Category Archives: Catalyst Game Labs

Clan Invasion Approaches $2 Million Stretch Goal, Teases UrbanMech Plushie

 

UrbanMech

So the Clan Invasion is barreling towards the $2 million milestone with about $50,000 to go as of the time of this writing (it will almost certainly be higher by the time this gets published, and hopefully be over the $2 million threshold). 

I think it’s safe to safe to say that this Kickstarter has been far more successful than anyone could have hoped. But in the waning hours of this crowdsourcing project, I come to you with a final desperate plea: we have to get over the $2 million mark.

Why? Two words: Plush. UrbanMechs.

In the utterly insane pace that this Kickstarter has been climbing, Catalyst has been adding more and more stretch goals. When it passed $1,500,000, backers unlocked the coveted Double Forces Rapid Redeployment, which allowed them to select what Star/Lance/Level II pack they’d prefer to receive rather than merely doubling whatever Star/Lance/Level II was unlocked at their backer level.

Then at $1,875,000, backers unlocked the “Beard-Off Rematch” which will see bearded Catalyst and Harebrained Schemes team members compete in a live-streamed tabletop game of BattleTech where the losers will ceremoniously remove their beards.

But the $2,000,000 mark is the true prize. The creme de la creme, the piece de resistance, the other-French-words-that-have-great-meaning-but-I-forget, is the UrbanMech plush toy.

I want it. I wasn’t going to back this Kickstarter. Even though I love BattleTech and certainly love the new designs that Catalyst has put out, I don’t really do much tabletop gaming. Worse, I don’t really have a whole lot of shelf space to display miniatures on, as pretty as they may be. 

But I don’t care. I will make space for an UrbanMech plush toy. I will store everything else in a box if I can cuddle an UrbanMech to sleep at night. I WILL REMOVE EVERY ANCILLARY PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY CONNECTED TO MY COMPUTER IN ORDER TO MAKE SPACE ON MY DESK IN ORDER TO BASK IN THE GLORY OF A PLUSH URBANMECH.

I have backed the Clan Invasion Kickstarter at the $75 USD level (which works out to something like $15,000 Canadian) in order to make this dream come true. I implore you all to do the same. If you have donated, up your donation. Convince your friends to donate, even if they’re not BattleTech fans. We have just two days left. Together, we can make the plush UrbanMech a reality.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

What’s up with Catalyst? at GenCon 2019

With GenCon 2019 behind us, I can share a few tidbits from the Catalyst Game Labs crew via their What’s up with Catalyst? session.

Present were John Helfers (fiction director), Bryn Bills (Leviathans line developer), Randall N. Bills (managing director), Loren L. Coleman (owner), Brent Evans (BattleTech line developer), and Jason Hardy (Shadowrun line developer).

Catalyst Game Labs crew

Highlights:

Additional booth and product pics:

The session was recorded! Click below to watch on YouTube:

GenCon 2019 What's up with CGL

Clan Invasion Boxed Set Funded In 7 Freakin’ Minutes, Catalyst Frantically Throwing Up Stretch Goals

Grendel

Catalyst’s Clan Invasion Kickstarter was fully funded in 7 freakin’ minutes. That’s pretty amazing. Then they hit all their stretch goals in just 20 minutes, resulting in Catalyst’s top brass frantically trying to create stretch goals to keep the momentum going. That momentum seems to show no sign of slowing down, even after having reached their stretch goal of $1 million on July 24th.

Currently, the Clan Invasion Kickstarter is sitting at $1.134 million as of the time of this writing, but that number is climbing so fast that I’m certain it will be out of date by the time this story gets printed.

The benefit of all this incredible support is an ever-expanding list of new ‘Mechs being added to other both Clan and Inner Sphere ‘Mech packs. You’ll have to go to the Kickstarter for the full listing, but a few standouts include a new Clan Fire Star pack with a Kit Fox, Cougar, Fire Moth, Nova Cat, and Warhawk. These, like every ‘Mech to be released here, are all brand new sculpts with Catalyst teasing their updated designs on both the Kickstarter page as well as their Twitter account. 

