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Old 02-25-2010, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by kalos72 View Post
So composting feces isnt a problem them? I was reading articles that implied it should never be used for food production. I will look into that further then.

Whats this Poseidon's Rifles about?
Kalos’ question makes it plain that there’s a downside to my new habit of naming my references as a sort of shorthand. The lifers here have patiently endured my ADD as I move between settings in Twilight: 2000. Newer posters may not have the same frame of reference. Accordingly, a quick reference guide to what the heck I’m talking about with [Some Damned Poetic Name or Other] follows.

Thunder Empire
In the American Southwest, an oasis of American power survives in the desert of collapsed civilization and Mexican conquest. Against all expectations, Fort Huachuca and Tucson have managed to feed themselves and field a combat force capable of handing repeated defeats to both the Mexican Army and the gangs of marauders that plague post-Exchange Arizona. The principal combat command of Fort Huachuca is the 111th Infantry Brigade.

111th Infantry Brigade

A prewar regular Army brigade stationed at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade served as a chain-of-command parent organization for a variety of units assigned to the Military Intelligence School and Center for training and activation. Following the nuclear strikes on CONUS in late 1997, the brigade was reorganized as a light infantry brigade and dispersed throughout the southeastern part of Arizona on a variety of internal security and disaster relief missions. After the start of hostilities with Mexico, the brigade became involved in combat with elements of the Mexican Army across southern Arizona. The 111th was successful in defending its cantonment areas in Cochise, Pima, and Santa Cruz Counties, although with heavy losses in personnel and at the cost of abandoning Yuma and all points north of Tucson.

The disintegration of the Phoenix metroplex into complete chaos and the occupation of southern California and southern New Mexico effectively isolated the Huachuca-Tucson cantonment area. The 111th Brigade consolidated command of all remaining USAF personnel at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, as well as all remaining AZ ARNG, AZ ANG, and AZSTAG (Arizona State Guard), USMC, USMC-R, USN, and USNR units within the Huachuca-Tucson cantonment. Throughout the winter of 1998-1999 the 111th refused all orders to move, support either 6th US Army or 5th US Army, or transfer any personnel or equipment to other MilGov formations. In 1999, the 111th Brigade, now operating independently of MilGov command, repulsed a concerted effort by the Mexican Army to capture the southeastern Arizona cantonment. Throughout 1999 and 2000, the brigade engaged in a constant but low-level war of patrols, raids, intelligence-gathering, and ambushes along the border. Simultaneously, the brigade conducted numerous anti-marauder sweeps in the southern and eastern portions of the state. In early 2001, the brigade smashed another Mexican attempt to capture the cantonment.

As of April 2001, the 111th Infantry Brigade maintains firm control over the three southeastern Arizona counties. Unlike most US Army formations, the 111th Infantry Brigade has been growing in size and quality since 1998. A negotiated truce and joint anti-marauder operations with Mexican Army units on the other side of the border have neutralized the threat from that direction. The brigade is building its power-projection capability in anticipation of efforts to reclaim Phoenix, Yuma, or even the Imperial Valley. Despite his break with MilGov in 1998, the Huachuca commander considers himself a US soldier; how this view will play out is an open question.

Subordination: Fort Huachuca (None)
Location: Southeastern Arizona
Manpower: 6100
Tanks: 5 Ridgways, 32 other AFV

Fort Huachuca is an anomaly. The success of the Southeastern Arizona Military Administrative District (SAMAD) is based on a unique combination of factors: exceptional leadership and planning, superb pre-Exchange logistical support, and more than one major turn of fortune. The fact that Fort Huachuca, with its apparently massive military might, has failed to secure more than a fraction of Arizona is also a product of the unique circumstances and leadership.

Characters from Europe or the Middle East who make their way to SAMAD will discover a military organization much more like the “cosmopolitan” US formations overseas than almost anywhere else in the United States. Due to the presence of sister service detachments on post at the time of the nuclear exchange and the proximity of bases of other services, soldiers in 111th Brigade can come from any of the US services. Due to the induction of large numbers of EPW being held at Fort Huachuca at the time of the nuclear exchange, soldiers at Fort Huachuca can originally hail from any of the Soviet republics, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, North Korea, Iraq, and Mexico.

As of April 1, 2001 Fort Huachuca is starting to look outward at long last. The outbreak of the Second Mexican Civil War has been followed by the withdrawal of the hated Sonora Army to southern Sonora. Forces of Ejercito de California (formerly Second Mexican Army) have moved into northern Sonora and have concluded a truce and limited cooperation with Huachuca. The battalions of 111th Brigade have been tempered by a cycle of action along the border, long-range operations in the central portions of Arizona, and refitting and retraining. After more than two years of slow building, SAMAD has a reserve brigade—the former 3rd AZSTAG. Although the reserve force has fewer troops and far less combat capability, the change in the state of affairs in Mexico will enable Huachuca to send the entire 111th Brigade outside SAMAD for the first time since the outbreak of hostilities with Mexico in mid-1998.

Opportunities for PCs abound. The vast metropolitan area of Phoenix, though reduced to a fraction of its pre-war population (less than 100,000), still contains fabulous wealth in the form of recoverable resources. Gangs, warlord, petty dictators, and desperate self-defense militias control varying areas of territory. In addition to recovering some of the huge material wealth of Phoenix, the Huachuca command wants to liberate the civilian population. Although Huachuca has its own LRS assets, the need is far greater than can be met. Accurate, reliable intelligence will be needed before the 111th can be plunged into the urban jungle.


There's more to come, but I must do a little school work.

Webstral
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:44 PM
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For those interested in Webstral's other posts, you can click the "webstral" tag at the bottom of the thread or consult the Thread map - Webstral

I will be updating the thread map once I can find the time (and am sufficiently bored with my other gaming projects)
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:45 PM
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I love your work Web, hope you didn't take offense to my naivety. You and Chico are my role models for my work, although I do find myself losing drive as I get bogged down in the details often.

