Weekend Funny: Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries.

This weekend funny comes courtesy of a comment from last weeks. Looking at the darker (and even funnier side) of the “Rules of Combat”, comic Howard Taylor has been slowly revealing the “Seventy Maxims.” in his epic space operate Schlock Mercenary.

Thanks JimMarch!


Quoted Verbatim from the Schlock Mercenary Wiki:


The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries is a popular handbook in the Schlock Mercenary universe. The book’s maxims are often quoted by Tagon, as well as other characters. The following is a list of the maxims found in Schlock Mercenary, ordered by maxim number.

1. Pillage, then burn.[1]
2. A Sergeant in motion outranks a Lieutenant who doesn’t know what’s going on.[2]
3. An ordnance technician at a dead run outranks everybody.[3]
4. Close air support covereth a multitude of sins.[4]
5. Close air support and friendly fire should be easier to tell apart.[5]
6. If violence wasn’t your last resort, you failed to resort to enough of it. [6]
7. If the food is good enough, the grunts will stop complaining about the incoming fire.[7]
8. Mockery and derision have their place. Usually, it’s on the far side of the airlock.[8]
9. Never turn your back on an enemy. [9]
10. Sometimes the only way out is through. . . through the hull.[10]
11. Everything is air-droppable at least once. [11]
12. A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head. [8]
13. Do unto others. [9]
14. “Mad Science” means never stopping to ask “what’s the worst thing that could happen?” [12]
15. Only you can prevent friendly fire. [13]
16. Your name is in the mouth of others: be sure it has teeth. [8]
17. The longer everything goes according to plan, the bigger the impending disaster. [14]
18. If the officers are leading from in front, watch out for an attack from the rear. [15]
19. The world is richer when you turn enemies into friends, but that’s not the same as you being richer.
20. If you’re not willing to shell your own position, you’re not willing to win. [16]
21. Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Take his fish away and tell him he’s lucky just to be alive, and he’ll figure out how to catch another one for you to take tomorrow. [17]
22. If you can see the whites of their eyes, somebody’s done something wrong. [18]
23. The company mess and friendly fire should be easier to tell apart
24. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a big gun. [19]
25. If the damage you do is covered by a manufacturers warranty, you didn’t do enough damage.
27. Don’t be afraid to be the first to resort to violence.[20]
28. If the price of collateral damage is high enough, you might be able to get paid for bringing ammunition home with you. [21]
29. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy’s enemy. No more. No less.[20]
30. A little trust goes a long way. The less you use, the further you’ll go.[20]
31. Only cheaters prosper.[22]
32. Anything is amphibious if you can get it back out of the water.[23]
33. If you’re leaving tracks, you’re being followed.
34. If you’re leaving scorch-marks, you need a bigger gun.[24]
35. That which does not kill you has made a tactical error.[25]
36. When the going gets tough, the tough call for close air support.[26]
37. There is no ‘overkill.’ There is only ‘open fire’ and ‘I need to reload.’[27]
38. Just because it’s easy for you doesn’t mean it can’t be hard on your clients.[28]
41. “Do you have a backup?” means “I can’t fix this.” [29]
44. If it will blow a hole in the ground, it will double as an entrenching tool. [30]
47. Don’t expect the enemy to cooperate in the creation of your dream engagement.[31]

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • cram


    • MichaelZWilliamson

      First retard in the thread? Yes.

  • Old Goat Patrol

    Thank you for pointing me to the http://www.schlockmercenary.com blog. Now I have 14(?) years of comics and book reviews to go through.

    • jimmarch

      You’ll see that his abilities as an artist climb considerably, but the level of wit started extremely high even when the drawings were crap (sometimes literally – the Sarge himself looked like a giant turd…hmmm…OK, well that didn’t change…).

      I want to put a small sound chip module into Maurice’s grip panels so it can do an Ominous Humm on draw. That or a rising capacitor whine tone, I haven’t decided yet…

      • Beaumont

        I would vote for the rising cap tone, since it signifies that something explosive is about to happen.

        • jimmarch

          Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking.

          Sound chips on a board with a watch battery and small speaker are being made in bulk for use in greeting cards and the like. They’d be near-perfect.

    • Justin Low

      Trust me, you’re in for some long nights! It is, bar none, the funniest and best written web comic I’ve run across. The plot lines are well thought out and the characters are interesting, too.
      Plus, as a bonus, it led me to reading John Ringo’s work (an unofficial, though Taylor approved, history of the humans introduction to the universe at large) trust me, you’ll love both.

    • Michel_T

      And they even have a useful app if you want to read (the archives) on your mobile device!

    • Hinermad

      When you’re done, go back and re-read it. A lot of stuff that seemed random the first time through will suddenly make perfect sense.

  • Chipsa

    As a note: Taylor hasn’t missed an update. Ever.

  • Darrell Allen
  • Mazryonh

    “There is no overkill”–sure, until you “collaterally damage” something that isn’t considered acceptable by your superiors or the public, or invite the wrong kind of escalation from the enemy (such as nuclear war).

    As for “There is only ‘Open Fire’ and ‘Time to Reload'”, that’s true until you run out of ammunition, then it’s not so funny anymore. Is there at least a commentary section detailing the “tactical reality” behind the jokes? After all, it can be a delicate balancing act between carrying “enough” ammunition, enough other supplies, and retaining enough mobility if, just for the sake of argument, you’re in “the sandbox” on a foot patrol.

    • sauerquint

      You need a beer or something?