Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech : The Farscape Campaign
The District of Cauca
The District of Cauca : Officially known as the Cauca Valley District ( Spanish : “Valle del Cauca”) is located in the western side of Sangria, facing the western Andross Ocean, Cauca is considered the most important agricultural region of the nation. A long, narrow coastal district sandwiched between the Popayán Mountains, south of the pass to San Succi, it is dominated by agricultural pursuits, their industry, and is blessed with fine soils and countless freshwater streams.
Ancient and among the first regions settled centuries ago, the highland farms are also the homes to many of the fortresses among the Mercenary Army. It has a population of roughly 1.24 million people, exports corn, sugar cane, and cattle, as well as fish from the western Puerto Buenaventura. Almost all of its industries are dedicated to agricultural production.
Cauca is a district of The Republic of Sangria. Located in the south-western part of the country, facing the Andross Ocean to the west, the Valle del Cauca to the north, Valle del Tolima to the northeast, the Popayán Mountains to the east, and the Valle del Nariño to the south. The district also borders covering a total area of 29,308 km². Its capital is the city of Popayán. The offshore island of Malpelo is claimed by Sangria and considered a part of the district. It is located in the southwest of the country some distance in the Andross Ocean.
Geologically speaking, it is a mash of various topography, ranging from high rocky mountains through mangrove swamps and thick dry forests, to rough coastal waters and gentle river valleys. Well-watered, numerous rivers follow the various valleys down sharp streams into winding, tranquil rivers that spill into the western Andross Ocean. Numerous islands lie close to the northern coastal waters, primarily the uninhabited Gorgona and Gorgonella islands, as well as the distant and isolated Malpelo Islands.
Malpelo Camp, Malpelo Island, Central Andross Ocean
The islands in the western Andross Ocean are scattered and only inhabited temporarily by scientific groups, though the military has long maintained a small military post on Malpelo Island, known as Malpelo Camp, where a squad of troops was stationed to maintain ownership of the islands (and thus much of the Andross Ocean ), until the civil war, when they were evacuated. At present, General Uirdo sends an occasional helicopter flight out to check on local sensors and maintain the equipment, but does not keep a permanent force over-looking the islands, though no other national power has ever expressed an interest in them. They lie 360 kms west of Buenaventura, and is a very remote posting.
Popayán de Cali : Often simply known as Popayán, is a city of 48,000 people, the capital of the District of Cauca. With easy access to agricultural resources, including fish, and the trailing end of the national rail network, Popayán is an important industrial town and commercial center for the district. It is also one of the largest cities in the nation, and renowned for its constant economic growth, despite relative isolation and a lack of heavy industry.
The city is also known for its avid support of the local national soccer team, the local branch of the national university, Universidad Nacional de Sangria, Cauca (UNS-C), which specializes in agricultural, science and mechanical fields of study, and the Pontifical Xavierian University, a private Catholic post-secondary institution and the only one of its kind in the nation. PXU specializes in training priests, but also provides courses in Psychology, Religious Studies, and Economics.
Armenia : A mid-sized town of 5400 people, Armenia is a center of commerce in the northern portion of the district, and provides the main military base for its local garrison, as well as acting as an important connection in its transport network.
Buenaventura : An important port town of 6700 people, Puerto Buenaventura is a largely rural town with scattered farms and villages throughout its municipal area. Dominated by the fishing industry and its support services, the town is best-known for being rife with criminal activities of all kinds, and is considered the center of the black market trade. Constant gang-related conflict to control the port and its munitions and drug trade, has made the town one of the most impoverished communities in the nation, riddled with poverty, crime and violence.
The department’s economy is mainly centered on agriculture. Its valley contains sugar cane, cotton, soy, and sorghum crops, and there are coffee crops in the mountains. The district is known for its sugar industry, which supplies the markets of the rest of the country and other planetary nations. The sugar is obtained from many large sugar cane plantations, which were introduced to the district by Sebastián de Belalcázar. The production by the city of Armenia also stands out, where several companies are found, most prominently the paper and cement businesses. The port at Buenaventura is Sangria’s only major port on the Andross coast, allowing for the important exploitation of fish in the Andross Ocean, and is of great importance for the economy of both the district and the scattered independent colonial resource towns across these waters.
