Victor's retreat to the Alliance from the Federated Suns gave the battles in the fifth wave a completely new character. In seclusion on Muphrid (though that wasn't apparent until later in the war) he was no longer an immediate presence, leading by example, but rather a figurehead inspiring the troops from afar. To some extent, this undermined the Allied position—the troops were less inspired to fight—and Nondi Steiner staged a number of probing attacks against Allied worlds. One of her key objectives was finding Victor—Thorin seemed the most likely place though the attack on the planet did not find the Prince—and she flooded the region with LIC operatives in an attempt to divine his location.
With Coventry and Alarion in Allied hands, the Loyalists relied heavily on the massive industrial output of Hesperus. Unfortunately, Free Skye coveted the world—its control was vital if they wished to survive as an independent nation—and John Dundee committed a substantial force to capturing it. Still faced with Victor's troops (and the tail end of the Falcon Incursion) Nondi could spare few troops to bolster the key world's defense, and for several months the situation was precarious. The defenders were eventually able to bloody Free Skye's nose, but though this relived the pressure temporarily, it did not resolve the situation. Furthermore, the presence of two
Free Skye warships in-system prevented the shipment of 'Mechs and parts from the Defiance complex. The loyalists held Hesperus, but were effectively denied its use.
Wave five also saw the opening of a new front in the Civil War: the battle for control of Cavanaugh II. a conflict instigated by Nondi's son. Margrave Richard Steiner, as part of his plans to bolster his power base. Overconfident and overbearing, Margrave Steiner threw the border with the Free Worlds League into disarray, turning his headquarters world into a meat grinder that denuded the border defenses and denied Tharkad the use of several key units. Richard's plan for a short-sharp campaign was soon in tatters.
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