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spectre1890

Operation Mjolnir (Alternate History)

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This is my team's concept for a relatively easy first full game before we plunge into an already established sci-fi world, but I still want some questions answered before we go ahead with this. For your information, it will be an isometric shooter -- nothing too complex as far as writing or gameplay. -- The year is 1945. This 1945, however, is not the end of World War II as we know it. D-Day was a massive failure. Hitler was assassinated in 1942, and replaced by Erwin Rommel, who has ended the Holocaust three years prematurely and erased much of the damage Hitler had wrought during his rise to power. Because of Hitler's fatal mistakes being removed from the course of history (and a master strategist becoming the new leader of Nazi Germany), events such as the Battle of Britain and D-Day became breakthroughs for the Wehrmacht, and the Allied armies in Europe were all but crushed. Now that only Canada and the United States remain, Rommel is assembling a three-pronged invasion of North America. Named Operation Mjolnir (after Thor's legendary hammer), the three forces will strike in three distinct locales; the first force will enter America through Baltimore, Maryland (for easy access to Washington, D.C.); the second force will march through the former Russian territory of Alaska; and the third force will enter Canada with the help of both the Kriegsmarine and the Japanese Imperial Navy's carriers. (These will signify difficulty levels, with the GIs in Baltimore being the Medium level, the SS soldier in Alaska as Easy, and the soldier in Canada being Hard.) -- Nothing too basic, but I have a couple of pressing questions to ask before I go ahead with the idea. 1. Have I put too much emphasis on the victory of this alternate Germany? I understand that this could possibly offend some people. You have to realize that the Allies really cannot win the game at all. 2. Should I simplify Mjolnir and leave out the Canadian campaign, or just focus on one side of the campaign?

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What type of game is it?

If its a RTS then by all means keep all three invasions. It will add content.

If its somekind of story driven FPS then probably you should consider one invasion at the time since it doenst really make much sense to hop between each invasion. Of course this means that the invasions are simultaneous strikes. Then again you could always make it so that the player takes control of 3 diferent individuals (one for each invasion point) and even that the actions of one affect the other two (complicating it quite a bit here!).

As for offending... well... Nobody seems to complain when Allies kill Nazis and these days attacking "Terrorists" is pratically a duty. I personally dont understand what would the fuss be about but Im certain quite a few people would find it offensive, specially if you are making the Nazis the victor.

so? what type of game will it be anyways?

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It's an isometric shooter. Keep in mind that this Germany is not as 'evil' as the one in our reality. From what we know, Rommel was far, far more honorable than, say, Hitler. My interpretation is that much of the stigma surrounding WWII Germany would dissipate if the Holocaust and other horrors had not happened in the first place.

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You could have a lot of fun with the German point of view. I would heartily recommend you don't take take it too seriously though, that way you don't risk coming off as a nazi. It's an alternate history scenario anyway, so it's a bit ridiculous right from the start.

somethingawful.com has a series of articles called "My Tank is Fight" (sic). It showcases a lot of the wacky inventions the Germans came up with, any of which could be fun to play round with in a game. The writing style of the articles also pokes fun at the Germans while at the same time acknowledging their abilities.

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All I wanted to do was be a bit fair to the Germans as far as looking in retrospect. Nearly all the media on World War II casts them as monsters (just look at Saving Private Ryan pretty closely, and you'll see what I mean), and now that I've erased three years of infamy, I think I can get a more human look at that side of the war without offending the masses.

Thanks for the feedback. :) It's about time someone read the writing forum.

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I have no real opinion on the idea of using Germans/Nazis for main playable characters but I think you may need to give your alternate history a bit more credibility (other than assuming Rommel would have solved all the problems of Hitler's!).

For example, one of the major turning points in World War 2 was the (poor) decision by Germany to invade Russia in 1941. In 1942 (when you have Hitler assassinated) things were going pretty well for Germany in its invasion (the Russian offensive at the Kharkov axis had failed) and its not clear whether Rommel would have been willing to give up on those advances and pull German troops back from territory freshly won...

I like the idea of alternate realities though...hope I've not been too anal with this!

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I don't know if this was a wise move, but I started developing the story at 1945, not building up on true history from 1942. By default, the German invasion of Russia was a success, and Rommel had extra breathing room to devote to the African campaign. In essence, I had planned the end before the beginning.

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I guess it depends on how in-depth you want the story to be...

When I'm designing or writing I tend to be very thorough and try to think through as much as possible so, in this case, I'd be looking at 1942 and then deciding what would have happened from that point on. For example:

1) Might the Germans have reached a treaty with Russia and kept territory in return for halting their offensive?
2) If this had happened, and Germany had not suffered immense losses in the East, would the Allied offensive in Europe have succeeded?
3) Would the Germans have been able to make further technological advances if under less pressure - i.e. develop the A-Bomb first?
4) How would all of this affected matters in the Pacific?

If you use this approach you'll possibly end up making more work for yourself but, at the same time, you'll have a richer story and a better idea of how your alternate history works...

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Just a warning: it will offend people, still. It will be branded as pro-Nazi because it shows the German army and leadership as good, neutral, or not awful. It doesn't show the horror of the holocaust and the hate and fear that went into creating it. While it's generally accepted that the poor grunts fighting the German war weren't innately any more evil than their British counterparts, it's also generally accepted that Hitler, various commanders, and the SS purposely committed mass murder, genocide, and the rape of various nations to further their own fame, reputation, and goals. I'm not saying this is the way people should react to an alternate history, but this is the way a lot of people would react. So, you might try to counter as many of those problems as you can.

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Ok, those questions I'll try to answer:

1.I would say that your best bet for dealing with the Russians would be to have the Germans avoid the major disaster at Stalingrad, which would basically cause a stalemate (Not a victory for the Germans, the Soviet industrial potential was too great). At that point, a treaty could probably be reached between Stalin and the remaining generals, but probably not before he tried another offensive action.

