Thursday, April 2, 2015

Mecha War III

That's the new title for my updated version of the game formerly known as War of the Mecha. It's my third pass at the concept, that's why it has the number. Get it?

Anyway, play testing was substantial today and I seem to have gotten all the bugs out. For those who enjoyed the previous version, this is (in my not so humble opinion) very much improved. You can download it here:

For ease of use with my four year old, I mocked up some data profiles of mecha using the configuration rules; the designs are inspired by "classic" battle mechs (as will be apparent to longtime BattleTech players). You can download my "sample sheet" here. Just cut 'em apart and you're ready to play (assuming you have some dice and Legos). Whether I'll bother to redo the Clan Invasion and War Campaign rules...well, I don't know (you folks can probably figure those out yourself).

Today's final battle: a four-on-four between myself and Diego that lasted four turns. The sides:

D: Zeus, "Dino-Rex," Phoenix Hawk, and Wasp (about 235 tons)
JB: Atlas, Rifleman, Shadow Hawk, and Commando (about 240 tons)

Things started out fairly even as the mecha closed to striking distance. The Rifleman was able to draw the Dino off to the flank into a set of ruins, while the Wasp and Phoenix Hawk took the direct approach through the large lake that dominated the center of the battlefield and the Zeus took the circuitous route around the side. The Zeus and Atlas traded shots with the Atlas losing an arm in the bargain.

Hard to hit.
Feeling a bit desperate, JB deployed a jump-jetting Shadow-Hawk from the swamp on the opposite flank, hoping to draw the attention of the Zeus. The plan worked better than he could have hoped as the Zeus's concentrated fire failed do more than scratch the 'Hawk (despite dropping any kind of shooting penalty for "cover" from the rules), and the assault mecha was caught in a wicked cross-fire, being brought down by several missile salvos from the Atlas. Coming to a mutual decision to end the game after the fourth turn, the Rifleman and Dino-Rex opened fire at close range with every weapon in their arsenal, but neither was dealt a killing blow and both survived their massive heat build-up thanks to good dice rolls. The Wasp and Commando show-down was likewise inconclusive (both remained standing and functional) though the Wasp was relieved of all weapon systems thanks to a massive critical hit, leaving nothing but strong language to throw at his foe.

Diego said afterward, "I think I won this one."

I love BattleTech; have loved it ever since my buddy introduced it to me circa 1985. The concept is really no sillier than Car Wars and offers the same type of nutty fun without the fuss and muss of phase tracking and maneuver/turn cards. This new "micro-version" is a real joy to play, even with a four-year old (who sometimes gets distracted by the plastic sea life we use in our terrain features), and I'm glad I took the time to put it together. I really wish I could get some cheap plastic miniatures or models in the 100mm range...I'd love to do some painting, and I think D would, too. He really had a good time coloring the mecha portraits that we cut out and taped to our Lego stacks for figures.

*sigh* Any gaming is better than no gaming.


  1. @ Stu:

    : )

  2. Thanks for this, JB! I've downloaded everything and bringing it home this weekend! Can't wait to make use of my expensive Battletech Introductory set again, and hopefully Mecha Wars will keep my son from getting bored. I'll report back when we get a chance to play.

  3. This looks slick!

    I miss playing Battletech, but haven't played since before the Clans came into the mythos. This might be just the ticket to get my group interested in having me pull out my old box sets.

  4. @ Stu:

    Thanks for the link, man.
    : )

  5. @ Anthony (and fractalbat):

    If you guys get around to playing, please let me know how it goes for you!

  6. By chance is this the space opera game you mentioned working on, or is that a totally different creation?

    1. @ Chris:!

      The space opera game is very different, very non-old school. Mecha War III is more of the OLDEST school.

      I'll get to it, Chris. Really, I will.
      ; )

  7. Hey, if you're still looking for figures, there's kickstarter for the second batch of CAV Bones figures going on right now.

    the first batch of them was awesome and under $2 each for pretty decent quality figs (they are made out of Reaper Miniatures' Bones material)