Sensors Online: A Quick Peek at the Battletech Beginner Game, and Inner Sphere Battle Lance!

For the price, it’s hard to complain!

Yeah, I’m covering it after A Game of Armored Combat…it’s a bit backwards but that is what shipping does sometimes!

The journey to have all the released Inner Sphere mechs is almost complete! While I missed the limited release Black Knight ‘Clanbuster’ they did recently (and with it selling out in 62 minutes, I imagine I’m not alone!) I now have all the newer plastic lance packs and boxed set mechs, for the time being.

I’ll admit, I’m not the target audience here. I’ve played a decent amount of Battletech by this point. But it is currently the only way to obtain a Griffin mech, so c’est la vie. I will be passing off the rest of the contents of the box to a friend, for him to teach other people the basics of Battletech!

That being said, lets have a look at what comes in the box!

I did remove the dice already, but this is what awaits you when you open the lid!

It’s a good first impression. With a short-story about Colby’s Commandos as well, which rather nicely is part one of the story included in the bigger A Game of Armored Combat box. It does help to fill in some details, and is a bit of a good tease to buy the next box. Front and center are the two included mechs, a Griffin as previously mentioned, and a Wolverine, identical to the one included in the larger box.

It’s a decent enough story, nothing too crazy.

Once you remove the plastic tray, you next see the included, high quality(if truncated…) record sheets for the two plastic mechs, and some other mechs.

These are really nice, and I would love to see these done as full record sheets, something that the Kickstarter apparently has, or had, but couldn’t do in the end.

Really nice! But I wish they were the full thing. Still, to teach beginners, I like what they have done.

Next up are some Pilot cards, to add some spice to your games. These are well done, and have some really interesting characters on them! While I can’t see myself using them, I’m really happy they are included.

These are really cool, and add a lot of flavour to the universe just briefly glimpsed thus far in the box.

After that is the Quick Start Rules, that will get you and a friend going pretty quickly. As a teaching tool to help new players, it tells you just enough to get a feel for the game, but lacks Heat Management, Internal Damage, and Critical Slots. I feel that while it is a good tool to teach beginners, including the rest would have been a good idea. That being said, the bigger A Game of Armored Combat box does include such aspects, and is marketed here as the next logical buy…which would be great if one could ever find it on shelves!

A bit basic, and teaching a much simplified version of the game, but serviceable.

Another good addition is the brief primer on the universe. I love additions like this, that add context to your games, and help newbies learn the lore quickly.

Welcome to the universe, new guys! Where pilots are cheap, mechs are expensive, and government is feudal.

You also get a fold-out paper mat to play on, and some punch out terrain and mechs. This is nice, to be able to play with mechs not in the box and get a feel for them before moving to the next box to get them in plastic.

The punch-out terrain is nice to add some variety, but I would have liked to see some buildings and bunkers included as well.

These are pretty high quality, but paper is paper so be careful. I had my sheets from the bigger box laminated, which is an option should you know someone with a bigger laminator.
Some punch-out mechs and terrain! An interesting inclusion.

Finally, and this dates my box a little, is an advertisement for Iron Wind Metals, and some nice coupon deals that would have been great had they still been valid. That being said, the doofy looking older sculpts will turn off new players, so I’m glad this is no longer included. Anyone not new to my blog knows I love me some metal miniatures….but these ones are very dated looking, and while the newer Iron Wind Metals releases use the new plastics as a base, too many are stuck in the 80’s and 90’s and are expected to be used. I cannot wait for the plastic lance packs to become more common, as they are much more beginner friendly, and won’t turn off newer players by there sheer ugliness.

Not even the ‘good deals’ are enough to get me past those ugly Inner Sphere sculpts. The Clan stuff doesn’t look bad here, but with the Clan Invasion box I’d skip these entirely.

Notable by there absence is the lack of any Alpha Strike cards, which is curious as that seems like a much more beginner friendly alternative game. These cards are included in the A Game of Armored Combat box, but sadly are left out here.

