Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg

As Home of the Brave's release comes closer and I need a way to express my hype and inspired by Gukpard's post above, I decided to take a deeper look at each of the different factions with some of my own opinions on them, starting with the AUS. Spoiler tag to prevent spamming, feel free to ignore if you're not interested.

The AUS in general, in my opinion, is a weak point of base Kaiserreich realism wise. It has Huey "every time this administration has gone to the left I've voted for it" Long allying with large corporations and every type of racist imaginable regardless of it making much sense. HotB's AUS, while it has a notable issue I'll get to, is miles ahead of base KR IMO.


First, you have Huey's tree. Depending on which mutually exclusive focuses are taken, he can end up being SocDem, SocLib, SocCon, AutDem, or PatAut. I'm especially fond of the right side of it, which fully explores Share Our Wealth and what a Long presidency would look like policy-wise. As for the left side, I doubt Huey would go full "Reconcile the Right" (I am admittedly biased here, see my signature) instead of "AFP alone" or "Reconcile the Left". Still looks to be an amazing tree, and Huey is gonna be my first playthrough.

r/krtheworldsetfree - AUS National Progressive Party (Social Liberal)

Next is the National Progressive Party. It's SocLib but has been described as a mix between SocLib and SocDem by the dev, and looking at the tree it seems more SocDem tbh. It essentially represents the progressive elements that cooperate with Huey in the civil war but make their own party following it. They're led by Robert La Follete Jr, son of famed Wisconsin progressive Robert La Follete Sr, and is overall typical SocLib-SocDem stuff.

r/krtheworldsetfree - Pelley's Christian Party path

Then we have Pelley's tree, where Pelley can be elected following the Civil War. This is one of the few aspects of HoTB that I'm unsure about. Pelley is SocCon, and a remarkable departure compared to his base game tree. While I do think Pelley's base-game tree is mostly a generic "evil Christian theocracy" that just smacks a guy known for his fascist sympathies on top of it, and IMO Pelley was less of a full on nazi and more of a weird christian-cultural nationalist, he was still a nut and HoTB's version may be going too far the other way. At the same time, HoTB is remarkably well researched so I heavily doubt it's an instance of trying to be different/edgy for the sake of being different/edgy. They also had advice from someone who had researched Pelley previously. The explanation for his different portrayal is: "Pelley was basically a 1930's Radical Boomer Christian Democrat with (at worst) some Strasserist and Esoteric characteristics, he was a bigot who likely had some mental issues but he was not on the Klan or Ford's level". The devs have confirmed that that in-universe Pelley is still bigoted, there will be events dealing with Pelley's esoteric/bigoted views, and that his party has AutDem/PatAut factions he can pander to, and the devs straight up seem to be invested in making a great submod, so I have hope that it's an overall well-made path.

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r/krtheworldsetfree - AUS Foreign Policy Tree

Then there's the military and diplomatic trees, but Gukpard already commented on them.

The devs have also said that a Coughlin/Smith PatAut path and an "Alfred Bingham" (no idea who that is TBH) RadSoc path will be added post-release.

I had fun making this, I'll probably make a BBR overview next.
 
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The Black Belt Republic is arguably the most exciting path of the entire submod, and the one people are certainly most hyped for; especially since it goes over a underrepresented area of the civil war. There's many, many cool paths.
 
More about the world set free, we got the Western Command Center, led by the stereotypical US officer, the kind of antiracist that treats everyone equally bad

I gonna write on a spoiler, but first, a song



First we got the autdem Omar Bradley, it seems that him and his clique becomes a torn in the side of the civilian government like the brazilian army or the argentinian army during the 1950s-60s-70s
According to the coder
"It's a "pragmatist" oligarchy of intellectuals/bureaucrats and the military as the most influential branch of government. The Wise Men are named for this group, some of whom will be directly involved: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wise_Men_(book) "

Then we got the american buffon himself, MacArthur

He's a Paternal Autocrat, but turns Natpop if the USA collapses, and also got a second tree for after he wins the war

His second tree can be either blessed or cursed, but the interesting thing is that at least it seems that he does not coup the government at the beginning, so there is not the dangerous precedent of the military fixing the problems of the government by a coup


And here is their shared tree to be used during the war
 
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Herbert Armstrong is a Christian fundamentalist, and a British Israelite at that, so he gets some of that meme fodder that vanilla Pelley does:

Alfred Bingham was a liberal/progressive organizer active in the '30s:

I discovered him in a book about '30s populist movements (source in link). Basically he was one of many progressives who were interested in creating some sort of middle class progressive third party movement, and helped cofound the American Commonwealth Federation with was such a group (but not an actual political party). Unlike the La Folletes and Floyd Olson, Bingham was open to working with Long and Coughlin (EDIT: nvm he was not):
https://www.reddit.com/r/Kaiserreich/comments/8mx7wr
 
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Herbert Armstrong is a Christian fundamentalist, and a British Israelite at that, so he gets some of that meme fodder that vanilla Pelley does:

Alfred Bingham was a liberal/progressive organizer active in the '30s:

I discovered him in a book about '30s populist movements (source in link). Basically he was one of many progressives who were interested in creating some sort of middle class progressive third party movement, and helped cofound the American Commonwealth Federation with was such a group (but not an actual political party). Unlike the La Folletes and Floyd Olson, Bingham was open to working with Long and Coughlin (EDIT: nvm he was not):
https://www.reddit.com/r/Kaiserreich/comments/8mx7wr
Do you mean that LaFollete and Olson were open to Long while Bingham was not? If I'm reading the link correctly that's what it was saying and I remember reading this (see links) at some point and it said the former were more open.

https://books.google.com/books?id=360oDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA692&lpg=PA692&dq=norman+thomas+charles+coughlin&source=bl&ots=nE7wC9H3m2&sig=ACfU3U0FoMJtgm5oRcOYj57qPfqBt1nBYg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwibhcf43aXqAhXOW80KHZhRDboQ6AEwBHoECAkQAQ#v=snippet&q=Huey Long&f=false (page 344)

https://books.google.com/books?id=360oDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA692&lpg=PA692&dq=norman+thomas+charles+coughlin&source=bl&ots=nE7wC9H3m2&sig=ACfU3U0FoMJtgm5oRcOYj57qPfqBt1nBYg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwibhcf43aXqAhXOW80KHZhRDboQ6AEwBHoECAkQAQ#v=snippet&q=Olson Long&f=false (page 360)
 
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I think my favorite part of HotB is that it not only brings back the ability to avoid the Civil War, but it also allows you to do this with four different Presidents.
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First, you've got John Nance Garner (SocCon), who is continuing his ways of never compromising with those icky radicals. According to the devs, it will be the hardest to avoid the civil war with Garner than with the other three candidates.

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Next, you've got the Republicans, who can be led by legacy KR's master of compromise Charles Curtis (MarkLib) or the liberal Republican Alf Landon (SocLib).

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Finally, you have George Norris (SocDem), a famous New Dealer in OTL and the presidential candidate of the Progressive Party.
 
I think my favorite part of HotB is that it not only brings back the ability to avoid the Civil War, but it also allows you to do this with four different Presidents.
View attachment 561292
First, you've got John Nance Garner (SocCon), who is continuing his ways of never compromising with those icky radicals. According to the devs, it will be the hardest to avoid the civil war with Garner than with the other three candidates.

View attachment 561295
Next, you've got the Republicans, who can be led by legacy KR's master of compromise Charles Curtis (MarkLib) or the liberal Republican Alf Landon (SocLib).

View attachment 561297
Finally, you have George Norris (SocDem), a famous New Dealer in OTL and the presidential candidate of the Progressive Party.
Still kinda wished that Olson was there instead of Norris tbh...
 
Do you mean that LaFollete and Olson were open to Long while Bingham was not? If I'm reading the link correctly that's what it was saying and I remember reading this (see links) at some point and thought the former were more open.
I was incorrect. My reading based on that book was that many of the the rank and file involved in the American Commonwealth Federation and various agrarian populist/progressive movements were big fans of Huey and Coughlin, but Olson and the La Follettes were more wary of them, viewing them as demagogues and since it was the '30s they were reminded of further right movements in Europe. As it says in pg. 345 of your first link, he was "generally distrusted."

I'm not saying those guys denounced Long, but they were generally suspicious and so tended to shy away from collaborating with him on these big political projects and attempts to start a radical (non-communist) third party, though they were allies in the Senate when he was a senator there.

In KR and HOTB, of course, we can reason that they find him the best bet compared to the more extreme and authoritarian options out there.

Still kinda wished that Olson was there instead of Norris tbh...
Same. Wish they had butterflied it so he got to live through the civil war.
 
