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Old March 11th, 2008, 05:37 PM
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The entire Central Asian War and it's outcome is pretty fishy to me - almost as bad as an independent Texas or how long it takes MilGov and CivGov to reconcile their differences. Or how nothing particularly thunderous occurs to Canada after the Twilight War and they really don't do a thing. Or how the South American giants powerful enough to challenge the combined might of the ESA's member nations ... do little after that.

* Given the high-tech nature of France's fighting forces and the universally "soot-belching-1960s" backwardness of the Manchus, why was France having such a hard time? The weapons given in 2300's sourcebooks for the Manchus aren't any good at all, quite honestly - all of their equipment is outdated and exemplars of archaic or poor design. The CAW isn't some insurgency where the Manchus can hide amongst the civilians and strike at French PKFs, it's out-and-out war, where Manchuria can challenge France both on Earth and is able to even strike into the French Arm - while fearsome Manchu warriors might count for a lot, I have a lot of difficulty believing that the Manchus, as presented in 2300, could have stood a chance against the French to that extent.

* Japan, as presented in 2300, is a second or third-rate power, technologically behind France. I don't see how the wealthiest, most powerful, and most technologically advanced nation in 2300, France, would need to solicit satellite intelligence from the Japanese to win a war. Japanese satellites would probably be a full generation behind French stuff. Even if you take into account Manchurian ASAT technology, the country that can make a Beanstalk isn't going to be impressed - they could just toss more satellites into orbit.

Given that, I usually revise Manchurian technology up - they're nowhere near as primitive as they are presented in 2300 (which of course, also means their off-world colonies would be better provisioned) - at most they could only be a decade behind the French (I personally like to believe the Manchus are actually ahead of the French in some areas). A decade behind with a larger population and equally robust industrial base would make for a war-winning combo, I think if taken in light with French bureaucratic inefficiency. With the 1800s nature of the 2300 world, I don't actually think the Manchus would need to actually take Russia (though I think I recall the comment about the Manchus driving deep in into Russia). This is a colonial contest at its core - if the Manchus defeat the Russian occupation forces and field armies and look to threaten Russia, Russia would probably sue for peace and pull out. Manchuria would probably have its hands full with France so would accept.

I'm not even sure if Japan would intervene into the CAW - if they do, they'd probably have to intervene with a lot more than just satellite recon. To win the CAW, the Manchus would have had to defeat France and Japan. Fortunately, this leg is probably a lot easier to solve - simply say that Japan doesn't intervene in the CAW. With it being a purely French vs. Manchu contest, it's also more believable that the Manchus might win.

If the Manchus win a victory:

* The primary change would be that the War of German Reunification would happen a lot sooner, I think - perhaps within a year of the French defeat.

* A larger Manchu investment/presence in Joi as well. Perhaps Manchu vessels in orbit over Joi to guarantee Joi's independence (which would probably be looked at with resentment by the Elysian rebels) - the situation might be pretty similar to Adlerhorst. If the Japanese fought on the side of the French and lost, Joi would probably be the biggest powderkeg in the human sphere, making Adlerhorst look like a picnic. An independent but Manchu-backed Elysia sharing a world with a Japanese colony in the middle of an arm dominated by French interests.

* Given the 1800s nature of 2300 again, France would certainly be spoiling for a rematch.

* With the steadying hand of the French hegemony crumbling after two decisive defeats (German War of Reunification and Central Asian War), more French colonies may be restive and many of the other powers, long suppressed by France would probably be looking to get a their "rightful" piece of the pie, while French voices would be carrying less weight in the universe. Then the Kafers show up...
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