Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Introduction, and why this blog?

Picture taken from Boardgame Geek, IP is Catalyst Game Productions
A lot of Battletech (hereafter referred to as CBT) blogs out there seem to cater, rightly or wrongly, to the classic Battletech game. And there is nothing wrong with that. I personally rather play Alpha Strike for a variety of reasons:

  • I don't have the time to play that I used to, and I am sick and tired of leaving CBT games unresolved.
  • I like skirmish games (which is what CBT is supposed to be), but I also like the sweep of Alpha Strike's  larger scale operational (company to battalion level) potential. One of my interests in military history is "how do armies see how to fight a war", there are quite a few differences throughout history, and it's constantly evolving.
  • Integrating combined arms is actually easier than CBT, and you see the effects far more readily in Alpha Strike, than you do in CBT, in my opinion.
Image taken from Classic Battletech Page, IP is Catalyst Games
Another good reason is the Alpha Strike Compendium, you can add new units from CBT, including customs, you can make new companies, you can do it all, without the weighty tomes of the Total Warfare series.

So for all of those reasons, I can handle being called a "Battletech heretic". 

But yeah, Alpha Strike also has a lot going for it because the new faction books that are out detail a part of battletech history that actually didn't get much information from the Inner Sphere side, and that is a detailed look at the various Inner Sphere militaries on the eve of the Clan invasion. We knew the OOBs (Orders of Battle) and locations, but we didn't know much about the units at the time, especially the units that died under the guns of the Clans.

Two such books are out now, Combat Manual: Mercenaries, and Combat Manual: Kurita, with more slated to come.

Image taken from Catalyst Tumbler Page, IP is Catalyst Games
Image taken from DrivetrhuRPG, IP is Catalyst Games
The truth is, I can do a lot more with Alpha Strike than I ever could with CBT, and I haven’t even used most of the special rules for pilots and units and all that. Will I? Depends on if it slows down the game appreciably. If so, then no way in hell. I like my precious speed, and I will be ruthless in maintaining it.

I am also happy to see the lance packs that are out now, they are a really cheap and easy way to build one’s Battletech army up right quick. And, they are a hoot to paint up. I have a ton of lead figures anyhow, but what the heck right?

And considering I already painted up a number of companies for CBT already (They’re Civil War era, but how hard is it to paint up some substitutes and slot them in for an “earlier time”?), it benefits my style of painting quite well. And, the best part is? It’s got me painting more companies. I finished a Robinson Ranger company ca. 3054 a few months ago, and it’s already faced a Clan Wolf Light Supernova, most of the company died, but they gave a very good account of themselves.

In short, this blog will be a mix of AARs, game pics, custom CBT designs converted to Alpha Strike, units posted (with pictures), and discussion of various aspects of the game.

Now one could argue, “Why not do this on the forums?” I have my reasons. No, I haven’t been banned, but sometimes, I want to discuss things like military doctrines from a real-world perspective and how they relate to Alpha Strike. (Yes, I know the 3rd rule of CBT, the real world doesn’t apply). Hey, I wrote a numbering scheme article for CBT once that used several real-world schemes that inspired folks, so why the hell not write some other stuff? There is a lot of inspiration in the real world, why the hell not use it?

So in short? Buckle up, I intent to make this an interesting ride and well worth your time.

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