Tuesday, March 20, 2012

BattleTech: Won.

This game, on the other hand, achieved far less than I had a right to hope for.


BattleTech started off promising, but boy did it turn stupid real fast. When it ended, it was a complete surprise. I thought the game was just beginning, and at most, I was ending the second chapter, not the entire game. I won it in about eight hours. It's a good thing it ended when it did, though, because by that time it had pissed me off so much that I was thinking about quitting.

Let me try to summarize what happened. After fleeing the ruins of the training citadel to the Starport, I explored for a little while, bought some clothes to replace my Lyran Commonwealth uniform, repaired my armor, got healed in a hospital, fought a couple of battles in the arena, and attended a medical seminar to boost my doctoring skills. I then attended this "inauguration ceremony" to welcome the new Kuritan overlords to the planet. At the ceremony, I was roughly accosted by Rex Pearce, one of my father's associates who told me he was a member of the Crescent Hawks, a mercenary band run by Archon Katrina to which my father belonged. (I thought this game was supposed to be about the Crescent Hawks' inception!)


One by one, the Crescent Hawks joined me.


Rex told me that my father had found a stockpile of a bunch of mech parts and Katrina wanted me to help find the cache. This depended on a password that my father had left me on a holodisk plus a retinal scan of Rex, who joined my party. He suggested we find the other members of the Crescent Hawks, who must have scattered when the Kuritans attacked.

The next phase of the game consisted of my wandering around to the different cities on the island and picking up the other members of the Hawks. Rex came with his own mech. I salvaged another one after winning a combat, and picked up a third when I rescued a Hawks member from jail. During the rest of the game, two of the original three mechs were destroyed, but I was able to replace them by salvaging new ones and paying beaucoup bucks to have them repaired at the Mech-It Lube.


I never found out what this was about. Despite having a "damaged engine," the mech still ran fine.


I ultimately ended up with five party members, including a technician (Edward) and a doctor (Zeke) who couldn't pilot mechs but were instrumental in their roles. As we roamed the land and fought, I adopted the general expedient of attacking when I outnumbered the enemy and retreating when I didn't. Although I won most of the combats handily, it generally cost more to repair and re-arm my mechs than I made from the kills.

This is after firing about $600 in rockets.


Thankfully, my investments continued to perform well and netted me most of the cash that I needed.


 

One of the guys that tried to join my party, "Rick," turned out to be a spy. The game told me I was suspicious of him immediately, and he tried to betray me in the next combat.


Fortunately, I was able to kill him without any problem:

 


None of my skills increased from use--I guess they only do that during training--but I was able to pay to get various members skills in medicine and repair.

Anyway, a holodisc reader cost something like $7,000, which I never had. I happened to return to the barracks at the training academy, where I found one and used it to read the holodisk. In it, my father told me about the cache of parts but the disc was damaged. Rex suggested we take it to a Dr. Edward Tellham, one of my father's associates, to get it fixed.

Interspersed with this were weird little episodes in the various towns. In one, I broke into the mayor's house to try to use his holodisc reader and ended up with some slapstick nonsense when he came home unexpectedly and I had to try to hide and distract him to escape. This wasn't anything I played; it was just text the game gave me. In another town, I went to a movie theater and watched a ridiculous film (shown in animated cut scenes) about MechWarriors. Neither was important to the game's plot.


None of this is making me feel that my previous disdain for the BattleTech franchise was wrong.


At length, through my explorations, I found Dr. Tellham's house and went through this weird extended episode in which he tried to intimidate my party and Jason turned all emo on him. This followed a series of questions about medicine, technology, and mech piloting that my various characters were able to answer. I'm just going to type this part out so you can see how goofy and verbose the game got here, plus how bad the writing is:

You bravely hold your ground as the face comes so close that you could use the pupil of its eye as a full-height mirror. The face stares at you for a while and then hisses out its question: "Jason Youngblood. Tell me where your father is!"

You say you don't know. The face repeats the question.

"I don't know!"

It demands an answer.

"He's dead!"

The face grows more angry.

"He's dead, he's dead." The emotion is taking you over. The face bellows "TELL ME!"

"Tell you? I'll show you!" With that declaration, you unholster a machine gun and fire round after round at the horrible face. A look of genuine surprise shows on the face and it vanishes. You continue firing, tired of these games, tired from exhaustion, and fueled by frustration. As soon as your ammo clip runs out, a side door pops open, and the face reappears. This time, it's human-sized and attached to the rest of the body.

