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


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

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

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82 thoughts on “Your BattleTech News Round-Up For January, 2024

  1. Craig

    “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. ”

    Question for the community regarding the light AC/5:

    What are the rules regarding armor-piercing ammo? I don’t have the sourcebook. Am wondering if it’s worth it for a 40-ton IS based Omnimech (double heat sinks), which with standard 8 tons armor, and endo steel 5/8/5 still has 14 tons pod space. I think it would be neat to use the 40-ton platform with light autocannons (or light PPCs which roughly model the AC5) to make configs like the old “favorites” Shadow Hawk and Wolverine. If I always use 2 tons ammo, is it worth it?

    Shadow Hawk I’d like to use a light PPC left shoulder, regular LL right arm, LRM-5, and streak SRM-2. One CASE in a torso for all the ammo together. That large laser fills in the “middle gap” that’s missing on the ole Shadow Hawk nicely, giving it one piercing weapon instead of four glancing / crit-seeking ones.

    Wolverine: Light AC5, two tons ammo, SRM-4, two ER medium lasers, one small laser (head), CASE.
    I think the Wolverine would be a fun Flanker IF the AC5 can reliably hit with armor-piercing ammo. Yes I miss the SRM-6 as well but that SRM-4 I’ve found to be a nearly-as-deadly downgrade, often hitting with 3. Or it can lose a laser and go back to the SRM-6. However it’s nice to use up those heat sinks and 10 heat every turn from the ER MLs plus jumping plus AC / SRMs is a tidy fit.

    Got to say I’m warming up to the IS ER ML, I initially thought “5 heat that’s crazy” but having a medium mech with layers of ranged fire is better than everything being limited to 270m.

    I also like the idea of effective mechs on a budget. Ultimate maxed out machines are dull! What would be the reality of so much available tech? Fill in what holes we can, give the pilots the same effectiveness from design configurations they like / are used to, with less tonnage / C-bills if possible.

    1. Rob C.

      I’ve been told various sources that optional ammo is not going happen. It’s coming from folks on the test forums for MWO. It was said it’s too hard to code optional Ammo, However maybe that will change. Focus on coding right now on MW5: The Clans with one guy babysitting MWO.

  2. Flashfreeze

    I’m an old, old hand at the table. Old enough to remember when TRO 3050 first dropped and blew everyone’s minds. Old enough to think this “Crescent Hawk’s Inception” thing seemed newfangled. Old enough that even my nose hairs are gray, and those are some of the few I’ve got left.

    Now I’m not gonna deny it. Tabletop gaming and tabletop wargames in particular have been seen an outcast community for decades, and it made a lot of us all the more insular and bitter, including me for a long time. That ain’t healthy, and that’s not a good legacy for us to leave behind either.

    Like any good tabletop wargamer, it’s on us to take the initiative in treating other people with basic human decency, and on us to continue to hold the high ground by comporting ourselves with maturity.

    “But what about the , they’re rude/demanding/whatever” I hear you say. Horse puckey. They don’t control your actions, you do. Have some dignity and act like an adult. If they got legitimate concerns, then fine. Keep talking and keep listening, eventually someone will come to terms with a thing or two. But if they’re just a lot of noise, they’ll lose steam and fall apart like every other time this sort of thing has happened to a tabletop gaming franchise. Battletech ain’t the first. We won’t be the last.

    Remember fellas. When you get down in the mud with the immature and the childish, all you get is dirty.

  3. George Spelvin

    Why do people keep trying to bolt wings on the poor little Urbie? Everyone knows the Urbanmech LAM uses balloons.

    And possibly a very large lawn chair.

      1. Craig

        LAM? Given the Urbie’s shape, I think it would be more fitting to make it a mini dropship, or perhaps a missile?

        Leopard Captain: “What was that??”
        Leopard Cargo Bay: “We have a new passenger in our mechbay, sir.”

        1. George Spelvin

          Thus the balloons.

