Your BattleTech News Roundup For November, 2022

Literally nobody has asked me, “Sean, how have you avoided COVID for so long?” And if someone were to actually ask I’d reply that I’ve cloistered myself in my basement apartment where I only go out for food and hiss at everyone who knocks on my door, thus also providing me with a steady stream of “free” takeout food from restaurants that don’t ask me to pay in advance. However, today my streak might have been broken by a wave of malaise and mild congestion that appears to have come from nowhere. We’ll see what the swab says by the time I’m done writing this article.

Anyway, there’s a surprising amount of BattleTech news leading into the holiday season, so let’s not mince too many words getting to all these big surprises. It’s time for all the best BattleTech the world has to offer, courtesy of Sarna.

More Deets On Mercenaries Kickstarter Announced For March 2023

Mercenaries Kickstarter Kodiak Diorama via Catalyst

Catalyst has gotten some specifics with the coming Mercenaries Kickstarter. The new crowdfunding campaign, which brings over 50 new miniature designs, arrives on March 23, 2023 at 11 AM ET--the first day of AdeptiCon, where Catalyst will also be present.

“I’m an equal-opportunity gamer and enjoy playing nearly any type of game,” said managing developer Randall N. Bills in a statement. “But walking past endless tables of amazing terrain and fantastically painted miniatures is an incredible experience unto itself. If you love miniatures games, AdeptiCon is the place to be. And we couldn’t imagine a more perfect venue for launching our Mercenaries Kickstarter.”

Although primarily focused on Warhammer, BattleTech has been around for almost as long, and in recent times has even snagged a few former Warhammer players fed up with Games Workshop’s policies. Announcing what will surely become a multi-million dollar campaign at AdeptiCon is probably a big get for the convention. 

In other Catalyst news, a brand new anthology just got released on Amazon and your favorite e-publications. Fox Tales collects all five Fox Patrol short stories into a single book and includes an entirely new Fox Patrol story that’s never been published. Set at the tale-end of the Dark Age era, Fox Patrol was an independent mercenary unit that had basically three members for the bulk of its history: Captain Katie Ferraro in her restored Kit Fox, Evan Huxlet in his Locust, and Arkee Colorado in his Quickdraw.

I gotta say, I’m intrigued by Fox Tales. Not because Evan and Arkee are boyfriends, which is still a nice bit of inclusion for the 32nd century, but because the gal in charge drives a ‘Mech I’ve always loved. The Kit Fox isn’t quite bad enough to truly be a Bad ‘Mech, at least in my eyes, but it’s close. All firepower and barely enough armor and mobility, the Kit Fox defines what I like to call the “spunky” light ‘Mech. You can never write off a Kit Fox, and making the Kit Fox the star of its own novel series alongside another favorite of mine, the Quickdraw, just demands that I dust off that Kindle app and type in my new credit card info.

There’s also a new digital box version of the Jade Phoenix Trilogy, a series of novels I’ve read three times already so I don’t really need ‘em again, but you can never go wrong with the classics. And finally, the Alpha Strike Box Set is now available for purchase on Catalyst’s website. Ever wish BattleTech tabletop didn’t take multiple days to complete a game? Alpha Strike might be for you. 

No New Rommel Models As Tank Gets Axed From Future Development

Rommel Tank

Even before the official announcement of the Mercenaries Kickstarter campaign, Catalyst teased out a bunch of new model designs for tanks and VTOLs that had BattleTech miniature painters all aflutter on the BattleTech forums. Somebody asked if we’ll see the Patton and the Rommel redesigned, to which BattleTech line developer Ray Arrastia responded, “no Rommel. You won’t be seeing that again.” The scuttlebutt about town is that the Rommel is unofficially dead, potentially due to someone at Fanatics having a problem with one of their IPs being associated with a Nazi general. 

And fair enough. Rommel has often been too hyped for being the Desert Fox that folks often overlook the fact he was a card-carrying Nazi. Historians are divided on whether Rommel was merely complicit or an enthusiastic supporter of the holocaust, but the bottom line is he wasn’t a nice dude, and I’m not upset that his name won’t be used to represent a fictional tank in the future.

Plus, the Patton is basically the same damn tank anyway, so there’s no need for the Rommel to exist. The Patton/Rommel thing was a joke on the M3 Grant/Lee tanks of World War 2, and while that’s probably funny to a significant portion of BattleTech’s players, I don’t think that humor outweighs the cost of honoring a general best left forgotten.

Anyway, the Rommel will still be listed on Sarna and you can still get older models from places like Iron Wind Metals if you desperately need one for your collection. 

Crusader Callback To Comachos Caballeros

And now in Brilliant color! from battletech

I kinda wish there were more BattleTech comic strips. I know comics are way more difficult to produce than novels, but if BattleTech comics were more of a thing, we could have something like this piece from Reddit user meltdonw14

I’m pretty sure this scene was taken from the novel Close Quarters, where Father Roberto “Call me Bob” Garcia takes a swing at an Atlas in his Crusader. But it’s been years on this one for me, so maybe it was Hearts of Chaos? Definitely one of the Comacho’s Caballeros novels, that’s for sure.

Art of BattleTech Brings The Summoner To MechWarrior 5 (With A Little Help)

Summoner / Thor Classic mod for Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries - Wolf Trailer
Watch this video on YouTube.

After bringing us the Timber Wolf and Vulture Classic mods, The Art Of BattleTech (aka SankaraSamsara on Nexus Mods) has returned with yet another Clan ‘Mech. The Summoner is at least as famous as the Timber Wolf and Vulture, having been the personal ride of Aiden and Marthe Pryde for most of their respective careers. Ugly and imposing thanks to its asymmetrical layout, the Summoner is a feared design, and now you can pilot one in MechWarrior 5.

