Saturday, 4 April 2020

Battletech - Clan Fire Madrill




Clan Fire Mandrill


When IlKhan Kerensky chose to form the twenty Clans, he selected former Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery Officer Raymond Sainze as senior Khan of Clan Fire Mandrill, and declared the much younger Laura Payne as his junior saKhan . 


History

The early splitting of Fire Mandrill warriors into cliques would lead to the Kindred Associates, later known as the Kindraa. 

The Mandrills would conduct a series of pre-trials to determine the quantity of supplies and resources they would utilize in Operation Klondike. The Clan's cluster that would be used in the campaign were subsequently armed with BattleMechs. 

The Fire Mandrills were assigned to assault the Pentagon world of Dagda, along with Clans Burrock, Goliath Scorpion and Widowmaker. However, ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky would initially put the invasion of the planet on hold due to a helium tank rupture on one of the Invasion Forces' JumpShips. 

During the post-campaign debriefings, the Clan was criticized by ilKhan Kerensky for its internal squabbling and waste of critical resources. 

Like their fellows, the Fire Mandrills also expanded and improved upon the military technology of the Star League, but their fractious nature limited their efforts to a modestly enhanced version of the Flamer.

The Golden Century saw the destruction of Kindraa Jewel-Smythe at the hands of Clan Hell's Horses and Clan Coyote in retribution for dishonourable bidding in a previous Trial.

As the Golden Century ended, the Fire Mandrills had lapsed into semi-isolation. They had little contact with other Clans and were mainly concerned with their own internal conflicts. When the Crusader and Warden movements developed among the Clans, the Fire Mandrills split along Kindraa lines. Crusader and Warden Kindraa soon came to blows as they sought to resolve their philosophical differences by defeating their rivals on the battlefield. Kindraa Sainze championed the Crusader cause and eventually rose to dominate the Clan, reducing the strength of the staunchest Warden Kindraas through a mixture of fighting and politics.

Most Mandrills were in the Crusader camp by the time that the Grand Council took the vote to invade the Inner Sphere, and so Clan Fire Mandrill voted in the affirmative. Due to their factionalism the Mandrills fought Trials among themselves to determine who would represent the Clan, shattering their own Touman. As a result they fared poorly when it came to the placement Trials arranged by the Grand Council, defeating Clan Ice Hellion but losing to Clan Coyote and Clan Star Adder. Not even placing well enough to earn a slot as a reserve Clan, the Fire Mandrills sat out Operation Revival entirely. 

The Fire Mandrills fought against the Capellan Red Lancers in the Great Refusal. The Binary that the Clan fielded was an ad-hoc mixture of different Kindraa representatives and proved unable to coordinate effectively on the battlefield. The Red Lancers isolated one Star and destroyed it before moving on to the other. 

For the first half of the 3060s Khan Amanda Carrol attempted to unite the fractious Kindraa, but deep divides between Wardens and Crusaders meant all her efforts came to nothing in the end. After a great deal of bitter in-fighting the Clan Council held a vote of no confidence in their Khan in 3066. Amanda Carrol stepped down and was replaced by Garret Sainze within a year. 

3067 saw the mergers of several Kindraa. Kindraa Mick-Kreese-Kline was formed in the aftermath of a disastrous campaign against Clan Star Adder. The other major merger was the formation of Kindraa Payne-Beyl-Grant. This was the result of the violent struggles between Warden and Crusader Kindraa, with Kindraa Sainze battering Kindraas Beyl-Grant and Payne so badly that these two Warden kindraas joined in order to resist the attacks and maintain a strong Warden bloc in their Clan. 

When the next Grand Council was convened in late February, 3071, the severity of the Blakist assault upon Clan Wolf's capital Tamar spurred the Clans into electing a new ilKhan. Clan Star Adder and Clan Steel Viper suggested Garret Sainze for the post, not because they believed him fit for the role but simply to make their own candidate, Star Adder Khan Stanislov N'Buta, appear as a sane choice next to the fiery and headstrong Mandrill. Sainze won the ilKhanship anyway; his shocking victory was due to a single vote, that of Diamond Shark Khan Barbara Sennet, who wanted to prevent the 'Snake Alliance' from dominating the Grand Council. 

Sainze's first (and as it turned out, last) motion as ilKhan was to address the issue of the Great Refusal. Furious at the foiling of their plans, the Adder Khans led their power bloc in voting to uphold the results; combined with abstentions from Clans concerned about arousing the Adders' wrath, the Great Refusal remained in place. Disgusted at the entire political circus taking place, Clan Goliath Scorpion Khan Ariel Suvorov declared a Trial of Refusal against Sainze's election as ilKhan, declaring him an incompetent leader with delusions of glory. 

With no choice but to accept or lose what little respect he had left, Sainze met Suvorov's forces on Shadow. In a three-day campaign four Clusters from the Fire Mandrills battled a like number of Goliath Scorpions; by the end of the fighting Sainze had perished, along with most of his Kindraa's warriors. 

After his demise, Clan Cloud Cobra issued a Trial of Reaving on Sainze's Bloodname, citing his failure as ilKhan and in defending his right to the post. In a narrow victory against the 149th Cobra Guards Khan Amanda Carrol and Kindraa Mick-Kline-Kreese-Sainze managed to defend Garret Sainze's legacy from Reaving.