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Old 02-25-2010, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by kalos72 View Post
I love your work Web, hope you didn't take offense to my naivety. You and Chico are my role models for my work, although I don find myself losing drive as I get bogged down in the details often.
Seconded! I've even taken the time to put all of Webs work that I've seen into a personal google doc repository, so I don't lost it in case anything happens here (note: it's not shared with anyone, I wouldn't do that without explicit permissions!)
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:07 PM
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So what is Poseidon's Rifles about?
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:28 PM
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Default Poseidon's Rifles

Along the coast of northern New England, the US Coast Guard struggles to maintain order. By early 2001, the so-called “tridents” (1) have managed to safeguard the fishing fleets that feed the coastal enclaves and defeat both the bands of marauders from the interior looking for prey along the shoreline and pirates looking to ply their trade of pillage. Their greatest challenge lies ahead, though. The surviving governments of New England are city-states, petty dictatorships, and shabby mercantile empires which are often hostile to one another and to the federal government represented by the Coast Guard enclave. A new menace is gathering in the north, ready to sweep over the fragile remnants of pre-war civilization—a menace the tridents do not have the means to meet alone.

701st Maritime Rifle Regiment
A pre-war United States Coast Guard Reserve formation, the 301st Port Security Unit was mobilized on 10/07/96 and sent to Western Europe to provide port security in the Netherlands in anticipation of the deployment of US forces to Europe by sea. Following the entrance of the United States into the war in Germany in December, the 301st PSU suffered attrition to rioting by Dutch anti-war elements and attacks by Soviet commandoes. A highly successful cruise missile attack in February, 1997 caused sufficient losses to warrant rotating the 301st back to CONUS to absorb replacements.

Initially assigned to Cape May in New Jersey, the 301st was moved north to Boston in June, 1997 following the discovery of a Communist cell working to sabotage port facilities in Massachusetts. The personnel and assets were dispersed throughout coastal New England to aid forces in place in their efforts to provide security for ports and other critical facilities. The intent was to complete the training of the new PSU personnel with on the job experience before sending the 301st to Korea. The nuclear exchange began before the 301st was sent, and the unit’s move orders were frozen.

With the breakdown of order in New England, the 301st found itself overtaxed. Following an unexplained accident at Camp Edwards on Cape Cod and the very substantial loss of facilities and equipment, the 301st moved its base of operations to Portsmouth, NH. In April, 1998 the 301st was completely reorganized and absorbed a large number of personnel from other services, as well as police and federal agents. The new 701st Maritime Rifle Regiment was flagged on 04/21/98. Initially tasked as a waterborne military police formation, by early 2001 the 701st Maritime Rifles have incorporated functions of Marines and reconnaissance into their capabilities.

Subordination: First District, USCG (None)
Location: Portsmouth, NH (headquarters and logistics base)
Manpower: 800
AFV: 0

Rear Admiral Scott MacDowell was the Commandant of the USCG First District when the United States entered World War Three in December 1996. Although USCG assets were mobilized for combat duty at that time, it wasn’t until mid-1997 that Coast Guard cutters and personnel were absorbed directly into the Navy. MacDowell continued to perform his pre-war duty from First District Headquarters in Boston, MA with a somewhat reduced but essentially intact base of Coast Guard personnel and smaller cutters. After some changes in personnel and resources, MacDowell was in charge of coastal defense from Rhode Island to the Maine border by Thanksgiving 1997.

Following the nuclear strikes, Boston fell apart. MacDowell relocated his headquarters to Camp Edwards on Cape Cod. The situation in New England rapidly spiraled downwards, even though no targets in New England were struck by nuclear fire. MacDowell concentrated his very limited assets on supporting the fishing fleets and defending critical assets along the New England coastline. At the end of a brutal winter that killed as much as a third of the New England population (four million people), disease spread by unburied bodies and poor sanitation practices promptly carried off another two million.

After Washington and Annapolis were hit by nuclear strikes, the Naval Academy briefly relocated to Newport, Rhode Island, home of the Naval War College and OCS program. With its combat-ready resources already stretched thin, the navy assigned HoIsgirder the duty of providing local security and defense for the new Naval Academy. HoIsgirder welcomed the assignment; Newport was a perfect base of operations and very likely to last through the dark ages he saw on the horizon. He began shifting his assets out of bases on Cape Cod and Maine, and reorganizing them into a full-time fighting force at Newport.” (Rifle River)

At the time, Coast Guard Commandant Holsgirder commanded only USCG assets that were not operating under the direct command of the US Navy. He and MacDowell traded hard words over the movement of Coast Guard ships, crews, and equipment from northern New England to the southern New England coastline. MacDowell believed firmly that the fishing fleets were the key to keeping the coastal population of New England from starving and turning into the kinds of rioting masses that had driven him out of Boston. These fleets needed Coast Guard protection and succor. Although MacDowell commanded a force with US Coast Guard on its uniforms and ships, he was acting under Navy orders. Already, his force had been tapped to provide replacements and to escort Army units (including a recently-raised brigade of New Hampshire Army National Guard troops) to reinforce Europe. MacDowell believed it was necessary to keep every USCG asset possible in northern New England to protect shipping and fishing in the event the Navy decided to move more of MacDowell’s assets. Holsgirder flatly disagreed.

