Tikonov Grand Union
|Tikonov Grand Union|
The Tikonov Grand Union was the second evolution of the earlier Tikonov Union, which began as a mutual protection pact signed in 2243 in response to the Demarcation Declaration of 2240. The Tikonov Grand Union was a mature state on a par with the Capellan Co-Prosperity League and the Sarna Supremacy by the mid-23rd century, although the Grand Union was a somewhat sprawling and uncoordinated state in comparison. The Grand Union's sphere of influence abutted the sphere of influence of another state - the Marlette Association - which had been founded in 2278 and not only did the Association and the Grand Union begin clashing immediately, but the two were increasingly competing over the same border worlds. Influxes of colonists added to the problems; with the best and most choice areas already claimed, entire colonies found themselves being uprooted by their successors, with those evicted from their holdings either evicting other settlers in turn or resorting to a life of banditry and brigandage.
As a part of the formation of the Tikonov Grand Union the armed forces of the Chesterton Trade League, the Chesterton Army, were restructured to form the new Chesterton Regulars brigade. The Chesterton Regulars incorporated both the Chesterton Cavalry regiments, the Chesterton Cuirassiers as well as establishing the Chesterton Border Guards from militia units, although the Border Guards were a second-tier formation within the Regulars compared to the Cavalry and Cuirassiers.
The Marlette Association War
By the dawn of the 24th century, these problems were coming to a head. The Marlette Association was the first to begin a campaign of active warfare, seizing the most significant of the independent worlds, Almach, Mesartim, Mira and Mirach between 2302 and 2306. This left the Grand Union in something of a crisis; in addition to the conflict with the Marlette Association, war was looming between the Capellan Hegemony and the Sarna Supremacy, and internally the rulers of the Grand Union, the Tetrarchs, were facing a succession crisis.
One of the Tetrarchs, Anton Carinus, had never remarried after the death of his first wife and child, and as a result he was unable to name an immediate family member to succeed him. Eventually, Carinus decided to adopt General Diana Chinn of the 3rd Tikonov Border Guards, a mediocre field commander but an outspoken beauty with strong anti-Davion sentiments and more than a decade of experience at fighting bandits along the Marlette border. Carinus then attempted to solve two problems at once; he adopted Chinn and ordered her to assemble her veteran border troops for a campaign against the Marlette Association.
Assisting Carinus in the construction and funding of the war against the Association were secret contributions from the Sarna Supremacy, which was keen to keep the Grand Union from interfering from their own impending war; several of the Tetrarchs, possibly including Carinus, were minded to side with the Capellan Hegemony to prevent the looming war between the Hegemony and the Supremacy, and keeping Carinus' heir and a large portion of the Grand Union's troops busy in a different campaign would keep the Grand Union from interfering.
The Grand Union counterinvasion of Marlette space began in October 2308; Chinn's efforts began with the world of Almach, as the Almach region of space had long been in contention between the two states. The Tikonov force had superior numbers and surprise on their side and quickly occupied Almach, followed by Mesartim late in 2308 and Halloran V in 2309. The Marlette forces were disorganized due to internal conflicts among the senior staff, and the swift advance made by Chinn and her Voltigeur regiments exacerbated the disconnect with the Marlette units. Chinn's expeditionary force was reinforced to a total strength of six regiments and launched quickly for Mira to capitalize on the dysfunctional Marlette command chain. Chinn's troops spent several months capturing Marlette strongholds across Mira until Chinn's untimely death in mid-May under suspicious circumstances. The death of Carinus' general and heir apparent stalled the campaign amidst an atmosphere of suspicion and superstition, and lead to the Tikonov forces retreating soon after from Mira and simply consolidating on the worlds they'd captured earlier.
Despite Chinn's death, the Grand Union was still a strong enough force to mediate an end to the Capellan-Supremacy War in 2309, and remained perhaps the wealthiest and most prosperous of the nations within the Capellan Zone. However, Chinn's death also started a spiral of increasing difficulties and problems within the Grand Union itself. Carinus died in early 2310, and the three surviving Tetrarchs of the Council of Four refused to replace him, instead creating numerous new government departments to handle internal affairs. This created a bureaucratic maelstrom of red tape and rule by committee that caused mass confusion across the Grand Union's government. Compounding the problems caused by the changes in governance was a critical lack of understanding among the Tetrarch's of the principles of interstellar economics. Each believed that with the Grand Union's borders effectively secure, the good times were here to stay; beginning in 2312, each Tetrarch began to compete with the other two in the construction of public works projects, government buildings and palaces. These programs all sparked off a vicious cycle of inflating wages and rising prices that led to widespread inflation across the Grand Union - inflation the Tetrarch's tried to stall by creating even more new projects.
By 2330, the Grand Union was internally crippled as people lost their life savings overnight from uncontrolled inflation; by 2336 riots were erupting on Grand Union worlds that the Tetrarch's tried to put down with a combination of line regiments drawn back from postings on the Grand Union's borders and half-hearted efforts at economic reform.
By 2344, other nations were feeling the effects of the spiraling Grand Union economy; in 2345 the nearby Duchy of Liao refused to deal in Tikonov currency, and state-controlled businesses in the Sarna Supremacy were noticing the effect of the internal chaos within the Grand Union. By 2351 there had been more than 300 riots across the Grand Union significant enough to require the deployment of military troops, and the Tikonov armed forces were stretched too thinly to cope - or to retain the effectiveness they'd once had in combat.
The Muskegon War
A decade after the war between the Grand Union and the Marlette Association, the Grand Union was embroiled in a second war. Although the Grand Union had combined the former Tikonov Union and the Chesterton Trade Worlds, the Chesterton nation - called by various names - appears to have been semi-autonomous within the Grand Union. In 2318, a year after the founding of the Federated Suns, the ruler of the Muskegon Empire decided to join his realm to the Federated Suns. One of the worlds within the seven-world Empire had been a member of the Chesterton Trade League since 2195, following first contact between the Trade League and the Empire. The ruler of the Empire had hoped to turn Emerson into a trade port between the two nations, but instead he prepared the ground for future conflict.
When the Muskegon Empire joined the Federated Suns, Emerson and the nearby world of Beten Kaitos, another Empire world settled at the same time as Emerson, declared themselves independent. Both worlds petitioned the Chesterton Trade Federation for assistance, sparking a frontier conflict almost immediately. The Federated Suns attempted to conquer the worlds, only to end up locked in a three-year conflict that saw the worlds trade hands several times before the Trade Federation, backed by the Grand Union, forced the Federated Suns to retreat from both and concede control to the Trade Federation.
Wars On Three Fronts
With troops continually deployed to the Grand Union interior, other nations began seizing border worlds that the Grand Union was powerless to protect. The Terran Hegemony seized a number of worlds from the Chisholm Province of the Grand Union between 2336 and 2338; the Marlette Association had merged earlier with the Federated Suns, and with the rise to power of Reynard Davion the Federated Suns recaptured Almach, Mesartim and Mira in 2344, before signing the Acala Pact the following year with the Tetrarch's all but admitting they were powerless to regain the worlds. The Sarna Supremacy decided to capitalize on the apparent weakness of the Grand Union in 2351 by invading Algol and Slocum, beginning two years of unrelentingly savage warfare.
The Capellans managed to negotiate a ceasefire in 2352, although talks continued for years afterwards as the animosity between the Supremacy and the Grand Union intensified, culminating in both nations attempting to win the general election within the Capellan Commonality and thereby gain Capellan support for their side of any conflict.
By 2357 the Sarna Supremacy had absorbed the Chesterton Trade Federation, only to be surprised when the Federated Suns landed troops on the former Trade Federation world of Bell and declared it to be property of the Federated Suns, whilst also demanding the worlds of Chesterton and Highspire from the Supremacy. With the Federated Suns backing up the occupation of Bell with the threat of using nuclear weapons to seize the other worlds, the Supremacy counterattacks on Bell and Chesterton were disorganized and easily repulsed by the Federated Suns forces. threatening the use of nuclear weapons to seize them if necessary. When a combined Sarna Supremacy/Tikonov Grand Union/Capellan Commonality force arrived in early 2358 to contest the annexation of Bell, they discovered that some or all of the population had simply vanished.
In 2358 Seluk Tucas of St. Andre was propelled into the position of Prime Minister of the Capellan Commonality. A political realist - and an opportunist - he began taking radical measures to reunify the various Capellan Zone nations against external foes. He began by appointing himself arbitrator over the war between the Supremacy and the Grand Union; in public, he demanded that the Grand Union secede Azha, Algol and Slocum to the Supremacy, under threat of a combined Commonality-Supremacy joint offensive. Whilst this was less than the Supremacy had demanded, Tucas went on to salve the Grand Union's wounds Tucas signed a secret agreement on New Hessen with the Grand Union. This agreement, the Hessen Conventions, pledged the Commonality to support the Grand Union and the Tetrarchs in a new anti-Federated Suns campaign to begin no later than 2365 in compensation for the Grand Union handing worlds to the Supremacy.
In accordance with the Hessen Conventions the Grand Union renounced the Acala Pact and Almach Accord in 2363, and with support from the Commonality and the St. Ives Mercantile League launched a combined invasion of the world of Lee, demanding the return of Lee and all of the worlds formerly a part of the Chesterton Province to Capellan control. Unfortunately, Reynard Davion, had advance warning - most likely from Alexi Nimzovich, the Supremacy Premiere - and the invasion resulted in a massacre of the combined invasion forces at the hands of better equipped and better trained crack Davion troops.
The End Of The Grand Union
The debacle on Lee cost the St. Ives Mercantile League seven systems as victorious Federated Suns units took world after world from them. The Grand Union lost worlds to the Federated Suns, and by early 2364 Tikonov itself was under attack for the first time since the world had been settled, almost two centuries before. With the assassination of Tucas the Commonality was thrown into months of elections, reelections and chaos until Capella itself had been occupied by a Federated Suns "peacekeeping force." This propelled the Capellan representative for the Independent Worlds of the Capellan Zone into power, Duke Franco Liao, and he worked swiftly to unite all of the various nations and independent worlds within the Capellan Zone into a new state, the Capellan Confederation. Despite the bulk of the Chisholm and Chesterton regions being occupied by enemy forces, the Capellan Confederation would continue to press claims to the former Tikonov realms for centuries afterwards.
Although the Grand Union considered the Chisholm Protectorate to be a part of the Union - presumably as a consequence of the war fought with the Terran Hegemony in the 2330s - as a part of the political maneuvering required to create the Confederation, Franco Liao reinstated the Chisholm Protectorate in name as the Chisholm Commonality, independent of the nearby Tikonov Commonality. However, the Chisholm Commonality soon vanished even in name, reabsorbed into the Tikonov Commonality and replaced as a member by the Chesterton Commonality.
The Tikonov Grand Union retained the ruling structure of the previous Tikonov Union, with a government based upon four Tetrarchs. The decision by the three other reigning Tetrarchs after the death of Anton Carinus to not replace him ultimately led to the downfall of the Grand Union. The old, established nobility of both the Tikonov Grand Union and the Tikonov Union before it were collectively known as the Sheng, and enjoyed a considerable range of privileges and power which made them reluctant to sign up to the Articles of Confederation created by Franco Liao when the Capellan Confederation formed.
Units known to have formed a part of the armed forces of the Tikonov Union included:
- Arcadian Cuirassiers - one of the Chesterton Trade League's premier combat units; incorporated into the Federated Peacekeeping Forces of the Federated Suns after their homeworld, Demeter, was conquered.
- Fourth Tikonov Union Guards - raised in 2310, the Fourth served the Union and the Grand Union, and were reorganized after the formation of the Capellan Confederation. Merged with the Seventh Tikonov Union Guards, the combined force was renamed Blandford's Grenadiers, after their commanding officer, Colonel Harrison Blandford.
- Seventh Tikonov Union Guards - as per the Fourth Tikonov Union Guards, except that the Seventh was formed up in 2315.
Chesterton Trade League
|Tikonov Grand Union
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 10: "The Other Shoe"
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 12: "Timeline: Capellan Zone"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 21: "The Tikonov Connection"
- Field Report 2765: CCAF, p. 10: "Chesterton Regulars"
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 13: "Timeline: Capellan Zone"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 22: "Diana's War"
- Handbook: House Liao, pp. 13–14: "Tikonov Grand Union"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 17: "Arboris Secedes"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), pp. 22–23: "Friends And Other Enemies"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 23: "Muskegon"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 24: "Muskegon"
- Handbook: House Davion, pp. 19–20: "Muskegon and Chesterton"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 22: "Pushing Towards Confederation"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 27: "The War Leader"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 24: "Friends And Other Enemies"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 24: "Tucas Takes Over"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 25: "The Aris Crisis"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 26: "Tucas Is Removed"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 27: "Caroline Calls The Question"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 60: "Commonalities"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 29: "A Challenge From The Sheng"
- Field Report 2765: AFFS, p. 11: "Arcadian Cuirassiers"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 78: "Blandford's Grenadiers"
- Field Report 2765: CCAF, p. 10: "Tikonov Lancers"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 82: "1st Ariana Fusiliers"