Category Archives: Editorial

Your BattleTech News Round-Up For November, 2023

I’m pretty sure I’d like November more if Canada celebrated Thanksgiving this month instead of last. Halloween already sucks most of the air out of October so there’s not a lot left for a turkey to breathe. Worse yet, November brings the grey months to Ontario. I probably won’t see the sun again until sometime in February when snow and ice have turned the ground into a mirror so shiny you can’t go outside without welding goggles.

On the plus side, we’ve got some BattleTech news to cover. Bust out your Turkinas and get ready to bake this bird.

A Warrior Pope Approaches

For those unaware, Pope Leo XXI was previously known as Leonard Goodnight, a former member of the First Avalon Hussars and the Grand Master of the Knights Defensor at the time of his ascension to the papacy. That ascension only happened because Pope Beneficent XVII and the entire College of Cardinals were murdered during the DMCS occupation of New Avalon

His ‘Mech, a bright gold Regent named “Justicar,” took part in the fight against the DCMS. Although nowhere in volume 21 of the ilClan Recognition Guides does it mention a fancy hat, I’d like to think it looked a little something like what Cromwell300 has produced above. Also, any excuse to refer to the WarriorPope of New Avalon.

Time To Kickflip A DropShip

Tony “Shadow” Pro Skater Hawk
byu/meltdonw14 inbattletech

Pretty sure meltdonw14 has posted something similar before, but oh well. I think I’m just a sucker for skateboarding ‘Mechs. And the fact I didn’t come up with “Tony ‘Shadow’ Hawk” first is just going to bother me for a long time.

Catalyst Teams Up With Veiled Resin For Unique Art

BattleTech Resin Reveal
Watch this video on YouTube.

There’s no denying that art is an essential part of BattleTech. CGL knows this better than anyone, which is why Randall reached out to artist Steven Michael Bohls of Veiled Resin to commission several BattleTech pieces in his unique art style.

Besides the eye-popping finished product, what makes Veiled Resin so interesting is the process by which these pieces come to life. Each piece requires careful planning and days of repeated carving, pouring, and curing. Steven isn’t even sure what the finished product will look like until layers of tape have been removed from the surface.

You can take a look at the Veiled Resin process in several videos posted to CGL’s YouTube account. The first step is to create a vector art image, either from an existing traditional painting or from scratch on a computer. The second step is to take that vector art and use it to create instructions to send to a CNC machine. The CNC machine then carves out pieces from a flat piece of plexiglass that’s usually a half-inch thick, but Steven went with a full inch for his BattleTech piece (and we do like ‘em thick in BattleTech). 

Next comes the creation of the resin that’s poured into the parts carved out by the CNC machine. This can be the most arduous part of the process as there can be multiple layers of resin required and each layer needs to cure before the next layer can be cured. Curing also needs a relatively high temperature, which is a pain when the finished product is several feet on either side. 

All that hard work eventually leads to a stunning piece of art. The one revealed earlier this month is a take on the Banshee key art from the Mercenaries Kickstarter (done by the fabulous Marco Mazzoni), but Veiled Resin has plans to do 16 smaller pieces from across CGL’s games, including Shadowrun, Leviathan, The Stormlight Archive, and at least two more BattleTech pieces (one is a Jenner running from a Warhawk, and the other is a classic Marauder also by Marco Mazzoni). 

We should see a few more of these pieces unveiled at the Dragonsteel convention, but they haven’t been posted to CGL’s YouTube just yet. I’ll be sure to update things as soon as I find out more. 

Michael Stackpole Celebrates Birthday With A Stiff Drink (And A Cool Painting Too)

Michael Stackpole Paintining

Of the BattleTech authors, it’s hard to imagine one more formative of the game’s universe than Michael Stackpole. From defining the political intrigue of the Fourth Succession War to revealing the origins of the Kell Hounds, Stackpole has been with BattleTech almost every step of the way. And to honor his 66th birthday, fellow author Bryan Young commissioned a special gift.

Many of you likely know of Stackpole, but few know of his in-universe persona, Gustavus “Gus” Michaels. That’s because he’s somewhat ridiculous. He is Michael Stackpole, but also a time traveler who was almost a thousand years old by the time he reportedly died in 3052 (although there is evidence to suggest he’s still alive, somewhere). He attributes his longevity to “time travel, a regimen of Szechuan food and indoor soccer, or a plot by the Internal Revenue Service.”

Gustavus Gus Michaels Painting

Going from author to historian, Gus was present for most of the big events of the Inner Sphere between 3028 and 3052, escaping ComStar captivity to somehow travel to Strana Mechty to witness the election of Ulric Kerensky to ilKhan.

Gus is quite the character, but he’s never had his own portrait until now. Here we have Gus during his time with the Kell Hounds, who apparently broke him out of ComStar custody in 3030. Because of course they did.

For more on Gus’s antics, check out his Sarna article here. And Happy Birthday to the real Michael Stackpole. May he live long enough to witness our journey to the stars and the arrival of giant robot warriors.

BattleTech Pride Anthology 2024 Calls For Submissions

Battletech Pride Anthology 2024 announcement and call for writers! <3
byu/Detofoxy inbattletech

After a wildly successful debut earlier this year, the BattleTech Pride Anthology will return in 2024 with a new edition. To make it happen, though, requires folks to submit their stories! 

BattleTech Anthology 2024 is asking for LGBTQ+ BattleTech fans to write in with their stories focused on LGBTQ+ themes centered around several keywords: Pirates, Anarchists, Misfits, and the Deep Periphery. You can use any or all of these words as inspiration, with submissions expected to be between 4,000 and 6,000 words. 

For more details, check out the Open Call doc here, and to submit your story, head on over to this Google link. The deadline to submit is April 7, 2024, which gives y’all some time to think of something truly fabulous. 

OPINION: Bring Back Naked MechWarriors

This opinion might be a bit like an old MechWarrior shouting at clouds, but back in my day, ‘Mech pilots wore as little as possible so they could survive the often sauna-like temperatures of a ‘Mech cockpit. Sure, they had cooling vests, but those things rarely covered their entire bodies, which often led those pilots to leave the rest as bare as possible. That’s why we’ve got so many sexy images of Natasha Kerensky in a bathing suit. 

But that’s begun to change. I guess you could say it all started with the BattleTech Animated Series where Adam Steiner and the gang would often jump into their ‘Mechs wearing their standard military fatigues, but that was a kid show, so we could forgive them ruining the lore for modesty. MechCommander and MechWarrior 4 featured real-life cinematics of pilots in big helmets and skivvies, but MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries brought us the ‘Mech pilot with a typical sci-fi spacesuit aesthetic. And here we have Hired Steel continuing this farce with their handcrafted MechWarrior

I’ll give Hired Steel some credit for the extra tubing, but my MechWarriors fought in their underpants. In fact, some of them fought buck-fuckin’ naked. There are plenty of 3025 ‘Mechs that run hot enough to cook their pilot, and I could imagine fans of the Nova Prime found it comfier to be as naked as possible before letting loose with 12 lasers.

I think it’s time I took a stand. We need to bring back the naked MechWarrior. If you agree, leave a comment below.

HBS Says No New BattleTech Or Shadowrun Games Coming

More bad news out of Harebrained Schemes. A tweet from earlier this month confirmed the worst: HBS doesn’t have the license for BattleTech or Shadowrun, preventing the studio from starting work on a Shadowrun or BATTLETECH sequel. 

And it’s not for lack of trying. Apparently, the company contacted both Microsoft and PGI (the makers of MechWarrior 5) president Russ Bullock to see if something could be negotiated. We’re not sure whether Microsoft was charging too high a price or was simply unwilling to offer HBS a license (with Big Red 40-Tech suspecting it’s the former--see below), but either way, they came home empty-handed.

It’s a crying shame. I remember replaying each and every Shadowrun game several times, and BATTLETECH remains the best tabletop-style adaptation the franchise has ever seen. Hopefully, next month will bring a change of fortune for this world-class studio.

BattleTech 40th Anniversary News Coming At PAX Unplugged

Watch this video on YouTube.

More news courtesy of Big Red-40Tech: Catalyst plans to announce BattleTech’s 40th-anniversary celebration at PAX Unplugged, which takes place the December 1 weekend in Philadelphia. Badges are still available for you to find out the moment the announcement comes (whatever that may be), or you can wait until the end of next month when we close out the year with this big announcement in Sarna’s monthly news round-up.

Elsewhere in the video, sources say we’re getting a new cover for the Beginner Box and A Game Of Armored Combat, as well as new ForcePacks. This could be a continuation of the discussion last month where we get more faction-focused ForcePacks, but we’ll have to wait to find out (although probably not long given how soon PAX Unplugged arrives).

Wanna See ForcePacks Being Made?

PVC Battletech Packaging CAT35756 102423
Watch this video on YouTube.

On one of my many nights on YouTube, I came across a curious video recommendation. I’d always known that Catalyst’s minis were manufactured in China (CGL mentioned it many times during the Clan Invasion Kickstarter), but I never knew which of the many manufacturers in China it was.

Turns out it’s Liya International, an OEM Plastic Manufacturer. And if you want to see the secret sauce as it’s being made, they’ve got a whole YouTube channel full of CGL products being constructed.

These videos show everything from the plastic injection molds to the workers cutting the bits and pieces off just like it’s a plastic model kit. The assembly workers take those bits and pieces and assemble them into the ‘Mechs we all know and love. A lot of those pieces just snap together with a little dab of glueexactly like a plastic model.

Once the mini is assembled, they’re taken to an assembly line where the workers place each figure in a plastic tray which is then enclosed in the appropriate ForcePack box, ready for shipping. If you queue up a bunch of these in the right order, it’s basically like a How It’s Made video.

What’s interesting is that Liya doesn’t just do the plastic minis. They also have partners that print the posters, map packs, data sheets, cards, booklets, and everything else going into the completed Mercenaries box set. Everything is sent to Liya who then packages it all up. About a month ago, Liya posted a video showing completed Mercenaries boxes being assembled.

We don’t necessarily know how long ago this video was taken, but if you wanted proof that CGL is getting products, here it is. Because we don’t know when these videos will be uploaded, we can’t guess when the Mercs Kickstarter will ship (especially since CGL might still be waiting for boxes to arrive), but we can get a good look at what we’ll be receiving sometime next year.

A Fire Moth Goes Postal

Fire Moth PostalMech: Your package of Elementals is out for delivery!
byu/Stretch5678 inbattletech

The Fire Moth is famously considered the best Elemental taxi the Inner Sphere and Clan homeworlds have ever seen. That’s largely because it can dash (if you’ll pardon the pun) over 200 kph, dumping its Elemental passengers at the front and then retreating before the enemy can even blink.

Thanks to Stretch5678, we now have a Fire Moth model that accurately depicts its battlefield role. Keeping all its Elementals in a bag is perhaps not as efficient as having them cling to various handholds covering the ‘Mech, but it’s certainly adorable.

PixelMech 3D Shares New Explosive Update

PixelMek 3D pre-alpha, now with 100% more destruction effects!
Watch this video on YouTube.

It looks like development of PixelMek 3D is coming along nicely. You may recall PixelMek from September’s news blast as the boomer shooter Doom-like version of MechWarrior that never quite existed but we always kinda wished had. The latest video update reveals a new milestone has been reached: you can blow stuff up

Destruction is a key aspect of any MechWarrior game. There’s no sense of satisfaction if ‘Mechs just wink out of existence after receiving a threshold of damage; bits of them gotta come flying off as their ammo cooks off in bright, colorful explosions, culminating in a tiny supernova as fusion engines breach. Mechteric hasn’t quite reached that level of destruction, but turrets explode, choppers fall out of the sky leaving trails of smoke, and infantry disappear into red mist. 

‘Mechs seem to crumple in on themselves before disappearing in a fireball, which is a step in the right direction but not quite what I’m looking for. I want arms to shoot off in opposite directions once a ‘Mech’s reactor melts down. Perhaps lighter ‘Mechs can have custom animations where a leg comes off at the knee, causing it to face-plant into the ground before it explodes. 

There are also no shadows or light sources from these explosions, but one step at a time. Be sure to stay tuned to Mechteric for more updates.

Who Parked This Night Gyr In The Middle Of The Road?

Mechwarrior, 2023
byu/Remmor inbattletech

This Night Gyr seems to be posing for a Jade Falcon recruitment photo, which is a little weird considering the Falcons famously hate Freeborn recruits, but I guess times are tough for our little green birdies. At least they hand out some pretty sweet helmets. Kudos to Remmor for sharing. 

Owenses. That’s The Plural For Owens, Right?

I haven’t seen the Owens in action since MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries. It’s nice to see this 35-ton Omni Jenner hasn’t been entirely forgotten. Even the C variant on the right is no powerhouse, but I still like ’em. Thanks to Oswald for posting.

The King Of Lego Crabs

Very delayed, but finally done, My best friends favourite chassis from the Battletech Universe, the King crab, this variant of her’s has dual RAC/5’s, twin clan LRM/20’s, oh and of course our beloved C3 network, barely anything can escape her grasp :D
byu/Shotgunfrenzy inmechwarrior

We love Lego BattleTech around these parts, so when Shotgunfrenzy shared their latest commissioned piece, I had to make sure y’all saw it too. It’s a custom job with two RAC/5s and twin LRM-20s, but it looks good enough to be a cannon design. Tragically, I don’t think Shotgunfrenzy shares build instructions, but maybe some of you can figure this monstrosity out just by looking at a spinning gif.

MWO Introduces MechWarrior’s First Shield In Latest Patch

Centurion Onyx MechWarrior Online

MechWarrior Online introduced us to the idea of the “shield arm” way back when it first launched. The idea is to torso twist such that your arm takes incoming fire and not your more important bits. This works best when the shield arm doesn’t contain any weapons and has maybe a slightly enlarged shape to better obstruct the rest of the ‘Mech, such as with the Centurion or Griffin. It didn’t have any more armor than the other arm, but offering it up as a blood sacrifice effectively enhanced your ‘Mech’s overall toughness. 

Fast forward a few years and now MechWarrior Online is introducing the very first actual shield to ever arrive in a MechWarrior game. This shield, as part of the new Legendary Centurion “Onyx,” actually provides additional armor and structure to the Centurion‘s traditional shield arm. It’s also huge, protecting the majority of the ‘Mech. It cannot be removed, but you probably don’t want to. The LB 10-X autocannon and paired Snub-Nose PPCs provide exceptional punch while the shield absorbs incoming fire. Just twist, and fire, and twist, and fire like it’s an ’80s exercise cassette tape.

The Onyx is also delightfully colorful and comes with the usual Legendary battle pass, which provides escalating rewards of GSP, C-Bills, MC, Premium Time, and exclusive cosmetics the more you play it.

The next big surprise in the most recent patch is a new map: Bearclaw II. Krazzdaxx’s latest creation is a subterranean ‘Mech factory built into the side of a mountain. It offers plenty of close-in combat thanks to all those tunnels and buildings, but also longer sight lines if you wander outside to the surrounding ice lake. 

In terms of balance, lots of ballistic weapons have seen their ammo-per-ton increase, while a smaller quirk pass has adjusted several variants of the Viper, Centurion, Thunderbolt, Orion, and Marauder II. Players also received their Annual Rewards Program items in the latest update. For more details, check out the latest patch notes here.

And just in the nick of time, the Longbow is coming to MechWarrior Online. We probably could have guessed given its presence in MechWarrior 5′s latest DLC, but now we have confirmation. Unlike MechWarrior 5, not every variant is a missile boat either; PGI did some digging in the old archives to find a few ballistic-focused versions to field too. Head over to this page to learn more about the Longbow‘s variants and the current Longbow event.

