Sunday, December 27, 2015

Fictional AltHistory #4: Star Wars Part 1

In preparation so I can finally see the new Star Wars movie on Monday, the family decided to have a big Star Wars Marathon, watching Episodes 1 through 6. Not going to bother with reviewing the movies, even though I personally don't mind the Prequel trilogies, though the writing is and can be cringe worthy, but even the original trilogy is like that. George Lucas is great at world building, not so much with the actual writing...

Oh god, what am I doing? I got to get out of this flame war before it begins!

Anyway, like I had been doing before with the Fallout AH Scenarios, maybe I will do a few Star Wars ones. And for the first one, let's go to the Prequels, specifically Episode Three, and do a little thought experiment of what happens if... Uh, wait.... SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS: EPISODE THREE REVENGE OF THE SITH!!!!!!

Also, not going to go into the Expanded Universe stuff, mostly because I don't know if very well, and I will spend forever researching it other wise.

Point of Divergence

Anakin Skywalker decided to stay at the Jedi Temple, or wasn't able to arrive soon enough, to intervene in the climatic battle between Mace Windu and Chancellor Palpatine, aka Darth Sidious, aka the future Emperor. Windu kills Palpatine, the last Sith leader in the galaxy, and the mastermind behind the Civil War between the Separatists and the Galactic Republic.

[Insert epic John Williams score here]

However, this was not the clean sweep that the Jedi Council hoped for, and even though the Civil War is nearly over, politics in the Senate begins to rear it's ugly head once again. Many of the Senators were influenced by the now deceased Palpatine, and while some, such as Bail Organa from Alderaan and Padme Amidala of Naboo, saw his death as a chance to restore democracy. But soon the Senate is divided, with many calling for the end of the Jedi Council as a separate organization, especially if they tried to police the government without the approval of the Senate.

The Jedi Order, though pleased to have removed the last Sith Lord, is now trust into a huge political storm. Mace Windu is tried by the Senate for his illegal murder of Palpatine, and is forced out of the Jedi Order and sent into exile, as a scapegoat. But it wasn't enough, and soon laws are passed to make the Jedi Order officially subservient to the Senate, with Senators appointed to oversee all the operations of the Jedi. Some, like Master Yoda, reluctantly allow it, while Obi-Wan Kenobi begins to resent the interference, especially when he relays the information he learned of the last Separatist leaders being on Mustafar, but due to the delays in getting approval from the Senate, they escape, and the Civil War drags on longer and longer as the last leaders are able to slowly rebuild, and the fighting continues for years.

Anakin Skywalker is finally made a Master of the Jedi Order for telling the Jedi of Palpatine's plot, but he quickly adapts to the the new situation, and is named the first Senator to represent the Jedi Order, a bone thrown to the Jedi in return for all their privileges that were removed. But the morale of the Jedi is low, and it takes years to improve it.

I dunno, I just wanted a picture with more Jedi's and Lightsabers. 

The next major crisis to rock the Jedi Order is the eventual discovery of Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala's marriage and her twins, which while kept secret for a year, eventually is leaked to the Galactic Senate and Jedi Council. The Conservatives in the Council sought to kick out Anikin, both for breaking the non-marriage code of the Jedi and for his closeness with the Senate and government, but Anakin, with his ties to the Senate, eventually gets approval for his actions, and the Senate orders to the Jedi Council to remove the celibacy requirement of the order. Many of those that secretly wished for this for decades are now given the chance to come out and marry, and many of their children are also Force sensitive, which in the long run helped the Jedi Order rebuild it's ranks after the long and brutal Civil War, which was still raging in certain areas.

Of course, eventually the Dark Side of the Force will rear it's head again, most likely once the Civil War is nearly over, leading into more intergalactic space battles and fights between Jedi and etc. etc... but I really don't know enough about Star Wars to even begin to guess what to say about it. For all I know, Anakin will still turn to the Dark Side, become Darth Vader, and lead to opposition. Or maybe a bitter Mace Windu. Or an angry Obi-Wan Kenobi. I don't know. Either way, if someone with more knowledge of the Expanded Universe (or, I guess it's called Legends now, okay) could make a plausible scenario.

Hope all my readers had a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday, and hopefully I can get into a better routine in the new year, most likely with some other Alternate Histories based on movies, TV shows, video games and books!

Wait, wait... no no no no! No Doctor Who Alternate histories yet! GET BACK DALEKS, NOOOOOO!!!!
But what do you think? How would a galaxy far, far away a long time ago deal with such a political crisis? Or if you have a topic or idea you would like me to talk about, please leave comments below, email me at, or tell me on Twitter @tbguy1992.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

AltHistory Scenario #16: What if the US Constitution Was Never Ratified?

So it's been a while since I've posted much of anything on here. The past few weeks have been hectic for me because of family issues and work, so to make up for it, here's a larger AH scenario for now to bring me back into the game...

What if the US Constitution Was Never Ratified?

In 1787, the United States decided to try to reform the unworkable Articles of Confederation, but soon the little details began to cause an increasing number of problems: how to set up the executive branch, both houses of Congress, if the states or the Federal government should have more power, etc. After months of debate and deliberation, the Constitutional Convention disbanded, with no agreement signed. It was a huge blow to the young United States, but by 1794, the federal government was in a huge amount of debt and had no power to pay off the debt. Soldiers on frontier posts went without pay, while the militia's maintained in the states were lavished with extra resources. Larger states like Virginia and Pennsylvania began to flex their economic and diplomatic muscles, forcing smaller states like Rhode Island and New Jersey to work for them in the ineffectual Congress.
"And furthermore, you all can go and do yourselves over
with your own genitalia!" -Benjamin Franklin, most likely.
Don't tell me that's something he
wouldn't say!

In 1795, after years of political deadlock and increasingly harsh rhetoric, Massachusetts was the first state to declare succession from the Union. In the next few months, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, an New Hampshire also voted to leave, with Massachusetts and Connecticut forming the "Union of New England," and putting together a new constitution to give more power to a central government. Virginia, the most powerful state in the US, tried to get the Federal government to raise an army to brings the seceded states back into the Union, but the vote of the Pennsylvania delegate against this action meant that no army could be raised.

The Articles of Confederation was dead, and soon the United States would die as well. The rest of the old US would break up into separate nations: New Hampshire and Rhode Island, along with New York, would join the Union of New England; Pennsylvania and New Jersey united to form the Republic of Pennsylvania; Virginia annexed Maryland and Delaware, establishing the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the two Carolina's would united with Georgia to form the Union of the Carolinas, and would eventually gain Florida from Spain. While all of them were more or less democratic (by late 18th century standards), there were some marked differences: Virginia and Carolina were majority slavery states, while the two northern countries banned slavery, which never took hold up north, by 1813. New England and Virginia had strong central governments, though New England would be the closest to the modern US, with a division of powers between the federal government and the "Districts" (OTL states). Carolina and Pennsylvania had weaker central governments, but in both cases the central government could raise taxes and an army, unlike the Articles of Confederation. There were other differences, such as the increasingly Mercantile and Industrial north with the agricultural and slave holding south.

So, here is my North America in this timeline. Sorry for my lack
of Map Making skills. Maybe someday I can get better, but this
is the rough idea I have.
The divided American colonies quickly begin bickering with each other over land rights, western expansion, and debts that accrued during the Articles of Confederation. But without a larger federal government to help claim land from the Natives, soon more countries would be established west of the Appalachians: the Republic of Ohio that reached from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi down into OLT Kentucky, the Kingdom of Louisiana, established with the support from Napoleon (before he was defeated in 1817), the Dakota Confederacy (primarily Native American, created more to keep the White Man out than to actually rule the land).

