The best and brightest, the kind that could operate a Mahavir mech, at the time were not very likely to join the military. The hyper-capitalist economy of the Empire offered plenty of opportunities to such people that far outclassed the prestige of the military. Maharaja Ranjit established the Mahavir Sena (Mahavir Legions). The Sena worked differently from the traditional military. While the traditional rank systems applied, anyone who became a Mahavir pilot started off at a much higher rank than the traditional military usually allowed. Moreover, the Mahavir Sena did not follow the strict traditional military lifestyle. Many rules were relaxed in favor of recruiting the best and brightest. The Maharaja also instituted much higher pay and benefits for Mahavir pilots. Finally, there was the allure of caste. A Mahavir pilot was guaranteed enough nobility and money to have the market influence to be a Kshatriya.
Over 4 years, Maharaja Ranjit personally oversaw the creation of the training academy, entrance exams, and Senaien (Legions) of Mahavir mechs. By 2975, the Mahavir Dal (Mahavir Corps) had been established. The first recruits had completed training and were now officially combat ready. However, the Mahavir legions would not see combat for at least another 4 years.
In 2979, the Mahavir saw its first taste of action in Eastern Arika, during the Ywald-Kaldistan War. It became immediately apparent that the Mahavir excelled at its role of a walking tank. There were, of course, improvements needed, which were made in the subsequent Mahavir lead operations in the 2980s.
Interestingly enough, while there is a “standard” Mahavir mech that KMS manufactures and ships to the Imperial military, there is no agreed upon standard set of tactics or equipment for these mechs. The standards vary from each sena (legion) and even for each individual, depending on which legion one examines. Generally, Mahavir mechs usually have some form of ranged weaponry, equipped with a close combat weapon, jump jet rockets on the back and on the legs, and some sort of back mounted system, such as rocket pods, deployable recon drones, jamming systems, Close In Weapons Systems (CIWS), extra munitions pods, or external rocket boosters/wings. Each Mahavir also has some sort of wrist mounted system, which can be flame throwers, missiles, guns, or more external rocket mounts. Each sena adopts different configurations for different tactics and roles.
Today, the Mahavir Sena is composed of a total of 10 individual sena (legions). Each sena was established by a man whom the general forces of the market had deemed worthy of such an endeavor. To be deemed by the market as worthy of establishing a sena meant that one must have demonstrated technical and military prowess. In the Empire, the market was a hyper efficient force capable of making the most optimal decisions for a variety of things, so although it may seem strange that the decision to found a legion of mechanized infantry is being made by the market, one must also remember just how far reaching the market is in Imperial society.. Each sena had its own defining characteristics, traditions, culture, and even rules. The first Mahavir sena was the Somrajic Sena (Imperial Legion), founded by the Maharaja himself. The Somrajic Sena is perhaps the most plain of all the Imperial legions. They are solely characterized by being the oldest Mahavir sena in the Empire and their almost fanatical loyalty to the Maharaja. The Somrajic Sena is known for adopting very little specialized load outs for their mechs and instead follows an almost identical template for each mech which can be adapted for a number of situations. Somrajic Sena tactics tend to be very straightforward. One could even say that simplicity is what Somrajic Sena values the most.
The second oldest sena in the Empire is the Vayuputra Sena (literally, Sons of the Wind Legion), founded by Vijay Kumar Singh. Vayuputra is known for its devotion to Hanuman, known to outsiders as the Monkey God, the devotee of Rama, whose tremendous strength and loyalty are the displayed of the ancient epic, the Ramayana. Vayuputra Sena is the only legion where one can find Mahavirs equipped with the gada (mace) as a close combat weapon. Vayuputra is also known for its war cry “Jai Bajrang Bali”, among other practices associated with Hanuman. Vayuputra, in stark contrast to the Somrajic Sena, does not use any standard template for its Mahavir mechs. Rather, Vayuputra has role specialized squads of 4 mechs, with each mech in the squad equipped with a specialized load out. Vayuputra’s senapati (general/commander) then uses each of these squads, depending on their specializations, in different tactical roles on the battlefield.
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Part 3 of this series is coming soon!