United States At War

Fuzzy
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:39 pm

United States At War

Postby Fuzzy » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:38 am

Personally, I've been struggling to really internalize what the situation in the United States looks like, and just how bad it is. So, I put this together to try to help myself understand what the situation might look like, and how the country might still be functioning. Can't say it's accurate, but it helps me wrap my head around things.

North America at War:

•Population Impact
o By Year 1, between 65% and 70% of the US population has been either killed, displaced, captured, transformed, or forced into hiding based on a conservative state-by-state estimate. This amounts to a total of about 215 Million people. Although the Living Land does support relatively denser population than a normal primitive society would be expected to support, and we can expect some portion of the population trapped behind the storms managed to flee, the casualties have been enormous. Reasonable estimates suggest that between 20% and 40% of the population has been killed, died in the savage conditions of the Living Land while trying to adapt, or died in the removal of a stellae in recent months. This would amount to a year 1 death toll of between 23 Million and 46 Million people, which is around the number of people who died in the entirety of World War I (including military and civilian, from all causes, including disease and hunger), but less than total casualties in World War II.
o Most of the remainder are presumed to be somewhere in the Living Land, either enslaved or desperately trying to survive. Given the difficulty of fleeing the storm (and the small number of highly overstretched storm knights), one can presume only a small portion (5% to 10%) managed to escape to border cities. Some of those were later re-captured by the Living Land's subsequent expansion. Even then, that amounts to 6-12 Million refugees, with cities such as Boston, Fort Worth Texas, and other locations desperately trying to take in survivors. Many civilians have opened their homes and hosted refugees.
o Everyone - and that means EVERYONE - is deeply affected. Most people know multiple family members, friends, work acquaintances, and others who have been lost. Interestingly, many politicians (DC hardpoint) and famous movie personalities (Los Angeles) survived, but many others (CNN anchors, New York personalities, etc.) did not make it. Most of the population is still in deep denial and shock. Everyone hopes and prays that lost friends and family miraculously survive and escape, but hope is under constant threat.

•The Power Grid
o One of the most immediate shocks to the country was the widespread loss of power in several key areas. This, coupled with the utter confusion, left the vast majority of people struggling to understand what was going on for the first several weeks.
o The primary concern was actually the immediate imbalance of the grid, which caused power surges in some areas and blown transformers. Fortunately, backup systems were brought online, over the subsequent weeks.
o Some major power generation assets were lost quickly, but others remained online. In the northwest, the Columbia River hydro system was lost in its entirety. Hoover Dam, however, remained out of the zone of control. This, coupled with aged coal plants, natural gas, and utility scale solar left the remaining southwest with sufficient power to run critical needs.
o The midwest coal fired plants largely remained intact, as did primary supply sources for coal (wyoming). Eastern sources were largely destroyed, with the exception of some supplies in Illinois, however the total coal supply is adequate to fire remaining power plants.
o Likewise, key wind farms in the midwest, remain steady. Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, and the Dakotas all receive over 25% of total generation from wind.
o Nuclear plants remain sufficiently supplied with uranium for several years of operations. Particularly in the northern midwest, several plants continue to generate. The primary risk is supply of spare parts. Nuclear plants that were enveloped by the Living Land rapidly suffered malfunctions, however even the most severe malfunctions (i.e. meltdowns) remained contained by the low technology axiom. While areas around transformed nuclear power plants might exhibit even more diverse life forms, there is no evidence of widespread radiation sickness.
o The surviving Northeast (really, New England) is suffering significant supply constraints. 58% of electricity was provided by Natural Gas plants, with the primary pipelines running through New York (lost to the Invasion). Some secondary pipelines exist, and a large liquid natural gas terminal provides some backup, but global supplies are scarce. All unnecessary use of electricity is shunned and strictly regulated. Usage of air conditioning is illegal except in critical situations (i.e. cooling computer centers). Some power supply from off-shore wind does provide backup, as does limited solar and hydro. Some dual-fuel natural gas plants are running on limited petroleum supplies (mostly trucked or piped in from Canada's oil sands). Older coal plants are being re-fired where possible, but the focus really is on bringing in as much supply through the Boston Terminal as possible. Petroleum and gasoline, interestingly, are better supplied than natural gas. The situation in Boston is particularly dire since it hosts the greatest number of refugees of any border city (including pretty much everyone who escaped from New York and even further south).

