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

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

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

Prison gangs:


Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs:


Political Radicals:


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


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


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

Author of Twilight 2000 adventure modules, Rook's Gambit and The Poisoned Chalice, the campaign sourcebook, Korean Peninsula, the gear-book, Baltic Boats, and the co-author of Tara Romaneasca, a campaign sourcebook for Romania, all available for purchase on DriveThruRPG:

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

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

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

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

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

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

American refugees.

Mexican military Waco, south to Brownsville.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For example:

The Magnolia Commonwealth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The British (or German) Army

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

The French

Again perhaps a little niche, but in my T2K Universe the French play a sort of behind the scenes meddling role, getting involved in things to try and destabilise potential future rivals. So maybe that Quebecois photo journalist that wants to ride along with your PC group really is from what’s left of Montreal. Or maybe she’s with the DGSE and is on some top secret mission on behalf of the French Government.
Author of the unofficial and strictly non canon Alternative Survivor’s Guide to the United Kingdom
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