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Subject: Re:My First Battletech Game in three decades of Gamin
Manchu wrote: On the score of Battletech being mistaken for a miniatures game, the basis for this goes back to the very beginning.
According to Weisman, inspiration struck while he and Babcock were trying to find distributors for FASA products at a hobby trade show. Because there were few dedicated game stores at the time, this show was more for the kind of businesses that sold hobby products along the lines of sewing, crafts, and scale models. While walking around, Weisman found a booth for a company called TCI, which was importing remaindered Japanese model kits based on designs from mecha anime like Macross. By miniatures gaming standards, these were quite large models, standing approximately 3-4 inches tall. But Weisman thought they would look impressive on the table and conceived of writing a game around them.
That game was, of course, Battledroids and the initial Battledroids set even came with two of these model kits, the Shadowhawk and Griffin. Unfortunately, the models could not really be used for the game considering they were too large for the hex map. So Battledroids also came with cardboard standees to use for the game. Nevertheless, FASA continued to sell these large models, imported through TCI, under the BattleTech name, although this was phased out because of production of smaller metal figures that could actually be used to play. All the same, FASA used these TCI models and 3D terrain to demo Battletech at conventions, going so far as to rip up the models with pliers and melt them with soldering irons to reflect battle damage, which of course got them the desired attention!
It was this partnership with TCI that led to the disruptive lawsuit in the mid 90s about the rights to the classic mech designs.
So although Battletech is a wargame, we would not have it at all without models. It was the models that inspired Weisman to develop the game in the first place and the models were used at conventions to make the game stand out. Maybe more importantly, perhaps taking a cue from the likes of Dunnigan and Day in the historical milieu, writing detail-oriented background information for the mechs is what led to the most successful aspect of Battletech all these years — its fictional setting, which has gone on to find a huge audience beyond the board game experience.
That's fantastic. I had no idea.
I wonder if those convention games looked something like this....
This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/07 02:00:38
Charistoph wrote: Yet if you go on to the street asking random people if they know of Settlers of Catan, Nemesis, Super Dungeon Explorers, or similar, you'd get a blank stare more of then than not. If you asked them to list the board games you know, more often than not you'd hear of Monopoly's group then the ones I mentioned, and most wouldn't even consider something like Battletech as part of that game group. This is what I meant by common nomenclature.
Good thing, then, that we're not on the street. If I were to go to speak with a muggle like my sister or my mum, I might have to explain that, much like everything else, there is a gradient of complexity in board games. But I was not. I was speaking in a miniatures games forum, wich if anything is more of a niche than boardgames.
Also, you might be surprised, taking into account that boardgames nowadays sell like crazy. Absolutely bonkers amounts, and they target all demographies, now.
Can confirm that plenty of muggles know what Catan is. It's been a Target staple in the states for over 10 years. So much so that for a small period of time, it was the only place you were able to obtain Star Trek Catan for its original release. Board games above the "classic" offerings have been a growing part of the market for quite awhile.
This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/07/11 19:54:38