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Bad Dream

Bad Dream.jpg
Bad Dream
Formed 2802[1]
Disbanded 3079-3081
Affiliation Mercenary
Parent Command Independent

Bad Dream were a BattleMech based Mercenary Company that formed during the early Succession Wars.


The Succession Wars[edit]

By 2800, the Capellan Confederation and Draconis Combine shared an active border, as a result of the annexation or conquest of numerous former Terran Hegemony systems, both during the final years of the Star League era and following the eruption of the First Succession War - while the Federated Suns staggered under the massive invasion launched by the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery at the start of the war. Raids between DCMS and Capellan Confederation Armed Forces units across their mutual border had been relatively common, but in 2800 the DCMS began launching full-scale invasions of Capellan-held worlds. One such world was Ronel.[2]

When the Thirty-fifth Dieron Regulars struck at Ronel, the garrison consisted of the Ariana Grenadiers and two regiments of sealed armor, recently deployed to the planet from Demeter. The Grenadiers were still trying to adjust to the higher gravity of their new garrison world, as well as the more desolate landscape, and rapidly found themselves on the defensive. In a decisive battle in the gnarled forests near the city of Lenor, the Grenadiers were left disorientated and disorganized by a combination of incendiary artillery and smokescreen rounds, and the DCMS capitalized on this by striking with aerospace forces, wiping out half of the armor forces in a matter of minutes, forcing the Grenadiers to pull back - but the retreat turned into a rout, as the Grenadiers were swiftly reduced to little more than a battalion of 'Mechs. Under fierce fire from the pursuing DCMS forces, some survivors managed to make it off world, but a battalion of armor and assorted Grenadier 'Mechs were left on Ronel.[2]

Those survivors quickly rebranded themselves as a new mercenary command, the Bad Dream, either coerced by the DCMS or out of the belief that the Strategios had sent them to Ronel as sacrificial lambs, and the newly formed mercenary unit immediately accepted a contract with the DCMS[2] in 2802.[1] Initially an understrength battalion, the Bad Dream grew to become a full BattleMech regiment with conventional support in the form of a full aerospace fighter wing and two battalions of armor over the course of the First and Second Succession Wars.[3]

The Bad Dream mainly served the Draconis Combine and the Federated Suns until 2866,[3] when they were hired by the Lyran Commonwealth as a part of Elizabeth Steiner's campaign to hire mercenary units in the lull between the Second and Third Succession Wars. The Lyran Commonwealth had an urgent need for light and medium units at this point due to the destruction of the Stealths in 2863. This prompted the hiring of the Bad Dream, along with other units such as the Blackhearts.[4]

The Bad Dream were initially deployed primarily as raiders harassing the Free Worlds League, which prompted the unit to invest in purchasing DropShips and JumpShips for themselves. Yet as their contracts with the Lyran Commonwealth were extended or renewed, the Bad Dream found themselves spending more and more time defending the world of Newtown Square, close to the Draconian Rift at the edge of Lyran space. The slowing pace of warfare in the closing stages of the Third Succession War left the unit sliding further and further into debt.[3]

As the Lyran Commonwealth prepared for the Fourth Succession War in 3028 the Bad Dream were moved from Newtown Square to Kobe before getting the chance to go on the offensive again in the first wave of Operation GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG. The Bad Dream successfully seized Heiligendreuz in the first wave of attacks before being deployed against Gunzburg.[5]

The Bad Dream and Mobile Fire were both dropped on Gunzburg to face the 22nd Rasalhague Regulars. It took the two mercenary units two months to pin the 22nd down in an ambush, but their eventual defeat was an embarrassing event for the Draconis Combine - despite Gunzburg being a secondary target for the Lyran Commonwealth.[6]

The War of 3039[edit]

Unlike the Fourth Succession War, the Bad Dream were not deployed in the War of 3039. Instead the unit spent the duration of the war on Newtown Square.[7] Heavily in debt by the time the War of 3039 arrived, the Bad Dream broke their contract with the Lyran Commonwealth during the war and headed for the Free Worlds League.[3]

The League were happy to hire the Bad Dream, putting them in place on Landfall, one of the League worlds bordering the Illyrian Palatinate. While this quiet deployment gave the unit a steady income it also eroded their combat skills to the point that when Henry Bortman became CO of the regiment in 3048 the members were growing apart, and the unit was largely stagnant.[3]

The Clan Invasion Era[edit]

The Bad Dream were still on Landfall in 3048[8] but by 3054 their remit had expanded to include Kendall, guarding the Kali Yama - Alphard Trading Corporation BattleMech plant producing the Orion as well as a Brooks Incorporated plant.[9]

By 3059, the Bad Dream had been guarding either Kendall, Landfall or both for more than 15 years, avoiding Operation GUERRERO and the resulting mayhem that erupted in the Chaos March.[10]

In 3062, the debt that the Bad Dream thought they had escaped when they absconded from the Lyran Commonwealth in 3039 returned to haunt them. The Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission summoned representatives from the union to explain the debt that the Lyran Alliance had inherited from the Lyran Commonwealth. After reviewing the details, the MRBC adjudicated in favor of the Lyrans. The Bad Dream were able to negotiate repayment terms that allowed the unit to keep the bulk of its critical combat equipment, and were thus forced to sell off all of their Aerospace fighters, JumpShips and all but one of the unit's DropShips. This left the Bad Dream heavily reliant on employers for transport and technical support.[3]

The Jihad[edit]

The Bad Dream were still on Kendall when the Jihad broke out and remained a viable fighting formation despite their lack of transport assets. The Bad Dream held true to their contract as the initial waves of conflict and upheavel spawned by the Jihad struck the Free Worlds League, and they continued to serve the government on Atreus. When Thomas Marik was deposed, Colonel Bortman went so far as to state that his command would continue to honor their signed contract with the "lawful government of the Free Worlds League".[11]

During 3070 the Periphery border region garrisoned by the Bad Dream for the last 30 years experienced a sudden upsurge in pirate activity, causing the Bad Dream to be heavily occupied in fighting both pirates and Marian raiders. Despite the loss of a company of 'Mechs from the first battalion when the Brooks Incorporated plant was attacked on Kendall, the Bad Dream were able to quickly replace their losses through generous support from outside agencies including companies suspected of having ties to the Word of Blake, prompting calls from the MRBC for an investigation.[11]

Late in 3071, the combat strength of the Bad Dream was severely damaged, not from enemy attacks but from mass defection. The Nightcrawlers armor forces broke away from the Bad Dream, along with two companies of MechWarriors. Those leaving formed a separate mercenary command, the Nightcrawlers, on Galatea. Colonel Bortman claimed that those who left did so due to philosophical differences, although rumors on Kendall at the time dispute this.[11][12]

By 3079, the Bad Dream was a shell of its former self. Following the mass defections in 3071 and the upsurge in combat activity in their region, an attack from the Marian Hegemony in 3077 shattered and effectively broke the remains of the unit. Reduced to just a handful of 'Mechs and shattered in an embarrassing defeat, the Bad Dream responded to the government of Kendall refusing to compensate the unit after their poor performance by breaking contract. The Bad Dream arrived in the Rim Commonality region of the Free Worlds League looking to rebuild just in time to be hired by the Commonality who were desperate for any sort of military force to protect it. The Bad Dream were still garrisoning Lesnovo when the 4th and 9th Marik Militias arrived to garrison the Rim Commonality.[12]


In 3080 Colonel Bortman dissolved the Bad Dream, selling their surviving 'Mechs to the Rim Commonality government before formally disbanding the unit.[13][14]

The unit's 'Mechs were eventually used to outfit the newly raised Second Rim Commonality Guards, which included some former members of the Bad Dream.[14]


Rank Name Command
Commanding Officers of Bad Dream
Colonel Henry Bortman 3048 - circa 3079 or 3081[3][13]

Other Officers[edit]

By 3067 Bortman was leading the Bad Dream largely in name only. The most capable leaders within the unit were Lt. Colonel Yusef Lochsmitt, the CO of the Nightcrawlers, and the various company commanders through the regiment.[3]

Dragoon Ratings[edit]


Dragoon Rating: B-[15]


Dragoon Rating: C-


Dragoon Rating: C (under review)[11]


By 3067 the Bad Dream 'Mech forces relied primarily on the most basic and least surprising tactics and strategies in battle. The Nightcrawlers had worked much harder to maintain their skills at this point, and were masters at tactics based on overrunning the enemy, moving through and disrupting opposing formations.[3]

In 3071, following the defection of the Nightcrawlers and a successful bandit attack on the Brooks Incorporated plant on Kendall, the need for more aggressive and creative tactics was clear.[11]


