APAGear II Archives Volume 3, Number 9 October, 2001


Defending the Badlands

The Paxton Protectorate and the PRDF, TN 1936+

Mika Peltola

"Southern die for the Honor, Northern die for the Prophet, well Badlander just dies. 'Cause we desert dwellers don't need any crap about being superior in the way or other."

-Anonymous PRDF soldier during War of Alliance.

Ever since the TN1850's the Paxton Protectorate has existed in form or the other. Protectorate was born in mid-TN1850's as a security force around corporate assets concentrated around Peace River. In the TN1853's the first Paxton Protectorate treaty was signed with several surrounding oases and homesteading counties.

In any case, defending such vast piece of land (apporoximately one-fourth of the entire badlands, roughly comparable in size to Terran continent of Australia) with small population as the badlands have is difficult at best, nearly impossible at worst. Of course the Paxton Arms could manufacture enough weapons to defend themselves, but they simply never had the manpower to use them.

The most cost efficient solution was to train and arm most of the adult badlanders. From political and military point of view this was the optimum solution.

As proposed by Colonel Kane Eoi in TN1848, after three and half cycles of research into armies of the past, especially the defense solutions of nations with small population and/or lots of land. The actual execution of the proposed plan was delayed with almost a decade. Mostly due the concerns among the Executive Caste that arming the badlanders could cause an upswing in rover activity, on the other hand the prospect of creating large professional army, was even less appealing to the Executive caste, due it's associated expence and maintenance costs. In perspective of the cost-efficiency and possibility of an additional profit from "internal" sales for the protectorate forces the Paxton Protectorate plan was rammed throught the legistlative council in winter TN1849.

Paxton Protectorate Treaty

The Paxton Protectorate treaty, states that each community that belongs to the protectorate are required to support (maintain) the guardsmen unit by themselves. The training and weapons are supplied by the Paxton Arms as a part of the treaty.

Also members are required to exclusively buy Paxton weapons, ordnance and equipment (including vehicles) from Paxton Arms or any OPAL certified partner at considerable discount rate. As said the treaty is exclusive and Paxton legal branch is known to use draconian measures when dealing with breach of the contract (ie. some community is buing weapons from non-Paxton source).

The Paxton Protectorate Guard is formed of two component forces, a small corps of professional instructors which are "on loan" from PRDF who train the conscripted guardsmen, and partcipate in emergency response, search and rescue. And then there is the actual Protectorate Guard, which are tasked with patrolling the protectorate and defending the invidual communities from rovers etc. and they are not required participate into any operation except ones in neighboring counties. Unless general mobilization order has been issued, that has happened only once during the "war of the alliance" when the Peace River army was formed.

Of course this is how it works on a drawing board, but in reality every community negotiates it's own treaty, with slightly different details. One community might forsake the exclusive buying discount for greater freedom of choice. While other community might want a permanently garrisoned PRDF squad in their town, etc.

Arms Caches and Depots

In TN1936 the Paxton Arms Chairman Gerard Simosa, authorized an expansion of the PRDF and Paxton Protectorate Guard. As part of this expansion PRDF began a massive renovation and expansion of both hidden arms caches and covert supply depots that dot the Paxton Protectorate.

The Backbone of the Guard is a communal armoury located at center of the each member community the armouries are supervised by the local Guard commander (nominally a lieutenant). Who will allocate equipment and coordinate co-operation between PRDF and local guard.

A typical arms cache holds enough weapons and equipment to arm an infantry platoon, with enough ammunition for week of sustained combat. Also a most arms caches are located within ten to fifteen kilometers of the town. There are usually one or two arms caches within 10km of a Paxton affiliated town.

On the other hand a typical supply depot holds fully equipped workshop (with spare parts for the most common PRDF vehicles), and small cache of medical equipment along with enough ammunition to resupply a one gear or two infantry companies. The Supply depots are usually located over hundred kilometers away from nearest town and the Captain or higher-level PRDF officers only know their exact locations.

The depots remain sealed during the peacetime and rarely checked by the Paxton Arms, in order to avoid revealing their locations to the polar powers (which have spy satellites after all). Depots are equipped with security systems that alarm the PRDF headquarters of intrusions. Of course there are rumors of the even more malicious security features, like nerve gas canisters and security drones etc, but the the PRDF denies all rumors.

