The true meaning of BattleTech is interstellar giant robot amputation Pokemon

battletech-salvage

Some might say that BattleTech‘s meta-game is the strategy layer – all that base-building, mech-fixing’n’fitting, pilot management and parts-shopping required to ultimately create an unstoppable army of heavy metal death. Those people are dead wrong. The overarching goal of BattleTech, the true purpose of its turn-based fights and base management alike, is that you gotta catch ’em all.

By which I mean, you gotta kneecap ’em all.

By which I mean, you gotta learn to take down enemy mechs with maximum but non-totally-destructive efficiency if you want to take their carcasses home with you and build your own army of steel. I don’t play BattleTech matches merely to win any more. I play BattleTech to have my pick of 65-ton trophies.

If you’re new to it (i.e. didn’t know the boardgame it’s based upon), there are distinct psychological stages of playing BattleTech. In fact, let me use popular parlance to do this:

battletech-galaxy-brain

Or: confusion/understanding/mastery. The days when my goal in a mission was to emerge with most of my mechs’ limbs still intact feel like a childhood memory by now. The days when I spent my first, dozen+ hours in BattleTech carving grimly and often fruitlessly away at the enemy’s armour in the hope one of them might suddenly fall over are like a maudlin dream.

I don’t mean to say I’m shit-hot at BattleTech particularly: this is just the natural course of sticking with it for as long as I have (50 hours and counting), and I think familiarity and understanding inevitably overwhelm difficulty past a certain point. If presented with a situation, I now see exactly what the solutions will be, even if a combination of RNG luck and tactical judgement doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll pull it off every time. If I were to play a new campaign now, I’d want crunchier difficulty though (and it sounds like the first major BattleTech update will offer this.)

Not that I’m in any hurry for that, because I am hooked on the aforementioned meta-game of trying to collect every mech in mech-town. Here’s the deal in BattleTech: after each mission, you get to select a few pieces of specific salvage to take home with you. (You get to decide before the mission whether you want more or less salvage in favour of hard cash, but I’ll come back to that piece of genius design in a moment). Most of this will be weapons you’ve already got three-dozen identical versions thereof, some of it will be more rarefied weapons that you can’t guarantee you’ll find in a shop, and some of it will be Mech salvage.

Mech salvage is exactly that – it’s part of a Mech, not an entire Mech. But – and this is my favourite feature in BattleTech – if you collect three identical pieces of Mech salvage, i.e. from the exact same type of Mech, you get yourself a free giant robot suit. Whether you add it to your team, sell it for hundreds of thousands of credits or (hello, yes, me) obsessively-compulsively strive to collect one of each different type of mech is up to you, but in any case, it’s the biggest loot-win BattleTech has to offer. Sure, the Skinner box is having its way with me again, but something I really appreciate is that this element of the game only clicks after I’ve been through the confusion/competency stages. OK, I know what I’m doing now: time to reap my 80-ton rewards.

battletech-mech-parts

One of BattleTech’s many unspoken wrinkles is that, if you outright kill an enemy mech by destroying its central torso (CT), the post-mission screen will only grant you one piece of salvage from that Mech. However, if you can kill it without destroying its trunk – the core onto which various limbs and weapons can be stitched – you’ll have a good chance of getting two or even three pieces of matching salvage.

The two/three split is down to whether or not you do the second-most efficient form of kill – taking out both its legs. A Mech without a central torso is worth one salvage, a Mech with a central torso but without any legs is worth two, but – gold star time – a Mech with a central torso and legs is potentially worth three. (I confess, I’m not totally clear on whether a clean kill means a definite three every time, but by and large an intact CT and legs invariably mean more parts). And a Mech that yields three salvage is a free Mech. Glory be.

The trick to that clean kill, and the magic three salvage, comes down to taking out a Mech with the minimum of destruction. This means knocking it over without turning a leg into shrapnel, let alone trashing that precious CT. This means understanding two key things: stability and injuries.

To start with the latter, a Mech can’t keep lobbing missiles at you if there’s no-one to pilot it. If you can cause enough damage to its driver, their frail, squishy bodies will slump uselessly at the controls, and the whole shebang is yours to keep. However, you can’t directly target a pilot: all you can do is try to score damage on the parts of the mech which surround them. This means head, left and right torso-sides and whatever horrific bruising and laceration happens whenever several dozen tons of robot trousers slam unexpectedly into the ground.

battletech-legs

The crux of a BattleTech battle is making your Mechs’ lasers, missiles and rounds score damage on particular areas of enemy Mechs, even though, most of the time, you can’t specify where that will be. It’s a game of odds: if you position your Mech so it’s shooting at the left-hand side of an enemy, damage will be distributed between left arm, left leg, left torso and, to a lesser, extent, head and central torso.

