Register Register

Author Topic: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs  (Read 827 times)

Rakashu

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« on: 22 January 2022, 07:07:24 »
Hi there! I’m getting back into BattleTech after at least 20 years as I rediscovered miniature gaming. This time around I have embraced hobby and focus on whole experience, finding a game I like, painting all the minis, reading all the rules, and then playing (usually with my son who is 10 years old). I especially enjoy painting process due to its esthetical and functional aspect (you try to paint something nice that you can later use). I’m a novice as I have only completed 4 projects during my 2 years run. BattleTech was always on my radar as it was my favorite tabletop game of my youth. And as I finished my latest project, I feel it’s time for BattleTech.

Since last year I have managed to acquire Begginer Box, A game of Armoured Combat, Clan Invasion Box, Inner Sphere Command Lance, Clam Command Star, Inner Sphere Battle Lance, Clan Heavy Striker Star, Inner Sphere Heavy Lance, Clan Support Star, Clan Heavy Battle Star, Inner Sphere Striker Lance.

While I started cleanup process, I realized that this time around I have a lot of freedom in choosing color schemes for minis (up until now I was painting fantasy dungeon crawlers and tried to match miniatures with artwork). So naturally I got overwhelmed with options and felt I needed some guidance.

My initial thought was to just pick one of the color schemas from alpha strike cards included for each mech. They are varied as far as I can tell and would make mechs very recognizable while playing. On the other hand, I really like the idea of choosing a color schema for a lance/star to get more coherent teams while playing. Only drawback I can think of is that mixing mechs might feel weird if both players pick mechs from the same lance.

I would really appreciate your thoughts and if you can share your experiences. Given sets that I have, does it make more sense to paint mechs individually or paint per lance. If painting per lance, should I keep lance definitions from original packaging (eg. Clan Heavy Striker Star gets the same pattern) or should I try to define my own lances instead (though this feels overwhelming as well as I’m a returning player)? What makes most sense from gameplay perspective?

If you have any favorite color schemas (example would be cherry on top) then please pling as well, I could use some inspiration for mechs that I have so that it makes sense in the BattleTech universe 😊

marauder648

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7779
    • Project Zhukov Fan AU TRO's and PDFs
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #1 on: 22 January 2022, 08:03:05 »
Hey and welcome (back!) :)

Really there's no right or wrong with it. It depends on how complicated you want it to be.

Painting each individual 'Mech its own way would take longer and be more expensive as you'd need more paints etc but would look more striking and could work as a Merc company for example where the CO's allowed their Techs to paint 'Mechs how the pilots want, resulting in basically a 'Flying Circus' type look.



Painting a unit so its more uniform has the advantage of speed and cost. Painting a larger number of models en-bloc is you can set them aside and not have to keep changing paints etc. Painting them as a squad does not detract either.

I'm not a good painter but i'm still happy with this lot.



So really its up to you, and there's nothing stopping you from doing what you want. If you want to paint your mech's a pink so aggressive it grabs you by the throat, slaps your face and goes "PINK!!!!" and highlight that with poo brown stripes, then you do you!
Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

Project Zhukov Fan AU TRO's and PDFs - https://thezhukovau.wordpress.com/

Luciora

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4256
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #2 on: 22 January 2022, 08:20:24 »
Your minis, your preference, really.  I'm a collector, that rarely plays, but I paint alot of themed units, inspired by alot of other series, or whimsy.

I generally tend to paint my IS mechs in groups of 4, and my clan mechs tend to be whatever I feel like at the moment.

