One of the new Encounter Groups in 4th edition is the “Cave Rats” or “Tunnel Rats”; these are the descendants of people who found or built underground shelter before the Wars and Asteroid strikes. They don’t have a very high technology (early 20th Century) but trade in “recycled technology, information, iron ore”. This article is an attempt to add a little more detail and suggest how a PD might incorporate them into a campaign.
The “Delphi Diner” is a relic from an earlier time – when America was mobile and the roads were safe. It is close to the Cave Rat community and is linked by power and phone lines. Warning: Following the pylons back to “Home” is discouraged. There are traps and even a few landmines on the route.
Fourth edition adds a few vehicles to the “later date” Morrow Project and there are now 2 variants of the HMMWV in the MP motor pool. This post will cover some details of the M1025 Armament Carrier, and provide a suggested load plan.
This is a suggested briefing for the Recon Team that will be involved in “Liberation at Riverton”
“OK, people. Thank you for coming”
“In case you didn’t know, I am the Regional Group Leader for Task Group Michigan. You’re here today so that you can understand my… and the Project’s…intentions for Reconstruction in Michigan. You’ll be doing Recon in the lower peninsula, so we’ll concentrate on that”
“First of all, I want you to remember the old Real Estate slogan ‘Location, Location, Location’. Michigan has a LONG shoreline and access to 4 of the 5 Great Lakes. This will be of major importance for communication and transport. So… we will need to know about surviving port facilities and any functioning shipyards”
“Second… we’ll want you to check out the economy and resources. Obviously, Michigan’s most famous for making cars and trucks – but it also produces a lot of timber products. Incidentally, your equipment will include details on producing Wood Gasifiers. You may find that this will be useful for areas that don’t have liquid fuel . ALSO… Michigan’s lower peninsula has several oil and gas fields. They’re not huge and mostly rely on the “Nodding Donkeys”. However, we’ll need something that produces fuel and lubricants. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that one of the Task Group caches is essentially a drill and small refinery. We need you to tell us where to operate”
“Third… surviving government. I’m not optimistic about Detroit’s chances but it might be work a look in that direction – if only for scrap metal. Lansing…and the State legislature should also be investigated. I suspect that it’ll be a target. But, again, it might be worth looking at Remember… the Project wants to work with Federal and State government ”
“Fourth…surviving military and security. Michigan has several military bases. Some of them are pretty big. Maybe big enough to survive after being attacked. Camp Grayling, for instance. Lots of terrain. Dozens of armored vehicles and it even has some experimental ‘green’ power generation systems. Mostly solar, and wind . Even if the original garrison does not survive… SOMEONE is going to be poking around the place and we’ll need to know about it. I would also like to know the current condition of the Michigan State Police. They have a good reputation for dealing with Disasters”
“Fifth…surviving Educational and Scientific assets. By this I mean everything from people to facilities. For example, experts in training nurses or the Michigan University’s cyclotron.”
“OK. Those are my priorities. Any questions?”
I finally decided to purchase the new edition of The Morrow Project and to be more productive on this site
So how does this differ from 3rd edition?
1. SIZE! This book is big (hardcover and over 300 pages)
2. The artwork is prettier.
But let’s look at the game rules
3. Percentage-based? Check. But there’s a clever way of dealing with criticals
4. Blood points and Structure points. Check. Some slight changes in layout and explanation
5. TEOTWAWKI occurs in 2017. A world war is triggered by panic over resources and an incoming asteroid.
6. Bruce Morrow averted the 3rd edition’s 1989 war. Presumably this could be regarded as something like the ‘Star Trek’ reboot.
7. Most of the changes seem to be in weaponry. Glock pistols, M16 rifles, HK submachine gun and the Barett 50 calibre “sniper rifle”. However, there are some new vehicles (electric bikes and variants of the HMMWV)
8. Very detailed . It reminded me of the GDW system or perhaps “Millennium’s End”. Career paths, college degrees and so on
THINGS I LIKE
The equipment lists include stuff that might have been overlooked (wristwatch in the basic gear, for instance).
The background details are open for customization (size of the Project for instance)
The Encounter Groups have slightly more detail
There is greater detail on the planning
THINGS I DON’T LIKE
These are very minor and easily fixable. For example, some of the new Encounter Groups seem unnecessary – but your tastes may differ.
I have never been convinced that the Project needed 3 types of pistol (in 3 calibres) and now there are 4 more handguns and 2 new calibres: 45LC and 410 shot.
DISCLAIMER: my name appears in the list of “additional authors/contributors”
Or “What are those planes on the cover of 4th edition?’
This is the Skywalker X8: a cheap, easily-assembled and easily-modifoed drone. It’s marketed for the “FPV” (First Person View) hobbyist and is powered by batteries – although some hobbyists have installed jet turbines.
