|Unit Profile (as of 3025)|
|CO||Col. Gerhardt Hansen|
|Unit Disposition - 3025|
|Regiment||Suk II - Veteran|
Originally a line regiment from the Free Worlds League, Hansen's Roughriders (occasionally misspelled as Hanson's Roughriders) became a famous mercenary regiment of heavy troops. They have a good reputation for reliability despite their somewhat rowdy image, and are renowned for being always in the thick of the battle with their heavy fighting machines.
 Organization and equipment
The Roughriders are known to field heavy BattleMech troops augmented by heavy Aerospace Fighters and heavy tanks. Many companies within the Roughriders are composed exclusively of heavy 'Mechs, and the unit is generally known for their prowess in close range combat.
The Roughriders' regimental identity was born as early as 2961, when one Ludwig Hansen fled the Federated Suns with his unit to join the Free Worlds League's 12th Atrean Dragoons, a unit led by his distant relative Major-General Gerhardt Hansen.
In 3014 the entire command of the 12th Atrean Dragoons under Colonel Francis Ferdinand, then a veteran regiment with several heavy companies, sided with Duke Anton Marik in his uprising against his brother, Captain-General Janos Marik. Only a small portion of the unit chose not to support the Duke. After taking control of McKenna and Semenyih for the rebels, the regiment was deployed against their sister regiment, the lighter and inexperienced 11th Atrean Dragoons, on Matheran, where they were bogged down and ended up on the defensive after a prolonged campaign when Smithson's Chinese Bandits joined the fight on the loyalist side. Later the 12th Atrean Dragoons were included in the attack against Calloway VI, where they suffered heavy casualties including the loss of an entire company when the Union-class DropShip Laureles' Pride was destroyed.
The last battle to be fought during the civil war by the remains of the 12th Atrean Dragoons, by then under the command of Colonel Gerhard Hansen, occurred on Ilion V (in Lyran Commonwealth space). After this last battle they abandoned the failing revolt for good. Together with elements from the 1st Atrean Dragoons heavy regiment, a similarly frustrated loyalist unit that had been decimated on Sophie's World, they re-formed as the mercenary regiment Hansen's Roughriders and turned their backs on the Free Worlds League.
 Mercenary business
It is not entirely clear when Hansen's Roughriders were properly formed as a mercenary unit following the civil war. Although it is generally assumed that they went to serve the Lyran Commonwealth immediately, House Steiner officially hired the unit only in 3018, i.e. some 3 years later. Together with fellow mercenary unit Miller's Marauders, they quickly became media darlings in the Commonwealth as they embodied the archetype of the rowdy but successful mercenary.
The Roughriders quickly built a reputation through their attack on the heavily fortified League world of New Olympia early on, where they annihilated two enemy regiments over the course of three weeks of intense fighting before they were forced to retreat. The attack was especially humiliating for the Free Worlds League because New Olympia was the site of one of their major military academies.
 Suk II
During their long employment with the Commonwealth, the Roughriders were stationed on Suk II from 3018 onwards to defend the valuable mining world against frequent raids from the Draconis Combine. They garrisoned Suk II long enough to become virtually associated with that world, despite occasional missions abroad:
In 3019, Lyran intelligence learned that the Free Worlds League had sent the elite mercenary unit Wolf's Dragoons against the invaluable BattleMech factories of Hesperus II. The Lyrans rushed reinforcements to Hesperus, including the Roughriders who were held on reserve at the factory perimeter as a last-ditch defense. In the ensuing 13th battle for Hesperus II, the Dragoon onslaught drove right through the Steiner defenders despite being outnumbered two to one. It was the Roughriders, together with Hsien's Hotheads, who finally pushed back the Dragoons within sight of the factories. This marks the Roughriders as one of very few units to ever beat the famous Wolf's Dragoons on the battlefield. In fact they killed the commanding officer of the Seventh Kommando in this fighting.
At one unspecified point between 3015 and 3028, elements from the Free Worlds League including the 33rd Marik Militia and the mercenary unit Seguin's Strikers staged a raid against Solaris VII but were repulsed by stiff Lyran resistance which counted Hansen's Roughriders among the defenders.
 Fourth Succession War
In the first attack wave of the Fourth Succession War, the Roughriders were assigned to invade Wheel together with Narhal's Raiders. The defending Tooth of Ymir mercenary command requested a ritualized battle to avoid collateral damage to the civilian infrastructure and the attackers agreed. They defeated the Tooth of Ymir in a battle that was noted to have been fought with skill, compassion and honor.
In the second wave, the Roughriders fought on Hainfeld and in May 3029 they attacked Satalice together with the Waco Rangers in what was noted as one of the most effective invasions of the renewed offensive.
