Québec Sourcebook - Chapter 1 Montreal NOW UPDATED Quebec!

Got history/background for a region in CS? let us know. (Also includes re-interpretations of Canon if you wish)
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Cyagen
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Québec Sourcebook - Chapter 1 Montreal NOW UPDATED Quebec!

Postby Cyagen » Sat May 12, 2012 8:55 am

Hi guys, here is the introduction to Chapter 1.

It may take a little more time to get the chapter online that I originally planned. I just finish the Montréal section and I ended up rewriting most of it. The basic information is there, but the style was so poor and I had to do some research on Montréal in the 1930s...Hoepfully I will put that online soon.


Chapter 1
Visiting the République
By Robert Maxwell

Opening note

Dear reader, the task of reporting on the République of Québec is not an easy one for foreigners.

First there is the question of entering the country. This is not done without risks since the south boarder is still technically a warzone, the St-Lawrence waterway is also regularly attacked by various groups. So I decided to risk hanging...by red tape, and try my luck crossing the border from Ontario. The New York Ottawa connection is one of the safest on the East coast, but the administrative requirements to enter Québec at the Hull-Ottawa crossing are daunting. Without the assistance of Jim O’Brien, I think I would still be stuck in Ottawa.

Second, there is the question of language. The language spoken in Québec is French, no great surprise here, but contrary to Louisiana, you will not be able to communicate in English with the population. Hull and Montréal are exception to the rule, but even there only educated people can speak some English. I graduated in French studies, worked as a translator during the war and was posted in Paris for 2 years so this was not a problem for me. However, I discovered that the French spoken in Québec was very different from the one I knew. Mr. O’Brien put that it a very elegant way saying: “You are like an Eaton graduate arriving in Texas, get use to it.” However, he added that Quebecers had a lot of respect for foreigners trying to speak their language. In Montreal I witnessed Quebecers going out of their way to help some poor lost British sailor that had a ten French word vocabulary. From my part, I must say that I was surprised at the warmth of the Quebecers toward me, an “enemy” Empire State citizen. But since I could speak to them in their language, I had the feeling that this made me part of the group.

Finally, there is the size of the country. Québec covers around 800 000 square miles! Although most of its population is concentrated around the St-Lawrence valley, you will find settlements all over the territory. My experience is that in order to have a good feel of a country, you need to explore its rural parts. So limiting my visit to Québec and Montréal would not be enough. I manage to rent a plane in Montréal during the first weeks of my stay and that allowed me to explore this huge country with a reasonable amount of freedom.

After going through my notes, I have decided to structure my report in the following way: First I will take you on a tour of the République, for that I have decided to present you the various defense districts the AAQ as it offers a efficient way of dividing the country. Second, I will give you a report on the main airplane operating organisations in Québec, including the less savory elements and some of the external threats that the Quebecers have to face. Finally, I will conclude my report with interviews of some of the most interesting persons that I had the chance to meet during my trip.

Enjoy the ride dear reader.
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Re: Québec Sourcebook - Chapter 1

Postby Thom » Sat May 12, 2012 3:46 pm

*Rubs hands together in anticipation*
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Cyagen
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Re: Québec Sourcebook - Chapter 1 - Intro + Montreal

Postby Cyagen » Sat May 12, 2012 6:05 pm

Here is Montréal - please comment.

First district: Montréal and the Champlain valley


Montréal
I arrived in Montréal by train from Ottawa and took my first step in the center of the city. Built on a huge island in the middle of the St-Lawrence it is only accessible via a limited amount of bridges or by air, if you have the means to hire one of the few air cabs available. Dominating the city is the Mont Royal, a small mountain on which numerous parks and cemeteries are built. A peculiar aspect of the city, and one that is the most confusing for visitor, Montréalers use the river as a point of reference when they give you directions. Laval, the other island that lies west of the city is indicated as “North”, Longueil air base is “South”, and so on. The streets are also labeled in that fashion. It is confusing at the start but once you get a hold of it, it kind of makes sense.

Montréal is the capital of the République of Québec since its independence in 1931 and is supposed to be its economic heartland. However, it still seems in the Depression. A quick visit in the “Eastern” part of the city will give you a sample of some of the poorest quarters of the city. Beside dilapidated housing are numerous abandon factories that are occupied by some of the poorest citizens of the République. The big halls are home to complete villages of refugees, either from the occupied zone or that were expelled from the Maritime Provinces. These people have been mostly ignored by most Quebecers. Only the Catholic Church seems to try to take care of them. During my visit there, I saw numerous monks and nuns providing food, clothes and basic medical care to what they call “the factory people”. If their misery was not enough, a lot of them have been expulsed by force recently as investors reopen some of the abandoned factories. René Lamontagne, a priest whose parish contains five such factory villages, hopes that by losing their house, these people will at least gain a job.

