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Author Topic: 501st Divisions IV-Alpha "The Brotherhood of Man  (Read 375 times)

Zraver

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501st Divisions IV-Alpha "The Brotherhood of Man
« on: 14 September 2021, 06:58:12 »
Premise: A) I have a massive collection of minis but had not played since the early days of the Fed ComCivil War so my knowledge is out of date. B) But it looks like most big units did not survive the Jihad or darkage so I had to find a path to:  C) have my collection emerge as a large unit on the other side of this paring down. D) My son is 10 now and we are playing together, I donated him a battalions worth of minis to play a DCMS unit. That will take him from 3025 through Bull Dog. Once he is fully versed: E) I want our units to clash so I need to be in a position to face the DCMS.

So using Sarna, I began a research project. Below is the result, if anyone with better sources can add anything, find any goofs I would appreciate it. The goal was to stay as close to canon as possible by finding the gaps.

The 501st Comguards Division IV-Alpha "The Brotherhood of Man"/ AKA The Brotherhood
Motto: Fight As One or Die Together

CO: Precentor/ Precentor-General Marcus Bellam

Composed  initially of warriors from a ComGuards garrison, the shells of of units smashed by the Fed Com Civil War, warriors trapped on Galatea during the gang years, and those from units shattered by early Blakist attacks during the Jihad the 501st had members who used to fight for both sides of the Federated Commonwealth, Com Guards, AMC and various other Chaos March powers. Brought together by a precentor with access to ROM's deep pockets on Galatea early right before Jihad hit the plaet. It was an over sized level IV with six full level III's of mechs plus a Level III each of aerospace and a combined arms battle armor unit. There was also a command Level II and an artillery level II plus the normal divisional support units. Unusually, the unit was recruited to 10 year contracts directly into the ComGuards rather than a standard mercenary offering. At the end of the 10 years the contracts could turn into normal enlistments or the members could be returned to Galatea with their mech to resume mercenary life.

3068 Birth and teething troubles
3068 was a fateful year.  As the Jihad kicked off, the Word of Blake smashed ComGuard forces on Tukayyaid and the ComGuard riposte was a disaster. The destruction of the bulk of the ComGuards most elite mobile units in the disastrous “Case White” attack on Terra left the ComGuards woefully under strength right when troops were needed most. Precentor Martial Victor Steiner-Davion assigned Precentor Jason Belcourt to Galatea to take over the secret Brian Cache in the Southern Hemisphere and the Com Guards Level III garrisoned there. He was given orders to use it as a base to recruit warriors for the war against the Word of Blake. Galatea had once been the premier hiring world for mercenaries, but had suffered with the rise of Outreach. This had culminated in the the planet descending into open BattleMech gang warfare. With the destruction of Outreach and the need for a new hiring world, Group W had pacified the planet and the Allied Mercenary Command had arrived to set up shop. With the outbreak of war, mercs were in high demand but most employers wanted whole units, or at least warriors with machines in better operational condition than the hapless warriors who had been forced to ride out Galatia's gang years, or who had arrived from the recent fighting in the FedCom Civil War or early Jihad battles with machines more duct tape than armor. The only big units recruited by the precentor was a former AFFC wing of Stuka's and a battalion of battle armor who had been Katherine loyalists during the FedCom Civil war. The most notable recruitment was a trio of  former Clan Smoke Jaguar warriors who preferred to sign on with the Com Guards and view themselves as bondsmen who had been made warriors again legitimately.

The bulk of the warriors came in singly and came from multiple military systems and skill levels. As the warriors signed on they were shipped out to the Brian Cache almost immediately on the units one DropShip the Leopard class CSS  Inspark. There, their machines were put in for repair and modernization and the warriors were sent to class to learn the basics of the Com Guard system and how to put aside old rivalries.  This need to set aside old differences and political alliances turned into a major problem. Former members of the AFFC and LAAF kept having their equipment sabotaged right before final repairs, small acts of graffiti and arson and more than a few brawls as each side blamed the other. The internal strife blocked unit progress towards combat efficiency, ad threatened to unleash a mini civil war. The situation would not be fully resolved until late 3070 when a squad of infiltrator Mk II battle armor practicing infiltration by sneaking past the divisions own security caught a tech on a  former LAAF Banshee long past normal duty hours. Observing him from the shadows with their enhanced sighting equipment they watched and recorded the act of sabotage.
Reporting to Precentor Bellam, they expected the tech to be a former member of the AFFC. Instead they found out the tech had enlisted in to ComStar straight out of school nearly 20 years before. He was a Blakist ROM agent. Carefully back tracking his movements and associations, two more ROM agents were identified. With solid intelligence the Word Blake cell was snatched up. Luckily none had left the Brian Cache since the unit started building so the risk of betrayal to outside forces while feared, never materialized.

The units average weight ballooned during this phase. The original level III garrisoning the secret base was mostly medium and light machines. However, it was the pilots of heavy and assault mechs most likely to arrive on Galatea with machines worth keeping despite horrendous damage, but too expensive to fix for the smaller commands who were recruiting that ended up signing on. ComStar's deep pockets and a fully stocked Brian Cache meant Precentor Belcourt could recruit these assets without fear of bankruptcy. Training above that of individual gunnery or small Level II maneuvers was nonexistent at this time. With so many damaged mechs and the sabotage the division was simply too disorganized for large scale maneuvers. The unit kept growing however, with Tukkyaid cutoff, the HPG's jammed with white noise and no clear instructions to do anything else there was no reason or directive to stop recruiting. It eventually reached a strength of nine Level III's including support units.

