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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    I'm not so sure you're right about that. If I had to guess - and I do mean guess - then real Battletech players are much less numerous than players of Battletech computer games. And I fall pretty solidly in the second category, having given at least surface attention to all Mech titles since the late 90's.
    The vast majority of BattleTech computer games have been under the MechWarrior name. They're predominately first person based, and with mechanics focused in that direction. This is squad based, and very closely resembled the table top design. It is very obvious this was made with classic BattleTech as the central focus.

    While it is true that there are a lot of PC gamers that have never really looked at the table top game, it has been a pilar in the table top community for almost 35 years. It may not ever have been as big as Warhammer/40k, a year younger than the former, 3 years older than the latter, but it has been there steadily for that entire time.

    Of course there is also the words straight out of the developer's mouth: "Because we love BattleTech, and there hasn't been a turn-based, classic BattleTech game on PC in over 20 years! Above all else, our goal with this project is to deliver an authentic BattleTech experience. Accomplishing that goal isn't just about designing great 'Mech combat - it's about fully realizing the BattleTech Universe, its characters, its factions, and its stories." Off the kickstarter campaign.
    Last edited by Erloas; 2018-09-15 at 06:20 PM.

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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    The vast majority of BattleTech computer games have been under the MechWarrior name. They're predominately first person based, and with mechanics focused in that direction. This is squad based, and very closely resembled the table top design. It is very obvious this was made with classic BattleTech as the central focus.

    While it is true that there are a lot of PC gamers that have never really looked at the table top game, it has been a pilar in the table top community for almost 35 years. It may not ever have been as big as Warhammer/40k, a year younger than the former, 3 years older than the latter, but it has been there steadily for that entire time.

    Of course there is also the words straight out of the developer's mouth: "Because we love BattleTech, and there hasn't been a turn-based, classic BattleTech game on PC in over 20 years! Above all else, our goal with this project is to deliver an authentic BattleTech experience. Accomplishing that goal isn't just about designing great 'Mech combat - it's about fully realizing the BattleTech Universe, its characters, its factions, and its stories." Off the kickstarter campaign.
    While this is true, the tabletop war gaming community is tiny. It's smaller than the tabletop RPG community by a very large margin which is in turn dwarfed by the PC gaming community. The ability of the tabletop Battletech fanbase to support a major video game production is quite small, and I'd strongly suspect that the majority of the kickstarter contributions were not connected to the tabletop community at all. Also, while Battletech differs in being turn-based, tactical combat games in the universe are not new, and this game shares considerable DNA with the old MechCommander games. I suspect nostalgia for the last big gasp of the universes PC games - MechWarrior 4 and MechCommander 2, both products of the very early 2000s - drove a lot of support for this game.
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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Of course it shares a lot with MechCommander, those were very much attempts to capture the table top game too.

    In terms of sales numbers, yes, but in terms of mindshare? I'm not sure. There has always been a large buzz around any Warhammer and 40k games, even the first ones where there wasn't a known electronic game behind them. Not to say they were the biggest games, but they've always been enough to draw attention. The usable lifespan of a table top game purchase is probably an order of magnitude greater than almost any electronic game.

    That said, it is hard to claim that the old games are the main driving factor when most of them are too old to have likely been played by a decent amount of the playerbase, and that they weren't amazingly popular at that time either, or there would have been more and more of them made. The electronic gaming market was significantly smaller back then too. Just like while Fallout 1&2 were really popular 20 years ago, the vast majority of the current players never would have played the first games, and the name and idea were bigger than the actual players.

    In a more simplified way, the drive behind the enthusiasm for the game is built around the entire setting, from the novels, the table top game, the electronic games, and even the history of the company. The table top game is what drove the setting, the electronic games haven't had a unique or emergent narrative (that I'm aware of).

    When it comes down to it, the electronic versions of Battletech are just as niche as table top gaming. The $2.8M for the kickstarter isn't even really a noteworth amount in terms of general electronic gaming. To compare it to something like the Bones kickstarters, which is 100% totally dedicated to nothing but table top gamers (rpg and otherwise), each one of those raised notable more.
    And the table top wargaming market is about 5x the size of the RPG market in terms of money (according to http://www.enworld.org/forum/content...the-RPG-market)

    The game is purposefully designed around the table top game and that is the market they were clearly targetting. Knowing fully well that it will also draw in tactical combat gamers, MechWarrior gamers, and entirely new players as well. It is clear that they didn't change the game to appeal to previous MechWarrior players over the classic BattleTech roots.
    Last edited by Erloas; 2018-09-15 at 10:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    Of course there is also the words straight out of the developer's mouth: "Because we love BattleTech, and there hasn't been a turn-based, classic BattleTech game on PC in over 20 years!
    Emphasis mine. But your argument doesn't support the point you're making. It supports mine.

