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Iota Galaxy (Clan Hell's Horses)

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Iota Galaxy
Nickname The Ninth Ring of Hell
Affiliation Clan Hell's Horses
Parent Command Clan Hell's Horses Touman

Unit Description[edit]

Iota Galaxy was a Clan Hell's Horses military formation. It was created as a dumping ground for warriors designated as solahma and political opponents. Iota was used as a pirate/bandit hunting unit, which despite its lack of discipline, it took pride in doing.[1]


Hell's Horses Exodus to the Inner Sphere[edit]

In 3070, Khan James Cobb decided the Inner Sphere would be a better home for the Hell's Horses than Clan space. He decided to invade Clan Wolf's Occupation Zone as part of payback for their past transgressions against his Clan.[2]

Iota Galaxy was split up by the decision,[3] with some Clusters being retained in the Homeworlds until the last convoys to the Inner Sphere would be completed. However, fighting among the Home Clans intensified as the Wars of Reaving grew in scope and destructiveness, and caused considerable damage to Iota and its fellow garrison force, Eta Galaxy.

A number of Clusters were disbanded and consolidated into other Clusters when the last elements of Iota Galaxy finally arrived in the Inner Sphere.[4]

Ice Hellion Invasion[edit]

Elements of Iota Galaxy participated in the fighting against Clan Ice Hellion in 3071, where in November Iota was noted as having participated in taking the worlds of Von Strang's World, Bensinger, Apollo and Toland.[5]

Elements of Iota were a part of a joint Jade Falcon-Hell's Horses Task force to take Vantaa from the Hellions. Iota, along with the Jade Falcon Alpha and Gamma Galaxies engaged in heavy fighting with Khan Khan Montose and her forces for control of Vantaa. The battle to end the Clan Ice Hellion's Invasion was successful, but Iota suffered heavy damage from the Ice Hellion flagship, the McKenna-class CIH Cage's Pride.[6]

The Dark Age[edit]

At the beginning of the Dark Age Iota Galaxy was in a sad state; despite having four component clusters, the total strength of all four was little more than a cluster, spread across the Hell's Horses Periphery border. Iota was at the tail end of the Hell's Horses supply chain, with no prospect of rebuilding quickly. It was during this period that the Sixty-seventh BattleMech Cluster defeated Gort's Hounds on Toland using just infantry and light vehicles; while the victory seemed like an example of efficiency at work, it was actually more likely that this was because those were all the forces the Sixty-seventh had available at the time.[7]

During the period of escalating warfare in the mid-thirty-second century the frontline forces of Clan Hell's Horses were actively deployed on expeditionary campaigns, leaving Iota Galaxy as the main coreward region defense against the Rasalhague Dominion. By this point Iota had been restructured to be a largely defensive organization rather than an offensive unit; the bulk of Iota consisted of three Ranger Clusters, Clusters intended to be fast, lightweight and long-range skirmishing units; Iota's intended role was to hold up an enemy long enough for a nearby frontline formation like Alpha Galaxy to respond.[8]

The Rasalhague Dominion evidently rather appreciated having Iota Galaxy nearby; Iota was unlikely to launch an offensive, and its location made it ideal for being engaged in Trials by the Dominion's Kappa Galaxy. The Trials were considered friendly, and actually improved the skill level of both Galaxies, although by 3145 it had been noted that by Iota that Kappa was receiving new 'Mechs, whereas Iota had yet to receive any new equipment despite the Hell's Horses capture of the former Clan Wolf worlds of Tamar and Weingarten. As a consequence Iota Galaxy began petitioning the Hell's Horses Khan for permission to begin staging Trials on Dominion worlds, although without success by 3145 because of the Khan's desire to replace former Falcon allies with allies from the Dominion.[8]


Rank Name Command
Commanding Officers of Iota Galaxy
Galaxy Commander Zelda Lassenerra 3059 - 3067[1][9]
Galaxy Commander Iwao Houan 3085[10]
Galaxy Commander Jake Lankenau 3145[11]

Other Officers[edit]


The units of Iota Galaxy followed none of the normal conventions observed by the Hell's Horses or other Clans, with nonexistent bidding practices and no qualms about fighting in urban environments. Their success on the battlefield was often guaranteed by the use of headhunters, infantry tasked with seeking out and destroying the enemy's command structure, even while the main force is otherwise engaged.[1]

Composition History[edit]



  • Sixty-first BattleMech Cluster[9]
  • Sixty-seventh BattleMech Cluster[9]
  • Sixty-ninth BattleMech Cluster[9]
  • Seventy-fourth BattleMech Cluster[9]


  • Sixty-first BattleMech Cluster[10]
  • Sixty-seventh BattleMech Cluster[10]
  • Sixty-ninth BattleMech Cluster[10]
  • Seventy-fourth BattleMech Cluster[10]



  • Conflicting Information: Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers and Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents. This due in part, the older publication, Jihad Secrets, listed Iota as part of the forces fighting Ice Hellion in Clan Jade Falcon's Occupation Zone. Where Iota, participated in the final battle of that conflict. However, later Masters and Minions would list the unit as part of garrison force in the Homeworlds. The Galaxy's clusters would be so damaged that they would be disbanded, however it unclear if the entire galaxy or fragments of it were present there. Technical Readout: 3085 would list one of its Clusters, the 67th BattleMech, as part of a garrison for on Toland in 3085. However, no mention if entire galaxy still exists or not.[12][13][14]
Writers would later confirm Iota Galaxy was split into two elements, with half the galaxy journeying to the Inner Sphere, while the rest would remain in the Homeworlds, being mauled by the fighting there.[15]

Yes, the Galaxy was split. Remember also that Iota is the dumping ground for troops; it is fairly easy to restaff as long as the Horses continue to have "problem" troops (such as captured forces from the Homeworlds and Clan Wolf).

Thank you,

Herbert Beas
Catalyst Game Labs

  — Herbert Beas, BattleTech Line Developer, 28 Jan 2011



  • When randomly determining units from Iota Galaxy, rolls to determine random weight class or Star weights apply a -2 modifier with the exception of rolls made for the Sixty-first BattleMech Cluster.[16]
  • No unit in Iota Galaxy may deploy either assault weight BattleMechs or conventional vehicles; rolls that generate an assault weight 'Mech or vehicle must be replaced with a heavy unit.[16]
  • Any roll determining a unit randomly using the Hell's Horses RAT that generates a 'Mech or vehicle with a Walking or Cruise speed of 5 MPs or less must be rerolled.[16]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 73: Iota Galaxy - Unit info to describe unit and its function in the Horses's touman.
  2. Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 25: Time Line / November 3070 - Hell's Horses return noted in 3070.
  3. CBT Writers confirm that Iota Galaxy was indeed split for duty in the Inner Sphere and at Clan Space. (dead link)
  4. Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, pp. 144–145: The Raging Horsemen - Iota Galaxy's history includes it being damaged in Clan Homeworlds as Hell's Horses left.
  5. Jihad Secrets: The Blake Secrets, p. 29: Iota Galaxy noted in the capture of Toland in November 3071.
  6. Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 30: Vantaa - final battle against Ice Hellions would severely damage Iota galaxy.
  7. Field Manual: 3085, p. 117: "Iota Galaxy"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Field Manual: 3145, p. 155: "Iota Galaxy"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Field Manual: Updates, p. 71: "Crusader Clans Deployment Table"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Field Manual: 3085, p. 125: "Iota Galaxy (The Ninth Ring of Hell)"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Field Manual: 3145, p. 167: "Iota Galaxy (The Ninth Ring of Hell)"
  12. Technical Readout: 3085, p. 134: 67th BattleMech Cluster list as garrison force in 3085.
  13. Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, pp. 28–30: Operation Ice Storm - Clan Hell's Horses Iota Galaxy noted in participation in capturing number of Ice Hellion held worlds and fighting the last battle of the conflict.
  14. Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, pp. 144–145: The Raging Horsemen - Iota Galaxy listed as part a garrison force during the Horses' exodus and Iota's Clusters being listed as destroyed and disbanded after their arrival in the Inner Sphere.
  15. Writers confirm that Iota was split to fight in both Inner Sphere and Homeworlds. (dead link)
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Field Manual: 3145, p. 208: "Clan Hell's Horses"