Clan Fire Mandrill arrived in a much-weakened state to the Grand Council in December 3071, with all Clans in attendance. Voting with Clans Blood Spirit, Goliath Scorpion, and Steel Viper, Khan Carrol voted to refute the Great Refusal. With only Clans Ice Hellion, Hell’s Horses, Ghost Bear, Coyote and Diamond Shark voting against it, the Great Refusal was finally declared null and void. 



In mid-December, the Fire Mandrills declared Trials of Reaving against the Snuka and Vong Bloodnames on Arcadia. However, the remainder of Kindraa Payne-Beyl-Grant’s touman were summarily destroyed by the 4th Bear Regulars and saKhan Aletha Kabrinski’s Silverroot Keshik.  Later Kindraa Mattila-Carrol's 64th Firestrom Cluster and the 14th Scorpion Grenadiers overwhelmed Clan Coyote on Glory, winning half of Clan Coyote's holdings there. 

In January 3072 Clans Steel Viper and Goliath Scorpion arrived on Shadow to carry out the ilKhan assigned Reaving of Kindraa Mick-Kline-Kreese-Sainze, with the help of Clan Coyote's enclave on planet. The resulting defeat of saKhan Dakar Mick however was to be more of a surprise to all Clans. Not only did Clan Coyote's assault only last just 36 hours, it was due to the 3-1 odds and new ProtoMech designs. In addition, as the Kindraa's warriors presented themselves to the Coyotes they reacted by slaughtering all in attendance, including the attendant Viper and Goliath Scorpion warriors. The Mandrills would be the first victim of The Society. 

The Fire Mandrills lost the 301st Firebrand Cluster to the Dark Caste on Marshall in early December. Starving, as there had been no supplies arriving, they attempted to strike both Immesha and Ommesha in force. Thinking they would only fight the besieged Ice Hellions they ran straight into the guns of two Dark Caste Septs and were quickly disabled. With the only Mandrill forces on planet captured, the Dark Caste claimed their Enclave. 




Culture

The Kindraa was the central element to any Fire Mandrill's existence, with its leader exercising the same power as a Clan Khan and the Clan itself a distant second in allegiance. The superiority complex each Kindraa felt over the others was such that they rarely utilized genetic material from outside their ranks, at the price of bloodline stagnation. Rumors circulated that a few Kindraa used freeborn DNA in their breeding programs to counter this. 

The Mandrills' xenophobia extended to other Clans, as inter-Clan contacts were kept to a minimum and Clan Diamond Shark intermediaries were often used as a bridge between Mandrill merchants and other Clans. Bondsmen taken captive were rarely adopted into the warrior caste and instead used in civilian roles. Mandrills taken by other Clans, warrior or civilian, tended to be uncooperative, and Kindraa Sainze warriors were expected to commit their own form of bondsref (akin to seppuku) to avoid captivity. 

The fractiousness of the Kindraa meant that the Clan's economy was highly compartmentalized but extremely inefficient in other ways. Duplication of various roles within each Kindraa resulted in much Clan-wide wastage and little opportunity or means for the scientist caste to innovate, forcing the merchant and warrior castes to provide new technologies and materials via external sources instead. As the result, the merchants gained some influence and inter-caste relations as a whole were generally good, with warriors (aside from those of Kindraa Sainze) willing to help civilians with any necessary tasks. Despite this, there was no doubt that the warrior caste was firmly in charge of the Clan.




Inter-Clan Relations



Throughout its existence, Clan Fire Mandrill contemptuously eschewed cooperation with others, and only with two Clans, Blood Spirit and Diamond Shark, did the Clan collectively establish anything close to a good relationship. Regarding the destruction of Kindraa Smythe-Jewel, Clan Hell's Horses was viewed as having a legitimate reason for their annihilation of a Kindraa, but the Coyotes were disparaged as opportunists. Constant raiding by Clans Burrock and Smoke Jaguar in the years before Revival resulted in long-term hostilities with these Clans, while the Mandrills' poor performance in the pre-invasion trials led to disparaging insults from Clan Steel Viper that escalated into a full-fledged feud until their annihilation.





Kindraa Payne


Kindraa Payne had traditionally been one of the strongest kindraas in Clan Fire Mandrill.  Kindraa Payne was composed entirely of MechWarriors. They were also strong adherents to the Warden political movement.  They frequently came into conflict with Kindraa Sainze. Kindraa Payne didn't use Elementals, using conventional infantry and vehicles instead. They also lacked AeroSpace Fighters, employing just enough to protect their WarShip.
Though they only had two front line and one second line Clusters throughout most of their history, the quality of their warriors was such that they could maintain a large amount of influence over their fellow Kindraa. In fact cadets undergoing a Trial of Position faced heavy and assault class 'Mechs. In addition, the Payne warriors often engaged in Trials of Possession for the best Bloodnames of other Clans. Though they weren't always successful, facing off against such high-quality warriors resulted in the Paynes gathering experience quickly. 