From the Third Succession War through to 3062, the Bad Dream had their own transport vessels as well as technical support.[16] That changed when the MRBC upheld the Lyran Alliance claim against the regiment, reducing them to the Triumph class DropShip used by the Nightcrawlers and almost no organic technical support.[3]

Composition History[edit]


The Bad Dream (1 Battalion/Regular/Questionable)[17]

- At this point in time the Bad Dream were a medium-weight unit stationed on New Wessex and operating at just below three-quarters of full strength.[17]


Bad Dream* (Regiment/Regular/Questionable) [18]

Note: At this point in time the medium-weight unit was stationed on New Wessex with an operational readiness of 122 percent. [18]


Bad Dream* (Regiment/Regular/Questionable) [18]

Note: At this point in time the medium-weight unit was stationed on Nirasaki with an operational readiness of 56 percent. [18]


The Bad Dream (1 Regiment/Veteran/Reliable)

Contract: LCAF[16]
Note: At this point in time the unit was stationed on Newtown Square. In 3025, the Bad Dream were a medium-weight BattleMech regiment who owned their own DropShip and JumpShip assets and had both armor and heavy Aerospace fighter support, but they were already in debt to the Lyran Commonwealth.


The Bad Dream (Regiment/Veteran/Reliable)[19]

Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Newtown Square.[19]
Contract: AFFC[19]


The Bad Dream (1 Regiment/Veteran/Reliable)[8]

Note: At this point in time the unit was stationed on Landfall.


The Bad Dream (1 Regiment/Veteran/Reliable)[20]

  • CO: Colonel Henry Bortman


The Bad Dream (1 Regiment/Veteran/Reliable) [21]

  • CO: Colonel Henry Bortman) [21]
Note: At this point in time the unit was stationed on Kendall. [21]


The Bad Dream (1 Regiment/Veteran/Reliable)[3]

  • CO: Colonel Henry Bortman
  • XO: Major Ronald Hoffman

In 3067, the Bad Dream 'Mech regiment was still predominantly a medium weight regiment, as it had been for centuries; while the CO's command lance made up of fast heavy 'Mechs, the rest of the regiment were predominantly medium 'Mechs with a few lights and heavies mixed in.

Nightcrawlers (2 Battalions/Elite/Questionable)

Predominantly a medium weight armor unit, the Nightcrawlers worked hard to maintain their high level of excellence, and were a disciplined and well-equipped unit highly loyal to each other.

In 3067, the Bad Dream were operating at 105% of the usual unit strength, and 85% of the regiment had been upgraded with Star League-era technology. 15% of the unit were equipped with OmniMechs.[22][23]


Bad Dream (Battalion/Regular/Questionable) [24]

  • CO: Colonel Henry Bortman
Note: At this point in time the unit was stationed on Lesnovo.[24] In 3079, the Bad Dream were operating at 20% of full strength, but 100% of the surviving elements of the unit had been upgraded with advanced technology.

Color Scheme[edit]

Bad Dream utilized a scheme of red and yellow across all their equipment. Only the Nightcrawlers use this as a parade though.[25][26]


  1. 1.0 1.1 First Succession War, p. 35, "Those Left Behind"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 First Succession War, p. 82, "Caught in the Capellan Crossfire"
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Mercenaries Supplemental II, p. 21.
  4. House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 66
  5. NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1, p. 45
  6. NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 2, p. 63
  7. Historical: War of 3039, p. 140
  8. 8.0 8.1 20 Year Update, p. 57
  9. Objective Raids, p. 129
  10. Field Manual: Free Worlds League, p. 16
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 27
  12. 12.0 12.1 Field Report: FWLM, p. 16
  13. 13.0 13.1 Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 92, "The Rim Commonality"
  14. 14.0 14.1 Field Manual: 3085, p. 88
  15. Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 108
  16. 16.0 16.1 House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 81
  17. 17.0 17.1 First Succession War, p. 136, "Mercenary Combat Commands (DCMS)"
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Second Succession War, p. 97
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Historical: War of 3039, p. 140
  20. Objective Raids, p. 39
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 108
  22. Mercenaries Supplemental II, p. 65
  23. Field Manual: Updates, p. 183
  24. 24.0 24.1 Field Report: FWLM , p. 16
  25. Mercenaries Supplemental II, p. 21
  26. Combat Manual: Mercenaries, p. 108