- This article is about the mercenary unit. For the scenario packs, see Cranston Snord's Irregulars (scenario pack) and Rhonda's Irregulars (scenario pack).
|Previous Designation(s)||McFinney's Manglers|
Snord's Irregulars are a mercenary unit notorious for their tendency towards insubordination and their eccentric obsession with "collecting" (or looting) collectibles and artworks over the course of their assignments.
In accordance with the name of its commander the unit has also occasionally been referred to as Cranston Snord's Irregulars (until he stepped down from command between 3034 and 3039). Cranston's daughter Rhonda commanded the unit's Third Company, Rhonda's Irregulars, from 3026 to 3037 and that designation, or Rhonda Snord's Irregulars, was also occasionally applied to the unit as a whole after she took command.
- 1 History
- 1.1 McFinney's Manglers
- 1.2 The Marik contract
- 1.3 In service to Steiner
- 1.4 Reprisal
- 1.5 The Junk Yard Dog Affair
- 1.6 Interlude on the Kurita border
- 1.7 Back to the Marik border
- 1.8 The Fourth Succession War
- 1.9 After the war
- 1.10 The Waco Rangers
- 1.11 New commander
- 1.12 The War of 3039
- 1.13 Clan Invasion
- 1.14 Operation MERLIN
- 1.15 Civil War
- 1.16 Jihad
- 1.17 Dark Age
- 1.18 IlClan Era
- 2 Officers
- 3 Tactics
- 4 Unit Colors and Insignia
- 5 Composition History
- 6 Game Rules
- 7 Notes
- 8 Errors, corrections and retcons
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
The unit that would become Snord's Irregulars was raised by Cranston Snord, a MechWarrior who had split with Wolf's Dragoons in 3006. Earlier reports claimed that Snord was discharged from the Dragoons after having left his post to search for artworks during a battle on Royal; this was later explained as a cover story (which actually took place on Halloran, not on Royal), as Jaime Wolf wanted Cranston Snord to create his own unit to begin searching for old Star League installations independently from Wolf's Dragoons.
Whatever the truth, Cranston Snord started out on Crossing with nothing but his Archer and fell on hard times. His luck saved him when he won an entire mercenary outfit named McFinney's Manglers from their CO, Melvin McFinney, in a poker game in 3007.
The unit Snord had won consisted of a dilapidated Union-class DropShip, five BattleMechs (only two of which were functional and had weapons amounting to anything) and five aerospace fighters (only one of them operational)—and a considerable amount of debts. Broke and unable to pay for repairs, Snord hired skilled workers from the ranks of the Dispossessed and obtained some spare parts through dubious means. Some 'Mechs and fighters were broken down for spare parts, and any surplus items were sold off. In the end, Snord's own 'Mech and three others, plus two fighters, were made combat ready.
Other MechWarriors who quit Wolf's Dragoons or were cashiered were provided with forged identification and new backgrounds, and subsequently joined Snord's unit. These included the brothers John and Terry Malvinson, Samual Sneede and Shalimar Windall, and later Walker Roche. The Malvinson brothers brought Cranston's daughter Rhonda, and Terry Malvinson had secret orders from Joshua Wolf to kill Cranston Snord should he ever threaten to expose the true nature and origin of Wolf's Dragoons.
The Marik contract
With several large debts still outstanding, Snord was desperate to find employment for his small unit. Their biggest creditor, House Marik, was hiring every mercenary unit they could at the time to bolster their defenses on the Lyran Commonwealth border, and Snord agreed to serve the Free Worlds League for one year in payment for their debts. Snord's Irregulars fought in the defense of Rochelle against a Lyran invasion. The drawn-out fighting inflicted heavy casualties on all sides and mauled several mercenary commands. Yet, where others reported 70% losses, Snord's unit managed to stay intact through salvage and even recruited additional MechWarriors and their 'Mechs from other units that had been destroyed.
To rebuild their own decimated forces, the victorious Free Worlds League subsequently tried to confiscate all surviving mercenary 'Mechs on Rochelle, specifically those of Snord's unit. Janos Marik ignored the deal that the unit's service would pay for their debt and demanded that they turn over their 'Mechs, basing his claims on unclear salvage clauses in the contract. This led to a mercenary uprising under Snord, and they fought their way off-planet against Marik's exhausted forces. On 17 June 3007, Melvin McFinney was killed as the unit fought its way to the starport past elements of the Fifteenth Marik Militia, securing Cranston Snord's hold over the unit.
Ever since, Cranston Snord and his mercenaries held a bitter and personal enmity against Janos Marik, his House and his realm. ComStar's Mercenary Review Board was apparently not called upon by either side to arbitrate the dispute.
In service to Steiner
The unit's performance on Rochelle and their escape impressed Lyran Archon Katrina Steiner enough to hire the unit. The negotiations dragged on, but eventually led to a very unusual contract: The pay was low, but Snord had the right to select the location of his unit's assignment, which allowed him to hunt for "collectibles". Snord's Irregulars received a permanent base on Clinton, and House Steiner was to provide repair parts for their 'Mechs. It was only upon signing this contract that the unit took the name of "Cranston Snord’s Irregulars".
Snord had suspected the existence of a hidden Castle Brian facility on Clinton for some time, and had purposefully dragged out the negotiations until his men had identified the facility's exact location. He then proposed, and was granted, this "worthless" area as the location of his permanent base and subsequently used the Castle Brian as a secret extension to his base.
Besides defensive missions on the Steiner side of the border, Snord's Irregulars were involved in no less than six attacks against the Free Worlds League until 3017. (They fought on more than six different FWL planets, however, suggesting that "attack" in this context may refer to larger operations that involved several worlds.)