Now, for the main show, the plastic mechs! The Wolverine is the same as the A Game of Armored Combat’s version, but the Griffin is all new. Both are great sculpts with lots of detail.

The Wolverine! A nice brawling mech, that can take some serious punishment. While I really like the Unseen art of this mech, this plastic redesign is pretty good too.
The Wolverine has an ugly attachment on its foot to attach more securely to the base, something I find wholly unneeded given the durability of the mechs.
However, it is easily removed with clippers and file.
The Griffin! Again, I prefer the Unseen art (if not the model…) of this mech, but this redesign is a lot more faithful to that original then the Wolverine is. The bubble canopy for the cockpit remains, which is nice.
The rear detail is nice and well-defined as well!

Now onto the other purchase that I got in today, the Inner Sphere Battle Lance. A companion to both the beginner boxes and the Command Lance, the Battle Lance features some great looking plastic mechs.

Some more plastic mechs for my ‘Official’ Company. These are a really nice addition to my forces, adding some options for force construction!
Out of the plastic!
My Phoenix Hawk was ‘broken’ in the packaging, but it seemed to be just a case of not enough glue.
And is easily fixed! This is a great model, and I look forward to trying it out!
The Wasp is a mech I don’t actually know too much about. But its fast looking, something I could use in my Lances.
The Warhammer is an imposing Heavy mech, with dual PPCs for some long range hurt, and a host of other, smaller weapons for everything else.
And the Rifleman makes four! A great mech, originally designed for Anti-Aircraft. But as a long range support tool it is a must have. Another nice addition to my lance.

A great set, which has some real all-rounders. The only thing it lacks is an Assault Mech, with there being two Heavies, and a Light and a Medium. This will fill in the gaps in my ‘Official’ Lances.

Also included are some Pilot cards, which again add some great options for force building, and are full of flavour.

Some really interesting folks on these cards.

And also some Alpha Strike cards! While I don’t play Alpha Strike, I’m glad they are included here. I made the mistake of comparing Alpha Strike to Warhammer 40k last time. While they are both 3D games not played on a hex-map, Alpha Strike otherwise is an entirely different beast. My group doesn’t play Alpha Strike at all, as the complexity of the board game in all its hilarious ways is what drew us to play, so I doubt I’ll get a game of Alpha Strike in anytime soon, so I can’t tell you what it’s like.

Really neat, if a bit unneeded in my specific case. But it is nice that you get cards for two games in this box.

A final note, and probably the best part, is just how cheap both of these sets are. I paid $21 Canadian for the Beginner Box, and $25.99 Canadian for the Battle Lance. The Beginner Box comes with a lot of good content for that price, and is great for impulse buys. Any game that can give you a lot of fun for little over 20 bucks is a great buy. And the Battle Lance is ready to go; since most games are Lance on Lance fights, one could grab a Lance pack and play almost right away after getting the Record Sheets from somewhere.

All the Inner Sphere goodness hasn’t cost me too dear, and compared to 40k is incredibly cheap(although that isn’t saying much). I have a Company’s worth and more of official mechs for my ‘Official Company’, and I doubt I’m going to use all of them at once. And it sets me up really well to teach the game to some new players, of which both Ty of Hussars & Handgrenades and my friend Chris have recently shown a great deal of interest.

Battletech can be an intimidating game to get into, but the Beginner Box and A Game of Armored Combat both show that it doesn’t have to be. Catalyst have done a good job here of making the game accessible to newcomers, and I’m keen to get more people playing! Once Catalyst can sort out their stock issues, I’ll be really happy.

But, that is all I have for you today. I hope you enjoyed this look at the Beginner Box and Battle Lance, and I’ll have some more Battletech for you in the near future. For now, Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and keep your heat low and your damage high!

Not even Justice, I want to get Truth! Dougram 3D Prints for Battletech and Beyond!

Fang of the Sun Dougram has given us many things, one of them being awesome Mecha designs!

