The planet of Arachane IV is a high gravity rock lacking atmosphere, which attracted human generation ship colonists due to it’s tremendous mineral resources. They were able to sell their wares to colonist of the habitable planets and moons of the teaming system even before the great powers developed warpgates and began to make contact with humanity’s ‘prodigal empires’.
The highly volcanically active planet has incredible rough terrain and when the original domed colonies began to fall out over mining rights the usual options of wheeled or hovercraft armoured fighting vehicles wouldn’t work. As a result the colonies put their resources into 6-8m bipedal battle machines (‘Mechs) piloted by a single pilot (their numbers being small.) Eventually the need for cybernetic linkage to the machines and genetic refinement led to a leadership-warrior caste of women.
When broader contact with wide humanity occurred one faction the Bree where backed by the Niptish Empire and consolidated power on the planet. The defeated houses where offered the choice of death or renouncing their titles and being allowed to leave the planet with their retainers and mechs. Three houses left and faced with penury decided to set themselves up as a mercenary company.
The Iron lady’s mecha are impressive but due to their high ground clearance vulnerable to more conventional armoured fighting vehicles and air strikes. As a result they tend to look for contracts where the opponents lack such weapons. Often a worried dictator will hire them for a couple of weeks to stride around his palace looking threatening to deter dissent. Since leaving Arachane IV they have purchased supporting assets to try and help suppress the units that can easily knock out the mecha . Three Houses make up the Iron Ladys House Martin
Head: Her Grace Margret , Duchess of New Grantham – nominal commander of the Company and likes to think she rules with an iron first but often has to cajole and placate her fellow noblewomen.
Arms: A portly man with a sailors cap and white beard surrounded by abundant and varied food on a green background.
Colours: Red, white and blue.
Forces: 5 Mecha piloted by Her Grace and relatives. Each is the centre of a ‘Lance’ which includes a single hovercrafts equipped with Anti-Aircraft (AA)guns, Anti-Tank weapons and automatic mortars respectively. Another 3 hovercraft per lance carries household guards (the ‘Martin Musketeers’ one squad of which are in power armour.)
Head: Her Grace Edwina, Viscountess of Chinely – ambitious and impatient with Catherine like appetites and also a little sneaky. Stongly favours garnering foreign support to take back Arachane IV.
Arms: A Pipe sinister, A Lion Rampant and a Glowing red eye centre and top on a blue background.
Colours: Green and Red.
Forces: 4 Mecha piloted by Her Grace and relatives. Each is the centre of a ‘Lance’ which includes a AA gun carrying hover craft, AT weapon carrying hovercraft, a pair of automatic mortars towed by ‘jeeps’ and truck carrying household guards(the ‘Chinely Carabineers’ one squad of which are in power armour.)
Head: Lady Theresa, Baroness Maidenhead, outspoken, short tempered and prone to seek fault in underlings.
Arms: A Black sombrero pierced by a golden sword on a white background.
Colours: Black, gold and white.
Forces: 3 Mecha piloted by Her Grace and daughters. Each is the centre of a ‘Lance’ which includes a AA gun carrying hover craft, AT weapon carrying hovercraft, a automatic mortar towed by a jeep and truck carrying household guards (the ‘Howard Huscarls’ the commander of which is in power armour.) Depending on the battle the supporting elements of the lance may be grouped together and operate as separate commands. In terms of quality the Mecha pilots are excellent as warriors trained by birth, the supporting elements are out of their comfort zones as on the homeworld they were glorified guards and often ‘cock up or bottle it’ to quote Lady Theresa .
Uniforms are in the Archane fashion – that is cod-Elizabethan dress in modern materials in house colours. This comic-opera appearance often results in mocking and then brawling between the Iron Ladys troops and allies in safe areas. Which is dangerous as fencing, in a swashbuckling two handed renaissance style, is a favoured sport on Arachane IV and so noble ladys and enlisted men wear swords and off hands weapons wherever possible as well as service pistols. (Yes this is highly impractable for a mechanised force travelling in the close confines of vehicles, the Iron Ladys do not seem to care…)
The Company is hunted by agents of NUNCLE (the National Undercover Network of Clandestine Law Enforcement) the spy and assassination bureau of the Bree Regime on the homeworld., who attempt to sabotage their operations – often with Niptish Empire help.