Thursday, May 19, 2011

Faction: Clan Nova Cat

Name:  Clan Nova Cat

In 3058, Inner Sphere leaders cooperated to form what would become known as the Second Star League. While the other Clans saw this new Star League as a sham, the Nova Cats saw it as fulfillment of destiny.

The Second Star League decided that the complete elimination of a Clan was necessary to end the war between the Inner Sphere and Clans. Due in part to the Nova Cat talks with the Draconis Combine, the new Star League decided that this target Clan would be Clan Smoke Jaguar. This operation was known as Operation Bulldog. In a series of mock trials, Clan Nova Cat forces would become abtakha to the Star League forces and themselves join in the fight against the Smoke Jaguars.

In 3060, with the goal of removing the Smoke Jaguars complete, the Star League would issue a Trial of Refusal against the entire Clan invasion. Now called the Great Refusal, it pitted the best of the Inner Sphere forces against the might of the Crusader Clans. To the surprise of everybody, the Clan Nova Cat Khans fought directly on the side of the Inner Sphere rather the sit on the sidelines with the other Warden Clans. Clan Nova Cat forces, lead by their two Khans, defeated Clan Ice Hellion to secure another victory for the Inner Sphere, at the cost of the lives of Khan Severen Leroux and saKhan Lucian Carns. While the Inner Sphere won the Great Refusal, this did not shield the Nova Cats from retribution.
  • Total (Inhabited) Systems: 14
  • Dominant Language(s): English
Political: During the subsequent Grand Council meeting, Clan Star Adder called for a Trial of Annihilation against the Nova Cats. While this was voted down by the Warden Clans, a subsequent call for the Nova Cat's abjuration passed without contest. The Nova Cats were given three months to vacate their holdings in the Home Worlds.

Many of the Crusader Clans attacked prematurely, catching Nova Cat forces off guard. In a series of desperate holding actions, Nova Cat forces held off attacking Crusader forces to allow time for their civilian castes to escape. While several Clans, notably Clan Diamond Shark and Clan Snow Raven, would help in the evacuation, the Nova Cats were mostly left to fend for themselves. Less then three clusters of troops would manage to escape the Homeworlds and reach the Nova Cat's Inner Sphere holdings, but their actions allowed numerous civilians to survive.

In the Inner Sphere, the Nova Cats were granted control of the Irece Prefecture by the Draconis Combine. In exchange for helping to defend the Draconis Combine against attack, they would be allowed to govern these planets in the Combine's name. Once again, the Nova Cats would be forced to rebuild, this time with the open support of the Draconis Combine.

Military: Clan Nova Cat's touman remains in a state a flux. Hampered by resource shortages, front line Galaxies are increasingly replacing losses with non-Omnimech Clan designs, mothballed Star League Defense Force units, and even Inner Sphere units. The Nova Cats still maintain standard Clan rank and unit structure, even if unit composition is less uniform then it has been in the past.

Clan Nova Cat Mech Acquisition Table

Honor Levels:
Zellbrigen (Dueling): 1
Physical Attacks: No
Retreat: 1

Current Players: Jeff

1)  2nd Nova Cat Guards (Elite) 
  • Khan Severn Leroux (2) - Supernova
2)  1st Nova Cat Lancers (Elite) [Ammo 1] (Fought Battle #2)
  • Khan Lucian Carns (2) - Timberwolf A
  • No Elementals

3) 12th Nova Cat Cavaliers (Veteran)  Destroyed, Battle #1
  • No Assault Mechs

4) 4th Nova Cat Lancers (Veteran) [Ammo 1] (Fought Battle #4)
  • No Elementals
5) 44th Nova Cat Cavaliers (Regular) [Ammo 1] (Fought Battle #3)
  • No Assault Mechs

Special Rules:  
  • All Cavalier and Lancer Clusters May only take 1 ENE mech per star
  • Guard clusters may take no more than 2 ENE mechs per star
  • Aggressive Bidding.  In an effort to be the first to land on Tukayyid,, the Nova Cats bid away one cluster of their landing force.  They were underbid by the Smoke Jaguars and are limited to 5 clusters for the battle.

Faction: Clan Wolf

Name:  Clan Wolf

Clan Wolf proved themselves expert warriors: they annihilated Clan Wolverine and absorbed Clan Widowmaker, long before their successes in the invasion of the Inner Sphere. They also created Elemental body armor, though it would take assistance from Clan Hell's Horses to perfect the Elemental phenotype and HarJel from the Diamond Sharks before Elemental suits reached their current form. They led the Warden Clans in the Grand Council and were the only Clan to oppose the Clan Invasion in 3050. Clan Wolf proposed sending a reconnaissance force to gather intelligence before the Invasion, a force that eventually became known as the Wolf's Dragoons, arguably the best mercenary unit in the Inner Sphere, and crucial in stopping the Clan's invasion.

In 3057, Clan Jade Falcon sought to remove Ulric and continue the invasion. When the Council tried Ulric for treason and voted him out of office, Clan Wolf all but destroyed itself in preventing the Jade Falcons from breaking the truce by instigating a Trial of Refusal on a scale never before seen outside of a Trial of Annihilation. This particular Trial of Refusal would be forever referred to as the "Refusal War" against the Jade Falcons.

To ensure the Clan's survival, Ulric ordered Phelan Kell (also known as Phelan Ward) to take a contingent of warriors and a cross-section of the other castes to the Inner Sphere while he and Natasha Kerensky sought to break the Falcons. Eventually, the Falcons were victorious, but they could not touch the part of the clan that left Clan-controlled space and went into self-imposed exile to the Inner Sphere. Ward's Warden Wolves, now known as Clan Wolf in Exile, settled on planet Arc-Royal in the Lyran Alliance and guarded the border against any Clan incursions.

An initially successful Jade Falcon attempt to Absorb the remaining Wolves was effectively made moot with the creation of the Clan Jade Wolf, an offshoot of Clan Jade Falcon, made up of captured Wolf warriors who were "absorbed" into the Jade Falcons. The Jade Wolves later changed their name by dropping the "Jade" part and simply going by "Wolf", effectively usurping the name of the original, or pre-Refusal War, Clan Wolf. These Wolves (also known as Crusader Wolves) rebuilt their strength and have declared themselves the only Crusader Clan not bound by the Crusader's defeat during the Great Refusal.
  • Total (Inhabited) Systems: 83
  • Dominant Language(s): English
Clan Wolf is also noted for their lack of formality (another thing that greatly annoys the Falcons). While they respect their traditions, they adapt to the situation, they make up their own mind, and don't rush in and think later - a trait that has proven valuable during their invasion of the Inner Sphere, where Clans found that technological edge and mastery of one on one combat is not enough to always guarantee a win.

With the devastating losses of the Refusal War, Wolf Khan Vladimir Ward has been forced to take extreme measures to ensure the survival of his Clan.

His first and most ambitious decision was to rebuild all four Wolf front-line Galaxies at once. After refuting the attempted Absorption of the Wolves by Clan Jade Falcon, the Wolves reclaimed all salvage taken up to the battle on Wotan. As Wolf warriors and OmniMechs came back into service, Khan Ward identified a small, elite core of warriors around whom three Galaxies could be re-formed. To these he added upper quality garrison troops, providing them with OmniMechs when possible and giving them the best possible BattleMechs when not. To create the fourth front line Galaxy, he gave the unprecedented order that one full garrison Galaxy would be integrated with front line forces under a new Galaxy Commander. Currently, this new Delta Galaxy is considered somewhere between second line and front line troops in quality, but Galaxy Commander Katya Kerensky has wrought astounding improvements.

Clan Wolf Mech Acquisition Table

Honor Levels:
Zellbrigen (Dueling): 4
Physical Attacks: Yes
Retreat: 4

Current Players: Dave

1)   Silver Keshik (Silver Keshik) [Elite]
  • Khan Garth Radick (2) Executioner - A
  • Only Omni Mechs may be taken
2)  13th Wolf Guards (Widowmakers) [Elite]
  • Khan Natasha Kerensky (1) Dire Wolf - Widowmaker
  • Phelan Ward (2) Wolfhound IIC
3)   3rd Battle Cluster (Silver Devils) [Veteran] (Destroyed Battle #1)

4)   4th Wolf Guards (The Cyclops Cluster) [Veteran]

5)   11th Wolf Guards (The Lightning Pack) [Veteran] 
  • No Assault Mechs
  • No Elementals
6)   7th Battle Cluster (Hungry Wolves) [Regular]

Special Rules:  
  • Wary of the Wolf.  The other Clans fearful of the success Clan Wolf has had already in the invasion, demand a head start to Clan Wolf landing on Tukayyid.  The Clan Wolf Players will not place their forces on the Campaign Map until Campaign Turn 2.
  • Stalking the prey.  During the Campaign turn, the Clan Wolf player is always the last to go.
  • Well Supplied.  Clan Wolf unit are always considered 1 hex square closer to a Supply depot/landing zone for purposes of ammo supply. 
  • Naga, Only Clan Wolf fields the Arrow 4 artillery carrying Omnimech, though it may not be fielded by an Elite unit as there is still some stigma to the honorable nature of artillery. 

Faction: Clan Ghost Bear

Name:  Clan Ghost Bear

Powerful Clansmen, the Ghost Bears are known for their conservative nature and their strong sense of family. They joined the original Clan Invasion in 3050 and seized some forty worlds from the Free Rasalhague Republic and Draconis Combine. They won a minor victory against the ComGuards at the Battle of Tukayyid and bode their time since.
  • Total (Inhabited) Systems: 40+
  • Dominant Language(s): English
During the Great Refusal on Strana Mechty, the Ghost Bears abandoned their Crusader beliefs and embraced the Warden faction, leading them out of the Trial of Refusal being waged by the Inner Sphere. They subsequently relocated to the Inner Sphere, abandoning all their Clan holdings save for their enclave on Arcadia and their posting on Strana Mechty.

They are a now a permanent feature of the Inner Sphere and have remained tranquil, save for a brief war with the Draconis Combine following the latter's attack on their capital, Alshain. Currently they have merged with the Inner Sphere faction Free Rasalhague Republic to form the Ghost Bear Dominion. It was the first true merger between a Clan and an Inner Sphere nation where the citizens treat the Clan Warrior caste as the rulers, but the ruling warriors give free reign to their Rasalhague citizens. The Ghost Bear Khan holds the main power and there is a Prince voted for by the people to control all matters concerning the population. Not all Rasalhague citizens have accepted this merger and the remaining Free Rassalhague Republic worlds are in the area near Tukayyid.

The Ghost Bear Touman centers on strength and speed, employing 'Mechs with powerful arrays of weapons, often to the point where armor and heat sinks are compromised. The use fast 'Mechs such as Fire Moth to deploy their significant force of Elementals, the largest of any Clan. In fact, the Ghost Bears have deployed an entire Galaxy consisting solely of Elementals. Generally, Ghost Bear clusters consist of two trinaries of 'Mechs, on trinary of Elementals and a mixed Nova or either 'Mechs and Elementals or 'Mechs and AeroSpace fighters.

Ghost Bear training is harsh and especially physical. All warriors undergo personal combat training, and it is interesting to note that Clan Ghost Bear never adopted the aerospace pilot genotype for its pilots, instead using what other Clans would consider MechWarrior stock for that role. Many suspect the Bears made this move not only because of their famous reluctance to adopt nw methods, but also because the pilot genotype makes for poor hand to hand combatants.

Clan Ghost Bear Mech Acquisition Table

Honor Levels:
Zellbrigen (Dueling): 1
Physical Attacks: No
Retreat: 1

Adjustments:  After every battle the Ghost Bears take part in, Honor levels go up by 1.
After 2 battles, Physical attacks will switch to yes.

Current Players: Dereck

1)  20th Polar Bear Attack Cluster (Elite) [Ammo 1] (Fought Battle #2)
  • Khan Han Jorgensen (2)Kodiak (KIA - Battle #2)
2)  1st Bear Guard (Elite)
  • Khan James Snuka (2) Dire Wolf S
  • Omni mechs only 
3) 7th Bear Guard (Veteran)  [Ammo 1] (Fought Battle #1)
  •  Mert Foster (3) Nova Prime
4) 50th Striker Cluster (Veteran)
  • No Assault mechs
5) Reserve Trinary Echo Four (Regular)
  • Star Captain Lee (3) Rifleman IIC
  • No Omnimechs
  • No Elementals
  • May never be the furthest unit advanced on the map.

Special Rules:  
  • No more than 2 ENE mechs in any star.
  • Aggressive Bidding.  In an effort to be the first to land on Tukayyid,, the Ghost Bears bid away one cluster of their landing force.  They were underbid by the Smoke Jaguars and are limited to 5 clusters for the battle.  Though their replacing a front line cluster with reserve unit earned them the right to land second on Tukayyid.
  • The Ghost Bear players will always be the second clan to declare their campaign movements (after the Smoke Jaguars)
  • The Ghost Bear player will always play the second battle of the campaign round.

Faction: Clan Diamond Shark

Name:  Clan Diamond Shark

Unlike other Clans, the Diamond Sharks view the civilian castes as supporting the Clan rather than just the warrior caste, allowing them to flourish. The Diamond Shark economy is the strongest in the Clans, attributed to the strong bonds between the castes. This has resulted in disparaging comments from the other Clans (the Coyotes have a saying "when there are fins in the water, don't go swimming"), especially after the disaster of Tukayyid, but has allowed the Clan to rebuild quickly. Doing so forced the warriors to make concessions to the merchant caste, a matter than has only recently been resolved.

The Diamond Sharks take Bondsmen wherever possible. To quote one Star Colonel, "Bondsmen are a simple by product of another action - one we can exploit". It is not unknown for the Diamond Sharks to return bondsmen to their original Clan in exchange for some form of concessions. This allows them to repatriate any troublesome elements and still make a 'profit' on the situation.

The Diamond Sharks understand honor, but their own application of it is somewhat flexible. They understand the need to display an honorable countenance to smooth dealings with other Clans, but believe strict adherence to the Honor Road is detrimental to the Clans best interests. To do so would cut the Clan off from many opportunities, something even the warrior caste is loathe to do.
  • Total (Inhabited) Systems: 4 (Merchant Worlds)
  • Dominant Language(s): English
Similarly, the Clan is not overly political. Their viewpoint wanders between the Crusader and Warden philosophies. Since Tukayyid and their ejection they have espoused the Warden cause but generally prefer to remain apolitical, again because favoring one camp too strongly would be bad for business.

The primary reason for supporting the Crusader faction in the invasion was to gain access to Inner Sphere markets, which they regard as largely untapped. They have taken made strong ties with the Inner Sphere, and rumors already circulate that they have established relations with Inner Sphere trading cartels.

Although they fought in the Inner Sphere, most other Clans look on the Diamond Shark military with disdain. Gutted on Tukayyid, the Diamond Shark Touman has rebuilt in the eight years since with the assistance of the merchant caste. The Sharks rarely resort to violence, preferring to get their way through mercantile means. However, interference with their commercial operations frequently elicits a devastating response.

Like most Clans, the Diamond Sharks discriminate against freeborn warriors. However, the need to guard their territory and merchant vessels means the Clan cannot be too picky, and thus does use such troops, mainly in a second line militia. Many train to fight as marines aboard ship, or to act as compound guards.

Unusually, many Shark warriors retire from active service and take up positions in lower castes. Little stigma is attached to such actions, and Bloodnamed retirees may retain their warrior qualification by passing an annual Trial of Position. Because of this policy, the Diamond Sharks have few Solahma units.

Over the years the Diamond Sharks have developed a reputation as sharp bidders, forcing opponents to miscalculate and lose more frequently that would be expected. Although such tactics have offended the other Clans, the Sharks view them simply as an extension of the standard 'efficiency' measures.

