Task Group Michigan – Campaign Notes #2: Traverse City “Everything’s for sale, but only life is cheap”
THIS IS A PLACE HOLDER. ADDITIONAL DETAILS WILL BE REQUIRED
Background note: In this campaign, Traverse City (aka “TC, or “The City”) provides an opportunity for a different “style” of play. Players can involve themselves in the intrigue between the City’s political/economic/military powers.
The City is a trading hub for Lake Michigan. Everyone comes to TC. Everyone buys and sells. Shipmen (of course), Truckers, Slavers, Wanderers and many others sell their goods and services. Wines and fruits are the main agricultural exports, but the city also has a strong manufacturing sector.
At first glance, Maxwell’s Militia has the greatest amount of power. The Overlord’s son is “Sheriff” and his M1 tanks have the most visible power. The MM could close the port, or stop food coming into the city at any time. However, that would remove all value from the city.
The Sheriff – Maxwell’s Militia
The Lawmen – A group that traces its ancestry back to Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (and still call themselves “Conservation Officers”)
The Academy – Great Lakes Maritime Academy. The Lakers’ university
The Medics – Medical professionals operating out of the old Munson Medical Center. Emdees, with surprising links to Breeders and Inquisitors
The Lunar Convent – Psionic Nuns
The Vintners – Merchants in wine, spirits, maple syrup and other luxury foods
Power Workers – the people who run the power stations and maintain the power transmission infrastructure
This is intended to be a continuing series and will outline a (4th ed) TMP campaign set in the lower peninsula of Michigan. It is assumed that players will begin with characters that are members of a Recon Team. Their first major scenario will be ‘Liberation at Riverton’
please also see Note #0 “Commander’s Intent”
Task Group Michigan is assigned the following.
Ten personnel with extensive experience in “herding cats”, crisis management and strategic planning. Their job is directing/coordinating the various MP teams and ensuring that the Morrow Project is being effective in the Reconstruction Effort. This team is equipped with 2 vehicles
- V-150 APC (equipped with Heavy Machine Gun)
- M35 2-1/2 ton truck with Medium cargo trailer
There are 4 Reconnaissance and Contact teams. Each is made up of 6 people and is equipped with 2 vehicles
- V-150 – armed with 20mm cannon
- HMMWV – armed with MK19 grenade launcher
The Military Assistance, Rescue & Security unit has 12 people and 4 vehicles
- V-150 – armed with 20mm cannon
- V-150 – armed with 20mm cannon
- V-150 – armed with 81mm mortar
- V-150 – armed with TOW launcher
Medical and Civil Action Teams:
These are 2 large teams with 12 personnel each. Each team has the following vehicles
- Commando Ranger
- HMMWV Ambulance
- HMMWV – armed with Heavy Machine Gun
Three trailers are also assigned to each team: 1 water purification, 1 fusion power generator and 1 work shop trailer
Michigan has a substantial agricultural economy and produces an extensive range of products (second only to California). Therefore, Task Group Michigan has 2 fully equipped Agriculture Teams. Each Team has 10 personnel and the following vehicles
- HMMWV – armed with Heavy Machine Gun
- 3 M35 2-1/2 ton truck with Medium cargo trailer
An additional cargo trailer is set up as a portable laboratory.
There is one Engineering Team. This has 9 personnel and the following vehicles
- v-150 – ARV variant
- 2-1/2 ton truck with portable machine shop
- HMMWV – armed with MK-19 Grenade Launcher
Three trailers are also assigned to each team: 1 portable forge, 1 fusion power generator and 1 general cargo
No specific Science Team is assigned to Task Group Michigan. However, the Command Team has the capability to communicate with a Science -One unit operating in Wisconsin.
OIL TEAM: As implied in the “Commander’s Intent” briefing, one Specialty Team is capable of operating an oil well. It consists of 10 personnel (geologists, and mechanics/technicians). It has 4 trucks which carry the necessary equipment to extract and refine fuel, lubricants and various other petrochemicals.
AIR TEAM: Two Airscouts are assigned to Task Group Michigan, along with 8 personnel to fly and maintain them.
COMMUNICATION & LIAISON TEAMS: There are five C&L Teams. These are small (3-person) units that are intended to ensure continuous communication between MP units and also between the Project and survivors. They have extensive communications gear and equipment such as cameras, loudspeakers and printers. Each team has 1 HMMWV and a cargo trailer
PORT INFRASTRUCTURE TEAM: This is a large (20-person) team of civil engineers and technicians. Their role is to clear, maintain and operate river and lakeshore ports. They have the same equipment as the Engineering Team, plus a bulldozer and front-loader.
