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Author Topic: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?  (Read 47281 times)

Kyryst

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #150 on: 19 August 2020, 16:35:20 »
For me, it boiled down to the fact that I thought the Word of Blake won. I had been reading Battletech novels for a while, played Mechwarrior 3, 4, and X-Box, MC:1 and MC:2, had some background documents... And after reading the few MechWarrior books I could get my hands on, my thoughts were, "Holy S***, the Blakists won."

 I had read the Fedcom Civil war books, and the breaking of the 2nd Star League, where the WOB went crazy, and it had seemed like a steady decline in plausibility and continued breaking of in universe "rules" to force events according to an overarching timeline that twisted characters and arbitrary granting and removing of intelligence and character traits. Katherine Steiner-Davion, and Sun-Tzu Liao, Victor Steiner-Davion, Kai Allard-Liao, Isis Marik, Jaime Wolf, the WoBbies, so many characters suddenly had hyper-competency or incompetency, in multiple fields that they always or never had. I could not understand, it was a grinding uphill fight after centuries of stagnation and backsliding, but we had new weapons and mechs, and even warships!

But somehow, ignoring all restrictions on factories, warships, the loss of all military structure above regiment level, research and development, infantry support weapons or transports, the long grind to elite piloting, you had all of these arising from a faction that was usually regarded as incompetent and inexperienced. And even if you gave them an elite intelligence service and a small corp. of veterans, there is still no way to go from have a security branch penny-packeted around the Sphere with a Navy that kick-started itself at the discovery of the clans, to having what appeared in the Jihad. I mean, everybody remembered roleplaying as mercenaries and how much it sucked going from green or regular up to veteran. Not to mention the holy grail of elites (usually resulting in the BM/GM ruling that your "elite" pilot went on to greener pastures, leaving your mercenary band behind, because "elites are OP").

And this all happened in 20 years, from the discovery of the clans to the Word of Blake Jihad. The thought of what was the next incarnation of the Stefan Amaris Coup, winning... between that and IRL issues, kind of alienated me from the setting. I thought all the tech, and even the combined arms doctrine was cool, but the Republic drove me away.

You have the momentum of centuries, proud traditions of mercenaries, and then, it was all gone. No neat expanded universe, it was play in the sandbox of the republic or else. Reading the novels, it was like seeing major government propaganda everywhere, and these fanatic Knights of the Sphere, "Doing what must be done to uphold the Republic." Exarch Stone, who came out of no where, as far as I could tell, was upheld as the saviour of the Republic. And the Republic seemed to be an expanded Word of Blake Protectorate (Which seemed to eerily mirror the lost Terran Hegemony), the knights seemed to mirror the Manei Domini right down to the fanaticism, self-righteousness, equipment that seemed very Wobbly, and what seemed like cybernetic enhancements to me. Every body was disarmed, mechs were rare, nothing seemed to have gotten better in the civilian sector despite decades of peace (honestly seemed worse then worlds were a hundred years prior to me).

I didn't really notice the Hero clix Mechwarrior stuff, and certainly didn't realize there was background info explaining the jihad and formation of the Republic until later. And even then, all it seemed to be to me was a board wipe of everything that was being built up prior to the Jihad. I didn't really like Devlin Stone, David Lear, or the architects of the Republic- and I hated what Victor Steiner-Davion turned into. All I could see was how it killed anything I liked about the setting. And I walked away.

That is is why I dislike Mechwarrior: Dark Age. It was the final straw that ruined Battletech for me. I lingered, and watched the boards, and read anything that disregarded or took place prior or altered the Fedcom Civil War/ Breaking of the Second League. I completely ignore the Republic of the Sphere even now, which is why I don't even bother with AoD. I had tabletop games going before this whole COVID-19 mess, and a fair size collection of minis, and I would rather not acknowledge the existence of the Sphere in order to continue to play. Because, to me, the existence of the Republic of the Sphere, or something close to it, is why the WoBblies started the Jihad in the first place (Jihad, build up industry in the Protectorate, smash everybody else, Create nation, Profit?).

