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"Battletech -- Without Mechs?" Topic


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783 hits since 10 Jan 2018
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Comments or corrections?

TheWhiteDog Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2018 8:29 a.m. PST

Yes, yes, I know it sounds like heresy to most. I'm interested in possibly gaming the era prior to the development of the first Mechs, but still in the time of the Great Houses, so late-24th to mid-25th centuries.

Anyone ever tried this? Suggestions or sources I might utilize? Anyone made or converted vehicles? Good ideas for different mini lines to consider?

I've got enough of the sourcebooks to flesh out a fair amount of the equipment that was "officially" available pre-2439, and I plan on modifying Battleforce to allow for larger battles. It just seems like a fun idea to rekindle my interest in one of the oldest games I have.

For miniatures I'm considering a number of sources; PFC, Renegade Legion, IWM, GHQ, Scotia, and various Shapeways designers.

SBminisguy10 Jan 2018 10:24 a.m. PST

Can't find them, used to have some control sheets based on modern MBTs and APCs. Here's a discussion thread on the idea:

link

Generalstoner49 Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2018 11:03 a.m. PST

Battletech with no mechs to me is a bit… meh. What I do love is the Dawn of the battletech era during the age of war. Early mechs like the Commando, Mackie, Gladiator etc that while good are not world beating and tanks are still a very real threat.

TheWhiteDog Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2018 11:30 a.m. PST

@SB: Thanks for that link, some of the design speculation is quite useful!

@GeneralStoner: I get it, really I do, but I'm having some difficulty wanting to pull the minis out and actually play. I hate just about anything after Operation Serpent and the FedCom Civil War, so motivation is lacking lately. My plan is to expand from this into early Mech usage, covering some of the Periphery campaigns. That way I could run games from 2350 up to the 2750's.

Covert Walrus10 Jan 2018 1:57 p.m. PST

Not against this idea – Admittedly the rules in most forms are geared ( Pun intended :) ) towards the mechs, but it would make a great game without them, assuming you use some larger tank designs in the game.

Tgunner10 Jan 2018 4:57 p.m. PST

There's nothing wrong with this idea at all. Battletech has a very rich backstory and a nice chunk of it is pre battlemech.

I've done some games set in the Age of War Era, but I used Dirtside II rather than Battletech. I think this rules set is better than Battletech when it comes to conventional equipment.

Iron Wind Metals has a lot of the equipment you need as most of it would be Age of War equipment. It's a bit on the expensive side for 6mm, but not too horrible. It's cheaper, generally, than 15mm anyway.

Except for this expensive monster!

link

auction

Yes, that is $13 USD for ONE 6mm tank. It is a nice chunk of metal though. A full platoon of four will set you as far back as a 15mm tank platoon from Quick Reaction Force Miniatures. Heck, it's more expensive than a platoon of Battlefront plastic M1 Abrams MBTs!

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2018 5:25 p.m. PST

I would go with the Mech Warrior miniatures.

Bleeped texthYnMqK/$/Wizkids-Mechwarrior-Miniature-Tanks-and-Assault-Vehicles-_1.jpg"picture

You can find them for cheap on Ebay, like this auction.

auction

Nearly 5 pounds of miniatures for a low price.

Plus there are many more auctions as well.

Oh and the vehicles scale quite well with Warhammer EPIC miniatures.

Plus if you are into Battletech Alpha Strike you can get Mechs as well.

TheWhiteDog Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2018 6:48 p.m. PST

Thanks for the input guys! Mini-wise I should have stated in the OP that I'm trying to stay away from most of the IWM and DA lines. DA clicks are just too damn big, and unfortunately the same goes for most of IWM's line.

I could never do the "sliding" map scale that IWM uses as an excuse for inconsistency. If the vehicles were actually 1/285, I'd be all over them.

@Tgunner: Good call on Dirtside II! I didn't think of that, but I've got a copy somewhere around here.

Legion 411 Jan 2018 8:28 a.m. PST

We used to play Epic all the time without Titans, i.e. Mechs. We felt they were like naval vessels. They had many but not that many. evil grin To be used in every engagement/battle.


