What If? – The Clans Won the Great Refusal

We’ve all done it. At some point in our lives as BattleTech fans, each one of us has taken a look at how something played out and asked, “What if….?” This series of articles will attempt to take a look at both pivotal and seemingly unimportant events in the BattleTech timeline and ask this very question. My take on how events might have happened may be different from yours. Please, feel free to share in the comments how you think an event might have played out.  See the previous What If? The War of 3039.

One of the most pivotal and, perhaps undervalued, plot points in BattleTech history is the Victor Steiner-Davion led Star League’s victory in the Great Refusal on Strana Mechty in 3060.

But what if the Clans had claimed victory in the Great Refusal, validating their legitimacy claims for the invasion of the Inner Sphere and calling into question the Truce of Tukayyid?

If you recall the canon Great Refusal results, you will remember that the Ghost Bears announced the completion of their secret move to the Inner Sphere, switched to a Warden stance, and abstained from the Trial along with the rest of the Warden Clans. The remaining Crusader Clans were then matched up against a Star League unit, and the engagements commenced. Let us briefly look at each individual engagement, and I will introduce an alternate result where I see the possibility.








Clan Blood Spirit vs. Draconis Combine – In this match up, I actually see very little alternative to the canon outcome. The DCMS 1st Genyosha was nothing if not experienced in fighting the Clan threat. I’m going to call this engagement in favor of the canon outcome.

Score: SLDF – 1  Clans – 0








Clan Fire Mandrill vs. Capellan Confederation – I promise I’m not just making a habit of siding with canon, as that would invalidate this whole article’s premise, but I really don’t see much opportunity for Clan Fire Mandrill to have turned the table on the CapCon’s Red Lancers. Capellan discipline versus Fire Mandrill haphazard battle plans really don’t give me much to work with.

Score: SLDF – 2  Clans – 0








Clan Ice Hellion vs. Clan Nova Cat – This is the first match up in which I will depart from canon. The odds are just too far gone against the Nova Cats for this one not to be questionable anyway. The fury of a Homeworld Clan compounded with the betrayal of an Invading Clan, and then add a heap o’ two dead Nova Cat khans, and I see the opportunity for the Ice Hellions to turn this once against the Nova Cats.

Score: SLDF – 2  Clans – 1








Clan Jade Falcon vs. Comstar – I just plain agree with this one. The Jade Falcons were never going to lose this engagement. Superior positioning and tactics carried the day, and there’s no reason to believe that Comstar’s 472nd Division (Invader Galaxy) could have possibly turned the tide. As much as some people would probably like me to turn a Jade Falcon victory into a defeat (and there are probably just as many people who would burn me for it!), I think this one stays as written.

Score: SLDF – 2  Clans – 2







Clan Star Adder vs. Free Worlds League – Talk about a mismatch. Yeah, I have to side with canon on this one, too. It is widely believed that had Clan Star Adder been part of the Invading Clans, everything we know about BattleTech would have changed. Heck, that concept by itself is one huge “What If?” article anyway. The Star Adders exhibited a kind of precision that is scary to think about being executed on an invasion scale, and the 1st Free Worlds Guards were never really the same unit afterwards.

Score: SLDF – 2  Clans – 3







Clan Wolf vs St. Ives Compact – This is one of the match ups that I had to think about for a moment. I couldn’t just simply reverse the canon outcome because it canonically ended in a Draw. However, I did land at a decision on how to call this one for the purposes of this article, and it is in the favor of the 1st St. Ives Lancers. The presence of Kai Allard-Liao is the tipping point here. Canonically, Khan Ward was defeated and forced to abandon his OmniMech during the fight, and I think that is enough of a wedge into the “What If?” territory of saying that with a few minor changes, such as the Wolves taking a bigger morale hit seeing their Khan defeated like he was, that this contest can easily go in favor of the St. Ives Compact. You may wonder why I would even bother with changing this result, considering the premise of this article, but I thought it would add to the weight behind the last match up.

Score: SLDF – 3  Clans – 3








Clan Smoke Jaguar vs. Federated Commonwealth – And here it is, the true turning point in our exercise. Canonically, ilKhan Lincoln Osis and his Smoke Jaguars, the last of their touman, recklessly abandoned Clan honor and haphazardly attacked their FedCom opponents, culminating in a final charge from Osis at Victor Steiner-Davion, giving the young leader no choice but to behead the Elemental with a katana. Instead of that fate, let us suppose that Lincoln Osis found himself desiring the Invasion to continue even beyond the life of his now destroyed Clan. In true Smoke Jaguar fashion, I would assume that Osis kills Victor in the combat, solidifying the Clan victory in the Trial.

Final Score: SLDF – 3  Clans – 4

Now we can finally attempt to get to the heart of this exercise. I know it took us a while to get here, but I think it was worth it to lay the foundation, for several reasons. The first and most obvious consequence is that the Clans do not allow the Star League forces to leave, instead capturing them and holding them prisoner. Perhaps they hold Trials for the right to absorb the winners, with the Clans that beat their opponents in the Great Refusal keeping their opponents as isorla.