If you’re playing Giant Robot Amputation Pokemon as I am, the thing you don’t want to happen is for too many projectiles to strike that CT or, secondarily, the leg: trashed metal means no free roboguy. So you need to save up Called Shots, the ones that do let you target specific bits of an enemy, to deploy only when you’ve crunched the numbers and are sure they’ll cause an injury. A side torso’s yer main man there, with the bonus effect that it’ll usually take a weapon, several weapons or an ammo store with it, so a still-standing enemy can give you less jip in its next turn.

Then there’s the head. Unusually for a modern videogame, a headshot is not the max-skill coup-de-grace it often is, but rather an exceedingly rare event. In most situations, even a Called Shot with perfect positioning will have a less than 5% chance of landing, and even my pilot with maxed-out Tactics only has a 18% chance of a Called Shot hitting the head. A pure head kill is possible, but super-hard to arrange, particularly in the early and mid game. However, a headshot is an instant injury from damage alone – i.e., unlike every other part of the Mech, you don’t have to destroy that component to get an effect. So, in that case, the initial, confused BattleTech tactic of spamming all fire at the front of an enemy reaps dividends – a stray missile’s bound to hit the head sooner or later.

battletech-injury

The final form of injury comes from knockdowns. The surest way to make a Mech thump violently into the earth like a chicken-legged asteroid is to destroy a leg entirely. It can stand up and walk slowly again afterwards, but take out the second leg and it’s all over. Better, in terms of salvage, than destroying the CT, but it means you’ll get two Mech parts max, as opposed to the potential three if you don’t trash the legs. (De-legging Mechs without damaging anything else is, however, a smart way of securing a specific weapon as salvage, if you’ve noticed that an enemy is toting something you fancy). So, what you want to do is knock the Mech over without destroying its beanpoles, and that means missiles.

Stability’s a key concept in BattleTech; basically, the sheer size and weight of Mechs means that making them wobble is a big problem for them. Pelt one with enough explosives or heavy metal punches and it’s going down, causing a pilot injury each time. To do this, you’ll need to be judicious about which weapons you use – both because you don’t want to cause too much damage to valuable parts and because the likes of lasers don’t affect stability. (The inverse can be true when you’re Called Shotting to damage specific parts – precision weapons like lasers are better than a swarm of missiles which will land all over the shop). Thus, Giant Robot Amputation Pokemon becomes more about deactivating many of your weapons, rather than trying to cause maximum carnage.

A pilot dies after between 3 and 5 injuries, depending on how late in the campaign you are, or after total head destruction. Kill the meat, save the metal: these are the watchwords of Giant Robot Amputation Pokemon. Side torsos and arms can (and usually must) be sacrificed, but everything else is precious. I will become the master of a steel army such as the galaxy has never known. I have had to unlearn so much about battle and then begin anew to do it. Now, I revel in this. To me, my giant robot amputee Pokemon!

59 Comments

  1. Michael Anson says:

    I have to say, it’s been both fascinating and gratifying to see the opinions regarding BattleTech evolve since the initial Wot I Think article. I’m glad you stuck with the game; as a backer, it was pretty much exactly what I was looking for on release (I didn’t participate in the beta for… reasons), and seeing your opinion evolve from loud declarations of boredom to the current state is truly satisfying (however much adjusting the built in delays may have played a part).

  2. lowenz says:

    So, basically, all the Skyrim guards are ex MechWarriors ????? :v

  3. geldonyetich says:

    Aptly put. Once the campaign is over, collecting all the mechs is a good second goal. Granted, it’s one of those purposes a player has to invent because the game did not provide one, like Minecraft or Elite:Dangerous.

    I will say that, given the reliability of repeatedly knocking a mech down with vollies of missiles, it’s slightly too easy to get that rich three-salvage opportunity of brutalizing the meat to submission. Perhaps a pilot roll to avoid damage would have made things a little easier.

    While I’m up here on my armchair game designer high chair, it would make a lot more sense to salvage pieces correlating to torsos in tact. That’s the heart of the mech, I imagine Yang would have a harder time reconstructing that, and it can be even harder to get a ‘mech supressed with all three torsos in tact than the two legs.

    • LexW1 says:

      I think you could argue the torso quite differently.

      The centre torso is the real sturdy weight-bearing bit. The side torso is often just fairly empty space containing ammo, heat-sinks, weapons, etc. etc. Likewise the legs are massive and weight-bearing and probably need special manufacturing techniques to survive bearing dozens of tons of mech in a way the side torso does not. Likewise the arms only have to bear a ton or two of armour (tops) and maybe a dozen tons of weapons (max), which is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay less than eighty tons of mech or whatever.

      So given the manufacturing required for those parts, and the big issue being that most manufacturing plants in the Battletech world are long-trashed, it is justifiable that centre-torso + legs is the biggest deal.

      I still have yet to get an enemy mech by one-shotting the head. In fact that has happened to me, but never by me – in the literally the last enemy shot of the battle, a one-armed Jagermech managed to murder my Centurion pilot (who had literally, the entire battle, only been hit by one mostly-missing volley of LRMs – only one of which had hit the head, so they’d take 4 damage to the head total so far), Behemoth with its one remaining arm.

      • geldonyetich says:

        Fair enough on the salvageability argument. It’s mostly lore speculation anyway. I’d say the engines and gyros are the hardest to replace, but unless we’re talking XL lostech, the side torsos won’t have either.

        My Behemoth suffered a similar fate to yours, a Demolisher crept out of a heavily forested area too late to identify and neatly transformed her Orion’s head into a crater.

        However, I have been on the delivering end of an unexpected headshot or two, go into battle with AC/20 or Gauss and it’ll happen sooner or later.

      • Retorrent says:

        So far in 57hrs of play I have had exactly one successful head shot that resulted in a insta kill. My pilot had max gunnery and Gauss Rifle did a called shot on a battle master and boom insta death and a max salvage mech. Even with maxed skill their is only a 18% chance of even nailing it and RNGesus smiled on me for that roll.

      • modzero says:

        Well, the torso contains a fusion power plant that only a few places in settled space can still manufacture. So that’s one reason it’s so important. All the rest is titanium bone, myomer muscle and ablative armor.

  4. FrancoBegbie says:

    I’m not quite as far as you, but I find it really satisfying to overheat and shutdown enemy mechs.
    I had a fight recently where I fielded a Jagermech with 4 flamers and a Firestarter with 4 flamers + 2 MGs and had no problem shutting down an Orion – leaving it (while still standing) open to called shots the same way as if it was knocked down. Using flamers also seem to cause injuries to the pilot quite often if they hit the head.

    • Whelp says:

      It’s definitely a valid tactic, especially early in the game.
      Later on, the limited range of flamers will expose your guys too much though, when you’re facing 6-8 enemy heavies and assaults.
      Flamers always do 5 normal damage per shot, and they have the same hit table roll as all other weapons, so yeah you can get a head hit with them, but statistically they won’t get more head hits than other weapons.

  5. Hoot says:

    So the overall picture of BATTLETECH is no longer “a giant robo-tank silently firing an ineffective laser at another giant robot-tank – forever”?

    Sorry if I seem bummed, man, but I can’t help think your review influenced my decision to refund the game more than I first thought. Maybe erroneously so. Then again maybe I actually was as pissed off at the dead time as I thought I was.

    Ah well, too late now. Gotta wait for a sale.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I wouldn’t blame Alec’s WIT article for that. The game does almost nothing to help a new player understand the game mechanics, if they’re new to Battletech and this particular implementation of the rule set. Not even prior experience with the Mechwarrior FPS games helps much. The tutorial sucks, and there is no manual.

      The information for getting this deep into enjoying the game is out there on the Paradox BT forums, the Steam forum and guides, and YouTube. But you have to dig for it, and that’s just poor game design. It’s not the fault of a player who bounces off the initial experience because the mechanics aren’t explained. The devs could have made a better tutorial mission (probably a series would be needed), or at least have included a friggin’ manual.

      /old gamer who remembers manuals, rant off

      • Hoot says:

        It wasn’t the mechanics I had a problem with. Sure, not having an effective tutorial was crap but the battle mechanics themselves are fairly straight forward if you’ve been playing games for a significant amount of your life. Strip armour to expose structure, get your facing right, right weapon/right range, etc, etc…all fairly standard fare.

        The trouble was the dead time. The pauses. The animations. I’m just wondering if I keyed on it so hard because I read Alec’s review first, or if I’d have thought the same going in blind.

        P.S. I’d venture to say I’m at least as old-skool as yourself. I too remember reading game manuals in the backseat of the car on the way home from the “game shop”, and the clunky as shit cardboard boxes they came in. Some even came with awesome flavour text and lore stuff like Dungeon Keeper and Diablo.

    • Whelp says:

      So you bought the game, then refunded it just because of Alec’s review?
      Did you at least play it? I mean, I’ve been a reader here for many years and I respect Alec’s opinion and enjoy reading his reviews, but one of the most important things in life is forming your own opinions.

      • Hoot says:

        Of course I played it. My point is that I went into the game predisposed to be ready for a massive time drag so as soon as the animations and static pauses started happening I was like “Fucking hell, he was right…this is sooooooo slow!”.

        Having thought about it a bit, maybe he did me a good turn and saved me some cash. Undoubtedly it will be worth picking up for super cheap on Steam somewhere down the line after it’s been patched up good and proper.

        • tchan5158 says:

          Hoot, I had the same problem after I played it for a few hours. I notice the strange lags when moving between menus on the ship, to the odd long pauses between enemy movement or knock down animations and other things.

          I hope I don’t get banned for mentioning this, since this isn’t really cheating, but I used Cheat Engine and activated the SpeedHack function, increasing the game animation and jumpship cutscenes to 3x.

          This really REALLY helped with the weird pauses during combat, but it doesn’t get rid of the menu lag. Also you can specify how fast you want it to go. You can drag that slider up to 20x or higher if you want, but be warned that it also increase the camera pan speed. >_>;

    • Goldeneye says:

      And this is the textbook example of why people should read multiple reviews and get second opinions before making that leap into action.

      • drakkheim says:

        After the WIT I was disappointed and had pretty much put it in the ‘eh buy it at 60% off pile’, but then I randomly wound up watching some Twitch stream of a guy playing a level.. made me wonder if they were talking about the same game..
        bought it and haven’t slept since.

  6. Horg says:

    A couple of points to expand on the article:

    Firstly, volley fire weapons (machine guns, missiles, anything with more than one projectile basically) only roll once to check for a cockpit hit, and cannot hit the cockpit more than once each round. It provides better balance for the big guns, like the AC20, which can occasionally one shot the pilot through cockpit destruction. If you want the maximum chance at injury rolls, bring more weapons, type isn’t as important as it seems.

    Secondly, it is impossible for a single mech to knock down another mech in one volley, even if the attackers total stability damage exceeds the targets stability threshold. You always need at least two mechs doing stability damage to knock a mech over with body shots or punches.

    • Horg says:

      Thirdly, it’s quite difficult to improve your odds of a head shot with most weapons as you vary rarely get high enough above a target. One way to force attacks from above is with LRMs fired at a steep angle. If you position an LRM carrier behind a cliff, all of its attacks will be forced into a steep trajectory and will come down almost vertically on the target, which seems to improve the odds of a cockpit hit as the CT is a proportionately smaller target from above.

      Fourthly, called shots can backfire if you over commit your weapons. If you manage to destroy the part you were aiming for early on in your attack sequence, any weapons left to fire will spill over into the CT most of the time. Missiles make great called shot picks as their RNG is less binary than lazers and autocannons. You can generally be sure that with a decent hit chance, a missile volley will get most of its damage where you want it.

      • Archonsod says:

        “Missiles make great called shot picks as their RNG is less binary than lazers and autocannons. You can generally be sure that with a decent hit chance, a missile volley will get most of its damage where you want it.”

        You’ve more chance of hitting the called part simply because of the missile spread, but the main problem is the damage per missile is usually too low to do much of anything beyond scratching the paintwork (unless of course you’ve already stripped the armour, although since that usually means you’ve also damaged a few other areas the spread is once again a problem).
        The main reason lasers/AC tends to be useful for called shots is simply the raw damage output – one / two hits will normally be enough to punch through the armour on the location if not destroy it outright.

      • Horg says:

        Finally, legging a mech reduces its total stability threshold by one bar for the remainder of the mission, and reduces its mobility which makes clearing stability damage through movement harder (the other way to flush stability damage aside from using brace). Opening a knockdown kill attempt with called shots to a leg is a prime strategy, as even if it gets back up, follow up attacks need to hit a lower stability threshold to force subsequent knockdowns. Heavy and assault mechs are most vulnerable to repeated stability damage as they already have low movement and can soak lots of hits into their armour, giving you more attempts to knock them down before the CT is destroyed. Attacking from below is the best way to force leg damage, and mech height also seems to factor in. Light mechs get a lot of leg shots on the larger chassis. Using cover and reserve carefully you can set up a dedicated leg sniper in a high initiative assassin mech, using the piloting hit and run perk to get two volleys (preferably with SRMs, best stability damage of any weapon by weight) into the target while still being able to retreat before it can act.

