Death Commandos

Death Commando.jpg
Death Commandos
Unit Profile (as of 3063)
Parent Formation None
Formed 2988

The absolute elite of the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces (CCAF), the Death Commandos are among the most feared units in the Inner Sphere. They are meant to counterbalance the Warrior Houses (which exist outside of the regular Capellan military and are loyal directly to the person of the Chancellor), and appease feelings of jealousy within the CCAF by giving the military a similarly prestigious and capable unit. Their skills and wide-ranging authority raised misgivings even within the CCAF, which were partially satisfied when Chancellor Maximilian Liao opened membership to any sufficiently distinguished CCAF officer in 3003.

Unofficially known as the Chancellor's "storm troopers", members of the Death Commandos have very wide latitude in the performance of their duties. For example, they are allowed, on their own authority, to summarily execute any Capellan soldier, and even members of the nobility, under certain circumstances.[1]



A Death Commando in action

The Death Commandos were created by Chancellor Tormax Liao in 2988, initially by drawing troops from the Warrior Houses. This created an elite and fanatically loyal unit which also benefited from the unique training regimen imposed by the Warrior Houses. Each member of the Death Commandos was a multi-skilled soldier, trained both as MechWarriors and in black ops, and sworn by blood oath to defend the Chancellor and destroy all enemies of the Confederation.[2] When Tormax Liao was overthrown by Maximilian Liao, much of the unit was destroyed defending the Chancellor over two nights of quiet fighting with Maximilian's Warrior House allies, though it was quickly reconstituted afterwards and swore loyalty to the new Chancellor.[3] However the unit remained a bone of contention between the regular CCAF and the Warrior Houses. As part of Maximilian's efforts to play both sides off each other, in 3003 he agreed to open the Death Commandos to the qualified personnel from the CCAF, bringing in more traditional tactics to the Death Commandos' repertoire.[3][4]

Third Succession War[edit]

The Death Commandos participated in the invasion of Stein's Folly and the capture of Redfield in 3025.[5][2] During this time the Death Commandos were battalion-sized in strength and their primary base of operation was Grand Base.[6]

Fourth Succession War[edit]

Near the end of the Fourth Succession War, with no other troops to spare, the Death Commandos along with the 4th Tau Ceti Rangers were sent to raid Kathil in 3029 as part of a daring and desperate attempt to hold back the Federated Commonwealth juggernaut. Unfortunately, the intelligence provided to them had been supplied by Justin Xiang Allard, a double-agent who passed along a warning of the attack to FedCom forces. In the resulting battle with the 1st Kathil Uhlans, the Death Commandos were believed to be completely wiped out.[7] In truth, nine managed to return from the mission, although two of them would never pilot a 'Mech again.[1]

Almost simultaneously with the attack on Kathil, the Death Commandos supposedly attacked the New Avalon Institute of Science. However, post-war investigation by FedCom intelligence discounted this as being the work of actual Death Commandos, eventually settling on the theory it had been a covert assault by the Com Guards, though the exact purpose for the covert assault was unknown.[8]

After the war, in 3030, Grand Base came under attack from the 6th Defenders of Andurien, part of the Free Worlds League's attempt to take advantage of a nearly-dead Capellan Confederation. However, trainees from the Death Commandos' training ground, in conjunction with Warrior House Fujita and planetary militia, managed to force their retreat before they could damage the vital Earthwerks facilities.[9]

Though they had been reduced to seven members, the remaining Death Commandos formed the core around which their unit would rebuild, taking in the elite from the Warrior Houses and CCAF. It took until 3041 to rebuild the battalion, and a second battalion was formed in 3055 with two Companies, reaching full strength in 3060. The Death Commandos were always intended to be a full regiment, but the high standards for entry meant that recruiting was difficult.[1] It was also during this time that the Death Commandos transferred their base of operations from Grand Base to Sian.[9]

Operation Guerrero[edit]

In 3057, prior to Operation Guerrero, Sun-Tzu Liao sent Death Commando Loren Jaffray to Northwind as part of a plot to destroy the Northwind Highlanders for their betrayal of the Confederation during the Fourth Succession War. Jaffray, the son of former Highlander members who had remained in House Liao's service after the war, ultimately defected to the Highlanders, which the Chancellor apparently did not object to as the Federated Commonwealth was still deprived of the Highlanders' service as a result of the mission.

