Didn’t want to bump this thread as it’s nearing LosTech by now. . .
But I’ve been playing the HareBrained Schemes BattleTech for awhile too. I’m in the process of training up my MWs to jump to Corromidir for the final mission. In between, I’ve also been playing MegaMek in the meantime, which is free to download, and a bit more flexible for Campaigns. It’s a good stand-in for other people sitting around the table with paper and pencil, and tracks campaigns for ya too. Been cruising the BattleTech Forums too.
Agreed, about the core game. It helped me mentally streamline the tabletop and MMek game process. I know that sounds kinda weird, but when I’m playing the other versions, I act/decide as if I’m playing the HBS version.
Something I admittedly am not a fan of is simply that bigger is always better (except for the King Crab, which is a piece of shit.) This is what ruins a lot of the additional content; if you land with 380 tons of mech, you’re going to just carve up a bunch of medium mechs. They can throw volume at you, but that’s a manageable problem and I don’t recall many missions where it was much of a concern. A few flashpoints place weight restrictions on you but at that point you have so many mechs that you can always max out the weight restriction and it NEVER makes sense not to. And when there isn’t a restriction you put a bunch of assault mechs out there and carve them up.
It would offer some strategic choice and interest if, for instance, you had the 400-ton weight restriction but could bring more mechs - if you had a choice between four Atlases or 6-8 smaller mechs, and if the smaller ones had a bit more in the way of capabilities (one big one is added in a later expansion, but even more.)
I’m actually most of the way through a career run using the Advanced 3062 mod. (Tried RogueTech, but my admittedly long-in-the-tooth computer couldn’t handle the increased performance burden, even though it plays vanilla just fine).
It adds a huge variety of mechs and equipment, and lets you do a lot more configuration. That lets you field a lot of interesting specialty mechs, and fight in different ways. For instance I’ve got a Black Knight that’s kitted up entirely for melee and spotting, with stealth armor and ECM but no ranged weapons. It’s a genuine hazard to any assault mech, and is quite survivable as long as it doesn’t stand still. Also have an Annihilator equipped with a pair of Sniper artillery guns, which is also a lot of fun. In a career mode it’s quite a journey to get there, starting from a handful of decrepit Urbies.
Balance in the mod is still something of a work in progress. I just updated the mod, and my Black Knight and other melee specialists went from being stupidly overpowered, capable of sprinting behind any mech in one or two turns to core it from the rear, to merely formidable. On the flip side, the heat system was made a lot more dangerous, so Inferno artillery rounds went from being a useful tool for suppressing the firepower of a particular target to causing nearly instant shut downs and core explosions.
On the other hand all the mechs can be a bit samey, once you can freely swap around internals - only difference between an Atlas and a King Crab or any other pair of equal-ton mechs is the hard points. The chassis quirk system overcomes that to a degree, but game-changing quirks are rare. And once you have enough tonnage and shiny equipment it can be hard to find interesting new challenges.
The DLC Flashpoints are clearly meant to be done during a career and not after the campaign, which means you can tackle them early on with limited resources. Career mode in general is so much of a sandbox it doesn’t really have a defined difficulty, its difficulty is whatever you choose it to be with the customized difficulty modifiers and how fast or slow you are trying to move up to heavier mechs.
Or at least that was the case pre-Heavy Metal which threw all semblance of balance out of the window and gives you tools to make everything in the game trivial. I decided to see if the better weapons and other buffs (like that +avoidance for pilot skill) would be enough for me to do well with a light-only lance. That was somewhat interesting, fighting 500+ tons of enemies with a 130-ton lance. Had some tense moments and narrowly avoided deaths when I did the 3.5 skull Headhunting, tons of fun too.
If I wanted to do another career without self-imposed limitations I’d use one of the big modpacks, vanilla is just too easy now.
Exactly. The literature is rife with references to mechs fulfilling specific roles- first line sluggers, second-line bombardment/snipers, etc… And the mechs are definitely set up like that- a JagerMech, for example, kind of sucks compared to other 65 ton mechs, because it’s not armored or armed to slug it out with a Thunderbolt or even a Catapult. But they’re great if you can sit back and use those ACs to hammer mechs at a distance.
The problem is that with 4 mech lance usually fighting at fairly long odds, there’s no room for that kind of thing- every mech has to be able to handle business at 2:1 or 3:1 odds.
Giving the player 8 or 12 mechs, even with weight limits, would open up a lot ofoptions for mech choice and tactical approach.
I just finished the scripted game this morning, and plan to be a freelance Mercenary for the next few weeks.
One of the things I like about HBS’ BattleTech versus MegaMek, is that BT makes upgrades, maintenance, and skill tracking easy. But, MMek, I think, has more depth into it and makes customization of players and equipment easier. I haven’t started a BT campaign just yet, but I’ll let you know. The graphical interface appeals to me.
I found, through the scripted campaign, that I didn’t use Mech’s in their specific role, adapting my fighting style to their capabilities; what I did do, was adapt the Mechs to my fighting style. If I had a long-range plinker*; I would more often than not sacrifice some stock firepower to add jump capability (enhance maneuverability). I rely heavily on balancing maneuver and firepower, rather than just standing in line and shooting.
Oh man, all this time to play BattleTech. What is a guy to do??:dubious:
[li]Original tabletop game/rules/sources/etc. at BattleTech, along with their Forums.[/li]
[li]The PC-based game that we’ve been talking about, is by HareBrainedSchemes BattleTech, and is similar to, but different than the Mechwarrior series.[/li]
[li]Then there’s the MegaMek version that I play, as an extended Mercenary campaign. MegaMek came out before HBS’ BattleTech, and is open source (has the benefits of add-ons, and customization). I’d been playing MegaMek for years, which is one of the reasons I still hang onto it.[/ul][/li]
I wish I still had my First Edition paper book and box set.
I finally got this game and love it. I played table top Battletech for many years in the late 80s and 90s and this is by far the best video game version I’ve ever played (and I’ve played most of the Mechwarrior games). I wish I’d gotten it years ago.