Magistracy Armed Forces

The Magistracy Armed Forces (abbreviated MAF) is the military arm of the Magistracy of Canopus.


In the peaceful atmosphere that has dominated most of the Magistracy's history, a standing military has been considered a necessary evil at best. It is not surprising, then, that the Magistracy has traditionally fielded one of the smallest armed forces in the Periphery, while relying heavily on local constabularies and mercenary forces.

In the years before the outbreak of the Reunification War, however, the Canopian government began a series of crash rearmament programs to redress this lack of well-trained and disciplined forces. It was too late, however, to do more than fight a delaying action against the best that the Inner Sphere could put in the field.

During the Canopians' years as a Territorial State, its military was reduced to a symbolic cadre of veteran soldiers confined to service as palace guards. Military buildup renewed after the Magistracy's declaration of independence, but the loss of many key industrial worlds stunted the military's potential for growth. In the present era, the Canopian armed forces remain a curious combination of local militia and highly trained federal troops. The individual Canopian soldier is highly motivated and capable of enduring considerable sacrifice. Far from being "velvet pillow pushovers," the Canopians are fully capable of giving as good as they might get from any invaders who fail to take them seriously enough.

Post Word of Blake Jihad[edit]

The Magistracy Armed Forces survived the Jihad in relatively good order, thanks in part to the MAF having avoided any of the major battles in the closing years of the Jihad, concentrating instead on removing those Word of Blake forces still trapped in Magistracy space. By 3081 the bulk of the MAF had either returned to full operational strength or were close to it, albeit with some loss in performance due to incorporating replacement troops in some areas. The greatest loss the MAF suffered was as a result of the firebombing of Crimson on Canopus IV, an act that killed much of the senior element of the general staff; with the Canopian Institute of War also destroyed by the Blakists, the Canopian programme to improve the quality of the local militia forces within the Magistracy was set back appreciably. Despite the damage inflicted on the Magistracy a rebuilding programme was well under way by mid-3081, with the Institute of War being rebuilt and a number of local academies and facilities taking up the teaching of courses until the Institute reopened.[1]

Structure of the MAF[edit]

The structure of the Magistracy Armed Forces is simplistic, its small size allowing it to be streamlined with few distinctions between branches.

Magestrix Command Center:
At the apex of the MAF is the Magestrix Command Center (MCC). Located on Canopus IV, this division of the MAF is directly responsible to the Magestrix for all top-level strategic planning and defense initiatives. Staffed by three Senior Colonels and their naval counterparts, the MCC coordinates the deployment of all Canopian forces to meet a variety of threats from foreign powers. All operational plans developed by the MCC are subject to the Magestrix's final approval.
Magistracy Army:
All ground units within Canopian space are a part of the Magistracy Army. Due to its small size, the army does not differentiate sub-branches beyond the distinctions of infantry and armor commands. Artillery and jump troops, when available, are classified as infantry. Engineers and special forces units are all but nonexistent within the Magistracy Army.
Magistracy Navy:
At present, the size of the Canopian Navy is less then four dozen DropShips and two dozen JumpShips, complemented by many smaller, independently owned merchant vessels, which can be used as privateers. The Canopian Navy is divided into two fleets, with two squadrons of two flotillas each. The Canopian Battle Fleet is charged with the defense of orbital space around potential targets of invasion. The second, Reserve Fleet, patrols in and around the Canopus IV system under the personal direction of the Magestrix.
Magistracy AeroSpace Arm:
There are fewer than one hundred AeroSpace Fighters in Canopian space, most of which are captured and refurbished light or medium craft. Given the small numbers of fighters, operational command of the AeroSpace Arm is relegated to the Navy, with individual fighters divided among the Magistracy's two fleets.
Magistracy Medical Corps:
The Magistracy Medical Corps is the one area where Canopians excel over their Inner Sphere counterparts. The MMC takes pains to ensure adequate medical care for every trooper, sailor, and pilot. The medical teams take pride in their speed in removing the wounded from the field and later returning the recovered soldiers to their units with a minimum of delay. The ratio of skilled medics and surgeons within the MAF is roughly 1 medical specialist for every 7 fighting troops, as opposed to a ratio of 1 to 20 (or more) in other modern-day armies.
Magistracy Support Corps:
The Magistracy Support Corps is a catch-all division that is responsible for all administrative, supply, quartermaster, and personnel-related functions of the other military systems. The Support Corps is likewise responsible for training recruits, advanced officer training, contractual liaison with mercenary units, and research and development of new weapons systems.

