Solaris Matches Tradition / Ritual in White Reach | World Anvil

Solaris Matches

"I can think of nothing more entertaining than watching two Assault-class BattleMechs fighting each other for pride and glory. Other than watching eight of them in a free-for-all, and bookies making good money on the wagers. Solaris. Ain't noplace like it anywhere, even though people try."
— First Leutnant Terrence C. Koval, 5th Lyran Regulars
The Solaris Games are a famous, or infamous, series of matches held on Solaris VII where 'MechWarriors fight each other for fame, fortune, and the adoration of crowds throughout the Inner Sphere. Matches are broadcast live on the planet, but are recorded and distributed to every inhabited world with so much as a mail carrier. The Games allow 'MechWarriors who aren't interested in actual warfare to still use their skills for entertainment, and to secure fame and fortune which can last the rest of their lives - or beyond. Of course, they can also fall short and drift into obscurity but that's a risk many see as worth taking.


The planet of Solaris VII (usually called just "Solaris") had long been an industrial center capable of building, repairing, and maintaining BattleMechs. When some of the manufacturers arranged for exhibitions showing off their new designs or variants on old designs to Star League officials, this drew crowds who would soon begin placing bets and making it a serious pastime to enjoy. No amount of obstruction could prevent this, so instead it wound up embraced as the collapsing Star League withdrew their presence. Mercenaries used it as training grounds or dueling grounds, and even the Succession Wars couldn't keep the spirit of the place down for long. In the early 29th century, there was a neutral ground of sorts arranged where members of the five Successor States could pit champions against each other in arenas, while the rules of engagement and the guidelines of gambling became much more formalized. This became the precursor of the Solaris Games.
Since then, the Games have only grown more numerous and varied, with leagues and stables established to offer any 'MechWarrior who wants to have a shot to enter - regardless of what weight class their 'Mech is or their own personal skill level. In many places across the Inner Sphere, the names of top Solaris gladiators eclipse even war heroes or mercenary legends amidst adoring fans. It is also not at all surprising the events which unfold are seen as important business, and sometimes have a real impact on populations who follow the matches for their primary source of entertainment. Of course, to do so one has to sign up for a stable, and to do this one must prove their mettle.


For the most part, the matches can vary from duels between two 'MechWarriors to massive battle royales which include dozens all vying to be the last one standing. The arenas involved also vary from enclosed areas, to more natural landscapes; from industrial complexes to cave systems, to forests, to arenas with adjustable walls and other obstacles. There is also a variation with whether weapons are toned down to help avoid lethal injuries or fully powered weapons are used in fights to the death. Anything can go on Solaris, if you look hard enough and are willing to endure the challenges.
What matters is simple - the participating 'MechWarriors enter the arena and await a start signal. Once this is given, they fight until the goal is met, and awards are paid out as decided upon before the match. Any BattleMech in working order piloted by a registered 'MechWarrior can find a match, though some are restricted to weight classes or specific loadouts, or certain rankings.
As far as official leagues go, there is one head and shoulders above the rest: the Grand Tournament. Held every year, it consists of six classes which comprise various weight ranges of BattleMechs (plus one for smaller exoskeleton-style matches and one for any weight class) and one hundred and twenty-eight combatants. The matches continue for single-elimination rounds until there is only one left standing, crowned Champion and rewarded with a half-million C-Bills. Champions can be challenged for the title, and if they are defeated twice by their challenger they wind up relinquishing the title to the challenger until the Grand Tournament begins the next year.

Components and tools

To participate, each contestant must have a 'Mech - either their own or provided by their stable - and have it be in working order as determined by the guidelines for the match they intend to participate in. This can mean going in with less than full ammunition stores, turning off certain systems as handicaps, or even just setting the weapons up for a non-lethal bout. By extension, the stable will also usually provide technician teams, parts, and equipment for the participants to keep the machines in full working order.


The Games are almost available all-year round, but the major tournaments are scheduled annually and can take weeks or months to fully run from inception to crowning a champion. The famous Grand Tournament takes place during the second half of the year, and continues until such time as a winner emerges. Due to the realities of interstellar distances, the recordings of matches wind up distributed in a way so as to make it possible the whole of a league's run may be viewed by people in the off-season. As such, many planets tend to have almost ritualized viewing the matches when they arrive on the planet, making them a very important social affair. Similarly, recordings may be viewed through ComStar services for a fee, often scaled to roughly the same cost as attending the events in Solaris viewing parlors.

BattleTech is owned by Topps, with tabletop game development licensed to Catalyst Game Labs.


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