•Major Military Bases and Assets
o By sheer luck, a much smaller portion of the military was impacted by the invasion than the population at large.
o Navy
 Key naval assets, including in Hawaii, Japan, South Texas (Corpus Christi), San Diego, and in the Middle East, remained largely unaffected.
 With 2/3 of the carrier battle fleets on deployment and most of the others in safe harbors, most of the major fleets are intact. With sufficient supply ships and foreign depots to support long term deployments, they also have sufficient spare parts to continue running for multiple years.
 The primary impacted naval assets were in Virginia (Norfolk), Eastern Florida (Jacksonville) and Washington state (Puget Sound). The US thus lost a fair number of its submarines stations, though again most were in deployment on long term missions. Even among those bases which were enveloped by the Living Land, a significant number of vessels were rescued. Norfolk naval base, for example, was only a few miles from the storm border.
o Air Force
 Due to Cold War mandates to locate major air force bases outside of population centers, several survived the invasion. Most of the largest bases in Southern California (Edwards, near LA), Nevada (Nellis), Mississippi (Keesler), Illinois (Scott), Germany (Ramstein), Ohio (Wright Patterson), and Texas (San Antonio and Ford Hood) remained free from control at least for the first several months of the invasion. Of the largest bases, only Florida was lost immediately. Other major bases (Colorado, Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii, and international bases in the Middle East, Japan, South Korea, and elsewhere, remain unaffected.
 This suggests that of the land-based air fleet, roughly 80% remained intact immediately after the invasion.
 Pursuant to laws, emergency measures were enacted to commission civilian aircraft into the Civilian Air Patrol. The civilian fleet was more impacted than the military fleet, but was of course larger. The US civilian fleet (numbering about 7,500 commercial jetliners, and many more smaller planes) suffer approximately 30% to 40% losses. Much of the fleet was quickly converted to cargo capacity. Of the major hubs, New York, Miami, and Atlanta suffered heavily. Denver, Chicago, LA, and Dallas remained intact. However, commercial traffic has plummeted (civilians do not travel on vacation to the carribean, or pretty much anywhere else these days). Business travel is likewise limited, as commercial traffic is primarily directed towards emergency supply missions.
o Army and Marines
 The primary infantry branches of the military suffered more than the Navy or Air Force, though they fared slightly better than the general population. Moreover the draft (see below) has swelled their ranks.
 Fort Bragg (North Carolina) was lost immediately in a devastating blow. Fort Campbell (Kentucky) was captured, then caught up in the Nashville Incident. Fort Hood (Texas) remained free. Lewis McChord (Puget Sound in Washington State) was able to reinforce the Seattle hardpoint but ultimately fell. Fort Benning also ultimately fell. Secondary army forts did better (including Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and several forts throughout the midwest and Texas).
 Marine bases along the east coast fell almost immediately. Southern California bases, as well as bases in Hawaii and overseas (especially Japan) survived.
 As with the navy, major equipment assets (including Wasp Class amphibious assault ships) were generally at sea and survived.
o The Draft
 The surge in military volunteers following 9/11 was utterly dwarfed by the level of volunteerism following the invasion. The military turned people away in droves. Many instead signed up with the State Guards or with local militias that spontaneously formed.
o Equipment Supply
 Manufacturing of new large scale hardware is nearly impossible. The F-22 Raptor, for example, had parts sourced in all 50 states due to Congressional horsetrading. While this made for good politics, it made for an expensive aircraft with a terrible supply chain. Existing weapon systems now struggle for spare parts. However, simpler weapon systems (light artillery and mortars) continue to be produced. These are also in many situations more effective due to limited range (1 kilometer) of higher tech and costlier systems.
 The United States benefited from the fact that it has the highest gun ownership rates in the world (approximately 1.2 guns per person, including elderly and children; approximately 2 guns per person of fighting age, and approximately 4 guns per fighting age male). Moreover, the states that fell quickly tended to be politically "blue" states that had stricter gun laws (New York, Maryland, Washington, etc.). Thus, surviving states likely have 3-4 firearms per military age person (including men and women).
 The United States also has large and well distributed ammunition stockpiles, both private and public (including many state guard depots). Moreover, the largest ammunition manufacturing plants tend to be in areas that were not captured in the invasion. Lake City Ammunition Plant, a US Government owned munitions plant in Missouri, manufactures over 1.5 billion rounds of ammunition a year on a nearly 4,000 acre facility. The second largest facility (McAlester) is in Oklahoma. Secondary plants have been further expanded, and are running 24/7. In general, the United States military (and its civilians) are very well supplied with small arms munitions (all the way up through .50 caliber and even 20mm rounds). Even light artillery (mortar rounds and light field artillery shells) are likewise in good supply.
 With the ports of Los Angeles, Boston, and Corpus Christi open, sufficient opportunity exists to import weapons and munitions from NATO allies (including Germany and Japan) where shortages might emerge.

•Food Supply
o Although the initial weeks of the invasion inspired mass hysteria and food hoarding, it turned out that food was not a major concern. In addition to large strategic reserves, the US exports of food to the world (and storage granaries that supplied them) proved more than adequate to feed a smaller population. Large cattle herds in the midwest, as well as industrial scale farming, ensured more than sufficient food. Mroeover, the large grain belt in southern Canada was largely unaffected. Food distribution was more challenging, with major rail routes threatened (though not shut off) and seaports under threat. In general, however, no one in the United States is starving. Indeed, the United States continues to export some food through open ports to various allies throughout the world, including those in the middle east and Asia.

•Fuel Supply
o Also an initial worry that sparked mass hysteria and hoarding, fuel turned out to be less of a worry than feared. The US immediately opened the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Cushing Oklahoma, but the massive reduction in fuel usage in key coastal cities made the United States almost fuel self sufficient overnight. Most petroleum producing domestic resources are in Texas, the midwest, and the Dakotas. The Bakken (in Montana and North Dakota) was unaffected. Pipelines running to Oklahoma were also largely intact, as were refineries in Houston and New Orleans until later in the war. Even recently, Louisianna remains free, though the pipelines are cut off. However, much of Louisianna's refinery capacity is kept busy by overseas shipments. Backup pipes were rapidly installed on an emergency basis (there were no protesters) to ensure throughput to Houston was not threatened.
o In general, major fuel producing centers globally (including Alaska, Canada, several offshore areas, and of course the middle east and russia) continue to produce. Simultaneously, large consumers (notably India and the UK) have disappeared, though other areas (notably North Africa under Pharoah Mobius) have increased consumption quickly.

•Economy, Financial system and currency
o The most unexpectedly significant impact of the invasion hit the financial sector, which ricocheted throughout the economy.
o Financial markets plunged overnight. Stock markets essentially crashed instantly, and trading was frozen. The US Dollar fluctuated wildly, since it served as a reserve currency but simultaneously the dollar was threatened by worries that the US would cease to exist.
o Initially, prices skyrocketed (and people even turned to barter) as the population hoarded key resources.
o Banks shut their doors initially. Many suffered catastrophic outages of key reporting systems. Most immediately became illiquid, and insolvent since they could not pay funds or withdrawals, and their income producing assets were largely located in areas with high priced real estate (i.e. coastal cities).
o Stability was only restored through draconian wartime policy, including strict price controls (with severe punishment) and rationing of key supplies (until it became apparent that food and fuel at a minimum were not as scarce as feared). Banking leaders were called together in closed doors, and given strict orders on distribution of cash. Solvency rules were temporarily absolved, and all loan payments were temporarily put on hold. Chaos ensued, but the focus on the military threat drowned out the cries of people who could not get access to their money.
o The United States cut aggressive deals with foreign trade partners (especially Japan, China, and Germany) to provide trade and support the dollar at a minimum level in exchange for deep future concessions. Various previously unknown companies, including the Kanawa Corporation, heroically pledged support for the people of the United States - even going so far as to acquire several large insolvent banks for pennies on the dollar.
o In general, demand for several areas of the economy - including leisure activities, finance, sales, and luxuries - declined rapidly. Desperately needed manufacturing skills were in high demand, and those who did not have a useful skill were accepted into the military (or even drafted).
o Within three months, the United States was on full wartime footing, the likes of which had not been seen since World War II. Although people grumbled, in the end everyone understood the necessity of the situation and pulled together. Horders were publicly scorned. Price gougers were imprisoned. Unemployment lines ended as scarcity became the norm, and previously white collar workers were retrained as electricians, munitions plant workers, truck drivers, and soldiers.