Further hampering efforts to become a fighting force was the units lack of fixed membership at the Level II scale outside of its specialized units at the time of first combat. This meant any Adept could command any 5 acolytes as needed to mix and match according to the training mission. The downside was it made building teamwork difficult since all the adepts were acting as trainers, and shepherds to headed off LAAF/AFFC rivalries rather than leaders. Orders finally arrived in 3071 to stop recruiting and start real efforts at forming into a combat unit. Sadly, the unit would not have enough time.

3072 Baptism of Fire
Despite the fact that the unit was more of a herd than a combat division, the sheer size and firepower gave it the potential to be a force to be reckoned with. A force the Precentor Martial needed in the field, not squirreled away on Galatea. Orders were issued to begin getting the unit ready to ship off world, but it never happened as the fires of jihad visited  Galatea.  It was sheer bulk that allowed the division to survive its first encounters. In October 3072, Word of Blake struck Galatea. While the bulk of the Blakist invasion fleet went north towards the population centers, a Level III from the 47th Shadow Division went south. Word of Blake ROM knew of the Brian Cache established there in the 3030's during the secret war with Hanse Davion. They knew they had agents there and assumed they could easily overpower the ComGuard defenders. They expected the original garrison, not an over sized division. Despite the divisions size, this unexpected attack nearly succeeded. Only the ready alert forces and a single Level III were able to sortie out initially as the Blakist troops advanced after dropping just a few clicks from the secret base. The fighting occurred almost on top of the underground entrance. The elite shadow division warriors clearly out gunned the defenders but each wave of defenders rushed up from the subterranean caverns was able to replace units that had fallen or needed to retreat for repairs. Division losses were heavy, but the Blakist simply did not have enough ammunition to force their way into the Brian Cache the division used as its headquarters. As Blakist ammunition stores ran low and more defending mechs sortied out the attackers withdrew to their DropShips and fled north to rejoin the main attack.

By the time the 47th had the opportunity to re-attack with  two full Level III's and mercenary support after the Northern hemisphere of Galatea was subdued. The division had evacuated its non-combat units, a huge quantity of material and the aerospace units to Big Hole a mildly radioactive crater in the Southern Hemisphere where the unit was collecting drop ships and refugees who had fled the fighting to the North. The background radiation of Galatea generally, and Big Hole in particular would mask the signatures of the units hidden there. The combat units left behind at the Brian Cache were able to meet invaders head on and fully prepared. The division expected to be able to steamroll the Blakist attack. With five Level III's committed to the defense of the Brian Cache. The division figured it could hold out against a full RCT for weeks. Things did not go as planned. Despite a 2x1 numbers disadvantage and closer to 4x1 disadvantage in mass the Blakist units were able to out shoot and out range the divisions own efforts. The cybernetically enhanced and C3 linked Manei Domini troops dominated the field of battle. Level III after level III was quickly finding itself wrecked by the unerring Blakist fire. Only the divisions sheer size and some artillery support kept it from routing long enough for the units Stuka's to arrive overhead from Big Hole and finally break the Blakist attack. With no real air cover of their own the attackers were forced to retreat. The Stuka's harried the enemy DropShips all the way north severely damaging several and likely prevented a parting nuclear gift from the enemy troopers

A captured mercenary ally of the Blakist revealed that nukes were the fall back option. Likely due to the fact that the Word of Blake had nukes and more units to call on in the Northern Hemisphere, and given how badly an out massed and out numbered force had nearly won the Division quickly called in DropShips commandeered from the refugees at Big Hole, loaded up their mechs, what supplies that were ready to go, the battlefield salvage and damaged mechs and then fled. A smaller force of infiltrator battle armor was left behind to keep an eye on the Brian Cache and they got to witness a nuclear strike on the site just twelve hours after the last drop ship lifted off. It seems Word of Blake surveillance efforts remained unable to determine if the site was still occupied and unwilling to risk another attack without sufficient air cover against an unknown enemy decided that dropping a nuclear missile from a DropShip in low orbit was a viable solution and the entire cache vanished in an atomic fireball. The captured merc was left behind and presumed to have perished in the atomic fireball or been buried by the collapse of the underground base it caused.

3072-3075 Resistance
The unit remained hidden in Big Hole doing what it could to raid and help foment/aid the resistance to the Blakist occupiers in the northern hemisphere as well as rescue members of the AMC and the families of the merc units whose drop ships were at Big Hole. In particular the units Level II of nullsig equipped BattleMechs and infiltrator battle armor was very active in targeting isolated patrols. They enjoyed much of the same advantages that the Blakist did and possessed the agility to rapidly egress from their raids. Infiltrator Mk II snipers also managed a number of kills of dismounted Manei Domini warriors. From 3072-75 this unit would have several near misses but developed into an elite reconnaissance force.  The unit would also occasionally raid outlying Blakist and their allied mercenary outposts, distributing the salvage and captured supplies to other resistance groups. By 3075 these efforts were so successful that the occupiers had basically surrendered the countryside except to heavily armed search and destroy missions. The units mobile HPG also proved invaluable. Once the white noise cleared, the messages the division was able to send out from remote and quickly changed locations kept Com Star and coalition partners informed as to what was going on on Galatea.  In Big Hole the main force units drilled according to schedules determined by the passes of Word of Blake surveillance satellites, trying desperately to gel as a unit and develop tactics that would let them defeat the 47th Shadow Division the next time they fought. The constant fear of discovery and defeat or nuclear armageddon drive the unit together, fight as one, or die together was the motto.

