National Guard
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Basic Information

The National Guard is the name used by a wide variety of current and historical uniformed organizations in different countries. The original National Guard was formed during the French Revolution around a cadre of defectors from the French Royal Guards.

Most National Guards are a component of a country's military that is used as a reserve force or as homeland defence force - depending on the culture in question they may, or may not, be the same institution as the militia.

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Game and Story Use

  • A country's population may be suppressed and the National Guard may be the only thing between them and a repressive reign of terror.
  • Alternatively, they may be easier for an oppressive state to deploy against its own people, especially in a nation with strong legal and cultural barriers to using regular troops for MACP (see Military Aid to the Civil Power).
    • Leaving current politics aside, look for example at the Bakerloo Massacre - the cavalrymen that charged the protestors were actually yeomanry - a territorial force primarily drawn from the farming classes that benefited most from the laws that the crowd were protesting against. Regular army cavalry were also present but had declined to move against the crowd, their commanders correctly noting that they had neither legal authority nor any pressing need to do so. In this case it was internal demographics rather than legal barriers but the effect was the same.
      • A similar effect can often be observed where regular army units, often recruited from the urban poor, can prove unreliable in MACP/riot control situations when asked to move against their own people (see much of 19th century and early 20th century history, or, if you prefer a fictional example, Terry Pratchett's Night Watch) - irregulars can often be drawn from a different demographic (usually those with steady jobs that provide enough leisure for reserve training and, historically, possibly called up on a property based liability) and so have less fellow-feeling.
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