The suffering of these poor refugees is easily forgotten once you move to downtown Montréal. Here, new skyscrapers are growing around some nice old Victorian style buildings. This is here that you find all the glamour that use to be the trademark of Montréal in the 20s. The great Eaton and Hudson Bay Company departments store, luxurious bars and restaurants and great apartment complexes to fulfil the needs of the old and nouveaux riches are all clustered around downtown.

One industry that seems to be flourishing right now in Montréal is banking. If you walk around the Montréal stock exchange, you can find a branch of almost every major bank in the continent, in addition to some British, French, Italian and German banks.

Québec regulation on foreign banks is very light. As long as they do not accept deposits, loan or borrow from Québec citizen or companies they are free to do what they want. They do have to pay a small amount of taxes but a lot less than in their home country. -L

Moving “South” one arrives on the water front where the port, some industries and old Montréal is located. This is where most of the social life of the city happens for normal Montréalers with hundreds of them walking along the river and bathing in it on a nice summer day. In winter, huge groups of children play hockey on the frozen brooks of the river. There, around city hall is where you find the offices of the Gouverneur and around it the buildings that were supposed to be the main government district. They are mostly deserted due to the lack of money required to move the government from Québec City. However, most of the newly created institutions like the central bank, Québec’s national radio service and the headquarter of the Navy are located there.

Another reason for the smallness of the government presence in Montréal is Duplessis’ reluctance to move anything away from Québec. This power struggle between the Primer and the Governor insure the maintenance of the status quo. In addition, constant Pirates and Maritime Province Air Force threats make it an unattractive choice compared to much safer Québec City. -L

This is also there on the waterfront that you can still see the scars of the recent war. Late in 1934, the Maritime Provinces Air Force organised a daring raid to attempt to destroy the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, one of the most important link of the city to the south shore. Most of the bombs missed their targets and the bridge suffered only light damage. However a chemical factory near the north end of the bridge was hit and the resulting fire took two days to extinguish. The burned out wreck of the factory and an adjacent residential buildings are still visible today. This is a strong contrast to the Canadian Car and Foundry airplanes factory next door, where I could see brand new Valiants, King Cobras and Hérons (Hectors –L) being rolled out.

CCF is a big conglomerate that mainly produces steel and railway wagons. In 1936, it helped Bell open an airplane plant in Vermont, a maritime province. CCF provided the financing and the civil engineering expertise, Bell the airplane technology. When the English speaking Montréal newspaper The Gazette broke the news, the Québecers reacted with predictable hostility. They were calls from Levesque to seize the company and trial the owners from high treason. It took all of Duplessis’ diplomatic skills to deescalate the situation by having CCF promise to provide the AAQ with a certain amount of combat airplanes as a “gift”. The numbers were not made public but our sources say that it is between 50 and 100 Valiants and King Cobras MKIB

Further down river to the west of the CCF plant you find the port of Montréal. It used to be the most important port in Québec. Now the docks are half empty. Because of the Maritime Provinces’ airfields on the south shore of the St-Lawrence, most maritime traffic will stop at Québec City or Grande Baie. Since the St-Lawrence narrows down significantly at Québec City, it takes a very courageous captain to continue up to Montréal. The AAQ and the MQ are doing their best to keep the river safe, but they do not have the resources to be everywhere. Most of the goods come to Montréal via trains and Zeppelins to reduce the risks. But, it is not rare for these convoys to also be attacked. There will nevertheless always be a need to go down river since the industries, especially CCF and Fairchild, that operates a plant in Longueil on the south shore in front of Montréal, will always require raw material and to transport their finished product.

In consequence, the Dorval airfield has become a very important freight transit point in the north east. -L

But, even with these signs of normality, life in Montréal remains life in a besieged city since it is within range of the Maritime Provinces forces. In addition, the Champlain valley pirates are getting bolder every year and their raids are unfortunately regular event in the city. In consequence there is a strong presence of the AAQ in Montréal their blue and white planes constantly patrolling the skies along with the autogyros of the Montreal Police Department, private militias and the most prestigious squadron in the skies of the République, the Millice Ville-Marie (Ville-Marie militia). Most of them are based in the Dorval airfield, where I was able to rent an old CCF Mallard to use during my travels.

According to our last estimates, the AAQ has 3 full Interceptors squadrons protecting the capital (1st “Les Aigles du Mont-Royal”, 35th “Les Faucons de St-Joseph” and 5th“Les Alouettes du St-Laurent”) in addition to 2 others (33rd (I) “Les Étourneaux”, 32nd (I) “Les Cougars”) based on the zeppelin Jacques Cartier, an old Murat class French ship, which is always patrolling the region. In addition, other squadrons from quieter districts usually get rotated to the capital to help boost its defense. The MQ also has a strong presence with around 10 floatplanes and some anti-air dedicated warship. Finally, there is also around 2 squadrons of armed autogyros from the Montreal PD and around 10 squadrons of various private interests that includes the Ville-Marie, The Fairchild Eagles, CCF Hawkeyes and Blake Aviation Security that has a strong presence due to the high demand for security services. - L

The Champlain Valley
The Québecers call it the Richelieu Valley since on the République territory it follows the course of the Richelieu River. It is in that part of the country that you can find some of the worst nests of villainy on the continent. When I expressed the desire to fly down the valley, everyone told me that I was insane. I was told tat I would most probably get kidnapped or even worst since even the AAQ does not fly patrols south of their St-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu base. It is as if the République surrendered the territory to pirates, smugglers and bootleggers. I nevertheless went as far south as St-Jean. The town really has a Wild West feeling. The AAQ has a strong presence there, but I saw more private planes in the air and heard more foreign languages spoken there then anywhere else in the République.

