Dark Wing (Mercenary Command)

This article is about the mercenary cartel. For other uses, see Dark Wing.

Dark Wing
Affiliation Mercenary
Parent Command Independent

The Dark Wing mercenary cartel, also somewhat inaccurately known as the Dark Wing Lance, were a BattleMech unit consisting of (at least) four BattleMasters and a Warhammer.


The Dark Wing appears as an opposing force in the MechWarrior computer game, and also in the altered storyline of the game's 1992 SNES port. The games and their storylines are apocryphal (see section about Canonicity in that article); they are expressly not included among the list of canonical sources for the BattleTech universe, but it has been also said that information from certain sources indicating this one can be assumed to be part of the shared universe if it makes sense, until contradicted. Activision's MechWarrior in particular is one of the computer games where the storyline is widely treated as canonical; this is not the case for the SNES version.


In 3017, the Dark Wing attacked the household of AFFS Colonel Joseph T. Ragen on Redondo in retaliation for the Colonel's attempt to infiltrate the cartel and destroy it from within. Only the Colonel's 12-year-old son Herras Ragen survived the attack.

The Dark Wing then disbanded for some time to hide their tracks, but reappeared in 3024. Working for Matabushi Incorporated, they were secretly moved to the world of Ander's Moon by the Stone Arrow, a JumpShip operated by the notorious smuggler Kangaroo Jack. Between 1 and 3 March 3024, the Dark Wing executed a surprise raid on the local Duke's stronghold, Castle Vandenburg, as part of Matabushi's Operation Inroad. They killed the Duke, his wife and his daughter and stole treasure including the Chalice of Herne, symbol of the Dukedom on Ander's Moon. They were then ostensibly driven off by forces from Jarris McBrin, a rival of the Vandenburg clan, who had been on maneuvers nearby.

Dark Wing color scheme

Gideon Braver Vandenburg, the late Duke's son, had been away on an inspection tour when the attack occurred. Political intrigue forced him to flee from Ander's Moon shortly afterwards. He went on to create his own mercenary Lance, the Blazing Aces, and within five years tracked down the Dark Wing who were still guarding the Chalice on a planet in the Draconis Combine. There, the Blazing Aces vanquished the Dark Wing and reclaimed the Chalice. This was presumably the end of the Dark Wing. When their last 'Mech was disabled, the infantry fled and abandoned the high security bunker that held the Chalice.

Their crest was a humanoid skull with wings and fangs. The color scheme is seen on the leg of a steel-blue Warhammer that is pictured on the cover art and opening picture of the MechWarrior video game.


Rank Name Command
Commanding Officers of the Dark Wing



Composition History[edit]

A BattleMech unit consisting of (at least) four BattleMasters and a Warhammer.


  • The exact place where the Chalice is guarded by the Dark Wing and where the final showdown takes place is randomized within the game, but it is invariably located on the Lyran Commonwealth border of the Draconis Combine, usually on Radstadt, Rasalhague, Kirchbach, or Albiero.
  • It remains unclear whether the Dark Wing forces encountered in the last two battles of the game's storyline are supposed to be the same Lance, or two different Lances of three BattleMasters and one Warhammer each. Game mechanics do not allow damaged units to withdraw and require a battle to be fought until one side is totally destroyed. However, in the data given to the player after the Tasha-Kearny standoff the game describes "a special lance of 'Mechs consisting of a Warhammer and four BattleMasters known as the dark wing". The player only ever meets three BattleMasters and one Warhammer (in fact this is due to game mechanics which only allow for four enemy 'Mechs on a given battlefield). While the first battle at the landing zone and the final confrontation at the site of the bunker holding the Chalice must be played in direct sequence, the player's unit (the Blazing Aces) can carry out some minor repairs and replenish ammunition stores in between; the same might have been possible for the Dark Wing especially considering that they had a base there.
  • Infantry is expressly described to scatter in the text following the successful battle against the Dark Wing at the Chalice bunker.
  • According to MechWarrior (SNES), the Dark Wing Lance exists since before 3017, and they used to be a renegade mercenary cartel. However, according to this game, the Dark Wing was disbanded until 3027, which conflicts with the 3024 attack by the Dark Wing on Ander's Moon.