Killer Bees

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KillerBees.svg
Killer Bees
Unit Profile (as of 3067)
CO Major Ernst Murdoch
Formed 3025
JumpShips yes
DropShips yes
Aerospace yes
Armor yes
Infantry yes

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

The Killer Bees formed in 3025 from pilots employed by Cal-Boeing who were looking for more excitement. First employed by the Federated Suns and deployed against the Capellan Confederation as a light recon and raiding force, the Killer Bees began swiftly building a reputation for daring, and were hired by the Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces to perform missions along the border with the Draconis Combine.[1]

The Andurien Secession[edit]

During the joint Magistracy of Canopus/Duchy of Andurien invasion of the Capellan Confederation the Killer Bees were hired by the Magistracy, signing a lucrative contract to provide cadre duties.[1] The Killer Bees executed a clause in their cadre duty to withdraw from Andarmax in August 3034 after the Confederation deployed the mercenary heavy BattleMech unit Rob's Renegades, the Fifth McCarron's Armored Cavalry regiment, to recapture Andarmax. The Killer Bees had been training the Second Magistracy Armed Forces Militia Armor Guard, a militia unit composed of tanks, artillery and VTOLs, and the Armor Guards were determined to fight; however, the Killer Bees regarded staying as a suicide mission. While Rob's Renegades battled the defending MacGraw's Marauders around the planetary capital and the Second Armor Guards in the Alamance Wastes, quickly inflicting heavy damage on the Guards and forcing them to retreat to a final redoubt. While the Killer Bees were in transit to the jump point they received word that the anticipated Canopian reinforcements - the Second Canopian Cuirassiers - had been forced to withdraw from Drozan in the face of a heavy assault from Capellan forces, meaning that the Second Armor Guards would receive no help.[2] Having been faced with orders to face McCarron's Armored Cavalry head-on during the Capellan counterattacks the commanding officer of the Killer Bees, Major Ernst Murdoch, used the terms of his contract specifying that he had the right to prevent the Killer Bees from receiving unnecessary damage to declare their employment contract null and void.[1] The Killer Bees accepted a contract from the LCAF, returning to the Tamar region of the Commonwealth.[2]

War of 3039[edit]

In the War of 3039 the unit captured a Combine Invader-class JumpShip whilst engaged in raids within the Alshain Military District. While the capture of the JumpShip was a coup for the Killer Bees' infantry special operations personnel, the cost of running and maintaining the JumpShip nearly bankrupted the small command, with personnel resorting to measures like taking part in civilian air shows to raise funds.[1]

Clan Invasion Era[edit]

Following the War of 3039 the Killer Bees had taken a contract from the Free Rasalhague Republic, despite the poor manner in which the Republic treated mercenaries. The Bees spent years hunting pirates in the Periphery until 3048, when they took a contract from Irian BattleMechs as additional security forces. The contract from Irian BattleMechs was a lucky break for the Bees, as it prevented them from being caught up in Operation REVIVAL, which mauled or destroyed numerous other mercenary units and hit the Republic particularly hard.[1]

The Bees' recent experience in the Periphery made them a natural choice for the mission launched jointly by the Combine and ComStar to try and locate the Clan Homeworlds, and House Kurita agents contacted Major Murdoch directly with an offer of employment. Murdoch accepted, with the Bees working alongside Explorer Corps until the success of Operation BULLDOG saw the Combine funding for the mission cut and a reduction in the number of Explorer Corps missions. The Bees' contract was picked up by the Star League Intelligence Command Special Circumstances division after BULLDOG; the division was hiring the best of the mercenary units who had worked for the joint Combine/ComStar operations, and the Bees became the nucleus around which the new Fury Teams were formed.[1]

The Jihad[edit]

The Killer Bees were still employed by the Second Star League when the Jihad erupted. Busy hunting pirates who claimed to be from Clan Smoke Jaguar, the Bees' received word of the Word of Blake attack on Tukayyid and the destruction of the First Royal BattleMech Regiment, prompting them to swiftly mobilise for a return to Tukayyid. The Bees' had friends and family on Tukayyid, and Major Murdoch was determined that they would leave no-one behind. The Bees made a swift journey to Tukayyid, aided by the best quality Explorer Corps maps they could obtain, and deployed via a pirate point near the planet, grounding in the Devil's Bath region. The Bees were shocked to discover more than two hundred people taking shelter in the region, far more than could be evacuated on a single Leopard. Fully aware that the Blakists would swarm the area when they detected the Hornet's Nest launching, Captain Smith took his covert teams out into the countryside and melted away, whilst the Bees' light Mechs began a series of diversions within the region to draw away their pursuers, allowing the Hornet's Nest to lift off two days later laden down with the Bees' dependants and wounded from the Twenty-first Centauri Lancers.[3]

