Category Archives: Fan Projects

Community Outreach – BattleTech Pride with Anthology Authors Detocroix, Albatross, And Blimpy

Pride Anthology 2024 Locust Logo

Last month’s fan-made BattleTech Pride Anthology was bigger and better than ever, with a total of 13 stories and one technical readout all with decidedly queer quirks. There’s not a lot of queer representation in BattleTech, so when the first Pride Anthology hit the scene last year, I gobbled it up. The second one took a little longer to chew, but I’ve gone through each and every story, and I can once again provide my stamp of approval (not that it needed it given Mike Stackpole returned to provide this year’s closing remarks).

With planning for next year’s Anthology already underway, I reached out to the folks behind the BattleTech Pride Anthology to talk about the fan project’s rapid growth, its future, and the intersection between LGBTQ+ stories and giant stompy robots. Enjoy. 

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Your BattleTech News Round-Up For June, 2024

Hey guys. It’s June. That means several wonderful things. First, it was my birthday. Second, the Mercenaries Kickstarter is being shipped, which is a wonderful birthday gift. And third, it’s Pride month, which means the 2024 BattleTech Pride Anthology is here. It’s the month that keeps on giving.

And it’s giving way more than just these three things. We’ve got an entire month of news to cover, including new stuff on MechWarrior 5: Clans, new Catalyst products, and new BattleTech events. It’s a packed month, so let’s dive right in.

Mercenaries Kickstarter Order Have Begun Shipping

QML Mercenaries Packages

You can read a few updates on the Mercenaries Kickstarter page to see proof of all the packages being prepared for shipping, but the real proof was when QML (the shipping company) asked to confirm my address. With one click, I’m not mere weeks away from receiving the long-awaited Mercenaries Kickstarter.

If you’ve got any problems, or you need to make an address change and haven’t received your email, reach out using this link here.

American and Canadian backers will be receiving their orders first. With orders out by the end of the month, I’m guessing I’ll receive my order the first or second week of July. Global orders will be sometime later, depending on how fast mail is in your locale. 

And as much as we love these big, splashy orders, Catalyst has stated there won’t likely be another one of the same size and scale as Mercenaries in the future. You can read our interview with Ray and Aaron from earlier this year, but the Cole’s notes version is it’s just a ton of work when these days BattleTech is large enough that retailers don’t have a problem dealing with all the logistics of selling to customers themselves.

BattleTech Pride Anthology 2024 Is Here And Additionally Queer

BattleTech Pride Anthology 2024

And of course, how could we forget this year’s Pride Anthology? Last year we received the Pride Anthology after some ado, which you can read about here. This year things have thankfully been much more mellow. After some incorrigible scamps briefly attempted to mass report the Anthology (presumably because their parents didn’t hug them enough as children), Itch.io now has it freely available to download

This year’s Anthology is bigger and better than ever, with the likes of Bryan Young and Russell Zimmerman contributing short stories, as well as Michael Stackpole writing the forward. Robin Briseno, Milla Koponen, and Albert Ross return from last year’s anthology and are joined by newcomers Jason ‘Po Ding’ Livermore, Kyle ‘Blimp’ Kruso, Ryn Mackie, Jordan Versus, Eric Haiko, Dana Harris, and Griffin Souza. There’s even a custom Longbow CRT for those who really love ATMs courtesy of Clan Sea Fox, with cover art by our very own Eldoniousrex. There’s also some delightful art from Tera, Jordan, and Samantha Richardson.

It’s kinda ludicrous the jump in both size and quality from last year. I’ve also been told that they basically got twice as many submissions as they could pack into a single anthology without making it something like 400 pages long (as it stands, it’s already a full-size paperback at 272 pages). 

And if you wanted to know what the Anthology would look like in hardcover, look no further than blimpeh’s hand-made covering here. Note the custom pin and Trans Rights Mad Dog

Head on over to Itch.io for the free download.

Pride ‘Mechs Are My Favorite Part Of June

The only thing Binary at this Pride is the TO&E
byu/AGBell64 inbattletech

There was a lot of hubbub with last year’s Pride Anthology, so when this year seemed to arrive without much controversy, it was kind of a relief. That’s not to say the fight is over--I still filter out a lot of repugnant comments on the daily, and I’m told there was still a half-hearted attempt to mass-report the Pride Anthology to get it blocked on itch.io. That failed, of course, and now there’s no warning message when you try to download the PDF or epub file. 

So instead, I’m just going to use this section of the monthly news blast to showcase some more queer ‘Mechs. That was my favorite part of last year’s Pride-Splosion anyhow. If you’ve got any queer ‘Mechs, post links in the comments. And if you need a reminder, BattleTech has a diverse community of players from all kinds of backgrounds. Don’t let the haters get you down. BattleTech is for everyone.

Pre-Painted Retailer Grinder Kit Revealed

Battletech PVC Assembly 051501j
Watch this video on YouTube.

Earlier this month, we received confirmation during one of the Catalyst newscasts that there are more pre-painted ‘Mechs coming our way. Or perhaps it’d be more accurate to call these “pre-colored.” While the pre-painted Orion from last month is all done up in Star League livery as befitting Alexsandr Kerensky’s personal ride, videos from Liya International (Catalyst’s manufacturing partner) confirm these seem to be ‘Mechs that are made in differently-colored plastics with a simple wash applied.

From the videos, we can see blue plastic BattleMasters, Awesomes, and Marauder IIs, red Catapults and Thunderbolts, grey Shadow Hawks, Wolverines, and Novas, purple Stingers and Locusts, and green Pumas and Grendels. The idea is that these ‘Mechs will go in Grinder Packs, which is the sort of introductory game format where players start off with weak ‘Mechs and work their way to more powerful ‘Mechs. Each ‘Mech is color-coded so the player can choose what ‘Mech they upgrade to when their previous ‘Mech gets destroyed.

With the ‘Mechs already coming in certain colors, all you’d have to do as a painter is apply detailing and decals. That would potentially cut down on a lot of work. We’re expecting more details in the coming weeks, but from the Tuesday livestream, it seems these kits will be for retailers only.

Oh, and if you were wondering if this might mean the potential for entire pre-painted ForcePacks, the Assistant Line Developer said “no immediate plans” in a recent AMA. More on that later. 

You Just Gotta Believe In Yourself

Luck of the Cards by DMoser

It’s been my experience that so long as you keep firing every weapon you have, even a Dragon can take down a Fafnir. But I think it’d be a good idea for the Dragon to use those feet to get behind the Fafnir first. A lot safer that way. Thanks to DMoser for this one.

MRC Announces NashCon BattleTech And Alpha Strike Tournament

MRC Icon

The MRC is back at NashCon 2024 with yet another community tournament for both Classic BattleTech and Alpha Strike. NashCon, of course, is held in Nashville Tennessee from August 15 to 18. Thursday (that’s the 15th) will just be pick-up games and socializing, while Friday will include a narrative event. Saturday will be the three-round Classic BattleTech tournament and painting competition, while Sunday will be the Alpha Strike tournament. 

Because of the need for relatively quick games, the Classic BattleTech tournament will be limited to 9,000 BV and between two to six ‘Mechs. The Alpha Strike tournament will have a 500 PV limit and between four to 30 units, and all units must be in some kind of formation. While the CBT tourney is just ‘Mechs, Alpha Strike can include vehicles, infantry, and ProtoMechs. Each round will be a primary and two secondary objectives, and points will be awarded for completing objectives and getting kills. 

For the full rules, check out these Google docs here, and for the schedule of events, check out this post here. Tickets for getting into NashCon for the whole weekend start at $55, but you can probably get a discount if you just want to go for a single day. For more information, head over to the MRC Discord or email the organizers here.

I’m Not Sure What To Call This Style, But I Like It

Trio of lights by me
byu/SirTidehunterThe2nd inbattletech

SirTidehunterThe2nd brings us a few new takes on three classic light ‘Mechs: a Raven, a Firestarter, and a Piranha. The Piranha gives me the most “eek” vibes (probably due to the insect-like fingers), but the other two are very very cool. Many thanks to you for these pieces, SirTidehunterThe2nd. Also, because I so rarely get to do this, the Piranha is 20 tons, not 25. 

MechWarrior 5: Clans Launches October 3

MechWarrior 5: CLANS - Release Date Reveal Trailer
Watch this video on YouTube.

Summer Games Fest has come and gone, but it brought us a brand new MechWarrior 5: Clans trailer that also gives us a release date of October 3.

The trailer is a bit different from the one earlier this year. It focuses more on the cinematic aspects of MechWarrior 5: Clans and not the gameplay, although we do get to see a Star fight a Gazelle DropShip. That Star is made of classic Clan ‘Mechs, including a Timber Wolf, Mad Dog, Hellbringer, Summoner, and Stormcrow. As expected, they’re all ‘Mechs we’ve seen in MechWarrior Online and they all use essentially the same model.

Which is fine by me. The ‘Mechs have looked great for years; what we wanted was a good story to go along with them. And that’s what this trailer certainly seems to promise with its exuberant Star Colonel (edit: apparently he’s a Galaxy Commander, according to Phil) espousing the virtues of Clan Smoke Jaguar while disparaging the “fascist” Draconis Combine. That’s quite the take, but it sounds like something a rabid Crusader Smoke Jaguar warrior would say to fire up his invasion force.

There are only a few hints of what we can expect in MechWarrior 5: Clans in the trailer, but I’m hoping we’ll see more before the game launches on October 3.

No Guts No Galaxy Interview With PGI President Russ Bullock Provides New Details On MechWarrior 5

Podcast 233 - Russ Bullock - MWO, MW5 Mercs, MW5 Clans
Watch this video on YouTube.

Not only did we get MechWarrior 5: Clans‘ release date, but in an interview with Phil over at No Guts No Galaxy, PGI President Russ Bullock gave us lots more to look forward to.

A big thing we’ve already seen from previous trailers is the cinematic experience, with Russ confirming PGI now has “dozens” of people working on motion capture. PGI hired actors from Vancouver to play MW5: Clans‘ various characters, with one even getting the esteemed role of Leo Showers (screenshots of which were shared in the podcast). In total, the game has between 90 and 100 minutes of motion-captured cinematics, making this the most cinematic MechWarrior experience ever.

We also have more information on how the game’s progression system will work. Whereas in Mercenaries pilots would level up linearly without any input from the player, now it seems like players will be able to choose MechWarrior skills at the “barracks.” There will also be a “science lab” where players will be able to upgrade equipment. There will still be some sort of currency where you’ll be able to purchase prime variants of new ‘Mechs, but new OmniPods will have to be earned through gameplay. Customization is still possible for ‘Mechs even beyond swapping OmniPods, which will require this so-far unnamed currency.

Thankfully, the Clan will at least cover your repair costs, so don’t worry if your ride gets too banged up.

MW5 Leo Showers 1

Leo Showers, courtesy of PGI

Russ also confirmed the game starts on Huntress with training and then takes the player to the outskirts of the Periphery before driving through the Draconis Combine on the way to Luthien. We know the broad strokes of how that’ll go, but the specifics of what happens to your Star will be a new story.

Mod support will be coming to MechWarrior 5: Clans, but not right away. Likewise, a physical version of the game is planned, but it’ll probably arrive after release but before Christmas. There is some “way to continue to play outside of the campaign,” with Russ hinting at a sort of new-game-plus mechanic.

One thing Russ was cagey about was the ‘Mechs in MechWarrior 5: Clans. We’ve seen a lot, and Russ also confirmed the Arctic Cheetah is on the roster, but he declined to provide a hard number of total ‘Mechs. We know there are Inner Sphere ‘Mechs too, and that you’ll need to salvage them in order to gain “resources to do your own research,” but this seemed like part of the tech upgrading path and not an admission that you’ll be able to pilot captured Inner Sphere ‘Mechs. I don’t know why you’d even want to, given how bad they are compared to Clan tech.

Later on in the interview, the two also discussed the existing MechWarrior products. First up, there might be a seventh MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries DLC on the way, but if it is, it won’t be here until early next year. All hands at PGI are working on Clans. Discussion is also underway about MechWarrior Online‘s successor, but it’s unknown if it’ll be MechWarrior Online 2 or just MechWarrior 6. Russ said it will for sure not be a F2P PvP game, and would more likely be a premium game with PvE elements. It could hypothetically take the same path as Call of Duty with a campaign and multiplayer elements separate from each other, but everything is still very much in the planning stages.

There’s more, so I encourage you to listen to the whole interview to get the inside scoop.

More Legendary ‘Mechs For MechWarrior Online

MechWarrior Online June 2024 Patch

It’s a new month and that means a new MechWarrior Online patch. This month we have two new Legendary ‘Mechs in the Stone RhinoBehemoth” and the CatapultFerroblast.” What makes the “Behemoth” special is that it’s based on the custom machine belonging to Gordon Zed of Wolf’s Dragoons Alpha Regiment. Being a trueborn Clan warrior, he kept his Stone Rhino but allowed it to be downgraded with Succession Wars-era Inner Sphere tech. It comes armed with two AC/10s and two PPCs alongside a single small laser. Without any weight-savings tech and no double heat sinks, Gordon had to decrease his Stone Rhino‘s engine to a standard 200, making it absolutely glacial. Those who purchase this Legendary ‘Mech will certainly want to re-apply many of the technologies Gordon removed in order to be competitive in MechWarrior Online.

The “Ferroblast” is somewhat more exciting. This thing has a top speed of 106 kph thanks to a 355 XL engine. It comes armed with two Snub-Nose PPCs and six Magshots, which is barely enough to be a threat at 65 tons, but I’ve always preferred speed over firepower. Both come with the usual C-Bill booster and mini battle pass providing extra rewards, including GSP, Mech Credits, Premium Time, and exclusive decals, cockpit items, colors, and bolt-on aesthetics.

On the balance side, most autocannons have seen their projectile velocity increase, all Cyclops models have received an additional 100m to their sensor range, and there are a few minor tweaks to variants of the Viper, Phoenix Hawk, Hatchetman, Cicada, Shadow Cat, and Raven. You can read all about it in the official patch notes here.

Inside Of You Are Three Timber Wolves

Three Timberwolf Moon
byu/Chainclaw inbattletech

Yes, it’s the sort of thing a ‘Mech bunny on Solaris would have on a t-shirt, but I just like the alternate take on the Timber Wolf. I’m not sure what variant has rotary cannons/machine guns in the arms alongside a pair of larger weapons, but I dig it. Kudos to Chainclaw for this one. 

It’s A Prideful Mackie

Happy Pride! Behold the Pride Mackie
byu/VersusJordan inbattletech

You’re not getting out of this without some more Pride ‘Mechs. Here we have a gay Mackie from Jordan Versus, one of the contributors to this year’s Pride Anthology. extremely clean color fades on this one alongside some excellent detail work. The only problem is getting this sort of paint job in the field would send your ‘Mech techs into conniptions. Even if you bribed him with some Timbiqui Dark, I don’t know if Fahad would get this done in time to drop.

The Gargoyle Stalactites Its Way Into MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries

Gargoyle Nexus Mods Mw5

Do you like the absolutely wild look of the original Gargoyle? You know, the one with the chrome dome, the big feet, and arms that end in autocannons but no SRMs? Well, we can’t have a modern ‘Mech firing missiles from nowhere, so Farseer made an updated version of the Steve Venters original, and then Emil of The Art of BattleTech modded it into MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries. They also recently did the Rifleman IIC, another MechWarrior 2 classic that looks absolutely wild in MechWarrior 5. Mostly because it has a flat-paneled cockpit beneath a giant saucer. 

Head to Nexus Mods to download either of these mods, or look for them on the Steam Workshop.

Devastator Versus Fenris, Who Ya Got?

“Firefight” – BT Private Commission Ink piece #2.
byu/TheRedEpicArt inbattletech

I never bet against the Fenris. It’s been one of my personal favorites since forever, with enough space to mount a PPC and some supporting weapons, enough armor to endure a firefight, and enough speed to dictate the terms of engagement. But a Demolisher has two AC/20s, and that’s still lights-out for the likes of a Fenris.

Kind regards to Jarden Blando for inking this up in Procreate for us and Jeremy Thompson’s Classic BattleTech campaign.

Additional Pride Reinforcements Detected

Happy Pride Month
byu/ElroyScout inbattletech

Elroy Scout has shared their Star of a lesbian Shadow Hawk, a gay Mad Cat III, a bisexual Mauler, a trans Savage Wolf, and a generally queer Black Knight. Props go to the Mad Cat III for being so gay that it needs an extra slice of hex base to handle that stride. Sashay away!

