Marshal Stephan Cooper had his eyes set on Tikograd, the capital of Tikonov, from the moment he landed, and now he had a toehold within the fortified city. Unfortunately for him, while he had all but crushed the Tikonov militia, he still had two Republican Guards regiments, reinforced by the Tikonov Martial Academy training battalion, and an under-strength but still deadly Fifteenth Deneb Light Cavalry on-world to contend with.
With his troops well rested for just about the first time since the Civil War broke out, Marshal Michael Lipstein pushed ahead with his Fifteenth DLC, hitting Cooper's Davion Assault Guards from the south. Lipstein anticipated that move, however, and swung two full combat commands of assault-class BattieMechs and tanks to meet Lipstein's attack. Though Cooper definitely had the advantage in firepower, Lipstein had far more mobility than his opponent and used that against him. On the other hand, Cooper had spent many years within the DLC organization and intimately knew its tactics and capabilities. More than that, he had the light and fast First NAIS Cadre to act as his screening force.
The two generals sparred with each other for literally months while the remaining Tikonov militia, backed up by two battalions of Republican Guards, held the city against Cooper's assaults. Cooper had pushed some elements into the city early on. though, and his Assault Guards tenaciously held onto that comer, using it at a jumping-off ground for attack after attack against the militia. Unfortunately, the militia was occupying primarily civilian buildings, meaning that Cooper's troops was forced to smash through and destroy entire chunks of the city as they fought the militia.
The Archon's public relations staff, in conjunction with the DMI, used footage of combat within Tikograd to much effect against Victor Steiner-Davion and his Allied troops. Painting Victor an the aggressor who cared little for the com mon man, the Archon bought herself the support of the people within the Federated Suns for a little while longer.
By August Cooper had widened the breach in Tikograd's defensive wall and had pushed two infantry regiments into the city. That was still not enough, though, as the Free Tikonov nationalists, supported in part by Sun-Tzu Liao, had whipped the city's entire population up against the "Davionists." While that also served to set the population against the Fifteenth DLC, Marshal Lipstein simply accepted that, especially if that meant Cooper would have a more difficult time within Tikograd.
And a difficult time he did have. Every time he sortied a unit forward, be it 'Mech, tank or infantry, the city seemed to open up on his troops. Someone had taken the time to arm Tikograd's population with light weapons and even anti armor rockets, which meant that the Allied troops either had to accept higher casualties or would have to begin leveling the city. Cooper was unwilling to accept either option.
On the 16th of AutfuSt, he turned his attention ISO degrees and staged a massive assault on the Fifteenth DLC, Inflicting heavy casualties and pushing Lipstein back more than a hundred kilometers. With the DLC temporarily off of his back, he loaded up his DropShips. but rather than leave the planet entirely, he dropped on top of New Moscow and the four battalions of Republican Guards within the city. Though New Moscow was also walled, the city's defenders were wholly unprepared for five battalions of BattleMechs dropping on top of them, followed very closely by two battalions of battle armor and two jump infantry regiments. By the time the rest of the Assault Guards and First Cadre ground units entered the city, the Republican Guards had retreated, having lost some 40 pcrcent of their strength.
As August came to a close, Marshal Cooper received word through Field Marshal Sortek that he would soon be receiving some additional assistance. With that in mind, he consolidated his hold over New Moscow and awaited his reinforcements.
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