The Fafnir Arrives In MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries

We have yet another mod from The Art of BattleTech. Once again, we have Pawel Czarnecki to thank for this Fafnir model, which harkens back to the style of MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries rather than the one featured in MechWarrior Online. This Gauss-toting beast is more than capable of wrecking any ‘Mech a merc could meet and is especially adept at turning cockpits into crematoriums.

As usual, head on over to Nexus Mods or the Steam Workshop to download the Fafnir for MechWarrior 5.

Magnetic ‘Mech Bay Blows Me Away

Mech Bay 2
byu/Fox-Fi inbattletech

I’ve started to really get into BattleTech terrain that goes the extra mile. Recently, we looked at Cross Electric Designs’ ‘Mech Bay with its battery slot and inset grooves for adding your own LED lights (which you can read about in our previous coverage here). But if illumination isn’t your thing, how about a magnetic ‘Mech Bay door?

Here’s Fox-Fi’s personal project of a working magnetic ‘Mech Bay. Both the roof and door connect to the bay via magnets, allowing you to have the door in an open or closed position. It’s great, and their Reddit post has a lovely reference to MechWarrior 4

Fox-Fi’s love of MechWarrior 4 is apparent in another project: the Repair Bay! This one actually has sliding doors just like the repair bay in MW4 (which this is clearly modeled after). They even gave it the appropriate hazard stripes. Beautiful. Great work, Fox-Fi!

Camo Specs Brings Us The Free Jade Falcon Paint Guide

Camo Specs Online Jade Falcon Paint Schemes

Last month we had the Smoke Jags, and this month we’ve got the green birbs. Just like last time, this guide provides the color schemes for the Jade Falcon touman, with plenty of Galaxies to choose from. I’ll spoil things for you a bit: they’re mostly green, although I really dig Lambda Galaxy’s sandy paintjob with gray highlights. I also like how they’re mostly second-line garrison units. Give me Clanners with standard engines!

Head over to Catalyst’s store for your 100% free download. 

Happy Jade Turkey Day!

I had my Thanksgiving last month, but I know the majority of you celebrated this holiday last week. Here we have another ‘Mech that looks like a turkey courtesy of the Mercenary Star Podcast. Thank you for the turkey-’Mech.

That’s it for November! Join us next month as we find out how BattleTech will celebrate its big four-oh birthday next year, and what new products might arrive just in time for the holidays.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy


Bad ‘Mechs – Stinger

Stinger Bad 'Mechs

Courtesy of Eldoniousrex

“But these ‘Mechs have targeting computers!” Cadet Sebastien griped in the solitude of his ‘Mech’s cockpit to nobody in particular. “I joined the AFFS to become a MechWarrior, not to be some glorified infantryman.” 

Raising his Stinger‘s right arm, he brought the rifle-like medium laser up to its cockpit and attempted to line the iron sights up with the target 200 meters down the shooting range. He fired and noted with dismay how the green beam cut a dark scar in the sand dune roughly 10 meters from where the target stood. 

“Cadet-private Sebastien!” Sergeant Zhao shouted in Sebastien’s ear through his neurohelmet’s radio. “Bring your cockpit to the laser, like where you would place the butt of a rifle. Then try again.”

Sebastien wondered how it was even remotely analogous when there was over a meter between him and the iron sights on his laser, let alone whatever refraction might be caused by several centimeters of ferroglass. Still, he did as instructed and held down the trigger just as his eyes lined up with the laser’s sights. The green beam nicked the edge of the target where it left a small orange flame. 

“Congratulations, cadet,” came Zhao’s mocking tone. “You hit the target. Barely.”

Sebastien was considering a pithy retort when all hell broke loose. An explosion from behind knocked him forward and cut his Stinger’s sensors. Static told him that he’d also lost comms with the rest of his training battalion. Staggering, Sebastien looked around to see a crater in the middle of the parade grounds and trainers running for cover. In the distance, the yellow flare of a dropship bore the dao-in-fist of the Cappellan Confederation. It was a raid.

The procedure in such an event was for the cadets and trainers to get into the nearest available ‘Mech to meet the enemy head-on. Unfortunately for cadet Sebastien, without a functioning radio, he couldn’t be informed of the enemy’s location or the battalion’s rally point.

In the end, it didn’t matter. A bright green Locust bearing the Capellan crest came into view and began firing its machine guns into the battalion’s administrative building. If he didn’t engage, everyone inside would die.

Raising his right-arm medium laser to confront the marauding Locust, Sebastien made another unfortunate discovery: his heads-up display didn’t have a targeting pip. Worse, he didn’t have azimuth, range, or any indication his sensors had even picked up the 20-ton ‘Mech standing in front of him. 

It was then he saw the raised indentations of the laser’s iron sights. He hunched his Stinger slightly so the cockpit lined up with the laser, then took careful aim at the Locust. He breathed, then held down the trigger. 

The green beam cut through the Locust’s right leg at the knee, sending it toppling to the ground. 

Sebastien raised his ‘Mech’s arms in triumph and then realized he was still in the middle of a warzone. He also realized if his targeting computer had been working the active scanners likely would have alerted the Locust to his presence and prevented him from getting the first shot.  

“Maybe these low-tech exercises aren’t so bad after all,” he said to himself, before stalking off to find more Capellans to ambush.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Stinger 3025

We should have some compassion for the Stinger. As the second-ever mass-produced reconnaissance ‘Mech, and the second most numerous ‘Mech after the Wasp, ‘Mechs were simply less threatening at the time of its introduction in 2479. But between that year and the year 3025, the number of Stingers in active service dropped from 200,000 to a mere 5,000. Over 500 years of attrition would surely be murderous on most military systems, especially when those five centuries included such things as nuclear holocausts. 

And yet, over 97 percent of every Stinger ever made is now so much scrap metal. The Stingers that survived were mostly used as trainers and not front-line combatants. Many ‘MechWarriors began their career in a Stinger. The smart ones moved on to a different chassis. The dumb ones are dead.

As with many iterative technical advancements, the story of the Stinger begins with a lawsuit. Earthwerks Incorporated spent 20 years fending off a lawsuit from General Mechanics--the maker of the Wasp--for copyright infringement. General Mechanics argued that the Stinger was mostly just a Wasp that had swapped its SRM-2 launcher for a pair of Machine Guns. Indeed, the two ‘Mechs shared the same mass and had a very similar outward appearance. However, neither Earthwerks nor General Mechanics wanted their full ‘Mech designs as part of the public record. This allowed Earthwerks to enact a time-honored corporate defense--delay, delay, delay. After two decades, General Mechanics finally dropped the suit, and the Stinger would go on to stand beside the Wasp as the backbone of the Inner Sphere’s reconnaissance forces.

Stinger 5M

Unfortunately for the Stinger, many battlefield commanders felt that the highly numerous ‘Mech was expendable and used it in roles it was never intended, leading to accelerated attrition. One DCMS commander, Tai-i Mercer Ravannion, developed the “charge of the horde” tactic which called for massed quantities of lighter ‘Mechs (usually Stingers and Wasps) to be sent against comparatively larger targets expecting sheer numbers to carry the battle. Tai-i Ravannion attempted this tactic on three separate occasions, and on all three attempts lost the majority of his ‘Mechs. 

It wasn’t until after his death (on his third and final attempt) that his protege, a surviving Stinger pilot named Marge Sippers, evolved the tactic to include heavier and more powerful light ‘Mechs like the Jenner, proving that it was the Stinger‘s lack of firepower that prevented the strategy’s success. By 3140, the mercenary unit Ravannion’s Redemption proved that massed light ‘Mechs could be a credible threat, but the unit was comprised primarily of faster and more potent ‘Mechs than the Stinger.

Although not a credible threat to most larger ‘Mechs, the Stinger‘s popularity as a cheap recon trainer has kept it in service with almost every nation’s armed forces. Earthwerks factories on Keystone and Calloway VI continued to produce Stingers throughout the Succession Wars where the model found its way across the Inner Sphere even as far as the Periphery. Coventry Metal Works would also produce the design under license, although its focus would shift to the Commando during the Succession Wars. Other manufacturers included Bergan Industries, Vandenberg Mechanized Industries, Detroit Consolidated, and Hellespont Industrials. Variants would even be produced by the Clans, where they mostly served in an instructional capacity.

Stinger 5R

The original STG-3R, produced in 2479, came with a GM 120-rated engine, six Chilton 360 jump hets, a single Omicron 3000 Medium Laser, two LGN Lindbald Machine Guns, 10 single heat sinks, and three tons of standard armor. It became infamous for an extremely cramped cockpit where most MechWarriors required outside assistance to be removed from post-mission (and oversized MechWarriors couldn’t fit at all). The design matched the Wasp for speed at a running velocity of 91.6 kph and a maximum jumping distance of 180 meters. 

One notable feature of the original design was the old-school iron sights that remained the Medium Laser. It was argued by Earthwerks that this forced trainees to develop their fine motor skills as they adjusted the ‘Mech’s posture and stance to fire without the benefit of a targeting computer. The usefulness of this feature is arguable given that it was eventually dropped on later models.

Earthwerks produced only two other variants prior to the Clan Invasion. The STG-3G replaced the machine guns and ammunition with a second Medium Laser in the left arm with everything else remaining the same. The STG-3Gb, on the other hand, was introduced for the SLDF’s Royal Divisions in 2720. This model was upgraded to a 150 XL engine (offering a top speed of roughly 111 kph), an endo steel chassis, and double heat sinks. Its armament was exchanged for three Medium Lasers and a single Small Laser, although no additional armor meant the pilot had to rely on the ‘Mech’s speed and jump jets to avoid incoming fire.

Stinger IIC

With the rediscovery of Star League technology in the Helm Memory Core, the STG-5M began production in the early 3050s. It kept the standard engine but upgraded the chassis to endo steel and added an additional half-ton of armor. It also replaced the twin machine guns with a single Flamer and an anti-missile system with a single ton of ammo. Earthwerks continued to iterate on the Stinger after the Jihad with the STG-6M, which replaced the STG-5M’s weapons with an ER Medium Laser, an ER Flamer, and a Laser AMS. The most modern variant offered by Earthwerks is the STG-6R, which features a 160 XL engine for a top speed of 120 kph and eight jump jets for a potential leap of 240 meters. Two Heavy Machine Guns and an ER Medium Laser harken back to the original Stinger model.

Although most numerous in the Free Worlds League, Earthwerks licensed the design to many other manufacturers across the Inner Sphere. The Lyran Commonwealth‘s Coventry Metalworks is perhaps the most notable, which began producing its own variants in 3067. The STG-6S uses a light fusion engine and MASC for a potential running speed of 151 kph and a jumping distance of 210 meters. Two Light Machine Guns and an ER Medium Laser provide a lighter armament than the original, and a small cockpit makes it brutally cramped even by Stinger standards. The STG-7S listened to pilot complaints and replaced the small cockpit with a Full-Head Ejection System. It also swaps the light engine for an XL, provides an endo steel chassis, and eight Improved Jump Jets allow it to jump as far as it can run. Curiously, it only possesses a single ER Medium Laser for defense, and its left leg carries slightly more armor than its right.

The Taurian Concordat is now the second-largest producer of Stingers with factories on New Vandenberg and MacLeod’s Land producing the STG-5R and 6R since 3067. The Capellan Confederation and the Magistracy of Canopus also produce Stingers on Sian and Detroit, and Bergan Industries has launched its own line of Stingers with the G-series, culminating in the STG-6G in the early 3100s.


The Clans are also Stinger producers. The Stinger C was originally produced by Clan Hell’s Horses and has since become the main trainer of Clan Wolf. An all-Clan-spec weapons loadout is complimented by an endo steel chassis and an additional Small Pulse Laser. And in 3085, the Stinger IIC became a symbol of the newly formed Raven Alliance as the nation’s primary trainer and reconnaissance unit. The Stinger IIC maintained the original standard engine, speed, and jump distance, but upgraded the chassis to endo steel and the armor to ferro-fibrous. It also featured significant firepower in two Improved Heavy Medium Lasers and a single AP Gauss Rifle

It’s the Stinger‘s proliferation and not its capabilities that have kept it alive over the centuries. Modern incarnations have improved the design, but it’s telling that most nations have relegated the Stinger to training and garrison units. That said, the Stinger has found a niche that will likely ensure its survival for many more centuries to come.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

Your BattleTech News Round-Up For October, 2023

It’s the spooo00OO0oooo00oOOOooky month! I don’t really have anything scary to offer other than my ability to mix capital Os and zeroes together to create a ghostly sound, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all appreciate the terrors that October brings. And also some BattleTech news.

As always, we’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so we’re just going to hop right into it. Be sure to pack your pillow case, ’cause we’re going all night long.

Why You Never Shut Down In Front of A Wobbie

Hellish Celestial
byu/Akella333 inbattletech

We’ve got Akella to thank for this commissioned piece of a Seraph moments away from eviscerating an unfortunate Kodiak. This pic definitely gives me strong vibes of the original MechWarrior cover, only the Seraph is way more menacing than a Warhammer ever could be (no offense to the Warhammer). 

If you’re lookin’ for the ‘Mechs without the effects, check out this version over on Akella’s Twitter account

It’s Like A Snow Leopard, But Deadlier

Winter Patrol, digital oil painting by me.
byu/aa-ron-dakota inbattletech

This incredible digital oil painting comes courtesy of Aaron Harris, an artist currently working for Catalyst. I wish I was more of an artist so I could point to other famous paintings of pastoral war scenes that surely inspired this piece and nod sagely over my vast artistic wisdom, but I’m not, so I won’t. I just think this looks really good. Thanks for sharing, Aaron. 

Prints are also available for purchase. Check out this link here

OPINION: C-Bill ‘Mech Prices Never Really Made Any Sense

Sarna Complaints Department

Courtesy of Eldoniousrex

I saw this post on the BattleTech subreddit a week ago, and I felt a certain kinship with iamfanboytoo. I might have made their point a little more diplomatically, but the gist is certainly true: C-Bill prices never really mattered. Don’t get me wrong--the Inner Sphere is still definitely a capitalist society (broadly speaking) and money still makes the galaxy go round, but even when the C-Bill was the dominant currency for everything, it still never made sense.

We’ll take 3025 as our base example. We have a bunch of ‘Mechs on Sarna with prices listed in C-Bills, which we assume to be the price you’d pay if you wanted to buy that ‘Mech from some theoretical ‘Mech dealership, but that’s hardly ever the case. For starters, ‘Mech dealerships aren’t really a thing in most places around the Inner Sphere at the time. Second, those prices would fluctuate wildly depending on where you are and who you’re buying from. Getting some junked-out heap in the middle of the Periphery is probably way cheaper than buying a ‘Mech straight from the manufacturer--if that manufacturer even lets you buy a ‘Mech at all, given how most factories’ production runs were already bought and paid for by House militaries.

Once you throw time into the mix, C-Bill pricing makes even less sense. Sure, standard fusion engines might start out cheap as they’re the most numerous engines produced in 3025, but by 3060, the standard had long since moved to XL engines. And just as your compact disc player became cheaper than a vinyl record player in the ’90s, so too would an XL engine become cheaper than a standard fusion engine as manufacturers all retool to mass-produce the latest and greatest tech. Therefore, doubling the price of all these 3060s-era ‘Mechs just because they have XL engines didn’t make sense then, and it doesn’t make sense now. 

