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Author Topic: MWDA, why'd you go away?  (Read 5047 times)

Fragmutt

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MWDA, why'd you go away?
« on: 22 July 2014, 07:12:35 »
I'm not sure how to begin, so I'll start with a story.

My foray into the Battletech universe began around the time Mechwarrior 3 was still fresh and new. A friend down the road had a copy, and being bored one day we decided to give it a shot. While he got bored fairly quickly and moved on to other things, my eight or nine year old brain thought that was just the coolest shit ever. I'd always enjoyed giant robots, and building stuff, and a game where I could build giant robots?! That was the bees knees.

After a couple of months thier computer gave out for unrelated reasons, and in due time he moved to another town, but I never forgot that minor excursion into what I would come to learn was a fantastic and expansive universe.

Now heres where alot of CBT players start to raise an eyebrow, so please bear with me. In middle school I was given a copy of the novel The Jade Phoenix Trilogy (a fantastic read), and that was it. I had to have more. I began by purchasing a couple more novels (Star Lord and Call of Duty. I still have all of them), and when I finally managed to aquire an Xbox, I snagged the MechAssault titles to go with it. I know it's not the same as Mechwarrior, but my household didn't get a PC until 2007. I was a poor kid, ya see.

I wasn't ever exposed to the CBT game, not once. In fact my first exposure to wargaming miniatures wasn't even related; The small gaming store that unfortunately no longer exists in my town ran a Warhammer 40K league that I dabbled in from time to time when I was still playing Yu-Gi-Oh. I'd had trouble finding people to play my brand of games, things like Risk and Axis & Allies, stuff that I'm now well aware holds little interest to thirteen year olds.

When I entered high school I spied several boosters for the then new Fire for Effect and Annihalation expansions, and seeing the big ass 'MECHWARRIOR' emblazoned in bullet punctured and scorched lettering, I had to pick one up. It suprised me to find several people who played in the area, and we spent long hours around the kitchen table with books and saltshakers and cardboard cutouts for terrain as our clix fought battle after battle. But in time, thier interest waned, and I saw no point in investing in something I didn't have anyone to play with. My interest turned to things like MTG, which saw an explosion of popularity in my area. I purchased my last booster in late 2007; A lonely battered Wolf Strike box sitting on a bottom shelf at my local Hastings. I wasn't aware of this at the time, but that would be the last MW box to ever grace that shelf.

Eventually, I stumbled upon CBT. Found most of the source books and technical readouts in a torrent, and even ran a couple scenarios with some friends. But even as they all lost interest, I've still stayed loyal; A soldier in service to the mighty clan Jade Falcon.

Here recently, a couple of friends were over, and with it being a slow day and us being broke, the situation devolved into a back and forth 'well what do you want to do?'. On a whim, I drag out my old clix and declare 'I'm going to teach you to play MechWarrior...'

They were hooked. One has even declared his allegience to the Rasalhauge Dominion. Enough so that we pooled some cash, did some digging on the internets, and purchased a booster case of the Domination expansion (newbies choice, since that was a RD heavy set).

Let me tell you, seeing that battered box arrive in the mail, with the original 'WizKids!' branded tape still keeping it sealed, a ship date of '6-13-2006' barely legible on the side, gave me a strong whiff of nostalgia. I had to have more. So I dug. And I dug. And god willing I dug some more, and found a plethora of sites that still carry (though in limited quantities) the little plastic war machines I've grown so fond of. I recently threw down all of $20 to aquire an unopened Ares class Posiedon pack (I've even found a site that carries the Ares 3 pack, though at the steep steep price of a bill-fifty). We even got a group together and ran a twelve hour game.

So is it just me? I feel odd having this fascination with a dead game, one whos grave became grown over and forgotten long ago, especially when the source material is so readily available and still supported by a huge number of people.
I mean, on the one hand, it's exceptionally cheap. The Domination case ran us $150, a quarter of what we would have paid for them individually years ago. But on the other, nobody takes it seriously. Nobody's playing MW in the game rooms at 'cons. All CBT, all the time. I have CBT players scoff at me on a regular basis, seeing DA/AOD as a black mark in the history of Battletech.

I missed the Jihad. I missed the fall of the Hyperpulse Network. But dammit, I've been there. I was there when the Clan war machine stormed the Inner Sphere. I was there when ComStar ground us to a halt at Thyferra. I saw the Clans dissolve until only the strongest remained. And I eagerly await the day we retake Terra in the name of its rightful inheritors.

It's not that I don't enjoy CBT. I love the hell out of micromanagement and strategy and it's chock full of it. But I just don't have the funds to purchase what I'd need to make it worthwhile. The miniatures and whatnot, not to mention my lack of patience and skill when it comes to painting (I can draw like a beast, though).

