Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR - Part 3

Author: ElvenAshwin
Published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

Part of the campaign:

Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR

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Game: Victoria 2

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

Images: 62, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

Welcome back! The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!
Hello, and welcome back!

Today the Shah woke up to a horrible surprise - his imperialist ambitions have been crushed by the damned Russians!

Simply put, Persia cannot fight any kind of war with the West. Whilst the Shah's subjects believe in him, and whilst the Shah himself has often espoused belief in the superior Persian spirit, he too knows that more often than not, bigger gun beats smaller gun.
A humiliating surrender
Persia is humiliated internationally, losing all semblance of prestige, as Shah Naser al-Din surrenders unconditionally to the Russian Empire. As per the Czar's demands, he withdraws from the Kokand Khanate.
Yeah, run along, you
As the Russian diplomat leaves, the Shah spits in his general direction and yells something about how he's a coward and pig.

The best kind of insult is one that cannot be returned!
Hello, m'lady
The Shah invites Queen Victoria to dinner. The British can't send her, however, and send some Indian guy called Jim. Nonetheless the event is a success and relations between Persia and Britain increase.

In a greater context, Persia is right in the middle of the Great Game between Russia and India. With the Czar's decision to make an enemy of our Great Empire, we decide to align ourselves with Britain instead.

This is just a temporary measure, of course, one day we will liberate the Indians from their British oppressors and replace them with Persian oppressors.
Won't you stay quiet already
Reactionaries rise again to challenge the Shah, seeing weakness in his recent humiliation by the Russians. As you'd expect, the reactionaries are primarily Afghans, incapable of understanding Persian motives.

The Shah begins to look towards a way to end this once and for all. A Final Solution, you might say.
Hah!
The spineless cowards over in Afghanistan surrender at the hint of western pressure! Hilarious!
Something important is happening here
Azerbaijanis in the Russian autonomous region of Transcaucasia begin to assemble. This worries the Shah. What if it spreads to Persia?

First the minorities think they can assemble, next minute they might think they have rights!
Seriously goddamnit
The Shah is angered yet again when more minorities rise up against his revolutionary reformist ideals.

He really wants that final solution, but his advisors inform him that the option is only available for civilized countries.

Because, you see, only civilized countries are capable of mass murder. Otherwise its not genocide, its just Tuesday.
The Crimean War
War breaks out between Russia and the Ottoman Empire over rights to Christians in the Holy Land.

The Shah is confused for a second, wondering whether he's in the 11th century or 19th century.
Sure thing, France
Always eager to screw over Russians, we let the French and Brits through to Russia.

Really, there are only two things common across all Persians: constant starvation and the burning hatred of Russia.
Hah, over my dead body
The Shah enjoys himself as he denies a request for military access. An advisor reminds him that military access through Persia is borderline irrelevant in this war.

A few days later it comes out that the advisor is an apostate, and he is put to death.
Take that, Russians!
The Russian Crusade fails, as the French and Brits help prop up the Ottoman Empire. Silly Russians can't get anything right!
Cuts to funding
Meanwhile back at Persia, we've had to continuously cut various sector's funding. The tariff income in Persia isn't what it used to be.
What just happened
Tariff income collapses entirely. The Shah is confused, but a few of his advisors are merely facepalming
Oh
It turns out that, while drunk, the Shah signed over exclusive trading privileges to the British Empire. We are now effectively one of their puppets, and their goods flood into Persia with no care for our tariff system.

The Shah protests, saying that he never did such a thing, and the British just did it by themselves. The court laughs. What kind of world would be if an external force could decide, entirely by itself, perhaps through some arbitrary mechanic involving the clicking of boxes, to circumvent your taxes? Hilarious indeed!

Twelve peasants are executed for this nonsense.
There's still hope
Whilst the government has been forced to slash spending, the Shah begins investing into reforms regarding land ownership. He plans to switch to a more European-style system of granting and managing land, that should be more effective and increase the output of farmers in Persia.
Reform selected!
The Shah's reforms are widely accepted, and with the help of his intellectuals he magically reforms all of Persia's land ownership systems in a single instant, causing a sudden increase in Persia's output.