And what about the Clans? They never used the C-Bill as a form of currency, so having a Timber Wolf listed at 24-million-odd C-Bills is an outright fabrication. The Clan lower castes have “work credits” to facilitate daily commerce, and the merchant castes all use the “Kerensky” as a unit of currency for larger industrial transactions, but both of those could be redistributed at the whims of the Clan leadership. (Having taken a few macroeconomics courses, one wonders how any of the central bankers at any of the Clans stayed sane.) In any case, nobody has ever gone to the Jade Falcons and asked to buy a Summoner for a cool 21 million C-Bills.

I get how it was helpful to understand the “cost” of a certain unit by assigning it a price in C-Bills, but it was always a misleading identifier at best. Just as they do today, prices would fluctuate wildly as time, technology, and universe-changing events progressed. As of the Dark Age and the IlClan eras, C-Bills are no longer the de-facto currency anyway. 

So, what’s expensive, and what’s cheap? As it does in the real world, that’ll depend on who you are, where you are, and what you’re trying to buy. By 3150, trying to buy a Griffin in the Lyran Commonwealth--an older design that’s been in mass production for centuries--would probably cost you just a few million Kroner. Meanwhile, trying to buy a Dominator from Clan Wolf would likely be outright impossible, given how it’s a brand-new design that’s being made specifically for a single military. You might be able to buy a Thresher Mk II from a wandering Sea Fox arms dealer, but you’ll probably have to pay a pretty penny--especially as the Sea Foxes will add a surcharge for currency conversion. 

I agree with iamfanboytoo; it’s time to leave the C-Bill behind. Don’t agree? Leave a message in the comments. Remember, no pitchforks allowed. 

News From Spiel Essen On Mercs Kickstarter And BattleTech Aces

GIANT Battletech News!
Watch this video on YouTube.

More news from Germany! Spiel Essen, one of the big gaming-related events out in Germany, brought with it some updates on the Mercenaries Kickstarter (with a shoutout to Big Red-40Tech for covering this earlier in the month). According to CGL folks at Spiel Essen, the miniatures are all done and raring to go, but we’re still waiting on a shipping date due to all the other stuff that came along with the Kickstarter--I’m talking dice and plushies and keychains. I’m still personally holding out hope that we’ll get shipping this year, but Big Red thinks it’s more realistic to think 2024. Considering that’s what the Kickstarter says, he’s probably right. 

Other news involves BattleTech Aces, the single-player BattleTech product that was playtested in the Mercs Kickstarter and I had quite a few positive things to say about it. We can likely expect an announcement for a new BattleTech Aces box set in “the next little while,” which might be as soon as two months. No word on what ‘Mechs might be in the box, which is likely what’s keeping the announcement from being sooner.

And finally, there’s demand for Catalyst to release more faction packs a la ComStar and the specific mercenary regiments rather than the generalist Inner Sphere and Clan packs that have been released in the two Kickstarters. Catalyst is looking into faction packs for various nations, Clans, and other major groups, but no timeframe on when we can expect an announcement.

Big Red also noted some tough news for Harebrained Schemes, which we’ll cover in our next section.

Tough Times For Hairbrained Schemes

Hairbrained Schemes Logo

Things aren’t looking so great for BATTLETECH developer Hairbrained Schemes. While its past licensed games--including the various Shadowrun titles and aforementioned BATTLETECH--were financial winners, its latest title hasn’t lived up to expectations. Although well-reviewed, The Lamplighters League didn’t capture sales, and with publisher Paradox falling on tough financial times, Hairbrained Schemes and Paradox have now parted ways. 

Worse, Hairbrained has reportedly been forced to lay off roughly 80% of its staff. There’s a resetera thread from a staffer that lays out the story. According to the post, HBS tried to sell Paradox on BATTLETECH 2, but Paradox didn’t want to pay Microsoft its licensing fee, so HBS went with The Lamplighters League. But without a built-in audience, Lamplighters League didn’t sell. Paradox then wrote the game off as a loss.

“Paradox has refocused its strategy towards its core niches within strategy and management games with endless qualities,” said Paradox chief operations officer Charlotta Nilsson in a prepared statement. “We and HBS’ leadership have been discussing what would happen after the release of The Lamplighters League, but a new project or sequel in the same genre was not in line with our portfolio plans. Hence, we believe that a separation would be the best way forward. We’re very happy that this talented, gifted studio has the chance to continue and can’t wait to see what they will make next.”

This doesn’t leave HBS in a great spot. We know that Paradox has retained the rights and source code to BATTLETECH, so if HBS wanted to make a sequel on their own, they’d have to start completely from scratch and with a drastically smaller workforce.

On the other hand, BATTLETECH was originally funded through a Kickstarter campaign, and with Microsoft saying they’d be more than willing to revisit old franchises, there’s nothing stopping HBS from simply Kickstarting BATTLETECH 2. Plus, HBS has a proven track record of being able to make fantastic games, so perhaps another publisher partnership isn’t outside the realm of possibility. Maybe they could go with a different game engine than Unity, though, given that company’s recent kerfluffle.

We’ll have to wait and see what Hairbrained does next, but at least the company seems to be in good spirits. I’d also be super interested in another Shadowrun game. Just sayin’.

The Art Of BattleTech Announces MechWarrior 2 Remake Project

Mechwarrior 2 Remake Showcase - Clan Wolf - Mission 1 Pyre Light
Watch this video on YouTube.

You might recall The Art of BattleTech (aka SankaraSamsara, or Emil) from various MechWarrior 5 mods that add classic Clan OmniMechs, or from an essay we recently published on what MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries gets right and what it gets wrong. Emil has just announced that he’s embarked on his most ambitious project to date: a recreation of MechWarrior 2 in MechWarrior 5: Mercs.

So far, the mod is mostly a proof of concept and only has the first mission for the Clan Wolf campaign, “Pyre Light.” It uses the modded ‘Mechs that Emil and company have created for Mercs, with players accessing the Clan Wolf campaign by starting a new career. This brings up a facsimile of MechWarrior 2‘s menus with a MechWarrior 5-style briefing screen.

Compared to a regular Mercenaries mission, Pyre Light in the mod is mostly an empty desert. You do indeed destroy a chemical plant, inspect a firebase, and blow away a few light ‘Mechs exactly as you did in MechWarrior 2, but with way more visual and audio fidelity. It’s a vastly different experience, one which Emil has previously described at length.

I’ve spoken with Emil about his most immediate future plans. Besides adding in other missions, he wants to throw in the original MechWarrior 2 cinematics and allow the user to choose between the original soundtrack by Jeehun Hwang or the remixed version from Timothy Seals. 

Remaking these missions is still a ton of work, so consider hopping over to Emil’s Patreon if this is something you’d like to support. You can download the MechWarrior 2 Remake Project over on Nexus Mods

And just in time for the MechWarrior 2 Remake Project, Emil has announced the Jenner IIC mod is now available for MechWarrior 5 with a model created by FarSeer Animation. Grab this one on Nexus Mods or Steam Workshop.

Camo Specs Online Partners With CGL To Offer Free Clan Smoke Jaguar Paint Guide

Camo Specs Online, your one-stop shop for BattleTech faction and unit paint schemes, has paired up with Catalyst to offer a guide to painting units within Clan Smoke Jaguar. This is likely to do with MechWarrior 5: Clans as you’ll be a Smoke Jaguar MechWarrior in the upcoming game, but it could just be the first of many guides as Camo Specs is warning us that something else will be arriving November 17

The guide itself is available from Catalyst’s online store for zero dollars. That’s right--it’s free. Inside the PDF you’ll find paint schemes and unit insignias for Alpha, Beta, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Kappa, Nu, Tau, Psi, and Omega Galaxies, as well as step-by-step instructions for how to recreate the complex jaguar fur pattern of Alpha Galaxy. If you’re looking to paint your own Smoke Jaguar units, then this is an invaluable resource you’ll definitely want to grab. Hats off to Camo Specs for putting this together!

PGI President Russ Bullock Shares More Details On MW5: Clans With No Guts No Galaxy

Podcast 232 - Russ Bullock - MW5 Clans, MW5 Mercs, MWO
Watch this video on YouTube.

We’ve got a few more tidbits on MechWarrior 5: Clans courtesy of No Guts No Galaxy. In an interview with the PGI president, Russ Bullock discussed the origins of MechWarrior 5: Clans as an offshoot of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, taking the opposite approach of MechWarrior 2 many decades ago (that game starting with the Clans and then going Mercenaries rather than the other way around). Bullock also admitted that MW5: Clans started life as an expansion, but it quickly became apparent that MW5: Mercs wouldn’t be able to handle all the things that PGI wanted to do, so when the decision to upgrade to Unreal Engine 5 came down the pipe, it only made sense to make an entirely new game. 

Russ had some really good things to say about the coming MechWarrior 5 sequel, with a lot of discussion centering around the storytelling that will be present in MW5: Clans. Specifically, the game will have over a dozen actual characters “with dialog” and “Unreal 5-quality cinematics.” Sounds like we’re going to have more than just Ryana doing the talking this time around.

My personal take? PGI is making the MechWarrior equivalent of Ace Combat 7 or Armored Core 6. Probably far less anime-inspired, but it sounds like there will be similarities in terms of structure, ie. missions having voiced briefings before (or perhaps after) they start, and major story beats will be accompanied by both in-game and cinematic sequences. And if that’s the case, I’m all for it. I love what Bandai Namco has done with its action franchises, with both games being some of my favorite action titles in recent memory.

There was also some discussion on how PGI is expanding its skill base by hiring actual character artists. MechWarrior 5: Merc‘s characters were either 2D avatars or stock Unreal models modified to become Ryana and Fahad. PGI now has a team of a dozen or so people who can create human characters from the ground up, including animation and mocap, so we can expect way more people to be part of MechWarrior 5: Clans‘ story. 

The cinematics themselves sound like they’ll be outsourced to other companies, one of which might just be TMC--the makers of Hired Steel and the MechWarrior 5: Clans teaser trailer we saw last month.

Other quick hits include “incremental improvements” in ‘Mech combat compared to MW5: Mercs, continued support for mods (yay!), and continued support for online co-op without committing to any sort of PvP gameplay in MW5: Clans

There’s more of course, with discussions on the future of MechWarrior Online (largely status-quo) and how a game like MechAssault might be a good thing for Microsoft to revisit as it brought a lot of folks into the BattleTech fold. But you can hear more about that in the video embedded above.

BungleTech And Other BattleTech Podcasts You Should Listen To

I love podcasts. I listen to them every day while I’m cooking or cleaning or going to the gym. And now I’ve discovered an entire ring of BattleTech podcasts courtesy of BungleTech hosts Nathan and Mike.

BungleTech is itself a BattleTech podcast that recently interviewed a whole bunch of other BattleTech podcasts, including Renegade HPG (there’s literally nothing Travis doesn’t have his hand in), BattlePod, On The Origins of BattleMechs, The MechBay, Battle Babes, Mercenary Star, Of ‘Mech’s And Men, The Valhalla Club, Wolfnet, The Calgary BattleTech League (shoutout to my Western Canadian peeps), Battletopia Stories (who also does the lovely audio plays of the Bad ‘Mechs series), and Unicorn Company

Interviewing this many creators took a whopping four hours, so be sure to have a lot of cleaning/cooking/gyming to do before embarking on this particular journey, but know that you’ve got a great chance of picking up a new favorite podcast if you do.

The BungleTech podcast also recently conducted a survey of listeners where they revealed their favorite ‘Mechs in each weight class (Locust, Hunchback, Warhammer, and Awesome), favorite weapons (PPCs, of course), and even their favorite three design quirks. Nathan and Mike weren’t exactly scientific in their process, and respondents often added their own special flare (this is why you don’t leave blank fields for responses, guys), but any community outreach is good outreach.

Last of all, they’re giving away a cool new tabletop game mode where you hunt down the legendary Black Marauder. Nothing says it’s the spooky season like trying to destroy a ‘Mech possessed by a demon. Check ’em out on Spotify, Anchor FM, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get podcasts.

Grayson Carlyle’s Marauder Finally Becomes A Card

By now, you all should know Regengade HPG and his love of the BattleTech CCG. You should also know that he’s been expanding the CCG with brand-new cards that he personally created. Here we have Grayson Carlyle’s MAD-3R Marauder, which survived for 25 years until the Clans invaded Sudeten.

Art for the card comes courtesy of the prolific Eldon Cowgur (aka Eldoniousrex), but the text and stats are all Renegade HPG. Expect to see this and more in the upcoming Payback expansion, and head to the BattleTech TCG Discord server for more details.

MechWarrior 5 Concept Art From The Early 2000s Surfaces Online

Heinz Schuller, the art director for MechAssault, MechAssault 2, and MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, has shared a number of concept art pieces that were to be used in the proposed MechWarrior 5 project that ultimately never received the green light back in 2003. Besides being cool concept art for a canceled game, what’s interesting here is just how wildly different these ‘Mechs are from their original designs.

The Wolf Trap, for example, bears almost no resemblance to the classic image from TRO 3050. It looks far more tank-like than the original, with its left hand replaced by a smaller autocannon and a head that’s just a sloped canopy. The Vindicator also loses its hand in favor of a weapon’s barrel, and the Fenris looks almost nothing like the Ice Ferret we all know and love.

The existence of the Toyama meant that it’s likely the Word of Blake would have been the game’s villain, but we can really only speculate. The game never got to the writing stage, and documents from the era are few and far between. That’s what makes this treasure trove so special. Thanks, Heinz!

BattleTech Universe Previewed By Catalyst

BattleTech Universe Preview
Watch this video on YouTube.

We know that CGL has been working on a new Universe book for BattleTech for some time. That’s the book that tries to explain the entire BattleTech universe in a single volume, which is quite the task given how big a universe it really is. Managing developer Randall Bills recently revealed just how much progress Catalyst has made in a preview posted to the CGL YouTube channel.

What we saw was… huge. Mostly because there will be several different versions of the new primer, one of which will include a packaged set with maps, art prints, and a lovely box that provides the “all systems nominal” message whenever you open it. Then there’s the BattleTech Universe book itself, which will contain all the relevant information players will need to get caught up to the current point in the BattleTech narrative, but also something called the BattleTech Remembrance, which will include personal messages from over 50 authors and creators, including BattleTech creator Jordan Weisman

Randall said he’d be “carefully scrutinizing” every page--and there are a lot of pages to look at--before sending the final version for printing. Randall expects it to become a “new high watermark” for the industry, and folks will be looking to BattleTech to see how games should be historically preserved. This looks like the sort of bespoke product that every BattleTech fan will want to have on their bookshelf or sitting on their coffee table. 

Still no word on when we’ll see the BattleTech Universe book hit store shelves, but it sure seems like we’re on the home stretch.

BattleTech World Wide Event Coming Next Month

You might have seen signs for this at your local store, but there’s a new worldwide event coming in November. “At The Cost Of Bootlaces” will see the Capellan Confederation face off against the IlClan in a titanic clash that will test Clan Wolf’s supremacy in the new era. 

Of course, which side wins will be totally up to you! Head on over to your local game store and sign up for the BattleTech 2023 Worldwide Event, which will be at various times and places between October 31 and December 31. 

MechWarrior Online Patch Brings New Legendary ‘Mechs And Halloween Events

Marauder Blight MechWarrior Online

Another month, another patch! MechWarrior Online has a ton of stuff going on, including the usual Halloween-themed event and sale, the ongoing MechWarrior Online Championship Series, several ‘Mech and map adjustments, and two new Legendary ‘Mechs.

The first is Blight, a Marauder with two guns on its armored carapace instead of one! They’re both Ultra AC/10s in the right and left torsos protected by CASE, which is a little weird since the ammo for these guns is located everywhere except the right and left torsos. Owners will likely modify this immediately after purchasing the ‘Mech for $15. 