Sure there are some rules and mechanics that are unbalanced, and hell, even broken. But thats whats fun about playing a dead game- Nobody cares enough to tell you you can't fudge the rules.

So is it just me? Am I the only one that misses DA/AOD? Are there other people out there that would do what I've done? Or am I just alone in this endeavor?

If so, more for me.
'The nuclear option is ALWAYS an option...'

Knightmare

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #1 on: 22 July 2014, 09:32:53 »
Sidebar: Do what WorkTroll does and use the MW:DA minis for regular BattleTech if it interests you. DA Mini use is one way to cut out painting.  :)
Look, dude, when you are a real mechwarrior you don't need to get all dressed up in cooling suits and cool helmets to work on your mech. You just strip down to your 1980s panties and crop top vest and start wrenchin' it.
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Atlas3060

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #2 on: 22 July 2014, 09:52:00 »
So is it just me? Am I the only one that misses DA/AOD? Are there other people out there that would do what I've done? Or am I just alone in this endeavor?
Long ago I tried to scrape together the dial information on every unit I could find.
That way I could at least enjoy the game if I didn't have that exact piece.
Then my energy for the project died out.
Eventually I just rolled my love of the setting into the new Battletech releases because we've touched upon the Dark Age now.
So I guess I love the setting, but as for the game itself I'm happy using the pieces for Alpha Strike games.
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jackpot4

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #3 on: 22 July 2014, 13:27:49 »
I got out of the military and came home to AZ and my brother and I spend a couple hundred accumulating some rare and favorite pieces over the last couple months, in fact, just got the Sugar Rush Atlas a week or so ago, Swan Marauder on Sauturday (I just only recently realized that the pilot, Nicodemus Neimeyer was in the novel "Ghost War"!) and Ill be getting the one Comstar Marauder this week.  We too acquired the Ares mechs.  My favorites to use are the Davion pack mechs.  I love Templars! 

My brother and I started out playing a lot, but his interest has waned in the last couple weeks....  I am hoping to introduce a friend or two of mine to it.  One other friend is a die hard warhammer 40k player.  While it's interesting, I don't think I'll be getting involved.  I am the one who was posting another thread a little down about battle reports.  I love this game so much, I just wish people would be interested in board games like this.  No one has an imagination anymore!  It's a great game regardless of broken rules.  When we do play every couple weeks we specifically go without artillery, sometimes we do wind up with camping units but its still fun, no matter how frustrating.  I love this game.
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Fragmutt

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #4 on: 22 July 2014, 15:59:00 »
I've considered these, but my issue with that method is the bases (almost 2" diameter) don't really fit on the hex grid very well. I've also considered removing some of them from thier dials and mounting them on the appropriately sized CBT bases, but I just can't bring myself to destroy these figures I'm attached to.

Some friends have recently asked me when I'm going to run another Battletech campaign. We actually played a weird amalgam of the MechWarrior RPG and the CBT rules with things from the other source books thrown in as I deemed fit, because I love making stuff up as I go along. Everyone loved it (or at least they tell me they did), and I've been kicking around some ideas or picking up our old campaign.

But at the same time, I've been tweaking with the rules and game setup, arranging scenarios and conflicts, and even a full on theatre of war (massive map, massive build total, massive battles, with rules for reinforcements and objectives). These same people who expressed interest in CBT have picked up MechWarrior as well. I plan to invest in another booster case in the near future, and have my eye on that Ares 3 pack. I even busted out my Legos and constructed buildings and terrain to-scale with my clix.

I guess it just boils down to me not being able to break away from the DA/AOD system. I feel that while it may have issues, what system doesn't? To me at least, it seems like a reliable mechanic, with the possibilities only limited by your build total and unit pool. I missed the heyday of artillery/swarm and straight up VTOL builds, with the players I'm familiar with typically fielding a nicely balanced force, so I can't attest to those issues.
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DerangedShadow

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #5 on: 22 July 2014, 16:35:36 »
I know what you mean Fragmutt.  The MWDA Clix game is what brought me into the Battletech/MechWarrior universe and it pains me to know that it is gone. 

My dad and I bought a box a week for the two and half years that we played the game.  Had ourselves a nice little collection to play.  But as is life we sold the figures and donated the rest because we were done with the game.  When we went to Origins this year and saw a stand selling them, we chuckled at it and bought some for nostalgia purposes.  When we returned, cause we wanted to just buy one more booster, we saw that people came and bought a good chunk of what they had left.  That threw us into a frenzy, and over the course of a day, we spent over $200 to re-immerse ourselves into the game.  How we missed it and kick ourselves constantly for getting rid of all that we owned.