3075 Liberation
In Septembers 3075 the unit was ordered to prepare to aid the imminent arrival of coalition liberation forces. By now the unit had watched the Blakist in action and figured out how it was going to fight as a unit and how it would confront the 47th Shadow Division for their next go-round. The unit had built an espirit de corps and the main force units were itching for another fight. They picked a plain near a small canyon not far from the destroyed  Brian Cache. The background radiation of the Southern Hemisphere plus the leftover fallout from the nuclear strike would mimic the conditions found in Big Hole that had shielded the division from orbital observation for years. First in were the Moles and Holes engineers and the fire support spotters to survey, pre-site and prep the battlefield. By late October the work was done and several sub units of the divisions were stealthily moved into position. Word arrived by HPG to launch their distraction on 2 November 3075. Taking advantage of the gap in Word of Blake satellite coverage the unit boosted several DropShip's into orbit and then in full view of the enemy sensor grid burned in like they were a regiment of relief troops coming in from a pirate point to take the Brian Cache not knowing it had been nuked.

It was like kicking over a hornets nest and the units the 47th  had left on the world to help the normal Blake Militia Division was eager for a rematch at a site where they had twice tasted defeat.  What they did not know was their enemy was the same. They assumed the original defenders had been destroyed in the nuclear strike or had long since fled. The enemy grounded about 100km from the Com Guard troops and began a forced march. Battle was joined on November 3rd, 3075. The Shadow division had two level III's left on Galatea. These units attempted to use their superior skills and C3 nets to fight at long range but the division steadily fell back trading space for time. They lead the enemy straight into a kill box. As the occupiers moved into the kill box several things happened in quick succession that disrupted the enemy commanders decision matrix. First their DropShips reported that they were under sustained and massive aerospace attack and were trying to do an emergency boost to orbit, leaving the mech forces cut off from retreat. Second the units C3 nets suddenly failed as they passed by a line of the divisions ECM equipped units hiding in spider holes constructed by the Moles and Holes and the three heavy/assault level III's they were facing stopped retreating.

Then another level III, Justice For Blake moved to block the retreat and hit the rear of the Blakist formation. This left the opening of the canyon as the obvious choice. If the Shadow Division units could make it in to that, the 501st superior numbers would be for nothing. With elite precision the attacking troops began a lateral movement towards the canyon. The sudden arrival of The Survivors, a level III of light BattleMechs seeming to try and block the canyon mouth seemed to confirm the choice. The mostly light weight machines could not stand up to the fire the cybernetic troops could deliver and melted away like fog in the morning sun and the way seemed to be open. The 47th Shadow Division never twigged to the fact that the light machines were borrowing a page from the ancient Mongols and were acting as Mangudai, Now nearly at charging speed as they got close to the canyon's entrance, artillery began to rain down and a trio of 100 ton Thunder Hawk gauss mechs backed by a level II of direct fire support Riflemen and Jagermechs emerged from the canyon mouth to rain fire among the trapped formation. Confusion began to set in as the ring tightened. The divisions coup de grace was its last card to play. A swarm of hatchet wielding mechs backed by battle armor flooded out of the canyon mouth to begin a close assault on the trapped enemy. It would be several hours to go but it was over. The Manei Domini troops would not surrender and sold their lives dearly fighting and dying to the last. A few managed to breakout through gaps caused by combat damage but were set upon by the light and medium mechs of the division or harried by aerospace fighters returning from the attack on the enemy DropShips. Not one Blakist survived though the unit itself had half its mechs out of action, a third of its warriors wounded and another fifth of them dead.

Before the Word of Blake occupiers could process and respond to this defeat by an enemy they had assumed had fled the planet years before, the coalition liberation fleet appeared in system and began a burn in to liberate the northern hemisphere. The Com Guard's First Army with allied support was about to finish the job the division had started. It took the relief forces nine days to reach the planet and they quickly secured Galaport the planetary space port but then things bogged down. Even with the defeat of the bulk of the Manei Domini troops left on Galatea the remaining, 11th Word of Blake Militia Division put up dogged resistance.  Heavy losses by the Com Guards 103rd division saw the 501st began to feed in replacements to keep up the combat strength of the northern hemisphere unit. The units aerospace fighters were also heavily engaged as most of the other aerospace assets were pulled out for use in other areas too early before the planet was a secure. A costly mistake that prolonged the campaign. Another twist was the devastating attack on the 47th Shadow Division's DropShips had convinced the Blakist defenders to hide their remaining DropShip fleet and this also acted to extend out the campaign. Eventually however the planet was liberated, and the loaner warriors returned to the division.

The 501st quickly moved its fleet of refugee DropShips back to the Galaport space port, so that what reunions there could be, were had. The occupation had been brutal and the fight to liberate the planet had spared few. Many had no one left to come back to. The unit also set about the long task of repairing and recruiting replacements. The fight to liberate Galatea had reduced the unit by 40%. However, the plentiful salvage, their willingness to recruit mercs, and the reputation boost they got for shepherding so many refugees for so long under such difficult conditions, not to mention the wives, lovers, adoptees and babies that emerged from such extended close contact meant personnel being recruited quickly filled the repaired and salvaged BattleMechs. Also many of the DropShip captains, no longer having units to answer too thanks to the vicious occupation signed on permanently with the division. The unit returned to full strength in February 3076 and in March was assigned to the Com Guards 5th Army and was assigned to liberate Zanniah.

