First Combine-Dominion War
- This article is about the First Combine-Dominion War. For the later 3098-3101 conflict, see Second Combine-Dominion War.
The Combine-Dominion War (later known as the First Combine-Dominion War) was a conflict fought by the Ghost Bear Dominion against the Draconis Combine and Clan Nova Cat between October 3062 and December 3063. Occurring in the midst of the FedCom Civil War, the conflict also revealed the continued manipulations of the Kokuryu-kai, or "Black Dragon Society", in the Combine.
- 1 Background
- 2 The War
- 2.1 The Opening Assault on Alshain
- 2.2 Ghost Bear Retaliation
- 2.3 Draconis Combine and Clan Nova Cat Counterstrikes
- 2.4 Courchevel and the War's End
- 3 References
- 4 Bibliography
During Operation Revival the Clans conquered most of the Alshain Military District, including the titular capital, and destroyed most of the Alshain District Regular regiments. The four surviving regiments, now renamed the Alshain Avengers, swore to liberate their district at all costs. During the reclamation of those Combine worlds lost to Clan Smoke Jaguar in 3058, the Avengers fought well but to their dismay the offensive halted at the border with Clan Ghost Bear. The Avenger regiments obeyed orders to hold their positions but resentment set in among them.
Exploiting this discontent, the Black Dragon Society exerted its influence over the Avengers, and ISF Director Ninyu Kerai Indrahar later concluded that Alshain District Warlord Toshimichi Uchida and several other officers had become members of the Society. With Black Dragon support, Uchida was able to plan and initiate Operation BATU, an unauthorized surprise assault by all four Avenger regiments upon Alshain, now capital of the newly established Ghost Bear Dominion.
The Opening Assault on Alshain
The Avengers invasion of Alshain was intended to cripple the Ghost Bear leadership and spark an all-out liberation war, with the rest of the DCMS being forced to follow the Avengers into the Ghost Bear Dominion. Already risky, the plan suffered a serious setback even before the Avengers crossed the border: Clan Nova Cat forces based on Yamarovka had anticipated the attack thanks to a vision experienced by one of their MechWarriors, and the Eleventh Avengers sharing the planet with the Cats were intercepted and crushed.   
The three remaining regiments entered the Alshain system in October 3062, escorted by the WarShip Dragon's Last Tear. The Avengers believed that their determination would enable them to carry the day, and that the Dragon's Last Tear would easily batter aside any aerospace defense the Ghost Bears could put up. In fact, the Avengers' intelligence was fatally flawed. Alshain, having been made capital of the Ghost Bear Dominion, was protected in orbit by the battleship Ursa Major; the Dragon's Last Tear, a mere destroyer, was swiftly transformed into flaming wreckage by the Ursa Major's firepower, and a regiment of Avengers along with it. The other two regiments reached Alshain's surface to be met by the elite of the Ghost Bear touman, who furiously tore into the invaders and annihilated them.
Ghost Bear Retaliation
Enraged at this unprovoked attack, Ghost Bear Clusters stationed near the Combine border mounted a series of ferocious but uncoordinated strikes at whichever DCMS unit happened to be nearest to them, while more Bear units in the Dominion interior made their way to the front. Initially the invasion was incredibly successful, in part due to the fact that Coordinator Theodore Kurita was in the process of relocating his Ghost Regiments to the Federated Commonwealth border to protect his nation from any spill-over from the looming FedCom Civil War. He was forced to bring the Ghost Regiments back to the Ghost Bear border, only to have forces from the Draconis March, led by Duke James Sandoval, launch an invasion of their own, forcing the Combine to fight two opponents simultaneously.
Over a dozen worlds fell to the first wave of Bear attacks and such was the raw power of this offensive that it could have driven right through the former Smoke Jaguar Occupation Zone before the Combine had any hope of halting it. However, the Bear assault was reactive and fueled by rage rather than any genuine planning and the fighting swiftly turned into a series of border clashes. The Clan warriors sought vengeance for the unprovoked assault; the Combine troops sought to redeem their collective honor after their first embarrassing defeats. Thus neither side displayed any real tactical or strategic acumen, instead simply slugging it out wherever and whenever the opportunity arose.
The Ghost Bears also targeted their Abjured brethren in Clan Nova Cat, many of whose Clusters were based near the Dominion border. The Bears sought to prevent the Cats from aiding their DCMS allies, but the latter's Abjurement also resulted in the usual honor rules of Clan combat being cast aside. The resulting battles were thus far more brutal than the norm for Clan warriors, though the Nova Cats' wholehearted defense of the Combine earned them gratitude from the Combine's military and civilian population.
When the Cats' Alpha Galaxy, led by Khan Santin West, later mounted a counterattack against the Bears, they struck first at the Dominion's Rho Galaxy on Caripare. Notably, their marksmanship inflicted considerable damage to the Eighteenth Battle Cluster and its supporting units, resulting in their recall to face the Hell's Horses assault. Elements from the Nova Cats' Xi Galaxy also fought well on Caripare, contributing to that Galaxy's elevation to front-line status after the war's end. 
