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Author Topic: I'm so confused!  (Read 1539 times)

Kealios

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I'm so confused!
« on: 03 May 2016, 23:17:27 »
I played Battletech back in the day (1986-1998, heavily) but not much since. I own Technical Readouts through 3085, but haven't played with anything newer than 3058 (99% of my games were 3050 or earlier). I own the most recent rulebooks (picked up Alpha Strike Companion today and pre-ordered the Combat Manual Mercenaries), and basically realized that:

I DONT KNOW WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON :)

I really lost track of the storyline. Like many, I bought into the Mechwarrior clickables when they came out, but was turned off by the Dark Age concept - and really havent read up on new stuff.

Now, I look at the special abilities and weapons listed in Alpha Strike, and I dont know where a lot of that comes from. It occurs to me that playing with newer stuff might be fun, but damn, I really am overwhelmed on where to start.

I don't want Construction Mechs...but what should I get to give me "fresh eyes" on the new stuff? I only plan on playing Alpha Strike - I am so over the 1980's rulesets of "hunt and peck".

Scotty

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Re: I'm so confused!
« Reply #1 on: 03 May 2016, 23:20:42 »
Era Digest: Dark Age
Era Report: 3145
Field Manual: 3145
Technical Readout: 3145

That will get you the broad strokes, both political and military, to catch all the way up for the minimum cost and pagecount if you go PDF.

Even if you're only playing Alpha Strike, TRO:3145 has some really awesome stuff in it, and the 'Mech deployment sections and notable pilots have their own stories to tell.
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Kealios

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Re: I'm so confused!
« Reply #2 on: 03 May 2016, 23:33:05 »
Thanks. I have Blake Assending - A Jihad Compilation. I was trying to read it cover to cover a year or two ago, but stalled out and just couldnt push past it...

pheonixstorm

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Re: I'm so confused!
« Reply #3 on: 04 May 2016, 00:16:29 »
If you want to get a ton of minis on the cheap buy the following

Battletech Intro Box 26 plastic quality minis (which includes two high quality, currently a Battlemaster and Timber Wolf)
Alpha Strike Lance packs. All plastic, 4 per box, but same quality as the new intro box. There are 8 total I think, listed below @ 19.99 each and come with nice quality alpha strike cards (very nice, full color).
Fire Lance - Shogun, Trebuchet, Dervish, Stalker
Command Lance - Cyclops, Cataphract, Catapult, Ravem
Battle Lance - Zeus, Banshee, Hatchetman, Orion
Support Lance - Awesome, Vindicator, Charger, Firestarter
Recon Lance - Spider, Vulcan, Cicada, Flea
Striker Lance - Dragon, Quickdraw, Guillotine, Panther
Pursuit Lance - Wolfhound, Clint, Jenner, Centurion
Assault Lance - Atlas, Victor, Grasshopper, Blackjack

As for where stuff comes from...

The unit quirks are from Strategic Operations
The pilot Special Abilities are from A time of War (RPG)

AS in its simplest form was adapted, or expanded, from the quick strike rules found in Strategic Operations.

If you don't really want to play anything from the Dark Age you can always pick up the new First Succession War book that was recently released in PDF (and print by the end of the month).

You can also use http://www.masterunitlist.info to build and print your own forces alpha strike cards.

For other product info you can browse sarna.net to get up to speed on what books you have missed.

Feenix74

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Re: I'm so confused!
« Reply #4 on: 04 May 2016, 01:14:26 »
Welcome back. As a fellow returnee, I found this thread by mbear to be of huge assistance when I first got back into Battletech a couple of years ago after a short break.
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Bosefius

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Re: I'm so confused!
« Reply #5 on: 04 May 2016, 01:24:06 »
Honestly you've come back at the exact right time, the novel "End Game" ended the original Battletech novels in mid-3067 with the end of the Federated Commonwealth (FedCom) Civil War. It wrapped up the "FASA timeline". Just last month Catalyst published the first new novel ("Embers of War") that takes the storyline into the Jihad era.

Essentially you have the Succession Wars/War of 3039 leading into the Clan Invasion. This leads into the post Invasion era including the reformation of the Second Star League. The Second Star League culminates with the Twilight of the Clans and leads directly into the Civil War.

The end of the Civil War sees the launching of the Jihad era by the Word of Blak, ending in the mid-late 3080s. What follows is a time of relative peace all the way into the 3130s and the Dark Ages story line.

Hope this helps a little.
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SteelRaven

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Re: I'm so confused!
« Reply #6 on: 04 May 2016, 02:32:34 »
Thanks. I have Blake Assending - A Jihad Compilation. I was trying to read it cover to cover a year or two ago, but stalled out and just couldn't push past it...
Blake Ascending isn't the easiest book to read through considering it was written to illustrate how chaos and confusing during that time, the following books are allot more straight forward and have some good moments. My personal favorite is Jihad Hot Spots: Terra. 

If your looking for something that bridges the game between the Jihad Era and the Dark Age, I recommend Historical: Wars of the Republic Era. The Victorian War and the Capellan Crusades allon sets up allot of the dynamics we see play out with the Confederation during the Dark Age.

Scotty list is the best one I can think of for Dark Age itself.
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Sartris

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Re: I'm so confused!
« Reply #7 on: 04 May 2016, 04:25:14 »
If you're looking for good sourcebooks on the Jihad in a more traditional format

Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents
Jihad: Final Reckoning


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wantec

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Re: I'm so confused!
« Reply #8 on: 04 May 2016, 07:06:56 »
Era Digest: Dark Age
Era Report: 3145
Field Manual: 3145
Technical Readout: 3145

That will get you the broad strokes, both political and military, to catch all the way up for the minimum cost and pagecount if you go PDF.

Even if you're only playing Alpha Strike, TRO:3145 has some really awesome stuff in it, and the 'Mech deployment sections and notable pilots have their own stories to tell.
Don't forget TRO:3150.
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JPArbiter

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Re: I'm so confused!
« Reply #9 on: 04 May 2016, 08:56:08 »
Don't worry about the Construction mechs too much, those were a stop gap used my rebels and terrorists, and never really utilized by professional Military in ClickWarrior.
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ActionButler

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Re: I'm so confused!
« Reply #10 on: 04 May 2016, 09:22:41 »
I was in the same boat not very long ago, to be honest.  The really great thing about the BT universe/game system, though, is that you really don't have to keep up with the latest and greatest plot developments if you don't want to.  If the Dark Age material was a turn off, there is a mountain of books that you can pick up about other eras, many of which will have some simpler equipment rules.  The books that Scotty listed are great for catching you up on the current events, but there are also plenty of Historical-branded sourcebooks for the Succession Wars era (including a shiny new one that just came out this week), the Invasion, and the Word of Blake vs The Universe that you can turn to.  I would really suggest picking up each of the Era Report books to help fill in all of the plot. 

You mentioned that you only plan on playing Alpha Strike.  At this point, while there are rules for all of the cool new advanced weapons that you will find in Classic Battletech, Alpha Strike and its (currently) one sourcebook are focused on the late-4th Succession War/Early Invasion Era.  If you are happy with those rules and factions, stick with that for a while.  You already have the Merc book, so maybe think about grabbing Era Report 3052 and Technical Readout 3050.  From there, you can expand into the later stages of the Invasion with Era Report 3062 and Technical Readout 3055 (and 3058 and 3060) or you can jump ahead (or back) to a different era. 

Long story short, play with the rules and tech levels that make you happy.   
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: I'm so confused!
« Reply #11 on: 04 May 2016, 10:49:41 »
One meta aspect of BattleTech that's very different from from 1980s-1990s is that CGL (the current developers) don't treat the universe solely as an ongoing timeline anymore.  As alluded to upthread, the timeline is broken into "Eras" and even though the most recent story developments are set in 3150, support for all areas of the timeline are a priority.  Consider that the newest book to come out is a sourcebook talking about the legendary First Succession War!  (and presumably its sister volume on the 2nd SW is soon to follow)

So yeah, you don't HAVE to brush up on what happened on the timeline beyond 3058.  You can play that era as much as you like.  The Alpha Strike core rulebook and AS Companion are both "set" in the Clan Invasion era that you last played in, for that matter.   The Combat Manual series expands the timeframe information, but does so backwards to include the late Succession Wars!

Note also that if you do delve into the post-3058 timeline and find that you like the Civil War era, or the Jihad, or the Dark Age, you can still play Alpha Strike in those eras.  ASC has the rules for any Specials that might crop up with new technology in those eras, and the MUL has freely-downloadable cards for almost everything published of all eras (except spacecraft other than ASFs)