Wednesday 27 July 2016

Royal Aero-Marines

Getting skyjacked by air pirates is constant threat for those that fly the skies of Darmonica, especially since during the War it was not unheard of military skyships being boarded. Much like the sailing ships of old, skyships can often be seen carrying a detachment of soldiers known as 'aero-marines'. These aero-marines serve on both military and civilian skyships, though the latter tends to belong to private security companies or corporate militias.

The best known of all of the aero-marine forces that exist in Darmonica is the Commonwealth's Royal Aero-Marines.


The Royal Aero-Marines can trace their origins back to the marines of the Commonwealth Navy, airships were originally under the Navy's control and small detachments of marines gradually started being used to provide security onboard these airships with the rise of sky pirates. When the Commonwealth Air Force was formed it was given control of the Commonwealth's air fleet and a number of the Navy's marines were offered the chance to transfer to the new Service. Those that did transfer over formed the nucleus of what was soon dubbed the 'aeronautical marine force', they were joined by soldiers from the Army when the force was officially named the 'Royal Aero-Marines' by Royal Warrant.

Prior to the Great Darmonican War the Royal Aero-Marines, or the Rams as they were nicknamed, were only the strength of a single battalion. During the War they were quickly expanded as the air fleet was built-up as the War waged on, with the Rams taking part in most of the Commonwealth's skyship engagements throughout the War. They also gained extra responsibilities and remain a sizeable force in the post-War years with the threat of sky pirates being so prevalent.

Organisation & Roles

Like their naval ancestors the Rams based their structure upon that of the Commonwealth Army, ranging from platoon and companies up to divisions. Typically only companies are the largest sized unit encountered, either as a the Ram detachment on one of the larger skyships or on 'shore duty' defending CAF bases and installations. Platoons are more common being found on both the smaller skyships of the air fleet and as 'shore parties' to provide security on the ground whenever a skyship is 'docked' at a non-military airfield. Occasionally ten-man strong sections may be encountered escorting valuable cargo or a prisoner.

The Aero-Marines' primary duty is the security of skyships by either repelling boarders or manning the guns in defence of the vessel, they have been used to board and try to capture other skyships if the opportunity arises. On the ground they mainly act as an airfield defence unit (much like the RAF Regiment), though they have been used in a shore party role as described above as well as in actual ground combat alongside Army units. Additionally Aero-Marines can apply and become pilots in the CAF, flying fighter or other aircraft.

Use In Games

How the Rams are used in your game depends on the sort of campaign that you're running, they can be an ally of the group or an enemy.

*A sky pirate campaign will have the Aero-Marines as a big foe if the group goes in for skyjacking, though the same can be said if the group decides to attack a CAF base.

*For a military campaign the Aero-Marines can be allies, rivals or foes depending on the group's actions.

*The group could be Aero-Marines themselves, either serving onboard a skyship or at a base. Shore parties in particular have a broad scope for different sort of situations for the group to handle.


Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d8, Shooting d8, Stealth d6, Survival d6, Throwing d6
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 6
Edges: Block, Combat Reflexes, Marksman
Hindrances: Vow
Gear: Rifle, bayonet, grappling hook, etc.

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Skies of Crimson

Its been mentioned countless times that sky piracy exists in Darmonica, not surprising that the Crimson Skies series of games was a big inspiration for Frozen Skies. Though I've never really gone into much detail about them, how they operate or covered some of the (in)famous scoundrels of the wild blue yonder.

Keep yer eyes sharp as we head off into skies of crimson.

Sky Piracy 101

Sky piracy in Darmonica arose a short while after aircraft had come into widespread use, records from this time tell of a group of disgruntled aviators hijacked a plane carrying the payroll for the company that had recently fired them. This robbery quickly inspired others and a number of self-styled 'brigands of the clouds' rose and fell, it was the popular press that coined the name 'sky pirates' and it stuck with the public at large. Prior to the Great Darmonican War sky pirates were considered more of a nuisance than a problem due to the limited number of gangs active back then, most of them lacked the experience and planes to go toe-to-toe with national air forces.

Things changed during the War primarily due to privateers that were created by the various countries to raid the sky shipping of their enemies, alot of these privateer gangs continued in the post-War years backed up by years of experience and military grade equipment. Other gangs were formed by deserters who branded together for mutual protection and took to sky piracy as a way of surviving. After the War pirate gangs got a boost from aviators and soldiers who'd been demobbed but left with little choices back on civvie street, thus providing a large pool of skilled and experience men (and women in some cases).

With governments now focused on post-War recovery and demobilization of their military forces in an attempt to get their budgets back under control sky pirates have not been kept under control by the now diminished air forces. This has resulted in the pirates growing from a minor nuisance to a major problem and headache for numerous people, particularly as the sky pirates have grown increasingly bold in their actions. Whereas before they were only interested in stealing valuable cargo they have since expanded into capturing aircraft and people for ransom. There are even reports of pirates stealing experimental new aircraft, prompting a number of big companies and corporations to form their own air militias.

Organisation and Operations

The organisation of pirate bands varies by their size and how they operate, the core will always be a group of pilots and potentially gunners depending on the aircraft that they fly. Beyond that depending on the band's size and profitability they may have dedicated mechanics to hand and possibly even boarders for skyjacking. The largest bands that are able to operate airships and maintain bases typically have a much wider range of staff on their payrolls. A number of bands make use of informants to tip them off about possible jobs or to help them stay ahead of the law, some even have their own network of spies and even make use of disgruntled corporate employees.