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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    That said, it is hard to claim that the old games are the main driving factor when most of them are too old to have likely been played by a decent amount of the playerbase, and that they weren't amazingly popular at that time either, or there would have been more and more of them made. The electronic gaming market was significantly smaller back then too. Just like while Fallout 1&2 were really popular 20 years ago, the vast majority of the current players never would have played the first games, and the name and idea were bigger than the actual players.
    The average gamer is something like 35 years old, with the age continuing to increase. A huge portion of the market is driven by gamers who have been playing since their early teens and are now adults. The nostalgia for old games is surprisingly strong. In the specific case of the Battletech universe the touchstone game is MechWarrior 2, which was a massive breakthrough achievement and regularly made all-time best lists for years.

    In a more simplified way, the drive behind the enthusiasm for the game is built around the entire setting, from the novels, the table top game, the electronic games, and even the history of the company. The table top game is what drove the setting, the electronic games haven't had a unique or emergent narrative (that I'm aware of).
    I think you overestimate the setting as a draw, especially for this particular game with it's extremely bare-bones story. This is a tactical combat game with mechs. The level of impact the setting has is really not that high.

    When it comes down to it, the electronic versions of Battletech are just as niche as table top gaming. The $2.8M for the kickstarter isn't even really a noteworth amount in terms of general electronic gaming. To compare it to something like the Bones kickstarters, which is 100% totally dedicated to nothing but table top gamers (rpg and otherwise), each one of those raised notable more.
    And the table top wargaming market is about 5x the size of the RPG market in terms of money (according to http://www.enworld.org/forum/content...the-RPG-market)
    Yes, the kickstarter was small, but a huge portion of the people who play this game were not connected to the kickstarter. I certainly wasn't. This game started small, but ultimately got a fairly standard rollout that much more resembled typical triple-A games than a niche product.

    Also, miniatures sales is not equivalent to tabletop sales as a measure of the size of the player base, because it's driven by miniatures collection as opposed to play, and the absurdly high cost of the miniatures themselves. TTRPG play is comparatively cheap, and a huge number of people play with no investment at all by utilizing books provided by their GMs. And your link shows how much larger the video game industry is compared to the hobby game industry. It is entirely possible and even likely that the sales of this specific Battletech PC game have outgrossed the past twenty years of tabletop Battletech sales.
    Last edited by Mechalich; 2018-09-16 at 08:57 PM.
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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    And the table top wargaming market is about 5x the size of the RPG market in terms of money (according to http://www.enworld.org/forum/content...the-RPG-market)
    As mentioned above, the amount of money between the two hobbies is meaningless for trying to determine how many people play them. Nobody makes the wallet-emptying jokes about D&D or Shadowrun the way they do about Warhammer 40K or M:TG. Anecdotally, my one of my D&D playgroups owns between them 4 rulebooks. This is a group of 6 people.
    Last edited by thracian; 2018-09-16 at 06:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Quote Originally Posted by thracian View Post
    As mentioned above, the amount of money between the two hobbies is meaningless for trying to determine how many people play them. Nobody makes the wallet-emptying jokes about D&D or Shadowrun the way they do about Warhammer 40K or M:TG. Anecdotally, my one of my D&D playgroups owns between them 4 rulebooks. This is a group of 6 people.
    *obligatory comment about how if you don't play Warhammer (or 25/28mm, period) - or, to be honest, BattleTech - wargames is a much cheaper hobby1, especially if you have a wargames club*

    I do feel I have to say that every time, because they really aren't the only options out there.



    Same principle as DMing applies, actually - if you know someone who IS keen to buy all the stuff, then you don't need to buy anything yourself, just turn up and play. (I, for one, like to share my toys...)



    1Not as cheap as it used to be, granted, the days of being able to get a 100-piece 15mm fantasy army from Irregular Minatures for a tenner are gone, now. Gaming (assuing you don't play "AAA" with all of their attempts to squeeze cash out of you), computer games have held their price numerically in the 20-40 range considerably better than wargames has.

    Conversely, wargames is still way cheaper hobby than something like football or fishing or golf or something...

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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Its sort of a "six of one, half dozen of the other" argument. The game is clearly based on the table top rules and story rather than specifically off of any of the old electronic games. Being that they're PC game developers, that's where they're interesting in making the game. Saying "we want to remake the table top game for the table top" wouldn't really make any sense. The table top game has remained the same and essentially unchanged in that time. This game is not 'MechWarrior, it is BattleTech, and if they wanted it to be MechWarrior that is what it would have been.

