These articles relate my experience on how to design, build and paint models.

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Learn about Strategy, Tactics and what to read so you can become a better general.

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Various aids to improve your gaming experience.

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A Memphis Mircobrew of locally developed campaigns and scenarios.

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"In all endeavors, you should start at the beginning, proceed until you reach the end, then stop."

Okay. You just jumped into Battletech with both feet and you want to do everything at the same time, but you don't know what to do first. Hence the quote above.

Start at the beginning. Take inventory of what you have. Figure out a budget of what you need/want and how you are going to afford it without getting your spouse upset at you and making you sleep on the couch.

The first thing to get in just about every instance I can think of is the latest Box Set. The one currently on the market as I write this (2013) is the 25th Anniversary. It has the basic rules of the game and history of the Inner Sphere, two map boards, 24 Inner Sphere Mechs, 2 Clan Mechs, their record sheets and even a pair of dice!

Take that, and play a few simple small games. One or two Mechs a side. Get used to the mechanics and how things work in the game, and why they do so. Once you have that under your belt, move to the next level.

Next, buy the book Total Warfare. It has all of the rules related to the game itself. Continue playing with your same Mechs, moving up to some lance vs. lance battles.

Now that you have some experience under your belt, you want to expand. You find your stable of Mechs to be limiting and you're eyeing all those blisters on the wall of your FLGS. Don't go buying those quite yet. The nice thing about Battletech is you can proxy Mechs. You can take that Jenner, call it a Firefly and keep on moving. As long as you have the sheet to the Mech you are playing, it doesn't really matter what it is represented by, as long as everybody knows what it really is.

Your next step is to start looking through the fiction of Battletech and discover what era do you want to be in and who your Mechs are fighting for. Do you wish to fight for one of the Great Houses, a Clan, a faction such as Comstar, or do wish to be a mercenary? If you fight for a Great House or Clan, you will be limited as to what Mechs you can use. It is acceptable that the 1st Davion Guards in the post-Fed Suns breakup might have a couple of Steiner Mechs, but not a lance or two of Kurita units. That wouldn't "fit" right. If you were a mercenary however, unless you spent your entire history with one House, it would not be uncommon for you to have Mechs from all over the Inner Sphere acquired through purchasing from your employers or capturing/salvaging from the battlefield.

Go through the archives and see what House, Clan, faction or Merc unit tickles your fancy. Pick one by its history, or just because the unit has a cool looking paint job. If you don't see anything you like, do not despair! Make your own unit! Pick an era, and write the history down. No one is stopping you but yourself. Sarna and Camo Specs Online are where you want to start. Sarna is a fan wiki, compiling most of the Battletech Universe into one spot. CamoSpecs Online has examples of Mechs with various units paint schemes.

Once you have determined what your pool of available units are, you will need those record sheets. There are three ways you can obtain record sheets. You can purchase the appropriate collections of record sheets you need, or one of the Mech building computer programs Heavymetal Pro, or Solaris Skunk Werks.

You can buy compilations of Mech sheets directly from DriveThruRPG, but you have to buy them in their packages. Each collection offers to all of the factions a little bit. So, you will have to get several volumes to obtain all of your Mechs record sheets. DriveThruRPG sells PDF's, so you can print out the Mechs you need directly without lugging the book to the copy machine every time.

Heavymetal Pro is a commercial program. The full set of programs will run you about $55. They have the data files for almost every published Mech and unit out there. They have not updated for some time however. This program runs only in the Windows environment.

Solaris Skunk Werks runs under Java, and can run under Windows, Macintosh and even the Ubuntu distribution of Linux. This program is free, but they always appreciate donations. SSW has a vast library of Mechs, but the last update was September 2014. The good news is if it doesn't have a weapon or system, you can add it. The nice thing about HMP and SSW is if you want to make your own version of a particular Mech, you can modify a design with just a few clicks. All three choices allow you to print out copies of whatever Mech you want or have.

Now you can start to expand your horizons. Use the record sheets to find out what Mechs you like and fit your play style. Once you can write down 36-40 Inner Sphere Mechs, or about the same number of Clan Mechs (depending on your ultimate unit configuration), NOW you can start buying those shiny Mechs on the wall.

In all of the miniatures games I play, my primary advice to a beginner is "build your list, and then buy those units ONLY." If you do the "Ooh, shiny!" and buy units that look cool (like my son) you will end up with a lot of units you will never use. My son is currently expanding his forces the correct way, after realizing the "Ooh, shiny!" method got him a very unbalanced force of about 75% Clan assault Mechs and very little light or medium Mechs, when it should be the other way around.

I recommend a battalion sized pool of Mechs for the simple reason that you will have a wide variety of Mechs to draw from when putting together a force for a scenario. Light, medium, heavy and assault Mechs all have different advantages and disadvantages. Each Mech will do something well and other things poorly. What you use may also depend on the style of scenario you will play. At this point, the sky is the limit. 