3077-79 On the Offensive
Newly assigned to the Com Guards 5th Army to replace the 394th Division lost in the debacle of “Case White”, the 501st was sent to liberate Zanniah. Arriving in December 3077 and expecting trouble the unit was surprised when they met no resistance. The planetary government quickly surrendered the planet in what might be the most painless coalition operation to liberate a captive population during “Operation Scour”. Even more importantly to the division was the knowledge provided by local resistance fighters that the Word of Blake used the systems nadir point as a regular transit point for heavily laden JumpShip convoys. The last one had departed only the day before the the arrival of the Com Guard division and the next was expected 2 weeks from now. Moving quickly the division set up a deep space ambush using aerospace fighters and battle armor. The jump ship fleet arrived just as predicted and once their jump sails were unfurled the ambushers powered up and attacked.  Two of the eight JumpShips had lithium-fusion batteries and were able to cut their sails away and jump out. The other six were stuck.  They had an escort of two assault DropShips; an Achilles and an Avenger. But against three dozen fighters they were not enough. While the fighters engaged the escorts, battle taxi shuttles moved battle armor on to the hulls of each jump ships to do breach entries. The on board security personnel were no match for power armored troops and the ships were quickly taken. Now the division had its own organic JumpShip assets, had captured enough equipment to return too 100% strength and was able to deliver nearly two dozen other DropShips loaded with valuable commodities and war material to the coalition forces while also denying Word of Blake the same.

With Zanniah pacified, the entire ComGuard's 5th Army was ordered to assault Liberty with allied Free Worlds League Troops as part of the FWL Group II forces.  This planet had been a garrison for a protectorate division so combat was expected. While combat was in the cards, it was not against protectorate troops. The local garrison division had been pulled off world to fight on Dieron and was destroyed there. In their absence Capellan backed guerrillas had seized much of the planet. This proved a problem for the 501st. As a Alpha or BattleMech heavy division it did not have the conventional forces to deal with an insurgency. That job fell to the other divisions of 5th Army and allied FWL forces. The 501st moved into reserve. Thus it was the 501st   among others was called on to oppose Warrior House Imarra when they dropped on to Liberty to assist the rebels. After some quick meeting engagements the Warrior House commander pulled back unwilling to risk his reduced strength command against an assault division. Things descended into stalemate between the Capellan and Coalition forces. The division's enemy was the Word of Blake not the Cappellan Confederation and the division couldn't wait for the next assignment. The unit received orders to depart Liberty a month later  in order to assemble for the final assault on Terra. Later the coalition sent a negotiator and a truce was agreed to ending combat operations on the Liberty, but by then the division was gone. Sadly on Liberty the unit picked up the Redburn Virus and many of its members would suffer and several would die on the journey to Pollux.

Assembling on Pollux with other units before heading to the Terran System as part of “Task Force Sickle”,  the division was assigned with the rest of the ComGuard's 5th Army to the liberation of Sandhurst and the rest of the British Isles. The fighting here was vicious but disorganized, cadets, their instructors and local militia against enraged ComGuard units. The unit managed to capture four brand new Striga heavy OmniFighters on the ground in a daring battle armor raid. Once Sandhurst and the rest of the British Isles were secured they moved to support Andrew Redburn and the units assigned to liberate Geneva and the rest of Europe. Using a quick hop by DropShips the units landed just across the English Channel in the area of Normandy near Cherbourg and began a march on Paris. From Paris the division swung east quickly liberating cities like Rotterdam, Brussels and Berlin. Each city was a hot fight but the Word of Blake was running out of war material by this point and  the ending was no longer in doubt. Once Terra was liberated a new chapter would begin in the units existence.

3080 A New Enemy
With Terra liberated and the Republic of the Sphere declared, Devlin Stone ordered the dissolution of the ComGuards. Many ComGuard warriors retired, but often whole units simply signed on together in the new military forces of the Republic of the Sphere. The 501st chose a different path. They argued and won their case that they had signed on for 10 year enlistments with the option of returning to mercenary life at the end of that contract. That contract had technically expired for most members between 3078 and 3080 with many others set to expire by 3085. At First Stone was adamant that the unit not be allowed to return to mercenary life, at least not with its equipment. Things looked to be getting hot when the former Precentor Martial, and now Paladin Victor Steiner-Davion interceded on their behalf and Stone backed down. The Precentor Martial convinced Stone that letting the unit go, and letting it take other Com Guard members who did not want to retire and did not want to be be part of the Republic of the Sphere would allow those who remained to be free of malcontents. With a condition that the unit never take a contract in or against Republic of the Sphere space and minus their mobile HPG, they were allowed to depart Terra. The new recruits sent by the Precentor Martial from other ComGuard units not only replaced the damage done in the Terran campaign, but saw the unit back to full strength and even grow and add conventional armor and infantry forces. The recruits also doubled the pool of battle armor troops as well.
The units actual Com Star members resigned their commissions with the Com Guards and immediately enlisted with the new mercenary command now known as The Brotherhood. The assembled troops quickly affirmed Precentor-General Belcourt as the units commanding officer. They departed Terra in late 3080 and returned to Galatea to find work. They had offers almost as soon as they detached from their jump ships. With the destruction caused by the Jihad and the other wars immediately before and during the conflict an  experienced, intact, and multi-regiment sized assault force was in high demand. By the end of the Liberation of Terra Com Star had rated the unit Veteran/Fanatical.

With the only enemy they had ever really fought wiped out, and again trying to integrate a large number of new members and with an unknown future the Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission downgraded them to Regular/Reliable until more was shown by the unit. The Lyran Alliance quickly offered a surprisingly generous contract. Archon Adam Steiner was eager to bolster his defenses against Clan Jade Falcon and regain planets lost if possible. Every house made offers, but the unit chose the Lyran Alliance after a personal message arrived from their former Precentor-Martial reminding them that the clans were once again the biggest threat. The drop ship engines barely had time to cool before the unit was lifting off again for the long journey to Kolovraty in the Melissa Theater with additional defensive duties extending along the periphery border mainly on the worlds of Kowloon, Hood IV, and Jerangle.  The Brotherhood took over duties formerly covered by the 15th Lyran Regulars who had been shifted to another theater,  the 6th Donegal Guards whose survivors had been folded into another Donegal unit, and the now defunct Com Guards 222nd Division. It was both a plum and dangerous assignment for a new for hire unit.

