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Author Topic: You bought the box set and are ready to expand your BT experience. Now what?  (Read 12907 times)

Sartris

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Like for thousands of others, the intro box is one of the primary entrepôts into the BattleTech Universe. You’ve acquired a modest force of eight ‘Mechs (or ten if you went ham and also picked up the beginner box) and played a few games. So what now? How do you decide how to expand your experience in the face of thirty years of options? As it turns out, there are some natural inroads if you know where to look.

Though BattleTech is a game with an articulated and varied thematic periodization, the purpose of this guide is not to conform your interests to any specific era, but to provide scaffolded purchasing options based on what you already have. As you immerse yourself in the fiction of the BattleTech Universe, you will be able to make your own decisions about which era or eras you are most drawn to. Some enjoy employing the tech on the most bleeding edge while others have remained firmly ensconced in the same source material available in 1987. The key is to have fun.

I have redesigned this guide to reflect new releases like the BattleMech Manual,Technical Readout: Succession Wars, and other upcoming products. I assume you, as a new player, are here for the giant, stompy robot action so the majority of my suggestions are geared toward 'Mech vs 'Mech combat. That said, I will provide some outlets for combined arms options. I have also intentionally omitted discussion of Alpha Strike, the abstracted, faster-playing BattleTech ruleset. I am not well-versed in the system or how to approach it as a new player so I will defer to someone more experienced with and passionate about Alpha Strike to write that particular guide. I have also shied away from A Time of War. Again, I will leave promotion of the RPG system to someone who can do it justice with a more convincing sales pitch than I could provide.

Products listed in this document are available at store.catalystgamelabs.com or drivethrurpg.com.

If you are a returning player looking to get caught up on the changes to the game since you’ve been gone, I recommend the excellent primer prepared by mbear found here.

If you have any further questions, comments, insults, etc, feel free to reply to this thread.

CONTENTS
  • Navigating the Timeline
  • The Game Universe
  • Purchasing Guide
  • Resources and Freebies
  • Closing Thoughts
NAVIGATING THE TIMELINE
The BattleTech Universe is vast and contains no less than eleven officially articulated eras (I've grouped them into broader thematic categories below). The complexity does not inherently increase in a linear fashion from one era to another, however. The Star League was more technologically advanced than the Succession Wars. Primitive gear came back into use during the Jihad alongside bleeding-edge prototypes. The key is to find what you find most enjoyable. Remember that the timeline was not developed in a linear fashion. The Universe was born in media res, grounded in the year 3025, with sourcebooks produced detailing various events through about 3030. 1989’s Twenty Year Update catapulted the timeline forward two decades, with the intervening years only receiving significant treatment after 2003. The Star League Era, originally portrayed as a lost Utopia received significant treatment in 2012. I mention this to help explain why certain periods are much more “filled out” with Catalyst products than others. Many of the older sourcebooks books are available via PDF.

For a breakdown of modern (ie post-FASA) sourcebooks by era, check out my thread here. My FASA sourcebook index can be found here.

  • From Colonizers to Galactic Empire
    • Age of War (2005-2570)
    • Star League (2571-2780)
  • Things Fall Apart
    • Early Succession Wars (2781-2900)
    • Late Succession Wars - LostTech (2901-3019) <-- Beginner Box and GoAC Box fiction are set in this period
    • Late Succession Wars - Renaissance (3020-3049)
  • Unrelenting Conflict
    • Clan Invasion (3050-3061)
    • FedCom Civil War (3062-3067)
    • Word of Blake Jihad (3068-3085)
  • Darkness and Fire
    • Early Republic (3086-3100)
    • Late Republic (3101-3130)
    • Dark Ages (3131-3150)
THE GAME UNIVERSE
With the success of the first manned jumpship in 2107, humanity gained the ability to leap from one star system to the next. Over the next four centuries, leap they would to every star they could reach. From this rapid and massive colonization effort sprung the embryos of the current interstellar empires. As these new protostates grew, they eventually grasped for the same resources and, predictably, descended into a brutal period known as the Age of War. During this series of bloody conflicts, the BattleMech emerged with the Terran Hegemony introducing the Mackie in 2439, changing warfare forever. All of humankind would eventually be brought under the banner of the Star League either by treaty or force by 2600.

The unified interstellar empire of man imploded upon itself in 2766 after the usurper Stephan Amaris murdered the ruling family of the Star League, seized control of the Terran Hegemony, and left the Successor Lords of the five client states to bicker amongst themselves for supremacy. In their mutual grab for power, they collectively rebuked the savior from the Amaris tyranny, General Alexandr Kerensky. Stilted, Kerensky chose self-exile and fled the Inner Sphere with the bulk of the Star League’s massive army rather than allow them to be cannibalized in what he believed would ultimately be a futile war. The subsequent First (2786-2821) and Second (2830-2864) Succession Wars unleashed savage destruction that killed untold billions and caused advanced technology to almost completely disappear by the mid-thirtieth century.

The Third Succession War (2866-3025), marked a period of low-intensity warfare, rife with border raids and reprisals but few major operations. In 3028, two of the five interstellar empires, the Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth formed an alliance and attempted to swallow another in the Capellan Confederation in numerically-consistent Fourth Succession War (3028-3030). About the same time, the legendary mercenary unit, the Gray Death Legion, uncovered a facility containing schematics for extinct Star League technologies on the planet Helm.

Through the 3030s and 3040s, each Successor State worked independently to bring lost technologies back into production and successfully made several breakthroughs thanks to the Helm Core’s data, with a complete recovery of Star League weapons and equipment by the late 3040s. While such weapon systems had been recovered in anticipation of doing further battle with each other, the Successor States’ ambitions of reuniting the Star League was thwarted in early 3050 with the sudden return of General Kerensky’s children, now reformed as the Clans – a hyper-militaristic society armed to the teeth with more advanced technologies than had ever been seen in the Inner Sphere. The warriors from beyond the periphery had come on a crusade to bring the now-sundered empire of man to heel under their own vision of the Star League.

In the moment of maximum crisis as planet after planet fell to the clan onslaught, ComStar, the mysterious and purportedly neutral steward of the network of Hyperpulse Generators that made interstellar communication possible, unveiled their secret army that had been hidden the shadows for centuries. Anastasius Focht, Precentor Marshal of ComStar’s hidden army, challenged the invading clans to a proxy battle on the planet of Tukayyid. Miraculously, the untested ComGuard army defeated the combined forces of the Clans and bought the Inner Sphere a fifteen-year reprieve.

As you noticed earlier, there is substantially more history to the BattleTech Universe – another entire century! But for simplicity’s sake I’m going to stop before the massive influx of new Mech chassis appearing between 3055 and 3075 (also I'm up against the post size limit). The material available for the above-outlined history will provide you with more than enough material to get to started.

If you would like a more in-depth history of the Inner Sphere to the year 3067, check out the Universe Guide. It’s a free PDF that had been included in the various iterations of the box set since around 2002.

UNDERSTANDING THE PRODUCT LINE
CORE RULES
Beginning in 2006 with Total Warfare, Catalyst began releasing the current generation of full rules. Each adds added layers of complexity to your games.


Depending on your needs and tastes, you may prefer either the BattleMech Manual or Total Warfare. Both provide a fuller game experience in rules and options, but in different ways.