There’s also an Inner Sphere Direct Fire lance which includes an Atlas, Marauder II, Orion, and Crusader. Just before hitting the $1 million mark, a few unlocked stretch goals brought a pair of ComStar Level IIs, the first of which brings a King Crab, Highlander, Black Knight, Exterminator, Hermes, and Mercury, while the second contains a Crockett, Flashman, Guillotine, Lancelot, Crab, and Mongoose

If you didn’t read your favorite ‘Mech in the above paragraphs, don’t fret–it’s probably somewhere in the ever-expanding list of stretch goals. Head to the Kickstarter page to see what else might be in store and maybe make a pledge of your own to grab your ride in miniature form.

With 19 days left to go, the $1.5 million stretch goal seems totally doable, and $2 million isn’t outside the realm of possibility. There’s some really need stuff left to unlock, including a charity event stream of MechWarrior 5 and the potential to choose two different ‘Mech packs instead of just getting one for eligible backers. 

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

(UPDATE: Apparently a lot of these stretch goal ‘Mech packs have already changed. This Kickstarter is a very living project. The latest changes have been summarized on this Reddit thread courtesy of Cataphract40, but they could change even more over the next 2-and-a-half weeks.)

stay syrupy

 

Clan Invasion Boxed Set Kickstarter Is Live!

courtesy of Catalyst Game Labs

Hey everyone! The Clan Invasion boxed set Kickstarter is live. Looks like it’s already well past its funding goal and Catalyst is busy making up stretch goals like a bunch of madmen. You should head on over there and show your support if you haven’t already.

We’ll have more coverage on this madness after the dust clears a bit. Promise.

Clan Invasion Box Set ‘Mechs Revealed!

You’re gonna love the news here, folks! Catalyst has revealed the ‘Mechs to be included in the upcoming BattleTech: Clan Invasion boxed set Kickstarter, and we’ve got a good spread on our hands.

The news comes from a recent update on the Catalyst website that gave us a sneak peek on what to expect. In addition to the box and rulebook art (which we saw in the earlier Kickstarter announcement), Catalyst has given us the five ‘Mechs to be included in the box set, and a few of them are personal favorites.

Starting with the Nova (or Blackhawk, to you Spheroids in the audience). I’ve loved the Nova since the early days for its pug-nosed and fireplug stance. The lack of torso to twist was never really a big deal, especially when considering the Prime configuration has enough firepower to core an assault ‘Mech in a single blast.

But more than that, the Nova appeals to my love of workhorse line ‘Mechs. The Nova was cheap (at least, cheap in terms of Clan OmniMechs) and fielded by almost every Clan in the Kerensky Cluster. It could fulfill almost any role and was never looked down upon by Clan warriors.

Next we have the Grundel–sorry, I mean the Grendel. This is perhaps my favorite Clan ‘Mech. As with the Nova, it’s a workhorse design fielded by many Clans, but unlike the Nova, it was a late addition to the Clan Invasion of the Inner Sphere.

The Grendel was created by Clan Diamond Shark and sold directly to other Clans looking to refill their touman before the Battle of Tukayyid. It was more common to find in Clan Smoke Jaguar, which had lost more machines in its drive to Terra than competing invading Clans due to their straight-forward and unwavering combat style.

Clan-Invasion-Star-All-Five - via Catalyst

What I love most about the Grendel is that it’s fast, powerful, and incredibly maneuverable. Seven jump jets let it jump over almost any obstacle, while its various loadouts allow it to strike hard at any range. If I had to pick any Clan ‘Mech of the 3050-era as my favorite, it would be the Grendel.

Frankly, it’s a little surprising for the Grendel to be included over something like the Ice Ferret or Viper. The Grendel didn’t take part in the initial invasion and really didn’t show up until Tukayyid. As much as I love the design and think it could beat a Ferret or Viper any day of the week, it seems inappropriate to include in a box set themed for the Clan Invasion.

Then again, there are still more than a few ‘Mechs left unaccounted for, so perhaps the Ice Ferret and Viper will still make an appearance.

Anyway, next up is the Adder, another surprise that I totally forgot about when the Clan Invasion was first announced. Twin ER PPCs make it quite the potent little ‘Mech and it’s definitely tougher than the Kit Fox, which was another common light design.

