Hannibal's Hermits

Insignia of Hannibal's Hermits
Hannibal's Hermits
Disbanded 3080[1]
Affiliation Mercenary
Parent Command Independent


Founded in the early thirtieth century by Helmut Aufkophen, the command (then known as Helmut's Hermits) was hired by the DCMS in 3023 when they had reached regimental strength and was stationed on Harvest before the Fourth Succession War[2]. In 3028, the LCAF sent the Fourth Donegal Guards, First and Third Lyran Regulars to attack Harvest. At the Battle of Pusou Hill, the Hermits were outmaneuvered by the lightning companies attached to the Lyran forces, and the Hermits withdrew.[3][4][5]

Landing on Kirchbach with the Fifth Amphigean Light Assault Group, the Hermits took up guard positions and waited for the Lyran attack. Though reinforced by the Seventeenth Rasalhague Regulars, the DCMS forces were overmatched by the Lyran task force and had to withdraw. With Helmut Aufkophen killed during the fighting, his son Hermann Aufkophen's first act as commander, was to surrender to the Lyran troops.[6][3]

Finding return to the Combine less than welcoming following Coordinator Takashi Kurita's infamous "Death to Mercenaries" order, the Hermits elected to remain interned in the Commonwealth for the remainder of the conflict, the battered regiment accepting a Lyran garrison contract for Fatima after it concluded. Now renamed Hermann's Hermits, the unit sat out the War of 3039 and the first year of the Clan Invasion on Fatima. Ordered by the AFFC to Quarell when the seemingly unstoppable Clan offensive resumed in 3051, the frightened Hermits prevaricated and dragged out their redeployment until Quarell fell to Clan Jade Falcon, escaping the infuriated AFFC when their contract expired shortly after.[3]

Their reputation blackened by the affair, the Hermits languished for almost a year on Outreach before the Free Worlds League offered the unit a contract on Thurrock, guarding against Periphery raiders near the Magistracy of Canopus.[7] The Hermits fulfilled their contract adequately if not spectacularly until SAFE operatives produced evidence alleging the unit (via its logistics officer Otto Unrhu) was accepting bribes from smugglers. Calling in independent Word of Blake investigators, after three months, the Blakists published their findings exonerating the mercenaries and allowing the unit to serve out its contract despite FWLM misgivings. Recognizing they would not likely receive further employment in Marik space and recalling their aid against SAFE, Colonel Hermann Aufkophen was very receptive to Word of Blake recruiters who approached him in 3059. Hermann's Hermits becoming the first MRBC-registered mercenary unit to accept employment with the Word after Operation Odysseus.[3]

Though Hermann died en route to Terra after contracting Thurrock Flu, his son Hannibal assumed command, with the newly renamed Hannibal's Hermits becoming the pre-Jihad poster child for Blakist recruiters to prove their fair treatment to other mercenary commands. Part of this was the Word of Blake's sale of older Star League era and House Marik BattleMechs at highly preferential rates, as the Blakists' factories on Terra introduced newer designs for the Word of Blake Militia. Immediately prior to the Word of Blake Jihad, the Hermits were transferred to newly captured Keid in 3067, to relieve the Blakist Third Division[3]

During the Blakist invasion of Dieron, Hannibal's Hermits supported the Eighth Division during the initial conquest of the planet in early 3068. As the fighting tapered off in early 3069, the Hermits would prove invaluable during the occupation of Dieron with their combat engineers responsible for much of the planning and construction of a series of fortified defenses at key sites across the planet that would later aid the Blakist forces in resisting Clan Ghost Bear.[8] In response to resistance reports emerging from Dieron that tied the Hermits to the destruction of local life-support facilities as well as the execution of POWs, the unit was charged with multiple counts of Crimes Against Humanity and a variety of War Crimes with the MRBC, adding the Hermits to their Most Wanted list.[9] Hannibal's Hermits would be ultimately destroyed during the Ghost Bear liberation of Dieron,[10] with the last surviving elements - including Colonel Hannibal Aufkophen - being tracked down and destroyed by Nakayama's Blood, an independent reinforced company from the Forty-fifth Dieron Regulars. Nakayama's Blood pursued the surviving Hermits to Mica VII in the Mica Majority and battled them in a dome designated DCP-2996-B-III, a former Combine prison camp. Tai-sa Harold Nakayama killed Colonel Aufkophen personally in a battle during which many of the Hermit's MechWarriors died of suffocation when their cockpits were breached, and the Hermits' tanks were crushed underfoot by the Blood. Only half a dozen of the Blood's 'Mechs survived the battle.[1] The battle saw the Blood get revenge on the Hermits for an earlier engagement in 3068 on Dieron, where the Blood had attempted to join in the battle for control of the district capital only to be defeated and captured, despite launching a furious succession of ambushes and assaults against the Hermits.[11]


Rank Name Command
Commanding Officers of Helmut's Hermits
Colonel Helmut Aufkophen 3023 - 3028[2]
Commanding Officers of Hermann's Hermits
Colonel Hermann Aufkophen 3028 - 3059[12][2][3]
Commanding Officers of Hannibal's Hermits
Colonel Hannibal Aufkophen 3059[3] - 3080[1]


The Second Battalion generally scouts a designated area to locate the enemy and calls in the First and Third Battalions to deliver the final punch. In defensive engagements, Third Battalion acts as the anvil to First Battalion's hammer. The Second Battalion acts as a flanking reserve.[3]


The Hermits gained support from the Word of Blake, because the unit lacked sufficient technical staff to support its operations. The unit possessed sufficient DropShips for half of the command, but the only JumpShip asset the Hermits had (a Leviathan-Class) could not carry them all at once.[3]

Dragoon Ratings[edit]

3059 to 3067[edit]

Dragoon Rating: C[13][3]

Composition History[edit]


Helmut's Hermits (Regiment/Regular/Questionable)

Contract: DCMS[2]
  • CO: Colonel Helmut Aufkopfen[2]
Note: At this time the unit was stationed on Harvest.[2] A support battalion of vehicles and 'Mechs was also part of the unit.[5]
Regiment TO&E[5]
Helmut's Hermits
First Battalion
(Bantha's Battalion)
  • Howell's Company
  • Testsu's Company
  • Farin's Company
Second Battalion
  • Vander's Company
  • Palu's Company
  • Breverson's Company
Third Battalion
  • Alpha Company
  • Bravo Company
  • Charlie Company
Support Battalion
(Armor and Air Support)
  • Zelda's Company
  • Ricahrd's Company
  • Air Squadron


Hermann's Hermits (Regiment/Regular/Questionable)[14]

Note: At this time the command was stationed on Fatima.[14]
Contract: AFFC[14]


Hermann's Hermits (Regiment/Regular/Questionable)[12]

  • CO: Colonel Hermann Aufkopfen[12]
Note: At this time the command was stationed on Fatima.[12]

3054 to early 3059[edit]

Hermann's Hermits[15][16]

Contract: FWLM

October 3059[edit]

Herman's Hermits (Regular/Questionable)[17]

  • CO: Colonel Herman Aufkopfen[17]
Note: At this time the unit was stationed on Terra.[17]
Contract: WoBM


Hannibal's Hermits (1 Regiment/Regular/Reliable)[3]

Note: The 3 battalions are each led by a command lance.
XO/First Battalion
CO: Major Charles DuVaul
Note: The First Battalion covers the rear and the flanks of the rest of the unit.
Second Battalion
CO: Major Ximena Chou
Note: The Second Battalion is the reconnaissance unit.
Third Battalion
CO: Major Otto Unrhu
Note: The Third are the Battalion with brute force for assaults.

Sand Crabs (2 Battalions/Regular/Reliable)[3]

CO/First Battalion
CO: Lieutenant Colonel Franklin Bourne
XO/Second Battalion
CO: Major Lukas Pfannenschmidt
Note: The two Mechanized battalions are supported by a combat engineers company.


  • The Hermit's BattleMech parade colors consisted of a white torso and head with tan limbs.[3]
  • The family name is spelled Aufkopfen in some products. Spotlight On: Nakayama's Blood uses Aufkophen and takes precedence as the most recent publication.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Spotlight On: Nakayama's Blood, pp. 10–11: "Retribution at Last"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 134 (PDF p. 136)
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 Mercenaries Supplemental II, p. 44: "Force Briefs Supplemental - Hannibal's Hermits: Shell Games"
  4. NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1, p. 46
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Fourth Succession War Scenarios Volume One, pp. 38–39: "The Dangalobee Push"
  6. NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1, p. 60
  7. Field Manual: Free Worlds League, p. 16: "The Eagle's Talons - Types of Units - Mercenary Troops"
  8. Jihad Turning Points: Dieron, p. 8
  9. Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 18: "Mercenaries in the Jihad - The MRBC's Most Wanted: 3071"
  10. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 120: "The Condemned"
  11. Spotlight On: Nakayama's Blood, p. 4: "Unit History and Description"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 20 Year Update, p. 26
  13. Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 110: "Mercenary Employment Roster (Deployment as of 1 October 3059) - Word of Blake"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Historical: War of 3039, p. 141
  15. Objective Raids, p. 39: "Free Worlds League Deployment Table"
  16. Field Manual: Free Worlds League, p. 115: "Free Worlds League Deployment Table"
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 110