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  The Empire Volunteer Group (EVG)
     Empire Volunteer Group

The EVG was formed in December of 1936 in the Empire State, for the defence of the Chinese state against Japanese attacks.  Although no official paper trail could lead to him, Laguardia supported their formation and guaranteed returning airmen their rank and position in offical Empire State air militias.

In total 60 airmen were recruited from the Empire state, with another 60 from Arixo, Pacifica, Columbia and Texas. The call was for primarily fighter pilots and support personal and it was not until their arrival in China that the EVG commander (Chennault) discovered that many had over-embellished their records. Some being brand new out of training, others certified only for cargo operation.    

Although initially a setback, Chennault has taken advantage of this, by using their in-experiance to instill his combat tactics into their head, rather than those expounded by most worldwide experts.   Ones which may have been harder on veteran pilots, who were un-used to the nimble Japanese aircraft.

He uses high speed attacks runs, and discourages direct engagement (Dogfights) with the Japanese fighters.  A good comparison would be between the J2 Fury (The primary fighter of the EVG) and the Japanese A5 Mitsubishi.

The Mitsubishi is a hair faster than the Fury, however it cannot maneuver very effectively over 250MPH and over 300 MPH, it can lose control.    However below that speed no fighter can match the A5's maneuverability.   By keeping the Furies moving at high speeds, it can counter-act and nullify the A5's advantage. 

The announcement of new high-speed fighters (Such as the newly built J7 Shinden) are capable of high speed with adequate maneuverability, now endanger the EVG.   However they are safe for the moment, with the very few new fighters built being assigned to the Eastern Pacific.

Currently the EVG is stationed across China, both as interceptrs to Japanese bombers, and to provide ground support if capable.   It is avoiding direct confrontation between the Nationalists and Communists. And for now both sides seem to agree that keeping the EVG neutral is most beneficial to both, and they recieve little trouble.

The largest enemy that the EVG fights (Except the Japanese), is chronic supply shortages.  Although the British still run supplies to China, much of that falls on the EVG's zeppelin Liberation , which is critically needed across China.  Even when it does make a run to India to re-supply, there are not only dangers of pirates and weather, but often the British themselves.

Many quartermasters refuse some supplies to the EVG, and some major parts such as new engines sometimes have to be purchased on the black-market or "acquired" through various methods.  Among the most needed supplies are aviation fuel (For the few high performance engines they have), .60  and up ammunition (Often planes have to use mix-matched loadouts), and rockets.

The EVG currently uses (Almost) exclusively Curtiss-Wright aircraft.  When it was formed, a shipment of 100 Planes was sent ahead of the EVG airmen to British controlled Burma, where they were assembled and flown "Over the hump", to their man stations.  The aircraft were bought with combined funds, from both Pacifica (Unofficially), the British Crown, China, The Empire State(Unofficially), and several private donations.


The initial shipment of aircraft was 100 Curtiss-Wright aircraft, 50 J2A1 Furies, 30 J2B2 Furies and 20 P2 Warhawks.

The Furies were special orders, and had a number of changes.  One thing both had in common was the removal of the .70 Caliber "Goliath" cannon, a weapon with a notorious reputation for jamming at inconveniant times.  It was replaced in differant variations.  

In addition all aircraft were fitted with RAF standard weaponry, that is the calibers and machine guns currently in use by the RAF, this is due to the relative proximity of India (A British holding) and the relatively lively arms trading which involves many British weapons flowing to the Chinese Nationalist side.

The J2A1 Fury is the most common plane in the EVG at the moment, It is a standard Fury, with a few modifications. It took out the entire armament on the Fury and refitted it with new weapons.  Paired .50 Caliber cannons and a quad .30 caliber layout, with both sets of calibers fire-linked (Due to the relative in-experiance of many EVG members). In addition with 260 extra pounds of space, two extra hardpoints were added, bringing the total of the crafts hardpoints to six.

The J2B2 Fury, is the fastest plane in the EVG arsenal. It traded the additional weight for speed.  WIth the removal of the Goliath, there was room for an engine nearly twice as powerful, increasing the speed to 300 MPH, and acceleration up to 98.4 FPS, in addition, the engine is far superior to it's contemperaries.  Of course this aircraft carries the standard 4 hardpoints common on a Fury, and instead of the .50 calibers of its slower cousin, instead carries .40 Caliber machine guns and the usual Quad .30 layout.

The P2 Warhawks the EVG has have been specially modified as well.  Although the modifications had reduced the Warhawk's wing integrety (Now only capable of pulling two G's easily), it has upgraded the armor by 80, and has added 8 hardpoints to the design.  Although no faster, it is a far more capable ground attack craft than its standard model cousin.