Von Ether

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #6 on: 22 July 2014, 18:44:07 »
Do you have to pry the plastic off the base to pay Alpha Stike?

Not really. Just have every one agree where the arc of fire goes and move on.

People using mixed bases? Then use a 1.5 circle template for hex-based figs if someone is particular in melee.

Go a forth and embrace minis play.
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worktroll

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #7 on: 22 July 2014, 19:19:50 »
A game isn't dead as long as there are people out there playing it. BattleTech would have been dead itself, from 2000, if people hadn't been committed enough to keep playing it.

There seems to be at least one community still playing - anyone from Clan Mutant Sea Bass and friends, chime in here! With luck, some may be near.

Re playing, youv'e got some options.

1) Keep playing MW using the MW rules.
2) Move to using BT rules on terrain
3) Find some 2" hex mats, and use BT rules on larger maps which fit DA minis
4) give Alpha Strike a go, either on terrain or 2" hex maps.
5) Stay with BT rules on standard maps, and mix BT, DA and other minis.

The only downside is that we're beginning to see a contraction of the availability of MW minis in the secondary market. Places like Troll and Toad and Noble Knight used to have extensive and inexpensive (at least, for people in the CONUS) collections of minis available. These are beginning to dry up, witn most figures going out of stock. There are some sites which can be haunted for the chance of picking up the collections of those people trimming their collection - I just picked up about two litres of MW Jade Falcons for topside of a hundred bucks, including shipping to Australia - but I'm noticing those like me are starting to stop advertising these sources, lest we face too much competition (but check Lords of the Battlefield  ;) )

As for painting - there are some good ways to do good-looking paintjobs very easily & quickly, if you're interested. It won't help you generate new dials, but it would let you change unit factions visibly, or allow repurposing of minis to BT use on 2" hexes for the faction of your choice.

MW minis are perfect sources for infantry and BA for use with BT. Some vehicles and 'Mechs are perfectly sized. The oversized ones can either be parted out for more guns, missiles etc (MW is the best source for greeblies), or traded to others. Eg. I now have some Mars and Hanse tanks. Theyr'e way oversized for BT use - if I don't trade'em to a friend who prefers N-scale, I'll part'em out.

So really it depends how you want to go. I'd probably recommend Alpha Strike on terrain - it'll play closer to a large-scale MW battle than BT will. But you've got options.

W.

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Fragmutt

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #8 on: 23 July 2014, 16:12:53 »
I've invested too much time and money into my collection to tear apart my clix, so I'm not taking that route. My entire army is either Jade Falcons, mercs, or Nova Cats, so I'm not even considering repainting them. Why would I play anything else? :3

I'm not familiar with Alpha Strike, so I might give it a look see.

Also, Miniature Market still carries a handful of boosters, and several of them have enough stock to still have unopened cases (they still have four Posiedon packs; It's where I snagged mine from). I've also found a handful of sites that carry singles, but at a limited selection

Since I don't have access to a 2" hex grid, I'm considering adjusting rules for the placement, with 'mechs centered on one hex and overlapping the surrounding six. The weapon arcs and whatnot would still be determinable, and in theory still workable, and facing would simply be a matter of placing an arrow or marking on the base indicating front.
'The nuclear option is ALWAYS an option...'

worktroll

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #9 on: 23 July 2014, 20:46:12 »
Alpha Strike is streamlined BT. The system is somewhat different than BT, but "feels" like BT. it was designed for terrain use (2" = 1 hex old school), but can be used with hexes. I'd recommend you give it a go with your existing MW minis on terrain (even DA-style).

Alpha Strike stats for most units can be found on the MUL too.

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"

Von Ether

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #10 on: 23 July 2014, 22:03:59 »
There's a Chicago group that exclusively uses MWDA figs for Alpha Strike.


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"But the problem is that it seems to have been made by someone who equates complication with complexity, and that just ain't so." -- iamfanboy

1972lt1

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #11 on: 27 November 2014, 22:16:08 »
I've wondered the same thing Fragmutt. I played Dark Age and the 3 expansions that followed (Death from Above, Fire for Effect, and Liao Incursion).I played with a group on Tuesday and Friday nights. Still have all the minis sitting in the basement in a 12x 18 x24 " plastic storage container and 3 shoeboxes. Are the old Dark Age minis compatible with Age of Destruction?

jackpot4

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #12 on: 28 November 2014, 01:08:31 »
I've wondered the same thing Fragmutt. I played Dark Age and the 3 expansions that followed (Death from Above, Fire for Effect, and Liao Incursion).I played with a group on Tuesday and Friday nights. Still have all the minis sitting in the basement in a 12x 18 x24 " plastic storage container and 3 shoeboxes. Are the old Dark Age minis compatible with Age of Destruction?

