The Precentor Martial of ComStar spent countless hours studying tapes of battles between the Clans and various Inner Sphere forces, and felt confident that he knew the one weakness of the Clan fighting style. He was determined to exploit this Achilles' heel during the battle for Tukayyid. Focht knew that the Clans' fighting philosophy consisted of quick, conclusive attacks and short-term assaults. The Clans struck quickly and counted on quick victories, precluding any need for the support services necessary to conduct a long-term campaign.

The Precentor Martial planned his defense carefully. He stockpiled enough repair parts and ammunition to supply his troops for more than a month. By using his forces to harass the Clans, rather than commit to a direct confrontation, he hoped to prolong the battle for Tukayyid beyond the Clans' capacity to support such an operation.

The Clan forces' greatest advantage going into the battle was their combat experience. Though Focht's Com Guards had been training for combat for decades, they had never experienced war. The Precentor Martial attempted to make up for that lack of experience by coordinating the battle from a deep bunker in the Tamo Mountains. His virtual-reality construct allowed him to direct individual units anywhere on Tukayyid's surface if it became necessary.

Each of the six Clans involved in the invasion attacked two cities on Tukayyid. Clan Smoke Jaguar would attack Dinju Heights and Port Racice, Clan Nova Cat had as its objectives Joje and Tost, Clan Ghost Bear would attempt to take Spanac and Luk, Clan Steel Viper would attack Kelly Springs and Kozice Ranch Station, Clan Wolf targeted Brzo and Skupo, Clan Diamond Shark was assigned Urcunat and Kozice Prime, and Clan Jade Falcon would attack Humptulips and Olalla.

The battle began on May 1, with each Clan landing troops near their objectives according to strategies developed by each Clan's Khans. Though Ulric Kerensky functioned as the Clans' war leader, the Khans declined to use him as a battle coordinator in the bidding for Tukayyid. Clan Wolf hit their landing zone five days later.

As happens in every planetary assault, commanders often feel as if each battle is fought separately, and it becomes difficult to see the big picture. Com Guard holotapes provided a roughly chronological record of the battle.

The first major encounter unfolded as the Smoke Jaguars landed their forces in two groups, hoping to win their objectives quickly, and perhaps regain some of the honor lost in the defeats on Wolcott and Luthien.

The Smoke Jaguar force landing in the Dinju Mountains pounced on the Com Guards' Fiftieth Division (Uncluttered Speech), pinning them in the foothills. The relatively green Fiftieth stood no chance against the Jaguar's Alpha Galaxy, and for a time the Smoke Jaguars appeared likely to secure their objectives quickly.

The Com Guards 401st, 207th, and 367th Divisions herded Beta Galaxy into the bogs of the Racice River delta with hit-and-run attacks, using their superior knowledge of the terrain to decimate the Jaguars. Beta Galaxy quickly crumbled and was forced to withdraw.

The Nova Cats fared no better. Their daring strategy of a mixed landing and drop turned to disaster when aerospace fighters of the Com Guards 417th Division destroyed the Alpha Galaxy Command DropShip as it hovered over the landing zone. Like the Smoke Jaguars, Clan Nova Cat was lured into a well-prepared battle site of ComStar's choosing. The Com Guards' Ninth Division (Bountiful Words) used air and ground forces to shatter the Nova Cats advance just north of Joje, a handful of kilometers from their target, and drew the Clan force into a war of attrition. The Nova Cats quickly became mired in a prolonged battle for which they were unprepared, in terms of both supplies and ammunition.

The Ghost Bears made a better showing against the relatively green Com Guards First Army. In the first two days of the battle, they shattered the 121st Division and swept toward Luk, but the Ninety-first and Twelfth Divisions trapped the elite forces of the Ghost Bears' Twentieth Polar Bear Attack Cluster and pounded them until they were forced to withdraw.

The initial Jade Falcon and Diamond Shark landings were largely unopposed, but the Jade Falcons' cautious advance allowed the Precentor Martial to inflict maximum damage using the same hit-and-run tactics the House militaries found effective in wearing the Clans down.

The Jaguars next fell prey to an ambush sprung in the tight confines of the Dinju Pass by the 323rd and 299th Divisions of the Com Guards Fifth Army - within sight of their objective of Dinju Heights. The Jaguar Grenadiers took heavy losses, but managed to move through the pass, leaving blood and death in their wake.