Raids and skyjacking are typically sky pirates' bread and butter as they still need to buy food, fuel and ammunition to keep going. Smuggling is often seen as easy money even if the pay isn't always that great, but typically they are seen as a way to tie over the band until its next big job. Skyjacking usually requires alot of planning and resources, so very few small time bands go for it other than as one-off jobs. Though not all that common it has been for some sky pirate gangs to attempt jailbreaks to free captured members or hired to help bust out somebody else, at least one band busted out the leader of their main rival after he got shot down.

Sky Pirate

Use the following stats for a Sky Pirate, though feel free to modify if gunner or even a boarder.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d6
Skills: Driving d4, Fighting d6, Gambling d4, Intimidation d6, Piloting d6, Shooting d6, Streetwise d4, Taunt d6
Charisma: -2; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Mean, Wanted (Major or Minor)
Gear: Knives, clubs, pistols or SMGs. Boarders also carry parachutes and grappling hooks.

Wednesday 13 July 2016

Aircraft of the Commonwealth Air Force

The Commonwealth Air Force is probably the more visible aspect of the Commonwealth's military in Alyeska, its aircraft can be seen in the skies and at countless airfields across the Continent. Many different types of aircraft are operated by the CAF ranging from fighters through to transports and heavy bombers as well as the Commonwealth's military skyships. This week we'll take a look at the aircraft the CAF uses in Alyeska.



The Hornet is the CAF's interceptor, its job is to simply engage the enemy as quickly as possible. As such it is built for speed and a mean punch with its 20mm autocannons, but it lacks in armour and so is bit of a glass jaw fighter.

Acc/TS: 25/170; Toughness: 10 (2); Crew: 1; Climb: 2; Handling: +1; Notes: Light Fighter
Weapons: 2x 20mm autocannon (50/100/200, 3d8, ROF 3, Bursts 10, AP4)


More of a brawler compared to the Hornet, the Kestral is the Commonwealth's main frontline fighter.

Acc/TS: 20/140; Toughness: 12 (3); Crew: 1; Climb: 1; Handling: +0; Notes: Medium Fighter
Weapons: 4x .50-cal MG (50/100/200, 2d10, ROF 4, Bursts 14, AP3)


The Drake is designed and operated as a ground attack fighter, typically used in pinpoint strikes. It is a heavy twin-engined aircraft crewed by a pilot and gunner.

Acc/TS: 20/120; Toughness: 13 (3); Crew: 2; Climb: 0; Handling: -1; Notes: Heavy Fighter, Improved Targeting (+1 on Shooting rolls), Turret (rear mounted .30-cal MG)
Weapons: 2x 20mm autocannon (50/100/200, 3d8, ROF 3, Bursts 10, AP4)
2x rockets (50/100/200, 3d8, ROF 1, AP8, SBT)
1x .30-cal MG rear mounted (30/60/120, 2d8, ROF 3, Bursts 20, AP2)



Fireflies formed the mainstray of the CAF's light bomber force in Alyeska, they also get used on alot of recon and patrol sorties.

Acc/TS: 20/120; Toughness: 12 (2); Crew: 4; Climb: 0; Handling: -1; Notes: Light Bomber, Turrets x2, Extra Fuel Tanks
Weapons: 2x .50-cal MG nose turret (50/100/200, 2d10, ROF 4, Bursts 14, AP3)
2x .50-cal MG rear turret (50/100/200, 2d10, ROF 4, Bursts 14, AP3)
8x Medium bombs (4d8, AP20, MBT)


Other than skyships the Valiant four-engined heavy bomber is arguably the most powerful aircraft the CAF processes, though they are deployed to Alyeska in limited numbers with there currently being only two squadrons comprised of twelve Valiants each.

Acc/TS: 10/100; Toughness: 14 (2); Crew: 7; Climb: -1; Handling: -2; Notes: Heavy Bomber, Turrets x3, Extra Fuel Tanks
Weapons: 2x .50-cal MG nose turret (50/100/200, 2d10, ROF 4, Bursts 14, AP3)2x .50-cal MG rear turret (50/100/200, 2d10, ROF 4, Bursts 14, AP3)
2x .50-cal MG dorsal turret (50/100/200, 2d10, ROF 4, Bursts 14, AP3)
20x Medium bombs (4d8, AP20, MBT) or 10x Large bombs (5d8, AP40, LBT)

Wednesday 6 July 2016

Creature Feature: Cloudhaunts

Another "Hey, I haven't done this in a while" type of post, in this case a Creature Feature to fill out the Bestiary of Frozen Skies a little bit more. The subject for this week is a creature dreaded and cursed by aviators all over Darmonica, it is a bane for those who often fly in skies frequently shrouded by clod or fog.

Meet the Cloudhaunt.

Aviator's Bane

Cloudhaunts are winged creatures roughly bigger than a medium sized hound and are known to lurk in clouds or thick fog to prey upon unsuspecting aircraft. They are usually found in groups of 2d6 members, though larger packs have been heard of and stated to have even take out a skyship.

Their typically method of attack is to try and latch onto an aircraft and then try ripping it apart with their claws, though if the numbers are in their favour they will try to directly attack the crews of skyships.

Appearance wise they are similar looking to gargoyles but are furry rather than stone.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6(A), Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d12, Stealth d10
Pace: 0; Parry: 5; Toughness: 4
Special Abilities
*Bite/Claws: Str+d6
*Flying: Pace 8, Climb -2
*Gang Up: Two or more Cloudhaunts can gang-up, do this as a single attack but every extra Cloudhaunt adds +1 to the attack and damage rolls.
*Size -1: Cloudhaunts are just bigger than a medium sized dog.