Author Archives: Nic

About Nic

I'm the founder of sarna.net, living in Grand Rapids, MI, and working as an independent software developer.

What’s up with Catalyst? at GenCon 2018

GenCon 2018 is almost a wrap, and Catalyst Game Labs had a What’s up with Catalyst? session where the-powers-that-be shared insights into the BattleTech product line and the future of CGL.  Present were Loren L. Coleman (owner), Randall N. Bills (managing director), Brent Evans (BattleTech line developer), John Helfers (fiction director) and others.

The group covered a lot of topics, and here are the highlights!

  • BattleTech: Legacy, an anthology, is now back in print and was supposed to be at the GenCon booth, but was not available in time.  It should be available in the next 30 days or so.
  • BattleTech: A Splinter of Hope/The Anvil (a novella omnibus) by Philip A. Lee and Blaine Lee Pardoe was available but sold out in short order.
  • The Nellus Academy Incident, a young-adult BattleTech novel by Jennifer Brozek is also available (on Amazon).
  • Audiobooks are being released for BattleTech fiction!  First up is Embers of War, narrated by Tren Sparks.  Catalyst is working towards releasing more BattleTech and Shadowrun audiobooks, and will be alternating releases between the universes. Today you can purchase the Embers of War audiobook on Amazon.
  • Reprints of BattleTech: Total Warfare are in, and were available GenCon, with the nice retro 1987 BattleTech Manual cover:
  • Reprints of the other BattleTech core rulebook are on the way, including TechManual, Tactical Operations, Strategic Operations, and A Time of War.
  • The new boxed sets were available for purchase!  BattleTech Beginner Boxed Set and BattleTech: A Game of Armored Combat both sold out by noon on Thursday.  They should be available in stores around October:
  • Shattered Fortress was released at GenCon, and is essentially part 1 of 2 of the IlClan storyline.  We can hope for part 2 at next year’s GenCon:
    Shattered Fortress To Debut At GenCon
  • New Map Packs are coming soon, and were available for preview at the GenCon booth.  Six all-new maps, “designed to be easier to use and clearer to understand than ever before“.
  • There were some cool 12-inch tall 3D-printed mechs in the booth that were being played on a 10×10′ scaled-up map:

  • This menacing, torso twisting (remote-controlled) ‘Mech greeted you at the booth:
  • Some fun energy-drinks were also available for purchase (Loren claims they taste just fine…):
  • Between now and next year, we can expect a lot of new novels (e.g. Forever Faithful by Mr. Pardoe), and more.  Check out the Upcoming Releases page for more details.
  • Loren made no additional comment on the Harmony Gold Lawsuit, and redirected everyone to read the public statement (though he said he is pretty happy with how it turned out).
  • Catalyst has been diversifying into board games (and has some neat little gems like The Duke).  Dragonfire has also been very successful, and they’re hoping they can continue the trend.  They’re working on a few new ideas!
  • Next year will be BattleTech’s 35th anniversary!  There might just be a few special things to celebrate it.
  • Catalyst will also be at PAX West, PAX Unplugged and Mech_Con later this year.

Additional booth pics:

New BattleTechGear Crowdfunded Merch – Stein & Coasters

BattleTechGear.com (from HBS) has two new crowdfunded BattleTech merchandise campaigns:

  • BattleTech Stein – ceramic pint with a really awesome metal Atlas-Skull top ($40)
  • Solaris VII Coaster Set – featuring 6 “commemorative” coasters (and tin) full of Solaris VII lore ($20)

Both products are crowdfunded — meaning if the minimum order quantity isn’t reached, the products won’t be produced.  They’re both over half-way to the minimum already!

You have until March 1st to get in on the action!

Official announcement here.

Want to write for Sarna.net?

Are you a BattleTech geek that also likes to write?

Want to cover MechWarrior Online or news about the upcoming BATTLETECH game?

Interested in sharing your thoughts and reviews on the latest products and releases?

Sarna.net is looking for a new writer or two for the News section.

