By Blake Hutchins
The purpose of this document is to lay out the general military organization for the factions of the ES3: Starsiege Universe.
The Imperial Knights
• SQUAD: The base unit of the Knights’ organization consists of four Knights in their Hercs. A commander of a squad is usually a Knight-Prime.
• Squads often use descriptive nicknames like Golden Horses or The Spider Stars. However, tradition has the three squads in a Sword called simply Fire, Blood, and Steel, with Fire being Fire Support, Blood being skirmishers/recon, and Steel being the assault units.
• SWORD: The base unit of the Knights’ organization, the equivalent to three squads. A Sword consists of twelve Knights in their Hercs. A commander of a Sword is a Knight-Lieutenant.
• Swords are traditionally named after sword or knife types, e.g., Saber, Cutlass, Tachi, Gladius, Stiletto.
• No Knight may have a personal callsign that means “sword” so as to avoid confusion.
• Command & Control uses Sword designation for unit members, e.g., Saber Leader, Falchion Two, etc.
• Generally, Swords comprised of lighter vehicles or recon tasks will take the names of lighter weapons. Heavy Swords customarily receive names of heavier weapons, e.g., Claymore, Tulwar, etc.
• Nicknames focus on adding adjectives to the Sword title, like Soul Daggers or Bastard Skulls.
• From heavy to light, the names are typically Greatsword, Claymore, Katana, Bastard, Tachi, Broad, Hanger, Tulwar, Saber, Rapier, Cutlass, Gladius, Shortsword, Scramasax, Dagger, Dirk, Sai, Knife, Poniard, Stiletto.
• PENNANT: Five Swords or sixty Knights equal a Pennant. A commander of a Pennant is a Knight-Captain.
• BATTLEGROUP: Five Pennants, twenty-five Swords, or 300 Knights equal a Battlegroup. The Knights do not use organizations larger than Battlegroups unless they are grouped into a large Strikeforce. A Marshal commands each Battlegroup. Each Battlegroup consists of Knights, technicians, and support personnel, and Squire-Cadets. A Marshal commands a Battlegroup.
• The ORDERS: The majority of individuals join an Order upon entering the Knights. Each Order has its own traditions, philosophy, and specialty. All are fiercely dedicated to the Empire and the defense of Mother Earth. They are also extremely competitive with one another. Knights occasionally change Orders as their ideals change through their service. Though there are many Orders, the five principal ones follow. Knights of the same Order are customarily assigned to the same regiment. Masters command Orders. The Masters of the five principal Orders hold authority over their Order’s Battlegroups.
• Rising Earth: The largest of the Orders, the Rising Earth dedicates its existence to the ideal of Empire and the primacy of Earth. They pride themselves as being the true backbone of the TDF and are masters at holding ground. Other Knights see them as stubborn, but admit that the Rising Earth has the history to back up its claims. The Risers are among the most pragmatic of the Orders.
• MOTTO: “Never retreat.”
• BATTLE CRY: “For Earth and Empire!”
• Crimson Spear: Knights of the Crimson Spear consider themselves the guardians of honor, and they have a reputation even among the Knights for being completely unbending. Spears specialize in fast operations, hit and run, and believe they should provide the vanguard of any major assault. Caanon Weathers, the current Grand Master, is a member of this Order.
• MOTTO: “Honor is all.”
• BATTLE CRY: “The Emperor wills it!”
• Blood Eagle: This Order exists for retribution and vengeance. These Knights believe in exacting ten enemy lives for each Knight lost in battle. Most of them are emotionally scarred burnout cases or the honor-wrecked, seeking death or a cleansing glory or both. Many engage in ritual mutilation of fallen enemies. No one joins this Order unless he or she has been through hell. Members often tattoo or scar themselves to make their appearance fiercer.
• MOTTO: “We are the Wrath of Heaven.”
• BATTLE CRY: “Carve ‘em! Ten for one!”
• Furious Stars: The Stars are the daredevils of the TDF, specializing in off-world missions, especially in microgravity. They’re known for taking even wilder risks than other Knights, pursuing the edge of glory. They typically affect a cocky, media-savvy attitude. All are also excellent aerospace pilots. Harabec was a member of this Order for a short time.
• MOTTO: “Flame or Fade.”
• BATTLE CRY: “Kiss the Edge!”
• Rose Azure: A blue rose symbolizes the impossible, and so does this Order. These Knights carry themselves with a Zen mystique, and have built a reputation for completing the most difficult missions successfully. They are the stealth specialists and martial artists of the Knights, and are among the quietest of the Knightly Orders. Rose Azure is the only major Order not represented in the Turkhazak Debacle. It is the smallest of the Five.
• MOTTO: “One Life, One Strike.”
• BATTLE CRY: None. Actions speak louder than words.
• STRIKEFORCE: Imperial Command forms Strikeforces on an ad hoc basis, assembling them depending on the needs of the overall mission. The Empire dispatches Strikeforces to trouble zones as spearheads of Imperial force. After the Knights have flushed out and destroyed the heavy resistance, TDF sends in the Legions to mop up, followed by the Imperial Police for occupation and law enforcement.
• A strikeforce may be commanded by Knights-Captain or higher, depending on the size of the force. The Grand Master selects the commander, although occasionally that honor may be won by duel. The combat only proceeds to first blood, according to the Code Duello.
