Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech (Farscape) : The New Breed
The Republic of Sangria
The Republic of Sangria
Sangria is a disputed nation-state found on the planet Terramatrix in the System – Dumassas.
Population : 5,400,000 (Census – 3023).
Capital : San Succi
Ruler : In dispute (Military Oligarchy)
Economy : Coffee, timber, cotton, corn, beef, pork, and coal.
Officially the Republic of Sangria, the nation is situated far west of the cultural heartland of the world, bordered on the south by San Isabel, and sharing the Atlantis Ocean with San Marcos, Delancourt and Buntar far to the south. The nation was ostensibly ruled by a president, but in truth, district governors only retained their position through control of the lesser military leaders by bribes.
The nation consisted primarily of the local Terramatrix Indians, “lower-class” citizens who are natives of the planet, and have few rights or privileges. Many of those unsatisfied with the status-quo of the caste system made their ways into the fringes of society, living in the wilderness and raiding Sangrian military convoys and bases for food, supplies and munitions. Roughly one-third of the population are Darrian, the tenant farmers and skilled labourers who are able to trace their bloodlines back to the Reunification War, and are of mixed Taurian and Davion blood. They are the only citizens of the state able to legally own land, and represent its middle class. The remainder of the population includes Foreign Nationals, mostly Taurian or Davion who represent the “upper-class” of society, and constitute its corporate executives, bankers and industrialists.
This ethnically diverse population, further influenced by the varied and imposing local geography, has influenced very strong regional identities. The largest urban centers are centered in the highlands region of the nation, though recent demands in the rebuilding of the industrial strength of The District of Garcia, has led to constant immigration to this new population center on the coast. Sangrian territory includes both heavy jungle rainforest, tropical grassland, and salt ocean coastlines.
Economy : The economy of the nation was tied closely with that of the Taurian Concordat. Farming and agriculture are the primary industry of the nation, with coffee leading its exports, though dairy, sugar, fruit, cotton and beef are major exports. Timber is a leading industrial effort, while coal and textiles are also important exports. Sangria has a strong economy, fourth only to that of Delancourt, Buntar, and San Isabel, and was possibly the planet’s greatest potential expanding industrial concern.
Foreign Affairs : The nation has a history of threatening its neighbors, San Isabel and Delancourt. Despite local hostility with Taurian Concordat corporate interests, they remain its one ally and chief trading partner.
Military : The military was primarily six (6) battalions of rifle infantry, officially led by the president. Actually, the battalions were splintered and led by individual Majors, responsible to whomever paid them. They were indifferently armed, with the exception of fairly well-made and plentiful ballistic small arms. Armor, APCs and other support vehicles for combat were rare. The “Royal Guard” units were the most loyal to the President, because he was the one who paid them.
Each district had a seat in the government council, and at least one dedicated battalion similar to the Guardia Civilia – Garcia, and one standard national infantry battalion as its defensive arm. The bulk of the military resources, however, were centered in San Succi, and under the direct control (and pay) of the President. As a result, extra forces were sent wherever they were needed from the central Capital District of Cundinamarca, but in practice, they rarely left the capital.
Navy : The official navy consisted of six ancient Monitors, and a single landing craft (modified Monitor to haul cargo and infantry), along with a handful of line vessels, primarily frigates.
Air Force : The Air Force is led by a pair of AeroSpace Fighters, and a couple dozen jet fighters and combat helicopters. A pair of K-1 Class Dropshuttles were owned by the government for rapid deployment of arms or special forces, and orbital courier duties.
Guardia Civilia : The Guardia Civilia were the para-military force of “police” that acted as the strong-arm of the national government over its own people. Even though funded by the national government, the various battalions of the Civilia were hopelessly cruel and corrupt. Most of their activities involved arresting, torturing and executing visible civilian protesters, particularly students and labour organizers. Numbering around sixteen (16) armed battalions, they were regional forces that rarely left their own cantonments in force, unless the President (or local majors) deemed it necessary. These paramilitary forces were rarely armed with more beyond carbine versions of the standard HG-762 “Holy Grail” Assault Rifle built by Indumil. Some battalions independently found, stole or purchased better arms and military vehicles, and there was no standard roster from unit to unit.
Mercenary Army : In their central mountain strongholds, the Mercenary Armies of the Armenian Rookeries were largely untouched by the nation’s conflicts. They willingly fought for whomever provided them arms and purchased their chief crop; and opiate known as “Black Oil”. They numbered some 1400 troops under arms, using fairly modern small arms, but had very few support weapons. They usually only deployed away from their fortress villages in battalion-strength, forming up to three (3) fairly loosely organized forces (one per fortress).
The Davion Mission Battalion : A final remnant of a Davion attempt to convert the state into a puppet stronghold of the Federated Suns, the Battalion Speciale 1 – The “Sun Swords” were raised with the help of a handful of retired Davion veterans as military instructors. They had since settled in the district. The governor of Guaviare ( Andre LaPorte ) was (and remains) traditionally the leader of the battalion, and can call on the support of several battalions of indigenous folk as scouts. In addition, the unit owned various vehicles, armor, APCs, and artillery, and were typically better-armed than most local forces.
Administrative Regions : Sangria was divided into five regional districts, each with a “Governor” appointed (usually for life) by the _President, and ruling in virtually all respects as an independent force, provided the money keeps rolling into the capital. Practically each region consists of a central urban area where the industry is centered, and numerous rural sections dominated by agriculture.
Antiquia : Pop – 2,240,000 : Coffee, Coal : The northern-most province of Sangria, it is best known for its coffee exports, and its vast reserves of coal. While coffee is, by far, the largest economic activity, coal is far more important to the region, employing nearly 1/5th its population. The coal reserves in the Valera Mountains have led to many coal power plants being built in the region, which supply the bulk of the nation’s power supply.
Cauca : Pop – 1,240,000 : Corn, Cattle, and Fishing : A long, narrow coastal district sandwiched between the Popayan Mountians below the pass to San Succi, and the western Andross Ocean. Ancient and among the first regions settled centuries ago, the highland farms are also the homes to many of the forteresses among the Mercenary Army.
Cundinamarca (The Capital District) : Pop – 2,360,000 : Cattle, Corn : “The Capital District” represents half the population of the nation, and is a small highland region of forests and mountains. Central to the nation, the capital of San Succi, a community of over 80,000 has very little industrialization present. Other than the services it provides to the government and military, the city has few other redeeming features. The province is otherwise a series of farms encroaching against the forests to the south.
Garcia : Pop – 285,000 : Agriculture, Timber, Ranching, Silver, Bauxite, and Light Industry : For centuries a quiet, unsettled region of the nation, recent lodes of silver, bauxite and off-world investment have led this coastal province to become the economic and industrial powerhouse of the nation. It’s position as a port reaching across the Atlantis Ocean, relative isolation, and recent investments in military infrastructure have led to a series of events that might lead to its secession as an independent nation in the future.
Guaviare : Pop – 580,000 : Cattle, Timber : A long district determined by its position between the Popayan and Blue Mountains to the west and east, the vast peaks of the Zamoran Mountains to the south, and the relatively unsettled Miranda Plains to the north. Its proximity to the Capital District has led to much of its lack of settlement, despite being the largest region in the nation. Most of the cattle ranches are in the north-west, while the timber camps are located in the far north and south of the province. Unique among the various districts, Guaviare maintains its own private army, an ancient remnant from the Reunification Wars, the Davion Mission Battalion.
Infrastructure : There was little in the way of infrastructure in Sangria, outside the regional level. Roads near the regional capitals, and connecting each with San Succi are good enough, but suffer from a chronic lack of maintenance. Buses exist, owned by regional companies that poorly maintain their fleets and are expensive.
Nationally, there were several railways, connecting the provinces together, and ending at San Succi, the national rail hub. Each was a regional effort, that was nationalized years ago, but were rarely used for more beyond cargo and daily routes to each regional capital. Garcia was the exception, mostly due to its isolation and relatively new entrance in the national importance of things. Plans were, however, always under discussion in building a rail-line to connect this province with the capital, once funding could be acquired.
The one thing that remained popular in the nation, was air-travel. Relatively reasonable in cost, there were many old transport planes that fly between regions on a regular basis, though few were “national” in scope, and were usually small private plane companies that operated infrequently due to fuel shortages and lack of parts. The largest fleet of air transports were owned by the military, and used exclusively for their own purposes (which means they were “owned” by various military battalions), or dispatched at the President’s pleasure.
Electricity was controlled by a nationalized company that funnels the profits into the government, but provides fairly good coverage across the three northern provinces. The south-eastern portions of the nation are ill-connected, though Garcia had its own electrical dam that had proven sufficient for its needs. Water purifiers were vital to agriculture, and each regional capital had large water treatment plants to filter the arsenic from the native water. At local community levels, each also had some sort of central water treatment plant for the same reason, that remained essential, but also limited the location of communities around the nation.