•Communications
o Although the internet was thoroughly unreliable for several weeks due both to power outages and severed communication lines, it recovered within a few months. Major fiber lines through areas like NYC, Seattle, and Miami proved useless. Primary data centers likewise suffered. However, the largest companies had sufficient redundancy in their disaster recovery protocols to bring back up the most critical systems.
o Many startup companies closed their doors, or their software engineers were immediately re-hired by the US military and intelligence. Notably, key technology hubs (San Francisco, Seattle, NYC, and DC area) fell immediately or were cut off.
o Boston, Austin, Denver, Phoenix, Dallas and other cities quickly picked up the slack.
o Among the most notable issues, the largest US intelligence presence (CIA in Virgnia, DISA in DC, and NSA in Maryland) were lost. Coders (many of which had previously hated the government) found themselves struggling to rebuild and redirect a US intelligence system away from ISIS and terrorists and toward new threats in France, Russia, North Africa, and potentially even (some secretly suggested) in East Asia.
Last edited by Fuzzy on Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Count Thalim
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:26 pm
Location: The Sceptered Asyle

Re: United States At War

Postby Count Thalim » Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:29 am

A lot of useful information in this. It has clearly been plaguing your brain for some time. :)

One question about Corpus Christi and for that matter the entire Gulf of Mexico import/export terminals.
By year 1 the entire Gulf is cut off from the Atlantic/Carribean by the zones hopping from the Yucatan to Florida via Cuba.
How do you think this will impact the southern US as this will essentially leave the Los Angeles to San Diego corridor as the only real sea access the country has?
Per Sanguis Ad Astra

Fuzzy
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:39 pm

Re: United States At War

Postby Fuzzy » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:07 am

Yeah, I have this slight obsession with internal consistency. A story can be based on any number of assumptions (like Darkness Devices), but from there on it needs to be internally consistent. With 65% or more of the population missing or dead and an alien reality steadily conquering the country, I cannot imagine that any aspect of life in the surviving states is even close to "normal". The response would be even more severe than the wartime laws/economy/draft during World War II. The invasion is something people think about every hour of every day, that parents try (unsuccessfully) to reassure their children about when they wake up crying in the middle of the night.

LA / San Diego remains the primary shipping corridor. MassPort in Boston is sufficiently large and has equipment to absorb fuel and container ships for all of New England. While refined petroleum products could be shipped from the gulf coast by rail and truck to the interior US, losing access up the Mississippi and out through the gulf certainly makes logistics harder.

Shipment by sea has some advantages... A single E class maersk container ship or Batillus class supertanker can be piloted by one storm knight. In wartime, navy doubles as merchant marine. The military could mount light anti-aircraft guns on the ship and staff them by double or triple size teams of ords (ideally ords that have been in a Glory zone recently and therefore do not transform even if they disconnect). Ships would probably wait until the storms temporarily died down, then run the 200 mile wide corridor of Living Land reality in the mouth of the Gulf. At a maximum speed of 25 knots (about 45 MPH), they can run the corridor in 5 hours. Probably with losses that are less severe than the losses sustained by the US merchant marine due to German U boats in WWII. A small flotilla could make the run together to improve the odds. Once the storm knight pilots get to the other side, they transfer to inbound vessels and make the run again.