BattleMech Manual:
* Rules for 'Mechs only
* Includes a number (but not all) of advanced weapons, equipment, and optional rules from Tactical Operations
* Quirks to customize your 'Mech's performance
* Abstract battlefield support system that makes adding artillery and airstrikes easier than ever.

Total Warfare:
* In addition to 'Mechs, rules for most vehicle types including vehicles, aerospace, and infantry
* Total Warfare + Tactical Operations gives you the full spread of equipment and advanced rules (does not include quirks or the abstract support system)

OTHER CORE RULEBOOKS

A number of other rulebooks can add depth and complexity to your games. I consider Tactical Operations to be the most essential of the set as it covers equipment that becomes more and more common as the timeline advances as well as rules for mines, artillery, and a variety of gameplay options.

TechManual: Construction rules for BattleMechs, IndustrialMechs, Protomechs, combat vehicles, support vehicles, infantry, battle armor, and aerospace units. TM also contains the formulas for BattleValue 2.0 if you’re the kind of lunatic that does that sort of thing by hand.

Tactical Operations: Additional rules for movement, combat, advanced buildings, advanced support vehicles, and diverse and extreme environmental conditions. As mentioned above, also includes rules for artillery and mines as well as a host of advanced equipment. Contains construction rules for advanced support vehicles as well as the advanced equipment.

Strategic Operations: Advanced aerospace rules including adding warships to space battles. Additionally contains Maintenance, Repair, Salvage, and Customization rules for campaign play. SO also presents the rules for BattleForce, a faster playing version of BattleTech for large engagements as well as the miniature rules for standard play.

Interstellar Operations: Detailing of BattleTech’s various eras including era-specific equipment (including Land-Air ‘Mechs). Contains the Universal Technology Advancement Table detailing the progress of military technology from the Age of War through the Dark Ages. Includes the strategic combat system Inner Sphere at War, the BattleTech version of a conquer the world board game.

Campaign Operations: Complete rules for building and managing a combat command from the ground up, unit types, special pilot abilities, and solar system creation. Contains the most recent revisions to the Chaos Campaign system, an accounting-light system used across a number of products. Allows for the creation of custom scenarios and campaigns.

OTHER PRODUCTS
The following products will help fill out the broad and varied BattleTech Universe. I have limited my discussion to products actively produced by Catalyst (or at least has received relatively recent support)

Era Reports and Digests
These publications give a synopsis of the political and military situations of the various factions during that particular era. These are setting books designed to flesh out the universe. Era Reports are full-sized sourcebooks while Era Digests tend to run around fifty pages and are PDF-only. The Era Reports also contain a number of Chaos Campaign missions specific to that era.

Historicals
Sourcebooks that focus on events from eras not in our "present" (as of right now ca 3145-50). These range from the Reunification War of the 26th century that brought the Periphery forcefully into the Star League to Kerensky's campaign to oust Amaris to conflicts of the late 31st-early 32nd century. Note that the First and Second Succession Wars sourcebooks are historicals in all but name (their product codes are sequential with the rest of the series).

Field Manuals
Unlike Era Reports, these sourcebooks deal exclusively with military command and control of each major faction. Most regiments get "here's what they've been up to since the last update" paragraph - If they survived (the beginning of the Clan Invasion and the Jihad are especially notorious for the combat commands that more or less ceased to exist - ask a vet who knows the backstory about the demise of the Black Thorns).

Record Sheets - Unabridged
PDF-only product that contains most of the known variants (at the time of publication) for units featured in the TROs.

Spotlight On
Unit histories of some of the smaller, but more colorful units in BattleTech history. Each volume provides the unit's history, capabilities, and order of battle over two eras.

Technical Readouts (TROs)
These represent the bread and butter of BattleTech books going back to the 1980s. Each volume is a hardware catalog for units debuting (or rediscovered) around the date on the cover. TROs generally contain in-universe writeups for each unit that gives a brief synopsis of its development history, capabilities, deployment, and sometimes exploits of famous pilots who utilized that unit. Also included is bare-bones construction data for the variant featured. Game rules are generally not included. While TROs are not mandatory purchases, they act as a critical glue to the BattleTech Universe, giving some background and substance in an attempt to elevate BattleMechs beyond mere playing pieces.

Touring the Stars
PDF-exclusive product highlights an eclectic mix of human-inhabited worlds across BT's history - both active and abandoned. Included in each writeup is a planetary history, ecology, seed ideas for a roleplaying group, and a planetary map for use with large-scale campaigns.

Turning Points
Catalyst released the Chaos Campaign several years ago as a flexible, streamlined, abstracted campaign system for tracking unit missions and resources (I personally run Chaos Campaigns and post-mission accounting often takes less than fifteen minutes). The Turning Points series of PDF campaigns allows for players to create random forces or insert their own units in a wide variety of conflict throughout the BattleTech timeline.

Maps
CGL has announced they will be producing the first new paper maps in over a decade. Look for the new Grasslands map set this March.

PURCHASING GUIDE: FIRST PURCHASES
GAME ESSENTIALS
MapPack: Grasslands

Contains six double-sided maps for twelve unique options to expand your battlefield size and variety. Larger playing areas significantly impact how the game is played (for the better). 

MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND YOU
Technical Readout: Succession Wars

With the release of the Mech-centric BattleMech Manual, Catalyst has released a compilation volume of designs from the Age of War in the 2500s through the Fourth Succession War, ending in 3030. These Mechs utilize a variety of technologies, including advanced equipment common during the Star League before the savage destruction of the early Succession Wars. Of the nearly one hundred designs included, about two-thirds can be plugged directly into your games using the GoAC rules. The remaining units require theBattleMech Manual or Total Warfare. Again, TROs aren’t required, but they give life and meaning to your combat units.

Record Sheets: Succession Wars

Provides nearly 300 variants to the 93 mechs presented in TRO: Succession Wars - including a number of new variants to units in the Beginner and GoAC boxes. This is a PDF-only product.

Technical Readout: 3039

If you prefer a more combined-arms approach, TRO: 3039 contains descriptions of several combat vehicles and aerospace fighters to supplement your ‘Mech forces. A large number of ‘Mechs in this volume are redundant with TRO: Succession Wars. If you're familiar with TRO: 3025 from the old days, this is the volume that replaced it and TRO:3026.

Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade

If you’re feeling ambitious, you can take the next step into the early Clan Invasion (3049-3054). You’ll notice many similar units upgraded with recovered Star League technology (some more effectively than others). Also included are sixteen of the most iconic Clan OmniMechs, first seen by the Inner Sphere when the descendants of Kerensky returned in 3049-3050. Virtually every unit in this volume will require the BMM or TW.

Other Record Sheet Books

As previously mentioned, TRO: Succession Wars is a compilation product made up of entries from several other TROs: 3039, 3050 Upgrade, 3058 Upgrade, and the Age of War section in TRO: 3075. Each of these TROs has its own attendant record sheet volume (or volumes) that contain additional variants for the units in TRO: Succession Wars, as well as a number of units not contained in that volume. How do you know which to buy? Fear not, as I have compiled a list of what is found in each, including how many repeats are present. See the Google Sheet at

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EOR2xIbMmAS0w3RJcBideJAzc-NTEjeXMyepm4NVSU4/edit?usp=sharing

PURCHASING GUIDE: EXPANDING YOUR FORCES
Additional inexpensive plastic mechs are becoming harder and harder to find at reasonable prices due to the fact that the most recent sets were made 4+ years ago and have not been reprinted.

Alpha Strike Lance Packs: While the card inserts are designed for use with Alpha Strike, both Alpha Strike and BattleTech use the same set of miniatures. Some are plentiful and inexpensive like the Recon and Striker lances. Others, especially the Assault Lance, are quickly escalating upwards of $100. How much you spend is up to you, but I wouldn't pay more for plastic than pewter from Iron Wind Metals.


Out of Print Box SetsThough more and more difficult to find at reasonable prices, the 2007, 2011, and 2013 iterations of the box set contain 24 (26 for the latter two) minis. They originally had an MSRP of $60 but you’ll likely have to pay 150-200% of the original price now.


Iron Wind Metals


Iron Wind Metals produces the vast majority of BattleMechs in pewter. Most require between some and substantial assembly. You’ll need a hobby knife, a metal file, superglue, a pin vice, and a little patience. I started as an absolute beginner around 2009 and have since assembled over a thousand minis with my big clumsy hands so it’s certainly within your grasp. I have started working on a database of miniature difficulty ratings for the models sold by IWM that can be found on this Google Sheet.

Iron Wind Metals Box Set Cross-Promotion Bundle Deals
Until the end of 2019, IWM has inserted a flyer into the Beginner Box with coupon codes for three starter packs of mechs. These models are re-issues of the former beginner sets (which are also metal versions of the 24 mechs contained in the Introductory Box Sets), and some of the less intensive Clan omnis. These models that contain a small number of pieces, which means minimal gluing. The discount means you'll be paying less than $10 per mini, which is a hefty savings and a good way to kickstart your army with ubiquitous designs usable in most eras of play.

Inner Sphere Bundle #1 & Inner Sphere Bundle #2 - Discount after applying the box set code: $100 each
Clan Bundle - Discount after applying box set code: $90

Finally, if you’re desperate for playing pieces and don’t want to make any serious investments, I have devised several sets of paper standups. They are not ideal, but the price is right.
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=53689.0

PURCHASING GUIDE: LET’S SHOOT SOMETHING
Right. This is a war game, after all. If you want your games to have some additional story and structure, consider the following modules:

SUCCESSION WARS-ERA TURNING POINTS
Whether you use the Chaos Campaign rules from the free pdf or Campaign Operations, you can start playing out your own modest custom campaigns within the late Succession Wars era (i.e. the GoAC box rules are all you need). Catalyst has published four such PDF-exclusive scenarios:



What you need: GoAC box, Chaos Campaign Rules, appropriate record sheets. In scenarios that call for vehicles or infantry, Total Warfare will be required if you plan not to substitute these units. Note that these volumes will recommend specific maps and unit random acquisition tables (RATs) from other books to broaden your unit choices or optional rules from Tactical Operations to simulate local planetary weather. Don't fret, all of these are optional and the Chaos Campaign rules will function normally without them.

Historical Turning Points: Mallory’s World: Decide the fate of First Prince Ian Davion in this highly consequential campaign
Historical Turning Points: Galtor: Hanse Davion sets a trap for Kurita forces by luring them with the irresistible draw of unearthed Star League technology. But what happens when the lie turns out to be true?
Historical Turing Points: Misery: The Inner Sphere’s most dangerous and respected mercenary force battles House Kurita in an epic honor duel.
Operational Turning Points: Death to Mercenaries: The Dragon was not content to let the Dragoons rest in the aftermath of Misery. Recreate battles across four planets as Wolf’s Dragoons fight for their survival. This is a larger campaign than the previous three.

STARTERBOOK: SWORD AND DRAGON

What you need: GoAC Box


Two famous independent combat commands battle along the Davion-Kurita border on the cusp of the Clan Invasion. This volume gives players a taste of prototype equipment that would become common in the Clan Invasion. It also provides a framework for upgrading stock units with cutting-edge prototypes. Rules for fighting to the death hand to hand with common tools not included.

CAMPAIGNS IN OTHER ERAS

What you need: GoAC Box, BattleMech Manual and/or Total Warfare, record sheets for units from TRO: Succession Wars, TRO: 3050 Upgrade, and TRO: 3039 if you plan to use vehicles



The easiest way to design and play campaigns in the Star League era (ca. 2750) and early Clan Invasion (ca. 3049-54) is to pick up the corresponding Era Reports. Each contains a complete framework for designing and playing interconnected scenarios within the given timeframes.

HISTORY LESSON: GETTING TO KNOW YOUR ESTRANGED FAMILY: ORIGINS OF KERENSKY’S CLANS
In my extraordinarily short summary above, I mentioned that after the Amaris Civil War of the 2760s and 70s, Alexandr Kerensky chose self-imposed exile from the Inner Sphere rather than allow his army to be cannibalized and chewed up by the House Lords. The descendants of those exiles returned with a vengeance in 3049 as the Clans. How did the SLDF-in-exile transform into the militant tsunami bent on total conquest?



These two volumes briefly cover the arrival the SLDF in their new home, the brutal civil war and formation of a nascent Clan society, and the rise of hyper-advanced technology surpassing anything produced by the Star League.

RESOURCES AND FREEBIES
Chaos Campaign: I have mentioned the Chaos Campaign several times. You can get the barebones version for free here.

Master Unit List: A total resource for virtually every canon BattleTech including faction availability by era. Check it out here

MegaMek: An unofficial computerized version of BattleTech you can play against other people all over the world or against a bot. It implements the vast majority of game rules, including advanced options and a plethora of unofficial rules. Make sure your Java installation is up to date.

MegaMekLab: An editor that allows you to design your own custom units and print record sheets for virtually all known BattleTech units. Find the newest versions of the MegaMek suite of programs here

Mordel.net: Need full stats for a ‘Mech? Want a PDF of the record sheet? I don’t use it personally, but it’s a super high-quality effort that deserves a look. Check it out here

Building, Fire, and Smoke Counters: Cutout counters for adding depth to your games. Link

Xotl’s Random Force Tables: Among the finest, best researched fan-created tables produced, these random tables will help build faction-flavored forces for the first half of the 31st century. Link

CLOSING THOUGHTS
I hope this helps. Suggestions for improving this document are always welcome. There is a lot to explore in this crazy universe. The pool is really deep if you want to dive that far. The key is to take on only what you're comfortable with and have fun.

---------------------
Change Log
11 Feb 2015 - Initial posting / addition of Star League products
12 Feb 2015 - Implemented Frabby's editorial suggestions
15 Feb 2015 - Added table of contents and product descriptions
06 Jul 2016 - New core rulebooks added, Touring the Stars description.
24 Aug 2017 - fixed broken image links from old battlecorps site; revision to account for BMM soon
04 May 2018 – Total teardown to accommodate the new Game of Armored Combat Box
23 Jan 2019 - IT'S FINALLY HERE!
04 Feb 2019 - Look ma, it got stickied!
« Last Edit: 27 March 2019, 16:30:27 by Sartris »

Ithandir

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Thanks Sartris for taking the time to write this up. As a new player this is extremely helpful.