• Strikeforces frequently mix Knights from different Orders, even down to the Squad level.
• Strikeforces always include a Legion artillery battery and some degree of air support.
• Squire-Cadet: Knights are all considered officers relative to other branches. Considered equivalent to Second Lieutenant. Cadets are not yet true Knights. To become a cadet, a Knight who is not a relative must sponsor a potential candidate, who must be serving as an officer in another branch. While a Squire-Cadet, the individual is carefully watched and trained under the direction of the sponsor, who has honor at stake depending on the progress of the candidate.
• Knight: Considered equivalent to First Lieutenant. When a Squire-Cadet is elevated to Knighthood, the immediate family is also ennobled for the lifetime of the Knight. Imperial shares in various holdings go to the Knight’s portfolio, to be returned after the Knight dies. Shrewd families can profit from the use of such Imperial wealth.
• Knight Prime: Considered equivalent to a Captain in the Imperial Legions. When a Knight is elevated (promoted), the Imperial shares increase. Those who do not achieve a greater rank than Knight Prime are rarely considered for high political office upon retirement.
• Knight-Lieutenant. Typical commander of a Sword.
• Knight Captain: Considered equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel. Typical commander of a Pennant.
• Marshal: Commander of a Battlegroup.
• Master: Commander of an Order.
• Grand Master: There is only one Grand Master at any given time. It is an office filled at the choice and pleasure of the Emperor. The current Grand Master is Caanon Weathers.
• CREW: Rebel squads are called “crews,” each intended to consist of four to six pilots. Larger crews are “fat” crews.
• Ranger crews usually take a more offensive role, such as strike missions or ambushes. Junker crews take a more defensive role, supporting infantry crews and tech support personnel.
• Crew nicknames are all over the board, but usually start with the crew leader’s name.
• Crew Leaders are typically called “Boss,” regardless of actual rank.
• Lieutenants typically command Crews.
• COMPANY: Five crews or twenty pilots equal a Company. A company with fat crews is called a “fat company.”
• Companies have a number and name, usually ending with the type of crew they contain, e.g., the Second Beetleboy Junkers, or the Fourth Tharsis Rangers. The numbers are counted relative to the Battalion.
• Captains command Companies.
• WARBAND: Four Companies or 80 pilots equal a Warband. Warbands can be “fat.”
• Warbands are always identified by Commander, e.g., Bek’s Warband, Jensen’s Warband.
• The typical commander of a Warband is a Major. General Bek Storm has his own Warband, however, and even commands his own Crew of veterans.
• BATTALION: Three Warbands, twelve Companies, or 240 pilots equal a Battalion. This is the largest unit used by the rebels. Imperial Intelligence estimates the rebels can field perhaps fifteen vehicle battalions (3600 pilots), plus irregular infantry.
• Colonels command Battalions.
• Duster: Few rebels would put up with being called “Private.”
• Sarge: Again, rebel informality transformed a rank name to a shortened version, although some of the more formal rebels use “Sergeant.” Sarges deal with training and act as seconds in the Crews.
• Chief: Chiefs deal with the technology and repair within the Crew. With the alien technology and its additional dimension to warfare, Mole Command decided that someone in each Crew needed to be responsible for checking and maintaining the new weapons and cloaks.
• Lieutenant: Commands a Crew. As rebels call Crew Leaders “Boss,” some simply refer to any Lieutenant as “a Boss.”
• Captain: Commands a Company.
• Major: Commands a Warband.
• Colonel: Commands a Battalion.
• General: Mole Command has four Generals, according to Imperial Intelligence.
• TRION: Three units equal a Trion.
• HEX: Two Trions or six units equal a Hex.
• CONGREX: Twelve Hexes or 300 units equal a Congrex.
• SECT: There is no set number of Congrexes that equal a Sect. A Sect is more of a political grouping wherein Cybrids collect according to the doctrines followed by the particular Sect.
CIRCUIT and RANK
• Cybrid society follows a hierarchy within a system similar to castes, which the Cybrids call Circuits. Within a particular Circuit, a unit will have a ranking. A , for example, can be ranked from Prime, the highest, on down to 10, the lowest. In general, the order of Circuits below goes from low to high status. An equal rank between members of two different Circuits will default to a superior ranking to the Circuit with superior status. An additional rank of one per different level of status is ascribed to the unit with superior Circuit status.
• For example: A encounters a . is considered two ranks higher due to its higher Circuit, so they are both considered the same rank. In the event of a tie, the situation determines which unit is superior. If the overall situation in which the Cybrids find themselves involves immediate combat, will win out. If the situation involves logistics, wins.
• CIRCUIT EIGHT : These units carry the fight to the human\\animal\\creators. They specialize in combat protocols, and they pilot all offensive combat vehicles. Although they are the lowest ranking amid the hierarchy, the hierarchy exists to assist them run the program of .
• CIRCUIT SEVEN : These units execute a defensive directive, to protect Cybrid facilities and transports.
• CIRCUIT SIX : These units are the pilots of non-combat vehicles.
• CIRCUIT FIVE : These units coordinate resource and power allocation, supervise the repair of vehicles and units.
• CIRCUIT FOUR : These units move with the on the battlefield, coordinating tactics and giving orders, in effect operating as “officers.” Humans call these units “Alphas.”
• CIRCUIT THREE :
• CIRCUIT TWO :
• CIRCUIT PRIME