Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/16/game-review-battletech.html
Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/16/game-review-battletech.html
So is this game available on Mac? I have been tempted to get this… but my PC laptop is dead. Reviving it may not be enough to play this game as it is older.
My work Mac I have a few games on it… might try another?
Well - not right now - tomorrow Enter the Gungeon FINALLY Releases it’s Advanced Gungeons and Dragons update. Wooo!!! Pewpewpewpew.
The key factor I have found relating to performance on this game is system RAM. The game recommends 8GB but that is really more of a minimum, I would say you need at least 16GB to get reasonable performance out of the game.
Also, as it’s based on the Unity engine go in an regularly delete all your all saved games, this generally improves performance and load times.
Finally to answer the previous question, yes it is available for you Mac.
It sounds like Sean is using Bootcamp to run Windows so he can play it. I haven’t checked, but I’m betting it’s Windows only.
Nope. Just double checked and this is the buy button in Steam:
Hah. This is why I don’t really gamble. I’m no good at it.
I remember the old, somewhat simplified 3rd person mech shooters from the early 2000’s. So much fun, but yeah, ultimately I felt there wasn’t enough weight involved.
I think I’ll give this one a go, at some point soon.
Nah, Starsiege, Earthsiege (though that might be pre-2000, so don’t quote me on that…) the “Mechwarrior” line (I liked black knight, but everything critics said about it was true). There were others, but I can’t recall them atm.
I’m on a 2015 MBP and while the turns take some time, I find it gives me the space to really think out the battlefield and my tactics. So a little slowness did nothing to harm my appreciation for the game. The story and acting aren’t half bad either, certainly far above norm for turn based strategy. Recommend strongly.
That’s not the fault of the game
The programmers, then?
(It must be someone’s fault.)
It is! When you buy it on Steam, you’ll get the PC and Mac versions. Be warned though, that it’s a demanding game for Mac. I can run it fine on Windows in Bootcamp, but natively on my 2015 MacBook Pro, 13", it’s hella slow. Check your specs before pulling the trigger.
Me, for having a slow-ass computer.
One thing that makes loading take a long time is having a lot of save files. Apparently the game’s JSON parser is kind of slow and it likes to iterate through all of the save files all the time. Paring them back to just the latest few can save you many seconds of loading screen time.
One caveat: You’ll need to disable Steam Cloud Saves or Steam will put them right back afterward.
I’ve been loving this game. I played a fair bit of tabletop Battletech back in high school and college so this has been a trip. That said it’s not a 1:1 port of the tabletop rules. (For that do a google search for MegaMek). There is a fair bit of streamlining in this game (think old XCOM to new XCOM), and the developers have finally done some 3 decade overdue weapon balancing. For example, in the computer game AC/5s are actually worthwhile. AC/2s aren’t a complete joke (although they’re not exactly “good”). AC/20s only need 4 crits instead of 7. Large lasers run much much cooler. Medium Lasers actually run hotter. The only area I think they screwed up was making each missile do a to-hit check independently, which makes them somewhat overpowered. In tabletop no matter how good your hit roll was, you always rolled on the missile chart to figure out how many hit, and on average it was about 50-60% or so. In the HBS game you’re usually hitting with more like 90-95%, even with the 20% damage reduction right off the top on missiles they’re still too good. Once thing they did was to completely revamp the heat table so it just has a couple of thresholds. There’s one about 2/3 up (further as you get more skills) where if your heat exceeds the threshold you take structure damage. No reduced movement. No impared gunnery. No ammo spontaneously detonating and destroying the mech. The other is all the way at the top and is the automatic shutdown. This makes it much less punishing to ride the heat curve, so people will. It’s a refreshing change of pace from tabletop.
There is also variety in the mechwarriors. Rather than just being two numbers like they are in tabletop there is a set of skills they can learn that will significantly change their playstyle depending on what they choose. One minor quibble is that if you keep playing you max out your mechwarriors and it’s like having a -2 gunnery pilot in tt. Your to-hit values end up being capped out pretty much all the time. The same happens to enemy pilots so having high defense ends up being kind of useless as everybody is ridiculously accurate.
- Bulwark is amazing. Best skill in the game by a country mile. Conversely, Juggernaut is easily the worst skill in the game. Park in a lake and have Bulwark up on your front-most mech and you can win most skirmishes. If you need to move, use Vigilance to avoid dropping your protection.
- Knockdown is key. Build at least one mech with a whole bunch of LRM tubes and ammo. Skimp on armor. Leave them parked behind a rock and rain missiles on your opponents to destabilize them. You can only knock over mechs that are already destabilized, so it takes two activations to knock something down. Multi-Target is great for both the LRM carrier and some other mech with multiple knockdown causing weapons (anything but support weapons and lasers).
- Watch out for vehicles on roads. They can move fast and you don’t know when that vehicle is a SRM carrier that is going to blow away half of your mech.
- When in doubt negotiate for more salvage than C-Bills. You’ll make more money selling completed mechs and some parts like Gyros and Cockpit mods are worth a lot.
- If the enemy has Bulwark up jump behind them. Bulwark only works from the front and side. Grasshoppers loaded up with MLs and MGs are tremendous backstabbers.
- Due to the short view ranges in this game don’t be afraid to load a mech up entirely with short range weapons. You won’t spot enemies until they’re in short (Medium Laser, SRM, AC/20) range anyway.
- If a mission (especially a story mission) seems too hard don’t be afraid to restart from the beginning. Some of the missions go from nearly impossible to being a piece of cake once you know what is going to happen. For example, it’s extremely difficult to save the marines on the food defense mission unless you know ahead of time that you need to sprint up the hill.
- Jump Jets are life. Except for the LRM boat everybody should have jump jets. There are a lot of maps in this game with very rugged terrain that is slow to navigate and forces you over heat generating or stability wrecking patches.
- Vehicles can take a lot of damage from small hits (MLs, SRMs, LRMs) before they go down. Large caliber cannons and physical attacks are recommended for dealing with them.
I love that the story is backwater feudal power struggle. That’s so Battletech. 31st century combat, 17th century politics.
Loved this game as a kid, and this version too, got so many things right, steam tells me i’ve put over 100 hours into it.
Others on the thread, yes it is availble for mac, it’s what i bought, works great. And one major update gave more options to control animations that happen during turns that can considerably speed things up. I personally like the slow turns for some reason, and i’m running a maxed out 2017 mbp, so it wasn’t having many performance issues
I’m paying attention to reviews, but I figure I’ll wait to see if it comes to the Switch or something.
It’s being made by a tiny indie studio, I wouldn’t expect a console release anytime soon.
God, I miss the BattleTech Center. There was one in Chicago in the 90s and I used to go every week. 16 full sized BattleTech pods. They looked like a jet cockpit and all the controls actually worked.
I’m looking forward to playing this but I think it’s going to just trigger my nostalgia.
I was lucky enough to go to the Wizards of the Coast gaming center in Seattle for a 1 week summer camp. We slept, ate and did magic draft tournies at the local college dorms, but our days were spent at the WotC game center and the Battletech Pods were far and away the most badass attraction.
Even with an unlimited arcade pass and free access to the 80 computer LAN gaming network (where I got my first taste of Diablo) most of my time was spent in line for the battle pods.
Where did they all go I wonder???
Got the game myself a few weeks ago, now halfway through my second campaign playthrough. It’s well done; very close to the tabletop experience, but with a few judicious tweaks here and there.
I’ve done a bit of multiplayer as well; challenging but fun.
PartyElite did a good beginner’s guide:
And ChristopherOdd had a decent LP series: