War never changes, or so the old saying goes. While the weapons of the future may fire beams of concentrated light, and the battlefields may be on the fringe worlds of the galaxy, the iron trade will never die so long as peace remains a hope rather than a reality.
And as long as there are wars being fought, there will be those willing to exchange blood for credits.
From rough-and-tumble outfits like the Snake Eaters, to shadowy organizations like the Nebula Cartel, to companies as high-priced as they are high-tech like the Star Dragons, there’s no shortage of soldiers of fortune out there. And whether your game takes place in a far-flung galaxy, in the depths of the void, or in the concrete jungle of a capital city in a cyberpunk dystopia, there’s something here to fit your needs.
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- Void Phantoms: There is nothing in space to slow your momentum, so once you’ve achieved a certain thrust you can simply throttle off as long as there’s nothing in your path. The Void Phantoms, who favor specially-engineered black ships that are nearly impossible to scan from any real distance, use this trick of physics to their advantage. They’ll set a course, rocket towards it, then shut down all but the most necessary life support systems in order to go completely black. Transit on these mostly dead vessels can take weeks, but once they do return to life it’s like the Void Phantoms materialized out of dead space. Using surprise to their advantage, they quickly cripple their targets, striking decisive blows before their victims can react.
- Splicers: Splicers are a terror to behold once they’ve been deployed to a combat zone. Genetically modified soldiers, every Splicer is keyed to fulfill a particular purpose within the company. From gargantuan vanguard troops that can rip the big gun off a tank with their bare hands, to bird-like riflemen who can hit targets beyond the sight of unmodified soldiers, these troops are apex predators in (mostly) human form. While many who sign up volunteer for these treatments and gene therapies, there are rumors and horror stories about what goes on in the depths of the Splicers’ labs… especially when it comes to how they’ve discovered (and utilized) certain strands of inhuman DNA.
- Black Outs: There’s nothing easier to defeat than an enemy that’s been blinded. The Black Outs specialize in wrecking enemy communications, with operations as subtle as hacking satellites, to as direct as targeted EMP blasts. Losing the ability to coordinate forces for a day, or just for a few crucial hours, can be enough to turn the tide of a war. Rarely working more than a single mission at a time, these saboteurs are nasty pieces of work.
- Ratchet Brigade: With their patchwork vehicles and cobbled together weapons, most armies don’t take the Ratchet Brigade seriously when they first lay eyes on them… a mistake many don’t survive to learn from. These half-mad engineers-for-hire seek out only the hottest battlefields and sign on where it’s likely the destruction will be greatest. What confuses most clients is they barely charge any fees for their services… but their contracts do stipulate scrap and salvage rights on enemy weapons, vehicles and other materials. Because while the junk left scattered around the battlefield might be considered worthless to a lot of their employers, it’s invaluable to the Brigade as it allows them to keep their armory full, and war chest near to bursting.
- Badlanders: Recruited from some of the harshest environments that war has to offer, this mercenary company is old-school in the extreme. From arrow snipers, to gutting knives, to handmade booby traps and ancient stalkers’ tricks, they can often outfox the most advanced foes through experience and tactics. Extraordinary scouts, the Badlanders are often underestimated by enemies who confuse their lack of technological equipment with a lack of sophistication or know-how. A mistake that has cost more than a few overconfident generals their lives.
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