Two battalions of Death Commandos arrived in Northwind space soon after Jaffrey in support of his mission. Though never activated by Loren Jaffray, the Commandos did intercept the 3rd Royal Guards RCT diversionary force that lured Northwind's aerospace fighters away from the planet, inflicting considerable damage.

The operation destroyed the 3rd Royal Guards RCT and the Armored Infantry Battalion of the 2nd NAIS Cadre.

Operation Bulldog[edit]

During Operation Bulldog, the Death Commandos were one of the only elite defensive forces left on Sian. The rest of the defenders were assigned to Star League Defense Force task forces.[10]

Xin Sheng Campaign[edit]

A pair of Death Commandos accompany the Chancellor at all times.

During the Xin Sheng Campaign, the Death Commandos took over the pacification of Wei after a "rebel" nerve gas attack killed an entire Battalion of the 1st McCarron's Armored Cavalry, allotted just seven days to complete their mission.

On the first day, the Commandos infiltrated Wei without BattleMechs to avoid giving away their DropShips, seizing control of a major communications center to deliver a demand for the Wei government's unconditional surrender within thirty minutes, if refused the demand would be made again in exactly one week.

Blowing up the center after thirty-one minutes when the government declined to answer, over the next six hours the Commandos systematically eliminated thirty-seven highly placed government officials and military officers. Forty-eight hours after the initial surrender demand was made, the highest-ranking officer left on the world was a Major and the Death Commandos had destroyed the planet's three largest supply depots and primary space tracking station, finally allowing their DropShips and BattleMechs to strike without mercy.

By the sixth day, a newly-formed Wei administration had begun to desperately transmit its surrender on all frequencies, all of which the Commandos ignored, instead focusing on shattering the last vestiges of the planet's militia. On the seventh day the Commandos mopped up any straggling military resistance before one of their DropShips dramatically leveled the planet's primary government buildings, finally accepting Wei's surrender at midnight, exactly seven days from their initial demand.[11]

After the formation of the Fronc Reaches, the new government made noises about including Detroit in the new nation. The Death Commandos were stationed on Repulse, and the request immediately went away. Sang-shao Korskav delivered a package to the new government's leaders, and shortly thereafter the Reaches closed their borders to all traffic except the most essential.[12] In 3067 the Commandos were stationed on Castrovia.[13]


During the Jihad the Death Commandos inflicted critical damage on the shipyards at Kathil and rescued Kai Allard-Liao from New Syrtis during Operation THUNDERSTRIKE.[14] Elements of the Commandos also took part in the battle to recapture Imalda, acting alongside the 5th Confederation Reserve Cavalry against the defending 21st Illician Rangers until lack of supplies forced the Illician Lancers to give up their guerrilla campaign and retreat to Sendalor.[15] The Death Commandos would defend Sian from the Word of Blake attacks, protected Thomas Marik during his visit in 3073,[16][17] and captured Kali Liao on Highspire to bring her to Sian.[17][18] In addition, a company of Death Commandos escorted the Magestrix to her home in the Magistracy of Canopus.[19]

During the first Battle of Sian, the Death Commandos fought alongside the Red Lancers and 3rd Canopian Fusiliers.[20] Several of the Death Commando's senior officers actually assumed control of the Red Lancers when that unit's command staff was killed.[21] Several Death Commando lances surrounded the Dragon's Breath mercenary unit when they attacked the Forbidden City. They rapidly destroyed the mercenary unit.[22] In 3074 small groups of Death Commandos were sent out to discover the Word of Blake's hidden staging areas. They did so, but at a high cost to their ranks.[23]

The commander during the Jihad, Michael Hyung-Tsei, killed a Warrior House Rakshasa cyborg by ripping out his trachea bare-handed. Later he oversaw the operation to liberate Kai Allard-Liao from the Capellan March.[24] The Death Commandos were posted on Sian in 3085.[25]

Dark Age[edit]

During the Victoria War the Death Commandos and 2nd Capellan Defense Force drove the 6th Oriente Hussars off of Bentley.[26] The Commandos and Second CDF followed the Hussars to Goodna, and the Death Commandos killed every senior officer of the Sixth Hussars. This threw the Oriente unit into chaos, and they withdrew again, traveling to Ipswich. The Death Commandos and Second CDF took Cronulla, then the Commandos moved on and took Iknogoro by themselves. Shortly after this they were relieved by other CCAF commands and returned to their garrison post on Sian.[27]

In 3110 a company of Death Commandos, supplemented by two battalions of the Holdfast Guard landed in the Liao system. They inflicted massive losses on property in the city of Chang-an. This attack was later known as the "Night of Screams" in the Confederation, while in the Republic of the Sphere it was named the "Massacre of Liao."[28][29] On Sakhalin the Death Commandos partnered with the Red Lancers to stop Kai Allard-Liao's swath of destruction.[30][31] A company of Commandos faced Kai Allard-Liao at Bedlam's Barrow: Allard-Liao killed nine of the twelve Commandos and heavily damaged the remaining three 'Mechs. The remaining Commandos and Red Lancers withdrew when Stone's Lament landed on the world, but not before the Commandos attached a recovery beacon to Yen-Lo-Wang so the Republic forces could recover Kai's body.[32][33]

During their withdrawal, the Commandos and Red Lancers were joined by Sun-Tzu Liao. The Chancellor and these elite forces traveled through uninhabited systems to Liao, where they reinforced the Dynasty Guard. The Commandos assaulted the IX Hastati Sentinel's position in a pre-dawn assault, but elements of the Amaterasu were able to reinforce the Ninth and provide time for them to recover. The Republic forces broke, however, when the Chancellor's Emperor BattleMech was destroyed and the Red Lancers flew into a rage.[34][35] Three months later as the CCAF forces were digging in for their last stand against a reinforced Republic force, word arrived that an armistice had been signed and the Capellan Crusades were over.[36]

In January 3145 a Death Commando team raided New Syrtis and captured Duchess Amanda Hasek.[37] On their way out of the Hasek Ancestral Palace, the Commandos were interrupted and arranged for the destruction of the Palace as a diversion.[38] There were also some rumors that the Death Commandos had dispatched hit squads to kill Jacob Bannson.[39] Later in 3145, they participated in the CCAF assault on Tikonov. While there they destroyed an Armed Forces of the Federated Suns ammunition dump and faced the 3rd Federated Suns Lancers. The Commandos killed nearly half the Lancers.[40][41]


As of 3063 to 3067, the commanding officer was Jiang-jun Michael Hyung-Tsei, who had been in command for the past fifteen years. He was the first commander who did not come from a Warrior House.[11][42]

In 3085 the unit was commanded by Jiang-jun Kuhyen Zhen-Nei.[43] He was still in command in 3111 and 3112.[44]

In 3145 a battalion was commanded by Sao-shao Herman Wu.[45]


The Death Commandos are trained in all aspects of modern warfare and special operations: infiltration, demolition, sabotage, assassination, intelligence-gathering, kidnapping, code-breaking, terrorism, local planetary customs, poisons, and various martial arts skills. They are given the latest in special equipment and weapons, even at the expense of other senior regiments.[2] This includes BattleMechs, of which each Death Commando is allowed two: the first typically a cutting-edge model, the second often an older yet more dependable one, with either one or both heavily customized. On the battlefield the Death Commandos are the equal of any other warriors, Inner Sphere or Clan, a reputation they use to give themselves a further edge. Moving unerringly as though they were of one mind, the Death Commandos are often straightforward in their attacks, diving directly into the heart of the enemy in order to tear it out. Each and every one is also considered an officer one step above their nominal rank, allowing them to commandeer any regular forces.[11]

Composition History[edit]

A Death Commando prepares to destroy a House Davion Victor


Death Commandos (Battalion/Elite)[6]


Death Commandos (Battalion/Elite/Fanatical)[46]


Death Commandos (Two Battalions/Elite/Fanatical)[11]

  • CO: Jiang-jun Michael Hyung-Tsei
  • 1st Battalion: Sang-shao Thad Roonstock
  • 2nd Battalion: Sang-shao Vladimir Korskav

