House Steiner (Lyran Alliance)
- Current Ruler: Archon Katrina Steiner
- Founding Year: 2341
- Capital (City, World): Tharkad
- National Symbol:
- Location (Terra relative):
- Total (Inhabited) Systems: 354
- Estimated Population:
- Dominant Language(s):
- Dominant Religion(s):
- Military: Lyran Alliance Armed Forces (LAAF)
Previously seen as the most inept militaries of the Inner Sphere the Lyran Alliance Armed Forces (LAAF, which many have pointed out can be pronounced as “laugh”) – recently streamlined, reorganized and eager to prove its mettle – faces the thirty-first century confident of its strength and itching to reclaim a prominence diminished by territorial losses. Combat was a trial by fire for the Lyran armed forces, which had long struggled to develop an officer corps worthy of its rank-and-file talent. Lyran units that survived encounters learned to value competence on the battlefield over social or political position in a way their predecessors rarely achieved.
As the military arm of House Steiner’s wealthy mercantile empire, the Lyran army has always been among the best equipped and trained of the Successor State militaries. From planetary garrisons to elite line regiments, the average Steiner MechWarrior is more likely than his counterparts to pilot the best ‘Mech money can buy, and to benefit from excellent instructors drawn to Steiner-sponsored military academies by impressively high salaries. Spare parts are rarely a problem, thanks to the efforts of the well-endowed Quartermaster and Replacement Depot Corps. In addition, the Steiner military is the only one in the Inner Sphere with a set of troops dedicated to testing and development of new military machines in concert with the still-sizable Alliance military-industrial complex. It was simply the ineptness of it’s former commanders, many of whom were appointed through politics rather than ability, that previously held back the LAAF – a situation that the Archon is beginning to rapidly change.
Like House Davion, with whom it has allied during the Fourth Succession War, House Steiner and its military see themselves primarily as guardians of their people’s prosperity. A soldier of House Steiner knows that the peace of his realm and the material welfare of his fellow citizens rests as much on his ability to fight off enemies as on the typical Lyran merchant’s skill for striking deals. Unlike the Davions, however, the warriors of House Steiner harbor no delusions of being bearers of righteousness throughout the Inner Sphere. The typical Steiner soldier will defend his people and their way of life to the death if necessary, but won’t go out of his way to export it beyond Lyran borders. Offensive military action, in House Steiner’s terms, must offer a chance to enrich the realm before it can truly be said to serve Lyran interests. Whatever keeps House Steiner and the Lyran nation prosperous is a cause for which a Steiner warrior will gladly fight.
The Steiner-Davion alliance, cemented by the marriage of the two ruling families in 3028, greatly benefited the Lyran military. Exposure to House Davion’s supremely competent higher-level officers gave new impetus to Lyran efforts to remove the so-called social generals: superior officers given command through social and political connections rather than on merit. The reassignment or retirement of large numbers of these less-than-sterling commanders left their positions to be filled by genuinely talented personnel, eliminating much of the dead weight that had previously kept many Steiner units from their full combat potential. The LAAF also adopted the Regimental Combat Team, adapting that unit structure and its underlying combined-arms doctrine to fit Lyran needs. Davion-style RCTs currently make up a rough third of the LAAF’s line units, with the rest divided between standard BattleMech regiments, aerospace assets, armor and infantry.
One element of the Steiner military that sets it apart from its fellow Great Houses is its willingness to use mercenary troops. Though every Successor State hires at least some merc units, House Steiner has historically relied on far greater numbers of them to defend itself. Given their own long history as merchant princes, the scions of House Steiner tend to regard mercenary units as fellow businessmen rather than potential traitors for sale to the highest bidder. They pay and equip their hired guns extremely well, with little of the price-gouging and other gamesmanship in which the other Great Houses frequently indulge. With the instinctive Steiner feel for a sharp bargain, the Lyran military exercises tight control over command rights in exchange for this material bounty.
The LAAF retains the command structure of the old Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces, reflecting House Steiner’s deep love for tradition. Almost every Lyran unit feels a similar pride in its own combat history. New recruits to the Second Donegal Guards still hear stories about that long-lived unit’s descent from the Eleventh Terran Rangers and its exploits in such major epics of Lyran military history. Even planetary militias like the Penobscot CTM, with far less combat experience than front-line commands, take immense pride in the action they have seen and the abilities of their members. A lingering reputation as bunglers in the eyes of outsiders — a legacy of the social generals’ influence — only intensifies the average Lyran soldier’s regard for his unit. Whatever their level of service, the warriors of House Steiner take a back seat to none in their willingness to prove their combat skills for the good of their nation and the honor of their leaders.