Your BattleTech News Roundup For January, 2023

Welcome to 2023, and damn, we’re starting this year off with a bang. I’ve been working non-stop this month collating everything that’s going on, all the fantastic new art, and charting the movements of BattleTech‘s celestial bodies. My oracles have all come home to roost, so before I mix enough metaphors to make a pretty solid gumbo, let’s get to all the BattleTech news that happened this month.

Catalyst Kicks Off 2023 With Pre-Launch Mercenaries BackerKit

Battletech Launch page Clip V2 30 Sec
Watch this video on YouTube.

We’re starting the month off with some big Catalyst news. The pre-launch Mercenaries BackerKit is live and offers a look at what’s in the coming Kickstarter. This includes a list of all the ForcePacks, the new four-inch Timber Wolf figure, and the new Salvage Box containing the Visigoth AeroSpace fighter. There’s also a preview of all the merch coming with the campaign, including mercenary unit badges and pins, new t-shirts, and new short stories. The t-shirts will be available on the Catalyst store page so you won’t have to wait for the Kickstarter to purchase some new threads. 

Sign-ups are available now, and if you do, you’ll also gain access to the Battlefield Support Open Beta, which will test the new tabletop rules. These rules will appear in the Mercenaries box unlocked through Kickstarter. The BackerKit page also promises regional Mercenaries launch parties to be held in conjunction with the larger celebration at AdeptiCon, which will include plastic minis that stores can give away as part of prizes for the event and funding for food and drinks. 

Over 10,000 people have already signed up on the BackerKit page, so it’s already off to a good start. I suspect we’ll have another Clan Invasion on our hands when Mercenaries goes live on March 23. 

We’re going to throw in a couple of new products that are also available this month. There are three new Mercenary ForcePacks available, covering Hansen’s Roughriders, Northwind Highlanders, and the Kell Hounds. New ‘Mechs include the Penetrator, the Gunslinger, and the Nightsky, alongside re-posed existing ‘Mechs and new variants of classics like the Warhammer, Grasshopper, and Enforcer. Pre-orders for all three packs are available now. There’s also a new sourcebook, Dominions Divided, which tells the story of the Federated Suns, Draconis Combine, and Rasalhague Dominion from 3151 to mid-3152. Check that out on the Catalyst store.

A Shadow Cat Waits

Waiting, 2022
by u/Remmor in OutreachHPG

This Shadow Cat piece from RJF Faut (or Faul? I can’t quite tell from the signature) was already pretty enough to catch my eye, but it’s the tagline from the peanut gallery at OutreachHPG that made me guffaw. “Somewhere just outside HPG Manifold, a Shadow Cat patiently runs the match clock down,” wrote Reddit user DAFFP. “A tale as old as MWO.”

BattleTech Plans To Sell Over 9 Million Minis By The Summer

BattleTech New Sculpts Shimmering Sword

Polygon recently did a write-up on BattleTech where the publication called it “one of the biggest names in tabletop gaming.” That’s cool of them to say, and probably even true too. Especially since Catalyst gave a nifty little figure to back up the claim. Since the new sculpts started appearing with the redesigned BattleTech Box Set and the Clan Invasion Kickstarter (and will be continued in the upcoming Mercenaries Kickstarter), Catalyst has sold many millions of minifigures and expects that number to reach 9 million by the middle of summer. 

Now, that number might include estimates for the Mercenaries Kickstarter as that’s going live in March, but it’s still a pretty big number for a game that doesn’t necessarily want its players to be fielding armies of dozens or even hundreds of figures (although, you certainly still can if you want to). 

The article also notes how MechWarrior 5 and MechWarrior Online developer PGI, Catalyst, and Harebrained Schemes are sharing resources to help build the franchise. “By any metric, BattleTech is now more successful and more popular than ever before,” Catalyst told Polygon. “With the coming Mercenaries Kickstarter and the lead-up to BattleTech’s 40th anniversary, there’s an excellent chance our current staggering success will be eclipsed as BattleTech reaches even more fans.”

Opinion Piece: “BattleTech Has Always Been Woke”

Sarna Complaints Department

Welcome to Sarna’s new editorial column. I’ve noticed that a lot of you seem to dislike the idea of me throwing in some opinions throughout our monthly news round-ups, so I thought to break off the majority of that opinionated writing and throw it into a new column that you can easily skip if you’d prefer to stick to the news. 

Our inaugural editorial comes courtesy of esteemed novelist and BattleTech writer Michael A. Stackpole, who declared on Twitter that “BattleTech has always been woke” following a post from Catalyst outlining the success BattleTech has achieved in recent years which counters the right-wing battle cry of “go woke, go broke.” 

We’re going to set aside the saying, for which you can find plenty of examples for and against, and instead focus on Stackpole’s comment of BattleTech always having been woke. For those unaware, “woke” is defined as “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination.” Stackpole’s example is naturally his own work in the Warrior Trilogy. “The anti-prejudice/anti-racism theme roars through it all,” stated Stackpole, and it’s hard to disagree there. One could argue the only reason why Justin Xiang Allard was able to infiltrate the Liao government so thoroughly was because of racial prejudice.  

But has BattleTech always been woke? A certain tank that will no longer be reprinted seems evidence to the contrary. And the fact that both House Kurita and House Liao are still largely ethnically and racially defined, would beg to differ

Things got a lot better with the introduction of the Clans, with its egalitarian society that cared little for race or gender, only whether you were born in a test tube with combat-capable genes. And the problematic similarities between the freebirth/trueborn argument and racist ideology steeped in geneticism get addressed in books like Freebirth and characters like Phelan Kell and Alaric Ward (although Alaric has his own problems, that’s a topic for another editorial).

So I think it might be more accurate to say that BattleTech didn’t arrive woke, but it’s been moving in that direction for decades. And with recent stories even venturing into LGBTQ+ characters, it certainly isn’t slowing down. 

A ‘Mech By Any Other Name

I commissioned art of a situation that happened in my game.
by u/CupofLiberTea in Battletechgame

I know there are a lot of Awesome fans out there, so I had to share this piece commissioned by CupofLiberTea over on Reddit. They even have a great story to go along with it, too. 

“Years ago I had a BTA3062 game, and during a mission, my Assassin was legged by an unlucky Gauss shot. There were still many enemies left in the turn order and my Assassin was in serious danger. My only hope was to plant my Awesome‘s chunky frame between the Assassin and the enemy. With an assault mech blocking their view, the enemy took shots at it instead. The Awesome took a pummeling, but held the line long enough to let the crippled mech jump jet to safety.”

MechAssault’s Dragoon Suit, MechWarrior 4’s Hellhound Canonized In Latest IlClan Recognition Guides

Big news for fans of some classic ‘Mech games. Both the battle armor from MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf and MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries take on the Hellhound have been canonized in the latest releases of the IlClan Recognition Guides.

We’ll start with the Dragoon Suit, which was the star of MechAssault 2. This little guy, simply referred to as “battle armor” in-game, has been given a name and backstory in IlClan Recognition Guide 29. Equipped with a Light Mortar and either a Flamer or Micro Pulse Paser, the Dragoon mirrors the capabilities of MechAssault‘s armor but for the highly advanced neuro-hacking, which allowed it to force-eject an enemy MechWarrior from their ride. 

But what’s really cool is Guide 29 canonizes “The MechWarrior” and many of the events that occur in MechAssault 1 & 2--specifically the invasion of Helios and operations against the Word of Blake during the Jihad. 

Next, we have MechWarrior 4’s Hellhound, which has been renamed the Hellcat and slightly redesigned from its debut in MW4: Mercenaries. The standard loadout of twin ER Large Lasers, LB 10-X AC, and SRM-6 remains, but the visual design of the Hellhound--sorry, Hellcat--has been modified to more accurately reflect its loadout. And rather than being introduced at the end of the Refusal War as suggested in MW4: Mercs, the Hellcat arrived in the 3130s when it became freely available through Clan Sea Fox. 

IlClan Recognition Guide 30 provides us with the Hellcat and the Onuris Attack VTOL, which sure looks a lot like the Igor VTOL from MechWarrior 5. It’s not quite the same, but it’s possibly yet more evidence of how PGI and Catalyst are collaborating on the future of BattleTech.

This Metal Remix Of The BattleTech Theme Will Take Back The Galaxy

Battletech Animated Series Metal Cover 2022
Watch this video on YouTube.

Do I like metal remixes of classic cartoon intro themes? Of course I do. So here’s andrewlik belting out the one-minute intro to BattleTech: The Animated Series. I’ll let those two guitars do the rest of the talking.

Tex Talks BattleTech Back Online After Black Pants Legion Gets Hacked By Tesla Fans

If you were wondering where Tex’s latest video on the Charger went soon after the beginning of the new year, it was taken offline after the Black Pants Legion got hacked by Tesla fans. Apparently, Elon Musk’s personal army of internet trolls has nothing better to do than take on a small group of independent content creators and BattleTech fans. 

I’m not even going to guess at their motivations. Internet vandals are just a fact of life in the cyberpunk dystopia we all find ourselves in. The good news is that Tex and the Black Pants Legion managed to regain access to their channel and get all that wonderful content back online. From what Tex described in his recent podcast, it was quite the ordeal.

Things are alright now, but folks who were previously subscribed to the Black Pants Legion will want to verify that their subscription remains intact. 

Renegage HPG Is Looking To Revive The BattleTech Trading Card Game

You’ll all remember Renegade HPG as the owner of a fabulous YouTube channel where he interviews BattleTech creatives, and also the owner and operator of Gallery 3025, a Patreon which creates beautiful new BattleTech art. Fans of Tracis’ channel will know that he’s a die-hard BattleTech TCG fan, and now he’s aiming to revive the game.

And when I say revive, I mean bring back from the dead and turn it into a living game. That means new cards (unofficial, of course), revised and new mechanics, monthly tournaments, and an open and active community of folks who want to contribute and play BattleTech in card form. There are already a bunch of new cards posted on the Facebook Group, along with an experimental format to playtest all these new cards.

For those looking to play along, you’ll want to download LackeyCCG and the BattleTech plugin, instructions for which can be found in this post here. League games are already underway, but newcomers are always welcome. 

Highlander Posts Up For The Dunk

What do you get when you have an undying love for NBA Jam and the Highlander? This. At least, I assume. Big thanks to BigRock! On Twitter for creating this unusual but timeless piece. My heart goes out to that Elemental’s sibkin.

A New MechWarrior Game Is Coming

Podcast 230 - Mechwarrior's Future w/ Russ Bullock
Watch this video on YouTube.

It’s confirmed: a new MechWarrior game is in development at PGI. That’s according to Piranha Games president Russ Bullock, who finally confirmed what we kinda suspected for a while in the latest No Guts No Galaxy podcast.

“We’re still working on MechWarrior, which has been somewhat surprising to me, that we’ve been able to work on it this long, which is great,” Bullock told Sean Lang. “Everyone knows we have DLC four coming out for MechWarrior 5, and there is another MechWarrior game in development at Piranha.”

Before anyone gets too up in arms, it won’t be MechWarrior Online 2. It’ll be a single-player game “in line with MechWarrior 5,” and it’ll be a “standalone game.” As for when we’ll hear more, that might not be for a while.

“It’ll be announced later – don’t know, if I had to guess it may even be until… oh, who knows,” added Bullock. “Somewhere in 2023. Maybe even as late as the fall, like September or something. So it’ll be a while, you’ll have to wait around to see what that is. But yeah, more in-line with a MechWarrior 5 type of experience, meaning it’ll be a game that comes out on all the platforms, PC and console.”

Bullock said that this new MechWarrior game will build on the technology already created in MechWarrior 5, which sounds great to me. There’s a lot of good tech in MechWarrior 5, from procedurally-generated maps to the co-op gameplay mechanics, but what has always held MechWarrior 5 back in the eyes of most fans was the lack of a hand-crafted campaign. With this presumed MechWarrior 6 using all the tech already built in MechWarrior 5, hopefully, more resources can be spent focusing on missions with scripted events and cut scenes, and more intricate mission mechanics. 

And what about MechWarrior Online? Bullock confirmed PGI has the MechWarrior license until 2025, but creating a sequel to the PvP game would need “more runway than that.” 

“You’re not going to make a MechWarrior Online 2 if your license is maybe over in 2025,” Bullock said. “We’d have to know that we have a minimum of five years once the game is done, so we probably need an extension to 2030.”

Could that mean PGI is going to shoot for a license extension? I suppose we’ll have to see how well MechWarrior 6 performs first.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries – Rise Of Rasalhague Drops On All Platforms Alongside Free Update

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries - DLC 4 - Rise of Rasalhague Launch Trailer
Watch this video on YouTube.

But before we get too excited about a new MechWarrior game, I’m here to remind you that MechWarrior 5 just received its new Rise of Rasalhague DLC. As previously discussed, this DLC features a new 12-mission quest line, 11 variants of the Crusader ‘Mech, and the all-new Rival Mercenaries feature that will pit you against well-known Merc outfits from throughout the Inner Sphere. 

MechWarrior 5 is also receiving a free update along with Rise of Rasalhague, so even if you don’t have the cash to buy the new DLC right this second, you’ll still benefit from various improvements outlined on this page here. In my eyes, the biggest QOL changes here will be the improved lancemate AI that makes them fire more often, get stuck in dropships less often, and will entirely stop them from Kool-Aid-Maning their way through buildings you’re trying to defend. Additionally, PGI has updated the ‘Mech hangar to allow up to 40 active ‘Mechs instead of just 12. Those additional ‘Mechbays need to be leased for a quarterly fee, but I know I have over 100 million C-bills by the end of the main campaign, so a few more active ‘Mechs will be a godsend. 

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries – Rise of Rasalhague is available now on all platforms.

MechWarrior Online’s Plans For 2023 Include New Maps, A Battlepass, And A New ‘Mech

MechWarrior Online 2023 Plans Devlog
Watch this video on YouTube.

The other existing MechWarrior game that we have yet to discuss is MechWarrior Online. Matt and Daeron over at PGI recently sat down to talk about the future of MechWarrior Online, where they laid out what fans can expect in 2023. The big takeaway here is that PGI isn’t done with MechWarrior Online yet and plans to update the venerable PvP game with yet more content.

That content includes four “new” maps, where some will be entirely new and others will be revamped versions of existing maps that could use a little love. There’s also an entirely new ‘Mech chassis that will come sometime this year. The Crusader and Hatchetman were apparently very successful for PGI, so making a new ‘Mech is still profitable. No idea what the ‘Mech will be, but Matt said that we’ll likely guess it just as soon as the first teaser goes live. 

Additionally, MechWarrior Online might be rebranding itself to MechWarrior Online Legends. The new name would follow a new monthly battle pass that would feature an all-new Legendary ‘Mech with unique quirks to make it stand out from existing Hero ‘Mechs. Legendary ‘Mechs will have unique skins and Champion-style loadouts that might be playable straight out of the box. Nothing is finalized as of yet, but it’s certainly in line with what other live-service games have done to monetize themselves. Expect the battlepass to include other items like C-Bills, GSP, Bolt-ons, Cockpit items, MC, engines, and more. 

There’s lots more discussed, like retiring old ‘Mech bundles, reworking faction play, adding new weapons, and more events for the event queue, but you can hear all that straight from Matt and Daeron’s mouths in the video linked above. 

In the near term, there’s still a Dire Wolf DWF-C up for grabs as January’s free ‘Mech, and the most recent patch has made quite a few adjustments to existing maps and ‘Mechs. The Raven, Incubus, Panther, Mist Lynx, Timber Wolf, and Marauder IIC have all seen their armor adjusted, while two variants of the Crab now have additional heat quirks to enhance their gameplay. Standard AC/10s and 20s have seen their cooldown decrease, and 13 maps have received adjustments and fixes. You can check out the full patch notes here

Gallery 3025 Brings Us A “Wetlands Skirmish”

Wetlands Skirmish by Jayden Morris and Bruce Patnaude

Wetlands Skirmish by Jayden Morris and Bruce Patnaude

This stunning piece from Gallery 3025 contributors Bruce Patnaude and Jayden Morris depicts a Marauder taking part in some combined arms combat with unmounted infantry in a swamp. Perhaps this is the Eridani Light Horse on Huntress in the very middle of eliminating the Smoke Jaguar Clan. Or maybe they’re just on a nameless rock in the deep periphery fighting for the highest bidder. Either way, this is just another example of why Gallery 3025 deserves your support.

Some Say Kerensky Never Smiled Again After The Civil War

People tend to focus on the ‘Mechs in BattleTech, as they rightly should, but let’s not entirely forget the people. It doesn’t get more iconic than Alekandr Kerensky taking down the Amaris Empire in his Orion. I suspect he maintained that exact expression for the two decades it took him, too. 

More Art, But Faster This Time

My best so far.
by u/meltdonw14 in battletech

This thing is already pushing 3,500 words, and I just don’t have the space to give every artist their due, so we’re going to speedrun through the rest of ‘em. Meltdonw14, you got two great pieces this month--keep up the good work. Matt Plog gives us this phenomenal Guillotine IIC, one of my favorite weird-ass ‘Mechs. I know this is mostly a trace and recolor of the Recognition Guide redesign, but I don’t care, this is a great Griffin. And Michael Long provides us with a hot-wheels take on the classic Timber Wolf from his MechWarrior 5 mod. 

BattleMercs, The Crescent Hawks-Like Fan Game, Releases Into Open Beta

BattleMercs Beta | New Missions, New Sprites, and More!
Watch this video on YouTube.

You might recall Battle Mercs, the Crescent Hawks’ Inception-like game coming from a die-hard fan? Gaming Jay has informed me that Battle Mercs has just released into open beta, meaning everyone can download the game to give it a try. 

Jay tells me this is the most stable version of the game yet, and the most recent patch notes reveal a whole bunch of improvements, from long-term campaign-style missions to DropShip animations to the inclusion of vehicles like the Pegasus, Galleon, and even the Rommel

The neat part about Battle Mercs is that the game has been made with modding in mind. Jay has hosted a few livestreams where he basically provides a tutorial on how to make your own maps and missions. As we discussed in our previous interview, the dream is for Jay to make the tech and for someone else to come along and create a massive story-based campaign along the same lines as the Crescent Hawks games.

That’s not me, though. I don’t have the patience to learn how to do any amount of coding, and besides, I’m playing through the new Rise of Rasalhague DLC in MechWarrior 5. But that could be you! So if it is, head on over to the Battle Mercs Discord to learn more and to download the beta client. You’ll also be able to download Battle Mercs directly from Sarna at some point, but we’re still getting that worked out. I’ll be sure to get that posted next month once the link goes live. 

By Blake’s holy word, we made it. January kicks off 2023 with a bang, and we’re not even at the Mercenaries Kickstarter yet. Join us next month when I hopefully don’t have to pull an all-nighter just to get this thing out before February ends.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy. 

stay syrupy

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105 thoughts on “Your BattleTech News Roundup For January, 2023

  1. DiggeryK

    “Bullock said that this new MechWarrior game will build on the technology already created in MechWarrior 5, […] from procedurally-generated maps to the co-op gameplay mechanics”

    So it’s going to ALSO be pretty bad. Campaign better be spectacular then.

  2. Mainbrace

    Sean, in regards to the criticism of Battletech being “Woke”. Woke has become one of those words that has lost all meaning due to overuse and misuse. Woke no longer means “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination” because many individuals who claim to be “woke” are in fact quite bigoted, self absorbed and quite frankly, complete idiots. Calling yourself Woke is just asking to be compared to these people.

    People don’t criticize products for containing LGBTQ or racial equality themes, they criticize those products for focusing on those things and completely disregarding everything else, such as characters with actual personalities and morals, or coherent world building and storytelling. When people complain about this in particular they are unjustly attacked, called bigots and ‘phobes, then leave the community as a result. This is why many companies claiming to support the “woke” have indeed gone broke.

    Do you want to know why people react badly when some deemed “offensive” is removed? Because it sets a bad precedent. Just because an attention seeking twitter dweller thinks something is offensive does not mean the entire community does and what is acceptable today could be considered offensive tomorrow. If history is anything to go by (see the Hay’s code) the end result of this will be period of cultural stagnation then correction and ultimately back to the staus quo.

    Yes, Battletech has always been diverse in terms of race and sexuality, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but it has never sought to hold that diversity up on a moral pedestal and screamed incomprehensibly at people who disagree with it.

    1. Ryan

      Preach it. I agree with everything you said except I don’t want sexuality any where near Battletech. I want big stompy mechs without that stuff. What ever you do in the bedroom is YOUR business and I have zero desire to hear about it.

      1. Cupcake

        Gay people EXISTING is not incompatible with battletech. This is like saying “its fine to have BLACK people but i don’ want to see them.” It’s nonsense. Get over yourself. Gay and trans people exist, and having them mentioned isn’t somehow an insult to you. There are straight sex scenes in every other battletech novel but you’d lose your mind at two men kissing?

        1. CS

          We lose our minds when it comes across as a blatant lecture. I’m bi, I can’t stand most of the rest of the LGBTQI “community” anymore aside from a couple friends I know.

      2. Outlaw

        Sexuality has always been in Battletech, if you don’t want your virgin eyes offended DONT read the Blood of Kerensky series lol. That said it has been predominantly heterosexual, which all the Anti-wokers seem to care less about. But yeah the promiscuity of the Clanners and their casual approach to sexuality would be enough to get Battletech books banned by religious groups.

        1. Crazy J

          And I am pretty sure that a Clan Laborer really appreciates that those higher up the totem pole of caste hierarchy can have fun with their genitals.

      3. Detocroix

        Lots of sexuality in Battletech, lol, and *always* have been, but I guess you meant more like you don’t want to see anything but STRAIGHT sexuality in it because oh my did Founding of the Clans have some steamy as heck sex scene between Andery and Dana, and that’s almost two decades old by now.

        1. Pht

          What sex there has been in BT has been negative for the setting and it is not what the setting is about. Ditto gender theory and anything derived from it. It is not a good thing for the setting and that entire movement is intentionally divisive and and inquisitorial and *heavily* involved in the worst politics has to offfer and impacts people’s lives meaningfully in bad ways.

          The open and crass (and campy) portrayal sex devalues it and makes it into nothing more than just another trick people use to get clicks or push their politics. That has no legitimate place anywhere, much less BT. It is an intensely personal and private act and we have made it a public farce.

          Using a setting about giant stompy robots to advocate for sexual politics is demented and is functionally bait and switch.

    2. Trevor

      Cheers! I don’t care about your politics/religion etc. BattleTech is escapism. I don’t need reality creeping into my escapism and SyFy/Fantasy roleplaying.

    3. Outlaw

      Honestly I don’t remember anyone screaming about it from CGL, all the screaming I heard were from the people either defending the decision or denouncing the decision. The post from CGL came across as oh BTW we are not comfortable with one of our tanks being named after a Nazi Officer so we are going to just refer to it as a variant of the Patton.

    4. Brian

      honestly I find woke is mostly used by right wingers online to describe anything that focused on characters whom are non-hetrosexual non-white non-males as woke. And they’re really the issues.

    1. Confused in New Avalon

      A bit disingenious to use the Rommel as proof it “wasn’t woke”.. being as the common understanding at the time (and one that the people gnashing over it’s not being used going forward still cling to) was that Rommel was the “good” German. nLiekwise the basis of Liao, while indeed stereotypes, were also again, pretty much the commonly accepted beliefs and views of the era.

      House Kurita’s trappings, for instance were pretty blatantly stolen from the novel Shogun, which at the time was very well regarded, and while the Yellow Scare may indeed have played into some of the choises for Liao, we don’t see the usual tropes being pushed, in fact much of the writing did push back on them. But the 80s were a different time with a differnet lens of “right and wrong”, socially, and no internet and social media outrage to help correct people (or cause more problems).

      Also the Clans.. Egalitarian? Bro. Do you even? Full on, Military based society with a carved in stone Caste system where the lower castes often have zero rights or representation? How the heck is that Egalitarian?

      Making mistakes in the past, working with what is commonly accepted at the time, is not “proof of antiwoke” or whatever silliness we want to label it. It’s when the probalems with something are brought to light and we STILL refuse to acknowlge them, that the problem arises. The fact there are people of any demographic who cling to past wrong understandings, or even intentional misinformation (such as NATO very much used with Rommel for Cold War purposes) is most certainly a bigger issue that realizing maybe something isn’t as kosher as we grew up believing, and having the character to make the change.

    2. Detocroix

      Battletech is for everyone, and *everyone* just happens to cover this whole planet, not just USA.

    3. derek

      yeah just follow what BLP is doing you will find a much better game and some much better books than anything these woke losers could produce. In all watch the money dry up slowly and surely as the people they pander too do not buy their crap.

  3. Dog of War

    The idea that the clans are supposed to be an ‘egalitarian society’ is one of the most potato claims I’ve yet see on this web-page. The clans are an a deeply authoritarian caste base society. Functionally no property rights, little to no social mobility between castes, and some of them care even less about civilian casualties that a lot of I.S. factions. Hell, the clans even went so as to forcible sterilizing the civilian castes of clan wolverine after they lost their trial of annihilation.

    1. Roi

      I’m sorry, but the idea that ‘things got a lot better’ for the setting in terms of wokeness with the introduction of the Clans just makes me laugh. Have we forgotten that the Clans openly practice eugenics and chattel slavery? To what possible degree is the Clan scientist caste tolerant of disability or mental health in selecting the best warrior genes? In what way is a society wherein the strongest fighters rule ‘egalitarian’?

      As has been pointed out above, ‘woke’ no longer means ‘alert to racial prejudice and discrimination’ (if it ever did), but is now associated with a type of toxic individual who endlessly agitates for changes to established lore and setting until the correspond with that individual’s particular real-world political views. To say that ‘BattleTech has always been woke’ speaks to a pretty fundamental misunderstanding of the term.

      P.S. House Steiner has been pretty ethnically defined throughout canon as well, or do they not count?

    2. Trevor

      The Clans represent the worst of human society, its brutal, immoral and destroys the best parts of humanity. Their culture would be loved by the worst governments and societies this world has ever produced.

      1. Epimetrius

        I’ve always seen the clans as the “good ideas implemented badly” and as the galactic extreme of great-man-history. But yeah, the clans being “woke” is in fact a “broke” mindset. As for the “worst” governments? A little extreme. Like I said good ideas implemented badly. A meritocracy? Nice. Merits based on genetic engineering? Yikes. Attempting to recreate a bette time? Nice. Believing that others must be “put in their place” to achieve it? Oof.

    3. Outlaw

      Yeah this line of thought was a head scratcher for me too. The only Clan that I could think of is that comes even close to egalitarian would be Diamond Shark/Sea Fox as their caste structure isn’t nearly as rigid. That said Egalitarianism has nothing to do with personal personal property rights, as it is a social ideology where everyone is basically viewed as equal and the resources of the state are divided equally amongst it’s subjects with either personal ownership of property as in socialism or total control of property by the state as in communism.

    4. Mister Hammish

      The fact that the Wolverines were exterminated in the first place is an even better example, IMO. McEvedy did actually strive for some equality/egalitarianism by allowing people to jump around between castes and treating them all as important, it kickstarted them to the next level in terms of productivity and ingenuity, and Psycho Nic made an example out of ’em. I suppose it was ‘nice’ of him to at least confess the real reason to her, though.

      I do think in this case it was just a poor choice of words on the author’s part, though. The Clans -do- adhere to some precepts of egalitarianism like lack of sexism or racism, which is great (and why they’ve made it as far as they have IMO); they just fall short on the follow-through and find entirely new reasons to marginalize a good portion of their populations, aha.

      1. JustSomeGuy

        I mean, racism can be defined as discrimination against racial or ethnic groups. Ethnic groups are based on ashared attributes that distinguish one specific group from others. Your skin colour may not matter much but your lineage does. Freebirth are simply inferior in every way to the Trueborn. Clan Jaguar culled all of the Mongoose genetic legacies thinking them unfit to use for Jaguar warriors. Then there’s the stories covering warriors of inferior legacies, eg after Liam Howell was disgraced all of his children were discriminated against as being tainted by Clan Raven.

        So yeah, the Clans are pretty racist.

    5. Patrick Rich

      The only clan I can think of that could be legit called “egalitarian” would be the Wolverines, and they were scapegoated and annihilated for it. Maybe the Ghost Bears, Diamond Sharks/Sea Foxes and post Nicky, pre-schism Wolves if you’re stretch the term, but good god, most of the others are rigid authoritarians of the worst kind. hell, the Smoke Jaguars were notorious for despising their lower castes to the point they were more like slave labor than actual members of the clan, and don’t even get me started on the Soy Vipers, who in true woke fashion, believed the predominantly freeborn Inner Sphere would unify behind them, never mind they hated freeborns more than most, and when that didn’t happen, they became the catalyst for a gruesome Clan Civil War. (Yes, they were hypocrisy and double-think incarnate.) Not even my own Jade Falcons get a pass, as they are still just as pro-eugenics as the rest, and as shown in the Jade Phoenix Trilogy, that they actively put hurdles in the way of Freeborn candidates, and their training is shown to be somehow of a lower standard and yet more difficult than what Trueborns recieve. That’s as far from egalitarian as you can get.

  4. Lake

    Every company that went woke attack their costumers, create products for the woke activists, woke will never buy their products for the social cause, and destory their own franchise for the global audience with attack diversity, freedom, and individuality.

      1. Lake

        I will give links about what I’m talking about and you can tell me companies that goes w@ke do not attack fans, employees, and customers.

      2. Lake

        Saint Row remake (, Velma (, last of us part 2 (, limited run games (
        , Amazon rings of power (, that women king movie that lied about history (, star wars the Disney trilogy (, Coke (, netflix she-ra (, d&d ( with ( plus (, avatar 2 (, and she hulk attacking fans (
        This is just a small amount of times this happens and this will become battletech in the future by becoming woke with this video about d&d (

        1. Brian

          You seem to be confusing “crap products” with “go woke”

          BTW saint’s row wasn’t any more woke then the originals. you do realize the original saint’s row had a diverse cast of individuals and often bashed “the man” too right?

          1. Lake

            Saint Row remake you can’t shoot a store clerk like in the rest of the past 3 games plus developers said it themselves. Am I suppose to question the creators themselves when the game about woke college students creating an utopia with no bigots. Angry joe show how bad and woke the remake is with the soy milk song and his review, and other videos show how woke Saint Row remake is. If you refuse to look them up; I can’t fix that.

          2. Outworlder

            “diverse cast of”
            are you under the mistaken assumption that having something just include different races is what makes it woke?
            or are you unable to spot legitimate differences in style and design between saints row 1, 2 and the new one?
            nobody is going to say the 1960s zulu film was woke. lots of native African actors there.
            the definition used by Sean is effectively being woke = intersectionality.
            I don’t like how people are either so deceitful or wilfully ignorant of what people mean by woke, it’s like you believe your own propaganda on that matter.

            “the man” is an interesting way to say millennial socialist bellyaching about capitalism and corporate culture from a bay area perspective. This isn’t like listening to Jamaican expats or people from say the projects or even fucking jimmy jo bob, who works as a Labourer and can barely afford rent because his body is broken from years of moving dirt. this is an upper class tech-corperate perspective, the most posh, coddled people in the world.
            It’s been a while but i don’t remember saints row originally spending all of that time going on about capitalism. if that’s the issue i’m sure i could find another example.

