The Jovian “TOP GUN” Training Facility
Even by 2212, the Jovian Confederation has precious few prestige assignments for fighter pilots of all breeds (exo-armors and exo-fighters). The mighty Godsfire supercarriers, and the recently unveiled Valiant-class strike carriers only deploy with 12 and 6 combat craft under peacetime conditions. The distinction of being one of the chosen few to serve on a ship that is a very symbol of the might and majesty of the Jovian Confederation is as significant, if not more, for the pilots than the far more numerous noncommissioned crewmembers.
This organization and its associated plot seeds are designed primarily as a means to expose players “new” to Jovian Chronicles as a setting, as well as the Silhouette RPG and Lightning Strike (LS) game systems that will be used to portray the setting to the players. This setting is ideal for an integrated RPG/LS campaign for two primary reasons. One, it provides a way to familiarize a group of exo-armor pilot PCs with the capabilities of their machines and basic operational tactics. Two, it gives a plausible reason to place a group of “new” characters aboard a Jovian warship such as the Valiant, or to gain access to field-prototype exo-armors and weaponry. And what better way than to be a “Top Gun” graduate? In addition, there are enormous possibilities for roleplaying scenes between the exercise evaluations, as well as a huge range of supporting cast (commanding officers, instructors, mechanics, etc) with which to interact. Plus, there’s a CEGA Naval Intelligence operation afoot that is planning on stealing intelligence information from the JFWAC datacore for those more interested in an espionage-style campaign…
Though designed for a group of JAF exo-armor pilots within the Jovian Exo-Combat Advanced Training School, a JECATS campaign could be played by a mixed party of pilots and non-pilots, or even “exchange students” from allied nations, with few alterations. For the more motivated GMs, groups of spacefighter or exo-suit pilots could be accommodated with further modifications.
Suggested alternate character archetypes
Official: Base Command Staff, Command Trainee (JCRB 105)
Shipmate: Base Operations Staff (JCRB 106)
Intelligence Agent (JCRB 107)
Soldier/Security Officer (JCRB 107)
Technician/Engineer (JCRB 108)
If alternate character types are used, it is highly recommended to allow non-pilot players to control a minor NPC wingman or other friendly unit during the exo-combat scenes to maintain player interest.
The Jovian Exo Combat Advanced Training School (JECATS) at Jovian Armed Forces (JAF) Solomon Base is the premier facility for the instruction of exo-armor pilots within the JAF’s three divisions. JECATS is charged with the duty of maintaining the nation’s tactical superiority in naval warfare by providing critical specialized combat and tactical instruction to Jovian exo pilots. Via a curriculum of flight training, academic coursework, combat simulations and intelligence support, JECATS ensures a high caliber of training – training that will make the Jovian pilot the Top Gun in battle.
The JECATS program, its trainees and alumni, are colloquially known as “J-Cats,” a name that is reflected in the facility’s three trainee flights: Jaguar, Cougar, and Puma.
Prior to the introduction of the exo-armor, the Jovian Armed Forces (JAF) relied primarily on spacefighters as the means of defense and force projection from Jovian warships and colonies. In order to ensure the superiority of the JAF’s fighter forces, the Jovian Strategic Operations School (JSOS) opened the Jovian Fighter Warfare Center (JFWAC), a special academy to train the cream of the JAF’s fighter pilots in the finer applications of their craft. Seven primary specialty programs were created: Space Combat, Strike, Weapon Systems, Electronic Warfare and Surveillance, Intelligence, Operations, and Tactics. JFWAC is located at Solomon Base, a small military space station in the vicinity of Callisto, and situated far from the population center of the Jovian state. Graduates of these specialty training programs are distributed among the JAF’s fighter squadrons equally – in the typical squadron, there are graduates of each specialty program among the squadron’s veteran members. In this fashion, less-experienced “rookie” pilots are exposed to the specialists’ knowledge in day-to-day duties with their senior squadmates, effectively providing unofficial training outside of JFWAC.