Composition of MAF Units[edit]

MAF units in the field closely model the deployment schemes found in the armed forces of the Inner Sphere, with minor variations due to its small size. MAF ground forces are usually concentrated in one heavy battalion, with most of the regiments' BattleMechs formed into four man lances. Support battalions generally consist of whatever armor (mostly reconditioned tanks) and infantry forces are available. Air Lances are typically absent from MAF forces, the exception being the Magistracy Royal Guards, which contain one air lance per battalion. All other MAF air lances are under the control of the Magistracy Navy, which provides for their transportation, deployment, and repair.

Infantry platoons vary in size from 30 to 50 men, with companies of 120 to 180 men. Jump troops, special forces, and engineers are virtually unknown within the MAF.

The Magistracy maintains a number of local Militia Defense Battalions. Drawn from the populations of the major Canopian planets, these conventional forces represent reservists with a minimal amount of training. Canopian militia forces maintain a large number of armored fighting vehicles and they construct local fortifications. Though these militia units cannot stand up to regular forces, they give a good account of themselves when combined with regular armed forces. Militia are typically employed in oversized battalions of five companies each.

The average Canopian soldier enters service at the age of 16. If the individual is a male, he will typically have the equivalent of a 12th-grade education; females have slightly higher educational backgrounds. Following basic training, the individual undergoes service with a home defense unit for three to four years. Those who choose careers as enlisted personnel join training battalions near the Canopian borders to undergo additional training before serving in a regular line unit. Instead of attending Officer Training School, those selected as officer candidates (where there is a marked bias toward females) are posted as military aides-de-camp to an officer on duty in a regular line regiment. Nowhere is the concept of on-the job training taken more seriously than in the MAF. An official commendation from a candidate's "sponsor" makes it possible for him or her to purchase their first commission (often with their sponsor's assistance).

Technology of the MAF[edit]

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The Magistracy Armed Forces suffers from the loss of many key industrial centers in the last two centuries. In particular, the ability to produce BattleMechs and 'Mech replacement parts is virtually nonexistent in the Magistracy. At present, only two BattleMech production facilities remain intact in Canopian space. Located on Canopus IV and Duncanshire, these two centers have a very low annual output (less than 60 machines per year), and produce mostly Locusts, Wasps and Stingers. The only medium-sized BattleMechs produced within the Magistracy are Shadow Hawks, but usually no more than ten per year. Production for armor, AeroSpace Fighters, and motorized vehicles run roughly 30 each per year.


Standard uniforms within the MAF are variations on a single theme. Ground forces wear a tight-fitting dark blue tunic and trousers that have contrasting light blue collars and cuffs. Naval uniforms are the reverse, with personnel dressed in light blue uniforms whose collars and cuffs are dark blue.

Dress uniforms are the same except for silver piping on trouser legs and cuffs for enlisted personnel, and gold piping for officers. As the Canopian Navy controls the AeroSpace Fighter Arm of the military, AeroSpace Pilots wear the same uniforms as their naval counterparts, except that lapel and piping are green. Support personnel, including technicians, administrative personnel, and special service functionaries wear the standard uniforms of their "line" regiment counterparts, except for red piping to denote their elevated status.

