Catalyst Demo Team

FanPro Commandos, Catalyst Commandos, and Catalyst Agents redirect here.
Catalyst Demo Team logo.png

Overview[edit]

The Catalyst Agents, also summarily known as the Catalyst Demo Team, are freelancer or volunteer BattleTech demo agents and promoters working under the aegis of Catalyst Game Labs (CGL).

The group as such was set up by FanPro as the FanPro Commandos shortly after FanPro had acquired the full license for what was then "Classic BattleTech". In the post-FanPro era, after CGL took over the BattleTech license, the organization was continued, but renamed to Catalyst Commandos and later Catalyst Agents. Aside from the name change it remained the same organization, also retaining the numbering system.

Although an overlap exists, they are not the same as the CGL factchecker group nor are they typically CGL employees.

Magazine[edit]

The FanPro Commandos had a webzine called Commando Quarterly that featured largely in-character content in a similar fashion to the BattleTechnology magazine of old, including "Worldbook" articles, in-character ads and communication bulletins, short stories and fiction, essays, and scenarios. Later issues also included Shadowrun content.

The magazine was available for free download via the (now defunct) FanPro Commando website.

Events[edit]

(See also: Category: Worldwide Events and Category: Canon Events.)

From 2002 through 2008 the demo team hosted a number of World Wide Events (WWEs) where fans could partake in scenarios and, through gameplay, determine the canonical outcome of the situation within the BattleTech universe (in most cases; not all events had an impact on canon). Typically, a given scenario would be played out across numerous places under the aegis of a demo agent, and from the average results it was then determined which side had won the engagement in BattleTech canon. After 2008 this stopped, until the Catalyst Demo Team resumed the Wordwide Events in 2017.

Despite the overlap between World Wide Events and (other) Canon Events, not all World Wide Events were Canon Events and vice versa. Several Canon Events were played out at large game fairs instead of WWEs; they are sometimes referred to as "Gen Con Events".

Past BattleTech events include:

Martial Olympiads[edit]

The Martial Olympiad worldwide events were more of a player vs. player tournament than a scenario. Each Martial Olympiad had three rounds, each a unique scenario. Each Commando (demo agent) would tabulate scores for each player, individually, and then submit those. For the 2002 event the results were then posted publicly on the Classic BattleTech website (classicbattletech.com, now defunct). The winner made it into Field Manual: Updates. Further Martial Olympiads were held in 2003 and 2004, but the results were not covered in a product.

2002[edit]

Mechwarriors, Tankers, Ground Pounders, and Chopper Pilots, Welcome to the 26th Martial Olympiad. Originally created by the legendary Star League General Joseph Cameron as a way of keeping the Star League Defense Forces in fighting trim, the Martial Olympiad was run for over a century by the old Star League. The reborn Star League has brought back this tradition as a way to foster respect and understanding throughout the Inner Sphere, Periphery, and the Clan worlds. Each year we will run this competition to determine the best of the best. Those Classic Battletech players that know the game inside and out, the players who are best at operating in all environments and situations. To this end we’ve created a “Triathlon,” three scenarios designed to test your tactical ability and battlefield savvy. The players who do well in this Triathlon will prove that no matter what gets thrown their way, they can thrive in a dynamic situation and focus on completing the assigned mission. In other words, they will have proven that they are the best there is.

Six scenarios were defined this year:

  • Scenario #1 - None Shall Pass
  • Scenario #2 - Crunch Time
  • Scenario #3 - Smash and Grab
  • Scenario #4 - Stand up Fight
  • Scenario #5 - King of the Hill
  • Scenario #6 - Double Time!