Both Smoke Jaguar Khans were willed at the height of the battle, and ilKhan Kerensky ordered Clan Smoke Jaguar to withdraw, fearing that the sudden lack of leadership and command structure would allow the remains of the Clan to be utterly destroyed. That decision caused a bitter resentment that still flames between the Smoke Jaguars and Clan Wolf. Several Smoke Jaguar units, including the Sixth Jaguar Dragoons, refused to obey the order, preferring death to dishonor. Only eight warriors of the Sixth survived the bloodbath.

Clan Diamond Shark suffered the next loss to the Com Guard sword. The Sharks' Nineteenth Heavy Cluster (The Barracudas) managed to inflict more than 30 percent losses against the Eighty-fifth Division (Lions of the Periphery) in a series of battles in the foothills overlooking Kozice Prime. The fighting was most bitter between the ambushing forces of the Eighty-fifth's Second and Fourth battalions and the Diamond Shark's 222nd Assault Cluster (The Rippers). Only two warriors survived from the entire 222nd Cluster, and the Clan stripped one of his Bloodname for his disgrace.

By the third of May, Clan Nova Cat had made three separate attempts to seize Joje and Tost. They ran out of ammunition quickly because they outfitted their OmniMechs primarily with artillery and missile configurations, despite the ilKhan's warnings against using a strategy based on non-energy weapons. Despite this misjudgment, the Clan made headway against the Com Guard forces at Joje, and the 417th and Ninth Divisions finally retreated toward Tost in order to force the Clans to divide their attention between the 467th Division (The Whirlwinds) at their rear, which was attempting to cut off Beta Galaxy from its landing zones and supplies, and the division they faced. The Com Guards harassed Beta and Gamma Galaxies, luring them into quick skirmishes that used up Clan ammunition. Gamma Galaxy withdrew, luring the 244th and the 467th into a Beta Galaxy ambush, defeating both forces and winning several ComStar supply depots.

ComStar immediately launched a furious counterattack, rupturing the Nova Cat lines and overrunning their positions. When the Com Guards once again controlled more than half the Losiije Lake District, the Nova Cats reluctantly withdrew. Clan Nova Cat suffered the most staggering losses of any Clan on Tukayyid: less than three Stars returned to the DropShips.

Clan Steel Viper learned from Clan Smoke Jaguar's mistake and chose a more conservative drop pattern. Even though the Com Guards had time to dig into positions between the Clan drop and their objectives by fighting a delaying action using artillery and aerospace fighters, Khan Breen's Vipers managed to advance toward Kozice Ranch Station.

As the Vipers crossed enemy lines, they became mired in a hell hole known as Devil's Bath, just 18 kilometers from their primary objective. A horrific combination of geysers, boiling mud, and narrow confines between massive granite columns, the region stretched for dozens of kilometers. The Vipers advanced through Devil's Bath, pushed the Com Guards ahead of them, but expended too much ammunition in the process. The Com Guards continued to attack the Viper supply lines, stripping the force in Devil's Bath of critical munitions.

Clan Ghost Bear lost the Seventh Bear Guards of Beta Galaxy, assigned to cover the withdrawal from the strike at Luk, when the Twelfth Com Guard Division (Pure Waveforms) ambushed them in the Holth forest and set fire to the woods. Khan Buckenburger made a formal protest to the ilKhan against the Com Guard tactics, but his forces in the forest had already been wiped out.

The Ghost Bears' Alpha Galaxy had Spanac under siege, and when the remnants of the Beta and Delta Galaxies arrived as support, the Clan forces pushed Com Guard's First Division back. Precentor Martial Focht withdrew the First Division from the center of Spanac, realizing that the Bears now controlled the Ninety-first's supply depots and were positioned to inflict more damage than they would take. Only Clans Ghost Bear and Wolf recognized the importance of protecting their supply lines. Ghost Bear realized their supply line mistake only after landing, but managed to overcome it by capturing Com Guard munitions.