For miniatures I'm considering a number of sources; PFC, Renegade Legion, IWM, GHQ, Scotia, and various Shapeways designers.
Yes, I agree with those. But add, Microworld, Onslaught, HLS/Exodus Wars, Brigade, Angel Barracks, Darkest Star, GZG,
Reviresco-Days of Glory, Dark Realm Minis [if you can find them ?] … and dare I even mention Khurasan ?

TheWhiteDog Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2018 10:20 a.m. PST

@Legion: Thanks for the suggestions. I've got some Darkest Star on the way, as a test, and already have some of the Khurasan MDMS line. The Feds look really nice, but a bit large I think. I'm not fond of Space-Russki's, so they're probably not going to make an appearance.

I'd really love to see some good photos of GZG and Reviresco without paint jobs, but they're tough to search for.

Covert Walrus11 Jan 2018 1:00 p.m. PST

Tgunner noted -

Yes, that is $13.00 USD USD for ONE 6mm tank. It is a nice chunk of metal though

Considering they are USD15.50 new from Iron Wind, that's not a bad price :D

Again, though, the idea of many conventional MBTS and AFVS with a few larger types makes for an interesting game in Battletech ( And yes, I'd think DS2 would be a more fun version, but I waited until someone else said it first : ) )

Legion 411 Jan 2018 1:41 p.m. PST

I'd really love to see some good photos of GZG and Reviresco without paint jobs, but they're tough to search for.
Yes, I know pics of all GZG are rare as are unpainted Reviersco. The has been a complaint about GZG for some time … Just getting pics of some of their 6mm at all.

Also check out MAATAC at Monday Knight Productions … and they have pics of most of the their stuff !

Tgunner11 Jan 2018 5:12 p.m. PST

Considering they are USD15.50 new from Iron Wind, that's not a bad price :D

I know. I bit my tongue a while ago and bought two of the things. I love them! They are great little models but they are sooooo expensive. You need to remember that IWM wants another $7 USD for shipping too!!!

Anyway, I put together a tank company with a infantry force for House Davion (New Avalon actually) and took them up against a Terran Alliance Colonial Marine force. It was a blast and Dirtside II does a great job with this scale and time period. Battletech is just too clunky for multiple platoons of tanks. However I think Alpha Strike could carry the ball pretty well. I'm just not a huge fan of the record keeping. DSII eliminates that rather easily but still gives a fast and furious armored battle.

Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2018 6:02 p.m. PST

Dark Age clicks are just too damn big.

That is true but they can be gotten cheap.

When you have to make a decision on whether to spend $13 USD for one miniature or spend around $25 USD for dozens I know what I will be buying.

Logain11 Jan 2018 8:36 p.m. PST

I'd like to see darkest star next to some Epic figures to get a sense of scale.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Jan 2018 4:24 a.m. PST

Ages ago our group ran an extended Battletech campaign. I was the gamemaster and the players were a mercenary unit who took on contracts which I devised. it was rather D&D-ish, actually :) Anyway, I devised a number of scenarios where the opponents were conventional armies of tanks, infantry, artillery, etc. rather than mechs. It worked out quite well as I recall.

Legion 412 Jan 2018 10:30 a.m. PST

Logain I have Darkest Star Khiff … they are fine to use with Epic. So I think so would the rest of the Darkest Star models. Here's my detachment of Khiff –

picture

Lion in the Stars14 Jan 2018 4:07 a.m. PST

IIRC, in battletech rules vehicles tend to run a bit tougher than a Mech in the same weight. Fewer armor facings, so each one is relatively thicker.

But I much preferred FASA's Renegade Legion setting for mechless combat. Gotta love grav tanks dropping out of low orbit onto the battlefield! evil grin

Legion 414 Jan 2018 8:42 a.m. PST

I have a Slammers Bn TF that would slam any big Combat Walkers, i.e. Mechs, Titans, etc. ! evil grin Anything that tall is just a big target !

picture

Sargonarhes15 Jan 2018 5:16 p.m. PST

Battletech without mechs is just armored warfare in space. Although this would raise the question are the powered armor pre or post mech?