          Haven’t you ever heard of the Graf HindenbURB?

          (I really wish I could draw.)

  4. Boltzman's Ladder

    After looking at the more unsavoury parts of the community I now understand that Catalyst releasing a statement that “Battletech Is For Everyone” has not gone down well.

    Indeed a statement asking people not to exhibit the worst traits of humanity to one another has been reacted to violently by some, who feel it is their fundamental right to be as nasty as possible to those they feel are infringing on “their territory.”

    I’m just glad that this appears to be a minority opinion expressed by the minority of people who you would expect to express these opinions. The “outrage merchants” and “YouTube Talking Heads” are ranting & raving as ineffectualy as ever.

    The much larger and growing community of Battletech players have accepted this statement as a given and gone on enjoying the game ans looking forward to the next wave of releases.

    1. George Spelvin

      I really hate having to type this, but it needs be said.

      Catalyst should have said: “Please don’t be a dick,” and left things at that. Instead they tried to impose a collection of so-called “community guidelines”, and that never ends well.

      It presumes that just because they happen to be the (current) holder of the IP, they somehow represent, speak for, or even control the Battletech community. They do not. They serve the community, but they are not the community. Their customers are the community. There’s a reason why the customer is always right, and telling the customer he’s wrong is only going to piss him off.

      Even worse, their presumptuous “community guidelines” appear to be taking sides in contentious social matters that have had some very bad actors on both sides. Worse, they’re social issues that are utterly irrelevant to the tabletop, so the people they’re really alienating are those of us who aren’t on any side. Who don’t care what your religion, sexual preference, political affiliation, gender identity, economic philosophy, race, species, or whatever is.

      It’s Battletech. What matters is whether you’re a creepy Kuritan, smug Davion, shifty Capellan, greedy Free Worlder, or silly Steiner. It’s not supposed to be real life. We play this game to get away from real life, not wallow in it. Whether you’re an activist, reactionary, Catalyst, or whoever, forcibly injecting your real world issues into our imaginary fun is a dick move.

      Don’t be a dick.

      Also Taurians rule, Inners drool, and CLANNERS GO HOME!

      1. Isamu Hazen

        >”There’s a reason why the customer is always right”

        Reality check: this has never been a thing. Its usually the other way around. The customer is free to take his/her money wherever they may prefer. But the owner of the products makes the decisions based on their interests. BT, as with many other IP’s, has had several events where new units/rules/lore have clashed with the fan base. And yet here we are. Still strong.

        >”Who don’t care what your religion, sexual preference…”

        If you “dont care”, why all the posts? If it literally does nothing to you, you dont feel called out or anything, then… why all the posting? How can the guidelines alienate someone who has no position on the matters they refer to?

        Its ok if you dont care about someones preferences, but there are many who think its ok to discriminate, attack and otherwise undermine some people based on this things you dont care about. Of course no company wants to be a dick and welcome people like that. No company wants their product to be used as a vehicle to spread hate and ignorance. Hence the very necesary anouncement. These people need to understand they are not welcomed in the BT communities and fandom.

        The fact that this escapes your understanding and aggravates you is bewildering to say the least.

        >”It’s not supposed to be real life. We play this game to get away from real life, not wallow in it”

        The community guidelines are, regardless of any perceived “political leaning”, by their definition a necesary tool to deal with the reality of a fan/gaming community. Every community has guidelines. Even more obvious to have them if Catalyst is working in many community involving proyects as stated in the anouncement. Confusing management measures with lore -you know, the “fantasy” part of the game- shows a worrying lack of awareness.

        1. Esskatze

          Not sure you’re aware, but you are *exactly* the kind of person George is speaking of.

          1. Isamu Hazen

            I guess you replied to the wrong comment, cause the comment I replied to is talking about guidelines and Catalyst.

        2. Steel Shanks

          Geez… My eyes have NEVER rolled harder than after reading THIS post…

  5. AlphaBlu

    BattleTech news… which always includes some screed about trans people.

