Battletech by Harebrained Schemes (Shadowrun Returns)


Guess it depends on what point layout you’ve got on the kingcrab (I mean do they vary like other ones do?). I made mine a missle boat and stuck a 20, 15 and 5 missile (all 3+) plus one laser, the rest was armor, heats and jump jets.


I have a poll up for the Early Fall Battletech tournament.


From Begging for Food to a Surfeit of Crab.

Three KCs now. I struggle to decide what to bring on each mission. Maybe I should finish the damn campaign.


That’s what I am doing. What else is there?


Really stupid protip

Get the Argo, now. I almost lost my game because I would not engage with a scenario over 1.5.


A valuable, important protip ;)


I started the game, and I’m pretty impressed with the strategic part: it isn’t only outfitting mechs and then jumping into the action, but it’s also picking contracts and negotiating them (what do you need more, the salvage rights, the credits, or a rep boost?), taking care of the injured pilots, handling finances with the debt over your head, leveling up pilots, taking care of your reputation with different factions, taking in account the time you need in traveling to the mission area or doing extensive refitting to the mechs, morale, events etc.

Although someone explains me if in combat, is there a way to see the hit probabilities of each weapon if I would move to different hexes? I don’t know if I’m explaining it clearly.
The game should show the hit chance as you hover over different points. I’m surprised it doesn’t. Is there a hotkey that help you with that?

Also, you win an evasion bonus if you move (and it’s bigger if you moved a lot, it makes sense). But, intuitively, moving and firing is harder than staying still and firing. Do you have an accuracy bonus if you forego movement and just fire?


You can, I haven’t played for a while so I don’t remember the exact mechanism. I think you click on the mech you want to shoot, pick move, and then when you move your mouse around to possible movement squares it shows you the % from that hex.

I know I do it a lot when I play so it’s definitely there :)


This is the one thing I ignored and it didn’t affect me at all. Or at least I never noticed it.


Yeah like Lantz said, when you click a move destination you have the option to change facing. At that point, simply move your cursor to an enemy mech. You’ll see the hit probabilities.

Keep an eye on the shaded areas of the vision cone. That indicates optimal weapon ranges, so sometimes moving an extra hex (or one less) gives you the best hit chance.


I played 15 hours, enough to write some impressions:

  • Technically weak, the combination of Unity engine and first timers in a full 3d game like this has made a game with bad performance (with top of the line computer) and slow loading times (with a freaking m2 ssd).

  • There is also a host of small issues likes not seeing shit when several mechs are fighting in the forest in the snow biomes (and some of the floating numbers are white over white, great), sometimes some buildings aren’t clickable, the range indicator of your weapons isn’t clear, enough, etc.

  • The combat system is pretty decent, although I’m annoyed they have taken a page of the modern Xcom, with things like ‘you have to choose between move and fire action and sprint action’. I would much prefer to have two action points and just let me move, and if I want to fire at someone do it, and if not let me move again. In fact they also borrowed the concept of having a special perk to fire and then move (instead of the other way around), which I dislike for similar reasons.

  • But what it makes the game ticks is the campaign progression. It gets addicting. You start with some shitty medium mechs and a pair of lights, and then slowly but steadily start getting more mechs to have a bigger variety of possible tactics and loadouts, you start getting more equipment that allows to have a designated sniper or missile boat or whatever, you start getting more heavy mechs full of weapons, etc. That complements also well with the pilot progression and the ship progression.

  • Campaign elements are well done. I mean, it’s in the light spectrum of campaign features, but what’s it’s there it well designed. I like having different worlds with different markets, factions, gameplay elements (like duststorm in Martian biomes), negotiating salvage rights vs money in your contract (and how you have pick a few pieces vs the random loot you get), how they solved the mech acquisition issue (3 salvages => 1 mech), and i would say the economy is balanced, I never have enough money to splurge thoughtlessly but I’m steadily improving my ship and from time to time doing some boutique buys.

  • And the writing is better than your average strategy game, you can notice the team comes from doing tactical RPGs.

  • I hate the refit feature. It’s ‘realistic’ and at first I thought it was interesting, but fuck realism. Why? Because in party rpgs or tactical squad games like this, after winning a decent amount of new equipment and if I haven’t changed the equipment in a while, I like to start from zero. That means removing all equipment from my characters and designing the loadouts from zero looking and picking stuff from the entire pool of loot. But in this game this kind of action cost money and would need 20 days refitting everything in the mech bay.

  • Side missions could have been better. They have tried to have different objectives in them, but let’s be honest, it doesn’t work. Attack missions? You destroy all hostiles. Escort mission? You destroy all hostiles. Assassination mission? There is an ingame hint that says you could pick a fast sniper mech and kill the target, you don’t have kill everyone, but let’s be honest, it doesn’t work that way, the sensors in this game are ample enough and the armor in a Mechwarrior game is hard enough to make it impossible. So again you just kill everyone. I feel there should be some random factors on top of them, like escort missions with two different evac points or assault missions against much harder enemies than you were briefed that turn into retreat missions.
    The only time the side missions feel different is in the one where the enemy have reinforcements, as usually they come from opposite sides and can flank you.

  • God the speed mod is essential. There is just way too much ‘filler’ missions, and sometimes the adequate wise tactic is retreat to a narrow point and let the enemy come one by one, that’s even more filler turns in filler missions.


I have put in 50+ hours and really like the game, but this is my biggest issue. It’s an absolute pig, from the rendering, to the UI, to the loading screens. They should hire the FortressCraft Evolved programmer as a consultant to help speed things up, he has accomplished absolute miracles with the Unity engine.


I found this to be an interesting approach to make the mechs feel more like mechs, rather than just xcom agents that make the screen shake when they walk. I think one of the challenges of implementing Battletech on computers is how to make them actually feel like giant machines, rather than just a little robot soldier. Being able to switch equipment as simply as you do in x-com style squad game or RPG would hamper that.

While I love the game, my biggest gripe is that I didn’t find too much in the way of tactics, past the mid-game. It really is about just good mech design and then moving to the appropriate range to take the enemies out.

While I get that they’re constrained to some degree by the core Battletech rules, I wish they could have made terrain/cover, light mechs, and status effects play more of a role in the game. For the latter, they tried to do that to some degree with stability, but the fact that heavy/assault mechs couldn’t be knocked back on initiative really neutered that in the late game.


Finally finished the second to last mission. It was a real bottleneck for me until I created a lance to beat it.

Three Zeuses. All with 3 ML+++, one LRM 20+++ four LRM ammo, three JJ and assorted Rangefinders and TTS. One Awesome with 5 LL+++ and three JJ. It went down to the wire. I was sure I’d never make it in time. Last generator blown by Dekker jumping into range and hitting it with the LLs. Tense.


Nice, but why the Zeus?


I wanted something that could move faster than my usual lance that had a bunch of energy hardpoints and at least one missile hardpoint. Also decent armor. What would you have gone with?


I was uninspired and went with the heaviest mechs I could find.
Two Crabs, one armed with 3 Large Lasers amd a few other weapons, the other with LRMs, an Altas with an AC 20 an AC 10, and some SRMs, and finally a Highlander with my Gaus Rifle, AC 5 and two Large Lasers.

Very much just the biggest mechs I could find, and hoped for the best.

I have one last mission to go but I am not sure what I will do after that.


Yeah, same here.


Looking forward to the tournament, even if we are using standard mechs.


Honestly I always worry that I’ll embarrass myself in this kind of thing. But I’ll make it my duty to do the stock thing and maybe fail bigly. Then I’d go for the next level and build mechs.