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Night of the Jaguar

Element of Surprise
- From A Lucky Star, by Chu-sa Hitiro Ven, Dragon Press, 3053

Until that day in June of 3050, Hanover was a forgotten backwater in the Draconis Combine, garrisoned by the regiment of infantry under my command. The Clan invasion suddenly changed all that. Hanover was no longer a little dirtwater, but on the front lines. For a ground-pounder like me, nothing could have been better than to meet a strong enemy for a fight to the end. It was how I wanted to die. In battle.

Not long after a handful of JumpShips appeared in the Hanover system. I received a communication from Lincoln Osis of Clan Smoke Jaguar, asking that I declare what force defended Hanover. Damnedest thing I ever heard of, an enemy asking how many troops we had so he could send down a minimum attack force.

Crazy as it sounds, I responded with the history of my unit. We were all infantry because our 'Mech garrison had been rotated to another, more important post two weeks earlier. What I didn't tell him was even more important. Osis replied that he would attack with two Clusters of Elementals, which he said was just under 200 troops. It would be a straight-up infantry battle, but compared to my fully infantry regiment, the enemy force was a mere pittance.

If I was confident, it didn't last long once the fight began. Their "infantry," those damnable Elementals, were on us in a matter of seconds. We took a lot of them down, but our losses were almost four-to-one. When some of them jumped onto my command HQ, I hit one with my portable SRM. I thought I had him when I saw the explosion, then the sucker got right back up and at me.

I ordered a retreat, but the Smoke Jaguars were hot on our tail. I still had one surprise for them though, my heavily armored jump troops. I ordered in two reserve squads to cover our retreat. It was a mess, but it bought us a few hours to pull out the survivors. By the Christian hell, I swore I'd get my revenge on those buggers.

Hanover, Heinx Mountains, 19 June 3050
Clan Smoke Jaguar's fighting style was typical of the invasion on the Inner Sphere. Clan warriors favor direct, quick, battles, with little prolonged fighting. They fight hard and fast, setting nothing aside for a prolonged campaign.

When the Smoke Jaguars reached Hanover, defending the world was the First Hanover Infantry Strike Regiment, consisting of two battalions of infantry regulars and the rest local milita reserves. The Commanding Officer, Tai-sa Vegrus, was ill. Acting CO Chu-sa Hitiro Ven, a former mercenary, lured the Clan force into the foothills of the Heinx Mountains, near where a Union Class infantry DropShip was hidden. Despite heavy losses, he kept his troops in constant motion, hoping to prolong the fight. Ven kept his jump infantry in reserve, not turning them loose until the Smoke Jaguards closed in for the kill.

The sudden appearance of other jump-capable forces caught the Jaguar Elementals off guard. heavily armored and armed, these troops could inflict heavy damage even against Elementals. When the Smoke Jaguars pulled back to regroup, it gave Chu-sa Ven time to get the remains of his regiment to the lone JumpShip secreted in the system.

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