Persia is now one step closer to becoming part of the West! Then we can move on to phase to, destroying it!
Work harder, ungrateful peasants
The Shah begins to re-educate his populace. He proposes an ideology where poor Persians are told to "pick themselves up by their bootstraps" rather than whine for "government handouts" such as basic supply to water and nutrition. He says its all for the "Glory of Persia", proposing that it would "Make Persia Great Again".

This drastically increases the productivity of the nation and makes the tax collector's jobs much easier. Now Persians voluntarily pay their taxes, instead of having to be robbed for it.
Money! Money!
Income soars through the roof with recent reforms
You get funding, and you get funding, and you get funding!
The Shah now pays his teachers and his soldiers at the same time! No longer does every university proffessor in Persia have to have his gun by his side, ready to immediately report for duty at any time the Shah needs to conquer some annoying foreigner's lands.
More guns!
With Persia's government now richer than ever, the Shah places an order for more artillery. For what would economic progress be, if it wasn't to be used to expand the military?
Ah yes, the Taiping rebellion
Some Christian folk over in China have gone uppity, recent reports say.

The Shah chuckles, of course, he knows they'll fail as the true god isn't on their si-
Whut
Sweet Jesus the Kingdom of God is massive

The Taiping Rebellion is more so the "Half of China Rebellion", and the Qing dynasty finds itself in a tough spot
No... not the liberals!
Horrific news was received by the Shah today. The Liberals hold almost as much of the advisory council as the conservatives! The Shah is disappointed in his people.

Well, sort of, he appreciates the support in the westernization effort, but doesn't like the whole "asking for rights" and "equality" ideas they throw around.
Time for a vacation!
Exhausted by his day to day routine of having grapes fed to him by scantily clad women, the Shah decides that he'll save up and go visit Europe some day!
An Empire Restored
In a shocking twist, the Ottoman Empire redeems itself, restoring Egypt to its rule. The ancient enemy might be getting stronger.

The only choice is for Persia to get stronger itself.
Oh, nevermind
As it turns out, the Ottoman Empire is still a Secondary Power. It appears that the big boys over in Europe don't like playing with the Sultan.
Goodbye, Manchu Emperors!
The Armies of the Heavenly Kingdom have conquered most of China. At the same time, an opportunistic Vietnam has invaded to grab a random province.

Thank god China isn't in the world economy, the Shah thinks, can you imagine the havoc this would do?

He's still a little confused as to how the entire world is just letting this happen, but he supposes the Brits are still preoccupied with their tea, or oppressing Indians, or fighting Germans.
Say hello to China
The Big Blue Blob, anyone?
The Qing are vanquished
With the execution of the Manchu Emperors, it appears that all cores of Qing China have been vanquished. Never again will the Qing dynasty rule China. Say hello to Christian China, instead!
Libya falling
The Ottomans conquer some country that seems like it literally just sprung up, given that we cannot find it in any earlier Persian maps of the region.
The Yellows March On
More and more of the Shah's trusted advisors are converting to liberalism. They want more political freedoms!

Of course, the Shah circumvents this by just choosing to listen to the conservatives. Its good to be King.
Administrative reforms, yes please!
The Shah begins to target changing around the way Persian administration is done, to copy the system used by the British in India. When asked why he prioritizes this over say, rail networks, he stares into the distance
In the futurreee
He talks of how, in the future, there will be a man by the name of Mirza Taghi, who will be one hell of a reformer. But he'll only come along if Persia has good administration.

When asked how the hell he knows this, he suddenly returns back to earth and pretends as if the entire episode never happened.
Seriously, bloody Afghans
You think the damned conquered peoples would stop squirming once we conquer them, but no, they have to revolt every three years to satisfy some innate desire to feel like they can actually do something against the Shah.
Reformation!
The Shah makes great progress , and revamps his administrative system. In particular, he favors a meritocratic system of promoting good bureaucrats.
What an amazing time to be alive
Just as the Shah predicted, a man shows up and turns out to be great reformist! He must have had a vision from Allah, the court concludes.
Haha, no
There is nothing better than denying a Russian a service.
Go Italy!
The French have intervened in Italy, and are now fighting to free the Italians from Austro-Hungarian control.
Yeah? Well who's the Shah?
The silly aristocrats think the land reforms, that effectively screwed them over, are a bad idea.