Healthcare was nationally poor, though many wealthy Darrians employ personal physicians. Traditional “native” medicines were popular means of seeking relief among the population, and hospitalization of the nation was always a concern.
Education was compulsory by law for children from ages five to ten (5-10) at various local educational missions, but secondary or “middle-school” education was common only in the urban centers, and even then tended to concentrate on simple math and language studies. Most children found employment soon after graduating from primary school in the trades or as common farm labourers. Advanced education was possible for a minority of the population through government grants to one of three trades schools in the country; one in San Succi, one in the Antiquia district, and another new one in Garcia. A military college was located in San Succi, that was exclusive to the Darrian population, and provided the nation with its military technicians and officers.
Popular Culture : Local popular culture was dominated by a dynamic music scene, with Indigenous flutes and percussion instruments complimented by guitars in almost all popular and traditional songs. Cuisine was varied, with simple dishes dominated by beef and pork, corn bread and sometimes fish, and complimented by coffee and fruit with almost every meal. Sports ware dominated by soccer and a love of rifle marksmanship. In Garcia, the inclusion of a popular Mech combat arena, Salager’s Arena to the city made exoskeleton and industrial Mech fights increasingly popular.
The origins of Sangria were closely tied to the rise of Selich the Great, the planetary despot and ruler, whose dynasty lasted three generations (2785-2860). The nation was a colonial resource for that government, providing food to its burgeoning armies, but the collapse of that dynasty led to its independence.
The realm has remained a backwater nation throughout much of its early history, from its initial independence in 2860, on through its slow development. Throughout its history, the nation suffered several sudden military transitions of power through coups that always established a new military junta or dictatorship. Each government remained in power by the oppressive use of its military and para-military forces.
In May of 3021, an unknown force, believed to be allied to Governor Ferdinand Dominica, assassinated Presidente Hugo Vargas with several bombs, destroying both his palace and his personal escape craft, a luxury Wind Dirigible. This threw the local government into total chaos, as with no clear heir, various army battalion officers began to jostle for position and a civil war erupted in the capital of San Succi. Within weeks, * “The Dead Man’s Hand” stormed the capital alongside the Royal Infantry (Marine) Battalion – “The Wild Cats”, and rescued the surviving government. It became obvious the capital was lost to the rebels, so the mercenaries and Sangrian loyalists took the remnants of the government (and its treasury) into exile in The District of Garcia. The subsequent raid by pirates of the northern power plants and rail network crippled the heartland of the nation, and its civilian population began to scatter into the surrounding rural lands in search of food and safety.
In the months after the start of the civil war, General Pierre Garza claimed the Capital District, and established a puppet government, supported by his growing army and control of both the local oil refinery, and the water processing plants. In the northern territories, the remnants of the military clung to power in Valledupar through the rebuilding efforts of the coal mines and power plants, and along the west coast, power was held by military forces based from the town of Popayan. This uneasy trio of military forces maintained independent juntas, though only General Garza claimed legitimate control of the nation as a whole.
In the eastern regions, however, life continued much as it always had. Supported by a large military force, The District of Garcia had a fully intact (and expanding) industrial base and was run by the newly formed Sangrian Provisional Government (SPG), which included the surviving members of the former national government and its administration. Further backed by the remnants of the national treasury, several loyal infantry battalions, and * “The Iron Dingoes”, the local economy remained intact and the district had the most legitimate claims to the leadership of the Republic. In an effort to enforce this legitimacy, rumors circulated that The District of Guaviare might soon alter its neutral status in the conflict and join the SPG.
In mid-3024, the declaration of General Pierre Garza as Presidente officially broke the national constitution, turning each of the districts in the nation its own, independent nation-state. The result was a re-development of the nation’s constitution under the SPG, which led to the creation of a new nation, The New Republic of Sangria.
The New Republic of Sangria has since become a beacon of democracy and has established itself as one of the world’s most powerful nations. The nation’s association with * “The Iron Dingoes” has greatly influenced its recent development, and as Sangria expands its influence across the planet through its establishment of The Commonwealth of Nations, its position of authority is becoming absolute. The strength of the new government is best represented in its industrial growth and economic recovery from the 3024 Small War, as well as its leadership in organizing the first world government, The Commonwealth of Nations and its associated military arm, The Commonwealth Star Guards.
Today, one would hardly recognize the nation known as Sangria as it existed barely a decade ago.