On 19 May [1998], President Munson suffered a nervous breakdown and had to be relieved. His successor (the former Secretary of State) soon succumbed to heart failure, and his successor (the former Secretary of Energy) was so overwhelmed by the enormity of the job that she committed suicide. There was no longer an operating CLS to locate a successor, and the military assumed de facto control of all federal functions.” (Howling Wilderness)

The Secretary of Energy-cum-President of the United States was named June R. Flaherty. She was first cousin of Scott MacDowell. As soon as he heard the news about his cousins’s assumption of the presidency, MacDowell contacted her. For some time, he had been developing a plan to use his remaining forces to maintain control of two facilities he believed absolutely critical to the future of the Navy and Coast Guard: Portsmouth Naval Yard and Bath Iron Works. At the same time, MacDowell intended to provide security and support for the fishing fleets operating out of Maine, New Hampshire, and northern Massachusetts. Holsbirger could take care of the fishing fleets operating out of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and points south with his own ships and people. MacDowell presented his plan to the new President. Flaherty already was completely overwhelmed by the enormity of the job. She signed off on MacDowell’s scheme after a few cursory questions and without consulting the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Specifically, MacDowell’s plan was to recreate USCG First District with a new boundary running from Woods Hole to the border with Canada. All Navy assets within that zone—former USCG, Navy personnel, and Navy installations—would come under the command of First District. MacDowell provided President Flaherty with specific verbiage that would enable him to escape control by any authority short of the Joint Chiefs, if he so chose. Flaherty’s staff wrote the orders, and she signed them.

MacDowell wasted no time consolidating his new command. He abandoned Cape Cod wholesale, taking everything and everyone of value from the Massachusetts Military Reserve. MacDowell even managed to scoop up a number of Coast Guard Auxiliary and Coast Guard Reservists who had been operating under Holsbirger’s orders. Holsbirger was furious, but there was nothing he could do except hang onto everything he had left after MacDowell had made his grab.

On June 2 [1998], the Mexican government, in order to protect its citizens, sent its army (including the Soviet “Division Cuba”) across the Rio Grande [and into New Mexico, Arizona, and California]. The Joint Chiefs of Staff (who were now governing the country) sent Army units in response.” (Howling Wilderness)

The Joint Chiefs, who had plenty to do from the moment they took charge, were not even aware of the new orders concerning First District until June 1. Flaherty hadn’t consulted them. Eventually, minutes of the day revealed that the President, who by then had committed suicide, had executed some sort of orders regarding the Coast Guard and Navy chains of command in New England. By the time the Joint Chiefs began to look into the matter, the Mexican Army was crossing the border. Eventually, of course, the Joint Chiefs learned the sordid details of MacDowell’s coup. However, the Joint Chiefs had far bigger fish to fry. In any event, MacDowell still obeyed orders (albeit not always from the Commandant of the Coast Guard or Atlantic Fleet Headquarters) and was maintaining control of a useful cantonment where so many others had simply melted away or turned warlord. The orders granting MacDowell his unique command were never altered.

At the time of the events of Rifle River, Commandant Holsbirger despises Admiral MacDowell, whom he views as a naked opportunist. From the Commandant’s point of view, MacDowell had built his own little empire along the northern New England coast when more heavily populated southern New England needed to manpower, equipment, and ships more. The almost fraternal relationship between First District and the United Brotherhood of Fishermen galls the Commandant, who views the UBF as a dangerous gang of thugs.

MacDowell sees Holsbirger as the agent of the split. If Holsbirger hadn’t pulled out of every station north of Fall River, MacDowell might not have been forced to create his own solution. Obviously, MacDowell is full of fertilizer, but he doesn’t see things that way. Ironically, MacDowell and Holsbirger see a number of things the same way. Both believe that the UBF will come to constitute a real problem as Carlucci becomes more paranoid and reactionary. Both leaders have used their older hands to train a new generation of seamen. Both leaders have created somewhat stable cantonments that have the critical ingredients of success.

First District’s comparative success is based on fish and the naval facilities at Portsmouth and Bath. The tridents have vigorously defended the fishing fleets operating in the Gulf of Maine and even as far afield as George’s Bank. The availability of seafood in First District gave the local population the opportunity to start growing their own food. The high level of destruction visited upon Canada’s Atlantic Provinces by the Soviet nuclear strikes has reduced Canadian competition for fish all along the coast—a fact that First District has exploited to the hilt.

Upon receiving authority over the reformed First District, MacDowell appropriated men and materials from a number of surviving military and law enforcement bodies operating within First District boundaries. Thus by early 2001, 701st Maritime Rifles includes personnel from the active duty and reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, along with numbers of law enforcement personnel. The Marines have proven invaluable in formulating the tactics and techniques employed by the Maritime Rifle Regiment.

As of January 2001, the USCG First District controls an area extending roughly from Rye, NH along the Maine coast to Bar Harbor. By road, this is a distance of nearly 240 miles—an impressive area to control in early 2001. However, not all is as it appears. The District, as both locals and the USCG call the Coast Guard realm, holds sway no more than ten miles inland in any location. In most areas, the District controls the hinterland to a depth of less than five miles. Thus the District controls a sliver of territory clinging to the sea. In many areas, control is nominal—there isn’t anybody along certain stretches of coast to contest the Coast Guard. In most other areas, control really rests in the hands of local militias who receive training and support from the Coast Guard and who conduct coastal trade under the protection of USCG cutters and boats. The Coast Guard maintains order throughout its slender domain with its manpower and materiel stationed predominantly at four bases: Portsmouth Naval Yard in New Hampshire, the City of Portland in Maine, Brunswick Naval Air Station in Maine, and the City of Bar Harbor in Maine.

Life in the District is in many ways typical of American life in 2001. The luxuries of the late 20th Century are long gone. Modern life is about the struggle to produce enough food and to survive the hard winters. Violence, starvation, and disease have carried off more than half the population; everyone has lost someone. The old economy has collapsed. In the new economy, the most valuable asset is productive farmland—or, the case of the District, a working fishing boat and the ability to harvest the bounty of the sea. The next most valuable commodity is the rifle and the ability to use it to defend the productive farmland and the fishing vessels. Those who have weapons and who are ready to use them to take what other survivors have are ever-present wolves lurking beyond the borders of towns and cities struggling to survive in the harsh world that is post-attack America. In this regard, the District is like any other place in the United States of 2001.

