Author Topic: Campaign Background  (Read 1142 times)

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Offline Kurt (OP)

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Campaign Background
« on: April 02, 2020, 03:20:49 PM »
October 28, 1962: Soviet forces in Cuba shoot down a second U-2 over Cuba, after explicit warnings from the US government subsequent to the shooting down of the first U-2 the day before.  The second U-2 had been dispatched in an attempt to determine if the Soviets had managed to activate their missile launchers.  President Kennedy, under intense congressional pressure, orders the US Airforce to destroy all SAM and anti-air sites on the island.  Fearing that the Soviets would launch nuclear missiles if given the chance, he also orders the Airforce to destroy all known missile sites.  A hasty amphibious invasion of Cuba will follow the air strikes. 

The strike is overwhelmingly successful, and Cuban air defense is almost completely suppressed in exchange for only minor losses.  Premier Khrushchev, under intense pressure of his own, orders airstrikes at European NATO bases known to harbor nuclear weapons.  Fighting between the US and the USSR, and NATO and the Warsaw Pact, rapidly escalates after that.  Two days into the conflict, three Russian nuclear missiles are launched from Cuban sites previously thought destroyed by the US Airforce.  Despite the fighting that has spread across Europe, Russia, fearing nuclear reprisals, denies responsibility.  Miami, Washington DC, and Philidelphia are hit by the warheads.  Not believing the Russian denials, Kennedy orders a reprisal strike, triggering a response from the Russians.  Over the next four days the two sides hit each other with over five hundred nuclear weapons.   Both central governments collapse in the coming months.  The war continues on in Europe in a desultory manner. 

1963-1964: The average temperature has dropped several degrees, on average, as a result of the massive amounts of soot and debris injected into the atmosphere by the war.  Most central governments have collapsed.  The war between the east and the west continues in the bones of Europe and the Middle East, in many cases fought by isolated Russian or US military units with no hope of returning home.  In Russia, the Soviet Union controls only the areas closest to Moscow, which, by some miracle, escaped nuclear annihilation.  In the USA, the federal government has largely collapsed.  Many federal organizations still exist, but are isolated and without central direction.  In some cases, these groups, such as FBI offices, or isolated military units, just dissolve when the personnel involved desert to return home to their families.  In other cases, the units stay together and attempt to restore order to their local environs. 

1965: The Russian Army achieves ascendancy in its long struggle with the Party for control of the state.  Although it isn’t able to completely destroy the Party, due to the Army’s need to control the population, it is able to largely free itself from oversight, and is able to select all Party leaders at the middle and upper levels.  The Army is effectively in control of the Russian state, and begins aggressive efforts to expand its territories.   

1973: The resurgent state governments of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska form the Reformation Coalition with the intent of restoring the USA.  Many surviving US military units and sections of the Federal government that survived flock to the Coalition’s banner. 

1979: The Russian Empire completes its conquest of Europe after the remaining former US military and NATO units retreat to England.  For now, England remains independent, however, the British government is weak and cannot support the military units that have withdrawn to the island.  Within a year some of the former NATO units, and some former US units, will begin looting the countryside to maintain themselves. 

By this point the Reformation Coalition has expanded to cover the bulk of the states west of the Mississippi, however, the chaotic patchwork of warlords on the devastated East Coast has held them at bay. 

Both the Reformation Coalition and the Russian Empire are fielding military units that are a strange mix of technologies, with some special forces equipped with weapons and items that would have been considered cutting edge before the war, while most other units are equipped with single shot rifles or even older muskets.  The most common type of aircraft in use by either side are biplanes that had formerly been used by civilians for crop-dusting, although some jets still exist.  Technology has not been forgotten, but the fractured societies that still exist do not yet have the ability to manufacture old tech items. 

1980: Marshal Ivan Yakubov, the leader of all Russian military forces, vows to regain all lands that belonged to the old Russian Empire.  He is celebrated across the central portions of the USSR as the man who has restored Russia to its rightful place, and given them back some measure of what they had lost. 

1981: The USSR launches an invasion of Alaska in an attempt to regain their former territory before the USA can become strong again.  Alaska is thinly populated and falls quickly to the Russians.  Indeed, the state falls to the Russians before the Reformation Coalition, which is preoccupied with conflicts with East Coast warlords, even becomes aware of their presence. 

1983: The success of their venture in Alaska encourages the Russians to push into Canada.  While the central government of Canada fell long ago, the remaining cities in Canada had joined together in a mutual assistance organization in 1972.  The organization of Canadian cities turned to the Reformation Coalition for help when Russian forces pushed into Edmonton.  At that time the bulk of the Reformation Coalition’s forces were involved in pacifying the East Coast, but the Coalition sees the Russians for the threat that they are and sends what forces it can spare to assist the Canadians.  Before Coalition forces arrive in any strength, Canadian forces meet the Russians in battle in between Edmonton and Calgary, and suffer a devastating defeat that causes the Canadian organization of cities to dissolve in disarray, with some cities offering to surrender to the Russians, others asking to join the Coalition, and yet others retreating into isolationism and hoping to be ignored.  The Coalition 3rd Army, composed mostly of light infantry, arrives at the front with the Russians late in the year and stops them from advancing further. 