Next, with the truth now out concerning the Smoke Jaguars, Lincoln Osis is undoubtedly immediately challenged and the tiny remainder of his shattered Clan quickly absorbed. I am going to place this honor in the hands of Clan Star Adder, who at this point is in one of the strongest positions both politically and militarily. The newly elected ilKhan Cassius N’Buta would have ordered swifter retribution against the now dezgra Clan Nova Cat, and it is doubtful that the Abjured Clan would have made it out of the Clan Homeworlds with any personnel and equipment to speak of. Nova cat presence in the Inner Sphere would have been much less than it was.

With the Invasion now legitimized in the minds of the Clans, it might not have taken much more than a simple vote for the Clans to vacate the Truce of Tukayyid, and several of the Warden Clans that abstained from participating in the Great Refusal may even have voted with the Crusaders to remove the Truce as an obstacle. Whatever the case may have been, an invasion corridor was now open with the demise of the Smoke Jaguars, and I posit that Clan Star Adder would have taken over the corridor, hitting the battered Draconis Combine and demoralized Inner Sphere with the news that Taskforce Serpent was defeated.

With a fresh Clan jumping in and winning back former Smoke Jaguar worlds, the Jade Falcons, Wolves, and Steel Vipers would again be free to pursue their respective goals within the Inner Sphere. The only Clan that this new situation puts into a bad spot is Clan Ghost Bear, which has for the past several years worked to integrate into its new Inner Sphere home. Renewing the invasion could have disastrous effects for the Ghost Bears.

With their newly declared Warden status, I would say that while the Ghost Bears would not have actively hindered the other Clans in any way, they likely would not have continued with the renewed invasion. Perhaps this would have made them a target for the other Clans, but I doubt they would have been a target for any of the Invading Clans nor for the Star Adders who would have plenty to deal with in the former Smoke Jaguar corridor. At worst, the Ghost Bears would have come under attack from a Homeworld Clan seeking to gain a foothold in the Inner Sphere, such as Clans Hell’s Horses or Ice Hellion, both of whom canonically plan invasions of the Wolf and Jade Falcon Occupation Zones respectively.

As far as the effect that losing the Great Refusal would have had on the Inner Sphere, I would expect no small measure of panic. The battle weary troops that had just vanquished Clan Smoke Jaguar would once more find themselves defending against a very tough Clan opponent. The Federated Commonwealth would probably not have seen its Civil War, at least not like it happened in canon. My guess is that Katherine Steiner would have solidified permanently her position as “First Princess” and would have never been significantly challenged.

Without the turmoil of the FedCom Civil War, the Chaos March should have been a relatively short-lived entity, with Katherine’s solidified power block moving back into the region. With nobody seriously contending against Katherine’s rule, the Federated Commonwealth would have stayed a single entity, meaning continued troubles for Clans Jade Falcon and Wolf.

And the Star League? What Star League? Only victory in the Great Refusal kept the Star League together as long as it did, and without the victory and a renewed Clan Invasion, the individual realms would have likely looked back to their own interests.

We can go on from here, but there is not much point. Beyond what I have already described, there is not much more we can do without plotting out a brand new course, which is exactly what this article does. I would rather leave it here, with the immediate ramifications of the Star League’s failure in the Great Refusal being the shock that may very well sound the death knell for the Inner Sphere. A renewed Clan Invasion is the only outcome of this “What If?”, and this time, there are no Warden ilKhans in place to protect the Inner Sphere and its people.

Other What-Ifs:

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24 thoughts on “What If? – The Clans Won the Great Refusal

  1. Casperionx

    Even had Osis had managed to beat Victor I doubt it would have been a win for the jags anyway the remaining fedcom units would have obliterated what was left of CSJ. This was a whatif scenario which was always ceeded to the sphere it was to heavily weighed in their favour. The only binary that could have won any of those engagements was CJF and even then it was highly unlikely they would have beaten the 1st Genyosha.

    The real whatif was tukkayyid. The clans COULD have seriously won that matchup quite convincingly but they decided to play the honour game and that cost them big time.

    The Tukkayyid what if would have been a case of CJF, CW, CGB winning comfortably vs the Comguard at the very minimum. Throw in CDS who were the real wild cards along with CNC who were pretty darn good and flexible and it would have been terra in hand.

    In that regard its a lot more reasonable to what if that scenario as it was quite simply a lot more likely to occur

    1. Dane

      Totally agree if the Clans had let the ilKhan stay in control it would have been over a while ago. Next thing is what military commander after seeing the elite of the CSJ and CNC get shattered on Luthien isant prepared for the ComGuard on Tuk….??? just wondering…..

  2. Clan Wolverine

    Well written and concise. I also like the overall premise of your question, though i would have broken up the results of the GR differently.