In other regards, however, the District is completely unique. The area retains a surprisingly large percentage of its pre-war population. Although many of the original residents of coastal southern Maine have died, they have been replaced by refugees from inland areas. The harsher winters of inland Maine, coupled with the rising tide of marauders and bandits, drove survivors towards the coast by the tens of thousands. The produce of the sea kept them alive—as well as keeping the local governments and the District itself in control of the situation. Without the sea, with its fish, lobsters, shellfish, and seaweed, the whole region might have collapsed in 1998. However, with control over a reliable food source, the District had control over the local population. This gave the District its opportunity to sow crops and reorganize southern coastal Maine for self-sufficiency. At the same time, the disparate armed units throughout the area—from Coast Guard personnel to active duty and reserve personnel from every branch of the armed forces to law enforcement of every stripe—were welded into a cohesive force by never-ending small unit actions against the inland bandits seeking to encroach on the coastal enclaves.

By late 2001, life in the District has stabilized considerably. Food is reliably available—so much so that the District can consider trading some to other cantonments in New England. Corn and fish are the staples of the District diet, supplemented by beans, potatoes, tomatoes, squash (including pumpkin), carrots, beets, various garden greens, chives and garlic, and small game. Local farms and garden shops provided the seed for 1998’s planting season. Local farmers and agricultural experts provided the know-how. The Coast Guard and its supporting militias provided the security.

Food is still rationed, except for what is grown in gardens. Fishing boats are required to operate out of USCG-controlled facilities, to which they are required to return with their catch. The boat crew can keep a certain percentage of the catch. The rest goes into the general supply and is distributed through the ration system. The same is true of the produce of farms and greenhouses. Local governments handle the rationing under the watchful eye of USCG officials.

Living conditions are cramped. Houses with many people in them are much warmer in the winter. Tightly-packed communities are safer, given the limits on manpower and the ever-present threat of marauders from inland. Many homes have been lost to fires over the past three years, and there has been limited new construction. However, those who have made it to 2001 are generally safe in the District. Public health is not quite what it used to be, but neither are people greatly at risk from disease.

Pirates, who represent a major threat to many other coastal communities throughout 2001 America, are no longer a significant threat to the District. The District has fought a vigorous anti-pirate campaign from 1998 until the present. Some have excoriated the District for its failure to reach any appreciable distance inland in its security efforts. Instead of securing the Maine hinterlands, the District has hunted along the Maine coast and even into Canada for all pirate bases. Using the 701st Maritime Rifles as marines, the Coast Guard has attacked pirates in their own bases, sinking or capturing scores of ships, killing or capturing thousands of maritime bandits, and forcibly relocating their dependent populations to prevent further outbreaks of piracy. Thus while Augusta is outside the District security zone, District-based fishermen can operate throughout the Gulf of Maine without escort.

For all intents and purposes, the District is divided into two parts—North District and South District. In South District, the security zone is a more-or-less continuous belt running from just south of Portsmouth, NH to Newcastle, ME. Patrols by local militia and Coast Guard troops are frequent throughout this area. Although only the unwise travel unarmed outside the urban areas, lawless elements are generally small groups of individuals who survive by being unobtrusive. Large groups of marauders who move into this area have met untimely ends so frequently over the past few years that they generally stay away from the District.

North District, running from Newcastle to Bar Harbor, is a different story. Here, District control is limited to easily-defended areas. Islands and isolated peninsulas in Muscongus Bay, Penobscot Bay, and Blue Hill Bay have been turned into cantonments. Thanks to persistent patrols by the Coast Guard, offshore islands generally are safe from marauders. Small groups using one or two boats generally are discovered and dealt with by the island militia. Larger groups requiring multiple boats simply never get the chance to assemble. The Coast Guard has fought several one-sided engagements in the area, smashing every attempt to land a sizeable force on any of the islands.

The peninsula enclaves typically are defended at the necks of the land bridge. The forest is cleared to create a wide barrier of open space. Fixed fighting positions are supplemented by patrols and LP/OPs manned by local militia and/or Coast Guard personnel. Infiltration here is much easier for bandits, although the use of dogs at the barriers makes this a real challenge nonetheless. The largest of these peninsula enclaves is Mount Desert Island which, though technically an island, is joined to the mainland by the Bar Harbor Road/Rte. 3 Bridge at the northwestern tip of the island. The bridge crossing is heavily fortified and manned at all times.

The situation is sufficiently stable for the existence of local politics. Municipalities elect their own officials, who have some leeway in how to use municipal resources. However, final say in all matters remains with the Coast Guard. Thus far, there have been few complaints about the situation. More than half of the population of the District has come from elsewhere in Maine, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts. A steady stream of refugees keeps the local population aware of how good they have it relative to many parts of New England. The occasional sound of small arms fire from the perimeter of the District reminds the population that they are under the protection of the Coast Guard and their local auxiliaries. For now, at least, there is no real restiveness among the natives.

The District maintains a force of 1600 tridents under arms, including all boat and cutter crews, all harpoons (as the troops of the 701st Maritime Rifles have come to be called) and command and support personnel. About a third of this number were originally USCG, USCG Reserve, or USCG Auxiliary. Around a quarter are military personnel originally from other services (principally Navy personnel from Brunswick NAS and National Guard from Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire), while the last portion are former police and local recruits. The equipment of the Coast Guard is good, if worn, and the ammunition is adequate if not bountiful. Many pre-war gunsmiths have been relocated to the four main bases, where they keep the Coast Guard’s weapons in good repair.

Approximately 5000 militia are scattered throughout the District. One fifth of this number is active duty/cadre troops, almost all of whom were military or police before the war. The remainder is reservists who serve, on average, one week in every four. Their level of training is generally modest, although most can give a good account of themselves in a fight. The equipment of the militia forces in the District is virtually all small arms. As the Coast Guard has claimed almost all the assault rifles and machine guns, the militia uses hunting rifles, shotguns, handguns, and a sprinkling of older military rifles. Ammunition is not as abundant as anyone would like, but the militia is better-supplied than the marauders who have been testing them for the past year.

Although the exact number is unknown, the most reliable estimate of the population of the District is 150,000. The single largest economic activity is farming, whether on regular farms, in labor-intensive gardens, or in greenhouses. Fishing is the next most prominent economic activity, followed by manufacturing of all kinds and military activity. Having solved the basic problems of food and security, the District finds itself at a crossroads. Further industrial recovery will require more labor, more expertise, more energy, more tools and fixtures, and more raw materials. Expansion of the District’s territory will meet some of these needs but not all. Machine shops, which are fairly common throughout eastern and southern New England, can solve some of the District’s problems. However, the issues of energy, skilled labor, and raw materials will continue to plague the District for the foreseeable future.

1) After our earlier exchange about names, I decided to keep both “tridents” and “harpoons”. Any Coastie or militiaman in First District is now a trident. Only the maritime infantry get to call themselves “harpoons”. As an aside, I’m on the fence about whether these guys should be “tridents” or “Tridents.” The latter is a proper noun, and it would seem that the uniformed servicemen should get a proper noun. On the other hand, I’m looking for something generic, like soldier, seaman, and airman.

I'll cover the growing menace in The Blood Cross.

Webstral

Last edited by Webstral; 02-26-2010 at 09:31 PM. Reason: Italics
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:00 AM
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I'll have to read through your USCG works again several times I think. I like what you've done and I want to look into how what you have written would effect the events described in both "Rifle River" and "The Last Submarine". PCs moving into the areas controlled by the two USCG factions could well have no idea that they are dealing with two rival commands. Could get interesting.
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Old 03-05-2010, 02:04 AM
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Default Silver Shogunate

The Silver State of Nevada groans under the yoke of a warlord and his army of motorized marauders. The self-styled Shogun holds the survivors in Nevada and portions of the surrounding states in a grip of terror, using a network of secret police and the ever-present threat of death on wheels. Despite having lost nearly eighty-five percent of its pre-war population, Nevada has reached the point where the long road of recovery can begin—but only if the surplus labor of the population can go into rebuilding the society instead of supporting the Shogun’s army.

The Gunryo
After a violent birth and early development in southern Nevada during the first months after the Thanksgiving Day Massacre of 1997, the Gunryo emerged as the principal marauder army of the area. Employing a combination of co-option, deception, cunning, and force the Gunryo absorbed or destroyed its main rivals during the terrible struggle for food, water, and fuel that marked the downfall of Las Vegas and its surrounds. Following the movement of all government forces operating out of Nellis AFB to California in the wake of the start of the Second Mexican-American War in mid-1998, the Gunryo began operating throughout Nevada. The marauder army clashed with 46th Infantry Division in the autumn of 1998 when the division moved by road from Fort Carson, Colorado to Sacramento, California. The Gunryo has successfully defended its area of operations from a variety of marauder bands and probes by New American forces from Idaho, state forces from Utah, and units of Sixth US Army from California. As of April 1, 2001 the Gunryo maintains control over the entire state of Nevada and portions of the surrounding states.

Location: Nevada
Subordination: None
Manpower: 900 (+2000 support personnel), divided between a main group and several patrol groups
AFV: 3 BTR-80AM
1 ERC-90 Lynx
6 modified civilian armored cars/trucks
10 improvised armored pickup trucks


The Gunryo is unlike most marauder armies in post-Exchange America—which tend to be short-lived collections of bands of brigands—in that the Gunryo in marked by a high degree of internal cohesion, discipline, and organization. The Gunryo is a product of its leadership, and no leader has exerted greater influence over the army than its commander, the Shogun.

The Shogun’s “real” name is David Tokugawa. Among those few who know this name, it is speculated that he crafted his name to refer to great leaders from the past. Also, the Shogun’s pedestrian name can be seen as a blending of American and Japanese traditions. Certainly, this is what he has done with the Gunryo. The Shogun was a highly successful salesman from Los Angeles who was gambling in Las Vegas on Thanksgiving in 1997. Through a series of events that are poorly understood, Tokugawa maneuvered himself into a position of leadership in one of the many bands of survivors who coalesced in the weeks after the Thanksgiving Day Massacre.

Although every state in the United States has been dramatically affected by the Twilight War, Nevada is one of the more extreme cases. In the aftermath of the Soviet surgical nuclear strikes on the United States, Las Vegas was placed at the bottom of the national triage list. Electricity was never really restored to Las Vegas, and the food, water, and fuel began to run out very quickly. Within a day or two of the first nuclear strikes, civilians poured out of Las Vegas. Most died on the roads. A mixture of military and police forces operating out of Nellis AFB attempted to maintain law and order in Clark County, but they were unable to prevent the rise of a number of gangs that competed ruthlessly for the remaining consumables. Among these gangs was the earliest incarnation of the Gunryo, which was by April under the undisputed leadership of salesman-turned-warlord David Tokugawa.

In declaring himself Shogun, Tokugawa imposed a unique identity on his marauder band. He promoted officers who embraced his efforts to give his army distinct characteristics. The army was increasingly Nipponized as a means of fostering internal cohesion, distinction from the other gangs of violent survivors, and codification of behaviors. An internal ranking structure became formalized using Japanese ranks. Pride and began to emerge among the survivors of the spectacular attrition rates. (The Gunryo had a 1000% turnover in its membership in the first six months after the Exchange.) The Shogun used this pride to impose discipline and the beginnings of formal training.

