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The American Front: An Alternate History Map For A&A 1914


  • Customizer

    Here are some early screenshots of how I’m designing the map.

    I’m doing my best to mimic the textures and styles of the OOB 1914 map. The red circles you see in the first pic represent the unit chips, so that’ll give you an idea of scale. I think right now the map is looking like it’s going to be 48"x36", just showing North America.

    As always, I welcome any input/suggestions.

    CW2 SS1.JPG
    CW2 SS2.JPG



  • Looks great ! I cant wait to see the whole map (will it include also Western USA?)

    How Do you do make those textures and styles of the OOB map?

    I have a (german) map of the OOB (except I made Switzerland  and Western Germany larger)

    Would be cool it If you could help me a little bit with the design…

    1914baseTileAlpha.png


  • Customizer

    @Chacmool:

    Looks great ! I cant wait to see the whole map (will it include also Western USA?)

    How Do you do make those textures and styles of the OOB map?

    I have a (german) map of the OOB (except I made Switzerland  and Western Germany larger)

    Would be cool it If you could help me a little bit with the design…

    Glad you like it! Yes, it’ll be the entire US, with part of Mexico and Canada shown as well.

    So I’m actually using AutoCAD to do the design, but I’m sure you could accomplish similar results with a program that’s not $1000 per copy…

    I found some hi-res marble textures for the territories and colorized them to match the OOB board colors. I might be able to post the images here or host them elsewhere and link to them, let me look into that.

    Once I have the textures how I like them, I “hatch” or fill in the borders with the texture. The trick is to scale the texture so that it doesn’t tile.



  • wow… I am a design-noob and only have Microsoft paint 🙂

    Could you post the whole map when its finished??


  • Customizer

    I definitely will. Here’s an in-progress preview. It’s a rather large file, so I’ve made it public on my Google Drive. Let me know if you can’t access it.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7x1PKfqsr0lQ1VYVXdVdk1jZnc/edit?usp=sharing

    I’m still working out some of the colors, and some of the roundel blocks look rough to me close up, but this is the general feel I’m going for.



  • The map looks awesome so far!!!

    I will print this baby as soon as its done!  🙂



  • About time you got around to this, I was actually looking up mapping programs so that I could do it myself if you didn’t lol.


  • Customizer

    @DarthShizNit:

    About time you got around to this, I was actually looking up mapping programs so that I could do it myself if you didn’t lol.

    Alright, you’ve inspired me to finish this! I’m going to try and get it knocked out by this time next month.  😄


  • Customizer

    Hello ossel,
    I just got done reading the Wikipedia page on the Southern Victory alternate history. It was fascinating. Looks like the CSA sort of took the place of Nazi Germany. It seemed to me like the alternate WW2 consisted of the CSA, Russia, England and France as sort of the Axis, USA, Germany and Austria/Hungary as sort of the Allies, with Japan as a third party. Japan had clashes with the US, but also apparently threatened British possessions in the Pacific.
    Overall, it seemed like almost a reversal of both WW1 and WW2. A very interesting story. I love alternate timeline scenarios. I would have liked to find out more about the Japanese position in the far east. There was mention of the US attacking Midway and Wake islands to find the Japanese simply left before they got there. Also that Japan had “influence” with the Nationalist government in China. Did that mean they were allies? Guess I would have to get into the actual novels for more info there. Still, overall a fascinating read.
    So your map would be for WW1? Once it is completed, do you have any plans on making one for the WW2 scenarios?


  • Customizer

    @knp7765:

    Hello ossel,
    I just got done reading the Wikipedia page on the Southern Victory alternate history. It was fascinating. Looks like the CSA sort of took the place of Nazi Germany. It seemed to me like the alternate WW2 consisted of the CSA, Russia, England and France as sort of the Axis, USA, Germany and Austria/Hungary as sort of the Allies, with Japan as a third party. Japan had clashes with the US, but also apparently threatened British possessions in the Pacific.
    Overall, it seemed like almost a reversal of both WW1 and WW2. A very interesting story. I love alternate timeline scenarios. I would have liked to find out more about the Japanese position in the far east. There was mention of the US attacking Midway and Wake islands to find the Japanese simply left before they got there. Also that Japan had “influence” with the Nationalist government in China. Did that mean they were allies? Guess I would have to get into the actual novels for more info there. Still, overall a fascinating read.
    So your map would be for WW1? Once it is completed, do you have any plans on making one for the WW2 scenarios?

    Yes, the story is very interesting, though admittedly long. There are 11 full-length books in the series, so good luck if you embark on reading them!

    I do intend to make a WW2 map, but I haven’t put much thought into which pieces would represent which side, etc. After all, as you’ve pointed out, the Confederates became Fascists in the alternate timeline, and the North pretty much became socialists! Making a WW2 scenario is definitely in the cards though, and the effort would be fairly minimal once the WWI map is complete.


