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Alternate History Thread IV: The Sequel

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Dachs, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. alex994

    alex994 Hail Divine Emperor!

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    Oh god, you use the pathetic wades-giles format forChinese names :rolleyes: From the way that sounds, that's a rather old and Western history book about the Three Kingdoms period of China. What is Wu Shu? There was the state of Eastern Wu, and Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. Neither of them had anyone called "Hou Chou" as their ruler because:
    1. The family name of Shu Han was Liu while the family name of Wu was Sun so Hou can't possibly be the surname.
    2. Hou Chou isn't a reign name for any of the Eastern Wu or Shu Han rulers.

    And that is why, instead of using an antiquated Western source for CHINESE history, please bother to check your old information...

    Anything that uses "Minor Han" for Shu Han has serious problems.

    The effectiveness of the primitive gunpowder weapons that Shu Han would be capable of producing would not be equal to the effectiveness of the repeating crossbows already in use. And really, cannons already? :rolleyes:

    Really, do you rather like insulting China and all Chinese people with your blatant eurocentric attitude and casual condescending nature towards the most ancient civilization in the world? Just casually dismissing Chinese recorded history in favor of a history written by an outsider who isn't even able to get names right?
     
  2. Thorgrimm

    Thorgrimm Senior Elder

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    How in the heck did I turn earth into a double planet? Are you even reading the same timeline? And unless you are a quitter, nothing is beyond repair, just some things need more than others. :)

    CONSTRUCTIVE criticism is something completely different from what you have posted. From the beginning you, my friend, have done nothing but non-constructive criticism. I have said before if you have criticisms present them with helpful suggestions.

    When ThomAnder made a suggestion without an attack I responded in kind and acknowledged his suggestion. If you had taken that tact from the beginning there would be no problem.

    And brother if you think this is fantasy you have not seen any fantasy then. ;)

    All i have heard from you is your opinion. I have not seen any datum that would suggest it is beyond the realm of the possible. Hell it is just as fantastical as any Confederate victory over the Union or Mexico winning the Mexican-American war. Yet I read Confed scenarios all the time. And have seen at least three Mexican victories.

    What you seem to forget is ALL AltHist is fantasy.

    As for posting here, who died and made you god? I will post whenever and wherever I darn well choose. If you present your criticisms in a rational manner with suggestions on changes, even including whole entries, I will be as polite as can be. Continue your non-constructive attacks and I will respond in kind.

    And whether or not you hold a grudge, I do not. A waste of energy. So if you post in a rational manner we can get along just fine. :)




    Cheers, Thorgrimm
     
  3. bombshoo

    bombshoo Never mind...

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    There is plenty of very good NESes where point A doesn't logically lead to point B. (Even if you think it does, I'm not going to debate that as my history espeically of these eras and espeically of China is fairly weak), but if you think you have a good idea, just come up with a rule set and go with it. You'll probably get a few players and atleast no one is going at each other's throats then....

    Alex, Maybe you could atleast point our friend in the right direction and post him some better sources instead of just calling him ignorant. I highly doubt he is trying to insult China or Chinese people.
     
  4. Thorgrimm

    Thorgrimm Senior Elder

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    This is the listing I had for the Shu Han.

    Chao Lieh
    also know as Liu Pei AD 221-222

    Hou Chou AD 222-265

    And yes I admit it is probably wrong, but to be as insulting as you have been only calls for hostility on my part. Is the following name more correct? Liu Shan.

    Show me where I said the Chinese had cannons. in fact I said it was 26 years before Chinese pilas were developed.

    This time I highlighted the part where it says what it is. :rolleyes:

    Are you really that foolish or are you just trying to troll? Intimating I tried to insult the Chinese intentionally.

    Now who is the one doing the insulting? You are insulting all peoples of the mid-east with your lie. Sumer was and is the oldest civilization in the world.

    Now that we have traded barbs, you care to say something constructive or shall we continue the dance?

    This is part of the history I used to formulate this section. I changed the names to bring them inline with their modern versions.

    From what I can see it was the Shu Han who were doing the attacking and Cao Wei was doing the defending. So if Gunpowder filled jars are used to blow down the walls by the catapults during the critical years of the 250's AD I can see the possibility of how they could affect the outcome of that war by making the city sieges much easier to resolve. And I probably should change the name of the person sending the envoy to the chancellor Zhuge Liang.

