20 Years of BattleTech
by Randall N. Bills (Originaltext)
In December 1986, after a month of trying to convince myself to spend the twenty dollars on the 2nd Edition box set (after all, when you’re fifteen, that’s a decent amount of money…at least it was for me), I finally caved in. At the time there were exactly ten products out and one novel with the BattleTech name on it (took me until 1992 to secure a copy of BattleDroids).
I’ve always had a great imagination. However, as Chad, Tony and I sat around that first day — Chad’s Warhammer and my BattleMaster stood a few hexes away from each other blazing away, while Tony’s Marauder took the opportunity to hit either one of us; we even did the heat wrong, applying all heat effects first and then subtracting heat sinks, until a much later conversation with Scott—I never could’ve imagined that list above. Or the fact that here I am, twenty years after the game first published and eighteen years after I first stripped off the shrink wrap, still enjoying watching where BattleTech/MechWarrior will go next; still enjoying playing; still enjoying reading the storylines in a universe that seems to have endless depths.
Of course I know I’m not alone; a single person can’t keep a universe alive like this, after all. Instead, it is the community of BattleTech/MechWarrior which has kept it alive and growing for so long.
During 2004 — the 20 Year Anniversary — I think it’s great to look back across the distances we have come and realize that through thick and thin, BattleTech/MechWarrior has lived on. I look into the future and I see no reason why we cannot celebrate again in a decade’s time. We have some wonderful products coming this year — not to mention 05 and beyond—and I could think of no more appropriate year for the launch of BattleCorps (the subscription-based, official source for Classic BattleTech fiction), then now; about time we get Classic BattleTech fiction rolling again!
Regardless of whether you picked up BattleDroids that first year, or are just now finding out what BattleTech/MechWarrior is all about. I welcome you to look back over the wonderful canvas created through thousands of illustrations and millions of words (not to mention toys, computer games and so on) and to look forward to more exciting products, captivating characters and fantastic adventures to come.
Seize the day!