From the introduction:
As it seems our latest age of Sphere-wide conflict is drawing to a close, it is perhaps fitting that the following represents our fifth—and final—volume of historical readouts covering the combat technology of the original Age of War. As is only natural for so brief a series, it is impossible to detail all of the various ’Mechs, vehicles, and variants that emerged across human-occupied space as the Terran Alliance fell and its far-flung colonies began to coalesce into the realms we know of today. Thus, this collection has focused primarily on the machines that had the greatest significance to the military development of these nascent combatants, with an emphasis on the years surrounding the dawn of the BattleMech age.
In this volume, we cover a final batch of the original prototype BattleMechs conceived by the major states of the Inner Sphere. This list not only includes the geneses of the iconic Archer, Orion, and Wolverine, but also the Ymir and the Phoenix—the first “homegrown” machines built respectively by the Lyran Commonwealth and the Rim Worlds Republic. Also featured is the Trooper, the progenitor of the Flea.
As in our past volumes, we have collected information on a wide variety of other battlefield units as well. This list includes the Dunning, an early mobile headquarters vehicle designed to serve the then-newly formed Terran Hegemony, and the Asher hover
scout, an example of contemporary recon vehicles. Also covered are samples of the earliest BattleMech recovery vehicles, and typical Age of War-era self-propelled artillery vehicles. Rounding out our list are the Lyran Commonwealth’s Colt medium fighter, which played a key role in unifying the realm that would one day be ruled by House Steiner, as well as the pre-Hegemony Saturn patrol ship and the Leviathan-class JumpShip.
While the ’Mechs, vehicles, and aerospace craft featured in these five volumes are referred to today as “Primitive”, they collectively played key roles in forging the Inner Sphere that we recognize today. For some, the progress of technology sounded the knell of their eventual abandonment, but for others, scientific advancement breathed into them a lifespan stretching centuries into the future.
- — Dr. Saga Brest, 11 January 3081