Having just finished the first Crimson-Skies-by-email game with my boss, the next one is now ready to go!
After the success of their last mission, my boss’ pirate/militia gang, the Springfield Raiders (any link to any other pirate gang, football, baseball or ice hockey team with this name is purely coincidental) have decided that the Caribbean is quite a nice place to do business as an air pirate, especially in the fractured world of the 1930s. Having used their pay-off from their last mission to buy a couple of seaplanes, the gang have decided to look around for some safe locations from which they can spread terror across the region!
Flying west from Cuba, the two seaplanes (well, OK, one’s a flying boat technically) have been sent to scout out the Mexican east coast, planning on flying slightly northwards to avoid any entanglements with RAF planes operating out of British Honduras. However, unbeknown to them, a faulty compass on the flight leader’s plane means they’ve drifted further south towards the Mosquito Coast (the flight leader has of course ignored his wingman’s insistence that they are flying in the wrong direction). Inhospitable as that area may be, other dangers await them in the skies over the Caribbean!
After the fracturing of the USA into a dozen or so nation states, the Nation Of Columbia, centred on the old capital city of the USA, was left protecting its overseas interests. One of these “interests” was the Panama Canal, still a lucrative source of income in the air-dominated Crimson Skies universe. At the Caribbean end of the canal, air cover is provided by the 1st Columbia Air Militia, split into the 1st Fighter, 2nd Long Range Fighter and 3rd Maritime Patrol squadrons. With deliveries of the new Monitor fighter being slow, the 2nd Long Range Fighter Squadron has been evaluating new aircraft to fulfil the heavy fighter role, and the latest aircraft to join the squadron are from the initial production batch of the new Grumman E7 Sabretooth (I know, I know, if it’s Grumman it should be Sabertooth, but I’ve got a lifetime’s worth of UK English language to overcome). What better way to evaluate this new aircraft than to go looking for pirates in the Caribbean!
I drew the hex map and the planes in PowerPoint and then stuck them in the Excel spreadsheet I use to run the game. The map is only slightly larger than a standard Crimson Skies game map. As with the previous game, the planes are all based on models I already have. In true pirate treasure map fashion, the two pirate planes (bottom right of the map) have to overfly the the two harbour hexes marked with an “X” to see if this island might provide them with a suitable base. Out to try and stop them are the two Columbia Air Militia planes in the top left.
The pirates are flying a Sandhill seaplane (above) and a Skua flying boat fighter. The Sandhill is an official CS model and painted up in the colours of the Swordfish Gang, one of my own pirate bands (that’s meant to be a swordfish painted on each wing)! It’s a slow fighter, but heavily armed and armoured.
The Skewer (above) is also an official CS model, but I switched its game stats round to represent the model more closely and called it a Skua. Mine is shown as a Texan Air Force plane and dates from the noughties when I could paint numbers and even stars freehand! I like the character of this model, but I have got a weakness for seaplanes and flying boats!
The Grumman Sabretooth (above) is my own design and was converted from a 1/300th Martin Marauder model. All I’ve done is add a new cockpit from milliput to make it look more like a heavy fighter in the larger CS scale.
In this game, the Sabretooth is supported by a Grumman Skyrocket (shown above). This is based on the actual Skyrocket fighter of the early 1940s, but since I couldn’t get a model of it I converted it from a P-47 Thunderbolt model. The engines were removed from two Thunderbolt models and stuck onto the wings, with the engine nacelles and the nose then being made from milliput (one of the Thunderbolts was converted to the Skyrocket shown above, the other became the I-18 shown here).
All that remains now is for the shooting to start!