Next Steps for ‘Battletech: Mercenaries’!

Gaming Tabletop Games

It’s no secret that the last few years of Catalyst’s Battletech development have led to what I consider a Golden Age for the game. My whole family has enjoyed every Kickstarter for Battletech so far, especially Clan Invasion. When I met Randall Bills and chatted with him at Gen Con, I learned about some of the upcoming plans for this year and I could hardly hold my excitement.

Photo courtesy Catalyst GameLabs

It’s almost time. Today, Battletech is releasing sneak peeks of the new ‘mechs and vehicles slated for the Mercenaries crowdfunding campaign. The BackerKit launch page went live today, and while the campaign itself won’t go live until March 23, we the nerds will be treated to a whole lot of exciting fun stuff in the lead up.

Why Should I Play Battletech?

As I’ve mentioned a few times before in previous articles, Battletech is probably the best tabletop miniature game out there in my opinion. It’s the easiest for kids and families to enjoy together, it’s possible to play with or without the lore, and the rules have been streamlined in the last couple of decades but are otherwise “98% the same as the original” 1980s game, according to Managing Director Randall Bills.

New ‘mechs on a map. Photo courtesy Catalyst GameLabs.

Even in a smaller town like the one my family inhabits, Battletech is easily shared and enjoyed by multiple people. Our local contingency is close to two dozen strong, and includes a wide range of ages from young teenagers to mid 50s. Just like Dungeons and Dragons tends to help people build social skills, so does Battletech. It’s so exciting on Saturday afternoons to assign a teenager as the battle lead and watch them go from stressed out kid to thoughtful tactician in the space of about four hours.

Why Is Mercenaries So Exciting?

I’ll be honest. There is one reason, and one reason only that I personally am vibrating with excitement for the Mercenaries BackerKit campaign. Since the recent redesign has come out, I’ve been anxious for a certain ‘mech to be released. I’ve brought it up in nearly every conversation I’ve had with Randall, I’ve mentioned it in interviews and social media, and my family is probably tired of hearing about it. Mercenaries is finally bringing me the love of my Battletech life: the Phoenix Hawk IIC. This beauty uses the already awesome original Phoenix Hawk chassis at 45 tons and builds upon it, taking it to 80 tons and increasing the firepower and armor significantly while maintaining the ability to bunny hop everywhere. Decades ago, one of my favorite things was to take this ‘mech and jump all over the field, making it darn near impossible to hit but also doing ridiculous amounts of damage.

Look at the pretty Phoenix Hawk IIC!!! Photo by Angela Leach

With that said, when I can stop staring lovingly at the Phoenix Hawk IIC, there are so many reasons to get excited about this next iteration of Battletech. Mercenaries will feature more than 50 new designs, many of which are almost as exciting as the Phoenix Hawk IIC. Well, for other people at least. Vehicles and tanks are getting some special treatment, to the great delight of some of our group’s players. All year long, we’ll be treated to new fiction and new force packs, including some old-school mercenary companies finally getting the spotlight on them. I’ve particularly enjoyed watching how my partner and I have been able to share with our children this new access to lore that has otherwise been hard to find. My kids are reading more of the Battletech books because they have ‘mechs to match and can visualize the battles. Even I’ve been more involved in the lore because I can understand it better now.

How to Get Involved

To start, you can grab the Mercenaries Preview from the Catalyst store for free.

Then, sign up at the BackerKit Launch Page, which is live now. When you do that, you’ll get lots of exciting information about the behind-the-scenes process and also have some extra opportunities to snag yourself some extra cool swag. In March, you should definitely back in the first 48 hours to get yourself a free salvage box of the next Aerospace Fighter (because who doesn’t want jets flying around with the ‘mechs?) and in the next few months, you can treat yourself to the new fiction that’s set to release as well.

Mercenary Company Logos. Artwork courtesy Catalyst GameLabs.

I can’t wait to share more Battletech: Mercenaries fun with you as the canmpaign gets closer, and I hope you join my family as we continue to enjoy a game that’s brought us closer for years

Disclosure: GeekDad received manufacturer samples for review purposes.

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