    Counter-Point Opinion :

    The novel Prince of Havoc emphasized that the Smoke Jaguar contingent was dramatically under-strength, especially in quality. Remember these were theoretically the LAST Jaguars alive. Even if Victor had been killed, the Tenth would have probably gone berserk. On the flip side, Kai Allard-Liao, one of the finest Inner Sphere tacticians of his era, took down Vlad, then looked at how the rest of it would play out, and offered a draw. Clearly he saw something he didn’t like. If he thought his Lancers could have won, he would have absolutely pressed on. He didn’t, so he didn’t. Assume the Clans take that one.

    Let’s talk about the rest of it – Osis and the jaguars are probably finished in any case, and the “Home” Clans all continue as before, fighting it out for the former possessions of the Jaguars, the Nova Cats and the Ghost Bears. I absolutely agree the Star Adders would be in pole position, but i don’t see it would really work out differently. Does Clan Nova Cat still make it out alive? Maybe not, but i don’t see any cause and effect there.

    Here’s why i don’t think the Star Adders wouldn’t have taken the Smoke Jaguar’s invasion corridor : They obviously didn’t want to. Every the Adders did for years was based on becoming dominant in the Homeworlds while everyone else was busy messing around in the Inner Sphere. My theory is the Adder Khans honestly chewed it over and realized how silly the idea of an ilClan was. Any Clan capable of taking Terra and making good on their further battles would have to abandon the homeworlds (it happened anyway in the Wars of Reaving), and realistically, there’s no way the “Home” Clans would have agreed to follow a Clan that had abandoned the Homeworlds, and was now thousands of light years away.

    So they need a new invading clan : The Home Clans spend the next few months beating each other up to decide who will take the invasion corridor. The Placement Trials all over again. The Adders make a good token show, but end up falling short. Someone else, then : I’ll vote for the Ravens.

    The Jade Falcon/Steel Viper conflict doesn’t happen.

    The question is now whether or not the Star League collapses. Certainly losing the Refusal would be a major setback. However, Operation Bulldog was still a success, and the overall immediate threat of the Clans is still present. Who pulls out? Probably the Confederation and the Compact. Their war happens regardless of who wins the Refusal. But ComStar, the FRR and Houses Marik, Steiner and Kurita all have good reason for pressing on with it. Since Katherine is now on New Avalon, she’ll commit the FedCom as well, since its in the interests of her Lyran Alliance.

    It would take the “replacement Clan” a long while to journey to the Inner Sphere with 3/4 of their Touman. The invasion, once again delayed, finally resumes. But by now, the SLDF forces in the homeworlds have had time to evacuate, travel home, and warn everyone. The next series of battles will go very differently, with the Inner Sphere recognizing that the Clans can be beaten when put on the defensive. Marik and ComStar are still committing their best units. Maybe the WarShips come into play.

    Regarding the Chaos March, i doubt it would have went particularly differently. Remember Katherine and Sun-Tzu made a deal. Katherine would let Sun-Tzu expand as long as he didn’t go beyond the 3025 border. The Confederation reabsorbs the Compact and much of the Chaos March, and then Sun-Tzu decides whether or not its in his interests to fight the Clans.

    In my mind, the biggest question is what the Word of Blake decides to do if “Thomas Marik” remains in the Star League. One thing is for sure – the IS will still need Marik equipment, and the WOB can continue to take their cut.

    Again, this is all just an opinion. How does it sound to you?

    Overall though – great topic and great article!

  3. Frabby

    I don’t see things quite as you do:

    Blood Spirits vs. Genyosha – The Blood Spirits are known to have some of the (if not the) most elite Clan MechWarriors, the cream of the Clan ideal. What they lack in raw military power they make up in in sheer brilliance as MechWarriors. (Or so it’s how they’re frequently depicted.) Plus, they’re specialized in duelling.
    Their only downside is that they only have a relatively small touman. But that’s something that would have no impact whatsoever on their matchup against the Genyosha.
    The Genyosha, on the other hand, started out as a yakuza militia with little formal training. While not outright impossible, I do find it something of a stretch that they would stand toe-to-toe again the Clans’ literal best and not be stomped. Not to mention the quality of their equipment. Even if Task Force Serpent had started with the best the IS had to offer plus ample salvage, I find it hard to believe the Genyosha could beat the Blood Spirits on their home turf and by their (the Spirits’) own rules. The Spirits are the very epitome of Clan superioritiy, and losing out to the Genyosha only serves to discredit the entire eugenics program.

    Fire Mandrills vs. Red Lancers – Agree. The Fire Mandrills just can’t get their act together, and the Red Lancers are a certified elite unit.

    Ice Hellions vs. Nova Cats – Dunno. I don’t see the Nova Cats disadvantaged in any way. I don’t particularly like the Ice Hellions. They rely heavily on tweaking zellbrigen in their favor to gang up on an enemy, while the Nova Cats are something of a regular Clan (the vision thing may be quirky but it doesn’t affect their battlefield performance). In the absence of other factors could see a Clan vs. Clan matchup go either way, and my dislike for the Hellions and their cheating (and my grasp of the boardgame rules vs. what the Hellions try to pull off) suggests the Hellions should never have won any battle.

    Jade Falcons vs. ComStar & Star Adders vs. Marik – Agree with a Clan victory.

