The Montana Raiders
                                   Montana Raiders

About:  The Montana Raiders are currently among the lesser known, but powerful and up-and-coming bands in North America.    They do not crave attention, if in fact discouraging it by driving off AAW reporters that attempt to interview them, and even refusing (Albeit more politely than AAW) Tamara Staples attempts to interview them.

They do not want attention, realizing that it would only increase the rewards on their heads and encourage competition by opposing gangs.

While the band is far less bloodthirsty than the Red Skull Legion, and certainly more so than Redmann's Gang, they are not clean and rosy.

Although they do not attempt to inflict civilian casulties, they do occasionally ignore possible collateral damage standing between them and payoff.    However, even with that they rarely go overboard, and in some occasions stooping to help out those in need in some cases.

The group is under the same leader that formed it in early 1934, Grant Olson, a resident of former Montana.    He is well-liked by those who know him, which are few.  He keeps out of the public eye, attending bars and various establishments around the world, but attempts to keep a low profile.

Those that have met him outside of the gang have described him as cool and calm, which  he is when not among friends, thus keeping his guard up.

They are currently based in the Disputed Territories in former Montana, near the Lakota border and well within the territory claimed by the Lakota.  A fact which has led to a number of confrontations between them and the roving warriors.     For a short period of several months in early 1936, they actually remained on constant patrol in western Montana, guarding it's residents against Lakota incursion, and even leading several ad-hoc formed raids into their territory.

They pretty much prey on anyone, notable exceptions being the Confederation of Dixie, Appalachia and French Louisiana, all providing good central locations of refuge from their neighbors.

As of late, they have been launching deep raids into Hollywood, and against Hollywood operated mines and industry in the Disputed Territories.  

They have however launched raids across the globe. Once in late 1936 and early 1937, making a worldwide cruise that spread reports of them dogfighting Mitsubishis in the Pacific, tangling with Australian Commonwealth Fighters in that conflict and sparring with British and German fighters across India and the Middle East, culminating on a fast wide raid across the Empire State, ISA and Peoples Collective.

History:  The Montana Raiders were formed in September of 1934.  Originally it consisted primarily of pilots from the former state of Montana, with a few "outsiders" thrown in.

Until December of 1934, they continued hunting in eastern Montana, building their moderate skills against Peoples Collective zeppelins and fighters. 

However as escorts became more skilled and convoys heavily guarded, they packed up and headed to Colorado, albeit leaving their homebase in good condition.

It was there that they expanded from their one squadron, inlcuding an additional flight.  They preyed outside of Free Colorado, into Texas, The PC and Utah.

By april of 1935 they had reached a full two squadrons, accumulated through recruitment, and even the "Theft" of four pilots and 6 aircraft from a rival gang.  It was now when they decided to pick up a zeppelin.

Rather than settling for a converted cargo ship as many had, his group travelled to Alaska on a tip.    Within a week they had captured a former Bolshevik combat zeppelin, manned by a in-experianced crew and in the middle of transitioning to a Alaskan based Red crew.

It became the Helena, and they staged their first long raid across the Peoples Collective and the ISA before landing in Appalachia.

They suffered heavy losses in that raid, and the return one through Texas, which is when many of their newest recruits (The Hamiltons, Tippin, and Daniels) joined up.

They continued local raids into the surrounding nations, often returning to their Montana base to retrofit it into a permanent base of operations.

It is at this point they became involved in the Great Lakota raids of '36.  Between July and October of 1936, the Lakota launched a series of raids against Eastern Montana, intent on driving out the few remaining citizens there.    The Raiders fought back, going so far as to hit deep into Lakota territory and destroying an aerodrome and a stockpile of Lakota munitions.  

Joined by local groups, and a small number of volunteers from around the west, the Raiders pushed back the Lakota, the Native's settling into smaller and less frequent raids.

After re-supplying, and after some rest, the Raiders began their worldwide cruise.  They raided across Hollywood, then through the rich shipping lanes surrounding Hawaii, before turning south towards Achilles Island in the Marivellas.  

After a run-in with the Japanese and Khan Industries, they turned and moved south, preying on Commonwealth Australian shipping, before launching a attack on a Commonwealth battle zeppelin in a surprise attack.

They were however caught in an ambush, and spent spent several weeks in the WRA capitol of Perth repairing their zeppelin.

They raided across the Indian Ocean, up into the middle east and into Egypt, although things became fuzzy, with some reports placing them in China and India only days after being seen in Greece and Egypt.

After repairing in the Caribbean, they swung northward, hitting the British shipping lanes, and then cutting to North America, making a swath across the Empire State, ISA and Peoples collective.

After the end of that raid, it was nearly October of 1937. Since then they have stuck close to home, primarily raiding into Texas and Hollywood.

The Zeppelin:        Helena

 The Raider's zeppelin is the former CCCP Lenin.   Among the first constructed after Stalin re-asserted control over the USSR and then sent to one of his puppet generals in Alaska.    It had only been in that general's service for two weeks before being boarded and captured by the Raiders.

When it was acquired it was re-named the Helena, formerly the Montana State capitol and the nickname of the ship's bow figure, a somewhat scandalous-looking redhead (In-appropriote anywhere but a fighter or zeppelin nose).

Although built as a combat zeppelin, it had been more of a battlecruiser rather than a pure brawler role, and it's structure shows it.   It is longer, and has less depth than most combat zeppelins a forward gondola inset in the nose to reduce wind drag.

Although it carries 14, seven inch broadside cannons (7 per broadside), it carries barely half of the armor cloth than that of a standard battle zeppelin.  

It's anti-aircraft firepower is greater in comparison, with a forward twin 8.8CM rapid-fire Dual Purpose cannon and single 8.8's straddling the upper rear tail-fin.  The engine guns are twin .60 caliber Brownings, and it carries  a pair of top-mounted .70 caliber Hispano-Suzia in armored mountings, while it carries three of them in small cupolas underneath the zeppelins belly.  Giving it a masive firepower advantage over many zeppelins.

It needs it with a capacity to only carry 24 fighters.

Thus it's main goal in combat is to outrun pure combat zeppelins, with it's 14 engines delivering a  top speed of 77 knots (88.5MPH), and have enough AA firepower to aid it's escort in driving off attackers.   

Unit Rules:  I created the unit using my Unit Creation rules.  The Squadron leader from 750 points, his wingman at 450 points. The rest normal 450/350 pairs.  In addition, an extra 200 points per 6 aircraft for player creation.

All pilots in the Raiders practice extensively on bail-out techniques.  As a result, all pilots who bail get a -1 to the BTH number.

When creating a pilot, they MUST have a minimum of 4 natural touch, to enable them easier landings.

Customizing aircraft is encouraged, with the unit using it's own funds to customize members personal aircraft.  This is under the feeling that a customized aircraft is far superior to a standard aircraft one is uncomfortable with.

Squadrons.    The Montana Raiders are organized into three, eight plane wings, instead of the usual 12 plane squadrons.    This is meant to specialize each unit, although the entire band has trained, and works equally well with mixed components from each wing.

Diving Eagle Wing:  The lead squadron of the Raiders, this unit is commanded by the units leader.   The unit is a mostly a heavy firepower unit, with the pilots a mix of gunnery and piloting experts.

Eagle-Lead, Grant "Gunny" Olson.       M210 Raven
Eagle-Wing1, Cindy "Raven" Daniels.     M210 Raven.
Eagle-Lead 2, Roger "Joker" Hamilton.  Fairchild F6 Brigand
Eagle-Wing 2, Tracy "Blonde" Hamilton.    Fairchild F6 Brigand,
Eagle-Lead 3, Claton "Tiny" Tippin.       William and Colt Rifleman.
Eagle-Wing 3, "Tuffy" Hendricks.       Hughes MKII Devastator.
Eagle-Lead 4, Jack "Redman" Running Bull.   Colt Peacemaker
Eagle-Wing 4, Anna "Anchorage" Kerensky.   M210 Raven.

Falcon Wing: The Falcons are the Raiders primary fighter unit, primarily composed of light, agile fighters meant for engaging the esocrts of their target and worrying them while the heavies pick them off.

Falcon-Lead  1, Pat "Sheriff" Garret.  Curtiss-Wright J2 Fury,
Falcon-Wing 1, Matt "Rancher" Marion.    Curtiss-Wright J2 Fury.
Falcon-Lead  2, Kevin "Cowboy" Kelly.   Hughes Bloodhawk.
Falcon-Wing 2, Judy "Killer" Miller.  Hughes Bloodhawk.

Falcon-Lead  3, "King" James Knoel.   Curtiss-Wright J2 Fury.
Falcon-Wing  3, Bill "Jammer" Anders.  Marquette PR-1 Defender

Falcon-Lead  4, Aaron "Weasel".     Bell King Cobra.
Falcon-Wing  4, Jake "Brigand" O'neill.   Fairchild F6 Brigand.

Thor's Hammer Wing
Thor's Hammers are the units heavy fighters.  They generally are specialized in gunnery skills, meant to provide support to the lighter fighters and to provide heavy firepower against hardened targets.

Thor-Lead 1,"Big" Hugh Holtz.  Mcdonnel S2B Kestral
Thor-Wing 1, "Quite" Clark Heller.  Curtiss-Wright P2 Warhawk.
Thor-Lead 2,  Don "Bomber" Epson.  Curtiss-Wright P2 Warhawk.
Thor-Wing 2,  Johnny "Jonboy" Jackson.  Hughes Firebrand.

Thor-Lead 3, Samantha "Brute" Anderson.  Sanderson Vampire.
Thor-Wing 3, Danny "Farmboy" Mccoy.  Mcdonnel S2B Kestral.

Thor-Lead 4, Dexter "Dogface" Tillis.   Hughes Devastator.
Thor-Wing 4,  Billy "Four Eyes" Dupree.  Blackflag Firestorm