In October 3067, a war began that unleashed horrors upon the Great
Houses, atrocities thought abandoned with the First Succession War. And
for the mercenaries of the Inner Sphere, this war has far-reaching
consequences. With the heart and soul of the mercenary trade annihilated on
Outreach, the reliability of every mercenary command is called into question.
Some Houses now consider their most stalwart work-for-hire commands as
enemies, and mercenaries, from the elite to the dregs, are fighting for their lives …
and more importantly, their reputations.
Classic BattleTech Mercenaries Supplemental Update™
details the fallout of the opening years of the Jihad and
its impact on mercenaries. This product updates all
major mercenary commands currently
embroiled in the Jihad, covers the various
Hiring Halls, and provides details on brand-
new mercenary commands springing up
from the remains of commands
shattered in the opening years of the
Jihad. Mercenaries Supplemental
includes rules for running
during this era and a
©2006 WizKids, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Mercenaries Supplemental Update, Classic BattleTech, BattleTech, Classic
BattleTech RPG, BattleMech, ’Mech, MechWarrior, and WK Games are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of
WizKids, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
TABLE OF CONTENTS Khasparov’s Knights 76
Killer Bees 77
PAYING DUES 4 Kirkpatrick’s invaders 78
INTRODUCTION 8 Knights of St. Cameron 79
MERCENARIES OF THE JIHAD 10 Kraken Unleashed 80
The Krushers 81
The Word’s Shell Game 10 Langendorf Lancers 82
Langford Wraiths 83
Chaos Unleashed 10 Legion of the Rising Sun 84
Lethal Injection 85
Mercs Under Fire 13 Lexington Combat Group 86
Lone Star Regiment 87
Crisis of Faith 16 Lone Wolves 88
Longwood’s Bluecoats 89
Age of Uncertainty 19 Medusans 90
FORCE BRIEFS UPDATES 23 Narhal’s Raiders 91
24 O’Gordon’s Rifles 92
The 48th 25 One-Eyed Jacks 93
The Arcadians 26 Pandora’s Box 94
Avanti’s Angels 27 Periphery Star Guard 95
Bad Dream 28 Prey’s Divisionals 96
Bannockburn’s Bandits 29 Raging Horde 97
Barrett’s Fusiliers 30 Raymond’s Redcoats 98
The Battle Corps 31 Redfield’s Renegades 99
Black Angus Boys 32 Reed’s Brew 100
Black Cats 33 Romanov’s Crusaders 101
Black Heart Roses 34 Rubinsky’s Light horse 102
Blackhearts 35 Rubinsky’s Renegades 103
Blackstone Highlanders 36 Sathen’s Snipers 104
Blanc’s Coyotes 37 Screaming Eagles 105
Brion’s Legion 38 Simonson’s Cutthroats 106
Burr’s Black Cobras 39 Skibinski’s Salvage 107
Camacho’s Caballeros 40 Snord’s Irregulars 108
Canned Heat 41 Star Seeds 109
21st Centauri Lancers 42 Summer’s Storm 110
Chaos Irregulars 43 Thor’s Hammers 111
Clean Kill 44 The Thumpers 112
Clifton’s Rangers 45 Tooth of Ymir 113
Crater Cobras 46 Vandelay’s Valkyries 114
Crimson Crusaders 47 Vanguard Legion 115
Cuningham’s Commandos 48 12th Vegan Rangers 116
Dante’s Detectives 49 Wannamaker’s Widowmakers 117
Devil’s Brigade 50 Wilson’s Hussars 118
Dioscuri 51 Winfield’s Regiment 119
Dragonslayers 52 Wolf’s Dragoons 120
Federated Freemen 53 MERCENARY COMMANDS 121
Fighting Intellectuals 54 MERCENARY RULES ANNEX 128
The Furies 55 129
Golden Boys 56 New Creation/Operations Era: Jihad
Gordon’s Armored Cavalry 57 129
Grave Walkers 58 Employers in the Jihad
Green Machine 59 130
Green Mountain Boys 60 New Employers
Greenburg’s Godzillas 61 131
Gregg’s Long Striders 62 New Mission Type: Bounty Hunting
Griffin’s Pride 63 132
Group W 64 Dependents
Hampton’s Hessens 65 133
Hansen’s Roughriders 66 Housing and Base-Building
Harcourt’s Destructors 67 137
Harlock’s warriors 68 Replacement Equipment Expansions
Head Hunters 69 141
Heart of Blake 70 Selling Out
HeavyHell Raisers 71 142
Hell’s Black Aces 72 Miscellaneous Personnel Rules 144
Hsien Hotheads 73 NEW UNITS 144
Illician Lancers 74 145
Jacob’s Juggernauts 75 Crow scout VTOL 147
Kell Hounds Saxon APC 148
O-66 “Oppie” Hazmat Recovery Vehicle 150
V4-lNT-K7 Valiant 152
HYN-4A Hyena SalvageMech 154
Herbert A. Beas II
Paying Dues To the writers, playtesters, fact-checkers, and fans—as always.
Nick “Gunslinger” Marsala
To Randall Bills for letting me have just one more Mercs book. I
Additional Writing: Mercenary Force Briefs would also like to thank the following on-line personalities who
Randall N. Bills answered the call for rules expansion ideas: “97jedi”, “Adept
Loren L. Coleman Dave Baughman”, “Aezar”, “Alain Dumont”, “aser”, “Boilerman”,
Warner Doles “Boxcars”, “Brainburner”, “Cypher226”, “drae”, “Goose”, “GRUD”,
Chris Hartford “Hoover28”, “HunterADA”, “Impaler”, “Jal Phoenix”, “jeyar”, “Khan
Ken’ Horner Mallan”, “klingon”, “Kojak”, “munniec”, “PurpleDragon”,
Kevin Killiany “Sellsword”, “shipmonkey”, “sitTinG dUck”, “Takiro”,
Camille Klein “TeamNutmeg”, “Wendelboe”, and “Werewolf”. Even if the ideas
Nick “Gunslinger” Marsala weren’t used, thanks to you guys for providing the input when
David L. McCulloch asked—especially those of you who actually made it one of the
Ben Rome only post or two you ever did…
David Stansel-Garner As always, a huge thanks to the “home support” team: the
Christoffer “Bones” Trossen ever-distracting Rebecca “Beckie” Beas, and the Herblet Four
Øystein Tvedten (Annie, Oscar, Merlin, and Meggie)
Andreas Zuber Finally to the proof checkers: Rich Cencarik, Jeff Morgan,
Herbert A. Beas II Playtesters and Fact-Checkers
Ken’ Horner Brian Alter, Raymond Arrastia, Daniel M. Ball, Ron “Steel
David L. McCulloch
Ben Rome Hawke” Barter, Dave Baughman, Paul “Blackhorse” Bowman,
Rich Cencarik, Brent Dill, Bruce Ford, Aaron Gregory, John
Product Development “Worktroll” Haward, John “Bluesman” Hudson, Peter La Casse,
Herbert A. Beas II Rodney Klatt, Edward “TenakaFurey” Lafferty, Edward Lott, Mike
Miller, Darrell “Flailing Death” Myers, Louis “Nukeloader” Myers,
Product Editing Nathaniel Olsen, Aaron Pollyea, “Medron Pryde”, Rick Raisley, K.
Jason Hardy Searls, Joel Steverson, Rob Strathmann, Geoff Swift, Bruce “Tel
Hazen” Terren, Roland “Ruger” Thigpen, Chris “Chinless”
BattleTech Line Developer Wheeler, Charles “IronSphinx” Wilson
Randall N. Bills
©2006 WizKids Inc. All Rights Reserved. Mercenaries
Production Staff Supplemental Update, Classic BattleTech, BattleTech, ’Mech,
Art Direction BattleMech, Classic BattleTech RPG, AeroTech 2, BattleForce 2
and WK Games are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of
Randall N. Bills WizKids, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. No part
Cover Art of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior per-
Michael Komarck mission in writing of the Copyright Owner, nor be otherwise cir-
Cover Design culated in any form other than that in which it is published.
Version 1.0 (June 2006).
Layout Published by FanPro LLC • 1608 N. Milwaukee • Suite 1005 •
Chicago, IL 60647
Illustrations Find us online:
[email protected] (e-mail address for
Robert Atkinson any Classic BattleTech questions)
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http://www.fanpro.com (FanPro web pages)
MechWarrior web pages)
http://www.wizkidsgames.com (WizKids web pages)
http://www.studio2publishing.com (online ordering, sales and
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
Over Franco City worked too well; soon Blakist interceptors were swarming his
Liao, Capellan Confederation fighters as they made their attack runs.
2 November 3069
Desperate to keep the pressure up since the ships first
Perspiration seeped into one of his eyes, stinging it shut appeared on airspace radar, Hohiru started rotating his wings.
while his bones and muscles cramped up from the punishment Two would engage in space—and, later, in the air—while the third
of so many high-gee maneuvers over the last five hours. His would return for a fast refuel and reload. But now, so close above
mouth was dry and tasted of bile, but Colonel Hohiru Tanaga the city, the massive air battle crisscrossed the skies with an
pushed on. This was the apocalypse so far as he was concerned, intense pattern of laser bolts, tracers, and missile streaks—so
but as he squeezed his trigger—sending a dozen missiles close, so bloody, that soon his fighters were launching with less
screaming into a bone-white Zero with a magnificent explosion— than their full loads. All just to keep the tide from turning. The last
he realized that he’d stopped caring a long time ago. line of defense.
Thank the heavens for Streaks, he thought, or I’d be running Yet despite the weariness, despite the heat, despite the pain
on pulses by now. It was his third launch into the same battle and the stress, Hohiru was home. Inside his sweat-soaked flight
today. In the last reload cycle, he had passed on ammunition for suit, encased in a venerable Slayer, he felt more at ease than he
an extra ton of fuel. Given a missile system designed for ammo ever could on the ground. To him, “Ronin” was sanctuary, the only
conservation, he was thankful for his choice. one he ever knew. Ronin had been his father’s fighter; and before
that, his grandfather’s. Passing down BattleMechs and aerospace
Despite three sorties, the Blakist fleet had managed to form fighters was a dying tradition nowadays; the last twenty years of
an orbital perimeter around the remaining troop transports and advanced production and new and improved designs made sure
began to hot-drop their BattleMechs into the spaceport, aiming of that. But Hohiru could not bear to part with Ronin; an upgrade
at a beachhead. Their initial thrust against the perimeter had with captured Clan technology was one thing—but accepting one
been handily repulsed by Tanaga’s Black Aces, leaving only the of their captured OmniFighters was treason to his heritage.
falling ’Mechs for his pilots to concentrate on. The adjustment
With a happy bleep, Hohiru’s targeting console picked up a
new target, a blinking red dot at twelve o’clock, and he allowed
We got cocky. All of us did.
And this was our judgment for it. Our dues, payable upon receipt, payable in blood. No exceptions. Sure, we always talk about
having paid our dues to get where we are, but nobody ever realizes that we only count from where we started, that we never
count all we’d done after we got here. None of us have, not even the best of us. How could we?
At a certain point, perhaps after the Fourth War, it became fashionable to be a mercenary. It became cool. Everyone and
their mother started up an outfit. CEOs, nobles, movie stars—they all thought it was a shortcut to having it all. Hell, I heard even
some of those Clanner toads, the “trueborn” two-point-five-meter-tall mountains of flesh, started up a unit. Imagine that—those
who used to call us scum of the universe, lower than the dog shit on the bottom of their boots. Those who used to brag about
their genetic heritage, their rituals, their caste system, all so much better than anything we could ever aspire to. Even they want-
ed in on the merc action.
And in all of the glory and the merc-bunnies, the Inner Sphere just kind of forgot what most of us really are: hired guns who
care more about themselves than some abstract principle. How easy it was for us to ignore when we got free dinners at the promi-
nent restaurants. Doesn’t matter if the merc’s an A-rated regiment, or if they’re a level-D company of ex-cons on the lam from
another House—if the unit name or patch gets known, the guns go to the head of the line.
It finally took those damn Blakists to show everyone what we really are at our core. They threw some money around, and
look at how many units jumped on their bandwagon. Where the hell are those high-and-mighty Northwind Highlanders now?
Yeah, they may claim blockade, but did they call us or the Medusans to come help break it so they can get into the fight? Oh, no!
They sit there in the comfort of their homeworld, probably counting the interest they earned from some Blakey’s hush funds while
Outreach burned. Hell, and Outreach! I lost count how many of those supposed “Allied” Merc Command units and wannabes
switched sides once the shooting started in Harlech.
Nobody should have been surprised. Wave a few bills in front of us, and we’ll all dance the puppet dance we rehearse so
well for you, mouth your arguments, pretend we care about your little crusade. All just to get our grubby hands on a sweaty wad
of cash. Even those who aren’t working for the Blakists are showing just how dirty they can be by jumping borders, switching
sides; I even heard some guys even started throwing nukes back at some Periphery guerrillas.
Yes, it was a matter of time before our illusion of nobility was shattered.
Only a matter of time before we all had to pay up.
—From the personal journal of Colonel Hohiru “Great Wyrm” Tanaga, 18 August 3069
himself a predatory grin. Another Blakie ’Mech cocoon streaking boisterous chatter from earlier worn away by four hours of con-
into the atmosphere. Even with Blakist fighters sweeping that stant fighting. Over the din, the cautionary buzz of his low-fuel
particular swath of sky, the temptation was too great to pass up. warning was harder to ignore. Hohiru frowned.
Hohiru climbed upward and opened up his throttle to close faster. Need to land soon, but not without relief.
The cocoon fragmented before he could get within range, flakes “Dark Wing,” he barked, willing his voice not to crack, “report!
of glowing We need you up
ceramic peeling here!”
away, trying to Hohiru silently
confuse him, and prayed for a
revealing the response, even if it
humanoid was bad news. At
Wyvern within. least then he’d know
Bent over as it someone was still
descended, its around.
upper torso “Sorry, Ace Actual,”
weight balanced Major Windgate’s
out the jump jets’ voice finally crackled
tendency to flip back. “A white whale
the machine onto dropped a load on us
its back. But and wrecked the
unfortunately for take-offs. We’re
the MechWarrior diverting to another
within, the profile strip, but it’s adding
made him easy time. ETA five min-
prey for Hohiru’s utes.”
Slayer. Thumbing Five minutes and
the triggers, he I’ll be a glider, Hohiru
sliced easily into thought.
the ’Mech’s torso “Hell, Dodge is
with the energy way too hot. We can’t
darts of his pulse keep this up forever
lasers. The Ace Actual.” Captain
Blakist Bai called out, as if
MechWarrior reading his mind.
struggled to keep One of the older
his bulky members, Bai was
machine bal- part of the small
anced, demon- group who resisted
strating his skill the call to return to
simply by main- the CCAF. “We need
taining control. to pull out; every sec-
But when Hohiru added in a volley of Clan medium lasers and tion of armor on my bird is stripped and I’m leaking fuel like a
missiles, the Wyvern finally toppled in mid-air, flipping end over sieve. Requesting order for Clause Black.” Silence suddenly fell
end as it plummeted, flailing, to the ground. heavy all around like a dead weight, eerie in its own way. Save
An angry alarm wailed at Hohiru as he short past the for a few emergency calls, the entire channel had become quiet,
Wyvern’s trail of smoke, warning of multiple target locks. On the awaiting Hohiru’s response.
display, he caught the motion on his six; two Blakie fighters, Clause Black. The emergency clause in all their contracts
eager to avenge the fallen groundpounder. Hohiru grunted; a where the Hell’s Black Aces could decide to retreat not only from
lucky shot had taken out his wingman during a strafing run over the skirmish, but from the system as a whole. And all responsi-
an hour ago. There was no one to cover him now. bility. All Aces knew about Black. If broadcast now, their war
Hohiru slammed his throttle all the way, pouring on the would be done; they would grab all they could, bug out to the
speed to get some distance as hostile tracers and the pulse of transports, immediately abandon Liao and live to fight another
laser bolts flew past his canopy. Fearing a trap, the Blakists gave day. Clause Black was the ultimate admission that they were
up the chase as he tore away from the drop zone. Hohiru beaten.
released a sigh of relief, then mulled his options. How easy it would be to leave now, Hohiru thought to him-
Turning Ronin around, Hohiru swung back toward the battle. self. No one could blame us, or even stop us. The birds in the air
The radio chatter was a low drone now of clipped commands, the should have enough fuel to cover the airstrip while the Droppers
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
land and load up. The Blakies sure wouldn’t pursue; they’d be too sight, artfully dodging the autocannon tracers from a pair of
busy consolidating. Blackjacks. Hohiru heard the roar of dozens of missiles fired by
a distant LRM carrier, and he silently cheered the answering
“Ace Actual, I say again, requesting broadcast of Clause explosion, hoping that at least one of the Blakist fighters
Black” splashed as he reached out to support Weis. He stared at the
wound for a moment, realizing that if it were a few more cen-
How easy it could be… timeters higher it would have killed the Sang-shao instantly. Weis’
gaze met his.
“I know this won’t succeed,” Hohiru blurted out. “But it will
Time is what we need. More time. Hohiru thought to himself. give your men a fighting chance. This is us paying our dues for
But we’re out of that now, aren’t we? The chief technician need- all the years of living the easy life. We’re with you, to the bloody
ed a confirmation and needed it now. bitter end. We have to be.”
“That’s right, only two-thirds full. We aren’t going into deep Weis, grimacing, still managed to look puzzled. “But your
space, and I need as many birds in the sky as possible. Send the contract—“
re-arm trucks to the strike fighters. Skip any who can go without
reloads, mine included.” “Our contract and any legitimate escape clauses are irrele-
vant,” Hohiru snapped. “We all heard about Victoria. We can’t go
The Colonel paused for a second to make sure the chief anywhere else. Nobody’s going to trust mercs anymore. Too
understood the order, and noticed a soldier who looked lost. The many ship-jumpers joined these fanatics. If we leave here like
suit was much too bulky for the tech staff or security team, and cowards, nobody’ll hire us. Our future—or lack of one—is here.”
the dark colors definitely precluded the man from being one of
his pilots. Yet he stood with the authority that he belonged. He Hohriu nodded toward the field, where the first of his fighters
turned to Hohiru, waved, and began to approach. queued for take-off. Sung’s fighter was first in line. Underneath
the Lancer’s canopy, green spray paint scrawled the words “Xin
“Colonel!” Sheng!”, punctuated by the Capellan insignia. Behind her, an
Clad in his MechWarrior combat suit, Sang-shao Jordan aging Transgressor bore the same markings on its fuselage.
Weis, commander of the Dynasty Guards waved again as he
jogged across the hangar floor. Hohiru always regarded the man “Besides,” he added, “this regiment is Capellan. Always has
with respect; in the meeting engagement over Liao, it was Weis’ been, even when this lowly samurai took command of it all those
less-experienced pilots who’d sold themselves dearly to delay years ago. These pilots don’t fear the Chancellor like the others.
the Blakist invaders. The suicide run allowed him to hold back the They embrace him; they want to come home.” And with the mer-
foreign air regiment back for a more opportune strike. And now, cenary trade falling apart, why wouldn’t they?
Weis was preparing to join the battle personally, from the cockpit
of own his massive war machine, protecting the airstrip from “I don’t suppose I could order you to change your plans?”
vengeful Blakist fighters. Weis asked, his voice shaking as blood ran down his arm, pool-
“Colonel,” he said again, as soon as he was close enough to ing on the floor.
lower his voice, “you have done an admirable job, but this won’t
succeed. I would prefer to have your force fully re-supplied. You Hohiru allowed a wry smile, “Go ahead, and when we dis-
can give my ’Mechs air support here, and we’ll tie up these obey, you’ll have not only an excuse as to why this invasion was-
Blakists until reinforcements arrive.” n’t repulsed immediately, but a reason to absorb whoever’s left of
Hohiru narrowed his eyes. us. At least this way, we can hit their ground forces at their weak-
“There won’t be any reinforcements coming soon,” he said est. Maybe enough for you to hold on until reinforcements arrive.”
finally. “We both know that.”
Jordan met his gaze with wide eyes and a grim expression, Hohiru snapped to attention and executed a brisk salute. “It
but only for a moment. Glancing briefly at the hangar floor was has been a pleasure fighting for you, Sang-shao. I hope to see
as close to a nod as he could manage. you in the next life.”
Before the Capellan could offer another thought, warning
klaxons blared. Both men looked up, scanning the skies through Weis saluted back, with obvious effort, and extended a
the open bay doors, but it was the bright tracers and contrails of bloodstained hand out to Hohiru. “Xin Sheng, Colonel. May we all
surface-to-air missiles that tracked the Blakists’ aircraft first. A earn our ascension into enlightenment today.”
pair of bone-white Tridents shrieked past, low and fast, scatter-
ing the smoke that still rose from the ruined tree line. Lasers ****
reached out from each fighter’s nose, one beam catching a fuel
transport as it raced across an airstrip several hundred meters Hohiru’s console screamed a warning at him, snapping his
downrange. A blinding explosion ripped through the tanker, forc- thoughts back to the present. Battle-honed reflexes guided his
ing both Hohiru and Weis to flinch and turn, despite being sever- Slayer through an Immelmann, narrowly dodging a cloud of auto-
al hundred meters away. Metal rattled nearby, like ricochets from cannon fire. A few loud clangs warned of minor shrapnel dam-
an autocannon, and Weis suddenly clutched his shoulder, age, but the wire-frame on his secondary monitor revealed noth-
screaming out while blood geysered from a shrapnel wound. ing in the red … yet.
The Tridents climbed up over the blaze and vanished from
“Negative Rogue Three,” he growled through clenched teeth.
“We’re here for the long haul. Get back to friendly space if you
can.” Tanaga rolled again and banked, glancing toward the
ground on the outskirts of the city.
A curse escaped his lips as he saw the surviving Blakist reserve tank light flashed gold. Bingo fuel.
’Mechs already massing, confident enough in their beachhead to “Ace Actual is joker,” he barked into his mike. “Bugging out
turn their guns skyward, swatting at any low-flying Aces. Their
DropShips will be landing soon. The regiment’s radio chatter now; All Aces, stay alive.”
picked up again, a collective acknowledgement that at least a Scattered return calls of good will and a cry of “Xin Sheng”
decision was made. No Clause Black today.
answered, but depressingly fewer voices than he’d hoped for.
Colonel Tanaga rolled up again and scanned the skies, tak- Either a lot of his pilots were too busy, or they were already down.
ing in the web of contrails and streaks of smoke, the strobing traf-
fic of missiles and laser fire, the angry orange glow of a few Hohiru spotted a white Condor beginning to make a landing
dozen hot-dropping BattleMechs—some in flames, but most not. run into the spaceport, its landing zone surrounded by close to a
The Blakist fighter screen had tied up enough of Hohiru’s pilots dozen BattleMechs in a crude perimeter around the landing strip.
to prevent them from targeting the droppers. Still, he managed to With a nod to himself, he set his jaw. Loaded with conventional
pick one out of the survivors, a Legacy. Hoping the newer-model vehicles and infantry, the Condor would easily turn the beach-
design indicated an officer, he swooped in for the kill, but even as head into a rallying point. Narrowing his eyes, Hohiru aimed his
lined up his crosshairs, the hard-lock warning screamed again. Slayer downwards, at the center of the Blakist transport.
