Hell's Black Aces

Hell's Black Aces.jpg
Hell's Black Aces
Disbanded 3076[1]
Affiliation Mercenary
Parent Command Independent

Hell's Black Aces are an all–aerospace fighter mercenary force founded in the early thirty-first century.


Attaining Rank[edit]

The Aces push candidates for command through a grueling array of trials to test their skill, intelligence and adaptability. These trials evaluate the number of simulated kills each pilot achieves as well as their performance in tactical and strategic problems and scenarios. These tests are often considered to be the toughest used by any forces in the Inner Sphere.[2]

Contractual Command[edit]

The Aces have been noted for surrendering strategic command in a given situation. However, they almost never give up tactical command and control, given that there are few force commanders that understand how to effectively utilize the Aces' capabilities.[3]


Formation in the Late Succession Wars[edit]

Hell's Black Aces were originally formed from a Capellan Confederation aerospace wing. By 3011, the unit had been long neglected by the Capellan military command and, fearful of being caught in one of Chancellor Maximilian Liao's periodic purges, they stole a rare Vengeance-class fighter carrier DropShip and defected from the Confederation. In order to survive, the ex-Capellan wing became a mercenary unit noted for accepting high-risk contracts. As a result of the contracts they took the Aces' numbers suffered. This shortage was exacerbated by the Aces' practice of only recruiting veteran pilots, preferably from Capellan worlds.

Near the end of the Third Succession War, the Aces were hired by the Filthy Lucre to provide air cover for the mercenary regiment while under Lyran contract, fighting in the Dromini VI system against the Draconis Combine. While making transit to the contested Dromini world a Combine aerospace company attacked the Aces from within an asteroid field in an area of space above an asteroid named Hell's Black Acre. An intense dogfight ensued between the ex-Liao wing and the Combine aerospace company, causing the Filthy Lucre to abandon their hirelings to their own devices. The Lucre fled and took all the DropShips back to their JumpShip, including the wing's own Vengeance. Abandoned by their contract holders and with no hope of retreat for the embattled Aces, the commander of the Combine forces demanded the mercenaries' surrender. A young Aces' pilot disputed that request, causing the Combine commander to challenge him to a duel with the fate of the mercenary unit in the balance.

Should the mercenary pilot succeed, the Aces would be allowed to leave the field under escort to the planet Galatea and allowed to leave Combine space. If they lost they would surrender to the Kurita forces with no further issue. The ensuing duel lasted a grueling fifteen minutes before the young Aces' pilot crippled the Combine commander's fighter. Though the commander wished to commit seppuku due to his loss of face for losing to a mercenary, the winning pilot convinced him he could regain his lost honor by joining the Aces and hunting the honorless Filthy Lucre. The Kurita commander agreed and his fellow pilots followed him in joining the mercenary aerospace company. The now much larger unit rechristened themselves Hell's Black Aces after the location of the battle, in honor of the duel which brought the two forces together.

The Aces tracked down Filthy Lucre over Bolan in 3031 while not under contract. Warning off the Filthy's Lyran contract holders, the Aces took their revenge on them by destroying all their 'Mech-carrying DropShips. In the course of the fight, they recovered their Vengeance DropShip and redressed the insult they had been dealt by the fickle mercenary company.[4]

Clan Invasion Era[edit]

In 3053, the Blue Star Irregulars hired the Aces to assist them in their raid against the Clan-held world of Quarell. The Blues wanted the Aces to secure their JumpShips and provide air cover during the raid. Clan Jade Falcon had a number of aerospace assets at Quarell which could counter the raid, including a Fredasa-class Corvette/WarShip. The Falcons were initially surprised by the Aces' sudden attack, losing two whole Stars of OmniFighters, but they quickly recovered and regrouped. The Aces fell back and headed for their JumpShips with Clan OmniFighters in pursuit. As the Clanners arrived, they were ambushed by a wing of Blue Star Irregulars fighters hiding behind their JumpShips. The combined Blues and Aces force devastated the surprised Clan fighters. Afterwards, the Aces conducted a series of attacks that left the Fredasa crippled, allowing for the Falcon WarShip to be captured, and the Aces were able to capture a Clan Titan-class fighter carrier DropShip for themselves.[5][6] The Clan ship was renamed the Lucifer's Deck, added to its growing fleet of carrier DropShips, which include a Leopard CV and their original Vengeance carrier.[7]

In 3057 the Aces faced off against the 1st Kestrel Grenadiers over Zurich. The mercenaries were able to quickly rout the Federated Suns command, destroying half of the AFFS fighters they faced.[8]

Returning to the Service of the Confederation[edit]