    Can you just stick to BattleTech? Is that so damned hard?

    1. Mattias42

      If you don’t keep repeating how Battletech is for EVERYBODY, conservatives, jerks and conservative jerks will colonize any war-gaming like hobby like Battletech in a matter of months.

      I’ve even seen it attempted with freakin’ My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and literal Neo-Nazis. Trawling for recruits young and old alike, and that show had like… less then a dozen episodes focused on the completely ineffective in-universe air-force that mostly does stunts and public service stuff.

      So, yeah. It WOULD be a LOT harder if the entire garden turns into a mat of thorns & thistles vs one or two de-weeding sessions per month.

      1. Steel Shanks

        LMAO… As a Non-Conservative I don’t want to see Real World Politics in Entertainment either. Funny how “Conservative” seems to equal “Bad Guy” now… What happened too “Multiple Views = Good.” Whether those “Views” are Good or Bad. Geez…

        1. Pendrake

          Around the time Trump was elected, and Conservatives as a Majority thought beating Immigrants, killing Minority and Trans people, and following Hitler’s playbook openly was a good idea.

          Ron DeSantis literally holds Book Burnings and claims African-Americans benefitted from Slavery. And has people fired from jobs for being a certain gender or sexuality.

          That’s not politics. That’s ignoring basic human rights. and embracing Fascism.

          Multiple Viewpoints are fine. If they’re backed up by actual KNOWLEDGE, not ignorance.

          1. Steel Shanks

            LMAO… Wow My dude… Wow…

            We talk about keeping BattleTech about BattleTech… You bring up Orange Man, and Trans/Minority killings…

            Do You not see Yer the problem here? Lol… This Timeline sux… Turn CERN back on for a new one please…

        2. Nihil Baxter

          “Multiple” views and diverse opinions are fine when it comes to favourite BT faction or what does and doesn’t belong on pizza, not, you know, basic human rights and stuff. Tolerance (except for intolerance) trumps diversity of opinion, always.

      2. George Spelvin

        > conservatives, jerks and conservative jerks will colonize any war-gaming like hobby like Battletech in a matter of months.

        As will pony fan jerks, furry jerks, whateversexual jerks, woke jerks, and all sorts of other bad actors from all sorts of other groups. The problem isn’t whatever real world stuff other people are into. The problem is when they can’t keep their personal real world hangups out of our science fiction fun but instead try to impose it on us to push their own social or political agenda, regardless of what that agenda is. And all agendas try to do this. It’s in the very nature of having an agenda. Conservative, progressive, whatever, they are all dicks. All of them.

        To take an example from another game, I’ve been called a satanist by conservative christian busybodies for pretending to be a wizard who casts imaginary spells. I’ve also been called a racist by progressive woke busybodies for pretending to be a barbarian who kills imaginary orcs. To hell with all busybodies. I just want to play my games.

        And speaking of that other game, I am very concerned that Catalyst is making the same mistakes as Wizards of the Coast. We all can see how that’s going. I don’t want Battletech to die the same way.

        1. Steel Shanks

          Again, spot on Man… I too am “racist”, for being a Dwarf who kills Orcs, and Drow… Really tired of that nonsense…
          I too do not want to see BattleTech destroyed like Wizards will be… There’s already rumors of selling off, and splitting the company… Stick to BattleTech politics please…

      3. AlphaBlu


        FFS… stop misusing words. And stop making up boogeymen that aren’t real.

        “The conservatives are coming!”

        Wher? What proof have you of this? BTech has been around for forty fucking years. If this really was the threat you think it is, don’t’cha think it would’ve happened by now?

    2. Pendrake

      Yeah, Trans people.

      Who have existed in-universe in BattleTech for years.

      Someone’s gender shouldn’t mean a damn thing to you. Just their love for stompy robots.

    3. Ryan

      OMG this! I’m so sick and tired leftards injected woke propaganda into things like Battletech.