Dougram Lance(+1) is go!

So firstly, I must apologize. I said I wouldn’t do 3D Printed Battletech on the blog, but this is a special case. Firstly, I own all but one of these Mechs in plastic, and they are either in my possession or on the way, so I don’t feel overly bad about these guys. I’ve still supported Catalyst Game Labs. And two, I was not motivated to print these designs because of Battletech specifically, rather the Anime the team at FASA licensed some of the designs from.

I’m not actually the biggest Anime fan. I watch a hell of a lot of Slice of Life stuff, that being mostly mindless brain bleach for when I need to get my mind off something, but mostly I tend to get turned off the melodramatic plots that so plague some of the more serious offerings.

An exception to this is Mecha anime. Whereas western Mecha productions tend to be cartoons aimed at kids, like Transformers, or an excuse for some amazing action, like Pacific Rim, the Japanese have taken an altogether different tack.

The Japanese tend to aim their Mecha shows at children and young adults as well, but they aren’t afraid to tell much more adult storylines. Gundam is actually a pretty brutal premise after all, and my first anime was Gundam Seed, which while very melodramatic, didn’t shy away from incredibly violent deaths and adult themes like genocide and extinction. However, Gundam tells very grand stories, about grand heroes.

The original, that launched an industry!
What I watched in High School. Appropriate, considering the plot was full of teenage drama.

I prefer, overall, more down to earth stories. It was recommended to me a while ago to try out Gundam 08th MS Team, a short-run offshoot that focused on the ground war. It is best described as Mobile Suit: Vietnam, with Romeo and Juliet added. While also excellent, and I highly recommend it, it still has the ‘super-weapon’ plot of many other Gundam shows. It did scratch my itch for realistic Mecha anime for a while however.

This is a fantastic Gundam series…but it remains Gundam, so expect all the pitfalls that entails.

That was until earlier this week, while on a Battletech lore binge, I discovered one of it’s influences, an anime called Fang of the Sun Dougram. While I knew Battletech pulled much of their early mech designs from the show, I didn’t know just how realistic the tale it told was. As Tv Tropes puts it, “unlike Mobile Suit Gundam, Dougram doesn’t threaten the characters with superweapons which might end civilization at a stroke; it threatens them with politics and economics instead, which, over enough time, will have the same effect.

Down to earth Mecha fans rejoice, for the perfect show for us does exist!

That was very interesting to me. And I’m glad I gave it a chance! While I have yet to complete it, it tells a very strong story of how independence movements and revolutions end; not in battle, but at the negotiation table. And it helps that the action is very much a ground war. Gone are Mobile Suits flying in the air in dogfights, these ‘Combat Armor’ Mecha fight slow, plodding fights on the ground, where the most you have is jump-jets to maneuver vertically. Ground vehicles and infantry kill Combat Armor regularly, and the hero mecha, the Dougram, is simply better armoured and adapted for the local environment, and were it not for the skill of the pilot, Crinn, it would be just as easily destroyed.

A good example of how the show has down to earth fights! Very Battletech already!

Now, how does that lead into Battletech Tabletop? Well, while I was waiting for my plastic Mechs to arrive from Quebec, I found online some amazing Dougram Mecha in 6mm. While designed for use in Battletech, and equipped accordingly, they take their inspiration from the original source material. These designs were called the Unseen, because of all the legal trouble FASA had when it turned out the place they licensed the designs from may not have had the legal right to do so in the first place. To avoid any further litigation, these designs were shelved until redesigned much later.

What Thunderhead Studios has done is re-invent these older designs, and brought them up to a modern standard. While definitely old school, they are as crisply defined as a 3D printer can do, and look frankly amazing. I was completely smitten as soon as I started printing them! While I was a bit of a muppet removing the supports, and leaving an awful lot of damage on the models, most will be able to be fixed later. For now, let’s take a look at them!

