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Old 09-10-2008, 04:16 AM
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Default The Alaskan Theater of Operations and More

Hangfire7 08-23-2008, 11:01 PM I thought I would add a post or two about our game and take a break from politics and coporate control and such.


I am working on starting a new play by chat campaign. I have contacted two of my former players, and one new player has expressed interest. I could do with one or two more players max.


I am wondering about operations in Siberia by allied forces. Most likely I would think Americans and Canadians who would conduct raids on the Russian Islands off Siberia and Siberia propper. Raids akin to what the British Comandos did in Norway and France in WWII, or what the Marines did in Maikin Island or raids attacking the German weather stations in the North Atlantic.


I am thinking someone like Rangers or Marines, this would be up their alley. Attacking key instillations that provide support to Russian forces operating in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. As well as facilities giving general support to the infrastructure, economy or just providing the basics like fishing fleets as well as military targets to Russians operating in the North Pacific and Arctic.


I mean there would be some juicy targets that would be signifigant beyond the moral blow and forcing Ivan to divert assets from combat operations to local security operations. Some of the targets off the top of my head.


Fishing fleets, storage and processing facilities. Stores of fish which is high protien easily preserved would be vital to persons who are more or less on their own in Siberia. As well as eliminating its use as a trade item. Coupled with fish oil which would be important, and damaging the fleet, forcing them to use resources to repair or rebiuld the vessels and reducing their capacity, and a benefit reducing the competition between the Russian and US fishing fleets. And reducing the intelligence ability of said fleets, after all a fishing boat sees military activity that gets reported, they are a credible intel source.


Naval facitlities, damaging docks, ports and repair facilties, reducing Ivans ability to keep his vessels at sea, what type of damage would befall Ivan if their ice breaker for the area was sent to the bottom?


Weather Stations? blind them as far as weather goes and they will have serious problems.


Alternate air fields? Damage an airfield for pilots who have planes in distress and can't make it to their home airfield? Well if it cracks up or has to ditch at sea then their is one less aircraft that can be brought back into action.


Primary airfields, a lightening raid could damage assets and aircraft.


Port Facilities, scuttle a ship at the mouth of the harbor before winter sets in and you have shut down the port, kept them from getting troops out or supplies in or forcing them to take the time and energy to transport them to a place where they can get them on a ship.


Anyhow, those are some of the ideas I have as the mission(s) for such a group.


As stated I am thinking this sort of thing would be a job for Marines or Rangers with som naval personel involved.


So, does anyone have any suggestions, input or ideas for this sort of campaign?


thanks


Jess

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Mohoender 08-23-2008, 11:31 PM I find that to be a very intersting idea indeed and I would add three suggestions.


First, you can also assault some ressources asset. They had oil rigs on the Sakhaline island and some mean to bring that back on their mainland. You can also disrupt some other type of ressources exploitation.


Second, they have I think a well developped surveillance network that needs to be disrupted.


Third, they have a sea route that goes north of Russia, running all the way from Kamchatka to Archangelsk. It is a tricky route (ice blocked most of the time) but a very useful one for them in case of war. The ports along this route are tiny by the usual standards but they will be valuable in case of war.

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Neal5x5 08-24-2008, 12:09 AM I'm currently running a campaing set in Alaska and here's what we've discovered so far.


Alaska is really damn big and there isn't a whole lot of people. I know that sounds pretty rudimentary, but it presents some interesting challenges in gameplay. For one, any action except those against an enemy immediately nearby will require travelling dozens, if not hundreds, of klicks, so carrying fuel is a big deal. In my campaign, the players brew fuel about twice as often as they have a violent encounter.


The second thing I've found is that a small group (such as the players) can have an impact on events way outside what a group in Europe or elsewhere can have. For example, there's only a few major ways to get to Fairbanks from the coast and if you hold a particular junction (such as Tetlin Junction), you impact hundreds of square miles along that road. Drop a bridge or hold a strategic mountain pass, and you can isolate a vast territory.


