Friday, July 12, 2013

Treasures from the past III - Mechs

In all of the bits I found a couple of months ago, some of my favorites are the Battletech stuff.  I played this obsessively, as only a teenager can obsess about something.  I played full, two battalion games, solo.  That's 36 Mechs on a side, with all the record keeping that goes with it in a game like Battletech.

Notice the sharp black paint scheme.

One of the boxes I discovered contained all of my old metal and plastic battlemechs.  Underneath it was the box with the cardboard mechs.  I have to say, after all these years, looking at some of these mechs was an amazing experience.  Amazing because holding the Wasp, it was almost like I was 14 again and discovering it all for the first time.  I can still feel that feeling of awe at the size of it all and at the limitless scope for me to play in the Successor States.

A company, twelve mechs, all metal.
Pulling these out was like meeting old friends after years apart.  Who knows, when the new Battletech rules come out; the ones that let you play it like a tabletop game instead of a board game, I might have to play some more.  If so though, I'll be rolling back the timeline to the period before the clans showed up.

Battle Tech
The second company.  All plastic.
At some point they came out with plastic mechs and I must have bought two of that set.  They are, frankly, crap.  The detail is soft.  Without the internet, or friends in the hobby, I didn't know anything about prepping or painting.  The mold lines are still intact.  A coat of black paint with white cockpits and numbers was, apparently, the height of fashion.

Battle Tech
Valkyrie.  It's recognizable, but not pretty.
The box also had the Cititech expansion for fighting in built up areas.  This as all 2D, flat card counters.   They still added a lot to the game.

A farmhouse, and its ruined self.
Then there were the card mechs.  These are how I started playing, and were still the vast majority of my mechs for my big battles.  The bad guys were always in these as well.  I wasn't going to waste 3D on the evil scum.  These cardboard mechs, like those below, are still some of the most iconic images for me.  I can't count the hours, which is probably a good thing, that I spent staring at these things.

Rifleman, Phoenix Hawk, Wasp and Stinger.
Later, when I started designing my own mechs they needed to be represented as well.  I was never too concerned with how they looked.  I don't actually remember ever spending any time on that.  For me each mech "looked" like its build.  I could see the armor, heatsinks and weapons load out and know exactly which mech it was.  It was more Matrix than boardgame, I guess.

The Gargoyle.  Home grown and never visually realized.  Also mis-spelled.
Finding all of these makes me nostalgic.  I am, however, self aware enough to know that I would not enjoy the game today.  The record keeping is just not my idea of fun anymore.  The IP on the other hand is still immensely attractive.  If their tabletop game can get the job done I just might have to pick it up.

Treasures From the Past:

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV


  1. I remember those days as well


    1. I'm glad I didn't get rid of them. It's fun to reminisce about it all.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.


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