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Author Topic: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?  (Read 35618 times)

GhostCat

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #30 on: 11 April 2013, 13:38:15 »
Quote from: StCptMara
... and 'mechs could not do close combat attacks without a melee weapon in the original
rules.

I'd like to direct you to page 20 of the original Dark Age Rule Book. 

Quote from: Close combat damage
. When a ’Mech makes a close combat attack, it usually must use its primary damage value. If, however, the ’Mech’s secondary damage value has the (melee) range type, its controller may choose to use the secondary damage value instead. This decision must be announced prior to rolling the attack dice. On some units, the (melee) range type might be associated with the primary damage value; these units may use only their primary damage values to resolve close combat attacks.

From Day One, Primary Damage value has always been the default melee attack.  The Melee range type was a game mechanic that allowed possible use of special abilities like "Rapid Strike" or "Heavy Punch", but all mechs were able to close combat without using ranged attack weapons.

What might have confused many players is this:

Quote from: RANGE TYPES
There are three range types: ballistic (*), energy (*), and melee (*). A unit’s range type appears next to its damage value and can affect how that unit’s attacks are resolved and how its damage is scored against different targets. Infantry and vehicles each have only one range type. ’Mechs may have up to two different range types, and ’Mechs are the only units with the melee range type.

Even Infantry could melee with close combat attacks, they just weren't allowed the special abilities, and 'Mechs had two weapon slots printed on the dial.

Quote
Third, 'Mechs just didn't seem like 'mechs. They couldn't do close combat unless they had special equipment, they couldn't move and fire, they couldn't protect themselves from infantry.

Assault Orders to "Move and Shoot" was built into the second rule set "Age of Destruction".  As for protecting themselves from infantry, that's an issue that developes in any game with a "Point Value System" that promises to 'balance the game'.  Build an army with half your points in One Big Monster that can only fight one thing at a time, and it will always lose to the hoard of Ankle Biters that can attack it many times (sooner or later, one of them gets lucky, and the rest swarm in for the kill).

GC
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StCptMara

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #31 on: 12 April 2013, 00:49:34 »
Interesting...GhostCat, I will say my areas Battlemaster actually ruled until AoD came out that 'mechs could not do
close combat unless they had the melee damage type.

Also, I did not count things that were put in under AoD rules because the initial taste of the game that set people's opinions
was not AoD but was DA.
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GhostCat

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #32 on: 12 April 2013, 17:45:27 »
You'd be surprized at what players and Battlemasters got wrong simply by misreading the Rules or counting on someone else to do that for them.

The Wizkids forums were very active with new questions about poorly written rules or other misunderstandings about new units and their abilities.

GC
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darkminstrel

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #33 on: 12 April 2013, 20:12:23 »
You'd be surprized at what players and Battlemasters got wrong simply by misreading the Rules or counting on someone else to do that for them.

The Wizkids forums were very active with new questions about poorly written rules or other misunderstandings about new units and their abilities.

GC

Now that you've said this, GC, I've been able to remember the one thing that I didn't like about the game; inconsistency of rules. AoD did close a ton of loop-holes, but in the DA times there were some situations that were head scratchers.

I was very active in the tourney circuit in my area...untill two very poor interpretations of the rules by two different BMs soured me on the entire game. I even sold off my minis because I was upset enough at the situation. When AoD came out I took a chance and started up again, and was blown away at how the balance was better with the rules revision. I think that fix was way too late to save the game and keep it strong.

Greywind

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #34 on: 13 April 2013, 04:09:58 »
It was a nightmare from the Envoy's side of it, too, for the longest time.

Ryumyo

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #35 on: 13 April 2013, 05:33:23 »
Seems like a funny opinion  " disliking " the MWDA clix. I had a rather fun time playing  the system. The Vanguard expansion is as far as I got.
 But I guess to each their own.

StCptMara

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #36 on: 13 April 2013, 21:44:23 »
Seems like a funny opinion  " disliking " the MWDA clix. I had a rather fun time playing  the system. The Vanguard expansion is as far as I got.
 But I guess to each their own.

