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"Is Battletech A Dead Game?" Topic

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1,134 hits since 2 Jan 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Covert Walrus02 Jan 2018 2:52 a.m. PST

Before everyone thinks I'm stirring up trouble, I shall explain – I was in a discussion about the need to redesign miniatures to add more details every few years in current lines to keep them current with a member of the administration of a games company and had pointed out that Iron Wind metals still have older Battletech designs in production. His response was -

"I am/was a Battletech player. I have never seen it played in or available in any store I have visited in the last 15 years so hardly a comparison. Dead games are not worth talking about."

Is that a fair statement? Is *anyone* still playing Battletech ( And if so, are you in England? )? I'm more curious than trying to prove anything . . . Well, yes, I'd like to make a point, however I need evidence :)

FABET01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2018 3:09 a.m. PST

There have been plenty of posts here on TMP from folks still playing BT.

Personal logo mrwigglesworth Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2018 3:24 a.m. PST

My local store still stocks and sells it

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2018 3:40 a.m. PST

Not my game, but some in the local store, and it shows up regularly at the HMGS-East conventions. (As a historical miniatures player, I find that somewhat annoying, but still…)

I find the "more detail every few years" concept intriguing. Like the more familiar "bigger 15mm and 25mm castings every few years" notion, it sounds more like addiction than a desire to have attractive figures.

Lonkka1Actual02 Jan 2018 3:47 a.m. PST

Certainly not and when the Mechwarrior computer game's new edition that got very successfully Kickstarted actually hits the computer screens it is going to beall olver agian.

Unfortunately Catalyst Games seems to be clueless how to sell a game as the Classic Battletech Improved Introductory Box Set (CAT35000B) has been sold out from them for the past 18 months! (I'm a buyer for a FHGS chain and I check the availability from Catalyst's fulfillment house weekly or bi-weekly).

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2018 4:18 a.m. PST

Catalyst is shipping an all new basic set with all new sculpts this year as well as an all new cheaper starter set with just a few minis. They had a huge display at GenCon and lots of live games being played. The new sculpts look fantastic.

With Mechwarrior 5 and the Battletech turn based digital games coming this year, as well as the popularity of Alpha Strike, it seems that Battletech is having a resurgence this year and is hardly dead.


Dynaman878902 Jan 2018 5:43 a.m. PST

If the definition of a dead game is anything not played at the local store then the only games in existence would be 40K and some other game I don't remember the name of.

Luckily my FLIS (Friendly Local Internet Store) stocks all the games and miniatures I like.

Personal logo D6 Junkie Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2018 6:26 a.m. PST

Both stores in my area carry the mechs and we play a weekly alpha strike or Battletech game. My goal of 200 mechs is just around the corner.

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2018 6:43 a.m. PST

One can only hope…

wakenney02 Jan 2018 6:45 a.m. PST

Two FLGS that I frequent just started stocking and selling it again in 2017 and plan to continue. Attend conventions in VA and you will see BV traders and their friends putting on multiple days of packed BT games. Their grinder, which allows new players, is packed from the start at H'con and has done a lot of good in bringing younger players into miniature gaming.

So, is BT dead? Not from what I see.

Tgunner02 Jan 2018 6:48 a.m. PST

To me a "dead game" is one that is out of production, has few to no players, and has little to no support from the parent company.

FASA was Battletech's parent company and it is basically gone. When FASA went out of business there were two FASA games that I was really into: Vor and Battletech.

As of 2018 Battletech products are still in production with Catalyst Games. In fact, they just recently put out products for the Second Succession War: A Battletech historical on the war and a supporting technical readout.


Heck, they even just gave BT's core rule's a new rewrite.


Vor, on the other hand, still has miniatures available from Iron Wind Metals (so does Battletech for that matter) and Ral Partha, Europe (ditto). Scuzzy did try to create a second edition years ago but dropped it after a failed Kickstarter. To my knowledge nothing new has come out for Vor since FASA shut its doors except for a few new miniatures.

Folks at my FLGS play the game, a lot. My FLGS even sells miniatures too. So do people at the HMGS cons.


That's an old picture, but you can find the same crew playing at every HMGS con.

Heck, my boys play it a lot both here and there at the conventions. When it comes time to sign up for games my sons ask what BT games are available. However more often than not they are happy to play in the on-going Grinder game.There seems to be a community out there that plays. Enough for a video game to come out in recent years.

Nothing, sadly, for Vor. I'm the only person here (in Maryland) who even has a collection of the figures. In fact, the last game of it that I've seen played is me and my boys this past summer. I llove the game and it had so much potential. It just didn't have the time to build its community up.

So which one of these games sounds like a dead game to you? I can't speak for the UK scene though. BT may very well be dead over there.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Jan 2018 6:51 a.m. PST

I find it interesting that the standard for "dead" is "not in stores."

whitphoto Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2018 8:05 a.m. PST

Using the "not sold in stores" standard, it's dead in the two sections of NY I play in, the Capital Region and the Hudson Valley. You could probably find players if you looked hard enough but the last store that tried to carry a selection (Zombie Planet in Albany) wound up trying to blow everything out at 50% and still could hardly move them. I know some people that play a couple times a year and put on convention games but you could never just show up to a store and expect to find anyone interested.

TNE230002 Jan 2018 8:55 a.m. PST

Dead games are not worth talking about.

There's a Podcast dedicated to them!

Dead Games Society – We Play with Dead Things!