Kindraa Beyl-Grant

Kindraa Beyl-Grant was one of two Clan Fire Mandrill Kindraa built around AeroSpace forces. It was known for the high quality of its AeroSpace pilots. Freeborns in this Kindraa could not become MechWarriors due to a lack of resources. In 3062 the Beyl-Grant Kindraa began to develop a rivalry with Kindraa Mick-Kreese, but the rivalry was limited to their WarShips and neither side was moving towards a serious confrontation.
Kindraa Beyl-Grant leaned towards the Warden side of the Clan political spectrum. In 3066 Kindraa Beyl-Grant inadvertently destroyed the Mandrill's newfound unity when they challenged for the position of saKhan in an attempt to bring more Warden causes before the Clan Council. Kindraa Sainze, holder of the office, was infuriated and struck at the Beyl-Grant with three Clusters. The fighting was fierce and Beyl-Grant stood a good chance of being annihilated but Kindraa Payne and Kindraa Faraday-Tanaga intervened and forced the Sainze warriors to withdraw. 


Kindraa Payne-Beyl-Grant

After the disastrous assaults of Kindraa Sainze against Kindraa Beyl-Grant, the Paynes formed an alliance with the Beyl-Grants. In June 3066 Kindraa Beyl-Grant and Kindraa Payne merged, forming the first "ilKindraa" Kindraa Payne-Beyl-Grant.


In 3069 Kindraa Payne-Beyl-Grant launched a series of Trials of Possession for various Coyote holdings on Shadow and the Savage Coyote factory on Foster. Despite outnumbering the Coyotes nearly two-to-one the Kindraa could not force the Coyotes off of Shadow. The fighting was both on the planet and in the surround space. The Reaver broke zellbrigen when it exchanging a broadside with the Coyotes’ Windrunner, that was not part of bid. The Coyotes declared the Kindraa forces dezgra and wiped out the Seventeenth Auxiliary and First Striker Payne Clusters. 



In December 3071 the Fire Mandrills declared Trials of Reaving against the Snuka and Vong Bloodnames. Supported by the CFM Anathema the Mandrills dropped the remainder of Kindraa Payne-Beyl-Grant’s touman on to the planet of Arcadia where they were destroyed by the Fourth Bear Regulars and saKhan Aletha Kabrinski’s Silverroot Keshik.

Friday, 3 April 2020

Battletech - Mercenaries




Mercenaries





A Mercenary is a soldier for hire, a warrior who fights not for a particular cause or goal but for material gain. In the Inner Sphere, private, contracted military units have been doing a lot of the fighting. Some are only in it for the cash, some for principle, but, whatever the reason, mercenary forces run the gamut from some the most disreputable to some the most elite troops available. Many mercenary companies do not survive their first battle, but dozens have gone on to become successful, trusted units that form key parts of their employers' defences. 



History

Mercenaries have played a role in the history of human warfare since the beginning, though there had been a general decline in their use towards end of the second millennium. That changed in the twenty-third century as interstellar exploration and the rise of neo-feudalism created a demand for trained soldiers to fight in what became known as the Age of War. The Reunification War and the formation of the Star League brought about an age of relative peace, again decreasing the demand for hired guns. Mercenaries were still valuable as deniable assets in the Hidden Wars between the Great Houses, but there was little respect for the profession, with many units little more than "fly-by-night" operations.




That all changed after the Amaris Civil War. Rather than try to reconstitute the League by force, Aleksandr Kerensky and nearly 80% of the surviving Star League Defence Force chose exile in 2784. Of those SLDF units which remained behind, many hired themselves out to whichever Great House was willing to pay the most for their services. Those services were soon put to the test with the outbreak of the Succession Wars.  Shortly after it started, the newly-formed ComStar created the Mercenary Review Board, a neutral arbitrator for both mercenaries and employers alike.



In their quest to seize the throne of the Star League during the Succession Wars, the Great Houses abandoned the Ares Conventions and committed murder on an unimaginable scale, rendering whole worlds lifeless and erasing centuries of technological progression.



Ironically, it was mercenaries who played a role in trying to save humanity from itself, though not necessarily out of noble purpose. Seeking to protect their livelihood, many mercenaries began using their contracts to police their employers, refusing to take missions which violated the Ares Conventions. Mercenaries were responsible for reviving the tradition of offering opponents the chance to surrender and pay a "ransom" so they could return home. Eventually, all factions within the Inner Sphere and Periphery had adopted to one degree or another a code of conduct called the Honours of War. Also known simply as the Conventions, these guidelines were based on the Ares Conventions and mercenary practices which promoted fair dealing and limited warfare.  And it was a mercenary unit, the Gray Death Legion, which recovered the Helm Memory Core in 3028 and opened the door for the Inner Sphere to start recovering much of the lostech which had disappeared over centuries of constant fighting.


