Re: Guerilla Warfare in Sartar and Prax

From: Kevin Rose (vladt@interaccess.com)
Date: Thu 29 Jan 1998 - 06:56:01 EET


Sure, you could do this, but I would be very hesitant to recomend it,
particularly in Sartar. Not becuase it wouldn't work, but that it might
work too well.

Prax it would probably work OK. The wastes are essentially uncontrollable.
They are wast, inhabited by horribly dangerous monsters and vicious people
who are totally mobile. The Lunars will just hunker down and defend,
killing anyone who tries to go after them, unless they want to spend
totally outragious amounts of time, blood and money to conquer the wastes.
So you can have a band ride around and harass the lunars pretty freely.

Sartar is different. People have an attachment to the land. The problem
is that what needs to be done to defeat the Lunars is to basically turn
the entire nation into an armed band. I don't think I really want to play
someone, for years, who sees this as a good thing.

Anyway, you need to force the people, as a whole, to beome an armed force
against the Lunars. To achieve this you force the people to participate in
the war. You stage attacks near a town, knowing that the Lunars will go in
and stage a reprisal attack. If you hear that a village is not supporting
you you go in, burn the houses kill anyone you can catch as an object
lesson. If they support you the lunars will kill them, but if they
support the lunars you will kill them. Neutrality is not allowed.

Publicly torture to death, in villages or clans who support the lunars,
the leaders, their wives, children and close relatives. Terror is good.
Kill any anyone who might provide a positive model for the enemy cause.
So burn down the orphanages with the staff and kids inside. Open a fake
seven mothers temple, then kill anyone who makes use of the poor fund. If
the Chalana arroy healers heal the lunar supporters, kill them. You are
either our friends or our enemies, and enemies are killed as public
examples for those who might want to emulate them. Mercy and similar
ideas are weaknesses that prevent you from defeating you foes and
liberting the people from the evil oppression.

A new venue in heroic roleplaying. . . But it's your game.

Anyway, a few closing thoughts. One problem you will tend to encounter in
most books that talk about guerilla warfare is they tend to romanticise

it, in several different ways.

Some overlook, (as an example) in the war in vietnam, that the real
guerillas basically all died by 1968, and the later war was against the
light infantry and armoured divisions of the north vietnamese army. They
ignore wars like the Ukrainian anti-soviet guerillas after WW2. Or
exagerate the effects of the partisans in France, where they tied down
maybe 6500 Germans at most. Essentially, no guerilla force has defeated a
first rate opponent without enormous outside support.

The other element that gets sort of brushed under the rug is just how
horrible the effects are on the innocent people that the guerillas are
claiming to liberate. Yugoslavia in WW2 is one of the better examples
(1.6 million dead, at least 450,000 who were executed by one side or
another), as is Algeria in the 50's (where 1/9th of the population was
murdered by one side or the other). You could also use the example of the
current guerilla war in Algeria as a model. Keegan refered to the process
as "remilitarization from below" and when successful, it typically results
in destruction of the entire society.

Kevin

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