The introduction of the Hoplite in 2163 to the JAF arsenal changed the face of space combat forever. The impressive maneuverability and the other capabilities of the exo-armor generated a revival of the classical “dogfighter” role in space combat. The need to determine the limits of the exo-armor’s form and the best means to exploit them occupied the early years of the Hoplite’s deployment. Until the mid-2170s, exo-armor pilots participated in the conventional JFWAC training, with only minor modifications to the curriculum. However, in 2173 the need to truly divorce the exo-armor combat and tactics programs from JFWAC, due to the widening divergence in capabilities and usage between exos and fighters, was realized. In 2175, a major reorganization of the JFWAC hierarchy occurred, leading to the formation of JECATS and FAUCOnS (Fighter Advanced Use and Combat School) within the JFWAC hierarchy as the exo and fighter combat specialty schools. While Solomon continues to instruct smaller sections of the other training programs (Weapon Systems, Intelligence, etc), versions of those programs have been decentralized and spun off to other JAF facilities throughout the Confederation. The primary JAF fighter and exo strike schools (FSTRIKE, ESTRIKE) have been relocated to Fallon Base in Newhome. With the escalating tensions with Earth and the Martian political climate, it is expected that both strike schools will see larger numbers of incoming students, as the need for anti-ship, surface attack and support warfare expertise will only increase over the coming years.
JECATS was officially commissioned on 14 August 2175, a full twelve years after the first military exo-armor was utilized. While the first graduating class utilized Explorers and Defenders – cutting edge at the time – today’s trainees utilize the newest Alpha upgrades of the Pathfinder and Retaliator exo-armors. A relatively new addition is the permanent assignment of a composite aggressor squadron to Solomon, to complement the facility’s two Intrepid-class transports, the JSS Gallant and Elusive, reconfigured for training and exercise supervision.
JFWAC Solomon Command Structure
The Jovian Fighter Warfare Center’s command structure is comprised of nine sections, designated S1 through S9. The Personnel Section (S1) is responsible for base administration, security, information systems, and quartermaster and supply. S2, Operations, handles the scheduling of the school’s spacecraft, training exercises, pilot logbooks and other records. S4 maintains the spacecraft, flight equipment (flightsuits, life support), as well as maintenance, loading, and storage of ordinance. S4, Range Maintenance, provides support to the UMPIRE network, as well as maintains range equipment such as the school’s numerous drone craft. S5, Risk Management & Safety, provides safety programs, medical staff and facilities, and associated trainings. S6, Tactics Development (TACDEV) performs research, evaluation, and dissemination of exo-armor tactics, program management, and mission planning. S7, Training and Standards, contains the JFWAC specialist schools, JECATS, and FAUCOnS instruction personnel. S8, the Command, Control, Communication and Computer Intelligence (C4I) section performs C4I duties for the program, as well as operates the battle management and tactical instruction program in cooperation with S6. Finally, the Intelligence section (S9) provides intelligence support duties to students and base personnel by regular political and military intelligence briefings. In addition, S9 is primarily responsible for providing the data used by UMPIRE and the Black Cats aggressor squadron to simulate aggressor capabilities and behavior.
The JECATS curriculum is comprised of 10 weeks of accelerated training consisting of a number of flight exercises, academic instruction and scenario simulations. In addition to its instructional duties, JECATS performs research, development, and integration of new space superiority and exo-armor employment tactical doctrines, such as combat search and rescue (CSAR) operations.
A new JECATS trainee can expect to perform a wide variety of piloting exercises, from obstacle and gunnery courses, to simulated combat against other trainees, adversary pilots, and JECATS instructors. Although many of the exercises are simply drills, JECATS’ board of instructors utilizes a series of mission scenarios which are pulled from the most recent JAF strategic exo-armor doctrine to drive the lessons home, and help improve pilot judgement and quick thinking.
Additionally, the JECATS curriculum is heavily augmented by technological training aids. The Solomon Training Range Complex (STRC) has nearly 125 million cubic kilometers of restricted airspace dedicated to its operations. Within this “airspace” is an immense network of satellites and modified surveillance drones that form a massive telemetry and data collection system. This system is utilized to record the movements and actions of the participating craft for later review by the instructors and pilots in a post-exercise debriefing. Finally, the JFWAC facility’s main datacore “UMPIRE” directs the data collection network, overseeing both collection and transmission of data to training craft. UMPIRE also participates in initial analysis of exercise data. Further duties of UMPIRE are detailed below.
Each of JECATS’ 30 dedicated spacecraft (12 trainee exo-armors, 16 aggressor craft, and the two warships) has an upgraded main computer and added simulation software to their onboard systems. On exos, this upgrade nicknamed “Shroedinger,” allows for a fully-immersive simulated environment, as directed by UMPIRE, to be presented on the pilot’s cockpit viewscreens. This takes advantage of the fact that modern fightercraft are completely dependent on sensor readings for the data presented to the pilot. Additionally, the upgrade interfaces with the exo-armor’s apogee thrusters and weapon systems to provide micro-accelerations to simulate weapon recoil, weapon impacts, “virtual” representations of weapons fire, and determination of firing results and scoring. Finally, Shroedinger allows for the simulation of a wide variety of battlefield conditions, such as sensor interference (simulating solar flare radiation or electronic warfare effects), reduced airframe performance due to malfunctioning apogee motors or plasma combustion chamber (PCC) clusters, and battle damage. A similar software package is installed on the warships, with the necessary modifications.
JECATS Dedicated Equipment
2 Intrepid-class transports: JSS Gallant, JSS Elusive
1 Composite Adversary Squadron: “Black Cats” (2 exo flights (4x Hector, 4x Retaliator), 2 fighter flights (4x IM-03T Guide, 4x IM-09 Lancer). Hectors are commonly used to represent Syreens, while the Retaliators simulate Wyverns.
3 Trainee Flights: “Cougar” (4x Pathfinder), “Jaguar” (4x. Pathfinder), and “Puma” (4x Retaliator)
Additionally, JECATS uses a wide variety of drones for target duty, simulated aggressors, and similar duties.
Running a JECATS Campaign
Post-exercise debriefings are another excellent location for interaction between the PCs and the base command staff. Additionally they’re perhaps one of the most important aspects of the entire JECATS program – the instructors critiques of the trainees’ results are critical to their learning (and the players’ too). Pilots will be drilled on their choice of actions during the exercise, and chastised should that choice cause a loss of a mission objective or the pilot to be “killed”.
The Aggressor exo-armors are Jovian designs, however between the trained Aggressor pilots (whose job is to fly like CEGA pilots) and UMPIRE’s special effects, all tactical scenarios that call for Aggressor units can replace the Jovian model (Hector or Retaliator) with the vehicle that is being simulated (Syreen or Wyvern). In other words, use Syreen and Wyvern datacards for all Aggressor units. UMPIRE is able to simulate alternate equipment configurations, so any variants (e.g. Wyvern Marine) are also usable.
Note: The following scenes are labeled R or T, noting their roleplaying or tactical emphasis. A JECATS campaign could entail a far wider variety of scenes than those listed below. The following scenes are perhaps exemplary of what sorts of activities one could expect at JECATS, but again, the GM should feel free to add details and subplots as they see fit. The majority of the following scenes can be utilized in just about any order, save the introductory and conclusion scenes.