Mexico would remain whole, stretching from northern California down to the border of Gran Colombia in the south, and after dealing with the Texas Revolt in 1832, quickly became the economic and military powerhouse of North America. The bloody War of The Great Lakes (1859-1863), when the Union of New England and the Province of Quebec was invaded by an alliance of Virginia and Ohio over Ohio's belief in "Manifest Destiny," to try to claim the resource rich, but people poor North Western Ontario. Eventually, with the aid of British regulars, Canadian militia, and New England troops, Ohio and Virginia were defeated, and forced to surrender land. Canada was able to negotiate it's independence from the United Kingdom after the war, and with the purchase of Rupert's Land, became the Largest country in North America, though it was unable to negotiate with the Republic of Oregon and British Columbia to have either nation join, so only Mexico would have the distinction of having both Atlantic and Pacific coast lines.

Other brutal wars after dragged the nations of North America into conflict, aided at one time or another by European nations. But by the 1960s, and after the end of the Third World War, an uneasy peace lasted in North America. Pennsylvania, once one of the strongest of the early nations in North America after the failure of the US, collapsed itself, and was divided between Ohio, New England and Virginia in 1889, with political corruption, a stagnating economy and a weak military making their position untenable. Gone is Virginia as well, having been divided between New England and Georgia in 1941 after the Fascist Virginia sought to reclaim it's place in North America after loosing to both nations in 1917.  The Dakota Confederacy retained it's Native heritage, and with the discovery of oil in the northern Dakota provinces and Seqyoah, along with the resources of the Rocky Mountains and large gold mines makes the land-locked country the richest in North America, and comparable with the German Empire, the richest and most powerful nation in Europe (just not in population). The Empire of Mexico has been teetering under political corruption and resistance movements in California and Texas again, and it seems only a matter of time before that bursts into a full fledged Civil War much like 1911, when the Communist Party tried to replicate the success of their comrades in France a few years before and overthrow Mexico, only to fail after Carolina, Dakota and New England volunteers came to help.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Editorial: Seven Things I Learned From NaNoWriMo

As you may have noticed, I haven't really posted much last month. Well, there is a reason for that, and I think it's a good one: I was participating in the National Novel Writing Month challenge. Write a 50,000 word story between November 1 and 30. And, well, I did it!

I was working on an alternate history story where magic and steampunk technology exist side by side in a Europe that roughly parallels our history, but with people using special crystals to use magic... and I lost most of you. Either way, I wrote 50,000 words on that topic, and the story is no where near done. Will most likely some day get back to figuring out how to rework and finish it.

Anyway, trying to write 50,000 words in 30 days taught me a lot about writing, especially when you want to do Alternate History. So, To get myself back into the swing of things, here's a list of things I learned from NaNoWriMo to help with anyone trying to write or who may want to do NaNoWriMo next year

  1. Know what you want to talk about. I had the Steampunk/magic idea for a very long time, before I first tried NaNoWriMo way back in 2013, and while some ideas from then are the same, I realized I still had no idea how the world changed, and what the big differences were. After 42,000 words, and a couple weeks of staring at my computer screen trying to add something, anything, I gave up and went back and spent the last 8000 just writing elements of world building. Nations, wars, the fundamental background of the story, how the magic works, why the steampunk group and the magic people were fighting, all that. 
  2. Find and make the time to do it. On November 1, 50,000 words may seem a daunting, but doable challenge, which it is. But you need to keep working on it. I set myself a goal of at least 2000 words a day, which is slightly higher than the 1,667 or so a day that NaNoWriMo suggests needs to be written a day in order to win. But even then, with a full time job, helping on the family farm, helping the rest of the family, and a lot of other things (like Fallout 4), finding the time was really hard. So in the evening, after getting home from work, helping on the farm, supper and dishes, I would sit at my computer in my room and punch out 2000 words before I did anything else, like Fallout 4. You need to find the time, and have people respect that time. Which brings me to my next point...
  3. Tell other people you are doing this. This is especially in the case where you live with someone else, like your parents, roommates or significant other. Don't keep it a secret that you are trying to write 50,000 words in a month. Even before I started I told my mom and dad that I was going to do this, so they were more understanding of the times when I locked myself in my room to try to write. Without that notice, they would have been a lot more annoyed, if not concerned, at what I was doing, especially since I liked to put myself away in my corner of the house to be alone...
  4. You got to power through writer's block. Writer's block is a terrible thing. Staring at a blank, white screen or piece of paper trying to figure out words to go on paper, your mind a swimming mess of confusion and agony... but you got to get through it. When you do NaNoWriMo, or any other big, time sensitive project, you just got to go. Write down the first thing that comes to your mind. Don't erase it, because you need 50,000 words, remember? You can edit later in December or January. And usually that first sentence will go a long way to clearing things up.
  5. Take a break, and do something else. Just like chocolate, video games, alcohol, sports and anything else, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Writing is the same way. If you find yourself stumped, and can't go any further, feel free to walk away for an hour or two. That's the times when I would go play a video game, read a book, take a nap, stare at the ceiling. Anything but look at the Google Docs file I made just for NaNoWriMo. Then, when you are ready, you can go back with, if not fresh eyes, then at least a bit of a reboot or refresh. That will go a long way to help.
  6. Reach out and talk to fellow writers. There is nothing like a good support group, and the best help you can get with NaNoWriMo is other people also participating. I had an internet friend from Seattle invite me to a group chat of other writers, almost all of whom I never met before. But they were very friendly and helped me with my problems, as much as I tried to help them in return. A couple did finish NaNoWriMo as well, and provided encouragement to the rest to keep going, and get it done as well.
  7. It's not the end of the world to not hit the goal. November is a short month, tied for second last place with April, June and September. Life has a nasty habit of suddenly springing surprises on those that have a goal and want to do something on a certain day. I didn't get more than 20,000 words in 2013 because of University, and I dared not try it in 2014 for the same reason. There were times when it felt like I was burnt out on this story, and I was getting ideas for other stories I wanted to write, as well as commitments like work and this blog and other things. I did power through it, but there are many people who weren't able to do it. But remember: there is always next year. And there are still eleven other months you can write, so why just try to do it in one? NaNoWriMo is more to show that anyone that wants too can participate, and can win. If not, at least you did some writing, right? Doesn't matter if you only got 10,000 or went all out and did 100,000, you still wrote, and that's what NaNoWriMo is about.
NaNoWriMo is over for 2015, but there is still 2016 and many more years in the future that you can do this. I plan to do it again, hopefully next year, and maybe next time I can be more prepared next time so it won't be as stressful or painful. And all these tips can help with your normal writing as well.

Anyway, will get back to regular Alternate History next week. Until then, good luck with the word counts, my fellow Alternate Historians!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I'd like to give a quick sorry to everyone that's checking out this blog, hoping for new content. Been kind of busy this month with NaNoWriMo, my job and helping my family (and Fallout 4 when I find some time). But starting December, will most likely be starting with a post a week for a while, possibly on Wednesdays. Or it will turn into a "whenever I feel like it, I dunno" posting schedule, but who likes that?

Anyway thank you everyone that has been checking it out even though I've been a bit slow these past few weeks. Please Stand By, we will be returning with our regularly scheduled Alternate History soon!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fictional AltHistory Scenario #3: Fallout, Part Three

Fallout 4 is finally here! Hence why there wasn't a post on Tuesday. And... it is awesome. Sorry, I meant, it's....

Only the unicorn is actually a Deathclaw, and the rainbows is really irradiated goop.

Base building, loads of crafting options, new and revamped enemies, a massive world to explore and so much more... Fallout 4 has a little bit of everything for everyone.

