Video Game / Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg

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Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg is a popular Hearts Of Iron II, Darkest Hour and Hearts of Iron IV Game Mod that is set in an alternate timeline where the Central Powers win World War I. Currently in 1.4 beta for Hearts of Iron II, 1.8 beta for Darkest Hour and 0.4 Alpha for Hearts of Iron IV, Kaiserreich takes many of the same nations in a different direction, while introducing dozens of new countries, ministers and leaders.

The latest version of the mod can be downloaded here (for Darkest Hour) and here (for HoI 4), the mod also has its own forum, Twitter, official subreddit and wiki.


This Game Mod provides examples of:

  • 0% Approval Rating: How Leon Trotsky is looked upon by the Socialist nations due to his responsibility in the failure of the Russian Revolution.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The entire mod counts as one for historical figures in our timeline like Huey Long, John Reed, Nikolai Bukharin, Oswald Mosely and Pyotr Wrangel that never rose to significant prominence despite their potential due to a German victory in World War I. Significant figures in our timeline like Stalin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Churchill have downplayed roles or like in the case of Roosevelt, are outright dead.
  • A.I. Roulette: The AI's decisions when it comes to events can be... strange at times.
  • Allohistorical Allusion:
    • The Berlin Stock Crisis at the start of the mod is just one example.
    • Zig-zagged in that the Wall Street Crash does happen in the Kaiserreich timeline, albeit a bit earlier (1925) and doesn't have as big of an effect on the world.
    • Leni Riefenstahl ends up directing a movie about Adolf Hitler's heroism and valor combined with a message about Germany superiority.
    • The Axis in this case is made up of Islamic nations, based on Cairo-Riyadh-Tehran, and is a direct analogue to the real-life version. It consists of a powerful nation which wants to reclaim their allegedly superior race's territory (Egypt), a less powerful one which is more focused on simple expansion (Arabia), and an ethnically foreign nation to the east which simply has ambitions on the land of their mutual enemy (Persia).
    • If Republican China manages to to defeat the Qing and establishes control over most of the Chinese mainland, they will turn their attention to the Legation Cities. Instead of outright annexation, they have the option of offering them a high degree of home rule and autonomy, in which the cities will recognize the Republican government as their legitimate governing authority, but the latter will not be involved in the day-to-day administration of the cities except for matters of diplomacy and defense. The exact arrangement was made by the PRC to Britain in regards to the handover of Hong Kong in our timeline. Bonus point for Hong Kong also being part of the Legation Cities, so this is a case of the SAR arrangement being made 30-60 years earlier, and also extended to Shanghai, Bao'an, Fuzhou, and Ningbo.
    • An example regarding Russian intervention in Ukraine (which is itself technically not an example due to predating the crisis of 2014 on): Russia has the option of passing out citizenships and passports like candy to create a pretext for intervention by defending "Russian citizens." This was a strategy used by the Russians in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in our own history as well, and several years after the event chain was written, Ukraine and the Crimea.
  • Alternate History: The basis of the mod, as said above, is a timeline where Germany won World War I.
  • Alternate History Wank: Subverted by the victorious German Empire after WWI. Despite winning, it still lost great amounts of men, was unable to prevent hostile revolutions from breaking out in France and Britain, and has a very unstable colonial empire at the start of the game combined with a huge stock market crash. In the Interwar years they seem to play this straight at first sight, where they are successfully able to intervene in Russia and in China. However, in both cases they merely support one side in a civil war (Russian Whites and the right-wing faction of the Kuomintang), and they are in a rather good position to do so. After the Brest-Litovsk Treaty, Germany already controls territory between them and Russia proper (so they don't carve out any puppet states in this intervention, as they already got them in 1917) and are already several kilometres away from Petrograd and Moscow, and the Whites actually manage to cooperate with Germany and each other under Kerensky's leadership. In China it's not even total victory, if the 1926 battle scenario is of any indication, only "tactical victory" - which first would require defeating all enemy factions in China, including Japan backed Manchuria, and second, having only one faction in control of Beijing - and at the start of the game one faction is a German puppet (Corporate AOG), and one is loosely aligned (Qing Empire).
  • Ambiguously Evil: Khan Sternberg, at least how he views himself.
    "My name is surrounded with such hate and fear that no one can judge what is the truth and what is false, what is history and what is myth."
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The Syndicalist International's view on royals, the rich and capitalists in general. Can be averted depending on in-game choices and the actions of the AI.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Some generals that died before WWI appear as leaders for certain nations just to fill up the generals' ranks.
    • Despite dying in 1916, Huang Xing is the leader of the Republic of China assuming it secedes from AOG and launches its revolution against it.
    • If Ireland becomes syndicalist one of the ministers available is James Connolly, who in real life was executed after the 1916 Easter Rising.
  • Badass in Charge: Some heads of state are battlefield leaders, and are quite effective. Baron Sternberg is the most obvious example.
  • Balkanize Me:
    • As is in the vanilla game, China is divided into several factions, though there are two less. This is also the case with Russia (1 major, 2 minors and 11 peripheral states), India (4 states, though this has led to what would have become Pakistan and Bangladesh being firmly part of one India or another, and one of the states – and the only one which does not lay claim to being the rightful government of All India – is in an ambiguous position of dependency on another), Italy (2) and Austria-Hungary (6 states, all but Austria proper semi-autonomous territories).
    • Balkanization is a major goal in most of the major war events in the game. A Brazilian victory in the Platinean War can divide La Plata into Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The U.S.A depending on the results of the Second American Civil War can have New England and the Pacific States secede. Also possible with whoever wins in the inevitable Germany/France war; Germany possibly dividing into Bavaria, the Rhenish Republic, the North German Federation, and Prussia if the Syndintern wins. And France divided into Normandy, Brittany, Occitania, and central France itself if Germany is victorious. The same can happen to Syndicalist Spain and Britain if they too lose in a war with Germany (Britain being divided into England, Scotland, and Wales, while Spain is divided into several nations including an independent Catalonia and an independent Basque Country).
      • Germany can also do this as a way of more efficiently administrating its now vastly-expanded colonial empire, making each of its colonies puppet kingdoms that essentially run their own affairs but are vassals of Germany.
