Mechs Of War?

By Jim Rossignol on May 23rd, 2009 at 11:06 am.


Quite a few people mailed this work in progress video in, so thanks to you all. It’s a Men Of War mod called Battletech: In The Shadow Of Giants, which drops Battletech mechs into the Men of War maps. Posted below is what the mod team have currently currently released as a demonstration of how the mechs might look or work in the engine, and it’s splendid. This is the kind of mod that really makes me glad of the flexibility of modern game engines. Go take a look, I think you’ll be surprised. Not sure what the smoky end bit is about, but hey.

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78 Comments »

  1. Heliocentric says:

    Can the mechs steal other mechs hats?

  2. blerg says:

    I want them to have KV-2s for feet and Karl-Geräts for nipples.

  3. Larington says:

    Yes, but how long until the Angry Internet Lawyers send them a Rage-cease and Rage-desist? The untextured mechs even look like the MadCat (MkII?) design.

  4. Ging says:

    That’s an impressive start, they’ve got more done than most mech mods!

    Wonder if they’ll convert infantry into elementals, if that sort of z-movement is even possible in the engine.

  5. Andrew Dunn says:

    I’d say it’s possible – planes in unmodded Men of War can take off and fly around (by pressing space) so other vehicles could probably be persuaded to act similarly.

  6. Jim Rossignol says:

    Best Way should totally make a sci-fi RTS. Spacemen Of War.

  7. Dominic White says:

    @Larington – The Battletech rights-holders actually seem pretty cool with fan-works. Remember that they gave official blessing to the Mechwarrior: Living Legends mod for Crysis?

    http://www.mechlivinglegends.net/

    A little mech-mod for a relatively little-known strategy game is unlikely to get any attention, and if they DO see it, it’s likely to get a ringing endorsement.

  8. MrMud says:

    *crackle* We have mechs down at nav gamma…

  9. Gap Gen says:

    Ground Control mod for the absolute win.

  10. Sum0 says:

    This is awesome. Some games you look at and think “Hey, that’s pretty cool.” Some games you look at and think “I want to buy a drink for/marry the developers.” Giant robots. Explosions. I’ll be watching this one.

  11. Tei says:

    This could be a exact perfect mix of simulation and rts. I am looking forward for this.

  12. Larington says:

    @Dominic White: Ahh thats a relief, always sucks to see a fan effort get knocked over wrecking a ton of effort. Always nice to see rights holders that aren’t over protective of their work.

  13. Tunips says:

    Looks very snazzy. The destructables in MoW are a great match for mechs. If this creates an appetite for strategic mech-on-mech action, I’ll point out that all of the mechcommander games can be had for $0 from http://mechcommander.org/

  14. the affront says:

    Loved MechCommander back in the day – hopefully this will be along those lines.

  15. Anhamgrimmar says:

    Goddamit MrMud, now i’ve got to go find my MW2 cd again. Alpha Assault and Bravo Cadet should have been able to take both of those bloody summoners.

  16. crumbsucker says:

    @MrMud

    HQ, this is Alpha Assault; I’m on my way, bearing 025.

    ETA 34 seconds.

    Alpha Assault, this is Bravo Cadet. I’ve got bandits all over me, just get down here!

    *wipes away tears of nostalgia*

  17. LionsPhil says:

    Nazi Science, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?

    I am reminded of this. (Not a game, despite the domain.)

  18. Carra says:

    Those mechs could use some coloring.

  19. Koopa says:

    Love the music. Fits perfectly to emphasize how beautiful it is when shit gets blown up.

  20. Visi says:

    I admit it, I didn’t watch the video. I just opened it in a background tab and enjoyed the music.

  21. Dain says:

    Erm, while on the subject of Battletech, don’t know if any of you have noticed this:

    http://www.moddb.com/games/assault-tech-1-battletech

    It’s a remake of MW2 with details from 3/4.. there is a beta to download but it’s somewhat outdated now.. there’s been fairly constant video updates over the last few weeks..

  22. Tim says:

    And all is made right with the world, care of this mod.