I have a fondness for the Crescent Hawks, because of how I got into the game as a whole, and you can browse the wonderful camospecs.com to see a bunch of in-universe paint schemes.

gunner

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 170
  • Todays a good day to die, YOU FIRST
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #3 on: 22 January 2022, 08:29:04 »
Before you set on a paint scheme,  decide how you are going to set each lance or star.  You can your the way they came .  Me personally, I set them up so they have a standard speed.  Weight class would be a second matter for me. but I have a Urbanmech with 3 assault moving 2/3 to 3/5. 
Long life through fire superiority
IN range  and ON target  M 60 MG

NeonKnight

  • Freelance Writer
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5887
  • Lemme Talk to the Manager!
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #4 on: 22 January 2022, 09:07:55 »
As stated, each has it pro's and con's

I personally enjoy the unified look, and of course the ease of painting 20+ minis in a single go usually has the following steps:

1 - prime
2 - Base coat all the same colour
3 - Apply unit pattern all at same time (i.e. MARIK MILITIA paint all unit's RED PANELS, then all units BLUE PANELS)
4 - Paint all Weapons/joints/jump jets (I usually use a metalic here so...)
5 - Paint all cockpits

Usually at this point done
AGENT #575, Vancouver Canada

Rakashu

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #5 on: 22 January 2022, 09:47:47 »
Thanks for responses!

@marauder648 I like the idea with merc company, I could go bananaz with decals as well as colors
@Luciora thanks for camospecs.com, there goes my scheduled coffeebreaks from now on

I would like to emphasize the gameplay aspect, both regarding playing out a skirmish and planning/assembling of a lance. I can see a benefit in uniform colors per lance as it will be easier for my son/other player to recognize own and enemy units. But I’m afraid it can compromise planning phase of the game when a player is about to decide what mechs are going to be used.

For example, let’s say I’m painting mechs from “A Game of Armored Combat”. I split mechs into two color schemes, blue and red. So for skirmish #1 we go with red vs. blue. Game is easy to follow, compositions are balanced etc. But for skirmish #2 we pick 2 blue and 2 red per lance. My gut tells me this is where it’s going to look a bit weird on the board. Do you guys think I’m overthinking it?

Painting each mech in unique color scheme will solve this issue. But I have now around 51 mechs, so it might feel a bit chaotic?

NeonKnight

  • Freelance Writer
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5887
  • Lemme Talk to the Manager!
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #6 on: 22 January 2022, 09:55:00 »
the 'Unified' color works wonders for the CAMOUFLAGE route as well.

1 - BASE Color (tan or a lightish drab green)
2 - Paint some random darker green splotches/lines on all minis
3 - paint some random light brown splotches/lines on all minis
4 - Wash the whole thing with a Brown Wash (i.e. GW's AGRAX EARTHSHADE)
5 - Paint weapons/cockpits etc

Give a nice Camo look and can used anywhere.

Changing colours can allow for different biomes - i.e. Greys for Urban, Greens for Forest/jungles, tans/yellows for plains/deserts etc.

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/miniatures/quick-and-easy-camo-suggestions/msg1591048/#msg1591048

AGENT #575, Vancouver Canada

Aotrs Commander

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 339
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #7 on: 22 January 2022, 10:22:45 »
My approach has been to split the difference. I paint all my IS mechs with a base colour of black, through grey or white (by lance/company, just stopping at a point in the same highlighting process) and then other colours by lance/company. So even if (as regularly happens) you mix and match from the nominal lance colour schemes, it doesn't look too disunified.


My main regret is that I picked a totally different colour scheme for my clan mechs when I would have been so much better doing the same for all of them (and just have a sub-colour scheme across all the clan mechs plus WoB/Comstar too) for better mix matching, but when I started, in was Clan Invasion Era and it wasn't that common.

(I did go over some of my WoB/Comstar, which was on a third colour scheme, and added some white back, so for the mechs that are now Comstar as opposed to pretty much WoB exclusive will fit in with either WoB or IS.


Edit: Old, pre-lockdown expansion group shot to maye give you some idea:



Link to larger image
« Last Edit: 22 January 2022, 10:25:20 by Aotrs Commander »

Rakashu

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #8 on: 22 January 2022, 11:34:55 »
Thank you @Aotrs Commander and @NeonKnight, I can see benefits of both approaches and how they would solve my gameplay issue 😊

I was wondering if you guys could provide me with some information about lances I have bought. Are they functional out of the box?

For example:
Inner Sphere Command Lance contains Marauder, Archer, Valkyrie and Stinger
Inner Sphere Heavy Lance contains Banshee, Centurion, Grasshopper, Hatchetman

If I would play a skirmish with these two lances against each other in default composition, will it be balanced skirmish out of the box?