2003[edit]

Mechwarriors, Tankers, Ground Pounders, and Chopper Pilots, Welcome to the 27th Martial Olympiad. Originally created by the legendary Star League General Joseph Cameron as a way of keeping the Star League Defense Forces in fighting trim, the Martial Olympiad was run for over a century by the old Star League. The reborn Star League has brought back this tradition as a way to foster respect and understanding throughout the Inner Sphere, Periphery, and the Clan worlds. Each year we will run this competition to determine the best of the best. Those Classic Battletech players that know the game inside and out, the players who are best at operating in all environments and situations. To this end we’ve created a “Triathlon,” three scenarios designed to test your tactical ability and battlefield savvy. The players who do well in this Triathlon will prove that no matter what gets thrown their way, they can thrive in a dynamic situation and focus on completing the assigned mission. In other words, they will have proven that they are the best there is.

Three scenarios were defined this year:

  • Scenario #1 - Ice Jam
  • Scenario #2 - Flash in the Pan!
  • Scenario #3 - Sunrise, Sunset

2004[edit]

Warriors, we are pleased to announce the opening of the 28th Martial Olympiad. This year's Martial Olympiad will challenge you all in ways that you have never before been challenged. The Martial Olympiad will still test your tactical prowess, and foster respect and understanding for all of those that participate, be they Inner Sphere, Periphery or the descendants of Kerensky. Like the Olympiads run during the old Star League, this tournament will determine which unit is the best of the best. Which unit has the tactical flexibility to conquer any obstacle thrown its way?

Four scenarios were defined this year:

  • Scenario #1 - Smash and Grab
  • Scenario #2 - Bomb Squad
  • Scenario #3 - '…'till you see the Whites of their Eyes'
  • Scenario #4 - Danger Close

The Battle of Monte Diablo[edit]

The Battle of Monte Diablo event was run on 2 March 2002 as the inaugural FanPro Commando Worldwide Event. It focused on a nonpivotal battle during the FedCom Civil War, the Battle of Monte Diablo, because FanPro did not want to have an unexpected scenario outcome affect the predetermined storyline.

Trial of Retribution[edit]

Trial of Retribution was originally scheduled to be run on 1 February 2003, the day that the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated. The scenario features a space battle (the attack against a Clan Ghost Bear Leviathan-class WarShip under still construction), and Scott "Clutch" Taylor postponed it because he did not want the Commandos to be running games featuring exploding spaceships just hours after the Columbia disaster. The event was rescheduled for 8 February 2003.

FanPro had limited edition Leviathan miniatures sculpted and sent to each Commando who ran the game—one for the game winner and one for the Commando.

Lawyers, Guns, & Money[edit]

The Lawyers, Guns, & Money scenario was run on May 24, 2003. It featured infighting among mercenary units on Epsilon Eridani over the discovery of a lostech treasure. Like the 2002 event, it was an isolated event largely irrelevant to the larger storyline, so that the outcome could be canonized with no problems.

Kings & Pawns[edit]

Kings & Pawns was run on November 20, 2004. This was the endgame battle for the chaotic situation on Hall that had been developed on the sidelines over several sourcebooks, again a side conflict with no impact on the larger storyline.

Vengeance Gambit[edit]

Vengeance Gambit was a Worldwide Event held over September 2006 (En Garde) and October 2006 (Riposte) covering The Third Battle of New Avalon during the Jihad.

Black Ghosts, White Death[edit]

Black Ghosts, White Death was a Worldwide Event held in March of 2007. On the world of Northwind, the infamous Northwind Highlanders regiments have been sidelined by a blockade, their fate unknown. Now, Colonel Loren Jaffray, leading an ad hoc unit, including the last remnants of the Black Watch, are attempting to free those regiments. Yet the Word of Blake will not take interference lightly and have dispatched a hunter killer unit of their most elite Manei Domini: the Opacus Venatori.

Operation Higashikuni[edit]

Operation Higashikuni was a Canon Event played at Gen Con 2007. The battles of Operation Higashikuni featured the mercenary coalition assembled by Chandrasekhar Kurita on Arcturus under surprise attack from the Word of Blake's 40th Shadow Division, with the Blakists trying to kill Kurita or reclaim the journal of Victoria Parrdeau that he had acquired, in an attempt to keep him from discovering sensitive information (such as the location of their secret "Ruins of Gabriel" shipyard). This dovetailed into the Canon Event to be played out at Gen Con 2008 (Operation Kabutomushi), which featured the attack by Chandrasekhar Kurita's coalition on the Ruins of Gabriel.

