Monday, February 5, 2024

February Battletech


After laying dormant for at least a decade Battletech has been poking its head up regularly for the last few years and it did so again over the weekend. With schedule conflicts interrupting the RPG plans the night was open so we went with b-tech for me. Paladin Steve, and his son Apprentice P-Hawk ... because he always take a Phoenix Hawk. 

We agreed on 140 tons as a limit and ended up with Steve taking a Battlemaster and a Hatchetman while I took a Thunderbolt and a Crusader and Apprentice PH took a Phoenix Hawk (of course), a Warhammer, and a Wasp. This was a 3025 fight as it's just simpler than adding in all the Clan-era stuff to a small one-off fight. The battle took place on two mapboards. 

We played 7 turns and it was all fairly evenly matched though Some high points:

  • Apprentice PH ran his PH out far enough that he took a lot of fire early. He did manage to back off so it survived until the end - unlike prior battles he has played.
  • Having 3 mechs did give him an advantage as far as the initiative sequence goes because it's mech-by-mech and so we will avoid that next time. 
  • For the first time in a long time we had two attempts at Death-From-Above. Neither of them connected but the miss damage didn't cripple anyone so it came out alright.
  • We used some nifty markers I picked up online that indicate modifiers for movement for each mech and they did help a lot with running multiple mechs and I can see them helping even more as we escalate things. 
  • The last turn saw some real craziness...
    • My Crusader finally tagged the Warhammer with both LRM-15s and one cluster managed to punch through and score a crit on his SRM ammo and blew him off of the board!
    • Paladin Steve's Battlemaster tagged the Phoenix Hawk in the head - the second head shot on him - and knocked the pilot out!
    • Then Steve's Hatchetman chopped into the Wasp and blew up -his- SRM ammo, leaving Apprentice PH with two exploded mech and one still standing with an unconscious pilot! It was the most amazing single turn we've had in years. 
Handy - You can find these on Amazon and eBay and probably other places. 

The P-Hawk and the Warhammer were early favorites for many of us so it was a lot of fun to see the teenager picking those two right away. We could have played this battle in the mid to late 80's with these same mechs and that's a deliberate choice on my part to keep it simple and indulge in a little nostalgia as well. Putting some more hours on these miniatures I painted back in the 80's & 90's is a lot of fun too. 

There has been some talk about running a Mechwarrior campaign for a while now and playing again really woke that up for me. I spent some time last year looking at some different modern to SF RPG systems to find one I thought would work well with it but I have yet to find one I like and think is a great fit. It would probably be Savage Worlds at this point if I was picking today. But, I have come around to just running MW 3rd edition straight-up, allowing us to plug into all of those house supplements for character details. I'm really leaning towards using it for the opening stages of a campaign and determining if it works for us well enough to use it for the rest of the way. More to come on this for sure.