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Subject: What do you love/hate about the Battletech CCG? rss

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Craig Froehlich
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Aside from the theme of the game, which everyone here obviously loves, what do you love about the game? What do you hate or wish was different? How mechanics work particularly well and which ones could use some improvement or dropped altogether?

As I mentioned in another thread, I am designing a Battletech card game loosely based on the CCG from the 90's. I'm mostly doing this for fun, but if it turns out to actually be good, who knows? The reason I'm doing this is because this is a game I want to play. While I love the Battletech universe, the time investment that the board game requires can be challenging for more casual players. With this card game, I want to provide players a full tactical, and strategic Battletech experience in about 30 minutes. This game would also bridge the gap for people who enjoy the fiction and video games, but are not looking take the plunge into the full tabletop/RPG game.

I have been playing board games and card games for the all of my life. Primarily, I play Android: Netrunner, the X-Wing Miniatures Game, as well as a plethora of board games. I have also enjoyed many other card game published by Fantasy Flight Games such as Lord of the Rings, Arkham Horror, A Game of Thrones, Legend of the Five Rings, Warhammer: Invasion, Star Wars LCG, as well as Mage Wars by Arcane Wonders. In the past I played many games of Magic, the Star Wars CCG, and of course the Battletech CCG.

Game design has come a long way in the past 20 years, and I feel like there is a lot of room for improvement within the current CCG's rule set. Let me know your thoughts!
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Dennis FitzPatrick
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I loved this game but it’s hard to remember why it didn’t take off. I think there was an imbalance with light mechs and artillery?

I have hoped this would make a reappearance one day.
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Jared Voshall
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Overall, I love the idea of throwing high-tech weapons platforms at my opponents with multiple potential targets for each player to attack/defend against. I appreciated the system the game used to represent building up your forces, with most cards taking multiple turns to come into play as you put resources toward them - and using that to potentially bluff your opponent into attacking a cheap sacrificial 'Mech that you've been overproducing to draw attention away from the Assault 'Mech that's being worked on in your other factory across the way.

There were definitely some balance issues with the game, though. The classic luck of the draw could mean that your strategy was never able to come together the way you wanted, and even though the Light mechs had a lot more options in what you could do with them, they simply could not stand up to the heavier mechs long enough to actually do anything when you assigned them.

Overall, it's a game that I keep wanting to get a new batch of cards for, but doubt I'll ever be able to get enough plays in to justify the effort of getting a decent collection going again. But I would absolutely love to see a new adaptation of the game (even an off-brand one), and would buy into it in a heartbeat.
 
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Tilou
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I liked that mechs had different speeds and that you could attack the assets. There was also a notion of patrolling if I remember right.
 
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Christopher Bartlett
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The primary failing of this game, IMO, was the imbalance of vehicles. The game is about 'mechs, so vehicles cannot be the best combination of power and efficiency.

Any "fix" of the game must end with 'mechs being the definitive best option for play, with support mechanisms designed around their prominence.

I loved the side workings of the design - bringing high politics and trench warfare together in each faction - so if I were you, I'd try to preserve that approach.


Good luck.

 
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Carsten Bohne
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I loved being able to attack pretty much everthing (except for your opponent's hand, but even that was possible with certain cards).

The game was severely injured by vehicles and the viability of mechless or even unitless decks. Then it was killed by some dominant strategies made possible by the Alliances. Taking away restrictions from a CCG never did any good.

There were two Battletech CCGs back in the day. The other one never saw the light of day because it was designed by the published game's developer, Glenn Elliot. FASA insisted on WotC's contractual obligation to publish a game designed by the big name in CCGs, Richard Garfield.
Sometimes I wonder what the other game was like and kick myself for not getting Glenn to spill some beans...
 
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Alex C
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dasher47051 wrote:
There were two Battletech CCGs back in the day. The other one never saw the light of day because it was designed by the published game's developer, Glenn Elliot. FASA insisted on WotC's contractual obligation to publish a game designed by the big name in CCGs, Richard Garfield.
Sometimes I wonder what the other game was like and kick myself for not getting Glenn to spill some beans...


Wow, wonder how that would have gone.

Anyways, to answer the main question I agree with what most people noted here. The build/bluff mechanic a-la netrunner with multiple resource types was genius and gave a real sense of actually building a battlefield and developing a proper engine instead of just a "mana factory". The way combat worked with the different mech speeds worked great as well, in fact if you look closely you will see that it's a refined version of the stealth/intercept mechanic found in Jyhad but streamlined to work with a simple base stat (speed).

As for cons I agree that vehicles became a sore point for the game. If I recall correctly the basic difference between mechs & vehicles was that vehicles had to roll a die when receiving damage and could be taken of the game if they failed the roll regardless of how much damage they took, which initially made them risky and unapealing due to their low stats. However later expansions added much more competent vehicles/units and any risk of having that tank blow up on you was negated by the simple fact that they could swarm your opponent easily. Playing this casually today carries little impact as you can put deckbuilding guidelines to prevent vehicle spamming, but still...

The other big issue for me was that this is one of those games where your life was represented with your deck, this is always a like-or-hate thing among certain players and while I don't have much issues with it in principle, the fixed card count sort of clashed with the deckbuilding guidelines and the idea of having multiple resource generating cards. IMHO the biggest victim of this turned out to be the mission cards which everyone ignored as they took precious deck space even though they offered interesting variations to the basic combat system. (the weird initiative system required for playing mission cards didn't help either).

I wonder if this wouldn't have worked better with a separate combat deck a-la Rage?
 
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This Guy
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I haven’t played since it first came out, so my memory might be wrong. What I remember was that it was a great game mechanically, but never evoked the feeling of mechs battling.
 
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Joseph Rael
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Aetheros wrote:
I haven’t played since it first came out, so my memory might be wrong. What I remember was that it was a great game mechanically, but never evoked the feeling of mechs battling.


To me (and I play on a semi-regular basis to this day), this is the greatest sore. It just doesn't feel thematic what type of weapons are on the mech, they are all just abstracted into a simple attack number. I would prefer damage to be more reflective of the loadout of the mech. Now a long range mech (awesome/catapult) and a really close range brawler (Hunchback of Firestarter) are treated similarly. Solving this would be simple, by splitting the damage step into 2 or even three steps (long/medium/short) and mechs have damage seperated into these categories as well. So now my wall of PPC's will shred those puny Centurions, for example.

Secondly, there is no catch-up. Quite a few games I feel are decided in the first few turns and the losing side has no way of catching up and is just forced to endure the remaining turns until their deck runs out, grasping for any chance they might find, but never get.

Finally, the game often feels over too quick. I see the base we're building, the lances we're forming, etc, and this is all very thematic!! But then it's over... poof! I'd like an extended version of this, maybe with more tactical placement or even a more boardgame design attached, where lances actually maneuver, etc.

Fluff wise something like this game portrays (2 factions building a base out of nowhere and just taking eachother on) would rarely happen, so that is a minor gripe for me.

Very curious to see what the OP is doing and wish him/her all the luck! I've set out on a similar mission to make the mission system in MekHQ more thematic.
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Yit Ng
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I hated fast deployments, the ability to vomit your hand out in a single turn. Comstar Free Deploy deck (the one where you play 5 vehicles in a single turn and then use the Contract to boost each for +2 atk). Don't get me wrong, using Omnimech Pod Cache on a Blackhawk D and scrapping 11+ cards to get a single Blackhawk Prime into play was hilarious, but that's still 1 'Mech that can be negated.
 
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