Clan Diamond Shark faced a days-long stalemate with the Third Com Guard Army. The only decisive action took place between Gamma Galaxy and the Eighty-fifth Division. The Eighty-fifth disrupted the Sharks' supply lines for a day, and Gamma Galaxy retaliated by destroying the Com Guard unit. The Second and Fifth Armies' arrival cut the Sharks off completely from their supplies. The Com Guards dislodged the Clans from their fortified positions with a barrage of artillery, and, when the Clans attempted to break away and withdraw from the planet, destroyed their forces completely.

Clan Jade Falcon lost fewer troops, but failed to accomplish its objectives. The Eleventh Com Guard harassed the Falcons constantly as they moved toward Ollala and Humptulips, mostly whittling away at their supply lines, per the Precentor Martial's plans. When the Clan finally reached the rushing Przeno River, Com Guard sappers destroyed both bridges just as the Falcons crossed.

The Falcon Guard, a unit still tainted for its massive, humiliating loss on Twycross, managed to cross the turbulent river, strike at the rear of the Com Guard units on the far side of the Przeno River that were maintaining an artillery barrage, and create a beachhead for a heavier Jade Falcon assault. The Falcon Guard continued past the crossing toward Olalla, one of their target cities, realizing almost too late that the target at the coordinates provided was not Olalla, but a Com Guard trap.

The Jade Falcons moved steadily through Olalla, taking heavy losses but advancing until Com Guard reinforcements arrived from Humptulips. A simultaneous attack on the bridge defenses, and a lucky Com Guard strike on a Falcon ammunition dump, convinced the Jade Falcon Khans that they did not have enough supplies to take either objective, and they reluctantly ordered a withdrawal. The withdrawal itself was costly, as the Com Guards attacked the Clan landing zone with DropShips and executed a rear assault on the retreating forces. A Trinary of Elementals and elements of the Falcon Guards foiled ComStar's two-pronged attack, and most of the remaining Falcon force made it off-planet.

Clan Wolf entered the battle of Tukayyid on the fifth day of the conflict. IlKhan Ulric Kerensky's insight into Precentor Martial Focht's methods and the intelligence and familiarity with Inner Sphere tactics of Khan Natasha Kerensky and warrior Phelan (Kell) Ward, plus days spent observing the other Clans' battles with ComStar, gave Clan Wolf a distinct advantage.

Clan Wolf landed and immediately formed fighting ranks. Their first contact was with the inexperienced 283rd Division, part of the furthest Com Guard defensive line guarding Brzo and Skupo, Clan Wolf's objectives. The Third Battle Cluster of Beta Galaxy, the Seventh Battle Cluster of Gamma Galaxy, and the Fourth Wolf Guards of Alpha Galaxy pushed the 278th Division and the Tenth Army from their positions, but the 283rd prevented Clan Wolf from closing a trap around the Com Guards' main defensive force. When the Com Guards pulled back to establish a new defensive line, Clan Wolf did not follow, and ComStar quickly discovered why. Using a series of sweeping strikes, Natasha Kerensky's Thirteenth Wolf Guards, including the elite Wolf Spiders, attempted to slip around the Tenth and circumvent the 166th in a drive for Skupo. Precentor Koivu sent the veteran 282nd Com Guard Division (Clear Thoughts) to stop them. The 282nd suffered heavy losses, but stopped the Wolf Spiders' drive and allowed the Tenth Army to gain its next defensive position. The battle so far revealed two important factors in Clan Wolf's favor. The Clan had continued its early strategy of maintaining ample campaign supplies and protecting its supply lines, and for Tukayyid, it configured most OmniMechs with energy-based weaponry, making each unit more autonomous than ever. Precentor Martial Focht feared that Clan Wolf might turn the tide of battle across Tukayyid.

The Tenth Army under the command of Precentor Myrvang stood between Clan Wolf and the cities of Skupo and Brzo, but Clan Wolf launched another offensive before the Com Guards could dig in. The attackers broke through the line, then suddenly encountered entrenched 'Mechs, tanks, and infantry rising from an apparently open hilltop. Sheer stubbornness kept the Wolf Spiders in the fight, and they began to push ComStar back once again. Just as it appeared they might encircle Skupo, Com Guard reinforcements arrived in the form of the Ninth Army, led by Precentor Mulvenna. Clan Wolf failed to advance further in this push, but the Com Guard victory came at high cost to the Tenth, with losses of more than 50 percent, largely to the 138th Division (The Bandits).