It would depend on who you play.  they can easily be added in with some special rules such as:
No named pilots can be attached to unique mechs from DA
Regular or named pilots can be atttached to green, vet, elite mechs

Cheese becomes an issue when you take the Republic knight Black Knight and give it the +2 defense republic pilot (25 with hardened armor)
-There are a few other combos as well

Other than that all the vehicles work as normal and same with infantry.  When we still played MWDA we just banned artillery because of how broken it initially was and never really liked it anyway.  (Yes, people argue it wasnt broken, but it ALWAYS made games annoying and miserable regardless)

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HeavyGun

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #13 on: 05 January 2015, 02:05:00 »
Wow, first time I have posted down here but I used to play MWDA in League action, miss the game, but I still have all of my clix mini's, close to 3,000 of them the last time I looked at my battle planner program that I used to use to keep track of them. Wish it would never had died.  :'(
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PGaither84

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #14 on: 12 June 2015, 00:59:55 »
Wow. My story has an almost identical beginning. My introduction to the franchise was with the MW3 demo and I had to get the game on release. I played it to death and the expansion. I also read the same trilogy and follow up books in the same order. Except all that was happening for me at the end of the 90's and early 2000's.

I had never played the original game and was far too poor to get into it had I wanted to. I was born in 1984 and was only in high school at the time. When MWDA came out, I was a poor freshman in college. Sadly, no one wanted to invest in and Dark Age but me. I ended up collecting pieces over time from just being a fan of the franchise and over time got enough pieces to get my friend to play games with me. We had fun, but apparently not enough fun to get them to want to buy boosters or singles for themselves. that, in a nut shell was all it took for me to "quit" the game. I still continued to collect it, followed the forums, came up with my own house rules to fix what I felt were flaws in the core game, and many of my fixes actually became rules changes in Age of Destruction. From friendly fire, called shots, to the equipment and pilot cards. I wrote the Mechwarrior Manifesto on the old WK forums and like to think that helped inspire the needed changes, but i'll never know if it did. if any of you used those old forums, I was "Davion Elite." Does anyone know if there is a place I can fidn the old archived forums, or if they are lost to time?

Anyway, between the complete lack of interest in the game in the entire Northern California area (no events or anything to speak of ever posted or talked about), and being introduced tothe Star Wars miniatures game and  Magic: The Gathering, I mostly stopped buying Wizkids products. Mostly. I had to get a few boosters and the AoD starter for "nostalgia" but that was it.

Honestly, miniatures games are impractical. If you like them, great, I do too. The problem is that they take up a lot of space just in storage, let alone table space to set up and play. MW: DA is designed for easy and quick "pick up and play," and it even has some required set up time. Compared to CCGs like Magic: the Gathering, where I can simply pul out my deck box, unroll my play mat, shuffle my deck up roll a die to see who goes first and we can knock out game after game after game in the time it takes to play one skirmish of Dark Age, then just put  my deck back in my box, roll up my play mat and put it in my back pack and I am done. If I want to trade, i just pull out my binder of 36 cards for people to flip through and I look through theirs. Trading miniatures is whole other adventure. It is just a whole different world, and I am not surprised that miniatures gaming is a niche market. Again, I love playing miniatures games, but no matter where I go, I find myself in the vast minority. I guess you just have to know the right people... and I never did.

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

I posted in another thread, but before giving up on the game, and even after "giving up on it" I still liked to pull out my minis and play with my good friends. I was the only one with units, so we just had fun with what I owned. I came up with house rules, home brew scenarios and even a galactic conquest campaign setting that had some positive feedback on the old forums. I created rules where you could become a merc or a low ranking officer for your faction and had a point-buy system so that everyone started with small armies, then over time as you accumulated victories, you could build up your army and have deep game play. I had rules for dealing with wounded soldiers, damaged vehicles and mechs, and so forth. Rules about repairs and healing units after combat instead of everything just starting at full health every time, character progression like an RPG and so forth. All of these things that had nothing to do with the vanilla game but gave it more depth and replayability out of my limited investment, and increased story telling. However, that only lasted so long.

I pretty much just play magic now, on on a whim I was reminded of this game and found these forums. It's brought back waves of memories from my late teens and early 20's. A good old nostalgia rush.

RAW

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Re: MWDA, why'd you go away?
« Reply #15 on: 19 July 2015, 03:01:46 »
For those of you MWDA fans that no longer have MWDA , I strongly suggest looking into Alpha Strike, I observed my first game today and I'm telling you that you'll be hooked, you can even use your DA minis figures.

 

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