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Default France in the Twilight World

Rainbow Six 02-14-2003, 04:47 PM Some comments on the 'Leave No Man Behind' thread got me to wondering how we all treat the French in our games.


El Tee said he found the idea of the French as the dominant entity on the world upsetting - I wont disagree with you on that El Tee, but equally I agree with you that such a scenario makes sense.


Personally any time that I have ran games set in either the Uk or Europe, it has only been a matter of time before my players have ran into French intelligence, be it in Poland, Scotland, England, or Germany. (Never forget their faces when they got into Raciborz and met King Julian and found that it wasn't the KGB that had beat them to it but the DGSE!).


So, whenever there is some political manouvering to be done you can bet that in my T2K world the French have something to do with it - usually in a very behind the scenes way - no large scale commitment of French troops (I am excluding Canada here). In my campaigns French policy in T2K is to train others to do any fighting rather than doing it themselves, thus avoiding putting French lives at risk. And if they absolutely must get directly involved then they use the Foreign Legion - for the obvious reason that there are still no French lives at risk (or at least very few - I believe the Legion is officered by Frenchmen).


Their goal is usually either some specific strategic misison important to France or a Hearts and Minds campaign to persuade whichever Governemnt / local power to ally with the Franco Belgian Union (FBU). They can usually make a very persuasive arguement for this given the resources available (in my last UK Campaign the French were arming, training, and supplying a faction in Scotland. Their aim was to make their faction the dominant one and therefore the effective Government of Scotland. Membership of the FBU would then be offered, with all of the 'benefits' that would bring).


Ultimately this would lead to an expansion of the FBU in effect creating a French 'Empire', and giving the French an advantage in the Post War World.


Wondered if anyone else used the French regularly (it's maybe a British thing!) or had any thoughts?


Cheers.

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MJGRIFF 02-14-2003, 05:14 PM No we're pretty much tracking the same target there RS. I figured the French would have no choice but to get involved in European, African, and Asiaian polotics. With thier envy of German, British, and American influence and power, they would see this as thier chance to grag paratity , or even supioriority ( which by the 2300 canon, they do). I didn't use the French west of Berlin, but in Africa & SW Asia they were always involved. More of nuisance than a direct threat (i.e. GRU/KGB). I also had the Sov's consider the French more of a threat and compition in the Middle East and Africa (outside of Iran proper). I had a pretty nasty little cold war brewing in my last game, it gave the players a few moral problems to think about, and a chance to play both sides off each other. I also liked letting them know they were no longer on the baddest team in the AO. It stung thier pride and helped fire up some real emotion. " No Damn Frogs' given me any damn orders!!!!!", good stuff!


Sua Sponte

MJG

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El Tee 02-15-2003, 02:02 AM This is sort of the same way I've treated the French most of the time...eager to be involved - just not directly, always manipulating puppet strings - but not being directly in the line of fire. For example, I had a group of rogue DGSE agents playing the KGB and GRU against the US during OpOmega. The group informed the Soviets of OpOmega so they would send a operative with a briefcase nuke into Bremerhaven and wipe out the bulk of USAEUR...of course the PCs were able to prevent the attack from occurring, with a few of them missing out on a ride home (with the rest of their buddies at least) in order to hunt down the DGSE agents ... "Bonjour, you cheese eating surrender monkeys!"


In the Twilight world it was hard for most players (myself included) to come to grips with not being the baddest dog in the pound...and of all nations to have to kowtow to...the French?!? I think we all built up the Soviets as this undefeatable, omnipresent enemy and threat that the players would spend their time trying to defeat "Ivan" or "Sergei" and the "Big Red Machine." However, the PCs will more likely be worrying about the French as a future global rival, although there won't be any countries really able to rival France for quite some time. Whether they want to or not, the rest of Europe is going to have to play nice with France if they want help rebuilding.


In most campaigns where I was GM, I couldn't have the players believe in the French being so dominant...take, for example, this scene:


"As you and the rest of your shattered platoon wait to board the Passenger Liner Northern Glory and head back to the US of A, you hear on the radio frantic calls for help from the rearguard security elements of Task Force Bremerhaven warning of a massive mechanized force en route to the loading area. As you and the rest of the platoon prepare for a last stand, you see them coming...French AMT Tanks and AMX APCs, with Lynx helos roaring in overhead...the Sergeant screams 'Okay men, this is it! Let's give the frogs everything we got!!!'"


Right about this time the players would say, "don't you mean, Soviet T-80 tanks and BMP APCs, with Hip helos roaring in overhead? And shouldn't Sarge be saying, 'let's get the commies?' I mean, seriously, the French?!?"


The PCs have been spending their careers training for the day they would have to face down hordes of soldiers armed with AK-series weapons, not thinking about their "allies" the French, with their FAMAS rifles. Maybe most of us just don't give the French any credit, which leads to underestimating them during the post-Twilight era. From the beginning of my t2k gaming days, I thought the creators of Twilight purposely wrote the French as coming out on top after the war to send the message that warmongers don't prosper (the Chinese are all but wiped out, the Soviet Union is shattered, the Germans aren't reunified, the Americans are beset with massive domestic problems and burdened with the sobering realization that they were spread too thin to play police officer to the world) and no one wins when the nukes start flying (which I agree with - when billions die, what's the point of being the ruler of glowing piles of rubble).


I still can't bring myself to the belief that the French will be dictating terms to everyone post-Twilight War.

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TR 02-15-2003, 12:34 PM I always thought the French angle was interesting, I had to wonder if the writers were trying to harken back to the days of Napoleon and world domination.


France surprises many of course as it has not been viewed as a major military player for quite some time. I think IF (key word) they got their act together, unified under one leader with a strong military and industry they MIGHT be able to infulence policy.


I think however it would start on European shores first though. If you think about it they would be able to have greater sway in the war torn European lands where the militaries there are in disarray.


So if they could win allies and territory there they might be able to worry American commanders and units in the area. However I have always thought something would have to happen to make them want to cross the waters to America. That is such a major undertaking and would utilize so many key resources it could not be done otherwise.


The French do have credible military units, their Alpine Chasseur units and of course the Foreign Legion are not someone I would want angry at me. But granted the French have not had the best track record when it comes to small arms design over the past 70 years. They would have to change their inventory as some of their inventory would be tough to maintain and repair (like the AA-52 machinegun for example).


I think all in all the French could become the big bad vision that many wondered about but it would not be an easy process.



Until Later



TR

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Dogger 02-15-2003, 01:21 PM In my T2K game the French are much more active.


By 2003 in my game Belgium is a department (state) of France now, and French forces have moved in and occupied the Netherlands (and of course the Rhineland in Germany).


France has deployed major forces across the channel into southern England (London to Bristol area) for humanitarian assistance only...of course (BS of course...they are there to stay).


However what's got my PC's really upset, is that French forces in Quebec have begun moving into New England (mostly upper NY and Maine) and occupying some towns there....again for humanitarian reasons.


This last thing, has in my game gone a long way in healing the rift between Milgov and Civgov, both are aware of the French world-wide power grab, and are not likely to let it continue on the North American continent.


I may end up starting WW IV before III is all over


All that said, I've always had a bit of a problem with the T2K/GDW idea of France really being a major power after the Twilight War.


I just think that with the collapse of the world economy, the use of more then a few nuclear weapons in and around (all around) France, plague, massed refugees (say what you want about closing the boarders...I'm not buying it) and the tremendous chaos in general that would follow nuke strikes and a massive war in Europe and I just don't see France not slipping into the destruction and chaos around it.


I've always thought that Australia/New Zealand would be more likely to become the major world power after the Twilight War, (that would suit me just fine BTW) or at least a major counter-power to France.


However, I have indulged the T2K cannon simply because the French make wonderful bad guys in my game...(real world situation aside...my players love to hate the French )

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ReHerakhte 02-15-2003, 08:06 PM Something to bear in mind when considering the survival of France is that they have some of the best agricultural land in western Europe and they have good mineral and forestry resources. Given that they hardly commit to the war (except to steal land from other countries and then seal off the borders), they are in the best position of any NATO nation to claim the North Sea oilfields and any other useful resources. And they still have massive supplies of Avgas and their own vehicle, ship and aircraft building industry. After taking control of Belgium and parts of the Netherlands and Germany, they increase the land available to provide resources by literally shifting their borders (and any chaos associated with border control) away from their prime farming land. And they are quite happily using nuclear generated electricity.


I always found it quite acceptable that France (considering their real world attitude of 'Yes we are part of NATO... but only when it suits us') ended being the dominant European power, they certainly had enough military force left to enforce it and hardly took any damage in comparison. They have a decent number of very good military units, all of them the equal to other NATO units including their recce units, mountain troops, marines, combat divers and even the Gendarmerie special units. In the early 1990's they adopted the Minimi and Barrett M82 and about the mid-90's adopted the M203 for their FAMAS rifles. They changed the calibre of their FR-F1 sniper rifles and the AA-52 MGs to 7.62mmNATO and have been running around with MP5s for quite a while.


Even if a third of France was rendered unusable, they have a central government in place, a strong surviving military and enough resources to allow them to rebuild rapidly (including all the cheap labour they could muster through exploiting desperate refugees).

All in all, they are, in real life, just as progressive as any other NATO country and given that the French NEVER seem to give up their empire building ambitions ('Sure we agree that Iraq is bad and should be punished but that's no reason for why we should stop selling weapons to them...'), I see it as more than likely that they become the dominant power after the war.


This isn't meant as any sort of pro-French rant, I despise the French government for it's 'France at all cost and to hell with the rest of the world' attitude, but it's exactly that attitude that would see them survive the aftermath of the Twilight war so well.


Just my (more than) 50cents worth,

Cheers,

Kevin.

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El Tee 02-15-2003, 08:11 PM Originally posted by Dogger



All that said, I've always had a bit of a problem with the T2K/GDW idea of France really being a major power after the Twilight War.


I just think that with the collapse of the world economy, the use of more then a few nuclear weapons in and around (all around) France, plague, massed refugees (say what you want about closing the boarders...I'm not buying it) and the tremendous chaos in general that would follow nuke strikes and a massive war in Europe and I just don't see France not slipping into the destruction and chaos around it.


I've always thought that Australia/New Zealand would be more likely to become the major world power after the Twilight War, (that would suit me just fine BTW) or at least a major counter-power to France.


However, I have indulged the T2K cannon simply because the French make wonderful bad guys in my game...(real world situation aside...my players love to hate the French )



It's been said above, and again part of my disbelief in the French being the top dog stems from their inability to, IMHO, get their act together. I would think that once the French decided to get more expansionist, eventually they would succumb to the problems that Dogger mentioned.


I hadn't thought of Australia being a world power post twilight, but it certainly makes sense. Their separation from the troubles of the rest of the world makes them a bit better off. I believe they were targeted by some nukes, though, so once that is under control, they should be much better off.


And yes, I have to say it, if it hasn't been made very clear, my players don't really care for the French, so it's easy to make them an enemy.

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TR 02-15-2003, 08:37 PM There would be other nations out there that could pose potential risks and hazards to gamers out there.


I have always thought Argentina and Brazil in South America could be interesting for the game, both have militaries that could be largely intact but sufficently low tech enough to be productive. Of course the anomisty in the region between each other might lead to continuned warfare between the two countries once more.


Let's see... other countries that might be interesting for players out there... I don't recall however the nuke lists on these so feel free to chime in.


Turkey definately for starters, seeing how it controls some access to the Black Sea it could be important for naval traffic of any kind as one could easily set up naval artillery to halt any traffic in or out. Of course Greece is a major source of agitation for the Turkish government and it is no secret there is no lost between both groups. Factor in Muslim extremenist groups that might try to control the country you could have a veritable civil war going on thre.


Anybody else want to chime in?



Until Later



TR

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Dogger 02-16-2003, 05:51 PM I too think Brazil and Argentina would end up being important players in the post Twilight War era...


Unfortunately, their currently at war with each other as that Argentina declared itself an "empire" and tried to gobble up Uruguay (sort of a fore runner to the Rio Plata Wars from 2300)

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Lord_Kjeran 02-17-2003, 07:03 PM Chello!


Before taking the French too seriously, check out this site:


http://silflayhraka.blogspot.com/200....html#90229835


That having been pointed out, I usually kept the French more isolationist after the Twilight War. It was in 2300 that they became a force to be reckoned with in my games. After the Germans of course.


Getting them involved behind the scenes is an idea I'll have to borrow in the future....


Thanks!


Tony

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orrin_ladd 02-18-2003, 01:45 PM Here is an edited version of the link provided by Lord Kjeran. I received this humorous take on French military history by email.


I wonder if there are any French people on this board?


<<So the French still aren't on board with us spanking Iraq.

Oh boo hoo. Let's take a look at the mighty French military


prowess, shall we?





Gallic Wars - Lost. In a war whose ending foreshadows the


next 2000 years of French history, France is conquered by


of all things, an Italian.





Hundred Years War - Mostly lost, saved at last by female


schizophrenic who inadvertently creates The First Rule of


French Warfare: "France's armies are


victorious only when not led by a Frenchman."





Italian Wars - Lost. France becomes the first and only


country to ever lose two wars when fighting Italians. Wars


of Religion - France goes 0-5-4


against the Huguenots.





Thirty Years War - France is technically not a participant,


but manages to get invaded anyway. Claims a tie on the


basis that eventually the other


participants started ignoring her.





War of Devolution - Tied. Frenchmen take to wearing


red flowerpots as chapeaux.





The Dutch War - Tied.





War of the Augsburg League/King William's War/French and Indian War


Lost,but claimed as a tie. Three ties in a row induces deluded


Frogophiles the world over to label the period as the height of


French military power.





War of the Spanish Succession - Lost. The War also gave the


French their first taste of a Marlborough, which they have


loved ever since.





American Revolution - In a move that will become quite familiar


to future Americans, France claims a win even though the English


colonists saw far more action. This is later known as


"de Gaulle Syndrome", and leads to the Second Rule of French


Warfare: "France only wins when America does most of


the fighting."





French Revolution - Won, primarily due the fact that the opponent


was also French.





The Napoleonic Wars - Lost. Temporary victories (remember the


First Rule!) due to leadership of a Corsican, who ended up being no


match for a British footwear designer.





The Franco-Prussian War - Lost. Germany first plays the role of


drunk Frat boy to France's ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night.





World War I - Tied and on the way to losing, France is saved by


the United States. Thousands of French women find out what it's


like to not only sleep with a winner, but one who doesn't call her


"Fraulein." Sadly, widespread use of condoms by American forces


forestalls any improvement in the French bloodline.





World War II - Lost. Conquered French liberated by the United States


and Britain just as they finish learning the Horst Wessel Song.





War in Indochina - Lost. French forces plead sickness, take to


bed with the Dien Bien Flu.





Algerian Rebellion - Lost. Loss marks the first defeat of a western


army by a Non-Turkic Muslim force since the Crusades, and produces


the First Rule of Muslim Warfare: "We can always beat the French."


This rule is identical to the First Rules of the Italians, Russians,


Germans, English, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese and Esquimaux.





War on Terrorism - France, keeping in mind its recent history,


surrenders to Germans and Muslims just to be safe. Attempts to


surrender to Vietnamese ambassador fail after he takes refuge


in a McDonald's.





The question for any country silly enough to count on the French


should not be, "Can we count on the French?", but rather "How


long until France surrenders?">>

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El Tee 02-18-2003, 03:04 PM France's history is rife with military failures...very humorously illustrated by that article and in Orrin's post. If you follow the t2300 canon, the French are the most powerful empire when the Terrans fight the Kafers. Based on that last statement, all I could think was "humanity is doomed, isn't it?"


I think that the French would either try to expand and be eventually crushed by a rejuventated Soviet army, or stay within their slightly expanded borders and wait to see how the rest of the world recovers (the national equivalent of an ostrich sticking its head in the ground). I really can't imagine a French juggernaut rolling through Europe and Africa, despite what may have been posted by other forum members. Sure, they may initially have an advantage due to superior equipment, resources and fresher troops (they haven't been fighting WarPact or NATO the past four years) but any dreams of expansion would soon end, either by the Soviets rebuilding a powerful enough army, or by partisans throughout Europe taking arms against a French occupation force. The Germans kowtowing to the French? That's a good one.

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pmulcahy 02-18-2003, 03:04 PM My guess that (eventually, if not right away), is that the French will occupy the same niche that the US does in the real world: almost everyone will blame their problems on the French, yet the French will be the first country that almost everyone goes to in order to get their problems solved.

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El Tee 02-18-2003, 03:21 PM Originally posted by pmulcahy

My guess that (eventually, if not right away), is that the French will occupy the same niche that the US does in the real world: almost everyone will blame their problems on the French, yet the French will be the first country that almost everyone goes to in order to get their problems solved.


It's quite possible that this would happen in a post-twilight world. However, thinking of the French as "the SWAT team to the globe" makes me very queasy.


And yes, the US is in the position of "we hate you but we need you." Whether by force of arms or the marketing power of Disney, the US is making converts of the entire world, and everyone from French Presidents to tin-pot dictators can only seethe with jealousy and watch while making small attempts to derail American foreign policy.

********************

Rainbow Six 02-18-2003, 03:37 PM Originally posted by El Tee

I really can't imagine a French juggernaut rolling through Europe and Africa.... The Germans kowtowing to the French? That's a good one.


El Tee, I agree entirely with what you are saying.


I have never seen the French using thier own troops in any great numbers.


I do, however, see them using proxies to fight on their behalf, as is mentioned in the RDF sourcebook.


For example, in the instance I mentioned earlier where they were backing a faction in Scotland to take power, I would envisage a scenario whereby if that faction were successful and subsequently found themselves in combat against British Government forces trying to bring Scotland back under HMG's control, then the French themselves would not actually be fighting British Government forces.


They would be arming, supplying, and training the Scottish militia forces that would be fighting HMG troops.


And I'm sure that they would be equally happy to assist the Irish Republic in the Anglo Irish War.


But always covertly, and in small numbers.


That was what I meant by my earlier comment about the French Foreign Legion - if they do need to commit combat troops, then at least they have non French troops available to fight - and possibly die - for La Belle France.


The Dead zone is another matter altogether - I agree that I really can't see the Germans allowing the French to occupy their territory, but are the Germans really in a position to do anything about it as long as the bulk of their combat power is deployed to the East?

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RNZIR 02-18-2003, 09:48 PM I've always thought that Australia/New Zealand would be more likely to become the major world power after the Twilight War, (that would suit me just fine BTW) or at least a major counter-power to France.



The New Zealand Armed forces ceased to be an effective force when the present government caved to Green party presure and scraped the air combat wing of the airforce. This in turn denies the Army any form of air cover as the current and only anti-air system, the Matra Mistral was brought with no terminal sighting system. This was due in part to raise the amount of money spent on the armed forces to reach the minimum set by the UN to be able to undertake peace keeping duties, the current buzz word in governmemt circles. The government then, to off set any dissention in the ranks, brought new APC's to replaces Vietnam era M113's, upgrade the Korean War era radios and made mutterings about replacing the current helicopters with something without the bullet holes from Vietnam. The Navy went from a four frigate navy to two ANZAC class ships with the minimum effective weapon options. The Navy no longer trains with Skyhawks but privately owned Warbirds


To sum up the New Zealand Government has created a force that can not effectively defend it's own home land, but is great at looking after other peoples back yards for the U.N. Would make a great staging area for an attack on Australia by Indonesia, which makes for a great campaign.

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Dogger 02-19-2003, 12:16 AM ^ Ouch


Ya but how about in 1996/97 ?

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RNZIR 02-19-2003, 06:08 AM 1996/97 hmmm... lets see...


*M113's still in active service (Just).

*No main battle tank (Scorpian retired after several accidents one fatal to crew).

*Largest direct fire support weapon M2 .50 cal (still no repacement at this time).

*Anti-tank weapon M72A2 LAW, Carl Custav.

*No anti-aircraft systems, man portable or static.

*Major problems with the Steyr AUG rifle, badly designed safety, and melting parts in automatic fire.


*Two ANZAC class frigates (minimum weapon and sensor packages).

*Two Leander Class frigates (30 years old, anti-missle and anti-aircraft = M2 .50cal x2, Phalanx system fitted as required, sensors=what are those).


*A4-H Skyhawk.

*UH-1H Iroquios helicopters (Vietnam era).


The list go'es on. The link below is a good start to the current problems if you are interested.


http://www.vuw.ac.nz/css/docs/reports/NZIIAdun.html


The following excellant link also gives some good general information for the current order of battle and some ideas to fix the problem.


http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/juni0r/defence.html

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ReHerakhte 02-19-2003, 07:24 AM Something else to think of in regard to New Zealand before the Twilight War that those gamers in North America and Europe might not be aware of, the US offered NZ a very good deal on refurbished F-16 fighters (and I mean very, very sweet prices). The deal was meant to go ahead until a change of government in NZ saw the administration take the anti-military stance that prevails there now, although there is some comment that the airframes were too old to be worth buying - it seems no one bothered to think in terms of service life extension programmes or how much it would cost to keep the early model F-16s going but for T2K, you could probably get away without worry about that.

The RNZAF also had at that stage (for T2K purposes let's assume that the NZ govt. did not go anti-military), MB339 trainer/light attack aircraft as well as the remaining A-4 Skyhawks (still in service while the F-16 Falcons were due to be phased into service). There was also meant to be a purchase programme for the LAV III series of vehicles (also given the arse by the NZ govt. because they didn't want to spend money on Defence) There was also I think, meant to be a programme to aquire SH-2 Seasprites for the NZ navy to operate off the ANZAC class frigates.


A lot of this is covered in the websites RNZIR posted but I figured it was worth putting into one package here for discussion.


Cheers,

Kevin

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El Tee 02-19-2003, 09:59 AM Originally posted by Rainbow Six

El Tee, I agree entirely with what you are saying.


I have never seen the French using thier own troops in any great numbers.


I do, however, see them using proxies to fight on their behalf, as is mentioned in the RDF sourcebook.


For example, in the instance I mentioned earlier where they were backing a faction in Scotland to take power, I would envisage a scenario whereby if that faction were successful and subsequently found themselves in combat against British Government forces trying to bring Scotland back under HMG's control, then the French themselves would not actually be fighting British Government forces.


They would be arming, supplying, and training the Scottish militia forces that would be fighting HMG troops.


And I'm sure that they would be equally happy to assist the Irish Republic in the Anglo Irish War.


But always covertly, and in small numbers.


That was what I meant by my earlier comment about the French Foreign Legion - if they do need to commit combat troops, then at least they have non French troops available to fight - and possibly die - for La Belle France.


The Dead zone is another matter altogether - I agree that I really can't see the Germans allowing the French to occupy their territory, but are the Germans really in a position to do anything about it as long as the bulk of their combat power is deployed to the East?


WARNING "Going Home" Spoilers ahead


That's an interesting angle on how the French might try to engage the English government in combat by proxy; eventually I could see them having to land their own troops, though - and double-crossing their supposed "allies" - at some point - to take the spoils of war.


I believe in "Going Home" it's referenced that a foreign unit may be encountered patroling the dead zone (Senegalese, though I could be wrong) and the text mentioning something to the effect of "what this means to the French position in Africa remains to be seen." I don't have my copy of "Going Home" with me, so I'm paraphrasing. While the French commit some of their more veteran units to the dead zone/border patrol with Germany, they can mix in some "foreign" units, and leave the "loyal" French units to defend the homeland (Paris, for example). Also, in the same module, it's stated that the Americans leave the Germans all of their heavy equipment (most importantly a LOT of M1-series MBTs). If the Germans could build up enough stock of spare parts and fuel, and supposing the Soviets are truly out of the fight, the Germans could do some damage to the French, possibly driving them back and regaining a lot of occupied territory. After all, the Germans are more battle experienced (albeit a great deal more battle weary, to say the least) and they are, uh, German - and they are attacking the French...


I didn't have the Germans taking on all of the US Heavy Equipment in exchange for the merchant vessels in "Going Home" as the US needed them for operations back in the states. However, in the canon game, wouldn't the French be concerned with German Panzer Divisions that just received hundreds of American AFVs?


As to New Zealand:


Six years ago I met a high school exchange student from New Zealand who became involved with a volunteer organization I was with. He seemed fascinated with a good deal of American culture, and was very interested in anything relating to the American military. He was in a military school and kept making comments about how the military was terribly funded and the equipment was absolutely sub-par. It was amusing to see his reaction to any car that had larger than a four-cylinder engine; apparently that's by far the norm in NZ. He was especially impressed with my V8 sports coupe (demonstrating once again how the USA is a country of excess).


During one conversation, I mentioned how I had family who served in the Australian military, and I asked him if the New Zealand military ever ran joint ops with the Australians. He went into a rant about how even the Australians had much better equipment and training - and if New Zealand ever needed to go to war, it was cooked for sure. With the information related earlier in the thread, I can now see why he felt that way. Nice kid, just too excitable.

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Rainbow Six 02-20-2003, 04:30 AM Originally posted by El Tee

WARNING "Going Home" Spoilers ahead


That's an interesting angle on how the French might try to engage the English government in combat by proxy; eventually I could see them having to land their own troops, though - and double-crossing their supposed "allies" - at some point - to take the spoils of war.


I believe in "Going Home" it's referenced that a foreign unit may be encountered patroling the dead zone (Senegalese, though I could be wrong) and the text mentioning something to the effect of "what this means to the French position in Africa remains to be seen." I don't have my copy of "Going Home" with me, so I'm paraphrasing. While the French commit some of their more veteran units to the dead zone/border patrol with Germany, they can mix in some "foreign" units, and leave the "loyal" French units to defend the homeland (Paris, for example). Also, in the same module, it's stated that the Americans leave the Germans all of their heavy equipment (most importantly a LOT of M1-series MBTs). If the Germans could build up enough stock of spare parts and fuel, and supposing the Soviets are truly out of the fight, the Germans could do some damage to the French, possibly driving them back and regaining a lot of occupied territory. After all, the Germans are more battle experienced (albeit a great deal more battle weary, to say the least) and they are, uh, German - and they are attacking the French...


I didn't have the Germans taking on all of the US Heavy Equipment in exchange for the merchant vessels in "Going Home" as the US needed them for operations back in the states. However, in the canon game, wouldn't the French be concerned with German Panzer Divisions that just received hundreds of American AFVs?





I'm sure that the Germans would want their territory back, but I think they would be much more likely to try and do so by diplomatic means.


Reasons:


1. Do the French really want to keep it? Much of it is devastated and / or irradiated, and what is left (presumably) has large numbers of German refugees (I am assuming that it would be simply impossible for the French to 'deport' the entire civilian population of the occupied zone to Germany).


2. Even with American AFV's, I think it would be years before the Germans were in any position to take on the French. I think the French would be simply too strong - they are in the defensive, with full strength formations, stocks of fuel and ammo, and air power. I think the Germans would realise that and would therefore give priority to clearing the Eastern part of the Country first, rather than taking on French troops who are not actively causing any more trouble but simply holding their positions. I think the Germans would only turn their attention westward when their Eastern borders were secured and they could be confident of repulsing any attack. By attack, I don't mean an organised War Pac offensive, which I agree is extremely unlikely. Was thinking more of rogue units no longer obeying orders encroaching into Germany in anything up to Division strength.


3. The French still have nukes. The Germans don't (they may have 'acquired' some tactical ones during the couse of the War, but strategic? Doubt it. So, if the Germans look like pushing too far the French can threaten to nuke the attacking German troops. The German Government will scarce be able to afford losing a Division to a French nuclear strike.


So, all of that said, I would imagine a settlement between the two countries where the French would agree to pull back in exchange for the Germans guarenteeing to halt refugees heading for France by any means neccessary. This would free up the French Corps occupying the Rhineland to interfere elsewhere (Quebec / UK / Middle East / etc, etc)


Of course, if no diplomatic settlement could be reached, I suppose it would come to War eventually, but I think it would be well into 2002 or 2003. In either event, probably lots of adventure opportunities for anyone running a group of German PC's.


Or French PC's for that matter (anyone ever done that?!?!?!)


