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Old 01-22-2024, 06:38 PM
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Raellus Raellus is offline
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Default CONUS Factions

Besides the big canonical groups like MilGov, CivGov, and New America, what are some factions that one might encounter in a CONUS-based campaign?

I briefly ran a CONUS based campaign set in the Arklamiss region. Since canon doesn't place significant Soviet or Cuban forces in the area to serve as the campaign's OPFOR, I had to look elsewhere for potential bad guys. Organized crime seemed like a good place to start.

Prison gangs:

https://www.corrections1.com/correct...AOeXAsCLY4RLl/

Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs:

https://www.complex.com/sports/a/com...ngs-in-america

Political Radicals:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...ry/ar-BB1h1tU8

There were also plenty of far-left group active in the USA during the Cold War.

Cults:

Cults are a favorite T2k trope of mine. My players might even say that I'm too fond of them.

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture...oo-far-202224/

If you can, please add to the list. Any addition needn't be a black hat faction. Potential good guys, allies, and/or neutral factions can be just as important for a well-built CONUS-based sandbox.

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Old 01-23-2024, 01:41 AM
wolffhound79 wolffhound79 is offline
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I've used military units turned warlords, POWs employed as American MPs to help a local politician keep power and eliminate rivals. Gangs of criminals that are fighting each other over a few different states. Collective towns fighting over resources, National guard units trying to create there own kingdoms or territory.

My favorite that I've used is a shadow agency of the us government that has made it there mission to collect certain resources and materials to try an mold there versions or create there own puppet government. In every area of the US that players have been, they have been employed by or come across members that are working towards there current goal of launching a new communication satellite. The players believe that they are attempting to launch a nuclear missile and are trying to figure out how this group is going to do it.

I also have my NPC Captain Kohl of the German army. He's a true neutral character that will do anything to accomplish his own personal goal of killing Russians to avenge his family he believes dead in Europe. My player have encountered his restructured marauder force he used to supply his own men to move south from Michigan, again in Kentucky where they where forced to confiscate heavy weapons he traded to local towns (after coming across a small artillery exchange between two towns with no idea how to properly use them) to gain fuel and food, Memphis area he was recruiting men and trading more heavy weapons to local towns, soon to run into him again in Louisiana as he has passed thru the military base there on his way to texas.

I try to mess with my brother and keep him interested in the mystery of these different groups as he tries to accomplish his own goals of reuniting milgov and civgov and one of his PCs wants to be the next president lol.
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Old 01-24-2024, 01:51 PM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
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In Texas, you would have:

MilGov - panhandle to roughly Denton, TX south (Denton is FEMA Region 6 HQ), occasional forays/probes by Louisiana MilGov cantonments.

Texas Legion - centered around Tyler, but controlling a decent swath of the towns of east Texas (Tyler/Longview, a couple of other decent sized towns post T2K).

American refugees.

Mexican military Waco, south to Brownsville.

Mexican military in West Texas around El Paso (different faction from the Waco faction).

Russians in San Antonio. American quislings in San Antonio (who I'm calling the Red Guard - a bunch of UTSA Marxists playing Che and terrorizing and executing the locals to bring about their Communist paradise).

Gangs in DFW proper, town militias in some of the suburbs.

OMG/Biker Gangs in West Texas south of Lubbock, into Big Bend area, and around Midland/Odessa area.

South of the Nueces, mostly Mexican nationals / refugees, with most former American residents having fled north or died to unrest / reprisals / starvation.

Maybe an occasional New American scouting party from Arkansas in far east Texas, but they'd be running into Texian Legion (who may or may not be friendly).
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Old 01-26-2024, 12:29 AM
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If anyone is familiar with A Very British Civil War, there are some interesting ideas for factions in the material. While VBCW is very tongue in cheek, it’s not too far a stretch to see trades, police agencies, churches, etc forming some type of faction.

The UBF is an example of such a faction. A trade union/organized crime affiliate leveraging their organization and contacts to carve out control of an area.

I could easily see groups like mega-churches, regional police and emergency service cooperatives, and locally/regionally prevalent trade unions like the Oil, Atomic, and Chemical Workers International (merged into PACE in 99) establishing some kind of security/resource management/area control in the name of their constituents. I could also see more rural/insular areas forming an effectively autonomous regional government, possibly in combination with one or all of the above.

For example:

The Magnolia Commonwealth

January of 1998 saw the residents of the Quachita and Red River valleys of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas (collectively called the ARKLATEX) breathe a sigh of relief. While the area’s hub city of Shreveport had been destroyed by a strike on the Sheeveport Specialty Refinery and the resulting fires which had quickly leapt I-49 and burned everything south of I-20 and west of Youree Drive, the rest of the region remained unscathed by nuclear fire. With the massive damage to the country’s oil industry, the demand for the region’s previously modest production of oil and products rose. Simultaneously, the ability of the weakened federal and state governments to keep goods and services flowing into the area lessened. In their defense, Louisiana was effectively ungoverned following the destruction of Baton Rouge and the alternate government facilities at Jackson Barracks, Texas was struggling with catastrophic damage in major cities across the state, while the Governor of Arkansas struggled to combat unrest in Central and Northwest Arkansas.

It was only the February 1998 burning of the Princeton Lubricant Refinery in Princeton, LA by refugees angry at the lack of fuel to help them escape Shreveport-Bossier area and subsequent attacks on smaller oil drilling companies in Bivins, TX and Ashdown, AR that led the various governments to do something. In March 1998 Texas raised a small unit of State Guards based in Texarkana, appointing an old friend and retired army officer as a colonel in command of them. Louisiana was unable to do little of substance, leaving local law enforcement to form a partnership for mutual assistance. Arkansas could also provide little assistance, but did dispatch a convoy with excess small arms and ammunition from the Camp Robinson training area as well as a some radio equipment which had been provided to the state by the DEA for use in marijuana eradication. Along with the radios came a contingent of DEA personnel (who the Governor used the opportunity to rid himself of) and their families who had been conducting a long term investigation into drug smuggling in western Arkansas. The federal government provided little, except for demands for refined products, with the only tangible contribution being some patrols by USAF Security Police from the damaged but operational Barksdale AFB (where remaining KC-10s and KC-135s occasionally landed to onload the trickle of JP-8 produced in the Cotton Valley Refinery) while a small LA National Guard garrison at Camp Minden/Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant was willing to trade goods (rations and ammunition) and services (trainers and specialists) to the emerging law enforcement cooperative in exchange for a supply of diesel and other products.

By the end of May, 1998, things in the ARKLATEX had begun to settle into a pattern and thoughts had begun to turn to recovery. In the absence of help from their state governments, local leaders in El Dorado, Texarkana, and Ruston had begun to cooperate. At first this was in security matters, sending contingents of the state guard or local law enforcement and militia to help with a problem. Quickly, exchanges of doctors, engineers, and other experts as the trust built by several joint actions against gangs from Pine Bluff and Monroe and the suppression of a prison revolt in Homer cascaded into other areas. There was even talk of the federal government sending food and medicines to ensure the continued productivity and recovery of the region.

The dual blows of the Mexican invasion, the rapid collapse of the State of Texas, and the raised the specter of doom for the ARKLATEX. Fearing the rumored and real atrocities by Mexican troops, waves of refugees from Texas streamed up I-30 and rapidly overwhelming the attempts by DPS and TXSG to stop them. While many of the refugees wanted nothing more than to get away from the Mexican, there were a number of criminals who had only recently been engaged in atrocities of their own against Mexican refugees and now did the same as they looted and robbed their way north. The invasion also saw the effective end of federal security and relief efforts in the area as USAF troops at Barksdale, who had kept the Bossier City and Shreveport area relatively quiet, were sent to the frontlines in Texas. Only a caretaker force was left at Barksdale, which saw declining use as the lack of spares and ordnance led to a slackening of air missions. Worse, the unrest in Northwest Arkansas had grown, leaving Arkansas few resources to send to protect Texarkana and SW Arkansas. In mid-July, the situation was brought to a head when a mass of refugees and criminals armed with the looted remnants from Red River Army Depot subjected the Texas town of Mount Pleasant to a three day long sacking after defeating its poorly led citizen’s militia.

