First Battle of Harlech (3067)

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Part of The Jihad
Start Date October 3067
Location Harlech
Planet Outreach
Factions
(Defender) Wolf's Dragoons
Forces involved
Home Guard Waco Rangers
Smithson's Chinese Bandits
51st Dark Panzer Jaegers
Tiger Sharks

Overview of the Battle[edit]

The First Battle of Harlech was the unexpected attack upon the Wolf's Dragoons homeplanet of Outreach by rival mercenary groups hired by the Word of Blake.

Prelude to the Battle[edit]

After Operation ODYSSEUS, the Dragoons seen the Blakists as a threat, and after Operation GUERRERO, the expansion of the Blakists, and the birth of Word of Blake Protectorate confirmed their fears. The Allied Mercenary Command (AMC) was created on the 7th of March 3066 by Jaime Wolf as a response to Word of Blake expansionism in the Chaos March.[1] The founding members included the Dismal Disinherited, the Northwind Highlanders and Wolf's Dragoons;[2] the stated goal of the AMC was to provide aid to planets who wished to remain autonomous, but could not afford the military forces or mercenaries to stop a determined invasion. While Jaime expressed that the formation of the AMC was not a declaration of war against the Word of Blake, it was clear that the AMC was created to oppose it.

The Attack[edit]

On October the 15th 3067 the Waco Rangers, Smithson's Chinese Bandits, the 51st Dark Panzer Jaegers, and the Tiger Sharks (4 mech regiments with support units) launched a well coordinated assault on the Wolf's Dragoons.

  • Smithson’s Chinese Bandits bombarded the Drop Port and Home Guard base.
  • Waco's Rangers and Smithson's Chinese Bandits ground forces landed at Teptown and then moved to assault Harlech.
  • Tiger Sharks returned from a training cycle to join the attack against the AMC forces alongside the 51st Dark Panzer Jaegers.

AMC Forces included; the Dragoon's Wolf Spiders Battalion, Zeta Battalion, Beta and Epsilon regiments. The Broadsword Legion was hired to aid in the defense. Other disparate mercenary units stationed on Outreach at the time of the assault joined either side as they saw fit. Battle Magic, long allied with the Dragoons, was a primary target for Waco's units. Struck in the early hours of morning by Waco's aerial units, were totally destroyed.[3] Smithson's Chinese Bandits were instrumental in the first strike of Dragoons Home Guard compounds, deploying fuel-air bombs to destroy their objectives, including entire fighter squadrons at Harlech spaceport.[4]

Early on the morning of October 15, a small force detached from the Fifty-first Dark Panzer Jaegers attempted to intercept and kill Dameon Guillome, VP of Logistics for GM-Blackwell, and his staff. While returning to the downtown headquarters of GM-Blackwell, he was alerted by security of a small force bearing down on the building. Reacting quickly, the staff negotiated a verbal contract with a small group of mercenaries who had arrived that morning for a meeting with Hugh Farragut, lead archaeologist on the Remus Dig Project. The mercenaries held of the Jaegers long enough for Mr. Guillome to leave Harlech and make it to Blackwell's secured corporate complex on Romulus. Intercepted comm logs - turned over by the mercenary heroes who recorded the transmissions - revealed when later analyzed that the Jaegers had a list of high-level GM-Blackwell administrators slated as "targets". With this new evidence, it was finally understood that Blackwell Chief Financial Officer Thomas Crown, who had perished when his penthouse apartment suffered damage from an errant missile strike, was actually a target and not a victim of an unfortunate accident.[5]

Only the timely intervention of the Dragoons' Zeta Battalion stopped the rampant killing. The Wolf Spiders and Zeta Battalion fought the attackers and briefly secured the DropPort. Commander Jaime Wolf, coordinating operations from multiple command centers launched a counter-assault in conjunction with elements of Beta and Epsilon regiments recalled from Remus, to finally contain the renegade threat. The Mercenary group Ace Darwin's WhipIts sided with the Dragoons, but despite gathering two companies of another mercenaries, were overpowered by Waco's units in the city outskirts. Ace himself, piloting a pink Panther, was killed in the fight.[6]

