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banshee cover

Interstellar Operation Cometh…

I know, I know…I feel like the boy that called ‘rulebook!’ And I could go into the myriad of reasons for the delay of this final rulebook (and have numerous times in past blogs). However, it’s there for the delving into if readers want to dig into that.

Instead, this is simply all about to the future and I can say absolutely this book will publish next year.

First, we’ve got the current thumbnail outline below, which includes where it’s at in process:

BattleTech: Interstellar Operations
00 TOC/Credits (7 pp)
01 Introduction / Universe Intro (8 pp)
02A Fiction (4 pp)
02B Alternate Eras (In Review, 236 pp)
03A Fiction (4 pp)
03B Strategic BattleForce (90% written, 8 pp)
04A Fiction (4 pp)
04B Abstract Combat System (In Open Beta Test, 16pp)
05A Fiction (4 pp)
05B Inner Sphere at War (90% written, 80 pp)
06 Index (4 pp)
07 Reference & Record Sheets/Compiled Tables (9 pages)

384 Total

Second, as you can see noted above, the Abstract Combat System is now up for Open Beta Test! And we hope to have another section up shortly after this!

Interstellar Operations Beta – Abstract Combat System
Please post your playtest comments here.

Third, I’ve included an early sketch for the cover of Interstellar Operations. Note the composition of the various characters along the top may change (and we’ll talk about who they are perhaps at a later point). In other words, there’s a fair bit of tweaking and perhaps some surprises likely to come, but you can see it’s well on its way. And as usual, Alex is kicking it crazy time.

‘Wait, there’s sections missing!’ I hear you saying. Well…you’re right. There are sections missing. What does that mean? It means what you think it means. Once again, we have to split this book. Even if we went in and stripped out fiction and everything else, it’ll still be a 500+ page book. And those are just too expensive to print. We don’t want to wrap up the last of these rulebooks and have it be a bad proposition for everyone.

Hopefully most of you are smiling at my inability to keep things small…though if you’re upset, you have every right as well. But I believe what we’re doing will once again be well worth the wait and the extra book.

Here is the final book that will encompass all the extra material:

BattleTech Campaign Companion
00 TOC/Credits (5 pp)
01 / 02 Introduction / Universe Introduction (6 pp)
03A Fiction (4 pp)
03B Creating a Force (18 pp)
04A Fiction (4 pp)
04B Running a Force (26 pp)
05A Fiction (4 pp)
05B Large OpFor Creation Rules (Tentative; 20 pp)
06A Fiction (4 pp)
06B Roles/Force Building/Special Abilities (Tentative; 16 pp)
07A Fiction (4 pp)
07B Chaos Campaign (8 pp)
07C Missions (10 pp)
08A Fiction (4 pp)
08B Solar System Construction (35 pp)
09A Index (2 pp)
09B Tables (6 pp)

176 Total

You’ll note where the focus of this book is directed…straight at building and running a force and all that entails (including finding a print home for the much-loved Chaos Campaign rules not linked to a given Era, Solar System Construction rules for fleshing out planets to run games on, and so on). It allows Interstellar Operations to remain absolutely focused on what we’ve seen the community most commenting on for this book—the Alternate Eras (one of my own personal favorites) and the final rules that stage up to allow any level of play. At the same time, it provides a smaller book that can be used when building and running forces, building OpFor and so on.

‘But wait, won’t that mean another big delay to get to this book?’

Not at all. In fact, most of the sections in this book are closer to done than the sections in IO. But we’ve two sourcebooks, Historical: First Succession War and Historical: Second Succession War, that both tie directly into the large-scale rules found in IO and they need to coincide publishing in the Spring to maximize the use of IO alongside those great Historicals (and if there is any books that can make use of the IO rules, it’s those). The Campaign book, then, will publish in late Summer.

In the coming weeks we’ll start sharing more data on both books, as well as continuing to run some open beta tests so that you, the community, have a say in the final form of this books.

Thanks so much for your patience as we’ve reached this point…almost there…

Randall