Against this threat, the local governments took the step of forming a joint council in August of 1998 during a meeting at Southern Arkansas University, in Magnolia. First in the agenda was a collective security agreement. State guard, militia, and law enforcement would form a unified constabulary organization under the senior military officer, the commander of the Texas contingent (the largest and best organized). Initially it was agreed that operations would be focused on stemming the tide of refugees and criminals already pillaging Cass, Bowie, Titus and Miller Counties and Caddo Parish. The council would initially confine itself to directing military matters.

The Braves, as the new military force was quickly dubbed after a former Shreveport baseball team, deployed south, spending the remainder of August and September cajoling, redirecting, and fighting when necessary to drive the refugees and bandits from the area immediately around Texarkana and contain them west of the Red in Louisiana and Arkansas. Despite every effort made to avoid firing on their countrymen, the end of September saw a major engagement south of Fouke, AR when a large armed gang descended on the town following a false rumor of a storehouse of grain and a cattle farm. When the dust settled, the Braves had destroyed the gang, with fugitives hunted by locals in the Boggy Creek bottoms while captured survivors were given the choice to leave their possessions and go back the way they came or face trial by the townsfolk. This and other battles saw the Braves slowly regain control of the area over the remainder of 1998. While methods were harsh, the council’s actions received wide support from the locals.

As fall turned to winter, it became increasingly clear to the council at Magnolia that the US economy was rapidly breaking down and no help from outside could be expected for the foreseeable future. Out of necessity, it was agreed that the council would establish a system to allocate key services and attempt to help keep the rudiments of civilization alive. One of the first things the council tackled was medical care. While a lack of major cities and a general lack of disease vectors had helped the region escape the plague of 1998, by November the first cases were reported in Texarkana, and by December it had spread across the region. The council rapidly moved to formulate a medical response, leaning on the Braves (already depleted by losses and beset by plague themselves) to enforce a quarantine and escort medical personnel and supplies in addition to continuing to combat what were becoming marauder gangs. As part of the effort, the SAU staff and some survivors of the LSU-Medical School facilities in Shreveport began producing antibiotics at campus labs in Magnolia.
Realizing the value of the drugs, the council quickly expanded its span of control to incorporate the labs, medical professionals, and scientists under the new “Health Department”, joining the newly named “Safety Department”.

By March of 1999 the plague was burning itself out in the ARKLATEX. While initial deaths had been high, the organized response had cushioned the blow. But, the region was faced with another crisis, as it was rapidly apparent that famine was looming after the depredations of 1998 and the complete breakdown of the modern grocery distribution network. Rice was available in NE Arkansas, and there were still some hogs being raised in Mississippi, but with the breakdown of currency there was no way to pay for it. The breakup of the federal government only exacerbated matters, as both sides began to use aid as a tool to gain support from key regions. Fortunately or unfortunately for the ARKLATEX, CIVGOV was too far away to impact them, and MILGOV had its hands full in central Louisiana and North Central Texas. The only nominally MILGOV forces in the area were at Camp Minden, who already cooperated fully with the Safety Department and had avoided sending troops to Texas when called. The small garrison at Barksdale had been thinned by the plague, with the survivors presumably dispersing. Red River Army Depot had become a base for an organized marauder group, “The Kronks” who raided the surrounding area and used a large number of refugees as slaves or workers to begin farmin open areas of the Depot.

The answer to the issue of currency came from the oil workers and allied trades in the ARKLATEX, who realized the value of the trickle of oil their wells still produced. Having a relative plenty of oil but not of food, an agreement between the union and the companies to produce oil as a barter good in return for the provision of goods and services for the oil workers, allied trades, and their families in April of 1999. The “Magnolia Co-op” then approached the council with their offer. The council immediately realized the value and implications of the region’s mineral wealth, agreeing to send parties to secure trade. Despite the hazards of road travel in post-TDM America, contact was established and the first oil convoy left with a heavy escort of Braves (who by now were training at Camp Minden) to meet a river tow full of Arkansas rice and Indiana corn.

Realizing the stability that oil brought and the strength of their position, the Co-op pushed for representation on the council. Part of the impetus for this was to place an exchange rate on the oil and food the co-op gained for the council. This led to a an establishment of an exchange rate mechanism for existing paper currency, foodstuffs, and petroleum products at council established and co-op agreed to values.

Realizing the effective independence geography and resources granted them and seeking to cement their independence from MILGOV and CIVGOV, the ARKLATEX council formally proclaimed themselves the “Magnolia Commonwealth” on January 1, 2000, with its capital . The commonwealth is a two chamber directly elected executive representative government, with an popularly elected executive, a five member senior advisors chamber with a member from each “state” plus the co-op and a single member representing the “main cities” (Texarkana, El Dorado, and Ruston) and a commonwealth council chamber with a member from each pre-war county, plus one each for the “main cities”. Judges are currently those holding pre-war appointments. Elections are scheduled in November of 2000 for a 1 January 2001 inauguration.

Sorry that’s so long, but that’s a way for a faction to emerge.
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Old 01-27-2024, 01:54 PM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
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Additional (micro, maybe) factions:

ODA/special forces detachments on stabilization & insurgency/counter-insurgency ops (MilGov and CivGov): given that much of the country is either out of control, or in control of hostile actors and the real limits on CivGov and MilGov resources, I think ODA teams (real and erzatz) would be sent to places like Texas or Arkansas (or to CivGov areas for MilGov units and vise versa) to help train, organize, and control resistance movements against Mexico/USSR/New America, etc. In other areas where it's not total chaos, but areas are de facto independent (and thus insular), these same teams could serve as stabilization forces to win hearts and minds for an eventual return of government authority (help build wells, provide medical treatment, organize and train militias to defend against marauders, etc). Incidentally, these are good player party mission vectors for parties that still want to be part of an established hierarchy.

CIA/DIA - Personal bias, but I tend to view intelligence agencies a bit more sinister agents, but similar to today, I could see intelligence agency hands behind supporting one warlord over another, arranging arms or food shipments, using warlords as proxies to coerce other communities into doing x. The difference is, the warlords would be on domestic soil. Thus, while you have games like New America trying to bribe the 104th Infantry Division, you might have the CIA trying to get the Texian Legion to come over to CivGov, or New America enclaves playing both MilGov and CivGov, or MilGov trying to use the Maine New America enclave to increase their foothold in New England, etc.

In terms of major actors, you have (in decreasing orders of complexity):

1) State powers claiming authority over the United States (CivGov, MilGov).
2) "Revolutionary" power claiming authority over the United States (New America)
3) Breakaway states (Texian Legion in East Texas, Cascadia / Proconsul in PNW)
4) Invading powers (Mexican factions)
5) Insular communities / areas outside "state" control, but not part of a coherent polity.
6) Refugee communities / migrations (some quite large)
7) Marauders

Higher levels of complexity means more internal factions and intrigue. Think back to the Iraq war when the Sadr aligned militias started attacking coalition troops and bases, and then the US military crushed the militias, had Sadr surrounded, then the CIA rode into his rescue. So, the military sends in the player party to build up the resistance to Mexican forces in Texas, but if the players are too successful, maybe the DIA subtly sabotages the player and the community(ies) they are helping by tipping off the Mexicans so both are weakened in the struggle and MilGov can sweep in and take over again.
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Old 02-23-2024, 11:27 AM
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Enemy Prisoners of War

Groups that have escaped from prison camps (or maybe the guards just ran away and left them to their own devices). Some could be hostile, having set themselves up as the local marauders, but others could have managed to integrate with a local community, perhaps by saving said community from domestic marauders.

I mean, maybe the local bad guys are about to loot and pillage a village when a squad of Spetznaz show up. The Russians save the day and are welcomed into the community, forming the core of its defence force. It can set up a scenario where PC’s show up in a Ville and know that something is ‘off’ but can’t quite put their finger on it.

Also, given the changing allegiances of the War, escaped enemy prisoners of war may be Italian or Greek.

The British (or German) Army

Admittedly this one is a bit niche but dependent on location and time of campaign, communities on the American side of the border might have encountered troops from the Waterloo Brigade mentioned in the Challenge article on Canada. In a piece I did a while ago I referenced marauders in Montana being smashed by troops flying the Union Flag from their Land Rovers…

The French

Again perhaps a little niche, but in my T2K Universe the French play a sort of behind the scenes meddling role, getting involved in things to try and destabilise potential future rivals. So maybe that Quebecois photo journalist that wants to ride along with your PC group really is from what’s left of Montreal. Or maybe she’s with the DGSE and is on some top secret mission on behalf of the French Government.
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Old 04-08-2024, 06:48 PM
wolffhound79 wolffhound79 is offline
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The British (or German) Army

