Saturday, April 16, 2016

BUILT FOR WAR: A BattleTech TRO by fans like you!

Built for War is a TRO for the BattleTech universe that will feature over a hundred new units with original professional art, full write-ups, record sheets and MegaMek files, and more. ‘Mechs are the primary focus, but they’ll be supported by tanks, VTOLs, battle armor, and maybe even an aerospace craft or two. Built for War is set in the Late Republic and Dark Age eras, between 3100 and 3150, and includes new units for Great Houses, Spheroid Clans, and Periphery States alike.

Preview of a WIP page
We've been working on this project for over two years now, laying the foundation for a successful production. A preview TRO will be released on April 30th, featuring four ‘Mechs, two Combat Vehicles, and two Battle Armor suits, so you can get an idea of what we've been doing and what the final product will look like. You can also check out these full-size previews of some of the art we've got done below right now.

Brass Bull
Geist BA
Dragonfly VTOL
If you're excited and want to help, here's what you can do:
  • Spread the word - tell your fellow giant robot enthusiasts about Built for War.
  • Give your input - tell us your thoughts about our WIP releases and suggest improvements.
  • Make a contribution - Chicks dig giant robots. If you support Built for War chicks will dig you too. For full details, check out the FAQ below.

Matt Plog's latest piece for Built for War

To get regular Built for War updates, use the "Follow by Email" gadget on the right. If you want to contact us with suggestions, support, or anything else, send us an email or leave a comment on the blog.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

- the Built for War Team



Q: Who’s working on Built for War?
The core team is Josh, Chris, and Doug; you can read our bios on the side. All our art thus far has been done by veteran BattleTech artists Matt Plog and Anthony Scroggins.

We’re helped by a community of passionate BattleTech fans who are proofreading, fact-checking, and generally assisting us with making Built for War the best it can be. If you want to get involved, send us an email or leave a comment on the blog.

Q: Why should I contribute?
Because there's nothing better than opening a new book full of awesome art, great designs, and exciting stories, and that's what we're creating. 

Q: What does my contribution do?
When you make a contribution to Built for War, here’s what we use it for:
  • Paying the artists
That’s it.

We're commissioning pieces from established BattleTech artists like Matt Plog and Anthony Scroggins. And we're paying them when the pieces are complete, not "some time in the future, when we sell enough books to cover it." Everything else is a labor of love. If you contribute more money, it doesn't mean more profit for us, it means more artwork for you.

Q: How much do you need?
We estimate that it will take $5,000 to get Built for War completed. That will pay for art for a hundred units plus the cover art. Twenty contributors have given $850 so far - before we even started official fundraising - so we’re well on our way!

Based on the pieces we've already commissioned, that’s a realistic estimate with a margin for unexpected expenses. If we don’t end up needing that margin, or get more than $5,000, that will let us afford to add extra goodies to the TRO.
The Juzumaru, paying homage to the old school

Q: Do I get anything other than a "Thank you"? 
You get a Technical Readout with 100 playtested units, professional art, and the MegaMek files to go with them. Oh, you mean you want more? We've got more:

First of all, every single person that contributes will be thanked by name (and any nickname you prefer) on the credits page. If you contribute enough to reach one of the levels below, you'll have that title in the credits as well. Beyond that, we’re breaking things down as follows:

Cadet: $10
  • Exclusive high-res files of ALL Built for War art.
Veteran: $25
  • We’ll name a character appearing in the TRO after you, or your name of choice, in the deployment or notable units sections of a unit entry. We’ll contact you to get some details we’ll try to work in as well, like preferred faction, unit type, physical characteristics, and attitude.
  • Includes previous level.
Elite: $50
  • You’ll be listed as the patron of a unit of your choice because hey, you’ve paid for it. We’ll send you an advanced copy of the TRO and let you pick the unit you want to have your name on. First come, first served.
  • Includes previous levels.
Champion: $100
  • We'll play a MegaMek game with you.
  • Includes previous levels.
House Lord/Clan Khan: $250
  • Ever fancy being the ruler of an interstellar nation? Well, you can at least be listed as the House Lord or Clan Khan of your dreams on the credits page. You can even rule a Periphery nation if you want (I’m waiting for someone to request Niops…). First come first served and only one Lord/Khan/Pirate King etc. per faction, so don't miss your shot at being the Chancellor of the Capellan Confederation.
  • You’ll get to work with us on the art direction of a mech. We’ll contact you and work with you from concept to final appearance. You’ll naturally be listed as the ‘Mech’s patron as well.
  • Includes previous levels
We do reserve the right to reject here, in case someone tells us their name is "A. McHitler" or something. We'll contact you and try to work out an alternative, or refund your contribution as you prefer.

You can make cumulative contributions to reach a higher level.

The Hulagu is ready to accept your batchall

Q: Extra goodies were mentioned earlier, what kind of goodies?
There are two lined up right now:
  • Aerospace –contributions over $5,000 mean we can include some Warships, Dropships, and Fighters.
  • Section Art – contributions over $5,500 let us explore the possibility of commissioning full-page pieces to go between the sections of the TRO. Many of the most memorable pieces in BattleTech come from just such spreads, and we’d love to get a chance to show you a more dynamic view of the units in Built for War.
We have some more in mind but the details are under wraps until they're more developed.

Q: What if you don't get enough contributions?
Part of the reason we're asking for contributions is so that we can produce Built for War in a timely manner. But even if we have to squirrel away a little piece of each paycheck for the next five years, it's going to happen.

Q: What if you get way more than you asked for?
Well our first reaction would be something like this...

After that, we'd have to see what options the excess makes possible and talk to you our supporters about what you'd like to see.

Q: When will Built for War be completed?
There’s no release date set right now; completion depends on how long it takes to get art done, and that is based on how long it takes to get the money to pay the artists. If there's strong community support, then we can hire more artists for more pieces and have them done faster.

Q: Are you guys making any money off of this?
No, we aren’t. All donations go directly to the artists. Built for War is not an official product and is not challenging any trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property.

Q: Is this compatible with the normal rules?
Yes, Built for War does not use any non-canon equipment, unit types, or rules.

Q: Did you playtest this stuff?
Yes, we’ve playtested every unit included in the TRO multiple times. In fact, some of the Deployment and Notable Unit writing has been inspired by events that took place in playtesting.

Q: I don’t like the Dark Age – will Built for War have anything for me?
Yes, many of our units will be easily dropped into earlier eras – some usable as far back as 3025.

Q: Will there be print copies?

No, we’re not making or distributing physical copies. However, we’ve designed the TRO so that it can be printed on either Letter or A4 paper. There will be a bit about printing permissions in the front in case anyone hassles you at a printer's. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi there
    When are you going to finsh this I would like one???