The warrior clans of Mandalore were believed to have been wiped out ages ago, their tattered remnants exiled to the Concordia moon. But as the Clone Wars swept the galaxy, the treacherous governor Pre Vizsla resurrected the Mandalorians, and with them, their legendary combat armor that was feared across the galaxy. Backed by Count Dooku and the Separatists, Vizsla began building an army to retake Mandalore from the control of pacifists who were trying to bury violent Mandalore's past. As the coup became inopportune, Dooku abandoned the Death Watch. The warriors wandered the galaxy for a time, then helped conquer Mandalore as part of Darth Maul’s Shadow Collective. Maul then became Death Watch’s leader when he killed Pre Vizsla
During the Clone Wars, Pre Vizsla served as governor of Concordia, a moon of Mandalore, and appeared to be a close ally of Duchess Satine Kryze. But Vizsla had another, secret life: he was the leader of Death Watch, a hidden group of Mandalorian commandos seeking control of their planet. In truth, Vizsla despised Satine’s pacifist beliefs and longed to restore Mandalore’s warrior heritage. To accomplish this goal, he formed several alliances with nefarious parties that ultimately led to his end.
Part of Pre Vizsla's arsenal were Gauntlet starfighters -- sleek combat ships that also served as troop transports. A Gauntlet has a sleek primary hull flanked by large pivoting wings that contain the ship's drives. The wings are on a collared mount, which can rotate independently from the hull, offering the ship remarkable maneuverability for a ship of its size. Within the hull is a drop-seat bay where 24 armored Death Watch troopers can egress via jetpack as the Gauntlet provides air support. The ship is armed with two forward laser cannons, and a pair of rearward facing cannons that flank its boarding tube.
The leader of Mandalore during the Clone Wars, Duchess Satine of Kalevala was a controversial figure. She longed to move Mandalore beyond its violent past and instituted a government that valued pacifism. Though Mandalore did begin to rebuild under her guidance, the dark shadow of the Clone Wars made the Duchess' goals difficult to achieve.
As Prime Minister of Mandalore during the Clone Wars, Almec claimed loyalty to Duchess Satine Kryze and her controversial campaign of neutrality and pacifism. Almec saw Mandalore's violent past as shameful, and feared that the return of the armored warriors of Death Watch would be unstoppable. Though Almec loudly said that he valued the sanctity of Mandalorians above all else, his politician's grin and careful words concealed a different agenda. He helped establish a profitable black-market network that brought goods to Mandalore, looking the other way when tainted goods caused the deaths of Mandalorian children. When his smugglers’ ties were discovered, Almec tried to overthrow Satine, only to wind up in prison himself. He was freed by Darth Maul, who installed him as a puppet leader of the planet.