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Old 12-15-2013, 12:25 PM   #4
Blind Mapmaker
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Mannheim, Baden
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

Okay, back for more. I really like your ideas one to four, but think the last two are a bit too fantastic.

Constantinople, 787 AD doesn't work for me, because I think that Charlemagne's Empire was basically doomed to fail without his extraordinary personality and the web of leaders loyal to him as a person. There were just too many disparate entities in one empire for it to be stable. The eventual outcome might differ, but I really think nobody could keep Aquitanians and Saxons in the same empire and keep the borders safe against Iberian muslims, Viking raiders, Hungarians and so on. Having a greek foreigner at the head wouldn't help. Even with the power of the Roman Empire, which was hard pressed by the Arabs, to back him up, the infrastructure just wasn't there to maintain it.

The Hague, 1650 AD seems a bit too optimistic as far Cromwell's success and French inaction is concerned. A Netherlands close to England wasn't quite as dangerous to France as the opposite, but it can be safely assumed that the French would be tempted to stir up trouble and look for allies. Spain wasn't quite the mess at the time it was after Charles II's reign also. Not to mention that there was considerable European interest in restoring the monarchy in England.

I'm not saying a band of plucky heroes or ISWAT members couldn't swing those the way you describe them, but they are just a tad too unlikely for me as a campaign backdrop.

Rebellion of the Seven States, 154 BC is very interesting and seems to combine some of the ideas from Lebow's Unmaking the West, which is a very fascinating book if you look at things from a historian's (and not a novelist's or a GM's) perspective. But I really don't know that much about ancient Chinese history to comment, but good stuff nevertheless.

But you asked for more historical vignettes, not detailed criticism, so I give you two rough sketches.

Berlin/Jerusalem 1916: The German and Ottoman Empires are hard-pressed to hold the line against the Entente Powers. To pre-empt a British attempt to garner Jewish support (what happened in OTL with the Balfour Declaration) German diplomats convince the German and Ottoman governments including a reluctant Wilhelm II (who didn't care for his Jewish subjects very much, but didn't mind Zionism as an easy way to be rid of them) to sponsor a "National home for the Jewish in Palestine". While the leading Zionists in the Entente Powers wisely decline to comment on this development, it earns much interest in Germany, Austria-Hungary and occupied Russian territory. It also turns Jewish opinion in the US in favour of Germany. This combined with the wise decision not to resume unrestricted submarine warfare kept the Americans out of the war (but still friendly to the Entente). The eventual German collapse is just as complete as in OTL, but when the British Empire reluctantly takes up the Zionist cause afterwards the Germans still get all the praise for taking the first step. With Jewish charities in America setting up donations to help starving German children and invalids, anti-semitism has much less appeal in the immediate post-war situation and leads to a minor Austrian corporal in German service to return in disgust to his Austrian native soil. Anti-semitism still plays some role in German politics, but it doesn't form an important platform in any of the major parties. Without a strong NSDAP the Weimar coalition of Zentrum, DVP and SPD manages to weather the storm of the World Economic Crisis and Germany manages to avoid another dictatorship.

Yekaterinburg 1918: The Czechoslovak Legion frees tsar Nicholas II from Bolshevik Imprisonment. The tsar goes on to become a popular figurehead for the White forces and manages to arrange a united front against the Bolsheviks. Despite intial successes the Russian heartlands cannot be held, but Entente interventions and the ongoing war against Poland convince the communist leaders to agree to a ceasefire that grants Siberia to the Whites. With a safe haven in the east, many political opponents emigrate over the urals swelling the White ranks and at the same time tempering Soviet policies. An uneasy truce exists between the two Russias that continues at least until the end of the 1920s - not in the least because of obvious western support for the Siberians. This may change when Japanese expansionists have to decide whether to go after China in earnest or grab Siberian lands.

For extra fun, combine the two seeds. Hope you find them at least somewhat plausible.

Last edited by Blind Mapmaker; 12-15-2013 at 02:27 PM.
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