McCarron's Armored Cavalry
- This article is about the military unit. For the scenario pack, see McCarron's Armored Cavalry (scenario pack).
|McCarron's Armored Cavalry|
|Unit Profile (as of 3067)|
|Nickname||The Big Mac|
|Parent Formation||Capellan Confederation Armed Forces|
Also known as The Big Mac or simply abbreviated MAC, McCarron's Armored Cavalry used to be one of the largest and most successful mercenary units in existence with an excellent, near legendary reputation. After having spent a large portion of its history in Capellan employ, McCarron's Armored Cavalry joined the CCAF around 3060. In return, the commander received a noble title and each member was granted citizenship. Even as a regular House unit, they remain a semi-independent fighting force.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 2.1 The early days
- 2.2 Entering service to Liao
- 2.3 McCarron's Long March
- 2.4 Rebuilding
- 2.5 Fourth Succession War
- 2.6 Rebuilding Again
- 2.7 Return to Fort Bourgogne
- 2.8 The death of Archibald McCarron
- 2.9 Integration
- 2.10 The Jihad
- 2.11 Post-Jihad Era
- 3 Units of the McCarron's Armored Cavalry
- 4 Color Scheme and Insignia
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
The unit is known as restless, being far more comfortable with attacking and raiding than defending. Their command structure is exceptionally loose and informal, which seems to work to their advantage.
Despite their excellent combat record, the Big Mac has a mixed reputation off the battlefield. They are generally perceived as greedy troublemakers.
After the Fourth Succession War they became a veritable cornerstone of the Capellan military, and Archibald McCarron received land grants and a noble title. He also created several successful commercial enterprises in Capellan space.
On the eve of the Capellan-St. Ives War, the Cavalry officially joined the CCAF, ending its mercenary status and becoming a regular House unit. Its members were granted full citizenship in the Capellan Confederation.
The early days
The MAC worked for the Federated Suns, until Lord Gamala McCarron was killed on New Rhodes III in an attack by House Kurita in 2970. His son Castor inherited the unit, and brought it into service for the Lyran Commonwealth. They saw extensive fighting against the Free Worlds League from 2975 until 2991. However, Castor McCarron was dissatisfied with the compensation for his unit's service from House Steiner, which he considered inadequate. Without prior notice to their previous employer, McCarron's Armored Cavalry withdrew from the Free Worlds League and signed up for a tour of duty with the Draconis Combine. House Steiner put a price on Castor McCarron's head for this coup.
Generally, it is held that the MAC had fought for all Successor States, and against all but one, by 2995.
Entering service to Liao
In 2995, McCarron again felt the financial drain of running such a large unit. They left the Combine and entered the service of the Capellan Confederation where they arrived in 2996. Maximilian Liao not only received them with open arms, he also provided them with an extensive support base on Menke to serve as their permanent home. Since that time, McCarron's Armored Cavalry has been in the employ of House Liao, with one brief exception: In 3002, Castor McCarron was killed in a bar fight over a local dancing girl. Following his burial on Chesterton, his younger brother Archibald McCarron struck a secret agreement with the Free Worlds League by which he transferred control of the Cavalry to House Marik in exchange for the head of his brother's murderer. Marik secret service agents delivered the head.
Since 2996 the MAC has essentially served as a strategic reserve to House Liao, to be moved if and when the situation demands.
In 3007, after the CCAF suffered a string of defeats at the hands of House Davion's new Wolf's Dragoons mercenaries. Archibald McCarron, who at the time was young and new to command, felt compelled to strike back, and brought all five regiments on a deep raid into Davion territory, striking at the Dragoons' home world of New Valencia, in an attempt to crush the three Dragoon regiments on-planet. Though they had an advantage in numbers, the Dragoons soon established an effective defensive perimeter against the Cavalry, safeguarding their primary support personnel and dependents and making effective use of combined-arms tactics. The Cavalry, for their part, began trashing and looting the civilian city of Raiteland, and reportedly executed many civilians in their hunt for Dragoon elements. They were soon driven from the planet, however, when the remaining Dragoons as well as the Eridani Light Horse approached. Jaime Wolf soon retaliated, however, sending his elite Seventh Kommando special forces to the Cavalry's homeworld on Menke, where they engaged in a campaign of sabotage and destruction, soon slipping away unharmed. Though McCarron was furious, Maximilian Liao forbade any counter-strikes, realizing "Big Mac" and his hot-headed troops would likely get themselves destroyed.