S2pidiT

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #151 on: 19 August 2020, 22:10:30 »
It's interesting to see other peoples views of Dark Age/Age of Destruction.

When I played, I was in middle school. A friend's dad invited me to join, told me about the factions (Steel Wolves were their favorite, and became mine during my time playing), and gave me a bunch of units they didn't use to get me started. As I'd only heard of BattleTech in passing, I thought this was some sort of spin-off. I had no background information on what was going on, just that there were big, stompy robots that shoot each other. We'd play matches at their house, and they were awesome enough to drag me along hours away to tournaments!

I think that was what made it good to me. I had a community that welcomed me, even though I was (and probably still am) a mediocre player.

MegaZipp

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #152 on: 27 October 2020, 10:29:06 »
While I would admit I should have been on here much sooner than now, I guess its never too late.

I was, like most a fan of Mechwarrior from their early video games. In early 2000's I took a much needed break from video games and ventured into Tabletop gaming. Beyond a star wars game, I was introduced to AOD version of the clix game and I absolutely loved it. Now, to my credit, I didn't even know about the battletech universe till I started playing the clix game, so I didn't really have much of a history beyond the video games. I did finally see some others play CBT at the same venue and I found it to be ok, but a far too long of a game to play. I could play 3 matches with the clix game and the CBT crowd would not even be close to a halfway point.

Knowing what I know now, I can understand why some may not like it. I still have all my figures: about 300+ or so. Can't recall exactly, but I won a factory set at a tournament and got a huge amount of the Raselhaque Dominion figures from others because they disliked the faction dials. It became one of my favorite factions to play as a result and I won a decent amount of matches because people underestimated me rather than the mechs themselves.

So, I have been thinking these past few month about trying to resurrect this game to some extent. Now, I am not talking about new figures or anything like that, but a new full set of rules.. House rules if you will, that will take all the best traits of the original game, but allow someone to play them without the worry of the clix side of things. The reason I say that is because a good portion of my own clix won't turn. My goal is to preserve the skirmish side of the game, but give it more flair and easiness to get into. These rules can also be applied to battletech minis as well, so it won't matter. Obviously since these will be house rules, they will be free for anyone to use as to do anything else would require licensing and all that kind of stuff. I would love to get feedback on this idea. My initial plan will be to create a Github project to put these alternate rules in, so anyone can see what I am doing and provide feedback.

I am doing this for a few reasons. 1. Because I like the idea of a skirmish style game, and I don't want to spend hours going through the existing books and trying to understand all of the current BT rules. I have some of the books already. 2. Because I have all these figures and I don't want to get rid of them. 3. One part of these new rules is a way to do single player, so it will include an AI element to it. In our current situation, not everyone can get together and play.

What do you all think?

Wrangler

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #153 on: 27 October 2020, 17:19:04 »
Welcome MegaZipp.

There is a skirmish style of Battletech.  Essentially, Alpha Strike. Heck you could use your AOD figures with it since the hexless version rules of the game works.

Not all players are into Alpha Strike, there version of the game where more units can be played with less time taken up. 

BattleMech manual can help you if you want do more traditional rules game, but with only the basic.  A 1 vs 1 or 2 mechs vs 2 mechs may not take as long as you think.  It's when get bigger.

There is only line simulator for Battlech made by fans called MegaMek you may want check out as well.   
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MegaZipp

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #154 on: 27 October 2020, 23:22:37 »
I will check that out. I am familiar with Alpha Strike, but haven't read it yet. I mostly want to take the rules for AOD and DA and enhance the good parts and get rid of the bad. I have the Battletech Manual.. atleast the slightly older version and I picked up their free pdf's also. I am still in the planning stages at this point, so I haven't started creating documents or anything.

To be honest I have been a little hesitant to do this as I know it will be a lot of work to get where I would like it. I have some other tabletop games that I want to play as well, so its a matter of finding the time. I also was seeing how many people here were even interesting in the idea. I was going to put it on Github in document form, maybe have some people test it on their own time, even have contributors as well.