You have to remember: it is not that people in general disliked the game, it is that a lot of old time BattleTech players did not like
it, and, as such, since they did not like the game, their dislike of the game transferred to the setting.  Or maybe it was they did not
like the setting as portrayed by WizKids, and, as such, their dislike transferred to the game.

Frankly, the only thing I never liked about the DA/AoD game was that 'mechs were nothing more then bait.(Seriously: in the games
I won, I either did not use 'mechs, or I used 'mechs as a huge distraction, and won with my infantry and vehicles)
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GhostCat

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #37 on: 13 April 2013, 22:40:22 »
Frankly, the only thing I never liked about the DA/AoD game was that 'mechs were nothing more then bait.(Seriously: in the games
I won, I either did not use 'mechs, or I used 'mechs as a huge distraction, and won with my infantry and vehicles)

I liked the Game from start to finish, though it was sometimes annoying to try to make sense of a rule before it had been properly play tested.

Lots of players had different tactics for their armies.  Charge Monkeys and Walls of Flesh were pretty common along with 'Bait and Switch' teams.  Sure, I used infantry to win, but it was part of the whole force. 

My best 'tent pole' army was 300 points with a SCat Blackhawk armed with "Alpha Strike" and a 9AV, and supported by 9 CBAs equipped with Flamers.  'Base-and-Break' maneuvers allowed me to touch the target with an infantry unit, and then move the rest of the army to set up a Ranged Attack Formation with the mech as the 'Big Gun' and a few infantry to help modify the Attack Value.

The basing infantry unit would break away from the target, and the formation would hit with an incredibly easy attack value.  The Target (usually a Big Mech) would take massive damage and Heat from the Energy attack, then get based (as the final action with three orders per turn) by a formation of (jumping, flaming battle armor) infantry that could capture an overheated assault mech that would almost certainly shut down even if it succeeded in Pushing to Run as far away as it could get.

The Hasbani Atlas could only count on one Highlander hoverbike for support, and often treated it as 'filler', Jonah Levin's Atlas (Dark Age) made not needing 'filler' seem like an improvement, but it still had to fight a jumping mech and a swarm of infantry without help using only one order per turn.  You can see the disadvantage it has already.

Base-Break might seem like a simple game mechanic, and it is, but many players did not learn something even more basic.  Anticipate what your opponent is going to do next, and have a plan to deal with the possibilities.  It takes a few turns to feed basing infantry to a Target, move the formations into range, and then rest pushed units before the attack can succeed.

GC
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Ryumyo

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #38 on: 14 April 2013, 03:15:08 »
Well then, let it be known that I am one of those old-school Battletech players. I initially balked at the Dark Age system based on what the base set sculpts looked like, but with the release of the Fire For Effect expansion ( and the really sweet looking Mad Cat ) I threw lots of support ( cash and time ) behind it. Hey it's Battletech, right? Besides I really wanted the dossiers as there wasn't a TRO for this series until now.

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #39 on: 13 May 2013, 19:45:19 »
I never played the game, but knew a lot of people that did. I did not hate the game, I just had to make a choice. Spend my limited funds on BattleTech mini's of Clicky Tech boosters. I choose the mini's.
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455_PWR

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #40 on: 05 June 2013, 04:46:32 »
I played BT for many years, as well as playing the mechwarrior 2 and mechwarrior 2 mercs games when I was younger.  That was what I grew up with and was used to.  I got into MWDA/AOD just because my brother did, but hated the mechs.  Everything was way different asthetically from the whole BT universe I was ued to.  I do have to say that wizkids started making the mech closer to BT style in the AOD era, which was a plus.

To answer the question, I think the bigget complaint is the same reason the 04-06 Pontiac GTO's flopped. The world wanted retro-ish styling and Pontiac made it look like a cavalier (I still like them, I'm a huge pontiac guy).  The gto simply wasn't a gto, and wizkids construction mechs just weren't mechs...

If wizkids had made the mechs look mopre like BT mechs, I think the game would have been much bigger.  Still a fun game though and it's always fun to mod the minis! 

Daemion

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #41 on: 07 June 2013, 16:02:53 »
Wow. I had no gripes with story or background at the time, and still don't even now.

I only had gripes with the game and its presentation on many levels.

