12th Star Guards
|12th Star Guards|
|Unit Profile (as of 3025)|
|CO||Hauptmann-General Mitch DeChavalier|
|Unit Disposition - 3025|
|1st Reg.||New Earth - Veteran|
|2nd Reg.||Ellison IV - Regular|
|3rd Reg.||Lyons - Veteran|
|7th Reg.||Lyons - Green|
The 12th Star Guards is a very large mercenary unit with a long history, dating from the Exodus in 2784. Along with the Eridani Light Horse, it is 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 12th Star Guards were created from regular Star League Defense Force units following Kerensky's Exodus. Two regiments of the SLDF — the 42nd Striker Regiment and the 10th 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, it guarded twelve star systems and was called the 12 Stars Guards. Eventually, that evolved into the more recognized name for the unit, the 12th Star Guards.
The unit's size has fluctuated over the years from the original two regiments up to a size of 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.
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 6th Regiment defected and joined the Kurita attackers due to on-going pay issues. The remaining battalion was merged with the 7th 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 12th Star Guards was 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 12th 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 12th Star Guards tried using Condor tanks from one of their supporting regiments, the 34th 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 12th 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 3rd Battalion of the 34th 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.
The 2nd and 3rd 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 12th 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. Clan Wolf took Icar in March, 3050, and destroyed the 3rd Guards regiment. The 1st and 2nd were nearly destroyed on Steelton and Toland, but were able to withdraw to Wotan. The Falcons destroyed the survivors of the 1st and 2nd regiments there. Bensinger was captured by the Jade Falcons, but the Seventh Guards regiment 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
- 1st Regiment - Rivers Gamblers
- 2nd Regiment - Ohell's Heavies
- 3rd Regiment - Paget's War Ponies
- 7th Regiment - Scovy's Ironmen
"El Magnifico" is the code name for the 12th 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 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"
- Technical Readout: 3050 Revised, p. 6
- Era Report: 3052, p. 41
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 60
- Technical Readout: 3026, p. 40