- Harmony Gold Resurrects Itself Once More And Regains Rights To Robotech License
- State Of Play: How MechWarrior And BattleTech Are Doing Post E3
- Catalyst Announces New Kickstarter To Bring Clan Invasion To New Box Sets
- Let’s Talk About The MechWarrior 2 Soundtrack
- Leak Suggests Microsoft Might Resurrect MechAssault At This Year’s E3
- Read more →
|Unit Profile (as of 3067)|
|CO||Colonel Victor Simonson|
Simonson's Cutthroats was a long-lived mercenary unit that went under the name McGee's Cutthroats for much of its history.
- 1 History
- 2 Officers
- 3 Tactics
- 4 Composition History
- 5 Insignia and Color Scheme
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
Third Succession War
McGee's Cutthroats were formed from the remains of a Free Worlds League regiment which soon found service in the Draconis Combine. They served with distinction during the Third Succession War, becoming one of the Combine's highest-paid and best-equipped mercenary outfits.  They fought on Suk several times.
In 2953, the Cutthroats helped trigger one of the longest planetary campaigns of the Third War when they raided the Lyran world of Alexandria. Assigned to pillage and destroy select supply depots, the Cutthroats were opposed by two battalions of the 20th Arcturan Guards and a well-equipped planetary garrison that included an orbiting Aerospace Fighter base. Cut off from their DropShips, the Cutthroats would call for reinforcements. After the DCMS sent two more 'Mech battalions with fighter support, the Lyrans themselves would call for reinforcements, and the campaign would grind on. By the time it was over two years later and the Combine troops withdrew in 2955, seven different regiments had seen action during the battle and it would go down as the largest battle on the Lyran-Combine border.    During the latter years of the reign of Coordinator Hugai Kurita, the military was so ham-strung by mismanagement in the budget and supply logistics that mercenary groups like the Cutthroats, who could go outside the standard supply chain, were the best-equipped units in the Combine.
At some point between 3020 and ca. 3025, elements of Kuriakin's Company of "Mad" McGee's Cutthroats—then described as a Kurita house unit—fought McKinnon's Raiders on Hun Ho after the Raiders' DropShip had crash landed in shallow water. The Cutthroats were driven off by fire from the repaired DropShip, never realizing that the damaged ship had only been able to fire a single salvo.
As of 3025, the Cutthroats were still in the employ of the Combine, based on Galedon in the Galedon Military District. Though considered of veteran quality, their loyalty was questionable despite their long history of service.
Fourth Succession War
Despite Takashi Kurita's "Death to Mercenaries" command at the start of the Fourth Succession War in 3028, the Cutthroats initially remained in the Dragon's employ. In May 3029, the Cutthroats successfully invaded the Federated Suns world of Groveld III. Although they took the world, the planetary militia put up a hard fight, and a commando team of survivors from the militia infiltrated the Cutthroats' camp and assassinated their second-in-command.
The Cutthroats' new executive officer, Matthew Simonson, responding to rising anti-mercenary sentiment in the Combine, deposed Colonel Andrew McGee in a bloody power struggle. Now known as Simonson's Cutthroats, the unit left the Combine's service and travelled to Galatea, then considered the "mercenary star" of the Inner Sphere, where they replaced their losses and searched for a new employer. They eventually found one in the newly-formed Federated Commonwealth, working for House Davion. 
War of 3039
Simonson's Cutthroats took part in the War of 3039, First Prince Hanse Davion's effort to destroy the Draconis Combine once and for all. Launching from Benet III, they took part in the attack on Lima near the start of the war, although their arrival was delayed for three weeks due to problems with the Kearny-Fuchida Drive on their JumpShip. Facing only a few battalions of militia infantry, the Cutthroats were soon victorious. During the Combine's broad counter-attack, the Cutthroats remained on Lima, preparing their defenses. The DCMS would ultimately never attempt to strike Lima in force, however, and the Cutthroats saw no further action during the war. Overall losses to the Cutthroats were light, and they remained on Lima at least through 3040.
Clan Invasion Era
As of early 3050, the Cutthroats were still in the employ of the Federated Commonwealth, and were based on Barlow's End in the Commonwealth's Draconis March. Although still considered a veteran-quality unit, the Cutthroats' loyalty was, as always, in question.  When the Clan Invasion struck later that year, the Federated Commonwealth began rotating large numbers of their mercenary forces to meet the threat while they rapidly rearmed their House forces. Simonson's Cutthroats instead allowed their contract to expire, thereby avoiding combat against the Clan invaders.  Instead, they withdrew to the Periphery to find new employment. As of January 3054, they were working for the Marian Hegemony, based on Stafford. 
