Friday, October 21, 2016

Crescent Hawks (Shining a light)

I’ve heard rumors for several months now about unit specific force briefings coming down the road for Battletech.  The first one of these, Spotlight on: Crescent Hawks released earlier this week and i have to say, it hits a lot of good buttons but misses a few as well.  Let’s take a closer look at this new product, and show off one of the most famous units in Battletech’s history.  

To appreciate the full history of the Crescent Hawks, you have to hop back into the time machine to the late 1980s, and when an upstart little company called  FASA created a computer game.  This game, Crescent Hawk’s Inception, featured the story of the Youngblood family and their misadventures in service to House Steiner.  You play Jason Youngblood, a Mechwarrior trapped behind enemy lines on the planet Pacifica, a planet recently conquered by House Kurita.  You have to reunite your father’s unit and battle your way across the planet to find the secret Star League depot.  Successful enough to spawn a sequel, Crescent Hawk’s Revenge, The story of the Crescent Hawks wove back and forth within the Battletech universe ever since.  

During its early days, FASA ( the original producers of Battletech) produced unit level sourcebooks for a variety of interesting and oddball units that had their own place in the Battletech Universe.  McCarron’s Armored Cavalry, Snord’s Irregulars, The Black Thorns, even the Grey Death Legion had their own sourcebooks covering their histories, their rosters, and some of their famous battles.  

Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks brings these two lineages together in an interesting way.  Presented as a short form biography of the Crescent Hawks unit, it gives you the history, the force rosters, and some short, biographical data on the people involved.  With this information, you’re perfectly capable of recreating the classic battles of the Crescent Hawks, or playing them as the OpFor for a game of battletech.  It even includes Alpha Strike roster cards for critical members of the unit, and with the force Roster, you can find the relevant sheets to play them in a regular game of Battletech.  If this is the scope and direction of this spotlight series, i am very happy with the product, but it is missing at least one important thing.

With the recently released Campaign Operations, I think Catalyst missed an opportunity to include the ToEs to run the Crescent Hawks with the Force Operation rules.  Yes, you as a player could figure them out on your own.  Yes, it probably wouldn’t even be that difficult, but Catalyst could have added them as a feature tie in to their new shiny rule book.  

Other than that, i am very happy to see the Crescent Hawks make a return to the CGL Battletech Universe, and wonder if we might not see a version of Mason’s Marauders show up in a publication like this?  It would be a neat tie in, but that would require us to know how that particular story ends.  

That’s a quick look at Spotlight On: Crescent Hawks     .  
You can find it on either Drivethru RPG or Battleshops, with a price tag of $3.99.

Game on, Game Fans


As Ray pointed out in the comments below, Page 9 does have a several of the conversions needed to use the Crescent Hawks in the Abstract Combat System, Strategic Battleforce, and a couple of other game modes.  My original statement regarding an omission of the ToE for the Force Operations rules found in Campaign Operations (Starting on page 32) is technically correct.  I hope this clarifies my original point. 


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    1. I have added a clarification to my original article, I hope this explains my concerns clearly and concisely