The Brotherhood first concentrated its assets on Kolovraty to defend Baxter Metals but kept a at least two combined arms level II's on each of the other worlds on a rotating basis to protect against pirates. On every world that had a Level II assigned to it, that planets militia troops were shifted to Kolovraty to train with the division. This meant that at any one time there was an additional Level III of regular infantry and supporting armor and field guns on Kolovraty training in ComGuard Tactics. The division began training heavily to develop the tactics it will need to face the clans. This training was lead by the two surviving members who had once been Smoke Jaguars. It concentrated on two main areas. The first was honorable combat if the Jade Falcons permitted it. Things like batchalls, safcon and  the right of hegira. The other was how to simply out mass and crush the Falcons if they refused honorable combat.


Zraver

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Re: 501st Divisions IV-Alpha "The Brotherhood of Man
« Reply #1 on: 14 September 2021, 06:58:43 »
In December of 3081 it was time to put that training to the test. Since arriving on Kolovraty the Jade Falcons on Mogyorod had sent the occasional reconnaissance force in system but had not actually raided. Now that changed and a full cluster from Epsilon Galaxy appeared in system and began a burn towards the planet. The Division decided to grant them safcon in order to see what the clans Jade Falcon's could do. They were confident a full division could deal with a single cluster. The Falcon cluster refused all communications, and did not bid, grounding approximately 150km from the Divisions main base. Three full level III's deployed. They expected stiff resistance but only faced a force of 30 mechs, of which only half were OmniMechs, and a quarter captured Inner Sphere machines plus a couple stars of elementals. Fearnought lead the response and attacked the assembled Jade Falcons warriors in a wedge. In a short sharp fight the Falcons who expected lances not level II's were forced back towards their drop ships. The Falcons used their elementals to try and slow up the attack but, their effectiveness was blunted when the Level III's called in artillery support to clear out the toads. With the Falcon's final defensive move busted and almost in sight of their DropShips the unit pulled up and offered the Epsilon Galaxy warriors hegira. The Falcon commander finally responded accepting the offer. He was forthright in admitting he had expected a small mercenary command, not a full regiment. Little did he know that he had only seen part of the division's strength.
Six months later, Epsilon returned. Again, staging out of Mogyorod, this time 2 full clusters hit the world. This time the Jade Falcons issued proper batchcalls and the battlefield was set for a large area of prairie some 300km from Baxter Metals. With nearly 70 mechs, and over 100 toads the Falcons advanced, expecting a slugging match. That is what they got. Out numbered more than 3 to 1  and out massed more they were still confident of victory because of skill and technology. The Division for its part did its best to recreate Galatea with the lead level III's falling back to lead the enemy into a kill box. When the divisions heavy and assault level III's suddenly stopped the retreating the clan warriors knew something was up and stopped pursuing. A long range gunnery duel ensued in the center while more mobile clan units swept around to break up the flanking attack. It was a near run thing and the division was forced to commit its conventional armor forces near the end to keep up the pressure but it worked. The clan had suffered heavy losses and the machines that were left were worn down and nearly out of ammo. This forced Epsilon to cede the field. The accepted hegira, and withdrew. It would take the division months to repair the damage, but Epsilon Galaxy was even worse off with fewer resources to call on. By the time a rematch looked likely, Brion's Legion hit them on Mogyorod, liberating the world and the division was no longer directly on the clan border.

3145 An End and a Beginning
After the Falcon's defeat and loss of Mogyorod, the division settled in to a pattern of occasional tit for tat raids into or from the Falcon OZ, a couple of raids by Clan Hell's Horses. It was against the Hell Horses that the division saw how useful battle armor paired with conventional armor could be and quickly added the tactic to its tool box. Pirate hunting against pirates staging out of the Rim Collection would also be a common occurrence. The Rim Collection raids meant more of the Division was off world at any one time, but it more or less kept the peace. The original members passed on, and the division was into its 4th generation when things radically changed. Malvina Haze the new Khan of the Jade Falcon's launched an invasion of Lyran space in 3145. Smashing the defenders of Mogyorod, some of whom fled to Kolovraty bringing warning that it was a full scale invasion. This gave the division a few extra days to prepare, evacuate its non-combatants and disperse to its war time plans. The Jade Falcon's duly arrived with a whole galaxy and burned towards the planet. It would be a clash of two mongol systems, Mangudai verses terror. The division was ready with the BattleMechs and much of the battle armor forward with most of the conventional forces guarding the secret drop zone, many areas pre-sited for artillery and decades of familiarity with the terrain, but right off the bat things started to go wrong.

Long association and raiding had alerted  the Falcon's to the existence of the nullsig level II. To counter the Falcon's deployed large numbers of bloodhound active probes with screening forces preventing the Division's premier scout and raiding force from penetrating its lines. Second the Falcon DropShips did not stay grounded but instead many boosted back to orbit to provide an effective AWAC's net keeping the divisions sizable aerospace force grounded to keep it from revealing its and the units DropShips location. Deprived of two critical assets the division still managed to draw first blood. Elements of  the light Level III using mangudai tactics lead an entire cluster into an ambush of two heavy Level III's supported by artillery and VTOL's.  The falcon cluster was crushed and less than a trinary was able to escape the trap. However, the other Falcon forces swarmed the region and a four day running battle ensued with the division taking horrendous losses. Only a derecho storm that did wide spread damage allowed the division to extricate itself and break contact long enough for a commando raid on a dam to release billions of liters of water down a river valley separating the two forces. With most of the Jade Falcon drop ships in orbit they could not immediately ferry across.  It took the waters six days to recede, by then the unit had vanished.  Upon reaching the hidden drop ships the unit boosted for orbit and made a high speed run to its waiting transports who had already moved to a in system La Grange point when word of the invasion was received.
From there the unit redeployed to Kowloon and immediately began preparing for its next battle. Down almost 50% of its mechs and battle armor, morale was low. Luckily however the Falcon invasion force did not follow them along the periphery border but instead drove deeper into the Lyran Commonwealth eventually targeting Coventry. This gave the unit a chance to breathe, heal and regroup.