  • Customizer

    For those of you that have been following this, I’ll post the National Objectives I’ve thought up so far. As always, feedback and suggestions are welcome.

    National Objectives

    Cut the Line:
    If the United States controls any of the Confederate territories bordering Mexico (Texas, Chihuahua, or Guaymas), the East-West Railroad is considered cut, and the CSA cannot recruit troops in cities west of the captured territory.

    De Jure and De Facto:
    If the Confederate States captures Washington D.C., it receives a one-time award of 10 IPC’s.

    If the CSA captures both Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, it receives all of the IPC’s in the United States’ bank, and the U.S. economy henceforth functions as two nations: Eastern U.S. and Western U.S. (similar to the U.K. in A&A Global 1940). The two “nations” may only earn IPC’s from their own territories and may only place units in Victory Cities within their own territories. If either Washington D.C. or Philadelphia is recaptured, this restriction ends and the economies are recombined.

    Blockade:
    Blockades work in much the same way as “Convoy Disruptions” in A&A Global 1940.

    Each enemy surface warship in a sea zone adjacent to one of your territories causes the loss of one IPC from your income for the turn. Each submarine is considered “On Station” and causes the loss of 2 IPCs. However, each sea zone can’t lose more IPCs than the total IPC value of controlled territories adjacent to the sea zone.


  • '14

    Ossel,

    Do you have your own version of the OOB map for A&A 1914, with corrected map flaws?


  • Customizer

    @protevangelium:

    Ossel,

    Do you have your own version of the OOB map for A&A 1914, with corrected map flaws?

    I have started on one, using similar textures, etc. as the one I’m making for American Front. It honestly hasn’t been a priority for me and it’s not as far along as this one. That’s certainly something I can work on in the future though. Was there ever consensus on what exactly needed to be changed?


  • '14

    Well, for starters, Bulgaria needs an Aegean coastline, Poland no coastline, and some re-configuring of Russian territory to reflect St. Petersburg.

    I can add this to your linked post talking about a revised WWI map (thus bumping it). Others have worked on versions of a WWI map, but you can never have too many! Some prefer a global scale; I was fine with the area A&A 1914 portrayed, as this was where the majority of the fighting took place. The only battles outside that scope were largely naval ones, a skirmish in New Guinea, and the siege at Tsingtao (though these intensely interest me and have for nearly two decades). The benefit of a global map is that you can use it for circa 1900 Great Power scenarios.


  • Customizer

    @knp7765:

    Once it is completed, do you have any plans on making one for the WW2 scenarios?

    So I had a thought on which units to use for WWII Confederates. I really like the ANZAC grey units from HBG: http://www.historicalboardgaming.com/HBG-Battle-Pieces–Allies-Supplement-set-Anzac-Grey_p_1131.html

    They have the “American” look without being green.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 '13 Moderator

    Good point Ossel.
    I like that.


  • Customizer

    Perhaps use the French Blue or Light Blue US Supplement pieces for Union WWII units.



  • ossel, have you finished the alternate american-front map already?

    I am curious how it looks like!


  • 2016

    For several years, I’ve worked on design teams for political-military simulations that include alternate histories of the Civil War.

    Generally speaking, the design teams have always agreed that the die is already cast by 1860 for reasons of economy and political economy: if the United States is in the hands of a skilled played, the Confederate States can have no chance of winning a general war. The idea is that they will simply be out-produced and out-governed by a much more populous, much richer, much more industrial, much more cohesive northern neighbor. We therefore tend to design the alternate history for North America with the intention of providing the South with as much an advantage as possible. Since your intent is to develop a fun wargame that leaves some possibility for a Southern victory, you may find my comments interesting. (I certainly hope that you do!)

    We begin, like Turtledove, with a Southern victory at Antietam. We then followed that with Anglo-French intervention by land and sea. As in Turtledove’s narrative, the South manages to leave the Union with Kentucky, portions of what is today West Virginia, the Unorganized (later, Indian) Territory, and the Confederate Arizona Territory (south of the 34th parallel). Significant populations of southern sympathizers are presumed to remain in Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri.

    Like Turtledove, we also posit that a second war sometime in the early 1880s legitimized Confederate annexation of Chihuahua and Sonora. We judged that the Confederate Army would have benefited from a more pronounced martial culture, whereas institutional military training would have languished in the North owing to the bitterness felt over the resignation from the regular army of so many West Point graduates in 1861. As a consequence of obtaining British and French intercession, the Confederacy was forced to effect manumission, although it is quickly replaced by a system of what would today be called petty apartheid and debt peonage. (In other the words, Southern society, and the black predicament, are essentially unchanged.)

