Map Thread XIX

Discussion in 'Alternate History Maps and Graphics' started by Aqua817, Jul 2, 2019.

  1. ElectorVodan Member

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    I don't think so, as I said to Ameck16, the war is winnable especially if the big boys bring out some WMDs and as long as the army keeps its distance from the melee only creatures, I mean the Thing was beaten in the movie, and that was by some dudes with a flamethrower, so imagine what a well-equipped army could do ;)
     
  2. Pantegral Well-Known Member

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    May 28, 2013
    Something very different, courtesy of u/sjdubya from reddit (thobewill from DeviantArt): The Centauri Highway, an incredible stellar map set in a very hard sci-fi universe, showcasing human expansion from Earth to Alpha Centauri 12,000 years in the future.

    There are so many concepts here that I love: a slow and steady "diffusion" across the interstellar void instead of rapid point-to-point expansion, rogue planets being widely settled and transformed into rest stops and trading outposts on a nascent STL "highway" connecting two star systems, colonists preferring space-based instead of planetary settlement even when they've reached another star, an actually realistic timeframe for interstellar colonisation where thousand-year old colonies are considered "young" - it's just such an unique and fantastically detailed work.

    [​IMG]

    Not with a Bang, but a Whimper
    Many thought Humanity would conquer space in an explosive series of daring interstellar leaps, launching huge generation ships full of tens of thousands of colonists to distant stars. Unfortunately, the realities of interstellar travel make these schemes extremely expensive and conducive to failure. Accelerating anything massive to significant fractions of the speed of light is devilishly difficult, and keeping machinery in working order over centuries and millennia with no spare parts is possibly even harder. People tried to leap to the stars, but most often they tripped and fell. Lightsail probes visited other stars, but it seemed for humans, the stars were mostly out of reach.

    However, interstellar space, while profoundly empty, is not that empty at all. For every star, an estimated 100,000 rogue bodies over 400km in radius lurk in interstellar space. As the inner system filled up, and the good worlds were taken, people settled for less good ones, and looked outward. Slowly, humanity pushed outward like a slime mold, taking the slow path of least resistance to the stars.


    What's Old is New Again
    One percent of the speed of light is about as fast as most people travel anymore, and only when in a hurry. Some top of the line trade ships can do 0.05c, but the fuel costs are astronomical and only economical over shorter trips. The void between stars is criss-crossed with human settlements on dark bodies, lit only by artificial lights and the flickering fusion drives of migrants and traders. Information, goods, and genes diffuse slowly throughout the network, making trade routes important for the first time in human history since the information age. Speed of light delays and poor infrastructure means news travels slowly, and must be relayed and bargained for, as in the old times. People changed, both in their customs and in their biology, as humanity adapted itself to the sunless abyss. You might know a guy who knows a guy whose cousin met someone from the Inner System, but that's about as close as the contact gets; and most colonies are self-sufficient, trading with nearby worlds to get what they cannot make themselves.

    Plugged In
    11,800 years from now, in the year of Barnard's Star's closest approach (not visible in this slice) the Centauri Highway is well-developed. It could be traversed in a lifetime, and few make that pilgrimage their mission, gaining passage on merchant and migrant ships as they island hop their way to the stars. Most, however, rarely leave home. Only a millennium ago, the expansion wave, spreading in a spherical pattern at the pace of population pressure rather than that of the fastest ship, reached Alpha Centauri, and found it already inhabited, if sparsely, with people who left on daring voyages from the Inner System or from other parts unknown thousands of years before. Contact was a shock to both sides, but the connection of the Highway did a lot to develop the struggling colonies of the Alpha Centauri system. Now, Alpha Centauri, formerly an isolated island, only connected by periodic information transmissions and probes, is plugged into the heart of human civilization. Time will tell what changes this brings.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019 at 12:29 PM
  3. Sailor Haumea Liberal Hawk

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    What is it with people thinking that partitioning Iraq between Sunnis and Shiites is a good idea? It's incredibly stupid. There are plenty of parts of Iraq where even members of one family are part Sunni and part Shiite. You can't just arbitrarily split the country along religious lines. That would separate communities.
     
  4. FesteringSpore Vietnamese Birthday Wisher

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    It’s a Ba’athist Union, yeah.

    The Shah is still around, but he dies of cancer in 1980, leaving a military junta to place Reza Pahlavi as the new emperor, and without the old Shah in place, the junta is free to curb SAVAK and other excesses. It’s still authoritarian, but less than it was under the Shah.

    Now, how does this affect Arabia? Essentially, the Iranian revolution occurs in Arabia- a reformist Saudi king tries to emulate the Iranian model, the people want more, he backs down and clamps down hard, and a rising tide of expectations emerges and drowns the House of Saud.

    The new Islamic Republic is pissed, especially with losing Mecca.
     
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  5. TheKutKu Well-Known Member

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    This is very much an awesome map by Thobewill I'd also suggest to look at his valles marineris map
     
  6. SnivyLink *insert witty comment here*

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    Yes but this is balkanization
     
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  7. Skallagrim Not the one from YouTube. Different other fellow.

