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Old 01-30-2010, 03:16 PM
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Default Mercenaries in T2K: Thoughts and Questions

No, not Merc 2000.

I'm wondering what kinds of troops would be considered mercenaries in the Twilight War/WWIII c.2000, and what the Geneva conventions says about the treatment of captured mercenaries. (I doubt that most militaries/soldiers would bother to abide by most rules in the Geneva convention in the later years of the Twilight War).

Who/what is a mercenary in the context of T2K?

My take is that someone that is not fighting under the flag of their own nation but is part of an organized body of troops fighting for some recognized entity could be considered a mercenary. Would this extend to soldiers of who have become part of an allied nation's military? For example, a British soldier serving in a U.S. unit? I'm thinking "no" on that one.

Foreign troops serving in the Marquis of Silesia or the "Baron" Czarny would probably be considered mercenaries, although you could just as easily consider them mercenaries, I suppose.

There's probably a very fine line between marauder and mercenary. It'd probably be up to the their enemies to decide. I figure that just about every nation's military in 2000 would summarily execute captured marauders, or perhaps put them to work as de facto slave laborers. Would mercenaries earn the same?

How about NATO troops serving in some Polish militia somewhere? Would they be considered mercenaries? Does it depend on why they're doing it? Are they a mercenary if they serve for room and board but not if they are fighting for idealogical reasons?

I'm thinking of the Rhodesian Selous Scouts. A lot of them, or so I've read, where from foreign militaries. Ex-Wehrmacht and Waffen SS men, Vietnam Vets, former British/Commonwealth soldiers, etc. Where they considered mercenaries or naturalized Rhodesian soldiers?

I'm toying with the idea of a unit fighting for- or alongside- the forces of the Polish Free Congress in the winter of 2000 (post Omega). It's made up of troops from just about every belligerent nation, but mostly NATO SF types- Germans who love to fight or hate communism/Russians, U.S. operators who didn't want to "abandon" the Poles to Soviet domination, Brits, Danes, Canadians, Poles, ex-Soviet troops... you name it. Some of them are just born warriors, some are idealists, some are nutters. They just can't imagine a world where they're not in the thick of the fight. I'm going to call this unit the 1st Inter-Allied Commando. It's about company strength. Technically, they are not under NATO control. They work for the PFC but have a great deal of autonomy in how they operate. Frankly, the PFC are a bit frightened of them and tend to stay out of their way.

I figure that most everyone would consider this group as mercenaries.

I'm interested in your answers to any of the questions I've posed above or just your general take on mercenaries in T2K.
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Old 01-30-2010, 03:55 PM
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Marauders are a band who may or may not be military in origin. They do not follow any laws, nor do they follow a nation or higher command other than their groups leader.

Mercanaries; these guys most likely will follow some rules of war. They may operate as a legitimate fforce and be subject to the control of a patron be it a community, general, government or what have you, or even who is paying them. They also probably follow a contract as well. They have a chain of command and a organization structure. After all mercanaries are probably professionals who maintain their proffessional demenor and standards whereas a marauder band most likely wouldn't.

Marauders would conduct illegal activities on all levels. Mercs would probably not be involved in many illegal activities.
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:01 PM
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Considering the state of the world after July of 2000 with the breakdown of nations, the lack of government control (or ability to project that control),everyone trying to survive in the ruins of the world, I don't think anyone will actually care if someone is a mercenary or not. The attitude will probably be, "Who the hell can afford to be a mercenary because nobody has anything to pay them with".

The world has broken down to a situation where the government/authority/local warlord etc. etc. really only controls those lands they can actually deploy troops to. Very much like the city-states & local barons etc. etc. during the medieval era as mentioned by people in other threads. National borders are all but abandoned because nations as such just don't exist anymore. There are some areas here and there under the control of military or civilian remnants of the former nation but other areas are too devastated or too far to be worth controlling. Plus there's zones of poison/radiation, zones where it's a free-for-all fight for whatever is left inside - this all makes a patchwork of territories that would be fought over or fought through but leaving plenty of places for people or groups to hide out, travel through, go scavenging and so on.

I think in this environment, mercenaries can most definitely exist but in the sense of the Freelance Companies of the medieval era. Aside from the remnants of a nations military, these 'Freelancers' would probably be one of the few organized and competent (probably) military groups left and they just happen to hire themselves out to whoever could pay rather than support any one government/warlord etc. etc.