The Shogun succeeded in co-opting a number of useful individuals and even groups. Consequently, the Gunryo began to emerge from the pack of survivors in southern Nevada. Distinct appearances and behaviors to promote internal cohesion and discipline, coupled with skills and equipment brought in by co-opted police, civic officials, military deserters, and other specialists enabled the Gunryo increasingly to dominate southern Nevada. Although the Shogun was not strong enough to challenge the Nellis Group directly, the pressure he brought to bear on them was a significant factor in the decision by the Joint Chiefs to abandon Nellis AFB and all federal facilities in Nevada. When the Nellis Group moved to Sacramento, the Shogun was in a position to gain by seduction, coercion, bribery, and ambush.

The rest of Nevada also suffered from the disruption of society, although not nearly to the degree that Clark County suffered. The main concentrations of population in the western part of the state and along Interstate 10 in the north suffered somewhat, but they were able to manage in the first six months of 1998 without any local repetitions of the holocaust in Clark County. It was inevitable that they would come into contact with the Gunryo.

Aware that he had to secure new supplies of food and fuel, the Shogun launched a series of all-or-nothing attacks on towns throughout western Nevada, then northern Nevada using what fuel he had scavenged, stolen, and hoarded. A calculated indifference to losses enabled the Shogun to force the fealty of towns throughout Nevada.

By early 2001, the economy of Nevada is geared towards supporting the Shogun and his Gunryo. He controls the towns with small detachments of his secret police, the kempeitai. Regular law and order is left to local sheriffs and deputies under the watchful eye of the kempeitai. The kempeitai ensure that rebelliousness is cut out of the society through a combination of informants, kidnapping, interrogation, torture, and murder.

The secret police are backed up by the threat of annihilation by the Gunryo. The Shogun’s force is like a hive of army ants on wheels. To a degree not seen in North America since 1998, the Gunryo travels with its support and supply. The main body of the Shogun’s army is a convoy of gun trucks, cargo haulers, and military vehicles that moves regularly and unpredictably between the various municipalities that pay tribute to the Shogun. The Gunryo accomplishes this remarkable feat of mobility through several factors: economy of size, vehicles and support stripped to the bare necessities, the use of a few small caches, and the consumption of all surplus labor in Nevada and portions of the surrounding states. The Shogun sets unreasonable quotas of biofuel (converted from alfalfa), food, and manufactured goods to support his army. What the survivors in Reno don’t need for survival goes into the fuel tanks, engines, stomachs, and weapons of the Gunryo.

The situation is highly unstable. The Shogun maintains order through fear. He doesn’t have enough troops to garrison all of the towns in his realm. Unrest simmers under the surface, waiting for its opportunity. The Shogun has decimated a few towns to keep the others in line, but there are real limits to the death and destruction he can mete out to the people under his thumb; he can’t destroy his logistical base. He doesn’t believe he can afford to move his force less, since the very mobility and unpredictability of movement of the Gunryo is the cornerstone of security. In addition to keeping internal order, the Gunryo actively combats marauders and other armed groups all around the perimeter of the Shogun’s territory. To fail to deal with the marauders is to lose the tribute of the peripheral towns. To lose tribute is to lose fuel, food, spare parts and ammunition. The Shogun fears that once the downward spiral begins, he may be unable to arrest it.

Security can only come through increasing productivity. The only way to increase productivity under the current conditions is to allow trade and increased specialization. Allowing free trade means allowing free contact between the municipalities of Nevada. The Shogun knows that trade and contact mean fostering rebellion. He cannot risk allowing rebellion to grow; nor can he afford to have Nevada’s economy stagnate for much longer. A single bad season could bring down the whole house of cards.

Life in the Silver Shogunate will be hard in 2001.


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Old 03-05-2010, 01:44 PM
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Another great post man!

Question about Thunder Empire, do you have a written command structure? As in a listing of each department on base and their areas of responsibility?

I am trying to come up with a unique structure myself and I keep leaning towards one based around our current US government style since I have no clue about all the different offices in the military
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:02 PM
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Question about Thunder Empire, do you have a written command structure? As in a listing of each department on base and their areas of responsibility?

I am trying to come up with a unique structure myself and I keep leaning towards one based around our current US government style since I have no clue about all the different offices in the military
See attachment for the Thunder Empire command structure.

Regarding military structures, I advise reading James Dunnigan's How to Make War. Also, have a look at the US Army Vehicle Guide for Twilight: 2000.

In the US Army structure that existed in the mid-1990's, each division had three combat brigades, plus a number of separate battalions providing specialty services. The combat brigades were (and are) the flesh and bone of the division, while the support battalions function as the internal organs that keep the flesh and bone in action. Each combat (or maneuver) brigade tended to have three so-called line battalions, plus an artillery battalion, some engineers, and other specialty troops. The line battalions were either light infantry or a mix of mechanized infantry and armor.

The exigencies of combat notwithstanding, companies are ordinarily led by a captain (O-3), who has a first lieutenant (O-2) as an XO and a first sergeant (E-8) to provide advice and oversight of the care and well-being of the troops. Battalions are commanded by a lieutenant colonel (O-5) or a very senior major (O-4) and have a significant staff, special troops, and three to five companies. In the 1990's, the principal staffs were S-1 (Personnel), S-2 (Intel), S-3 (Operations), and S-4 (Logistics). Sometimes you'd see an S-5 (Host Nation Support/Civil Affairs) added in, but that wasn't as common as it is now. Today, there are many more staff sections in a US Army battalion.

