Catalyst Demo Team
Although an overlap exists, they are not the same as the CGL factchecker group nor are they typically CGL employees.
The group as such was set up by FanPro as the FanPro Commandos shortly after FanPro had acquired the full license for what was then "Classic BattleTech". In the post-FanPro era, after CGL took over the BattleTech license, the concept was continued, with the demo group first dubbed the Catalyst Commandos and later Catalyst Agents.
The FanPro Commandos had a webzine called Commando Quarterly that featured largely in-character content in a similar fashion to the BattleTechnology magazine of old, including "Worldbook" articles, in-character ads and communication bulletins, short stories and fiction, essays, and scenarios. Later issues also included Shadowrun content.
The magazine was available for free download via the (now defunct) FanPro Commando website.
From 2002 through 2008 the FanPro Commandos and subsequent Demo groups hosted a number of worldwide events where fans could partake in scenarios and, through gameplay, determine the canonical outcome of the situation within the BattleTech universe. After 2008 this stopped, until the Catalyst Demo Team resumed the Word Wide Events in 2017.
The Battle of Monte DiabloEdit
The Battle of Monte Diablo was run on 2 March 2002 as the inaugural FanPro Commando Worldwide Event. It focuses on a non-pivotal battle during the FedCom Civil War, because FanPro did not want to have an unexpected scenario outcome affect the predetermined storyline.
Trial of RetributionEdit
Trial of Retribution was originally scheduled to be run on 1 February 2003, the day that the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated. The scenario features a space battle (the attack against a Clan Ghost Bear Leviathan-class WarShip under still construction), and Scott "Clutch" Taylor postponed it because he did not want the Commandos to be running games featuring exploding spaceships just hours after the Columbia disaster. The event was rescheduled for 8 February 2003.
FanPro had limited edition Leviathan miniatures sculpted and sent to each Commando who ran the game—one for the game winner and one for the Commando.
Lawyers, Guns, & MoneyEdit
Lawyers, Guns, & Money was run on May 24, 2003. It featured in-fighting among mercenary units on Epsilon Eridani over the discovery of a lostech treasure. Like the 2002 event, it was an isolated event largely irrelevant to the larger storyline, so that the outcome could be canonized with no problems.
Kings & PawnsEdit
Operation Higashikuni was run at GenCon in 2007. It featured the mercenary coalition assembled by Chandrasekhar Kurita on Arcturus under surprise attack from the Word of Blake's 40th Shadow Division, with the Blakists trying to kill Kurita or reclaim the journal of Victoria Parrdeau he had acquired, in an attempt to keep him from discovering sensitive information (such as the location of the secret "Ruins of Gabriel" shipyard).
Operation Kabutomushi, the 2008 GenCon event, was the attack by Kurita's coalition forces against the Ruins of Gabriel in the Odessa system, a naval battle between WarShip fleets. The player-run event unexpectedly ended with a Word of Blake victory, crushing Chandrasekhar Kurita's forces in their first battle after having been given a slew of sourcebook fiction and BattleCorps stories building them up as an elite anti-Blakist strike force. Canonizing this defeat was said to have upset the timeline as it had been plotted out by the developers, and necessitated some changes. A subsequent second attack was written as having been successful, bringing the storyline back on track with only relatively minor changes.
Scorched Earth was a 2017 World Wide Event created and run by the Catalyst Demo Team to bring back the World Wide Events. It was explicitly noted, however, that the Demo Team had created this event with no endorsement from CGL and that it thus did not fulfill the criteria for a canonical event.
The scenario recreated the attack of Clan Wolf against the Free Rasalhague Republic planet of New Oslo during the Clan Invasion of 3050. It was somewhat broader in scope than previous events, including tabletop scenarios for classic boardgame BattleTech as well as Alpha Strike, and ready-to-run roleplaying scenarios for A Time of War.