R1. The Arrival
|Setting||Any major Jovian port-of-call, such as Joshua’s Station.|
|NPCs||Other JFWAC trainees, station residents|
|Key Events||Players given a snapshot of colony life and intercolony travel.|
|The PC’s have been transferred by from their duty stations aboard various colonies or JAF carriers to the Jovian Fighter Combat school at Solomon Base in Callisto orbit, colloquially known as “Redeye.” Joshua’s Station is the last waypoint before the long flight to Solomon. There will be a few days free on Joshua’s Station for the players to be exposed to life in a colony cylinder, while they wait for the rest of the JECATS trainees to arrive before leaving for Solomon and the JFWAC.As pilots tend towards being rather…adventurous folk, there are a wide variety of possible subplots possible between the Cluster, the Leviathan (see CP), and using the “I’m going to be a Top Gun pilot” pick-up line at bars…|
R2. Welcome to Redeye…
|Setting||Solomon Base, Callisto orbit.|
|NPCs||JFWAC Commander Miles Samson, JECATS Captain Tom Kazanski, other JECATS instructors and new trainees|
|Key Events||Introduction to base staff, introduction of the JECATS program and requirements, the Welcome Speech|
|At the opening of each 10-week JECATS session, the JECATS command staff and instructors officially welcome the new students, and both the JFWAC commander and the JECATS captain give brief speeches, both to present an overview of the training program, and remind them what they’ve gotten themselves into. Additionally, it is an opportunity for the new recruits to get to know not only their instructors, and some of the Aggressor pilots, but each other as well. Shortly after this first briefing, new recruits will be assigned to one of two instruction tracks – Pathfinder or Retaliator training – and be assigned to one of JECATS’ three squadrons, Jaguar, Cougar, or Puma.”You are here because your flight leader, your squadron commander, and your carriers’ captain believe you to be the best, to be the most talented among your peers at the art of the dogfight. We’re here to make you even better. The next 10 weeks will be an intense regime of instruction, and flight missions that will both test your wits and your reflexes. Those people out there in the real world that call this program Redeye are more correct than they know…you’ll find that out for yourselves, soon enough…”|
R3. Running Bet
|Setting||JECATS Officers Club, Solomon Base|
|The JFWAC facility maintains a fairly large Officers Club for the training pilots, officers, and important base staff. The moniker, “Officers Club,” is somewhat an anachronistic misnomer, as the club is primarily for the pilots, and within the JAF rank structure, pilots are usually not officers. However, within the club is one of the less-official JECATS traditions. Above and behind the bar, lies an enormous polyglass display case that contains an extremely detailed 1/100 scale model with customized paint and armament scheme of the Freeman Prize winner’s exo-armor for each graduating class since 2187. If a visitor counts, there are over 100 of these models, each painstakingly made by the Officer’s club staff – who form the backbone of the unofficial modeler’s club on Solomon.Another of JECATS more recent traditions is the Instructor’s Gift Certificate… Since becoming lead instructor, Capt. Thomas Kazanski (Level 4, Elite pilot), has an ongoing bet with each set of students, and S1’s chief quartermaster. Should a student be able to “splash” him in simulated combat, he will grant unto the student the “Kazanski Commemorative Quartermaster Gift Certificate.” It is, in effect, a “blank check” for any one single item from the Quartermaster. The only prior winner requested a bottle of Dom Perignon. From Earth…|
R4. Pranking (subplot)
|Setting||JECATS trainee and instructors quarters, Solomon Base.|
|NPCs||Nelson “Specs” Howard, other trainees|
|Key Events||Introduce players to RPG mechanics, especially in non-combat situations|
|A time-honored tradition at JECATS is the fine art of the prank. Every session of the school, there is an unofficial contest among the recruits to pull the grandest practical joke on another student (or instructor). But there is a fine line that separates the greatest prank from those that go too far…Nelson “Specs” Howard didn’t get his name the way one would expect it… He’s a veritable encyclopedia of vehicular knowledge. He often brags about bets he’s made with other pilots in bars on the specifications of Jovian military hardware. But not only that, his pet hobby is computer programming. As a kid, back on Joshua’s Station, he practiced a little…social engineering with some hacking on the side. Never got caught…but it’s always been a bit of a useful skill.
