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The Merry Fellows

The Merry Fellows are a TL9bis battalion-strength airmobile mercenary company in the Glavion Cluster. Commanded by Colonel Wm Ferney, they have served in the past as "enforcers" for the Cluster's organized crime and currently serve on a "security" ticket for the associated Cluster Megacorp on the company-run world of Breeforth's Legacy.

They consist of five two-platoon companies of infantry, airmobile in Camaret "Planeur" tilt-rotor heliplanes. These heliplanes are combination transport "slicks" and gunship "hogs", a cross between the Mil-24 Hind and V-22 Osprey. Infantry is equipped to TL10 standards with Combat Environment Suits, ACR/Ram-GL over/under "grenadier rifles", and one ALMG per rifle team. An additional platoon without heliplanes, "The Black Guard", provides HQ/base security.

Their badge is a fimbriated black circle, like a muted version of a Japanese hinomaru.


HQ/base unit ("The Black Guard") - Command Post (emplaced) + 8 rifle teams + 2 GMS/L teams. Points value 335.

10 air assault platoons - each 5 Planeurs (2 GMS/H fits, 3 SLAM fits) + 8 rifle teams + 2 GMS/L teams. Points value 1668/unit. These platoons normally operate in companies of two.

Total points value 17015.

Camaret "Planeur" Heliplane (TL9bis, basic version):

LARGE vehicle (class 4), VTOL movement, FGP power, Armour 1.
1xRFAC/1 in chin turret with ENHANCED FireCon, 2xAPSW (side-door AMMGs).
ENHANCED ECM, Stealth-1, capacity for 4 infantry teams (17 passengers).
Basic Signature 4 (D6), Effective Signature 3 (D8).
POINTS VALUE 224 + cost of infantry carried.

With GMS/H Weapons Fit (Tac Missiles):

Add 2xGMS/H (ENHANCED); reduce capacity to 2 infantry teams (9 passengers).
POINTS VALUE 314 + cost of infantry carried.

With SLAM/3 Weapons Fit (MRL rocket pods):

Add 1xSLAM/3 (ENHANCED FireCon); reduce capacity to 2 infantry teams (11 passengers).
POINTS VALUE 260 + cost of infantry carried.

Infantry is equipped to LINE standards (Range 6", 4 HTK)

Troop quality (roll D6 for each unit):
1-2 = Veteran (D10 Confidence Test)
3-5 = Regular (D8 Confidence Test)
6 = Green (D6 Confidence Test)

Leadership quality (roll D6 for each unit):
1 = Class 1 (best)
2-4 = Class 2 (average)
5-6 = Class 3 (poor)


The Merry Fellows are based on the paramilitary criminal syndicate of the same name in the Jules Verne novel L'Etonnante Aventure de la Mission Barzac (Incredible Adventure of the Barzac Expedition, c.1905), published in English as two volumes: Into the Niger Bend and City in the Sahara.

Being a Victorian Frenchman, M. Verne had the Victorian author's mania for detailed lists and cataloging, and chapters devoted to background infodumps; the entire first chapter of City in the Sahara is a detailed description of the Merry Fellows and their "steampunk" criminal empire of Blackland, the above-cited "City in the Sahara".

These Merry Fellows were translated directly from Steampunk to Traveller; their Table of Organization, VTOL airlift capability, and use of "aerial torpedoes" (tac missiles) is exactly as M. Verne wrote them in 1905, with "a colonel, five captains, ten lieutenants, and fifty sergeants" plus a platoon-sized "Black Guard".