Monday, 5 February 2018

The NSW Riverina - A Major Hot Spot

Shelldrake has started a thread on the ARBM War Room, over at the VBCF, that looks at the importance of the Riverina area. Here is the link: Riverina Information

Shelldrake has been very generous with sharing the information he has found, some of which is new to me. If you are prepared to look there are some real gems hidden in the archives. Ideas for new factions or scenarios can be generated by a few searches through the newspapers of the era.

My post (below) shows why this is the epicentre of conflict in 1933.

Here is a lot of information on the Riverina Movement in the 1930s:

 Riverina Movement - Charles Stuart University

This was used as the basis for the faction within ARBM. The area's extremely strong desire for autonomy from NSW (and Sydney in particular) made the alliance with Victoria so plausible.

The most interesting event is not contained within my book as it happened in August 1933, and did not fit my timeline. A Royal Commission was convened to determine if NSW was too large to be effectively managed as a single state. It recommended that NSW be split into three parts, one of which was the Riverina Area. The Government in is usual wisdom decided to ignore the advice. With the departure of Lang and improving economic conditions, the Riverina Movement and the royal commissions findings slipped into obscurity.

In the context of ARBM, the NSW Riverina is a major hot spot and one of the most interesting areas within which to game as every major faction is represented in some way. You have the following:

  • The Riverina Movement and its supporters. To them its homeground.
  • Local groups within the region opposed to any move toward independence or who desired to retain the connection with Sydney and NSW.
  • Victoria, who effectively invade northward into NSW, offering the Riverina area statehood within the Victorian nation.
  • NSW had just been invaded by Victoria. Naturally, such a slight could not go unanswered.
  • Queensland goes to the assistance of its southern neighbour and ally. While committing troops and equipment they also wanted a degree of control, so integration of forces was discouraged or hampered. NSW-QLD rivalry does not evaporate.
  • Western Australia may wish to assist Victoria, but to do so involves sending men or material eastward via the rail link thru ...
  • ... South Australia, who are allied with NSW but don't want to upset WA or Victoria, their neighbours. The Murray River, the boundary between NSW and Victoria, ultimately flows into SA, bringing with it problems as it is a navigable waterway. In the state's north-east, the population's loyalty would be split between SA, VIC and the Riverina Movement. Just to make things worse, the Trans-Australian railway is subject to raids from the ...
  • ... Australian Red Centre (ARC) who are opposed to WA's secession.
  • Every faction above has a multitude of smaller factions within it, many of which span the territory of multiple major factions. The largest of these are the Union Movement and right-wing organisations such as the New and Old Guard. They are capable of acting across boundaries as its members are spread across the continent. The objectives of these geographically diverse groups may oscillate between assisting the state they reside within and attacking it. Further, these large organisations are far from homogeneous, with sub-factions pursuing their own agendas.

So in summary, YES the Riverina area is a major hot spot for ARBM, particularly in the initial flurry of activity. How the map is drawn  after a year of conflict is for gaming groups to define.

(Author of ARBM) : If you are interested in obtaining a copy I can contacted here.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Matthew. I really love this setting, and the more I read over the book, the more it draws me in to this 'conflict'.

    I am also 'pimping' it on twitter using the #ARBM hashlag