The second is Gorewing, a new Legendary Vapor Eagle variant. A slow brawler rather than a jumping sniper, the Gorewing mounts twin LB 10-X autocannons and five ER Medium Lasers. It’s not particularly fast, but it’s got jump quirks and a lot of additional armor in those arms, so expect this thing to be a highly-mobile medium-range striker.

On the quirk side, the big winners this month are Locust, Blackjack, Trebuchet, Thunderbolt, and Charger with significant buffs across the board. A few variants from other ‘Mechs also received smaller tweaks, and the new Hyper Gauss Rifles have had their projectile spread drastically reduced. Finally, Viridian Bog no longer has a lily pad forest in the lowlands, which will go a long way to improving your odds of hitting a fleeing light ‘Mech on that map.

We know that PGI considers MechWarrior Online will maintain the status quo for the next year, but that doesn’t mean the Cauldron is sitting on its heels! Check out this interview between No Guts No Galaxy and Bear_Cl4w of the Cauldron to learn of the big changes coming in the MWO pipeline.

The Urbanhonk Strikes When You Least Expect It

I’ll be the first to admit the barrels on some BattleMechs are… questionable. The Thunder, Striker, Victor, and various other ‘Mechs with a veritable keg for an arm all come to mind. Which is probably what inspired hobo freelance artist DMoser to create what he calls “The Urbanhonk.”

I’m on the fence as to whether or not this is a significant enough improvement to warrant its own alphanumeric variant code. Thanks, DMoser, for this. Whatever it is.

BattleTech Instant Action Scenario Pack Available Now

Battletech: Instant Action, a Classic Battletech scenario pack for pickup play
byu/Rawbert413 inbattletech

Having trouble coming up with a scenario to play with your local BattleTech tabletop group? Or are you just looking to spice up your games with a little bit of chaos? Then the Instant Action Classic BattleTech Scenario Pack might be for you.

We have Rawbert413 to thank for this little download, which you can grab here. The PDF offers what is called the “Mission Matrix,” which determines the scenario you’ll be playing. Each player privately chooses either “Confront, Hold, Recon, Destroy,” or “Salvage.” Players then throw their choices in a hat and two of them are selected. Whatever two choices are drawn then determines the scenario based on the Mission Matrix.

Say the two choices are “Hold” and “Destroy.” You then consult the Mission Matrix and see you’ve selected the “Bombing Run” scenario, where the “Destroy” player has to run their ‘Mechs into the “Hold” player’s area in order to lay their held satchel charges and blow up some important objective. The defender has to “hold,” but the attacker is also “holding” something, and of course, there’s destruction all around.

What if you get two of the same choice? For example, if you get “Confront” and “Confront,” it’s assigned the scenario “Circle of Equals,” which is basically just two sides beating the crap out of each other until one side submits. “Recon” and “Recon” results in “Scout Clash,” where the objective is for each side to scan as many data nodes as possible and then retreat back to base. “Destroy” and “Destroy” results in “Hot Potato,” which eventually results in a hilariously large explosion, but not before there’s plenty of physical violence. 

I like this idea a lot, and I think it can definitely spice up a stale player group. Check it out courtesy of Rawbert’s Reddit post here.

Those Searchlights Aren’t Really Going To Help…

Lone scout, 2023
byu/Remmor inbattletech

I do wish searchlights were a feature you could activate in some MechWarrior games, but I don’t think they’re going to save this poor Phoenix Hawk. With thanks to Remmor for the post and Faut for the art (or possibly Faul, it’s hard to tell based on the font).

And that’s it for the spookiest of months! Join us next time as we head into the somber month of November before we catapult ourselves into the consumerist frenzy of December. We’ll be sure to report on all the new BattleTech products that hit store shelves this holiday season.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy


Bad ‘Mechs – Vulcan

Bad 'Mechs Vulcan

Courtesy of Eldoniousrex

“You’re gonna be fine! I’m tellin’ ya, Dex has got you covered with a real Star League ‘Mech. You’ll eat this Drac dropout for breakfast.” 

Tychon’s words didn’t do much to assuage Vic’s growing unease. He needed this fight to go well--Dex had promised to have his arena license reinstated if he could beat Matsumoto’s Panther in an underground (and highly illegal) duel. Dex had even offered his own ‘Mech for the fight. All he had to do was win. 

And yet, something didn’t feel right. It wasn’t the fact he was dealing with perhaps the lowest rung of Solaris society. Vic was used to shady characters like Tychon. It was the fact that Dex had offered his own ‘Mech. Never mind the fact it was supposedly from the days of the fabled Star League--everyone said that, and everyone forgot that there were just as many shambling junkpiles in the Star League as there were today. Nobody at this level lent their ‘Mechs out, especially when they were already doing a huge favor. Least of all kingpins like Dex.

Vic crossed his arms and looked out the hoverlimo’s window. “I’ll believe it when I see it,” he said, half under his breath. 

It didn’t take long to reach the makeshift arena on the outskirts of Nowhere. A crowd had already gathered in the bleachers, protected by a sparking net that looked like it couldn’t stop a fly let alone an autocannon shell. Vic knew that civilian casualties weren’t uncommon at these fights. He’d already written half of them off.

The hover limo parked right next to the gantries where two dark colossi stood. One was a Panther, but the other was a ‘Mech that Vic had never seen before. It was taller than the Panther, but far more gangly, with long, thin limbs and a cockpit that seemed to erupt from the machine’s wide shoulders. Vic could make out the muzzle brake of a light autocannon and a right arm with the telltale scorch marks of flamer, but it was too dark to make out the rest. 

“Get suited up, hero,” Tychon mocked as he tossed Vic his beat-up neurohelmet. “Time to put on a show.” 

The next ten minutes were all downhill. Vic was dismayed to find out that his “Star League” ‘Mech had just a 60mm autocannon as its main armament. The flamer might be useful if he could get close, but he only had a single medium laser and a piddly machine gun when his autocannon’s ammo bin ran dry. Worse, he had no hands, so close combat brawling was out too.

The jump jets were a bonus and the ‘Mech felt reasonably nimble after taking it through a five-minute shakedown, but he was hardly confident his firepower would surpass his opponent. 

The other five minutes proved his suspicions correct. The Vulcan, a name he’d only discovered after cycling through his diagnostic displays, had less armor than the Panther. That discovery was made apparent after Matsumoto’s PPC sheared off his left arm at the shoulder. The arm only contained his machine gun, but it was an arm down when he’d barely pockmarked the Panther’s armored hide.

Vic fired with his autocannon, scoring minor hits across the Panther’s chest. Meanwhile, Vic’s damage display showed several red areas where previous PPC blasts had ruptured his wiry ‘Mech’s armor. His only hope was to close the distance, get underneath the PPC’s minimum range, and use his flamer to force Matsumoto into shutdown.

Kicking his Vulcan into gear, Vic charged forward in a slight zig-zag, firing his autocannon wildly as he went. Most of his shots missed, but Matsumoto’s did not. Another PPC blast removed his right arm, while a second punched through the Vulcan’s chest to nick the engine shielding. Immediately, the Vulcan’s normally temperate cockpit became a veritable sauna and his forward momentum slowed to a crawl.

Vic couldn’t hear it, but the crowd roared as the Vulcan seemed to stagger forward after a mortal blow. A few more defiant plinks from his autocannon merely bounced off the Panther’s scowling feline face as the crowd jeered. Then the Panther let loose a flight of SRMs. Three erupted all around the Vulcan’s cockpit, but one slipped right through the rents in the 40-ton machine’s armor to touch off the remaining autocannon rounds. The resulting explosion killed both Vic and 46 fans who were cheering right up until the shockwave blew the bleachers apart.

Vulcan : Bad 'Mechs a Sarna Tale | Battletopia Stories
Watch this video on YouTube.

Vulcan 3025

The bizarrely-shaped Vulcan is a ‘Mech made purely by necessity. In the closing years of the Amaris Civil War, the Star League Defense Force found itself fighting in the highly-populated urban centers of the Terran Hegemony. Ill-equipped for urban fighting, Alexander Kerensky ordered MatherTechno Incorporated of the recently liberated Northwind to produce a ‘Mech made to combat dug-in infantry--the most common threat faced by ‘Mechs when fighting in cities.

What MatherTechno came back with was quickly nicknamed the “Scarecrow” by SLDF MechWarriors. Tall and wiry for 40 tons, the VL-2T Vulcan also came with an odd assortment of weapons designed specifically to root out infantry. Its primary weapon was a 60mm Armstrong Autocannon/2, which was supported by a Firestorm Flamer and a Sperry Browning Machine Gun. The ‘Mech’s most powerful weapon, a single Medium Laser, was most often reserved for light-armored vehicles. 

The Vulcan‘s first combat action came during Operation Liberation, the battle for Terra. Primarily assigned to the SLDF’s Volunteer Regiments, the Vulcan quickly earned a reputation for being an effective city fighter. However, with only five tons of armor and an arsenal of light weapons, the Vulcan was vulnerable to other ‘Mechs or even heavy armored vehicles. In cases where the Vulcan found itself overmatched, a top speed of 97 kph and six jump jets theoretically allowed clever pilots to escape, but after years of bitter fighting, few Vulcan pilots opted for retreat during the Terran liberation.

Vulcan 3058

As MatherTechno’s first and only ‘Mech, the Vulcan also suffered from other design flaws beyond its armament. Without hands, the Vulcan was especially vulnerable to the sort of melee combat commonly found in urban settings. It also made the Vulcan less useful in non-combat scenarios and made it difficult to extract itself from rubble without damaging its Machine Gun or Flamer. The light autocannon was supposed to be a multipurpose weapon, but it was most often employed against hardened structures where the Flamer and Machine Gun proved ineffective. 

After Terra fell, the Vulcan temporarily found itself a weapon without a war. Luckily, MatherTechno soon found itself flooded with orders as every Great House frantically built up its arsenal in preparation for what would become the Succession Wars. This resulted in the proliferation of the Vulcan across the Inner Sphere, although their numbers would dwindle after MatherTechno’s factory was destroyed in the first few months of the First Succession War.

With its factory destroyed, MatherTechno was forced to sell the design to be produced under license by both Coventry Metal Works and Nimakachi Fusion Products Limited. This made the Vulcan most numerous in the Lyran Commonwealth and the Free Worlds League. In contrast, House Liao had the fewest number of Vulcans after the planet Sappho--where the majority of the Cappellan Vulcans were stationed--was lost to House Marik during the Second Succession War

Vulcan CCG

House Davion had a large stockpile of spare parts keeping its Vulcans operational, which were mostly the VL-5T variant. Introduced a year after the VL-2T, the 5T sacrificed the 60mm autocannon in favor of three additional Medium Lasers, two more tons of armor, and two extra heat sinks. This version of the Vulcan was far more effective at engaging ‘Mechs and other armored targets and proved instrumental in the retaking of Kentares IV during the First Succession War. 

It wasn’t until the recovery of the Helm Memory Core that new Vulcan variants started to be produced. The VT-5M from Nimakachi Fusion Products replaced the autocannon with a Large Pulse Laser, upgraded the laser to a Medium Pulse Laser, and upgraded the heat sinks to doubles. An endo steel chassis was used to make room for the additional firepower and an extra heat sink. Production of this variant would run from 3052 until 3069 when Nimakachi’s plant on Tematagi was destroyed by a pirate band known as the Order of the Faithful, a group unwittingly controlled by the Word of Blake.

The VT-6M, produced just before the factory was destroyed, upgraded the 5M’s arsenal with an ER Medium Laser and a Light Gauss Rifle with two tons of ammo. Only 30 examples of this variant were produced before the factory’s destruction and most of those were captured by the World of Blake.

Vulcan 3050 Update

With the Word of Blake’s de-facto takeover of the Free Worlds League, the VT-6C arose from the ashes of Nimakachi’s plant. This variant replaced the VT-5M’s lasers for an ER Large Laser, an ER Medium Laser, and a C3i Computer, and replaced the single Machine Gun with a trio of Light Machine Guns linked in a Machine Gun Array.

On the Lyran side, the VT-5S replaced the reliable Pitban 240 engine with an Extralight version, added ferro-fibrous armor and CASE for additional protection, and MASC for a temporary top speed of 129 kph. The lighter engine also allowed the Armstrong autocannon to be replaced by a much larger Ultra Autocannon/5. Unlike the Marik variant, the 5S would remain in production and even see a sub-variant upgrade produced during the Jihad. This variant--called the VT-5Sr--replaced the Ultra AC/5 with a Plasma Rifle and two additional heat sinks.

Following the Jihad, the Vulcan faced stiff competition from various OmniMechs sporting anti-personnel configurations, and the Republic disarmament meant that most militaries preferred to keep these adaptable designs over a dedicated infantry fighter like the Vulcan. With sales collapsing, Coventry and Nimakachi held a technical summit to redesign the Vulcan for the modern era. The result was the VL-7T. This entirely revamped Vulcan was armed with a Plasma Rifle, Heavy Machine Gun, Heavy Flamer, and an ER Medium Laser. A 240 XL engine and light ferro-fibrous armor allowed for the additional armament, all of which was linked to a Targeting Computer.

Vulcan RGilClan v30

Cheaper than competing OmniMechs, the VT-7T is the perfect design to defeat all sorts of armored infantry. The Targeting Computer ensures locks are maintained on squirrely targets such as Elementals, while the tried, tested, and true trio of Flamer, Machine Gun, and laser ensure that lightly armored and unarmored infantry can be cut down in droves. Today, the VL-7T is one of the top-selling ‘Mechs for both companies in no small part due to the prevalence of infantry on the modern battlefield.

However, that may not be the case forever. As infantry losses mount due to the deadly design, commanders may rethink their tactics to favor ‘Mechs once again. When that happens, the Vulcan will undoubtedly fall back on hard times.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy


Your BattleTech News Round-Up For September, 2023

It’s been an eventful September. We had the hottest summer in human history, Hollywood writers secured a historic contract that prevents them from losing their jobs to AI, and best of all, we’ve got a DropShip-load of BattleTech news to cover. So let’s skip all this historic garbage and get straight to the news that matters!

MechWarrior 5 Clans Announced 

MechWarrior 5: Clans Teaser
Watch this video on YouTube.

Looks like the speculation is over a lot sooner than I thought. The next MechWarrior game is not MechWarrior 6 but is instead being called MechWarrior 5: Clans

The news first broke through a leaked version of the article coming in the next issue of PC Gamer. We’re only discussing it here since most of what we learn in the article is also available to peruse on MechWarrior 5: Clan‘s Steam store listing, which went live a few days later (presumably because of the leak). 

We’ve got a lot to unpack here, so we’ll start with the article. It’s intended to explain the universe to non-BattleTech players, so we’ll skip a lot of the general stuff and get right to the specifics. We’re playing as Clan Smoke Jaguar during the invasion of the Inner Sphere. One early mission--perhaps even the introductory mission--is confirmed to take place on the pirate-controlled world of Santander V. This earliest known battle between the Smoke Jaguars and the Inner Sphere involved saKhan Sarah Weaver bidding against Clan Ghost Bear to destroy the pirate band Santander’s Killers, and would place the player as a MechWarrior in either the Shroud Keshik or the 362nd Assault Cluster

There are several confirmed ‘Mechs in the article, including the Timber Wolf, Mad Dog, Summoner, and Dire Wolf, although fighting against pirates and the Draconis Combine presumably means we’ll see a lot of Inner Sphere designs too. I think it’s safe to say we’ll see a bunch of Clan ‘Mech models that are already represented in MechWarrior Online and are era/faction-appropriate, such as the Mist Lynx, Nova, Stormcrow, Ebon Jaguar, Warhawk, and more.