  • Being Democratic Sucks:
    • It is significantly harder to unify Russia as a constitutional monarchy or a democracy than through authoritarian means.
    • Meanwhile, winning the Second American Civil War as the legitimate, democratic government in Washington can be brutally difficult, as you're smushed between the hostile armies of the Syndicalist north and the Reactionary south, both of which receive large amounts of aid from other nations, and making things worse, the west coast and Hawaii also secede to try to escape the chaos, making it a war on three fronts. At the same, Canada and Mexico take advantage of your weakness to grab New England, South Texas, and overseas territories. Averting the Second American Civil War is possible, but almost as hard as winning it unless you know in advance how to do it.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Liberia, if it sides with National France. Gets thrown into chaos by the U.S Civil War, and if it decides to become a puppet of National France, then if National France gets thrown into chaos. One of the options Liberia can choose from this is even called "Why does this always happen to us?"
    • There's one for each alliance: For the Entente, it's the Caribbean Federation, which has neither any real strategic importance nor a starting army (downplayed in that neither do they have any real threats unless the Combined Syndicates win the Second American Civil War or the American Union State does and aligns with Mitteleuropa). For Mitteleuropa, it's Flanders-Wallonia (German puppet Belgium), sitting as more or less a province away from the French and usually in the first line of fire. For the Internationale, it's The Socialist Republic of Italy, which does nothing to help France thanks to being apart unless it takes the Italian Federation.
  • Child Soldier: Audie Murphy, in Real Life the most decorated US soldier of WWII, is an available general for the American Union State in the Second Civil War—even though he's only 11 years old when it starts.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Averted. Despite being an RTS that doesn't have religion in mind, events give a lot of flavor on denominational religions.
  • Church Militant: The Shangqing Tianguo and the Italian Federation if extremist factions come to power, along with the Islamic Fundamentalist nation of Turkestan in Central Asia.
  • Chummy Syndies : The Syndicalist Internationale is arguably much more democratic and less totalitarian than the Soviet Union in real life. Even if the Totalists come to power, it is possible to vote out the Totalists and becoming democratic socialist or even anarcho-syndicalist,by choosing moderate or anarchist factions.
  • Cincinnatus: It's possible for Douglas MacArthur to be this. If President Hoover suspends the 1936 election and hands the reigns of government over to him, MacArthur will do whatever he has to in order to reunite the country. Once that is done, one of the possible choices is for MacArthur to stand down, set an election, and peacefully hand power over to whoever wins.
  • Commie Land: Played with. Communism is no longer the dominant ideology of the far/radical left (the defeat of the Russian Reds and the success of the British and French Syndicalists greatly reduced the communists' influence). Instead, most radical leftist movements are Syndicalists, a lesser-known and far less authoritarian take on socialism, so every leftist nation that's not ruled by Totalist factions such as French Jacobins and Russian Trotskiysts, who still adhere to the Lenin's ideology of the vanguard party, is technically Syndicalist Land rather than Commie Land.
  • Commie Nazis: Totalist factions, such as Mosley's Maximists, Mussolini's National-Syndicalists and Valois's Sorelians, despite being a radical Syndicalists, also promote the OTL Fascist policies. Like it wasn't enough being developed by the original Fascist thinkers, the Totalist ideology is based on the ideas of the total state control over the internal affairs, militarism and revanchist nationalism. Such Totalist factions as Jacobins in France and Trotskyists in Russia, however, are just die-hard Leninists, who believe in the necessity of the strong authoritarian state but don't evoke Fascist imagery.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • If Soviet Russia rises up, it usually loses due to a lack of starting territory, manpower, and resources, as well as ineffective international support. This also happens with the uprisings in Kurdistan, Transamur, and Korea as well.
    • Though Kurdistan can have a significantly better chance if the Arabs and Persians attack the Ottomans at the same time.
    • The second Weltkrieg has at various periods of the mod's history been this. Earlier versions of the mod tended to favor a reverse WWII where the Commune of France, with superior doctrines, would easily roll over Germany most of the time, whereas more recent post-DH versions usually see a fairly easy German victory without Russian or player involvement.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Right-wing Russia might choose to stab Germany in the back cooperating with, or even altogether joining Internationale, in order to reverse Brest Litovsk Treaty. There is also an option for them to demand part of that territory in exchange for helping Germany with the Internationale, which means it's Germany that makes a Deal with the Devil, abandoning its allies to the Russians to save her skin.
    • Yet another case is that, if Germany is defeated by the Internationale, it is possible for it to join the Entente (and the "Empires in Exile club"), the very same whose exile was caused indirectly by German victory, in order to make their return to continent.
    • And then there is the option for a Germany who has defeated the Commune of France to offer National France the conquered territory (and hence a return to France and Paris without any fighting at all) in exchange for dropping claims on Alsace-Lorraine and defecting to Mitteleuropa... Alliances in game are as often dictated by Realpolitik as by ideology.
    • In the Second American Civil War, if things are going really badly for both the CSA and AUS, it is possible for Reed and Long to join in a desperate alliance against the Federal government, despite them being on the complete opposite end of the political spectrum, and the leaders of both factions absolutely hating the other on both an ideological and personal level. As one would expect, the alliance will fall apart the moment the USA is defeated. Yes it's an analogy for the Molotov Ribbentrop pact.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Despite being in the name of the game, depending on how the Second Weltkrieg goes, it is entirely possible for the German Kaiserreich to be destroyed or forced into exile with 5-10 years from the start of the game. The same thing can happen to the Commune of France, the first and most powerful member nation of the Syndicate Internationale. By the game's end date of 1965, it is entirely possible for the world's leading power to end up being a country that is not in any of the major alliances, or even an emerging nation such as Republican China or AUS/CSA, who doesn't hold any territory or even exist at the start.
  • Determined Widow: If the Kuomintang manages to get elected into power in Republican China, their head of state will be Soong Ching-ling, Sun Yat-sen's widow.
