Tuesday, December 11, 2012

King Ullo Allows U.N. Inspectors

During the long cease fire in the still ongoing Alcovian Civil War there have been increasing pressures from outside governments to allow foreign observers into the country. 

The stated goal has always been to allow the international community the opportunity to guarantee there are no human rights violations and that both sides of the conflict are conducting themselves within the boundaries of  legal warfare practices under international law and treaty. This, however, has never seemed enough for the Alcovian government which has claimed the sanctity of sovereignty at every turn.

The change in position of the government seems to have been a direct result of increased claims, by the rebel leadership, of criminal activities committed by national forces in rebel controlled territories. Alcovian leadership decided to challenge these claims the best way they could and petition the U.N. for an inspection of these regions in Eastern Alcovia. U.N. officials agreed and have sent several teams of inspectors of a non-military nature and without U.N. -provided escorts. 

During their inspection tour, U.N. representatives have taken numerous opportunities to speak with local commanders, government representatives and civilian authorities in an attempt to raise a "presence of peace" among those involved in and affected by the Alcovian Civil War. While these off the record discussions have been looked upon with suspicion, no direct action has been taken to prevent them. One U.N. team member was quoted as saying, "It would seem that Alcovians are interested in peace, even if they are not ready to lay down their weapons."

While most of the inspection has been routine with little to report in the way of the proposed violations, a team visiting the city of Ubecha - along the Borka river - was treated to the grizzly display of a collection of severed limbs (shown here wrapped up after collection). Local ethnic Iqenis claim that these are the grim results of a recent terror raid conducted by Royal Special Forces that specifically targeted civilians of that particular ethnicity. They cited several such raids conducted during hostilities in the 1970s as support for these claims, however there remains no concrete evidence to support these accusations. 

The U.N. plans to continue inspections for the remainder of the year, having been given an exit date of January 1, 2013.

Monday, December 3, 2012


A friend recently did up some flags for modern Alcovia. While I'm trying to tweak the designs a bit, these are really good so far and I think capture the feel of the nation quite well...

The first set above was amended with a few more Eastern European bits of flavor to the flags below. I personally like the revised flags. the artist really did a nice job and even included distressed versions.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

New Recruits Arrive - 15mm QRF Russians

Thanks to a wonderful net buddy, I am now 64 15mm Russians richer. This gent, kind enough to send me these troops for the price of shipping, has given me a big push into getting the 15mm version of Alcovia going.

While I wait for Eureka and, hopefully, Pole Bitwy get their 15mm modern Russians and Chechens out, I'm planning on painting these cold War era Russians as the sorts of second line troops that make up the bulk of the rebel army in the Alcovian civil war. A few simple conversions should also close the generational gap, but as Alcovia is certainly not Russia, it is easy to imagine they still have some older gear around. Heck, even Russia doesn't have its whole army modernized.

As reward for his kind donation to the cause, I shall be converting a command figure into the donater's likeness as the rebel commander Jonaz Keprozchi (a play on the fellow's real name).

So, thank you to the kind soul who sent the new recruits!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Police Raids Continue in Western Alcovia

June 22, 2012
In a continuation of the increased police activities in western Alcovian cities that followed the May 23 attack on a very public benefit concert, Internal Security forces have made an astounding 32 additional arrests of individuals either confirmed as or suspected of being members of various militia, terrorist and even activism groups.

Though not all are believed to be directly involved in the attack, Alcovian national authorities are not taking any chances and a general sweep has been ordered to either remove or confine any known or suspected threats against internal stability in the still mostly-peaceful west of the nation. It is feared, should such elements be allowed to operate unchecked even under surveillance, that such elements could bring open fighting.

The large scale police action has not been without its detractors both locally and abroad as some see such board use of police powers as an affront to personal and civil liberties. The Alcovian government has answered these concerns by making it very clear that Alcovia is still a benevolent nation with the safety of its people and preservation of peace as its primary motivations. Civil rights organizations around the world have protested and insisted that Alcovia maintain due process and fair standards when dealing with its own civilian population.

