Games I Like – MERCS – Faction Overview

Hey there readers,

I have been getting a lot of questions about MERCS in the past few weeks, particularly from people looking for guidance and trying out the game. My first bit of advice would be to check out their community page on the MERCS website. But for those wanting an overview outside of the rules here is a quick run-down of the MegaCorporations currently available to play in the MERCS miniature game.

There are currently 6 available MegaCons from the many in the MERCS universe. A Seventh, the Texico, has had an art preview on the MERCS forums and is expected in the new year.


CCC Yellowjackets; If there were a MERCS team I would most recommend for beginners because of their jack-of-all-trades approach to the game, this would be it. The CCC are known for two things, the reliability of their armour and the general competence of their soldiers. You get a smattering of everything with the Yellowjackets. You have access to a good all around Assault Leader with an Assault Rifle. You have a Heavy Weapon trooper, Sniper, Demo expert with Grenades, Medic and even a Flamethrower specialist. Their armour will repair itself if damaged to keep you in the fight, meaning you can keep firing your weapon when it goes down where other teams may be scrambling to repair. All in all, they are flexible on the table and can bring a specialist to deal with almost any other MegaCon’s strength.


USCR; The inheritors of the former Soviet blok are exactly what you would expect them to be from the lessons of history. Their favour slow moving thick armour and simple weapons that pack a punch. They have three Assault Troopers that carry equipment to help out their team-mates; a Medic with Medkits, Monkeywrench with Repair kits and a Booster with skill enhancing Adrenaline. Their Commissar is very heavily armoured and carries an Ice Grenade gun to slow down the opposing team while their Sniper’s Anchor gun can lock models in place and do the same. Last but not least is their Behemoth, the single slowest, heaviest and shootiest model in the game.


KemVar; The KemVar are the fencing foil of the MERCS world. On the surface, their active camouflage makes them seem an extremely dangerous force, but with the exception of their heavy they strike individual models and hit relatively lightly. They have a fairly standard Assault Leader with only a melee attack to make him unique. The Assault Troopers have a dangerous Demo which, unlike other Demos in the game, has to roll to hit with his grenade and it only effects a single model. Their monkey wrench is extremely standard, but his repair kits are extremely important for keeping the team’s active camouflage going as they have low Repair values. Their Assassin is currently the only model in the game that can move and make a Melee Attack. He is extremely powerful, but unless you time his attack appropriately he can find himself exposed to point blank return fire. Use him carefully! The Heavy Weapons trooper is the all-star of the KemVar team. He has the highest rate of fire of any Heavy in the game and actually gains bonuses for acting alone. Their Sniper is used more to disrupt than cause damage, so if you’re looking to cause massive headshots keep looking. All in all, they’re a force to be reckoned with if used carefully…but don’t overextend yourself.


FCC; The FCC are unique in all of MERCS in that they can, in addition to their own six models, include models form other MegaCons on their team. These Eastern European freedom fighters aren’t really a MegaCon per say, but a paramilitary group dedicated to keeping the Lost Margin free of the influence of the MegaCorporations. They have no Heavy, but their Assault Leader has a special light machine gun that almost takes its place. In specialists, they have a Boomer armed with a Grenade Launcher who can use standard frags or the special grenades of one of the Black Ops guest from another Megacon. The Liaison is integral if you intend to take Black Ops as he allows them to retain their Corporate abilities when on your team, although their Personal abilities are still lost. The three Assault Troopers are the Pack Rat, who combines a Medic and Monkeywrench into a single model. The Housemember who allows you to vault over obstacles and has a melee attack and the Chemical Engineer who fires debilitating Irradiated ammunition, is lightly armored but faster than a normal Assault Trooper.


