Thursday, October 21, 2010

Calling all rocketeers!

It's been a while since I've posted here at the 523rd, so I'm gonna open up the door for others to contribute if they would like. Mostly, I'm looking for fan fiction, since the upcoming forum will be covering about everything else (pictures of painted models, battle reports, hobby and painting tips etc.) But I will accept just about anything War Rocket related here. It can be about any faction, too, not just Galacteers.

I will be sure to give proper credit to submissions. If you have something you'd like to contribute, just e-mail me over at evilcartoonist at yahoo.
By the way, if you would like to add to my own storyline, have at it! We could write ourselves a little community story. Since it is an episodic/serial tale, it is well-suited for multiple writers. I make it up as I go along, anyway. Also feel free to write from another character's perspective, or from another faction observing the events from afar. I really don't have a lot of rules here- just a desire to share and distribute creativity.

Rip, you have anything to add?

"Yes. We ain't payin' yer writers, so to the rest of you: Don't ask! If you like, perhaps I can ask the boys to write yer name on one of our torpedoes before we send it to old Emperor Marty. But that's all yer gettin'. That, and a little bit of glory."

Hey, Rip, you see those new Imperial Class 3 and Class 4 ships over at Hydra yet?

"Yes, indeed. And I must say them is some damn fine ships that I will certainly enjoy blowing to smithereens."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Squadron Colors

Not necessarily 523rd related, but I thought I would share some color scheme ideas for Galacteer ships. I used Photoshop to colorize digital art originally created by Phil Beauchamp at Hydra Miniatures. I didn't want to add squadron numbers since I've already monopolized Nos 523rd, 987th and 599th, but I figure it wouldn't hurt to add squadron nicknames. The schemes here that are not my own creations (not my ideas, but at least my interpretations) are the red rocket of Ace McGuire's Rough Riders, The Killer Bees, and the Space Tigers, all of which are mentioned in the War Rocket rulebook.

Some of these are captioned with squadron nicknames, others simply describe the design (such as "contrasting fuselage," for example.)

My personal favorite so far here is the Table Rock Air National Guard. Table Rock, Neb., is a podunk little town of 200 people that once had a silver water tower with a bright red top. I figure this incarnation of the TRANG is for the protection of some little podunk little colony of 200 settled on some far-flung planet.
By the way, my mom's side of the family comes from Table Rock. I like to go there for vacations; there's nothing to do but sit around and read. Vacation for me is doing as little as possible. Now that I think about it, I think I might paint up the entire TRANG, all three Class 1s and one Class 2 ships :)

Even though I've added nicknames to these, feel free to copy these schemes and use whatever squadron names and numbers you want- these are by no means official (well, accept maybe the published squadrons such as the Rough Riders, but who's to say you can't have red rockets, too?)

47th Command Squadron Courier Flight escort

Contrasting fuselage

Speed stripes

Swept design

Galacteer Protection Force 75th Star Eagles

Alien planet camouflage

Black Widows

Fire Hunters

Red Wings

987th Happy Gats Intercept 1

987th Happy Gats Intercept 2

Comet pattern


Nebular camouflage

Space Tigers

Killer Bees

Mean Midases

Table Rock Air National Guard

523rd Sagan's Sideshow

599th Marine Escort 1

599th Marine Escort 2

Lightning motif

Jupiter's Jester

The Rough Riders

Plieades Ghosts

Devils Raiders

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The 96 Galactic Deep Space Wing

Here's a visual representation of the 96th Galactic Deep Space Wing. The flights are listed with their official call signs, though all of the flights have their own nicknames.
(Note: I haven't chosen squadron colors for any of these units- if you want to model them, Have at it!! Let me know what you do. First come, first serve. Leave a comment if you do choose to paint up one of these squadrons. The only thing is that I intend the Marine ships to have some sort of camouflage (traditional, interstellar or alien.) And if no one decides to join the 96th Deep Space Wing, that's all right. More units for me to develop! :)
Honestly, I don't think anyone will be chomping at the bit anytime soon. Only a few of you read this blog, since I haven't yet announced it outside of my own little blog neighborhood.And I don't plan to announce it until Hydra gets a War Rocket forum. But for the few who read, I hope you're enjoying the blog so far.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chapter 4: Routine