            Yeah it is weird why a lot of really really bad products flirt with interesectionalism. if you disagree that ideology has a negative effect on the writing that’s fine, i propose that then they’re going woke because they have a stinker and want to take advantage of YOU the leftist and the arguments it will cause by negatively effecting people like me who are neutral or right wing fans. when you do that, you burn your audience down for short term gain. same thing if they went fucking full maga.
            it is unsustainable and a very bad way to treat a community that has existed for 30 years by sheer love of the setting despite the death of fasa

          3. Hawk

            “crap products”

            Ah, yes, Star Wars, such a crap product. Definitely wasn’t a juggernaut of merchandising and sales that made billions, but which steadily started losing money with the Sequel Trilogy and the steady influence of more modern political issues into escapist entertainment.

            The same with their parent company of Disney. Definitely not a titan of money-making. Definitely not one of the most financially successful corporations. Definitely didn’t start hemorrhaging money and losing sales when they started publicly insisting that anyone who disagreed with shoe-horning modern political issues into children’s content was clearly an evil Right-Winger.

            Amazon’s digital content has broadly been a success, though not perfect. The Boys, Reacher, Jack Ryan, Bosch, Wheel of Time.

            Add in Lord of the Rings, aka the codifier of modern fantasy, which had a huge resurgence in the 2000’s with the movies that were twice the highest grossing movies of their year, and which remains the 5th highest grossing movie franchise of all time (going MCU, Star Wars, Harry Potter, James Bond, then LOTR).

            So how on earth could that be a crap product? It wasn’t. The base product was highly good.

            Of course, it did become a crap product by telling the Fans that sticking to the product they loved and enjoyed was less important than caring about the values of a small portion of the 2020’s population. Most people aren’t political, neither left-wing or right-wing. They just want some entertainment.

            There’s a vast amount of things that could be said about the “go woke go broke” saying, but pretending it was because they were crap products in the first place doesn’t explain it.

  5. Lake

    companies problems with w@keness is them attacking their costumers, attacking core audience, creating products for w@ke activists, w@ke buying no products for their social cause, and chasing a global audience while condemning freedom, individuality, and diversity.

    1. JustSomeGuy

      Also just providing terrible writing. The biggest knock most comicbook fans have against Marvel and DC is that their quality is crap now, and manga is taking off. In a perverse way if Battletech follows the footsteps of Marvel, Robotech might become more popular. I shudder at the thought.

      Hopefully Gundam keeps going forward with its more realistic bent so they can win instead.

      1. CS

        Witch of Mercury seems like what Stackpole WISHES modern Battletech was. And it’s not so dumb and preachy.

  6. JackRackham

    Sean, I’ve noticed for a while that your “opinionated writing” drives most of the discussion in the comments. I’ve no doubt that these new editorial columns will continue to bring in the majority of comments. I admire your willingness to keep engaging, I can only imagine it must be quite tiring at times.

    Anyway, this idea for a new column seems like a good way to keep providing that content for all the people who enjoy it. Cheers!

  7. Detocroix

    About the opinion piece;
    ” A certain tank that will no longer be reprinted seems evidence to the contrary.”

    Is slightly incorrect. The Certain-Tank appeared in one of the newest IlClan TORs, it still exists in lore, it is still available to purchase as a model from IWM, it just doesn’t get new versions for IlClan moving forward like A LOT OF THINGS in BT, it doesn’t necessarily exist throughout the whole history and future of the series. Where is the outrage for all the other units missing Dark Ages/IlClan? Or is the problem only that people wanted their certain biome and animal reference? :P

    But about woke in general, as this topic was brought up; Woke is not defineable by anything but right wing / conservative cry out because they can no longer be racist, homophobic, misogynic, etc, without being shunned from the greater community.

    For some franchises, apparently, having a female character in is woke, having people of color is woke, having lore recognize non-able bodied people exist is woke, having anything between men or women is woke, having a non-male lead/support character is woke, etc, it goes on and on and on based on what triggered them the last time.

    Battletech has all of these, and has always had or at least has had for vast majority of its lifetime, hence the saying it has always been woke.

    It is much like Star Trek in that regard.

    1. Lake

      In other words if you not woke; you not welcome to enjoy that product nor allow to play and read the content in peace until you conform to the cause. It funny such a welcoming policy and the belief everyone can accept each other result in no one having the rights if they from right with the belief in the constitution, people part of battletech community for years, and people played mechwarrior 2, 3, 1, 4, 5 with battletech disagreeing with the woke and their ideals. Also everyone has the right to enjoy battletech and no one should be able to strip them of their rights or deny their own enjoyment; something the woke support over the here in the article.
      “BattleTech has always been woke” following a post from Catalyst outlining the success BattleTech has achieved in recent years which counters the right-wing battle cry of “go woke, go broke.” it just point out in a statement to supporting the woke they reject the people on the right who love battletech while preaching acceptance for all.

      1. Lake

        Plus in battletech there are cat girls and cybernetic implants existing within the franchise. Why with so many different people and cultures in space, it need to become more diverse and receive changes in order to be welcoming for other people and allow for the franchise to embrace diversity?

  8. Nod114

    Regardless of where you stand on the matter proclaiming something as woke has done nothing but damage pre existing franchises. Battletech pre dates the inception of “wokeness”.

    The minute you shrink a character down to just a sexual identity that character looses all interest.

    For example:
    Ripley from Alien was only made a female after casting choices.

    1. Nod114

      examples of “wokeness”
      the comic book industry
      star wars (disney)
      magic the gathering
      all of which have fallen from grace or are still plummeting deeper into the abyss and stagnating fandoms in the process

  9. The Postman

    It’s really reassuring to hear that BT has diverse stories, because those are the kinds of people I surround myself with, and so I can point them to characters they identify with, in order to attract them to the hobby. (Or at least convince them to play a game) Identifiable characters can be a real drawing point for some. So if we want people to come to our hobby, we need to remember that different people like different things. I love aerospace units, other people might love reading stories about someone just like them. As long as there’s quality content (As quality as ASF rules are) that can appeal to all interests, that’s all that matters in the end.

    1. Sean Post author

      So my usual rules for comments are simply “no attacks,” but this is the first time I feel the need to step in to counter a blatant falsehood.

      The vast majority of criticism levied at OGL1.1 was D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast attempting a cash grab from the D&D secondary market while simultaneously hindering rival efforts in the tabletop gaming space. Wizards offered the thin excuse of requiring copyright power over all D&D publications in order to prevent harmful content from being published, but the discourse surrounding these changes rarely mentions harmful content. It was mostly about money.

      1. Lake

        In the OGL

        We know this may come off strong, but this is inportant:If you attempt to use the OGL as a basis to release blatantly racist, sexist, homphobic, trans-phobic, bigoted, or otherwise discriminatory content, or do anything We think triggers these provisions, Your content is no longer licensed. To be clear, We want to, and will always, support creators who are using the OGL to help explore sensitivel subjects in a positive manner, but We will not tolerate materials We consider to be in any counter to the spirit of D&D.

        1. JustSomeGuy

          So gatekeeping, which a lot of woke content creators try and do. Monetization is likely the justification they use to try and push these cultural changes. I doubt it is the other way around like Sean is claiming, since in the end they’re going to lose a lot more money than gain.

          1. ThisIsHardForYouIsn'tIt?

            Obviously you haven’t been paying attention to the D&D crowd. As he said, the vast majority of us were upset by their pulling the rug out from people making products under the assumption that the OGL was irrevocable.

            You could learn this for yourself by participating in or viewing those very public discussions. Or, as you’ve chosen to currently, just immediately assume the answer that makes you feel morally superior. Even when it’s factually wrong.