Hohiru instinctively jinked his Slayer to avoid enemy fire, but Dirtside, several BattleMechs and DropShip turrets took
he still felt the shudder as a bolt of man-made lightning caught notice, swinging upward to meet his trajectory as he flew in.
his wing. Weapons from all different angles tore at his pockmarked armor,
the wireframe display flashing amber, then red, and he felt the
The Rapier shot past, autocannon blazing as Hohiru jinked shudder of multiple hits. Missiles slammed into his nose, and
again and cut his engines, spoiling the Blakist’s aim. As soon as shrapnel instantly ripped through his damaged canopy. The
the enemy craft passed, Hohiru slammed the throttle open again, shards of metal tore along his chest and his right arm. Hohiru
swinging his reticule over the heavier fighter’s tail. His Clan-made howled in pain, spitting blood over the inside of his faceplate, then
missile systems locked on, singing the gleeful note of a hard ground his teeth, fighting to stay awake, knowing it was a losing
lock, and he thumb-launched the full flight into the Blakist’s vul- battle.
nerable thrusters. The explosion engulfed most of the Rapier,
leaving whatever it did not consume to spin wildly toward earth “Xin Sheng,” he snarled through clenched teeth, tasting the
like an angel shot from the heavens. End times indeed, Hohiru bitter copper of his own blood. Reaching up, he yanked at the
thought. ejection lever and felt the thunderous roar of wind screaming past
as his canopy blew away. His seat rocketed up through a cloud of
Banking left and down, he lined up another BattleMech, this autocannon tracers and blinding laser fire—all less than a meter
time a damaged Vanquisher attempting to stabilize a rough fall. away.
Several of his overworked Streak launchers locked on and he
gently squeezed the trigger, sending another wave of missiles Ronin’s course stayed true despite the punishment, and
and darts of energy into the massive machine. Several missiles what was left of the ancient fighter slammed into Condor where
caught the Blakist’s strap-on jet packs, their explosions sending its massive right wing met its fuselage. The explosion tore the
the BattleMech into a death spin hundreds of meters below. DropShip’s wing half off its body, and the stress of the impact fin-
ished the job. The Condor turned sideways, slowly, like a dying
“Xin Sheng!” came over the tactical comm, and Hohiru whale, and crashed hard upon the landing strip, exploding spec-
glanced around just in time to witness one of his own Aces slam- tacularly.
ming his Transit into a grounded ’Mech. Both fighter and ’Mech
were destroyed instantly, but the Ace ejected safely, seconds Well, they won’t be able to use that strip anytime soon,
before impact. A heartbeat later, a Blakist Spad swooped in, par- Hohiru thought bitterly.
ticle cannon flaying the helpless pilot in mid-air.
His chute deployed at the apex of the ejection with a painful
Calls of “Winchester,” the codeword for empty weapons, jerk and a wild spin. Hohiru let out a gasp in pain. He glanced up
began to fill his ears, punctuated by the even more ominous and saw another fireball, this one with the profile of a Leopard
“Bingo fuel.” Hohiru cursed silently with each one. Too fast, it CV, plummeting through the atmosphere. Tears welled up in his
seemed, his Aces were running out of ammo, out of fuel, and eyes at the sight while he slowly drifted downward and felt the
then came Windgate’s most damning report: a Blakist sortie had darkness coming for him—partly from the blood loss and partly
finally ruined the landing strip. Soon more bravado calls of “Xin because he knew to whom the DropShip belonged. Hopefully
Sheng” screamed out, punctuated by death charges. Lucifer’s Deck would be able to avoid the Blakist escorts and
meet up with whoever survived the battle.
Hohiro’s own control panel screamed out at him once more,
an enraged banshee wail that could not be ignored by fancy fly- Allowing himself to close his eyes one last time, Hohiru final-
ing or the slap of an override. The fuel gauge flashed red. The ly gave himself to the blackness, content that his Aces had held
their ground to the bloody bitter end. That they had finally paid
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
It hardly takes a genius to see that the universe has mercenary profession as a universal industry, the MRBC has
changed a lot in just a few short years. compiled the most reliable information to date on over 150 of the
Inner Sphere’s largest and most visible mercenary commands,
In 3066, the Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission as well as the current state of affairs of the various known hiring
commissioned a neutral panel to escape an industry-wide per- worlds and state of the industry in general. This update offers a
ception that Wolf’s Dragoons—the pre-eminent mercenary force comprehensive look at how the Jihad has shaped and trans-
of our time—exerted undue influence over the profession, paint- formed the state of professional soldiering, and how it all has
ing their own views on the practices of hired soldiers everywhere. come to pass.
The result was the creation of the revised Field Manual:
Mercenaries and the start of regular series of supplemental Mercenaries Supplemental Updates is broadly divided up
volumes. These documents were intended to bring employ- into two sections: Mercenaries of the Jihad and Force Briefs
ers and mercenaries alike up to speed on the current
state of professional soldiering from a Updates.
clear and unbiased point of view. The The first section, Mercenaries of
opening of official MRBC branch
offices on Galatea (and talks of more the Jihad, provides a short overview
on worlds such as Arc-Royal, Solaris and retrospective on the opening
VII, and Westerhand) combined with years of the Jihad and its major
this effort to underscore the fact that impacts on the mercenary industry.
the MRBC’s efforts to emerge Included in this section is a listing of
from the Dragoons’ shadow
were finally working. the major known mercenary com-
mands destroyed in the fighting to
But then came the date, as well as a portion of the
Jihad. MRBC’s current “Most
Wanted” listings. Updates
The surprise assault on on the state of various
Outreach may have started Hiring Halls covered in prior
before the Word of Blake officially volumes are also provided. By
declared its war on the rest of human- special request, an overview of
ity, but history may well record that the
Jihad in fact began there, rather than current state of the Allied Mercenary
on Tharkad or New Avalon. Indeed, Command (AMC) has been included
with the shattering of the Dragoons as well. Additionally, the MRBC would
and fall of the Hiring Halls in Harlech, like readers of this volume to review
our successors may well record that the listings of the indeterminate mer-
the first shots of this Sphere-spanning war were fired by cenary commands, those whose sta-
hired guns, loyal to shadow employers. And with that fact, the tus and whereabouts remain uncon-
mercenary universe has been turned upside down. firmed at the present time. A list of some of these com-
mands appears in this section.
Today, ironically enough, marks the fourth anniversary of the The Force Brief Updates section then provides detailed
Word of Blake’s final assault against Outreach. On this date in overviews of numerous additional mercenary commands—
3068, the bloody battle began that would culminate—eight days specifically, those whose current operational status the MRBC
later—in an indiscriminate nuclear bombardment with a death has been able to confirm as of this writing. To provide as much
toll that remains incalculable even now. The loss of the MRBC’s information in these briefs as concisely as possible, all of these
primary offices of operation, part of the collateral damage of the verified commands are being presented in a more compact style
fighting, left the Commission on life support via Galatea for than previous volumes.
years. An understandable side effect of this, combined with the We here at the MRBC hope that readers of this supplemen-
pandemonium of mercenary betrayals, communications disrup- tal find the information herein as clear and unbiased as possible.
tions, and other all-too-familiar circumstances relating to the fog While every effort to maintain these twin principles has been
of war, was the disruption in the publishing schedule for the made, mercenaries or individuals who identify any glaring errors
Supplemental series. On behalf of the MRBC and MercNet, we and omissions are encouraged to contact our Galatean publish-
apologize for the inconvenience. ing offices via HPG as soon as possible. In this time of darkness,
even the smallest amount of illumination can be of immense
However, even as the chaos of war spreads, reports have importance.
continued to filter in from across human-occupied space on the —Major Babette D. Graves, MRBC Mercenary Affairs
state of mercenary and House troops far and wide. In our (Galatea Publishing Office)
renewed commitment to fair standards and the integrity of the 20 December 3071
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
MERCENARIES OF THE JIHAD
The state of the mercenary profession today can be hire a merc in good faith, the sad fact is that where there’s
summed up in just one short word: chaos. enough money, there’s always someone willing to do the job.
While to an outsider the rampant warfare now engulfing the Proof of this, of course, was the fact that—at practically the
Inner Sphere might seem like a booming time for the mercenary same time—the FedCom was coming apart, and suddenly there
business, the facts are far more complex than that. In fact, was a flood of employers looking to buy up all the outfits drawn
chances are, in the past five years, odds are good that maybe to the resulting carnage of the Chaos March. Word employers,
one in every five merc outfits that landed a choice contract has once rare as branth feathers even on Galatea and Outreach,
been duped into working for an employer with whom no sane were suddenly everywhere, looking at the smaller units, newer
man would ever dare associate. And an even easier bet says that units, units off the Dragoons database, even the guys with prices
at least one other unit in every five signed on the dotted line on their heads. You know, all the types who’d be willing to over-
knowing full well who they were working for, but cashed in their look a little hostage taking and fanatical ranting for a chance to
ethics at the bargaining table in order to stay in parts and C-bills land a golden contract and maybe even score some of that hot
while the universe goes to hell in a handbasket. Star League tech the WoBs waved under their noses. Even the
near-complete absence of MRBC oversight on all these mouth-
That leaves only sixty percent of the mercenary trade either watering contracts wasn’t enough to wave too many red flags for
working with a clean conscience for good money or—perhaps these kinds of hirelings. It’s all just business as usual, right?
more wisely—staying as far away as possible from the funny
guys in the robes and their chosen targets. Maybe the bookies The Periphery was another fertile recruiting ground for
on Solaris VII would go for those odds (assuming there are any Blakists looking to score some mercs. Out there, after all, a lot of
of those poor saps left alive after all this time) but from where I outfits had been posted for decades without a good fight, and the
sit, the benefits just don’t outweigh the risks any more. salvage is practically table scraps. The Periphery is nobody’s fast
track to success; it’s where older merc units go to die. Along
And that’s saying something for a profession where people comes the wealthy employer dangling lostech, and really, who
get shot at for a living. can blame guys out there for jumping at the bait? Once more, no
THE WORD’S SHELL GAME
It’s almost pointless to speculate where all this began. The And those are just the examples before the Word got really
clever. What followed soon after were the “fronts,” both upstart
knee-jerk reaction is, of course, with the last Whitting Conference and established corporations or even reps who hailed from newly
and the fall of the Star League, or maybe with Waco’s last stand independent world governments looking for a merc willing to sup-
against the Wolf in Harlech. But, realistically speaking, anyone plement their lack of defense forces. By the time 3067 came
who really puts their mind to it can see the Word of Blake fanat- around, there were lots of journalists and intel operatives who
ics were building up for something like this all along. But the would bet their right eyes that at least half of these employers
question of when they started is still beyond reckoning because, were just Blakist masks. Laundering mercenaries the way the
to be frank, nobody seems to know. mob launders money is hardly a new concept, but the Word per-
fected the process and turned it into its own industry.
Near as most intel experts can figure it, the Word of Blake
tapped into a lot of resources when they fled to the Free Worlds, Now, to be sure, not every merc that signed with the Word
and a lot of that revenue and manpower went into building up was taken into their employ under the table; there were plenty of
their regular military. Sure, some of it was publicly earmarked for legitimate missions as well, ones the MRBC had a hand in secur-
allies like the Free Worlds and the CapCon, but we’ve all seen ing and some negotiated right in the Hiring Halls of Harlech
how well that worked out in the past few years, haven’t we? As under the Dragoons’ watchful eyes. But with so many others han-
far as most confirmed numbers went, the WoB had forces only dled outside normal channels, the sheer volume of professional
numbering about ten divisions when the Jihad balloon went up. soldiers, registered and otherwise, placed and poised (often by
Though everyone suspected there was more, nobody could pin means just as shifty as how they got hired) to do the Master’s
a number on how much, what with the elaborate shell games bidding is staggering to even contemplate. And all right in front of
they played, creating “twin” units to fool the observers, suborning everyone.
local governments and regular military forces, building failsafes
into the League fleet ships … CHAOS UNLEASHED
When the streets of Harlech exploded in open warfare in
And hiring mercs by the bushel, right under everyone’s
noses. October of 3067, many saw it as a culmination of a collision
course Wolf’s Dragoons had been on ever since their first arrival
Where we mercenaries are concerned, it seems that the in the Inner Sphere six decades before. Having maintained a leg-
earliest example of Blakist machinations went down around the endary distrust of ComStar ever since their arrival, the Dragoons
time they took Terra. It was then, as everyone knows, that these steadily encroached into all matters mercenary over their years
guys managed to make hostages of the 21st Centauri Lancers’ in the Inner Sphere. In establishing Outreach they created not
dependents and substitute their own troops as part of the sur- only a base world for themselves, but a new home for the entire
prise attack. Though maybe folks should’ve been tipped off right
then that the Word wasn’t the kind of employer you could trust to
MERCENARIES OF THE JIHAD
mercenary trade through the formation of a new Mercenary Armed with evidence of Blakist backing for the Harlech
Review and Bonding Commission. strike, the Dragoons gathered up several nearby Allied
Mercenary Command units to support a retaliatory raid on Mars,
But while the MRBC’s birth may have been the first direct while other Dragoons units enacted escape clauses to protect the
opposition to ComStar’s influence in mercenary affairs, a secret homeworld. Even today, what happened over Mars remains a
war between the Order and the Dragoons had waged for years. mystery, but all accounts agree that the AMC task force was oblit-
After the Clan Invasion and ComStar’s 3052 Schism, the erated in the act.
Dragoons-ComStar conflict evolved into a Dragoons-Word of
Blake fight—and a much more direct one at that. Forming the The result of their defeat was fury from hell itself.
Allied Mercenary Command in 3066, Wolf and several like-mind- In December of 3067, even as the Star League died and the
ed pillars of the mercenary community formally declared war on Word’s wrath fell upon Tharkad and New Avalon, vengeful Word
the Word’s aggressive expansion into the Chaos March, and in of Blake forces assailed Outreach, determined to eradicate the
the months that followed, hundreds of skirmishes would be Dragoons threat. Almost simultaneously, Word WarShips
fought on the worlds once claimed by the united Federated appeared in the Northwind system to blockade the infamous
Commonwealth. Highlanders. In just a few short weeks, the center for mercenary
trade and two of its most well known pillars were shattered or
That these skirmishes ultimately led to the razing of Harlech sidelined.
is perhaps not all that surprising in retrospect. But the fact that And by 3068, the ripples of chaos had spread across the
the Word chose to act through other mercenaries first struck Inner Sphere.
many as an ironic twist, and it was from that act that the entire
mercenary industry came crashing down.
THE ROLLS OF HONOR
In just four short years, the face of the mercenary industry has been changed by widespread carnage. More costly even than
the FedCom Civil War, scores of commands—many once seen as the pinnacles of the profession—have fallen before the tide of
destruction. The following are some of the most noteworthy casualties of the Jihad so far.
Ace Darwin’s Whip-Its
Ace Darwin sided with Wolf’s Dragoons during Waco’s assault against Harlech in 3067. Unfortunately, despite gathering two
companies of like-minded mercs, Darwin’s ’Mechs were overpowered when elements of Waco’s forces ambushed them in the city
outskirts. Ace himself was reportedly killed when an insurgent Warhammer sporting Waco Rangers livery destroyed his infamous
In January of 3069, Blakist forces on Hsien, including the Hsien Hotheads mercenary command (whose commander eager-
ly sided with the Word) joined forces in an effort to shatter this AMC-affiliated regiment. The death of the Faithful and disappear-
ance of Gael’s Grinders ended the last of the effective local resistance on Hsien to the Twohy family’s rule, and the world entered
the Blake Protectorate mere days later.
Long allied with the Dragoons, Battle Magic was a primary target for Waco’s insurgency on Harlech. Struck in the early hours
of the fighting by Waco’s limited air power, their destruction assured that many pro-Dragoons forces would suffer from a lack of
badly needed technical support.
The Black Outlaws mercenary command was stationed on Tukayyid in 3068 when Blakist WarShips and fighters assaulted
the planet to shatter the Com Guard command centers there. Pummeled from orbit, scarcely two lances of the reinforced battal-
ion survived to be absorbed by the damaged 21st Centauri Lancers.
Blue Star Irregulars
Both regiments of the Blue Star Irregulars were shattered on Black Earth by Jade Falcon forces in January of 3069. As the
mercenaries’ captured Fredasa escorted the escaping DropShips and a flotilla of fleeing civilian refugees to their waiting
JumpShips, a Falcon naval force led by a Congress-class frigate intercepted them. Though the Kerensky’s Blues managed to
account for the Falcons’ Vincent-class corvette Lightning Strike, the Clan’s remaining WarShip managed to butcher all but a com-
pany’s worth of fleeing Irregulars in their DropShips and JumpShips before finishing off the Blues. Most of the surviving Irregulars
have either stood down entirely or merged into other mercenary commands based out of Arc-Royal.
MERCENARIES OF THE JIHAD
Mauled on Hall during the planet’s transference to Free Worlds League membership in the months before the Jihad and effec-
tively destroyed with the loss of their commander, Elly Burton, Burton’s Brigade dissolved, and the survivors merged into the Third
Dismal Disinherited regiment.
Word of Blake forces hunted down and destroyed the Advocates on Caph in August of 3068, essentially crushing the last of
the local resistance on that world after the planetary government submitted to Word rule.
The Second Disinherited regiment (erroneously reported in some news reports as the First) joined the AMC’s assault on Mars
after Waco’s initial assault on Outreach and was reportedly destroyed in orbit by Blakist WarShips. The First Disinherited regiment,
called up to bolster Outreach’s defenses after the first assault on Harlech, was on hand when the Word of Blake all but leveled the
planet in their second assault after the Mars debacle.
The Third Disinherited, having vanished briefly after their failure to thwart an apparent Blakist ploy to bring the planet Hall into
the Free Worlds, resurfaced in late 3069 to raid the Blakist-suborned world of Talitha. Unfortunately, the Blakists and their own mer-
cenary support on-planet managed to overpower the surviving Disinherited, destroying the command before its survivors could
Reportedly mauled by renegade Combine elements on Kiesen in 3068, the Breath withdrew from Combine space amid alle-
gations of contract breach. They later appeared in the Word of Blake’s employ during an attack on Sian but were destroyed by
defending CCAF and Magistracy forces in 3070.
When Word of Blake forces assaulted Bethel in November of 3070, the DropShip Irregulars nearly managed to rout them before
the local Blakist commander called for a nuclear strike that obliterated the command but apparently failed to kill the Word’s target,
Doctor R. Raisley of the (former) Bethel Labs.
The FWLM counterattack on McAffee, which had been taken by the Carabineers during the opening waves of the Bolan/Skye
invasion of the League, utterly destroyed this mercenary regiment in July of 3068. The survivors, unable to flee, were taken pris-
oner by the victorious League forces and have yet to be ransomed back to the Lyran Alliance.
Mercenaries believed to be in the Word of Blake’s employ specifically targeted the Determination on Sheratan in November of
3070 to clear the way for the planet’s annexation by the Blake Protectorate. The attack utterly destroyed the command. The loca-
tion and status of any survivors remains unknown at this time.
Hal’s Heinous Halberds
Apparently acting in concert with other FWLM-backed mercenaries during the counterattacks against the Lyran Alliance, the
Halberds and their fellow commands managed to sack the world of Gienah in September of 3068. But poor coordination and com-
munications failures among the various mercenaries ultimately allowed the late-arriving Kirkpatrick’s Invaders to destroy this
armored battalion by late December.
After having helped to secure the key Capellan world of Necromo during Duke George Hasek’s Operation Sovereign Justice,
the Cossacks found themselves on the receiving end of the enraged CCAF counterattack in February of 3069. The Capellan naval
forces pounded the Cossacks from orbit, leaving few survivors to be captured.
Lindon’s Battalion was among the AMC forces employed in the doomed assault against Mars in December of 3067. Rumors
abound that some survived to make landfall on the red planet, but these stories remain unconfirmed.
MERCENARIES OF THE JIHAD
Little Richard’s Panzer Brigade
The Word of Blake’s met with stiff resistance on Pleione from the Panzer Brigade, who fought the invasion without a formal con-
tract. Unfortunately, the isolated and weakened mercenary forces were overwhelmed by Blakist forces after a pitched battle in
December of 3069 and destroyed to the last man.
Mick’s Blue Skye Rangers
The Blakist forces that assaulted Kawich in July of 3069 destroyed the Rangers and their lightweight company of fighters and
VTOLs with relative ease.
New Avalon Cavaliers
The Cavaliers were among the defending forces stationed on New Avalon when the Jihad began and were reportedly defend-
ing the New Avalon Institute of Science when the entire campus was leveled by a sustained orbital bombardment in December of
3068. The regiment’s few survivors merged into the local resistance forces.
Word of Blake forces assaulting Kansu attacked the Regulators in October of 3069 after the mercenary regiment reportedly
refused to accept a contract from the Word at gunpoint. Lacking the transport assets to retreat, the Regulators and local militia
forces lured the invaders into a trap on the Fetid continent and stymied the invaders there for weeks, which eventually prompted the
Blakist commander to launch a nuclear strike against the command. The runaway firestorms that ensued—enhanced by the plan-
et’s unique methane-rich environment—not only destroyed the Regulators, but also unleashed a cascading series of ecological dis-
asters that presently threatens the entire planetary biosphere.
Spade’s Brigade was last reported on Antallos, undergoing a massive build-up by hiring the dregs of other down-and-out merc
commands when Clan Snow Raven forces assaulted the planet in November of 3067. Spotty accounts placed the Brigade among
the defenders of the Antallosian city-state of Lexicon, where they were overrun by two Trinaries from the Sixth Raven Battle Cluster.