The lack of people leads to oversized importance to settlements and fortresses. If the heroes want to trade or get mechanical goods, they have to go someplace where there are people, and there's not a whole lot of those and they are usually at a road junction (see the paragraph above).


Travel by water along the coast is a whole lot easier than making a 500k drive along a lonely highway. But, it's also got some dangers. If you want a good example, watch the Discovery Channel TV show, The Most Dangerous Catch. In my campaign, storms are as big a threat as the Russians and the players learned pretty quick that they were better off facing an armed enemy than a pissed off Mother Nature.


Just a few thoughts.

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Hangfire7 08-24-2008, 12:31 AM I actualy do watch Deadliest Catch often, and I have run a capaign in Alaska, Arctic Warriors on the yahoo groups, that was in 2000 when I ran it. As for distance, that is quite correct, and the PCs made freinds with some natives who had returned to the old ways somewhat. So, they had the help of local guides and dogs and sleds. They also worked on skiis. But, the Russians had occupied the towns and had requisitioned the locals snow mobiles which proved to be rather bothersome for the party.


I had a new PC join the group who played the lone survivor of a Coast Guard vessel which was forced into the rocks by a heavier armed Russian vessel and blew it to pieces. He survived and escaped capture and was turned over to the PCs by freindly locals who hid him. He also had vital intel for the PCs giving them an idea of the size of the bad guys. And he confirmed the partys mission since they had been sent to the area after a Coast Guard vessel went missing and the entire area lost contact. So the party, along with a few other teams were assembled to scout for the Russian forces. I really liked that campaign. I even had the PCs holed up in an abandoned shack durring a white out. It was a race for them to reach the shelter, and the last of their party made it in the nick of time. Inside they found wood, a stove and some clothing, and it was shelter. So they had rest and heat and hot food, and they found some old comic books, and a 1st Ed D&D as well as playing cards to keep them buisy durring the storm.


However, durring a break in the storm a patrol of Russians happened upon the shelter having the same idea as the PCs. Alas, they didn't get them all and 1 made a successful escape.



As for this campaign, I am thinking of using the PCs to be part of a raiding force hitting all targets, Mo, I was aware of timber and minning in the region but not oil. That adds a new side to the planning I will be making. But yes, the PCs would like I said be part of a platoon or company whose mission is to hit villages and facilties, military and comercial like fish processing centers, mines and storage facilities and such and denying them to Russian forces. Attacking them in their rear from across the ocean both military and military support and war supplies as well as economic targets.


Food

Fuel

Raw Materials

Military

Military Support


Those all are viable targets.


I am thinking a seaborne force landing for a few hours certainly no more than a couple days. All depending on the target, its size and complexity as well as distance and proximity of enemy forces who can counter strike.

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Mohoender 08-24-2008, 12:33 AM One obvious thing I forgot, of course, is the transsiberian railway. It is one big railway running from Moscow to Vladivastok with some lines leaving the central one and joining the harbours on the northern sea route or the main ressources centers of Siberia.


Disrupt it and you simply cut the Russian's blood line. Of course you can tell me that it was already disrupted by the bombing but that it not sure at all. It can make some detours to avoid the bombed area, I'm sure the Russians will do their best to fix it and they still have a good stock of coal burning locomotives. The traffick will be down of course but I doubt it went to a halt. They have a problem so, it must be something like 8000 miles long (not counting the secondary lines) and they might have difficulties protecting the all of it (that's why they still have railway troops). Might even be fun to get armored trains running (old ones for WWII with T-34 turrets and ones made from scratch). That might work also for Alaska.

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Mohoender 08-24-2008, 01:26 AM Ok so I give you the harbour list on the northern sea route starting with Arkhangelsk: Arkhangelsk, Narian Mar, Salekahrd (on the Ob river, with a railroad and linking the Bakou 3 oil field), Dikson (not a name you expect to find in Russia) and Doudinka, Khatanga (no we are not in Africa), Tiksi, Nijne-Kolymsk, Pevek, Provydenia, Ahadyr, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski and Vladivastok at the end. Some other harbour are not used in the sea route but they will represent useful safe ports. Moreover, some ressources of Siberia can be shipped to these harbours, using river boats (most of them are located on rivers). These ressources are not over exploited today but they would prove valuable in war times. Don't forget that in twilight NATO simply overlooked that aspect of Russia.