  6. AlphaBlu

    And of course, “[Product Name] is for everyone”, a phrase that always means anything but, and usually comes right before or right after a bunch of fans/staff are purged for wrongthink.

    Shame to see Catalyst going the Soviet way.

    1. Nihil Baxter

      Call me Capellan, but I love to see that. No one ever misses anyone that stomps their little feetsies and storms out in reaction to a message of inclusivity.

  7. Rob C.

    That crazy there was additional mechs to be sent in from the toy maker. Warhammer properly be hard no, given legal headaches that came up at that time, but UrbanMech would have been priceless!

  8. Dog of War

    ‘Battletech is for everyone. But let’s also seize control of a fan run product testing group, hire on a wing nut to be the new community manager, let them make vague accusation of seeing someone that put not-see iconic on their mech, and then block everyone we don’t agree with from our social media pages who doesn’t align with the social media mangers fringe political ideology.’

    1. Dog of War

      And of course it goes without saying that actually bigoted weird-os are terrible people. And I for one always try to avoid people like that just in general. But at this point we’ve all seen the writing on the wall and this is less about making sure the game remains accessible and just people reaching for whatever small petty bit of power they can.

      1. Nihil Baxter

        You’re almost there. Now imagine that there are people who do not have the option to avoid the people you describe. Who get targeted by them just for existing openly in the community. Whose only option for avoidance would be leaving the hobby.

        I’m sure you can empathize enough to realize that for these people a message of inclusivity that more or less explicitly excludes intolerance, that makes clear what behavour is unacceptable within the community is encouraging and helpful.

    2. AlphaBlu

      BattleTech is for everyone*!

      *And by ‘everyone’ we mean those that agree with us politically**.
      **And by ‘politically’ we mean the far left***.
      ***And by ‘left’ we mean anyone to the right of Chairman Mao is a Nazi.

      1. Boltzman's Ladder

        If that’s what you got from a statement asking people not to be racist or bigoted towards one another then I think it says more about you than it does about Catalyst.

        1. George Spelvin

          Spoiler: You’re allowed to be racist. You’re allowed to be bigoted. You’re also allowed to be transsexual. You’re allowed to be a furry. You’re allowed to be homosexual. You’re allowed to be Christian. You’re allowed to be Muslim. You’re allowed to be atheist. You’re allowed to be whatever. You do you. That’s what freedom means. That’s what freedom is.

          If you don’t like what someone says or does, simply don’t play with them. Trying to silence them or exclude them only sets a precedent that may one day be used to silence or exclude you. In other words, book burning is far worse than any book could ever be (and not just because it usually doesn’t stop with just burning books).

          You are never going to change people’s minds by trying to silence them. That always backfires.

          If literal nazis want to play Battletech and support the games we love, LET THEM. I don’t have to play with them. You don’t have to play with them. And there are far worse things they could be doing with their money than giving it to Catalyst.

          Think of it this way: Every dollar that goes to buy Battletech merchandise is a dollar that isn’t going to a political campaign you disagree with.

          1. Boltzman's Ladder

            You’re allowed to be anyting you want and act however you like, you’re also allowed to say whatever you want without (within reason) without the authorities censoring you.

            However, Catalyst are a private business and they have the right to show you the door from their platform if you say and do things they disagree with on said platforms.

            Their statement doesn’t stop you from saying and thinking or even commenting whatever you want on the platforms they don’t manage, take a look at the comment section of any of the recent outrage videos that have been produced and you’ll see plenty of pretty awful stuff said.

            What Catalyst quite rightly want to avoid is the game and IP that they are currently custodians of becoming associated with terrible bigoted and racist people, like actual Neo-Nazis. Becuse once that association is made its very hard for the wider public, the people you need to buy into your game to keep it alive, to shake that association.

            To make a crude annology. Catalyst are running a Battletech Bar, they want to make sure it stays a Sports Bar and doesn’t become a Biker Bar. They need to stay very clearly that they are a Sports Bar becuse if they don’t then the Bikers will claim ownership of the Bar and it becomes a Biker Bar wheater Catalyst like it or not.