I don't think there'd be any government of significant power to prevent such groups from organizing let alone enforce any edicts about whether mercenaries should be considered marauders or not even if some of those mercenray groups take a few turns at being brigands or are hired by marauders. That also leaves open the classic scam by the robber barons and some mercenary companies in the medieval age - disguising themselves as brigands, attacking a town/travellers and then showing up a short time later to offer their services as protectors. Not only do they get some loot, they then get paid for some easy 'protection' duty for a threat that doesn't actually exist anymore.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:45 PM
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The NATO special forces troops fighting for the King of Norway in the module Boomer could be considered mercenaries I suppose. They are kind of like the French Foreign Legion. I'm not sure if the Legion would be considered mercenaries though. Opinions are likely to differ on that point.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:56 PM
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Default Jericho

What about PMc troops roaming the US, originally hired by the government like jericho. They could be trying to help or hurt or just survive depending on your level of gov control.

Hopefully they look scarier than D.B. Sweeney though
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:15 AM
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Wouldn't many be considered deserters?
I can't see any role for mercenaries in areas near military units without at least a little bad blood being generated and the MP's probably set on the mercs tails.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:10 AM
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I guess the big question need to settle is whether we are talking about mercenaries as individuals or mercenary organizations.

I think that mercenaries in TW2000 are essentially any hired guns, any deserters, any separated soldiers that hire on to fight for pay, rather than because they are part of a political force or are employees of a economic force.

If you are hired to guard a farm from looters, scavengers and theives, you are the landlord's employee, a soldier for hire, and thus a mercenary. Do you have any loyalty beyond the next paycheck? Maybe not. Could you ultimately give up any thought of moving on to another organization and settle into the community that has grown up around the farm? Maybe. And if you did, you wouldn't really be a mercenary any more because you'd have a stake in the community.

Sure, some mercenaries are politically motivated, perhaps working for less because they are supporting a cause they believe in. But until they develop a real stake in the outcome above and beyond their paycheck, they are still mercenaries.

I think Jester's description drawing a bright line between marauder and mercenary is incorrect, particularly with marauders that started off as military units. At first desertion and living by stealing and looting looks attractive. Ultimately though the picking may be thinner than they imagined when Cpl. Ivanov suggested that we shoot the Captain and the Commissar and strike off on our own. Perhaps they don't have the strength to take on the communities in the area. Okay, looks like it's time to join a bigger group. The marauders could end up joining the armies of places like the Margraff of Silesia or the Free City of Krakow. At least they'd have a warm bed, food, and ammo and spare parts when they need it, even if they have to submit themselves again to military discipline. Until they settle in and decide they are really part of this larger force, they remain mercenaries.

And if they get tired, or over-confident, or see a chance to steal a bunch of gear and go out on their own again, they stop being mercenaries and return to being marauders.

Obviously any military unit looking to re-absorb "stragglers" or other "separated soldiers" would do well to break the group up so that they cannot retain the old group's cohesion and chain of command. Otherwise the former deserters/stragglers might work together to cause trouble.

A lot of the time the only thing that separates mercenaries and marauders will be whether they have someone to work for or not. Their behaviors will only be regulated by the priorities assigned by their paymaster. If the boss says "Take control of the village without killing off the labor force or raping all the women," then (if discipline can be maintained) that is what they will do. If the paymaster says "Take any women you see as a bonus," then it would be up to the character of the mercenaries and their leader as to whether or not that would happen. The only reason they might lay off such barbarous activity in the first instance is that they want to keep their employer happy and keep the pay coming.

Which raises a second question: What currency do you use to pay mercenaries in Twilight 2000?

If you are the free city of Krakow you can pay in that Krakow script. Maybe you use a currency that belongs to an un-collapsed government, like France, Switzerland or Sweden. Of course it's no good unless you can get to those places to spend it. Do you barter? Weapons? Ammo? Fuel? Medicine? Food?

If you barter away too much weapons and ammo do the mercenaries turn on you, and rob you of the stash you were paying them out of?

Do you barter luxury goods? A hot shower? Access to the town dentist? If you think men will kill for credit at the town's bordello, you should see what they'll do to get an abscessed tooth removed.

But finally there is the question of pre-war private military contractors (PMC). In my TW2000 campaign I imagined that South Africa's Executive Outcomes (EO) is not disbanded in 1998 and continues to operate throughout Africa, taking jobs from the South African government, the French, and whatever group can pay their rates. These guys had a reputation for good discipline and above board behavior, unlike some of the white mercenaries who fought in Rhodesia and the other African anti-colonial wars of the 1950s and 1960s. I don't imagine EO turning into another marauder band when things fall apart, but if they got marooned somewhere, like Equitorial Guinea or some such flyspeck, I can see them turning warlord: setting up a military dictatorship to manage the area if there is no other effective government. Perhaps taking control of the area so they can gather enough resources to return to South Africa.

As for other PMCs operating in the TW2000 world... there are a few others.

Sandine International predate the Twilight War, as does Military Professional Resources Inc,, but others like Blackwater weren't founded at such a time that they could participate in the TW2000 timeline. But both Sandine and PMR are set up to train foreign officers and create the infrastructure whereby a new nation (like Bosnia or Croatia) can create their own Department of Defense and military training program to create their own national army. They do not execute commando raids or field mechanized military units. Still, MPR did a great deal of work in the Balkans in the 1990s... maybe they are fighting side by side with NATO forces by the time the Twilight War is in full swing?

Something as big as Blackwater Security (or Xe Services) could exist in the TW2000 timeline if the company was set up to cover troop assignments that the DoD doesn't want to cover. Like maybe guarding the Panama Canal zone while US forces there are transferred out to the fronts in Europe, the Persian Gulf or Korea. But with the draft on, i have a hard time imagining that the Pentagon isn't going to be able to find the warm bodies to fill the uniforms

Bottom line... as authority disintegrates, whole military units could turn mercenary, selling their services to whomever can ensure a flow of arms, food and medicine to keep the unit from falling apart. In fact, command and control may be so shaky in some units that local commanders will refuse to obey orders unless higher command can provide them with extra supplies before the battle. Issuing orders might be more like negotiating with an independent than typical military discipline would demand. Does that make them mercenaries?

But again, I just don't think there will be very many pre-war PMCs acting as coherent military units. EO was the only one I'm aware of that fielded anything like a company strength force. But mercenary units could be created out of the isolated scraps of the national armies scattered around the globe. In fact, declaring yourself a mercenary company might look better than just being a gang of deserters. You might not be shot on sight, not unless the army that you deserted from catch up to you. Even then, if you've got enough men and guns, the authorities might have to tread pretty carefully around you. Especially if you've settled into a productive area and kept it free of marauders. What are they going to do? Have a huge battle that burns up both sides' resources, leaves piles of trained soldiers dead and wounded and opens the area up to raids form marauders?

A. Scott Glancy, President TCCorp, dba Pagan Publishing
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
The attitude will probably be, "Who the hell can afford to be a mercenary because nobody has anything to pay them with".
Well, everybody needs something. Getting paid as a TW2000 mercenary may be not much more than enough ammo to keep the mags full, enough food to keep the men full, and enough shelter to keep them dry and warm. As for currency... well, there won't be much of that. Even if countries like France, Switzerland and Sweden, which are pretty well set after the Twilight War wanted to pay mercenaries, it wouldn't likely be in currency. It might be in manufactured goods. Machine parts. Tires. Engine lubricants. It might even be in an offer of citizenship. France, Switzerland and Sweden all have an interest in keeping refugees out. Imagine them offering citizenship to any mercenaries willing to camp out just outside their national border for say, four years, and in exchange for food, ammo and medical care, chase any refugees away. National troops might balk at shooting hungry desperate civilians, but tired, desperate mercenaries might not. Do that for a few years and you earn your citizenship in a place that has hot water and electricity.

Drawback to this plan, of course, is that at some point these governments might be bankrolling an army that will invade when they've built up enough manpower and supplies... much like what happened with the Romans allowed some of the German tribes to settle of the frontier in order to keep other waves of barbarians out.

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Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
I think in this environment, mercenaries can most definitely exist but in the sense of the Freelance Companies of the medieval era. Aside from the remnants of a nations military, these 'Freelancers' would probably be one of the few organized and competent (probably) military groups left and they just happen to hire themselves out to whoever could pay rather than support any one government/warlord etc. etc.
That's pretty much exactly what I was thinking.

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I don't think there'd be any government of significant power to prevent such groups from organizing let alone enforce any edicts about whether mercenaries should be considered marauders or not even if some of those mercenray groups take a few turns at being brigands or are hired by marauders.
I agree to a point, but some areas might have the power and organization to keep an independent organized military unit out. For instance, the MilGov enclave in Colorado. Do you really think that MilGov forces would permit a motorized (or otherwise) military unit of more than platoon strength to wander around MilGov territory, armed up as well as anything MilGov can field, but having no allegiance to MilGov? Unless this group comes with the highest possible recommendations from other MilGov enclaves, such a group is going to be seen as a threat to be neutralized.