Clan Diamond Shark Mech Acquisition Table

Honor Levels:
Zellbrigen (Dueling): 1
Physical Attacks: No
Retreat: 1

Current Players: Kyle

1)  39th Striker Cluster (Elite)  [Ammo 1] (Fought Battle #3)
  • Khan Ian Hawker (2) (Warhawk B)
  • Alycote Ephialtes (3) (Hunchback HBK-4P)
2)  222nd Assault Cluster (Elite) [Ammo 1] (Fought Battle #1)
  • Khan Jorel Davis (2) (Mad Cat A)
3) 369th Striker Cluster (Veteran)  (Destroyed Battle #4)

4) 19th Heavy Cluster (Veteran)
  • No Light mechs
  • No Elementals
5) 3rd Shark Regulars (Regular) [Ammo 1] (Fought Battle #2)
  • No Omni-Mechs
  • No Elementals

Special Rules:  
  • Aggressive bid falls short.  In an attempt to be the first Clan on Tukayyid, Clan Diamond Shark bid away one of their clusters and only have five clusters to face the Comguard forces.
  • No more than 1 ENE mech may be taken per star.
  • Merchant bonus,  When building each Star, the Diamond Shark player can automatically pass one Acquisition roll.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Faction: Clan Jade Falcon

Name:  Clan Jade Falcon

The strictly traditionalist Crusaders of Clan Jade Falcon have long resented and been envious of Clan Wolf for their strength, holdings, and (most of all) possession of the coveted Kerensky Bloodname. The Jade Falcons participated in the initial invasion of the Inner Sphere and seized many Lyran worlds from the Federated Commonwealth. They were the first Clan to taste defeat at the hands of Inner Sphere forces, losing on Twycross in 3050. Achieving a draw with the ComGuards on Tukayyid, they schemed and plotted to undo the Truce. They were nearly destroyed by their Refusal War with the Wolves in an attempt to do just that. They lost many warriors and both of their Khans in subsequent politicking. Their new khan launched a daring strike at Coventry in the Lyran Alliance and managed to restore the Jade Falcons' strength by winning possession of other Crusader units in the Harvest Trials. The Jade Falcons beat the ComGuards during the Great Refusal on Strana Mechty and then pushed the Steel Vipers out of their Occupation Zone; after that, they seized (and lost) several more Lyran worlds during the FedCom Civil War. They still eye Terra and have not given up hope of claiming it.

  • Total (Inhabited) Systems: 50+
  • Dominant Language(s): English

Clan Jade Falcon is founded on a caste-based martial society, which divides people into several distinct groups. The highest caste is the warrior caste, where MechWarriors, pilots, and genetically enhanced infantry called Elementals command the greatest respect. Warriors are genetically bred through steel wombs, where the genetic material from prominent warriors is combined to create a unique batch of children who are thought to be superior in combat. These children, or sibkos, go through a variety of tests for their first 20 years, at the end of which they will be judged to be warriors or not.

Below the warriors are the techs, who keep the BattleMechs, aerospace fighters, and armored infantry functioning. While they are essential to the society, most warriors look down on techs as inferiors and less valuable members of society. Roughly parallel to the techs is the Scientist caste, where biologists, engineers, and researchers determine how to further enhance Clan Jade Falcon's already-considerable gene pool, armament, and technological progress.

Below the scientists and techs are the merchants, who conduct trade with other Clans and, covertly, states and trading houses from the Inner Sphere. While they are rarely seen, the merchants provide the industrial and transportation backbone for the Clans.

At the lowest level of Clan Jade Falcon are the laborers, who do manual labor and jobs too demeaning for other caste members.

Jade Falcons esteem MechWarriors above all other combat personnel, and see their MechWarriors as the ultimate result of their breeding practices. Their MechWarriors are brash, fierce, and unrelenting. While subtlety is rare among the Jade Falcons, their relentless drive to crush the enemy is a potent force. MechWarriors will often take incredible risks, sometimes failing, but often gaining victory or a heroic death that ensures their genetic legacy will live on among future generations.

Jade Falcon Elementals are thought highly of as well, with particular attention paid to tenacity and endurance. During their initial sweep into the Inner Sphere, Jade Falcon Elementals played an integral part in capturing and maintaining order among hostile worlds.

While pilots of aerospace fighters are not as highly respected as MechWarriors, they are still warriors and rank above the other castes.

Clan Jade Falcon Mech Acquisition Table

Honor Levels:
Zellbrigen (Dueling): 4
Physical Attacks: Yes
Retreat: 4

Current Players: Gregg

1) 1st Falcon Jeagers (Elite) [Ammo 1] (Fought Battle #3)
  • Khan Elias Crichell (2) Summoner Prime (KIA - Battle #3)
  • All Omni Mechs
2) 305th Assault Cluster (Elite) [Ammo 1] (Fought Battle #3)
  • Khan Vandervahn Chistu (2) Executioner A
  • No Light Mechs
3) The Falcon Guard (Veteran) Destroyed Battle #2
  • Aiden Pryde (2) (Timberwolf - Pryde)
  • Joanna (2) (Vulture - Prime)
  • Horse (3) (Hellhound)
  • Diana (4) (Warhawk - Prime)
4) 12th Falcon Regulars (Veteran) Destroyed, Battle #1

5) 124th Striker Cluster (Regular)
  • No Assault mechs
  • No Elementals
6) 2nd Falcon Regulars (Regular) [Ammo 1] (Fought Battle #4)

Special Rules:  
  • No More than 2 ENE mechs per Star.
  • Falcon Guard family:  Should both Aiden Pryde & Diana be selected as part of a Falcon Guard force and Diana's Warhawk is destroyed while Aiden Pryde's Timberwolf is still in the battle.  Aiden's skill improves by 2 (to a 0), and he will not retreat from the battlefield.

Faction: ComStar (WIP)

Name:  ComStar

Founded in 2788 by Jerome Blake, ComStar guards and maintains the HyperPulse generator communications network and other valuable technologies developed during the era of the Star League, holding advanced technology that would otherwise have been lost during its collapse. 
  • Total (Inhabited) Systems: Facilities on roughly 98% of all inhabited systems within the Inner Sphere.
  • Dominant Language(s): English
When the Clan Invasion occurred in 3049-3051, one of the leaders of ComStar, Anastasius Focht, proposed a deal to the ilKhan of the opposing Clan forces, Ulric Kerensky, in which the invading Clans would fight the forces of ComStar on the remote Rasalhaguese planet of Tukayyid. To fight the Clans, Focht revealed the existence of the ComGuard, the elite, near mythical military branch of ComStar that had been hidden since the fall of the Star League.

The ComGuard forces clashed with the invading Clans on Tukayyid, and used their tactics and knowledge of clan weaknesses to attain an almost absolute victory against all but one of the opposing clans. Humiliated, ilKhan Kerensky was forced to accept a 15 year truce with the Inner Sphere.

Following the Battle of Tukayyid, Focht returned to Terra to confront radical Primus Myndo Waterly, who had hoped a Clan takeover of the Inner Sphere would lead to control by ComStar. Focht killed Waterly and tried but failed to cover it up. However, Precentor Demona Aziz of Atreus knew the truth and left Terra with a group of followers. With the permission of Thomas Marik, the new Word of Blake would occupy land on the world of Gibson.

Following the revealing of the ComGuard, ComStar became an even more predominant force in the Inner Sphere. The ComGuard were deployed all across the Inner Sphere to act as guards of HPGs on wartorn planets, and also were called on to act as Second Star League peacekeepers following the Whitting Conference of 3058. In this guise, ComGuard forces went with Prince Victor Ian Steiner-Davion to the Clan homeworld of Strana Mechty, where they participated in the Great Refusal, during which they were defeated by Clan Jade Falcon.

ComStar would be dealt a major blow when the Word of Blake captured Terra in Operation Odysseus. Anastasius Focht chose not to recapture the planet, believing that the Clans were a greater threat. Soon all of ComStar would be moved to Tukayyid.

The Com Guards, formerly referred to as the ComStar Guards and Militia, is the military arm of ComStar. Kept hidden by the supposedly politically neutral organization until after the Fourth Succession War, the Guards are a force on par with the militaries of the Successor States. Originally serving as garrison troops for ComStar's HPG compounds, they have shifted towards a role as defenders of the Inner Sphere, most famously their victory against the Clans in the Battle of Tukayyid.

ComGuard Mech Acquisition Table

ComGuard Tank Acquisition Table