|TRO: 3025 (original version)
FASA 1986 ISBN
This publication details a host of
BattleMechs, AeroSpace Fighters, Dropships and Conventional Vehicles
that have served the Successor States through the Succession War era
following the fall of the Star League.
Details of 55 Mechs, 15 Fighters,
3 LAMs, 4 Dropships and 12 Vehicles, along with their variants,
history and notable pilots is contained in this invaluable guide to
the battlefield of 3025.
Following the publication of
BattleTech (2nd Edition), City Tech and AeroTech, the TRO: 3025 was
a godsend to players who wanted a wider range of equipment to play
with. Previously all the designs had been "generic", but
now equipment unique to each of the Successor States were detailed,
along with tantalizing glimpses of the events that shaped the
Each fighting machine was detailed
with a design overview, capabilities, battle history, variants and
notable warriors who had used it. The equipment was lovingly
illustrated in a technical drawing style that gave the TRO: 3025 a
unique flavor that set it apart from any other game on the market at
The engrossing detail of this
publication is fantastic. More than anything else, this is the
product that captured the imagination of so many players and got
them playing BattleTech. The imagery of these titanic war machines
invoked by the writing was effectively reinforced by the artwork of
Duane Loose (Mechs and Vehicles) and David R Deitrick (Aerospace
Fighters and Dropships).
Reading through the TRO you could
marvel at the magnificence of the Marauder, wonder at the weapons of
the Warhammer, tremble at the terror of the Thunderbolt.
Ahmm! You get the idea
The snippets of background
information scattered through the text created a rich tapestry in
which to set the game. The fact that the game universe is still
rolling along all these years later is a testament to the solid
bedrock on which it was built.
When you set this product down
beside some of the later Technical Readouts it shows some of them up
in spectacular style.
The one notable error was that
FASA accidentally swapped the pictures for the Ostscout and Ostsol.
They swapped the pictures in later printings, but forgot to not swap
the stats printed on the page along with the picture - making things
Well, FASA blew it.
It is easy to forgive the
occasional slip where some unit or world is mentioned in passing in
the text, then a later publication would change their allegiance.
Such instances are few and have little impact on the narrative or
the game as a whole.
Where things fall apart is of
course with the "Unseen" Mechs that, due to legal issues I
will not go into again, FASA can't use their images in their
publications. FASA was left with the choice of either redrawing the
"Unseen", retaining references to them without using the
existing images, or to expunge them from the BattleTech universe
(much as the Clans eliminated all references to Clan Wolverine,
making them the "Not Named" Clan).
They went for "Plan B",
(retaining references) for some time, even producing a revised 3025
Technical Readout. This bastardized version replaces the
"classic" designs with low tech 3025 versions of the Mechs
that were first published in the Star League 2750 Technical Readout,
accompanied with some absolutely dreadful artwork that clashes with
the superior, original work. Whole passages from the text were also
hacked out for no discernable reason at the same time.
More recently FASA has apparently
embarked on a campaign to totally annihilate all references to the
original Mechs and all other designs that did not originate from a
FASA employee (switch to "Plan C"). With these "Not
Named" Mechs being excluded from the random unit assignment
tables and text in the latest Field Manuals all trace of them will
soon be eliminated from the "in print" BattleTech
A cornerstone product for early
BattleTech, this is the Technical Readout by which all others
(including the revised edition) are judged, and found wanting. It
was through this book more than anything else that the early players
came to know the universe of the Successor States.