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 The Successor Houses and Mercenaries

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Join date : 2008-06-04

PostSubject: The Successor Houses and Mercenaries   Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:06 pm


House Davion has earned a reputation for moderation and fair treatment of its hirelings. Some particularly experienced and prominent mercs, including the venerable Eridani Light Horse and the Tech/Warriors of Team Banzai, are on retainer with this Successor State, which is widely held to be the fairest and most just of the Successor Houses.
Although Davion deserves the reputation, there are some serpents in this mercenary Eden. For one thing, Hanse Davion is well-known for his unorthodox mind. His nickname, the Fox, is a testament to his gift for trickery, and the Federated Suns has a disconcerting habit of placing hired mercs in unexpected situations. For example, when Davion hired the 12th Vegan Rangers to spearhead the invasion of New Venice, the unit found itself deprived of promised reinforcements. The planetary assault mission was actually an elaborate diversion that fooled House Kurita (which had agents in the Rangers) and left the real attack (the invasion of Wotan) almost unopposed. Though Davion makes amends for his stratagems in a grand way, every merc knows to look twice at a Davion mission before accepting it.


Desperate to attract good troops, House Steiner can afford to offer generous terms to mercenaries, for it is one of the richest employers in the Inner Sphere. However, the Lyran Commonwealth is not a militarily sound state. With a less centralized government than in most of the other Successor States, House Steiner suffers from a great deal of factionalism and infighting, and frequently appoints leaders based on political rather than tactical reliability. As a result, Lyran military policy has an ongoing record of defeat and withdrawal that offers slender hope of plunder. There is also a tendency for politicians and hack generals to blame mercs for their own errors.
Steiner contracts often feature clauses that put merc units under Lyran command. Because so many Commonwealth leaders are somewhere between incompetent and mediocre, this does not help mercenaries’ service. A few hasty Steiner withdrawals have been known to throw isolated merc units into grave danger.


Although it entertains grand dreams of conquest and diplomatic dominance, House Liao is the least formidable power among the Successor States. There are those who claim that Liao is less of a threat than the Bandit Kings. The poor position of the Confederation makes it unattractive to mercenaries, but like Steiner, House Liao offers excellent terms to mercenaries.
Maximillian Liao’s reputation for grandiose schemes and sneaky dealings makes him an untrustworthy employer, however. On several occasions, he has managed to find technical reasons to cheat mercenaries of their wages, largely out of a desire to hoard his resources. Archie McCarron’s Armored Cavalry, which Liao needs for frontier troubleshooting, is treated well. Attracted by generous offers, others have found themselves cheated in the long run.


Mercenaries like to call House Kurita “the Snakes”, due to the House’s dragon’s-head crest and reputation for treachery. The Combine employs many mercenaries, and to some (Wolf’s Dragoons, for instance), Kurita’s reputation seems largely exaggerated. Nevertheless, the Kurita forces are perhaps the most effective practitioners of the Company Store approach to mercenary employment. Many poor mercs have become so thoroughly indebted to the Combine as to be reduced to the level of House troops.
Ruthless, arrogant, and ambitious, Kuritists have little respect for mercs – except those who have proven their mettle. However, their winning record offsets their reputation for sharp dealing.


Mercenaries find duty under House Marik unsettling, but potentially profitable. Frequent coups and rebellions characterize the League’s extreme instability, which is the Inner Sphere writ small. Opportunities to make money from rival factions abound, and there are plenty of riot duty missions that give mercs many chances to plunder civilians. However, decisions to back the wrong side in a local power struggle can jeopardize a unit caught by the winning side.


It is ironic that the strongest and most stable employers – Kurita and Davion – are also the most unreliable. On the whole Davion is more dependable, but mercs who want to be on the winning side often choose Kurita. The other Houses are small fry. Of the three, House Marik offers the best opportunities, and Steiner is preferable to Liao, but not by much.
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