The division quickly formed three level III from the combat worthy machines and set about counter attacking behind the Falcon lines to disrupt what appeared to be a drive on the critical world of Coventry. They ran into several garrison units, most with second line and captured Inner Sphere Machines and a lack of battle armor and aerospace assets that let the unit use its strengths to good advantage. They did not try and liberate worlds, but set about seizing or destroying Jade Falcon, salvage and supplies and disrupting communications. The campaign culminated with a brief return to Kolovraty to rescue the last of the units dependents who had not been able to evacuate in time. The Jade Falcon garrison commander chose to grant safcon and let the rescue proceed unimpeded and so the units last encounter with the clans did not contain any combat.

The New Era
With the end of the Falcon invasion, the unit had rebuilt to 60%  and was replaced on Kowloon by Rubinsky's Light horse and had moved to Hood. However problems were developing. The Lyran Commonwealth's payments and shipments began to run later and later, before finally stopping  altogether in the early 3046. With the end of the Falcon threat, shattered house units and an economy of life support the cost of such a large merc unit was increasingly hard to bear. The Lyran high command was thick with promises but short on action. They claimed house units needed resources first, but that the IOU's would be honored eventually. This cold shoulder caused the unit to send agents to Galatea to begin scouting out prospective employers. With one final request for payment made to, and reject by the Lyran's in February 3047 the contract ended. The division accepted a new contract in May 3047 with the Federated Suns. The First Prince promised to rebuild the units strength if they would fight for him as a mobile brigade in his attempts to liberate his nation. The promise of at least a battalions worth of news BattleMechs plus indemnity for losses was too much to pass up for the battered unit after the end of the Falcon invasion. The units departure would have serious consequences for the Lyran Alliance. The Rim Collection took immediate advantage and seized several worlds for themselves days after the unit departed. The Division would not exit the Lyan state via the Free World's League border until August 3047 and did not reach Federated Sun's space until November of that year having to deter around Republic of the Sphere Worlds and the conflicts around them. After a harrowing journey through uncharted worlds in the Cappellan Confederation, the unit finally arrived on Valexa. There they were assigned to assist to drive off the last of the Liao invaders who had managed to hang on given the hesitancy of the Valexa CMM in assisting the 4th Ceti Hussars. With Valexa liberated, the unit was given permission to raid the planets stores and salvage bone yard to rebuild to 65%. Once this was achieved they were directed to begin a heavy raiding campaign on the Draconis Combine to try and draw forces out of the Dragon's Tongue. The Brotherhood and its dependent's separating on Valexa, one to go raiding, and one to go set up shop on Batavia the Divisions new home.

War with the Dragon
March 3049 saw the division drop on to the planet Halstead Station crushing the local militia forces, seizing supplies and salvage and moving on. Their next target was Ashio and the Arkab Legion stationed there. The 1st Arkab briefly contested the field before beginning a retreat into the mountains after losing nearly a companies worth of equipment in short order.  Rather than pursue the defenders and risking getting bogged down, the division seized supplies, salvage and equipment and left the world. The next attack was on Algedi.
This planet was defended by the 4th Arkab Legion and the Algedi War College. Julian Davion wanted these units deployment into the Federated Suns prevented or at least delayed.
Unlike the 1st, the 4th was much closer to full strength and decided to fight this new mercenary command. Though like so many previous foes it was expecting a different organization and much smaller numbers. Even at only 65% strength the division was much larger than its foes. A pitched battle developed  near the Algedi War College with the defenders using their knowledge of the terrain to good effectiveness but were ultimately forced to retreat due to an inability to counter the divisions use of nullsig scouting units, deep striking artillery and air mobile battle armor to shape the battlefield. The War College fell on May 15, 3048 and the division looted its simulators, stores and combat worthy mechs as well as collecting nearly another companies worth of salvage from the 4th Arkab Legion before withdrawing off world. The unit then used minor systems to journey to repair its machines and journey to Benjamin. By now at  75% strength thanks to salvage it was time for the main effort, deep inside the Combine.

The fight on Benjamin would be brutal. The planet was defended by 4 battalions of mechs from the 17th Benjamin Regulars and 16th Sun Zhang Academy plus supporting conventional units. The unit's assault drop ships and aerospace fighters were able to fend off the two wings of defending aerospace fighters and the unit grounded near Deber City. The DCMS defenders quickly attacked but could not break the heavier and more numerous division BattleMechs and heavy tanks and were eventually forced back over the course of two weeks until they pulled back into the city itself to prepare for a siege. The division did not follow them into the city instead sending in Infiltrator MK II battle suited infantry with portable tags and sniper rifles to soften the defenses. Several mechs in defensive positions started taking accurate Arrow IV missile strikes or artillery shelling forcing them deeper into the city. Cuing to what was likely happening the defenders infantry forces moved in hunting the suspected infiltrators. This pulled troops away from the command post and a battle armor snipers on a head hunting mission was able to kill or seriously wound several members of the Benjamin Regular's command staff. The division then launched a frontal attack in the command confusion the sniper attack caused taking the suburbs around the center of the city forcing the defenders in to two groups. The Sun Zhang academy holed up on their campus and the Benjamin Regulars concentrated in and around the government district. The division used this opportunity to loot stores and supplies and but generally was content with a siege approach during this phase of the battle. The plan was to pull DCMS units into the Combine and away from the Federated Suns and a hostile force on Benjamin would do that. Finally with relieving DCMS forces detected entering the system the Division quickly launched an attack on the cadets and inflicted serious losses on them and forced them to retreat. Rather than follow them, or staying to face the relief army, the Division itself retreated after grabbing what salvage was easy to hand and fled the planet to its hidden jump ships before the relieving forces arrived. The divisions was back down to 65% operational when it lifted off, but any offensive plans by House Kurita were on hold