    Wolves vs. Kai Allard-Liao – The St. Ives troops are really only an adjunct to Kai, who however is demonstrably able to stop a Clan force in its tracks all by his own. In the absence of mined canyon walls I don’t think Kai (or rather, his troops) ever had a chance to win this one, but turning the fight into a headhunting mission that will allow him to shine and achieve a draw seems about right.

    Smoke Jaguars vs. FedCom – The Jaguars are underappreciated. They may not have the finesse to be called the most elite Clan troops, but they sure have the attitude to go berserk and hurt you back. They don’t fight to win so much as to hurt you. The Clan may overall have been in poor shape, but again, in the protected confines of set-up match battles that shouldn’t matter; they’d still throw themselves at their foes Jaguar-style and should eke out a draw against any opponent in such a duel.

    That said, okay, imagine the Clans had actually curbstomped the IS forces (on Clan turf, by Clan rules, for everything the Clans stand for). What would have happened?
    – The FedCom Civil War doesn’t take place. Victor is discredited and Katherine gets the whole FedCom… only to run the state into the ground. She may be good at attaining power, but seems a bit helpless as to what to do with all the power once she has it.
    – The Crusader Clans come a’knocking again. Lots of Clan infighting (especially on the Ghost Bear and Combine, err, Nova Cat fronts) but the brunt of the fighting is in Lyran territory, where no ARDC exists. The entire FedCom is engaging the Clan onslaught, suffering damage to their combat units comparable to what the civil war did in canon. I can actually see a reversed civil war where the FedSuns and estranged good guys (Kells & Woves-in-Exile) secede the FedSuns lest it be bled dry by Katherine’s inept defense of the Lyran part against the Clans.

    With the realm busy as it is, Capellan ambitions remain unchecked and St. Ives is absorbed one way or the other. There’s no way of avoiding that.

    The real fork in the road, of course, is whether or not the Star League disbands. If it does (because of Victor’s poor showing), Jihad is more or less inevitable. The WoB may have been gearing up to fighting the Clans, but only at the point of a Star League alliance. I can’t see them jumping to Katherine’s aid or getting involved in intra-Clan action when the Crusader Clans go for the Ghost Bears, Nova Cats and/or Wolves-in-Exile.
    The Jihad may take the form of a ComStar/WoB war blown out of proportion instead though, as both sides gather allies: ComStar gets all the white hats and WoB has the disgruntled flocking to their banner.

    If the Star League doesn’t disband, ho hum. I can still see a fault line in the CS/WoB conflict that would eventually tear it apart. I guess the new Star League as such isn’t such a big player overall. After blundering the Trial and losing their military edge, I doubt the Star League would be able to mount an effective defense of its member states against the renewed Clan offensive.

    The Wars of Reaving, especially the Scientist uprising, happen in any case. The whole Clan society is a time bomb and the WoR is when it finally implodes.

    1. Clan Wolverine

      Frabby –

      “The Genyosha, on the other hand, started out as a yakuza militia with little formal training. While not outright impossible, I do find it something of a stretch that they would stand toe-to-toe again the Clans’ literal best and not be stomped. “

      …. what?

      Respectfully, the Genyosha have not, nor have they ever been, a yakuza militia. They were formed before the Fourth Succession War to be the most elite unit in the Combine. By the time of the Great Refusal, the First Genyosha had certainly backed up that claim on Luthien and a dozen other worlds.

      Second – Regarding the Blood Spirits, i don’t claim to be an expert. All i know is the Spirits were usually getting their butts kicked, despite the fact Clan tactics encouraged single combat, where you say they excelled.

      Third – Equipment. Check the books. The Blood Spirits had few proper OmniMechs. In fact, their Khan was using a Blood Kite. By comparison, that detachment of Genyosha was led by an elite pilot in a Daishi (Hohiro) and were the most technologically advanced machines the Combine could get them. You can readily assume salvaged Clan-tech was present. Now the top IS ‘Mechs of 3060 were generally fairly on par with Clan second-line ‘Mechs.

      Fourth – the Genyosha had a 12 to 10 edge in numbers.

      Finally – for the record, the Genyosha DID win, and in fairly convincing fashion.

      Can you reconcile your claims?

      1. Frabby

        D’oh – I read Genyosha and my brain went Ghost Regiment. My bad.
        Still… the Blood Spirits were supposedly the best of the best the Clans had to offer, and in this trial were absolutely in their element. It’s amazing to see how little (if any) advantage the Clans get out of their weird eugenics program. The IS, given Clantech, can apparently match them with ease, even Elementals don’t give an edge that is anywhere near equivalent to the trouble of breeding them in the first place.

        1. Clan Wolverine

          With respect to the Great Refusal – remember that the Inner Sphere forces were hand-picked from their elite units. (Literally the best of the best, at least in theory.) Whether the Clans offered the same is subjective.

          Personally, I find the “Blood Spirits are #1” mind-set to be in-universe propaganda. Take it with a grain of salt. If their warriors really were better, they’d be doing much better.

