The Grim Reavers-Feedback welcome!

Units created using the FASA system
Neo-Tanuki
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JoinedCOLON Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:14 pm

The Grim Reavers-Feedback welcome!

Postby Neo-Tanuki » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:44 pm

Hello!

Following my recent renewal of interest in "Crimson Skies" thanks to the "Zeppelins and Bombers" supplement, I dug out my early notes on the pirate squadron I was working on (working name "The Grim Reavers") I would welcome any feedback and suggestions!

(P.S. The bit about the rivalry between Grimm and Malloy came from a conversation with a good friend of mine about my pirates who said, "You should call them the Reapers!" And then I said, "There's already a group called the Reapers." And she said, "But yours could be the GRIM Reapers!" And it just got more confusing from there.) :D

THE GRIM REAVERS

The Grim Reavers were founded in 1935 when Davis Grimm, a former ISA engineer and test pilot, deserted his post at Messerschmitt/General Motors Aircraft. A vocal anti-Fascist and supporter of Republican Spain, Grimm was a skilled aircraft flyer and designer but repeatedly ran into trouble with his superiors regarding his attitude. GM performance reports claimed he expressed paranoid hostility toward visiting German representatives from Messerschmitt and falsely accused them of stealing his ideas; Grimm counter-claimed in turn that the German visitors had a sinister hidden agenda in the ISA and that he had been the target of suspicious equipment failures and near-misses in live-fire training exercises against the “friendly” German flight instructors appearing in steadily greater numbers as “advisers” with ISA militia squadrons.

Bitter and seeking to hurt General Motors in the most sensitive spots possible — their pocketbooks and public image — Grimm stole a protoype GM-1 Tempest and fled the Industrial States of America, delivering the advanced fighter into the hands of an eager buyer — the sinister Blackflag Corporation. Grimm offered the fighter in exchange for funds and equipment to outfit his own pirate squadron. To sweeten the deal, Grimm offered his knowledge of classified GM aeronautical advances to help Blackflag develop its next series of aircraft. Blackflag readily agreed, and the result was the Grim Reavers.

Paid handsomely with a squadron of four Blackflag aircraft, including a pair of Firestorms, “Black Davy” Grimm and his flyers have repeatedly struck at ISA military and commercial aerodromes, stripping them of resources that he willingly shares with Blackflag in exchange for continued support for his pirate band. Grimm takes ironic delight in stealing the resources of the government that he feels betrayed him. Operating off their refitted zeppelin, the Fandango, and flying sturdy pirate craft such as the Firestorm, Nightingale and Devastator, the Reavers specialize in raiding airfields and aircraft manufacturers, though they're not adverse to robbing the occasional passenger zeppelin carrying wealthy passengers through Chicago or Cleveland. While the Reavers have also tangled with squadrons from Hollywood and with rival pirate and smuggler bands over the disputed territories and Colorado, their main targets are always the ISA and General Motors, whom they take every opportunity to rob and publicly embarrass through mocking radio broadcasts and other messages left after robberies. Grimm has been careful to cultivate good relations with the ISA's enemies to aid in his vendetta. While they do not possess a formal letter of Marque from the People's Collective (Privateering is counter to the Collective's socialist philosophies) Grimm's pro-Republican sympathies in the Spanish Civil War and attacks on the ISA have won him supporters in the People's Collective, and the Grim Reavers frequently share the spoils of their ISA raids with needy farmers on the border in exchange for food, shelter and concealed hideouts for their planes. As a result, Grimm and his rascals have developed a growing popularity as a “Robin Hood”-style bandit and minor celebrity within the Collective--who turn a blind eye and publicly deny any support for his depredations.

While ruthless in shooting down Luftwaffe opponents, the Grim Reavers have a strict code against civilian casualties, and are noted for their tradition of the “Ferryman’s Fee” in air duels — they will never harm an opponent who willingly lands and surrenders his aircraft to them. Of course, likely as not, said aircraft is most likely to end up in parts to feed the rapacious assembly lines of the Blackflag Corporation.

The Industrial States of America have put a $10,000 bounty on the head of "Black Davy" Grimm, dead or alive. If there is one pirate band that is relentless in its efforts to claim said bounty, it would be Edwin “Mallet” Malloy’s Reapers. As a former factory owner driven out of the People’s Collective, Malloy takes personal affront from Grimm’s attacks on the ISA and the boost to People’s Collective morale resulting from the exploits of the Grim Reavers. Grimm, conversely, complains about Malloy constantly in mocking radio broadcasts — Grimm says he wanted to name his own pirates “The Grim Reapers” and blames Malloy for taking the name first, whereas Malloy is infuriated that some people seem to mistake his squadron with Grimm's pro-Collective rogues. The two pirate bands often clash in battle, but often become so confused as to who’s who that little damage is actually done.

