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Timaeus

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The actual named SLDF caches-bases in lore is pretty low somewhere around 8-12 from memory, but seems to me to keep the game relevant the lore framework was expanded to allow various others to be used for scenarios in TT and the computer games such as the Brian castles where planets are named on Sarna.
It's more the disconnect of the lore advancing what is or is not available I'd say rather than a difference between TT/video games (though the video games are almost always going to offer more). The amount available to the IS pre-Helm has over time increased. Early on (80-early 90s era) it is true that what our merc company has at the end of the campaign/career would garner the interest of the major power. That is most likely not the case with FanPro and onward though.

As far as I'm aware the status of the number of SLDF Caches/Brian Castles has always been intentionally ambiguous, and it has been stated by the CGL TT Line Developers as intentionally unlisted because they are meant to be plot points for player campaigns/scenarios.
 

Orbitone

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It's more the disconnect of the lore advancing what is or is not available I'd say rather than a difference between TT/video games (though the video games are almost always going to offer more). The amount available to the IS pre-Helm has over time increased. Early on (80-early 90s era) it is true that what our merc company has at the end of the campaign/career would garner the interest of the major power. That is most likely not the case with FanPro and onward though.

As far as I'm aware the status of the number of SLDF Caches/Brian Castles has always been intentionally ambiguous, and it has been stated by the CGL TT Line Developers as intentionally unlisted because they are meant to be plot points for player campaigns/scenarios.

There is definitely a lore evolution-expansion between the SLDF caches that were part of the universal framework and then what came after with the Brian Caches (seems to align more with TT and maybe some PC games).
SLDF caches such as Helm's Core has about 8-15 named specifically in lore, Brian Caches was named at a planetary level and has over a 100 and more linked to Clans (expansion of the lore framework) that fits closer to the TT-PC games; and yeah kept vague beyond that to work with TT/PC Game scenarios.
That said the expanded narrative in the fictional books around this is the fragmentation/distraction of the great houses due to the succession wars and how such caches usually involve other players within their establishments rather than the house/royal guards and advisers, while Comstar would only be active behind the scenes and using agents/proxies in this context until we see the timeline Word of Blake.

The lore needs to be seen also from the fiction-story standpoint which created the expanded Battletech universe narratives in many instances without having to be constrained by game structure and interests, that said each of those three segments (fiction/TT/PC gaming) do not fully align in terms of the universal framework narrative because of different needs and also how it evolved over the years and different hands on the IP-licensing that at one point was split.
I feel the most consistent through the decades has been the books but that is not a surprise as it is easier to maintain-develop a universal framework there; been working my way through them all again (starting with Gray Death Legion) and just up to conclusion of what happens with Smoke Jaguars.
 
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Timaeus

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I feel the most consistent through the decades has been the books but that is not a surprise as it is easier to maintain-develop a universal framework there; been working my way through them all again (starting with Gray Death Legion) and just up to conclusion of what happens with Smoke Jaguars.
Nah, books are just as many issues. The only difference with the books is they are always advancing in the timeline, never really jumping backwards or adding in stories between events, and don't need to really look back beyond knowing plot points, whereas players can skip around to different eras in TT or have , and the video games need to facilitate interesting gameplay.
 

Orbitone

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Nah, books are just as many issues. The only difference with the books is they are always advancing in the timeline, never really jumping backwards or adding in stories between events, and don't need to really look back beyond knowing plot points, whereas players can skip around to different eras in TT or have , and the video games need to facilitate interesting gameplay.
Reading 4-5 Battletech books a week, so far it feels more consistent in terms of the narrative and still close to the core framework, PC games and TT have to expand a lot because their structure is very different and critically mechanics for maintaining sustained interest compounded that each game usually takes a different approach, which caused the licensing differentiation with such as Classic Battletech in the past.
Working through these lists read 30+ so far recently, very few outliers in terms of the universe framework:
https://www.sarna.net/wiki/List_of_BattleTech_print_novels
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_BattleTech_novels
 
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Orbitone

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Timaeus

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Reading 4-5 Battletech books a week, so far it feels more consistent in terms of the narrative and still close to the core framework,
Table Top is, and always has been, the core framework. If lore contradicts what is available according to TT rules the lore is wrong or out of date (per the order of supersedence of canon by the line devs that they follow). If anything, the novels are now deviating. Pretty sure the temporary name change had no bearing on this.
 

Orbitone

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Table Top is, and always has been, the core framework. If lore contradicts what is available according to TT rules the lore is wrong or out of date (per the order of supersedence of canon by the line devs that they follow). If anything, the novels are now deviating. Pretty sure the temporary name change had no bearing on this.

I would say that is true for when it was originally created but not later on.
Anything over the last 10 years should be deemed a new version if they wish to rewrite canon (this game was done carefully to give the narrative some context to the Battletech universe for the Bullshark).
Sort of like how Castles Brian has not really replaced the older lore.

