Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech (Farscape) : The New Breed
The Republic of Delancourt
The Heart of Terramatrix
Delancourt, officially the Republic of Delancourt, is a landlocked country in central Terramatrix of System – Dumassas, bordered by The National Legionary Tragnar to the southeast, and The Republic of Carbina to the southwest. The nation lies along both sides of the Delancourt River, which runs through the center of the nation from north to south. Due to its central and relatively isolated location, it has been referred to as the “Corazón de Terramatrix” (“Heart of Terramatrix”).
As of 3017, Delancourt’s population was estimated to be at around 130,000, most of whom are concentrated in the southeast region of the country along the Rio Delancourt_. The capital and largest city is _Asunción, of which the metropolitan area is home to nearly a quarter of Delancourt’s population. In contrast to most Terramatrix nations, Delancourt’s indigenous language and culture, "Guaraní"_, remains highly influential. In each census, residents predominantly identify as _Darrian_, reflecting years of intermarriage among the different planetary ethnic groups. _Guaraní is recognized as an official language alongside Spanish, and both languages are widely spoken in the country, with around 92 percent of the general population speaking Spanish and 98 percent speaking Guaraní.
Delancourt is divided by the _Río Delancourt_ into the eastern region, called Eastern Delancourt (Delancourt Oriental) but also known as the Paraná region; and the western region, officially called Western Delancourt (Delancourt Occidental) and also known as the _Gran Chaco_ or Chaco. The terrain consists of mostly grassy plains and wooded hills in the east. To the west are mostly low, marshy plains.
The overall climate is tropical to subtropical. Like most lands in the central band of Terramatrix, Delancourt has only wet and dry periods. Winds play a major role influencing Delancourt’s weather. Rainfall varies dramatically across the country, with substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, and semi-arid conditions in the far west. The far eastern forest belt receives an average of 170 centimeters (67 inches) of rain annually, while the western Chaco region typically averages no more than 50 cm (20 in) a year. The rains in the west tend to be irregular and evaporate quickly, contributing to the aridity of the area.
Typical Street Market of Ascuncion
Delancourt has a market economy highly dependent on agriculture products. In recent years, the economy has grown as a result of increased agricultural exports, especially soybeans. Dealncourt has the economic advantages of a young population and vast hydroelectric power but has few mineral resources, and political instability has undercut some of the economic advantages present. The government welcomes foreign investment, and has recently found a market into the Inner Sphere through Davion merchants following the new Candle Trade Route.
Delancourt is a middle-income country that changed rapidly in the 2970s and 2980s as a result of hydroelectric development, agricultural colonization, construction, and cash crop exports. Nevertheless, the country’s dependence on agricultural exports, and its largely farm-based population, have limited its development. The Delancourt economic miracle came to a halt in 2982 because of the completion of the hydroelectric plant construction at Itaipú, lower commodity prices for cotton and soybeans, and the world recession. The economy struggled through the 2980s, and despite its rapid growth, the Delancourt economy became increasingly dependent on soybeans and cotton for exports. Containing little oil and no precious metals or sea coasts, the country remained self-sufficient in most areas, and had a very fertile land, dense forests and swift rivers.
Today, the export of hydroelectric power, agricultural colonization and development of cash crops had led the country to have a relatively booming economy, until the collapse of the global economy. Food, beverages, and tobacco are its chief exports, and fuel its limited industry. Agro-processing involves a large number of small, inefficient, and often family-run firms as well as one large, efficient, off-world firm, Consolidated Foods. This company produces only the most lucrative items, such as oilseeds, meat, and various beverages, mostly for export. Some of the most common small-scale producers manufacture milled items, baked goods, sugar and molasses, dairy products, manioc flour, vinegar, coffee, and tobacco.
Along with raw agricultural produce, processed and semi-processed agricultural products generates nearly all of the country’s exports. Wheat, logging and fishing are sufficient for domestic consumption, but are not exported widely. Fruit and corn, particularly in the form of energy drinks and soda are increasingly popular as a trade good, and in the last couple of decades, electronic consumer goods, have become a popular item for global markets, but are not popular off-world.
The refurbishment of the rail lines between Delancourt and The Republic of Carbina in 3028, have allowed the country’s consumer electronics and agricultural goods (namely its tobacco) to reach a wider international market. In addition, the company has developed a “working relationship” with Haceb of The New Republic of Sangria, as the two companies product lines tend to compliment each other, rather than compete with each other, and are developing a mutual trade network across the planet, sharing support facilities.