Anyway, to continue with the series I started a few weeks ago in the lead up to Fallout 4, lets look at another alternate scenario within the franchise, this time in Bethesda's first foray into the series, Fallout 3.

Point of Divergence

I'll be honest: Fallout 3 had the weakest story of the entire franchise, and I've been thinking about what exactly I can take from it and twist around, as I am wont to do. I don't want to talk about "What if the Enclave succeeds in occupying Project Purity," because, well, I already did and Enclave thing. And if you need a refresher there, check out that article. Basically the same thing happens, just a bit more confined to Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas.

And that means the internet. ALL OF IT!
So, instead let's look at the other big faction in the game, the Brotherhood of Steel. The power armored troops you see at the Citadel/Pentagon is just a group from the Brotherhood that was originally established on the West Coast, sent to the old American capital to find technology. However, their leader, Elder Lyons, decided to do his best to help the people of the Wasteland, leading to several people defecting to the Outcasts and the West Coast chapter disavowing those in Washington. So, what if Elder Lyons croaks before he arrives in the Capital Wasteland (say when the Brotherhood wipes out the mutants and raiders out of The Pitt), and the Brotherhood soldiers there full fill their primary goal: recover any advanced technology to preserve it for future generations.


The BoS expedition to the Capital Wasteland was, for the most part, a success. A massive robot was found underneath the Pentagon, Liberty Prime. Although it was still in a non-working state, it was carefully removed from it's location under the Pentagon and sent back west on a massive airship. Other technologies, such as power armor, energy weapons, documents from various Vault-Tec Vaults throughout the Capital Wasteland, and anything else considered of value, while also tracking down the source of a different bread of Super Mutants like they fought on the West Coast when the Master tried to take over the world. After months of searching, the did find the source of the Super Mutants, Vault 87, and did their best to block off the entrance to prevent any more from coming out.

But almost as soon as these well armed, steel clad soldiers showed up in the Wasteland, they disappeared. Eventually it would be assumed it was just a myth they were ever there, and life proceeds back to normal. Three Dog tries to get Galaxy News Radio working again, but that lasts only as long before the first supermutant attacks and destroys the building, killing Three Dog in the process. Project Purity also never really gets off the ground without help from the angry, cannibalistic green monsters with Chinese Assault Rifles, miniguns and fire-hydrant battering rams.

Just fought a pack of deathclaws, a horde of feral ghoul reavers, a literal army of  raiders... and then you see this.
Might as well just restart the game.

At least, until the Enclave, recently defeated out west, suddenly pops up in Washington, D.C. But with heavily armed soldiers, a folksy President on the radio, and lots of resources and technology that is much more advanced than pre-Great War stuff. With a good PR campaign, and the grudging acceptance of the Capital Wasteland's inhabitants, the Encalve begins to rebuild their power. When the Enclave got word of the aborted Project Purity, President Eden asks to meet with the project's leaders, Dr. Li and James. When the President offered his support (on the condition of using the modified FEV to kill the "mutants" of the Wasteland,) they instead are able to work with Colonel Autumn, not infect Project Purity, and effectively reduce the ZAX supercomputer to irrelevance. The Enclave begins to rebuild, but after several years of ruling the Capital Wasteland, their ideology begins to soften (they still believe they are pure, superior humans, but they eventually give up on killing all the "mutants," just the ghouls and Super Mutants) and they begin to seek to expand peacefully.

On the West Coast, the Brotherhood is revitalized with the arrival of the Capital Expedition, and they are particularly pleased with the arrival of Liberty Prime. After years of work, and when Scribes Rothchild and Elijah manage to finally sort out the power issues, Liberty Prime is ready. With the relations between the NCR and Brotherhood at a low time low after a previous war that nearly destabilized the NCR but virtually destroyed the Brotherhood and forced them into hiding in the Mojave, the Brotherhood took a gamble, and started the war again when the NCR tried to expand east.

This... just going east this time.

Liberty Prime proved to be the major decider in the war, destroying any attempts by the NCR to invade and occupy the Mojave, and quickly making huge strides deep into NCR territory, overwhelming the NCR and forcing the President to surrender. The Brotherhood quickly turned themselves into the most powerful faction in the west, easily crushing the Legion's armies of slaves with the power of Liberty Prime and the highly trained, well armed soldiers of the Brotherhood.

The BoS quickly became a fundamentalist, techno-theocracy, expanding over the Wasteland with Liberty Prime leading the charge, suppressing all technology that wasn't "safe." However it lead to problems, namely in the lack of reinforcements due to their closed, "pure" bloodlines and the massive stretches of territory they controlled with too few troops, and the lack of irrigation to increase the amount of food produced and the ability to produce medical supplies, due to the BoS's goal of preserving military technology over everything else. But it would only be when Liberty Prime was destroyed in an attack by rebels would the Brotherhood's "nation" fall apart. The NCR and the Legion would eventually reform themselves, but it would be decades before anything resembling the stability of the old NCR and even the dictatorship of the Brotherhood would be recreated.

Because it sure is easy to terrify everyone if you are totally incased in steel and sound like a pillow is over your face.

So, I always felt the Brotherhood of Steel was a rather morally grey organization, devoted to technology above anything else. And when the Capital Wasteland Brotherhood faction tried to just help out the people, it saw members mutinying and them being kicked out all together. Even then, it seems like no one trusted them. Then again, they didn't trust anyone either.

Anyway, sorry this is... like a week late. All well, will try to get back on schedule right away!

But what do you think? What would the Brotherhood have been like if they went a bit power hungry? Or if you have a topic or idea you would like me to talk about, please leave comments below, email me at, or tell me on Twitter @tbguy1992.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fictional AltHistory Scenario #2: Fallout, Part Two

It's only four days till Fallout 4 finally comes out.

*muffles really loud screaming of excitement and fanboyism in a pillow until I nearly pass out*

Okay, now that that's out of my system, why not try another Fallout alternate history? If you haven't looked at it, here's Part One, what if the Master from Fallout 1 succeeded?

Anyway, I'm going to look at the second game in the franchise today. Fallout 2 is one of the best RPG's ever made, having fixed up a few issues with the first game (such as the really, really obtuse companion management system and the lack of a "take all" button) and added a lot of new things that became icon's of the legendary series: The New California Republic (NCR), an explanation of the actual purpose behind the Vaults, and, of course, the Enclave.

Don't tell me you didn't freak out the first time you saw the Enclave power armor! Wait... it was just me? Damnit.

WARNING!!!: this AH will involve a lot of spoilers to a nearly 20 year old game. If you don't want the spoilers, you might as well read another article. Like, say, what if England was a Republic? Also, if you don't know where I'm going, here is the plot of Fallout 2, provided by the Fallout Wikia. Otherwise, grab your power armor and open up a Nuka-Cola, because here we go!

Point of Divergence

The Enclave in Fallout 2 is the primary villains of the story, trying to find a way to wipe out all "mutants" on North American so they, the "pure" humans, could come in and reclaim 'MURICA! However, the "Chosen One," the descendant of the Vault Dweller of Fallout 1, puts on the Vault 13 jumpsuit and defeats the Enclave. But what if the Chosen One failed, and the Enclave succeeded?

Maybe let's say that the Chosen One is killed... really, not a hard thing to say, considering how many times I died actually playing the game. But let's say he got really close, like up to the Enclave Oil Rig, before he is finally cut down, just a short distance away from finding his tribe.



