21st Centauri Lancers
|Twenty-first Centauri Lancers|
The Twenty-first Centauri Lancers are one of the foremost mercenary units in the Inner Sphere. Since their founding, the Lancers have forged a reputation for honesty and loyalty, though they expect the same from their employers and are known for not accepting any mistreatment.
Originally a battalion of House Liao's Third Centauri Guards, the Twenty-first Centauri Lancers were a regular military unit of the Capellan Confederation. They were well-known for having totally destroyed the Fourth Marik Militia in an attack against Anegasaki in 2793, thereby stopping a string of Marik victories. Around the year 2875 the unit mutinied against their regimental commander over wages nine months overdue. They seized several DropShips and a JumpShip from their regimental battle group as payment and fled Capellan space. In the years since becoming mercenaries, the Twenty-first have worked for all Successor States save House Liao, against whom they still harbor a grudge. They also built a reputation for honorable conduct on the battlefield and honesty off of it, and the expectation of similar fair dealing from their employers. If ill-used, they are not afraid of letting others know about it, and even walking away from a contract if it continues, an aspect which has not damaged their reputation among potential employers.
During the latter part of the Third Succession War, the Twenty-first came across a hidden cache of Star League equipment, including fully functional SLDF 'Mechs and tanks. Exactly how many and what types of machines they possessed was kept a secret for many years.
Anton Marik's Revolt
During Anton Marik's Revolt the Twenty-first Centauri Lancers fought for the loyalist faction in the Free Worlds League. They were able to drive the Eighteenth Marik Militia off of New Olympia by arriving in orbit. The Eighteenth had been fighting for several weeks, but the undamaged Twenty-first's arrival changed the tactical situation dramatically and the Eighteenth withdrew. The Twenty-first was also involved in combat on Rasalas, Drusibacken, Asellus Borealis, Asellus Australis, Lungdo, Sorunda, and Gomeisa.
The Lancers remained employed by the League in 3025 and were stationed on Nestor, a position they would hold in 3050 from which to defend against and launch counterraids into the Lyran half of the Federated Commonwealth.
House Davion Contract
Service with Marik
Towards the end of the year 3057, Thomas Marik sent them to participate in Operation GUERRERO. First they helped pacify the former League world of Wasat, and later, as they were only a jump away, sent them to assist the Capellan forces. To be fighting again alongside the Capellans worried a lot some Lancers... and their worries were proven right: sent to attack New Canton, alongside McCarron's Armored Cavalry, against the Kestrel Grenadiers, their descent was contested by the Grenadiers' both aerospace wings, and the joint commander, Colonel Marcus Baxter barely sent them help, which allowed the enemy to heavily damage the Lancers' DropShips, as their own aerospace wings were in another mission, far away.
That same McCarron's attitude became a constant: during a joint assault of New Canton's capital city of He Min, the Lancers were suffering a pounding by the FedCom artillery, while the McCarron's were advancing very slowly, far away. When the weakened Lancers were forced to abandon the attack and retreat, Baxter blamed the Lancer's commander, Evelena Haskell, of the attack's failure. And the next day, the same history repeated: the Lancers were sent to attack frontally the Grenadiers' lines inside the city, while McCarron's Cavalry advanced towards the city's spaceport, very slowly.
Tired of all that mistreating, Evelena accused Baxter of being deliberately using the Lancers as cannon fodder, to punish them for their defection of the Confederation's army. He denied it, but to no avail: Haskell contacted the FedCom commander and informed than she will retreat. After terminating their contract, and finishing their forty years of service with Marik, the Lancers left the planet and traveled to Outreach, where the 30 November they received an offer of ComStar to garrison terra, with they gladly accepted.
The Lancers suffered a severe blow to their impeccable reputation and Dragoon Rating in 3058, when they apparently turned on their ComStar employers and aided Word of Blake in capturing Terra. Upon investigation, however, it was determined that the Lancers never set foot on the planet.