In quite a few ways it is the books that created the narrative from a universal framework given to the writers.
As an example the William Keith wrote several notable books within the Battletech universe and was also involved in game design and worked at FASA, in some ways the TT did not gain traction until such lore and fiction was created; had early adopters until then and sadly the games/fiction are still not what one could call mainstream popular even today.
Anyway all writers have to follow a specific lore framework to remain with the requirements of their contract, I mentioned before how even such well known writers such as R.A Salvatore do not have complete freedom and he has mentioned how he would love to write certain specific characters/situation in the Forgotten Realms universe but it has not been accepted as a project by the IP owners.

It also comes down to the definition of canon lore but also what could be called a universal framework that ties everything together for projects involving that IP.
What created in detail the narrative for Grey Death Legion and fleshed out other mercs, ComStar in detail over many fiction books,Helm memory core and how that slowly influences the universe in the books and also NAIS same concept, fleshed out the great houses, the clan invasion,etc.
The lore can be seen as defined in the TT manuals, games, and also the universal framework used by the books, each has their foundations but how they are implemented and importantly used means whether they can be consistent.
It is easier to maintain a consistent universal framework/lore with fiction because it has much less interactive demands compared to games even TT, a broader market, and less branching in terms of how evolves over the years.

Is there something particularly contradictory you feel in the fictional lore between Gray Death Legion and up to say 3065 putting aside game mechanics and interpretation by authors (which still need to follow a framework)?
TT and the PC games for me tend to deviate due to players' interests/interaction/freedom to create scenarios; this can happen in TT and really can be seen with PC Games as we have sort of seen even here with discussion between those saying it does not feel like 3025 or the weapon/rare mech type proliferation for the era.

Over the last 10-15 years I am not sure which of the three (fiction/TT/computer gaming) could be perceived as the current primary driving force for lore/canon material as it applies universally.
 
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Timaeus

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Over the last 10-15 years I am not sure which of the three (fiction/TT/computer gaming) could be perceived as the current primary driving force for lore/canon material as it applies universally.
Table top. It is, and almost always has been, the driving force behind the lore. Barring Dark Age clix (which eventually had it's lore folded in to main-line TT), this has never changed. Everything in TT is canon (unless overruled by newer sources), All other media is subservient to the TT lore and rules, and overruled if it is contradictory to the rules in TT. As for the video games they are always only treated as canon as a very broad strokes "X event happened". Which includes this game. The House Book Arano is special in that *only* what's mentioned in that book is considered fully canon. (Technically, yes, the video games are an equal level of canon since they are technically not the same IP — being owned by MS and not Topps — but for most purposes the VGs still try to follow TT canon.)

You're welcome to disagree with how this works, but this really hasn't changed since the beginning. The only differences between then and now is a) FASA was pretty fast and loose with lore and contradictions (necessitating newer sources trumping older), and b)CGL does their best to put more effort into making sure things aren't nearly as contradictory (though obviously that still happens) and codified the order of canon. This does cause retcons. Both have caused retcons over the years.
 
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Havamal

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Table top. It is, and almost always has been, the driving force behind the lore. Barring Dark Age clix (which eventually had it's lore folded in to main-line TT), this has never changed. Everything in TT is canon (unless overruled by newer sources), All other media is subservient to the TT lore and rules, and overruled if it is contradictory to the rules in TT. As for the video games they are always only treated as canon as a very broad strokes "X event happened". Which includes this game. The House Book Arano is special in that *only* what's mentioned in that book is considered fully canon. (Technically, yes, the video games are an equal level of canon since they are technically not the same IP — being owned by MS and not Topps — but for most purposes the VGs still try to follow TT canon.)

You're welcome to disagree with how this works, but this really hasn't changed since the beginning. The only differences between then and now is a) FASA was pretty fast and loose with lore and contradictions (necessitating newer sources trumping older), and b)CGL does their best to put more effort into making sure things aren't nearly as contradictory (though obviously that still happens) and codified the order of canon. This does cause retcons. Both have caused retcons over the years.
+1

Also the clans. As Jordan explained, they originated with the Pods, and then a place in the TT lore was found for them.
 

Prussian Havoc

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Excellent points Good @Orbitone. :bow:

My opinion here is unique and not held by many. To me TableTop is a set of miniature rules... ain’t much “Lore” or “Canon” in miniature rules.

