61st Royal Brigade (SLDF)
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|61st Royal Brigade|
|Unit Profile (as of 2588)|
|Parent Formation||21st Royal Division|
The Sixty-First Royal Brigade was a part of the Star League Defense Force Regular Army. It was originally formed during the creation of the SLDF in 2571 from units drawn from the Hegemony Armed Forces, which earned it the Royal designation. The 61st Royal Brigade was a part of the 21st Royal Division during the Reunification War, where it served in the Magistracy of Canopus campaign from 2577 to 2588.
As a part of the Magistracy of Canopus task force, the 61st Royal was stationed on Watermael alongside the rest of the 21st Royal Division when military action against the Magistracy began. The Commanding Officer of VII Corps, Captain-General Marion Marik, would often assign a division or more of troops to the conquest of various worlds by drawing together brigades from across VII Corps. The 61st Royal often operated in conjunction with other brigades from VII Corps as well as fighting alongside units from the Free Worlds League Military assigned to the task force as auxiliary forces. During the early years of the invasion the 61st Royal was redeployed to the world of Gouderak after the 55th Brigade had conquered this arid border world in 2577; the first combat action of the war for the 61st Royal would come in 2579 when the brigade was assigned to the attack on Eleusis.
The battle for the Magistracy world of Eleusis was expected to be more difficult than the majority of the previous planetary campaigns wagered by the SLDF task force; the defending forces were estimated by SLDF intelligence to be eight assorted regiments strong, but the MAF upped the stakes considerably without the SLDF knowing. The 57th Brigade and the 61st Royal Brigade were assigned to conquer the world with two independent regiments from VII Corps and two FWLM regiments providing support. Unknown to VII Corps the MAF had played an elaborate shell game, moving regiments around and between planets and had increased the defending force from eight regiments to twenty-two, including four BattleMech regiments - three of which were from the elite Chasseurs á Cheval, the premier Magistracy 'Mech unit. The MAF had sabotaged the computer records at the system cargo waystations and recharge station, giving the SLDF no information on traffic on the system and no intelligence on the forces gathered on the planet; the MAF Navy had also stationed an AeroSpace Fighter carrier in the system at a covert location, and the MAF AeroSpace squadrons waited until the SLDF DropShips were halfway through their burn to the planet before striking at the SLDF transport ships, savaging more than twenty vessels before being driven off. A large portion of the landing troops were effectively trapped in-system, and arrived on the planet only to find that a predicted two-week campaign for control of the planet would instead take four months as Colonel Ann-Britt McMillan led the defending forces on an extended cat and mouse game that let them inflict more damage on the 61st Royal and the other SLDF units than they received in return, only finally giving up control of the world when ordered to retreat by the Magestrix.
The SLDF launched their attack on Royal Foxx in March 2582; the 61st Royal would face the Chasseurs á Cheval again, as defending Royal Foxx were the 1st and 4th Canopian Light Horse regiments. The SLDF was attacking in strength, deploying an ad hoc division of troops formed from the 61st and 62nd Royal Brigades along with the 59th Brigade in an overwhelming show of force. Despite being heavily outnumbered the two MAF regiments contested the invasion of Royal Foxx, but were forced to withdraw by the end of March. In securing Royal Foxx, the SLDF locked down trade routes across a large region of the Magistracy and opened up easy access to the more lightly defended outback worlds of the Magistracy.
The 61st Royal continued to operate alongside the 62nd Royal for the remainder of the war; in 2583, both brigades joined the 57th Brigade in a short campaign to capture the lightly industrialized world of Nobel as the SLDF consolidated its hold on worlds near the Magistracy capital of Canopus IV. The MAF had no major units on the world to contest the invasion by a complete division of VII Corps troops, leaving only the home guard regiments to briefly resist. The 61stst and 62nd Royal Brigades would remain on Nobel for more than a year, ensuring there could be no effective campaign to recapture the world.
The battle for Candiear was the last major engagement for the 61st Royal during the Reunification War. Deploying for a third time as part of a division-strength force, the 61st and 62nd Royal Brigades joined the 56th Brigade in the third active campaign the 61st Royal would fight against forces from the Chasseurs á Cheval. Defending Candiear were the 2nd and 4th Canopian Light Horse, who tried to contest the invasion but in a repeat of the battle for Nobel were unable to resist for long against the SLDF numbers and had to retreat, the Second Light Horse linking up with Buquoy's Bandits on Harminous and the Fourth Light Horse joining the First Canopian Light Horse on Palladix.
Despite the doctrine and organization originally defined during the creation of the SLDF, the 61st Royal Brigade would most likely have been a mélange of combined arms units. The breakdown for the SLDF element of the Canopian task force indicates that just under a half of the SLDF regiments were BattleMech regiments, one-third were infantry regiments and the remaining forces were a mix of armor and AeroSpace regiments.
- VII Corps units may utilize Overrun Combat.
- VII Corps units gain a +1 bonus to repair rolls.
- The VII Corps commander may select half of the maps used in any battle, irrespective of scenario rules.
- VII Corps units adhere to the Ares Conventions.
- VII Corps units suffer a -2 penalty to Initiative if forced to fight on city maps.
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 148, "Magistracy of Canopus Front (Jump-Off-2582)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 149, "Magistracy of Canopus Front (2583-2588)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 100-101, "Eleusis, Obrenovac and Bethnolog (March 2579-January 2580)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 150, "Magistracy of Canopus Front (Jump-Off-2582)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 101, "Reversals (2582-2583)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 151, "Magistracy of Canopus Front (2583-2588)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 102, "Afarsin, Adhelwin, Megarez and Nobel (March-April 2583)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 105, "Mopping Up (2584-2588)"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 27, "Divisions and Brigades"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 95, "SLDF Task Force Canopus"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 181, "The Star League"