One of humanity's most enduring activities, piracy continues to plague the people of the thirty-first century.[1] Pirates can usually be divided between those who took up their outlaw lifestyle out of strict necessity and those who simply enjoy to live without any rules. Pirates tend to thrive on power vacuums, when there is only weak (or nonexistent) central authority to impose the rule of law; this is why many of these bandits can be found prowling the border regions of the Periphery and the Chaos March.[2] The largest pirate factions sometimes organize into Bandit Kingdoms.



The normal size of a pirate band is equal to a Company. The 'Mechs are superior to the normal armored militia vehicle which are no real danger.

  • 'Mechs with hands make it easier to gather the booty, get to the waiting DropShip and lift off before enough defenders can react.
  • Forces larger than Battalion level form Bandit Kingdoms. Their 'Mechs are too complicated to maintain in large numbers. The kingdoms are a result when a force survives long enough to establish a base and expand their region of influence. Their gain is also a new weakness for any enemy. Territory must be defended or it is lost.


  • This branch is crucial to any pirate group. Before they can board a DropShip the brigands must destroy the defending force's DropShips and fighters. Their elite pilots prefer designs with high thrust, because the green pilots operate in larger groups.
  • The DropShip and JumpShips are another problem for them. In normal cases they need two: one for transport of units and one for transport of loot. The normal crew member is highly skilled in zero combat situations to counterassaults when needed. Many situations demand fast and efficient handling of stolen goods.
  • JumpShips are the key to any success. The JumpShip navigators are held in high regard by pirate leaders.

Vehicles and Infantry[edit]

  • Considered in many cases as meaningless forces, they are used mostly for defensive purposes. Sometimes they can repel a raiding force by their own.[citation needed]


  • Many pirates use specialists when needed, such as demolitions experts, assassins, and so on.


Pirates commonly use only the crew that they need to fulfill their mission, use pirates with many "talents", and cheat. Some try to make their forces look larger than they really are, while others depend on altering radio traffic or masquerading as military units.[citation needed]


See Also: List of Pirate Commands, List of Pirates


  1. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 122, 125
  2. Classic BattleTech Companion, pp. 217-218