  • Different World, Different Movies: Several examples are mentioned, and more implied. For instance, J. R. R. Tolkien decides to write The Downfall of Númenor, based on the notebook he kept during the Weltkrieg, instead of The Hobbit in 1938, which ends up merging bits of The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings. He insists it's not a metaphor for the postwar revolutions among the Entente, just as in Real Life he insisted LOTR wasn't an allegory for World War II.
  • Divided States of America:
    • Unlike in the Vanilla game, this happens via event, courtesy of the Second American Civil War. The factions are the following:
    • The Combined Syndicates of America, formed by radical socialists, is based around the industrial Midwest.
    • The American Union State, formed by National Populists, is based in the South.
    • The Pacific States of America, based on the the West Coast. This is less ideologically motivated and more viewing the USA as unstable.
    • Sometimes New England becomes it's own country or is absorbed into Canada.
    • Hawai'i and the American Pacific Islands secede as Hawai'i for similar reasons to the Pacific States of America.
    • The remnants of the United States government desperately tries holding onto everything else.
    • Additionally, if Douglas MacArthur declares himself dictator for life instead of restoring democracy after the Second American Civil War, the United States disintegrates into several small successor states when he dies of old age.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Well kinda, but the ideologies are reversed, with a Conservative North Italy and a Socialist South Italy.
    • Not necessarily reversed, since Yemen had the exact same constellation going on till 1990.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Them : In the Socialist Republic of Italy, Mussolini and most of the Italian Totalists die in a plane crash by 1949. If the Totalists are in power, they will disperse and a new government will be chosen.
  • East Germany: Can be recreated for all intents and purposes, coupled with its signature flag. A softer version of it can exist if it's ruled by Syndicalists, but a proper East Germany would obviously be closer to Totalism. To achieve this, you must take over Germany as a Totalist nation and either just demand and release Imperial Germany's eastern territory (resulting in a monarchist west and Totalist East) or release Prussia (which more or less was East Germany's predecessor in terms of authoritarian militarism). You can take this Up to Eleven by releasing the entire German Empire under a Totalist Government, making the German Democratic Republic not just East Germany.
  • The Emperor: In numerous flavors. Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany is the obvious example.
  • The Empire:
    • The Syndicalist International views both German-led Mitteleuropa and the Entente as this.
    • Several states can become some variant of this. It never is obligatory, however (for instance, Russia can become a fascist-analogue autocratic monarchy with an aggressive foreign policy — but an isolationist vaguely left-wing democratic republic is equally possible).
  • Enemy Civil War:
    • Can apply to numerous nations depending on who you play as.
    • It's one possible outcome for the (already fragile) Austro-Hungarian Empire should its constituent realms turn on one another.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Iron Guard Romania to Monarchist Romania, if you know anything about what the Iron Guard did in Real Life...
    • From a right-wing, liberal or a monarchist perspective, Commune of France is this to Nationalist France, and likewise Union of Britain to the United Kingdom. The reverse goes for a socialist or syndicalist perspective.
  • Evil Pays Better: Averted, surprising since it's a war game. Options to be lenient to your enemies are usually just as beneficial as punishing ones, and events like granting women the right to vote, and if you're Russia, not forcing the populace to be Russified are much better than the totalitarian ones. Can be seen as Pragmatic Villainy though. Downright inverted for the Indian integration events, where being as soft and accepting as possible gets you cores and tech-teams much sooner.
  • The Evil Prince: Prince Sigismund of White Ruthenia is explicitly this.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Through the game runs on Grey and Grey Morality, it is possible, depending on how the game is played, for it to end with a final showdown between Savinkovite Russia or Militaristic Japan and it's allies and puppet states comprised of repressive National Populist/Corporatism/Pseudo-Fascist/Ultranationalist regimes versus an alliance of equally repressive Totalist Socialist nations. Its also possible to have an authoritarian Entente consisting of Britain ruled by an absolute monarch, Canada, national-populist Australasia, Junta-run US and other allies or puppet go up against Mitteleuropa lead by an National populist puppets and an absolute monarchist Imperial Germany.
  • The Federation: The Habsburg Empire became something like this post-Weltkrieg, comprised of autonomous states still under Austro-Hungarian rule. Although it's possible to play it more straight through reforms resulting in the Danubian Federation or restored albeit totalitarian Austro-Hungarian Empire.
  • For Want of a Nail: In our timeline, absolute monarchism and syndicalism became discredited with the collapse of the German/Austro-Hungarian/Ottoman and Russian empires as well as Marxism being the ideology that lead a revolution in Russia. The post WWII world also saw decolonization and a moving of industry out of the west and into the third world, making a resurgence of monarchism and syndicalism relatively impossible. Thus, the Cold War ensured that Marxism and Capitalism would be the dominant left and right ideologies. In the world of Kaiserreich, Marxism's failure in Russia, but syndicalism's success in France has lead to syndicalism remaining dominant on the left and monarchism still being a viable right wing ideology due to Imperial Germany's dominance.
  • Four-Star Badass: The Second American Civil War features several Real Life examples of this trope - Douglas MacArthur, Omar Bradley, Dwight Eisenhower, and George S Patton just to name a few, all fighting against each other.
  • The Fundamentalist: Zhang Tianran of the Shangqing Tianguo, Cardinal Innitzer led Italy can also be this. The Carlist bloc can be an alliance of this well.
  • Good Versus Good:
    • It is entirely possible for the game to end with a final showdown between a Radical Socialist/Syndicalist 3rd Internationale, a democratic Entente, and a Mitteleuropa that has reformed along democratic ideals.
    • It can be the case for the Chinese Civil War. The Qing under Pu Yi might genuinely be trying to reform the Imperial dynasty into a modern state that can stand up for itself; The Republicans in South trying to bring liberty and progress to their homeland by establishing a market liberal/social democracy in China, uniting the divided country under their banner, completing the revolution that Sun Yat Sen started in 1911; And the Shangqing Tianguo just wants to bring spiritual enlightenment to the masses, being the only ones that the common people should turn to when the country collapses in on itself, fighting for what they see as traditional Chinese values against the encroaching western influence. While in the case of the Xibei San Ma and Tibet, they are both factions led by ethnic minorities in China: The Muslim Hu people and Tibetans respectively, who simply wishes to persevere their culture and religion against Han/Manchu subjugation. Even the Fengtien Republic that collaborates with the Japanese only did so because they see it as the only way for China to be able to survive in a hostile world. The only real exception is the Yunnan Clique, who are little more then bandits and warlords that raid the other factions for resources, however, even they can eventually democratize and transform into the National Protection Alliance, picking up the Republican mantel to unify China.