When preparing for battle, infantry forces wear a brown uniform with black lapels and cuffs. Enlisted personnel wear their insignia as a black silhouette on the lapels only; officers have similar insignia, but wear them on the cuffs. Armor personnel typically wear dull-black field uniforms with off-white insignia. Canopian MechWarrior battle dress is similar to that of Inner Sphere MechWarriors, with some modifications. Due to the Magistracy's lower technology level, Canopian neurohelmets are larger than those used elsewhere. In addition, they allow for longer hair styles to accommodate the Canopians' disproportionate number of women warriors. Magistracy AeroSpace pilots wear the simplest uniforms. Its single notable feature is the presence of the arm-length protector, which contains emergency circuitry systems and life-sign monitors.

Magistracy Intelligence Ministry[edit]

While officially a part of the MAF, the Magistracy Intelligence Ministry (abbreviated to MIM) operates as an independent intelligence agency, directly under the control of the Magistracy of Canopus' Magestrix herself.

Units of the Magistracy Armed Forces[edit]

The following Brigades and sub-units have been incorporated within the Magistracy Army during the history of the Magistracy.

Deployment Status[edit]

In 2750 the MAF had a strength of 1 Division (9 Regiments) and 9 WarShips. As of 2765 they were well equipped with 20 Divisions splited in (22 conventional regiments, 108 'Mech regiments), and the naval fleet had a volume of 22 vessels.[2]

Magestrix Guard[edit]

The original personal guard of the Magestrix, the Magestrix Guard were victims of the Reunification War and their role passed on to the Magistracy Royal Guards.

Magestrix Guard
Magestrix Guard.png

Magistracy Royal Guards[edit]

Formed initially during the Reunification War from the remains of units destroyed in action, the Magistracy Royal Guards play a pivotal role in safeguarding the Canopian state.[4]

Magistracy Royal Guards
Mag royal Guard.jpg

Chasseurs á Cheval[edit]

Main article: Chasseurs á Cheval

The Chasseurs á Cheval were formed the year after the Magistracy of Canopus came into being and are the senior brigade of the MAF.[4]

Chasseurs á Cheval
Chasseurs a chaval.jpg

Canopian Fusiliers[edit]

Main article: Canopian Fusiliers

Long the workhorse brigade of the Magistracy, the Canopian Fusiliers were wiped out during the Reunification War, but were reformed in secret in the build up to the Amaris Civil War and have seen more combat than any other Canopian unit.[4]

Canopian Fusiliers
Canopian fusiliers.jpg

Canopian Grenadiers[edit]

Main article: Canopian Grenadiers

The Canopian Grenadiers formed in the buildup to the Reunification War and fought on a number of worlds until their destruction.

Canopian Grenadiers
Canopian Grenadiers.png

Canopian Cuirassiers[edit]

The Canopian Cuirassiers formed in the buildup to the Reunification War and fought until their destruction during the battle for Canopus.

Canopian Cuirassiers
Canopian Cuirassiers.png

Magistracy Cavaliers[edit]

Main article: Magistracy Cavaliers

With roots stretching back to the home guard regiments that defended the Magistracy during the Reunification War, the modern Magistracy Cavaliers were raised as a local regiment on Thraxa and later incorporated into the MAF.[5]

Magistracy Cavaliers
Magistracy Cavaliers.jpg

Magistracy Highlanders[edit]

The Magistracy Highlanders formed in secret in 3059 from a core of mercenary units incorporated into the MAF.[4]

Magistracy Highlanders
Magistracy highlanders.jpg

Raventhir Cuirassiers[edit]

Main article: Raventhir Cuirassiers

Formed in 3063 in honour of the Trinity Alliance, the Raventhir Cuirassiers were originally paired with sister units within the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces and the Taurian Defense Force.[4]

First Canopian Brigade[edit]

Main article: 1st Canopian Brigade

The First Canopian Brigade is another unit that began as a collection of forces raised locally on worlds in the Magistracy outback before being incorporated into the MAF.[6]

1st Canopian Brigade
1st Canopian Brigade.jpg

Colonial Marshals[edit]

Funded and resourced equally by the Magistracy and the Taurian Concordat, the Colonial Marshalls were raised soon after the signing of the Canopus-Taurian Alliance in 3056,[7] and became an independent unit with the birth of the Fronc Reaches.

Colonial Marshals
Colonial marshals.jpg

Kossandra's Volunteers[edit]

Kossandra's Volunteers was the name given to the original home guard regiments spread around the various worlds of the Magistracy in the buildup to the Reunification War. Officially disbanded by the Star League after the war, a number of modern units can trace their origins back to elements of the Volunteers.

Kossandra's Volunteers
Kossandras Volunteers.png

Awards and Decoration[edit]

Name Picture Information
The Canopus Cluster
Award - canopus cluster.png
The Cluster can only received for an act that spares the Magistracy harm. The Award is also the only decoration for heroism. It is partly purchased through a "donation". For the donation the Cluster will include a precious stone:

10,000 C-bills (lapis lazuli)
25,000 C-bills (emerald)
50,000 C-bllls (diamond)
100,000 C-bills (ruby)

platinum band => military service
gold band => merchant service
bronze band=> political service
brass band => all other service

Fist of Raventhir
Award - fist of raventir.png
Created in 2997. For the unfailing service of the Raventhiri bloodline for centuries to the state. Every commissioned officer make a vote for a soldier who has earned such a honor. The fist is made of titanium and depends from a red-silk ribbon.
Ribbon of the Magestrix
Award - ribbon of the magestrix.png
Created to honor units that served in the Capellan-St. Ives War, thats means the unit served and fought on a world outside the Magistracy. Also awarded for pirate hunting.

Military Academies[edit]

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The system of ranks used by the MAF is similar to those of military orders throughout the galaxy. Currently, about four million men and women are on active duty in the MAF, distributed among ten different ranks: four officer grade and six enlisted. The insignia for all MAF personnel is diamond- shaped, which reflects the Canopians' love of wealth.

Enlisted Ranks:
The six enlisted ranks of the MAF are Volunteer, First Ranker, Lance Corporal, Star Corporal, Command Sergeant, and Banner Sergeant.
Rank Insignia Information
Volunteer: Volunteer insignia. All Canopian citizens are required to serve a minimum of three years in the MAF (though aristocrats can secure exemption by hiring a substitute). All new recruits are referred to as Volunteers and wear the silver-edged diamond insignia on their lapels and cuffs.
First Ranker: First Ranker insignia. All graduates of basic training receive the rank of First Ranker, unless subject to some disciplinary action. The First Ranker then enters into several months of advanced training in a particular area of expertise. Further promotion within the MAF depends on individual initiative and performance. Two silver-edged diamonds, one nested inside the other, identify a First Ranker.
Lance Corporal: Star Corporal insignia. The Lance Corporal is roughly equivalent to a Sergeant in other military services. They are expected to be competent instructors in the field and to command units averaging between 15 and 20 troops. A third nested diamond bar distinguishes Lance Corporals from First Rankers.
Star Corporal: Volunteer insignia. The core of the MAF, the Star Corporal serves in a variety of leadership roles, often in the absence of ranking field officers. Their most typical role is the equivalent of a platoon sergeant in combat. The rank is named for its insignia, a silver star within a silver-edged diamond.
Command Sergeant: Command Sergeant insignia. Command Sergeants are the equivalent of senior company NCOs, often holding a variety of staff positions under senior officers. A solid silver diamond denotes the Command Sergeant.
Banner Sergeant: Banner Sergeant insignia. The rank of "Banner Sergeant" harkens back to the days when personnel of this rank were responsible for their unit's regimental colors. Though Banner Sergeants still handle unit flags in full-dress parades, they are primarily responsible for filling senior staff and field commands. They are the equivalent of Battalion Sergeants in Inner Sphere military structures. The rank insignia for the Banner Sergeant is two solid silver diamonds.

