|Unit Profile (as of 3067)|
|CO||Colonel Xavier Pelt|
Formed in 3047 by Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Xavier Pelt, an officer with a distinguished career within the Davion Brigade of Guards, the Federated Freemen were inspired by another notable mercenary unit, The Arcadians, who began in a similar fashion. The Federated Freemen initially recruited former Armed Forces of the Federated Suns personnel and others discontented with the formation of the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth, Colonel Pelt led the first battalion of Freemen to form up on a number of high-risk assignment while other officers from the Freemen continued recruiting. Having reached a regiment in size by recruiting like-minded individuals who shared similar ideals, the Federated Freemen were employed initially in a number of high-profile garrison postings in the former Federated Suns region of the Federated Commonwealth for the duration of the Clan Invasion.
Following the Truce of Tukayyid the Federated Freemen found further employment as garrison forces for defense industry sites within the Federated Commonwealth, serving in each of the Marches of the former Federated Suns; the Freemen were then involved in heavy combat during the Capellan-St. Ives War, taking significant damage as they fought to defend the independence of the St. Ives Compact. The Federated Freemen were pulled out of the Compact when the FedCom Civil War erupted, and were redeployed to the Capellan March world of Monhegan to rebuild. Duke George Hasek II refused to allow the Federated Freemen to join in any of the open fighting between factions within the Civil War; he instead assigned them to various police actions within the Capellan March, before reassigning them to Gallitzin after the end of the war.
Gallitzin was the beginning of a frustrating period for the Freemen; the unit was promised a high-priority position on the supply lists within the official supply system, but they received almost no supplies or new equipment. Colonel Pelt managed to obtain enough equipment to boost the size of the Freemen to almost two full regiments, but the bulk of the equipment was obtained through his contacts in the defense industry, rather than the AFFS supply chain. When the Jihad began in late 3067 the Freemen were left waiting on Gallitzin as news arrived of the Word of Blake invasion of New Avalon, and rumors soon began circulating that the Freemen would be assigned to a relief force intended to lift the siege.
When orders for the deployment of the Freemen finally came from Duke Hasek, the orders weren't for an attack on the Blakists - instead, the Freemen were assigned to Operation SOVEREIGN JUSTICE, one of a number of mercenary units pulled into Duke Hasek's invasion of the Capellan Confederation, and were being redeployed to Kittery. July 3068 saw the Freemen and various other mercenary units assault the Capellan world of Gei-Fu, where the Freemen were responsible for capturing the huge petroleum operation run by Capolla Oil on the northern continent of Gei-Fu, opposed by elements of the planetary militia. Taking little by way of losses during that operation, the Freemen acted as a garrison while salvage and recovery operations began, most notably the removal of eighty million barrels of oil as liquid cargo aboard three massive Mammoth-class DropShips.
The next combat action for the Freemen was the assault on Glasgow as a part of the third wave of SOVEREIGN JUSTICE. Initially facing little by way of opposition, the Freemen were quickly the recipients of attacks and harassment by local resistance cells using asymmetric tactics such as car bombs and sniper attacks to whittle away at the Freemen, claiming at least one senior officer - Major Veronica El Tarkh, CO of the First Freemen Auxiliary. The Freemen fortified their compound while Colonel Pelt petitioned for relief and replacement forces to allow the Freemen to conduct offensive operations - and preserve the morale of the Freemen in the face of local hostility - but received no support. Matters turned sharply on the 10th of October 3068 when the Fourth Tau Ceti Rangers arrived and assaulted the Freemen, launching an extensive battle in and around Edinburgh. The battle extended into the local spaceport and devastated both the Rangers and the Freemen, as well as laying waste to almost a third of the city.
Faced with mounting losses and a lack of ammunition and spare parts, the Freemen began withdrawing to MacClellan Farm to rendezvous with their DropShips and withdraw, with the First Freemen Auxiliary fighting a rearguard action that saw the Auxiliary sell themselves dearly to hold off the Capellan forces while the remaining Freemen boarded DropShips; by the time the Freemen were ready to leave, the First Freemen Auxiliary had been reduced to just a single pair of Manticore heavy tanks. The Capellan forces launched artillery barrages against the DropShips and mounted a devastating airstrike, destroying two of the Freemen's Union-class DropShips.
Too battered to continue fighting, the Freemen were withdrawn to Spica, but once again found themselves getting little or no support from the AFFS quartermaster's department. Barely battleworthy as a formation when the First Janissary Brigade assaulted Spica in March 3069, the Freemen were quickly worn down by the Capellans. Colonel Pelt tried several different feints in the hope of pulling the Brigade out of formation, but the Brigade didn't fall for the various ploys; enjoying complete aerial supremacy, the Brigade simply swarmed the Freemen in conjunction with devastating low-level attacks by VTOLs and Mechbusters that ground the Freemen down inexorably. Colonel Pelt was killed on the 30th of April, and with the loss of the Colonel the surviving elements of the Freemen negotiated a peaceful withdrawal - at the cost of several hundred tons of BattleMechs, left behind as salvage.
Following the defeats on Glasgow and Spica the Freemen were withdrawn to Atlas where they received a bare trickle of new supplies and equipment over the following two years and remained a broken, shattered command. By 3072, the new CO of the Freemen, Colonel Groh, was debating disbanding the Freemen, something that some among his command were actively favoring.
|Commanding Officers of the Federated Freemen|
Every battalion was supported by conventional forces and the Freemen preferred mobile warfare.
- At this point in time the Federated Freemen were still rebuilding after suffering heavy losses.
- CO: Major Veronica El Tarkh
- A full regiment in size prior to the damage taken during their police actions in the FedCom Civil War, the two surviving battalions consist of heavy and assault tanks in the first battalion; the second battalion had recently been rebuilt from the ground up and fielded mainly fast hovertanks.
Federated Freemen (Two mixed companies)
- CO: Colonel Starling Groh
- By this point the Federated Freemen were no longer considered a combat-ready formation. The total strength of the Freemen stood at two mixed companies of 'Mechs and combat vehicles, with only two of those 'Mechs in pristine condition; if faced by an opposing force, the lack of battle plans and cohesive doctrine would likely break the Freemen immediately.
- When randomly determining force composition, the Federated Freemen may choose to roll on the C or lower column for the Federated Suns Random 'Mech Assignment Table, rather than the B column on the Mercenaries Random 'Mech Assignment Table.
- The Federated Freemen may use the Force the Initiative special rule.
- The Federated Freemen may use the Overrun Combat special ability.
- If the Federated Freemen deploy both 'Mechs and hovercraft in the same battle, the Freemen receive a +1 Initiative bonus.
- If the Federated Freemen deploy both 'Mechs and hovercraft in the same battle and of the 'Mechs and vehicles have a Walking or Cruise MP of 5 or more, the Freemen receive an additional +1 Initiative bonus, cumulative with the bonus above.
- The Federated Freemen no longer receive any Initiative bonuses.
- The Federated Freemen may no longer use their Forcing the Initiative and Overrun Combat special abilities.
- Each Freemen unit begins a game with any ammunition load halved and with 4d6 points of pre-existing battle damage as a result of the damage suffered during SOVEREIGN JUSTICE. Damage should be assigned in five-point clusters using the Front/Back column, but critical hit rolls that would destroy the unit should be ignored.
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 52, "Federated Freemen"
- Field Report: Federated Suns, p. 20, "Mercenaries"
- Field Manual: Mercenaries Revised, p. 66, "Federated Freemen: Swordsmen of the Suns"
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 124, "Federated Freemen (D)"
- Field Manual: Mercenaries Revised, p. 131, "Federated Freemen (B)"