Battletech Campaign Guide

Running a Mercenary Campaign

No job too tough. No fee too high.


Generally speaking, maintanence should follow the support cost schedule set forth in the Mercenariy's hand book. (5000 C-bills/support point) GM's and players will quickly find that maintanence costs consume the lion's share of any mercenary unit's revenue stream.

The guidelines set forth here are designed to provide some flavor to the simplified support costs shown in the handbook. These costs are based on the 'fluff' text descriptions found in the various source books and technical readouts. They help to differentiate different sorts of battlemechs from each other and in some cases they provide a reason for players to occasionally choose to pilot a battlemech that is less effective on the battlefield because it is cheaper to maintain.


Battlemechs equipped with technology that is more advanced than the campaign base line cost more to maintain. The cost for maintaining an advanced battlemech depends on how hard it is to get parts for it. Star League spare parts are nearly impossible to obtain in 3030 and clan parts are nearly always unavailable in the Inner Sphere. The following table provides some examples of maintanence costs in different time periods.

Campaign DateTech Level of BattlemechCost of Maintanence
3025SLDF Battlemechx2.5 Cost
3045SLDF Battlemechx1.75 Cost
3050Clan Battlemechx4 Cost
30503050 Inner Sphere 'Mechx1.2 Cost
3060Clan Battlemechx3 Cost
30603050 Inner Sphere 'Mechx1 Cost
30603025 Battlemechx0.9 Cost
3067Clan Battlemechx2 Cost
3067Advanced IS Battlemechx1.25 Cost
30673050 Inner Sphere 'Mechx1 Cost
30673025 Battlemechx0.8 Cost

The tech levels described are derrived from the tech levels in the GURPS Battletech section of this web site.

An advanced battlemech can be maintained more cheaply by scrapping other advanced battlemechs. Support points generated by scrapping an advanced battlemech are worth more than normal support points when used as spare parts for a similarly advanced machine. The value increase is equal to the maintanence cost increase for the battlemech scrapped. Such 'advanced' support points only gain this increase in value when used to maintain another advanced machine. e.g. Clan parts are very useful for maintaining other Clan battlemechs but are no better than any other spare parts for maintaining or repairing a 3025 battlemech.

Complex Designs

Some battlemechs are easier or harder to maintain than others. This is represented as an increase or decrease in the maintanence cost for the machine. For example the Orion has a reputation for being easy to maintain whereas the Stalker has a reputation for needing frequent actuator maintanence. To reflect this the Orion costs only 30 support points per month rather than the usual 35 for a heavy 'mech whereas the Stalker costs 47 rather than the usual 45 for an assault 'mech. These costs are assigned based on the battlemech descriptions found in the various technical readouts. The 3044 milieu page has some specific rules designed to reflect maintanence costs in that time period including adjusted costs for some selected Inner Sphere 'mechs of the day.


Omnimechs are relatively easy to repair and modify but all of this flexibility makes them extremely complex machines. Furthermore, the mounting hardpoints for omnipods are routinely placed under severe stress when in use. All omnimechs regardless of their technology base require five extra support points per month to keep them running. In the case of clan omnimechs being maintained by Inner Sphere personel, this penalty is applied after applying any tech base multipliers to the cost of upkeeping the omni.

Space Craft

The crew of all interplanetary and interstellar space craft is assumed to include at least one skilled technician. The skill level of this tech is usually the same as the overall skill level of the ship's crew. Ships which have a crew of twelve or more also receive the benefit of a single squad of assistant technicians (astechs) with the same skill level.

Maintanence in Transit

Battlemechs and aerospace fighters that are packed away for transport do not require nearly as much maintanence as active units do. To reflect this, the support cost for any battlefield unit is reduced to 25% of its normal requirement while it is packed for travel. Note that units that are completely mothballed require no maintanence at all, but are not kept in a combat-ready state. Note that this reduction applies to maintanence support costs, not to other regular costs such as supply and overhead costs.


The player unit will inevitably decide to hire additional personel at some point. The GM can either decide how many personel are available to the unit and allow the players to negotiate a contract with the new recruit or the GM can use a generic system such as the one presented below to determine how many personel are interested in working for the PC's and how skilled those personel are. In any case, the rules presented below can be used as a guideline for determining how many people the unit can hire in a given month.

Hiring Die Roll

Each month the unit commander may attempt to hire new personel. To do so, the commander must spend a few days recruiting and roll a d10 on one of the tables below. The table entry indicated by the die roll will indicate how many personel of the specified type are available. A unit may try to hire personel in as many categories as desired during a given month, but each such attempt requires one week of recruiting. The hiring die roll will be affected by a great many factors as detailed below. A single unit may only make a single roll on a particular table every month.