The green Seventh Pesht Regulars lost a full battalion to the furious assault of the Third Bear Regulars, but managed an organized fighting withdrawal to nearby Byesville. The Ryuken-yon later contested the planet but was unable to prevent its eventual annexation to the Ghost Bear Dominion. 
Elements of the Ghost Bears' Beta Galaxy hit the Fifth Galedon Regulars hard, nearly wiping out its command staff. The arrival of the Second Benjamin Regulars bought the Galedon troops time to regroup, and together the two regiments managed to secure several key cities. The fighting on Dumaring ground on until the Courcheval Trial.   
The Third Bear Guards soundly beat the Twenty-second Dieron Regulars, forcing the regiment to retreat off-world after just two weeks of combat. Half of the elite Second Sword of Light then arrived and took on the Dominion's 283rd Battle Cluster while their counterparts were mounting a behind-the-lines strike on Constance. Despite being battered the Second's warriors on Garstedt managed to hold their ground until the Tenth Ghost joined the fighting. 
The First Bear Guards mauled the Ninth Pesht Regulars, killing the regimental commander early in the battle and shattering the unit's cohesion so that many Pesht troops disastrously attempted to duel the Bears one-on-one. Although the Seventh Sword of Light arrived from Turtle Bay, they were too late to save the Ninth Pesht, of whom barely a tenth survived. Even so, the Seventh Sword of Light was able to keep the Bear Guards pinned on Idlewind until the war's end.  
The Dominion's Delta Galaxy, with support from Rho and Tau Galaxies, mauled the Nova Cats defenders from either or both Omega and Chi Provisional Galaxies in the war's first month. Khan West's subsequent counterattack with the Cats' Alpha and [[Xi Galaxy (Clan Nova Cat)|Xi Galaxies] saw the defending units from Omega Galaxy soundly defeated.   
The Forty-second Galedon Regulars were attacked by the Sixty-eighth Striker Cluster. With the Fifteenth Benjamin Regulars reinforcing the Forty-second, the two Combine regiments managed to contest the planet for several months but suffered heavy losses. 
Bear warriors from Delta Galaxy struck Kiesen just prior to the garrison unit's scheduled departure. That regiment - the Twelfth Dieron Regulars - was forced into a fighting withdrawal from the world that left them too mauled to participate further in the war. The Bear warriors also skirmished with elements from the Com Guard's 31st Division.  
Labrea was the scene of fighting between the Ghost Bears' Delta Galaxy and the Nova Cats. The latter suffered heavy losses to either or both Omega and Chi Provisional Galaxies, but Sigma Galaxy then arrived and assaulted the Bears with the unit's full might, driving the Bears from the world.  
The Seventeenth Galedon Regulars collapsed against the 139th Striker Cluster's, while the single battalion sent from the Sixth Arkab Legion to assist them arrived too late and instead waged a hit-and-run operation for the rest of the war. The Bears also mounted some probing attacks upon elements from the Com Guard's 31st Division.  
The Twelfth Bear Chevaliers, with the First Claw of Zeta Galaxy in support, mounted a preemptive strike upon the Nova Cat forces based on Mualang to prevent them reinforcing their DCMS comrades. The Com Guard's Twelfth Division was also drawn into the fighting on behalf of the Combine.  
Beta Galaxy elements including the Eighth Bear Cuirassiers annihilated the recently established Forty-fourth Dieron Regulars. Although the Fourth Arkab Legion arrived too late to save the Dieron regiment, they succeeded keeping the Bears from conquering Najha outright until a few months prior to Courcheval Trial. 
The Sixth Bear Regulars used their assault 'Mechs to demolish the newly-arrived Fifth Sun Zhang Cadre, but subsequently became mired in a guerilla war with the surviving defenders. Nonetheless the Fifth's remaining cadets were eventually forced to withdraw to Brocchi's Cluster, but the Ryuken-san took their place and kept the Bears occupied until the Courcheval Trial.  
The Second Legion of Vega found itself facing warriors from Omega Galaxy alone for nearly four months until the Sixth Ghost joined them. The latter unit suffered heavy casualties during the subsequent fighting. It was on Schuyler that the Pesht Military District's Warlord, Teyasu Ashora, fell in combat against saKhan Aletha Kabrinski on November 23rd.   
Already damaged during the fighting with the Eleventh Alshain Avengers, the two Nova Cat Clusters from Zeta Galaxy were hard hit by the Bears' Tenth Cuirassiers. Supported by the Seventh Bear Regulars, the Cuirassiers tore into the Nova Cats whom they felt had cheated them of a chance of avenge their Clan upon the Alshain Avengers. To the Cuirassiers' frustration, the two Cat Clusters retreated off-world almost immediately and simply vanished from known space, their fate a mystery to all.  
Draconis Combine and Clan Nova Cat Counterstrikes
While the bulk of the fighting took place upon Combine worlds, both the DCMS and Clan Nova Cat touman mounted a number of attacks upon Dominion worlds, both for revenge and in an attempt to dissuade the Ghost Bears from continuing their invasion.
