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Nicolas Michon
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Re: [ALPHA] The UK in 4E is still a bit... problematic

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 21:57

Hello,

Even though I have my suspension of disbelief dialed to 11, and am overall less critical of the world building than Arrigo (cf. my other thread), the UK massive invasion is the biggest issue I have because, no wonder how you slice it, it can't work on the scale described. The naval construction effort involved (especially if Sweden is also invaded that way) is simply beyond the scope of what the Soviet Union could have achieved, while also developing its land forces, and the distances (and opposition), if starting from the EASTERN Swedish coast (NATO holds the Western Coast) simply too great: remember that Hitler could not invade with overwhelming forces .... and he was starting from Calais. And that does not involve keeping the invasion troops supplied

So, if you need to have Soviet troops in the UK, it needs to be a more limited invasion. I have proposed a possible scenario (SU lavishly finances a "workers' uprising" which mostly exists in the reports of the local KGB agents, who convince the Centrum that the UK is ripe for the taking and that it only needs some elite troops to topple the regime ....before absconding to a sunny locale) It's not the only possible scenario, of course.
 
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Fenhorn
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Re: [ALPHA] The UK in 4E is still a bit... problematic

Sat 05 Dec 2020, 22:04

The issue some people me included have with the current UK setting is that it is quite unbelievable, also while everyone is perfectly right in rewriting the setting for his/her own use, some have voiced concerns that creating something of a 'canon' could hamper these developments.
I have noticed that, yes. Some of the narrative may be a little bit of a stretch perhaps. I was a simulationist gamer once upon a time, but after twenty or so years I grow tired of it and that constant fixing and trimming of things so it is right. Now I enjoy interesting narratives instead.

But for me, the most important thing is the two main setting locations because they will most likely be the focus point for any modules that FL releases. We know that the three first modules (four if you counting BM) will be about boats, cities and large battles. All will fits into the two main setting locations. I think, if FL expands on setting locations themselves, it will be an adjacent area. So for me, I see this issue as a storm in a teacup since this is not an area that FL planned to write for anyway, at least not in a long while. So those that wrote this most likely wanted to have a colourful backstory for those that doesn't want to play in Sweden/Poland. If they would have written a backstory about a change of a PM and and some marauders on the countryside, people would have most likely have complained about that to.

edit: And I do think that if the backstory of UK is to be changed, then I can only hope that they change it to the one with the removed PM and the marauders. Meh for sure, but I think the meh complains would be easier for me to handle.
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aramis
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Re: [ALPHA] The UK in 4E is still a bit... problematic

Sun 06 Dec 2020, 03:56

The UK doesn't use nuclear plants
Um...? :shock:

Apart from Calder Hall and Sizewell and Trawsfynydd and what? half a dozen? other power stations running during the 90’s, then...
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Evildrsmith
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Re: [ALPHA] The UK in 4E is still a bit... problematic

Sun 06 Dec 2020, 14:59

The UK backstory to me seems to be just enough to be problematic, without being remotely useful.

A number of us have already pointed out the issue of the (lack of) credibility with the invasion scenario. Accepted that a lot (probably the majority) of players won't know that, but if they set a game in the UK and then start trying to fill in the blanks by doing some of their own research (which is of course nice and easy to do online), they will work it out pretty quickly.

The useful details in the background are almost non-existent: we're given the name of the Soviet unit - well, so what? (and of course, it seemingly contradicts the idea of a naval invasion when the occupiers are an airborne unit).

We're told it fought in London (which seems nonsensical, since the implication is that London is nothing but nuclear ruins), but not where the Soviet unit is now and what it hoped to achieve (and if we don't know what it hoped to achieve, we can't identify motivation, possible future operations, etc.)

So if you want to run a game in the UK, you have to do all the work to set the scene anyway, the published stuff doesn't really help.

All it does is set in stone a (non-credible) background that then limits what any future supplement or expansion can do.

Also, as others have said (and I think me, in an earlier post), the fact that the UK isn't an active war zone doesn't mean it's a 'meh!' setting (well not to everybody... your mileage might vary).

It's a small amount of text that doesn't really add anything, does (potentially) create problems, and could almost certainly be removed and the space used for something more useful.
 
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Vader
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Re: [ALPHA] The UK in 4E is still a bit... problematic

Sun 06 Dec 2020, 19:20

The UK doesn't use nuclear plants
Um...? :shock:

Apart from Calder Hall and Sizewell and Trawsfynydd and what? half a dozen? other power stations running during the 90’s, then...
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:lol: Fair score, aramis!

