An example of a "Model WI" is needed

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Von Schadewald
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An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by Von Schadewald » 11 Jul 2010 22:07

Since the POV is so critical a factor in a thread's acceptability on this forum, what is really needed is the Moderator to provide an example of a "Model WI" in the beginning of the guideline section, highlighting its obligatory requirements & desirable characteristics, lest many contributors be dissuaded from contributing, or novel WIs being stymied and locked, when only a tweak sentence or two is required to make them acceptable.

PeterOT
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Re: An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by PeterOT » 12 Jul 2010 10:33

VS,

It really isn't that hard. The board is full of them. People post them regularly. You don't. There aren't 'many' people being stymied here, just those who are consistently unable or unwilling to post credible WIs.

Propose a change in events that was at the very least realistic given what did happen & was possible & then propose what changes you think this would have made to history. Tell us why you think these would happen. A bit of detail would help. The more PODs (Points Of Departure) you have & the more unlikely they are the less likely it is to be taken seriously. There are literally hundreds of WIs on these boards that do all of this. Try emulating them.

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Roddoss72
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Re: An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by Roddoss72 » 12 Jul 2010 12:26

I think that many problems of the WI section stems from that too many poster labour on one part of the WI, as you know some threads go for more than 12 pages, but for almost all is bogged down on one aspect, very rarely WI move past this stage. For me if a thread goes past two pages and is bogged down by semantics then it should be locked and removed completely and all posts are deleted from those who contribute, too many contributers that add their two cents worth are only cyber chaffing, meaning adding nothing to the thread but only to bolster their post counts.

vS has a point, i have seen some posts locked as soon as they have been posted by the mods without much than a nondescript line that leaves many confused. Also onto POD's i have been involved in school debates, when one factor is changed in any WI, the whole future is changed, and anything that occurs after that follows a natural timeline, that means multi POD's.

I give an example.

Jack Kennedy survives is assassintation in Dallas, 1st POD. LBJ does not become President, 2nd POD. Kennedy wins the 1964 election, 3rd POD. Kennedy honours his pledge and withdraws US troops from Vietnam and by 1966 the last US troop leaves Vietnam, 4th POD. Bobby Kennedy does not run for the 1968 presidential elections and is not assissnated, 5th POD. And so on, change one aspect and multi POD's follow, it is the nature of alternate history. For me many just don't understand that very premis of alternate history, many think you change one POD and what actually happened still happens.

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LWD
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Re: An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by LWD » 12 Jul 2010 12:51

In your example several of what you are calling POD's are not or may not be. For instance LBJ wouldn't become president when he did if kenedy survives. He probably wouldn't even run in 64 against a sitting president of his own party. The multiple POD problem is when you require multiple unrelated ones. For instance if you say at Midway what would happen if the Japanese sub screen got in place in time, and the US didn't figure out ahead of time that Midway was the target, and the Japanese transfered the planes from the carrier shot up at the battle of the Coral Sea to the one that lost most of it's air group so it could take part in the operation. None of these naturally flow from the others so you multiple PODs. Some could occur with minimal changes while others would require doctirnial or complex changes of their own.

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Tim Smith
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Re: An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by Tim Smith » 12 Jul 2010 12:52

That's not an example of a multiple POD, because each item follows on in a logical sequence from the 1st POD.

A multiple POD would go like this:
Kennedy is not assassinated and wins the 1964 election, 1st POD. USSR decides to send Soviet troops to Vietnam, 2nd POD. China invades Mongolia, 3rd POD. Warsaw Pact invades West Germany., 4th POD.

The PODs are not related to each other. Just because Kennedy wins the 1964 election is no reason for the Soviets to escalate the war in Vietnam. Nor is it a reason for China to invade Mongolia, and nor is it a reason for the Warsaw Pact to start WW3 by invading Germany.

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Roddoss72
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Re: An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by Roddoss72 » 12 Jul 2010 13:28

Tim Smith wrote:That's not an example of a multiple POD, because each item follows on in a logical sequence from the 1st POD.

A multiple POD would go like this:
Kennedy is not assassinated and wins the 1964 election, 1st POD. USSR decides to send Soviet troops to Vietnam, 2nd POD. China invades Mongolia, 3rd POD. Warsaw Pact invades West Germany., 4th POD.

The PODs are not related to each other. Just because Kennedy wins the 1964 election is no reason for the Soviets to escalate the war in Vietnam. Nor is it a reason for China to invade Mongolia, and nor is it a reason for the Warsaw Pact to start WW3 by invading Germany.
Yes but i tried to use my example many times in concert with several threads and was shouted down by several poster for having multiple POD's even after i had shown the multi POD's were sequential in the knock on effect, i was still shouted down, and even been accused of Alien Space Bats, jut because some could not comprehend the natural order of changing one POD.

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LWD
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Re: An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by LWD » 12 Jul 2010 15:19

That often happens when the case being made for them being a logical progression is either weak or absent. You can't just say it's logical and expect it to fly.

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Roddoss72
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Re: An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by Roddoss72 » 12 Jul 2010 15:44

LWD wrote:That often happens when the case being made for them being a logical progression is either weak or absent. You can't just say it's logical and expect it to fly.
I know that but when those accuse can't come up with anything but attacking the poster it can only be construded as a personal attack.

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LWD
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Re: An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by LWD » 12 Jul 2010 16:12

Indeed attacking the poster pretty much constitutes a personal attack. However saying that the logic is flawed or absent is attacking the post. That's normally what I've seen (not refering to your case in particular however).

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Andy H
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Re: An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by Andy H » 12 Jul 2010 16:45

von.S wrote:-
The February 18 German Operation Fischfang succeeds. The beach head crumbles and Shingle's 'whale' is diced up.

10,000 Anglo-Americans are casualties and 20,000 go in the bag. Monte Cassino never falls and the Allies never get beyond the Adolf Hitler Line.

Eisenhower, desirous of revenge and wary of a repeat, delays Overlord by a month, sending over the extra British airborne division and increasing the landing beaches from 5 to 7.

The war ends as per OTL, the only difference being that Soviet soldiers get to sun themselves in northern Italy
.

Ok guys.

Firstly the abstract that PeterOT gave concerning the rules of an acceptable WI is very good, and as far as I can see it’s not that difficult to follow;
It really isn't that hard. The board is full of them. People post them regularly. You don't. There aren't 'many' people being stymied here, just those who are consistently unable or unwilling to post credible WIs.

Propose a change in events that was at the very least realistic given what did happen & was possible & then propose what changes you think this would have made to history. Tell us why you think these would happen. A bit of detail would help. The more PODs (Points Of Departure) you have & the more unlikely they are the less likely it is to be taken seriously.
The full rules are here:-
By its very definition a “What If” isn’t a clean-cut issue that has rigid Black & White boundaries, rather a large expanse of Grey. However this Grey still needs to have some sort of context.

The What If’s need to be a plausible variation on actual military/political events occurring up to the end of 1985 or viable alternatives in their conception. This is a vital pre-requisite to any What If thread, if they do not meet this requirement they will locked or removed.

Remember before posting, check using the Search facility that your proposed question hasn’t been discussed before, if it has then; add your opinion to that existing thread. This results in concise and informative threads, rather than disjointed and fractured ones.

When you post the thread, don’t just ask the question but give us the benefit of your viewpoint and information to back up your argument, as this helps to put the question into context.

By abiding by these simple rules the What If area of the Forum won’t descend into the type of environment that saw the demise of the Poll Section. So please no stupid, nonsense or offensive threads, and if in doubt about whether you’re proposed Thread is a viable one-then just contact either Marcus or one of the Moderators.

Remember it is you the potential poster, on whose success or failure this part of the Forum rests on.
Now using what PeterOT has stated and the rules in full, let’s use the example of the last thread that was locked here by myself and reproduced at the top of this post.

Well I’m initially guessing that the WI concerns the affects of the German defeat of Op Shingle-At this point it would have been helpful if the poster could have added say a Wiki link to the German operation or given just a few lines himself. Now we are given some figures, which in themselves add nothing to WI being made.
Then we are suddenly confronted with the Allies not taking M.Cassino or the Allies getting past the AH line. At this juncture some further information from the poster as to why this would occur helps understand the process behind this WI scenario.
Now all of a sudden were given a potential POD by the rather speculative proposal that Overlord will be delayed by a month-based on what we ask? Another British AB division is assigned but again no information as to which unit or where it would drop. Equally the increase from 5-7 landing is a huge leap in the OTL and especially within this WI.
Finally the Russians are in northern Italy! Not sure why other than guessing and have no idea how this conclusion was reached. These points were my reasoning for locking it.

