1:1000 Scale hills

quarterscale_02
Just enough depth.

I’m a fan of the physical aspects of Battletech. When I was younger I had my own small collection of 3D terrain crafted from official maps and record sheets. While it was always great fun and easy to read elevations I found it odd that the hills seemed kinda tall. Of course I and others always made the vertical scale to that of the figures.  Which is about 4x larger than it’s horizontal scale. (Here is rather fine example such terrain. Though to be fair this is/was a Solaris VII map, thus the vertical scale is correct assuming you’re playing actual original Solaris rules.)

I’ve finally gotten around to doing a rough prototype of terrain with proportional vertical and horizontal scale. Foamcore happens to have just about the perfect thickness by the by. Next goal is to actually finish a version of the basic map in this scale to see how it feels in real play. (For better or worse a 6mm figure does seem to really tower over the landscape…)

quarterscale_01_sm
Interestingly, a typical base is about the height of a level in this scale. Giving the Archer the subtle appearence of standing “on” the terrain.

Battletech
Terrain

Digital Battletech

megamek-splash

Megamek

I’ve played with Megamek a little from time to time and I have to give props to the group for the exceptional depth of features their digital multi-player version of Battletech supports. Not only do they cover all standard pre-Total Warfare rules for ‘mechs, vehicles, and infantry from all eras it also supports a host of advanced rules.

Unfortunately, actually using the program is a little less than pleasant. Battletech has a lot of ins and outs and organizing it all on a screen let alone making it Usable is no small task. As a designer/developer I’m obliged to actually contribute in place of complaining. However, the feature set is so expansive that I’ve been just as tempted to explore interface/interaction ideas in Flash with my own super-duper stripped down prototype. Imagine my surprise when I came across the in-development, Flash based, Battletech-Live.

To my dismay I found the feature set the lone developer is undertaking to actually outstretch Megamek. Beyond that, his development priorities seem to focus on meta-game content, which in my experience is just as time consuming as actual game-play development. The Megamek campaign project MegamekNet already supports a lot of campaign content that doesn’t exist inside of Megamek proper. An advantage of a Flash Battletech would be on focusing on the game play proper, or at least a specific feature set. Seeing as how this is the developer’s attempt number two to get this project going, Battletech-Live seems to have a “second-system effect” fragrance.

Despite my cynicism I am really excited to see two of my favorite two worlds (Flash and Battletech) collide. I’m looking forward to seeing some really interesting things come from Battletech-Live even while I have doubts about the project’s scope. On top of that I’ve also been inspired to get back to work on my own pet projects.

Battletech-Live Development Blog

Battletech
Software

Sheets (pre-alpha)

Selection Screen

Selection Screen

Sheets is an online “new style” record sheet viewer.

Its intent is to provide quick access to “new-style” record sheets when your collection isn’t on hand or for units that haven’t been published in this format yet.

UPDATE

Fixed sheets link.

Viewing an Archer ARC-2K

Viewing an Archer ARC-2K

Battletech
Software