Rainy day in North Germany and finally had the time to finish the scenario. (Thanks to Pheonix for his random pilot generator!)
Enjoy and please comment. Again the sentences followed by -L are from the ESIA
Third district: Hull/Gatineau
Visiting a town separated only by a river from Ontario's capital, one would expect to find a real fortress since the Winter War is still fresh in the memory both countries. However the economic needs on both sides of the border, cross border relationships, refugees and the old relationships developed inside Canada seemed to have erased the tensions. One has only to look at the morning traffic of trams, autogyros, buses and boats crossing the border each day to see how both cities are closely related. Long barges full of minerals docked in the refineries, if they could avoid getting jammed by the millions of logs floating downriver to the pulp and paper mills. These industries were hit hard by the Great Depression as most of them went bankrupt and the workers went hungry. Some tried to find employment across the river but Ottawa was also getting hit hard by the Depression. The lucky ones manage to get a job in the public sector. The unlucky ones struggled to get food. A lot of the population left for Montreal, Québec or Toronto hoping that the situation there was better.
According to estimate of the time, around a quarter of the population left. -L
Ironically, Hull was the first city of the République to get out of the Depression. The reason was the Winter War. The build up before the hostilities really began resulted in an influx of soldiers, pilots and the support structure needed to supply them. At the end of the war, as troops garrisoned the city and patrolled the border, they restarted some of the economic activities and provided a sense of security that resulted in numerous plants reopening.
A lot of them were owned, and are still owned, by Ontarians. It was the start of a strange relationship between the former provinces. –L
As the breakup of Canada and the USA accelerated, the strategic position of the city in the North East and the relative neutrality of the République turned it into one of the most important goods and persons transit point of the east coast.
It is estimated that 60% of all goods imported or exported by the ISA transit via Hull. The other landlocked nations of the mid-west, the Peoples’ Collective and most of the trade in the eastern disputed territories will also transit via the neutral and relatively safe Toronto-Ottawa-Hull-Québec axis. -L
In addition, the renewed demand for raw materials meant that Hull regained its role as the main transit and transformation point of the resources accessible by the waterways. This made the city grow very quickly as it now saw an influx of people from Montreal and Québec that wanted to benefit from the economic boom. These new workers helped replace the soldiers that were pulled out and reallocated after the Maritime Provinces’ invasion.
The Hull section is the lightest defender border of the République with only one squadron, the 1st (M) “Gatineau” based in the sector. That makes for a very week defense, even considering the two training squadron of the AAQ academy, a SN patrol squadron and the mercenaries of the Indian Independent Patrols. On the other side of the river, Ottawa is said to be protected by 10 squadrons and 2 zeppelins from the Royal Ontario Air Force (ROAF) and the Royal Ontario Air Police (ROAP). -L
In addition, Hull also benefited from the emergence of Ottawa as the cultural and trading capital of the North. It was able to provide cheap manpower for the numerous industries that bloomed in Ottawa after the breakup of the USA. Some of the most innovative employers of Ottawa work hard to attract the best minds of the République. I witnessed the long queues that are formed each morning at the border as the commuters wait for the borders to open in order to get to work or back home.
Québec and the British government have signed an agreement that allow Quebecers to work in Ontario freely and to cross the border relatively easily. –L
But most of the population of Hull work on the Québec side of the border, most likely in a pulp and paper mill. Most of the plants have reopened and this industry is the most important in the city. Logs cut upstream are dumped in the rivers and floated over hundred of kilometers right up to Hull. Some summer days, those “pitounes” as the locals call them, are so numerous that one could cross to Ottawa on foot walking on this wood pontoon.
But that would require a very courageous or foolish person. -L
Piracy is not much of a problem in Hull, since a much more attractive target lies next door. The République’s vast western countryside offers the perfect hiding ground for pirates that prey on Ontario’s capital. In addition, the AAQ light presence in the sector makes crossing the border a very easy exercise.
Pirates that raid Ontario are not tolerated in Québec. However the AAQ does not have the resources to fight them. Our informants in Ontario tell us that there is some kind of gentlemen agreement going on between the two countries: Ontario’s planes are never challenge when pursuing pirates in the ROQ’s airspace even in plain view of AAQ patrols. Joint operations also seem to be undertaken by both air forces. An unconfirmed report talks about a fight of 10 Blizzards of the ROAP with 1 AAQ Hector spotted 50 miles east of the border near a notorious pirate hotspot. But even this kind of joint operation still do not intimidate pirates that see a big payoff in raiding one of the continent’s richest city. –L
Finally Hull is home to the AAQ training school, founded after the armistice, and is now training the next generation of AAQ pilots. As I visited it, I was shocked by the rudimentary conditions that the cadets have to put up with. The airfield is a simple dirt runway with a control tower and a rudimentary wood building that serves as a dormitory and class room. The Accadémie is headed by Colonel Jean-Marie “Smatou” Robitaille. A veteran of the St-Georges, he was personally designated by Général Dallaire to organise the formation of the future AAQ pilots. This position turned him into the face and voice of the AAQ. Every AAQ recruitment poster or radio commercial features Col. Robitaille.
