The Contrafactual GeekList
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History is full of turning points and events that could have been, had the circumstances been slightly different. There is a whole bookshelf full of writings dealing with the contrafactual history of the American Civil War. Well, here you get your chance to explore scenarios of what could have been had one or more factors been altered and change the course of history.
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1. Board Game: Afrika Korps [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:3676]
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Field Marshall Rommel's orders had been to push on to Egypt. Germany was running short of fuel, and this made the rich oil fields of the land of the Pyramids an important strategic target. Still, the Brittish were putting up a stiff resistance. Rommel knew that it was easier to defend than attack, especially when you knew the ground and could prepare the terrain. He only had once choice, though: go forward. The Qattara Depression prevented him from flanking the English.

The flap to the command tent opened.

"Field Marshall," his aide-de-camp called. "I have a man who must speak to you." Rommel nodded, as he looked over the maps of Lybia on his table and the reports of the Afrika Korps' supplies.

The man who entered was slight, balding, with gold wire-rimmed glasses. Only his corporal's stripes lent him any air of authority. He stood at attention, sweating in the desert heat, and waited to be addressed.

"Speak," Rommel said.

"Field Marshall," the man stammered. "Before the war I was a - a - a geologist. I taught at Munich. Well, um. That is, sir, I have been examining the rock in this area." The pitch of the man's voice rose with excitement. "And I am more than 90% certain that we are sitting on one of the largest oil reserves in the world."

"What do you need," Rommel asked him.

The defense of Lybia had begun. The Fuhrer gained the fuel he would need and by the war's end, all but Spain, Switzerland, Brittain, and Russia remained out of the Wehrmacht's grasp in Europe. All of North Africa, including Egypt, belonged to the Fatherland. When the camps were built to exterminate the Berbers and blacks, Rommel, the governor of the Afrikans, shot himself. His body's triumphal return to Berlin would have made Julius Caesar envious.
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2. Board Game: The Halls of Montezuma [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:4617]
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Cortez had failed, dying, his throat slashed from an obsidian blade. His men panicked. The allies waiting at the edges of the swamp fled.

The High Priest council made their decision quickly. Change had come.

The Spanish prisoners were not to be sacrificed. The Aztecs would put them to better use. It seemed that the mountains of the Mexican plateau were rich with this iron that had made the aliens seem invincible. Oh, and if it was gold they wanted, well the Aztecs would trade that with the Spaniard governor of the Caribbean, in exchange for knowledge and certain goods of war.

The Spanish recieved a steady flow of currency from their Central American allies, preventing the inflationary collapse of Europe's economy had that idiot Cortez actually succeeded. The empire's troops succeeded in taking most of southern France. The Netherlands were brought to heel, and the Duke of Parma easily conquered the heavily outmached English, returning them to the fold of the Faith. The King wisely abandoned the North American colonies of the newly taken land, as there was nothing to be found there. Parma then subdued the Italian peninsula, and was ready to mount the intensely savage North African campaign against the Infidel.

The Aztecs profited greatly from Spanish knowledge and goods. Their armies, growing with each victory, marched across what the foreigners had called Central and South America. Their cannon, muskets, and armor providing them with an advantage that none of their foes could match.

One day, though, the Aztecs knew that they would once again face invasion. They prepared for that day. Montezuma's mistakes had taught them to never trust and not to take their Faith literally.
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3. Board Game: Poitiers 1356 et Formigny 1450 [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:6281]
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Charles Martel's nobles could not bring their forces in time, as mass Viking raiding parties raided the shore. So he stood on the field before Poiters with a small, ragtag force, many of them recently levied peasants. The enemy had raided church after church, showing no respect for the Faith. His men understood that, and would fight to the end.

The Saracens attacked, decimating the flanks with their horse archers, who would flee like the cowards they were before engaging. Then the heavy cavalry devastated the flanks, leaving Martel's men in a tight defensive clump. That was when the main assault came, as the heathens struck from all sides. The Franks fought valiantly, but they were overmatched. Not a one survived that day.

Jubilent from victory, the Saracens sacked Poiters. As was their wont, they killed the men, and raped the women and children, taking as many as survived as slaves.

The shamed nobles heard of this debacle. They sent embassies to the Vikings, offering trade concessions in exchange for troops and naval support. The Franks of Germany pledged forces as well. The assault on the Iberian Peninsula would begin the next Spring.

The Franks were merciless in their vengeful bloodlust, destroying nearly every village and town that they entered. The Moors fled before this assault, but the Vikings destroyed many of the retreating ships. A number of later historians would come to call this year, the First Crusade.

The interaction between the Vikings and Franks would hold serious consequences for both, as a new hybrid faith emerged -- a warrior Christianity that upheld the notion of peace only when the whole world believed. This was a concept that their foes, the Moslems, understood all too well, as it was the very definition of jihad. And so the two faiths would battle savagely for control of the Mediterreanean, with neither side giving quarter. It was plague and the coming of the Mongols that would finally put an end to the 17th and last Crusade.
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