|The Fronc Reaches|
|Time period:||3066 - Present|
The Fronc Reaches is a small Periphery state located in the Capellan Marches rimward of the Capellan Confederation, spinward of the Magistracy of Canopus, and anti-spinward of the Taurian Concordat. The Fronc Reaches formed from worlds jointly colonized by the Magistracy of Canopus and the Taurian Concordat, formerly known as the New Colony Region.
New Colony Era
Though some settlements within the Capellan Marches predate the New Colony Region, several worlds within the Capellan Marches were jointly settled by Canopian and Taurian interests following the renewal of their political alliance. However, all worlds within the New Colony Region were being heavily taxed, and not sufficiently compensated. Although the area was settled by the two powers, the settlers did not feel much of a connection to either side and began itching for full independence from both of the realms. Even the Canopian and Taurian-backed peacekeepers, the Colonial Marshals, ultimately renounced their loyalties to their parent nations and pledged their service to the Reaches.
This sentiment came to a head in 3060 when Sherman Maltin, the self-proclaimed leader of the New Colony Region, took Emma Centrella, Magestrix of the Magistracy of Canopus, and Jeffrey Calderon, Protector of the Concord, hostage on the planet of Detroit. Maltin then asked the Federated Commonwealth for recognition and assistance, an action the Federated Commonwealth was not inclined to take given the looming prospect of civil war.
The standoff ended when Capellan and Canopian military forces sent by Sun-Tzu Liao and commanded by Naomi Centrella quickly landed on the planet and crushed the revolt, resulting in the deaths of Calderon and Maltin. Attempts to identify any outside organization that aided the revolt proved inconclusive as several factions stood to gain, though the Federated Commonwealth became the lead suspect due to Maltin's request for aid.. Calderon was succeeded by Grover Shraplen, who immediately announced a new alliance with the Capellan Confederation.
Following the Detroit tragedy, the New Colony Region redoubled its calls for a peaceful settlement to their issues, primarily self-governance and taxes; these requests were ignored. In 3066, under unclear circumstances, the President Carver Trondel of the Fronc Reaches asked for official recognition from every Successor State. The Fronc Reaches was recognized as an independent nation by both ComStar and the Free Rasalhague Republic, and shortly thereafter by the Free Worlds League and the Draconis Combine. However, Detroit did not become a member of the Reaches; instead, Detroit was annexed by the Magistracy of Canopus.
By 3067, the Fronc Reaches consisted of eight worlds . Unlike many larger states, the Fronc Reaches actually prospered during the Jihad; the most obvious benefit was the influx of millions of refugees into the region, moving from all corners of human space. When the Magistracy of Canopus withdrew its forces, the Fronc Reaches took the opportunity to reassert its independence.
In the late Jihad and early 3080s the Fronc Reaches expanded the local military forces by adding significant quantities of locally produced tanks to the Colonial Marshals and through hiring several small mercenary units. These mercenary units were commonly units who had turned down the offer of signing to join the Sentinels Brigade in exchange for permanent landholds within the Reaches, and were generally company-sized units. The mercenaries were generally deployed along the Concordat border under orders to guard against raids from pirate groups or forces from the Taurian Concordat, while also being placed under a strict ban against launching any raids of their own.
The most prominent of the units to join the ranks of the Sentinels was the Derek's Devils mercenary unit, who became the Fronc Cuirassiers and began earning high-tech salvage and a considerable amount of prestige by pursuing and destroying Blakist units with great determination. Both Force Commander Dirk McEvans and the President of the Reaches, Carver Trondel, also initiated diplomatic efforts to launch a united front against pirate forces with the nearby Calderon Protectorate. Commander McEvans and President Trondel also arranged for construction of the Marshalry Academy on Front to begin by 3079, making up for the loss of the training programmes at the Canopian Institute of War, something already planned to happen as a result of Commander McEvans' objections to the pro-Canopian nature of the courses from the Canopian Institute.
The fact that so many Canopian units left the Reaches high and dry will not be forgotten soon by the Fronc Reachers, but President Trondel had to acknowledge that Detroit would remain firmly in Capellan or Canopian hands, and the flag of the Fronc Reaches was deliberately altered to change one of the stars to a black star, to symbolise the loss of one of the Reaches' founding members.
With the loss of Detroit and its production the Reaches began concentrating on building up the domestic production of combat vehicles and weaponry, supplemented by a small tithe of 'Mechs from Detroit donated to the Reaches by the Canopian government. The tanks supplied to the Colonial Marshals were largely Hetzers and Vedettes, which the upgraded Colonial Tractors plant on Fronc and the Interstellar Agriculture Concerns plant on Rockwellawan were producing in significant quantities by 3081; the Reaches government was keeping the production rate a secret, but intelligence reports indicated that by mid-3081 enough armoured vehicles had been produced to enable the militia and the Sentinels to field several armor regiments. The Fronc Reaches also purchased RetroTech equipment from the nearby Calderon Protectorate, when excess production was made available for sale.
By 3085 nationalist sentiments within the refugee and settler populations had declined through dilution, although the Fronc Reaches as a nation remained fiercely protectionist, standoffish towards the Magistracy, and largely uncaring of the Concordat. Rumours that President Trondel intended to retire by 3090 had begun circulating by this point, and with Force Commander McEvans apparently having no interest in becoming President despite widespread popular support the prospect for a crisis in leadership for the Reaches loomed.
The lack of a dedicated military academy continued to hamper the efforts of the Fronc Reaches military to develop an officer corps of their own, with the Sentinelry Academy on Rockwellawan still incomplete despite construction beginning in 3081. To compensate, the Reaches had initiated a military exchange programme with the Filtvelt Coalition and the first handful of graduates from the programme were already helping to develop the Reaches military command. While the available command positions were being occupied by veterans with the appropriate experience who had arrived as refugees, these new graduates were taking up logistical or administrative positions and already having a positive impact. The Marshalry Academy was continuing to produce graduates of similar quality to those who had trained in the Canopian Institute of War and was expanding its infantry training programme, while the various vehicle factories of the Reaches had managed to increase production to the extent that the Reaches was actively trading with the Filtvelt Coalition and Calderon Protectorate, allowing the Reaches military to broaden the defense forces.
Despite the successes experienced as the Fronc Reaches military continued to expand internally, the Reaches' government continued to maintain the policy of inducting mercenaries into the Sentinels by offering landholds as payment for their services, thereby continuing to attract troops from outside the Reaches. The Fronc Reaches had also established a hiring hall on Herotitus alongside those of other Periphery nations, guarding their hall with a permanent detachment of Colonial Marshals and thereby having a noticeable effect on the black market in the area. Those hired after the intensive interview process conducted by the Colonial Marshals enjoyed generous contract terms, although the Marshals continued to exclude any mercenaries with any evidence of suspicious or illegal behaviour in the past, limiting hiring in practise to small units.
The hardline stance taken by the Reaches towards piracy had been felt by other nearby nations, with the Magistracy seeing an uptick in pirate raids and other activity as pirate groups looked elsewhere. This was in part a reflection of the growing capabilities of the Colonial Marshals, who now mustered more than a regiment of 'Mechs and were capable of performing operations involving multiple Marshals, rather than having to operate as singletons. While much of the Marshals' manpower was taken up by having to deal with the increasing incidence of violent crimes towards the refugee population, enough was available to continue hunting and annihilating pirate bands enthusiastically. Not all of the Marshals were able to adapt to the difficulties of dealing with the large refugee population, as was highighted on Cygnus in 3083 when a Marshal attempting to adjudicate over the trial of three locals who murdered a Capellan refugee family ended up killing more than eighty people after a riot erupted.
The Dark Age
The loss of Detroit led the economy of the Fronc Reaches to contract sharply; President Elaine Handley, elected in 3092, initiated a deliberate shift in both domestic and foreign policy to attempt to compensate. With strained relations between the Fronc Reaches and both the Magistracy of Canopus and the Taurian Concordat, President Handley looked to the Federated Suns and Filtvelt Coalition as trading markets; establishing a trade treaty with the Coalition effectively gave the Reaches similar trading arrangements with the Suns. President Handley also deliberately pushed for considerable expansion in the Reaches' domestic military-industrial sectors; in part, this was driven by a need to replace the output from the lost facilities on Detroit, but it also generated a trade surplus due to the slow increase in the Reaches' military.
By 3105 the Reaches were producing BattleMechs domestically again from two different planets, Fronc and Rockwellawan, and the economy had boomed - in part due to the sale of surplus war materiel - to such an extent that a colonization programme was initiated in 3099 that saw three new worlds settled, Appian, Mandalas and Tincalunas, all settled. By 3120 all three new colonies were agriculturally self-sufficient, and by 3135 all were contributing directly to the national gross domestic product of the Reaches through their various agricultural surpluses, mining and trade. President Handley retired in 3135 and her successor, President Thomas Ganson, continued many of Handley's established policies while also opening trade negotiations with both the Capellan Confederation and the Magistracy of Canopus, both markets eager for military equipment manufactured by the Reaches.
The Marshalry Academy constructed on Fronc was finished in 3093, and proved a considerable boon to the Fronc Reaches; ensuring that all graduates had a firm grasp of law enforcement policies as well as military tactics, the Academy went on to attract students from the rimward regions of the Periphery and Inner Sphere; as a result, the Academy ensured that each received training in the law enforcement practises of their home nation, and lecturers were soon travelling from as far away as the Raven Alliance and Rim Collection to lecture at the Academy. The Academy was particularly attractive to those worlds that had declared themselves independent of the Taurian Concordat, many of whom sent their highest-ranking officers to the Academy for refresher training. The extensive international patronage of the Academy brought in considerable sums of money, which the Reaches ploughed into expanding the facilities available at the Academy and the equipment availale to the Colonial Marshals.
Units of the Fronc Reaches
- Colonial Marshals
- Fronc Reaches Sentinels
- Shattered Sphere, pp. 112, 115
- Threads of Ambition
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 66
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 75
- Combat Operations, p. 86
- Field Report: Periphery, p. 1
- Field Report: Periphery, p. 3, "Periphery Overview"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 116, "Fronc Reaches"
- Field Report: Periphery, p. 3, "Strategic Update"
- Field Report: Periphery, p. 5, "Goals of the States"
- Field Report: Periphery, p. 8, "Infrastructural Integrity"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 117, "Fronc Reaches"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 117, "Calderon Protectorate"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 133, "Fronc Reaches"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 135, "Fronc Reaches"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 154, "The Periphery"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 156, "State Halls"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 159, "Fronc Reaches"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 140, "Second Raventhir Cuirassiers"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 147, "Fronc Reaches"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 186, "Fronc Reaches"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 189, "Fronc Reaches"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 190, "Fronc Reaches"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 151, "Periphery Military Forces Deployment Table - 3085"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 152, "Periphery Military Forces Deployment Table - 3085"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 199, "Fronc Reaches"