The Shah thinks they're a bad idea. Annoyed by their whining, he has some of them executed, and goes about his day.

I mean, who's going to complain about rich people getting executed? As we all know, only poor people are capable of revolting, and treating the aristocracy bad never has any consequences whatsoever. That's how that works, right?
Where did the money go?
An exploding education system and military have become a large burden on the state. At the same time, the artisans have begun starving again, and they no longer give us good tax money.

As the Shah always says, an artisan has two states: starvation, and suffering.

Maybe one day he'll have an actual economy that doesn't rely on those fuck ups.
Yes, reactionaries!
Terrified of the liberals demanding more rights, the Shah sides with the clergy in an attempt to promote more reactionary elements.

Nothing bad ever comes of a polarized political system!
Yeah
Artisans. Why oh why can't you ever make a living and stop being the kind of failure your parents thought you'd end up being
Wait, wait, wait
Feeling happy with his little plan to support the clergy in order to promote reactionaries, the Shah walks about his court.

He's approaches by several leading theologians who, enthusiastic about his support, have asked to implement full-blown Islamic Law (somehow more islamic than present Persia, which has Islamic Law). Apparently, one of these laws involves executing scientists, because the Ministry of Sciencey Stuff warns the Shah that it will slow down progress.
I'm sorry, its not you, its me
The Shah apologises to the clergy, and tells them that he "doesn't feel that way" about them.
Brits kicking Russian butt?
British troops have begun marching across Persia to go kill some Russians. How they're maintaining supply lines through mountainous, railroad-less Persia is beyond the Shah's comprehension, but any chance to kill a Russian is a good chance.

I feel like I've said that a lot, but we here really hate Russians, so it can't be said enough.
Ah, France
The French and Germans are at it again, it seems. Two evil western imperialists arguing over some plot of land. Ever thought to ask the locals what they want?

Or, even better, ever thought to ask the Persians what they want? Nope, evil westerners simply keep being evil, leaving us out of their imperialist discussions.
Oh, forget what I said
But... we also really need your education. So the Shah invites over several British educators and asks us to tell us the secrets of the world. Such as, for example, why are the Afghans so stupid?
Um, sure, yes, you're a pansexual, I see, and there are 10 genders? Oh. Interesting
We placate the liberal westerners - I don't think they realize we really just want their state secrets.
More opium!
More trading posts means more opiates! More opiates mean happy Shah! Happy Shah means happy Persia!
Build the rail networks!
With help from the European educators, Persia begins to train engineers capable of building and operating rail networks. We set up a nationwide transport system based on what they've got going on India, boosting productively.
Oh, sweet, sweet ducats
We're now extremely close to western standards. We have enough money to begin funding our major institutions once again, despite them previously having grown too big.

Literacy begins to approach higher and higher levels. Every Persian now knows how to count to... 6, I think. Which one comes after the number B?
Educate the masses!
The Shah attends the opening of the first major university in all of Persia. This university, planned and built by British educators, will serve as a blueprint for all future Persian universities. The Shah decrees that they be built across the country, staffed with European teachers and three swordsmen to behead them if they dare spread propaganda to our youth.

Especially if they talk about silly concepts like voting, or access to water.
I... I think we've done it lads!
The Shah begins to open universities across the world. Persian literacy will continue to climb for years to come. Europeans and European ideas and systems of running are now integral to the fabric of Persian societies.
The future is here
All around him, the Shah sees the result of a lifetime of reforms. A nation, growing steadily, after decades of guidance under him, now ready to step into the world. A nation no longer held back by outdated views or constructs. A nation ready to embrace the world, ready to embrace the 19th century.

With that, the Shah proclaims Persia a westernized society, crushes voices of dissent, invites the Brits over and they all have a good time. As is tradition.

Who knows what the future holds?

Join us next time as we enter a brave new world.

Next chapter:

Game: Victoria 2

Death to the West - A Persian HPM AAR - Part 4

Images: 85, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06, edited: 1970-01-01

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