A prevalent form of fan literature often associated with [[TurnBasedStrategy turn-based]] and [[RealTimeStrategy real-time strategy]] games, including [[FourX 4X games]], and RolePlayingGames. Frequently overlaps with FanFic.

Originally, an "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/After_action_report after action report]]" ([=AAR=]) referred to a blow-by-blow account of an engagement prepared by a military official. These reports were typically prepared for military analysts who would read them in order to deduce the enemy's strategy and refine their own. As many early [[TurnBasedStrategy Strategy]] [[{{RTS}} Games]] were essentially tactical combat simulators, it was only natural that fans of these games wishing to share their own stories and compare strategies adopted the format for their own use.

Also related to sportscaster analysis, where they analyze the play-by-play and deliver a verdict on [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech why Team A lost]].

An [=AAR=] occupies a sort of odd place in FanFiction; since the media they're based on often feature few or no named characters and little concrete characterization, the author generally has to resort to creating his own characters within the setting. This tends to have the effect of having them resemble a WebOriginal work more than actual FanFiction.

Nowadays, [=AARs=] can be divided into two distinct formats: Gameplay (or play-by-play) [=AARs=] and Story (or literary) [=AARs=]

* ''Gameplay (or Analytical) [=AARs=]'' most resemble the original format. The events of the game are typically presented in a straightforward fashion, with game mechanics being explicitly mentioned in the narrative. The author may also outline his goals and discuss his strategies. Any "characters" who appear are typically mentioned as exactly what they are: Game-generated pawns for the player to manipulate in pursuit of his goals. This is an account of a gameplay session, plain and simple.
* ''Story (or Literary) [=AARs=]'', on the other hand, simply use the game as a source of inspiration for their own narrative. Gameplay events serve as a sort of framework in which the story itself is set. The player is little more than an invisible hand guiding one of the factions in the game; his actions may shape the world in which the characters live, but very rarely is his presence made explicit. In brief, the game scenario is treated as if it were an actual Universe in which the characters exist as real people. (Well, real ''fictional'' people, at any rate.) Games which cover larger timeframes may instead get the "historical narrative" treatment, where the author tells the story of his faction as if recounting the history of an actual nation, sometimes using {{Fictional Document}}s [[ScrapbookStory as sources within the story]].

Of course, these two categories aren't mutually exclusive; most [=AARs=] typically have elements of both formats present along a sort of sliding scale between the two extremes.

The "after action" aspect is less emphasized these days; often such accounts are begun [[LetsPlay while the game is still in progress]] and often with a degree of reader participation. For instance, some authors will allow their audience to provide suggestions for or vote on their next course of action. This spontaneity can sometimes generate a narrative akin to that of a RandomEventsPlot - as can actual {{Random Event}}s in the game itself.

AnyoneCanDie is another trope frequently found in the format -- being a named or fan-beloved character is no guarantee that the RandomNumberGod of the game will be any less fickle than it usually is.

{{Succession Game}}s especially tend to generate After Action Reports, since most participants try to chronicle their sessions to help players further down the roster come up with their strategies.

FanFiction set after a film which included a battle may contain a literal after-action report, but the form in this trope applies to games. The AfterActionVillainAnalysis trope covers many appearances of the original meaning of the term in fiction.

See also RealTimeStrategy (RTS), TurnBasedStrategy, SimulationGame, and the various genres of {{RPG}}.

Compare LetsPlay, which is a play-by-play video/and or picture narration of a non-strategy game. The [[NuzlockeComics NuzlockeChallenge]] is a subtype specific to Franchise/{{Pokemon}}.
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!!After Action Reports with their own pages on This Very Wiki:

[[index]]
* LetsPlay/{{Boatmurdered}} (VideoGame/DwarfFortress)
* LetsPlay/{{Bravemule}} (VideoGame/DwarfFortress)
* LetsPlay/ChildrenOfTheFatherland (VideoGame/CrusaderKings, VideoGame/EuropaUniversalis, Victoria 2 and VideoGame/HeartsOfIron)
* Fanfic/FireWarmsTheNorthernLands (VideoGame/VictoriaAnEmpireUnderTheSun)
* ForKingAndCountry ([[VideoGame/HeartsOfIron Hearts of Iron II]])
* FanFic/TheGermanRiskAAR (VideoGame/HeartsOfIron)
* Literature/HoldingOutForAHeroGustavStresemannSurvives (VideoGame/HeartsOfIron)
* Fanfic/IAmSkantarios ([[VideoGame/TotalWar Medieval II Total War]])
* ''LetsPlay/KnudKnytlingPrinceOfDenmark'' (VideoGame/CrusaderKings)
* Fanfic/LandOfTheAryans (VideoGame/TotalWar)
* ''Fanfic/MonarchyOverTheDanube'' is inspired by a [[VideoGame/HeartsOfIron Hearts of Iron III]] AAR of the same name.
* ''Roleplay/RecordOfLodossWar'' began as an after-action report on Ryo Mizuno's ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' campaign; it was eventually adapted to its own tabletop game system after TSR passed on buying the campaign.
* LetsPlay/RomeAARisen (VideoGame/CrusaderKings)
* Webcomic/RumorsOfWar (author's own custom multimedia setting)
* TheSaxonEnglandSaga (VideoGame/ParadoxInteractive)
* FanFic/AScotsmanInEgypt ([[VideoGame/TotalWar Medieval II Total War]])
* SiegerkranzGermanysPlaceInTheSun ([[VideoGame/HeartsOfIron Hearts of Iron II]])
* ''Literature/TalesOfWyre'' is based on the author's [[TabletopGame/EpicLevelHandbook high-level]] ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' campaign.
* Fanfic/ThisIsMadnessStoryOfTheCrumblingEurope (''VideoGame/CrusaderKings'')
* Literature/YnglingaSaga (Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, Victoria and Hearts of Iron)
[[/index]]

!!Other [[Administrivia/ThereIsNoSuchThingAsNotability Notable]] After Action Reports and / or websites devoted to them include:

* [[http://afteractionreporter.com After Action Reporter]], a blog devoted to finding the best [=AARs=] on the Web.
* [[http://www.bluecasket.co.uk/ The Blue Casket]], another blog which collects [=AAR=]s from across the Web. It also hosts a few itself (including one for ''VideoGame/MirrorsEdge''). Sadly, it hasn't updated since late 2009.
* ParadoxInteractive [[http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/forum.php Forums]] features literally ''thousands'' of [=AARs=] and sustains its own subculture of [=AAR=] writers, complete with their own archives, quarterly awards, and even a serial newsletter... all maintained by the fanbase. Many fans got into Paradox games due to stumbling across a [[http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?t=97747 particularly]] [[FanFic/TheGermanRiskAAR good]] AAR. Among others (not including ones that already have a page here):
** [[http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?384744-The-Audacity-of-Hope-An-Iroquois-IN-AAR The Audacity of Hope]], Prawn Star's infamous EuropaUniversalis 3 AAR in which he succeeds in conquering a good chunk of the world [[CherryTapping with the Iroquois]].
** AAR writing has become so engrained within Paradox Interactive's community that the developers announced a [[http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?618145-Write-an-AAR-for-Sword-of-Islam-expansion-amp-Get-YOUR-name-in-Crusader-Kings-II&s=8e1cdfa241bd19bae888b1091aba9f06&daysprune=365 writing competition]] to celebrate the release of the ''Sword of Islam'' DLC for ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings II'', with the winner getting [[ContestWinnerCameo added to the game as a courtier]].
** As of March 2013, [[http://www.paradoxplaza.com/press/2013/3/paradox-interactive-expands-publishing-business-with-paradox-books at least one AAR is going to be published as an e-book]] through Paradox's new literature imprint Paradox Books.
** Crossing over with GameMod and FanFic, [[http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?681677-And-Now-My-Watch-is-Ended-A-Game-of-Thrones-Mod&s=3d19cca864a42e0331bc619786f0ee96 "And Now My Watch Is Ended"]] is based on the ''Series/GameOfThrones'' mod for [[VideoGame/CrusaderKings Crusader Kings II]], with solid and definite OriginalFlavor writing.
* [=SomethingAwful.com's=] LetsPlay accounts are essentially a variation of this, including the {{Boatmurdered}} example above.
** They also applied the original concept of [=AAR=]s to episode summaries of ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeARealAmericanHero'' in a short-lived recurring feature called "[[http://www.somethingawful.com/series/cobra-after-action-report/ Cobra After-Action Report]]".
* [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Noah Antwiler's]] LetsPlay of SWAT4 ended each mission video with a summary of the mission, frequently putting a humorous spin on the mission's events.
* [[http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=161570&site=pcg&skip=yes This]] gameplay [=AAR=] on ''GalacticCivilizations II'' depicts an epic game where the player intentionally honks off the entire galaxy at every opportunity, yet manages to squeak out a win anyway.
** There's [[http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=195920 a second AAR]] where the same player tries to win via peaceful methods. 650 billion die along the way. ([[http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=198344&site=pcg Part two]] is here; link on the page is messed up.)
* [[http://forums.civfanatics.com/ The Civ Fanatics forum]] has many threads dedicated to playthroughs of games.
** Speaking of [=CivFanatics=], they have a "[[http://www.civfanatics.com/civ2/timelines Timelines]]" section, dedicated to synopses of playthroughs of ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} II''. Most of these are little more than copy-pastes of the in-game timeline, but "Annales of Rome the Eternal City" and "Great Byzantine-American War, 1794-1814" are a little bit more creative.
* VideoGame/MaddenNFL generally attracts the Story variant. These can take on wildly different tones - some resemble typical newspaper reporting on the player's season, some will try to add external elements, and others still tell truly bizarre tales of Jack Nicholson taking over the Dallas Cowboys, drafting a female halfback, and then being disenfranchised for fixing games.
* Battle reports are a long-standing feature of the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' community, and tend to come in either or both varieties, depending on the writer. Gameplay reports are mainly used to solicit feedback and advice on strategy, troop selection, and sometimes commiseration.
** Battle reports are also a regular feature of ''WhiteDwarf'' for all of the Creator/GamesWorkshop games -- not just ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', but also ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'', ''TabletopGame/LordOfTheRings'', and even, in its day, various {{Gaiden Game}}s like ''TabletopGame/{{Mordheim}}'', ''TabletopGame/{{Necromunda}}'', ''TabletopGame/{{Gorkamorka}}'', ''TabletopGame/{{Inquisitor}}'' and ''TabletopGame/BloodBowl''. They're mostly written as type A, but type Bs were used for for both 40K and Warhammer Fantasy for an extended run in the late-200s, and the reports for the more "narrative themed" games like Mordheim, Inquisitor, etc were usually portrayed as type Bs, or as type As with "fluff bites".
* A long long time ago (the late 1990s, to be precise) there was a website called "There I Was..." which was devoted to [=AARs=] written by combat flight simulation gamers. As in: "There I was in my Mustang, at 30,000 feet over Wuppertal, escorting a wing of B-24s, when suddenly...." There was a particularly good one about a duel between an A-7 and a [=MiG=]-29.
* Dedicated players of the {{roguelike}} NetHack often write these up as "Yet Another Ascension Post." Which kind of AAR you get indicates which kind of player the writer is, with players who roleplay their characters during the game usually writing the more "literary" [=AARs=]. "Yet Another Stupid Death" posts may contain elements of this as well, if the character had particularly heroic or interesting exploits before getting nibbled to death by a newt.
* The ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'' spinoff ''Knights of the Dinner Table: Illustrated'' (''KILL'' for short) is a Story AAR-styled adaptation of the exploits of the Untouchable Trio (plus One), as seen in the original series. The storylines feature in-character versions of the players' antics.
* This is done for ''VideoGame/FootballManager'', with stories being written around the player's career, with occasional stories actually having a whole plot written around it. The developer's forum even has a section to place them in.
* In ''[[ERepublik [=eRepublik=]]]'' you have player written ones, some of the more popular papers have thousands of subscribers.
* An individual by the name of Thexder has chronicled some of his multiplayer games of VideoGame/SteelPanthers on his [[http://koti.mbnet.fi/thexder/Steel/steelpanthers.html website]]. It's been a while since it's been updated, though.
* Robin Burkinshaw (of ''Webcomic/AliceAndKev'' fame) also wrote a "game diary" for ''VideoGame/SpaceRangers 2'', chronicling his Ranger's rise to the seat of top Ranger -- by killing all the competition.
* The [[http://realmsbeyond.net/forums/ Realms Beyond Forums]] contain reports for several single player 4X and strategy games, as well as frequently-updated threads for a number of VideoGame/{{Civilization}} and VideoGame/FallFromHeaven PBEM games in progress.
* NuzlockeComics are either written stories or (more commonly, as evidenced by the name) comic strips that relate a player's experience with a [[SelfImposedChallenge Nuzlocke Run]] of one of the Franchise/{{Pokemon}} games. A lot of them add their own original stories on top of the relatively bare-bones ExcusePlot of the original games, but with the general series of events kept more or less intact.
* The [[http://www.twcenter.net/forums/index.php Total War Center Forums]] serves as the ''TotalWar'' counterpart of both the Civ Fanatics and Paradox Interactive forums, containing various [=AAR=]s for the games, mods and other features. All of which is maintained by the fandom, although some developers from series creator The Creative Assembly are also known to be members.
* The C.L.U.E. Foundation (now preserved [[http://web.archive.org/web/20070404045719/http://archive.dumpshock.com/CLUE/index.php3 here]]) held anecdotes from ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' sessions, mostly tales of amusing {{Total Party Kill}}s brought on by [[TooDumbToLive terminal stupidity]].
* The Website/ENWorld [[http://www.enworld.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?14-Story-Hour Story Hour forum]] contains recountings of many TabletopRPG campaigns.
* [[http://www.simtropolis.com/ Simtropolis]] has a large collection of "city journals" which use the various ''VideoGame/SimCity'' games to chronicle the growth of their cities, or even create original plots that can intersect with other games.

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