I'm Baaaaack!!!

It’s been a looooong time coming, since I got Covid twice this year starting in March then again in June. My energy levels were down, no incentive to set up the table to play etc. Lots of excuses back then...

However, I think I’m back, and to kick off my resurgence, here is Battletech!

A bit of history: I’d previously played Battletech way back when. 2nd edition for those who are interested. No minis, only cardboard standees and not the nice ones you get nowadays either. Actually pieces of square cardboard, and the standees were all standard sizes, whether it was a 20 ton Locust or a 70 ton Warhammer.

Anyway, after a while, there bookkeeping got to be a bit too much for me and I switched to a computer app on the Amiga computer (shows you how long ago that was!) that allowed me to play the game as well as all record keeping was done by the computer. Then the Amiga went the way of the dodo, and I managed to play the early Mechwarrior games on the computer.

Fast forward to today. I’d probably not played tabletop Battletech for close to 25 years now, even as I kept up with the lore, especially the books by Micheal Stackpole. Catalyst came out with new editions but the thought of all that record keeping kept me away.

Yesterday: I was in my FLGS (it was in a new location so I went for a visit) and asked to try Battletech out, thinking maybe Alpha Strike might be for me. But the owner persuaded me that full BT was what I wanted, helped by the online app that tracked heat and battle damage.

Long story short, yes, it worked, the online app was great and suddenly, I felt that Battletech was a viable game to play again… if you didn’t mind 60% of the game being on the app (mostly bookkeeping… you still roll dice and focus on tactics, the app takes care of everything else).

I ended up losing with my Catapult and Locust (see photo below) crippled. The enemy Locust ran rings around my Catapult (I’d forgotten how to make that work in my favour and paid the price). It also didn’t help I probably wasn’t using the app properly. It’s not great on a small phone, no matter how large the screen. You really do need a laptop or tablet. Fat fingers and a fundamental misunderstanding of how the app worked meant I was needing to hit on 10+ or 12+… when it should’ve been 6+ or 8+. It also didn’t help that my rolling that day sucked. I rolled snake eyes when all I needed was 6+ to devastate my opponent's Archer.

Anyway, it was still great. Emerging stories were my Catapult lost balance (nearly smashed left leg) and I ell BACKWARDS, right on top of the enemy Locust! Who passed his piloting rolls darn it. In fact my opponent passed ALL his piloting rolls, and I failed ALL mine, which showed how badly my dice were rolling that day.

But it was OK. Bad dice rolls couldn’t hide the fact I didn’t use my Mechs properly, so I deserved it.

TL; DR: I was encouraged again, the app took all the burden of bookkeeping off the players so the players could focus on tactics and what was happening on the table top. My FLGS had run out of the main starter box and only had the Alpha Strike Starter available, so I thought… hmmmm. I’ll sleep on it and go back tomorrow.

NEXT: what happened the next day.