First up, the Soltic H8 “Roundfacer”, or in Battletech, the Griffin. This is the Earth Federation’s standard Combat Armor, and sees use right until the end of hostilities. A beautifully crisp print, and probably the easiest one to print to boot!
The big bubble cockpit is my favourite feature, as is the main armament. A simple Mech, for when you don’t need the elite.
Next up is the Abitate T-10C “Blockhead”, or Wolverine for Battletech fans. This is the Earth Federations other mainline Combat Armor, once they get field-tested enough.
The only Battletech specific thing on this model is the removal of the pretty goofy chin machine guns in the Anime, being replaced by a medium laser. The rest is an extremely faithful reproduction!
The Autocannon is beautifully crisp, and the side-mounted handle is present, but stowed.
Next up is the Soltic H-102 “Bushman”, the only Combat Armor not to have a Battletech equivalent. Meant for mountainous terrain, this unit is lightly equipped and agile. Head mounted missiles and a mag-cannon give it some offensive punch. This print was a good example of why you should clean your FEP, as my printer had gunk on it that severely affected the bottom parts of the legs. I had to take a file and knife to clean it up, and it wasn’t a perfectly done job.
Next up is the famous Hero combat armor, the Dougram itself! In Battletech this is the Shadowhawk, a relatively common design. But in the Anime, the Dougram is a one-off prototype, specially made for the Deloyer environment. Amphibious, equipped with jump jets, and armed with a fearsome array of weapons, this is a combat armor that can really do the work!
This pose is great, a callback to the anime, where Dougram has to pull down the Linear Rifle from his back to fire it. Beautifully captured by the designer, this was a joy to print.
The fearsome Linear Rifle is but an AC/5 in Battletech, but is more akin to a Gauss Rifle in the Anime.
I have saved my favourite for last. This is the Hasty F4X “Ironfoot”, a combat armor originally fielded by the Earth Federation but became a mainstay of the Deloyer rebellion when an entire Army Group switches sides. In Battletech this is the Thunderbolt, but the designer saw fit to include the Dougram specific version, which is what I printed here.
Armed with powerful missiles, a linear rifle, and machine-guns, this is a well rounded Combat Armor. This one is also ‘flipping the bird’, which amuses me because I’m secretly a five year old.
This print actually has some missed supports, but they printed regardless, if poorly. Luckily they were all minor parts, and easily missed. Still, I have fixed the supports for it going forward if I want more of them.

All in all, a solid day’s worth of printing. I really enjoyed doing these, and I really want to get some paint to spray them all up. I used up my Grey, Russian Uniform, and Red spray cans, which leaves some German Field Grey and Silver. I’m probably going to hold out for another can of green coloured spray paint, as I want these guys to have a very down to earth, military paint scheme.

My 3D printing might have to take a hiatus soon, as my resin stocks are running low, and there is no stock available of Elegoo Grey resin available. I might switch to Phrozen Aqua Green, which has the advantage of being calibrated for my printer already. We shall see!

Anyways, that is all I have for you fine folks today. I’ll try and get these, and my official mechs, painted as soon as possible. Then I can show them off!

Happy War-gaming wherever you are, and keep your heat low!

All Systems Nominal: Battletech Tabletop!

Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Mech Record Sheet!

I got a nice treat on my Birthday today when this stuff arrived early!

Battletech. It’s a 37 year old game of incredible depth, great backstory, and a great way to waste an evening in mindless(or calculated…) Mech warfare in the 31st Century.

I didn’t expect to like this game. I’m usually a fan of simpler rulesets, and the Mech record sheets look very, very imposing. But, around late summer of last year, I was coaxed into a game.

I had an immense amount of fun, but I didn’t pull the trigger fully. I got a few mechs here and there, but only got to play a few times. I enjoyed every game, but the sheer depth of the background lore was imposing…yet very appealing. I got distracted by other games.