MechWarrior 5 Clans Alex Igelsias Key Art

Emil has already talked at length about what MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries does right and what it does wrong, so I’ll be brief when I say Mercenaries‘ biggest shortcoming is storytelling. Too many missions said that we were trying to save the noble from an invading force, but what we actually did was fend off waves of randomly spawned ‘Mechs on a randomly generated map. We never saw the nobles, the invaders never acted like they were trying to complete their own objective, and the mission felt like every other mission--a festival of destruction that ends with you atop a pile of wrecked ‘Mechs. 

It sounds like PGI is taking a different direction with MW5: Clans. The terms “handcrafted,” “bespoke,” and “visual storytelling” all got bandied around in the article, with levels being designed to produce evocative visuals as well as memorable encounters. We can also expect a different audio experience. Where Mercenaries was all about chunky metal guitars evoking a similar soundscape to MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries, MW5: Clans will try to emulate the synthesized ambiance of the original MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat.

Head over to the Steam store listing and we find out MW5: Clans will have an “expansive campaign” with “well-crafted characters and moral quandaries.” There’s also going to be a “revamped MechLab” with a new “hardpoint and OmniPod system.” 

I gotta give kudos to PGI on this one. The first MechWarrior 2 covered Clans Wolf, Jade Falcon, and Ghost Bear (with the expansion). We’ve never had a MechWarrior game where the Smoke Jaguars were anything but the villain. There’s lots of room for storytelling here alongside some classic ‘Mech versus ‘Mech action.

There are a few other things worth noting. The teaser video you see above was created by the same folks who made Hired Steel, which explains its incredible quality. They’ve even released a behind-the-scenes video on how they made the teaser. For more analysis on where the campaign could go and what ‘Mechs to expect, I’ll direct you to Stormwolf’s excellent breakdown on the subject here. We know MechWarrior 5’s game engine is being upgraded from Unreal 4 to Unreal 5 (here’s hoping my current rig can keep up). And we’re getting MechWarrior 5: Clans way sooner than I expected. The game drops sometime in 2024. 

There’s more in PC Gamer’s article, so do pick up their next issue whenever it arrives. I don’t really follow print magazines, but I assume they’re still on a monthly schedule.

OPINION – ‘Mechs That Need To Be In MechWarrior 5: Clans

Sarna Complaints Department

Courtesy of Eldoniousrex

Stormwolf has given us a list of ‘Mechs already modeled in MechWarrior Online that we could see in MechWarrior 5: Clans. However, I think it’d be a huge waste for PGI to release a new game without any new ‘Mechs that fans haven’t seen before (or at least, not in a long time). 

A new game means new ‘Mechs, and I’m going to throw out a few names for ‘Mechs that absolutely should be in MechWarrior 5: Clans. First and foremost, the Firemoth, Inner Sphere reporting name Dasher. This ‘Mech was deemed too fast to put into MechWarrior Online as a potential top speed of over 200 kph would outrun the game’s polling rate, making accurate prediction of shots utterly impossible. But that problem doesn’t exist in a PvE co-op game with at most five players.

We haven’t seen the Firemoth since MechWarrior 2. It’s time to bring this fast boy home.

Next on the list is the Kingfisher. Although more commonly found in Clan Ghost Bear’s touman, it’s still conceivable to find them in second-line Smoke Jaguar units. The Kingfisher is a personal fav since it’s one of the few Clan OmniMechs that doesn’t have an XL engine, making it an extremely tough ‘Mech to bring down. 

And finally, the Black Python, Inner Sphere reporting name Viper. No, it’s not an OmniMech, but it is still a powerful 75-ton machine with all the bells and whistles the Clans are famous for, plus a targeting computer to turn those Large Pulse Lasers into crit-seeking snipers. It’s a wonder this ‘Mech even exists in-universe, but it’d be amazing to see it in a new MechWarrior title.

A few more names to drop: Conjurer, Horned Owl, Bane, Glass Spider, and the unsung IICs. There are over a dozen ‘Mechs that haven’t been made in MechWarrior Online that are easily appropriate for the Smoke Jaguar invasion. List off any I’ve forgotten in the comments below. 

This EIGHT HOUR Video Comprehensively Tells The Story Of The Amaris Civil War

BattleTech Lore & History - Star League Civil War: A Complete 35 Year History (MechWarrior Lore)
Watch this video on YouTube.

Sven van der Plank has been producing long-form BattleTech videos on YouTube for some time now, with deep dives into some of BattleTech‘s most lore-heavy topics. However, none of them compare to the massive eight-hour video he produced for the Star League Civil War, with the help of many notable individuals from the BattleTech community. 

Each subject is accompanied by in-universe art or custom animations created to explain everything from the force dispositions of the Inner Sphere nations to the massive body count the war eventually generated. Occasionally, you’ll get the likes of Tex or BigRed40 jumping in to lend their voice when Sven needs a well-deserved break, but then he just gets back to explaining every facet of the subject in meticulously well-sourced detail. And it’s all set to music you’ll recognize from past BattleTech games. 

I’ve been leaving this video on in the background when I don’t necessarily need my language centers online, and I’m still only halfway through. This is an all-day lecture, but it’s so well done that it’s worth the investment unless you’re already well-versed in every aspect of the BattleTech timeline between the years 2700 and 2800.

As impressive as this video is, I think I prefer his more recent series which divides the First Succession War into more manageable 30-minute chunks. I’ll get through this video eventually, and you all should definitely subscribe to Sven’s channel for more.

Another MW5: Mercs DLC Is On The Way Alongside A New MechWarrior Game In 2027

EG7’s 2023 Capital Markets Day
Watch this video on YouTube.

Enad Global 7, the parent company of MechWarrior 5 developer PGI, released a video showcasing the company’s future plans, and MechWarrior is a big part of them. We already know about MechWarrior 5: Clans coming sometime in 2024, but I was surprised to see the presentation reveal yet more MechWarrior is on the way.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries won’t be finished after The Dragon’s Gambit. Another DLC is planned for sometime in the first quarter of 2024. There’s no info on what the DLC will entail, but given it’ll arrive before MechWarrior 5: Clans, I’m guessing it’ll link the two games by pitting our favorite lug-head mercenary against the Clans in the early years of the Clan Invasion. There are really no notable events after the War of ’39 until the Clans invade, and it’d make sense to join the two MechWarrior 5s narratively.

There’s also another MechWarrior game currently in the “ideation phase” that is targeting a release sometime in 2027. We again have little info as this phase is typically just folks spitballing ideas to see what sticks. It’ll be along the same lines as MechWarrior 5; a small-scale co-op game with an initial price tag and DLC released every few months. However, the future of this game is entirely dependent on whether Microsoft agrees to extend the MechWarrior license beyond 2025. 

Given MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries sold over a million units over the course of three years, I can’t imagine Microsoft saying no to an extension. 

The presentation also gave us a tiny insight into the financial performance of MechWarrior. The development budget for this new MechWarrior title coming in 2027 is around $20 million. Given the presentation said that it expects the financial performance of this game to be the same as MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, that means Mercs probably had a budget of around $20 million too. And since we know it sold a million copies priced at $40 bucks each, that’s at least $40 million in revenue, not counting DLC. Not exactly GTA money, but certainly a healthy profit.

PGI president Russ Bullock was in Stockholm to discuss the future of MechWarrior with his Swedish overlords last week. And judging by the fact there weren’t any follow-up tweets, I assume what we see in the presentation is what’s happening. I’ll be sure to keep my eyes peeled for news on this future MechWarrior game, which I’ll now start referring to as the new MechWarrior 6.

MW5: Mercs The Dragon’s Gambit DLC Has Arrived

The Dragon's Gambit Launch Trailer
Watch this video on YouTube.

Speaking of MechWarrior 5 DLC, The Dragon’s Gambit is here, and I haven’t had a chance to play it yet. I do own it, but it’s been a crazy month and I’m burning the midnight oil getting this news blast out. You can watch the launch trailer to get an idea of what we’re in for. I’m not sure why Arcturus is being showcased in the trailer as that planet wasn’t a battleground in the War of 3039, but I will find out just as soon as I get a chance to take the Bad ‘Mechs (that’s the name of my mercenary company of course) into the new campaign. 

We do have some new information to go over courtesy of a recent news post on the MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries site. Custom difficult options are now available under the Gameplay tab in the Options menu. These custom options allow players to adjust things like the storage cost of ‘Mechs and ‘Mech upkeep as well as the penalties applied to contract payouts for going over tonnage. You can even set these penalties to zero to effectively have no tonnage limit to any mission.

There are also the new “Otomo” ‘Mechs, which are upgraded versions of ‘Mechs typically found in the DCMS. For example, the DRG-1G-S Grand Dragon has near-maximum armor, an array of formerly LosTech lasers and enough heat sinks to use them. The HTM-26T-S Hatamoto-Chi carries a standard weapons complement but is slightly faster and more heat efficient than your typical Hatamoto. Conversely, the CLPT-K2-S Catapult is slightly slower than a typical K2 but replaces the machine guns with AC/2s. For more all the Otomo ‘Mechs and the customizable difficulty options, check out the news post here.

There’s also a huge sale going on where you can get MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries and most of its DLC 50% off. If you haven’t given this game a try, now’s a pretty good time.

Jason Youngblood’s Phoenix Hawk LAM

Jason Youngblood Phoenix Hawk LAM by Victor Yanez

It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from Gallery 3025, but I’m glad we have a new spectacle to share. Here we have Jason Youngblood‘s Phoenix Hawk LAM by Víctor Yáñez. As Travis states in the post, there’s very little LAM art out there that isn’t just Macross. It’s good to see this very unique ‘Mech in its prime. 

But also, I’m glad that BattleTech‘s design went more toward ‘Mechs “as tanks with legs” rather than “fighter jets with legs.” Still, great art here. Sign up to Gallery 3025 to help produce more great art like this. 

Wolves Previews Multiplayer Update

MechAssault Fangame | Wolves Multiplayer Preview 4K HDR | 5.1 Surround
Watch this video on YouTube.

MechAssault fans should already know all about Wolves, the MechAssault fan game from Pajama Boy and New Day Fiction. Previously, the game’s only mode pitted you against waves of enemies until your ‘Mech finally gave out. However, that will soon change with update 0.5.8 and Wave 3. Wolves is getting multiplayer.

The trailer above showcases three players in a free-for-all. I don’t know if that’s the maximum number of players possible, but I’m hoping Wolves will be able to add a few more for a real Grand Melee experience. 

Wave 3 will also add new ‘Mechs, new skins, and better graphics, including 4K and HDR. You can download the current build here, and expect more previews to be coming soon.

My Lil Mechwarrior: Hell’s Horses Ride at Dawn

She is mechwarrior
byu/Zemerpone inbattletech

I can’t take credit for that title. That belongs to Captain_Vlad, while the art belongs to Zemerpone. I love seeing BattleTech through the lens of different art styles. I was never a brony, but I can still appreciate good art when I see it. And a good joke.

There’s A Reason It’s Called The Executioner

byu/Procurator-Derek inOutreachHPG

This is but one of a three--part series from Tychorion. The first is of an Executioner getting the first blast on a Crusader, while a pack of Pheonix Hawks and Firestarters finish it off in the second piece. The third involves an Incubus taking on a pair of Blood Asps, which will certainly go just swimmingly for the 30-ton ‘Mech.

These are all clearly inspired by MechWarrior Online, with that third piece being set on Tourmaline. As I said, I love seeing BattleTech in different and unique styles, and this definitely fits the bill. Thanks, Tychorion!

Hover Crab Is The Next Step In Crab Evolution

John T. Railcrab presents the latest in hover craft technology…
byu/meltdonw14 inbattletech

I don’t really have an explanation for this, other than evolution generally seems to favor crab designs over all others. Maybe that’s true of hovercrafts too? Maybe we should ask meltdonw14.

Pretty Sure That Highlander Just Crushed An Aggro ‘Mech

No Rest For the Accursed – Ink piece for Shrapnel Mag
byu/TheRedEpicArt inbattletech

A piece from Jared Blando that was featured in Shrapnel issue #13 for the story No Rest For The Accursed. This is why you don’t take an AgroMech (or a logger ‘Mech, as in this case) against a Highlander IIC. Stunning ink work here. You can see another of Blando’s pieces in this post.

A New Giant Robot Has Arrived


You might remember Kuratas, the giant Japanese robot that fought Eagle Prime Mk III back in 2018. Afterward, Kuratas seemed to disappear from public view, but a new Japanese robot has arrived that seems to have picked up where Kuratas left off.

It’s called ARCHAX from Tsubame Industries, which plans to actually sell this four-legged robot for 400 million yen each (or roughly $2.7 million USD). ARCHAX is 4.5 meters tall (a little under 15 feet) and weighs in at 3.5 tons. The human pilot sits in ARCHAX’s chest and is propelled along by wheels located on the mech’s four legs. The pilot navigates using nine cameras placed around the exterior, and two joysticks control ARCHAX’s arms. 

It’s not exactly fast. With a top speed of just 10 kph, ARCHAX is slower than an UrbanMech. It also has no weapons as guns are illegal in Japan. 

This begs the question of who will buy ARCHAX and what it might be used for. The answer to both is “nobody knows.” The articulating hands could theoretically pick up and deposit cargo, but there’s no reason to use ARCHAX over a forklift at present. And it’s so slow that you might as well get on a bike if you want to get someplace. Probably easier to park too.

But hey, we’re not going to look a gift mech in the mouth. Expect to see more of ARCHAX during the Japan Mobility Show later this fall.

The Black Knight Leads The Way

This particular Black Knight, courtesy of fed0t, was clearly inspired by MechWarrior 5‘s BL-7-KNT-P. It looks like she’s seen better days, but is still more than capable of leading the fight for a band of less technologically advanced soldiers.

UrbanMech IIC Arrives In MechWarrior Online

UrbanMech IIC Hashke

MechWarrior 5: Clans sort of sucked all the MechWarrior oxygen out of the room, so we’re just going to quickly hit the highlights for this month’s MechWarrior Online patch.

The biggest that I can see are two new Legendary ‘Mechs that are both UrbanMech IICs. That’s right: now you can put Clan tech on your 30-ton trashcan. The two Legendary ‘Mechs, named “Hashke” and “Abbaddon,” basically just double down on the UrbanMech‘s penchant for having a big cannon supported by tiny lasers. They also have armor, heat, and firepower quirks that put the other Urbies to shame.

Along with the UrbanMech IICs comes a new Legendary Atlas, called “Warlord,” which mounts two LB 20-Xs and waddles somewhat faster than most Atlases. The patch also brings balance adjustments to ‘Mechs and weapons, including quirk passes for the Bushwacker, Orion, Executioner, and Stone Rhino

There’s a lot more in the patch notes, such as the MWO Champion Series support pack that’s on sale now as teams battle for MWO supremacy. Read all about it on MWO‘s website here.

Phil Spencer Says He’d Love Xbox To Return To MechAssault/MechWarrior Games

I know that one executive merely saying something doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, but it’s still nice to hear Phil Spencer reminisce about MechAssault and MechWarrior. Speaking at the Tokyo Game Show, the Xbox head honcho said, “I always wanted us to go back and revisit MechAssault MechWarrior space, I think there’s a lot we can do. There’s so much about that whole franchise that in some way was ahead of its time, and it would be nice to get to go back and revisit.”

No sooner did Spencer make the comment did the official Wolves account offer its assistance in reviving MechAssault. Considering these fine folks have done a great job making a fan game with literally zero budget, I could only imagine the amazing work they’d do with Microsoft’s money.