1984: Russian reinforcements arrive in Canada and enable the Russian army there to punch through American lines and begin advancing again.  The Americans fall back in good order, but are hard pressed.  The civilian leaders call for the total mobilization of the American economy and society to fight the Russian threat.  By late 1984 most of Canada has been subsumed into the Reformation Coalition. 

1985: Russian forces have advanced as far as Seattle on the West Coast, and Regina in Canada, but have been forced to a halt by stiffening American resistance.  In May, in a surprise move, a task force led by the last American supercarrier arrives in England to relieve the remaining loyal American and NATO forces, which had secured the area around Liverpool, one of the largest intact cities in the British Isles and the center of what remained of the British government.  With this influx of forces, and the promise of more, the British government, led by Prime Minister Harold Wilson, who had survived the war and done much to keep the remnants of the government together, agreed to join the Reformation Coalition.  The American task force brought over 100 new Holyfield Avenger fighter-bombers to England.  The Holyfield Avengers were essentially a copy of the WW II P-47 Thunderbolt, and they began harassing Russian shipping, along with the American carrier’s escorts, which had been set loose to hunt down Russian ships.     

This move caught the Russians completely off guard, and forced the USSR to redeploy large numbers of troops and naval units to Europe and away from the American continent. 

1986: The Battle of Spokane.  Coalition forces meet the Russians in a massive battle outside of Spokane.  For the Russians, this was their attempt to smash the Coalition’s army in one hammer blow, before their position in Europe became too precarious.  For the Coalition, this battle was an attempt to draw the Russians into an encirclement and destroy or cripple their army in America.  Neither side achieved their goal.  The battle lasted five days.  During the fighting most of Russia’s remaining armor was destroyed, and both sides lost catastrophic numbers of planes.  Both sides claimed victory after the battle.  Imperial Russian forces claimed victory after inflicting significant casualties on the Coalition army and forcing it to retreat.  The Coalition claimed victory after the Russian army retreated to Alaska, believing that the losses it had inflicted on Russians were larger than they had originally believed.  In truth, the Russian forces were forced to retreat to secure positions in Alaska due to unrest in the Middle East and Europe. 

1987: After desultory fighting over the last year, the USSR and the Coalition agree to a ceasefire.  Late in the year negotiations take place between the two nations and peace is declared, with the Russians remaining in Alaska with the agreement that any Alaskans that want can relocate to Coalition territory.   It is clear to both nations that this is just a temporary situation, until they can gather their strength.  The Coalition wants the Russians out of North America, while the Russians want to keep what they have gained and fear the growing strength of the Coalition.  Both nations hate and fear the other for their part in the Last War, and both begin salvaging as much of the old strategic nuclear stockpiles as they can, against the possibility that the other side will start the war again. 

1991: A massive battle takes place in orbit over the Moon, ending in high Earth orbit.  The degraded orbital networks of both the USSR and the Coalition are completely unable to see the combatants, but the numerous nuclear explosions are clearly visible to the unaided eye, and indeed, hundreds are blinded as they stared into the sky trying to understand what was happening above them.  Whatever it was, it was over quickly, in less than ten minutes, and then the two side’s orbital detection networks began to see spreading clouds of debris, including several large objects that hadn’t been there before.  Both nations tried to contact the objects, but after a short time it became clear that they were drifting wrecks, no longer under power.  Both sides began rushing to get into orbit to examine the remnants of the combatants.  At no time did either side in the orbital battle attempt to contact anyone on the ground, and no communications were detected between whomever it was that was fighting.   A war between the USSR and the Coalition almost broke out over the wreckage in orbit, particularly when it appeared that one side would reach the wreckage first.  Finally, after several tense weeks, the two sides met and agreed to divide the orbital wreckage into areas of control, and agreed to remain in their own areas.  Examination of the wreckage led to fundamental breakthroughs for both sides as they rushed to exploit the wreckage and its bounty of technology.  In short order the basics of the alien’s drive technology, something called the “drive field” were revealed during examination of the orbital wrecks, and both the USSR and the Coalition began retrofitting their PDC’s with rudimentary drive field equipped missiles.  Both sides began a full-fledged effort to develop the new technology within a year of beginning their examination of the orbital wrecks.   

Initial Setup
Both the Coalition and the USSR begin with a medium population on Earth, at IND-2 level of technology, with a head-start towards HT-1 because of the wreckage in Earth’s orbit.  Both have all IND-2 level techs, and a limited number of PDC’s equipped to IND-2 levels.  Because of the advantage from the wreckage in orbit, both sides are aware of the existence of drive field tech, but are unaware of the exact mechanism of interstellar travel. 

Note: I am using a few house rules.  At this point the only house rules that really matter are limiting growth to every five turns, and a minor rules change relating to detection.  I have long found it dubious that a HT-1 outpost with one PTU effectively has Xr capability, so instead, I’ve changed the detection rules so that only settlements have Xr-equivalent detection capabilities. 
 
