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Old 06-19-2024, 03:58 PM   #6531
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Mmm. As I understand it, the fear (in the establishment) at the time was that a professional, meritocratic army might notice that they had the firepower and the people running the country didn't. (Cromwell was only 150 or so years in the past. Plenty recent enough to still invoke as a warning.) So they recruited the army from the people already running the country instead, thereby obviating the problem.

Now, plenty of professional armies don't launch coups twice a week, but some dark prophecies end up being self-fulfilling; if people seem to expect it of them... Your western Europe suddenly becomes less stable. On the other hand, Wellington would be straining every sinew to prevent this outcome, and it's rarely wise to bet against Wellington's influence on the British Army.
Wellington makes an epic Anti-Hero or Anti-Villain. Magnificent call Phil Masters.

Britain, which historically was the most stable major nation in Western Europe during the 19th century, would be the source of any organized counter force.
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Old 06-19-2024, 07:36 PM   #6532
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Both Franklin and Washington wanted to bring Native American societies into the United States as States. The broader American society rejected this. But imagine a world were both Franklin and Washington lived longer and Washington switched his alliance from Hamilton and Adams to Franklin, Jefferson, Monroe, and Paine.
It is a big ask. First, living longer doesn't for example, guarantee that Washington sticks around for a third term. He wasn't happy about having to serve a second term. Second, Washington's personal history would have to change so much to make this possible that he might never be General Washington, much less President Washington. Even before the American Revolution, Washington was committed to white land speculation in the Ohio Valley, to the extent that he authorized Anthony Wayne to use military force to make the native Americans cede their land rights in the Ohio Valley. That does mean that there's going to be a Tecumseh, and he had been allied to the British to prevent American incursions into the Ohio Valley since the beginning of the American Revolution.

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The Cherokee nation is brought in as a state and others join them. Native American warriors bring new ideas to the American military and form a blended military doctrine.
Not impossible but it will probably grate with people like Andrew Jackson. I could easily see him deciding to sit out the War of 1812. But the Five Civilized Nations (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Muskogee [Creek], and Seminole) were outliers in adopting white customs and not even all of them favoured accommodation with the Americans. But granted with some reservation.

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When the War of 1812 rolled around the much improved US military trounces the British Army in surprise defeats. Britain loses Western Canada beyond Ontario.

This won't stand. Britain decides to copy American tactics and hopefully improve on them.
Not even close. Even leaving aside Tecumseh, the British had Loyalist Iroquois from the Six Nations and Hurons and Algonquins in Lower Canada, as well as Canadian militia from the Canadas, and none of them were going to be taken by surprise with these "improved" tactics. And it assumes that the British really were silly buggers who "wear red coats and march in straight lines" while clever Americans hide behind trees and shoot silly buggers dead.

To even come close to winning the War of 1812, a few things have to happen. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland have to stay relatively uninvolved. The British have to keep their eye on the prize in Europe and important places like India. The War Hawks have to get the states "back east" to join in whole-heartedly. Thus when the Battle of Queenston Heights starts to go badly for the Americans you won't have the RL (real-life) experience of the New York militia saying, "I'm not getting into that boat. I 'm militia and I don't have to serve outside New York." You also need to have the Americans themselves not mess up. They sent a message to the commander of Fort Michilimackinac notifying him of the date that war would be declared and the actions he was expected to take. The British very kindly delivered the message with an armed escort and asked him to surrender the fort before something unfortunate ensued. He complied. And the U.S. would need new commanders, not Revolutionary relics like "Granny" Dearborn. This premise doesn't just not fly, it flutters like a badly wounded gamebird.

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An early 19th century Britain with an Army focused on merit rather than class status is automatically an improvement. Several mistakes in the Crimean War were avoided. Britain did so well France, Prussia and Russia are upset and badly worried.

Basically, 19th century European espionage and swashbuckling in a Europe with an unstable balance of power. Also, reforming European armies to focus less on social rank and more on ability has radical implications in post Napoleonic Europe.
And this is really bad. Social rank was focused on because it often did correlate with military competence. U.S. Corps of Engineers aside, social class, or perhaps rank would be a better term for the US, was how it manned its officer corps as well, especially volunteer units. There's probably an argument to be made that the US system didn't throw up any more great generals than the European system, proportionately, and you could slog through some real dregs getting there.

