MotF 159: Ten Seconds to Midnight

MotF 159: Ten Seconds to Midnight

The Challenge

Make a map of a world or region on the verge of destruction.

The Restrictions
There are no restrictions on when the PoD of your map should be. Fantasy, sci-fi, and future maps are allowed.

If you're not sure whether your idea meets the criteria of this challenge, please feel free to PM me or comment in the main thread. Sometimes it isn't as clear as I intend it to be.

Entries will end for this round when the voting thread is posted on Sunday, July 2nd, 2017.


Any discussion must take place in the main thread. If you post anything other than a map entry (or a description accompanying a map entry) in this thread then you will be asked to delete the post.

Remember to vote on the previous MotF round!



The year is 2075, and climate Armageddon is looming. Scientists believe that unless there is a massive and drastic action such as a nuclear exchange or heavy geoengineering, the world is doomed to follow the path of Venus and become uninhabitable for all life. The vast majority of the world already is in shambles, and thanks to decades of American stonewalling on climate action (that date back to Kyoto) radical anti-Americanism is at an all-time high. These radical groups cannot decide what else they agree on, and are generally classed into four main tiers:

-Regionalists. Not all regionalists are anti-American, mind you, some are fairly moderate. These mainly consist of areas that have taken advantage of the global depression and breakdown in society in order to carve out their own identity.

-Eco-nationalists. The alt-right has gone green. Areas that have seen large increases in their human population due to climate refugees (the Andes, Patagonia, Cascadia, and portions of Europe) or areas that have seen systemic crop failures but no increase in socialist agitation (much of north-central China, the Balkans, and Portugal) are now eco-nationalist hotbeds. Europe, quite surprisingly, is really unstable as a result of all the new border security; since no country can trust another to police the borders in the former EU, Europe is a maze of North Korea-like autarkies that are just as repressive.

-Radical socialists. Your garden variety far-left guerrillas with AK-47s. Crop failures in the Sahel and a near-famine in once-stable Botswana led to them rampaging across Africa, and the loss of much of Bangladesh allowed Naxalites to radicalize the entire Bay of Bengal. Yunnan, much of Southeast Asia, Puerto Rico, the "Left Coast" of Canada, Greater Chiapas, and parts of Central America are also home to irregular socialist movements, although those in Costa Rica, Panama, and Guatemala are relatively tame compared to the Pol Pot revivalists in Asia and Africa.

-Islamists. The implosion of the Saudi monarchy was faster and uglier than anyone expected, and from it came a wave of jihadism that made ISIS look like a schoolyard fistfight. Sumatra fell within weeks and an attempted Islamist coup in Suriname has left the country divided in two. Islamists and radical socialists are now wrestling for control of what's left of Mali and Burkina Faso, while their legitimate governments are holed up in Senegal, which has become known as the Fortress of Africa. Surprisingly, the jihadist element in the Philippines hasn't been as bad as some expected, as Muslim communities in Mindanao instead have emigrated en masse to the Sultanate of Sumatra after the Philippine government made a corrupt bargain with them (you jihadists give us food and we'll send you citizens).

Note: You may recognize this scenario. In about 200 years it'll devolve to this.

This map itself is fairly self explanatory so I don't think a backstory is needed, just know the map is from the same universe as my previous map

EDIT: Oh right, the only thing worth mentioning is that Napoleonipolis is OTL Svilengrad who has no greek variant of its name.

2nd EDIT: Someone over on Deviantart wanted some backstory so here it is;

At the beginning of 1798, the War of the First Coalition had come to an end and following the Treaty of Campo Formio, where Napoleon Bonaparte decreed the final dissolution of the Venetian Republic, the city of Preveza – like other Venetian possessions in Greece and Albania – was ceded to Revolutionary France. 280 French grenadiers arrived in Preveza under the commands of General La Salchette. The people of Preveza welcomed the French troops, and formed a pro-French civic militia. Around this same time the poet Rigas Feraios was combining support for the ideas of the French Revolution with calls for a Greek uprising against Ottoman rule and arrived in the town to begin rudimentary discussion with French commanders.