  • Government in Exile: How the Canadian and Nationalist French work. This can happen to the Netherlands or Germany (and in more specific circumstances to Portugal). There are also more classical cases run independently from another country, although due to game-mechanics those only come up in the events about them (a victorious Bhartiya Commune can invite Ho Chi Minh to Calcutta to set up a government-in-exile for a free Indochina, for example).
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Many of the events have words or descriptions in the languages of their respective nations. Not all are grammatically correct. Old versions of the mod used to have the satellite monarchies of Mitteleuropa named in German, though this was eventually removed for consistency and simplicity's sake (the only remnants are the AOG, which not actually being a country is named in German corporate terminology, and Mittelafrika, due to being a geographical descriptor and an outright colonial regime).
  • Grey and Gray Morality:
    • The three main alliances, at the start of the game. Mitteleuropa is an alliance of authoritarian monarchies — but most of them are constitutional monarchies, and not actual dictatorships. The Entente includes both democracies with flaws and harsh military regimes, and the Syndicalists ranges from moderate semi-democracies to not all that far from Totalism. All of this can change, given events, although unless you play a co-ordinated multiplayer game or edit the event files it is still liable to continue in some form (since while all the starting members of the alliances can be lead towards increased democracy or increased repression, you can't control what the AI chooses for the other countries, through you can influence the odds of what the AI chooses by editing the game files). It is not uncommon for After-Action Reports with a pro-Syndicalist slant to have edited event files to ensure major non-Syndicalist nations drift further torwards authoritarianism or absolute monarchy to give justification for war with them, or on the other side, for pro-monarchist AARs to have edited event files where the Syndicalist nations make decisions that drift them further torwards totalism.
    • All the civil wars run on this or Black and Grey Morality depending on who leads the various factions, with all the sides capable of committing war crimes sometimes beyond the control of the player(ie: the various "terror events").
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Japan can turn from a exploitative, colonial power into a bastion of freedom in Asia with (relative) ease.
    • Inverted with Mussolini and Mosely, who in our timeline switched from supporting socialistic positions to becoming fascists by adopting the national struggle instead of the class struggle. In Kaiserreich, the two and other would-be fascists remain left wing syndicalists.
  • Historical In-Joke: By the start of the game, Mussolini holds the position of the General Responsible for Transports of the Socialist Republic of Italy. His job is making trains run on time.
  • Historical Villain Downgrade:
    • For right-wingers, communism, which has been eclipsed by syndicalism to the point where the weaker purely Communist parties are on the verge of collapse and the stronger hard left Marxist and communist ideologies are a mix of syndicalism and Bolshevism.
    • Fascism itself has received a major downgrade (to the point of technically not existing, though of course many of the concepts are still floating around). Only a very few nations have political movements that could be called similar to what we know as fascism (such as Iron Guard Romania), and while all three authoritarian right-wing game ideologies have fascist-like people associated with them, the only one dominated by fascist-similar people is National Populism (unlike the vanilla game, where it dominates two of them), partly thanks to continued strong presence of merely constitutional monarchies and partly because several OTL Fascist ideologues ended up on the Syndicalist side of things.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade:
    • Baron Wrangel, in earlier versions of the mod. In Real Life he was one of the major White Army Commanders and actually one of the moderate and tolerant ones, here he was the leader of a autocratic faction that may take power upon Kerensky's death. Later versions downgraded him from a potential fascist analogue to the potential leader of a mundane military junta, though he can still declare himself as a new Czar. He can also establish a constitutional monarchy and step down entirely, turning him into something of a heroic figure.
    • The closest direct analogue to Hitler in Kaiserreich is Codreanu of Iron Guard Romania, a man who in real life was leader of a fascist movement in Romania that had many parallels to Hitler and Mussolini, but he was assassinated without ever taking power. He will start by re-militarizing Oltenia, then demanding Dobrudzha from Bulgaria to protect ethnic Romanians, and will start a war over Transylvania (with Hungary) and/or Transnistria (with Ukraine) if he isn't stopped.
    • Wrangel's replacement in version 1.8, Boris Savinkov, is a even more blatant Hitler analogy then pre-1.8 Wrangel or Codreanu. He is invited into power by Kornilov as prime minister(much like Hitler was invited into power by Hindenburg as Chancellor) and assumes full power when the general dies by combining the positions of president and prime minister. He also controls ultranationalist paramilitary groups, and can set up his own concentration camps in Siberia.
    • For right-wingers, the Syndicalist Internationale can be seen like this. In real life, syndicalism as a distinct ideology was heavily suppressed by all of the world's major powers, regardless of political affiliation, and as a result it had largely ceased to exist as a coherent movement by the mid-1940s. In Kaiserreich-world, it's by far the dominant ideology among the far left and the leaders of the radical-left bloc are almost all syndicalists.
      • Despite being considered one of the more democratic Marxists in Real Life, Rosa Luxembourg is portrayed as a totalitarian socialist in Kaiserreich who could seize power upon Dzerzhinsky's death.
    • For left-wingers, monarchism and even absolute monarchism as a political movement is much stronger and prevalent in the Kaiserreich world. Constitutional monarchs such as Kaiser Wilhelm II and King Edward VIII wield more political power than modern equivalents because Germany never reformed its political system and the British exiles rallied around the King as an alternative to the leftist revolution. It's also possible (and likely) that Nationalist France will re-establish an absolute monarchy for similar reasons. As well as Qing China, Japan, etc. etc.
  • History Repeats:
    • If you play your cards right or do it with friends, you can recreate a world similar to our timeline in WWII by having America's democratic government win its 2nd civil war (or even better: avoid it), oust the Syndicalists in Italy, France, Spain and UK, have the Soviets take over Russia and put Japan and Germany on National Populist policies and paths. It would be a large return to our status quo.