Like the previous mods, the Summoner is based on the original Clan design from Steve Venters. The model was done by Alan Yeoh, and Art of BattleTech has a laundry list of folks to thank for helping him figure out the animations, which you can read over on Nexus Mods. You can also download the mod there too, or just search for the mod on MechWarrior 5‘s Steam Workshop. That’s what I usually do for my mods. 

And if the Summoner is here, then you just know it wouldn’t be too long before the Hellbringer showed up. Following Steve Venters’s design meant that half the work on the Hellbringer was already done, with the legs, lower torso, and right arms shared between the two designs. Same deal with the Summoner, find the Hellbringer on Nexus Mods and Steam Workshop.

MechWarrior Online Offers Free Shadow Cat For November

Shadow Cat D MechWarrior Online Event

MechWarrior Online is giving away a couple of ‘Mechs. First, for the month of November, players can take part in the ongoing freebie event which can net them a Shadow Cat SHC-D. That’s the one with the ER large laser, twin medium pulse lasers, a Streak SRM-6, and some machine guns. And an ER small sort of as an afterthought. Honestly, you’re going to want to double up on those ER larges or lean into a medium pulse laser strategy. But first you’ll need to accumulate 9,000 total match score throughout the event. You got a few weeks left as the event goes until early December.

Next is the MechWarrior Online Annual Reward, which actually already arrived on November 22. Those that were active players during the year received 6.5 million C-bills, a free ‘Mech bay, 100 general skill points, and a year 9 cupcake cockpit item. Those that bought MC at any point throughout the year got their choice of any previous year’s light or medium Loyalty ‘Mech and 100 GSP, while anyone who purchases one of this year’s ‘Mech packs (excluding the Platinum or Booster Packs) get their choice of any light or medium Hero ‘Mech and 100 GSP. Those that purchased any of the Booster or Platinum packs will generally get a Hero ‘Mech of their choice, although the rules get evermore specific depending on the precise nature of the purchase. For more details, head on over to the annual rewards page. Note that selections must be made before January 31, 2023, so don’t expect those free ‘Mechs to arrive before then.

And finally, we got a patch with some big changes for MechWarrior Online‘s maps. Terra Therma Classic is now Terra Therma Crucible, with the second floor of the map eliminated in favor of a first floor covered in lava with much more open lines of sight. The capture point on Domination will be right in the center of that lava pool, which sounds pretty dangerous. Emerald Vale and Grim Plexus have had their terrain cleaned up, Hibernal Rift will now prevent people from sniping atop the glacier, and HPG  and Polar Highlands should now have fewer stuck ‘Mechs, and Vitric Station has received a number of smaller adjustments. There’s a few more, but you’ll need to experience those changes for yourself in-game. 

Not too many ‘Mech quirks to talk about so I’m going to skip ’em. As always, the full patch notes are available on the MechWarrior Online site

A Lego Catapult Is Here To Offer Long-Range Fire Support, One Brick At A Time

Hansen Bricks Catapult

You might remember Kevin Hansen of as the talented modeler who created this Uziel or the even more impressive King Crab. After more than two years, he’s back with a new Lego build: the Catapult

Hansen based his design on the MechWarrior Online/MechWarrior 5 version “as it was personally my favorite.” The final model is about a foot tall and uses 2,200 pieces, which you can view along with the model’s instructions over on the HansenBricks site. It’s big enough to fit a minifigure in case you wanted something that’s to scale with Lego’s itty-bitty plastic people.

Catalyst Partners With Humble Bundle To Offer The Perfect Introduction To BattleTech 

Humble BattleTech Bundle

Humble Bundle is usually where I turn to if I want lots of games on the cheap--usually from specific publishers, but sometimes it’s whatever Humble gets its hands on. This time, Humble has gotten its hands on a bunch of BattleTech stuff to offer an “Introduction To BattleTech Book Bundle” just in time for the holidays.

From now until December 16, you can get up to $350ish value in BattleTech books for the low price of $30.00. This being Humble, the idea is to encourage people to pay more for the proceeds to go to charity--in this case, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, which offers financial and other assistance to US Naval and Marine Service members and their families. 

The 28 items offered are all digital except for the BattleTech Beginner Box Set, which won’t be shipped until January. And if you can’t afford the full $30, you can still pay to receive a smaller number of digital items, which Reddit user honicthesedgehog has kindly broken down for me. All items are listed cumulatively, so paying for a higher bundle gives you everything in the cheaper bundles too.

$1+ gives you:

  • Alpha Strike Commanders Edition
  • BattleMech Manual
  • BattleTech Primer V2
  • Recognition Guide ilClan v1

$10+ gives you: 

  • Chaos Campaign: Succession Wars
  • Combat Manual: Mercenaries
  • House Arano: The Aurigan Coalition
  • Legends
  • Technical Readout: Clan Invasion
  • Technical Readout: Succession Wars
  • Total Warfare
  • Touring the Stars: Tyrfing

$18+ gives you:

  • Battle of Tukayyid
  • Battle of Tukayyid Supplemental
  • Combat Manual: Kurita
  • Empire Alone
  • Era Report 3145
  • Field Manual: 3145
  • IlClan
  • Pesudotech: Arcade Operations
  • Shattered Fortress
  • Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks
  • Tamar Rising
  • Total Chaos
  • Turning Points: Irian
  • Turning Points: Misery
  • Turning Points: Tyrfing

$30+ gives you:

  • BattleTech: Beginner Box (promo code for the Catalyst store, doesn’t include shipping)

“There are MechWarriors like you in every generation. And I have felled every last one of them.”

