Magistracy Armed Forces
The Magistracy Armed Forces (abbreviated MAF) is the military arm of the Magistracy of Canopus. A largely peaceful society, the Magistracy has traditionally regarded its armed forces as a necessary evil, providing it with fewer resources than other states and largely reserving it for defensive purposes against pirates and invaders. That outlook changed somewhat in the thirty-first century when the Trinity Alliance allowed for the expansion and reforms of the MAF until it became the largest military force in the Periphery in 3067. Despite these changes, the MAF has continued to maintain some of the unique traditions which helps it stand out from other military forces.
Structure of the MAF
Historically, the small size of the MAF allowed it to maintain a streamline, simplistic structure, with little distinction between the different branches. Its sudden growth and the demands of working alongside its Trinity partners has required the MAF to undergo several changes. These changes have been gradual though, with the understanding that what worked out well for the past several centuries shouldn't be radically altered without some consideration.
- Magestrix Command Center
- At the apex of the MAF is the Magestrix Command Center (MCC). Located on Canopus IV, this division of the MAF is directly responsible to the Magestrix for all top-level strategic planning and defense initiatives. Originally it was staffed by the three senior-most Colonels and their Rear Admiral counterparts, but the Trinity Alliance caused it to expand to nine members: the Senior General, the Generals of the five original Combat Formations, both Admirals of the Canopian Navy, and a Capellan military attaché of Jiang-jun rank. Responsible for coordinating all CCAF forces operating within the Magistracy, this last addition was initially met with some consternation, though efforts were made to accommodate all involved.
- Magistracy Army
- All ground combat units within the MAF are a part of the Magistracy Army. Historically, the army did not differentiate sub-branches (except in the case of infantry and armor commands) due to its small size, with artillery and jump infantry, when available, classified as infantry. The expansion of the MAF have caused these differences to become more pronounced. This includes the creation of the Militia Defense Corps and the addition of battle armor which, though of limited numbers in 3067, were grouped into their own separate branch under the direct command of the Senior General.
- Magistracy Navy
- Throughout the Succession Wars and into the thirty-first century, the Canopian Navy's small size has necessitated its grouping into a single organization. The Navy consists of two fleets, each divided into two squadrons of two flotillas each. The Battle Fleet is responsible for the defense of orbital space around potential invasion targets, while the Reserve Fleet is stationed in the Canopus IV system to act as a rapid reaction force. Originally, the Navy was jointly commanded by both Rear Admirals, with the Magestrix having personal control over the Reserve Fleet and a separate Magistracy Aerospace Arm. With the changes in MAF rankings, the Navy is jointly commanded by both Admirals and the Aerospace Arm was absorbed into the Navy.
- Magistracy Medical Corps
- The Magistracy Medical Corps is the one area where the Canopian military is superior to its Inner Sphere counterparts. Operating in the belief that every warrior is worth saving, the MMC takes pains to ensure adequate medical care for all active duty personnel and speedily remove the wounded from the battlefield so they can be returned to their units just as quickly. The success of the MCC is thanks in part not just to the skill of its medics and surgeons but also its generous funding, which allows a ratio of roughly one medical specialist for every seven fighting troops, as opposed to a ratio of one to twenty (or more) in other armed forces.
- Magistracy Support Corps
- The Magistracy Support Corps is an umbrella organization responsible for administrative, quartermaster, and related functions necessary to keep the MAF functioning. This includes providing training for new recruits and officers, managing mercenary contracts, and performing research and development on new military technologies.
- Militia Defense Corps
- Formerly, the Militia Defense Battalions were organized as part of the Magistracy Army, but under the reforms of Senior General Hadji Doru the Battalions were spun off into their own dedicated corps answerable directly to the MCC. Their mission has remained the same though, garrisoning worlds with don't require front-line units and serving as a last line of defense.
- Magistracy Alliance Liaison
- The MAL was created after the formation of the Trinity Alliance and the start of foreign troops rotating into Canopian space showed a need to oversee their movement and actions. In addition to its function as an oversight committee for Taurian and Capellan troops within and around Magistracy space, the MAL also supplies Military Coordinators to its alliance partners to assist in organizing Canopian troops operating in their space. These Coordinators, typically of Major rank, may also choose to provide regular status updates to the MCC of these Canopian units, though it is not a requirement.
- Magistracy Intelligence Ministry
- While officially a part of the MAF, the Magistracy Intelligence Ministry (abbreviated to MIM) operates as an independent intelligence agency, directly under the control of the Magistracy of Canopus' Magestrix herself.
As is true elsewhere in known space, the BattleMech plays a dominating role in the MAF. Given the lack of readily available replacement parts (or 'Mechs), the MAF traditionally holds its 'Mechs in reserve, allowing its cheaper and more numerous combat vehicles and infantry to soften up an opponent before the 'Mechs deliver the final hammer-blow. While resulting in greater casualties among the conventional forces, it has helped the MAF to preserve its limited 'Mech forces, making it the second-largest 'Mech user in the Periphery. This principle has continued even with the creation of the Trinity Alliance and influx of new 'Mechs designs: as life on the Periphery readily teaches, something that's here today can just as easily be gone tomorrow.
The MAF closely models the deployment schemes found in the armed forces of the Inner Sphere with some noticeable variations. 'Mech forces follow the standard lance-company-battalion model, with a command lance for each regiment and a command company for each Combat Formation. Every regiment has at least one armor battalion permanently attached, with premier units boasting at least two. Infantry units historically were the most divergent from the norm, with platoons varying in size from 30 to 50 men and companies numbering from 120 to 180; coordination with its Trinity partners has forced the MAF to more strictly enforce standard infantry organization. With the exception of the Magistracy Royal Guards, aerospace units are not permanently attached to ground forces, with aerospace fighters, DropShips and JumpShips assigned as needed. The same holds true for battle armor, which are assigned in platoon-sized units.
Given the lack of a robust military industry, the Magistracy Armed Forces has had to make due with whatever it could get its hands on. For centuries, the ability to produce 'Mechs and 'Mech replacement parts was virtually nonexistent: in 3025 Majesty Metals and Manufacturing, the only surviving weapons manufacturer, managed less than sixty 'Mechs annually (less than ten of which were Shadow Hawks, the rest being Locusts, Wasps and Stingers) and less than thirty aerospace fighters and combat vehicles. The Trinity Alliance helped to change that, leading to the development of new industrial centers within the Magistracy and the purchasing of (primarily Capellan) equipment to upgrade its forces. By 3067, 30% of all MAF 'Mechs were either brand-new designs such as the Anubis and Marshal or upgraded versions of older models. Other branches began to update to similar levels too, with armor battalions fielding newer Heavy LRM Carriers and Regulator hovertanks and the purchase of new Trinity battle armor.
Similar to other armed forces, the MAF organizes its combatants into brigade-sized units called Combat Formations. Originally these Formations were commanded by the senior-most Colonels in the MAF, though after the reorganization they are now commanded by Generals. The expansion of the MAF and increase in number of Combat Formations has also necessitated giving them greater freedom of command than was traditional, something the Formation commanders have been quick to utilize.
To supplement its front-line forces the Magistracy has also maintained a number of local Militia Defense Battalions, generally numbering twelve in total but fluctuating year over year. These Battalions, often containing five companies each, were originally part of the Magistracy Army before being separated into their own Militia Defense Corps by Senior General Doru. Drawn from the populations of the major Canopian planets, these conventional forces garrison worlds which don't require or don't want front-line units. Reservists with a minimal amount of training, these often serve as both the first and last line of defense: unable to fully stand up to regular line units, they can nevertheless slow them down so reinforcements can arrive. Citizens serving out their compulsory service to the state through the military are typically assigned to these battalions; if they show promise and willingness to make the military a career, they are offered the opportunity to attend a military academy or be assigned to a front-line unit.
Just prior to the Reunification War in 2575, the MAF numbered a total of 17 'Mech regiments (six of which were mercenary commands) and 12 Home Guard regiments, as well as 11 WarShips. When the conflict finally came to an end in 2600, the MAF had just two WarShips left and nine regiments. In 2750 the MAF had still had nine regiments (organized into a single Division) and a fleet of nine WarShips, however when they joined in with Stefan Amaris' conspiracy their forces were greatly expanded: by 2765 they were well equipped with 20 Divisions (consisting of 22 conventional and 108 'Mech regiments) and a naval fleet of 22 vessels. While MAF units on paper, most of these are essentially part of Amaris' "Secret Army" and those which weren't destroyed in the New Vandenberg Uprising did not survive long after the Succession Wars cut off any Inner Sphere support.
In 3025 the MAF's 'Mech strength was equivalent to 10 regiments and 2 battalions, including mercenaries, while its aerospace forces amounted to less than 100 fighters, less than four dozen DropShips and less than two dozen JumpShips, plus a lesser number of merchantmen who could be press-ganged as privateers. Though three 'Mech and fifteen conventional regiments had been seriously mauled during the Andurien Crisis, by 3050 the number of front-line forces had been restored, with a 'Mech strength equivalent to twelve regiments and one battalion, including mercenaries. By 3064 its strength had increased: aerospace fighters numbered just over a hundred but the number of DropShips and JumpShips increased to under 140, and there were rumors of a WarShip program starting up again.
These formations were active as of 3067:
- Magistracy Royal Guards
Formed initially during the Reunification War from the remains of units destroyed in action, the Magistracy Royal Guards play a pivotal role in safeguarding the Canopian state.
|Magistracy Royal Guards|
- Chasseurs á Cheval
The Chasseurs á Cheval were formed the year after the Magistracy of Canopus came into being and are the senior brigade of the MAF.
- First Canopian Light Horse
- Second Canopian Light Horse
- Third Canopian Light Horse
- Fourth Canopian Light Horse (destroyed in 2586)
|Chasseurs á Cheval|
- Canopian Fusiliers
Long the workhorse brigade of the Magistracy, the Canopian Fusiliers were wiped out during the Reunification War, but were re-formed in secret in the buildup to the Amaris Civil War and have seen more combat than any other Canopian unit.
- Magistracy Cavaliers
With roots stretching back to the home guard regiments that defended the Magistracy during the Reunification War, the modern Magistracy Cavaliers were raised as a local regiment on Thraxa and later incorporated into the MAF.
- Magistracy Highlanders
- Raventhir Cuirassiers
- First Canopian Brigade
The First Canopian Brigade is another unit that began as a collection of forces raised locally on worlds in the Magistracy outback before being incorporated into the MAF.
|First Canopian Brigade|
- Magestrix Guard
The original personal guard of the Magestrix, the Magestrix Guard were victims of the Reunification War and their role passed on to the Magistracy Royal Guards.
- Canopian Cuirassiers
The Canopian Cuirassiers formed in the buildup to the Reunification War and fought until their destruction during the battle for Canopus.
- Canopian Grenadiers
The Canopian Grenadiers formed in the buildup to the Reunification War and fought on a number of worlds until their destruction.
- First Canopian Grenadiers (disbanded in 2584)
- Second Canopian Grenadiers (disbanded during the Reunification War)
- Kossandra's Volunteers
Kossandra's Volunteers was the name given to the original home guard regiments spread around the various worlds of the Magistracy in the buildup to the Reunification War. Officially disbanded by the Star League after the war, a number of modern units can trace their origins back to elements of the Volunteers.
- Colonial Marshals
Funded and resourced equally by the Magistracy and the Taurian Concordat, the Colonial Marshalls were raised soon after the signing of the Canopus-Taurian Alliance in 3056, and became an independent unit with the birth of the Fronc Reaches.
During the Star League era, the Magistracy did maintain national military academies such as the Magistracy Military Academy, Magistracy Aerospace Academy, and Magistracy Institute for Strategic Studies. These did not survive the Succession Wars and for most of its history, the MAF did not have any national academies. Partially, this was result of the Canopian disapproval of having to maintain a standing military, with the government subsequently not feeling the need to fund such facilities. The result was that each individual planet was responsible for running its own training academies, with predictably spotty results. Most recruits would never see the inside of a classroom anyways: when a Canopian signed up at age 16, on average they already had a high school-level education (if male) or slightly higher (if female). After basic training, those serving compulsorily were sent to a Militia Defense Battalion to spend their three-year tour of duty, while career soldiers were sent to a training battalion before assignment to the front. If selected as an officer candidate, she was instead posted as a military aide-de-camp for an active-duty officer where she received "on-the-job" training.
