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Ok, so I know the Desert Wars are huge meatgrinders in Africa with numerous corp-backed merc outfits operating, but that's about it.

What I'd like to have is more details...who started the Wars, what kinda merc forces are there (also, how many big merc outfits like Combat Inc. exist?), which corps are involved, and why the hell Desert Wars sequences can be found on trid.

So, can anyone help?
From what I understand (with just reading the core rulebooks, so I am probably way off-base here), Desert Wars isn't exactly a 'war,' not in the real sense of the word.

It's more like "Reality TV" + Guns.

Desert Wars seems to be an ongoing series with various merc and security forces duking it out, for training. And the viewing pleasure of billions worldwide. You have the big ol' continent that's worthless for anything, then you blow it up, and you televise it. Toss in a few people, and BAM! Ratings Bonanza!
Demonseed Elite
Much more info on the merc outfits and how they operate can be found in State of the Art: 2063. And some info on the actual site of the Desert Wars can be found in Target: Wastelands, I believe. Slump has the basic idea of it there. As for the major merc outfits, a quick list would be: MET 2000 (based in Hannover), Tsunami (based in Okinawa), 10,000 Daggers (based in Constantinople), and Combat, Inc. (based in Macao).
Reality TV + Guns.

They run segments "presenting the players", like giving a bio on warriors, maybe the camera follows him for a day, etc.

Mostly, there is very little real killing. It's faked for your viewing pleasure. However, sometimes diagrements between corps lead to real ammo and real killing. Looks the same for the viewer.
Do they use gel rounds or simmunitions? How do they "fake" these conflicts without killing anyone...

Is it all choreographed?

And are there gel rounds for tanks smile.gif
The Grifter
My friend, no matter what a tank shot at you, it would probably kill you.
They're using "real" ammunition but also the best med-tech & magic available to keep deaths to a minimum.

Depends on how gritty and dark you want your SR-universe.
That's pretty twisted, isen't it? It's exactly like what I'd expect from the Megacorps, though.
Gotcha... just seems to me that on a actual scale of "war" there really isn't anyway to minimize death.. I mean even if you had the best med techs and mages in the business,an artillery strike, or 5000lb bomb is going kill a whole lot of people, and not leave too many pieces for the mages to put back together.

And yes.. I assumed that tanks are lethal regardless of what they are firing...hence the smile.gif

However the thought of doing 48D STUN with a 120mm tank cannon, and the resulting overdamage...did put a smile on face.

The Grifter
Gotta agree there. LOL
but the units involved are usually quite small, a couple of thousand at most. Small units fighting each other tend to create fewer casualties since they can usually avoid large ordinance or just plain don't have access to 5000 pound bombs or the planes to carry them. Assuming that the forces are reasonably evenly matched and well equipped casualties would be quite low.

Though a really interesting idea is the 5000 lb bomb dropping gel submuntions... 12D Navel stun would be even funnier than 48 D.
The Grifter
Naval Stun. LOL
I never thought that there is use of heavy artillery, naval weapons (stun ones hehe) or air strikes.

Good old street fights, like in stalingrad. They're using the old ruins of bombed Tripolis, don't they?
Why blow up millions of nuyen.gif worth in equipment and trained personnel just for TV when you can do it much better with SFX? If you want a realistic war scenario for TV, use SFX. The corps are testing their personnel and new equipment at the DW, but not the heavy tanks or sth. similar i would guess.

But i'm no military expert.
Desert Wars started with a real engagement in Libya between two sets of corp backed mercenaries. The mediacorps discovered the ratings bonanza almost by accident. Currently, the Desert Wars are fought by mercenary units and individuals for cash prizes.

None of the source material mentions the use of non lethal weapons or special effects to reduce the body count.
It's been a while since I read Target: WL but I think that the corps were starting a few new 'Desert' Wars, one of them was in Mongolia I think.
Demonseed Elite
Yeah, one of the things mentioned in the books was a "Gobi Wars" spin-off that was in talks. nyahnyah.gif
Also, Corps can choose to meet on the field of Desert Wars to settle disputes where arbitration has failed.
SL James
QUOTE (Clyde)
None of the source material mentions the use of non lethal weapons or special effects to reduce the body count.

Except the whole subchapter of Target: Wastelands entitled, "The Desert Wars".

"All pre-season and most regular matches use high-tech wargame systems to simulate actual fighting. You'll see gel rounds, tracers, flash-bangs and lots of glitzy non-lethal (well, not intentionally lethal) effects... Competitors can mutually agree, however, to escalate the battle to live fire. This rarely happens, excpet for the Championship match. For over five years now, it's been customary for the Championship to be the real thing, though and through" (Target: Wastelands, pp. 34-35).

The overwhelming majority of of the forces are Megacorporate's own private militaries.

Mercs are invited to participate in the Merc Challenge, and anyone (corps, mercs, or governments) can participate in the Open Challenge, for a 2 million¥ purse.

It helps to read the source material once in a while, although, you know, not reading works too sometimes (though not here).
QUOTE (Overwatch)

And are there gel rounds for tanks smile.gif

Well yes, there are gel rounds for tanks. What else do you think you use when you want to take a Dragon alive?

(humm, I wonder what Steve Erwin's grandson in doing?)
I'd bet he's either doing somethin safe like accounting in downtown Sydney, or else he's up to his granpa's hijinx, tracking down wild Drop Bears and other awakened Paracritters.
Digital Heroin
I remember running a scenario for the Desert Wars where the reality TV thing was taken to the next level. Every soldier was simrigged, weapons had guncams, and there was a cadre of media-types organizing "live" feeds and realtime video along with sattelite overlays of battles... soldiers were profiled and ranked in realtime with stats including "kills," active service time, frontline time, etc. If a viewer wanted to follow a specific combatant, each had a node in a matrix site where they could be tracked. Plus, they all had mandatory diary time, where they had to reflect on the rigors of modern warfare, and had to toot the corporate horn.
Yeah, SL James, I don't actually have Target Wastelands. I was just going off of the latest info from SOTA 2063. Your sarcasm is deeply appreciated.
Great idea, man!

Anybody know what the mercenary challenge entails?

Also, to address the casualties thing.

You can expect 3 to 10 time more wounded than dead. If a wounded soldier receives aid in time, he has over a 90% chance of survival. (or something like that)
QUOTE (Clyde @ Aug 15 2005, 05:33 PM)
Yeah, SL James, I don't actually have Target Wastelands.  I was just going off of the latest info from SOTA 2063.  Your sarcasm is deeply appreciated.

Then you should not have said that none of the source materials addressed the Desert Wars in regards to nonlethality and such. Such a blanket statement will have someone jump on ya, you should have said none that you have read or have, or something to that effect.
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