    Before, during, and after the Second War Between the States, the Confederacy builds substantial fixed defenses along the Ohio and Potomac Rivers. During the war, they effectively employ cavalry (and a small camelry) in the West, along with commerce raiders that prey on Northern whaling fleets.

    By 1914, the Confederacy has industrialized, but only to an extent. It is held back by (A) the weakness and poverty of its federal government, (B) the high number of uneducated persons relative to the total Southern population, and © studied attempts by both the British and French to keep the Confederacy from emerging as an independent competitor, as well as to prevent intrusion of Confederate raw goods into markets reserved for trade from imperial colonies. Nonetheless, the Confederacy has a small arms industry centered around the Tredegar Iron Works at Richmond and the industrial city of Birmingham, Alabama. Additional (minor) centers of industry have been established in Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans. There is mining in Confederate Arizona, oil in Confederate Texas, and helium in Confederate Arkansas. Like the U.S., the Confederacy would have built a trans-continental railroad by the turn of the century, linking Richmond and Guaymas. It is up to you whether the Confederacy would have invaded Cuba. There was certainly precedent in the form of the filibusters. For the sake of bolstering the fortunes of an imperial Castille, I did not give Cuba to the Confederacy in my game design, instead awarding Richmond a client regime in the form of a Nicaragua overrun by William Walker’s filibusters (the point-of-diverge that I used was well before the Civil War; as a point of interest, we retained both Byzantium and the Crusader States in the Near East). You might give Cuba to the South to enhance their economy, although left in Spanish (or even placed in British) hands, it could become a convenient crossroads for contraband.

    Probably both the Union and Confederacy sponsor Indian raids across their mutual border. One imagines that cavalry, camelry, armored cars, armored trains, airships, and aeroplanes will be the preferred weapons of war in the West, with the occasional armored car making an appearance. In the East, expect to see trench warfare.

    Fighting a mostly defensive war, the South would have an early advantage – important given a relative dearth of heavy artillery. Richmond would also expect the British to substantially reinforce the Canadian garrison as a counterweight to Northern might. Probably the Great Lakes would be teeming with pocket battleships specially designed for those waters.

    The South might be expected to be a pioneer in airship and aeroplane use given its size, including, perhaps, the first to attempt to launch planes from a converted merchantman or cruiser. I imagine that they would have borrowed from the French concept of the merchant cruiser. Probably, given the cost of heavier battlewagons, their few capital ships would have be no better than battlecruisers.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    A couple of comments on the naval side of things:

    • I’d recommend avoiding the term “pocket battleships” in a 1914 context.  The ships to which this nickname applied, the Deutschland-class Panzerschiffe (armoured ships), had welded construction and diesel engines as key design features, and I don’t think either of those technologies saw much (if any) use in naval architecture prior to the late 1920s.

    • Battlecruisers would be beyond the semi-industrialized Confederacy’s ability to build in this alternate universe.  They were extremely sophisticated machines (for their time), vastly expensive, and they required experienced and specialized workers (and factories) to manufacture and assemble the requisite components (the heavy guns, the armour plates, the turbine engines and so forth).  On the other hand, the Confederacy as represented here could plausibly have procured some dreadnoughts (and other warships) through the practical (though expensive) expedient of buying them custom-built from foreign countries.  That’s what Turkey tried to do (the ships were seized on the building stocks by Britain when WWI broke out), and so did the the nations involved in the Latin American “ABC” dreadnought race: Argentina, Brazil and Chile.


  • 2016

    Given their traditional experimentation with cutting-edge naval technologies during the Civil War (e.g., ironclads, submarines, and naval mines), the Confederacy might be expected to continue that tradition in subsequent years. I could see early adoption of torpedo boats and continued interest in submarine warfare, for example. Given their relatively smaller economy and strong relationship with the British, I don’t see the Confederacy attempting to construct a battle fleet of any significance, however.

    Battlecruisers, or ships of that style, fit the character of the Confederacy more than do dreadnaughts, although your point is well taken that the battlecruiser is a much later design.


  • 2016

    Probably Confederate infantry attire would strongly resemble British or French kit, to include either the Adrian, or, even more likely, the Brodie helmet.

    One imagines that the Union would take its cues from the Germans, or, even more likely, the Russians, meaning either no helmet, or else some version of the stahlhlem. It’s also possible that one might see a distinctive steel hat more akin to the M1, or even a kind of “stovepipe” or “top hat” in steel.

    I’m trying hard to think up certain National Advantages. Perhaps Confederate cavalry would be able to execute a kind of blitzkrieg. Would it be likely that a nation without much native automobile production, but having to cover a long border with a relatively small standing army, would develop a heavy emphasis on motorization?

    As early as Bull Run, both armies were learning the military value of railroads.


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