It was during the third lockdown that I finally got bit by the Battletech bug, and it bit hard. Helped by the Youtube channel, BlackPantsLegion, and their Tex Talks Battletech series(which I cannot recommend enough, they are better then most documentaries, at least their later videos!), I dove deep into the lore. And there I drowned in it.

A fancy screenshot I edited with Prisma from MechWarrior 5. A Marauder from a friendly Lance is viewed through the fog from the cockpit of a Catapult.

It is a truly deep universe, and with 37 years of worldbuilding and few if any retcons have made for excellent study material. Every mech, and there are hundreds of them, have a lot of backstory, production history, variants etc. And that is before getting into the history of Mankind prior to the 31st Century, with warfare on a scale never seen before rendering a lot of technology from Man’s golden age lost. Warfare has taken on a sporadic, feudal appearance, with smaller armies fighting since they simply don’t have the resources for the big wars anymore. The Great Houses, the Successor States to Star League, fighting over its corpse like vultures. It makes for fascinating reading….

Another Prisma Screenshot! The Videogames are truly a great gateway drug into the Universe.

And an excellent backdrop for a really, really fun game. While very complex, the core gameplay itself isn’t all that difficult to master. It’s all the bananas situations you get yourself into, like what happens if my Mech falls off a cliff into another Mech, which happened because a Mech pushed you off in the first place! Or jumping onto another Mech, called a Death from Above attack. Melee is not only possible, but some Mechs are designed for it from the outset! Long range missiles can be directed by spotter mechs. And that is before you add infantry, tanks, aircraft, and a myriad of other combined arms forces into the mix!

May be an image of 1 person and map
My friend K.R Smith and I play some Battletech!

Now I had jumped in originally with Battletech: Total Warfare, and learned how to play from that massive and unwieldy tome of a rulebook. So it is not like I’m entirely new on how to play. But a couple things to note here. While Catalyst Game Labs has said they don’t care what happens in peoples homes regarding 3D printed mechs, and that is what I cut my teeth playing the game with, I decided to support the company beyond just buying the books, and grabbed the starter box, A Game of Armored Combat. This was a difficult box to get, as they are out of stock almost everywhere. I eventually found a copy at a French-Only online store out of Quebec, and using the power of Google Translate, it was soon on its way, along with one of the new Lance Packs, the Inner Sphere Command Lance.

This gives me 12 of the new, redesigned plastic sculpts to play with. And while the detail is a little soft in places for my liking, and some components are warped(this is easily fixed with hot water, to my knowledge.) I am very happy with them! Lets have a look!

Oh, you tricky little bastard, I finally found ya! Lets take a peek inside!
Open the box, and we see 6 Mechs, and a short story about Colby’s Commandos. No idea who those guys are, but I’ll read it later.
Hmmm, I do love me Military Sci-Fi…
A Primer, which is good to get to know the Universe. Nice addition! Not everything needs to be rules, after-all?
The rulebook. While not the comprehensive rules for the full game of Battletech, it is enough to play most of the experience, at least that part that is Mech focused.
The booklet of Mech record sheets! These are meant to be photocopied, and not written on directly! These are also the full sheets; the separate Beginner box has nicer, but less useful quick sheets.
More mechs! They look imposing. They really aren’t…and you don’t want to be doing this record keeping the hard way!
A very handy reference card. This is in fairly thick gauge cardboard, which is good, since for a while outdoor games are all I’m getting!
This is a cardboard punch-out sheet that includes 8 standee copys of the included mechs, if one wants to play a game with a friend with no mechs. The terrain here allows you to modify the included paper mats with new terrain features.
The double-sided paper hex-mats. These allow you to play on either Grasslands or Desert terrain. My friends have very nice neoprene maps, but these will offer a different experience. I might get them laminated.
A neat addition to this box-set and the Lance Packs, these unique pilot cards allow for some interesting MechWarriors with special abilities to mix-up play a bit.
Now for something I don’t see myself using. These are cards for the Alpha Strike game, which is basically 40k but Battletech. Not that its bad, but it’s not what I’m interested in.