Spencer added Xbox doesn’t “have a plan today,” but maybe that’ll change with a little help from Wolves. Fingers crossed, guys.

The Mercenaries Kickstarter’s Pledge Manager Has Officially Closed

Eridani Light Horse Mercenaries Kickstarter

Catalyst is still hard at work on the wildly successful Mercenaries Kickstarter, which is why we haven’t heard from them in a while. The latest update is that the Pledge Manager has closed and everyone should see the charges appear on the credit cards (or whatever your payment method was) very shortly. 

Next will come the actual fulfillment of the orders, which will hopefully be fairly quick. I’d love to get these boxes in before Christmas, but Catalyst has not provided a specific timeline for when everyone will get their packages. Hopefully, we’ll get that timeline for next month’s news.

MechAssault 2 ‘Mechs Now Available For Gmod

Gmod: NEW Mechassault 2 Battlemech NPC Quick Showcase
Watch this video on YouTube.

Major BioMech has tipped me off to a new collection of ‘Mechs, tanks, and aircraft for everyone’s favorite stand-alone Half-Life sandbox, Gmod. This time, all the MechAssault 2 units are fully functional NPCs, allowing you to fight them in your own ‘Mech or watch them fight amongst themselves. You can even have those same ‘Mechs fight completely non-BattleTech characters to see who’d win.

The mod comes courtesy of Dopey, who also created the original driveable MechAssault ‘Mechs. Thanks for the great work!

The Kit Fox Arrives In MechWarrior 5

Kit Fox / Uller (Classic) mod for Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries
Watch this video on YouTube.

Speaking of mods, we have SankaraSamsara (also known as The Art Of BattleTech) and Maxim2016 to thank for the all-new Uller mod for MechWarrior 5. Maxim2016 provided the model, while SankaraSamsara created the animations. Note that it’s not a perfect recreation of the old-school Kit Fox design as MechWarrior 5 requires all ‘Mechs to torso twist, which the original ‘Mech couldn’t really do without having its arms hit its enormous backward-facing knees. The variants also don’t exactly match the canon versions, but they seem plenty powerful at least.

Head on over to Nexus Mods to download the Kit Fox mod.

And Also The Nova

SankaraSamsara also worked with Michael Long to bring the Nova to MechWarrior 5. Again, the same issues apply with the Kit Fox as the Nova shouldn’t be able to torso twist. The solution, much like in MechWarrior 2, is to give the Nova an extremely limited torso yaw value, allowing you to slightly wiggle your torso. Head on over to Steam or Nexus Mods to download this mod, including one compatible with Yet Another Mech Lab

Always Check Your Six

Little short comic me and a few of my friends help put together. Hope you guys enjoy
byu/meltdonw14 inbattletech

Meltdonw14 is back with another piece, this time a comic series featuring several AeroSpace fighters. I’ve always loved the Corsair, and it’s great to see one take out a Stingray even if it does get knocked out not a few moments later. The trouble with being an AeroSpace jockey is that you’re in pretty much the most hostile environment imaginable. ‘Mech pilots don’t always have the option of ejecting, but AeroSpace fighters can never just abandon their ship. That makes it all the more important to always check your six.

It seems like meltdonw14 is on a bit of an AeroSpace kick since there’s also a close-up of a Corsair pilot and the oft-forgotten MechBuster.

PixelMek 3-D Imagines MechWarrior As A Boomer Shooter

PixelMek 3D pre-alpha, now with music and sound effects!
Watch this video on YouTube.

Let’s consider an interesting hypothetical: what if MechWarrior 2 was made not with full 3D models but instead with Doom-like sprites? Then you’d probably wind up with something that looks a lot like PixelMek 3-D from Mechteric. 

We got to check out an early alpha build in the video above posted earlier this month. It’s very clearly not done as there are no sprites representing ‘Mechs that are not facing directly at the player, and there are no explosion animations, the basics are all here. Everything is being made with contributed pixel ‘Mech artwork and free assets, while the game itself is being written in Golang. 

You can also check out Mechteric’s older version of PixelMek, which is more of a strategy game rather than a first-person shooter.

Nick Kerensky Was A Furry Confirmed

This probably comes as no surprise to a lot of you, but I think this is the most logical explanation for the Clans. 

And that’s it for this month! Join us in October for yet more BattleTech action from around the Inner Sphere.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

Bad ‘Mechs – Kintaro

Bad 'Mechs - Kintaro

Courtesy of Eldoniousrex

“Alright, Striker Lance, we’re two clicks out from the city of Harmony, but the Marshal has called for the city’s fall by the 21st,” Corporal Benson’s radio crackled as Captain Mohaney repeated exposition already discussed during this morning’s briefing.

“That’s why we’re sending you in with your new Kintaros. The hope is that you’ll be able to mark enemy fortifications with your Narc beacons so we can call in accurate long-range missile fire. Bombardment lance is locked and loaded, but expect the Taurians to be in defensive positions.” 

Benson rolled his eyes. In other words, they’d be waiting for him. 

“Your mission is to run in, tag a few tanks, and then retreat under fire,” Mohaney added. “Maintain situational awareness and look out for your lancemates.” 

Benson hated how his captain always ended his transmissions with some generic encouragement. As though he hadn’t been checking his six every five minutes since landing on New Vandenberg. If over a month of orbital bombardment hadn’t convinced the Taurians to stop fighting the SLDF, he doubted a slightly more accurate LRM barrage would do the trick. 

Still, orders were orders, and Benson pushed his Kintaro’s throttle to the stops as he rose above the final berm between his lance and the Taurian’s supposed position. Nothing popped on his sensors at first, but then a barrage of tracers revealed several machine gun and autocannon emplacements. Rounds pinged off his Kintaro’s armor as Benson charged forward, desperately searching for somewhere to place his Narc beacon.

There. A tank in between two apartment buildings. The Kintaro’s Starbeam 3000 targeting computer didn’t recognize the model, but it could lock onto a tracked vehicle without issue. Benson weaved around the incoming fire, clusters of rockets passing over his ‘Mech’s left shoulder as a lucky depression brought him just beneath the missiles’ ballistic arc. Benson stumbled, but quickly righted the Kintaro to bring his crosshairs back onto the now-reversing tank.

“Striker 4, I’m in range. Firing the payload,” announced Benson as he loosed his Narc beacon. The single rocket motor spiraled into the tank, but instead of exploding, Benson’s targeting computer buzzed with a strong missile lock.

“I’ve got tone!” Benson’s radio crackled as Bombardment lance acknowledged the Narc signal. “Package incoming!” 

Even through his cockpit’s soundproofing, the roar of hundreds of missiles was enough to drown out the cacophony of combat surrounding Benson. The tank–and much of the residential block it was hiding in–disappeared in a cloud of smoke as dozens upon dozens of missiles fell. 

“Hey, it worked!” Benson shouted on the open comms, but none of his lancemates responded. 

“Striker 4 to Striker actual, come in?” Static. Benson checked his HUD but couldn’t find the green carets of his lancemates. Only then did he see Sergeant Johansen’s Kintaro face-down in the dirt about 200 meters to his left. The boxy limbs of another Kintaro could be seen on his right, although the ‘Mech’s ape-like torso was nowhere to be found.

Before Benson could bolt in panic, the smoke cleared, revealing three more tanks rolling through the crater left by Bombardment lance. They all leveled their barrels at Benson’s Kintaro and fired.

Kintaro KTO-20 3050

The Kintaro is a good ‘Mech built around a bad idea. Designed to employ what was then the new Narc Missile Beacon, the Kintaro‘s mission was to charge enemy lines, fire the Narc at targets of opportunity, and then overwhelm opponents with its improved missile performance. Kintaros often operated in missile-heavy lances alongside companies with long-range missile launchers able to destroy from afar whatever the Kintaro‘s Narc beacon had attached to.

Unfortunately, the Kintaro‘s designers failed to foresee the difficulty of this mission profile. Although a top speed of 86 kph was fairly nimble when the Kintaro was introduced in 2587, it was insufficient to allow the Kintaro to effectively disengage after its Narc beacon was fired. Worse, the Kintaro‘s primarily short-ranged armament meant that pilots were often knife-fighting with opponents while simultaneously trying to dodge incoming long-range missile fire from friendly units. 

The original KTO-19 from General Mechanics was a fairly well-armed and armored ‘Mech. Two medium lasers, two SRM-6 batteries, and a single LRM-5 launcher constituted the Kintaro‘s offensive armament, with the ‘Mech’s signature Narc beacon placed directly in the center torso. Eleven tons of ferro-fibrous armor meant the Kintaro was well protected for a ‘Mech of its size, although this didn’t prevent Kintaro pilots from earning a reputation for recklessness, nor did it keep their ‘Mechs from returning battered and bruised due to their dangerous mission profile. 


A dangerous job wasn’t the Kintaro‘s only problem. Because the Kintaro was literally built around the Narc beacon launcher in its chest, the bulk of the ‘Mech’s missile armament was pushed to its left arm. With its ammunition bins in its chest, the Kintaro‘s ammunition linkages were extremely complex. Pilots had to lock the arm in place for a full three seconds in order to reload the launchers after firing, and any sudden movement would often cause the SRM system to jam. For some reason, the LRM launcher rarely saw similar issues despite using a nearly identical ammo feeder. 

For over 200 years, the KTO-19 (and the KTO-19b, the upgraded variant produced for the SLDF Royal Brigades) remained unchanged until the destruction of the Narc missile beacon factory in 2792 soon after the start of the First Succession War. KTO-19s remained in service for some time using stockpiled beacons, but field refits soon saw the Narc launcher removed in favor of a third SRM-6 launcher as the supply of beacons dried up. 

Kintaro KTO-20

An effective brawler, the Kintaro‘s numbers continued to dwindle over the centuries of conflict until it was nearly extinct by the Third Succession War. The Kintaro was then saved by General Dynamics, which began producing the common field refit under the designation KTO-18 on the planet Ozawa. Unable to produce the now Lostech ferro fibrous armor, the KTO-18 had eleven tons of standard armor, as well as three SRM-6 launchers, one LRM-5, and two medium lasers. With only 10 single heatsinks, the KTO-18 “ran hotter than hell’s saunas,” but was still a powerful, fast, and well-armored ‘Mech that used cheap and plentiful ammunition, making it a popular choice for cash-strapped Periphery militias. 

The KTO-19b, produced by the Kintaro‘s original manufacturer General Mechanics, upgraded the ‘Mech with an XL 275 engine, replaced the LRM-5 launcher with an LRM-15, and provided both ammunition bins with CASE alongside an additional half-ton of armor. Already a rare sight during the days of the SLDF, the Royal Brigade variant would virtually disappear with Kerensky‘s exodus from the Inner Sphere.


The KTO-18 would be the most common Kintaro variant for some time even after ComStar introduced the KTO-20. Built from the KTO-19, the ‘Mech replaced the center-torso Narc beacon launcher with a large laser and upgraded the single heat sinks to doubles. This kept the ‘Mech from overheating while simultaneously improving its firepower. The existence of the KTO-20 would remain a closely guarded secret until the War of 3039 when ComStar gifted a number of these ‘Mechs to the Draconis Combine as part of Operation Rosebud. The KTO-20’s performance proved so much greater than the KTO-18 that FedCom units made them priority targets whenever they appeared on the battlefield. 

The Draconis Combine would continue to favor the Kintaro into the 3050s with the KTO-C. Designed as a testbed for the new C3 system, the KTO-C was identical to the KTO-20 but dropped a single medium laser for the C3 slave unit. ComStar and the World of Blake would improve on the KTO-C with the KTO-21 in the mid-3060s. A C3i computer and an Improved Narc Beacon replaced the LRM-5, while the two medium lasers were upgraded to extended-range models. An endo steel chassis helped account for the bulkier equipment, although it was still necessary to remove a half-ton of armor.

Kintario KTO-20

The final variant of the Kintaro, the KTO-K, was introduced by the Draconis Combine in the late 3060s. Armed with two Streak SRM-6s and three ER medium lasers, the KTO-K also had a C3 slave unit and five jump jets for added mobility.

For a time, the Kintaro would also see service amongst the Clans, where it was particularly favored by Clan Cloud Cobra. The Naja, introduced in 2826, was armed with Clan-spec weapons, including an LRM-20, two SRM-6s, two SRM-4s, two ER medium lasers, and an ER small laser. Fourteen double heat sinks struggled to keep the Naja cool, although 12 tons of standard armor and a standard engine made it an extremely easy-to-maintain ‘Mech. Clan Cloud Cobra remained the exclusive operator of the Naja until the Cobras switched their manufacturing focus from ‘Mechs to aerospace assets. The Cobras would quietly retire the Naja with the advent of the OmniMech

The Kintaro’s fate has remained tied to the Narc beacon, and as the Narc has fallen out of favor, so too has the Kintaro. Even the Draconis Combine has relegated its remaining KTO-Ks to second-line garrisons by the late 3130s. Few examples remain today outside the Periphery, and as those fall into disrepair, the Kintaro’s future is in serious doubt.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

An Ode To Light ‘Mechs: Why BattleTech Needs More Light ‘Mech Love

BattleTech HBS Raven

So here’s an interesting tidbit I just found out about in MechWarrior Online. In a recent video from No Guts No Galaxy, Sean Lang discussed how PGI is working on “multiple MechWarrior projects,” one of which is the Dragon’s Gambit for MechWarrior 5 and another is mostly likely MechWarrior 6. In that same video, Lang also discussed some new Legendary ‘Mechs coming to MechWarrior Online, noting that they were both assault ‘Mechs. Most interestingly, he noted that light ‘Mechs apparently suffer from poor sales, with light ‘Mech packs selling far below medium, heavy, and assault ‘Mechs.

You could argue that light ‘Mechs simply have less battle impact in a competitive game like MechWarrior Online so players are far less likely to spend money on them. You could also argue that light ‘Mechs are far more difficult to pilot, what with their extreme speed and poor armor making them prone to running into walls or blowing up when they get hit by 18 PPCs. Or you could argue that the average BattleTech fan prefers to stomp around in a big hulking heap of metal rather than something relatively nimble.

Any of these hypotheses could be correct, or perhaps it’s a combination of two or even all three. And being unable to let any good hypothesis writhe on the vine, I set out to determine which is it through a number of polls on various BattleTech Discord servers.

BattleTech HBS Locust

I asked a very simple question: “What is your favorite class of ‘Mech?” My hope was to discover if MechWarrior Online’s distaste for light ‘Mechs was something that was felt across all BattleTech communities, or if there was something specifically going on in MWO. The results were surprising, to say the least.

We’ll start in the Star League Discord server–a diverse place with loads of Pride flags and references to Canopian cat people. My kinda place. Anyway, my impromptu survey initially started with very interesting results, with medium-class ‘Mechs just edging out heavies. And rather than lights, it’s assault-class ‘Mechs that are the least popular, with light ‘Mechs comfortably in third place.

Next, we head to the Focht Hyperpulse server, which is also a diverse place but there are fewer Canopians and more Canadians. Once again, we get a very interesting result. This time, heavy ‘Mechs come out well ahead, followed by mediums and then lights. Assaults are once again in last place as the least preferred ‘Mech class. 

Finally, I did another poll in the Sarna Discord server, perhaps the best place on the web outside of Sarna itself. I thought here we’d get a much more representative cross-section of BattleTech fans, but even here I was surprised by the results. Heavies are once again in the lead, but medium ‘Mechs managed just to squeak out ahead of assaults. Lights, finally, are dead last by a margin of two to one.

