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Old 02-14-2019, 09:03 PM
StainlessSteelCynic's Avatar
StainlessSteelCynic StainlessSteelCynic is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Western Australia
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Any refugee group (regardless of origin) with some intelligent leadership, that wants to make landfall on Australia is going to go somewhere near known towns/cities. Any group that doesn't is going to run out of water very quickly.
With the exception of Queensland, most of the top end of Australia has very few permanent water sources of useful size (and some of these are a distance inland).
The majority of rivers and lakes seen on maps of Australia in the inland areas or near desert regions are dry and may only (and temporarily) see water during the wet season.
Worst of these are the salt lakes, quite literally dry lake beds where evaporation has left mineral salts leached out of the soil, deposited on the surface. Any water found in these salt lakes is going to be useless for consumption unless it can be distilled first.

It could be argued that during the wet season getting water won't be so much of a problem because flooding often occurs and there's water in abundance over vast tracts of the landscape. However it's typically muddy surface water that's only there because the soil cannot absorb any more water. This also means it's temporary and obviously cannot be relied upon for any length of time.
The dry season will require good arid climate survival skills because fresh water is incredibly scare along the coast.

The reason for mentioning this is because I think it gives two specific opportunities for the GM and one general consideration for the Project as a whole: -

The first is that any settlement the Project encounters in these regions can have widely different ethnic compositions than expected for Australia. Some refugees will assimilate but some might want to establish their own enclaves within surviving communities. When the Project finally gets activated and then encounters these communities, they might find quite varied social situations (e.g. a town divided along "originals' and 'newcomers" lines even though, from an outsiders perspective, the same people/community, but cultural traditions can hang on long after the original need for them has died so this could cause some interesting frictions within a community).

The second is the opportunity to find interesting salvage along the coastline from where some of the refugee groups came ashore and attempted to establish themselves but due to a lack of food and fresh water, ultimately succumbed to the environment.
There could be the remains of old ships that were beached to provide some sort of shelter or protection. Rust/corrosion from saltwater will obviously have taken it's toll on anything on the beach but if a refugee group moved a short distance off the beach they may have set up shelters and so on including salvaging items from the ships (e.g. workshop tools/machines, medical equipment, lengths of wire/tubing or even doors, hatches and portholes).

As for the general consideration; like many armies around the world, it's going to be incredibly useful for the Project to have units concerned with finding and purifying water. Whether that be building wells, small dams and so on, locating new sources of water or cleaning existing water sources for consumption, I think this should be a big factor in the design of any Project for Australia. It could prove to be a good player element if the players aren't so interested in gameplay that revolves around combat.

As a side note, the Aboriginal peoples used a few techniques that were latter used by early settlers in some regions. One such idea was using thin slices/wedges of rock as walls on top of large flattish sections of rock. Whenever it rained, these walls would channel any water running off the rocks into a reservoir of some sort. There's a number of these setups still in existence in parts of Western Australia (and they still work) although I have only seen them myself in the Goldfields region.
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