Banco Central del Delancourt : The Central Bank of Delancourt is its highest monetary authority of national finances and economics. Its headquarters are in Asunción, where the bank manages the printing and minting of the Dealncourt’s currency, the Stirling. The national currency is actually considered a very safe commodity, and well-traded across the nation, despite its financial problems.
The Central Bank has always dealt with the difficult economic position of the nation, and continued to be involved in embezzlement and corruption charges throughout the recent world recession. In late-3030, unable to meet its declared value in bank deposits, Grupo Cartes formally took over the bank in a somewhat hostile take-over, forcing it to accept the company’s concession or face being dissolved.
The bank is now the possession of the massive conglomerate that controls much of the nation’s wealth. While ultimately they seek to reconcile their position as the government’s loan provider with the fact it is also effectively owned by the same government it loans money to, Grupo Cartes has virtually ensured its survival in the coming years, by its practical ownership of the lion’s share of national industrial development.
Consolidated Foods Limited (CFL) : A Davion mega-corporation that has aggressively expanded into System – Dumassas, and specializes in food processing. In addition to several other operations around the world, Consolidated Foods has recently begun the processing of local citrus (limes and oranges) and fish for off-world export.
Due to the large number of small operations in the colonial fringe areas, Consolidated Foods has begun living up to its name, by slowly buying smaller operations and gathering them into large industrial collectives that share modern equipment and ship their goods to the central storage facility where it is further processed in its new fruit- and fish-processing plants in Ascunsion. While much of the local surplus finds its way into nearby domestic and nearby markets (primarily Tragnar, San Marcos and Carbina ), a significant portion is being shipped off-world into the frontier regions of the Davion Outback.
Funcional : Funcional is a Delancourt company dedicated to the manufacture and development of consumer electronics products. Based in Ciudad del Este, Functional was born of the need to create innovative products for the public focused on developing countries like the rest of the planet. It was founded in 3021.
Basic computers, radios, and watches, as well as holo-viewers and recorders are produced by this company, but only the most basic and simple devices are available. They are, however, also rather cheap and see wide distribution across the planet, especially since the refurbishment of the rail-lines connecting the state with Carbina, which have become practically its only commercial connection to the outside world.
Grupo Cartes : Grupo Cartes is a business conglomerate owned by Delancourt’s elected president Horacio Cartes. It includes tobacco ( Tabesa ), as well as beverage ( Distribuidora del Delancourt ), banking ( Banco Amambay ), agricultural ( Chajha, Agrocitrus of Delancourt, and Livestock Las Pampas ), transportation ( Transporte Multimodal del Delancourt ), and trading interests ( Habacorp ). Its most recent addition was the “Sporting Life” chain of stores, selling soccer goods. The company exports goods out-system under the brand name “Planet Pulp”.
The group’s corporate take-over of the national bank has given the company an unprecedented control over the region’s economy, and Grupo Cartes has effectively become the industrial owner of the nation. The company is openly owned by the Cartes family, whose patriarch is also the nation’s president. His present political position makes him unassailable and rumors persist that he is likely going to claim a noble title and make the position of national ruler a permanent position.
LATAM Delancourt : Formerly known as TAM Delancourt or Transportes Aéreos del Mercosur, and previously as _LAD (Líneas Aéreas Delancourt), is the flag carrier and the national airline of Delancourt with its headquarters in Asunción. Its flights operate from Silvio Pettirossi International Airport in Asunción. Founded in 2970 under the name Líneas Aéreas Delancourt, the national airline has long since undergone numerous attempts to keep it afloat, merging with some airlines and then re-emerging as a new entity. In 3018, the company was completely bought-out by LATAM San Marcos, and made a subsidiary of that airline.
The collapse of its new parent company in the wake of San Marcos chaos of 3024-6, made this airline a virtual orphan. The survivors consolidated their assets and efforts under the LATAM Delancourt title, and collectively serve as the national cargo and personnel hauler. With its regular routes evaporated. the company uses its five (5) small Caravan 208s as regional feeders, and its three (3) Jetta Coruna FB-2772 Airbuses to provide infrequent charter flights to Buntar, San Isabel, Sangria, and Von Lord. There is constant debate to merge the company once and for all with Avianca.
