I'm going to take a break from OED&D for a minute and wax fondly about another old school love of mine, a love that has never quite been fulfilled - Battletech and Mechwarrior. With the recent announcement (and video) from IGN about the Mechwarrior video game reboot, I found myself in complete glee over how amazingly cool it all looked. It brought back a lot of memories for me.
Battletech and I go back to the mid80s, when I was deployed to Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. There was a comic/game store just outside the base gates and I stumbled onto these really neat plastic models and boxed game. At the time, I was still deep in AD&D gaming, and this game about 30 ton human-driven warmachines was quite a tonic. I managed to persuade (with beer) a few fellow airmen to play the game, and we had a blast. Battletech quickly replaced AD&D as the game of choice, but I missed role-playing. I was completely overjoyed when I found that FASA (then the publishers of Battletech) had released a Mechwarrior RPG supplement.
The sad part is that I never got a chance to combine the two! The guys I played with didn't want to roleplay in the Battletech universe, they wanted to smash 'Mechs or go explore dungeons in AD&D. I had scoped out a little "sandbox" for a mercenary company, almost in Traveller-like fashion. Nobody wanted to do it. I never got to do the campaign I wanted - roleplay in the Inner Sphere and then have Battletech "map" combat when we had to get down to business. To me, that just seemed like the Reeses Cup of gaming!
As things go, my interest in Battletech waxed and waned. As I moved about, got married, had kids, I found myself playing it less and less. I did make it to the Battletech Center VR simulators in Chicago in the early 1990s. I played the "Crescent Hawks Inception" video game with much enjoyment, but I never got into the sequel, nor did I play any of the Mechwarrior games so much. When the Battletech world was shocked with the introduction of the Clans, I found myself buying the novels and sourcebooks, but I never played. Eventually, I sold all of my Battletech stuff, with the possible exception of the
At Winterwar this year, I picked up a fairly good copy of the first edition Mechwarrior rules. And just at lunch today, I found myself playing the "Green" scenario from the ClassicBattletech Quick Start rules. The defending Hunchback ravaged the attacking Enforcer with a hard, long range Autocannon hit, and the ENF 'Mech never really recovered and withdrew, rather than be destroyed. That was 30 minutes that passed by way too quickly.
I also find myself looking at both the Classic Battletech RPG book, and the Classic Battletech Introduction Box set and thinking: what if... some people would be tempted to play RPGs and wargaming like games like a BT/MW combo...
For your enjoyment, if you'd like to see what has reignited my long unrequited love for Battletech and Mechwarrior, watch the video below...