Friday, June 29, 2018

Battletech Campaign #1: Surprise!

Sensors detect unknown mechs approaching along the forest road.

My son's mercenary company "Razor's Raiders" undertook the first mission of their contract, using the campaign rules from Campaign Operations.

For his merc company's first contract, he'd be driving a band of pirates off a remote planet just over the Lyran border in the Periphery. It seems the Lyran noble Baron Von Schtumfwassel's pet project, the Schtumftech Mercantile Company, has become hostage to pirates who are disrupting the Schtumtech logging operations on the cold, rainy, forest-covered planet of Wudiwun.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Battletech Campaign #0: Getting Started with Campaign Operations

Freshly painted mechs, ready for our campaign.

After playing his first game of Battletech my son declared "We HAVE to play a campaign!" Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity and dug up some of the old campaign books I had: First Strike and The Dragon Roars. After flipping through them though, they weren't quite what I was looking for. Getting up to speed with the changes Battletech has gone through since I stopped playing 20 years ago, I discovered there was an entire rulebook dedicated to campaign play, Campaign Operations.

 I've looked for tutorials, advice or a play through of using Battletech's Campaign Operations but couldn't find a description of how the rules actually worked. Since I managed to muddle through the detailed rules ("I'm shocked! Shocked to find detailed rules in Battletech!") for setting up a mercenary group with the rules, I thought I'd break down the process in case someone else was struggling with the same system.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Back to Battletech

My primordial mechs with neolithic style drybrushing and my first attempts at "basing". These guys may be due for some stripping and repainting.

The last time I played Battletech was with my roommates just after college. We all loved the game, or the "concept" of the game, but after failing to finish an actual battle due to fatigue we decided the rules were just too slow, cumbersome and detailed for us.

I packed up my figures and maps, sold all my unpainted, mint-on-card Unseen on eBay and closed the chapter on "Battletech" in my life.

Then Harebrained Schemes released a Battletech video game in the spring of 2018 and giant, stompy, overheating robots got their hooks back into me hard. The video game is a nearly perfect translation of the tabletop game to digital media. Discussing it with my nearly 10 year old son while he watched me play we talked about its origins as a board game, which naturally led to getting my old minis and maps out for "old time's sake", resulting in my son falling in love with the tabletop game, which of course led to the purchase of dozens of new mechs, terrain and updated rules and a plan to run a multi-game epic campaign. I mean, of course.

Mechs dug out of the lead pile, the first I've painted in two decades.

Returning to the game after two decades, many of the things that bothered me then are no longer an issue now, because I've come to realize you can just change the game to make it what you want. 

Here are the various house rules we've been experimenting with to speed the game up so a battle can be finished within the attention span of a nine-year-old.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Rocky Desert Hills for Wargames Tutorial Part 2

Some intergalactic pilgrims wind their way through the finished hills.

In part 1 of this tutorial I documented the construction of my rocky hills. In part 2, I'll cover painting and detailing these arid lumps of weathered, igneous stone.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Rocky Desert Hills for Wargames Tutorial Part 1

Some Star Wars rebels take a watchful position from atop my desert terrain.

With Star Wars Legion in full swing at our local comic shop, I decided to put together some rocky desert terrain for our stormtroopers and rebels to battle over. To fit the sci-fi setting I went a bit fancical with some of the rock formations, but the techniques I used should be applicable to creating rocky desert terrain for Afghanistan, the American South West, and arid regions of Africa and Australia.

In part 1 I'll show you how I assembled the various rocky hills, with part 2 dedicated to painting and finishing them. Let's get to it!