Battletech Drop Pod Sequence Initiated… Three, Two, One!

There’s been some rest and re-fit going on with BattleTech, but it’s time for the action to start ramping up once more. There’s so much heavy metal excitement, we’ve merged them into a single mega-announcement. Strap in and hang on for the atmospheric interface, ’cause it’s gonna be one fantastic ride into a hot zone of gaming action!

INTERSTELLAR OPERATION BETA RELEASE

CAT35006X-Interstellar-Operations-BETA-Cover-1-240x300Catalyst Game Labs is pleased to announce the Beta release of the sixth core BattleTech rulebook: Interstellar Operations.

“BattleTech has a brilliant community,” said Randall N. Bills, Managing Developer. “As we discovered during the Beta release of A Time of War several years ago, their attention to detail is fantastic, enabling us to publish better books at every step. That dedication still deserves attention.”

With that in mind we’re repeating that previous process, releasing Interstellar Operations in a “Beta Release” PDF book (players will notice there’s no index yet, for example). We’ve started a Interstellar Operations Beta fan input thread on the BattleTech forums. Until the 1st of September [end of day, PST] we’ll be watching the thread to see what problems the community discovers. At that point we’ll address those issues that need work, and then ship the to the printers. Keep in mind, though, that there’s a difference between “error/broken” and “don’t like it that way” when it comes to the rules; the prior is what well be addressing, not the latter.

To thank players for all they’ve done over the years—and for the help in ensuring this book we’ve all waited so long for is the best it can be—we’re inviting all players to submit Interstellar Operations scenarios for potential publication (as we did the Adventure Seeds for A Time of War). Once you’ve bought and downloaded the PDF, please take a look at the following downloads as well:

Interstellar Operations Scenario Samples and Template

Anyone interested in getting a scenario published should generate one using the Sample as a guide, and specifically use the Template when creating the actual scenario. The specifics of the form of these scenarios are still in flux. Player feedback will help to determine that final form…and your submission might not only be chosen, but you might just influence how these scenarios will look as well!

After reviewing the material above and generating your scenarios, post your submission(s) to the Interstellar Operations Scenario thread we’ve started on the BattleTech forums. When you post your scenario(s), please include your name as you wish it to potentially appear in the book if yours is accepted. Catalyst will review those scenarios they find most unique and fitting and will publish several in the final Interstellar Operations book, tweaking and editing as appropriate to fit our publication style.

In order to ensure maximum exposure, Catalyst Game Labs is releasing the PDF at $10 for a limited time. Once a street date for the book is determined (i.e., it’s in our warehouse), Catalyst Game Labs will release the final version of the PDF, with the price returning to the standard $25. Anyone who previously purchased the PDF at $10 will automatically receive a free upgrade to the final PDF.

Where to Purchase the PDF:

Gen Con Print Edition
What’s more, there will be a limited, softback print edition of this Beta book available for $20 at Gen Con. Anyone who purchases the book at Gen Con will receive the PDF for free. We have a very limited number of these books, so if you want one, make sure you show up at the Catalyst booth on the first day!

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REIMAGINING THE CLASSICS

Warhammer-FINAL-Posed1-300x300The re-designing of the unseen BattleMechs that was accomplished as part of Project Phoenix was the right option at that time. It ensured those BattleMechs were usable by the community in both Technical Readouts and miniatures form as we thoroughly explored the unfolding plot lines of the Jihad Era.

However, as FanPro—and then Catalyst—continued to exploring the full breadth of the BattleTechhistory in Historical, Era and Field Manual sourcebooks, it became more apparent that the solution that worked so well for post-3067 left the ’Mech berths empty for previous time periods, especially the Succession Wars. After years of weighing the pros and cons, we’ve made the decision to not just dip our toes in the pool, but to leap into the deep end: straight out of the DropShips into a hot LZ!

Warhammer-FINAL-Posed3-300x300We’ve spent the last half-year re-imagining the unseen BattleMechs that will always be one of the hallmarks of BattleTech. Our goal during all of this remains to merge 21st Century sensibilities with the classic lines that make those ’Mechs so near and dear to all of us.

As part of this announcement you’ll see two covers that feature the results of this extensive work, as well as a render to start proof-of-concept miniatures production. In the coming weeks and months we’ll be rolling out more covers and sketches to show all the work that’s been merged into this amazing project.

THE RETURN OF BATTLETECH NOVELS

CAT35820-EmbersofWar_Cover-194x300It’s been a long, long haul to get here: fusion drives off-line; blown helium seals; mis-jumps … you name it, we’ve slogged through it.

However, over the last year we’ve successfully published six Shadowrun novels, with more on the way. We’re now applying that success to novel-length BattleTech fiction, with the launch novel, Embers of War by Jason Schmetzer, at the printer right now!

For Ezra Payne and the Stealthy Tiger mercenaries, professionalism is everything. Hired to assist in the bitter, bloody fighting on the planet Hall, they quickly earn a decisive victory for their employer. They settle afterward in for a needed period of rebuilding, and a few months’ peace before moving on to the next contract.

But their respite does not last. More mercenaries, hired by the Allied Mercenary Command itself, land on Hall. They believe the Tigers’ employer to be league with the Word of Blake, a shadowy interstellar organization that worships technology, and which has been building its own empire among the worlds around Terra.

The Tigers want nothing of this battle, but war rages across the Inner Sphere. The hard-fought cease-fire cannot last, even on Hall, and when every faction is embittered and fueled by fervor, peace has no chance at all.

As a new conflict erupts, will the Stealthy Tigers’ BattleMechs be enough to save them? Or will the looming threat of renewed war engulf them in its fiery embrace?

CMMercs-Cover-mockup-2-240x300And more are currently being written. In fact, check out the link below for synopses on the next three novels, including the return of Michael A. Stackpole to BattleTech!

COMING PRODUCTS

We’ve just updated the Coming Releases page of the BattleTech website, which includes the novels mentioned above, the first look at our new series in the Combat Manuals, several all-new e-pub exclusive series, as well as the penultimate book in the core rulebook line-up that started with Total Warfare, and more. Drop by and check out all of the excitement!

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