Sathen's Snipers

Insignia of Sathen's Snipers
Sathen's Snipers
Affiliation Mercenary
Parent Command Independent

Unit Description[edit]

Originally a single combined-arms Battalion of medium/light BattleMechs, which mixes up 'Mech and conventional forces tightly, while maintaining separate aerospace company.


Marik Civil War, Formation, and Early Years[edit]

The unit's origins were relatively unknown until late 3060s, and for good reasons. Founded by a Marik Force Commander Branden Kesteel in 3015, in the aftermath of Wolf's Dragoons assault on New Delos. Kesteel had been the commander of the Planets garrison battalion, carefully kept his unit separated by the conflict of Marik Civil War (3014-3015). When Anton Marik murdered the Dragoons' dependents (including the Black Widow's lover), Kesteel's battalion was fought defensive actions to keep his command alive against the elite mercenary unit. He managed to get majority of his force (its families) off world at the cost of his heavier 'Mech units. He then knowing the consequences of being associated with renegade Captain-General, choose to undertake a quiet exodus from House Marik and become a freelance mercenary unit. Choosing to make sure the unit origins were never revealed and never take contracts with their former homeland.[1]

The unit's escape including bringing like-minded JumpShip and DropShip crews with them. Kesteel's character and his means giving unit sense of family became the cornerstone of their survival as a unit. As part of their survival tactics, the unit kept itself small. Much of lack of its heavy BattleMech force was part of these guise of protection. In their early times as Snipers, the unit took on pirate hunting for various factions.

Clans and the 3060s[edit]

The unit had some success against the Clans due to its unusual tactics.

In the early 3060s, Major Branden Kesteel turned active combat leadership of the unit to his daughter Illuminada Kesteel. Her ascendancy as active leader of the unit led the unit in new direction, a direction which is questioned in grumbling among her people. In 3062, the Snipers took a contract in employee of the Word of Blake. Under the Blakists' lucrative contract the unit expanded into include a second battalion, with addition of Assault Triumph DropShip and additional equipment. This also allowed Snipers become independent of support for long periods of time, but also sparked internal problems in mercenary unit history.[1] In September 3067, they were contracted by the Word of Blake to garrison the world Caph in the newly formed Word of Blake Protectorate. However, within two weeks of their garrison mission, they were reassigned to new duty. A mysterious individual only known as Emerald now took over their contract. They were then shipped through series of cargo ships to undisclosed location. Throughout this period, the Snipers were unaware where they were and whom they were working for.

Battle for Luthien[edit]

The contract the unit came under turned out to be for the renegade faction of the Draconis Combine known as the Black Dragon Society or Kokuryu-kai.[2] The unit was unaware they were even on Luthien until they were operating on their first mission.[3] Among the actions it participated in during the time of Kokuryu-kai's Battle for Luthien, included the battle at the Imperial Palace on New Year's Day, 3068. Once assigned to the Kokuryu-kai's faction of the 2nd Sword of Light, the Snipers battled the Otomo, Izanagi Warriors and the Loyalist 3rd Luthien Guards. The Snipers covered the flanks of the 2nd Sword during this action. The battle went well for the Snipers' employers, forcing the defenders to withdraw and allowing the Kokuryu-kai's capture of the Otomo's infantry commander, Franklin Sakamoto.[4] However, the unit took heavy damage as Emerald had directed them, in mid-battle, to protect Tai-sa To of the 2nd Sword, which they did by engaging the 3rd Luthien Guard during that unit's retreat from the palace grounds. The Snipers withdrew to underground warehouses near the palace.

Within weeks of the Kokuryu-kai's attacks, the 1st Genyosha and the Word of Blake's 9th Division arrived on the planet. The new arrivals split off to take portions of Imperial City, creating a three-way stalemate. On January 31st, 3068, three tactical nuclear devices were detonated in LAW's Mega Manufacturing complex, crippling the 1st Genyosha in the process.