While those who served were willing to give it their all to protect the Magistracy, the deficit in training compared to its enemies was hard to overcome. Magestrix Emma Centrella was responsible for recognizing that the MAF could no longer function this way. In addition to increasing government funding for the provincial military academies, she founded the Canopian Institute of War on the capital world of Canopus IV. Modeled on the prestigious Sun Zhang MechWarrior Academy, it promised to improve the quality of MAF soldiers and signaled a newfound respect for a profession which had received little love in the past.
The ranking structure of the MAF stands out from those of other armed forces in that officer positions can be directly purchased, albeit at a steep cost. The rationale behind this concept is that those who can afford to pay such a price are the most deserving of command. Regardless of its actual merits, such a system has remained unchanged throughout the MAF's history, and there are certain safeguards against the incompetent and ill-suited from having too much power. For positions of Major or higher, the Magestrix must give her permission before such a commission can be purchase, and typically after the candidate has been vetted for her suitability. Cost for each of the ranks is given below in C-bills; those wishing to purchase a commission in a prestigious unit like the Royal Guards or Chasseurs can expect to pay an additional 10,000–15,000, while women tend to receive a discount when purchasing their ranks. (By way of comparison, the average monthly salary for a middle-class worker in 3067 was ~400 C-bills; a Baroness' was ~4,000 C-bills).
|Force Major||Appt. Only|
|Senior General||Appt. Only|
Uniforms of the MAF have been fairly straightforward for the last few centuries, partially a reflection of the Magistracy's democratic nature. Through the Succession Wars and into the thirty-first century, standard duty uniforms for ground troops was a tight-fighting dark blue tunic and trousers, with light-blue collars and cuffs. Naval personnel and aerospace fighter pilots reversed this color scheme. In combat, infantry wore a brown uniform with black lapels and cuffs, with a black silhouette insignia on their lapels (enlisted) or cuffs (officers), with armor crews wearing a dull-black uniform with off-white insignia. Aerospace fighter pilots wear a simple flight suit with the addition of arm-length protectors containing emergency circuitry systems and life-sign monitors. MechWarriors in the MAF, as elsewhere, kept their clothing to a minimum to survive the sauna-like conditions which can occur in the cockpit of a 'Mech. Dress uniforms were the same as field uniforms, except for the piping on the trouser legs and cuffs: silver for enlisted, gold for officers, green for navy, and red for support personnel.
Magestrix Emma Centrella made a number of changes to the MAF uniforms after assuming power, though in large part she maintained the same theme. When in the field and for day-to-day duties, ground forces wear a turquoise bodysuit over which is worn black bullet-resistant tunic, helmet, boots and gloves; naval personnel reverse this scheme, while support personnel maintain it but add blue piping. Rank insignia is worn on the lapels and cuffs. Camouflage fatigues are available when needed. MechWarrior battle dress remains the same as before, but with an increasing number turning in their large, clunky neurohelmets for more advanced and compact versions. Dress uniforms follow the same pattern as field uniforms but are looser and made of lighter material, with officers featuring silver piping on the trouser legs and cuffs.
- The Periphery, p. 95
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 21
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 83
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 22
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 84
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 23
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 85
- The Periphery, p. 100
- Technical Readout: 3067, p. 48
- Technical Readout: 3060, p. 100
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 25
- The Periphery, p. 96
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 41
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 50: "Territorial State Troop Strength"
- The Periphery, pp. 96–99
- 20 Year Update, p. 78
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 26: Combat Formations"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 151: "Magistracy of Canopus Front (2583–2588)"
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 39: "Magistracy Cavaliers"
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 44: "First Canopian Brigade"
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 45: "Colonial Marshals"
- Field Report: Periphery, p. 10
- The Periphery, pp. 97–98
- Field Report 2765: Periphery, p. 8
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 27
- The Periphery, p. 96
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, pp. 86–87
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. ??
- The Periphery, p. 93
- Field Manual: Periphery, p. 24
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 85