The elite Second Genyosha struck Ardoz as part of the Combine's effort to stall the Ghost Bear offensive. The raid achieved its objective, as news that one of the DCMS' best regiments was poised to run amok throughout their supply lines prompted the reshuffling of some Bear units from the front.
Half of the Second Sword of Light attacked Constance in an effort to divert Dominion troops from the front. The Sworders suffered high losses there, and the world was eventually reclaimed by the Bears' Xi Galaxy. 
The Third Ghost regiment assaulted Marawi as part of the DCMS counterattack, but was destroyed by the defending Seventeenth and Thirtieth Provisional Garrison Clusters. However, the Seventeenth was ravaged in its turn by the Nova Cats' Fifth Regular and Sixth Garrison Clusters, who managed to take and hold the world until the end of the war. 
One of the few staging worlds from which the Bears had yet to launch an assault, Porthos was targeted by the Thirteenth Sun Zhang Cadre for this reason. The Cadre struck the Fifth Phalanx Cluster and mauled the unit before falling back into the Combine.
The Fourteenth Sun Zhang Cadre attacked Thule expecting to fight only the green Fifty-fourth Provisional Garrison Cluster. Instead the unexpected appearance of the corvette Black Ghost - undergoing maintenance in orbit - resulted in the destruction of one of the Cadre's DropShips before the Combine's own WarShips and aerospace fighters forced the Black Ghost to withdraw. With a third of their force already destroyed, the remaining Cadre warriors contented themselves with razing a few supply depots and then withdrew. 
Courchevel and the War's End
By the end of 3063 both combatants were facing enemies along their respective nations' opposite borders: the Draconis March's invasion of the Combine showed no sign of abating, while Clan Hell's Horses, Clan Ghost Bear's old enemy, had established their own Occupation Zone at the behest of Clan Wolf and were probing the Dominion for signs of weakness.
With both sides now looking for a way to honorably extricate themselves from the conflict, the Ghost Bear Khans agreed to a proposal from Tai-sho Kiyomori Minamoto: all worlds conquered would be returned to their prewar owners save for Courchevel, where a Trial of Possession would be fought for that world. Elements from each Cluster or regiment which had seen action in the war were sent to Courchevel, a gesture intended to allow those who had fought some sense of closure regardless of the Trial's outcome. In the end the Bear's edge in technology and warrior skill saw them emerge victorious, making Courchevel the only world to change hands at the war's end. 
- Era Report: 3062, p. 24-25, "The Combine-Dominion War"
- Path of Glory, Chapter 29
- Path of Glory, Chapter 24
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 13
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 60
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 96, "The Dragon and the Nova Cat"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 96, "Alpha Galaxy: (Victory Over Delusion)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 97, "Xi Galaxy: (Rossei’s Faithful Followers)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 109, "7th Pesht (The Future Guards)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 115, "Ryuken-yon (Midnight Sun)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 106, "2nd Benjamin (Defenders of the Combine)
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 106, "2nd Benjamin (Defenders of the Combine)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 108, "5th Galedon (Pride of Galedon)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 107, "22nd Dieron (Vengeance of Dieron)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 111, "2nd Sword of Light (The Steel Dragon)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 109
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 111, "7th Sword of Light (The Teak Dragon)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 61, "Delta Galaxy (The Blitzkrieg)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 61, "Rho Galaxy (Bear Essentials)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 61, "Tau Galaxy"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 108, "42nd Galedon (The Climbing Daystar)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 106, "15th Benjamin (The Tribute of the Unproductives)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 109, "4th Pesht (The Evening Warriors)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 110, "1st Genyosha (Legacy of Yorinaga)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 107, "12th Dieron (Arm of Unswervable Power)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 86, "6th Army V-Kappa (Grim Defiance)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 97, "Sigma Galaxy: (Spiritual Vision)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 108, "Galedon Regulars"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 113, "6th Arkab Legion (Desert Nomads)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 86, "6th Army V-Kappa (Grim Defiance)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 61, "Zeta Galaxy (Claws of the Ghost)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 86, "6th Army V-Kappa (Grim Defiance)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 107, "Dieron Regulars"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 113, "4th Arkab Legion (Allah's Blessings)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 61, "Omicron Galaxy"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 112, "5th Sun Zhang Cadre (Perseverance)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 115, "Ryuken-san (Strength of the Dragon)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 61, "Xi Galaxy"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 113, "2nd An Ting Legion (The Light of Enlightenment)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 10, "Timeline"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 61, "Omega Galaxy"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 114, "6th Ghost"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 115, "2nd Legion of Vega (The Dragon’s Raiders)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 61, "Sigma Galaxy"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 110, "2nd Genyosha (Lord Yorinaga’s Vanguard)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 61, "Pi Galaxy"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 111, "8th Sword of Light (The Jade Dragon)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 114
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 97, "Omicron Provisional Galaxy: (Purified in Soul)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 61, "Beta Galaxy (Night Howlers)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 112, "13th Sun Zhang Cadre (Tenacity)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 112, "14th Sun Zhang Cadre (Obedience)"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 14