The Nishr Taskforce was a unit of Alliance Special Forces assembled in 0 ABY for the Nishr Campaign, a series of battles fought on the planet Nishr during the Galactic Civil War. Consisting of three platoons of Wilderness Fighters and a single platoon of Pathfinders, the unit was commanded by Major Fisk Csino and styled as a light-armor company, employing numerous ground vehicles to keep the company on the move. Created in response to the forceful suppression of the native Nish by Imperial forces on Nishr, the Nishr Taskforce was assigned to harass the local garrison and encourage the local population to stage a guerrilla-style rebellion. Operating out of several hidden bases, the company—in concert with local forces from the Nishr Resistance—eliminated the Imperial garrison's mobile elements. This forced the Imperials to heavily defend their command base and effectively concede control of the countryside and plains to the Rebel force. As the campaign carried on, Major Csino's request for a unit of Infiltrator commandos to directly assault the garrison's command center was denied. Instead, the Alliance initiated Operation Shadowplay, designed to fool the Imperial planetary commander, Governor-General Vin Kollis, into thinking that the unit had been reinforced with Infiltrators, when in reality they had not been.
The Nishr Taskforce was formed in 0 ABY, shortly after the Battle of Yavin, in response to an Imperial crackdown on the planet Nishr in the Hunnoverrs sector of the Outer Rim Territories. The planet had been garrisoned by the Empire nineteen months before the Battle of Yavin, with Imperial forces establishing a central base and subjugating the local near-Human Nish. Although Governor-General Vin Kollis attempted to treat the Nish moderately, content to leave the population to their own devices as much as possible, abuse from the troops under his command—who were operating under standard occupation protocols—prompted the locals to attempt to drive the Imperials from Nishr. Kollis immediately ordered reprisal attacks, which resulted in the bombings of three major cities.
Up to that point, the Alliance to Restore the Republic had considered Nishr as a low priority, but the Suppression piqued their interest. An Alliance Intelligence team investigated the situation, and requested a Pathfinder reconnaissance of the planet. Reports from the recon team relayed the state of Imperial-Nish relations, and marked a dozen potential base sites. Alliance command decided that the planet was ideal for a guerrilla operation to encourage and support native resistance. Under the command of Major Fisk Csino, the Nishr Taskforce was assembled and inserted onto the planet three weeks after the Suppression. The company arrived via an orbital drop, which was covered by a number of T-65 X-wing starfighters. The X-wings engaged the local TIE starfighters assigned to the Imperial garrison, and wiped them out as the company made their landing, leaving the Imperial forces with no air support. Because of this, the light-armor force fielded by the Nishr Taskforce was able to match the garrison's complement.
The company's objective on Nishr was to constantly engage and harass the local Imperial forces in order to draw reinforcements to the planet, which in turn would weaken other Imperial positions in the Outer Rim. Due to the hastily conceived nature of the assignment, the initial mission orders were not thought through in great detail, but the Alliance committed to the deployment.
Major Csino established the company's main base at Base Site Seven, an abandoned test mine in the Lukhur Badlands, and deployed teams to properly scout the surrounding terrain. Once secured, Csino deployed the SpecOps mission group assigned to the Taskforce to make contact with the local Nish in the hopes of recruiting them into their campaign against the Empire. While some Nish were receptive and willing to assist the Rebels, the majority of the population feared the wrath of the Empire. Csino employed the Nishr Resistance to good effect, using them to draw out Imperial patrols, then ambushing them with his own forces. These tactics resulted in the elimination of almost the entire repulsorlift battalion assigned to the Imperial garrison.
With the loss of the Imperial's mobile element, the Nishr Taskforce effectively gained control of the planet's countryside. The Imperial forces retreated into the highlands surrounding their garrison, placing heavy guards on the passes. Csino requested a team of Infiltrator commandos to be dispatched to the planet to take the Imperial command center, but none were available at the time. The major instead used combined Wilderness/Pathfinder teams in night raids, staged from Base Site Ten, to knock out the Imperial heavy weapon hard points. As the campaign settled down into a war of attrition, the Alliance initiated Operation Shadowplay, which was intended to fool the Imperials into believing that the Nishr Taskforce had been reinforced with an Infiltrator platoon. A combat freighter skimmed through the atmosphere of Nishr, deploying forty gliders to the planet, weighed down with blocks of ice. The gliders, operating on auto-pilot, landed in a remote desert region of the planet. By the time Imperial scouts arrived at the location, the ice had melted, leaving the gliders alone. The gambit worked, leaving the Nishr Taskforce with a psychological advantage as the Imperial forces believed that the unit had been reinforced with Infiltrators.
Officially classed as a Wilderness company, the Nishr Taskforce comprised three Wilderness Fighter platoons and the Pathfinder platoon that originally scouted the planet in the wake of the Nishr Suppression. The task force was outfitted as a light-armor company, with one Wilderness platoon utilizing Freerunners, one platoon operating Ultra-Light Assault Vehicles, while the third consisted of repulsor-mobile infantry. The Pathfinder platoon was bike-mounted for extra mobility. The entire company was under the command of Major Fisk Csino, a Human male. A Wilderness Fighter, Csino was a veteran of a dozen campaigns in the Outer Rim Territories, and led the company from a Heavy Tracker combat assault vehicle.
Along with the combat forces, the Nishr Taskforce had several non-combat support elements attached to it to help the unit achieve its objectives and goals. A SpecOps mission group was assigned to the company, along with a Alliance Intelligence agent. Lieutenant Zast, a free-born Chev who had never endured the slavery common to his people, oversaw the daily operations at the unit's headquarters, while Captain Merqs presided over the company's medical contingent of two medics and a 2-1B surgical droid. The company also included a maintenance staff of repair techs and droids overseen by Sergeant Hoff.
The Nishr Taskforce maintained several bases on the surface of Nishr, although only three of them were in continuous operation. The main headquarters of the unit was designated Nishr Base Seven; when the original Pathfinder unit performed reconnaissance on the planet, they designated a dozen sites as potential bases, and numbered them in order of discovery, not importance. Base Seven was located in an abandoned mine in the Lukhur Badlands on the continent of Feldt, several hundred kilometers from the nearest center of Nish civilization. The base was the largest Alliance facility on the planet, and housed the company's vehicles and repair bays, main command center, medical station, and barracks.
Nishr Base Three was a concealed supply cache located in the middle of the Shirshir Desert. Stocked with water, greenery, supplies and a buried power station, members of the Nishr Taskforce used the base as a stopover point when conducting missions that required them to pass through the desert. Nishr Base Ten was a cave in the highlands, used to conduct surveillance on Imperial patrols moving through the passes en route to their garrison. As the Nishr Campaign wore on, the base became used as a staging area for night raids against the garrison's weapon emplacements.
In addition to the three active bases, there were several other sites designated for use as bases. Three of those chosen were designated primarily as fallback positions in case of Imperial reinforcements arriving on Nishr. However, if Alliance reinforcements were to be deployed to the planet, they would have several pre-selected base sites from which to set up in and stage their operations from.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Nishr Taskforce was created for Rules of Engagement: The Rebel SpecForce Handbook, a supplement for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game published in 1997 by West End Games. The unit was used as an example of the type of SpecForces units operating with the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War.