Converging from three directions, the Dragoons caught most of Waco's forces in a classic encirclement. Each side fought fiercely, with quarter neither asked nor given. In a climatic battle, Wayne Waco led a company of 'Mechs against Wolf's lance in the shadow of the destroyed Hiring Hall. It is said than Waco's frenzy attacking the Dragoons was fueled by the belief than the Word of Blake forces would arrive to support them, but it remains unconfirmed, and if that was true, it appears it was a lie.[7] In the end, Commander Wolf and his lance destroyed all Waco's forces, fighting the renegades to the death. Jaime Wolf finished the battle on his own, bringing down Waco's command even while dying from mortal wounds. Wolf's Archer, battle-ravaged and surrounded by a field of destroyed 'Mechs, was still on its feet when allied forces finally made it to the scene, the ruins of Colonel Waco's BattleMaster sprawled before it.

Commander Wolf's death seemed to galvanize the Dragoons. Brian Cameron took the command of the Dragoons, ordering Condition Feral, a bloody no-mercy policy. The Dragoons counteroffensive gained the strength and character of a berserker fury. In less than a day, the Dragoons swept Harlech clean of the last renegade forces in a brutal action. No further renegade activity was reported since then, and even the looting one might expect after such devastation had been minimal in the past 48 hours.[8] The Mercenary group Lone Wolves, divided between pro-Waco and pro-Dragoons, began fighting between them. The majority of the group left the planet. Ironically, the pro-Dragoons faction, who stay behind were mistaken as pro-Blakist and destroyed by the Dragoons.[9]

In the four days of heavy fighting, civilian casualties in the battle were, at least, a quarter of million, and three or four times as wounded. Harlech City's infrastructure, power and water supply, was severely damaged and most people had to burn bodies on the streets to prevent diseases outbreak. Dragoon's military losses also were terrific: The Home Guard and the Epsilon Regiment were destroyed : Beta casualties are estimated thirty-five percent, and Zeta and Wolf Spiders battalions were between thirty-five and fifty percent, respectively.

Aftermath[edit]

Enraged, the dragoons launched a counter strike by the AMC against the Word of Blake forces in the Battle of Mars ended in disaster as the AMC forces were intercepted in orbit and largely destroyed. The units wiped in the ill-fated assault were Beta Regiment, Zeta Battalion, and a battalion of Home Guard, along with the Second Dismal Disinherited and Lindon's Battalion. The Word of Blake would soon retaliate with a major assault on Outreach, the Second Harlech this time with the goal of destroying the Dragoons. Defeated in ground, the Word of Blake had WarShips waiting in orbit, and when it was determined victory would not come through a ground battle alone, they launched nuclear strikes against the Dragoons, completely devastating the unit. General Maeve Wolf gathered what survivors she could and evacuated with the assistance of Clan Wolf-in-Exile and the Kell Hounds, finding sanctuary on Arc-Royal.[10] [11][12] The First Harlech was one of the first attacks of the Jihad.

References[edit]

  1. Starterbook: Wolf and Blake, p. 16
  2. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 44, "The Jihad In Review"
  3. Mercenaries Supplemental update p. 11
  4. Mercenaries Supplemental update p. 15
  5. BattleCorps: INN Newscast (Solaris Broadcasting Co. section), news item published [28/10/3067]: "Blackwell VP to Honor 'Mercenary Heroes'"
  6. Mercenaries Supplemental update p. 11
  7. Mercenaries Supplemental update p. 15
  8. Total Chaos, p. 40
  9. Mercenaries Supplemental Update p. 88
  10. Starterbook: Wolf and Blake, pp. 16-19
  11. Dawn of the Jihad, pp. 35-38
  12. Blake Ascending, pp. 35-38

Bibliography[edit]