 The 3030s
After the Fourth Succession War the Roughriders remained under contract to House Steiner within the newly formed Federated Commonwealth, but were relocated from Suk II to Federated Suns space at some point.
- An apocryphal roleplaying campaign scenario named "Drachentrick" is set during this time, specifically in the timeframe between the conclusion of the Fourth Succession War in 3031 and the creation of the Free Rasalhague Republic in 3034. The campaign assumes that the Roughriders remained on Suk II until 3034 at least. Veins of precious ores have just been found on the smallest and hitherto least important continent of Alshaya on Suk II, and a minor mercenary unit is hired to defend the continent while Hansen's Roughriders look after the other continents. Over the course of the campaign, Draconis Combine Warlord Ivan Sorenson has the Tooth of Ymir regiment stage a raid against Suk II that secretly leaves the attackers on-planet while their DropShips stage a mock retreat, and then spirits further troops onto the planet until a full scale suprise invasion can be launched with parts of the invasion force already on the planet and poised to strike at the defenders.
- The minor mercenary unit was implied to have been Cameron's Legion, with whom the Roughriders maintained a cordial relationship and executed joint training exercises such as Schwarzer Tag.
 War of 3039
Just prior to the War of 3039 the Roughriders were stationed on Algol, and during the war they became part of the invasion force for Pike IV, jumping off from Lambrecht. The Draconis Combine's counterattack prolonged the campaign on Pike IV and the Roughriders suffered considerable losses at the hands of the 5th Sword of Light regiment. On November 6, 3039, their contract lapsed and they withdrew from the battlefield for the time being. A year later they were stationed on Algol again, apparently re-hired by the Commonwealth.
Colonel Gerhard Hansen, who had commanded the unit in the battle on Ilion V and then led them in their successful mercenary career, retired after the Pike campaign and command passed on to Wolfgang Hansen.
By 3050 the Roughriders were stationed on Bromhead, in the Capellan March of the Federated Commonwealth where they were far away from the Clan invasion front. It was not until Katherine Steiner-Davion offered them an assignment on the Clan Jade Falcon border during Operation Bulldog in 3059 that they got a chance to fight the Clans, at which they proved rather successful.
 Civil War
The assignment on the Jade Falcon border endeared Katherine Steiner-Davion to the Roughriders, and they fought for her in the FedCom Civil War. They took and held most of Panpour, but were eventually driven off by the Lexington Combat Group and retreated to Nunivak, inflicting heavy losses on enemy troops including the Fighting Urukhai.
 The Bromhead Massacre
While the Roughriders were fighting abroad in 3067, forces from the Taurian Concordat (the 2nd Taurian Lancers) attacked Bromhead where the remaining Roughrider infantry inflicted several embarrassing defeats on the attackers. Incensed, the Taurians eventually overran the Roughrider base. The Roughriders' were massacred, including Colonel Wolfgang Hansen's wife and three youngest children; the Roughriders' dependants may have been mistaken for infantry. Hansen vowed to turn every battlefield into a Taurian mass grave and take no prisoners, and the entire unit followed him. Only the fact that they possessed no JumpShip of their own kept the Roughriders from going on a rampage in the Concordat immediately.
 War with the Concordat
Except for a brief but intense battle on Midale in February 3070 the Roughriders had to wait for their vengeance. Finally, their near-constant harrassment of the AFFS's Capellan March command saw them sent against Electra in March 3071. However, the campaign was bogged down to low-intensity warfare against Taurian insurgents in the Tamoon Canyon, frustrating the Roughriders while at the same time Taurian pirate media portrayed them as a merciless Death Squad.
At one point during the fighting, the Roughriders saturated the site of an ambush with fuel air explosive bombardment from their artillery for several days, then overran the heavily mined Taurian position by sending armored infantry ahead to disable hidden explosives and base caves. The Roughriders captured a large stockpile of ammunition in this way including several Alamo-class nuclear weapons that the Taurians had allegedly prepared to use against them. When the Taurian guerillas attempted a fighting withdrawal, the Roughriders used several of the nuclear warheads against them. This resulted in a public outcry, but the origin of the nuclear weapons appears to be mitigating.
Fearing that the Roughriders would summarily execute them, the DMI took some guerillas prisoner, including a Word of Blake liaison from whom information was obtained that some prisoners may have been taken at Bromhead and taken to a re-education camp far away, giving the Roughriders hope that some of their dependents might still live (and casting aside warnings that this may be engineered intelligence to have them follow false leads).