DarkSpade

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #155 on: 28 October 2020, 18:54:50 »
Me and a friend tried that.  After a few drafts and several playtests, we gave up.  The Shallow dials gave everything such a glass jaw that we couldn't control how powerful a first strike could be without the pain of record keeping for simultaneous damage.  And even that didn't help much.
Space Marines are guys who look at a chainsaw and think, “That should be balanced for parrying.”

Wrangler

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #156 on: 29 October 2020, 06:52:56 »
Yay. Megamek is able to most things played in the tabletop game. Including manage the campaign. Alphastrike and its associated spins off haven't yet been done.  There limit programers volunteers to keep it going. Megamek does all the work rules wise.

Skirmish wise I'd say it Alphastrike what u like. Unfortunately u would need Tabletop Simulator to actually run it.  Its why i hope Megamek get additional stuff added to it. The Larger BattleForce type rules and ASC rules is basic Alphastrike long epic level. With. Megamek sor5 game managing the game phases. It makes it overall more playable.
"Men, fetch the Urbanmechs.  We have an interrogation to attend to." - jklantern
"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
"No, it's a "Most Awesome Blues Brothers scene Reenactment EVER" waiting to happen." VotW Destrier - Weirdo  
"It's 200 LY to Sian, we got a full load of shells, a half a platoon of Grenadiers, it's exploding outside, and we're wearing flak jackets." VoTW Destrier - Misterpants

Jhousdan

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #157 on: 31 October 2020, 16:10:38 »
For me it was a lot of things.  First, the new setting was not very well explained AT ALL... you opened booster packs, looked the dossiers and said "spirit cats? Swordsworn? Stormhammers? Who the hell are these guys?" Then there was the randomness of the packs, which did nothing but scream "money grab" like a collectible card game would. The creators lost a lot of honor in my eyes with that one. Lastly were the designs... almost universally,  the mech designs took a serious dump in quality and ingenuity.

The game mechanics weren't terrible, but I was past the idea of getting used to table grind, or how long it took to resolve each weapon in an alpha strike... it seemed oversimplified to me, I felt like I lost some of the finer controls I had over my mechs.

Characters I couldn't get invested in, in a time setting I couldn't reconcile with the setting I was used to, with mechs that looked (for the most part... this includes the project phoenix redesigns) like they were designed by third graders, I just didn't see the merit. It felt like progress for the sake of progress without a real goal for the franchise in mind.

It felt like an attempt to recapture the grittiness/ mad-maxism of the late succession wars that FASA slowly spent the 90s walking back to something gentler. (The irony being, theyd eventually do the same thing with DA "well, maybe things weren't reallyTHAT bad...")

The early novels didn't do anything to help either, and by the time they found their stride and gained any traction, most of us were dusting off second/third edition, digging out the compendiums, and getting back to legacy("classic") battletech.

I'm less ambivalent toward the setting now (since a progression has been established through the jihad, etc... not great work, but not terrible either), but i now have zero interest in learning who the ilclan will be. It feels like a story event that is happening about a hundred years too late to matter. It feels like taking the gold medal in the 100 meter dash in the summer Olympics after the stadium has been bombed to hell and the competition is too injured or lame to even race.
« Last Edit: 31 October 2020, 16:34:43 by Jhousdan »

MegaZipp

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #158 on: 03 November 2020, 15:14:52 »
Thanks for the feedback. At this point I am not sure what I will do with all of these figures. I have been looking at the new Clan Invasion stuff and I may just look more into Alpha Strike, or even consider taking a dive into Battletech. I have some of the older books, so I will read through all that, plus the free pdf's that are out. Alpha Strike may still be an option for me as well, whether I use my AOD stuff or get new stuff.

Jhousdan

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Re: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?
« Reply #159 on: 03 November 2020, 19:58:41 »
Alpha strike would be great for those figures... they also fit on a standard hex base, even if they're larger than their ral partha/iron wind counterparts. One of the guys at our table uses a few DA figures that he's re-based and repainted.