Where I’d Set a WW3 Story

If I wrote a conventional WWIII story, it’d probably be in…. Southern Europe. In a comment on a post depicting said theater in the WWIII 1987 TL, I described it as “an uncomfortable sideshow in rough terrain”, similar to the Italian front in World War II.

It’s not in spite of but because of this that the setting appeals to me.

  • It’s different and I like less-traveled locations.
  • It means I can slow the battles down, thanks to the terrain and the lower-tier forces. The CentFront is a little too er, fast. Not to mention deadly.

 

USMC Divisions in World War III

So, a RAND study on the (sideshow) southern theater of World War III included this graph.

Notice how low the USMC divisions are placed. Even the WP bottom-of-the-barrel Romanians outdo them. I have my quibbles with this kind of “Battle of the spreadsheets” system, but a look at the USMC’s force structure, especially at the time shows that they were not suited for this kind of mobile continental war.

My Creative 2018

I had a good 2018, all things considered. Were there bad parts in it? Of course. But on the whole, and especially in my creative endeavors, I had a good 2018. And I’m not just talking about the two Command LIVE scenarios I made or Paint The Force Red.

I’ve said it before, but starting up Fuldapocalypse was amazing and one of the best things I’ve done all year. First, I’ve had a lot of fun writing some of the reviews. Second, it’s been a huge eye-opener and horizon-broadening device for me. I was expecting to get variations on Hackett/Clancy/Bond, but the path took me to outright science fiction and more. I’ve had to throw aside the preconceptions and stereotypes of my past “Iceland Scale” and rework my entire review setup because of it. It’s fun.

But I’d argue a better part of Fuldapocalypse is getting me to write positive reviews. I have an instinct to be critical even of things I like. Peters’ Red Army remains my single favorite World War III story, yet I was prepared to write several paragraphs about its weaknesses and only one or two about its strengths. I’ve found that blog has helped me a lot. It’s also helped me become more selective-if it’s not review-worthy or if I’d just repeat myself for better or worse, I generally don’t review it.

Because of Fuldapocalypse, I now know how broad the “cheap thriller” genre is, and how much broader the military action subgenre is than I thought. I’m not complaining. And I think I’ve approached even works I still am highly critical of better.

So in creative terms, I had a pretty good 2018.