In the Popayán Mountains region gold, silver and platinum have been historically extracted. Other non-precious minerals that are exploited are sulfur, asbestos, limestone, talc, gypsum and coal. The manufacturing industry is located in Popayán and the northern Valle del Cauca, the town of Cali and Puerto Buenaventura consisting of factories for the food, beverage, dairy, paper and packaging, wood processing, and sugar processing. The main centers of commercial activity are Popayán, Armenia, and Puerto Buenaventura.
Industry in Valle de Cauca is aimed almost exclusively towards support of the agricultural sector, and consists primarily of food processing plants. As agricultural efforts have become more and more industrialized, there is a growing dependence on fertilizers and enriched stock feeds to improve yields and production even among the smallest of farms.
AeroAndina : A Sangrian aircraft manufacturer based in Buenaventura in the Valle del Cuaca. The company was founded in 2979 as “Agrocopteros Ltd” to produce gyroplanes and later helicopters and biplanes for the Sangrian military. In 3006 the name was changed to Tecnoligias Aeronauticas S.A. and was also known as “Aerotec”. The company was liquidated in the early 3010s and reformed under its present name.
AeroAndina “Fantasy” Sport Plane
The company now specializes in the design and manufacture of light-sport aircraft. It’s AeroAndina “Scamp” bi-plane is often used as a crop-duster, and its AeroAndina “Fantasy” Sport plane are among its most popular production models. They also maintain a small regional airline, using several light turbo-prop passenger planes. The company has since sold its interests in the Pegasus Utility Helicopter to * “The Iron Dingoes”.
Bananal : Bananal is a subsidiary of Organización Ardila Lülle, operating numerous banana and potato plantations along the southern Cauca coast.
Incauca : Another part of the diverse San Succi-based Organización Ardila Lülle, Incauca has many various interests locally. It mills sugar cane and corn in two separate plants in the important northern city of Armenia. Its plant wastes are shipped to a separate bio-diesel plant in Armenia that distributes its products under the Solaro Oil Company brand.
Sucromiles : Another subsidiary of Organización Ardila Lülle, that operates an alcochemical and citric acid plant in Popoyán. Its products use corn starch as a base to produce plastics that are used widely across the nation, with some exported to San Isabel.
Crêpes & Waffles : A rapidly expanding company that caters to the upper Darrian classes of Sangria. Originally having six restaurants across the district, in the wake of the 3021 fires and riots, they have lowered their prices to compete directly with the many San Succi-based food chains, and also keeps various ice creams on its menus. Its combination of high quality and low prices has made it a commercial success. It is also known for hiring only single women and “women in need”, developing a great loyalty among its employees.
Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport
AeroAndinas : A regional charter airline, that employs three (3) short-haul turbo-prop X500 Jetstream airplanes, the company is known to make regular runs to tourist locations when hired. Their small imported planes also haul corporate cargo from drop-ports at need.
Antioquia Railway Formerly the national railway of Sangria was the National Railways of Sangria, connecting the major towns and cities of the nation. It was liquidated in the late-2980s, during the economic collapse of many nations in the world. In the early 2994, Valledupar Metro also expanded their cargo hauling lines, backed by Cerrejón’s vested interests in shipping bulk coal. In 3004, refurbishing the old rolling stock and engines from the former NRS, the company, they began operations hauling cargo along the old lines, from Antiquia to Armenia to San Succi and San Jose. It also operates a short line leading from the coal mines directly to a hub at the Encali power stations in Cali.
Today, the company continues to scrape-by, making a little money, but usually investing in maintenance and improving its engine fleet. It makes most of its regular shipments hauling cement and coal, though the use of river barges along the Rio Verdi limits its reach into foreign markets. There is presently talk about expanding the rail links into The District of Garcia, though such an effort would be difficult to cross the Camino Muerto, and is expected to cost in excess of 600,000,000 Cs to accomplish.
