BattleTech: 25 Years of Art & Fiction

25 Years of Art and Fiction.jpg
25 Years of Art & Fiction
Product information
Type Anthology
Development Randall N. Bills
Pages 304
Cover Artwork Franz Vohwinkel (art)
Matt Heerdt (design)
Publication information
Publisher Catalyst Game Labs
Product code CAT 35700
First published July 2009 (PDF)
October 2009 (hardback)
ISBN-13 978-1-934857-53-3
Era Star League era
Succession Wars era
Clan Invasion era
Dark Age era


BattleTech: 25 Years of Art & Fiction is a chronicle and celebration of BattleTech's twenty-five year history. It includes all-new fiction and classic artwork. The book was designed to highlight art and work done the franchise's history. The book includes all new short stories from many of BattleTech's most storied of authors.

Included in the book is a timeline that covers from its beginning to Dark Age, which reveals some of the then-undisclosed events of the Jihad conflict. The book is noted for revealing artwork & designs that were once under permanent ban due to copyright issues the franchise experienced.

BattleTech: 25 Years of Art & Fiction won the 2010 Origins Award for best game-related book,[1][2] and the 2010 Gen Con EN World RPG Awards (the "ENnies") silver award for best RPG related product.[3]

From the back cover[edit]

BattleTech: 25 Years of Art & Fiction is the ultimate chronicle of the BattleTech/MechWarrior universe. Full-color, hard-back and coffee-table-sized at over 10" by 12", its 304 pages are brimming with hundreds of color and B&W illustrations that span BattleTech's 25-year legacy. Additionally, the book contains:
  • A 25-page bibliography detailing every rulebook, box set, scenario pack and more ever sold for BattleTech/MechWarrior by FASA, FanPro, WizKids or Catalyst Game Labs; an era stamp with each entry allows for easy time period identification.
  • A look at a host of licensed products over the years, from comic books to the cartoon, toys to patches, and more.


Product History[edit]

The original form of the book was released in late July 2009, which included Unseen BattleMech images from the early part of BattleTech history. However, the product was soon removed from BattleShop's inventory. The site only responded with a reply regarding an error and the book would soon be made available again.

On August 10th, an announcement made by Catalyst Game Labs' managing editor Randall Bills indicated the problems with BattleTech: 25 Years of Art & Fiction was more than error.[4]

The following is a truncated version of the announcement on the website:

Sometimes things just don't go as you want them to.

That's always an auspicious beginning to anything, isn't it? Well, in this case it's true. A few weeks back, we came out with some fantastic news. We were bringing the ‘Unseen' back! We reviewed documents, talked to a great many people, and spent time with some lawyers. We felt we had a solid position.

Sadly, some of the information we acted upon turned out to be inaccurate. Twelve of the ‘Unseen' images previously used within the BattleTech universe were involved in a court case in the 1990s: Archer, Longbow, Rifleman, Warhammer, Wasp, Stinger, Phoenix Hawk, Crusader, Marauder, Stinger LAM, Wasp LAM and Phoenix Hawk LAM. This we knew. But at the end of that court case, as part of a confidential settlement, it was agreed that the sole and exclusive world-wide right to these images (outside of Japan) would rest with another US company.

It is for this reason that we have chosen to revise our plans to publish these specific images in current product.

Though we spoke with a number of individuals before making our initial decision, no one involved in Catalyst was aware of this agreement. Still, the owner to these images has been very cool with us about the whole situation. They are a good group of people, and we will continue our attempts to work with them as we look toward the future.

I hope you all know, this was something we attempted out of a true passion to bring you everything you have wanted out of BattleTech over the past 25 years. This was one of those big holes we thought we could patch, and sadly we were wrong. I know there are times where it's easy to see Catalyst as “The Powers that Be” for the games we make, but let me use this as an opportunity to remind you that we are also huge, huge fans (just in case you didn't already know that from my years of blogs). Over the past two years there have been several projects behind the scenes that we've been working like crazy on because WE want to see BattleTech be a great game from every angle. We want it approachable for beginners, and compelling for veterans. More than anything we want to be able to share as much as we can from 25 years worth of story and products… and this was a big piece of that puzzle. Yet we simply can't in this one case, and for that we as fans and game designers are truly saddened.

So after all of that, I would like to extend my sincerest apologies. Though we're still able to use many of the unseen designs, these core twelve remain some of the most beloved. I hope you understand it was entirely out of our own passion for the game that this entire situation has unfolded as it did.

The BattleTech: 25 Years of Art & Fiction PDF has been adjusted accordingly, as has the printed product.


  1. "Catalyst Games Labs Wins 2010 Origins Awards", Catalyst Game Labs, 28 June 2010
  2. "Origins Awards", Origins Game Fair
  3. "ENnie Awards 2010 Noms and Winners", The Gen Con EN World RPG Awards
  4. "Sometimes Things Just Don't Go As We Want Them To", Catalyst Game Labs