What is being protested most are those individuals that are taken without any direct connection to known terrorist or militia activities and/or without any past record of such activities. Amnisty International has began to work with UN member states to pressure them to intervene on behalf of the Alcovian people, however with King Ullo's absolute ban on direct foreign involvement on Alcovian soil, there is little that can be done by government forces of any nation that would not constitute an immediate violation of Alcovia's sovereignty.

Minister for the Interior, Rudolf Rudnost, stated in a press conference - 
The Kingdom of Alcovia is not a den of tyrants. It has never been our desire to see our people subjected to the horrors of war, terror and injustice. What we are seeing these days is a blight upon the history of what has been a peaceful nation. However, we cannot allow the cancer of fear and rebellion to grow and prosper. 
What you have been witnessing over the last month are necessary action to preserve the peace and sanctity of our nation. We ask only that we be allowed to conduct Alcovian internal matters in the Alcovian way and assure all onlookers in the world, that justice will be achieved without undo bloodshed and pain. Those who have been taken into custody are individuals who either have had a hand in recent actions taken against the nation and its people or those who we believe might be of assistance and help in finding more who might harm the people of this great kingdom.
To those who would cast us in the same mold as the villains of the past, we ask that you maintain an open mind and trust that we, a nation of peace and a kingdom ordained by divinity itself, shall prove ourselves to you all. To those who would not give us this consideration, we ask that you at least leave us to our own matters and not make Alcovia's troubles an excuse for your usual saber rattling and pretense. Alcovia will not be used an excuse for aggression and opportunity.

The minster's words, assumed to have been handed to him by the office of the king himself, maintain the Alcovian stance on the conflict since its beginning, demonstrating the conviction that Alcovia's internal matters should remain its own. the last bit of the short address has been met with some criticism for being, perhaps, a bit too confrontational. Experts say that such direct challenge to the policies and activities of other nations may have a reversed effect on foreign governments who are watching the Alcovian civil war. The statement also follows a trend in previous addresses and statements wherein Alcovia has overlooked and sidestepped its own imperialist invasion of Theogonia, now, the west-most province of the Alcovian kingdom.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Benefit Concert Ends in Violence

May 23, 2012

Last night's sudden a violent outbreak at the benefit concert being held by Alcovian pop star, Ilana Nosti has been blamed on a radical militia group. The group, calling itself the Brotherhood for a New Alcovia opened fire on the gathered crowd of civilians and off duty soldiers, killing 15 and wounding dozens more.

The group appears to have entered the arena in the guise of members of Alcovian internal security and RAA. As the capital was maintaining an alert status, soldiers and police forces were carrying weapons to the event. Security officials say that the militia members entered using forged documents and false identifications and that by the time they had opened fire it was too late to do anything but return fire and try to counter the attack. In the end, all the terrorists were killed in the ensuing firefight but not before they had inflicted heavy casualties on the unsuspecting crowd. 

Fortunately, none of the visiting officials or the performers were harmed during the firefight.

In a later interview, Miss Nosti had this to say...
This is a horrible and grotesque thing to have happen on this night of hope and help. To turn what was meant as a gesture of aid and peace into a bloody slaughter cannot be forgiven. I hope that all freedom loving Alcovians will see this for what it is and choose to do what is right in opposing this sort of evil
Miss Nosti later visited local hospitals offering her help to those caring for the wounded and consoling those who had lost loved ones in the attack.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pop Star To Throw Benefit Concert

May 6, 2012

Alcovian pop sensation Ilana Nosti announced her plans to throw a benefit for the war-torn citizens of Alcovia. The concert, being held in the Alcovian capital of Chubakrev will be open to all citizens with a special ticket price being given to all active NAA troops as well as a special royal viewing by the king and his cabinet. All proceeds will go to benefiting charitable organizations already assisting in Alcovia.

Ilana has said that she also hopes to raise awareness of the conflict in her homeland through the worldwide televising of her concert on international pay per view outlets as well on several broadcast channels in nations where pay-per-view events are not available. At this time, her concert will be broadcast in 42 countries. A spokeswoman for Ms. Nosti also expressed her concerns and disappointment that no American networks or pay-per-view venues had picked up the concert, though there are a few Internet sources that will be showing the event and she is sure that viral coverage of the event will still allow the concert to reach American viewers. Ms. Nosti's manager blamed the lack of interest in America on the singer's clean image and the limited pallet of American listeners who have never warmed to Ilana's blend of traditional eastern European sounds and sweeping vocals.