  23. AlexW says:

    Anham, you mean you can get MW2 to work on modern PCs?! I MUST KNOW THE SECRET. MW4:V/BK just isn’t the same.

  24. Dioptase says:

    The second song is “hanging” from Craig Armstrong.
    http://www.deezer.com/#music/album/18122

    Don’t know what the first one is. Maybe a piano work from Craig Armstrong as well?

  25. DMJ says:

    Firstly: Want.

    Secondly: Hmm, animation of the Mechs could use a bit more “weight” (Look at MW4 for Mech animation that makes it obvious that these things weigh up to 100 tons), but I can live with that.

  26. Marty Dodge says:

    Even more reason why there should be a Mechwarrior or Robotech MMO.

  27. Gabanski83 says:

    Nice splodes; might have to pick up Men Of War now, at some point.

  28. Andrew Dunn says:

    The animations are apparently only placeholders at present – the other tech demo they have on YouTube has the mechs being pretty much static and just sliding around everywhere with no movement in the legs.

  29. Kommissar Nicko says:

    It’s…
    Beautiful.

  30. Anhamgrimmar says:

    AlexW:

    I’ve never tried it on win XP, so no idea if it works or not. I’ve got a Pentium 75 based Win95SE/DOS 6.22 system that i keep, for just such a purpose

  31. Fenchurch says:

    Aha! An excellent excuse to go rewatch the gorgeously cheesy Mechcommander intro sequence!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MQPWE_M_EM

    “TRACK THAT POD!”

    Seriously though, I think I must get Men of War now.

  32. crumbsucker says:

    AlexW, there’s a fan-made patch for the win95/DirectX versions of MW2. This allows it to run under Win XP.

    http://www.warp13.co.uk/mech2

    If you have the DOS version, you have to use Dosbox.

  33. Psychopomp says:

    @Dominic

    I am now morally obligated to buy something Battletech, just because the right-holders are actually cool with fan-made stuff.

  34. Bhazor says:

    Oh god! I’m getting the Mechwarrior pangs again!

    Oh why don’t we have a new MechWarrior game right now?

  35. Hoernchen says:

    The size of those mechs is WAY off…

  36. elle says:

    “Oh why don’t we have a new MechWarrior game right now?”

    Jordan Weisman, the same reason the Shadowrun game was… what it was.

  37. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Dear lordy I hope this mod doesn’t fizzle out.

  38. Heliocentric says:

    Mech commander 2 is a mech game i recommend as it doesn’t suffer from “bigger is better”itus sure most mech games have a drop weight limit but mc2 doesn’t limit you to 4 or 8 mechs when you have a 360 or 500 tonne limit. In the last mission a swarm of light mechs is just as legitimate as 8 hundred tonne beasties. I wish a mech game would let you legitimately field non mech units, i’m sure a tank can use cover and is cheaper than a mech. A mech is exceptional because it towers over things, when will mech game makers learn that when everyone is 80′ tall, no one is.

  39. Corbeau says:

    Mechcommander 2 was a shadow of the original Mechcommander’s tooth-grinding, unforgiving difficulty. Nor did it have a tenth of the original’s flavor. Pity that the Battletech boardgame does not hold up well nowadays – it is far too complex and time consuming for what it delivers (this from a fanatic of the game years ago).

    However, I am compelled to point out that the Omnimechs shown in the mod video are Timber Wolves. None of this “mad cat” trash, freebirth! They are definitely not that “mark 2″ export knock-off, either. If I recall correctly, the “mark 2″ isn’t even an Omni!

    :p

  40. Heliocentric says:

    Clanners are pratts. Good luck taking over the core when your gene banks begin to deviate.

  41. Dominic White says:

    @Corbeau – the Battletech boardgame WAS horribly complicated, but thankfully we have the wonders of technology to make it accessible to everyone!

    http://megamek.sourceforge.net/idx.php?pg=main – Classic Battletech boardgame in fancy computerized form. All the tedious dice-rolling and rule-remembering done for you.

    And as a side-project: Mekwars.
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/mekwars/ – A persistent campaign engine for Megamek.

