Other than Marlette, which was considered something of a warm-up for the climactic battle for New Avalon, only a handful of Federated Suns worlds were still gripped by the fighting. The combatants on most worlds had simply worn themselves out. With more information freely flowing than ever before, the citizens of the Federated Suns had finally been able to make informed decisions for themselves. As soon as the truth made its rounds of the Federated Suns, the last few battles quickly ended. The eyes of the nation were turned to the traditional seat of Davion power.
But then something happened. Assisted by the Confederation's House Dai Da Chi, the Free Tikonov Movement resurged on Tikonov and neutralized the defenders that Victor had left behind. Officially the world had declared independence from the Federated Suns and was granted "protectorate" status by the Capellan Confederation. Unofficially, it was obvious to all that many of the technical and support personnel that House Dai Da Chi had brought with them were Capellan political officers whose job it was to bring the world back into the Confederation.
As soon as the Tikonov incident happened, Duke George Hasek learned of additional Confederation troops— mostly mercenaries—moving into the Chaos March. Whether those troops were meant to take back additional worlds within the Chaos March or were ordered to make follow-on attacks into the Federated Suns, Duke Hasek didn't know. But he, like most of his people, was sick of the Federated Suns' official "hands-off" policy toward the Chaos March and the Capellan Confederation's continued incursion into the region. Sun-Tzu Liao had continued to grow his power base for years while first Prince Victor, and then both his sisters, just stood by and watched him gobble up world after world.
Duke Hasek needed to rally his march behind a cause, something to draw them all together as one again. The Chancellor's movements in the Chaos March gave him just the cause he needed, and unlike Duke James Sandoval's assault into the Combine, this would be a wholly justified exercise.
The world of Acamar had experienced something of a civil war of its own several years before war broke out within the former Federated Commonwealth, prompting a consortium of companies lead by General Motors of Kathil and Johnston Industries of New Syrtis—companies that relied heavily on the world's natural resources—to build a covert mercenary task force to stabilize the government on the world. The goal of the operation was not to specifically install a pro-FedCom government, though that was one of the side-effects of the operation.
As the Civil War waged on within the Federated Suns, Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao began to look again at the world of Acamar. While the world's government was friendly to the Federated Suns, Acamar remained an independent power. The Chancellor intended on changing both of those facts in October of 3066.
The mercenary unit Olson's Rangers was dispatched to the world of Acamar with orders to take the world's leaders into custody and to install a pro-Capellan government in their place. By using the mercenaries to accomplish his goals, units that he could claim were acting on their own and not on orders from Sian, the Chancellor hoped to sidestep any official censure by the Star League or other diplomatic incidents. That tactic had proven effective in his previous forays into the Chaos March. This time, however, he faced an opponent who was resolute in his determination to prevent the Chancellor from seizing control of any more worlds within the Chaos March.
WHERE ME ALL THE ItiRRSHlPS GORE?
The WarShip fleets of the former Federated Commonwealth were once ranked the most powerful of the Inner Sphere navies. While the Free Worlds League has many more ships, those ships are under-armored, barely capable of surviving through a single salvo of weapons fire. Likewise, the Draconis Combine fields a relatively large fleet, but its many different ship classes were saddled with technical difficulties that made it nearly impossible to keep more than a few operational at any one time'
The Federated Suns alone had a total of thirteen in service with eight more nearing completion when the Civil War erupted. Yet even with the intense lighting going on over Kathil, the McKenna Shipyards continued constructing the few remaining Avalons, even after the Robert Davion was destroyed in combat. Likewise, the New Syrtis Shipyards also finished off the few remaining Fox-class corvettes that were already under construction when the war broke out. In contrast, the Alliance had only five WarShips In service by the end of the Civil War, though one was the massive Mjolnir-class Yggdrasil.
Even with all of those WarShips In service, those ships played a relatively insignificant role in the Civil War. With the leaders of both sides watching troop movements and casualty reports, almost no one was paying attention to the WarShips. The Avalon-class Melissa Davion (named for the famous FedSuns leader, not the wife of Hanse Davion) went AWOL in the early months of the war to join Victor's task force, while the Fox-class Intrepid served as Field Marshal Sortek's command ship. The rest of the ships did little more than serve as mobile defensive platforms, a deterrent to a potential invasion force. Of course, AFFC combat doctrine recognized long ago that a WarShip was susceptible to massed DropShip attacks, making the powerful ships almost powerless to an assault by a full RCT.
So the ships remained all but sidelined until the climactic battles for New Avalon and Hesperus II, doing little more than playing escort.
Duke Hasek ordered the First Cunningham's Commandos to relocate to Acamar when he learned of the Chancellor's attack. Acamar only had a few companies of mercenary 'Mechs to pro tect it, units that fell within days of Olson's Rangers' landing. Their sacrifice bought Cunningham's Commandos enough time to reach the world before the Confederation agents had time to install a friendly government. Long-time employees of the Federated Suns, the Commandos were full time OpFor troops normally assigned to the Novaya Zemlya Combat Training Center. Not only were they better equipped than the Confederation mercenaries, they were also far better skilled.