Same thing with the Free City of Krakow. They would never let such a group inside the city defenses... but are they going to spend a bunch of blood and treasure going out there to disarm or arrest them. Hell no.

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Originally Posted by StainlessSteelCynic View Post
That also leaves open the classic scam by the robber barons and some mercenary companies in the medieval age - disguising themselves as brigands, attacking a town/travellers and then showing up a short time later to offer their services as protectors. Not only do they get some loot, they then get paid for some easy 'protection' duty for a threat that doesn't actually exist anymore.
Oh that is brilliant. It's better than a classic protection scam because the locals don't resent the mercenaries' presence. Hell, they might even be grateful! And if they are particularly sleazy, when a real threat shows up they can just take off and leave the locals in the lurch!

A. Scott Glancy, President TCCorp, dba Pagan Publishing

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Old 01-31-2010, 05:36 AM
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Just to expand on my last post, there may be a role for civilian contractors / mercenaries in rear areas, but on the front lines of a full scale war? I don't believe so.

Happy to be proven wrong though....
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:48 AM
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The difference between marauders and mercenaries is a lot like the difference between pirates and privateers ...
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:47 AM
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The role of mercs on the frontlines would be very useful!


In areas where a truce has been enacted, but the enemy is still the enemy, and more importantly trade or resources. So, all manner of dirty tricks and black ops could be done against one side or the other. And they would employ mercs since they are easily denied.

This could also be done to help destabilize new governments or just to combat them in guerilla war, raids, or whatever their method is to do them damage, keep them off balance and to undermine their ability to effectively control a region thus tipping the scale out of their balance.

And then we also have other blackbag operations like kidnapping, political assasinations, espianage, bribery and sabotauge.

And if the troops are proffessional whcih they would have to be to cary out some of those missions they can not be from the neighboring community for fear of opening up open warefare once more which could destroy all in the region as things escalate. But, troops who are trained, proffessional and not directly traceable to you are an asset.
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:33 PM
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The Black Baron in the Warsaw modules, he had 4 Companies or more what one would pass off as Mercenaries. The military force of the 14th Polish MRD in southern Poland, there was an Austrian 'Colonel' who commanded smaller infantry battalion made up of mercenaries that acted as the protection for the former Commander. In the Free City of Krakow there is Lt who commands a Platoon size element or so that protect the City Council....

With Mercenaries in T2K you really have to think outside of the box. Food, shelter, supplies, and fuel are as good as gold/money in keeping on service. Remember the basic means of life could be use to entice a force to stay loyal to community or militia commander.

Yes, many marauders have turned more or less mercenaries as they find towns they thought they could control for a while before moving on, to only stay. So yes the difference is very thin line.
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:50 PM
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The NATO special forces troops fighting for the King of Norway in the module Boomer could be considered mercenaries I suppose. They are kind of like the French Foreign Legion. I'm not sure if the Legion would be considered mercenaries though. Opinions are likely to differ on that point.
The Geneva Convention has a fairly detailed definition of what constitutes a mercenary.

http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebART/4...7?OpenDocument

As the French Foreign Legion is a recognised part of the French Army, its Legionaires are not defined as mercenaries under the Geneva Convention. It's the same for Gurkhas serving in either the British and or Indian Armies.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:29 PM
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The Geneva Convention has a fairly detailed definition of what constitutes a mercenary.

http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/WebART/4...7?OpenDocument
Thanks. I always wondered what the legal definition was. And boy, that definition pretty much spells out to me that in modern times mercenaries are to be treated under the local criminal code rather than the Geneva Convention's rules for prisoners of war. That could be very very ugly for anyone caught plying that trade. One can only suppose that these articles were written to actively discourage the use of mercenaries in military conflicts.

I don't suppose anyone can offer any informed commentary about the international consensus that led to the actively discouraging the use of mercenaries? I mean, I can think of some very good reasons why we don't want private armies controlled by corporations, especially when they might have the throw weight to take out small governments and create their own private kingdoms. There's enough trouble with criminal organizations and rebel groups doing that. But why was there such a consensus that military force shall only be wielded by recognized national entities?

Is it as simple as national governments wanting to keep their monopoly on force?

