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BattleTech: State of the Game, June 2020
On June 9, 2020
In BattleTech, exploration often takes a backseat to warfare. After all, ours is a game of armored combat, often more concerned with conquering the known worlds of the Inner Sphere than discovering new ones. But in the coming months, exploration and expansion will be at the heart of the BattleTech products we deliver.
To be clear: we’re not talking about a new edition of Explorer Corps, literally redrawing the map beyond the established borders of the Inner Sphere. We’re talking about thematic explorations and expansions of BattleTech’s history and future. In our fiction, our sourcebooks, even our miniature line, we’ll be exploring stories we’ve never told before, discovering new facets to favorite Mechs and factions, and expanding the ways you play BattleTech.
Of course, an essential part of this journey is the delivery of last year’s wildly successful BattleTech: Clan Invasion Kickstarter campaign. To say that our original delivery estimates were overtaken by events is an understatement. But the Wave 1 products are nearing production now, and we’ve made substantial progress on the Wave 2 miniature designs and other products. For more details, keep an eye out for upcoming updates through the Kickstarter platform.
With that Kickstarter came many customers either new to BattleTech or returning after a long absence from the game. To them, we say: welcome! We want to assure our new and returning customers that we’re working hard to carefully design upcoming products to be accessible and as table-ready as possible. We have two fantastic boxed sets that are readily available, frequently reprinted, and self-sustaining. Our very popular BattleMech Manual provides all the rules you’ll need for ’Mech-centric battles in an attractive, digestible format. With the recent reprint of the twin Tactical Operations books, all of our core rule books (Total Warfare, TechManual, Tactical Operations Advanced Rules and Advanced Units & Equipment) are in print and available.
Below, you’ll find details of the various upcoming products organized by their expected delivery date. As always, remember that these dates are tentative as of this writing (early June 2020) and could change. We’ll do our best to provide further updates if and when that happens.
We realize it’s a hefty list, but we hope you’ll take a moment to review all that we have in store. Perhaps you’ll share the product you’re looking forward to the most on our official forums at bg.battletech.com/forums.
With that, check all docking collars, furl the sails, and make ready to jump—there’s so much we want to show you.
Ray Arrastia, BattleTech Line Developer
Aaron Cahall, BattleTech Line Editor
John Helfers, BattleTech Fiction Developer
North American Continent, Terra
Republic of the Sphere (Contested)
9 June 2020
Third Quarter 2020 Releases
Turning Points: Tyrfing
Release Date: Friday, June 12
Rumors of valuable Star League hardware left over from the war against Stefan the Usurper bring treasure hunters to the Free Worlds League world of Tyrfing in the midst of the First Succession War.
These trespassers hailed from the Capellan Confederation and Lyran Commonwealth. The Free Worlders sent reinforcements, only for the rumors to spread to the other Successor States. Soon, forces from the Federated Suns and Draconis Combine joined those already on Tyrfing. The Five-Way War for the fabled treasure of Tyrfing had begun!
Recognition Guide: ilClan, vol. 1 through 22
Release Date: Friday, June 19 (vol. 1), continuing every two weeks through Aug. 28 (vol. 6); resuming in early Fall 2020.
The march of technology across BattleTech’s eras is relentless—but some BattleMech designs never die. Each installment of this PDF-only series not only includes a brand new BattleMech or OmniMech, but also details Classic ‘Mech designs from both the Inner Sphere and the Clans, now fully rebuilt with Dark Age technology (3085 and beyond). Allowing beloved units redesigned for the BattleTech: Clan Invasion Kickstarter to be competitive on “modern” battlefields, this series also includes in-universe development notes, battle histories, notable pilots, and record sheets for each ‘Mech. Released as a series of 22 PDF-only documents through the end of 2020 and early 2021, many ’Mechs featured in this series will be collected as a single print volume upon its completion.
And make sure to keep an eye out for updates from Iron Wind Metals, as we’re working closely with them on producing miniatures for the ’Mechs debuting in the RecGuide.
Grey Watch Protocol: The Highlander Covenant, Book One
Release Date: June
From the pages of Shattered Fortress, Michael A. Ciaravella’s tale of the Northwind Highlanders begins here. Homeworld of the famed Northwind Highlanders mercenaries, Northwind represents not only the site of a century-old betrayal, but it boasts the only working hyperpulse generator along the line of the Confederation’s advance. Sang-shao Lindsey Baxter and the Fourth McCarron’s Armored Cavalry have been tasked with taking Northwind at all costs, and the besieged Republic is unable to lend further support to the defending XII Hastati Sentinels. Northwind will be easy pickings, and other sharks smell blood in the water. The Highlanders’ honor remains strong, but will it be enough to survive the coming storm?
