Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Battletech by Hare Brained Schemes

I don't normally do this, but this once I'm going to make an exception. I've been playing Battletech by Hare Brained Schemes....pretty much anywhere I can fit time in. To say it has me hooked would be an understatement, and I'm fairly sure it is why this post is late (my bad, sorry!) However, the reason I want to talk about the game here, is because for the first time in a long time when I'm playing a PC game I feel like I'm playing a table top game.

Obviously there are other RPGs on computers, but Battletech just feels like a table top game. The actual combat and missions play out like the table top miniatures game, and through those missions you earn XP to level up your pilots. That's all fine, and fairly standard. Where it starts to feel like you're in a table top game though is with all the small touches.

You make your character by defining their backstory. Yes, some aspects are locked in place - you have to be a Noble because you have to get that first mech somehow! - but you have a wide variety of choices to pick from and they give a story for your character before the game begins. Then the game goes into the standard computer RPG intro - which I suppose could just as easily be a table top intro mission for one character.

Where the game feels more like table top though is with the rest of your crew on your ship. Your other hired pilots, your specific support staff, they all have personality and talk, and this also comes up with random events that happen on the ship. The game adds other aspects you'd expect to a Battletech game like managing your mechs, their loadouts, paying the monthly costs for your company, hiring new crews and negotiating salvage vs. pay on jobs.

Yes, all possible in computer RPGs, but the flavor just feels like table top. Perhaps I'm alone. Perhaps I just needed a kind of simple, straight forward RPG approach. Maybe I'm just excited about playing Battletech. But it feels like tabletop, and it's worth checking out because I'm learning things I can use in my tabletop games while I play it.