Invasion corridor - Clan Nova Cat

Order of Battle[edit]

Clan Command
Nova Cat Keshik
Clan Nova Cat Naval Reserve
Alpha Galaxy ("Victory Over Delusion")
Vision Keshik
1st Nova Cat Guards
4th Nova Cat Guards
449th Assault Cluster
489th Assault Cluster
Beta Galaxy ("Spiritual Vision")
Lachesis Keshik
179th Striker Cluster
44th Nova Cat Cavaliers
Nova Cat Lancers
Delta Galaxy ("Ways Of Seeing")
Shiva Keshik
4th Nova Cat Guards
274th Battle Cluster
119th StrikerCluster

Preparations[edit]

As part of the agreed-upon plan for Operation REVIVAL, four Clans would take part in the reconquest of the Inner Sphere; eventually the Wardens managed to have a fifth "reserve" Clan added. Due to their heritage Clan Wolf was unanimously agreed to be one of the four invading Clans, while determining one of the other four spots would decided via Trials of Combat. Although Clan Nova Cat made it to the final round of six Clans, they ultimately placed fourth behind Clan Steel Viper and so would not take part in the initial invasion. In recompense for their good showing the Nova Cats and Clan Diamond Shark both fought and won Trials of Refusal guaranteeing their forces would be next in line should it be required.[1]

However, while their forces would have to stay behind, the Grand Council invited the non-invading Clans to send representatives with the invasion force to personally observe its progress. These representatives could bring their own WarShips and DropShips but were limited to no more than a Trinary in size. The leadership of Clan Nova Cat, Khan Severen Leroux and saKhan Lucian Carns, as well as Oathmaster Biccon Winters, chose to accompany the invasion aboard the True Vision with the Nova Cat Keshik as their escort. As part of their Trial of Refusal decision the Nova Cats would also be allowed to use this small force to take part in minor actions alongside the four invading Clans.[1]

While the rest of their warriors made themselves ready and the merchants began planning supply lines, as per tradition both Nova Cat Khans consulted with Oathmaster Winters for guidance on the upcoming invasion. When she reported back her vision the Oathmaster had only unhappy tidings: the wolf, the bear, the falcon and the jaguar conquered all in their path, taking world after world with trivial ease, all the while trailed by a white mist. Eventually they were joined by other Clan animals - including, after much coaxing by the Khans, the nova cat - but eventually all were engulfed by the white mist which became a thick, roiling cloud. Though Winters tried to warn her Khans that the vision foretold impending doom, they ignored these warnings and concentrated instead on the fact their Clan was destined to take part in the invasion. Still, the Khans could not shake an uneasy feeling as they gathered with the invasion fleet above Strana Mechty and listened to ilKhan Leo Showers' speech of impending victory.[1]

Invasion Route[edit]

Periphery[edit]

When the Periphery was invaded by the Clans, Clan Wolf allowed warriors of the Nova Cat Keshik to reinforce Red Keshik's aerospace element during their conquest of Drask's Den. The Nova Cats performed admirably during their first combat experience in the Inner Sphere, destroying ground forces alongside Wolf pilots for no loss of life.[1][2] However it was during this engagement that Oathmaster Winters had another vision: she saw the cat fighting alongside the other Clan animals, winning glory against a divided Inner Sphere, but suddenly the sky rained fire and the Inner Sphere stood fast against the Clans. Then a black cloud, an enemy older than the Inner Sphere, threatened the cat, representing treachery on the part of the Smoke Jaguars. When the Nova Cat warriors returned to add their victory to the Chronicle of Battles, Winters revealed her vision after the ritual was ended. As with her earlier vision, the warriors chose only to heed the positive aspects and ignored the warning.[1]

As the Periphery campaign wrapped up many of the Clans celebrated their easy victory as a sign of things to come, however the Wolf Khan Ulric Kerensky warned that what meager forces they had faced thus far did not fully represent their Inner Sphere foes and that it would not be wise to underestimate them. Only the Nova Cat Khans heeded these warnings, recalling their Oathmaster's visions. At the same time, ComStar succeeded in making official contact with the Clans and sent Precentor Anastasius Focht as their representative. The Nova Cats were chosen to escort Precentor Focht to the command ship Dire Wolf to begin negotiations. At first sight of the Precentor's white robes though Biccon Winters immediately attacked Focht, pinning him to the ground with her boot on his neck and screaming "This is the white mist that has come to destroy us!" Eventually she was subdued by Focht's Elemental honor guard, but Winters immediately challenged saKhan Carns to a Trial of Grievance for transporting the instrument of their destruction. She was defeated in a Circle of Equals and Focht was safely conveyed to the Dire Wolf, where he succeeded in negotiating the terms of cooperation between ComStar and the Clans.[1][3]

