Tales of the Black Widow Company
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|Tales of the Black Widow Company|
|Development||Jordan K. Weisman|
L. Ross Babcock III (Editor-In-Chief)
Donna Ippolito (Editor)
|Primary writing||L. Ross Babcock,|
Patrick L. Larkin,
J. Andrew Keith,
William H. Keith, Jr.
|Cover Artwork||Jim Halloway|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Timeline||3015 – 3022|
|Followed by||More Tales of the Black Widow|
Tales of the Black Widow Company is the first scenario pack that was published for the BattleTech boardgame. It was apparently designed with the earlier Battledroids rules, as the unique BattleMechs featured in the book comply with Battledroids construction rules but violate BattleTech construction rules.
The book focuses on the legendary Natasha Kerensky and her Black Widow Company. It details the unit's pilots and 'Mechs during the period that their parent unit, Wolf's Dragoons, were in the service of the Draconis Combine (3023 to 3028). A separate scenario is set in 3022, when the Dragoons were in service of the Lyran Commonwealth. The book gives a brief history of Wolf's Dragoons, and their leader Jaime Wolf, before going on to detail the history of the Black Widow Company itself. It then gives information of all twelve pilots in the company and their 'Mechs, including details of mechanical foibles and failures that the 'Mechs suffer from.
After the information on the unit, the book presents eleven stand-alone scenarios and a short four-mission campaign to challenge the Black Widow Company. Each scenario has a short piece of fiction to set the scene before going on to detail the setup for the mission, with information on which members of the Black Widow Company are involved in the battle and how they are deployed, details of the opposing units and their deployment, victory and loss conditions for each side as well as any special rules for the scenario.
From the back cover
|“||This supplement is packed with descriptions of one of BattleTech's most elite fighting companies: The Black Widow Company of Wolf's Dragoons. Selling their services to the highest bidder, this mercenary unit is well known throughout the Successor States. Included is a history of the Black Widow Company and her commander, Natasha Kerensky, details of the units that make up the company and the MechWarriors who do the fighting, plus 15 scenarios of actual engagements fought by the Black Widow.||”|
- How To Use The Scenarios Presented
- Wolf's Dragoons
- Brief Regimental History
- Jaime Wolf, Brief Personal History
- Kerensky's Black Widows: Brief History
- Lady Sings The Blues
- Queen's Gambit
- Scavenger Hunt
- Spider Trap
- The Lady And The Tiger
- Leave No Survivors
- Dawn Patrol
- Fog Of War
- The Bounty Hunter
- Lady's Man
- Ghost Unit
- The Battle For Hoff
- Scenario I
- Scenario II
- Scenario III
- Scenario IV
- In 1985, FASA provided a scenario named Bitter End: The Defense of Connor's Pass to the Game News magazine, who published it in their #8 (October 1985) issue. The scenario was described as an excerpt from the Tales of the Black Widow Company scenario pack, which was also advertised on the same pages in the magazine, and presented in a similar style, but it does not actually appear in this book.
A French edition was published in 1989 by Hexagonal as Récits de la Compagnie de la Veuve Noire.
|Der Biß der Schwarzen Witwe|
|Contribution||Reinhold H. Mai (translation and scenario design), Werner Fuchs (Editor & Layout), Robert Simon (Editor) and Harry Kaltenbach (Setting)|
A German edition was released by Fantasy Productions in 1989. The translation, as well as one additional BattleTech scenario not included in the original version of the product, were credited to Reinhold H. Mai. The German version is printed as DIN A4, a standard European paper size, which is a little larger then North American Letter.
In typical FanPro fashion, the original edition was not just translated but altered to some degree:
- The "Spider Trap" scenario (depicting the attempt by elements of the 3rd Davion Guards and Lindon's Company to kill Natasha Kerensky during a battle on Coursadin) is not included. This scenario was instead included in the rulebook going with the German edition of the BattleTech 2nd Edition boxed set.
- A new scenario by German translator Reinhold H. Mai: "Heisse Gemüter" (Quick Temper) was added - Draconis Combine forces have attacked the Lyran world Kobe, where Kerensky's Command Lance encounters Ryan's Battle Lance of the defending Waco Rangers. Both sides have another lance on the way to support them. The landscape, including all water, is frozen, but a nearby volcano is active and gradually raising the ambient temperature during the battle.
- The back cover was changed:
- The half-sentence "Selling their services to the highest bidder," is left out in German translation.
- The back cover shows illustrations of the Black Widow Company's 'Mechs, next to them is a text suggesting to cut them out for using them in gameplay ("Die nebenstehenden 'Mechs können ausgeschnitten und als BattleTech-Figuren für diese Einheit benutzt werden.")
- The back cover lists some of the scenarios included.
Spelling and Names
As with other German products prior to 1997 spelling and names (especially places and units) as well as most abbreviations were regularly adjusted. For instance the 'Mech unit Archer was renamed to Schütze, the planet Gotterdammerung was respelled to Götterdämmerung, the DCMS (Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery) became VSDK (Vereinigte Streitkräfte des Draconis Kombinats) and so on.
A Japanese edition was published in 1992 by 富士見書房 (Fujimi Shobo) as ブラックウイドウ (ISBN 4829172096).