After dealing with the Chosen One, the Enclave prepares for their goal: unleashing a modified Forced Evolutionary Virus onto the world through the jet streams. Modified by Dr. Charles Curling from a mutagen that turns people into huge, muscular, green screen, nearly immortal idiots (or super geniuses, but that was much rarer) into a deadly aerosol that would kill every human, mutated or not, on direct contact. Only the Enclave would survive, having been inoculated against the virus. Only the plants and animals of the wasteland would survive, cleansing the world of all mutants.

So, basically this means every super mutant, ghoul, and human (even those that came from Vaults, as the modified FEV still killed the Vault 13 residents chosen as test subjects) in the Wasteland would be killed by the virus, within an hour or two of being infected. And it's not pretty: "massive hemorrhaging and inflammations, leading to a complete failure of the victim's organs within sixty minutes." Ouch.

So, the Enclave dumps this into the Jet stream, and everyone dies. NCR, New Reno, Vault City, The Boneyard, New Vegas, Chicago, Texas, the Capital Wasteland, the Pitt, etc... until everyone in the world except for a few hundred people on the oil rig. Basically everyone dies a short, immensely painful death without really knowing what happened. Only animals like Brahmin, radscorpions, Mirelirks and Deathclaws would survive, or those, like the Brotherhood of Steel, that had power armor that could filter out the deadly virus. But even then, only the highest ranking Paladins and Knights would survive, as not everyone has power armor in that group. The few survivors of the Brotherhood, in a last ditch attempt, try to make contact with the Enclave, but, being "mutants" in the eyes of the Enclave, these survivors are exterminated.

Basically the Enclave are like the Daleks. Just a question of who is more insane, really.

With everyone on the mainland dead, President Dick Richardson puts the next part of the project into action, namely the resettling of North America. The first colonies on the mainland, some built right on top of the settlements that places like the NCR had built (as soon as all the dead bodies are disposed of), other's in areas that pre-war maps identified as having good resources. Robots are immensely useful in rebuilding the world in the Enclave's image, and with the aid of advanced AI technology the settlements grow and florish. Since there wasn't a lot of creatures, deathclaws included, that the military couldn't deal with, everything is looking hunky-dory.

But now the problems start cropping up. First, robots, while useful, have some limitations, mostly in being hard to replace or repair due to a lack of raw materials to manufacture parts with. And since most of the Enclave was politicians, soldiers, scientists and business executives, it's not like any of them want to get their hands dirty doing stuff. Without even a slave force they could take advantage of, the growth of the colonies are stilted due to the lack of manual laborers. I call this the "Rapture Effect."

Ann Rand, eat your heart out. Seriously, because no one will want to work for you.

But that's just a small problem. The other one, and one already identified on the Enclave oil rig, was the problem of inbreeding. Eventually, after enough time, the genes that cause the deformities, the emotional and physical stunting, and a dozen other medical, intellectual, and social problems rise up. Doctor Curling, shocked by the devastation caused by his work, and several autopsy's that revealed that many of the "mutants" on the mainland had almost no difference in DNA from the Enclave, lead him to commit suicide. His death, portrayed by the Enclave propaganda as from over work, is eventually leaked to the community, raising doubts in a few members, wondering if releasing the FEV was the right thing, especially thanks to the increasing labor shortage to sustain the colonies (and, indirectly, their comfortable living like when they were on the Oil Rig, which had been destroyed in the years since by an earthquake).

There was a solution found: cloning. The technology existed on the East Coast, so a team was sent to find it, and recover the technology, which happened easily enough (remember: everyone is still dead). However, the cloning technology of Vault 108 has one very, major, serious flaw that the Enclave never found out: the fact that the clones were hostile to everyone but other clones. So, in their desperation to make a workforce (I'm guessing the Enclave just started growing dozens, if not hundreds of clones, at once), once they all reach maturity, they just start hunting down and killing everyone that isn't a clone. The Enclave military manages to suppress the clones, but by this point, the best scientists, engineers, and technicians have been savagely torn apart and killed.

Clones: basically never a good idea ever in fiction.

Soon, the Enclave begins to collapse from the strain. Colonies on resources and factories that were desperately needed but now didn't have enough workers. Drug use, especially of the mainland's favorite Jet, skyrockets. Suicide attempts and the number of insane increases. Desertions rise, folks just packing up and walking into the Wasteland with little more than they could carry. The last functioning Vertibird is grounded when fuel finally runs out. The ammo for the energy weapons having long since run out, leaving the Enclave military to use scavenged weapons that just a few years before they would have destroyed for being useless.

After thirty years, only a handful are left, including President Richardson. The group having been savaged by the Wasteland as the military struggled to hold back the threats from the wasteland. The population continued to drop as robots that were needed to maintain farms and factories failed and couldn't be repaired, or began to experience malfunctions, and eventually picked off a few more of the survivors. The President, the now very old Dick Richardson, is put on trial for his failures of leadership. But up until the moment he was found guilty, he stood beside every action he took. He proudly walked into the wasteland, heading east, arms outstretched as he welcomed the world he had helped create, the one for pure humans (no matter the fact the last survivors just kicked him out).

Or he just didn't want to have to listen to yet another god-damned congressman try to repeal Richardsoncare...

Fifty years after the FEV virus was put into the atmosphere, killing the final human's who survived the Great War in 2077, the last member of the Enclave, a young soldier who was one of the first born in North America takes his laser pistol, with one shot left, points it at his head and pulls the trigger. The last human in the Enclave, and in the world, is dead. The work started in 2077 is finally finished, with all of humanity extinguished.


Yes, this was a very, very bleak portryal of what would happen. But, let's face it: The Enclave were not going to be able to pull this off. Miniguns, plasma guns and Vertibirds will only get you so far. And killing hundreds of thousands, millions of people that could, at the very least, be used as slaves or brought into the Enclave (and refresh the gene pool) was like a sick man cutting off his legs, his right arm, and all but two fingers on his left hand. The Enclave program was doomed from the start.

So, let's be glad that the fictional world of Fallout hasn't happened (yet), or a unhinged group that controls the last remnants of the United States hasn't tried to kill everyone (yet).

Anyway! FALLOUT FOUR!!!!!!

If anything is going to ruin my chances at wining NaNoWriMo this year, it will be this game. And I might not even be mad.

But what do you think? How would the Enclave act if they took over the world? Or if you have a topic or idea you would like me to talk about, please leave comments below, email me at, or tell me on Twitter @tbguy1992.

Monday, November 2, 2015

AltHistory Scenario #15: What if FDR Only Served Two Terms?

After months of speculation, Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced that he would not actively seek a third term of office in the 1940 US Presidential Election, though said he would keep his name in the race at the Democratic National Convention. While still very popular and respected for his New Deal programs that helped alleviate the Great Depression, FDR was facing increasing opposition, including from the still disorganized Republicans and conservative Democrats like his former Vice-President, John Nance Garner. For a while he was willing to run again, mostly due to the rise of Nazi Germany, the Fall of France, and the Battle of Britain, and he was willing to run again if the Democratic Party "drafted" Roosevelt to serve for another term. But at the party convention, while Roosevelt still gained the second most votes, Garner received a slim majority and was named the Democratic candidate. William B. Bankhead was chosen for VP. Garner, a Texas conservative who was increasingly opposed to the liberal policies that FDR had pushed through Congress, was stuck between supporting the policies of Roosevelt that he personally opposed, or to publicly repudiate the popular New Deal, and possibly loose the massive coalition that Roosevelt had built up over two terms.

Basically Garner was stuck between a Roosevelt and a White House. Okay, so my attempt to change a popular saying didn't work. What do you expect?

