Home Forums Sci Fi 6mm Sci-Fi Battletech?

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    After uncovering my very own lost Star League cache of mechs that have gone untouched in too many years (most in need of serious maintenance or at least painting/repainting) I’ve been pondering what to do with them.

    Now, I enjoy Battletech but due to the complexities of the system I really enjoy (the insane depth of unit construction for example) versus trying to get wargamers to try it, most of my games have been through Megamek instead of on a tabletop. This needs to change.

    So given that you’re a knowledgeable lot (and include more than a few game designers who can pimp their own systems ) I figured I’d turn to you as for what the alternatives are.

    My general requirements are to field at least 12 models per side, but probably no more than 36 (1 company of mechs/tanks to a battalion), not counting infantry separately from transports. I’d also really like something with a bit of detail to it still (more than Future War Commander does anyway) because lets face it, half the appeal of Battletech is the incredible variety of big stompy death machines, how mechs even of the same class can play differently given the variant in use and they have their own character.


    Mr. Average

    I’ve never found a Battletech-like system that doesn’t go too far in the other direction, I hate to say it. Personally, I just play vanilla Battletech because of that. Like you, I’m attracted to the flavor of the system, which makes the weapons and tactics feel very different mech-to-mech, and I find that other systems currently available, in the interest of speed of play, have overly genericized the setup.

    One possibility I’ve thought of but never tried, however, is the modular units rules from Dirtside II. If one were to treat Battlemechs as units with eight modules of varying sizes (three torso components, two legs, two arms and a head), you could get a pretty well-armed mech that would truly dominate. However, it could end up being anticlimactic if you just shot off a leg in the first round of fire, which can happen. On the other hand, the Ogre Miniatures rules, while very simple, could work for more of a staged-damage setup, although they have the “All guns are basically the same” thing going on which I… Well, I won’t say I HATE it, but I think it’s a bit of a disappointment to swallow up that kind of techy spirit in a game into just a single attack factor.

    There is Alpha Strike, of course, about which I’ve heard good things. Again I have limited experience with only the playtest set and though it was fast to play it once again seemed a little bit too broad in its application to make the mechs feel really uniquely different, and also seemed susceptible to min-maxing because of how the weapons factors were abstracted.


    I’ve never found a Battletech-like system that doesn’t go too far in the other direction

    This does seem to be a big problem. Well, big for me too. There’s a lot of focus out there on big units, combined arms warfare and grand manoeuvre tactics but yeah, Battletech fights without the individual mech characters kinda miss the point of the game I think.

    I did take the opportunity to have a look at Alpha Strike, it has some flavour and does draw from a solid foundation but has the downside of needing two books to get all the basic rules covered (which I find annoying when referencing a game in play), it is thorough in covering stuff but still somewhat bland with that compression of all weapon systems on a mech or whatever into largely just a firepower/range number. Which just reminds me of how Epic: Armageddon was a game that learned from it’s predecessor doing exactly that and instead brought back individual weapon systems in a smart, fast-playing way.


    Sean Gewecke

    Personally, I’ve really enjoyed Alpha Strike and like that I can complete a game with 12-24 mechs per side within a couple of hours.  Yes, it loses the complexity of Classic BattleTech, but the speed of play more than makes up for it in my mind.

    Having said that, I’m not sure how generic Horizon Wars is going to be, but it looks like it will be based around Mechs.  Also, I’ve seen some people point out Mechs for Gruntz.  That might be a happy medium, but I’m not certain of that.

    The best player, isn't always the winning player.

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