|The Eagle of Saladin|
|Playstyle||Close-in AOE Support|
|Faction Colour||Limestone White|
|Type||Echoes Minor Faction|
"You got a lotta nerve
To say you are my friend
When I was down
You just stood there grinning"
- -"Positively 4th Street" by Bob Dylan
The Arabian Coalition(Referred to as the Arabians or Coalition.) is a fan faction formerly worked on by DeadlySilence, and since enveloped by the Echoes group. A struggling Middle Eastern coalition of Allied-friendly nations, it relies on putting down both damaging and debuffing AoEs along with close-range burst firepower and explosives to bring down its enemies in battle.
One Thousand and One Years to Dawn
The Middle East and progression have had a long, bumpy road, having been under various monarchies and autocrats since the dawn of civilization, back in the days of Sumer and Babylon. Assyrians, Persians, many others, and finally France and Britain all dominated the region at one point or another. The European colonizers held onto much of the Middle East as mandates for some time, with initial worries about a war with Italy following its seizing of Libya being unfounded when Stalin's world-beating superpower sought to cut off the Allies from their oil.
Stalin's Soviet Union had all the fossil fuels it ever needed, with vast oil fields, enormous coal deposits, and limitless reserves of natural gas. The same could not be said for the Allies, who felt the pinch when the Soviets, having a direct land border to the Middle East, quickly swept aside their mandates and poured into North Africa. While this would start the slide towards socialism that many Arabic nations begun, embittered by being left to dry, this would galvanize others against the Red Menace. The Sultanate of Egypt, Kuwait, and the House of Hashemite would meet many times to discuss a potential alliance: an Arab league, but the peninsula;,content to remain apart from the world's problems, were reluctant to join.
But with the onset of the Cold War, it seemed that perhaps there wouldn't be a need for a league, so long as the Soviets stayed in their borders. It was the decision of Iraq, Syria, and Iran to go communist that convinced the need for renewed talks of the league. All of this would have to wait, however, as soon the Third World War started and once again, communist forces pushed through the Middle East to cut the Allies off from oil supplies, with Cherdenko's red army almost completing a conquest of all of Europe and North Africa.
However, the setbacks inflicted on it by the Empire gave the outmatched allies a chance to roll back the red tide, pushing them to Berlin and out of Africa, with the gains of the Arabian communists reversed. King Faizal, leading officially-neutral Saudi Arabia, worried about the threat of red Persia during the war. Even when the Soviets seemed ready to once again steamroll across the Western world, it was always to the land of the Shahs where his greatest fears lay. During a period of particularly intense fever dreams, he saw soldiers in blue armor fighting against red demons in Farsi writing and green snakes spitting lead and poison, then he saw soldiers in lime joining these blue warriors, and at last, a great new Arabian empire from which orange elephants and teal wolves recoiled while brown gorillas offered a hand.
Two Eagles Joined
It was then he decided that he would join the Allies. But to do this, he would need to modernize. He was, like many other Arabic rulers, a reformer at heart. He agreed to some extent with the communist Arabians that the time of the old ways had come and gone; for his dream of a new caliphate to arise, he would need to make his nation appeal to the Allies at a far greater pace than ever before. Working with moderately swift programs around the Middle East, he kick-started them all, even forming a democratic parliament and holding his nation's first elections ever in a widely-celebrated and approved-of move.
This decision to join the Allies came with the Saudi army sending forces to join the fight against the Soviets when the war did come. While the initial phase of the conflict seemed bleak as the Communists rapidly swept Allied members out of the war, Faisal remained strong with his convictions. When Cherdenko had turned the whole of the Mediterranean into a Soviet lake, he remained true to the Allies, even when Riyadh itself was being besieged.
When the tide started turning at long last, his persistence was rewarded when the Empire suddenly invaded, the pressure on the Allies lightened, the Soviets started conceding ground in Africa and South African reinforcements landed in the Middle East. It was with this that the Coalition's troops, sheltering in southern Arabia once their nations were overrun, fully began with helping drive the Arabian Socialists back to their own borders; a feat that was made possible not only by the reinforcements, but because they struck just as they funneled volunteers to help protect Siberia from Japanese aggression in a moment of complacency.
