Modelling > Scenarios

Twilight 2000 - Post World War Three Military

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Old Wombat:

--- Quote from: elmayerle on February 09, 2021, 03:39:34 AM ---
--- Quote ---The idea of doomed soldiers in worn out gear trying to get home while World War Three mindlessly drags on after all reason for its continuation strikes a chord with me personally as a statement of the futility of that period.

--- End quote ---
Hmm, sounds like the Czech Legion after World War One, a fighting withdrawl across the breadth of Russia (including along the Trans-Siberian Railroad) to Vladivostok where they took ship to return home.

--- End quote ---

Pretty much.

I have to admit that beyond the general concept, my last in-depth contact with T2K was in the 1990's playing the pen and paper version, and a brief reunion with the highly ambitious but spectacularly failing computer adaptation*, so my memories might be hazy.

I had heard that they tried to modernize the backstory or keep inventing reasons why the Soviet Union did not collapse or make a comeback (even briefly considered backing the 4th edition Kickstarter for nostalgia kicks), but personally, I think that a post-nuclear game is so deeply tied to the Cold War that the developers should just have kept it as an alternate universe. Or now that the year 2000 is farther in the past than it was in the future in the 1980's, why not go full retro and have the setting as "Twilight: 1985"?

That said, I bothered to google and apparently even the original game needed an outlandish plot to trigger The War where a cabal of East and West German officers stages a joint coup against the Soviet troops in East Germany, whereas a simple accident or a single incident escalating out of hand would have been more plausible (and more likely) alternatives. That WW3 was averted at all was either a testament to the good in human beings or just sheer dumb luck, or a combination of both. (And then I ran into the background for the third edition and sighed deeply. Either it was meant to be an outlandish prank, or, well, I don't know.)

But like said, the real attraction of T2K is to set the tried and true tropes of "fantasy adventurers versus an evil overlord" or "frontier pioneers are harassed by bandits, cavalry to the rescue!" in the modern age. Balancing between making the world devastated enough to allow this to happen, but not so devastated that nothing matters anymore because everyone is going to die two weeks from now anyway, well, that is certainly difficult.

Regarding the relations between the local civilians and the adventuring party, one could argue that the survivors are so jaded that they don't care anymore who was fighting whom before the bombs went off, or who exactly fired that theater ballistic missile at the nearest town, it's enough that if the latest armed arrivals are NOT arriving as oppressors or raiders but willing to sell their services to the community which might help them to survive to another day. Plus this being the nuclear war and whatever author's fiat brought NATO troops to Poland, one can be sure that the West was not the only one to drop nukes on Poland in such a scenario. (Acccording to now-declassified war plans, "sunshine from both directions at once" was actually in the cards for Finland even before the War would have gone nuclear between NATO and Warsaw Pact. So much for "credible neutrality".)


*) It was entirely possible to find in the post-nuclear Polish countryside someone who was supposedly a key person in the local resistance against the Evil Overlord, yet only spoke French, or Estonian, or Azeri - yes, the only language a key NPC to advance the plot halfway through the game spoke was randomly selected from the pool of the 30 or so languages characters could be given as background skills, and loading a saved game didn't help because the selection had been randomized at the beginning of the campaign: if you hadn't chosen the right language in the beginning of the game, you had to restart the game from beginning or use a hex editor to alter your save files. This being before everything was on the Internet, I started over, taking care to include in the party a couple of throwaway characters who spoke all the possible languages, then breezed my way through using all intended or most likely unintended exploits of the game I had already discovered while playing. Was it worth it? Not in the slightest. There was less and less narrative and cutscenes the farther the game went on, and finally it ended in a congratulatory text screen, including a blurb for (never released) Twilight: 2001 set in the ruins of the US, as if I or anyone else who bought or copied the game had wanted any more of the same.

Hi, sorry for replying so late. I've been away.

Yeah, it's a very old game from a former age. I'm an Australian so we had a very different take on it, we didn't have the ideological basis that many European and US people back then had (that has changed) so our take on it was always more a post apocalyptic slide to extinction rather than "shooting commies in the woods on a summer afternoon in fantasy Europe complete with all the European stereotypes".

There are two firm camps in the Twilight 2000 community: those who adopt the established strongly Anglocentric published setting that only really has Americans, English and Germans in NATO (everyone else is either unimportant or traitors) versus evil Russians and their Polish slaves (now with added Ukrainians), or the people who give other settings a go. Once again it falls in strongly ideological camps, the former often being Cold War former soldiers who trained all their life for a type of war that never happened. Don't get me wrong, they're still nice people and I count them as my friends but I think a general conflict in late 20th century Europe would have been very different to what the propaganda (in the neutral sense of the term) acculturated us to believe. Really, many people want to see the Warsaw Pact as a morally acceptable target for imaginative violence and not the vast mass of individuals under some pretty ugly governments who were in effective just as human as everyone else instead. To riff off your comment: orcs with commie uniforms.

----- Modelling -----
The basic trope is, as mentioned earlier, Cold War vehicles in gypsy caravans with piles of stowage and all weathered and battered. NBC gear is prolific. All the vehicles and equipment are extremely weathered, almost junkyard rust levels is okay for some. For vignettes and dioramas the surroundings should be heavily damaged, in fact trench warfare settings in some cases wouldn't be out of the question. A common trope is the MBTs have run out of fuel so stripped-down abandoned tanks are a good subject, especially if juxtaposed with a smaller vehicle. Scratch building can have a field day as those vehicles still in use can be heavily modified with both advanced and ad hoc changes such as hillbilly armour up to refurbished older vehicles from storage with up to date late 1990s sights, radios, and even weapon systems. Also the admixture of NATO and Warsaw Pact vehicles travelling together, often with a few civilian vehicles for light weight and fuel economy (I have to get myself a 1:35 Polish Fiat). Want to try out an M41 Walker Bulldog with that Stingray turret in a battle weary condition?. Here's your chance! :)

I missed this thread when Chalkline was actively noodling, but I concur with his points - the subject is ripe for modeling, even if the 'science' is a bit far-fetched.

For you folks in the peanut gallery, some related threads and posts
Abrams LP-AGS (Low Profile, Autoload Gun System)
MBT-70 (XM803, M803), KPz.70
Truck mounted twin 35mm
TSK links
Twlight 2000 BMP


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