Nightstar Mihaly Ace Combat 7

Courtesy of ValkyrieRaptor

I see a lot of great minis being painted online, so I can’t really give them all a shoutout otherwise I’d just be gushing over minis every month. But ValkyrieRaptor made this Ace Combat 7 crossover and I simply have to gush over it because Ace Combat 7 is perhaps one of my favoritist games, ever.

Ace Combat has been around for a while, and it’s always generally the same sort of game: a flight-combat action game with an anime-inspired plot that’s about as ludicrous as you can imagine. Ace Combat 7‘s plot involved the silent protagonist being accused of murdering a former president that was inspecting a space elevator, being relegated to a penal colony of fighter pilots, and then saving the world from an army of AI-controlled drones. 

It is all bonkers nonsense, but it’s so off the wall that it’s wildly entertaining. Plus, the game really makes you feel like a fighter pilot, adding just enough real-world fighter concepts to trick you into thinking you’re the greatest ace pilot in the world without needing to have the actual knowledge necessary for a real flight simulator like DCS

Anyway, one of the characters in Ace Combat 7 is an older gentleman named Mihaly Dumitru Margareta Corneliu Leopold Blanca Karol Aeon Ignatius Raphael Maria Niketas A. Shilage, or just Milhaly for short. He’s sort of the game’s recurring antagonist and an absolute maniac at the controls of his Sukhoi SU-30, which can perform maneuvers that even the cocaine-fueled and G force-immune protagonist can’t. His line is that he’s seen “pilots like you in every generation,” and he’s “felled every last one of them.” It’s the sort of writing that I wish we could see more of in a MechWarrior game, but I think BattleTech fans have historically been a little too grounded for that sort of thing.

Mihaly’s SU-30 is a thing of beauty, and when applied to a new-sculpt Nightstar, it’s sublime. According to ValkyrieRaptor in his Clan Invasion campaign, this MechWarrior plays the antagonist in his experimental Nightstar. Let’s just hope he’s not also programming a drone army, or whoever’s playing that campaign is in for a rough time.

How Would A Goliath Wear Pants?

Goliath Pants

Courtesy of CorneliusBreadington

We’ve all wondered how a centaur would wear pants (or if it would wear pants at all), so it only seems natural to ask the same question of the Goliath. CorneliusBreadington also provides us with several additional options for the Goliath, including short short shorts. They’re like short shorts, only they somehow hide less of that booty than if you wore nothing at all.

I am very much hoping this goes on sale somewhere before Christmas. 

Stand And Deliver

Last Stand, me, 3D Studio Max + Arnold + Photoshop, 2022 from mechwarrior

I’m pretty sure this is a Warhammer IIC, one of the greatest ‘Mechs ever made and one of the deadliest combatants anyone can ever hope to face on the battlefield of the 31st century. French artist Guilhem Bedos kindly shared their work on Reddit, which is where it caught my eye. Note the almost dazzling urban camo paint scheme that really lights up with those twin PPCs. Just the thing to warm the heart with old man winter bearing down on us.

MechWarrior Online Announces Hatchetman ‘Mech That Can’t Use Iconic Hatchet

MechWarrior Online Hatchetman

I’m about as surprised as anyone on this one. After years of denying us any melee-wielding ‘Mechs, PGI just announced the Hatchetman will be coming to MechWarrior Online. However, melee weapons still won’t be usable in MechWarrior Online. They are in MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, but melee weapons are just cosmetic in the online PvP of MechWarrior Online.

This obviously begs the question of just what the heck that Hatchetman will do with what amounts to a four-ton paperweight in its right arm. Judging by the pre-release specs, the weight of the hatchet is being replaced by some extra heat sinks and armor on the standard 3F-model, with similar swaps being done on the other five variants to be introduced. Early adopters can pre-order the Hatchatman Package for $40, with deliveries expected in-game on January 3.

In game terms, that hatchet will likely just extend the hit-box of the right arm to make it more like a shield rather than a weapon, thus making it advantageous for MechWarriors to place everything on the left side of the ‘Mech. That might prove effective, but there are plenty of ‘Mechs that can dead-side effectively. The real draw of the Hatchetman has and should be the hatchet, and being unable to use it makes me question why the Hatchetman is being brought to MechWarrior Online at all.

MechWarrior 5 To Receive Rise Of Rasalhague DLC In January

As hinted at last week, PGI has surprised us with more MechWarrior 5 DLC. Rumors were that PGI was done with MechWarrior 5 after Call to Arms and that it was now working on MechWarrior 6, but apparently, those rumors were false because MechWarrior 5 is heading to Rasalhague in January.

Rise of Rasalhague will bring an all-new 12-mission quest line for mercenaries to follow in their campaigns. It will also add the Crusader ‘Mech that was recently added to MechWarrior Online and a whopping 11 variants for it. It’ll also bring a new Rival Mercenaries feature, “allowing you to interact with numerous other mercenary companies and the infamous Bounty Hunter.” Working in areas garrisoned by other mercenary groups can result in hostile invasions or friendly assistance, depending on your relationship with that merc group. And doing bounties for the Bounty Hunter can result in some sweet loot.

One of the images on the Rise of Rasalhague page is for a new mission type called “Infiltration,” and I want to point out that the screen capture shows an Atlas sneaking into an enemy base to destroy several ‘Mechs before the general alarm sounds. I’m guessing the Steiner Scout Squad was called in for that particular contract.

In addition to the new expansion, a free game update will be sent to everyone who owns MechWarrior 5 with an improved AI, QOL enhancements, and an expanded ‘Mech hanger. Thank the ‘Mech gods for that last one because I was simply exhausted with swapping out ‘Mechs when I suddenly found myself on a mission with a vastly different weight limit to the one I’d just completed.

