Black Widow

XL Zone 2022 is fast approaching! Focht’s News Channel will be running War of 3039: Battle of Vega scenario all day. You can get more info at and follow along on Twitter or Facebook for event updates.

When I first started looking into BattleTech art commissions, I dug around for information about the “official” artists–people who did covers or interior art for Catalyst books or novels. One of the people I have had my eye on was Eldon Cowgur (go buy his stuff), his art shows up everywhere (especially if you read like other people read Wikipedia). Eldon was very accommodating and quick to respond and I cannot deny this loveable quality to his art–even when dealing with destruction and stompy robots. I just realize about 10 minutes ago that he also does work on Heavy Gear! Eldon will have the following image available for prints on his website in the future, so you can order and support him if you like what you see.

Two Natashas by Eldon Cowgur

While I would like to think I am getting my Wolf’s Dragoons knowledge up to par, I have to admit I had not read much about Natasha Kerensky except on the previously touted At the time of this article, I am only about halfway through Wolves on the Border (which probably means I will be done by the time this article goes up), but even there I am not getting the full Black Widow experience? Regardless, Kerensky is an iconic character and I felt that Eldon’s previous illustration needed a counterpoint to the later half of her life where she was Khan of Clan Wolf.

I have made comments in previous articles about both the Warhammer and the Dire Wolf, so I am just going to leave a picture of both miniatures (painted by Les Mandeville) here instead.

Until next time MechWarriors!


Last time it was the Dire Wolf Prime, this time it is the Dire Wolf C against a swarm of Light 3025 Inner Sphere ‘Mechs in a showdown to the pain.

A lucky critical roll blew off the Dire Wolf‘s leg, but I still feel the C variant was a better choice for this match-up. The Dire Wolf had less luck intercepting the Light ‘Mechs on the way in, so it was up against a heavier swarm at close range.

What was remarkable about the game however was using Flechs to run all the calculation and rolls. This made running 7 ‘Mechs so much easier. And since I could ignore making my own dice rolls and just pass the information inside the app, I sped up this game significantly. I mean, with some proficiency and practice, you can probably run a 4 vs. 4 game in less than infinity time! Just imagine!

Coming up in the next few posts are a couple commissioned illustrations, a lot of painted ‘Mechs, and a few local game announcements. Until next time MechWarriors!

The Swarm

People discuss “game balance” all the time. Lists created by tonnage or Battle Value (BV) or astrology or animal sacrifice try to create a perfectly even game between two or more teams. This, of course, is not possible, but it still makes for interesting table arguments. To test this (for no good reason other than having some time), I pitted a Dire Wolf Prime against Locust, Stinger, 2 Wasps, Raven, and Commando.

Final result was Wasp, Stinger, Locust, and Commando completely destroyed (center torso), Raven ejected (leg destroyed and gyro hit), and final Wasp disabled (two engine hits, heat overload). The Dire Wolf ejected but salvageable (leg blown off from critical, arm destroyed). The Dire Wolf Prime was probably not the right ‘Mech for this kind of swam challenge, but it was fun to run through.

Right AFTER I played this using pen and paper and dice, I found Flechs. I will go over that beautiful piece of software later.

The Dire Wolf is great. 100 tons of Clan dominance, it has loads of configurations from long range sniping to short range ridiculousness. 19 tons of armor and it still moves faster than an UrbanMech. It also looks great, could flatten your house by sneezing at it sideways, and was called “Great Death” by the DCMS who wet their pants in its presence. Using it against six Inner Sphere Light ‘Mechs was not really what it is meant for, but wow was it satisfying to core them in one shot.

Until next time MechWarriors!