Early Waves[edit]

During the first three waves of the invasion Clan Nova Cat took on a largely observer role; after the end of the Second Wave the ilKhan forbade the non-invading Clan representatives from participating in any further combat actions, deeming them a distraction from the main task. Regardless of their disappointment, the Nova Cats were reassured by their Oathmaster's warnings that they would eventually have a greater role in the invasion. Meanwhile the Nova Cat Khans took a great interest in tracking the progress of the four invading Clans, especially what lessons the Khans could learn from their mistakes. What they saw was educational: except for Clan Wolf, the Khans saw the others struggle from planet-to-planet, hampered by their woeful logistical preparations and inability to pacify the worlds they took, then justify their poor performances by attacking Clan Wolf's methods. The Nova Cats tried to take advantage of the situation by offering their own stockpile of materials in exchange for ownership of these worlds but none of the invaders were willing to make such a trade.[3]

Bored with watching the fumbling of the other three Clans and their continued excuses, the Nova Cat Khans began to travel exclusively with the Wolf Clan invasion force during the third and fourth wave. They were impressed by the Wolves' innovative supply system, including the Logistical Augmentation Program which made greater usage of native materiel. They also were able to bear witness to a wide variety of Inner Sphere battle tactics and noted the differences between Inner Sphere and traditional Clan governance of captured worlds. As Clan Wolf raced ahead of the other three Clans, the Nova Cats saw more Inner Sphere worlds than any other save the Wolves themselves and began to understand Ulric's intentions of being the first to Terra.[3]

Year of Peace[edit]

When ilKhan Leo Showers commanded in October 3050 that a Grand Kurultai be held, Leroux and Carns understood it for the political play it was. It was with that same discerning eye that they noted the ilKhan granting Kerensky's request for the meeting to take place aboard the Dire Wolf at Radstadt and that the other Khans must arrive with few troops and in ships smaller than the Wolf flagship. Regardless of the Wolf Khan's stated reasons, they knew having the meeting deep in Wolf-conquered territory and guaranteeing the Wolves had superior numbers and firepower ensured Kerensky would survive the ilKhan's plans, one way or another.[3]

Whatever was to have transpired at that kurultai never came to pass. Fleeing the destruction of their realm, forces of the Free Rasalhague Republic escorting their Elected Prince unexpectedly and unintentionally stumbled into the Radstadt system, where a furious melee broke out between the Flying Drakøns and the Dire Wolf and her escorts. Stuck aboard the Wolf flagship, Leroux, Carns and the other Khans could only watch as one of the Rasalhagian fighters slammed into the bridge of the Dire Wolf, learning shortly thereafter that Leo Showers had been killed by the kamikaze attack. Both Nova Cat Khans immediately read this as the fulfillment of their Oathmaster's prophecy - the white mist enveloping the Clans, or in this case the Clans' most prominent warrior - a reading which happened to result in the Nova Cat Clan surviving.[3]

Khan Leroux and saKhan Carns both voted in favor of returning to Clan Space in order to elect a new ilKhan. During the journey back they were approached by the Crusader Khans of the invasion about a plot to unseat Ulric by blaming him for Showers' death. Both refused partly because of its blatant political nature to eliminate a rival, partly because the Smoke Jaguars supported the measure. In the Grand Council meeting on Strana Mechty both voted to find Ulric innocent of the charges. When the Crusaders then nominated Ulric to the postion of ilKhan, the Nova Cats voted in favor, although not for the same reasons as the Crusaders. Both Khans believed Ulric had proven himself in battle against the Inner Sphere to be the best person in charge of continuing the invasion.[4]

