Wargaming Musings?

I'm a bit of a butterfly in terms of my attention and sticking to gaming projects long term isn't my strongest point. On the bright side, atleast I flit between the same things. Expect an ecclectic medley of Moderns, Dark Ages, Quar and Early Wild West, almost all in 28mm... (with some 1/48 moderns thrown in... )

Friday, 13 April 2012

A modern Eastern-European Imagi-nation...

I started thinking about doing a modern eastern european setting quite a few years ago; inspide by a mix of Operation flashpoint, the Rainbow six games, a recent trip to the Ukraine and vague memories of news reports from Chechnya & the Balkans. It's an idea that simmered for a while, with me picking up a few (28mm) figures here and there. At times the project was incorperated with my now long gone Near future games, at others it was seperate. Then Russian & Georgia had their falling out in 2008, and it all seemed a little to close to home and a tad tasteless.

I'm not sure what started the idea back off. What matters is that something did. 'Back in the day' I had always fancied the HLBS 1/48 figures, but I had decided to stick to just 28mm scale as it would make scenery accumulating etc easier. Having accumualted (and sold off....) a reasonable number of 28mm figures, and seeing that Airfix were planning a schlew of 1/48 releases over the summer, I decided to go for 1/48 afterall (especially as I'd read that they fit quite nicely with most 28mm scenery, especially if you squint, and that they'd also go well with 1/43rd scale cars of which there are an abundance). Except that HLBS had stopped making the figures about 6 months before I made this decision. Not only that, but the shelves were bare! A few great folks on the LAF rallied round, and so I've managed to accumulate some figures to use - not all ones that I would have chosen, and some are duplicates,  but it's going to force me to get creative... I've got a few 28mm figures for the setting too - mainly they are remenants from 'the last time', and a few figures from other projects which are usable. definitely not my focus, but every now and again there might a couple of them appearing as tests for camo-schemes and the like.

My original setting was going to be Urdovnya:
This Caucasian state became independent during breakup of soviet block in 19991, although it retained pro-Russian pseudo-communist government for 5 years before a peaceful revolution led to the introduction of a democratic government in 1996. Following this, Urdovnya was wooed by both NATO and the EU, which has led to an increasing westernisation which in turn has led to a growing resentment in the ethnic Russian population in the north of the country. In the summer of 2003 this boiled over into a series of riots and general civil unrest, however it was quickly contained, and through a series of measures to increase the representation of the Russian minority in the Urdovnyan congress. Tension continued to build, until in 2006 the Russian ethnic minority attempt to stage a coup to overthrow the existing government and press for a merger with Russia. Within weeks of the campaign starting, a rogue Russian General (Striorvich) sympathetic  to the cause and with hopes of reuniting Russia with its breakaway satellite states had crossed the border, bringing the weight of his forces in on the side of the rebels. The government forces, which had been holding their own until that point started to break up under the external pressure, with a changing emphasis to guerrilla actions on the part of the government and the much more dramatic involvement of militia forces.  External pressure eventually halted the Russian supported rebel forces, before they could fully occupy the country, but as things stand they hold the northern 1/3 of the country and rebel militia units and ‘technical advisors’ are still fighting in central Urdovnya (Caminsk region). The governmental forces have not been left solely unsupported however, as a flood of volunteer fighters  and mercenaries from across eastern Europe and the caucuses have rallied to their cause, including veterans of the conflicts in Chechnya and south Ossetia. There are rumours of NATO special forces teams being involved in an advisory capacity, aiding the Governmental forces. As a side note, there has also been an uprising in religious fundamentalism amongst the Islamic minority, which whilst not pro-government (instead preferring to see the institution of an Islamic state) are decidedly anti-russian (perhaps due to the realisation that if Urdovnya is integrated into the Russian Federation, the possibility of being able to set up an Islamic state becomes completely unattainable).
I even fleshed out some (28mm) figure lists as this was developped inbetween getting the idea and the support of the LAFers
Urdovnyan Regular army – Mix of TAG Russians and Mongrel Soviets to give an older, more rag-tag feel to the army. (Regulars equipped with soviet weapons and equipment, but have some NATO gear – EG a couple of ‘gifted’ M113 APCs). Cammo uniforms old ‘sun-blotch’ pattern and US woodland.  Wood sotcked AK-74’s + M16s

Urdovnyan Volunteer reserve – Not equipped to fight a mainstream conflict, the Urdovnyan volunteer reserveforce is non the less a paramilitary formation and has been drafted in to hold back the encroaching russianl army. Mongrel Afghan army,  Reserve uniform. Also include Police militsia in a different uniform, supporting the government forces.

Russian army – Mix of Red-star, TAG & Ratnik modern Russians, mixed modern camo (see below – Black-stocked AK derivatives

Rebel ‘regulars ‘  militia – as Russians, Wod stoced AKs, red arm bands . Preference for balaclavas, more military uniform elements than Urdovnyan militia

Urdovnyan militia – Red Star, TAG, Ratnik Chechen militia, TAG militia with western weapons, Mongrel Congo mercs, WW2 soviet partisans, a few Taliban for Muslim fighters , Maybe use some baker Co US special forces to add to the rag-tag ‘east meets west’ feel of the militia?. White arm bands. Lots of civllain gear mixed in
But i wasn't completely happy with it. Then I stumbled across the setting for the video game 'ARMA II' - Chernarus.
This is effectively everything I had thought of, springing fully formed into my mind - complete with camo schemes, mocked up newspapers and video footage.
So Urdovnya was sidelined, and Chernarus chosen. I'm going to have to add an Islamic faction to use the Islamic militia I've aquired in 1/48th, but that won't take much work. I'm currently toying with calling them the 'Chernarus Moslem Brotherhood' AKA CMB AKA Mujahadeen.

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