          2. Lake

            You describe the ogl 1.1 have nothing to do with wokeness; but while saying d&d customers are perfectly fine with the woke content and p!ssed about the cash grab. You lie and spit on the fans by ignoring what in the ogl and what direction wizards of the west coast been doing over past couple of years. The higher ups push this under the radar with the right to decide who get to keep content based on money or political party in reality. If you right wing or do not conform to the correct thinking; you lose all rights to content even if it is homebrew games. The president probably believes she can do this again because hasbo cave in and gave WotwC leadership over the company for ogl 1.1. One little nugget is she thinks if it involves intersectionality she obtain power to screw over customers by gaining the support of the left that hates D&D with the playbase.

            D&D start to change when the orcs race is painted as Black Americans with accusations that the players is racist for killing or playing as orcs. Fans who defend orcs were label racist and D&D change the civilization of orcs to suit these people. Then it became the dark elf race are black people; they said they got rid civilization of all races and people can be happy by imagining the culture of all the races. The spell monkey people who use to be slaves of spellcasters was point out to be black slaves for their history. Wizards came out and apologized again saying they will rewrite the history of the monkey race. Now history of the races is taken out the game with all of races being demoted to species and a push to remove gameplay A.K.A. fighting from the tabletop. The reason why is people who refuse to buy D&D demand change in the game with the races in it being  offensive for the same people to see human race along side orcs, elves, and lizards in a game. The single idea of human being a race in the game and equal to others races instead of being describing separate species for everyone to feel better like dividing people by skin like this white fairy species and this is blue goblin species is offensive to people changing D&D and Wizards put the woke enforcement into the OGL 1.1 to remove people who don’t conform to the idea of humans and playable races being different from monsters.  (

            P.S. I surprise people will refuse to address this in D&D but say they okay with this. They just watch what they call a none issue kill their franchise while bashing any one else showing it or mention it period. That why this is long and it is important about the woke enforcement in the ogl 1.1. It could just be part of ogl 1.0b in the future.

        2. Captain Obvious

          This excerpt was not at all what broke the fanbase here, Lake, and you trying to claim that it is really doesn’t paint you in a good light.

          I’ve been following the OGL issue fairly closely and the decryers were not at all upset about not being able to be racist, sexist, or otherwise bigoted in their materials and they were ALL about the attempt at control and money-grabbing.

          1. Lake

            It funny people ignore the fact if you offend someone with your content with a protagonist skin, species, or homebrew game then wizards has the right to take away your creation and remove your right to play; promising people they supporting and defending the game in order to save it. It inside the ogl 1.1 with it allowing them profit off the offensive content and correct it for an audience to sale as enlighten content. It can be strip from anyone regardless if it in the past, present and future with all creations and profits going to wizards of the coast to show strong success to their ideology alongside the content they been removing and pushing on to their player base. You should be happy wizards failed to accomplish this goal or no one might be able publicly play homebrew ever again without threats of lawsuist or bans.

      2. landadmiralquercus

        Sean, I mostly agree with your political views, but I don’t think you should put them in your articles.
        Battletech is a form of escapism, and I don’t like real-world politics of any kind in it.

        1. SuckItUp

          I think they should continue to be a part of his articles when he feels it meaningfully adds to the content. I’d rather read what someone actually wants to say then have them censor themselves to cater to people like you, who feel the need to dictate when and where someone is allowed to voice their opinion so that your feelings aren’t hurt.

          1. aRescueToaster

            The problem, at least as I see it, is not self-censorship. It’s a question of it’s an effective use of this space that one would hope should be primarily about Battletech / MechWarrior rather than about issues that real humans face.

            Personally, I’d say it’s NOT an effective use of this space. The topics would be much more effective and people would be more responsive if they were brought up in places where people are willing to have those conversations.

            For instance, if I start to talk about topics that I have more than just an opinion oh (IE: that I have expertise in), such as people (and particularly children) having a cell phone and are always connected to the internet, and all of the issues with having that, I likely won’t catch the interest of many people here. And many might even feel that I’m being preachy and ignore me. Some might even deny what I say simply because they aren’t open to that conversation at the moment.

            Also, there are issues where this may push specific groups of people away and will curate a group of people who will have the same beliefs, and I shouldn’t have to say that that’s not a healthy environment.

      3. Galv

        For once I agree. as a conservative my pop my told me this.
        “Follow the Money”.

    2. Nod114

      Very true
      Ultimately it’s just sad
      Thankfully the art of the home brew shall remain alive and well in regards to D&D. WOTC has gone the way of GW and chose greed above its fan base.

  10. Phyzz

    I would say BattleTech, in the 80’s was progressive, within the limits that it was the 80’s and it was being developed by a bunch of fellow white guys.

    You’ve got several factions where gender equality is strong (lots of female mechwarriors, faction leaders) and even the factions the do not “allow” women leaders, they get in through coups or regencies etc. But you’ve also go striperific artwork with the excuse of “mech run hot” and somehow the men look dorky and the women are sexy. Recently the artwork is a little more balanced and everyone mostly just look cool.

    You’ve got pretty much every race and culture spread all over the Inner Sphere. But each faction’s leading family is coded with a real life culture and at the start the “gooder” factions are the ones associated with European cultures, and the “badder” factions are associated with Asian cultures. However even by 3050 we’re seeing more stories of eg the Draconis Combine is both honourable and has elements that want reform. And again the artwork especially recently has all sorts of real life races scattered all over the place for all factions, good/bad etc.

    TLDR: BattleTech started progressive for the time, but with some hangups; was stagnant and got passed by society at large, and is now catching up.

  11. Eric

    Battletech is not woke, never has been. What it was, was a game set in a fictional universe. That was it. Where you had groups fighting each other. No one put any real-world politics on anything until recently. When new players joined the game and wanted things changed, OR existing fans felt that their views on current issues needed to somehow be reflected in the game or else.

    The idea that the name of a tank, the Rommel, is going to cause some to have a melt is pure silliness, but it shows how insane the logic of those who are defending woke thinking are. It’s a tank in a game set in a fictional universe. Stackpole is not a great example of anything. The man has insulted fans many times and has bashed the company (FASA) over late payments many times in the past. He even had his ranting about that on his website during the 90s. But now all is forgiven because he is jumping on a bandwagon just as CGL did when it was trendy to do.

    The fact that fans are allowing new players to ruin this game along with the company (and parent companies) more worried about upsetting the ones who will be moving on to the new trend the second they get bored with this, shows a large disconnect. Now I am sure we will hear how this is all older fans verse new fans and gate keeping, you know all the normal things thrown up to defend the current stance. If putting woke stuff in is being done because it’s trend then why bother? Does it add to the story? Does it make th game beter? Does it sell more miniatures? Does it get more novels sold? Or is it being done just to keep a small group quite?

    1. Lake

      The idea is to enter a state of infinite growth for companies, then they start attack their paying customers, and end up dying because it resulting in no audience paying for their content like games, books, and shows. Take Velma, Netflix, and Saint Row remake. Saint Row actually told people not buy the game if you like the old games or not willing to be accepting, welcoming, or for a social resulting in critical failure. You can even see the creators saying how toxic players, white people, and straight people are. Then they come out after the release and said the same thing while begging people to buy it. You can look up videos about this right now if you want to.

    2. CS

      The problem isn’t whether Battletech is woke, the problem I’m tired out out-of-touch celebrities talking down to me like everything would be perfect if everyone just listened to them, it’s just those darn ignorant right-wingers not getting with the program. Yes, I have no will and experiences of my own and I’m just a remote-controlled robot sheep.

      Get real, Stackpole. Stick to writing because there’s a reason nobody nominates you to actually run this country.

  12. MiaFillene

    I still think the Rommel should remain as it is. I mean, canceling because of a name, of one of the few tactical geniuses in armored history we have? Oh, the Nazi part ties are an issue? Then why not ban anything and everything related to Word of Blake? Who committed genocide on an epic level in game? Or maybe Kurita for Kentates IV? Or Regulus for Gibson, And a few other destroyed planets? Oh? Because of the real word ramifications of name associated with real world tragedies and travesty? Well, ideas can be just as powerful as reality. After all, Mein Kampf was just a book with some ideas too…

    1. Confused in New Avalon

      a truly impressive number of strawman arguments, fallacious reasoning and patently disproved ideas/myths. Bravo?