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Offline Kurt (OP)

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Major Governments
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2020, 03:23:04 PM »
Major Governments as of 1991:
USSR: On the surface, the USSR came out of the Final War better that the USA, in that it still exists as a nation.  Moscow, like at least some other major Russian cities, survived the war, as did the Premier and the bulk of the Politburo.  This was largely due to a previously unsuspected missile defense system put in place in the late 50’s.  Like many other Russian strategic systems, this system was not technologically sophisticated, but instead relied on massive numbers of relatively inexpensive anti-missile missiles.  The system didn’t make economic sense, in that its interception percentages were very low, typically in the single digits, but it did work well enough to ensure that at least some major Russian cities survived.  In the dark years that followed the war, the Soviet Party lost much of its power during the struggle to survive, being supplanted by the Red Army generals that led the country’s recovery.  Unlike the nation’s cities, air force, and navy, much of the Red Army survived the war, largely because the bulk of the army was concentrated in western Europe when the bombs began falling, and the USA and its allies avoided targeting Europe for the most part.  The Red Army conquered Europe quickly after the war, largely because America was crippled and chaotic in the immediate aftermath, and because France stabbed NATO in the back, first refusing to cooperate, and then coming to a separate deal with the Kremlin.  The USSR then thoroughly looted Western Europe to rebuild its own cities and industries, leaving Europe impoverished and poor to this day.  France, in particular, had cause to regret its perfidy as it labored under onerous demands from Moscow, demands which it had no choice but to meet given its lack of allies or outside support.  Only England remained independent, largely because the bulk of NATO’s heavy divisions retreated there, and because of the USSR’s general exhaustion in the aftermath of the destruction of most of its cities. 

The USSR currently encompasses Europe, the Middle East, and Iran and Iraq.  China to the east is a patchwork of warlords and petty nation-states, and the USSR expends considerable resources to keep them divided and at each other’s throats.  India is loosely affiliated with the USSR, but is absorbed by its internal divisions and is happy to be left alone, especially since the Pakistani’s self-destructed in their fratricidal nuclear civil war in the early days of the war.  Much like the situation in China, the USSR expends considerable effort to keep India focused on its internal problems. 

The USSR is a military dictatorship, with the trappings of a communist state being used to pacify the various populations that comprise the USSR.  The USSR maintains a very large standing army, with the bulk of that army being occupied with securing the USSR’s “allies” and “associated soviet republics”.  In addition, the USSR has reactivated enough old ICBM’s to staff five large PDC’s, all of which have been upgraded with the initial breakthroughs provided by the alien technology, such as basic sprint missile drives. 

The Reformation Coalition: The Coalition is a loose confederation of nominally independent states composed primarily of many of the states of the old US, Canada, Australia and Great Britain.  The Coalition arose in the USA after the Last War and the collapse of the federal government after the vaporization of Washington DC and the bulk of the country’s politicians and leaders.  Under threat from the resurgent USSR the Coalition spread throughout Canada and the former UK, and just recently incorporated several Australian states as well.  The US East Coast and Mexico are both Coalition Protectorates, garrisoned and ruled by military governments.  While several Mexican states are steadily working their way towards full membership in the Coalition, the East Coast is under heavy military occupation and cannot be considered fully under control at this time. 

The Coalition government consists of three branches, much like the old US government, however, these three branches have severely limited powers, at least in theory.  The Coalition Legislature consists of representatives from each member state, and has the power to set the government’s budget, but in other areas its power is limited to governing inter-state trade, overseeing foreign relations, and ensuring the establishment of state laws relating to basic human rights.  The Coalition Executive Branch is led by the CEO, who is elected from the Legislature for a period not to exceed ten years, with only one term allowed.  The CEO’s powers relating to purely internal issues is strictly limited.  The Coalition Charter clearly establishes the supremacy of the member states in almost all areas. 

The Reformation Coalition maintains a medium sized standing army equipped with relatively advanced technology, and has reactivated enough strategic weaponry to field ten smaller PDC’s. 

The rest of the world:
China and Japan, along with most of the nations in Europe, suffered grievously during the war.  All were the recipients of multiple nuclear weapons strikes from one side or the other, or in the case of China, from both sides.   Several countries effectively destroyed themselves after the Last War, including Pakistan and North and South Korea.  The rest of the world, including all of Africa and South America, escaped the direct effects of the war, but suffered from numerous indirect follow-on effects.  South East Asian countries, in particular, suffered serious fallout effects, and the economic dislocations caused by the collapse of the western economies in the aftermath of the war were serious and continuing.  Many of the nations in Africa collapsed and disappeared completely, while most South American nations turned to despotism to survive the harsh winters and economic bad times, virtually ensuring that the bad times would continue into the future.   

The Coalition considers South America to be within its sphere of influence, and considers Africa to be an open continent, not under anyone’s control.  The USSR has not openly disputed these beliefs, however, it is clear that it considers the entire world its sphere of control.     
 
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