  4. Lou

    I really do want to see a What If – Tukkayid.

    On the subject of the units fighting in the Refusal. I think that battlefield experience really comes into play. You could surely find quite a few soldiers in the IS forces who had been fighting since before Tukkayid. The real upset is that Victor beat the Clans at their own game. The IS losing the Trial of Refusal doesn’t mean the Clans got Terra for free. It means a prolonged and devastating war, exactly the kind that the inner sphere had been rehearsing for the past two centuries. The Clans simply can’t win a strategic war of that size, but we might have seen conflict last until the 32nd century.

  5. Alex Ward

    I don’t think the outcome of the Great Refusal would have mattered all that much. The Inner Sphere has been given far too much time and exposure to the Clans as well as time to upgrade their equipment to Star League standards and beyond. Further, the Sphere’s ability to unite and annihilate a clan and locate the Exodus Road has made both the Invader and Home Clans much more cautious. The days of being able to walk over IS units with minimal losses is gone. Realistically, the only Invader clan with the military might to truly take Terra is the Ghost Bears. The Refusal War weakened the Wolves and Falcons too much. Even after the Harvest trials and JF’s secret warrior creches, neither clan has what it needs to fight its way to Terra, ie the strategic brilliance of Ulric and Natasha. Vlad and Marthe are capable warriors but I just don’t think they have the long term vision. I also believe the Star League would only have gotten stronger if the Great Refusal failed. It might have lasted long enough for people to begin believing in it and receiving benefits from it other than nostalgia. You would also have WoB joining the SL and launching the Jihad on the Clans as they had orignally intended. Personally, I think that Victor should have offered the Clans as a whole a third possibility. Help us preserve the new Star League. Renounce the Clan way and become the SLDF once again. Let each Touman become an SLDF Army. Communicate with the Blakists, ask them to join the SL. When they scoff and jeer, point out that no one wanted to join Ian Cameron at first either. He had to wheedle and deal and blackmail and twist arms to unite the Inner Sphere. Show them that they are at a turning point in history where there is a real chance to recreate what was lost and make the Second League a real thing.

    1. Clan Wolverine

      Alex – I think the main point is that the Invasion, including the rules thereof, would have been reaffirmed. Meaning not only would the Jade Falcons, Steel Vipers, Wolves and Ghost Bears resume their attack, they would have been joined by other Clans as well. True, none of them have the strength to reach and take Terra on their own, but they wouldn’t be on their own.

      As for your third option, they never would have agreed to it.

      1. Alex Ward

        The Scorpions might. Very unlikely yes, but Victor would have planted a seed. I don’t think the Bears would have recommenced the invasion. They are realists, and would likely be content to manage the Dominion for a long time before getting ambitious again. The Invading Clans made it clear that any Home Clan would have to defeat them to win a place in the invasion. I think the Star Adders would be the only ones who might earn a place. A renewed invasion would simply make the 2nd Star League band together that much more tightly.

  6. Wick

    Unclear whether you are suggesting that Clan Ice Hellion would still seek to conquer Jade Falcon worlds following this scenario or not. You only state that new homeworld clans would join the invasion (of which I have no doubt under this scenario.) In canon, the Hellions go after the Falcons because the Falcons are weakened after the Refusal War and make for the easiest targets (as opposed to Wolf/HH, GB, DC, or FC). In this scenario I see things play out differently.

    If the Hellions defeated the Nova Cats, they’d be in position to demand retribution from the Grand Council, which would be inclined to grant it. I see only Star Adder as wanting to block it, as that would mean the Hellions in the same invasion corridor into Combine/Nova Cat space, which Star Adder would naturally assume in the Jaguar’s absence. The other clans would probably vote aff, either to affirm the right of Hellion punishment of dezgra opponents, or to see the already sparse contingent of Hellion garrisons weaken so that those enclaves could be taken in Trials of Posession. However, the discussion could turn such that *every* Clan should be allowed go after Nova Cat in a faux Trial of Annihilation (the Nova Cats weren’t against Clan Ice Hellion individually, but the Clans as a whole); since Star Adder would be greatly opposed to every Clan coming into its prresumed invasion corridor, they’d probably settle for the Ice Hellions alone.

    Ultimately, this means the Hellions would attack Draconis Combine worlds defended by Nova Cat warriors, not Jade Falcon worlds on the FC side. Whether the Hellions could actually take any worlds or have to abort the plans to defend their homeworld enclaves is a bigger what-if, as is who would fill the canon Hellions’ role of attacking the weakened Falcons (Coyote? Mandrill?)