- New Kyoto
- The Irregulars' first combat action for House Steiner came when, after months of repairing and refitting, they were offered a chance to join the defense of New Kyoto against an FWL attack. They accepted, both for the chance to fight Marik troops and because of a collection of artworks they had learned were hidden on the world. Hoping to find the treasures there, the Irregulars unexpectedly made a combat drop on the city of Kirwanal where they chanced upon an FWL supply depot and wiped out the surprised defenders. Continuing their search for the lost artworks, they followed a lead to the city of Shaval where they stumbled across the New Kyoto command post of the FWL forces, and wiped it out as well before moving into Shaval and holding it. Through their lucky surprise hits on critical elements of the Marik offensive the Irregulars routed the invaders in just over two months where an eight-month campaign had been anticipated by the Steiner command. The unit received personal congratulations from Katrina Steiner, and its officers were awarded the Commonwealth Medal of Honor with Oak Leaf Clusters. Cranston Snord also unearthed one of the hidden vaults containing the lost art objects of New Kyoto, and spirited them to the base on Clinton.
- The Irregulars' next venture after New Kyoto was an attack on the FWL planet of Wing, where they hoped to find the famous rare book collection of Devron. Over the course of the fierce fighting, two of the Irregulars' MechWarriors intercepted a message indicating that FWL forces were moving a library overland to a DropShip landing zone. Assuming this to be the collection he came for, Snord and his unit disobeyed his battle orders and penetrated deep into the enemy rear area. They intercepted the transporters just outside the city of Merth and captured most of the crates holding the rare books.
Snord's action achieved two unforeseen results. The Steiner command assumed his unit lost when they failed to report in, while the Marik forces mistook the raid for an attempt to attack their command center and diverted half of their front-line forces to hunt for the Irregulars. The diversion allowed the Steiner forces to break through. They arrived just in time to save the Irregulars, who had been cornered in a small river valley.
Having narrowly escaped destruction through sheer luck, the unit was again decorated for heroism. With their 'Mechs badly damaged and several MechWarriors wounded, Snord's Irregulars received permission to return to Clinton. They brought the book collection with them, but then had to sell some of their art collection to pay for the extensive damage the unit had suffered.
(The Kell Hounds sourcebook places this battle in 3005, but this is impossible as the Irregulars only formed two years later. It also establishes that the Thirtieth Marik Militia was handed a humiliating defeat on Wing by Snord's Irregulars.)
In the following years, Snord's Irregulars earned a reputation as artifact hunters and gained notoriety for flagrantly disobeying orders in battle to hunt for treasures. They were unpopular among Katrina Steiner's advisors, but she cared more for the results the unit achieved. On top of the secret underground Castle Brian, the Irregulars built a museum where they exhibited their art collection. It drew enough tourist attraction to provide some extra funds to their coffers. Even Katrina Steiner herself frequently visited the museum.
- The Irregulars raided the world of Danais together with the 32nd Lyran Guards, a mission that had been devised during a planning session with Katrina Steiner in mid-3007. (Since the battles on New Kyoto and Wing were expressly described as the unit's first and second operations in Steiner employ, the raid on Danais was apparently the third.) Snord was really after a DropShip carrying valuable musical instruments which had been shot down over the world's jungles during the fall of the Star League. What he did not know was that the FWL was building an aerospace fighter production facility on Danais and had reinforced the local garrison. Worse, the two derelict DropShips that the Irregulars had identified actually contained the garrison HQ. Snord’s Irregulars prevailed, however, and captured both the FWL command staff and a collection of instruments for their museum on Clinton.
- Alula Australis
- In 3009 the Irregulars were included in an attack on Alula Australis on their request, as a collection of portraits by the famous artist Davials was reportedly hidden there. The attack ran afoul of a hidden fighter base. Snord's unit and the accompanying Nineteenth Lyran Guards were cut off from their DropShips by the Marik 405th Aerospace Wing (also called 405th Fighter Wing), while heavy ground units wore them down. Snord's Irregulars found the hidden fighter base and managed to destroy enough fighters to end the enemy air superiority, allowing their own DropShips to pick them up.
The 405th Aerospace Wing was notable for including several rare Land-Air 'Mechs, namely a Phoenix Hawk LAM and three Stinger LAMs.
By the time of the Dragoons' 3009 resupply run which he reportedly joined, Snord reported to Wolf and the Clans on five empty Star League depots that he had discovered.
- In 3010, while Snord's Irregulars were posted to Uhuru as a support unit, five of their MechWarriors staged a night raid against a supply depot of the Fifteenth Marik Militia. They were caught in a trap by defending 'Mechs who used hitherto unknown new jamming equipment, and had to be rescued by Cranston Snord and Samual Sneede. The Irregulars managed a retreat, and the information about the enemy jammers from this chance encounter proved invaluable.
It was also said that the raid was unauthorized, and that it was led by Rhonda Snord. Given that she was around 11 years old at the time, it is generally assumed that Rhonda's involvement is either an error or a tall tale spun by Snord to humiliate his Marik foes.
- When the Lyran Commonwealth attempted to seize Dieudonné once again in 3011, Snord's Irregulars volunteered to be included in the attack, hoping to obtain the sacred Tome of Rigo that was supposedly located on that world. Colonel Arthur Flade, the overall Lyran commander of the mission, was openly disdainful of the Irregulars and went out of his way to make sure they drew the most dangerous assignments while under his command. During the attack they were dropped off target, namely in the middle of the Jarvis Military Proving and Training Grounds, an area surrounded by a heavy minefield. The Irregulars had to fight their way past several veteran units from the Jarvis Flight Militia to link up with the Arcturan Guards in the legitimate drop zone several kilometers away.
Colonel Flade proclaimed Snord’s Irregulars lost immediately after the drop and later accused them of having gone astray to go looting. This led to a falling out between him and Cranston Snord who believed, but could not prove, that Flade had deliberately ordered the Irregulars be dropped off target, and refused to work with him in any future operations.
- In June 3012 Snord's Irregulars and the Kell Hounds entered the Castor system for a joint attack. The mission was to find and destroy a rumored stockpile of old nuclear weapons, and give the Kell Hounds some combat experience in the process (their first combat mission in fact); extra mission goals for Snord's Irregulars were to acquire a collection of Fabergé eggs, and to humiliate the Thirtieth Marik Militia (again). According to Capt. Jonathan Taylor, Thirteenth Marik Militia, Second Battalion, First Company, Cranston Snord personally destroyed his Centurion during that joint raid, indicating that at least elements of the Thirteenth Marik Militia were involved in the fighting. The Irregulars managed to identify and destroy the weapons cache just in time, as the defenders were planning to detonate the nuclear weapons stockpile with the intent of framing the mercenaries. By lucky chance, Cranston Snord, while looking for the Fabergé eggs, apprehended Colonel Nage of the Thirtieth Marik Militia in the open market of Alfagemini City and also ultimately managed to secure nine Fabergé eggs for the museum on Clinton.
