| Gaian Entente of Defenders|
New Zulu Empire
Britain (to Turn 3)
Socialist Union of Democratic States
Richardson Aeronautics (from Turn 3)1
Venice (from Turn 3)2
Austria (from Turn 5)3
| Second Third Reich
Scandinavia (from Turn 2)
|1 – Publicly supplied arms to the GED since the war's start, but did not declare hostilities until its Turn 3 ultimatum.
2 – Consistently supported SUDS and the GED position in diplomacy, but did not formally join the war until Turn 3.
3 – ilduce349 had intended to launch a sneak attack on the Nazis the previous turn, but Taniciusfox lost the order.
- "And thus IOT X became a warfest against the ways of the infamous Patriotic_Fool 1st The Munchkin, successor to the tradition of Mathalamus and Domination3000 after taking the throne from christos200 1st The Greek."
The Lotharingian War was a conflict in The Space Race involving roughly half of the game's active players. Its main focus was the contested frontier between the Socialist Union of Democratic States, played by Ailedhoo, and the Second Third Reich, played by Patriotic_Fool, who had relocated on Turn 1 from an original start in Russia in what several players allege was a deliberate ploy to troll Ailed.
While in-game correspondence implies the war was between two rival power blocs, in reality the "Axis" comprised three separate factions with loosely-convergent goals: Arabia and Macedonia invaded France claiming to be enforcing a UN mandate, while Scandinavia invaded Germany as part of a general land grab. The war lasted for almost the entire game, and at its height encompassed three separate continents, leading Taniciusfox to redub it "World War One"; its cause was highly controversial and, while far and away the most prominent event in the thread, drove several players to quit and may have inadvertently fostered the activity slump that followed its resolution.
- "I'm a pacifist Nazi."
Patriotic_Fool originally joined the game in northern Siberia. On the first turn, for reasons never made clear, he restarted as Nazi Germany with land borders against France and the German Empire. Ailedhoo immediately protested, calling it trolling and a breach of the French sphere of influence, threatening to assemble a military alliance if the game moderator did not overrule the move. Taniciusfox replied that "nation swapping is perfectly fine in Classic IOT" and nothing forbade P_F claiming the territory. Ailed continued to argue against the move, which P_F dismissed as "metagaming", retaliating with chat screencaps in which he attacked JamesCaesar for promoting an alliance to contain him. Tanicius maintained that while "irritating", P_F was not expressly breaking the rules and that the dispute should be rationalized in character; he did, however, adjust P_F's claims further into Germany on the rationale that "His nation looked bloody hideous." Ailedhoo subsequently tried to defuse tensions by proposing a three-turn non-aggression pact, which P_F ignored; SUDS also approached the New Zulu Empire for a formal military alliance.
Despite stating himself that he intended to move his initial claims east, Patriotic_Fool tried to overrule Tanicius and reconfigured his borders to shut out French expansion eastward. He also approached Imperial Germany for a defensive pact. When Ailed protested, P_F told him to "Move to a different spot!" and announced construction of a "Magiyes Line" along the French border. Tanicius partially intercepted the argument by posting a mid-turn map that moved most of Nazi territory into Germany proper, but this only led both players to lay competing claims to the Lotharingian corridor and request intervention from their prospective allies. P_F proposed a compromise division that prioritized Nazi claims in the north and French claims in the south, which Ailed rejected outright.
Venice announced it would support SUDS in the dispute, and after Hitler declared a general mobilization, petitioned the United Nations to denounce the Second Third Reich as an illegitimate state and condemn Hitler as a war criminal. The Caliphate cautioned against presumptive condemnation, but declared it would assemble an expeditionary force at Sinai for possible European intervention. Richardson Aeronautics also endorsed SUDS' claim and offered to export military aircraft at discount price.
Reich versus ReichEdit
In response to Hitler's mobilization order urging "every German citizen" to join total war against France, the Kaiser denounced the Nazis as usurpers and, citing the legacy of World War II, declared war against the Reich. The Caliphate condemned the action as unjustified aggression "against a leader who has been trying to resolve disputes diplomatically", submitting a UN proposal to forbid direct escalation by countries "not bordering [the Mediterranean] sea" through an international treaty; at the request of the newly-founded Scandinavian Empire, the accepted intervention zone was expanded to Britain, continental Europe, and the Arabian peninsula. The motion was never tabled as a formal resolution, and no treaty was signed.
Escalation of combatantsEdit
Richardson Aeronautics declared it would supply all combatants opposing the Nazis. The Zulus subsequently declared war in support of Imperial Germany; when P_F protested that "Africa doesn't belong in Euro affairs", west india man released a communiqué in which the Nazis petitioned Poland (based in Libya) for military aid. Britain, which had originally guaranteed an alliance with whomever founded France, stated it would answer the call to arms and began mobilization. Venice declared it would bankroll SUDS, Imperial Germany, and their allies.