The performance is set for the end of May or early June, but the planners of the event are intentionally keeping specific dates under wraps until closer to the event out of concern for possible terrorist activities.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ethnic Iquenis Threaten to Defy Cease Fire

APRIL 28, 2012

With the cease fire still in effect throughout the country, there have been recent stirrings among the pockets of ethnic Iqenis living throughout Alcovia. Most of these citizens have very shallow ties to Alcovia as a nation, being one or two generations removed from Iqenistan, the nation they still hold as their true nation and homeland. 

Since the start of the war, most Iqeni have found themselves in a difficult position of which side to choose. While national forces certainly stand for maintaining the current Alcovian state, General Kusatya's rebel forces are comprised mostly of veteran soldiers, many of whom have fought in skirmishes and wars against Iqenistan or defended the eastern Acovian border. This has left most non-enlisted Iqeni remaining neutral and clear of declaring any allegiance. Unfortunately, ethnic Iqeni communities have found themselves in the middle of battles between NAA and either APA and/or ALF forces. 

This has led to the regular formation of local militia groups within these communities. Originally created as self defense units for the purpose of protecting their communities, Internal Security forces have discovered that these individual militias are beginning to organize, setting up lines of communication between one another and establishing a network similar to what has been seen among insurgent forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. Though the presence of any influences from outside the region has been discovered, it is likely that, should this trend continue, Al Qaeda and similar organizations may indeed send advisers or fighters of their own to support a Muslim uprising within the Christian nation.

Most recently, some of these militia, especially those in unoccupied territories have started making their own shows of defiance against government forces. Armed gunmen have been seen patrolling the streets of Iqeni neighborhoods, blocking traffic to non-Iqeni residents and demanding tolls for passage. Other groups have made open protests against the treatment of Iqeni citizens, claiming that Alcovia has done little to elevate the living conditions of Iqeni residents beyond that of resident refugees since the massive influx in the late 80's following the epidemic flu outbreak that ravaged Alcovia's eastern neighbor.

One local ethnic Iqeni man was quoted as saying,
The king says that all Alcovians are equals, Kuzaki, Trebizoni, Theogonian, or Iqeni. But, all we see are Iqenis living in such horrible places, piled on one another while others have homes and land to call their own. We were invited here but we are not made welcome but because we cannot go home, we are treated like animals.
This sentiment is shared by many who feel that the kingdom's claims of benevolence in the face of disease and the resulting economic downfall of Iqenistan are nothing more than a veil over the real truth of opportunistic slavery and prejudice. The nation's leadership disputes these accusations by pointing out that the opening of Alcovian borders during the 1987 flu outbreak was done as a humanitarian gesture and that fair housing and provisioning was made to all Iqeni citizens who entered the country legally. they further point out that permanent residency was never part of their initial offering, but was later made available when it became clear that Iqenistan was left in no position to care for the sudden influx of returning citizens.

At present there are some 42,000 ethnic Iqeni men, women, and children living on Alcovian soil. It is estimated that only 68% of these are legally documented residents. Only 23% of these have taken Alcovian citizenship.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Alcovian Princess Returns to War-torn Homeland

Taking advantage of the cease fire, Princess Malatova returned to Alcovia from her studies abroad. The lovely daughter to King Ullo's oldest son, her arrival came as somewhat of a surprise to the royal cabinet. Amid the bustle of reporters and onlookers, the princess exited her private plane at the Alcovian National Airport. Pausing only for a few photos and brief words, the lovely royal was quickly whisked away in an official vehicle.

Not much is known about the reasons for her return to her war-torn home, but it but she is well known as an advocate for the proper integration of the nation across all its peoples as well as the demilitarization of the province of Theogonia. Such views have often marked her as a liberal supporter who's loyalties to her people is questionable. In fact it was only two years prior that the princess made a very emotional speech at a Trebizon convention for trade and human rights. 

What has been stated, not by the princess but by her official spokeswoman, Pretya Tushensia, is that the princess will be spending some time travelling around her home. Internal security authorities are concerned that the princess's planned tour of the nation may invite rebel and militia concerns to take advantage of her vulnerable position. The princess's public relations team made it quite clear than neither the princess or her entourage are in the slightest concerned over any supposed threat. the princess has refused all offers of additional security from her father or the royal offices.

So far there is no official itinerary but given her political views, it is thought that Princess Malatova will be visiting aid stations, medical stations and perhaps the UN refugee camps across the River Borka, in Iqenistan. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sneak Peak at New 15mm Modern Russians From Eureka Miniatures

While cruising around looking for information on 15mm modern Russians and following up on Eureka's 300 Club project for the same, I stumbled across a blog by an Australian gent called "Wargaming With Barks". Imagine my delight when he had posted pictures of the majority of the range.

Traditional Helmets
Sphera Helmets

While I won't be so crass as to pull all the images off of his blog and re-post them here, I have nicked one simage to post above. Please visit his blog to see the rest and get the full story.

I did ask if he knew how long it would be before we would see these released and he said he believed they were about two months out. I emailed Nic Robson at Eureka to ask, but he is away at Salute and I'll have to wait until he gets back for a direct answer. It's also worth a quick note that in addition to the extensive range of Modern Russians we are also going to see Chechens released near or at the same time. 

Looks like 15mm Alcovia is about to get A LOT easier.

In the meantime, and because I want to make use of these figures to their fullest, I'll be converting some existing minis to militia minis. Most of these are Peter Pig AK-47 and Old Glory NVA figures that I'veh ad languishing about for a bit. I might even be able to mix a few of my Old Glory Vietnam era U.S. Troops as it seems that a fair number of American assault rifles seem to make it into the hands of modern European militias. In fact, whole caches of US arms turned up in raids in Chechnya.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Inspirational Movie - "5 Days of War"

While this movie gets panned for being a weak commentary on the war in Georgia, I found it to be a good, entertaining action movie with some excellent action, enough story and plot for the sort of movie it really is and all the Russian hardware and AK-47s you could ever want. That's all the movie review I'll give it.

Anyone who was looking for more out of this obviously missed the part on the box where it says, "From the director of Die Hard 2". Not exactly and endorsement of deep, meaningful cinema.

What the movie DOES have is plenty of eye candy and fuel for anyone wanting to run modern Balkan warfare games. As you follow the characters through the movie, you get a good look at very convincing scenery and terrain of this sort of setting. The vehicles in the movie are all authentic from the T-72s to the Mi-24s. Rough eastern volunteer militia and Georgian soldiers are depicting convincingly and you get plenty of chances to give a good look at them for the purpose of painting guides.

There are also several possible tabletop scenarios in the movie, especially if you are looking for missions that involve non-military objectives. The actions of the the movie centers around a group of reporters as they try to get their story and get out alive enough to tell it.

Now, where can I find a miniatures of a 15mm, chubby Val Kilmer in reporter gear?


P.S. The movie does have a nice redeeming bit at the ending where they have real survivors of the conflict showing pictures of their lost friends and relatives and explaining how they were lost. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Easter Observances Throughout Alcovia

It has now been over two weeks since a general cease fire was issued and agreed upon by both sides of the civil conflict in Alcovia. With peace talks still mostly ineffective, but continuing, the war-torn nation has enjoyed its rest from the sound of bombs and guns. Military units have remained in a stand-down status but do remain ready to resume action at a moment's notice.

With the peace, an attempt has been made to return to some semblance of normalcy and on Easter Day, citizens from all over the country gathered, yesterday, for traditional Easter Mass. With over 80% of the nation prescribing to Eastern Orthodox this was a great opportunity to bring people together, regardless on which side of the conflict they found themselves. In churches and chapels, and in some cases in the open air, observances of the holiday were carried out with as much traditional show and ceremony as there could be.

In the eastern village of Grovernia, where a hundred years old church was destroyed in an artillery barrage by government forces, townsfolk gathered in front of the ruin to pray and share a moment of community unity, casting aside all affiliations for the day. Member of local militia stood in the crowd, faces covered so as to protect their identities. No political banners were waved and it seemed that for the moment all sides had set aside their differences.