     "Here are the day's reports, Admiral."
     Admiral Blake skimmed the infoscreen on the tablet.
     "Do we have data from the 523rd? They were scheduled to begin mapping asteroid Beta Saturi VII in Sector 73 today."
     "Aye, sir."
     The ensign tapped a few keys and brought up Captain Sagan's daily report. Blake expected to see the usual battle chatter that accompanied sortie reports from the 523rd. He didn't mind the Sideshow mixing it up now and again, but the survey ships, despite being old, under equipped and downright ugly, were rare and specialized ships that his task force needed. Blake's command was a deep space exploration task force, and they could not afford to be without their eyes and ears.
    The 96th Galactic Wing was under orders to patrol the outer rim, keep an eye on enemy movements and check up on some of the outer colonies. There were plenty of ships in the task force to complete the mission. The 208th Defense Squadron ("The First Rate" 208) with its mix of 40 ships served as the core of the Wing. With a good mix of craft, the 208th was able to undertake any mission the galaxy could throw at them.
     There was also the 599th "Decatur's Demons" Space Marine Squadron with its core of specialized Class 3 battle transports. Besides being filled to the brim with the toughest intergalactic leathernecks in the fleet, the ships were outfitted with disruptors to disable enemy ships, and grappling hooks to aid in pulling those ships closer so the space marines could take care of business. Among those modified transports, the lead marine ship, the Class IV S.S. Dick Dale, was rigged up with a dense-metal ram on its prow, giving the Demons a potent weapon in their arsenal.
     Serving with the 599th were the rocket troops of 1st Battalion 300th Galactic Grenadiers who have served in almost every conflict since the inception of the original Galactic Protection Force. The 599th also has its own attachment of Class 1 and 2 escort ships that serve close-support roles during  boarding attacks, planetary raids, and colonial and other rescue missions.
     The 47th Command Squadron was Admiral Blake's personal squadron. It was composed of four large Class IV ships besides numerous smaller support craft. Blake's squadron, besides having four Class IV vessels was similar to the 208th in ship composition, serving a multi-task role. Attached to the Command squadron was the 987th Fighter Escort, the "Happy Gats," who have made a small name for themselves, serving honorably in many battles.
     And then there was the 523rd Survey Squadron, "Sagan's Sideshow," whose report the Admirable was troubling over.
     "Ensign, are you sure this is all of it? I see nebular dust counts, radiation numbers from planet Eden, and the mineral report for Beta Saturi...." Blake paused to read more of the report. "And all this chatter indicates the 523rd fulfilled today's scheduled survey without incident."
     Blake stood dumbfounded. He looked at the ensign,  raised his eyebrows and smiled. "I guess the Sideshow will surprise you sometimes, eh, ensign? Finally, I get a day of boring, relaxing routine."
     "Aye, sir. But sir, I have one more report to show you."
     The ensign tapped a few more keys on the tablet bringing up another screen. He handed the tablet to the admiral whose countenance took on the resignation of knowing what he was about to read. The admiral scanned the short report.
     "Two Class IV Imperials?"
     "Aye, sir, listing and afire on the far side of Eden, along with what we think is the debris from several smaller escort ships."
     "Have we taken a count of the 523rd's ships?"
     "All accounted for, sir."
     The admiral's smile was gone, but he was still relieved that he hadn't lost any of his survey ships. He signed off on the tablet, handing it to the young officer.
     "Very well, ensign. Carry on."
     The ensign saluted and walked swiftly back to his duties.
     His fingers intertwined behind his head, the admiral sat back in his chair and looked out the window at the stars toward the planet Eden. He knew the 523rd's handy work, but he forced himself not to think about it. He sat there, cloaking those thoughts by reciting to himself, "Just another routine day. Just another routine day...."

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chapter 3: Competent Captain