Even though the Arabians suffered some invasions from Imperial expeditionary armies who sought to kick the Coalition down at a moment of weakness, and did battle with far western ranging elements of the Empire's navy, the main push was always against Iran. What had once been just talk had long become a formal alliance, a Coalition of Arabian Monarchies from Egypt to Kuwait and Bahrain, standing against the might of the communist North. However, a new threat soon emerged in the form of the Global Liberation Army. Angry at both sides for abandoning tradition, they sought to light powder kegs - both political and military.
The Sheikh and the Viper
The GLA armed itself with whatever they could cook up or scrounge together, and exploded against both sides, quickly dragging the Middle Eastern war to a halt. When the war ended with the death of the royal family and the departure of the power-mad Cherdenko, the GLA remained a problem even as the Communists to the north consolidated into a new cold war. The green snakes had arisen. Declaring their hatred for Western decadence, the GLA battled everyone they saw as oppressors ferociously. In Pakistan they rose against the Indians, in Afghanistan they struck at the Syndicate, and here they fought against both the capitalist south and communist north.
The Peacekeepers could only be in so many places at once, and despite the actions of so many factions against the GLA, the snakes refused to die. It would have almost been manageable, but betrayal rocked the Coalition when the White Guard, many of them being long time friends and trusted (and competent) family members, even the formidable General Deathstrike, decided to defect to the GLA. This betrayal personally hurt King Faisal, securing emergency powers for himself to try and stabilize the situation as the army that had once battled the Socialists back was now faced with losing much of the Arabian Peninsula to the green tide.
If such longtime allies could betray them, anyone could potentially turn traitor to the GLA. Anyone could be a terrorist in waiting. With the added threat of communist subversive, the Coalition replaced reform-minded idealism with staunch paranoia. The need for the power of the kings of the Middle East was made more and more loudly stated as Faisal tightened his grip harder and harder on the people.
More and more of Arabia was lost to the encroaching GLA. Much of the oil fields facing the Persian Gulf were stolen from the Regional Defense Force, presenting a devastatingly dire situation to the Coalition as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Kuwait were now cut off by any means save for sea or air transport and Yemen and Oman were both invaded by increasingly-militarized GLA cells. Jordan, a Catholic nation in a sea of Islam, continued to display numerous eccentricities in its deployments as it offered aid against the GLA. Egypt, slow to mobilize, only arrived with its forces in time to stabilize the front against the GLA as extra formations were allocated into what was rapidly becoming "the new Vietnam", "the new Southern Cone", depending on who is asked.
Orange Elephants on Parade
At this time, the Coalition extended some feelers to the burgeoning African League and other factions fighting against the GLA and the Soviets. For a time, India seemed receptive, and the Coalition dared hope that they would be delivered from this terrible scourge as fears were raised that the Socialists would take advantage of this situation while law and order is breaking down in Arabia. Perhaps with the vast manpower of the Commonwealth, they could yet see deliverance against the green serpents poisoning their country (all too often literally, as well).
But such was not to be. The Commonwealth soon took advantage of the out of control situation in Yemen to launch a full scale invasion of what was still technically Coalition territory, using the same pretexts they used in Somalia. This would have been acceptable had the Indians then not taken the hugely controversial move of declaring Yemen to be annexed, declaring its prior government invalid. Taking this as an act of hostility, the Coalition then withdrew diplomats from India and cut off all trade, causing an overnight economic crisis in both countries. Rumors also started to float of small-scale skirmishes between the two occurring, trading warning shots between fleets and air forces.
Now for the first time, two Allied member blocs were now openly hostile to each other, and now the Coalition faced a new and powerful enemy. Geneva, then, became divided on what to do. India's contributions to the containment of China couldn't be simply dropped, and its burgeoning economy and manpower were vital to Allied interests and no suitable replacement existed. On the other hand, the Coalition was also a valuable economic and resource partner and was the lynchpin of their Middle Eastern strategy.
