BattleTech

 

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Catalyst Games released a new starter box set last month for the venerable BattleTech board game.  I remember looking at BattleTech back in high school (a loooooong time ago), but we never really got into it.  I think we may have thought it was too complicated.

The components of the new box set are fairly high quality.  The plastic mech models, especially, are very nice.  They’re high quality unicast model’s using new designs.  They really look the part of robust mechs striding the battlefield.  The set also comes with a number of cardboard stand ins, a pair of nice paper maps, some dice, a really well designed cardboard reference sheet and, of course, the rules.

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All the mech miniatures from the core box and the beginner set box, primered in sand color

So we gave the new BT box set a try a few weeks ago.  At first glance it seemed way more complicated than I like, and I wasn’t sure this was going to be the game for me.  However, the core rules, despite appearances, are actually fairly easy to work with.

It probably helps that the rules have been gradually refined over the last 30-ish years, so that they are basically consistent and they make sense.  This is unlike a certain British game company that shall go unnamed (Games Workshop 😉 ) that basically rewrites their rules sets every few years.

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Awesome and Battlemaster assault mechs painted up in camouflage pattern

Right now I’m still playing at what is considered Level 2 rules, which don’t include things like artillery, infantry, tanks, aircraft, as well as some of the more complicated situational rules.  However, the nice thing about BattleTech is that it’s designed so that you can layer additional complexity as you’re ready for it.

Nor have I tried my hand at building a custom mech yet, which is a huge part of the game.  I’ll give that a try once I have a better grasp on the important concepts of the game.

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The rest of the gang, painted up.

A friend also started a Savage Worlds BattleTech campaign.  It uses SW rules for the RPG bits, and BattleTech for the combat bits.  The hybrid rules have been working pretty well and the game has been a blast to play.

Cheers!

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