- (It should be noted that different years have been given for this raid. The history section of the Kell Hounds sourcebook is ambiguous, noting on p. 5 that the raid was planned in 3011 and then narrating how Snord's Irregulars and the Kell Hounds approached Castor from two directions around 7 June, without stating a year. On page 7, however, it is narrated that the Kell Hounds only returned from the mission in the fall of 3012. In the sourcebook's scenario section, the two scenarios referring to the Clinton battle on pp. 30–31: "Lowering the Boom" and 56 ("Delta Romeo") are both dated 15 June 3012. Similarly, Capt. Taylor states he fought the Kell Hounds and Snord's Irregulars on Clinton in 3012. When Lowering the Boom was republished via BattleCorps in 2008 the timestamp was changed to 7 June 3011 but this seems to be an oversight based on p. 5 of the Kell Hounds sourcebook.)
- On Nestor, the Irregulars managed to capture a consignment of old Earth vintage brandy in 3013. Destined for Janos Marik's personal cellar, it was being transferred from the city of Jillor to Millor as the Marik forces began to evacuate the world in the face of the Lyran onslaught. The Irregulars' recon lance abandoned the fight for the city of Tursimis, penetrated more than forty-nine kilometers behind the enemy lines and intercepted the convoy. The three Rifleman 'Mechs defending the convoy (together with an Ostscout) had been modified to carry two additional autocannons instead of their large lasers. Their ammunition supply ran out quickly, as they had not carried full ammunition bins to start with. The crew of the Vedette tank holding the brandy crates took off when the light 'Mechs of the Scout Lance mauled the defenders.
- A turning point for the Irregulars' reputation came in 3014 when they managed to defend a munitions dump on Loric against a supply raid by Wolf's Dragoons, capturing several enemy 'Mechs in the process and then generously returning three captured MechWarriors to the Dragoon ranks. The victory over the famous Dragoons earned Snord's Irregulars considerable respect and brought attention to the fact that they were not only oddball treasure hunters, but also a formidable fighting force.
(The battle on Loric was actually staged and conducted largely in the Clan fashion of ritualized fights that caused only light damage to the opponents.)
- Other battles
- In the period between the attack on Wing and the raid on their Clinton base in 3017, Snord’s Irregulars also participated in the following operations for which no accurate date is known:
- Amity: The only operation against House Marik to be considered a military loss was during the battles of Amity, where Snord's Irregulars, deployed for a holding action, allowed several other units to escape. Even in this action, though, Snord and his men managed to find the lost Jewel of Sumatra before retreating, turning it into a personal victory.
- Rochelle: Snord's Irregulars returned to Rochelle after a few years to search for antique photographs in the city archives of Trivis. The raid encountered much more resistance than anticipated, but luck prevailed and the photographs were retrieved.
- Shiloh: During the Star League era there had been mining operations for rare stone crystals (Shuksam and Mirst) on the Fald Plains on the planet Shiloh, which was now an FWL planet. Cranston Snord got his unit assigned to an attack on Shiloh by the Tenth Skye Rangers, who were happy to let him scout the plains to get the perceived troublemaker out of the way. After some weeks Snord found a Shuksam deposit, but to get the crystals he had to fight his way to and fro through Marik forces (in which he succeeded).
Not a man to take losing lightly, Janos Marik had enough of the repeated humiliation and sent elite forces to Clinton to destroy the Irregulars' base. They hit it on 14 February 3017. This attack, which met with little resistance as Snord's Irregulars were fighting Marik Regulars on Loric at the time, devastated more than just the base facilities and the museum. The precious art collection was stolen, destroyed or badly damaged, constituting a considerable blow against the morale of Snord's Irregulars and also pushing them close to bankruptcy. Katrina Steiner again stepped in in their favor, however. Following a personal audience which she granted Cranston Snord within a week of his return to Clinton, she gave Snord's Irregulars an advance on pay as well as permission to attack the Free Worlds League at will. She also loaned the unit a JumpShip, though Samual Sneede opined that "it should have been on its way to the scrap yard when we got it". Thelos Auburn had been caught up in the attack, and by coincidence had overheard from Marik troops that the stolen treasures were brought to Nathan.
The Junk Yard Dog Affair
The Irregulars plotted their revenge against House Marik for the next three months: a daring deep penetration raid dubbed Operation Junk Yard Dog (after one of the old songs in the music collection of Rhonda Snord). Its aim was to regain the stolen museum pieces and to end Marik's harassment once and for all.
- Phase 1 - Nathan
- The rural world of Nathan, deep in FWL space and occasionally used for R&R by FWL troops, was identified as the place where the museum pieces had been brought, due to be sold on the free market. The Lyran Commonwealth paid for stolen security codes that allowed Snord's Irregulars to disguise their DropShip as an FWL vessel returning from the front. The DropShip was cleared and landed on Nathan as guests of the local Earl on Friday, March 13, 3018. During approach, it secretly combat-dropped the Irregulars. Although many military units were present on the planet, they were unprepared and totally surprised by the attack. Snord's Irregulars reclaimed many pieces of their collection in simultaneous engagements in several cities across the planet over the next two weeks before the FWL could bring in reinforcements.
- Phase 2 - Holt
- In response to the attack, the FWL reinforced the border in an attempt to cut off Snord's escape route. But the Irregulars drove even deeper into FWL territory instead and staged a surprise attack on the residential palace of House Marik on the planet Holt, where they overran the weak and surprised household guards and Rainbow Company of the Twenty-seventh Marik Militia within a few hours and took Jason Marik-Torrenson, third cousin to Janos, hostage. They recovered some more booty that had been brought here from Clinton and also appropriated supplies and spare parts.
