Saturday, 29 September 2012

Changing course.

Firstly let me start with UPDATE: x/x. I am now putting The proposed 7TV game on hold. It came clear to me that at Skirmish it was very self indulgent of me to push 7TV at shows. I still like the game and will still support it. The problem is that the people who support the club at shows don't play 7TV. So after some soul searching I am moving away from it as a game at shows. I do feel sad about it and am not totally abandoning it but I can no longer justify working on a show game that only I know the rules and background for. Being a slow thinker it has taken a week for me to come to this conclusion.
At this stage I do not know what we will do, but I am open to ideas from the other club members who will support us at shows. The ones that don't support the club, much less so. As a club we do have a number of assets that I feel we should utilise. Graham is a rules Guru, he can read rules and understand them to a far greater degree than anyone else I have ever met. The other major asset is Tim, owner and proprietor of both Frontline Wargaming ( and IT MINIATURES ( So it would be good to help support his business. Therefore the most obvious solution would be to do a 20mm WW1 game. This would not be my choice, but with about 12 weeks until Christmas I really do need to get my act together and get a game started. 12 weeks does sound like a long time but it quickly evaporates especially if I have to paint 2 armies and make the terrain. I have asked Tim and Graham to come up with a show game idea time will tell if they do. I hope they have come up with something by this time next week.

Moving on as mentioned a couple of days ago I have been working on a Hunchback mech. The Hunchback is a medium mech with a huge "Auto-cannon" on its shoulder which causes 20 points of damage every time it hits. With this level of damage also comes the problems that it has very little ammunition. It does have two medium lasers as well but people seem to forget the 5 points of damage these can each deliver when they know it can inflict 20 points from the Auto-cannon. I have shown it here with the plastic version from the Battletech 25th Anniversary Introductory set. I hope this clearly shows they are both the same (other than one is metal and painted while the other is unpainted plastic).

The final pic is the two "Finished" mechs together, Hunchback and Griffin. Two medium mechs for a total of 105 tons. I have found these two work well together The Griffin for long range exploits and the Hunchback for close in work. No two mechs will ever be ideal and a lot does come down to how you think of them and use them, but for me I did enjoy using these two, and that is far more important than trying to find the "right" mechs.

That's it for today. Thanks for reading, have a great weekend (what's left of it) and I will post again on Tuesday. All the Best Clint.

Post script: I have already started to think about SELWG show shopping list, looking at which traders will be there and both what I need and want. 2 Weeks to go and I am already feeling poor as I look at what I need.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Battletech Griffin

Having started to cross check the new and old battle tech rules I have found them to be compatable. Therefore I went up the loft and dragged out my very old lance. One figure seems to be missing (a Stinger) but there was a Rifleman that I had forgotten about. Which balances out. Not in game terms of course the stinger being 20 ton light mech and the rifleman being an Anti Aircraft mech. I also rediscovered a LAM (Land Air Mech) which I have no use for at present but still good to have. Coming to the point I have had to repaint and base the Griffin which was my personal mech looking at the left shoulder you can see the command chevrons. The right shoulder carries a House Stiener Cross.
For those familure with the Battletech mechs you will recall the Griffin is a 55 tom medium mech. It carries a PPC in the right arm and a 10 Rack LRM on the right shoulder. It was the first mech I was assigned in the game and then campaign. I was always tempted to swap out the LRM for an SRM (LRM=Long Range Missile launcher, SRM=Short range missile launcher) . I never managed it in the game setting.But as this weapon set allows me to sit back at range and still be in the fight which meant I could keep the pilot (Me) alive. Mostly the tactic worked but it came close on a number of occassions. It also meant my other mech pilots had to take a short range beating at times. Still you win some and loose the rest!
The shoulder decals are just what I had lying about, but I do think they add a certain military flavour to the Griffin. I did have a scan through a selection of Mech colour schemes here. ( Not the worse place to look at other mech colour schemes. The Griffin is not one of the mechs in the Introductory set I got a few days back, so this is one of the original metal ones. I think they are still availible from Ral Patha Europe. ( The mechs range from £5.50 to about £9 easch which is quite expensive (not compaired to Games Workshop of course) but for me £9 is a lot to spend on a single figure. The good news is that for Battletech you tend not to need hundreds of figures. All in all I shall have to balance expenditure and useage and see where that takes me. No orders planned at present as I have plenty of Mechs still to paint with the old lance and the new plastics, but at least I know for the future.
The quick start rules can be found here ( There is a lot that are missing in the basic rules, like jumping, hand to hand combat, torso twists etc. But the good news is that they will give a starting point for new players. I would recomend a quick read if you have not played before or in my case for a very long time. Just before I finish talking about Battletech today I thought I should show a picture from 25 years ago. This Black and White sketch illustration is the one from the 3025 Technical readout. I used to like the style of the Technical readouts. The sketches had a cool look, they were not too slick and made you feel that you could have drawn them (until you tried of course).
Lastly today this is the next lot of Fudge I have made for my work colleges. Dark chocolatefudge with white chocolate buttons for decoration. I am delighted with the feedback that the Health workers have given me. Don't get me wrong I have been told they will eat anything that has chocolate in it. (None of them are overweight I felt I should add that having said they will eat anything chocolate). Anyway this lot lasted about a day for the team. Many of them taking the |Attitude that "free food has no calories".
Anyway that's it for today. Take care and I shall blog again soon.All the best Clint.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Battletech Unboxed

Firstly let me say this is not a review. I must also confess that "I am a Mech-head" and have been for a long time. Therefore I am TOTALLY bias towards original classic Battletech. (NOT THE HERO CLIX ONE) and it is fair and just that I make that clear from the outset. The 25th anerversery Introductory Box Set arived via courier yesterday afternoon and I still have a grin on my face, A BIG grin I might add. One of my friends (strangely everyone knew him as "Goblin!") had everything FASA produced for Battle tech back in the day, some 25 years in the past. However Goblin Fell in Love with a German Girl and subsequently moved to Germany. I was set up on a blind date with one of her friends and after 9 months realised that she was not the one for me and came home back to blighty. Long story made short I have not played with Mechs for a very very long time. So I was aprehensive about opening the box. I need not have been It's BRILLIANT! (sorry that just slipped out).  The box is heavy and full of Mechie goodness. And here is what is inside.

How the core rulebooks work is more an advert for the possible expansions to game than an explanation of how to read the rules and in what order, It does however serve a purpose. Only 8 pages long it outlines what each expansion is and how it fits in with the introductory set. So does it tempt me to get the expansions? To be honest, not yet, One of the expansions is a role-playing game, for example which at the moment in my life I have no use for, if things change and I do start role-playing again I don't think I would choose this as a setting.
The Quick Start Rules which I believe you can download free online. Anyway it's only 12 pages full colour with lots of helpful pictures and is the very basic rules to get you started. I should confess I have not read any of these rulebooks yet, that will start today. This should give new players a place to start. For me It will act as a refresher and a kick start into re-learning a game that is mostly just a memory in the back of my mind.

The introductory rulebook contains the main rules. The thickest of the volumes at 80 pages it covers the main rules as well as Mech design and a couple of scenarios. In the same way as the rules did 25 years ago. I have not sat down with both rule sets (the old and the new) but  a very quick flick indicates they are pretty much the same. Maybe the wording has changed but the essence is the same. As with all the materials production quality is high and the product a pleasure to interact with.

The source book, "inner shpere at a glance" covers the political situation in the known universe. It covers the history from the rise of the hegemony, through the star league era, to the arrival of the clans. (I am not a Clan Fan, to me they unbalanced the classic battletech status quo it's a personal view but it just seemed to me at the time a FASA ploy to create a super new must have force which would make players crave the next uber mech!) Also in the source book are descriptions of the major houses which will help reienforce the background of the universe. There are also sections on the mech pilots, mercanaries, pirates and the mechs themselves. At the back is a section very much like the old technical reports which give you a picture and a breif description of each mech. Again for new players this will be a great help.

Additionally there is a large full colour star map (A1 in size). My personal gripe is the era that they have drawn the map. It clearly shows clan holdings so I doubt for me it will be any real use. Other people who are Clan Fans will no doubt love it. It's a personal choice but for me (and perhaps only me) it was the wrong choice. As the source book has star maps from other periods I do not feel to agrieved.

Battletech is an old game and as such there are charts and tables to deal with. Each mech needs a record sheet for example. These have been helpfully supplied. I will do a matchup later today to compair the new and the old to determine if mech designs have been tampered with, I hope not so I had best check. There are also some strurdy quick refference sheets which I feel I should laminate, just to keep grubby fingers off!

I am very pleased that they have chossen to include a brief modeling guide, for most of us it is a how to suck eggs guide in that we already know, or should know how to prepare and paint models. I am very pleased that is is seperate from the main rules as this will allow younger or more free spirited gamers to avoid christening the main rules with paint and glue. There is also an interesting section on typical house colours, from experience I believe most players take mercenary contracts so I shall not be following this guide. If you have a decent reff he (or she) will tell you the mechs you are facing are all in Comm Star White, or Kurita Red for example. So while it is nice to know that Liao House can be painted with Goblin Green from GW it is not in any way vital to the game.

Now we start to get to the good bits. Here are the maps, still in their shrink wrap. I hope you can see that they are proper game board maps, full colour and hard mounted. The original maps were not hard mounted but still sufficiently sturdy. These are on an Avalon Hill Quality. Mine for now will remain shrink wraped as I still have the old maps and these seem about the same size. He says rubbing his hands together with joy!

Saving the mechs till last. In the introductory set there are 26 plastic mechs. 2 are multipart clan (Omni) mechs I have not unwrapped these, and I am not sure I ever will. The other 24 mechs (all different by the way) cover a wide range of inner sphere mechs from scout mechs to assult mechs. The picture shows the Hunchbach a 50 ton medium mech, and an 8o ton Awesome assault mech. I like both these mechs, the hunchback has a desestating shoulder mounted Auto cannon (but with ammunition concerns) while the Awesome is about as heavily armed and armoured as you can get, but boy is it slow. With only 24 inner sphere mechs they were never going to get everyones favourites but overall they have got a nice variety. Before you ask they have missed out Marauders, (many peoples favorite Heavy mech), Archer, Lucust, Stingers, Wasps, HatchetMan ( and Axeman), as well as the iconic Rifleman (A good looking mech but with rubbish armour). But with only 24 mechs I must say not a bad selection it so easily could have been worse. The figues are hard plastic and will need to be cleaned up of flash long before painting, But overall I am more than happy with them.

In conclusion I am very happy with this box set, It is not perfect by any means but it is value for money in my opinion and a must have for any mech-head. I plan to start painting mechs this week once I think about colours more. Which actually means I will dither and get nothing done if I am honest. I already want more mechs either in metal or plastic, Griffins (First mech I was ever given control of and a very good medium mech despite me), P-Hawks and Crusaders along with those mentioned above. But unfortunatly getting them at the right price is a problem at the moment.

 Hope to be able to play it at the club but will see how things pan out. I am confident that club members will like the game once they have played it. I can even forsee a campaign in the offing. But I had better walk before I run. The next step clearly is to read the rules properly and compare it with CLASSIC battletech.

Well that's enough for today. Thanks for reading and Take care. All the Best Clint

Monday, 24 September 2012

Skirmish 23rd Sept 2012

For Photos of the show you will have to try a few other blogs. I make no appologies for no pics today I just did not get ANY time to see the show let alone take some pics. Here are a few links.

I am the guy in the camo trousers running the 7TV game, in case you don't know me. Not the most flattering but I guess the camera did not lie.

I spent all day running the 7TV game. Managed to get 4 gmes finished and only got to the trader hall a few brief times so nothing was purchased except 1 rule book. (I have not even flicked through it yet, but I do like the look feel and quality. I will no doubt review it in a few months).

Still back to the show, firstly let me say I did get a few things wrong with the rules, but not disasterously wrong and all the players seemed t enjoy the games. The boards looked pretty good, we all had club shirts and a7TV banner at our back so if nothing else we might have given the impression of knowing what we were doing!

I do know Karl at Crooked Dice was happy and that to me was important. I also know that because of the game we did encourage some sales. One guy in particular, on a visit to this country from the States, not for the show in particular but as a wargamer he did manage to sniff it out. He alone spent £70:00 at Crooked Dice stand having watchd the participation game. A genuinely nice chap I have his details and his club details in Huston, not sure what will result if anything but who knows.

Will we do a 7TV game at a show again? Well that depends. The guys that came from the club are not really 7TV players so perhaps the next show we should put on something more suited to their tastes. Or another option would be to do a WW1 game in 20mm to support the miniatures range of Tim ( from IT miniatures, Tim also being a club member. Time will tell what we actually do.

On the car journey we talked about up coming projects.Graham wants to do a 10mm WW1 game as he has just bought the Peter Pig "Square Bashing" rules. |I have several projects I want to progress but today I just wat to relax.

I must say a big THANKS to the other guys from Rainham, (Namely Graham, Peter and Bob.) without whom I could not have managed at all.