Faced with such a difficult solution, the Arabian Coalition turned to outside help, and soon diplomats in Australian, Indonesian and other embassies started arriving en masse to try and broker some agreements for help against the might of India. But they found their most sympathetic ears in the African League, whose western land shared their dominant religion and a foe in the Indians. While the Syndicate, which while allowed and welcome to do business in their lands, are usually the subject of the royals' misgivings due to their ties with the Commonwealth.
It's a dangerous world, but it's one that King Faisal is hopeful in, dreaming that one day his nation will no longer need his surveillance. However, questions still linger if the kings of the desert will willingly surrender the power they have accumulated to themselves in the name of fighting outside threats.
Coalition gameplay is based on terrain altering and rapid fire burst damage with solidly built units that while slower than their Socialist and GLA counterparts, are sturdier and tend to be better for breaking through a line rather than exploiting break throughs or harass enemies. Coalition units may not be quite as flashy as that of many other factions, but they get the job done and will preform best when used in conjunction with longer ranged or speedier forces.
Another feature unique to the Coalition is their desertification. Some of their units and structures have the ability to turn land around them into desert, which debuffs enemy units in various ways, primarily lowering their speed and accuracy as the enemy is forced to contend with sudden mirages and soft sandy terrain, depending on the severity of the strike. This doesn't apply to buildings, garrisoned units, or Arabian units though.
Units & Buildings
"We are currently living in a hostile climate, citizens... We are living at a time when the Red Menace that has swept over Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran is threatening to do to the same to us, the last remaining bastion of freedom in the Middle East.. We are living in a time where who we once thought were our allies have conquered Yemen and would conquer the rest when we stop watching... The worst one? It is also a time where we have to fight even our own friends and family after they cast their lot with those GLA terrorists! *wipes tears from eyes* It is with a heavy heart I will say that we must do everything to guard our way of life and our dreams of a progressive and modern Arabia as they are beset at all sides by the turncoats, red plagues and imperialists, but may Allah give us the strength and the will to move forward and persist through our adversaries that surround us..."
- - King Faisal's speech, June 12, 1969
|Garrison||The Arabian central building. Produces units. Can be garrisoned by infantry to provide some extra defense should the enemy approach this final redoubt of the Coalition cause.|
|Oil Derrick||Arabian oil derricks produce funds, much like their civilian equivalent. Compared to civilian derricks, Arabian ones are substantially hardier, being built to military standards, but draw somewhat less oil per minute due to being smaller.|
|Air Garrison||Used to retain the Coalition's Ifrit Bombers, as well as the aircraft of the Desert Winds groups or those of any allies, the Air Garrison is a sturdy home for planes that can shelter them from both sand and enemy weaponry while it repairs, refurbishes, and re-arms them for war.|
|Flame Tower||Despite having a shorter range than most anti-infantry defenses, it makes up for it in power; as even vehicles can wilt before the long ranged (for a flamethrower) inferno of the Flame Tower. It can also ignore cover and demoralize the enemy as it burns everything around it, or spray something with oil to set them up for even more nasty burns.|
|Missile Storm||An anti-air system that fires tons of small long ranged MANPAD-style missiles at a plane to ensure it can't escape or to deal with large numbers of planes at once. Long reload times, and can switch warheads to fire a smaller number of larger missiles in case of heavy aircraft such as bombers.|
|Rocket Tower||A turret that amounts to four mounted RPGs with revolver feeds, the Rocket Turret can blow away most vehicles with up to twenty four rockets in a burst that can reduce even the toughest vehicles to dust. It has an incredibly slow reload time, however, which leaves it vulnerable.|
|Redoubt||Arabian fortifications common around Kuwait, Redoubts are fortifications that can house twelve infantry who can fire safely outside and are backed by a large MRLS battery and dual twin sets of 40mm flak cannons with impressive range. These facilities are very durable and resist garrison clearing weapons and are part of the reason why Kuwait proved unbreachable by either the Comintern or the GLA.|
