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Old 01-30-2016, 09:49 AM   #1591
Racer
 
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Default Re: New Reality Seeds

MPI always thought a few simple technological tweaks could have a huge effect on Alternative Histories . What if RAF had listened to Frank Whittle in 1930 ? British jet powered fighters & ground attack aircraft devastate German forces in Poland in late 1939 & early '40 - Hitler sues for peace .

From History of the Vulcan in ADQ 8/1 :

1893 - Dr. Gatling designed a version of his gun with an electric motor to drive the barrels . He achieved rates of fire of over 3,000 rounds per minute . (!)

1955 - The United States Air Force , in need of very high rates of fire for the brief engagement times of aerial combat , rediscovered Gatling's 1893 demonstration . The result was the M61 20mm cannon , the first to be called a Vulcan .

What if the invention was taken up in 1890's or 1900's ? Different outcome to Boer War , Russian-Japanese War etc . Or rediscovered in 1910 ? Changes WWI warfare tactics . 1920 ? Changes all future warplane designs .1930 ? A majority of Luftwaffe aircraft shot down during Spanish Civil War & it rages on for years .
Vulcan armed Jet powered Aircraft help Britain become most advanced fighting force in the World & British Empire lasts into 1990's before becoming a military alliance . Barnes Wallace invents all-flying tail for high speed aircraft in 1940 ? Sound barrier broken in 1942 - jet passenger & transport planes in use by late '40's . Rise in British power stalls Hitler's megalomania , prevents WWII & the Holocaust . Rocket development delayed 10-30 years as Von Braun lacks support & financial means to develop them etc , etc .

Sloped tank armour is developed in Germany in 1930's ? Rommel sweeps all before him in North Africa , Middle East and advances on towards India .

The techno tweaking possiblities are endless :-)
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:00 AM   #1592
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer View Post
I always thought a few simple technological tweaks could have a huge effect on Alternative Histories . What if RAF had listened to Frank Whittle in 1930 ? British jet powered fighters & ground attack aircraft devastate German forces in Poland in late 1939 & early '40 - Hitler sues for peace .

From History of the Vulcan in ADQ 8/1 :

1893 - Dr. Gatling designed a version of his gun with an electric motor to drive the barrels . He achieved rates of fire of over 3,000 rounds per minute . (!)

1955 - The United States Air Force , in need of very high rates of fire for the brief engagement times of aerial combat , rediscovered Gatling's 1893 demonstration . The result was the M61 20mm cannon , the first to be called a Vulcan .

What if the invention was taken up in 1890's or 1900's ? Different outcome to Bore War , Russian-Japanese War etc . Or rediscovered in 1910 ? Changes WWI warfare tactics . 1920 ? Changes all future warplane designs .1930 ? A majority of Luftwaffe aircraft shot down during Spanish Civil War & it rages on for years .
Vulcan armed Jet powered Aircraft help Britain become most advanced fighting force in the World & British Empire lasts into 1990's before becoming a military alliance . Barnes Wallace invents all-flying tail for high speed aircraft in 1940 ? Sound barrier broken in 1942 - jet passenger & transport planes in use by late '40's . Rise in British power stalls Hitler's megalomania , prevents WWII & the Holocaust . Rocket development delayed 10-30 years as Von Braun lacks support & financial means to develop them etc , etc .

Sloped tank armour is developed in Germany in 1930's ? Rommel sweeps all before him in North Africa , Middle East and advances on towards India .

The techno tweaking possiblities are endless :-)
Four words: Domination of the Draka

Now, the alt.history issues with that particular reality have been hashed and rehashed ad infinitum, ad tedium, ad nauseum. No need to do so here.
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Old 01-30-2016, 11:37 AM   #1593
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Thanks Randyman . I hadn't been aware of the particular Alt History or the book series ! Looking at the Alternative History pages on Wikipedia is a big eye opener & I recommend people to have a good scroll through for ideas or for fun .
The Northland trilogy by Stephen Baxter - giant wall is built over thousands of years to prevent sea level raises engulfing the land in the North Sea :

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Spring

There's another - which name escapes me for now - where 99% of the population of Europe is wiped out by Bubonic Plague in 14th Century & it all proceeds differently from then on . I'm really enjoying alt history stories on Fan Fiction websites at moment , which can also be a good source for GURPS adventuring material .

EDIT : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_..._Rice_and_Salt
By Kim Stanley Robinson , which I've not read yet but looks brilliant .
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Old 01-30-2016, 08:08 PM   #1594
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The same meddling aliens show up again, this time anywhere before 1890 or so. Whatever their motivation, they give the primitive humans a special gift: Orbs of Vulcan, grey spheres about the size of a tennis ball that produce seemingly endless warmth. They are enhanced "pebble bed" pebbles, containing radioactive fuel, a layer of moderator, and a special protective surface coating that prevents the moderator from burning or breaking.

The surface is nearly indestructible, but permeable to radiation and heat.

No matter who gets it, they get cheap safe nukes instantly. Some, such a post-Hero Romans or several Chinese dynasties, would make better work of it than others, such as certain Kahnates.

The aliens may or may not provide instructions about safe operation of the orbs...
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Old 01-31-2016, 01:05 PM   #1595
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A Cabalist with a degree in Engineering and a flea in his ear makes a great change agent.

A crank into Ancient Egypt could introduce Corn (maize), bananas, coconuts and other agricultural palms, cotton, and other useful plants, into pre-Ptolemaic Egypt.

Introduce mulberries and silkworms into ancient Rome around the reign of Augustus and lengthen the life of the Empire.

Introduce horses into the New World while Europe is in it's Dark Ages and transform the Americas.

These all involve movements of living things which reproduce themselves. Thus the change is naturally and powerfully reinforced. But introducing the Chinese box bellows into Ancient Rome would be transformative. This is because the box bellows fans the fire on both stokes. Which allows for much great heat from the same fuel. This allows for cast iron and certain forms of standardized mass production. Heck, introducing the spinning wheel and the push peddle loom into the ancient Roman world would have lead to vast changes.
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:47 PM   #1596
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From History of the Vulcan in ADQ 8/1 :

What if the invention was taken up in 1890's or 1900's ? Different outcome to Boer War , Russian-Japanese War etc . Or rediscovered in 1910 ? Changes WWI warfare tactics . 1920 ? Changes all future warplane designs .1930 ? A majority of Luftwaffe aircraft shot down during Spanish Civil War & it rages on for years .
Vulcan armed Jet powered Aircraft help Britain become most advanced fighting force in the World & British Empire lasts into 1990's before becoming a military alliance . Barnes Wallace invents all-flying tail for high speed aircraft in 1940 ? Sound barrier broken in 1942 - jet passenger & transport planes in use by late '40's . Rise in British power stalls Hitler's megalomania , prevents WWII & the Holocaust . Rocket development delayed 10-30 years as Von Braun lacks support & financial means to develop them etc , etc .
I don't think so. In 1893, it would be an engineering gimmick, a brilliant solution to a nonexistent problem. For killing infantry and horse cavalry, the Vulcan is an expensive, fiddly weapon system that performs no better than the old cranked ones. His discovery was forgotten because, at the time, it had zero tactical applications. It's not until you get heavy bombers that Vulcans have a purpose.

Quote:
Sloped tank armour is developed in Germany in 1930's ? Rommel sweeps all before him in North Africa , Middle East and advances on towards India .

The techno tweaking possiblities are endless :-)
Yeah. The problem with interwar discoveries...either vulcans or sloped armor...is that it's really hard to keep them confined to one nation. If Rommel has the stuff in the 1930s, by the time the war begins so do the British and friends.
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Old 01-31-2016, 06:15 PM   #1597
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Yeah. The problem with interwar discoveries...either vulcans or sloped armor...is that it's really hard to keep them confined to one nation. If Rommel has the stuff in the 1930s, by the time the war begins so do the British and friends.
The one possible exception to that rule is technological advances that fly in the face of acepted military thinking. Whitworths "low caliber" rifle is one example.
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Old 02-01-2016, 09:35 AM   #1598
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A Cabalist with a degree in Engineering and a flea in his ear makes a great change agent.
A single, 'tiny' change of that type that could have great effects: Introduce the printing press and movable type to the Great Library of Alexandria, around the time of it's founding. This doesn't require an outsider, just a smart person with the right knowledge and a bit of creativity, but it's easier there.

Alternatively, you could introduce it even earlier, in Bronze Age Sumeria, where you don't need to worry about whether the ink will stick right, since you're pressing the letters into clay.
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:08 AM   #1599
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A single, 'tiny' change of that type that could have great effects: Introduce the printing press and movable type to the Great Library of Alexandria, around the time of it's founding. This doesn't require an outsider, just a smart person with the right knowledge and a bit of creativity, but it's easier there.

Alternatively, you could introduce it even earlier, in Bronze Age Sumeria, where you don't need to worry about whether the ink will stick right, since you're pressing the letters into clay.
But you need the right environment for such system to "take off". There was no need for the printing press in Sumer or in Alexandria since the number of people that could read, or aspired to read, was small. It was needed in 1500s Europe because there was a suddenly a huge demand for books and literacy.

As patchwork mentions, its brilliant solution to a nonexistent problem.

Nobody knows the benefits of a thing until after its introduction. Reading, democracy, farming, cell-phones, all where dismissed before they became somewhat available. Their obvious benefits allowed them to take off only after they were in use.

You might be able to get books in Sumer if you make other changes. Introduce the concept that the layman can intercede with gods, or cast spells or dismiss demons, by reading tablets. This runs smack into the power of the priesthood, so you get the leadership of the culture not especially happy with your average Joe Sumerian learning how to read.
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Old 02-01-2016, 02:39 PM   #1600
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That's what I like about the Orbs of Vulcan. Even cave men could use them- albiet while accumulating rads at a dangerous rate- by sticking two or three together to make a cooking fire with no smoke need of fuel.
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