Battletech: Tactical to Strategic

When people generally think of Battletech, big fighting robots probably jumps to mind first. Then come the thoughts of playing the game on a dining room table (or in my case, tray tables). People have played Battletech, and still do, on just about every conceivable surface. Why? Because its a great pickup game, just open the box and off you go. It's a great formula for quick fun and its one that works all the way up to big conventions, Origins, GenCon, even AdeptiCon.

On the other hand, there is a limit to the variety that that system brings. We've all played the megagames, two teams with vast quantities of units fighting each other over some nominal objective. And there's a variety of things you can do with that, but they're all tactical. Winning that game, meeting that scenario's objective, or just killing some more Imperial Guards, Waffen-SS, Elves, or Uruk-hai, they all begin when the game starts and end when the GM calls time. Battletech has been no different and it has worked well. But what if you wanted to do more?

Well that's what we're offering AdeptiCon 2012. We're taking Battletech to the next level. Over the past few years Battletech has seen a great deal of depth added to the system, strategic rules have been created, and options presented for playing more than a "play and forget" game. We're not talking about Campaign for North Africa level of detail here, but it is a layer that convention games have so far not built upon. So what will you see at AdeptiCon 2012? You're going to see interlinking: what you do on Table 1 is going to have an affect upon what happens at Table 2. Yes, that means teamwork and strategy are going to play bigger roles. You're going to see repairs and damaged units. You aren't going to be able to just assume that as long as a mech is alive you're going to get it back all pristine in the next round. You're going to see support units, maybe artillery, maybe air strikes.

Will it work, will we be able to merge the tactical and the strategic? We've spent hours discussing and debating how you play a game of Battletech and make it matter for more than just the few hours you're playing. We've grappled with how you ensure that what happens in the morning session doesn't predetermine the evening session before the evening session even begins. These are the questions we've grappled with and we look forward to showing the answers to those questions in April at our Counterattack on Kessel event.

-Alex Kaempen
Catalyst Game Labs Agent #314

No comments:

Post a Comment