| The Lakota Scalpers.
in '33, after the formation of the Lakota Territory and People's
Collective, he Lakota Scalpers are not your typical pirate gang.
Rather than a large group, made up of members from across the
region (possibly even continent), the Scalpers are formed totally from
four families, and continue to draw pilots and members from
ever-farther branches of the family.
are a ranching family, who had been ranching the Missouri River Breaks
ever since the first settlers had entered the region.
John and Mary were the family leaders, and had five kids, the oldest
being 20 in 1933. At first reluctant to join in
"criminal activity", the high value on liqour, raids by Lakota, and
threat of the People's Collective, along with increased costs and difficulty of ranching persuaded them into it.
Deborah, and Jacob, and their twin boys Aaron and Orville, were
refugees from the Dakotas and their parents before them refugees from
Ireland. Given a choice by the
tribal council, the Williams chose to leave North Dakota with their
small herd of cattle rather than divide it and their land with the
Lakota. Part of this reason being that Jacob
Collins had been making a small fortune making illegal whiskey for
sale. Upon arriving at Thorsteads ranch, the two struck a deal
to partner in cattle and the illegal booze business, the latter of
which quickly became the most profitable venture.
and Adam Smith were stunt pilots that travelled the US as part of a
flying circus. With the breakup, it took them only several years
to realize that smuggling, while more dangerous, paid far better.
They happened to join the group after making an emergancy
landing in a clearing in the Missouri Breaks. After meeting the
Thorsteads and Williams, the two stunt pilots immediately added their
aircraft to the venture, greatly expanding the group's operations and
quantity of movable liqour.
Logans are from the People's Collective. Pete and Linda were both
pilots in the Collective Air Militia. The two deserted in
early '34 after becoming disguisted with the Collectives policies,
handing power not to "The comrades in the fields", but a tight knight
council and dictatorial leader. Their two PR-1 Defenders were a good early boost for the Scalpers, being the two most modern aircraft of six in the beginning.
families have knit together well, the tough initial year of formation,
followed by the Lakota War turned them from a loose alliance of
strangers into a close-knit clan. Of course, not all changes
have been for the good, Pete Logan was shot down
in '35 during a booze run into Lakota Territory, baby boy
Danny Thorstead was shot down on his first mission in '36 into the
People's Collective, while the Scalpers lost three planes and half a
dozen people in the Lakota War.
are a handful of others working for the Scalpers, mainly cousin's,
nephews or in-laws to the main four families. Man power needs far
outstrip the small families and the money brought in from liqour sales
are a strong draw to the hardscrabble region.
pilot training was provided by the Smiths and Logans, Originally
only four aircraft, the group has grown to eight. At first
only Boeing Peashooters and Curtiss Hawk bi-planes, the eight planes
the Scalpers now have are relatively modern, including their pride and
joy, a N100 Beheamoth. An aging design, it is in tip-top shape
and can carry large loads of booze, while still providing heavy support
to it's escorts. While larger, they still are a small band, and
often hardpoints are empty during runs.
The Scalpers are spread out along what was formerly the Montana
Highline. The main buildings are in the Missouri Breaks, stills and
aging barrels scattered amongst the riverbends and even in the nearby
Little Rocky Mountains and Bear Paw mountains. The group has
established a dozen of airstrips, many little more than a
simple dirt strip, with only a one being all weather. Keeping
their planes and booze operations spread out offer little in the way of
targets for roving Lakota raiders.
The name comes from
the band's first armed engagement with a Lakota air patrol. One
Lakota pilot attempted the Navajo trick of "counting coup", only to
accidentally graze the belly of Pete Logan's Defender, skimming off the
cockpit while miraculously, leaving the native pilot unharmed and both
planes still flying. The name is about all the group share, having
no common paint scheme other than camoflage and no official emblem for
the group, being a "homespun operation" if you will.
The band primarily runs booze into the Lakota Territory and
People's Collective, occasionally taking a load westward, however for
the most part, avoiding Utah and the wrath of it's air squadrons.
They have been known to commit some acts of piracy, however the group
is picky about such targets, preferring to focus on providing a
personal luxury than outright theft.
group is on good standing with the locals. The regions SDF
(Skyline Defence Force) militia, and local sheriffs ignore the
Scalpers. The band has never attacked a local target, and on
occasion have lent air support to law enforcement to apprehend
criminals or pirates dangerous for anyone in the region.
Scalpers are on good terms with the Montana
Raiders, another local-based band, often checking their several bases
and making sure no scavengers try to make off with Raider's equipment.
One of their few arch-rivals is the People's
Collective unit, the 26th Peoples Air Squadron based in South Dakota.
The same squadron that the Logans deserted. Commanded by
Davis Johnson, the squadron has three times left it's desginated patrol
area and based from closer People's Collective bases just for the
opportunity to strike at the band.
Before each mission, roll a 1D6 per hardpoint. On a result
of 1 or 2, that hardpoint remains empty. No Beeper-seeker
rockets, Drill rockets, or Aerial torpedoes allowed for this group.
No MG rounds either, all because they are too expensive.
