Central War Gaming Blog

Central War Gaming Blog


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Pre-Deployment Checklist

Pre-Combat Inspection

All troops, before entering the field, will submit to a Pre-Combat Inspection (PCI). Some or all of your equipment may be inspected on demand of the game administrators or any member of your Chain of Command to assure you have the proper equipment.

All equipment must be packed properly. You will be required to carry all your equipment securely and safely on your body, and be able to move, maneuver and fight.

Therefore, all participants will be required to load all their individual equipment, including their rucksack, put their individual weapon in their hands, then:

Jump up and down at least 10 times
Walk 100 meters, then walk 100 meters back to the start point
If anything falls off, or has to be stabilized to finish the course, it must be fixed and you must try agian.

Machine guns, rocket/grenade launchers not attached to the individual weapon, and any spare individual weapons do not have to be tested for load carriage, but will have to be carried onto the field.

Pre-Deployment Checklist

We're not going to tear your packs down and check that you have every bit of gear in the dark, 20 feet from enemy territory. Instead, your Squad- and Team Leaders will have assured that before you even pack up for deployment you have all the necessary gear in your pack, and that everything you bring is in serviceable condition.

They will actually fill out a piece of paper with this information for each of you, but if you want to make sure you are meeting the needs, this is the checklist they will be working off.


Required Equipment

Has Functional Sights

Load Bearing Equipment (LBE)

Conditional Equipment

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Combat Medic Skills: Treatment of Wounds at CWG Events

As we discussed before, CWG casualty rules are really very simple for the everyday soldier. There's nothing to know but to call your hit and wait for the medic.

But Combat Medics do need to know a lot more about it, at least if they want to follow the rules and be effective.

The key to CWG's medic rules is that the effect on the casualty is more important that "perfect procedure" by the Medic. In general we trust our Combat Medics like we trust all our players to follow the spirit of the rule, if not always the letter.

We are about to see the different wounds that are possible at CWG events. We will take a look at the casualty card and next to it a photo of a soldier with the completed intervention. We use the term intervention because obviously the soldier is not miraculously healed of their wounds. They are simply treated, and the soldier must be evacuated or may continue fighting in a diminished capacity.

What we will not see is a step-by-step instruction manual. Not only because it would fill up a small book, but also because you don't need your intelligence insulted. The interventions we describe are simple. Hopefully you will feel the casualty cards themselves, and the few supplies we provide are easy to understand also.

Casualty Cards

Before we get started, a note on the concept of the system. It does not matter where you were actually struck by a BB. The first thing the Combat Medic does when he arrives at a casualty is to tear out a casualty card. The cards have a randomly-assigned location and effect.

The cards are bound face-down, so the medic doesn't know what the next wound will be until you get shot.

These are meant to simulate the randomness of battlefield wounding, without disrupting our immersive environment by asking everyone where you think that pellet hit you.

Effects are of two basic categories, Minor and Serious. There's a third level, Killed, but it's not really a wound level at that point.

Serious wounds can often be avoided by wearing body armor, or a helmet, so, but only up to a point.

Escalation of Wound Severity

These levels of wounding go very much in order:

This increasing severity rating is used when a second wound is taken to a still-treated area. If you come across an individual with the bandage for a minor head wound, and draw a second minor head wound card for them, you do not add a second minor head wound bandage.

Instead, you provide an intervention for the next level up, in this case you cover the eye, giving them to serious wound intervention.

That also means if you get a serious wound, and take another hit—before going to the CCP to be healed—to the same area, you are killed. Our unfortunate head wound victim drawing a third card of in the head will now be killed.  

Remember, Combat Medics, this is regardless of what the card says. You must evaluate the patient and use your knowledge. Don't worry, if you forget this the card stack has a cheat sheet with a summary of this information with it. 

Minor Head Wound

The soldier receives a "minor head wound." Using an ACE bandage, wrap the casualty's head, tight enough to stay on, but not so tight it cuts off blood flow. Don't cover the eyes, or cover the ears so much they cannot hear.

Wearing a helmet – Modern helmets are very effective, so many wounds to this critical area that would previously have killed the solider do not even injure them. In this case we presume the helmet took a grazing blow. The soldier was still slugged in the head so fell down and had to evaluated by the medic, but in the end is fine.
The soldier is uninjured. No treatment is needed.

