Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Star League Era

The Star League is often looked back upon with nostalgia.  It was the last time that humanity was united under a single banner.  Technological revolutions, Scientific research, and colonization of new worlds rapidly changed the face of the Inner Sphere.  The Cameron dynasty, rulers of the Terran Hegemony (A state of technological advanced worlds around Terra), had united the five great houses of the Inner Sphere under their banner, and with the power of their armies, brought the Periphery to heel.  It was an age of peace, but it could not last.

Hey Battletech Fans, We’re starting our grand study of Battletech, starting with the Star League Era.  Today we’re going to cover the books you’ll want to use as a reference if you’re interested in this era.  Remember, Battletech has nearly a 30 year history and countless papers, books, and stories have been written about the Battletech Universe, so i’m going to cover the broad strokes of the setting for new players to ease their way into the setting.  There are several other resources available if you want to dive into the setting, but this article series is intended to give you a taste for the setting and the major events, people, places, and ideas.  

Books that are important to this era
Era Report 2750
Historical: Reunification War
Historical: Liberation of Terra Vol. 1
Historical: Liberation of Terra Vol. 2
Field Manual: SLDF
Field Report: 2765 DCMS
Field Report: 2765 CCAF
Field Report: 2765 FWLM
Field Report: 2765 AFFS

Books that touch on this Era
Handbooks: (All of them)
Technical Readout 3039
Technical Readout 3050 Upgrade
Technical Readout 3058
Technical Readout 3075
Historicals: Operation Klondike
Interstellar Operations

Old Books that are informative of this period
The Star League (Original Sourcebook)
Technical Readout 2750 (The first look at Star League era battlemechs and technology)

So let’s take a minute and discuss why these books are important to the era Era Report 2750 is a larger version of this series of articles.  It’s going to give you the lowdown on the important movers and shakers in the universe at the time of 2750.  This covers the fall of the Star League and sets up the Succession Wars that follow nicely.  It’s essential reading for anyone who wants to have a better handle on the political and economic powers that are at work during this era.  
Historical: Reunification War is the transition point of the Star League Era.  Out of the fires of this ugly conflict the Star League becomes a reality, and sets the stage for the next 150 years of history.  It details every major aspect of the combat between the newly formed SLDF and the armies of the House lords against the Periphery powers that are resisting Unification.  This book also sets the groundwork for the terrible conflict that comes at the end of the Star League Era in the next two volumes.

Historical: Liberation of Terra (Both Volumes) cover the war that ends the Star League Era.  War spreads across the Inner Sphere as the SLDF rallies to try and retake the usurped throne of the Star League, culminating in one of the largest battles ever fought in the Battletech Universe.  The Liberation of Terra is the epic conclusion to this Era and features elements that will have drastic consequences for the future of the Battletech Universe.  

Field Manual: SLDF
This book is the complete organizational structure of the Star League Defense Force and its constituent parts.  Every major aspect of the SLDF is covered, along with the tabletop rules for fielding the specific formations in the book. If you are wanting to understand the organizational structures and elements of the SLDF, you need this book.  

The Field Reports give you the collective military strengths and dispositions of the House militaries as of 2765, during the heart of the Liberation of Terra.  For players curious about what their favorite faction are doing during this period, these are essential.  

The books that touch on this era:

Handbooks (All of them).  The Handbook series covers the history and development of the faction it’s written about.  Each one contains information relevant to the respective power during the Star League Era, and contains a wealth of information and history of that faction.  If you have a specific faction that you like, the Handbook will cover all of the information you should need on that faction.  

Technical Readouts.  The Technical Readouts I’ve mentioned contain all of the commonly available battlemechs used during this era, along with technological Upgrades that you may find useful.  Operation Klondike, all though written about the origin of the Clans, contains additional combat units that are appropriate to this era.  

Interstellar Operations has an entire section on both the era of the Star League and the Technology that is commonly found.  If you want additional information on how things works and what they individually represent, this is a great place to start looking.

The older, out of print books have interesting bits of information, but i would recommend using them as touchstones rather than gospels for looking at earlier perspectives on the Star League Era.  

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