Partial merc “portrait” (unnamed unit) for Total Chaos, by Chris Lewis
The Jihad was not just a time of intense violence and interstellar war. It was also a breeding ground for the rise (and fall) of the mercenary trade. Some experts postulate that one in every five mercenary commands survived the fourteen years of incessant war. Looking back through the carnage, one can trace the success and failures of many of these groups through the recent conflicts; I’ve opted to focus on three different commands for this project. Each one began with dissimilar origins and followed a divergent path through the Jihad. While their success is relative to their own goals and vision, these men and women possess a rare common bond.
They survived the Jihad.
—Belle Lee, A Treatise of Jihad-era War; Fortymile Standard Press, 3095
[A continuation of the developer’s notes on the Total Chaos project, soon for sale in PDF format. Print version (tentatively) available in August.]
When looking over the vast number of tracks needing compiled for this book, one question really nagged in the back of my head. How would we turn this collection of previously printed tracks into something worth printing – and buying? True, adding in some of the JTP e-publication tracks would help. As would several new tracks. But there had to be something else as our ‘hook.’ This wasn’t a simple reprint compilation here.
I revisited the opening sections of the Warchest campaign in Dawn of the Jihad. Going over the setup, I realized what that hook could be. Mercenaries.
Mercs are the most common “faction” (used loosely) in the BattleTech universe. We have made hundreds of these units throughout the course of nearly three decades, and always suggest and hint that there are more. Many, many, MANY more that exist. It’s an obvious window for players to “enter” their own home-made unit into the universe for their personal games, as well as an easy ‘out’ for authors in case they needed a filler force for the protagonist or antagonist role in a project. The entire idea of the Chaos Campaign setup in DOTJ was that a player’s merc unit would be the principle star of the story, giving the author (me) a lot of leeway in crafting wide-ranging tracks that could then be tailored to specific player and house games. Changing up the minor details in a track to account for a House or Clan unit is left to the player and doesn’t take a lot of brain power to work that out.
So, mercenaries. One unit or more, then? Canon or new? Continue reading