Inspired by THobson's 'Abandoned Armies' (just haven't had the time to play enough for a proper beta test report, sorry!
) I have thought of a 'whole-island' idea with a fairly simple story, that I think would work quite well on Tonal.
The setting is 'present day'. Tonal has been in a dreadful state of civil war, and a few months ago, the rebels attacked Tatu, the capital, in great strength. At the same time, more than half of the army units stationed there, led by Brigadier Bashir Al-Islam, turned on their own government. The city was overrun and became a bloodbath. The president and most of his cabinet were brutally and publicly executed.
In an argument over leadership, Al-Islam and the rebel leader, Khalid Othman, declared war on one another, and in yet another massacre, Othman and his forces were kicked out of the capital. Swearing revenge, Othman regrouped in the nearby city of Ixtlan, on the North coast. Meanwhile, Al-Islam dug in to Tatu. Their forces now skirmish with each other and local militias, across the northern three-quarters of the island.
The only area held by government forces is Lorengau, the fertile southern province. The de facto ruler is local government leader Aftab Aziz Odai, and he is assisted by the commander of the Lorengau Guards regiment, Col. Changa Sidibe. Sidibe's troops have so far defeated all efforts by Al-Islam or Othman to take Lorengau, but their numbers are dwindling, particularly after a vicious battle in which the airbase west of Lorengau was destroyed.
A temporary lull holds - all three sides need to regroup. The only international presence is a small group of US light forces protecting UN shipments of medicine to Lorengau hospital, under strict orders not to intervene in the fighting. This is about to change...
A US senator with a small group of bodyguards sets off for secret negotiations with the rebels, but his/her helicopter disappears, probably shot down. The player will lead a small special forces team into the dangerous terrain to recover any survivors and the helicopter's black box. Totally unpredictably
, the crash site is deserted. The helo pilot seems to have made a good emergency landing, and there are only a couple of bodies - both with gunshot wounds - looks like they've been captured.
The way I see the mission working is that civilians or 'friendly' militia forces will drop the player clues in return for side objectives being completed so that the player can work out where the captives are being held, which would be random and change during the mission. Other clues would include strength and disposition of enemy forces, location of minefields etc. The player will have a good choice of weapons and can choose land or water transport (too much AAA for helos).
I'd really like to know what people think about this, any ideas for side objectives, characters and their motivation, good addons (eg do I make the player a BAS Ranger, an Earl-Suchey marine etc), pitfalls with this type of mission, setting up ambushes and also how to move things towards a sort of set piece ending with a massive battle that the player somehow has to escape through.
Also, if anyone wants to steal any of these ideas, please do.