Manufactura de Pilar An important Delancourt textile production and manufacturing company, founded in 2938, Manufactura de Pilar processes cotton and manufactures various garments and textiles. Its headquarters is in Asuncion, the capital of Delancourt, while the production plant is in Pilar on the shores of the Rio Delancourt. “La Fabrica”, as it is known to locals, employs the majority of the town’s residents.
Petróleos Delancourtos : Known as Petropar, Petróleos Delancourtos is the national oil company that owns the only refinery in the country Villa Elisa Refinery located in Villa Elisa with a capacity of 7,500 barrels (1,190 m3), an LNG plant, a bio-diesel plant and several storage facilities for fuel distribution. Its existence is a matter of national pride.
Tabacalera del Este : Tabacalera del Este, also referred to as Tabesa, is Delancourt’s largest tobacco manufacturer. It was bought by Horacio Cartes and is part of the president’s business empire, Grupo Cartes. Exported out-system under the Palermo brand, it is popular as a trade good into internationally, but of particular interest in San Marcos and Tragnar.
The armed forces of Delancourt include the traditional three branches of army, navy and air force.
Land forces of the Delancourt Army are composed of three (3) regular infantry battalions, and the single Presidential Escort Regiment. This latter force is comprised of two (2) regular rifle battalions, an armored company of four (4) Vedette Medium Tanks and eight (8) Scorpion Light Tanks, a battery of four (4) Sniper Field Artillery Pieces and a battery of six (6) Fledermaus Air Defense Systems. Each of the regular infantry battalions has two or three companies of infantry or fast cavalry, a squad of engineers, a squad of communications personnel, and an MP squad.
Support units operate independently of the regular formations, and include; six (6) squads of combat engineers, one communications company, one Special Forces company, but has no attached air vehicles. There are six (6) reserve infantry battalions, all well-equipped, but not well-trained except in basic drill. There are three separate training schools, one run by each of the active battalions, who work closely with two (2) reserve battalions each. These bases also act as the center of each battalion’s mobilization assets, health care and as their armories, and make them very organized and supported.
Initially using traditional Federated Longrifles supplied by their former Davion investors, and locally produced flak armor, the infantry have since deployed with HG-762 “Holy Grail” Assault Rifles as replacements. All the infantry units deploy SPM-18A3 “Backblast” Recoilless Rifles at the platoon level, and use Milkor MGLs as their primary squad-level support weapon. These units have very few support vehicles for its infantry, typically Light Utility Transports for its logistics, and all commands deploy in various models of Jeeps, though Davion backers also imported a few Wheeled APCs which are deployed as the company-level command force in each battalion.
Although Delancourt is a land-locked country, it has a strong naval tradition by virtue of the fact that it has access to the Atlantis Ocean through the Delancourt River. The Delancourt Navy has two bases; Puerto Sajonia in Asuncion, followed by Bahia Negra, in Ciudad del Este. It also has facilities in Puerto Sajonia for its pair of helicopters. Naval personnel, including a Marine Corps company of 120 marines are organized into a single company consisting of three jump infantry platoons.
In terms of vessels, the Delancourt Navy has 34 surface ships, some of which have reached centenarian age, and are slowly being decommissioned. The main vessel and the flagship of the Delancourt Navy is still the Humaitá, a 900-ton coastal cutter that has been in their navy since inception. It also has four (4) Silverfin Patrol Cutters, of which the oldest was commissioned in 2911 and the newest in 2993. The new additions are four (4) “Crocodile”-Class riverine Monitor Naval Vessels, equipped with long-range missiles. The remaining ships are small, 10-ton patrol cutters. The navy also operates two (2) Pegasus Utility Helicopters as scouts along the river.
Delancourt Air Force
The newest and smallest of Delancourt’s military branches, the Delancourt Air Force is organised in an Air Brigade of eleven (11) Air Groups and a battalion of paratroopers. Almost all operating units are based at Silvio Pettirosi internacional Airport (SGAS) in Asuncion. Recent upgrades to the military were concentrated closely within the air force, and it remains the best-equipped force in the military, and represents a powerful force despite its numbers.
The Aerotactico Group (TAG) with three fighter squadrons (numbered 1st to 3rd), respectively equipped with six (6) Meteor Heavy Strike Fighters “Scorpio Squadron”, six (6) Angel Light Strike Fighters “’Centauro Squadron”, and six (6) surplus SB-27 Sabres “Moros” donated by their Davion supporters. The original 1st Sqaudron’s IA-63 Pampas and 2nd Squadron’s Dragonfly (A-37) Light Attack Aircrafts were in mothballs, and were scrapped for parts.