By 3063, the unit's reputation has grown since its obscurity as a Liao defector. A number of the Ace's command staff were descendants of the original Kurita pilots that joined at the end of the Third Succession War. A staff member to Capellan Confederation Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao, while in midst of its Xin Sheng movement, offered the Aces a very generous contract, giving them preferred-buyer status for aerospace fighters being produced on Victoria, full salvage rights, excellent pay, and allowing for one of their wings to continue seeking contracts with other factions, as long they were not used against the Confederation. The Aces accepted the contract, and months later the Chancellor offered them a chance to return to the fold. The Aces' commander, Colonel Hohiru Tanaga, declined the offer for the unit to become a house regiment. His Executive Officer, Major Wynn Sung, who was of Capellan descent, created a movement among the troops supporting reintegration of the unit. Her fellows began to spread word of a possible mass desertion. To appease this movement, Colonel Tanaga agreed to continue talks with the Capellan leadership.[9]

The wings of the Aces also served as trainers at military schools like the Liao Conservatory of Military Arts on Liao. Their single allotted freelancer wing continued serving other factions, such as the Draconis Combine as of 3067.[10] With the assistance of the Confederation, the Black Aces had also been able to purchase and refurbish an ancient Invader-class JumpShip, which was given the name Charon. [9]



During the opening years of the Jihad elements of the Aces fought off a number of raids by Duke George Hasek's Operation SOVEREIGN JUSTICE forces. For the first time in years all the Aces were reunited on Ningpo, when they, with the aid of the 1st Taurian Lancers, drove the Arcadians mercenary company from the system. The joint Aces/Taurian forces were able to destroy much of the Arcadians' support infrastructure, reducing the merc unit's fighting capability by forty percent.[11]

With the successful completion of this defensive action Hell's Black Aces were transferred to the planet Liao where they teamed up with the Dynasty Guards regiment. Shortly after their arrival in-system, Duke Hasek's 8th Syrtis Fusiliers attacked, battering the Aces' Dynasty Guard partners. However, the Aces claimed air superiority and helped the Guards drive the Fusiliers off the planet. By then the regiment had lost several of its squadrons in these recent actions and requested time to refit and rest. As a result the unit had recovered and were ready when the Blakists arrived in 3069.

Blakist Attack on Liao[edit]

The entire regiment teamed with the Dynasty Guards and faced off against the Word of Blake's 21st Division. The attacking 21st's aerospace forces included a dozen Pocket WarShips which helped punch a hole through the emplaced Liao space defenses. Despite this the Aces' first wave of fighters arrived in the form of a high-speed strike against the seemingly victorious Blakist force. The surprise attack inflicted stunning damage as the Aces concentrated on what they believe to be the invading fleet's command ship. After this stunning strike the Aces quickly returned to their base to rearm before rejoining the fight. The Aces' attack stunned the Blakist fleet, causing them to delay their attack and regroup.

After regrouping, the Blakist forces resumed their assault and the 21st Division's 'Mechs dropped from orbit. The Aces desperately attacked, shooting down a number of the incoming Blakist forces, but it was not enough. The invaders landed in considerable numbers and proceeded to their targets. During the ensuing battle the Aces were noted for their heroic efforts to keep pressure on the Blakists, costing the unit dearly in both personnel and equipment. Determined to not go out with a whimper, the fifty fighters of the mercenary unit took the fight to the Blakists' orbiting fleet. Many of the Aces' fighters exhausted their fuel and rammed their fighters into 'Mech and DropShip formations, determined to take down as many Blakists as possible. Of the fifty Aces that entered this last-ditch effort to drive the Word of Blake forces away only ten pilots came back alive. Among these heroic dead was the Aces' commanding officer, Colonel Tanaga.[12]

Through the Aces' efforts, it became possible for the Dynasty Guards to repel the weakened Blakist forces. Their efforts successfully inflicted heavy damage to the invaders and resulted in the withdrawal of the Blakists from Liao space.[13] Later, during the battle for Liao, unconfirmed reports of squadrons of fighters bearing Hell's Black Ace's colors were spotted fighting the Blakist forces.

In 3070 the Aces confirmed that a number of the unit's newest recruits had gone missing during the Word of Blake's initial invasion of Liao space. During the Recovery period, the Aces were able to bring in the brightest and best students from Confederation's schools, resulting in the reestablishment of the unit at full regimental strength.

