ON THE ROAD AGAIN: TYPICAL CARAVAN STRUCTURE



A large part of the birth of the Nomad Movement was the influx of disenfranchised survivors of The Long Walk.  Due to the high number of military contractors and personnel involved, the nomad convoys and caravans have since taken on a rather disciplined structure as a response to attacks from Raffen Shiv, Police, and even the military.  The following is a brief breakdown of the traveling order of most nomads traveling in groups large than 5. 

 

1.    Scout – The scout will ride ahead of the group, in relatively safe conditions he may range as far ahead as ten miles.  His job is to make sure the road ahead is safe, alert the main group of any obstacles or potential dangers, clear any hazards or obstacles he is capable of, and find alternate routes if need be.  The Scout reports in on a regular basis, usually once every half hour.  In situations where danger or trouble is expected, the Scout will remain much closer to the Caravan, usually no more than a mile, and he will report in far more frequently, if not remaining in constant contact.  The Scout is the first line of defense, and is typically the most dangerous position in the caravan.  It is not uncommon for even small caravans to have multiple scouts, riding together or at separate increments depending on the level of danger expected. If the Scout is attacked, his first duty, even before defense, is to report it.  From there he and the caravans leader must decide whether he is to try and lead the attackers away, or to fall back for reinforcements.  Most of the time this works well as a tactic for ferreting out Raffen Shiv or other hostiles, however some Raffen Shiv have wised up, and will allow the scout to pass unmolested before springing an ambush on the main caravan.   If the caravan is attacked on the road, the Scout is either to remain ahead, plotting escape routes for the convoy, or to fall back and give assistance.  Scouts typically ride motorcycles or very light off-road vehicles. 

 

2.    Outriders – Outriders surround the caravan, they are the Road Warriors whose job it is to protect the main group.  If you think of the Caravan as a bomber group, the outriders are its fighter escort.  They ride small light vehicles, speed and maneuverability is key.  Even if the vehicles aren’t armed, the driver and any passengers will be, often with multiple weapons at the ready so they don’t have to waste time reloading.  Typically on a one lane stretch there will be outriders in front or back, and depending on umbers some scattered throughout the convoy as well.  On two or more lanes they will ride alongside if they are expecting trouble or if there is no traffic.  In low traffic situations the caravan will remain single file, but any time a vehicle passes an outrider will move behind the passing vehicle, and one of the front outriders will cycle back to the rear.  I heavy traffic the convoy will stay single file, with the at least one outrider still at front and back in close formations while any other outriders are dispersed as evenly as possible throughout the caravan.

 

3.    The Main Group – The main group is comprised of the larger/slower vehicles. Cargo movers, support vehicles, people carriers, and anything else.  Cargo vehicles will typically be either at front or in the back, this is done so that if necessary they can separate from the group and lead attackers away, sacrificing the crew and cargo for the survival of the group.  Support vehicles will ride ahead of the rear cargo vehicles, and vehicles carrying people will ride behind the forward cargo vehicles, ready to pull out and ride ahead and scatter at first chance, while the other vehicles slow enough to cover their escape.  If possible at least one outrider will accompany the people movers in their escape, in case there are more enemies down the road.  Once the non-combat family members are safe, the focus is on protecting as many of the cargo haulers as possible.  The support vehicles can try and break away and rejoin the convoy later, or they may stay and fight if they have the weapons, but they are considered expendable in regards to the cargo.  The Outriders that remain will fight to the death to protect the cargo and whatever is left of the main group that couldn’t escape.

 

 

4.    Aircraft – Not many nomad groups have aircraft, but the ones that due typically use them as scouts, possibly even as air support if they are armed. 

 

Even in small groups, the lighter faster, more heavily armed vehicles will typically, and naturally, surround and protect the larger or slower vehicles. When camping or at rest, even in a Nomad Market, Nomads will typically circle their vehicles, with the largest and most heavily armored vehicles on the outside for protection.  At refueling stations half the outriders will refual first, then the main group, then the other half or the outriders.  When arriving at a delivery destination, especially if it is in a city, the main group will hang back and camp at a safe place, and only the Cargo hauling vehicle(s) will move to the unloading site, usually accompanied by one outrider, almost never more than two.


Written by
Deric "D" Bernier