(a text on the wank scenario)
If I could find a good parallel to the wank scenario, it would be the Mary Sue, if look closely you can find a lot of resemblance. Both are mostly fantasy made by the author, who can be closely related to auto-promotion, both incarnations are nearly totally unable to make a single mistake, and of course they both live in a world of fantasy and of absolute. Where the resemblance end is that while the Mary Sue is concentrate on one character, the wank covers nearly an entire nation.
For those unfamiliar with the two concepts, a Mary Sue is generally a self-idealisation of the author. They are perfect in every single way and tend to get everything they want. They are generally are associate with female authors of fan-fictions, but they can be easily found in male literature as well (One of the best example would be Jack Ryan). An author can do the same thing with a nation by basically making its people super-being who seem to never disagree as they always have the good answer (no matter how unrealistic it can be). Alternate history, techno and political thriller usually are the best kind of lecture to find such thing.
How to spot a wank
Unless it is a parody of the genre, an author will never specifically say, what he wrote (and sometime hope to make a buck out of it) is wank, but any reader can spot it after some lecture.
The scoreboard usually is one of the biggest indicator. In a wank, the enemy (aka PURE EVIL!!!) will win 49% of the battle in the book and usually they shall be all in the first half. After our proud little wanker nation will be able to turn the tide against all odd, in a decisive battle/move/operation. After that the EVIL!!! Will try some tactic (usually a stab in the back, no good one) but still end up being defeated and the supremacy of the wank will never be challenge until the sequel.
In those scenarios, emotion rule over logic, no matter what they say some character guts always are always right. From telling the weather to know the objective of the enemies before even they think it, their guts (or guts passing as logic) are more reliable than wikipedia on everything.
The more political is the book the more the solution of a problem will be what is ideology the author is. If the author is not that political, he will simply make up a plot device to solve the insurmountable odd he have put. Do not think one is better than the other is.
Profound motivation do not exist, it is either you want to be good or evil. Generally the evil side will be explain by the fact it seek power, dominance etc but everyone know that is bad, but weirdly enough if the action of conquest is made by one side rather than the other itís consequence have a totally other meaning. If you are wanker nation conquer a country a new golden age start if the EVIL! Conquer a nation not one inch of good can came out of it (note: most history book are written that way just change good for a certain nation and the evil for all other). A conquest made by wanker usually is permanent
Just like Vishnu, a wank nation needs an avatar, a representation of everything good and pure in this universe (at least to the author). They is a lot of chance that it will be Mary Sue, giving that the author is already living off is fantasy and telling them to everyone in one act literally masturbation.
The need of avatar comes from the oblivious need of point of view (Sometime the avatar is not a follower of everything that is true but just like in Christian fiction, he get converted). If those avatars were not there, they would be no embodiment of what the nation going through. A lot of them are very political and a large numbers are in the military (a lot of them are war story remember). They rarely come from privilege background, are often underdogs, and become hero without wanting it.
Being unbreakable is probably one of their biggest characteristics. Never more than one bullet will get through their skin. You can be sure that it will hurt, but do not worry the hospital never too far and of course a pretty nurse always there to watch on him (to either fall in love and or spend a night of passion that will be comment as being "the best one she got").
The avatar are rarely aware of their own nature, they just happen to stumble and bump their way into life and end up saving the world. They generally can meet everyone from the president to their high school sweetheart (except the leader of their bad guy, for some reason they rarely meet in person in those scenario).
Their life is pace between extreme action moment and calm humble life (generally on the countryside, unless they have a more profitable). He always regret the time were thing were calmer, but generally his hate of the enemy (who did that horrible thing) will be enough to fuel his super-sayans like fighting ability. Donít worry no matter how high will be his death toll heíll never suffer any psychological damage (itís not like you can have much damage when you have a two dimension persona).
Of course to blame the other is generally how he deal with his problem (yet nobody notice he does that)
We all need enemy in life, otherwise how else would we spend our free time. Enemy in wank live for being mean to the good guy (generally if they are really evil the book will be about them). In alternate history as the name, say it the enemy must be historical. In that case, it is more fighting the idea you have of that enemy than what it would have been in OTL. One of the biggest examples would be the British Empire in an Ameriwank. The British will often be presented as being very loyal to their kings and Queens (and with most of the British political body limited to the loyalty). They often are imperialistic and are in someway passively evil. By that I mean they seem to not know themselves that what they do not seem to be a goal or reason to their evil. You see we are facing here a very philosophical thing here. As the enemy attack a nation who is, suppose to be the incarnation of good, in order to have the odd on your side (although we all know there is only 95% of chance that they actually win) you have to be side
Generally, the evil fit the time; generally, you will find the worst of industrialism and or slavery in 19th century. In the 20th it is generally Nazi and communist. Of course, a wank nation will never have those problem (or it can be resolve).
Of course, they can be enemy within (which is a usual thing in political one), usually at the same time the turn of the war turn, the enemy within loose all his power and everyone become unified politically. Depending on the author that enemy within either actively work with the EVIL!!! or is just plain incompetent.
One of the dominant genres of wank scenario is the Ameriwank, most of those scenarios seek to make it the dominant world power before the time, or pit against the odd. It is always the dreaded fear of invasion of invasion in those cases; of course, the enemy really hate the American, the American way of life and freedom in general.
The confederates are usually not that evil, you can have reconciliation because above everything they are American remember. The only slavery condition for that reconciliation is that southerner accepts to take away slavery, which they will eagerly do considering that they is that greater evil to fight. Generally in one set 1860 if North and South put their resource together, they are simply unbeatable.
One of the most clichť act of the Ameriwank is two conquer itís two modern neighbours, Mexico and Canada (not it can be done without necessarily it being a wank, itís actually something that happen very often). One of the noted is how quickly the culture can be assimilated and without any real problem or prejudice toward the two. Generally, the conquest will limit itself to those, but sometime America will snatch up Central America.
Also the Ameriwank love to "save people", itís enemy usually have more than one enemy, generally it goes woops America ass (or at least try to) to beat someone else even harder (usually some defenceless innocent people)
Less Frequent, but still happen, that one is generally honour the idea of the British Empire. Like the Ameriwank it claim big democratic idea and superiority over all the other people.
Generally, its enemy will be the other European countries (From Napoleonic France, Nazi Germany or Russian), generally not the U.S (unless the entire country have become a slaveocrat oligarchy), either by winning the American Revolution (usually to shoot Washington is a sure POD), which shall enable British domination over North America forever and ever or just simply ignore it.
One of notion is that it never stop growing, while the Ameriwank will usually eat up itís OTL neighbour and take over the world through financial domination. The Britwank have to conquer it, but like the Ameriwank nobody will mind being conquered at all. Although it will never conquer its European enemy (although it can gob up France is they wake up early enough in the morning)
Trying to hide a wanking
Sometime midway through a book and author will try to hide the fact that what he wrote is complete wank, so he will try to hide it
One of the biggest way they do it, is to basically, make it loose, but the circumstance of itís lost usually are like this. The wank was about to win, when some the ennemy use some stab in the back theory and now the wank must now surrender (sometime because of that stupid enemy within). Itís people will become oppress and loose all freedom because of that single betrayal, but of course one day it will rise up again and kick the ass of itís occupant.
One of the ways is to have a character that is different, from the avatar who is as nearly successful as the avatar, but he might screw up in a way or get converted overtime. In a way, he is close to a token black character. He is only there to hide the wank not make a point.
For those who think we might get rid of wanking scenario, think again. Like Mary Sue they will never disappear NEVER! Note it might only cover brit and ameriwank, but a wank can be made in every nation and in every group So watch out for them :D.