Recently, we played a large game of Classic Battletech: Lance on Lance.
It’s the year 3050. Two lances clash on a war-torn plant in the Inner Sphere, somewhere between the Draconis Combine and the Federated Commonwealth. One of the forces fields a new kind of ‘Mech. This machine is like no other the Inner Sphere has seen. Fast, loaded with weaponry and boasting new technology. The Clans are invading!
We used our intro rulebooks each. David had the one from the Game of Armored Combat box, and I used the rules from the older Introductory Box Set with its quirky plastic ‘Mechs. It’s great that the rules of Battletech haven’t changed over the years. Though, it was fun hearing David referencing some page in his book, which was obviously not the same in mine.
With the terrain all set, the ‘Mech Record Sheets all set out and David’ delicious 12 Year Metaxa poured, the game was on!
Screw the scenario. Let’s wreck some ‘Mechs!
Initially we thought of coming up with some kind of scenario involving the landing platform in the center of the battle field: like dominating the objective or extracting some intel or VIP or destroying the dropships or … Let’s just see who gets his first kill and call him the winner! Sometimes a basic “Kill” scenario is just what you need.
I went all out and fired all of my Mad Cat Prime’s weapons at David’s Awesome. That generates a ton of heat. At a remaining 18 after the Heat phase, the ‘Mech had a reactor shutdown. Its ‘Mechwarrior just couldn’t find the right button to push to prevent it …
Attack from behind: the jumping ‘Mech
David’s Locust and my Jenner had their own little fight a little further off the map next to a small lake. The locust was constantly engaging my Jenner, even in a charging into a physical attack! Thanks to the Jenner’s jumping capabilities, I later managed to position my light ‘Mech in short range right behind the Locust and blast its 4 lasers and 1 SRM into David’s ‘Mech. But the Locust kept standing!
It’s the first time I played a light and fast ‘Mech with jumping abilities. It’s definitely a keeper and will be a pillar of future lances I intend to try out. Light ‘Mechs are definitely a lot of fun.
Intermezzo … Classic Battletech is a long game
Somewhere at round 3 we had dinner and a Whiskey, before heading into the 4th, and last, round.
Gyro hit and engine down
Finally, in the last round, it happened: First Blood! After my Mad Cat was cool again, I concentrated all my fire, and I mean ALL my fire, on David’s Awesome! I didn’t care about reactor shutdown. I focused on taking out the Awesome. The LRM’s did the job. Once the damage transferred to the Awesome’s inner structure, one critical hit followed after the other, destroying one part after part in the process. First the gyro went out and then the engine blew up, until the’Mech went down. Fortunately the pilot survived!
Mistakes were made
We’re still Battletech noobs. The game, being a rather complex one, made us often flip through our respective rulebooks. One thing that stroke me while playing my Mad Cat Prime, was that it is kind of over powered. I only realized later after the game, was that it is a Clan ‘Mech, which boasts more fire power and higher level of technology than our Succession Wars ‘Mechs that came in our respective starter boxes. Therefore, my victory was not 100% deserved … But, nonetheless, it was fun to play. This ‘Mech can deal lots of damage, but also gets super hot after shooting. Even though we made a lot of mistakes here and there, like applying modifiers when shooting at multiple targets, forgotten consciousness rolls after head shots, to name but a few, we thoroughly enjoyed the game. The tactical depth and the damage management are pure enjoyment. Classic Battletech is pure delight, both in terms of tactical depth as in narrative action.
There will be more Battletech in the future!