1st Viper Guards (Clan Steel Viper)
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|1st Viper Guards|
|Unit Profile (as of 3075)|
|Nickname||The Viper's Fury|
|Parent Formation||Alpha Galaxy|
- 1 Unit Description
- 2 History
- 3 Officers
- 4 Tactics
- 5 Composition History
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
The First Viper Guards was a frontline Clan Steel Viper Cluster, which had served the Clan since its inception.
In 2807, Khan Nicholas Kerensky announced the formation of the Clans, amongst them Clan Steel Viper. The Clan only numbered 40 tested out warriors, ten of whom would become part of the original First Viper Guards. Its members were a mixture of newly-graduated recruits and warriors from the original SLDF. These men and women would train for years as part of Nicholas Kerensky's ambition to retake the Pentagon Worlds, which were locked in a savage civil war. The Guards, with the rest of their Clan, would would emerge years later from their training and preparation for a campaign to liberate Pentagon Worlds.
The Arcadia Campaign
In July 1st, 2821, Operation Klondike began, where 1st Steel Viper Binary as it was then known travelled with the rest of the Clan to its target Pentagon world of Arcadia. With Clan Blood Spirit, the 1st Guards and rest of the Cluster landed on the continent of West Arcadia. Due to heavy resistance with Clan arrival, the Vipers' original landing points were altered. After landing, Khan Kinnison pushed ahead with its Blood Spirit partners to attack the Ilkasur Shogunate. At urging by their Khan, 1st Guards moved ahead rapidly with Clan's objectives, taking the cities of Ilkasur Shogunate. However the many of the fights their Clan had been spread too thin, with little support. This resulted in victories against the Shogunate with unnecessary damage from the fighting. During the three weeks of campaign after the landing, the Guards along rest of the forces fought honorable battles, with honor-bound Shogunate warriors. As campaign arrived at the Ilkasur Shogunate's capital of Kito, SaKhan Steven Breen negotiated with Ilkasur Shogunate's Shogun Wiki’i Leonov to fight an arranged battle in the foothills of the Motomara Forest for the fate of the city. The six hour battle would be end in their Clan's favor, battle for Kito. The 1st Guards were then deployed with rest of the Allied Clan forces in to southern parts of West Arcadia, to face the Confederation of Arcadia. This new phase of the campaign into Confederation territory became first to see the development of what would become the Clan tradition of bidding forces. The Vipers, in coordination with the Blood Spirits, plunged into conquest of the city-states of the Confederation finishing their Clan's objectives on time in Western Arcadia. The unit saw action in major fights in the East Arcadia continent where they first began its fighting with the Democratic Republic of Rand in a 46 day long campaign. Which did weather conditions and wear and tear on their equipment hamper. They would later fight better trained and lead forces of Helgren County, final phase of combat for the planet. The Clan expeditions finally ended their conquest of the planet by December.
After Clan of the Pentagon Worlds was complete, the 1st Vipers Guards were split off from the original Steel Viper Cluster and used as the core of its own Cluster. The Cluster was originally an all 'Mech force, the First Viper Guards noted during the Golden Century for having fought the Trials of Possession which led to the Clan acquiring the newly developed Elemental battle suits and the Elemental bloodlines from Clan Hell's Horses. Once developed, the First Viper Guards rapidly began to include these new troops in their formation.
In November 3051, the 1st Guards were bid for the right to conduct a Trial of Possession for Montmarault during the 5th Wave of the Clan Invasion. Angered at the prospects of losing this planet, the defending 305th Assault Cluster of Clan Jade Falcon vented their anger towards the Guards in a three-day battle for control of the planet. The Guards emerged victorious over the elite Falcon Cluster. Later Falcon leadership would use excuse of 305th was fatigued from constant fighting for Inner Sphere worlds as reason for their loss against fresh troops.
The Guards would be mustered with the rest of the Alpha Galaxy to assault the Free Rasalhague Republic world of Jabuka. Part of the Clan's first full-scale battle with Inner Sphere forces, Alpha Galaxy's leadership chose non-conventional means in breakup two defending Lyran regiments that were defending the planet. The Guards with rest of the Alpha's 'Mech forces were held back while Galaxy's artillery batteries hammered the 17th Donegal and 19th Lyran Guards positions until they were badly mauled from the bombardment. Left confused and weakened, Guard with the rest of the 'Mech and Aerospace forces assault the confused 17th which barely escaped them. They would return to pursue the 19th in to the Caspern mountains until they hunted them to their destruction.
In May of 3052, the Clans entered a proxy battle where they would fight ComStar in a Trial of Possession for the home world of the Star League, Terra. Landing on Tukayyid, the Steel Vipers would assign 1st Viper Guard's Alpha Galaxy and Gamma Galaxy to take the cities of Kelly Springs and Kozice Ranch Station. The two cities were protected Area was defended by ComStar's 6th ComGuard Army, which utilized the treacherous region known as the Devil's Bath. After making planetfall, 1st Guards with rest of Clan forces began the march toward their first objective, Kozice Ranch Station. As they headed towards the city, Com Guard's aerospace and artillery forces rained ordnance on them. They were meet with green troops of the 6th Division just as they approached the Devil's Bath. The Division soon fell back after meeting firepower, goated them to pursue them into rough terrain of Bath. Reluctantly Khan Breen ordered a pursuit into what turned into a massive trap, losing some of the Guard's OmniMechs into bottomless sinkholes. However, insulting challenges issued by the 6th Division's commander, egged them on. The Guards with rest of Alpha Galaxy, they and 'Mechs of Gamma Galaxy would pin down the 6th Division and reduce to them a company of operational 'Mechs as revenge. However, ComGuard forces had cut their supply lines and the fighting throughout the Bath had destroyed 20% of Alpha's overall strength. Khan would withdraw some of her troops who were empty of ammunition, while the 1st Guard along with the rest of Alpha provided covering fire and destroyed the ComGuard's 78th Division in the process. As the Guards finally reached the outskirts of the city, additional ComGuard forces had moved to bolster their front lines. With other Clan forces defeated, Khan Breen ordered a general withdrawal from Tukayyid despite being within reach of their targets.
Post Invasion Years
Shortly after Tukayyid, newly elected senior Khan Perigard Zalman staged a campaign to expand the Vipers' holdings within the Jade Falcon Occupation Zone starting in June 3052. The Guards' turn to fight in the conflict did not come until the end of the campaign, when the 1st Guards in concert with the 2nd Viper Guards sent take Falcon world of Antares. The invasion of the planet was a diversion to draw attention away from their Clan's principal target of Graus. They with the 2nd Guards would reach the planet in September of 3053, where they engaged the Falcons' elite 5th Battle and 2nd Falcon Jaegers. During their fight with the Falcons in the Tranquillity Mountains, the world's natives would aid Guards in helping them herd them into trap. Guards would surround the hapless Falcons forcing them to concede the planet to them. Guards' commander would grant hegira to Falcons allowing to withdraw from the planet. The unit would later be stationed on Jabuka as part of its garrison assignment in their shared occupation zone in the Inner Sphere.
Falcon-Viper War of 3061
On the 1st April of 3061, the unit was part of their Clan's intention to seize Clan Jade Falcon's holding in their held Occupation Zone. The unit would participate in the fighting that would amount to claiming 13 Falcon worlds in the first of two waves of attacks. However, fortunes would be reversed with the arrival of Falcon’s Khan and her frontline forces in June. After ferocious fighting the Guards and rest of the Steel Viper Clan were forced to withdraw after its Khan was defeated on Viper’s Occupation Zone capital of Waldorff in December. The unit suffered a considerable amount of damage from fighting with the Falcons.
Ejection from Inner Sphere and the Lum Invasion
After its Khan accepted hegira from the Falcons, Zalman would plot how to recapture his Clan’s lost honor and demonstrate its vitality to the Home Clans. On the return to Clan space, Clan Snow Raven had claimed Viper’s holding on Homer. In September 3065, 1st Viper Guards and numerous other units would be part of the expedition to Snow Raven’s home world of Lum. The Guards would be part of spear heading the operation and remained on Lum for five weeks, until in October Khan Zalman ended the operation. Having fought well on Lum, the unit still was retaining its full strength as of 3067.
Wars of Reaving
In the aftermath of Clan Coyotes’ collusion with the Society caste revolts and its bandit actions it was to be punished by the Grand Council. Each Coyote warrior that could not be positively identified as collaborating with the Society had to fight a personal Trial of Refusal, with the odds set by the Council. The First successfully defended the Council's edict in a Trial of Refusal against the Sixty-ninth Strike Cluster in February 3075..
IlKhan Andrews' violation of the Council's rules and traditions by shooting Khan N'Buta during the meeting pushed the Cloud Cobra Khan Hollyann Kardaan to condemned the act as evidence of the Steel Vipers' corruption, calling for an Annihilation of the Clan. Alpha were defending New Kent when a combined Clan force attacked in December 3075. After an epic naval battle that saw over 500 Viper fighters engage and destroyed the last of the Viper capitol ships the Clans landed. Over a quarter of the transport DropShips had been destroyed in space and the ground batteries took a further toll. The Blood Spirt's land first followed by the Stone Lions, silencing the batteries and allowing the rest of the assault force to land. After a week of fighting the Vipers including Alhpha Galaxy were surrounded. The final assault eventually came after a lull in fighting, but the Vipers turn the shattered street of New Kent City into a fortress and could not be dislodged. As the casualties mounted the new ilKhan recalled his forces and obliterated the city and all surviving Steel Vipers with an orbital bombardment, including the remains of the First.
After the Clan Invasion, the unit would employ headhunter tactics against Inner Sphere forces whenever they came across them.
First Viper Guards 
- 1 BattleMech Binary
First Viper Guards 
- Command Nova
- Assault Trinary
- Supernova Binary
- Supernova Binary
- Heavy Binary
First Viper Guards 
- Cluster Command Star (1 OmniMech Star)
- Trinary Alpha (3 OmniMech Stars) Krait, Boa, Boa - CO: Star Captain Benjamin
- Trinary Bravo (3 OmniMech Stars) Krait, Boa, Mamba - CO: Star Captain Beth
- Trinary Charlie (3 OmniMech Stars) Krait, Boa, Mamba - CO: Star Captain Michaela
- Trinary Delta (1 OmniMech/Elemental Nova, 2 Elemental Stars) Rattler, Cobra, Cobra - CO: Star Captain Deanne
- Trinary Echo (1 OmniMech/Elemental Nova, 2 Elemental Stars) Rattler, Cobra, Cobra - CO: Star Captain Pueblo
Note: As of 3057, the unit mixed configuration of Novas were known as Rattlers as their all-elemental Stars were called Cobras as part of the Cluster's special purpose Stars.
First Viper Guards - Elite/Fanatical 
- 5 Trinaries
First Viper Guards - Elite/Fanatical 
- 90% operational strength and fully equipped with OmniMechs.
The Era Report: 3052 notes when generating a force from the 1st Viper Guards using special command abilities, the controlling player include a single Star of Elementals for every Trinary or Binary used in the scenario. In the older Field Manual: Warden Clans, the Cluster is not given any special scenario abilities.
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 27-29, 103 - Early Clan Steel Viper/Clan events that would involve 1st Vipers Guards.
- Era Report: 3052, p. 59, !Unit Profile of the 1st Viper Guards, including early unit history!
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 49, 54-55, 57-59, 103, "Arcadia Campaign".
- Invading Clans, p. 88 Montmarault - 1st Viper Guards noted as being the actual unit that fought and won control of the planet.
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 43 - Montmarault - Listed as the Viper Guards, the 1st Viper Guards first noted as the winner of the Trial of Possession in November 3051.
- Invading Clans, p. 89 Jabuka - 1st Viper Guard's actions with the Alpha Galaxy, not originally mentioned until later publications.
- Tukayyid (scenario pack), pp. 79-82, 85 - Tukayyid history for 1st Viper Guards, including the Devil's Bath scenario featuring the Cluster.
- Invading Clans, pp. 86-87, !Short-version of the Tukayyid battle, which excludes any details on individual formations!.
- Invading Clans, pp. 89-90 - Falcon-Viper Feud, 1st Viper Guard's actions during the 3052-53 campaign for control of the planet.
- Objective Raids, p. 30, "1st Viper Guards listed in on Jabuka in sourcebook as of 3054".
- ’’Era Report: 3062’’, p. 23-24, 26-27 – Snapshot of events of the Falcon-Steel Viper War, not individual mentioning of the 1st Viper Guards. Date of invasion mentioned.
- ’’Shattered Sphere’’, p. 95 – War with Falcons noted in older fluff, not individual listing of the Guards or its Galaxy.
- Field Manual: Updates, pp. 66-67, 79, "Alpha Galaxy (Steel Viper Galaxy)" – The Guard’s mentioned as part of Alpha, it was part of the fighting in 3061.
- Field Manual: Updates, pp. 64, 66-67, 79, "Snow Raven/Steel Viper Clan updates/Alpha Galaxy (Steel Viper Galaxy)" - Unit's losses and regained honor during Lum campaign. Details of the Lum operations mentioned in Snow Raven and Steel Viper faction updates.
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 147
- The Wars of Reaving, p.149-150
- Tukayyid (scenario pack), p. 80
- Invading Clans, p. 92, "Unit Listing as of 3057"
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 143 - Unit listing as of 3061.
- ’’Field Manual: Updates’’, p. 79 – Unit status as of 3067.
- Era Report: 3052, p. 150 Special Commander Abilities - 1st Viper Guards special rule noted.
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 184 - Alpha Galaxy lists no abilities for 1st Viper Guards.