Chain Gang Missions
- "Mech Merc Company" - A Love Letter To MechWarrior 2, Now On Steam Early Access
- Your BattleTech News Roundup For April 2020
- What ‘Mech Would You Survive The Coronavirus Outbreak In?
- MechCombat from Ralph H. Reed
- Catalyst, Coronavirus, And Clan Invasions - Interview With BattleTech Art Director Brent Evans
- Read more →
|Chain Gang Missions|
|Part of Succession Wars|
|Draconis Combine||Lyran Commonwealth and Federated Suns (not together)|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Coordinator Jinjiro Kurita||Several|
|Three regiments worth of convicts, undesirables, Unproductives and disgraced officers||Unknown|
Launched by the Draconis Combine, the Chain Gang Missions were a series of suicidal raids intended to delay the reconstruction efforts of the Lyran Commonwealth and Federated Suns in the lead-up to the Second Succession War.
Despite the horrific losses in people, materiel and technology during the First Succession War, with the conflict ending in stalemate due to exhaustion rather than any decisive victory, all the so-called Successor States recognized that the war would resume as soon as they had caught their breath. In this the Draconis Combine was no different, with Coordinator Jinjiro Kurita focusing on rebuilding the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery in preparation for renewed conflict as well as a means to keep his declining sanity in check, while his half-brother and heir-designate Zabu Kurita's guidance of the People's Reconstruction Effort saw to the rebuilding and preservation of the Combine's technology and knowledge base.  
Though well pleased with both his and Zabu's efforts by 2824, Jinjiro realized that the other states could match if not exceed them, yet he also lacked the available front-line troops to cripple the Lyran and Davion efforts. Unwilling to let the matter lie as his mental health continued to deteriorate, Jinjrio was instead inspired to look at the other end of the Combine's cultural spectrum from the honorable samurai.   
Travelling across the Combine, the DCMS proceeded to cobble together three regiments worth of convicts, undesirables, Unproductives and disgraced officers, earning their service with the promise of freedom, citizenship, and handsome monetary rewards. The men and women who joined these Chain Gang regiments were then issued ancient and cast-off BattleMechs one step from the wrecking yard, in many cases more deadly to their pilots than the enemy, and given the most rudimentary of MechWarrior training with only a few lance formations and maneuvers for practice.      
Coordinator Jinjiro Kurita dispatched his motley regiments in December 2824. Divided into lance and more rarely company groupings, in early 2825 the Chain Gang units would strike worlds along both the Commonwealth and Suns borders. Despite having made numerous promises of extraction and rewards for their service, the Combine DropShips and JumpShips lingered just long enough to monitor the attackers' effectiveness before returning back to Kurita space never to return.        
Reflecting the extreme diversity in their number, the effectiveness of the Chain Gangs varied greatly. Though many simply surrendered at the first sign of opposition, hoping for mercy, a great number with their passions inflamed by extremely large doses of battle stimulants such as ChemCourage struck their targets as planned. Most of these were easily dispatched by the Steiner and Davion defenders thanks to their inexperience and inferior quality equipment, but some actually succeeded in destroying significant infrastructure and resources, sending reconstruction efforts in both the Lyran Commonwealth and Federated Suns into disarray.       
The most successful Chain Gang mission was that against Tamar. Conducted by the so-called Turkish Chain Gang, two lances of convicts from the Port Benjamin State Correctional Facility on Schuyler, these seven men and one woman successfully gutted three BattleMech factories and torched millions of acres of farmland before leading an entire continent on a three month long on and off chase. The Turkish Chain Gang were finally cornered in a massive firefight that destroyed the city of Chevy Chase and put the nearby spaceport out of commission for over a year. 
While the ComStar News Bureau sensationalized the damage incurred as part of Primus of ComStar Conrad Toyama's efforts to destabilize the Inner Sphere, for all the effort and resources expended, the Chain Gang raids actually resulted in only minor delays of a few months in both realm's reconstruction efforts. No matter their effectiveness, Jinjiro considered the raids highly successful. The Chain Gang missions would also make Jinjiro realize that the DCMS could use a few standing regiments of expendable shock troops to soften up tougher enemy targets, ultimately proposing the creation of Amphigean Light Assault Groups to fill that position.        
Suffering the worst losses and most delay of the two realms struck, the Lyran Commonwealth's reconstruction were delayed for around four months as it bulked up its border defenses and made additional plans to try and relocate as much of its important civil and military industries to the Lyran interior. When it became obvious there would be no follow-up strikes, the LCAF unleashed its own raids against the Combine's own reconstruction efforts on a string of worlds from Aix-la-Chapelle to Darius. Though not all the counter-strikes would prove successful, the raids and the rescue of the Chahar Profit during the strike against Darius demonstrated the improved capabilities of the LCAF since the First Succession War.   
Suffering delays of only around two months thanks to a high level of preparedness, the most notable aftermath of the Chain Gang raids against the Federated Suns was a love story. Two members of the Chain Gang strike against Udibi, disgraced DCMS solider Jur Sturlaugson and former prostitute Katrina Reban, fell in love during the voyage. As the AFFS troops easily repelled and scattered the Chain Gang attackers, Sturlaugson desperately searched for his beloved, eventually finding her Stinger cornered by a Davion Marauder and throwing himself in front of a PPC strike that would have killed her. Moved by the pair's plight and story of true love, the resulting media attention led First Prince Paul Davion to grant the pair citizenship in the Federated Suns, both in turn serving in the AFFS before eventually forming their own mercenary unit which they named the Ever-Free.   
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 62 "History - Second Succession War
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 63 "History - Second Succession War - Gearing Up
- Handbook: House Kurita, p. 46 "History of the Nation - The Second Succession War - Peace of Unity Within - The Dragon's Chain Gangs"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 64 "History - Second Succession War - Chain Gang Missions
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth)", p. 55 "History - The Second Succession War - One Step Forward, Two Steps Back"
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 39, "Dawn of the Succession Wars - Second Succession War (2830-2864) - Preludes to War"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 68 "History - Second Succession War - War Heats Up"
- Handbook: House Davion, pp. 55-56 "History of the Federated Suns - Second Succession War - War Looms"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 62 "History - Second Succession War - Gearing Up - Divine Wind
- Handbook: House Davion, pp. 61 "History of the Federated Suns - Third Succession War - Timeline: Second Succession War"
- ComStar, p. 23 "The Word of Blake"
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p. 94 " Alternate Paths - Amphigean Light Assault Groups: Pack Mentality"
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth)", p. 56 "History - The Second Succession War - Rescue of the Chahar Profit"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 69 "History - Second Succession War - War Heats Up - The Talon Sergeant and the Prostitute"