Peace River Defense Force (the "core force")

By the polar standards PRDF is very small even for a professional army, consisting only six regiments and small air force. The nature and organization of Paxton Arms (and Peace River) makes the PRDF fairly unique army on Terra Nova. The supply of the PRDF are done by the 30% of Peace River populations that work directly for the Paxton arms, thus eliminating a need for the dedicated supply/service branch in the PRDF. Also another oddity in PRDF is the fairly flat chain-of-command, which has only five ranks above the trooper/airman/ensign. Also the Peace River Merchant (land ship) fleet is not considered to be the part of PRDF. Although during the war of the alliance the Paxton merchant Fleet it served as a part of the Peace River Army and served as transport for the Northern units into battle of Baja.

Ranks of PRDF

Rank Army/Guard Air force Land Fleet (merchant fleet)
0 Private/Guardsman Airman Recruit (Land sailor)
1 Corporal Senior Airman Apprentice (Land sailor)
2 Sergeant Master Sergeant Land sailors
3 Lieutenant# Flying Officer Leading Land sailor
4 Captain Flight Lieutenant Warrant Officer
5 Major Squadron Leader Captain
6 Colonel Wing Commander Commodore
7* General* General* General*

* Currently held by General Lesli Moreshed.

# The highest attainable peacetime rank by Paxton Protectorate Guard member.

The PRDF regiments

1st Infantry regiment "Peace River Guard"

Stationed in PRDF main base and tasked with Peace River urban defense. Also the first company acts as a ceremonial guard. Also included in this regiment are company of PRDF military police, two paratrooper companies which have an intense rivalry with 3rd Heavy gear regiment over which one is more prestigious.

2nd Infantry regiment "Sand Raiders"

This is infantry regiment that specializes into desert combat. Also they are mainly responsible for training the Paxton guardsmen. They have mastered the art of guerilla warfare. Regiment includes PRDF special operations company. They are only fraction (in size) of respective polar Special Forces but twice as secretive. The units nickname appears to be chosen with considerable amount of irony.

3rd Heavy Gear Regiment "Paladins"

See Into the Badlands. P.29

4th Heavy Gear & Strider Regiment "Vanguard"

This unit stands ready to defend Peace River and Paxton Protectorate in case the "Paladins" fail to do so. As the name indicates they are the rear guard, which protect the PR and protectorate.

5th Armored Regiment

Fifth armored regiment is an air droppable light armor unit, which is optimized for rapid deployment warfare. Their forces consist mainly of imported Klemms and Huns, which are deployed in mixed squads. Also this regiment is rumored to have an experimental hover tank unit.

6th Armored regiment

The sixth armored is a heavy armor unit that consists solely of tanks, striders, gears and artillery. They are supposed to be deployed around Peace River as a last defense-line.

The Paxton Guardsmen

Paxton Guardsmen is formed from several components, including from instructors that are on "loan" from PRDF and local forces that are usually under leadership of either PRDF trained reserve officer or a "war of the alliance" veteran. Most commonly seen guardsmen unit is an infantry company, which are deployed at county level. The Guardsmen infantry are trained in several different fields of expertise, ranging from field engineering troops that build fortification and place minefields to gear hunting squads that are armed with heavy weapons and are ready to tackle with gears and light tanks.

Organization of Paxton Protectorate Guard (PPG)

Little comparative analysis between Northern Guard Infantry Company and PPG Infantry Company reveals a number of differences. First and foremost the PPG Infantry Company is small consisting fighting strength of an eighty men, which is about half of the strength of NG Infantry Company. Another organizational difference are the Paxton Guardsmen eight man squad as opposed to the near universal ten man squads, roots for this difference come from lack manpower and doctrine which call for use of four man fire-teams (which break down into two pair). Yet another oddity is the disproportionate amount of heavy weapons, when as many as half of the squads carry two or three heavy weapons and a company has usually two dedicated heavy weapons squads. Typical Company has ten squads, from which two are heavy weapons squads and additional two to four are engineering squads, and rest are normal infantry. In addition guerilla/sniper squads are generally trained at rate squads or two per company, these draw their numbers among the most fanatical badlanders, and they receive full training from PRDF Special Forces.