    • America finds itself in a similar situation to Russia in game with its 2nd civil war as its territories break off and put the country under a possible extremist rule. Said extremist rule, whether Syndicalist or the America First Union, will then try to reclaim its lost territories which inevitably put it against a grandiose alliance in the form of the Entente as Canada will try to protect the Pacific States and New England. Cooperation with the Syndicalists who have a grudge against the Entente makes the situation easier unless you betray them due to the fascists having won out earlier.
    • Russia meanwhile will either have the Soviets recreated or become this timeline's version of the Nazis under Savinkov or a military dictatorship. The extremists will then try to retake its land before clashing with an alliance, this time it most likely being Mittleuropa as Germany has claims on Russia's ex-western territories, or even the Ottoman and Persian/Arab axis once alliances kick in. Cooperation with the Syndicalists who have a grudge against Mitteleuropa makes the situation easier unless you betray them due to the fascists having won out earlier.
  • The Horde: Mongolia is this under Khan Sternberg.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Averted. Despite certain possible situations like Mussolini coming to power in Italy, the circumstances and factors revolving around them are so different that the situation itself is incredibly different than regular history.
    • Happens in regards to the deaths of historical figures. Despite their lives changing dramatically as a result of the alternate history, Mustafa Kemal, Kaiser Wilhelm and others all die at or around the same time as in the original timeline.
  • Irony:
    • In the Second American Civil War, the faction based in the North has a name that is abbreviated 'CSA', while the faction from the Deep South is called the American Union State.
    • If the player decides to keep Russia politically right-wing (either by restoring the Russian Monarchy or having it as a Conservative/Market Liberal republic) and declares war on the Commune of France or Imperial Germany, an event will fire named "The Great Patriotic war against the Commune of France or Germany". (The Great Patriotic war was the Soviet nickname for real life World War 2 against Germany)
    • It's also possible for the Bolsheviks to be successful in gaining power in Russia and forge the USSR, given the right circumstances.
    • Muhammad Ali Jinnah is a possible leader for Delhi, and potentially of a united India. In Real Life he was one of Pakistan's founding fathers.
    • The fact that George Orwell (known by his real name Eric Blair in this timeline and mod) can lead a Totalist Britain, even though he warned that Totalism's real life equivalent of Stalinism was a deviation and subversion of true socialism.
    • Shaanxi province in China is controlled by a breakaway Church Militant faction. In Real Life, Shaanxi was the headquarters for Mao's Communists, a breakaway faction with a decidedly different ideology.
    • In real life, Francisco Franco is famous for destroying the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War and restoration of monarchy in Spain. In Kaiserreich, Franco can abolish the Spanish monarchy and establish a Republic after the Civil War.
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Some of the nations can count as this. All the nations that can profit off of the Austria-Hungary war for example, if the war chooses to fire or not.
    • Whether or not the democratic USA can win the Civil War is heavily influenced by three factors: whether the PSA rejoins the federal government without a fight, whether Mexico attacks the Southwest, and whether Canada occupies New England. All three are out of the control of someone playing the USA.
    • Reclaiming Russia as Transamur is almost entirely luck based. First, Russia has to have a second Red Revolution, which is by no means guaranteed. Second, Japan has to agree to let you actually try to seize chunks of Siberia. Third, Russia or an independent Siberia has to actually agree, as Japan is likely to take the land for itself if they declare war over it. Trying to avert this by declaring independence from Japan is even more luck-based, as Japan is far more powerful than little, manpower-starved Transamur, which will be lucky to even get a division on the Home Islands.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • Out of all three main alliances the Entente starts off the weakest. All of its starting members face the possibility of being overthrown or leaving the alliance, and most of its potential members (like the US, Japan or Russians) are more likely to end up joining one of the other factions. However with the right events it's possible to end up with the US, Russia, Republican China or Japan depending on how the situation in Asia plays out, and an unified India on your side, as well as having all the former British Dominions rejoin/stay and end up with truly unstoppable force.
    • Also counts for certain nations. For example, the Shangqing Tianguo, the smallest of the starting Chinese states, can potentially unify all of China under a new imperial dynasty if played right.
    • Russia, it starts off with high dissident and the earlier events following Kerensky's assassination will only give more if not handled well, but if you play your cards right,you will be able to restore the monarchy(or the USSR for that matter), win a second civil war or prevent it altogether and reunite the former Russian lands.
    • The United States of America is the biggest of them all. Starts off with no military power to speak of, facing the daunting task of defeating an inevitable civil war that will almost certainly happen no matter who wins the election (unlike Russia or Spain, where the Civil War can be prevented if one plays their cards right — there is a path to avoiding the Second Civil War for the USA, but it requires following a very specific path that isn't hinted at until you get far enough on it - Here it is for those who are wondering), and its territories being seized by different nations, however with a little skill and luck its possible to turn the US into a Superpower that rivals Germany, retake all the former lands and have a truly unstoppable force.
  • Mexico Called; They Want Texas Back: As Mexico, it's possible to take advantage of the crisis brought upon by the Second American Civil War and seize back the states of New Mexico, Arizona and Texas from the US, and possibly advance to conquer more of the Deep South with the right strategies.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg, the appropriately named Mad Baron of Mongolia.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name:
    • According to the background material Hitler died during World War I and the Nazi party itself never comes into existence. However an alternate version called the Alldeutsche Verband lead by Ernst Röhm exists and shares pretty much the same beliefs. And can, per event, be elected to power.
    • It's safe to say all National Populist nations are basically this. In pre-Hearts of Iron IV versions, in terms of game-mechanics, they literally are this — National Populist is the Nazi ideology of vanilla renamed to National Populist in-game, so National Populist ministers are Nazi in files, triggers that require a National Populist country require the country ideology to be Nazi in the coding, etc.
    • Totalists are this for Communists (and more specifically Stalinists, in the same way National Populists are Nazis as far as coding is concerned).
  • One-Federation Limit: Averted. The Italian Federation, the Anarchist Federation of Iberia (syndicate Spain), the Danubian Federation, and the Princely Federation(pro independent India) all exist or can form during the course of the game.
