Tortuga Fusiliers

Tortuga Fusiliers.jpg
Tortuga Fusiliers
Formed Age of War
Previous Designation(s) Tartan Brigade
Nickname Pride of the Dominions
Affiliation Mercenary
Parent Command Independent

The Tortuga Fusiliers began as troops in the Free Worlds League, served as household troops to House Amaris in the Rim Worlds Republic, then went on to serve as mercenaries across the Inner Sphere.


The Tartan Brigade[edit]

The unit that would become known as the Tortuga Fusiliers had its beginning in troops from the Free Worlds League who fled and ended up on the opposite side of human space in the Rim Worlds Republic. Forming themselves into a unit known as the Tartan Brigade, by the end of the Age of War the Tartan Brigade were considered to be household troops of House Amaris.[1][2]

Reunification War[edit]

Civil war erupted in the Rim Worlds Republic in 2575, with the factions polarized around those loyal to First Consul Gregory Amaris and those loyal to the Rim Provisional Government.[3] The Star League eventually decided to intervene in support of Amaris and assembled Task Force MAILED FIST, a multinational force headed by the Star League Defense Force, but atrocities such as the one performed by the Draconis Auxiliary Corps when they captured Nightwish in mid-2584 resulted in the Rim Worlders putting aside their differences to focus on the common enemy.[4]

By 2581, the Tartan Brigade was stationed on the world of Illium in the Apollo Province of the Republic. Illium was considered a personal fief of the Amaris family and was famed for the "topless towers" within the capital city, Troy.[1] Unsurprisingly, the Tartan Brigade remained loyal to Amaris throughout the civil war.[5]

SLDF General Nathan Isaacson assigned the Sixteenth Mechanized Infantry Division to the conquest of Illium in 2589.[6] The Sixteenth was one of three divisions that made up VI Corps and landed on Illium in March 2589, meeting immediate resistance from the Tartan Brigade. However, when faced with the prospect of bitter battles in the very streets of Troy itself, Colonel Angus Graham made the pragmatic decision to surrender his forces to the Sixteenth, rather than risk damaging the city. Gregory Amaris subsequently approved of the decision, personally decorating Graham after the war for his good judgment.[1]

Amaris Civil War[edit]

The Tartan Brigade had expanded considerably under the auspices of House Amaris; when the SLDF began landings on Terra in 2777, the Second Tartan Brigade was a division-sized unit, and one of three Amaris Empire Armed Forces divisions assigned to the defense of Geneva, operating alongside the Ninety-ninth Amaris Dragoons and the Thirteenth Hegemony Patriots. While the patriot division was a poorly trained and equipped volunteer formation, the Dragoons and the Tartan Brigade were both dedicated and fanatical units with considerable experience. General Kerensky landed ten divisions of SLDF troops from the Eighteenth Army to liberate Geneva, and the spaceport northwest of the city, guarded by the Tartan Brigade, was the first objective for the Eighteenth. Facing the combined forces of the 116th Mechanized Infantry Division (the Flanders Division) and the 209th Mechanized Infantry Division, the Second Tartan Brigade engaged the SLDF forces near Versoix, slowly falling back over three days to the spaceport, where the heavy defenses there could add to the Tartan Brigade's firepower. The combination of the Tartan Brigade and the spaceport defenses were enough to stall the 116th and 209th, but additional SLDF forces opened up a second front through the Meyrin and Vernier districts, pressing the Tartan Brigade from the south, and used artillery forces dug-in across the French border near Jura to support their attack. Having landed on the 2nd of February and first engaged the Tartan Brigade on the 4th, it was the 10th of February before the SLDF finally gained control of the spaceport, by which time much of the spaceport was in ruins, and the Tartan Brigade had successfully withdrawn its surviving forces to the southeast, joining with the Thirteenth Hegemony Patriots around the Hegemony Congress.[7]

