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Old 03-15-2010, 01:11 AM
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Default Retaking the Southland and AZ/NM: then what?

Matt Wiser

Retaking the Southland and AZ/NM: then what?

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Assume TPJ is correct and that MilGov is planning offensive operations to retake the SoCal and Southern AZ/NM areas. Then what? Somehow contact the surviving Mexican government (there's several factions as a result of the civil war down there) and tell them to move their troops in Texas or lose them? Who do you talk to in that situation? Some factions might actually want to leave and use the troops south of the Rio Grande in the civil war, while others may not be so accomodating. A wild card would be the Russians of Division Cuba in San Antonio. One thing to keep in mind is that the LA area suffered from nuclear strikes, and I would bet the Mexicans didn't bother occupying the area, and that mostly they're in the San Diego, Imperial and Riverside/San Bernadino County areas. (Besides, the gangs and marauders would soak up any invading force no matter who was moving in, anyway) My guess is that they're waiting until 8th Army (and maybe CENTCOM) come home before starting such an operation. In the meantime, supplies can be built up, recruits trained (as much as possible), and anti-Mexican activities in the occupied areas can keep the occupying forces...entertained.


Matt Wiser

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TrailerParkJawa

I agree that the LA area would be a burnt out shell and water would not be coming down from the Sacramento Delta or Colorado River anymore since the pumps are either non-functional or turned off to deny water to the enemy.

With so many survivors fleeing to Bakersfield, Stockton, or Sacramento, Milgov would have to first deal with the refugees and the general breakdown of things in the Sacramento-Stockton-Oakland-San Jose region.
I think San Francisco would be abandon as too hard to maintain.

The key thing is to identify what is so important in the southland that would warrant risking the loss of so many lives, fuel, ammo, and general order once large numbers of MilGov troops move south.

I don't know much about AZ or NM. Im sure there are mines those states that could contribute to the rebuilding process.

If Hoover Dam is not under MilGov control it really needs to be, assuming there is a functional generator left.

Any attempt to recover San Diego should involve the Navy and Marines. A couple of ships with 5" guns would present a tremendous threat to any Mexican troops camped near shore.

At the same time the Army could move down the Central Valley while the Navy/Marines move down the coast.


TrailerParkJawa

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DeaconR

Hm....a few thoughts in response.

1. I don't bet on CENTCOM leaving any time soon. They seem to be in a sort of deadlock but the RDF sourcebook suggests that they see themselves as there to stay for a while. Things are a lot better for them there than elsewhere. Mind you, regular forces or not, I did wonder how they would feel about possibly never seeing their families again or for years anyway, but then people in previous wars have managed to deal with that somehow. I can see them settling down, anyway, for a while in the region.

2. I haven't yet heard a reasonable scenario for the 8th Army leaving Korea. The idea of an evacuation is a good one, but I would wonder about the convoy and all that. Furthermore, would there even be enough supplies to keep reinforcements going?

3. I agree that holding the area is a good idea, but a larger strategic plan would need to be understood. Like: is the aim to try to link up with other key Milgov areas? Is it to simply consolidate control over California? Whose goal is it?


DeaconR

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TrailerParkJawa

I would have to believe any effort to retake southern California would have to be based more on emotion than hard economics. Given the deplorable state of conditions in the rest of the country I don't see any hard assets worth recovering in the southland. I suppose large numbers of refugees from the southland would want to take their homes back.

However, if I were in control of MilGov in California I'd focus on getting the infrastructure going in Sacramento, Stockton, and the SF Bay Area. I'd hate the idea of leaving Americans behind the lines, but what can you do? There might not be enough technical personal left to get Sacramento running again, let alone the whole state.

Perhaps any military action might revolve around helping Americans left behind make their way north, although by 2000 I think anyone who could already has.


TrailerParkJawa

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Targan

Personally I see nothing wrong with sticking to canon and having the retaking of SoCal, Arizona and New Mexico follow the timeline laid out in Traveller:2300. And that leaves the retaking of SoCal for some years down the track, closer to the time of the reunification between MilGov and CivGov.


Targan

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TrailerParkJawa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
Personally I see nothing wrong with sticking to canon and having the retaking of SoCal, Arizona and New Mexico follow the timeline laid out in Traveller:2300. And that leaves the retaking of SoCal for some years down the track, closer to the time of the reunification between MilGov and CivGov.



That would make sense, but if we wait too many generations, say till Texas rebels against Mexico in 2099, then there won't be any living Americans left in SoCal, just their decendents who may or may not even identify with the US at that point.

If we wait till CivGov and MilGov kiss and make up we are looking at retaking SoCal in the 2020's.


TrailerParkJawa

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FightingFlamingo

I don't live in the Southwest. but I am an American, I would fight to exhaustion, and push the nation well past the breaking point to recover lost territiory... I could see the local commanders going beyond that...
if an operation Omega for the 8th Army is worked out in your campaign... then it's gonna be game on for sure... realistically I see a 2005-10 timeframe as most likely, with entertainment being shipped south in the interim... just to make the Mexican's bleed as much as possible...


FightingFlamingo


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DeaconR

Howling Wilderness depicts a really bleak picture for California. I find the 2300 canon a vague notion especially since I've never played it, nor am I planning on doing so. So in a way it is a matter of survival as FightingFlamingo says. And plus just think of the campaign! I mean how amazing a campaign would that be? Maybe we should think about it seriously, put heads together and work out how it could happen. Imagine that the Milgov leaders in the area realize that they MUST get reinforcements or else they project that they could end up a handful of tiny barely surviving enclaves huddled around the Bay. Imagine a special task force put together to build up an evacuation fleet, help 8th Army withdraw, ferry it across the Pacific. It's the stuff epics are made of.


DeaconR


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Webstral

I’ve done a little thinking on this one. Thunder Empire practically begs the question of what will be done about the American Southwest as a whole.

By early 2001, SAMAD is the pre-eminent power in the region. With a stable population of about 400,000, a slowly growing food surplus, a functional (if limited) industrial base in Tucson and on Fort Huachuca, and a field force the equivalent of a light division, Huachuca has a decisive advantage over its nearest neighbors. However, there are problems. SAMAD is not really self-sufficient. Lots of critical chemicals and raw materials are in short supply. Sooner or later, the machine tools are going to wear out. Civil rights issues are rearing their ugly heads, now that the most immediate threats have been addressed.

One of the biggest issues in early 2001 is the relationship between Huachuca and MilGov. SAMAD needs some things available in Colorado. But relations between the Joint Chiefs and SAMAD have been bankrupt since MG Thomason told them he would not be moving the 111th Brigade to aid 6th US Army in California in 1998 or 5th US Army in Texas in 1999. Nor has Huachuca done anything of substance for the surviving Arizona state government, which relocated to Flagstaff in 1998—this despite pretty much absorbing a number of Arizona National Guard and Air National Guard units operating in southern Arizona, as well as the local Arizona State Guard units.

However, things are changing in early 2001. Huachuca has been building a reserve force that can be called to active duty for extended periods. This brigade, 3rd Arizona State Guard Brigade (AZSTAG) [Provisional] is finally ready to assume security and defense duties for SAMAD as required. This means 111th Brigade can be tasked with other duties. Huachuca also has been building its logistical capability, albeit slowly and painfully. However, with a combination of salvaged trucks and animal transport, it is now possible for Huachuca to support the 111th in the field at some distance.

There are plenty of options. Fortunately, the border with Mexico is now fairly secure. In 2000, the leadership of Brigada Nogales, which loosely controls the area directly across the border from SAMAD, changed. The new leadership sought an immediate formal ceasefire with the Americans. Then they asked for American aid in an anti-marauder operation. Huachuca sent a battalion of light infantry, and the operation was basically a success. Since then, limited commerce has resumed between SAMAD and the Nogales cantonment. Though far from a formal alliance, relations between SAMAD and the Nogales cantonment are fair and getting better.