Only, I did, actually — but I got the context wrong, as it didn't really make sense to me otherwise; as you'll see from my follow-up post, once you get around to it.
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AEB
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Re: [ALPHA] The UK in 4E is still a bit... problematic

Mon 07 Dec 2020, 02:35

One possible replacement for the naval invasion is to ramp up the level of KGB infiltration into UK protest groups, unions and fringe political parties to the level where they become a genuine 5th column.

These local forces could seize airports or ports in the aftermath of the nuclear attacks allowing Spetsnaz trainers and military supplies to enter the UK in small amounts without the need for an actual invasion. Local UK communists backed up by special forces.
 
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Vader
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Re: [ALPHA] The UK in 4E is still a bit... problematic

Mon 07 Dec 2020, 10:19

One possible replacement for the naval invasion is to ramp up the level of KGB infiltration into UK protest groups, unions and fringe political parties to the level where they become a genuine 5th column.

These local forces could seize airports or ports in the aftermath of the nuclear attacks allowing Spetsnaz trainers and military supplies to enter the UK in small amounts without the need for an actual invasion. Local UK communists backed up by special forces.

A that UK devolves into a civil war between loyalists and a Moscow-sponsored fifth column of radicals and useful idiots...?

Considering many elements of British history of the past 100 years, this actually sounds almost uncomfortably plausible...!


I could definitely consider developing that one.
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Ursus Maior
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Re: The UK in 4E is still a bit... problematic

Mon 07 Dec 2020, 14:28

And don't forget that Cold War Soviet doctrine was all about the advance of communism.
This is simply not the fact. A true doctrinal spread of communism has not been the agenda of the USSR since Stalin came to power in 1924 ("Socialism in one country" doctrine). For the Cold War, the spread of communism was not a primary doctrinal concern for the USSR, but a technique that made the main doctrine easier to achieve. And that doctrine was "permanently remove the threat of being annihilated". Installing socialist regimes (not "communist", communism is the theoretical goal of these socialist states, but even that fades in rhetoric) is a neat way to control the respective countries that form the security cordon around the USSR proper. But take Romania, not until 1947 is such a regime implemented, the country even remains a monarchy until then.

And while the USSR certainly sponsors communist groups, movements and even rebellions all over the world, it does so precisely for one reason: To control them and have them do what the Kremlin can use to get done. And often enough, this simply means keeping the USA and its allies busy and thus prevent them from what the USSR really fears: gearing and ganging up, their sights set on Moscow.

And really all that means is that the notion of the "evil commie" who is out there to spread communism into the USA or the UK is only a trope that works in Red Dawn. And I am fairly certain this will put off a certain number of players, who know a bit more about the Cold War. And unless there is a huge target audience of people who like "D&D, but set in destroyed 1990s Europe" those Cold War enthusiasts might be your main customer base. In fact, this is the equivalent of the German warmongering generals that started WW3 in classic T2K, which frankly was offensive to Germans, since it implied massive amounts of the Bundeswehr to be war-criminals on par with the Wehrmacht. Something our entire nation is trying to be not for 75 years.
Last edited by Ursus Maior on Mon 07 Dec 2020, 20:03, edited 1 time in total.
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Fenhorn
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Re: [ALPHA] The UK in 4E is still a bit... problematic

Mon 07 Dec 2020, 14:52

Moderator Message: There are a lot of hobby experts here that also apparently knows how other people thinks and feel, that likes to put themselves high up on a pedestal. When you discuss the alternative history of the UK in 4E (topic of the thread) please do so in a civil and respectful manner and without being a mouthpiece for other people. Other people can talk for themselves. I write this before someone crosses the line, it is not directed at any one particularly. My tolerance level is not the highest these days. Do not respond to this message.
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Ursus Maior
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Re: [ALPHA] The UK in 4E is still a bit... problematic

Mon 07 Dec 2020, 20:43

A that UK devolves into a civil war between loyalists and a Moscow-sponsored fifth column of radicals and useful idiots...?

Considering many elements of British history of the past 100 years, this actually sounds almost uncomfortably plausible...!


I could definitely consider developing that one.
Yes, it does. Though I am not an expert on anti-English rule on the island of Great Britain itself. However, I could imagine the KGB fostering and equipping Welsh, Scottish and even Cornish groups of nationalists, plus communist hardliners, in addition to shipping weapons to Northern Ireland. After a couple of nuclear hits, Great Britain could easily become a state fighting a civil war on top of a world war.
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