Battletech by Harebrained Schemes (Shadowrun Returns)

So this is the replacement for Mechwarrior Tactics, the almost functional turn based mech tactical game that I beta’ed a year or two ago?

Excited to see if there is any show floor presence for this at GenCon, to which I am flying now. About time we got (albeit through the erratic channel that is Kickstarter) a modern callback to the Crescent Hawk games. Just please don’t make the Marauder a stretch goal!

I can’t remember which game (Inception or Revenge) had the trick of breaking out of the starting training area with your Chameleon. Having an earlier mid-weight mech was a huge advantage.

So, this is the RPG, rather than the boardgame? Okay, not for me then.

That was Incwption (the only one I played, due to the aforementioned sequel not being released on C64).

It doesn’t say for sure but the fact that they’re calling it BattleTech (the name of the minis game) and not MechWarrior (the name of the RPG…but, granted, also the popular mech sim series) might suggest it will be closer to the minis game. You can have a layer of RPG-esque character management and still keep the emphasis on tactical mech combat. I wouldn’t necessarily count on it being a faithful reproduction of any tabletop ruleset, though. I’m pretty sure the Shadowrun Returns games don’t represent any edition of Shadowrun one-to-one, although I confess I’ve never actually played Shadowrun tabletop.

Yeah, it’s not clear if lego’s referring to PnP or computer games. Anyways, they say “turn-based”, so it’s guaranteed turn-based battles with Mech’s is gonna be the emphasis. It’s just not clear if it will be more story based or more open-ended strategy game.

The only Battletech ‘RPG’ besides the two ancient computer games mentioned was a PnP supplement confusingly titled MechWarrior. A supplement I assume hardly anyone played, 'cause it got very little in the way of canned adventures. Like a lot PnP stuff, the role-playing game was overshadowed by the tie in fiction.

In BT’s case, that would be terrible Michael Stackpole novels. If the new game let’s me kill Stackpole/FASA’s heroes, I am so in.

You spelled it wrong. It was called The Crescent Hawk’s IncePWN, a really bad pun that was the subject of much mockery on BBS’s.

I’m cautiously optimistic about this. I’d love an “open ended Mercenaries-style campaign that blends RPG ‘Mech and MechWarrior management with modern turn-based tactics.”

I’m similarly cautiously optimistic but extra concerned about what ‘modern’ means.

X-Com 2 in mechs, perhaps?

I remember a few years ago, there was talk about a Boardgame style Battletech game, were the field was a hexagon, but the action took place simultaneously, after issuing orders. I could get behind that.

There were also the two RTS Battletech games, but I wasn’t able to play either at the time of release.

I am hopefully though. The boardgame, with all the splat book, you could really build an impressive lance of mechs to battle it out. I loved my Archer. I remember my brothers always seemed to make room in their lance for a Warhammer or a Maurader on the field.

Still, their were hundreds of mechs to go with (even if the figures weren’t quite right) and the ability to make your own mech from scratch was fun (especially, if you played with tonnage, and ignored costs).

Forget caution… I’m hopelessly optimistic about this!

Unless they put on a real stinker of a KS video, this will be the second KS I’ve ever backed (the first being GPG’s Wildman, which of course didn’t end well).

I’m out of the loop on that mobile-version Battletech TBS somebody was working on (was that the same devs?) It looked too simplistic, but I’m hoping for much more detail for this version. If it’s just a notch or two above Shadowrun’s tactical combat, I’ll be thrilled.

MW Tactics? That flopped for a bunch of reasons, not least of which was a hideous card-based armament system.

After Neveron and Invasion 3042 bit their respective buckets, nothing beats MegaMek :)

Hey, if they can provide the boardgame feel to the combat, and a random-mission generator style campaign like the first PC Mechwarrior game, with all the repair and downtime due to damage and injury stuff that made it so great, I’d be a happy camper. The Mech Commander series was fun, but ultimately it was too puzzle-y, and I didn’t like that the enemy mostly came at you piecemeal (classic crap RTS AI).