Alpha Strike Is Still Not The Default Way To Play BattleTech

Results of the Game Frequency Survey
byu/AloneHome2 inbattletech

I remember playing the original Classic BattleTech and finding it… dense. After that, I stuck with the video games until I was finally convinced to give Alpha Strike a try, and now I’m loving it. I have an entire wall of minis strictly because Alpha Strike is such a vastly superior game system.

And yet, it seems I’m in the minority. According to a poll on the BattleTech subreddit conducted by AloneHome2, roughly two-thirds of the subreddit plays Classic, while one-third plays Alpha Strike with any regularity.

Admittedly, this was less than 200 respondents so there’s no telling how accurate this would be over the total BattleTech population, but still, I’m disappointed to see Alpha Strike so far behind. Is it a marketing problem, or am I just totally out of touch? Do let me know your opinion in the comments below.

The Republic Is Dead, But The Spirit Cats Are Not

AMA with Line Developers Ray Arrastia and Aaron Cahall LIVE
byu/AdrianGideon inbattletech

As is their new habit, Catalyst did another AMA on Reddit this month. As usual, there were a lot of questions asked and a lot of answers provided, but I wanted to pick out two interesting points.

First of all, the Republic of the Sphere is dead. Both Aaron and Ray confirmed that, while they loved the faction, they wouldn’t resurrect it after the thorough thrashing it received at the hands of Clans Wolf and Jade Falcon. We will, however, see something that keeps the spirit of the faction alive in some way, and we’ll find out more about that in Trial of Birthright and ilKhan’s Eyes Only.

Second, the Spirit Cats aren’t dead! Apparently, Randall Bills will continue the story of Kisho in an upcoming novel. No draft yet, or timeline on when we can expect that story to arrive, but the universe needs more Spirit Cats, so I’m signal boosting this.

There are, of course, many more topics discussed, which you can read about here.

My Dear, I Give You The Kermit Confederation

Muppet Hanse Melissa Marriage

As a follow-up to April’s shirtless Alaric Wolf image, Eldoniousrex was contractually obliged to create a very special rendition of the marriage between Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner. The catch? It had to be Muppet-themed. So in this most auspicious month of love, here we have the Muppets in one of BattleTech‘s most iconic moments. Kermit throwing up his frog paws as Maximilian definitely made my week, so thanks for that.

And that’s it for June! Join us next month for yet more BattleTech action.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

Your BattleTech News Round-Up For May, 2024

April showers? More like May showers. And they’ll also certainly bring hordes of angry mosquitoes even this close to the urban centers of Southern Ontario. But you know what makes inclement weather and ravenous insects bearable? Spirit Cat Irregulars reinforcements! I love all these little guys, from the Crimson Hawk‘s goofy sculpt to the Avalanche doing its best “we have Shadow Cat at home” impression. Special thanks go to my brother for not only painting and sourcing these minis but also kitbashing the Koshi P and its many Micro Lasers.

I’m expecting a Scorpion Empire trinary to follow alongside plans for a new Bad ‘Mechs mercenary company. But that’ll be in June. For now, we’ve got a bunch of May BattleTech news.

Mercenaries Kickstarter Fulfillment Confirmed For June!

Tuesday Newsday: Episode 15
Watch this video on YouTube.

The biggest news of the month is easily a shipping update on the Mercenaries Kickstarter. According to Rem and Loren on the most recent Tuesday News Day broadcast, the Mercenaries Kickstarter will begin fulfillment next week. Loren specifically stated packages will begin leaving the warehouse within “seven to ten days” (just after they receive a few remaining “tchotchkey items”) and then it’s however long it’ll take the shipping company to get things to your specific locale.

Basically, June will be the month of Mercenaries. Excite!

For those still looking for an explanation of what went wrong with shipping, several updates on the Mercenaries Kickstarter have confirmed details on what went wrong, such as taxes being incorrectly applied or box quantity being increased due to the Savannah Master Salvage Box surprise. All of these corrections were completed earlier in the month and cards were charged on May 13. Any and all questions surrounding shipping fees, or requests for additional consideration due to unexpectedly large shipping charges, should be sent to Catalyst through Kickstarter’s message system (go to the project page, click the Catalyst Game Labs name, and then select ‘Contact Me’ in the pop-up menu). 

Without Question Is Out Now!

Without Question

This is your reminder that Without Question is available now. I reviewed this novel earlier this week, and I must say it’s a page-turner. Definitely didn’t think I’d ever feel sympathetic toward Clan Jade Falcon, but Bryan Young can sure write a sympathetic character. There’s still a lot of “please forgive the war crimes, we’re better now” going on, but BattleTech is a universe where people seem to either forgive or forget war crimes relatively easily (giant robots with lots of guns will do that to ya).

Hungry Like The Wolf Answers The Question Nobody Asked: How Horny Is Alaric Ward?

BATTLETECH: Hungry Like the Wolf
Watch this video on YouTube.

I had originally assumed that Hungry Like The Wolf was just a fun April Fools cover for a novel that would never exist. Little did I know that Stackpole had actually written the opening pages of this novel, which you can download from his Patreon. And then Big Red came along and narrated this passage in his absolute horniest voice

For years, I’d threatened to create a BattleTech pornography starring some enormous Elementals. Now I’m not sure if I should bother. Clearly, BattleTech will never be hornier than this.

Big Red Provides A Full Overview Of The Upcoming BattleTech Universe Book

Battletech: Universe
Watch this video on YouTube.

It’s been described by multiple folks at Catalyst as the most important sourcebook they’ve ever worked on, and indeed, could be the most important sourcebook in the entire BattleTech canon. BattleTech Universe will bring a brief summary of the entire BattleTech lore under one roof up until the ilClan era. It will certainly become the book recommended to anyone looking to get started with BattleTech as a hobby in order to center them with several centuries’ worth of history. And it will be coming out alongside the hotly anticipated Mercenaries Kickstarter.

We’ve seen a few hints of what’s inside BattleTech Universe, but Big Red provides us with a full overview of the book as well as more peeks inside its cover. This is probably the best look we’ll get before the book arrives with the Mercs Kickstarter, so I encourage you to view the video above.

Star League Command Lance Reveals Kerensky’s Orion Looks Pretty Good

Star League Command Lance has arrived
byu/phoenixgsu inbattletech

Speaking of upcoming products, here’s the Star League Command Lance in the wild. There were some concerns that the pre-painted Aleksandr Kerensky Orion wouldn’t be up to snuff, but I think it looks pretty good. It’s certainly not as good as I’ve seen from some of BattleTech’s more prolific painters, but I think it’s certainly better than the average mini painter, and definitely worth it for the time you’d save, provided you wanted to recreate this iconic ‘Mech yourself. Kudos to phoenixgsu for the reveal.

I’ve also just been informed that the Star League Command Lance ForcePack is now available for purchase. Catalyst says they’re available now and I’ve got confirmed reports of people receiving their Star League ForcePacks in the mail. 

Why Isn’t There A Crab IIC?

Marauder IIIC (art by Jesse Serrano)
byu/krika-makura inbattletech

I know this is supposed to be some fictional version of the Marauder IIC, but it’s hard not to agree with the top comment: all things evolve to crab eventually. Even the venerable and iconic Marauder. Credit goes to Jesse Serrano for bringing us yet more evidence that carcinization is inevitable. 

This sort of made me wonder why we haven’t seen a Crab IIC? Certainly, the Star League Exodus fleet had a number of Crabs, and certainly these ‘Mechs would have been beloved enough to warrant re-making in the IIC way. It makes you wonder if all things truly do lead to Crab or if maybe Crab needs a better publicist.

MechWarrior 5: Clans Expected To Launch In Q4

This comes from Phil over at No Guts No Galaxy, who dove into MechWarrior 5 publisher EG7’s recent financial release for clues on when we can expect MechWarrior 5: Clans to hit digital store shelves. That date still hasn’t been disclosed, but EG7 did have a section discussing its expected game releases, and MechWarrior 5: Clans was listed as arriving in the fourth quarter of the 2024 financial year. Unlike a lot of companies, EG7 seems to have their financial year line up with the calendar year, so we can expect to receive MechWarrior 5: Clans somewhere between October and December. 

Also of note, there’s no mention of any additional MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries DLCs or expansions, so it looks like MW5: Mercs is finally done. On the one hand, pour one out for what eventually became one of the best MechWarrior games ever released. On the other hand, now the modders can go to town on Mercs without fear of having their work invalidated by another DLC (although it should be noted that PGI has done a great job working with modders to keep things working smoothly on the mod front). 

However, there are still some persistent rumors that there will be one more DLC dropped just before Clans that ties the two games together. I’d expect anything like that to be extremely small, maybe just a mission or two, with a fun and foreboding cinematic to get us all in the mood. If we’re really lucky, it might even be free.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Gets Patch For Solaris Showdown 

MW5 Mercs Patch Notes

Speaking of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, the older MechWarrior title got a patch this month to fix some of the lingering issues with the latest DLC, Solaris Showdown. Arena Exhibition Missions were some of the most problematic, with some maps spawning too many enemies, some ‘Mechs spawning underground, and some enemy ‘Mechs standing completely still even after the match had begun. Those have all been fixed, as has another bug that would cause lancemates to freeze up when ordered to attack a specific target. 

There are still a few complaints regarding Solaris Showdown, so I’d expect to see another patch before PGI lays this game to rest to focus solely on MechWarrior 5: Clans

The Bullshark Comes To MechWarrior Online (And There’s A Free ‘Mech Available)

MechWarrior Online Bullshark

Last on the MechWarrior front are a slew of announcements for MechWarrior Online, starting with the Bullshark. You might remember this 95-ton behemoth from BATTLETECH‘s Heavy Metal expansion. Assumed to be designed by Clan Wolverine, the Bullshark originally came equipped with four ER medium lasers, two UAC/5s, two LB 10-X autocannons, and a Thumper Artillery Cannon. Thumper Cannons don’t exist in MWO, so instead, you’ll get a selection of different assault ‘Mechs armed with autocannons, PPCs, missiles, and lasers. The full details of each variant are available on MWO‘s site here. Note that some variants are based on Inner Sphere tech while others are Clan. 

The Bullshark arrived in MechWarrior Online on May 21st along with a new patch. May’s patch contained just a few adjustments, with Hyper Assault Gauss Rifles all getting their heat reduced, Thunderbolt Missiles having their spread increased and their velocity reduced, and a few ‘Mech quirks being adjusted. All Cougars and Jenner IICs now have 15-percent heat reduction, all Victors and Hunchback IIC variants now have 100 percent increased jump jet initial thrust, and several adjustments have been applied to variants of the Nova, Black Hawk-KU, and LinebackerYou can read more about MWO‘s recent patch in the notes here and purchase one of the Bullshark packages on its dedicated site here.

And finally, there’s a free ‘Mech up for grabs! To celebrate the Cauldron’s anniversary of taking the reins with balancing MWO, you can grab a free Ebon Jaguar B (which was designated Cauldron Born when it was first seen by the Inner Sphere) with a 30 percent C-bill boost and a green glow effect by taking part in this event. The event runs until June 3, so you still have a few days to grab this 65-ton ‘Mech.

Redesigned ‘Mech Sculpts Seen In The Wild

Besides Mr. Kerensky’s Orion, the Atlas II, the Thunder Hawk, and that fancy Phoenix Hawk, we have several other new ‘Mechs on the way. The Grizzly, Thanatos, and Black Python are coming in various ForcePacks in the Mercs Kickstarter, while the Argus arrives with the second Star League ForcePack later this year (hopefully). We got to see painted versions of all four as well as a Demolisher and more courtesy of FaithAndHeresy over on Twitter.

Gotta Keep Those Cat Paws Clean

Tech, 2023, OC
byu/Remmor inOutreachHPG

Working on your Mad Cat is (probably) a tough job. Keeping those laser lenses clean is priority number one, otherwise, you’ll just be a light show on the battlefield. Here we see a MechWarrior doing her best to keep those lenses clean, starting with what appear to be the heat sinks. Or maybe they’re the power couplings--I’m not a technician. Kudos to Remmor for sharing this piece.

MegaMek Celebrates Milestone Release, MRC Announces MegaMek Tourney In June

MegaMek Cover Image

We talked about MegaMek getting a big story-based beta update last month, but this month brings another big milestone for MegaMek: the release of MegaMek v.0.49.19.1, or “One-Ninety-One” as it’s being called. This is the first new stable release of the year and the first stable release under the development team’s new milestone system. This release backports fixes from the development version of MegaMek, including fixes to one-shot weapons, issues with the Partial Wing, and a “nasty surprise around Gun Emplacements.” 

MRC Icon

There are a bunch of changes players should be made aware of, which you can review in MegaMek‘s official release here.

Also, the MechCommander Review Circuit (MRC) has announced a MegaMek tournament for June. The “Summer of Profit”, as the tourney is being called, takes place in the year 3152 with Clan Sea Fox hosting. Teams will take part in combat trials based on famous past battles that heavily featured mercenary units. For more details, check out this video explainer or ask around in the MRC Discord.

Opinion: Clan Sea Fox Is Great, Actually

Sarna Complaints Department

Courtesy of Eldoniousrex

One of the problems with BattleTech is having a favorite ‘Mech that wasn’t part of your favorite faction. You might love the Jenner, but it’s a hard thing to explain how a Draconis Combine ‘Mech managed to make it all the way out to the deep periphery to become part of the Magistracy Armed Forces, for example. It could happen, but it’d require a big story as to how that Jenner traveled a couple of hundred light years.

That’s all changed thanks to Clan Sea Fox. Now, if you want a ‘Mech, or a tank, or anything at all, anywhere at all, you could always just say a traveling Sea Fox sold it. How’d they get it? Who cares. Sea Foxes trade with anyone and everyone in a vast galaxy-spanning network that can easily transport any given weapon system from one end of the Inner Sphere to the other. And maybe even beyond. 

In the ilClan era, if you want a Turkina but you’re in the Taurian Concordat, just say a Sea Fox sold it to you. Want an ancient Star League Excalibur (and not one of those WOB models), just tell ’em a Sea Fox sold you a museum piece. Want something cutting edge, like an Alpha Wolf? An indebted Sea Fox trader gave it to you as a gift. Narrative explanation solved.

Of course, some of you prefer coming up with wild backstories for how you managed to steal a Malice from a former Republic garrison and smuggle it aboard a DropShip without anyone noticing, but for those of us who just want to play with whatever ‘Mechs we want, there’s Clan Sea Fox. 

Leave your thanks in the comments for these mercantile foxes, and thanks to Ollie Garkey for this humorous take on the Sea Fox menace.

Remembering Tukkayyid

REMEMBER MAY 20TH
byu/agentlou44 inbattletech

May 20th is the day we all remember ComStar‘s sacrifice in defending the Inner Sphere from Clan aggression after spending centuries fucking with the major Houses. Meanwhile, the Clans collectively found out after fucking with the Inner Sphere for just two and a half years. Nobody would have expected the galactic phone company to be the deliverer of justice, but remember: if the Clans took over, ComStar would have been out of a job. Thanks to agentlou44 for the reminder of this blessed day.

BattleTech’s 40th Anniversary Edition Box Set Now Available

40th-Boxed-Sets

Earlier this year, I asked Ray and Aaron at Catalyst how they planned to celebrate BattleTech‘s 40th anniversary. Their answer was to send Randall on a world tour and release a special 40th-anniversary version of BattleTech: A Game Of Armored Combat. Inside you’ll find the usual eight ‘Mechs (Locust, Commando, Griffin, Shadow Hawk, Wolverine, Catapult, Thunderbolt, and Awesome), the same 56-page rulebook, the same 16-page universe primer, and the novella Eyestorm. What new stuff you’ll find are eight ilClan-era Record Sheets for the eight ‘Mechs in the box, a one-page ilClan rules sheet for some of the new tech on those modern variants, and a four-page ilClan primer to add onto the universe primer. Oh, and a special new box, of course.

Pre-orders are available now on Amazon and at your local games stores. BattleTech’s 40th Anniversary Edition arrives on June 12 if you order through Amazon, but I’ve got reports that folks are getting these boxes now from other sources.

How To Fit A PPC Onto An Archer

Archer ARC-7P
byu/_masaka inbattletech

It’s a bit of a FrankenMech, but this Archer has the goods courtesy of a Shreck. If by goods I mean PPC, which I do. Kudos to _masaka for sharing, and for this similar animation of a custom Centurion.

Itty Bitty Orion Diorama Shows The Star League Bracing For War

Bracing for the Oncoming Storm: A BattleTech Diorama
byu/TheLegendBoss inbattletech

This tiny diorama by TheLegendBoiss is roughly two and a half hexes long, which makes it absolutely incredible. The Orion is already a very clean paint, but then there’s the cherry picker, the fuel and ammo trucks, the tiny garage with the soldiers standing watch, and “fuck Amaris” graffiti on the back wall. Throw in a bunch of battle damage and this is one of the coolest dioramas I’ve ever seen. Click the pics for some fun dialogue, and check the comments for info on where some of these models were sourced (the Orion is all CGL).