          2. George Spelvin

            Just because Catalyst owns the IP (for now) does not mean they own the community. It doesn’t mean they are the community.

            They are not.

            Their job is to sell to the community, not to tell the community how to play their games or live their lives.

            Who cares how the community is perceived by the “wider public”? The “wider public” doesn’t play Battletech. The “wider public” doesn’t have a clue and generally doesn’t care. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: the “wider public” doesn’t like drag queen kindergarten story hour any more than it likes bona fide Nazis. Pandering to the “wider public” at the expense of an existing customer base because of how the Twitter outrage mob is trying to present it never works.

            Besides, the “wider public” already firmly associates Battletech and other tabletop gamers with unwashed nerds, weirdos, and losers. I seriously doubt a bunch of bona fide Nazis will ever change that.

            Companies like Catalyst should know better than to involve themselves in any agenda of any stripe. It never ends well. Usually it just ends them.

          3. Boltzman's Ladder

            Again they are not telling you how to live your life or what politics you should have or how to think.


            I doubt Catalyst or anyone else cares how you act and who you associate with in you’re day to day life, but when you’re posting stuff on their platforms they would prefer if you didn’t espouse nasty stuff that would tarnish the game in the eyes of the public.

            Also Catalysts job is to sell to the community but also GROW THE COMMUNITY, they and the game itself needs new blood to stay relevant and to get new materials for the community to benefit from. A closed insular game is not one that will get regular updates and definitely not one that will get new players.

            As much as I love Battletech it lay in relative obscurity for about two decades between the Wizkids Clicks game and Catalyst bringing out their new plastic mechs. The game had hardly any new players in that time and the age of the average player was well above that of the usual wargamer.

            With Catalyst taking stewardship of the IP the game got a much needed boost in popularity and whole new audiences discovered the wargame. The likes of Mechwarrior Online, The HVS Battletech game and Mechwarrior 5 helped the game get exposure too.

            A generation of new players brought all their baggage with them and unfortunately this also brought some of the worst elements of the Wargaming community who thrive on causing outrage and controversy. Many of these players had just left GWs games for various reasons, including that GW had stated very clearly that their game was for everyone.

            I don’t know what you think this “Twitter Mob” is or why they would be focusing on Battletech of all things. There’s much bigger and more serious things happening in the world for any leftist mob to focus on comparted to a mech wargame.

            What I can very clearly point to is YouTube outrage merchants who’s entire business model is pointing to any change in the status quo as an assault by a nebulous “they” who are out to “ruin your game” with “wokeness”. Those changes can be anything from the publisher having more representation of their playerbase in the game to the publisher saying the game is for everyone.

            Don’t buy into the outrage narrative these grifters are trying to sell you. They’re not interested in “saving the game” or “defending the community”, they’re looking for clicks to their videos and Pateron money to their wallets, nothing more.

          4. Sean Post author

            Alright kiddos, the comments are being shut down. Catalyst is doing what it believes is best for the IP. Not everyone might like it, but the discussion has descended into culture war talking points that we’ve all heard before.

            Future comments must be BattleTech related. I hear anything about left/right politics I’m hitting the spam button.

        2. AlphaBlu

          Don’t be so damned naïve.

          “Is for everybody!” statements only come about after or before some purge or some kneejerk reaction to something minor. Exactly what’s happening in BTech right now with the demo team.

          Some nut-case actual Neo-Nazi showed up to a 40k Tournament in Spain, the lefty Twitter mob lost their minds, and suddenly because of this one guy, “Warhammer is for everyone!” and GW has been massively overcompensating ever since (the latest examples being in The Old World, where suddenly women as Bretonnian Knights are the norm, completely ruining the importance of the character of Repanse de Lyonesse, and in Cities of Sigmar, where all their major characters are women for fear of being accused of not being inclusive enough).

          1. George Spelvin

            There’s a reason why GW is not well liked or respected, not even by their remaining customers.

            I had hoped Catalyst was smart enough to learn from the examples of GW and WotC, but apparently not.

            Oh, and businesses really should stop paying attention to the twitter mob. They get outraged at everything. It’s what they do. Appeasement is never profitable, just ask Neville Chamberlain. Besides, the twitter mob is all socks and bots.

          2. Boltzman's Ladder

            As much as I’m not a fan of GW they appear to be doing extremely well financially and their player base continues to grow. So regardless of how you feel about their choices they appear to be working.

            They are probably keen to distance themselves as much as possible from actual hate merchants be they neoznazis or those who believe certian people ought not to exist.

          3. George Spelvin

            Don’t trust GW’s self reported financials. They got a short term boost from the covid quarantines, like everyone else, but they are in a lot of trouble long term.

        3. Runs with Scissors

          Kiddo this isnt the first time people have seen this crap being spouted. Hell this isnt even the tenth. We’ve seen people saying those words screw up every IP they’ve gotten their hands on

          “Racism” and “Bigotry” are words people like them use to shut up people they dont like, made by ideological fanatics who would rather push their crap rather than deliver a good product or manage their IP well

          We’ve seen it all before

          1. Pendrake

            No, they’re used to call out people who are both.

            You’re allowed to say what you want.

            you however are not free from the consequences of your speech.

            Which, btw, is literally how the 1st Amendment in the US constitution is worded.

            The Government can’t censor you. That’s it. Private companies can refuse to do business with you, and that guy over there you just called a racial slur can walk over and break your jaw. NEITHER of those is protected by the First Amendment. And are the consequences of your own actions.

            So learn to be a decent person, or learn to **** off.

            Your choice.

      2. Pendrake

        Respecting Someone’s gender isn’t political.

        It’s a basic human right.

        You want to be an asshole, fine, you do you.

        But people don’t have to put up with you.

        1. Steel Shanks

          Respecting ones gender, or not respecting ones gender has become 100% political now… And Knobs going on and on about it… Like yerself… Are the problem… Hence why We want BattleTech to be about feckin’ BATTLETECH… And not the political bs virtue signaling / flavor of the week nonsense You keep talking about… Odd that huh?

  9. Dog of War

    It does amuse the hell out of me that furries ended up being some of the pioneers in brain computer interface tech for the use of brain controlled tails and ears. It’s also kind of fascinating to me as well. I recall seeing some early attentions with non-invasive BCI, which usually involved using a lot of conductive gel and bulbous sensors strapped to your head.

  10. Warlord Wu Tu Tai

    Sean, I think in your haste to praise the ‘BattleTech is for everyone’ slogan, you may have overlooked a critical detail.

    “Protect the IP. Illegal use of any CGL intellectual property is forbidden. Breaking this rule will result in a warning, with additional infractions resulting in a ban.”

    This includes posting images of your 3D-printed ‘Mechs. Check the CGL Twitter account’s replies if you don’t believe me.

    Not only are they becoming overtly political, they’re now cracking down on third-party minatures. Exactly who thought this was a good idea?

    1. Boltzman's Ladder

      It’s a crackdown on stuff that uses their IP on THEIR platforms, it’s not a blanket ban on 3D printed or 3rd party materials.

      You can still use your custom printed 3D mechs in casual play and in tournaments just not those that are hosted by Catalyst.

      Again they are doing the due diligence of protecting their IP which they are I belive legaly required to do.

      1. Skigress

        I’ve never seen one of these pirate 3d printed models that costs less than an actual battletech mini from either catalyst games or iron wind metals. I’ve always wondered why people went with them other than until the recent redesigns they often looked more likely to move than some of the classic designs.

        1. Boltzman's Ladder

          If you have a halfway decent resin 3d printer then there are plenty of free mech STLs available on the Internet that can be downloaded and printed out.

          The main attraction of 3D prints, other than them being free to print minis resin costs, is that there are updates designs for mechs Catalyst haven’t produced I plastic yet and there are mechs with interchangeable weapon load outs which adds a degree if customisation to a collection. In addition while Catalyst have only recently started producing non mech units in plastic there are many STL files for these units available.

    2. George Spelvin

      Stupid intellectual property legal bullshit almost killed Battletech once before. I am very concerned the same thing is happening again only this time it’s Catalyst itself doing it instead of Harmony Gold.

      I really thought they were smarter than that.

      1. Boltzman's Ladder

        Previous IP issues with Battletech have been either to do with the original name of the game “Battledroids” and issues with Lucasfilm usage of “Droids” in Star Wars, or they have been due to the usage of designs that were the IP of external companies like Harmony Gold which led to the Unseen designs.

        This current situation with the use of 3D prints is to do with both existing Catalyst owned mech designs being produced by 3D printing and non Catalyst owned mech and unit designs being posted on media channels that Catalyst are in charge of.

        There’s no risk to the game here and again there is no issue with using 3D printed mechs of units in personal games or in tournaments that Catalyst have no hand in running. The restrictions only apply to use if these 3D printed items on official Catalyst platforms.

      2. Get Focht

        Part of a licensing agreement is that the current holder needs to defend the IP from infringement. If CGL came out publicly saying that 3d printed mechs were fine, that would be an express ticket to losing the license. And conflating what happened with Harmony Gold to this is incorrect at best, and disingenuous at worst.

  11. Yankee

    Sadly, this misses the most important news of the month: TheB33f is making videos again! And he loves us!

      1. Steel Shanks

        Hey Sean, what does Blaine Lee Pardoe think about the World today? That’d be interesting…

    1. AlphaBlu

      Oh crap! Good point. B33f his back, and his videos (and voice) is glorious.

      He said that he has a speech impediment in a recent one. I thought it was just his super thick accent?

      Either way, he’s awesome.


  12. Steel Shanks

    Again, why does what Stackpole thinks about REAL world politics matter? HOW is Trans-rights BattleTech news? I don’t give a feck what Stackpole thinks… Not in REAL life… This is not BattleTech News… What the hell is going on, that We can’t separate Real World Politics from our hobbies, entertainment, etc. I come here for BattleTech… What’s happening in the Free Worlds League? What Mechs are coming out? Etc. Sarna is becoming a sad place…

    1. Pendrake

      Because Trans Rights AREN’T fucking Politics.

      They’re basic human rights.

      No matter what assholes like Trump say.

      1. Steel Shanks

        They ARE politics… The World MADE them politics… You made them politics… Oddly enough not everyone is on board with surgically altering the body for purposes… Just like Cosmetic Surgery isn’t everyone’s cup of tea…

  13. Steel Shanks

    It’s the same thing as “Stackpole is a Republican… He’s a Democrat… He’s a Torey… He’s Sinn Fein.” No one cares… No on cares what he thinks, feels, etc. UNLESS it’s tied to BATTLETECH… Nice continual Virtue Signaling though… It’s totally NOT incredibly annoying at all…

    1. Boltzman's Ladder

      Well isn’t Michael A. Stackpole one of the most popular and important writers for Battletech who’s works have shaped important aspects of the universe lore?

      I’d say his opinions, especially since he’s probably not finished wring stuff for the universe would be pretty tied to Battletech.

      1. Steel Shanks

        In Universe Yes… In the Real World No… I don’t give a Rats Fig what He thinks in Real World. That’s basically “Stackpole thinks this, so You should too.” No… What does Stackpole thinks about the Lyran Commonwealth? Or the Periphery? Don’t try and influence people on Real World shite, with what a “Celebrity” thinks… Has nothing to do with BattleTech.

        1. Pendrake

          Actually, Trans stuff has a lot to do with BattleTech.

          Might want to read up on the Free Worlds League sometime, boyo.

          1. Steel Shanks

            Dude, We get it, yer Trans or a Family member is, or yer just a HUGE virtue signaller… We GET it… Stfu… I do not care…

            Free Worlds League is My faction… I’ve read much on it… I also know every planet and person is different. It has nothing to do with modern political topics… BattleTech is BattleTech… Keep it that way.

  14. Big_Red_40Tech

    Sean, you’ll be happy to know a 3rd art-piece was just uploaded of the new Warhammer IIC for the video too. 3/4, the 4th one won’t be posted online until after the video goes live. :D

  15. Eric Karau

    Love the Battletech toys pitch to Kenner; what might have been! Some of the designs in the pic I don’t recognize, and what the hell IS a Slammer anyway? The Warhammer is spot-on but I think one of the reasons this toy line didn’t get off the ground is because of Harmony Gold’s infamous lawsuit against FASA over the “unseen/reseen” mecha designs thing: Robotech/Macross vs. Battletech! Still, I love the pics of the toys shown here!

    1. Craig

      There were Macross toys but most were small, the large Veritech Skull One was also a “Transformer” (for some reason an Autobot haha). I think it was larger maybe 10″ or 12″ compared to the wee Macross ones.

      Here’s a question for the people who remember 80s toys: How in blazes does no one look back and lionize the Go-Bots? Everything else it seems has an ironic fan but they were so ghetto compared to the “name brand” that it seems a lost opportunity to me. My fave toys were actually the “Air Raiders” and also the generic Japanese no-name transforming robots that appeared in discount stores. Oh and “Mask” but they were pricey. I think GI Joe fit into those too.

      The “Slammer” looks like a mech that would be turned out of a sawmill OEM machine shop (or a budget Agrimech), it’s got a tractor cockpit and a rocket launcher with sidecar MGs. Probably costs 10,000 C_bills and runs on a ICE! No armor but its low heat profile makes it easy to hide in the cornfields.

      1. Zera

        Huge Transformers fan here. Go-Bots definitely has some fans, even in Transformers. It probably just isn’t looked back on with that much reverence because during a time when everybody was trying to sell the toys, Go-Bots wasn’t able to make itself stand out. Hasbro/Marvel/Sunbow had much better marketing for Transformers and, while it’s anecdotal, I’ve seen tons of people say TF media and toys were just generally better. Hasbro was also pretty aggressively snapping up every transforming Japanese toy they could get the license to so there was a lot of variety as well. That’s how we got a Veritech as an Autobot. Funny thing that, the character in question looks nothing like the toy in show and while I don’t think it’s ever been explicitly stated why, it’s suspected potential litigation from Harmony Gold was a potential motivator. Man those HG lawsuits get around!

  16. Zera

    I can’t stand the slogan “X is for everyone.” because I’m of the mind that when you try to make something appeal to everybody, you make something that appeals to nobody. It always comes off to me as “We’re aiming for the lowest common denominator”.

    If companies wanted to convey the message “We have a unique and high quality product here with a lot of terrific people involved. If you’re interested in what we’ve made, we’d love it if you gave it a try”, then I wish they’d try to chose wording to that end. It may not be as punchy but it’s a hell of a lot more reassuring, assuming of course that’s the message they’re trying to send.

  17. Nick

    Battletech is not for everyone. It is for anyone that actually wants to play the game. Those that use the game as a vehicle for ideological projection, of any kind, should be kept out.

  18. Jeff

    Game companies should leave politics and made up culture wars out of their product. This manufactured outrage has destroyed enough.

    1. Pendrake

      Especially the manufactured outrage by Conservatives that respecting someone’s gender is actually a political thing and not a basic human right.

      You wanna be an asshole to trans people, you do you.

      That doesn’t mean a company has to do business with you, or that someone can’t punch you in the face for being an asshole. Freedom of speech doesn’t freedom from consequences. And it never has.

      1. Steel Shanks

        Violence eh? Interesting choice for someone so “enlightened.” That is illegal by the way lol… Assault and Battery I believe.

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