Register Register

Author Topic: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence  (Read 825 times)

Androsynth

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 52
Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« on: 15 May 2018, 16:58:30 »
Hey everyone. Newly registered

I used to be a big fan of Battletech back in the 90s, around the time the Clan storyline. Played it, loved reading the lore, even read a few of the novels (though the earlier stuff (the Carlysle books, Wolves on the Border etc) were a lot better than the clan era novels I read.

Then I forgot all about it when I got out of board games. Fast forward a couple of decades. I play a lot of board games now, but had still forgotten all about BT. The new PC Battletech game sort of came out of nowhere on me, showed up on my gog.com newsletter. I bought it and loved it, and thought 'Damn, I *miss* this game' and set out to get the latest version. That ended up being more complicated than expected lol. Trying to figure out where things are now took some research. So far as I can tell:

Battletech is licensed by a group of die hard fans who keep it alive, but it basically consists of like five people in a shoebox in Seattle, so it's very much a small time thing. Organization, marketing, communication etc. is strictly small time stuff. Most material now is released on PDF but sometimes(?) in physical form. There seem to be two basic branches: straight Battletech (the total war book and others) and Alpha Strike, which is the quick/easy/simple way to play but also doubles as something like Battleforce for bigger engagements. All of these seem to be out of physical print. I *think* there is a boxed set coming out in the summer?

Story wise: After Tukkayid, there was a Fed-com civil war that broke up the big state into a bunch of smaller ones, the the WoB went all holy war on the IS and started a huge succession war level conflict, which in turn triggered a clan civil war which ... made a huge mess, from which our hero, Devin 'random leader guy' Somethingorother emerges, and creates something called a Republic of the Sphere from the ashes. Consensus seems to be that it should have been named 'Republic of the Ye Olde Next Major Plot Target to Get Smashed Because We Broke Everything Else'. Then every major character anyone liked dies and all the HPGs went down because ... reasons and we're back to another dark age of lostech and Uncle Bob's family heirloom Locust. Do I have that right?

So.... what do I need to get to replace all my boxed sets from back in the day. I have the Battlemech book along with INterstellar and Campaign ops books (got lucky on a deal). What else do I need? Not only to play, but to absorb all the lore I missed? ANd can you get it in print (not a fan of reading on my ipad)?

Thanks for the add, I look forward to talking (mech) shop with you all.


Drewbacca

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2433
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #1 on: 15 May 2018, 17:03:10 »
I would say Total Warfare and the Tech Manual and you are good to go.

RoundTop

  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1015
  • In Takashi We Trust
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #2 on: 15 May 2018, 17:18:08 »
Ok, so there is a post on here for people coming back, but here is the core of what you want:

Battlemech Manual.  This is the lastest rulebook, just for battlemech combat. It is concise and great.

If you want Vehicles, Infantry, and Aerospace, you'll want Total Warfare (Warning: low stock currently. a re-print is in the works)

For record sheets, your easiest option is download MegamekLab (megamek.org), which has all the units and can print the sheets out.

To get minis... well, the best is the new Game of Armored Combat box and Beginner Box coming out in a few months, but they aren't out yet (and awesome minis).  so you can use almost anything as a proxy for now.  Or.... track down Alpha Strike Lance Packs (4 plastic minis inside, older style)... but they are low stock, don't pay more than $10USD for them).

Or go whole hog and get minis from Iron Wind Metals, who do all the battletech metal minis.

No-Dachi has a counter-argument. Nothing further? Ok.
Demo team agent #772

Androsynth

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 52
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #3 on: 15 May 2018, 17:28:19 »
I would say Total Warfare and the Tech Manual and you are good to go.

I'll wait for the TW reprint, is the tech manual getting re-printed too? It seems to be 'sir not appearing in this film' currently.

Quote
For record sheets, your easiest option is download MegamekLab (megamek.org), which has all the units and can print the sheets out.

To get minis... well, the best is the new Game of Armored Combat box and Beginner Box coming out in a few months, but they aren't out yet (and awesome minis).  so you can use almost anything as a proxy for now.  Or.... track down Alpha Strike Lance Packs (4 plastic minis inside, older style)... but they are low stock, don't pay more than $10USD for them).