And by this definition I just realized something... all those international jihadists who come in from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnyia and Bosnia... they meet the definition under the Geneva convention for Mercenaries.

(a little cut & paste)

2. A mercenary is any person who:

(a) is specially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict;

(b) does, in fact, take a direct part in the hostilities;

(c) is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a Party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of that Party;

(d) is neither a national of a Party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a Party to the conflict;

(e) is not a member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict; and

(f) has not been sent by a State which is not a Party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces.


I'd be willing to bet that international Jihadists would claim that c) and d) do not apply to them.

They would claim d) does not appy because by being a Muslim they are automatically "a party" to any conflict where there are Muslims fighting because the "Umma" transcends national boundaries. This is a pretty weak arguement (imho) and probably wouldn't fly in court.

They would claim c) does not apply to them because I presume they would claim that their faith brought them here and they are not receiving any pay. This is baloney on a couple of levels. On a case by case basis, there have been plenty of examples of Jihadists receiving pay, but it is in no way universal. The families of Suicide Bombers often receive large stipends. In Afghanistan Pakistanis who aided the Taliban were extremely unpopular (and subject to be killed on sight during the Taliban's collapse) because the Taliban compensated them (in part) by giving them wives. Essentially girls kidnapped from villages, forcibly married (to legalize the impending rape) and then, when the Pakistanis left Afghanistan for home, these girls were often sold to brothers in the Waziristan border region. I mean, no point explaining to your family where you picked up this child bride when you return from fighting the good fight, right?

And then there are the Houris... the much rumored 72 virgins. If a Jihadist really believes he's going to get a pile of hotties in another dimension upon his death, does that could meet the definition of being "motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain."

However, it might not meet the definition of "material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of that Party," for two reasons.

1) Are Hotties in another dimension really "material compensation?"

2) Since even the locals who fight in Jihad are supposed to get the the 72 virgins, it wouldn't count as "substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of that Party."

To classify international Jihadists as mercenaries under this rule, you'd have to assess how much the international jihadists are being compensated and whether it is more than the locals are getting paid. But since the local insurgents are usually working for nothing in these conflicts, being instead motivated by politics, nationalism, tribal identity or religion, ANY pay would move an international Jihadist under the definition of mercenary.

Just some thoughts.

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Old 01-31-2010, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
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The role of mercs on the frontlines would be very useful!

In areas where a truce has been enacted, but the enemy is still the enemy, and more importantly trade or resources. So, all manner of dirty tricks and black ops could be done against one side or the other. And they would employ mercs since they are easily denied.

This could also be done to help destabilize new governments or just to combat them in guerilla war, raids, or whatever their method is to do them damage, keep them off balance and to undermine their ability to effectively control a region thus tipping the scale out of their balance.

And then we also have other black-bag operations like kidnapping, political assassinations, espionage, bribery and sabotage.

And if the troops are professional which they would have to be to carry out some of those missions they can not be from the neighboring community for fear of opening up open warfare once more which could destroy all in the region as things escalate. But, troops who are trained, professional and not directly traceable to you are an asset.
Pretty much everything you've listed here is the sort of stuff the intelligence agencies and special forces are supposed to do: screw with the enemy without drawing them into an open conflict. The remnants of NATO and WP forces wouldn't have any use for mercenaries doing these kinds of operations during the Twilight War because they've already got folks on the payroll who can do it. AND they are patriots and are not merely motivated by money, thus more likely to turn coat.

Maybe after things have really broken down, like post Summer 2000, maybe then mercenaries might be employed in front line actions. After all, the attrition rate is pretty high among special forces. It takes a lotta years to make one and only one second to unmake one. To perform the kind of missions you are talking about might require the use of mercenaries... which is probably where the players come in. I mean, TW:2000 works best when the players have some military discipline and order, but aren't having to be part of a larger unit that micro manages their every action. Players would rather come in, do a mission, and move on to the next place where they get to do the next mission, AND retain their independence.

Frankly, that sort of a set up is unlikely unless the players are playing a group of Post Apocalyptic mercenaries. I mean, if the players find a repairable M1 Abrahms Tank, and they are part of the 100th ID in Colorado, they are going to have to turn it over to higher command who will decide what to do with it. If the players are freelance, maybe they trade information on the whereabouts of the tank for something they need, like food or fuel. Or the players get all giddy about having their very own, fuel guzzling, maintenance hog to ride around in so they can feel just like Odd-Ball in Kelly's Heroes.