After winning his position, Ulric Kerensky ordered the activation of Clan Nova Cat forces and paired them with the Smoke Jaguars to share the same invasion corridor. While the first act pleased the Nova Acts to no end, the second had the exact opposite effect. Although they could have fought a Trial of Refusal against this order, Khans Leroux and Carns decided persecuting the invasion was the higher priority and agreed to have a meeting with their Smoke Jaguar counterparts. Rather than fight it out with the ilKhan or the Nova Cats, the Smoke Jaguars agreed to share what intelligence they had gathered fighting the Draconis Combine and offered to hand over five worlds to the Nova Cats: Bjarred, Chupadero, Jeanette, Sawyer, and Tarnby. The Nova Cats were aware of the Smoke Jaguars' poor reputation at occupation - and indeed these worlds were some of the most rebellious in the Smoke Jaguar Occupation Zone - and knew they would be spending much of the Fifth Wave pacifying supposedly "conquered" territory.[4][5]

The Nova Cats threw themselves wholeheartedly into preparations for the resumption of hostilities. They adopted a modified version of the Wolves' Logistical Augmentation Program to ensure they had sufficient supplies to maintain their war effort. Both Leroux and Carns studied hours of BattleROM data to analyze Inner Sphere tactics and their responses to Clan fighting techniques. Rather than let their three Galaxy Commanders bid for the right to invade each and every world, the Khans designated Alpha and Delta Galaxies as the primary invasion force and Beta Galaxy as a "reserve." While the stated goal for Beta was to support the other two units as needed, their true purpose was to attack Smoke Jaguar worlds without warning.[3][4]

Wave 5 (November-December 3051)[edit]

When the Fifth Wave of the invasion began, Clan Nova Cat spent all of November into December of 3051 assuming control of the worlds ceded to them by the Smoke Jaguars. This was due Jaguars having already abandoned the worlds by the time Nova Cat forces arrived, allowing resistance movements to organize. The Nova Cats found combating these rebels, many of whom had honed their skills resisting their Jaguar overlords and being almost as familiar with Clan tactics as the Clans themselves, much harder than they initially anticipated.[4][6] So bad had the Smoke Jaguars mistreated these populations, which in turn made them hostile to their new Nova Cat leaders, that the Clan filed a formal complaint with the ilKhan over the Jaguars' brutal tactics.[7] In the end Nova Cats chose to follow the Clan Wolf model of occupation, and over the course of three weeks tracked down the remnants of the planetary governments and convinced them to cooperate with their new rulers. Winning over the local populace eventually allowed the Nova Cats to establish secure supply lines from the homeworlds to the front lines in a manner similar to Clan Wolf, although each Galaxy Commander was still responsible for securing local products on their own whenever the need arose. After having pacified these five worlds and leaving behind Provisional Garrison Clusters to secure them the Nova Cats fought a successful Trial of Possession with the Smoke Jaguars for control of Courchevel, and rumors began to spread of the Nova Cat merchant caste trading supplies to native resistance movements inside Smoke Jaguar territory.[4][6]

Having secured their rear area, the Nova Cats began laying the groundwork for their combined efforts with the Smoke Jaguars to conquer Luthien, capital of the Draconis Combine. While Beta Galaxy concerned itself with capturing Irece, site of the last Land-Air 'Mech factory in the entire Inner Sphere, Alpha and Delta would target Avon to serve as a staging point for the attack on Luthien. Hoever the Nova Cats were soon surprised to discover the Jaguars had also targeted Avon, and saKhan Carns was prepared to fight them over the right of its conquest. The ilKhan stepped in to prevent the two Clans from coming to blows and suggested they save their forces for the Luthien invasion by cooperating in the capture of Avon. The two Clans succeeded and would go on to engage in the eventful Battle of Luthien.[6]

After their devastating loss on Luthien, Alpha and Delta Galaxies were pulled back to Avon to refit and rearm, while Beta Galaxy continued to prosecute the Fifth Wave. Beta broke up into several smaller task forces so that multiple planets could be attacked simultaneously, and began adopting some of the "deceptive" tactics of their Inner Sphere foes: regardless of how many troops were being used to take a planet, numerous DropShips would land on the target world, causing the defenders to miscalculate the size of the invading force and thus the positioning their units to face these forces. Beta Galaxy was able to conquer three worlds in just twenty-five days using these tactics.[8]

Meanwhile saKhan Carns' attempts to rebuild Alpha and Delta Galaxies were being frustrated. Delta Galaxy in particular had taken a savage beating on Luthien, and after scrounging throughout their territory for sufficiently-advanced parts the merchant caste reported back they had enough materiel to supply just one Galaxy. In the end Carns decided to disband Delta Galaxy and distribute its remaining units to Alpha and Beta Galaxies. Their ranks replenished, Alpha Galaxy was able to participate in the final phase of the Fifth Wave.[8]

When ilKhan Kerensky approached the other Khans about ComStar's proposed Battle of Tukayyid, Khans Leroux and Carns considered the proposal carefully, conscious of how much it might save them from future losses if the fate of Terra was decided via proxy battle. When they approached Oathmaster Winters, she gave the same answer as she had repeatedly over the previous year, recounting the white mist enveloping all the Clans. Dismissive of these warnings and thinking Leo Showers' death had already fulfilled this vision, the Nova Cat Khans voted in approval of the measure.[9][10]

Fifth Wave
Date Location Attacker Defender Outcome
December 3051 Irece (DC) Beta Galaxy
All Clusters
DCMS
18th Dieron Regulars
Nova Cat Victory
December 3051 Avon (DC) Clan Nova Cat
Alpha Galaxy
449th Assault Cluster
Delta Galaxy
274th Battle Cluster

Clan Smoke Jaguar

Alpha Galaxy
5th Jaguar Regulars
Beta Galaxy
214th Jaguar Dragoons
Delta Galaxy
4th Jaguar Dragoons
DCMS
2nd Amphigean Light Assault Group
Nova Cat Victory
January 3052 Luthien (DC) Clan Nova Cat
Alpha Galaxy
Delta Galaxy

Clan Smoke Jaguar

Alpha Galaxy
Beta Galaxy
Delta Galaxy
Draconis Combine Order of Battle Combine Victory
January 3052 Itabaiana (DC) Beta Galaxy
179th Striker Cluster
Alpha Striker Star, 3rd Striker Trinary
DCMS
None
Nova Cat Victory
January 3052 Juazeiro (DC) Beta Galaxy
44th Nova Cat Cavaliers
DCMS
21st Galedon Regulars
Nova Cat Victory
January 3052 Mualang (DC) Beta Galaxy
Nova Cat Lancers
DCMS
9th Dieron Regulars
Nova Cat Victory
January 3052 Teniente (DC) Alpha Galaxy
449th Assault Cluster
DCMS
3rd Pesht Regulars
11th Pesht Regulars
Nova Cat Victory
February 3052 Caripare (DC) Alpha Galaxy
1st Nova Cat Guards
DCMS
2nd Ghost
Nova Cat Victory
February 3052 Cyrenaica (DC) Beta Galaxy
179th Striker Cluster
DCMS
1st Shin Legion
Nova Cat Victory
March 3052 Kanowit (DC) Alpha Galaxy
1st Nova Cat Guards
449th Assault Cluster
489th Assault Cluster
DCMS
11th Alshain Regulars
34th Galedon Regulars
Nova Cat Victory

Aftermath[edit]

Although they had inflicted the most severe casualties on the Com Guards than any other Clan at Tukayyid, the Nova Cats ultimately lost the battle by failing to capture either of their assigned objectives. With the terrible losses suffered during the battle, Clan Nova Cat remained content afterwards to rebuild its forces and abstained from raiding Combine worlds "above" the Truce line, although they showed no hesitancy to attack the Smoke Jaguar Clan. Only too late did the Nova Cat Khans recognize the "white mist" in Winters' prophecy to mean ComStar, first as administrators assisting the Clans in the conquest and finally conquering them. Ashamed, they approached their Oathmaster for guidance on what should be their next course of action. After several days of rituals and fasting, Winters finally returned with a shocking answer, saying that they should open a dialogue with the Combine. With the charred remains of their previous arrogance still lying on the fields of Tukayyid, the Khans agreed, and began talks with the Combine which would have fateful consequences.[10][11]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Invading Clans, p. 109
  2. Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 56
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Invading Clans, p. 110
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Invading Clans, p. 111
  5. Invading Clans, p. 59
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Invading Clans, p. 112
  7. Invading Clans, p. 118
  8. 8.0 8.1 Invading Clans, p. 115
  9. Invading Clans, p. 116
  10. 10.0 10.1 Invading Clans, p. 117
  11. Field Manual: ComStar, p. 108

Bibliography[edit]