Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Unboxing Catalyst Game Labs 2014 Battletech Introductory Box Set

As I mentioned in another post, I was a big fan of FASA's Star Trek, but not their other two hits, Battletech and Shadowrun.

Lots of Battletech fanatic players 30 years on..  miniature battles, role playing games..




Video games..


and of course, tons of novels...


I was amused by the fanaticism over Battletech, but somehone immune to it. My poison was more Star Trek and other more classical space opera.  Still, I acquired over the years the classic Battletech game, but never really played it.





I even have the latest version of the Battletech RPG Mechwarrior, now called A Time of War, of which I hear good things about, but have only skimmed through it for reading pleasure only.

High production values and an interesting RPG universe, but 30 years too late for me and not really my cup of tea RPG-wise, alas. Still interesting though (I used to, when I was a GM, skim other gameverses and grab ideas, concepts and equipment, so this is an old habit of mine).





My recent Steampunk heavy steam battle got me slightly rekindled in my interest in Battletech, and I bought the latest incarnation of this beloved war game and universe.

I recently acquired Catalyst Game Labs' Introductory Box Set for Battletech.





I made sure I got the latest version. There have been other Introductory Box Sets by Catalyst, but the earlier versions had the diamond Origins Award symbol at the bottom. The latest version has it on the top left of the box.


My friend Jeff has been suggesting for a while now to play some clicky-version of Battletech, but the idea of kiddie clicky games never appealed to me. I'll try it out, but now that I got the box set, it should be even better with "real" miniatures. :-)

 My first impression is that it is a very heavy, a solid box, with wonderful art. A heavy box packed with goodies. Catalyst clearly wants you to appreciate the Battletech universe with it's 30 years of history. It's not just dumb mechs bashing each other out, but a sprawling and diverse gameverse to romp around with it seems.

You get the introductory rule book..


on nice glossy paper ..


If one is anxious to get into the fighting, some quick start rules to get the juices flowing..



A booklet that seems to tie how all this documents and play work which I will read up on..


A thin booklet that offers painting tips, which this painter appreciates.



A moderate-sized booklet on the universe, which though not necessary for a pure tactical combat game, is a nice touch..


Gives some background on the different houses vying for power...




Stat pages for your mechs, as expected..



Two handy references cards for you and your opponent.



A map large of the gameverse.. very impressive for a ground tactical combat game indeed.

 Two tactical boards, giving 4 different maps.



These boards fold neatly into two tiles.This is something I am not too crazy about though as we're still having minis fight on a 2D map.. I'll have to see if they have 3D rules though I'm sure it's on BGG as this game has long been played by Battletech fanatics on 3D.


What remains are these two cardboards that have some minis.


Hmmm. some assembly required for at least one mech..


but a ton of minis of all shapes and designs that don't require assembly but just painting.



I assume the numbering at the bottom is going to come in handy somehow. 

Overall, a very impressive introductory box set. A lot of stuff for new and old gamers alike to enjoy...

Contrast the introductory box set with the thin classical Battletech, which started the mech craze for gamers.


I look forward to the Mech s.s.s.s.s.s.slaughter... :-)


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