The Dragoons were fighting a bitter battle in southern Geneva at the same time, determined to stop the SLDF seizing bridges across the Rhône that represented the Dragoons' only viable escape route; it took until the 19th of February for the Dragoons to be forced to retreat across the Rhône, and as they fell back, they destroyed two of the three main bridges before joining the Tartan Brigade and Patriot division in the defenses at Geneva. Geneva was effectively a prison for the Amaris forces, but the surviving troops were so well-fortified and determined to resist that digging them out would've been a destructive and expensive proposition — so the Eighteenth enforced a siege instead, hoping to starve the loyalist forces into submission. For four months, the defenders rationed their supplies, but even at half-rations they were out of supplies by late April. The SLDF stepped up the psychological pressure on the Amaris forces by broadcasting messages offering food and warm beds to those who surrendered, and a steadily increasing number of Amaris troops did so, defecting from the Patriot division in particular. With steadily increasing torrent of troops surrendering and being transported to the SLDF internment camp at Annecy, the senior officers knew that they had little time. Agreeing to launch a breakout attempt, the surviving units struck northwards, taking the SLDF by surprise as they broke out through Bellevue and Chambésy, with the 279th Light Horse Regiment and the Seventy-fourth Royal Dragoon Regiment in hot pursuit. A few companies of loyalists managed to get through the SLDF lines, but the bulk of the forces were contained by the SLDF; those who broke through were cornered at Saint-Cergue, under constant air attack and with no means of escape. The last Amaris loyalists surrendered on the 10th of June, ending the battle for Europe.[7]

Succession Wars[edit]

Born from a regiment of forces from the Tartan Brigade in 2784 and renamed Fuchida's Fusiliers,[8] the mercenaries were largely nomadic during the Succession Wars, never working for the same employer for more than a few years at a time and moving from one contract to the next.[9] Their first employer was the Draconis Combine,[8] but in a twist of fate, the mercenary unit that had its origins in the Free Worlds League would serve House Marik no less than four times during the first three Succession Wars; the Fusiliers were under contract to the League from 2834 to 2845, then 2882 to 2898, then again from 2931 to 2935; in 3021, having just completed a campaign in service to the Federated Suns, the Fusiliers signed on with House Marik again, and were still in service with the League in 3025.[9]

The Fusiliers spent the last years of the Third Succession War on the border between the Free Worlds League and the Lyran Commonwealth, conducting a range of missions involving raiding and sabotage. Despite having spent four years almost continuously in action against the Lyrans the Fusiliers had found fewer chances to claim booty than they had anticipated, and it was rumored that the unit commanding officer, Major Michael Iverson, was looking at changing Houses once more when the Fusiliers' contract with the League ended.[9]

Although the Fusiliers had experienced both good and bad times during the Succession Wars they remained proud of and devoted to their heritage; the DropShips and aerospace fighters operated by the Fusiliers were painted in tartan plaids, and the Fusiliers' personnel wore stylized variations of ancient Scottish kilt as their standard uniform, although the kilts were made of synth-weave rather than tartan cloth. The Fusiliers had also cultivated a reputation for reckless, bloodthirsty behavior on the battlefield and often stayed in action far longer than other, more prudent units would have countenanced.[9][2]

War of 3039[edit]

In 3038, Fuchida's Fusiliers were stationed in the Draconis March, on the world of Udibi. Among the many Federated Suns–employed mercenary units selected to assist the War of 3039, the Fusiliers were transferred to Benet III and assigned to retake the lightly defended world of Royal, captured by the Combine during the Fourth Succession War. Seemingly a relatively easy mission, the mercenaries would later learn that things were much more complex behind the scenes.[10][11]

Though First Prince Hanse Davion forbade Duke Paul Stephenson of New Ivaarsen from using his New Ivaarsen Chasseurs from retaking his lost landhold, Duke Paul ensured a steady volume of supplies and support for an underground movement against the Combine occupation. When he received word that AFFS would send the Fusiliers to retake Royal as his Chasseurs prepared for action elsewhere, the Duke sent his son Leto Stephenson to accompany the mercenaries as their liaison officer. Duke Paul then proceeded to recruit a battalion's worth of MechWarriors from both Chasseur regiments as well as a regiment from New Ivaarsen's militia to create the New Ivaarsen Volunteers. Just before the Fusiliers jumped, Leto signaled his father, who immediately dispatched the Volunteers. As soon as they arrived on-world, Colonel Stephenson assumed direct command of the Royal invasion. With word of their duke's son leading the invasion, almost the entire population of Royal rose up against the three Kurita conventional regiments stationed on-world. While suffering heavy losses, the people of Royal played a decisive role in ensuring Colonel Stephenson and his Volunteers ejected the Combine forces in a mere five weeks.[11]

After the war ended, the Fusiliers lodged more than a dozen formal complaints against Leto Stephenson, alleging that he overstepped his authority in assuming control of the Royal invasion and that he issued orders that forced the Fusiliers to take the brunt of the combat losses, yet assigned the bulk of the salvage taken to his New Ivaarsen Volunteers. When these complaints disappeared in the AFFS bureaucracy, the Fusiliers proceeded to file civil suits against the Stephenson family, and while these too also faded away, several New Ivaarsen–based businesses made a number of large payouts to the mercenary unit in the mid-3040s.[12][2]