MERCS UNDER FIRE in their contracts to deal with their private wars, severely weak-
ening national defenses at a time when tensions already ran
With the devastation of Outreach, the mercenary industry high. And then the Allied Mercenary Command—already seen
lost more than a few legends and places to do business. In the by some as a dubious coalition with questionable aims—struck
course of less than three months, the entire profession suf- a vigilante blow against the Terran system, further inflaming a
fered a blow to its collective credibility from which we have yet fanatical enemy already enraged at the rest of the Inner
to recover. Sphere. Meanwhile, the heart of the MRBC itself was gone,
weakening the neutral body that employers great and small
On Outreach, employers and mercenaries together saw had come to rely upon to maintain and enforce honorable stan-
professional soldiers clashing in bitter, street-by-street fighting, dards in the mercenary profession.
some of them delivering crippling first strikes against unpro-
tected targets while flying false colors of neutrality or even The battles for Outreach, the betrayals and abrupt depar-
friendship. Warriors down on their luck, living off the last of tures of otherwise stalwart commands from critical garrisons,
their once-great legacies, supporting each other for shelter and the loss of most of the neutral facilities all combined with
under the auspices of a Dragoons-made haven for others of the chaos of the Word of Blake’s war on mankind. The public
their kind, turned on those who would be their benefactors in faith in all mercenary commands eroded quickly. In the
the name of a petty grudge. Many of those who once claimed Draconis Combine, conservative nobles and political leaders
to hold higher ideals than the Houses they served now cast all revived the Takashi-era “death to mercenaries” philosophy, in
ethics aside and tore through civilians to get at other warriors some cases even driving off longstanding employees at gun-
whom they may once have seen as kindred spirits. point. The Capellan government shut down the hiring halls on
Westerhand. Only the more desperate and besieged realms,
Employers such as the Draconis Combine and the like the Lyran Alliance and the Federated Suns, could afford to
Capellan Confederation felt the side effects even more keenly, risk the possible betrayal of the mercs in their midst.
as some the most dedicated and reliable mercenary com-
mands money could buy suddenly exercised escape clauses
MERCENARIES OF THE JIHAD
STATE OF THE AMC
The Allied Mercenary Command, specifically formed in March of battered while attacking Spica and forced to withdraw after half of the
3066 as a check against Word of Blake ambitions in the Chaos March, Thirteenth—including unit commander Jeffrey Morgan—and all of
may be described either as the greatest act of foresight in recent history Geese’s Blackhorse Squadron were lost to a surprise ambush by Blakist
or as the tragic example of a self-fulfilling prophecy brought to life. But reinforcements.
whether the AMC’s very formation brought the Word’s wrath down upon
it, or the organization simply failed to thwart the inevitable Jihad, it has Tooth of Ymir
survived the past four years of war, if in name only. The following out- Mauled by Com Guard forces amid accusations of Blakist collusion
lines the current status of AMC members known (or believed) to have even as other AMC forces were fighting and dying on Outreach, the Tooth
survived to date. accepted an invitation from Grand Duke Morgan Kell and withdrew from
Epsilon Indi for the relative safe haven of the Arc-Royal Theater. Since
Avanti’s Angels then, like most of the other AMC combat commands, they have joined in
Avanti’s Angels were a newly inducted member of the Allied the Lyran defense against the Jade Falcons and have undertaken no
Mercenary Command performing a defensive contract in the Magistracy activities directly related to the AMC.
of Canopus when Outreach was sacked in 3067. Apparently considered
to be a marginal command at best, they were never called upon to assist Wild Geese
in anti-Word operations, though Blakist forces have attempted to destroy As with the Stalking Horse, the Geese’s whereabouts are presently
the unit on numerous recent occasions. unknown. This mercenary command was last seen working in tandem
with the Thirteenth on Spica, where they suffered significant damage
Crimson Crusaders against the Blakist defenders. Roughly two battalions managed to escape
Focused more on their long-range goal of liberating Dompaire from the debacle, however, presumably taking survivors of the Thirteenth with
the Falcons, the Crusaders were undertaking an unspecified high-risk them.
mission at the time of the sacking of Outreach and did not receive AMC
calls to assist in the counter-assault at Mars. The destruction of the Wolf’s Dragoons
Dragoons’ facilities shortly thereafter convinced the Crusaders that the Hit first and hardest of all the surviving AMC commands, the
AMC was dead, and the unit has since moved on to a Skye Province con- Dragoons—once the most formidable of all mercenary forces in the
tract, where the prospect of anti-Blakist operations remains high. Inner Sphere, with over five regiments, two reinforced battalions, and a
host of supporting assets including a small WarShip fleet at their dis-
The Dioscuri posal—may now charitably be described as a single regiment of surviv-
Still under contract to the Lyran Alliance at the onset of the Jihad, ing elements. Their remaining fragmented command is comprised of all
the Dioscuri were unable to support the Dragoons and their other AMC that remains of the mercenaries’ Alpha, Gamma, and Delta regiments, as
allies at Mars or Outreach. Worse, the subsequent Jade Falcon assaults well as the survivors of the infamous Wolf Spider Battalion. Lacking the
on the Lyran border forced the Dioscuri to remain on position as the formidable naval power and the luxury of their own manufacturing and
Jihad worsened, isolating them from the rest of the AMC. In February of training centers, the once-mightiest member of the AMC—and the
3071, they were still on Morges when the Falcons finally struck that underpinning of the greatest revival of honor and integrity in the merce-
world, and only half of their Second Battalion BattleMechs managed to nary trade since the fall of the Star League—is now a mere shadow of its
fall back to Atocongo. former self and has yet to venture in force from its haven on Arc-Royal
in the Lyran Alliance.
No information on any of the five reinforced regiments and inde- New Unit Memberships
pendent company that make up the infamous Northwind Highlanders With the loss of the Dragoons, Highlanders, and Disinherited, nom-
regiment has surfaced since the planet Northwind was blockaded (and inal leadership of the AMC fell by default to its largest intact surviving
subsequently HPG-silenced) by Word of Blake ships in late 3068. The command, the Wild Geese. Though recruiting of replacement troops
sudden return of the entire command to their homeworld in the waning continued for close to a year afterward (mainly through Geese and
months of 3067, preceded by the near-simultaneous deaths of several Stalking Horse recruiting agents on Galatea), the Word of Blake’s devas-
Northwind Elders, has been seen by some as possible evidence of Word tating first moves against the other AMC forces effectively discouraged
of Blake machinations, or—more cynically—as a pretext for the most reputable commands from joining the mercenary alliance whole-
Highlanders to sit out the war in silent support of the Word. sale. Only the Arcadians (in reaction to the loss of Acamar) and the Battle
Corps (contacted in 3070) have since added their logo to the AMC’s
13th Stalking Horse ranks.
The Thirteenth Stalking Horse and the Wild Geese departed the Only one other mercenary command has recently petitioned to join
FedSuns world of Alta Vista together as soon as the Geese’s contract the AMC on Galatea—the Heart of Blake. AMC representatives (now rep-
with the AFFS expired in 3069. Too late to support the Dragoons in the resented by Geoffrey Donner, the Dioscuri’s Galatean hiring agent) have
wake of the razing of Outreach, the mercenaries—led collectively by expressed reluctance to induct this unit, however, partly due to distrust
Geese CO Alisande Faulkner—became the de facto head of the AMC and of its intentions, and partly because the surviving AMC assets can sim-
briefly established recruiting offices through their agents on Galatea. ply no longer support larger operations without the resources lost on
However, in April of 3071, the Thirteenth and the Geese together were Outreach.
MERCENARIES OF THE JIHAD
THE PRICE OF INFAMY
Of course, not every mercenary command that has perished in the past few years has done so while fighting the good fight.
A number of mercenary units were shattered while still under the “Wanted/Rogue” label, and readers would be well advised that
bounties still exist on any survivors from these infamous commands.
The Cavaliers, a small mercenary force (two companies at its peak) formed from a corps of cashiered FedSuns troops who
went AWOL in the early years of the Civil War, were heavily active in the Chaos March between 3065 and 3066. Wanted for slaugh-
tering civilian townships and villages (often under the pretense of “putting down Capellan insurrection”), the Cavaliers were even-
tually mired in the fighting for Hall in 3066, when all but one lance of this force was shattered by the Stealthy Tigers in the name
of self-styled Emperor William Baranov. The depleted Cavaliers were folded into Count McNally’s resistance movement and pre-
sumably merged into the AMC forces that eventually fled Hall in 3067.
51st Dark Panzer Jaegers
Suspected machinations of the Word of Blake placed the Dark Panzer Jaegers with Waco’s insurgent forces during the First
Battle of Outreach in December of 3067. After Jaime Wolf’s death, the Jaegers were hunted down in the streets of Harlech and
destroyed to the man by the surviving Dragoons.
Raymond’s Armored Cavalry
This medium-weight, infantry-supported BattleMech regiment, founded in the wake of the Ronin Wars, developed a reputa-
tion for counter-insurgency and bandit hunting. Though heavily active in the Chaos March shortly after the break-up of the
Federated Commonwealth, the Cavalry had fallen on hard times by the early 3060s and withdrew to the blacked-out world of
Fletcher, where Word of Blake apparently picked up their contract. Slightly upgraded and backed up by the HeavyHell Raisers, the
RAC was still operating under a Word retainer when they were destroyed while enforcing Blakist absorption of Wasat in late 3068.
Smithson’s Chinese Bandits
Siding with Waco’s forces in the First Battle of Outreach, possibly due to Blakist machinations or to sheer desperation in their
efforts to rebuild, the Bandits were instrumental in the first strikes on the Dragoons’ Home Guard compounds, deploying fuel-air
bombs to destroy objectives that included entire fighter squadrons undergoing maintenance at the Harlech spaceport. Like the rest
of Waco’s primary insurgent forces, the Bandits were hunted down and destroyed to the last man by the surviving Dragoons.
The Tiger Sharks’ uncharacteristic refusal of contract offers months before Waco’s assault on Harlech is now seen in hind-
sight as just one of many signs of the impending holocaust. Subsequent investigation after the mercenary command’s utter anni-
hilation by Dragoons forces in the aftermath of that battle showed definite ties to the Word of Blake, who facilitated the battalion’s
negotiations with Waco and even provided additional technical support to ensure their combat readiness.
All but gutted when most of the force sided with Vince Rezak’s bid for Antallos, the Vigilantes lingered in the wastelands of
the lawless Periphery world, eking out a pirate existence fitting with their nefarious status as rogue mercenaries—merely one step
above the native Zone Gangs themselves. When Snow Raven forces assaulted Antallos in November of 3067, Colonel Pada
Vinson apparently tried to use the chaos to make one more bid for control of Port Krin, but the Snow Ravens’ Fifth Raven Wing
Cluster made no distinctions between Vinson’s Vigilantes and the forces loyal to Rezak and slaughtered both with brutal efficiency.
Shattered by past failures, the Waco Rangers seemed so far gone by 3067 that their survivors, lingering in the shadows of
Harlech’s Temptown sectors, were written off the active rolls of the Inner Sphere’s greatest mercenary commands. Though
approaching 100 years of age, however, the Rangers’ commander, Wayne Waco clung to his command and his lifelong grudge
against Jaime Wolf and Wolf’s Dragoons, a grudge that finally exploded in a violent frenzy on the streets of Harlech in October of
Leading the charge against the hated Dragoons, apparently on the belief that Word of Blake forces would emerge to support
his charge any minute, Waco and the last of his Rangers finally met their end in battle against the Wolf himself. Their final victory
unleashed a maelstrom, as the ensuing Dragoons counterattack—known as “Condition Feral”—left no survivors among Waco’s
insurgent forces by the time the bloody fighting ended almost 24 hours later.
MERCENARIES OF THE JIHAD
CRISIS OF FAITH whose employers unilaterally imposed harsh changes to their
contracts, mostly in the form of decreased command rights and
Although the damage was grave, the MRBC survived, the assignment of intelligence operatives to shadow the unit’s
thanks to its offices on Galatea. Though perilously close to the activities both on and off duty.
battlefronts where Lyran forces hold back the Word’s push into
the Skye Province, this venerable hub of the mercenary trade In an effort to police itself, the mercenary industry—through
struggled to support the values and integrity of an industry the Bonding Commission—has doubled its efforts to provide
endangered by the razing of Outreach. updated advisories on all Wanted or Rogue mercenary com-
mands. Relying on a combination of House intelligence, mass
In response to the terrible damage wrought on Outreach media, and even private investigators to confirm dishonorable,
and elsewhere, the MRBC’s Galatean offices issued a unilateral questionable, or outright illegal activities, these listings identify
declaration to the governments of the Inner Sphere that con- outlawed units regardless of their status as MRBC-registered
demned the Word of Blake Jihad and blacklisted the Word as a outfits. Bounties, paid in part from support by other interstellar
legitimate employer. Simultaneously declaring all those in the organizations and partly from the salvage of captured and dis-
Word’s employ either rogue or wanted, the Commission’s effort banded units, have been levied against these commands for any
demonstrated its solidarity with the Inner Sphere nations. But for warrior willing to collect.
many, the gestures were seen as too little, too late.
With these new bounties has come a flood of new merce-
Across the Inner Sphere, mercenary employers have begun naries, all but unemployable by any Great House, working
to scrutinize their hirelings with intelligence operatives, looking instead almost exclusively for MRBC bounties. Critics of the sys-
for any sign of foreign collusion—no matter how well-entrusted tem have decried these bounty hunter specialists as another ill-
the command. Dozens of smaller commands and thousands of conceived form of vigilante justice, a sign of the industry finally
individual warriors within the ranks of larger, more reputable coming around to feed upon itself.
forces have been tagged as security risks and ordered summar-
ily dismissed or arrested, further weakening the employer-mer- But as the Jihad rages, few in the Inner Sphere can offer a
cenary bond. The MRBC’s depleted infrastructure on Galatea better solution to the industry’s crisis of faith.
has been flooded with complaints by mercenary commands
THE MRBC’S MOST WANTED: 3071
The following is a special update from the MercNet Database for Wanted and Renegade Commands. Interested parties should
be advised that all of the listed commands are considered armed and extremely dangerous. The crimes for which they stand
accused may be only a hint of the lengths they will go to defend themselves against any authority sent to bring them down. Thus,
extreme caution is advised for any who attempt to apprehend or interfere with these forces.
Black Angus Boys
(’Mech Battalion/Veteran): Charged with: Severe Breach of Faith (2 counts); Disrespect of International Law (1 count). The
Black Angus Boys went rogue from the Taurian Concordat in December of 3068 when tasked with supporting a planetary assault
against the Calderon Protectorate and have since taken up Word of Blake employment in contravention of MRBC-mandated hiring
bans, supporting the occupation of Kittery.
Bounty: 50,000 C-bills (per officer), 10,000 C-bills (per non-officers). Last known whereabouts/status: Kittery (Federated
(’Mech Battalion/Regular): Charged with: Severe Breach of Faith (2 counts); War Crimes (5 counts); Attacks Against Civilians
(24 counts); Acts of Piracy (9 counts); Disrespect of International Law (1 count). The Bullies remained wanted for numerous crimes
even before their alleged employ by the Word of Blake, and they have been confirmed at large in the so-called Blakist Protectorate
as part of the Word’s aggressive anti-insurgency forces.
Bounty: 100,000 C-bills (Col. Daniel Grover), 25,000 C-bills (other Bullies officers), 10,000 C-bills (other Bullies warriors). Last
known whereabouts/status: Basalt (Blake Protectorate)/85%.
(’Mech Battalion/Veteran): Charged with: Severe Breach of Faith (3 counts); War Crimes (3 counts); Attacks Against Civilians
(6 counts); Disrespect of International Law (2 counts). The Broadsword Legion, ostensibly an ex-Com Guard force turned merce-
nary in 3067, largely stayed out of the First Battle of Outreach, even siding with the Dragoons in a few isolated instances. Thus,
they joined with the AMC during the Word of Blake’s eventual assault in the Second Battle when it began in December of 3067.
Soon after battle was joined, however, the Legion turned on the Dragoons, all but shattering the Wolf Spider Battalion in the bar-
gain. Now employed by Word of Blake, the Legion garrisons the world they helped to destroy and are wanted (dead or alive) by the
Bounty: 100,000 C-bills (per warrior). Last known whereabouts/status: Outreach (Blake Protectorate)/25%.
MERCENARIES OF THE JIHAD
(’Mech Regiment/Veteran): Charged with: Crimes Against Humanity (2 counts); Attacks Against Civilians (2 counts); War
Crimes (3 counts); Severe Breach of Faith (1 count); Disrespect of International Law (1 count). Originally part of the Eridani Light
Horse but now over two centuries removed from that command, Bronson’s Horde has been employed by the Word of Blake since
the completion of a campaign for the Circinus Federation (a job they broke a 3063 contract in the Free Worlds League to take). Now
employed by the Word of Blake, the Horde apparently acts as the Word’s dominant enforcers on Epsilon Eridani and is reportedly
responsible for the deaths of over 8,000 civilians in two separate “police actions.”
Bounty: 50,000 C-bills (per officer), 10,000 C-bills (per non-officers). Last known whereabouts/status: Epsilon Eridani (Blake
(Mixed Battalion/Regular): Charged with: Crimes Against Humanity (4 counts); War Crimes (2 counts); Attacks Against Civilians
(9 counts); Severe Breach of Faith (1 count); Disrespect of International Law (1 count). Carson’s Renegades served the Free Worlds
League faithfully—if not well—until Operation Guerrero, when they backed the Zion Province rebels in defiance of the League gov-
ernment. Though battered, they reappeared shortly thereafter in the employ of the Word of Blake and have engaged in a brutal
campaign to crush all resistance on the world of Caph that has claimed roughly 13,000 civilian lives to date, according to some
Bounty: 100,000 C-bills (per officer), 25,000 C-bills (per non-officers). Last known whereabouts/status: Caph (Blake
(Mixed Battalion/Regular): Charged with: Crimes Against Humanity (2 counts); Attacks Against Civilians (8 counts); War Crimes
(12 counts); Acts of Piracy (10 counts). Rogue since 3041, the Devils have pursued a vendetta against both sides of the Taurian
Concordat-Federated Suns border that has transformed the unit from a mercenary force to full-fledged pirates. Known for flying
Taurian or FedSuns colors in battle to misdirect reprisals and further inflame Taurian-Davion tensions, the Devils’ latest excursion
included the Taurian worlds of Brinton and Aea, an act that
has spread a deadly plague from the closed Taurian world
to one of its outlying colonies. The Devils’ subsequent
destruction of Aea’s main water purification plants and HPG
has only exacerbated the local crisis.
[Warning! Due to the virulence and incurable nature of
the Brinton Plague, the Devils’ status is listed as an immi-
nent threat to human life, and thus any forces attempting to
intercept this unit are authorized and encouraged to shoot
on sight, taking no salvage or captives from this command.
The MRBC will consider un-edited gun camera footage that
confirms the identity of any confirmed Devils’ kills for proof
of elimination and disbursement of bounties.]
Bounty: 100,000 C-bills (per warrior). Last known
whereabouts/status: Aea (Taurian Concordat)/55%
Fist of Mokal
(’Mech Battalion/Veteran): Charged with: Crimes
Against Humanity (1 count); War Crimes (2 counts);
Disrespect of International Law (1 count). As the standing
defense force for the short-lived Terracap Confederation on
Terra Firma, the Fist of Mokal formed a close alliance with
the Word of Blake in their efforts to cleanse the Chaos
March world of Capellan-backed terrorism. After the
Confederation worlds’ formal entry into the Blake
Protectorate in 3068, the Fist’s allegiance transferred easily
to the Word, and the unit has acted as the Blakists’ enforcer
on Terra Firma.
Bounty: 20,000 C-bills (per officer), 5,000 C-bills (per
warrior). Last known whereabouts/status: Terra Firma (Blake
MERCENARIES OF THE JIHAD
(Vehicle Regiment/Regular): Charged with: Severe Breach of Faith (1 count); Disrespect of International Law (1 count). The
Furies’ refusal to break its present contract on Capolla since that world’s submission to Blakist rule constitutes a fundamental
betrayal of their membership in the Allied Mercenary Command as well as a defiance of the MRBC-sponsored blacklisting of the
Word as a legitimate employer.
Bounty: 20,000 C-bills (per officer), 5,000 C-bills (per warrior). Last known whereabouts/status: Capolla (Blake
(’Mech Regiment/Regular): Charged with: Crimes Against Humanity (2 counts); War Crimes (3 counts); Disrespect of
International Law (1 count). After being cleared of corruption charges in the Free Worlds League by Word of Blake investigators,
the Hermits were offered and accepted employment with the Word in 3059 and quickly became the leading example for Blakist-
employed mercenaries. Shortly after the outbreak of the Jihad, the Hermits—previously based on Keid—were pulled in to assist in
the conquest and occupation of Dieron. It is there, according to resistance reports, that the mercenaries have been linked to the
destruction of local life-support facilities as well as the execution of POWs.
Bounty: 20,000 C-bills (per officer), 5,000 C-bills (per warrior). Last known whereabouts/status: Dieron (Blake
(Armored Regiment/Green): Charged with: Attacks Against Civilians (3 counts); Severe Breach of Faith (1 count); Disrespect
of International Law (1 count). Soon after the start of the Jihad, Mobile Fire’s contract was up for renewal with the LAAF. In
September, in the middle of talks to extend their tour with the Lyran state, the ’Mech-reinforced armored regiment apparently under-
went a sudden change in command and broke off all negotiations. Immediately accepting a Word of Blake contract, they abandoned
their garrison on New Earth mere days before the arrival of Blakist invaders. Since then, the mercenaries have turned up on Imbros
III among the Word’s invasion forces that shattered the local Combine defenders. MRBC believes they have since remained to
recruit and train forces for the Protectorate Militia, as well as to hunt down local resistance and dissident leaders.
Bounty: 30,000 C-bills (per officer), 10,000 C-bills (per warrior). Last known whereabouts/status: Imbros III (Blake
(’Mech Battalion/Regular): Charged with: Attacks Against Civilians (2 counts); Acts of Piracy (2 counts); Extreme Breach of
Faith (2 counts). The Rangers, a decimated regiment specializing in reconnaissance, abruptly turned on their Capellan employers
on Victoria in December of 3068. Executing a well-planned strike, the mercenaries plundered the Shengli Arms factory complex
they were charged with guarding and damaged the CCAF garrison forces on-planet before retreating off world and departing the
system in a stolen JumpShip. While Capellan intelligence has suggested a possible tie between the Rangers and the Capellan
March forces led at the time by Duke George Hasek, the Rangers have yet to resurface since their disappearance and are con-
Bounty: 50,000 C-bills (per warrior). Last known whereabouts/status: Victoria (Capellan Confederation)/50%
(’Mech Regiment/Veteran): Charged with: Crimes Against Humanity (2 counts); War Crimes (4 counts); Attacks Against
Civilians (2 counts); Severe Breach of Faith (1 count). The Regiment Wreckers, a heavy BattleMech force that emerged from the
fires of the Third Succession War and developed a reputation for stalwart—if rather unremarkable—defensive service to the Lyran
state, joined the ranks of infamy during the FedCom Civil War when they launched a devastating assault against the local militia
forces on Markeson in 3064. The attack not only overwhelmed the poorly armed conventional troops loyal to Victor Davion, but also
slaughtered over 5,000 civilians in Greenwich City during the Wreckers’ efforts to root out the survivors who went to ground. The
regiment vanished soon afterward, but outstanding warrants for the arrest of any member remain on record within the Federated
Suns and the MRBC.
To date, a company of Wreckers warriors has been recovered.
Bounty: 100,000 C-bills (per officer), 25,000 C-bills (per non-officers). Last known whereabouts/status: Songgang (Federated
(’Mech Regiment/Veteran): Charged with: Crimes Against Humanity (1 count); Attacks Against Civilians (4 counts); War Crimes
(2 counts); Disrespect of International Law (2 counts). After assisting the forces of the late “Emperor” William Baranov and the
Fourth Oriente Hussars in securing Hall for Free Worlds League membership, the Tigers transferred their loyalty to House Marik,
only to transfer it again when Hall became a de facto part of the Blake Protectorate in 3069. The War Crimes charges placed against
the Tigers stems from their alleged involvement in the massacre of AMC POWs taken during the 3067 battle for Hall against the
Third Disinherited and Burton’s Brigade, as well as FWLM troops who resisted Hall’s later transfer to the Word of Blake banner.
Bounty: 50,000 C-bills (per officer), 10,000 C-bills (per non-officer). Last known whereabouts/status: Hall (Blake
MERCENARIES OF THE JIHAD
(’Mech Regiment with mixed support/Veteran): Charged with Crimes Against Humanity (3 counts); Attacks Against Civilians
(6 counts); Extreme Breach of Faith (1 count); Disrespect of International Law (1 count). In September of 3068, local unrest turned
bloody when Swann’s Cavaliers, acting as the planetary defense force on Galisteo, opened fire on WorkMech-armed protesters in
what has come to be called the “Bad Rock Massacre.” The eventual arrival of Camacho’s Caballeros, a venerable mercenary reg-
iment with its own ties to Galisteo and its neighbor worlds, battered the Cavaliers, who fled the region in unmarked DropShips
before they could be apprehended. Subsequent reports have placed the Cavaliers in Word of Blake employ, operating on the for-
mer Blakist stronghold of Gibson.