    • LexW1 says:

      “If you want the maximum chance at injury rolls, bring more weapons, type isn’t as important as it seems.”

      Interesting that definitely makes sense and helps explain why the enemy tends to get more head-hits than me. I more often have a bunch of mechs with LRMs and ACs and they a bunch with tons of medium lasers or whatever.

    • colw00t says:

      Weridly, SRMs roll for location (including head) for each missile, but LRMs can only hit the head once. I guess they were trying to limit indirect fire, since you can fire a lot of LRMs very quickly.

  7. Kodiak343 says:

    So a silly, reveal-my-age point/question:
    There was a time when one of the big joys of BattleTech game (as well as Jane’s and such) was the big fat juicy manual. It would have any amount of tables, stats, diagrams, and other useful and fascinating information.

    I purchased the game but find it incredibly disappointing that I have to Google or Wiki how to do basic things (the items Alec mentions aren’t clear from the interface or tutorial), let alone strategies and stats. I do not find this “the joy of finding out on my own” any more than I would if put into a cockpit of a Cessna. Where is this trend of “users will figure it out through frustration and put it in a Wikia somewhere, so we don’t have to spend money on it” come from? Am I alone in missing at least a darned PDF? :-/

    • LexW1 says:

      Talk to Yang or the others – they explain a ton of stuff if you ask them to. And what is being said here is partially logic and partially guesswork and certainly possible to infer from the game.

  8. magogjack says:

    I wish that ammo had to be bought, scavenged, past just being a stock, AC20 ammo is a block that means you always have AC20 ammo.

    I wish for legging mechs because I had needed their sweet ammo since I only have 4 rounds left. It would make PPCs make more sense in their place in the game too.

    • Archonsod says:

      It’s not possible to transfer ammo between mechs without climbing out of the cockpit, which isn’t something you’d usually want to do in the middle of battle.
      Plus it’s one of the few reasons it’s worth taking lasers.

    • gi_ty says:

      The PPC already has a huge place in the game in my view. 7 tons for sniper fire with good damage. You would need 13 tons (2 ac2 + ammo) to get equivalent range plus damage. They are hot as hell though so I only use them in cold biomes. Try running a PPC in a badlands biome and you can practically only get off one shot every other turn, if you dont want to overheat.

      • magogjack says:

        I can’t argue with this, and the fact they do stability damage is huge.
        I just feel that they are a little under-powered in damage, and that if ammo was a finite resource it would create more reasons to use them….I am kind of a auto-cannon lover though, so that might factor into why I do not use them much…

        • Pheriannath says:

          To add: PPCs also affect their target’s chance-to-hit by virtue of screwing up their targeting systems a little.

        • DeepFried says:

          In Battletech lore energy weapons really come into their own in longer battles, for the sort of short skirmishes we have in this game ammo based weapons are king. I feel like that translates into the game well.

    • Whelp says:

      Having limited ammo in your dropship inventory, while realistic, would just add unneccessary micromanagement I think.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Unlimited ammo surprised me too, but I agree it was the right decision to reduce micromanagement on the economy layer of the game.

        Not only that — if you ran out of an ammo type and couldn’t find or afford refills, you’d want to swap out weapons, causing further delays in the Mech Bay work orders. Refits are already a blocker for progress. So the game would need re-balancing for a bunch of other factors in the campaign.

  9. kwyjibo says:

    Congratulations internet angryfolk, you convinced him to stick with the game.

    Everyone else can just play Into the Breach, which doesn’t take 12 hours to learn the basics, and yet has all the depth.

    • Madcat_Zam says:

      Or… how about this? We all be adults and enjoy whatever games we want to enjoy while not bashing whatever people like to play. You could enjoy both In to the Breach and Battletech or you could enjoy either or. Just STFU about it.

    • Whelp says:

      “Angry internet folk” made Alec play this game for 100 hours and write 5 more articles about it after his initial, somewhat negative review? I dunno man.

    • Pheriannath says:

      As I’ve commented before, it’s never wrong to reconsider your opinions. Taking another look at something you’ve reviewed is doing it justice.

      This doesn’t mean that you have to change your mind – you’re entirely free to come away with the same conclusions if you feel they’re still warranted. I’d like to think that Alec’s developing differences of opinion were entirely his own.

      tl;dr – we (well…some of us…) merely asked Alec to give it another look. Changing his opinion was his pidgin.

