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AJCarrington

Classic Battletech Back?!?

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1) Battletech Minis were great when they were the only Mecha out there, but With Dream Pod 9, Reaper, and soon to be Rackham producing a bunch of very nice sculpts of big robots, they'll no longer have the captive market that they used to command. Not to mention the fact that the line is hardly unified when it comes to model's being to-scale with one another. It would need a lot of re-working before I even thought about taking it seriously. Also, if you're going to re-launch a game to try to entice massive existing fanbase, you do not do it by including "never before seen variants" in your starter sets. Give the folks new versions of the mechs they know and love. Fanpro could do a lot to mend fences by negotiating to use old designs like the Marauder, Archer, and Rifleman again...

 

2) A whole heck of a lot of people felt betrayed and alienated when FASA shut down and Wizkids took over the Battletech Universe for a clicky-game (which is a lot of fun when played on its own merits). Gamers are like elephants -- they never forget. Now they're going to revise and republish the rules in an effort to try to win those alienated gamers back. From the press release, it looks like the construction rules aren't even going to be in the main rulebook anymore. Say goodbye to the munchkins who want to build their 100 tonner with six gauss rifles with minimal investment...

 

3) Six Core Books? At probably $20-$30 each. Both Heavy Gear and CAV will get you playing with one book.

 

On the other hand, there is a fanbase there unlike anything that exists for another Mecha combat game, so I'll at least keep an eye out for developments, but right now I don't have a lot of confidence.

 

Fanpro Re-launched Shadowrun a year or two ago and the rulebooks have been collecting dust at the FLGS since.

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1) (problems with the line - competition, scale, the unseen, etc)

 

Yeah, Btech now has some serious competition. Ironically, CBT faces its biggest competition from WK, since they are essentially two versions of the same game.

 

2) A whole heck of a lot of people felt betrayed and alienated when FASA shut down and Wizkids took over the Battletech Universe for a clicky-game (which is a lot of fun when played on its own merits). Gamers are like elephants -- they never forget. Now they're going to revise and republish the rules in an effort to try to win those alienated gamers back. From the press release, it looks like the construction rules aren't even going to be in the main rulebook anymore. Say goodbye to the munchkins who want to build their 100 tonner with six gauss rifles with minimal investment...

 

IMO, the WK MW game played fairly well when all the players had a more CBT mindset - ie, the game is about giant stompy robots, and when you drift too far from it, you're no longer playing BT. The WK game suffered (and apparently still suffers) some balance issues when it comes to incorporating Mechs into your force. OTOH, this is nothing new - Mechs were actually the least efficient model (tonnage or C-Bills) in CBT, but they looked really kewl, so everyone kind of ignored that by mutual consent.

 

3) Six Core Books? At probably $20-$30 each. Both Heavy Gear and CAV will get you playing with one book.

 

On the other hand, there is a fanbase there unlike anything that exists for another Mecha combat game, so I'll at least keep an eye out for developments, but right now I don't have a lot of confidence.

 

It sounds like at least some of the "core" books are really closer to splatbooks. OTOH, by spreading rules over all six, they're really just ensuring that they are going to tick people off, as opposed to enticing them to buy all six.

 

Fanpro Re-launched Shadowrun a year or two ago and the rulebooks have been collecting dust at the FLGS since.

I don't know how well Earthdawn (another FASA game) is doing, but I do know that there is the second edition stuff (done by Living Room Games) and the classic version (done by Red-Brick). While neither is a large company, the fact that it exists in two different formats (which are largely compatible) speaks well for it. SR (IMO) has undergone too many revisions and changes - I have had a hard time trying to make the older souce materials work with the newer editions. I thumbed through 4th ed, and vaguely recall thinking "Not again. Not worth the effort anymore."

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Unless they streamlined the rules, the biggest reason I won't go back to CBT is that it's a pain in the you-know-what to play much more than a lance vs lance game. Hence my love for CAV.

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I think it's beneficial to look at some of the threads on classicbattletech.com for more info, including some from the designers...

 

You only really need ONE product to play the game: the boxed set (which will come with some plastic minis). If you're ready to move beyond this level, then you only need the core rulebook to play. You don't NEED any other books, just like in D&D you don't NEED anything beyond the PHB to play.

 

As far as changing the rules: no way they would ever do that, and infact that is NOT what they are going to do. IMHO, I like the rules just fine. If you're trying to play anything above lance level, you're playing the wrong game. You can make it speedier and allow more stuff on the table, but to do that you sacrifice detail. Battletech is essentially a skirmish game, and the level of detail (i.e. getting your arm blown off) is a core characteristic that differentiates it from other games...

 

One thing Battletech definitely has over CAV, Heavy Gear, etc. is the level of detail and immersion of the universe. Nothing in the gaming industry has come even close to this level of detail. And I have them all.

 

and they will never get the unseen back. They just dumped a lot of other designs that were not done in-house preempitvely avoiding any future lawsuits. If Battletech players felt betrayed by FASA closing, then they can ony blame the Unseen on this, as it was the lawsuit that bankrupted the company...

 

Damon.

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As an old player of CBT, I can say that I don't particularly like the game anymore, nor have I liked any of the new sculpts in quite some time.

 

But as a retailer of CBT, I can also say that I still easily sell over 2 to 1 CBT to Reaper products. Now part of that is the fact that my store started as a CBT store and has held those products much longer. I think the fact that CAV in general is not putting out products also affects this big time.

 

And as far as the CBT books go, surprisingly, they are actually the best sellers out of all my offerings.

 

CBT was a great game in its time. And to me the main thing keeping it alive is the textual side of things. The game itself is very fun. That is, until you try your first RAGE game or Warmachine, or the like game where the game mechanics are so much smoother and not bogged down after adding your 4th miniature to the table.

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Yes, the level of detail is great, but it gets so bogged down. Once a friend and I each designed a 40 ton mech using the construction rules (this was just before tech readout 3050 was released and the double heat sinks and such) and pitted them one on one. That game lasted forever (something like four hours, we just couldn't get a killing shot) and resulted in us trying to present our backs to each other because it was the only location that stil had armor on it. I think that was the point I started to lose interest in CBT, though it did take a looong time for me to give it up completely. Another friend and I tried to play a company against a company and that took all freakin' day. Although, I will say that there is nothing more satisfying than rolling a head shot when executing a DFA!!! I always used to imagine a giant footprint where the head used to be when I'd pull it off. ::):

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I think if you're using advanced tech and the battle goes on forever (especially with those weight machines), then either you had a colossal string of bad luck, or there was something else wrong. 1 40t mech-on-mech game shouldn't last very long at all...

 

And I really disagree on the sculpts side of things. Admittedly, the ART took a downturn around when TRO 2750 came out, picked up for 3050, took a nosedive with 3055, was ok for 3058, and lame for 3060 (for the most part). The sculpt of the minis is fine; it was the depictions that were godaweful. That being said, I think things are starting to pick up again, and there are a lot of machines in TRO:PP and 3067 that I actually LIKE (again). For a long time I would only play 3025...because many of the later mechs looked terrible...

 

Damon.

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CBT was probably my first exposure to miniature wargames. I haven't played it since middle school though.

 

An obstacle to me getting into it now is the sheer mass of the rules and background. There's what 3000+ official mechs? That crosses the line between excellent variety and overwhelming choice.

 

Plus, CAV2 is coming out, soon.

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CBT was probably my first exposure to miniature wargames. I haven't played it since middle school though.

 

An obstacle to me getting into it now is the sheer mass of the rules and background. There's what 3000+ official mechs? That crosses the line between excellent variety and overwhelming choice.

 

Plus, CAV2 is coming out, soon.

Yeh ,any idea when that's suppose to be ? :unsure:

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CBT was probably my first exposure to miniature wargames. I haven't played it since middle school though.

 

An obstacle to me getting into it now is the sheer mass of the rules and background. There's what 3000+ official mechs? That crosses the line between excellent variety and overwhelming choice.

 

Plus, CAV2 is coming out, soon.

Yeh ,any idea when that's suppose to be ? :unsure:

 

I already ranted about that once today. Don't get me riled up again.

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I think if you're using advanced tech and the battle goes on forever (especially with those weight machines), then either you had a colossal string of bad luck, or there was something else wrong. 1 40t mech-on-mech game shouldn't last very long at all...

Damon.

No, this was pre-advanced/star league/clan tech.

 

The nice thing was, you got the cardboard stand-ups, otherwise I never would've gotten to play because I could never convince my dad to drive to Toledo just to buy little metal figures.

 

Don't get me wrong, the game will hold a special place in my memory, but it just isn't my taste anymore.

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Alright, I'll try to keep this rant short... *sigh*

 

I agree with many points that were mentioned, but not all. Like it or not, ( C )BT is the premier mecha system out there and there is no real contender on the market right now.

 

Yes, CBT will bog down in bigger fights - but to really compare it with i.e. CAV2 you'd have to use BF2 and not CBT. Yes, the background and count of the available units is sometimes overwhelming - but you don't have to use it all, right?

 

But:

 

It got the fan base, it got the background and (to top it all) it even got what the other games sorely lack right now - support.

 

Not true?

 

-HG/GK/JC: While the games are very nice, they do not have the same 'big, stompy robots' feeling like CBT. Plus DP9 did nothing after FASA closed up shop to convert new players. A while ago (when they were working on their new core rules!) they even went on a hiatus for a year or so because they wanted to work on movies for a change. If that's not alienating your player base, I don't know what is.

 

-CAV is pretty much in the same boat. Since CAV1 in 2001, what have we got? Two JORs and we're still waiting for some units from JOR2 after almost three years. How many times have we heard the 'soon' of doom? I'll take quality over quantity any day, but this is more than frustrating and certainly not helping gaining new players.

 

-Rackhams AT-43 looks promising, but more along the lines of HG/GK. I'll wait and see when it is out.

 

 

No, this was pre-advanced/star league/clan tech.

 

A normal duel with 3025 tech? Bad dice rolls or jump jets?

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Yes, the level of detail is great, but it gets so bogged down. Once a friend and I each designed a 40 ton mech using the construction rules (this was just before tech readout 3050 was released and the double heat sinks and such) and pitted them one on one. That game lasted forever (something like four hours, we just couldn't get a killing shot) and resulted in us trying to present our backs to each other because it was the only location that stil had armor on it. I think that was the point I started to lose interest in CBT, though it did take a looong time for me to give it up completely. Another friend and I tried to play a company against a company and that took all freakin' day. Although, I will say that there is nothing more satisfying than rolling a head shot when executing a DFA!!! I always used to imagine a giant footprint where the head used to be when I'd pull it off. ::):

 

Ahhhh, the good old days. ::):

 

Very fond memories of back then, but I think I'll stay with CAV now.

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-Rackhams AT-43 looks promising, but more along the lines of HG/GK. I'll wait and see when it is out.

 

I'll beleive this when I see it in the flesh. I've seen too many incarnations in too short a time to have any concrete understanding of what it is.

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