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Had enough of fighting for king and country? Sick of being told what to do and who to kill, and hanging your butt out on the line every day just so some career-climbing general can reap the benefits of your hard work? Do you think you can measure up in the big leagues, and carve your name into the history books for all time? Well, bud, now it’s time to put up or shut up, because not everyone is cut out for the rough and tumble life of today’s mercenary! War’s a dangerous business, and for the professional soldier, survival ain’t as simple as coming out of the firefight alive!

The Inner Sphere is home to more mercenary commands than any one volume can hope to count, with more forming—and dying—every day. Throughout the Succession Wars, many of these forces—be they remnants of the original SLDF, disgruntled House troops, battlefield orphans or even the dreams of the idle rich—have been a mainstay of the armies of the Successor States and their Periphery neighbors, taking part in conflicts from major to minor. The past few years, however, have seen some of the most extraordinary events ever to affect the modern mercenary trade.

Mercenaries are an important part of the BattleTech fictional universe; the Inner Sphere and Periphery have many private military companies. As the various mercenary factions are independent and competing businesses, it is quite rare for them to work as a faction together. Nonetheless, some of the companies are quite powerful and their actions have influenced the history of the known universe.

Employing a mercenary command has always been subject to many varying requirements depending on employer, ranging from simple agreement to complex prerequisites and discussions just to begin talks on a contract. However there are a few requirements that are common across the Inner Sphere and Periphery:

* Combat Actions - Will the mercenary command follow the Rules of War and limit their attacks to armed combatants? Will they avoid attacking civilians? Have they ever used and would they consider WMDs?
* Employers - Every employer knows mercenaries are soldiers for hire, but some nations view mercenaries critically, especially if they have worked for the Word of Blake, the Free Worlds League, or the Draconis Combine.
* Rating - The independent Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission rates units based on the quality of their personnel, their equipment and experience. Higher ratings attract higher rates of pay and more favourable terms in contract negotiations.

Mercenary Units vary in size from very small platoons or lance-sized units up to forces comprising multiple regiments with supporting warships and large weapons backed by arms-manufacturers and the like.

Attitudes differ among mercenary units. Some like to live in the spotlight, actively pursuing battle, whether for fame or for money, such as Ace Darwin's Whipits, the Bad Dreams, the Black Heart Roses, Blanc's Coyotes, Black Omen, the Fighting Shamrocks, etc. Others prefer to avoid the limelight, like Vinson's Vigilantes, the Broadstreet Bullies, Black Angus’s Boys, Clifton's Rangers, The Furies, Heavyhell Raisers, the Hsien Hotheads, etc. Still more serve the wishes and commands of tyrants.

Important planets for mercenaries include Outreach, Galatea and in the last decade Terra, the capital of the SL. Though not as famous as these places, run-down mercs and guns-for-hire can also be found lurking down dark alleyways, waiting for their next pay check.

Canon Mercenary Units and their last known station

Unit Name Current Employer Stationed