The other set I got, the Inner Sphere Command Lance, is a newer product. The detail is a bit sharper, and in fact it was that Marauder redesign that got me to reconsider the official models. It is just that good! Lets have a look at those as well!

Fairly uninspiring packaging. Included are some Alpha Strike cards and Unique Pilot Cards.
While the AC/5 Barrel needs some help from Pfizer, the detail on the Mech as a whole is sharp. I’ll clean up the mold lines and straighten the barrel, then paint it…which I am excited to do.

Now, I have a copy of the Beginner Box on the way, mainly just to grab the Griffin Mech only included in that box. I also have an Inner Sphere Battle Lance on the way, but that order was delayed, and is apparently getting shipped later since it wasn’t in stock. I’m not sure if I’ll actually get it, since the Lance Packs are very difficult to find in Canada, at least in terms of ‘In Stock’.

I’m going to think about how to paint these Mechs. There is a lot of Mercenary Companies, House Regiments, and various other ways to paint them up, so I have some decisions to do. The Northwind Highlanders and Davion Brigade of Guards are both very interesting…

But that is all I have for today. I have a birthday to celebrate, after all! Happy War-gaming where-ever you are, and I hope you have a great day!

Heat Critical: A ‘Second’ Impression of MechWarrior 5:Mercenaries!

Flawed but Fun, a quick look into 31st Century video game warfare!

Is it fun? Oh yeah, loads. Is it good? That’s up for debate. Is it the Mechwarrior game we deserve? I’ll leave that up to you.

So, I don’t normally do video game reviews. It’s an overly saturated market, and people usually do a far better job then I would do, so I don’t bother. However, MechWarrior 5:Mercenaries is a special case.

While I have yet to reveal on this blog my love of Battletech the franchise(which, I will remedy in short order, more on that later!) I do have an almost year long fascination with the universe. I have played a little bit of ‘Classic’ Battletech at the Clubhouse and at home, and the Harebrained Studios Battletech game drew me right into the deep, 37 year’s worth of lore and backstory, which unlike 40k has had few, if any retcons or revisions. Suffice to say, it is a lovely universe in which to play in.

MechWarrior on the other hand, I missed the boat somewhat. I hadn’t played the previous, quite well regard, previous games. And yet, everyone I had met who had raved about them. Immersive, mech warfare that let you customize to your hearts content, take part in epic parts of the Battletech storyline, which the MechWarrior games are a part of, if only in broad strokes. All in either first or third person.

The previous titles took place during some of the craziest lore developments, like the Clan Invasion of 3049-52 and the Fedcom Civil War of 3062-67, among other things. Both of these periods had a lot of stuff happen, and put you right in the middle of both events.

MechWarrior 5, by contrast, takes place starting in 3015, during the Third and Fourth Succession Wars. While a plenty interesting setting to be sure, it wasted that potential.

Now, some real life knowledge about the game that explains what I mean. MechWarrior 5 originally was supposed to release on Steam and other platforms, and even accepted payment for pre-orders on Steam to that end. However, it was a casualty of the whole Epic Game Store debacle. The Steam orders were cancelled, and the game was to remain on Epic as an exclusive for at least a year. This, despite the justified backlash, turned out to be a good thing.

I played MechWarrior 5 on Xbox Game Pass about 8 months ago, and that version was much the same as the Epic release…and it was awful. The graphics weren’t great, but that didn’t bother me too much.

The gameplay when controlling the actual mechs was pretty great and gave you a good idea of how it feels to pilot these steel behemoths. But the game thought that difficulty meant throwing enemies at you near constantly, and often from behind, places you had already cleared. These enemies spawning right behind you weren’t just annoying, they added artificial difficulty, as they now had great shots into your rear armour to boot! This combined with ‘friendly’ AI shooting you by accident, or them walking into your shots, made it a miserable experience unless you had friends to play co-op with.

