Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Battletech: Archer + Marauder = Happy

With a break between writing projects, I decided to play some Battletech.

My gripes are still the same - the lack of morale means every fight is until the death. The whole phased movement starting only with combat means I often move into contact with the enemy, and then have to let them move up and shoot me first. It's just annoying.

I've been playing missions, having fun with the events, and otherwise progressing along.

I have finally gotten two of my three favorite mechs. What are my favorites?

- BLR-1G Battlemaster. I rarely got to use one on the tabletop, but I loved it. So good at close range, so versatile. But I haven't found more than 2 wrecks and I need three. I found one hulk for sale to complete it, but it cost 1.3 million C and I had only 2.1 million C at the time . . . I didn't want to risk running out.

The two I have are:

- an ARC-2R Archer, with 2 LRM 20s and a pile of ammo. And four medium lasers . . . two of which I swapped out for more ammo.

- a MRD-3R Marauder. My favorite mech. I actually really like the redesign they did since they can't re-use the Robotech mecha images. It's just a very cool looking mech, and it's quite effective. One AC/5, and two arms each with one PPC and one Medium Laser. If you moderate your PPC fire you can keep up a sustained barrage, and a close-range Alpha Strike can do a lot of damage. Given an Ace Pilot - so I can shoot, then move - it's been really effective at staying at optimal range and just hammering my foes.

Here is what they looked like in Battledroids, way back in the day:

Coupled with a mech equipped with one of the over-powered guns of the "LosTech" - old Star League Defense Force tech - it's kind of unfair. PPC fire to make a mech unstable, the archer to slam it down to knocked down, then an aimed shot with a Gauss Gun to finish the mech. It's not always one turn, but I can systematically gut mechs if I set up a good firing line. I couple it with a solid spotter mech with some good armor, and it's been fight-winning.

As the missions have gotten harder, it's been harder to keep my mechwarriors healthy. For a while, every single mission featured a head hit and a wounded mechwarrior. I had a one-mission break recently but I don't expect it to last . . . I just found an unexpectedly weak mission available and got to stomp some smaller mechs with my three heavies and one assault mech.

Still fun. I do have to remember when I'm equipping mechs that this is Battletech, not Mechwarrior, which I played to death back in the 90s. In that game, PPC shots were slow. My lost buddy Ed used to call them "blue fuzzy pillows" and dodged them with ease. Marauders were not a good choice there. Here, they're excellent but costly for heat.

It's an enjoyable game if you like mech combat.

(Editing later - I did one more mission - and salvaged a Battlemaster! Woohoo. My lance will now be a Battlemaster, a Marauder, an Archer, and a Highlander - a new build I really like.

Also a gripe there - they call my group a "company" but I can only deploy a lance - 4 mechs. 12 is a company. I should really have a Command/Assault Lance, a Fire Lance, and a Recon Lance, and get to use them together sometimes.)


  1. I love how they let you modify your mechs. Towards the end of the game I had to Marauders and modified one, removing its auto-cannon and adding jump jets, just to see the sucker fly. It turned out to be rather effective!

    Marauders have always been my favorite battlemech too.

    1. The customization system is really good, especially since the "hardpoints" system means you can't just take, say, a 75-ton chassis and build a whole new mech to your specs. You can change them a lot but all 75-ton custom mechs aren't identical . . . the chassis matters. Excellent approach.

  2. Maybe I didn't space out my plot missions enough but I'm now engaged in training up my 24 mechwarriors for the final arc at Coromodir. I believe that's when a full company is going to be used. I'm 2/3 of the way to an Atlas but my primary lance is an Annihilator and 2 Battlemasters along with the Highlander. I've been staying up far too late on worknights.

    Cockpit Mods are great.

    1. I just can't see ever getting to use more than 4 mechs at a time, so I'd need to be burning through injured pilots to ever justify 24 mechwarriors. I have 7 and I don't really need them all.

      I like the special equipment - gyros, cockpick mods, rangefinders, etc.


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