The Commandos dropped right on top ot Olson's Rangers, scattering the mostly green troops in just the first Tew minutes. With their opponents already in disarray, the Commandos had an easy time hunting down and destroying the broken mercenary command. By the operation's fourth day, the Commandos had Colonel Nicholas Olson in custody and had pushed so hard that two of the unit's three battalions, each seriously understrength following the Commandos' attacks, withdrew from the world. The third battalion lasted only another day before Colonel James Longstreet finally cornered them and finished them off.
Acamar officially requested AFFS protection days later on 2 November. By the middle of the following year, Duke Hasek officially added the world to the Capellan March.
The Chancellor's first move within the Chaos March came on Genoa in October. A mineral-rich world caught between the Confederation's Liao Commonality and the FedSuns- Archernar PDZ, Genoa seemed to be a perfect world to drop Little Richard's Panzer Brigade onto, ostensibly for exercises but in reality to cow the world's leadership. Like Acamar, the world had fallen prey to raiders and rival factions several years earlier, and like Acamar, was liberated by a mercenary force in the employ of the consortium lead hy General Motors.
As soon as the Panzer Brigade landed on the world, Duke Hasek dispatched the Twelfth Vegan Rangers' Beta regiment to deal with the Capellan mercenaries. Assisted by the relatively small mercenary and personal guard units that called Genoa homo, the Vegan Rangers tore into the Panzer Brigade, driving them across the desolate surface of the world. As befitting their opponent's reputation, the Vegan Rangers showed the Panzer Brigade little mercy.
Two weeks after the Rangers landed, the Panzer Brigade packed up and left the world, though not before the Rangers pushed so close to their LZ that the FedSuns mercenaries disabled two of the Panzer Brigade's DropShips and completely annihilated the unit's conventional armor and infantry forces.
The Capellan mercenary unit headed for Arboris, where they hoped to build enough of a power base to call in Capellan reinforcements, but the Twelfth Vegan followed them to that world, this time fielding an additional battalion of 'Mechs salvaged from the Brigade. The people of Arboris immediately turned against the heavy-handed Panzer Brigade and threw their support behind the Vegan Rangers' campaign to rid the world of the Brigade,
Another week of pltchcd battles broke the Panzer Brigade's back, reducing the once proud regiment to less than a battalion of operational 'Mechs—a mere seven lances and forced the unit to withdraw from the Chaos March completely, with nothing to show for their expedition but the loss of more than two thirds of their regiment.
To add insult to injury, the Rangers repaired what former Brigade equipment they could and formed two understrength battalions from citizen volunteers from the two worlds, calling them the Vegan Tank Destroyers. The Rangers deployed one of these new battalions to each world and split their own command up between Arboris, Genoa and their original encampment on Algol.
As with Acamar, Duke Hasek absorbed these two worlds into his Capellan March, suddenly making the once precarious Zurich Salient a well-protected region of space.
Victor Steiner-Davlon added the Third Cruois Lancers to his Allied forces on the world ot Marlette early in Wave Seven, following up with the Blackwind Lancers and the 244th Com Guards Division shortly afterward. The Allied force on Marlette was overwhelming, but still the Loyalists managed to hold out for several months In the face of assault after costly assault. The Archon ordered them to hold the Allied forces in place for as long as possible, preventing those units from adding their own firepower to the battle for New Avalon.
The Loyalist reinforcements had landed In Rosencarl, but gave that city up as soon as the Third Lancers arrived on-world. They made a fighting withdrawal from the Allied RCTs, pulling to the south through Gil-den-Leni and eventually into Hedon's Path and Jaweh. Soon after the Loyalists reached those last two cities, however, the Blackwind Lancers and the 244th Division made landfall to the south of those cities.
The Allied units had the Loyalists trapped between them in the cities of Hedon's Path and Jaweh, though with the Norrct Mountain Range just to the east of both cities, the Loyalists had an escape route. They faded into the mountains, forcing the Allies to root them out. The entire battle for Marlette was taking much longer than originally planned, however, and in late January 3067 Precentor Shakov lead the 2'1/1th Division off of the world to lend his unit's strength to the battle for New Avalon.
That still left an overwhelming Allied force on the world. Under General Roberts, they continued to strike at the Loyalists in and out of the mountains, forcing the First Republican into surrender on the 5th of February. Just a week later they caught the hulk of the Marlette CMM out in the open of the Cregmoor Plains and wiped them out. The Loyalists continued to struggle on, but it had already become a losing prospect for them. The Fifth Lyran Guards—both surviving battalions of the original RCT—gave up on the 1 bth ot February, while the Fifteenth DLC finally surren dered on the 20th of Fehruary, hi.it only after Marshal Michael Lipstein had been taken as a POW,
The Third and Fifth Crucis Lancers immediately made preparations to jump to New Avalon while the Blackwind Lancers and
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