But all was not peace and celebration. The township of Bartanerni was rocked by violent clashes between local militia and government security forces. While government forces stopped to listen to a broadcast prayer, shots were fired from surrounding structures as mortar fire rained down upon the hapless soldiers. The resulting firefight left 32 dead and countless injured among soldiers, militia and civilians alike. Fighting ended only after two Mi-24 attack helicopters were dispatched to support the pinned NAA troops. Once fighting in the town had ended, the helicopters set to the task of peppering the surrounding hills with fire from their rockets and cannons. 

As the sun set, national and rebel forces all slipped back into all too familiar roles, once again assuming their now usual alert status. One soldier was seen sharing a tender moment with a local elderly woman who had lost her son just days ago in a skirmish outside the village where he was stationed. Despite being on opposite sides of the conflict, the woman bestowed kisses and blessings on the National Army soldier who had held her hand during the evening's mass.

Truly this was a day for miracles in the tragically torn nation of Alcovia.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Crisis in Alcovia is Not Dead

I believe that I may have sent out a false message to some with the cease fire post.

Crisis in Alcovia is not a dead project.

With Mark and Maff occupied on other projects and my decision to rescale my efforts in the setting to 15mm, there has been less activity than there had been. The cease fire was merely a thematic choice to frame this slow down in an in-game context.

Crisis in Alcovia will be back when I can get troops and vehicles built up in 15mm and I'm sure Mark and Maff will be back some day when the mood swings. As diverse gamers, it is impossible to focus on one setting all the time and believe it or not the news stories that characterize this blog take a lot of work to keep fresh and interesting.

Thanks for your continued interest and as usual if you feel you would like to game in Alcovia, drop me a line and we can always post your AAR or a ling to your post on this blog too.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Cease Fire Declared in Alcovia

"Though hostilities have by no means ended, leaders of both rebel and government forces have met in the presence of civic leaders, labor representatives and orthodox clergy with an aim to find a reasonable end to a conflict that has now raged for more than a year. Sources, both official and unofficial have stated that they are hopeful that these talks will prove to be constructive and a positive move toward peace in the war torn nation.

But is it too soon?

Have the two sides of this conflict accomplished anything close to what they set out to do?

These are the sorts of questions that haunt foreign onlookers as even the most hopeful of outsiders can only notice that the civil war in Alcovia has produced no decisive victories on either side and, as of the time of the cease fire, there are still large portions of the nation under rebel control or official martial law. These strained occupations have imposed a stifling interdiction on daily life across wide swaths of once free territory leaving many people to question the motives of their government and rebels alike.

Even with hostilities under official cease fire, there is still plenty of fighting going on across the nation. Militia bands have, on several occasions, clashed with government troops. These attacks have often been made against routine patrols and police units enforcing the various security measure put in place in zones of high militia or rebel activity. Though government troops are not actively conducting operations against rebel and militia forces, they are doing what they can to contain outbreaks of violence and have not ceased what they deem to be necessary police and peacekeeping measures.

Despite the terrible tole on the people of Alcovia and facing potential strains on foreign relations, King Ullo has stood fast in his insistence that the civil war remain a purely Alcovian affair without foreign assistance or aid. Public opinion remains high for the king with some 60% of the people stll in favor of his current course of action. 

But can the king of Alcovia retain the love of his people now months into the second year of the war?

Time and the outcome of the peace talks will only tell..."

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Crazy Emu's Used Tank Blowout -
Sold Out!

Thanks to everyone who chimed in for the tank blowout. It took a single day for me to clear out all these tanks models. I hope they will all find good service in your respective armies.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crazy Emu's Used Tank Blowout!

I've got a crap ton of 1/72 modern Russian tank model kits that I'm not going to be needing. All are unassembled, though a few have been opened to examine the kits. I'd like to sell them off, if I can. Feel free to email me on the email in my profile to ask what is available.

I'm looking to get about $8 a model and will ship actual postage. I'll consider offers for the whole pile.

I have the following -

Sorry for the glare. It was hard enough to get all the tanks into a single picture.

Thanks for considering,