- Lyran intelligence indicated that much of the garrison of the planet Oliver had been mobilized and sent away to search for Snord's Irregulars in the confusion created by their attack on Holt. Trying to capitalize on this weak spot Katrina Steiner launched an attack against Oliver. Although not a coordinated move, it was just the diversion Snord needed to make it back across the border to Clinton, where he reappeared with his unit four months after the raid.
- In response to Operation Junk Yard Dog, the enraged Janos Marik sent Carp's Commandos, a suicide team, against Clinton. Led by one Lieutenant Marty Carp, who was pulled out of prison for the mission, the unit was composed entirely of rejects and convicts who received substandard equipment and knew they were not expected to return. The raiders landed off target, however, and were soundly defeated by Snord's Irregulars after having lost the element of surprise.
Despite its brilliant success, Operation Junk Yard Dog had inflicted heavy damage on the Irregulars’ equipment that took six months and most of their money to repair. Again, they had to sell parts of the recaptured museum pieces to stay afloat. They had, however, won an impressive reputation.
- In 3020, House Marik dared Snord's Irregulars to attack a fortified installation on the Kincaid peninsula on McAffe by leaking information that it held items taken from the museum on Clinton, hoping to lure them into a trap. However, Snord's Irregulars outmaneuvered the defenders by approaching the peninsula beneath the sea, sneaking in behind the heavy defense lines. Emerging close to their target they encountered only light resistance and reclaimed another significant share of the remaining collectibles that had been taken from Clinton.
Interlude on the Kurita border
- In an attempt to make good use of the unit's reputation, Katrina Steiner relocated Snord's Irregulars to Alexandria near the Draconis Combine border in 3020. Snord accepted as Alexandria was not only rumored to hold a wealth of Star League supplies and armaments, but had once been a show place for museums and art galleries.
House Kurita was not intimidated by the Irregulars' reputation, however. Overall, the Irregulars fared poorly against the Kurita forces. To make matters worse, they found many of the collectibles they had come for destroyed. When the Irregulars actually retrieved a cache of statues not far from their post at Lake Meede, Kurita 'Mechs deliberately fired on the artifacts and destroyed them. At one point, a portion of Snord's Irregulars set off to search for booty in the middle of a battle, only to walk into a trap by enemy forces. The cornered 'Mechs of Snord's unit only managed to escape through sheer luck when several Kurita Archers who had pinned down Snord and his Command Lance found out that they were loaded with dysfunctional missiles. After seven disastrous and unprofitable months on Alexandria Snord's Irregulars returned to Clinton to lick their wounds and repair their equipment, which took another six months.
- Snord accepted a mission to bolster the weak defense forces on Tamar in 3022 that were under attack from Kurita troops. The mission started out badly when Snord's Irregulars were dropped several kilometers off target, right into the city of Vrance that was controlled by Kurita units under General Askam. Through his unorthodox tactics Snord managed to capture and hold the city, inflicting heavy damage on Askam's forces. Impressed, General Askam offered them a secret contract for twice the pay, but flat out refused Cranston Snord's demand that the unit would be allowed to choose their targets "for collecting purposes" and offered yet more money instead. An announcement by Katrina Steiner that she would increase the unit's pay put an end to the negotiations.
Afterward the unit moved back to their base on Clinton where they rebuilt their museum. However, despite the income from the museum and their raise in pay they were still in debt.
Back to the Marik border
- In 3023, Snord's Irregulars were assigned to protect a vital water purification plant on Hyde, a small ocean world on the Marik border that Lyran intelligence expected to come under attack. While waiting for an attack to happen, Snord used his 'Mechs for excavations in search of treasure. They found nothing, but since they were hidden in their excavation site, Snord’s Irregulars were overlooked by the FWL attackers when the attack came. This allowed them to ambush and beat back the surprised attackers.
- In 3024, after months of recovering their strength, their next assignment brought Snord's Irregulars to the ice world of Phecda, where the FWL had repeatedly attacked and destroyed Lyran attempts to construct a large water purification plant. Cranston Snord was interested because he had obtained information about a Colossus-class DropShip that had crashed fairly intact on the planet during the fall of the Star League. Aware of FWL spies on Phecda, Snord gave the impression that his unit, true to their reputation, was more occupied with chasing lost treasures than defending. A mock "water purification plant" was built in the place of the previous one, while the real facility was secretly built a few kilometers away at the site of the Irregulars’ alleged treasure hunt. As Snord had anticipated, the spies did not look for a second plant when one was apparently being built in plain sight in the usual spot. As expected, an FWL company attacked when the plant was reportedly near completion, but the false compound turned out to be a trap filled with explosives. What remained of the Marik force was mopped up over the next two days, and according to Snord’s official report he estimated that only three to five enemy 'Mechs made it back to their DropShip.
Over the course of the battle, a scout 'Mech found something metallic under the ice that turned out to be the lost DropShip. The Irregulars recovered a fortune of items including many functional BattleMechs and well-preserved supplies from the derelict. All of the superior weapon systems and sophisticated lostech was secretly moved to their base on Clinton for investigation. An appropriate share of the findings, stripped of all advanced technology, was handed over to Katrina Steiner as Cranston Snord remembered how she had helped him in the past. (Cranston Snord was secretly ordered by Colonel Jaime Wolf to hold back any advanced technology, and to add only one additional company of 'Mechs to his outfit.) When Snord's Irregulars returned to Clinton, their financial difficulties were no more. They added infantry, tanks and aerospace fighters to their outfit to form a mixed battalion by 3026. The Colossus was subsequently cannibalized by the Commonwealth.
- During a mission to relieve Zaniah from an FWL attack in 3025 the Irregulars came across the wreckage of a crimson Lyran Archer from which they retrieved an unconscious middle-aged man wearing the uniform of an LCAF Leutnant. Brought to Clinton for treatment, all he could remember was that his first name was Marcos and that he was a 'Mech pilot. However, a search of all known military databases failed to reveal the man’s identity and he joined Snord's Irregulars as Marcos Shake. He was noteworthy for bearing a striking similarity to Thomas Marik.