The S-1 is led by a captain who typically hasn't had company command yet. The S-2 also tends to get a captain, but this guy is doing a job that is the equivalent of company command in the MI career path; so he tends to be slightly more senior than the S-1. The S-3 is a major, as is the XO. The S-4 is led by a captain who also is waiting for his chance at company command.

I could go on and on about how things were organized during peacetime in the 1990's. Much has changed, although much remains the same. In any event, the peacetime TO&E is merely a reference point for what is happening in 2000/2001. Plenty of battalions are going to be under the command of captains and first lieutenants. Plenty of companies will be led by a second lieutenant or the company first sergeant.

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Old 03-05-2010, 03:11 PM
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I advise reading James Dunnigan's How to Make War.
I wholeheartedly second that recommendation.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:20 PM
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I am sorry Web I didn't mean how military units are organized, I meant structure within your base. Like what group handles food collection and prep or who handles the salvage or the industrial stuff.

Do you have military unit commander control them or "departments" within the military. Like the DoD has the Department of the Army but also Department of Defense Logistics. Or Homeland Security has Department of Science and Technology and the INS.

Those sorts of structures...
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:50 PM
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Kalos,

Ah, I understand what you’re asking. I’m also getting an idea of why you are finding yourself bogged down in your creative ventures. The sorts of details you’re asking about do little to advance the story, in my opinion. They come into being after the fact of the jobs getting done is established and set to simmer. Nevertheless, I’ll try to provide what detail I have.

Civilians do the majority of work on Fort Huachuca. This is common throughout the Army—any Army—in 2000. Heck, even the Gunryo is mostly civilians supporting the fighting men. I believe that in the v1 chronology there is reference to hiring local civilians to do a lot of the administrative tasks. To put it in Army terms, there are three categories of jobs necessary to field and fight the force: combat arms, combat support, and combat service support. These were the terms used in the 1990’s, as any rate. There is some movement towards new categorization in the modern US Army, but in the Twilight: 2000 world we’d be stuck with the leftovers from the 1990’s.

Combats arms is fairly straightforward. The combat troops include the infantry, armor, artillery, air defense, and combat engineers. Combat support (CS) includes troops who fight alongside or directly behind the combat arms: military intelligence, military police, and many others. Combat service support (CSS) troops do jobs that are essentially civilian jobs, just done for the Army: finance, adjutant general, legal, quartermaster, ordnance, and others. The line between CS and CSS is fuzzy, since some quartermaster types are right up there with the boys, and some MPs serve far to the rear with the gear, regardless of how they are officially classified. At Fort Huachuca, as at many other locations, the CSS jobs are almost all in the hands of civilians. A few folks in uniform provide oversight, but at Fort Huachuca in 2000 the soldiers doing these jobs are soldiers who are no longer fit for field duty—usually due to wounds.

The organization is very civilian in nature, albeit with government service (GS) grades attached to each position. There is a department in charge of physical plant, a department of logistics, a department for manufacturing, and so on. Each of these departments ultimately reports to the post command. The post command structure retains most of its pre-war characteristics in that there is a G-1 (personnel), a G-2 (intel), a G-3 (operations), a G-4 (logistics) and others. The post staff is quite, although only a few of the staffers are soldiers. Since Fort Huachuca is the de facto capital of SAMAD, there’s a great deal of information to be organized and a lot to be done that isn’t typically done on an Army post.

The dividing line between the responsibilities of the troops and the responsibilities of the civilians has been in motion since 1998. When Thomason reorganized virtually his entire command, 306th MI Battalion was turned into a support organization. Civilians were brought in to round out the capabilities of the battalion. Very soon, though, Thomason’s chief of staff saw the need for people in uniform to conduct missions like supply runs to the battalion strong points at Nogales and Naco. Given the inclination of the Mexicans to lay mines and conduct ambushes along the American MSR in late 1998, these jobs were deemed worthy of uniformed service members. Therefore, as circumstances allowed, certain supply functions were turned back into jobs for soldiers, while other jobs were held for civilians only. A good example of how this runs is NTC, where civilian contractors do a great deal of the work men and women in uniform would do in the field. While one must wonder whether a civilian contractor receiving twice or three times the pay of a soldier is cost-effective. In Twilight: 2000, though, using civilians who are too old or not fit for duty to perform CSS jobs is a good way of making the most of the available supply of young, fit troops.

Beyond this general overview, though, I haven’t mapped out things like how each department is structured, how many warm bodies it has at each pay grade, and the like. Honestly, I don’t intend to go into that much detail on the support side of things. If doing so helps you visualize your work, then I endorse investing the time and the energy. You have to figure out where you are going to draw your lines. I understand how an internal combustion engine operates, though there are plenty of details I don’t know about my own car. Knowing or not knowing them neither aids nor prevents me from driving to work each day, so long as I take care of the basics. I can always go back and learn the model number for a part in my alternator. Knowing the alternator is in there and what it does is good enough for me.

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Old 03-05-2010, 08:48 PM
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Thanks for taking the time to explain your position some in this regard. And I think you are right, I get bogged down in the lil details, obviously I am starting to see too too much.

Thanks for helping me understand your approach.

/bow
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:35 PM
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Here's one more tidbit: try to figure out what your people are doing, then figure out how they are doing it and whether they can do it. It's better to revise than never produce a product. If one were to go back through all the posts I've made for Thunder Empire over the years, one would find a slew of revisions and updates. The org chart I just posted for Fort Huachuca continues to be updated as my vision of what is happening on post and in Arizona matures.

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Old 03-07-2010, 05:15 AM
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Webstral, I enjoyed reading about the Silver Shogunate, but then I enjoy reading all your work. Many thanks!
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:00 PM
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Ironside,

Thanks for the positive feedback.