The Clan Invasion was as devastating to those mercenaries caught in its path as it was to the Great Houses which suddenly found themselves the target of the SLDF's descendants: of the 108 mercenary regiments which faced the Clans in front-line combat, nearly a third were totally destroyed.  It also revealed the secret origin of Wolf's Dragoons, one of the most celebrated mercenary units in history, as forward scouts for the invasion but who nevertheless chose to side with the Inner Sphere against their Clan brethren. Mercenaries like the Dragoons and Kell Hounds were instrumental in defeating the Clans during the Battle of Luthien, and with trust in ComStar lost after the ComStar Schism the Dragoons helped to create the Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission to replace the MRB. Mercenaries played an important role in the destruction of Clan Smoke Jaguar and ending the Clan threat during Operations Bulldog and Serpent, and some went "legitimate" by helping to form a new SLDF.[5][9] In the years after, mercenaries continued to help defend against Clan incursions, but once again soon found themselves caught up in the power struggles of the Inner Sphere: mercenaries fought in the FedCom Civil War, the Capellan-St. Ives War, and operated in the Chaos March region, among other battlefronts.




Composition

Mercenary units come in all shapes and sizes, though for the most part conforming to standard Inner Sphere military structure. Most employ BattleMechs, not least because these units get the most "bang for their buck" in terms of versatility and ability to accomplish a variety of missions, but others may instead employ other units like Combat Vehicles or Infantry. However, few mercenary formations will utilize just a single unit type, as each has its own important role to play in the completion of the mission and the formation's survival. Even a single 'Mech Lance operating on its own can expect to employ a number of scouts necessary for performing reconnaissance or sabotage missions and support personnel to keep their machines working.


Most successful 'Mech mercenary units employ a variety of different weight types and mission profiles in order to maximize their fighting potential. Depending on where they originated some units will feature designs associated with that region of space (i.e. a unit from the Free Worlds League might have more Trebuchets than typical), but given the nomadic lifestyle and reliance of salvage this does not necessarily hold true. Most units lack the resources to buy the latest designs available to House forces, and with few exceptions don't have the technical knowledge to salvage Clantech, instead selling captured examples to the Great Houses in exchange for Inner Sphere equipment. Many will include a fair number of conventional assets attached to support the 'Mech forces, whether it's swift hovertanks spearheading an assault, VTOLs scouting the enemy's position, Jump Infantry performing anti-'Mech attacks or special forces operating deep behind enemy lines.  Some units such as artillery and conventional fighters are less common among mercenary commands yet still find a place in their ranks. Perhaps the most rare are Land-Air 'Mechs, with only the wealthiest able to maintain even a handful of such machines.



Mercenaries make a point of securing their own transport, as to do otherwise requires relying on the good graces of their employers. Many own their own DropShips, preferably enough to carry the entire formation, allowing them to make planetary assaults and retreat from losing battles of their own volition. Having to hire out for DropShip transport can quickly get expensive: chartering a single Union for a one-jump trip in 3059 could cost 150,000 C-Bills, more if multiple jumps are involved.  However, the rarity and expense of JumpShips means only the most successful mercenaries are able to purchase one for their use. For everyone else, the standard rate in 3059 of 50,000 C-bills per DropShip per jump is one cost they must bear.  On the other hand, most mercenaries give a low priority to employing Aerospace Fighters, generally seeing them as a poor return on their investment and more willing to rely on their employers to provide aerospace support, though even the most 'Mech-oriented mercenary commander will include some in their organization.


Perhaps the most important part of a mercenary formation are the support and administrative personnel which help keep it going: those commanders hoping for long-term success will recruit a technician as vigorously as they would a MechWarrior. Many mercenary formations cannot afford a support staff large enough to cover 100% of their needs, but will ensure a majority is kept in-house to avoid having to rely too heavily on expensive outside support.  Ideally, each 'Mech or fighter will have its own technician assigned to maintain it, with assistant technicians to assist them (at least one Astech for every two Techs), but not every mercenary formation is so lucky.  Mercenaries also try to maintain a ratio of one medical personnel for every twenty, though whether these are simple paramedics or full surgeons will depend on what they can afford.


Other important administrative positions include secretaries, accountants, and contract negotiators; smaller commands will often have officers or NCOs pull double-duty in these positions, but those which can afford their services benefit greatly from having a dedicated support staff.



The Business of War 

How mercenary commands are created varies tremendously. Often they might be the remnants of a defeated army looking for a new purpose, or members of a professional force who desert on account of political or economic differences with their leaders.  On occasion, a Great House might purposefully create a mercenary command out of its own units to serve as a deniable asset...with the risk that these "mercenaries" might turn their fictional status into reality and go independent.  For most soldiers of fortune though, their choice to turn mercenary was not out of greed or nobility but a desire for freedom, whether it's the freedom to be their own boss or freedom from social conventions.  Often a mercenary unit is founded by a charismatic officer and their core group of supporters - such as family members or friends made at the academy - going out and recruiting new members and purchasing what equipment they need to form their unit.


Keeping a mercenary unit running requires securing a profitable contract, which can be difficult at times: with variations in interstellar travel and politics, a mercenary command might be lucky to work eight months out of the year.  While many worlds can be said to operate a Hiring Hall where mercenaries and prospective employers can meet to arrange business, only certain planets have a reputation for offering steady work and the best mercenaries money can buy.  For many years Galatea was the premier mercenary hiring centre, the original Mercenary's Star, though it has since had to share that honour with Outreach and the rise of the Dragoons' MRBC.  Other planets which have operated hiring halls at one time or another include Solaris VII, Arc-Royal and Northwind.