On 5 December 3057, the Lancers returned to Nestor to retrieve their dependents before leaving for Terra; before landing, they were contacted by the Word of Blake's Precentor Suzanne Mulvanery, who informed them that her division had captured their dependents and held them hostage in order to force the mercenaries into keeping quiet and allowing Word of Blake Militia forces to be substituted for them. The Lancers commander, Evelena Haskell, had to comply, and they stayed for twenty days on the planet, isolated and incommunicado. On the 25, after celebrating Christmas, Mulvanery contacted them and informed them that they could go to their base on Gibson to recover their families. Once there, they learned what the fake Lancers had done, and departed... but only briefly. On 24 April, the bulk of the mercenaries, after placing their families in a safe place, landed on Gibson again, crushing all the Blakist defenders, razing their base, and taking all the salvage they could before departing.
The Lancers suffered terribly at the hands of the Blakists. Word WarShips jumped in-system on 21 January 3068 and the flotilla was soon able to achieve air superiority. With no aerospace or naval forces to contest them, the Word's WarShips began to destroy Tukayyid's cities and Com Guard bases, including the Focht War College. Anybody trying to flee was annihilated, as evidenced by the destruction of a Lancer force that was trying to move into the mountains. This attack also killed Colonel Evelena Haskell. July 3070 saw the arrival of Clan Ghost Bear, who were able to defeat the Word assets around Tukayyid. As of 3071, the once proud regiment had been decimated and barely existed as a cohesive fighting force. Under the new command of Colonel LeMonds they attempted to rebuild - albeit at the sufferance of Clan Ghost Bear - by managing to salvage six 'Mechs and opening up recruitment to all other forces on the planet, including members of the Com Guards and the Killer Bees.
Sometime prior to 3076, the Twenty-first had rebuilt themselves into a combined-arms reinforced battalion and came into the employ of Chandrasekhar Kurita. They were stationed on Hachiman in the Draconis Combine to protect the Tanadi Computers complex from Blakists.
Around 3085, the Lancers landed on Robinson in the Federated Suns. At that time the unit was at five lances of 'Mechs. Col. LeMonds disembarked his Grasshopper and brokered a deal to serve the Duke of Robinson with some of the contract items included being medical aid and food supplies for the unit. The unit was assigned to train with the decimated (but also rebuilding) AFFS to become familiar with Davion doctrine. At the conclusion of the training the Twenty-First was given the border worlds between Raman and Benet III as their operational area.The Lancers were still active as of the Dark Age, and as of 3130 were in the employ of the Lyran Commonwealth.
In 3131, technician Jon Roberson developed what would become the standard militarized modification to the Opossum SalvageMech, when he got permission to add a light AC/2. The design debuted that year on Issaba, proving effective when the Lancers fought Rim Territories raiders. An operation on Ventabren in May 3132, in which the Lancers aided a joint Oriente-Republic salvage operation on an Operation GOLDEN DAWN-era battlefield, caught the MOD wider attention for its effectiveness, leading to the once unique design's eventual standardization both in the Lancers and from the 'Mech's manufacturer.
The unit fought on Sorunda as well. Soon afterwards, the Lancers were hired by the planet Towne for protection of the planet itself and its working HPGs. A detachment of Jasek Kelswa-Steiner's Stormhammers' Lyran Rangers raided the planet in 3133, trying to hijack the HPG. The fierce fighting failed to prevent the Rangers from commandeering the communications grid and accomplishing their mission broadcasting his call to all House Steiner loyalists to support his movement.
In 3151, the Lancers left the Lyran Commonwealth in favor of accepting a contract with the newly created Tamar Pact. They provided a powerful force that steamrolled the Falcon opposition on Pandora, saving the Second and Third Tamar Jaegers from destruction, and were noted as working well with the First Tamar Jaegars as well as becoming stronger thanks to the access to the multiple factories producing Clantech in the Pact and Alyina Mercantile League. They were less pleased with some of the other mercenary units employed by the Pact, however, and disputes with the Burnt Offering and Bleeding Eagles units led to the Lancers requesting to not be deployed with them outside of emergencies. The Lancers used the opportunity to having access to Clan technology to heavily upgrade with it its combat vehicles, rather than their 'Mechs, expecting than that will surprise any Clan enemies, as they usually underestimate vehicles. The different situation in the Pact allowed them to make reality the project to reactivate their subcommand Killer Bees. They did so, creating a much more versatile unit, and using them in 3152 to make a point with both the Bleeding Eagles and Burnt Offering.
|Commanding Officers of the Twenty-first Centauri Lancers|
|Colonel||Evelena Haskell||3057 - 3067|
The Twenty-first prefers fighting in the open as opposed to restrictive terrain, and specialize in fighting in high- and low-gravity environments and in nighttime conditions. They are also known for their phenomenal gunnery skills. The Twenty-first employs independent command lances for each battalion, and a command company for each regiment. They also insist on having full strategic and tactical control over all units with whom they will be working during a given contract; that employers typically agree to this points to the level of trust the Lancers have built up over the years.
Providing support to the commander of the Twenty-first, the Lancers Command enjoyed the best equipment they could get their hands on. In 3050, the command company was spotted using a number of Star League-era designs, such as the MAD-2R Marauder or TDR-5Sb Thunderbolt, while the attached Recon Company enjoyed the use of Star League hover tanks like the Gabriel. After working closely with ComStar, in 3058 the Lancers Command employed C3 computers to connect each 'Mech lance with a recon platoon. These were upgraded to C3i computers by 3067.
The Centauri Lancers were known to employ an unusual number of Grasshoppers, with at least one per 'Mech company. On average the Lancers used heavy 'Mech designs, though each battalion had at least one light and one assault lance. The Centauri Lancers regiment was well-trained fighting at any strength, from the entire unit operating together down to individual lancers operating independently. The Air Lancers were focused more on providing ground support with heavy fighters, though after the Clan Invasion they began altering their function to provide air cover with the addition of some medium fighters. Unlike the 'Mech forces, the Armored Lancers do not train to fight at battalion strength, instead having each armored company being moved around individually as needed (though the Armored Recon was typically permanently attached to the Lancers Command). Likewise the Security Lancers primarily served to guard the Twenty-first's bases of operation, with Fourth Company providing combat support in the form of two platoons of scouts and one platoon of artillery.
The Twenty-first have historically had some of the best technical support of any mercenary command, enough to exceed what would be required for a unit of their size. In 3058 they possessed enough DropShips to transport the entire command, including dependents, and owned two Star Lord JumpShips, one of which was equipped with a Lithium-Fusion Battery; by 3067 both had been so upgraded. The Twenty-first benefited greatly from their time employed by ComStar, with their technicians receiving training from both them and Wolf's Dragoons on Clan technology and access to some of the most advanced equipment available.
Twenty-first Centauri Lancers (Elite/Reliable) - FWLM
- CO: Colonel Thaddeus Kusaka
Twenty-first Centauri Lancers (Regiment/Elite/Reliable)
Lancers Command (1 heavy 'Mech company/Elite/including Star League variants)
- Seventeenth Armored Recon Company (1 vehicle company, Elite, including lance of Gabriel tanks)
Twenty-first Centauri Lancers (Regiment/Elite/Reliable)
- CO: Colonel Evelena Haskell
- Note: At this point in time the heavy 'Mech unit was stationed on Nestor.
Twenty-first Centauri Air Lancers (1 heavy aerospace regiment/Elite)
Twenty-first Centauri Armored Lancers (5 companies)
- Third Armored Command (Elite)
- Second Assault (Veteran, heavy/assault tanks)
- CO: Steve Hoyer
Twenty-first Centauri Security Lancers (1 reinforced infantry battalion/Elite)
Lancers Command (1 company/Elite/Reliable)
- CO: Col. Evelena Haskell
- XO: Lt. Col. Ryan "Blade" Searcy
- Seventeenth Armored Recon Company permanently attached
Twenty-first Centauri Lancers (1 Regiment/Elite/Reliable)
- First Battalion: Major James LeMonds
- Second Battalion: Major Katherine Li-Smith
- Third Battalion: Major Ty Van Trahn
Twenty-first Centauri Air Lancers (1 Wing/Elite/Reliable)
- CO: Major Joshua Ling
- 3 squadrons and 1 command lance
Twenty-first Centauri Armored Lancers (6 Companies/Veteran/Reliable)
- CO: Major Wu Ti Seng
- Third Armor Command
- Seventeenth Recon (permanently attached to Lancers Command)
- Twenty-third Recon
- Fifth Fire Support
- Eleventh Fire Support
- Second Assault
Twenty-first Centauri Security Lancers (1 Reinforced Battalion/Veteran/Reliable)
- CO: Major Bradley Hunter
- Fourth Company (2 platoons scouts/1 platoon Long Toms and Arrow IVs)
A Stalker in Twenty-first Centauri Lancers colors.
- It was confirmed that the Twenty-first Centauri Lancers were a battalion within the Third Centauri Guards in 2793 and responsible for the destruction of the Fourth Marik Militia on Anegasaki by the BattleTech Developer Adrian Gideon in the Catalyst Game Labs official errata forum:
|“||Handbook House Liao (print)
Pg 30, Timeline: First Succession War, Dev-level errata: 2793 - The Twenty-First Centauri Lancers destroy the Fourth Marik Militia on Anegasaki, in one of their first contracts as mercenaries after the Star League Defense Force's withdrawal.
Replace with: 2793 - The future Twenty-First Centauri Lancers, a battalion of the Third Centauri Guards, destroy the Fourth Marik Militia on Anegasaki.
|— Adrian Gideon, BattleTech Developer, 0243 26 Jan 2016|
- The Twenty-first Centauri Lancers were among the five mercenary units presented in the original BattleTech boardgame (the others being the Eridani Light Horse, Wolf's Dragoons, Hansen's Roughriders and Lindon's Company), and as such have been part of the BattleTech universe from the very beginning.
- Although "Twenty-first" indicates an English pronunciation, the unit name is spelled "Twenty-first Centauri Lanciers" in German material.
- The Third Battalion is commanded by Ty Van Trahn in 3059, who goes over to the Eridani Light Horse a year later, according to Field Manual: ComStar. Nonetheless, he is still listed as the Third Battalion commander in 3067 in Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised.
- Developer Level Errata, Catalyst Game Labs Forum, 26 0243Z Jan 2015
- House Marik (The Free Worlds League), pp. 28–29: "The Collapse of Terra"
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, pp. 50–51
- Combat Manual: Mercenaries, p. 27
- Historical: Brush Wars, p. 27
- Historical: Brush Wars, p. 36
- Historical: Brush Wars, p. 39
- 20 Year Update, p. 57
- Tales of the Black Widow Company, pp. 26–27
- All Good Things in Shrapnel, issue #4, p. 146
- All Good Things in Shrapnel, issue #4, p. 158
- All Good Things in Shrapnel, issue #4, p. 160
- This Too Shall Pass, pp. 341–342
- This Too Shall Pass, pp. 343–344
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 56
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 41
- Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players 2, p. 29
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 157
- Era Report: 3145, p. 79
- Technical Readout: Irregulars, p. 24: "Opossum SalvageMech MOD"
- Era Digest: Dark Age, p. 7: "Important Military Actions of 3133"
- Tamar Rising, p. 83
- Unit Digest: Killer Bees, p. 200-202
- House Marik (The Free Worlds League), p. 109
- All Good Things
- Historical: Brush Wars, p. 87
- 20 Year Update, p. 57: "Free Worlds League Deployment Table"
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, p. 110
- 20 Year Update
- All Good Things (short story)
- Era Report: 3145
- Field Manual: Mercenaries
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised
- Historical: Brush Wars
- House Marik (The Free Worlds League)
- Jihad Conspiracies: Interstellar Players 2
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update
- Objective Raids
- Technical Readout: Irregulars
- This Too Shall Pass (short story)
- Unit Digest: Killer Bees in Shrapnel#12