Friday, 27 July 2012

BattleTech Canon 2


In Part 1 I laid out the idea of rules as being canonical and playing games as liturgy, or service to the rules. This time I want to look at the books that make up the BattleTech bible, so as to compare and contrast them in order of canonicity. From this we can ask what books are apocryphal and what this means to the BattleTech universe?

Starting with the easily categorisable books, which are all the various editions of the rules found in the boxed sets that have been released over the years; BattleTech, CityTech, AeroTech, BattleForce, Solaris VII, BattleTech Reinforcements I & II etc. After this are the Technical Read Outs starting with the original 3025 and now up to 3085, plus and XTRO Prototypes.

All of these were written as part of the rules and therefore are part of the primary canonical sources for the game.

Now we can move on to those books that add to the background, but are not rules, or catalogues of things that are made using the rules for playing games of BattleTech. Here things become less clear, because there has been a move to categorise information in some of the books as rumours, or beliefs held by the in-universe narrator. I think that this is rather a slippery slope, which is further developed as the novels are now described as the characters point of view and is not necessarily totally true i.e.: they are biased.

For me the end sum of this stance is to make such books Apocryphal, and therefore no longer canonical. If you agree it means that large swathes of the BattleTech universe history are now just one point of view of what happened, but not necessarily facts, or even for that matter true.

Perhaps the whole history is a conspiracy to hide the truth that the Wolverines are holding back the alien hordes from over running the Inner Shere.

How's that for a thought?


  1. "Perhaps the whole history is a conspiracy to hide the truth that the Wolverines are holding back the alien hordes from over running the Inner Shere."

    Yep, that's it ! LOL :)

    1. Well, on the official forum someone has been talking about he treats all the novels he doesn't like as just "in-universe" stories that are not true, which is okay, but has ramifications to what is canon.

      On another note, TPTB mentioned that the sales of A Time of War were less than desired, and that the RPG aspect of BattleTech has never really taken off. I can't help but wonder whether this is down to the RPG being too focused on mech combat, rather than the wonders of the Inner Sphere, and that perhaps the lack of discovering new race and civilisations makes the setting poorer?


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