Rise of Rasalhague and the free update both arrive on January 26. And, according to PGI president Russ Bullock, there’s “more stuff in development.”

And that’s it for November! Join us next month as we celebrate the holiday season with whatever stuff you got for Christmas.

And as always, MechWarriors: Stay Syrupy.

Update: The test was negative, so I suspect the true culprit was those tacos I had last night.

stay syrupy

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79 thoughts on “Your BattleTech News Roundup For November, 2022

  1. Karagin

    Be nice if we got these without personal bias, but that would be like asking for the moon. Frankly, Sean, your opinion on the Rommel is your opinion. Are they going to remove the Stuka and Zero names next? How about the Samurai? When does this silliness end?

    1. Chris

      No, I think Sean makes a good point. The tank references one person, where as the other designs you mentioned reference weapons. I am fine with cutting ties to the Rommel, as it just means in game we now have another Patton.

      1. Karagin

        You missed the point, Chris. If they are dropping the name because they see it as evil because of the ties to the Nazis, why keep the Stuka? And wouldn’t the use of the names Zero and other things that could be then linked to the Imperial Japanese military upset people in counties they conquered? This slop is slippery, and once running down, it opens everything else up to the same level of asinine abuse.

        Sean doesn’t make any points, and he is siding with the powers be and acting like them. Anyone who speaks out and he doesn’t like it, he threatens to censor, just like they have done in the past. If he was making a point, then he would be open to all levels of debate and not shutting down anyone when point things about why removing the name is pointless and silly.

        1. GreyScale

          I’d rather they just removed the names of both, not the tanks, just the names.
          Because while we name things after historical general today, most of those names come from the last few hundred years. So why don’t they just do that in Battletech?
          Name the tanks for some cool generals that popped up in the last few hundred years of the setting, rather than generals who to them would be literally ancient history.
          iirc most people aren’t even that well versed on old Terran history in Battletech, so the idea that some design technician/research in a Lyran firm decided to name this tank for someone who lived and fought on Terra some thousand years past just seems like us impressing our own recent historical figures onto people who would for all intents and purposes have no idea, or little interest in them.

          So going back to what I first said, if you got to pick a general or leader in Battletech that these two tanks would be named for; Who would you pick?

          1. Karagin

            If they did what you suggested, then it’s still a RetCon, and we have enough of those already. They should not be changing the names of anything in the game.

        2. StandYourGround

          Von Braun was tied both to Nazis and SS. The americans employed him, got him a President Award and even built a concert hall in his honor, yet the Rommel _surname_ is a no-no. That’s a whole new level of hypocrisy and double standards. And I’ve also found this little entry..

          Also a nazi, Albert Speer was trialed for war crimes and found guilty. Oh noes, the Javelin is Speerschleuder in German. Better discontinue it, or else!

          It will go on and on until all we have is pure refined blandness. Cancel culture is like bullying, give in one time and there will be no end of it.

  2. Isimiel

    Rommel wasn’t not an antisemite, nor a war criminal, nor a radical ideological fighter. He urged Axis authorities to treat the Arab with the utmost respect. He proposed that a Jew should be made into a Gauleiter and I will keep posting this until you stop deleting this

    1. Sean Post author

      Just a reminder for all the Rommel fans: attacks and name-calling are verboten. Opinions are fine, but if this turns into a mud-slinging contest I will shut the comments down.

        1. Just a Person

          It’s not like they are actually removing Rommel tanks from existence though. They still exist in lore. They won’t make any more models of them.

          That means you can still play them on the field. You can get older sculpts that have no plans to be discontinued. Heck, if you are so mad, play the model for Patton and pretend it is the Rommel.

          Also, it is important to note that Rommel was a central figure in creating the clean Wehrmacht myth, even if Rommel was allegedly a lot better than his peers.

          And in the 31st century of the Battletech Universe, how likely is it that a general of a losing side of a despicable regime would be remembered fondly? Would Rommel be remembered fondly enough that his name would be used to christen a vehicle?

          The only state on top of my head that I can think of caring about Rommel is maybe the Lyran Commonwealth. But it’s not as if the Lyran Commonwealth is in any ways similar to the Nazi regime.

          1. Ichaerus Ward

            “And in the 31st century of the Battletech Universe, how likely is it that a general of a losing side of a despicable regime would be remembered fondly? Would Rommel be remembered fondly enough that his name would be used to christen a vehicle?”

            It was remembered fondly enough for the name of an SLDF division, a division that followed Nicholas Kerensky in the Second Exodus, and gave Clan Star Adder its first Khan. That would be the 149th Battlemech Division, aka the Erwin Rommel Division.
            Erwin Rommel is remembered fondly by many for not only his treatment of enemy combatants, but also his military experience and battle acumen, being a superb tactician.
            There are many generals throughout history that are hated or loved, whether they were leaders on winning sides, or losing sides, but still given places of respect.

      1. Karagin

        So, if we speak out against the silliness of removing something from the game and it’s done in a manner that you don’t like, you will turn off the comments, so it’s censorship no matter what.

        The name of the tank was not an issue until just this year. Why? It’s named after a general for use in a fictional setting in a far future civilization with a robust German setting. So the likelihood of their using German names for things would be very high, and for a company in their realm to do a combo vehicle to increase sales well, that makes sense. But now, because of selective real-world people being upset, the rest of us have to forgo things in the long run because of that. Odd, this was a game last I look, not the real world and up until the last few years, the real world was checked at the door when we were all playing the game. Too bad that has been forgotten by the powers that be.