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Old 06-03-2010, 01:10 AM
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Default State of Vermont & The Green Jackets

I received a request for more details about my work in New England. I'll provide what I have for the State of Vermont here:
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File Type: pdf Green Jackets.pdf (7.6 KB, 120 views)
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:41 PM
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Default Silver Shogunate

I had a burst of creative insight in the car dropping the kids off at their grandparents. I dont have the time to work with this idea, but its worth setting down. (Besides, Im supposed to be working on Roadrunners.)

The Shogun in Nevada is opposed by a very modest resistance group that operates by exploiting his weaknesses. The Shogun has a force of light motorized infantry that he keeps constantly on the move as a means of providing security over his wide-spread domain. He taxes the surviving communities in Nevada (about 15% of the pre-war population) heavily to keep his force mobile. The Shogun basically is running a protection racket. His force has superior firepower, numbers, and operational mobility compared to the various marauder bands that wander into his zone of control. The troops are experienced urban combatants. They also do fairly well in the field under certain conditions. However, they are not very good at operating at any distance from the road or long-range rifle marksmanship. The Shogun has been attempting to grow this capability, but as of April, 2001 he hasnt had the success he would like.

A native resistance movement has sprung up. The insurgents are few in number, because there is very little left to support them. They are horse-mounted for mobility away from the roads controlled by the Shoguns forces. They use hunting rifles so they can fight without closing with the Shoguns superior forces. Most of their energies go to keeping the small force alive in the wilderness and negotiating contact and resupply with cantonments where the Shoguns kempetei, or secret police, control the town.

The player characters might be assigned to make contact with and arrange for logistical support of the resistance. Perhaps one mission will be to conduct a thorough recce of Nevada and the Shoguns operation so that what limited supply can be arranged can be used to greatest effect. This offers a chance to get the PCs out of their vehicles and onto horses.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:05 PM
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Here is a link that may be of some use:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_Wolves
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:35 PM
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This will be of more use in Thunder Empire than Silver Shogunate, but it's the kind of gold I've been looking for. Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:10 PM
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One thing that is so great about Twilight 2000 is that you can make so many different versions of it and all can be just as valid - from Webstral's US to mine to Chico's, but also embracing the Mad Max version of the US that Targan and Legbreaker imagine as well
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:52 PM
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True that. All of the individualized approaches mean, though, that there's no hope of building a unified vision.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:31 PM
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Actually there is hope but it may be a fractured unified vision - by that I mean three viewpoints that could be built around as three viable alternatives

one would be a combo of mine, yours and Chico - a US where they are starting to come back from the disaster but with challenges to go - i.e. having to overcome the Shogun in NV, getting the AZ forces to work with MilGov to drive the Mexicans out finally and then combine to go after the Shogun possibly - etc. - but one where HW and Kidnapped's drought never occurs

another would be the Mad Max version of the US , which is in many ways is a harsher version of the canon timeline that has Howling Wildnerness and Kidnapped in it - basically a dead country and not much left of anything organized above something like Bartertown

a third could be a straight canon approach, using all of the material in Challenge along with perhaps voting on what path to go forward from there

it would require something like an agreement on who is the person or persons controlling the canon in each one, who would have to create a "Bible" of sorts similar to what we are doing - i.e. a framework you can build that new variation on for others to contribute into
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:10 PM
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To be honest there are as many backgrounds as there are players. Fortunately we can all take good ideas from others.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:42 PM
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you are right James

even the canon isnt necessarily the canon for everyone - have heard of GM's who built whole campaigns without using Going Home for instance and just kept the US Army in Europe because that was more what they had in mind

or who start in the US with the Texas or NYC modules and never even have their players in Europe at all

and really in a lot of ways the canon is built to be modified and used as each GM wants to - even from the fact that there is no way any single group could ever play them all if you kept the timeline intact - you just cant be in every place at once (for one, unless you do what my GM did, you cant come home in Omega and play the Caribbean module - the timelines clash)

or go on Last Submarine and do Allegheny Uprising or the Ozarks module - again the timelines clash

thus really, short of the original authors coming back, any campaign by its very nature is completely individualistic and complete on its own
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:01 PM
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This thread is about Webstral's T2K-verse.

Any discussion of a "Unified Vision" of T2K is, by its very nature, extremely divisive. Most of the hurt feelings, acrimony, and ungliness that have occured here during the forum's history have stemmed from people opining on what should or should not be considered canon. It's really not for any of us to say. We don't need to bring any of that drama to Web's thread so please take this stuff to another discussion forum.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:56 PM
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In fairness, I brought up the idea of a unified Twilight: 2000 vision. I should know better, shouldn't I? Sigh. Thanks for playing good cop, Rae.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:03 PM
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While Im on the topic of Silver Shogunate, though, I had a good bad idea. The players go to great lengths to gather the best possible intelligence on the state of affairs in Nevada. They help the resistance develop plans for training and building their force as well as carrying the war to the Shogun. Perhaps an airship out of Colorado can make a drop of supplies out in the Nevada hinterlands. Then the Shogun makes common cause with Milgov. He gets to be governor-general of Nevada with Milgovs blessing in return for protecting road and rail traffic across Nevada. Some sort of system is worked out so that he has a certain latitude of action while effectively being enfeoffed to Milgov. The resistance doesnt go along with the new scheme, and the players are ordered to aid in the destruction of the resistance.

Sometimes, I'm not sure I like myself.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:17 AM
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Very very nice idea there Webstral about the Shogun allying with MilGov - very interesting - sort of making a deal with the devil in a way.

Oh and Raellus - didnt mean to be divisive in any way - just trying to address how hard it is to have any kind of unified vision of the game because of how individualistic each campaign can be - which by the way I think is one of the strengths of the game itself - and why it still has such a following years after the company issuing it folded.
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