BattleTech event for beginners!

What is not to love about big stompy robits shooting at each other! They are wrapping up one of the most successful tabletop Kickstarter campaigns ever! There is no doubt that this game has gained a lot of traction globally and that it’s one of the fastest growing systems here at the Cabal. Check this out:

This week I had a quick chat with Steph about the beginner friendly BattleTech event he is running on the 29th of April. Steph is an OG gamer in our community, a (international) man of action and few words he gave us a lowdown on the event he is running.

How long have you been playing BattleTech?

In its current form only about a year, but my very first tabletop game was MechWarrior Clix and I’ve been a lifelong fan of BattleTech universe.

What do you love about BattleTech compared to other tabletop wargames?

Putting aside my biased of anything mech related I like that it’s a very mature system that has been around a long time and the way the developers engage with the community in a positive manner gives me confidence in the future of the system.

On a gaming level I think the cost of entry compared to other system is very low and the scalability where you can go from playing a single mech to full out galaxy sized conflicts is second to none.

Can you tell us a little bit about the upcoming BattleTech event you are running at Jix on April 29th?

With pleasure, The Jix city Grand Melee in intended to cater for both BattleTech veterans and new players using the Alpha Strike ruleset. It is a giant free for all, hoping to deliver as much mech combat action as possible in a casual environment.

What inspired you to organize this event?

The idea for the format came from a combination of the old Warhammer 40k tournaments where the last round would be a free for all with one character in your army (was so much fun) and the Solaris arena game mode in the old MechWarrior PC games (that I spent hours in as a kid).

What types of activities or games can attendees expect to participate in at the event?

A fun day of mech wrecking action while getting to use the Alpha Strike rules for BattleTech and hopefully making some new friends (or friendly rivals) in the process.

How many players do you expect to participate in the event?

As the community is still very new and we don’t want to pressure anyone into playing we are hoping for 10 players, but the more the merrier.

Can you speak to the level of competitiveness of the event? Will there be any prizes awarded?

The intention is for it to be a casual and fun setting and yes there will be prizes.

What is the time frame for the event, and how long will each game or activity last?

Registration opens at 09:00, setup and deployment at 09:30 and the carnage will start at 10:00.
The Melee stops when a someone reaches 500 points or at the 15:00 hard cut off time.
The prize giving should not take longer than 30 mins so will be finished at 16:00 at the latest.

How will the games be structured, and how will players be matched up with one another?

The game is one giant free for all. The main table where the Melee will take place and there will a smaller side table where participants who have been eliminated can fight 1v1 to get back on the main table.

What kind of terrain and scenery will be available for players to use during the games?

A giant city landscape will be the setting for the Melee itself, while the smaller gulag table will be a surprise on the day. (It is our first event so please don’t expect anything to fancy)

Are there any restrictions on the types of mechs or units that players can use in the event?

The event falls under the open class so any mech under 65 BV with pilot skill modifiers included is eligible to participate. 

Will there be any special rules or scenarios for the event, or will the games follow the standard BattleTech rules?

It is an Alpha Strike rule set event, and the organisers will have rulebooks to help with any queries.
However, because it’s the first event we wont be using any of the pilot special abilities.

Are there any requirements for attendees to bring their own mechs, dice, or other game components?

Attendees will need the following:
1) R50 entry fee, covers the cost of using the shop for the day.

2) A single mech of your choice per the rules above, otherwise one can be provided on the day.
Please use Master Unit List to create your unit card if you are bringing your own mech:

3) A measuring tape (Imperial inches) and d6 or d12 dice.

4) Pen/pencil to keep track of damage, kills etc.

5) An open mind and sporting attitude for a day of Mech wrecking action!

How does Jix support wargaming communities, and how has the venue been involved in this event?

The store itself is very impressive with the stock it carries for various systems and the play area they built has been one of the best ways to expose the general public to those gaming systems. Their graphics design team has also been a great help in creating the promotional material for the event and they are also providing prize support.

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in attending the event but has never played BattleTech before?

Please feel free to join, there are various quick start guides about the Alpha Strike rules on YouTube and even if you don’t find time to watch those, part of the purpose of the event is to teach new players the game in a fun setting.

Looking towards the future, are there any plans to organize similar events or expand the BattleTech community in the area?

The community is hoping to have at least one event a month going forward at various locations across the province and if the Melee is a big enough success, we hope to make it a regular feature on the calendar. James from The Cabal also has some great ideas on campaign he wants to run going forward.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about the event or the BattleTech community in general?

Although the local community is still relatively new the system and the fiction it is based on has been around for almost 40 years, so there is a wealth of lore to immerse yourself into and I strongly encourage people to dive in headfirst.
BattleTech also scales like no other system , easily going from 1v1 mech duals to full on planet sized battles while having what is in my opinion one the cheapest cost of entry to play.
Globally in the last few years we have seen a lot of movement away from more traditional systems like 40k and a lot of those players found a new home in BattleTech.
I would like to thank the Cabal for posting this Q&A in order to give the event more exposure and Jix for hosting us and hopefully helping to grow the system and to build a healthy community like other systems (e.g. Infinity) already has.
Hope to see a lot of the readers on the 29th of April at Jix.