Napoleon Bonaparte, however, focused his attention in another direction, launching the French Campaign in Egypt and Syria, gave little thought to the fate of the small Preveza garrison exposed on the edge of Ottoman territory. The local Ottoman governor Ali Pasha Tepelena attacked Preveza with an overwhelming force. In the Battle of Nicopolis the 7,000 Ottoman troops of Ali Pasha and his son Mukhtar completely overwhelmed the 280 French grenadiers and their local allies, the 200 Preveza Civil Guards and 60 Souliot warriors under Captain Christakis. Over the next two days, a major massacre of the French troops and the local Greek population which defended the city took place in Preveza; during which Feraios was killed, Christakis and General La Salchette however managed to escape to French Corfu. Napoleon, being on Malta at the time, diverted his fleet towards Corfu. There he met with General La Salchette, Christakis and local Greek leading figures. While French and Ottoman Fleets were facing off in the Ambracian Gulf, the negotiations on Corfu became a secret congress Including several Greek rebel leaders and Russian officials, who saw in Napoleon a potential solution for their Greek Question. In 1799 both France and Russia committed ground troops to the Conflict

Full-blown Conflict

With the might of the Russian Imperial army crashing down from the Caucasus, the Russian Black Sea Fleet causing havoc in the Black sea and in thinking fighting in the Balkans would be the same old stomping of Greek Rebel Factions, the defence of the Balkans was almost entirely left to Ali Pasha and his son Mukhtar; save for a 6000 strong Army left to protect Athens commanded by Omer Vroni (Its former commander was born in the Caucasus and was therefor ordered to that front to use his knowledge of the land, in doing so took 2000 of the finest troops with him) . Those two had been almost constantly been retreating since the Battle of Ioannina in February of 1799 where they were unprepared to face the French Corfu Garrison (strengthened with Greek Militia), an organized Souliote Army and a full French Army. The situation worsened for the Ottomans when the Ottoman 3rd Army commanded by Omer Vroni was obliterated near Corinthe in April 1799 by an unexpected Maniot Army, who had been slowly moving up and gaining support in the Peloponnese, and a Psarian fleet providing canon fire from the sea. With the way cleared there was nothing stopping them and Athens was liberated on the 19th of April 1799.

After the Battle of Monastirion on the 7th of May Ali Pasha’s strategy switched to the defence of Thessaloniki and eventually even the defence of Constantinople and since then avoided large skirmishes. After the Siege of Thessaloniki in July of 1799 had ended Ali Pasha realized that he would in fact have to defend Constantinople and send word to the Sultan in the hope to get more forces sent to the Balkan Campaign. He ordered his son to take half the forces and hold the Verbitza pass and if that would fall to go and hold Adrianople for as long as possible, while he himself positioned his army across the Evros River in hopes that the river would hold of the invaders. On the 3rd of September The British Philhellenic Legion landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula, while just before deposing the Sfakian Army on the Dardanalia coast and slowly they pushed up the coasts.On the 21st of September the Verbitza Pass was taken by the Maniot and Souliot armies who had joined up together. The Siege of Philippopolis ended on the 3rd of October and Napoléon's Main Army moved towards the Evros River to meet up with the joint Maniot-Souliot Army, who had indeed been held back by the Evros River. The same river was no obstacle for Napoléon as he had crossed it a few days before to the north of the battlefield. Realising defeat Ali Pasha retreated when he saw the first French troops flanking his Army from the North. On the 29th of October The French Corfu Garrison finally arrived at Adrianople and began the siege. While retreating, Ali Pasha noticed the joint Greek Armies heading to the North instead of following him, thinking they were being diverted to help with the Siege of Adrianople he made his fatal decision to face the French Army head on to try and weaken it; which was a bad decision because the joint Greek Armies were only liberating Arkadioupolis before meeting back up with the Main French Army.
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Don Quijote

The Fall of Spain

esp2 - Copy.png

Spain's War until 1943

The Spanish Campaign in WW2 came about as a result of Franco's decision to join the war on the Axis side after his successful meeting with Hitler at Hendaye in October 1940. With Britain apparently on the back foot, and promises obtained of rich pickings for Spain in Africa (not to mention the long awaited recapture of Gibraltar), Franco committed Spain to war. The declaration of war against Britain came a few months later, in March 1941. Although the Axis had clearly suffered some setbacks, such as the failure to invade Britain, and the mediocre Italian performance in North Africa, the situation broadly seemed to be in their favour.

First stop for Axis Spain was of course Gibraltar, and alongside a small force of elite German troops, the Rock was swiftly captured by the Spanish, although the defenders made them pay dearly. The seizure of Malta later that year confirmed Axis domination of the Western and Central Mediterranean, although the diversion of resources meant that the British enjoyed a number of victories in the desert, pushing the Italians (and small German and Spanish contingents) back as far as Tripoli by the end of 1941. The Axis powers certainly benefited from the elimination of Malta as an Allied base, as it made their supply lines rather more secure. On the other hand, the advanced position of British forces meant that Blenheims and Wellingtons from Libya were still able to launch frequent air attacks on enemy ports and shipping.