The Republicans, on the other hand, had Wendell Willkie for Presidential candidate, with Thomas E. Dewey as Vice President. A businessman who had never run for office before, he was against government run businesses like the Tennessee Valley Authority, but supported other New Deal programs like Social Security, and was an advocate for military preparedness and sending "all aid short of war" to Great Britain to fight the Nazi's. While a Wall Street capitalist and a Republican, both of whom many people still saw as the main cause of the Great Depression, Willkie was an energetic and forceful campaigner, one who capitalized on the best aspects of the New Deal and strengthening the American homeland against any possible outside threat. When Garner made a slip at a campaign event that he was willing to scrap parts of the New Deal, the public shock was enough to have most of them through their support behind Willkie. Even FDR, in a private letter that remained unpublished until 1989, said that "I'd rather vote Republican than Garner now."

On election day, 52% of the vote went to Willkie and 338 electoral votes, having gained a large number of New Deal liberals when he said that he would expand some New Deal programs that the private sector couldn't manage. The House of Representatives and Senate were still Democrat as many congressional candidates continued to support the New Deal. Observer's mentioned that the 1940 US Presidential Election was the "New Deal Election," and it was clear that most Americans wanted the New Deal to continue.

Just, you know, up until the 1980s when Reagan came in...

President Willkie began a major overhaul of the New Deal in the first few months of office, working with the Democratic Congress. While programs like Social Security, Civilian Conservation Corps and the Securities and Exchange Commission where left in place, some like the TVA were spun off as independent corporations or wound down early. However, Willkie was soon confronted with Foreign policy issues, such as the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, the Blitz on England, the sinking of American ships by U-boats, and an increasingly belligerent Japan. Willkie did agree to a "Lend-Lease" program to Britain and China to send war materials to the beleaguered powers, but when the Nazi's invaded the USSR, he didn't extend the offer to Moscow. The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, brought the US into the war, and now Willkie was leading the US straight into World War Two.

While the US and the UK were allies, Wendell Willkie and Winston Churchill had a tense relationship, mostly due to Willkie's plan to focus on Japan first rather than the Nazi's, leaving the UK and the USSR to fight Nazi Germany alone. The plan faced major setbacks when Japan won victory after victory against the US, British and other European forces. After a draw at the Battle of Midway, the US's industrial potential began to weigh into the war, with more ships, planes, guns and tanks being sent and turn the tide of the war, with a leap-frog campaign of battles over the many Pacific Islands eventually leading to the bloody invasion of Japan itself, Operation Downfall, by January 1945. The bloody invasion finally lead to the capture of the Emperor, Prime Minister Togo and other high ranking Japanese officers, and the unconditional surrender of Japan. A long, brutal occupation of Japan that saw many of the major industries broken up, soldiers executed, and constant guerilla war, until a new Japanese Republic was established in 1954.

It's easy to rebuild when there is nothing left...

The calls by Joseph Stalin to open a second front in Europe was resisted by Willkie for years, and the British were confined to small raids, the battle in North Africa, and a struggling offensive in Italy. But the death of Adolf Hitler in an air raid in August 1945 as he and the Nazi hierarchy pulled out of Berlin and headed west was a signal of the end. While American troops were being sent to reinforce and prepare to invade France in 1946, Soviet forces broke through the collapsing Nazi Lines, and reached the Rhine River just as a hasty invasion by the few British and American troops finally landed at Normandy, to open arms by Nazi and French resistance alike.

In the post war world, with all of Germany occupied by the Soviets, and only France, the Low Countries, and Italy in the hands of the Allies, the Cold War began. The atomic bomb project, begun only in 1945 in the US when the war was nearly over (and after it was finally proven that the Nazi's and Japanese were both working on similar projects to convince a skeptical, business minded Willkie) was tested in 1949 in New Mexico, leading to the start of a new arms race between the US and USSR. China, on the other hand, was able to defeat Mao's Chinese Communists, and the Republic of China was established as a strong ally to the US, though the "Republic" thing isn't exactly a great monicker of what the one-party, nearly dictatorial China was like.

Because "bringing democracy" isn't easy in a country with 1.4 billion people.
On the home front, the Republican's, taking advantage of the repudiation of the New Deal by the increasingly conservative Democrats, became the party of the centre-left, a mildly progressive party that advocated for aiding the poor and unemployed, civil rights for African-Americans, Latino's and Native Americans, while supporting business and the economy with spending deficits when the economy falters. Big Business and the rich, seeing their taxes go up to pay for these new programs, flocked to the Democrats, who remained the party of the Deep South. However, this "New Deal" Coalition began to break down in the 1960s as the US was dragged into another costly occupation of Japan as Communists tried to take over the unstable, struggling republic. With the fall of the Republican party, the right wing, Jim Crow, big business Democrats retook the White House in the 1970s. By 1990, with the Soviet Union on the brink of collapse, the Chinese Republic going from strength to strength and Japan abandoned to Communism, the US was not in much better shape, with economic crisis sparked by the repeal of business and banking regulations that lead to a massive housing bubble and stock market crash in 1989, and increasingly polarized politics that saw the government being shut down over a conflict between Democrat Bill Clinton's refusal to support the Republican dominated Congress' budget that would see billions of dollars poured into the economy to support the faltering nation.


So I've decided to change this up a little bit, at least for the month of November while I do NaNoWriMo. Instead of a long, explained scenario, I'm just going to do some shorter, one shot ideas. I'm hoping they won't be too long, and mostly as something to keep me working on this while also writing a 50,000 word novel. Anyway, hope you enjoy!

But what do you think? What would happen if FDR never made it to Term 3? Or if you have a topic or idea you would like me to talk about, please leave comments below, email me at, or tell me on Twitter @tbguy1992.

Friday, October 30, 2015

AltHistory Scenario #14: What if George Washington Dies at Valley Forge?

I'm going to be trying to make these a bit shorter, mostly because I plan on participating in NaNoWriMo (if you don't know what it is, Google!), and that means I may not have a lot of time for the blog. I intend to keep working on it, but just a heads up.

And yeah, I know, it's late. Having a full time job, along with working on the family farm and helping the family can be tough to balance sometimes.

Yeah... this really isn't happening for me right now >_>

Anyway! Let's get going.

Point of Divergence

Not really going to bother with an explanation, because by now almost everyone ever should know who George Washington is, being the Father of America and all. So what if the First President of the United States died in January 1778 at the Continental Army camp of Valley Forge, say of disease or everyone's favorite early modern illness, Dysentery.

Though, to be fair, most of the paintings of him make it look like he is trying to hold it in...
Immediate Consequences

With the death of Washington, the cause begins to falter. More and more troops begin to mutiny, there is a conflict between several leaders like Horatio Gates, Nathanael Greene, and Benedict Arnold, who both sought to replace Washington as Commander-in-Chief, the Continental Congress became more and more divided and prone to debate and bickering, especially as news of more and more defeats came in. Gates' tenure as C-in-C resulted in defeat after defeat trying to stand up to British troops, and less than a year after being appointed, he was replaced by Greene, who advocated for more "Fabian tactics," which, while more successful in dividing the British and inflicting minor victories, seemed to only be delaying the war without any hope for a full scale victory. The French, though they had just signed an alliance with Thomas Jefferson to support the cause of American independence, are now more reluctant to actually intervene into the war, and instead only supply limited weapons and supplies.

By 1780, the British had used the faltering of the Patriot's cause to their advantage. Benedict Arnold, passed over for promotion as in OTL, once again betray's the Americans, though instead of turning over a fort he himself just slips across the lines and joins the British. This blow pretty much doomed the rebel cause, and by 1782, after a last ditch offensive at Saratoga, The Continental Congress officially surrendered. Nathanael Greene, however, retreats to the South with several hundred supporters and continues a guerrilla war for years, and required British troops to be stationed in the South until 1789, a year after Greene died.

Nathanael Greene, one of those early Americans with names that no one 240 years later can get right.

With the American Uprising over, the British Parliament put together a "carrot and stick" policy to bring the colonies in line. The taxes that lead to the revolt are reduced, but the main leaders of the revolt are arrested and put on trial in England, with many of them either imprisoned, executed, or exiled from America. However, over the years new taxes would be proposed for the colonies, especially when war broke out in Europe again, with the rise of a Corsican soldier...

Before anyone says anything: Yes, I still think Napoleon, or some other soldier, would rise to power even without a successful American Revolution. The Kingdom of France had a lot more problems than just going into debt aiding some revolutionaries across the ocean. Famine, political corruption and incompetence would still be there, so it will just be something different than calling the Estates General that will set in motion the French Revolution.

Say this one started over the right to wear white pants.
Later Consequences

Mostly during this ATL's Napoleonic Wars, say... 1812, a new revolt against the British would break out, especially when taxes are raised to pay for the very expensive war. This time, with British attention divided, early victories could lead to London deciding to go for a more diplomatic route, and offer some form of limited government to different colonies. I'd say this would be like an early dominion on the lines of Canada, just without forcing every colony into one government. However, the British would maintain control over foreign affairs, including those with the Native Americans. While settlers would want to push west, the British are reluctant to anger the Natives, so eventually an Indian Confederacy would be established, mostly around the Great Lakes (OTL Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ontario, as the later would still be sparsely inhabited since there was no Loyalist migration from the 13 Colonies north to Ontario. Quebec and Newfoundland, along with other colonies would also get a psuedo-dominion status, and by the mid 1800s,

And then... what's that? Ummmm... Oh. Yeah. This is starting to turn into my What if the American Revolution Never Happened scenario, isn't it? A slightly smaller British Empire with North America under the grip in a series of balkanized American states. So I'll just stop here. Because I'm going to be going over the same things most likely, so I'm not going to waste time going on about it again...

Yeah, just admit that you didn't read all of that either.

There are very few historians, and just as few alternate historians, who will publicly state that they support the "Great Man" Theory of history.

However, in like almost everything I do, I have a nuanced view. I believe that every event in history was not the result of one person deciding to do something. Some things, like the Fall of the Roman Empire, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, and many, many others have multiple causes and reasons. However, there are cases where one person did make a difference. While there is the debate that if Hitler never existed, there wouldn't be a World War 2, I believe that if Hitler never was born or never came to power, another "great man" would have lead Germany, and WWII would have been very different. Heck, maybe another dictator would have been willing to have just reformed Germany, build up the military, and leave it there. Maybe a democrat would have been able to lead the masses to make a more forgiving, more balanced, less racist Germany. (Hitler was not a literal great man, but for the sake of this argument...). So I partially believe the Great Man theory, but I don't fully believe it.

"You mean to tell me that I'm wrong and my opinion is worthless? Well then. Thanks for that insight."

To me, George Washington was one of those Great Men. He was asked to lead the ill-equipped, ill-trained, ill-fed troops of a rebellion that was always on the verge of being destroyed or fall apart, and led them from defeat to victory, victory to defeat. When he finally lead the armies to victory, he was named the nation's first President, and set many of the standards still adhered to today. Washington always presented a calm, stoic appearance that would serve him well as both a general and a politician. If he wasn't there, if someone else less capable or less respected filled those roles, the United States of America as we know it today would never have existed.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

AltHistory Scenario #13: What if Nazi Germany Didn't Attack the USSR?

Well, about time I did this. An alternate history focused on something that happened in World War Two! You'd have thought I would have done this already. Then again, I was going to try to do theme months, but that will be later.

Besides, who doesn't love a scenario set in one of the longest, bloodiest and most widespread wars in history? So let's focus on two of the biggest powers involved, the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler and the Worker's Paradise that was the Soviet Union.
Who knew the gulags and Five Year Plans could be so much fun?

Big thanks to Joe Biscotti on Facebook for suggesting this idea!

Point of Divergence

About the only way I can prevent Germany from launching an attack on the USSR is to remove Hitler, as he was the one person, despite the advice of his generals, who ordered preparations made for Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the USSR. So we just have to kill Hitler sometime between the end of the Battle of Britain in October 1940 and the start of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941. So... I dunno. Let's just say sometime in January 1941 Hitler is in a car crash. Or a time traveler showed up and erased him from history. Really, anything could work. I'm not that picky right now, as Hitler isn't the main point of the scenario.

Immediate Consequences

Hitler is removed from the scene, and a power struggle emerges in the Nazi high command between the usual gang; Herman Goering, Joseph Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, maybe a cabal of generals. At this point in time I would think that Goering would have the best chance of becoming the Fuhrer, though I think something like a triumvirate, with Goering the public face, Goebbels the guy in charge of day-to-day stuff, and Himmler the muscle to make sure they all stay in power. It isn't perfect, and eventually issues would arise, but for now we will leave it here.

Just dealing with two parties is usually a problem... huh America?

This would turn out to be good and bad for Nazi Germany. First of all, and perhaps one of the biggest changes, with Hitler out of the way, the Generals would have more free reign to fight any future battles as they see fit. But that's one of the few positives. Germany was still fighting the United Kingdom, and Winston Churchill would not be interested in making peace, despite the removal of Hitler. Goering might be pushing for more resources for the Luftwaffe to try to start the Second Battle of Britain, while Rommel would be demanding more resources to fight in North Africa (German troops would still be sent in February 1941), and Italy would still be trying to show off (and fail hopelessly, as per OTL), meaning even more stuff the Nazi's would have to do. Infighting that Hitler had not only tolerated but pushed for in a demented Social-Darwinist theory would only be worse with three major figures leading Germany at once. Under Hitler there were four major branches of the military that didn't cooperate, four economic departments, two intelligence services that never worked together, two high commands that were in charge of conflicting battlefields, and five atomic bomb projects. Now, imagine in Goering managed to get a few more things for the Luftwaffe, Himmler added a few more responsibilities to the SS, and Goebbels just started a few other things... the mess Nazi Germany could have been in would be even greater.

So, what about the USSR? Well they might be in a bit better shape, but not by much. After all, noted all around terrible person Joseph Stalin is still in the big office in the Kremlin. And while he knew the Soviet war machine was in terrible shape after killing off most of the capable officers of the military and the humiliating fight against little Finland (though he would never admit to being the cause of it), Stalin would see the disorganization of Nazi Germany, which he still had a non-aggression pact signed with (It wasn't an alliance, it was just a deal not to attack each other), which would give him a lot more breathing room to build up his military: more T-34 tanks, more bombers, more fighters. Maybe send a few thousand more dissidents to Siberia. But by early 1942 Stalin might be in a much stronger position that Nazi Germany, dealing with those stubborn Brits. And if Hitler could break a non-aggression pact, why can't Stalin?

"Now all of you... go die already."
So in May 1942, instead of German tanks heading east a year before, Soviet tanks are heading west, attacking Germany when at it's weakest.

The Soviet-Nazi War

The Soviets will have immediate successes, mostly because Germany had vastly divided forces over an entire continent: troops in Western Europe to suppress the French and defend from England, forces in North Africa to try to take Egypt and whatever other forest fires Italy started in the Balkans. However, German troops manage a fighting retreat, and by the time the Soviets reach Warsaw, they are already dealing with stretched supply lines and stiffening German resistance. A brief halt is ordered, but soon Soviet troops are reaching the pre-Poland Invasion wars of Germany, and panic sets in. 