    The main thing, at least as I see it, is that there are so many "advanced" rules in BattleTech that are essentially impossible for players to really keep track of and play with, but a computer can handle them. It has been so long since the previous ones that things that just weren't possible before are now possible, so you can get a more true version.

    edit: that's what I get for starting this and leaving it for a while, 4 posts since I started to when I finished.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    The average gamer is something like 35 years old, with the age continuing to increase. A huge portion of the market is driven by gamers who have been playing since their early teens and are now adults. The nostalgia for old games is surprisingly strong. In the specific case of the Battletech universe the touchstone game is MechCommander 2, which was a massive breakthrough achievement and regularly made all-time best lists for years.
    While that is true, I would also say that I don't know a single 30+ year old gamer that doesn't also play some table top games. Granted there are probably a lot of "mainstream" gamers that don't, but they're significantly more likely to be playing the "mainstream" games. The simple fact is that the gaming market now is orders of magnitude larger than it was 20 years ago, so it stands to reason that orders of magnitude more players are playing now than were 20 years ago so it is hard to claim that a 20 year old game is informing their choices now.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    I think you overestimate the setting as a draw, especially for this particular game with it's extremely bare-bones story. This is a tactical combat game with mechs. The level of impact the setting has is really not that high.
    This particular game might have a relatively limited story, but the BattleTech universe doesn't. There are about 100 novels out and countless source books. That people know what the "second succession wars" is telling of the strength of the setting. Knowing the setting and having that be a draw to any new game isn't the same as that game having a strong story on its own. Also see: every WWII game.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Yes, the kickstarter was small, but a huge portion of the people who play this game were not connected to the kickstarter. I certainly wasn't. This game started small, but ultimately got a fairly standard rollout that much more resembled typical triple-A games than a niche product.
    If that is the case, which I couldn't say one way or another, then that would seem to imply that the previous games, digital or tabletop were probably not a big factor for the majority of players. But the setting and name are known even if the actual game is not. It is hard to really do a straight comparison, but it is worth noting that the branch making the PC games went under while the branch making the table top game survived.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Also, miniatures sales is not equivalent to tabletop sales as a measure of the size of the player base, because it's driven by miniatures
    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    collection
    as opposed to play, and the absurdly high cost of the miniatures themselves. TTRPG play is comparatively cheap, and a huge number of people play with no investment at all by utilizing books provided by their GMs. And your link shows how much larger the video game industry is compared to the hobby game industry. It is entirely possible and even likely that the sales of this specific Battletech PC game have outgrossed the past twenty years of tabletop Battletech sales.

    It isn't a perfect correlation by any means, but it is about all we have to go by, and it at least gives us an idea. Most collectors, even if they don't actively play the games, tend to know them at least reasonably well. BattleTech is also a game that requires very little overhead to play. It isn't uncommon for someone to run a game and provide all the 'Mechs everyone needs to play and even if you want your own a lance costs less than many video games. I would say BattleTech is similar in investment cost to a table top RPG. 40k it is not.
    As for the PC game selling more than the table top ever... I doubt we could ever find any way to prove or disprove that, but I doubt it. If the sales were really that low, and they would have to be really low when averaged out of 35 years, the game would have been dead and abandon long ago. Every indication I've seen is that classic BattleTech
    has had a very big resurgence lately, as in a few years before MWO and this game were started.

    Last edited by Erloas; 2018-09-16 at 08:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    In the specific case of the Battletech universe the touchstone game is MechCommander 2, which was a massive breakthrough achievement and regularly made all-time best lists for years.
    Odd if true 'cause MC2 was hot garbage and I remember it getting mediocre reviews at best. While time may dull the memories of the reviews, I went on a 'mech binge back when the kickstarter for the current battletech game was announced and the memories of MC2 being trash are still sufficiently fresh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    I think you overestimate the setting as a draw, especially for this particular game with it's extremely bare-bones story. This is a tactical combat game with mechs. The level of impact the setting has is really not that high.
    If you think that a large draw of the setting doesn't include its lore when you look at the 100+ novels, countless source and splatbooks and detailed planetary descriptions with evolving timeline, to the point where there's honestly only the seriously big names like Forgotten Realms and Warhammer that can hope to challenge it in terms of depth for backstory, then you're splashing around in the kiddie pool of the battletech universe.