From my brief and very unscientific research, we see that heavy ‘Mechs are most likely the most popular class by a fair margin. It’s actually neck and neck between light ‘Mechs and assault ‘Mechs for who comes in dead last. 

Commando versus Locust

I’m as surprised as anyone. I would have expected assaults to be top of the heap as everyone seems to love their Awesomes and Atlases, but they’re actually as maligned as Locusts and Stingers. Meanwhile, mediums and heavies are far and away the most popular classes, which is slightly curious. You’d have expected to see more medium ‘Mechs being sold in MechWarrior Online, and a campaign with drop limits centered around heavies in MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, but instead you have lots of assault ‘Mechs being sold in MWO and an end-game in MW5 that basically requires the Steiner Scout Squad.

Perhaps there’s a bit of a disconnect between the data of these polls and what people really spend their money on. Perhaps people want assaults in PGI’s games because those games are designed around assaults being the most effective ‘Mechs. And perhaps with this data, they might decide to refocus things to favor mediums and heavies in MechWarrior 6. We can only hope.

But one thing is clear: light ‘Mechs are certainly the most maligned class. They’re tied for the least popular class in BattleTech, they’re not purchased in abundance in MechWarrior Online, and they’re mostly beginner Mechs or used for niche roles in MechWarrior 5. 

And that sucks, because I think light ‘Mechs are the best.

Think about it. For the price of one Atlas, you can have a demi-company of Locusts. You could even stack them two in a ‘Mech bay thanks to their narrow profiles, allowing you to stuff twice as many inside a DropShip. They rely on speed and stealth for protection, meaning you’re either a write-off or pristine, with very few repairs needed after a successful mission. Light ‘Mechs can still bring plenty of firepower to the table, as anyone who’s ever faced a lance of Panthers can attest. Plus, they’re cute! who hasn’t looked at a Locust or a Kit Fox and thought this thing looks freakin’ adorable?

I can hear your argument even now. “But Sean, there’s no great BattleTech heroes that ever piloted light ‘Mechs,” you complain erroneously. For indeed, there are loads of great light ‘Mech pilots!

Phelan Kell (Ward)Phelan Kell BattleTech Legends

The son of Morgan Kell and Salome Ward, that man who would eventually become the Khan of Clan Wolf-in-Exile spent the vast bulk of his career piloting a Wolfhound he named “Grinner.” That Wolfhound would get a Clan-spec upgrade after his capture by Clan Wolf, which would later be dubbed the Wolfhound IIC. At various points throughout his career, Phelan would also pilot a Kit Fox, a Mercury, and a Solitaire

Katie Ferraro 

Fox Patrol‘s founding member, Ferraro found a long-abandoned Kit Fox on her home planet of Jerangle. Once a Kell Hounds ‘Mech, it had been left abandoned in the jungle for decades. Ferraro would repair the Kit Fox, which she dubbed “Kagekitsune,” and used it to drive off a pirate gang to save her hometown. She’d eventually go on to found Fox Patrol where she pilots Kagekitsune to this day.

Aletha Kabrinski ERA Report 3052Aletha Kabrinski

The former Khan of Clan Ghost Bear spent most of her career in a custom Fire Moth armed with an ER large laser and a trio of ER small lasers. With little armor protecting her from enemy fire, Aletha relied exclusively on the Fire Moth‘s ludicrous speed to outmaneuver foes.

Daniel AllardDaniel Allard The Kell Hounds

The brother of Justin Allard and renowned commander in the Kell Hounds mercenary unit, Allard piloted a Valkyrie until a battle with the Genyosha on Styx. Afterward, he was given a new Wolfhound which he piloted until his death. 

Zane Nova Cat

MechWarrior Zane proved to be an instrumental figure during Clan Nova Cat‘s Abjuration in the 3060s. His visions provided guidance and warning to the Nova Cats, allowing them to survive during a tumultuous time in the Clan’s history. Zane started his career in a Jenner IIC 2 but later transferred to a Pack Hunter provided by Clan Wolf-in-Exile.

Minobu Tetsuhara

Liaison officer to Wolf’s Dragoons during the mercenary unit’s contract with House Kurita, Tetsuhara’s family Panther was called “Katana Kat.” After the ‘Mech was transferred to Testuhara’s brother, he’d pilot a DRG-1N Dragon

Robert Grey Sword and the DragonRobert Grey

A MechWarrior in The Fox’s Teeth of the Seventh Crucis Lancers, Grey served in the Third and Fourth Succession Wars, the Ronin War, the War of 3039, the Clan Invasion, the FedCom Civil War, and the Jihad. Grey piloted a Stinger, then a Hornet, and finally an ALM-8D Fireball.

As you can see, there are plenty of great and noble figures who can get the most out of their light ‘Mechs, and you can too! Just trade in your Atlas for a bevy of Commandos. You’ll be glad you did.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy. 

stay syrupy

Bad ‘Mechs – Ostscout

Bad 'Mechs Ostscout

Courtesy of Eldoniousrex

Private Eastman wasn’t sure why he was even here, in the middle of Lee’s massive forests waving his Ostscout‘s arms around in an attempt to find a Capellan invasion force. The Fifth Davion Guards already had complete air superiority after the Davion aerospace forces had ambushed the Liao fighters in orbit, so there really was no need for him to be casually strolling through the dense foliage with his ‘Mech’s arms out looking like a blind metal giant stumbling through a jungle.

Constant air overwatch and reconnaissance flights would have found them eventually. But rather than wait, the top brass had demanded a MechWarrior risk their life just to prove how superior ‘Mechs were to every other military asset. Private Eastman, in his incredibly valuable Ostscout, drew the short straw. 

Unfortunately, Lee’s dense forests offered the Liao invaders an excellent location to hide. The foliage and geologic formations from previous ice ages meant there was a lot of data for the Ostscout‘s computer to crunch, preventing Eastman from trundling his 35-ton ‘Mech any faster than a slow walk. 

It wasn’t what the Light ‘Mech Pilot’s Handbook said to do when approaching a suspected enemy position. In fact, it was the exact opposite of what the Handbook said. 

“Fuck,” Eastman cursed under his breath, fearful that his voice would escape the Osctscout‘s cockpit. As though he could be any louder than the dozens of branches his ‘Mech’s giant feet were snapping with every step.

Just then, a blip. It was faint, a combination of magnetic and humidity sensors being tripped. The iron-filled rocks throughout the forest normally meant mag scans were unreliable, but the Ostscout’s scanners could combine that data with ambient humidity levels. If morning dew formed on cold metal, the system would pick it up. Which is exactly what his scanners were reading just over 900 meters ahead of him.

Eastman stopped. He double-checked his readings, confirming the combination of magnetic resonance and near 100 percent humidity. He brought the location up on infrared, and sure enough, a dark hole presented itself at the same location--something even colder than the atmosphere around it. Something trying to hide.

Now the Osctcout aped the movements of a man who’d just run straight into a bear. Frozen with fear, Eastman debated his options. He could break radio silence and ask for orders, but if there were Capellan troops out there, they’d certainly pick up his transmission. He could advance and get a closer look, but that seemed suicidal given his Ostscout was armed with a single Medium Laser. 

Or he could run. The noise would certainly awaken whatever was out there, but it seemed the safest option.

Then the decision was made for him as a pair of missiles arced out from the forest to impact his ‘Mech’s torso. 

“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” Private Eastman shouted, kicking his Ostscout around and high-tailing it back through the path his ‘Mech had already cut through the foliage. So hasty was his retreat that he didn’t notice how the missile impacts had accidentally flipped his mic to broadcast through his ‘Mech’s external speakers, treating the Capellan ambushers to an expletive-filled Doppler effect.

Ostscout : Bad 'Mechs a Sarna Tale | Battletopia Stories
Watch this video on YouTube.

Ostscout TRO Succession Wars

Nearly a century after the highly successful Ostroc made a name for Ostmann Industries, the company decided to embark on an entirely new venture for what was then a new class of BattleMech. The Ostscout was designed purely and solely for the important and dangerous job of battlefield reconnaissance. Initially armed solely with potent targeting, communication, and sensor systems, only after vociferous protest from its pilots did Ostmann eventually provide the Ostscout with a single Medium Laser for self-defense. Even then, Ostscout pilots are advised never to engage the enemy and to use the ‘Mech’s extreme speed and long-range sensor equipment to avoid combat entirely. 

The first OTT-7J Ostscout rolled off the assembly line in the year 2600. Its powerful TRSS.2L3 target-tracking system and narrowband Barret 4000 comms system were at the time both state of the art, as were the various sensors located in the Ostscout‘s arms. Capable of recording everything from barometric pressure to geological data, the Ostscout‘s sensors took in so much data that its onboard computer proved incapable of processing it when the ‘Mech was traveling at top speed, forcing the Ostscout to move slowly through areas of interest. The location of the sensors also required the ‘Mech to wave its arms around--a humorous sight for bystanders as it would often appear like the ‘Mech was lost. 

Unfortunately, it also meant that the Ostscout was most vulnerable when it was performing in its intended role. As all light ‘Mech pilots are taught at various military academies throughout the Inner Sphere, speed is life. Without it, the fragile Ostscout is easy prey to anything that manages to evade its sensor array. 


Despite these flaws, the Ostscout became yet another commercial success for Ostmann Industries for two reasons. First, the Ostscout arrived at the start of the Star League and at the very height of BattleMechs being seen as the only military hardware worth having. As such, military procurement officers from both Star League and House militaries placed reduced emphasis on traditional (and cheaper) reconnaissance solutions, such as light-armored vehicles, VTOL aircraft, and unmanned drones. Second, Ostmann licensed the Ostscout to Kong Interstellar Corporation in 2700, allowing the Ostscout to flood the market and cement itself as the premiere reconnaissance BattleMech. 

Kong Interstellar’s factory on Connaught would be destroyed 100 years later at the onset of the First Succession War, but this actually proved somewhat beneficial to the Ostscout‘s survival. As new ‘Mechs and parts dried up, commanders started guarding their Ostscouts like ancient treasures, rarely using them but in the direst of circumstances. Many Ostscouts survived the Succession Wars in pristine condition, although others were forced to replace their delicate sensors with inferior (but easier to maintain) equipment. 

For centuries, the main model of Ostscout was the OTT-7J. Equipped with a VOX 280 fusion engine capable of kicking the 35-ton ‘Mech into a running speed of 129 kph, the Ostscout also came with eight Ostmann Sct-A jump jets capable of launching the ‘Mech up to 240 meters. Four-and-a-half tons of armor kept the ‘Mech safe for a salvo or two, while its single Medium Laser allowed it to fend off infantry and light vehicles, although pilots were instructed explicitly to avoid combat due to the Ostscout‘s extremely light armament. 

Ostscout_OTT-7J 2

The only other variant of the Ostscout produced by Ostmann was the OTT-7Jb, the SLDF Royal variant which replaced the standard chassis with Endo Steel in order to make room for a Beagle Active Probe. It wasn’t until 3050 that the OTT-7K arrived, although it merely used technology recovered from the Helm Memory Core to replace the OTT-7J’s single medium laser with Target Acquisition Gear, returning the Ostscout to its completely unarmed origins.

By 3064, a more substantial upgrade of the venerable Ostscout came courtesy of ComStar. The OTT-9CS not only used an Endo Steel chassis but also a 280 XL engine to save enough weight for a collection of acronymed equipment including BAP, ECM, TAG, and a C3i computer. It also more than doubled the Ostscout‘s firepower with two ER Medium Lasers and an ER Small Laser and provided almost half-again as much protection with six tons of ferro-fibrous armor. This variant was also the first to redesign the Ostscout‘s sensors such that pilots no longer needed to wave the ‘Mech’s arms around in order to obtain clear sensor data. The onboard computer was similarly upgraded so the pilot could maintain the Ostscout‘s full 129 kph running speed while still processing that data stream at full capacity.


Although ComStar had intended to retain the OTT-9CS for its own armed forces, a former Precentor leaked the design to both the breakaway Word of Blake as well as the Lyran Alliance. Both factions then began producing their own variants. The OTT-9S from the Lyrans retained the standard VOX 280 engine but used Endo Steel and ferro-fibrous armor to clear up enough space for two ER Medium Lasers and two anti-personnel pods along with BAP, ECM, and TAG. 

The Word’s OTT-10CS, produced by Krupp Armament Works and Odin Manufacturing, used an XL engine and gyro combination to replace the standard jump jets with ten Rawlings 45i Improved Jump Jets. The electronic equipment was paired back to just the C3i computer and the ER Small Laser was also dropped. Krupp would later improve the Ostscout further with the OTT-11J, upgrading the engine to a GM 315 XL for a running speed of 150 kph. The Improved Jump Jets were replaced with standard versions, but the two ER Medium Lasers were upgraded to two Light PPCs along with TAG.

Several decades went by as the Jihad and subsequent Dark Age curtailed ‘Mech development throughout the Inner Sphere. After the Draconis Combine captured the Robinson Standard Battleworks in the late 3140s, it retooled the factory to produce the new OTT-8J Ostscout. An extralight engine provides enough weight savings for an ECM and Bloodhound Active Probe, while the single Medium Laser is upgraded to a Martell-X Medium X-Pulse Laser. Double heat sinks keep the recon ‘Mech cool and six tons of ferro-fibrous armor keep it relatively well protected. 


The most advanced Ostscout comes courtesy of a joint venture between Kong Interstellar and Clan Sea Fox. Kong provides the stealth armor, ECM, light fusion engine, and endo-composite chassis, while the Sea Foxes provide a Clan-spec ER Large Laser and a network of arms dealers. The OTT-12R’s maneuverability, jump capacity, and armor protection remain unchanged from the original OTT-7J.

The evolution of the Ostscout has helped it retain its status as a superior scout ‘Mech, but the battlefield has changed in the many centuries since it was first introduced. Scout ‘Mechs of the modern battlefield are larger, more heavily armed and armored, and just as fast as the Ostscout. Further, the decades of the Dark Age have tarnished the BattleMech’s image as the best solution to every military problem. Combined arms and the efficiency of war have seen a resurgence in more traditional reconnaissance equipment, and if this trend continues, the Ostscout may find itself without a place in modern armies.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

It’s The Economy, Stupid! Understanding And Comparing MechWarrior 5 In Its Historical And Economic Context

When I asked for community opinions surrounding MechWarrior 5, Emil of The Art of BattleTech gave me everything you see below. Even quoting liberally, Emil had way more insightful things to say about how MechWarrior 5 fits into the MechWarrior franchise than I could fit into a single article. So rather than keep this treatise in my Google Drive, I thought I’d freshen it up for publication here. Light editing has been done for clarity.

MechWarrior 5 Firestarter Jagermech

Coming from an academic background in what’s called ‘game studies’ (I have a Ph.D. in the field and work in academia as a postdoc at the moment), I think understanding video games and their different qualities and features can go a long way in comparing and analyzing their strengths and flaws – at least when speaking about games that appear similar but still have very fundamental differences. This approach makes it easier for us to understand games better and more precisely.

Such as the over 30 years of excellent MechWarrior games that we’ve been very privileged to experience. Personally, I’d say that there are some things that previous MechWarrior games do better than what MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries does. One thing that’s very subjective to discuss is the tone and atmosphere. For me, MechWarrior 2 really excels at this, where it is not afraid to have quiet moments in between the intense ‘Mech combat moments. In each mission, there is this quiet lull on your way to a nav point or a mission objective until you’re greeted with the foreboding “enemy power up detected.”