Still running on adrenaline, you heft the machine gun and demand an explanation from him regarding the questions about your father. Dr. Tellham explains that Jeremiah still owes him some C-bills and some Xantarian ribeye steaks for the lock he created, and he just wanted to collect. You then demand the meaning of this gauntlet you were forced to run. He explains that it is meant to scare off peddlers and salesmen. The questions will screen out anybody who is too unintelligent to waste time talking to. He then expresses sorrow over your father's death, because Jeremiah was a good man.

This brings you back to the real reason you are here. You show him the holodisk and ask if he can repair it for you. He says that it would be the least he can do, after what he put you through. He rubs some complex goo on the disk, then runs it through some sort of buffing machine. When that is done, he hands it back to you. You examine the surface of the disk and are impressed with the excellence of the repair. There is no evidence it was ever damaged. Then you ask if there is a private room you could retire to, so that you may view the rest of the message. He leads you to a small room with a viewer on it. You watch the rest of the message and learn the password. There is also quite a bit of mushy stuff, and it takes you several minutes to regain your composure before you can return to the others.

You offer to pay off your father's debt, but the eccentric old inventor waves it away, and instead asks what he can do for you. You ask for directions tot he nearest Star League Cache, and are shocked when he tells you that it is hidden in a cave just southest of here. You thank him, and leave his hut.

That was as painful to read as it was long. Anyway, I found the entrance on an island and entered.




At this point, the game turned into the most ridiculous B.S. I've ever experienced in a CRPG. The cave was a maddeningly long and pointless affair in which I had to open a series of 10 doors. Each door required a combination of three "imprints" on a keycard. Machines that made these imprints were found at various places in the maze. When you walked up to a door, it didn't tell you what codes you needed, only whether your key card had the wrong codes. If none of this makes any sense, the point is I had to wander around the maze for about an hour, trying different combinations of imprints, until I finally got the doors open. There was no skill to it, only rote repetition. And there were no encounters or anything in the caves. By the time I was done, I was steamed.


You had to try this multiple times per door, and it's not like the terminals were close to each other. This may be the dumbest game puzzle I've ever seen.


At last I found the cache of parts, at which point I had to send a message to Katrina to tell her. This required solving a puzzle in a map room by which I bumped into planets and changed them into squares. It wasn't so much a puzzle as a copy-protection exercise; the chosen planets had to match indicated ones on a map that came with the game.


 When I saw this map in the game materials, I allowed myself the fantasy that I would actually be traveling to other planets.


Once I had the code entered, I was able to fire up the "Hyper-Pulse Generator" and call Katrina. I fully expected her to assign me some new quest, but instead this was the end of the game! She offered me a commission in the Lyran Commonwealth, but I declined in favor of pursuing my belief that my father was still alive, so she made me the new head of the Crescent Hawks instead. Joy.




What makes this particularly ridiculous is that I really didn't have to fight any battles! The game is called BattleTech, for god's sake, and it goes on about the different tactics and mechs and weapons, but when it came down to it, I only needed to know how to fight to get past the random encounters, and frankly I could have evaded or fled most of these. The last third of the game had no combats at all, and there was no final battle needed to win. All the encounters were random--nothing scripted, no major villain. I never even fully upgraded all my mechs. I really have no idea what this game was supposed to be about.

This is too bad, because the battles had some promise. Most of the time, I let the computer fight them, but every time things looked evenly matched, or worse, I manually controlled my mechs. Successful combat, I found, required concentrating fire on individual enemies, killing them one at a time. There were terrain considerations; hiding in trees made it more likely that enemies would miss, but increased the odds of the trees catching on fire and overheating my mechs. (Overheating is a big part of the game, and it depends on how fast you move and how many weapons you're firing.) I was just starting to get good at it when suddenly the game ended.

The video below shows some manual combat followed by a computer-run combat. In the latter one, I lose one of my mechs but am able to salvage a new one from the detritus of the battle. The first battle begins with me thinking the enemies are south of me instead of northeast, so I end up walking the wrong way for a few minutes.



And this video shows the end of the game, setting up for the sequel: BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge. It's not a CRPG, though, and after this game I wouldn't play it even if it was.


I'll save the GIMLET for next time, but it's not going to be pretty.

67 comments:

  1. First off, the game plays a lot more smoothly if you run away with your Mech during the final training mission instead of letting it get shot out from under you.

    Second, the sequel is a lot longer and a lot more Battletech-y than this game. Personally, I liked the second better, it is a game of tactics and careful timing, but unfortunately it is also extremely lucky based and I only get as far as I did by exploiting the AI.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't see how keeping the mech would have made a huge difference. I didn't find it that hard as it was.

