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TWILIGHT: 2000 Discussion of the original Twilight: 2000 from GDW.

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Old May 13th, 2018, 02:03 AM
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Default Alternative Techs and Backgrounds

I am not sure how much the designers of the game looked at possible alternative technologies to the standard ones, but I suspect, not a lot. The same would hold true for some groups here in the U.S. that might be able to function after a nuclear war. Here are some ideas.

During World War 2, a very large number of vehicles in Europe, primarily spark-ignition ones, were converted to run on wood producer gas, made by burning wood with an insufficiency of oxygen. The technology never disappeared, as I know of a few missionaries that converted pick-up trucks to run on wood gas overseas, where gasoline was extremely expensive. When gas was hitting $4 a gallon and higher here, there was considerable discussion on a forestry forum that I was on on how to convert to wood. Basically, the unit took up about 1/4 of the cargo bed, and the trucks ran fine. Given the situation in TW2000, I can see a fair number of people doing that.

Another option is alcohol as a motor fuel, and also as aviation fuel. In the early 1990s, I was doing a lot of research at the National Archives in D.C., and came across the post-WW2 Naval Technical Mission to Japan report on the use of alcohol by the Japanese as alternative aviation fuel. I was talking with the EAA in Oshkosh about the report, but they did not take a lot of interest in it for some reason, mainly because of the headache of getting the FAA to okay it. In the TW2000 situation, that might not be a problem, and the report could have been circulated by photocopy. I have a PDF file of it, as well as the hard copy file, and a microfilm copy. That would be an alternative to both motor fuel and 87 octane aviation fuel. Note, 87 octane gasoline is what is Regular Gas now.

Then you have the steam tractors associations, operating steam-powered tractors, using either oil, coal, charcoal, or wood as fuel. Plans for them are around, and again, I can see people in the early stages of the war starting to produce some, both here and in the UK. Then there are the Amish and Mennonite communities, still using horse power for farming and other power needs, and producing some very fine crop yields. The interesting thing about the community around Arcola, Illinois is that they are not too far from the small oil refinery near Evansville, Indiana that picks up oil produced by small wells in Illinois and Indiana by trucks for refining.

There is also a couple of companies in the business of making steam launches that have been around a while. They build the boiler and engine, along with the hull, and you buy the kit. They also sell the boiler and engine separately if you have your own hull. The boilers can run on oil, coal, charcoal, or wood, depending on what you want. Again, those might be very popular in the run-up and early stages of the war, both here and abroad. In the US, that gives you the ability to use the Inland Waterways System of the Mississippi-Ohio-Missouri Rivers and related systems, which opens up the entire midsection of the country.

Lastly, you have the large number of re-enactment groups, from the Revolutionary War to World War 2. A friend of mine has a replica 20-pound Parrot muzzle-loading rifle. There is a group in Rockford with a couple of 12 pound Napoleons. Another friend of mine does Revolutionary War, 1830s mountain men, and World War 2 re-enactment. Some of those groups have a fair amount of firepower, including operational machine guns. Then you have a lot of 75mm Pack Howitzers used as saluting guns at colleges and the smaller military bases. As a far number of our allies were still using those guns for artillery, ammunition was still being made. You also have the very large number of persons in the U.S. with firearms, so it would not be just the military with modern weapons.
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