|Nickname||"The Dragon Sword"|
Trained by and created in the mold of the legendary Wolf's Dragoons mercenary unit, the Ryuken represent some of the most devoted adherents to methods of warfare practiced in the modern Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery, stained by their failure to defeat their former friends.
In 3023 Takashi Kurita hired Wolf's Dragoons to train a regiment in their tactics and tactical doctrines. The Ryuken regiment trained with and fought alongside Wolf's Dragoons, learning how to fight like the Dragoons. The Ryuken succeeded beyond expectations, causing Takashi Kurita to order the regiment broken into companies and to train and expand into their own regiments.
In 3028 the Dragoons' contract with the DCMS expired and Jaime Wolf decided to leave Combine space. Warlord Grieg Samsonov did not want to allow the elite mercenary unit to leave his service and ordered several Ryuken regiments to stop them. The newly formed Ryuken regiments met the Dragoons but proved not to be their match. Though almost crippled in the conflict, the Dragoons decimated four of the Ryuken regiments before leaving Combine space.
In 3023 Coordinator Takashi Kurita hired the famed Wolf's Dragoons, quickly becoming a vital part of the Draconis Combine's efforts against the Federated Suns. Unfortunately the poor treatment and machinations of Galedon Military District Warlord Grieg Samsonov's attempts to bring the Dragoons under his personal control led the mercenaries to resolve to leave Combine space when their contract expired. Unwilling to lose the Dragoons increasingly important expertise, on 16 December 3025 Takashi decreed that the Dragoons would assist in the creation of a regiment trained and organized in the Dragoon style rather than the traditional DCMS doctrine.
The Dragoons willingly offered their experience and tactical doctrine to the newly formed Ryuken (in japanese "Sword of the Dragon"), due to the close relationship between Jaime Wolf and the Dragoons' former DCMS liaison officer and current Ryuken commanding officer Minobu Tetsuhara. Training alongside each other, the Ryuken learned to think like the Dragoons both on and off the battlefield, with the experiment proved an unqualified success Ryuken regiment divided into nine companies which were ordered to expand into regiments and pass on their new training. Unfortunately, the Dragoons' relationship with the DCMS as a whole deteriorated further as Tetsuhara's replacement as liaison, Jerry Akuma, and Warlord Samsomov stepped up their efforts to force the mercenaries into permanent service of the Combine. This was made even worse as Akuma and Samsonov's blatant hatred for the Dragoons (and Akuma's hatred for Tetsuhara) drove them towards interpreting those directives as license to destroy the Dragoons outright.
After being accused of breach of contract, the Dragoons ordered their scattered forces to regroup on the ice planet of Misery and issued a direct challenge to the Combine. Warlord Samsonov responded to the insult by sending Minobu Tetsuhara and the Ryuken to block the Dragoons' departure. While inflicting heavy losses, the Ryuken proved no match for the mercenaries during the Battle of Misery, which saw four of the Ryuken regiments decimated as the Dragoons escaped Combine space.
The knowledge of Samsonov's manipulations and hatred of both the Dragoons and Tetsuhara is all but unknown among the greater DCMS and the Ryuken's honor suffers for their failure to stop the mercenaries. While quickly gaining an important place in the Theodore Kurita led Combine military, the Ryuken relationship with DCMS is always somewhat strained due to bitterness on both sides.
The Ryuken suffered heavy casualties during the Jihad, with the brigade reduced to three commands from five, and as late as 3081 the three surviving commands couldn't muster a single regiment of forces between them. The Ryuken-go were destroyed on Matsuida in 3068 by Federated Suns forces after an extended campaign against greater than two-to-one odds with little or no support. Ryuken-yon was subject to a more ignoble fate; as they prepared to leave their garrison on Ko to join a relief force attempting to liberate Imbros III from Word of Blake forces, Ryuken-yon were ambushed by a Blakist fleet. Many of the Ruken-yon transports were destroyed, others were captured, and the few survivors of the regiment were found in Blakist prison camps. Despite petitioning for Ryuken-yon to be reconstituted, these few were instead distributed to other regiments.
However, the Ryuken may finally have helped to bring about a lasting change within the doctrine of the DCMS; despite the heavy losses taken by the brigade during the Jihad, more of the logistical and command staff of the Ryuken survived as a percentage than any other formation within the DCMS. This, combined with the honor the Ryuken earned for themselves in the eyes of the DCMS with their actions in the Jihad led to the Combine attempting to duplicate some of the doctrine and tactics of the Ryuken on a wider scale; the most obvious result of this was the development of the Teppō support vehicle, a combination artillery and command vehicle intended to allow commanders to influence and direct battles without actually being in the direct line of fire.
The Ryuken as of 3145 have been reconstituted to six regiments. These regiments have had the opportunity to prove their worth next to those troops they were first commissioned to emulate Wolf's Dragoons during the invasion of the Federated Suns
Prior to the expansion to regimental level, the units' commanding officers were:
|Commanding Officers of the Ryuken|
As since the days of the Ryuken's expansion into regiments, the Ryuken-ni serves as the nominal command regiment for the brigade.
- Due to their unique nature, each regiment has special permission to reject any new members whom they judge as unable or unwilling to embrace the Ryuken doctrine.
- Recognizing the Dragoons' high level of respect for their supporting elements, the Ryuken generally boast the best support units among whole DCMS. The Ryuken regiments have always maintained permanently attached supporting forces and is frequently requested assignment for best technicians in the Combine military.
Units of the Ryuken
Color Scheme and Insignia
- The standard Ryuken paint scheme is charcoal gray, with each regiment having its own accenting color. All units apply the Kurita dragon crest to the left thigh of BattleMechs and near the exhaust ports of aerospace fighters.
- The Ryuken insignia is a dragon curling around a katana, drawn with rich detail.
In the early Clan Invasion era all Ryuken regiments are highly skilled in choosing advantageous terrain. As such they may influence any die roll by +1 or -1 when selecting mapsheets or terrain. This modification can be applied to the roll of the opposing player as well.
- Wolves on the Border p. 108
- Era Report: 3052, p. 29
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 88, "...And Threats Without"
- Field Report: DCMS, p. 17, "Condition"
- Technical Readout: 3085 Supplemental, p. 20, "Overview"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 61 "Ryuken"
- Wolves at the Border
- Redemption Rift, Epilogue
- Era Report: 3052, p. 146