Friday 20 November 2020

Big Little Wars: Post 2 - Update on Gate Walker Battles

Three new Combat Armor Suits representing the mecha in my universe.

Well, I threw my current draft, mostly notes, together, and sent it to a friend who has shown interest in working with me on the project.

Working title is now Bad Dog; though that may change again.

I've received the first feedback, and I'm excited. It seems it isn't totally crazy of me to write another set of future combat rules featuring mecha. The emphasis being on plausible future warfare with mecha as a part of the battlescape.

So it looks like it's a go for  C4ISR mission (Communications; Computers; Intelligence; Surveillance; and Reconnaissance) with ECM and ECCM, and morale feeding into when the battlefield becomes an internet of connected things.

Sunday 15 November 2020

BattleTech Alternate Universe


I read a fun thread on Twitter a little while back asking what opinion would get your BT fan card revoked.

I wrote Kerensky's Exodus was dumb, dumber than a bag of hammers; and later added, The Republic of the Sphere was the best thing ever introduced into BT canon. Obviously, these are just throwaway comments, made in jest, but with elements that stand some further reflection.

It's hard now for those fans who weren't there back in 1984 to understand the appeal of the original 3025 setting.

What you have to remember is that the game was tapping into the whole Mad Max vibe that swept the West, click here for a wiki article. Not forgetting the timing of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome released in 1985.

So when FASA's BattleDroids arrived, the whole 'previous technology was 'made better in the past' resonated with me and countless other wargamers. Yes, it was obvious that this would have to change, because the Inner Sphere would have had to have been knee deep in Battlemechs to keep them on the battlefields of the future.

Hence my love for the William Keith Grayson Carylisle Gray Death stories, which is all about finding lost tech.

The recent successful KickStarter, with the new plastic mechs from Catalyst have revived people's interest in BattleTech. I haven't played a game in quite a long while, but have fond memories of fun times. Okay, I'm totally obsessed with stompy robots!

However, later on, I got into a bit of a tiff with a guy on FaceBook about combined arms games, which was resolved after some comments.

My assertion remains that there's a sweet spot for playing games of classic BattleTech, and furthermore hover tanks used aggressively can unbalance the game. I was told that using fusion powered hover tanks was cheesy. I kind of agree, but only because I think that cheesy is just shorthand for edge cases breaking the rules.

On further reflection, I think that BattleTech would be better focused on gladiatorial arena games, because the super crunchy game mechanics are already borderline rpg character focused. Furthermore, one could tinker with the time and groundscale for more in the cockpit verisimilitude. Yes, this would turn BattleTech into a Solaris game, but that's not a bad thing.

I think the original Solaris game was a road BattleTech should have taken. Obviously, opinions will differ. Then focus the desire for combined arms battles using Alpha Strike. But that's just my opinion.

But, here we are entering a revival of the classic game, and that I think all would agree is a good thing.