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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Quote Originally Posted by Drasius View Post
    Odd if true 'cause MC2 was hot garbage and I remember it getting mediocre reviews at best. While time may dull the memories of the reviews, I went on a 'mech binge back when the kickstarter for the current battletech game was announced and the memories of MC2 being trash are still sufficiently fresh.
    I find THAT odd, since from my own anecdotal evidence from people I know, MC2 was very well recieved.

    I have never, despite several attempts, finished MC1 (though that movie probably cemented my love of the Raven), but I have completed MC2 three or four times (which is exceptional, for me, and stands alongside stuff like Dungeon Keeper and Planescape:Torment; a game that manages m ore than one playthrough can consider itself well-honoured.)

    It is a crying travesty that I had to play in windowed mode (as once i heard this was coming out, I had to play it again) in order to not have the screen stretched by modern monitors and to have the movies.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2018-09-16 at 08:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Quote Originally Posted by Drasius View Post
    Odd if true 'cause MC2 was hot garbage and I remember it getting mediocre reviews at best. While time may dull the memories of the reviews, I went on a 'mech binge back when the kickstarter for the current battletech game was announced and the memories of MC2 being trash are still sufficiently fresh.
    I, personally, got introduced to mechs through Mechwarrior 2, though I mostly played MW4 and MW4 Mercenaries. After that introduction I found a couple of the books, read very basic rules, and generally love all things made of giant, lead-semi, stompy robots. I have never played the Mech Commander games. This game is on my "Buy when I get my masters degree" list.


    If you think that a large draw of the setting doesn't include its lore when you look at the 100+ novels, countless source and splatbooks and detailed planetary descriptions with evolving timeline, to the point where there's honestly only the seriously big names like Forgotten Realms and Warhammer that can hope to challenge it in terms of depth for backstory, then you're splashing around in the kiddie pool of the battletech universe.
    Frankly, I think the Battletech universe is almost on par with Star Wars for having back stories for every character and place.
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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    I loved Mech Commander 2. That was a ton of fun. But like Rockphed, Mechwarrior 2 was my introduction. Back when I had to tweak settings so it'd run smoothly on my Windows 98 PC. Boxy and ugly and it still holds a special place in my heart. I've even tried playing Mechwarrior 1, but I never could work out how to do anything with it.
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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Quote Originally Posted by Drasius View Post
    Odd if true 'cause MC2 was hot garbage and I remember it getting mediocre reviews at best. While time may dull the memories of the reviews, I went on a 'mech binge back when the kickstarter for the current battletech game was announced and the memories of MC2 being trash are still sufficiently fresh.
    Sorry, that was supposed to be MechWarrior 2, copy-paste error.

    If you think that a large draw of the setting doesn't include its lore when you look at the 100+ novels, countless source and splatbooks and detailed planetary descriptions with evolving timeline, to the point where there's honestly only the seriously big names like Forgotten Realms and Warhammer that can hope to challenge it in terms of depth for backstory, then you're splashing around in the kiddie pool of the battletech universe.
    The comparison point here is the success of a game like Baldur's Gate to the Forgotten Realms. The success of the Forgotten Realms, as a setting, had only the most meager connection to the success of Baldur's Gate.
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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    The comparison point here is the success of a game like Baldur's Gate to the Forgotten Realms. The success of the Forgotten Realms, as a setting, had only the most meager connection to the success of Baldur's Gate.
    Probably? But I'm not sure how and why that's super relevant since BG was a thing 20 years ago (I feel even older than normal now) and the connection between the two is vastly different. BTech has been slowly dying with only the old guard to keep them going (with the rich backstory being a large draw for many) while DnD has at least maintained a major presence in the TT market. I'd go so far as to venture that without the lore, BTech would have ceased to exist as an active producer long ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Frankly, I think the Battletech universe is almost on par with Star Wars for having back stories for every character and place.
    One thing I didn't know for a long time is that under "notable MechWarriors" of each 'Mech description is that many are based on real players/people. The community rep that I meet when I first started playing has his character name in one of the books, but I forget which 'Mech he was said to have piloted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drasius View Post
    Probably? But I'm not sure how and why that's super relevant since BG was a thing 20 years ago (I feel even older than normal now) and the connection between the two is vastly different. BTech has been slowly dying with only the old guard to keep them going (with the rich backstory being a large draw for many) while DnD has at least maintained a major presence in the TT market. I'd go so far as to venture that without the lore, BTech would have ceased to exist as an active producer long ago.
    There was a long time when D&D was pretty close to life support too. I believe pretty much the whole industry was for a time. It didn't help that that was also about the time the Harmony Gold Unseen nonsense was going on. I believe many old settings only exist now because the name and setting was valuable enough to keep it alive. From what I've heard BattleTech has started growing again, they recently re-released the main rulebook with some updates and they've still been releasing new supplemental books. It sort of followed the whole board game renaissance, as digital started to take over everything there was a counter-push to move back to face to face games.
    I only had one day at PAX, but classic BattleTech had a decent presence there.