The main issue with this post and many WI’s is the lack of pertinent information so as to enable those reading to respond in a constructive manner, the lack of a POV or conclusion from the thread author and the fact that many WI’s overreach in there scope-this being a classic example. Rather than making it a concise WI focusing on one element were pulled from Italy to Normandy and the Eastern Front.


Roddoss72 wrote:-
vS has a point, I have seen some posts locked as soon as they have been posted by the mods without much than a nondescript line that leaves many confused. Also onto POD's i have been involved in school debates, when one factor is changed in any WI, the whole future is changed, and anything that occurs after that follows a natural timeline, that means multi POD's
To some extent I will agree that there have been inconsistencies but that hasn’t been by design, but due to many facets to numerous to mention here. However on the whole even when there has been some threads that have failed to reach the basic requirements for a WI, they have been remained unlocked because the author has responded to suggestions or you can see that they have the basic idea and have done the research but are failing in the sculpting of the question.

Regarding POD’s. Obviously when you change 1 historical fact it can have multiple knock on effects-that’s a given.

However at this point the thread author and those responding need to keep focused on the thread topic and not going off on one of many tangents. If the desire to follow one is so great then start a separate WI in accordance with the guidelines. Additionally the author of the thread shouldn’t throw in another WI based on one of these tangents within the existing WI as the debate becomes very hard to follow and eventually meaningless to anyone looking at the thread title.
I think that many problems of the WI section stems from that too many poster labour on one part of the WI
I would add to this by saying given the huge array of WI’s out there we are overly focused on a very small %, and we keep revisitng the same old same old. I admit a Thread Index may help this somewhat, but nothing can beat a little imagination and some solid research in creating new a viable WI’S

Regards

Andy H

Von Schadewald
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Re: An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by Von Schadewald » 12 Jul 2010 18:13

Well I've started 300 WI threads, so at least I can't be devoid of imagination, with about 20 having been locked.

I suspect that most on this forum are over 45.

Very few under 45s have any desire for knowledge or interest in WW2 on the WI level.

And one can already see that there are less and less WI postings compared to a few years ago.

I suspect that some of the rules are going to have to be eased up on, less the forum become moribund e.g. the 1985 rule; and the one that disallows any WIs on personalities e.g. my "Der Fuhrer's 1942 World Tour" http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... ur#p664173 and "Churchill & Roosevelt drown on the Augusta 1941" http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=93270
Last edited by Von Schadewald on 12 Jul 2010 18:31, edited 2 times in total.

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Baltasar
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Re: An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by Baltasar » 12 Jul 2010 18:28

Personally, I'd prefer quality What Ifs instead of a mass of threads which are well beyond the feasible. I also don't see where the age of people comes into play here.

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Roddoss72
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Re: An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by Roddoss72 » 12 Jul 2010 18:39

Well i'll give an example of those who laboured on the original question, and simply could not get past the after effect was my own Thread about The Soviets attack Poland First, almost 13 pages and almost everyone could not get past the reason that the Soviets had attacked Poland, i had given clear explanation on how this occured and when i gave the after effects somehow poster kept coming back to the initial attack, i tried for 13 pages to direct posters back to the original question of what happened after this event that had clearly stated that France and Britian had declared war on the Soviet Union after its invasion of Poland. But no one was willing get into the spirit of the thread, eventually i gave up.

Plus i have read some scathing personal attacks by some select few on those who are either new to the site or have limited knowledge of WW2, and on a couple occassions personal attacks on those with limited English.

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Baltasar
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Re: An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by Baltasar » 12 Jul 2010 18:58

Roddoss, the reason for the people keeping arguing about your initial explanaition was that they didn't believe it'd be plausible. Instead of delivering explanaitions, you just came up with "this is my thread, I make the rules", which was not helpful at all. It was also not helpful that you continued to ignore all arguments about the validity of your scenario.

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Roddoss72
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Re: An example of a "Model WI" is needed

Post by Roddoss72 » 12 Jul 2010 19:20

Baltasar wrote:Roddoss, the reason for the people keeping arguing about your initial explanaition was that they didn't believe it'd be plausible. Instead of delivering explanaitions, you just came up with "this is my thread, I make the rules", which was not helpful at all. It was also not helpful that you continued to ignore all arguments about the validity of your scenario.
Going over it, i though i had made it perfectly clear, but some just entered the argument just to hijack the thread, and to fill it with cyber chaff, adding nothing to the thread, but bogging it down so it becomes at a certain point unworkable to put any input, or more to the point direct those contributer back to the original intention of the thread.

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