        Nice of you, Sean to use a German word to throw shade at people when saying they are throwing mud. Nice play there at trying to stir the pot.

      2. SilverCyanide

        The Rommel family is a respected name in modern Germany in parts due to the moral standing of Erwin Rommel, who was basically executed for opposing the Nazi regime.

        So no, it’s not mud-slinging to tell you that you didn’t do you due diligence while writing this article.

      3. Mainbrace

        I do need to call you out on one thing Sean. Calling Rommel a “card carrying Nazi” brings to mind cartoonsih depictions of nazis, but reality is never so black and white. Rommel was never a member of the Nazi Party, he never applied, and turned down membership when offered, he also had a very open distaste for politics.

        That being said, the attempted genocide of the Jews could not have occurred without the willing assistance of the Wehrmact from the top down. Even if Rommel wasn’t responsible for any war crimes, he at least looked the other way while they occurred.

        I also need to point out 2 people who where Nazi Party members. Oskar Schindler and John Rabe. Oskar Schindler’s exploits are well know. John Rabe, not so much but were arguably far more impressive

        As for removing “problematic” elements from Battletech – Where do we start?

        The early artwork for Capellan and Kuritan leaders have a yellow peril vibe
        The entire Draconis combine is Imperial Japan in space, war crimes included.
        The Clans use multiple references to to the Mongols – the same Mongols that slaughtered an estimated 40 million people
        The Federated Suns were once ruled by a rapist
        If there is something that would offend somebody, the Magistracy of Canopus has probably made it legal and earned tax revenue from it.

        I am not going to miss the Rommel tank either, but it would have been far better to quietly let it fade away than draw attention to it.

      4. JustSomeGuy

        You don’t have to be a “Rommel fan” in order to want to preserve history. As your stating that Rommel was a “card-carrying Nazi” makes clear that isn’t a concern of yours, however it is something of concern to a lot of history buffs/nerds. The BT community has at least a sizable minority (if not majority) of people who do care about history; BT’s focus on creating a living history of time periods is one of the things that concerns us.

        With the ongoing “struggle” with ideological groups attempting to “cancel” parts of our own history in order to better sanitize it to fit with their beliefs, there’s a lot of people that find changes to even fictional history to be undesirable. This is relatively minor change now, but how long until it isn’t?

        1. SteinerScoutLance

          How dare they erase history by not releasing a new design for this one tank for their sci-fi game about big dumb robots!

          If you care about history so much, I suggest maybe looking at historical wargaming instead?

    2. Think Harder

      Hey Isimiel, would you like to explain why Rommel’s use of slave labor was justified too?

    1. Bishop Steiner

      most haven’t read any actual history books either, or just really like to ignore the inconvenient parts, so expecting them to read RecGuids is probably a bit much of an ask, lol.

    2. Karagin

      I have read it. And it’s a pretty silly retcon to remove the name from the game. Look, the Rommel is now an artillery support vehicle, and not many are made. Ho-hum…so it’s not a thing to worry about. Look, Everyone, shiny new Patton…

      Not sure how that explains away the name being dropped, but weird flex and all.

  3. SneakyZaku

    I never did get the insistence on there being two seperate tanks for what amounted to variations anyway, this will help streamline stuff and not cause needless confusion as well as the mentioned problems with the name alone

    Looking forward to the Patton hitting tabletops still

  4. Just a Person

    @Ichaerus Ward

    That is a perfectly fair response. Thanks for the lore notes. I will try to argue in good faith.

    I would like to note is that there is a significant temporal and societal rift between the modern day 21st century to the 31st century world of Battletech. The question I tried to posit is not whether or not there is precedence for the naming of the Rommel Tank. As you said, the existence of the 149th Battlemech Division would clearly demonstrate that the Inner Sphere thought fondly of the general.

    Rather, the question I am thinking of is this: if Battletech was real (rather than the combine imaginations of writers during the 1980s-1990s), would Rommel be thought of fondly enough to have a vehicle christened under his name?

    After all, being a general that is respected and studied is one thing. Being a general that illicit enough patriotic ferver to attach to a vehicle (let alone a regiment) is another thing entirely. A good example of this is the current U.S military – certainly not shy about naming their war machines after famous generals – tends to name their ground vehicles and ships after war heroes from their country. This tends to track for most other real countries as well.

    Now, if we turn back to the Inner Sphere and Star League/SLDF, it’s actually interesting to note that Battletech Field Manual: SLDF actually cites German/Prussian influences in its military organisation. Fundamentally, that makes sense, since most modern militaries have adapted post-Clausewitz Prussia’s emphasis on intelligent NCOs and high-initiative field command staff.

    But by the 21st century, this has already seeped into practices of most modern western states. Presuming that House Cameron maintained its Anglo-influences (a military tradition that has butted heads with the Prussian model), it seems odd that the SLDF picked the original Prussian model for its inspiration. Especially so, when names of Royal SLDF regiments are brought from historical U.S (Ulysses S. Grant Division) and British influences (Royal Black Watch).

    I would therefore like to posit that Battletech is like all media a product of its time. Rommel did not go through the historical review when his name was attached to vehicles and regiments, so it is quite likely that writers used his name for the rule of cool. That is fine. But there is also no need to be angry that some things are left unsaid/unmentioned as times change.

    1. JustSomeGuy

      Answer to your third paragraph question: We still talk about Genghis Khan, Atilla the Hun, Alexander the Great, Xerxes, Julius Caesar etc and they all caused much death and destruction in their periods. Even of the defeated we still talk about and use the names of Hannibal, Arminius, Boudica, Nero, and Pyrrhus, as some examples. And chances are every utterance of the names of Washington, Lincoln, Jackson, etc was a casual “get stuffed” used by a certain group of rebels 200 years ago.