Someone, Please Animate This Hunchback Sprite

Pixel Art Sprite of the Hunchback (Took longer than I thought it would, but I love how it turned out. Tell me what you think.)
byu/PanzerMagus inbattletech

It’s hard not to love the Hunchback. Even folks that are normally assault ‘Mech fans still hold the plucky little Hunchback in high esteem. That’s probably because the Hunchback still demands respect from even the largest of ‘Mechs thanks to its heavy armament and decent armor. A ‘Mech that can take your head off in a single lucky roll is something you can’t write off. And for the rest of us, it’s the medium ‘Mech that punches way above its weight class. It’s efficient, cost-effective, and best of all, cool.

And what’s cooler than a pixel art remake of five Hunchback variants? Thanks to PanzerMagus for giving us these gems. Somebody give these bad boys a 2D fighting game stance (maybe with their weapons firing) so I can start throwing them around on Discord. 

Fan TRO Reveals Way More Stone Rhinos Than I Ever Knew

TRO Behemoth

I’ve seen high-quality, fan-made TROs, but I’ve never seen a TRO dedicated to a single chassis. To close out this month’s news blast, I present Technical Readout: Behemoth, by Mark Charke. He started working on this TRO back in 2018 but decided that the release of the Stone Rhino in MechWarrior Online was as good a time as any to unleash this beast onto the world.

As you’d expect, there are a lot of Behemoth variants inside, from the standard Gauss-toting Stone Rhino to the progenitor Matar, better known as Amaris’ Folly. Once done with the official stuff (with some excellent edits of the original Behemoth artwork by Dana Knutson), Mark then gets into the fan-made stuff with some pretty great original artwork. My personal favorite is the Smoker, which looks like a steampunk version of the Stone Rhino. You can head to Mark’s website to download the PDF.

And that’s it for May! Join us next month for a celebration of plastic!

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

 

Your BattleTech News Round-Up For April, 2024

Did you know the Locust IIC is over 40 points in Alpha Strike? The Fire Moth Prime is close to 30, and there’s even a Kit Fox that’s 40 points. My point is, it’s hard to find a cheap Clan ‘Mech to round out a 200-point Star. Even Elementals are around the same point value as a Succession Wars Stinger. The good news is that most Clan factions have a few random Spheroid ‘Mechs thrown into the Master Unit List, so if you see a Star of Timber Wolves with one random Hunchback, just know that there’s no big story behind that Hunchie—they just couldn’t afford another OmniMech.

The good news is I kinda dig the weird mix of Inner Sphere and Clan ‘Mechs you get in the current era. And with that small rant out of the way, onto the BattleTech news for April 2024.

Clan Spaniel Leads A Packed April Fools

Clan Spaniel Sourcebook

We had a bumper crop of April Fools Day content earlier this month, starting with the BattleTech: Clan Spaniel Sourcebook. Yes, the Clan propaganda piece first mentioned over a quarter-century ago in Warriors of Kerensky has evolved into… well, still an in-universe fictional Clan comprised of anthropomorphic animals who teach young Clanners the virtues of proper Clan etiquette, morals, and behavior. The latest sourcebook reveals how the in-universe show The Adventures Of Clan Spaniel evolved before and during the ilClan era, how the Inner Sphere reacted to Clan Spaniel broadcasts, and how modern Clanners are having their worldview shaped by these honorable yet furry creatures.

I guess we could say that Clanners aren’t really closeted furries anymore.

Hungry like the Wolf

The Clan Spaniel Sourcebook is available through Catalyst’s website for a steal at $3. It includes tons of lore, a full episode script, and several episode scenarios for you to live out your Clan Spaniel fantasies. Dibs on Ferdinan. If anybody out there is thinking about creating a new BattleTech Animated Series, it should definitely be about Clan Spaniel.

But Catalyst didn’t stop there. We were also treated to a new harlequin romance novel called Hungry Like the Wolf by Mykaelya Stakepoole featuring a very shirtless Alaric Ward. The April issue of Shrapnel also featured the recently-announced Urbie LAM on the cover and contained non-existent stories of the UrbanMech LAM’s exploits

Shrapnel Urbie LAM

And of course, it’s not all official April Fools jokes. BattleTech podcasts from around the Inner Sphere all joined forces with writer Jason Hansa to announce a series of entirely contradictory plot points for the upcoming non-sequel Farther Country. This one was more of a slow-burn joke that I didn’t quite hit until I’d actually listened to several podcasts (and also had someone kindly explain it to me). Kudos to BungleTech, BigRed, Mercenary Star, Of ‘Mechs and Men, On the Origins of BattleMechs, The Periphery Podcast Corporation, The Valhalla Club, and WolfNet.

We also had a few great art pieces produced by RealMechIsLove, aka geergutz. Thanks to everyone for making this April Fools extra weird.

MekHQ & MegaMek Begins Story Arc Beta Test

MegaMek Story Arc Beta Test

Before there was Hairbrained’s BATTLETECH, there was MegaMek, a totally free adaptation of Classic BattleTech‘s turn-based rules. I don’t talk about MegaMek nearly as often as I should (partially because it’s been around almost longer than I have), but it’s been continually updated for years with new and better features. And soon, you’ll be able to add a branching story to your MegaMek campaigns.

For those who aren’t aware, MegaMek isn’t the only program you can download to play a digital version of tabletop BattleTech. MegaMek handles the battles you’d normally keep track of with pen and paper, while MekHQ handles unit-based logistics such as personnel, salvage, and repairs, while also allowing you to create missions and manage campaigns. There’s also MegaMekLab that lets you create custom ‘Mechs, and MekWars to help you matchmake games against other players. The team behind MegaMek has just announced Story Arcs, which allows you to create branching stories associated with your campaigns in MegaMek.

For now, Story Arcs is just a beta with a single campaign revolving around “a Trinary of young Wolf warriors eager to write their own line in the Remembrance through glory and sacrifice.”  You can try Story Arcs by downloading the beta here, which also has links to submit feedback. Hopefully, this will lead to a fully functioning custom story creator that allows players to make campaigns that could include multiple mission chains depending on their actions.

MRC To Host MegaMek Tournament In May

BATTLETECH Clan Invasion tourny & mech review! The best mechs of the clan invasion era reviewed!
Watch this video on YouTube.

Speaking of MegaMek, the MRC is hosting a “semi-narrative event” that showcases the Great Refusal between the Clans and the Second Star League. Participants will be split into either the Clans or Star League, use era-appropriate gear, and then fight four rounds in a Swiss Pairings tournament system. Scores are tabulated after each match, and whichever faction has the most points wins.

MRC Icon

The fun part of this tournament will be bonus points for the side that adheres to Zellbrigen the longest. You get an additional five victory points if you force your opponent to break Zellbrigen first. The rules for this are outlined in the overall tournament rules document, but those familiar with the Clan way of combat won’t find anything too surprising. Players are encouraged to verbally spar before issuing their challenges during the weapon attack phase. Note that challenges may be refused if the challenging ‘Mech is of a different weight class and a more appropriate target is available (so no challenging a Fireball if you’re a Dire Wolf and there’s an Atlas two hexes away). 

Players will need to submit their 9,000 BV lists to the MRC email address by midnight on May 3, 2024. The first round begins on May 6. Since this is supposed to be a battle of the best tech each faction had to offer, Clan factions can only take OmniMechs and battle armor, while the Star League is barred from taking introtech units. For more restrictions and the scoring system, check out the rules here or watch the video above.

Michael Ciaravella Becomes Catalyst Game Labs’ New Events Manager And Demo Team Coordinator

All hail the new Coordinator! Michael Ciaravella is now the commander-in-chief of the Catalyst Demo Team, which surely has accepted their new leader by signing an oath of fealty with a bloody thumbprint. Ciaravella is also the new Events Manager for Catalyst Game Labs, which probably comes as little surprise to anyone who’s seen a Catalyst livestream at a convention.

I can point you to Catalyst’s press release for proof that Ciaravella has the business knowledge to excel at the job. Still, the proof was already there in his incredible ability to be everywhere at once. Even if you’ve never met him during his nine years as a Special Agent on the Catalyst Demo Team, you’ve almost certainly read one of his books in either the BattleTech or Shadow Run universes.

Congrats to you, oh beneficent Coordinator! May the Dragon shine through your deeds. 

Bryan Young’s Without Question Gets Ad Ahead Of May Release

BattleTech Fiction: Without Question
Watch this video on YouTube.

I can’t remember the last time a BattleTech book got an ad, but I guess that’s just how important Without Question is! Or it will be when it releases on May 15. 

The sequel to A Question Of Survival (which you can get in the recent Humble Bundle—more on that later), Without Question tells the tale of poor Jiyi Chistu, Khan of a beleaguered Clan Jade Falcon beset on all sides. Clan Hell’s Horses have finally come to Sudeten to take the Jade Falcon capital, leaving Jiyi in a desperate situation. He not only has to fend off the Horses, but he also has to maintain a supply line with the rest of the Jade Falcons on Terra—or what’s left of them after their disastrous fight against the Wolves.

We know Jiyi will be doing some fighting since his Gyrfalcon is on the cover. Will he successfully defend Sudeten, or will the Falcons finally be crushed forever? Find out May 15.

Learn To Play BattleTech: Encounters With Battle Born’s Handy Video

Let's Play Battletech Encounters! Learn-to-Play | TUTORIAL | REVIEW #battletech
Watch this video on YouTube.

With all the hubbub last month surrounding BattleTech: Encounters, you may have asked yourself just what the heck is BattleTech: Encounters and how does one even play this new tabletop game? To answer these questions, Battle Bound has created this instructional video set to one of my favorite tunes from MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries.

The video is roughly 25 minutes long, so you’ll want to watch it for the full explanation. My quick summary: you play as one of the big-name mercenary units pulling contracts for the Great Houses. Your goal is to gain 10 Reputation Points by completing contracts, using salvaged and purchased equipment to improve your battlefield performance.  You’ll face opposing House forces, fellow mercenaries, and even Clanners during each contract, rolling dice to determine your success or failure.

It looks like the general idea is to take easy-to-complete contracts early on, gaining C-bills over Reputation to start. But once you’ve been able to purchase enough equipment to up your firepower, you can take on more difficult contracts that offer Reputation rewards in addition to C-bills.  

You can play alone or with up to seven other players. You don’t fight other players directly, but you can steal their contracts whenever they fail. The benefit to stealing contracts is knowing what you’ll be up against rather than having to deal with the random contests you’ll face when drawing new contracts yourself. For games that have more than one player, there’s also a fairness mechanic that provides the player with the fewest C-bills a guaranteed income for their turn, while the leading player is forced to accept the hardest contracts that could leave them destitute.

Once you get your groove, it doesn’t seem like BattleTech: Encounters is a particularly hard game to play, and the fact that it’s just cards and dice keeps this tabletop game’s footprint down to a minimum. You can get BattleTech: Encounters at Barnes & Noble, but some of the Mercenaries Kickstarter backers will already get the game as part of your tier’s rewards, so be sure to check before you run off to your local mall.

Mercenaries Kickstarter Shipping Errors Being Corrected

Tuesday Newsday Episode 8
Watch this video on YouTube.

Around the end of last month, some of you might have been more than a little shocked after logging into your Mercenaries Kickstarter order to view the shipping fees. For more than a few of you, the shipping charges came out to be more than the total value of the items you ordered. 

CGL had mentioned they were going with a new shipping company than the one used during the Clan Invasion Kickstarter to avoid some issues, but it seemed like the swap created an even larger issue. Thankfully, CGL was quick to get ahead of the problem and promised to talk to QML (the new shipping company) to correct these shipping invoices.

We’ve received regular updates since then and a promise earlier in the month that nearly everyone’s shipping invoice will be under $150 once the review has been completed, but it looks like this is a process that’ll take a bit of time. Seeing as how this will save us all money (and some of us a lot of money), I’m not going to suggest rushing things. Still waiting to hear the final verdict, and fingers crossed we’ll still receive the Mercs Kickstarter in June as planned.

MechWarrior 5: Clans Reveals Demo At GDC

MechWarrior 5: Clans GDC Demo Trailer
Watch this video on YouTube.

At the end of March, some lucky individuals got to see MechWarrior 5: Clans in action over at GDC. The rest of us didn’t get to see the demo right away, but after a few tense weeks, PGI gave us a peek at what they’ve been working on. And boy oh boy, we’ve got a lot to discuss.

The big deal here is seeing actual MechWarrior 5: Clans gameplay for the very first time. It’s confirmed that you’ll command a full Star of Clan ‘Mechs, with five characters from the same sibko taking part in Operation: REVIVAL. The trailer and demo reveal the opening stages of the operation with fights against pirate kingdoms in the deep periphery. Naturally, the player’s Clan Smoke Jaguar Star easily annihilates all opposition. 

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries only granted the most basic control over your Lancemates, but MechWarrior 5: Clans gives you a top-down overlay to command your Starmates, allowing you to issue more nuanced commands. You can even queue commands for friendlies and tell them to perform specific tasks in a specific order, like going to a specific location to destroy an enemy building before heading to a second location to defend it from enemy ‘Mechs.

The UI is updated to be cleaner and a little less cluttered, there’s a new scan mechanic that harkens back to the Enhanced Imaging system from the BattleTech Animated Series, and best of all, there are fully animated character portraits with great voice acting and mocap. This really looks like a game that’s going all out on the story.

I spotted the Koshi, Viper, Hankyu, Blackjack, Locust, Kit Fox, Spider, Flea, Shadow Hawk, Cicada, and Centurion in the demo, confirming that we’ll be fighting Inner Sphere ‘Mechs with Smoke Jaguar machines you’ll have seen in MechWarrior Online. There don’t appear to be rules for Zellbrigen, which is a shame, and it’s still unclear how the player will progress from piloting a Shadow Cat to something more substantial. My hope is that you’ll have to pass Trials of Possession to acquire new ‘Mechs, but I’m still waiting on answers along with everyone else.

For more, No Guts No Galaxy provides a great review of the demo and story trailer, and IGN has an article available to peruse. Still no release date yet, but PGI has promised we’ll see MechWarrior 5: Clans sometime later this year.

Trains Are Still A Highly Efficient Method Of Timber Wolf Transportation

My Timberwolf
byu/Due-Essay9897 inbattletech

I don’t normally care to showcase a Timber Wolf since I think it’s already a poster child for the franchise, but this was just too good to pass up. This hand-painted piece is based on a diorama that apparently confirms the existence of railroad tracks in the far future. Even a thousand years from now, trains are still the most efficient form of mass transportation. With kind regards to Due-Essay9897, a lover of Timber Wolves and trains.

I Just Like Assassins, Okay?

Long deployments in the lawless periphery are enough to keep any MechWarrior on edge
byu/Rabbit_Food_HCE inMechwarrior5

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: I like Assassins. They just look cool, okay? They’re not actually good or effective, and they’re certainly no better at killing light ‘Mechs than other light ‘Mechs, but there’s a certain vibe to the Assassin that’s hard to overlook. I think Senerae captures that vibe perfectly.

Catalyst Gathers For First AMA Of 2024 On Official Subreddit

Hermit Crab

This month, fans got to ask nearly everyone at Catalyst Game Labs whatever questions they wanted. We had Line Developer Ray Arrastia and Assistant Line Developer Aaron Cahall, developers Joshua Perian, Joshua Franklin, and Eric Salzman, as well as authors Bryan Young, Craig Reed, Jason Hansa, and Stephen Toropov all in a single thread fielding hundreds of questions

Now, you could read the whole AMA to glean what information you could, or you could just read my quick summary of the event below:

  • Hermit Crab model requested, many ilClan-era ‘Mechs that are likely to come first. However, all things lead to Crab eventually.
  • Fox Patrol swag? Maybe
  • More audio books from ilClan and older eras coming
  • No Alpha Strike version of AeroTech, even though Joshua Franklin loves the idea
  • Working on an ” easy introductory Classic format or mission packet outside of the campaign books”, possible updates to Classic rules
  • Chance to see IndustrialMechs
  • Will see more “era” ForcePacks, but unlikely to see more era Kickstarters
  • Likely to see “a new edition of A Time of War/A new Battletech RPG”
  • No baseless minis on the horizon
  • House Arano/Aurigan Reach fell apart before the Fourth Succession War but might reappear somehow in the ilClan era.
  • Looking into more optional ‘Mech parts, possibly as separate products
  • New paint schemes for ilClan-era Jade Falcons and reformed Smoke Jaguars 

There’s of course more, but you’ll have to sift through a lot of comments yourself.