Unfortunately while they eventually received some degree of financial redress, the Fusiliers lost in the court of public opinion in the process. A number of prominent Royal citizens, including the new planetary governor, charged the mercenaries with cowardice, citing seemingly endless examples of the Fusiliers either holding back or outright refusing to follow attack orders given to them by Colonel Leto Stephenson. As word of these claims spread throughout the Draconis March, the Fusiliers soon found themselves persona non grata anywhere near Royal, New Ivaarsen or even Robinson, with the AFFS forced to relocate them entirely after no Draconis March world wished anything to do with them. The final blow was the lack of respect given for the Fusiliers' service in the war. Where other mercenary units received a visit from Field Marshal James Sandoval or another member of the AFFS high command in person, the Fusiliers merely received a note of thanks from Field Marshal Ardan Sortek.[12][2]

From Mercenaries to Pirates[edit]

Shuffled about by the AFFS, the Fusiliers eventually returned to Udibi only to find the ill feeling against them in the Draconis March remained. Remaining in the service of the Federated Commonwealth during the mid-thirty-first century, as of 3050 the Fusiliers were still stationed on Udibi.[13][2]

In 3051 the Fusiliers were ordered by FedCom High Command to deploy to the Lyran half of the Commonwealth to face the Clans, despite not receiving the Star League era upgrades that AFFC front-line units were receiving ahead of such transfers. Already embittered after Royal, the Fusiliers believed this indicated the Federated Commonwealth intended to sacrifice them to slow the Clan juggernaut, breaking contract in the face of this "betrayal". Once going rogue, the unit raided the Precision Weaponry plant on Tancredi IV for their own upgraded equipment. The raid caused significant damage to the weapons plant, motivating the unit to move quickly out of FedCom controlled space. The unit proceeded through the Outworlds Alliance, raiding for only food and water. The Fusiliers continued with minimum stops with a brief stop in the Mica Majority, where the unit acquired supplies and some gold through legal channels.

The unit wandered the barren star systems outside of the Outworlds Alliance for the next few years. With only a brief clash with the Brotherhood of Randis on Antallos, who repulsed their attempt to grab a BattleMech cache. The unit finally found itself in the Tortuga Dominions in 3054, where they decided to set up their own operations.[14]

In order to improve her standing in the Federated Suns, Katrina Steiner-Davion doubled the bounty on the Fusilier's heads.[15]

New Name and Nation Building[edit]

The Fusiliers settled in the Dominion, taking over what used to be Lady Death and her Pirate band's base of operations twelve years after their capture by Ninth FedCom RCT.[16] The unit set out and began raiding neighboring nations, especially the Federated Commonwealth.

Throughout these raids, Tortuga Prime begun to industrialize and create primitive BattleMech factories, due to the Fusiliers' actions shortly after their arrival in late 3050s. The Fusiliers' industrializing revived the planet's flagging economy and allowed for the Word of Blake to set up a B Class HPG Station on the planet.[17]

The unit adopted the planet's name as its own, as the Tortuga Fusiliers. They beefed up their forces by expanding their aerospace elements and creating an infantry unit by 3064. Where drawing from people of the Dominion to create a formal infantry regiment trained in crowd control as well as a general battlefield unit. They also moved to rebuild Tortuga Prime's aerospace forces, using up to nineteen aerospace fighters to form the core of an assault force planetary assault and interdict trade for the Fusiliers.

However, the intervening year had not been kind. The unit had expanded two battalions however, two companies had been outright destroyed when they decided to leave to join Lady Death's Death's Consorts.[18]

Elements of the Fusiliers were present in the New Port Royal system when the Death's Consorts lost a Union-class DropShip in 3066.[19]


Rank Name Command
Commanding Officers of the Tartan Brigade
Colonel Angus Graham 25812589[20]
Commanding Officers of Fuchida's Fusiliers
Major Michael "Mad Mac" Iverson 3025[9]
Commanding Officers of the Tortuga Fusiliers
Major Twylla Sumeral 30503064[21][22][23]


The Fusiliers, by 3064, had become specialized in Urban Combat. The unit developed devious methods for this area of fighting. They had devised, laying mines in parks and MechWarriors walking their machines through buildings. Also they developed a method of destroying non–jump capable 'Mechs, in a tactic they called the Canyon of Death. Trick & move enemy into tight spot and then have their jump capable 'Mechs jump on to buildings next to them and blast them from above.[24]

Composition History[edit]


