Stories from the cockpit

Last Monday, being a public holiday, we spontaneously decided to play a game of BATTLETECH in the afternoon. Since playing Lance on Lance takes a while, having an afternoon off from work is ideal.

Thus, we agreed on a battle value (2) of approximately 5000 each.

David’s LanceMy Lance

We decided to keep this battle as simple as possible, and managing 4 Mechs in a standard “Destroy enemy Mechs” scenario was sufficiently challenging for us. After all, the last game of BATTLETECH we played has been some time ago, as was our grasp on the rules.  No vehicles, no fighters , no infantry. Just 4 Mechs going against 4 Mechs.

I wanted to try out a somewhat different format for this battle report. This time, it’s not so much about the narrative as it is about some important rules and strategy aspects of the game we encountered during play.

New terrain

David brought a spacious 4×4 grasslands neoprene hex map from Deep Cut Studios, blending astonishingly well with my recently made BATTLETECH Hills and Woods.



Before any of our respective Mechs could engage in combat, we had to move them over vast neoprene grasslands. Imagine my Atlas running with 5 points of movement towards close combat … David’s Awesome wasn’t better off. Only on turn 3, first shots on long range where exchanged, with the lack of success you might think of.


Only my light Mech, the Jenner, with its running speed of 11 was fast enough to get a first glimpse and LoS on its enemies: a blue Shadowhawk and a green Thunderbolt, whose Mechwarrior was still unaware of his fate to come …



Position play is vital for Long range artillery Mechs, such as my Jagermech, for bombarding your opponent. I went for high ground on Level 2 Hills with the possibility to get into cover if needed, which proved to be necessary later in the game.


Vital parts

Snake Eyes! My, admittedly lucky, Jenner landed an automatic critical hit to the center torso of David’s Thunderbolt, resulting in a huge ammo explosion! 120 points of damage! One Mech down! Hitting vital parts such as Heads and ammo bins happen very rarely, but when they do, the result is pretty much fatal.


Torso twists

Another important aspect in your movement strategy is torso twisting, something that can easily be forgotten. It can be the deciding factor, whether your Mech’s got line of sight to its enemy or not. My Jagermech, at one point during the game, was so beaten up that I had to get it behind cover and use torso twists to compensate for his lost arm and damaged side torso. At least this way, it was still able to shoot with its remaining weapons.

Initiative matters

As with other games with changing initiatives, each round, BATTLETECH certainly heavily relies on who won the initiative and what order you activate your Mechs. Winning initiative definitely  matters in the sense that you can position your Mech in your opponent’s rear arc and prevent being shot at by the latter.

Hit’n Run

Light Mechs are important and fun to play. Sure, they blow up more quickly, but so can medium and heavy Mechs, like David’s Thunderbolt. A lucky hit by a light Mech is enough. Next time, we’ll focus more on light mechs.


The right Mech for the right job

Assault Mechs are very slow…

Especially on a large playing surface as the one we used this time, you’ll be better off using, say 2 light Mechs, 1 or 2 medium Mech, and maybe 1 heavy Mech at most. That’s at least what I’m going to try in our next game of BATTLETECH.

That last round

At the end of round 6, we decided to go for one more round, hoping to take at least another Mech out. Our units were somehow locked in close or under minimum shooting range. Unfortunately, our dice rolls were that bad, that we dealt close to zero damage. We should have engaged in physical attacks instead. I was really worried about my Jagermech, whose limbs were literally stuck to the torso by tiny wires…

Thus, it was my Jenner, who took me to victory.

An idea

While gaming, we were discussing the idea of maybe creating our own pilot cards with stats, XP, exploits, background story, and portrait. Maybe we can even come up with basic special abilities. The cards included in the box sets could be a good starting point for that matter. We’ll see.

The key to enjoying a game of BATTLETECH

BATTLETECH is not complicated, but being a simulation type of wargame, it tends to be on the rather complex and time intensive side of things. Taking time to play it is key for maximum fun. It’s one of these games you can sink your teeth into. Sure, you can keep it as simple as playing with the very easy to use Beginner rules, but the real enjoyment, at least in my opinion, comes from delving deeper into the crunch of the rules.

And btw. in comparison to our last time playing BATTLETECH, this time, we handled multiple targets the right way. Practice helps to get better at things, they say.

This game was brought to you by Beer!

Leave a Reply