  10. Whelp says:

    You only get 3 parts of salvage from the same mech if you kill the pilot; either by wounding them 4-6 times (depending on their “guts” stat) through knockdowns, side torso destructions, ammo explosions or head hits, or by destroying the cockpit.
    You can shoot off one leg and both side torsos, as long as the pilot dies, it’s 3 salvage for you.

  11. Blastaz says:

    Are we going to have an update to the WiT that says: “I thought this game was similar enough to xcom that I was upset that I was not as good at this game as I am at xcom, and tactics that worked in xcom didn’t work here. This was frustrating. Thus I thought the game was boring.

    Now I understand the mechanics of this game and am well good at it I enjoy this game.”

    I’m probably still in the former camp as I bounced quickly out to play Frostpunk and now total war saga, but still…

  12. MrEvilGuy says:

    This game is mysteriously engaging. I keep thinking I’ll be bored of it but I keeping getting drawn back in. Just wish the characters were better written and that I didn’t have to work for a monarch to “beat the game.”

    Lots of tokenism in the characters—nice diversity but they all come off sounding like they were written by some white guys who do nothing but play tactical board games all day long.

  13. Dar says:

    I have a feeling someone’s been watching Beaglerush’s magnificent streams, which are a must-watch if you’re on the fence about this game. The man redefines rocket surgery.

  14. Dogahn says:

    Last night I dropped my AC5 toting medium lance (Shadow Hawk, Wolverine, Centurion, AC20+++ Hunchback) to take a 3 skull base assault contract. Everything was pretty quiet as I methodically disabled the turret towers. Then the reinforcements dropped… Thunderbolt, PPC Catapult, Centurion, Orion, nearly on top of my lance. A casual turret clearing suddenly became a desperate mech brawl, and it was glorious. That lasted until the payout screen, where I was reminded that I opted for the cash to operate two months over salvage. #merclife

    Addendum: Hunch coldly lumberjacked the thunderbolts legs. Other 3 focused on the cat as they’re notoriously weak torsoed. A maneuvering DFA play crushed the head of Centurion; after it amputated my shadowhawk’s torso. Swarmed the Orion before it could finish off the Wolverine. So much prime salvage, but I only negotiated 1&6.

  15. trollomat says:

    I haven’t played the game yet nor do I know the BattleTech universe very well, but based on this article there seems to be no exploring of the moral conflict of killing humans to preserve weapons.

    Does this strike anybody else as a missed opportunity?

    • Zenicetus says:

      I don’t see it as a missed opportunity, because it’s just an extension of how humans have treated each other since the first paleolithic weapons were developed. Kill the guy, take his obsidian point spear if it’s better than yours.

      The only reason it’s not a feature of modern military conflict is due to high-tech weapon systems being incompatible between armies. But a guerrilla force will still gladly use captured low-tech armaments like howitzers, heavy machine guns, and the occasional captured Humvee.

      Anyway, the moral issue can be hand-waved like this: There is a button in the UI you can press to eject your pilots, if they’re about to be killed. The enemy pilots would presumably be able to do the same, leaving the hardware behind while they leg it into the hills. We just never see enemy ejection animated in the game.

    • TheDeadlyShoe says:

      It’s part of the grimdark-ness of the universe. It’s a dark age (at least at the start), and the valuing of the technology over life is part of the theme.

    • Landiss says:

      They are soldiers. Killing them is kind of the point of war. However, the game also gives you missions that clearly involve killing civilians, even though they are never properly represented.

  16. Foosnark says:

    The true meaning of BattleTech is keeping that little bastard Dekker alive.

    If I ever do a second playthrough of the story campaign, I’m going to fire him immediately and use someone else for recon.

    • DeepFried says:

      Frankly, given that we’re limited to 4 mechs I think recon is just always a tactical error. Take the heaviest mechs you can field, keep them tightly bunched up, and just focus fire down anything that gets in the way. the possible exception to this general rule being leaving 1 or 2 mechs in the back (way in the back) as pure long range support platforms with AC2’s and LRMS.

      • Horg says:

        I specialise Dekker with Master Tactician and Evasive Movement, and fill the piloting line out first after the sills are locked in. This lets you put him in one of the more mobile medium chassis while still being able to move in the light mech phase, and generate a lot of evasion charges. The medium chassis can still work as assassins or fire support into the late game if you are careful with them, and the more mobile types can run ahead and sensor lock without over extending.

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