In any event, the players often want to feel as if they are in control of their own destiny. So playing mercenaries... even if they are patriotic mercenaries... more like privateers... would be a good fit.

Still, if I were refereeing I would have more than a few encounters where regular military officers treat them with suspicion or even outright hostility because they see the players are little more than deserters.

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Old 01-31-2010, 11:31 PM
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It just seems to me that the idea of a mercenary might become superfluous in T2K. Military forces don't need them -- you just put them in your own military forces. Marauders are basically predatory criminals, not mercenaries. Maybe if some town hires a bunch of armed people from outside you might be able to term them mercenaries. Or maybe just hired muscle.
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:02 AM
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Mercinaries, I was actualy thinking of the mercenary of old, such as durring the 100 years war and such, since that is what Europe would have devolved into, lots of independant cities, a return of the city state. With these cities siding with PACT or NATO or even declaring their own independance or as free cities such as Krakow. And it is in these instances when a non descript group who seems to be on no ones side would be useful, and deniable.

As for payment, return to subsistance, giving them room and board and a basic materials to do what they are assigned to. But also gfiving them a choice in spoils or a certain amount of whatever that area produces.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:17 AM
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Mercenaries, I was actually thinking of the mercenary of old, such as during the 100 years war and such, since that is what Europe would have devolved into, lots of independent cities, a return of the city state. With these cities siding with PACT or NATO or even declaring their own independence or as free cities such as Krakow. And it is in these instances when a non descript group who seems to be on no ones side would be useful, and deniable.
I agree with you on this. These regional powers may declare broadly for NATO or the WP, but their problems are going to be local ones and they are not going be able to count on the assistance of NATO or the WP to help solve them.

Someone earlier (stainlesssteelcynic) mentioned the "free companies" of the late middle ages. I think that's an excellent example. Check out the wikipedia listing for John Hawkwood.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hawkwood

While the remnants of NATO and the WP wouldn't necessarily have as many reasons to employ mercenaries, these semi-independent city-states would. While the remnants of the various national governments try to maintain control of their armies, local governments, strongmen and warlords are always going to be in the market for muscle. Sure it can come in the form of hiring individual deserters, stragglers, and marauders into your force, but if you need a big force for a big job, but don't want them hanging around afterwards eating you out of house and home, you hire a free company.

They go in, do the job, get paid, get lost.

Back to business as usual for your TW2K city state.

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Old 02-01-2010, 01:52 AM
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Is it a valid to assume Martial Law would exist in areas controlled by military forces?
If so, how are mercenaries dealt with? Are non-military personal allowed to carry firearms, drive vehicles (and thereby use fuel the military need), carry anything even vaguely related to combat?
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:19 AM
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Is it a valid to assume Martial Law would exist in areas controlled by military forces?
If so, how are mercenaries dealt with? Are non-military personal allowed to carry firearms, drive vehicles (and thereby use fuel the military need), carry anything even vaguely related to combat?
I think we'd have to assume that in many MilGov or CivGov (or really ANY government controlled areas) there are going to be serious restrictions on what folks who are not members of that government's armed forces can own.

Any resource the players have might be confiscated under some vague "emergency powers" proclamation. Small arms (in America, at least) would be difficult to round up. Too strong a cultural attachment. But if the players drive into town towing a 155mm howitzer, they may not get a chance to sell it to the army. It might just be "commandeered." That's what they call it when the lawful authorities steal from you.

The UK, Canada and (to my understanding) Australia have all enacted extremely limiting laws concerning personal firearms, but except in Australia (which didn't get pranged as bad as the other countries) I can't imagine the authorities being successful confiscating weapons. It would just cause unnecessary fighting at a time when everyone needs their guns to hunt and protect themselves.

Australia wouldn't be in the same position since their national government never collapsed and regional and local governments only temporarily failed and only small areas remain uncontrolled. As such, not everyone in Australia needed a firearm to make sure their bread crusts didn't get stolen by the Smegma Crazies and the Gay Boy Berzerkers. (extra points if you can cite the reference on those!)

But Canada, the UK and the USA are wrecked. Self defense is mandatory so, I can't imagine the governments trying to disarm the population completely.

Big military hardware like tanks or armored vehicles or artillery and mortar, and even belt-fed machine guns... sure, I can imagine the authorities confiscating them for official use only. Guys like Jacques Littlefieldhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Littlefield (who collects and restores tanks and armored vehicles) are going to be very sad when MilGov shows up and makes off with their museum pieces... so long as they still run.