Garand02 Jan 2018 9:22 a.m. PST

I still play. My ex stole a lot of stuff from me on her way out of my life, including all of my BT starter boxes (with ALL of the maps ever published to date), so I am starting to rebuild my gaming support library, including the Battltech stuff that was stolen…


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2018 9:50 a.m. PST

I think if "not sold in stores" is the standard, Napoleonics and ACW are pretty well dead.

Louie N02 Jan 2018 10:13 a.m. PST


I play through different media.

It not dead as lone as YOU play the game.

GypsyComet02 Jan 2018 11:20 a.m. PST

Vor, on the other hand, still has miniatures available from Iron Wind Metals (so does Battletech for that matter) and Ral Partha, Europe (ditto). Scuzzy did try to create a second edition years ago but dropped it after a failed Kickstarter. To my knowledge nothing new has come out for Vor since FASA shut its doors except for a few new miniatures.

Skuzzy needs to try again. The failed Kickstarter campaign was due in some part to Kickstarter being *very* new and not yet known or trusted as a platform at the time. Related to that is likely getting caught by the complete lack of a Bleeped text KS gives to its actual ongoing campaigns. Their search engine continues to suck horribly, and they expend exactly zero effort to help market new and ongoing campaigns. If Skuzzy was expecting help of that sort instead of doing his own marketing, then he was one of KS's earliest victims of disappointment.

roving bandit02 Jan 2018 11:40 a.m. PST

I just finally bought into Alpha Strike in November. Got a digi rulebook and the 8 plastic lance packs.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2018 12:58 p.m. PST

What else do people do with their giant robots?

roving bandit02 Jan 2018 1:00 p.m. PST

Oh and if Vor got another go I would be all in on that.

Personal logo Striker Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2018 2:52 p.m. PST

I've always got a wandering eye for BT. I just don't like hexes with my minis so if I can figure out which version is needed that would be good. I've still got mechs to paint.

Mick the Metalsmith02 Jan 2018 3:30 p.m. PST

It might not be dead, but it remains in my eyes only slightly less silly then space opera games like WH40k for the totally implausible precept. I could never bring myself to play it, probably because the tone was slightly more serious than 40k and I found it produced giggles in me..

wolvermonkey02 Jan 2018 3:34 p.m. PST

There's always a big Battletech area at Origins each year as Catalyst is a sponsor there. But there are always people playing the events. My gaming friend and I still play Alpha Strike and continue to grow our fleet of mechs. And the batreps seem to do well on my youtube channel.

roving bandit03 Jan 2018 6:09 a.m. PST

Alpha Strike doesn't use hexes. But it is also not nearly as detailed as Classic Battletech. So it plays quicker or with loads of mechs on the table (even then it still plays pretty quick).

Personal logo D6 Junkie Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 11:00 a.m. PST

We play Alpha Strike almost weekly.

ordinarybass Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 12:30 p.m. PST

Not dead at all, it's just not one of the popular games that you're likely to find in small FLGS's. It has only a small presence in a few others but the biggest store in the area stocks a huge variety of figs and books.

Anyone who thinks it's dead is flat wrong. Though Catalyst does seem inept at keeping their starter set in producton, a steady stream of online, print and miniature products continues to be released at a moderate pace, just as it has for decades now.

Personally I can't stand the Battletech rules, but I love the fluff and Alpha Strike is a pretty good game. I game the BT universe using the "Mech Attack" rules and 10mm Mechwarrior Clix figures that I've rebased.

Personal logo Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jan 2018 9:18 p.m. PST

Some gamers think that if they personally aren't playing a game it's dead.

I've seen it being played at conventions around the country all the time, even last year.

Aotrs Commander04 Jan 2018 10:42 a.m. PST

The proportion of wargames models – PERIOD – I have bought from a store is VANISHINGLY remote[1]. Maybe because in the UK, the much larger number of miniature manufacturers and the much higher density of wargamers has meant that mail-order (and now internet) or conventions stuff was always in the vast majority, but the majority of wargames I've ever played over the past 25 years or so would be "dead" if you considered whether local gaming stores played them to be the determinining factor.

I think that BT will absolutely have a resurgeance – the upcoming Harebrained game is why I dusted off my stuff late last year(and bought some new ones – online, of course, from Ral Partha UK which is dramatically cheaper than importing Iron Wind in the current clime).

That said, what I'm playing is not *strictly* BattleTech, but BT's shooting and damage system pasted onto Manerouvre Group's round sequence/command and control stuff. (For the sort of paradigm I prefer, it plays WAY better, but that little bit of heresy is a debate for another thread!)

[1]All my 15mm fantasy (not used in years), all but a literal handful of my 1000+ starships, a good chunk of my now-unused 6mm and the majority of my BattleTech models all came from mail-order or online or from wargames places at conventions that normally were available via mail-order/online. Really, the only thing I have bought in quantity (i.e. more than an odd model) from a physical gaming store miniatures-wise was when I did GW (I got their Space Marine 6mm stuff, Wrhammer Fantasy (the first boxed set edition) and at the last, their 28mm scifi plastics – though not to use for 40K – until about ten-fifteen years ago).)

Personal logo Ed the Two Hour Wargames guy Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Jan 2018 1:11 p.m. PST

…but the majority of wargames I've ever played over the past 25 years or so would be "dead" if you considered whether local gaming stores played them to be the determining factor.

So true and great point.

Paint it Pink06 Jan 2018 1:31 p.m. PST

Could be said of BattleTech, "That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die."

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