Death to the West... or so we'll try - a Persia AAR

Author: ElvenAshwin
Published: 2017-02-06

Part of the campaign:

Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR

Welcome to Persia
Hello and welcome, to the greatest Empire in the world, Persia!
Almost
There's a slight issue of us being surrounded by three technically larger and more powerful Empires, but the key difference is that we have the potential to be greater! Why? Because we're Persian, and they're not. Also because AI.
The State of Things
Persia is currently under the rule of our glorious Shah, Mohammad. Only having recently ascended in 1834, he was immediately granted honors and awards from Russia. A true testament to his greatness, and to the ability of the Tsar to suck up to us.
What Once Was
Persia isn't what it used to be. We are no longer the Empire of Nader Shah, capable of defeating and destroying the Ottomans and the Indians. The West has encroached upon us, and we have been forced to accept their demands and blatant imperialism. Now, the Russians destroy Ottomans and the British destroy the Indians. Its absolutely sickening, these western imperialists.

Everyone knows Persian Imperialism is the only real kind of imperialism, and its our job to end these lesser Empires!
Finances
That may however be slightly difficult. Our people are dumb little shits, besides the Shah, of course, and we're poor and have no industry. Nothing to do with our previous Shah's mismanagement - the Qajars are capable of no mistakes!

In our quest to destroy the west, we must first unfortunately become the west.
Education
Its always said that education is the great equalizer! In order to get scientists smart enough to tell us how to operate newfangled western weapons and factories, we begin to fund the education of our people.

Also interested in equality, the Shah decrees that we tax the fuck out of everyone equally. In reality, though, our tax collectors aren't very good at their jobs. They just resort to randomly shagging strangers and collecting money that way, so our effective tax rate is something like 20%.
Horse Lords
One of the Khans to the north offer us an alliance. Of course, we were planning on, as our Shah put it "invading literally everyone around us", but I suppose we could be friends, too. We hear they have troops, which is always a valuable asset.
Fuck you, neighbor!
Our Shah begins his devious plot - the Afghans have lots of people. While they're dumber than us, dumb people are still excellent slaves and soldiers, so they're worth invading and conquering.
Damned meddling foreingers
Apparently yelling "Fuck the Afghans! We need money!" in the court every day was a bit too obvious to the foreign powers, who take notice.

They accuse our Shah of being a "warmongering imperialist". Our Shah doesn't understand how this is an insult.
Prepare for war
Our soldiers, as it turns out, are starving and have no weapons. We inquired that they just "use their hands" and wrestle the Afghans to the ground, but apparently that annoyed them.

So we cut funding to the teachers to begin funding weapons. There's a joke in here somewhere, but I can't think of it.
Damn horse people
Central Asians and their crazy warmongering! Stop distracting from our war preparations.

Of course the Shah agrees to help, but then he snickers and whispers into an advisors ear

"I'm not actually going to send troops"

The advisors all laugh, impressed with his brilliant and original reasoning.

One of them wasn't particularly amused, but he isn't around to tell us more.
Thanks, horse people
It's at this point I must mention that I don't actually know if Khanates in the 19th century can be described as horse people.

But thankfully, the Afghans have been distracted! The Bukhara Khanate (or, as our Shah likes to call it, "The purple one") gets invaded by the Afghans, putting up a fierce resistance and killing Afghan men we'd have to kill otherwise.
Surprise!
The messenger arrives at the court of whoever the hell is incharge of mounstainstan, spits on him and declares war.

The Afghan shah is simply confused as to why it took us so long, given that the world knew about our ambitions at the very beginning of the year.

The messenger muttered something about casus belli's and fabrication time.
Join us!
We call for our ally to the north to help us screw over some mountain folk!

Since we were so helpful in their war, surely they should return the favor
Huh.
Well, apparently they did.
Sure
Apparently the allied Khan can handle himself quite nicely, and the Kazakh beg for the torture to stop.
Invasion!
We want to avoid attrition, so we try to not use very large stacks. Despite this, the Afghans and Baluchi soldiers still seem wary of attacking us. Perhaps the superior Persian soldier build has scared them away?
Chess
We set up our troops in a formation such that no one is hit by high attrition, but everyone is capable of reinforcing. We now wait for the Afghans to make their move.
Cowards
Either the Afghans don't realize that we're invading or they're lost, because they flee the other way.
Damn westerners
What insolence! An advisor shows up today, and suggests that we accept the foreigners, perhaps learn from them! Whats wrong with home grown Persian science?

He is immediately beheaded in front of the entire court. The Shah then follows his advice anyway, because we desperately need western technology, and he knows that home-grown Persian science is a slightly inaccurate field.
Gone down without a fight
There was a smaller skirmish with the Khiva Khanate to the north, who intervened in favor of the Afghans. However, besides that, it seems that the Afghans aren't willing to fight, and surrender control of Kandahar.

With the intellectuals kidnapped from Afghanistan, we get a nifty research boost in our process of westernization. We aren't entirely sure how the backwards Afghans are able to help us with westernization, but the Minister of Sciency Stuff insists that they did.

In the process, we apparently also lost most of our army force limit.
Join the army! Please, for the love god, join the army!
With the war over, we decide to stop feeding or equipping our soldiers, and begin funding the administration and education system. We also start paying our soldiers more.

We are slightly desperate to have more people join the army, as the original plan of "conquer the fuck out of everyone" is rather difficult once you run out men.
A bit of predicament
Another slight stumbling block is the fact that we are allied or having a truce with nearly all our neighbors. The Shah suggests that we break our alliance with the Bukhara Khanate, and then invade it.

However, this apparently isn't possible. When asked why, our advisors reply something along the lines of "They have 3 states and its arbitrarily defined to be impossible to conquer 3 states at once".

Also, two of their states are only one province big, and they aren't particularly rich in people or intellectuals. Any invasion would be condemned by the foreigners and will have little worth. Unfortunately, for now, our Shah needs to calm his war boner and prepare for the next invasion of Afghanistan.
Pew pew
The Shah begins conscripting more troops, and orders for the Persian military to begin using some of those big western cannons. The backwards nations around him will never see it coming!
Diplomacy? Who needs that
Another laughable proposal from the foreigners.

The Ottomans have the audacity to ask for the ability to set up an embassy in Persia. As if we'll let our cities get plagued by the presence of foreign delegates.

The messenger then whispers something about selling research and helping with modernization. The Shah, being a block of granite and never flip-flopping or changing his mind, proceeds to immediately agree to the proposal.
What!
The Shah, calmly reading his newspaper, suddenly spits out his coffee in surprise.

The servants immediately rush up to him, cleaning his table and shirt. They ask him whats wrong.

"I didn't know they print these in color!"

In other news, the Sikh Empire's days are numbered.
Rest in Peace, oh Empire of the Sikhs
One of the greatest independent Indian states left fall to the British Empire.

We are now more isolated than ever,
Free cash!
It seems that the UK has decided to beat up the Chinese for money. The Shah breaks down in tears, for he too wants to beat up the Chinese for money.

He is consoled and told that, perhaps one day, he might.

Join us next time, where we continue the long march to westernization! Or maybe not, I haven't played that bit.

Next chapter:

Game: Victoria 2

Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR - Part 2

Images: 62, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06

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