Your least favourite AH tropes & motifs

I don’t care for timelines focusing on sports or wrestling. I understand a lot of hard work and research goes into them, and that many are well written. But it’s just not my thing to read about fantasy basketball games and the like.
 
I don’t care for timelines focusing on sports or wrestling. I understand a lot of hard work and research goes into them, and that many are well written. But it’s just not my thing to read about fantasy basketball games and the like.
Agreed, sports are boring enough already, unless you're playing them, or watching a sports film made before around A.D. 2000 or so (Space Jam, Mighty Ducks, etc.)
 
The idea that colonialism continuing on would have been better that occasionally pops up is kind of disturbing.
Not really a trope but... I think that most people have this view of OTL's ideologies being the inevitable results of human cultural evolution, which is simply not the case. Nothing predetermined that something like communism was guaranteed to get as popular as it did, or even that it would exist all at. But you feel pressured to include it in some form. After all, a story needs easily identifiable good guys, or bad guys if you choose, and it's easier to use familiar tropes rather than create something new and need to explain it in detail.
Some form of Socialist thought seems pretty inevitable given the material conditions of the Industrial Revolution. My biggest gripe that it usually ends up resembling Leninism or it's various offshoots literally no matter what.
 
Some form of Socialist thought seems pretty inevitable given the material conditions of the Industrial Revolution. My biggest gripe that it usually ends up resembling Leninism or it's various offshoots literally no matter what.
There's all sorts of weird directions to take this! For a couple of my random little ideas I've tooled around with utopian socialism making it big, while a lot of my stuff with a surviving Confederacy devolves into Slavery Modernist* Synarchy (plus I made a flag for a socialist-abolitionist synthesis that would arise in such a scenario). A version of TL-191 I toyed with had the *Axis made up of a guild syndicalist Britain, yellow socialist France and Vasconcelos-inspired Confederacy.

*They argued they were the only socialists in the world who were arguing in good faith, of all things
 
i think this board tends to be really rigid about some things. We've all seen threads get uber derailed in arguments of plausibility, for instance. Reality isn't realistic after all (otherwise the Romans probably wouldn't have risen, for example, and America to India wouldn't all be speaking from the same broad language family.) So while there are certainly some matters of what's an acceptable break from logic and what's bullshit, I think the board tends to be less generous than it should be.

no this ins't to justify that damn mammal. more like "of course, the confederacy survived in a TL specifically about them doing so," or similar
 
i think this board tends to be really rigid about some things. We've all seen threads get uber derailed in arguments of plausibility, for instance. Reality isn't realistic after all (otherwise the Romans probably wouldn't have risen, for example, and America to India wouldn't all be speaking from the same broad language family.) So while there are certainly some matters of what's an acceptable break from logic and what's bullshit, I think the board tends to be less generous than it should be.

no this ins't to justify that damn mammal. more like "of course, the confederacy survived in a TL specifically about them doing so," or similar

I generally agree with this. I like to think of possibility in stages. There are things that are utterly impossible (How would the Roman Empire deal with Hitler's Germany), there is the highly unlikely (The Nazies defeat the Soviet Union), the moderately unlikely, and so forth.

Personally, as long as the TL is dealing with the moderately unlikely and better, I'm willing to give them a pass - especially if the author can make a good case. I'm a firm believer that a TL should get one or two freebies (though no more), and I do lean into the Rule of Cool as well. When things get to the Highly Unlikely stage, I get a bit more hesitant - though, there, once again, it comes down to the author being able to make a good argument. Can they plausibly explain what went down with a minimum (but certainly not none) handwaving? Cool, it gets a pass.

For instance, in my Amalingian timeline: I have the Goths not only reestablish the Western Empire, but remain a coherent ethnic group within that Empire (maintaining their own language, traditions, etc, all the while still being heavily influenced by Roman culture). Is this the most likely outcome? Probably not. In fact, I'd list it as firmly "moderately unlikely." But I've tried to explain the situation in such a way as to make it plausible (and I could easily have descended into handwaving: "They maintain their culture because ... I SAID SO! :D") and throughout the years of writing the timeline off and on, I don't think I've eve received a negative comment about it - in fact, I've actually had people get really interested in the language and give me some advice on how a Romance-influenced East Germanic langauge would develop. Which has been great, since I am no linguist, amateur or not!