      Delete
  2. Oh boy, sounds like a half-finished game to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To me, it felt like a prologue to a much larger series that never materialized. I know there was a non-CRPG sequel, but...I just don't understand why they would have chosen to make the first one as a CRPG.

      Delete
  3. I didn't mind that encounter with the doc because I enjoy eccentric situations, but the developers didn't really do anything more with this guy or appearantly anything else afterword, huh?

    Pour a gimlet on this game, set it on fire while drinking a gimlet, and then that should put you in the right mindset to lambast this game in your GIMLET.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Talk about bad game! No battle in a game supposedly based on battle, and not much of a story either. I'm glad it was a short game though. I think graphics is supposed to start getting better right about now, maybe developers started to get more funding or something. It would be interesting to see how much money the developers spent on the games, I'm guessing they must have cut some corners with Battle Tech since you don't even get a complete game it seems.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is kinda of the problem with Battletech RPGs (even the pen and paper ones), Battletech is a great wargame, but does not work very well for RPGs. The problem with repair cost, the difficulty of fitting the Battletech system into RPG situations, and the inflexibility of the setting. Please don't judge the genre by Battletech.

    PS Engine damage represents damage to the engine's shielding causing more heat to escape. In Battletech the engines have so many protection and safety systems that damaging the engine directly is very hard. It is also very bad. (BOOM)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That surprises me Unknown; Considering the detail of the universe and the book I read, it seemed ideal for CRPGs. The rules might need some tweaking to make it work with repair costs and such, but every game does when moving from another game type to an RPG. I'd say they need to be less faithful to the wargame rules, and make an RPG.

      Delete
    2. I guess the question--and this is an honest question; I'm not presuming the answer--is this: If you took the mechs out of the BattleTech universe, would it still be enjoyable as a story and setting? If so, it probably could have made a good CRPG and the developers just bollixed this one up. If not, then it's probably best left as a strategy game.

      Delete
    3. I'm not sure; it is kind of centred around the mechs, plot wise. I am not really familiar with it (I've read one novel), but it sure seemed like it. There was as much focus on the factions and backstabbing as there were mechs. You'd need a new reason for the houses lording it ever everyone, but other then that, yeah, it would work. Doubly so the part with the clans. Lost warrior tribes don't need no stinking mechs.

      Delete
    4. I've thought about this more; The mechs are a central part of the story, but I think you could change them to something else without damage (Magic swords, dragons, spaceships, motorcycles). You just need some reason for warefare to have gone back to a clash between professional armies, rather then total war.

      However, I think the universes can stand on its own; They did have enough material to put out a few hundred novels, and at least one of them didn't suck, and Micheal Stackpole did a lot of them, and he is pretty good.

      Delete
    5. Well some way Battletech is somewhat similar to Dragonlance but more intricating. Somewhat feudal setting with mechs used as weapons. Change dragons to mechs and regular ships to spaceship and you are in the BT universe. All-in-all it is a suitable environment for role playing.

      Delete
    6. Yeah, I think the problem with this was really bad writing. Get Micheal A. Stackpole writing the plot, something involving treachery between two clans, multiple factions you can side with, hiring on with different groups to do missions, etc.

      Delete
    7. The funny thing is, Stackpole did work in the videogame industry back around this time - he was one of the key Wasteland team members. But he was probably busy with that.

      Delete
    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    9. First of all; He was just getting started writing for Battletech in 1988. Second of all; I think I know what he was busy with: He published two Battletech novels in 1988 (One of which, En Garde, which is how I know a bit about the universe). Then he put out 2 more in 1989. A

      Warrior
      1988 Warrior: En Garde
      1988 Warrior: Riposte
      1989 Warrior: Coupé
      Blood of Kerensky Trilogy
      1989 Lethal Heritage (FASA)
      1990 Blood Legacy (FASA)
      1991 Lost Destiny (FASA)

      He was probably also busy with BOTH Wasteland (1988) and Bard's Tale III (Ouch, I guess no one writes all good things; I think we can forgive him one bad game when he was also working on 4 novels and another game) which as we know came out in 1988.

      Also; He is back and working on Wasteland 2 for anyone following that (I finally caved and bought it when I found that out; since they have hit the 1.5 million raised it will also be available for Mac and Linux)

      Delete
    10. Oh yes, I'm sooooo excited about Wasteland 2!