The types of contracts which might be available can run the gamut of military and covert operations: training militia units, pirate hunting, conducting planetary invasions, assassinations, reconnaissance, objective raids, and counter-insurgency to name a few. The best types are those which are specific in the rights and obligations of both employer and mercenary, and hashing out the particulars is an important role for the negotiators on both sides. One point of negotiations is how long a contract will last, whether a single month to conduct a raid or a retainer agreement for at least a year or more.  Command rights are another important point, with a mercenary unit operating fully autonomously at one end of the spectrum to fully integrated into the employer's armed forces at the other. Transportation is also a major sticking point, as mercenaries do not want to be fully reliant on their employer to get to (and more importantly get out of) the mission location, while employers who lack transport of their own might have to reimburse mercenaries up to half the cost of using commercial transport. Salvage rights can sometimes make or break a contract, with mercenaries preferring to keep as much as they can get while employers often seek ways to recoup some of the costs of hiring mercenaries. How much an employer will reimburse a mercenary's technical support also plays an important role in the contract: some employers might pay a straight percentage cost of the tools, materials, and salaries of the technicians, or cover a specific percentage of battlefield losses under a battle-lose compensation arrangement. Finally there is the question of remuneration, the out-of-pocket expenses such as starport taxes or food purchases, though typically these costs are minor and rarely worth haggling over.


Once a contract is secured, ensuring the rest of the formation gets paid is just as important. Many commands pay their mercenaries on a monthly salary basis, with the risk that repeated failure to pay can cause some to quit or change sides.  These salaries are also kept as low as possible in order to keep costs down: one of the highest paid soldiers in a mercenary command, a MechWarrior, in the middle of the 31st century could expect a base average salary of just 18,000-19,000 C-bills a year (though veterans and officers could expect several times that amount).  Alternatively, some commands operate on a profit-sharing scheme, eliminating the problem of monthly salaries, but with the added issue of making each member of the command an 'investor' in the enterprise with voting rights on matters such as leadership.


Just as important as paying mercenaries is making sure their equipment keeps running, which is where many commands have run into problems. A single 'Mech can require up to 60 man-hours of maintenance a week, not including battle damage repairs.  Finding replacement parts and ammunition requires a degree of planning and forethought, as not every planet is going to be stocked with exactly what may be needed. Ideally a mercenary commander will have agreements set up with private contractors to provide a steady stream of supplies, but such agreements can quickly eat into profit margins. Many employers are also unhappy with such arrangements, whether because it makes the mercenaries too independent or opens a hole for sensitive intelligence to leak, and often put up roadblocks. Alternatively, a commander can agree to get her supplies directly from the employer to lower costs and increase margins, but with the additional risk of falling prey to the Company Store trap.



In the end, an average mercenary command might earn several million C-bills in a year, but with all the costs and expenses associated with the mercenary lifestyle that money can evaporate in a flash.  If a command gets into debt badly, it's very hard to get back into the black. Most financial institutions are loath to lend money to mercenaries and add significant mark-ups when they do: offering collateral equal to the cost of the loan can secure a "low" interest rate of 25%.  Given the dangers to mercenary commands both on and off the battlefield, it is no surprise then that many will meet ignoble ends. By one statistic, forty percent of all new mercenary commands are destroyed or dissolved within the first six months of their forming; sixty percent of those who make it past this point will suffer the same fate within their first year. 




Sunday, 29 March 2020

Battletech - Marian Hegemony





The Marian Hegemony



The origins of the Marian Hegemony lie from the demise of the old Alphard Trading Corporation during the Succession Wars. A Periphery native and lostech prospector named Johann Sebastian O'Reilly was searching for reputed lost caches of Star League technology on the planet Alphard rumoured to have been left behind by the defunct company when he instead found a treasure trove of germanium worth billions upon billions of C-Bills. 


History

Johann O'Reilly immediately hired some small mercenary units to protect his newly found wealth and established a colony to serve both as a trading hub and a distraction, diverting those who would follow from the location of his find. Despite the financial reserves Johann could draw on his new Hegemony was simply too small, unable to attract the defenders it would need to defend itself against larger states but too small to attract the attention of those states. As such, the Hegemony spent almost a century as little more than a bandit kingdom fashioned after a society that had been dead for millennia. 



Gaius O'Reilly, the son of Johann Sebastian O'Reilly, left little impression on the history of the Marian Hegemony; by the 3060s, he was primarily remembered for two things: being the father of Marius O'Reilly, and for dying an ignominious death in 3009 when his horse stumbled into a chuckhole, causing Gaius to break his neck. 

The arrival of the Fourth Succession War and the resulting changes within the Inner Sphere brought the fledgling Marian Hegemony new possibilities. With most of the various pirate bands concentrating on the Inner Sphere, the new Imperator, Marius O'Reilly, saw a good opportunity to expand his young nation. The Hegemony had spent a century preying upon nearby trade routes and worlds as a means of keeping the economy functioning. but the advent of the Fourth Succession War, and other more localized conflicts gave rise to opportunities for much more successful and ambitious raids. 