Bounty: 50,000 C-bills (per officer), 20,000 C-bills (per warrior). Last known whereabouts/status: Gibson (Free Worlds
AGE OF UNCERTAINTY In short, it’s a buyer’s market for the mercenary business.
When you add it all up, to say that we live in interesting times The employers are calling all the shots, and the best an outfit can
hope for is a defensive job on some insignificant backwater in
is far past an understatement. War may be the bread and butter Steiner or Davion space—or, better still, someplace in the deep
of a merc’s life, but what we’re seeing today goes way beyond too Periphery.
much of a good thing. Chaos, uncertainty, and mistrust have
become the orders of the day, and concepts like honor and But no matter what, always check the employer’s references
integrity can only get today’s professionals so far when every sin- and read the fine print, because the odds have never been worse.
gle border is a hot zone.
To: All MRBC Affiliates, Foreign Mercenary Liaisons, Commercial Media, operating under Combine contract at the start of the Jihad while await-
Local Authority Outlets ing word on a petition to merge into the Highlanders. The entire rein-
From: MercNet, MRBC Center for Mercenary Information forced BattleMech company went MIA, however, some time during the
Date: 11/09/3071.0945TST FedSuns’ unauthorized attack on Galedon V, and the DCMS has charged
Subj: All-Points Bulletin (RFI) the unit in absentia with contract breach.
MercNet, the official info source for the Mercenary Review and Last-known whereabouts: Galedon V (Draconis Combine)
Bonding Commission, is asking for your help in identifying the status
and disposition of the mercenary commands listed below. Any informa- Bullard’s Armored Cavalry*
tion available may be sent to MercNet, Galatea Office, Info-Investigative A battalion-sized BattleMech force known for greed and oppor-
Division: GAL-X89-0186-657. Monetary reward for any information
regarding these commands may be established pending reasonable ver- tunism that often bordered on piracy, the BAC was down on its luck in
ification of all claims, especially for commands noted as Wanted/Rogue. 3066 when—according to reports—Wayne Waco facilitated an under-
the-table contract between the Cavalry and the Word of Blake. The unit
* Units marked with an asterisk have been declared Wanted/Rogue subsequently departed for a Circinus Federation posting, supporting
by the MRBC, pending the results of ongoing investigations. widespread belief that the Word has suborned the entire Periphery state.
Black Omen The Cavalry’s whereabouts since the start of the Jihad are unknown,
The Black Omen, a company-sized ’Mech force known for its dis- since all Circinian HPGs fell silent in 3068.
dain of “honorable tactics” and its flair for guerilla warfare—particularly Last-known whereabouts: Zorn’s Keep (Circinus Federation)
against the Ghost Bear Clan—was nearing the end of its contract with Caesar’s Cohorts
the Draconis Combine in late 3067 when the Word of Blake Jihad began. A reinforced BattleMech battalion with roots in the Marian
Shortly after the Black Dragon coup on Luthien and the Combine-wide
revival of the “death to mercenaries” philosophy, the Omen disappeared Hegemony, the Cohorts—longtime employees of the Magistracy of
and has not surfaced since. That the DCMS has not launched legal pro- Canopus—were in the middle of a unit-wide upgrade when the Blakist
ceedings against the Omen for contract breach—as they have with so Jihad erupted. As with many Canopian mercenary commands, the
many others—has some speculating that this command may still be Cohorts were placed on alert in October of 3068, mere days before the
operating in Combine space somewhere. HPGs on and around Canopus fell silent.
Last-known whereabouts: Wolcott (Draconis Combine) Last-known whereabouts: Lockton (Magistracy of Canopus)
Black Thorns* Canopian Highlanders
Known for a string of stunning victories against the Clans early in A well-supported BattleMech regiment with strong ties to the
its career and founded by an ex-Com Guard officer (and Tukayyid veter- Magistracy of Canopus, the Highlanders were still reeling from the after-
an) with ties to the Northwind Highlanders, the Black Thorns were still math of a pirate-sponsored terrorist bombing that nearly decapitated the
command months before the start of the Jihad. Placed on alert as the
MERCENARIES OF THE JIHAD
Word of Blake attacks spread throughout the Inner Sphere, some signs Gael’s Grinders
pointed to a major re-deployment of this unit at the Magistracy’s request The Grinders, a company-sized mercenary force of somewhat ill
when all HPG contact to Canopus and the surrounding systems was lost
in October of 3068. Rumors of a Blakist insurgency on Canopus, only repute, vanished amid the Word of Blake’s complete takeover of Hsien in
recently confirmed, have not yet included the fate of the Highlanders. early 3069, effectively abandoning its anti-Twohy employers.
Last-known whereabouts: Gallis (Magistracy of Canopus) Last-known whereabouts: Hsien (Blake Protectorate)
Deliah’s Gauntlet Gray’s Ghosts*
Deliah’s Gauntlet, a BattleMech company that broke away from the The MRBC passed a judgment of “guilty” on Gray’s Ghosts in early
Fist of Mokal and subsequently developed strong ties to a Capolla-based 3069 in regards to charges made against the company-strong
branch of the One Star Faith, was still on world in August of 3068 when BattleMech command that its members engaged in pirate attacks and
the planetary government ceded its independence to the Blake war crimes against the people of Sierra in the Free Worlds League.
Protectorate. Given that the local One Star church expressed its support Despite an impressive list of enemies, however—including the Fighting
for the Word, the MRBC believes the Gauntlet might have joined the Shamrocks—the Ghosts were still reportedly in the employ of the Word
Blakist defense forces, but no evidence has emerged either way. of Blake via the Circinus government and are believed to remain at large
as of this writing.
Last-known whereabouts: Capolla (Blake Protectorate)
Last-known whereabouts: Andiron (Circinus Federation)
Eriksson’s Einherjar* Markson’s Marauders
This BattleMech force—two companies strong and comprised of A former Lyran command turned mercenary in 2928, the Marauders
ethnic Rasalhagians who deserted from the Kungsarmé in the wake of had just crawled out of a long-running state of near-bankruptcy when the
the Clan invasion—was stationed in the Circinus Federation when the Jihad began. Stationed on Thraxa, at the edge of the Magistracy of
Jihad began. Though no evidence suggests the command has moved or Canopus, this veteran ’Mech regiment inexplicably vanished soon after
committed any atrocities, the MRBC considers the command Wanted for the blackout of Canopus and its surrounding systems, and it may be
violating the recent employment ban levied against the Word of Blake. involved in the widespread fighting that has reportedly engulfed the
Magistracy since 3069.
Last-known whereabouts: Circinus (Circinus Federation)
Last-known whereabouts: Thraxa (Magistracy of Canopus)
Eridani Light Horse
Though not technically returned to mercenary service at the onset Martian Cuirassiers*
A well-equipped mixed regiment last seen on the blacked-out hiring
of the Jihad, without a Star League to serve the ELH was expected by
many to make an eventual appearance on Galatea once its scattered hall world of Fletcher before the Jihad, the Martian Cuirassiers are
commands—including the 71st Light Horse Regiment on Huntress and believed to be in the Word of Blake’s employ and acting as a raiding force
the 151st en route from the Clan homeworlds—regrouped at the force’s or mobile defense unit for the Protectorate region, presumably caught up
garrison on Dieron. Unfortunately, an eruption of violence in the Clan in the Word’s elaborate pre-Jihad shell games. No atrocities have report-
worlds has apparently consumed the 71st and information leaked by INN edly been committed by this command, but their employment status has
in 3070 suggested a Word of Blake assault in the Deep Periphery eradi- branded them as Wanted by the MRBC.
cated the 151st as well.
Last-known whereabouts: Fletcher (Blake Protectorate)
The remaining regiments—the 21st Striker and the 19th Cavalry,
along with the ELH High Command—were meanwhile trapped on Dieron Quint’s Olympian Groundpounders*
and are believed to have been heavily damaged, if not destroyed by Longtime employees of the Periphery—particularly the Circinus
repeated Blakist assaults. Rumors nonetheless persist that ELH sur-
vivors remain active on Dieron, assisting the shattered remnants of the Federation—the Groundpounders rated approximately two companies of
DCMS garrison (and even survivors of an ill-fated rescue mission by the mixed BattleMech and vehicular forces after the brief 3066 conflict
Royal Black Watch) in mounting a determined resistance to the Word’s between the Federation and the Marian Hegemony. By 3067, after a con-
occupation. tract renegotiation (which the MRBC firmly believes involved elements of
the Blakist government that has since suborned the Federation), the vet-
Last-known whereabouts: Dieron (Draconis Combine) eran Groundpounders returned to their garrison post on Diedre’s Den
and were still in place when the Jihad began and the Federation subse-
Fighting Shamrocks* quently went HPG-silent. Like all Word-employed mercs, the
Another small merc force employed in the Circinus Federation at the Groundpounders have been declared Wanted by the MRBC, though no
claims of any atrocities have been leveled against this unit at this time.
time of the Jihad, the Shamrocks—recon specialists comprised of a
company each in BattleMechs and infantry—were reportedly seeking Last-known whereabouts: Diedre’s Den (Circinus Federation)
contracts outside the Federation as of the last report. However, an influx
of upgrades from the Blakist-controlled Circinian government apparent- Ramilie's Raiders
ly kept the Shamrocks from deploying elsewhere and the mercenaries Ramilie’s Raiders, long-time employees of the Magistracy of
are wanted for questioning by the MRBC.
Canopus—and one-time friends of the Canopian Magestrix herself—
Last-known whereabouts: Thadora’s Land (Circinus Federation) were working their way out of the Periphery in search of greener pas-
tures in 3067 when the command was refused passage through Free
Worlds and Capellan space. Stymied and low on funds, the raiders set-
tled down briefly in the Fronc Reaches, winding up on Cygnus while
MERCENARIES OF THE JIHAD
searching for a new employer. Rumors that the Magistracy attempted to Stone Ponies*
re-recruit the Raiders began to circulate in late 3068, but they could not A mixed company of ’Mechs and vehicles reportedly more interest-
be confirmed due to the loss of HPG contact in and around Canopus. The
Raiders have since dropped off radar, and their status remains unknown ed in principles than profit, the Stone Ponies nevertheless found them-
as of this writing. selves holding down a garrison contract in Blakist-controlled Circinian
space at the start of the Jihad. MRBC officials have listed the unit as
Last-known whereabouts: Cygnus (Fronc Reaches) Wanted on the grounds of its current employer’s blacklisted status, but
inside sources suggest that the unit would face little more than a curso-
Stalwart Support ry debriefing if brought to justice.
One of the best known (and arguably the most professional) mer-
Last-known whereabouts: Claybourne II (Circinus Federation)
cenary infantry regiments in known space, Stalwart Support found itself
“hoodwinked” into assisting the Word of Blake when the New Canton Vulgar Bulgars*
government formally allied itself with the Word in 3067. The temporary Little is known about the mercenary BattleMech force known as the
presence of the First Dismal Disinherited and a hidden Blakist force on
New Canton created an uneasy tension on the planet for a time that Vulgar Bulgars, which surfaced as employees of the Circinus Federation
reportedly only worsened after the sacking of Outreach, at which point just about the time of the Marian Hegemony’s 3066 invasion. Reports
the Support finally broke its Canton contract and joined the local resis- received by the MRBC, however, have suggested that the command,
tance. As of this writing, the status of Stalwart Support remains which numbered just shy of two companies in mid-3067, was in the
unknown, though a declaration from Word of Blake sources in August of process of moving from Baltazar III for an unknown destination under
this year flatly stated that all resistance on New Canton has been “liqui- Blakist contract just before the Federation HPGs fell silent.
Last-known whereabouts: Baltazar III (Circinus Federation)
Last-known whereabouts: New Canton (Blake Protectorate)
HIRING HALL UPDATES
Since the onset of the Jihad, a number of the major hubs for mercenary trade have either shut down or become radically
altered. The chaos of the fighting and the scattered state of the mercenary profession has seen a return to the less-regulated in-
the-field negotiations, with many planet-hopping mercs picking up contracts with the locals as they go or simply staying on their last-
known base world in the hopes of a speedy contract renewal. To summarize the state of the best-known mercenary hubs, MercNet
has compiled this short briefing for the benefit of today’s merc and his potential employers.
The sheer level of destruction visited in the two battles on Outreach, coupled with the departure of Wolf’s Dragoons and the
subsequent occupation by Word of Blake forces has shut down all legitimate mercenary activity through Outreach.
Word of Blake’s control over Solaris VII—regardless of the reportedly fierce local resistance—has closed down all mercenary
activity through the informal hiring halls of this world.
With the Lyran Alliance under siege by the resurgent Clans, the Word of Blake, and Free Worlds League renegades, hiring
through Arc-Royal has reached an all-time high, particularly for missions along the Lyran-Clan front or to fill the ranks of mercenary
commands mauled in the recent fighting. The presence of both the Kell Hounds and the core of the LAAF’s battered High Command
assures that there are no shortages of employers, but also assures that any missions taken will be for the exclusive benefit of House
Steiner and the Lyran state.
Reportedly, soon after completely crushing all opposition on Fletcher, the Word of Blake shut down all mercenary hiring facili-
ties on planet and converted the mercenary hiring compound into a military detention center.
After the fall of Outreach, all MRBC operations formally transferred to Galatea, restoring the heart of the legitimate mercenary
trade to the one-time Mercenary’s Star. MRBC offices and hiring halls here are operating beyond capacity, managing thousands of
contracts a day, and local security forces are reportedly hard-pressed to keep track of all the traffic, prompting planetary authorities
to hire mercenaries just to keep Galatea safe from possible Blakist assaults.
MERCENARIES OF THE JIHAD
MRBC talks with the Capellan authorities to open an
MRBC branch on Westerhand were stonewalled at the
time of the Jihad and have become non-existent since.
Reportedly, the Confederation has grown increasingly
leery of mercenaries since the recent assaults on their
realm by Duke George Hasek’s forces and—later—the
Word of Blake. As a result, the Westerhand planetary gov-
ernment has formally closed its hiring halls until further
Local communications—including all HPG transmis-
sions—to and from Northwind have all but ceased, and
passing traffic continues to indicate the presence of at
least one Blakist WarShip in system three years after the
Word’s blockade began. While these factors suggest to
some that the Highlanders still live and remain trapped on
their homeworld, critics—citing the lack of evidence for
Outreach-level devastation on Northwind—have theorized
that the Highlanders have traded their independence in for
peace, and are now willing vassals of the Blake
Regardless of the cause, the effect has been the com-
plete shutdown of Northwind as a mercenary hub, and
vessels entering the system are advised to depart at once
or face deadly consequences.
Clan Snow Raven’s invasion of Antallos and subse-
quent occupation has completely disrupted all mercenary
operations—legitimate and otherwise—once conducted through this world.
Reports from Astrokaszy before the world’s recent blackout placed Blakist forces—or bandits possibly backed up by the Word
of Blake—in control of the planet’s ten largest major settlements, including the Shervanis Caliphate. The effect has been a com-
plete choking off of all mercenary business on this world.
Reports are conflicted on the state of the mercenary trade through Herotitus. Word of Blake agents have—according to
some—been hiring both legitimate and rogue mercenaries for Periphery assignments through here, as have the Taurian
Concordat and elements of the Fronc Reaches, but the hiring halls of New Hedon and Myrmos have been chaotic since the
December 3070 assassination of planetary president Allison Carver created a local power vacuum as the New Hedonist and the
Social Conservative parties vie for control.
The Jihad’s effects on the mercenary trade and local travel have drained the Noisiel Games of spectators and competitors
for three years in a row. With attendance at an all-time low, the local buzz suggests the Noisiel Games may be formally cancelled
for the remainder of the war. And with it, all mercenary trade through this world has effectively ceased.
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
FORCE BRIEFS UPDATES
The following reports represent the bulk of the MRBC’s most some key details such as the composition, experience rating,
up-to-date information on many of the most prominent merce- and force strength of these various mercenary forces may only
nary commands presently active in the Inner Sphere and near be estimated. Where possible, such estimates may be found
Periphery. The data includes briefings on forces that were within the material.
first covered in Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, as
well as the Mercenary Supplementals released prior The status of each command with the MRBC (namely their
to the start of the Word of Blake Dragoons Rating or Wanted/Rogue status) may also be
Jihad. As always, readers are
reminded that this collection of found in each command’s brief. It should
mercenary briefs only covers a be noted, however, that mercenaries
sample of the outfits currently in declared Rogue or Wanted by the MRBC
operation, although these com- are considered armed and extremely dan-
mands may be considered among gerous at all times, but rewards for their
the most high-profile in the capture may call for restraint from appre-
business. It should also be hending agencies. It is also important to
noted that the MRBC’s
mandate encompasses note that not all mercenary commands
the whole of the profes- declared Wanted in recent years
sion, not just mercenar- may be guilty of any crime
ies of any given affiliation greater than their choice in
or only those that have been employers. In such cases, the
registered with the MRBC seeks the apprehension
Commission. Accordingly, the fol- of these commands alive and as
lowing briefs include many unreg- undamaged as possible to face
istered and unrated commands,
as well as many who—either due sanctions for violating a Commission-
to war crimes or current employ- ordered blacklist. Thus, unless otherwise
ment with the Word of Blake— noted in the text, apprehending merce-
have been listed as Wanted or naries should use minimal force to cap-
Rogue. ture any Rogue or Wanted commands
and resort to overwhelming or lethal force
Unlike the previous mercenary Field Manuals and only in defense of the apprehending com-
Supplementals, however, MercNet has provided the follow- mand or nearby non-combatants.
ing briefs in a condensed format for quicker review. In this Remember, at all times, that the mercenary industry prizes
condensed format, detailed breakdowns of the various sub-units integrity above all else in these trying times of war and decep-
and have been trimmed to allow for better focus on the overall tion.
description of the various mercenary commands and their major Rewards for any rogue or wanted mercenaries captured (or
sub-commands. Unfortunately, with the confusion of the Jihad eliminated) in accordance with MRBC requests may be collected
and the various side-conflicts that continue to rage even now, at the Commission’s offices on Galatea. Any questions regarding
the status of rogue or wanted mercenaries—including the current
value of any outstanding bounties offered by the MRBC—may be
forwarded to the MRBC’s Office of Inter-Mercenary Authority in
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
First appearing in the Chaos March during in the waning months of 3060, the origins
of the 48th were a mystery that the desperate independent employers of the region scarce-
ly bothered to unravel. However, to any who even discussed the matter with the middle-
aged warriors—as bound to a samurai code of combat as to their own aloofness—it
quickly became clear that most, if not all, of the men and women of this lightweight,
undermanned BattleMech battalion hailed from the Draconis Combine. But with even
this theory hotly contested by the members of this enigmatic command, further insights
into the origins of the 48th—even to determine the meaning behind their unusual
name—eluded many potential employers for years. However, this lack of background
did not prevent the wandering command from securing employment in a series of Chaos
What is known is that the 48th took part is several minor conflicts throughout the
March, often fielding far less than their full strength. Indeed, during one of their first contracts,
a 3062 conflict between rival factions on Epsilon Eridani, only Major Namihito’s command lance
took part, leaving most of the command buttoned up within their aging Overlord throughout the
conflict. Also noted is how the 48th’s strategies often balanced their warriors’ sense of honor with the
letter of their contracts, as again evidenced by the fact that all local authorities on Epsilon Eridani cleared the 48th of all wrongdoings
when evidence of their Palatine employers’ corruption came to light.
Since then, MercNet sources have learned that the mystery origins of the 48th may stretch back to the Clan invasion. According to
Combine records, the Fifth Amphigean Assault Group—which was shattered during the Ghost Bear assault on Krenice—included among
its number a promising tactical officer by the name of Sho-sa Michio Namihito. Furthermore, according to the reports, Namihito’s
Panther—the same model that the 48th’s commanding officer pilots—was designated with the unit number “48” on the Fifth’s rolls at the
time the regiment was believed to have been destroyed by the invaders. These facts suggested that the 48th were ronin warriors, left for
dead by the DCMS on Krenice, and who, upon their eventual return to the Combine after years of enemy occupation, had evidently grown
disillusioned with the state of their homelands. Major Namihito, who has refused to register his mercenaries with the MRBC, finally con-
firmed the heart of this tale in 3068, when the widespread suspicion of mercenary troops began its resurgence.
The widening conflict of the Jihad has seen the 48th finally move away from the worlds of the former Chaos March, and the com-
mand has established a home of sorts on Galatea, despite its refusal to register with the MRBC. While he has accepted few missions
since the onset of the war, wary of the confusion and deceptions seen in the March, Major Namihito is reportedly considering a number
of bounty hunting options as an effort to keep his warriors fed and financially viable while simultaneously allowing them to practice their
unique style of samurai honor on their own terms.
Dragoons Rating: B
The 48th’s BattleMech complement is almost entirely comprised of light ’Mechs of Combine manufacture, most of which are vintage
3050 or better. True to their origins, most of these machines are known for speed and are typically deployed in smaller formations of one
or two lances to maximize their overall mobility. Namihito’s own PTR-9K Panther is actually the slowest unit in the entire battalion, but it
makes up for this shortcoming with an arsenal of Clan weaponry, the origins of which the major has yet to divulge.
FORCE BRIEFS UPDATES
Formed from a core of retired AFFS officers in 3042, the Arcadians have
worked exclusively for the Federated Suns and several major FedSuns defense
suppliers. As they never officially registered with the MRBC, many critics suspect-
ed the Arcadians to be nothing more than a front for some other AFFS unit, operat-
ing off the House rolls to avoid the usual channels. Several lucrative contracts
defending major military suppliers and light raiding for the FedCom in the years
before the Clan Invasion did nothing to dispel such rumors.
The last fifteen years have seen the Arcadians stationed primarily along the
Capellan border, seeing action during the Capellan “liberation” of St. Ives and some
border skirmishes during the FedCom Civil War. After the dust settled, the regiment
was posted to Acamar to defend the world against the occasional Capellan foray.
Thanks to their long-term ties to various military suppliers, the Arcadians easily main-
tained their high technology levels and even received the opportunity to purchase sev-
eral heavy OmniMech designs at below-market prices.
During Duke Hasek’s Operation: Sovereign Justice, the Arcadians were
among the first mercenaries called upon to pin down Capellan forces in support
of the border-wide invasion, assigned to hit Ningpo in a diversionary raid. Faulty
intelligence, however, failed to warn the Arcadians of the presence of the Hell’s
Black Aces, and the Arcadian Air Wing suffered severe losses before the mer-
cenaries even reached the planet. Landing near their objective—an armor-sheeting factory owned by Earthwerks, Ltd—the Arcadians
had barely deployed before the arrival of the First Taurian Lancers. The Taurians tore into the “Davion mercenaries” with unabashed fury
that made up for their smaller numbers. Stunned by the sheer ferocity of the Lancers attack, the Arcadians attempted to flank the Taurians
and succeeded only in seeing much of their Third Battalion smashed by two low-level bombing runs by the Aces.
Having suffered over sixty percent losses in less than twenty-four hours, the Arcadians retreated under fire, losing the DropShip
Dark Star and her remaining fighters in the process, and eventually limped back to lick their wounds on Acamar by early July of 3068.
As the Arcadians continued to rebuild, Acamar entered into secret negotiations with the Word of Blake to join its burgeoning
Protectorate. When the formal announcement came in August of 3068, the mercenaries were offered a choice: either terminate their con-
tract with the Federated Suns and sign with the Protectorate, or pack up and leave immediately, unmolested. Convinced the planetary
government was being duped into such actions, Colonel Andrews sent word to both New Syrtis and New Avalon to confirm that Acamar
was indeed leaving the Suns—never realizing that the Word of Blake had already taken over the local HPG. When the deadline passed,
Protectorate forces recently assigned to the planet moved in and the Arcadians once again found themselves in a fighting withdrawal.
Unable to scrounge enough transport to take all of his equipment, Andrews was forced to abandon the vehicles and equipment from his
8843rd Armored Regiment, along with all of the Arcadian’s Third Battalion BattleMechs.
Demoralized, and with his command reduced to less than half of its operational strength, Colonel Andrews called in some favors
among his corporate contacts and moved the Arcadians to Ronel, where they have begun to rebuild once more. Soon after the transfer,
Andrews sent a liaison team to contact the remnants of the beleaguered Allied Mercenary Command, and he offered the Arcadians’ ser-
vice to the alliance. Though the AMC badge may mark the Arcadians as a target for the Word of Blake, the mercenaries relish the chance
to one day hammer back at the Word, with Andrews’ ultimate goal focused on liberation of Acamar.
Dragoons Rating: Not Registered
Reduced to two battalions after the savage fighting on Ningpo and the forced retreat from Acamar, the Arcadians still field many
newer BattleMech designs thanks to Colonel Andrews’ corporate connections with several FedSuns military conglomerates. The com-
mand company is now made up completely of Inner Sphere OmniMechs, the most deadly being two lances of Templars straight off the
The Arcadians still retain their AFFS-style of RCT combat, though the loss of so much artillery and air support has forced them to
adapt to close-range slugging matches. Andrews hopes that they can regain this lost support, however, and is resistant to alter his tra-
ditional tactics beyond the needs of the moment.
1st Arcadian Air Wing
Decimated by the Hell’s Black Aces at Ningpo, the Air Wing is currently reduced to four Stukas, three Sparrowhawks and a lone
Transgressor. When in hostile action, the wing is usually assigned escort and protection duty for the Arcadian’s four remaining
DropShips. The previously fearless pilots are severely demoralized after their crushing defeat at the hands of the Capellan mercenary
flyers, and Major Kelli Winston is at her wits’ end with the lot of them.
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
Formed as a sacrificial unit during the hard, trial-by-fire years of the Clan
invasion, the Angels were repeatedly thrown into the teeth of the enemy as reg-
ular army troops retreated again and again. Attrition ran high, and the unit
would have ceased to exist if not for their penchant of picking up battlefield
“orphans” to bolster the ranks. Life was cheap and very short, but for what-
ever time they had left an adopted warrior was given a home, a purpose,
and comrades who fought with a nothing-to-lose attitude.
Against all odds, the unit has survived, even thrived, as a smaller, sub-
sistence-level mercenary force. This knack for survival has allowed the
Angels to build a solid reputation as a can-do outfit. Establishing them-
selves through several short-term contracts in the Chaos March then rotat-
ing out to the Periphery, they eventually garnered official notice from both
the Magistracy of Canopus and the Capellan Confederation (as well as
Word of Blake, it is rumored). Bartering on this reputation, the Angels picked
up a valuable support contract for the Star League assault against Clan Smoke
Jaguar in 3059.
During the Steiner-Davion civil war the Angels were officially listed as “non-
aligned.” However, Commander Marcus GioAvanti took a leave of absence from his
own unit and led a small detachment to the aide of his estranged family in the region of
Skye. Details remain sketchy, even to this date. It is only known that this abbreviated command
struck at pro-Katrina forces on the world of Syrma, and then at pro-Victor forces on Zebebelgenubi. After a short investigation in April
3067, the LAAF issued a non-binding statement which chastised Marcus GioAvanti but cleared the Angels of any official misconduct.
Once again on contract to the Magistracy of Canopus, the Angels were on station at Joppa when the Jihad broke out in 3067.
Though a part of the Allied Mercenary Command, they received no recall order and awaited news from Outreach, which never arrived.
It was here that Word of Blake struck at the Angels as part of their pogrom to scourge the AMC.
Though the Angels fought off the assault, complicity by local Magistracy officials forced them to break their contract. Attempts to
reach higher authority failed when the Magistracy plunged into the darkness of a communication interdiction in late 3068, not long after
a request for aid reached them from an old employer, Baron Shienzé of New Home (a suspected Word of Blake sympathizer). The Angels
voted to honor this call for aid and left the Magistracy with their official contract status still unresolved. Since this time, the Angels have
weathered several Word of Blake attempts on their lives and have fulfilled at least two private contracts: one reportedly for Baron
Shienzé, and another on the world of Liberty.
Dragoons Rating: A- (Under Review)
The Angels specialize in hard-hitting “fight and fade” warfare, which has led to many special tactics including an ability to salvage
on the fly. Their ability to stay on the move and strike hard at vulnerable targets has so far allowed them to stay a jump ahead of Word
of Blake efforts to destroy them.
Rumors abound concerning a personal grudge Precentor Martial Cameron St. Jamais has against the Angels, although this may
stem from Word of Blake efforts to eradicate any unit with ties to the former Allied Mercenary Command.
Just after their daring raid on New Home, the Angels reportedly lost one of their two DropShips, the Head of a Pin. However, it is
not known whether this venerable Fortress-class vessel was lost to battle damage or intentionally relocated. The Angels also continue
to maintain at least one lance of aerospace fighters.
Angels Special Assault Force
Under the command of General Hanford Lee, a Federated Suns expatriate, this mixed company of armor and motorized infantry
continues to serve as the Angels’ grab bag of unconventional support tactics. On Liberty, this force somehow tricked an enemy unit into
bottling themselves up in a blind canyon using a tactic they admit to only as “coyote camouflage.”
FORCE BRIEFS UPDATES
Originally an under-strength battalion abandoned by the Capellan
Confederation in Combine space during the First Succession War, the
Bad Dream has managed to expand to a full ’Mech regiment sup-
ported by two armor battalions and a wing of aerospace fighters.
Long employed by either House Kurita or the Davions, they signed
on with the Lyran Commonwealth in 2866 and remained there
through the end of the Third Succession War, serving initially as
a raiding force, and—a century later—as the longstanding
defenders of Newtown Square. By the 3020s, the assault-
focused Dream had fallen into severe debt as an effect of their
relative inactivity. A Free Worlds contract succeeded in tempt-
ing them away two years before their Lyran contract came up
for renewal, and House Marik utilized the mercenaries to shore
up some of their Periphery border. The new contract allowed
the Dream to reconstitute somewhat but ultimately proved as
uneventful as their previous garrison—further dulling the merce-
naries’ battlefield edge and cohesion despite their financial recov-
Then came what many in the Dream call the “Travesty of ’62.”
Called to answer for its outstanding debt to the Lyran state on
Outreach, the Dream was sued by the LAAF, and in the settlement most
of its space-borne assets were seized.
Though stripped of their transports, the Dream remained viable as an
employee of the Free Worlds League and remained in place even after the onset of
the Jihad. Despite the upheavals of the initial fighting, the Dream held to its garrison con-
tract on Kendall. Indeed, during the recent transition of leadership on Atreus, Colonel Henry Bortman stated unequivocally that his com-
mand would continue to honor its contract with the “lawful government of the Free Worlds League.”
In 3070, the Bad Dream experienced a sudden upsurge in pirate activity in its area, and the regiment has been heavily occupied
defending Kendall and a few of its neighboring systems from pirates and Marian raiders alike. The Dream’s First Battalion lost a full com-
pany of ’Mechs when the Brooks, Incorporated plant on Kendall was attacked by a large band of unidentified pirates, while Second and
Third battalions were engaged in an off-world search-and-destroy mission. Reportedly, however, the command’s losses have been quick-
ly made up by generous outside support, including contributions from a variety of local firms that are suspected of having ties to the
Word of Blake. MRBC spokespersons have suggested that an investigation into the source of the Dream’s latest windfall may be in the
In October of 3071, the Dream suffered its most grievous loss—not from combat, but from mass resignation. The Nightcrawlers
armor detachment and a number of Dream MechWarriors abruptly departed the command en masse, boarding commercial DropShips
bound for Galatea, allegedly to register as an independent unit. The official story given by Colonel Bortman claims that these units
departed due to “philosophical conflicts,” but rumors circulating on Kendall suggest that Bortman simply lost control over some of his
assets after a bad hand of four-card drax with Lt. Colonel Lochschmitt.
Dragoons Rating: C (Under review)
The Bad Dream
While Major Ronald Hoffman is attempting to increase the Dream’s tactical diversity, the command’s ’Mech companies continue to
demonstrate an unimaginative, straightforward approach to warfare. While such tactics are often sufficient to handle pirate forces, how-
ever, a recently successful bandit strike against the Kendall Brooks plant has proven the value of more creative and aggressive com-
mand than the Dream can currently manage.
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
The Blue Star Irregulars, the Eridani Light Horse, the Northwind
Highlanders … many a mercenary unit has based its fame on traditions
long past, upholding rituals or ideals from a seemingly better
time in an attempt to stop them from being forgotten. But not
everyone needs a Star League origin to prove itself worthy of
steadfast loyalty or a sense of tradition. Bannockburn’s Bandits,
though nowhere near as famous as these storied commands,
are one such group. Loyalty is one of the Bandits’ proudest tra-
ditions, demonstrated by their place as a fixture in the Taurian
Concordat since they first signed with the Periphery power in
2997. Indeed, Bannockburn’s Bandits proved this loyalty once
more when the mercenaries extended their contract in 3064, turning
down more lucrative offers by Calderon Protectorate secessionists.
To reward this, Taurian Protector Grover Shraplen relocated the reg-
iment to garrison MacLeod’s Land and its neighboring systems in 3067. This
move, apart from placing that particular—and still critical—region in the hands of
capable and trustworthy defenders, also freed up fresh TDF forces to support the
ongoing Pleiades campaign.
Ever since, the Bandits have not budged and have acted only to repel the occasional raid by local pirates. Used to long periods of
calm—another advantage attributed to their “longbreath” tradition—the Bandits have nonetheless maintained their fighting trim, a state
of readiness that remains heightened since the start of the Jihad. Indeed, in the light of recent events unfolding along the Taurian bor-
der, the Bandits’ commanders believe that their next marching orders are more a question of “when and where” rather than “if.”
The only ripple in the Bandits’ recent transfer has come from within. Chief Warrant Officer Harriet Swiller, commander of the
Bannockburn Aerospace attachment and longstanding agitator against the Bandits’ string of “boring” assignments, went AWOL in early
3071 following news that her family been killed during an alleged Word of Blake bombardment on Mitchell. Unexplained was how Swiller
managed to commandeer one of the Bandits’ Overlords for that trip, crew included.
Dragoons Rating: C
With ’Mech assets on the light side since their founding, both of the Bandits’ battalions field an impressive force well versed in cav-
alry warfare. The First—Morgan’s Lancers—is usually tasked with ground-based reconnaissance and forward observation with a repu-
tation for sturdiness under pressure. These traits help make it easier for the Second—Carter’s Commandos—to launch fast strikes into
enemy rear areas. Complementing these line units is HQ Company, which doubles as a fast-reaction force to cover open flanks and as
a defensive command for the Bandits’ support personnel.
Small but reliable, the Bandits’ veteran air-support is split into two-fighter lances, one each assigned to the two battalions and HQ
company. Unfortunately, the HQ company lance is under-strength at present, lacking its wing commander.
The Bandit’s Boys
Major Benedict Washington III commands Golf and Huey Companies, whose motorized forces are skilled in anti-’Mech combat. He
is also currently trying to forge a third company at this time, dubbed “India.”
FORCE BRIEFS UPDATES
The Fusiliers grew from a small mercenary ’Mech company that began in service to the
Lyran Commonwealth in 2995. Though their history was largely unremarkable, their unques-
tionably professional service earned them praise over the years. The founder, Alonzo
Barrett. was a consummate historian, whose family research uncovered his own descent
from a member of the French Royal Guard (the King’s Musketeers). Starting a unit tradi-
tion, he equipped his troops with epées and Musketeer uniforms for dress occasions, giv-
ing the Fusiliers a distinctive appearance.
After proving the Fusiliers’ mettle during the Fourth Succession War, Barrett
signed with the Free Worlds League. The mercenaries were still there when Alonzo died
in 3035, leaving command to his son, Raul. Under Raul’s command, the Fusiliers final-
ly expanded to regimental size. By 3057, however, relations between them and their
League employers began to wane.
During Operation Guerrero, the Fusiliers were stationed on Shuen Wan when
they received orders to support Liao troops. It was during that fighting that Colonel Raul
Barrett died and command of the regiment fell to his son, Nikita. By the end of the fight-
ing, the Fusiliers, impressed by their Capellan associates, opened talks with the CCAF
for possible employment but found themselves locked into League service by a long-term
contract to garrison Zion for the LCCC.
During the opening stages of the Blakist Jihad, the Fusiliers remained on Zion in
accordance with their contract, while the Third Free World Guards—without orders—lifted for
an assault into Capellan space. With the Free Worlds League dissolving into complete turmoil
by 3070, Zion’s planetary government assumed the Fusiliers’ contract, declaring it a temporary
move for the duration of the crisis. The Fusiliers were then ordered to secure Asuncion and put
down a rebellion on the planet.
The Fusiliers met stiff resistance from elements of the Sixth Orloff Grenadiers’ aerospace wing soon
after their arrival at an Asuncion pirate point. Though Barrett’s Bombardiers punched through Marik fighter screen to allow their
DropShips safe passage, the presence of the unexpected House troops complicated matters somewhat.
Making landfall, Colonel Barrett deployed most of his command on the Plains of Schakondra, southwest of the capital. This posi-
tioned the mercenaries just north of the Forest of Kendra, where he anticipated the Grenadiers would surely strike. The Grenadiers’ com-
mander, Colonel Patricia Loge, did not disappoint and met the Fusiliers in fierce combat. Though weakened by the recent fighting on
Syrma in the Lyran Alliance, the Grenadiers still presented a significant danger to the Fusiliers, and so Barrett opted for caution.
Having hidden his artillery assets and third ’Mech battalion in the forests, Barrett sent his armored cavalry through the woods to out-
flank the Grenadiers and cut off their line of retreat in advance of his trap. When the Marik forces moved to engage the mercenaries,
heavy fire from tube and missile artillery inflicted serious casualties. Loge ordered her forces to charge out from under this barrage, but
doing so only opened them up to the Fusiliers’ heavy bombers the moment they broke cover.
Barrett’s ’Mechs engaged next, with two battalions arranged to drive the Grenadiers back towards his hidden command in the
woods, negating their mobility. The two forces savaged each other with murderous fire while the Fusiliers grudgingly gave ground, luring
the enemy in. Finally springing his trap, Barrett unleashed his Third Battalion, who charged out of the forest while the rest of the com-
mand maneuvered around to the Grenadiers’ rear. Meanwhile, Barrett’s armored cavalry inflicted severe losses on Loge’s already deplet-
ed secondary forces, cutting off her support and forcing Loge to call for a cease-fire. Barrett allowed the Sixth Grenadiers’ survivors to
leave the planet, but only after seizing all of their surviving equipment—effectively destroying the League command.
Dragoons Rating: B+
Barrett’s Fusiliers are working diligently to replace their losses via the captured Grenadiers equipment and munitions. Having
declared a state of martial law on Asuncion on behalf of representatives from Zion, the Fusiliers are enforcing the peace there pending
new elections and a return of local stability.
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
THE BATTLE CORPS
The Corps formed in early 3065 from a motley collection of
warriors (and even a few expelled Clanners) hailing from
almost every corner of the Inner Sphere. After scarcely a week
on Outreach, they struck their first contracts with Duke Randy
Hasek-Bills of the Federated Suns’ Capellan March, carrying out
several successful raids and extractions along the Capellan border.
Family contacts in the Smithson’s Chinese Bandits (reportedly relatives of the Corps’ CO,
Joey Nichole, operating without her direct knowledge) helped to put them in touch with Lyran “talent scouts” in 3066. Shortly before the
fall of 3067—before the Bandits’ betrayal on Outreach and the start of the Jihad—the Corps (once more through Smithson’s contacts)
took on a contract with Australis Ales, a Free Worlds company based on Alula Australis. According to testimony later logged with the
MRBC’s Galatean offices, the Corps quickly realized that the federally backed Australis Ales had an agenda that clashed with the mer-
cenaries’ general ideals. Major Nichole promptly filed a grievance against the company and terminated the Corps’ contract after the mer-
cenaries were ordered to destroy a local supply dump under foreign colors. This act earned Australis Ales’ ire as well as that of several
affiliated organizations—reportedly including the Word of Blake.
Targeted by both mercenaries and pirate groups, the Corps took significant losses by early 3070. Only the combined intervention of
Duchess Alys Rousset-Marik and contact with representatives from the Allied Mercenary Command prevented their total disintegration.
The AMC assisted the Corps in building a recruitment network on Galatea to fill the holes in their depleted ranks, while Duchess Rousset-
Marik offered the command a focus for their AMC-sanctioned activities against the Word of Blake through her resistance along the
Nichole, now holding the rank of Colonel, has turned a disparate group of idealists into a cohesive fighting force with a unique
approach that retains each warrior’s personal culture and politics rather than subduing or blending them. Though this often causes what
some call “personnel issues from hell,” it also creates a unique fighting style that works for its sheer unpredictability. The Corps can count
over seventeen nationalities among its membership, with literally hundreds of sub-factional allegiances represented.
Currently the Battle Corps is in rough shape, having seen almost two full years of constant fighting against the Blakists and their
allies. While they have retained their strength through a steady stream of recruits from Galatea and the promise of revenge against the
Word, a perennial lack of machines to put their new warriors in hinders each recovery effort. Made worse by the fact that travel routes
between Galatea and their base on Augustine essentially puts many recruits in hostile territory before they can even join up, the Corps
is kept almost as busy fighting for its life as it is scrambling for the means to stay in the greater war.
Dragoons Rating: D
The Battle Corps: First and Second Battalions
Colonel Nicole’s First Battalion comprises primarily heavier ’Mechs, one company of which mixes Inner Sphere and Clan machines
and is organized as a Clan Trinary for the benefit of the Corps’ Clan members. A second company combines heavy armor and fast mov-
Led by Major John “The Old One” Al-Hawad, the Corps’ Second Battalion is currently barely holding on to its status. Mostly rele-
gated to the training and indoctrination of new troops in “the Battle Corps culture,” Al-Hawad has developed considerable experience in
molding mismatched unit members into a cohesive fighting force—something he often jokingly attributes to his wife’s former career as
a child psychologist.
Air Wing: Acme Delivery Company
The Corps has never possessed a numerically strong air component, despite the skill of their pilots. In fact, at the moment they have
more pilots than functional aerospace fighters, and so pilots are often forced to timeshare cockpit command. This inconvenience has
spurred some thought on Nichole’s part into procuring cheap, conventional aircraft if only to maximize the mercenaries’ potential air cover
in ground combat.
FORCE BRIEFS UPDATES
BLACK ANGUS BOYS
Fleeing the Free Worlds League before the authorities could apprehend him, Captain Angus
Black (formerly of the Eighteenth Marik Militia) used the proceeds of a larcenous past to build a mercenary bat-
talion around the core of his old company. Finding employment in the Magistracy of Canopus and the Taurian
Concordat, Black used his sharp negotiating skills to insert loopholes into his contracts that he ruthlessly exploit-
ed for maximum profit. For instance, when the Order of the Faithful recently raided the Canopian world of
Booker, the Boys followed the letter of their contract to defend government property—and allowed the
bandits to sack private industries and residences unmolested.
This act led to the Boys’ expulsion from Canopian service in 3067, but by late 3068 they had
already won a new contract to support offensive operations by elements of the Third Taurian
Lancers against the Calderon Protectorate. When the First Taurian Pride struck at the Lancers’ LZ,
however, Black again refused to aid his employers, pointing out that doing so would be a defen-
sive action—thus not covered by the contract. As a result of the Boys’ actions—or, more accurately,
the lack thereof—the Taurian invasion of Marknick failed, and ultimately the overall campaign to
bring the breakaway worlds of the Protectorate back into the Concordat fold unraveled.
With a furious Protector Shraplen calling for the MRBC to take action, Major Black retaliated
by citing a contractual clause under which the Concordat was obliged to provide rear area security. The
Concordat’s failure to protect its own LZ thus put them—and not the Boys—in breach of contract. While the
legal wrangling continued, Black took his command to Herotitus to enjoy the dubious pleasures to be had in
the back alleys of New Hedon. It was here that Word of Blake recruiters reportedly approached Black. Given
their reputation, few were surprised when the Boys signed on with the Blakists and shipped out for Kittery.
Amidst the confusion following the collapse of Duke Hasek’s Operation Sovereign Justice, the Blakists seized
control of Kittery. Using the world as a base of operations, their forces began systematically raiding the sur-
rounding worlds, presumably to force the AFFS to deploy troops away from the expanding Blake Protectorate.
The Boys were amongst these raiders, operating in support of the Ninth Division’s Heart of Stone III-beta when they punched through
all resistance on Royalston, Atlas, and Scituate. Then, in late 3070, a Black Angus company was detached for a raid on Beid alongside
elements of the Transfer of Faith III-lambda. Striking at the planetary capital, the Boys’ commander, Captain Rico Iglesais, saw the poor-
ly equipped militia defending Newpost as little more that an annoyance. Expecting to punch through their lines with ease, the mercenary
was unprepared for the BattleMechs that smashed into his right flank.
While Blakist intelligence had been correct that no regular troops were garrisoning Beid, it had missed a the fact that Leftenant David
McKinnon’s lance from the Twentieth Avalon Hussars, along with wounded being transported to the rear, had been stranded on-planet
by a DropShip malfunction. A short company, cobbled together from the Hussars’ medium lance and damaged BattleMechs piloted by
walking wounded, came as a nasty surprise for the Boys and their employers. Tangled up amongst the buildings of Newport, with Beid
Militia sniping at them from every corner, the Boys were mowed down by Davion BattleMechs that were not supposed to be there.
Now reduced to half strength by their debacle on Beid, the Boys continue to operate from Kittery alongside other mercenary com-
mands. Whether they will be able to wriggle out of whatever commitments they have made with their Blakist masters remains to be seen,
but for their actions on Beid and Marknick, the Black Angus Boys have been placed on the MRBC’s Most Wanted list.
Dragoons Rating: Wanted
Black Angus Boys
The Blakists’ terms of employment have apparently allowed Angus Black to replace many of his older machines with a combination
of salvage taken from Com Guard commands destroyed in the Chaos March and new equipment from Terra. However, it appears that,
for once, Black has been out-maneuvered by his employers, for the replacement of equipment lost in his failed Beid raid has not been
Reduced to just four ’Mech lances as of this writing, Angus Black is reportedly attempting to convince several of the other small mer-
cenary commands operating on Kittery to combine forces with the Boys (under Black’s command, of course), perhaps in an effort to
strengthen their bargaining power with the Word of Blake.
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
“I wasn’t superstitious—’til a Black Cat crossed my trail,” sings a crestfallen MechWarrior to
anyone in earshot of that Black Cat classic vid-commercial, where a band of infantry mercs
brings down a rampaging Berserker in no time. But while the part about the Berserker is clear-
ly exaggerated, the tagline “We don’t care for left nor right” certainly sums up the essence of
the small outfit it advertises.
First appearing in Galatea’s contract archives sometime in the late 2980s—at the time, a
simple infantry company with no transportation—the Black Cats have existed on and off offi-
cial rolls for nearly a century. As is the nature of infantry-only troops in a ’Mech-dominated
industry, the Cats came close to disbandment more than once, the most recent of which
came in 3048, when—after an ambush gone bad—the company’s survivors learned that
their employer had not nearly the means (nor the desire) to fulfill her part of the contract.
It was there that then-Corporal Hill, sizzling flamethrower still in hand, dryly comment-
ed: “Pah! People hire you, then expect you to be dead when payday comes!” The dam-
age was done though, and upon their return to Galatea even that staunchest core of the
mercenary band had to agree that it made most sense to put the Black Cats on ice.
For a while.
In early 3050, with the Inner Sphere in full arms against the Clans and soldiers in
high demand, the five remaining members of the Black Cats company came together
again—perhaps unsurprisingly over a nostalgic night of swapping stories from glory days
gone by. With the help of willing volunteers, some old contacts and a good performance
record in their first few assignments, the re-awakened Cats quickly reached battalion strength.
Sticking to their roots, they remained a rather loose band, picking up standard security and
defensive contracts passed over by more prestigious units like Stalwart Support, while playing up
their strengths for the warrior magazines. As William “Big Bill” Flynn said in a 3051 interview: “Usually, rich guys would rather hire a few
nice-looking ’Mechs. It makes them look important. So we mostly get jobs defending little places. The nice thing is, there are people
whose governments won’t protect them with so-called ‘real troops,’ so they’re happy to see us.”
Despite their appearance and gruff demeanor, however, the Black Cats proved that—as in their old days—they not only worked well
with local forces and were well versed in security and urban warfare, but they also maintained their knack for taking out BattleMechs
(although, truth be told, many tales of Black Cat ’Mech kills—then and now—tend to include a great deal of drama and collateral dam-
However, with the Jihad raging across the Inner Sphere, the Black Cats’ golden days may be numbered. Despite a universal distrust
of mercenary commands, there are no easy leftover contracts anymore, but a host of nebulous missions, each hiding secrets upon
secrets. And while offered wages soar, even the most optimistic among the Black Cats have noted the horror of recent battles are often
beyond their advertised abilities. Observing how massed armies of BattleMechs, orbital bombardments, and even nuclear devices have
begun to proliferate, some of the Cats officers believe the life expectancy of conventional infantry—according to conventional wisdom—
has drastically shortened once more. As one Black Cats trooper put it, “If we’re not careful, we might have to switch back to our old catch
phrase: ‘We’re bad luck for both sides.’”
Dragoons Rating: B-
Currently commanded by Major Lou Lingg and blessed with a creative PR group, the Cats boast four proficient but pretty standard
infantry companies. While their anti-’Mech reputation holds more than a kernel of truth, classifying the Cats as dedicated ’Mech killers
would be something of an overstatement. Often relying more on luck and resourcefulness than ability when it comes to anti-’Mech work,
the unit’s unofficial motto is: “Fun’s the creed, creativity the SOP!”
Curiously enough, despite several motions investigating more protection for its troops, the Cats have never acquired combat vehi-
cles or battlesuits of any kind. Indeed, their heaviest asset at present is the Fury-class DropShip they acquired in late 3067—which was,
unfortunately, lost on the launch pads of Harlech when the city was bombarded by the Word of Blake in 3068.
FORCE BRIEFS UPDATES
BLACK HEART ROSES
Formed in a marriage of convenience, the Bleak Heart
Roses are commanded by the husband and wife team of
Johann Rose and Sara Heart-Rose. A mercenary command
with a pack-rat mentality, the Roses are as much Colonel Sara
Heart-Rose’s private BattleMech collection as they are an oper-
ational combat command, although the nature of their com-
manders’ marriage has imperiled even this distinction.
Hired by the Niops Association to bolster the tiny Periphery
realm’s defense forces against a possible Marian attack, the
Roses saw little action until the start of 3071. It was then that two
cohorts from the VI Legio Ripariensis mounted a raid aimed at steal-
ing the Association’s Star League-era equipment stockpiles from the
growing Niops Association Militia.
The Roses allowed the Marian raiders to approach the warehouses
unmolested. Wending their way through the alloy canyons of Niops V’s indus-
trial sector, individual elements of the cohorts became strung out and separated.
Finding the warehouses themselves guarded by two companies of Militia, Legatus
Onufry Sopaczak attempted to marshal his scattered troops for an assault just as the
Roses BattleMech battalion slammed into the rear of his column. Trapped between two
forces, the milling Marians then came under fire from the surrounding factories as the Briar
Patch Guards emerged from concealment to pour fire into the infantry and vehicles below.
Bellowing over the com-channels to try and restore order, Sopaczak did not see a platoon of
Nighthawk Mk. XXII power armor as they leapt upon his Starslayer. Upon witnessing their com-
mander pulled down by mere infantry, the surviving Marians broke and ran.
Success on the battlefield, unfortunately, has not been accompanied by marital bliss for the Roses. While it is widely believed that
Johann Rose’s motivation for marrying the plain-faced Sara Heart had been monetary—he was deep in debt and about to lose his mer-
cenary infantry unit when he met Sara and her ’Mech battalion—now the Niops V rumor mill has begun to link the dashing Johann with
Captain Alicia Carmichael, a native NAM infantry officer. Training alongside the NAM, Rose has legitimate reasons for spending time with
the Captain assigned to liaise between the militia and his mercenaries, but whispers that their relationship has become more personal
have reached Sara’s ears and the couple have engaged in a series of increasingly vocal and public rows. With their current contract due
to expire at the end of 3073, it appears doubtful that Colonel Heart-Rose will choose to remain in the Association—or in her tempestu-
Dragoons Rating: D
Black Heart Roses
As part of the contract with the Niops Association, local technicians have assisted in renovating several of the Star League-era
designs in Sara Heart-Rose’s collection. Restored to their original specifications, the second company’s Thugs, Highlanders, and Black
Knights proved an unpleasant surprise for the Marian raiders.
Salvage recovered from the battle with the VI Legio Ripariensis has also allowed the Roses to activate another company of ’Mechs
from Sara’s collection of derelicts. Lacking qualified MechWarriors to pilot them, however, these have been relegated to a stockpile the
battalion can draw upon for replacements. The financial strain of maintaining these extra machines has become as much a subject of
contention between the Roses’ co-commanders as has Johann’s alleged relationship with Captain Carmichael.
Briar Patch Guards
Johann Rose’s two infantry battalions have benefited greatly from their relationship with the Association. Their employers have
allowed them limited access to arms caches left over from the era of the First Star League, and many have been re-armed with advanced
SLDF weapons, including a few Mauser 960 Assault Systems. Working alongside the Association Militia has allowed the Guards to
become completely familiar with all of their new equipment.
After seeing Nighthawk power armor in action, Rose lobbied the Association for access to these weapons as well. With the support
of Captain Carmichael, the Briar Patch Guards were provided with two platoons of Mk. XXI Nighthawks and another platoon of up-
gunned Mk XXII versions. When the Marian Hegemony raided Niops V, the Guards’ power armor received their baptism of fire, elimi-
nating the raider commander and sending the rest fleeing in panic.
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
Until recently the exact details of the Blackhearts’ origins had been more rumor then fact.
Whenever asked, their standard answer was that they formed from former Star League units
stranded in the Periphery. House Steiner hired the mercenaries in 2866, assigning them to guard
their Periphery borders, where pirate and terrorist activities had decreased dramatically. Finally,
in early 3028 Lyran Intelligence uncovered information that revealed the Blackhearts’ origins with
the former Star League’s Special Armed Services units—an elite anti-terrorist combat group
attached to the SLDF. Faced with this revelation, Colonel Johnson confirmed her command orig-
inated from the 77th SOG, an admission that earned the regiment a part in Operation
Götterdämmerung, where they supported the Twenty-fourth Arcturan Guards in defeating the
DCMS’ Night Stalkers on Basiliano in August of 3028. Following Basiliano, the Blackhearts cap-
tured Kufstein and Engadine by mid-3029 (the latter while supporting the 26th Lyran Guards).
Following the Fourth Succession War, the Blackhearts signed a new contract with the Free Worlds
League and were still working under League contract during Operation Guerrero, when they went into
battle alongside Capellan guerrillas on Capolla. After defeating the Lyran garrison, the Blackhearts
departed abruptly when they discovered the Capellan guerrillas were Zhanzheng de guang terrorists. Despite
both this discovery and the Captain General’s growing anti-mercenary sentiments, the Blackhearts renewed their
contract with the Free Worlds League after Guerrero.
In November of 3068, the Blackhearts deployed for a training exercise on Wasat when DropShips carrying Raymond’s Armored
Cavalry and the HeavyHell Raisers grounded at the DropPort in the planetary capital of Wasat Prime. Colonel Marcus Johnson received
a summons from Wasat’s planetary governor, Duke Howard Long, to appear for an important meeting scheduled for the next day. Colonel
Johnson arrived on time with his adjutant but was forced to attend the meeting alone, his adjutant barred by security. While the exact
details of the meeting remain in dispute, the results have recently become public knowledge. Reportedly, Duke Long informed Colonel
Johnson that he and his command were to stand down immediately, under threat of action by Raymond’s ACR and the HeavyHell
Raisers. Johnson reportedly refused the order, noting that Long could not override his contract with the LCCC. A Blakist representative
on hand then reportedly informed the Blackhearts commander he had no choice in the matter. An argument allegedly erupted that ended
with the deaths of both Colonel Johnson and the Blakist Demi-Precentor. Unbeknownst to the security detail, Johnson transmitted the
entire event via a hidden wiretap to his adjutant, who then relayed it before his own death to the Blackhearts’ second in command, Major
Glen Stryker. Stryker placed the command on full alert and enacted Operation Black Fury, a prearranged plan apparently devised by the
Blackhearts command in the event of employer betrayal.
Acting on their intelligence, the Blakist mercenaries moved westward from their base towards the Chromomeric Mountains and
McGregor’s Black Forest, where the Blackhearts were supposed to be on maneuvers. Raymond’s ACR, a lighter and more maneuver-
able ’Mech regiment, moved ahead of the HeavyHell Raisers in an attempt to slow down the Blackhearts but failed to catch up with
Stryker’s forces. Forced to rest, the ACR made camp in the western part of Caledon Valley, while the HeavyHell Raisers camped two
hours farther east to act as a rear guard. Around 0330 hours local time, Blackheart heavy artillery opened up, saturating the ACR’s camp
with anti-personnel and FASCAM munitions. Meanwhile, the Blackhearts’ ’Mechs erupted from their hidden positions in the surrounding
woods, attacking the now-panicked Cavalry. The Blackhearts own armored cavalry simultaneously struck from the west, boxing in the
Cavalry forces while the Flying Lions strafed and bombed the HeavyHell Raisers before they could mount an offensive. By local dawn,
Raymond’s Armored Cavalry effectively ceased to exist, unable to escape the Blackhearts’ vengeance, while the battered HeavyHell
Raisers withdrew in the face of an assault by the Blackhearts’ Thirty-Fifth Dragoon battalion. Reduced to less than forty percent of their
effective strength, the Raisers retreated in disarray to Wasat Prime and remained there until reinforcements arrived in the form of the
Word of Blake’s Third Division.
The Blackhearts, who had spent the past two months in hiding, repairing their units from battlefield salvage, were in no shape to
repel the Blakist forces in a stand-up fight. Instead, for the next two years, they waged an effective guerrilla campaign that denied the
Third a clear victory. The Blackhearts’ tenacity, however, ultimately led the Third Division’s commander, Precentor Fellers, to issue an
ultimatum in January of 3071: either the Blackhearts would surrender absolutely, or Fellers would obliterate Wasat Prime and its 35,000
inhabitants in nuclear fire. Refusing to surrender his command to certain death, Strike chose a third option and led his Blackhearts to
retreat via their hidden DropShips deep in the mountains. His victory denied, Feller reportedly flew into a rage and destroyed the plan-
etary capital anyway.
Dragoons Rating: B
The current location and effectiveness of the Blackhearts is unknown. After disappearing in January of 3071, there have been no
reports placing the command or its captured Blakist JumpShip anywhere throughout the region.
FORCE BRIEFS UPDATES
After successfully raiding the Jade Falcons during the FedCom Civil War, the Blackstone
Highlanders—a mercenary battalion tied to Blackstone BattleMechs on Inarcs—spent several years
simply rebuilding and training its new warriors and commanders. Four years of relative peace, broken
only by the occasional pirate raid, enabled them to rebuild to full battalion strength with ease. With the
start of the Jihad, this factor left the people of Inarcs in the enviable position of having a well-trained,
well-supported, and well-equipped mercenary force devoted entirely to their home world’s defense—
even in the face of universal war.
Since fighting erupted across the Alliance, the Blackstone Highlanders have stubbornly refused all
calls to move from Inarcs and help defend the Lyran state from its enemies, ignoring even a personal
directive from General of the Armies Adam Steiner himself. Citing their ongoing contract with Blackstone
Industries, the Highlanders have maintained that they are technically within their rights to refuse any call
from the LAAF High Command, a legality their lawyers have pointed out on numerous occasions. Though
technically correct, this position has not endeared the command with other forces in the Melissia Theatre and has
earned the scorn of the media and much of the Lyran public beyond Inarcs.
Critics in particular point to the Highlanders’ refusal to move to Black Earth in early 3068 to reinforce the Blue Star Irregulars. Citing
the Falcons’ past honorable treatment of the Blackstone mercenaries, as well as the presence of their heavy aerospace wing (anchored
by the Eisensturm heavy OmniFighters) many believe the Highlanders could have easily turned the total rout and the destruction of a
premiere unit into a salvageable retreat, if not outright victory. Colonel Scott Blackstone has expressed sympathy to the few survivors
and family of the Irregulars, including the civilians caught in the crossfire, but has steadfastly held to his claim that the LAAF cannot move
the Highlanders without a credible threat to Blackstone Industries and Inarcs—and at the time of the assault, no evidence of such a threat
existed. The Highlanders have also entered into a separate retainer contract with the Duchess of Inarcs to assist in the defense of the
planet, an act that has only further inflamed the populations of other nearby worlds. The LAAF High Command has attempted to appeal
the matter through the MRBC and the Mercenary Troops Liaison, but legal maneuvering on the part of Blackstone’s legal staff have cur-
rently tied the case up in a Melissia court, pending appeal to the Donegal Supreme Court.
Regardless of how the High Command feels about the units’ refusal to help the LAAF, the Highlanders are held in high regard among
the people of Inarcs. Forming the lynchpin of the planetary defenses, the mercenaries have begun a long process of working hand-in-
glove with Blackstone Industries and planetary Duchess Tamari LaRue to construct massive defenses for the eventuality of a Blakist inva-
sion. Rumors persist that not only are the three groups (referred to as the Triad by cynics since Tharkad’s blackout) working to build
defenses, but they also are focusing on expanding Blackstone Industries’ facilities to increase BattleMech production. The validity of these
rumors, as well as what those ‘Mechs may be, is still unknown, though the recent spotting of a pristine Awesome and several Trebuchet
BattleMechs in unknown configurations among the Highlanders’ new training company have sparked more than a little curiosity.
Dragoons Rating: A- (Under Review)
Now at full strength, the Highlanders field three companies of ‘Mechs augmented by a double Binary of Inner Sphere and Clan
OmniMechs referred to as Delta Company. In addition, the Highlanders have recently started a training company to help the increasing
number of local recruits that they have taken in. Where the Highlanders have imported the ‘Mechs for this auxiliary company is unknown
at this time and has led to speculation of further factory expansions.
The remainder of the Highlanders remains fundamentally unchanged since 3067, with the aerospace wing (the Blackswords) now
outfitted with a full squadron of advanced Eisensturm OmniFighters, the Blackstone Guard armor battalion sporting two full lances of
Manteuffel OmniTanks, and the Black Flag infantry battalion’s third company equipped with Inner Sphere battlesuits.
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
In 3030 the Star Lord-class JumpShip Geronimo, en route to Canopus with the mercenary com-
mand Wylie’s Coyotes on board, misjumped when their navigational systems were destroyed by an
unexplained power surge. The ship was stranded, unable to even determine its position with any
reliability, much less plot a course home. The mercenary regiment and the crew of their ships
spent a long month painstakingly charting the local star systems visually while working to repair
the stress damages to the drive systems as best as they could without the aid of a spacedock.
At last, with the ship as structurally sound as they could manage and a reasonable guess on their
position, the Geronimo jumped again.
And misjumped again. Only this time, the axial torque of the nearly failed jump flexed the
Geronimo’s frame beyond tolerances, rupturing the JumpShip’s helium seals. The vessel and its
passengers were stranded again—potentially forever—in a twelve-planet system in the deep
But they were not alone. While searching their immediate area, the Geronimo’s sensors
detected intra-system spacecraft of unfamiliar design. At the same time radio transmissions, broad-
casting on atypical frequencies and in unfamiliar dialects, were intercepted and traced to two of the system’s inner worlds.
The Coyotes dispatched a DropShip to each world to scout in strength, and on both worlds they were engaged by conventional
fighters of early Star League design as soon as they entered the atmosphere. The local pilots fought bravely, but their craft were no match
for the Coyote aerospace assets. On the ground, deploying Coyote forces were again attacked by well-organized mechanized armor and
infantry regiments—but again the locals’ tenacity was no match for technology, and the conventional forces were driven back by the mer-
cenaries’ BattleMechs. Falling back to what they evidently believed was a safe distance—a range that indicated the limits of their own
weapons—the local army dug in with every appearance of preparing for a last stand. The Coyote commanders wisely chose to hold posi-
tion and wait to see what developed.
In due time emissaries from a group calling itself the Samoyedic Colonies approached the Coyotes under a flag of truce to discuss
peace. Knowing that repairs to their JumpShip—if even possible—would take years at best, the Coyotes countered with an offer to help
defend the worlds against pirates and raiders.
Resigned to a long stay, the mercenary regiment settled into its new home. Though it had been centuries since a JumpShip had vis-
ited the Colonies, the Samoyedians retained much of their technology—including intra-system spaceship manufacture—and were able
to assist in repairing the JumpShip’s drive. Over the years, they located raw materials, retooled to manufacture needed parts, and helped
rebuild the burned-out navigational database by locating familiar Inner Sphere stars via the local astronomical facilities.
Unfortunately, indigenous viruses wiped out many of the Coyotes before the Samoyedian medicos could develop effective vaccines.
Though their descendents would be immune to the effects, the Coyotes also recruited select Samoyedians, training them to fill in the
voids in their battle roster. When the Geronimo finally departed for the Inner Sphere in 3063, less than a battalion of the mercenary cast-
aways agreed to leave. The rest chose to stay behind to protect their adopted homeworlds.
Colonel Martin Blanc—grandson of former commander Enzo Wylie—and his reborn Coyotes appeared on Galatea in 3066. Fielding
a light battalion of older BattleMechs carried by the Geronimo and a pair of Overlord-class DropShips, they quickly received several job
opportunities. An offer of upgrades, including a few Project Phoenix BattleMechs, decided them in favor of accepting the Word of Blake’s
contract. With the onset of the Jihad and the Sphere-wide MRBC sanctions against the Word, the fact that the Coyotes remain in the
Blakists’ employ have placed them on MRBC Wanted lists.
Dragoons Rating: Wanted
Sent to New Home, a Word of Blake protectorate in the Chaos March, the Coyotes have reportedly employed many strong-arm tac-
tics. While it can be argued the planet’s state of anarchy required such decisive action, the brutality of their actions is at odds with the
Coyotes’ record from decades ago, their reported behavior toward the lost colonists, and the impressions made on Galatea.
While this service in the field may be revealing their true nature, another, darker possibility has been suggested. Upon their return,
the Coyotes never revealed the region of the Periphery where the Samoyedic Colonies are said to exist, presumably as part of their
pledge to protect the Colonies from outsiders (though it should be noted that efforts by the independent Interstellar Expeditions organi-
zation has reportedly placed them in the Deep Periphery past Circinus). However, information gathering, intelligence evaluation, and
record keeping are all skills at which the Word of Blake excels. There is thus reason to believe the Colonies’ location is no longer secret,
at least to the Word. The mercenaries’ atypical behavior on New Home has fueled speculation Word of Blake may be holding the Coyotes’
hidden homeworlds hostage.
FORCE BRIEFS UPDATES
Since leaving a thirty-year stint in ComStar’s employ in 3057, Brion’s Legion has been
an active force in the mercenary industry, beginning with their 3058 defense of Pleione in the
Chaos March and more recently in the Jade Falcon Incursion of 3064. Combat experience
has added an edge to the unit that training alone could not provide, and the ability of the
two-regiment command to adjust its preferred tactics to oppose the Falcons has con-
tributed to their solid reputation. After their contract with the Alliance expired, the Legion
signed on again, prepared for additional action against Clan Jade Falcon in the wake of
the FedCom Civil War. This action did not materialize, however, as the Jihad soon inter-
vened and the Alliance quickly found itself engaged in an unexpected war with the Free
Worlds League. With much of the LAAF High Command stunned by the loss of Tharkad,
the Lyran General of the Armies, Margrave Adam Steiner, moved quickly to shore up the
endangered League border almost immediately, re-assigning a number of troops, including
the Legion, to that front in 3068.
The First Regiment of the Brion’s Legion arrived on Mizar the same year in time to engage
the attacking Steel Guard when the expected Free Worlds counterattack began. Heavily damaged
and stunned by the Guard’s ferocity, the First fell back to Nusakan briefly to repair their equipment and
take on supplies before returning to dislodge the invading Mariks by January of 3069. Despite the victory and the bonus of salvage, the
First Legion remains seriously under-strength, though the command has recently purchased enough replacement equipment for its sur-
viving Dispossessed MechWarriors. Unfortunately, the ordered equipment has not yet found its way to the mercenaries, in part because
of the devastating impact of the Jihad on the LAAF’s supply lines, and in part due to a general increase in anti-mercenary sentiment per-
vading the forces and factories throughout the Skye Province.
Brion’s Second Regiment arrived on Bolan in the middle of 3068 and has apparently remained there ever since. Reportedly, Bolan’s
Duke Alder Umayr and the Second’s Lt. Colonel Douglas Li have been working together to maintain peace on the embattled provincial
capital since the departure of the Bolan Jaegers for the front lines removed the greatest check on the violence between Bolan’s numer-
ous city-states. Faced with a resurgence in fratricidal warfare, Duke Umayr’s household troops have quickly found themselves stretched
beyond their capacity to contain the conflict, and he has called upon the Second to deploy its ’Mech forces regularly as a show of
strength. The complete destruction of a lance of Legion ’Mechs in an ambush by partisan infantry, however, has forced the Second to
deploy in full companies when responding to threats. Amid these upheavals, numerous observers on Bolan have remarked on how much
time the Legion’s members have spent at the Duke’s palaces since their arrival, with some noticing that these visits are even more fre-
quent than the violence in the planet’s streets. Lt. Colonel Li has responded to the wildest of these accusations—those that deride the
Second Legion as “pets” of the Duke—by explaining that his command must remain ready to defend Bolan as a whole, or deploy off-
world on little notice, and that only close partnership with the planet’s legitimate authority will enable them to do so.
Dragoons Rating: B
Colonel Richard Merriwether further cemented his reputation as an exemplary MechWarrior when he faced a League assault ‘Mech
lance without support on Mizar and emerged victorious. He replaced Colonel Octavius Brion, who retired on Nusakan after sustaining
injuries on Mizar that left him incapable of piloting a BattleMech. His command battered to two short ’Mech battalions and a smattering
of infantry and aerospace fighters, Merriwether has pulled most of his forces back to Nusakan to refurbish, hoping to recover some of
its lost strength before returning to combat.
Colonel Douglas Li continues to command the Second Regiment, even though some Bolan news outlets have started to mock him,
suggesting Duke Umayr is, in fact, the new commander of the Brion’s Legion. While it is obvious that the Duke is consulted regularly
when deciding upon maneuvers, some observers have suggested that there is a connection between Duke Umayr’s swift acceptance of
Marshall Brett’s armistice offer and his mercenary guests. Other observers note that Brion’s Legion continues to receive its paychecks
while seeing no action heavier than a seafood banquet and the lavish accommodations of the Duke’s palaces. Presently, much of these
resources are being focused on the First’s rebuilding efforts.
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
BURR’S BLACK COBRAS
Formed from the ashes of the Crater Cobras’ Black Cobra Regiment after a terrorist group sabotaged several of
the ancient mercenary force’s DropShips during Operation Guerrero, Burr’s Black Cobras have slowly but surely re-
forged themselves into a hardened fighting force. When Captain-General Thomas Marik refused to indemnify the
Cobras for their staggering losses in the Nanking disaster, he earned the hatred of Colonel Richard Burr and the Crater
Cobras survivors. Thus, rather than return to League service, the Cobras signed a long-term contract with the Word
of Blake in 3065. After assisting Jacob’s Juggernauts in seizing Bryant for the Blakist cause, the Cobras rebuilt
much of their strength from the salvage (including two DropShips—an upgraded Union dubbed the Asp and a
modified Overlord, King Cobra).
In addition to splitting the salvage with the battered Juggernauts, the Word of Blake showed their gratitude to
the Cobras by upgrading almost half of their force with new ’Mechs straight from Terra. After a few months on Bryant, the Cobras were
transported to New Home, where they received their new assignment—training duty. Though initially disappointed, Colonel Burr calmed
considerably when he learned that his command would be receiving a small artillery company and infantry support from the Word—
crewed by Blakist-trained troops—to augment the Cobras’ capabilities. Tied to New Home for two years, the Cobras made the most of
their new toys, creating a ferocious “OpFor” unit for the new Protectorate Guards to train against.
In 3068 things changed drastically for the Cobras. Without warning, the mercenaries were told to pack up and head to Dieron, where
they would be reinforcing the Word’s ongoing assault on the system. Relishing the chance to hit the Combine (the Cobras’ dislike of the
Dragon hearkened back to its time as the Crater Corbas, when they blamed the Kuritans for the downfall of the Star League), the Cobras
eagerly mounted up for action.
Landing on Dieron on 12 June 3068, the Black Cobras immediately deployed against the entrenched Tenth Ghost Regiment forces
holding Deber City. The Cobras hammered the Tenth’s positions for over twelve hours with steady artillery fire, laying waste to a large
swath of the outer suburbs. Meanwhile, their ’Mech forces slowly encircled the Ghosts, intending to force the Combine troops to either
surrender or die in a killing field.
Unknown to the Cobras, however, the Ghosts had managed to escape during the barrage through an underground subway pas-
sage. Surfacing well over five kilometers from their previous positions, the Combine forces used the cover of night and the heavy smoke
from the artillery fire to approach the Cobra flank. As the Colonel issued his demands to the Ghost positions—manned now only by a
few damaged ’Mechs piloted by the Tenth’s wounded—the Ghosts charged the Cobras’ flank. Surprised and confused, the Cobras
nonetheless held their ground, trying desperately to reform their lines. During the confusion, however, Colonel Burr was killed when his
Vanquisher took a sword strike to the cockpit from a charging No-Daichi.
Captain Dana Burr, Richard’s daughter, rallied the surviving Cobras around her as they fell back towards the Asp and King Cobra.
The Tenth initially pursued but turned back when word reached them of a Blakist counterattack on the other side of Deber City. Pulling
back to the Word’s rear area, the Cobras voted Dana as the new commander of the Cobras and began the process of recovery. Over
the next six months the Cobras engaged several DCMS units but none of those battles were as pitched as the initial fight for Deber City.
By the time the Word of Blake finally secured most of Dieron at the end of 3068, the Cobras were released from their mission and trans-
ferred to New Earth, where they have resumed their duties as trainers for the expanding Protectorate Militia. Though the Cobras lost over
two companies of ’Mechs on Dieron, almost all the losses of men and material have been replaced by the Word of Blake.
As with all mercenary commands currently employed by the Word, the Cobras have been classified as Wanted by the MRBC.
Dragoons Rating: Wanted
Upgraded to full battalion in 3067, Fang Battalion is primarily composed of heavy and assault-class ’Mechs, most of them Vicore
designs such as the Crusader and Marauder. Colonel Dana Burr retained her father’s driving passion for the men and women under her
command; consequently, most of the unit’s veterans readily transferred their loyalty to her upon Richard’s untimely death. Colonel Burr
generally keeps Fang in reserve until Hood Battalion’s lighter ’Mechs and Strike Company’s artillery can maneuver the enemy into a posi-
tion that enables Fang to deliver maximum damage.
The most inexperienced of the Cobra units, Hood Battalion—also upgraded to its present size in 3067—uses a mix of mostly fast
light ’Mechs and vehicles to harass the enemy’s flank, forcing them to turn and engage. Once they have managed to maneuver enemy
forces into position, Hood melts away as Fang arrives to hammer them with massed firepower.
Composed of artillery pieces, ordinance vehicles, two Yellow Jacket VTOLs, a Mosquito radar plane and several infantry platoons
for security, Strike Company rarely sees combat at the front lines. Major Trevor Horst is an ex-Federated Suns artillery officer and knows
his command very well, thanks to almost two years of training on New Earth with the Protectorate Militia. His almost-prescient sense of
a battle’s ebb and flow often has him delivering devastating strikes before Burr calls on him. Horst is not too happy with the current crop
of infantry, however, as they seem more preoccupied with their Word of Blake dogma than their assignment as a security force.
FORCE BRIEFS UPDATES
Formed around a core of Free Worlds expatriates hailing from the Trinity
Worlds who preferred exile to living under the rule of Thomas Marik,
Camacho’s Caballeros (or, as it is less commonly known, the Seventeenth
Recon Regiment) subsisted on a string of corporate contracts, planetary garri-
son assignments, and missions for the Federated Commonwealth. At times
looking more like a circus or gypsy caravan than a combat force, the Caballeros
carved out an enviable reputation in mercenary circles for their skill in recon-
naissance and raiding.
Hired by a desperate Draconis Combine during the Clan Invasion, the
Caballeros were thrown into the fray on Jeronimo. The battle to hold back the
Smoke Jaguars was short, brutal, costly—and ultimately futile. Colonel Carlos
Camacho lost his daughter and almost a third of his command before he could
get his people out, earning all of the Clans the Caballeros’ eternal enmity. After
the mauling, the Caballeros barely subsisted on low-paying contracts until
hired by Chandrasekhar “Uncle Chandy” Kurita, CEO of Hachiman Taro. As
Chandrasekhar’s employee, the Caballeros undertook numerous missions,
ranging from the defense of Hachiman’s headquarters from Word of Blake
saboteurs to thwarting the Black Dragon Society’s annexation of Towne and
their attempt to assassinate Coordinator Theodore Kurita. The Caballeros also
defended the assets of Tanadi Computers (one of Hachiman Taro’s more recent corporate acquisitions) on worlds liberated by Operation
Bulldog, and the unit was even involved in the border fighting between Clan Ghost Bear and the Draconis Combine when briefly sta-
tioned on Luzerne. The fighting on Luzerne once more saw the Caballeros taking heavy losses, but the mercenaries nevertheless gained
a measure of revenge against the accursed “Mud Heads” (as they call the Clans).
Following the dissolution of the second Star League, the Caballeros remained in “Uncle Chandy’s” service providing security for his
Hachiman Taro and Tanadi holdings until disturbing rumors from their Trinity homeworlds reached them. Stories of atrocities committed
by federal-employed mercenaries spurred Colonel Camacho to request an immediate release from his contract. A grateful
Chandrasekhar Kurita agreed, releasing the mercenaries a few months early, but Kurita’s willing compliance was not enough to prevent
Warlord Kiyomori Minamoto from branding the Caballeros as a rogue mercenary command. The Combine Warlord’s accusations came
too late, however, as the Caballeros were already out of Combine space and headed for home.
On Cerillos, Galisteo, and Sierra, new taxation laws had created a firestorm between the provincial governments and the civilian
populace. After these tensions erupted in the so-called “Bad Rock Massacre,” all pretence of civil order was lost, and the Swann’s
Cavaliers (a mercenary regiment under Free Worlds contract) and the local provincial militia were engaged in what effectively amount-
ed to a civil war against the ranchers and plainsmen of the Trinity Worlds. By the time the Caballeros reached Galisteo, Swann’s Cavaliers
were bogged down fighting a nasty anti-guerrilla action on all three of the Trinity Worlds and divided into their individual battalions to han-
dle it all. The Caballeros’ arrival thus left the Cavaliers on Galisteo outnumbered by more than two-to-one, facing an opponent who was
intimately familiar with the terrain and had close ties with the civilian population. Half of the Cavaliers’ aerospace assets were destroyed
on the ground and their Charlie Battalion was overwhelmed in short order. With his native Galisteo secured, Colonel Camacho next led
his Caballeros to Cerillos, only to find that the Cavaliers had abandoned the Trinity worlds entirely.
With the Trinity now nominally independent of the rapidly disintegrating Free Worlds, Colonel Carlos Camacho (patrón of the Vado
Ancho hacienda and Knight of Galisteo) has assumed the post of President of Galisteo’s new provisional government. As Don Carlos
has effectively retired from the mercenary trade as a result, command of the Caballeros has fallen to his son, Gavilán Camacho.
Conscious of the Caballeros’ financial needs, Gavilán has begun to seek new contract opportunities. Old enmities with the Word of
Blake, a distrust of ComStar, and the anti-mercenary sentiment stirred up by Warlord Minamoto in the Draconis Combine has prompted
the new Colonel Camacho to seek employment in the Lyran Alliance (in spite of the recent border hostilities there), and rumor has it that
the Caballeros will soon be shipping out for the Jade Falcon border.
Dragoons Rating: B-
Reduced to two battalions during the Combine-Ghost Bear conflict in 3062, the Caballeros have only now recovered to regimental
strength. Indeed, using the salvage taken from Swann’s Cavaliers, Colonel Gavilán Camacho has given command of the newly created
Fifth Battalion to Domonic Santos. Combined with MacDougal’s First and Begey’s Fourth Battalion, this gives the Caballeros three under-
strength BattleMech battalions, supported by two squadrons of aerospace fighters and Captain Morgan’s scout company.
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
Canned Heat was born amid the brutal ethnic warfare that erupted on Saiph when the Chaos
March formed in 3057. Created to function as a mercenary force, the Heat was actually conceived
as a standing militia contracted for the nascent Saiph Triumvirate, the three-world micro-alliance
(never formally recognized beyond the March) that included Saiph, New Canton, and Tall Trees.
Internal tensions within the newborn command earned the Heat its name when an observer
described the militia as “barely contained fire, waiting to explode,” but despite the ethnic divi-
sions of the unit’s complement—culled from Saiph’s various city states—the command
would account for itself well in putting down the various revolutionary groups that opposed
the Triumvirate’s provisional government.
Over the past decade, even as the Triumvirate’s power began to falter and wane due
to an economic downturn and assaults from pirates, the Heat remained its steady
defense force. Defending the world from raiders and repairing on the fly, the command
grew to battalion size while refining its sense of coordination. But as the Triumvirate gov-
ernment finally began to dissolve in the face of its own internal divisions, the Word of
Blake dispatched elements of their Fourth Division to Saiph in response to a last-ditch
plea from the Saiph government to secure its embattled worlds.
After lengthy negotiations, the Word of Blake assumed control over the provisional
government, local communications, and military authority, incidentally picking up the
Canned Heat’s contract in the bargain. Supplementing these forces with Blakist techni-
cal staff and advisors, the Word injected a level of stability not seen since before the
days of the Triumvirate, cooling some of the internal divisions that still threatened to tear
the Heat apart. With Blakist help, Canned Heat became a true mercenary command
and managed to put down, once and for all, numerous rebellions against the local gov-
ernment among the Saiphan city-states.
The Word of Blake Fourth Division’s presence on Saiph formally ended in 3068,
shortly after the start of the Jihad, but they left behind a much more refined and capa-
ble Canned Heat, with orders to maintain planetary security while training a new division
of the growing Protectorate Militia. The Heat’s technical status as a mercenary force, cou-
pled with their service to the Word, has led the MRBC to place the command of the current
Wanted lists, though it should be noted at this time that these mercenaries have committed
no capital offenses beyond this contravention of interstellar law.
Dragoons Rating: Wanted
Canned Heat’s employment and period of retraining under the wing of the Word of Blake’s Wanderer’s III-iota command helped to
stabilize many of the ethnic tensions that had previously threatened to tear the mercenaries apart. Though the internal friction is now
markedly reduced, all is not peaceful within the Heat. As the reports of Blakist atrocities since the onset of the Jihad mount—most dis-
missed as rumor by the pro-Word Saiphan government—they have apparently sparked new causes for strife among the Heat, report-
edly pitting those still loyal to the fallen Triumvirate against those who would gladly burn everything down just to get a paycheck.
FORCE BRIEFS UPDATES
21ST CENTAURI LANCERS
Formed from an ex-Capellan command that mutinied over unpaid wages, the
Twenty-first Centauri Lancers built up a reputation for excellence, honesty, and
integrity that has made them a symbol for the mercenary industry. Though this rep-
utation was damaged in 3058 when the command’s identity was hijacked by the Word
of Blake during their conquest of Terra, the Lancers accepted a long-term contract
with the secularized ComStar after a period of rebuilding. Based on Tukayyid for sev-
eral years, the Lancers contributed to the refinement of the Com Guard and the new
Star League Defense Force by acting as an OpFor for ComStar’s Invader Galaxy and
other SLDF troops. It did not take long for the Lancers to regain their elite status.
Securing a contract extension with ComStar through 3080, the mercenaries moved
their dependants to Tukayyid from their temporary quarters on Orestes.
Then, on 21 January 3068, everything changed.
Emerging from pirate points practically on top of the planet, two Word of Blake
WarShips—identified as the Blake’s Sword and the Deliverance—overwhelmed the Com
Guard defenses at Tukayyid, gutted the CWS Blake’s Vengeance and Hammerstrike, and
destroyed all of the defending aerospace forces—including the Lancers’ own air wing. Their
orbital supremacy assured, the Blakist ships blockaded the planet, shooting down any
DropShips that attempted to flee.
With no ultimatum or warning, the Word vessels soon unleashed their firepower against the Com Guard bases themselves, includ-
ing the nearby Focht War College and the surrounding cityscape, as well as the SLDF and Lancers bases. The bombings wiped out all
of these facilities with over six hours of continuous fire. Fortunately, however, the mercenaries had already evacuated during the initial
fighting, leaving much of their equipment behind as they scattered into the surrounding countryside.
For the next several months, the orbiting Blakist ships fired indiscriminately on Tukayyid and sortied fighters against the planet, with
seemingly no rhyme or reason for their targets. By June, virtually no major cities remained intact. Among the casualties was a large por-
tion of Lancers, caught in the open as they attempted to flee into the Dinju Mountains. The bombings killed Colonel Evelena Haskell and
over five hundred civilian dependents.
Traveling in small groups, eschewing military transportation for fear of attracting Blakist aerospace, the surviving Lancers went to
ground. Of these, roughly two hundred Lancers warriors and dependants managed to hook up with the Killer Bees in the unforgiving ter-
rain of Devil’s Bath. Knowing that they could not remain in the hostile expanse of boiling mud pits and steam vents, the Bees managed
to stage a distraction, occupying a Blakist squadron while the civilians escaped towards the Skupo River.
By the beginning of 3070—two years after the Blakists’ arrival—over ninety percent of Tukayyid’s surviving populace was scattered
across the continents in small enclaves hoping to be overlooked. Blakist aerospace targeted any use of fusion reactors and all signifi-
cant grouping of vehicles. Scattered among the bands of civilians, the Lancers helped form small, hidden village clusters in the moun-
tains, though many would perish from attacks and the elements. Those that survived scratched out a meager existence, trading with
other refugee settlements.
The arrival of Clan Ghost Bear in July of 3070 went almost unnoticed until Clan DropShips began landing all around the planet,
broadcasting their humanitarian intent across the communication spectrum. The Bears spent six months trying to reach as many
refugees as they could. Their herculean efforts eventually enabled the fragmented Lancers to regroup with Com Guard survivors. As the
Lancers continue to reorganize—at the Bears’ sufferance—Colonel LeMonds has extended an offer to all Tukayyid survivors, including
those of the Com Guard and the Killer Bees, to join his shattered command.
Dragoons Rating: F
21st Centauri Lancers
Morale is high with the recent discovery that six Lancers’ ’Mechs actually survived the initial bombing of the old Com Guard bunkers
the Lancers had used for barracks. Though efforts to recover these machines have been slow, the recent unearthing of part of Strike
Company’s equipment has given the Lancers hope. These ’Mechs remain in Ghost Bear custody, however, until the rest of the command
is ready to leave Tukayyid, which may not be for another year as the mercenaries continue to salvage all they can.
21st Centauri Security Lancers
Recently promoted Captain Peter Furst heads up two platoons of rifle infantry for security duty. The small security force continues
to carry out their primary mission—the protection of Lancer dependants—and guards their compound against any possible Ghost Bear
treachery. Even though the Clan has given the mercenaries permission to remain on Tukayyid for the time being (under some caveats)
the former platoon sergeant is taking no chances with a Clan known for its anti-mercenary bent.
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
The Chaos Irregulars first appeared on Acamar in the Chaos March in October of
3066, when—according to legend—survivors of the destroyed Sorensen’s Strikers and
Peregrine’s Hussars joined forces to defend that world against Olson’s Rangers. Together,
the ad-hoc command managed to keep the Capellan-backed Rangers from consolidating
their position until the First Cunningham’s Commandos, dispatched by Duke Hasek, arrived
to retake the world.
The Irregulars are unusual in that Colonel Ariel Peregrine-Simson and Colonel
Obadiah “Jake” Chowla share equal command. Peregrine-Simson, an Outreach
native graduate of Wolf’s Dragoons’ Outreach Mercenary Training Command,
is a shrewd strategist and uncompromising commander. Chowla, by contrast, is
a gifted MechWarrior of uncertain origin who rose to command through battlefield experi-
ence with little or no formal training and is a charismatic leader known for his multi-level
down-and-dirty tactics. The Irregulars’ record is eloquent testimony to these co-commanders’
success in melding their mutually exclusive skill sets.
After establishing the proficiency of their joint command structure to the MRBC on
Outreach, the Irregulars took on a series of short-term contracts specialized in security for
clients as diverse as Ronin Inc. and the Mosiro University of Al-Ilb before moving anti-spinward to the
Periphery border. They have since roamed freely through the frontiers of the Lyran Alliance and the Free
Worlds League despite recent conflicts, fulfilling short-term contracts for smaller worlds from the Alliance’s
Melissia Theater to the fractured League’s Rim Commonality.
Peregrine’s Hussars were closely linked to both Smithson’s Chinese Bandits and the Broadsword
Legion—two commands that factored heavily in the sacking of Outreach. Some evidence exists, including Colonel Gabriel Peregrine’s
purchase of a custom Huron Warrior shortly before his death, that the Hussars were under a Word of Blake retainer while fulfilling con-
tracts for other clients. Because of this and certain other unusual circumstances surrounding their early career, the Irregulars come under
routine suspicion of being in the Word’s employ. Colonel Peregrine-Simson is reportedly unaware of—and hotly contests—any connec-
tion between her father and the Blakists, but even so, the suspicions levied against her command were not fully allayed until mid-3068,
when the Irregulars exonerated themselves fully in battle against Blakist forces—an action which reduced the command to just over a
third of its original strength.
More persistent have been allegations of piracy, or at least of involvement with known pirates, with the Irregulars prominently fea-
tured on the criminal watch lists of the Eleventh Arcturan Guard. However, the governments of those worlds the Irregulars have defend-
ed, including Main Street, New St. Andrews, and Campoleone, hotly dispute such allegations of piracy. More significantly, the Eighth
Lyran Regulars have employed elements of the Irregulars on two occasions.
The Irregulars have some of the best tech support in the Periphery, which keeps them at or near full strength at all times. Though
they possess only a single Seeker-class DropShip, transportation is rarely a problem for these mercenaries; a Timbuktu Theater-based
civilian freight carrier provides them with interstellar transportation in exchange for protection.
The Chaos Irregulars have grown over the past year, adding nearly a company of BattleMechs, infantry and armor to their roster.
The exact figures, however, remain as vague as the origins of these recently acquired assets, though there is evidence these new troops
are in fact survivors from other commands who were broken by (or have broken with) Word of Blake forces in the Periphery. For obvious
security reasons, the Irregulars never confirm nor deny these rumors, a reticence that has earned them a “Questionable” rating. When
pressed, Colonels Peregrine-Simson and Chowla simply advise anyone who doubts their integrity to “hire someone else.”
Dragoons Rating: C
The Chaos Irregulars currently describe themselves as a “heavy battalion”—a deliberately imprecise designation as their use of
independent and/or ad hoc special-purpose lances and demi-companies makes exact counts difficult at times. However, it is generally
accepted that these mercenaries possess two and a half companies of BattleMechs, which range in age from a vintage Crockett to a
factory-fresh Spector and in size from a 95-ton Hauptmann to a 25-ton Mongoose. The Irregulars also have some two companies of
infantry (none equipped with battle suits) and a platoon of conventional armor. Platoons and squads of infantry often serve on detached
In combat, the Irregulars prefer engaging their enemy from multiple points—a tactic one adversary characterized as “fighting a
hydra.” Chowla’s Thanatos or Peregrine-Simson’s trademark Huron Warrior can often be found at the leading edge of any assault.
FORCE BRIEFS UPDATES
Since the days of its formation in the 3050s, Clean Kill was long driven by the egotism and
force of personality of its founder, Major Phormes Bullard, whose leadership created an
aggressive fighting force—but one that often suffered from internal rivalries and strained
relations with its employers. In fact, in late 3067, shortly after accepting a contract with the
Calderon Protectorate (before their Taurian Concordat contract had even expired) the Kill
almost came to blows with the Concordat’s Second Taurian Guard when, while pursuing
bandits on Aletha’s Choice, Captain Helen Narbon of the Kill’s Bludgeon Company ran
her Charger through the planetary governor’s mansion. After an intense standoff and
shaky negotiations, Captain Narbon was arrested to face multiple manslaughter
charges, and the Calderon Protectorate—in a rare show of support for its estranged
countrymen—subsequently canceled its contract offer.
With Narbon’s swift conviction, the loss of one of his closest confidants reportedly
drove Major Bullard to heavy drinking. Meanwhile, the termination of their new contract and
imminent end of their stay in Concordat space prompted increasing bouts of internal squab-
bles among the rest of the mercenaries. On 21 January 3068, everything came crashing down
when Bullard was found dead in his bunker, apparently from an overdose of sleeping pills and
The lack of a successor tore the Kill apart as all four of the command’s company leaders claimed the
role for themselves. The divided commands promptly withdrew from their base, each seizing a chunk of the command’s supplies, and
soon began sniping at one another, heedless of the surrounding countryside. Only when the Headquarters Company’s Sniper lance
defected with its commander, CWO Michael Board, to join his lover, Captain Kailynn O’Reilly, and her Crush Company, did the balance
of power finally shift. With most of the Kill’s artillery assets under her control, O’Reilly made a final push against the other companies.
Captain Charles Stanworth and his Assassin Company ran to ground in the town of Hamford, only to be crushed by Captain Narbon’s
replacement, Captain Shahna Richman, and the skilled city fighters of her heavier Bludgeon Company. Reportedly, while trapped in the
city, Richman cornered Stanworth and implored him to surrender but was forced to kill the Assassin Company commander when he
refused. With Standworth’s death, however, Richman managed to convince most of Assassin Company to join her command.
Despite lacking the firepower of O’Reilly’s command, Richman’s forces held the advantage of both mobility and surprise, and they
managed to use both to good effect when she threw the remains of Assassin Company in a strike at the remnants of Headquarters and
Crush Companies. In the ensuing fighting, the assault ’Mechs of Headquarters Company attempted to close with the Assassins while
Crush Company tried to pull back and use its artillery against the larger units. After an hour of prolonged conflict, both forces were heav-
ily battered when Richman’s Bludgeon forces showed up. Unable to defend against the fresh troops, O’Reilly and the remainder of
Headquarters Company surrendered rather than die fighting.
With the cessation of hostilities, the Kill agreed to reunite under the command of now-Major Richman, with Captain O’Reilly as the
unit’s XO. Newly promoted Captains Jennifer Rettig and Brent Potter now lead Assassin and Bludgeon Companies, respectively. Though
the Kill’s technicians managed to restore much of the damage to the command’s materiel, the savage fighting and collateral damage
prompted the Taurian government to order the Kill expelled from Concordat space. Hasty and desperate negotiations by O’Reilly saved
the day, offering a compromise of reparations to the Aletha’s Choice government in exchange for a renewed contract. Citing the
Concordat’s thin border defenses and the assured end of the Clean Kill’s internal troubles, O’Reilly managed to keep the Kill employed
and off the Wanted lists.
Dragoons Rating: F
Thanks to a combination of expert negotiations and a strong but firm hand, Major Richman has turned the Kill around enough to
recover from its near destruction. These same efforts and the resourcefulness of the command’s support staff have even made it possi-
ble to recover their full strength in the two years since the dispute. CWO Board and his artillery forces have been folded into O’Reilly’s
Crush Company, forging it into a purely vehicular force, while the Crush’s Catapults have been moved into Headquarters Company to
produce an all-’Mech force, like Assassin Company. Crush Company now serves the Kill as the anchor force of the battalion, while
Headquarters Company serves as mobile support, and Assassin scouts for Bludgeon.
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
Grim determination and true grit are the hallmarks of Clifton’s Rangers.
Adversity, both internal and external, solidified this diverse mercenary force’s
cohesion and character. Originally forming the Rangers on Galatea in early
2990, Major Elias Clifton included members from all nations and walks of
life, firmly believing that having warriors from different realms would give
his fledgling command an advantage in dealing with the various Houses.
This diversity brought in a few Combine ronin who helped the Rangers
survive when, while serving House Kurita in early 2995, they found
themselves confronted by the ISF concerning matters of honor and
state. Thanks to their own ex-Kuritans, the Rangers were able to depart
Combine space unscathed after returning their advance payment. Later
that same year while on contract with the Free Worlds League, the
Rangers participated in the capture of Berenson from House Liao as a
reserve unit. During the campaign the expertise of the mercenaries’
Capellan expatriates gave them an advantage when battling Vincent’s
Commandos, a Capellan force that had managed to stall the Marik invaders.
Over time, however, support became a serious issue for the Rangers.
The battalion suffered from a chronic lack of parts, supplies, and weapons—crit-
ical vulnerabilities during combat operations—and their performance declined for
several years, despite the command’s best efforts to overcome its shortages. In 3038,
they accepted a long-term contract with the Capellan Confederation and clashed with St.
Ives forces in 3040s, proving their mettle at the cost of their remaining aero support. This act
earned the Rangers the admiration and respect of the CCAF, as well as much-needed support, bringing them to full operational status
for the first time in decades.
Late in 3065, the Rangers accepted a new contract with the Word of Blake to secure the nearby world of Keid. After ejecting the
rogue Thirteenth Lyran Guards with support from Hannibal’s Hermits, they repaired from the battle salvage, leaving the defeated and
Dispossessed Guardsmen to withdraw in shame. With Keid secured, Hannibal’s Hermits departed for another assignment, leaving gar-
rison duties to the Rangers. Demi-Precentor Klaus Helmer—a member of the Word of Blake’s Expatriate faction—worked closely with
Rangers’ commander Major Jack Burton to ensure planetary security, beginning the formation of one of the first Protectorate Militia for-
mations. This force, a mix of infantry and armor, backed up by a battalion of ‘Mechs, would support the Rangers in the event of a foreign
invasion. In early December of 3067, the fear of invasion was realized when a fleet of JumpShips and two WarShips entered the Keid
system. Though Major Burton put both his command and the Militia on alert in anticipation of an attack, no DropShips fell on Keid.
Instead, the unknown ships transmitted a terse message to the planet, stating that they were simply passing through and posed no threat
to Keid or its inhabitants. The ships departed without incident on the morning of December 7—their identity unknown until Blakist media
later announced a Wolf’s Dragoons-led AMC assault against Mars had been destroyed.
As the Jihad exploded around Keid, the Rangers remained in position, continuing to train and raise the Protectorate Militia forces
on Keid. As of this writing, these forces comprise an estimated three regiments of mechanized infantry, a fourth of conventional armor,
two wings of atmospheric fighters, and a level III of ’Mechs—all backed up by Clifton’s Rangers. The Rangers’ own strength has expand-
ed to two battalions, including local recruits, armed with salvage from the shattered Lyran Guards and new supplies from Terra. The
Rangers have grown close to the people of Keid, and Major Burton and Demi-Precentor Helmer have worked together with the plane-
tary government to maintain planetary stability ever since. Though the Rangers have not reportedly engaged in any war crimes since the
start of the Jihad, the MRBC has nonetheless declared the command Wanted for its continued employment by the Word of Blake.
Dragoons Rating: Wanted
Clifton’s Rangers Combat Command
Currently, the Rangers field a force of two BattleMech battalions, roughly half of which is believed to incorporate upgraded technol-
ogy. The unit has worked intensively with the Protectorate Militia for total integration for defense of the planet should an invasion come.
As of this writing, however, the prospect of any threats to Keid remain slim.
FORCE BRIEFS UPDATES
The Crater Cobras trace their history back to the First Succession War. Originally an amalga-
mation of several shattered SLDF regiments known as the Baldwin’s Cobras Heavy Brigade, their
reliance on artillery earned them the nickname “Crater Makers,” which the mercenaries took to
so well that by the war’s end, they had re-branded themselves the Crater Cobras. The devasta-
tion of the Second Succession War left the brigade with only two regiments relatively intact, the
789th Striker and the Black Cobra regiment.
Both Crater Cobras regiments survived the Third Succession War to see the Fourth, where
they suffered serious casualties at the hands of the McCarron’s Armored Cavalry during the
battle for Sarna. In the wake of the fighting, both Cobra regiments left FedSuns employ to
serve the Free Worlds League, where they remained for two decades. During Operation
Guerrero in 3057, the Cobras suffered heavy casualties during an assault on the
FedCom world of Nanking, nearly losing all of the Black Cobras regiment. When the
LCCC refused to indemnify the unit for its losses, the surviving Black Cobras left
the command and the League to form Burr’s Black Cobras. Anger and resentment
at their treatment and the loss of half their force spurred the remaining Crater
Cobras to also abandon the Free Worlds League for new employment in the
There, the Crater Cobras participated in Operation Bulldog and saw action
during the Ghost Bear invasion of 3062. In both conflicts, the Cobras held their own
against their Clan opponents and were instrumental in forcing the retreat of the Fifth Bear Regulars on
Richmond. Despite their performance, attrition against the Clans was high. The DCMS stationed the Cobras on Wapakoneta and made
good on their commitment to reward the mercenaries’ stalwart performance by assisting in their recovery.
With the start of the Jihad and sudden Combine-wide resurgence in anti-mercenary sentiment, the
Crater Cobras soon found themselves one of the few major commands left in DCMS employ. Within a year’s time, the defection of the
Narhal Raiders, the departure of Camacho’s Caballeros, and Blakist influence—whether true or merely suspected—on many mercenary
commands made life much more difficult for those who remained with the Dragons, and the Crater Cobras were no exception.
In late 3069, the Crater Cobras mounted up under DCMS orders and deployed offworld. According to reports, they were next seen
on Luthien in mid-3070, joining with resistance forces near Imperial City. As of this writing, however, it still remains unclear to which side
of the anti-Blakist resistance the Cobras owe their loyalty, as both the pro-Black Dragon forces and the Loyalist troops have exchanged
almost as much fire in recent years as they have against their mutual enemy.
Dragoons Rating: A-
Crater Cobras (789th Striker Regiment)
As of the latest reports, every company of the Crater Cobras contains some degree of advanced technology, though the command
company boasts by far the most, with two lances of Kuritan OmniMechs, and a third of salvaged Clan machines. Other captured Clan
’Mechs are also seen throughout the command, often deployed as battalion command lances.
The Cobras’ Alpha Battalion acts as the assault force for the regiment, containing the majority of the command’s heavier equipment,
while Bravo and Charlie regiments remain strike units, pinning or flanking their opponents as needed. True to their history, the Cobras
also maintain artillery batteries in each battalion and still rely on them to keep enemy forces contained.
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
When the Clan Jade Falcon’s 305th Assault Cluster killed Baron von Dompaire and his
son during their invasion of Dompaire in 3050, they may have created their most implaca-
ble enemy in the Inner Sphere. The vast wealth of the Tamar Pact-based ruling family
devolved to a distant cousin: Major Brent Matis, a MechWarrior in the Eighth Lyran
Suddenly possessed of the wealth of a planet but with his homeworld under the heel
of an invading Clan, Matis invested nearly a third of his newfound resources into the cre-
ation his own mercenary force, the Crimson Crusaders. He sought out veterans of the Clan
wars, equipping Dispossessed recruits with BattleMechs of the latest design.
Acknowledging his unfamiliarity with Clan tactics, he surrounded himself with Clan experts
and listened to their counsel to develop a fighting force specifically tailored to exploit Clan
weaknesses. Thinking beyond the battlefield, Matis also spared no expense in assembling
one of the finest support teams in mercenary service, ensuring none of his unit’s cutting-
edge equipment would be out of action for long.
Matis’ Crusaders spent most of their first decade on the Falcon border, garrisoning the
Lyran world of Graceland. It was during this time Matis had the good fortune to attract Captain
Juell Nahibra to his cause, an NAIS graduate and a skilled strategist and tactician who once served
as a junior member of an AFFC team studying Clan battle tactics. Matis has since given Nahibra full
credit for developing their most successful anti-Clan strategies and it is generally accepted that she is in
charge of strategic and tactical planning for all of the Crusaders’ missions.
Indicative of his long-term objective—the eventual liberation of Dompaire—Matis has prudently
invested nearly two-thirds of his wealth in the Lyran stock exchanges, and he often reinvests any returns
earned by these funds. While none of this money is apparently used to support his command (the Crusaders earn their own way), recent
events have cut into the profitability for many of these long-term investments. Matis chose his money managers with the same care he
demonstrated in hiring his officers, however; when the Crimson Crusaders finally fulfill their vow to drive the Falcons from Dompaire,
Matis will have the wherewithal to make good on his promise to rebuild the world.
Ironically, the mission that gives the Crimson Crusaders most pride is one that should not have taken place: a battle against the
Jade Falcons on Dompaire itself. In the fall of 3062, Matis led an unsanctioned raid against his homeworld to rescue his cousin Selena.
After issuing a formal batchall, the Crusaders met an equal number of the elite First Falcon Jaegers on the wooded plains of Dominion,
Dompaire’s major continent. The battle raged for an entire day, with much of the heaviest fighting near New Dompaire, the planetary cap-
ital. Through effective and creative use of their highly mobile BattleMechs, artillery, and anti-’Mech infantry, along with displays of sheer
tenacity, the Crusaders carried the day. With half his force destroyed, the Falcon commander conceded the Trial, surrendering Selena
Matis. The Crusaders lost a lance of medium ’Mechs and nearly half their infantry but proved the Jade Falcons could be beaten—and
that the Crimson Crusaders were more than ready to do their share of beating.
En route back to their Graceland base after this victory, the Crusaders learned of the outbreak of the FedCom Civil War. Rather than
choose sides in a conflict between leaders to whom he and his command felt loyal, Matis led the Crusaders to Outreach. There they
rebuilt, investing in new technology as it became available and refining their tactics based on lessons learned, much of it financed by a
series of high-risk/high-return contracts.
In the middle of one such mission at the time of Waco’s uprising on Outreach, the Crusaders missed the initial waves of the Word
of Blake-Dragoons conflict and they narrowly avoided the culmination of that bitter struggle when they signed a contract to assist the
Skye Province garrisons along the Draconis border on the eve of the Jihad. Arriving at their garrison objective of Marfik in time to find
themselves holding the rear guard during the Skye-Bolan offensive against the Free Worlds League, the Crusaders have been held in
reserve during much of the fighting to date. However, as they are currently one of the few operational commands to emerge from the
recent fighting relatively unscathed, the Crusaders may well be thrown into the fray against the League or ComStar at any time.
Dragoon’s Rating: B
The Crimson Crusaders have perfected their combined-arms battalion structure and tactics, making them a fluid and responsive
adversary on the field. First Company is a mix of highly mobile medium and heavy BattleMechs suited for both long-range and melee
combat. Second and Third Companies field long-range artillery, fast and heavy armor, and battle suited infantry.
FORCE BRIEFS UPDATES
Cunningham’s Commandos represents one of the few success stories in the long and
storied annals of upstart mercenary units. Their origins date back to the wake of the Fourth
Succession War, when a mercenary captain split off from a now-defunct unit to raise his
own cadre among retired AFFS veterans and other mercenary recruits. Major Danny
Cunningham’s Commandos survived as much through luck as skill in their first years
by accepting dangerous contracts at the edge of civilization, hunting pirates and con-
ducting high-risk deep raids into both the Combine and the Confederation.
The Commandos expanded their rolls early by active recruiting and employment of
what equipment they could scrounge from scrap piles and battlefield salvage. Though
this allowed them to claim a strong complement, the reality for many years was that only
about half of their ’Mechs were fully operational at any given time. Even when the AFFS
tasked the Commandos during the War of 3039, the regiment could barely gather together
four operational companies to participate in its action on New Aberdeen.
Though the War itself proved disastrous, and the Commandos failed to take and hold their
assigned world, their loyalty to the Federated Suns ensured that the AFFS would continue to use
them. The mercenaries bounced from one border world to another before ultimately receiving semi-per-
manent assignment to the Novaya Zemlya Combat Training Center as a regular “opposition force.” Technically employed by the world of
Novaya Zemlya, though compensated through federal appropriations to the world, this allowed the Commandos to not only fall off offi-
cial AFFS rolls, but also to build themselves up. The command spent most of its time locked in mock battles against a long line of rotat-
ing AFFS forces, training them to better face Capellan threats by mimicking CCAF tactics.
This assignment kept the Commandos mostly out of the Clan war, though each of its battalions were rotated through the Lyran front
to bolster weakened defenses and to give their own personnel some experience against the Clans. Yet it was only after Operation
Guerrero and the Lyran secession that Cunningham’s Commandos took on a key role within the Federated Suns. At Duke Hasek’s
behest, the Second Commandos regiment relocated to the St. Ives Compact when the Capellans invaded, while the First Commandos
escorted relief supplies into the embattled nation until the end of the war. After the conflict, both regiments returned to Novaya Zemlya,
now the temporary seat of the Kathil Combat Region.
Both Commandos regiments saw some action during the FedCom Civil War, conducting reconnaissance raids for Duke Hasek and
protecting supply convoys; the First later secured the world of Acamar against continued Capellan aggression. Still full strength at the
end of the fighting, both regiments were among Duke Hasek’s first choices to participate in Operation Sovereign Justice and thus saw
heavy combat in recent years.
Though currently recovering from the recent waves of combat, each of the two Commandos’ regiments is, in reality, a double regi-
ment consisting of three ’Mech battalions, two armor battalions, and one jump infantry battalion, along with a fighter wing and support-
ing assets. Furthermore, all Commandos companies are trained to mix with one another, allowing each regiment to simulate almost any
type of opposition force.
Dragoon’s Rating: Unrated
1st Cunningham’s Commandos
The cornerstone of Cunningham’s Commandos, the First Commandos regiment has the heaviest equipment as well as the oldest
MechWarriors. Some of these troops have been with the command since its inception in the early 3030s, and a few hail from even a
decade before that, having served with the late General Danny Cunningham. Until the FedCom Civil War granted the Commandos wide
access to upgraded technology, this regiment boasted the newest equipment in the entire force, but despite the experience of its oldest
members, their age has recently proven a marked disadvantage. While they helped the AFFS win the day on Hexare, when the inevitable
Capellan counterattack came they were exhausted by the relentless attacks, making mistakes the Capellans were quick to capitalize on.
The battered First retreated to Weatogue by early 3069, leaving nearly a quarter of their number behind as battlefield casualties.
2nd Cunningham’s Commandos
Activated in the late 3040s, the Second Commandos regiment was only possible thanks to the AFFC’s modernization programs.
The force was able to expand quickly by purchasing outdated ’Mechs destined for mothballs on Novaya Zemlya at a substantial discount.
Doing so put the Commandos into serious debt, but the benefits far outweighed the costs, and by the middle of the 3050s the expand-
ed Commandos were mostly debt-free and beginning a widespread upgrade. Anchored by an assault command company and two heavy
battalion command companies, the rest of the regiment runs on average more toward the medium weight class. Its “swarm” company is
its standout, though—these twelve Grasshoppers led the charge time and again against the Third Confederation Reserve Cavalry on
Gei-Fu, breaking its back and ushering in further Second Regiment successes on New Westin and Sendalor before significant damage
in the Capellan counterattack and a collapse of supply lines forced the regiment to fall back to Mentasta by February of 3069.
MERCENARIES SUPPLEMENTAL UPDATE
On 25 July 3069, a Union-Class DropShip descended near the small hamlet of
Groveport on the League-controlled world of Wyatt. Minutes later, the vessel boosted to
an unknown location, leaving behind a mixed force of light vehicles and SecurityMechs
to quickly isolate a small warehouse on the outskirts of town. Soon after infantry
forces entered the building, several vehicles—later determined to be from
the remains of the local militia—approached on a high-speed assault.
Within seconds, these forces were wreathed in fire by a withering
salvo of raider missiles. In what turned out to be a ruse, the raiders
then used their force of lightly armored CellCo Ranger police vehicles
and Inquisitor SecurityMechs to draw out and destroy the militia rebels
within in the area with a precision and coordination that demonstrated the
depth of research used to pinpoint their target and assess its defenses.
A unique new command, Dante’s Detectives uses guile and wit as often as
they do BattleMechs to determine the status of their objectives on hostile planets. With
extensive research that begins on board their Tramp-class JumpShip Nero Wolfe, these merce-
naries routinely scan in-system communications to analyze the planetside situation prior to any inser-
tion. Once the basic situation is determined, the Detectives launch their single DropShip, the Archie
Goodwin, using the in-system burn time to formulate plans that focus on meticulous tactics and minimal hos-
tile contact. The efficiency of these plans can be seen in their execution, and the Detectives have carried out preci-
sion raids in record time. This has in turn allowed the small outfit to collect a significant number of contracts within the relatively short
span of their career, and they have been seen operating everywhere from the expanding Blakist Protectorate region to locales near the
Jade Falcon-Lyran border.
MercNet observers have theorized that the Detectives actually began as a corporate security force, created at the special request
of a prominent IrTech VP (before the Irian-based interstellar conglomerate realigned its corporate stance and Free Worlds member sta-
tus to benefit their Blakist Protectorate shareholders, that is). First appearing in 3069, just after the Blakist White-Out, and led by the
charismatic Jimmy Dante, they immediately undertook several missions seemingly aimed at determining the status of IrTech properties
throughout Marik and Steiner space. With several successful missions under their belt to worlds on both sides of the embattled Lyran-
Free Worlds border, the Detectives have cultivated a reputation as expert scouts, devoted mainly to the hunting and gathering of infor-
mation. Backed up by a handful of security vehicles, SecurityMechs, and even a lance of BattleMechs, the Detectives use these assets
to their fullest potential in coordinated missions aimed at locating and securing their objectives at minimal cost. Dante himself attributes
his team’s success to the camaraderie among its members, handpicked from a pool of experts with backgrounds in investigation or police
Ironically, Jimmy Dante himself has apparently never served in any police force. Though most of his close-knit “family” can be traced
to either IrTech corporate security force or Irian-based police departments, his drive to learn had led him through several forensic uni-
versity degrees by the age of 26, and he was reportedly on his way to establishing a career as a professional private investigator just
prior to the Jihad. When the White-Out began, Dante took that opportunity to work on what he called “the great mystery”—his term for
the “true” causes behind the Blakist Holy War—and with his drive, charisma, and contacts within the IrTech corporate elite, he quickly
forged his Detectives to undertake this quest.
Dragoons Rating: Unrated
Dante’s Detectives forces are numerically small, numbering only a reinforced lance of BattleMechs led by Rocco “The Dean”
Giambrocco and a handful each of security vehicles and SecurityMechs—almost all of IrTech design or manufactured by local opera-
tions. However, the command’s true strength lies within its extensive intelligence apparatus built into the bays of the JumpShip Nero
Wolfe. Many of the Tramp-class vessel’s extensive cargo bays have been stripped out in favor of extensive new computer storage sys-
tems, communications gear, and passenger space for over a platoon of intelligence experts. Some of the Detectives’ technical experts
have likened the ship to the ancient Star League Bug-Eye, jokingly saying that all the Nero Wolfe would need to compete with the sophis-
ticated “spy ships” would be a Lithium-Fusion battery and maneuvering drives.