Which Wolf

A little plug for XL Zone 2022 charity game day coming up on Saturday, September 17th. One of the games we have going is an Alpha Strike table run by Austin Ramsay. You can get more info at www.extra-life.org/participant/palladion and follow along on Twitter or Facebook for event updates.

Continuing with Wolf’s Dragoons are the leaders of the famed mercenary group all the way up to 3073 during the Jihad.

Miniatures Painted by Les Mandeville

Jaime Wolf is the enigmatic leader of the Dragoons. He is depicted in several novels and game supplements–looking a lot like Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October in some of them. He was an easy–if somewhat predictable–choice for Wolf’s Dragoons imagery. His Archer is one of the more recognizable in the lore and I have made comments about it in a previous post.

The more important thing I wanted in this piece was to depict Maeve Wolf, Jaime’s clone. She has no illustrations I can find and the only real description is that she bears a strong resemblance to Jaime. So what does that actually look like…?

Wolf by A.E. Coggon

I have worked with Alexandra Coggon before on a couple of projects and she is always accommodating and great to work with. My main question to her was whether she had experience with ‘Mechs. As you can see, she knocked those out of the park. The preview sketches Alex provided were simply amazing. You will see more of her work in future KB Presents projects.

The Thunderbolt is just an awesome–oops, wording–Heavy ‘Mech. The 5S model of 3025 has 13 tons of armor, a decent LRM, Large Laser, triple Medium Lasers, and a few other small fry weapons. The problem, as usual, is the heat sinks. I prefer the 5SE version associated with the Eridani Light Horse, removes the small weapons, adds jumpers and heat sinks. It looks great as well: big, blocky, and mean. My only concern is the cockpit placement. Neurohelmets are supposed to take the MechWarrior’s sense of balance to help the ‘Mech, but how would your sense of balance be if your head was not centered on your body and neck?

Until next time MechWarriors!

Shelly Brubaker

I’m baaack…!

Actually, I did not go anywhere, but Focht’s News Channel ran two events in two weekends–one store event and one demo event at the CNE Gaming Garage–so things were a bit hectic on the BattleTech side. Also, I am on vacation this week, so I needed to get ahead–who am I kidding, just catching up on paperwork–before taking off and leaving my team on their own.

I do notice that if a skip a few days (or a weeks) of updates, my gaming comments and activities to report on sort of stack up. Since I want to keep this space relatively succinct, I will make up multiple posts to summarize.

So starting with art commissions: There are several more illustrations on the way from different artists fleshing out Wolf’s Dragoons art, but I am also looking for someone to redesign an old ‘Mech to a fresh look–for a future Dragoons commission. Yep, leaning into my units and fandom. So without further ado…

Shelly Brubaker and Nightstar “Brubaker” by Vincentius Matthew

Shelly Brubaker is the Colonel of Wolf’s Dragoons Delta Regiment in the Clan Invasion era. She is charismatic and gregarious, and she pilots the Nightstar “Brubaker”, my favorite ‘Mech of the game. Though she does have a small picture in Operational Turning Points: Falcon Incursion, I wanted to have a full rendering.

Vincentius has done work for me previously on Exploring Eberron and I knew his ability with tech renderings and painting. He did draw her a bit younger than she is portrayed during Coventry, but I did not specify a time–just the MechWarrior and ‘Mech.

Which brings us to the Nightstar. Anyone who knows a bit about my ‘Mech selection knows my preference for chicken walkers and Marauders. So it is probably no surprise my favorite ‘Mech is the sniper juggernaut Nightstar with Gauss Rifles and ER PPC for backup. It is only short half a ton of armor coverage compared to the Marauder II or Atlas and it can damage project to pretty annoying ranges. The “Brubaker” variant has Clan Large Pulse Lasers, so it is deadly a long range and annoyingly accurate when you try to close. My only regret… I have not been able to play it during the Introductory games. But Standard soon…

Until next time MechWarriors!

More Dragoons to Come

Wow, I was not expecting such an outstanding response to the image of Wilhelmina. I know that the community can be pretty split on opinion about the Wolf’s Dragoons–love, hate, or dismissive–but I like their place in the lore, and obviously their camo scheme, to have my ‘Mechs painted in (some of) their colors. Several people in the community reached out and said the image prompted them to have their own illustrations done.

Jaime Wolf’s Archer

I feel like BattleTech has so much room for fan-based creations. A lot of people create and paint their own mercenary units, and the game history is specifically built to accept those creations as part of the overall story. People like seeing things added to canon. The game of BattleTech could easily be played without this additive element, but I feel it is a more immersive environment to call these units your own.

That long-winded paragraph done, what is next? The positive comments have prompted me add a few more illustrations to my list of ideas. No peeking yet, but I promise to share the results with the community as appropriate.

I have never found the Archer to be a compelling ‘Mech, Robotech nostalgia aside. In 3025 terms, it has too much firepower for too few heat sinks. You cannot even fire both LRMs without pushing the heat scale! However, it is very well armored at 13 tons and can defend it self close range with multiple Medium Lasers (again too much heat). The Dragoons have the 2W version which replaces armor and lasers with SRMs. The lostech version has pulse lasers to really dissuade someone trying to close underneath LRM range. I will probably need to play the Standard version a few more times before making a judgment call, but if was good enough for Morgan Kell and Jaime Wolf… then you need to be the best MechWarrior in the galaxy to use it!

Until next time MechWarriors!

Wilhelmina Korsht

Last time, I mentioned both Wolf’s Dragoons and illustrations in the same post. There is a reason for that. I recently contacted BattleTech cover artist Tan Ho Sim for a commission of Wilhelmina Korsht, Colonel of Gamma Regiment.

Wilhelmina Korsht and Marauder II by Tan Ho Sim

BattleTech being a game of stompy robots means ‘Mechs are well represented and drawn (the ones that do not look like a rubber ducky), but maybe the pilots do not get their full due. Of course, MechWarriors in their cooling vests look ridiculous, but hundreds of years of history leaves many un-depicted. Wolf’s Dragoons being my faction, my forces might as well have a face for the commander.

This was actually a difficult composition at first, if you consider how large a BattleMech actually is. I wanted the pilot to be the focus of the image, but you really cannot do that without the person being away from the ‘Mech–it is just too damned big–and you lose detail on the person. Originally I wanted her sitting on the ‘Mech’s shoulder… you can see how that would not work. Tan came up with several alternative compositions and was incredibly easy to work with. In my other, other, (other?) life, I have the mantle of Art Director so I appreciate solution-oriented artists.

The Marauder II (not to be confused with the Marauder, Nightstar, Marauder IIC, or any other various Marauder-style ‘Mechs) is an incredibly powerful Introductory ‘Mech. Twin PPCs and a Large Laser are backed up by a couple Medium Lasers, which means this 100 ton monster hits at all ranges. 19 tons of armor and it has no ammunition stores to worry about, it still has 3 jump jets and enough heat sinks to piss off opponents. This is also a Wolf’s Dragoons exclusive ‘Mech historically, a nice little upgrade of Marauder. It definitely gets better in the Clan Invasion era with lostech applied. A few of my friends have experienced the stompy nature of this machine, so I will have more to say about it in the future as well!

Until next time MechWarriors!

The Initial Paint

One of the most prolific and sought out ‘Mech painter in my local area is Les Mandeville. So when I finally got my Clan Invasion boxes sorted and figured out, I sought out Les to throw some paint on Wolf’s Dragoons Gamma Regiment.

When I asked Les to paint these, I basically selected them because I knew enough about the Dragoons to be dangerous, but also I like the color scheme–though it does not clearly state what “midnight blue” actually looks like. There are some differing examples on Unit Color Compendium and Camo Specs, but I eventually settled on a color. The color looks very different under different light sources.

I have over half a Battalion worth of Gamma Regiment ‘Mechs at this point, but I may have planted my flag on color schemes too soon. I have no complaints about the quality, but I am having some second thoughts about the color when plastic hits the table…

Robotech comments aside, I chose the Wasp as part of my initial Wolf’s Dragoons paints because of its low BV point cost–I could fit it in as a scout ‘Mech when penny pinching points to build Lances. A single Medium Laser and an SRM 2 are not impressive or dangerous, nor is 3 tons of armor. The usefulness for this ‘Mech comes in with its 6/9/6 movement, which is not all that great compared to a Spider or even the Medium Phoenix Hawk. After a few runs in 3025, I stopped using it altogether. If you can get it to transform into a Veritech Fighter however…

Until next time MechWarriors!