Officer Ranks:
Junior officer slots within the MAF are usually purchased positions, a feature unique among Periphery military systems. The practice is in keeping with Magistracy tradition, which holds that those able to afford the cost of command positions (the nobility) are those best suited to lead. In all cases involving senior grade officers, however, such purchases require the confirmation of the Magestrix. Though the merits of this policy may be questionable, this system has gone unchallenged for four centuries. Typical purchase prices for commissions in the MAF are given below in standard C-Bills.

Though there is less discrimination against male officers in the MAF than previously, it does still exist. Females are likely to pay a lower price for an officer slot than an equally qualified male.

Rank Insignia Information
Ensign: Ensign insignia. The rank of Ensign appears in both the Canopian navy and army. Ensigns rarely command set numbers of troops, but may control from ten to a hundred individuals at any given time, depending on their unit assignment. An Ensign's rank insignia is a gold-edged diamond.
Commander: Commander insignia. The rank of Commander is equivalent to the Inner Sphere ranks of Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander, and Commander. Aboard ship, a Commander may serve as a department commander or his assistant. On the ground, a Commander typically heads up a company or battalion. The insignia is two gold-edged hollow diamonds, one inside the other.
Major: Major insignia.

MAF majors are typically employed as senior battalion commanders and brevet regimental commanders, especially in training commands. In the MAF navy, the rank of Major is usually referred to as Comcapt (a bastardization of Commodore-Captain). A Comcapt can command anything from a ship up to a squadron of from three to six vessels. A single gold diamond insignia denotes a Major, while a gold wreath below the diamond denotes a Comcapt.
Colonel: Colonel insignia.

RearAd insignia.
MAF Colonels are the regimental commanders of the MAF. Aboard ship, the rank is referred to as Rearad (from Rear Admiral). In addition to the various regimental commanders, there are three Senior Colonels who coordinate defense plans for the Magestrix. Two Rearads command the diminutive Canopian Navy fleets. Two horizontal solid gold diamonds denote the Colonel ; a Rearad also has a gold wreath.

Ranks after 3064[edit]

In 3064, Hadji Doru joined the Magistracy Armed Forces. He instituted several changes to the MAF, including the creation of three new ranks: Force Major, General, and Senior General.[9]

Rank Insignia Information
Force Major: Force Major insignia. Force Major is the lowest of the new ranks. Roughly equivalent to a Lieutenant Colonel, a Magistracy soldier can earn this rank by either being promoted from Major or (more likely) being demoted from Colonel. The insignia of a Force Major is the gold diamond of a Major, topped with a silver star.
General: General insignia.

Admiral insignia.
A General in the MAF fills two roles: They serve as the head of a MAF combat formation (Magistracy Royal Guards, etc.) and staff the MCC. There are two Admirals in the MAF who oversee the Navy and also staff the MCC. The Magestrix can veto the appointment of a general. A MAF general wears three gold diamonds, while an admiral adds a gold wreath.
Senior General: Senior General insignia. The Senior General is the Magestrix's right hand, overseeing the daily operations of the MAF. This officer acts as the chair of the MCC, working with the five generals and two admirals to set strategy and maintain force readiness. Unlike other realms, the Senior General doesn't act as the regent when the Magestrix is unavailable. The Magestrix selects the Senior General. The Senior General wears four gold diamonds as their rank insignia.


  1. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 115, "Magistracy of Canopus"
  2. Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 50, "Territorial State Troop Strengh"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Historical: Reunification War, p. 151, "Magistracy of Canopus Front (2583-2588)"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Field Manual: Periphery, p. 26, Combat Formations" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "FM:Pp26" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "FM:Pp26" defined multiple times with different content
  5. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 39, "Magistracy Cavaliers"
  6. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 44, "First Canopian Brigade"
  7. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 45, "Colonial Marshals"
  8. Field Report: Periphery, p 10
  9. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 24