    2. Come on guy

      “Oh, the Nazi part ties are an issue?”
      …yes, is this hard for you?

      “Then why not ban anything and everything related to Word of Blake?”
      …they’re fictional, genius.

    3. Diplomat

      Not the best reasons to justify your arguement. Though I do think changing the name is a bit much, it is not as if they named it Adolf or Pol Pot, Rommel makes sense at least. Also wasn’t Rommel ordered to die by Hitler/Nazi party due to his eventual failure? There are even books called “El Almien – A War Without Hate” for that theatre of war. I would say that the equivalent of shogunate/Imperial Japan existing in this setting is more offensive as they consistently “mistreated” both civillians and POWs. I guess it is just the name of a tank this is about, so it isn’t a big deal. Especially since Rommel was stopped in his tracks by a random Australian (Siege of Tobruk). ;)

  13. JustSomeGuy

    “Woke” became a pejorative since the people most “awake” to the influences and effects of racism are generally the most racist people you’ll ever have the pleasure of deal with. Are you black but don’t think in line with the “black community?” Expect a lot of racist slurs incoming from the woke, many of which are white. That’s while proclaiming every white person is secretly racist and spending their time trying to destroy said whiteness.

    It’s a political and social movement that a lot of people see right through, and it’s becoming more and more transparent as time goes on, thank God. Default Left-leaning people who haven’t paid attention to the last decade can get away still thinking that they’re right working to protect the underdog, but the “woke” groups own a lot of the mainstream now and are doing more harm than good. People looking for alternatives are moving to places like BT and they don’t want the “Woke” influence following them in. I don’t really care about your politics in the real world, I care whether or not you’re a filthy Capellan (like me). BT was always political, but it was political in its own world, inoculating content with the current day message is not something I agree with.

    Battletech was never “woke,” because it honestly tackled racism and told good stories with good characters without trying to pander to an ideology. Characters could be racist and could be flowed. It didn’t try to end racism with racism, nor did it worry about having enough representation of minorities to spread the message. Nor did said representative characters have to be perfect warriors for the cause, written by someone of the correct skin colour and orientation (I don’t think, if I’m wrong on this please tell me). Unfortunately our current culture is moving back to segregation and supremacist thinking along with a weird mix of socialism, and I’m very much opposed to it in the real world as well as the Inner Sphere. I mean I oppose the Clans, after all.

    Woke is racism with good publicity. The sooner we all realize this the better off we’ll be.

    1. Lake

      I seen this happen to many companies over the course of five years and it exactly true in regard to discriminating against people with a special sense of morality. It can be costumers, fans, creators, or employees receiving decimation by woke companies with any challenge against them being written off as racism. The only way to stop them is by boycotting the company or products then the woke start moving to another company; restarting the effort while slowing destroying the previous company in to disrepair.

  14. JustSomeGuy

    Regarding the BPL hack, I’m fairly certain it wasn’t Tesla bros who did it. The livestream I believe was an old Tesla motors meeting (at least from what I watched it looked old), but included a QR code banner on the bottom. I didn’t scan it, but I suspect it was a scam or attack vector that was attempting to use Tesla and Musk to get more views.

    1. concerned citizen

      OH it’s not tesla,
      A whole wack of channels have been hacked by crypto scammers, tesla is the newest face they put on it to give them credibility.

  15. Armando C.

    “Battletech has always been woke”
    “Let’s get rid of one of our original writers, retcon some of the units’ names that offend us and shit-talk on one of the major powers in the setting”

    Lol. Liberals always crack me up.

    1. Brian

      Does anyone really MISS Smithson’s Chinese Bandits?
      Also there’s a lot more to Pardoe then he’s telling, apparently he’d become impossiable to work with, arguing constantly everytime the fact checkers did their job.

      BTW What major power was shit talked?

      1. Lake

        It in this wiki saying the very same thing in the news section and on wiki with the stalker bio. If I can look it up and you won’t then why believe it so difficult to look up the information you object against.

  16. Lake

    Do people remember this
    Your BattleTech News Roundup For August, 2022


    August has been blissfully warm. Which is nice, since renovations have been a months-long string of disasters that have left me a husk of a man. The situation has convinced that perhaps the best life path for me is to actually quit writing entirely to focus on learning how to build kitchen cabinets and standing showers without having to pay anyone else.

    While I contemplate the many wrong life choices that have brought me here, I will at least provide you all with your BattleTech news for August.

    Catalyst Cuts Ties With Long-Time Author, Blaine Lee Pardoe
    Is this the author who fired by an woke activist’s complaints that threaten to kill him and the same company that fire him for voting Trump in the last presidential election despite making novels the last two decades?

  17. NameIsNotImportant

    “Things got a lot better with the introduction of the Clans, with its egalitarian society that cared little for race or gender, only whether you were born in a test tube with combat-capable genes. And the problematic similarities between the freebirth/trueborn argument and racist ideology steeped in geneticism get addressed in books like Freebirth and characters like Phelan Kell and Alaric Ward (although Alaric has his own problems, that’s a topic for another editorial).”

    “believing that all people are equally important and should have the same rights and opportunities in life”
    -EGALITARIAN | English meaning – Cambridge Dictionary

    “The Clan system of justice heavily favors the warrior caste, not least because they largely staff it. The military police are a little-known warrior subcaste, almost exclusively composed of test-downs and freebirths, and are poorly regarded by mainstream warriors.”
    -Clans – BattleTechWiki

    1. JustSomeGuy


      I do find it funny seeing a eugenic police state being considered woke and egalitarian. It does fit with the end result they’re going for.

  18. Avery Ray Colter

    It will always be a “yes and no” question as to how “woke” the Battletech universe is. Only being at the shallow level admittedly on the lore, the Inner Sphere houses are European, Chinese and Japanese. South Asian, Latinx/Native American, and especially African major influences are rarely seen, and the only Arabic name which stands out is TUKAYYID. And even that seems chronically mispronounced, TooKEEid, really LOL!

    1. Eric Salzman

      A vast variety of ethnicities and cultures have been represented over the years, as succeeding waves of colonists carved out niches among the 3,000+ colonized systems of the Inner Sphere. (2,000+ as of 3025). Just off the top of my head:

      South Asian – there was an independent interstellar nation state – the United Hindu Collective – that became part of the Federated Suns. The Lyran Commonwealth has several worlds settled by South Asians, including New India. The major FWL member state of Regulus has a South Asian culture, as does the independent FWL world of Kyeinnisan – the Gambler’s World.

      There are several notable worlds settled by Latin American emigres, and a few notably colonized by Native American groups – particularly the so-called “Southwestern” worlds in the FWL. Kabah (featured in Steve Mohan’s “Superior” BattleCorps story) has a distinctly…going from memory here…Mayan culture.

      African – well, aside from New Capetown (basically “South Africa…in…spaaaace”), there’s also Xhosa VII, and the Magistracy of Canopus takes pride on its ruling house’s African descent.

      Arabic cultures were noted early on as having held back from the first few waves of the exodus, but they’re present. The Azami culture is a well-established subgroup in the Draconis Combine that enjoys significant autonomy and holds sway over at least a dozen worlds.

  19. M. Jared Swenson

    The editorial bit was pure cringe. I outright reject the premise that battletech was always woke. It’s stupid virtue signaling and gaslighting to claim it was, and to compare that to modern day wokeness.

  20. Bort

    Watching Sarna turn into the next Wookiepedia has been fun to watch. Turning a wiki into a private political commentary blog is always a dumpster fire and who doesn’t like to watch a good dumpster fire? Cutting out sex would probably be for the best in BT as it’s so clearly divisive. We get it, CGL, you love to virtue signal. You’re superior in your rate of acceptance and love to pillory anybody who disagrees with your editorial agenda. Well done. Can we just get some better metaplot and plausible character fiat, though, please?