      Delete
    11. Linux version means I will put money into it now.

      Delete
    12. Actually our Addict would have a much easier quest if he was playing every CRPG made for Linux.

      Delete
    13. I agree; we should make The Addict play all Linux-exclusive CRPGs; BOTH of them!

      Delete
    14. I was about to say, if that was his quest, then he'd be done by now.

      Delete
  6. So far it seems that the games you ended up skipping haven't help up, and you were right to skip them. I hope the next two are better (I'm sure Wizardry V isn't going to change).

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, Crescent Hawk Inception is not a great game, not even a good game, but I think it is far from the worst games you have tested so far dear Addict. I wonder what you mean by saying that the GIMLET won't be pretty. I mean, noone could have expected that it will be a great game, it does not have the same fame as some old games, but somehow I feel, that after Bard's Tale 3 It is still lightyears ahead of gameplay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no one could have expected that it will be a great game, it does not have the same fame as some old games

      "No one could have expected" that a great game could ever be unfairly overlooked? No, actually, I'm pretty sure that happens with some frequency.

      Delete
    2. It's the last third that really galled me. To offer a game that's set in a universe primarily about battling robots, and then to utterly abandon this premise and instead offer a mind-numbingly idiotic puzzle that requires no skill or even combat, and then to never return to the combat part at the end.

      Delete
    3. Well, I just finished the rating, and it does outperform BT3.

      Delete
    4. On to Wizardry! As I recall you liked, but didn't love that one? Or was that what you were playing when you took your break?

      Delete
    5. If he's playing in alphabetical order still for this year, then he's got Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic and Star Command to deal with before tackling Wizardry V again. Here's to hoping by late April we'll be reading about 1989 games. :)

      Delete
    6. Opps. I misread his list. Onwards to Sentinel Worlds! I really hope it doesn't get worse!

      Delete
  8. I hate to say it, but you might actually enjoy the sequel more. Since it is basically just a war-game, there is less horribly written story or frustrating puzzles. The real-time system took a little getting used to(but you can ramp down the speed to minimal or paused at will). It has a much wider variety of mech's to play or fight with. It was also generally pretty wide open on letting you find your own approach to each mission, but some of them with time limits or overwhelming numbers got a little unfair.

    I got both of them in a CD 3-pack with the original Mechwarrior.
    ----------------
    On the ending- My first time playing through I got stuck on that keycard maze very badly, I had to give up on it for months. Finally I went back and drew out a map to figure the thing out. And then I didn't realize the copy protection planet thing out until a much later play-through.

    Did you find the hidden room in the key-card maze? Completely optional, but yet another text message that doesn't actually affect the gameplay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yeah! I completely forgot about that! Completely by accident (I held down the "down" key too long), I found myself wandering through a secret door and into my room where I found this ultra-powerful hidden mech that my father had owed. AN ULTRA-POWERFUL HIDDEN MECH THAT I COULDN'T #$)*)@ING USE!!!! Why did they even put it there?

      Delete
    2. Sounds like classic "opps, out of money" syndrom to me.

      Delete
  9. Wow that is some bad writing and ultimately bad game planning. It makes me wonder if they even thought about giving the player a satisfied feeling toward the end of the game. No story related combat? Nothing but generic random encounters... I think you gave the game a fair shot, can't wait for the GIMLET.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's almost like all the creativity went into the starting area. All the shops and their vendors are well done, with detailed decription of the vendors, but when you arrive at Starport the excact same descriptions are used?

    And the prison break was just embarraingly bad, and felt much more like an Adventure game than a proper CRPG. Would have been much better if you could try to bluff or at the very least have direct control of the fighting. In a modern ArPeeGee it would have been a very costly cinemagraphic cutscene instead...
    Contrast this with the starting area when the Kuritans attack. No "cutscene" but you chose to fight or run, with four possible outcomes:

    1. You manage to flee on foot.
    2. You manage to flee with a mech.
    3. You manage to defeat the Kuritans. Difficult, but possible.
    4. You die.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I call BS on 3, pics or it didn't happen.

      Delete
    2. I didn't get good enough to do it, but if there's one thing I've learned about CRPGs, it's this: given enough luck, skill, and willingness to re-load, just about any battle in any CRPG can be won by just about any character.

      Delete
  11. Is it too late to petition Activision about the ending? ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good one. I've managed to somehow avoid learning what that ending is (it probably wouldn't make sense to me anyway, since I haven't played the first two games), so please no one spoil it here.