As Clan Wolf tightened the knot around its two targets, Clan Steel Viper struggled to fight its way out of Devil's Bath. Two days after Clan Wolf dropped to the surface of Tukayyid, the Steel Vipers managed to surround the Com Guards Sixth Division almost at the center of the pits and geysers of the hellish terrain. Striking repeatedly, the Vipers destroyed the Sixth and began the long crawl out.

Though victorious against the Sixth, the Viper's Gamma Galaxy emerged from Devil's Bath to face two reserve divisions of the Second and Fifth Com Guard Armies. These fresh troops broke the Vipers' front line, but could not rout the Clan forces. When the Sixth Army's 386th and First Divisions arrived to back up the Com Guard troops only ten kilometers from Kozice Ranch Station, the Vipers were forced to withdraw. Clan Steel Viper suffered 25 percent losses, and both Khans were wounded.

The Steel Vipers' retreat left only two Clans on Tukayyid to defeat the Com Guards - Wolf and Ghost Bear. The Ghost Bears held Spanac against artillery bombardment from the Fourth Army, and the troops not pinned down by artillery or necessary to hold Spanac attempted to take Luk. As they attacked, divisions of the First Army assaulted a Bear supply depot, and, running low on supplies, parts, and ammunition, the Ghost Bears were forced to pull back to defend te depot, losing most of the ground they had gained. Despite the fact that several Stars of their Alpha Galaxy's Fiftieth Strike Cluster (The Maulers) managed to break into Luk's suburbs, too few troops remained to take the city, and the Ghost Bears ended their campaign by winning only one objective.

Clan Wolf continued to press the attack. As the Wolf Spiders broke the 138th Division, the Eleventh Wolf Guards of Delta Galaxy careened into the lines held by the 278th Division (Clear Courtesy), but despite excellent coordination of the Com Guard forces, the Wolf Guards tore the 278th apart. Skupo fell to Clan Wolf when the Com Guards realized that the Clan forces pushing to connect with the rest of their force would encircle the Com Guard forces in Skupo, and retreated.

The Wolves aimed their next axis of attack at Brzo, and the Tenth Army bent under the force of Clan heavy and assault OmniMechs. The Ninth moved to support the Tenth, but Clan Wolf breached the defenses where the two armies should have met, nearly splitting the two forces. The Eleventh Army arrived as reinforcements, but Clan Wolf declined to further attack the Ninth and instead concentrated on raiding ComStar supply depots and creating its own.

Though Clan Wolf had enough mobility to work around the ComStar positions in the Porozistu Mountains, they chose to engaged Precentor Stinson's Eleventh Com Guards directly, eventually breaking off a series of small skirmishes to gather for a coordinated attack. Beta Galaxy inflicted heavy damage on the Eleventh, even though Khan Garth Radick was killed at the peak of the battle, but the war ended before the Com Guard reinforcements, the Thirteenth Army, could join the fray.

Despite the short-lived blow to Wolf Clan's morale inflicted by Khan Radick's death, the Com Guards could not unseat the Wolves from either Brzo or Skupo. Striking at Clan Wolf supply lines proved fruitless, because Khan Kerensky heavily reinforced these vital points. Her knowledge of Inner Sphere tactics gave Clan Wolf its successes.

After 21 days of fighting, the ilKhan of the Clans conceded victory to ComStar. Only Clan Wolf successfully gained control of both target cities. Clan Ghost Bear held Spanac but failed to take Luk. Based on the surviving forces, Clan Jade Falcon achieved a draw.

Both sides suffered staggering losses. It soon became apparent that Tukayyid represented much more than the largest military battle in three centuries. The Com Guards ended the conflict with nearly 40 percent dead and more than that number injured. Smoke Jaguar suffered the highest losses with 32 percent dead. Clan Wolf only lost 20 percent of its forces on Tukayyid.

This was one of the Inner Sphere's greatest victories. ComStar bloodied the soil of Tukayyid to stand between Terra and the Clans' tyranny for the next decade and a half. Precentor Martial Focht learned only too late that his military victory was shadowed by Primus Waterly's Operation Scorpion.

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