Rogue Academy: Ghost Hour
Release Date: June
Jennifer Brozek’s Rogue Academy trilogy of young adult-oriented fiction continues. Jasper and Nadine Roux are cadets at the Ritza MechWarrior Academy…the only thing stopping a megalomaniacal Draconis Combine general with aspirations of claiming a piece of space as his own—starting with their home planet. Emporia is at war, and cadets are now frontline soldiers as Tai-sa Takeji Yoshizawa shifts tactics in a brutal effort to subjugate their entire world. Under pressure on all sides, Jasper agrees to Nadine’s audacious plan to make Emporia too much trouble for the leader of the Seventh Ghost Regiment to conquer. Unfortunately for them, Tai-sa Yoshizawa has his own secrets, and nothing left to lose…which could spell doom for not only the cadets, but all of Emporia.
Rock of the Republic
Release Date: June
The next novella in the march toward the ilClan, by Blaine Lee Pardoe! Former Exarch Damien Redburn and his Republic Remnant kept the faith during the long years of Fortress Republic. Now the Wall is down, but will Redburn be so eager to rejoin his friends and former comrades under the banner of the Republic Armed Forces?
Icons of War
Release Date: June
Vlad Ward is planning Clan Wolf’s departure from the Homeworlds. But before they leave, there’s one thing he must acquire—the body of the Great Father, Aleksandr Kerensky, interred aboard the WarShip McKenna’s Pride. But with the floating tomb heavily guarded by the rest of the Clans, the mission seems impossible—until Ward turns to an Elemental with an unorthodox plan to recover the general’s body.
Technical Readout: Golden Century
Release Date: Friday, June 26
Long awaited and much anticipated, this PDF product will explore the Clans’ technological development during the Golden Century following the death of ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky. As the Clans found their footing in their new homeworlds, new BattleMech, vehicle, and aerospace designs emerged. Some would evolve into the units seen during Operation Revival, some would fall by the wayside—and a few would die along with their Clans.
Technical Readout: Irregulars
Release Date: Friday, July 10
On the battlefields of the Inner Sphere, you fight with whatever’s at hand—whether or not it was meant to be a weapon. This PDF product details the ad-hoc, misfit, or cobbled-together combat units pressed into service on the far-flung worlds of the Successor States.
Touring the Stars: Kaumberg
Release Date: Friday, July 24
The next wave of Touring the Stars rolls on! In addition to a stop on the Lyran Commonwealth world of Kaumberg, look for other volumes connected to Turning Points and Brush Wars products (see below).
Spotlight On: Thermo Police
Release Date: July 24
Beyond the edge of acknowledged civilization lie the Outworlds Wastes. Planets abandoned by the Star League centuries ago. Governments shattered by apathy, obscurity, and the march of time struggle to provide even the most basic needs of their people.
From these meager surroundings one small, but zealously dedicated unit stands to serve and protect the remnants of their realm. The Thermo Police may be enrolled as mercenaries but in truth they patrol these lawless stars seeking to bring the order they once knew. Specializing in non-lethal tactics, and trained beyond the typical pirates and bandits prowling the Wastes, their next encounter could be from past the distant stars they call home. But will it be a threat or an opportunity?
Release Date: July
A tale from new BattleTech author Bryan Young. Jade Falcon Star Captain Archer Pryde is a true warrior’s warrior, sworn to uphold the tenets of his Clan no matter what. But while putting down a rebellion with as little bloodshed as possible on his garrison planet, he received a new superior officer who seems to be evaluating him—but to what end? Also, there are rumblings that the Jade Falcons will soon be on the move—but to where? Secrecy and intrigue seem to be the watchwords of the day, and when the final orders come in, Pryde will have to choose between his honor and that of his Clan’s to win the day.
Operational Turning Points: Hanseatic Crusade
Release Date: Friday, Aug. 7
Beyond the coreward border of the Inner Sphere, the survivors of a Clan cast out during the Wars of Reaving are stirring. This PDF product traces the rechristened Scorpion Empire’s campaign against the Hanseatic League, starting in 3140. In addition to a fiction offering, this OTP will be supported by a series of companion PDF products through the month of August and early September:
Friday, Aug. 21: Touring the Stars: Braunschweig; Spotlight On: Schmidt’s Petraries
Friday, Sept. 4: Touring the Stars: Valencia; Spotlight On: Hellion Keshik
Hour of the Wolf
Release Date: August
The long-awaited novel by bestselling BattleTech author Blaine Lee Pardoe! With the once-impregnable wall around Fortress Republic finally gone, Clan Wolf begins its final hunt to claim the mantle of ilClan, but Khan Alaric Ward’s victory is far from assured. The Republic stands tall with legions of fanatically loyal soldiers, Knights, and ’Mechs ready to defend Devlin Stone’s dream to the last. But Malvina Hazen’s Jade Falcons are racing toward the Clans’ ultimate goal as well, and will not allow their greatest rivals to achieve supremacy without a battle that will decide the fate of the universe. Surrounding Terra, the rest of the Inner Sphere’s great powers watch this impending clash unfold…and bide their own time to strike.
Release Date: September
The second issue of the new, official BattleTech magazine offers fiction from veteran authors and new voices, along with content for a variety of BattleTech game systems, and in-universe content you won’t find anywhere else.
Brush Wars series
Despite the millions (!) of words laid down in BattleTech sourcebooks over the years, some conflicts have never seen the spotlight. The original Historical: Brush Wars sourcebook covered a few such campaigns during the Succession Wars era, and Historical: Wars of the Republic Era tackled a few more which occurred between the end of the Jihad and the HPG Blackout. This series will go farther, criss-crossing all eras of BattleTech with deep dives into conflicts which have never gotten the sourcebook treatment.
Recalling those earlier Historical products, each Brush Wars installment will dedicate significant space to describing each campaign. And, like Operational Turning Point: Hanseatic Crusade, each Brush Wars release in PDF will be supported by a slate of companion PDFs, with an eye toward eventual compilation in POD format. What’s more, the two previous volumes mentioned above will be re-released in POD, dropping the defunct “Historical” naming and re-branded with the Brush Wars moniker.
Several Brush Wars releases are in the works, including the Burrock Absorption, the Battle of Dahlgren, the St. Ives War, and the First Combine-Ghost Bear War. But up first is…
Brush Wars: Operation Guerrero
Release Date: Friday, Sept. 11
The revelation of Victor Steiner-Davion’s replacement of the ailing Joshua Marik with a double blew the lid off simmering tensions in the Sarna March, with Free Worlds League troops storming into Federated Commonwealth space and Capellan guerillas undoing Hanse Davion’s gains of the Fourth Succession War. Operation Guerrero began in vengeance for a young boy’s assumed death, and ended with the sundering of the most powerful Successor State.
Supporting Brush Wars: Operation Guerrero will be a Touring the Stars and Spotlight On product, currently in development.
BattleMech Technical Blueprints Volume 1
Release Date: Third Quarter
Massive firepower combined with unparalleled levels of armor protection make the BattleMech the ultimate war machine of the 32nd century. Top saFactors have compiled technical blueprints for four of these dreaded juggernauts: Phoenix Hawk, Warhammer, Timber Wolf, and Dire Wolf.
BattleTech Print on Demand
Release Date: Third Quarter
We’ve slowly started to release our out-of-print books via Print on Demand (POD), and the response has been unanimously positive. To date, we offer The Wars of Reaving, The First Succession War, The Second Succession War, House Arano, and the BattleTech Activity Book as POD physical copies, available for purchase on DriveThruRPG.
We will further expand our POD library in the coming months by releasing Brush Wars (rebranded as Brush Wars Volume 1), Wars of the Republic Era (rebranded as Brush Wars Volume 2), and Operation Klondike.
Fourth Quarter 2020 and Beyond
To whet your appetite, here’s a small sampling of products in development for later this year and beyond. Remember, all titles and details are subject to change—after all, they’re still in development!
Chaos Campaign: Battle of Tukayyid
Blood Will Tell by Jason Schmetzer
Spotlight On: The Stealths
Hunting Season by Philip A. Lee
Spotlight On: Snord’s Irregulars
Rogue Academy #3: Crimson Dawn by Jennifer Brozek
Touring the Stars POD compilation
Spotlight On: Payne’s Raiders
Map Pack: Alien Worlds
…and much more in the works….
- Now Available: Battle of Tukayyid Campaign Book, Supplemental, and New Fiction
- Now Available: Recognition Guide vol. 8; New Battle of Tukayyid Fiction
- Now Available – Recognition Guide: ilClan Volume 7 and New Tukayyid Fiction
- Catalyst Game Labs Names BattleTech Assistant Line Developer; CamoSpecs Online Coordinator Selected