|Ghazi||Taken from the best of the Reservists and national militants of the Coalition nations who have not gone on to the Peacekeeper corps to fight for the dream of a modernized Arabic nation, these gratuitously ammo-clad, well-equipped soldiers have modern assault rifles that they can be commanded to switch to burst-fire, sacrificing rate of fire for damage that is sure to hit harder.|
|Desert Sting||The anti-armour troops of the Coalition. They are armed with multi-purpose missile launchers that that fire large bursts before having to reload, dangerous to vehicles and planes, though they deal less damage per hit than say; Javelins. With their secondary, they can switch to incendiary rockets to attack garrisons and structures.|
|Abus||Named for the small-scale artillery pieces of old, the Abus makes use of a pneumatically-launched petard which which can either set large areas on fire and grievously threaten infantry and structures, or fire petards filled with desertification chemicals to harass and debuff the enemy. They're very slow and very vulnerable, and have to stop before firing.|
|Cleanser||The Cleansers of the Coalition work to clean up and fight in battlefield hazards, such as the toxins thrown around so often in the Middle East. If pressed, they have access to a pair of automatic grenade launchers on a special turret at the top of the vehicle to give infantry a clear message to buzz off. Their secondary ability cleans up effects around them, though they're unarmed while doing so.|
|Scimitar Tank||A relatively recent Saudi manufactured tank, based on the Crusader tanks licensed for their production by their all-too-eager manufacturers. Like most Arab vehicles, it fires in bursts thanks to a revolving autoloading system placed it to allow it to poke over dunes and unload as much firepower as possible before retreating back under cover. It can spray plastic explosives to clear cover. It is slower than most MBTs, but its armor is truly formidable.|
|Supply Truck||A slow but reliable truck that carries both supplies and ore. Can deploy in order to process ore at a slower than most refineries.|
|Wadd Repair Truck||An invaluable part of the Coalition military, it is used during a battle to repair damaged vehicles. It must deploy, and repairs vehicles around it. It, however, is extremely vulnerable.|
|Dune Half-Track||Based on the Lee chassis, the Arabians replaced the quad 20mm autocannon which they felt was outdated and undergunned with larger caliber dual 40mm revolver cannons that can deal fearsome damage in a burst, but lack the sustained fire capacity of the original lee. The secondary switches the Dune from armor piercing to flak shells which deal less damage but threaten multiple aircraft at once.|
|60px||Haboob MRLS||A more conventional sort of artillery system, the Haboob can fire a large volley of rockets at long range to devastate enemies at long range, albeit with major accuracy concerns. Whereas the Katyusha fires rockets out of exposed rails and the Steel Rain fires side mounted missiles, the closed boxed rack for the Haboob uses rockets that strike a happy medium of size between the two, though the closed rack means that reloading times are an issue once the initial volley is done. On command, Haboobs can fire sandstorm rockets that buffet a large area.|
|60px||Djinn Reconnaisance Helicopter||Made for sweeping the vast, sparsely populated rural areas of the coalition for the GLA, the Djinn carries two high pressure flamethrowers to erase infantry or enemy fortifications from the face of the earth when it catches them, but is primarily used for it's ability to find hidden enemies at great speed. If needed, a Djinn can "grant a wish" in the form of white phosphorous grenades, which reveal a small area around them as they burn, often through the fires of burning enemies!|
|60px||Saladin Siege Tank||A new design from the Coalition built to attack GLA controlled towns, it does massive damage against structures and infantry with its rocket-assisted 290mm petard mortar, while heavy armour lets it get into range. If need be, a Saladin can fire a powerful desertification chemical loaded shell that turns the land into sand and dirt.|
|Ifrit Bomber||Unconventional bombers used by the Coalition. Rather than conventional bombs, Ifrits spill burning oil everywhere, burning anything in its wide radius. This makes it dangerous to nearly all ground targets, though infantry suffer its attentions the most.|
The Desert Winds are an elite force within the Coalition driven into the battle when the going truly gets tough. Trained to Jordanian standards, these soldiers offer longer ranged, more accurate, and/or faster moving punch to the generally short ranged wall of explosives that the more normal forces represent. The pride of the RDF, they are frequently seen in battle against the invading Indians.