The Operation Higashikuni event for Gen Con 2007 was initially announced under the name Operation: Angel Requiem,[1] which was to be paired in October 2007 with a follow on event called Vengeance Gambit II. Vengeance Gambit II was however delayed until Gen Con 2008, and ultimately renamed Operation Kabutomushi.[2]

Return of the Wolves[edit]

Return of the Wolves was a Worldwide Event scheduled for June 2007, but apparently postponed to the last quarter of that year.

Operation Kabutomushi[edit]

Operation Kabutomushi, the 2008 Gen Con Canon Event covering the eponymous Operation Kabutomushi, was the attack by Kurita's coalition forces against the Ruins of Gabriel in the Odessa system, a naval battle between WarShip fleets. It unexpectedly ended with a Word of Blake victory, crushing Chandrasekhar Kurita's forces in their first battle after having been given a slew of sourcebook fiction and BattleCorps stories building them up as an elite anti-Blakist strike force. Canonizing this defeat was said to have upset the timeline as it had been plotted out by the developers, and necessitated some changes. A subsequent second attack was written as having been successful, bringing the storyline back on track with only relatively minor changes. It would still be the last such event for years to come.

Scorched Earth[edit]

Scorched Earth was a 2017 Worldwide Event created and run by the Catalyst Demo Team between the end of Origins games show that year and the first Monday of September (Labor Day in America) to bring back the Worldwide Events. It was explicitly noted, however, that the Demo Team had created this event with no endorsement from CGL and that it thus did not fulfill the criteria for a canonical event.

The scenario recreated the attack of Clan Wolf against the Free Rasalhague Republic planet of New Oslo during the Clan Invasion of 3050. It was somewhat broader in scope than previous events, including tabletop scenarios for classic boardgame BattleTech as well as Alpha Strike, and ready-to-run roleplaying scenarios for A Time of War.

Dig, Defend, or Die[edit]

Dig, Defend, or Die was the 2018 World Wide Event created by the Catalyst Demo Team and the second since the resumption of these events. Again played out from the end of Origins to Labor Day, it was the first to be considered canon since Operation Kabutomushi at Gen Con 2008.

The conflict was a late Jihad/early Dark Age Era event on the world of Stotzing in the former Free Worlds League, where the Green Ghosts pirates threaten the vulnerable world and the First Marik Protectors arrive to fight off the marauders.

After the event concluded, CGL released two related products on 10 September 2018: Spotlight On: First Marik Protectors and Touring the Stars: Stotzing. The scenario PDF and the accompanying MapPack consisting of four new maps were also offered for free download, and all four products were made available as a package deal.

Requiem for a Blue Star[edit]

Requiem for a Blue Star was the 2019 Worldwide Event run by Catalyst Demo Teams, again played out from the end of Origins until Labor Day.

Set in the late Dark Age Era, a lost world is disclosed as being the place where survivors of the SLDF's lost 295th BattleMech Division made landfall. ComStar had discovered the site a century earlier but kept it secret. However, by 3150 two mercenary units would race to this world to recover Star League era BattleMechs.

And Hell Followed With Him[edit]

And Hell Followed With Him was the 2020 Worldwide Event run by Catalyst Demo Teams, announced in late May 2020, and played mostly online over the following months due to the cancellation of Origins and other in-person events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The materials and results for this event have not been subsequently published, and as of this writing it was not declared canonical.

Set in the Clan Invasion Era, the event's scenarios relate to events during the conquest of Hyner by Clan Smoke Jaguar, during the Fifth Wave of Operation REVIVAL in November 3051.

References[edit]