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Author Topic: Why is Dark Age/Age of Destruction disliked?  (Read 46429 times)


  • Sergeant
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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?).


  • Master Sergeant
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  • Posts: 291
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.