sefadu; The Sefadu are the ultra fast and mobile MegaCon. In order to achieve this, they sacrifice armour for mobility. Their corporate abiilties of Fearless (no penalties at all to passed Suppression Tests and they may still act with additional penalties even if they FAIL Suppression tests!) and Mobile (the FN Penalty to the Move and Fire CCM is reduced by 1!) make them a very quick, in your face team. Where other teams need to maneuver and then fire without incurring huge penalties the sefadu can launch assaults immediately. Their Assault Leader has a Spear which can assist the aim of the Medic and Demo by tagging enemy models. Demo has some of the coolest Grenades in the game; Incendiary grenades that both damage and cause enhanced armour failure tests! The Berserker has an incredible whirlwind attack that allows him to make Combat – Melee actions twice in a turn, but he needs to set it up the turn previous as he cannot move and attack. The Gunner has an enhanced damage short range firing digram that can move and fire! My favorite team member is the Sniper. His I See You Personal Ability lets him combine the Suppression and Overwatch ACMs… meaning he can do both at once! His rifle has very low damage, but it causes permanent Armour Failure if you don’t pass your roll! Don’t take him against the USCR however, as his weapon will not work against them due to their Dense Corporate Abibility.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Keizai Waza; The Keizai Waza are in interesting and dynamic new Team in the MERCS universe. They bring some new Archetypes to the table and some unique (for now!) abilities as well. Corporate abilities include a bonus to all dice rolls when Blooded and a reduced mobility penalty with broken armour. The Assault Leader is actually carrying a small nuclear device. While he himself cannot equip and fire it, it is a deadly blast attack which can change the course of the game. He relies on the Pathfinder and Forward Observer to actually launch the device, but this makes him a more conservative leader as he has to remain alive in order to make use of this powerful weapon! It also means that both the Forward Observer and Pathfinder are almost automatically included in your team as they are needed to launch the nuke… and who wants to waste that opportunity? The Sniper, Demo and Hybrid Heavy all round out the team, vying for the last two spots. The Sniper has the ability to shoot through solid cover with this Nuclear ammo while the Demo can reduce heavy armour with his Acid grenades. The Hybrid Heavy stands alone however as one of two Heavies in the game with the ability to fire without setting (albeit at a reduced rate). This puts him in a club with the USCR Behemoth! Overall the team is very networked to unleash their full potential, but still with each model being fun to play.

ISS; The ISS are one of the two new teams to join the MERCS game during GenCon 2012. They are a durable mid-speed team with a few distinct advantages that make them a great choice for new MERCS. While they have average MP such as the CCC, their Corporate Ability allows them to redeploy to meet threats prior to the beginning of the game. Their custom armour allows them to negate the strength bonuses from flank and rear attacks, making them a very versatile team at solo model operations as they do not fear envelopment as much as other teams. They have a few combination models as well which make for some interesting tactics, such as the sniper’s ability to move models with his weapon, combined with the Heavy’s Lightning gun arcing into groups of other figures. Overall the ISS is not as model dependent on model selection in order to make them effective and have a lot of Corporate abilities which make them forgiving to beginners and very adaptive to which other team they are facing.

Texico; Texico is another team which benefits from unit tactics over individual combinations. They have both offensive and defensive Corporate abilities that make them well balanced in terms of maneuverability and reacting to enemy team threats. The Traps Corporate Ability allows the team to add two trap cards to the traps deck, making it incredibly hazardous for enemy team members to Bound. This makes it a risk for the enemy to make quick actions to make it past strategic overwatch actions. In particular it can be really useful for neutralizing fast Melee models like the KemVar Assassin or sefadu Berserker that count on bounding late in the turn to get into Melee range. Focus Fire on the other hand gives you a building bonus each turn, allowing you to pile on shots to focus a neutralize a model effectively. Models like the Marshall can also let you capitalize on this bonus with early prioritization of the Bounty model. Overall, this team rewards planning and prioritization of your targets to make best use of their skills. Also, if you love dusters, stetsons and deserts, this team is for you.

Hope that helps you budding MERCS Assault Leaders choose a faction that suits your style of play. As always, post any questions you have here!

EDIT: Updated to ISS and Texico!

~ by Achilles on July 9, 2011.

14 Responses to “Games I Like – MERCS – Faction Overview”

  1. Very nice write-up. I think you don’t give the Kem Var monkey-wrench enough credit. His ‘Climber’ skill, which allows him to ascend one level of elevation for free (effectively teleporting up) is extremely useful and makes him quite powerful in terms of being able to reach and extend a threat from a critical position quickly.

    • Absolutely true! I decided on broad strokes for the overview, but it does make him very capable of delivering those Medkits and optimizing shooting. 🙂

  2. Really nice summary. As a new MERCS player I think it is a good way to explain things to newcomers. With your permission I will translate this summary to spanish and include in my own gaming blog, linking back to the original here…

    • No problem man. Feel free to do with it as you like! Just link back to the OP. 🙂

  3. Done and published…

  4. I’ve updated the OP to include the sefadu! I will do so again with the Keizai Waza.

  5. […] Faction Overview – […]

  6. […] For a great summary of each faction’s playstyle, as well as pictures of each faction’s models, see this blog post at Guerrilla Miniature Games. […]

  7. Hi again…
    I have translated again your overview of the Sefadu, with link to your fantastically painted team

  8. […] […]

  9. […] been truant on getting my MERCS Keizai Waza completed. With that being said, I’ve updated the Faction Overview with their description as it is actually the most trafficed article on my Blog and I figured […]

  10. I came to ask if there would be updates, and here they are! Thanks!

  11. Reblogged this on Jasksta and commented:
    Great post for anyone looking to get into MERCS!

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