Today marks a momentous day, MechWarriors, as we celebrate the successful conclusion of the BattleMech Recognition Guide: ilClan series.

Since the release of the first volume back in June 2020, the “RecGuides” have become a much-anticipated and best-selling addition to the BattleTech line, updating Classic ‘Mechs and launching all-new designs while providing a steady stream of new content for the line.

To close out the series, here’s product developer Johannes Heidler with his reflections on this journey:

So here we are at the end of the RecGuide run. And what a run it was! It has been more than three years since Ray approached me with the statement “It’s the Unseen. The new classics… They need to be relevant. Now. 3150. 3151. 3152. etc forever.“ on 3 January 2020. Looking back at the frenetic chats that followed through to at least Q2 of 2020, we worked hard to find that “eierlegende Wollmilchsau.” Pardon the German. The RecGuides needed to be a swiss-army-knife TRO that accomplished the following:

  • Make the miniatures produced for a 3050-set crowdfunding campaign—a hugely successful one that reinvigorated BattleTech like nothing before—relevant in the 3150 setting, the storyline’s current here and now;
  • Follow the visuals of the miniatures exactly, but also preserve the historical “feel” of the game pieces vis-a-vis their peers;
  • Make these “Classics” as competitive as can be, employing cutting-edge construction rules but keeping them simple enough to use for pick-up games (by mostly sticking to BattleMech Manual rules);
  • Create often back-dated lore conveying the 100-year old (or more) story of these machines in a believable way.

(One side note, which I can’t seem to fit in elsewhere: a lot of like-minded writers jumped into this feet first to such an extent that the entire project is filled with really, really deep cuts from BattleTech’s history, be it sourcebooks, novels, computer games from all eras and platforms, apocrypha, or even internet/fan history!)

Hence my usage of the foreign idiom above: some of the goals above seemed mutually exclusive, but needed to be met nevertheless. I feel the success of the series was contingent on these first months of discussion, which gave us an expanded format for the true Classics—our new label for what was once the “Unseen.” From there, everything fell into place. As the project’s scope took on shape based on the definition of various groups of ‘Mechs (true Classics vs Clan Classics vs OmniMechs vs the rest), we were able to include new machines as well. These incorporated some BattleMechs already conceived behind the scenes for the ilClan storyline as well as some new units that genuinely pushed the boundaries of what BattleTech has seen.

All the while, the scope continued to balloon. (Aaron is best prepared to say something about that. Ahem.) We went from 22 to 24 planned issues, by which time, a new crowdfunding project had started preparations. Suddenly, there were classic vehicles involved. The mission parameters stayed the same, but as for the scope, eh. We are proud to finally conclude the new releases at issue 32, more than three years after the project’s start.

Any such monumental project is collaborative from start to finish. The credits across the 32 issues contain a huge list of writers, artists, factcheckers, and production staff both old and new, who worked so hard to make this series a reality. Ultimately, this was a labor of love for all involved, whose willingness to plough on was fueled at all steps by the enthusiasm and appreciation of the fans who follwed the project along the way. We were happy that the RecGuide’s elaborate format even allowed some of you to join canon as the heroic MechWarriors using these machines across all of BattleTech’s eras.

What a ride! To all the RecGuide’s contributors and fans, I say a hearty THANK YOU!

We sincerely thank everyone who has purchased a RecGuide, eagerly fielded a new ‘Mech or variant, and supported this unique experiment.

And for those waiting for the print compilations, we haven’t forgotten you! The first volume in the series, detailing the new variants of Classic ‘Mechs, is nearing completion and should be available soon!

BattleMech Recognition Guide: ilClan, Vol. 32

PDF: $3.99

The march of technology across BattleTech’s eras is relentless—but some war machines never die. This PDF-only series includes brand-new BattleMechs and OmniMechs, alongside Classic ’Mechs and combat vehicles from both the Inner Sphere and the Clans rebuilt with the latest technology to keep them competitive on modern battlefields. This series also includes in-universe development notes, battle histories, notable pilots, and record sheets for each unit.

Catalyst Web Store:

Store Sign-Up for Mercenaries Kickstarter Launch Parties

In other news, the survey form for game stores and other venues interested in hosting a BattleTech: Mercenaries Kickstarter launch party is now available.

Store owners or staff can complete the form by clicking here.

Important Note: This form is intended for completion ONLY by store owners or their designated representatives, i.e. staff members. Submissions from unaffiliated individuals will be disregarded. If you would like your local venue to be considered, please provide ownership or management with the link above!