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If you’ve not already seen it, take a look at the announcement where we talk about the coming Lance Packs for BattleTech that’ll bring a slew of miniatures to your table.

This is actually something we’ve been working on for ages, upon ages…I’ve got files dating back over a half decade where I posited selling ready-to-play plastic miniatures for a reasonable price via Lance Packs. But it’s taken this long to wend our way through the trials and tribulations of working through this process. That’s included moving the BattleTech box set through 4 printers to the current printer. The last printing we just released absolutely had the quality we’ve been looking for, especially for the miniatures. And that relationship has finally unlocked our ability to produce plastics.

I’m sure there’s plenty more questions being asked, so I’ll try and hit some of the top items:

1. “Will the quality of the miniatures be the same?” Unless something drastically goes wrong, yes. We’re using the same manufacture–and the same process–that generated the quality of the 24 ready-to-play miniatures found in the Introductory Box Set. So you should get the same great quality in every Lance Pack.

2. “Will there be BattleTech record sheets in these?” No. There are print Record Sheets: 3039 and Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade, as well as unabridged PDFs that allows for the easy printing of a variety of variants for all the miniatures in these Lance Packs. The boxes are only 7.5″ x 5″, so instead of cramming in record sheets, we leave those to those other great books.

3. “You mention 8 Alpha Strike cards. What exactly does that mean?” First, in case you’ve not seen it yet, Alpha Strike is our “pure” tabletop miniatures game play style of rules. Can turn an entire evening of play into just an hour or so, retaining the feel of BattleTech while speeding up play in a big way.

We did a Gen Con/Pax Prime exclusive deck of Alpha Strike cards. On the whole they went over very well but we had a lot of feedback from the players and the biggest complaint was not being able to track criticals directly on a card. As you can see from the sample below, we’ve taken care of that issue.

Also, unlike those con-exclusive cards, these will be double-sided to increase the over-all playability of the miniatures and the cards (hence the ability to include two variants for each BattleMech, covering different Eras).

Lance Pack Stat Cards_Victor9B

Lance Pack Stat Cards_Victor9D

4. “What about Iron Wind Metals? Are they okay with you guys producing more plastics?” Absolutely. Iron Wind Metals has been completely supportive from day one of our move into plastics. Even if we decided to double or even triple the number of plastic miniatures we produce, we’d only be a small scratch on the surface of all the brilliant metal miniatures that Iron Wind Metals offers, covering the gamut of unit types and Eras.

In fact, one of the Alpha Strike cards in each Lance Pack are not for the units in the box, but help to push players towards additional miniatures you can find via Iron Wind Metals.

5. “Will there be more ‘Mechs beyond the Succession Wars/Clan Invasion Eras?” Obviously there is a monster swath of units for BattleTech and we need to start somewhere. Connecting these first Lance Packs with the time frame covered by the Introductory Box Set, Alpha Strike and even MechWarrior Online is just the best move. If these do well obviously we’ll move into Lance Packs that’ll cover other Eras as well.

6. “Clan ‘Mechs…I want Clan ‘Mechs!” So do we! I’ve had most of the contents of a “Clan Box Set” done (including all the art) for years and years, waiting on us to figure out the details on the miniatures. It’s currently “penciled in” for 2015, along with “Star Packs”…however, that is 100% based upon the sales of the first few packs.

I’m super excited to reach this point in BattleTech‘s storied career and can’t wait to see these on gaming tables!

Randall