Of course this difference has caused misunderstandings, over and under estimations etc. For example during the War of the alliance this difference caused fatal miscalculations when the Peace River Army unit turns out to have only half of the expected strength.

Doctrine of the Paxton Protectorate Guard

The Protectorate guard has two offensive doctrines and a defensive doctrine. The offensive doctrine breaks down into doctrine of guerilla warfare and combined arms doctrine.

Guerilla warfare (offensive) doctrine is centered around squad level operations, which include scouting, ambushing, sabotage and sniping on enemy units. Some common tricks employed by the guerilla troops are for example laying mines just outside the perimeter of the enemy camp, during nighttime.

Combined arms doctrine calls for harassing the enemy in order to slow down and weaken advancing enemy unit until they are forced to stop to prepare for a real assault, in which case Protectorate forces retreat unless they have good chances to win.

Defensive doctrine call for formation of several (usually 3 to 5) concentric defense lines featuring mine fields, and fortifications combined razor wire if an infantry assault is to be expected. The outermost defense line takes usually form of minefield and foxholes for forward observers and heavy weapons teams. The middle defense line has usually several defense turrets covering the important routes to the community. The innermost defense line or the "last line" is just outside the community. The fortifications of the innermost line are usually permanent including walls gun emplacements. All the defense lines characterized by extensive use of mines, whether deployed by the engineering squads, minelayer vehicles or by FASCAM artillery rounds. The use of mines in defense serves mainly for two purposes one is to cripple as many enemy units as possible and second reason is to grind down enemy morale. In case the "last line" fails a bloody house to house battle will ensue, during the interpolar war it was not unknown for badlanders to even mine their own community and fight to the bitter end.


Commonly the guardsmen wear light or medium flak and carry Paxton R36 5mm assault rifles or R37 assault carbines with three magazines ammunition (which have been sold to guardsmen unit at discount after the design failed to penetrate into polar military markets). They are also issued with gas mask, three fragmentation, one concussion grenade, first aid kit and a knife.

The heavy weapon troopers usually carry either 9mm light machinegun, Paxton Arms 24mm Anti-Gear Rifle or 50mm rocket launcher. A specialized heavy weapons team might carry portable anti-gear missile launcher and several missiles.

Some units near the great white desert have adopted Ratir Koreshi style desert cloaks (see "in to the badlands" p.70), which make surprisingly hard to spot and whitesand resistant. This little innovation is undergoing an evaluation in PRDF who are fascinated about the simplicity and efficiency of such garmet.

Arming the Protectorate Guard

The scheme of arming the protectorate guard is fairly simple, and fairly profitable to Paxton arms. Usually when some foreign power buys Paxton armaments the payment is done in either hard cash (in case of most polar organizations) or with counter-buying method (usually the case with badlands communities or underdeveloped nations like Eastern Sun Emirates.) As most of the counter-bought equipment end up being sold to protectorate guard units, the discount which these equipment are sold with gets written off as a defense expenditure to keep the Paxton treasury directorate from complaining.

Warrior IV's to Skavara, Asps for Guard (Spring-TN1936)

The most notable case of counter-buying method was when emir Draho's order of hundred and fifty customized Warrior IV's with spare parts in Spring of TN1936 shortly after Paxton Arms had secured the their deal with Basalite rebels. Customizations included lacquered fernwood interior paneling, tamaru hide leather seats, external decorations and vibrorapiers instead of vibroblades as close combat weapons. The final price of the order was fourhundred and sixty million dinars from which emir of Skavara paid 20% up front with hard cash and the rest of the payment was counter-bought from Skavara Heavy Industries.

An Inter-polar war looming in the horizon and president Simosas authorization drastic expansion of PRDF and Protectorate Guard in mind Paxton Arms decided to spend most of counter bought equipment, in order to bolster strength of the Protectorate Guard.

The final order was worth of 368 million dinars and included

The artillery and anti-aircraft units were immediately sold to invidual communities. And the Asp heavy gears were moved to PRDF regional bases for refitting and distribution. The sheer number of bought Asps left southern (and northern) military analysts baffled with question, why Paxton Arms would buy enough low-end civil defense gears to make five heavy gear regiments. The answer was not entirely uncovered until Inter-Polar war when the Protectorate Guard fought with slightly refitted and proved that even an Asp could be refitted into reasonably good combatant. (See the New vehicles and variants at the end of article.)