With regard to the point about the French double crossing their allies - no arguement from me about that. They are French. They will do what suits them, and no one else.

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El Tee 02-20-2003, 12:09 PM I agree that the Germans would have their hands full in maurader clearing actions in the East. Perhaps the simple threat of turning armored columns westward would be enough to press France to negotiate some withdrawal from the Dead Zone (after all, as you mentioned, the land isn't of much use). The Germans and the French would be more concerned with a rebuilding Soviet army than with each other.


It slipped my mind that the French still had some nukes...I suppose if you sit on the sidelines, you still have lots of equipment at the ready. Although the Germans would be gravely concerned by the threat of further nuclear attacks, I don't think that the threat of France turning nukes on Germany would be carried out, because:


1) Germany is already a devastated wasteland. There's only so many locations that haven't been hit hard by the war, and those would be locations the French would want to capture, if that was their objective (which it probably is not).


2) The weapons provide the best shield against further aggression. Major concentrations of "enemy" nations wouldn't want to risk being obliterated in an offensive against France; they've already seen it happen.


3) Destroying what little remains of the German government would mean a larger stream of refugees into France.


So long as France relinquished what was "German" territory, I believe an agreement could be reached to prevent further refugees from going to France. After all, Germany has experience keeping their citizenry from departing for greener pastures. Well, at least the East Germans do.


Still, the threat of massive amounts of Armor would give Paris some food for thought, even if there wasn't enough fuel or parts to put together any real offensive. I don't think the French would desire to use the nukes as a wall if it meant destroying their units in the process.

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ReHerakhte 02-21-2003, 02:21 AM While Rainbow Six and El Tee both raise good points, I think some central concepts about the French controlled area have been missed. The French occupied all the area west of the River Rhine to secure a solid geographical barrier, namely, the river. On the German side, this land is approximately 10% or so of all of Germany (East & West). The French patrol, from memory, 20km either side of the Rhine constantly to keep refugees out and this zone is considered a free fire zone (the French don't give a stuff if you're refugee, marauder or former NATO), hence it's nickname of the Dead Zone. The reason for occupying the area is as stated above, use the Rhine as a natural barrier thereby keeping everyone who isn't acceptable as far away from la Belle France as possible.


From what I can remember of 'Coming Home' and from the BYB, there is very little to indicate that the area west of the Rhine is irradiated or devastated but the Dead Zone is considered to be in Anarchy and has no permanent inhabitants and any towns within it were likely forcibly cleared and possibly destroyed. From what I recall of it, the French patrol the Dead Zone including into German territory to keep refugees from getting to the Rhine and crossing over into the newly aquired piece of France, by force of arms. I don't see the French giving back this new land to a country that can barely stop the marauders traversing their lands, let alone stop refugees.


And the French still have supplies of Avgas and plenty of Gazelle helos fitted for anti-armour, they have absorbed the remaining Belgian forces and definately have Senegalese troops. I recall 'Going Home' as listing 2 or 3 French armoured divisions occupying the region west of the Rhine with a lot of organic artillery - I don't think the Germans could spare the necessary troops or vehicles to even bluff France into thinking a fight over the region would see France take a beating. As long as they control the Rhine, the French can prevent serious incursions into France by anything other than small units on foot or with minimal vehicles.


Having said all that, I don't disagree that sometime in the future (say 3 or 4 years down the track), that some sort of agreement might be reached but I think it would be heavily weighted in France's favour. After all, they are arguing from a position of strength that no other country in western Europe can match yet.


I'm not trying to champion the Froggies, believe me, I don't like the French any more than the rest of you (they still believe they need to test nukes in my backyard, the bastards!) but they have some distinct advantages on their side and I don't think they will give up any aquired land easily.

Cheers,

Kevin.

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ReHerakhte 02-21-2003, 02:25 AM All references to 'Coming Home' in my earlier post should be to 'Going Home'


Redfaced,

Kevin.

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Rainbow Six 02-21-2003, 04:55 AM Kevin, I'm in broad agreement with you that the Germans could not retake the Rhineland militarily. They are simply not strong enough. Any settlement would have to be by diplomatic means, and would no doubt cost Germany dear in some way.


To clarify my earlier comment about whether the French would want to retain the territory or not, what I should have said was that long term I would have thought it unlikely - I agree that short term they would want to retain the buffer zone that it creates for them.


With regard to the devastation of French occupied Germany, I am making an assumption based on the fact that the Rhineland is an industrial area, and as such would be a prime target for Soviet conventional bombers and possible nuclear strikes.


Whilst agreeing that the area within 20 klicks of the Dead Zone is depopulated, I would be interested in whether or not anyone thinks there would still be large numbers of German civilians surviving west of the Rhine in the French controlled area.


My opinion is that there would still be small pockets of refugees living under French sufferance, perhaps being used as labour gangs - I still think it would be impossible to depopulate such a relatively large area without resorting to extreme measures (I hesitate to use the phrase, but it would surely be tantamount to ethnic cleansing).


Moving away from the bigger picture for a moment, I think there would be lots of scope for adventure scenarios in and around the Dead Zone (although I'm biased - I've always preferred playing a Bundeswehr character - purely so I can have a G36...) A smuggler / black marketeer who regulalrly sneaks across the Dead Zone would be an interesting NPC contact.