Napoleon's successes did institute incremental change in European armies, but it was more about the rank and file and NCOs which was needed, rather than the officers.

Last edited by Curmudgeon; 06-20-2024 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 06-23-2024, 04:57 PM   #6533
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Try this one...

In most parallels, the failure of Kara Mustafa to take Vienna in 1687 leads to sixty years of brutal infighting among the elites of the Ottoman State. When the Ottomans had recovered the transitions in navigational technology that occurred in the 1710s and 1720s were long completed and the Sea of Mamara was an economic backwater rather than a center of world trade. The Ottoman State never recovered.

However, in this Q6 low mana parallel Kara Mustafa's fall was the rise of a completely different Kara. Kara Aydin, a figure unknown in other parallels, struck first and hardest and took over the Turkish state. He broke the Janissarys and reformed the Turkish military. Then he organized the reconquest of all the territory Price Eugene of Savoy had conquered in the aftermath of Kara Mustafa's loss at Vienna.

Kara Aydin then set up a forward base in Hungary. This was unprecedented in Turkish military history. Outside observers say that Kara Aydin has cleaned vast amounts of corruption out of the Turkish military bureaucracy and has logistics has fine as any Western army.

This time a still wounded and exhausted Austria might not last long enough to be rescued.

Basically, a military Swashbuckler campaign. The Ottoman State missed every chance to reform because of brutal infighting and even more toxic corruption. Kara Aydin has cleaned out both issues and is marching on Vienna in 1699.

Homeline has issues about the whole thing. The Islamic nations are denouncing imperialism and demanding that the ICOPS stay out of the issue. The Caliphate is seeking to perform a holy duty. The French, wanting the Austrians weakened to give France a freer hand quietly support them. Britain, historically pro-Arab, and wanting to be seen as such, is also demanding noninterference.

Meanwhile, news reports about the whole thing is causing serious unhappiness in Austria and Germany, both of whom have immigration issues. Russia and China accuse America of stirring up trouble (mainly to distract others from their own bad behavior).

The ICOPS have serious evidence that both Centrum and the Cabal are trying to gain advantages in the massive disruption of Central Europe.

What strategy will Homeline use?
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Last edited by Astromancer; 06-23-2024 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 06-25-2024, 01:37 PM   #6534
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In most timelines the weather disturbances of 535 and 536AD disrupt the economic development of southeastern Africa. A local small mammal called a multimamate mouse spreads quickly in the wake of the weather disturbances and causes bubonic plague to be endemic in any farm more than ten miles from the sea. This caused the culture of the Swahili Coast to be strictly coastal.

However, in this Q6 low mana parallel some one, or something has spread a small purple flower (it looks like a violet, but it isn't even related to any other flowering plants) has gotten rid of the multimamate mice. Consequently Southeast Africa in this parallel is a lively vital center of world civilization. The Portuguese are having to be very polite in dealing with this Swahili Coast.

The local year is 1524 AD. Trade with European merchants is becoming profitable. More importantly it gives the Swahili merchants an advantage when dealing with Arab merchants. After all, the Swahilis now have competing sources.

Basically, there's a big mystery in the purple flowers. Further, the new Swahili culture is lively and distinctive. Many Africans and African descended people on Homeline are fascinated with this Swahili culture. Homeline agents are being sent to get samples of the culture's literature, music, visual arts, cuisine, and other cultural artifacts.

As always, exploring an unknown society involves serious risks.

Note: In this parallel, even though Ethiopia is still landlocked, it would have solid trading links to the Swahili cultural groups. Consequently Ethiopia would be richer and much more developed economically and culturally.
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Old 06-28-2024, 01:15 PM   #6535
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A further advantage of eliminating the multimamate mouse is a more rapid development of West Africa. The West African coast is in no way conducive to shipbuilding or shipping, this won't have Africa discovering/exploring Europe. However, slavery would be a far smaller part of this world.

The recent introduction of a variety of food crops into West Africa caused a population boom. The further introduction of New World crops made things worse. West Africans started the slave trade to get rid of prisoners of war. Very soon Slaves were the most profitable commerce going. Once the Portuguese figured out plantation agriculture genocide paid for itself.