ColBosch

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Very nice!
BattleTech is a huge house, it's not any one fan's or "type" of fans.  If you need to relieve yourself, use the bathroom not another BattleTech fan. - nckestrel
1st and 2nd Succession Wars are not happy times. - klarg1
Check my Ogre Flickr page! https://flic.kr/s/aHsmcLnb7v and https://flic.kr/s/aHsksV83ZP

Hythos

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ALSO!  Get friends involved!
Register at http://www.catalystdemos.com/Players/Search.asp
and spread the word! :)
Agent 722
Salt Lake City / Utah
Have 'Mech, will travel.

Frabby

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Excellent introduction document!  O0
I have a few editorial suggestions that I will PM you later when I have more time. It's minor stuff really.
Author of the BattleCorps stories Feather vs. Mountain, Rise and Shine, Proprietary, Trial of Faith & scenario Twins
Sarna.net BattleTechWiki Admin

pheonixstorm

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What no Jihad? Well.. it IS the red headed stepchild no one wants to admit to  }:)

Neko_Bijin

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I assume that FBI crawlerbot have sifted every byte of data on my computer for my 10 years of typing "Jihad" into message boards.  I'll bet there's even a Post-it note on a manilla file somewhere admonishing new hires to ignore the BattleTech crowd while dowsing for home-grown threats.
"Lord Kurita is merciful.  You will be spared the humiliation of a trial.  Instead, you are invited to dine with your sainted ancestors.  You don't follow?  Let me rephrase.  I am about to run you through with my sword.  Now you get the picture?  Good."

nckestrel

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What no Jihad? Well.. it IS the red headed stepchild no one wants to admit to  }:)

His goal was to expand from the Intro Box Set, set in the Succession Wars.  The Jihad does not come directly from the Succession Wars. 
Not only do I admit to the Jihad, I also like redheaded children and stepchildren.  I am one and wouldn't mind being the other.

Nevermind :).  After Sartis's post I see what was meant.
« Last Edit: 12 February 2015, 12:10:53 by nckestrel »
Master Unit List website - where to find units, what factions use them, what's their BV?
http://www.masterunitlist.info
3025-3050 Random Assignment Tables -
Also contains faction deployment & rarity info and Quirk lists.
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=1219.0

Sartris

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His goal was to expand from the Intro Box Set, set in the Succession Wars.  The Jihad does not come directly from the Succession Wars. 
Not only do I admit to the Jihad, I also like redheaded children and stepchildren.  I am one and wouldn't mind being the other.

Indeed so. I mostly stopped at 3052-53 because of the large-scale influx of units in TRO 3055/58/60. I'm a big fan of the Jihad era, especially the later publications like Jihad Secrets, Final Reckoning, and The Wars of Reaving

Edit: Ha. I see what phoenixstorm was getting at. I had inadvertently left the Jihad out of the eras list at the beginning of the document. Whoops!
« Last Edit: 12 February 2015, 11:53:05 by Sartris »

jackpot4

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I assume that FBI crawlerbot have sifted every byte of data on my computer for my 10 years of typing "Jihad" into message boards.  I'll bet there's even a Post-it note on a manilla file somewhere admonishing new hires to ignore the BattleTech crowd while dowsing for home-grown threats.

LOL I had never thought about that.
Truth is treason in an empire of lies.

Be the Light in the darkness

elf25s

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LOL I had never thought about that.
i really needed that chuckle....
you sure cannot out run death...but sure as hell you can make that bastard work for it!

Sartris

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added product series descriptions.

Archer_Wirth

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Cap. Archer Wirth
5th Whiskey Rangers
Mercenary Wizards

JadeHellbringer

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I assume that FBI crawlerbot have sifted every byte of data on my computer for my 10 years of typing "Jihad" into message boards.  I'll bet there's even a Post-it note on a manilla file somewhere admonishing new hires to ignore the BattleTech crowd while dowsing for home-grown threats.

I admit, working for a federal agency a few years ago and accidentally leaving "Dawn of the Jihad" on my desk one day resulted in a very pointed look from my boss.
"There's a difference between the soldier and his fight,
But the warrior knows the true meaning of his life."
+Larry and his Flask, 'Blood Drunk'+

"You know, basically war is just, like, a bunch of people playing pranks on each other, but at the end they all die."

+Crow T. Robot+

Nerroth

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If it's not too late to offer suggestions for the opening post, I might add that it may be worth adding in more data on the Star League-era Historical volumes than is currently listed.

Historical Reunification War and the two Historical: Liberation of Terra books are key to exploring the rise and fall of the Star League respectively, and I'd personally sooner recommend those three ahead of, say, Era Report: 2750.

Also, I was under the impression that FM:SLDF was set in 2765 (to match the various PDF-only Field Reports), rather than 2750.



On a side note, I wonder if it might also be worth mentioning the upcoming First Succession War book, or even the Empires Aflame PDF. The former will hopefully pick up where Historical: Liberation of Terra II left off, and show what the Exiles in Historical: Operation KLONDIKE were leaving behind. While the latter opens a window on an alternate timeline in which the course of events following the collapse of the Star League flowed in a very different direction...
« Last Edit: 05 April 2016, 16:31:44 by Nerroth »

Sartris

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If it's not too late to offer suggestions for the opening post, I might add that it may be worth adding in more data on the Star League-era Historical volumes than is currently listed.

it's not too late, no. i had originally thought about including LoT I & II but decided against it because i was trying to give new player a basic intro to the Star League era, which ER 2750 provides. Also, truth be told, I hadn't read either of the Liberation of Terra volumes when I originally made this post

Quote
Also, I was under the impression that FM:SLDF was set in 2765 (to match the various PDF-only Field Reports), rather than 2750.

Still part of the star league era, and an overview of Man's greatest assembled army.


Quote
On a side note, I wonder if it might also be worth mentioning the upcoming First Succession War book, or even the Empires Aflame PDF. The former will hopefully pick up where Historical: Liberation of Terra II left off, and show what the Exiles in Historical: Operation KLONDIKE were leaving behind. While the latter opens a window on an alternate timeline in which the course of events following the collapse of the Star League flowed in a very different direction...

I'll let people find their way down their own counter-factual rabbit holes.

Sartris

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i've done a total teardown of the original post and restructured it to account for the forthcoming Game of Armored Combat Box and the new BMM/TRO: Succession Wars paradigm. Any suggestions or fixes are welcome.

Empyrus

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Nice introduction to BT overall.

Do check for "GAoC" though, you put that instead of "GoAC" at some points, like the Turning Points section. Confused me greatly ;D

While you've shied away from from post-Clan Invasion content, i'd make notes of the eras in general sense at least (eg Jihad: you get to fight with or against cybernetic pseudo-super villains), as they do offer different things from pre-Clan Invasion eras, and also note that they work fine with just BMM ruleset for most part.
Also i'd make note of the Dark Age specifically, highlighting its nature as the era were the story is on-going, and how it is adaptation of MWDA, should there be fans of that who'd like to relieve the time in different way.

For Europeans, i'd add note of that fantasywelt.de sells IWM minis here (lower shipping costs), and Ral Partha Europe is another option.

Colt Ward

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I am wondering where the link to your youtube instructional video is . . . did I miss it?
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Sartris

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must be someone else. i've never made anything for youtube.