Robitaille was the second in command of Dubé at the St-Georges. His administrative and logistic skills made him the perfect candidature for the job. -L
With a great ironic pleasure, he gave me a tour of the facility. Using “the voice” he parodied his own commercials and turned the dormitory into a luxury hotel and the airfield in a world class facility. “We do not want the cadets to get too comfortable here. We have a very intense program. Also, pilots that get assigned to the North may end up in places worst then here”, said Robitaille with a sarcastic smile. Compared to other countries, the formation of a Québec pilot is pretty short, six months, three if the recruit got previous flying experience. “But they do not have time to be bored, every second of their day is used.” All this builds up to the last week, graduation week were pilots are pushed to their limit having to fly CAPs, recon, interdictions and dogfights almost constantly. “Cadets have officially nicknamed it St-Georges’ week”, said Robitaille, “Based on the stories that they heard they think that this was what we had to endure during the war.” I then saw a kind of veil come down on the face of the Colonel, but after two seconds it was gone, replaced by his typical sarcastic smile and he added: “They got no idea how easy we are going on them.”
The goal of the AAQ academy is to produce rough and ready pilots. Nothing fancy but guys that know their roles and do not get into the way. They are usually assigned to a regular AAQ or SN squadron were they are expected to continue to learn from their fellow pilots. -L
At the beginning, each Even though, the regular flow of pilots coming out of Gatineau AFB is still not sufficient to fill the ranks of the AAQ.
Defender of the République – Escadron de Formation Alpha et Beta (Alpha and Beta Training Squadron)
Moto: et lux in tenebris lucet (And light shines in the darkness)
The first act of a cadet on his arrival at the academy is to go to the “choice box” were he will have to draw one white pool ball with that will tell him in which squadron he will be assigned. Simply called Alpha and Beta squadron these mismatched collection of old planes have been used and maintained for years by the Québec cadets.
A lot are two seaters biplanes, old Bandits with the most modern plane is probably the odd M112 or Valliant MKI –L
But these old planes are all that the cadets need to learn how to handle a modern warplane. With their instructors both squadrons are constantly in competition. There are not individual grades for pilots, only pass or fail at the end of St-Georges week. However, each test, each flight and each zep hook landing will give points to the squadron. At graduation the winning squadron will be presented with “The Shovel” an old rusty shovel that is said of have been found in the fields of the academy during its construction. The Shovel is going to be exposed in their dormitory until the next graduation. This has become a source of great pride and being on the winning squadron result in career long bragging rights for pilots.
The shortage of planes and pilots means that sometimes the cadets are required to take part in real operations. These are fortunately rare and usually restricted to patrol duty.
True but these still remain risky assignments. Two years ago, three cadets were killed when their patrol were surprised by a pirate band. Only the presence of Robitaille himself on the patrol turned the tide and prevented more cadets getting killed. -L
Special squadron rules – Teacher’s Pet
To simulate the tips and lessons that the academy teachers give his students, at the start of every scenario implicating the Alpha and Beta squadrons, each teacher can redistribute give up to 150 XP that he has to one or more of his students before set up. These XP are reverted back to the teacher at the end of the scenario or if he is shot down and bails out safely. A Teacher is defined as a pilot with more than 450 XP and a student a pilot with less or exactly 350 XP.
Scenario – The noble art
Every Sunday at noon sharp inhabitant of both Hull and Ottawa go to the riverfront for an unusual spectacle. The cadets of the AAQ go out to face the ones of the ROAP in an air duel. The goal of the game is to tail your opponent, “shoot him down” with a paint rocket or to make spectacular manoeuvres. The winning team is decided by journalists from La Gazette de la Gatineau and The Ottawa Citizen and results published in the newspapers the next day.
Set up: Use the empire river map, the ROAP sets up North side and the AAQ South.
Rules of engagement: Since this is not a hostile engagement, no plane carries any ammunition and only non-lethal rockets are allowed. Each plan may only carry 2 paint rockets taking ½ hardpoint per rocket. Paint rockest are fired like a normal AP or HE rocket but do no damage. At the end of turn 20 an observer on the ground will signal the end of the fight by firing a flare.
Victory conditions: 5 VP for every turn a plane was tailed.1 VP for any successful manoeuvre that requires the pilot to push the Gs. 5VP for every opponent hit with a paint rocket. The teachers (Merels and Côté) get no VPs for tailing or hitting cadets.
Cpt. Dave “B Roll” Merels 7-5-3-4-4-4
Cadet Isabel “Vanvan” Van Derstricht 3-5-3-4-5-2
Sr, Cadet Josie “Redneck” Lahaye 2-3-3-3-3-5
Cadet Kathy “White Cat” Gross 4-4-2-2-3-4
Alpha training squadron.
Cpt. Fernand “Firmand” Côté 8-4-3-3-5-3
Cadet Georges “Buzz” Beurling 4-2-7-2-3-2
Cadet Martin “Le Grand” Lapointe 3-5-3-4-5-2
Cadet Chantale “Charcoal” Charbonneau 4-4-4-2-3-2
Malphas, over and out