with A-H.

This prompts France and Russia to affirm their alliance withe A-H, and the Brits to revisit the notion of intervening in favor of the TSR.

Content that now is not the time to burn down Europe, the Germans back off.
Halp
Am not good with navy, am trapped.
Thanks friend!
Under German pressure, the Austro-Hungarians let our troops use the trains on the western half of their territory to access Turkish soil.
The Liberators have Come
We send two legions into Turkish territory, the third legion and the eleventh legion.

Our troops are welcomed on Balkan soil, greeted as liberators, hear to finally destroy the Turkish oppressors. Alescio embraces this image, using it in government propaganda promoting the war. We also avoid gassing civilians so as to keep up the idea.
The Battle of Petrich
We face a Turkish People's Army - consisting of mobilized reserves hoping to join the "revolutionary cause" and defend communism, in Petrich. Without artillery support, they were doomed from the start, and we do not hold off on dousing them in thick yellow gas.
The Flower of Youth
The mobilized forces - everyday men, farmers, students, those who believe in the communist dream - drown in their blood. Their skin burning, they convulse in agony, attempting to scream as the chlorine fills their lungs and froth spills forth, twitching as their entire body fails them, and within hours thirty thousand men meet their end.
Death at Salonika
The horrifying sight is repeated multiple times across the Balkans, as we march down various Turkish forces. At Salonika, we intercept a Turkish army planning on grouping with a main force near Kosovo.
The Battle of Prizren
At Prizren, we engage the first proper Turkish army since the campaign the Balkans begin. With artillery of their own, the Turks are able to mount some level of resistance, before the inevitability of the gas brings an end to their hopes.
The economy is doing great
Though we do have an abnormal level of demand for chlorine gas.

Meanwhile, reports of the sheer horrifying nature of chemical warfare reach Rome. Numerous Roman soldiers report feeling uneasy about the "wholesale massacre" of Turkish forces. Alescio orders "the weak ones" to be shot, and casually jokes about using chlorine gas on the "undesirables of Rome".
The 1913 Roman Elections
Whilst the war against the Turks has dragged on far longer than Alescio initially estimated, it still maintains high support among the Roman populace. Confident in a certain victory, Consul Alescio announced the beginning of the campaign season for the 1913 elections.
The Turkish Army Defeated
The largest Turkish forces have already been overwhelmed: having been lost in a sea of chlorine gas. There are only a few remaining Turkish regiments, and the regime struggles to put together a final force as the Romans close in on Constantinople.

We begin our march into Bulgaria.
Gallipoli
Our Roman troops conduct a sensible, non-risky operation in Gallipoli that secures the region with minimal losses.
Sweet jesus, it's a new world crisis!
Conflict breaks out in Panama, as the locals attempt to secure independence from Colombia. This attracts the attention of foreign powers.
A good old Anglo-French conflict
The British support their ally Colombia, and the French, hoping to court American support and undermine British interests in the Americas, supports those seeking independence for Panama.
Gallipoli has a port!
The fall of Gallipoli now allows for our Navy, which had been trapped in the Sea of Marmara, to dock up and resupply.
The Roman Fleet sails home
The Second Fleet exits the Sea of Marmara under instructions from Rome. It is told to hunt down the remnants of the Turkish Navy in order to give the decisive blow necessary for the Turks to agree to an occupation of the Middle-East.
Here We Come
The Turkish Navy has been in the Gulf of Taranto, attempting to keep the Roman First Fleet from leaving and transporting more troops to the front lines. It had been supplying itself from ports on the western coast of the Balkans, which remain occupied by the Turks.

Admiral Clary sets sail for Taranto.
The Battle of Taranto
The turks now have nowhere to run, and their navy is surrounded and engaged by the Roman Second Fleet.
To Constantinople!
With all of Bulgaria occupied, the scouts of the Roman force in the Balkans confirms that the communists have not pieced together an army and that Constantinople is ours for the taking.

Alescio grants permission for a siege of the city. Rome is reborn: and our death will be avenged.
The Turkish Surrender
With their navy on the verge of being crushed, and the capital about to be seized by an army that has already been responsible for untold levels of Turkish suffering - the Turkish communists surrender. Over 330 000 Turkish troops have been killed, with only 28 000 Roman casualties.

With the elections mere months away, Consul Alescio has proved to the people that he is more than just words. In his very first term, he has both shocked the world, and brought down an Empire.

And as in briefing rooms across Europe advisers assure their listeners that the Consul will stop at the Middle-East, and won't dare attack another European state, Europe begins its march to oblivion.

Next chapter:

Game: Victoria 2

God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 14

Images: 57, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06

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