    BattleTech was never the biggest game, but they've picked their niche and stayed there, and I believe all the better for it.

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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Everyone forgets The Crescent Hawk's Revenge! Best tabletop BT on the PC, only topped by the graphics of the new one.

    Anyone else have that 3pack of CH Inception, CH Revenge, and the original MW?
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuckGuy View Post
    Everyone forgets The Crescent Hawk's Revenge! Best tabletop BT on the PC, only topped by the graphics of the new one.

    Anyone else have that 3pack of CH Inception, CH Revenge, and the original MW?
    I had it on floppy disks many years ago. No idea where they are now, and my current PC doesn't have a drive anyway.

    My introduction to the BattleTech universe was in the late 80s or early 90s when my brother brought home a copy of the TT game. I didn't know a single person outside my family that played it, though, and my brother graduated and moved out a couple years later, so I never bothered to invest in all the extra rulebooks. I played by myself all the time until my mom got so upset that I kept leaving it out that she hid all the miniatures. Or maybe threw them away; I never got them back. I never met anyone else that played until the Trogland meetup in 2016 when Penguinsushi (who I don't think is in the thread or even active on the forums any more) hosted a game. I've never seen BattleTech miniatures for sale in game stores (my FLGS has huge sections for WH/40k, the Star Wars minis game, M:tG, and a smaller but still significant section for RPGs), though I have bumped into starter boxes a handful of times in hobby stores.

    Frankly, I'm almost positive that the only thing that kept the IP alive over the past 25 or so years was novel sales.
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    Default Re: Battletech! (The new one)

    Quote Originally Posted by mangosta71 View Post
    Frankly, I'm almost positive that the only thing that kept the IP alive over the past 25 or so years was novel sales.
    Considering how many wargames companies are still going since long before then on just miniatures (and often histroical at that) - it's always been a small business - that BT survived with a much more visible profile is not surprising. I mean, for what I gather, the last main rules release may have been about ten years ago, but Catalyst Labs have kept rolling out technical readouts and PDF ever since until now, with a new boxed set on the horizon.

    The 'net came along really none to soon for wargames, it was always primarily a mail-order business (or wargames shows) - the net just made it easier for everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mangosta71 View Post
    My introduction to the BattleTech universe was in the late 80s or early 90s when my brother brought home a copy of the TT game. I didn't know a single person outside my family that played it, though, and my brother graduated and moved out a couple years later, so I never bothered to invest in all the extra rulebooks. I played by myself all the time until my mom got so upset that I kept leaving it out that she hid all the miniatures. Or maybe threw them away; I never got them back. I never met anyone else that played until the Trogland meetup in 2016 when Penguinsushi (who I don't think is in the thread or even active on the forums any more) hosted a game. I've never seen BattleTech miniatures for sale in game stores (my FLGS has huge sections for WH/40k, the Star Wars minis game, M:tG, and a smaller but still significant section for RPGs), though I have bumped into starter boxes a handful of times in hobby stores.

    Frankly, I'm almost positive that the only thing that kept the IP alive over the past 25 or so years was novel sales.
    I can't claim to know the novel sales, but I'm guessing that is a relatively small part of their income. I think quite a few of the older books haven't had new print runs in a long time, though the more popular ones have. There was a long stretch where there were no new novels, but they were still releasing game related products. They're in the process of getting out a new set of starter boxes. It's true that they haven't updated the main rules every 3-5 years like most games, but I don't think most players feel that is needed with the system.

    It is also really hard to judge much based on FLGSs because they almost always end up very specialized. Most live and die off of MTG, but I've also ran into one that didn't do MTG at all. Warmachine/Horde is generally the #3 game and Infinite is right there too, and I don't think I've seen much of either in the majority of the FLGS I've been in. When in Phoenix the few well known FLGs tended to specialize in a few games, so if you played BT you went to one store, if you played 40k you went to another, and if you played WarmaHorde you went to another. The main issue with BattleTech from a FLGS perspective, is there are a lot of models and they are relatively low volume items, not like a box of space marines that can work for 6 armies and you need at least a few boxes per army. While there are a few favorites, even those tend to not be fielded in large numbers.

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