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Old 08-08-2009, 04:20 AM
Littlearmies Littlearmies is offline
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Default Western Scotland In T2K

The thread "The moments before the beginning of The Twilight Age" (http://forum.juhlin.com/showthread.php?t=1094) started me thinking about Western Scotland in T2K. The "Survivors Guide To The UK" was blessedly vague about the Highlands & Islands of Scotland so we have a pretty free hand.

At the moment these thoughts are fairly random but I can't help thinking that Western Scotland will come out of T2K relatively well - life won't be a picnic but it won't be as bad as many other places.

My rationale for this is that the current economy of Western Scotland is based on forestry, tourism, agriculture and fishing - the current population of much of Western Scotland is actually below it's historic highs (Mull for instance has a current population of just under 3,000 compared to 10,000 in the 1750's). Many of these communities are literally on the periphery of Europe and are used to a fairly harsh life by modern standards - they already have agriculture and fishing industries in place along with service industries to support them.

There would be a period of harsh adjustment within the economy of each island community as they adjusted to the loss of much contact with the mainland - farmers would need to boost production of vegetable crops (they are missing now from many areas, not because they won't grow, but because sheep were more profitable), fishing could come back now that EU quotas were a thing of the past (although converting the boats from diesel or finding fuel would be a big problem) and forestry could provide ample quantities of solid fuel for heating and cooking (as could peat cutting).

The really good news is that places like Bruichladdich could continue (local barley and malt production, ample storage facilities, non-computerised Victorian production processes) - you could imagine the trade routes developing from Islay to the mainland via small coasters...Of course such trade routes could also include trips to Ireland (which isn't far by sea from Western Scotland) and further afield - after all these would be high value cargoes that would be highly sought after....

And even Targan could find something to make him feel at home:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wil...sh-island.html

Malcolm
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:50 AM
simonmark6 simonmark6 is offline
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That's interesting stuff, I think that if the aea was lucky, that it could be in a position to do well. The problems would be twofold in my opinion, the first will be that in many of these locations, those with the old skills are, well, old, in the first year or so when the transition to full sustainability is going on, lots of the old skill would be at risk of being lost as the old-timers will suffer more from the privations than others.

This could be excellent from a gaming point of view as a group of PCs need to sneak into hostile territory to get the insulin that will keep an old timer alive long enough to pass their skills on.

The second major problem would be refugees. Now the islands would be relatively safe from this, but if enough mainland communities get swamped by refugees, survival will be precarious.

Still, as long as you get the back story right, you could be in buisness. The fact that the nuclear exchange that would cause the most refugees would be in winter and the Scottish terrain and climate would reduce how far ill-fed, poorly equipped refugees might be able to get on foot might well save the communities you are talking about.

It might be interesting to draw some zones of destruction out, anywhere within a radius of one hundred miles of a major city or group of big industrial towns would be devestated, the next fifty miles would suffer say a seventy-five per cent chance of having communities go under, with a break point of if eighty per cent of towns and villages go under the region collapses. Then the next fifty miles could have a fifty per cent chance of survival with the rest of the region having a seventy-five per cent chance of staying funcional as a community.

The ranges and percentages could be fiddled with, but if you wanted to use the region as a gaming environment, it would give you a quick way of establishing what was left. If you're just using it as background colour, you can do exactly what you like with it.
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Old 08-09-2009, 01:36 PM
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Malcolm, I agree 100% that the isolated communities in the Highlands and Islands would certainly be one of the best places to be in the UK in T2K. I'm not even sure that refugees would be a major problem. Potentially the biggest influx of refugees into the area would be likely to come from Glasgow. However, private car onwership in Glasgow is amongst the lowest in the UK (according to Strathclyde Uni in 2004 there were only 160,000 registered car owners citywide out of a population of over half a million). Therefore I'd think it's highly likely that a lot of people would have trouble evacuating the City to head north; those that did try to get out on foot would potentially have to deal with winter, disease, etc as they moved through relatively rural areas, so I think exposure to the elements would prove fatal to many as Simonmark has stated (personally I think that any most people going out of Glasgow would head south into Ayrshire, which would lead to a huge amount of tension in that area as refugees clash with locals).