Ailedhoo christened the emerging coalition the Gaian Entente of Defenders, although SUDS was not yet in a formal state of war. He continued to argue the entire incident should be overruled on bullying grounds, to which Tanicius formally washed his hands of the affair, telling them to take it up with Birdjaguar. BJ, in turn, refused to intervene, declaring it an OOC dispute and telling them to settle it privately, or through regular gameplay.
Early peace attemptsEdit
In a bid to stop the war ahead of open combat, Venice proposed a set of sanctions intended to force the Nazis into compliance with international norms:
- All French territories would be returned to SUDS;
- Half of Nazi territory would be ceded to Imperial Germany;
- SUDS and Imperial Germany would receive 2 expansion points each for 10 turns;
- Foreign relations and expansion would be controlled by Imperial Germany for 5 turns;
- After 5 turns, the Nazi government would be tested by jury on its ability to peacefully resolve a geopolitical scenario. Successful resolution would restore self-government two turns later under a 5-turn alliance with France and Germany; failure would result in Nazi Germany's dissolution.
The plan was endorsed by France, and flatly rejected by the Nazis.
Macedonia proposed a compromise in the form of a UN resolution, in which the five disputed territories would be placed under UN trust. It was opposed by France, the Zulus and Venice but endorsed by the Nazis, the Caliphate, Poland, Scandinavia, and Greater Columbus.
India proposed a compromise in which both parties would receive the territories immediately adjacent to their borders, with Wallonia entrusted to the UN; France said it would consider the amendment, but the Nazis rejected it as the outcome favoured France. Macedonia endorsed the amendment and threatened retaliatory action if the Nazis refused to concede.
France ultimately rejected the resolution, conflating the proposed peacekeeping zone with military occupation. Claiming the UN was acting "imperialistic", Venice and SUDS withdrew from the charter talks. P_F then reversed position and voted against the mandate because "I busted my ass over war plans and I want to see whether they were effective or not." While Taniciusfox declared Resolution 1 adopted, the lack of support from either France or Nazi Germany scuttled its implementation.
Commencement of hostilitiesEdit
Combat began at the end of Turn 1. A Zulu expedition with French support assaulted the Lotharingian corridor; it was able to secure one province, but suffered heavy losses and the Nazis annexed all other contested territories. Germany, meanwhile, sidestepped Nazi fortifications to capture a northern territory. P_F then re-pledged support to a UN mission that would designate the original contested strip a neutral zone. The Nazis tried to bribe Anglo-Venetian withdrawal by promising rocketry exports, then tried to restart peace talks with the counterintuitive promise to extract war reparations. Predictably, both ventures failed.
The Philip Pines offered to mediate the dispute alongside Tibet and Columbus. Ailed said he would only seriously consider once the Nazis were expelled from the French zone of interest; P_F refused any outside interference, yet suggested an international blockade against both their countries. Darkfeather then posted a bizarre equivocal argument that P_F had a more legitimate claim to the region based on the Holy Roman Empire and Nazi-occupied Europe in World War II.
In response to SUDS' repeated claims that the UN was "imperialist", Britain and the Philip Pines disavowed the legitimacy of Resolution 1, claiming Macedonia was presuming itself the mouthpiece of the UN when the motion had not garnered majority player support. Macedonia retaliated with a follow-up resolution mandating armed invasion of the contested provinces; endorsed by Arabia and the Nazis, it was declared unlawful by GED members on the grounds that the UN Constitution had not been ratified by more than one third of the member states, and thus, the Assembly did not have legitimating authority to table legislation on behalf of the international community.
On Turn 2, Scandinavia launched a sneak attack against the German Empire; combined with a Nazi eastern offensive, the Germans were overwhelmed and lost considerable ground on their northern and southern fronts. While a combined Franco-Zulu defence held off a Nazi westward push, Macedonia and the Caliphate, under the guise of upholding Resolution 2, invaded southern France. Macedonia seized two southeastern provinces which it immediately declared UN responsibility. The Arabs, originally intending to push into Nazi-held territory, seized three provinces in south-central France, outside the scope of the mission, instead; Tanicius justified his decision to re-route the force by claiming it was unable to reach Germany and decided to support the Macedonian beachhead. Arabia never apologized for its mistake, and continued hostile action against SUDS home territory.
SUDS immediately denounced the invasion, tabling a resolution demanding the withdrawal of the new combatants and forbidding further UN involvement in the war. Venice supported the action, declaring the Arab-Macedonian intervention illegal aggression. Richardson Aeronautics issued an ultimatum to all combatants demanding an immediate cease-fire, threatening direct intervention against countries that failed to comply.