Salmons and herrings are fished from Magadan and Nikolaievsk. They are also fishing a fair amount of crabs (codfish also I think).


The oil was located at the north end of the Sakhaline island (I have an old and very complete atlas dating back from that period and it is very useful).

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Hangfire7 08-24-2008, 03:07 AM I just studied the area using "Google Earth" and found several interesting views, a few primative roads, raillines and docks. I couldn't tell from the satelight image because it was not overly clear on zooming in, but it looked like several rusting hulks of cargo ships on the beach near some docks and and some form of wherehouses and complexes.


Goodle Earth is a wonderful asset! I simply flash the link of the target to the PCs, you are here. And this is your target, a storage complex loaded with goods bound for the Alaskan Front. Once spring comes those are the supplies that are going to fuel the Spring Offensive, your mission, destroy them and stop the Russains from going on the offensive so we can buy time and let them starve for a year then we can counter attack and drive them out.


The thing about arctic battles as I propose is to be effective you do not have to destroy the enemy ships. You do not even have to sink them. All you have to do is damage it enough that it misses the window to sail before the ice comes and locks them in the harbor.


And here is another thing to consider. How hard is it to fight a fire in a freezing climate? Thus the ability for the locals to fight fires purposely set to destroy a facility would be difficult.


I am liking the ideas I am comming up with already. I have also downloaded an order of battle for the Far East Military District, and some air fields I will spend the next week studying on Google Earth.



Here is an idea, how much would the Berring Sea Fishing Fleets be affected? They are vital fisheries for both Alaska and Eastern Russia, I could see these being targets of some form of raiding vessels as well, or even valauble prizes especialy if they are captured after they have filled their holds with fish.

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DeaconR 08-26-2008, 06:58 PM Hey, Hangfire, as always some ambitious and fun sounding campaign project. I had thought of Alaska too purely for the beauty, remoteness and different kinds of terrain challenges.


I have a few ideas for you. First of all there are various Canadian Ranger units that are fairly small and are mostly used for search and rescue but also would probably be good for small raids, gathering intel and stuff like that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Rangers


Also I had the thought that perhaps the Soviets might have very much the same idea. It's been pointed out in some discussions that a huge invasion probably would be unlikely, but maybe raiding forces intent on destroying pipeline and supply areas for the northern Pacific operations of the US and Canadian fleets might move in? Maybe the rest of the atmosphere of the thing could be subtle breakdown of society--maybe more pronounced in a place like Anchorage but in other areas it might go something like this:


1. Places that are purely seasonal might not be able to be evacuated so easily. This could pose a problem, particularly in remote areas like the far north or the Aleutians.


2. Some places might rapidly become insular, might have no idea of what's going on and might be paranoid and trigger happy.


3. Isolated remote areas are perfect for survivalist groups and crackpots.


4. Unexplained desertions in some areas might leave ghost towns.

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Hangfire7 08-26-2008, 07:40 PM Well it depends on how optimistic one is.


To bring Alaska to its knees one really does not need a large force. You just need to be able to control key areas.


And you do not need to control the air or sea lanes for any length of time.


simple send in forces to cut the ALCAN highway.


Mine the ports and harbors simple denial, and delay. Keep them from getting supplies up north. What happens if you are not able to resuply and prepare for the comming winter? things will be rough. Then, after they are weakened you move in and take them much easier.


Of course the force will need to be able to sustain itsself through the winter. They also must be able to deal with the likely air attack, so anti air defenses and an air umbrella is vital. then they just need to sieze and take a couple port facilities to keep them resupplied for however long it takes to off load the needed supplies that will eneable them to last throughout the winter and conduct offensive operations in early spring or just before spring breaks. Otherwise you do not need to maintain an open sea route. Of course come Spring you will need to regain the sea route, but it is something you should be able to open and close when needed.