     General Kur, flanked by his guard, walked up to Captain Sardon who had been waiting at the back of the main bridge.
      "Sardon, do you have that imagery I commanded?"
     "Yes, General. Kur, right here."
     The captain handed Kur a small stack of photos. The general scanned each picture, quickly flipping though the stack; he did everything quickly -- crisp and efficient --  he did not want to fail the Emperor. He appeared indifferent to what he saw, he always appeared indifferent, never betraying his own emotions. Captain Sardon stood patiently at attention. He knew he was in trouble, but he also knew he had good reasons for his recent failure.
     "And these are the ships that attacked your patrol, Captain?"
     "Yes, General."
     Kur pulled a photo from the pack, and handed it to the young captain. Sardon held it as Kur pointed to a portion of the dark image,"
     "Tell me, Captain, what is that under the nose of this vessel?"
     "That seems to be some new secret ultra weapon the Galacteers have rigged to this ship, sir. The enemy squadron was small and isolated. My officers and I concluded it was lost. After a quick analysis of  the enemy, I determined we should commence a full attack in the name of the Emperor. I called for Captain Banipal's squadron to assist, and together we attacked.We did not notice the ultra weapons until it was too late, General."
     "You were correct in your tactical decision, Captain."
     Kur took his eyes off the photo to look at Sardon, "But this is not an ultra weapon on this ship, Captain."
     Kur snatched the photo from Sardon's hands, crumpled it up and dropped it to the ground as he spoke with a kind voice to the young captain.
     "What you think is an ultra weapon is actually a long-range microwave koniscope, used to determine the dust content of a nebula."
     Sardon eye's revealed his new predicament. His horrified mind raced for excuses as Kur pulled out more photos, one at a time, crumpling each while he explained their contents. The general's voice was still gentle.
     "And here we have a beta-gamma actinometer, and here a coronagraph, here a statoscope -- Captain, your ships were destroyed by a squadron of fighter scouts and galactic surveyors."
     "No, sir, they were superior armed enemy warships, um, they ...uh .. space torpedoes, ultra weapons..."
     Kur interrupted, "Captain, do you have a anything  you would like to tell the Emperor?"
     "General? Sir, the Emperor?!"
     Kur snapped a simple motion to the guards, who each grabbed one of Sardon's arms, immediately dragging the terrified captain away. "Please, General! Please no!! NOOOoooo!!"
    Kur looked at one of the photos, the only one he had not crumpled. In his still-kindly voice, he called to one of his subordinates as he examined the image of the small yellow-nosed ship launching it's torpedo payload.
   "Lieutenant, contact the capital. We'll need a replacement to command what's left of the late Sardon's squadron. And make sure they send me a competent captain this time."
   Kur crumpled up the last photo, crossed his arms behind his back and resumed his duties.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A quick look at the ships of the 523rd

Here are the ships of the 523rd, shown in their individual flight. Capt. Sagan pilots Bearded Lady in the First Flight.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

523rd Ship call signs

After months of being called Sagan's Sideshow as an insult by the fleet, Capt. Sagan finally embraced the name, even going so far as to give the ships new carnival/fair/sideshow-related call signs. Rather than being randomly assigned, the names are based on some defining characteristic of the ships.

Rip assigns rookies to the fighter ships, preferring veterans to make the more dangerous torpedo runs in the Class II ships. Thus, the fighters are named after carnival goers who were usually given derisive names by the carnis. There is nothing different about these fighters; the names simply identify which flight they are escorting.

Since the two support ships (a freighter and tanker) carry all the "prized" supplies the squadron needs, they are called Bear and Banana (two popular prizes from Rip's favorite child-hood fair.)

Lastly, a minor note: Rip calls Bag Man and Fixer his Helper Monkeys -- or just the Monkeys -- since they are usually left to do all the duties outside of combat -- fleet shuttles, rescue boats, torpedo transports etc.

Command Flight: "Back yard" (Since the command flight stays back away from the action, it is named using the slagn word for a back lot of a fair or carnival.)
Class III Strong Man (being the biggest ship in the squadron)
Class II Bag Man (This ship and fixer act as smaller command ships keeping an eye on things and setting up attacks and strategy. If Rip doesn't make a torpedo run on his own, he will be in one of these ships.)
Class II Fixer 
Class Is Elmers (gullible carnival goers)

Flight One: "Pretty Ladies"
Class II Bearded Lady (After the large sensor-filled bow of this ship)
Class II Aunt Sally (Antenna from the nose mimicks the pipe from the carni game)
Class Is Chumps (gullible carnival goers)

Flight two: "Oddities"
Class II Freak Show (after the odd satellite dish on the prow)
Class II Hunchback (sensor hump on top of the fuselage)
Class Is Rubes (more gullible carnival goers)

Flight three: "Geeks"
Class II Popeye (port sensor pod has visual equipment)
Class II Cyclops (prow contains a large camera)
Class Is Townies (and more gullible rookies- I mean carnival goers)