Friday, October 7, 2016

Star League Era (House Cameron and the Terran Hegemony)

Hey Battletech Fans, we’re going to continue our long look at the History of Battletech by continuing our look at the Star League.  Today’s feature is twofold, and covers two very important things that defined the Star League, and are largely destroyed by the end of the Era.  House Cameron, and the Star League Defense Forces.  

House Cameron is the ruling family of the Terran Hegemony, a collection of solar systems that are about 60 light years from Terra and are some of the oldest colonized worlds in the Battletech Universe.  They are wealthy worlds that represent both an industrial backbone and agricultural base for an interstellar Empire.  House Cameron, having taken over the Terran Hegemony after the collapse of the government just prior to the Age of War, rules over the Hegemony with a combination of technological advancement and monetary capacity.  

House Cameron spent the bulk of its existence attempting to bring the disparate states of the human race under a single, unified government.  It took them a while to bring everyone to the table, but by the start of the Star League Era, House Cameron has realized its ultimate goal of bringing all of known human space under the banner of the Star League.  By the end of the Era, House Cameron will be an unfortunate memory and all their hard work will give way to the brutality of the Succession Wars that follow.

House Cameron has some of the most tragic figures in the history of the Battletech Universe that lived side by side with their fair share of jerks, mentally unstable people, despots, and people that probably needed a swift kick in the ass.  They rule the Star League Era right up until the Amaris Usurpation on Christmas day 2766.  There are several books written about the dynasty for an enterprising fan to find, and we suggest the Liberation of Terra (both volumes) for an intensive look at the family and the tragedies that end up consuming it.  

The Terran Hegemony's Worlds as of 2766, at the outbreak of the Amaris Coup

The second important societal construct of the Star League Era that isn’t seen again is the Star League Defense Force.  The SLDF is the strong fighting arm of the Star League and is intended to settle disputes between member states that can’t be resolved peacefully, and to provide common protections for all citizens of the League.  The Star League Defense Force is a monstrous army that is more than capable of completely destroying any single member state with troops to spare.  It is the largest army in the history of the human race.  

Mustering 20 full armies of the best and brightest soldiers in the galaxy, the Star League has fleets of warships, divisions of battlemechs, infantry, combat vehicles, and wings of aerospace fighters.  They even have a technological marvel that won’t survive the fall of the Star League, the Land Air Mech, or LAM.  They draw citizen soldiers from across the Star League, and they fight for the common good of humankind.  

There is one notable distinction in the SLDF.  Units drawn from member states are categorized as regular units.  Units that are populated by soldiers from Hegemony worlds have the distinction of being classified as royal units.  Royal units often have access to better technology and supplies than their regular counterparts and if anything can be considered divisive, it’s the distinction between Regular and Royal Star League Defense Force units.  (The Field Manual SLDF details the SLDF in exhaustive detail, and should be considered essential reading for anyone interested in this Faction)
The SLDF at the end of the Star League Era is a shell of itself.  The Liberation of Terra and the rigors of war denude the SLDF and reduce its strength to less than a third of its pre-war strength.  Seeing the machinations between the House Lords leading to another war, the commanding general of the SLDF, Aleksandr Kerensky leads a large majority of the remaining SLDF into exile.  They will not be seen again for nearly 300 years, and the time will have dramatically changed them.  

The Cameron Star, symbol of the Star League Defense Force

Author’s Note:  During the period between 3052 and 3067, a Second Star League is formed to deal with the threat of the Clans.  This Star League is not directed by a member of House Cameron, nor does it have a standing army of its own like the Star League Defense Force.  They do lay claim to the SLDF, but as an organizational superstructure that collects and organizes units belonging to its member states.  The aftermath of the Fedcom Civil War that ends the Civil War era leads to the dissolution of this Star League as well.  

That's our look at House Cameron and the SLDF, Next time we'll go over the technological innovations and options available in this era. 

Game on, Game  Fans

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