The next attack was on the nearly undefended world of Irurzun. The few local militia and corporate defenders were quickly destroyed and every spare ounce of cargo space left in the division was used to load refined metals that were backlogged and awaiting transport from the New Samarkand Metals facilities. The raid was also revenge for the Third Benjamin Regulars attack on Kentares IV.  With the unit loaded down with supplies they departed the planet. Their next goal was to liberate Le Blanc in Operation “The Sun is Rising” a part of the larger Operation Percaval and help to reverse the Federated Sun's losses to the Draconis Combine. It was in fact the second attempt by the AFFS. An early attempt by the First Kestrel Grenadiers. It was hoped the earlier damage and a new opponent hitting from an unexpected direction would succeed. The division hit the world in September 3149. The world was defended by the 19th Galedon Regulars and its supporting regiments.
The battle saw the division enjoy advantages of 2:1 in mechs, 2:1 in aerospace and infantry but was outnumbered 3:1 in armor and 5:1 in conventional infantry. The defenders were also a heavy/ assault class force. The defenders put up dogged resistance and losses were heavy on both sides.
The division was generally able to inflict about twice the causalities it suffered and end up in control of the field of battle, but things did not always go its way. Skill full use of tank ambushes, accurate artillery fire and sudden strikes from aerospace fighters launching from concealed fields kept the division from being able to achieve its final victory and liberate the planet and thereby cutting DCMS supply lines. The high point of the campaign was when the nullsig and deep strike level II's were able to capture almost an entire lance of O-Bakemono artillery mechs when they were caught reloading. The loss of supporting artillery may have changed the battle but then the defenders got a respite. Both the 14th Benjamin Regulars and the Second Legion of Vega arrived at a pirate point and began a hot burn in towards the planet. About to be outnumbered and with many machines in need of repair it was time to retreat off world.

The offensive had failed to liberate La Blanc, but the division had left a string of destroyed and damaged DCMS units in its wake that would impede the Dragon's efforts to digest more Sun's worlds. More importantly, combined with the other actions of Operation Perceval, the Federated Suns had reversed much of the gains made by the DCMS. Having such a large and powerful force operating in the Dragon's rear had tied down a large number of troops who could have been used to blunt the other AFFS actions. Overall, the AFFS rated the campaign a success and the unit was paid its promised bonuses for the missions on the other side of the Combine Border. The Unit finally touched down on Rosamond, it had been whittled back down to to 50% strength, but with holds full of materials and salvage this promises to be temporary. The division had earned some much needed repair and rebuilding and the AFFS also gratefully accepted the stores of refined metals liberated from Irurzun in trade for a number of  extra armored vehicles, supplies and a handful of extra mechs needed to help rebuild the unit. The holos of Federated Suns aligned mercenaries destroying DCMS forces deep inside the Draconis Combine were also used to create moral pieces for the battered citizens of the Draconis March. With the world guarded by the 59th Strike Regiment of the Illician Lancers, the division was free to depart for Batavia its new home world and a reunion with its dependents who had traveled on ahead when the division first entered Federated Suns space. Once on Batavia the Brotherhood was able to do a more in depth repair, and replacement cycle and did not declare itself combat ready again until December 3150.  When the rebuilding completes it will be back up to 100% TO&E and ready to rumble.

Le Blanc itself would be liberated in February of 3150. After the relieving DCMS troops had pulled back off the world. The  two attacks and other pressures on the DCMS had weakened the defenders too much to respond to other AFFS attacks. With the 19th Galedon Regulars no longer strong enough to defend the world, the next AFFS assault landed and was successful before reinforcements could be sent back to the world. With what amounts to a double regiment of mechs and nearly a regiment each of armor and infantry the AFFS high command lists the unit as a reinforced RCT on its rosters. It's existence has also slowed DCMS plans. With the division being its own extra large invasion force the planets of the Dragon's Tongue and the actual planets of the Draconis Combine near the conflict Zone need extra large garrisons limiting forces available for offensive action. The rumor mill has the unit being held in reserve until the MIIO can identify the location of the Hikage and send the unit to destroy the DCMS' newest premier unit. True or not, or MIIO plot or not, who knows? The units rebuilding is continuing at a fast clip. Between the salvage from the raiding campaign, indemnity replacements, promised payments in mechs and the sale of the metals  mean the combat strength of the division is building rapidly.

Tactics
 
When deployed enmasse, the division normally leads with two of its three heaviest Level III's forward with one in reserve. The medium level III is used to exploit openings or flank enemy positions. The light level III is mainly a recon force and internal security. The heavy armor level III is used as a backstop defensive force, urban combat force and for ambushing enemy attackers. The hover armor level III primarily guards the flanks, patrols and makes demonstrations to distract the enemy, as well as being a quick reaction force. The Special ops and battle armor units were generally kept in reserve until there is a mission specific need with the exception of the nullsig and deep strike level II's. The units nullsig and deep strike Level II's are very active in behind the lines scouting, head hunting and conducting raiding missions The unit makes heavy use of its Stuka assault fighters to bust up enemy formations and if possible strike at enemy drop ships.