- Independent Command Lance


Death Commandos (Elite/Fanatical)[42]

  • CO: Jiang-jun Michael Hyung-Tsei


Given the hard fighting that took place during the Jihad years, the Death Commandos were greatly reduced in numbers. An exact figure is impossible to know, but they lost at least a battalion of troops in various high-risk missions.[19]


Death Commandos (One Battalion/Elite/Fanatical)[43]

  • CO: Jiang-jun Kuhyen Zhen-Nei

Color Scheme[edit]

Death Commando soldiers paint their BattleMechs black, occasionally trimming them with Liao Green. They do not place the Confederation crest on their 'Mechs, but instead use their unit insignia.[11]


  • The Death Commandos are trained in all forms of combat.
  • All Death Commandos are officers, holding a rank one grade above that required for their position in the unit, which allows them to take command of other CCAF forces as necessary.

Game Rules[edit]

Dark Age[edit]

The Death Commandos ignore any special ability of an enemy regiment that affects an opposing force (for example, if the Commando's opponents normally inflict an Initiative penalty on their foes, the Commandos ignore it). They determine their forces from any Inner Sphere Random Assignment Table, no rolling is needed. If an enemy force lacks an Elite rating, it suffers a -2 Initiative penalty. Finally, the Commando player selects and uses two of these special abilities at the start of a game: Banking Initiative, Forcing Initiative, Off-Map Movement, and Overrun Combat.[47][48]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Field Manual: Capellan Confederation, p. 67
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 70
  3. 3.0 3.1 Handbook: House Liao, p. 36
  4. House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 51
  5. The Sword and the Dagger, p. 13
  6. 6.0 6.1 House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 107
  7. Handbook: House Liao, p. 45
  8. Historical: War of 3039, p. 10
  9. 9.0 9.1 Handbook: House Liao, p. 77-78
  10. Jihad Turning Points: Sian, p. 5
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Field Manual: Capellan Confederation, p. 68, "Death Commandos Profile"
  12. Field Manual: Updates, p. 21
  13. Field Manual: Updates, p. 32
  14. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 47, "The Jihad In Review"
  15. Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 73, "Illician Lancers"
  16. Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 34, "Timeline of the Jihad"
  17. 17.0 17.1 Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 52, "The Jihad In Review"
  18. Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 38, "Timeline of the Jihad"
  19. 19.0 19.1 Field Report: CCAF, p. 10
  20. Jihad Turning Points: Sian, p. 9
  21. Jihad Turning Points: Sian, p. 7
  22. Jihad Turning Points: Sian, p. 6
  23. Jihad Turning Points: Sian, p. 11
  24. Field Manual: 3085, p. 25
  25. Field Manual: 3085, p. 33
  26. Historical: Wars of the Republic Era, p. 57
  27. Historical: Wars of the Republic Era, pp. 60-61
  28. Historical: Wars of the Republic Era, p. 76
  29. Operational Turning Points: Capellan Crusades, p. 8
  30. Historical: Wars of the Republic Era, p. 71
  31. Operational Turning Points: Capellan Crusades, p. 9
  32. Historical: Wars of the Republic Era, p. 82
  33. Operational Turning Points: Capellan Crusades, p. 10
  34. Historical: Wars of the Republic Era, p. 83
  35. Operational Turning Points: Capellan Crusades, p. 10
  36. Historical: Wars of the Republic Era, p. 85
  37. Era Report: 3145, p. 25, "Timeline of Events"
  38. Era Report: 3145, p. 35
  39. Era Report: 3145, p. 88
  40. Era Report: 3145, p. 156
  41. Technical Readout: 3145 Capellan Confederation, p. 52
  42. 42.0 42.1 Field Manual: Update, p. 32, "CCAF Deployment Table - 3067"
  43. 43.0 43.1 Field Manual: 3085, p. 33, "Capellan Confederation Armed Forces Deployment Table - 3085"
  44. Operational Turning Points: Capellan Crusades, pp. 10, 11, 12
  45. Technical Readout: 3145 Capellan Confederation, p. 28
  46. Historical: War of 3039 , p. 140
  47. Era Report: 3145, p. 163
  48. Historical: Wars of the Republic Era, p. 103