The Black Belt Republic has a lot of paths - I suggest going at it one by one. All very cool and diverse. With the ongoing winds of change in the US, interest in black history is guaranteed to steadily increase. I think that's why so many folks are excited for it.

Regarding the American Junta of the WCC, the dev hinted that it's actually a preferable option to go for Caesar because the one serious flaw of juntas is their infighting, which always happens. You don't have that under one-man caudillo rule, however harsh.
 
HOTB Black Belt Republic time
r/krtheworldsetfree - National Populist Black Belt (The Nation of Islam)

First the Natpops. The Nation of Islam's tree, led by Elijah Muhammad, in all it's cursed glory. They are allowed to form a ceasefire with the Young Klan CAR and essentially create their own ethnostate where blacks are sent while whites in BBR territory are sent to the CAR.
r/krtheworldsetfree - Black Belt Nationalist Tree (Paternal Autocrat)

Then the PatAut UNIA tree. According to Wikipeida, "The Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) is a black nationalist fraternal organization founded by Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican immigrant to the United States", though their leader is one James R. Stewart. They're allowed to form the same ceasefire with young klan CAR, and the main thing separating them from the NOI is that they're not full-on theocratic, much less an Islamic theocracy.
r/krtheworldsetfree - Black Belt 'Americanist'/Rooseveltian Army Path (Auth-Dem)

After those cursed paths, we have the relatively blessed AutDem Americanist path. Led by Captain Charles Young, who didn't die in HOTBTL, they seem to be a mix of stratocracy and national progressivism. They're also the only BBR faction that prefers the AUS the most. Washingtonianism makes them democratic, while the captain at the helm makes Young dictator. (Not sure why they're not mutually exclusive in the tree tho)
r/krtheworldsetfree - Black Belt Peace Party Tree (Social Conservatives)

Then the Peace Party, SocCon. They may seem to just be a welfarist SocCon at first, but their leader, Father Divine, claimed to be God OTL and there will be events referencing that so it'll be interesting to see where this path leads.
r/krtheworldsetfree - Black Belt Republican Path (Market Liberal)
r/krtheworldsetfree - BBR Liberty Party Path (Social Liberals)

Then the MarLib and SocLib paths. Honestly these seem like regular old MarLib and SocLib paths, just know they're led by Zora Neale Hurston and Thurgood Marshall respectively.
r/krtheworldsetfree - Black Belt Socialist Party Reform Faction (Soc-Dem)

The SocDem "Socialist Reformists Tree". They're an example of an Internationale-aligned SocDem faction. The dev has mentioned "AFL reformed" involves removing racist elements from the AFL. Led by A. Philip Randolph
r/krtheworldsetfree - Black Belt Socialist Party

Now for the far left paths, starting with the RadSoc Socialist Party, led by W.E.B. DuBois. Honestly not much to say.
r/krtheworldsetfree - Syndicalist Black Belt

Then the Syndicalist Industrial Workers Union, led by Paul Robeson, who isn't a hardcore Stalinist as Stalin didn't rise to power.
r/krtheworldsetfree - The Black Belt's Red Totalist Trees

The Totalist Paths. Benjamin J. Davis Jr. leads the New Communist League, Harry Haywwod leads the TUUL and James W. Ford leads the Centralists. Ford aligns with Browder in the CSA and Haywood with Foster. Davis is described as a Jacobin-type.
r/krtheworldsetfree - Black Belt National Totalist Tree

Finally coming full circle back to cursed African American ethno-state is the National Totalist paths. The paths are led by Cyril Briggs and Dusé Mohamed Ali. The "claim the ancient world" focus really does make them go after Africa, but it can and usually does go poorly.
r/krtheworldsetfree - Black Belt Foreign Policy Paths

The BBR's foreign policy tree. Of note, the Redeem Afrika focus involves purging Africans from Nationalist!BBR's newly conquered territory, while the American Identity tree can lead to an autonomous African-American territory that is officially a part of the USA, or even the BBR restoring the USA (Which would interesting to read in the history books).
r/krtheworldsetfree - Black Belt Military Tree

Miltary Tree. If Young tries to coup but fails his tree can be locked out of.
r/krtheworldsetfree - The Black Belt's Left Revolutionaries (Ben Davis, Harry Haywood, James W. Ford, Paul Robeson)
r/krtheworldsetfree - All Black Nationalist Leaders (ABB, UNIA and the NOI paths)
r/krtheworldsetfree - Black Belt Liberal Democratic Leaders (Rad Soc - Auth-Dem)

Black Belt Leaders. There's a ton of them so I won't name them all.
Also just realized I never left a link to their subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/krtheworldsetfree/. Feel free to check out more there, but I'll still make posts like this.
The CSA has some pretty interesting options one wouldn't expect, I'll probably do them next.
 
