Expeditionary Force by Craig Alanson Wiki
Expeditionary Force by Craig Alanson Wiki

The Merry Band of Pirates

Originally a ragtag bunch of UNEF soldiers, over time The Merry Band of Pirates become a force to be reckoned with.

At the beginning of the events of Spec Ops, the Pirates had 46 Kristang Powered Armor Suits (42 of which were serviceable) and 36 Thuranin Combat Robots (Combots).

They adopt a mission insignia of a paramecium with an eye patch, they have an official motto of "Trust the Awesomeness".[1] However, Skippy the Magnificent believes that the motto should be "Striving for Competence".

The Merry Band of Pirates have a habit of running up against the "Law of Unintended Consequences". Any time a seemingly impossible situation arises, it's just another Tuesday for the Pirates.

By the events of ExForce 4: Black Ops, Only Joe, Chang Kong, Renee Giraud, Fal Desai, Jennifer Simms and Margaret Adams were from the original crew that escaped from Paradise.


When, then Colonel, Joe Bishop met Skippy and after rescuing Marine Staff Sergeant Margaret Adams, Indian Captain Fal Desai and Chinese Lieutenant Colonel Chang Kong from Ruhar captivity, they make their way to a UNEF base on Paradise and recruit 20 more UNEF military personnel to commandeer a Kristang frigate (The Flower) and then a Thuranin Star Carrier (they name the Flying Dutchman). Joe and Skippy name the group the Merry Band of Pirates.[2]

Changes in Leadership

Originally Commanded by Joe Bishop from the time the Merry Band of Pirates were formed during the events of Columbus Day until the end of the Spec Ops mission.

At the beginning of the events of Paradise, Hans Chotek is assigned by the UN as leader of the entire mission. However, with Joe acting as Captain of the Flying Dutchman in Military situations due to Skippy laying out an ultimatum.

Joe re-assumes Command of the Merry Band of Pirates and the Dutchman for the Renegades mission.

Hans Chotek and a "Committee" of three other Bureaucrats (The Three Stooges) are placed in charge of the Armageddon mission by the UN.

During the events of Armageddon, Joe re-assumes Command of the Merry Band of Pirates and the Dutchman after leaving Hans Chotek and the Three Stooges on the beta site, Avalon.

Joe has remained in command though the events of Valkyrie, Critical Mass, Brushfire and Breakaway.

Notable Achievements

The section(s) below SCHMAYBE includes Spoilers.

Columbus Day

Spec Ops


Black Ops

  • Preventing the Kristang from buying a ride to Earth from the Ruhar by faking an attack on the Ruhar Negotiating Team using abandoned Kristang frigates.
  • Helping inflict the devastating defeat of a Thuranin fleet by providing Jeraptha Fleet Intelligence high-level intel on an impending Thuranin attack.
  • Starting a Kristang civil war.

Zero Hour

  • Destroying Thuranin ships by plotting a jump through an Elder wormhole.
  • Breaking the aforementioned wormhole.
  • Destroying a Maxolhx ship by creating a wormhole inside the Maxolhx ship while the Guardians' damping field is still active.
  • Capturing a Maxolhx while at the Roach Motel.



  • Prevented Earth's UNEF from capturing the Flying Dutchman.
  • Acquiring a Maxolhx Panther dropship.
  • Acquiring "Pixies" from an ultra-secure Maxolhx site and reprogramming them.
  • Discovering an Elder's corpse.
  • Destroying two Maxolhx ships. One by disrupting a jump wormhole and the other by vibrating it apart.

Homefront (Audio Drama)

  • Helping stop Kristang Achakai, who were hibernating in the outer Solar System, from attacking Earth.
  • Commandeering of another Kristang troop transport, "Ice Cold Dagger to the Heart" (renamed the Dagger).


  • Locating humanity's beta site (Avalon) in the Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy.[3]
  • Framing the Bosphuraq for an attack on the Maxolhx by leaving debris from Bosphuraq ships.
  • Attacking a Bosphuraq research system modifying the star to suggest the Bosphuraq had been working on spacetime weapons.
  • Slicing apart two Maxolhx Extinction-Class Battlecruisers and a Maxolhx Heavy Cruiser to build the Valkyrie and upgrade the Flying Dutchman.
  • Obtaining Vacuum Power Multipliers (VPMs) from a Maxolhx station (though, at a great cost).


  • Diverting a Maxolhx battle group from Earth by jumping them outside the Milky Way.
  • Destroying over fifty Maxolhx ships over a short period of time while convincing the Maxolhx that it was a Bosphuraq-captured highly modified Maxolhx battleship (referred to as the ghost ship) doing all the damage.
  • Rescuing hundreds of abducted humans (including children) from the Kristang, who were planing to use them as bio-weapons.

Critical Mass

  • Preventing the native Maxolhx AI on Valkyrie from killing all the humans on board and convincing it to join them (the native AI was ultimately destroyed by a Maxolhx "kill swicth").
  • Defeating a native Maxolhx AI created worm from killing Nagatha Christie and destroying the Dutchman.
  • Rescuing Colonel Joseph Bishop from the Thuranin and Kristang.
  • Finding Elder Weapons in the Avalon system.
  • Planting cloaked Elder Weapons all over Rindhalu and Maxolhx territory and installing an activation timer on them.
  • Preventing a large Maxolhx Battlegroup from annihilating Earth, sending them running with their tail between their legs.
  • Defeating a Maxolhx Battlegroup near the Kristang planet Tohmaran.
  • Rescuing the Mavericks from a Maxolhx death sentence.


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Past and Present members

Original Members 1st mentioned in Columbus Day:
Joseph Bishop Chang Kong Margaret Adams Fal Desai
Skippy The Magnificent Tamara Jennifer Simms Renee Giraud Yu Qishan
Joy Chung Reginald Thompson Randy Putri Asok Putri
Private Darzi Arun Kurien Private Marsden Matheson
Private Randall Private Walorski Unnamed U.S. Army Sergeant Unnamed U.S. Army Specialist
Unnamed U.S. Army soldier Unnamed British Army Private (Co-Pilot) Unnamed British Army Private Unnamed People's Liberation Army soldier
Unnamed People's Liberation Army soldier

1st mentioned in Zero Hour:
Chan Wu Jinhai

1st mentioned in Mavericks:
Dr. Reinfall

1st mentioned in Homefront:
Brock Steel

1st mentioned in Armageddon:

1st mentioned in Valkyrie:
Lamar Greene Commandant Fabron Capitane Camille Durand

1st mentioned in Critical Mass:
Bilby Petty Officer Schmidt Sergeant Giselle Montand Staff Sergeant Destiny Raven
Alvarez Lt. DeShawn Ray

1st mentioned in Brushfire:
Captain Nakamura Major Shepard Havildar Chaudry Staff Sergeant Jiang

1st mentioned in Breakaway:
Choi Lieutenant Ling Petty Officer Romero

1st mentioned in Fallout: