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|Unit Profile (as of 3067)|
The origin of the Black Outlaws began in 3039. A battalion of MechWarriors from the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns posted to Halstead Station deserted, seized a JumpShip and four DropShips, and journeyed to the Free Rasalhague Republic to offer their services as mercenaries. Commanded by Major Donald Trent, the unnamed mercenary unit chose to take on the name "Outlaws" following a comment from one of the Rasalhaguian contract negotiators.
The Clan Invasion
The mercenary unit would continue to be known as the Outlaws for over a decade, and garrisoned the world of The Edge on the Periphery border of the Republic until the arrival of forces from Clan Wolf in March 3050. The Outlaws found themselves facing elements of the 16th Battle Cluster on the Plains of Torneträsk in what the Outlaws intended to be a set-piece battle, but which instead turned into a rout that saw just two companies of Outlaw forces escape.
The Outlaw forces retreated to Rodigo, but in May 3050 found themselves facing forces from Clan Wolf again, with similar consequences; the few battered survivors of the Outlaws were forced to fall back again, this time to Memmingen. Unlike the retreat to Rodigo, the Outlaws were able to replace some of their losses and rest on Memmingen, although a lack of HPG communications left their employers under the impression that the Outlaws had been destroyed.
On Memmingen the Outlaws met up with a mercenary unit named Black Omen, which had been mauled by Clan Ghost Bear forces on Damian and forced to retreat; the two commands felt it would be in their best interests to form a temporary alliance, the wisdom of which was proved when Clan Wolf forces jumped into the Memmingen system in November 3051. Defending Memmingen at the time alongside the two mercenary units was the 3rd Drakøn and an armored division, and during the battle with the Clan forces the mercenaries managed to overrun a Wolf supply cache. This cache brought them not just some much-needed supplies, but also four second-line Clan warriors, a Highlander IIC and a Warhammer IIC.
Soon after capturing the cache the Outlaws retreated offworld when Major Trent received word from the commander of the 3rd Drakøn of the Wolf forces attacking civilians in response to the campaign being waged by the planetary defenders. The Outlaws managed to retreat to Ueda, but without Major Trent, who was killed in action just after issuing the order to retreat.
The Black Outlaws
The most senior officer to survive the campaign on Memmingen was Major Edwina Forrest of the Black Omen. Forrest was made overall commander of both units on Ueda, where the mercenaries would spend four years rebuilding from their losses against the Clans. It was during this period that the Outlaws renamed themselves to the Black Outlaws, although a group of warriors from the Black Omen chose to leave the new unit and instead continue under the original banner of the Black Omen.
Major Forrest used these four years to restructure and reorganize the Black Outlaws, shifting the mercenary unit from a conventional battalion formation into a Clan-style Cluster instead, augmented by a command lance. The Black Outlaws would continue to use this new structure until at least 3067, when the command accepted a contract from ComStar and transferred to Tukayyid.
Major Donald Trent was the original commander of the Outlaws, serving from the Outlaw's beginnings until his death on Memmingen in 3051. Trent was succeeded by Major Edwina Forrest, who would serve as commander until her death under mysterious circumstances on Tukayyid in 3067. Major Freeman Johnson, one of the survivors of the original Outlaws, replaced Major Forrest as commanding officer.
The Black Outlaws continued to use the lessons learned during their two-year confrontation with Clan Wolf in the early 3050s, and by 3067 had developed a unique perspective on the Clan style of warfare; this perspective made the Black Outlaws both highly experienced at fighting Clan-style Trials and manipulating those Trials while staying within the boundaries of Clan rules.
As at 3067 the Black Outlaws only mustered enough technicians to support half of their required support, although ComStar technicians were filling the gap while the mercenaries were stationed on Tukayyid. Despite a shortfall in technical support, the Black Outlaws still operated four Union-class DropShips and an Invader-class JumpShip.
Black Outlaws (Reinforced Battalion/Veteran/Reliable)
- CO: Major Freeman Johnson
- Alpha Company: Captain Jacob Best
- Baker Company: 1st Lieutenant Brian Pohanka
- Charlie Company: 1st Lieutenant Alvin P. Hill
The Black Outlaws had upgraded 90% of their equipment to advanced technology by 3067 and continued to operate as a Clan-style Cluster in formation, with an independent command lance consisting of five Inner Sphere designed OmniMechs. Able Company consisted of fast heavy and medium 'Mechs and formed the Black Outlaws' primary battle unit, while Baker company performed recon with jump-capable light and medium 'Mechs.
Charlie Company was the Black Outlaws' assault company, and was comprised of 'Mechs weighing at least 80 tons; Charlie Company was also the home of the four Clan MechWarriors obtained on Memmingen, all of whom served within a single lance and continued to operate the Outlaws' two Clantech 'Mechs; the fifth spot within the Clan lance belonged to a Black Outlaws MechWarrior who won the right to join the lance.
- When fighting against Clan forces other than Clan Wolf, the Black Outlaws receive a +1 Initiative Bonus.
- When fighting against Clan Wolf forces, the Black Outlaws receive a +2 Initiative Bonus.
- When fighting against Clan forces other than Clan Wolf and when Level 1 Clan Rules of Engagement are being used the Black Outlaws receive a +2 Initiative Bonus.
- When fighting against Clan Wolf forces and when Level 1 Clan Rules of Engagement are being used the Black Outlaws receive a +4 Initiative Bonus.
- During any Trial against Clan forces where Level 1 or Level 2 Clan Rules of Engagement are in play, the Black Outlaws may elect to attempt to force the Clan forces to violate the terms of the Trial. The Black Outlaws sacrifice their Initiative Bonus in making the attempt, and nominate a specific Clan unit. Any shots that Clan unit makes which miss the intended target must be re-rolled, with a +2 To Hit Penalty, against the next closes Black Outlaws unit. If any of the shots hit this second Black Outlaws unit, the Clan unit firing is considered to have breached the Rules of Engagement and may be freely engaged en masse by Black Outlaws units.
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 44, "The Black Outlaws: Dark Phoenix"
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 44, "Officers"
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 44, "Tactics"
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 44, "Support"
- Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 57
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 42, "Black Outlaws"
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 128, "Black Outlaws (A)"