Each of the sections included here has a table designed to help determine how many personel a unit can hire during a given month. Each table includes modifiers that can be used to improve or reduce the unit's chances of attracting skilled personel. The following modifiers apply to the die rolls used for all hiring tables in this section:

Keep in mind that these new personel will be available on the major mercenary world of the day. (Outreach or Galatea) the unit will either have to be present on the planet to hire new staff or will have to pay an agent to do the hiring for them. See the Mercenary's handbook for a guide to the cost of renting such an office. Note also that this merely guarantees that the newly hired personel are available and have a certain skill level. It does not guarantee that they are loyal or hard-working

GM's should also keep in mind that mercenary personel are paid professionals and not just numbers in a spreadsheet. If a unit pays its techs twice the going rate for their services but pays its infantry personel at the standard rate, the soldiers are likely to notice and they won't be happy about it. Furthermore, the new employees will be expecting to continue to receive the salary they have agreed to. They will not react well if their salary is undeservedly cut.

Battlemech/Aerospace Pilots

In most mercenary units the aerospace fighter pilots and battlemech pilots form the core of the unit's military strength and hence its employability. Highly skilled pilots contribute greatly to any unit's successes on the battlefield. Most such warriors expect to be paid in a manner that reflects their elite status. Some pilots come own their own ride, others are disposessed and must be provided with a machine before they can contribute on the battlefield. Unit commanders should take that fact into account when hiring new pilots.

The following table can be used to determine how many battlemech pilots or aerospace pilots are available in a given month. Keep in mind that the hiring unit must roll separately for aerospace pilots and 'mech jocks. They follow the same rules and use the same table, but theya re two distinct categories of professionals.

Die RollPilots Available by Experience Level
< 0 d2-1 d2-1 0 0
0-4 d3 d2 0 0
5-9 d3+2 d3 d2-1 0
10-13 d6+3 d3+2 d2 0
14-16 2d6+4 d6+3 d3+1 d2
17+ 3d6+5 2d6+3 d3+3 d3

Only 30% of the available pilots will have their own fighters/'mechs. (round down) If a pilot owns his own fighter or battlemech, the GM should decide what type of 'mech or fighter it is. 30% of all pilots will have light units. 40% will have medium units, 20% heavy and 10% assault. The unit should not be allowed to choose what sort of vehicle the new pilots own.

Ground Vehicle Crew

Technical Support

Techs keep mercenary companies running. Without a strong technical support staff all but the wealthiest mercenary units will quickly be bankrupted by maintanence costs. Because of this qualified technicians are in high demand. GM's should keep this in mind when player units try to recruit new technical staff. The number of out of work mechwarriors on Galatea (or Outreach after 3052) certainly outnumbers the number of skilled techs.

The following rules provide a rough guideline for GM's to use when determining how many technicians are available during a given month and are also willing to take up employment with the PC unit. (It is likely that there are other techs out there who are not interested in taking the job offer. It is very much a seller's market.) PC's can improve their odds of attracting good technical help by offering better hiring terms or by having a good reputation as an employer unit. Astech squads may be recruited in essentially unlimited numbers but keep in mind that each astech squad must be supervised by a full technician and no more than one tech can be assigned to a single battlemech, figher or tank.

Die RollTechs Available by Experience Level
< 1 d2-1 0 0 0
1-5 d2 d2-1 0 0
6-10 d2+1 d2 d2-1 0
11-14 d3+2 d3 d3-1 0
15-17 d6+3 d3+2 d2 d2-1
18+ 2d6+3 d6+2 d3 d3-1

Conventional Infantry

Infantry troops are widely available and relatively cheap to equip. Green and regular non-jump troops can be hired in pretty much arbitrary quantities. Rifle platoons will usually even come with their own equipment. SRM, laser and flamer platoons must usually be equipped out of the hiring unit's pocket. The infantry hiring table provides a way of determining how many troops can be hired in a given month. All troops may be assumed to come equipped with rifles. If the unit insists on hiring better equipped troops, the hiring unit will not be able to hire as many troops.

Die RollSquads Available by Experience Level
Green GroundGreen Jump / Regular GroundVeteran Ground / Regular Jump Elite Ground / Veteran JumpElite Jump
< -2 d3+2 d3 d2 0 0
-2-1 d6+1 d3+2 d3+1 d2 0
2-5 d6+5 d6+2 d6+1 d3 d2-1
6-10 2d6+6 2d3+5 d6+3 d3+1 d3
11-13Unlimited2d6+6 2d6+2d6+1 d6
14+ UnlimitedUnlimited2d6+62d6+2d6+2

Note that jump infantry uses different columns than ground infantry of the same experience level. Mechanized infantry can be purchased as ground infantry. Note also that infantry is hired in whole squads rather than as individual soldiers.

Battlearmor Infantry

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