Bryan Young Fox Patrol AMA Confirms New Book Is On The way

The BattleTech: Lone Wolf and Fox serial novel is now complete, I’m the author – AMA
byu/swankmotron inbattletech

In addition to the larger Catalyst AMA, Bryan Young did his own AMA to celebrate the release of the Shrapnel #16 and the thrilling conclusion to the Lone Wolf and Fox serial novel. And as before, I have a summary of important responses:

  • Another Fox Patrol story is in the works! 
  • Creamy peanut butter, not chunky
  • Katie is ace, Evan inherited his Locust from his aunt who won it in a card game, and Arkee took catechism classes (which he didn’t enjoy) so he and Evan could get married at St. Michaels
  • Bryan can draw a dragon, but not well

We’re Here To Discuss Your BattleMech’s Extended Warranty

Critical Elements
byu/ThePBG48 inbattletech

 

You never really think about your ‘Mech’s extended warranty until an Elemental is shattering your cockpit glass and sticking a battle claw through your chest. Zoom in on the pistol for a surprise. Kudos to Zaku for this piece.

Humble Bundle Gives $900-worth of Fiction For Thirty Bucks

Or forty bucks if you’re Canadian. Anyway, doesn’t matter what currency you’re using, because this is by far the best deal you’ll ever get for a DropShip-load of fiction. I’m not even going to bother listing the novels because I’d be here all day. Let’s just say it’s everything published since 2003 or so. That’s 71 items, including a bundle of classic BattleTech books that you can eliminate if you’ve already read them a dozen times. That brings it down to about $25 CAD, which is under twenty bucks in USD (I think). 

This deal is only available until May 1, so don’t wait! Buy it now!

Bruce Jensen Shares Unreleased BattleTech Covers

Freebirth Cover Bruce Jensen

Threads of Ambition Bruce Jensen Cover

Emil and I recently spoke about his work preserving BattleTech art, and he pointed me to two recent posts from Bruce Jensen, the cover artist for both Threads of Ambition and Freebirth. And now that he’s completed scanning these incredible pieces, we’ll be able to enjoy these covers in perpetuity. Or at least for as long as the internet lasts. 

Virtual World Pods Hosting Open House Next Month In Kalamazoo

Come play VWE BattleTech VR Sim Pods for FREE in Kalamazoo, MI Apr 27 and May 18th at our Open Pod Nights compliments of our Patreon backers and Catalyst Game Labs. Will also have tabletop BattleTech on site as well. DM or post for more info.
byu/VWE_PropWash inbattletech

It’s been a minute since I discussed Virtual World Entertainment and they’re incredible BattleTech: Firestorm pods. I remember checking one of these pods out as a kid, and I’d love to give ’em a try again sometime. Sadly, I’m in Canada, but if you live anywhere near Kalamazoo, Michigan, you should check out the Virtual World open night to be hosted on May 18. Details are in the Facebook post here. Besides having free use of the pods, there will be tabletop BattleTech being played if you get motion sickness from such an immersive system.

Cockpit Guide Reveals Where The Glass Is On Your Favorite ‘Mechs

Canon Cockpit Guide Bishop Steiner

Us BattleTech veterans already know where the cockpit is on a Thunderbolt, Marauder, and Wraith, but there are a lot of newcomers to BattleTech these days who don’t necessarily know where to paint the glass on an Assassin. For those newcomers, Bishop Steiner has created the Canon Cockpit Compendium, now with Volume 2 covering the Essentials and Beginners Box Set, the Alpha Strike Box Set, and quite a few of the more popular ForcePacks.

If you know a Warhammer (the game, not the ‘Mech) convert who needs some help finding the ferroglass on their favorite ‘Mechs, send ‘em here for a free .pdf download

The Black Hawk-KU Arrives In MechWarrior Online’s Latest Patch

Black Hawk-KU MechWarrior Online

April brings a new patch for MechWarrior Online Legends, and this month we get yet another new ‘Mech! This time, it’s the Black Hawk-KU, the Kurita-built copy of the Clan Nova. This is the first Inner Sphere OmniMech to arrive in MechWarrior Online, giving the same pod-based bonuses as its Clan counterparts.

As expected, there’s a lot of visual similarity between the Nova and the Black Hawk-KU. In comparison, the Black Hawk-KU is a little taller, has slightly different cockpit geometry, and has more bits and pieces sticking out of the design. It’s also armed with Inner Sphere weapons and it’s 10 tons heavier than the Nova, which provides interesting new options for builds. 

Curiously, PGI didn’t release a full suite of variants for the Black Hawk-KU, but you do get two left-arm pods and one right-arm pod that will allow you to customize the standard BHKU-O to be more than just a medium laser boat. The Black Hawk-KU is available now for just $20 USD, with an expected release later for C-bills. 

There have also been a few adjustments made to weapons and ‘Mechs. Light Autocannons and ProtoMech Autocannons have been buffed, while Magshot and AP Gauss Rifles have been slightly nerfed to no longer have bonus critical hit chance over base values, but also buffed in that they’re now affected by the same quirks that benefit regular Gauss Rifles. Thunderbolt Missiles are now faster and more accurate but inflict less screen shake to the target. 

As for ‘Mechs, the Arctic Cheetah now has an additional 10 percent heat dissipation, the UrbanMech IIC now has 15 percent heat dissipation, and the Ice Ferret tree all have five percent more heat dissipation (except for the Prime, which has 10 percent). There are a few other ‘Mechs with slight tweaks and a huge list of ammo quirk adjustments, but you can read about them in the patch notes here.

And we also have a few tips for what’s to come! May will bring yet another new ‘Mech to MWO, while June will bring two more Legendary ‘Mechs. We don’t know what they are, but we’ll be sure to report back once we find out.

The Sentinel Stands Guard In MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Mod

My next mech mod is out: The Sentinel
byu/BoukObelisk inMechwarrior5

It’s not often I get to link back to two recent pieces here on Sarna, first my hit piece on the Sentinel, and second, my interview with Emil of The Art of BattleTech. Emil’s latest mod brings the Sentinel to MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries courtesy of a model made by SirMortimer Bombito. I’d say it’s definitely a different take on the Sentinel with its far-chunkier build, but you still have the rounded cockpit, the Ultra Autocannon in the left arm, and a generally menacing attitude. 

You can grab the Sentinel over on Nexus Mods or MechWarrior 5‘s Steam Workshop. Emil has also given us the classic Warhammer mod, which makes the in-game Warhammer look more like Robotech‘s Tomahawk. If that’s an aesthetic you’d jive with, then grab the mod in the usual locations.

Boston Dynamics New Atlas III Robot Is Terrifying

Boston Dynamics, everyone’s favorite bot factory, has created its third iteration of the Atlas robot. Unlike previous robots, Atlas III isn’t just trying to mimic human movements, as you can see in the way it erects itself from a prone position. Nearly every joint now offers 360 degrees of movement, allowing it to perform actions that one might previously have associated with demons in a Japanese horror film.

Still, this is progress. Horrible, terrifying progress, but progress nonetheless. 

You Can Buy This Laser & Flamer-equipped Robot For Under $10,000

I originally saw this a few weeks ago and thought it was a gasoline-powered version of Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot. Turns out, it’s actually a much cheaper four-legged robot equipped with a flamethrower and a laser sight. Because you can’t be too accurate with a flamethrower.

Best of all, you can get this robot for just $9,420.00 anywhere in the continental US (where—for now—it’s still legal to own a robot with a flamethrower). I suspect this year’s wildfire season will be apocalyptic.

Lo-Fi Thors To Chill Out And Relax To

Lo-Fi Thor – This one even shoots!
byu/hzzzln inmechwarrior

For the past month, hzzzln on Reddit has been using Blockbench to create low-fi versions of their favorite ‘Mechs. It all started with the Hellspawn, then it escalated to the Thor, and most recently, the Fire Moth. I love them all and wonder if perhaps this is the first step to a MechWarrior 2 remake. Thank you, hzzzln.  

Battle Bound Reminds Us Of The Toons That Made BattleTech

The 'Toons That Made 'Tech - CRUSHER JOE | A Short #battletech #retrospective
Watch this video on YouTube.

In case you’re new to the BattleTech franchise, it wasn’t always the case that we had beautiful Shadow Hawks, Griffins, Warhammers, Riflemen, and Marauders running around. For a long time, these ‘Mechs were considered Unseen due to a lengthy court battle with the IP holding company that claimed ownership over these designs. That’s because those five ‘Mechs (and several more) were actually derived from designs taken from Japanese mecha animes from the 1980s. 

It’s a long story that’s better reviewed in Sarna’s wiki entry. The good news is that the bad guys lost (in no small part due to the legal battle waged by MechWarrior 5 developer PGI), and now we get to play with all these great ‘Mech designs that have since evolved well beyond their anime origins.

But just because the new ‘Mechs are better doesn’t mean the old ‘Mechs were bad, or that the shows they come from aren’t worth a watch. Battle Bound once again comes up in this news blast to give modern BattleTech fans a taste of what it was like to watch these ‘Mechs in the 1980s with a retrospective look at Fang of the Sun Dougram and Crusher Joe. If you’re looking for where BattleTech got not only its giant robots but also its star-spanning universe and its love of mercenaries, you need look no further than these two shows. 

Battle Bound plans for these retrospectives to be a series, so I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Robotech and Macross featured in the not-too-distant future.

Get To Know Sarna Senior Editor Deadfire In New Interview

Roll with Rem Alternis w/ Guest Shaun Cochrane || Shadowrun: Emerald Glitch "Where's the Rain?"
Watch this video on YouTube.

And to end things for the month, Catalyst Community Manager Rem Alternis interviewed Sarna’s very own Senior Editor, Deadfire! He does a lot of stuff here behind the scenes, including templates, automation, and other technical stuff that goes beyond my beginner-level understanding of HTML and C++. The interview was broadcast live on Twitch via GenConTV just before Rem continued her ongoing Shadowrun campaign, and can now be viewed in full on YouTube.

Turns out, Sarna has a diverse group of people helping to keep the greatest BattleTech resource on the internet running! And we’re not just all about BattleTech. Deadfire, for example, plays a lot of Magic: The Gathering, plays a bunch of shooters (Managed Democracy salutes you!), and also came into BattleTech through the MechWarrior: Dark Age clicks game! Okay, so I still circled back to BattleTech, but I don’t see a lot of folks who hold Dark Age in such high esteem, and I think that’s laudable.

Deadfire puts a lot of effort into the wiki and his journey to becoming a senior editor is full of hard work and good ideas. It’s a fascinating talk that once more pulls back the curtain to Sarna, and also how we’re always looking for folks to contribute towards Sarna’s improvement. I encourage you all to give the first 45 minutes of the above video a look-see

That does it for April! Join us next time as the BattleTech universe continues to expand.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

 

Your BattleTech News Round-Up For March, 2024

It was a busy month! We’ve had AdeptiCon and KerenskyCon happen this month, which means we have a lot of stuff to cover. And since I don’t really have anything else to complain about this month, we’ll just jump straight to the news!

Catalyst Announces New BattleTech Products At AdeptiCon

BattleTech Mercenaries Paint Set

Before we get into the new stuff that Catalyst presented at AdeptiCon, a brief note about the early release of BattleTech: Encounters at Barnes & Noble. This game was supposed to be released after the Mercenaries Kickstarter fulfillment (on track for June), but it looks like Barnes & Noble didn’t get the memo. Higher-level Mercenaries backers will get this tabletop dice game as part of their fulfillment, so there’s no need for everyone to rush off to Barnes & Noble unless you really want to get it earlier than planned. Then I guess you’ll have two, which you can share with someone else who might want a BattleTech board game.

With that out of the way, we got two big deals out of AdeptiCon. Earlier this month we found out that BattleTech was getting its own paint set, and now we’ve learned what that will look like. Images posted to the BattleTech forums (and spread to other BattleTech social accounts) reveal a selection of colors that includes 10 acrylic paints, seven speed paints, one metallic, one wash, one primer, and one base-coating paintbrush. You can expect this to arrive later this spring.

The other big announcement is a new premium Vulture mini, or Mad Dog if you’re a Clanner. I can’t quite tell from the posted images I’ve seen whether this will turn out to be a different variant or just a repose of the existing one, but my hope is that it’s a Mad Dog Alt Config A. If anybody has a better picture, send it to me!

Mercenaries Interior Box

Beyond that, a display case at AdeptiCon shows completed versions of several previously-announced products, including Force Manual: Davion, the Legendary MechWarriors III ForcePack, the 1st Somerset Strikers ForcePack, the Battlefield Support: Battle & Fire ForcePack, the Battlefield Support: Objectives pack, a whole bunch of mugs and badges, and the fully-completed Mercenaries box set. 

And what’s inside that box set? Well, this intersects with what we’ve learned from KerenskyCon, but besides the promised minis (which look great), there are also two cardboard sheets of standees for Elementals, Battle Armor, fixed gun emplacement, ammo dumps, field hospitals, Maxim, Vedette, and Demolisher tanks, and plenty of standard infantry. There’s more, which you can see courtesy of snapshots taken by Detocroix.

One more thing announced at the most recent Catalyst news stream: BattleTech is getting a graphic novel series! It’ll be co-written by Michael Stackpole and Bryan Young (creator of the Fox Patrol), with art by our very own Eldoniousrex. A post from Young on Reddit outlines what to expect: four graphic novels, 88 pages each, one overarching story, ilClan era, mercs, and a few guest writers coming in later on. We don’t have a release date yet, but I’m certainly looking forward to seeing how this rolls!

Also, Some Upcoming Fiction Releases

Shrapnel 16 Cover

Also courtesy of Rem’s recent news stream, a brief update on upcoming fiction. Next month, Craig Reed brings us In the Shadow of the Dragon, which details Yori Kurita‘s rise to Coordinator. Bryan Young’s Without Question returns to Terra to tell the story of the defeated Jade Falcons in the ilClan era and arrives on May 15. Coming in July is Michael Cieravella with Trial of Birthright, which tells the story of Clan Wolf following their victory. And finally, Philip Lee’s Letter of the Law brings us back to the reformed Free Worlds League in November with the sequel to Hunting Season.

Shrapnel 16 is out with a new Fox Patrol story and cover. And for those of you who prefer to get your BattleTech fiction in audio, Close Quarters, Rock and a Hard Place, and A Splinter of Hope are all available now as audiobooks. 

The UrbanMech LAM Is Real And It Can Hurt You

Urbie LAM Box Set

Several years ago, I reported on the theoretical existence of the UrbanMech LAM. It was just sketches and mockups at the time, but the idea was there, and ideas can be very powerful. So powerful, in fact, that they can make an UrbanMech fly.

Blurry photos posted on Facebook later became an official prototype mockup, until finally at AdeptiCon, we received confirmation that the UrbanMech LAM exists physically and will be made available as part of a dedicated UrbanMech LAM Salvage Box. The box will contain all modes of the UrbanMech LAM, including BattleMech, AirMech, and aerospace fighter mode.

While the UrbanMech LAM will be a real product with actual cards for Alpha Strike, it won’t be real in the BattleTech universe. That’s because the Urbie LAM will remain non-canon and without official record sheets, even though it’s something fans are clearly clamoring for. I suspect once the record sheet issue is solved we’ll revisit the issue of the Urbie LAM’s canonicity.

Is this the April 1st product that Eric warned us about? Maybe. We’ll find out if the Urbie LAM suddenly becomes available via the Catalyst store on April 1st.

Pre-Release Urbie LAM Has Serious Up Vibes

Got a pre-release Urbie LAM from some dude on the internet. Starting to suspect it’s not an official BT product…
byu/Horseburd inbattletech

This is probably what I had in mind when the words “Urbie” and “LAM” were first introduced to each other. I’m not sure why this Urbie had to be a Pikachu as the joke totally landed without the Pokemon, but I’ll take the double-whammy. Thank you to Horseburd for… this.

Motor City Mayhem Alpha Strike Tournament Coming In May

Last month we learned about the MRC hosting a Classic BattleTech tournament in Kentucky, and this month they’ve announced an Alpha Strike tournament coming to a Detroit suburb in May. Motor City Mayhem is a 300-point Alpha Strike tournament in Livonia, Michigan starting at 8 AM on Saturday, May 18, and running all day long. 

As for the rules, your army can’t exceed 300 points and must be available during the Civil War era. You may select any faction, but your unit choices must be available to that faction. Banned units include aerospace fighters, support vehicles, experimental tech, and units with the “unknown” or “unique” designation, but ‘Mechs, combat vehicles, battle armor, and conventional infantry are fair game. You’ll also have to designate a Force Commander who must drive a size two or larger ‘Mech.

There are also several other restrictions, but you can read about ’em on the event’s rules sheet here.

