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Let’s talkabout ‘Mechs bay-bee

Let’s talkabout ‘Mechs bay-bee

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Project Blog by dawfydd Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

An intermittent log of my steps into the tabletop world of Battletech, after decades spent enjoying the videogames & novels (but never the cartoon - remember, WE DO NOT SPEAK OF THE CARTOON)....

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Bleeeeeeugh

Tutoring 2
Skill 3
Idea 2
1 Comment

Annoyingly my health has not been in my favour these last few weeks so I didn’t get my Star painted in time for the Trial for Refusal this past weekend, and nor was I well enough to make the drive down. But on the upside I pushed myself a bit to at least make a start on my Goliath Scoprions and got the main base colour down with some Aggaros Dunes, which works nicely for Omega Galaxy.

Hopefully I’ll be up to attending the next event at Factorum set for June/July time, where it seems focus will be returning to the Inner Sphere in 3049….

Bleeeeeeugh

Update

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
Idea 3
4 Comments

Not too much happening at the moment but got a small update to add to the old project:

Simon, an absolute BOSS from the Battletech UK Facebook group, holidayed in New York back in Feb and whilst he was there seemingly stripped the local Barnes & Nobels of Wolf Dragoon Assault Star packs for folks here, given we still don;t know for certain if it’s going to broader distribution or will remain an exclusive to B&N. Now I thought I’d missed out as I was at work when he posted for anyone interested in a pack on the FB group, but he had a spare which he held for me until March’s payday, so now I have an Annihilator, plus extras of the Mad Cat, Archer, Rifleman & Black Jack 🙂

And less excitingly I got my mech record sheets for Easter weekends Trial of Refusal at Factorum printed out and laminated ready to go.

My chosen star breaks down thusly:

  • Horned Owl
  • Conjurer
  • Shadow Cat Prime
  • Warhammer IIC
  • Marauder IIC

It’s an energy-heavy list, no Autocannons or LRMs, a single Gauss Rifle on the ‘Cat, 1 SRM6 and a pair of SRM2’s. Lots of lasers and PPC’s though. I’m probably going to be giving up tonnage to other forces, and only having a single Omnimech in the Shadow Cat will probably leave me lacking some flexibility (one of the event packet rules is Omnimechs can swap loadouts during the event), but if they can manage the heat this force has some real damage output….

Trial For Revival - April 16th & 17th @ FactoruM

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 2
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So. Crow Industries have unveiled the rules pack for their next Battletech event at FactoruM. Taking place of the the weekend of the 16th & 17th of April, we are departing the Inner Sphere for Clan Space circa 3048 as Clan Smoke Jaguar lead the call for “Operation Revival” and the Clans gather to determine who will take part in bringing enlightenment to the Great Houses and conquer Terra….

Which all sounds rather exciting to be honest. I’m sticking with my choice of Clan in Goliath Scorpion, and will stick with the 5 ‘mechs I had already decided on (and being an eager beaver have confirmed that with John at Crow Industries). In terms of paint job, well I quite like the colours of the Scorpions Omega Galaxy, a sandy yellow/gold primary with deep, muddy reds for secondary colour. Now admittedly the Omega are a creation of the Scorpions after they had been chased from Clan Space in the late 31st century and conquered several Periphery nations to form the Escorpión Imperio, but a) it’s a killer colour scheme and b) it lets me continue my scheme to have forces built for multiple factions for use across multiple eras…..

 

Bargained well, and done!

Tutoring 6
Skill 7
Idea 7
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Bargained well, and done!

Just a little update:

  • Crow Industries posted up the build requirements for their next Battletech event, this one to take place in April. This time rather than Inner Sphere forces we will be building a Star of Clan ‘mechs, and instead of Battle Value we just have to work to some weight restrictions – 2 ‘mechs with a combined weight of no more than 100 tonnes, 2 ‘mechs with a combined weight up to 120 tonnes, and then the last mech can weight up to 100 tonnes, and all have to have been in production before 3050.
  • I have a list in my head (see if you can guess from the mechs I’ve primed what the makeup will be 😉 ), but John from CI has recommended holding off until the full rules packet is released before locking in lists, so I’ve primed a few alternates at the same time.
  • And for my Clan? Well I’ve done some reading and honestly? I’m digging the lore of the Goliath Scorpions and how they evolved into the Scorpion Empire later on. That and Clan Wolverine doesn’t exist anymore or I’d have gone with them….
  • Catalyst released a Wolf’s Dragoons Assault Star box late last year as an exclusive with Barnes & Noble, which managed to ruffle a few feathers as in addition to sculptures of the Blackjack, Madcat, Archer & Rifleman, it’s the first place a plastic Annihilator has been available. Now turns out it’s a timed exclusive but still no timeline on when it might get a larger release, but thankfully a Good Egg in the UK Battletech community visited New York last month and picked up sets for people. They knew I was after one (but missed the notice to put in a request) and ended up with a spare that they’ve offered me and I should be paying for come months end!
  • And my copy of Tamar Rising should arrive this weekend with a bit of luck, so that’s nifty.

War of 3038 - Day 1

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
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A roundup of the first day of The War of 3039 Battletech event at Factorum in conjunction with Crow Industries (shout out to John from Crow for organising & running the event).

Before games began those of us who had opted to be unaffilated Mercenaries placed our forces in the room just off the gaming area and the two players taking overall command of the Draconis Combine & Federated Commonwealth for the weekend went in to bid for our services. I was somewhat surprised to find that The Coordinator had bid a whopping 4,050,000 C-Bills for Kether Troops services, so as painful as it was for a Kell Hound command to work for the Dragon, gotta pay those pills somehow 😉

(and a quick note on C-Bills – all players were given a list of 1-use resources they could draw on throughout the weekend, so long as they had the C-Bills to pay for them…)

War of 3038 - Day 1

Game 1 was vs Mike, a very helpful veteran Battletech player who was exceedingly patient as I got my head around the rules.
As the opening engagement of the Feddies invasion, we both had differing objectives but the same build restrictions on our forces, ie I had to get across the centre line of the board and have a model there for the rest of the game from Turn 3, whilst Mike had to stay within 3 inches of the centre building for 5 rounds then get at least 1 unit off of my table edge. Both of our forces comprised 2 mechs from our Alpha lance – I opted for a Wolfhound & Centurion, whilst Mike deployed a Jenner and an Assassin.

Whilst I probably had more hitting power, Mike had a significant advantage in that his mechs were overall faster than mine, and both had jump jets which i did not so very quickly were able to out-manouver my force (especially when I failed to seize the initiative at all after the first couple of turns, so Mike could always react to my movement).

The game ended in a in for Mike, entirely as he misread his objective so had retreated back to his board edge and I agreed to play on so he could try and pull it back, then got caught up in the bloodlust and moved my Centurion just so that it was across the centre line back into my half of the board >_<

Final Result – Loss

After a short break for lunch (and quite a nice cheese burger) we moved on to Game 2. I remained on Table 7, but was joined by Adam for what turned out to be a mirror match – both of us opted to deploy a Black Knight from our Beta Lances and a Phoenix Hawk from our Alpha Lances, with the same objective to destroy at least 1 opposing mech, then withdraw from the field.

Now this game was a real slugfest, only marred by my utter inability to nail some clutch shots when absolutely needed – to whit, after using a pair of Requisitions to both seize Initiative and to destroy the building between his Black Knight and both my mechs, I had managed to get both mine into point-blank range and cranked the heat on my Black Knight up to MAX with an alpha strike of it’s full loadout, 3 Large Lasers, 4 Medium Lasers and 1 Small Laser. Annoyingly whilst I melted a lot of armour nothing was stripped and no internals, a poor trade given I was left with 17 heat and a pilot beginning to broil….
Thankfully however, Mike decided he didn’t want to risk the next turn of shooting as his Company weren’t getting paid that much, so withdrew from the field. So whilst no casualties were inflicted on either side, as I held the field I gained the victory!

Final Result – Win

(but we managed a mini conga-line of his Black Knight, then the 2 Phoenix Hawks, so really we are both winners here 😉 )

RUN AWAY!!!RUN AWAY!!!

The final game of the day saw me bumped up to Table 2, facing off against Emma and this might have been the most fun game I had, in no small part as I was finally getting a handle on the rules so could run the shooting maths a tad more instinctively, but also as we both determined just to have a laugh.

The mission was a Looting objective with 2 supply crates in the middle of the board that we both had to try and secure then get off our own board edges. The force requirements were for 3000bv drawn from our Beta Lances, with the additional previso that to pick up the supplies the mech had to have hand actuators. Thankfully, by pure happenstance, every mech I had in my force had at least 1 functional hand, so it was jsut working out the bv requirements. Annoyingly the 3000bv limit meant I was limited to either the Highlander on it’s own, or the Black Knight and the Wolverine. Despite the tankiness of the Highlander, I figured the extra numbers and the (comparitive) speed would be more useful. Emma in turn opted to put down a Vulcan and a Banshee, an interesting pairing. Before the game began I forked over 2,000,000 C-Bills to use Advanced Recon from the Requisition sheet to push the Wolverine a heady 16 inches up the board, close enough to start the game by running up to the supply cache and grabbing a crate. The Black Knight plodded up the highway on the other side of the cache and managed to snag the other crate as the Wolverine put the foot down to evac down the board with their crate, but sadly this is where I erred – instead of pushing the Wolverine back down the highway I should have turned it round and combined both mechs firepower. Instead the Black Knight ended up weathering fire from both of Emma’s mechs, backing up and eventually losing all armour over the center torso, taking 2 reactor hits (something even 22 heat sinks struggles to manage) before finally having all internal structure on the CT destroyed, taking the Black Knight out of action. The Wolverine, after turning just before the board edge to provide covering fire for the Black Knight, moved off to secure 1 crate of supplied for The Coordinator, whilst Emma’s force took control of the crate that the Black Knight had been carrying for the FedCom.

Final Result – 1 crate each, Draw  

Final thoughts: Overall I had a great time. Everyone at the event was really lovely and welcoming, and I am determined to try and get down there again at some point.
Unfortunately (as can [probably be guessed from when I am writing this post) I have opted not to attend Day 2. I am disappointed but sadly my health is still not great, and by the time I got home last night (even passing on the Urbiederby event) I was wiped out, this morning feeling rather like I had been trampled on. But I did it! I got out to a wargaming event! And had an aces time! Mentally that is a massive step for me and one I honestly hope to repeat.

War of 3039 - Pre-event Check

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
3 Comments

Ok, so next weekend (26th & 27th) is the War of 3039 event at Factorum down in Warminster, and as I’m working till somewhat late on Friday I figured I’d try and get the major prep work done this weekend so I have everything to hand. To whit that means:

  • Laminated copy of CGL’s rules reference sheet.
  • Printouts from Flechs of all the battlemechs I am taking in my force.
  • Dry-erase markers.
  • The event rules packet.
  • Rulebooks (I think I will only need the AGOAC book but am taking the Battlemech Manual just in case…).
  • Dice, in a handy carrycase with a dice tray (I backed this one on Kickstarter but for the life of me can’t remember the name of the company).
  • Anything else? Oh yeah, minis! I need to get some decent carrycases but for now this Feldherr one will do the job for small forces like this….

Kether Troop - Kell Hounds Affiliate Mercenary Command

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Skill 5
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Right, so the War of 3039 event pack has a spot on the ‘Mech damage records for the pilot name, so I started just coming up with some names for each one – with call signs – and then kinda got a bit carried away so wrote up some brief biographies for each one. Please feel free to let me know what you think – I have tried to keep them fairly period-agnostic, excepting Omega Lance whose existence is only really possible in the post 3150 period…

Alpha Lance (Company Command/Battleline)
Captain Morgase “Morrigan” Kincaid-Farsi – Highlander

Morgase Kincaid never dreamed of being a Mechwarrior, but after terrorists killed her parents and brothers the academic young girl she had been was replaced by a voracious student of military tactics and martial combat. Her maternal Grandfather, himself a retired Brigadier in the AFFS, tried to guide her intense focus to prevent her causing herself harm. He was moderately successful – Morgase made a name for her dour nature outside the cockpit and utter lack of mercy within it, with one classmate comparing her to the Morrigan of Olde Irish lore, a name she took with pride. Chafing within the rigid structure of the AFFS, her Grandfather prepared for this and on his death left her 3 bequeathments: The option for an honourable discharge from her commission; the family battlemech, a much-refitted Highlander that had been in the family since the days of the SLDF; and a letter of introduction to the Kell Hounds CO.

Colour-Sgt Ryan “Waves” Braga – Wolverine
Ryan Braga presents a slight figure who one would never think was senior NCO in a company of mercenaries, but they have spent the best part of 3 decades knocking fresh off the dropship rookies into shape across the Inner Sphere, working for most of the Great Houses at some point or other. For those who judge the nominally laid back Waves (so named for their obsession with finding surfing spots, no matter the planet) on how they present themselves, it normally only takes one round either in the ring or in battlemechs for that assumption to be put right.

Sgt Steph “Tagger” Salazar – Black Knight
Tagger is an artiste, and woe betide anyone who tries to tell her differently. On more than one occasion she has gotten bored on patrol and begun using the lasers of her Black Knight to carve intricate designs, patterns and even portraits & landscapes into any bare rockface she can find, much to the bemusement of those who come across them (somewhat less sanguine about this are those who might own buildings that Tagger thinks would make a good canvas for her work, although she has developed small following in the art collecting community willing to pay the owners of her “canvases” enough to mollify their initial complaints). In battle Salazar is surgical in the precision she wields her array of laser weaponry, but has a tendency to forget to stagger her firing enough to prevent generating excessive heat, much to the chagrin of the company mechanics…

Bravo Lance (Recon/Harraser)
2nd-Lt Jacques “Downer” Hart – Centurion
Lt Hart is a valiant mechwarrior whose skill behind the controls of his Centurion “Valjean” is as close to graceful as anyone piloting 55 tons of war machine is likely to be called. Unfortunately he is also plagued by near crippling self-doubt and imposter syndrome. Given half a chance he’d spend all his downtime replaying battle-ROMs, pointing out flaws in his performance only he can see, or attributing his successes to his fellow pilots or to random chance. The Morrigan’s solution? Prevent Hart from having time to agonise over his own perceived flaws; hence why he was promoted to Lt and placed in command of the company’s Bravo Lance with the job of riding heard over some of Kether Troops’ most rambunctious mechwarriors.

Corporal Mustafa “Archive” Abbas – Wolfhound
Mo Abbas would have been happy to remain in academia, but the conditions of his scholarship required he accept a military commission on graduation so was required to undertake military training alongside his historical studies. In the course of this Abbas found he had a talent for piloting Light ‘mechs and a taste for combat. On completing the term of his commission Mo opted to muster out instead of renewing and headed for the hiring halls of Outreach. A Kell Hounds recruiter saw in him a pilot who would suit the new Wolfhounds that they were testing, and so began a second career that has so far been fruitful. His callsign comes from his ability to absorb information on a stunning variety of subjects, and recite any part of it on request (or often if the topic just happens to come up in conversation…).

Mechwarrior Erica “Echoes” Falkirk – Phoenix Hawk
By rights Mechwarrior Falkirk should be commanding a company of her own, but holds a minor record for promotions and demotions, alongside a list of battlefield awards, citations, commendations and medals that would make most green with envy. Unfortunately Erica Falkirk is – in the eyes of many – a habitual screw-up with a penchant for hard living when not on deployment and an inability to not offend ranking officers in the same room with her. The truth is though, is that Echoes has not taste for command nor desire to return to it, even the duties of an NCO she finds uncomfortable, so everytime she finds herself bumped up in rank she finds a way to get busted back down again, but just enough so that her combat record can keep her from being cashiered out. Unfortunately for her, Falkirk may have met her match in “Morrigan” Kincaid-Farsi – Kincaid has no time for Echoes wallowing in mediocrity, and considers it a challenge to push her to her potential…

Mechwarrior Andreas “Gopher” Starke – Commando
Gopher is – in his own words – “The man who can”, and by can he means find near anything you want, for a price. He has an astounding ability to plug in to the local underworld of whatever locale he is based in, no matter the planet, and source things, no questions asked. Of course this has led to Gopher occasionally over-estimating his abilities, resulting in his being confined to barracks when not sealed up in his Commando’s cockpit on more than one occasion whilst the company finish out a posting, for his own health. Captain Kincaid-Farsi placed Starke in Lt Hart’s recon unit in the hopes it might focus his abilities. Hart remains to be convinced by his antics.

Gamma Lance (Battleline/Brawlers)

1st-Lt Alphonso “Bracket” Tomino – Thunderbolt
Bracket likes to claim that his call-sign comes from his preference for unleashing all of his Thunderbolts firepower in precision alpha strikes. Whilst he does have a knack for these, the less glamorous reality is he was cashiered out of the LCAF for running several – highly lucrative – gambling rings, Bracket being the name he ran them under. When he was “invited” to leave the service he decided to make the name his own (and to date has managed to keep his new rings low-key). Recently he has found a partner in crime in Bravo Lance’s Gopher, much to the chagrin of the rest of the company…

2nd-Lt Brianna “Breeze” Tautei – Archer
Brianna Tautei serves as second in command of Gamma Lance, a role she more and more begins to think is simply to keep lance commander “Bracket” Tomino and his sidekick “Gopher” Starke out of trouble. Thankfully this is a role that Breeze excels at, whether by manhandling goons who have grievances (justified or not but more often justified) with the pair, or by laying down withering missile barrages from her Archer. And if things get up close, well, the Archer does come with a good pair of hands for brawling….

Sgt Dani “Diamond” Maddex – Warhammer
A tinkerer by nature, Dani Maddex was all set to follow in her families tradition of operating a Miningmech in the local mines, except a lone pirate mechwarrior and his crew showed up to give the town a shakedown. Which would have gone fine, had Dani not been working on the Miningmech in the family hanger, and the overconfident pirates stopped in front of the building with their backs to the hanger door. Dani rammed her mech through the closed doors and used the diamond-tipped boring drills she had been tuning up to core through the pirate gangs Warhammer, sending their leader to a very messy end. This sudden (and grizzly) act stunned the remainder of the pirate gang – armed only with infantry weapons and some light vehicles – and gave the townsfolk a chance to rally and overwhelm them. When the planetary sheriff’s office finally tracked the pirates down they were nonplussed to find everyone bar the gangs leader bound up and ready to be handed over to them. The townsfolk were adamant that no mech or pilot matching that description was still in town. And technically they were correct.
The town accepted the reward but split it in half – one half to go to the upkeep of the town and mines (netting some long overdue upgrades) and the rest to pay Dani’s way to a school of her choosing. When she left she took with her most of a Warhammer that she has been repairing and piloting ever since.

Sgt Leonardó “Woden” Halldórsson – Marauder
Leonardó Halldórsson acquired his callsign after an accident in basic training cost him an eye and he took to self-consciously wearing an eyepatch, even after getting a cybernetic replacement that allowed him to make the requirements for active duty. Couple that with his huge frame and the long hair & beard he cultivated and he looked every bit the Viking his ancestors once were. Woden serves as Kether Troop’s master sniper, whether with precision fire from his Marauder’s PPC’s & Autocannon, or on the firing ranges instructing the units Mechwarriors, Infantry, and support personnel.

Omega Lance “The Pack” (Irregular Tactics)

Mechwarrior Barry “Athos” Hauser – Mad Cat Mk.II
Barry Hauser was born to a minor noble house that had thrown in it’s lot with the Kells and the Arc Royal Defence Cordon to defend the Lyran Commonwealth from the Jade Falcons. After a particularly bad end to a relationship, Barry left home despondent to join the military and, being a tad prone to being overly dramatic, adopted the name “Athos” as his call sign. Increasingly enraged by the LCAF’s ineffectiveness against the depradations of Clan Jade Falcon and the Wolf Empire, Athos resigned his commission and has been searching for the remnants of the Kell Hounds to offer them his services. Joining up with Kether Troop, the mercurial Athos has formed an ad-hoc Lance of other mechs of the Timber Wolf/Mad Cat lineage with mechwarriors who could not find a place in the broader company. Currently he is working on a proposal to send to Colonel Kell to expand on his reasoning behind the unit, but that depends on his units success in the field….

Mechwarrior Toni – Timber Wolf
No one quite knows where Mechwarrior Toni came from – they claim to be a Sibkin from the Wolves-In-Exile, and some of the Kell Hounds who escaped Arc Royal think they remember seeing them there during the desperate final days before Malvina Hazen’s forces finally routed the planets defenders, but there are others who would swear that they resemble a face they saw fighting in the colours of the Falcon Toumen. Whatever the truth, Toni makes no efforts to hide that they came from the Clans, but is more reticent about which one. What is known is that they are a keen fighter and their much-refitted Timber Wolf can just about hold it’s own amongst it’s younger kin in The Pack.

Mechwarrior Kim “Cooler” Santiago – Mad Cat Mk.IV
“The Cooler” is an old-Earth term used to describe a player paid by casinos to disrupt anyone whose luck was just a bit too good. Kim Santiago lives up to that moniker as she relishes stopping opposing mechwarriors in their tracks with precision fire from her Savage Wolf’s twin PPC’s and it’s missile racks prone to knee-capping anyone too focused on taking down other members of the company.

Battle Lance (+ Mad Cats) Complete

Tutoring 4
Skill 7
Idea 7
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Metals blocked in, and drybrushed the bases with Tallarn SandMetals blocked in, and drybrushed the bases with Tallarn Sand
Cleaned up the overspills and shaded the weapons with Basilicanum GreyCleaned up the overspills and shaded the weapons with Basilicanum Grey
The 'mechs drybrushed with Karak StoneThe 'mechs drybrushed with Karak Stone
Ink washes applied, base rims painted and all done :)Ink washes applied, base rims painted and all done :)
Clanners beware....Clanners beware....

Reinforcing the Packs

Tutoring 6
Skill 7
Idea 7
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Figured I’d try and keep the paint train rolling so started in on some heavier support for the Kell Hounds. with some solid battle-line units. To whit, from left to right along the front row:

  • Morgan Kell’s Archer from the Legendary Mechwarriors set – kindof a no brainer, and the Archer is just a solid fire-support chassis even if the Grand Duke of Arc Royal is not on the field.
  • Marauder – Iconic, and great to see the design back in play and bearing a lovely resemblance to it’s forebear, the Zentraadi Officers Battlepod from Macross/Robotech, whilst being distinctly Battletech in it’s styling.
  • Thunderbolt – if my time playing HBS’ Battletech videogame has proven one thing, it’s that the T-Bolt is just a wonderful brawler at all ranges that can absorb horrific amounts of punishment. It was either this or the Black Knight for my list to take to War of 3039 at the end of the month, and the Black Knight just pipped it…
  • Warhammer –  I know it’s the Robotech/Macross fan in me, but goshdammit I can’t get enough of that Excalibur silhouette.

And on the back we have a trio of Mad Cat’s – The OG Timber Wolf, the Assault-class Mad Cat Mk.II and finally the Mad Cat Mk.IV “Savage Wolf”. If I can find a decent Mad Cat Mk.III to match the scaling of these, this could make a fun support lance…

And I finally picked up a bunch of decent sized hex-bases and mounted some of my 3d prints:

  • Mad Cat Mk.III – I love the idea of a Medium-class Timber Wolf, but the scaling on this is just a tad off. I think it needs to be a third smaller? Something to raise with the chap I purchased it from. Still a lovely print though.
  • Gurkha – A really nice take on the Wobbie Light close-assault ‘mech, based on some great artwork (I think from BT community stalwart Bishop Steiner?) that stripped away the rounded armour and swapped the sword for a far more appropriate blade riffing on the iconic Kukhri’s wielded by real-life Gurkhas. Probably still a little larger than it should be, but in fairness I think if this one got much smaller it would be incredibly brittle…
  • Warwolf – In essence a Timber Wolf that swaps one of the ranged weapon arms for an arm with a functional hand/claw, and wraps it all up in a chassis designed to evoke Clan Wolf’s namesake totem beast. Honestly I just dig the idea that the Kell Hounds commander as of 3150 (Callandre “Calamity” Kell) might take to targeting & salvaging “totem” ‘mechs from across the Clans to fit across the Kell Hound command as calculated atagonizers to draw out Clan warriors offended to see Spheroids using chassis designed to embody the spirit of their Clan against them…..
  • Fafnir – A fave going back to the Mechwarrior 4 days, the Fafnir is pretty much the epitome of the trope that battlemechs are gun turrets with legs. Need to see if if I can build my old variant; and Rotary Auto Cannon 5 in each torso, paired with an ER PPC in each arm. The time it takes for a PPC to recharge is just shy of how long continuous fire takes to jam an RAC, so you can nearly fire continuosly and just shred most things until ammo runs out.
Reinforcing the Packs

Release the (Kell) Hounds (redux)

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
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Trying this again as the Projects system ate my first attempt to post this (I think it was the image sizes ( >_< )

  1. So, I opted to skip the pre-shade step I was going to try for, and just applied Blood Angel Red & Black Templar directly over the Wraithbone primer, with Leadbelcher on the weapons and Retributer Gold for the cockpit glass.
  2. Next step was shading the weapons with Basilicanum Grey, and I applied Stirland Mud to the top of the bases.
  3. Once the bases were dry I drybrushed the Stirland Mud with Tallarn Sand, then hit each Battlemech with an all-over drybrush of Karak Stone (I may not have wiped all the paint off the brush when doing a couple of these).
  4. And to finish up (and to tone down the harshness and “enthusiasm” of some of the drybrushing) a wash of Nuln Oil on the ‘Mechs, and Aggrax Earthshade on the bases, with Mournfang Brown on the base rims.

 

Prime-Time!

Tutoring 5
Skill 6
Idea 5
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So took a big step today and primed my first models in nearly two and a half years, hitting my force for The War of 3039 with Wraithbone, as well as spraying some extra mechs whilst I was at it.

Prime-Time!

I’m thinking of using this colour scheme for the Kell Hounds:  https://camospecs.com/listing/wasp-wsp-1a/ : so red on the head, torso, shoulders, lower arms & lower legs, with black on the upper arms, lower torso & legs from the knees up. With Wraithbone as a base, I’m thinking of hitting each model with an initial pre-shade of Nuln Oil, then Blood Angels and Black Templar Contrast paints.