This is a real-world device which can be purchased for about $200. Cameras, motors, batteries and a remote control system can easily add another 3 or 4 hundred. Or a few thousand if Night Vision capabilities are desired
The X8 is not a Predator Drone – it is best used at distances of less that 10 kilometres. Looking over the “next hill” is the best use for the vehicle. However it does have an impressive payload bay and can stay airborne for about an hour.
The Atlantis Project planners like the X8 because it’s perfectly legal to own and operate
or, “why the Kentucky Free State does NOT have access to the sea”
REAL- WORLD BACKGROUND:
The Mississippi River has changed course many times and – for several decades – has been likely to swing to the west (following the course of the Atchafalaya River which is a stteper and shorter distance to the Gulf of Mexico). If it did so, the river would no longer flow past Baton Rouge and New Orleans . Instead of discharging through the Bird’s Foot Delta into deep Gulf of Mexico water (a distance of 315 miles) the longest river in North America would flow into the shallows of Atchafalaya Bay (only 142 miles away).
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has been given the task of preventing this economic disaster. The Corps built the Old River Control Structure, a billion-dollar marvel of engineering. It is a series of dams built on a quiet, unpopulated stretch of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, a few miles east of the tiny town of Simmesport.
The Old River Control Structure suffered catastrophic failure in the first Spring after Death Day. This was the final blow to all attempts to rebuild.
Colossal amounts of water moved down the Atchafalaya River system , creating ten-storey-deep scour holes that migrated along the riverbed, undermining bridge pilings. The Interstate 10 and the U.S. Highway 190 bridges collapsed.
The gas and oil pipelines built beneath the bed of the River ruptured and spilled what remained of their contents . Floodwaters isolated and then destroyed Houma, Raceland, and Thibodaux. Morgan City was drowned and then buried by silt as floodwaters receded. Rotting bodies were trapped in buildings, snagged in tree branches and beached on high ground when water levels dropped.
At the Old River Control Structure, the Mississippi River’s bed is below sea level. The reduced flow in the Mississippi River downstream from the structure was overcome by the pressure of saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico. Seawater rapidly extended upstream from the Gulf, contaminating water supplies needed for drinking and industry, first in Port Sulphur and then in New Orleans itself.
The Mississippi River channel just south of the Old River Control Structure silted in, cutting off barge traffic and isolating what remained of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
The outlet of the Atchafalaya River (which allows ship traffic to move in and out of Morgan City) silted in.
Next entry will describe some of the group’s who live in the Marsh
The most common pseudo-military vehicle in the world of the Morrow Project is usually a “Technical” – an open-backed civilian pickup truck or four-wheel drive vehicle mounting some form of heavy weapon: a machine gun, light anti-aircraft gun, recoilless rifle, or other support weapon. Maxwell’s Militia is the most widespread user, but this weapons platform is available to almost any group that has Technology Level C.
There is very little sophistication in the use of “Technicals”.
1. The basic unit is the vehicle and its mounted squad: a group of 4 to 8 fighters with their gear and supplies.
2. the vehicles usually operate in groups of 4 or more
3. There is only one tactical formation: the ‘extended line”
SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)
1. “Maintain an extended line abreast”
2. “Keep your neighbours just in sight, but no closer”
3. “Move to the sound of the guns”
4. “Dismount when you see the enemy”
5. “”When you come under fire, stop and fire back”
How this works in combat
Technicals always move abreast and maintain a distance between them such that each unit can just see the vehicles on either side (obviously, this distance varies dependent on terrain etcetera). The intended result of this movement formation is that the enemy will be easily flanked.
The vehicles that first encounter the enemy will immediately halt and lay down suppressive fire. The momentum of the advance will cause the other vehicles to advance a small distance before they can react and turn towards the firefight – this will result in a flanking position. There is no need for radio communication or formal orders, each unit turns towards the gunfire and (while maintaining formation) automatically positions itself on the flanks or to the rear of the enemy position
Once the fighters can see the enemy, they dismount and form another extended line about 3 or 4 metres in front of their Technical. The unit (dismounted fighters and vehicle) then sweeps forward until they come under fire – at this point the fighters take cover and the vehicle stops while the squad’s heavy weapon is used. Meanwhile the other Technicals (and their fighters) close in on the position (again without formal coordination – just guided by the sound of gunfire).
Note: The squad leader remains with the vehicle (and may be the main gunner). He coordinates his fighters and driver by voice commands. Professional military might consider this less than optimal, assuming that the squad leader should join the dismounted fighters and leave a trusted subordinate to manouver the vehicle. But it must be remembered that the leader usually owes his position to the fact that his family owns the Technical – an immensely valuable and almost irreplaceable asset. He would be foolish to risk losing control. All squad leaders agree that ambitious subordinates should be kept IN FRONT of the machine gun