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liverpoolirish 02-21-2003, 08:13 AM Originally posted by RNZIR

The New Zealand Armed forces ceased to be an effective force when the present government caved to Green party presure and scraped the air combat wing of the airforce. This in turn denies the Army any form of air cover as the current and only anti-air system, the Matra Mistral was brought with no terminal sighting system. This was due in part to raise the amount of money spent on the armed forces to reach the minimum set by the UN to be able to undertake peace keeping duties, the current buzz word in governmemt circles. The government then, to off set any dissention in the ranks, brought new APC's to replaces Vietnam era M113's, upgrade the Korean War era radios and made mutterings about replacing the current helicopters with something without the bullet holes from Vietnam. The Navy went from a four frigate navy to two ANZAC class ships with the minimum effective weapon options. The Navy no longer trains with Skyhawks but privately owned Warbirds


To sum up the New Zealand Government has created a force that can not effectively defend it's own home land, but is great at looking after other peoples back yards for the U.N. Would make a great staging area for an attack on Australia by Indonesia, which makes for a great campaign.


So not a great time for the potential immigrant looking at joining the NZ forces then?


FWIW I wrote a 2300 article on the NZDF a while back, which made some reference to the TW:


http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~dh...Z/RNZDFInt.htm


Also, France aren't that dominant in 2300, the apparent balance of power is France = 1.5 UKs = 2 USAs = 2 Germanys


Bryn

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El Tee 02-21-2003, 12:05 PM Good points raised by all. Although it wasn't mentioned specifically that the Dead Zone was devastated/irradiated I make the same point that Rainbow Six does about the use of Soviet nukes in the region.


The most amusing thing about this thread is that we are discussing the French using their military might to occupy territory and bully the Germans into negotiating an unfair treaty. This of course, is in clear contrast to the RL French strategy of blocking political moves of other countries through diplomacy, without the threat of military force on their part. Ah, 'tis a fantasy world indeed.

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ReHerakhte 02-22-2003, 12:56 AM I have to admit that after re-reading my last post I was probably too favourable towards the French occupation. As pointed out by Rainbow Six, the Rhineland is a prime industrial region and that alone would likely see it given lots of attention (of the destructive kind!). I have a vague recollection (from Ver2 or 2.2) that the Italians bombed a lot of targets in southern Germany on their push through from Austria. The Rhineland would be well within their reach so if WarPac hadn't bombed it, the Italians probably would have. And I seem to recall something about Frankfurt a.M. being generally deserted but still having a few 'feral human' occupants. People too stubborn or too desperate to go anywhere else.


And in regards to El Tee's last comment about the gameworld French using military might to enforce their will on others in contrast to their real world use of diplomacy, all I can say to that is along the lines of what has been posted earlier...

with so few countries left with an effective military, the French can finally get into a fight they can win


At the very least, I can have reasoned discussions with you guys even when we might disagree significantly, unlike some other forums I have been on. Is this a case of age bringing wisdom and tolerance or am I just getting dull of wit!


One last point in regard to the Dead Zone and Frankfurt a.M., the town of Kahl a.M. is practically a stones throw from Frankfurt (which kinda lies inside the Dead Zones 20km limit). Kahl is occupied by a renegade brigade of the 44th US Armoured Div who are operating the nuclear power station there. From what I recall, they actively look for salvage and useful people to keep the town and the reactor going but they are awfully close to the Froggies. They don't give allegiance to any higher authority now and are looking at a long term stay. A few points should illustrate where I'm going with this (hopefully)...

1. Would the brigade filter the refo's for useful people? If so, how and where do they do the selection (away from Kahl to avert suspicion?).

2. Would they resist French (or German) advances into the local region as it could present a threat to the brigade's operations in Kahl?

3. Given that the brigade's commander wants to establish his own little kingdom here, would he negociate with either the French or the Germans to assist them in some way so Kahl can remain autonomous? And he has one of the few working power stations in the region, something the Germans would likely want for their own rebuilding (would they conduct military actions to recover it?).

4. What ops would the French conduct (if they found out about it) against Kahl given that they would be acting against US troops (even if they are renegade) and that it would be hostile action within Germany's borders? Would the French use this as a show of strength to intimidate Germany? Or to thumb their nose at America?


Sorry for the random dribbling while I reply but it's opened up some new game ideas for me! Any critiques or suggestions are most welcome.

Cheers,

Kevin.

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Lord_Kjeran 02-22-2003, 10:52 AM Chello!


As to 4., I can see the French "liberating" the power reator to keep it safe and functioning.


Tony

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MJGRIFF 02-22-2003, 12:13 PM Yea I figure the French and Germans are going to react pretty quickly once they figure out whats going on down there. That plant represents too much power (in more ways than one) to let it slide. I figure the French will first try to deal diplomatically with them at first (and then take over from within later ofcourse), and they may wait and see what the Germans try first also, but they will get involved. It's too close to there AO not to. The Germans, well that's anybodies guess. They've got alot on their plates right now, but that plant is to important to pass on, and they can't let rogue units and other independents gain too much power or get too well entrenched. It spells bad mojo for later.



Sua Sponte

Griff

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Webstral 02-23-2003, 06:51 PM I've also always had some difficulties in seeing France as the dominant power years after the Twilight War. This is primarily because I have never believed the French would escape the general nuclear exchange in a condition that is appreciably better than that of the United States or the UK.


Imagine for a moment that you are a Soviet official with the pull to direct balltistic missile attacks. The nuclear exchanges have heated up to the strategic level. China is already in flames. The USSR and NATO have taken/are taking real damage to their infrastructures. Italy can be left alone because they are enemies of the Soviet enemies. France, on the other hand, is simply standing on the sidelines--as are Spain, Portugal, and Belgium. If everything goes according to projections, the USSR and her NATO foes will be brought to their knees by the exchange. But not France. If nothing is done, the French will have an intact industrial infrastructure. This is intolerable.


Sometime in December 1997 or January 1998, the Soviets almost certainly would have launched a second round of surgical strategic nuclear strikes aimed at nations who were nominally neutral but whose assets might very well be of value to the West, either directly or indirectly. Included on this list are nations who might cause problems on their own unless they are reduced to the condition of the USSR and NATO. This list includes countries like Venezuela (oil for the West), Mexico (oil for North America), Brazil (source of industry for the West), Sweden (too close for comfort), and France (inconveniently located AND far too likely to pursue goals generally unfavorable to the USSR if left intact).


France's oil refineries would have received the same treatment as those in the US and the UK. Nuclear weapons facilities and strategic air bases would have received megaton-level attention. The primary naval bases for the Atlantic and Mediterranean fleets would have taken hits. I'm sad to say that Paris would have taken a hit, too. Paris is simply too valuable to leave intact. It's a combination of New York City, Washington DC, and Omaha in terms of its value to France. And what are the French going to do about it? Nuke the ashes of Moscow?


Granted, the French Army is fairly intact following the exchange. But the disruption of so much of the French infrastructure would have brought France to her knees in much the same fashion as other Western countries. The one thing the French might enjoy is a more rapid recovery, assuming the military is able to restore internal security more rapidly than the militaries of France's Western counterparts. This is a big assumption, though--more than I want to pursue here.


The point I want to make is that the Soviets have more reason to knock France on her ass than to leave her alone. The French will retaliate, of course. However, the Soviets have already lost a lot of their key facilities. On balance, an equal exchange of nukes between the USSR and France will favor the Soviets by hurting the French more. I see any advantage the French may possess over their Western counterparts in 2000 as being pretty minimal.


Webstral

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ReHerakhte 02-24-2003, 02:22 AM Saw this on another list I'm on, thought it was worth sharing...


Q. How many Frenchmen does it take to defend Paris?




A. No-one knows, the French have never tried.



Poor taste yes but funny...



Cheers,

Kevin

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Rainbow Six 02-24-2003, 03:59 AM Just a few random thoughts about this....



Originally posted by ReHerakhte

1. Would the brigade filter the refo's for useful people? If so, how and where do they do the selection (away from Kahl to avert suspicion?).


Strikes me that if either the French or the Germans wanted to know what was going on then sneaking a couple of spys in posing as refugees would be a real good way to do it. Just need to make sure that your spys knew enough about nuclear power plants to get hired and, in the French case, could pass for a German.


2. Would they resist French (or German) advances into the local region as it could present a threat to the brigade's operations in Kahl?


3. Given that the brigade's commander wants to establish his own little kingdom here, would he negociate with either the French or the Germans to assist them in some way so Kahl can remain autonomous? And he has one of the few working power stations in the region, something the Germans would likely want for their own rebuilding (would they conduct military actions to recover it?)


I think these two points belong together. Would strike me that negotiation from a position of strength (i.e. I have something that you want...) would be the best way for the 30th's CO to guarentee the long term survival of him and his troops. Admittedly this might not neccessarily be as top dog. Depends how much power (there's that pun again!) and influence he wants to have. Then again, if a deal is struck, what guarentee does either side have that the other will honour it? (My head is hurting just thinking about all the potential double and triple crosses!)


Would also think that German military action would be their last resort - purely because such a move might damage the reactor. If no peaceful solution was presenting itself, then perhaps the Germans could besiege the place - in effect return to medieval tactics and starve them out?



4. What ops would the French conduct (if they found out about it) against Kahl given that they would be acting against US troops (even if they are renegade) and that it would be hostile action within Germany's borders? Would the French use this as a show of strength to intimidate Germany? Or to thumb their nose at America?


I am assuming that it would be impractical for the French to try and seize a reactor which is some ways away from their borders (I don't class the Dead Zone as the border of organised France), hold it against counter attack and use it to produce power to export to France.


I am supposing, therefore, that any French action taken against the reactor would be simply to deny it to the US / Germans. I'm tempted to suggest an air strike. But that's not much fun for a T2K scenario.....


So instead my preferred scenario would be to have the PC's guarding the plant against a small team of French commandos (who may be in German uniform / using German equipment so that the whole thing could be 'denied' to MilGov (IIRC that is the US Government that France recognises) in the - admittedly unlikely - event that a protest was made. The Germans would get the blame for the whole thing.


Would also suggest that if the Americans found out that the French were sniffing around, that might make them more agreeable to negotiation with the Germans...which leads to the plot idea of the Germans fabricating evidence of French activities in the area.


Phew...sorry if I'm rambling on a bit here....





In response to Webstral's post, he makes very valid points. The implication is almost 'We are doomed so we are taking you with us, Comrade Frenchman.'


I think part of it hinges on how you want your campaign to flow and also whether you accept everything in canon as the absolute gospel (yeah, right....)


Personally, I enjoy having a Nemesis who pops up every now and then, which just happens to be the DGSE. And the idea of an organised (but most certainly not unaffected - though not sure if I agree with Paris being nuked) France fits with that.


Final thought, Bryn's post earlier reminded me that the same site has an orbat for the French Air Force, courtesy of Peter Grining, for those who may be interested:


http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~dheb/2300/PGAA1.htm


Cheers

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orrin_ladd 02-24-2003, 04:50 PM I'm in agreement with Webstral. In fact, I think the Big Yellow Books say that French refineries were nuked. There might be mention of some French cities getting hit too, but my memory fails me at the moment.


However, I do think the French would be better off than most, since they don't have armies fighting back and forth across the countryside and they've closed their borders to refugees and marauders.


Anyone consider the Basque ETA and Action Directe? The ETA definately would stir up trouble in the south along the border with Spain. Again, the Big Yellow Books might mention an independent Basque state, don't remember.


Action Directe, on the other hand, might be a moot point. If the French are staying out of the war, Action Directe probably wouldn't have much to complain about.

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pyro 02-25-2003, 01:49 PM One thing that would aslo need to be adressed with the 30th is how many excess nuclear reactor tech's would be floating around.


This I think would give them a point of leverage since for anyone to take it over would require a certain amount of expertise and most likely that expertise would be in short supply.


pyro out.

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