|Disbanded||3049 (destroyed by Clan Smoke Jaguar)|
Although typically shown black-and-white, their unit crest was described as "silver and black".
The unit was founded by Helmar Valasek, a House Davion officer who mutinied and fled the AFFS with his command in 3003. They raided worlds belonging to the Outworlds Alliance, Draconis Combine, and Federated Suns on their way to the periphery, gaining a reputation for miraculous escapes over their 16-year exodus. In 3019, the band settled on Santander V and assumed the name "Santander's Killers".
At some point in the early 3020s, Valasek's raids against the Draconis Combine drew multiple reprisal attacks. Santander's Killers ambushed one of the Kurita forces with several platoons of Scorpion light tanks. Kurita's forces were ultimately victorious, but at high cost to both sides. In the aftermath, Valasek scaled down his raids against the Combine for a time, but gained an invaluable store of 'Mech salvage from the Kurita casualties in exchange for his stolen—and replaceable—tanks.
During the same period (circa 3023–3028), the Combine reportedly withdrew the Black Widow Company of Wolf's Dragoons from the Davion front to perform another reprisal attack on the Killers. Leaking information to a known informant of Valasek, the Widows ambushed Roger "The Tiger" Tregarth and his company of "Valasek's finest" on Thule. The Widows' Command Lance pinned Tregarth's force while their Fire and Scout lances flanked it. Although the exact outcome is not described, the Killers did use the harsh weather on Thule to their advantage in the hard-fought battle which followed.
Wilson's Hussars broke up with pirate king Redjack Ryan in 3021 and briefly went to work for Helmar Valasek on Santander V. Elmo and Jake Porrath, assigned to assist the Hussars by Valasek, defected from the Killers at this time to join the Hussars - bringing with them a Thunderbolt and a rare Ostscout.
In August or September of 3049, the Killers were one of the first organized Inner Sphere forces to engage the Clans—in this case, Clan Smoke Jaguar. Like many Inner Sphere commanders to follow, Valasek abused the Jaguar's bid and lured them into an ambush. First detonating several DropShips packed with explosives, he then led the Jaguar forces on a merry chase through minefields and days of guerrilla attacks. The incensed Jaguars slaughtered nearly all of the Killers over the following weeks (at the cost of their initial bid of nine OmniMechs and a Star of Elemental infantry, as well as many of the Jaguar reinforcements). Valasek himself escaped off-world, using his personal BattleMaster as a decoy.
Although it took several years for news of the Killers' fate to reach ComStar and the rest of the Inner Sphere, they ceased to exist as a fighting force with Valasek's escape. While he always dreamed of reestablishing his pirates and taking the battle to the Clans once more, that dream died in obscurity with Valasek himself. ComStar would later speculate that the aggressive and dishonorable (if effective) tactics of the Killers helped prejudice the Jaguars against all Inner Sphere forces.
|Commanding Officers of the Santander's Killers|
|Helmar Valasek||3019 - 3049|
- Unknown dates, circa 3025, Roger "The Tiger" Tregarth (Company Commander)
- Unknown dates, circa 3025–3039, Debbie Malgur (Recon Lance leader)
Unlike most pirate bands, the Killers earned their keep as hired assassins and kidnappers. On raids, they preferred to attack for grain, 'Mech and vehicle parts, and water—not for money. They were known for using Kurita tactics on offensive raids into Kurita space. In bad weather, they used pairs of smaller 'Mechs to lure heavier units into unstable terrain until they bogged down. They also fought well under blizzard conditions
Valasek favored deception and ambushes on the defensive.
Santander's Killers (Battalion)
Santander's Killers (Battalion)
Santander's Killers have never been given official unit special rules.
- The encounter with the Black Widow Company on Thule does not fit well with the established timeline for Wolf's Dragoons or the Black Widow Company, who were operating far away along the Federated Suns border on the other end of the Draconis Combine at the time. They would have to have traveled to Thule and back on a command circuit, which seems to be an enormous expenditure for a mere pirate hunting mission that could have been executed by any local military force.
A fan theory therefore suggests that the reported "Black Widow Company" must have been impostors sent either by House Kurita to cow the pirates, or by the Dragoons themselves. (There are hints that Natasha Kerensky deliberately used doubles of herself and possibly her entire unit. There are also at least two recorded case of other units attempting to impersonate the Black Widow Company, in one case to frighten their opponents and in another to frame the unit for war crimes.)
- Helmar appears to have considered Wilson's Hussars a disposable asset. At some point in 3023-4 he abandoned the Hussars during their return from a failed mission to the Taurian Concordat. The travel time involved implies that this was the Hussars' only mission for the Killers, and may even have been a ploy to dispose of the unit. In later years, the MRBC omitted or downplayed any mention of the Hussars' past pirate contracts. These facts together make it very unlikely they were ever integrated with the Killers proper during their short employment.
- The Periphery, p. 153
- Tales of the Black Widow Company, pp. 22–23: "The Lady and the Tiger"
- Technical Readout: 3026, p. 22
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 34
- The Periphery, p. 66
- Mercenary's Handbook, p. 94
- Mercenary's Handbook, p. 97
- Era Report: 3052
- Invading Clans, pp. 53–54
- Technical Readout: 3025, p. 110
- Technical Readout: 3039, p. 158
- Mercenaries Supplemental, p. 65
- Field Manual, Mercenaries, p. 94