Elements of Hansen's Roughriders were on Brusett when the 4th Taurian Lancers attempted to conquer the world in January 3075. Despite deploying nuclear weapons against the Brusett spaceport and capital city, the 4th Taurian Lancers were unable to destroy the Roughriders; the Roughriders went on to ambush and destroy the Lancers, leaving Brusett in Federated Suns control. The Roughriders saw action against the Concordat again a month later, when they were part of a counter-offensive to recapture the world of Hyalite; the Roughriders used fuel-air bombs against the defending Gordon's Armored Cavalry, shattering the Taurian mercenary command and easily recapturing the world. On the 15th of April 3075 the Roughriders attacked the Taurian world of Amber Grove using both nuclear and non-nuclear weapons seized during the battle for Hyalite, obliterating the local militia as well as Amber Grove's central military headquarters and spaceport facilities. The Roughriders then spent several weeks on Amber Grove destroying any target of significant military or industrial value.
On the 4th of May 3075 the Quixote-class TCS Vendetta bombarded Hyalite from orbit, targetting the planetary military facilities and the HPG compound which had been suborned by the Roughriders. This was the first of several orbital attacks the Vendetta would perform on several worlds as it attempted to destroy the Roughriders. Despite the bombing of Hyalite, the Roughriders were back in action against the Concordat during the last week in July, when the Roughriders subverted the garrison unit of the Taurian world of Perdition, a mercenary unit named Longwood's Bluecoats, before razing the Perdition factory complexes. The Roughriders struck at the Concordat again on the 7th of September, hitting the world of Grossbach.
After hitting Grossbach the Roughriders struck deeper into Concordat space, hitting the world of Sterope. In contrast with previous attacks, the Roughriders left the factories on Sterope intact, although they did plunder the Sterope Defense Industries facilities. The Roughriders returned to Federated Suns space after the Sterope raid, landing on Warren on the 5th of April 3076 to resupply. The Taurians pursued the Roughriders, with a task force led by the TCS Vendetta arriving in the Warren system on the 13th of June; the Roughriders retreated to Keuterville, but their retreat didn't stop the Vendetta from bombarding the planetary capital and spaceports on Warren. The Taurians then bombarded Keuterville on the 7th of July, with the Roughriders retreating again, this time to Firgrove. In the Firgrove system a Federated Suns task force led by the Fox-class New Syrtis managed to intercept the Vendetta before the planet could be attacked, forcing the Taurian vessel to retreat.
 Dragoon Ratings
Dragoon Rating: A
Dragoon Rating: A
 Composition History
Hansen's Roughriders (Regiment/Veteran/Reliable)
- Contract: LCAF 
- CO: Colonel Gerhardt Hansen
Hansen's Roughriders (Regiment/Veteran/Reliable)
- Contract: AFFC
Hansen's Roughriders (Regiment/Veteran/Questionalbe)
- Contract: AFFC 
- CO: Colonel Wolfgang Hansen
Hansen's Roughriders (1 Regiment/Elite/Questionable)
- CO: Colonel Wolfgang Hansen
- 2nd Battalion: Major Andrea Schmidt
- 3rd Battalion: Major Catalina Fiore
Roughrider Armor Support
- Armor Commander: Major Eugene Thomas
Roughrider Infantry Support
- Infantry Commander: Captain Bruce Millis
 Other Information
- Hansen's Roughriders were among the five mercenary units presented in the original BattleTech boardgame (the others being the Eridani Light Horse, Wolf's Dragoons, 21st Centauri Lancers and Lindon's Company), and as such have been part of the BattleTech universe right from the very beginning.
- In the computer game MechWarrior II - Mercenaries, the player starts his first missions attached to Hansen's Roughriders, under the tutelage of one Sergeant Unther (who pilots a Catapult and gives the player radio callsigns such as "Rookie" and "Hey you!").
- ↑ Wolf's Dragoons (sourcebook), pp. 24-25
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 14, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- ↑ Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 53, "The Jihad In Review"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 15, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 54, "The Jihad In Review"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 16, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 17, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 18, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 19, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 55, "The Jihad In Review"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 21, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 22, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- ↑ Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 56, "The Jihad In Review"
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p.118, "Unit Deployment Table"
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Objective Raids, p. 15, "Federated Commonwealth Deployment Table"
- ↑ Historical: War of 3039 , p. 141
- Mercenaries Supplemental, p. 37, "Unit Profile"
- BattleTech Board Game rulebook
- 20 Year Update
- NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1
- NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 2
- Historical: War of 3039
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth)
- Jihad: Final Reckoning
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra
- Mercenaries Supplemental
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update
- Objective Raids
- Starterbook: Sword and Dragon
- The Race Is Not To The Swift (Shrapnel anthology)
- Wolf's Dragoons (sourcebook)