“Specs” is planning a bit of a…special project. He’d heard rumors about the JECATS pranking, and has had some clever ideas percolating since he joined the JAF. He wants to conscript the PCs to help him out a bit. He needs to sneak into the hangar and the flight line to install a little… “present” in a competitor’s Pathfinder. The program essentially will override the main computer’s voice-response system. In effect, rather than the standard pleasant computer voice, he’s substituting one with a bit more…personality. The substitute program acts like a neurotic back-seat driver, warning the pilot “You’re going too fast!” “Look out! He’s got a lock on us!” “Not in the face!” and so on, in a rather obnoxious and irritating voice.
The PCs will make a series of Stealth, Tinker, Electronics, and Computer checks in order to perform the technical activities of installing the program. Getting past the guards and the deck crew, that’s a different story (Theatrics, Human Perception, Notice, etc. checks).
R5. Ghost in the Machine (subplot)
|Setting||JFWAC Section 4|
|NPCs||UMPIRE operations staff|
|It appears that UMPIRE has begun to develop some degrees of “personality.” Perhaps not so far as to become fully sentient, but it seems UMPIRE seems to be extremely generous with some pilots regarding their combat scoring. Conversely, other pilots are having a far larger number of “simulated systems malfunctions” during combat exercises. Some ‘Cats say it is only a legend…a scapegoat for poor marks in the flight school. Perhaps UMPIRE was originally developed as an AI, and is now camouflaged as a mere expert system…SolaPol would certainly not approve.|
R6. A Little Malicious Mischief
|Setting||JFWAC Section 9 Operations Center, Solomon Base|
|Key Events||Base Security PCs|
|Solomon Base has a remarkably large amount of potentially important equipment and intellectual assets that other nations or subversive organizations would be highly interested in recovering. The UMPIRE mainframe and datacore contains one of the largest databases of technical and performance data on dozens of modern combat spacecraft and weaponry, and even contains extensive data on Jovian and foreign tactical doctrine.Janna Kellner is a contracted civilian computer programmer in JFWACS, responsible for entering S9’s newest intelligence findings into UMPIRE’s modeling database. On leave to Joshua’s Station a year prior, she met with a fellow by the name of Trent Colton. Trent presented himself in private as an idealistic Jovian – one that wanted revenge against CEGA for the loss of his wife at Elysee – and a member of the Principii. This struck a chord with Janna – she had lost a brother at Elysee, a Thunderbolt gunner – and volunteered to help him. As their relationship grew, Trent asked if Janna had access to any material that may be of use to the Principii in an upcoming operation against CEGA forces. Janna agreed shortly thereafter to try and steal a copy of the UMPIRE intel data and get it to the Principii.
Little does she know that Trent is actually a member of CEGA Naval Intelligence…
Over the next several months Janna inserted several Trojan Horse programs into the JFWAC network, that would generate a near duplicate of UMPIRE’s information storehouse over the course of many months of operation. Finally, the program was complete – Janna now had a copy of the datacore for Mr. Colton and his “Principii.”
Janna’s final orders were to insert another virus into UMPIRE – a program that unbeknownst to her would generate an increasing number of artificial mechanical failures. When Colton receives the datacore and prepares his escape, the program will electronically cripple nearly all of JECATS spacecraft… Not permanently, but it will provide more than ample time for his escape.
PCs that are security officers or intelligence agents will have the largest impact on this subplot, for now. In the meantime, pilot PCs will be troubled by a number of performance failures in their spacecraft…
R7. Graduation – Redeye Looks On
|Setting||JSS Gallant observation deck, low Jovian orbit|
|NPCs||JECATS command staff|
|Key Events||New duty assignments, gaining social contacts with the brass, etc.|
|The graduation ceremony for the JFWAC schools is a most impressive scene indeed. The forward observation deck of the Gallant is prepared for the graduation ceremony in grand style. The flags of the Jovian Confederation, the Trojan States, and the Jovian Armed Forces, are presented prominently on the walls on either side of the main viewing window. As the last of the diplomas are handed out, and the class is congratulated by JECATS’ commanding officer, the Great Red Spot of Jupiter rises over the horizon, and into view of the new graduates.Finally, the Davis Freeman Award will be issued to the top pilot of this session.
Members of the Aggressor squadrons often will perform acrobatic maneuvers with smoke generators and flares as well, adding to the visual spectacle of the graduation ceremony
T1. Meet Your Opponent…
|Force Composition||PC craft (Pathfinder, Retaliator)
Equal number of Hector or Retaliator Aggressors
|Setup||As Caught in the Web|
|Victory Conditions||Opposing force flees or is destroyed|
|Special Rules||If more than 1 PC pilot, skip ahead to T2 Running the Gauntlet|
|This scenario is designed to teach trainees 1-on-1 combat techniques, under fair odds. The PCs fly against an equivalent number of Aggressors in Hectors or Retaliators. Because of the limited number of participants, this scenario is not recommended if there is more than 1 player. This mission is simply here to expose the players to Lightning Strike game mechanics in the simplest situations.If any pilots wish to take on Capt. Kazinski on his wager, this is one possible “duel” scenario.|
T2. Running the Gauntlet
|Force Composition||PC’s craft plus wingmen, if desired
Aggressor Flights (Hector, Retaliator, Pilum Lancer; 50% more craft than PCs)
|Setup||As Caught in the Web|
|Victory Conditions||Opposing force flees or is “destroyed”|
|The PC pilots and their wingmen fly against a large number of aggressors, such as a mixed squadron of “Wyverns” and “Syreens” (Retaliator Aggressor, and Hector Aggressor). The aggressors will use CEGA combat doctrine as much as is possible/is known. The PCs will likely need to coordinate in order to survive…”Here we go cadets, the whole enchilada. Your flight is going to be flying against a greater numbers of CEGA craft. This happens in the field far more than you’d ever want it to, so don’t knock this exercise. You’ll need to use teamwork if you’re going to make it through. Show us what you’ve learned after these last two weeks of SCM (space combat maneuvering) training…|
|Force Composition||PC craft (Pathfinder, Retaliator), Gallant as noncombatant ship
Aggressor Flights (4 Hector, 2 Retaliator, 2 Guide)
|Setup||Gallant at within center of area, PCs within 20cm of Gallant. Aggressors may enter from any edge.|
|Victory Conditions||Gallant must survive encounter. Minor victory if Gallant is damaged and all aggressors defeated.|
|Special Rules||Use Lancer Plus datacard for Guides, but with the following modifications: 2 crew (2 actions), additionally armed with Type I drones (Rate 2, Reload 3).|
|The PCs flight is sent on a simulated escort duty. The PCs are to guard the JSS Gallant (representing a civilian Inari, or a valuable fleet asset such as a Gagarin tender), from an incoming combat group consisting of the Aggressor squadron and the Elusive. The Syreens will attempt to draw off as many of the PCs as possible, while the Wyverns will swoop in for the kill. As an added complication, the Elusive can launch simulated anti-ship missiles (unarmed Type I Shipkiller drones).”The Gallant has had a severe drive malfunction, and the techs need a few more hours to get her moving again. The Aggressors have taken this opportunity to launch a strike wing to try and add to the damage. We’re expecting a mixed party of exos and bombers. Watch those bombers! CEGA’s new Shrikes are not only fast, but carry the punch to sink the Gallant.|
|Force Composition||PC craft (Pathfinder, Retaliator)
Aggressor Flights (4 Hector, 2 Retaliator), Elusive as target warship.
|Setup||Elusive at within center of area, Aggressors within 20cm of Elusive. PCs may enter from any edge.|
|Victory Conditions||Major victory if Elusive is destroyed or severely crippled (e.g. destroyed drives or weapons). Minor victory if Elusive damaged with minor friendly losses.|
|Special Rule||Lancer Plus are armed with Type I drones (Rate 2, Reload 3)|
|Striker, of course, refers to the offensive position in European football – soccer. The PCs are sent on an exo-raid mission from the Gallant to strike at the Elusive. In effect, this mission is the reverse of Goalkeeper.”It’s payback time. Gallant’s long-range sensors picked up the Elusive, and it seems most of her heavy combat assets are away from the ship. It looks like the Elusive won’t have as heavy a defense as she ordinarily might. We’re sending you guys out to try and do as much damage as you can to her…”|
|Force Composition||PC craft, 1x Troop Transport (use Barracuda stats)
Aggressor Flights (4 Hector, 4 Retaliator), Elusive as noncombatant target
|Setup||Elusive at within center of area, Aggressors within 20cm of Elusive. PCs and Troop Transport enter at edge farthest from the Elusive.|
|Victory Conditions||Troop Transport must be successfully escorted to Close Combat with the Elusive.|
|Often a Jovian exo flight will be sent to escort smaller, slower, and less maneuverable craft, such as a boarding shuttle, from the carrier to the target vessel or installation. The PCs, in this mission, are to keep a single, slow-moving ‘suit transport to the Elusive without losing them to the defending Aggressor squadron. The PCs will have to make hard choices between engaging the defenders and protecting their charges…”We’ve got her now. Those last few raids seemed to slow her down enough. We’re sending in a team of Marine Sappers to finish her off. We need you guys to make sure they get there in a condition to do their job. However, it appears that she’s been able to rendezvous with her fighters that missed the fun last time. Keep an eye out for them…|
T6. Caesar’s Run
|Force Composition||PC craft (Pathfinder, Retaliator), 2x Falconer Squadron
Aggressor Flights (4 Hector, 4 Retaliator)
|Setup||Forces enter from opposite sides of the play area. Place a debris field within the first third of the play area to the PCs side.|
|Victory Conditions||Falconer Squads must be escorted to debris field, and must be escorted off the PC’s edge of the table.|
|Special Rules||The Falconer teams require at least 4 turns spent within the debris field to find the survivors. The PCs need to keep the Aggressors at bay.|
|Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions are often nicknamed “Caesars” by JAF pilots. Under typical fleet combat operations, Falconer exo-armors are commonly utilized as space-borne search-and-rescue (SAR) units. However, while the Falconer’s capabilities as SAR are unparalleled, even an entire squadron of ‘suits are easily outgunned and outmaneuvered by even a single exo-armor. In situations where SAR operations are necessary, but enemy opposition is expected, a squadron of exos are usually launched alongside the Falconer squadrons to provide escort and heavy fire support.”OK, Cats… This time you’re going to be helping the Gallant recover any survivors from a transport that was destroyed by an enemy raid. You are to escort the Gallant’s two Falconer flights to the wreckage. EWACS suggests that the Aggies (Aggressors) probably still have a hunter-killer squad nearby. The Marines in those Falconers are good, but they’ll still need your help, especially against those exos. It will take time to search the wreckage for survivors, and we need you guys to buy them all the time they need.”
Tips: The Aggressors should utilize the “Syreens” high maneuverability to try and draw away as many PCs as possible, while the “Wyverns” will swoop in to attack the Falconer
T6. Search and Seizure
|Force Composition||PC craft (Pathfinder, Retaliator)
1x Cerberus, 2x Fury Megaera, 3x Wyvern, Combat-modified Inari with 2x KKC turrets, 1x Type I-II Drone Launcher (Rate 2, Reload 2), Stealth 1.
