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Mercenaries & Allied Forces
It is my hope, eventually, to have hireable (or neutral) mercenary forces (or forces representing other branches of a given faction's military) in PDS. Most likely they would be called in as off map reinforcements, and function as either Player or AI controlled allies.

The mechanism in skirmish play would most likely be a "research" option which has several (mutually exclusive and very expensive) merc fleets that can be hired. Generally only one can be called in at any given time, and ships belonging to it would be called in using the 'off-map reinforcement' system. Mercenary forces would vary significantly in capability, specialization, and cost.

Specifically, I've had a few ideas for merc forces based on alignment towards the Hiigarans, Vaygr, Taiidan, or no one in particular.

Hiigaran Allied:
  1. Hiigaran Marine Expeditionary Unit: Taskforce from the Hiigaran Marine corps, consisting of some Marine Frigates, ASCA carriers, and fighters. Specializes in boarding operations.
  2. Somtaaw Mining Group: Probably consisting of some workers, carriers, and processors. Obviously specializes in resource exploitation and construction of ships in-theatre (as opposed to offmap support).
  3. Somtaaw Strike Force: Taskforce of Somtaaw Defense ships. Most likely consisting of Acolytes, Multibeam Frigates, and possibly a Dreadnaught. Specializes in defense and strikecraft removal.
  4. Republican Taiidan Auxiliaries: Taiidani forces fighting under the Hiigaran banner, but equipped with Taiidani ships. Probably using frigates or destroyers. Specializes in frontline combat.
  5. The Fallen Lords: Somewhat chaotic mercenary clan, offering a fleet of tuned up fighters and frigates with a capital ship as a mobile base. Specializes in fast attack and raiding.
  6. Task Force Nalthor: Nalthoran colonial fleet forces fighting under the Hiigaran banner, probably consists of a Majestic class liner (or other J5 chassis derivative) and some fighters. Specializes in Reconnaissance-in-force.
  7. Kiith Tambuur: Bounty Hunters and 'quasi-lawful' irregulars with a reputation for fighting dirty. Probably would provide some armed merchantmen or frigates. Specializes in asymmetric and unorthodox warfare.

Vaygr Allied:
  1. Imperialist Voluntaries: Forces sent by the Taiidani Empire, using a mix of older Taiidani equipment an customized Vaygr ships. Specializes in frontline combat.
  2. Republican Turncoats: Auxiliary forces impressed into service from the former Republian Territories. Uses a mix of Republican and captured Hiigaran equipment. Specializes in combat support.
  3. Vaygr Pirates: Piratical bandit clans from the Vaygr Reaches impressed into service. Use older or customized Vaygr ships optimized for speed. Specializes in high-speed attacks and raiding.
  4. Assassins: The broader component of the 'Infiltrator' shipboard combat specialists, Analogous to the Hiigaran Marine corps. Uses specialized assault transports and Vaygr equivalent to ASCA. Specializes in boarding operations and close combat.
  5. Sajuuk-khar Cultists: Mad priests, mystics, and fanatics loyal to Makaan (or his cadre of mystics) who act as a sort of 'Praetorian Guard'. They use heavily modified ships, some outfitted with Progenitor-derived equipment. Specialize in unorthodox warfare and suicide tactics.

The Vaygr need some more auxiliary forces anyway. Ideas please!

Taiidani (Imperialist) Allied:
  1. Turanic Raiders: A number of Raider clans are still under the employ of the reconstituted Taiidan Empire. Not a match for a regular navy on their own, they are still capable of causing chaos on the fringes of the front lines. Specializes in Raiding, Stealth, and Asymmetric Warfare.
  2. IIS Detachment: Shadowy units from the Intelligence Services, functioning primarily as battlefield analysis units and provide drone support. Specializes in Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare.
  3. Valariin Industrial Cartel: Construction and Corporate Defense ships sent by the Industrial families operating on the frontline. Specializes in mining, repairs, fixed defenses, and support.
  4. Old-order Warlords: Auxiliary naval forces using older equipment sent by some of the polities not nominally part of the Imperio Secundas. Mainly use older (HW1 era) ships in large numbers. Specializes in frontal assault in overwhelming numbers.

Unaligned/Variable Alignment
  1. Drunken Pirates Clan: Dangerous Turanic warrior clan run by the warlord Teelan. Not particularly well liked by Hiigaran law enforcement, but has worked for the Hiigarans on occasion through 'under the table' dealings. Otherwise not allied with anyone in particular. Specializes in Raiding, Stealth, and Hit-and-run tactics.
  2. Kihnjahal clans: Traditionalist Nalthoran offshoots. Extremely varied in alignment, technological capability, and willingness to work as mercenaries. Using their trademark rockships (hollowed out asteroids turned into mobile fortresses), they tend to specialize in defense and asymmetric warfare.
  3. Independent Miners: Profit-oriented miners and engineers nominally operating outside the law. Typically equipped with defensive ships and weapons. Specializes mostly in Mining.
  4. Kassi Mercenaries: Elements of the Warrior Cult who have, by choice or by exile, gone out into the galaxy to fight elsewhere. They have a reputation of being extremely vicious and difficult to control. Specializes in shock tactics.
  5. Frrern Secessionists: Planetary militia forces of varying quality and level of equipment. Mostly fighting in return for equipment and political patronage. Specializations to be decided (most likely asymmetric warfare and raiding).

Any other ideas would be most welcome.
To me the list is solid.

If Vaygr need more auxilaries I think some lesser clans could be put there.

Higgarans definetly need Sobani Task Force with Witchunter.

Taiidans could have Progenitor-relic hunting Task Force with rare, custom build but advance designs (analoque to Sajuuk-khar Cultists).
Higgarans would have S'jet Science Group.

For unaligned the Progenitor Keepers - could be even scripted that if player use race specific relic-hunters there is a higher change that Keeper anti-hunter party will spawn and attack you.

For Taiidan we could also have "Imperial Guard" with their elite black ships.
The idea is the Taiidani Intelligence Services would be both the progenitor relic hunting taskforce and 'Imperial Guard'. My original thought is they evolved from the 'black ships' of Emperor Riesstiu's reign, abiet after 100+ years of doctrine changes.

In the 3G timeframe, this hasn't really materialized yet: The Progenitors aren't really a big thing until around when the events of the HW2 ascension campaign takes place, and the Taiidani wouldn't have really begun aggressively hunting artifacts until further after that still.

Of course the Sobani will certainly appear, with the Witchunter, Stellar Ranger, Ferin Sha, and all of the 'hero' ships from the old days restored to their former glory. Not sure if we're going to have them as a separate faction (although the IVF probably will be, because of significant and rapid technological divergence from the armada).
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