The British Empire also sold the EVG a converted cargo zeppelin, which was renamed the EVG Liberation. It is capable of speeds of 82 MPH, and can carry 16 fighters. It has had heavier cloth armor installed over the light standard cargo armor, and they added six, 5" deck cannons. Not enough for combat against another combat zepelin. But enough to down a cargo zeppelin, or bombard ground targets.

In the cargo holds of the zeppelin were numbers of both aging 3" flak guns and a quartet of the new QF 3.7" flak guns and an arrangement of ground mounted machine guns, and even a half dozen 40MM flak auto-cannons.   With these the EVG have recruited a number of Indians, non-aligned Chinese and a select few British who were former AA gunners. WIth these, the EVG have an effective second line of defence against air attack.

In a year of fighting, their numbers have diminished, replacement aircraft being expensive and far in between.  Currently they number 56 J2 Furies (38 A1's and 18 B2's), 14 P2 Warhawks, 4 Grumman Avengers, 2 Yak-4's, 2 A5 Mitsubishi's,  4 DH-9 Hornets and a pair of Bell King Cobras.      A number of "non-standard" aircraft pulled from wreckage heaps or bombed airfilds and put into service to replace the lost Furies.

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Unit Organization:  EVG "Squadrons" are more enlarged flights than they are squadrons in most senses.   Whereas The EVG has been reduced to squadrons of 10 aircraft, through losses, and stripping for parts.  

Currently the EVG's "Official" status, is 10 plane squadrons, with 2 squadrons per Wing. Although often they are understrength

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The Zeppelin.

The Empire Volunter Group's zeppelin is a former 1600 foot long British cargo zeppelin.  As such it is not a purebred brawler, or even a unbred brawler.

It started out with cloth armor that was virtually nothing but a covering, incapable of stopping even .30 caliber rounds and capable of holding only 6 fighters, and only 4 engine mounted machine guns..

After the British government sold the zeppelin to the Chinese government (The Chinese paid a tenth of what it was worth and went directly to the EVG), it underwent renovations in Bombay, India.   

There, the zeppelin was re-worked. With light cloth armor added, all (8) of the engines having .50 caliber machine guns installed, along with paired 3" flak cannons on both the nose and tail.   TO be more usable as a light raider, they virtually eliminated the cargo section and installed offensive weaponry.   They reworked the engines, giving them new parts (Although not replacing them) and  installed launch rails in the zeppelin, as opposed to the hook and crane that had been on it.

When completed, the Liberation's 8 engines pushed it at a speed of 80MPH.  It was marginally re-worked and lengthened to 1612 feet long. 

 They didn't re-work the skeleton of it, so the British only installed 3, 5" broadside cannons per side. Allowing them to destroy cargo zeppelins and bombard ground targets, although a crispy target if engaged by a combat zeppelin.

The engines mount twin .5" vickers machine guns, while the nose and tail mount twin, light Ordnance QF 3 inch flak cannons.  There is 8 nose-mounted rocket racks (Capable of launching a rocket barrage of 64 rockets.  To in-accurate for use against fighters, but with long-range fuses, suitable for anti-zeppelin duty at close ranges).

It can carry 16 fighters, all on launch rails to facilitate fast launching (Although pickup is still by hook and crane).

Thus far the EVG Liberation has 2 zeppelin kills to it's credit.  Both taken after the fighter escorts were destroyed and with EVG fighters to cover it.
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Squadrons

Currently the EVG is organized into 5 Wings scattered over China.  For the moment the various factions in China are leaving the EVG to themselves, the EVG not having picked a side in the war (Communist or Nationalist).   

The locations of the various squadrons are sketchy, with reports coming out of China being rumors and little more.   It is known that there is a total of 8 airbases throughout China in use solely by the EVG, leaving the Japanese guessing as to which sector the unit is based.

The First Pursuit Wing is the Hells Angels.  It is stationed on the northern border of Japanese Manchuria, across the Japanese lines from Korea, and is tasked with making offensive air patrols over Japanese territory, destroying any patrolling fighters, and draw resources from other fronts.
Strength:   16 J2A1 Furies.  4 J2B2 Furies

The Second Combined Wing is the Panda Bears.  It is one of the most active EVG Wings, being deployed near the southern coast of China, it's main goals being the attacking of Japanese surface shipping that is bringing military supplies to the coastal Japanese strongholds.
Strength:    8 P2 Warhawks.  10 J2A1 Furies.  2 Yak-4s.

The Third Combined Wing is the Adam and Eve. Stationed aboard the EVG Liberation, a converted combat zeppelin in use by the EVG. .   It has no known combat sector, but is on constant patrol over the Chinese front.  Several times it has turned up in a single area, when it was thought to be hundreds of miles away, usually bringing a deadly surprise to the Japanese.    This is the most offensively oriented Wing on duty in the EVG, having been on several long combat sorties deep into Japanese controlled space, usually supported by land-based long range fighters, such as the Yakovlev 4(Whenever support can be arranged from the various factions).
Strength:    4 J2A1 Furies.  4 J2B2 Furies.   6 P2 Warhawks.   2 King Cobras.