Even after becoming a mercenary command the unit kept the old Com Guard system of six rather than the standard  base four used by the rest of the Inner Sphere military systems. This has proven a surprise to enemies who think a single Leopard drop ship landing with an anti-pirate patrol is only carrying 4 mechs and maybe a couple aerospace fighters only to find out that six BattleMechs emerge. Also where possible when defending the unit will use its engineering assets to prep the battlefield and if possible deploy its spotters to pre-site artillery and even put out old fashioned range markers. The division also uses a ComGuard level of command assets. The mech command level II has primacy and is responsible for the main planning and control of battlefield operations but the headquarters assets is kept fully informed and is able to act as a back up in the case of a head hunter attack. It also coordinates the logistical needs of the unit leaving the Precentor-General free to direct that tactical, operational and strategic side of things.

Batavia

This unimportant world has only light industry and a few population centers. Agriculture is the  main export. Although the planet has some militia forces, much of the equipment had long since been requisitioned by the AFFS for use in other units. The Brotherhood set up its base in a long mountain valley with a heavily forested coastal plain to the seaward side a a near desert prairie to the leeward side of the mountains. This gave them concealment from prying eyes and freedom to do training maneuvers in a variety of terrain types. It will be years before the units base is fully constructed and many buildings are either light pre-fab structures sourced locally, or log buildings made from mountain trees.  The unit bases its DropShips in a leeward valley on the eastern slope of the mountains. This hides them from observation and provides reasonable access to them, though the route is only by a single pass that is more  seasonal shelf road than highway. The Moles and Holes are trying to expand the track and make it all weather, at least during the summer months.

Mercenary Ranks
Commanding officer: Precentor-General
Level III commander/ jump ship captain: Precentor-Colonel
Level II commander/ drop ship captain: Adeptenant
Level I commander/ mech warrior/ pilot: Alcorporal
Enlisted: Devotee

Parade Ground colors

Com Star white with Prussian Blue highlights and striping.

Uniforms

With the transition to paid work, the unit changed its rank structure but still wears the old Com Guard field uniform. Though the unit flashing is no longer that of Com Star but is instead a roundel of a silver circle, over red, over blue.

Insignia

The Unit's combat machines uses either a stylized Cameron Star,  a roundel of a silver over red over blue, or a 3 bar striped pattern of blue, silver and red.

Technology

Starting off as a Com Guard's unit, and originally built with supplies from a Com Guard Castle Brian, the division has always had a high level of upgraded technology. Though many of the machines are older designs provided with the field refit kits that became common during the clan invasion years. However there are a lot of new machines as well, captured from the Blakists, acquired from the LAAF Quartermaster Corps in trade for clan tech, and recently salvaged from DCMS forces or provided by the AFFS supply system.  The unit uses almost no clan tech, other than a single Anhur transport all the clan tech the unit acquired during its time on the Jade Falcon OZ border was sold back to the Lyrans. The unit's only real modification of equipment that is non-standard are attempts to up its artillery support by modifying track vehicles stripping out the armor and other equipment to add an either a Sniper or  arrow IV system and modifying some of its Savannah Masters to be tag spotters for the artillery missiles.

Equipment Ownership,  Membership and Training

The Brotherhood voted erly on to take a communal approach and so owns all its equipment. No one owns their mech or tank. Initially the core of the unit was a level III of ComGuard mechs, mostly SLDF designs, but as the unit formed, a lot of the equipment that was added came from the factories of the Federated Commonwealth or Free Worlds League. During The Jihad some Blakist designs were salvaged, some which had been taken from other houses. The recent raiding campaign and battles against the Draconis Combine have begun to add  designs common to the armies of the Dragon. In Short, its an eclectic mix of  equipment that has FedCom designs as the most common, but a mix from around the Inner Sphere can be seen.

The children of any active member of the Brotherhood or a member killed or disabled while on duty is entitled to membership. Mostly this means the kids spend time during their schooling years in the units BattleMech simulators. By the time schooling is finished, the students with the most promising battle mech simulator records are selected to enter mechwarrior training. The rest are then given aptitude tests and steered into one of the other functions be it infantry, medical or administrative. No one entitled to membership will be refused some sort of job, every unit needs cooks after all, but there is intense pressure to excel. Everyone is paid the same based on rank with the only exception that those who face live fire get a bonus. Widows and orphans are taken care of as is standard practice across the Inner Sphere. Anyone wishing to join The Brotherhood must sign over their equipment to the unit as a part of the membership process. Once anyone is officially a member, that membership can only be revoked for criminal acts against the unit or those it is charged with safeguarding, violation of the rules of war or cowardice. However, if a member is struggling in their assigned position, they are subject to being re-assigned at  the direction of the Precentor-General with at least two Precentor-Colonels agreeing.

Training in a military specialty is usually conducted in house. With the exception of doctors, the unit has enough experience to self train each generation.  Mechwarrior cadets will spend 6 months of the year on either a blue or gold team, and the other half of the year serving as astechs. As slots open up, each warrior senior to them can bid for the right to the open slot and the trainee MechWarrior will eventually have a spot open to them in a non-training level II. Armored vehicle crewmen do something similar but the training vehicles are the tanks attached to the HQ Level III. Aerospace pilots do things a bit differently. The primary level II responsible for training is the medium weight flight. Interceptor pilots in the light but blazingly fast aerospace fighters used for interception and recon missions need more sills that a rookie pilot has.  Regardless, all combat branches except the infantry use simulators. Infantry training is provided to all members as part of their general schooling, but only warriors waiting for a slot, the instructors who do the training, actual infantry recruits,  recruits from outside the unit who do not yet have an assigned role and any recently graduated students who have not yet been assigned a military specialty serve in the infantry level III on campaign.

 

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