You now have a battalion of Mechs (at least on paper), a history to go with them and a paint scheme. By the way, painted Mechs fight better and look cooler. I cover assembly and painting your Mechs in the following articles.

Good luck!

Battle Reports

I welcome Philip back to Battletech from a 10 year
Get the Centurion!
We tried out a new scenario.
The long way
Okay, I met Don Saturday at gaming at Comic Cellar.
War At Sea
On 6/26/16, I organized a Battletech battle. I asked for something to speed up play and possibly welcome new players.
Close enough to shave with
Ernie and I showed up at Mid-South Hobbies today to kick off the Brush War Campaign, and have a pick-up game to get back into the Battletech mood.
Fall down, go BOOM
"It seemed like the thing to do at the time..."
We are the Dead
I just had my first battle of this Brush War Campaign. I thought I was in a pretty good position.
Whack-A-Mech
Today's Lesson: If you're going to try some new tactics, study them before the battle. Don't wing new tactics on the fly.
A 'Wild Hair' Batrep

Ouchies YouTube Batreps

#88 I don't like Change…

Nothing like the first time again...
#88 I don't like Change…

#87 No Refunds

The Prodigy would be proud of the Dervish, Quickcell not so much.
#87 No Refunds

#86 Lake Front Property III

100% legit all the way.
#86 Lake Front Property III

#84 Lake Front Property

Defiler and I assault a quaint vacation home.
#84 Lake Front Property

#80 Jacques! Start the engine!!!

It's not exactly 2v1. More like 2vRUN!
#80 Jacques! Start the engine!!!

#79 When in doubt...

Who needs ranged combat in the 31st millennium? I'm not *trying* to club baby seals I swear.
#79 When in doubt...

#78 Clan GETSUM

Gotta go! Go! GOOO!
#78 Clan GETSUM

#77 Rock 'Em Sock 'Em

We needed a micrometer to determine the winner in this match.
#77 Rock 'Em Sock 'Em

#76 Jade Falcon vs Society Aid Division

TRAITOR AND SWINE! Our uneasy truce on Akuts falls apart as a shady ally does what this band of allies do best.
#76 Jade Falcon vs Society Aid Division

#75 Jade Falcon vs Knights

#75 Jade Falcon vs Knights

#74 Jade Falcon vs. T-Rex Society

In this engagement I sorta over compensate and sell a little bit of my soul to make a point on a world of little value- fighting my ally.
#74 Jade Falcon vs. T-Rex Society

#73 Jade Falcon vs. KWSN

Campaign #2 (2015) continues! Engagement 1, Turn 4. The Jade Falcon Expeditionary, repels a blind raid of their campaign staging area.
#73 Jade Falcon vs. KWSN

#72 Jade Falcon vs. Society Aid Division

Campaign #2 (2015) continues! Engagement 3, Turn 3. The Jade Falcon Expeditionary, Beta Cluster, takes on the SAD 101st Unit for the southern continent of Akuts.
#72 Jade Falcon vs. Society Aid Division

#71 Jade Falcon vs. Davion 109th RCT

Campaign #2 (2015) continues! Engagement 2, Turn 2. The Jade Falcon Expeditionary, Alpha Cluster, takes on the 268th Thunderers from the Davion 109th on Panjang in a brushing conflict.
#71 Jade Falcon vs. Davion 109th RCT

#70 Jade Falcon vs. KWSN

A new campaign! The Jade Falcon Expeditionary opens up an LZ on a hostile world. It was supposed to be a milk run, not an ambush. Will they succeed?
#70 Jade Falcon vs. KWSN

#66 Fusiliers vs. TRC

The last round of the brush war campaign, we fight on the loosely populated Panjang against the scummy TRC.
#66 Fusiliers vs. TRC

#65 Fusiliers vs. BLNR

The BLNR have committed their forces to the siege of Carnot while far flung warlords pick off their less defended territories. This is the game that will make or break both them and the Fusiliers.
#65 Fusiliers vs. BLNR

#64 Fusiliers vs. TRC

Interception of the tide of landings over Carnot!
#64 Fusiliers vs. TRC

#63 WoB vs. Mercs

Round 3 Tourney Game at Midsouth Hobbies (9/27/14)
#63 WoB vs. Mercs

#62 WoB vs. Taurian

Round 2 Tourney Game at Midsouth Hobbies (9/27/14)
#62 WoB vs. Taurian

#61 WoB vs. Clan

Round 1 Tourney Game at Midsouth Hobbies (9/27/14)
#61 WoB vs. Clan

#60 Coalition vs. WoB

The air above gets hot as the battlefield gets contested in this Battletech game.
#60 Coalition vs. WoB

#59 Coalition vs. WoB

In this batrep I give the wrong name to everything proxied.
#59 Coalition vs. WoB

#58 Coalition vs. WoB

Boot up the C3i, it's time to buy some time.
#58 Coalition vs. WoB

#57 WoB vs. Coalition (Shiloh 5)

The Word of Blake Shiloh campaign comes to a close as a data breach forces this skirmish to be the last.
#57 WoB vs. Coalition (Shiloh 5)

#53 Cappellan vs. Taurian

DUST OFF THE FUSION REACTOR. Battletech 10k bv2 vs. 10k bv2; Inner Sphere theme.
#53 Cappellan vs. Taurian

#52 A&A WaS US vs. IJN Rematch

We play Axis and Allies War at Sea because the viewers requested it and we would of played it on our own anyway (protip: because it's fun).
#52 A&A WaS US vs. IJN Rematch

#33 Battletech!