      Delete
    2. Snape kills Trinity with Rosebud. Then Maleshep and Femshep make out, and space ponies save the day.

      Delete
  12. This game seemed pretty decent after the first post and I'd hoped it might be the RPG medicine you needed after a few turkeys. Sorry to hear it turned out to be complete rubbish. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least it left me with some entertaining things to say in my postings. I have a sneaking regard for bad games for just that reason.

      Delete
  13. This is probably a stupid question -- but what exactly is the objection to the doctor encounter? It seems more or less in the same vein as the shopkeeper dialogue that you said you liked. While I certainly don't think the writing is up to modern standards, for a 1988 game it really seems pretty unobjectionable: less cringeworthy than, for example, the Renaissance Faire at the start of Ultima IV or anything in M&M or Wizardry.

    Am I just being oblivious to some obvious flaw in it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought the shopkeeper dialogues were funny because they showed the NPCs reacting to stupid requests on my part (e.g., to repair a mech when I didn't own any mechs). The whole episode with the doctor, on the other hand, just strikes me as absurd. He set up this security system that asks detailed questions about medicine and technical issues to keep salesmen away? He's harassing me about where my father is because my father owes him steaks? I completely lose it and shoot up this guy's entry hall? (And what exactly am I "showing" him when I scream "I'll show you!") It just reads like a scene from a very bad b-movie.

      Delete
    2. Sounds like a B-list game, so that makes sense.

      Delete
    3. If the games were based off of an anime/manga creation, then it could be entirely possible that the absurd sequence was thrown in there to reference it. There were quite a few overwrought scenes like that in the anime/manga series my college BF was into.

      Delete
    4. I couldn't remember the Ultima IV intro text clearly, so I looked it up to see what it was really like. IMHO, it has points where the writing is clumsy, but it sets the general atmosphere decently enough in the short space it had and doesn't strike me as particularly absurd.

      The BattleTech excerpt (again IMHO) also had clumsy writing, but additionally is full of absurdly overwrought emotion, and should have taken up about a tenth of the space it did given how little it really conveyed. In other words, it strikes me as being much worse than the Ultima IV renfair scene.

      Delete
    5. I used to go to shopkeepers, but then, you know, I took an arrow in the knee.

      (Speaking of clumsy writing)

      Delete
    6. Not; The animated series was in 1994, 5 years after the game came out. That said, the authors did get caught stealing from anime (As in, got sued and lost), so it is possible they copied that; I do agree, it does sound like a badly-translated a anime, so I wouldn't be surprised.

      Delete
  14. Yikes. I could understand a group of BattleTech/MechWarrior fans doing that poor a job because they became bored a third of the way in and couldn't find anyone with decent fiction-writing skills to help, but there are no excuses for a pro team to blow it that badly. I'm looking forward to seeing you eviscerate the steaming pile with your GIMLET post -- horrible reviews are often as much fun to read as awesome ones, I find.

    PS. Welcome back!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I was surprised to see it was Infocom. Aren't they known for their good writing? However, did they do other CRPGs before this? I thought they did adventure games? It sounds like an adventure game with mech combat tacked on, to be honest.

      Delete
    2. Westwood Studios developed this game, and Infocom published it. They published a few Westwood games, including the Crescent Hawks Revenge title. I'm actually pretty disappointed with Westwood here, although this was well before their Eye of the Beholder and Command & Conquer titles.

      Delete
    3. Westwood did a couple of other early RPGs that Infocom published - Mines of Titan, which I have no idea about, and Circuit's Edge, a fantastic game based on George Alec Effinger's Budayeen books (w/ all new storyline penned by Effinger himself). No doubt they'll come up here eventually.

      Delete
    4. Yes, I've heard good things about Circuit's Edge. :)

      Delete
  15. "There is also quite a bit of mushy stuff, and it takes you several minutes to regain your composure before you can return to the others."

    That is such unutterably horrible and lazy writing. I am beside myself.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Excellent. Now on to Magic Candle!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you going to say this every time? ;)

      Delete
    2. I said it before; Anon here said it this time.

      Delete
    3. ah, couldn't remember. I've never played Magic Candle. Is it supposed to be good?

      Delete
    4. No Magic Candle for you! Come back one year. Next!

      Delete
    5. I have it for C64, but have never played it. I recall it having a lovely, detailed manual, lots of detail on the world that the addict will like. You have to take NPCs to fill your party, but there is a wide selection. There is also stuff about mushroom picking and other none-combat bits. I'm hoping it is good, but I recall hearing otherwise, but I could be mistaken.