Alongside TableTop’s miniature rules, from year one of BattleTech (1985) has been scenario packs, map sets and in time rule books, further boxed sets, blueprints, technical read outs, sourcebooks, comic sourcebooks and fiction (https://www.sarna.net/wiki/List_of_BattleTech_products#1984) because Jordan and FASA collaborated in and out of the studio with some of our earliest BattleTech fiction writers like William H. Kieth, Ardath Mayhar and Michael Stackpole ~ the first three of BattleTech’s long history of talented and professional fiction writers: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_BattleTech_novels

So for me, TableTop’s miniature rules haven’t informed BattleTech Lore and Canon near as much as Fiction, Sourcebooks and the other, originally FASA products and now Catalyst products, whose BattleTech Line Developer even now charts a course past the Dark Age and into better BattleTech Clan and Inner Sphere tomorrows. : )
 

Kereminde

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Hm. Let me see if I have this clear enough, and maybe this can make more sense for others if it's correct?

When talking about "tabletop is the base of the lore" it's like addressing how Star Wars canon is drawn primarily from the films and a handful of other sources - novels and other things are secondary, while the RPGs were very... loosely affiliated. In the case of BattleTech it's quite the reverse - sourcebooks which handle lore are considered primary sources, while the fiction can elaborate on things. But when stories contradict the sourcebooks, or sourcebooks contradict earlier versions (and they do, because CBT loves using unreliable narrators) the most recent versions of the tabletop sourcebooks can be considered the primary canon for the broader scope of things.

But since this is, in essence, a tabletop game? It's like using sourcebooks for your Forgotten Realms campaign - while there may be people who protest "but that shouldn't have happened!" or "that's not right...", it is your game and everything bends to the sake of having a good time over fidelity to lore.
 
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Kereminde

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For those in the Texas area, the location of the BattleTech pods in Houston (MechCorps) has moved to a new location, but there's still 10 operational pods going there. They also, apparently, have had this expand their potential times to play. (Though their "all you can pilot" night is no longer on the table... currently.) I'm going to be making an attempt to figure out a time to go visit with my brother and check it out in person. Luck and any potential quarantine permitting.
 
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Kereminde

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Okay, so this is where my MTG hobby takes me?

1597462050657.png


I'm okay with this.
 

Kereminde

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An excerpt from Matt Colville's "Running the Game" series of videos, which hits quite a bit on so many levels...

"When I'm writing, and this includes writing for video games or writing novels... I often hit a block where I know what I NEED to write. Y'know, I wrote an outline where in Chapter 62, this character figures out something important. But when I sit down to write it... I'm not interested. I'm not inspired. Nothing happens. I start typing a few words and... I'm not feeling it. And I give up."
 

Kereminde

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Oh my, this just hit my inbox due to my brother:

 
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Kereminde

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Always fun to watch someone meet Mason Garrilac for the first time with the Flashpoint: "Bourbon and BattleMechs".

 

Kereminde

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It's been a month...

... and in that month I've done a lot of things not related to BattleTech, though I did dig out my old Stellaris save to finally see if I could finish losing. Making me once again ponder seeing if someone's done a Stellaris mod for the Inner Sphere... hmmm...
 
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Kereminde

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While watching the latest 'Tex Talks BattleTech' a thought occurred to me...

One of the major things which gets snickered at now and then is the listed effective weapon range in BattleTech. The idea of weaponry which today can be 'fire and forget' and potentially be far more effective at a far greater distance skewers the numbers we're given in regards to BT. A vast amount of energy is spent into trying to either explain it ("electronic countermeasures are good enough to prevent that range of combat from being effective") or wave it away ("it's lore constructed from a tabletop game, not the other way around - of course it doesn't make sense").

What if the reason the ranges are so short is, in universe, a conscious design decision? After all, it was decided to buy into the idea of the BattleMech rather hard - in comparison to traditional tanks. You're not going to quite have the same stability as a firing platform, and on top of that is a later development: the Ares Conventions. The Conventions which set down rules of conduct might have driven the idea of war into a more stylized combat engagement which revolved around a sort of understanding that total war was not okay. The rise of BattleMechs would allow people to see a proxy for their forces on the battlefield - especially since a large portion were humanoid in appearance. (Easy to project on them, when they're already bipedal.)

What if the weapons were designed with those ranges to facilitate the 'honorable combat' ideal which had arose out of the Age of War? To rein in the whole "I will burn this planet to ashes before I let you have it!" "Not if I do it first! Nyeh!" behavior by focusing the combat down to a very smaller scale... something more intimate and benefitting from skill with the chosen weapon - BattleMechs. So weapons were designed to focus on closer-range combat, and successive iterations of design kept the same ideals in mind on the drawing board.

So while the Succession Wars went nuts and sort of brought back some of that "I can't hold it but I can make sure the other side can't use it" mentality (Hi Ozawa!) the weapons were already designed and mass-produced with the limitations in mind. Add in how few companies were interested in really innovating the weapons, only the platforms, believing it impossible to improve on what they had...
 
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unclecid

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that makes sense in a way.
but the ares convention was set aside during the reunification war and completely renounced before the first succession war.
at best they are used as guidelines not as any hard and fast rule.