      Can a heavily Germanic-influenced group use the name of a general 1100 years after a war? Ichaerus Ward said above that the family name Rommel is viewed favourably in Germany today, so my guess is yes. Do we use names that are linked to genocide from a thousand years ago today? Well, The Young Turks exists, and that’s only 100. Militarily, there’s probably some good examples I don’t know of, likely attached to ship classes since those are generally what current militaries name after people.

      A thousand years is a long time, and even just the UK has adopted a lot of customs, ideas, and cultures within that period. English is Old Germanic at its core, with influence from Norman, Saxon, and Scandinavian sources, just to start. Within that thousand years it’s continued to be influenced by other sources (largely Latinized German and French, however Chinese, Russian, Spanish etc also exist). Within that thousand years it was developed into a written language, which it did not have a codified form before the 1600s. A thousand years ago Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and English were all very separate ethnic groups and identities, and while distinct today are much more united (to a degree, at least).

      Germany is one of the primary powerhouses of the EU military. It’s been an industrial powerhouse for 200 years. Can I see the Terran Alliance having a large Germanic influence during its foundation that was continued under House Cameron? Yeah, why not? Especially if the US was involved as a large minority of the US’s population is ethnically German.

    2. StandYourGround

      >would Rommel be thought of fondly enough

      It is already in the canon. “She spent a great deal of time contemplating the actions of ancient Terran general Erwin Rommel and his role in the attempted assassination of [you know who]”. Lyran, of course.

  5. Lanzman

    Disappearing the Rommel tank from Battletech “because nazis” is pretty high on the “duurrrrr” scale. Hey, y’know what? There was an actual Admiral Kurita in the Imperial Japanese Navy during WWII. Guess we need to disappear the whole Draconis Combine so no-one gets their panties in a bunch, huh?

    1. SilverCyanide

      Virtue signaling is the online currency of the authoritarian. In a setting with some people who basically exterminated entire planets and are considered GOOD GUYS, a man like Erwin Rommel would not be viewed as much of a monster.

      But hey, let’s keep virtue signaling because saying we are good guys means we are good, right?

  6. Maestro

    Sean: I am a new member and I just want to say that this update was excellent with many great elements. I think it is a shame that the comments all focus on one aspect of it when there is a lot of excellent stuff to focus on.

    I want to encourage you to keep the great content coming. You do have a right to express your opinion and speak of motivation behind certain decisions. Certainly not everyone will agree, but as long as we all keep it respectful, try to clarify actual historical facts (citations to peer-reviewed publications help here), realize that opinions can differ and that respectful discourse allow us all to learn and adjust our world view, we can all benefit.

    1. Samuel

      I disagree with cancelling the Rommel name. But, I agree that Catalyst had the choice. And they made it. Now, just have to watch this long slow decent down this slippery slope…

  7. Rex

    “Everything woke turns to shit.” – President Donald J. Trump

    Battletech is no exception. Get ready for more forced injections of “The Message.”

    1. JustSomeGuy

      Thankfully it’s going slower than expected. Maybe it’ll make it past this part of our history.

  8. JustSomeGuy

    The Hatchetman in MWO is going to be a bit weird. From how I read the preorder screen, that axe isn’t going to be a part of the arm, but instead be a bolt-on. Likely they want to reuse assets for the work they did in MW5, and likely those bolt-ons will be available for a lot of other mechs as well.

    The hardpoints for most Hatchetmen (especially the hero) look interesting as it has enough to boat some fairly impressive brawling builds. The speed cap is also good, and the hardpoints all look relatively high. The arms being so thin won’t be able to shield much, and if the hitboxes from MW5 are used I think the CT will be easily focused down. it should be interesting, but I don’t think it’s going to outperform anything except maybe the Phoenix Hawk.

    1. Colin Wellborn

      Thanks for a fun series of stories Bryan, and great job to the illustrator who showcased the Kodiak and Kit Fox. I’m looking forward to seeing the Patrol expand its ranks.

  9. AlphaBlu

    Patton wasn’t exactly a nice guy either. Might’ve hated the Jews more than Rommel ever did.

    Removing the Rommel from the game is a pure example of “presentism”, and that kind of crap has to stop.

  10. Thomas Gebhardt

    What a lot of people forget, is that Erwin Rommel was the author of “Infantrie greift an” and “Gefechtsaufgaben für Zug und Kompanie: Ein Handbuch für den Offiziersunterricht.” Both books were translated into multiple languages, as were other of his works. I know that at least Patton read the books and learned from them. What is in them is still valid today and will most likely be valid in the 31st century. As far as I know, they are or were required to read by several of the better-known military academies.

    So that could be the reason why the Tank was named after Rommel. By the standards of the 31st century, the 2nd World War counts as a minor shuffle, with light casualties.

  11. Heinzbond

    As a bit historic looking provides both Rommel AND Patton are not true angels or evils…
    And i think at that time in Nazi Deutschland you couldn’t become a general without being some
    kind of Nazi too.
    Patton was not without fail too, task force Baum, the slow denazification in Bavaria as military
    Stuka and Zero are as some said Weapon Systems, and as far as i remember my Battletech,
    The Steiners love their Strudel and the Kuritas their Sushi…
    i feel sorry for the Rommel Tank, was a nice one, but i guess 3162 or so the steiner brat will having a Maus Super Ultra Heavy tank slow as a Pyramid and also next to useless unless someone walks into range of the tripple AC 60 or so….

