|Formed||pre-Age of War|
During the Five Princes era of the Federated Suns the Vale Rangers was the lead combat formation of the Terran March Principality. Serving alongside other formations such as the Terran Brigade the Vale Rangers were loyal to the Prince of the Terran March; when Prince Charles Leighton and his immediate family were killed on Robinson in 2515 during a Terran Hegemony raid the Vale Rangers transferred their loyalty to General Nikolai Rostov, a noted and popular FPF officer who was appointed Prince of the Terran March as a result of machinations between Cassandra and David Varnay and Laura Davion within the Council of regents.
Nikolai Rostov spent five years leading Terran March forces in battle against the Hegemony Armed Forces, eventually halting the Terran Hegemony offensive into the Terran March; Rostov's campaign was nothing less than brilliant, and cemented his popularity with the troops under this command. The Vale Rangers would be back in action again in 2523 when the Draconis Combine initiated a series of border clashes, and with Rostov busy the Varnays abducted Alexander Davion, heir to the throne of the Crucis March and future First Prince.
Davion Civil War
When the Davion Civil War erupted, Nikolai Rostov - now Field Marshal of the FPF - lead combined forces from the Crucis, Draconis and Terran Marches against the Varnays in the opening offensive; units under Rostov's command struck at a line of worlds stretching from Kluane to Royalston with Rostov demonstrating his grasp of tactics and using the abilities of his trained regulars to good effect against Varnay's troops, which were often simply militias lacking in training.
Nikolai's death on the world of Quittacas shook the loyalty of the Terran March forces, with many defecting to the Varnayist cause as a result of large bribes applied to senior figures; Nikolai's son, Dmitri, and those troops loyal to him went on the run before launching a planet-hopping guerilla offensive. When Alexander Davion scored a notable victory on Nahoni and began gathering loyal forces under his banner, Dmitri declared his support for Alexander, bringing many more regular FPF units with him.
Whereas Nikolai Rostov had been beloved by the FPF, Dmitri was more of an unknown quantity; Laura Davion's forces retreated into the Draconis March, and loyalties within the Terran March were split; some remembered Laura's close ties to Nikolai Rostov, whereas others were swayed by Dmitri's authority as his father's son. Had the Rostov's ruled the Terran March for longer, loyalty to the name might have been greater.
The resulting campaign against the Draconis March was slow, even after pressure on the Capellan March front relaxed with the death of David Varnay, and Dmitri was responsible for much of the slow progress in the campaign; a selfish pragmatist at heart, he was more interested in securing the Terran March for himself than dealing with Laura's main forces. Unfortunately for Alexander, he needed Rostov and his forces too much to alienate him, and had to resort to pleading with Rostov to push forward with finishing off Laura's forces while the Capellan March was still disorganized.
After Laura's forces were defeated Cassandra Varnay led an offensive against the Crucis March, and Dmitri continued to play at politics in the Terran March. Dmitri may not have been the military commander his father was, but he was a more skilled politician, and while he was mainly concerned for the Terran March he had enough sense to continue supplying Alexander with just enough reinforcements to keep Alexander from giving up completely on Rostov's support.
Nonetheless, Dmitri and the Terran March forces were instrumental in defeating Cassandra's forces at Meglan alongside Alexander's forces in 2537. The Vale Rangers, as the primary combat formation of the Terran March, had survived the Civil War in better shape than the Terran Brigade - in fact, in better shape than any March formation as a consequence of the sterling military leadership of both Nikolai and Dmitri Rostov - and this played a part in Dmitri's decision to defy Alexander when the First Prince made it clear that he intended to institute sweeping changes across the five Marches and to reform the High Council.
Aftermath and Insurrection
Rostov's obsession with the power of his March led him to mobilize his troops in opposition to Prince Alexander in April 2540. Dmitri's attempted coup began with a tragedy; as his first act, Dmitri ordered his troops to kidnap Cynthia Davion, who was engaged in a goodwill tour of the Draconis March at the time. His troops not only failed in their attempt, but a stray shot killed Cynthia.
Cynthia's death had a profound effect, leaving him grief-stricken; it also led him to act launch a campaign against Dmitri that would be marked by its speed, decisiveness and implacable savagery. While Dmitria was still an influential and popular man and widely acknowledged as being responsible for the triumph on Victoria, he wasn't the First Prince. To a Federated Suns recently ravaged by war Alexander represented order, stability and an end to factionalism and infighting. Dmitri called for action against Alexander, describing him as a would-be despot, but few worlds or units outside his immediate sphere of influence responded; in comparison, Alexander quickly gathered an overwhelming army. Many regiments from the Vale Rangers were outraged by Dmitri's actions and swiftly joined Alexander's cause, with some subsequently fighting sister units as a consequence during Alexander's defeat of Dmitri's forces.
After Dmitri's defeat on Robinson Prince Alexander referred to the surviving warriors of the Vale Rangers as "soldiers of chivalry and honor"; the Vale Rangers brigade was incorporated into the expanded Draconis March and renamed as the Robinson Chevaliers, with the new name drawn directly from Alexander's words, going on to serve the Federated Suns throughout the Star League era.
The fate of the Vale Rangers after the Davion Civil War was a marked contrast to their former companions in the Terran Brigade; Alexander's disestablishment of the Terran March generated a deep resentment amongst the Terran Brigade, one that still festered thirty years later. The end came for the Terran Brigade in 2571, with the formation of the Star League Defense Force; Alexander seized the opportunity to remove the worst-equipped, worst-trained, and most troublesome units out of the new Armed Forces of the Federated Suns including the entire of the remaining Terran Brigade.
|Commanding Officers of the Vale Rangers|
Different per Unit.
Units of the Vale Rangers
Colors and Unit Insignia
- Field Report: Federated Suns 2765, p. 16, "Robinson Chevaliers"
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 32, "Integration With The SLDF"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 41, "The Regency"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 31-32, "Reign of Terror"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 41-42, "Varnay vs Davion"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 32-33, "Hostage Prince"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 44, "Alexander in Exile"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 33-34, "Flames of War"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 34-35, "Rostov's Legacy"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 45, "Victor of Nahoni"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 46, "Alexander's Campaign"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 46-47, "Rostov's Plan"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 36, "Rostov Victorious"
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 48, "Rostov Defiant"
- Handbook: House Davion, p. 36, "Putting Down Rostov"