Campaign of the Month: June 2014
Battletech (Farscape) : The New Breed
7th Cavalry - "The Iron Ponies"
Mercenary Combined-Arms Regiment
7th Cavalry – “The Iron Ponies” – Reinforced BattleMech Battalion (Reliable/Regular)
The 7th Cavalry is a mercenary unit with origins in the depths of the Terran Hegemony’s own development and history. Rich with its own traditions and history, the unit has survived as mercenaries, until recent events forced them to flee into the Periphery and scrabble for control of its own destiny among forgotten worlds and seek purpose once more. It is led by Lt. Colonel Eóghan Brand.
The unit is presently under-going a formal reorganization in response to its long-term contract to support the rebuilding efforts of The Petrópolis Free State under the banner of The Commonwealth of Nations.
In addition to the standard line of a full battalion of light and medium BattleMechs, an increasingly strong force of support arms, including infantry, armor and artillery, as well as a fair-sized technical and engineering support group are being organized from local civilian forces, supported and trained by its own military personnel, known as the 7th Cavalry Auxiliary Forces.
Consisting of almost four companies of light and medium BattleMechs, featuring several almost lost Star League designs, it is supported by two (2) companies of infantry and a company of Thumper Artillery Vehicles and twelve (12) Sniper Field Artillery Pieces. This force captured a pair of LT-MOB-25 Mobile Long Tom Artillery pieces when they invaded Petrópolis, taken from the local militia.
One of its infantry companies (the 31st Dragoons Infantry Company) is deployed as mechanized, with light Wheeled APCs and Wheeled Scout Cars attached as scouts. The other, the 14th (Foot) Infantry Company deploys as standard infantry, providing security for their DropShips and operations base in Petrópolis. This latter unit also has access to six (6) Anti-Tank Guns (one per platoon), as well as a handful of ancient anti-air Quad-Guns.
The bulk of the unit is carried aboard The Traveller, a Merchant-Class DropShip stolen from the Draconis Combine when they fled their employment. They had another JumpShip financed for hauling them out-system, the Invader-Class “Long Haul”, but it left their service when it deposited them in System – Dumassas. The ship has a single S-7A “Starbus” assigned for personnel and cargo transfers at the jump-point.
The unit also deploys several DropShips, including the Lady Heart, the Lady Stetson, and the Shockwave, to haul most of their unit’s vehicles and personnel, but the most important vehicle in their service, is the Manifest Titan, an ancient Jumbo-Class DropShip that serves the unit as both salvage operator, home for its command lance, mobile repair facilities, the unit’s technicians and dependents, and the remaining company of Mechs and pilots that are stored like cargo for transport. Also kept on the Manifest Titan, is a pair of stolen Dragonstar Passenger Transports, which double as assault drop-shuttles when required.
7th Cavalry Tartan
Organization of the 7th Cavalry Regiment
4th Technical Support Company
Four (4) Light Utility Transports
32 Techs (General) (7 Vet, 12 Reg, 13 Green)
35th Attack Company
Jenner, Jenner, Whitworth, Whitworth
Night Hawk, Panther, Night Hawk, Firestarter
Wasp, Hermes, Locust, Locust
36th Attack (Command) Lance
Griffin, Shadow Hawk, Hunchback, Blackjack
39th Attack Company
Wasp, Wasp, Locust, Stinger
Mongoose, Thorn, Wolverine, Wolverine
Blackjack, Vulcan, Ostroc, Wolverine
14th (Foot) Infantry Company
12 Squads Rifle Infantry
Six (6) Anti-Tank Guns
Three (3) Anti-Aircraft Quad Cannons (4xAC/2s)
31st Dragoons (Mechanized) Infantry Company
12 Squads Rifle Infantry
Twelve (12) Wheeled APCs
Three (3) Wheeled Scout Cars
114th Artillery Company
Twelve (12) Thumper Artillery Vehicles
Twelve (12) Light Utility Transports w/ Sniper Field Artillery Pieces
Two (2) LT-MOB-25 Mobile Long Tom Artillerys
An ancient unit with a history rich in the foundation of the Terran Hegemony, the 7th Cavalry was once an independent regiment of fast cavalry Mechs, operating as bandit-hunters along the Periphery. It has spent its years following the dissolution of the Star League serving as mercenaries, rarely achieving any great fame or acclaim, but moving from post to post as required, and always fulfilling its oaths. Then came the infamous “Death to Mercenaries” Decree.
“A warrior with
No master has no honor
And no need of life.”
- Takashi Kurita’s “Death to Mercenaries” Decree
This infamous decree was declared in response to the activities of Wolf’s Dragoons at the outset of the 4th Succession War, and resulted in a firestorm on Misery, and is considered a turning point in the history of that nation. As a result of his declaration as a haiku, no mercenaries began to work with the DCMS, and existing mercenary commands either left at the first opportunity, or abandoned the nation and fled to the Periphery.
The 7th Cavalry was among this latter, and seizing a transport JumpShip from the DCMS, fled into the Periphery. The unit, jumped from system to system, eventually settling on moving as far from Draconis Combine influence as possible, traveling along the Periphery border until they reached System – Dumassas, whereupon they decided to settle and found their own little Periphery landhold. Choosing the border district of Petrópolis, largely because of its unsettled nature and potential for development.
The 7th Cavalry invaded the capital city on the 19th of January, seizing the city of Petrópolis and its attached lands with very little conflict, facing down only a single infantry battalion who were unprepared for two companies of BattleMechs to drop directly into their cantonments and eliminate them largely in their barracks.
The local government quickly declared themselves in support of the 7th Cavalry, and by the 21st of January, 3031, the 7th Cavalry had a new home. Within days, it became obvious they had been welcomed (and promised payment) by the infamous Bloody Hand of Marcosa, who had guaranteed them the support of the town and its industries in exchange for a declaration of war against their enemy, The Republic of Buntar. On the 24th of January, The Petrópolis Free State declared itself free once more, and that the 7th cavalry were their protectors and the core of their army.
After several days of failed efforts to contact the unit’s leadership, the Iron Dingoes managed to send a message through ComStar to speak directly with the 7th Cavalry’s leaders. Pitbull agreed to meet with them in a neutral location, choosing Von Doom’s Interstellar Starport in The Free-City of Von Doom’s Downport. Meeting on the 8th of February at Wrolka’s Downport, a popular local restaurant, the two leaders met with a small escort, and after discussing their various situations, Pitbull suggested he had the means to give military support to the 7th Cavalry if they chose to seize the nation-state for themselves. While keeping the exact means vague, secretly hinting at the possession of the Sword of the Monarch, he hinted the ability to claim support from a portion of the nation and its surrounding border states in both Buntar and the Marcosan Mandate were available, and he stressed that the Iron Dingoes much preferred dealing with fellow mercenaries, rather than the terrorist organization that employed them.
While Lt. Colonel Eóghan Brand remained non-commital and reinforced that he and his officers were willing to work with the government of the Bloody Hand of Marcosa, he added the provision that as long as they fulfilled their oaths, he would fulfill his. This included an assurance of a landhold for his dependents and to support his forces. If that failed, he would rethink his loyalty. The two parties left amicably.
In late-3031, amidst rumors of disagreements between both the government and people of Petrópolis with their mercenary benefactors, the unit made an offer of sanctuary to the dependents of the 7th Cavalry, and in late-October of 3031, made their camp near Corazón Airfield available to the unit for evacuation. In early-November, the dependents arrived and were housed in the barracks until they could be joined by their families in the 7th Cav.
On December 14th, 3031, the local garrisons of the Bloody Hand Militia rose up and attacked the central fort directly, while other forces ambushed those lances out on the border conducting patrols. Losses were light, but in the face of overwhelming onslaught, the mercenaries of the 7th Cavalry chose to evacuate their positions, and in some disorder managed to rendezvous three days later (the 17th) at their hidden DropShips, and relocate at Corazón Airfield to be reunited with their dependents. After several days of rest and refit, the unit was fairly ready to take their next steps, but they chose to wait a couple months, looking for possible contracts. * “The Iron Dingoes” offered a fairly long-term contract to protect the * Duchy of Tharn from off-world invasion. Awaiting the return of Pitbull, the 7th Cavalry took the opportunity to take some downtime and bring their remaining units back into full operations.
The mercenaries quietly entered into negotiations with the three signatory nations of The Commonwealth of Nations following the nuclear devastation of Petrópolis in early-3032. Several months later, towards late-3032, they were deployed into the region to take over control of the governing and defense of the nation-state, with the full support of the Commonwealth, as a full signatory member once the situation had stabilized. While unusual, the need for peace in the region, combined with the mercenaries desire for a landhold of their own, has prompted the offer, and given them a seat at the table. It is expected they will officially join the Commonwealth in a few years time.
After several years of raiding, the 7th Cavalry and its control over the rebuilding of the Free State of Petrópolis, the nation-state and military came under repeated terrorist strikes, including several nuclear detonations. The Commonwealth finally made its declaration of open hatred of the actions of the Bloody Hand of Marcosa, and a by late-3039 boiled over into global war.
Initial strikes across the entire border between Marcosa and Petrópolis forced the technically superior forces of both the Commonwealth and 7th Cavalry into a defensive position, as they couldn’t counter the sheer number of Bloody hands forces. As international forces from all corners of the planet began arriving in the theater, the 7th Cavalry formally received control of the Sword of the Monarch and the emotions of the campaign changed.
As news of the formal deployment of the blade surfaced among Marcosan forces, all fight seemed to leave them, and within weeks the campaign was over, and the Marcosan Mandate was occupied by outside forces. In some instances captured on holo-footage, entire squads of Marcosan forces would surrender in the face of 7th Cavalry BattleMechs, particularly when confronted by the blazon of the sabre that they used as their ensign. The global war of 3040 was over almost before it had begun. The 7th Cavalry occupied the western portion of the nation, encompassing The Province of Cabinda, and set about bringing order to its war-torn infrastructure in the eastern part of its state.
In 3046, the unit detached its 8th Dragoons Company to fulfill its mandate in providing a force for the Star Guards, and further added several recently raised local militia from both Cabina and the Free-State to round out its performance. Artillery was added that had been captured as part of the Unification War, making it a potent force to be reckoned with.