- Defending Clinton
- According to the apocryphal scenario "The Further Adventures of Cranston Snord's Irregulars – The Bribery Gambit", published in Stardate Vol. 3 #6, Marik forces planned to kidnap Misha Auburn, daughter of Steiner court historian Thelos Auburn, in order to pressure Thelos into assassinating Archon Katrina Steiner and Archon-Designate Melissa Steiner. However, the LIC learned of the plan and a trap was set on Clinton. When bandit forces consisting of seven 'Mechs and five tanks made planetfall in 3025, the entire Snord's Irregulars company, plus Thelos Auburn himself piloting a Crusader, engaged and defeated them on a terrain feature called the Ferrald Slopes.
The Fourth Succession War
The alliance of the Irregulars' employer, House Steiner, with House Davion's Federated Suns brought about the Fourth Succession War. Although Houses Steiner and Davion sought to integrate their military command structure in the nascent Federated Commonwealth, nothing changed for Snord's Irregulars for the time being. Initial plans did not include the Irregulars in Operation GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG (the Steiner part of the Fourth Succession War offensive), but placed them on garrison duty as a reserve force instead.
- Cranston Snord's research efforts on Clinton produced leads indicating that something could be found on Volders. He convinced the LCAF to include his unit in the assault on the world and they were deployed in conjunction with the Second Narhal's Raiders in late 3028. Searching for datachips behind enemy lines, the Irregulars once again chanced across their command bunker while trying to reconnect with Narhal's Raiders. The loss of the command bunker shattered the strong resistance and the remaining defenders surrendered four days later. It turned out that the command bunker had been installed in a recently discovered Star League facility and a close inspection of the half-collapsed tunnels led to a cache holding more than three dozen Star League vehicles and BattleMechs along with supplies and ammunition. It was all quietly shipped back to the hidden Castle Brian on Clinton, as Snord was still not allowed by Colonel Wolf to field any of the advanced equipment that they were secretly stockpiling.
- Using the ongoing Fourth Succession War as a pretext, the Irregulars next conducted a raid on Bordon, defeating elements of the Thirteenth Marik Militia and retrieving the original throne of Stefan Amaris from a museum in the city of Frankenmuth (near Lake Fairfield) on May 1, 3029.
- When Snord's Irregulars hit Connaught on May 15, 3029, taking the opportunity to retrieve a collection of over 2,000 antique coins from a joint FWL/ComStar excavation of a destroyed bank, they were initially unaware of the presence of the Silver Hawk Irregulars on the world. Veteran member Shalimar Windall died while fighting a rearguard action to cover the unit's escape.
After the war
- After the war, the unit rotated back to Clinton and Cranston and Rhonda Snord secretly met with the remainders of Wolf's Dragoons. Jaime Wolf confided to the Snords that a Clan invasion was to be expected shortly. He reviewed with them his projections of losses for the Inner Sphere and provided convincing arguments for the Dragoons to disassociate themselves from the Clans. Jaime Wolf also asked Snord to verify the supposed presence of hidden 'Mech production facilities on Outreach. Subsequently, Snord requested permission to garrison Outreach and investigate it for artifacts. Unaware of the connection between the Irregulars and Wolf's Dragoons, the Federated Commonwealth High Command agreed to the request in 3030, and asked Snord privately to make sure nothing of unexpected value was on the world because Wolf's Dragoons had requested Outreach be turned over to them. Snord's Irregulars surveyed the world for more than six months, secretly passing all information on to Wolf's Dragoons and (falsely) reporting to the Federated Commonwealth High Command that the world was clear.
The Waco Rangers
Tipped off to a connection between Snord's Irregulars and Wolf's Dragoons by Janos Marik, Wayne Waco confronted Cranston Snord about it in a small bar on Tharkad in March of 3032. Snord replied that it was none of Waco's business, but yes, he and Jaime Wolf were close friends. Enraged, and following his sworn vendetta against the Dragoons, Waco broke his contract with House Steiner the next day and entered the employ of House Marik.
- Some two months later Waco informed Snord that the Waco Rangers had dug in on Nockatunga with a priceless collection of twenty-third century Demmings Crystal, and challenged the Irregulars to a duel for the possession of the crystals; if Snord declined, the crystals would be destroyed.
Cranston Snord realized the trap for what it was when he learned that the Rangers had deployed their entire regiment. He created a diversion that allowed the Irregulars to retrieve the crystals from the city of Thule and turn the tables on the Waco Rangers. In the end, Wayne Waco's command lance was ambushed and pummeled by the Irregulars. Although he could have killed the helpless Waco, Cranston Snord elected to spare his life.
Cranston Snord suffered a heart attack in the spring of 3034 that left him handicapped and effectively ended his MechWarrior career. He gradually turned from active mercenary to researcher and intelligence gatherer on Clinton, and the day to day running of the mercenary outfit was taken over by his daughter Rhonda. Several other old members of the unit also retired or mustered out during this time.
In 3037, Cranston Snord secretly traveled to the late Janos Marik's tomb together with Jake Walmar. On April 11, they broke into the Marik tomb in Dormuth on Marik to drink a toast to Janos from the brandy they had secured on Nestor back in 3013. Despite their hateful relationship (at least from Marik's side), Snord called it a good-natured game in his eulogy which he concluded with "Seyla".
While her father was away, acting commander Rhonda Snord enacted a plan with Jaime Wolf's consent to bring the Irregulars' secretly accumulated lostech equipment from Phecda and Volders into action: ComStar had just openly announced the formation of the Com Guards and began deploying them at their compounds. Rhonda created the impression that the Irregulars' Star League–era 'Mechs had been captured from Com Guard units somewhere near Taurian space, causing a great deal of confusion among ComStar. The rumor that they had secretly defeated ComStar's superior 'Mechs also added to the Irregulars' reputation; another rumor even claimed that Rhonda Snord had personally led a raid on Terra to retrieve the advanced equipment.
(Equipment that the Irregulars subsequently fielded included a Black Knight, a Bombardier, three Champions, a Crab, two Crocketts, two Excaliburs, an Exterminator, a Flashman, a Guillotine, two Highlanders, a Hussar, a Kintaro, two Lancelots, a Mercury, a Sentinel, two Spartans and a Thug; a Gotha, Ironsides and Rapier fighter; and a Burke, Demon, Padilla and Rotunda combat vehicle.)
