Early Life and Career
Born on Algedi, Asano began his military career as an officer with the elite 2nd Sword of Light, the most prestigious unit in service to the Draconis Combine. In 3013, he participated in the battle of Mallory's World, witnessing the death of First Prince Ian Davion of the Federated Suns at the hands of Asano's commanding officer, Yorinaga Kurita. After Davion's death, the triumphant Second withdrew. By the time the Second returned to Mallory's World in 3016, the young Asano held the rank of Chu-sa and was Yorinaga Kurita's top aide. Asano again played witness, this time to the legendary duel between Kurita and Colonel Morgan Kell of the mercenary Kell Hounds on January 31, 3016. When Kurita proved unable to defeat Kell in accordance with the code of bushido, he ordered all DCMS forces to retreat from the planet. Asano would later defend his commander's actions and would be punished with a demotion to Chu-i and a transfer to the 5th Rasalhague Regulars, a far less respected unit. According to Asano, Kurita's entire command lance would be disbanded and transferred to other units on the orders of Coordinator Takashi Kurita himself.
Asano continued to serve the Dragon, never abandoning his duty. At one point, Asano was nearly transferred to serve the infamous Duke Hassid Ricol in his feud against the Gray Death Legion. The idea made him contemplate seppuku.
In early 3027, Yorinaga Kurita was recalled from exile on Echo V, and ordered to form the Genyosha, a new, elite unit that would allow Kurita to instill his "heart and mind" on all the Combine's warriors. Although specifically refused an invitation, Asano knew he had to rejoin his mentor and abandoned his post, traveling 230 light years disguised as a manual laborer, to where the Genyosha were training on Nashira. He was immediately arrested by ISF Liaison officer Shinzei Abe, who viewed his leaving his old unit without orders to be tantamount to treason. Asano was tortured for two days before he was dragged into Yorinaga Kurita's presence, where Abe demanded the authority to execute him. Instead, Yorinaga Kurita accepted Asano into the Genyosha and restored Asano to the rank of Chu-sa. When Abe threatened to further investigate Asano, Kurita killed him in a kendo "accident".
Asano participated in the so-called Silver Eagle Incident, the Genyosha's attempt to kidnap Archon-Designate Melissa Steiner in the Styx system and achieved at least one credited kill. There they were foiled in their efforts by the Kell Hounds, though not before Patrick Kell, Morgan Kell's brother and the Hounds' acting commander, sacrificed himself.
By late October, Asano and Sho-sa Tarukito Niiro had brought the Genyosha up to four BattleMech companies in strength, working under orders from Yorinaga and the Coordinator. Asano then introduced his commander to Akira Brahe, Yorinaga's son, who he had not seen since before the duel on Mallory's World years earlier. Asano proposed Brahe, formerly of the 11th Legion of Vega, be put in command of the Genyosha's "Rasalhague Company", reasoning that the Chu-i was half Scandinavian and had spent most of his life in the Rasalhague Military District. After hearing his son's tale, Yorinaga accepted Asano's recommendation.
Fourth Succession War
Shortly afterwards the Fourth Succession War broke out. The Genyosha were sent to assault the Davion world of Northwind in January 3028, based on an ISF report that the Kell Hounds were one of the units defending it. However, instead of the Kell Hounds proper they found Bradley's Bravos, a mercenary unit who had only recently joined the Kell Hounds as their third battalion. While the Genyosha was fighting on Northwind, the main body of Kell Hounds struck their base on Nashira. Not finding the Genyosha there, they completely destroyed the base, though not before evacuating all civilians. In April 3029, the Genyosha traveled to back to Nashira to observe the damage. From there, they traveled to Ryde, expecting to meet their adversaries there. Although they did not find the Hounds on Ryde in June, the stage was set for the final confrontation.
On 24 October 3029 Asano was with the Genyosha when they finally confronted the Kell Hounds on Nusakan in the Isle of Skye. The Hounds had just effectively destroyed the 5th Sword of Light, who had fought alongside the Genyosha on Northwind and whose commander, Palmer Conti, sought to steal the honor of destroying the Kell Hounds. The Fifth's survivors were ordered back, allowing Yorinaga and Morgan Kell to duel each other once again. To the surprise of all, the mercenary commander did not defend himself, instead seeming to ignore Yorinaga's attacks until finally performing a ceremonial bow. When Yorinaga attempted to return the bow, he found his 'Mech had shut down from constant weapons fire and the desert heat. Kurita acknowledged that "to win while refusing to fight" was the true apex of being a warrior, ending the duel.
Later that same day, Asano stood alongside the Genyosha and Kell Hounds as his mentor and commanding officer, Yorinaga Kurita, performed seppuku with Brahe serving as his second. Almost immediately thereafter, Asano renounced his loyalty to Takashi Kurita, instead pledging his loyalty to the Coordinator's son, Theodore Kurita, who alone among the Combine's leaders had shown Yorinaga and the Genyosha the respect and honor they were due. During the Fourth Succession War, Asano, now the active commander of the Genyosha, served with distinction, becoming the unit's ace MechWarrior with 15 'Mech and three aerospace kills.
Serving the Dragon's Heir
By January 3031, now Tai-sa Asano was a trusted member of now Gunji-no-Kanrei Theodore Kurita's training command staff on Xinyang, working alongside Theodore's wife and second-in-command Tomoe Sakade as well as Fuhito Tetsuhara and former Dragoons Dechan Fraser and Jenette Rand. Although the Genyosha and Ryuken regiments were ordered dissolved by Takashi Kurita and their soldiers dispersed throughout the DCMS, the Kanrei and his staff planned to turn this to their advantage, spreading the new military doctrine throughout the Combine and eventually reforming the regiments. The Coordinator had previously stripped the Genyosha of their right to answer only to him, placing the elite troops under the command of the district warlords after Yorinaga's death. The Kanrei effectively countermanded this order by commanding that the Genyosha report directly to him. By the time Kanrei Theodore's plans were realized a few short years later, the Genyosha had been formed into two of the most well-trained and elite regiments of the Combine with Asano in overall command, personally commanding the 1st Genyosha.
During the Ronin War, the Genyosha were among the loyalist units sent by the Kanrei to put down the rebellion. Asano and the First Genyosha secured Jarett in May 3034, while the 2nd Genyosha arrived on Engadin in early June under radio silence on merchant DropShips, launching a surprise attack on the 9th Rasalhague Regulars with both artillery and Aerospace assets. The Second completely destroyed the Ronin forces while liberating a ComStar HPG facility. When the 2nd Freemen of the Free Rasalhague Republic's KungsArmé arrived to garrison Engadin, the Second Genyosha peacefully left the world.
War of 3039
In 3039, Hanse Davion finally launched the long-awaited invasion of the Draconis Combine, using the combined might of the AFFS and LCAF in an attempt to crush the Dragon once and for all. House Kurita was ready, however, as Kanrei Theodore Kurita led his troops in a bold counterattack. In July, Asano led both Genyosha regiments to the Nashira system, the site of their old base. Nashira had fallen to the 1st FedCom RCT and the Delta Regiment of the 12th Vegan Rangers. Both enemy formations remained on planet, though they continued to face heavy opposition from local resistance cells and the planetary government.
Despite being slightly outnumbered by the Steiner-Davion occupiers, the Genyosha enjoyed advantages in skill, superior weaponry, determination and the support of the local citizenry. Asano unleashed the warriors of the First Genyosha against the Davion troops, initially holding the Second in reserve. The AFFS troops and mercenaries were spread throughout the planet, attempting to suppress the insurgents. These detachments soon found themselves isolated against the elite Genyosha forces, and were soon overwhelmed. While the First attacked the city of New Anaheim, the Second dropped directly on the Logan City spaceport, engaging in a pitched 12 hour battle that forced the First FedCom to retreat into the city. Asano deployed two of his battalions to reinforce the Second, preparing for a major push on the entrenched allied positions in Logan City. Asano's initial thrust forced elements of the Vegan Rangers back and out of the city's suburbs, though the offensive stalled as the Kuritans closed on the city itself. Before the Genyosha could attack again, allied reinforcements (the 7th Donegal Guards) arrived from Caph, threatening to surround the Genyosha between their hammer and the anvil of the First FedCom and Twelfth Vegan Rangers, still entrenched in Logan City. Recognizing his situation, Asano pulled his forces out of harm's way, allowing the Lyrans to take the spaceport. In the following weeks, Asano and the Donegal Guards' skilled commander, Daniel Voss-Steiner, engaged in a subtle battle of thrust and counterthrust, as the more numerous allied force attempted to overcome the skill and weaponry of the Genyosha. Every time the allies managed to recapture a mining facility, they would find another under attack by the Kuritans.
During this time, insurgent activity was continuing, sapping the strength of the occupiers. Although most of these attacks were small, a chemical terrorist attack at Raven Ridge proved to be another turning point in the Nashira campaign. The incident (allegedly perpetrated under the ISF's direction) cost the lives of over two hundred allied soldiers, horrifying Asano and his Genyosha, who up until then had considered the conflict to have been an honorable battle. Asano not only ordered his troops to assault the group responsible, he also made his unit's medical staff, with specialists in chemical warfare, available to the allied troops. Afterwards, the conflict was reduced to a simmer, as both sides found their appetite for battle slipping. When the recall order was issued to the allied troops in October, Voss-Steiner obeyed the order, praising Asano's efforts in dealing with the Raven Ridge incident even while many Lyran soldiers found the withdrawal to be a bitter pill to swallow.
Though the Raven Ridge incident stained their victory, the Genyosha was nevertheless successful in the largest single conflict of their existence. The First Genyosha took serious losses and the Second also took heavy damage, but their honor was nevertheless intact. Asano and the First Genyosha returned to their main base on Shitara.
As of early 3050, Asano was still in command of the elite First Genyosha, still based on Shitara. Because their loyalty lay with the Kanrei and not the Coordinator, their loyalty was officially considered "questionable". Then the Clan Invasion struck the Inner Sphere. The Combine was hit hard by Clans Smoke Jaguar and Ghost Bear, with dozens of worlds falling to the seemingly invincible invaders. In July of 3050, the Kanrei held a key strategy meeting on Marshdale, attended by Asano, Theodore's son and heir, Hohiro Kurita, the yakuza Shin Yodama, and other distinguished DCMS commanders. There, Theodore unveiled Operation SAKKAKU, a plan to lure the Jaguars into a trap where they would face most of the most elite regiments in the Combine — the Genyosha. They would be given a new designation — "Yuutsu" — with a new unit history, leading the Jaguars to underestimate them as a new unit. Further, the Combine would choose the location of the battle, the planet Wolcott, using the thick fog and trees of the hot marshes to reduce the effectiveness of the Clan weapons. Finally, Hohiro Kurita and Shin Yodama — escapees of the Jaguars' victory on Turtle Bay — would be placed in overall command of Wolcott's defenders, effectively baiting the enemy. (Although Asano would retain field command over the Genyosha.)
On 2 October 3050 the Battle of Wolcott was fought, with both regiments of Genyosha and supporting conventional units facing the 225th Jaguar Battle Cluster and the Swath Keshik Trinary. In addition to the terrain, the "Yuutsu" 'Mechs were covered with strips of reflective metallic foil. Vibrabomb emplacements, Savannah Master hovercraft attacks, and hidden supply depots completed the Combine defenses. The Clan 'Mechs were totally unprepared for the conditions of the battle, as their advanced sensor equipment proved completely ineffective. Cornered at every turn, the Jaguars were forced to surrender and retreat. Wolcott became the first Inner Sphere world to be successfully defended against a Clan attack.
The Battle of Luthien
When the Clan Invasion resumed in late 3051, the Combine received word from a ComStar spy that Clans Smoke Jaguar and Nova Cat would attack Luthien, the Combine's capital. On 22 November, Asano attended a meeting of the top military commanders on-planet. There, they were informed of the coming attack, and Asano pointed out that as important as Luthien was, it was not the whole of the Combine and that they would be best off not recalling the Ryuken or other units, who would serve House Kurita best by attacking the Clans' supply lines and defending other worlds. He likewise expressed approval for Case ''Tako'', effectively stripping the Federated Commonwealth border of units, relocating them to the Clan front. On 25 December, Asano was present when Wolf's Dragoons and the Kell Hounds arrived, sent by Hanse Davion to keep the Black Pearl of the Combine from falling. It was at this time that he once again met his old comrade, Akira Brahe, for the first time in more than twenty years.
When the attack finally came in January 3052, Asano's Genyosha and the other defenders were ready. When the Smoke Jaguars pushed through the initial defensive line of the 1st Sword of Light, the Otomo and the 2nd Legion of Vega attacked the northern flank while Asano and the Genyosha struck from the south, Asano and his men personally engaging the 5th Jaguar Regulars. The elite Combine warriors inflicted heavy damage and faded away before the Clans could fully respond. During the climactic battle of the Kado-guchi Valley, Asano and the First Genyosha joined with elements of the Kell Hounds against the 315th Battle Cluster, completely crushing the Clan unit. It was in no small part due to Asano's contributions that the DCMS and their mercenary allies ultimately prevailed.
As of 3054, Asano still commanded the First Genyosha, which by that point was considered recovered and at full strength. Still based on Luthien, their loyalty to the Combine was considered completely unquestioned as Coordinator and Kanrei now presented a united front. In one of his final acts as commander of the Genyosha, Asano incorporated a plan for the rebuilding of the Second Genyosha, which had been reduced to only a battalion in strength in the aftermath of the Clan Invasion. At Asano's urging, the Kanrei temporarily excused the survivors from active duty. A battalion's worth of veterans from throughout the DCMS were then transferred in, and another battalion would be drawn from the military academies, new soldiers and officers specifically trained for the Genyosha's style of fighting.
After Theodore Kurita ascended to the role of Coordinator, Asano was ultimately promoted to the rank of Tai-sho, formally taking his place in Theodore Kurita's shitenno, his circle of closest advisors. In January 3056, he advised Theodore to place the Coordinator's son and heir, Hohiro Kurita, in command of the First Genyosha, with overall control of both regiments. Asano also worked with the Second Genyosha's commander, Laura Nelson, mentoring her in forming a cohesive command, a goal finally realized in June 3057 when the Second returned to active service. Although he advised the Coordinator on many matters, he spent much of his time resolving the conflicts between those who adhered to the old-school code of bushido and those who favored Theodore's reforms. In October 3058, he accompanied the Coordinator and the royal family in attending the First Whitting Conference on Tharkad, forming a new Star League and planning Operation BULLDOG.
Personality and Traits
Unlike many higher-ranking DCMS officers of his time, Asano held very few personal ambitions, instead devoting himself entirely to the Dragon. As such, by the time of the Clan Invasion, his reputation was considered to be above reproach. His devotion was particularly evident in his regard for his commanding officer and mentor, Yorinaga Kurita, as Asano risked his career and his life to join Yorinaga's Genyosha. Yorinaga became Asano's tutor on the path of bushido, forging the young officer into the personification of a new breed of samurai, and he would became a key contributor in the modernization of the DCMS. Yorinaga's death had a profound effect on Asano, and the impact of that event would be apparent on him for the rest of his life. It may have prematurely aged him in physical appearance, as within two years of Yorinaga's death, he was described as having a "thatch of white hair" and a "lined face" despite still being in his thirties. In his later years during the Clan Invasion, Shin Yodama would describe him as "slightly built and smaller than average... yet possessed so much power of personality that a number of the less secure officers shot occasional glances at him or behaved as though his gaze was somehow scalding." Upon the summons for the first Luthien conference, Yodama further described Asano as having a very calm demeanor, even as other top military officers showed signs of fatigue and agitation. By the latter part of the Clan Invasion Era, he was considered one of the foremost military minds in the Inner Sphere, even by former enemies such as Nondi Steiner.
When he first joined the Genyosha, Asano piloted a Crusader. During the Battle of Luthien, Asano's choice of 'Mech was a Warhammer, chosen perhaps out of respect to his old mentor who had piloted a similar 'Mech. Apparently sometime shortly afterwards, Asano began using a Hatamoto-Chi as his regular 'Mech.
- There is a possible discrepancy regarding Asano's age. According to multiple sources, he was present at the death of Ian Davion on Mallory's World. However, based on the information in both the Luthien and Era Report: 3062, Asano would have been 15 at that time, which seems far too young to be serving in a Sword of Light regiment, much less as an officer. The developers have yet to address this issue.
- Page 44 of The Kell Hounds sourcebook lists a Chu-i Minoru Akiri piloting a Crusader and fighting alongside Yorinaga Kurita against the Kell Hounds during the Silver Eagle Incident at Styx. This is presumably intended to be Asano, as Warrior: En Garde indicates that Asano was the only Crusader pilot in that group of Genyosha.
- It is unclear when Asano began using a Hatamoto-Chi. His profile in the Luthien scenario pack indicates that he was using one entering the battle, yet a scenario from the same publication makes clear he used a Warhammer while fighting the Smoke Jaguars. This suggests he did not actually receive the Hatamoto-Chi until after the battle.
|“||The strength of the Dragon flows as deeply in her veins as in any warrior's.||”|
|— Narimasa Asano, in regards to Omi Kurita|
Under the MechWarrior, Third Edition rules, Asano was an Elite MechWarrior, even into his elder years. He possessed the Tactical Genius and Combat Intuition abilities, and had a +6 bonus to Leadership, Negotiation, Protocol, and Tactics rolls, as well as a +4 bonus to Strategy rolls, and was immune to Morale checks.
- Luthien, p. 16: Personalities: Narimasa Asano
- Era Report: 3062, pp. 76–77: Major Personas: Narimasa Asano
- Warrior: En Garde, p. 197: Asano discusses his disgrace
- Warrior: En Garde, p. 197: Asano discusses his further career
- Warrior: En Garde, p. 195: Asano's travels to Nashira and meeting with Yorinaga Kurita
- Warrior: En Garde, p. 198: Yorinaga Kurita indicates his intent to kill Shinzei Abe
- Warrior: En Garde, p. 344: Asano's Crusader destroys a Kell Hound Panther.
- Warrior: En Garde, pp. 341–348: The Genyosha fight the Kell Hounds on Styx.
- Warrior: Riposte, pp. 58–59: Asano and Niiro report to Yorinaga
- Warrior: Riposte, pp. 60–63: Asano introduces Akira Brahe
- Warrior: Riposte, pp. 278–281: Asano is present during the meeting with the ISF
- Warrior: Coupé, pp. 65–66: Yorinaga and Akira Brahe observe Kell's "Star map"
- Warrior: Coupé, pp. 135–137: Brahe and the Genyosha leave a message
- Warrior: Coupé, p. 308: Yorinaga's 'Mech overheats
- NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 2, p. 79: Nusakan, The final duel of Morgan Kell and Yorinaga Kurita
- Warrior: Coupé, pp. 314–315: Asano witnesses Yorinaga's death
- Warrior: Coupé, p. 317: Asano pledges himself to Theodore Kurita
- Heir to the Dragon, p. 248: Asano and Fraser discuss the Genyosha's progress
- Heir to the Dragon, pp. 245–246: Takashi orders the training regiments dispersed
- Heir to the Dragon, pp. 250–251: Fraser and Sakade describe Theodore's plan
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p. 75: Genyosha: Black Ocean, Command Structure
- Historical: Brush Wars, p. 120: Deployment Table, Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery
- Historical: Brush Wars, p. 111: Engadin, The Second Genyosha destroys the Ninth Rasalhague Regulars
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 83: Nashira, local resistance
- Historical: War of 3039, pp. 83–84: Nashira, the battle of Nashira
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 84: Nashira, Raven Ridge
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 85: Pandora's Box, Raven Ridge aftermath described
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 139: Deployment Table, Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery: Genyosha
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p. 76: 1st Genyosha: Legacy of Yorinaga, Officers
- Lethal Heritage, p. ??: Shin regards Asano's appearance and rank
- 20 Year Update, p. 40: Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery Deployment Tables
- Invading Clans, p. 57: Wolcott, preparations are made for the battle of Wolcott
- Lethal Heritage, pp. ??: Theodore outlines his plan
- Invading Clans, pp. 57–59: Wolcott, the battle of Wolcott is described
- Luthien, p. 5: History, the battle of Wolcott is described
- Lethal Heritage, pp. ??: the battle of Wolcott is fought
- Blood Legacy, p. ??: Victor recognizes Asano with the Kurita delegation
- Blood Legacy, pp. ??: Asano attends meeting of DCMS military commanders
- Blood Legacy, pp. ??: Asano notes the arriving DropShips
- Blood Legacy, pp. ??: Asano exchanges greetings with Akira
- Luthien, p. 44: The Wave Breaks: Scenario 6, Cat's Claws
- Invading Clans, p. 61: Luthien
- Objective Raids, p. 28: Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery Deployment Tables
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p. 77: 2nd Genyosha: Lord Theodore's Vanguard
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p. 76: 1st Genyosha: Legacy of Yorinaga
- Era Report: 3062, p. 77: Major Personas: Narimasa Asano, After the invasion
- Grave Covenant, p. ??: Asano sits at Draconis Combine's table
- Era Report: 3062, p. 158: Playing in 3062 — Major Personalities of the Late Clan Invasion: Narimasa Asano
- Grave Covenant, p. ??: Nondi Steiner mentions Asano
- Warrior: En Garde, p. 294: Asano's 'Mech named
- Luthien, p. 45: The Wave Breaks: Scenario 6, Game set-up: Attacker
- The Kell Hounds, p. 44: Phantom 'Mechs: Game set-up, Defender
- 20 Year Update
- Blood Legacy
- Era Report: 3062
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine
- Grave Covenant
- Historical: Brush Wars
- Historical: War of 3039
- Invading Clans
- The Kell Hounds
- Lethal Heritage
- NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 2
- Objective Raids
- Warrior: Coupé
- Warrior: En Garde
- Warrior: Riposte