The Imperator proved to be popular with his citizens, and was widely considered to be a good ruler for the Hegemony; Marius' only major misstep was prompted by a failed assassination attempt against him, an assassination attempt that led to him ordering an ill-advised and unsuccessful invasion of the world of Astrokaszy.

Marius continued to expand the Hegemony through colonization efforts, marking a peaceful era for the Marian Hegemony, but one that also led to Marius' downfall. Marius O'Reilly died on a Marian colony world named Herculaneum in 3048; with his father's death officially declared to be the result of a "climbing accident", Sean O'Reilly became the new Imperator. The mourning period for Marius would be marked by intense speculation in the Hegemony that Sean had in fact been responsible for the death of his father.

When Sean emerged from the official mourning period, he abandoned the title of Imperator; instead, he proclaimed that he would rule as Caesar. Sean then promptly began a radical restructuring of the Marian state and government; no longer modelled after the ancient Roman Republic, Sean's intent was to instead model the Hegemony after the ancient Roman Empire. Sean dealt with those protesting against his increasingly dictatorial regime in one of two ways; either his critics and detractors were silenced through promises of great wealth, or they were silenced by the application of great force.  Sean also introduced conscription, ordering that all able-bodied males be conscripted into military service either at the age of seventeen or on completion of any higher education; while he exempted women from enforced conscription, women were allowed to join the military voluntarily.

Having secured his hold over the population, Sean embarked on an expansion of the Hegemony through conquest. To this effect, in 3054 he invaded the Lothian League,[5] a small nation of just seven planets founded by refugees from the Taurian Concordat in the aftermath of the Reunification War centuries before. In 3057, Sean O'Reilly invaded the world of Astrokaszy; he hoped to capture the planet with assistance from the Blakist faction known as the Sixth of June and then use the planet as a staging ground for later invasions. 



His son Julius, a recent graduate of the Collegium Bellorum Imperium, had been recently promoted to command a century in the First Legion. He quickly gained the attention of several powerful military leaders and Senators as well as attracting the notice of those working against Sean. Sean responded to Julius' rise by posting him out of the First Legion, promoting him to command the second cohort of the Second Legion. Julius' transfer and promotion were an effort to secure his own safety, but proved to be a significant mistake on Sean's part; the Second was based on the Lothian world of Lordinax, and Julius' arrival in June 3060 marked a turning point in his rise. 

When Julius arrived, the Second Legion was suffering repeated attacks from rebel forces and was rapidly becoming demoralized. Sean's first orders were for Julius to be sent on punitive raids against a number of Lothian settlements believed to be harbouring rebels, a campaign that Sean hoped would either see Julius killed or toughened up; instead, it led Julius to begin openly questioning the occupation of the League and his father's decisions.

Julius began to covertly build a power base within the Legion, promising an end to the Lothian troubles. Within a year of landing on Lordinax, Julius had ended the resistance and was ready to make his next move.

The conquest of the Palatinate lasted only a short while, as the small nation was only defended by two mercenary units, the Arms of Thor and Cavanaugh's Cavalry. The initial invasion was initially stopped by the determined and spirited defence offered by the Arms, and the Legions took heavy damage - but Julius was able to strike a deal with Cavanaugh's Commandos in which they would stand down in exchange for a payment and a place in the Hegemony Armed Forces. He left the Palatinate under the control of local citizens, and under the watchful guard of elements of the Third Legion and a full auxiliary legion, returning to Alphard as the conquering hero who had added new worlds to the Hegemony and ended the Lothian rebellion. 

Julius returned to the capital at the head of the Second and Fourth Legions, where he was hailed as a great hero and conqueror by the citizens of the Hegemony. In a dramatic speech to his people, Julius declared his father unfit to rule the Hegemony, and declared himself the new leader of the nation. The Senate confirmed his appointment by acclamation. 

However, Sean O'Reilly still lived, having holed up in his Palace with the entire of the First Legion. He refuted his son's claim to the throne and instructed the First to put down his son's rebellion. Less than half of the First obeyed Sean's orders, only to fall quickly beneath the advancing Second Legion on the 8th of August 3063; Julius confronted Sean in the throne room and offered him one final chance to abdicate in the face of his many misdeeds over the years, only for Sean to make one last attempt on Julius' life. Julius cut his father down personally.

Julius was inaugurated the following day and began his reign by ordering the implementation of a number of reforms, both social and military. The new Caesar's reforms didn't stop there; intent on making Marian society more "Roman", Julius created a new body, the Plebian Tribunate; while the plebs were still denied the right to vote on any subject other than the selection of planetary Tribunes, the Plebian Tribunate gave the plebs a voice of their own in the government. 

Under Julius' rule the Hegemony grip on the worlds of the former Illyrian Palatinate and Lothian League tightened, but Julius also established some freedoms for the inhabitants of those worlds that they hadn't possessed during their independent rule. 

Despite the reforms initiated by Julius and his focus on building both unity and goodwill within the Hegemony, Julius didn't give up his ambitions to expand the Hegemony by conquest as well. As Caesar, Julius intended to invade and annex the nearby Circinus Federation, with the groundwork for his invasion beginning to be laid in 3063.  The war was a victory for the Marian Hegemony, although it achieved less than Julius had hoped. 

In early 3069 the Marian Hegemony found itself facing potential revolt in the conquered Illyrian and Lothian provinces as both passive and active rebellions began spreading through both regions in a wave. 



During the Word of Blake Jihad, the Marian Hegemony fought the Blakists' proxies, the Circinus Federation, in a bloody conflict that saw the small Periphery holding vanquished and partially occupied by the victorious Marian troops. The Marian Hegemony also at some time gave the Lothian League back its freedom (as shown on maps dating from the 3120s), although the reasons are as yet unclear. 

It was reported in the media on Alphard in September 3077 that couriers from the Circinus Federation border of the Hegemony were bringing news that a Marian offensive against the Federation had died effectively stillborn, with probing attacks on the planets of Thadora's Land and Zorn's Keep being rebuffed by significantly stronger Federation forces. 

In the period immediately after the Jihad, the Marian Hegemony Armed Forces faced a period of rebuilding their strength after the damage inflicted during the attempted annexation of several Free Worlds League planets - the exception being V Legio, which had been struck from the rolls of the MHAF after defecting to become the principle military force of the new Lothian state.  While intelligence agencies hadn't confirmed the fact, Caesar Cassius O'Reilly had ordered that the Hegemony's military production should expand, to prevent a single deliberate attack destroying the bulk of the realm's industrial base, as had nearly happened once already.




Political and Social Structure

The Marian Hegemony is an absolute monarchy, with absolute power vested in the Caesar, who can enforce his will by decree. The Hegemony also has a Senate, composed of patricians from every world of the nation (although the number of Senators sent varies by population). The Senate itself acts as a debate forum that rubber-stamps the Caesar's decrees, although the support of its members is one of the factors that let Julius become Caesar. Initially, the Senate was restricted to only full Hegemony Worlds, but Caesar Julius granted the worlds of the Lothian League and Illyrian Palatinate full status and gave them Senators. 

The Hegemony itself is divided into three classes of people: the Patricians, the Plebeians, and the various slaves. The Patricians are the self-perpetuating nobility of the Hegemony. Only they can serve in the Senate of the Hegemony, and they also make up the upper command structure of the Legions.
Directly below them are the plebs, who serve as the middle and lower-class of the Hegemony. They have little political power, and rarely advance in the ranks of the bureaucracy or the military. Before Caesar Julius' reforms, they had no voice in their leaders' selection, but Julius allowed them to vote for Planetary Tribunes (Governors) and for a special People's Tribune to be sent to the Senate.
The Hegemony is one of the largest Periphery nations to practice slavery, and openly condones it. Most slaves are prisoners of war, however, as it is forbidden to buy or sell a citizen of the Hegemony.


Foreign Relations

Inner Sphere: The Free Worlds League and the Capellan Confederation are the only two Successor States that have any formal relations with the Marian Hegemony. In the past, Marian raids on Free Worlds League border planets kept relations between them chilly. The recent Taurian-Canopian alliance, however, has prompted Thomas Marik toward friendlier ties with the Hegemony as a possible counter to aggressive moves by the Magistracy of Canopus. Trade between the two states remains as healthy as it has always been Marik merchants eagerly buy germanium from the Hegemony, and sell any number of League-made goods to Hegemony customers. It is frequently said in the Hegemony that Marik merchants own the bazaars on the world of Suetonius. Following Thomas Marik's lead, the Capellan Confederation has also strengthened its ties to the Marian state.
Periphery: The Hegemony has almost no good relations with the other Periphery nations. Relations with the Magistracy of Canopus remain strained, due to a long history of raiding and looting brought on by Marian pirates. The Hegemony's war against the Lothian League angered the Protector of the Taurian Concordat, who then allied himself with the Magistrix against any potential Marian aggression. 

The only Periphery nation to have any good relations with the Hegemony was the Circinus Federation, primarily due to their former mutual dislike of the Illyrian Palatinate. Although they had tried for a joint alliance to divide the Palatinate, that deal fell through, and relations became strained as a result.



IV Legio Comitatensis




History

IV Legio was formed to act as a rapid-response force for the Marian Legions. The IV Legio contained more vehicles than any other BattleMech Legion. The Legion deployed two vehicles for every 'Mech. The 'Mechs were typically faster medium and heavy models. The need to coordinate these fast vehicles and 'Mechs made the IV Legio one of the most coordinated of the Marian Legions.
Deployed to Trasjkis, the Legion drove the Left Arm of Thor from the world, nearly eliminating half that battalion. Later they deployed to Trondheimal and encountered two battalions of light armour. These units inflicted heavy losses on the Legion before they were destroyed.



During the Hegemony's invasion of the Circinus Federation the defenders were disguised as members of IV Legio.  The IV Legion actually spent most of the time of the Federation invasion pacifying worlds in the Illyrian district and fighting pirates.  The Legion was used to garrison Illyria, Trondheimal, and Reykavis. 