  42. Idle Threats & Bad Poetry says:

    Technical problem
    I live in China, and a lot of the videos here don’t work for me. Youtube is blocked here. Would it be too much trouble to add a link to where the videos are located? As it is now, I don’t know if it’s a Youtube problem, Gametrailers, or some other site. If It’s another site, going there directly may help me out.

  43. IvanHoeHo says:

    If I have to murder someone got get to play the finished product, I WILL.

    I imagine that with some tweaking, the game AI might be able to competently , as pilot these things, too.

    I wish they`d steal from someone else, though, as mechwarriors aren`t the best looking things when viewed up close.

    Minus the crappy, overused music, `course.

    *edited for rationality*

  44. MrDorf says:

    Every shot in the video except one (1:05-1:09) is under AI control.

  45. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    @IvanHoeHo: The Mechwarrior is the pilot while the ‘Mech is the machine, just to clarify.

  46. Stromko says:

    Rather awesome video, I do hope they polish up and release it someday. I’d love to punt a Tiger around with an Atlas. ;) A cityscape map with multiple ‘mechs would be interesting, but just ‘mechs vs Panzers and SS troops could be extremely fun. Trying to clear out an infantry-infested city with some flamer-equipped urban mechs could be ridiculously fun, so long as infantry have some real bite to them.

    I wonder if they’re able to make it so every (anti-armor) attack does a little bit of damage, instead of just bouncing off entirely. Seems like in vanilla Men of War that’s how it works, a hit either does nothing or damages / destroys a component.

    Mechwarrior / Battletech tends to go on a more ‘ablative’ model, where you’re taking damage with every hit but you’re able to sustain at least one strike anywhere (barring clan PPCs and other silliness). In the video, they were taking dozens of rocket hits to no apparent effect. I should hope when they’re done they strike a good balance between awe-inspiring power and classic ‘David vs Goliath’ matchups.

    Taking out a ‘mech with nothing but some jump troops, a few bazooka or 40mm artillery rounds, maybe a few anti-tank mines, could make for a ludicrously difficult but fun scenario.

    edit: Ahh, the topic that the post links to goes on about the damage model, looks like most of the criticals the ‘mechs could’ve taken were disabled so that the AI could run around blasting everything longer, and there were a couple massive hits that I missed on my watch-through.

  47. MrDorf says:

    @Stromko:
    The armor model in MoW actually allows for the “crushing” of armor over time if the shots don’t pierce outright, which is the route we’re taking at the moment. It works surprisingly well, and really feels like old school Battletech.

    Our overall plan is to make this a combined arms mod, not just mechs, mechs, mechs all the time. Infantry will play a huge role in the missions attached to the mod (Jump infantry and Elementals aren’t slated for the first couple release waves though).

    The positive responses we’ve been receiving since we released the video is fantastic though…we’re hoping we can get the first release together in the next couple months.

  48. Stromko says:

    MrDorf: That sounds great, exactly what I wanted to hear. Not going the combined-arms route for a Men of War mod would’ve been a shame.

    Will there be any way, once there’s a release candidate, to just slap some ‘mechs into a pre-existing mission? A lot of missions are already balls-hard for me on Easy mode (though nothing judicious use of slo-mo and save-and-reload can’t compensate for), bringing in an Omnimech as a reinforcement once the s**t hits the fan could be crazy fun.

    Depends how much of a purist you want to be with the mod, just seems like–once development is further along and there’s fully functional ‘mechs– that placing them in a pre-existing cityscape and letting us chew up the scenery with their lovely arsenal and stompy feet would provide lots of fun with less development time than starting a map and new enemies from scratch.

    (edit: Not saying a fully-realized Battletech / Mechwarrior battle down the line wouldn’t be great too, just sayin’ :))

  49. cdm says:

    As millitaristic eugenicists, the Clans and Nazis would get on well together.

  50. rebb says:

    Whoever is still sitting on the MechWarrior/BattleTech Rights with their fat asses, not doing any proper Games with them, needs to be melted with a PPC.