As it turns out, being invaded by a foreign nation makes former enemies work together, and Nazi Germany is no exception. Churchill, delighted to see two former allies now fighting each other, is now willing to sign a ceasefire with Nazi Germany, if just so that they could destroy each other. The difficulties of the Triumvirate are set aside for now, and the process of defeating the USSR comes to a head. Organizations are streamlined, the General Staff given their orders, and the economy goes into Total War mode. 

C'mon, I easily defeated the Gauls. I can take on Russia!
But it would take time for Germany to recover from the blow, especially as Russian troops drive through Romania and Hungary, cutting Germany off from it's major oil supply. Attempts at bombing Russian supply centers are hampered by the lack of long range Luftwaffe bombers and fighters that can reach the factories that turn out those tanks. And it's not like Germany can pull out all the troops from Western Europe and North Africa to fight at home, in case those English bastards start the war again.

By the fall of 1942, any further Soviet progress has been stalled, and now Germany is on limited counter-offensive mode. Soviet forces tenaciously defend the lines they established, but are slowly pushed back with high casualties. A new Soviet attack in the January 1943, this time headed straight for Berlin, smashes through the German lines. However, Germany is more prepared now, and manages to halt the offensive 50 miles from the German capital. A pincer movement designed by recalled General Rommel (I didn't say the generals had to stay where they were, they could still be moved around) inflicts a crushing defeat on the Soviet Army there, capturing hundreds of thousands of Soviet prisoners. However, the war continues as Nazi troops push east, and Soviet troops try to push west, neither side strong enough to force the other to give up. A sneak attack on Vladivostok by Japanese troops puts Russia on a two front war, but the cold and Russian tenacity prevent the Japanese from making huge gains. (They won't attack the US, at least not yet, as it wouldn't be likely that Germany would be able to distract American attention in this TL).

Just give them cheap hamburgers and a bunch of flags. They won't care anymore!

By 1944 or 1945, Nazi Germany would be nearly at the end of their resources, even after pushing the Soviet Union out of their former territory and into Ukraine would mean that German manpower would be nearly at the breaking point. Russia would be in a better position economically, but with the quick attack Stalin wanted to knock out the Nazi's failing, several generals, among them General Zhukov , praised as a Hero of the People just months before, would be getting a bit agitated that a war was started against a nation with the better army. When word reaches the NKVD of the possible public enemy and an attempt to capture Zhukov is defeated by troops loyal to the General, a full blown resistance movement against Stalin takes place. A quick armored dash by Zhukov to Moscow from the front line (made possible when Zhukov negotiates a secret ceasefire with Rommel) and a bloody fight to secure the Kremlin ensue. Stalin, surprised at the speed of Zhukov's rebellion, is captured before he can flee, but is shot while being lead to captivity by a soldier furious at having his family taken away for no reason. Zhukov has himself declared Acting Premier of the Soviet Union, and asks for peace with Nazi Germany, which the exhausted Nazi's accept.

Later Consequences

Nazi Germany's economy is in shambles, the USSR is struggling to reform and come to terms with the Stalin era (and the loss of the Ukraine, Baltic States, their chunk of Poland and Belorussia as German puppet states), Britain is unbowed and slowly returns to it's traditional pastime of Empire Administration, Japan gets a few chunks of land in Siberia and a puppet state in China to boss around, and the US remains out of the war blissfully unaware (or not interested) in what just happened. While Japan would eventually attack the US in the Philippines and Pearl Harbor in the late 1950s, inflicting a huge defeat that snapped American out of it's isolation, that's still a decade in the future. Atomic weapons are eventually discovered, but a landmark deal in 1962 (signed in Cuba, of all places) officially bans their use in war.

...FFS North Korea! You still would try to get them, wouldn't you?
The Nazi Triumvirate finally collapses in 1947 with the death of Goering (officially as a heart attack, in reality a morphine overdose), and soon Himmler and Goebbels struggle to find who will take over sole control. However, the SS eventually is the trump card, and Goebbels is forced out of office, and into exile in the United Kingdom. The Third Reich becomes a strange hybrid of police state, military-industrial complex and neo-pagan ritualists. The Jews, after unofficial pogroms and hatred during and after the Soviet Invasion, are all sent out of Germany, many settling in Libya, Somalia, Madagascar and other African territories of the British and Italians, who are able to keep their land mostly because no one else wanted it.

A five way power struggle comes to a head in the 1970s: The US, UK and USSR (which has finally begun to reform into a something like modern China) versus Nazi Germany and Japan. The Third World War quickly spirals out of control, with Nazi Germany and Japan both launching surprise attacks on the USSR, which brings the US and UK into the war. One atomic bomb launched by Germany on Leningrad shocks the world, and soon nuclear weapons becomes part of this war, though usually only on a tactical level. By 1975, after four years of war, Nazi Europe is invaded on the west and east, and Berlin captured by a very pissed off Russia. Japan would be a tougher nut to crack, with the resources of China at their disposal. By 1977, with Russian forces pushing through China and the US and UK hop-scotching their way across the Pacific and finally landing on the Home Islands, Japan sues for peace. Tens of millions of soldiers and civilians had died, including many in the Western US by a Japanese biological weapon, and the rebuilding of the world would take a long time...

Did anyone bring a shovel? A broom? A Roomba?

Once again, I let the USSR get off lightly by overthrowing Stalin. Man, I seem to do that a lot. I guess I just really don't like him. Can you blame me?

But the big thing I want to point out is that in the 1940s, having only just captured most of Europe and with a very inefficient economy and political system, and the micro-manager that was Adolf Hitler screwing things up, Germany just wasn't in a position to deal with both the UK and the USSR at the same time. Nazi Germany could have dealt with England alone had they had a plan, and they might have been able to stand toe-to-toe with the USSR for a long period of time, However, I think World War Two, and Total War as a theory in general, also shows something else: the nation that was attacked, if they could withstand the air, land and sea attacks that drag them in (the Battle of Britain for the UK, Barbarossa for the USSR, and Pearl Harbor for the US), would be fully unified to engage the enemy. The nation that launched the attack, if not able to mount a quick defeat like the Battle of France, Poland, or the Low Countries and Norway, will be dragged into a war of attrition that they cannot win.

So, I think that if Nazi Germany, due to some reason wasn't able to attack the USSR, and instead the USSR attacked it, I think you would see a reverse Eastern Front: Germany recovering from a surprise attack and pushing east in a bloody slog. But that can only happen if Germany only has to deal with the USSR, and not the UK, and especially not the USA as well.

....damnit, shouldn't have said that...

Friday, October 23, 2015

Flash AH Scenarios #1

Experimenting time again!

I want to try something a bit different today. Instead of one really long article on one Alternate History, I'll just write a couple shorter AH scenarios in one post. Because, well, TL;DR is a thing, as much as I don't like it.  I decided to take a few suggestions from Facebook, but if you have any ideas, leave comments on here, Facebook, Twitter or send me an email.

Anyway, here we go!

What if Alaska Remains Russian?

From Matt "Mitro" Mitrovich, the author of the Alternate History Weekly Update, comes this idea. And as you know, I'm a sucker for Russian Alternate Histories...