In 3074 IV Legio were on Trasjkis attempting to put down local resistance forces when they were themselves the target of a heavy raid performed by Blakist-baked mercenaries.  The Blakists had hired Grandin's Crusaders for the raid, and the Crusaders attacked on the 20th of March. The Crusaders dropped outside the planetary capital city - which the Marian Hegemony had renamed Nova Mediolanum - and made contact first with the various detachments IV Legio had set up in, an effort, to deter the local resistance. Unprepared for the sudden and unexpected arrival of an attacking force, the IV Legio detachments fell back to their temporary headquarters and called on reinforcements from elements of the Legion that had been detached on occupation duties. Those reinforcements attempted to assist, but were ambushed by battle armour squads from the Crusaders, who exploited the lack of experience the IV Legio MechWarriors had at fighting battle armour infantry, leaving the Marian forces flailing around while the bulk of the Crusaders 'Mechs struck at the Legion's headquarters. The Crusaders tore through a number of occupied buildings in an effort to achieve a level of surprise before attacking and destroying the IV Legio command centre. A small number of security personnel attempted to attack the Crusaders, but were gunned down mercilessly by the mercenaries before the Crusaders went on to annihilate the Marian forces in the area. The Crusaders then attacked the remaining IV Legio detachments with his 'Mechs, armour and infantry. When the Marians fell back to regroup Pierre Grandin disengaged his forces as his objective was complete, and the Crusaders lifted off from Trasjkis aboard the DropShip Tonnant even as several DropShips from the Circinus Federation arrived in orbit.



IV Legio was used to pacify the Landfall system in 3079.  They had an important role keeping the retreat corridor open for other Legions to return to the Hegemony after raiding former Free Worlds League systems. They later returned to their previous garrison assignments by 3085. During the Bloody Tricentennial members of the Legion found several Blakist terrorists trying to poison Trondheimal's water supply. Thanks to the Legion's efforts, the terrorists were quickly killed, and a massacre was avoided. 




In the Dark Age the Fourth Legion was stationed on Pompey, Ballalaba, and Horatius. These are heavily populated worlds and home to Hegemony industries. Being so heavily defended, the Fourth rarely saw action while garrisoning these worlds. They were responsible for driving a Duchy of Tamarind-Abbey raiding force that hit Pompey in 3142.  Since then they have remained on those same worlds. 



Tactics



The IV Legio prefers to utilize hit-and-run manoeuvres in striking logistical and weak points in order to bring down the enemy.  After their experience with putting down insurgents, they also became proficient in counter-insurgency operations.




I Legio Matria Victrix




The first military formation of the Marian Hegemony, considered the Hegemony's premier and most fanatically loyal unit. 



History



Formed in 2922  by the Hegemony's founder Johann Sebastian O'Reilly, who hired several unemployed mercenary units in forming the Hegemony's first military force. Johann offered these original members in to service by titles and lands in exchange for their oath of allegiance to him. These original members became the core of the Hegemony's Patrician caste of military officers for decades to come. 





Insurrection of Caesar Julius O'Reilly

In late July 3063, Julius O'Reilly, son of Caesar Sean O'Reilly, arrived on Alphard. At head of the II & III Legios and other support units, he arrived at capital city of Nova Terra. He was then crowned Caesar by governing Senate. He then addressed the Senate and the Hegemony via broadcast that he charged his father for crimes not fitting to its ruler. 

The I Legion's Prima Cohort (1st Cohort) had been garrisoned at Palace, Caesar Julius had order them to quiet the rebellion. Only half of the I Legion acknowledged the order to attack the "rebels". The II Legion cut down Sean's Loyalist I Legion as they departed their stations in Palace.  The rest of the I Legion's members elected to commit suicide rather than serve the new Caesar. 




Rebuilding & Circinian Conflict

After Caesar Julius succeeded in toppling his father, most of the original members of the I Legios had died or committed suicide. All that remained of original I Legios was the Securtda Cohort under the command of the politically asute Legatus Robert Kron. Kron's family connections allowed for him to remain in command, but his unit was not rated as highly as others. The Legios received veterans transferred in from other units to rebuild the Prima Cohort's ranks. The unit expanded to third Cohort with completely new recruits among them. The unit also expanded to include an aerospace wing and a combined arms cohort to support the main units. 

In early 3066, the I Legion and its brother unit II Legion, were led by Caesar Julius in the second wave of the invasion of the Circinus Federation. Their objective was Circinus itself, where the unit attack the capital city. However, invasion was stifled by stronger than expected defences. The Circinian defenders numbered 8 reinforced BattleMech battalions, far more than the Circinians were known to have. The I Legio was pulled from Circinus by Caesar to return to Alphard to repel the Circinian counter-invasion.  The unit reaped a considerable amount of loot from the campaign in the Circinian capital. 

After the conflict, the I Legio had expanded further to include two more Cohorts.
In 3079 the unit relocated to Trondheimal. There it played a key role in defending against Circinian raiders and kept the peace in the Illyrian District. 



Unit Colours and Insignia

The unit's colours are midnight blue and dark grey with red and white trim. Its insignia is a dark grey face with a red axe blade with midnight blue bands. 





Tactics

The I Legios is trained extensively in defensive tactics. Principal tactical doctrine uses the Legios's lighter units lure the enemy to its heavier units in form of ambush. Its auxiliary / Combined-Arms entrenches to enable itself to dispense blistering attacks to the enemy.