Thursday, November 3, 2016

Some new ideas from Catalyst Game Labs

So Catalyst is showing off a couple of new products for Shadowrun and Battletech.  Let’s take a quick look at these new books and see if we can’t tease a couple more ideas from the big brains.  

Cutting Aces (Shadowrun Sourcebook)

Cutting Aces takes a close look at the Face role in a Shadow runner team.  With new ideas and options for putting the face fist (including expanded ideas and options for running cons), Cutting Aces also opens the city of Istanbul as a playground for excitable runners.  If you’re looking for something to expand your game and give your team’s face a new playground of fun, Check it out when it drops.

Battelemech Manual
The other interesting release from CGL is the Battlemech Manual.  rnb put up a post a couple of days ago about the development of the battletech rules, (you can find that posting here and it resonated with me on a fundamental level.  I’ve been playing Battletech since 1988, and i have watched the Battletech universe grow and incorporate new ideas and units into the game.  

However, those new units have new rules and the books have grown mightily thick and it makes tracking down the rules to play a mech vs mech game tricky, especially if you’re incorporating advanced technology and equipment.  You probably need both the Total Warfare book, the Tactical Operations book, and depending on the era, either Interstellar Operations or a sourcebook.  That’s a lot of pages to sort through and rules to flip through.  

One of the things i love about Battletech is the level of detail within the system.  If you look, you can find a rule for the specific situation you’re looking for, 99% of the time.  (It may take you a while to find that rule, but it’s there).  Early reports (mostly from rnb himself) indicate that the Battlemech Manual may be an attempt to clarify and concisely put together all of the rules that you need to play Mech on Mech combat.  

I love the idea, but it’s got a lot of information to put into a book that’s suggested to be less than 200 pages.  I am curious how concise and clear the rules can be.  Here’s what i assume the book is going to contain

The Turn Sequence and how to play the game (Roll your dice)
An explanation of all the system and equipment you can find on a battlemech
Record Sheets
Scenarios to introduce players to Mech on Mech violence
A very small amount of information about the Universe

It might also contain
Construction and Customization rules for Battlemechs
Tactical suggestions and ideas for new players
Something i’ve never even considered.  

The big brains are finalizing the design for this now, and we’re supposed to be getting closer looks at the design philosophy and ideation behind it.  I’m hoping it’s an out of the box hit, and we see more exciting things from the folks at Catalyst in the coming months.  

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