Two months later Murdoch brought the Bees back to Tukayyid, acting on intelligence from the recovered Lancers personnel, who had highlighted survivors from the Lancers, the First Royals and the Com Guards all in hiding on the planet. Murdoch had persuaded ComStar to help fund a second recovery effort, one which revolved around gathering survivors at a pre-arranged rally point. While the Gall Wasp conducted an elaborate sensor ruse to draw the Blakist WarShips away from Tukayyid the Hornet's Nest made a dangerously hot landing. Ten minutes after landing the Hornet's Nest lifted off again, taking with it twenty-three refugees and the surviving personnel from Smith's team.[3]

The Bees attempted to return to Tukayyid again in August 3068, but the Blakists had become too familiar with the Bees' tactics, and Murdoch was forced to abort his third rescue attempt. ComStar continued to find work for the Bees after August 3068, reportedly using them to conduct reconnaissance missions inside the rapidly-expanding Word of Blake Protectorate, providing Precentor Martial Victor Steiner-Davion with intelligence to prevent another disastrous engagement like Case WHITE. By 3070 the Bees were suffering from problems because of the lack of time and opportunity to recruit new personnel to replace the casualties taken against the Blakists, particularly amongst the Bees' aerospace units. Rumors were circulating at the time that the highest-ranking surviving Centauri Lancers officer had offered Murdoch the opportunity to make the Bees a part of the rebuilding Lancers.[3]

After assisting the survivors of the Twenty-first Centauri Lancers escape from Tukayyid, the Bees subsequently accepted an offer to become part of the rebuilt Lancers in 3072.[4]

Officers[edit]

The Commanding Officer of the Killer Bees from the formation of the unit until at least 3067 was Major Ernst Murdoch, an experienced pilot who can - and has - piloted everything from a Boomerang spotter aircraft up to a Behemoth-class DropShip. While employed alongside the Explorer Corps Murdoch petitioned to be allowed to try out the controls of the Cameron-class battlecruiser CSV Invisible Truth, but the Precentor Martial refused the request. Murdoch's Executive Officer was Captain John Smith, an individual with a deliberately murky past; once a part of the Federated Suns intelligence community, Smith built a talented special ops and recon team within the Bees.[1]

Tactics[edit]

The Killer Bees specialised in hit and run operations intended to make use of their only major advantage, speed; however, when working alongside units that could make use of indirect fire such as artillery the Bees' scout platoons acted as forward observers.[1]

Support[edit]

The Bees' were usually able to keep their VTOL elements in excellent condition, thanks to carefully-maintained contacts within Cal-Boeing. This allowed them to generate adequate support for their 'Mechs, funded in part because of the lower support costs associated with their light elements.

By 3067 the Killer Bees own and operate a single Invader-class JumpShip, the Queen Bee, which transports the unit's 3 DropShips, 1 Seeker-class and 2 Leopard-class.[5] The Leopard-class DropShips were the Gall Wasp and the Hornet's Nest.[3] In 3034 the Bees were operating a Leopard-class DropShip named the Honey Bee; it is unclear if this DropShip was subsequently renamed to the Gall Wasp or Hornet's Nest, or if the Honey Bee was replaced by another Leopard.[2]

Dragoon Ratings[edit]

3067[edit]

Dragoon Rating: C

Composition History[edit]

3040[edit]

Killer Bees (Regiment/Regular/Reliable)

Contract: AFFC [6]

3067[edit]

Killer Bees(1 Battalion/Regular/Reliable)[1]

  • CO: Major Ernst Murdoch[1]
  • XO: Captain John Smith[1]
- At this point in time the Bees consisted of a company of light BattleMechs fitted with active probes and ECM suites, a squadron of aerospace fighters, two platoons of scouts and a mish-mash of other vehicles, with VTOLs making up almost half of the Bees' equipment.[1]

Gallery[edit]

Rules[edit]

  • Killer Bees units may use the Off-Map Movement special ability.[7]
  • When generating Killer Bees units randomly any conventional vehicle roll on a Random Vehicle Table that produces a unit other than a VTOL may be re-rolled once.[7]
  • The Killer Bees may only use light BattleMechs.[7]
  • The Killer Bees may deploy up to half of their force anywhere on the map as hidden units, even when the option is not normally available.[7]

Notes[edit]

  • In 3055 the Killer Bees were under contract with the SLDF Intelligence Command. Assigned to Special Circumstances, they formed a large part of a special Fury Team.[8]
  • The short story Commitment has the Queen Bee in service with the Killer Bees in 3034; this contradicts the detail on the Bees capturing the ship during the War of 3039.

References[edit]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Field Manual: Mercenaries (Revised), p. 82, "Killer Bees; Death by Paper Cuts"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Commitment
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 77, "Killer Bees"
  4. Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 105 "Centauri Lancers - Down But Never Out"
  5. Field Manual: Mercenaries Revised, p. 82, "Killer Bees: Death By Paper Cuts"
  6. Historical: War of 3039 , p. 141
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Field Manual: Mercenaries (Revised), p. 133, "Killer Bees (C)"
  8. Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 22 "MechWarrior Carjo Yance"

Bibliography[edit]