12th Star Guards
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|12th Star Guards|
|Unit Profile (as of 3025)|
|CO||Hauptmann-General Mitch DeChavilier|
|Unit Disposition - 3025|
|First Regiment||New Earth - Veteran|
|Second Regiment||Ellison IV - Regular|
|Third Regiment||Lyons - Veteran|
|Seventh Regiment||Lyons - Green|
The Twelfth Star Guards was a very large mercenary unit with a long history, dating from the Exodus in 2784. Along with the Eridani Light Horse, it was one of the oldest mercenary units in the Inner Sphere. The unit served admirably for its employers up to and including the time of the Clan Invasion, when the unit was effectively destroyed as a fighting force.
The Twelfth Star Guards were created from regular Star League Defense Force units following Aleksandr Kerensky's Exodus. Two regiments of the SLDF—the Forty-second Striker Regiment and the Tenth Heavy Assault Regiment—chose not to follow General Kerensky and instead decided to band together and form a mercenary unit. Originally employed by the Capellan Confederation, the unit guarded twelve star systems and was called the Twelve Stars Guards. Eventually, that evolved into the more recognized name for the unit, the Twelfth Star Guards.
The unit's size fluctuated over the years from the original two regiments up to seven in the Second Succession War. During that war, the unit lost two regiments—one due to lack of pay, and the other was abandoned via deception by its then-employers, the Draconis Combine.
Third Succession War
At the beginning of the Third Succession War, the unit moved to the Federated Suns. During an attack on a Davion world, two battalions of the Sixth Regiment defected and joined the Kurita attackers due to on-going pay issues. The remaining battalion was merged with the Seventh Regiment. The unit then moved to the Lyran Commonwealth in 2967. Unfortunately for the Guards, an unscrupulous liaison officer embezzled vast funds destined for the unit.
In 2970 the 12th Star Guards raided the Kurita world of La Blon, destroying several ammunition dumps. They also guarded Loric in 2971, but mechanical failures in the Guards' equipment allowed the Regulan Hussars to take the world.
In 2978 Loric was the subject of a significant battle between Lyran and Free Worlds League forces; defending Loric alongside the Twelfth Star Guards were the Eridani Light Horse, and both units found themselves in the middle of the battle. With the Eridani Light Horse in urgent need of relief, the Twelfth Star Guards managed to break through the main Marik lines at Digger's Pass, but stalled at an ad-hoc defensive formation of assorted League units along a river line, with the Marik forces keeping the Eridani Light Horse cut off from reinforcements. The Twelfth Star Guards tried using Condor tanks from one of their supporting regiments, the Thirty-fourth Provisional Dixie Armored Regiment, to breach the defensive line without success, before finally breaking through by using their engineering company and their Engineering Vehicles to cut through the river banks and prepare the river bed for 'Mech movement. This was after attempts to build pontoon bridges failed due to heavy artillery bombardment and attacks from Marik AeroSpace Fighters. While the Twelfth Star Guards did manage to ford the river and relieve the Light Horse, the action cost them most of their engineering cadre and three out of their four engineering vehicles. The actions of the Third Battalion of the Thirty-fourth PDAR in attacking disorganized Marik formations on the other side of the river, despite being cut-off, and then holding a beachhead by destroying incoming ground forces were critical in giving the Star Guards time to ford the river.
The unit then moved to the Federated Suns in 3012 with the hope that their financial situation would improve. The unit managed to improve their situation slightly and decided to sign back up with the Lyran Commonwealth in 3024. The unit's financial situation improved further under the Lyran contract.
In late 3020 the Lyran Commonwealth launched what would become an extended campaign to recapture Alexandria from the Draconis Combine. The LCAF deployed a substantial force in the effort to liberate the planet, including several regiments of the Twelfth Star Guards leading a mercenary task force that consisted of a number of other mercenary units including Snord's Irregulars.
The Second and Third regiments were the descendants of the original SLDF regiments that formed the original mercenary unit. The Guards regiments were stationed on various planets around the Ryde Theatre in the Isle of Skye. Their headquarters were on Lyons (which later became a base for the Kell Hounds mercenary unit during the Fourth Succession War). The Guards moved from Lyons during the initial thrusts by the Commonwealth into Combine territory during that conflict.
The Twelfth Star Guards were effectively destroyed during the Clan Invasion. Stationed in the Tamar March of the Federated Commonwealth, the four Guards regiments garrisoned the worlds of Steelton, Toland, Icar, and Bensinger.
On Icar on 20 March 3050 the Third Guards regiment was one of the first Inner Sphere units to encounter the Clans when Clan Wolf's Fourth Wolf Guards dropped onto the world. Colonel Hannah Caitlin's aide would later write an account that captured the initial shock and devastation wrought by the Clans upon their unsuspecting opponents. The regiment was mauled and the survivors forced to surrender after a failed attempt to escape off-world.
The First and Second were nearly destroyed on Steelton and Toland, but were able to withdraw to Wotan. The Falcons destroyed the survivors of the First and Second regiments there. Bensinger was captured by the Jade Falcons, but the Seventh Guards regiment (Bouncer's Regiment, under Col. Ren Bouncer) didn't take part in its defense. Instead, they participated in a guerrilla conflict for several years.
The Guards' former chief tech, Felifious Bander, would eventually found Bander BattleMechs along with other former mercenary techs, a firm specializing in refitting BattleMechs with new technologies. By 3055, the firm would be large enough to introduce its first original design, the Bandersnatch. 
Units of the 12th Star Guards
- First Regiment - Rivers Gamblers
- Second Regiment - Ohell's Heavies
- Third Regiment - Paget's War Ponies
- Fourth Regiment - The RattFraggs
- Fifth Regiment
- Sixth Regiment
- Seventh Regiment - Scovy's Ironmen
"El Magnifico" is the code name for the Twelfth Star Guards' engineering unit. The Guards employed some of the best engineers in the Inner Sphere. An apocryphal tale tells of the unit actually building New Rome in a day but, not wanting to show off, tearing down part of the city and rebuilding it the next day.
Behemoth tank in Twelfth Star Guards livery
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), 12th Star Guards mercenary profile box
- House Steiner Sourcebook, FASA, 1987
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 18
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 66
- Technical Readout: 3026, Revised Edition, p. 44, "Engineering Vehicle"
- Technical Readout: 3026, Revised Edition, p. 52, "Condor Heavy Hover Tank"
- Cranston Snord's Irregulars, p. 6
- Cranston Snord's Irregulars, pp. 24-25 (Scenario "Up in Smoke")
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised, p. 6
- Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 31
- Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 57, "Icar"
- Era Report: 3052, p. 41
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 60
- Technical Readout: 3026, p. 40