Ultimately, you'd think the US military or Delphi council would look at trying to pull one of the stellae in the ocean. They can probably project location to within a mile or three based on the storm angles observed over several days by satellite, and the surrounding triangles have no overland presence (so, minimal casualties from transformed ords). Of course, that particular stellae is located just off the continental shelf at a depth of just over 1,000 meters... Would make for an interesting story plot.

User avatar
Count Thalim
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:26 pm
Location: The Sceptered Asyle

Re: United States At War

Postby Count Thalim » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:12 am

Fuzzy wrote:Shipment by sea has some advantages... A single E class maersk container ship or Batillus class supertanker can be piloted by one storm knight. In wartime, navy doubles as merchant marine. The military could mount light anti-aircraft guns on the ship and staff them by double or triple size teams of ords (ideally ords that have been in a Glory zone recently and therefore do not transform even if they disconnect). Ships would probably wait until the storms temporarily died down, then run the 200 mile wide corridor of Living Land reality in the mouth of the Gulf. At a maximum speed of 25 knots (about 45 MPH), they can run the corridor in 5 hours. Probably with losses that are less severe than the losses sustained by the US merchant marine due to German U boats in WWII. A small flotilla could make the run together to improve the odds. Once the storm knight pilots get to the other side, they transfer to inbound vessels and make the run again.


This make me think of the Arctic Convoys between Britain and the USSR during WWII (Grandad had the Arctic Star from them). Overall the losses were only 7%, but that was mainly from the tail end where the route was more secure. At the height in 1942 only 30% of PQ17 made it through.

Muster at a single port and try and run the storm. Might make for an interesting start to an adventure in the Living Land. Fly to the Caribbean then escort the fleet through in the face of storms, Lakten riders and Mosasauruses (Mosasauri?). Once you are through you get your congratulations and then on to the actual mission in the LL.
Per Sanguis Ad Astra

Padre
Posts: 131
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:30 pm

Re: United States At War

Postby Padre » Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:35 pm

Thanks for the info. Here are a couple additions from my particular foxhole. First, Luke AFB and Davis-Motham AFB survived intact, outside of Phoenix and Tucson respectively. Both can be expanded as needed. Second, Ft. Huachuca and all its military intelligence assets survived as well. Third, remember that the vast majority of the Army's logistics assets are in the Reserves. At least one Corps and multiple Division level Sustainment commands would still be available.

User avatar
Greymarch2000
Posts: 583
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:48 pm

Re: United States At War

Postby Greymarch2000 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:08 pm

Nice! This was the kind of information I was hoping to see in the Living Land book :)

Fuzzy
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:39 pm

Re: United States At War

Postby Fuzzy » Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:58 pm

Thanks @Padre

Phoenix/Albuquerque/Denver seem to be the likeliest command and logistics centers for the western front since they are far back enough from the front lines that they are unlikely to be swallowed quickly by an unexpected stellae placement. (LA, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas are all one stellae away from oblivion, and might make good forward staging grounds)

Also, it's probably worth noting that most of the National Laboratories infrastructure was obliterated... The primary surviving labs are Los Alamos, Sandia, and NREL in Colorado. Everything in the northwest and Bay Area are gone. The half dozen national labs on the east coast are all gone, leaving only Fermi in Illinois and Ames in Iowa. Although there are certainly other intelligence assets (NORAD in Colorado), the damage to the US intelligence services was probably far more extensive than the damage to the military itself, so remaining assets like Fort Huachuca become more important.

User avatar
TorgHacker
Posts: 4901
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:40 pm

Re: United States At War

Postby TorgHacker » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:08 pm

Greymarch2000 wrote:Nice! This was the kind of information I was hoping to see in the Living Land book :)


With how integrated the on demand supply economy is now, with respect to fuel, food, and pretty much everything, if this really happened it would be end of the world stuff pretty much immediately pretty much anywhere there is an advanced economy. Think about how much stuff is manufactured in China now.

We don’t want to get that depressing.

As for mass casualties, the biggies would be the upper Midwest due to Thrakmoss and then the Nashville incident, and to a smaller extent in and around Atlanta.

