BattleCorps is a subscription-based website that features new, original BattleTech fiction, game scenarios and "news" stories that add flavor to the fictional universe (including new units or variants), as well as product previews and other downloads. In this fashion, it is essentially a subscription-based online magazine. Its content is fully canonical for the BattleTech universe, except for certain individual pieces of fiction such as April Fools jokes.
Starting with The Corps in 2008, BattleCorps has been publishing print anthologies typically containing a selection of BattleCorps short stories that were published within a given year. (See also: List of BattleTech novels#BattleCorps print anthologies)
The last story published via BattleCorps (so far) was Permanent Losses, published on 4 December 2016. The BattleCorps site remained in place until the BattleTech web presence moved to another server between 27 June and 11 July 2017, and has been offline since. There was no official announcement regarding its closing.
BattleCorps is owned and run by InMediaRes Productions LLC, the parent company of Catalyst Game Labs. InMediaRes was founded in 2003 by Loren and Heather Coleman with the expressed purpose of licensing the right to publish new BattleTech fiction to the Internet from WizKids. WizKids granted this license to IMR in the fall of 2003, which directly led to the creation of BattleCorps in August 2004.
BattleCorps provides most of its content in the form of PDF files for download. Individual special stories or other pieces of fiction aside, these files have a largely uniform layout. Until October 2012 they used to have a sidebar on the left, usually displaying the protagonist's House or unit crest; sometimes, artwork is also included. An alternate printer-friendly file is usually provided that is reduced to black-and-white text. This format had roughly 350 words per (full) page of text.
With the publication of the first part of The Eagle's Plunge on 04 October 2012, the layout was changed for new fiction, including ongoing serials (namely, The Nellus Academy Incident). The new format resembles the layout of BattleTech fiction in print in the various contemporary rulebooks and sourcebooks and features a full-color frame and appropriate BattleTech era logo, and double-column print. This new format has approximately twice the word count per page.
Subscribers automatically have access to all new files released for the duration of their subscription, including those from a previous subscription if an inactive account is reactivated. Blitzkrieg publications are also ported to BattleCorps (in PDF format) for subscribers shortly after publication.
The website also features a forum for subscribers.
InMediaRes maintains an online store known as the BattleShop as part of the BattleCorps website. It is not required to be a BattleCorps subscriber to buy from BattleShop, but BattleCorps subscribers automatically receive a flat 5% discount and some products, namely old BattleCorps fiction, are only for sale to current subscribers.
Besides selling current BattleTech and Shadowrun products, both print and PDF and some of them BattleCorps-exclusive, BattleShop carries numerous out-of-print products in the form of searchable PDF files generated from scans of the books. For legal reasons, unseen artwork was removed from the PDF files, in some cases including the product cover.
BattleCorps carries a number of free PDF products including game aids such as counters, and various April Fools publications.
New or returning BattleCorps members can also purchase BattleCorps publications that were published at a time when they were not subscribing; back fiction is only available to members with a current subscription however.
As of 29 November 2016 the BattleShop was switched over to the online Catalyst Game Labs Store.
Besides the fiction it provides, the BattleCorps site maintains a news page called Interstellar News Network (INN). The news section header reads "News from the frontlines".
The overview with the individual messages' headers and "want to know more?" links is not restricted, but most (although not all) newscasts are truncated when an unregistered user attempts to open them, with an invitation to join BattleCorps and purchase a subscription.
The news section is divided into six different "channels", with one of six channel logos attached to each news article accordingly, but the distinction is rather blurred. With the example of MilSpec, all channels contain a mixture of in-universe and out-of-universe news covering a broad range of topics. The channels are as follows:
- see also: List of MilSpecs articles
Arts and Leisure
The former category presents reviews of in-universe books, and in-universe "Art and Leisure" news attributed to in-universe news services such as Stellar Pulse Today, Savannah Guardian and Entertainment Daily.
The latter category is similar to the out-of-universe articles on the General channel.
Solaris Broadcasting Co.
Isle of the BlessedIsle of the Blessed channel gave the personal logs of people involved in the fighting for New Avalon during the Jihad: Precentor Geoffrey Zucker, Corean Enterprises test pilot Robert Doucette, and an unnamed Word of Blake MechWarrior with the 44th Shadow Division.
The forum contains a download section with arts and previews. Like the news section, it is fully accessible to active subscribers, i.e. irrespective of whether or not a news item or downloadable artwork was published during their subscription.
Several stories are available from the site for free download to non-subscribers as a teaser. These include:
- Forgotten Worlds (Prologue and Part I of The Hunt for Jardine), by Herbert A. Beas II
- The Heart of Dixie, by Blaine Pardoe
- The Last Full Measure, by Kevin Killiany
- Of War and Peace and Cherry Trees, by Steven Mohan Jr.
- En Passant, by Phaedra M. Weldon
- Art of the Deal, by Loren L. Coleman
There is also a BattleCorps Fiction Sampler provided for free download from the main BattleTech website including three of the aforementioned teaser stories, as well as two others and the first chapter of a third.
The Battle Corps
Many BattleCorps subscribers take part in the BattleCorps Regiment, a group that posts pictures of painted miniatures and roleplays through the forum. This group was canonized as a mercenary unit, The Battle Corps.
- InMediaRes Productions, LLC and WizKids, Inc in talks for rights to publish Classic BattleTech fiction
- BattleCorps: InMediaRes Productions, LLC