Millions of minis (literally) were produced - at least 10, and possibly more like 50 times as many minis as has ever been made for BT.

So, there really should be no reason of parts shortage.  >:D
« Last Edit: 07 June 2013, 16:07:42 by Daemion »
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Daemion

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #42 on: 07 June 2013, 17:10:15 »
Since others expounded on the game, I will add a little facet that ties both to game and fiction:


One of the things that I both liked and disliked at the time was that a lot of the early mechs, mostly the one-ofs, like the Atlas, Jupiter, etc. (Y'know, the uniques), were all named characters.

I liked this because I saw a character in a ride and it gave me ideas for if I were to run a campaign in this setting, even back then. I was looking to the Dossiers to find stats to see if they were stock designs or if there was something different.

What was really neat was that after a couple sets, they started actually coming up with custom configs for the unique characters. They had personalities (...that seemed to run to the dark moody side, with lots of black this, dark eyes and hair that. Don't believe me? Read up!) and a rank and a doctrine. They could be used as allies or enemies for a more custom force.

I had been planning from the very beginning to run some DA era games in BT.

But, I gave the game its fair shake, and this one thing I liked was also a big drawback. I couldn't inject a 'character of my own' into any of the more appealing rides. I either decided it had to be one of the nameless 'green-shirt' designs, or my guy was simply off the battlefield, running things from his ride.

Secondly, each unit had a rank, but that unit belonged to a specific faction. This, too, finally became an issue as they started adding more factions to the table. They were running out of room to add something of equal value for everyone, and had to cut back on certain factions, almost to the point of complete exclusion.

So, not only could I not get a ride that fit a personalized character to lead or fight in my army, I couldn't get the stats I wanted either, even of the limited selection, without flying enemy colors.

It was then that I learned that I'm more of a story-driven player, more likely a real role-player, than I am a war-gamer. I couldn't connect with the forces I was wielding, regardless of whether I liked a faction or not. I couldn't inject myself into a piece, using one in a true player-character capacity.

That wasn't what drove me away from the game completely. That came down to bad rules and game mechanics which kinda forced a trend in army design.

I couldn't play my desired style, especially with one or more BattleMechs and expect to win often, even by merely outplaying a person or getting insanely lucky. I couldn't expect to win at the tournies, and even when I knew I was just playing for the comeraderie, the constant losing to refined winning armies of the month still had a slowly growing venomous effect on my attitude.

It didn't help that it wasn't really at all like its name-sake in execution in any regard, only minor trappings in nomenclature. (Until BT, I only played family and standard card games with regular abandon. I cut my teeth on true game with BattleTech and it is my first true gaming love, and will never be usurped, though I do dabble in others. This thing that that was using familiar names and the same story and history was not even close.)


I find it sadly amusing that one of my friends likes the classic BattleTech, and he got started in MechWarrior Dark Age. He stuck with it almost all the way to the end, but his vehemence over the game structure and the shoddy patchwork WizKids did to fix balance had turned him from an avid player to one of its most venomous critics. I even bring it up, I get no positive response.

He, however, does not think that CGL needed to go the way they did with Total Warfare, either, beyond new equipment. So, when I play at his table, it's mostly B:MR and AT:2. With the stats for the new Dark Age units.



Now, an interesting tangent I'll leave you with: People talk about the propaganda of the Republic. I find this kinda funny, especially if you look at the general faction selection from the start. There were no republic units beyond a special mail-order or some special prizes. And, those were Knights and a Paladin. Interesting that you could only really collect the pirate factions with any regularity, especially if the Republic were supposed to be the good guys. I know some of my friends flocked to the banner and bought the propaganda whole-heartedly, as soon as republic units came out. But, not everyone. Was the connection with the other factions as your place to go supposed to be intentional?
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Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #43 on: 07 June 2013, 23:37:36 »
  I attended a local convention because it anounced that a BT demo was scheduled. It was DA and nobody was interested in playing. Nobody. The rep there said they brought cases of DA stuff that won't sell.

  I found the DA universe disappointing -The same, tired, old factions were there but with new packaging aimed at 12 year olds.

  As a campaigner, it looked like BT sold out to WH40K-style rules and play. Unit customization has always been a key element in campaigns, DA lacked that.
  BT has evolved to more of a wargame while DA appeared to be a step in the opposite direction of tactical wargaming.
  Most of the other flaws have been pointed out, such as the random units, the designs and the rules.

  I have never hated a game but DA was too much like WH40K and I had absolutely no interest in playing it.

  One of the guys in my gaming club has literally thousands of BT metal minis... I have a large collection of leads as well, including original LAMs still in blisters...who needs DA when you already have every BT publication, inlcuding copies of BattleTechnology Magazine?

  In short, what made DA attractive to 12-year-olds are what I found undesirable in a game.

Captain of C-21

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #44 on: 07 June 2013, 23:58:00 »
Now, an interesting tangent I'll leave you with: People talk about the propaganda of the Republic. I find this kinda funny, especially if you look at the general faction selection from the start. There were no republic units beyond a special mail-order or some special prizes. And, those were Knights and a Paladin. Interesting that you could only really collect the pirate factions with any regularity, especially if the Republic were supposed to be the good guys. I know some of my friends flocked to the banner and bought the propaganda whole-heartedly, as soon as republic units came out. But, not everyone. Was the connection with the other factions as your place to go supposed to be intentional?

The Highlanders were supposed to be the stand-in for Republic forces.  I remember hearing the initial idea was to just have Paladin and Knight pieces represent the Republic while the Highlanders filled in all the other gaps.  By the Death from Above expansion though the Republic was just made a regular expansion.  Storywise this was explained away by saying that the Republic's military was completely caught off-guard, but whereas other space-nations didn't have any internal or external trouble going on and could set themselves back on track, the Republic immediately festered with pirate and splinter factions, and thus just started slowly dying after Grey Monday.

I can agree with your points on army composition and lack of cool non-unique mechs as sore points.  By the last few expansions, Wizkids was making non-uniques of every unique piece (Mad Cat mkIV, Marauder IIC, even the Atlas III), but I was always sad I couldn't snag a Jupiter or Hellstar for my faction.  Heck, I wish the Battleforces would've gotten to Clan Nova Cat, 2 Shadow Cats, 2 Wendigos, and 2... Jupiters maybe?  Already had Nova Cats and Avalanches represented as non-uniques.

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Face it - MW:DA had, for its run, massively greater commercial success than BattleTech's ever had. Over two million click-base minis - want to guess where the number of BT minis comes in? I'd guess on the order of a few percent of that. While BT has survived for 30 years, we've never had the same number of players at any point. The pity was that unlike BT, MW:DA ended up being run by businessmen, not game fanatics.

455_PWR

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #45 on: 08 June 2013, 07:09:49 »
You sir are correct, unit customization is key.  You needed to pull a blind uber rare to do awesome in the tourneys (I pulled a wolf's dragoons cygnus at a tourney and did very well :) ... The fact that the bet mechs and uniques mechs were rares/very rares made those who could pend more or with blind luck better.

In wizkids defense, they started to fix this towards the end as they made better/named mechs more available to all factions.  They also tried to make the game more customizable with pilots and gear.  Finally, I'm glad the factions started to return to CBT factions (steel wolves... blah, yay clan wolf!)

All in all it was a good game and I still have a whole bin of the minis, but it (mechs and gameplay) were too simplified to compare to good ol CBT.

I'm a bit biased though as I love the modeling aspect of CBT as well (CBT is what got me into 40k).

PGaither84

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #46 on: 11 June 2015, 17:14:26 »
Sorry to necro such an old thread, but there is a reason:

I was huge into Battletech and the Mechwarrior franchise for years. however, after the Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries computer game expansion and the Annihilation Wizkids expansion, the game seemed to die out where I live and I was also getting into the card game magic the Gathering. i was recently reminded of Battletech and after doing a google search, i found this site and this thread talking about Dark Age and felt compelled to register and reply.

==============

so, my opinion about Dark Age was that Wizkids did a poor job of introducing their game and transitioning players into it. I felt that the Dark Age story line and flavor wasn't so bad, but the timing couldn't have been worse if they tried. For example, Dark Age should have been an expansion... an advancement of the story line rather than the launch set.

You see, Wizards of the Coast and their Magic: the gathering card game understands what it takes to make a successful collectable game. One key component is a competitive tournament scene, which I never saw in my local area of Northern California, or in California at all for that matter, and "formats." you see, in Magic: the Gathering, there is what we call "standard" and "eternal". Every two sets comprise "standard" and older sets rotate into the eternal formats. Look it up for more details. It is fascinating and well thought out to keep people interested and buying. Anyway, when Dark Age came out, veteran players were opening boosters and asking "Where are the mechs? What is this industrial mech doing here? Why should I care? Why does my Atlas have spikes?" and so forth. Had the game already established itself mechanically, and the story of the republic thematically, then an expansion and the start of the Dark Age would have been a much easier transition for players. Instead, it was too harsh of a transition. So, right from the get go, Dark Age alienated fans, and I don't think it ever truly recovered.

=====================

As a gamer and a fan of the fiction and war games, i really liked the concepts behind this clix based game. I loved that infantry and vehicles became a meaningful part of a universe that was once dominated by battlemechs. On the original WizKids forums, I had my own House rules that inspired a sub forum of their own for a "Galactic Conquest" campaign you could play with your friends. Rules about how to earn credits, buy things on the open market and black market, the risks of buying things on the black market, the cost to repair units, so on and so forth. It gave real depth to this skirmish based game that people seemed to enjoy and gave great feedback on. I really miss that, but life goes on.

=====================

As someone who has pretty much fully transitioned over to Magic the gathering (playing where the players are), I have to say that another core problem with all miniatures gaming comes down to physical play space, properly protecting, storing, and transporting your armies. It doesn't matter what game it is, miniatures take up a lot of space and are impractical. don't get me wrong,i love them, but they are impractical. compare them to collectable card games where you just need a deck of around 60-100 cards sleeved up in a small box, and a play mat you can roll up. If you have cards to trade, they take up a simple binder like we are all used to using as kids in school. If you want to play miniatures, you have terrain pieces, a large table space, and your bulky miniatures. At least where  lived, the convenience of cards alone won the battle for what people wanted to spend their time and money on. they had fun when we played with my collection of mechwarrior figures, but not enough to get them to buy product.

NOTE: I would like to edit this post and add some more later, but I have to go to work now. :)
« Last Edit: 11 June 2015, 17:16:09 by PGaither84 »

worktroll

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #47 on: 11 June 2015, 18:32:09 »
so, my opinion about Dark Age was that Wizkids did a poor job of introducing their game and transitioning players into it. I felt that the Dark Age story line and flavor wasn't so bad, but the timing couldn't have been worse if they tried. For example, Dark Age should have been an expansion... an advancement of the story line rather than the launch set.

One of the things easily missed in this discussion, was that WizKids did not actually intend MW:DA to take over the BT playing audience. It was a very deliberate attempt to combine mecha and the Clix mechanic, and launch this to a whole new audience.

Why? Face it. The BT player base is small and niche. It's been wild-ass guessed that there are around 10,000 BT "fans" worldwide. This number is made up of people who
- play the game(s) - board, alpha strike, aerospace, BattleTroops, BattleForce, etc etc etc
- collect & paint minis
- play the RPG
- nostalgically collect books
- came in from the PC games & stuck around
- etc etc.

The number of that 10,000 who actually buy stuff is some fraction - 10%, 25%, 50%, whatever. That's the BT purchaser pool.

WizKids - and Loren Wiseman, who was one of the parents of the game - wanted to access an entirely new, much larger audience. They had to, to make the game profitable & sustainable. So they made a number of decisions to target a new audience. Love these decisions or hate them, they included:

- pre-painted miniatures
- faster-playing, simpler game system
- a new period in history so people wouldnt' feel daunted by the 30 years of BT history - a common comment by new BT fans.
- collectable miniature game with random boosters.

Did their decisions work? Clearly, and for several years, yes. Put it this way. Another wild-ass guess, there are probably about 100,000 BT metal minis out there in total, globally. From Ral Partha, IWM, RPE, etc. At the time WK published their "Technologies of Destruction" coffee-table book, WK had produced over seven million DA figures. That's two orders of magnitude more, and they weren't finished.