And then of course once a town is taken, it is used as a base of operations where the teams go out to conduct operations, hitting the ALCAN, rail lines, bridges etc. The pipeline, the port where the tankers pump the oil, take out those storage tanks, or capture them, and with limite processing it can run in the Russians diesel engines.


How is this, the Russians have landed a force, they have taken the port and its diesel tanks with enough fuel to sustain their armor operations and sea power in the region for some time. But, of course they are limited in their range of on land operations unless they want to leave enmass.


But, yes a small scale fight of small units conducting dirty tricks.


As for raids and such, I recall it being common knowledge of finding batteries with Russian writting, spent 5.45 casings and ration wrappers in places no one normaly travels. Soldier of Fiction even did a storey on it. There is some mystery reguarding a few deaths in Alaska of a national guardsman as well as an elderly couple.


And I recall Russian batteries being found on Diego Garcia back in the old days. As well as electronic monitoring equipment floating assore again with Russian writting, maybe their version of a sonabouy?


The wilderness and wide open spaces are the perfect place for small patrols to operate.

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Grimace 08-27-2008, 07:25 PM I lived in Alaska for, oh, about 20 years and could provide you with a lot of information about the place. I know there are some (ahem...Antenna) that have wanted me to come up with an Alaskan Sourcebook, but I still haven't been about the find a 'roundtoit in order to get it done. Regardless of that, though, I do have a lot of information stored in my noggin'.


I did sign up for the yahoo group that had the Alaska game on it, just a few minutes ago actually, so if you don't want it here you can also get me through the mailing list.

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Twilight2000V3 08-27-2008, 08:06 PM I couldnt find the Yahoo group.


I think a great idea is to have the group of PCs be part of the 207th Infantry group (Alaska National Guard). OR bring back I think its one of the SF groups and turn them into a Reserve group.


I've run a short campaign in AK before. It was a lot of fun. I'd love to PLAy in one!!!

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Hangfire7 08-27-2008, 09:23 PM I ran one years ago in 00 on yahoo called "Arctic Warriors." That was then.


The game I am starting has yet to have its own group.


Here is the link to my old Arctic Game:


http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/...yguid=75293565


Feel free to check out the old posts.


The modern T2K discussion group is here, it is getting a bit more active but still only a shall of what it once was.


http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/t2k/?yguid=39540367



Grimance what group are you talking about? One of the above two? I aproved you for the t2k group and put you on unmoderated member, its what the original moderater set it up to reduce spammers. Also, if you want to chat, I am on aol as nemo770


And I will post when I have the group established and am ready to kick things off. I am working on background, targets, methods of travel, reviewing my notes and background on arctic warefare, eqiuipment in use by the Americans, Canadians and the scouts of both nations.


But, as I said, if you find it interesting and the time feel free to join in.


Twilight, the same goes for you. If you are interested once i hammer out the details you are welcome to join as well.


PS, the invite goes to all on this board.


Jess

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Abrigon 08-29-2008, 12:26 PM So any comments, made some on the T2K list on yahoo, but ..


Mike

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Hangfire7 08-29-2008, 02:59 PM So any comments, made some on the T2K list on yahoo, but ..


Mike


i saw the post on the yahoo forum. I haven't been there since this morning. Here we now sit and wait much like fishing


And of course I need to pick which the site i want to place the game on and post the particulars along with a stunning anouncement to draw in the crowds.

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Grimace 08-29-2008, 05:44 PM am working on background, targets, methods of travel, reviewing my notes and background on arctic warefare, eqiuipment in use by the Americans, Canadians and the scouts of both nations.





I'd be interested to see what you've got for this. A lot of people have a LOT of misconceptions about Alaska. People at my work, for example, were talking about going up to Alaska on a trip. They said they'd be up north of Fairbanks, on a highway until they reached a certain town. I had heard of the town, and I knew the "highway" they were talking about. It was a dirt road. So a lot of things that can be envisioned one way by "down south" people is amazingly wrong in Alaska.


