Conflict Dossier: Chernarus

Just another day in a Post-Soviet Republic…

Chernarus is a beautiful country, but one with some serious problems internally and externally.

So in my last Conflict Dossier, I covered the Arma nation of Takistan, my go-to for a Middle Eastern-inspired fictitious nation. Today I’m covering its unlikely neighbor; The Republic of Chernarus!

The Green Sea region from Arma 2 is the gift that keeps on giving for Modern wargamers who want to add some fictional nations to their tabletops. A country with a political situation similar to many post-soviet states, Chernarus allows you to refight familiar scenarios inside an entirely fictional country. The only major alteration I’m making is that instead of the inexplicable ‘Chernarussian’ language being Czech I’m making it an offshoot of Russian.

Flanked by Russia on 3 sides, and Takistan to its west, Chernarus finds itself in a sticky spot.

The Republic has a problem that many post-soviet states contend with; Pro-Russian rebels who want to break away and either join the Russian Federation as a member or join it outright. South Zagoria, in the country’s north-east, is the hotbed for such unrest. While the Chernarussian Defense Force does its best, the ‘Chedaki’ as the rebels are known are persistant, dug-in, and hard to dislodge. Supported ‘off the books’ by Russian arms and equipment, these rebels pose a serious threat to the countries overall stability.

A CDF patrol comes under attack by a Chedaki ambush.

Now in Arma 2, the campaign resolves such events. Being a tabletop gamer, I’m using the beginning situation but altering it to suit my tabletop. Therefore, my backstory involves a Russian annexation of South Zagoria in 2017, with the CDF having to contend with well armed ‘Polite People’ as well as a seriously beefed up Chedaki force. NATO cannot officially intervene, and so far the annexation has stopped in South Zagoria itself, where an uneasy and constant low-intensity conflict smolders.

Unofficially, NATO forces have worked to destabilize the Chedaki forces, and such efforts are showing results as formerly Chedaki areas fall into local revolt between Chernarussian nationals and Chedaki supporters. The ‘Russian’ forces, there themselves ‘off the books’ cannot formally complain, but firefights between Russian forces and NATO forces have occurred. Both sides try to keep such engagements from being leaked to the news, for fear of further escalation.

The Chedaki are well-armed with modern equipment, but continue to make use of old soviet stalwarts.

The border with Takistan has also been a concern. In the 1980’s a Soviet invasion of Takistan used Chernarus as one of its main supply routes, and a certain grudge is held by the Takistanis toward the Chernarussians because of this. Chernarussians were part of that invasion force as well, adding further fuel to the fire.

Cross-border attacks by militant Takistani groups means the border is constantly, but not always effectively, guarded. During the NATO intervention in Takistan, Chernarus decided to not take part initially, despite their NATO aligned government. Instead, a few years later, the Republic of Chernarus formally committed peacekeepers as part of a UN backed initiative. While unpopular both at home and among the Takistanis, who view Chernarussian Peacekeepers with an air of suspicion, the good conduct of most of the CDF forces involved are slowly mending fences.

The more things change…
The more things stay the same. Chernarussians enter Takistan at the same place their fathers and grandfathers left.

Now that is all well and good, but this is a wargaming blog. So besides my lovely Arma screenshots(I work way, way too hard on them!) I also got some models to use as Chernarussians on the tabletop.

They aren’t 1/1 recreations of the Arma 2 originals; they lack the kevlar, NATO styled, K-pot helmets. But surprisingly little has changed from Afghan era Soviet models and most Post-Soviet republic’s uniforms.

With that in mind, I decided to go with Eureka Miniature’s Afghan-era Soviets. They are well cast(barring one absolute pig of a model) and have loads of detail. I also find the metal particularly good to work with. Modern models have a problem with bent and broken barrels, and Eureka’s models are made of a metal that is both reasonably strong and pliant enough to bend back into place. Eureka also slightly, and I do not mean by much, exaggerate the size of weapons, just enough so that I find them much more durable then say Spectre Miniatures.

A squad in Soviet style helmets. These are great sculpts!
And a squad in Panamanka hats. These fell out of use post-Afghanistan, but in my CDF backstory I’m having them keep it out of some odd nostalgia. Again, great sculpts with loads of character.

The models are really cool, and picking my favourite sculpts was hard. But here are some stand-outs!

A section leader, probably a junior Sergeant, beckons his men forward. A classic.
A good ole GP25 grenade launcher, to keep the Takistani’s honest.
Easily my favourite pose, and a multi-part model, this Chernarussian is running to keep up with his comrades.
An RPK-74, just the ticket for some sustained fire.
Armed with a disposable RPG, this Chernarussian is ready for anything.
The first of the ‘Panamanka’ models, this Chernarussian is reading a map and giving orders.
A simple, strong pose. Should be fun to paint!
An SVD for some long range work. The barrel here was the closest to breaking out of the box, and I’m scared for its long-term survival.
Another characterful pose. The facial details on the Eureka models are a highlight for me.
No post-Soviet army is complete without ton’s of RPG-7’s lying around. This RPG gunner has a spare round in his hands.
My second favourite pose! Hunched over and at the ready, this Chernarussian is ready for some close quarters fighting.

My paint order should be arriving this week, so hopefully these Chernarussians don’t have to wait long for their coat of Russian Uniform. I’m torn on what camouflage pattern to use on them. I’m thinking Flora, but KLMK and a homebrew Chernarussian woodland pattern are all coming to mind. I like the idea that they have deployed to Takistan in green as the country can’t afford to have two sets of uniforms for just that occasion.

I’m quite pleased with the models, I have to say. I’ve ordered from Eureka US in this instance, but I also have placed an order with Eureka UK to see what would arrive faster. The US postal service has won in this case! The UK order has US Marines and Afghan National Police(to be used as Takistani National Army). I’m excited to get them!

But for now, that is all I have got for you fine people. Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and I wish you all a Calm Night. прощание!