BattleTech – Die Welt des 31. Jahrhunderts
Die Welt des 31. Jahrhunderts
|Development||Joern Rauser (Editor)|
|Primary writing||Reinhold H. Mai|
|Cover Artwork||("provided by WizKids LLC")|
|Interior Artwork||("provided by WizKids LLC")|
|Publisher||Wilhelm Heyne Verlag GmbH & Co KG|
BattleTech – Die Welt des 31. Jahrhunderts ("The world of the 31st century") is an original German softcover publication by Heyne, the publisher of the German line of BattleTech novels. Published alongside, but not as a part of, their line of German BattleTech novels, it serves as a broad nonfiction introduction to the BattleTech universe and games.
Written by Reinhold H. Mai and Christoph Nick, two of the premier German BattleTech authors, the book provides an introduction to the BattleTech universe and an overview over the franchise from a real-world perspective. Its content includes:
- a list of BT media and sources (comics, magazines and fanzines, computer and console games, gaming centers, trading cards, TV series, some internet sites), all with brief descriptions;
- a rundown of all episodes from BattleTech: The Animated Series with brief plot summaries;
- excerpts from a longer interview with Jordan Weisman and L. Ross Babcock III (taken at the FASA office in Chicago just before the 1988 Gen Con);
- email interview with Michael A. Stackpole from early 2002;
- a 29-page introduction to the history of the BT universe up until the absorption of the St. Ives Compact back into the Capellan Confederation in 3063;
- a description of the Inner Sphere and the Successor States;
- a dictionary of BT terms complete with (sometimes page-long) articles on the subjects, covering states (complete with maps) and ComStar, military units and ranks, technologies, and other BT concepts such as the Ares Conventions or LosTech;
- a description of the Periphery with emphasis on the Outworlds Alliance, Magistracy of Canopus and Taurian Concordat (again with maps); Bandit Kings are treated in one summary chapter;
- a description of the Clans, complete with a Deep Periphery map showing the position of the Kerensky Cluster and Pentagon Worlds relative to the Inner Sphere, and a detailed map of the Kerensky Cluster and the Pentagon worlds showing the names and relative positions of the systems therein;
- a dictionary of specific Clan terms;
- a description and history of Solaris VII and the Solaris Games;
- a long and detailed Who-is-Who list of BT characters;
- a BT timeline by year, beginning with the launch of Crippen Station in 2005 and ending with the second Whitting Conference in 3061;
- dictionaries/list chapters about
- BT military vehicles and starships (the entry for LAMs is notable for the picture of a Wasp LAM, the only Unseen picture in the entire book);
- technology in BT including BattleMech components and gadgets like cooling vests and neurohelmets;
- offensive and defensive systems (weapons, defensive weapons, ammunition subtypes and armor);
- a timeline of 'Mech evolution;
- an analysis of the success of the BT franchise from a real-world point of view;
- a list of published BT novels both German and English, up to Endgame for the Classic BattleTech line and up to Imminent Crisis in the MechWarrior line;
- a product list for BT (from FASA, FanPro LLC and Fantasy Productions) and a list of computer games;
- a synopsis showing the original (English) name/designation and the German names of all BT vehicles and starships;
- Könige des Schlachtfeldes ("Kings of the Battlefield"): Technical Readout fluff-style descriptions of various 'Mechs (complete with picture for some, but not all) in sidebars throughout the book;
- various previously published artwork including full-color pictures from the covers of books or boxed sets. The book does not contain any original artwork.
- The book consistently claims that the Gray Death Legion discovered the Helm Memory Core in 3024 already, which is against established canon; the correct year is 3028.
- Contrary to what the book claims, the Fallout comics do not depict the 1st Somerset Strikers but another unit called Fallout (though the Comics admit to being inspired by the 1st Somerset Strikers' Animated Series).
Although it is an official publication and was produced under a valid license, the book does not meet the criteria for canon because it was never published in English, being an original German publication. While most of the information in the book is a compilation of information taken from other, fully canonical sources (in the sense of a meta-source), some information is not.
Such apocryphal information includes
- rumors mentioned about a modified Charger (implied to be the CGR-SB Challenger) serving with the Hat-in-the-Ring company on Holt (while the Challenger as such is fully canon, its background and especially the Hat-in-the-Ring mercenary unit were never mentioned outside of BattleTechnology, which is not considered a canonical source anymore);
- the assertion that the Alliance BattleMech was just a hoax and that this 'Mech never really existed;
- the assertion that the Mauler (more likely referring to its predecessor, the Daboku) is based on an abortive Capellan design project called Linesman ("Linienrichter" in German). (According to Life Support #4, the magazine of the MechForce Germany, the Linesman was developed alongside the Cataphract around 3015 but abandoned before reaching the production stage because production costs would only permit one of the two new designs to be built. When the Capellan military could not agree on which one to keep, Maximilian Liao decided in favor of the Cataphract. The Linesman design was later resurrected as the Mauler by the Draconis Combine using rediscovered technology.)