Next is the Timber Wolf, the quintessential Clan ‘Mech and poster child for Clan tech ever since the original TRO: 3050 dropped. And then there was MechWarrior 2 and MechWarrior 3 which again used the Timber Wolf for their marketing.

I get that it’s a favorite design for a lot of folks out there, but to me, the Timby is just totally overused. Give me the Summoner, the Hellbringer, or even the Linebacker over the Timber Wolf. But I can’t fault Catalyst for giving the fans what they want, and there’s no denying the Timber Wolf is a strong machine.

Clan Invasion

Finally, the Executioner. I’m not a fan of assault ‘Mechs in general, but I respect the Executioner for its speed and jump capacity. It’s out-gunned by many designs of equal weight, but nothing is able to withstand a blow and keep on coming than an Executioner. Perhaps best of all, it can keep up with the rush of smaller, faster designs thanks to its MASC. At least, for a little while anyway.

Catalyst has a full list of what you get with the Clan Invasion boxed set, including the 15-page Clan Primer, all-new 24-page novella, and Alpha Strike cards for the give designs mentioned. We also have a start date for the Kickstarter, which goes live on Wednesday, July 17th at 1 PM EST.

Head on over to the Catalyst site for the full deets. And maybe one of them can ship me the Grendel model before anyone else gets one. I’ve got a brother who would love to get his hands on one of these to paint ‘em up, and maybe do one for me too.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

Catalyst Announces New Kickstarter To Bring Clan Invasion To New Box Sets

Timber Wolf

It looks like the new box sets Catalyst released earlier this year (technically last year, but they got a little held up) sold pretty well. So well, in fact, that not even six months later Catalyst is planning a big expansion. And there’s only one thing that could make an even bigger splash than the arrival of the new box sets.

Clan-Invasion-box-render

Is it the Clans? It’s the Clans, isn’t it? It’s totally the Clans.

Yes, the Clan Invasion is about to come to BattleTech: A Game Of Armored Combat. Only it won’t be coming in the same way the box did. Catalyst will be paying for BattleTech’s first expansion by crowdfunding it on Kickstarter, which is another first for the BattleTech board game.

As you’d expect, the Clan Invasion will add brand new Clan ‘Mech models redesigned in the same awesome way as with the original box set’s minis. According to Catalyst’s recent update, the new ‘Mechs will hold “to the spirit of their original design while embracing a modern aesthetic.”

So what do we know so far? First, there will be the core Clan Invasion expansion, which will include 5 new minis, one of which is the iconic Timber Wolf (or Mad Cat, if you’re a Spheroid). This expansion will also contain added documentation for the new Clan tech, new maps, “and more.” 

courtesy of Catalyst Games

Next will be two smaller Clan expansion packs modeled after a Clan star. The Command Star Expansion was pictured on Catalyst’s page and looks to include a Summoner (Thor), Shadow Cat, Mist Lynx (Koshi), Dire Wolf (Daishi), and Stormcrow (Ryoken). The Attack Star Expansion wasn’t pictured, but we’re told it contains a Warhawk (Masakari) and a Nova Cat, as well as three more.

That leaves a lot of Invasion-era ‘Mechs unaccounted for. Off the top of my head, there’s the Fire Moth (Dasher), Kit Fox (Uller), Nova (Black Hawk), Viper (Dragonfly), Mad Dog (Vulture), Hellbringer (Loki), Ice Ferret (Fenris), Gargoyle (Man O’ War), and Executioner (Gladiator), which conveniently would slot into the 9 Clan ‘Mechs still to be confirmed in the Clan expansion.

courtesy of Catalyst Games

As much as people will be excited for the Clans, we know they’ll be equally excited (if not more excited) to see more Unseen ‘Mechs return to BattleTech. Two Inner Sphere lances will feature lost designs, with the Command Lance shown to include the Marauder, Archer, Valkyrie, and Stinger, while the Attack Lance is said to have the Phoenix Hawk and Warhammer.

Still no sign of the Rifleman, but maybe it’ll be one of the other two chassis in the Attack Lance.

