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Really Bad Day At Black Rock

Tinseltown Expose was a Crimson Skies sourcebook that never saw the light of day after FASA Corporation went out of business. Here is a scenario I wrote for the "Tinseltown Tattler" section.

"Wings of Glory" was all set to be one of the great modern classics. Warner Bros. had pulled out all the stops to create the most impressive, most realistic, most lavish, and - unfortunately - most expensive aerial war films ever made. Filming had just begun on the climactic dogfight, between the Hollywood Cavaliers (the heroes, of course), and the Western Coalition (a thinly-veiled jab at Pacifica) when some uninvited guests crashed the party.

The Ronin, an independent mercenary squadron, had been hired by a rival studio to disrupt filming. (Many suspect that Universal Studios, which had its own air war moving coming out later that summer, was the force behind the mercenaries, but nothing was ever proved.) The Ronin dove in out of the sun, taking down two of the stunt planes before they even knew what hit them.

In the ensuing dogfight, the remaining Warner stunt pilots (many of whom were actually members of the Warner corporate air guard) fought off the encroaching mercenaries. The producers of the film were thrilled when they found that their cameras had continued rolling, getting them some great footage of the dogfight. Unfortunately, enough damage had been done (in terms of planes, pilots, and equipment damaged on the ground) that production of the film has been postponed indefinitely.

GAME SET UP

Lay out the Rural map. The Warner planes may set up anywhere on the map, as long as they are more than three hexes away from all the edges. These planes should be set up as if they were dogfighting each other, since they were in the midst of filming when the attack began.

In addition to the planes, the Warner player may place five turret markers anywhere on the map. These are not actual machineguns, but instead represent camera crews.

The Ronin planes set up along the western map edge.

PLANES AND PILOTS

Hollywood Cavaliers (Warner Studio stunt pilots)

Lead1: Moira "Nan" Parker
Firebrand           3-5-4-4-6-5

Wing1: Grady "Butch" MacKenzie
Bloodhawk       3-4-4-3-5-5

Western Coalition (Warner Studio stunt pilots)

Lead1: Rob "Shamrock" O'Reilly
Black Bat           4-4-5-3-7-4

Wing1: Myriah "Blackie" Morris
Black Bat           3-3-6-4-5-5

Ronin (Mercenary Band)

Lead1: Amanda "Charity" Greene
Firestorm           4-4-3-5-4-4

Wing1: Barry "Westman" Fillette
Fury            3-4-4-2-6-3

Lead2: Jim "Dolphin" Backe
Hornet          5-4-5-3-4-4

Wing2: Dana "Misty" Wilkins
Hornet          4-5-3-3-4-4

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

The Ronin's general mission is to wreck as much havoc on the Warner filmmaking as possible. To this end, they will attempt to shoot down or damage as many Warner planes as they can. They will also try to drop bombs on the camera positions.

Planes from both sides may flee from any map edge.

Smile for the Birdie

The Warner cameras are an important part of the scenario. Each camera crew faces in the direction indicated by the guns of the turret marker.

At the beginning of each turn's movement phase, the Warner player may change the camera crew's facing by 1 hexrow (or he may leave the camera stationary).

At the end of the movement phase, the Warner player must choose a target to film. A camera may record footage of any plane within a V-shaped arc (just like the firing arc of a Seeker rocket, p.44 of Rules of Air Combat), up to a range of 4 hexes. Extra victory points are received for capturing spectacular footage, so keep track of them as the mission goes on. The camera crews may not move out of their starting hex.

Hopefully it goes without saying, but if the camera crew hex is bombed, the camera may no longer record footage.

WINNING THE MISSION

The mission ends when there are no planes from either side left on the map. The side with the most victory points wins.

Warner Victory Points

  • For each Ronin plane shot down 20
  • For catching spectacular footage (up to the discretion of all players)* 20
  • For catching footage of a plane being shot down (friendly or enemy)* 10
  • For catching footage of a plane being damaged (friendly or enemy)* 5

(*) - only count victory points for footage from cameras which actually survived the battle

Ronin Victory Points

  • For each Warner plane shot down 20
  • For each camera crew hex bombed 15
  • For each Warner plane damaged , but not destroyed 10


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