Addendum: TN1943 Post Peace River

Most people on Terra Nova thought that destruction of the Peace River would be the end for the Paxton Arms. On contrary Paxton Arms has made itself very necessary for exorbitantly expensive Black Talon program. Shortly after the destruction of Peace River, the remnants of the PRDF quietly absorbed the guard into itself (or vice-versa). While most polar politicians would like to think that Paxton Protectorate exists only on paper, in reality Paxton Arms has ample manpower and equipment to deal with most threats to it's existance in world united by the Westphalia Cabinet.

New Vehicles and Variants

PAV-5/ENG Paxton Minelayer a.k.a "The Box" (Introduced in Spring-TN1883)

Without doubt the Paxton Minelayer is the ugliest military vehicle on Terra Nova. Which have been described as mating between bulldozer and shoebox mounted on balloon tires. But it can turn 10 hectares (40 tactical scale hexes) of land into minefield in mere 80 minutes, and carries four different kinds of mines. Thus making this vehicle invaluable tool to Paxton Protectorate Guard. And as it takes average 30 minutes to reload the minelayer system from trained engineering squad (or an hour with unskilled labor.)

The Minelayer was introduced in Spring-TN1883 for internal sales, as no polar organization showed any interest for dedicated minelayer vehicle, on the other hand this vehicle was a perfect tool for Protectorate Guard. After fifty cycles of service this vehicle has not been surpassed in it's own field. While it's light price tag and high efficiency has made very popular vehicle within Paxton Protectorate.

Vehicle Specifications:

                Name: PAV-5/ENG Paxton Minelayer a.k.a "The Box"
        Vehicle Type: Armored Combat Engineering Vehicle
     Production Type: Mass Produced
                Cost: 34 500 PR$ (69 000 marks/dinars)
        Manufacturer: Paxton Arms
                 Use: Minelaying / combat engineering
              Height: 2.9 meters
              Length: 9.8 meters
               Width: 6.5 meters
Avg. Armor Thickness: Average 45mm
      Armor Material: Rolled Steel
 Standard Op. Weight: 14600 kg
   Primary Move Mode: Ground (60 kph)
    Deployment Range: 400 km
        Sensor Range: 1 km
 Communication Range: 15 km
          Powerplant: Diesel
       Engine Output: 200kW

General Stats:

         Threat Value: 184
      Offensive Value: 130
      Defensive Value: 21
  Miscellaneous Value: 400
                 Size: 8
Original Default Size: 6
     Indv. Lemon Dice: 3
                 Crew: 2
        Bonus Actions: 1


  Primary Move Mode: Ground
       Combat Speed: 5
          Top Speed: 10
Secondary Move Mode: 
       Combat Speed: 
          Top Speed: 
           Maneuver: -3


       Sensors: -1
Communications: +1
  Fire Control: -2


Light Damage: 7
Heavy Damage: 14
    Overkill: 21


Qty Name                   Code  Arc  Ammo
1   Heavy Machine Gun      HMG   T    600
1   Mine, General Purpose  MGP   Rr   10   
1   Mine, Improved AP      MIAP  Rr   10   
1   Mine, Heavy GP         MHGP  Rr   10   
1   Mine, Anti-Armor       MAA   Rr   10   


HEP: Desert 
Light Mining Equip
Mine Laying Equipmen (Mine TV: 230)          


Exposed Movement System                     
Inefficient Controls

OACS-04GD/AST Fanged Asp (Introduced in Winter-TN1936)

In TN1936 after acquiring a lot of 1200 Asps Paxton arms proceeded to refit the Asps for real combat role instead of counter-insurgency/rover hunting role they're originally designed for. First variant to me produced was Fanged Asp an assault variant of original Asp. The heavy machinegun and hand grenades were removed in favor of PAML-4 recoilless cannon generally referred as "Pummel" by PRDF pilots. This modification turned Asp into lot deadlier unit.

