Mercenary Companies have played in important part in the history of warfare nearly since the need for armed combat itself. Historical mercenary companies such as the White Company, the Company of the Star, and the Company of the Hat each carved their name into the annals of history as much through their shrewd negotiations as through their prowess in combat. Fictional mercenary bands such as Glen Cook's Black Company or Calis's Crimson Eagles capture our imagination and make us want to take up sword and shield in search of treasure or prestige.
So what does it mean to be a mercenary within the Mercenaries Medieval Combat Guild? A number of other articles in this website deal with the Medieval and Combat portions of the title. Now it is time to examine the Mercenary part of the equation.
A mercenary in the MMCG may choose to be part of a Band, or group of mercenaries. Mercenary bands in the Middle Ages could range in size from six soldiers to hundreds. However, employers tended to prefer smaller bands over larger ones because of the lessened impact if a band deserted or defected. Medieval mercenary bands tended to specialize--that is, they might be made up of crossbowmen, or lancers, or heavy infantry. This is not to say that mercenaries in a single band needed to be identical in their skill sets--merely that a group of spearmen (or whatever) who trained together was seen as a valuable commodity.
Within the MMCG, a Mercenary Band may be established by an Officer (as defined within the ranks and titles section). A Mercenary Band may display its own banner and display its own insignia (as defined in the rules of heraldic display). A Mercenary Band may operate as its own independent entity on the field of battle, and is eligible to participate as a unit in events geared towards Band-and-Company-sized tactics.
An Officer may establish a Mercenary Band provided that he or she keeps a minimum of five other mercenaries (for a total of six) regularly attending practice. Mercenary Bands are encouraged to plan their own additional practice sessions if desired.
Mercenary Bands will be eligible to contract for service at Mercenary Wars and Frostwar, as well as at other possible Company-specific events. A Mercenary Band may negotiate the terms of its own contract.
A Mercenary Band may choose to develop its own internal hierarchy or positions, such as Scout, Herald, etc... as desired. These positions count towards the fulfillment of the requirements for Officer.
Clearly, those wishing to establish a Mercenary Band are encouraged to bring interested new people to practice, in hopes of gathering the necessary six for a Band.
A Mercenary Company within the MMCG is a larger entity than a Band, sometimes made of multiple bands, as well as unaffiliated mercenaries. A Mercenary Company need not meet regularly, as its scope of function lies mainly in major events.
A Company may be established by one or more Captains (that is, a Captain who has already established a Band) or it may be established by decision of the Council of Knights in response to a need for a Company for an upcoming event (such as Mercenary Wars). A Mercenary Company may display its own banner and display its own insignia (as defined in the rules of heraldic display).
Mercenary Companies shall be encouraged to contract the services of smaller Bands at Mercenary Wars and Frostwar, as well as other possible Company-specific events. The Band or Bands contracted by a Company shall be answerable to a Captain and Aide-de-Camp specific to the Company.
A Mercenary Company shall include at least: a Captain, Aide-de-Camp, Herald and Standard Bearer. These positions count towards the fulfillment of the requirements for Officer.