The Kickstarter starts on July 17th, and will include stretch goals for even more Inner Sphere and Clan ‘Mechs. There will also be other stuff, such as “exciting new BattleTech merchandise, the latest rulebooks, sourcebooks, boxed sets, and more!” As expected, details are scant on what will fit where, but you can expect to find out more (and likely discover the full roster of ‘Mech designs) once the Kickstarter begins next month.

For more details, check out Catalyst’s webpage here.

And as always, MechWarrior: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

Catalyst Releases New Map Pack, New Fiction From Michael Stackpole In March Update

Catalyst Releases New Map Pack, New Fiction From Michael Stackpole In March Update

Catalyst has announced more new products to continue BattleTech’s 35th-anniversary celebrations.

Hello again, ‘Mech fans! We’re back with another update from Catalyst Games as they’ve announced new products to add to the successful release of the latest box sets, starting with the previously mentioned new map packs.

The first new map pack is simple called “Grasslands”, and as the name implies, it’s all about fighting on generally flat, grassy plains. Not a whole lot of difficult terrain, forests, or water to get in the way of a good slugfest here. Just a good, old fashioned, stand-up shootout.

Grasslands comes on 6, double-sided, 17″ x 22″ paper sheets, which means there’s actually 12 maps total. Each map can be flipped and swapped to either side and then lined up to make whatever grassy battlefield you desire. All maps feature the new art aesthetic that’s showcased in the new box sets, and 10 of those maps are brand new, never-before-seen designs.

You can pick up Grasslands for $29.99 on the Catalyst store, or wait until April 17th for them to arrive at your local games retailer.

Next up is an even more exciting map pack called BattleMaps. These are 4, larger, neoprene maps that come in 4 different flavors: Desert, Lunar, Alpine, and Savannah. But wait, that’s not all! On the other side of these maps are the Grasslands maps, so you get to double your battlefield possibilities.

Each BattleMap is 36″ x 22″ and is only available on the Catalyst web store. Each one sells for $29.99, but you pay for durability on these bad boys.

Along with new maps comes new fiction. Everyone’s favorite Michael Stackpole is back with a trilogy of new short stories that describe the Kell Hounds’ founding an early years as Morgan and Patrick Kell fought tooth and nail to create their own mercenary company.

The first book is entitled Way the Smart Money Bets and is available now, while A Tiny Spot of Rebellion arrives March 22nd. A Clever Bit of Fiction concludes the trilogy on March 27th. Each is available for $3.99 wherever good e-books are sold. Sorry, no paper release is yet planned for this trilogy.

We’ll conclude this bit of BattleTech consumerism with a bit of an update on the Beginner Box Set, which is back in stock online and in store. The reprinted Total Warfare manual is now out of stock, but a reprint is underway, while the reprinted TechManual is currently available online but not quite yet available in print–but Catalyst expects to have it available soon.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

Catalyst Games Releases Succession Wars Record Sheets And Reprinted BattleTech Manual To Get Everyone Up To Date

UPDATE: Whoops! Looks like I screwed up: it’s the Record Sheets portion that’s new, not the Technical Readout itself. Either way, go get it!

Catalyst Game Labs have announced a new compilation technical readout volume as well as a new version of the all-important BattleTech Manual.

With the new box sets finally having made it to stores, it’s time for us to look towards expanding the new players’ repertoire. While the latest full version of the game, ‘BattleTech: A Game Of Armored Combat, came with the new BattleTech Manual, it didn’t come with an exhaustive list of every ‘Mech featured during the Succession Wars Era of BattleTech.

So Catalyst made a new tech readout with all of them in it. Simple problem, simple solution.

Succession Wars is a compilation volume combining ‘Mechs seen in Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade Unabridged-Clan & Star League, Record Sheets: 3058 Unabridged, and Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged. I’m assuming only the ‘Mechs seen before the Clan Invasion are featured, otherwise it would be odd to call the new TR “Succession Wars”.

Catalyst describes Succession Wars as “the perfect ‘first Technical Readout’ companion to the BattleMech Manual. Combining the ’Mechs previously found in Technical Readout: 3039, Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade, and Technical Readout: 3075, this volume features some of the most common ’Mechs from the Age of War to the Succession Wars.”