So, POD: William Seward is unable to purchase Alaska (Alyeska) from the Russian Empire due to opposition in Congress to "Seward's Icebox," so the huge landmass remains part of Czar Alexander II's lands, despite the fears that the British would seize it in any future war. For the next few decades, little changes except some minor colonization efforts to establish trading posts, until gold is discovered in the 1890s. Fearing an influx of Americans and British Canadians to tear away this suddenly very valuable colony, the Czar heavily restricts access to Alyeska, only allowing Russian subjects to prospect for gold. A few Americans and Canadians would still make the trek, but the hostile reception, brutal weather, native attacks, and discovery of gold in nearby Yukon make Alyeska less attractive. Raids by Japanese ships in the Russo-Japanese War is a rude wake up call to the very rich colony, and revolts against Nicholas II require armed troops to put down. In World War One, Alyeska provides troops to the Russian cause, and while the regiments from Alyeska are highly respected, they are unable to majorly turn the tide of the war.

With the Russian Revolutions, Alyeska is divided between Whites and Reds, and the British, using Canadian troops, temporarily occupy New Archangel (OTL Sitka) and Alyeskagrad (OTL Anchorage), before war weariness force them out. Eventually the Communists come to power in Russia and in Alyeska, which is upgraded to become a full fledged Soviet Socialist Republic. Stalin's brutal industrialization hit Alyeska hard due to the demands of raw materials and gold to pay from foreign supplies unavailable in the USSR, as did the need to station troops in Alyeska to combat possible American and British aggression. In World War II, Alyeska was a major stopping point for American and Canadian ships providing Lend-Lease to the USSR, and Alyeska provided troops to fight on the Eastern Front.

After the war, Alyeska became a major battle ground of the Cold War. With a stepping stone straight into North America and the United States, Alyeska became a major military outpost, with bombers, tanks, and tens of thousands of infantry ready to sweep into Yukon and British Columbia in an instant. The Alyeskan Missile Crisis nearly lead to nuclear war in 1962, but negotiations managed to resolve the issue by the removal of nuclear missiles from Alyeska. The discovery of oil gave a huge boost to the faltering Soviet Economy of the 1970s and 1980s, and once again made Alyeska the most valuable Russian territory. However, it wasn't enough to prevent the collapse of the USSR, and in 1991, Alyeska went independent, establishing a capitalist society and building very close ties to a relieved US. While not a fully democratic nation due to the long Russian and Soviet legacy, Alyeska is one of wealthiest of the former Russian states, and secrets are still emerging, such as the covered up sinking of a Soviet Oil Tanker in 1989 that caused huge amounts of damage to the coast and shore line.

What if Cortés Failed to Conquer the Aztecs?

Well just take these people up to this tower... and kill them so
the sun will still rise tomorrow. Got it? 
Esarhaddon Asshur on Facebook asked what would happen if Hernán Cortés' attempts to gain indigenous allies to overthrow the Aztecs failed. Well, here's the answer.

With the death of Cortés and his men, mostly due to his lack of desire to make any sort of alliance with the natives, even those oppressed by the Aztecs themselves, the Governor of Cuba refused to allow any more expeditions to the mainland, seeing it as a waste of time. Smallpox then swept through the Aztec Empire and the rest of the Americas, killing almost 90% of the native population, by the time that the Spanish tried to invade Mexico again, the Aztecs had begun to adapt, mostly thanks to the capture of several Spanish soldiers who were not sacrificed, but instead allowed to spread European technology and ideas among the Aztecs. By 1600, with the worst of the Smallpox over, the Aztecs had begun to modernize their empire. In one last reform, the aging emperor of the Aztecs allowed himself to be sacrificed to the Gods, the last human sacrifice allowed by the Empire. From then on, non-human sacrifice was conducted, the blood debt considered repaid.

When the Spanish tried to invade Mexico again, they came up against a people who, while speaking a different language and with a different culture, had weapons similar to the Spanish, and new tactics that lead to yet another bloody defeat. After this, the Spanish would simply try to trade with the growing and expanding Aztec Empire, which was pushing north to the OLT Rio Grande River, and south to Panama. An uneasy peace would exist for years, and it was only in the 1670s that another major war broke out, this time with the Aztecs allied with the British against the long time enemies in Iberia.

The Aztecs would continue to go from strength to strength, but by the 1720s, the Aztec Empire was crumbling. Vast distances with few roads and communications, the depletion of gold mines that was used to pay for European technology, and the resentment of dozens of tribes, and a constant schism over the end of human sacrifice eventually lead to a brutal civil war. The Spanish once again tried to sway the outcome, but eventually the entire Empire fractured into quarreling states, with a few European outposts on the coasts. It wouldn't be until the 1800s that a unification movement, inspired by the American and French Revolutions would take place. While this unified Mexico as a mostly democratic nation, Mexico's economy and politics would continue to be unstable. Today Mexico is a popular tourist destination, but the ongoing American occupation of Northern Mexico in response to terrorist attacks on Texas and California in the 1980s is a source of unrest and anger that is just threatening to burst open.

What if King Henry VII of England Sponsors Christopher Columbus?

The smirk of a man that found, colonized, and killed most of
America... makes you want to punch him, no?
The last scenario I'm going to write about today is from Andy Dowless, once again on Facebook, about a slightly different colonization of the New World.

Arriving in OTL Nova Scotia in 1492, Columbus believes at first that he found China or India, but the cold weather, suspicious natives, and lack of any kind of cities (and gold, as the natives had no gold jewellery) quickly changes his tune. However, he realizes that it would be a great land to settle, due to the abundant fish, trees, and arable land. He spends a couple of weeks mapping the coast line, before finding a massive harbor, which he names Henrytown (OTL Halifax).

With this news, he hurries back to England in the spring of 1493 with some samples of trees, lots of cod and a few natives (all but three dying on route), and tells the court of King Henry VII of an unspoiled land, great fishing, massive trees, and a few inhabitants that know nothing of Christianity. He's certain he has found a new land, and sought to establish a colony at the harbour he found. King Henry VII at first isn't impressed, but with Columbus' constant lobbying, eventually the exasperated King agrees, sending Columbus back to this Terra Nova to settle in the name of "God, the King, and England."

The colonization of Terra Nova is very slow, even as native tribes are wiped out by smallpox (everyone's favourite contagious disease) which leaves even larger areas to colonize. The Spanish and French, hearing of this new land, but not of any gold or riches, pretty much ignore the discovery, and continue their European wars. Columbus settles down as the governor of his new Colony, slowly expanding outward, exploring the coastline, and eventually finding Newfoundland, OTL Montreal, and south to Long Island and OTL New York City. Only the lack of colonists prevent Columbus from establishing more colonies, much to his disappointment. Columbus died in 1506 in Henrytown, a respected governor of the Colony named Canada, the explorer who found a new land (though, yes, the Vikings found it before...). While the entire Atlantic coastline of OTL North and South America was mapped by 1550, colonization in Central and Southern America was a lot slower than up north, mostly restricted to trading. This allowed groups like the Aztecs and Inca to gain more advanced technology like swords, armor, horses, and even small ships, as well as the ever present Smallpox, spurring a huge cultural, economic, and political revolution the totally changed how Mesoamerican nations interacted.

Over 150 years of lacklustre colonization in North America then takes place, with a couple boatloads of adventurers, the poor, and religious refuges coming every few years. All this changes in the 1650s. The English Civil War breaks out, and soon hundreds of people are seeking to flee England, wishing to find a place free from war. The stories of wealth and gold in Aztec and Inca territory finally encourage the Spanish, French, Portuguese, Swedish and Dutch to try to colonize their chunk of Terra Nova, but most of the hastily assembled invasions and arrogant colonists are destroyed by the equally advanced Natives, allied with England. The native tribes in Northern Terra Nova also begin to adapt, and soon all of Terra Nova in a huge collection of independent tribes and empires, with a few European colonies which are eclipsed in size, wealth and population by Canada, stretching from the capital of Henryton as far south as OTL Virginia, east to the Great Lakes, and north to Labrador.

In other words...
Sorry about that.