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  #31  
Old 06-10-2010, 09:25 AM
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There's also these guys from the Soviet Vehicle Guide project we've been working on:

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21st AIR ASSAULT BRIGADE

A Category I brigade from the Transcaucasian MD. The 21st was sent to Ethiopia in early 1996 to reinforce Ethiopian and Cuban forces in Eritrea. The 21st was used in company-sized raids against Eritrean rebels. The brigade did well against the rebels, who had little in the way of ADA and MANPADS to use against the brigade and its attached helicopters. This lasted until early 1997 when US forces intervened in the Persian Gulf and US troops landed in Kenya and Yemen. The brigade was now cut off and very far from home. Fuel and spare parts for the helicopters has run out, and the Brigade’s commander is scheming a way to get his men home, but the harbors at Massawa and Assab were repeatedly mined and attacked by NATO aircraft during the course of the war and are impassible to shipping, Right now, the brigade is in cantonment in Asmara and is the only source of anything approaching law and order for miles around, as Ethiopia disintegrates around them.

Subordination: Independent
Location: Asmara, Ethiopia
Manpower: 260
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  #32  
Old 06-10-2010, 12:07 PM
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Interesting. Seems like a significant investment of manpower without much hope for reward. I'd love to hear more of your rationale for this deployment.

BTW, based on your suggestion, I added something about Libyan volunteers to my write up. Thanks again.
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Old 06-10-2010, 12:56 PM
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Direct Soviet deployment of combat troops in Africa pre-Twilight War would seem to violate some unspoken Cold War agreement (and that's what Cubans are for). With the war with China ongoing and (IIRC) ongoing COIN in Afghanistan it seems overstretch -- especially with the USSR hitting up the rest of the WP for China front forces. First order of business would be cutting non-priority commitments in places that don't matter (same thing makes me question GDWe's parking Soviet units in Vietnam).
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Old 06-10-2010, 01:16 PM
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Direct Soviet deployment of combat troops in Africa pre-Twilight War would seem to violate some unspoken Cold War agreement (and that's what Cubans are for). With the war with China ongoing and (IIRC) ongoing COIN in Afghanistan it seems overstretch -- especially with the USSR hitting up the rest of the WP for China front forces. First order of business would be cutting non-priority commitments in places that don't matter (same thing makes me question GDWe's parking Soviet units in Vietnam).
This was what I was getting at. I agree with your assessment regarding deployment of Soviet troops to Africa. The factors weighing against such a deployment are similar for the U.S. military and that's why I came up with the Tanzanian invasion. I'm hoping Jason can shed some more light on the D.C. group's decision to place Soviet troops in a strategically irrelevant (relatively speaking) African region.

As for Vietnam, I'm not very familiar with that piece of canon but I'm assuming that the Soviet reasoning for doing so would have had something to do with opening a second front against China, as well as defending the Soviet naval installations there.
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Old 06-10-2010, 01:40 PM
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The Soviets decided to post the unit there mainly to prop up the Mengitsu government, and have a unit handy to protect the Soviet Naval anchorages in Ethiopia, and across the Red Sea in Aden in case NATO became involved in the larger mess vis a vis China. We could say a company backed up the Naval Infantry Garrison on Aden and some other elements were sent down to reinforce Soccotra and the rest was busy both providing security to the anchorages in Eritrea and various Primus resupply points up and down the coast. Trouble was? None of that lasted long, and as NATO air and naval power squeezed the Soviet navy and merchant marine out of the area, and the US took Aden and Yemen, and the other anchorages were bombed into rubble, the unit soon found itself sucked into the civil war. By the time things with Tanzania got nasty, the unit was too busy to do more than a few raids into Kenya to help the Tanzanians.
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Old 06-10-2010, 06:17 PM
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That makes sense, Jason. It was a pre-war (at least, pre European war) move and they just kind of got stuck there when the balloon went up. Is that right?
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  #37  
Old 06-11-2010, 05:17 AM
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Correct.
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  #38  
Old 06-14-2010, 09:50 PM
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Default Recondo School

Recondo School

In early 1998, with the 173rd BCT isolated from the rest of the U.S. armed forces and its constituent infantry battalions widely spread around the country and responsible for large and environmentally diverse areas of operation, it quickly became apparent that the Brigade's authorized reconnaissance unit, A Troop, 1/91st Cavalry, could not be everywhere at once. In order to locate and monitor the various hostile forces* operating in their respective areas of operation, each battalion needed a dedicated, long-range reconnaissance unit of its own.

*Most of these hostile forces operated as relatively small, mobile bands, using classic guerilla tactics.

The Brigade's commander, a late-war Vietnam veteran and former Ranger, decided to create a training course for long range reconnaissance patrollers modeled on the Vietnam War-era U.S. Army Recondo school. The course would focus on long range patrolling and scouting skills, tracking, field-craft, and SERE.

The cadre for the school was formed by a small group of experienced Special Forces soldiers familiar with Kenya and its people. A diverse group of men was assembled to lend local and topical knowledge and expertise to the course. This group included a Rhodesian expatriate and former Selous Scout with extensive experience in long range patrolling in the African bush and an Israeli citizen and ex-Sayeret Maktal commando who "retired" to Kenya after a stint as an independent security consultant at the refinery facilities in Mombasa. Several Kenyan soldiers, game wardens, and indigenous, semi-nomadic hunters were also brought in to share their experience with the students (and instructors) and the British SAS mobility troop operating against Somali bandits and Junudullah insurgents in the northeast of the country routinely rotated personnel (often convalescing wounded) through the course as "guest instructors".

Graduates of the Recondo school formed long range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) platoons in each of the Brigade's airborne infantry battalions. Additional allied personnel cycled through the school in small batches and returned to their parent line companies in order to share their newly acquired patrolling skills.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:55 PM
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I like it, and think you're on a plausible track splitting things between LRRP stuff and basic combat tracking for line units.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:36 AM
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I like it, and think you're on a plausible track splitting things between LRRP stuff and basic combat tracking for line units.
Thanks. I've got a soft spot for LRRPs and I wanted to make sure to include them in the campaign setting. Many parts of Kenya are ideal for LRRP-type operations.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:38 AM
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Default BCT Operations November 1997-July 2000

BCT Operations November 1997-July 2000

Throughout the remainder of 1997, the Herd's infantry battalions remained concentrated around the strategically important cities of Mombasa and Nairobi. Although the Tanzanian offensive had been blunted and thrown back, the remnants of the Tanzanian military (including rogue forces of Tanzanian origin) still retained the capacity to threaten southern Kenya. Operations focused on destroying the remnants of the invasion force remaining in the frontier region.

An operational shift occurred after the escalation of the nuclear phase of the war in the autumn of 1997. Shipments of replacement personnel and equipment, ammunition, supplies, and spare parts from CENTCOM and CONUS slowed to a trickle. The forces in and around the strategically important refinery and port facilities in Mombasa braced for a nuclear attack which fortunately never came.

With the continuation of drought conditions throughout East Africa, the food situation for the Herd, as well as Kenya's urban population, soon became critical. Kenya's western highlands, one of the Africa's most productive agricultural regions, became a area of strategic importance. At the same time, incursions by LRA and renegade Ugandan military units in the region increased as the situation in Uganda spiraled out of control. Farms and farming villages were overrun, crops plundered or ruined, and atrocities against civilians committed on an alarming scale. The Kenyan infantry brigades assigned to the region were hard pressed to stem the flow of Ugandan marauders. Scattered reports of disgruntled Kenyan troops deserting from their units and joining the Ugandan marauders began to reach Nairobi. The 1/503 and 2/503 parachute infantry battalions were sent to western Kenya to stabilize the situation and secure the valuable food producing regions.

As of July 2000, the 1/503 remained in western Kenya, along with elements of the 2/503. Other elements of the 2/503 formed ad-hoc task forces that were deployed to trouble spots in the north of the country, as circumstances dictated. Along with most of the Brigade Combat Team's remaining operational aircraft, the 4/503 (airmobile) were based around Nairobi and operated mostly in the central highlands. A Troop, 1/91st Cavalry and the 3/503 (light motorized), using French-made AFVs, operated out of Mombasa and were tasked with keeping the Mombasa to Nairobi highway open. Throughout Kenya, the 173rd BCT operated alongside loyal Kenyan military forces which, for the most part, displayed professionalism and fighting spirit.
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Old 06-28-2010, 04:16 AM
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I'm confused how did the 1-503rd get from Korea to Kenya. For that matter why did the 228th Aviation Battalion deploy to Kenya and not deploy with the 1st Cavalry Division to Europe?
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:35 AM
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I'm confused how did the 1-503rd get from Korea to Kenya. For that matter why did the 228th Aviation Battalion deploy to Kenya and not deploy with the 1st Cavalry Division to Europe?
Since I'm not an ORBAT master, I used the units FF mentioned in the archived threads. I wasn't aware that the above mentioned units were already accounted for elsewhere. Perhaps it was a redesignation deal.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:11 PM
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1-503rd was an element of the 2nd Infantry Division during the late Cold War.

When the 173rd was reformed, it initially began life with 2-503rd (former 3-325th) and 1-508th AIR. If I am understanding the information correctly, it eventually gained the 1-503rd lineage as well, making three battalions, and then dropped 1-508th when it converted to current army organization for BCTs and such.

For the Twilight War scenario, you might want to consider going with 1-508th, 2-503rd and then either 2-508th or 1-555th, which is mentioned in Frank Frey's notes as being reformed and assigned. You could even toss in something like 6-143rd Infantry (Airborne), Texas Nat'l Guard, for a fourth line battalion, if you want to posit the reserve component units mentioned in FF's notes eventually showed up.

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Old 06-28-2010, 07:42 PM
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For the Twilight War scenario, you might want to consider going with 1-508th, 2-503rd and then either 2-508th or 1-555th, which is mentioned in Frank Frey's notes as being reformed and assigned. You could even toss in something like 6-143rd Infantry (Airborne), Texas Nat'l Guard, for a fourth line battalion, if you want to posit the reserve component units mentioned in FF's notes eventually showed up.
Thanks, HS. One of Frank's two 173rd BCT ORBATs included four infantry battalions- two airborne, one airmobile, and one light motorized- which, for simplicity's sake, I went with. I really want four line battalions so I may go with the reserve battalion, shipped in just before the balloon went up.

Using your ORBAT, may I assume that the 50x battalions are airborne qualified? Which battalion should be the airmobile one? Could an NG battalion realistically be set up as a light motorized unit? (using, as per Frey's idea, French-supplied light AFVs)
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:18 PM
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The 500 series infantry regiments all (if I'm not mistaken) have an airborne lineage, but may or may not actually be on jump status now (and there are some regiments without 500+ numbers that have historical or current airborne status, to add further confusion to the matter).

The 'Guard unit could be the light motorized one, especially since whoever gets the role is falling in on new equipment. They could have been slated to be a reserve round-out/round-up unit for the 173rd who arrived in theater with only a portion of the unit jump qualified (from personal experience in and around several NG airborne units, getting everyone to and through jump school is a PITA, as is keeping them current during peace time).

I would perhaps say that the three regular army battalions were all initially jump qualified, and the NG battalion was supposed to be, but when the NG battalion arrived in theater it was sufficiently deficient in jump-qualified personnel that it was looted for jumpers to replace casualties in the other battalions, and then became a receiving unit for non-jumping replacements. (Particularly because I'd think that Kenya would be low on the priority list for airborne qualified replacement personnel in most any MOS, with 18th Abn Corps, the Rangers, assorted SOF units and LRS units, etc, in action in busier AOs.)

As the war wore on, the decision was later made to pool increasingly scarce equipment and personnel in two of the other battalions, and take the third off jump status (allowing it to also incorporate non-airborne replacement personnel, including indigenous Kenyan and expatriate personnel).

Or something like that.
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:10 AM
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First I'd like to point out that the 1-508th was assigned to the 193rd Infantry Brigade in Panama till '97 irl.
As far as a light motorized battalion, something you might want to consider using is a TLAT battalion. http://www.orbat.com/site/history/op...talion1980.pdf May not be exactly what your looking for but they are light and motorized and it would kill two birds with one stone a reserve unit and motorized. Another option to fill that hole is to say the NG reactivated the 1-143rd Airborne again in TX. As far as which battalion is motorized, etc. thats pretty much up to your discretion. As far as my suggestions for the unit designations I'm more of a historical guy so I would take one of two options here. A. Go with 2-, 3-, 4-503rd and one of the NG options plus I'd change the Cavalry Squadron (I'm assuming you're using a whole cavalry squadron by your designation and not just a troop.) to either the 4-16th Cavalry or the 5-17th Cavalry Squadron which actually had historical ties to the Herd from Vietnam (via their lineage through D Co 16th Armor and E Troop, 17th Cavalry respectively). If your using just a troop then historically it would be D Troop 16th Cavalry or E Troop 17th Cavalry or if you want the latest flavor A Troop 91st Cavalry. now on to B. Keep the 1-503rd and say the one in Korea got reflagged to another unit designation like the 2-506th or something at some point previous. Thats my tastes your tastes are probably different and I'm curious to see how you work it out.
As far as the 228th Aviation Battalion, when the 1st Cavalry began converting to Division 86 configuration. The division added a second aviation battalion to go along with the 227th around 1983. So they went with the 228th for it which makes sense given the history of the 228th. That designation stuck until they regimentalized the aviation branch in the mid to late 80s eliminating the separate aviation battalions designations. So if your going with the early 80s designations which is what is used in Twilight 2000 and by Frank then 228th was already assigned prewar to the 1st Cav.

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  #48  
Old 05-09-2012, 06:04 PM
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Is there anything else I could/should add in order to make this more source-booky?
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:30 PM
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very interesting - never saw this before - working on my own Kenyan source book as well - in mine the Tanzanian invasion is turned back easily by the Kenyans but they then get overwhelmed by marauders and guerrillas from other nations hitting them because they see Kenya as ripe for the knife due to having to concentrate their forces to stop the Tanzanians -

the US comes in because Kenya appeals to them for aid to stop those other invaders so they can concentrate on the Tanzanians
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:47 PM
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very interesting - never saw this before - working on my own Kenyan source book as well...
I posted a link to it when you put up a new thread on Kenya a little while back. Since you mentioned a Kenya sourcebook today, I thought I would bump this old thread since some of us old-timers (forum history-wise, that is)have already put a bit of thought into it.

I would never argue that my version is canon, but I was pretty stoked with the Frank Frey endorsement. He helped out with some info from his old notes and I added a couple of my own flourishes (the Tanzanian invasion, namely).

I just feel like what I've written up so far is a little thin for a sourcebook. Would it be helpful if I broke Kenya down into some geographical regions and got a little more specific with the local conditions found there? Would more detailed write-ups of the OPFOR be useful?
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:16 PM
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its what I am doing - took frank's notes and so far have 35 pages on not only Kenya but other areas too
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:23 AM
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I just feel like what I've written up so far is a little thin for a sourcebook. Would it be helpful if I broke Kenya down into some geographical regions and got a little more specific with the local conditions found there? Would more detailed write-ups of the OPFOR be useful?
A full on source book would seem to be a bit of overkill for just one small(ish) African country not directly involved with the overall war. Eastern Europe, a dozen or so countries which were, only got one book between them.

I'd say aim for something that would fit into 6-10 pages - what you might expect to see in Challenge. Either that or expand to cover the entire continent (which is far more work than I think any of us here would want to do given there's virtually no foundation material).

Realistically, the only countries/small regions which deserve a "book" are the US, UK, France (and it's dependencies and colonies), the Mediterranean (focusing on Greece and Italy), Korea and it's immediate neighbours including China (pretty easy - melted glass with the odd scorched bone sticking out of it), and perhaps Pakistan/India and Australasia (Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific islands and including Indonesia and up to about Singapore). Might be worth exploring South and Central America in one book also, but as none of them were a part of the main conflict zones...
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:29 AM
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Actually a sourcebook is what the area needs. And Kenya is critical to the war - you dont send an airborne regiment plus a lot of support units plus naval and air units there unless its damn important considering all of those units are really needed in the RDF.

That refinery and the port are critical for the RDF.

I am working on such a sourcebook now to cover Kenya, the area around it, and how it fits into the whole war, using other modules and canon information plus what Frank Frey has posted or approved from other posters in order to use it as a source for those who want to play in the area and as a basis for modules and adventures.

Should be ready soon.

Oh and for those who follow the news Mr. Kony and his fun guys from the LRA are part of those the US is having conflict with.

The way I see it - if GDW was going to issue a module/sourcebook on the country and the area around it then as far as they thought it was pretty important to the overall war effort.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:00 AM
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It's just a Regiment. That's roughly three Battalions plus a few supporting units. It's not a major deployment for a military as big as the US. It's only about a third of what's in the US 8th ID way over in the Baltic states.

It's an interesting sideshow and gives players and GMs something different to play with, but strategically it's fairly insignificant. Chances are neighbouring African tin pot dictators are fielding greater manpower.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:35 AM
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Leg, I'd like to be sure I understand your position before I attempt to address it. Are you saying that you feel only major combat and large geographic areas are worthy of receiving sourcebook attention?

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Old 05-10-2012, 08:50 AM
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Not exactly, just that giving too much detail on a small area could constrain another GMs creativity. IMO there should be plenty of opportunities for others to develop on the framework initially provided.

This isn't to say the initial writer should feel in any way limited in fleshing things out for themselves, just that if their main intent is to provide a resource for others to use, then they should use a similar level of detail as the original GDW writers.

Individual countries/regions should be able to be adequately covered by shorter articles of the 6-10(ish) pages size.

Of course it's absolutely fine, even encouraged for writers to post more detailed work if they're looking for constructive criticism to help make their personal game world more believable/playable, but as far as "source material" goes, it should remain fairly skeletal, but with plenty of potential plot hooks.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:52 AM
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Actually its a lot more than a regiment

There is an aviation regiment as well, elements of various infantry units, an armored battalion sent over to give them some armor and a whole special forces group plus elements of two others

plus naval forces, air force elements and then you have the Kenyan Army as well

add it all up and its a major US deployment,especially for Twilight 2000

and thats just from Frank Frey's notes which he admitted were not complete

have added a few units myself and a couple of creations for auxiliary forces like the British Lions

its very obvious that Kenya was going to be a base for an African series of modules just like Iran is

oh and Kenya is not a minor sized nation unless you say France is a minor sized nation - they are comparable in size

Also keep in mind that Kenya is mentioned in two modules - the RDF and Kings Ransom - obviously it is important for CENTCOM or why are they sending forces there

And CENTCOM is probably the largest organized force the US military still has with the possible exception of whats in Korea - and most likely if the story had continued would have been the driving military force for the restoration of the US eventually
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:51 PM
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@Olefin: I think we have slightly different visions for Kenya as a T2K setting.

I like a grittier, slightly more chaotic setting where the U.S./allied forces are a little weaker and the opposition is stronger. In my mind, this is what T2K is all about. You seem to prefer one where the U.S./allied forces are significantly stronger and the opposition not quite as formidable. You say tomato, I say tomato.

This is why I don't think either work can/should be considered as canon or even more properly canonical.

BTW, did FF add the armored battalion or is that your touch?

@Leg: A semantics error on my part. I was thinking Challenge article/supplement but I typed sourcebook.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:40 PM
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Take it from me - while the US is in a better position strong they arent - and they have a lot of enemys - Somalian warlords, the PARA, the LRA, and Sudanese rebels - then add in a bunch of non-aligned marauders, local Kenyan criminals and the fact that Kenya, while it may look small on the map, is roughly the size of France.

Thats a lot of territory to cover with what is there.

And what Frank has in his original notes as he posted on the other thread is what I used. I just rounded out his force.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
A semantics error on my part. I was thinking Challenge article/supplement but I typed sourcebook.
I thought as much. You've probably got enough then with a bit of polishing here and there. We all make the mistake from time to time of trying to cover too much in too much detail and then never being happy with what we've got.

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Originally Posted by Olefin View Post
Thats a lot of territory to cover with what is there.
Not when you consider the areas covered in the canon books.
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Originally Posted by Olefin View Post
And what Frank has in his original notes as he posted on the other thread is what I used. I just rounded out his force.
Is "rounding out" even necessary? Doesn't that add in units which may have been intentionally left out by Frank to give more balance to the region?
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