In the real world – Head injuries bleed profusely. Even a minor cut can spread enough blood over a casualty to create panic, and if enough blood is lost, cause the body to go into shock.

Effect on the casualty – This is probably the least disruptive wound to the player. It is really just a big band-aid. However it is also the first wound we have discussed where a pattern of rising level of severity happens.

Serious Head Wound

The Soldier receives a "Serious Head Wound." Using and ACE Bandage, wrap the head, running the bandage lower so it also covers one eye. The medic will choose which eye. Wrapping over the goggles will just make this easier, more comfortable, and more secure than even what is shown.

Wearing a helmet – Helmets are not perfect, so relatively direct blows will still penetrate, or the helmet will be badly deformed and the back side of the helmet impacts the soldier's head. This is minor, but still a wound worth treating.
The solider receives a minor wound instead. See the card above for that treatment.

Second Wound – If a previous "Minor head wound" intervention is already in place, you may reuse the previous bandage instead of adding another.

Other effects – The helmet was notionally destroyed by the bullet, and can no longer be used. The player will put it aside or clip the helmet to his pack or LBE so he is not using it for protection.

In the real world – Head injuries are often difficult or impossible to assess or treat completely, and include many considerations to condition and wound type. Eye and brain damage are very serious and always require a fully-staffed hospital and almost always require surgery to treat successfully. Helmets are often damaged.

Effect on the casualty – The player looses part of their vision. Reduced field of view, and depth perception but also losing use of their helmet mean no head mounted NVGs either. Consider evacuating these casualties to the Casualty Collection Point (CCP) as soon as tactically feasible. Eyesight is possibly as important as your weapon.

Minor Torso Wound

There is no card for this effect. It is only used as the less-severe version of a Serious Torso Wound when wearing armor. Wrap an ACE Bandage under the armpit and over  the neck. The Medic chooses which side to tie this to. If there is an existing arm wound, tie this bandage on the same side to restrict use of only one arm.
Though we are simulating a bandage, remember this is a game. Do not actually create a pressure dressing, so be sure you are not causing discomfort, or reducing blood circulation to the arm.
Perform this intervention under body-armor and/or coats, but over the uniform blouse.

In the real world – There's not really any such thing as a minor penetrating wound to the torso. The common use of body armor has reduced the number of critical chest wounds seen on the battlefield. However wounds just outside of the armor are still as common as before, and more minor woulds are possibly more frequent due to projectiles deflecting off armor.
Real-world bleeding from the armpit could be arterial. This life threatening hemorrhage is very difficult to stop for any Combat Medic since a tourniquet can not be applied to the shoulder. Intervention requires steady pressure on the wound, and preferably a clotting agent. After dressing the wound, pressure is applied by using the casualties own arm as leverage to press the dressing firmly into the wound.
This fairly simple bandage technique reflects a simple way to reduce bleeding from a wounded armpit, or lower shoulder. It can also be seen as stabilizing serious bruising or broken ribs and collarbones from deformation of the armor.

Effect on the casualty – Players retain use of their arms and body, and may continue to fight, work, and function with little impact. Body armor remains effective against additional hits. 

Serious Torso Wound 

Wrap an ACE bandage under the armpit and over neck, as for a "minor torso wound" above, then tie the upper arm to the chest using a cravat or another ACE bandage. The medic may choose which arm to bandage.
Never secure both arms. The player must have at least one arm free to prevent real world injury when they trip and fall.
While the arm-securing bandage must go outside of armor and outerwear, remember the bandage as described under minor wound goes under the armor.

Second wound – If a previous "Serious Torso Wound" intervention is already in place, the player is killed when any other torso wound card is drawn.
If a previous arm injury has resulted in a slung and secured arm, just add the bandage from under the armpit, over the opposite shoulder. The previous arm injury sling and upper arm securing bandages will be retained or replaced.

In the real world – Real-world body armor is not capable of stopping every threat, nor can it stop threats from every angle. A projectile hitting a soldier from the side of the body could go right through/under the arm and enter the body without ever touching the body-armor. This casualty card is simulating this event to some degree.

Effect on the casualty – Armored casualties have limited movement of the arm below the elbow, since the upper arm is tied to the chest. Casualty retains the use of the hand for grasping and carrying.

Torso - Killed

Unarmored soldiers are killed as a result of a traumatic penetrating torso injury.

Wearing body armor – The solider receives a serious wound instead. See the card above for details on this intervention.

In the real world – CWG simulates many wounds to the thoracic cavity with the killed option. Tension-pneumothorax (sometimes called a 'sucking chest wound'), damage to internal organs, spinal column damage, or internal hemorrhage are beyond the ability of a typical Combat Medic.

Representing such interventions would also be complex, and/or dangerous so after much consideration, we have skipped them.

Effect on the casualty – The casualty is killed and must return to the Company CCP.

Minor Arm Wounds

Check the side – Both left and right versions of this wound exist. When no other wound exists, sling the arm designated on the card. When any existing arm or torso intervention is in place, sling the arm already treated instead.

1) Knot a cravat at the corner, and place it around the casualty's neck with the knot to the rear. Place the elbow into the large open end of the cravat. When standing, the arm will rest inside it. 2) Using a cravat or two, or an ACE bandage, tie around the torso, upper arm and sling to keep the slung arm from moving around. Perform the intervention over the top of the uniform, armor and outerwear.
Never secure both arms. The player must have at least one arm free to prevent real world injury when they trip and fall.

Second wound – Add the wrist splint as described in Serious Arm Wound.

In the real world – Real-world wounds to the arm often need to be stabilized well for broken bones, torn muscles or tendons, and dislocated joints to be comfortable enough the casualty is not in excessive pain. Some injuries to arms and legs can become critical or fatal from movement if not secured.

Effect on the casualty – Casualties have limited movement of the arm. Casualty retains the use of the hand for grasping and carrying.

Serious Arm Wounds

Check the side 
– Both left and right versions of this wound exist. When no other wound exists, sling the arm designated on the card. When any existing arm or torso intervention is in place, sling the arm already treated instead.

1) Using an aluminum SAM splint, and an ACE bandage, secure the hand, wrist and lower-arm to the splint 2) Sling the arm as above for Minor Arm Wounds.
Perform the intervention over the top of the uniform, armor and outerwear.
Never secure both arms. The player must have at least one arm free to prevent real world injury when they trip and fall.

Second wound – If a previous serious arm wound intervention has been performed, the casualty is killed.

In the real world – Real-world bone, joint, muscle, or tendon damage often requires stabilization using splints. Injuries to limbs can easily result in fatal blood loss.

Effect on the casualty – Loss of function of that entire arm below the shoulder. Although we suppose the sling might make a handy place to stash your bag of snacks, it is a poor trade for an entire arm.

Minor Leg Wound

Check the side – Both left and right versions of this wound exist. Always use the side indicated. Unlike arms, you may splint both legs.

Using two aluminum SAM splints, immobilize the knee of indicated leg. Place one splint on the front of the leg as shown, and one on the back of the leg. Secure the two splints with an elastic bandage, or cravats along their entire length. Ensure that the splint is not too tight, does not cut off circulation or cause discomfort.

Second wound – Add the bandage as described in Serious Leg Wound. Be sure to remove the splints before placing the bandage.

In the real world – There are many good reasons to stabilize a leg for comfort and to prevent further injury. There are also many other leg injuries that we cannot simulate without impacting mobility, adding large and complex medical supplies, or adding complex rules.
In reality, splints to the knee would be placed on either side of the leg instead of the front and back. CWG requires this so the casualty to bend their knee in an emergency. It is specifically an ineffective splinting method for the real world.

Effect on the casualty – The splint replicates the stiffness and lack of mobility of many types of leg wounds. The ankle is left free to move as is the hip, allowing the casualty some ability to walk still.

Serious Leg Wound, Left or Right

Check the side – Both left and right versions of this wound exist. Always use the side indicated. Unlike arms, you may splint both legs.

Above the knee apply one ACE bandage, as though a wound dressing. On top of this add the splints as described in the Minor Leg Wound.

Second wound – The casualty is killed.

In the real world – Battlefield wounds to legs can involve damage to large bones, and large blood vessels that normally might require a tourniquet and/or large dressings. Tourniquets and dressings must be placed high on the limb to be effective, they must also be placed under splints, objects in pockets, and if possible under clothing.
This presents a problem for simulation, since interventions under clothing and/or in the groin area are both destructive and presents modesty issues. Tourniquets are not needed for simulating wounds on a casualty; we only need to simulate the effect of wounds.
The CWG compromise is to place a "dressing" on the leg, under the splint.

Effect on the casualty – The splint replicates the stiffness and lack of mobility of many types of leg wounds. The ankle is left free to move as is the hip, allowing the casualty some ability to walk still. The additional dressing will probably cover the cargo pocket on that leg (if the splint doesn't already) so remove any items in the pocket before the dressing is applied.


The Company Casualty Collection Point is at a fixed site near the rear of each side's AO. While called the CCP, and labeled as a medical site, it does not act as a realistic CCP, and is not staffed by medical personnel.

When casualties arrive at the CCP, they will remove their bandage materials, and place them in a designated storage container for re-use. Casualties at the CCP have no other required tasks, so should rest, eat and drink. Two hours after arrival, players are healed of their wounds, or resurrected, and may re-enter the game.

Individuals at the CCP cannot participate in ANY tactical activities including giving or receiving orders, monitoring the tactical radio net, noting enemy activity within sight, or performing training exercises.

Any casualty may use the Company CCP. Those killed cannot play the game until they have been resurrected at the CCP, but casualties who are not killed may also use it to heal their wounds. The same time requirement is used for all individual.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Handguns at CWG Events

At CWG events like the upcoming Swift Fox 23, handguns are required for the handful of officers, and allowed for a number of others. However, they aren't particularly suggested. Let's talk about their value, and some tips on carrying them to improve your life. 

Handguns have been quite widely issued in the past two decades of war. And almost everyone I know or talk to who's gone to war with a pistol has left it behind the next time they were allowed to. Handguns seem like a good idea, but are too often a burden or a hindrance.

What we've learned is that handguns have great value, but only in certain very specialized cases. We'll ignore the really specialist roles (covert uses, close protection, shield and K9 operators...)  and focus on their use in conventional armies. These tend to focus on situations where the soldier's primary task is using his hands for something else, or where his primary weapon maybe less suitable or unavailable for close range self defense.

Machine gunners and vehicle crew in theory can employ a handgun more quickly than a carbine, and while also engaging in other activities, like driving. In practice, they find that focus on driving, fixing the machine gun, or switching to a rifle is a more effective use of their time.

Combat medics have put their handguns to good use. Sometimes they are deeply involved in applying pressure or doing some other task where both hands simply are not available. A handgun to defend themselves and the patient has saved a few lives. Our Combat Medics do not have actual casualties to treat, so this is less likely to be critical.

Officers typically are more or less required to carry handguns as what can be called a badge of office, and CWG follows this as part of the third world army mentality. There are some legitimate reasons also. Officers in the field are often occupied with maps, radios, notebooks and other activities. Even if they have a rifle, it is often nearby as they do their work, or slung in an inconvenient way.

The handgun is sometimes referred to as the gun you use to fight your way to the rifle you should never have put down in the first place, but a stack of rifles in the corner of the HQ is standard, and headquarters do get over-run without warning sometimes.

Wearing Your Holster Right

How to help carry a handgun is also a problem, especially for a light infantryman. We require that your holster be actually a holster, not just a magazine pouch. This assures the handgun isn't lost, and doesn't accidentally fire. This is a legitimate safety issue, as like in the real world we consider holstered handguns safe. They can be brought into safe areas (tents, closed vehicles) without being cleared. We do not want one falling out or discharging at close range, but especially in areas where your eyepro may be removed. 

People in the real world do routinely fire an accidental shot when drawing, or re-holstering their handguns. With a normal belt holster, this shot will strike somewhere near your feet, and you should only be embarrassed. With an appendix holster it could strike you, with a horizontal-draw shoulder holster it could strike your battle buddy. This is why we require all holsters to point the muzzle at the ground (when standing at least).

Chest holsters saw a resurgence in popularity in our recent mechanized and mounted operations, but it is important to understand why, and not try to mis-apply the use case. These are useful because they keep the pistol up and away from equipment, or the turret ring for a commander or gunner. Vehicle crew often cannot wear belt mounted items. Chest and shoulder holsters are not particularly effective or comfortable otherwise, and can interfere when wearing backpacks.

Belt holsters are the best all-around option, but of course you're using your belt line for your LBE, and for the waist belt of your backpack. The thigh holster or drop-leg was popular for a bit, but has also fallen out of favor for many purposes. While still seen a lot, look close; those people are photographed because they are standing around. There, it works fine. However, it's not great for people who walk around. The holster is mounted to a part of your body that moves a great deal more than your torso, so adds to fatigue, and can more easily make noise.

Thigh holsters are also much more prone to bump into corners of walls, protruding objects, vehicle doors, your team-mates, and can even get snagged on tree branches.

Luckily, there is a solution. There are shorter drop extensions. My favorite is the Safariland UBL. A few different levels of drop are available, so make your choices.  Other makers of holsters have similar accessories.
Just dropping the holster a couple inches clears the beltline for other purposes, even just body armor, and keeps it high enough to move with your body instead of flopping around.

For an example of a cheaper alternative is the MOLLE version of the USGI drop-leg extender. These come with a strap to clip around your thigh, and are everything bad I said above, but they are festooned with MOLLE webbing. You can clip your M12 or similar old school flap holster to the first lowered position, and drop it just enough to clear the beltline. I am sure other drop leg adapters can be repurposed similarly, so see what you or your friends have laying around in your spare nylon bin.

The other way to go is to make the holster go the other way, slightly higher. Several options but again my favorite is Safariland; the M in their MLS fork is for MOLLE, so you can get an adapter plate to clip a holster to your LBE directly.

If you find even a little drop feels insecure, all these options can be configured with a retention strap still. Run it very high on the leg, as shown. Not as a "knee holster" way down on your thigh where it makes the bottom of the holster swing with each step. 

Whatever you do, figure out a way to try this out before you get to the field. A walk around the block in full LBE, ruck and pistol probably won't go well, but find some way to do it, even if just around the house for an hour while doing chores. In the field is no time to find your holster stabs you in the kidneys, cuts off circulation, or becomes dangerously loose. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Being a Light Infantry Soldier at CWG Events

We've answered a number of questions individually from players — or those who didn't yet choose to attend — concerned about our focus on light infantry will really mean. Do you really have to carry everything on your back, the whole time? 

Yes and no. 

You should be prepared to carry everything on your back, and that includes enough stuff to eat. sleep and fight with for the entire three days. You will carry it some, but then put it down in caches, and patrol bases to go scout, patrol, guard, or assault things. 

As we take (or give) ground, and otherwise change our response to enemy actions and terrain, we'll have to move. Your patrol base may only be where you work from for six hours. So be prepared to pack up, and move it all again on foot. 

While we have some motor transport, and it may help carry equipment, it may not be available, or you may be in an inaccessible area (or a truck would give away your position), so you need to be able to carry things like 5 gallon water jugs for a little ways, if you have to. 

Think about the consequences of moving forward from a patrol base, or ditching your ruck in a fight. What critical items need to go on your LBE instead? Should you bring an assault pack for a little bit more load carriage? What if, like the guy above, you are the radio operator? How quickly can you move the radio from your ruck to a lighter pack?

If you want to think about some more examples, here's a day you might encounter at Swift Fox 16, which we hope helps: 


Ruck up, PPE on, and on command you cross the LoD with your squad,. You are now in the Highlands. A brief stop to load weapons and make one last accountability check and you move out.


Vehicles have caught up, and A and C squads load up and get a ride. Your squad gets to walk, and bushwhack no less. It's only about 1 km, and reportedly you aren't in dangerous country, so you are there pretty soon. 


Your squad has arrived at the Company headquarters, and everyone dumps rucks. It's still the Highlands so you go to 25% security while everyone else rests, and the squad leader goes to get the mission briefing. 


Your sector is assigned. You have to move down the hill, across an open valley, and see if there are any enemy forces on the wooded hills on the other side, preferably without getting seen yourself. 

Order of march is set, you discuss the route then ruck up, make sure everyone has a swig of water, perform a sensitive items check, and head out. 


The movement is slow, and deliberate, to avoid making too much noise, and also because you are in full rucks and the terrain is sometimes steep. There are listening halts every few minutes, and the Squad Leader spends a lot of time during these using his binoculars. But you've made it to the far treeline with no enemy contact. 


After a longish radio call, and some decoding, the Squad leader has led you to a small piece of high ground bordered by thorn bushes and a creek. The word is (quietly) passed that this is your Patrol Base. 

Everyone drops their rucks, arranges them in the middle, and there's a briefing for the Squad. You think now that enemy forces are about 400 m ahead, on the high ground to the North East. 


Your Fire Team got to stay at the Patrol Base, to secure it. You also had lunch, but it wasn't super restful digging in and clearing fields of fire without making too much noise and while looking for enemies. 

Fire Team 1 has just returned, using the designated entrance you've already marked with lightsticks for the night, and using the passwords. After a briefing (which you get to only hear, not see, as you are on security, your Fire Team gets assigned to go out. 

You have 20 minutes to exchange places with the other Fire Team, and pack anything you want to bring in your rig or assault packs. You get assigned to bring your sleeping bag and shovel as team gear, so unload most of your ruck and cache it all in a waterproof bag in the center of the Patrol Base. 


After two hours of careful movement, you've finally seen the enemy. Well, you have seen a vehicle. They seem to have resupplied or dropped off people from some sort of jeep at an OP or strongpoint just 75 m ahead. 

You are one of two left behind to keep an eye out, note anything else you see and provide security. The rest of the Team moves downhill a bit, so the team leader can call it in on the radio. 


Surprise has led to victory. You and another Squad assaulted the position with great success. You've killed three enemy, and two or three (there's some disagreement on this) more fled. Now, your team has been assigned to hold the position.

This will be your new patrol base, until at least dark. So, it now time to get all your supplies. Your Team secures the base, and the rest of the squad goes back to get their packs, and a selection of cold weather gear and meals from your packs as well.  


Command wants to make sure you control this sector, so send regular patrols from it. Your Fire Team gets the patrol that starts in a few minutes, but will last until dark, so you are reminded to bring an assault pack with some cold weather and rain gear just in case, NODs and night weapon sights for those who have them, and spare batteries. You get to carry the Medic's poncho so he can keep to just his medic pack. 


Just as you return from patrol, there's a decision that your squad will set some ambushes. Your Fire Team will be in an OP a few hundred yards forward of the Patrol Base. Half the team brings their rucks, since 50% security means you can trade off sleeping bag use.

You get 5 minutes to pull out your food and anything else needed for a night in the woods, and give it to someone with a ruck to carry. At the last minute they give you a field phone, so you stick it in the top of someone else's pack while he's wearing it, and then head right out.


Just as you are finishing dinner in the dark as your shift starts, there's much noise and light from over the next little hill.

The phone rings to tell you the ambush was tripped, but it was not decisive. There's an ongoing battle over there, and you are told to muster the team, and get over there right away. You shake everyone awake, and they quickly put on boots and helmets, clip on NODs, and the Team Leader gives a brief while two others clean up the campsite and stuff everything into rucks as soon as possible.


After the action is completed, your squad consolidates, and moves to a new base you ran across. You and the rest of the squad who don't have their rucks make their way to the first Patrol Base, and quietly retrieve your gear so you can reload magazines, grenades, machine guns, and get some food and gear to sleep in.


You are now glad you took a break at the old Patrol Base. Not just to water up and get a snack, but to reload magazines. You even put a grenade in a pouch so you had it next time, and it was almost the first thing you used when you stumbled across an enemy patrol on the way back.

The point man suddenly called for a halt, and the light crunching of leaves very nearby didn't stop. So the Fire Team Leader quietly said the challenge word, and it was returned with gunfire. You dumped the ruck and dove for cover, returning fire and tossing your grenade where the tracers were coming from.

After a few minutes, the Fire Team Leader called a cease fire, and tossed a lightstick flare. No one shot, and it seems you didn't hit anyone. You took a casualty, but without a Combat Medic and too far from base, he died so hiked back to the CCP after the Fire Team Leader wrote it down and made sure he wouldn't get lost.

You retrieve your rucks, taking a bit of time in the dark to re-attach the shoulder straps from ditching, and twenty minutes later are back to the new patrol base. Over breakfast in the pre-dawn darkness, you give a briefing and prepare for the next day.

Carrying a rocket? How? Are you sure? Try it before you get into the field. 

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.

* * *

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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