Colton’s squadron of tug drones (6 Tugs, use unarmed Barracudas, reduce Movement to 5/10)
|Setup||PCs and CEGA Ops team enter from opposite sides. Colton’s squadron of drones start in the PC’s third of the table.|
|Victory Conditions||PCs are to capture Colton and recover the datacore. CEGA casualties are secondary. Treat as a modified Recovery mission. Major failure if CEGA is able to escape with Colton and the datacore.|
|Special Rules||Each of the 6 tugs should be given a Vector counter to represent their movement rate. They otherwise act as Drones with a Threshold of 2.|
| Colton’s operation has succeeded! His unwitting operative, Janna, was able to recover the data and smuggle it into his hands on Callisto. He is currently on his way from Callisto within a mining tug, and has arranged to be escorted by 5 other identical craft. He will be meeting up shortly with a CEGA covert operations ship and its compliment of exo-armors (Wyverns, Cerberii, and Furies). By the time the alarm finally sounds on Solomon, Colton is halfway to his rendezvous point. The PCs are conscripted to help in the search (in exos with live ammunition this time). Colton’s tug is among a constellation of similar craft – PCs will have to inspect each tug by closing within half of his unit’s Tagging range, and succeeding in an Electronics check vs. a threshold of 4. Obviously, the CEGA squadron knows where to find Colton, and will be trying to reach him before the JAF does…Colton does not have control of the drones, and thus will jettison himself and the datacore in an escape pod when either CEGA or the Jovians approach.
Tips: CEGA has the advantage of knowing which Tug needs to be recovered, but has a much longer distance to cover to get to him. For an added variation, Colton’s hacking abilities will allow him to take control of the drone’s movement on Turn 3, allowing him to change vectors and utilize Overthrust to evade the Jovians.
Appendix I: Exo and Fighter Pilot Training
Basic Instruction (simulators) to ascertain pilot’s aptitudes and determine career path: fighter, exo-armor, or shuttle
Flight Training: full flight training in EAT-02 Mentor for exo pilots, IM-3T Guide for fighter pilots. Basic instruction on Basic Fighter Maneuvering (BFM, dogfighting), formation flying, etc.
Frame Training Upgrade (FTU): Pilot selects spaceframe (e.g. Pathfinder, Retaliator, Vindicator for an exo-armor pilot), learns more advanced spaceframe-specific capabilities, weaponry and combat maneuvers.
Graduation from flight school, assignment to a squadron (shipborne or colonial) as a wingman
Advanced “graduate-level” training: space combat (“Top Gun”), strike (close support and ship/surface attack), weapon systems, intelligence, electronic warfare, operations and command. Because of the time investment (anywhere from 3 months to 1 year of training per specialty), it is rare for any single pilot to have more than one “degree” under his belt. However, in the typical squadron, there are graduates of each specialty training present among the squadron’s veterans. In standard practice, this is done such that during any given pilot’s career, he will work with (and hopefully learn from) at least one specialist of each type.
Appendix II: Game Mechanics
Each specialty school is designed to provide Tutor-assisted training or Specialization in the relevant subset.
- JECATS: 10 weeks, Exo-Piloting (Pathfinder or Retaliator)
- FAUCOnS: 10 weeks, Space Piloting (Lancer, Archer, etc)
- Weapon Systems: 10 weeks, Gunnery (spaceframe). Additionally this school instructs the student on the capabilities of both friendly and enemy weapon systems. Gunnery+KNO skill checks will provide potentially useful information.
- Electronic Warfare/Surveillance: 3 months, Electronic Warfare (Sensors or ECM/ECCM) or Communications.
- Intelligence: Aside from a “Specific Knowledge” skill, Intelligence training is not reflected in Silhouette. However, Social Sciences or Investigation are possible options if interpreted liberally.
- Operations: Bureaucracy skill – how to run a squadron’s logistics.
- Tactics: 1yr. Leadership and tactical instruction. Tactics and Leadership skills.
As each school is accelerated (e.g. “oppressive boot-camp environment”) to compress a large amount of training into a short period of time, each PC will need to make a WIL or PSY check as described in the JCRB p125 or “burn out”. For the purposes of threshold determination, a Specialization counts as a Level 2 skill.