I could see the emergence of certain towns as regional centres operating totally independently of any form of central Government - Fort William for sure, possibly Oban as well. I think it's fairly likely that people would come to these towns from far and near to trade with each other. I also think that it's possible that these towns would be able to raise self defence forces who could well be armed with shotguns and hunting rifles (which are likely to be more readly available in rural areas) plus the occasional MP5 SMG taken from police stocks (chances are that local police officers would be the core of these forces). They would be able to easily deal with any threat posed by refugee groups who do manage to make it that far north. Inverness would probably also do OK; as well as the chance of some troops being stationed at Fort George, it has two RAF bases near by that could help with providing local security.

Another thing to consider would be the clan system. It's probable that in some areas the clan chief would still be the main landowner in the area and would have a great deal of influence within the community (a while ago I did some brief work on an adventure that would have taken the PC's on a mission to recover the Honours of Scotland, the Scottish equivalent of the Crown Jewels. The adventure would have taken them to Fort William and then on to Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye, seat of the Clan MacLeod for nearly 800 years, where they would have met the Macleod of MacLeod).

Cheers

Dave
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:04 AM
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Mohoender Mohoender is offline
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Interesting thought that you have here, especially as you know the area very well. Nevertheless, I came up with similar ideas for my campaign and the highlands are a good place to be.

Marauders are long gone since they were hunted down by the various clans. In addition, as clans are ruling over certain areas, they also provide some kind of stability.

The main problem of the people overthere comes from the fact that the weather is harsher than today. However, limted electricity is available and there are plenty of alcohol to run a number of vehicules.

The reason certainly comes from the fact that the highlands certainly are the area of the world I prefer.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:18 PM
Littlearmies Littlearmies is offline
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What appealed to me was that there are probably enough differences between the islands for survival to take very different forms from island to island. It would be an area where you could run something akin to a "Free Trader" campaign (a la Traveller) using a Puffer (I also found an interesting ship based in Rosyth in the 1990's that a GM could get going again - http://www.maritimesteamrestorationt...l_history.html ) or some other vessel.

Although canon says HMG have abandoned Scotland you could well have some units left up there. There were RAF personnel at several of the RAF bases on the West Coast (obviously) but also Royal Marines and US Navy Seals at Machrihanish - indeed you could have something more exotic up there if you wished:

http://www.dreamlandresort.com/black...hrihanish.html

I think Islay could come out pretty well - they already have arable farming, ample stocks of Scotch that would be a useful trade good (and obviously ample stills for production of fuel) and some fishing boats. The climate there is relatively favourable thanks to the Gulf Stream - it wouldn't be paradise but better than most places.

Other islands could be much harsher - and I think anywhere on the mainland would have a huge influx of refugees to contend with. I think Oban and Ullapool could be pretty rough places to live. And I've alway found Glencoe pretty creepy even on the sunniest of days (never trust a Campbell!). On the other hand some of those Scottish peninsulas are pretty isolated today so you would need to be a pretty determined refugee to make it all the way out to some parts of the coast.

Re Fort William - I would think that both Fort William and Inverness would become pretty strategic places to control as holding them would mean that small vessels could transit the Caledonian Canal - you could have waterborne operations on Loch Ness patrolling for marauders etc.

Last edited by Littlearmies; 08-10-2009 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:34 PM
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I think you have some great ideas for a campaign there.

Machrihanish is a GM's dream...you really could use it as the justification for encountering all sorts of strange NPC's, not to mention the possibility of having an Aurora (or similar) located there. Thanks for the link, I hadn't seen that before.

Interesting that you mention Rosyth...I was actually born and brought up about three miles from there. I'm going from memory but I don't think Rosyth was a nuclear target in canon? I also don't recall Faslane being targetted (never quite figured out how GDW managed to leave all the major RN bases in the UK off their list unless you go with the theory that they got hit by weapons of less than 0.5mt). I could be wrong of course...my pdf copy of the Survivor's Guide to the UK is on my old PC so I can't check at the moment.
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:24 PM
Littlearmies Littlearmies is offline
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The only Scottish targets listed were Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Grangemouth. I can't really see any justification for whacking Dundee (although personally I think it's a fairly ugly city so deserves to go on aesthetic grounds perhaps....).

Now I have to say that I'd have added Faslane (and RNAD Coulport) to that list without a seconds hesitation. Rosyth probably and my other choices would have certainly included Kinloss (a quick way to knock out Britain's airborne ASW capability).

Perhaps they were hit by small MIRVs or (in the case of Kinloss) conventional SLCMs?
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