It seems people still love giant robots fighting other giant robots, as BattleTech: Mercenaries finished its Kickstarter campaign with over $7 million pledge total.
Originally developed and published in 1984 by FASA Corporation (which also published the Shadowrun RPG), BattleTech is a science fiction tabletop miniatures game of armored combat. Although the board game was initially titled Battledroids, creators Jordan Weisman and L. Ross Babcock III changed the name after Lucasfilm executed their trademark to the word Droids. BattleTech has since grown into a franchise, spanning other media such as books, comics, television, and video games, including the Mechwarrior series.
The franchise would pass through multiple hands after FASA Corporation closed in the year 2000, including WizKids in 2001 and with Catalyst Game Labs securing the rights from 2007 onward.
Fans had their first glimpses of BattleTech: Mercenaries back in October 2022, as well as the update to the projected start of the Kickstarter campaign from Q4 2022 to March 2023, on the BattleTech community forums and shared on the official Catalyst Game Labs social media:
— CatalystGameLab (@catalystgamelab) October 13, 2022
The forum post also laid out the plans for what miniatures BattleTech: Mercenaries content would include:
The Mercenaries campaign will introduce over 50 new designs, including ’Mechs, armored and support vehicles, a VTOL, and a new aerospace fighter. Catalyst intends to have all of the new miniature sculpts completed before launching the next campaign, in an effort to prevent long delays in production. Though the campaign date has shifted into next year, the majority of our work will be completed prior to its launch to limit delays in fulfillment.
Later on, the date for the Kickstarter campaign for the BattleTech: Mercenaries was then finalized and announced for Adepticon 2023. As Managing Developer for Catalyst Game Labs Randall N. Bills stated:
I’m an equal-opportunity gamer and enjoy playing nearly any type of game. But walking past endless tables of amazing terrain and fantastically painted miniatures is an incredible experience unto itself. If you love miniatures games, AdeptiCon is the place to be. And we couldn’t imagine a more perfect venue for launching our Mercenaries Kickstarter.
After running from March 23 to April 21, 2023, the BattleTech: Mercenaries Kickstarter drew in 23,654 supporters who pledged a total of $7,549,241. This marked the campaign as one of the top 20 highest-funded Kickstarter projects on record.
Based on the information provided by Catalyst Game Labs, the basic BattleTech: Mercenaries Box will include the following:
- 12 high-quality, fully assembled BattleMechs and vehicles
- 2 full-color 18" x 22" double-sided paper maps
- 3 punchboards of counters
- 32-page rulebook
- 24-page Record Sheet booklet
- 16-page Mercenary Primer
- 36-page fiction novella
- 8 double-sided Mechwarrior pilot cards
- 12 double-sided Alpha Strike cards
- 99 Battlefield Support cards
- Heavy-stock reference sheet
- Double-sided, laminated poster
- 2x six-sided dice
Miniatures of the BattleMechs and vehicles will include the Chameleon, Starslayer, Caesar, Devastator, Flea, Firefly, Quickdraw, Ostsol, Galleon Light Tanks, and Maxim Hover Transports. The multiple stretch goals reached by the Kickstarter campaign also confirmed that the production of the BattleTech: Mercenaries set will have additional ForcePacks, SalvageBoxes, MapPacks, Swag, Audiobooks, and more.
On that note, an $8 million stretch goal was included in the BattleTech: Mercenaries Kickstarter campaign. This would have added the Somerset Strikers ForcePack, based on the BattleTech animated series. The Somerset Strikers ForcePack would have included Adam Steiner’s Axman AXM-2N variant and the rest of the animated series variants for the Inner Sphere mechs.
The crew behind the BattleTech: Mercenaries Kickstarter has since posted an update on when the post-crowdfunding details will be scheduled:
There are over 400 items, bundles, and pledges to add and configure to the pledge manager JUST from this campaign. We are compiling a list of everything we want to add from the online store and the previous Kickstarter as well. For every item, we need to prepare an image, description, and price, and enter them into Backer Kit. We expect that to take 2 to 3 weeks before it's ready to launch.
You can expect a minimum of one update a week between now and fulfillment - more when we have news to share. We'll also continue the video updates with Talon, and an occasional AMA to get some face time with you all and answer your questions about the project.
The BattleTech: Mercenaries set and crowdfunding rewards are tentatively projected to ship from Catalyst Game Labs around June 2024.