      Delete
    6. I basically have no choice but to like that game if I want to keep any readers.

      Delete
    7. I'll still read. I've heard a lot about the game (all kinds of cool original stuff it did and, of course, nostalgia), but I really want to see it in practice.

      Delete
    8. Hmmm? Is the Magic Candle that popular? I don't have any attachment to it, and recall hearing that it wasn't great, but I could very easily be getting games mixed up.

      Delete
    9. The first Magic Candle was quite good. Of course, I only played it back in the day. The second one was fair; I didn't play 3.

      Delete
  17. I'll still read your blog even if you don't like Magic Candle, since I've never played it myself. As for me I'm looking forward to Star Control 2 Ur-Quan Masters, although I have to admit it's barely a rpg. But it does have some role playing elements, uhm, I'm not sure how much I can explain without spoiling the game, so I'm gonna err on the side of caution.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I've got to say, not liking Battletech really hurts... I mean, this game isn't at all representative of the boardgame or the pen-and-paper game, either. Honestly, 'MechCommander comes closest.

    You asked in an earlier reply whether Battletech would make a good RPG, and I think it did. It's worth noting that Battletech kind of dipped into a few genres over the years, with its initial game conceit basically being a boardgame where you play as Japanese Mecha Anime pilots, to a strange Neo-Feudalism in the first era to a Cold War and Cyberpunk world after they added in the clans to shake up the universe.

    Mechwarrior 3rd Edition has a really interesting character creation system. You don't just buy skills, you have a "lifepath", where you were born an army brat, ghetto rat, or moisture farmer on a desert planet, and then have random rolls for life-changing events, with high rolls netting you things like a "wealth" trait and a scholarship up the socioeconomic chain, or bad rolls having a tractor collapse on you during farm work, forcing you to start play with -1 CON and a prosthetic arm. (It's degree of sophistication dependent upon your lot in life - anything from cybernetic "upgrade" on your basic human arm to a wooden hook if you're out in the fringes beyond where human tech has managed to keep up with human expansion.)

    Combat outside of 'mechs in the game tends to be pretty lethal really fast if any remotely high-tech weapon comes into play. (You can go from sharpened stick to laser machine guns.) It's sort of like (new) World of Darkness, with similar "roll again if you get a 10" rules. 'Mech combat in Mechwarrior is basically the boardgame. A 'mech against a human is a joke, you roll for how MANY people die, not how much damage they take, but if you're EXTREMELY careful and lucky, you might be able to trip one on foot. Human-to-human combat in 3rd ed is also a little odd, replacing HP with a "wounds" system of compounding penalties to player actions and bonuses to damage rolls until a roll gets enough bonuses to hit a "deadly wound" roll or enough serious/critical wounds compound that your character dies.

    Basically, "Random combat" is the ABSOLUTE LAST THING that should be in a Battletech game. Combat in the Mechwarrior RPG was the exclamation mark at the climactic moments of a game, and most of it was spent skulking around, using other skills, like computer/hacking or information-gathering, rather than direct violence to solve your problems, or at least trying to stack the odds for the eventual confrontation, since a fair fight is a fight where you have a 50/50 chance of dying.

    I should also point out that in 3rd ed Mechwarrior, not only COULD you play as something other than a... well, mechwarrior, but it's generally expected that your party consist of a mix of jobs, from medics, jumpship pilots, hackers, and street toughs, to the actual military combatants, and it's entirely possible to play a game where the "big combat" happens in the background.

    What with what happened to the Battletech license and FASA, I doubt it could be made, now, but you

    ReplyDelete

I welcome all comments about the material in this blog, and I generally do not censor them. However, please follow these rules:

1. Do not link to any commercial entities, including Kickstarter campaigns, unless they're directly relevant to the material in the associated blog posting. (For instance, that GOG is selling the particular game I'm playing is relevant; that Steam is having a sale this week on other games is not.) THIS ALSO INCLUDES USER NAMES THAT LINK TO ADVERTISING.

2. Please avoid profanity and vulgar language. I don't want my blog flagged by too many filters.

3. Please don't comment anonymously. It makes it impossible to tell who's who in a thread. Choose the "Name/URL" option, pick a name for yourself, and just leave the URL blank.

Also, Blogger has a way of "eating" comments, so I highly recommend that you copy your words to the clipboard before submitting, just in case.

NOTE: Spam has gotten so bad lately that I've had to turn on comment moderation for posts older than 10 days. I apologize if it takes a little while for your comment to appear.