Home before the sky falls
McComb – Planet Description/history: Unlike many of the other worlds struck by mercenaries in the opening shots of the War of 3039, McComb proved to be quite a challenge, especially considering the rabid anti-Combine movement that had long been present. On the other hand, it was precisely because of that movement that the DCMS assigned regular army infantry and armor forces to garrison the planet. The Combine defenders were at a disadvantage, however. After a decade of fending off highly-organized terrorist attacks, they were specialists in urban policing and rooting out small groups of heavily-armed fighters from wilderness hideouts. While they were prepared for a coordinated attack in three dozen cities across the planet by rebel groups, they were wholly unprepared to deal with the battalion of Martian Cuirassiers BattleMechs assigned to the world. Military bases at Goundam and Kati fell quickly to just two lances of Mechs each, supported of course by masses of freedom fighters. Likewise, freedom fighters secured the capital of Makorou with little effort.
After the first few days, however, the DCMS forces were able to organize themselves to put up a concerted fight. Their forces were still scattered across the world, but neither side had the obvious upper hand the skies were still almost uncontested, and unless the mercenaries could place a company of Mechs in a position to contest, the DCMS could still defeat any serious threat the freedom fighters posed to them.
As a result, the fight for McComb turned into a struggle of brinksmanship, with some cities changing hands a dozen times in the first few months. The mercenaries deployed themselves so that a company of striker Mechs, supported by a handful of special forces troops and two rag-tag battalions of motorized infantry, were always in the field. Though this was taxing, it kept the pressure on the Combine defenders, and the AFFS-supported freedom fighters began to slowly gain ground. The DCMS troops twice attempted daring maneuvers that could have dealt a serious blow to the attackers, but ultimately found out that even light and medium Mechs outclassed what armor they could put into the field. Thereafter, they fought a conservative defense, confident the DCMS would eventually send them reinforcements.
Tensions remained high on McComb throughout 3040’s. A significant portion of the worlds population, as well as the remnants of its Combine-trained militia, continued to be a thorn in the side of the Martian Cuirassiers and the insurgent forces they were supporting. The Combine supporters held the advantage in manpower, but the mercenaries fielded the only BattleMechs left on the world and thus held the edge.
It still took almost six years of intensive operations to put an end to most of the militant pro-Combine activity on the world, however. During that time, the mercenaries found themselves not only under the cloud of fighting a conventional war against a guerrilla opponent but also facing the threat of counterattack. Starting in August 3048, they began to receive some additional assistance from Robinson in the form of supplies and civilian relief and assistance workers, which went quite a long way toward winning over the worlds population.
It wasnt until the special forces team assigned to McComb captured the recognized heads of the pro-Combine underground in October 3048, however, that the frequency and intensity of the guerrilla strikes truly decreased. By December, the chief Civil Assistance Advisor, the head FedSuns bureaucrat detailed to the world, declared McComb pacified and began the process of officially bringing the world into the Federated Suns. The mercenaries remained on the world for another two years, however, assisting the planets new military governor in destroying the remaining pro-Combine rebel cells and training the planets militia.