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Loving the HOTB tree posts a lot.

I gotta say though, I still have no idea what the WCC is all about, I assume it's like separating the military rule aspects of the Feddies away from the legitimate (East Coast) government bits, kinda like how the CAR is separating out the right-wing aspects away from the southern populist bits of the AUS.
 
I gotta say though, I still have no idea what the WCC is all about, I assume it's like separating the military rule aspects of the Feddies away from the legitimate (East Coast) government bits, kinda like how the CAR is separating out the right-wing aspects away from the southern populist bits of the AUS.
The WCC is IIRC meant to be the trapped Feddies loyal to MacArthur in the Southwest/Rockies.
 
Here is the map for The World Set Free's 2nd ACW. The Constitutional American Republic can be summarized as 'Klan, fundie and Confederate losers hangout.' The Black Belt Republic only spawns after the CAR pursues extremist policies.
Well, there is also the Lindbergh path

I see the Lindbergh path as the most perfect representation on how the american villains are on movies, for example, we got the usual german villain, and then we got the nazi, we got the usual russian villain, and then we got the soviet comissar, we got the usual middle eastern villain, and then we got the jihadist

Lindbergh path is a mix of american militarism with american harsh free market capitalism plus the paranoia towards foreigners, belligerance and militarism, they are how the soviets, the nazis, the third worlders, even how the europeans saw the USA during the 20th century, and how many see the USA today
 
I'm not super psyched for that mod. It mostly seems to be a bunch of memes and "man, look at all these extra crazy racists we can add!"

Honestly, the current 2ACW is more than enough for me.
 
Loving the HOTB tree posts a lot.

I gotta say though, I still have no idea what the WCC is all about, I assume it's like separating the military rule aspects of the Feddies away from the legitimate (East Coast) government bits, kinda like how the CAR is separating out the right-wing aspects away from the southern populist bits of the AUS.
From the mod creators

"-The Western Command Center (WCC), made up of MacArthur loyalists and stretches from Arizona to Idaho (hopefully this will fix the problem of the US army getting cut off from the capital and then starving to death). "

This is something I have to complain about HoI IV, HoI III, HoI II and Darkest hour, all the supplies come from the capital, instead of coming from industrial centers, thus it's very easy to defeat a nation if you can encircle their capital, especially if it is China
 
I'm somewhat weary of writing this, as I don't want to come off as too dismissive of the (in many ways very interesting and refreshing) work done by the current team and, secondly, don't want to sound like too much of a pedantic old fart :)

That being said, since Rylock asked for feedback, I feel comfortable enough in doing so. However, it is also very difficult for me to address the underlying issues I see with the new India work with so much of its backstory still under the covers.

To begin with, I agree with those who argue that the name Pakistan feels off (on a related note, I feel the same way about Azad Hind - it seems as a ill-conceived nod to Bose's tragicomic puppet government). The biggest issue is the fact that it appears as an anachronistic adaption of OTL events to the Kaiserreich world. While I'm all for convergence in certain places, having Choudhry Rahmat Ali (who lived most of his life in England btw) come up with the Pakistan-name in KRTL just seems inappropriate when both the circumstances and alternate historical trajectory experienced by him are so vastly different from what happened in OTL. Still, at heart, this is a superficial issue (even cosmetic) and not one of very great importance. It does, however, directly and indirectly relate to a major gripe of mine: The very existence of Pakistan in KR (or at least in the way it is currently portrayed). Again, it's difficult for me to comment satisfactorily on, because so much of the backstory remains unavailable, but my thoughts are structured along the following lines:

It is true that the two-nation theory predated the emergence of the Pakistan movement. However, support for said movement only truly emerged in OTL in 1937, owing to some 20 years worth of events that did not transpire in KR (the Wilsonian Moment and the Khalifat movement being but the most prominent). Still, intercommunal violence was absolutely not unknown. After all, the fuse that set off our times' explosion of sectarian violence around the time of Partition was not lit in 1947. Nevertheless, Pakistan as a concept was conceived as a national home for Muslims. If the North-Western Indian state is framed as a state devoted to preserving Muslim and Sikh interests (which, in the latter's case, in and of itself is dubious, given the minuscule prevalence of Sikh separatism at this point of time. Indeed, not even Partition made the Sikhs seek a separate homeland - that only came later) then that nation is simply not Pakistan. The articulation and effectuation of the two-nation theory simply does not allow for it. The Punjab, for example, was highly contested between these two specific religious groupings (not to mention the large amounts of Hindus also living there).

