APAGear II Archives Volume 3, Number 10 November, 2001


3rd Black Talon: Return to Caprice


Dennis Kirkpatrick

Author's Preface

This is the first submission of the proposal that I submitted last month for an online Tac-Pac for the Black Talons. You can find that proposal here. Future submissions will continue to flesh this proposal out into a full draft work. Enjoy this first installment.

2.1 Scenario 1: Practice makes Perfect

After a long night of scouting out the best strategy for assaulting a Mock Rover camp positioned on a small plateau in the Badlands. The 3rd Talons are left with few options, having been forced to traverse through very rough passage of narrow valleys and canyon formations to avoid enemy scouting patrols. Though, it was a long night, the 3rd has successfully positioned themselves past the Rover scouting patrols without being detected and are now in position to assault the camp from the west. Dawn has come and gone, the time for the practice assault is now.

game map

Mission Conditions

This is a Black Talon Training session. All weapon systems are equipped with tagging sensors and laser optics to simulate combat. Hand grenades, missiles and mortars are armed with non-lethal strobe-flash explosives that will register on all tagging sensors in proximity of the simulated blast. All vibro-weapons have been removed from gears as safeguards.

Prior to Talon team setup on the board, the Rover Force must place 25 command-detonated mines locations on a separate mapsheet. This mapsheet should be kept secret from the Talon team players. The GM or mutually trusted player should be assigned to administrate the fair play of the mines and their locations.

The Primary Rover Group guarding the campsite (Group 1) must start with 100 meters (skirmish-scale) of the center of the map. Roll two D6 (one for Scouting Group 2, the other for Scouting Group 3). The scouting parties may then enter the board from opposite sides of the map, one from the North and the other from the South, at their designated turns.

The Rover forces are ordered to destroy all the Talon gears and hold the Eastern Ridge for at least 20 turns. After 20 turns, they are then allowed to retreat, but retreat is not necessary. The Talon team is assigned to destroy the Rover presence before they can retreat and occupy the camp. The Talon team should enter from the Western edge.

Weather:                Day
Time of Day:            Morning
Base Terrain:           Badlands
Raiding Force:          Black Talons
Defending Force:        Rover Group
Priority Points:        5
Raider Objectives:      Destroy Rover presence
Defender Objectives:    Defend position for 20 turns

3rd Talon Team

Total Threat Value: 4900

Talon Leader
1 x Pale Warrior* (level 3)

Wind Group
3 x "Koreshi" Pale Warrior* (level 2)

Fire Group
1 x "Shiva" Pale Warrior* (level 3)
2 x Pale Warrior* (level 2)

*GM or players may also choose to roll on the Vehicle Availability Table for specific configurations and adjust Threat Values accordingly.

Mock Rover Force

Total Threat Value: 4800

25 secretly placed command-detonated general-purpose mines

Garrison Group 1
1 x Warrior (level 3)
2 x Hunter (level 2)
1 x Badger APC (Rover Command, level 3)
2 x Elan with VLAC(T, 50 shots) (level 2)
5 x Wallaby ATV with VLMG(FF, 50 shots) (level 2)
2 x Heavy Weapons Squad (Qualified)

Scouting Group 2
1 x Jager Command Hero (level 3)
2 x Jager (level 2)

Scouting Group 3
2 x Caiman APC (level 2)
2 x Heavy Weapons Squads (Rookie)

Black Talon Victory Conditions

Conditions                  Victory Points
Each Rover enemy killed              2
Rover Command killed or disabled         3
Each Rover enemy escaping           -1
Each Talon gear killed              -5
Rover Group retreat before 20 turns      5

Mock Rover Group Victory Conditions

Conditions                  Victory Points
Each Talon gear killed               5
Each Rover enemy escaping            3
Each Rover enemy killed             -5
Rover Group retreat before 20 turns     -10

4.3.1 PA-01BT Pale Warrior

Following the destruction of Peace River in the bowels of the Karaq Wastes PARD facility, the frames of over two dozen Warrior MIII gears remained unfinished, waiting for completion. However, their futures would be quite different than originally planned before the destruction of Peace River. Thanks to the generosity of the PRDF to the fledgling Talon program, the Warrior gears were among the first gears to be commissioned into the Black Talons.

Outfitted with a balanced weapon payload and an ECM suite, the Warriors began serving as early training vehicles to the Black Talons, allowing them to practice the hit and run tactics that they would need on Caprice. As Hunters and Jagers began arriving from the poles over the next several months, the Warriors were slowly phased out of the training program into garrison duty, their EMC capabilities seen as useful in such capacity around the Karaq Waste facility. However, at DuBeau-Slovenski's request (prompted by former-PRDF and now Black Talon pilots), the Warriors were shifted into TalonWerks second-line gear production facility for refit, improving armor, adding stealth sheathing and increasing engine torque for greater payload capacity. Within months, the modified Warriors began serving with great success under Talon operations around TerraNova, providing a means to curb the CEF's activities within Badland's rover gangs, Northern criminal cartels and Southern smugglers.

With the eventful release of the first Dark series gears, all the second-line gears began to be named "pale" in comparison to their advanced counterparts by engineering staff and pilots alike. The "pale" naming convention eventually became official. The Pale Warrior is in widespread use within the Black Talon Terranovan operations, particularly within the Badlands where the machine is best suited, assisting the PRDF in anti-rover activities. Sometimes modified for the jungles of the South*, the Pale Warrior and its various configurations are reequiped with a vibro-machette and sealed armor and joints for underwater maneuvers.

See Into the Badlands p.102-103 or Black Talon Field Guide p.72-73 for original specifications on the Warrior.

Vehicle Specifications

                  Code Name: Pale Warrior
            Production Code: PA-03BT
            Production Type: Mass Production/Limited Production
                       Cost: 1,180,000 marks
               Manufacturer: Paxton Industries/TalonWerks
                        Use: Soldier Gear w/ Stealth
                     Height: 4.3 meters
                      Width: 3.0 meters
    Average armor thickness: 46mm
             Armor Material: Durasheet w/ Advanced Composites
Standard operational weight: 6,700 kg
      Primary Movement Mode: Walk (43 kph)
    Secondary Movement Mode: Ground (73 kph)
           Deployment Range: 550km
               Sensor Range: 60 hexes/3 km
       Communications Range: 240 hexes/12 km
                 Powerplant: PMW-V620 V-engine
                 Horsepower: 620 Hp


   Add: MAC (F, 40 shots), MRP/9 (FF, 9 rockets),
        DPG (F, 30 shots), Double Towing 
        Capacity, Reinforced Location Armor (R2,
        Crew), Stealth (R2)
Remove: LAC, LRP/24
Change: Armor (15/30/45)
    TV: 740
   OTV: 750
   DTV: 300
   MTV: 1200

Jungle Conversion: Change HEP: Desert for HEP: Underwater, add Limited
Life Support, and replace the vibroblade (VB) with a vibrosword (VS).
Add +40 TV.

Vehicle Availability

     Field Deployment: Common
Individual Lemon Dice: 2

Common Configurations


The "Koreshi" configuration is meant to enhance the Pale Warrior's anti-rover abilities. Adding the arm-mounted machine gun and single-shot panzerfausts, allows the gear to better engage infantry and light armor alike. The rocket pack was reduced from the 71mm MRP to a higher capacity 52mm Paxton RP-117, providing greater saturation fire for raids and ambushes. While, the Rucker Group RF-12 Rifle gives the gear limited sniper ability. The Koreshi is one of the most common configurations used in the field, fulfilling a "jack of all trades" role.

   Add: MRF (F, 25 shots), LRP/16 (FF, 16 shots), 
        LMG (F, 200 shots), 3 x MPZ
Remove: MAC, MRP/9, HG, Double Towing Capacity
Change: -
    TV: 650

Field Deployment: Common


The Valkrie is a variant that has only seen limited deployment. The weapon configuration attempts to merge fire-support and fast-strike capabilities through the combination of a 90mm field mortar and the Paxton RFL-2 rapid-fire bazooka. Most pilots have difficulty playing both roles simultaneously; thus the configuration has enjoyed limited popularity despite its success on the battlefield.

   Add: RFB (F, 30 shots), LFM (FF, 9 shots)
Remove: MAC, HG, Double Towing Capacity
Change: -
    TV: 850

Field Deployment: Rare


The Beowulf is the Pale Warrior's anti-armor configuration. Most often deployed when skirmishes against CEF hovertanks and frames are expected, the Beowulf configuration is an effective anti-armor gear when backed up by fellow teammates in other configurations. Without team support, the gear performs only fairly, even in the hands of an experienced pilot.

   Add: LPLC (F, 20 shots), 2 x HPZ (F),
        Annoyance (laser takes twice normal to recharge
        from V-engine)
Remove: MAC, HG, Double Towing Capacity
Change: - 
    TV: 840

Field Deployment: Rare


The Shiva configuration was first used during an urban raid on a remote Eastern Desert Oasis Tower Cluster. The skirmish is still considered a poorly executed raid by Black Talon Command. The battle with entrenched CEF forces, resulted in the complete destruction of the facilities by the resultant fires. One of the Shivas used in the raid and the Talon gear's pilot were lost, along with over one hundred civilians to an underground cave-in due to the fires. Urban raids are a rarity for the Black Talons, and greater caution has been executed to avoid such confrontations. Since that time, the Shiva configuration has only been deployed twice more since that time, during jungle operations within the Humanist Alliance.

   Add: FGC (F, 20 shots), 2 x LRP/16 (FF, 16 shots),
        2 x HPZ (F), 3 x SDG
Remove: MAC, MRP/9, HG, DPG, Double Towing 
Change: -
    TV: 750

Field Deployment: Very Rare


Early on, it became clear that the Talons needed the ability to affect surgical strikes on the hidden CEF bases throughout TerraNova. The Yeoman configuration helps answer this need by acting as the spotter gear for the highly-effective Shadowhawk cruise missile. Working as forward observer, the Yeoman can stealthily get into a hotzone, tag its targets and then get out, fighting its way out if required. An important hit-and-run configuration, the Yeoman has had great success in field, although, it is still rarely seen in the field due to the expensive electronic systems and limited availability of the Showdowhawk cruise missile.

   Add: 3 x MPZ (F), Target Designator (F, R6), Satellite Uplink
Remove: MRP/9, Double Towing Capacity
Change: -
    TV: 1200

Field Deployment: Extremely Rare

4.4.X Vehicle Availability Table

If the GM wants help randomizing the availability of various vehicle configurations, use the table listed below. Roll the number of dice equal to the pilot's tactical skill (i.e. level 3, roll three dice).

1 Standard
2 Standard
3 Standard, Common
4 Standard, Common
5 Standard, Common
6 Standard, Common, Rare
7 Standard, Common, Rare, Very Rare
8 Standard, Common, Rare, Very Rare, Extremely Rare
9 Any

Next Month

Next month: Practice makes Perfect II!

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APAGear II Archives Volume 3, Number 10 November, 2001