This article is about the subforum that opened in October 2011. For the game genre known as the nation(s) game, see here.
Nation Games was once one of the three subfora of the Shared Worlds forum. Like Moderated Games, it was devoted to nation games, in which each player controls a country and determines its actions within an overall world.
Despite dedicating themselves to similar pursuits, these two communities remained distinct and exhibit substantial stylistic differences. For instance, Moderated Games generally represent in-game time as a contraction of real-life time, while Nation Games divide in-game time into turns which are advanced at moderator discretion.
The origins of Nation Games as distinct from Moderated Games can be traced to March 2009, when the Sandbox opened. Prior to that point, all nation games took place in the main Shared Worlds forum and, due to fear of drawing interest away from active games and killing them, were subject to strict limits on quantity. The Sandbox served as a home for, among others, the game ideas that exceeded those limits.
The Sandbox was abolished in October 2011 as part of a general redistribution of Shared Worlds. Nation Games was split off as its own subforum, and the main forum, which had maintained its structure and leadership with only gradual change, became Moderated Games.
In March 2015, many members of the Nation Games community, citing lack of software and administrative support from the AH.COM administration, decamped to a new forum on Sufficient Velocity. This event is known today as the “first migration” or “the schism”. The only game to continue through the disruption was the long-running A Song of Ice and Fire Nation Game, and although this game finally died shortly thereafter this did ensure that the once highly active ASoIaF sub-community within Nation Games was almost entirely transplanted into Sufficient Velocity. ASoIaF themed continue to be run by the AH.com Nation Games, though without a distinct player-base separate from the rest of the community.
Since the schism, several new games have were run by Chaotic Brillance, Dragos Cel Mare, FPSlover, Ankh Von Hapsburg, The_Last_Plantagenet, Usilli and theDisciple all to moderate success. The most successful was the long running Vae Victis III, later renamed Divide et Impera, which lasted for a considerable part of 2016.
However on 25OCT2016 Shared Worlds was reorganized again, with all sub-forums (Nation Games, Moderated Games, Map Games) re-combined into the general Shared Worlds forum and the implementation of the genre-tag system. Complaints by notable NG players led to administrative action against some members, resulting in a number of users converting to the SV heresy or threatening to do so.
As a result of this “second migration”, the majority of the long time members of the Nation Games community since 2011 have left. A handful of “old era” players remain with NG, including Kome, Flamelord, evilprodigy, Bob the Great, and others.
Fortunately NG has been significantly repopulated with new and some returning players. By 2017 the Nation Games community had fully adopted an democratic (poll) system for selecting new games, with a semi-formal rule that only two games be run at one time (although this “rule” is not enforced by administration and has been challenged and broken at times).
From amongst those new players emerged the first “Chancellor” of the Nation Games community, jankmaster98. In his time as Chancellor, he has overseen the game proposal election system, created the NG community discord, and started the NG community podcast.
NG Discussion and Election Thread: Nation Games Proposal and Discussion Thread
Discord Channel: Royal Alternate History NG Server (if link expired, request invite in NG discussion thread)
Unknown Horizons Created by Archduke on 30 August 2019, set primarily in Europe 1394 with an alternate Timurid invasion as it's premise.
Fell Winds From the North Created by Caspoi on 21 August 2020, it is set in the fictional world of Lord of the Rings, starting during event of the Fall of Arnor described in the lore of the series.
Dreadnoughts and Diplomats: Created on the 27th of August 2020 by Don Quijote. The setting of the game is historical world in 1905.
Below is a sample of some of the recent games which have had successful runs.
There are perhaps a thousand games which might arguably qualify as “Nation Games” that have been run on Alternate History since the site was established, and approximately 500 nation games have been run since the original establishment of a distinct community of Nation Games in 2011. The following is very small sample of games which are notable for their length of play, volume of content, the investment from the players and mods, or simply for being memorable. Note that this is not intended to be exhaustive nor quantifiable, but is merely a short list of games that the editor of this page is able to recall from nearly a decades worth of games.
Fallen: A Balkanized US Nation Game: Set primarily in a future dystopian United States, which had collapsed into civil war due to mysterious events in 2020. The setting was originally created Inquisition (then WiiGuy) and the game co-modded with Bob the Great beginning from 17 Nov 2011. Inquisition later retired from the mod team but remained as a player for most of it's length as California. The game was then modded by Bob the Great and FgenLuke until the end of the game nearly two years later in 10 Nov 2013. The Game won the Turtledove awards for Best Continuing Nation Game and then Best Alternate History Game in 2013 (category later renamed Best Overall Shared Worlds)
A Song of Ice and Fire NG Created By Gurroruo, this ASOIAF themed nation game was spread over three continuous game threads and was run in parallel with a Role Play game that also spanned several threads. The game was set in a time shortly before period of the main book (and HBO) series, beginning with the disappearance of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark after the Tournament at Harrenhal (in 282 AC by the dating system of the setting). The game continued until 358 AC. It was run in real time from 15 Dec 2013 to 5 April 2015, making it the second longest nation game ever run. The players of this game went on to form a distinct “ASOIAF” circle within the Nation Games community, which eventually migrated to Sufficient Velocity during the schism of 2016. Within that community the ASOIF NG is still remembered as “The Game”.
The Greatest Game & The Greatest Game: The Spring of Nations This two part series was the winner of the 2015 Turtledove Award for Best Overall Shared Worlds and was played in real time from 25 Nov 2013 to 31 Jan 2014 and from 16 Jul 2014 to 31 Aug 2014
Glories of Eden: A Scramble for Africa NG Created by Gwrtheyrn Annwn, and has been described by him as the greatest game he ever run (out of many successful games run by him over the years). It took place in the historical world of 1861 and continued until 1880, played from 14 Sep 2017 to 12 Dec 2017 in real time.
Le drapeau sur Haut, The Story of the Five Way Cold War Created by Kaiser K (then known as “Miss Abby”) as part of a series of games with a theme of a “reverse cold war”. In the alternative historical setting of this game, not only was the United States a communist superpower and Russia capitalist, but in addition the French and British Empires had been the fascist powers of WWII, in place of Germany. It was run in real time from 25 Sep 2013 to 13 Nov 2013.
Divide et Imperia Run from 26 May 2016 to 29 Oct 2016.
Diplomacy and Domination: A Timeskip Nation Game Run from 29 May 2012 to 25 Jul 2012
Echoes of Imperium Run from 11 Jun 2017 to 27 Aug 2017
Jank's homework assignment: Nation Games (and historical games in general) are discussed as a form of media. Notable as the only NG podcast to receive any editing. Occurred on 8 February 2020.
Podcast 1“: A “Welcome to Nation Games” podcast in which the attendants discuss what Nation Games are. Occurred on 21 March 2020
Podcast 2”: Discussion Topic: War of Spanish Succession (chosen by straw poll). Occurred on 4 April 2020
Podcast 3: Discussion Topic: “Plans” (Chosen by straw poll). Occurred on 11 April 2020
Podcast 4: Discussion Topic “1860s”. Occurred on 23 May 2020
Nation Games Academy: Posted in the Shared Worlds subforum by the user and at that time avid NGer Usili in January 2013. Includes discussion of Nation Games and how best to play them. The thread also contains a series of essay or guide style “lectures” by various users, including Saint_007, Troyer IV, Prometheus_2300, flamelord and other NG veterans of the 2013-2015 era. More recently some content has been added by Skrevski and Gwrthyern Annwyn in 2018.
The Missing Report of All Hell Let Loose: Linked here are the long awaited war reports for 1942 in the AHLL nation game.