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Thom
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JoinedCOLON Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm

Re: The Grim Reavers-Feedback welcome!

Postby Thom » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:09 am

Looks fun!

I like the starting teaser, now just add more of everything!
Flying the Crimson Skies

Neo-Tanuki
PostsCOLON 68
JoinedCOLON Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:14 pm

Re: The Grim Reavers-Feedback welcome!

Postby Neo-Tanuki » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:14 am

Thanks! Here's some pilot stats for the first four members:

Davis "Black Davy" Grimm-Blackflag Nightingale (Leader)
6-3-5-4-3-4

"The ISA deserves to fall. I plan to help it along any way I can--and the best place to hit those crooks is square in their pocketbooks."

Grimm is not as strong a flyer or marksman as other notable pirate leaders in the Shattered States, but is a capable strategist who always prioritizes mission success over tallying the most air victories. Grimm prefers using misdirection and guile to trick opposing forces away from his real targets over engaging in straight-up dogfights. He has used his inside knowledge of air industry security procedures to stage a number of successful hits on airfields, factories and cargo zeppelins bringing machine parts to ISA aircraft firms, netting a large profit and hindering the ability of enemy militia squadrons to repair and rearm. Grimm uses some of the spoils of these attacks to keep his squadron in fighting condition and sells a portion to Blackflag for profit. Recently, the Grim Reavers have begun alternating these "Supply Runs" with high-publicity raids on upper-class ISA gatherings designed as much to cause embarassment and humiliation to the ISA government as to make a profit. The most recent of these was a raid on the notorious casino zeppelin ISAS Midas during a gala celebration for Chicago banker Robert Thrusk on his 55th birthday. One group of Grimm's pirates infiltrated the zeppelin disguised as caterers and entertainers and seized the passenger gondola. A large amount of cash and jewelry was confiscated from the partygoers and delivered to one of Grimm's waiting escape aircraft--along with the clothing of every male passenger. "You earn your living taking the shirts off people's backs, so I thought you fellows should know what it feels like," Grimm quipped as his pirates disabled the liner's engines. The sight of the sorry passengers in their skivvies made the front page of the Chicago Tribune the next morning--along with Mayor Daley's announcement of a $5,000 reward to any militia squadron that shoots Grimm down--dead or alive.

Penelope "Pepper" West-Blackflag Nightingale (Wing)
4-3-4-4-4-3

"Go where you want, take what you want, fight who you want--who WOULDN'T want to be a pirate?"

Penelope West was born to wealth--her father was former Texas wildcatter Jake West, who made an unlikely fortune investing in helium concerns in the 1920s, and her mother was Jessica Whittly, cousin of Chicago financier Albert Whittly and Cleveland National Air Races champion. Sadly, both of Penelope's parents were killed in an auto crash in Chicago in 1931, leaving the girl and her trust fund under the guardianship of her "Uncle" Albert. Ignored most of the time, Penelope grew up wild, spending her teen years at the Whittly and Douglas aircraft company, fostered by the mechanics and pilots who were friends of her mother and looking for any way to rebel and shock polite society that she could find. She buzzed the streets of Chicago in "borrowed" Whittly-Douglas aircraft and scandalized polite society with an number of run-ins with the police for reckless driving, reckless flying and "hooliganism."--earning the nickname "Pepper" for her temper and aggressiveness. However, her youthful indiscretions might not have gone farther than that had she not learned at age 18 that the trust fund set up for her by her dead parents had been embezzled by its administrator--"Uncle" Albert. Furious and destitute, she took her one remaining memento--her mother's Granville GeeBee racer--and left the ISA, drifting through several jobs as a stunt pilot, courier and later mercenary flyer. Eventually arriving in Free Colorado, she met Davis Grimm, who was recruiting pilots for his pirate band. The thought of robbing the rich and wealthy of the ISA--especially her thieving Uncle Albert--was more than Pepper could resist and she signed up without hesitation. She enjoys the wild freewheeling lifestyle of an air pirate, and her skills have earned her place as Grimm's wingman and second-in-command of the fighter squadron.

"Gentleman" John Gaunt-Blackflag Firestorm (Lead)
4-3-4-6-4-4

"When you're nose-to-nose and guns blazing with a Fury coming at you at 250 miles an hour, it's the pilot who blinks first that loses."

The Great War ended for John Gaunt with the crash of his Sopwith Camel in the trenches of France in 1918. Though still physically able, the crash left him with horrific scars that made it difficult to return to civilian life. He led an aimless existence as an itinerant cropduster and occasional flying instructor until the collapse of the U.S. in the 1930s, when suddenly there was a very great demand for pilots with combat experience, regardless of their appearance. Gaunt flew alongside a number of small pirate and privateer groups, including the Panhandle Predators, Flying Gators and Sky Sharks. However, while he himself proved a deadly and effective pilot, his wingmen were frequently shot down in combat and Gaunt was tagged with a reputation for bad luck and the nickname of the "Undertaker." Shunned by most of the established pirate groups, he once again found himself adrift. A chance meeting with Davis Grimm in a Boulder bar impressed the novice pirate leader with Gaunt's experience and soft-spoken manner--leading Grimm to suggest that Gaunt join his band and ditch the nickname "Undertaker" for "Gentleman." The grateful Gaunt has become one of Grimm's most loyal and effective flyers. He now commands the heavy fighter squadron of the Grim Reavers, flying a Blackflag Firestorm. Gaunt' s combat experience and steady nerve are invaluable in attack runs on zeppelins and ground targets.


Greg "Cyclone" Dawson-Blackflag Firestorm (Wing)
3-3-4-3-4-5

"There's plenty that fly fancier than I do. But I find that if you shoot'em first, their flying gets a lot less fancy."


The newest recruit to the Grim Reavers grew up in Wichita in the former state of Kansas. Bored with the grinding day-to-day routine of tending crops, Greg Dawson was easily distracted by news reports of air battles between the People's Collective and enemy aircraft from the ISA or Texas. However, his application to join an air combat squadron was refused. Like many other discontented youths, he found himself drawn to the lawless territory of Free Colorado, where he apprenticed as a mechanic, a turret gunner and finally becoming a pilot. However, his first combat mission with the Grim Reavers almost ended in disaster when he put his Devastator into a near-fatal spin, earning the derisive nickname of "Cyclone" from other pirates. Grimm transferred him to the heavy fighter squadron, where "Gentleman" John Gaunt has taken Cyclone under his wing. Under Gaunt's tutelage, Dawson is becoming an effective heavy fighter pilot. Gaunt has helped Dawson overcome his clumsy flying skills and honed the young flyer's marksmanship and shooting reflexes--there are few pilots in the pirate band who can spot a target and bring guns to bear on it as fast as Dawson.
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Neo-Tanuki
PostsCOLON 68
JoinedCOLON Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:14 pm

Re: The Grim Reavers-Feedback welcome!

Postby Neo-Tanuki » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:37 pm

Added some background information for my four main pilots. See above!

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Thom
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Re: The Grim Reavers-Feedback welcome!

Postby Thom » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:09 am

Good stuff!

These guys sound like the core of a great fiction, go for it!
Flying the Crimson Skies

Neo-Tanuki
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JoinedCOLON Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:14 pm

Re: The Grim Reavers-Feedback welcome!

Postby Neo-Tanuki » Wed Mar 13, 2013 4:31 pm

I'm painting some aircraft for them and will try to post some pictures in the Plane Hanger when I'm done.

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Grant
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Re: The Grim Reavers-Feedback welcome!

Postby Grant » Sun Mar 17, 2013 3:21 pm

I like it. A unique band. You don't see many anti-ISA groups in Crimson Skies, only 'feuding" national militia groups.

Neo-Tanuki
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JoinedCOLON Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:14 pm

Re: The Grim Reavers-Feedback welcome!

Postby Neo-Tanuki » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:19 pm

Grant wroteColonI like it. A unique band. You don't see many anti-ISA groups in Crimson Skies, only 'feuding" national militia groups.


Thanks, Grant. To be honest, from Day 1 of reading the original "Crimson Skies" rulebook in the boxed set, I was convinced the writers planned to work forward to the outbreak of WW2, with the Nazis taking over the ISA as a puppet state and attacking...well, every other nation in North America. Probably with jet fighters and superweapons along the lines of "High Road to Revenge."

The later fluff on the GM-1 Tempest in "Crimson Veil" and the mention of Adolf Galland as an ISA pilot in "Airman's Gazetteer" only served to reinforce my paranoid conspiracy theories. So I decided to build a pirate band who are as crazy, I mean suspicious, of the ISA as I am. :D

Plus, I thought an anti-fascist band of pirates would be fun, and give them an occasional chance to be heroic in between looting and pillaging.

It also gives me a chance to steal one of Indiana Jones' best lines. "Nazis. I hate these guys."


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