  21. Igiveup****it...

    You miss the point entirely. But I am tired of trying to explain shit they will never seem, nor understand beyond the filter of their own warped political ideologies. It has to do with good stories, and so on and so forth. But the fact that you used the term “RIGHT WING BATTLECRY” when in reality, it is just a concerned fandom that has seen other fandoms go to shit, and don’t want the same to happen to Battletech, but at this point, I just don’t give a shit anymore, and throw up my arms in exasperation and say “AW Fuck it, what’s the point? Let em crash and burn.”

    Honestly, I don’t give a fuck anymore and the Antipathy has taken hold. Tired of fighting, and I just give up. Used to come here for Battletech related stuff, not to be preached to. SO as it stands now, I give up. Deleting this page from my favorites, and giving up a monthly habit of about the last ten years or so of coming by to check out battletech stuff. To bad, I used to enjoyit.

    1. Hawk

      “But the fact that you used the term “RIGHT WING BATTLECRY” when in reality, it is just a concerned fandom that has seen other fandoms go to shit,”

      This is absolutely the most fitting part of all of this.

      One of the biggest reasons people hate it when companies go “Woke” is that they take a vast group of fans and say “You’re either a Left-leaning person with us, or you’re an evil Right-leaning person against us.”

      Most people don’t care about politics! They didn’t like it when people crammed politics into the games in the 80’s with DnD or the 90’s with Doom or in the 2000’s with GTA!

      They didn’t push back against those things because the people saying them were Right-wingers, and they were defending Left-wing values. They pushed back against them because they were trying to make escapist fantasies into political cage matches where you were either With Them or Against Them.

      These days, the 2010’s and 2020’s thus far, the exact same pushback is happening, because Left-wingers are pushing into the space. Is that because gamers are fundamentally Right-Wing? No. It’s because gamers don’t want either side ruining their fun entertainment.

      It’s not Right or Left, it’s “Leave me alone!”

      1. Felix

        “Leave me alone” is a perfectly reasonable position to have, but the days when politics would leave you alone are over. If you don’t want your Battletech to end up like Rings of Power then you’d better speak out against it.

  22. Zera

    I’m HIGHLY skeptical of the claim that “By any metric, BattleTech is now more successful and more popular than ever before”, even if they’re talking about the tabletop game and not the brand on the whole. At the very least I’d like to know what metrics CGL are looking at because I remember just how huge Battletech was in the 90s.

    Discussing what’s “woke” in a vacuum seems pretty pointless because the word is at a point where its definition relies entirely on the context it was used in and the intention with which it was used for every individual occurrence. Trying to make any arguments without addressing this skirts on intellectual dishonesty. That said, I confess I see the term “woke” overwhelmingly used as a pejorative so seeing attempts to paint it as positive term kind of remind me of Randall “taking it back” in Clerks II.

    The effort to try and quarantine editorializing in its own section is a good first step and appreciated.

  23. Grog.

    Perhaps it seems good or necessary to comment on the stupid shit an author says on twitter. but you should refrain from doing so because you might say something like “it got a lot better when -” [battlestech introduced a literally Maoist inspired authoritarian group obsessed with genetic purity and eugenics, that just about anyone would call fascistic and insane] Yeah, I wouldn’t consider fascistic genetics to necessarily been an big improvement.
    Also using the old definition of woke is interesting but i think foolhardy. common use is short hand for “progressive” or rather the NEW new left movement. the fact we are dcisussing this is because that movement denies the existence of neutral spaces.
    Battletech is Battletech, it’s a game not an avenue for social activism and if you tell people like myself that we must pick a said, then frankly i’m not going to side with the people who insist that my every waking moment must be dedicated to their politics.

    1. Zera

      Comments like this are the kind that should get up-voted were this another open forum. Well said.

    2. JustSomeGuy

      Agreed and upvoted. I grew up with fairly hard Left-leaning political views and I’m still moderate Left. The only thing that pushed me Right was the last decade of BS.

  24. Diplomat

    Not the best reasons to justify your arguement. Though I do think changing the name is a bit much, it is not as if they named it Adolf or Pol Pot, Rommel makes sense at least. Also wasn’t Rommel ordered to die by Hitler/Nazi party due to his eventual failure? From what I know he wasn’t a tyrant, had respect from both his allies and enemies. There are even books called “El Almien – A War Without Hate” for that theatre of war. I would say that the equivalent of shogunate/Imperial Japan existing in this setting is more offensive as they consistently “mistreated” both civillians and POWs. I guess it is just the name of a tank this is about, so it isn’t a big deal. Especially since Rommel was stopped in his tracks by a random Australian (Siege of Tobruk). ;)

  25. Xt6wagon

    Eh, battletech lore is “woke” in that everyone is an asshole. Have been for 300+ years. Whatever brand of “ist” you hate can be found applying it to others through medium lasers. I mean even “space at&t” is doing corrupt telephone company things. Don’t like sexists? Kurita is there for you to fight the good fight. Like 3100 flavors of monarchies to fight. Hate capitalism? Burn a mech factory instead of farms. Hate communism? Burn farms instead of factories.

    This isn’t a world to build what you like, its a world where you stompy robot what you hate.

    1. Captain obvious

      Honestly this is really the best take on things. I would be one of those “woke” people that has no problem with varied sexuality in my fictional escapism, despite never partaking in it because it’s simply not a big deal to me. I’m also one of those lefties that read the line about the Clans being egalitarian and had to read it twice because “Wut?” But really, this is a rich world where NOBODY is innocent, there’s vice & virtue to be found in numerous corners around a wild and exciting galaxy to sate whatever your tastes are despite the real world and all its comings & goings. It doesn’t matter what politics you favour, or even if you bring them into the gam; just get in your battlemechs and stomp on whoever you want to be your enemy, because they’ll do the exact same thing to you and that’s what brought us ALL into this universe for entertainment.

  26. pushperaj65

    Eh, battletech lore is “woke” in that everyone is an asshole. Have been for 300+ years. Whatever brand of “ist” you hate can be found applying it to others through medium lasers. I mean even “space at&t” is doing corrupt telephone company things. Don’t like sexists? Kurita is there for you to fight the good fight. Like 3100 flavors of monarchies to fight. Hate capitalism? Burn a mech factory instead of farms. Hate communism? Burn farms instead of factories.

  27. Sean Post author

    Alright, I’m shutting this down. The discussions here have (mostly) remained civil, but a lot of it has pivoted to the OGL D&D thing, which isn’t BattleTech and I’m frankly tired of hearing from entrenched arguments. That argument is settled anyways as Wizards of the Coast backed down and kept OGL 1.0a in its current form. But overall, great interaction with the new editorial column. Stay tuned for more later this month.

    1. Felix

      Seems like the majority of comments are disagreeing with your statement that Battletech has always been woke. Whether you think wokeness is wonderful and needs to be everywhere or if you think it is just code for being racist and sexist doesn’t matter. We are all just worried that the hobby we have loved and supported (for decades in some cases) is going to go the way of Star Wars, Star Trek, or the MCU.

  28. Craig

    Most nations on the Earth end up finding a planet or five to settle in the BT universe. There are woman leaders of bad and good consequence (Barbara Liao, Katrina Steiner), there are non-white characters leading nations of mixed variety, there are even new ‘nations’ described in some of the early lore (Trellwan has its own unique ethnic identity as described by offworlders).

    The reeeeee crowd should really learn to pick its battles. Wargamers in general give zero F’s, and BT is one universe that has been TAKEN OVER by its fans.

    Good luck social justice – go ahead and keep pushing.

    I dare you.

    It just shows how some people are completely unable to create their own fiction, and decide to poison everyone else’s instead.

    The good news is the entire western world has about ten years left of this crap, maximum. There are demographic and economic realities incoming, by their own design, that will guarantee a split or a war in every one of the formerly western countries. Not everywhere will become South Africa, even SA itself isn’t going to last (see Swaziland and Lethestu, tribes within are already breaking off).

    I absolutely, wholeheartedly believe (because I read history) that the crowd in question will get to keep their pets in their new countries.

    Or maybe their pets will keep them.

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