      1. Wick

        Only the situation in which Clan Ice Hellion beats Clan Nova Cat in the Great Refusal, and the Clans as a whole win the Trial. In any other situation the Hellions probably take the same actions they took in canon.
        This isn’t a pro-Hellion position. No matter which crusader clan Nova Cat got paired up against, had that clan beat them and the Clans as a whole won, that clan would seek to punish the Cats for their insolance and the Grand Council would grant it. It happened to be the Hellions, and thus they’d seek entry into the Draconis/Nova Cat corridor instead of Jade Falcon (as canon) or Ghost Bear (as Dave suggested)

        1. Dane

          Personally that entire Operation:IceStorm thing was crap to me. First of all it is not the Clan way. In no way do the Ice Hellions “invade” the JF worlds. The entire Kerensky Ideal is so gain maximum resources with little force. An invasion of the JF with the entire touman is against everything that stands for. I believe if it were to happen it would in proper Clan fashion with the Ice Hellions declaring a Trial of Possesion for whatever worlds they wanted and JF defending with one Galaxy or a Cluster of warriors. Anyone agree??

          1. Wick

            One of the post-Bulldog stories meant solely to prune a Clan. 16 was too many for the authors to deal with so out go the ones they didn’t like – by any means they saw fit, whether it made sense with earlier established canon or not.

            Only way the Ice Hellions can even consider invading (or more accurately, ToP’ing) for any other worlds, Jade Falcon possessed or not, would be if they had many, many more Flurries than already stated — or the Flurries suddenly became as strong, or stronger, than regular clusters. The Hellions simply held too much land with too small of a touman, the Flurries were the solution to this problem, and the Flurries were notoriously weak and unreliable. Its complete BS that the Hellions would commit five of their six galaxies and almost all thier naval resources to the task and leave thier Kerensky cluster worlds practically unguarded. Defending nine worlds with one understrength galaxy (Theta), at most 3 Flurry clusters, and one or two warships is absolutely rediculous. The math just doesn’t work. The warships would have to be used to defend Hector, and the ground and especially aerospace forces would be spread so thin that all of the Hellions world’s would be conquered easily. You just can’t defend enclaves with single trinaries (or less!) against enemies mustering a cluster or two. Even if the enemy bids down and you beat them, attrition takes its toll and then the next clan, or the one after that one takes your enclave.

            A more fitting story involves the Hellions committing one or two galaxies to a much smaller task: worlds in the deep periphery or other Kerensky Cluster worlds. Perhaps they try to take a major Falcon homeworld (say, Ironhold) with two galaxies; it doesn’t go well at all, and the Falcons are so upset that they counterattack Hector and after much fighting and heavy losses on both sides, the Falcons take it. I see the Falcons committing 3 galaxies (maybe 3 and a half) to both worlds, losing the better part of two, but the Hellions are devestated: losing all three front line galaxies, all of Zeta, and most of Zeta Prime, leaving them with only about 5 clusters and no capital. Aftermath is the remaining Hellions are absorbed and the Falcons lose ground to some other clans, as happened in canon, but without unrealistic fantasies and ignorance of what would naturally happen elsewhere in Hellion space.

            I’m kinda pissed they wrote out the Blood Spirits in similar un-worthy fashion (complete abandonment of the Kerensky Cluster, are you kidding me?). The authors took two of the truly unique clans out of the mix, leaving too many Clans that are hardly undistinguishable from each other. Ice Hellion and thier (over-)reliance on small, fast mechs and Blood Spirit with their noticible deficiency of omnitech should have made them worthwhile Clans to continue to exist in place of others, if pruning was needed. Goliath Scorpion and Steel Viper are two that don’t add anything unusual to the politics or gameplay. I think they should have been axed before the interesting ones were.

  7. gratzner

    The Star Adders exhibited a kind of precision that is scary to think about being executed on an invasion scale, and the 1st Free Worlds Guards were never really the same unit afterwards.

    I don’t quite understand this line, but maybe because the tone on the first half implies the 1st FWG somehow never recovered. In reality they were rebuilt, elite, renowned as heroes throughout the League despite losing, and their commander survived and went on to command for almost two more decades. Is this what was meant?

    Really liked the article overall. Very interesting conclusions drawn.

    1. Clan Wolverine

      I agree – The First FW Guards weren’t permanently damaged by their loss. The problem they – and their brigade – faced was this : They had been over-shadowed by the Knights of the Inner Sphere. No longer were they the most prominent federal command in the FWLM. That’s largely why they so easily turned on “Thomas” in favor of Corinne and the WoB.

      As for the Star Adders – Very simply, they didn’t underestimate the Inner Sphere the way the other “home” clans did. Remember how shocked the Blood Spirit Khan was when she lost?

  8. Clan Wolverine

    Let’s take a step back, for a moment, and look at the larger issue of the Invasion.

    How ridiculous is the concept of the ilClan ?

    The Clans built a system for effectively resolving their differences in proxy battles. Sure, some of the originals were absorbed or destroyed. But the system worked in a vacuum. When they were exposed to the Inner Sphere, it led to a series of events leading to the Reavings.

    If a single Clan conquers Terra, however, this system breaks down. Suddenly, they are masters of everyone else. That doesn’t work for very long. If the Jade Falcons had taken the prize, would the Wolves have rolled over? Or the Ghost Bears? Or any of the home clans?

    I think, deep down, some of the Clan leaders knew this, and took steps to ensure it wouldn’t happen.

  9. CM

    There are two main issues here in this What If?