Legion 416 Jan 2018 6:07 a.m. PST

Well … not so much in space … But futuristic warfare on the ground. On some planet, somewhere … if not Earth.

Sargonarhes16 Jan 2018 11:45 a.m. PST

Yes, but does powered armor come into use or is that considered a development after the mechs and no powered armored infantry? There are jump troops after all. And I'm speaking the small powered armor, not the mid sized suits that are considered a mini-mech.

Lion in the Stars16 Jan 2018 12:48 p.m. PST

Elementals and other Power Armor, not Protomechs?

I think I'd include those in the game, even without Mechs. But they are extremely dangerous. They pack a lot of firepower and are very hard to kill!

Actually, I might even include Protomechs, since those are the biggest combat walkers I can see surviving in ground combat. (I can suspend disbelief for humanoid mecha in zero gee operations, since being able to shift around your center of mass relative to your center of thrust conserves reaction mass)

TheWhiteDog Supporting Member of TMP16 Jan 2018 10:01 p.m. PST

I'm going more for gaming in the BTech universe, rather than strictly playing Battletech. I'm not sure when Power Armor was first developed, but I haven't seen any in the TRO's prior to the Succession Wars. I've done the 3rd and 4th Succession Wars to death, so I'm looking for a non-traditional approach to all the terrain, rules, and time I have invested in the franchise.

I'm thinking I might try some porting of BTech vehicle stats to RL, via the Renegade Tech fan-rules that are available online.

Model-wise I just got some test packs from Darkest Star, so I'll be placing a good size order during their next sale. Very happy with the grav tanks, and the tracked stuff looks good too. I'm going to replace the "hover" aesthetic with RL and DS grav-tanks. The lack of consistent scale, and ridiculous proportions have turned me off from any more IWM vehicle models.

Legion 417 Jan 2018 6:29 a.m. PST

Yes, but does powered armor come into use or is that considered a development after the mechs and no powered armored infantry
I'd think PA would come before Combat Walkers/Mechs. Start small and work your way up to bigger.

My whole thing about large Mechs/Titans/Combat Walkers … is they are just very big targets. It is generally hard to find cover or concealment for something 30, 60, etc, feet tall. In some large urban, heavily forested areas, or maybe mountainous, but even then those types of terrain may have some negatives. Besides the science/tech, there is the cost.

So I really see these as pure sci-fi. And as with all sci-fi, we have to suspend our beliefs of "reality". Some can go further than others.

My favorite example of this sort of thing is in Tom Cruise's WotWs. When the Martian Tripods lose their shields. They are easy pick'n's/meat on the table for the Infantry AT weapons[AT4 or Javelin ?]. Packed by that Plt from the 10th Mtn Div. So you can imagine an entire Company of dismounted Infantry with a number of LAWs, AT4s, Javelins, etc., opening up on a target as big as a 60ft Walker. Not to mention what TOWs, MBT main cannon rounds, FA, CAS, etc. would do.

And yes they may have shields and/or heavy armor. The more shots with probably KO the shields. And then all you have to do is fire at the knee and/ankle joints. And that mobility kill may just put them on the ground. evil grin

Of course that is just my take on it. When gaming using combat walkers with other ground forces. The Mech(s) is always the prime target. KO your enemies' Mech(s), you gain " Combat Walker Superiority" so to speak. And can more easily take your enemy apart piecemeal. wink

But hey … it's sci-fi … I could be wrong …

Covert Walrus19 Jan 2018 12:08 p.m. PST

Legion 4 commented -

Of course that is just my take on it. When gaming using combat walkers with other ground forces. The Mech(s) is always the prime target. KO your enemies' Mech(s), you gain " Combat Walker Superiority" so to speak. And can more easily take your enemy apart piecemeal. wink

But hey … it's sci-fi … I could be wrong …

Within the context of the game, you're entirely correct; In mixed operations, the key is to knock out the mechs on the opposing force to allow the rest of your force plus surviving mechs you have to better take on the lighter units.
The late wargaming hardcopy magazine MARS had an article which explained mechs versus tanks rather neatly- Tanks can be made cheaply and in large number sin this interstellar economy, but they can't be easily transported en masse between planets for strategic offensive operations. Mechs and large vehicles which have a better ratio of firepower per item, make ideal offensive systems for transport between planets, but they can be stymied by the large number of tanks a purely defensive strategy on a single planet. It's a trade-off.

Legion 419 Jan 2018 3:23 p.m. PST

Within the context of the game, you're entirely correct; In mixed operations, the key is to knock out the mechs on the opposing force to allow the rest of your force plus surviving mechs you have to better take on the lighter units.
Yes, that is the basis of my "Tactical Doctrine" … Was dubbed by a buddy – "L4SoTR" … Legion 4's School of Tactical Reality …

The late wargaming hardcopy magazine MARS had an article which explained mechs versus tanks rather neatly- Tanks can be made cheaply and in large number sin this interstellar economy, but they can't be easily transported en masse between planets for strategic offensive operations. Mechs and large vehicles which have a better ratio of firepower per item, make ideal offensive systems for transport between planets, but they can be stymied by the large number of tanks a purely defensive strategy on a single planet. It's a trade-off.
Sounds like they were trying to justify why to use big walking targets … wink We don't use battleships or battle cruisers today either … evil grin

Lion in the Stars19 Jan 2018 9:01 p.m. PST

We don't use battleships or battlecruisers today because offense won versus armor. You cannot armor even an Iowa enough to stop aircraft bombs or missiles (at least not and still have the ship float).

You need to prevent the attack from hitting in the first place. If you can do that, armor is just about superfluous.

Quite frankly, it's about the same place we are with tanks, too. If (and that's a big if) you can layer enough armor onto a tank to make to survive any given attack, it's too heavy to go anywhere. I mean, Abrams tanks were breaking the sewers in Iraq because they were too heavy! And that's tactical mobility, nevermind the strategic mobility challenge of trying to get a 70+ton tank (or IFV) to the place where the fighting is happening.

But I've always been more of a fan of Renegade Legion than of Battletech. 'Scuse me while my grav-tanks drop in from low orbit!

Legion 420 Jan 2018 6:41 a.m. PST

I'll have to agree with most of that. We saw how correct Billy Mitchell was about aircraft dooming the battleship. E.g. Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the Prince of Wales and Repulse in early WWII. And even one could add the Bismarck to that list. Plus the waste of materiel, etc., on the Yamoto and Musashi at the end of WWII.

Plus today, the smaller vessels can carry TLAMs/SLAMs type missiles. Even in the early 80s, of the few remaining battleships still in the USN. The rear turret(s) were removed and replace with Cruise Missiles, i.e. TLAMs, IIRC. old fart

And even their precursors the V1 and V2 showed the way how modern warfare would change. I'm Not a Sailor but I'd imagine a modern Guided Missile Destroyer could probably pack as much firepower as a WWII Battleship. And certainly have a longer range and better accuracy. Any Sailors here please feel free to correct me. evil grin

I do very much understand about the "situation" with the M1 heavy armed & armored MBT. As well as other modern MBTs. I even remember in the ROK, '84-'85. Some roads and bridges there in the country side could not support the weight of these "Iron Monsters". And the road would be rubbled under the heavy AFVs' tracks.

But I still think the MBT will still remain in the inventory of most militaries. As it does still perform its primary goal that made it's birth so important in WWI. Providing mobile support and firepower for the Infantrymen.

And as we saw again in WWII. With the effective and some could say "ruthless" employment of German "Blitzkrieg" mobile combined arms warfare. I think the MBT is still here to say at least in some form. Maybe not the M1, Leo IV, etc. But something very similar to provide the same capabilities.

And yes, I like the storylines/tech, etc., of Renegade Legion or Hammer's Slammers. Much more than any fluff that says 60ft striding Samuria on the battlefield are a good idea …

But again … It's sci-fi … everybody should wargame the future as it suits them … not me … evil grin

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