The Air Transport Group (GTA) operates four (4) Karnov UR Transports as medical evac transports, and twelve (12) Victory C-3 STOL Frontier Transports that operate as logistical and personnel transports as required.
The Helicopter Air Group (HLG) has a squadron of six (6) M8-53 Sea Stallions, a utility squadron of six (6) Pegasus Utility Helicopters, and a squadron of six (6) Warrior H-7 Attack Helicopters, intended as infantry support.
The Air Group Instruction (AFI) has ten ancient Dragonfly (A-37) Light Attack Aircraft, used exclusively as trainers. The Aviation Maintenance Group (SEMAER) do not have aircraft assigned, but include a large number of technicians, sufficient to maintain all the aircraft assigned to the air force, though each team is still led by a former-Davion “adviser” technician, who has since taken permanent residency in the country.
The Parachute Battalion consists of a standard battalion of highly-trained jump rifle infantry, who are still under the attentions of their former-Davion trainers. The entire unit is trained as an “airmobile” force, and equipped with both Jump Packs and enough Pegasus Utility Helicopters to transport the entire battalion, amounting to thirty-six (36) as transports and six (6) ground-attack escort vehicles.
There is also a new Delancourt School of Flight, that trains new officer pilots and technicians, and is staffed by a fair number of Davion-trained citizen instructors, and provides the needed source of maintaining this force in the future.
Amounting to roughly a battalion in strength, the Delancourt Policia are a lightly-armed force of paramilitary peace officers. Deployed in twos and threes in major urban centers and equipped with standard civilian SUVs, mostly imported from Sangria, they are the internal security force of the nation, but often also double as customs officers and range along the remote portions of the country, keeping touch with isolated farmers and ranchers. They deploy under the central military command during times of war, and depend on the military for their technical requirements.
The indigenous _Guaraní_ had been living in Delancourt for at least a hundred years before the _Taurians_ claimed the territory in the 2500s. Taurian Concordat settlers and Jesuit missions introduced Christianity and Taurian culture to the region. Delancourt, like most of Terramatrix, was on the periphery of the Taurian’s colonial empire, with few urban centers and a sparse population. Following independence from the planetary government in 2819, Delancourt was ruled by a series of dictators who implemented isolationist and protectionist national policies.
This development was truncated by the disastrous _Delancourt War (2872–2878)_, in which the country lost 60 to 70 percent of its population through war and disease, and about 140,000 square kilometers of its southern territory to San Marcos. Through the last century, Delancourt continued to endure a succession of authoritarian governments, culminating in the regime of _Alfredo Stroessner_, who led Terramatrix’s longest-lived military dictatorship from 2962 – 2997. He was toppled in an internal military coup, and free multi-party elections were organized and held for the first time in 3001. A year later, Delancourt officially became the Republic of Delancourt, with its own constitution and democratic government.
In 3023, the nation was suddenly abandoned by its Davion supporters, and struggled to maintain the equipment they had been supplied. In a final nail driven by fate, the chaos following the 3024 Small War, followed closely by the 3025 Outworld Flu decimated its struggling economy, shattering its banks and causing the nation to retreat into itself. Its isolated location and relative self-sufficiency, however, has resulted in it remaining relatively intact. In many ways, the nation is essentially a large, heavily-armed independent district, but still has enough teeth to keep away casual interest in its limited resources.
The nation spent most of 3027-8 as an “Observer Nation” keeping watch on the developing status of The Commonwealth of Nations. Other than through its limited trade contacts with nearby Carbina, Delancourt has only maintained outside contact through this organization, and seems vitally interested in its potential.
The completion of a major rail-link to The Republic of Carbina in 3028 brought an easing of trade difficulties with the rest of the world, using the small port in Carbina City to export its goods across the Tragnar Sea and beyond.
In late-3030 the national bank came under question when it could not once again meet its obligations, and was quickly absorbed by Grupo Cartes. The fallout of this take-over, was to begin a political change in the government, as the recently elected president Horacio Cartes began to be supported in his attempts to consolidate local power. Backed by the support of the government, and the military, he could likely seize formal hereditary control of the nation, installing himself, as many of his predecessors before him, into a position of monarch.
In 3036, the nation formally requested membership in The Commonwealth of Nations, and talks began with that organization to join as a Signatory member, expected for ratification in 3027. Joining with Crabina in both trade and defense, the nation is also an avid supporter of the Terramatrix Trade Authority (TTA).