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The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries

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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.[16]
20. If you're not willing to shell your own position, you're not willing to win. [17]
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. [18]
22. If you can see the whites of their eyes, somebody's done something wrong. [19]
23. The company mess and friendly fire should be easier to tell apart [20]
24. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a big gun. [21]
25. If the damage you do is covered by a manufacturers warranty, you didn't do enough damage.[22]
27. Don't be afraid to be the first to resort to violence.[23]
28. If the price of collateral damage is high enough, you might be able to get paid for bringing ammunition home with you. [24]
29. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less.[23]
30. A little trust goes a long way. The less you use, the further you'll go.[23]
31. Only cheaters prosper.[25]
32. Anything is amphibious if you can get it back out of the water.[26]
33. If you're leaving tracks, you're being followed.[27]
34. If you’re leaving scorch-marks, you need a bigger gun.[28]
35. That which does not kill you has made a tactical error.[29]
36. When the going gets tough, the tough call for close air support.[30]
37. There is no 'overkill.' There is only 'open fire' and 'I need to reload.'[31]
38. Just because it's easy for you doesn't mean it can't be hard on your clients.[32]
39. There is a difference between spare parts and extra [parts].[33]
40. Not all good news is enemy action. [34]
41. “Do you have a backup?” means “I can’t fix this.” [35]
42. "They'll never expect this" means "I want to try something stupid."
43. If it's stupid and it works, it's still stupid and you're lucky.
44. If it will blow a hole in the ground, it will double as an entrenching tool. [36]
45. The size of the combat bonus is inversely proportional to the likelihood of surviving to collect it. [2015 Calendar]
46. Don’t try to save money by conserving ammunition.
47. Don't expect the enemy to cooperate in the creation of your dream engagement.[37]
48. If it ain't broke, it hasn't been issued to the infantry. [2015 Calendar]
49. Every client is one missed payment away from becoming a target.[38]
50. Every target is one bribe away from becoming a client. (Number not locked)
51. Let them see you sharpen the sword before you fall on it.[39]
52. The army you've got is never the army you want [2014-02-22]. (Number not locked)
53. The intel you've got is never the intel you want [2014-02-22]. (Number Not Locked)
54. The best way to win a one-on-one fight is to be the third to arrive.
59. "Two wrongs is probably not going to be enough." (22 March 2016 )
61. Don't bring big grenades into small rooms. (18 Sept 2016)
64. An ounce of sniper is worth a pound of suppressing fire.
68. Negotiating from a position of strength does not mean you shouldn’t also negotiate from a position near the exits.
70. Failure is not an option - it is mandatory. The option is whether or not to let failure be the last thing you do. (18 Sept 2016)

Behind the ScenesEdit

The book was originally called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, but in January 2011, Howard Tayler received a cease and desist letter from Franklin Covey, stating that Franklin Covey has a trademark on the phrase "7 Habits". Tayler then edited all dialog in the strip that mentioned the book's title or its rules, in what he called the Great Retcon of 2011.


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