Avianca Holdings : Avianca is a large airline that operates both cargo and passenger transport services, specializing in hauling goods to international destinations, though it possesses smaller regional interests as well. Headquartered in San Succi, it temporarily moved its hub in 3021 to Ciudad Garcia, but has slowly shifted some operations back to the capital as local AvGas sources became available with the improved operation of the local refinery, and stability of the city has been assured. It retains a large portion of its fleet in Ciudad Garcia, however, due to that city’s stability and access to technical resources.
Coordinadora Mercantil : Founded in 2975, Coordinadora Mercantil is the oldest transportation company in Sangria. It maintains depots in each major town and city in the country, though it was never able to do more than establish a token interest in The District of Garcia, where its major competitor, Mercado Industrial Logistics (MIL) out of Mercado, holds a steady lock on business.
Satena : Satena is a government-owned airline, that operates domestic routes in Sangria. Its hub is El Dorado International Starport, from which it operates main fleet of seven (7) ATR-42-500s and -600s. Providing medium-haul duties, the company’s planes are fairly new and it is known for being very helpful in medical and cargo hauling sevrices to people in need. It also operates many smaller planes on routes in isolated parts of the country.
Valledupar Metro : The Valledupar Metro is the passenger rail service that opened in 2987, as an urban rail service for the city of Valledupar and quickly expanded its service across the nation. In 3004, it had taken over all passenger rail traffic, with routes ranging from its primary railyards in Puerto Berrió, through Valledupar, and extending branches to all major towns in the bulk of the nation. Renowned for cost-effective service using modern rail cars imported from House Steiner, the company has shown a surprising profitability over the years. It has twenty-seven stations along its network, with seven more located within key urban locales, such as Valledupar and San Succi.
The military forces within the District of Cauca are diverse, but are effectively (with the destruction of the Armenian Rookeries ) now two separate groups; the 7th Rifle Infantry Battalion and its associated military forces, and the independent remnants of the local Guardia Civlia, Cauca.
District Military Garrison : Garrisoned in the town of Armenia, the 7th (Motorized) Rifle Infantry Battalion – “War Spiders” has remained fairly intact, and represents the bulk of district’s infantry and support troops. Lieutenant Colonel Allister Uirdo is the leader of the 7th Battalion and its associated forces, and had absorbed civilian units of the Guardia Civilia, and numerous technical staff from the former logistical infrastructure of the region, during the 1000-Days War, though it has since turned several companies back over to the Policia Federales.
In addition, the 3rd (Mountain) Rifle Infantry Battalion “Blue Caps” operates relatively independently from its garrison position in the isolated town of Popayán, under its own officer’s group, led by Major Pablo Fernanda Urrea, a veteran trooper of the battalion who has many years of experience fighting in the region. The 3rd is also well-known for its skill in mountain-fighting, and represents the closest thing to a Rapid Response infantry force under Sangrian Army Command.
The local military forces are typically armed, with Dumassas Militia Field Kits, HG-762 “Holy Grail” Assault Rifles and deploy IMC-40 Grenade Launchers and Milkor MGLs as infantry support weapons. The units are generally considered "motorized"_, being equipped with Jeeps for its leadership elements and Light Utility Transports to provide some mobility and logistics to keep them supplied and mobile. The military commonly uses the local rail network between Popayán, Armenia and Puerto Buenaventura as the primary transport and logistical connection, and as such the rails are incredibly well-patrolled and protected.
Several airfields are maintained by the district military, though each is a small, fairly rudimentary facility with minimal staff and equipment.
Overall, the local military supports General Uirdo, and is even respected by the common citizens of the district. They are engaged in operations against the independent Guardia Civilia and former 3rd Battalion troops. The military has proven a talent for mountain-fighting before the Armenian Rookeries and their bandits were destroyed.