 Price: PR$ 66 250 (132 500 Marks/Dinars)
    TV: 265 (O:470, D:242, M:82)
Remove: HMG, HHG(2)
   Add: MBZK with 3 clips of 5 rounds each

OACS-04GD/AT Killer Asp (Introduced in Spring-TN1937)

"It was early days of the Interpolar war. My cadre was on scouting mission some couple hundred klicks north of lonely hills were our main force was stationed. We'd been told that we'd probably run into some badlands "primitives" and PRDF wouldn't dare to interfere, well that was the official line. When we first saw them, they did not look much of the trouble, old battered Pit Bull and four Asps. I thought I'd burst into laughter when they told us get out of their county, I mean what possibly could bunch of civil defense gears do to Spit, couple Mambas and Iggys, not much so I thought. Well my smile faded away when they decided to charge on us. We engaged them head-on stupid thing to do, but hey hindsight is always 20/20. They covered their advance with smoke grenades, when the lead gear came through the smoke I heard the Alain shouting something about panzerfaust, but it was drowned into explosion when Kazes Spit blew up. Well wasted them alright. With no other casualties, when we checked remains of the Kazes Spit it looked like that had been hit twice with the panzerfaust and second had penetrated into her cockpit, she probably didn't even see what hit her."

-Sous-Sergent Marcel Kwan 17th MILICIA Heavy Gear Regiment

Killer Asp is not much of a combatant unless it can surprise it's enemies, this refit trades hand grenades and machinegun for two heavy panzerfausts and PADC-20 20mm pack gun a.k.a "the drumgun" (weapons has ammo drum is bigger than the gun itself). Design relies on disposable weaponry, due short life expectancy of the pilot. During the Interpolar war some desperate pilots were even known to charge tanks and striders hoping to take them out.

  Price: PR$ 46 750 (93 500 Marks/Dinars)
    TV: 187 (O:240, D:242, M:77)
 Remove: HMG, HHG(2), Loudspeakers, Wide angle searchlight perks.
    Add: HPZ(2) and DPG with 240 rounds of ammo, Smoke launchers with 5 shots.

OACS-04GD/GP Desert Asp (Introduced in Autumn-TN1936)

Desert Asp refit attempts to make general purpose trooper gear out of Asp and is almost successfull. The machinegun and grenades removed in order to install PR-25 Autocannon and medium panzerfaust for fighting other gears at more or less equal footing. The only real problem in this refit is the Asps fire-control software, which seemingly cannot handle PR-25 Autocannon properly. Symptoms of the fire-control software failure begin with Nnet flashing "safe recoil parameters exceed, re-initializing fire control" error message on HUD, after which it resets fire control system taking ten to thirty seconds.

   Price: PR$ 42 500 (85 000 Marks/Dinars)
      TV: 172 (O:191, D:242, M:82)
  Remove: HMG, HHG(2)
     Add: LAC with 60 rounds of ammo and MPZ(1) 
Add Flaw: Defective fire control 1

PAW-13 Black Bull

Paxton Arms Red Bull strider (p.76 Tactical Field Support) had proven itself as an excellent broken ground artillery unit, but War of the alliance showed how vulnerable artillery was to aircraft. To remedy this problem Paxton engineering created Anti-Aircraft strider based on Red Bull chassis, new unit was immediately dubbed as Black Bull and given a designation of PAW-13. The bull still had it's horns. In this case two turret mounted liquid cooled 30mm Anti-Aircraft Cannons slaved to target acquisition radar. Flak-Master anti-missile system and 50mm Anti-personnel mortar were added as an after thought. Considerably light weapons load and slight tinkering with transmission and suspension have resulted almost twenty percent increase in ground speed. Unlike its cousin Red Bull, the Black Bull is not helpless alone the AA cannons can be used to lay down very effective covering fire and the mortar is effective weapon for destroying hostile infantry.

   Price: PR$ 239 166.5 (478 333 Marks/Dinars)
      TV: 1148 (O:1821, D:534, M:1087)
  Remove: both LAGs
     Add: two linked HAAC(T) with 600 rounds of ammo,
          APM(T) with 15 rounds of ammo.
Add Perk: Sniper System(HAAC's), Weapons Link(HAAC's),
          Anti-Missile System(R1,20 shots)

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APAGear II Archives Volume 3, Number 9 October, 2001