Their regiments warded off Davion attacks against Highspire in 3012 and against St. Ives in 3014. At some point during this time, they fell out with Wolf's Dragoons, another mercenary unit that was in Liao employ at the time, on the world of Bithinia.
In 3015, Marcus Barton was put in command of the 2nd MAC Regiment, henceforth known as "Barton's Regiment". Archibald McCarron ordered him to build "the biggest, meanest assault regiment the Inner Sphere has ever seen", and Barton did just that. His first assignment came when Barton's Regiment was sent to relieve the Blackwind Lancers on Elnath in 3015, where the Free Worlds League kept raiding the ammunition and tank factories. Barton discovered that the Marik forces used the Gorndack fortress on Ohrensen as a staging area and resupply base, and immediately struck against the stronghold, breaking the resistance after five hours of intense fighting and securing the fort by the end of the day. His unit suffered heavy losses, but the success (and subsequent similar actions) gave rise to the legend of "Barton the Fort Buster".
Other MAC units stalled the Free Worlds League on Lesalles in 3016. In the following year, the Federated Suns stepped up their attacks on the Confederation and reached an average of one raid per month by 3018. In the constant raiding, the MAC's regiments were split up into battalions and used to garrison potential target worlds where they saw heavy fighting. In 3018, Davion's 42nd Avalon Hussars killed Jordan Brush, one of Archibald McCarron's best friends, in a sneak attack on Purvo. In another notable fight, Smithson's Chinese Bandits (working for House Davion) tried to hit a DropShip repair facility on Necromo, but were repulsed by the third Battalion (Wayne's Wreckers) of Barton's Regiment.
McCarron's Long March
Angered by the frequent Davion raids, and especially by a raid on the capital world of Sian by Smithson's Chinese Bandits in 3022, Maximilian Liao gave the MAC leave for what they longed for: a blanket permission to attack the Federated Suns as they saw fit.
McCarron secretly prepared a highly risky series of three-pronged strikes by placing transports at predetermined rendezvous points, allowing for rapid troop movement but stripping other Capellan troops of their transports and supplies in the process. The rapid movement created the impression of superior numbers when there were none.
The operation, which became known as McCarron's Long March or simply McCarron's War, succeeded beyond all expectations.
The MAC simultaneously struck against the first three targets: Tawas, where they defeated Tristam's Terrorists, Farwell, where they destroyed several important ore refineries before disappearing as quickly as they had come, and Kathil, where McCarron personally led the 1st and 2nd Regiment against the 42nd Avalon Hussars. McCarron wanted to avenge his friend Jordan Brush, but the Hussars put up a good running fight for several days; when they realized that the MAC was out for blood, they scattered until reinforcements could arrive. McCarron, unwilling to waste time hunting them down, moved on to the next target.
Busting Fort Bourgogne
The next wave hit the twin worlds of McHenry and Muskegon (catching the mercenary unit Mathias's Forlorn Hope on R&R on the former) and, most importantly, Marlette. This was one of five fortress worlds along the Davion-Liao border, used primarily as a resupply base for the Capellan March Militia. The Marlette stronghold, Fort Bourgogne, had not been attacked in over a century and was widely regarded as impregnable. McCarron and "Fort Buster" Barton rode point in the attack and breached the defenses in a three-day battle. Although the victory had come at heavy losses, it was a serious blow to the enemy morale.