The AAQ presence could not be qualified as strong. We estimate that only one mix squadron (44th “Les Cardineaux”) is there with some Sureté Nationale patrol planes. They seem to be more concerned in keeping an eye on the Maritime Provinces forces than to enforce the law. Pirates can operate with a free hand as long as they stay south of St-Jean. There are no known pirate group holding Québec letters of Marques, but by offering them a sanctuary, the République gives them incentives to leave their shipping alone. –L

It was troubling to see that chaos so close to the capital, but I have been told that Primer Duplessis is trying to get things under control, early this year he send the famous St-Georges squadron to confront the St-Germain Raiders that had been causing so much trouble in the Empire State and had been hiding on Québec’s territory.

The only reason the Raiders were targeted was that they started asking for protection money from the Québec civilians living near their bases. Our information is that the new Fleurs de Lys militia took care of the Raiders, not the St-Georges. -L

The main legitimate industry of the region is agriculture and the distillation of alcohol. This combination of fertile soils and clear water help make the famous Québec Dry Gin and Québec Whiskey that are exported everywhere in the world. To prevent illegal distribution, every producer must sell its production through the Québec Liquor board. However, this system does not seem to prevent many crates of Québec liquor to appear on black markets all over the continent sometime as far as in Houston.

Québec does not care about the prohibition, the Liquor board is a way of collecting tax revenues but they keep using it as an alibi. Probably 50% of what is produced legally in the Champlain Valley ends up south of the boarder. This is in addition to all the illegal production that takes place. -L

It was with great relief that I left this wild and vulgar place for Québec City.

Defenders of the Republic

The Ville-Marie militia

This is considered the most prestigious private militia in the country. Generously founded by the capital business community they fly top of the line fighters. They are very flamboyant and image conscious, membership is viewed as a way to enhance one’s social status and reputation.

Most of its pilots are recruited from the nouveaux riches families of Montréal, most of whom got their fortunes thanks to the Governor Lévesque. Inside the AAQ, it is known as the Lévesque militia. -L

They are known to fight for kills and most of the AAQ officers that I met told me that their enthusiasm sometimes make them forget what the mission was. They operate almost independently from the AAQ command, their charter putting them under the direct responsibility of the Governor. They tend to be unappreciated by the AAQ units, this is probably only jealously based on their success and prestigious assignments.

Structure of the unit: Being a member of the Ville-Marie militia is an important status symbol for a Québec pilot. It has been called after all, the most influential club in the country. The places are limited at eighteen and there is no shortage of applicants each time a position is vacated. Because of its important social role, the lineage and wealth of a recruit is as important as his flying skills. Language is not a problem as some of the pilots come from some of the old English families that decided to stay in the République.

To date there are only two persons that have refused an invitation to join the Ville-Marie: Col. Dubé of the Fleurs de Lys and his former wingman Maj. Ronald “Kid” Lejeune the current commander of the St-Georges squadron. -L

Their base of operation is Dorval airport just outside Montréal. The big gold painted hangar where they keep their Zeppelin, the Saint-Joseph, is hard to miss. However their HQ and social club are located in downtown Montréal. In consequence most pilots commute in autogyros from there to the airfield. There is no schedule in the Ville Marie; it can be changed according to the will of the commanding officer or to accommodate the pilots’ busy social schedule. Discipline is very loose and there are no official colours or markings for the unit. Every pilot is free to paint his plane the way he wants. But, as a sign of their membership in the militia, all pilots are required to paint two broad gold strips on the top of each wing and add the symbol of the Ville-Marie militia on their plane. The unit is under the command of General Auclair the AAQ Montréal district commander.

However, because of their political connections he was almost no leverage to enforce his powers. It fact, he tends to ignore the Ville-Marie when planning the protection of Montréal. According to our information he said that he assumes that they will get in the way.

But their special status does create some tensions with the AAQ and the diplomatic skills of the head of state are sometimes required to clarify misunderstanding.

The arrogance of the Ville-Marie militia painted them in the corner. Since Québec’s model of air defense relies heavily on the AAQ, without its collaboration the Ville-Marie are only guys with planes. They are said to be a constant headache for Auclair because they ask for the best assignments and for missions worthy of their status. In addition the lack of discipline of the unit makes it unreliable and in consequence Auclair tries to minimize their use. Feeling that their talents are wasted, the militia recently started making raids against some pirate groups, without the approval of the AAQ, with mediocre results. Only the favourable press that the Governor is able to get them and their popularity in the general population is said to prevent Auclair from ordering them to disband. -L

Pilots and their planes: Well financed, the Ville-Marie flies the best planes available on the market. They tend to snob local designs and buy imported planes. The pilots are superbly trained; the Ville-Marie logged more air combat flying hours than any other Québec unit.

According to some after action reports that we obtained from the Maritime Provinces, the flying skills of the Ville-Marie pilots are greatly exaggerated. The quality of their planes makes up for their lack of discipline and aggressivity. They are on par with most regular squadrons and militias in North America. The combat hours issue should not be given too much importance since most of the AAQ’s squadrons do not have the required administrative staff to keep track of them! The Ville-Marie pilots constantly compare themselves to the Broadway’s Bombers or the Hollywood’s Knight but they lack the skills and panache to sustain the comparison. In fact they cannot even be compared to the St-Georges squadron that still remains the best unit in Québec’s sky. -L

Maj. Georges “Gouverneur” Levesque is the nephew of the Governor and acts as the leader of the Ville Marie. He is known to be a great leader and a marvellous pilot. When he makes a sortie over Montréal, the entire city comes to a stop as thousands of Montrealers watch him in awe as he execute hair-raising stunts in is golden Bloodhawk. He is a national celebrity and his photograph regularly appears on the front page of the most important publications of the République. His exploits are also widely reported in the newspapers social pages. Skilled, charismatic and sure of his abilities, it is said that he sees every enemy plane in Montréal’s airspace as a personal insult.

Recent engagements: The Ville-Marie militia is presently in a bitter struggle against the Suppôts, a Québec based pirate group. The Suppôts are known for their brutality and complete lack of principles. They do not have any respect or loyalty for anything; they attack everyone, even the Catholic Church, as long as the potential payoff is good enough. Their base of operation is rumoured to be in the Richelieu Valley where their Zeppelin Belzébuth is said to have been seen.

The leader of the Suppôts, Luc “Lucifer” Tremblay is rumoured to have served in the AAQ during the North East War. -L

They locked horns more than once with the Ville-Marie during their numerous raids on Montréal. Last month they mounted a daring raid again the Ville Marie social club during which they stole the content of the safe, most of the liquor and kidnapped the future bride of Maj. Lévesque, Marie Ouellet. The he and his uncle have vowed to free her at all costs, but so far all attempts to locate her have been unsuccessful. Lately the Lévesque clan complained publicly of the lack of support of the AAQ in the search. They are also claiming that Primer Duplessis is interfering with the search since he keeps refusing to assign resources to locate the pirates. Since this incident all the resources of the Ville-Marie are used exclusively to find Miss Ouellet.

It is also rumoured that Maj. Levesque and Col. Dubé of the Fleurs de Lys came to blows when Dubé said to him that he would rather escort a zeppelin full of “fertiliser” than search for Miss Ouellet. -L

Special squadron rule – Silver Spoon
Because of the almost unlimited resources they have access to, the Ville-Marie planes are always fully supplied and in best order. At the start of each scenario, the Ville-Marie player can give the special characteristic Superior Engine (-1) or Superior Weapons (all) to a plane of his choice for the duration of the scenario. If the plane already has this characteristic, it gains either Superior Engine (-2) or Premium Weapons (all)
Restriction: No characteristic of a Ville-Marie pilot may exceed his Natural Touch score.

Scenario - Hail Marie

The Ville-Marie received information on the whereabouts of the Suppôts. An informant told them that Marie Ouellet was held at a small airfield south of St-Jean-sur-le-Richelieu. They set off in mass with a detachment of the Montréal PD to arrest the pirates and liberate her. Unknown to them, the informant was a Suppôts boarder that was send by Lucifer Tremblay to set a trap to kill or capture Maj. Levesque. They were correctly expecting him to push ahead as fast as possible, without appropriate support in order to free his fiancée. 20 miles from St-Jean, the leading element of the Ville-Marie fell into the trap.

Set up: use the rural map. Set up the Ville-Marie in the centre of the map with all the plane adjacent and facing the same direction. The Lucifer Element set up on the east and west edge of the map and the Shaitan Element can set up on the north and the south edges.

Rules of engagement: The Suppôts will retreat if they are outnumbered at any moment. The Ville-Marie pilots may not retreat from the engagement.

Victory condition: The Suppôts player gets 5 Victory Points if he shoots down Levesque, 10 if he kills him and 1 Victory Point per additional planes shoot down or pilot killed. The Ville-Marie militia player gets 5 Victory Points if he shoots down Tremblay and 2 Victory Points per additional plane shoot down. Any non-combat bailout will give the Ville-Marie player a -1 Victory Point penalty. The scenario ends on Turn 20 when the rest of the Ville Marie catches up with the leading element, forcing the Suppôts to flee. If both players have the same amount of Victory points, the Ville-Marie player wins.


Les Suppôts

Lucifer Element

Flight 1
Luc “Lucifer” Tremblay
Cutlass 5-4-5-2-4-7

André “Judas” Bertier
Harpie 3-3-4-6-3-3

Flight 2
Pauline “Salomé” Isabelle
Bandit 3-2-5-3-4-5

Yannick “Golgotha” Bradette
Devastator 4-4-3-3-5-3


Shaitan Element

Flight 1
Shawn “Shaitan” Hanson
Firestorm 5-3-6-3-4-4

Quincy “Pendu” Oswall
Buccaneer 5-5-3-3-4-2

Flight 2
Pascal “Le Roi” Lalancette
Brigand 3-3-7-5-3-3

Martin “Papou” Paradis
Huard 5-3-4-1-3-2


La Millice Ville-Marie


Flight Levesque

Maj. Georges “Governeur" Lévesque
Bloodhawk 7-4-5-4-5-5

1st Lt. Anne “Burn” Brulée 6-6-4-2-3-3
Valiant


Flight Demers

Cpt. Denise “Double D” Demers
Phantasm 7-3-6-6-3-4

1st Lt. Kevin Molson “Export”
Tempest 6-3-5-3-4-5
Malphas, over and out

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Re: Québec Sourcebook - Chapter 1 - Intro + Montreal

Postby Phoenix » Thu May 31, 2012 5:22 pm

I apologize for the lateness; I meant to post my comments after I finished reading, but RL interfered and that slowed things down a bit. In any case, this is excellent. The writing style seems very reminiscent of FASA's setting materials, and you do an excellent job of weaving a compelling narrative and bringing readers up to speed on the history (and alternate history) of Quebec without bogging down in minutiae or confusing readers who might be unfamiliar. The history seems very believable in the CS world, and the Ville-Marie are full of character and would make interesting allies or antagonists for a player group. I think the AAW editor's notes are a really nice touch - like Paladin Blake's notes in The Airman's Gazetteer or the writing in WOM and BtCV, they do a really good job of offering a different view of events while also making the book feel very grounded and 'real' (something I think Crimson Skies did really well). There are some spelling and grammar problems, but nothing that stopped me from figuring out what you meant, and those shouldn't be too hard to correct. Overall, it's excellent and you should keep it up!
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Re: Québec Sourcebook - Chapter 1 - Intro + Montreal

Postby Cyagen » Thu May 31, 2012 5:33 pm

Thanks a lot! I am happy to see that you liked it!

The Ville Marie was fun to write. The goal was to make a squadron that reflexs what most Quebecers think about Montrealers, arrogant a***holes...

I should be able to put Chapter 2 online this weekend...
Malphas, over and out

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Re: Québec Sourcebook - Chapter 1 - Intro + Montreal

Postby Thom » Thu May 31, 2012 7:32 pm

Holy cow! Misplaced this thread when the spam bombs went off and forgot all about it, thanks for bringing it back to the top! I love it so far!
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Re: Québec Sourcebook - Chapter 1 - Intro + Montreal

Postby Jerba » Thu May 31, 2012 9:12 pm

Oh yes, this is great! I'm really enjoying this. I don't know anything about Quebec so I'll have to be careful to not confuse this with the real history! :)

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Re: Québec Sourcebook - Chapter 1 - Intro + Montreal

Postby Cyagen » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:24 pm

Thanks guys!

Here is Québec. It is a little rougher than the other ones but I though I should open it to comments.

My main insecurity is the production rate that I quote for Bombardier. I was not able to find 30s number quickly on that.

Enjoy

Second district: Québec City

When I was in Ottawa I had a drink in a club frequented by Royal Ontario Air Force (ROAF) pilots. When I told them were I was going one of them told me: “Be sure to flying in the hornet’s nest”. This is the nickname they gave Québec City. Flying in from Montréal I quickly realised what an understatement that was. AAQ planes are everywhere; I counted no less than three Combat Air Patrols near me when I was instructed to land at the Lorette airport, the main civilian airport for Québec. Landing my old Mallard on one of the grass runway, I could not help to notice how huge this facility is. I counted four zeppelin mast, three tarmac runways and three big hangar complex. The terminal building is dwarfed by all these installation. It sits south of the runways, thrown there as if an afterthought. Waiting for me in there was Mr. O’Brien that would serve as my guide for the rest of the trip.

Before independence, Quebec City was the provincial capital. Even today, with the official seat of government in Montreal, it still remains the administrative centre of the new country. Everywhere you find the offices of the various ministries and government organisations. This concentration of the levers of powers of the République and its relatively well protected position makes it the single most important strategically point in the North East. It is the République’s most important port, zeppelin field, rail yard and military base.

Historically Québec has always been considered the key to British North America because of its location and easily defendable topography. The headquarters of the ATQ and AAQ are located Québec City. It is protected by three airfields and two military bases. According to our latest information, three squadrons are stationed there (4th (I) “Frontnac”, 12th (I) “Montcalm” and 1st (Heavy) “Citadelle”). Two zeppelins are permanently patrolling the sector: the Monseigneur de Laval a relatively modern Richelieu Class French Airship carrying the 11th (H) “Cap Blanc”, 29th (Mixed) “Hochlaga” and the 21st (M) “Donacona” and the Louis-Olivier Chénier home of the 111th Air infantry regiment “The Voltigeurs”). Other organisations to consider are the Bombardier Centurions, one float plan squadron of the Québec Navy and a small flotilla of anti-aircraft ships. The quality of the planes and pilots is the best that AAQ can offer and they are often send to hot spots to help the local forces permanently stationed there. -L

The locals divide Québec City into three parts. The lower quarters facing the river, near the port and where the first French settlements were build is called “Le Cap Blanc” (the White Cliff), the higher grounds where Parliament Hill, the old town and the big Price Paper Company skyscraper are is “la Haute Ville” (High Town) and the plains that extends north of the city where most of the industries and the residential quarters around the snaking St-Charles river is called “la Basse Ville” (Lower Town). Life in Québec is revolving around four issues: politics, Bombardier, the armed forces and hockey.

Québec city is a governmental town; most of the life of the city is build around the government buildings in higher town. Compared with Montréal there seems to be less industries and mills, they are mostly concentrated on the banks of the river in Lower Town, with the exception of the huge Bombardier aircraft plant that sits directly on the St-Lawrence. It has become one of the most important employers of the city; the plant has even a dedicated tramway line that passes through the factory complex.

The Québec city Bombardier plant is running day and night six days a week with at least three plane assembly lines and two parts lines. Even with that it is not able to keep up with the demand. -L

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Québec factory of the Bombardier Corporation. Build along the St-Lawrence it has its own docks and airfield where day and night boats and zeppelins are docking to deliver goods or to take possession of planes. Started as a small workshop during the Winter War, it became bigger and bigger and expended dramatically as the war against the Maritime Provinces started. Financed by cheap loans from the government it became a multi building complex. At the signature of the Armistice, it was rolling out two to three planes a day. Today it can be up to fifteen depending on the availability of parts. Beside the three main fighters of the République it is now also building numerous civilian sport and transportation model. With its brand new worker accommodations, dedicated fire and police station and even its own hospital it has become a city in itself.

Bombardier was founded in shortly before the declaration of independence by Joseph Armand Bombardier, a young inventor and mechanic from Valcourt, near Sherbrooke, that wanted to produce a land vehicle to travel in the deep snows of winter. When Quebec declared independence and the government started to build a modern air force, CCF asked Bombardier to produce parts for the Huard in order to help it reduce its huge backlog on government and private orders. This allowed Bombardier to acquire an expertise in airplane construction and in April 1934 it started to produce its first fighter the Harfand.

EIA codename: Foghound. The MKI version that was built in 1934 was rough crude fighter made of wood and lacking the contra-rotating rotors that is now Bombardier’s single engine fighters trademark. –L

As soon as the first planes got off the assembly line it went into service. The torque of the huge engine, personally designed by Bombardier, made the plane hard to handle. A fix was found in the beginning of June 1934: contra-rotating rotors. The plane changed little since then.

A major change has been the replacement of the wood airframe by a metal one. –L

The Harfand has been sometimes referred to as an engine with wings and has the reputation of being a crude unsophisticated plane. This cannot be further from the truth. Although it does not shows the manoeuvrability of modern fighters its powerful armament and great engine makes it a dangerous weapon in the hands of even inexperienced pilots. This plane has now become synonymous with the AAQ in the mind of most people in North America.

The Valcourt plant was bombarded on the first day of the Maritime Province invasion. The damage was limited, but J-A Bombardier realised that it was vulnerable and started shifting production to Québec City in an old train wagon plant. This process accelerated as the Maritime Provinces army rolled in direction of Shebrooke but when they entered Valcourt, all the machinery and workers had been evacuated.

It was really close. The last produced planes took off under enemy fire. -L

This small abandoned plant has now become the huge industrial complex that we can see today.
Although I was allowed to tour the plant, it lacked the flair and sales pitches that airplane manufacturer usually make during these visits. Apart from the sign on the door, there is no sign that you are entering an airplane factory. No museum, no show room with the different fighters produced. I was taken straight to the floor and given a tour by one of the senior foreman, Conrad Gagnon, a man with little formal education but a lot of knowledge. He laughed when I asked to see the showroom: “We do not have one; we do not have planes to waste for that. Every plane that we make is put into service, even the prototypes. Also since we have mainly one customer the AAQ and they know our products very much.” On the main floor of the factory I could see three production lines, all for single engine airplanes. “Since 50% of the parts in the Harphand, the Harpie and the Béluga (the civilian version of the Harpie –L) are the same any one of the line can be set up to produce then in less than one shift (12 hours). You will have guys that will do the same job, screw in the same rivets at the same place independent of the plane produced.” When we arrived at the end of the line tractors were waiting for the planes and took them directly to the adjacent airfield. “Squadrons are all waiting for the new planes, so they got their pilots waiting to take delivery of the plane even before the paint job dries. They will do a quick test drive, fuel up and fly back home.” The huge shape of an AAQ zeppelin was sitting on the airfield during my visit, it stayed there for one week loading in the latest versions of Québec’s homegrown planes.

Although more modern French planes are available to the AAQ squadrons they seem to prefer the local models. –L

I tried to get an interview with the man that started everything, Joseph-Armand Bombardier, but was unsuccessful. Even my guide, Jim O’Brien, only managed to interview him once, three years ago for fifteen minutes. Some have compared him to Howard Hughes but Joseph-Armand Bombardier is the opposite of the flamboyant Hollywood mogul. Bombardier is a discrete, humble and introvert genius that spends most of his time in the workshop and with his family. A devoted Catholic, it is said that he gives a big proportion of his profit to local charities and churches. In Québec he is the most admired figure in the République some having even started to refer to him as St-Armand.

Walking around in Lower town, I saw a lot of poverty, but nothing that could compare to Montréal’s infamous East. The combination of government jobs, international port and protected location seems to have helped Québec City come out of the depression.

Finally, you can’t talk about Québec without speaking about the military. If you walk in High Town, you can’t avoid the numerous soldier and airmen that are walking around in uniform. In the heart of the city you find the Citadelle, an old British fort dominating the St-Lawrence and the Abraham airfield, located just next door. They are home to the most prestigious military units of the République, the Van Doos and the Citadelle squadron.

Defenders of the Republic

1er escadron lourd “Citadelle” (1st "Citadelle" Heavy Squadron)

Motto: “Je vous répondrai par la bouche de mes cannons.” (I will answer by the mouths of my guns)

The Citadelle is one of the oldest squadron of the AAQ. It was founded during the Winter War flying old Great War biplanes bombers. They were the ones that constantly harassed the Royal Navy during the battle of Beauport. After the war, with the bombers being relegated to museums, they were given heavy fighters but their mission did not change. But during the North East war, the AAQ high command was running out of planes and options and the Citadelle was pressed into service in the Rivière-du-Loup sector flying combat air patrols, interdiction and zeppelin busting missions. Now their official role is to stay in the Québec sector and protect the parliament and its members. The four planes that are escorting the Prime Minister plane everywhere are from this squadron.

It may sound strange not to use an Interceptor Squadron to do that job, but the reality of Québec is that most of their Interceptor squadrons are flying combat mission and do not have the time for a ceremonial role. -L

In addition, the Citadelle is now become the closest thing the AAQ has to a “show” squadron. The acrobatic figures that they are able to do are even more impressive when one sees the type of planes they are using to do them. The Citadelle and especially its show team has now become one of the most prestigious assignments in the AAQ.

In addition it is considered a relatively safe assignment. Although the official size of the AAQ squadron is 12 planes, the Citadelle has around double that number. -L

The symbol of the squadron is a Goat head, homage to the regimental mascot of the Van Doos a white Billy Goat.

Pilots and their planes: With the introduction of the new Bombardier Hippogriffe design, the majority of the squadron is now equipped with it. However the Hippogriffe lacks the maneuverability of the Ravens that they used to fly and has a relatively light payload capability. In order to compensate, the other half of the squadron is equipped with a modified heavier armored version of the King Cobra, the Cobra Royal and heavier planes like the Kestrel, Ramrod or the Mako.

Stuck in an odd job for a heavy fighter squadron, the pilots of the Citadelle can do wonders with these big birds. Because of their lack of heavy fighters, the AAQ also uses the Citadelle as trouble shooters sending them where their extra punch is needed. -L

The commander of the squadron is Col. Gilbert "Scotch" McMann, the heir of a long military tradition. It is said that McMann’s great-great-great-uncle was a Scottish soldier in the British force that captured Québec City in 1759. It is also said that since then, there was a McMann serving in the British army in Québec. McMann, and three of his uncles, all of them pilots in the Great War, enrolled themselves in the AAQ during the Winter War. Even if they were Anglos, they felt the new République was their country and that they should defend it.

Never underestimate the desire of a Scot to kick some English behinds. Scotch is the only survivor, two of his uncles died defending Québec from the British and the other one in the skies over St-Georges. -L

Having been a pilot for the British army "Scotch" and his uncles were asked to train pilots. The AAQ was unsure of their loyalties. However, the sudden landing of British soldiers near Québec City pushed them into combat and Gilbert has served with the Citadelle ever since. His flying skills, leadership, tactical skills and combat record marked him for regular promotions and he was promoted Colonel last year. In any other air force it would be a desk job flooded with administrative work but in the AAQ every pilot has a cockpit waiting for him.