To the north is Phoenix. The Valley of the Sun has become a desert version of Manhattan in “Armies of the Night”. From a pre-war population in the millions, the Valley of the Sun now is home to some 75,000 poor souls who eke out a living wherever they can get water for their crops. Gangs and petty warlords rule small clusters of new serfs.

However, there is promise. Phoenix was once a thriving metropolis. Although fire has destroyed much of the metro region, there are still vast resources. Machines and machine tools, spare parts, industrial chemicals, and a host of resources not of use to marauders but of great use to Fort Huachuca still exist in Phoenix. The Salt River still flows and is a ready source of water for irrigation. A substantial cotton industry existed in the area prior to the war. If the area can be secured, a revived cotton industry would be a godsend to people wearing clothes that are becoming rags.

Master of the largest gang is the self-styled Shogun of Phoenix. The Shogun is head of a motorized horde of marauders that emerged from the California/Nevada Sierras in late 1999. The horde moved outside of areas under the control of the MilGov enclave at Sacramento, sacking towns throughout the Sierra foothills. The horde grew as it came, with the surviving population of each town being given the chance to add itself to the mass. Many did in a blind attempt to survive. In early 2000, the horde moved south after several clashes with patrols belonging to 40th ID. For a time, the Shogun’s forces rampaged throughout the southern Central Valley before fighting a sharp action with US forces in the Bakersfield area. It was from a MilGov prisoner that the Shogun learned of the desert oasis in southeastern Arizona.

In mid-2000, the Shogun moved into Arizona, laying waste to several surviving towns and cities along the way. Fortunately for the Arizona government at Flagstaff, the Shogun decided to move through Phoenix by way of a minor state road leading from Kingman. The Shogun moved into Phoenix and occupied a portion of the central city as a staging area. Then he rolled south with the majority of his force.

Huachuca had home-trained LRS operating in Phoenix, however, and they were able to warn their base of the arrival of a motorized band of thousands of marauders. By the time the Shogun moved south, Huachuca was fully mobilized and ready. In a single day of furious fighting around Casa Grande, the forces of SAMAD smashed the marauder army and sent it reeling back towards Phoenix.

Ever the opportunist, the Shogun used his remaining forces and a local myth about a great gang leader to gain control of a large piece of what was left of Phoenix. Although there are many gangs throughout the area, the Shogun now is the most powerful. It is with him that the 111th with have to contend to secure Phoenix.

There are political reasons for doing so, however. Colorado needs cotton. If Huachuca can offer it, forgiveness might be much easier to obtain.

To the west is the Imperial Valley. The most powerful elements of 2o Ejercito are based here. Although much of the lock-and-pump system controlling the flow of water from the Colorado River to the Salton Sea was deliberately damaged by Americans, water is still available. The output is less than it was during pre-war times, but the Imperial Valley still produces a substantial surplus. Everyone in the region recognizes that the Imperial Valley is a key regional asset. So long as Mexican forces control it, 2o Ejercito can be maintained and the Americans kept at bay. Regaining control is a primary focus of 6th US Army and of MilGov. It would be a crown jewel for Fort Huachuca to offer the Joint Chiefs—and a strong incentive for forgiveness.

More on this later.


Webstral


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Matt Wiser

I'm going with Fighting Flamingo and Webstral on this; wait until the 8th Army returns home in OMEGA II (and maybe CENTCOM as well-they'll come home sooner or later), and then do it. Build up the supplies as best you can, get new recruits drafted (or volunteers-a lot of folks will probably join up just to get three meals a day) and trained, get that fuel reserve for your armor and remaining aircraft, and when the time is right, strike. As long as there's Americans living behind enemy lines and under a foreign invader's flag, leaving them is unacceptable to either MilGov or CivGov. Once SoCal and Arizona/NM are cleared, then the "Texas Question" comes up. Make a deal with Division Cuba, perhaps-change sides, take on the Mexicans, and we'll either grant you asylum and citizenship, or if you prefer, send you home.