In 3056, the Cutthroats were on a contract with the Circinus Federation. This led them into a hostile encounter against the well-equipped Morrison's Extractors, a pirate group that had been raiding Circinus, Commonwealth and various periphery worlds and was commanded by Hopper "King" Morrison. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Cutthroats were routed, with more than two battalions shattered and many of the unit's officers killed or captured before they were able to retreat. Colonel Jeri Simonson was among those killed in the fighting, leaving his son Victor Simonson in command. The surviving mercenaries retreated into the deep Periphery, though not before vowing revenge against the Extractors. They would not be seen for five years.
In 3061, the Cutthroats reappeared in the Chaos March on the beleaguered world of Fletcher with two understrength battalions. They were immediately contracted by the Word of Blake to join the garrison of Terra. In the years that followed, the Blakists assisted the Cutthroats in returning almost to full-strength by 3067. The Cutthroats were provided with a third Overlord-class DropShip by their employers, giving them full transport capacity. Their unit quality at this point was regular. Due to their long absence (and possibly their employment with the Word of Blake), their "Dragoon Rating" was D-. In late 3067, they were sent to Caph to support the planetary government, which had declared for the Word of Blake Protectorate, against the local militia, which opposed the move and had attempted a coup against the government. The Cutthroats easily put down the rebellion and remained on-planet in the aftermath.
The Cutthroats continued to serve the Word of Blake when the Jihad began in November 3067. Attacking the Federated Suns' world of Ankaa in May of 3069, the Cutthroats easily secured that world. However, one of their Overlord-class DropShips was forced to make an emergency landing and was destroyed in a nuclear explosion from a Davy Crockett-class tactical warhead. The casualties led the Word of Blake to delay deploying the Cutthroats in any new offensive operations. The mercenaries remained on Ankaa, where they began recruiting and training Protectorate Militia units. The Cutthroats soon became experts in the interrogation of suspected insurgents, specializing in torturing prisoners. This training and philosophy provided by the mercenaries was successful both in creating an effective militia and in eliminating the underground resistance movement on Ankaa. The Cutthroats would soon find their services requested on worlds throughout the growing Protectorate, and they were sending liaisons to assist in the training of Protectorate Militia troops in anti-insurgency tactics throughout the Protectorate.
In September 3070, the Cutthroats joined the 8th and 21st Divisions in an assault on the Capellan world of St. Ives. The fighting was extraordinarily brutal, and nearly two million Capellan civilians were reported killed. In the end, the Cutthroats and their Blakist allies were forced to retreat with heavy damage. Afterwards, the Cutthroats returned to Ankaa to recover.
The Cutthroats had been branded wanted criminals by the Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission after the Blakist attacks on Outreach at the start of the Jihad, and their actions in the Protectorate led the MRBC to place very large bounties on their heads. Many small bounty hunter units attempted to collect on those bounties with attacks on Ankaa, though all failed until a strike in September 3071, when a raiding force in Word of Blake colors landed at the spaceport and began destroying nearby militia units. When the Cutthroats scrambled to intervene, a platoon of commandos penetrated their command center and captured both Colonel Simonson and his XO, Major Syrstad, as well as killing several other officers and support staff during the raid before escaping. The MRBC later announced the detention of both men, though it did not disclose who was behind the raid. Major Anthony Alicea vowed to rescue her commanders as soon as the Cutthroats recovered from their losses.
The fate of Simonson's Cutthroats with the fall of the Word of Blake and the end of the Jihad has not yet been reported on, however it may be assumed they were either destroyed in the fighting, fled to become pirates, or were at some point disbanded.
|Commanding Officers of McGee's Cutthroats|
|Commanding Officers of Simonson's Cutthroats|
|Colonel||Jeri Simonson||3050 - 3056|
|Colonel||Victor Simonson||3056 - 3071|
|Major||Anthony Alicea||3071 - |
Colonel Victor Simonson took command after his father's death, but his bitterness and hatred over that event often distracted him from his duties and isolated him from his officers.