Ultimately WK got bought up by Topps, and ultimately DA died as a production game. It now is another niche game, with probably an equal number of fans, but a lot more plastic minis out there (just check my bitz drawers! ;) ).

***

The assumption that WK botched a transition for BT fans into their game is unfortunately inaccurate. WK as a company was enormously supportive of Randall and first FanPro, and then CGL. I know, I was on some of the inside for that. WK gave concessions and more or less creative freedom, and did a lot to help BT stay alive. If that deosn't indicate they weren't trying to absorb the BT base, I don't know what will.

Alas, there seems to have been an expectation 15 years ago that "MW:DA is the new BT!" It was never meant to be. It was a new form of expressing the fictional universe we all love. it was never meant to replace our game of armoured, stompy giant robot combat.

Cheers,

W.

« Last Edit: 11 June 2015, 20:45:05 by worktroll »
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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #48 on: 11 June 2015, 20:39:36 »
Alas, there seems to have been an expectation 15 years ago that "MW:DA is the new BT!" It was never meant to be. It was a new form of expressing the fictional universe we all love. it was never meant to replace our game of armoured, stompy giant robot combat.

The main trouble is, that wasn't communicated well enough. Yes, FanPro continued the "Classic" stuff. But for quite a period in the early days of MW:DA that didn't really get around. Had three game stores in my area at the time and all three were saying MW:DA was all there was. Honestly, I don't know whether that was just because they didn't bother to check info, or whether WK/FanPro didn't announce it (eventually they did). And even back in the day, the way Weisman talked, it sounded like this was going to be it.

In hind sight, WK could and probably should have handled the whole thing better. The rollout, advertising the fact that FanPro was still continuing CBT from the beginning. Perhaps giving a greater overview of the universe from the very beginning instead of focusing so much on the Republic (didn't even need to include any units for the houses, just give more info on them so older players wouldn't have felt left out).

I think, in the end, what burned so many of the CBT players is that it felt like WK was going after new players so hard that it didn't feel like WK cared about them at all.  Which is a shame, because it's actually a pretty fun game (random boosters notwithstanding). And in the end it did bring a lot more players into the fold, so it does deserve it's place in the history of the franchise.

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worktroll

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #49 on: 11 June 2015, 20:48:02 »
Was it WizKid's job to advertise FanPro? I don't believe so.

FASA is probably the larger culprit. They announced they'd closed. Many people saw that. When FanPro licenced the IP from WizKids, it was FanPro's responsibility to market/advertise.

WizKids was out to make WizKids successful. That they took the time to encourage and assist Fanpro is a matter of record. Not many other companies would have been as helpful in a similar situation. But ultimately, WK was not responsible for the success, or otherwise, of BattleTech the game.
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

YingJanshi

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #50 on: 11 June 2015, 22:54:07 »
Was it WizKid's job to advertise FanPro? I don't believe so.

FASA is probably the larger culprit. They announced they'd closed. Many people saw that. When FanPro licenced the IP from WizKids, it was FanPro's responsibility to market/advertise.

WizKids was out to make WizKids successful. That they took the time to encourage and assist Fanpro is a matter of record. Not many other companies would have been as helpful in a similar situation. But ultimately, WK was not responsible for the success, or otherwise, of BattleTech the game.

Perhaps advertise was the wrong word. I merely meant that Wizkids should have said "Look, the classic is still there". I don't honestly see much competition between them, they were marketed to different types of players. At the very least it would have reassured the CBT crowd. Anyway, they didn't and a lot of CBT folks gave up before FanPro got up to steam. If they had said from the beginning: "We have this great new way to play BattleTech (oh, and yeah, FanPro here is still releasing stuff for CBT)", I think it would have been an easier transition for people. That's all I was trying to say... 

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worktroll

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #51 on: 11 June 2015, 23:59:00 »
Ah, but FanPro didn't even exist at that point in time. Randall was recovering from the shock of FASA's closure, and trying to put together the alliance with FanPro Germany that made FanPro LLC (US) even possible.

FASA basically just said "Whoops, we're out." WK had their own business to start. Could it have been planned better? Indubitably. If FASA hadn't been quite so pre-emptory. That's what damaged BattleTech the game and lead to the perception of it's death - FASA killing it.
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

Atlas3060

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #52 on: 12 June 2015, 00:06:14 »
Quite honestly if WizKids didn't come into play with their plastic minis I doubt Battletech would have survived like it did.
Love or hate the Dark Age click game, it was the floating piece of furniture we floated on until FanPro and Catalyst rescue boats came to collect the survivors of the FASA. (They said she would never sink, stop me if you heard this before)

Now we're back, we are strong, and even though WizKids doesn't produce any Dark Age stuff anymore they did make money on it.
So to them it was a successful line, even if they aren't continuing it right now.
« Last Edit: 12 June 2015, 00:09:06 by Atlas3060 »
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PGaither84

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #53 on: 12 June 2015, 00:10:52 »
Thank you for that great replies.

=============

On the topic of clicky mechs, I had never played mage knight or hero clix at the time. I thought the idea of click mechs was pretty neat. A quick and simple way to keep battles moving without having to deal with stat sheets and piles of books, and then being able to reset games in a hurry by simply clicking them back to their starting spot.

One of the problems I have always had with the game was the constant use of a ruler, picking up and putting down pieces, and so forth. I personally think it would have been much better to stick with Hexagonal play mats. I don't know how practical that would have been, but I am a gamer first, and a battle tech fan second. The core game play was obstructive, imprecise, and overall clunky. From my time playing the Star Wars miniatures game when it was still alive, which used one inch squares, I can say that counting squares or counting hexes is so much faster, easier, less argumentative and more tactical than what the clix games ever had. Debating what is and isn't in range, covering the center dot that you couldn't even see, maneuvering and adjusting the placement of bases as to not touch difficult terrain... it was all a big mess in my experience. I don't know if hexagonal play would have been a better solution, but it just never felt right to me or people I played with. Oh well.

=================

I am putting this in a separate section, but it is still related to game play. Something else that put me off was implantation of ranged combat. The range of weapons compared to movement speed was a joke. At the time, 14 inches was the maximum shooting distance, but a mech with 7 speed (not even the maximum speed, which I think was 10) could start outside the range of an LRM launcher and then charge and end in base contact without reprisal. There is a difference between tactical movement and being able to run across open ground like that. On the original WK forums (are there archives of that somewhere I could look up?) I remember writing about a suggested rules change where you could double your maximum range but at a reduction of your attack value.

Games had a consistent pastern of starting well out of range, maneuvering around, maybe firing opening shot and then ending up in base contact with everyone, punching it out until the game ended.

=================

Don't get me wrong or think I am just bashing the game. Personally, I loved buying the pieces and trying to get games going, but I found that I spent as much time on the forums and formulating house rules for game play and campaign settings than i ever did playing the vanilla game.

I have no artistic skills and painting my own miniatures was something I never wanted to do. I was happy to be able to buy professionally painted miniatures that I could just pick up and play with. I had lots of fun 3 player battles with my two good friends. Alliances were made, backs were stabbed, and memories are still shared. That is what any game is really all about.

=================

As I have said before a few times, the core game was pretty unimpressive and a bit of a disappointment, but I spent a lot of time creating house rules (many of which became real game rules later on, weather they read my threads on the old message boards or not I'll never know) and adjusting the game to make it much more enjoyable for myself and my friends who just wanted a fast passed tactical miniatures game. We wanted armies to clash and things to blow up.... and they did repeatably.
« Last Edit: 12 June 2015, 00:13:12 by PGaither84 »

worktroll

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #54 on: 12 June 2015, 00:31:04 »
One completely real problem many BTers had with the game was, that it didn't play the way we were used to BT playing. That's more an artifact of all the Clix games. One of my sons got really into Mage Knight, and I could never find a good "rythm" - I kept on moving first, and getting shot at as a result.

An "I move all my stuff &/or shoot, then you move/shoot all your stuff" game is different. I like "I move, you move, we all shoot together!" ;)

Players not used to BT's uncommon turn sequencing wouldn't have had that problem, but I did.