Federal Republic of GaulEdit
When Macedonia realized no external body existed to oversee peacekeeping operations, it turned its captured territory into a puppet state. Macedonia then offered peace with France on the conditions that Gaul would retain independence for fifty years as a "western democracy" and capitalist economy, guarantee basing rights to Macedonian troops, and acquiesce to French foreign policy so long as it was not at war with Macedonia. The GED denounced Macedonian actions as imperialism and the original UN impetus as a lie; SUDS responded with the offer to negotiate a cease-fire with the Nazis in exchange for the return of captured territory, asserting this would fulfill the original purpose of the intervention. Macedonia refused, stating the war would continue.
P_F made one final peace offer, demanding 3 XP for five turns.
Treaty of Vatican CityEdit
Venice proposed a compromise to the Macedonian plan in which Gaul would be reintegrated as an "Economic Free Zone" for a minimum of 20 years in exchange for Arabia and Macedonia withdrawing all involvement in the war. GED would also ratify the UN charter. It included a clause that "All will move to stop Scandinavia from achieving its imperialistic goals."
The proposal was endorsed with minor reservations by Richardson Aeronautics, but SUDS contested the free trade clause, claiming economy policy should be determined through a regional referendum. Macedonia refused to condone a referendum, claiming it would be "corrupted by the Socialists" and that it was engineered to make Macedonia "surrender". Likewise, Arabia refused to "give up" its holdings on the grounds the campaign had stymied its territorial expansion.
Treaty of AntananarivoEdit
Seeking to close the Scandinavian front, Richardson Aeronautics proposed a peace deal in which the conquered German states would be returned and Scandinavia would remain neutral for the remainder of the war, in exchange for guaranteeing a Nordic sphere of interest west of Kaliningrad. Scandinavia refused, stating it would not cede land "rightfully conquered" and would only refrain from further encroachment if "enemies give proper tribute".
Intervention by Richardson AeronauticsEdit
After ilduce349 joined as Austria at the end of Turn 3, Ailed and P_F reignited the early-game argument in a bid to claim his favour. Hilariously, P_F took issue with a new player starting within his sphere of interest and requested he move elsewhere. Fed up with the bickering, Lighthearter and Arrow Gamer quit in protest and Britain was disbanded at the end of the turn.
Its ultimatum having expired without the desired cease-fire, Richardson Aeronautics launched a full-scale invasion of Arabian home territory while the bulk of Arab forces pushed into central France. Venice, meanwhile, officially joined combat operations with an amphibious assault on southern Gaul. Despite deploying chemical weapons to the front, the Nazis failed to gain initiative against the Franco-Zulu defence, and following encirclement outside Paris, were driven out of two border provinces. The Scandinavians were likewise fought to stalemate, although the Nazis managed to push into Saxony-Anhalt.
Richardson Aeronautics approached Arabia with a new settlement, agreeing to cede all territory in the Arabian Peninsula in exchange for 1 XP for five years and the Caliphate's withdrawal from the war. In response to Nazi chemical warfare, Scandinavia hinted it would be willing to dicuss a cease-fire.
Deciding Imperial Germany had effectively been defeated, Patriotic_Fool declared he was ceding "half of my east land to Austria, the other half to the Arabs", apparently quitting the game. When Richardson Aeronautics insisted the dissolution of Nazi Germany meant the original pretext for Arab-Macedonian intervention was null and void, he reversed course and declared he was still in the game to "ensure that my territories are given away properly and fairly".
P_F ultimately followed through on his partition, granting his westmost provinces to the Caliphate. Rather than cede his east to Austria, however, he surrendered it to Scandinavia, which launched a fresh offensive against Germany, seizing all remaining states in Germany proper. Instead of committing his XP to defending Arabia as originally stated, he invaded the Zulus and established a foothold on the South African cape.
The Arab-Macedonian expedition remained locked in stalemate, and having lost any remaining legal pretext, Macedonia dissolved Gaul into a direct occupation. Meanwhile, the Caliphate continued to lose ground against the Richardson expedition.
Scandinavia declared its primary goal achieved, and following the Nazi integration, invited remaining European nations to amalgamate into a single empire. Failing that, it was willing to cease hostilities on the condition of uti possidetis. Richardson Aeronautics and Austria replied that the GED would continue the war until Scandinavia relinquished Germany; Venice also stated that the Nordic claim to peace was unbelievable when its entire rationale for the German invasion was a self-serving land grab.
Defeat of Nazi Germany and GED counteroffensiveEdit
On Turn 5, Tanicius increased XP to 10 per turn, possibly as a means of accelerating the war.