By this stage though, Hitler's attention was on the east, where after securing the Balkans and rescuing the Italian invasion of Greece (apart from Crete), he had launched Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union. Spain sent two divisions to take part in the campaign, the División Azul and the División Primo de Rivera, commanded respectively by Muñoz Grandes and the talented but ruthless Juan Yagüe, a man rather suited to the environment of Eastern Front. After initially being a part of Army Group Centre, they then spent over a year on the Leningrad Front, during which the Spaniards briefly seized part of the besieged city, the only Axis troops to manage this. But although they served, to quote Franco, 'with great valour and fortitude', from late 1942 it was clearly a losing battle, and they would be forced to fall back steadily for the remainder of the war once the long and brutal siege was lifted. No doubt news of events closer to home did not help their morale, and it was also due to the declining situation in Spain itself that both units were withdrawn for Home Defence in 1944.

The American entry into the war after Pearl Harbor was obviously game-changing, but it would take some time before the effects were fully felt in the European Theatre. However the British and their allies were not idle in this time, and stepped up their air and naval campaigns. Spain was particularly hurt by this, relying heavily as it did on foreign imports. British supplies had naturally been cut off since March, but Britain had a military as well as an economic advantage. British naval strength allowed them to capture the Canary Islands in the successful Operation Pilgrim - this had symbolic significance for Franco, as the birthplace of the military rising of 18th July 1936 which had propelled him to power. Portugal was also shifting closer to the Allies, and while intervention was not currently anticipated, should it occur then Spain would have a real crisis on its hands, and would be obliged to call on Germany for assistance.

In January 1943, came the news the Axis forces in North Africa had been dreading. Anglo-American troops had landed along the Moroccan and Algerian coasts in Operation Torch, rapidly overcoming Vichy French resistance. This had triggered many French units based further south to throw in their lot with the Allies, and combined with the capture of Tripoli by Gott's Eighth Army a few weeks earlier, it was clear that North Africa was going to fall if the Axis did not heavily reinforce the region. Unfortunately for Germany, commitments on the Eastern Front prevented this, and it was largely left to existing troops to deal with the situation. Spanish Morocco found itself largely cut off from the other Axis troops, and although the experienced soldiers put up a tough fight, inflicting higher than expected casualties, Allied technical and numerical superiority won the day. Once Tunisia had been conquered, the Allies could finally step ashore on European soil again for the first time since 1941.

The Spanish Campaign 1943-1945

From now on the account focuses on the Spanish campaign itself; avoiding detailed coverage of the invasions of Italy and France for the sake of space. By the end of the summer of 1943, preparations were underway for the amphibious assault on southern Spain, which would come under British direction - in return, Italian operations would be largely under American control. Previous landings (which now included those in Malta and Italy) provided helpful practice for this, and so the Spanish landings were accomplished successfully in late September. The US II Corps landed near Malaga, while the British V Corps came ashore south of Cadiz. Progress was initially slow, as the British force struggled to make headway towards the heavily defended port to their north. The Americans took Malaga within ten days, and after securing their beachhead moved southwest to assist their ally. However General Montgomery, commanding Allied forces in Spain, made sure that his men were the first into Gibraltar, proudly raising the Union Jack over the town once again. The capture of Cadiz soon afterwards gave him nearly equal satisfaction, as it had better harbour facilities than Malaga.

A firm foothold now achieved on Iberia, the Allies now had the task of pressing inland and forcing Spain out of the war. However, the Germans were equally determined to keep Spain in the war, and swiftly responded to Franco's request for reinforcements. Partly due to this, and also because Spain was considered of lesser importance than Italy and France, the Anglo-American advance was slow. Seville fell in the New Year, but after that they became bogged down in the hills of rural and underdeveloped Extremadura. The attacks to the east were more successful, and armoured forces managed a dash along the coast in the spring which brought them as far as Alicante. The old city of Granada, a key point in Spain's southern defences, was also cut off and captured. After this came several months of slowly grinding down Axis forces between the Allies and Madrid, with the terrain generally favouring the defenders. A spot of hope was the Allied advance from France, where the landings in Normandy had led to a swift advance southwards. This was complemented by a smaller, but only lightly opposed, landing in southern France, and when these troops linked up, a reasonable proportion were then ordered to turn their attention to Spain. With the help of anti-Francoist Basque partisans, San Sebastian became the first Spanish city to be freed from the north.