I think what we see on this boad is a mix of a few things. First, there is a tendency for commenters to round down the probability of something: should the probability be 49 percent or less, people will happily round it down to zero. Secondly, I think some posters rely a bit too much on handwaiving and don't spend the time trying to explain the improbable events. Third, there's people on here who know a LOT about certain subjects - sometimes more than the OP - and so they are able to see the holes in a story, and want to point these out. I've been this person before as well, but I think it's impotant in these cases to not simply critique what the OP has come up with, but also to suggest ways in which a similar outcome could be attained. Finally, you know, there are some know-it-alls who want to show off and pick fights :D Though, luckily, these sorts are a distinct minority and don't seem to last overly long.
 
I've been this person before as well, but I think it's impotant in these cases to not simply critique what the OP has come up with, but also to suggest ways in which a similar outcome could be attained
i think we all have; I especially tend to be critical of Anglo-German alliances pre ww2, since britain's perpetual "back number two" is probably the oldest continued foreign policy in Europe bar their alliance with portugal
 
Im pretty sure that there is one thats present in at least The Plot Against America where things have diverged pretty significantly between the US and Nazi Germany and then low and behold a belated Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor shifts everything back to OTL.
 
The assumption that a Centrals Powers victory will be a more peaceful world.
I have mixed feelings about this but assuming the Soviet Union doesnt rise or last is there anyway that Imperial Germany could have been as bad as Nazi Germany ? Where does the more violent world come from if the Kaisereich wins ?Is there even a Depression triggered in 1929 ? Japan is still there but is there aonther world war in just 20 years ?
 
Imperial Germany could have been as bad as Nazi Germany ? Where does the more violent world come from if the Kaisereich wins ?Is there even a Depression triggered in 1929 ? Japan is still there but is there aonther world war in just 20 years ?
the nazis basically dialed the evils of the second reich up to eleven, and while they might have Europe on lock enough to prevent another war, they would still have all those colonies to support and crack down on. not to mention the prospect of something happening with the US
 
the nazis basically dialed the evils of the second reich up to eleven, and while they might have Europe on lock enough to prevent another war, they would still have all those colonies to support and crack down on. not to mention the prospect of something happening with the US
I could see the US still getting into it with Japan but where and over what would it be with Imperial Germany ?
 
I have mixed feelings about this but assuming the Soviet Union doesnt rise or last is there anyway that Imperial Germany could have been as bad as Nazi Germany ?
Both imperial Germany and Nazi Germany commited genocides, so they’re certainly both in the same ballpark. (The ballpark being genocidal regimes)
 
Last edited:
Both imperial Germany and Nazi Germany commited genocides, so they’re certainly both in the same ballpark.
In the strictest sense of the word right ?Not that that in anyway diminishes what Imperial Germany did with Africans but what it did was much more like what the US did with Native Americans wasnt it- ? Belgium was as bad or worse in Africa as well.
 
The board's obsession with butterflies. Especially how it's sometimes used to shut down discussion of potentially interesting ideas. Why yes, I don't particularly give a damn as to how Richard Nixon is still the president of the United States in a world where Rome still exists and South America is inhabited by sentinent dinosaurs. It's fun, yahno? And given alternate-history logic where there's a supposed infinite amount of realities, why not damn to hell all self-obsessed pretensions to realism, and simply go with the world that's closest to our historical lived experience while also somehow having otherwise fantastical changes.

That, and the Byzantines. One word: Meh. The amount of effort spent in wanking those fellows is incredibly disproportionate to their actual historical importance.
 
That, and the Byzantines. One word: Meh. The amount of effort spent in wanking those fellows is incredibly disproportionate to their actual historical importance.
I have never read one even from HT.What usually happens-successors to Rome lasting to the modern world or something like that ?
 
In the strictest sense of the word right ?Not that that in anyway diminishes what Imperial Germany did with Africans but what it did was much more like what the US did with Native Americans wasnt it- ? Belgium was as bad or worse in Africa as well.
Well yeah? Those are all example of genocidal regimes.
 
That, and the Byzantines. One word: Meh. The amount of effort spent in wanking those fellows is incredibly disproportionate to their actual historical importance.
I think it's a result of romabooism since the byzantines were the successor to that empire (and the surviving half) and because people don't tend to like the ottomans for some reason (I have a few ideas,) though I generally agree that their importance is less what they did and more how they died
 
Both imperial Germany and Nazi Germany commited genocides, so they’re certainly both in the same ballpark. (The ballpark being genocidal regimes)
While what Imperial Germany did in Southwest Africa was bad, it puts them nowhere near the same ballpark as Nazi Germany....
 
Top