The Zulus issued a swift response to the invasion, and the Second Third Reich was officially obliterated. Arabia rallied to the home front, where radicalization and desperation led to wholesale slaughter of civilians and suicide bombings against Madagascar proper, pushing back the front; having largely withdrawn from Europe, most of its holdings in southern France were quickly seized by Venice. While the Macedonian exclave resisted the SUDS counterattack, the Arab Nazi remnant was almost entirely conquered.
Austria and Germany, with Venetian assistance, assembled a joint strike force to confront Scandinavia. The counteroffensive retook several states along the outer border and established an exclave in the northwest that pushed into Schleswig-Holstein.
Resumption of peace processEdit
With the Arabian front at a stalemate and the Caliphate effectively defeated in Europe, Richardson Aeronautics argued for a modified form of its previous settlement. In exchange for formal withdrawal from the continent and a 1 XP restitution for ten turns, Richardson would relinquish occupied home territory.
Richardson subsequently raised the restitution to 2 XP. Arabia initially agreed to a compromise of 3 XP over five turns, only to haggle down literally a minute after Richardson penned the final treaty. Ultimately Arabia honoured the agreement; the Treaty of Arabia read as follows:
- The Caliphate will sign peace with all nations fighting in World War One and will not participate in World War One any further.
- The Caliphate will return all provinces that were formerly owned by S.U.D.S back to S.U.D.S
- The Caliphate will pay 3 XPs to R.U.A.C for the next five turns, STARTING THIS TURN.
- R.U.A.C will return all provinces that were formerly owned by the Caliphate, plus that extra province we took that was adjacent to your borders.
Macedonia offered white peace to the GED, which was rejected by SUDS on the grounds that Macedonia "support[ed] a war criminal". France demanded the return of occupied territories, an upfront payment by both Arabia and Macedonia of all XP to the GED that turn and a subsequent payment of half their XP four turns later, non-competition against future GED territorial claims, admission that the intervention was illegal, and submission to an international court on charges of war crimes. It also demanded, apparently without consulting Richardson Aeronautics, that occupied Arabian territory would hold a referendum on ownership, with the wording encouraging secession from the Caliphate as a Richardson protectorate. Richardson opposed this clause, citing it as echoing Macedonia’s interference in Gaul. Macedonia rejected the French terms as "idiotic" and vowed to continue the war.
Following the settlement with Arabia, SUDS again motioned for peace, revising its demands to territorial withdrawal and a payment of 7 XP to the GED. Macedonia refused to pay more than 5; SUDS would accept no less than 6. In a bid to salvage the negotiations, Richardson Aeronautics offered 1 XP of its own, and Macedonia agreed to pay the remainder.
Upset that no official orders lock was given for Turn 5, meaning he had missed orders, Gath_Stormer resigned from the game in protest and Scandinavia was dissolved the next turn. Similarly, despite appearing on the Turn 6 map, Germany had been slated for erasure, and in Turn 7 its lands were parcelled out amongst Venice, Austria, and Patriotic_Fool's rejoin as Big Brother. With all other combatants defeated, deleted, or settled, the Lotharingian War was pronounced ended.
Fallout and controversyEdit
Both the war and its precipitating argument were plagued by out of character fighting, with Patriotic_Fool accused of deliberately changing nations to harass Ailedhoo. Several players requested that P_F be kicked, either as a troublemaker or for general decorum. Taniciusfox was repeatedly asked to intervene, yet even amid his own mounting frustrations he insisted that P_F's actions did not violate the game rules if read in-character and refused to take sides in the broader argument. Despite issuing several warnings over what became chronic fights, Birdjaguar likewise did not conduct an in-depth review, only posting an equivocal policy statement that implied since Tanicius had not submitted a formal request, the argument was not relevant to the game, and individual posts would therefore be judged based on CivFanatics' general decorum criteria.
The bickering never ended, Ailedhoo insisting P_F was bullying him and P_F charging that his opponents were "metagaming", with virtually every query on the war's rationale reigniting the feud and spawning pages upon pages of circular arguments. Several players, including one of Ailed's own allies, became so exhausted with the cycle that they quit the game altogether, while interactions beyond the war withered to ritual claims and occasional spats over spheres of interest. The game lasted one turn following the war's conclusion, after which Tanicius declared it dead.
- ↑ As the proposal was tabled before hostilities commenced, to which territories this clause refers is unclear.
- ↑ Tanicius' rename of the war following expansion into the Arabian theatre, second in a series of convenient-but-anachronistic titles.
- ↑ Hadhramaut Governorate was settled by Richardson, representing a beachhead into the peninsula.
- ↑ Officially this was supposed to represent 1 XP for each of the member states; Ailedhoo apparently forgot Britain had folded, and Germany was dissolved that turn.