Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Shows you should be watching (Part I)

Shows that you should be watching

Death From Above


Death From Above is a weekly BattleTech show put on by the folks at Hyper RPG, a twitch TV channel operated in conjunction with Harebrained Schemes, the studio behind the recent hit Necropolis and the Shadowrun Returns franchise.  With Jordan Weisman, you have interactions with some of the folks who created BattleTech which has both its ups and its downs.  These gentlemen have a specific view of what their BattleTech looks like, and it looks a lot a cross between Mad Max and a Mecha show.  It’s a wonderful interaction between the two, and I half expect them to be fixing battlemechs with baling wire and duct tape part of the time. 

The show follows the exploits of Mason’s Marauders, (also the Pork Chop Express), as they get dragged around the periphery by a mysterious “benefactor” who is holding blackmail over everyone’s head.   Principal cast includes the four mechwarriors that make up the Lance, the aforementioned Mason (played with reckless hilarity by Mitch Gitelman), and Tyler Carpenter as the GM for this particular outburst of battlemech driven violence. 

The Mechwarriors as of Week 1 are

Connor Monahan as Cameron Coyne (twitter.com/captkerberos )
Steph Cheung as Natalya Matsuo (twitter.com/sourfruitjunkie )
Aljernon Bolden as Jarome Didier (Twitter.com/aljernonbolden )
Jell Baca as Jackson (Twitter.com/jellbel )

Note: This show features permanent death, so if a character is killed in one of a variety of hilarious ways, that actor is off the show.  This will come up again. 


The story for week one is Lockdown, which happens to be the local name for a prison planet where Mason has been in prison for a while.  The Mechwarriors are sent by their “benefactor” to go retrieve him so they can ramble around the Periphery of the Battletech universe stomping on pirates and breaking into places. 

(Now, the sessions are broken up into two parts, with a role-playing session to set up the battle to follow.  )

After an appropriately interesting approach to getting into Lockdown, the characters manage to find themselves being chased by local law enforcement for a crime they may have actually committed against local planetary resources (this could be a jailbreak).  With no alternative, they have to take to the field in their battlemechs to make sure they get away from the pursuing sheriff. 

Not discounting a joke about wanting to adopt a Bulldog tank and take it with them, the mechwarriors keep the game loose, with only Connor attempting to keep some semblance of order in the ranks. 

The battle session starts with the appearance of a Quickdraw battlemech and an assortment of vehicles (including the hopefully adopted Bulldog) moving towards the Marauders’ dropship, the Yojimbo.    All hell breaks loose and the firefight, along with the banter is worth watching, and this is a recurring theme we’ll talk about for later episodes. 

Gameplay drags a little, but I credit that to a new player or two along with playing in a new environment.  The upsized table and battlemechs are fantastic, and I applaud them for taking the bold (nutty) step of applying battle damage during the game.  That’s right, Game Fans, they take drills, hammers and soldering tools to battlemechs and tanks to record damage sustained during the game. 

These first two episodes are a little rough, but that’s due primarily to the newness of the situation and the people involved.  Later episodes add new guest stars, new pilots, and some fun and interesting situations that our intrepid (some would say plucky) mechwarriors get themselves into.  Next week I’ll cover the next pair of episodes (2.1 and 2.2) and go over the background of the mechwarriors and the machines they are driving. 


Stay tuned for more greatness on Twitch, and I’ll see you soon Game Fans.
Be sure to check out Harebrained Schemes http://harebrained-schemes.com for more about the great games they make

and check out Hyper RPG live on twitch, or on Youtube.

For those interested in checking out Lockdown, here's episodes 1/1 ready to go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhrDrkfUYvs&list=PLHKocVDXoWBvk0-skvvtUaMiFoo1MYPd9&index=47

Enjoy the show folks

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