November 1944 brought more successes - Bilbao, Valencia and Spain's second city of Barcelona all fell. So did Mallorca and Ibiza, after an assault to eliminate the Spanish naval base there, from which irritating if not damaging raids had been launched. Menorca was left to wither away, posing less of a threat. Equally significant was the entry of Portugal into the war in the previous month. After long negotiations with President Salazar, who had already provided the Azores for use as Allied air bases, an agreement was reached. Portugal would join the Allies in return for being granted the city of Tangiers and not insubstantial financial investments. The most immediate effect was the fall of Badajoz, which after resisting the Allies for several months, suddenly had to deal with an attack from the rear. Portuguese troops also moved into Galicia, an area which until now had been securely under Nationalist control, and also contained their last remaining seaports. The last event of note in 1944 was the fall of historic Salamanca, scene of a famous battle in the last century's Peninsular War. But as 1945 opened, it seemed that this Iberian conflict would be ended rather more quickly.

Allied troops in the north had been held up for some time in the mountains of the Sistema Iberico, but were making up for this by their progress either side of this obstacle. A linkup was achieved with troops from the south on the east coast in January, while to the west Allied columns pushed towards Portuguese lines. Yet the most important action was taking place in the south. After tortuous months of fighting, the Americans achieved a breakthrough on their way northwest from Valencia, and raced for the Spanish capital. To add to Franco's despair, the British captured Toledo in February, the gateway to Madrid from the south. Very quickly, Madrid was surrounded, as were two other major pockets, cut off from the bulk of Spanish forces in Galicia and Asturias. The Battle of Madrid was as fierce as would be expected, reminiscent of the Nationalist attempts to seize the city back in 1936. However by this stage, the Spanish resistance was out in the open, helping in the final push to remove the short-lived Fascist regime. Franco, to his credit, also took to the streets and was killed in the futile defence of his residence at El Pardo. On 19th March, a ceasefire was declared in Madrid, prior to a formal surrender of all remaining Spanish forces the following day. Field Marshal Montgomery signed on behalf of the Allies, while General Muñoz Grandes signed on behalf of Spain. After a year and a half of bloody fighting, the battle for Spain was over.​
I was just browsing your MotF thread, and it had me asking:

How does one create his own contest? And how often must each contest last?
This is my first time participating in a MotF; I hope this entry is all right.

It is overcast in Asunción, and the smoke spewed by the grim towers of the fábricas does nothing to lighten the skies.

It has been twenty-nine years since the end of the Great War. Yet holiday spirit is in short supply, for all is not well in Greater Paraguay. "America's Chosen Nation" (as President Francisco Solano López famously dubbed it on Victory Day in 1871) has been incredibly successful by many an objective measure; Paraguay's industrial production is the highest in the Western Hemisphere save the United States (where a second Civil War seems likelier by the day), members of the volunteer
Defensa Nacional Permanente number in the tens of thousands, and ironclad warships steam up and down the Uruguay River to rendezvous with the Royal Navy in the Atlantic.

But old enemies lie in wait, like waiting spiders. The moderates of the Mitre days are long gone since Argentina's national humiliation, and the crowds of Buenos Aires thirst for revenge. Argentina grows more aggressive in its posturing each day, the beneficiary of military technology whispered to originate in the steelworks and laboratories of Imperial Germany. Both nations are eager to destabilise a British ally while the Empire is at war. In November an huge explosion on the Paraná sent a decommissioned trading barge forty feet into the air within sight of the great Paraguayan fortress-citadel of Humaitá. Brazil, though it pretends at diplomacy, bides its time until Rio Grande can be retaken, extending trade and military access agreements with Asunción's puppets in the south, whose strings grow longer by the month. Peru-Bolivia schemes in the Chaco, whose vaguely demarcated border region is a playground of intrigue and espionage. The signs are clear - war is coming once more, and this time Paraguay will not win.

A grey-haired and weary dictator-for-life curses and throws a military report across his office. He stands up and walks to his window. Despite the purges, the censorship, the corrupt bargains to finance even-larger military projects, deep down he knows it has not been enough. López does not know how soon the end will come, but he knows it is coming soon.

It is the 27th of December, the Year of Paraguayan Awakening 33. These are the closing days of the nineteenth century, and the final heartbeats of a nation.


Apologies for any Spanish mistakes; I'm not a native speaker.
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The Holy Polonian Empire at its zenith, before the great Qaraqyr Invasion.