On 18 July 3069, the 2nd Sword of Light, along with the 6th Benjamin Regulars and 40th Dieron Regulars, moved to disrupt the effectiveness of the Loyalist forces operating in the vicinity of the LAW City ruins on Guthry Island. However, they first encountered and then engaged a 9th Division salvage team, which they rolled over. The Snipers (now under a Word contract) assisted in the defense of the salvage team. [See note regarding the Sniper hiring timeline below.][5]

Through 3069, the Snipers conducted eight sorties against Loyalist 1st Genyosha and 9th Division positions. During this period, the Snipers' infantry used the city's subway tunnels to conduct their trademark hit-and-fade attacks against their opponents. They also salvaged some heavier BattleMechs. The conflict turned against Sathen's Snipers in early 3071 when the 2nd Sword's Tai-sa To's headquarters were overrun by Blake forces, killing To.[3] The Snipers surrendered to the 9th Division.[2] The Word of Blake informed Major Kesteel that her unit was branded as contract-breakers, as no records existed of a transfer to any individual named "Emerald". However, the 9th's leadership decided the Snipers had been tricked and Major Kesteel managed to win the release of her unit's equipment. She also convinced the 9th to hire them as their supplemental security force.[2] The unit had been pared down to two companies' worth of troops by this time. The Snipers were able to acquire more equipment (through the Word of Blake) and hired local yakuza to bring them back to their pre-Jihad strength of two battalions. The unit garrisoned the 9th Division's headquarters near the Takashi Memorial Starport, 700 km outside the Imperial City.

During this time, the Snipers' DropShips were temporary employed as part of the Word of Blake's fleet of blockaders. They accounted for the destruction of four Union DropShips running the blockade.[3]

The Snipers kept fighting for the next couple of years through exhausting endless fighting, before withdrawing from the planet in early 3073 due to fatigue.[2] They were replaced by the Word of Blake Militia's 32nd Division.[6]


Rank Name Command
Commanding Officers of Sathen's Snipers
Major Branden Kesteel 3025[1]
Major Illuminada Kesteel 3062[1]
Colonel Scott "Druid" Crandall 3067[7]
Major Illuminada Kesteel 3067 - 3071[2]


The unit utilizes its fast 'Mechs, complemented by its vehicles and mechanized infantry. The unit developed and employs diversion tactics to distract their opposition from what Snipers' actual goal is.[1]

Mercenary Ratings[edit]


Dragoons Rating: B


Dragoons Rating: Wanted

Composition History[edit]


Sathen's Snipers

  • Single Combined Arms Battalion
    • (The battalion comprises two companies of mixed 'Mech, Vehicles and infantry, and one company of aerospace fighters). The unit does not employ heavy or assault 'Mechs.


Sathen's Snipers

  • (2 Combined Arms battalions)
    • (Each battalion comprises two companies of mixed 'Mechs, vehicles and infantry, and one company of aerospace fighters).


Game Rules[edit]

Any Sniper warrior whose 'Mech or vehicle uses a weapon that causes 15 points or more direct-fire damage receives a –1 to-hit modifier to all Gunnery rolls using that weapon. (If desired, for additional abilities, see p. 77, Mercenaries Supplemental, and p. 127, Mercenaries Supplemental Update.)[2]


  • The inclusion of Sathan's Snipers in the "Bullet in the Blue Sky" scenario of Jihad Turning Points: Luthien may be in error, as the Snipers were not under a recognized Word contract until early 3071 (per their "Combatants" entry). At the time of this note, errata called for removing Sathen's Snipers from the "Defender/Recommended Forces" and removing the "including Sathen's Snipers, now under a Word contract" line from the Defender write-up; the suggestion has not yet been endorsed. An alternative answer may be that the mercenary unit was captured (and then hired) prior to the Battle of the LAW City Ruins.
  • Emerald is a codename for a Kokuryu-kai operative.[citation needed]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Mercenaries Supplemental, p. 59: "Sathen's Snipers: Fangs and Claws"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Jihad Turning Points: Luthien, p. 6: "Sathen's Snipers"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 104: "Sathen's Snipers"
  4. Jihad Turing Points: Luthien, p. 8: "Traitor's Kiss"
  5. Jihad Turning Points: Luthien, pp. 8–9: "Bullet in the Blue Sky"
  6. Jihad Turning Points: Luthien, p. 7: "32nd Division (Word of Blake)"
  7. Field Manual: Updates, p. 184: Independent/Uncontracted (Mercenary Deployment Table Section)