Ashley Watkins

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Ashley Pollard portrait.jpg
Ashley Watkins (Pollard)
Occupation Author
BattleTech forum handle "Paint it Pink"

Ashley Watkins (now Ashley Pollard) is a British writer who contributed to Technical Readout: 3055. She was also involved in the first number of GamesMaster International, writing the small BattleTech Campaign it included.

In addition to writing, Ashley was a cognitive behavioral therapist.

Technical Readout: 3055 Work[1][edit]

I had the good fortune to be asked to write for the BattleTech universe by Sam Lewis. I had written to him suggesting a TRO to cover the Clan second line mechs and Inner Sphere combat support vehicles. My idea was to do a version of the 3025 book but using the new Clan technology rules.

Sam wrote back and said this was an interesting idea but given that I was in England it would be too difficult to coordinate this project.

You have to remember I was writing this stuff in the late 80s and early 90s before the advent of the internet we all know and love today. There was also the little thing of just having one person write a whole TRO. I was game, but the people at FASA thought it would be better if the work was given to more than one writer.

I remember having a conversation and asked what I would like to write for the book? I said the Clan second line mechs, which made "Black" Mike Nystul happy. Mostly because it seemed that no one had any interest in doing them because they were considered boring. They sent me a bunch of drawings and told me to design stats to match. At the time I knew nothing about the Harmony Gold problem and I was blissfully ignorant of any developments happening within FASA. All I wanted to do was produce stats for classic Inner Sphere mechs I liked.

I Also remember Mike apologizing about cutting the text down for the TRO after insisting on it for the original specification. I knew several of the other British based contributors to this product, and they all moaned about the amount of fluff text that had been specified. It's quite difficult to write things which have any relevance to the game.

FASA wanted five of the design optimized for Solaris, which back then had a different ground and time scale. The designs had to take advantage of the rules, and I was told that if there was any spare tonnage that this would be a good thing. Because they had ideas for scenarios with extra surprises.

They also told me that certain mechs were to be Diamond Sharks and to mention this when writing the text. I didn't have the first clue about who or what they were, other than they had plans. Also, I didn't design the Jenner that is in the Clan second line mech section.

Per Ashley's blog, she takes credit for the following items in Technical Readout: 3055:

Full Text Entries Note that the units had model numbers in Ashley's draft

BBN-1V Baboon (Howler)
BEH-0M3 Behemoth (Stone Rhino)
GRF-3BN Griffin (Griffin IIC)
GSH-0VK Goshawk (Vapor Eagle)
KKN-5N Kraken (Bane)
MTD-0R Matador (became the Phoenix Hawk IIC)
LCT-3WU Locust (Locust IIC)
MAD-4R Marauder (Marauder IIC)
PER-G1N Peregrine (Horned Owl)
RFL-6LP Rifleman (Rifleman IIC)
SHD-3J Shadow Hawk (Shadow Hawk IIC)
VPR-0S1 Viper (Black Python)
VXN-2S Vixen (Incubus)
WHM-9U Warhammer (Warhammer IIC)
WVR-6MU Hellhound (Conjurer)

Ashley has also described her design philosophy:

My design philosophy at the time (even now) is to design mechs which over heat slowly, and as they take damage, degrade gracefully. This suits my style of play. I'm not a frother who likes to overheat a mech for one extra shot on the enemy which ends up shutting down your mech.


  • Ashley believes that the game developers changed the rules for the Targeting Computer interaction with pulse lasers because of some of her designs. She incorrectly attributes the change to Herbert A. Beas II when he was Line Developer, whereas the rule change actually happened during Randall N. Bills' stint in that position.

See also[edit]


  1. Ashley Watkins' blog post about her involvement with Technical Readout: 3055