Group W

Group W logo.png
Group W
Nickname Lightning Warriors
Affiliation Mercenary
Parent Command Independent


The unit was formed in 3030 and worked mainly for the FedCom. They signed a contract with the St. Ives military and were faced with a civil war in 3064. The command fought first on Tantara and later on Warlock with great success but this doesn't change the outcome. The new employees, the LAAF sent them as peacekeepers to the Lyons Thumb and later to Galatea where they established the law again. This series of actions cost the unit dearly.[1]

Formed in the year 3030, Group W began as a single battalion of BattleMechs formed mostly from older family machines that MechWarriors brought with them, a pair of DropShips, and complete tech support for the new unit. Additionally, the unit had a strong financial base from the beginning that enabled them to be selective in choosing their first jobs and the Group flourished as few mercenary commands could in the years after the Fourth Succession War. By 3050, the mercenaries had grown to a regiment in size, supported by a battalion of Techs with auxiliary troops and a full wing of ASF.[1]

Much of its early years were on the Lyran Periphery, Group W earned a reputation as an effective pirate hunting force. After eradicating a pirate enclave in the Son Hoa system, StarCorps Industries offered the Group a long-term contract. For the next 20 years, the mercenaries would alternate between corporate contracts and Lyran service.

It was during this period the Group grew and gained access to leading edge equipment as well as the technicians trained to keep the unit at 100% readiness at all times.[1]

A contract to the Free Worlds League spared Group W destruction at the hands of the Clans when they began Operation Revival. While other Merc units were thrown — and broken — against the Clan juggernaut in the Tamar March, the Group could only watch as their adopted home was ravaged by Clan forces. As soon as the League contract expired in 3054, Group W secured a garrison assignment in the Lyran state at the Clan frontier for four years before being assigned to aid the St. Ives Compact in 3061.[1]

It was in service against the Capellans that Group W's reputation grew. Though the Compact was doomed, the Group’s unflinching valor in the face of superior forces earned them an elevation from "Veteran/Reliable" to "Elite/Fanatical" classification. With no time to rebuild or recoup after the St. Ives armistice, Group W was reassigned to Lyons as peacekeepers/riot duty, quelling the social unrest caused by Kurita’s annexation of the Lyons Thumb. The Group carried out this difficult mission without being perceived by the citizenry as an occupying force — with the same professionalism they had shown on the battlefields of Nashuar, Tantara, and Warlock.[1]

It was no surprise when Group W was hired to put down the ’Mech gangs on Galatea during the FedCom Civil War. The Group carried out this mission with thoroughness and enthusiasm that bordered on brutality. The Group was able to acquire new technology from salvage and the local black market. But after a decade of combat far from sponsors who always sold to them at a high discount, the Group was at its lowest level in terms of tech and battle readiness while at the peak of their reputation. Group W was restored to almost full strength — albeit with a huge mismatch of salvaged matériel and advanced technologies — when their Galatean contract ended in early 3068. The planetary government’s offer was outbid by Duke Kelswa-Steiner of Skye.[1]

The Duke wanted the best mercenary commands available — regardless of cost — to supplement his forces in response to Free Worlds League raids. Skye and Bolan forces were also mounting an offensive all along his border. The unit was partnered with Kirkpatrick’s Invaders to form a planetary invasion force that captured Togwotee in March of 3068 with almost no casualties. Crushing the planetary militia in days, the paired mercenary forces maintained their advance and took Ideyld in June of that same year. In July of 3068, after the Invaders were pulled back to Arcadia, the Group began to earn their pay when both the Fourth Regulan Hussars and Fifth Free Worlds Guards landed in force on Ideyld Outnumbered and outgunned, Group W held the planet for nearly a month, stalling a major thrust of the Free Worlds League’s counteroffensive, before finally withdrawing in good order.[1]

Unfortunately for Group W, during the Jihad they suffered massive losses to both their reputation, quality and matériel. The unit musters only 80% of a battalion, and no longer possesses either independent aerospace fighters or conventional forces. Further, their skills and morale have atrophied to the point where they are considered a regular unit of questionable morale, and their formerly glowing professional reputation is barely a step above outright piracy.[2][3]


Rank Name Command
Commanding Officers of Group W
Colonel Andrew Bethke 3067-3085 (at least)[4][2]
Colonel Mike Bethke-Simons 3145[3]


Group W can react to any known tactics with ease.[4]


The unit has enough technicians for their support demands, and they possess sufficient transport assets.[4]

Dragoon Ratings[edit]


Dragoon Rating: A[4]


Rating: E[3]

Composition History[edit]


Group W (1 Regiment/Elite/Fanatical)[4]

- Most of the 'Mechs are upgraded.

Lightning Strike (1 Wing/Veteran/Reliable)[4]

-The unit contains ten conventional machines and the following aerospace fighters: 2 Stukas, 4 Eagles, 4 Corsairs, and 2 Stingrays.

33rd Support Group (1 Battalion/Elite/Fanatical)[4]

  • CO: Major C.H. Wesley Hyde-Blum

- The battalion is compromised of a company with assault designs, vehicles for cavalry tasks and an artillery battery.


Group W (1 Battalion/Regular/Questionable)[3]

  • CO: Colonel Mike Bethke-Simons[3]
- As of 3145 Group W were under contract to the Federated Suns and were stationed in the Keytesville system, operating at eighty percent of full strength.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 63
  2. 2.0 2.1 Field Manual: 3085, p. 160: "Notable Mercenary Forces"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Field Manual: 3145, p. 182: "Notable Mercenary Forces"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Mercenaries Supplemental, p. 36: "Group W Profile"