  • One Nation Under Copyright: Allgemeine Ostasiatische Gesellschaft, Germany's colony in southern China. The Syndicalist point of view is that all capitalist countries are this.
    • Legally speaking, the AOG isn't a German colony. That doesn't really weaken the point though, since what it is is a German corporation that effectively governs half of the de jure Qing Empire.
  • Pet the Dog: It's possible to be extremely lenient to defeated enemies if the player so chooses - playing as the victorious White Russians, for example, one of the choices given fairly early on provides the option to formally recognize the local Soviet councils and essentially integrate the defeated Reds peacefully into the government.
  • Puppet State: If Germany wins its wars against Syndicalist France, Britain, Italy, and/or Spain, besides the decision of whether or not to Balkanize them, it can choose to create these, particularly by putting its own nobles and self-appointed rulers in charge, or Germany can be nice and let them choose their own leadership, but still expect loyalty regardless.
  • The Purge: This happens if either the Totalist or Communist/Jacobin faction wins in France—they kill off or imprison all of their rivals within the other factions save for a few anarchists and moderate syndicalists.
  • Putting on the Reich:
    • The Integralists in Brazil, as in Real Life.
    • Savinkov's Russian Ultranationalists can also count, especially if you put them on a quest to reclaim lost Russian land by allying with the Syndicalists against Germany only to betray them.
    • Baron Sternberg can also end up being the Imperial Japan in our timeline as he terrorizes Chinese lands with an army fanatically loyal to their emperor (much like the Nazi in real life not living up to their own ideals of racial perfection, Sternberg wouldn't also technically fit in with Mongolian racial supremacy since he's clearly white).
    • Also, Huey Long's America First Union can set up itself to be ultranationalists trying to reclaim American land, forming an alliance with the Syndicalists until America proper falls, where he then betrays the Syndicalists much like how Nazi Germany betrayed the USSR after Molotv-Ribbentrop, and doubly so if Huey Long is assassinated and William Dudley Pelley takes power and makes the American Union State into a National Populist apartheid state.
    • Cardinal Innitzer led Italy is this, and potentially the American Union State if Fritz Kuhn(William Dudley Pelley in HOI 4) is selected as vice president in the Civil War and his coup succeeds later on.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: What Mongolia can do to its enemies.
  • Reality Ensues: As an Alternate History setting, KR allows players to take a large huge variety of actions. However, just because an option is available, it doesn't mean that picking them won't have sometimes unexpected or dire consequences...
    • Since the dominant school-of-thought for the radical left in the setting, Syndicalism, has a much more democratic outlook compared to Marxist Leninism, for a socialist country to take the more authoritarian options that allow for the Totalist to come into power will likely result in massive dissent gains, even leading to an outright civil war.
    • If the monarchists win the Spanish Civil War, King Jaime will have the option to claim the Bourbon Throne and dominion over all of France in addition to just Spain. Doing so will crash Spain's relations with both National France and the Commune of France. And this foreign policy goal is deemed to be so unrealistic that there is a 0% chance of the AI picking it.
    • If Entente managed to retake the British Isles and restore the United Kingdom, and the new government decide to not ban the heavily socialist leaning Progressive Party, they will run in the First General Election, and have the highest chance of winning, due to the British people having lived under a socialist regime for over a decade at this point.
  • Red Baron: The Baron himself is the head of the Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte (The German Air Force) here.
  • Red October: A third Russian Revolution can happen, if the current regime becomes too oppressive. This can cause Russia itself to be massively fractured, as Siberia declares independence, and numerous border states can seize territories from the weakened Russia at this time.
  • Red Scare: The Syndicalist Internationale is this, and should the Combined Syndicates win the Second American Civil War, it could become this in particular.
  • The Remnant: Despite being defeated in the Russian Civil War, Bolshevik Remnants remain under the leadership of Nikolai Bukharin and can restore the USSR if they come to power either democratically or through Civil War.
  • La Résistance: In Alsace and Wallonia once war between Germany and France breaks out. Can really help the Commune if they exploit it well.
  • Richard Nixon the Used Car Salesman: So many, in part due to the mod's focus of shifting focus away from major 20th century figures to more minor ones.
    • Adolf Hitler died as a soldier in World War I in this timeline. His memoirs during the war have been collected among others, and released as a book called Mein Kampf. It even gets made into an epic war movie...directed by Leni Riefenstahl.
      • Many of the members of Nazi Germany in our timeline such as Rudolf Hess and Joseph Goebbels serve in various far-right parties, including one led by Ernst Rohm, while there is no event to elect them to power they can be appointed manually as ministers.
      • Reinhard Heydrich and Alfred Rosenberg serve as ministers in the United Baltic Duchy
      • Hermann Goering and Joachim Von Ribbentrop administer Mittelafrika for the German Empire.
      • Heinrich Himmler is a chicken farmer breeding a proclaimed superior race of chickens, which he titled "Haushuhn Herrenvolk" (Chicken Master Race).... And his breed of chickens turns out to actually taste really nice, so much so that even the Hohenzollern family themselves appreciate his creations, earning him the title of "Master of German Kitchen". He ended up becoming a successful farming tycoon and can become a foreign minister for Bavaria if it is released by a far right government.
    • Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-Shek are both killed during the German Intervention in China. However a mistake in the Minister files up to version 1.03 made it look like that Mao fled to Taiwan instead, this was fixed in 1.04
    • Josef Stalin is a Minister of Security for the Georgian Socialist Republic, an inverse of his relationship with Beria in the original timeline. Known by his Georgian name, Ioseb Dzhugashvili, in-universe.
    • Winston Churchill is a possible minister for the Entente-liberated Britain, also if Tsarist Russia decides to join the Entente, Churchill will be sent to Russia as an foreign minister.
      • For extra irony, if the Entente declares war on Germany and not the Syndicalists, he will warn Russia that an "Iron Curtain will fall over Germany if the Syndicalists win".
    • Ronald Reagan dies of mysterious circumstances in the Second American Civil War
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt succumbs to polio in 1921.
    • Dwight D. Eisenhower is a general in Douglas MacArthur's Junta that can come to power assuming a dictatorial US Federal government wins the civil war when MacArthur dies
    • Due to the Nazis never rising to power, Albert Einstein remains in Germany as an armaments minister.
    • Karl I von Habsburg is alive and stays as the emperor of Austria. In earlier versions, he died, like in OTL, in 1922 and was succeeded by his young son Otto.
    • Boris Savinkov (historically a Right-SR who ran its Combat Organization/Terror Brigade, and afterwards opposed the Bolsheviks) is the leader of the most extreme national populist faction in Russia that could take power with Kerensky's death, and arguably takes over the role that Hitler and Mussolini filled in OTL — especially since rather than taking power directly he gets brought in to stabilise a government headed by an old general and assumes full power when the general dies.
    • Andrei Vlasov and Nikolai Yezhov were members of Wrangel's pseudo-Fascist regime up till version 1.03, where they were removed in favor of Fascistic-leaning White Generals due to concerns over the Sliding Scale of Alternate History Plausibility of them joining the Whites in the first place.
    • Nestor Makhno fled Ukraine after the defeat of the Black Army and the Bolsheviks by German intervention to the Commune of France, where he can be elected to power as the leader of the Anarchist faction.
    • Francisco Franco is a major figure in the Kingdom of Spain, he can take power if the king dies from his coma in the Spanish Civil War.
    • Leon Trotsky is blamed by all Socialist nations for the failure of Communism in Russia, forcing him to go into hiding and fade into obscurity.
      • As a result, the Totalist Tukhachevsky who was purged in our timeline by Stalin becomes the dominant Trotskyist figure with his agenda geared towards permanent revolution by spreading Syndicalism abroad.
    • Nikolai Bukharin is the leader of the Communist remnants in Russia, they can be elected to power and form a Popular Front Government that can restore the USSR.
    • George Orwell, known by his name as Eric Blair can be a head of government for a Mosley-led regime. He can also turn against Mosley if the latter abuses his own power too much.
    • Charlie Chaplin is a potential minister replacement for the Minister of Security for the Combined Syndicates of America, fitting his real-life reputation as a leftist radical. It's mentioned that his film Modern Times is quickly banned in the United States for being anti-capitalist, which actually happened with his film Limelight in 1952.
    • C. S. Lewis: here he is a Composite Character between himself and Aleister Crowley. He's a syndicalist who takes an active role during the British Revolution and loses one eye to a Royalist. He becomes acquainted with Oswald Mosley, and his Totalist inner circle. C.S.Lewis is also an pagan anti-christian activist with an ambiguous homosexuality.
    • T. E. Lawrence of Arabian fame is still living in the Union of Britain, having failed to die in a 1935 motorcycle accident as he historically did, and will volunteer to be sent into the Kaiserreich to raise his own particular brand of chaos on the outbreak of war. He may also rise to power should the military need to step in to restore order. If so, he stands a slightly-less-than-even chance of revealing his monarchist sympathies and using his position as interim chairman to organize a mass Royalist uprising. Or he can rule as a totally-not-Totalist Syndicalist dictator like Mosely did.
    • Pancho Villa remains alive and active in Mexico, leading one of the major factions of Syndicalist Mexico alongside Zapata, and he may come to lead all of Mexico depending on how events pan out.
    • Quentin Roosevelt, the son of Theodore Roosevelt, survived the Weltkrieg and is the running mate for Charles Curtis. In later elections, he runs as the Republican presidential candidate.
  • Rightful King Returns: Numerous examples. Serbia, Brazil and Russia for example, can both have their monarchs return by event.
    • National France can restore the monarchy of France as well, in Bourbon or Bonaparte flavors.
    • The whole point of playing as any of the old British dominions is to do this for Edward VIII.
    • This happened to Pu Yi in the backstory, with the help of German arms. The Shanqing can do this for Zhu Rongji, a distant descendant of the Ming dinasty (the previous, and last non-barbarian rulers of China). Both can unify the entirety of China.
      • A Pu Yi who is defeated over the course of the game can even be restored a second time by the Japanese should he flee the Qing Empire.
    • Subverted by the Carlists in Spain, in which Xavier de Borbón y Parma claims the Spanish throne from the crumbling Kingdom of Spain (with the support of Italy and other Catholic powers), yet he's not considered a legitimate pretender by the rest of Spain.
    • Can be played straight or subverted with Portugal. If Germany annexes Portugal they have the option of remaking the Kingdom of Portugal, in which they can restore the old monarch or make a German prince/princess the rulers.
    • Hawaii can restore the monarchy if it gains independence.
    • Mexico can invite an heir descended from both Agustin Iturbide and Emperor Maximillian, or else look even further back and pick a descendant of Montezuma.
    • Possibly subverted with either Russian puppeted Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Austria. They can be subjected to being ruled by a Russian Prince or princess (though they can play straight with a pro entente government and giving back Bourbon or Napoleonic Nationalist France and Royalist Canada back there respective lands).
    • Can be forced upon nations with no monarchs such as Georgia by a larger power that decides to restore the Kingdom of Georgia
    • Germany can allow this for the Syndicalist states if it wins, or simply place handpicked leaders or German nobles on their thrones.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • In the Union of Britain, the British Civil War can possibly be one, Mosley can abuse his power and become President for Life, which could lead to Blair/Orwell overthrowing him with the help of the military, the military could then declare its intention of civil war to restore the British Empire. If the Union of Britain Wins, it has an election to decide who leads the nation.....and its entirely possible for Mosley's heirs in the Totalist faction to win and take power.
    • If MacArthur reunifes the US after the war and declares himself a President for Life, he will be assassinated and the US afterwards can be disintegrated into the several states on the US territory again.
  • Shoot the Dog: Accepting MacArthur's plan to extralegally assassinate Huey Long while playing as the United States with president Curtis is the only way to avoid the 2nd American Civil War.
  • Shown Their Work: The mod has a ton of nods to real history, along with being based on an incredibly plausible Alternate History.
  • Show Within The Show: There are events for Alternate History novels written In-Universe:
    • One such book is Führerreich by Erich maria Remarque, which posits a timeline very similar to our own, where Germany is defeated in the first Weltkrieg due to American intervention and the Bolsheviks succeed in Russia. An unremarkable German soldier by the name of Adam Drassler almost perfectly mirrors Adolf Hitler's path to power and ideology (here called "People's Socialism" and practiced by the "German Workers' Party") and starts a second Weltkrieg to try to expand the "New Reich". In-Universe it is criticized for being grossly implausible on all of these accounts, and Remarque defends his story, claiming that "something like this could have happened in another Universe".
    • Another novel In-Universe is Ignas Šeinius's Red Flood, wherein the Entente wins the Weltkrieg after a more successful Russia forces Austria-Hungry to capitulate in 1916, a defeated Germany becomes a Syndicalist nation, and Russia becomes an ultranationalist totalitarian dictatorship under Alexander Kolchak. In the novel, despite the ideologies being shifted around, it is hinted that the war goes much like the real World War II, with the British planning a naval invasion of Germany and Russia preparing to break through German lines and turn the tide. The story is criticized for its horrific descriptions of cruelty and war crimes, but much like Remarque, Šeinius defends his work by claiming "something like this could have happened in another Universe".
  • Shout-Out: Many. Just for example, Poland's text for the end of the Olympics is 'Poland cannot into Olympics,' a play on a popular Paradox forum meme.
    • One of the ministers for the Fengtian Republic is named Liu Han.
    • One of the Canadian Generals is named Melchett.
    • One of the units that Mittelafrika starts with is called the Outer Heaven Warlords.
    • One of the focuses in the Long's America focus tree of AUS is named It Can Happen Here. This is quite fitting, considereing that Berzelius Windrip, the dictator from the novel, was based on Huey Long.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: After the Civil War, MacArthur has the option to not give up his emergency powers and either declare himself a President for Life and rule America with an iron fist or install a military junta.
  • Velvet Revolution:
    • It is possible for the governments of Portugal and a Totalist Italy to be fully democratized without much bloodshed if dissent is high and the player chooses to cave in to the demands of the protesters. It is also possible for the Russian government to become Communist by simply submitting to the demands of the Bolsheviks without civil war if they revolt.
    • National France sees itself as this for the legitimate French nation, though it's initially based in Algeria, French Guiana and an increasingly loose hold over the rest of the old colonial empire.
    • After the German Intervention and the restoration of the Qing Dynasty, the remaining Chinese republicans and democrats have fled to the AOG controlled Southern China. They can establish the Second Republic of China either via rebellion against the AOG, foreign intervention, or a peaceful transition as part of the AOG's de-Germanization progrem.
  • Vestigial Empire: Numerous examples exist in the game.
    • One is the remains of the collapsed British Empire which has been reduced to a government in exile operating out of Canada with a very loose alliance with only a few of its former dominions/colonies. However given the nature of the game it's fully possible to subvert the situation.
    • Allied to British Canada is National France, the remnants of the old French regime, now in exile in France's African colonies after the Syndicalist revolution in cosmopolitan France.
    • One of the major goals when playing as Russia or Japan is to subvert this. While for Austria-Hungary, it's to avoid sliding into this if not collapsing altogether.
    • The Qing aim to pull this about, too, with event chains encouraging a combination of diplomacy, intimidation and occasional war (with Mongolia and Japan, most likely). When powerful enough, they can force the Europeans out of the Legation Cities and the German-occupied territories. The end result? China in its modern borders, often a constitutional monarchy, and one of the most powerful industrial nations in the world.
    • Subverted for the Ottoman Empire, they already are on they're last breath and pretty much are destined to fall, the only way to reverse this is to be a Constitutional monarchy (averts the Kurds and Arab uprising and win against the Cairo pact, which itself is pretty up much to RNG.
    • Due to the failure of the first Russian Revolution, Marxist Leninism has been reduced to a fridge ideology within the radical left around the world. However, the Leninist will still be represented by the Jacobins in France, and if they manage to win the elections, they will be in control of a powerful industrialized nation that is also the leader of the Internationale movement.
  • Victory by Endurance: If the Syndicalists end up winning the Second American Civil War, this is usually how they do it - their territory includes a substantial majority of America's population, industry, and infrastructure, so they can produce more supplies than the other factions involved in the war, muster more troops to fight, and replace losses faster. All they really have to do is fortify and wait while their enemies gradually bleed themselves dry.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: Much harder, of course, but present. Enact major reforms to free your people, save collapsing nations from dying, turn nations on the edge of destruction or despotism into constitutional monarchies. Probably the greatest example of all would be fully averting the seemingly inevitable Second American Civil War and enacting the Fair Deal to rebuild the American economy.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: Almost more than actual Hearts of Iron. Want to re-enserf the peasantry under a new Russian Empire or create a semi-Fascist state out of the ruins of Russia? Create a fully dictatorial Totalist or Corporatist regime in America or thrust it under the rule of a military Junta trampling on constitutional rights? Execute protesters and those who oppose your reign? Make the civil wars of our timeline even worse? And not allow women to vote? Then come and play Kaiserreich!
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Some of the harsher options have negative consequences that aren't always directly seen upon choosing them. India, for instance, is set up so that the softer, kinder your re-integration of the regions of the other two claimants to the Raj are, the quicker your rule is accepted and you get cores. Be as moderate as possible, and it might only take a few months. Be as harsh and radical as possible, and it might take more than a year.
  • The Von Trope Family: Seeing as Imperial Germany is still alive, Von names are much more in use. Notable example include Roman Von Ungern-Sternberg (who is actually Russian, but of Germanic extraction).
  • We Have Reserves: The Syndicalists in the Second American Civil War have this as their primary advantage - the other factions get better generals and usually have better-trained and equipped troops, but at the end of the day there just aren't very many of them, while every Syndicalist soldier killed has three more lined up to take his place on the battle line.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: If Qing China manages to defeat the Shangqing Tianguo, the Germans might decide that Pu Yi is getting too ambitious, and back a coup to overthrow him.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/KaiserreichLegacyOfTheWeltkrieg?from=Main.KaiserreichLegacyOfTheWeltkrieg