2. No way in hell. If even only some of the pressure was released on the Eastern Front, it would mean a huge increase of divisions in the west, which combined with a greater reaction time without Hitler's stranglehold on power, would spell the immediate failure of any invasion in the west.

3. Germany had abandoned the effort for the atomic bomb fairly early, IIRC, preffering to put more effort into other secret weapons, like rocket technology. The may have been able to develop the first intercontinental ballistic missiles in your timeline(they had realistic plans in 1945 to build missiles of little more than V-2 technology)

4. Probably not too much, it could've even sped up if the US decided that efforts in Europe were futile and put more effort into the Pacific(The allies had a 'Germany First' policy), of course, if the US feared an Eastern coast invasion, it would have propably dedicated more of its ever-important carrier forces to the Atlantic

There's also a problem with Rommel leading Germany, in that he really wasn't in any sort of position to take control, in fact, the Assassination of Hitler would probably result of huge strife at the upper levels of Nazi Germany, mainly between Georing and Himmler, with the military standing by, trying not to get too caught up.
Also: Rommel is basically overrated, his fam resulting mostly from the Propaganda from both sides in the west, Germany trying to distract people from the Eastern front's problems with fresh victories, and the Western Allies later by finally having some victories of there own, which exagerrated Rommel's awesomeness just to show how good they must've been for beating him.

My dad just brought up another point, which is somewhat obscure, but might be useful to you: If the Japanese had tried harder to attack the USSR in the far east, then the Soviets wouldn't have been able to pull out the Siberian Divisions in time to stop the Nazis at the gates of Moscow. If the Germans captured Moscow, it woud not have guaranteed total victory, but they would've been in a much better position, allowing for similar events to the ones you described.

Yeah, I know waaay too much about this stuff -sorry if my nit-pickery is unhelpful...

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hmmm, alternative history is always a good starting place for writing, but it is always best to first make sure you have a firm grasp of your version of history even if only a small fraction of it will be shown to the player.

In regards, to your history itself I would suggest setting it a little farther into the future. Maybe the early 50's at the height of a cold war between America and Germany.

If you have the Germans delaying their assault on Russia and instead diverting most of their resources to Britain then it is conceivable that they could have conquered Britain and Ireland. If that had happened then the US would have been forced the US and Canada to cease hostilities against Germany due to the fact that they would have lacked the logistical capabilities to launch an offensive across the Atlantic.

In terms of game play story ask yourself this; what is the story I want to tell? Remember that Germany is in the far weaker position when it comes to this invasion. They are far from their supply lines and power base. Fighting in their opponents home territory which is heavily industrialized and the combined area of the us and Canada most likely equals that of the entire German empire at this point. This is not a battle the Germans can win unless you give them an edge.

What that edge is, is up to you and should factor heavily into your story line. Your best bet also is to be more specific with the aims of operation Mjolnir. Invade Canada and US is overly broad and doesn't have any clear aims or objectives. Instead try and figure the over all objective of and purpose of these three simultaneous strikes and how they combine to further the overall German agenda of conquering the US and Canada.

Just some food for thought

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What I'm probably going to do is take the arcade approach -- simplify the story for the game, and portray the entire thing in actions rather than words. I can post every detail later. This is a 2d project, not an epic FPS spanning three continents and three years of fighting.

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Nice idea im all for credible alternate histories. Im currently studying the cold war, its influences and effects on history and a thought that may not directly influence your game but is still interesting for the melting pot, could Germany have actually won against the US?

I am not pro any one side but from my research - no way in hell!

Germany take over Europe? Very credible if Hitler hadnt decided to make war on two fronts and fail at both. The Germany vs America idea is far more difficult. America had somthing like more than 70% control of the worlds economy, the worlds largest industrial base (I think Germany at full capacity was less than 1/4 of American assets), America had strong allies to draw upon eg. Britain (even though they were smashed in your version), Russia an emerging superpower with capacity far greater than Germany even after relocating over the Ural's, Russia basically won WWII inflicting more than 60% of Germanys casualties in the whole war. Germany had what? Japan? Japan was one of the worlds weakest powers, it stung the US at Pearly harbor but the US rebuilt the whole fleet and then some within two years while Japan could not replace those losses.

In short all the axis powers at full strength would have had monstrous difficulty taking America alone. Germany's advantage in war has always been superior quality of training and equipment and actually seasoned troops entering conflict rather than vast numbers eg. Russia. So Germany cuts through the enemy hordes quickly and makes rapid gains. But as war progresses and casualties mount you can't replace the experience/resources lost so Germanys performance declines.
The US on the other hand relies on mass produced hordes. As war progresses the US with its monstrous industrial base commits more resourses and its military performance rapidly rises, growing stronger as conflict continues.
In short
Germany = lightning wars of mobility
America = extended conventional warfare basically bankrupting its opponents into submission

So Germany making war on the US homeland, crossing against the US Navy to fight the industrial giant on its own soil? I can't see that as a realistic premise unless Germany has some kind of mamoth advantage, say Russia joins the Axis now Hitler is out of the way?

(Germany needs a noble Troika to lead, just like pre-war Russia :D Im thinking Rommel (the public face), Manstein (possibly the single ablest commander of WWII), and one more maybe Canaris (head of German intelligence and one of the conspiritors against Hitler). Send Goebles, Himmler and the rest to the Gas chambers, do the Moses thing and let the Jews go free and Germany is not such a nasty place.)

As to offending people, you will never avoid offending someone, but Im sort of getting sick of the rightious propaganda painted by the victors stuff. There is no evil, no good in war, only war itself.
Rant off.

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