When I visited they were persistent rumors that Duplessis approached him for the still vacant post of Commander of the Québec sector. That would certainly be a strange sight to see a Scotsman speaking French with a thick accent wearing a Lys in Québec.

The Lys is the sign to recognise a General in the Québec armed forces like the stars for the old US army. We received confirmation that McMann will indeed be named Commander of the Québec sector as soon as a suitable replacement for the “Citadelle” is found. -L

Recent engagements: The role of bodyguard of the République of Québec leaders is not an easy one. There are lots of last minutes escorts, flight plans changes and a constant tension. However, it rarely leads to actual combat. There is more risk in the day to day patrols over Québec. As the centre of decision, it could be the targeted by Pirates, enemy militia and even internal dissidents.

The Citadelle has acquired a fierce reputation in the Pirate community it is considered a squadron that should not be engaged. -L

Special squadron rules – The Heavy fighter did what?!
Because of their role as the official escort of the official planes of the Républic of Québec, the Citadelle pilots are master to dog fighting with their heavy fighters. In consequence, every plane with a BTN of 5 or lower is considered to have the special characteristic Light Stick for a Citadelle squadron pilot. However, this extra training is done at the cost of the traditional ground support role of a heavy squadron; therefore the special characteristic Accurate bomber is not usable by a Citadelle pilot.

Scenario – Fireworks for the national holiday

The 24th of June is Québec’s national holiday. Each year big celebrations are held in Québec City with important dignitaries from all over the République travel to Québec to enjoy the parties and fireworks. Last year, the Pascal's Peacekeepers pirate band tried to kidnap some important dignitaries during the celebrations. The only thing that could stop them was the Citadelle that was patrolling the area.

Set up: Use the empire map (the one with the river). Peacekeepers set up on south edge of the map and the Citadelle anywhere on the north side of the river. The Citadelle player also sets up, in hexes adjacent to the river, 5 counters, each representing an important Québec dignitary.

Rules of engagement: This is a night scenario; the night fighting rules are in effect (see page XX). The dignitaries must remain stationary until the first one is kidnapped by the Peacekeepers player. After that they are move randomly around the map at the end of the movement phase. However a dignitary cannot cross the river or move if a Peacekeepers plane or autogyro lands in the same hex they are in. To kidnap a dignitary the Peacekeeper player must land a plane or an autogyro in the same hex as the counter. If the plane spends the next turn on the ground, the dignitary is captured. Each plane with a BTN of 5 or less may carry one dignitary. For autogyros the normal rules are applied. If a plane or autogyro with a dignitary is shutdown, he may try to escape safely grabbing a spare chute and making a combat bail out (2 in each SS and QD)

Also, to simulate the facts that fireworks are going up everywhere during the scenario, each player must place a Flare rocket on the map at the beginning of the firing phase. However, it will scatter like an inaccurate bomb before affecting pilots.

The Peacekeepers will have to retreat at the end of turn 15 to simulate the arrival of reinforcements for the Citadelle.

Victory conditions: The Peacekeepers get 1 Victory Point for each dignitary kidnapped and evacuated by the South side of the map. The Citadelle gets 1 Victory Point for each dignitary still on the map at the end of the game.

Pascal's Peacekeepers

Flight 1

Dominic “Sharpeye” Pascal
Kestrel 4-8-7-6-5-5
Ralph “Scrub” Johnson
Brigand 5-4-5-5-3-4

Flight 2
Theodore “Crosseye” Lonn
Bandit 5-2-5-5-3-5
Martine “Momo” Dumont
Buccaneer 5-4-4-2-3-4

Flight 3
Laurance “D’Arabie” Rabie
Devastator 6-4-5-3-3-4
Gérald “GéGé” Graton
Vampire 2-3-5-2-5-5

Autogyros

Bob “Payload” Sparrow
Metroliner 4-4-1-1-4-1
Lucy “Couverte” Paré
Sky Horse 4-4-1-1-4-1


1st "Citadelle" Heavy Squadron

Flight 1
Lt. Col. Gilbert "Scotch" McMann
Cobra Royal 7-6-7-6-5-6
Cpt. Claude “Râpe” Morin
Hipogriffe 4-5-8-3-3-5

Flight 2
1st Lt. Lilianne “Lili” Hamel
Kestrel 5-7-5-6-4-5
2nd Lt. Jean “Le troisième” Tremblay
Hipogriffe 3-4-5-3-4-6
Malphas, over and out

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Thom
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JoinedCOLON Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm

Re: Québec Sourcebook - Chapter 1 Montreal NOW UPDATED Quebec!

Postby Thom » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:19 am

Sweet! Don't stop!
Flying the Crimson Skies

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Grant
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JoinedCOLON Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:42 pm

Re: Québec Sourcebook - Chapter 1 Montreal NOW UPDATED Quebec!

Postby Grant » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:50 am

Wow! SWEET!

You're really fleshing this out. Turning an un-interesting footnote in the Crimson Skies books into a new Texas or Dixie :D


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