Many of the games first mods were simply to get rid of some the worst spawn behaviors. Enemy mechs wouldn’t use their jumpjets either, which made taking on enemies reliant on that tech to make their mech ‘good’, rather easy to pick off. The tutorial missions were also kind of redundant, asking you to learn things that never came up in the full campaign. It was a mess, and adding on the tacked on revenge plot, a badly done one that makes you feel nothing for the people you are supposed to avenge, and this was an experience I could live with not completing.

The Devs did notice all the complaints leveled against them, and seemed to look at what mods were most popular to add to the game. And when the game was set to release on steam, it looked like they may have taken the chance to address almost everything I just criticized. And not all of it would be locked behind a paywalled DLC.

A much more mature Main Menu sets off the new release nicely.

I played this new Steam release without the Heroes of the Inner Sphere expansion, so I cannot say how good the content is from that one. But the changes were immediate.

The tutorial mission, which still voiced by people who sound like their in a community play, at least has some pathos and is far, FAR more visually interesting. Without giving too much away, at least dear old Dad gives a good fight before dying in this one. Graphics appear, while not more modern, at least a bit more appealing.

The rest of the tutorial missions now at least serve a purpose; while unchanged the mechanics learned are actually in the rest of the game now. While the early game hell is annoying, once Co-Op unlocks, the magic begins to happen.

Co-Op is frankly, really freaking awesome! Sure, I wish I could bring my mechs over from my campaign, but other then that I can use my friends stable of Mechs, and help him during his campaign. Which, given that friendly AI is among some of the stuff not fixed, is a good thing. We did use a mod to turn off friendly fire, as it was really annoying!

But being able to pilot my Mech while watching my friend do the same is a certain amount of fun, and I spent a good 5 and a half hours doing that. We started on my friend, Chris’s campaign, where he had already grinded for some great mechs. I spend about 3 hours playing with him, and were then joined by my other friend, Kyle, who rocked a Warhammer like a God of War. I myself piloted a Marauder, and despite cooking myself a few(a lot) times, it was a great day.

Guten Morgen! Steiner Scout Lance says hi!

We didn’t have any enemy lances ‘just’ spawn behind us, if they did it was telegraphed long in advance with a dropship. But even that only happened once. The missions, being mostly generated on the fly, were fun time-wasters, and the campaign management of minding our funds, buying new Mechs and weapons, and traveling around the Inner Sphere, taking in the news as we went, was a really immersive experience. In short, I had a blast!

Now, I was having so much fun I forgot to take a lot of pictures, so I quickly booted up a game of instant action and got some ‘action’ shots. While staged, they do look nice!

A lance of Davion Guards on a mission to put down a local revolt.
Its not a looker, but the graphics are appealing enough,
While you don’t see civilians(arguably a good thing!) there are signs of life. Cities do look lived in, with little billboards and signage that add ambience.
Not where I would put an HPG, but Comstar gonna Comstar.
Sorry Smokey the Bear, I caused a forest fire.
A lot going on in this picture, as Rebel mechs target mine.
Enemy mechs now jump, in this case, into my waiting PPC’s
More city-fighting. CityTech?
Eat particle laser, turret!
Job done, back to the Leopard.

All in all, the Mech combat is fun and engaging, if simple. The campaign management is fun, but could be better if Salvage was more prevalent. The story is still pretty dire, and the voice-acting kinda sucks.

But as an engine for Co-Op fun across the Inner Sphere? It is way better then MechWarrior Online( I hate playing against people. I’d rather work with them!). A fun romp around space, perhaps a good bi-weekly game. And since Co-op is drop in drop out, it doesn’t even need to be the same stable of pilots! A great game for 2-4 people to play with big, stompy, robots.

It’s kind of a bad game, and it needs a lot of polish still. But, what can I say? I enjoy my time with it. And I hope you do as well!

That is all I have for this article, but I do have some intriguing mail potentially today that may mean another Battletech article really, really soon! Happy War-gaming and Video gaming wherever you are, and keep your Heat levels low!