I think that any "Free Company" is going to have to camp outside the castle walls, both literally and figuratively, or face being disarmed and their vehicles and equipment confiscated. Choosing to be in a free company is going to be a hard road. While people may need your services, they are going to covet your gear and fear you. So most arrangements are going to be exectuted at arm's length.

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Old 02-01-2010, 02:36 AM
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Even though the government here enacted some pretty draconian laws, there are still sizable numbers of decent military weapons out there in the country. I myself know of a couple of unregistered private arsenals which would definately remain out of the hands of the authorities.

Urban firearm ownership has never been particularly high here and pistols are especially scarce. Bolt action and single shot weapons are relatively common in the country (farmers usually need something to put down sick animals or control vermin), but semi-autos with a mag of greater than 5 rounds (I think) are very hard to come by. This is not to say they don't exist - as mentioned previously, many owners did not declare and hand them in when they were made illegal about 12-13 years back.

Which makes me think as I wrote that - war had been raging for a while when that law was passed. Perhaps in the T2K timeline the restrictions were not applied and anything less than fully auto was still legal? Right up until martial law was declared in an area of course....

What other laws in other countries may or may not have been passed?
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by sglancy12 View Post
The UK, Canada and (to my understanding) Australia have all enacted extremely limiting laws concerning personal firearms, but except in Australia (which didn't get pranged as bad as the other countries) I can't imagine the authorities being successful confiscating weapons. It would just cause unnecessary fighting at a time when everyone needs their guns to hunt and protect themselves.

Australia wouldn't be in the same position since their national government never collapsed and regional and local governments only temporarily failed and only small areas remain uncontrolled. As such, not everyone in Australia needed a firearm to make sure their bread crusts didn't get stolen by the Smegma Crazies and the Gay Boy Berzerkers. (extra points if you can cite the reference on those!)
Australia didn't get hit as hard in the anti-gun hysteria as the UK and Canada but we did get hit with a more insidious form of it. The anti-gun crowd here have not tried to get all guns banned at once, they have been doing it in bits and pieces and reducing what firearms you can own over the course of years. Their ultimate goal is obviously reducing us to a point where nobody owns firearms... oh except for the criminals who don't actually buy them from legitimate sources.

We're going to need those firearms to fight of those Smegma Crazies and Gay Boy Beserkers when we need to protect our guzzaline... Mad Max won't be there to save us (specifically, those gangs are from Mad Max 2)

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But Canada, the UK and the USA are wrecked. Self defense is mandatory so, I can't imagine the governments trying to disarm the population completely.
I think also that most people in those countries would lie about still possessing firearms, claiming they were looted or damaged etc. etc. rather than hand over their few protective items to a "government" that can't really demonstrate that it can protect them.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:56 AM
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Even though the government here enacted some pretty draconian laws, there are still sizable numbers of decent military weapons out there in the country. I myself know of a couple of unregistered private arsenals which would definately remain out of the hands of the authorities.
Yes. An amazing number of banned weapons were declared "stolen" when the really tough bans came in in Australia. In most of those cases "stolen" actually meant carefully packed away and buried by their owners.
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:00 AM
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This is not to say they don't exist - as mentioned previously, many owners did not declare and hand them in when they were made illegal about 12-13 years back.

Which makes me think as I wrote that - war had been raging for a while when that law was passed. Perhaps in the T2K timeline the restrictions were not applied and anything less than fully auto was still legal? Right up until martial law was declared in an area of course....
My understanding is that the giant gun control kick off in Australia happened right after the Port Arthur Massacre... which was on April 28 1996! In the canon time line that's dead smack in the middle of the Sino-Soviet War. By October 5, 1996 you've got the Germany Reunification crisis! So maybe with the looming threat of global war and a global economic meltdown, Australian voters are not in that big a hurry to disarm themselves?

I think I'd be willing to add something to my timeline to say that Australia didn't disarm in the late nineties. At least not to the extent that it has. Personally I think that Australia will hold together better with a legally armed populace than without one post Twilight War, even if they are not a direct target for nukes. An armed populace combined with a functional, popular and elected government authority will keep the hooliganism to a minimum.


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Old 02-01-2010, 03:04 AM
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We're going to need those firearms to fight of those Smegma Crazies and Gay Boy Beserkers when we need to protect our guzzaline... Mad Max won't be there to save us (specifically, those gangs are from Mad Max 2)
Of course the Australian gets it first. I should have asked the question while you guys were asleep just to give my fellow Americans a fair chance at answering it first.