The War of 3039
When the War of 3039 began, Snord's Irregulars were a full mixed battalion with Star League–era equipment under Rhonda Snord's command.
The Battle of Vega was Rhonda's first combat assignment as the unit's CO. The Irregulars were part of the invasion force for Vega together with elements of the Grave Walkers. Their superior equipment and tactics won the day against the Fifth Amphigean Light Assault Group in April. However, Vega was a strategically vital world and the Fifth Amphigean Light Assault Group got their revenge when the Combine counterattacked in July, recapturing the planet. Longtime Irregular Solomon Storm was killed in this fight.
After the war, the Irregulars returned to Clinton once again. After Katrina Steiner's death in January 3040 her daughter Melissa Steiner-Davion vowed to fulfill her mother's wishes and keep Snord's Irregulars employed in the Federated Commonwealth.
Over the next decade, Snord's Irregulars made yearly trips to Outreach, the new home of Wolf's Dragoons and aspiring Mercenary's Star, for training.
Wolf's Dragoons relayed a recall order from the Clan Council to Snord's Irregulars when the Clan Invasion came in 3050, but both units elected to abandon the Clans and side with the Inner Sphere instead.
Cranston Snord and Jake Walmar had been researching the location of Camelot Command, a hidden Star League fleet depot that Snord felt would make an ideal base behind the Clan lines. Consulting the astrographical libraries on Derf and Wotan they determined that leads to the base could be found on Apollo. Rhonda Snord had the mission planned by 3051, and the JumpShip Harrier departed carrying Snord's Irregulars aboard the DropShips Eagle's Bane, Junk Yard II and Scavenger. She was unaware of the fact that the First Somerset Strikers had already discovered Camelot Command in the previous year, as the find had been kept secret by the Lyran high command who decided to keep her in the dark as well.
- Apollo was occupied by Clan Jade Falcon forces. On 14 August 3051 Rhonda Snord won a Trial of Possession for the derelict astronomical survey station on Apollo that held the missing data. She announced to the Clan warriors that they had been beaten by Clan Snord, taking them as bondsmen and even capturing two OmniMechs. They then had to fight their way off-planet. The pursuing Jade Falcons divined their destination in the Dark Nebula from a crate packed with datachips that the Irregulars lost in the retreat.
- Camelot Command/Dark Nebula
- Arriving at Camelot Command some three weeks later, the Irregulars found it to be a stripped, mothballed asteroid base in rough shape, but it was still a valuable asset that could be brought back online within an estimated two years. Rhonda briefed her unit on her own origin from the Clans and they dug in, sending their JumpShip away to report their find. A few days later, an Aegis-class WarShip from Clan Jade Falcon (the Hawk-Eye) appeared and two large DropShips, the Majestic Defiance and the Diamondstar, approached carrying the Dark Wing Cluster. In the ensuing Trial of Possession for the base the Irregulars wore down the attacking Jade Falcons and prevailed with heavy losses. Having lost the trial, the Jade Falcons surrendered their remaining DropShips, equipment and troops to "Clan Snord", considerably allaying the losses.
Cranston Snord arrived at Camelot Command a week later with engineers and techs sent by the Archon, and began to reactivate the ancient base.
In May of 3054, Clan Jade Falcon saKhan Vandervahn Chistu ordered the "bandits Snord" be destroyed, and two Clusters (the Eighth Falcon Regulars and the 124th Striker were sent to recapture Camelot Command. Rhonda Snord was warned in time by Wolfnet and her preparations allowed the Irregulars to beat off the attackers who did not cooperate between them but tried to beat Snord individually.
As of 3055, Cranston Snord had returned to Clinton with one lance while one battalion was sent to Edasich on garrison duty; the remainder of the unit remained at Camelot Command. However, Rhonda Snord's requests for permission to stage raids into the Jade Falcon Occupation Zone from there were denied by the Federated Commonwealth.
During the early stages of the FedCom Civil War, Snord's Irregulars were in the employ of Katherine Steiner-Davion but were not eager to fight in a civil war. In 3063, when their contract was about to lapse, they were sent to Odessa to defend from a possible attack by Archer's Avengers. When the Avengers, led by Archer Christifori, arrived to offer the Irregulars a job, a Loki operative arranged a series of events which led the mercenaries and the pro-Victor forces to fight each other. After the deception was uncovered and the battle for Odessa won, the Irregulars agreed to leave Katherine's service but still refused to fight in a civil war. Christifori then suggested that they be deployed to the Clan border so that they would not have to.
The Irregulars later fought the Jade Falcons during that Clan's attack against the Lyran Alliance.
The Irregulars faced the 124th Striker Cluster on Rasalgethi. Later, the Irregulars met the entire Galaxy when the fighting along the border flared up again. The command retreated to Blair Atholl, where they faced only the Third Eyrie Cluster; the 2 front-line Clusters of the Galaxy (Fifty-first and Ninth Garrison) were assigned to other missions. In a hard-fought campaign, the Falcons suffered heavy losses with one Cluster destroyed and the other two existing mainly on paper. After six months the Irregulars retreated back to New Exford for rest and refit.
The Irregulars were on Jaipur when the CCAF's Dynasty Guard regiment arrived on the world. They fought briefly, but the Irregulars were forced to withdraw.
In 3140, Joshua Snord succeeded his father Alexander as leader of the unit, getting rid of the worst members and recruiting new ones. In 3145 they were based on Bacum in the Federated Suns. In 3145, the Irregulars raided Clinton, recovering a trove of priceless artifacts from their old Snord museum, which allowed the group to grow to a reinforced battalion.
On 3150, the Irregulars were posted on the planet Butte Hold, part of the Oberon Confederation, protecting a desert dig site, when a Trinary of the Clan Hell's Horses Eleventh Mechanized Cavalry Cluster attacked them, mistaking them for a group of raiders who had attacked the Republic of the Barrens. Snord's company managed to hold off the Horses long enough to evacuate all people and equipment, before departing off-world.
|Commanding Officers of McFinney's Manglers|
|Commanding Officers of Snord's Irregulars|
|Lieutenant-Colonel||Alexandria Natasha Snord||3063|
Unit Colors and Insignia
The insignia of the Irregulars is stated to be a "buffalo quarter from the defunct United States of America" (see notes). They do not have a standard paint scheme.
Cranston Snord's Irregulars (1 Company/Veteran/Fanatical)
Snord's Irregulars (Regiment/Veteran/Fanatical)
Cranston Snord's Irregulars (1 Battalion/Veteran/Fanatical)
Cranston Snord's Irregulars (1 Battalion/Veteran/Fanatical)
3026–3037 Individuals of the Unit
First Command Company
- Command Lance
- Colonel Cranston Snord - Archer
- Lieutenant Deb H'Chu - Thunderbolt
- David Rowsch - Marauder
- John Malvinson (3026–3035) - Wasp
- Sharonus Wayne (3035–3037) - Clint
- Attack Lance
- Recon Lance
Second Company (Shorty's Scavengers)
- Command Lance
- Captain Samuel "Shorty" Sneede - Rifleman
- Lieutenant Jack Walmar (3026–3034) - Warhammer
- Marleen Danules - Clint
- Carter Malvinson - Phoenix Hawk
- Daniel Trump (3034–3037) - Shadow Hawk
- Support Lance
- Lieutenant Darrel Lanst - Von Luckner
- Dorchester Quinn - Galleon
- Archie Ferris - Striker
- Nathan "Beaver" Hauck - Packrat
- Air Lance (1 Wing)
Third Company (Rhonda Snord's Irregulars)
- Command Lance
- Captain Rhonda Snord - Shadow Hawk
- Lieutenant Terry Malvinson - Phoenix Hawk
- Shalimar Windall (3026–3029) - Crusader
- Walker Roche - Griffin
- Victoria Rose (3029–3037) - Awesome
- Fire Lance
- Support Platoons
- Lieutenant Fasha Nagaraj
- Sergeant Baca Tsaprazis - Jump Infantry
- Sergeant Nanette Warkentin - Motorized Infantry
- Sergeant Roger H'Chu - Jump Infantry
- Corporal Darwin "Breaker" Morgan - Motorized Infantry
First Command Company (Rhonda Snord's Irregulars)
- Command Lance
- Colonel Rhonda Snord - Highlander
- Dennis Maltesta - Excalibur
- David Rowsch - Guillotine
- Sharonus Wayne - Spartan
- Attack Lance
- Lieutenant Marcos Shake - Bombardier
- Tempest Storm - Spartan
- Anthony Pryor - Lancelot
- Charlotte Deblois - Thug
- Recon Lance
Second Company (Shorty's Scavengers)
- Command Lance
- Captain Samuel "Shorty Sneede" - Crockett
- Daniel Trump - Champion
- Marleen Danules - Crab
- Carter Malvinson - Black Knight
- Support Lance
- Command Lance
- Captain Deb H'Chu - Exterminator
- Lieutenant Terry Malvinson - Lancelot
- Victoria Rose - Excalibur
- Richard "Rickbo" Burkeman - Champion
- Fire Lance
- Support Platoons (Anti-'Mech Trained)
- Lieutenant Fasha Nagaraj
- Sergeant Baca Tsaprazis - Jump Infantry
- Sergeant Nanette Warkentin - Motorized Infantry
- Sergeant Roger H'Chu - Foot Infantry
- Corporal Darwin "Breaker" Morgan - Motorized Infantry
Snord’s Irregulars (2 Battalions/Elite/Fanatical)
- CO: Colonel Rhonda Snord
Snord's Irregulars (1 Battalion/Elite/Fanatical)
- CO: Joshua Snord
War of 3039
The Irregulars can use the Off-Map Movement, Banking the Initiative, and Communications Disruption special command abilities.
- The unit's crest is said to be a "buffalo quarter", however, there is no such coin. The front cover of Cranston Snord's Irregulars (1986) shows both sides of a Buffalo nickel (also known as an Indian Head nickel), while interior illustrations and the rear cover show the back (eagle) side of a "Standing Liberty" quarter along with the Buffalo nickel. The book does not actually state what is the unit insignia. Mercenary's Handbook (1987), p. 14, displays the eagle side of the Standing Liberty quarter, captioned "Cranston Snord's Irregulars", above a picture of Rhonda and Cranston. There is no further unit description. Subsequent publications also display the eagle side of the Standing Liberty quarter as the unit insignia, although the Buffalo nickel is occasionally shown or mentioned as their crest.
- Although Snord took over at least two functional aerospace fighters from McFinney's Manglers, the unit description as of 3025 lists Snord's Irregulars as having no aerospace fighter support. It is unknown when or how the fighters were removed from the unit.
Errors, corrections and retcons
There is conflicting information in different sources concerning many bits and pieces of the unit's history. Much of this can be explained by forged backstories that were initially used to cover up Cranston Snord's origin from the Clans. The description above is based on a number of retcons, corrections and deductions from other (canonical) information:
Date of the poker game
Early sources claim that the poker game where Cranston Snord won McFinney's Manglers took place in 3002. This is impossible considering that Wolf's Dragoons (and Snord with them) only arrived in the Inner Sphere in 3005. Later sources corrected the year of the poker game to 3007 accordingly.
Absence in 3010
Cranston and Rhonda Snord allegedly joined Wolf's Dragoons in their supply run from 3009 to 3011. However, this seems to be ruled out by the fact that they both fought in the battle on Uhuru in 3010. However, the date for the Uhuru battle itself is in question, given a statement by Cranston in Permanent Losses that, as of 3017, Cranston considered Rhonda to be "almost ready" to join the Irregulars in combat. With a birth date of 2999, the 3010 date for Uhuru would put Rhonda at the controls of a 'Mech at age 11.
