Crazy Eddie wrote:
Picard knows about the Romulan attack in the prime timeline, but not in the new one. It's likely that the Romulans were in the process of forging an alliance with the Federation at the time, aggravating the relatively peaceful relations with the Klingons. A squad of Romulan warships slaughtering a Federation starship would have torpedoed (literally) any such alliance and resulted in the Klingons cozying up to the Federation in an "enemy of my enemy" sort of relationship. But if nobody knows the Romulans killed the Enterprise, that alliance might have finally come to pass.
20 years ago, that would have cleared the way for a Romulan invasion of the Klingon Empire (of which the Khitomer Massacre would have been merely an opening move). Hard to say where that goes after twenty years, but it seems evident that the Klingons not only survived the Romulan invasion, they recovered enough that they are now seeking revenge against anyone and everyone who ever supported the Romulans in any way shape or form. It's likely that most of that war involved the Federation and the Romulans teaming up against an increasingly powerful Klingon military; the current "downfall" stage of the war is a consequence of the Klingons finally overcoming the Romulan empire, glassing Romulus and then turning to the Federation saying "And now it's YOUR turn!"
This is an interesting idea, and one I hadn't thought about much before. Perhaps the Romulans weren't necessarily conquered, but did bow out when they felt there was little chance of winning (or if the Klingons gave them a reason to do so). I'd also agree with Praetor
that we don't know if the war lasted a full twenty years or so, though I'd wager it did last a good length of time for the Federation to have lost so much by 2366.
Also, I'm pretty sure that Deanna Troi was part of the Enterprise crew when it was first commissioned. She was killed by Armus on Vagra-II in an attempt to get an emotional rise out of the Enterprise rescue team (Deanna, being the only person on the entire crew with a high regard for sentient life).
I'd respectfully disagree here. While this is certainly one possibility in the alternate timeline, I think it's more plausible that the Enterprise crew never performed some of the same missions and never visited Vagra II because Troi's shuttle was never there. She could be anywhere in the alternate Federation, and I think this fits better with the presence of the alternate Yar (whose counterpart was killed by Armus in the main timeline, but not here) and some of her statements about serving on the Enterprise.