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Apr 22, 2002
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Let the age of trailers and posters begin.... hopefully, we are the trendsetters in this field...

one of the firsts, and hopefully not one of the last....good luck,
Noooo! the trailer won't work for me... oh well, I'll just follow the trend:

Woohoo, great trailer! Can't wait for the AAR!
Thanks all!

Seidita- I used Flash to make the trailer, and yes, it is expensive. oof.

And let's get one thing clear right off the bat- no aliens. None. And no Sir John Miffling-Hodgkins! This is a dramatic scenario. This is serious stuff, mates. So there's that.

First post in nine or ten hours. You can't wait.
WHat? No aliens? Darn....

They'll be disappointed they aren't in this one...
To Stand Against The Night- Prologue

In the last days of 1935, as the world struggled to leave the mire of the Great Depression, it lost a visionary leader.

Franklin Roosevelt, President of the United States, suffered a stroke which incapacitated him for nearly a month. While he recovered, and was soon firmly back in control, the hospitalization gave America its first real picture of the President's health. In shock, America learned of Roosevelt's confinement to a wheelchair, previously unreported... and they learned of his mistress, Lucy Mercer. Roosevelt's popularity tumbled, and with it the stock market. Magnates and businessmen began a vicious whispering campaign, smelling blood in the water. Roosevelt's audacious court-packing plan was shot down amid public turmoil, and a newly emboldened Supreme Court gutted Roosevelt's New Deal.

For the first time in his life, Roosevelt was truly crippled. Roosevelt turned on his spellbinding charm and roared back in the autumn, nearly winning the election of 1936... but while Alf Landon lost the popular vote, he won a resounding 60% of the Electoral College.

Landon and the Republican Party lost no time in declaring their faith in isolationism... but the European powers had already prepared themselves accordingly.

-From A History of the Second World War, by Prof. Henry Kissinger
January, 1936

Pierre Laval detested London.

It was a savage ruin of a city, lurid, overblown, with foul air and the Thames a filthy sewer draining the refuse of English industry. In a sane world, he would not be dragged from his beloved Paris to talk with the protocol-obsessed Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin. But the world was not sane.

As his limousine approached No. 10 Downing Street, Laval took a deep breath, stubbing out his cigar. The door opened, he stepped into the street, and Laval waved jovially to the cluster of shouting reporters. And where, ah, there Baldwin was, walking from the front stoop to shake his hand. Baldwin's valet stumbled, allowing an umbrella to drip onto Laval's new homburg. This was not an auspicious day.

The two men went inside, and here there were more photographs and a few questions from the press. As ever in Britain, the tea was excellent and the biscuits abysmal. Finally, with the pleasantries over, the two men were alone with their advisers, and the work could begin.

"Baldwin." Laval grunted as he settled into his seat. "You've been following the dispatches from Washington." Baldwin nodded in dismay.

"To my dismay. Landon's popularity is growing daily. He thinks small. Roosevelt, say what you will about his crypto-socialism, sees the larger picture." Laval grunted again.

"Merde! And our unofficial contacts will falter. The cronies Landon will appoint as ambassadors... so much for the age of quiet assurances. Landon is a bull in a china shop. We won't be able to deal with America without every move being telegraphed to Berlin." Laval sighed. "Stalin is growing more difficult to deal with. I fear, M'sieur Baldwin, that it is you and I." Baldwin raised his eyebrow imperceptibly.

"And the Commonwealth." Laval waved his hand and nodded absent-mindedly. "Well. We must redouble our diplomatic efforts." Laval narrowed his eyes.

"Diplomacy is no longer enough. We must rearm." Baldwin widened his eyes.

"We can't afford that! Our budget is strapped as it is!" Laval nodded.

"France can ill afford a major conscription either. I propose this, then. We must pour our efforts into modernizing our armed forces, to make the most of what we have. I have already issued orders to the military; I've disbanded our cavalry corps and distributed the men among our understrength infantry units. I've stolen some wind from Blum's Socialists, too- I've ordered work begun on extending the Maginot Line to the Channel coast." Baldwin gaped. "It's cheaper than building tanks, and putting people to work won't hurt in the elections."

Baldwin cleared his throat. "I might be able to accomplish some work along this line as well in Parliament. But I don't think that-" Laval cut him off sharply.

"Do what you can, Stanley. But that's not the main reason I'm here. You've got those proving grounds in Australia, in the Northern Territory. I need your data. We haven't held war games in nearly a decade." Baldwin scratched uncomfortably at his neck. "I've got people in Saint-Etienne working on new designs for our infantry ordnance, and we're already collaborating on tank designs. I say that we, and the Commonwealth, should pool our efforts... pour everything into modernization. We have too much catching up to do for individual efforts." Baldwin nodded.

"Excellent. Yes, I can send out the cables today. A military exchange will help immensely. And we'll need to extend our net diplomatically." Baldwin stared intensely at his globe. "I'll focus on the Low Countries. You, Poland and Scandinavia." Baldwin arched an eyebrow again. "We are talking about Germany, aren't we?"

Laval grunted and stood. "I have the feeling that's all we'll be talking about for some time to come."
Looks like a great start. One question though: What country are you playing as? France?
I think it's obvious that he's playing France. Oh Yeah, you're awesome!