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BattleTech Quick-Strike Game: Part One–Set-up
On November 28, 2011
I’ve been doing this on www.monstersinthesky.com for the Leviathans community and it’s been going over really well, so I thought I’d do the same thing here (not to mention the number of “photo or it didn’t happen” comments on twitter when ever I talk about a game I’m putting together).
Bryn and I are setting up for the largest game of Quick-Strike I’ve ever played (and while not even close to the largest number of BattleTech miniatures I’ve deployed on a playing area, it’s the biggest in a very long time), and I thought I’d share the experience. Obviously this is for the community, so if you guys don’t want to see such things, by all means, let me know. (And yes, next week I’ll be getting back to IO dev blogs as well.)
Okay, right out of the gate some of you may be wondering what “Quick-Strike” is: the Quick-Strike Rules system is a simple adaptation of the BattleForce gameplay system using more flexible tactical-scale miniature rules. While the full BattleForce rules are found in Strategic Operations, players can download a free PDF of the BattleForce Quick-Start Rules to get a feeling for that tactical game system and how it meshes with the Miniatures Rules to create the Quick-Strike Rules. Additionally players can check out the free Quick-Strike: Introductory ‘Mech Cards (record sheets) to get a further feel for how this system works.
While Bryn and I have been hard at work assembling a slew of new miniatures, most of them are still only base-coated. However, I’ve a huge swath of Technical Readout: 3055 Update BattleMechs that I painted way back in the day and with the coming Catalyst-branded reprint and having the Quick-Strike: Technical Readout: 3055 Update Unit Cards just released, sparked a big desire to play a really big game with all of those units.
Now the last few games we’ve played with these rules we almost always had a Clan element, so this time around we wanted just Inner Sphere. So we split up the 40-ish 3055 ‘Mechs I have, then filled them in with 3039/3050/3060 units I have; as this was simply about playing the largest game we could get away with at this time, there’s no faction or setting involved…just freaking big.
We ended up with a battalion of ‘Mechs with a separate command lance and then as many vehicles as we had miniatures and record sheets for: in this case, just under two companies each.
Below is a photo of my “small gaming table” with all the minis assembled and the Quick-Strike record sheets pulled.
If you look behind the minis you’ll see a big 3-ring binder, filled with baseball card-sized sheet protectors. The Quick-Strike sheets are designed to fold in half and fit in one of those, so double-sided you can fit 18 record sheets to a single sheet protector, which means all four Quick-Strike record sheet volumes noted above all fit in there. (It’s several hours of work to fully print out a RS volume, cut them out–I simply use my wife’s scrapbooking paper cutter and work on around 10 sheets at a time–fold them and insert them…but the end result is so user friendly for building a game it’s absolutely worth the prep-work the first time out.)
We’ve wanted to increase our gaming table size significantly for a while and just hadn’t gotten around to it; though part of that was I didn’t have room for it until 2 months ago when I completely re-organized my office and got rid of a ton of stuff. To increase game table size on the cheap, all I did was run to Loew’s and spent $16 on a 4 x 8 plywood and a 8 x 1.5 x .75 to create runners underneath the plywood that would lock it into place when placed on top of the desk below it.
Worked liked a charm and you can see we’re starting to build the map below. Unfortunately by doubling our gaming area we’ve far out-stretched our current supply of Heroscape…we’ll be working on getting some more of those each month heading down the line, so in the mean time we used some HexPack maps and HexTiles to fill in the area, leaving a small strip on either side to assemble the minis and to easily hold record sheets during game play.
Here’s a shot of my forces, along with the record sheets. Note that I took a dozen or so sheet protectors and using the paper cutter, sliced them into strip of 3 pockets, which allows you to field sub-forces of lances (4), Stars (5), or Level IIs (6) in a single slip.
Since Bryn and I use a slightly modified version of the Quick-Strike rules (namely still using hexes and moving a sub-force at a time to speed up play), this makes it exceedingly easy to track what units have moved and then ultimately what units have fired.
Here’s a top-down view of the completed map (yeah, we’ll just have to play it fast and loose with the gap between the terrain and HexPack material), and all my forces on the far side and Bryn’s forces on this side.
Here’s a long view of the table with all forces deployed. If you look close you’ll note an absolute silly level of close-packed units. First, this is an experiment to see what size of battles can be fought on our new 4 x 8 surface; obviously having enough terrain to push all the way to the full 8 feet will make a difference. Second, however, this isn’t straight-up BattleTech, but the Quick-Strike rules, which are based on the BattleForce rules that are used to emulate larger scale conflicts…as such, while it might be a little too big at the end of the day, I’m confident it’s gonna be a blast to play.
I’ll be taking photos as the game progresses and posting updates every couple of turns, perhaps once a week.
See ya next time!