Black Heart Roses
|Black Heart Roses|
|Unit Profile (as of 3076)|
|CO||Colonel Sara Heart-Rose|
- 1 History
- 2 Officers
- 3 Tactics
- 4 Support
- 5 Dragoon Ratings
- 6 Composition History
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 Bibliography
The somewhat improbably named Black Heart Roses has its roots in two former Mercenary commands: the Stone Hearts BattleMech company and the Briar Patch Guard. Inheriting the unit from her father, under her command the Stone Hearts largely become a means to fulfill Sara Heart's eccentric hobby - collecting famous and rare BattleMechs. Johann Rose's Briar Patch Guard's history was conventional, highly skilled but in serious financial trouble. With both units hired to garrison the Arc-Royal Defense Cordon world of Great X in the late 3050s, the dashing and handsome Rose saw the more plain-looking Heart as a means of bailing his unit out of debt. Unaware of his true interest in her, both commanders seemingly fell in love and married following a whirlwind romance, combining their commands into the Black Heart Roses. 
FedCom Civil War Era
By mid-3064 negotiations over the extension of the Black Heart Roses contract to defend Great X broke down due to Sara Heart's desire to expand her collection, seeking Morgan Kell's old Archer as part payment for the unit's continued services. With Kell's Tempest a prize exhibit of the Kell Hounds museum on Arc-Royal, the Hounds had no intention of agreeing to such a demand. Fortunately with the FedCom Civil War raging, Roses were hired shortly after by Baronet Simon Clease, CEO of Rahne branch of Zettle Metals Incorporated to defend the city of Shawmut Springs. As a leader of a pro-Victor faction, Clease sought to counter pro-Katherine Duke Etsuya Endo's military buildup in Rahne City. While both units fought a series of sporadic skirmishes, the oppressive heat of Rahne's Melting season prevented the outbreak of more serious conflict between both subterranean cities.
Following the Civil War, the Niops Association's continuing concerns over the strengthened Marian Hegemony's intentions led them to hire the Roses to bolster their growing Niops Association Militia, the mercenaries providing skilled troops to operate the NAM's surplus of new equipment and Association providing components and technical assistance to assist refurbish some of the Star League era machines in Heart's collection.
Jihad Era Actions
Defending Niops and the Rocky Marriage
Despite the rumblings of imminent Hegemony attacks, the garrisoning of the Niops Association was relatively quiet for the Black Heart Roses, with the Association providing Star League technology to bolster both the unit's BattleMechs and infantry forces, including a battalion's worth of Nighthawk Battle Armor. The marriage between Sara and Johann Rose's however became increasingly rocky after Johann was rumored to be romantically involved with the unit's NAM liaison, Captain Alicia Carmichael. While having entirely legitimate reasons for training closely with the infantry officer, Carmichael's beauty resulted in increasing tensions between the mercenary unit's co-commanders, especially after Rose charmed Carmichael into providing the Nighthawks for his troops.
In early February 3071 the unit was deployed against elements of the VI Legio Ripariensis who came to Niops V to plunder the world's Star League-era technology. As the Legio approached the warehouses they discovered that it was defended by two companies of Niops Association Militia troops. The Legio's commander, Legatus Onufry Sopaczak, attempted to marshal his troops. However Colonel Heart-Rose launched a surprise attack with her battalion of BattleMechs into the rear of his formation. Rose's Briar Patch Guards, newly equipped with advanced Mk XXII Nighthawk Battle Armor, attacked the spread-out Marian troops. The Nighthawks of the Guard were noted for their take down of VI Legio commander's Starslayer, the Marian troops breaking at the sight of their commander being defeated by mere infantry.
Tensions between Sara and Johann increased following the unit's success against the Hegemony, with increasingly public and vocal rows over Johann's relationship with Carmichael and the ever mounting expense of Sara's collection. At the time many openly believed that the unit and its commanders would part ways when the Niops contract was due to expire in 3073.
Political Strife and Alleged Destruction of Black Hearts Roses
Political strife over the 3070s had affected the Niopian government. The unit attempted to stay neutral in these affairs, but it did not last. In February 3076, the Briar Patch Guards led by Lt. Colonel Rose freed military and political prisoners, as well as his alleged lover Alicia Carmichael. The Niops Association Militia demanded that Black Heart Roses surrender their prisoners. Colonel Heart-Rose demanded that her husband return the prisoners to the military authorities of Niops. When he refused her orders, Colonel Heart-Rose held her 'Mech forces back as NAM forces moved to attack the Briar Patch Guards. However, NAM did not recognize Colonel Heart-Rose's 'Mechs' neutrality and forced her to defend her unit.
After the ensuing battle, Lt. Colonel Rose surrendered and took responsibility for his action so his troops would survive the battle. The unit's 'Mech forces suffered heavy damage, with only a company of 'Mechs left and none fully operational. The infantry force remained operational and its ability to fight lead to negations of their amnesty.
The Niops Association agreed that the militia forces that had attacked Heart-Rose's 'Mechs were clearly only defending themselves. The merc unit was allowed to leave without any charges pressed against them. However, the DropShip carrying only the 'Mech forces of Black Hearts Rose's 'Mech force was lost due to an engine explosion. Salvage tugs which recovered the wreck did not find any signs of Colonel Heart-Rose nor her 'Mechs. Media reports hint at possible sabotage being the cause. The MRBC struck the unit name from the active rolls of mercenaries and declared them defunct.
- Colonel Sara Heart-Rose commands the BattleMech Battalion. Having grown up around 'Mechs as a mercenary brat, Sara developed an obsessive fascination for the machines, reportedly renovating a Javelin from the scrap heap at age fifteen and restoring an Assassin by age eighteen. The scope of her hobby increased dramatically after she inherited command of her father's small mercenary company. Unfortunately, her administrative and tactical skills are not at the same level as her technical abilities, with her ever-expanding collection causing increasing financial hardship for the unit.  
- Leutnant-Colonel Johann Rose commands the infantry Battalion and is a veteran commander. Handsome and dashing, few who knew Rose were surprised that he was willing to marry Sara to extract his command from debt, more shocked he stuck out the marriage as long as he did.  
Known more for its co-commander's eccentric hobby than its skill on the battlefield, one of the combine Black Heart Roses' specialties was isolating individual enemy BattleMechs to force them to surrender or render them more susceptible to anti-'Mech infantry attacks, best shown during the fighting against VI Legio Ripariensis. 
- As part of Sara Heart-Rose attempts to restore her entire "collection", the Black Heart Roses boasted the technical support staff for a full regiment.
- The unit formerly owned a Union-class DropShip, but Heart-Rose sold it supply additional funds to expand her collection.
Dragoon Rating: D
Dragoon Rating: D
Black Heart Roses (1 BattleMech Battalion/Veteran/Reliable)
- 40 Mechs with mixed equipment
Briar Patch Guards (2 Infantry Battalion/Veteran Reliable)
- CO/1st Battalion: Lieutenant Colonel Johann Rose
- XO/2nd Battalion: Major David Ling
- Trained in anti-'Mech tactics
- Black Heart Roses (1 BattleMech Battalion/Veteran/Reliable)
- Briar Patch Guards (3 Infantry Battalion/Veteran Reliable)
- Black Heart Roses (1 BattleMech Company/Veteran/Reliable)
- The Stone Heart and Black Hearts Roses were both best known for Sarah Heart-Rose eccentric collection of BattleMechs. As of 3067 her collection included Gray Noton's famed Rifleman Legend Killer, an Axman allegedly owned by Adam Steiner, a Victor previously piloted by Victor Ian Steiner-Davion and sold for scrap by his sister following her rise to power, an antique Striker, and a pair of rare Spartans. At this point only a battalion of her collection were combat ready, with an additional battalion's worth of 'Mechs in varying states of repair.  Though lacking the MechWarriors to pilot them, by 3071 thanks to Niops Association technicians and salvage from the Marian Hegemony raid against the Association, an additional company Heart-Rose's collection was brought back online, with many of unit's Thugs, Highlanders and Black Knights restored to Star League Defense Force specifications. 
- The Black Heart Roses uses no standard color scheme. Instead, individual ’Mechs commonly employ the colors of other famous commands, with the unit insignia - a red rose on a black heart — replacing the original unit or house markings.
- Jihad Hot Spots: The 3076 article does not state if the Briar Patch Guards remained with the unit. It only notes that the surviving BattleMech Company "lost" its DropShip. Reports leave the possibility that the unit isn't dead, unless further articles disprove this.
- Mercenaries Supplemental II, p. 23, "Force Briefs Supplemental - Black Heart Roses: Marriage of Convenience".
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update P. 33, "Force Briefs Updates - Black Heart Roses"
- Whatever The Mess You Are, You're Mine
- Technical Readout: 3075, p. 12, "Nighthawk Mk. XXII" - unit's not named but actual armor used noted.
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 20, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 55, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, pp. 88-89, "Black Heart Roses Dead" - Unit actions on Niops and its alleged destruction by sabotage.