After their encounter with the Extractors, the Cutthroats' training focused on guerrilla warfare tactics, using flanking maneuvers and stealth and taking advantage of terrain to set up ambushes. Earlier in their history, the Cutthroats included among their ranks a number of skilled trackers who could capably hunt down enemy 'Mechs using lighter BattleMechs, such as the Wasp. After successfully scouting and flushing out the enemy, the main Cutthroat force would spring a trap on them. During the early years of the Jihad, the Cutthroats became master headhunters, eliminating the opposing command 'Mech and disrupting their foes.
McGee’s Cutthroats (Regiment/Veteran/Questionable) 
McGee's Cutthroats (Regiment/Regular/Reliable)
Simonson's Cutthroats (Regiment/Veteran/Questionable) 
Simonson's Cutthroats (1 Regiment)
- CO: Colonel Victor Simonson
- XO: Major Lars Syrstad
- 1st Battalion (CO: Major Lars Syrstad)
- 2nd Battalion (CO: Major Anthony Alicea)
- 3rd Battalion (CO: Major Timothy Iroquois)
The Cutthroats were still down about a half-company at this point, all from the third battalion. 55 percent of their 'Mechs had been upgraded with Star League-era tech by this point, mostly retrofits of older designs.
Insignia and Color Scheme
The insignia of the Cutthroats depicts a skull-and-crossbones, with the skull wearing a gas mask. This is set against a circular gray field. Their 'Mechs are painted flat grey with black and blue highlights.
- There is an inconsistency as to when the Cutthroats left the Combine. NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 2 claims they were still active in House Kurita's service as of mid-3029, while Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised reported they departed in 3028.
- It is strongly indicated that command of the Cutthroats was passed down through the McGee family for several generations up until Simonson's coup. It is further implied that this practice continued with the Simonson family, beginning with Matthew and continuing with Jeri and Victor.
- The Hot Spots contract book lists a Federated Commonwealth contract with Morrison's Extractors as the target. The situation seems to be related to the operation the Cutthroats undertook.
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update makes no mention of the Cutthroats attacking St. Ives, and in fact implies that they did not leave Ankaa in force from their arrival up to 3071.
Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised gives the Cutthroats an initiative bonus when fighting on wetlands, wooded or urban terrain, and an additional bonus if they are fighting at night, while subtracting from the standard to-hit penalties. In addition, should any Morrison's Extractors units take the field, the Cutthroats' 'Mechs are immune to the Overrun Combat special ability and the Extractors player may not use the Banking Initiative ability. Finally, no Cutthroat 'Mech may retreat from the Extractors while Colonel Victor Simonson is in play.
As written in Mercenaries Supplemental Update, in addition to their above abilities, the Cutthroats learned "headhunter" tactics in the early years of the Jihad. Any turn after the third, the Cutthroat player may roll 2D6 and add the number of previous turns played to the result. On a modified result of an 11 or more, the opposing player must reveal which of his units is his on-field commander. Should the Cutthroats eliminate that commander, they gain the Overrun Combat special ability for the remainder of the scenario.
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 100, "Simonson's Cutthroats: Reluctant Renegades"
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised, p. 110
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 84, "Decline and Fall"
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth) p. 74
- The Fox's Teeth: Exploits of McKinnon's Raiders, p. 33
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 133, "'Mech Unit Deployment Table"
- NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 2, p. 26, "Federated Suns Front"
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 164, "Inner Sphere In Flames Forces Table"
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 49, "Lima (March)"
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 100, "Lima"
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 141, "Deployment Table"
- 20 Year Update, p. 19, "Dahar PDZ"
- Objective Raids, p. 6, "Situation Briefing"
- Objective Raids, p. 49, "Independents"
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 106, "Simonson's Cutthroats"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 184, "Word of Blake"
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 95, "8th Division (Hands of Fate IV-Kappa)"
- According to an  from Øystein Tvedten on the CBT Forum
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 283, "Notable MechWarriors"
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 127, "Simonson’s Cutthroats"
- Historical: War of 3039 , p. 141
- 20-Year Update, p. 20
- Hot Spots Contract Book, p. 23, "Periphery March Contract FC 56601-008-8"
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 135, "Simonson's Cutthroats"
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 127. "Simonson’s Cutthroats"
- 20 Year Update
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised
- Field Manual: Updates
- Historical: War of 3039
- Hot Spots
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine)
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth)
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update
- NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 2
- Objective Raids
- Technical Readout: 3039
- Technical Readout: 3025 Revised
- The Fox's Teeth: Exploits of McKinnon's Raiders