And it’s got some sweet cover art. Love me a Dragon, Jenner, and Panther Kurita lance.

Succession Wars is $9.99 in PDF format, $39.99 in print, and $44.99 together. Meanwhile, the Record Sheets only is $9.99 with 290 sheets total.

Catalyst has also made the latest version of the official BattleTech Manual available for purchase as well at the same prices as Succession Wars. It has all the latest updates and errata already included, and another spiffy new cover art that would look sweet on anyone’s bookshelf.

I mean, who can say no to that Marauder? Anyone? I didn’t think so.

Get ‘em both today at Catalyst’s store.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

Catalyst Announces 35th Anniversary BattleTech With New Available Products

35th Anniversary

courtesy of Catalyst Game Labs

Catalyst Game Labs is celebrating 35 years of BattleTech with a huge release of new products.

Way back in 1984, FASA corporation created a game universe that would inspire countless novels, sourcebooks, and video games. Well, actually, not all that countless, but I’ve never bothered counting them all, and I’m sure it’s a very high number.

To celebrate BattleTech’s 35th birthday, Catalyst Game Labs–the lovable rapscallions that serve as arbitrators of BattleTech lore and it’s tabletop roots–are giving in fully to their capitalist urges and holding a massive release of some exciting new products.

On Wednesday, January 23rd, a bunch of items went up for grabs on Catalyst’s website and in your local games retailer, starting with the box sets. Both the Beginner Box Set and BattleTech: A Game of Armored Combat will be available in-store and online starting on Wednesday.

That’s not all: Shattered Fortress will also be available in major retailers on January 23rd, and is already available on Catalysts’ website (and has been for a few weeks now). On top of that, a 35th Anniversary Edition of the BattleTech Manual will hit Catalyst’s online store which features all previous errata and the coveted 35th-anniversary logo.

Look at that Warhammer. Doesn’t she look pretty? Wouldn’t you like one on a t-shirt or something?

Well, good news! Catalyst has developed a mind-reading machine that can also see into the future and has prepared a bunch of 35th-anniversary merch with that same Warhammer logo! That includes a t-shirt, hoodie, and a pin for when you’re forced to be fancy but still want to show your love of BattleTech to the world.

And the Warrior Trilogy is back in stores for an anniversary edition PDF or Print on Demand. I’ve read all those stories twice now, so it’s a little less interesting to me, but if you haven’t read them before, you really should.

Now, normally we stick with BattleTech related items on Sarna, what with it being a BattleTech wiki and all, but Catalyst also watches over Shadowrun which is another FASA-born universe that I have much love for. If only the rules weren’t a complicated mess in desperate need of some D&D 5th edition simplification, I’d be playing it as my tabletop RPG every week.

It’s also Shadowrun’s 30th anniversary, so Catalyst has a bunch of new PDF sourcebooks and merch on sale too. A unique 30th-anniversary logo adorns a t-shirt, hoodie, and pin just as with the BattleTech merch, allowing you to show your love of the Sixth World in style.

Full details can be found over on Catalyst’s website.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy

stay syrupy

Update On Beginner Box Set And BattleTech: Game Of Armored Combat

Box Sets

UPDATE: Whoops! Someone forgot to press the “publish” button. Here’s a quick update in case you missed it. 

Alright boys and girls, we got a quick update from Catalyst on those now-mythical box sets. According to the latest update on the Catalyst Game Labs website, both box sets have arrived at the “fulfillment center” and will make it into the distribution pipeline shortly.

But we’re not here for platitudes, we’re here for dates, and I’m sorry to report only half the boxes will make it out in time for Christmas–those being the Beginner Box Sets, which will arrive in stores starting December 14th with full availability expected on December 17th. A week before Christmas is cutting it awful close, but it’s better than nothing.

The full Game Of Armored Combat won’t arrive in stores until January 23rd. That’s some hard news to take, so Catalyst has some good news to go along with it: Shattered Fortress will also release on January 23rd.

As they say in the biz: awww yiss.

As always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy