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Classic BattleTech Seminar
(or What's Up with BattleTech?)

August 20, 2004

Seminar speakers:

Randall Bills (Line Developer)
Loren Coleman (Writer)
Chris "Bones" Trossen (Writer, FFE)
Herb Beas (Assistant Line Developer)



Herb Beas, Chris Trossen, Loren Coleman, Randall Bills, Heather Coleman

BattleTech Master Rules, Revised (Hardcover - $34.99)
Released back at Origins this year, this is a hardcover version of the revised Master Rules that was released a ways back with the new cover art.

BMR, Revised, 20th Anniversary Limited Edition ($49.99)
As they did back in '94 and as they promised last year, we got a black leather bound edition of the revised Master Rules this year. They only printed a limited run of 1,000 copies, and they will have a limited availability through retailers. They also did a 50 print run of "BattleCorps" versions which (as it sounds) have the BattleCorps logo embossed on the front. Those are promised only to BattleCorp members. They gave four away to some members over the course of the weekend.

Handbook: House Steiner
The surprise of the weekend was that this book got finished at the last minute and someone actually picked them up and drove them down to the convention. As with the previous two versions, the handbooks delves into all aspects of life in the Lyran Alliance accompanied by some great new art.

Solaris VII
This product was delayed because of old map originals and some other issues.

Mercenaries Supplemental I
Another delayed product, Randall Bills indicated that it is about ready to go to print and once they get back to it, there are a couple of days work left on it. The old units that were pulled out of Mercs, Revised (to make room for the rule set) will be put back in for this book. We will also get fan favorites Canopian Highlanders and the Blackthorns. In place of the usual art for paint schemes, CamoSpecs and Fighting Pirannha Graphics teamed up to paint/decal some minis for paint scheme photographs.

War of 3039 (October 2004)
This historical campaign also suffered a delay and should now be out in October. Bills said it is done, but was held back to let other products come out first.

Combat Equipment (Fall 2004)
This book is described as a mix between a Technical Readout and Lostech book. There will be new protomechs and the "single most painful rules sets" (as in depth) ever created to go along with the equipment in the book. They are 57 pages long and will cover both Classic and RPG rules. I got some pics of the final art for the new protomechs: one, two, three, and four

Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade (November 2004)
As was announced back in May, many second line Clan 'Mechs from the 3055 TRO were discontinued by Iron Wind Metals. This was part of a policy decision to get rid of all art that was not done in-house. Those 'Mechs will be redrawn by PLOG and Chris Lewis and will be accompanied by new fluff text. Material from MaxTech and Solaris VII will also be thrown in there. There will be plenty of new 'Mechs as well. You can see the outline for the book in Randall Bill's July BattleChat.

Interstellar Players (December 2004)
This is entirely a fluff book that will flesh out people in the BattleTech universe. It is written in a news report format and will be full of rumours about secret agencies and other people that shape the universe. There is nothing concrete in it -- instead it is written in a way that allows individual players to decide on their legitimacy within the universe.

Mercenaries Supplemental II (February 2005)
This book will explore the TO&Es and histories of lesser known mercenary units. We will learn about the "dregs" and pirate-like units of the universe and the places where they can be found -- the less reputable Hiring Halls.

Handbook: House Marik (April 2005)

Operation Klondike (Summer 2005?)
Another historical campaign, this book will cover Nicholas Kerensky's mission to liberate the Pentagon worlds after the Exodus Civil War.

Future historical campaigns will cover the Liberation of Terra and the Fall fo the Star League.

Dawn of the Jihad (July 2005)
The book on the Jihad will not just be a giant tome of what happens, but will be written to tell the story and immerse the players in it. The Jihad and Dark Age are just a framework -- there will be lots of surprises along the way.

Handbook: House Davion (August 2005)

Technical Readout: Vehicle Annex (2005)
Will include support vehicles of all kinds: trains, planes, cars, exoskeletons and anything else that hasn't been shoved in a traditional TRO. Doug Chaffee will be doing the art.




  

Fan Appreciation
In the middle of the seminar, some CBT forum regulars interrupted to present some things that really were a nice gesture from the fans. Loren Coleman was given the original art from the BattleCorps T-shirt art and a slew of people involved with BattleTech were given an Appreciation Award. You can see the awarders and awardees in this closeup.




Classic BattleTech Fiction
BattleCorps launched back on August 2, giving fans the opportunity to read new Classic BT fiction on a regular basis. However, as some people know, there ARE Classic BattleTech novels still being written -- unfortunately, they are only being printed in German. The first part of the Founding of the Clans trilogy, Fall from Glory, was published in July. Randall Bills took a few minutes to explain why aren't getting the books in the US, and since he said the same thing in his additional BattleChat this week, you really should go read that.

But Randall and Loren Coleman did stress the importance of BattleCorps' role in getting books back in english. ROC doesn't see the popularity of Classic BattleTech. They know Dark Age will sell so they use all 6 BT slots in their publishing schedule for those books. BattleCorps exists to keep the Classic fiction coming, but more importantly (in the long run) to prove to ROC that, yes, people do want to read Classic era BT fiction.

So if you want to see some Classic books printed in the US, you can do your part by subscribing to BattleCorps. There is new fiction every month covering different eras of BT. There is also a possibility that those German novels could end up on BattleCorps someday (broken into serials). The beauty of BC's license is that they can do fiction from ANY era of BT as long as the stories are no longer that 40,000 words. But that is where serialization comes in.




Intro : GenCon 2004
Part 1: Classic BattleTech
Part 2: MechWarrior: Dark Age
Part 3: Armorcast
Part 4: MechAssault 2
Part 5: Warmachine

2003 DropShip Games, LLC