  • Tartan Brigade (Loyalist)[25]
  • CO: Colonel Angus Graham


  • First Tartan Brigade
  • Second Tartan Brigade (Division)[7]
- At this point in time the Second Tartan Brigade was one of three divisions of Amaris Empire forces assigned to Geneva on Terra.[7]


  • Fuchida's Fusiliers (Regiment[8]/Veteran/Reliable)[26]


Fuchida's Fusiliers (Regiment/Veteran/Reliable)[26]

- At this point in time the Fusiliers were a heavy regiment operating at full strength and were stationed on Tinaca.[26] In 2821 the unit was reduced to a little over half-strength.[26]


Fuchida's Fusiliers (Regiment/Regular/Reliable)[27]

Note: At this point in time the medium-weight unit was stationed on Tinaca with an operational readiness of 110 percent.[27]


Fuchida's Fusiliers (Regiment/Regular/Reliable)[27]

Note: At this point in time the medium-weight unit was stationed on Tinaca with an operational readiness of 65 percent.[27]


Fuchida's Fusiliers (Regiment/Regular/Questionable)

Contract: FWLM[28]
  • CO: Major Michael Iverson


Fuchida’s Fusiliers (Regiment/Regular/Questionable)[29]

Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Cascade.[29]


Fuchida's Fusiliers (Battalion/Regular/Questionable)[10]

Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Udibi.[10]
Contract: AFFC[10]


Fuchida's Fusiliers (Battalion/Regular/Questionable)[30]

  • CO: Major Twylla Sumeral[30]
Note: At this point in time the command was stationed on Udibi.[30]



  • Fuchida's Fusiliers (BattleMech Battalion)


  • Tortuga Fusiliers (BattleMech Battalion) - CO: Twylla "The Major" Sumeral
    • The unit consisted of four companies.[31]
  • Tortuga Corsairs (2 aerospace fighter wings) - CO: Cameron "Hot Seat" Kline
  • First Tortuga Infantry Regiment (Infantry Regiment) - CO: Ryan "Lady Killer" Coleman



  • In the Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers sourcebook, the unit was destroyed by Death's Consorts during the Jihad; however, it is unclear when this exactly happened.[32] They are not listed in Field Manual: Updates, but are mentioned as of 3067 in Handbook: Major Periphery States as a threat.[33]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Historical: Reunification War, p. 135
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Combat Manual: Mercenaries, p. 39
  3. Historical: Reunification War, p. 130
  4. Historical: Reunification War, p. 134
  5. Historical: Reunification War, p. 128
  6. Historical: Reunification War, p. 153
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, p. 79: "Geneva"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 First Succession War, p. 35: "Those Left Behind"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 House Marik: The Free Worlds League, pp. 106–107: "Fuchida's Fusiliers"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Historical: War of 3039, p. 140
  11. 11.0 11.1 Historical: War of 3039, p. 50: "Wave One - Royal (March–April)"
  12. 12.0 12.1 Historical: War of 3039, p. 51: "Wave One - Royal Backlash"
  13. 20 Year Update, p. 19: "Federated Commonwealth Deployment Table"
  14. The Periphery, 2nd Edition, p. 85: Fuchida's Fusiliers - Origin and Early history from 3050s
  15. Shattered Sphere, p. 124
  16. Field Manual: Periphery, pp. 124–125: Paula Lady Death Trevaline - The Lady Death - Brief description of her early history and capture by the 9th FedCom RCT
  17. Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, pp. 239–240: Tortuga Prime - Fusiliers' arrival revives Tortuga Prime's economy
  18. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 130: Tortuga Fusiliers, how they got their name and their history in early to mid 3060s
  19. The Bitter Taste of Hope
  20. Historical: Reunification War, pp. 154-155
  21. 20 Year Update, p. 19: "Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth"
  22. The Periphery, 2nd Edition, p. 78: Periphery Independents - Fuchida's Fusiliers strength and status listed as of 3058, including Commanding Officer
  23. 23.0 23.1 Objective Raids, p. 49
  24. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 130: Tortuga Fusiliers - Tactics
  25. Historical: Reunification War, p. 131
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 First Succession War, p. 137: "Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery (DCMS)"
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 Second Succession War, p. 97
  28. House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 109
  29. 29.0 29.1 Historical: Brush Wars, p. 87
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 20 Year Update, p. 19
  31. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 130: Tortuga Fusiliers reorganized into four-company battalion after infighting
  32. Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 240: "Tortuga Prime"
  33. Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 141: "The Constant Enemy: Pirates in the Outworlds - Other Threats"