A pair of Monitor Naval Vessels formerly from Sangrian Naval Command (and quietly supportive of their efforts), rounded out the coastal patrol duties throughout the 1000-Days War, each complete with a veteran marine force equipped with Jump Packs. While never officially separated from the national navy, the ships remained neutral in the conflict, and were supported by General Uirdo and the 7th Battalion with supplies, as they served in a task that no one else in the district could fulfill. When the military junta ended in mid-3026, these forces fell back under the banner of Sangrian Naval Command.
Guardia Civilia : The handful of Guardia Civilia who did not choose to follow General Uirdo, have remained in the border and rural areas, effectively independents who have resorted to becoming bandit troops who raid and pillage with relative impunity in the areas along the fringe of both the Warlord’s and General’s territories. Consisting of several platoon-sized forces, they number around two companies (roughly 200) of marauders. They are typically armed with locally produced flak vests, flak helmets and the traditional HG-762 “Holy Grail” Assault Rifles, but have very few support weapons beyond some hand grenades and the occasional IMC-40 Grenade Launcher.
The effective leader of the group, although not accepted by most of the independent troops, is Grady LaMarr, a former Guardia Civilia thug who used the opportunity of chaos in the district to forge his own destiny at the head of a large band of drug-dealing former militia. He is well-armed with Infantry Support MGs, IMC-40 Grenade Launchers, and a handful of 60mm Light Mortars, and his motor pool includes a pair (2) of Tracked APCs, eight (8) Light Utility Transports, and eight (8) Jeeps.
He has converted an abandoned airfield (formerly the “Corpus Christi” National Air Force Training Station ) along the mountain’s edge into his base, having fortified it and uses the barracks for his force and civilian “dependents”. The facility is surrounded with a rubble and concertina wire wall, and he keeps a large force of civilians “captured” and forced into slave labor in his fields around the facility. He harvests traditional corn and peppers, but supplements them with hard opiates that have proven popular as a cash crop among his contacts in Popayán. He has slowly begun to gain a position of some notice among the independent Guardia Civilia forces, and had even achieved something of a truce with Montenrgro’s mercenary forces. Given time, he might forge the entire Guardia Civilia into his own private army, however, with the destruction of the Armenian Rookeries, his days are numbered.
The district came into being when the city of Armenia was founded in 2544, by Sebastián de Belalcázar, who led a collection of settlers that quickly adapted to the broad, fertile fields of the district valleys, and began growing various crops, and raising cattle and pigs.
In the years since, it has quietly supported the national government, though it has become known as a center for corruption and crime that openly takes what it wants and fights anyone that tries to stop them. While General Uirdo has done much to get control of the Guardia Civilia and limit their excesses, it has not stopped the organized crime families from fighting back. The war against the Armenian Mercenaries has begun to heat up, particularly with the “rebellion” of some parts of the Guardia Civilia who have openly defied his military control of the district.
The raid by unknown BattleMechs did little to the infrastructure and manufacturing abilities of the district, though some factory and engineering personnel were taken by the raiders before they moved north to sack the military factory in The District of Antiquia. Today, its economy continues to grow and exports much of its production to the domestic market.
In late-3025, the Armenian Rookeries, a series of mountain fortresses used by several large armed bands of raiders as homes and the center of their production of Black Oil, a virulent and caustic drug, were assaulted by a combined force of Sangrian Army Command and * “The Iron Dingoes”. The three fortresses were destroyed, and a complete battalion of troops surrendered to the national-led force, along with one of their leaders, Citra Talugmai-Montenegro. As a result, the government was encouraged to join the talks on reconciliation with The New Republic of Sangria towards the end of the year.
In mid-January 3026, the remnants of the civilian government took command of the district from the military junta, with Lieutenant Colonel Allister Uirdo taking a reduced rank and assuming control over the remaining military forces in the district. Several companies of infantry were dissolved and assumed positions within the Policia Federales, providing the civilian government with its own means to enforce district peace, although the criminal elements in Buenaventura remain difficult to bring to bear, and pose the single great concern for the district’s future.