Really, I kinda want Battletech, XCOM:EU, sorta.

For all its warts, I’m a huge fan of Front Mission 4’s mech combat. It’s a simplification of BT’s combat (from 11 hit locations to 4 and hit percentage-based rather than trying to run 2D6 calcs in your head), but it worked smoothly and felt awesome.

Despite being a huge BT nerd, I find that BT matches using the classic rules just take too damn long to play.

I’ve yet to try any Front Mission games (clearly I should if they’re that reminiscent of Battletech). I wouldn’t mind some simplification in this new game, so long as it preserved the spirit of the complex options in BT (i.e., heat management and its interplay with aggressive weapons/movement, important role for weapon ranges and firing arcs, location based damage, maybe critical hit damage).

In reality, there’s probably a lot of original BT rules that could stand to be improved, e.g.:
I think I’d prefer a less random system for assigning location damage (IMO pilots should be aiming at sections, with an increased % chance to hit adjacent sections. Maybe this needs action points or some sort of fatigue so there’s a trade-off between targeted shots and ‘spray and pray’ shots).

Really though: So long as it’s turn based, tactical, and has a lot of single player content, I’ll be thrilled.

I’m not much of a Front Mission fan, myself. I bounced hard off of 3 (which is supposedly the best) as well as the DS version, but FM4 was a sweet spot for me. It mixed cheesy story, mech upgrades, decent combat, and interesting missions in just the right ratio. The mechanics are very simple (4 locations - CT, LA, RA, Legs), ammo, one weapon per turn. No heat management, no terrain penalties, etc. But lots of stompy mech fun.

The core BT rules are very dated, agreed; though to be fair, they were dated in the 80s, too. Even streamlining them has its limitations. E.g., MegaMek takes a lot of the heavy lifting off your shoulders by performing a ton of auto-calcs, but the fact is that you’re still left with so many permutations on moves/predicting enemy moves that individual turns tend to take a really long time.

As for what we’ll get… I’ll play it regardless. I’m hopelessly addicted to anything BT-related.

Front Mission 4 for the PS2 was a lot of fun as a tactical game, the South Park talky-talk cut scenes (heads with flappy mouth bits, really) and all. It also had some fine full-3D intro sequences, too. But beware of the recent Front Mission game for PS3. It’s just flat-out bad.

I looked at Front Mission 3 when I found it was available, but it’s very much inferior to FM 4, both in tech and in polish details, even though the basic game system is similar to 4. I could only stand to play a couple of FM 3 stages, where I finished FM 4 with pleasure.

yeah, I’ll agree that they need to streamline things, as long as heat, damage, and modifiers are still presented in a clear way. I really don’t want to lose the detail, but I don’t want it all under the hood either where I can’t understand at a glance what’s affecting whom and why. Hopefully, they’ll have a good visual system for telling you how fast a mech is travelling, possibly with ghost trails or something, as it would add a dynamism to the board that turnbased combat games tend to lack (and of course, it helps with gunnery decisions.)

I remember the biggest problem with creating satisfying scenarios back when we were teens was playing the game as you would if you were treading carefully with your life. As fun as it was to blow your mechs to garbage until the last man standing, it was so much cooler to play a campaign where you really didn’t want to lose your mechs because of the larger war effort. It quickly became apparent that Battletech really wasn’t well geared for making tactical retreats, and short ranged mechs suddenly became a real gamble if an engagement went sour (ie, one of your heavies takes an unlucky headshot from a gauss) because once they’re close enough to do damage, they wouldn’t be leaving until one side had won. It was even satisfying to lose a game but still manage to pull a mechs off your side of the map, all smoking and missing limbs, and not lose all that tonnage. To me, that’s what battetech is about, huge hulks that get chipped up and shredded, but still manage to keep going, engagement after engagement, cobbled together with spit and duct tape, and I hope this game will encourage that sense of preciousness and how you really don’t want to lose too many mechs. Even if you have money in the bank, mechs should still be a really finite ressource.