Same as the last one, just less "Copyright-y". Riots abound and the HPG grid has gone off line. Is something afoot?
#33 Battletech!

#32 Solaris Death Match

We try a slightly different narration style and game altogether.
#32 Solaris Death Match

#31 WoB vs. Coalition (Shiloh 3&4)

Round 3&4 (out of 5) of Operation Scour follows into double jeopardy as the Word of Blake struggles against the Coalition forces.
#31 WoB vs. Coalition (Shiloh 3&4)

#30 WoB vs. Coalition (Shiloh 2)

Round 2 of Operation Scour continues as the WoB reel from the LZ and setup a hasty blocking formation.
#30 WoB vs. Coalition (Shiloh 2)

#29 WoB vs. Clan (Shiloh 1)

Operation Scour kicks off during the invasion of the WoB held planet of Shiloh in this 30k bv2 opening scenario. I like big games because the odds of the things that make battletech awesome are mediated by the sheer volume of things going on.
#29 WoB vs. Clan (Shiloh 1)

#28 WoB vs. Clan

Clan takes on the Word of Blake in Hasty Escalation... again. 5000pts
#28 WoB vs. Clan

#27 WoB vs. Clan

Clan takes on the Word of Blake in Hasty Escalation. 5000pts
#27 WoB vs. Clan

#26 WoB vs. Capellan Confederation

Capellans takes on the Word of Blake in a meeting engagement. 5000pts.
#26 WoB vs. Capellan Confederation

#25 WoB vs. Clan

Word Of Blake takes on the Clans in a meeting engagement. 5000pts.
#25 WoB vs. Clan

#21 Clan vs. Inner Sphere

Battletech BattleReport. 10k pts/side, 'Meeting Engament'. IS vs. Clan.
#21 Clan vs. Inner Sphere

#20 Domination

Battletech BattleReport. 30k pts/side, 'Domination'. BluFor vs. RedFor
#20 Domination

#19 Domination

Battletech BattleReport. 20,000pts, 'Domination'. Clan Jade Falcon Vs. Clan Chromium Pigeon/Taurian
#19 Domination

#17 Domination

The endangered Jade Dodo's breeding grounds are threatened by hungry periphery raiders. Will the Jade Falcon clan push them back or will a new bird enter the fried food arena in this play test of a "Flames of War" inspired scenario?
#17 Domination

#16 Group W vs. Comstar

Battletech Battle Report: Comstar and Group W go in the final "final" round. As Comstar finds themselves entering a quagmire they are unwilling to support, they make it one for Group W as well before dis-involving altogether.
#16 Group W vs. Comstar

#10 A&A WaS US vs. IJN

I get my feet wet in a naval game. Then feel bad about it. Axis & Allies: War at Sea Battle Report. Japanese Vs. Americans at 300pts.
#10 A&A WaS US vs. IJN

#7 Sorta Batrep

When life hands you lemons… Somewhere between getting to turn 3 after 5 hours, multiple equipment failures and a family emergency, this batrep wasn't meant to be done.
#7 Sorta Batrep

#6 Group W vs. Comstar Fight 3

Comstar and Group W go in the final round in a best of 3- and I find myself biting off more than I can chew.
#6 Group W vs. Comstar Fight 3

#5 Group W vs. Comstar Fight 2

Revengence! Tanks and mechs meet again in the hilly country land as Comstar pursues the Group W mercenaries into the rural areas.
#5 Group W vs. Comstar Fight 2

#4 Group W vs. Comstar Fight 1

Mercenary Vs. Comstar, Mech's Vs. Tanks, Long Distance charges vs... stacked dice? We got it all in this batrep.
#4 Group W vs. Comstar Fight 1

#3 Group W vs. Jade Falcon

In this battle report, Group W is tasked with probing the clan defensive line. Will they gather the recon data without incident or will clan Jade Falcon gather their salvage? Find out!
#3 Group W vs. Jade Falcon

#2 Jade Falcon vs Marik/Kurita

Will the Clan's let the lostech hardened candy shell technology fall to Innersphere hands? Find out!
#2 Jade Falcon vs Marik/Kurita

#1 Lyran/JF vs. Pirates/Mercs

Proof of concept time lapse shoot of a 20k/side BV meeting engagement.
#1 Lyran/JF vs. Pirates/Mercs

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