Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Battletech Rumblings


I had planned on showing some pics of my latest additions to my Planet 28 forces this evening but was absolutely knackered when I got back from work so haven't had chance to get any pictures yet so hopefully tomorrow will see an update with some finished stuff in it.

Instead I've found myself shoving on some Death From Above Wargaming and Guerrilla Miniatures Games Battletech battle reports on Youtube and found myself once again drawn to the setting!

Interestingly it appears that many gamers are feeling the same way at the moment as a lot of GW gamers are making the move to the game of Armored Combat. Maybe its the fact that it hasn't changed much in 30 odd years or the rules are a bit like the old Rogue Trader, being a toolbox that allows you to really tinker with the size and complexity of game you want to play or the new and shiny and revamped miniatures which seem to be catching peoples attention but there is a real buzz about Battletech in the gaming community at the moment.

Coupled with the fairly readily available 3d printing tech that is increasingly allowing folks to print out their own customised mechs and the relatively low price point, with average forces being only four or five figures a side, it does seem that the latest round of kickstarters have got a lot of new folks interested in giving the game a try, be it classic Battletech on hexmaps, tabletop or the streamlined Alpha Strike.

I played quite a bit of both during the first lockdown but must admit that I've yet to play a game of it this year and am feeling the need to remedy this, either using my handy dandy cardboard counters, my own SD sculpted stuff or dare I say it, to buy some of those lovely new figures!

I'll need to rummage out my gubbins but annoyingly I've only got the digital editions which aren't that handy since my I-Pad went kaput a few years back so I'm thinking of investing in actually buying the box set, rules and tech readouts but have discovered that they are currently fiendishly difficult to get ones hands on, presumably as everybody else has had the same idea resulting in the usual sources drying up so I'll need to make do with what I've got for the time being. 

I'd be interested in hearing what other folks thoughts on the game are and if they've been tempted to dip their toes into the retro wonders of giant stompy robot combat.

In the meantime, All the best!


  1. I learned BT Classic about about 7 years ago with a starter edition. Played it with a friend who had gamed in BT A LOT in the early days (pre clan invasion). I can't say that it's a well aged rule set. It's all fun and games with 1v1 or 2v2 but seriously bogs down quickly. As a form of pre-cheap computer entertainment it has solid strengths: low investment cost and it provides hours of entertainment. Unfortunately, it provides too many hours of entertainment for a single game. Who has time to play a whole weekend for most of the day and night to resolve company on company actions. No body. Alpha strike IMO seems to be a better path for those interested in the battletech universe. It sacrifices on detail (and probably a bit too much) but costs are still low and you get a full game out of a feasible amount of time.

    1. I must agree about the clunkiness of the system for anything larger than a small skirmish! It does work well for a gritty low level fight between a couple of mechs but I dont have the patience to play anything bigger using classic. I've played a few games of Alpha Strike and it kind of reminds me of Epic 40k with its streamlined approach which is a big plus for me!

      It allows for a combined arms approach that would take forever in the original edition!

  2. Welcome to the party! I have 10 mechs painted, 3 used painted models, and about 4 that need to be prepped and painted. My buddy has a force ready to go. We just need to reschedule a game we missed Monday.

    We’re going Alpha Strike. It plays faster with more units. We feel the same with the complexity, you can scale it easily to your taste. I just wish the book was setup that way to make it more new player friendly.

    I also really wish Catalyst would get their stuff together. It doesn’t appear to be new found interest in the game that’s running product low; but rather a lack of supply. They run these kickstarters, and then don’t stock the product. It’s a shame, as I would love to buy more.

    Also hot tip: I found the first two box sets at Barnes and Noble here in the states. It’s a big box store, but I didn’t have to pay online inflated pricing. I was happy to find the Alpha Strike at a local store though!

    Good luck in your hunts; though personally I’d just like to see what you model up :)

    1. Alpha Strike is good fun and keeps the feel of Battletech without the ton of record keeping!

      Catalyst seem to have been somewhat caught out by the sudden success of Battletech as pretty much everywhere I've looked are out of stock!

      I'd love to see it at my Waterstones here in the UK as we've had lots of success with stuff like D&D but its really hard to get hold of anything here in the UK other than the older metal figures from Ral Partha Europe but the price of them has gone a bit higher than I'm comfortable with.

      I have actually made a couple of lances of my own, Wilson's Hussars and some Pirates but need to finish painting them!

  3. I think I never asked but, have you experienced any issues with lipped bases?

    My 8mm mech-ish project was meant to use lipped bases but everything I try to pick one my fingers slipped.

    Old fashioned round bases seem to be easier to pick but 3 dudes on lipped bases do look better.

    May be just the ones I got? You know, these are roughly standardised...

    1. I've not had much of a problem with lipped bases for the most part apart from some of the heavier metal figures I've got which can be a bit of a pain to lift!

      I do love the mini vignette the lipped bases give but the limited sizes are causing me some issues and I think I'd probably use normal rounds if I was to do it all again!

    2. You could add something u set the base to lift it a bit. Coin or whatever. Just enough of a boost to get a fingernail under and/or increase the surface area that you can grab a bit more.

    3. Wow that's a nice one, thanks. May try something no too thick so they don't look like hovering 👍👍