The important thing to remember is that food will not be provided, so pack a lunch or prepare to get some chow locally, and the tournament scoring system isn’t just about winning games. Being courteous and respectful, having beautifully painted minis, and having a creative army list that’s fun to play against are all factors that will determine the overall tournament winner. However, there will be secondary awards provided for these more nuanced categories.

Signups are available now. And be sure to sign up as soon as possible as the venue space is limited. Also, if you want your event advertised in Sarna, just leave a comment or send me an email and we’ll get you into the next monthly news blast.

This Underwater Thunderbolt Is Shocking

Thunderbolt “Tidehunter”
byu/Existing_Notice2033 inbattletech

BioShocking, if you’ll pardon the pun. Armed with an LR Torpedo/15, three SR Torpedo/4s, several lasers, and a giant fricken anchor, you’ll never have to worry about your little sister running away ever again. Probably. Credit to Existing_Notice2033 on Reddit for this one.

Meanwhile, At KerenskyCon…

The biggest news to come out of KerenskyCon is a preview of new ForcePacks. Randall Bills revealed a series of internal spreadsheets that show tentative release schedules for a ton of new ‘Mechs. Keep in mind that these units and dates are more tentative the further out you go, but that said, there are a lot of great ‘Mechs and other units to look forward to. Kudos to Available_Mountain on Reddit for giving us an easy-to-copy list (which I’ve linked to their respective Sarna entries). 

KerenskyCon Upcoming Minis 2

KerenskyCon Upcoming Minis

And a few ForcePacks without release dates and are more just ideas at this point, but wouldn’t require much work:

Ray Arrastia pointed out on the Catalyst Discord that this list—although extensive—isn’t set in stone. Expect things to change over the year, especially for ‘Mechs that haven’t received official redesigns yet.

The good news is that some of these ‘Mechs have been redesigned, and we got to see a few of them at KerenskyCon. The Helios, Thanatos, Emperor, Argus, Hellspawn, Tian-zong, and Dire Wolf Prometheus all looked incredible, as did the Thunderbolt NAIS and hopping Starslayer. As per our January report, expect these to come in this year’s second half. 

Another interesting item shown at KerenskyCon was BattleTech: Resurgent Empires. This tabletop board game features the major houses during the Succession Wars, with plenty of cards, tokens, and little mini figures of ‘Mechs and JumpShips. I don’t know the rules, but it sure looks like a fun time.

Finally, there were several interviews conducted at KerenskyCon with BattleTech‘s creatives, but you really can’t go wrong with Jordan Weisman and Mike Stackpole talking about the early development of BattleTech. Kudos to Battle Bound for bringing this interview to the masses.

It’s Always Cooler To Look Away From The Explosion

Ammo explosion, 2024, OC
byu/Remmor inbattletech

I love the Griffin, but I’d put most Bushwacker variants over the Roundfacer. Certainly, any variants that don’t include CASE, which seems to be this particular Griffin‘s Achilles’ heel.  A fantastic art piece from Remmor over on Reddit.

MechWarrior: Living Legends Is Hiring!

MechWarrior Living Legends Logo

Got some experience with CryEngine? Want to help make an amazing free-to-play (and I mean free) MechWarrior game? MechWarrior: Living Legends is looking for a programmer to help build the award-winning mod that’s now a standalone game. 

While it’s a big plus to have prior knowledge of the Crysis engine, the ad doesn’t say you necessarily need it. What you’ll really need is C++, Lua, and Flash. It’d also be good if you understood Git and had some prior experience working on games too, but given the fact this is a passion project and nobody is getting paid (not even the applicant), enthusiasm is probably what counts most here.

Check out this link for the details and be ready to communicate with the development team via Discord.

SAN-1C, He Can Really Move

Behold the Firemoth’s true form: the SAN-1C (Finished).
byu/GillyMonster18 inbattletech

This could very well be the saddest Dasher variant I’ve ever seen. GillyMonster18, you truly are a monster.

Celebrating The Women Of BattleTech For International Women’s Day

Natasha Kerensky BattleTech Legends

International Women’s Day was March 8. I haven’t exactly conducted a census of BattleTech players, but just looking around, I’d say the vast majority of them are male. And yet, women do play BattleTech, women write BattleTech, women create BattleTech, and women are incredibly important in the BattleTech universe.

Sarna recently sat down with two women to talk about how they’re creating the BattleTech universe we all love. Jennifer Brozek has written both The Nellus Academy Incident and the Rogue Academy Trilogy, two page-turners that you should definitely read. Rem Alternis handles both community management and marketing for all of Catalyst’s games, which I know is a tough job. You can check out these interviews here.

Yori Kurita

As for in-universe women, you don’t get more badass than Natasha Kerensky, up there as the best MechWarrior who ever lived. Katrina Steiner was an incredible politician, as were Candace Liao and Jessica Marik. Yori Kurita rose from nothing to become Coordinator of the Draconis Combine, while Callandre Kell not only reformed the Kell Hounds but also regularly took down ‘Mechs in a mere tank. And let’s not forget the entire Magistracy of Canopus, a matriarchal nation in the periphery with the best healthcare in the Inner Sphere (which is perhaps the biggest reason why we should put women in charge). 

Not cool enough? Hanni Schmitt was the commander of the Black Watch during the Amaris Coup. It took two nukes to finally take her out, and she nearly destroyed the entire 4th Amaris Dragoons with just eight ‘Mechs and her Atlas. Captain Elizabeth Hazen survived the first nuke that destroyed most of the Black Watch and led a resistance movement for years before Kerensky liberated Terra. She’d eventually go on to be the founding Khan of Clan Jade Falcon, while Hanni Scmitt’s granddaughter, Colleen, would be the founding Khan of Clan Blood Spirit.

Aletha Kabrinsky BattleTech CCG

But the woman who doesn’t get nearly enough credit is Aletha Kabrinski. She became Khan of Clan Ghost Bear in nothing but a Fire Moth, a ‘Mech so fragile it’d explode if it were presented with an offensive odor. She also was a key Clan politician who managed to convince the Snow Ravens to join Stone‘s coalition to end the Jihad. Most people are either MechWarriors or politicians in BattleTech, but Aletha proved you can do both. 

Wanna learn more about the cool women of BattleTech? Come to Sarna’s Discord server and join the discussion.

Solaris Showdown Arrives In MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - Solaris Showdown Launch Trailer
Watch this video on YouTube.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries received its sixth DLC this month in Solaris Showdown. Of all the DLC releases, this has got to be one of the smoothest—at least in terms of mod support. I saw some mods were updated for DLC 6 before it was even released, so kudos to both PGI and the many mod makers for getting things ready for Solaris Showdown

Having announcers give you the play-by-play of your destructive exploits in the arena should be core to the MechWarrior experience these days. It was also hilarious seeing the origins of Duncan Fisher, and of course, George Ledoux‘s performance was exceptional. This DLC probably has the best voice acting in the entire game. The new weapons were great, and the new ‘Mechs are even better.

But it wasn’t a perfect release. As many fans noted, the friendly AI would often get stuck in the spawning area of the later maps, making those missions incredibly difficult. We also learned that most of the new ‘Mechs added weren’t able to be salvaged when the DLC was released. That was fixed as of last week’s patch, so if like me you’re still searching for that Hunchback VEST, you should be able to salvage it from a medium ‘Mech arena contract.

Also, if you’re running into a consistent crash whenever you try to start the sixth mission in Solaris Showdown, turn off ray tracing. I kept getting a “DEVICE HUNG” error and thought it might have been a mod conflict, but it kept happening even after I’d turned off all mods. Hopefully, this will be patched soon.

Solaris Showdown is available now wherever you can download MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries.

Not Even A King Crab Can Ignore Battle Armor Forever

King Crab Diorama ErofeaN

I hate battle armor, either in tabletop or video games. This King Crab, courtesy of ErofeaN, is definitely getting the worst of it from these jumping bastards. I hope they get the clamps, but I’m not holding my breath.

Hail Caesar! Now In MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries

Caesar Mod MW5

I’ve always loved the Caesar. Even before I read Double Blind, the Caesar‘s bizarrely sloped chassis and rounded vents just called to me. I’ve been able to make a reasonable facsimile of the Caesar using Cataphracts in MechWarrior 5, but it just isn’t quite the same.

Well, now I can finally drive a Caesar in MechWarrior courtesy of SirMortimer and SankaraSamsara. The new mod uses Sir Mortimer Bombito’s model, with the animation provided by SankaraSamsara. It sure seems that cockpit will be easy to headshot, though, so maybe take as much extra armor there as you can.

You can get the Caesar over on Nexus Mods or Steam (for both vanilla and YAML). You can also check out SankaraSamsara’s ever-growing list of MechWarrior 5 mods over on Nexus Mods, which now includes the classic King Crab and Executioner.

MechWarrior 5: Clans Teased At GDC

 

GDC has provided us with a tantalizing second look at MechWarrior 5: Clans. We didn’t get to see any actual gameplay, but we did get to see the game’s home screen courtesy of Narrative Director Chris Lowrey.

As you can see, there’s a Timber Wolf standing above a star of five characters, all of whom are wearing quite a lot for a MechWarrior (I still ascribe to the “underpants and cooling vest” MechWarrior aesthetic). The menu reveals instant action, co-op, and “Switch Campaign,” which I assume means we’ll have the option to play more than a single save file’s campaign.

Sadly, we didn’t actually get to see the demo, but hopefully, that’ll arrive sooner rather than later.

Please Animate The Gimp Atlas, Please

Super Deformed hunchback IIc, warhammer IIc, atlas refit, stinger refit (my art)
byu/geergutz inmechwarrior

 

Please geergutz, give me adorable little gifs of these guys doing crazy things. I promise I’ll only use them to harass my friends and enemies. 

MechWarrior Online Receives New Weapons In March Patch

MWO March 2024 Patch Notes

This may very well be MechWarrior Online‘s biggest patch in years. We’ll gloss over the returning Lucky Charms Event, the Duncan Fisher Hero Thunderbolt, and the Otomo Pack which brings MechWarrior 5‘s Otomo ‘Mechs to MWO (with skins, bolt-ons, and a 30-percent C-bill bonus). What really makes this patch are more than a dozen new weapons and equipment that are sure to shake up the meta.

Those weapons included the Light Autocannon/2 and 5, ProtoMech Autocannon/2 to 8, Thunderbolt Missile launchers, the Magshot and AP Gauss Rifles, the Silver Bullet Gauss Rifle, the Beam Laser, the Plasma Cannon, and the Light TAG. Each of these weapons will have the same large the same stats as their tabletop versions (except for the Beam Laser, which doesn’t exist in tabletop). 

For a look at how each of these weapons performs, we turn to No Guts No Galaxy’s in-depth review. The autocannons all seem like tiny variations on fast-firing Bushmaster-style cannons, the Beam Laser is just a continuous beam that slowly builds heat, the Plasma Cannon is like a green PPC with added head damage, and the Magshot and AP Gauss Rifles are like teeny tiny Gausses. 

NEW WEAPON SHOWCASE & REVIEW - MechWarrior Online
Watch this video on YouTube.

As Sean mentions in his review, the Cauldron is aware that some of these weapons (particularly the Plasma Cannon and ProtoMech ACs) are underperforming slightly at launch, but the Cauldron would rather launch undercooked and then buff them later rather than release a completely busted weapon that warps the meta. You can expect those adjustments in April’s patch, as well as ‘Mechs being assigned quirks that affect these weapons specifically.

March’s patch has made the Cicada a bit more maneuverable, Vindicator, Nova, Kintaro, Thanatos, BattleMaster, and Highlander variants have all received buffs, and several maps have received fixes, including Solaris, Bearclaw II, Mining Collective, and Emerald Taiga. You can get the full details in the patch notes here.

This Is Why It’s Always Better For A ‘Mech To Have Fists

Brutal Punch was never the best card in the BattleTech TCG, but it sure had great art. And now, thanks to Alan Blackwell, we can experience the brutality of this punch in 3D. An incredible piece that just proves the dominance of the Atlas and why you should never close with one.

3D Artist Previews Upcoming Merlin Mini

Merlin Redesign Reddit

I’m getting a Merlin in my Mercenaries Kickstarter order, so I was extremely excited to see this preview courtesy of the modeler who created the new Merlin mini. Lizzie’s Reddit post takes us from the earliest sketch to her initial models, slowly adding detail until we finally get to a finished product ready for posing. 

I love the Merlin. Like the Grasshopper, it’s just one of those efficient heavy ‘Mechs from the 3025 era that can actually fire its entire weapons payload every turn without overheating. Plus it’s got jump jets for maneuverability, and enough armor to outlast anything in its weight class. Throw on the Easy to Maintain and Rugged quirks, and it’s a wonder you don’t see these in every major military across the Inner Sphere. Instead, you’ll see them in multiple mercenary outfits.

You can find the Merlin in the Inner Sphere Heavy Recon Lance ForcePack alongside the Charger (also redesigned by Lizzie), the Ostsol, and the Assassin. This pack will form the core of my mercenary unit as soon as it arrives in June. Lizzie, you’ve my undying gratitude for bringing these ‘Mechs to the 21st century.

Definitely Not The Battledroids You’re Looking For

These are not the Mechs you’re looking for…
byu/OhioYeti inbattletech

May the Fourth isn’t for another month, OhioYeti. Bring these two back then.

And that’s it for March! Join us next time, same BattleTech time, same BattleTech channel.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

Your BattleTech News Round-Up For February, 2024

Normally this is when Southern Ontario enters its deep freeze, with heaps of snow up to my shoulders where the removal services can’t get to fast enough. But this year, it’s been relatively snow-free. In fact, we’ve had more above-freezing days this month than any other February on record. Yesterday it was 16 degrees C (or about 61 degrees F). It then dropped to -6 over five hours, which was about as weird. It was almost like the weather remembered what month it was.

I won’t have to wait long for the warm weather to return. Spring has sprung early where I live, with positive temperatures expected for the next two weeks at least. Given how sick I’ve been this winter, it can’t come soon enough.

But you’re not here for the weather report. You’re here for BattleTech news, and this month we’ve got a whole lot of it. Here’s everything that happened in the Inner Sphere this February.

Wolves Wave 3 Announces Ragnarok Returns In MechAssault Fan Game

Wolves Wave 3 (MechAssault Fangame) - The Assault Continues
Watch this video on YouTube.

We start with a little love for MechAssault. Wolves, the MechAssault fan game, has been steadily working on its Wave 3 update. We already knew the Puma, Uziel, and Mad Cat would be coming in this update, but now we know the big bad of the game will also return. Prepare for Ragnarok.

Wolves Wave 3 Ragnarok

the Ragnarok (and its variant, the Ymir) aren’t specced out in official BattleTech terms, and that’s largely because they have an energy shield and a “Lava Gun.” Why the Word of Blake thought lava would somehow be more destructive than highly-excited ionic particles or a hypersonic slug I will never understand, but I do get why a forcefield might be difficult to write stats for using classic BattleTech rules.

Still, fans of the MechAssault games love the Ragnarok as much as BattleTech faithful love the Daishi or Atlas—it’s just a huge wrecking ball. And it’s coming in Woves Wave 3. It’s also coming to MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, according to a follow-up teaser that arrived the day after the Wave 3 trailer.

You can expect to experience Wolves Wave 3 and the Ragnarok soon(TM).

BATTLETECH Director Mike McCain Returns To Hairbrained Schemes As Executive Producer

Good news for HBS after a ton of bad. Mike McCain, game director for Shadowrun: Dragonfall and BATTLETECH, is back and taking over Mitch Gitelman‘s old job as Executive Producer (while Mitch takes a break and moves into an advisory role for the studio). 

“I’m thrilled to be back in the virtual office with this amazing team,” said Mike. “There will be plenty of challenges, but the creative momentum we have around this new project right now is exhilarating. We’re a small crew making something we really believe in and I can’t wait to share it!”

Mike did an incredible job adapting the tabletop BattleTech game into a turn-based video game that any fan will would love while still attracting fans of turn-based strategy games. The game started with an incredible narrative-driven campaign and later received DLC that improved the game’s galaxy-spanning sandbox into one where the player could create their own story.

The only downside to the news is yet further confirmation from Mitch that HBS hasn’t been given the license to make BATTLETECH 2. HBS has something in store, but it doesn’t sound like we’re going to get the sequel we all desperately want. A wild thing, considering BATTLETECH‘s success, but what can you do? These are wild economic times for the video games industry. We wish Mike and HBS all the success in whatever they’re working on.

A Realistic Depiction Of Ballistic Arcs Courtesy Of A Dragon

Commandos on Styk
byu/agentlou44 inbattletech

You know what I like most about this piece? Wild-Cat 144 gave the Dragon‘s autocannon rounds a ballistic arc. You’d think that a cannon on a BattleMech would fire fast enough that it might as well be a laser, but the only explanation why BattleTech‘s cannons have such short ranges is that they have extremely low muzzle velocity, so they’d drop a significant distance between leaving the barrel and impact. Kudos to you, Wild-Cat 144. I love accurate physics.

CGL Community Manager Rem Alternis Answers Questions About Community Guidelines

Catalyst Game Labs - Rem Alternis interview
Watch this video on YouTube.

Catalyst announced its community guidelines last month, and there was quite a reaction. Rem Alternis, community manager for Catalyst, has been kindly answering questions regarding the community guidelines, starting with YouTuber Critical Rocket

And I say kindly because a few people had some curiously harsh reactions to being told they couldn’t play in official Catalyst spaces if they didn’t agree to be respectful of another human’s race, religion, culture, gender, or sexual orientation. 

Expect Rem to have more words to say about the community guidelines in an upcoming interview with Sarna. In the meantime, I think Critical Rocket covered the basics, clarified some of the new rules, and noted that some previous bans might be overturned with a new appeals process. Thanks to Critical Rocket for being first in line!

Opinion: You Can’t Put The 3D-Printing Genie Back In The Bottle

Sarna Complaints Department

Courtesy of Eldoniousrex

I think the online reaction to Catalyst’s new community guidelines was overblown, but there’s one thing I did agree with. Simply barring 3D-printed stuff from being shared on official CGL channels isn’t going to stop its proliferation. There’s just no putting the technological genie back in the bottle.

Don’t get me wrong, I think CGL offers a superior product. I have both unofficial 3D-printed minis and official ones, and the CGL minis are consistently tougher, more detailed, and scaled correctly so you don’t have to worry about your Tempest accidentally being taller than an AtlasGiven a choice between a 3D-printed mini and an official one, you should always pick the official CGL mini.

But at the same time, some people just can’t get official minis. They’re either not sold everywhere, or shipping is impossible, or pewter is too expensive, and 3D printing provides a reasonable alternative to play the game. On top of that, CGL hasn’t redesigned every ‘Mech (although they’re working on it), and there are a lot of talented 3D modelers out there who are practicing their craft.

In keeping with Catalyst’s guidelines, Sarna won’t distribute mini models or tell you where to go to get them, but I do think trying to ignore them is short-sighted. 3D models could be an additional source of revenue for Catalyst. Perhaps not every ‘Mech is popular enough to deserve being manufactured in plastic and put into a ForcePack, but they’re popular enough to be redesigned in the same manner as the current generation of minis and then sold as a 3D-printable file. 

Hopefully, Catalyst’s stance (which is directed by the copyright holder, Topps, so it’s really Topps’ stance) will change in the future, especially as 3D printing technology continues to improve. If you’ve got a constructive opinion, leave it in the comments (and remember to be respectful). 

BattleTech Universe Book Reviewed By Guerilla Miniature Games

GMG Reviews - Battletech UNIVERSE by Catalyst Game Labs
Watch this video on YouTube.

For most of us, the BattleTech Universe isn’t going to be available until later this year, but a few people have received the upcoming book a little early. One of those people is Guerilla Miniature Games

We don’t get to see much of the Universe book besides the cover and the opening insert, but from what GMG describes, it sounds like this new Universe book is going to be required reading for any new BattleTech player. The rest of us might not find it quite as compelling as something like ilKhan’s Eyes Only, but Ray and Aaron have promised me that Universe will be a big deal and will have plenty for veterans too.

Catalyst Launches New Discord, Double-Sized Shrapnel Celebrates Mercs, and Previews Shared Online

Mercenaries Update
Watch this video on YouTube.

We got a load of Catalyst materials to get through, starting with the double-sized Shrapnel issue that was released earlier this month. Shrapnel Volume 15 is twice the Shrapnel you’re used to but only priced at a dollar more. Inside you’ll find tales from your favorite BattleTech authors, including Michael Stackpole, Bryan Young, and Chris Purnell, as well as newcomer Robin Briseño. On top of that value, it’s also focused on everyone’s favorite BattleTech faction: mercenaries. Grab it in digital or print-on-demand formats

Craig A Reed Blood Rage

On the book front, Herbert A. Beas’s Forgotten Worlds trilogy is now available with a new title: BattleTech: The Quest for Jardine. And for those who didn’t back the Mercenaries Kickstarter, Craig A. Lee’s Blood Rage is now available for individual purchase either on Catalyst’s store or Amazon. 

Those who were concerned with hearing about the pre-painted minis that’ll be coming in the Star League ForcePacks can (probably) rest easy. A post to the official BattleTech forums has revealed Aleksandr Kerensky‘s Orion looks pretty good. Sure, some of you folks might be able to do a better job painting an Orion, but I think this looks like a perfectly acceptable mini. I’m also told that it shouldn’t be hard to strip the paint off this thing if you don’t like it, although it’d probably be easier to just get a fresh Orion mini. 

Another surprise for Mercenaries Kickstarter backers is the Savannah Master hover tank. These speed bastards have been the bane of many a tabletop experience, and now we know what they’ll look like when they arrive later in June when Catalyst starts fulfilling orders. That’s thanks to Randall being unable to stop himself from sharing on YouTube.

Last, but not least: Catalyst has a Discord now! Wanna chat with like-minded individuals? Get the latest announcements as they happen? Share details on your preferred paint methods? You can do all this and more on the Catalyst Discord here.

Kelly Bonilla, Lead Designer For MechWarrior: Dark Age, Has Passed Away

Some sad news took place late last month but didn’t reach my ears until February. Kelly Bonilla, the lead designer for Wizkids’ MechWarrior: Dark Age, has died. 

Kelly Bonilla MechWarrior

MechWarrior: Dark Age was never the most popular BattleTech product, but I liked it. For a while in my first year of university, it was my collective obsession. The idea of getting smaller armies, pre-painted, that looked good and had simplified rules so you could fight little battles out using everything on your kitchen table held a lot of appeal. And just having play stats tracked using the circular base was genius. 

Of course, MechWarrior: Dark Age wasn’t perfect. While I liked the tanks, I didn’t like how the setting seemed to emphasize these lesser units over real ‘Mechs. And while the setting was interesting, it was a jarring mess from the Civil War and Jihad eras that didn’t get untangled until years later. 

But Kelly wasn’t involved in the story writing. She was the playtester and designer. She just cared if the game was fun, and in that, she succeeded admirably. We’re sorry to see you go, Kelly.

TheB33F Is Back!

The Longtom Artillery Incident
Watch this video on YouTube.

Holy shit, TheB33F is back! He actually announced his return in December and posted his first video last month, but I hadn’t been paying attention since his long hiatus. But he’s back and better than ever! 

For those unaware, TheB33F is the MechWarrior Online streamer who does things… differently. His builds and strategies are typically aimed more toward having fun than following the current meta. His latest videos are still that, but he’s also making more tutorial-style videos that try to teach some basic tactics and ‘Mech builds (like the Centurion video he recently posted).

While his old videos were wildly amusing, his latest videos add some footage taken from MechWarrior 5 as well as animations taken from Tabletop Simulator. It makes for a far more cohesive and elevated experience, which I very much appreciate, and maybe you will too. Check out the video above, and if you like his material, be sure to subscribe to TheB33F’s channel here

And I almost forgot! TheB33F is also contributing to the future of MechWarrior Online by designing events. Look for those in the event queue in the coming weeks.

Brawl In The Bluegrass Tournament Coming To Kentucky In April

MRC Icon

In the Lexington area for the April 12 weekend? The Rusy Scabbard will host a Classic BattleTech tournament called “Brawl in the Bluegrass.” Entry is 25$ for this MRC-compliant event, with each player required to submit an 8,000-point Battle Value list with a maximum of six units. All units must be from a single faction during the Clan Invasion era as per the Master Unit List, and only ‘Mechs, battle armor, and combat vehicles. No artillery, no unique or extinct units, and no C3 or specialized armor types (although missile and autocannon ammo types are allowed). 

Sign-ups are allowed until April 11, but you might want to ensure your place sooner rather than later as no store has infinite seating capacity. You can get the full details on sign-ups from this document here, as well as the full list of rules. Any other questions should be directed to the MechCommander Review Circuit in this Discord channel

Have an event you want to be advertised in Sarna? Reach out and we’ll get you included in the next news blast.

Big Red-40Tech’s Warhammer IIC Video Is Out, And It’s A Doozy

BATTLETECH: The Warhammer IIC
Watch this video on YouTube.

I kinda always thought that the Warhammer IIC was just this Clan-wide design that everyone made and everyone fielded. And indeed, you’ll find it in pretty much every Clan touman, according to the Master Unit List. Little did I know that the ‘Mech actually got started in Clan Star Adder. And I wouldn’t have known that had Big Red-40Tech not decided to create a four-hour YouTube video on the subject.

Yes, that’s a lot of lore for a single ‘Mech, and that’s largely because Big Red goes into the entire history of Clan Star Adder from Exodus to Reaving. Then we get into the Diamond Sharks/Sea Foxes as they distributed the ‘Mech so thoroughly amongst the other Clans that it became a common site in second-line forces everywhere. And then into the ilClan era where the Warhammer IIC can now be seen among Inner Sphere and mercenary forces too.

I can’t disparage the ‘Mech, that’s for sure. There’s nothing a Warhammer IIC can’t do aside from jump and run fast enough to keep pace with an Ice Ferret. It’s better than the original Warhammer in every way, and I know how beloved that old warhorse is. 

Check out the video above if you want the deepest dive into a single ‘Mech you’ll ever see, with special guests Tex, Frog, Sven, TheB33F, Paul, and Rem offering their voices too.  

Duncan Fisher Returns In MechWarrior 5’s Sixth DLC: Solaris Showdown

I am Duncan Fisher
Watch this video on YouTube.

Yes, he’s back. Duncan Fisher, the renowned Solaris announcer from MechWarrior 4, is returning in MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries – Solaris Showdown.

There’s still time for a Clan Invasion-themed DLC, but for now, we’re getting a story that revolves around Duncan Fisher and a mysterious plot centering around the game world of Solaris 7. According to PGI’s release, the DLC mini-campaign will start on the Mercenary Star of Galatea before moving to the planet Hardcore where Mason will bump into Duncan Fisher. The pair form an unlikely alliance as they fight to get into the FedCom Unification Tournament celebrating the recent alliance between the Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth.

It’s not clear why or what happens, but there seems to be some political intrigue going on that only a good ‘Mech stomping can fix. Best of all, we’ll have George Ledoux’s sultry tones guiding us the whole way. 

In addition to saving Solaris, the upcoming DLC brings a new ‘Mech: the Loader King. Fans of the Roughneck from MechWarrior Online will recognize this design immediately, but even if you haven’t played the PvP game, you might’ve noticed the Loader King as the same stationary IndustrialMech that you’ll sometimes see on urban maps or standing in enemy installations.

The Loader King will come with one Hero variant and five standard variants. We’re also getting new “arena” variants of the Corsair, Vulcan, Hunchback, Crusader, Cataphract, Orion, Zeus, Firestarter, UrbanMech, and Highlander. Expect them to come with superchargers and melee-focused weaponry.

Speaking of weapons, we’re getting a bunch of those too. New Burst-Fire variants of the Rifle series, Rapid-Fire variants of Autocannons, the Binary Laser, PPC-X (whatever that is), Medium Lance, Heavy Hammer, and Assault Greatsword. We’re also getting the Arena Supercharger, Black Market Countermeasures, and Black Market Probe. Not sure if those will be worse or better than their Star League counterparts.

While the DLC will certainly bring arena-style combat, it’s not just going to take place on Solaris 7. Arenas will appear in industrial areas throughout the Inner Sphere, which the player will progress through by accruing fame with each successful match. The more matches you win, the more variants of Arenas unlock, ranging from 1v1 matches to free-for-alls limited by ‘Mech class. There will also be optional objectives, open categories where anything goes, and more. Rewards will start at C-bills but eventually progress to “prized equipment.”

And as is ever the case with these DLC releases, everyone can expect to receive a free update with new features. This time we’re getting the new “heavy turret” as a potential spawn which has more hitpoints and hits harder than standard turrets. Otomo ‘Mechs will soon show up on the market as rare spawns, a new “repair all” option makes repairing post-mission easier, and enemy ‘Mechs will occasionally spawn with slightly different weapons than their base loadout. 

Solaris Showdown arrives on March 14 for $14.99. You can wishlist the DLC now to be informed as soon as it becomes available.

MechWarrior Online Gets Two New Legendary ‘Mechs As Talk Begins On A New PvP Game

MechWarrior Online Reaper II

Another month brings another patch for MechWarrior Online Legends and two new Legendary ‘Mechs. The first is WarhawkKasai,” which brings the game’s first supercharged chassis. The Supercharger is a locked piece of equipment and won’t be made available for other ‘Mechs (yet). It’s also lighter than MASC (usually) but doesn’t provide the same explosive speed. It only increases the ‘Mech’s maximum potential velocity and provides no boost to acceleration or turning speed.

Other than the Supercharger, the Kasai comes with three ATM-6s, two Large Pulse Lasers, and two ER Mediums. Missile velocity quirks make those ATMs a bit more deadly, and improved structure quirks give the Kasai a bit more staying power.

The Black KnightRed Reaper II” continues MechWarrior Online‘s tradition of having swords just for show. The heavy shield the Red Reaper II comes with, though, is a MASSIVE boost to the ‘Mech’s right arm armor. Two Snub PPCs, four SRM-6s, and five Small Lasers make this ‘Mech a deadly brawler, especially when you consider the shield you’ll have to chew through to start damaging this monster. Additional armor quirks for the rest of the ‘Mech make it extremely durable.

Other than the new ‘Mechs, the Cauldron has reduced the heat produced by Rotary Autocannons and Hyper Gauss Rifles, reverted the firing arc changes to LRMs from January’s patch, and given the Executioner a full quirk pass. For the full list of changes, check out the patch notes here.

And before we move on, it seems there are rumblings about a new PvP game coming out of PGI. Community manager Daeron commented in Discord that “internal discussions and planning for the next PvP MechWarrior game” are underway. No details on what this might look like or whether it’d be a stand-alone product or attached to the upcoming MechWarrior 5: Clans, but I’d put money on this being an Unreal Engine-powered game.

Raw, Sexual Charger

Next verse same as the first now in color.
byu/meltdonw14 inbattletech

I admit, I may have been too harsh on the Charger. The CGR-1A1 can jump in a lake, but the new Charger C is 80 tons of raw sexual energy—the exact same energy I’m getting from meltdonw14‘s piece here. This could be the cover of a Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure mecha manga.

MechWarrior Living Legends Update 0.16.2 Brings Fancy New Cockpits And Other QOL Improvements

MechWarrior Living Legends Timber Wolf Camos

Been a while since we talked about MechWarrior: Living Legends, the Battlefield-inspired MechWarrior game that’s entirely free-to-play because it is entirely community-supported. The latest patch arrived earlier this month and brought a slew of changes, including updated visuals for 28 ‘Mechs, AeroSpace fighters, and VTOLs, three new camo options, and the usual assortment of bug fixes. Thunderbolt missiles now have a slightly faster fire rate and the Warhawk model has been shrunken down ever so slightly. 

There’s more, but you can read about ’em over on MechWarrior: Living Legends ModDB page, which is coincidentally also where you can download this amazingly free standalone game.

Focht News Network Is Heading To Toronto Comicon

Focht Network Toronto Comicon 2024

If you’re in the Toronto area on the weekend of March 15, Comicon will be hosted at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, which is sure to be a good time. That’s because Focht News Network is putting on a BattleTech showcase, offering Alpha Strike previews to any passersby. I’m also told that Ronda Snord and a certain special Highlander might also make an appearance.

Of course, there’s going to be plenty of other stuff going on at Comicon, but BattleTech fans can certainly hang out and spread the good word of giant stompy robots. If you’re interested in local fans, head to the Focht Network Discord for more updates on local events.

A Halo Of Missiles

My brother surprised me with a commissioned Battletech x Halo crossover piece for my birthday
byu/odysseus91 inbattletech

Halo is cool and all, but I think we all know who’s going to win this battle of the brands. Not just because BattleTech is cooler, but Halo just isn’t quite as destructive as 75 tons of large lasers and way too many missiles. Unless Halo releases the Flood, but even then, I give us even odds. Kudos to tychorionDraws on Twitter for this piece.

Warframe, However, Has Too Much Space Magic

Since the Halo crossover pic was already posted here, thought I’d share the other Warframe x Battletech crossover I bought too. Credit to tychorionDraws, both pics were worth every penny!
byu/TrashCan_With_A_Gun inbattletech

I do love a good crossover, but as much as I love BattleTech, there’s not much you can do in a Crusader or Timber Wolf if you’re trying to fight cosmic forces beyond the knowledge of mere mortals. I’m not sure if there are enough LRMs in the entire Inner Sphere to bring down The Man In The Wall. More kudos to tychorionDraws, and to odysseus91 on Reddit for sharing. 

The Naga Hits MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Like An Arrow IV

I know the Longbow is still a recent addition, but you know what they say about artillery: when it rains, it pours. The Naga is the little-known Clan artillery ‘Mech specializing in delivering Arrow IV warheads to foreheads. I know Arrow IVs aren’t available in MechWarrior 5, so I assume those arms just contain large missile slots. Just throw an Artemis on your LRM-20 and it’s most of the way to an Arrow IV. 

You can get this mod on Nexus Mods or directly through the Steam Workshop.

And that’s it for February! Now I’m off to prepare my MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries company for Solaris Showdown. See you next month!

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

Your BattleTech News Round-Up For January, 2024

Ugh. I’m sick again. The very first party I go to after recovering from COVID I come down with… something. I tested negative for COVID-19, but my friend tested positive the very next day, so maybe mine was a false negative and I actually caught COVID for the second time in less than a month.

The good news is that this second bout of (maybe) COVID seems way less harmful than the first time. My sense of smell remains entirely unaffected. The bad news is this time I have a cough that’s bad enough to keep me up at night, so despite being in bed for nine hours, I’m getting less than five hours of actual sleep.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me complain about being a plague-infested MechWarrior. You came here for the best BattleTech news of the past month, and I don’t aim to disappoint.

BattleTech Turns 40!

BattleTech 40th Anniversary
Watch this video on YouTube.

We’re starting off with a happy birthday to BattleTech! The specific birthday is August 29 with the first release of BattleDroids, but we’re naturally starting this celebration in January. I should start doing the same thing for my birthday.

We’ll have more to say on BattleTech‘s 40th anniversary later, but in the meantime, here’s Randall Bills with a message for fans from in front of more BattleTech loot than you could ever dream to collect. He’s also going on a world tour, so if you’re in Barcelona, Leeds, Edmonton, Indianapolis, Seattle, and a few other locales, you might see this bearded face playing BattleTech in your town.

Catalyst Announces Coming Releases

40th-Boxed-Sets

And by more 40th-anniversary news later, I mean right now. Catalyst has just announced two new covers for BattleTech: Beginner Box and BattleTech: A Game Of Armored Combat coming out in March/April of this year. The content of both boxes will remain the same, but they’ll have new box art with the 40th-anniversary logo.

In addition to the 40th-anniversary boxes, Catalyst has laid all of 2024’s releases, starting with the Star League Command Lance ForcePack. That’s the one announced at PAX Unplugged and will contain an Atlas II, Thunder Hawk, Phoenix Hawk 1b “Special”, and the pre-painted Kerensky Orion. Expect this ForcePack sometime this winter. The Second Star League Assault Lance will arrive in the second quarter bringing with it an Emperor, Argus, Helios, and pre-painted Daish Prometheus, along with a bonus Coolant Truck

The Third Star League Striker Star is set to arrive in the third quarter and will contain a Jackalope, Kintaro, Hammerhead, Havoc, pre-painted Lament, and a J-27 Ordnance Truck. The fourth quarter brings another Third Star League ForcePack, this time containing a Wendigo, Excalibur, Peacekeeper, Malice, and pre-painted Savage Wolf, as well as a Savior Repair Vehicle. Finally, McCarron’s Armored Cavalry is getting an Assault Lance ForcePack to round out the year’s new minis, bringing a Tian-Zong, a re-posed Black Knight, and new variants of the Awesome and jumping Starslayer. Expect that to arrive in the third quarter and be exclusive to Barnes & Noble.

BattleTech Universe

Running through the sourcebook releases, Force Manual: Davion is expected to arrive in May, and Force Manual: Kurita will arrive sometime in the third quarter. BattleTech Universe is expected sometime in the middle of 2024 (I’m guessing the summer), as is Recognition Guide Volume 2: ilClan (that’ll be mostly all the new designs seen in the ilClan Rec. Guides). 

For the latter half of 2024, we’ve got some exciting new books coming. Hot Spots: Hinterlands will arrive in September to discuss the fighting between Hell’s Horses, Tamar Pact, and Calamity Kell‘s Liberty Coalition. Then in November, we’ll get ilKhan’s Eyes Only, a sourcebook that describes the state of the Third Star League following Clan Wolf’s victory on Terra. And sometime this year, we can expect the Brush Wars series will return to describe lesser-known conflicts from throughout BattleTech history. 

Lastly, Catalyst is still working on getting more print-on-demand stuff available through DriveThruRPG, with Operation KLONDIKE, Brush Wars (rebranded as Brush Wars Volume 1), and Wars of the Republic Era (rebranded as Brush Wars Volume 2) set to get their POD releases. For more, check out Catalyst’s official news release here

Oh, I almost forgot! We’ve got some new BattleMats coming. Misery/Thunder Rift and Twycross will be out in the second quarter, and we’re getting a City/Lunar Mat too. Finally, I can stop fighting in a rocky forest and live out my urban combat dreams. 

Your Annual Reminder That Trans Rights Are Human Rights, Now From Michael Stackpole

https://twitter.com/EnbyKaiju/status/1737944154490212576

Just a quick reminder that Trans rights are human rights. Unfortunately, the fight for Trans rights in the USA has really taken a dark turn in 2023, with the ACLU reporting 508 bills targeting LGBTQ people by the end of the year. Things aren’t much better up here in Canada either, with many conservative provinces taking aim at trans kids.

So it’s encouraging to see folks like Michael Stackpole, Russel Zimmerman, and Bryan Young step up to confirm the truth: trans people are people and deserve the same rights as everyone else. In fact, we’ve got a whole video showcasing support of trans rights now in case you ever need to refer to it.

Another Reminder: BattleTech Is For Everyone

Catalyst has released its long-awaited community guidelines. They’re short, simple, and easy to understand. Respect people’s privacy and don’t release personal info. Don’t take official CGL art from a sourcebook and try to sell it on a t-shirt. And don’t make derogatory comments about “race, religion, culture, disability, career, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” 

These guidelines have apparently touched off some controversy on social media, with some pretty wild accusations being thrown around. I’m not going to repost them here, but I’m sure we’ll talk about them more next month.

Play MechWarrior 5 In VR Thanks To New Mod

MechWarriorVR Launch Video
Watch this video on YouTube.

I’ve always thought that MechWarrior is perfect for a VR experience. Any vehicular combat game benefits from the full range of head motion that VR offers, but MechWarrior 5 would be super great to experience with a headset. And now you can, thanks to a new mod from sicsix!

This mod goes further than merely decoupling the camera from a fixed viewpoint. Sicsix (along with help from Perq and Stumblingdrunk) has reworked the cockpits of nearly every ‘Mech in the game to be interactable, with physical screens and a 3D heads-up display. 

I have a VR headset. It’s a little old, but I could give this a try. And yet I am hesitant—I’ve got so much muscle memory built up over the years from using a mouse and keyboard that I fear I’ll be back at square one the moment I plop the headset over my head and start playing with twin joysticks. 

I’m sure I’ll get over my trepidation eventually. In the meantime, head over to Nexus Mods to download the MW5 VR mod. And if you need some help, head to sicsix’s Discord here.

More Warhammer IIC Propaganda

Snow Raven Warhammer IIC on Moon by Alan Blackwell
byu/Big_Red_40Tech inbattletech

We had some lovely Warhammer IIC art from Alan Blackwell last month, and now here’s some more. Bonus Shadow Hawk IIC getting its arm blown off. This comes by way of Big Red-40Tech who is still mercilessly teasing his upcoming Warhammer IIC video. There’s gonna be some great art in them thar vid, I reckon. 

Opinion: What Piece Of BattleTech Lore Is Too Deep?

Sarna Complaints Department

Courtesy of Eldoniousrex

I’ll give credit to jasonskye over on Reddit for posting this interesting discussion piece. It simply asks the question of what official lore in a particular universe is “too deep”? What piece of BattleTech lore is so specific, so granular, and so bizarre that there’s no way to “reverse the massive psychic damage you have inflicted on yourself”? 

Before I dive into some of the better responses, I’m quite keen on my Canopian catgirls and their wandering Pleasure Circuses. I think someone needs to redo the logo for Canopus Delights Limited to reflect said catgirls, but we can’t expect our BattleTech lorekeepers to spend resources on a fictional entertainment company that would likely be considered illegal in most states. 

I’ll list some of the better answers. Atmafox pointed out that the Regan-era Star Wars defense system actually launched in 1985 in the BattleTech universe, while rxmp4ge noted that the BattleTech Animated Series was semi-retconned to be an in-universe propaganda piece for the Lyran Commonwealth. And of course, we can’t forget Far Country‘s alien bird things, which Cassius_Rex so dutifully reminded us of. 

But both I and ComingUpPainting can’t help but remind you that furries exist in the BattleTech canon, and they’re technically part of an incredibly advanced society that managed to avoid the fallout of the Succession Wars, Clan Invasion, Jihad, and Dark Age. Although, those furries are still stigmatized for being kinda weird.

Okay, kinda really weird. I mean, there’s Canopus catgirls, and then there’s real catgirls. Or boys. Or in between. Or both. 

Anyway, leave your deepest lore in the comments below and try to blow some minds.

A Nightstar On Canvas

Nightstar “Painting”
byu/1001WingedHussars inbattletech

This is technically a digital oil painting, but I’m not good enough at art to tell the difference between digital oil and the real stuff. I’m a simple ‘Mech fan: I see a Nightstar, and I applaud it. Especially with the hypersonic slug making multiple shockwaves.

Kudos to 1001WingedHussars for this piece.

A “Heavily Modified” Urban’Mech Is Go For Launch

A few years back, Catalyst introduced us to the UM-L99 variant of the UrbanMech. As you might have guessed, it’s a LAM version of the UrbanMech. I’d always wondered how anything as slow as the UrbanMech could get anywhere close to flight speed, and the answer (courtesy of Eldoniousrex) is that it simply can’t; it needs catapult assistance in order to get airborne. 

I don’t know how many traditional aircraft carriers existed in the old SLDF, but this Jolly Rogers Urbie is still a worthy interceptor. Too bad I can’t see any AIM-54s on ‘er. 

If you’d like a print, coaster, t-shirt, or anything else having to do with this UrbanMech or any of the more canonically accurate UrbanMechs that are out there, Eldon is selling this design among many others over on his site. The fake magazines from Tex’s Christmas video? Those are available in The Urbie Pack

A Cornered Crusader

Here we have a commissioned piece from tychorion, and there’s so much we can unpack here. In the middle is obviously a Crusader, but I think it’s the 6T variant with all those medium lasers. To the left of it looks like a Hatchetman, but without a hatchet and instead firing SRMs. In the left distance is a Nova, although it’s been modified to have both 12 lasers and four machine guns. And finally, the ‘Mech on the right is a little too obscured for me to ID, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say Hankyu

A great piece, although I think the Crusader should abandon all pretense of subterfuge. 

More MechWarrior 5 DLC Is On The Way

MechWarrior 5 DLC News 2024

In a post that details MechWarrior Online‘s upcoming releases (more on that in a minute), we found out that MechWarrior 5 is getting yet another DLC. We don’t know what it’s about, but we should find out in early February. Possibilities include Clan First Contact out in the periphery, or possibly the Andurien Crisis. But my money is on a Clan First Contact DLC. It’d tie neatly into MechWarrior 5: Clans, and it’d be a great callback to MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries‘ first Clan contact mission where you steal a Kodiak

I’ll be sure to report on this as we learn more. 

MechWarrion Online’s First Quarter Includes New Legendary ‘Mechs And All-New Weapons

MWO 2024 Q1 Intel

I’m surprised at how MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries just keeps on truckin’, but I’m doubly surprised with the support MechWarrior Online is getting after all these years.

January brought two new Legendary ‘Mechs to MechWarrior Online in the form of the ExecutionerSovereign” and VictorLi Dok To“. The Sovereign looks like a long-range sniper with its quad ER PPCs and twin UAC/5s, plus some armor and mobility quirks to aim those guns a little easier. However, its top speed of 48 kph isn’t going to win any races, so expect to be in the backline for a while. 

The Li Dok To is the custom Victor belonging to the Kuritan general from the Fourth Succession War. In the lore, Tai-sho Li Dok To‘s Victor had an LRM-15 and 10 Medium Lasers, and that’s exactly what the Li Dok To has in MechWarrior Online. That right arm has an absolutely comical number of laser ports that make it ridiculously huge. It’s also got standard everything and far too little armor, so it desperately requires an overhaul. On the plus side, you can fire all ten of those lasers without suffering ghost heat, and the right arm has 40 extra armor. Double heat sinks alone would turn this thing into a bear. 

Elsewhere in the January patch, the Osiris received a quirk pass and the Cauldron continued to tweak with weapons, adding splash damage to the HAG series of weapons and changing LRM flight paths to be somewhat flatter. For more details, check out the patch notes here.

We also got a preview of what’s coming in February and March. February brings the Legendary ‘Mechs WarhawkKasai” and Black KnightRead Reaper II” with its introductory heavy shield (like the Centurion we got a while back). March, however, brings something exciting: new weapons. 

The Inner Sphere arsenal will receive the Light AC/2, Light AC/5, the Silver Bullet Gauss Rifle, the Magshot Gauss Rifle, and the Thunderbolt series of missiles ranging from five to 20. Clanners will get ProtoMech Autocannons/2, 4, and 8, the AP Gauss Rifle, something called a Beam Laser, and the dreaded Plasma Cannon

There will also be free ‘Mech events in February and March, with February’s ‘Mech being open to suggestions. Just leave a comment at the bottom of the announcement page with your preference for a freebie, and maybe it’ll happen.

Nova Cat Beams Into MechWarrior 5 In New Mod

The next classic mech mod for MW5 is out: The Nova Cat made by the old school legend Pawel Czarnecki
byu/BoukObelisk inMechwarrior5

The Art Of BattleTech, aka Emil, aka SankaraSamsara, has once again brought forth a great Clan ‘Mech to MechWarrior 5. The Nova Cat has the classic lines of the original model courtesy of Pawel Czarnecki, who created it back in 2002. Throw in some sweet Clan Wolf and Nova Cat paint jobs, and you’ve got something that’ll terrorize an Awesome back into its ‘Mech bays. 

Head on over to Nexus Mods or the Steam Workshop page to get your Nova Cat today.

Furries Are Making Neurohelmets?

I know I’ve already hit my quotient of mentioning furries no more than once per month, but this is actually kinda cool. Using a brain-computer interface (which presumably did not require invasive surgery), these furries can control their avatar’s ears. If it’s anything like I’ve seen in other medical fields, this involves training yourself to think a certain thing and then telling the computer that this thought pattern means twitching your non-existent fox ears. And it looks like I’m right since Rantis showcased this process in action over on their Twitter account. 

I know this is a long way from a real neurohelmet, but the concept is the same. A neurohelmet isn’t just so that a ‘Mech’s gyro can tap into the pilot’s inner ear to keep you standing. A MechWarrior is able to move their ‘Mech’s hands to grasp or even punch things by thinking it through their neurohelmet. Some ‘Mechs have actual heads that can move at a thought. Some MechWarriors are even known to perform little dance numbers with a properly tuned neurohelmet. 

There’s nothing to stop this tech from evolving from moving fake avatar ears to moving real metallic hands. Although these are furries, so it’ll probably be a mechanical tail first.

BattleTech Museum Reveals Secret Pitch Book For ‘90s BattleTech Toys

BattleTech Museum 90s Toy Line Kenner

Many of you are already aware of the Tyco toy line that was made in the mid-’90s to support the BattleTech Animated Series. I had a Mauler, a Bushwacker, and an Infiltrator. However, it turns out that FASA had been in talks with a toy company named Kenner to produce another line of BattleTech toys before the show’s release.

The BattleTech Museum showcased a pitch book featuring some very ’80s BattleTech art (and Natasha Kerensky showing an amount of cleavage appropriate for children [ie. none]) as well as some toy concepts. There’s a Kuritan general with an Atlas, a Lyran guy with an Awesome, another Lyran guy with a Warhammer that shoots missiles out of its PPC barrels, and whatever the hell a Slammer is. 

For whatever reason, Kenner didn’t jump on the toy line. Probably because they didn’t have a cartoon backing it up. That’d change a few years later with the Animated Series and the Tyco toyline, but it’s sure fascinating to see what could have been. 

Head on over to the BattleTech Museum on Facebook to see more.

A Walking Ammo Explosion, Now Animated

Jagermech on Patrol
byu/_masaka inbattletech

It’s mostly a MechWarrior 5 JagerMech with some cool new ammo feeds for its autocannons and a rotating radar dish, but I really like what masaka has done to make the JagerMech feel almost threatening. It’s too bad this thing is still going to erupt the moment I fire more than one PPC at it. Or even just the one PPC if I get lucky. 

Focht’s News Network Announces Alpha Strike Tourney For Feb 25

ROMCon Focht's News Network

In the Toronto area? The fine folks over at Focht’s News have announced an Alpha Strike tournament for Sunday, February 25. This all-day event has a $25 registration fee, but it also includes lunch, three raffle draw prizes to be held throughout the day, and prizes for placing first, second, and having the best-painted force as determined by a group vote.

Forces are 350 points, Clan Invasion era, and must adhere to a single faction (so that means no running a Hellion in your Clan Wolf Assault Star). No more than two of any single ‘Mech/vehicle, no more than five of any infantry, no more than two VTOLs total, and all attack rolls will be played with the Multiple Attack Rolls optional rules as defined on page 175 of the Alpha Strike: Commander’s Edition Rulebook.

There are more rules, but you can go to the Facebook announcement page for the full rundown. I’ll have to decide whether I want to bring the Bad ‘Mechs mercenary company or my solahma trinary of Nova Cats, but I’m certainly thinking about going. Provided I can manage to be healthy by the end of February.

Got an event you want advertised in Sarna? Drop me a line and I’ll get it in next month’s news blast.

Night Gyr Getting Blasted In The City

A Night (Gyr) Out On the Town
byu/Terraphond inbattletech

Terraphond gives us this lovely piece of a Night Gyr getting exactly what it deserves. This is why you don’t go for a night on the town alone. Always bring a wingman.

And that’s it for the first month of 2024! Join us next time as we bring all the best BattleTech news that’s safe for human consumption.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

stay syrupy

Your BattleTech News Round-Up For December, 2023

I’d managed to avoid COVID for nearly three years, but my luck finally ran out just a few days before Christmas. I can now say from firsthand experience this disease sucks. Holiday plans dashed, gatherings with friends and family delayed, and my throat and sinuses are a mangled mess. Also, mint flavors are now… different. The best I can describe is that the spectrum of mint flavors has shifted. Spearmint now tastes like scotch mint, peppermint tastes like toothpaste, and toothpaste tastes like cinnamon soap. 

I’m lucky COVID merely tickled my olfactory nerve rather than shred it to pieces. Many folks who had COVID in the early days of the pandemic lost their sense of taste and smell entirely.

I will say, I’ve never experienced a virus go for the throat quite that hard. There was a moment when I was sitting naked on my couch with a fever of 103 F (that’s 39.5 C for the metric folk), elevated heart rate and heaving like I’d just run a marathon, and fan blasting away as I waited for what the bottle told me was an overdose of Tylenol to finally kick in, that I understood this was where a lot of folks didn’t make it. 

Perhaps that’s a little dramatic. There are treatments for COVID-19 now, although I’m not sure of their availability in Ontario. Nor am I sure I’d have received that treatment in time if I were to have gone to the ER, given how our healthcare system remains in tatters nearly three years later. 

All this is to say: hug your loved ones, wear a mask in public, and get every vaccine you possibly can. 

And now, onto your BattleTech news. 

Tex Talks: The UrbanMech

Battletech/Mechwarrior Lore - Tex Talks Battletech : The Urbanmech (DIRECTORS CUT)
Watch this video on YouTube.

Tex has given us a delightful Christmas gift this year in the form of Tex Talks: The UrbanMech. It’s a ‘Mech that a lot of folks have been requesting for a very long time, so I’m certain there were a lot of happy MechWarriors out there on Christmas Day. That’s nothing to say of the many thousands of dollars the Black Pants Legion raised for Toys for Tots. 

If you haven’t seen a Tex Talks, it’s a deep dive into the lore surrounding a particular BattleMech. Often that lore goes back way further than you’d expect since Tex takes a historian’s eye to his subject matter. Can’t talk about a modern jet fighter without first mentioning the Wright Brothers and maybe Leonardo (that’s DaVinci, not DiCaprio), so you can’t talk about the UrbanMech without first talking about the Star League and BattleMech development.

This one’s a little zanier than most Tex Talks, and it has way more 3D animations--both of which entertained me immensely. Enjoy it here or via the embedded video above.

Jade Turkey: It’s What’s For Dinner

Apologies to Bishop Steiner for missing this delightful custom design from last month. Twitter isn’t as consistent as it used to be. 

Broken social media platforms aside, here’s the Jade Turkey, a fan-made Jade Falcon BattleMech conceived by Dale Eadeh, modeled by Allen Blackwell, and then finally drawn on the back of an Enforcer by Bishop Steiner. It’s 95 tons, as slow as an Annihilator, and so packed full of laser heat sinks that it can actually use its arsenal of Heavy Lasers to baste any other ‘Mech alive. 

Special mention goes to the single jump jet exhaust port in the back that kinda looks like someone stuck a musket up its ass. For the full range of stats, check out the posts here

Catalyst Announces A Ton Of Stuff At PAX Unplugged For 2024

More news from PAX Unplugged
byu/Available_Mountain inbattletech

Way back at the beginning of this month was PAX Unplugged, where Catalyst Game Labs had a commanding presence. Catalyst announced a lot of great stuff coming in 2024, and we’re going to run it all down.

Let’s start with new ForcePacks. We got a preview of the Star League Command Lance, with Aleksandr Kerensky‘s Orion, an Atlas II,  the dreaded Thunder Hawk, and what appears to be the PXH-1b Phoenix HawkSpecial.” Kerensky’s Orion will be pre-painted in his canonical colors, cutting down on your paint time. Although not shown, three more Star League-era ForcePacks were announced, each of which will have its own pre-painted mini (kudos to Available_Mountain for the deets).

My Nova Cat/Spirit Cat unit will cry out for that Wendigo, but redesigned versions of the Argus, Emperor, Helios, and Kintaro all sound groovy to me! Also love how we’re getting a little extra scenery with those repair/coolant/ammo trucks. 

Along with a new ForcePack every quarter, we’ve got a DropShip load of new fiction coming too. Executive editor John Helfers along with author Michael Ciaravella broke all the good news (with a nod of the hat to Big Red for summarizing). 

As mentioned in my interview with Brent Evans, the Draconis Combine is going to be quite the hot spot for the Inner Sphere in 2024. Shadow of the Dragon by Craig Reed will reveal the fallout of the Davion invasion and how the Draconis royalty is getting along (which, if I were to guess, is violent). Phillip Lee follows up on Hunting Season with Letter of the Law, and Bryan Young will release the follow-up to A Question of Survival with Without Question

Our first book to proceed from Hour of the Wolf will be courtesy of Michael Ciaravella. Trial by Birthright will be set on Terra and continue the timeline forward with what ol’ Alaric has been up to since seizing the birthplace of humanity. And to tie a nice bow over the HPG Blackout, Bryan Young’s Void Breaker brings back Tucker Harwell in a BattleTech-style spy thriller. Expect both of these later next year.

A few more stories that may or may not be coming in 2024. Tom Leveen is going to come out with a story from the Capellan Confederation and how it’s dealing with the third Star League. Jason Schmetzer is bringing another story of the new Gray Death Legion and plans to release all three novellas in a single novel. Hansen’s Roughriders return in Blood Rage from Craig Reed, and in the more distant future, A Treachery of Ravens by Michael Ciaravella will bring us a Clan Snow Raven novel. There are also some Wars of Reaving novels in the works and a Tales of the Bounty Hunter anthology mentioned.

On the sourcebook front, we’re getting Force Manual: House Davion, Force Manual: House Kurita, and Force Manual: Mercenaries all in subsequent quarters in 2024. MechCommander’s Handbook will also be coming later in the year, as well as an ilClan-focused sourcebook called ilKhan Eyes Only. The Mercenaries Kickstarter should start seeing deliveries sometime in the spring (hopefully!), and we’re still waiting on some concrete news of how Catalyst plans to celebrate BattleTech‘s 40th anniversary—besides flooding us with a ton of new products of course.

There might be a few things that I missed, and if so, you can check out The HobbyHabit‘s videos for a more complete rundown. And before I forget, here’s MechFrog with a shot of the BattleTech Universe book’s cutaway image of an Overlord DropShip. There are also some new minis featured in the Mercenaries Kickstarter, but only for those with access. 

OPINION: Pre-painted ‘Mechs Are Fine, Actually

Sarna Complaints Department

Courtesy of Eldoniousrex

I noted some weird backlash from mini enthusiasts at the news of pre-painted ‘Mechs. Some folks seemed upset at the idea of receiving an Orion already painted to look exactly like Alexander Kerensky’s ride at the moment he tore down the doors to Unity City and accepted Stefan Amaris’ surrender. And my question is: why? 

If you consider yourself an excellent artist capable of doing a better job than a manufacturer, nothing is stopping you from buying a standard Orion ON1-K and painting it like Kerensky’s machine. There’s a bit more of an argument to be made against the pre-painted Prometheus as it’d be much more difficult to kit-bash a Prometheus together, but I’m told there are ways of re-painting minis if you really don’t like Catalyst’s paint job. 

I think for the vast majority of BattleTech fans, a pre-painted ‘Mech is just one less ‘Mech you’ll have to paint yourself. I’m no painter, personally. Heck, part of the reason why I actually liked the MechClix game was because there was no painting involved. Sure, the models weren’t the best quality, but they were sufficient to plop down some pieces and start gaming. I think there should be an entirely pre-painted line of minis for folks who love the game but don’t have the time to paint. Perhaps these pre-painted legendary ‘Mechs will be the precursor to an expansion in this direction.

Either way, people who enjoy painting their minis themselves will always have plenty of opportunity to do just that, and I think some of the angry commenters are completely out to lunch. Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment below.

BattleTech Comic Comes With 200% More Cat Ears

https://twitter.com/wild_cat144/status/1731678132795588940

Wild_Cat144 is no stranger to these parts. She’s made a ton of art for Tex Talks BattleTech and released a ton more for public consumption. Her most recent project is the release of Epsilon Commandos, a webtoon featuring a diverse cast of ‘Mechs and cat-eared people. You can check it out here.

Happy 14th Anniversary To MechWarrior: Living Legends

I don’t mention the fine folks who run MechWarrior: Living Legends nearly often enough, so accept these birthday wishes as my apology. The best free MechWarrior game you can download just celebrated its 14th year with several games last month, which you can take part in yourself for the low price of zero dollars. You get a lot of game for zero down, and it also comes with a passionate community that loves to organize some wild Battlefield-style big games. Do celebrate by downloading the client here.

Equilibrium Are Your 2023 MechWarrior Online Champions (Plus Ongoing Christmas Events)

MechWarrior Online‘s competitive Championship Series recently concluded with Equilibrium defeating the 5th Jaguar Dragoons to become 2023’s champions. Equilibrium had a commanding performance in the final match, sweeping the Dragoons in three straight games. Congratulations to Equilibrium and everyone in the finals. Enjoy your fabulous prizes for getting so far in the season!

In other MechWarrior Online news, the patch came a bit early so PGI could have a nice Christmas break. In the most recent patch are two new Legendary ‘Mechs, the LongbowSpitfire” and the Stone RhinoAksum.” The Spitfire is a one-shot Rocket Splat with some PPCs for backup, while Aksum is all dakka all day. As usual, both come with their own mini battlepasses that provide escalating rewards the more you play with each Legendary ‘Mech.

There are loads of Christmas events still going on, as well as a free giveaway of two ‘Mechs. One is a special variant of the WHM-6R with a Santa hat and a festive paintjob (but is otherwise a standard Warhammer), and the other is the COM-D03, an all-laser Commando with a small cockpit and a compact gyro that allows all those lasers to be mounted in the head and center torso. This makes it an interesting light brawling zombie. You can get both of these for playing just one game and getting a match score above 50 points (not hard to do so long as you show up and shoot). Remember to redeem the event requirements on the event page here.

A couple of adjustments to review. LRM-5s and the ATM-3 are now able to be grouped with larger LRM launchers without contributing to heat penalties, which should make the new Longbow a little more attractive. Rotary Autocannons have had their damage tweaked, and ECM’s jamming effect has been reduced from 120m to 90m. The biggest ‘Mech adjustments have happened to the Annihilator, but there are a few other tweaks mentioned in the patch notes here.

Shrapnel 15’s Double-Wide Issue Brings Us Fox Patrol’s Katie Ferraro

You should already be subscribed to Shrapnel, but if not, you should definitely get December’s issue. Not just because it’s like getting two Shrapnels for the price of one, but because it’s got a portrait of Katie Ferraro, captain of The Fox Patrol mercenary group. It’s nice to be able to put a face to the name, especially for a rising star in BattleTech‘s fiction.

Bushwacker Classic Arrives In MechWarrior 5

The march of modding to MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries continues with the new Bushwacker Classic mod. The Bushwacker model already exists in MechWarrior Online, but this one more closely resembles the tabletop miniature version. It also has a pretty cool skin that harkens back to the BattleTech Animated Series

We once again have SankaraSamsara (aka The Art of BattleTech, or Emil around these parts) to thank for taking Twdwink66’s model and animating it for MechWarrior 5. You can grab this mod either on Nexus Mods or MechWarrior 5’s Steam Workshop.

Star Adder Warhammer IICs Under A Starry Sky

Star Adder Warhammer IIC By Alan Blackwell
byu/Big_Red_40Tech inbattletech

Big Red 40K is set to debut a video on the Warhammer IIC, perhaps one of the best Clan “upgrades” the Inner Sphere has ever seen. He contacted Alan Blackwell to paint this stunning piece of two Star Adder Warhammer IICs in a snowy tundra beneath a brilliant aurora borealis. It’s an incredible piece of art that absolutely deserves showcasing. And you should check out Big Red’s video on the ‘Mech when it arrives.

Your Reminder That Magistracy Monthly Is A Free-Fanzine With Production Value

https://twitter.com/MagestrixRiley/status/1734302506606293068

For example, here’s a piece you’ll find inside the December issue of Magistracy MonthlyIssue 24 has a bunch of things, including fan-made TROs for ‘Mechs, one for VTOL, tons of custom art, and short stories from fans about lesser-known people in the far-flung corners of the Periphery. It’s worth a read, especially since it’s free.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries Gets Pinball Mod

Traditional Mod Game play Short
Watch this video on YouTube.

No, this isn’t a mod you can just download on Nexus Mods or Steam. This is an actual pinball machine. Most pinball machines are already so wildly complex in operation that I can’t even begin to describe them, let alone provide advice beyond “hit the ball with the paddles.” Any pinball machines made today are infinitely more complex than the machines I played as a kid. 

But I can appreciate the attention to detail in this mod. The playfield is covered in BattleTech art. The display screen uses actual MechWarrior 5 gameplay footage and sound effects. Ryana comes on every once in a while to quip about your progress (or lack thereof), and losing a ball results in your ‘Mech exploding. 

Beyond Pinball has an entire series of videos dedicated to this mod, and he’s even gotten the attention of PGI president Russ Bullock. Maybe we’ll see this pinball machine become an official product someday. 

Merry Christmas And Happy Holidays From Sarna To You And Yours

Running a holiday-themed event this weekend, just finished the terrain and main objective.
byu/AlwaysUpvotesTheVIII inbattletech

And thank you to AlwaysUpvotesTheVIII for this holiday-themed UrbanMech. Santa was very generous to this Urbie.

That’s it for December and 2023. It’s been a hell of a year for BattleTech, a hell of a year for me personally (with one hell of a sendoff), and judging by everything announced by Catalyst, it’s going to be one hell of a 2024. We’re getting a new MechWarrior game, we’re getting a ton of new fiction, we’re getting new sourcebooks, and we’re getting new minis. Who knows what else 2024 might have in store?

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

Christmas Mechs

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

Big BATTLETECH News:
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

 

Community Outreach – Exploring BattleTech Lore And History With Sven Van Der Plank

A few weeks ago, I mentioned Sven van der Plank and his eight-hour Star League Civil War video, which struck me as bizarrely long for YouTube content that didn’t involve repeating a single song over and over. And then I actually watched it front to back and realized there was some excellent content being presented for each of those eight hours, and that it continued even further with slightly (read: much) shorter videos covering the First Succession War.

Ever since then, I’ve been hooked. So I reached out to Sven to learn more about him, his process, and what we can expect in the future from Sven’s channel. This time on Community Outreach, I present Sven van der Plank and his deep dives into BattleTech history and lore. Enjoy.

Sven Thumbnails InnerSphere

Courtesy of Sven van der Plank

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