Admittedly this one is a bit niche but dependent on location and time of campaign, communities on the American side of the border might have encountered troops from the Waterloo Brigade mentioned in the Challenge article on Canada. In a piece I did a while ago I referenced marauders in Montana being smashed by troops flying the Union Flag from their Land Rovers…



What article was this?
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Old 04-08-2024, 10:03 PM
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Challenge Issue #30 Article "Canada"

There are only two mentions I believe

1999
On the 11th of May, after seven months of trading oil for arms with the U. S. Military Government, the Alberta Defense Force, which was made up of the various police, militia, army and air force personnel in Alberta, aided by the Anglo-German Brigade composed of British and German troops from training bases in Alberta and Manitoba (the latter having fought their way across Saskatchewan to Alberta in late 1998), began to pacify Saskatchewan in an attempt to bring it under control.

2000
In August, the Anglo-German Brigade left Alberta and moved east. Upon arrival in southeastern Ontario, the brigade took up residence in Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, and Kitchener as an area police force.

Order of Battle
Anglo-German Brigade (Ontario)
1/The Royal Hampshire Regiment: 250 cavalry (Kitchener).
1/The Cheshire Regiment: 350 men (Sault Ste. Marie).
53rd Panzer Battalion: 250 men, 9 AFVs (Sudbury).
81st Panzer Grenadier Battalion (M): 300 men, 6 AFVs (Waterloo).
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Old 04-10-2024, 09:04 AM
Mahatatain Mahatatain is offline
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Related to this discussion, what are people's opinions on whether Soviet/Pact/Russian POWs captured in the European theatre would be transported to the US/Canada?
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Old 04-10-2024, 09:26 AM
Homer Homer is offline
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Taking a stab from WW2 US practice.

High Value prisoners (crypto/commo, special weapons, leadership, technicians, sub/bomber crew) would be a commodity and probably get a special high value camp for extended exploitation. This was the case with the camps at Fort Hunt or Pine Grove Furnace. Perhaps the initiation of tactical nuclear warfare causes the European allies to evacuate this class of prisoner to the US and Canada, swelling what’s already there.

Regular POWs would likely be backhauled through the supply system to the theater logistics heads- Antwerp and Bremerhaven on the central front or bandar abbas in Iran for example. At that point they could go back to the US and Canada to free up host nation forces and resources. This would require a legal opine as POWs are legally the responsibility of the country capturing them and not to be change custodians. Perhaps a broader definition of NATO as an entity under common command similar to the broader definition of British Empire that allowed UK captures to be sent to Canada in WW2. Otherwise, each nato member establishes their own camps- that would really strain some states.

POWs captured in austere theaters, for example in CENTCOM, Southern Europe, Norway, or at sea may be sent directly to conus or camps by logistic backhaul. This happened historically with Afrika Korps and some Italian POWs as there was less strain in holding them in North Africa.

Just my thoughts

Last edited by Homer; 04-15-2024 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 04-15-2024, 10:49 AM
Mahatatain Mahatatain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer View Post
Taking a stab from WW2 US practice.

High Value prisoners (crypto/commo, special weapons, leadership, technicians, sub/bomber crew) would be a commodity and probably get a special high value camo for extended exploitation. This was the case with the camps at Fort Hunt or Pine Grove Furnace. Perhaps the initiation of tactical nuclear warfare causes the European allies to evacuate this class of prisoner to the US and Canada, swelling what’s already there.

Regular POWs would likely be backhauled through the supply system to the theater logistics heads- Antwerp and Bremerhaven on the central front or bandar abbas in Iran for example. At that point they could go back to the US and Canada to free up host nation forces and resources. This would require a legal opine as POWs are legally the responsibility of the country capturing them and not to be change custodians. Perhaps a broader definition of NATO as an entity under common command similar to the broader definition of British Empire that allowed UK captures to be sent to Canada in WW2. Otherwise, each nato member establishes their own camps- that would really strain some states.

POWs captured in austere theaters, for example in CENTCOM, Southern Europe, Norway, or at sea may be sent directly to conus or camps by logistic backhaul. This happened historically with Afrika Korps and some Italian POWs as there was less strain in holding them in North Africa.

Just my thoughts
That all makes sense while central authority is maintained but as the war progresses and feeding prisoners becomes a burden (as there are elements of the population starving) I think that that will break down and, depending on the T2k timeline you're playing, that could well have been in 1998.

I think that a camp of starving prisoners on either side would become a security issue for the military forces guarding them and that may well lead to atrocities. I think that prisoners will be used as slave labour and it's a trope having Russian/Soviet guards executing POWs.

I therefore think that marauder bands of former POWs, or even community militia made up of former POWs, make sense in any T2k setting. About 10 years ago I ran a T2k campaign where the PCs were former POWs who had been recruited into a Foreign Legion style unit fighting on the Ukrainian speaking side in a Ukrainian civil war. It worked quite well as a game, though it would probably be in poor taste now.
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Old 04-15-2024, 07:22 PM
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I tend to think that transportation of prisoners to CONUS/Canada breaks down just as completely as the remainder of the logistics system following TDM. By spring of 1998 it’s doubtful POWs are being shipped back except for very rare cases of high and relatively immediate intelligence value (ex. “We just captured the guy who knows the post-strike replenishment locations of every Soviet sub-tender.” “Put him on a KC-135 and fly him back.”).

I’m thinking POWs stateside may well get offered a deal in many cases- work in exchange for food and protection from vengeful civilians- at least until things break down completely. During WW2, German and Italian POWs often performed agricultural and other non-military labor. It stands to reason a similar arrangement may be made in T2K. If the POWs are seen as an overall asset to the local agricultural community then it could very well be acceptable for them to remain and even to integrate with the community to a degree as time passes (like trusties)- this situation occurred during WW2 when German POWs working in forestry in SE Arkansas were sometimes “signed” to local loggers for extended periods of labor away from their camps.

In other areas, either those hard hit by Soviet strikes or more resource poor, POWs may be at more risk from the local civilians than from their guards. Such cases may see POWs rise up out of fear of liquidation and either stage a mass breakout or even seize a camp. I think the UK sourcebook has a group of Soviet ex-POWs who become marauders after freeing themselves. It’s not too far fetched for a group of ex-POWs to establish a “fiefdom” over an area they have seized.
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Old 04-16-2024, 10:17 AM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
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Once the nukes fly and civilization breaks down, literally no one is going to be worried about the plight of POWs other than the POWs themselves.

Let's say you are in charge of a POW camp at Camp Mabry near Austin, Texas. You have a company (150-200) of third tier soldiers guarding some 20,000 Warsaw Pact (mostly Russia) POWs. You need 20 tons of food and water to feed them each day.

San Antonio to the south and Houston to the East get nuked. You lock down the camp. While your men might be really useful to help control social unrest in nearby Austin or help with disaster relief in San Antonio, you have 20,000 POWs to tend to.

The attacks and the panic completely disrupt the distribution of food to your camp. While there's a fair amount of land, and there is a bit of gardening and even some light farming, it's woefully insufficient to feed the entire population, and besides, it's December, there's no harvestable crops right now anyway. You have maybe 7 days worth of food on-hand, and 2 weeks worth of fuel. Comms are disrupted by the EMP, so you are initially out of contact with any higher HQ other than what else is at Camp Mabry (being a re-activated infantry basic training base). So you lock down the POW camp to barracks except for essential POWs (like most prisons, the POWs actually run most of the camp, not the guards). All leave for soldiers is canceled and all soldiers are restricted to camp. Prisoners go on half rations.

After a week or two, things settle somewhat. Some food deliveries restart. Contact is re-established with higher HQs. Prisoners are brought back up to 3/4 rations.

But then the desertions start. Worried about their families, some soldiers abandon their posts and disappear into the night, taking their guns, gear, and food. Soon you go from 200 soldiers, to 150, to 100. Catching and shooting some deserters "to make an example" barely stops the flow. You try to get the army to feed you some of the basic training graduates, but things are getting bad everywhere. Classes "graduate" early, and are sent to various urban centers undertrained and underequipped to defend vital infrastructure from rioting mobs or to deal with the mobs using "extreme" measures. And the mobs are rioting because they are starving. Literally. Where soldiers had local families, they move onto the Camp so that they can be better protected from the effects of a collapsing civilization.