The Fourth Pursuit Wing, the Screamin Demons, is stationed midway of the Japanese lines, in between the First and Second EVG Wings.
Strength:   10 J2B2 Furies.  4 DH-9 Hornets.  6 J2A1 Furies.


The Fifth Pursuit Squadron, the Empire's Angels, is a mixed pot unit.  It is a reserve unit, consisting primarily of the reserve fighters and un-assigned pilots.  Adequate considering it's role is primarily a defensive one, far behind the front lines.  It is mainly however, meant to ensure EVG headquarters security.

Although both Nationalist and Communist air units are on constant standby, the EVG presence ensures there is one unit that will not be swayed to "Forget" a bomber targeting the opposite side's industries, headquarters,etc.
Strength:    2 A5 Mitsubishis.    2 J2A1 Furies. 4 Grumman Avengers.

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Unit Rules:  EVG Pilot's Sixth Sense skill MUST be set at 1 for wing pilots, and 2(or less) for leads..  They are both green pilots, and have been using the "Slash and run" technique. Squadron leaders are exempt.

Confusing rule(Description of it, not the rule itself ;) ).  EVG players Natural touch skills are INCREASED 50% when redlining the engine, and DECREASED 50% when pushing the G's, for landing procedures the Natural touch skill normal.

Example. A pilot flying a fury has a Natural touch skill of 6.  To redline the engine his Natural touch would be 9, (6+3), to push the G's his Natural touch would be 3.

Before a mission each pilot must make a die roll. On a result of a 1 or 2, that pilot must sit that mission out, due to lack of parts, fuel or ammunition.
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Pilots

Robert Neale.   1st Pursuit Wing Commander. Aircraft: J2A1 Fury.
Stats: 6-2-4-9-5-3.

A competant commander from the Empire State, not alot is known of this pilot other than he shot to Squadron leader upon joining the EVG and has proven a good leader ever since, his squadron having the highest kill ratio of the entire EVG.


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David Lee "Tex" Hill.   2nd Combined Wing Commander. Aircraft: J2A1 Fury
Stats: 8-3-6-7-5-3

Born a native Texan, David Hill joined the Texas Air Rangers at age 18, and later went on to serve on the Mexican border, and having a distinguished combat career (Downing 3 Mexican aircraft, 2 in one skirmish) before the EVG recruiters came calling.  When they did arrive, he awaited approval from his squadron commander before jumping at the chance for actual combat, the border station with Mexico being slow.  

Upon being shipped to China he served well again, rising to flight leader, and then to Squadron commander when his Captain was shot down over Japanese lines. 
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Jack "Rocketeer" Jameson. 3rd Combined Wing Commander. Aircraft: P2 Warhawk
Stats:6-2-9-1-5-4

A loyal Pacifica-born pilot, he has proven a valuable asset to the EVG, albeit somewhat strange.  He is a normal flyer in ever aspect, other than his gunnery usage.    He has removed all 4, .60 Caliber cannons off of his Warhawk, and instead reinforced his rocket hardpoints, bringing the total number up to 26 additional hardpoints, plus his stock number of 10, giving him 36 rockets at his disposal, which he frequently overloads.   

His excellent gunnery skills allow him to use the missiles effectively, and even his bombing skills are quite exemplary. In one attack on a Japanese supply and reinforcment column, consisting of trucks, personal carriers and even half a dozen tanks, he overloaded his Warhawk with an astounding 9,000 pounds of bombs (Double what his configuration can handle ordinarily), he dropped his overloaded bombs on his first pass, obliderating the tanks, and on his following passes, carefully picked off the remainder of the convoy. 
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Jane "Stripper" Miranda. Fourth Pursuit Wing Commander. Aircraft: J2B2 Fury
Stats:7-3-7-5-3-4. 

A curvacious Empire State pilot, she certainly has lived up to her callsign, both in and out of the aircraft, her trademark being to dive close behind an enemy aircraft and double down on her guns, stripping away the armor.

Using a personally purchased pair of Hispano-Suzia .405 Suzia cannons, and quad layout of Sperry-Browning Zephyrs, and loading them with dum-dums, even the heaviest aircraft fall quickly before her superior guns. (Guns have the Superior Weapons characteristic)

Half of her loadout of hardpoints is installed rear-facing and loaded with flash and flak rockets.  After making an attacking dive through a Japanese flight, she can leave behind confused and dis-arrayed pilots, allowing the second wave of lesser experianced pilots easier pickings.