I did get a couple of the alpha strike packs on the cheap. I'll probably get metal ones for the mechs in my lance. I didn't realize megamek printed sheets, thanks for the tip, that'll save me some money for sure.

WHat about books covering the lore I've missed, which ones are the best for that? Thanks again!

Weirdo

  • Painter of Borth the Magic Puma
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 31113
  • That which has been seen can NEVER be unseen...
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #4 on: 15 May 2018, 17:31:18 »
Alternately, I believe Sartris has a thread somewhere around here for downloadable paper counters. Between those and the MegaMekLab sheets, all you need are some of the printable mapsheet pdfs Catalyst sells, and you can start playing NOW. :)

Welcome back, and remember: We're all mad here... >:D
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
There's no shame in designing customs, so long as you keep them private and wash your hands afterwards.

Weirdo

  • Painter of Borth the Magic Puma
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 31113
  • That which has been seen can NEVER be unseen...
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #5 on: 15 May 2018, 17:43:30 »
Lore-wise, I would suggest Era Report 3062 to get you caught up on the later years of the Clan Invasion era, FedCom Civil War covers, well, the FedCom Civil War, Jihad: Final Reckoning has a good overview of the Word of Blake Jihad and the immediate aftermath, Field Manual 3085 details the state of all the major factions a few years after the Jihad, Wars of the Republic Era covers the 'peaceful' years of the rest of the 31st century. Era Digest: Dark Age brings you into the 3100s and introduces you to the aftermath of the HPG blackout(note: despite the name, the 32nd century has seen no tech loss), and Era Report: 3145 and Field Manual: 3145 will bring you up to speed in the 'now' of the timeline for all practical purposes.

The next major event, which we're hoping to see the first book of this summer(no guarantees)...is ilClan.
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
There's no shame in designing customs, so long as you keep them private and wash your hands afterwards.

Sartris

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5382
  • Here for the Jokes
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #6 on: 15 May 2018, 18:05:22 »
I have indeed made paper counters for the budget-minded. They’re not super deluxe but they do the job

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=53689.0

Tymers Realm

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 1032
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #7 on: 15 May 2018, 19:04:31 »
I would recommend getting the PDF of the Battlemech Manual at least. The BMM has, pretty much, all the IS and Clan toruny-grade tech listed and all currently available quirks and a listing of what Mechs have what quirks.
And for only $10 US, for the PDF, is a reasonably cheep investment. And this is speaking from someone who's last main book was The Battletech Compendium. Granted I also got the DTF of the BMM as a X-mas gift, but still the PDF is worth getting.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 14515
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #8 on: 15 May 2018, 19:27:41 »
The Battlemech Manual is a good investment if you favor mech only games and aren't as interested in other units like vehicles and Battle Armor.  It not only includes the most up-to-date tournament legal rules, it's also got some of the simpler Advanced rules as well.

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

"I think I've just had another near-Rincewind experience," Death, The Color of Magic

Androsynth

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 52
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #9 on: 15 May 2018, 22:02:54 »
I do have a physical copy of the Battletech Manual, I got it with the interstellar and campaign manuals in a bundle deal. I agree, it's very nice. I'll probably pick up Total Warfare when it reprints. Haven't been able to find an affordable Tech Manual though. I hate reading off PDFs, I'll wait for a real copy. 

Quote
I have indeed made paper counters for the budget-minded. They’re not super deluxe but they do the job

That's cool! I'll print some of those for use for playing with a friend of mine, until we figure out which minis we want to buy.

Quote
Lore-wise, I would suggest Era Report 3062 to get you caught up on the later years of the Clan Invasion era, FedCom Civil War covers, well, the FedCom Civil War, Jihad: Final Reckoning has a good overview of the Word of Blake Jihad and the immediate aftermath, Field Manual 3085 details the state of all the major factions a few years after the Jihad, Wars of the Republic Era covers the 'peaceful' years of the rest of the 31st century. Era Digest: Dark Age brings you into the 3100s and introduces you to the aftermath of the HPG blackout(note: despite the name, the 32nd century has seen no tech loss), and Era Report: 3145 and Field Manual: 3145 will bring you up to speed in the 'now' of the timeline for all practical purposes.

Thanks, that's exactly the info I was looking for.

Quote
Welcome back, and remember: We're all mad here... >:D

Sweet. I was a locust pilot back in the day, I'll fit right in  :D

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 14515
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #10 on: 15 May 2018, 22:24:09 »
Of the rule books, Tech Manual is the least useful.  If you want to design your own units, it's much, much easier just to use one of the available, free mech-design programs.

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

"I think I've just had another near-Rincewind experience," Death, The Color of Magic

Androsynth

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 52
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #11 on: 16 May 2018, 00:56:52 »
Of the rule books, Tech Manual is the least useful.  If you want to design your own units, it's much, much easier just to use one of the available, free mech-design programs.

Ah ok, so that's what it's for. I'll pass. Back in the day, I learned that most of the fun of playing BT was being forced to use all the different (and often highly flawed or unbalanced) in-universe mech designs. Min-maxing with the design rules often ended up with pretty stale, over powered games, or at least it did with my groups.

It was fun seeing if your flashy but under-powered Dragon and Shadow Hawk could pull of a victory against your opponent's Warhammer and Phoenix Hawk. You'd lose, often enough, but it was fun. After many games, you'd often find uses for 'bad' mechs and get good at turning the tables. Nothing beat getting a crit on an assault mech with a Jenner or a Locust and watching your buddy spit tacks.

mbear

  • Stood Far Back When The Gravitas Was Handed Out
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3500
    • Tower of Jade
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #12 on: 16 May 2018, 07:14:15 »
Ah ok, so that's what it's for. I'll pass. Back in the day, I learned that most of the fun of playing BT was being forced to use all the different (and often highly flawed or unbalanced) in-universe mech designs. Min-maxing with the design rules often ended up with pretty stale, over powered games, or at least it did with my groups.

It was fun seeing if your flashy but under-powered Dragon and Shadow Hawk could pull of a victory against your opponent's Warhammer and Phoenix Hawk. You'd lose, often enough, but it was fun. After many games, you'd often find uses for 'bad' mechs and get good at turning the tables. Nothing beat getting a crit on an assault mech with a Jenner or a Locust and watching your buddy spit tacks.

FWIW, MegaMekLab and Solaris Skunk Works are the two designers I know of. I prefer SSW because I find it easier to use, but YMMV.

And I think Mordel.net has an online builder, but don't quote me on that.

Weirdo

  • Painter of Borth the Magic Puma
  • Global Moderator
  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 31113
  • That which has been seen can NEVER be unseen...
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #13 on: 16 May 2018, 09:36:12 »
Ah ok, so that's what it's for. I'll pass. Back in the day, I learned that most of the fun of playing BT was being forced to use all the different (and often highly flawed or unbalanced) in-universe mech designs. Min-maxing with the design rules often ended up with pretty stale, over powered games, or at least it did with my groups.

It was fun seeing if your flashy but under-powered Dragon and Shadow Hawk could pull of a victory against your opponent's Warhammer and Phoenix Hawk. You'd lose, often enough, but it was fun. After many games, you'd often find uses for 'bad' mechs and get good at turning the tables. Nothing beat getting a crit on an assault mech with a Jenner or a Locust and watching your buddy spit tacks.

You. I like you. :)
"Thanks to Megamek, I can finally play BattleTech the way it was meant to be played--pantsless!"   -Neko Bijin
"It's just that the Hegemony had one answer to every naval problem. 'I kills it with my battleships.'" - Liam's Ghost
"...finally, giant space panties don't seem so strange." - Whistler
"The BT universe is startlingly deficient in both wisdom and hindsight." - Cray
"Damn you, Weirdo... Damn you for being right!" - Paul
There's no shame in designing customs, so long as you keep them private and wash your hands afterwards.

Androsynth

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 52
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #14 on: 16 May 2018, 16:17:01 »
FWIW, MegaMekLab and Solaris Skunk Works are the two designers I know of. I prefer SSW because I find it easier to use, but YMMV.