Matt Wiser


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DeaconR

I find all this really interesting because what happens in these areas (California, Arizona, Texas) seems to be pivotal to the survival of the USA, but I haven't had time to concentrate on that especially since my players are not likely to ever go there. (though you never know)

Webstral: one question that I'm not sure you've provided an answer to is what elements do you imagine remain in Flagstaff that would be capable of dealing with large groups of marauders? My impression is that you are describing a situation similar to my Midwest where the enclaves are really only able to help themselves, but it's not clear what is available to the state government.


DeaconR



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Webstral

I haven’t gone into the Arizona state government much at all in this forum. I have given it some thought in the chronology, though.

To make a very long story short, the state leadership evacuates Phoenix in 1998. Local resources prove insufficient to keep Greater Phoenix under control. Like in New York, the city government and state assets available in the Valley of the Sun cede tacit control of certain neighborhoods to the local gangs as 1997 turns into 1998. As the crisis evolves, the state executive, legislative, and judicial leadership move to Luke AFB, where they have a relatively secure base of operations.

Luke AFB is occupied by a hodge-podge of forces, including regular USAF, Air Force Reserve, Army Reserve, Army National Guard, Arizona State Guard, Air National Guard, and a variety of state and local law enforcement personnel. Police/peacekeeping missions increasingly are run out of Luke AFB. Families of the police, state agencies, troops, and so on move to the base and the immediate environs.

No one is quite certain where the Wizard of Phoenix comes from. However, in short order he has welded a number of gangs together in a loose confederation aimed at capturing untouched neighborhoods in greater Phoenix. There are violent clashes with heavy losses to government and gang forces.

The invasion by Mexican forces throws Phoenix into renewed turmoil. Several National Guard units are redeployed south and later absorbed by the 111th Brigade. The Wizard assembles a host and attacks Luke AFB. The initial attack is thrown back with heavy losses. However, the situation appears increasingly untenable for the federal and state forces operating at Luke AFB. The governor proposes a plan to move the remaining personnel and their families to Flagstaff, along with the state capital. The Joint Chiefs, feeling that a presence in southern Arizona is currently untenable without reinforcement and anxious to focus their efforts in California and Texas, give the commander of Luke AFB (who has taken all federal forces in the area under command) permission to withdraw to Flagstaff and establish a base of operations there.

The withdrawal goes reasonably smoothly, though there is plenty of fighting around Luke AFB. The Wizard assembles enough forces to attack the rear guard and hasten their departure from Luke AFB. Overall, though, government forces withdraw from a disintegrating Phoenix intact.

At Flagstaff, the federal forces are reformed as an Air Force wing (virtually sans aircraft) that takes over security for the area. Arizona state forces are reformed as a single battalion.

The Flagstaff cantonment really isn’t strong enough in 2001 to take on the Shogun and his force. However, between regulars of all descriptions and locally-raised militia, Flagstaff can field a force of 500 men. Armaments and equipment are quite varied. Transport is limited, and the force has almost no ability to project power. So really, Flagstaff can offer very little to anyone who isn’t in Coconino County. The Flagstaff cantonment is like many small cities in the US that have managed to survive up to 2001. The cantonment functions much as a city-state, with food coming from the surrounding area. The small bands of marauders who wander northern Arizona are not a major threat, and so Flagstaff is more-or-less secure within local conditions.

Had the Shogun taken his force directly east on I-40 to the junction with I-17, then gone south to Phoenix, Flagstaff almost certainly would have been sacked by the motorized marauder band. Instead, the Shogun takes his force down Highway 93 to Wickenburg, then down Highway 60 to Phoenix. The Shogun does sack Needles, Kingman, Wikieup, and Wickenburg on his way to Phoenix. Not that these places were doing especially well, anyway.


Webstral



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DeaconR

Thanks that makes a lot of sense, Webstral. I'd like to use your Arizona ideas for my campaign just in case a trip through the region comes into play.

You gave some very comprehensive ideas on how the 111th is arming and maintaining itself, and I presume it would be somewhat similar for the state and fed forces at Flagstaff.
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