And nice to see you called the movie by it's proper name too.

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Old 02-01-2010, 03:06 AM
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My understanding is that the giant gun control kick off in Australia happened right after the Port Arthur Massacre... which was on April 28 1996! In the canon time line that's dead smack in the middle of the Sino-Soviet War. By October 5, 1996 you've got the Germany Reunification crisis! So maybe with the looming threat of global war and a global economic meltdown, Australian voters are not in that big a hurry to disarm themselves?
I agree but as Leg said earlier there has never been a high rate of firearm ownership in Australia's urban areas.

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I think I'd be willing to add something to my timeline to say that Australia didn't disarm in the late nineties. At least not to the extent that it has. Personally I think that Australia will hold together better with a legally armed populace than without one post Twilight War, even if they are not a direct target for nukes. An armed populace combined with a functional, popular and elected government authority will keep the hooliganism to a minimum.
I agree here too. Basically it means you would still have sizeable numbers of pump action shotguns and semi automatic rifles in rural areas, and more handguns in urban areas than IRL.
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:29 AM
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Personally I think that with the state of the world in the Twilight setting, it's unlikely that the events leading to the gun buyback in Australia would have occured and most firearms owners would still have their legitimately purchased items.
As for more handguns in the urban areas, I would disagree. I don't think the government, even with the state of the world, would condone more handguns simply because it would take some time (or something truly drastic) to convince them to allow the public to have a concealable weapon.
Most urban firearms owners in Australia had rifles or shotguns because generally it was a lot harder to qualify for a handgun.

The other thing to consider with this is that while many rural folk had a rifle or two and a shotgun, many urban firearms owners had many more than this - in New South Wales it wasn't at all unusual for an individual to own from 5-20rifles and shotguns. Queensland and New South Wales had very few limits on ownership and the vast majority of unlicenced firearms in the rest of Australia came from these two states. Queensland in particular did a booming trade in guns for marijuana with Papua New Guineans fighting against the Indonesian occupation forces in Western New Guinea (the Indonesians formerly called it Irian Jaya) up until the mid-1990s (i.e. the gun buyback time).

It's also worth noting that Queensland and Tasmania allowed the ownership of various semi-auto military style rifles such as the AR-15, SKS, M1 Carbine, civilian versions of the G3, HK33 & M14 and also the L1A1. This may have also been true for some other states like Victoria but Queensland & Tasmania are the only ones I'm sure of.
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:47 AM
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Even though NSW allowed semi-auto military weapons, it did not allow crossbows and inflicted very harsh penalties upon those found with so much as a bolt or string in their possession...

Bows on the other hand were totally uncontrolled.

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Old 02-01-2010, 03:58 AM
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Okay, nice segway into Australian Firearms ownership... AND it's not completely off topic, but let's try and ease this thread back onto the topic of Mercenaries in the post Twilight War world.

I don't want to derail the thread.

Having said that, how did you guys have the authorities treat groups of players who were running around tooled up like panzergrenadiers? As a threat? As a new source of draftees? As a God send? All of the above?

I see the PACT authorities under the influence of the Soviets being much more inflexible when it comes to dealing with their ex-soldiers. You are either deserters to be shot or you are stragglers who better try and look happy to be back under the banner of the Red Army.

Also, if some ex-NATO guys rolled up on some PACT loyalists, I doubt very much if the Comrades are going to listen to the part about how you're not in the enemy army anymore. Maybe if the Soviet commander has already seen to it that his Commissar's been fragged, he might be more reasonable.

In Communist/Soviet controlled areas, I'm expecting the Commissars to be doing a lot of dumb totalitarian things... not just taking all the spare parts, lubricant, refined fuel and working vehicles, but maybe even "requisitioning" 1/2 the village's ammo supply "to support the glorious People's Red Army!"

Or worse, demanding that the locals use more and more of their food crop to distill more and more fuel for the authorities vehicles... perhaps bringing the area to the edge of famine.

And what about your players? how have your players reacted when the ran across another group of heavily armed "detached" soldiers? Do they seem them as kindred spirits or do they see them as marauders? How do they approach each other? Do they even try to talk or do they just start shooting?

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Old 02-01-2010, 04:09 AM
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In my experience players tend to shoot first and strip the bodies later....
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