The MAC continued their merry romp through the Federated Suns, hitting the 'Mech repair facility on Goshen and raiding Emerson and Smolensk. However, in March 3023 the MAC unexpectedly met Davion's personal guard on Beten Kaitos and a pitched two-day running battle ensued. McCarron's Armored Cavalry was forced to withdraw, but having fought Davion's best and living to tell the tale only boosted their reputation further. They moved back to Liao space, hitting Bristol, Mira and Mesartim on the way, and arrived to a hero's welcome at Tikonov in 3023. Maximilian Liao personally rewarded each unit commander with the highest Capellan military decoration and the promise of landed titles when they retired in recognition of their achievements.
After their prolonged campaign through the Federated Suns, the MAC needed to rebuild their regiments and kept rather quiet, returning to their previous duty of strategic reserve and fighting off retaliatory raids from the Federated Suns. They did, however, participate in the invasion of Stein's Folly in 3025.
Since advanced technology was hard to come by, Archibald McCarron increasingly relied on the "open" (black) market to obtain needed equipment and technology. One dealer, Simon Kincaid, decided to take the money and split instead of risking capture by House Steiner for moving a huge order sometime around 3027. This left the MAC out several million C-Bills in needed supplies. Enraged, McCarron sent Barton's Regiment to raid the main manufacturing plant of Kincaid's Defiance Industries on Hesperus II in a quick and narrow objective raid. Although engaged by the Blackhearts and the 26th Lyran Guards and under relentless aerospace fighter attack, the raid was a success, and losses were even lower than usual for Barton's Regiment.
Fourth Succession War
In response to the Long March offensive, Davion troops completely destroyed McCarron's first regiment on Arboris and Basalt in the opening stages of the war, with no quarter asked nor given on either side. Thirsting for revenge, the remaining four regiments were deployed to Sarna while Davion intelligence was mislead into believing they had been moved to Palos. In May 3029 the 5th Syrtis Fusiliers RCT ("The Evil Eye"), together with two regiments of the Crater Cobras and the Second Regiment of the Screaming Eagles, attacked Sarna. Eager to prove his unit's worth in battle, General Hartstone had his Syrtis Fusiliers approach the planet ahead of the other forces at 2.5 Gs. By the time their mercenary backup arrived two days later, the Fusiliers were no more. The MAC then pinned down the mercenaries who had to stand their ground, unable to send a message off-planet. Only the arrival of the Davion Light and Heavy Guards RCTs seven months later forced the MAC to withdraw. In one little-regarded battle that was described as actually one of the most brutal engagements of that war, the MAC managed an orderly retreat from Sarna under attack from the Screaming Eagles and the Crater Cobras, largely again due to the actions of Barton's Regiment who lost almost half of its 'Mechs, but reduced the attackers by two thirds in return.
Barton's second-in-command, Parick Hart, was among the casualties on Sarna.
Despite their above-average combat record, the losses from the war were a blow to the MAC. After returning to Menke, Archibald McCarron temporarily passed command to Marcus Baxter and went with Marcus Barton and Ian MacPhearson to create a web of trading companies in nearly all Successor States, even the Commonwealth half of the Federated Commonwealth and the Taurian Concordat. By 3032, Barton and MacPhearson had recruited and trained personnel to replace their losses and McCarron had established a profitable interstellar trading company, the MTC, Inc., which supplied his unit with technology and was also put to use in expanding the garrison facilities on Menke.
In the brief war with the Duchy of Andurien, Barton and MacPhearson were sent to relieve Betelgeuse. The Anduriens had dug in their defensive positions, but "Fort Buster" Barton stubbornly broke through in a two-week assault. Following this victory, the MAC intelligence pegged the enemy resupply and staging area on the planet Prix and launched an attack that returned to Betelgeuse fully loaded with booty after another three weeks of intense fighting. The Anduriens had lost two major supply depots and repair facilities, and Barton's Regiment and Leo's Demons moved to fight the Andurien's allies, the Magistracy of Canopus, next. In 3036, elements of the 4th Regiment struck Canopus itself in retribution for their involvement in the fighting. They caught the defenders by surprise but were eventually driven off.  Over the course of the hostilities, the 1st Regiment (The Nightriders) lost a veteran company to a DropShip crash.
In 3037, Archibald McCarron assumed command of the Cavalry again and formed a sixth Regiment under Marcus Baxter, Baxter's Brawlers. Using equipment captured from the Anduriens, the Menke repair facilities were expanded and also revamped to assemble 'Mechs.
The War of 3039 was another opportunity for McCarron's Armored Cavalry to strike at FedCom worlds near Menke in fast "grab and move" raids, correctly assuming that the war had drained their defenses. They were successful in the case of Kathil and Alcyone, among others. On Addicks, however, Barton's Regiment was fought to a standstill by the elite Davion Guards, and retreated with no booty. A Davion counterattack smashed the Cavalry's base on Menke and destroyed the nascent sixth regiment. The MAC fought on their own behalf, but Theodore Kurita found their actions helpful enough for his own war efforts to send Archibald McCarron a brand new CGR-3K Charger as a gift in 3043.
Return to Fort Bourgogne
Following the War of 3039, House Davion sought to fortify its borders. In 3044 they rebuilt Fort Bourgogne on Marlette, which the MAC had left in ruins twenty-two years earlier, virtually daring the MAC and especially Marcus Barton to tear it down again. Baxter's Brawlers were sent on a probing raid, but when they discovered that Barton's sworn enemy, General Lester J. Otto, was commanding the Fort's garrison, Barton included his own regiment in the raid as "tactical advisers". The MAC command let him have his way, and once again "Fort Buster" Barton lived up to his reputation. He took the opportunity to exact revenge on Otto whom he killed personally. Otto had piloted a brand-new prototype 'Mech (a DVS-2 Devastator) and the wreckage fell into the hands of the MAC as combat salvage, adding insult to injury.
Afterwards, the MAC regiments were dispersed to garrison Capellan worlds along the Davion front and barely one battalion remained on Menke for some time. Seeking revenge for the attack on Marlette, Hanse Davion ordered his elite Fox's Teeth (McKinnon's Company, aka McKinnon's Raiders, of the Seventh Crucis Lancers RCT) to deliver a suitable response and in late 3045 they struck at Menke. In a week-long rampage of hit-and-run raids, they destroyed MAC property including supply dumps, repair facilities and a golf course and savaged Kitagawa's pursuing company through repeated ambushes, then withdrew before a furious Marcus Baxter could make planetfall with two regiments.
By 3050, McCarron's Armored Cavalry had six active regiments and a seventh training regiment on Menke, usually on rotating duty with one active regiment serving elsewhere. Archibald McCarron spent most of his time on MTC, Inc., and Marcus Baxter was groomed as his heir apparent.
The death of Archibald McCarron
In 3050, Archibald McCarron died in an unfortunate training accident. The close-knit group elected Colonel Marcus Baxter to become their interim commander. He adopted McCarron's twins, Rhamses and Faith McCarron, and later married his widow. As their stepfather, he is expected to hand command over to them eventually. Until then, he is Mandrinn of Menke and Mitchel.
On the eve of the Capellan-St. Ives War that began in 3060, Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao offered the Big Mac the honor of being the first mercenary unit to be added to the rolls of the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces. Baxter agreed, becoming a member of the barduc and gaining citizenship for himself and his men. The worlds of Menke and Mitchel became their landholds.
As a House unit, the commands answer to the local jiang-jun but follow the orders of Marcus Baxter when needed. They can act on their own, this circumstance giving them the freedom to react to any military threat.
The MAC remains a semi-independent fighting force with fearsome reputation even afterwards, and well into the 3130s. The brigade fields some of the best equipment of the entire CCAF owing to their possession of their own factories. They have retained their own support and training infrastructure from their mercenary days.
Despite the damage taken by the MAC during the Jihad, the conflict served to end the arguments between the MAC and the Strategios about whether or not the former mercenary command should continue to operate in a irregular fashion; the tactics used by the MAC differed enough from those of the CCAF that the MAC scored numerous victories during the course of the Jihad against those expecting to face CCAF units using conventional tactics.