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 24519
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #9 on: 22 January 2022, 12:06:20 »
Even if it was a stock Banshee, I suspect that second lance would wipe the floor with the first (given equal skills).

Rakashu

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #10 on: 22 January 2022, 12:16:57 »
@Daryk I see! Is it possible that one could relatively easy balance the skirmish by calculating battle value and remove/reconfigure some units in second lance?

If I understand correctly, Clan mechs are more powerful and these out of the box lances would also require rebalancing?

NeonKnight

  • Freelance Writer
  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 5887
  • Lemme Talk to the Manager!
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #11 on: 22 January 2022, 12:44:00 »
Yep, you could give better pilots to some of the mechs to help even things out.
AGENT #575, Vancouver Canada

marauder648

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 7779
    • Project Zhukov Fan AU TRO's and PDFs
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #12 on: 22 January 2022, 12:44:49 »
@Daryk I see! Is it possible that one could relatively easy balance the skirmish by calculating battle value and remove/reconfigure some units in second lance?

If I understand correctly, Clan mechs are more powerful and these out of the box lances would also require rebalancing?

Clan 'Mechs are generally more powerful and definately have more powerful/longer ranged weapons and usually have a speed advantage too. But this is countered by their points cost. And it gets even more pricey if you pay for the points cost of a Clan Warrior who tend to be better pilots and gunners

So for example.

You get yourself a Timber Wolf Prime - https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Timber_Wolf_(Mad_Cat) which rocks in at 2737 points. You then bung a 3/4 pilot in there (the average pilot for base costs is 4/5) to represent the Clan pilot and that spikes up to 3613 points. And for that one 'Mech, you can get a LOT more Inner Sphere stuff. An absolutely bog standard Atlas - https://www.sarna.net/wiki/Atlas_(BattleMech) will cost you 1897 points, so you could get 2 Atlasessessese...Atlii? Atlas' for 3794 points.

Oh and if you're looking for camo/colour scheme inspiration as folks said you have CamoSpecs (and they have a youtube channel with tutorials on it too) and the Unit Colour Compendium - https://unitcolorcompendium.com/

Ghost Bears: Cute and cuddly. Until you remember its a BLOODY BEAR!

Project Zhukov Fan AU TRO's and PDFs - https://thezhukovau.wordpress.com/

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 24519
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #13 on: 22 January 2022, 13:05:53 »
I generally don't use BV, but many others do.  That was literally just my quick take on the lances.

Rakashu

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #14 on: 22 January 2022, 13:44:52 »
Thanks for feedback! I have a plan forming in my head. It would go something like:

Beginner Box - Merc colors/decals for experimentation
A Game of Armoured Combat - Camo colors for general purpose

Inner Sphere Command Lance - House colors (eg. Lyran)
Inner Sphere Battle Lance - House colors (eg. Draconis)
Inner Sphere Heavy Lance - House colors (eg. Free Worlds League)
Inner Sphere Striker Lance - eg Steel Wolves/or merc

Clan Invasion Box - Clan colors
Clan Command Star -Clan colors
Clan Heavy Striker Star - Clan colors/merc
Clan Support Star – Clan colors/merc
Clan Heavy Battle Star – Clan colors/merc

Expected result: I would get thematic groups of mechs, each group containing on average 4-5 mechs.
I would start with two merc mechs to try things out and then proceed to camo units from base game. These units would be backbone for later swapping. For each lance/star box I would choose a theme, either a company or one of the houses. The same goes for clan boxes.
This system would allow me to have couple of ready out of the box setups. If I would calculate BV for each lance/star I would be able to compensate by adjusting the superior lance. It would also give me a good tool to give myself a handicap while playing with my son, e g he would take a clan lance while I would take Inner sphere.
As for swapping, I could have a rule to allow for mixing two themes, that would give me a lot of potential variety in composing different skirmishes.

I’m also used to painting 3-4 minis in same colors schemes as it was pretty much standard for monster groups in dungeon crawlers that I painted 😊

What do you think guys, does it seem like it would hold water or is it gibberish of a madman?

Coldstone

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 270
  • Every battle is a lesson, waiting to be learned.
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #15 on: 22 January 2022, 19:33:21 »
The only color a mech needs:



AS my old pal said: Everything looks better in black.
C u m historia mutat valde, Razgriz Revelat ipsum
primum daemon scelestus est c u m potencia
caemun daemon fundet Mortem in terram deinde moritur.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 24519
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #16 on: 22 January 2022, 20:13:00 »
Nice pic, but please use a width argument less than 700 in your IMG tag.

Mechman08

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #17 on: 26 January 2022, 20:09:37 »
I’m in a similar situation of just getting back into the game and being indecisive about color schemes.  I want a consistent look for my collection, but also want OpFor and BluFor to be easy to differentiate when skirmishing with friends who don’t have their own.

A thought that’s been rolling around in my head:
Paint the whole lot a universal scheme.
Recess a small magnet in the bottom of the base.
Take a second blank hex base and stick a magnet on top.
Paint the edges of the second base a bright color (let’s say red and blue).
Now you have swappable IFF rings kinda like what you see in a typical sports-ball video game.

I haven’t found the time to experiment with this yet, so no idea how it would look though.

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 24519
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #18 on: 26 January 2022, 20:23:03 »
That sounds like a brilliant idea... I wonder why I haven't seen it before!  :thumbsup:

Mechman08

  • Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #19 on: 27 January 2022, 12:51:38 »
Looks like I was beaten to the punch.  This is pretty much exactly what I was thinking of, minus a magnet to stick it to the mini.

https://bg.battletech.com/forums/tips-and-tricks/colored-underbases/

Daryk

  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 24519
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #20 on: 27 January 2022, 19:46:50 »
Not by much really, and +1 for calling out an earier source!  :thumbsup:

Daemion

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4746
  • The Future of BattleTech
    • Never Tales and Other Daydreams
Re: New/returning player - Color scheme for mechs
« Reply #21 on: 01 February 2022, 09:40:28 »
I’m in a similar situation of just getting back into the game and being indecisive about color schemes.  I want a consistent look for my collection, but also want OpFor and BluFor to be easy to differentiate when skirmishing with friends who don’t have their own.

A thought that’s been rolling around in my head:
Paint the whole lot a universal scheme.
Recess a small magnet in the bottom of the base.
Take a second blank hex base and stick a magnet on top.
Paint the edges of the second base a bright color (let’s say red and blue).
Now you have swappable IFF rings kinda like what you see in a typical sports-ball video game.

I haven’t found the time to experiment with this yet, so no idea how it would look though.

It's a great thought.  You'll want to be careful of smaller mechs if you're trying to pin the magnet in the mini.  I know that steel paperclips are conductive enough that if you're using Neodymium magnets, you should get a strong enough stick.  Not sure exactly how well it'll hold for picking up a mini, though.

I've played around enough with some of the smaller magnets for swapping variants, and sometimes even magnet on magnet might not be enough if the mini is too heavy to the attached part or vice versa.  If you're using one of the bases from IWM, it might not hold up real well when completed.  I think it should work fine for magnet on magnet.  So, your bigger mechs which have room for pinning a magnet into the foot will be fine.

But, light Mechs should probably retain the plastic bases they came with.

There have been a couple instances where I couldn't get full contact to apply (Like on a Titanicus Titan or an older metal Awesome's left arm.)  and that can leave things a little loosey goosey.

Now, a secondary thought, if you're down with it: Heraldry.  You paint them up in a uniform scheme, but come up with individualized heraldry. 

But, ultimately, there's nothing wrong with saving up for duplicates.  Say, you get a second core box and starter.  If you don't want a second set of contents beyond the miniatures, then donate those to, oh, say, the Local Library, or a friend's kid for their birthday. 
It's your world. You can do anything you want in it. - Bob Ross

Every thought and device conceived by Satan and man must be explored and found wanting. - Donald Grey Barnhouse on the purpose of history and time.

I helped make a game! ^_^  - Forge Of War: Tactics