This quiet but increasingly intense feeling as you head towards facing some very dangerous ‘Mech combat makes the different moments more distinct to really underscore the intensity of ‘Mech combat. All of this is juxtaposed with a really impressive soundtrack by Jeehun Hwang and Gregory Alpers. And that I think is one thing that I would like more of from MechWarrior 5; to be confident enough in its ability to build up atmosphere and let players soak in the environment; the heavy sounds of the ‘Mech, and the characters over the radio be the only companions on these desolate planets. Instead, much of MW5 suffers from a modern game design trope where there has to be something to shoot all the time otherwise it’s boring for the average player. Vehicles and VTOLs and turrets constantly spawn in the ‘quiet’ moments to make sure the player isn’t looking at their phone. This takes away from combat being important or distinct enough. “Too much of a good thing” is the expression, I think?

But I think I’m also in the minority in wanting more quiet moments because I’ve seen Twitch streamers complain about MechWarrior 5 when there have been instances of walking from A to B without any shooting or killing in the few instances that they appear. I could also imagine PGI’s own playtesting showed that players felt more entertained with having these vehicle spawns and no quiet moments. So, I definitely understand why game design from 1995 cannot be a thing in 2023 where there’s less time for things and more media and other games and phones vying for attention. As one solution, I’ve personally made the Atmospheric Vehicle/VTOL/Turrent Spawn mod that drastically reduces the amount of brainless fodder that the game throws at the player. I appreciate the modding tools that PGI has provided to give us niche players what we want.

MechWarrior 5 Hunchback Archer Jagermech

Another thing one might mention is the linear, scripted missions that are memorable or provide some interesting encounters that MW5 does not have as many of. I think MW2 is the best example of such memorable experiences. Just to name a few that to me provide such memories:

  • Blade Splint where you have to scan and inspect a building that functions as the Jade Falcon’s power converter. After you destroy it, a host of heavy mechs enter the mission area and start hunting you after you’ve already been bruised and damaged from battling several ‘Mechs defending the power converter.
  • Temper Edge where you have to defend the Tarantula quad mech. Because this little Quad ‘Mech is memorable.
  • Sable Flame where you have to defend the city on the moon with low gravity and if the dome gets destroyed, the population is jettisoned into space / killed off from the loss of oxygen. There’s no fire or smoke due to it being on this oxygen-less moon.
  • Aquiline Fire where you have to locate a crashed dropship. No nav points are available, so you have to rely on your satellite link and visual identification to locate it.
  • Velvet Hammer where the player has to pose as a Jade Falcon ‘Mech and infiltrate the base that houses a terraformer unit that you then destroy
  • Umber Wall where you have to defend a convoy where on the top of the mesa canyons, a Rifleman IIC and a Summoner jump jet down to attack the convoy
  • Or in MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries where you are captured by the Clans and have to escape in a vehicle. Or the memorable Kodiak mission that lets you keep it for yourself rather than return it to your employer (I think it was Kurita).

MechWarrior 5 does not have a lot of these scripted moments that stay with you. I guess I just really miss nav points. But I think the last part of the MW5 campaign has some cool moments such as the big crashed DropShip, finding the Nightstar in the hangar, having that last stand against ComStar, or destroying the Liao ‘Mech factories.

But does this mean that I would have wanted MechWarrior 5 to try to emulate or achieve the same as MW2 did for me back in 1995? No, actually not, because clamoring for something that was unique to that historical moment to be replicated again is simply not possible. More importantly, MW5 excels in other areas that I think we as old nostalgia-blinded MechWarrior and BattleTech fans tend to forget. MW5 is leaning more toward a free-roam mercenary Inner Sphere experience à la the first MechWarrior. This type of systems-oriented design can give rise to unique experiences and moments in every uniquely procedurally generated mission.

Speaking in terms of pure features, MW5 really trumps the previous games as this mech simulation game. Just to make a list of things:

  • Faction play lets you work for and against certain factions
  • Free-roam Inner Sphere map
  • 57 different ‘Mech chassis [soon to be 58! -ed] in very high-quality models that change their visual looks depending on the weapon loadout
  • First melee combat in a MechWarrior game!
  • Procedurally generated maps and missions that are sufficiently varied to make most missions feel unique (further enhanced by mods such as VonBiome and Coyote Missions) and enhance the free-roam mercenary experience.
  • High fidelity and animated environmental destruction. Having a ‘Mech fight among buildings that basically allows you to play the MechWarrior 3 intro segment with the Summoner.
  • Unique and highly detailed ‘Mech cockpits unique to each ‘Mech (exceeding the pinnacle that was MW3’s beautiful cockpits)
  • Procedurally generated pilot management and skill system
  • Airstrike support and artillery bombardment
  • 21 campaign missions in the vanilla game
  • 14 scripted missions in the Legend of the Kestrel Lancers DLC
  • 12 scripted missions in the Rise of Rasalhague DLC
  • Enemy ‘Mechs change their appearance according to the faction they represent
  • Tons of different camo patterns that players can customize the colors.
  • Lore accurate news segments and weapon and ‘Mech introduction dates.
  • 4-player coop across the entire experience
  • Modding tools and ongoing support to modders by PGI for over 3 years with some very high-quality mods

This amount of content and complexity has not been seen in a previous MechWarrior game and I think it does a disservice to the game’s strengths to demand that it does what MechWarrior 2, MechWarrior 3, and MechWarrior 4 did in their scripted campaign design, simply because they are very different games and emphasizing one aspect of a game in its development (e.g. allocating more resources toward more scripted campaign missions) takes away from other aspects of the game (procedural mission generator, faction play, free-roam Inner Sphere experience). In that sense, while I think MW5 could be strengthened in certain areas, it also excels in others to be its own unique and special MechWarrior experience. In a sense, you can look at the MechWarrior games as your children: you love them all equally and they do their own things in their own unique way.

MechWarrior 5 Jenner Cataphract Cockpit View

As a researcher, the crucial thing I’d also emphasize is the importance of historical contexts and their impact on genre qualities and game characteristics. In the early to mid-’90s, production budgets were lower and the team sizes were smaller, so more experimentation was encouraged as there was simply less financial risk. This is also why a lot of today’s genres were invented or came to be in the ’90s. At the same time, market realities and consumer expectations in the PC space were more open, as the PC was still a bit complex to handle in terms of user interface (think navigating DOS for instance), so the targeted consumers for games like MechWarrior 2 also had more familiarity with using the entire keyboard or owning a joystick. We saw this with the prevalence of the flight sim genre in the PC space which was simply one of the more popular and money-generating genres in the ’90s in the PC space (think back to Microprose’s portfolio). 

At the same time, it was normal to have games that lasted no more than 10-15 hours of playtime, and that was considered a premium game worthy of the $40 to $50 entry fee. These things are important to understand because they help explain MechWarrior 2; the lower budgets combined with the expected target audience and their own expectations for a quality product meant that MW2 was able to uniquely flourish and excel at the master level that it did back in ’95 (and I’d argue still today in many aspects).

Of course, production budgets and consumer expectations changed with time after MW2. Many ‘Mech sim games tried to replicate MW2’s smashing success (Shattered Steel, Earthsiege 2, G-Nome, even Activision themselves tried to do the same with Heavy Gear 1 & 2 after their license with FASA wasn’t renewed), but the genre just never could meet the rising production costs and the sim genre was not able to expand its consumer market enough to cover the rising costs. Microprose and Hasbro really tried their best with MechWarrior 3 and gave it a huge marketing campaign (see their E3 showing in 1998), but they also had money issues from other sectors that forced them to close soon after MechWarrior 3 was released. We probably saw this attempt to match the higher consumer expectations with MechWarrior 4 that included – at the time – lavish FMVs with actors and costumes and editing that really tried to appear big budget on the likes of Command & Conquer and other FMV-heavy games of the era. MW4 also famously went away from the gritty tone and simulation-heavy standards already set by MW2 and MW3 (lots of people complained about that online back in the day) and instead went towards a more colorful, round, and soft aesthetic with ‘Mechs looking more toy-like (see also MechCommander 2’s change in art direction), as well as more ‘arcadey’ and straightforward gameplay.

Unfortunately, the market never really grew enough to match the extra costs with higher fidelity productions in the late ’90s and early 2000s. As Mitch Gitelman himself noted in an interview with No Guts No Galaxy, MechCommander 3 was never greenlit by Microsoft because FASA Studios failed to grow the market; MechCommander 2 matched what MechCommander had sold, but it didn’t grow. This is also why we saw a lot of PC developers entering their twilight years instead of trying to expand towards the console market (also when you’re owned by Microsoft and have to push for their first entry into the console market against Sony, Nintendo, and Sega). Ultimately, this is also what made Microsoft kill off the MechWarrior series after MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries when they canceled FASA Studio’s MechWarrior 5 due to the Xbox (as per IGN reporting back in the day).

The point of why I’m bringing up the historical context is to understand the genre characteristics of the MechWarrior games. MechWarrior 2 was sim-heavy and followed both the complexity of the contemporary space sims and flight sims back in the day. MechWarrior 3 was the result of a tumultuous development where Zipper Interactive had to be brought in by Microprose and salvage the project that FASA couldn’t execute. MechWarrior 4 included relatively costly FMVs and a character-driven campaign to make the product seem more feature-heavy and competitive in the PC space at the time. It also made the gameplay more accessible and the aesthetics more appealing in order to widen the market.

MechWarrior 5 Stalker Hunchback

This brings us to MechWarrior 5 which should also be understood in its historical context. The story behind that game is that Piranha Games Interactive showed off their alpha trailer back in December 2016 and had a preliminary crew do the procedural mission generation. This preproduction occurred at the same time PGI was also doing content and updates for MechWarrior Online. Yet during its three years of production until its release in December 2019, PGI never got a publisher to help support the funding and development of MW5. At the same time, lead designer David Forsey was forced to take medical leave after being diagnosed with a terminal illness, but he’d later return to continue working until his recent retirement this year. This meant that PGI themselves had to bet the farm on MW5 and do everything by themselves in terms of QA, marketing, and distribution (things that publishers usually take care of).

Not even Microsoft helped out with things, despite this being their own IP. At the same time, PGI has never made a single-player product – they’ve always been a PvP-oriented studio. This of course means they’re relatively inexperienced when it comes to single-player design and narrative design (the latter of which has been criticized for the vanilla campaign in MW5, but much improved with the two mini-campaign DLCs like Kestrel Lancers and Rise of Rasalhague). Instead, what PGI was able to do was focus on game systems (procedural missions and biomes, faction play, pilot management, economy management, lore-accurate ‘Mechs and equipment) and content (tons of ‘Mechs, variants, biomes, destructible buildings). What I think MW5 really excels at is being a free-roam, high-fidelity mercenary simulator. It might not facilitate a great narrative and it might not have scripted, linear missions that are as memorable as earlier MechWarrior games, but it has a ton of features that cultivate a really amazing mercenary company simulation.

From a business perspective, I can tell you that MW5 would be absolutely dead in the water if they had gone with a scripted and linear campaign like MW2, MW3, or MW4 because the experience would be over after 10-20 hours and then you’d have 80 percent of consumers complain that there are not enough hours of gameplay per dollar spent. That’s just the market for premium titles these days – literally no mainstream medium or triple-A studio makes such smaller games these days due to market realities and expectations. This means that we could have potentially gotten a scripted campaign as memorable and epic as MW2 and MW3 and MW4, but then we wouldn’t have the game systems like the procedural and open-ended Inner Sphere map and faction play and tons of different ‘Mechs simply because game development is more about priorities and avoiding feature creep.

I think this is an important point for MechWarrior and BattleTech fans to understand: game development is not easy, it’s super tough, and it’s frankly a miracle that any type of video game even ships and gets released. Consumers are quick to ask for feature XYZ or say, “Why don’t the developers simply make this feature, it’s so easy,” without ever understanding how absolutely complex and difficult it is to make a game with all the interlocking segments affecting each other (design, art, code, sound, etc.). As a developer, it can be disheartening to see the blood, sweat, and tears you put into a game to make it work and then be met with some person who paid $50 for the product to call you lazy or talentless because “Why didn’t they just make a game with features only possible through the budget and manpower like Call of Duty?”. With MechWarrior 5’s case, you have zero funding, no publisher helping out, and you’re betting the company on this one title that would sink the ship if it didn’t meet sales expectations.

MechWarrior 2 had Activision behind it and millions of dollars in marketing and MechWarrior 4 had the juggernaut that is Microsoft behind its promotion, yet MechWarrior 5 had a small 60-person company in Vancouver and nothing else. This is not to excuse the differences between the different titles but to understand them and the condition they derive from. I think that’s key for MechWarrior and BattleTech fans to really understand.

MechWarrior 5 Warhammer Awesome Cockpit View

This brings me to my final point, that comparing and contrasting MechWarrior 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 to each other is not so much of a lesson in which game is better, but instead which context the games derive from. Given the circumstances, MW2 was a daring and innovative masterpiece that combined its adherence to simulation in terms of gameplay and audiovisuals in a sublime way that shattered sales and review scores at the time and spawned a dozen of copycats. MW3 followed in MW2’s trajectory and elaborated on this sim-heaviness in a time when mech/flight/space sims were in their twilight years. And MW4 provided a more character-driven, scripted MechWarrior experience that was more accessible and engaging for more people who weren’t necessarily enticed by the gritty simulation qualities that MW2 and MW3 had shown.

Finally, MechWarrior 5 excelled at providing tons of content and features that no other MechWarrior game had previously and provided a systems-oriented procedural experience that lends more from MechWarrior 1 in its free-roam, mercenary company nature than it does from the more scripted nature of something like MW3 or MW4: Mercs. And knowing what I know about the games industry and being risk averse, MW5 is a premium product appealing to a niche audience that I think MechWarrior and BattleTech fans should be cherishing the hard-working people at PGI for bringing into this world. If it had a different publisher or developer and a higher budget that would make more features possible, it also would be less sim-like and more straightforward. It is a miracle that MW5 and its three-and-a-half years of post-launch support exist and we should be super supportive and feel super privileged that we will be getting another MechWarrior from PGI in the future. 

Thanks again to Emil for sharing this thoughtful analysis of the MechWarrior franchise!

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy


The Black Pants Legion Presents: The Hunchback, Coming August 26

Tex Talks Battletech: The Hunchback (Trailer)
Watch this video on YouTube.

Of all BattleTech‘s content creators (and I know there are lots of you out there), The Black Pants Legion has produced my favorite deep-dive videos of BattleMechs. Ever since Tex’s sultry voice provided us with a nearly nine-minute retrospective of the Atlas, The Black Pants Legion has produced larger, more informative, and vastly more entertaining videos. And while most of these videos deal with specific ‘Mech models (such as the most recent Charger video), The Black Pants Legion has also covered some of BattleTech‘s most pivotal moments, from the Clan Invasion and the Battle of Tukayyid to the Amaris Civil War.

Although these videos started out with just animated images of old sourcebooks, recent videos have commissioned art, full animations, original songs, and even 3D models of the quality you’d expect to find in something like MechWarrior Online. The Black Pants Legion is producing BattleTech content of a size and scale that this universe has never seen. And to keep this machine running, we need you to do just one thing: watch it.

That’s why we’re proud to announce that Tex Talks BattleTech: The Hunchback arrives on August 26.

In addition to the kind of quality content you won’t find anywhere else, the Hunchback video will also mark the start of a fundraising drive to help charities supporting research to end Multiple Sclerosis (MS). You’ll actually note that every Tex Talks has an associated fundraising drive with an eminently worthy cause, and the Hunchback will be no different.

So please mark your calendars and subscribe to the Black Pants Legion to watch The Hunchback live on YouTube.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for something to lighten the mood in these dark times, the good people of Van Zandt have created a BattleTech-themed sing-along. Nobody can feel bad in a sing-along.

Watch this video on YouTube.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy