85th Division (ComStar)

85th Division IV-omicron
Unit Profile (as of 3067)
Nickname Mack the Knife Division
Parent Formation Eighth Army
Formed Unknown (mid 3030's)

Renowned for their heroic sacrifice during the Battle of Tukayyid, the elite ranked 85th Division is constantly trying to prove itself untainted by high-level defections to the Word of Blake.


Immediately prior to the Clan Invasion, the green ranked 85th Division, referred to by the nickname of Lions of the Periphery, was assigned to the Eighth Army, and was headquartered on the Free Worlds League world of Tamarind.[1]

Along with the rest of the Eighth Army, the Eighty-Fifth was assigned to combat Clan Diamond Shark during the Battle of Tukayyid. Together with the 182nd Division, the 85th was deployed for the defense of Kozice Prime, one of the target cities assigned to Sharks. Meeting the approaching Clan advance on the foothills overlooking the city, the 19th Heavy Cluster of Shark's Alpha Galaxy initially fared well against the green Eighty-Fifth, who suffered over 30% losses but bought the Hundred and Eighty-Second enough time to outflank and stall Alpha's offensive. The remains of the 85th now joined the 31st and 56th Divisions in attempting to disrupt the Shark's supply lines. [2]

After the bloodied Eighty-Fifth disrupted the Sharks supply lines for an entire day, their Gamma Galaxy was charged with combating these raids, with the 222nd Assault Cluster winning the honor of destroying the raiders, primarily targeting Eighty-Fifth. The battle between the two units was particularly brutal, but neither gained a significant advantage over the other. Angered at being unable to destroy the Division, the remaining Clusters of Gamma Galaxy were ordered to help. [3]

While the 85th finally crumbled with the bulk of Gamma sent against it, though not before they had reduced the 222nd to just two 'Mechs, their sacrifice was avenged by the Thirty-First and Fifth-Sixth Divisions who in turn obliterated the entire Galaxy. By tying up the attentions of an entire Galaxy, the Eighty-Fifth also bought enough time for the 5th Army to re-deploy to the offensive against the Diamond Sharks and help ensure the almost complete destruction of the forces the Sharks had bid for Tukayyid. [3] [2]

When the 85th returned to Terra for rest and refit after Tukayyid, unit CO Trent Arian learned of the death of Myndo Waterly and the newly secular direction of ComStar, promptly taking a Level III of BattleMechs off-world and heading for the Free Worlds League, pledging loyalty to the Word of Blake. [4] [5]

Having lost over half the Division's 'Mech complement with Arian's defection, the unit faced a slow uphill struggle to rebuild, adopting the new nickname of the Mack the Knife Division. Unable to return to their original posting in the Free Worlds League, the now elite rated 85th's headquarters was moved to Callison on the FedCom-League border. [6] Finally returning to full strength in 3055, after the Free Worlds League Military recaptured Callison as part of Operation Guerrero in 3057, the Eighty-Fifth were transferred to Aberystwyth on the Periphery-fringe of the Lyran Alliance. [7]

The rebuilt Eighty-Fifth got its first combat experience when it was selected as a part of ComStar's contribution to Operation Bulldog. [7] Launching from the "recaptured" Clan Nova Cat world of Tarnby, the 85th were part of the forces sent to take Schwartz, only to easily overcome the token Clan Smoke Jaguar defense with the majority already having attempted to return to the Clan Homeworlds. [8]. Suffering only light losses, elements of the unit traveled to Huntress as part of the relief force to save Task Force Serpent, with the 85th's CO Precentor Graf selected to fight as part of ComStar's contribution in the Great Refusal. [7]

Returning to station on Aberystwyth, the low-key posting allowed the unit time to rest and recover after its combat action during Bulldog and on Huntress. Reaching full strength in 3067, Precentor Graf petitioned to replace the now excommunicated 167th Division on its posting of Loric. [9]


Prior to the Clan Invasion, the 85th was commanded by Precentor IV Carle Brobyn. [1]

During the Battle of Tukayyid, the Eighty-Fifth was commanded by newly promoted Precentor I Trent Arian. Leading by example, Arian had two BattleMechs shot out from under him and was badly wounded, but refused to quit the field until the Diamond Sharks withdrew, no matter the cost. While his heroic actions earned him the Precentor's Sword, Arian could not honorably serve the newly secular ComStar and defected to the Word of Blake, eventually becoming its first Precentor Martial. [4] [5]

As of 3067 the unit-CO was Precentor IX John Graf, who was assigned the unenviable task of rebuilding the 85th after Arian's defection. Graf persevered and rebuilt the Division into one of the Com Guards elite. Graf himself fought during the Great Refusal, though his Shootist was reduced to scrap and he suffered serious injuries.[7][9]


Following standard Com Guard tactical doctrine, the Eighty-Fifth concern that they may be unfairly tainted due to Trent Arian's defection to the Blakists has resulted in a desperate need to prove their worth, throwing themselves into battle with almost reckless abandon.

Composition History[edit]



  • The insignia of the Eighty-Fifth is a 'Mech fist clutching a knife. [7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 20-Year Update, p. 71
  2. 2.0 2.1 Tukayyid, p. 69, "Campaign: Clan Diamond Shark"
  3. 3.0 3.1 Invading Clans, p. 141, "Baptism of Fire"
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Fall of Terra, p. 66
  5. 5.0 5.1 ComStar, p. 94, "Blake Guard/Word of Blake Milita"
  6. ComStar, p. 85, "8th Army V-Pi"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 35, "8th Army V-Pi: Stern Defiance"
  8. The Dragon Roars, p. 11, 44
  9. 9.0 9.1 Field Manual: Updates, p. 87, "8th Army V-Pi (Stern Defiance)"