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Sorry, sort of joking . . . you have done a wonderful job, I just wonder about getting someone to do your write up as a promo video.
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Sartris

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the very last thing BattleTech's brand image needs is my ugly mushmouth pushing their product on youtube  :))

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Sorry to be a Party Pooper, but the AS Lance Packs have apparently been OOP for a few years now, and the remaining stocks are about depleted.  I just heard that myself a couple of weeks ago.   :-\


STILL an Excellent way to build up a Force though, if you can lay hands on them!   :thumbsup:
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Sorry to be a Party Pooper, but the AS Lance Packs have apparently been OOP for a few years now, and the remaining stocks are about depleted.  I just heard that myself a couple of weeks ago.

I just checked eBay, and all the Alpha Strike Lance Packs are still available, most for as little as $8. A couple are at retail+shipping. They may be OOP, but there are plenty for sale.
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Sartris

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I just checked eBay, and all the Alpha Strike Lance Packs are still available, most for as little as $8. A couple are at retail+shipping. They may be OOP, but there are plenty for sale.

That’s why I kept them on the list, yeah

nckestrel

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99% of BattleTech products get one “print”.  Ie. everything is “out of print” as soon as it’s printed. The core rule books are the major exception (and intro box set).
That’s far different from “out of stock”, which varies depends on who’s stocking and what they’ve ordered.
For the core rule books, discussions of when/how to reprint start when their main warehouse for their primary distributor runs out. That’s the more “colloquial” definition of “out of print”. A game store asks for a book, the distributor doesn’t have any to send them. Has nothing to do with when it was actually printed.
At least, that’s my limited understanding of BattleTecj printings.
Master Unit List website - where to find units, what factions use them, what's their BV?
http://www.masterunitlist.info
3025-3050 Random Assignment Tables -
Also contains faction deployment & rarity info and Quirk lists.
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=1219.0

Empyrus

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TROs apparently also get multiple printings, or used to, anyway.

Mummelpuffin

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This is awesome.  Now, if only anyone I knew was at all interested in playing tabletop Battletech over just playing video games.  I got one of the out of print boxed sets and I've only really used it once.

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Well, you can always practice by MegaMek and play people all over the world- lol if they tell you where they are from!  It also exposes you to a lot of play styles and ideas.
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Nice work, compiling all this info, inc the pics for the books/boxed sets!  Cudos! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Sartris

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shamelessly bumping this since the box set is actually out now. hopefully someone will find it useful

Gigastrike

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What's the difference between the rulebook contained in the box set and the Battletech Manual?

nckestrel

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What's the difference between the rulebook contained in the box set and the Battletech Manual?

The A Game of Armored Combat ruleset covers the equipment used in the Succession Wars (standard lasers, LRMs, etc). The BattleMech Manual covers equipment throughout the eras.  Clan tech, Star league tech, advanced Inner Sphere tech from the 3060s on, etc.  Pulse Lasers, Gauss Rifles, Artemis fire control, triple-strength myomer, and more.

The BattleMech Manual also covers some additional options for rules, like artillery/aerospace support, design quirks, alternative initiative, simple fire and smoke, etc.  But the technology from other eras is probably the biggest difference.
Master Unit List website - where to find units, what factions use them, what's their BV?
http://www.masterunitlist.info
3025-3050 Random Assignment Tables -
Also contains faction deployment & rarity info and Quirk lists.
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=1219.0

NeonKnight

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Running a Game tomorrow, and this is the scenario:

You've Bought the Beginer's Box or the Game of Armored Combat and you want to throw down and see if you're better than you opponent!

Bring your box set to the game and use either of the two following 'mechs:

Griffin GRF-1S & Wolverine WVR-6R (Beginner’s Box Set)
 
Or
 
Wolverine WVR-6M & Shadow Hawk SHD-2H (Game of Armored Combat)

Will play in teams of 2 (4 mechs vs 4 mech) if we have numbers, otherwise will be 1 v 1


I've gone with the above because the BV is pretty much identical for the two combos. Using Pilots of 3/4, the two mech combo’s means anyone who has purchased either of the two new box sets can field the mechs, and the BV’s for both combos come in at 3248 vs 3249 respectively. This means regardless which box set someone has purchased leading up to this event is not precluded from participating.

I'll let folks know how it played out after tomorrow night.
 
AGENT #575, Vancouver Canada

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Does the BMM also have blank sheets in the back?  I have not looked.
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NeonKnight

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Does the BMM also have blank sheets in the back?  I have not looked.

yes and No

No Blank mech Sheets, but blank game specific rules sheets
AGENT #575, Vancouver Canada

Sartris

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blank sheets are in TM and IO. I assume they were omitted from BMM because there aren't any construction rules

Bigkahuna

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Fantastic Information, greatly appriciated by the new guys like me.  Its unfortunate that some of the core books like the Battletech Manual and Total War books are out of print, one would have hoped that these things would be available with the new box set being out.

I do have one sort of question/comment, curious whar you guys think.

The new minis that came with the box set are excelent, great quality, plastic which in my humble opinion is really the way to go (metal is a deal breaker for me).  I noted however as i was looking to expand my mini collection that the quality, style and just general thickness of the other available minis is... well frankly just god awful.  I was actually shocked to see how bad they really are, in particular if you compare them to modern standards and the new box set.  Is it just me?

I guess the question is, will we see more along the lines of the box set?

Colt Ward

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BMM and TW are supposed to be in a re-print so look for them.

Personally I was fine with the last set of plastic minis in the Lance Packs and previous box set of a few years ago . . . BUT there have been plastic stinkers before, so it depends on what you are comparing it to at this point.  As for looks . . . some of that is related to the art, the new Classics have art that is a bit bulkier and sometimes it will depend on the weight class of the mech.  Typically the light mechs have art that makes them more spindly and thus their minis do the same, your heavies and assaults will be thicker of course.

For information's sake, why is metal a deal breaker?
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Sartris

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Fantastic Information, greatly appriciated by the new guys like me.  Its unfortunate that some of the core books like the Battletech Manual and Total War books are out of print, one would have hoped that these things would be available with the new box set being out.

Both Total Warfare (5th printing was in fall 2018) and the BattleMech Manual (2017) are still available at reasonable prices on Amazon and Ebay. The BMM is getting a reprint soon. Is the new printing of TW in short supply already?

Quote
I do have one sort of question/comment, curious whar you guys think.

The new minis that came with the box set are excelent, great quality, plastic which in my humble opinion is really the way to go (metal is a deal breaker for me).  I noted however as i was looking to expand my mini collection that the quality, style and just general thickness of the other available minis is... well frankly just god awful.  I was actually shocked to see how bad they really are, in particular if you compare them to modern standards and the new box set.  Is it just me?

I guess the question is, will we see more along the lines of the box set?

there have been a lot of opinions about the quality of the old minis but i think most would argue that these are a galactic leap forward. how many in plastic we'll see is anyone's guess. CGL isn't a minis company and iirc under the license and / or agreements they're only able to put them into products like the new boxes - as opposed to just selling them ad hoc.

Bigkahuna

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For information's sake, why is metal a deal breaker?

They chip, they are hard to glue together and break apart very easily, they are a pain to store and generally I find that their detail is almost always sub-par compared to plastic molds. 

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Cogent points . . . all I can say is the only metal mini out that duplicates any from the box sets is the Shadow Hawk-

From the store


And now one from CamoSpecs-


I have not gotten the boxes yet- wife claimed the right, so I cannot say how the metal stacks up to the plastic.  But as Sartis said, I am not sure we will get any more (much as I want them) in CGL plastic.  If you are wanting plastic you might want to look into the Lance Packs, they were the previous best plastics.
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Bigkahuna

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Well the good thing is that 10 unique mini's plus the cardboard stand ups is plenty for playing the game, its a very good box that doesn't have that "incomplete" feeling so many starter mini sets from other companies have. So Im quite happy with it, but I have to say, if this company hopes to see Battletech grow and compete with some of the other games in the genre on a larger scale they definitely have to address the miniature issue they have and I definitely think they have one.  Pretty much compared to any other mini game out there they are severely outclassed.

For me personally I would have gotten into Battletech a long time ago, in fact I was seriously considering it with the last box set they put out which was at least using plastic minis but they were just soooooo ugly, I just couldn't make peace with it.  I mean I know the mini's and the game are separate things, you could play it with a half eaten Cheeto but most gaming circles that you would introduce a game to are going to judge the game by appearances initially and when your trying to bring the game to a group that is used to playing the Legion, Warhammer and the like, its a pretty hard sell if the mini's are ugly.  I think with this new box set I will be able to sell a few people on the game, but its not great news if there is no prospects in the near future for expansions with a higher quality then what we get out of the 3rd party companies like Iron Wind.  I looked through their entire catalog hoping to find a few mini's that might get a passing grade but to be frank, I didn't find a single one I thought was even close to good enough and their prices they charge for such poor quality is disturbing.

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Wait... metal chips these days?  Is it really so long ago that we used actual lead?

nckestrel

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I think there will be more plastic minis, but to will not be any time soon.  They are not holding off on releasing metal warhammers, archers, etc for nothing.   But they are dedicated to seeing the current box set stay in print first.
Master Unit List website - where to find units, what factions use them, what's their BV?
http://www.masterunitlist.info
3025-3050 Random Assignment Tables -
Also contains faction deployment & rarity info and Quirk lists.
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=1219.0

Sartris

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Wait... metal chips these days?  Is it really so long ago that we used actual lead?

the paint tends to. i've put my minis through two big moves and the metal itself doesn't chip.

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Ah, ok... that makes MUCH more sense.  Thanks!  :thumbsup:

carlisimo

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I had resisted my friends’ attempts to get me into Battletech for years because I wasn’t a fan of lot of the designs.  The new sculpts won me over and I finally got my boxed sets and a few metal IWM mechs.

Gotta say, I’m not a fan of the plastic material, or of the mechs being preassembled.  I’m sure it was the right decision overall, I’m just finding these minis difficult to work with.  Knives and files behave differently on it compared to the hard plastic and resins I’m used to, making mold line removal a bit of a challenge.  There’s also some shrinkage that’s most visible on the Griffin’s torso.  It’s ever so slightly concave.  And is the Awesome’s arm-mounted PPC supposed to be circular or oval in cross-section? 

That said, those issues are acceptable at this price point; they’re good value, and they still look great.  I’m just into the modeling side of things to the point where I’d be willing to pay more money and do more work to get a cleaner model.  So I’m looking forward to IWM’s renditions of these mechs, despite metal’s issues with paint chipping.

Bigkahuna

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Yeah its not a problem with metal breaking off or anything, but the paint has a tendency to chip, even if you primer it really well.  This in on its own is not a huge issue, it just requires a bit of care, but to me personally minis just look better when they are bigger and plastic.  Makes them easier to make, easier to use.  The new minis in the box set are ideal and anyone looking to get into Battletech, I think this is a perfect way to start. 

Still though I think the developers could benefit from taking some lessons from popular and well received miniatures games that have come out in the last 5-7 years.  A lot has changed since the days of managing games like this, it kind of feels like Catalyst is stuck a bit too much in the past.  I mean I think its great that the game is so backwards compatible and so little has changed in the formula, but there are a few quality of life things they could do that would go a long way of bringing in more players.

Just some examples.

Tokens for tracking things
This is one place I think a lot of the modern mini games in particular from FFG have excelled at and even before my first game I added.

For example during movement, you always have to remember where you started from and how you were facing and in the heat of the moment of thinking about your move, I find we often lose track and it can lead to unwanted mistakes.  We added a triangle shaped (stress tokens for those that know) from X-Wing.  So when you start your move you throw down the token facing in the direction of the mech.  This way you can pick up the mini and count out your moves, fiddle about while you decide where you want to land and then its easy to track how many hexes you moved.  Simple token fixes it.

Tracking Attack and Defense modifiers
This is another thing everyone has a work around for (most use dice as the book recommends) but when you have a bunch of mechs bunched up in a small area this gets really messy really fast. 

Heat Tracking
I know that everyone uses clear plastic slips and white board markers, but why not include a simple heat tracker in the box.

Size of character sheet
This is another thing that is sort of bulky.  We find in a 4 on 4 mech game there are 8 character sheet at the table.. its a bit unwieldy, it would be nice to put some design thought into shrinking this and creating something that takes up less space.

Im not a designer so I suppose I dont have much advice to give but to me tokens, cards and simple game aids that compact the game, make it easier to track and clearer for the players is something that should be looked at not just for the benefit but just to make the game look more modern.  I find my friends so accustomed to modern miniature games like those from FFG kind of look down on Battletech for its rather dated persona and I think its unwarranted because if you ignore the minis and look of the game, despite it being 35 years old it really holds up as a fantastic tactical game and Im actually quite surprise at how little attention it gets in the market.  I really think with a bit of thought to its aesthetics it could have a real resurgence.  Certainly this last box set was a great approach but I really think they could do a lot more to attract new players even without addressing the mini issue, though I would say this should be on the top of the agenda.

Bedwyr

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Just to characterize the market we fans see for you guys, super high-quality plastics and resins need high volume to make the price point drop. The box sets are unusual in that they're one of the common points of purchase for most fans. Ironwind fills out the other 98% of the miniature product line because spin-mold casting can accommodate small lots for several thousand units better than the expense of injection molds.

I just got into gunpla kits and deeply admire the mold quality and engineering (double-shot maneuverable joints, wow). But fans across multiple countries sustain the volume so much better. Same for Reaper and GW. We've seen plastic kits before and I wouldn't count them out as a business model, but that's up to the size of the BT market and Catalyst's business model.

Basically, if I had $20 million to sink into capital, I, too, could make some amazing models.


edit: and that's not to pooh-pooh your standards for good art design and manufacturing, but to help characterize just how huge these other companies are compared to CGL and their mini partner, IWM.
« Last Edit: 31 January 2019, 19:29:33 by Bedwyr »
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Bigkahuna

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I had resisted my friends’ attempts to get me into Battletech for years because I wasn’t a fan of lot of the designs.  The new sculpts won me over and I finally got my boxed sets and a few metal IWM mechs.

Gotta say, I’m not a fan of the plastic material, or of the mechs being preassembled.  I’m sure it was the right decision overall, I’m just finding these minis difficult to work with.  Knives and files behave differently on it compared to the hard plastic and resins I’m used to, making mold line removal a bit of a challenge.  There’s also some shrinkage that’s most visible on the Griffin’s torso.  It’s ever so slightly concave.  And is the Awesome’s arm-mounted PPC supposed to be circular or oval in cross-section? 

That said, those issues are acceptable at this price point; they’re good value, and they still look great.  I’m just into the modeling side of things to the point where I’d be willing to pay more money and do more work to get a cleaner model.  So I’m looking forward to IWM’s renditions of these mechs, despite metal’s issues with paint chipping.

I really do believe that here is where the division of audience really is.  Many modern miniature games aren't getting their market shares and consumers from the classic stereotypical miniature gamer, but rather from the board gaming and role-playing renaissance taking place right now.  This market has exploded, where 10 years ago a board game was highly successful if it sold thousands of copies, they are now selling in the tens of millions.  Role-playing too has exploded thanks largely to the exposure of social media like Youtube.  I mean Critical Role on Youtube gets as many viewers as episodes of Game of Thrones and these markets are practically doubling every year.

Miniature games are a natural cross-over the market loves nostalgia.  Games like Magic The Gathering, Warhammer 40k, Dungeons and Dragons .. they are more popular and more people are playing them today then at any other time in their franchise history and I really do believe that Battletech is part of that old school legacy.  So many people grew up playing Battletech PC games and its as common to say "yea I played D&D back in the 80's" as it is for someone to say Battletech instead.

I really do believe this franchise has a great future, the success of the latest PC game has put the word out there, the new box set looks great.  I dont know, Im no business man or designer, but Im hearing the word Battletech in conversation a hell of a lot more right now then I can remember it ever happening in the last 20 years.  It seems to me that there is some real leverage here but I think the game really needs to cater to the potential audience and that really means dazzling them with toys and product availability which I think is kind of a problem right now. 

I mean I just bought the box set and the starter set and frankly me and my friends are ready for more and I kind of feel like there is not much to buy.  Many of the books are hard to get overseas where I live (Sweden), the existing old miniatures look really dated and the complexity level and depth of the game is really intimidating even though realistically its not anymore complicated then say X-Wing.  It took me several days of researching and reading just to figure out what all the different products are and how it all fits together, only to discover most of it is not available.

Im rambling here but just some thoughts really, Battletech is really exciting, it kind of feels like it should be getting more attention.

« Last Edit: 31 January 2019, 19:50:43 by Bigkahuna »

Colt Ward

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Gotta say, I’m not a fan of the plastic material, or of the mechs being preassembled.  I’m sure it was the right decision overall, I’m just finding these minis difficult to work with.  Knives and files behave differently on it compared to the hard plastic and resins I’m used to, making mold line removal a bit of a challenge.  There’s also some shrinkage that’s most visible on the Griffin’s torso.  It’s ever so slightly concave.  And is the Awesome’s arm-mounted PPC supposed to be circular or oval in cross-section? 

One of the Awesome's arms is supposed to be a stub- 1 PPC in each side torso and one in the arm.  There is a later version that has one in each arm as well, but that is not the one depicted.

To Bigkahuna- if you have not looked into it, there are a LOT of materials available as PDF and they have a higher release rate for PDF products.  Part of the pause right now is that there was a change in leadership which required the new team to get their feet solidly under them before they take off.  Also, typically we go into summer with new releases for the Cons.  As for tie ins, I think its March 1st we are going to get a official PDF covering the new HBS game to deal with the Arano Restoration and I think history.
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So these released and were out of stock everywhere in about 5 min. Are there more incoming or will Battletech have no in store representation for another 5 years?

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https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=62399.0

probably a better place to ask the question and get an answer from someone with information that isn't speculation

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So Bigkahuna, rather than just looking at the new minis last night I actually handled one.  I think I see what you mean in that the plastic feels denser which I think lets it hold a bit more detail- but some of that is related to the art.  I look forward to worktroll's modification posts lol.
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Well the good thing is that 10 unique mini's plus the cardboard stand ups is plenty for playing the game, its a very good box that doesn't have that "incomplete" feeling so many starter mini sets from other companies have. So Im quite happy with it, but I have to say, if this company hopes to see Battletech grow and compete with some of the other games in the genre on a larger scale they definitely have to address the miniature issue they have and I definitely think they have one.  Pretty much compared to any other mini game out there they are severely outclassed.


I strongly agree with this. I am in love with these new boxed sets and really, really hope to see more of them in the future. If anything, stuff like the old lance packs but with this new quality would be extremely welcome.

I also have a noob question: Where can I find Mech sheets like the ones from the rulebook? I would love to see the sheets for stuff like Assault mechs and more light mechs, as I plan on playing with them 'as they are' as opposed to fully customizing the mechs. I feel having the mechs have 'default' builds is better for a wargaming experience and incentivizes changing models rather than just writing stuff on a sheet.

Sartris

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as luck would have it, a record sheet volume was just released today to compliment TRO: Succession Wars (which, in turn, is a compliment to the box set)

https://store.catalystgamelabs.com/collections/battletech/products/battletech-record-sheets-succession-wars

it has nearly 300 variants of the 93 mechs in that volume - that includes variants of the mechs in both the boxes

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as luck would have it, a record sheet volume was just released today to compliment TRO: Succession Wars (which, in turn, is a compliment to the box set)

https://store.catalystgamelabs.com/collections/battletech/products/battletech-record-sheets-succession-wars

it has nearly 300 variants of the 93 mechs in that volume - that includes variants of the mechs in both the boxes


Quote from: Catalyst Website
Note: This is a compilation volume. The entries in this PDF are reprinted--albeit with the current BattleTech logo--from Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged, Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade Unabridged-Clan & Star League, Record Sheets: 3058 Unabridged, and Record Sheets: 3075 Unabridged. Players who own those Record Sheets will find the same units presented in Record Sheets: Succession Wars.

This PDF is meant for people like me.  But... I know just enough to expect to see 3025 mentioned in the description, and I don’t.  What’s going on? 

nckestrel

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This PDF is meant for people like me.  But... I know just enough to expect to see 3025 mentioned in the description, and I don’t.  What’s going on?

3025 is a year, Succession Wars is an era that includes 3025.  Its more comprehensive.
There haven’t been any products labeled 3025 in decades. TR3039 replaced Tr3025 (and 3026).  TR Succession Wars is mech only, it includes 3039 (which included the old 3025), but also later entrees that backdated mechs to the SW era.
Master Unit List website - where to find units, what factions use them, what's their BV?
http://www.masterunitlist.info
3025-3050 Random Assignment Tables -
Also contains faction deployment & rarity info and Quirk lists.
http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=1219.0

Cache

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One of the Awesome's arms is supposed to be a stub- 1 PPC in each side torso and one in the arm.  There is a later version that has one in each arm as well, but that is not the one depicted.
I believe he's talking about the mis-shapen tip of the PPC. I noticed it as well, plus I'm not too impressed with the factory assembly. These plastics aren't perfect but they're on par with the metals.

Sartris

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I see your confusion - the short answer - TRO: Succession Wars has designs introduced between the 2400s and the 3030s. 3025 fits in that range. the more advanced tech used by the Star League and its client states in the 2600-2800s gives you an opportunity to sample some of the equipment beyond the starter box without completely turning on the fire hose.

Circa 2009, the placement for the introtech era was moved slightly from 3025 to 3039 and created some better synergy with the franchise at the time -it was closer to more recent publications (like Historical: War of 3039 and Starterbook: Sword and Dragon) and sat right in the midst of the Helm Core technological revival (that really picks up post-3040) so starting a campaign with introtech could quickly transition to something more advanced in short order, if desired.  The new box returns the setting closer to its original 1985 start date - the short fiction in the boxes actually represents something of a rarity. The period between the end of the second succession war in 2864 and the end of the third in 3025 is very sparsely populated with much of anything.

« Last Edit: 19 February 2019, 14:47:42 by Sartris »

carlisimo

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There haven’t been any products labeled 3025 in decades. TR3039 replaced Tr3025 (and 3026). 

That clears it up, thanks!

maxvon_d

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Thanks so much, @Sartris, for compiling this intro to the world of Battletech products. This returning player (I lightly dabbled in the late 80's) found it most useful, and I've enjoyed the subsequent discussion in the thread. Couple of notes and a question:

1. Agree with the sentiment of many regarding the miniatures. I've been playing and painting the likes of Corvus Belli's Infinity so the bar is set pretty high for me regarding sculpts. I won't lie, I've been itching to get back into Battletech but have been repulsed by the derpy looking mechs any time I got close. That is, until now. Thanks, Catalyst, for bringing out a starter set with the sort of mechs I've wanted to see stomping around the battlefield. Please, please continue with this design direction - yourself or with partners. :)

2. I'm UK-based and have struggled to source additional materiel for the game. I'd love to pick up the hardback Battletech Manual and Total Warfare to round out the ruleset I have in the GoAC box but can't find them for love nor money. I know there is/was talk of reprints but I can't tell if that actually happened and they subsequently sold out again or I just need to be patient. I've got a lot of enthusiasm for the game and I'm sure that's shared by many new and returning players, so I hope Catalyst can realise that opportunity.

And my question: having picked up the GoAC box and the Succession War record sheets PDF, I'd really like to play some narrative missions or mini campaign. What one product would you recommend? One of the Turning Points pdfs, perhaps?

Colt Ward

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#1-  You might want to look at what is called the Primitives for some of the other 3025 mechs that have not been released with new minis.  I absolutely love the Thunderbolt 1C even if I feel its a bit too big- its all I use for TBolts on the board and its a mini that sits out on a shelf b/c I am happy with how it looks.  I need to check if I have the primitive Orion, I know a lot of people were loving that and it looked close to the 'later' versions.  If you are find advancing past 3025, then look at the 3145 mechs.  A lot of them were done by current line artists though I have to caution you that many had to be carried over from MWDA so there may be some goofy looks they were stuck with- like smokestacks.

#2-  Reprints are coming, personally I am buying more rule books as PDFs since I can carry them on my Kindle and mark them.

For linked campaign material . . . sort of depends on what era and factions you favor.  To relive some of the early key stories you might want to look at TP Misery- good old Dracs vs Dragoons.  The Era Reports also have mini-campaigns at the back of the books- for instance I think ER3052 has one for each of the Invading Clans.
Colt Ward

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Sartris

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You have a few avenues to do narrative campaigns -

I think Turning Points: Galtor is a good place to start, not least because there is a legacy sourcebook available in PDF to give you a deeper background  (for some reason, most of the turning points scenarios are missing from the Cataylst store but you can get them on drivethrurpg.com).

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?keywords=galtor&x=0&y=0&author=&artist=&pfrom=&pto=

both are on sale right now at drivethru for $3 each (about £4.50 total)

#1-  You might want to look at what is called the Primitives

yeah, the primitives look nice. The wasp, longbow, and thunderbolt are great. i'm also a fan of the Rifleman and Orion. The upcoming Emperor is going to be awesome.

Quote
For linked campaign material . . . sort of depends on what era and factions you favor.  To relive some of the early key stories you might want to look at TP Misery- good old Dracs vs Dragoons.  The Era Reports also have mini-campaigns at the back of the books- for instance I think ER3052 has one for each of the Invading Clans.

ER2750 and ER3052 both have full campaigns in the back, each with unique mission types for the era that can be modified to work for any force.

You may also want to check out Sword and Dragon - it's a full campaign set in 3049 for two players opposing each other. I'm not a fan of the prototype equipment within (since it piles on rules that both hamstring the weapons and force you to remember them). With that, I'd recommend using the normal weapons as found in TW or BMM or omit them entirely.

Matti

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2. I'm UK-based and have struggled to source additional materiel for the game. I'd love to pick up the hardback Battletech Manual and Total Warfare to round out the ruleset  I have in the GoAC box but can't find them for love nor money.
I made search for Battletech Manual and I got BattleMech Manual. If that is what you mean, be advised it and Total Warfare are redundant. Difference between the two is Total Warfare is much thicker (nearly 400 pages) and covers rules for great variety of units while BM Manual covers only 'Mechs and little else. BattleMech Manual also has some rules from Tactical Operations (over 400 pages). BattleMech Manual is available on print from CGL Store. Total Warfare is available at least from Amazon sites (TacOps isn't).

Quote
And my question: having picked up the GoAC box and the Succession War record sheets PDF, I'd really like to play some narrative missions or mini campaign. What one product would you recommend? One of the Turning Points pdfs, perhaps?
Starterbook: Sword and Dragon. It goes well with the rules in A Game of Armored Combat and your chosen TRO. Is also a requirement to play some of the Historical Turning Points. Think of HTP series as DLC for thicker books (Starterbook, Starter, and Era Report series)
You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights errant, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

maxvon_d

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I made search for Battletech Manual and I got BattleMech Manual. If that is what you mean, be advised it and Total Warfare are redundant. Difference between the two is Total Warfare is much thicker (nearly 400 pages) and covers rules for great variety of units while BM Manual covers only 'Mechs and little else. BattleMech Manual also has some rules from Tactical Operations (over 400 pages). BattleMech Manual is available on print from CGL Store. Total Warfare is available at least from Amazon sites (TacOps isn't).

Sorry, yes, I meant the BattleMech manual. So, if I get Total Warfare there is little need to get the BMM? Wish the latest printing of Total Warfare was available here in the UK.

Thanks for the help, folks. I'll take a look at Galtor and Sword and Dragon.

Sartris

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BMM has some of the more commonly used optional rules and equipment also found in Tactical Operations, which is the advanced rulebook. With TW and TO, you don’t need BMM.

BattleTech vs BattleMech manual is an easy slip to make - the original comprehensive rulebook was the BattleTech Manual back in 1987 and BMM is a play off that title

carlisimo

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Speaking of the BattleMech Manual… what is it supposed to look like?

Catalyst’s webstore shows it with the new Marauder cover.  I bought the PDF, downloaded it, and it had an older cover, with a Timberwolf. 

Sartris

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marauder cover is the new one. odd that you're getting the old version as my link in my file library yields the new version

Colt Ward

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I wonder if you are able to DL both.  When I got TechManual from DriveThru it offered different versions to DL, I originally was not paying attention and DL'd one with a older cover.
Colt Ward

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ussenterprise

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Until you mentioned it, I had absolutely no clue that my Assault Lance Pack is now worth $100+   ;D

Good thing I picked up all 8 lance packs back in the day.

Sartris

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I've seen them go for between $50-100 recently - but sealed. haven't seen an opened one of late. most of the others run $15-30 NIB but you have to wait around for them to show up. Recon and Striker seem to be the only two that are constantly available.
« Last Edit: 24 March 2019, 00:35:58 by Sartris »

 

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