Meanwhile, here you are feeding 16,000 of the enemy (it's been a hard winter).

And then one day, say around May, the last basic training class graduates and is marched off to join some hastily raised light infantry division. Some general in Maryland, Virginia, or Colorado marks the camp off their map.
Time to triage and concentrate resources on the important parts of the country, not Texas. Austin and San Antonio have descended into total Hobbesian chaos. Refugees - thousands of them start migrating towards the camp because of open fields, and the perceived safety your meager garrison provides. And then the supply trucks - already becoming less and less frequent - stop coming altogether. And now you have 15,000 of starving enemy inside the wire, and who knows how many thousands of starving Americans outside the wire. And it's just you and 80 soldiers and their families. With not enough food, not enough fuel, and not enough ammo.

The value of hostile slave labor where there are too many people and not enough food is zero. After WW2, German women were selling their bodies for a potato.

So yeah, I think atrocity would be the norm, not the exception with POWs. Most of them would either be worked to death gular or concentration camp style, or killed outright, either by guards, or a hostile population. There may be some infrequent scenario where the POWs overpower the guards or the guards simply walk away and abandon the POWs one day (like what happened to some of the concentration camps at the end of WW2).
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Old 04-16-2024, 02:06 PM
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Y'all raise a bunch of great points re POWs.

Consider an alternative- the POWs integrate into the local society. It's not as far-fetched as it may seem.

Stephen Ambrose recounted the following story in Citizen Soldiers:

During WWII, an African-American G.I. passing through Texas observed, "about two dozen German prisoners of war, with two American guards, came to the station. They entered the lunchroom, sat at the tables, had their meals served, talked, smoked, in fact had quite a swell time."

This sort of thing wasn't all that uncommon. Some ex-POWs from Germany and Italy enjoyed their time in US POW camps so much that, after the war, they returned to the USA to pursue citizenship.

In Germany, some Allied POWs were literally farmed out to local German families to act as manual labor on their actual farms. Over time, some Germans came to see these POWs as almost part of the family (although other families treated these live-in parolees as slave labor).

If surrounding communities are deprived of their own young men by the draft and such, they might be desperate for a source of same to help provide labor and, perhaps, marriageable partners.

I turned this concept into an encounter in a CONUS-based campaign I ran a few years back. The PCs show up at a little town in SE Arkansas and noticed that most of the men of military age were speaking English with heavy [Slavic] accents...

The PCs struggled with the scenario a bit. Initially, they though the men must be escapees holding the townsfolk hostage. Once they learned of the voluntary, cooperative nature of the arrangement, they had to decide whether to leave the situation alone or intervene in some way.

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  #15  
Old 04-16-2024, 04:06 PM
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Webstral had a commander in the American Southwest go even further with EPWs including integrating them into his command structure.

His major threads are in the thread map. Sorry I don't remember which ones in particular.
https://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.php?t=773#t2k_web

I am adjusting the site search to allow 3 character terms so you can advance search for terms "POW" and "EPW" for him as a user. Other 3 character searches should be available as well. (EPA, DIA, TDM, etc)

Last edited by kato13; 04-16-2024 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 04-16-2024, 06:52 PM
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I’ve heard similar things to the Ambrose story. Had an uncle who was invalided home from the ETO after the Bulge get assigned to the Camp Robinson POW camp. As an NCO his job was to circulate among the outlying camps and farms to spot check POW laborers. It was pretty relaxed and he has photos of POWs working unguarded in forestry, harvesting, and other outdoor occupations.

I tend to think being an EPW/POW post TDM will be a bad day. As others have stated, civilian mobs will want blood, and POWs will be an accessible target. I don’t see guard forces signing up for mass extermination in most cases, but neglect would be just as lethal.

My reference is the Union and Confederate camps during the Civil War. Reading about Libby Prison or Camp Douglas it seems like basic neglect rather than any systemic extermination was responsible for cutting a fairly substantial swathe through prisoner ranks.
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Old 04-17-2024, 06:55 AM
Mahatatain Mahatatain is offline
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I think that there are some very good points in this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by castlebravo92 View Post
And now you have 15,000 of starving enemy inside the wire, and who knows how many thousands of starving Americans outside the wire. And it's just you and 80 soldiers and their families. With not enough food, not enough fuel, and not enough ammo.
Building on this point, if you have some strong leaders amongst those 15k EPW then saying in your campaign set up that they overpowered and disarmed their guards is quite feasible. They could then easily split into several factions, for example, one that wants to build its sphere of influence in the local area, one that wants to head back to Europe and is therefore working its way eastwards in the vain attempt to find a port with a working ship, and one that has simply turned to banditry.

Certainly very interesting for some factions in a campaign.
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Old 04-17-2024, 08:15 AM
castlebravo92 castlebravo92 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahatatain View Post
I think that there are some very good points in this thread.


Building on this point, if you have some strong leaders amongst those 15k EPW then saying in your campaign set up that they overpowered and disarmed their guards is quite feasible. They could then easily split into several factions, for example, one that wants to build its sphere of influence in the local area, one that wants to head back to Europe and is therefore working its way eastwards in the vain attempt to find a port with a working ship, and one that has simply turned to banditry.

Certainly very interesting for some factions in a campaign.
I think there would be some successful camp rebellions (which in turn, might lead to massacres of other camp POW populations).

POW camps in Texas and the Southwest might be "liberated" by invading Mexican forces in the June-September 1998 timeframe (then again, a lot of the POWs might have died by then).

I think, in other scenarios, the camp garrisons would just evaporate and desert and the POWs would be able to simply walk away.

But by June of 2000, I doubt there would be many / any intact and operating POW camps in CONUS. Food would be too scarce to bother taking prisoners and taking care of them afterwards (unless the "government" has specific labor needs that can't be filled by native born refugees / Elsies / drafted laborers).

But I do think Stranger in a Strangeland is a great party / scenario idea, and could explain why MilGov is sending the players to Johnson City, KS to deal with a group of Russian marauders that have taken over the town and are terrorizing the country side.
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Old 04-17-2024, 02:14 PM
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The Mexican invasion would be interesting for POWs/EPWs. Besides anyone who may be liberated outright, rumors of the invasion would doubtless get around the prison camps and embolden would be escapees or resisters. The goal of getting back to friendly lines may seem much more achievable without an ocean in between. Maybe these rumors are the catalyst for an armed uprising or mass breakout attempt.

One thing not addressed is the issue of nationality. Soviet POWs from some of the republics may find it harder to blend/disappear in the US, but there are significant Polish, Czech, Italian, and other groups spread throughout the US. It’s not too much of a stretch to see numbers of escaped POWs finding sanctuary ethnically similar populations in the US, especially as the war degenerates following TDM and a strong back and able body becomes more important for survival. There is/was a relatively large Italian population in Pine Bluff, AR for example, and Italian POWs held for labor in the Arkansas River delta could conceivably find refuge there.

By 2000, I’m wondering if POWs will be taken at all. Some groups may subscribe to an idea of shooting out of hand or keeping prisoners as slaves, but I’m betting this is only in the case of extreme hatred, criminal reputation, or a particularly bloodthirsty group. Others may be disarmed and dispersed or pointed in a direction and told to walk. In some circumstances defeated enemies may be offered the chance to “enlist” in the other army.
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Old 05-07-2024, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolffhound79 View Post
The British (or German) Army

Admittedly this one is a bit niche but dependent on location and time of campaign, communities on the American side of the border might have encountered troops from the Waterloo Brigade mentioned in the Challenge article on Canada. In a piece I did a while ago I referenced marauders in Montana being smashed by troops flying the Union Flag from their Land Rovers…



What article was this?
Sorry, a bit late to this but here you go

https://forum.juhlin.com/showthread....t=Anglo+German

It was an attempt to expand on the article that Kato referenced in his reply (and is completely unofficial)
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Old 05-07-2024, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahatatain View Post
Related to this discussion, what are people's opinions on whether Soviet/Pact/Russian POWs captured in the European theatre would be transported to the US/Canada?
I made copious use of Italian POW's to augment United Kingdom Land Forces in my unofficial Survivor's Guide to the UK (mainly in Yorkshire, at Catterick)

(For anyone not familiar with that, it should be accessible via this link

https://www.dropbox.com/s/q8k40p08k0...t.pdf?e=1&dl=0

And the discussion thread is here)

https://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.php?t=2947
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