KNIGHTHAWK CELLULAR TACTICAL EDGE NODE — NETWORK IN A BOX – or a backpack
The 4th edition timeline gives us new possibilities and it seems a shame to overlook those useful electronic gadgets like the cellphone and the tablet. Especially when there are some interesting possibilities
This is a real-world device: the Harris KnightLite™. According to its manufacturer, it is a “cellular network in a backpack” that provides secure, high-bandwidth networking with absolute confidence under battlefield conditions.”
The website goes on to mention “Designed for dismounted operations, KnightLite provides the benefits of cellular connectivity wherever operators can penetrate. Whether operating stand-alone, multi-node, or connected to backhaul networks, KnightLite provides the bandwidth and connectivity necessary to take advantage of smartphone and tablet mobile apps for battlefield situational awareness. KnightLite increases the safety and effectiveness of warfighters by delivering enhanced situational awareness in the form of up-to-date voice, video, data, and SMS messaging. Enabling operators ac ting as a unit to collaborate using both commercial and specially designed applications. ”
This link will take you to the specifications . The most important details for TMP are its weight (5.4kg with battery) and range: 1km when used in backpack mode. Judging by Harris’ other products, I would suspect that it could reach about 3km when vehicle-mounted. Simply placing it in a tall position would probably extend the range even further – perhaps to about 10 or 15km.
The Harris website implies that several (up to 99?) smartphones and tablets can communicate as if they were linked via a “real” cellphone network. But note that this unit can only handle 8 simultaneous users. Naturally, there are larger and more capable systems and – no doubt – the MARS-ONE and Science-ONE vehicles will have something
The “Liberation at Riverton” module is a very simple black/white set-up: evil Imps are oppressing passive peasants (and have been doing this for 150 years). I suspect that this is due to the time it was written: its style would be interchangeable with a ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ scenario – evil orcs beating up human peasants. It can be a hack-and-slash session, and, if you want to run it like this, then that’s fine. However, there are alternatives…
The Oil Patch
It’s an open secret that “Camp Riverton” is the real-world Camp Grayling. So let’s use the interesting terrain around Grayling
Unlike its predecessor, the New Confederacy is an industrial society (even though its labour force are slaves). Therefore, the NC military does not simply replicate a 19th Century army; it has a slightly different approach to “mounted infantry”.
The simple bicycle is a very efficient method of transportation and the New Confederacy uses it in both civilian and paramilitary roles.
Adding a small motor is an obvious move and the above picture shows the NC solution: a 1HP engine (burning gasoline or ethanol) and a small 3rd wheel. This turns the bike into a narrow and asymmetric tricycle which is capable of about 20 miles per hour (30 kph).
The Dragoons are second-line troops, usually part-time militia and most likely to be involved in “Internal Security” patrols, keeping the Displaced Persons (DP’s under control. (see NC History)
DP’s who are found without passes are returned to their designated workplace (Admistrators/owners). Punishments for runaways are immediate and harsh, but rarely lethal .
All non-whites are subjected to questioning, searches, and other forms of harassment. For this reason, the Wanderers try to avoid New Confederacy homesteads and are willing to assist runaways.
Bolt-action rifles, shotguns (usually sawn-off double barrel) and revolvers
Some people call him a saint, but Peter Franklin doesn’t see it that way.
What everyone knows
1. Mister Franklin is from “The Library” – a place where people collect knowledge of the World and the Old Times.
2. He is a skilled teacher and has taught many people to read (both text and music)
3. He makes flutes and other musical instruments
4. He is highly respected in the local communities and has often helped them to settle disputes without bloodshed.
What nobody knows
1. Mister Franklin was once a high-ranking member of the Breeders (aka The American Renaissance Movement or ARM).
2. He is attempting to atone for his actions – and the numerous deaths he was responsible for
The Breeders attempt to prevent the spread of mutations and have tried several ways to improve their efficiency. One of their experiments was inspired by the 20th century Concentration Camps. It was not an unqualified success. It killed many mutants, but the Breeders were intrigued to discover that their personnel were often troubled by what they classified as the simplest forms of mental illness: empathy and guilt. The Camp was closed and attempts were made to rehabilitate the staff. Approximately 25% were classified as incurable – and designated as “IOD” (Involuntary Organ Donor).
Franklin was one of the Camp Guards – and one of the incurables. He escaped and eventually encountered “The Library”. For the last 30 years, Franklin has been trying to atone for what he did.
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.