And I think Mordel.net has an online builder, but don't quote me on that.

I have MegaMek set up with Lab and HQ. Pretty comprehensive piece of software, and I love the print on demand for record sheets. That eliminates the endless 'Binder O' Doom' the original game needed for record sheets.

Quote
You. I like you. :)

That's probably a bad sign, as I am rather mad  :o ;D

Thanks for all the tips everyone, I think I've got a good idea on what to focus on now.

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 14515
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #15 on: 16 May 2018, 17:05:23 »
That's probably a bad sign, as I am rather mad  :o ;D

Good.  You'll fit right in. :crazy:

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

"I think I've just had another near-Rincewind experience," Death, The Color of Magic

Charistoph

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 455
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #16 on: 16 May 2018, 20:47:05 »
That's probably a bad sign, as I am rather mad  :o ;D

Oh, you can't help that.  We're all mad here.

Considering what passes as sanity in other places, a little madness is a good thing.  After all, what is madness other than recognizing a different reality than another?
Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Quote from: Megavolt
They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.

Androsynth

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 52
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #17 on: 16 May 2018, 22:12:52 »
Oh, you can't help that.  We're all mad here.

Considering what passes as sanity in other places, a little madness is a good thing.  After all, what is madness other than recognizing a different reality than another?

Well, the only place I ever saw "normal' in real life was on the setting knob of my dryer anyway.  >:D

MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 14515
  • Wipe your mouth!
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #18 on: 16 May 2018, 22:54:44 »
As the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy put it, we will be returning to normal just as soon as we figure out what "normal" is.

Our Officer's Club is better than your Officer's Club.

Warning: this post may contain sarcasm.

"I think I've just had another near-Rincewind experience," Death, The Color of Magic

JadeHellbringer

  • Вы перевели это. Браво!!!
  • Administrator
  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 18506
  • I Am Jade Falcon, And So Can You
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #19 on: 17 May 2018, 09:06:09 »
Old family saying: " 'Normal' is a word that boring people came up with to make themselves feel better."
"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+

mbear

  • Stood Far Back When The Gravitas Was Handed Out
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3500
    • Tower of Jade
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #20 on: 18 May 2018, 07:36:13 »
Oh, you can't help that.  We're all mad here.

Hey! I'm only mildly irked!

idea weenie

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1774
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #21 on: 18 May 2018, 22:47:56 »
Hey everyone. Newly registered

I used to be a big fan of Battletech back in the 90s, around the time the Clan storyline. Played it, loved reading the lore, even read a few of the novels (though the earlier stuff (the Carlysle books, Wolves on the Border etc) were a lot better than the clan era novels I read. 

Welcome.  The Orz say 'Hi'

Feel free to read around here, or browse Sarna.net for more data

Mendrugo

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3425
  • Manei Tetatae
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #22 on: 19 May 2018, 04:22:58 »
You can find the "Cliff's Notes" version of all the BattleTech fiction though 3027 here.

And, wouldn't the Orz say "Hello extremely! I hope you like to *play*."?
« Last Edit: 19 May 2018, 04:27:27 by Mendrugo »
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

Androsynth

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 52
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #23 on: 21 May 2018, 11:29:06 »
You can find the "Cliff's Notes" version of all the BattleTech fiction though 3027 here.

And, wouldn't the Orz say "Hello extremely! I hope you like to *play*."?

I think the Orz would rather like the Inner Sphere. Orz is always throwing *parties* in *now space* for all the *campers*.  >:D

Charistoph

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 455
Re: Coming back to Battletech after a long absence
« Reply #24 on: 23 May 2018, 02:38:45 »
I think the Orz would rather like the Inner Sphere. Orz is always throwing *parties* in *now space* for all the *campers*.  >:D

I'm sure they would love to *GO* after the Elementals, too.  Then there is the question if the StarCon 3 lore is properly canon.  If so...  that would be bad times for anyone in that galaxy.
Are you a Wolf, a Sheep, or a Hound?
Quote from: Megavolt
They called me crazy…they called me insane…THEY CALLED ME LOONEY!! and boy, were they right.