  12. FlickerShine

    To some degree, I understand the discontentment and stress about the change of a name of a combat vehicle. At the same time… the two tanks are basically physically identical; and we’re talking about a game that could be played with tokens. Oh no, we’re not getting a very subtle physical difference between two basically identical combat vehicles.

    Do I have an issue with the name personally? Not really, no. Didn’t before, didn’t now. Did I care about the Patton? Same thing, not really. I’m more just excited for new minis and more BT content going forwards, drama be damned.

  13. Bob

    Man, it looks like the Warhammer 40k subs must be leaking.

    Dear nazis and nazi sympathizers – please go back to playing with yourself.

    1. AlphaBlu

      Did you even read the arguments people are making as to why getting rid of the Rommel is dumb?

      No. Of course not. You just bleated “Nazis!” like some unthinking Twitterati and then blamed 40k for it (WTF?).

  14. Dafish

    If WW2 parallels are now a no-no, don’t tell any of the writers about the Kentares Massacre and how it’s basically a reference to Imperial Japan and the Rape of Nanking. Wouldn’t surprise me if they just ret-con the whole thing to save the space weebs.

    1. Think Harder

      At what point does the Kentares Massacre glorify anyone involved rather than paint them as monsters? Kind of an intellectually dishonest comparison, or perhaps just an obtuse one.

      I think we can agree that having something named after you is an honor. Who is being honored by this homage to Japanese war atrocities?

  15. Alus

    I like how the side effect of something as insignificant as dropping a name is enough to trigger fragile undesirable people, hopefully, off the game.

    Also, how dare you call the KitFox “almost bad”, it is the most badass glasscannon the game has

    1. Tarnished

      And I like how the actual, fragile and undesirable people stand up and identify themselves. Here we are, in a mostly polite argument (from what I’ve seen) over nerd shit where people are arguing civilly and no one is throwing a tantrum.
      Here’s something you should know by now: nerds, geeks and gamers argue, it’s part of the fun of all hobbies. It doesn’t have to be significant, it doesn’t have to be logical, it’s arguing for the hell of it to compare shlong sizes.
      If seeing other people argue “trigger” you emotionally then just roll your eyes and move on, the next argument might be up to your liking.
      Hoping people get kicked or removed or somehow leave the hobby over something as insignificant, as you called it, this tells us more about you than it does any of the posters you name called.

  16. Dog of War

    Just as a reminder that Rommel was involved with operation Valkyrie, you know, the plot to actually kill Hitler.

    But no, I guess there’s no room for a nuanced understanding of history when the cancel mob sets it’s sights on it’s latest proverbial scalp.

    1. Dealybob

      The only confirmed involvment Rommel had was that his name was on a list…of **potential** supporters. His name was also mentioned by actual members of the plot…while they were being tortured to death by members of the Gestapo. Making their admission rather suspect.

      As far as we can confirm, if Rommel *was* aware of the plot? He opposed assassination. According to his widow, he believed it would start a German Civil War and so would have refused to become involved. No one doubts that he was held under suspicion afterwards. And he was encouraged to commit suicide to both save his family and so the Nazis keep his reputation in the eyes of the German public clear. But even his knowledge of the plot itself isn’t totally confirmed.

      While it’s *possible* Rommel *may* have sympathized with the idea of a Wehrmacht-led takeover of the German Reich, there’s absolutely NO HARD EVIDENCE that suggests he was actually involved in the July 20th plot. And while he wasn’t a card-carrying Nazi, it’s a matter of *record* that he both publicly and privately welcomed the Nazi rise to power as early as 1935.


      I’d suggest reading about the ‘Rommel Myth’. There’s a similarity to what was done there to rehabilitate certain German figures like Wernher Von Braun who WERE card-carrying Nazis. All in order to sanitize his contributions to NASA. Early NASA was in no small part built with German scientists like Von Braun, whisked away from Germany to the US in Operation Paperclip.

      Recognizing things like this isn’t always fun. NASA is important, but the legacy of NASA’s roots will forever be touched by it’s association with Nazi scientists and the use of data obtained in unethical experiments. Seeing and acknowledging that isn’t part of being a ‘cancel mob’. It’s just reality.

      And ultimately, the decision to remove the ‘Rommel’ from future reference in Battletech lore wasn’t the result of a ‘cancel mob’ either. Neither was there a social media campaign or viral video. You may disagree on whether the tank referencing the real-life German General is glorification or not. But this was a business decision made by Fanatic/Topps.

    2. Boltzman's Ladder

      Where exactly is the “Cancel Mob” in this situation? It’s a decision made by Catalyst themselves with no evidence to show they’ve been put under any pressure to change the name.

      Can you show where there’s been any sort or organised effort to get the name of this one particular tank changed?

      All this is reminiscent of when BLP was let go and he said it was the result of the “woke mob” out to get him when no evidence of a mod of any sort has yet been produced.

      1. Karagin

        Oh, you mean like the folks who can pinpoint their reasons down to names of dropships and characters and plot points in books? Yeah, that same cancel mob? Odd, how about they remove a name, give no reason, then retcon it to provide a reason AFTER the backlash comes along before RecGudie is out? One would figure that they would have learned that the woke mob doesn’t care about things like actual fans do, but nope.

        1. Boltzman's Ladder

          Still not seeing any evidence of a “woke mob” or “cancel mob” here.

          Can you show any evidence of Catalyst being put under pressure by any organised “mob” to drop the Rommel?

          Maybe someone at Catalyst decided to drop the Rommel redesign for their own reasons and the existence of a “woke mob” that pressured them has been invented by you after the fact?

          1. Karagin

            Really? Have you read Sean’s comments? I guess not. Have you read the other comments? Maybe you missed the official statement in the blurb Sean posted…yeah, I think you did miss that.