The Muslim/Sikh issue leads me to the wider question of communal violence and the religious cleavages on the sub-continent (which I feel the current team has opted to over-exploit so to speak). In my honest opinion it is maybe a stop or two from outright shoehorning a historical narrative that is - essentially - Partition on steroids into Kaiserreich's setting. I personally dislike this approach, because it removes agency (and alt-hist maneuverability) from the historical actors of the day by forcing them into a straitjacket shaped by modern, Western conceptions of the Raj as a powder keg of religious intolerance and a kind of hindsight determinism shaped by the India/Pakistan dichotomy of contemporary politics (which, truth be told, it entirely understandable). Political cooperation did happen and co-existence was the norm, not the exception. Even the Hindu Mahasabha worked with the AIML in OTL (which was also rather non-existent in the first decades of the 20th century). In other words, I'm wondering what traumatic catastrophe could credibly create a situation in India that fast-tracked "Pakistan" into existence some 15 years before its OTL emergence, pivoted Sikh separatism to pass its 1970 heights (in 1936!) and - most importantly - elevated the HM and RSS to such prominence that they constitute a serious contender to the INC for political dominance within the "Azad Hind"? I don't know and, unfortunately, I don't think the current information available does a very good job at convincing me. It might seem as I'm underestimating the importance of religion on purpose, but that is not the case. Communal violence and rivalry was important, it did happen and it was far too often horrific and deeply tragic affairs. However, the cause and effect relationship between escalating it to such heights as in the current KR setup doesn't appear validated to me.

Having a large "Free India" state on the Indo-Gangetic Plain wrecked by internal division is an interesting idea from a gameplay point of view, but the importance played by Hindu chauvinists appears to me as being far too determining on the general set-up of the region. The reason I spent so much time articulating the above points is because I can't make any recommendations without addressing my underlining concerns with the way the sub-continent is portrayed.

In other words, "Pakistan" has religious and political connotations tied specifically to the AIML of OTL which are irreconcilably opposed to communal equality. If you insist on keeping this convergence, then it is the concept of KR Pakistan that has to change, since changing the name to one of the many (more or less silly) alternatives Choudhry Rahmat Ali came up with doesn't solve the underlying issues. What is the North-Western State then? Is it a Muslim separatist entity? A non-Hindu-homeland? It can't be called the Punjab for the same reasons that the Bharatiya Commune is no longer called the Bengal. It limits its scope and legitimacy in the post-Raj context.

If you want to keep a balancing force in the North West, I suggest scrapping "Pakistan" as an idea and reinvent it as a "Unionist" stronghold centred on the Punjab. Since Calcutta is apparently steaming with Socialists and Hindu chaunivists (... eh?) and the princes in the South are portrayed as British lap-dogs, why not make the North West an opposite to those two factions, while maintaining the possibility of Islamic "radicals" turning it into the Muslim state that we all know and love from OTL? Make Jinnah an ally of Hayat Khan and their main political trajectory one of Indian "pluralism" - a confederation of faiths and ethnicities (playing on some of the early concepts of the AIML). This would give the North-Western state (the Confederacy of Indian States would be a nice nod to Star Wars ;) "General Bose, you are a bold one!") a claim on uniting the entire sub-continent while still maintaining the possibility of the rework's focus on communal-religious cleavages reaching a bloody crescendo. Seriously though, Confederalist/Federalist India could serve as a balancing force towards both the Raj Remnants and the Free Indians while opening pats of cooperation with both, co-dependent on gameplay events in the respective tags. Hindu "nationalists" take over in Calcutta? That could galvanise a Muslim OR pluralist response. Ganga Singh comes to power in Bombay? Maybe he's the type of man Jinnah/Hayat Khan can work with.



Seeing as you are intent on keeping the tripartite split of the previous versions, I think this would be the best solution.

EDIT: posted this on reddit as well :)
 
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