Three years after Catalyst Game Labs relaunched the popular tabletop and video game franchise BattleTech in 2019, the game will be getting a new expansion, BattleTech: Mercenaries, thanks to a massive crowdfunding effort by its community.
Catalyst Game Labs launched the Kickstarter for BattleTech: Mercenaries on 23 March and, less than two weeks later, over 18,000 backers have already pledged more than US$5 million for its development.
If you’re not too familiar with BattleTech, you should know that it boasts a devoted fan base that enjoys its sci-fi setting that features enormous piloted mechs engaging in titanic battles.
Beyond tabletop, there are also video games such as the Mechwarrior series and the Battletech turn-based strategy game in the franchise.
The Mercenaries expansion is aimed at strengthening some essential features of the present version.
BattleTech's fans notably proved their devotion to the franchise as the expansion's initial Kickstarter goal of US$50,000 was reached in less than a minute.
Catalyst Games Labs also promised rewards for fans and backers should the crowdfunding effort reach the US$2 million, US$3 million, US$ 3.5 million, US$4 million, and US$4.5 million milestones.
The developers added that they will continue to add more rewards and surprises for every US$500,000 milestone.
Rewards include salvage boxes, Forcepacks, and more. Forcepacks include fully assembled miniatures, MechWarrior cards, and Alpha Strike cards.
At the US$2 million mark specifically, Catalyst Game Labs promised to expand the Battletech Graphic Novel from one issue to a four-volume set. The developers also promised “more plastic” for the Kickstarter after breaching US$ 5 million.
As of the time of writing, funding has reached US$ 5,025,071.
What can fans expect in BattleTech: Mercenaries?
On the Kickstarter page, the creators described the expansion as “A new box set expanding play for the BattleTech Game of Armored Combat” with “over 50 high-quality miniatures, amazing play and new fiction.”
This means that fans can expect Catalyst Labs to expand their plastic miniatures even further. According to a report by Polygon, this would include plastic ground vehicles, which will be a first for the publisher.
The pack will include eight new mechs, including fan favourites like the Flea, Firefly, Quickdraw, and Starslayer.
It will also include two Galleon light tanks and two Maxim hover transports.
More miniatures, both ground and air units, will be available.
Players may design unique campaigns using the Mercenaries rulebook, complete with completely asymmetrical battles that pit mechs against non-mech formations.
However, this will also come with a new unified rulebook that stresses combined arms conflict, with BattleMechs, ground vehicles, air assets, and infantry all operating together.
The expansion pack will cost US$75 when it comes out.
The almost 40-year-old BattleTech tabletop series was relaunched in 2019 by Catalyst Games with two boxed sets.
In 2020, it released the retail boxed set BattleTech: Clan Invasion, which included roughly a hundred new plastic BattleMech models.
The BattleTech: Mercenaries Kickstarter campaign will end on 20 April, with physical reward fulfilment beginning June 2024, according to the publisher's current estimates.
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