    First – The Trial of Refusal has been beaten (accepting all battles happened per the What If). The Truce of Tukkyaid was until 3067. The clans are still held by this. The Trial of Refusal was just to nullify to original Invasion. The clans have now shown that they are superior overall and will take the time to strengthen up and set up new invasion corridors for 3067 (like Clan Wolf said it would do in canon). Otherwise just continue as they were before – and laugh at the foolish Jaguars who were too weak to survive.

    Second point – Victor Steiner-Davion is dead. This is huge! First off the Combine now has to reinforce and prepare for the invasion – with no FedCom ally to help. But more important – Katherine. This as a huge PR opportunity to reform the FedCom under her to prepare for the invasion. She might even take to time to smack down the Capellian Confederation and save St Ives for the production from it. (remember where the FedCom was getting it’s Victor class mechs). Her rule would be supreme in the entire FedCom and she would use it to strengthen and prepare for an invasion in a few years she knows is coming. She might even work to hit the Falcons first. The big thing is that there would be no one to stop Katherine now. No one would grumble because she is great at PR and her heroic brother (misguided in some ideas yes but still beloved to her -‘insert fake tears for camera here’) would want the combined FedCom to stand strong against all threats. Remember how she took over the Lyran section using her ties to her Grandmother and her own Mother’s murder. The Federated Suns would have just lost Morgan and Victor at the same time. She would be unstoppable.

    1. Clan Wolverine

      CM –

      Remember the Crusaders wanted to abandon the Truce anyway, and had the votes to do it. That was the entire point of getting rid of Ulric.

      Regarding Katherine – She still will face massive problems holding the FC together. She’ll still have to live on New Avalon, which will eventually discredit her in the LA. Regarding the Capellan Civil War, she won’t get involved. She made a promise to Sun-Tzu, and if the SL holds together, she’ll stick to it so she can get his nomination after his term is up.

  10. Spazamataz

    Meh.. opinions are littered in this article.. the main turning point for a
    “refusal- clan victory” would be simple…

    WHAT IF- There were no wardens?
    Instead of seeing the simple democratic and peaceful lifestyle of commoners as a boon.. *whatif* clans such as Ghost Bear consistently saw the insider backstabbing politics and dishonourable betrayal of IS as an affront to the very evolution of mankind itself…

    I can see internal clan trading of tech and very importantly Clan Snow Ravens mercantile savvy giving an edge and a focused pursuit for all the clan.
    ALSO!! What if the Clan were disenchanted by the ideals of honourable combat with the constantly inconsistent IS groups and decided to bring their FULL POWER to bear during the invasion.. ?

  11. Ruebezahl54

    first of all: One interesting battle is missing: CHH vs. Free Rasalhague Republic’s 3rd Drakøns –> SLDF win
    Did not this result convince some CGB upper levels of the worthiness of the FRR for Absorption and recognition as equals?
    What was the reason again why the Coyotes, Steel Vipers, Cloud Cobras, Snow Ravens, Goliath Scorpion did not participate???
    Back to: What if? What about a different matching?
    Let us say:
    CFM vs. Draconis Combine’s 1st Genyosha –> Clan win –Their fractioured natur hampers group performance, so with the Khan dead, they get into regular fighting mode and make Dragon Chop Sui…
    CBS vs. Capellan Confederation’s Red Lancers –> Clan win — The elite and honorful Blood Spirits Gunslinger abilities work well in the wooded valleys of the Sciace District…
    CHH vs. Free Rasalhague Republic’s 3rd Drakøns –> SLDF win — same as canon!
    CSJ vs. Clan Nova Cat’s Keshik –> Clan win — The Jaguars fight best with a lot of rage in the belly. Battle against their long hated enemy, traited Clan NC, Bile and evil Rage in a final stand!!!
    CW vs. ComStar’s Invader Galaxy –> Draw — They know how to fight the Wolfs since Tukayyid…
    CIH vs. 1st Free Worlds Guards –> Clan win — Their Hover-Infantry in concert with other highly mobile units unraveled FWL forces into the Perium Swamp.
    CJF vs. St. Ives Compact’s 1st St. Ives Lancers –> Clan win — A Falcon sees and smells victory!
    CSA vs. LA/FC 10th Lyran Guards/1st Kathil Uhlans –> SLDF win — Light Mechs as a bait for seasoned and well led Lyrans? BA against AC-loving Elementals-for-hobby-hunting-at-weekend-pleasure-leisure Davions?
    I liked to see two more fights and/or different ones:
    CCloud Cobra vs. 1st Canopian Cuirassiers –> Clan win
    CSV vs. Mercenaries selection –> SLDF win — Their hatred for money-soldiers, neglect them recognition of hardened warriors by Soul (and money, of course…)
    CSA vs. FC 1st Kathil Uhlans –> Draw — Slaughtered BA but still Mechs to shoot and AC-ammo is low, ohoh!
    Coyote vs. LA 10th Lyran Guards –> SLDF win but close! Seeing ATMs vs. HeavyGausses, in the end the lyran rule: “More metal is more metal!” was proven again. The last onboard Mech standing and weaving his blue fist…
    There are allways arguments against, but the general questions was: “What if???”

    1. Ruebezahl54

      With the Clans as a whole having no need to stop OP:Revival forever, opens a lot of opportunities for peace and war.
      The SLDF lost only the Trial in 1st instance. Their large number of forces are a battle-proven thread. They will evacuate Huntress, open no ambassy in Strana Mechty, return home, beaten and disappointed. They support evacuation of NovaCat civilians and some few SJ civvies, maybe to Irece…
      Some Grand Council sessions will be hold, Osis deposed, CSJ free for Trial of Absorption. Won by CSA… Or seeking asylum as Kindraa Jaguar in CFM. The ensuiing defense of Huntress melted the fractious habits away, despite the final and total loss of huntress and extinction of the new Kindraa, the FireMandrill Clan was reunited…
      More Invasion corridors will have to be claimed by Trial: 1 aside to the falcons, the old SmokeJaguar one and aside to it a second new one deep into DC.
      The Clans will battle for the former holdings of SJ, NC and GB. Falcon and Wolf suffered to many costly losses and phyrric victories and decided to retreat to a few strategic holdings and relocated some assets into the IS OZ. The warden Coyotes successful in SJ,NC,GB territorial conquest were bound by honor to participate in the new Invasion Trails: (new LC-Coyote, old DC-CSA, new DC-CCC (naval battles with DC-admiralty! CSV turns out reserve again as do CFM and CIH. CBS is too beaten to participate and is slowly recovering from punishment as last, CDS provides supply and trade, CSR gives transportation and helps to garrison, CGS decided themselves to be back-up-backer, pacify bandit risings and search the periphery for another IS Invasion).
      Victor stays with ComStar and SLDF, Katherine continues to rule FedCom and prepare for renewed Clan Invasion. DC does same. FWL and CC economies increase, CC with later ST.Ives and some Chaos March absorbtion even more. Victor is gettting more PTSS Problems for Feeling responsible for renewed Clan onslaught. Katherine SD becomes next First Lord. WoB gives presents for renewed fighting against the Clans. Houses want to led Clans reattack first to get more preperation time for rearmament for counterassault. Grumbling WoB assaults into CJF and CW OZs on themselves, achieving astounting victories belaughing the Clans Revival Speed records, claiming half the length of the zones and preparing for an attack on CGB. But then, suddenly came back from the homeworlds the battered but well prepared CJF & CW. A month later will CCY, CSA, CCC arrive and start to attack their OZs. Followed by supply runs of CDS, CSR, succeeded by a half Touman of Clans SV, FM, IH.
      NOW the WoB unleashes their “Jihad” on the rearriving Clans as originally planned, involving CGB by occupying and annexing the FRR remains and targeting their reproduction center worlds. Black-outing at first the OZs; some nearest border worlds only as long as frontier removes further away.
      The Coyotes take in their corridor only former Rim Republic worlds from the Lyrans and ask for CGS garrison assistance. The Coyotes did in their second wave the same again and took only former Rim Republic worlds.
      CSA ran into a fortified and well-prepared DCMS, as did CCC. CSA got their ground forces mauled to 50% by DCMS after half of wave1. CCC also achieved only half their targets as a result to a lack in number of garrison forces. The WoB launches a 2nd Phase: A strike at the Pentagon worlds, maybe further to the Clan Homeworlds. But they encountered somewhere behind former Oberon territories the 3 reserve Clans with 3/4 of their Toumans each waiting for attack. Maybe a heavily armed CDS and CSR convoy might also get into WoB contact…The Wobbies will beat down the reserve Clans to 1/4 each remaining for Invasion before succumbing to the gathered Clans. The WoB assaults in CSA & CCC OZs shattered the StarAdders more than the naval oriented Cobras but hindered both Clans efforts to a halt for over 2years.
      The Wob attacks against the Coyote-CGS augmented garrisons was desastrous for the populations and Clan forces. Luckily WoB did not attack terraforming efforts in formerly inhabited systems, creating fresh and clean refuges for civilians and surviving clannners. The Anti-Coyote WoB force consisted mostly of pressed Marian, Canopian, Taurian troops, with some WoB Militia leadership guidance.
      Lyran and Draconian economies tumble to the Clan assaults, FRR is swallowed by CGB and kept save from further WoB atrocities, WoB forces broken and distributed between several Clan OZ Systems. Reassembling in Sol and Gibson systems. Clan forces except Blood Spirit reduced to half or less in strength, CDS and CSR at 80%, CGS at 90%, in Rim-Coyote OZ at 14%. CSR croaches the spinward periphery and gets into contact with Outworlds Alliance (protection from FS & DC Aggression, return of former OA systems by co-conquest)…
      WoB retooles factories in MH, MoC, TC for advanced IS tech. The synchroneuos WoB nuclear assaults against CGB and the Nova Cat remains proved effective against the latter, the strikes against the bears were bonecrushing for the victims but not the untouched Galaxies of the Bear.


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