Otherwise Lanala does provide.
Deanna Gilbert
Torg Eternity designer
Ulisses North America

User avatar
Mark Malcolm
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat May 26, 2018 8:00 am
Location: Kennesaw, GA
Contact:

Re: United States At War

Postby Mark Malcolm » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:21 pm

The port of Morehead City, NC is still in Core Earth and open to the sea which is quite close to Jacksonville, NC home of the 2nd Marine Division. This could then become quite the embattled bastion of resistance cut off from the world as it is by the North Carolina Zone.
I may not agree with what you have to say but I will defend your right to say it to the very death.
Voltaire
http://www.firstchevalier.com
http://www.facebook.com/firstchevalierbooks

Fuzzy
Posts: 162
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:39 pm

Re: United States At War

Postby Fuzzy » Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:06 pm

With how integrated the on demand supply economy is now, with respect to fuel, food, and pretty much everything, if this really happened it would be end of the world stuff pretty much immediately pretty much anywhere there is an advanced economy. Think about how much stuff is manufactured in China now.

We don’t want to get that depressing.


I suppose that's where my obsession with internal consistency kicks in. I have trouble with a setting in which tons of bad stuff happens, but things just aren't that bad, with the primary rationale being that it would just be too depressing. That's not an in-world reason. We ought to be able to explain - within the boundaries of the genre - why things aren't that bad. So, this was an effort to build some sort of quasi-realistic justification, which in combination with the world laws (i.e. Law of Hope) means things are bad ("desperate"), but not end-of-the-world bad.

Moreover, societies with less robustness than the United States have proven fairly resilient to even severe disruption. Even under near total embargo, countries like Cuba, Iraq, and North Korea have managed to keep things from completely falling apart. People get very creative at cobbling together spare parts or hand-tooling makeshift components. New construction of advanced weapons systems would stop... but with only 1 year into the war, wear and tear on physical infrastructure and capital assets is not yet that big of a deal. A typical commercial airliner has a lifespan of 12 to 20 years. Military aircraft have been kept in service for up to 50 years. While half the world's manufacturing is in China, key raw material supply sources (including western US, South America, parts of Africa, etc.) are actually intact. Brazil, Australia, and Chile, for instance, are fine... possibly even growing output in some key sectors. Moreover, China and Japan are doing just fine. Indeed, better than fine, under Social/Tech 24. While Kanawa doesn't want Core Earth to win, neither does he/she/it want any other high lord to win too quickly. And what better way to win than to loan money/equipment/supplies to other Core Earth nations and essentially buy cheap assets at distressed prices.

So I'm just trying to help the world make sense within its own paradigm for myself and our group.

In terms of casualties, the only suitable word for what has happened in the first year of the war is GENOCIDE. Baru Kaah is worse than Stalin and Hitler together. While Rec Pakken may want to keep humans alive for a while to drain them of energy, we need to recognize that Kaah has conquered dozens of worlds and the vast majority of races on those worlds have been annihilated. He's committed MULTIPLE genocides, and the genocide of humanity is just the next in line. Whatever he thinks about Lanala, he is pure evil. And honestly, the casualty numbers are probably generous... Let's leave out the outright slaughters by the Whitespear and Redjaw clans, which alone probably killed 10 million people... Just focus on those who were not killed outright, but had to somehow survive.

Yes, Lanala does provide, but the difficulty for foraging for food is DC 8. A smart pack of humans with skill and tools and numbers would make that roll about 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time, the "hunter becomes the hunted". Let's say humans hunt in packs, and triumph or escape from their hunters 80% of the time (again, generous). Lets say humans need to forage every week. That means the typical human group would survive about 25 weeks (on average) before it got eaten by someone bigger and nastier than themselves.

So, to assume that 60% to 80% of humans in the transformed zones survived (even with the Nashville Incident, Atlanta massacre, Seattle catastrophe, and Whitespear slaughters) is actually generous. However, between the Law of Life and the Law of Hope, it might be justifiable.


Return to “Setting Discussion (TORG)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 17 guests