If you are interested, please get ahold of Nic and share what you’d like to cover.

BattleTechGear.com

Fantastic news just in time for the holidays: Harebrained Schemes has secured a limited license from Topps to create and sell BattleTech merchandise.

They can only sell a limited number of items, so to prioritize what gets ultimately gets made, they’ve opened a crowdfunding website at BattleTechGear.com.  Only items that meet the minimum order quantity will be produced.

Check out the first four offerings.  I’m already drooling over the resin Atlas:

BattleTechGear.com KS

Interview with Jordan Weisman about the BATTLETECH game at GenCon 2016

At GenCon 2016 last weekend, we were treated to an awesome surprise: a playable Super-Pre-Alpha demo of BATTLETECH.

This game is going to be awesome.

The Super-Pre-Alpha demo was playable by anyone attending the convention, and featured a single mission where your lance attempts to capture a salvage base.  I had the opportunity to play it for a while and left feeling giddy and wanting more.  It’s exciting to see the game in such a playable state just 9 months after the Kickstarter wrapped up.

Afterward I stopped drooling over the game, I had a chance to chat with Jordan Weisman, creator of BattleTech (the table top game) and co-founder of Harebrained Schemes to talk about BATTLETECH.

BATTLETECH game

Nic Jansma (sarna.net): I spoke with Mitch Gitelman and Mike McCain of HBS last year here at GenCon 2015.  Since then, Harebrained Studios raised $2.7m in an extremely successful Kickstarter.  And only 9 months later, and you brought a playable demo to GenCon.  That’s awesome!  Your team has accomplished a lot.

Jordan Weisman: We have!  It’s exciting the way this development process has gone.

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BattleTech Kickstarter from Harebrained Schemes starts Sep 29 2015 – Let’s ALPHA STRIKE it

Harebrained Schemes has just announced the date of their BATTLETECH Kickstarter:

September 29, 2015 @ 10:00am PDT

They’re hoping to Alpha Strike the Kickstarter by getting as much support as they can within the first hour of the Kickstarter going live:

BATTLETECH-Kickstarter-Invasion-1920x1080

I, for one, am very excited!  Looking forward to seeing what the rewards are at each level.

Interview with Harebrained Schemes about the upcoming BATTLETECH Kickstarter

A few weeks ago at GenCon, I sat down with Mitch Gitelman and Mike McCain of Harebrained Schemes.  That week, HBS had announced an upcoming kickstarter for BATTLETECH – tactical ‘Mech combat for the PC.

Needless to say the community was pretty excited, and I was lucky enough to get some time with the two of them to ask what BATTLETECH will look like.

BATTLETECH_01_HBS-600x125

Nic Jansma: Can you both give me a little intro into who you are, and what your day-to-day role at Harebrained Schemes is?

Mike McCain: I’m Mike McCain. I’m one of the creative directors here at HBS, on BattleTech, and just finishing up Shadowrun Hong Kong with Mitch here.  I’m co-directing BATTLETECH with Jordan.

Mitch Gitelman: My name is Mitch Gitelman.  I’m the cofounder and studio manager of HBS, and I also make games.

Nic: I obviously saw your announcement earlier this week. Took me by surprise!  I’ll be honest, I’m really excited for it.  I know you guys have done a great job with Shadowrun, and have Jordan behind you.  And judging by the comments on Sarna and on Facebook, it sounds like the community as well is just as excited to see what this could be.  So we’re really getting behind you guys.

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3rd Annual MWO 24hr Livestream Charity Event July 2nd

Impy and NGNGTv are hosting the 3rd Annual RJC Memorial 24 hour Charity Livestream benefiting the Autism Science Foundation on July 2nd starting at 7:00 pm EST.

Over the last two years, they’ve raised over $24,000 and this year’s goal is to reach $20,000 alone!

3rd Annual RJC Memorial 24 hour Charity Livestream

3rd Annual RJC Memorial 24 hour Charity Livestream