With only a few non-Capellans left in the unit, there were rumors that the Aces were seriously considering ending their careers as mercenaries to become an independent air regiment for CCAF when their contract ended in 3075.[14]


The Black Aces were destroyed as a regiment fighting against the Word of Blake on Liao and fully disbanded in 3076. Despite the regiment effectively ceasing to exist, enough pilots survived the Black Aces' final battle to constitute several squadrons. The bulk of these pilots joined the CCAF and were subsequently assigned to the Liao Conservatory as training instructors, becoming responsible for passing their superior skills on to future classes of Capellan pilots.[1]

Unit Colors & Insignias[edit]

All Ace fighter craft are painted bone white with the unit's emblem, a black spade surrounded by flame, painted on the left wing. Aircraft kills are noted by an Ace-of-Spades painted on the right side of the fuselage. At this time it should be noted that 52 kills or a "full deck", has yet to be achieved.

As a unit's kill tally increases, the corona of flame surrounding the black spade also grows larger to indicate a seasoned and accomplished pilot. For truly accomplished pilots, the twisted reds, oranges, and yellows of the expanded corona form intricate patterns which can wind across the entire fighter craft. The result of this is that no two Aces' aerospace fighter are painted exactly alike.


Rank Name Command
Commanding Officers of Hell's Black Aces
Colonel Hohiru "Great Wyrm" Tanaga 3059


The Aces are known to fight organized in a per-wing grouping and each wing may be assigned to different missions and contracts. Both the First and Second Wings are experts in null gravity combat. In addition, First Wing regularly trains for unusual terrains, such as Asteroid fields and in range of orbital bodies. Third Wing is specialized in atmospheric operations and mission support, including nap-of-the-earth flying and strafing stationary and mobile targets.[15]

Since returning to service with the Confederation in 3067 the Second Wing has taken advantage of House Liao's growing WarShip fleet, becoming experts in both assaulting and defending WarShips. During this period the Third Wing has continued to develop their expertise in both atmospheric and ground support tactics.

Dragoon Ratings[edit]


Rating A+


Rating A+


Rating A

Composition History[edit]



  • 1 reinforced aerospace wing
    • 1 Vengeance-class fighter carrier DropShip


Hell’s Black Aces (Regiment/Elite/Reliable)[16]

  • CO: Colonel Hohiru "Great Wyrm" Tanaga[16]
Note: At this point in time the unit was stationed on Outreach.[16]
Note: First Wing has a squadron of captured Jade Falcon OmniFighters. While each squadron in the First usually favors heavy fighters the addition of Clan technology is welcome and many fighters in this wing boast salvaged Clan technology. Both the Second and Third Wings favor mixed weights of fighters and utilize them to effectively fulfill their contracted mission.[17]
  • 1 - aerospace Regiment
    • Command Squadron - CO: Colonel Tanaga
    • 1st Wing - CO: Major Wynn "Lady Doom" Sung
    • 2nd Wing - CO: Major Jason "Daemon" Windgate
    • 3rd Wing - CO: Major Kerrin "Tsunami" Osikana
      • 1 Vengeance-class fighter carrier DropShip
      • 1 Titan-class fighter carrier DropShip
      • 1 Leopard CV-class fighter carrier DropShip


  • 1 - aerospace Regiment
    • Command Squadron - CO: Colonel Tanaga
    • 1st Wing - CO: Major Wynn "Lady Doom" Sung
    • 2nd Wing - CO: Major Jason "Daemon" Windgate
    • 3rd Wing - CO: Major Kerrin "Tsunami" Osikana
      • 1 Vengeance-class fighter carrier DropShip
      • 1 Titan-class fighter carrier DropShip
      • 1 Leopard CV-class fighter carrier DropShip
      • 1 Invader JumpShip, Charon



  1. 1.0 1.1 Field Report: CCAF, p. 20: "Mercenaries"
  2. Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 60: "Hell's Black Aces" - COMMAND section
  3. Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 60: "Hell's Black Aces" - COMMAND section - Aces almost don't give up Tactical Command
  4. Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 60: "Unit History"
  5. Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 40: "Blue Star Irregulars" - Return of Kerensky - Escorting DropShip captured by Aces while serving the Blue Stars
  6. Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 61: Recent capture of DropShip mentioned
  7. Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 60: "Technical & Transportation Support. Titan added from Falcon raid"
  8. Technical Readout: 3067, p. 140
  9. 9.0 9.1 Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 74: "Hell's Black Aces" - In service to the Confederation, the Aces are offered the chance to become a house unit
  10. Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 74: "TACTICS" - One of the wings freelancing in the Combine
  11. Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 71: "Aces reunite and crush the Arcadians trying hit Ningpo"
  12. Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 71: "Battle for Liao in 3069"
  13. Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 96: "21st Division unit profile" - Hell's Black Aces help to repel the 21st Division's attempt to take Liao with Dynasty Guards
  14. Mercenaries Supplement Update, p. 71: "3071 the unit considers becoming a CCAF air regiment"
  15. Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 61: "Tactics"
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 114
  17. Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 61: "Hell's Black Aces regimental notes"