Life Support (magazine)

This article is about the MechForce Germany magazine. For other uses, see Life Support.

Life Support
Product information
Type Magazine
Development Chief editor:
Detlef Howe (Issues 1–2, 4)
Hans Schönberg (Issues 3, 5–8)
Beat Volkert (Issue 8, with Hans Schönberg)
Primary writing Various contributors
Pages varies
Cover Artwork Various artists
Illustrations Various artists
Publication information
Publisher MechForce Germany
First published 1993–1995
MSRP 7,50 DM (Issues 1-6)
8,50 DM (Issues 7–8)

Life Support was the German-language BattleTech magazine published by the first incarnation of the MechForce Germany (MFG). It contained internal MFG news and ranking lists as well as rules, essays, fiction, scenarios, 'Mech designs and record sheets, and similar information, some of it original, some translated from American BattleTech publications.

The magazine was issued to MFG members, but was also available for sale independent of MFG membership. A total of eight issues were published before the first MFG folded.


As a German-only product, the Life Support magazine does not fall under the current definition of Canon for the BattleTech universe.

The MechForce Germany organization was officially sanctioned by FASA, therefore Life Support can be regarded as an official (apocryphal) BattleTech publication. However, its content was not checked for continuity whatsoever by FASA.

FanPro, on the other hand, holder of the German BattleTech license and publisher of the German-language BattleTech game line, maintained close contact with the MFG fan organization to the point that several items first published by the MFG found their way into official German-language BattleTech products, particularly the expanded Arena-Planet Solaris VII which reproduced the rules for Dual Cockpits and ECM 3025. Likewise, the Linesman BattleMech introduced by the MFG was officially mentioned in BattleTech – Die Welt des 31. Jahrhunderts which was produced by Heyne, the publisher of the German novel line.

Issue 1[edit]

Life Support, Issue 1

The first issue, markedly short at only 24 pages, served mainly to introduce the MFG and its structure and ranking system. Notable content includes:

  • Essay/fiction with critical remarks about new (Clan) technology and how it changed the game
  • Essay decrying rampant munchkinism in BattleTech roleplaying
  • A BV listing
  • Scenario "Rettet den Botschafter" ("Save the ambassador")
  • A report about the European Gen Con 92 where several MFG founding members including Detlef Howe and Dirk Scharfenstein had met with Bob Nicholls of the MFUK and Tom Dowd from FASA and signed a license agreement on 15 November 1992 that would be a headstone for the MFG.

Issue 2[edit]

Life Support, Issue 2

Published with some delay, this 40-page issue concerns itself mainly with internal organizational news, the introduction of MFG "House Officers" to aid internal administration, and rules pertaining to the personal 'Mech that all MFG members had been assigned upon joining. Other topics include the start of a Solaris VII league, the Chicago BattleTech Center, and several short stories.

Issue 3[edit]

Life Support, Issue 3

40 pages. Contained a loose sheet that explained certain chapter rules published within this issue to be outdated, and updated them. Other content includes:

  • Scenario "'...schon wieder eine langweilige Streife..." ("...another boring patrol")
  • Article about the 'Garde Romano Liao', Romano Liao's personal 'Mech battalion with elite infantry
  • History/timeline of the fall of the Star League, part I
  • Keine Chance! (short story, part 1)

Issue 4[edit]

Life Support, Issue 4

48 pages. Notable content includes:

  • History/timeline of the fall of the Star League, part II
  • Detailed article on the ISF
  • LMN-1PT5 Linesman BattleMech write-up & stats
  • Keine Chance! (part 2)
  • BattleMech development history/timeline (part 1)
  • FLC-4N Falcon BattleMech write-up & record sheet (translated from BattleTechnology #0101)

Issue 5[edit]

Life Support, Issue 5

This 76-page issue was made Clan-centric. Notable content includes:

Issue 6[edit]

Life Support, Issue 6

Following an announcement in the previous issue, this 76-page issue was also issued for the newly formed MechForce Switzerland. Notable content includes:

  • Detailed article on the DMI
  • Keine Chance! (part 4)
  • Dual Cockpit rules
  • Write-up for the modified black Griffins guarding the throne of the Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth
  • ECM 3025 rules
  • BattleMech development history/timeline (part 2)
  • History/timeline of the fall of the Star League, part V [sic] (there is no part IV)
  • Record sheets for various 'Mechs with Dual Cockpit refits (using the English 'Mech names instead of the established German translations):
  • LMN-1PT5 Linesman record sheet (to go with the write-up in issue #4)

Issue 7[edit]

Life Support, Issue 7

72 pages. This issue is somewhat Solaris VII-focused, including Solaris Mech Federation (SMF) house-rules and Solaris VII fiction. Notable content includes:

  • Clan terminology overview
  • Rundown of Clan names (totem animals) and their origin and meaning
  • Dueling rules consisting of a combination of the Solaris VII 'Mech Duel Rules and optional rules from the Tactical Handbook
  • They call me Toad (short story, part 1)
  • KRZ-1G Templar BattleMech write-up & record sheet (Crusader variant; in the German BattleTech edition, the CRD-3R Crusader was translated as KRZ-3R Kreuzritter)
  • SL-21 G Sholagar aerospace fighter write-up & record sheet

Issue 8[edit]

Life Support, Issue 8

72 pages. Notable content includes:

  • Detailed description of the interior of a BattleMech cockpit
  • Essay on BattleTech tactics (translation of an article by Blaine Pardoe in StarDrive Vol. 1, No. 1, November 1987)
  • They call me Toad (part 2)
  • HCT-3F Hatchetman BattleMech write-up & record sheet (a suggested rework of the published design to account for Hatchet rules)
  • RFL-3N Rifleman BattleMech write-up & record sheet (reworked; lower arm actuators removed "to end the discussion about flipping arms.")
  • Sidewinder OmniMech write-up & record sheet