Out of the Archives – The BattleMechs I Wrote About or Designed

 

The Anvil EPub Cover
Not one of my designs, but I love the look of this beast!

I started on this fantastic journey of writing BattleTech stuff, it began with the first technical readout.  I had submitted The Strider Incident to FASA for Star Trek.  They said “yes, but you need to check out BattleDroids!”  I was hooked early on.

Prospective authors were given a bunch of photocopies of the artwork with handwritten notes about the stats.  All of us were given the Rifleman first, as a test.  I must have passed because I was asked to write a whole bunch more stuff.

A proviso to this list, it might be wrong.  There are subtle little things I planted in my stuff over the years that allowed me to figure out what ‘Mechs I did (usually in the armaments I used).  Well, over time, other authors used those too.  As such, I had to do some of this for memory.  Any errors are unintentional.

Tech Readout 3025

Locust

Spider

Ostscout

Assassin

Clint

Vulcan

Shadow Hawk

Scorpion

Ostsol

Catapult

Warhammer

Goliath

Victor

BattleMaster

Wasp LAM

Phoenix Hawk LAM

Sparrowhawk

Corsair

Stuka

Seydlitz

Lucifer

Chippewa

Von Luckner

Galleon

Packrat

Long Tom

J-27 Ordnance Transport

Note:  We got the ‘Mechs with names and stats.  The rest we just go stats, so we got to name them.  The Chippewa was named after my college mascot.  The Seydlitz was one of my favorite battle cruisers from WWI. There was some pushback on the Stuka, too German WWII related.  In the end, it cleared edit.

Scan_20180815

Scan_20180815 (2)
The original image and specs for the BattleMaster.  This was all we were given on the first readout
Scan_20180815 (3)
Typos and all!
Scan_20180815 (4)
This is the original dot matrix write-up for the BattleMaster!
Scan_20180815 (5)
I have to admit, I’m shocked I kept some of this stuff.

Tech Readout 2750

Hussar

Champion

Lancelot

Crockett

Highlander

Spad

Zero

Gotha

Ironsides

Rapier

Rotunda

Demon

Burke

Puma

Titan

The Personal Equipment (Yes, I came up with the grapple rod.)

Note:  I am not sure about the Wyvern…I may have done it.  With this Tech Readout, we got to a mix of design and working with FASA’s stats.

Don’t give me crap about the Hussar.  I know it is universally hated, but I am proud of the design.  It is a ‘Mech version of a Savannah Master.  Fast, toilet paper for armor, annoying weaponry.  Get this behind the enemy and wreck havoc.  That was what it was designed to do.

Tech Readout 3055

Battle Hawk

Jackal

Hollander (I think)

Watchman (I think)

Huron Warrior

Grim Reaper

Gallowglas

Hercules

Penetrator

War Dog

Cerberus

Grand Titan

Behemoth

The Huron Warrior was named for the old Eastern Michigan University mascot, which has since been changed.  The War Dog has remained one of my favorite designs I did from scatch.

Note:  True story.  I got the request to design a few of these ‘Mechs, notably the Grand Titan, while on a business trip.  I remember telling the line editor at FASA I didn’t have my books with me, so I would be designing them from memory.  They were pinched for time and didn’t want to wait two weeks.  “Don’t worry, we will crunch the numbers once we get the write-ups from you.”  Yeah.  That totally didn’t happen with the Grand Titan.  I stopped designing ‘Mechs after the online outrage over my idiocy.  That will change with my upcoming Wolf’s Dragoon novella, where I am tossing caution to the wind. It wasn’t worth dealing with the rabid fan community that had no patience for mistakes…they just wanted blood and FASA’s line at the time was, “The author clearly didn’t’ follow the rules.”

The Shadow Hawk art image and specs.  Unseen my ass!

Solaris Reaches

Sasquatch

13 thoughts on “Out of the Archives – The BattleMechs I Wrote About or Designed

  1. WOw! You wrote all of that material. 3025 (original) was arguably best book in the line, especially the fiction behind the units.

    I’m sorry to hear you got fedup with the player basing’s bad apples. It be interesting to have seen you come up something for the new Era.

    Thank you for sharing your artifacts of the game with us!

  2. Ryan T

    Mr. Pardoe, saw your ppst on reddit linking to this. Just wanted to let you know that your work on battletech is some of the best memories I have from my childhood. Looking forward to more of your work in the Btech universe.

  3. OK, my esteem for you (or at least your sense of humor) has gone up now that I know you were the one who named a tank (the Von Luckner) after a naval officer. Well Played!

    I was a pleasure to meet you at GenCon outside the Catalyst talk!

  4. Bryan Legate

    I’ve long thought there had to be someone really interested in their military history behind a lot of the early works. Going back to it all years later now that I’m a museum curator and I was convinced of it, I’m glad to see I was right.
    Your work really gave a feel of realism to things like development and procurement, and the fact it still stands strong after all this time is testament to the awesome job you did.
    Sorry I’ll stop fanboying now!

  5. BlasterofMuppets

    I bought the TRO 3025 when I was 12, just because I liked the pictures and I must have read that thing a thousand times just for its fluff. It was just so awesome to read. Thanks for your work.

    1. Richard Conlan

      Mr. Pardoe, I just ran across this old post and enjoyed reading it. Is your Wolf’s Dragoons novella still in the works? I would love to read more about that storied unit. Apparently Coleman and Stackpole are working on a novel about them as well.

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