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    People living in the comfort of the settled-down West, where the bloody divisions have already been accomplished and the borders have been drawn and finalised, tend to be the ones (and the only ones) who say things like you just did. These people generally forget that before that same process was completed in the West itself, there were quite a few ethnic and sectarian wars throughout Europe. Exceptions like Switzerland are rare. Iraq is certainly no Switzerland.

    Either you absorb certain identities into a dominant national identity (as regional identities were largely wiped out or marginalised in Europe), or you split them up and let them form separate nation-states. When the groups are about equal size, the latter has infinitely better chances at success. And that's why dividing Iraq is so often suggested, and why it's an inherently good idea. The process is a horrible mess, but the end result is greater stability. It's a simple matter of understanding that short-term bloodshed and long-term peace is a better (or at least less terrible) prospective than short-term peace and long-term bloodshed.
     
  8. Petros >Peter Fergus< Well-Known Member

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    It's beautiful!
     
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  9. Christory Well-Known Member

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    I really like it. Part 2?
     
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  10. B_Munro Member

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    These Things seem less dangerous than the ones in the movie: they don't seem to be infecting animals for one thing (if they infected birds and/or fish, there would be no way to keep them contained) and it's unclear if they have the movie Thing' ability to exactly duplicate humans and infiltrate, and use and presumably produce human weapons. I am not quite up on what the latest movie lore is, so I don't know if the Things are the same critters that built the ship that brought them to Earth: if so, they might be able to build super-weapons, as one of the Things nearly succeeded in doing in the original short story.
     
  11. VigilantSycamore Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2015
    I present:

    The Ottoman Empire (c. 1900)

    ottoroman empire.png

    Mainly because it could be nicknamed the Ottoroman Empire since, well, it has Rome. The basic idea behind this is that the Ottomans successfully took Vienna, then decided to go for Rome itself. At this point, the Ottomans' main rivalry is with Russia. Poland and Venice are Ottoman vassals (I can occasionally suppress my urge to make every POD lead to a Polwank).

    What do you think?
     
  12. xmoose Well-Known Member

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    Aug 18, 2016
    Fourth Rome! (um, or third?) It is beautiful!
    I am not sure however how long could rivalry between Russia and Turkey go, there are no "natural borders" or barriers between them... I would expect that janissaries soon swept over Kremlin
    But those 10th century borders in Africa and rest of Asia are unlikely with such PoD, I think. Especially russian expansion on Caucasus and Cnetral Asia...
     
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  13. Aqua817 Eternally Exhausted

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    The borders in Africa are highly unlikely to be that convergent. Ottoman conquest of Vienna could butterfly away the entire scramble for Africa at all. Not to mention the Ottomans had lots of vested interests in India that would make a British Raj unlikely.

    Ultimately, a lot of it boils down to a common error in mapmaking where a modern or modernish map (1914 is an extremely common one for this) is back-edited to have an ahistorical empire while not touching parts of the world that are not the focus, rather than the more accepted method of starting with a base map at the POD and moving forwards.
     
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  14. Workable Goblin Chronicler of the Pony Wars

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    This actually does not make that much sense. 1% of the speed of light is enough to reach Alpha Centuari in 400 years, which would be little trouble for a culture that can actually support permanent deep-space habitation; 5% is enough to reach it in just 80. You would expect a far faster spread rate if those speeds can be reached. Moreover, the notes on "astronomical fuel costs" and "economical only for shorter trips" are curious, since the most practical methods of reaching fractional c velocities involve beamed power, which requires no fuel at all, can reach much higher speeds than a mere 5% of light speed (at least in principle), and is explicitly mentioned in the description, while space is, you know, frictionless so that you can cruise forever at a given speed. In fact, a fast trip would make more sense for long transits relative to short ones, because the delta-V cost of speeding up and slowing down is the same either way, but on a long trip you save more time by speeding up.

    To put it differently: jets beat ships for passenger travel over the Atlantic because even though the jets are much less fuel-efficient the time savings more than compensate. Jets do not beat cars for your daily commute because the time savings are minuscule in comparison to the loss in fuel efficiency. Saying that the faster transit only makes sense for shorter trips is the equivalent of saying that it would make more sense to fly a business jet to work instead of driving a car. Saying that a slow hop between different stops beats fast ships for long trips is the equivalent of saying that driving across a continent beats flying. It's just plain backwards.

    On the whole, the map seems more contrarian than realistic to me. Star systems offer numerous advantages to the prospective civilization, like considerable amounts of resources that are relatively concentrated in one place and large amounts of "free" energy that can be gathered through a technically simpler and probably cheaper process than building a fusion plant. "High" speeds are relatively practical and easy to reach, not an impossible technical feat. If you can live permanently on a rogue planet, a generation ship is simple, not an impossible venture doomed to failure. I can well see a diffuse pattern of settlement in interstellar space, but this would probably be a complement to dense settlements close to stars, and would likely substantially lag circumstellar settlement rather that preceding it.
     
  15. CtrlAltHistory bleeding heart

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    on the other hand, this is a hella cool science fiction setting that you never see explored, and I would love to see some fiction set in it
     
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  16. Stahlheim Prussian Junkers For Clinton

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    Feb 23, 2013
    I'm guessing its a joke?

    Nonetheless, I love this scenario. Hopefully we'll see more follow-ups and I can't help but wonder if other parts of the Southern Hemisphere won't also be threatened.
     
  17. Aqua817 Eternally Exhausted

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    I'm in a bad mood.
    upload_2019-7-11_17-45-51.png
    Why We Fought


    One of the biggest misconceptions about the confederacy was that it was an attempt at nation building. From that perspective, the thought of "Why didn't the CSA just go and free their slaves to have more soldiers to fight the US?" Indeed, folks such as Patrick Cleburne, one of the most important generals in the CSA, proposed just that and was repeatedly shot down until his death.

    That's because the CSA was never about statebuilding.

    The CSA was about conquest.

    Farming and agriculture in the confederate style was inherently wasteful. The CSA didn't really participate in the concept of crop rotation or anything else like that, and therefore constantly required new land. Indeed, by the time the civil war was rolling around, much of Georgia at least was being farmed out of oblivion. What was once a thick black coating of some of the most fertile topsoil to be had was eroded away to the red Georgia clay that is famous today. In the instance of a Confederate victory, there would be even more overexploitation of the soil, and an even greater need for more land.

    The year is 1940. The CSA has massively expanded across the globe. (I was gonna have the CSA control the whole world but I stopped having fun making this so I just went and stopped it as is). The world is arranged on a heirarchy, based on how close one is to the "Southern Ideal" of an English descended Southerner that emerged in areas such as Charleston, Richmond, or Savannah. Every other person, every other culture only had a "right to exist" as long as it pleased this elite. The late 1800's ideal of slavery has been replaced by a kind of "societal serfdom" where instead of most people being property, a small number of extremely powerful families that beloned to the Southern Ideal essentially have free rein to do whatever they want with whoever they want however the want with the strength of a hypermilitarized state apparatus behind their every move. Poor members of the Southern Ideal and the upper members of this apparatus make up what could be considered a middle class. This ultimately doesn't mean much, as the "middle class" doesn't have many rights to do things. However, they are also mostly free from harassment by the Upper Class. The lower class is essentially the collective property of the upper class. Their lives only exist in conjuction with the upper class. Contrary to popular belief, while "nonwhite people" make up a significant chunk of this population, they are not the only ones in this population. Indeed, anyone that doesn't have strong connections with the Southern Ideal or are members of the Southern Ideal themselves are generally considered to be this lower class. Interestingly enough, many "highland southerners" are members of the lower class, while most of what OTL are known as the "Five Civilized Tribes" are members of the Southern Ideal. Indeed, as Christianity becomes more and more associated with submission and femininity (Rome was essentially burned to the ground by Confederate forces in Europe.) a kind of vaguely Native American agnostic spiritualism has become the most popular religion among the Southern Ideal. Meanwhile, as medical technology got better, areas that were once unsettlable due to diseases became prime areas for colonization by the Southern Ideal. Much of Tropical Africa, which both had a tropical climate that fostered year round agriculture along with being seen as "terra incognita" meant that it was a prime area for Southern expansion. The structure of government is extremely unitary and strict, with members of the Upper Class being the only ones allowed to vote, and states being only mere administrative districts. Anyone who even began talking about "states rights" quickly found themselves demoted out of the Southern Ideal and shipped off to Oregon or South America where they wouldn't "cause any trouble."

    I was gonna go into detail more about society, but, like, I kind of hated making this. I just wanted to make a CSA victory map that really highlighted how an extremely expansionist CSA would actually go.
     
  18. Sailor Haumea Liberal Hawk

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    This is completely ludicrous. Religious tensions in Iraq *are not the rule.* Most Iraqis *do not care about whether someone is Shia or Sunni*. Sectarianism is produced by dictators trying to achieve a divide-and-conquer strategy. There wasn't sectarianism until dictators *created* it. The average Iraqi doesn't give a shit what sect their neighbor is.
     
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  19. ElectorVodan Member

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    I dunno if I'll make a sequel to the scenario, and yes it was a poor attempt at a joke. Thanks for commenting
     
  20. Skallagrim Not the one from YouTube. Different other fellow.

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    Actual experience of nearly two years of humanitarian work in Iraq has left me with an impression distinctly at odds with what you are claiming here. The idea that dictators are bad isn't somehow lost on me, but Iraq is artificial construction; a left-over of the latter days of colonialism. That creates a fundamental problem, and that problem ensures that in the long run, only authoritarian oppression can keep such a construction from falling apart. It's not dictators that create deep divisions. Dictators exploit them, but the causes run far deeper.