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Classic Battletech?

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18 Dec 2008 10:31 #15504 by Mr. Bistro
Battletech is one of those games I've always been "kinda" interested in, but never enough to do anything about. But the other day I was killing time in a Borders and saw Catalyst's Battletech Introductory boxed set. It intrigued me, especially when I saw it came with 24 plastic mechs. Has anyone else been buying these? I'm curious how far the Intro set would get me, and what necessary purchases I would have to make to enjoy the game. I don't mind buying more minis, but don't really want another game I have to buy a lot of expensive books for.

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18 Dec 2008 12:23 #15509 by VonTush
Replied by VonTush on topic Re:Classic Battletech?
I've played BT years back but dropped it once my group at the time split ways for college. Well with Catalyst taking over and releasing stuff I've poked around a bit...So by no means am I a pro but I'll share what I know.

Firstly what Catalyst's goal is: Over the decades that rules and fluff was printed for BT, there was really no central controlling force taht made sure balance was maintained and continuity existed and rule contradictions were present. Catalyst is looking to collect everything to streamline the rules and connects everything together.

The intro set will give you enough to play and keep playing for a while. Usually you'll play with less than a half dozen mechs per side so 24 will give you a lot of variety and many, many games of enjoyment. Basic expansion from here would be duplicate mechs of the 24 if you want a larger selection for army construction. Additional maps if you want other battlefields to fight on. Now I'm not positive, but I think there are some additional TechReadouts for mechs which don't have models in the game. I also think there are basic construction rules to build your own mechs. I'm not positive on these two though but if that is the case it just adds more possibility to the base game.

The Total Warfare book is what includes rules for Aorotech, infantry, tanks, VTOLs...etc. Really not necessary unless you want to expand into those areas. I believe all the rules regarding Mech on Mech combat in the TW book are included in the Intro Box but I'm not 100% positive. The book is a $40 hardcover book.

The second book is the Tech Manual. This gives you the tools to create and build your own mech designs as well as the ground and air units. It may contain additional TechReadouts but I'm not positive. This as well is a $40 hardcover book.

But those two books should cover just about everything that you want to know and quite frankly will cover more than you'd care to know if you're like me and just interested in Mech on Mech combat then half of those books are a waste of pages. Basically these two books collect all the rules for different combat units (both BattleTech and AeroTech) and unit construction for those games.

There are a bunch of "Technical Readouts" and other "Faction" books. These go anywhere from $20-30. Unless you really, really get into the world you shouldn't need any of them to play. I'm sure you can find TechReadouts for other Mechs online. If you want basic Mech on Mech combat then all you should need is the Intro Set. Everything else is just there to answer the question: "How far do I want to expand and take this?"

Hopefully this helps.

LvT

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18 Dec 2008 12:51 #15512 by Count Orlok
Replied by Count Orlok on topic Re:Classic Battletech?
I love Battletech but can never seem to get anyone interested in playing. I have the old core rules set, but haven't picked up the new rules. I am interested in someday trying to make a giant Battletech campaign with ground, air and space combat.

Battletech is the first real game I played when I was probably 14. I've been a fanatic since then, but never can get people to play it.

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18 Dec 2008 14:24 #15518 by Mr. Bistro
Replied by Mr. Bistro on topic Re:Classic Battletech?
LordVonTush wrote:

Hopefully this helps.

Absolutely! I'm only interested in 'mech fights, so the introductory box set will be all I need, and maybe the tech readouts. Knowing my love of miniatures I'll probably have to buy the tech readouts just so I can but a lot more miniatures.

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18 Dec 2008 15:03 #15519 by VonTush
Replied by VonTush on topic Re:Classic Battletech?
I did a little bit more poking around and there are infact Mech construction rules in the box. It seems like just the "basic" stuff is there which would be the familar mechs from the video games but doesn't have the "advanced" stuff like clan specific weapons or whatnot. It doesn't sound like there are additional readouts for Mechs not included in the box though.

Also check out the Catalyst website...There are a lot of downloads there. A lot look like preview articles, but it does look like you can download the QuickStart rules.

And damn you...The same day I was talking about trimming down my miniature collection, to just a handful whereas I now have close to a dozen, this one was going to get the axe since I haven't spent much time or money on it and thus don't have much to "cut my losses on" you bring this up...And now I'm having my doubts.

LvT

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18 Dec 2008 15:10 #15520 by VonTush
Replied by VonTush on topic Re:Classic Battletech?
Also, I don't know if it matters or not, but Catalyst is bringing the game back to its roots and focusing on it being map/hexed based. There are additional rules to bring it to an open table converting everything to inches but for that change is an additional 25 pages and an absolute cluster full of problems...That's what I've heard at least.

LvT

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18 Dec 2008 15:25 #15521 by DeletedUser
Replied by DeletedUser on topic Re:Classic Battletech?
I played the original BattleTech 20 something years ago and it was very popular with my gaming group at the time. We mainly played mech on mech battles and that was enough. Designing your own mechs was a great "between-games" as well. The Citytech and AeroTech expansions made the game a little too heavy for the group and play actually decreased once the expansions appeared.

Interestingly, echoes of BattleTech became apparent after I got hooked on Heroscape a few years ago. I think it scratches many of the same itches.

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19 Dec 2008 11:38 #15565 by Mr. Bistro
Replied by Mr. Bistro on topic Re:Classic Battletech?
I bought about 30 Mechwarrior mechs on the cheap a few years ago and played with them using homemade rules on my heroscape terrain. It didn't quite give me what I wanted though, and I prefer the old-school 'mech designs over the WK ones.

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19 Dec 2008 12:05 #15570 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Re:Classic Battletech?
Don't be a heretic. No post 3025 mechs!

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19 Dec 2008 12:40 #15574 by sydo
Replied by sydo on topic Re:Classic Battletech?
Count Orlok wrote:

I love Battletech but can never seem to get anyone interested in playing. I have the old core rules set, but haven't picked up the new rules. I am interested in someday trying to make a giant Battletech campaign with ground, air and space combat.

Battletech is the first real game I played when I was probably 14. I've been a fanatic since then, but never can get people to play it.


I am on the same boat :(

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19 Dec 2008 14:13 #15580 by Count Orlok
Replied by Count Orlok on topic Re:Classic Battletech?
One thing I've wanted to do is pick up minis for Battletech (despite since I can't play it), is it possible to pick up pewter Battletech minis for reasonable prices?

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19 Dec 2008 14:48 #15584 by VonTush
Replied by VonTush on topic Re:Classic Battletech?
I haven't looked at prices in a while and now that I did I'm quite surprised!

Just a few years back they were about $6-8 a pop on average. Now it looks like they run in a range of $8.50-12 per model.

A place I've had some luck with ordering is:
www.thewarstore.com

It looks like they average about 20% off. You'll just have to find the model on Iron Wind Metals (producer of BT minis) to actually see what you're buying.
http://ironwindmetals.com/d/index.php

Then there is always eBay where you might be able to find some lots for a reasonable price.

LvT

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19 Dec 2008 14:55 #15585 by VonTush
Replied by VonTush on topic Re:Classic Battletech?
Direct links:
http://ironwindmetals.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=16
http://www.thewarstore.com/ironwindmetals.html

Also, don't be surprised if the models don't come with a hex base. If I recall correctly those have to be bought seperately.

LvT

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19 Dec 2008 20:13 #15588 by jpat
Replied by jpat on topic Re:Classic Battletech?
Iron Wind is the official maker of the metal minis, and while they probably have the best selection at any one time, they also, of course, are only going to charge retail for them. Another place to look is Exodus Road Hobbies. They're about 15-20% off. Blame the higher prices on the higher cost of pewter; minis are pretty much more expensive than they were even a year or two ago.

Back to the box: As others have noted, you can go a hella long way with it, especially if you don't care about adding in "advanced" tech (what used to be Level 2 or Level 3 stuff). One thing I *would* suggest picking up with the box, or soon after, is a map compliation--both for some more variety and, unless CGL has already changed the crap maps in the original run of the box, for sheer quality reasons.

As to the hardcovers: There are a series of "core" books, although some are more core than others. Total Warfare is the full tournament-level ruleset. Techmanual has the construction rules for the "standard" 'Mechs. Those two would be the next logical step up. After that, Tactical Ops covers advanced rules for combat. There are some more books coming out, like Strategic Ops, which offers a simplified Aerotech system and some other cool stuff. There are also all kinds of fluff books, including the aforementioned Technical Readouts, "starter" books, Field Manuals, House handbooks, etc., not to mention the novels that are restarting.

If people can't find players at all, there's always MegaMek. I've never played it despite downloading the client, but it's a free CBT service.
megamek.sourceforge.net/idx.php?pg=main

One way to try to hook people, even without the box set, is getting the free Quick-Start rules, downloadable from classicbattletech.com.

I've reviewed the Quick-Start rules and the Intro Box on BGG.
www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/165041
www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/241082

CBT is probably THE one game I wish I could play more. As it is, it's about once every three months or so FTF.

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22 Dec 2008 09:15 #15633 by Mr. Bistro
Replied by Mr. Bistro on topic Re:Classic Battletech?
Well I got an early Christmas present from my wife - the introductory boxed set. It's rather chincy - everything is printed on the cheapest paper possible. Magazines are of a higher quality then this stuff. The included 'mechs are also more board game quality then they are miniature game quality. But despite the cheapness you get loads of stuff in the box. When I saw there were 24 mechs I was sure it would be like 6 models duplicated. But no - you get 24 different mechs, which really impressed me.

In some ways I wonder if the boxed set is a good business move for Catalyst. For people not looking to immerse themselves in Battletech it really is amazingly complete. You get a buttload of mechs, stats for all them including a few variants, very complete rules, including rules for designing your own units. I really dig this set, but it in no way makes me want to purchase more books.

I will definitely be picking up some more models from IW though.

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