Linda Logan: 5-4-5-8-4-4
leader of the aircraft of the Scalpers, Linda is easily the most
skilled pilot of the band. A good pilot, she has learned to
quickly and easily unjam her guns (for many years being used to the
cheaply made Czech copied machine guns in her Defender) and able to place rounds with deadly accuracy.
slim blonde, she has a decidedly cynical view of the world since her
husband was shot down over North Dakota.
pilots a modified PR-1 Defender. The 1930 vintage Juarez engine
was given a makeover that left basically only the original shell, and the
inferior wing guns were replaced with Sperry-Brownings.
(No longer has Inferior Engine or Inferior guns).
"Harvey" Logan: 4-2-4-3-4-2
Logan is Linda Logans adopted son. He was a refugee from the
Lakota territory, and just turned 17 in '36.
He showed up in the local town the raid after Pete Logan was
shot down. "Harvey" wouldn't speak of his past, but had a
large chip on his shoulder in regards to the Lakota, and Linda took him
in, making it her personal goal to make him into a pilot.
He took the name Harvey in jest as the old western outlaw that
haunted the same area. A quiet, reserved young man, he
has a knack for fighting dirty and vicious, in the air and on the
ground, considering any tactic valid as long as it wins the fight.
This has led to several tense confrontations with the other
Scalpers, but thus far has avoided any major problems.
"Harvey" pilots a NAA Thunderbird, with extensive modifications
done to it. The plane with the longest history in the Scalpers,
it has two kills under Logan's piloting, and two previous ones from
other Scalper pilots.
It has had a radio
installed, the .50's have been replaced by fire-linked .40 caliber
Brownings, and an additional three hundred pounds of armor installed.
Additionally it has had two hardpoints welded into the
top of the lower wings.
Edward "Big Ed" Thorstead: 4-3-4-4-7-3.
is the oldest of the four Thorstead boys. Being the oldest, he
was the first trained as a pilot and he took to it far quicker and
easily than he had to riding horses at a younger age. A
mountain of a man, he is nearly immune to any damage inflicte don him,
in the plane or on the ground. Quiet and withdrawn
on the ground, he is usually the muscle on ground meets, his demeanor
lulling most into a false sense of security.
"Big Ed" Flies a plane not often seen this far north, a TNCA
Aguila. A stock model, the group has attempted to work out the
sticky throttle on the engine, however with little success.
Nonetheless, Ed has used the aircraft successfully, downing two Lakota
aircraft with it.
Mathilda "Maddie" Thorstead: 5-2-5-5-3-1
years old, Maddie has a natural flair for piloting. Not the best
pilot, or the best gunner, she is nonetheless excellent in both roles.
Her toughest problem is her tendancy to lose track of what is
happening around her. She was assigned the
Beheamoth due to the better pilots being assigned more nimble aircraft.
Her tendancies to become absorbed in one target has
been somewhat offset by the Williams brothers, who usually alternate
riding in the add-on turret (Also alternately competing for her
affections, which she attempts to play off each other, enjoying every
bit of her power over the two brothers).
The N100 Beheamoth has had several modifications done. The
most noticable is the addition of a powered turret. This gives
the unweildy bird a far safer tail. supplied with a single Bruin
Armament .60 caliber heavy machine gun, it packs a powerful punch on
any fighter stupid enough to close with it. This has
necessitated dropping the forward pair of .60's and reduced cargo space
by 100 pounds, but it has been seen as a worthwhile tradeoff for the
increased security. Combined with rear-facing hardpoints,
aerial mines and heavy armor, the Beheamoth weathers most battles
better than it's escorts.
Aaron Collins: 5-4-4-2-3-2
pilot of the two William brothers, more of a pilot than his brother,
nearly the only reason he hasn't completely given up turret-riding is
allowing his brother more time with Maddie.
Orville Collins: 3-1-7-2-3-1
to Aaron Williams, Orville is a gunner first and foremost, pilot
second. Only adequate in the cockpit, he usually crews a gun in
The Williams alternate piloting and turret-riding. The
plane the brothers share is a F4 Bandit. Unmodified, the aircraft
is one of the earliest ones to roll off the assembly line.
Jane Smith: 7-4-4-2-3-4
a stunt pilot, then smuggler, Jane's combat skills never quite adopted
as well. Her piloting skills are exemplary and has no trouble
making her stock, nose-heavy Fury as nimble as any Bloodhawk or
Aircraft: Jane pilots an unmodified J2 Fury.
Adam Smith: 6-4-5-3-4-3
the second best pilot in the group, Adam has adopted to a combat
role easily. Although beginning to age, his reflexes and eyes
are sharp, making him a deadly pilot in the air.
Adam pilots the group's newest fighter, a Big Sky Dragonfly.
With it's heavy armament, and his good gunnery skills, it
usually pairs up with the groups Beheamoth. The main
criticism is it's relatively light armor for it's size, and at some
point when funds are available the .40's will be replaced by .30
calibers and the wing armor upgraded.
Kelly Olson: 4-4-4-2-4-3
Cousin of the Thorsteads, he joined the group, bringing his own
Devastator with him. Cousin to the Montana Raiders leader.
Kelly flies an unmodified Hughes MKII Devastator. (Using
Montanaraiders modified Devastator stats. Swapping Speed and G's
and adding40 points of armor).