    I honestly would like some feedback on that idea.



    Cheers, Thorgrimm
     
  5. Thorgrimm

    Thorgrimm Senior Elder

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    Someone asked why would the Romans would want to hold a forest? No profit in it. I based that part on the article I saw here:

    The Roman city foundation of Waldgrimes

    So as per the most modern archeology the Romans did try to set up at least one city to begin the economic building of a new Roman province. I really have tried to stay within the realm of the possible, and I really do mean it when I say any constructive criticism is welcomed. :)



    Cheers, Thorgrimm
     
  6. alex994

    alex994 Hail Divine Emperor!

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    Perhaps I should have been more specific, China is the most long lasting civilization in the world. There are no more Sumerians, but there are around 1.6 billion of us Chinese to defend ourselves :p While I do apologize for my rather blatant hostility, you really shouldn't expect anything else but that after your rather odd assumptions that Rome would be able magically create gunpowder out of nowhere. I will also say that your "alternate history" seems to be nothing more but a front for you to have Rome last and as such you shouldn't expect any kind words from me. ;)

    Please, excuse me when I say catapults flinging gunpowder filled jars would be rather useless against the Chinese fortifications in use at the time. Throwing rocks at the walls would be more effective than gunpowder filled jars since there are after all problems of having the gunpowder blow up at the precise moment and even then there is the matter of having a sufficient quantity and quality of gunpowder to produce a large enough explosion. Also, there is the matter of production and whether or not Shu Han would be able to garner enough of the raw materials to produce a large enough gunpowder for such a wide scale use. In addition, espionage has been around for quite a while and I am sure that in the extremely unlikely scenario that Rome discovered gunpowder first and gave all of her secrets as well as their magical ability to produce viable "guns" to Shu Han, the Wei and Wu would have caught wind of it and would have thrown their effort towards procuring it.

    In your scenario Rome might have lasted forever with your blessings, but I doubt the rest of the world would remain stagnant and unchanging aka Han would have ceased to exist centuries before.
     
  7. ~Darkening~

    ~Darkening~ Weep, Mother.

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    Wow......did someone just claim to know more about China than alex? I'm honestly shocked.
     
  8. alex994

    alex994 Hail Divine Emperor!

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    Lots of people do, I'm just one of the more vocal :p
     
  9. silver 2039

    silver 2039 Deity

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    Well I'm speechless...
     
  10. Thorgrimm

    Thorgrimm Senior Elder

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    Nope, never claimed it at all. please read the relevant post.

    Actually Egypt is the longest lasting civilization. They were around before China and are still here to. ;)

    One question, how were the fortifications built? What types of walls were used and what was the normal thickness of the walls? You are probably right about the detonation coordination. But they would be useful as a type of mortar flinging the jars into the cities themselves to explode. In fact that would be a more effective tactic than using them against the walls. Thanks for the tip. :)

    Where were the sulfur, coal and nitrate deposits located? With that determination I can change what is needed to reflect who actually had those resources available.

    As for espionage I had planned for it to leak out through the three kingdoms war. Thats why I initiated the contact. And since you don't have the whole thing you wrongly assume China goes down fast. They do not. The threat and contact with Rome causes China to unify much faster and drop the idiotic 'barbarian' nonsense part of their attitude towards non Chinese and allows them to keep up with Rome tech wise.

    Terra was not unified till 2753 A.U.C. To make the assumption that barbarians could sneak into a Roman armory is quite funny actually. So the only real time to have the secret leak out is when the Chinese, whatever state it may be, has full and formal contact with the Romans.

    I do not know what you folks are fixating on these 'viable' guns for. They were no more than bronze tubes strapped to a woodstock and had a range of no more than 50 yards. hardly 'viable' IMO. They were used in the beginning for their shock value. One volley is fired, they are dropped and the Gladius is pulled. And only the legios themselves recieved fulminata and the Auxilias did not. It was not till almost 200 years after its discovery before a viable musket was developed and forced a change in tactics using the Tericus Quincux.

    Then give me a suggestion for another state that would initiate contact in that time period with Rome? Wu or Wei?

    And please answer my question about the name, did I have it right this time? Liu Shan, I want to make sure my information is up to date this time.



