A Dragon’s Death Angel With a Gun

Back a few months ago, Jason Schmetzer asked me if I was interested in writing all of the upcoming TRO:3145 House Kurita entries.

Despite my self-imposed hiatus.

I took a couple days to think about it. In the end, I agreed for a couple reasons:

1. This TRO project is being written along the parameters born from a conversation with Jason several months ago. We wanted to bring back the ‘classic’ feel of the FASA-era technical readouts, such as the classic 3025, 2750, and 3050 tomes. The focus in those were on battles, history, and “can I replicate that encounter on the tabletop?” After a glut of TROs the last several years that focused more on the corporate and bureaucratic wrangling, it seemed like this was the best place to do it.

2. During this time, we also decided to challenge our writer pool. Who could follow directions? Who could turn in stuff on time? Who was capable of crafting great, compelling entries that didn’t use the word “design” or re-state the stat blocks in written form? If we were challenging them, then it was also up to Jason and I to put our money where our mouths were.

3. Entries like these are in the 500-750 word range. That’s about 45 min for me to crank out, something that I can do quite easily during my lunch hour or while my wife does normal garden maintenance in the evening.

4. I needed a modern House Kurita fix. After letting Geoff Swift take the reigns for a while after the Jihad, I needed to infuse some old-school Combine combat honor into the Dark Age.

So after a few weeks – and a nice helpful assist from Jason when I got hit with an unexpected video project at work – the TRO:3145 Draconis Combine was written, reviewed, edited, and drawn. It’s the next in line to release as a PDF, with several entries finding their way into the printed TRO later this year. The primary focus for the battle histories in this TRO (and in the upcoming FedSuns one) is the Combine invasion of the Federated Suns, and was an absolute blast to forge.

There are two units in particular I absolutely loved. I didn’t craft the stats for any of these – that hard work was a project unto itself, headed by Jan Prowell (owner of warrenborn.com), Patrick Wynne (MWDA automaton), and Johannes Heidler, among several others. But I fell in love with the Kamakiri (and its Shi variant) and the Tenshi.

Thought I’d share a little about the Tenshi (which means ‘angel’ in Romanized Japanese), to stoke the fires of fans of House Kurita…


The first Tenshis were assigned to the Ghost Regiments. The DCMS believed that if the Tenshi proved to be a tactical failure—much as the Daboku nearly a century before—it would be confined to the  more “honorless” regiments. Ghost pilots embraced the new OmniMech and quickly realized its battlefield potential. In 3103, the First Ghost dropped two lances of Tenshis on Grumium in the Ghost Bear Dominion in a fast raiding action to seize a large weapons stockpile. Chu-i Albert Olmstead led his Tenshis straight to their target, blasting through a Striker Star before being stopped cold by a Dominion Nova from the First Freeman Cluster. Olmstead challenged the Bear commander to a Trial of Possession and was refused; the Ghosts were then surrounded by the Bears. Using their massed firepower, the Tenshis moved from target to target, cutting down Clan ’Mechs in short order as they shrugged off the Bears’ return fire. Six of the eight Tenshis met their DropShip at the facility and several hundred tons of Clan technology was claimed for the Dragon.

The assault company of the Sixteenth Galedon Regulars is comprised entirely of Tenshis, all at the request of Tai-i Michelle Taharski. The Wall, as the company is unofficially known, was responsible for the mass destruction of the capital city of Kirstie on Rowe. Taharski configured all of her Tenshis with as many  destructive weapons as possible. When the Wall moved on Kirstie, they were opposed by a regiment of planetary militia. The gaggle of Davion infantry and vehicles was no match for the twelve assault ’Mechs. After making short work of the militia, the company set about destroying more than three-fourths of the city.

Notable Units

Tai-i Michelle Taharski: Orphaned at a young age by to a Davion raid on her homeworld of Capra, Taharski has nurtured a fiery hate against all things Davion. Pragmatic about her future advancement within the Sixteenth, the tai-i has made the most of her position as company commander. That her request for an entire company of Tenshis was accepted by the Regulars’ command and the Procurement Department was unexpected but gratefully received.

Her hatred of the Federated Suns—and the Sandoval family in particular—came to the forefront when the Sixteenth was reassigned to the border of the Draconis March. She is methodical and somewhat predictable in her tactics. Those few who joke that the tai-i must be Lyran due to her LCAF-like approach to tactics find themselves nursing broken bones or suffering a mild concussion.

The Tenshi, by Justin Nelson.
The Tenshi, by Justin Nelson.

12 thoughts on “A Dragon’s Death Angel With a Gun

    1. Looks Miniaturized is the key word, I gather this baby is in the 85-95 ton range? Still Sphereoid pseudo-daishi is one of those things I have ALWAYS wanted.

  1. I’ve only been through a few units, but this is looking good. Now I just hope the AFFS one is as good.

  2. Love the idea of the “classic” approach to writing the entries to the TRO. The entries from the old TROs 2750, 3025 and 3050 imparted just as much of a perception of the game universe as the sourcebooks did. In some cases, I would say their effect was even more profound in many cases; the entries are limited, so reader imagination must inform them a little more than for a sourcebook (always get the reader to do some work, too). But because the reader then engages the work more, I think the ideas and details tend to stick in a little bit more with them.

    1. Yeah, that’s exactly part of the approach we wanted. A suggestion we give to the assigned writers is to make these battles intriguing enough that the reader will want to break out their stuff and attempt to recreate it on the table. I know way back in the day, that’s exactly what my former group used to do.

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