A loose confederation of princely, ecumenical, and republican states refer to themselves as the "Holy Polonian Empire". This multi-ethnic union came to be after the crowning of Sublime King Dmitrius V of the Husberger Crown; fashioned after the ancient Polonian Empire which used to control much of the region nearly 400 years prior to his reign. The empire could barely be called so, due to it's extreme lack of centralization and unity. Internal strife reached a boiling point when the Husberger Crown and Prussenian Kingdom went to war for nearly 124 years: this period is referred to as "The Alkans War" due to it primarily taking place in the southern Alkan region of the empire. Hegemony over the empire was finally accomplished by the Prussenian Kingdom when King Vikhart "God Given" von Retelszted crushed the Husberger army at Podgrobie (Podgrobzig). This victory lead to a 200 year peace in the empire.

Now on the eve of the new year comes a great threat for the East: The Caesardom of Qaraqyr. Styling itself as the "true polonian empire's successor" after having ransacked what remained of the Eastern Polonian Empire. Now comes the greatest horde the Holy Polonian Empire has ever seen; well organized, well trained, and well equipped.
The loosely held together Polonian Empire's Impirator Anglred tried in vain to raise an army to crush the invaders. His retinue would be surrounded and slaughtered at the battle of Lizthelm, near the Imperial Capital. The success of the Qaraqyr would be attributed to their technological advancement in gunpowder weapons and siege tactics.

The Caesardom of Qaraqyr would rule over much of the Holy Polonian Empire until it's decadent downfall nearly 150 years later.

Madagascar, ho!


Not sure if this is too late, but:

In this TL, William McKinley decides to pick the boring, ordinary Philander Knox as his VP.
Twenty years later, the Great War ends in a peace of mutual exhaustion. The results speak for themselves. In Ireland, Britain controls Belfast, Dublin, Cobh, Wexford, and Waterford. The rest is in the hands of the Nationalists. Their main distraction? Another Boer Revolt in South Africa, an Indian Revolt, and a Muslim Revolt. Not to mention the Arabs in the Near East are getting restless. Basra and Baghdad are both tinderboxes under British occupation. Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Liverpool, the Welsh Mining towns, Glasgow, and London are all being torn apart by anti-draft and socialist rioters.

In France, the British Expeditionary Force has turned occupier in Normandy, Brittany, and the Channel ports, after a communist revolt broke out. The Government had fled to Algiers and is conducting the war from an increasingly restive colony. The Etat Populaire Francaise controls Paris, most of northeast France, and Gascony. In response, the King of Laos and King of Cambodia have stopped taking directives from Paris, and the Japanese have seized Vietnam.

In Italy, the Bienno Rosso has turned into an outright communist revolt as well, this one centered around Milan. Libya has fallen under the control of an Emir as a result, with the Italians controlling only Tripoli, Sirte, and Benghazi.

Russia is its usual mess, except Marshall Tukhachevsky sided with Kerensky's Provisional Government and the Whites. The Civil War is more evenly matched, and neither side has been able to get the upper hand. The Ukraine is revolting against the Whites, Reds, Germans, and Austrians all at the same time.

Germany is seeing a mutiny on the front lines and red revolts in the Rhine Valley and Bavaria at the same time. Rosa Luxemburg has declared a People's Republic of Germany in Koln, and the Bavarian reds have a separatist bent as well. Austria is fine, for now, but Serbia and Bosnia both simmer in resentment. Sarajevo is joined by Belgrade as a city on the brink of revolt.

In Bengal, Muslims and Hindus are killing each other in the streets as the Brits have been driven out except for Dakha and Calcutta, where a tenuous control is maintained at gunpoint. The revolt has been complicated by a poor monsoon, a result of the dust clouds from thousands of miles away, causing famine that is gonna get worse before it gets better,

The Philippines are once again the center for a mass revolt against the Americans, egged on by Tokyo.

The Industrial Midwest and Black Belt are in flames as red revolts and General Strikes are brutally suppressed by a nation that never went to war but is now suffering the dowinturned economy.

Arab, Kurd, and Armenian fight each other, as well as the Turks, in the areas that were only a few months ago ripe for the taking by the Brits.

Spanish Flu has ravaged a war-torn world, but things are about to get worse. On a ship bound for London, one crewman has fallen dreadfully ill. In addition to sweating and fatigue, he also is experiencing blurred vision, and numbness in his limbs.

Near Aden he succumbs, falling out of his bunk and shuddering and shaking uncontrollably, his eyes rolling back into his head. He gasps, shakes, and finally lays still. Unbeknownst to them, a few weeks ago, the wrong bat came into contact with the wrong pig in Calcutta. The ship, nonetheless, should be in London in a few days, after stopping for coal in Aden. What's more? A few crewmembers have begun to feel hot and sweaty, and so have a few locals who handled the body in Aden.