    Cheers, Thorgrimm
     
  11. flyingchicken

    flyingchicken Deity

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    Spoiler another althist :

    4000 BC - Man, instead of developing agriculture, develops gunpowder and gunsmithing.
    1000 BC - The hunter-gatherer gunmen begin settling in various locations and form states similar to OTL.
    1 AD to 33 AD - Jesus "Shootin'-Tootin'" Christ is born, forms a cult of personality around him, and leads a rebellion against Augustus "Bang Bang Bang" Caesar but is crucified
    500 AD - The Dark Ages begin, and new developments in firepower technology become widespread (bigger, more efficient guns and bombs)
    600 AD - Dirt roads are invented, making states larger than Luxembourg to be held together
    1000 AD - The Age of Kings; many tiny states dot the globe
    1300 AD - The Age of Plague; Europe's population is at an all-time low, not reaching 100,000 people because of the bubonic plague AND constant bombing and shooting
    1500 AD - The Age of Rebirth; Jesus "Shootin'-Tootin'" Christ is thought to have been reborn, unifies the Jews
    1510 AD - The Jews, after their secret background puppeteering of the world, initiate a world revolution
    1511 AD - Due to massive limitations in communications (paved roads have not been invented yet), the "world coup" fails and is abandoned. Jesus "Shootin'-Tootin'" Christ II becomes a Buddhist hermit and Jewish morale is badly hurt.
    1600 AD - Wood-paved roads are invented. A pretty bad invention, actually, considering that the roads degenerate into smelly dirt paths after the wood rots. This was actually a big backwards step in world communications technology and states are splintered even more.
    1700 AD - Bigger, stronger bombs and guns are developed, more and more bloody warfare. World population never greater than a million people because of war and disease.
    1900 AD - The world population drops after the spread of smallpox. World population not even reaching half a million.
    1939 AD - Adolf "Gunner" Hitler of Northwest Austria and his Nazi lackeys mass-produce armor by hand and invade Western Europe
    1940 AD - Without coordination of any kind, or even a decent production base beyond a few tank craftsmen, the Nazis were crushed and Northwest Austria was partitioned between West Austria, Eastern Vichy France, Central Austria, Southwest Prussia, Northern Vichy France, and West Switzerland
    1942 AD - Northwestern Austria revolts and is a sovereign state again
    2001 AD - Muslims ally themselves against the American States, bombing a random pair of 2-story masonry buildings
    2007 AD - Stone-paved roads are invented. A bloodier, but more prosperous future of mankind is predicted by those who care.
    My assumptions on the effect of communications technology migh be too innacurate or over-exaggerated. Please give constructive criticism as to how I could improve this althist, barring a demand for an explanation as to why man developed guns in 4000 BC.

    Don't kill me.
     
  12. Thorgrimm

    Thorgrimm Senior Elder

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    After doing some digging I found this interesting tidbit on Chinese fortifications.

    Packed earth walls. Not as advanced as I had thought. And since this was a major fort of Wei it cannot be waved off as an anomaly. So I think a fulminata bombardment inside the forts and against the walls would be effective.

    Alex, thanks for letting me know my knowledge base was out of date. :D This information I am digging up is great. :goodjob:



    Cheers, Thorgrimm
     
  13. Thorgrimm

    Thorgrimm Senior Elder

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    Lol, nah thats quite funny actually. :lol: Gotta try harder next time. ;)



    Cheers, Thorgrimm
     
  14. Disenfrancised

    Disenfrancised Beep Beep

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    @Dachs: Yes but he is having the massive expansions before that third century crisis ;). And I seem to disagree with you on how much was solved then (I would use 'a lot', you use 'most' ;)).

    Those mountains and hellish deserts are quite large you know.
    Buhahahhaha. a) the Han had almost no influence in india and b) you talk about conquering the Gupta as if they weren't a state with a greater population than rome (and more concentrated to boot), an advance war machine with great seige craft and a steel bow technology that could easily move to counter any reasonable roman 'pila' technology that could be developed in the short timespan by secret researchers. Plus why do the Romans want india - they have quite enough to bring under control already.

    This is what NK was talking about with 'double planet' with earth having such a large partner. Do you realise what vast and innumerbable effects this would have on the billion year history of this planet? For starters Earth would most likely be tidally locked to Dagger, and have all the continents clustered at the sub-Dagger point.

    Hint: those were fantasy, as is yours - when you went asking for critism we assumed you wanted your one to be more realistic.

    The mountain routes to Burma are pretty difficult too, and jungle and disease soaked as well - not suitable for major goods transport until major developments had occured, and not route a state could project power (which is your 'reason' for them wanting to contact the magic Romans). Any southern chinese influence in india is going to be minor, and not in the form of armed interventions, so you can just ignore them altogether if you want...


    Trying != Success you know - maybe the reason its not mentioned elsewhere is its abysmal failure?
     
  15. Disenfrancised

    Disenfrancised Beep Beep

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    Why are you ignoring the indian states? Who were at least as technologically advanced as the chinese and non-magic romans. This is even worse than your misapprehensions about china.

    And your saying in the entire sweep of this history, an armoury is never overrun, a traitor never sells the secret, an legionary never drops his gun (a clever german could pick it up and go - 'oh a metal tube filled with magic powder! I should get me one of these') or is captured and tortured?


    Comparing to greek fire is fallacious due to the differing deployment of the technologies, and you can't have it both ways - keeping it super secret = stagnation and slow development, spreading means your enemies will get hold of it.
     
  16. flyingchicken

    flyingchicken Deity

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    How do you exactly define a "civilization"?
     
  17. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    IIRC the time of the Roman Empire was the only time in history that the Mediterranean world actually outnumbered China in terms of population, with the accompanying greater wealth. As soon as you kids get reunited by the Tang, though, you outnumber the Mediterranean world easily.
    Yes, of course, that almost goes without saying. What seems to be the main complaint here is the disturbingly large number of butterflies involving extremely rapid technological progress in one country, combined with the virtually uncontrolled and unchecked expansion of said country into regions that would be at best difficult to take over. Besides, most of these timelines were developed with the intention to use them as settings for NESes, and it's difficult at best to do that when there is one country that has achieved hegemony. Besides, hegemony is unhistorical (I know that's not a legitimate complaint, but I feel like making it).
    The Confederacy winning the ACW is within the realm of possibility (for an entirely different take on things, see the althist I've posted before, which at the beginning of this thread is in medias res :D) and requires but one change at a certain point, of which there are several to choose. Even with the Confederacy's survival, though, a lot of people who frequent this thread complain. Too, Mexican victory, given that Winfield Scott was sort of low on numbers and Zachary Taylor was across a desert, isn't out of the realm of possibility, though anything more than a defensive victory is almost completely out of the question. Those require at best one change with minimal butterflies; your TL involves a good deal more of those which, again, are not out of the realm of possibility but seem to most people to be rather improbable. As has been stated but a few pages before by a rather eminent personality in this thread, the best althists involve minimal change and following logic rather than lots of butterflies to get what you want.
    Yes, that's very true. I also hold up the examples of Britain, Dacia, and to a lesser extent Gaul (the La Tene culture had better things to steal) as places conquered with very little intrinsic value. And, I suppose, there is the example of Britain to hold up here as a place that the Romans could conquer and hold for a significant portion of time, Romanifying the inhabitants to such an extent that they'll stay Roman for a few centuries, and even later. However, Germany, being on the wrong side of a cultural dividing line (they were Jastorf as compared with the Celtic La Tene), was also on the wrong side of an economic one as well. The La Tene (like Gauls, Belgii, Celtiberians, and Britannic tribes) had nicer stuff to steal and thus mitigated the costs somewhat of settling the places where they'd taken up residence. And the colonization and Romanification of Gaul was, to a great extent, covered by the excess money from Roman Africa (which had gold coming out of its ears all the way up to the Vandal conquest). So yes, Germany could have theoretically been conquered by the Romans, and held as far as the Elbe. But in my view, Romanification and the construction of administrative and bureaucratic centers from which to run the Chattii and their ilk would have been extremely limited due to the fact that the Roman Empire just doesn't have that kind of money. It'd go on fine for a few centuries, but as soon as we hit the era of the Crisis of the Third Century Rome would be forced to relinquish Germania just like Dacia, although it would provide a handy buffer zone and possibly would lessen the impact of the invasions somewhat, giving us an overall richer Roman Empire as we go into the fourth century. But frankly, the presence of a Roman-built administrative town more proves my point than anything else, because Romans wouldn't need to build anything there if there were any existing infrastructure and thus money. They didn't even have to build new towns in Gaul, and that itself was a pain to subdue.
    Heh. Maybe I've been reading too much Heather recently; that'd do it.
     
  18. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    I must admit that I do have a strong bias against this type of althists that reminds me too closely of a typical Civilization game to be believable, where some ancient civilisation like the Romans (or, worse still, the Alexandrine Greeks, or Indians, or indeed pre-historic Koreans) advance without any significant failure, avoiding all of the many inevitable problems that any reasonably old civilisation would have faced, uniting the Earth, performing somewhat dubious feats of technology and, at the conclusion, flying into space. That just feels basically wrong.

    More rationally, while I agree that growth is key to survival, growth will eventually hit a snag. The Roman Empire already was quite overstretched; conquest of Persia and many other places besides would stretch further. You see, although growth is necessary, an empire set wholly around the Mediterranean was optimal, and even that had many problems. If you also try to control Persia and Arabia, and expand in many other regions, there would be a basic problem of communication, not to mention overstretchment of Roman resources, which were not infinite and were severely hurt by assorted social difficulties that had quite little to do with lack or existence of expansion (admittedly, if you have enough sufficiently dedicated emperors fortuitously placed along the timeline they should keep things running with occasional social reforms). But really, the problem of communication is much more severe. It leads to the centre having terribly belated and useless information and so making senseless decisions, while forcing the local generals and governors to act either foolishly or independently, whether they want it or not. Ultimately that will mean loss of genuine control over the far fringe; attempts to rectify it will merely face the same old problems, and constant warfare to keep far-off provinces in line is part of what did in the Assyrian Empire.

    Basically, for the problems the Roman Empire expanded will face, see the problems experienced by the Achaemenid Empire in OTL. The failures in the Greek theatre were really far from the main factor; the main factor was that the Achaemenids merely stretched themselves so far that all the ingenuity shown by some of their rulers and all the resources they could master just wasn't enough to keep the far fringe in line. The Romans can conquer Persia; but they are no more capable of holding on to it than the Persians were able to hold on to Egypt. Yes, their systems are generally more sophisticated; but they still are only human.

    The implausibility of the early invention of gunpowder has already been pointed out; I'm not saying that the Romans couldn't have done it, or done it earlier than was done in OTL, but how much time has passed between the emergence of the Taoist alchemical tradition and the emergence of the first viable gunpowder weapons?
     
  19. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Many times, the later Roman Empire has been referred to as the "inside-out" empire; the growth and improvements were being done in the outlying regions, such as Gaul, the Balkans, Oriens, Africa, and Hispania, while Italy itself was stagnating somewhat. Roman Emperors spent a good deal more time in Augusta Treverorum, Mediolanum, Antioch, and indeed Constantinople than they did in Rome itself. The people who had been the provincials were suddenly the wealthiest and the most learned in the Empire. This is partly due, of course, to the imperial emphasis on frontier defense after the Crisis of the Third Century, and partly to the fact that Italy as a recruiting ground was pretty much spent after the civil wars and almost destroyed due it being the last bastion of the empire against threats like the Gallic Empire, the Gothic and Alamannic invasions of the later third century, and the constant usurpations in Africa and Pannonia, not to mention the issues in the East. Anyway, this inside-out empire worked for awhile, because it avoided the frontier stagnation, but the problem was that as soon as those lands were lost (due to the overwhelmingly powerful force of the barbarians, pushed ultimately by the Huns) then Rome didn't have a tax base or a manpower base to fall back on. Italy did remarkably well at keeping the Empire alive for twenty years after the Catalaunian Fields and the devastation of the 452 campaign, and even Odoacer's revolt was partly due to his unwillingness to cooperate with Orestes and Romulus Augustulus' plan for the reconquest of Gaul, but in the long run the peninsula really couldn't reconquer the empire like it could have during Caesar's civil wars.

    Yeah, I know that that doesn't contribute much, but I like to talk about Rome. It's like reminiscing. :p Anyway, speaking of Romans, I've got another installment coming up as soon as I can finish it, hopefully this week. Midterms fortunately ain't that harsh for seniors here.
     
  20. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    If anything, that only proves my point: whether the emphasis in developments is placed on the centre or the regions, Rome's shape as of then still was optimal and most further expansion would have been untenable.
     

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