Central War Gaming Blog

Central War Gaming Blog


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Conflict and Armies Behind Swift Fox 16

So far, most of the information we've been posting about CWG events, and Swift Fox 16 specifically, has been "in character." Without real world conflicts and armies, we're trying our hand at world building, creating a sense of place and themes to work on.

We also hoped it made it more interesting to read than bullet lists, and rules like the original brief summaries of Ardea and Kitoy led into. But we're now aware that not everyone is reading as we intended, so we'd like to step back and put the information out in a clear, hopefully concise manner.

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So lets start with the overall idea here: This conflict is totally fictional. Though it is derived from conflicts all over the world and over time the Central Grafsten Highlands are not a real place. The armies and nations of Kitoy and Ardea are not real.

The conflict over the Highlands is similar to one of the many (usually post-colonial period) conflicts over disputed territory. Many of those have finally been settled, or have dropped from bullets to diplomacy over the past decade or two, but some exist.

A current one, easily researched if you want to read more, is the Kashmir region dispute between Pakistan and India. This region has been experiencing this same type of protracted conflict since the British drew the borders of Pakistan and India from what was the British Indian Empire. Though that region was disputed for a long time before that, it was not between modern nation states.

The conflict there is low-intensity, consisting mostly of small skirmishes between the forces of both nations from time to time. Sometimes there are larger offensives by one side of the other, but they never really amount to much.

* * *

Both India and Pakistan are fairly modern nations in many ways. They build cars and airplanes and we outsource IT services to them. Their people are reasonably happy, and patriotic. But they don't really have first world armies or security services. Even with the threat of terrorists and a decades-old border conflict, their everyday soldier is relatively poorly supplied and lightly trained.

This equates well to the nations and conflict represented in CWG games.

However - do not take this to mean that our events are based in Kashmir specifically. Our armies, and the conflict are deliberately not real so you do not read into it pre-conceived notions of ethnicity, religion, ideology, or anything else. We also don't get over-run by current events. Our countries are in an unknown region, somewhere in an Earth very similar to our own.

Also please note that this is deliberately not a nation-state fighting an insurgency, narcoterrorists or global terror networks. It is not two first world armies fighting over strongly held ideology.

Instead, it is two rather poor third world nations fighting what is basically a glorified police action over territory that both claim. The territory is of not of value to larger nations since it has no real resources to speak of. So that means no nation wants to get involved in the conflict, not even as a supplier of free equipment.

Both nations are like many in the real world. They have all classes of people and they get by well enough. But they are not really world players in anything specific. Subsistence fishermen live just a few miles from where there is a call center for an American internet company. But there is nothing that really makes either country vitally important for the interests of the US, China, the EU or anyone else with significant global reach or goals.

This means like many countries in the real world that their military is rather low priority. They have no real threats of invasion. Even from each other. Their militaries do not have a lot of funding. They have great hopes and dreams for modernization, but often make do with what they can get, sometimes still century-old colonial era weapons.

* * *

Lets look at each nation's military independently now:

The Army of the Republic of Kitoy (ARoK) is working on modernizing but it is a slow process. Years ago they moved away from a hode-podge of elderly .30 caliber rifles to the 5.56x45mm AR-15 platform.

This transition took a long time and was done in a rather haphazard way. The military funding did not allow for a wholesale purchase and replacement, so weapons were bought on the world market as they were available and funding was sufficient, with sometimes units as small as Platoons issued new equipment.

Over time they have scattered, repairs cause rifles to be combined, and therefore now any one unit can have all types of AR-15 variants in use.

The only consistency that is visible within the AroK is the general color of the uniforms. They wear OD green. This can be in various shades and of various cuts. The uniforms are sourced in a similar manner as everything else,  as funds and availability dictate.

In general Kitoy forces are trying to be modern - but lack the resources to do so. Their troops are allowed to private purchase uniforms and equipment, so if a soldier has the funds they could get some pretty cool stuff, and if they happen to be in a lucky unit they might even be issued new equipment, or they could get old surplus gear. All of it must still meet their requirements and guidelines, or the Troop Leader will come by and make you take it off.

Read more on the mindset of the Kitoy.

The Ardean Republican Army (ARA) is satisfied with their 7.62x51mm battle rifles. Their organization and tactics are in many ways little changed from what they were taught by 19th century Prussian advisors.

They realize that they cannot effectively modernize in a short time and do not see the need to add the confusion and risk for little real gains. Their soldiers have continued to show proficiency with the battle rifles so there is little desire to switch. The availability of surplus 7.62 rifles on the world market also contributes to this plan; they can save money by acquiring "new" rifles at a significant discount.

Ardean forces do have a large variation in gear though.  Most of their equipments is also bought as surplus so suffers significant variability within a given unit. Thier soldiers are also allowed to private purchase though and some new gear can be seen in use as well. The ARA uses M81 woodland or close copies mostly, but some DPM has snuck in and so is technically allowed as well now.

* * *

So for the event there are two mindsets at play. Understanding them should help you as a player understand how a soldier of either side might address issues.

Kitoy tends to have more a modern outlook on combat. With the desire to look and act more like they see on TV and the Internet from the current First World armies. They operate using a more lightweight structure to their units, and grant them somewhat more autonomy.

Ardea tends towards a more traditional outlook on combat. They operate in a more traditional manner, with much attention to staffs and planning, robust communications and a desire for artillery mostly put into practice with machine guns instead. At the small unit level they often use "Commonweath" structures, employing heavy weapons section for example. They tend to worry less about looking and acting like what they see in the current First World armies but instead use the tried and true equipment and tactics that have been successful for decades.

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