Sunday, 26 April 2015

Stranger in a strange land... of BIG, STOMPY ROBOTS!

Saturday at the Games Group was a double celebration. It was Kevin's birthday ("Hippo birdy two ewes!") and it was a special games day. The entire group played Battletech, and this was unusual since the entire group rarely plays the same thing and Battletech was something I'd never played before. I was quite interested in trying the game and I did enjoy it. There was also pizza, pop, and cake for Kevin's birthday.


Three tables were set up. One was arranged for Andy's "Clicky-tech" set-up, but that was not used. A second generic open field table was laid out and used for a game between Kevin and Martin using a Battletech-light set of rules. We'll discuss the third table shortly.

Andy's Clicky-Tech set up. I'm a bit sad it wasn't used.

Kevin's battle field for the Battle of Generica.
Martin's Mechs advanced into the forest and Kevin's heavily armed Mechs opposed him.

A view from the supporting Mech.

Martin called this one "Cauldron-borne."

I don't know what he was really doing but I insist he was berry-picking.

Two more of Kevin's Mechs - very business-like.

Hide-and-go-seek with medium lasers

A close-up fight ensued

He's looked better.

In fact, they've all looked better.

The third table was done up by Wayne... and in this writer's opinion, it was absolutely amazing!! Wayne must have worked on it for years. In short, it is a scaled down, Battletech-ready version of the city of Quebec!! Words cannot describe it, so photos are in order.

Wayne's City of Quebec - This deserved a larger photo presentation.

The Citadel and old city wall

Some forested park land

the famous Chateau Frontenac hotel with the Legislature just behind.

The St. Lawrence river with three depths!
Brown buildings were wood construction, red/pink were brick, grey were concrete,
and the variegated finish (like the Citadel) were stone.

Axis Chemicals and Petrochemicals?

Industrial areas, bridges, and the stone Armoury.

an up-hill view of Chateau Frontenac

City roads and a wooden bridge.
We all used medium weight Mechs (40-55 tons) so wooden structures couldn't hold the weight
and would collapse. Brick might (maybe), concrete and stone could hold a Mech's weight.

A substantial bridge

The Citadel and the Plains of Abraham

Another view of the Armoury in the lower city.
There were ten players (including Brian's two children, both of whom were out to "get Daddy!), each with a medium Mech (40-55 tons) and the goal was "Last Man Standing" aka "King of the Hill." Some alliances were surreptitiously made, but they'd get broken at some time. Initiative was rolled every turn with lower being better. Wayne pulled off a few "snake eyes" rolls and was dismayed. A later move allowed you to observe what your opponents were doing. All firing was simultaneous.

My Mech "posing" - a Clan OmniMech "Viper" with a particle cannon, two small lasers,
and a short range flamer. Fast and manoeuvrable.

Tom's choice - very spider-like
(I should have called it a "cockroach" at the game but I was stunned.)

Had this place caught fire, it would've been a mess.

Tom's cockroach crawling over buildings. The die shows what would be added to the
die roll of someone firing on this Mech.

On my second move, I jumped over the river and hid in the small park.
The bridge couldn't hold the weight of the Mech.

My Mech climbing the road. The nails allowed to place a figure without it sliding down
the hill and also serve as "punji stakes" for jumping Mechs.

Brian's Mech on the Plains of Abraham.

Kevin's Mech lurking in the concrete canyons

Bear's Mech about to climb the hill.
It'd be hard to write a real AAR since there were eight Mechs in play and I couldn't see the ones on the other side of the mountain. Basically we all headed up the hill except two players whose Mechs walked along the bottom of the St. Lawrence for a few turns. Wayne's slightly heavier Mech jumped up onto the Chateau Frontenac while Tom and I squared for an old West gunfight. I lost when Tom shot out my engines. He then took fire from Bear and Kevin and his "cockroach" went belly-up.

Taking a refreshing dip in the effluent of the petrochemical plant.

Martin's "Hunchback" (which impressed everybody in the know) clobbers a Mech on the river bottom.

Tom and I square off.
"This town ain't big enough for the both of us!"

Tom ran past me and I had to turn around, which led to the destruction of my Mech's engines.
Because I had to turn around in the hex, Tom did not suffer any reduction in his firing.

Brian was momentarily "King of the Hill" when he stood atop the Citadel.

Martin's Mech climbs the hill.

An up-hill view of Kevin's and Bear's Mechs as they riddle Tom's cockroach
with laser-fire and other assorted goodies.

Kevin's rather elegant Mech doing a victory jig.

Martin and Brian fight on the Plains of Abraham.

Wayne's Mech, atop a concrete building, prepares to bring the pain to a Mech on the street.

Bear's Mech hides from Brian's, using a hospital for cover.
So much for the Geneva Convention!
I had to leave before the game completely ended. (I was knocked out early.) I enjoyed the game, and I'd have to play a few more times to get the hang of it. I'll play it again, but I won't go out and buy a bunch of mech figs. Besides, everybody who played had at least two dozen Mechs, so could easily borrow one or a few for a game. Kevin said it's easier to learn the game on more open terrain, and I'm sure he's right. Still to play on Wayne's Quebec board was great fun, very colourful, and quite intense. He was surprised that we only smashed ONE building and that came about from a Mech jumping and landing on it. It was a wooden building and it collapsed from the Mech's weight. I guess I never thought of blowing up buildings since what hides you also hides me in such a tight environment.

One of Wayne's home-made Mechs, set for the urban environment.

Condos... cheap, quick, out of the line of fire.

My Viper takes cover near the old city walls. Didn't help me.
A crash and a wooden building lay in ruins... with a toppled Mech in the mess.

Industrial property... will rebuild to suit buyer... or will blow it up as Mech-fodder.

Another view of the Great Iron Bridge showing the river depth steps.

Reenacting season will begin next week with the "Battle of Longwoods" (War of 1812) at the Longwoods Conservation Area, west of London. Two weeks from then will be the "Road to Culloden" (Jacobite rebellion of 1746) event at the Backus-Page House. Monday I'll attend the World War One Education Day at Fanshawe Pioneer Village just outside of London. I don't have a formal part, so I may just take photos.

If you can make it, stop by the American camp and ask for the 17th Infantry, Croghan's Company.

Love to see you if you can make it. I'll be one of what's referred to as the "Traitorous Scots Militia" on the Government side.

Farewell to Quebec!


  1. The Ville de Quebec model is tres formidable! Definitely a labour of love, ou, comme nous disons en francais, un travail d'amour.