Of the various units that made up the MAC, some survived the Jihad in better shape than others; the First MAC saw combat throughout Operation SOVEREIGN JUSTICE and the Jihad up until the formation lost two battalions of MechWarriors to the active SDS network in the Zion system in 3077. This gutted the Nightriders, who hadn't had the opportunity to rebuild completely before Zion, and forced the regiment to retreat to Aldebaran and wait for reinforcements and resupply; it also saw personnel from the other MAC formations begin deliberately avoid the First to avoid attracting "bad luck".
The Second MAC came under the command of Rhamses McCarron following the death of Angel Bodez in 3077 on New Aragon; having accepted command after the Second MAC's victory on Zurich, Rhamses was still finding commanding a regiment to be a very different beast to that which his training anticipated.
Having run out of luck on New Syrtis in the early years of the Jihad when a spirited attack by the Third MAC intended to assault the rear of the AFFS forces there instead ran into a determined defense from the FedSuns forces at Saso forced the Wild Ones to withdraw to Menke. The Third MAC spent the remainder of the Jihad providing replacement warriors to the other MAC formations for the rest of the Jihad by performing cadre duties in support to the MAC's training program on Menke.
The Fourth MAC finished the Jihad on Hsien, where Lord Richard Carson endeavored to resolve the deadlock between the CCAF and Coalition forces on the world in the aftermath of the three-way battle for control of the planet; with Zong-shao Erin Grey having died, Carson took the opportunity to promote Faith McCarron, and intelligence indicated that Carson was using the situation as a training opportunity for Faith.
The Fifth MAC spent much of the Jihad making opportunistic raids against worlds within the Word of Blake Protectorate and the Capellan March, with the conflict removing the last dissenting elements from the regiment; the Fifth subsequently garrisoned Sian after the Red Lancers and Warrior House Imarra were deployed elsewhere. Kyp's Kommando would be deployed off Sian to join the campaign for Halloran V in 3077 before returning to garrison Sian again, remaining in place until at least 3079.
The successes enjoyed by the MAC during the Jihad led to the Armored Cavalry becoming very popular with the Capellan media, who began playing the MAC up as examples of valiant janshi in Capellan service, with the Fifth MAC receiving particular attention and acclaim because of their presence on Sian. This media adulation served to increase the loyalty of the MAC to the Confederation, although there was the potential for dissent within the MAC centered around the debate over which of the two children of Archibald McCarron would replace Marcus Baxter as commander of the MAC in due course.
In the wake of the Jihad the MAC were stationed along the border between the Confederation and the newly-formed Republic of the Sphere; the presence of such a premiere offensive unit was a clear sign of the Chancellor's intentions towards Devlin Stone and his new realm. On the contested world of Hsien Faith McCarron managed to persuade Republican forces to withdraw after months of posturing and low-level skirmishes; not only did this win her a number of accolades, but it also impressed the CO of the 4th Regiment to the extent that he decided it was a good opportunity for him to retire. As a result, command of the 4th MAC passed to Sang-shao Faith McCarron, and as "Faith's Fortunate", the 4th were keen to compete with Rhamses McCarron's regiment in any campaign against the Republic.
Capellan Confederation/Republic of the Sphere War
The MAC were on the front lines again when the Chancellor launched an attack on the Republic of the Sphere in 3081, and paid a heavy price for their part in the campaign; the Confederation proved incapable of supporting the MAC, and two regiments were lost in combat. The First MAC was destroyed on Gan Singh; operating alongside the Second MAC, the Nightriders' history of bad luck caught up with them when several regiments from the Principes Guards cut them off from the Second MAC and then destroyed them before the Second could come to their aid. As bad a loss as the First MAC was, the greater loss was the Fourth MAC and the young Faith McCarron on New Canton. Fighting against the VIII, IX and X Hastati Sentinels, the Fourth lost McCarron when the head of her Starslayer BattleMech was struck repeatedly with Rotary Autocannon rounds from a Hastati Legionnaire. The Fourth refused to yield the area containing their fallen commander and only surrendered when the regiment had been reduced to just two lances of 'Mechs.
On Gan Singh Rhamses McCarron led the Second MAC against the VIII Hastati Sentinels, ignoring the other Republican forces until it was too late to save the First MAC; this perceived error in judgement would continue to prey on Rhamses' mind, who developed an intense hatred for the Republic as a result of the death of his sister Faith on New Canton.
The Third MAC were still rebuilding when called on to join the later stages of the Capellan attack and ended up facing Stone's Revenants twice, first on Acamar and then again on Tsitsang, coming off worse than the Revenants in each case. Despite the Revenants' able use of conventional units to tie down and punish the Third MAC via combined-arms combat, the Third MAC has been slow to adopt the combined-arms doctrine espoused by the CCAF, in large part due to the attitude of Sang-shao Otto Kung, the Third MAC CO. Kung remained convinced that conventional units would only interfere in the ability of the Third MAC's 'Mech forces to complete their tasks.
As a primarily defensive unit the Fifth MAC was used to defend worlds seized by the Confederation, ably defending Woodstock, Liao and Tsitsang until overwhelming Republican numbers forced them to withdraw.
Units of the McCarron's Armored Cavalry
- 1st McCarron's Armored Cavalry (Lost in the Jihad) (reformed prior to 3145)
- 2nd McCarron's Armored Cavalry
- 3rd McCarron's Armored Cavalry
- 4th McCarron's Armored Cavalry (Lost in the Jihad) (reformed prior to 3145)
- 5th McCarron's Armored Cavalry
- 6th McCarron's Armored Cavalry (disbanded in 3049)
Color Scheme and Insignia
Awesome in McCarron's Armored Cavalry livery
- Since 3035, McCarron's Armored Cavalry counted Ning-Ti Liao among their ranks. The enstranged son of a wealthy merchant dynasty, he is also a distant relative of the ruling Liao family, and they sometimes call on his diplomatic and social skills, especially to answer questions about their military actions to the Liao high command. He initially piloted an Archer, but was later switched to a Marauder.
- As of 3025 the MAC fielded some 'Mech designs that were notable for their rarity or had been thought extinct, including the Falcon (with the 4th Regiment) and unusual (in Capellan space) Commando (with the 1st and 2nd Regiments). In 3044 they fielded a STY-3C Starslayer on Marlette, reportedly recovered from a small Star League depot that they had found while enlarging and rebuilding the facilities on Menke and in 3048 they were rumoured to field vintage Star League-era Spectors, again allegedly recovered from an old cache. The specific model of Spector was not mentioned; the sourcebook gave stats for the SPR-5F which was however a downgraded version put in production in 3053. If the sourcebook meant to imply that the MAC fielded SPR-5F then these would have been early prototypes of what later became a production model, presumably field modifications (downgrades) of the original -4F design that was exclusively produced in the 2600s.
- Wolf's Dragoons (sourcebook), p. 10
- Warrior: Coupé, chapter 4
- Historical: Brush Wars, p. 67, 138
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 123 - "The Mac Attack"
- Field Report: CCAF, p. 15, "McCarron's Armored Cavalry"
- Field Report: CCAF, p. 15, "Condition"
- Field Report: CCAF, p. 15, "Morale"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 100, "McCarron's Armored Cavalry"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 26, "McCarron's Armored Cavalry"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 26, "Second McCarron's Armored Cavalry"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 26, "Third McCarron's Armored Cavalry"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 26, "Fifth McCarron's Armored Cavalry"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 20, "Citizens' Sacrifice"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 32, "McCarron's Armored Cavalry"
- Historial: War of 3039, pp. 128-129 "Countering the Big Mac - Menke (August-September)"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 95
- McCarron's Armored Cavalry (scenario pack)
- Field Manual: 3085
- Field Manual: Capellan Confederation
- Field Report: CCAF
- Historical: Brush Wars
- Historical: War of 3039
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation)
- Jihad: Final Reckoning
- McCarron's Armored Cavalry (scenario pack)
- The Fox's Teeth (scenario pack)
- The Sword and the Dagger
- Threads of Ambition
- Warrior: Coupé
- Wolf's Dragoons (sourcebook)