            They dropped it to get ahead of the woke mob, and your attempt here to defend their silliness shows that you support the company no matter how many right or wrong choices they make. Like letting contract employees insult fans or friends of the current owners, do the same.

            The only thing invented here is the idea that a game needs to change to meet the expectations of those who jump and expect it to carter to them.

    3. Think Harder

      We know for a fact he wasn’t a Valkyrie conspirator, though your dedication to pop history and never fact checking what you hear is cute.

  17. Ben Wolf

    Rommel publicly supported the Nazi rise to power and was close to Hitler until late in the war when it was clear Germany was losing. Like every other high-ranking officer, he was aware of the Nazi regime’s liquidation of hundreds of thousands of disabled Germans and kept silent.

    Rommel kept silent during the mass-persecution of jews after Hitler became chancellor in 1933, silent during the Night of the Long Knives and silent about deportation of jews to the death camps. Whatever clashes he may have had internally over these issues, Rommel continued to advance Nazi goals far more than impede them.

    Keeping quiet was an inherently political act and Rommel chose the politics which aided his career, a career he owed almost entirely to Hitler’s personal patronage.

  18. BruceShark

    Y’all know the slippery slope is a logical fallacy, right?

    Here’s a good overview on Rommel:

    TL;DR: It’s complicated. He wasn’t a member of the NSDAP, but he was personally close to Hitler for most of the war, and was lionized in the Nazi press. He didn’t participate in any major war crimes, but then, he never got posted to the Eastern Front, where most of the major war crimes were committed. He refused orders to execute POWs based on race, but met with an Einsatzgruppe commander to discuss the proposed extermination of Jews in North Africa. It’s not at all clear that he knew about the July 20 plot to kill Hitler; if he did, he was probably opposed to it and did not participate in the planning.

    Also worth noting is that he also wasn’t the objective military genius some people claim he was. He made some pretty serious mistakes outpacing his logistics in North Africa (and France, for that matter, but the incompetence of the French high command largely made up for this). Additionally, his opponents had a vested interest in inflating his image both during and after the war. If you’re Churchill, you want to explain how British troops are getting their asses handed to them in the early North Africa campaign. If you’re Montgomery or Patton, you want to emphasize how skilled your opponent was to show how badass you are for beating him.

    Basically, dude was a highly ambitious careerist who didn’t really care about Nazi ideology one way or the other. He wasn’t the best German general of the war; neither was he the worst. I do wonder what compels people to choose this hill to die on.

    Some sources on the clean Wehrmacht myth more generally, since literally no one has mentioned any:

    The Wehrmacht: History, Myth, Reality by Wolfram Wette (available in both English and German)

    Hitler’s Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich by Omer Bartov

    Hitler Strikes Poland: Blitzkrieg, Ideology, and Atrocity by Alexander B. Rossino

    Have fun reading none of those lmao

    1. BruceShark

      *the Eastern Front or Yugoslavia, another region the Wehrmacht absolutely tore apart. He was in Poland, but as commander of Hitler’s bodyguard and thus not actively participating in combat or, ahem, “anti-partisan” operations.

    2. Thomas Gebhardt

      That is the point where you can have different opinions. He had a pretty good understanding of combined arms tactics. That understanding exceeded that of most of his contemporaries. He was willing to gamble and take a risk. Most of his opponents in the first half of the second world war were unwilling to take a chance, or so I heard. A lot of the risks he took paid off.

      He was a good combat leader and as far as I know, had little to do with the grand strategic planning.

      The very fact that a few of his writings were used to teach officers on both sides of the cold war shows that he had above-average skills. I admit that on the east side it was probably scrubbed of its origin.

      Please note that quite a bit of his teaching is about the lower end of the army(platoon, company, or battalion).

  19. Zera

    Some day I’d love to read a coldly clinical, impartial news round-up without a speck of editorializing.

  20. Zero

    Imagine getting suicided for trying to kill a genocidal dictator and years later pink hairs accuse you of being literally Hitler.

    1. Think Harder

      Why is it you make a conscious choice to ignore the piles of evidence that indicate Rommel was not involved with Valkyrie?

  21. ArdanBlade

    Erasing history and reference to historical figures does nothing but try to hide the past. I find this move to be insulting to anyone with an actual love for history or the game. Politics are fickle and change on a whim. If the games we love are to be judged on every sway of opinion, then those games will become unrecognizable in short order, so I reject this change.

    1. Think Harder

      In what way does removing Rommel’s name from a fictional tank prevent people researching the Third Reich? Do elaborate for us simple folk.

  22. Kerry Freeman

    Hi, IRL military historian here. Are you guys and gals are aware that the Patton name belongs to several lines of real-world main battle tanks from the Cold War?
    Specifically, the name Patton belongs to the M46, M47, M48 and M60 series of main battle tanks. These are the M46, M46A1, M47, M48, M48A1, M48A2, M48A3, M48A5, M60, M60A1, M60A2 (also known as the Shillelagh) and M60A3, along with several foreign variants, some of which are still in use today.

    Wikipedia links:

    I see no mention of a real-world tank bearing the name Rommel.

    I’m not taking sides here, just pointing out some IRL historical facts that some of you seem to have missed and/or forgotten.

  23. Jeff Keighley

    The irony that the Rommel is still mentioned in the RecGuide despite people alleging otherwise before it dropped is hilarious.

  24. Demo

    I just hope there isn’t a “No more Zhukov tank because he was a card-carrying Soviet”, after all the “Stalin was as bad if not worse than Hitler” narrative is really revving up as fast as the vilification of all things Russian along with the nato-involved Ukranian war.


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