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Old 06-27-2020, 05:26 AM
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Default Bioweapons

We've got basic information on a number of diseases in the rules, but has anyone expanded on these and stated them (and others) out as bioweapons?
My research has found the USSR and later Russia had an absolutely MASSIVE amount of them and were well prepared to use them. Some of what they had could be delivered via ICBM, had a 100% fatality rate and was unimaginably infectious.
The stuff of nightmares....

Just to put it into perspective, Iraq which had an extensive bioweapon program (prior to 1991 at least) had a total nation production capacity of 77,000 litres. In 1993 just ONE production centre (Berdsk near Novosibirsk) had a capacity of 2,560,000 litres - 33 times greater in just ONE of their many facilities!
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:10 PM
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The problem with biological warfare, especially with modern agents (for lack of a better word in my brain right now) is that they can (and this is an actual military term) "boomerang." They can come back to your own troops and lands, sometimes decades later. Those fancy shots you gave your people against your version of the illness may not protect them 6 months later (or whatever time period). And viruses, in particular, mutate fast -- what you let loose on the battlefield two weeks ago might blow right through your special immunizations when it comes back to you. Or become harmless. Or turn into something worse -- "I just ate breakfast with him an hour ago and he's already dead? Does that mean I'm sick too?"

In every OPLAN (Yes, I seen a few complete and incomplete ones in my time in the Army), biowar was the warfare with the fewest realistic options, even more dangerous to the planet than a total nuclear exchange, and something you never want to deal with. Because ultimately. you can't.
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:50 PM
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Pretty much adding biowar to T2K makes the war into close to a non-survival event for the human race - which is most likely why the game designers didnt have it part of the timeline. Keep in mind this is a slow ramp up of nukes that allows the world to somehow rebuild so that we are to the stars by 2300AD

I dont see the US or Russians holding back many nukes if suddenly their populations were getting wiped out by bioweapons. Or for that matter France sitting on the sidelines if suddenly the Russians used bioweapons or gave them to other countries and started taking out whole populations with them. Especially once French citizens started dying from them.

Thats why the words smallpox and anthrax as bio weapons being used arent to be found anywhere in T2K.
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Old 06-28-2020, 02:46 AM
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Although they're nasty and somewhat indiscriminate, they have been used in the past and the Soviets were well prepared to use them again. My research has revealed that they had developed defences in parallel to their offensive capability - not perfect by any means, but it put them in a MUCH better position than the west.
Like any weapon there's a time and a place for them (hopefully nowhere and never, but should we really shove our heads in the sand over the possibility?) Certain regions lend themselves to the use of biologicals more than chemicals or nukes, and other regions make their use near suicidal (transportation links, population density, etc all factor into it).

So, getting back to my original question, has anyone stated them out, even in just a rudimentary way?

Here's a couple of videos on the subject and a link to a page I've found interesting and informative.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvsXCnoETjw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xiR6SD_LFw
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3148622
Also worth a read is this book "Plague Wars: the Terrifying Reality of Biological Warfare".
https://www.worldcat.org/title/plagu.../oclc/47109070
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:53 AM
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The most realistic option in game would something like putting dead animals in the water supply.
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:08 AM
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The most realistic option in game would something like putting dead animals in the water supply.
That's certainly part of it, and absolutely something that would be (and has been) done all around the world. That though really only introduces "basic" diseases such as the rules already cover. I'm looking for the more "supercharged" stuff the Soviets had spent decades developing (and could well still be now given the Russians refuse to allow proper inspections of suspect sites).
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Legbreaker View Post
Although they're nasty and somewhat indiscriminate, they have been used in the past...
Aside from Japan's Unit 731's experimentation with bioweapons in China during WW2, when have biological weapons been used in modern warfare?

I tend to agree that bio-weapons weren't used on any significant scale in the Twilight War. First off, nukes and natural epidemics exacerbated by malnutrition, exposure, etc. would reduce population density to the point where bioweapons wouldn't be particularly effective. By the same token, by early 1998 or so, military units are smaller and more dispersed, making bioweapons a less efficient option than tactical nukes, chem weapons, or even conventional artillery.

However, if used before the nuclear exchange began, bioweapons would have been much more efficient killers, for the reasons stated by previous posters. However, with all three NBC genies out of their respective bottles, the global casualty rates would surely exceed what's described in canon. It's essentially overkill.

On a side note, in a T2K PbP campaign in which I play, the PCs may have discovered a crude attempt to introduce cholera into regional water supplies. They recently found a cache of urine jars that may contain naturally-occurring cholera bacterium in an underground bunker belonging to a cult-like bandit group in northeastern Poland. This after having encountered a couple of groups (one bandit, one civilian) suffering from a mysterious illness.
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Old 06-28-2020, 05:56 PM
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Aside from Japan's Unit 731's experimentation with bioweapons in China during WW2, when have biological weapons been used in modern warfare?
Rhodesia in the late 1970s, possibly South Africa in the 1980s under Project Coast, and arguably Vietnam (herbicides are technically chemical but often get grouped in with biological weapons because they work by triggering biotoxins in plants).


It's probably more well-documented in terrorist attacks, such as the 1984 Rajneeshee attack at The Dalles (salmonella), the 1990 and 1993 Aum Shinrikyo attacks (botulinum and anthrax), and the 2001, 2003, and 2013 attacks through the mail in the United States (anthrax, ricin, and ricin respectively)
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:01 PM
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It's almost certain the USA used them during The Korean War
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:33 PM
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Default Small-scale and Localized

@Vespers: Thanks. Those examples were all pretty limited in scope and scale. Most, if not all, of those uses appear to be primarily area-denial in nature- i.e. not intended to cause mass casualties, but to keep territory and resources out of enemy hands. Legbreaker can correct me if I'm wrong, but I took his OP to mean large-scale usage, for example, against major population centers or troop concentrations.

@Chalkline: A Google search doesn't turn up much in the way of conclusive evidence that this is true. The only things in abundance are allegations and counter-allegations leveled by and at both sides, and some circumstantial evidence (a few cases of atypical diseases in North Korea and China), all of it steeped in intense Cold War-era mistrust and propaganda.

It could be true, but the threshold for evidence is too low to conclude that American BW use is "almost certain" to have occurred. Even if the allegations of US BW use in Korea are valid, it appears that it was very limited in scope and scale, and more experimental than tactical/strategic in nature.

@All: The T2KU belongs to everyone, so if you want to include BW in your campaign setting, I don't presume to tell you that you shouldn't. I think limited, small-scale, localized use of certain, not-especially-virulent agents (like those Vespers mentioned) are fairly likely. However, IMHO, military use of something like Smallpox or Pneumonic Plague make the T2KU too deadly and depopulated to be a viable play setting.

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Old 06-29-2020, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
Legbreaker can correct me if I'm wrong, but I took his OP to mean large-scale usage, for example, against major population centers or troop concentrations.
Anything at all is what I'm after. Large scale or single target. Just looking for stats for weaponized diseases, etc (infection and recovery numbers, treatments, etc - basically an expansion of the existing disease rules to cover the REALLY nasty stuff).
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Old 06-29-2020, 02:44 AM
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"Plague Wars: the Terrifying Reality of Biological Warfare" (link above) details a lot of what was really going on but swept under the carpet. Well worth the read.
If you can't find it, or don't have the time, the second youtube video link above is a reasonable albeit incomplete summary of the book.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:36 AM
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Bio weapon attacks against large scale population centers - where you get 33-50% casualties or more - definitely did not happen in the T2K canon - stuff like that would have been mentioned for sure, most likely with the words "nuclear response" right afterward. I agree with Raellus - small scale may have happened - but anything that takes out huge swaths of population is not in the canon at all.

Having that used would move a story or sourcebook from possible canon into more the area covered by Twilight Nightmares and not into something that could be taken as canon.

Plus you go from a war that is horrific but where some kind of civilization survives to more like The Road where basically any kind of civilization would be finished for good - especially when you add in the effects already seen in the canon.
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:10 AM
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Bio weapon attacks against large scale population centers - where you get 33-50% casualties or more - definitely did not happen in the T2K canon...
Not in the areas already detailed, no, at least not that are known at least.
The "beauty" of bioweapons is they can be mistaken for a natural event, especially in a T2K world where communications are limited, medical aid sparse and actual testing a distant memory.

Meanwhile, you've got Bears Den and the warhead in that which shows that bioweapons absolutely are included in the canon. That particular one was EXTREMELY mild though in comparison to most of the nasties the Soviets were working on and producing IRL. The Marburg virus has a fatality rate of up around 80% as it occurs naturally, and is transmitted through bodily fluids. The Soviet weaponized version is 100% with a run time of about a week before all the bodies organs basically liquefy, and even worse, and they've added in other vectors for infection as well through gene splicing, etc.
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:03 AM
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Keep in mind thats a singular attack described in Bears Den - there is no sign of any mass attack using bio weapons on large scale areas - i.e. he is using it as a terror weapon on a single target that is pretty much isolated - much different than hitting England with anthrax or using a bio weapon on China's major population centers

It also depends where its used - a healthy population that suddenly starts dying from a bio attack is going to be pretty damn obvious - i.e. its one thing to have typhus spread in an area where order has broken down and people are dying from starvation - its another to have a functioning city suddenly start to have a mass typhus event - so hiding what you did depends on the scale of it

i.e. suddenly having huge areas of Australia and NZ having die offs from disease out of nowhere when the populations were still healthy is a mass bio attack - and those didnt happen in the canon - not before April 2001 when the canon basically stopped - and the V2.2 canon covered Australia and New Zealand - there was no mention of mass bio attacks

keep in mind the canon as written didnt specifically mention nuclear attacks in Africa - but it did mention that both sides nuked oil production facilities in lots of countries as well as some harbors that could support the war effort - thus when I did the East Africa Sourcebook I brought those attacks to life as to their African targets - i.e. that change was plausible as it supported the existing canon nuclear attacks on oil production facilities and also on harbors that could support the war effort

but if its just for a campaign that you are running feel free to do what you like - i.e. for individual campaigns people make mods all the time - heck my GM used Last Submarine to nuke the Ploesti oil fields - and that is definitely not to canon
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:08 AM
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It's a clear indication they were available to be used.

Re nukes in Australia, there are notes in canon specifying Australia was not nuked. Africa is a different matter as there was nothing written one way or the other. You cannot use Africa to say what did or did not happen on another continent entirely. Likewise, you cannot use the absence of discussion of a topic to say it didn't happen - it's just not been discussed one way or the other.
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:24 AM
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A ref doesn't need to actually use BW in order to include them in a campaign. They make a great Mcguffin or quest item for the PCs to locate, secure, capture, destroy, or even- heaven forbid- deliver (I'm thinking of Targan's Major Po stories with that last option).
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Old 06-29-2020, 11:12 AM
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FYI as to Bear's Den - the biological agent he was going to use wasnt lethal - it was more to disable people for a certain length of time so they couldnt fight back when he made his move

The Virus: It takes approximately two hours from initial contact with the virus for the victim to enter the first stage of infection. This first stage of the virus can easily be mistaken for any number of things, including the common cold or the flu.

The effects of the virus are a slight rise in temperature accompanied
by very mild stomach cramps. In less than four hours the victim will enter the second stage where these symptoms will become greatly aggravated, causing the victim to dehydrate, become extremely chilled, and sweat profusely.

Perhaps the most dangerous effect of this virus, from a military standpoint, is that it causes a drastic loss of equilibrium. People affected by the virus will appear to be extremely drunk—they will be uncoordinated, at best, and immobile, at worst. This stage can last 12-18 hours. The third stage is a period of general weakness typical of flu-type illnesses lasting up to 24 hours

In game terms, anyone not in chemical warfare gear within a two-kilometer radius of the missile's detonation will have all his skills reduced to 10 percent and will receive 40 points of Stun Damage as the virus takes full effect.

Thus its not a lethal agent they were looking at using in Bears Den
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Old 06-29-2020, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Raellus View Post
A ref doesn't need to actually use BW in order to include them in a campaign. They make a great Mcguffin or quest item for the PCs to locate, secure, capture, destroy, or even- heaven forbid- deliver (I'm thinking of Targan's Major Po stories with that last option).
Yup - and thats a big part of both Bear's Dean and of your Rook's Gambit modules
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Old 06-29-2020, 02:10 PM
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FYI as to Bear's Den - the biological agent he was going to use wasnt lethal...
See my post below.
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Old 06-29-2020, 03:03 PM
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See my post below.
ah you mean you let the virus loose and its not going to be lethal - and it isnt - right to where it mutates and suddenly people start dropping dead left and right
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:25 PM
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Smallpox started out as cowpox -- a minor disease caught primarily by milkmaids. And it mutated into smallpox in an estimated eight months. Before cowpox, it is believed that it was a plant disease -- the cows ate the plants and the pustules showed up on the cows' bellies and udders. Gives you an idea of how a minor disease can turn into a major pandemic in quick order,
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Old 06-29-2020, 08:48 PM
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Anything at all is what I'm after. Large scale or single target. Just looking for stats for weaponized diseases, etc (infection and recovery numbers, treatments, etc - basically an expansion of the existing disease rules to cover the REALLY nasty stuff).
I don't see either side using Bio Warfare because it is simply too hard to control. Non-Persistent Chemical Weapons would be the go-to weapon of mass destruction.

Genetically-engineered bioweapons would see a modification to either the INFECTION NUMBER or the FATALITY NUMBER of a common version of that disease. So a Bioweapon version would be the base disease enhanced accordingly. I would recommend using NON-VIRAL diseases (Bacterial) so that your attackers can use ANTIBIOTICS to fight the Bioweapons IF they lose control of those diseases. A VIRUS requires a VACCINE made from either weakened or dead Virus cells which means replicating that Virus to produce the vaccine. Remember that Antibiotics DO NOT WORK on viruses. Also, Bacterial Diseases tend to be bigger [in Microns] than Viruses which is important when you consider what standard PPE will shield you from and what it won't.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:14 PM
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Rhodesia in the late 1970s, possibly South Africa in the 1980s under Project Coast
South Africa had a highly developed chemical and biological warfare capability and the Apartheid regime would have used it in the blink of an eye against their own black population and their enemies in Africa if it felt threatened by them.

South Africa developed the ability to produce chemical weapons during the Second World War, when South Africa manufactured phosgene and mustard gas to assist the British war effort. By the 1960's independent South Africa produced quantities of riot control chemicals such as tear gas and CX powder as a deterrent against internal uprisings. In the 1970's South Africa became involved in Angola against Soviet backed SWAPO guerrillas and Angolan and Cuban forces. A perceived threat from Soviet battlefield chemical weapons led to the development of a South African programme known as Project Coast to develop more sophisticated chemical and biological weapons.

Project Coast was run by the South African Medical Services and was centred at a biochemical facility known as Delta G Scientific in Pretoria. This was later moved to a new facility in Johannesburg in the 1980s, and consisted of two manufacturing plants: a pre-production plant and a large laboratory complex. Delta G focused on military projects to preserve public order such as the large-scale production of riot control agents such as CS and CR gas. Delta G also produced small quantities of mind-altering narcotics to test their viability as calmatives. The South African military intended to use biochemical weapons only as a last resort, and Delta G was not involved in large scale production of chemical weapons. However it did produce small quantities of blister mustard gas, nerve agents like sarin, tabun and VX, and the military grade psycho-incapacitant BZ. Delta G also tested protective gear and developed antidotes to protect security force members and South African agents who might be exposed to chemical agents.

Project Coast also researched biological warfare at the Roodeplaat Research Laboratories in Pretoria. Roodeplaat worked with many biological agents and viruses such as anthrax, botulinum, cholera, Ebola, E. coli, hepatitis A, HIV, organophosphates, Marburg, necrotizing fasciitis, ricin, Rift Valley hemorrhagic-fever, salmonella and thallium, and produced crude toxins for use by the military and police as biological weapons.

A more sinister aspect of South African biological research was its adoption of Soviet techniques to create ordinary looking objects that could be used for assassinations with biological agents, and its research into using biological weapons as a component of racial warfare. South Africa conducted research into reducing the black birth rate through creating race-specific bacterial weapons such as vaccines and contraceptive drugs that would clandestinely make black males sterile. There were also plans to spread cholera and yellow fever among the black population by contaminating South Africa's water supply. South African agents are alleged to have used biological agents to try and assassinate opponents of Apartheid, including members of the ANC and United Democratic Front, and members of the South African Defence Force who threatened to expose it. In the 1980's it was alleged that South African Defence Force and former Rhodesian security forces personnel used biological agents to kill hundreds of SWAPO prisoners in South West Africa.

Basically Apartheid South Africa was hard core. They also had their own nuclear weapons, an advanced and highly resourceful arms programme, the best army and air force in Africa, a military trained and armed white civilian population, and counter-insurgency and special operations forces that were better than most NATO countries. They were also self sufficient in most raw materials and food, and could produce oil from coal in large quantities. They also cooperated with the Israelis in many areas, and I'd say the Israelis learned quite a few things from them!!
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Old 06-29-2020, 11:47 PM
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...
In every OPLAN (Yes, I seen a few complete and incomplete ones in my time in the Army), biowar was the warfare with the fewest realistic options, even more dangerous to the planet than a total nuclear exchange, and something you never want to deal with. Because ultimately. you can't.
This is why during my time, we did not play for Biowar. The plan was that if they hit us with bio, we hit them with a nuke, it is safer, and cleaner. Chemical did not scare us to bad, nuke was bad, but things you can do to deal with the aftermath, but Bio just no thank you, so easy to get out of control.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:01 AM
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Doesn't matter what anyone thinks may have or may not happened, the actual evidence (see links previously posted for some of it) shows that bioweapons existed. In the case of the USSR they had absolute MOUNTAINS of the stuff, as well as the ability and will to use them (at least the military did, the politicians were kept in the dark for the most part with regard to just what the capability was).

All I'm after, and as stated several times already, is has anyone attempted to stat them out?
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:46 AM
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They existed yes - but except for one missile payload they are never mentioned in the entire T2K canon as being used - not in V1 or V2.2 or any module outside of Bears Den. Which shows that even though they had the stockpiles they werent used at least not in any appreciative amount. Keep in mind that the Germans and Allies had huge stocks of chemical weapons in WW2 - and except for the accidental discharge at Bari from the ship being sunk bringing them to Italy to stock pile them there was no chemical warfare use of any of that stockpile.
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Old 06-30-2020, 07:23 AM
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So, bioweapons.
Has anyone created stats for them?
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:02 AM
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So, bioweapons.
Has anyone created stats for them?
The only stats I ever saw were for that one bio agent in Bear's Den and that was a non-lethal bio agent - not sure I have ever seen anything else even in Challenge or elsewhere

This was the writeup from there complete with effect on characters

The Virus: It takes approximately two hours from initial contact with the virus for the victim to enter the first stage of infection. This first stage of the virus can easily be mistaken for any number of things, including the common cold or the flu.

The effects of the virus are a slight rise in temperature accompanied
by very mild stomach cramps. In less than four hours the victim will enter the second stage where these symptoms will become greatly aggravated, causing the victim to dehydrate, become extremely chilled, and sweat profusely.

Perhaps the most dangerous effect of this virus, from a military standpoint, is that it causes a drastic loss of equilibrium. People affected by the virus will appear to be extremely drunk—they will be uncoordinated, at best, and immobile, at worst. This stage can last 12-18 hours. The third stage is a period of general weakness typical of flu-type illnesses lasting up to 24 hours

In game terms, anyone not in chemical warfare gear within a two-kilometer radius of the missile's detonation will have all his skills reduced to 10 percent and will receive 40 points of Stun Damage as the virus takes full effect.
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  #30  
Old 06-30-2020, 08:05 AM
Olefin Olefin is offline
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I know that Raellus included a possible bio weapon as an adventure idea in his Korean Sourcebook

It was called PROJECT RED LOTUS.

And if I remember right he had stats there - but not sure if its what you are looking for.
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Author of Twilight 2000 official canon campaign sourcebook, East Africa/Kenya Sourcebook, available-

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ica-Sourcebook

Assembled, produced and contributed to the 2nd volume of the T2000 Fanzine- "You're On Your Own No. 2"

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...-2?cPath=21_23
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