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Mercenaries in the GZG Universe
By John M. Atkinson

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This Page: Mercenaries - An Introduction    Mercenary Units of Note

Mercenaries in the GZGverse - An Introduction Back to Top

Note: The notation (c) indicates a canonical item, mostly those mentioned in the Stargrunt II chronology. (For further details on the GZG setting, see the GZG Universe Background and the Official GZG Timeline. -Ed.)

If there is one defining characteristic of conflict between major powers in the 22nd century, it is heavy use of mercenaries. The mercenary business became an accepted and codifed part of the Laws of Land Warfare with the accesion of most major powers and mercenary groups to a Mercenary Code(c) and the establishment of the Mercenary Review and Bonding Comission based out of The Hague (Geneva was considered and rejected based on heavy Swiss participation in the mercenary business).

There are a number of categories of Mercenary. One is the Foreign Legion, where a unit is part of the regular armed forces of a nation, but recruits from outside that nation exclusively or almost exclusively. These are not covered by the Mercenary Code, being considered essentially the same as Regular units. The most famous include the Ghurka Rifle batallions (c) of the NAC, the Colonial Legion (c) of the FSE, and the Varangian Guard of the NRE. Lesser-known units include the King's German Legion, a German-manned force in NAC service consisting of two Panzer batallions, 2 Panzer Grenadier batallions, an Artillery batallion, and a recon/aviation composite batallion. This unit was formed in 2139 to support the NAC during the First Solar War, in which the NSL was not willing to participate, but provided some support to the NAC.

Another category is the Volunteer. These generally don't fall under the Mercenary Code as they are not part of recognized mercenary units. "Volunteers" is generally a flimsy legal fiction for another nation to get involved in a conflict, typically in the form of small units of Special Operations Forces to advise and train. There are also "volunteer corps" which are units of a nation's military seconded to another nation's military under a thin legal pretext (see Chinese Volunteer Corps, during a hot period in the Twentieth Century Conflict)

Another major category is regular military units hired out by their government. The Saeed Kaliphate is noted for this(c), as are the New Israelis (NI mercs are canonical, that they are regular Zahal formations hired out was a call by Noam Izenberg, one of the GZG email-list regulars). Typically, a government forms a pool of regular units that are available for hire, and rotates units in and out of that pool to spread operational combat experience. These units fall under the Mercenary Code while under contract.

The final category is the traditional mercenary unit, organized, equipped, and led autonomously which hires out to the highest bidder. Of course, very few of these units are as independant as popular fiction depicts. Many are registered with a particular nation and do not take contracts against them, in order to enjoy a safe haven between contracts, and assistance in replacing equipment (most governments are more than happy to provide loans and leases for this purpose to established units, as it is a cheap way of putting firepower on retainer). Most of these units are light on or lacking altogether any artillery and aviation, and typically do not operate grav vehicles or other high-tech equipment with superior electronics. Exceptions noted.

Mercenary Units in the GZG Universe Back to Top

Some of the more noted independant units include:

The Polish Regiments

During the European Civil War in 2101-2103, Poland sided with the EC. To prevent the need to fight a 2-front war, the NSL partitioned Poland with the RH again (Note: This would be the fifth time Germans have partitioned Poland with Russians. I'm just following a historical trend - Poland is a nation and a culture with lousy luck, lots of enemies, and not a single defensible terrain feature to its name. NSL got back old Prussia, Brandenburg, and Silesia, RH got the rest). Elements of the Polish Army escaped and went Mercenary. These 9 units still consider themselves the Polish Army in exile. The most famous is the 6th "Eagle" Interface Division, which is almost unique among merc units in maintaining a full batallion of Powered Armor and a platoon of PA in each of its other BNs. The other units are brigade to batallion sized. Registered in the FSE.

Lyuza's Stradiots

Albanian light armored batallion. Unregistered. Bad reputation as undisciplined bandits and thieves.

San Patricios

Deserters and defectors from Irish units during the War of the Americas led to the establishment of the San Patricio Light Infantry Brigade in the LLAR Army in 2060. It went Merc in 2099, when it entered into a 5-year contract with the Indonesian Commonwealth in return for extraction from a NAC encirclement. Registered in IC, vehemently anti-NAC.


Loose affiliation of 6 batallions of Finns, 1xArmored Cavalry, 2xLight Motorized, 3xJaeger BNs. Registered in Scandanavian Federation.


Americans of Scandanavian anscestry living in the Dakotas and Minnessota are the primary recruits for this unit. Registered NAC.

Lakota Regiment

2xLight Armored BNs and supporting elements, recruited from Sioux. Registered NAC

Apache Squadron

SAS-style unit recruited from various Apache tribes in the American Southwest. Registered NAC. (For further details about the Apache Squadron, see the Apache Squadron TO&E article in our TO&E section.)  ~Ed.

Wild Goose Brigade

Light Infantry Brigade of Irishmen, Registered (wherever your campaign background decided to put Ireland, probably either FSE or NAC).


A generic term for any of seven Scottish Mechanized Infantry brigades. All are Registered NAC excepting The Bruce's Own, which is registered FSE.


In 2052, a brigade of Kansas National Guardsmen held off 2 British Divisions for three weeks. The British commander was so impressed he allowed the survivors to withdraw across the border. Now a mixed Batallion. Unregistered.

Abraham Lincoln Brigade

Raised by private individuals in North America in 2111 to aid the Oceanic Union in its war with the Indonesians, this unit remained active after the war and went truly mercenary. It recruits about 50% North Americans and 50% OU. Registered OU.

1st Virginia Partisan Rangers

Guerilla band formed during the Second Civil War. Exfiltrated all the way to Mexico, where it went Merc rather than work for the Mexicans. Registered with the New Confederate States, but still primarily recruits from Virginia. Recently changed over from Hoverjeep mounted infantry to grav-bike mounted infantry.

Jornsvelt's Jaegers

Mixed brigade of Boers, this unit was formed with an eye to raising funds for the Voortrek to New Transvaal. Registered New Transvaal.

Grand Company

Formerly a corps-sized unit, this formation was hired to supplement the defenses of New Hellas when its Thematic troops were deployed to New Sofia during the Romanov War. It subsequently mutinied and siezed partial control of the planet. After the NRE operation to take back Hellas, only a regiment remained. The Grand Company is unusual in that it maintains its own spacecraft, including a pair of destroyers (Use stats for FSE DDs). Recruited originally from Spaniards, but after violating a contract and being banned by the MRBC, has recruited mostly from assorted criminals, exiles, scum and degenerates. It stumbles from one illicit contract to the next, and will probably cease to exist within a decade or so.

Death's Head Hussars

Raised by a scion of a wealthy family of industrialists and offered to the NSL's service during the European Civil War. It was viewed with skepticism by the NSL command, but they were not in a position to refuse a full batallion of the latest high-tech tanks. Claiming descent from a batallion of Brunswicker cavalry in which the commander's ancestors had served, the troops painted their tanks black and wore a variant uniform which was black with a death's head as the unit insignia (NB: No Nazi or SS connotations here, folks. This was an old and honored regiment in the German Army since the Napoleonic era). Went Merc after the war, now operates a full batallion of high-tech grav tanks. Registered NSL.

Steinhoff's Sturmpionieren

Unlike the mainstream merc units above, the Sturmpionieren (Assault Engineers) are a unit of specialists. They focus on demolition, urban warfare, and assaults on fortified positions. The unit is parachute-qualified, and has a number of SCUBA specialists as well. Company sized. Registered NSL.

Van Koost Armored Legion(c)

Dutch mercenary unit mentioned in passing in the GZG "Official" timeline.

Other Canonical Merc References

Turks, Swiss, Japanese, LLAR, Indonesians, Scandanavians.

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