In this world, West Africa won't be fragile during the Early Modern period. The brutality would be far less.
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Old 07-04-2024, 02:18 PM   #6536
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Recently I was reminded that this year is the 740th anniversary of the events at Hamlin that we commemorate in the story of the Pied Piper. Of course the children's book story isn't likely to resemble anything that happened. The story of the infestation of rats, or more commonly mice, the musician, as often a fiddler as a piper, and the stolen children is all over Northern Europe. A version recorded in Jacob's English Fairy Tales was set in the same bay were legends say Robin Hood kept a ship and where Stoker has Dracula come ashore.

Still, multiple references to 130 children lost. 130 lacks mythic significance. The street where music is outlawed. The church window where the legend was commemorated. Something happened in the valley of the Weiser.

The two most viable theories are A) a large group of children were outside of town in the hills for a picnic or similar event. June 26 is very near Saint Peter and Paul's day, and all the records that exist say the children were lost on June 26th 1284. During the picnic a landslide or similar event took the children. We are told in the children's story that the children of Hamlin entered the earth. Theory B) is that the children were victims of a dancing mannia. Although 13th century dancing mannias are poorly recorded, especially compared to those of the 15th and 16th centuries, they did happen. The two major differences are, the 13th century mannias struck mainly children were the later versions struck mainly adults, and the later Dancing Mannias took a couple of weeks to kill, and if you interrupted the dancing most people could be saved. The 13th century Dancing Mannias killed in a day, and almost no one was saved. At least no one had anything like a healthy recovery.

Many people want to understand what happened. It's assumed that the landslide theory is a little less likely because a landslide that large would leave traces. As for the Dancing Mannia. Although no symptoms were recorded, all we have is the legend and the records written down years afterwards.

It occurs to me that if there's a parallel, an echo passing through the latter 13th century, the Mystery at Hamlin would make an interesting adventure. Depending on which factions could get to the echo Homeline, Centrum, the Cabal, and Reich-5, would all want details.

Further note, whatever it was, it's dangerous. Pipers were limular figures in the period. Like clowns are for us. In 13th century Germany pied clothing (pied equals multicolored) wasn't commonly worn by pipers, drummers, clowns or jesters. Pied clothing was worn by executioners. The 13th century Germans dressed their executioners in pied clothing for the same reason that 17th and 18th century England dressed their executioners in black. To make them stand out in a crowd.

Thus the phrase "Pied Piper" makes the same statement as a clown in black and steel grey with white makeup except for his blood red lips.

The phrase "Pied Piper" is a warning. Let your PCs assume they're ordered to ignore the warning.
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Old 07-13-2024, 09:20 AM   #6537
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This idea assumes a geographic difference. Basically, in the area where on Homeline the Rockall Plateau exists a large island, roughly the size of Wales exists. This island is wooded with rich volcanic soils. The climate is oceanic and much like that of Donegal in Ireland.

The local year on this Q6 low mana parallel is 970AD. The island was first settled by Goidelic Celts, now Vikings are taking over the land in the northeast of the island.

Given the island's soils and climates the population will become much larger than Iceland's. Given the thick forests the locals will build ships for a longer time than Iceland. This would lead to greater contact between the northwestern Atlantic and mainland Europe. It would also lead to an early discovery of the Americans.

Having Homeline, Centrum, the Cabal, figure out what all this means to them could make an interesting exploration game.
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Old 07-13-2024, 01:56 PM   #6538
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Having that there would change the British Isles climate I'd expect.
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Old 07-13-2024, 02:33 PM   #6539
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Having that there would change the British Isles climate I'd expect.
It would be far enough out and at an angle where it wouldn't interfere with the gulf steam. The interference would be measurable but probably not noticeable.
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Old 07-13-2024, 07:00 PM   #6540
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It would be far enough out and at an angle where it wouldn't interfere with the gulf steam. The interference would be measurable but probably not noticeable.
The Gulf Stream already flows between the British Isles and the Rockall Plateau, which is a significant continental block (and hence shallow area) easily the size of Ireland or Iceland, signficant parts of which have been above sea level before, though not in the last few million years. I don't think it being a bit higher, and thus having some significant above sea level area would make a lot of difference to the climate of Europe.
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