|Camelry||Though seemingly something of an anachronism, Camelry are actually more akin to dragoons which still find use in some armies and both the rider and the mount wear modern body armor. While they can fire on the move while mounted, they preform best when dismounted to gain an accuracy bonus. Armed with revolving drum grenade launchers, Camelry are capable against most targets, and the Camels can sniff out intruders if need be, adding it's own vile spit to the rider's fire.|
|Jerboa Scout Buggy||A light buggy used to scout out the deserts of the Middle East that uses a minigun as its primary means of defense. Though lightly armored, the Jeroba moves quite quickly and is capable of belching out smoke behind it to provide cover for friendly units behind a wall of burning oil-created smoke.|
|Roc Heavy Fighter||Although slower than conventional fighters, the Arabian Rocs are tougher and can fire from a longer range than most other fighters and utilize a combination of AAMs and autocannons to tear apart other aircraft. The Roc rules the skies of Arabia!|
|Razorwind Gunship||A heavy gunship mounted with four 37mm autocannons that make short work of even tanks while still being deadly to infantry. It can fire a salvo of wire guided missiles from it's dual launchers that strike an enemy vehicle with pin point accuracy from a long distance, blasting holes into enemy armor with ease as the Razorwind flits back out of range, allowing the Razorwind to put a hurt on superheavy vehicles or structures otherwise capable of shrugging off the autocannons.|
|Hsan Transport||One of the safer transports, the Hsan offers lots of room for infantry and a vehicle. When landing, it kicks up dust to protect the units around it. This effect is intensified if in the desert. A Hsan is armed with a pair of 20mm gatling guns and twin Bofors 40mm autocannons to cut down infantry and light vehicles over it's landing zone.|
|Ibn al-Walid Tank||Following the defection of their supply of Marauder Tank Destroyers, the Arabians had to quickly push forward a homegrown design long in the making as a response to enemy heavy tanks such as the Indian Rakshasa, the GLA's stockpile of Marauders, or the terrifying Terminator tank. Fittingly named for the greatest Arabian general, the Walid packs a potent 155mm revolver cannon and a pair of pintle-mounted autocannons that can give infantry or aircraft a little something to think about. While still less imposing than a Terminator, the Walid is reasonably affordable and surprisingly maneuverable. On command, a Walid can switch to more lightly damaging but longer ranged jet-assisted shells.|
|Desert Storm||An offscreen cannon launches a sandstorm missile to the target area, causing a sandstorm to form and slashing the vision of enemy units by half. The sandstorm also reduces the enemies' rate of fire and speed when in desert however.|
|Black Gold Rush||A Coalition plane spills tons of flammable oil in target area, causing all units it spill into to be ignited every time they take explosive damage.|
Behind the Scenes
As one might expect given their situation, many elements of the Coalition are based around Desert Storm and the War on Terror, as well as Middle Eastern dictatorships. They can come across as a bastardized version of the modern U.S. with its terror scare tendencies, phobia of communism, hate/love relationship with foreign culture, and fairly invasive actions regarding its people.
|Infantry||Ghazi • Desert Sting • Abus|
|Vehicles||Supply Truck • Wadd Repair Truck • Cleanser • Scimitar Tank • Dune Half-Track • Haboob MRLS • Saladin Siege Tank|
|Aircraft||Djin Reconnaisance Helicopter • Ifrit Bomber|
|Desert Winds||Camelry • Jerboa Scout Buggy • Roc Heavy Fighter • Razorwind Gunship • Hsan Transport • Ibn al-Walid Tank|
|Buildings||Garrison • Oil Derrick • Air Garrison • Flame Tower • Missile Storm • Rocket Tower • Redoubt|
|Detailed Information||Coalition Characters • Royal Houses of the Desert • The Arabian War • On the Eagle's Wings|
| African League • Technocratic Combine • Industrial Guild|
Southern Contingent • American Unionists • Greater Indian Commonwealth Cybernetic Federation • Ukrazol Ecumene
|Echoes Minor Factions|
| Pahit Dictatoriat • Mongolian Migration • Inkarri Theocracy • Movement for International Revolution|
The Network • Phoenix Front Arabian Coalition • Arabian Socialist Government