retro gaming link of the day
For some reason, I've been thinking back to my gaming days. The other day, I was in the basement feeding my cats, and I noticed all my old BattleTech sets on a shelf. I leafed through the first-edition rulebook for old times' sake. And in this Destroy All Monsters comment thread, Musashi and I mention our love for the game (his pen name, in fact, is derived from his B-tech call sign).
For those not familiar with this
geeky esoteric topic, BattleTech was a game simulating giant-robot combat in the style of Japanese mecha anime such as Macross. (Indeed, some of the original 'Mechs were so similar to those in Macross and other series that the publisher agreed to drop the art from future versions of the game, although those 'Mechs are still legal to play.)
I really enjoyed BattleTech, and my personal favorite 'Mech quickly became one of the first I ever played: the TDR-5S Thunderbolt. The T-bolt, I found, had an excellently balanced set of stats. It was heavily armored, packed a nice balance of short- and long-range weapons, and had enough "heat sinks" to be able to fire them often ('Mechs that overheat lose efficiency and can, at worst, even explode). Its main drawback was that, like most heavy 'Mechs, it was pretty darn slow, but its long-range missile launcher gave it a decent reach.
Here's a cool color pic of the Thunderbolt...
...here's a cool miniature painted in a desert-camo scheme (my T-bolt miniature is olive drab)...
...and here's a scan of the cardboard Thunderbolt counter from, if memory serves me right, the Battletech Reinforcements set. The T-bolt's game stats can be found here. You can download a Battletech record sheet PDF from this site.
Update: After posting this, playing a couple of rounds of MechWarrior 2 on the PlayStation seemed like only the natural thing to do...I was pleased that the ol' 'Mech piloting skillz aren't too rusty. (My secret strategy for that game: shoot at the legs.) I also combined this formerly two-post entry into one.
Update 2: Since I was thinking about BattleTech, the next logical step was to dig out my copy of the classic computer game MechWarrior, which has now been more or less relegated to abandonware status. Fortunately, I have an old Pentium 90 computer on which I keep a bunch of old DOS games, so I was able to take it for a spin. (Alas, although MechWarrior lets you take the controls of a bunch of classic BattleTech 'mechs, the T-bolt isn't one of them...)