W.
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

StCptMara

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #55 on: 14 June 2015, 04:23:12 »
I remember one time on the old WK forums, I mentioned that you could enlarge a BattleTech mapboard to 2.5 times the scale,
and it would be perfect to use the MechWarrior miniatures to play BattleTech. To me, this seemed a great thing, as, at the
time, my group was actually using a big map-board to play. It made BattleTech much easier for people to see, and had a lot
of plusses, plus used readily available miniatures, so made it easier for people new into BattleTech, and actually encouraged
in my group people buying and trading boosters from WizKids to get units in their faction colour schemes. Their reaction was....to erase the post. They didn't even give a warning or reason, it just vanished.

WizKids eventually did this for their Solaris game, but..if they had done this from the beginning? If they had either made
or allowed to be made, large scale map-boards? I think they would have had a better time economically. If something
can be used for more than one thing, it is getting both player bases(see: RoboTech Tactics and how many people are
getting the minis for that so they can get the Unseen). And, I think if they had done more than the record sheet book
RIGHT THEN, they could have pulled in large numbers of new players. I mean, I recruited players for BattleTech by
using that big map, and telling them "So..this is MechWarrior, you already know this..however, here is BattleTech,
which is far more detailed."

My over all feeling s that the problem was that MW was, essentially, treated poorly by WizKids. It was very much
like they could not figure out what to do with it. They did not keep a focused design team, and it was plagued with
issues like the Non-Unique Rokurokubi that never made it to people who ordered them,  and their poorly handled
"set retirement" sequence that got done in such a way as for people to see it as a cash grab, not a "We are trying
to find a way to make the tournament circuit fair for new players" move.
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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #56 on: 14 June 2015, 11:44:15 »
Just my two cents, I think a lot could have been forgiven if the plastics had been closer to the goofy non-"scale" of CBT metal figs, which is all levels of irony.

If the scale had been more of a match, CBT players would have adapted to the economics of collecting/second market to use the figs in CBT. And then some of them might of played to either find new recruits or simply troll in person. At the time, they would have been a drop in bucket revenue-wise, in the end, though, CBT endured.

I also think that few CBT players were fooled when WK claimed that the new scale was to standardize the figs with a market of terrain that was more expensive and never really used by the company in marketing or tourneys. Most had figured out that the decision was based on manufacturing/art needs and some felt that spoke volumes on it's own.

Another bit of irony is that even though I come off as a huge CBT fan from that time, but I was quite the opposite. Local CBT fan snobbery made me feel that the boys had pretty much reaped what they had sown.

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #57 on: 18 June 2015, 16:00:23 »
I'm not permitted to talk about clickytech  but I did say at the time the rules would work for star trek and 7 or 8 years later they did put out a star trek clicky game the rules work great the minis are not so good not up to dark age standers more in line with heroclix

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #58 on: 18 June 2015, 16:26:22 »
While trying to be as objective as possible, MWDA faced several challenges that derivative franchises face.  It calls upon a previous association, but also has to forge a unique identity.  MWDA was borrowing on the premises of classic BT, even using a few characters and so on, but had to establish itself as something different while not going too far into the territory of unique identity.  The execution was not the best at keeping the loyalty of classic BT players.  But, from a commercial perspective, if the choices made to establish MWDA as a standout IP brought in more new players than BT players it eliminated those choices were the right ones to make.  I don't blame anyone for being offended at the notion that a for profit company would choose potential new customers over old loyal customers.  Likewise, I don't fault the reasoning behind the creation of MWDA or the narrative/philosophical reasoning behind the setting or time jump.  The execution failed to hit the mark with the group that is active on this board.  Contextually, that is what matters.
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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #59 on: 18 June 2015, 18:56:19 »
One completely real problem many BTers had with the game was, that it didn't play the way we were used to BT playing. That's more an artifact of all the Clix games. One of my sons got really into Mage Knight, and I could never find a good "rythm" - I kept on moving first, and getting shot at as a result.

An "I move all my stuff &/or shoot, then you move/shoot all your stuff" game is different. I like "I move, you move, we all shoot together!" ;)

Players not used to BT's uncommon turn sequencing wouldn't have had that problem, but I did.

W.

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