It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here, hasn’t it? At this rate, I won’t be anywhere close to my goal of 50 posts for the year. I’m at 14 now with the year more than half gone. So, what have I been up to the past couple months? Outside of work and other non-gaming things, here are some of the things I’ve been keeping busy with recently.
New BattleTech Books
Catalyst Game Labs has been releasing books for BattleTech advancing its timeline to 3145. The first was Era Report 3145 that covered the time from the blackout of interstellar communications in 3132 up through 3145. Thanks to first the blackout then the Republic of the Sphere sealing its border, it has been a decade of turmoil in the BattleTech universe. I missed out on the MechWarrior: Dark Age game, so much of the material presented has been completely new to me, and its been a lot of fun catching up on the setting. After the Era Report’s release, Catalyst started releasing per-faction Technical Readout pdfs for the mechs, vehicles, and battle armor in use in 3145. I’ve snapped up each of those and quickly read through them. As I understand it, the designs are a mix of adaptations from MW:DA and entirely new designs, but everything has been new to me. The last TRO supplemental pdf (focused on the Clans) plus the print book (focused on the Republic of the Sphere) should be out soon, so I’m eagerly awaiting them.
Catalyst also recently released Alpha Strike, a faster paced version of the BattleTech rules focused on miniatures play. The rules are a standalone version of the QuickStrike rules that were included in Strategic Operations, so they aren’t entirely new, but it is great to have them in a standalone product. If you’re a fan of the BattleTech setting but think the rules are a bit too complex, then I’d recommend taking a look at Alpha Strike since it will let you have your stompy robot fun in a faster, easier-to-play package.
Speaking of stompy robots, I was excited for Pacific Rim and had a lot of fun watching it. Thanks to some prodding by my brother, I’ve been working on a mecha vs kaiju game. I’ve essentially trimmed down the core rules of BattleTech and added some resource economy bits to create a game that I’m pretty happy with so far. My brother and I just started playtesting it, but once it’s a little more stable I plan to share it here as a free pdf. If you’re interested let me know and I might be able to give you an early sneak peek at the game.
Painting Heroes and Kobolds
I finished painting the heroes from Super Dungeon Explore in early June, and I’ve been working on the kobolds since then. I have most of them finished now with just one of the dragon priests and the 4 flingers to finish. Once they’re all done, I’ll put up a gallery post with them and then start work on the dragons. I still have a ton of them to paint, so I really need to get better about finding at least a couple of hours each week to paint. Especially since I’ll be getting a ton of Relic Knights minis this fall, and I’m continuously tempted to buy the Von Drakk Manor expansion for SDE.
I’ve gotten a few new gaming books recently thanks to kickstarters I’ve backed, plus backed a couple new games recently. I’ve gotten the Fate Core and Fate Accelerated Edition pdfs. They’re both great, but the pdf that I’m really looking forward to from that kickstarter is the Fate Worlds setting compilation. The Cortex Plus Hacker’s Guide, Numenera, and 13th Age have also been delivered over the past couple months. I ran a 13th Age game a while ago with one of the preview versions, but I still haven’t run Numenera (not surprising since it was released just over a week ago) or found time to read much of the Hacker’s Guide (I’ve only read the Fantasy Heroic section so far). More recently, I’ve backed Red Aegis, Primeval Thule, Seelie playing cards, and Incredible Expeditions: Quest for Atlantis. Red Aegis and Incredible Expeditions are still funding, so I recommend checking out those projects to see if you’re interested in pledging. Red Aegis is a role-playing game by Brian and Matt James where players have a different character each session as a campaign follows a civilization over the course of millennia. Incredible Expeditions is a steampunk deck-building game designed by a friend of mine and his wife.
Back on the topic of stompy robots, I’ve been playing a bit of MechWarrior Online. It’s a free-to-play game set in the BattleTech universe just before the Clan Invasion era. While I’d prefer a campaign mode, I’ve had fun in the pvp games, and so far the only money I’ve spent on the game was to buy Sarah’s Jenner. If you were a fan of the old MechWarrior games, then you should definitely give MWO a try. It’s free and they have a nice system where you get a good amount of bonus rewards for your first few matches that lets you buy your first mech or two pretty quickly, so it’s not like trying it costs you anything except a bit of time. If you do decide to try it out, my callsign is “The Gnome”. I’m not good at all, but I’d be happy to let you destroy my mech a few times.
More Posts to Come?
I’m not making any promises that I’ll be posting here any more frequently, but I do have a few ideas for posts ready to go so hopefully there will be at least a few more posts in the next couple weeks. Beyond that it all depends on whether I have ideas and time to write.