Now, I will freely admit that this is my first time using Contrasts, so if anyone has any advise or tips they would like to offer before i start tomorrow, it will all be greatly appreciated 🙂

 

 

My First Battletech Event: The War Of 3039

Tutoring 4
Skill 5
Idea 5
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So one of my hobby goals for the new year was to get out and actually play games with folks (the current global crisis not withstanding..). To that end I’ve signed myself up to the next Battletech weekend being run by Crow Industries & Factorum at the end of February, a narrative event set during the War of 3039 between the Draconis Combine and Federated Commonwealth.

Going off the rules packet it seems like it should be a fun, casual event for newbies (waves hand) and veteran players alike. I even whipped together a force list and got it approved (shout out to John at Crow Industries for verifying my list over the weekend):

My First Battletech Event: The War Of 3039

Front row left to right;

  • Centurion
  • Wolfhound
  • Commando
  • Phoenix Hawk

Back row left to right:

  • Black Knight
  • Highlander
  • Wolverine

I think this gives me a good spread of durability and firepower in all weight classes, with jump-capable ‘mechs in each lance offering maneuverability options even if overall most of the chasssis I’ve gone for are a tad slower overall. I think the ability to tank punishment will be handy given how the weekend is being organised for any damage that completely blows though armour and/or structure to carry over between games. Most importanly though what faction to go for? Well I’ve decided I’m going to paint these in the distinctive red & black livery of the legendary Kell Hounds mercenary regiment, so I think a visit to the Camospecs website and some Battletech painters Youtube channels will be in order.

More Adventures In Buying 3d Printed Minis

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
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More Adventures In Buying 3d Printed Minis

So my Ebay order arrived today and, overall, I’m pretty impressed (with one caveat that should be apparent to anyone familiar with the chassis in question)…

  • Madcat Mk.III – It’s a Madcat, but squeezed into a Medium-class frame. What’s not to love (but in all seriousness I’ve had a softspot for this mech since reading the Ghost War novel)
  • Raptor II – Look, I get it, it’s basically a Raven+, so not exactly innovative, but c’mon it’s a great  looking design. And again I have fond memories of it, this time from the old MechAssault games…
  • Warwolf – Because Clan Wolf gonna Clan Wolf. The Space Wolf in me couldn’t not find a way to use this, and I’m thinking there’d be an irony to a Wolf totem mech being fielded by the remnants of the Kell Hounds. Might be fun to build a lance of captured Clan mechs, a deliberate middle finger to any Clanners they run up against…
  • GurkhaI’ve loved the idea of the Gurkha ever since I first saw it in one of the latter TRO’s. I know it’s seen mainly as a Wobbie mech, but this example is based on a redesign someone posted a few months back, stripped of the curved armour of the OG design, and the sword replaced by a  much more appropriate Kukhri.

But back to the elephant in the room – yeah, that Madcat III is just a smidge too big. The sculpt is lovely & crisp, but it’s pushing the same scale as the MW:DA mini version. For the record though, I’m not unhappy with the mini, but I will be mentioning it to the chap I brought it from so he can adjust his scaling of it for future buyers….

Update - Printing Around the Sphere

Tutoring 4
Skill 3
Idea 4
2 Comments

Been a bit quiet, so apologies for that. I’ve not had much luck getting any paint down, but have made a few select purchases exploring the options for getting 3d prints of mechs, as I’ve yet to take the plunge with a printer of my own (at this point I think I’m waiting for the crop of projection printers that recently crowdfunded to hit retail next year…). Specifically, I’ve been looking for mechs from the FedCom Civil War on to the end of the Dark Age as A) a lot of these are the designs I’m most familiar with, from Mechwarrior 4 and the Dark Age/Age of Destruction range, and B) well, I think I’ve covered pretty well for everything else from the Amaris Civil War to the Clan Invasion thanks to the CI kickstarter, and I plan to build some forces in the IlClan era…

So, I’ve brought from a mix of Etsy and Ebay sellers and each time found the sellers to be very engaging. I’m currently waiting on an order from Geneslicer on Ebay who provided the Mad Cat Mk IV in the above gallery – they are sorting me our for a Raptor II, Gurkha, Mad Cat Mk III and a Warwolf, some of my fave designs (note – I DO own metals of the Mad Cat Mk II and a couple Mad Cat Mk III’s, but want to see how resin prints stack up. Plus I need to source decent hex bases for them…)

Update - Printing Around the Sphere

And I picked up the IlClan source book, a really good run through the events picking up from the end of the Shattered Fortress sourcebook, and running through the buildup to and battle for Terra that marks the end of the Dark Age/Age of Destruction and the dawn of the IlClan. One warning – if you’ve been reading the fiction releases that preceded this book, you will know the main beats of what happens, but this book is an excellent resource for the “historical” events and forces involved in each theatre.

And one final tidbit: White Rook Studios Urbies United!

 

Update - Printing Around the Sphere

Comparisons - Old vs New

Tutoring 4
Skill 3
Idea 4
8 Comments

Just comparisons of some of the mechs I already own against the new sculpts from Clan Invasion – Annoyingly I couldn’t dig out an OG Timber Wolf as the three I own are in bits, so instead a couple of Wahnsa resins, a Mad Cat mk.II and a Mad Cat mk.III will have to make do. Overall though? I do appreciate the more consistent scaling of the new minis, and in general they retain the character of the classic designs just updated to modern standards. It’s going to be interesting to see if this is applied to any metals that Ironwind put out going forwards….

"Dropship Inbound"

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
Idea 5
2 Comments
Mistakes, as they say, were made....Mistakes, as they say, were made....

Ok, so after 20-odd years of playing Battletech-inspired videogames (Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries yo), and reading an awful lot of the fiction, after seeing the quality of the A Game of Armoured Combat starter set I rather jumped in hard on the Clan Invasion Kickstarter – first at the Bloodname reward level before deciding “frag it” and jumping up to Star Colonel during the pledge manager. Now I opted for single wave shipping so I knew I’d have to wait until this year to get anything, so picked up the Clan Invasion box and the 4 Wave 1 Lance & Star packs as they hit retail (courtesy of Shiny Games – at the time one of the few UK retailers carrying a decent range of Battletech and honestly still one of my preferred websites to use), a got all tactical with my reward picks:
* I opted for only Inner Sphere Lance packs from the rewards included with my pledge, as each of those would come with a Wave 1 Salvage pack.
*Added the Clan Ad-Hoc and Heavy Stars as I REALLY wanted the Kodiac, Warhammer iiC and Hunchback iiC.
*Went for a Comstar Command Level II for the King Crab, Black Knight & Highlander.
*Legendary Mechwarriors? Why yes, I would like to represent 4 of the most iconic characters from the lore in their custom Battlemechs..
*Why yes, I did order a full Lance of Urbies. AC-20’s for the win!
And on top of this there’s Grassland, Desert & Battle of Tukayid map packs (would of loved to have been able to grab the battlemats but just outside my budget), data sheets and other goodies (loved the Shilone Aerospace Fighter freebie they threw in as a surprise), plus the lore and rules material that were provided as digital rewards.

 

 

"Battlemech Detected"

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
Idea 4
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So I actually tried to get into Battletech years ago, back when Catalyst released their Classic Battletech starter set (the one with the Hammerhands on the front and hard plastics of the Thor & Loki in addition to the more basic bag of one piece ‘mechs), and at the time picked up a few odd metal battlemechs that I could find on Ebay, and honestly Battletech was my main reason for backing Robotech RPG Tactics for better looking version of the classic “unseen” (lesson learnt there…). Now I wasn’t overly fussed with the aesthetic of the classic minis but found the redesigns for Mechwarrior Online pretty nifty, and came across some fairly decent (for the time) resin prints from Warhansa. Sadly as much as I found the setting pretty fascinating (as a complete stack of Dark Age novels will testify) I did bounce off of the rules and just never did any more with the minis (even if I did end up buying the next Start Box that BLG put out wit the hard plastic Mad Cat and Battlemaster).

"Reactor online; Sensors online; Weapons online; All systems nominal"

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
Idea 5
2 Comments

Ok, so this is going to be a bit of an occasional project inspired by OTT’s inimitable Mr Lyons and his deep, deeeep dive into the world of Battletech, and the ongoing Battletech XLBS thread in the forums.

I’ve got a couple of things I want to do use this project for:
*1st, as a chronicle of how I paint up the ludicrous number of minis I now have, and what forces they end up painted as. I have an inkling that I want to do a couple of forces for specific Eras, with a corresponding OpFor. At the moment that primarily is the 4th Succession War, Clan Invasion, and era of The Republic/ The IlKhan.
*2nd, offer my thoughts on the various products that Catalyst are putting out, especially those I have in hand.
*And 3rd in a similar vein some of the 3P products out there, especially 3d printed minis (I have vast archive of STL’s saved, but no printer, so have ordered some minis from a few Ebay & Etsy sellers – looking forward to seeing how they turn out and stack up against the official minis).

Anyhoo, let’s see how this works out shall we?

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