The year for the fight between Snord's Irregulars and Wolf's Dragoons on Loric is repeatedly given as 3014. This is odd, given that in this year the Dragoons were not yet in FWL employ, but transferred from Capellan Confederation employ to that of Duke Anton Marik to fight in his civil war (though this technically does not rule out a resupply raid into Steiner space). On p. 5 of Cranston Snord's Irregulars it is said that this fight took place in 3017 whereas 3014 was given on p. 4, and on p. 39 in the same book Cranston Snord himself remarks his unit fought Marik regulars on Loric in 3017, not Wolf's Dragoons.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Rhonda's Irregulars, p. 6
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Combat Manual: Mercenaries, p. 28
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Cranston Snord's Irregulars, p. 2
- ↑ falsely reported as having occurred in 3002 in Cranston Snord's Irregulars, p. 2; correct date confirmed in Rhonda's Irregulars, p. 6, and on the back cover where the year is erroneously given as "3307"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Twins
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Cranston Snord's Irregulars, p. 3
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Cranston Snord's Irregulars, p. 4
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The Kell Hounds, p. 5
- ↑ Cranston Snord's Irregulars, pp. 20–21: "Amber Surprise"
- ↑ Cranston Snord's Irregulars, pp. 34–35: "The Stumble Raid"
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Rhonda's Irregulars, p. 7
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Cranston Snord's Irregulars, pp. 28–29: "To the Rescue"
- ↑ In Permanent Losses, set in 3017, Cranston remarks that Rhonda is "just about ready" to join the Irregulars.
- ↑ Cranston Snord's Irregulars, pp. 30–31: "Snord and the Swarm"
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Rhonda's Irregulars, p. 38: "Raid on Bordon"
- ↑ The Kell Hounds, pp. 5–6, 31
- ↑ Cranston Snord's Irregulars, pp. 36–37: "Snord Rides Again"
- ↑ Cranston Snord's Irregulars, pp. 22–23: "Return of the Snord"
- ↑ Cranston Snord's Irregulars, pp. 26–27: "Operation Road Runner"
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Permanent Losses
- ↑ Cranston Snord's Irregulars gives different accounts on this. On p. 5 it is noted that the Irregulars were fighting Wolf's Dragoons, apparently referring to the battle that is said to have taken place in 3014 on p. 4 (and also in Rhonda's Irregulars, p. 7); Cranston Snord himself claims in an interview transcript on p. 39 that they fought Marik regulars on Loric in 3017.
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 Cranston Snord's Irregulars, p. 5
- ↑ Cranston Snord's Irregulars, p. 44
- ↑ Cranston Snord's Irregulars, pp. 5, 39–47: "Junk Yard Dog Affair" I–IV
- ↑ Cranston Snord's Irregulars, pp. 5, 39–41
- ↑ Cranston Snord's Irregulars, pp. 5, 39, 44–47
- ↑ Cranston Snord's Irregulars, pp. 32–33: "A Present from Janos"
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Cranston Snord's Irregulars, p. 6
- ↑ Dispatch
- ↑ Cranston Snord's Irregulars, pp. 24–25: "Up in Smoke"
- ↑ Cranston Snord's Irregulars, p. 7
- ↑ Technical Readout: 3075, p. 198: "Colossus"
- ↑ Rhonda's Irregulars, p. 25
- ↑ Rhonda's Irregulars, pp. 7–8, 34–37: "Tanks a Lot" and "Snakes in the Grass"
- ↑ Rhonda's Irregulars, pp. 8, 38–39: "Battle for the Throne"
- ↑ Rhonda's Irregulars, pp. 8, 40–41: "Farewell to a Friend"
- ↑ 37.0 37.1 Rhonda's Irregulars, p. 8
- ↑ Rhonda's Irregulars, pp. 8, 42–45: "Fistful of Crystals" and "A Few Crystals More"
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 39.2 Rhonda's Irregulars, p. 9
- ↑ Handbook: House Marik, p. 50
- ↑ 41.0 41.1 41.2 41.3 Rhonda's Irregulars, p. 10
- ↑ Rhonda's Irregulars, pp. 10, 46–49: "Everything Old is New" and "Storm's End"
- ↑ Turning Points War of 3039: Vega, p. 13: "Task Force Blizzard"
- ↑ Rhonda's Irregulars, p. 11
- ↑ 1st Somerset Strikers, p. 39
- ↑ Rhonda's Irregulars, pp. 11, 50, 54–57: "Warrior's Challenge" & "Grand Melee"
- ↑ Rhonda's Irregulars, p. 51
- ↑ The acquisition of Clan DropShips is expressly confirmed in the Explorer Corps sourcebook, p. 60
- ↑ Rhonda's Irregulars, pp. 11–12, 52, 58–69: "Camelot's Gate", "Pitched Battle", "Men-at-Arms" & "Birth of a Legend"
- ↑ Rhonda's Irregulars, p. 12
- ↑ Mercenary's Handbook 3055, pp. 67–68
- ↑ Mercenary's Handbook 3055, p. 66
- ↑ Call of Duty
- ↑ Field Manual: 3145, p. 30
- ↑ Field Manual: 3145, p. 182
- ↑ Tamar Rising, p. 96
- ↑ Tamar Rising, p. 41
- ↑ 58.0 58.1 Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 102
- ↑ Tamar Rising, p. 96: "Personalities - Joshua Snord"
- ↑ 60.0 60.1 Field Manual: 3145, p. 182: "Notable Mercenary Forces - Federated Suns"
- ↑ 61.0 61.1 Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 102
- ↑ House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 121
- ↑ 63.0 63.1 Historical: War of 3039, p. 141
- ↑ 64.0 64.1 64.2 20 Year Update, p. 27
- ↑ 65.0 65.1 65.2 Objective Raids, p. 19
- ↑ 66.0 66.1 Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 109
- ↑ Turning Points War of 3039: Vega, p. 7
- 1st Somerset Strikers (sourcebook)
- 20 Year Update
- Call of Duty
- Cranston Snord's Irregulars (scenario pack)
- Combat Manual: Mercenaries
- Dispatch (in: Shrapnel anthology)
- Explorer Corps
- Field Manual: 3145
- The Further Adventures of Cranston Snord's Irregulars - The Bribery Gambit
- Handbook: House Marik
- The Kell Hounds
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update
- Mercenary's Handbook (mentioned only; crest shown)
- Mercenary's Handbook 3055
- Permanent Losses
- Rhonda's Irregulars
- Shrapnel (anthology)
- Tamar Rising
- Technical Readout: 3075
- Turning Points War of 3039: Vega
- Twins (BattleCorps scenario)