A lot of area, when looked at by Google Earth, looks like flat, even ground. It's muskeg. Spongy, water-filled, muddy earth that doesn't reveal itself until you go trudging through it. And the insects!!!


I added you to my IM list and I'll try to catch you if I see you on. But if you can give me some indication of things you've got I can offer up ideas or give you the information that might not be known to you.

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Hangfire7 08-29-2008, 07:10 PM I was thinking operating more or less in or around the coastal areas, maybe some of the islands off the coast, and on occassion the wooded areas and "hills" around some of the coast.


And yes thanks for reminding me about the states official bird the teredaqtil sized mosquito.


Also, keep this in mind, they will also on occassion have operations across the straight into Russia, now if you can give me any info on that then it would be most apreciated.


Think landing on the assorted beaches and coasts of rear support facilities in the middle of the night or just before dawn men commin ashore via zodiaks and rigid hulled inflatibles like some of the coastguards small boats disgourging the assault teams who will go to work. And on occassion a team or two of poor bastards who are scout swimmers or better who get to don a wetsuite and swim several hundred meters to shore scout, eliminate a sentry or two and give the all clear for the boats to come in.


And that is going to be the crux of operations.


And now I am recalling the mosquito problem from when I visited Alaska as well as what I have read from the research on the Tanguska Event and the excavation of the Mammoth in Siberia and all the wild life shows I have seen.



I'd be interested to see what you've got for this. A lot of people have a LOT of misconceptions about Alaska. People at my work, for example, were talking about going up to Alaska on a trip. They said they'd be up north of Fairbanks, on a highway until they reached a certain town. I had heard of the town, and I knew the "highway" they were talking about. It was a dirt road. So a lot of things that can be envisioned one way by "down south" people is amazingly wrong in Alaska.


A lot of area, when looked at by Google Earth, looks like flat, even ground. It's muskeg. Spongy, water-filled, muddy earth that doesn't reveal itself until you go trudging through it. And the insects!!!


I added you to my IM list and I'll try to catch you if I see you on. But if you can give me some indication of things you've got I can offer up ideas or give you the information that might not be known to you.

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Grimace 08-29-2008, 07:54 PM While I never got across the water to Russia, I can't imagine it would be much different that what is on the Alaska side. It's the same latitude, the same weather patterns, the same area, so I would imagine it would largely be the same as what you find in Alaska. But that's only an assumption.


And when you're talking "coast", are you referring to the western most coast? Or the Aleutian chain? Or the southern coast along the Gulf of Alaska, or the Southeastern "Inside Passage" coasts? There's a LOT of coast in Alaska and a sizable amount of difference between them all.


I recall reading stuff on the yahoo group about Adak. That's Aleutians. Out in the middle of nowhere, whipped by wind, cold, caught in storms and regularly mangled from said storms. Or are you referring to places like up around Nome? Large stretches of cold, cold water and ice in winter. Storms in summer. Flat lands, relatively barren lands. Looooong distances between places.

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copeab 09-01-2008, 04:19 AM FutureWeapons (on the Military Channel) had an episode about equipment testing in Alaska. It repeated last night, not sure when it will be on again.


http://www.discoverychannel.co.uk/we...futureweapons/


Brandon

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rcaf_777 09-02-2008, 05:36 PM I have a few ideas for you. First of all there are various Canadian Ranger units that are fairly small and are mostly used for search and rescue but also would probably be good for small raids, gathering intel and stuff like that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Rangers


Let me tell you from personnel knowledge the Canadian Rangers have little to know military training, each ranger under goes six of training and most of that is in the use of a Lee Enfield Mk IV Bolt Action Rifle. What the Rangers do have is a lot of knowledge of artic survival, and land they patrol. The whole idea of the rangers is to act guides to military forces deployed to the Artic

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Last edited by kato13; 05-16-2009 at 02:30 AM.
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