Then one day, I found an old mid-80 BT booklet, and it made the whole game look primitive - the art, the layout, the setting, the technology, and everything within - and I liked it! It felt like a whole other take to the fiction: a once great galactic empire that fell to war, and the prolonged conflict knocked the galaxy to the stone-age. All the basic technology and salvage rule made a lot more sense, and the game now feels like Mad Max with mecha!
So now I dont what to have anything to do with the Clans. I never like their retarded sense of honor, their game-braking mecha, and their general intrusion on the setting. It would have made more sense to have one OmniMech to take on a whole lance of basic 'mechs, but their honor would not allow that. Fucking stupid! As much as I hate them, I still like some of the tech, like the Mad Cat & Vulture (the designs, not the stats), Protomechs (not the designs, but the rules) and their second-line 'mechs and vehicles.
So basically, my BT game have no Clans. The Wolf Dragoons are still supported by mysterious outsiders, but they are out-of-the-way worlds that still manufacture Lost Tech. As for Star League 'mechs, I remember seeing them in a 2750 TRO, and they did not live up to the "superior" designs as noted in the old rule books, so I thought:
- The basic "level 1" 'mechs are just the old scrapped-together machines from the Succession Wars;
- The "level 2 IS" 'mechs are built using using technology that was reversed-engineered from an old memory core (as in the canon), so they are the most advanced models to be manufactured, and are seen in limited numbers;
- While the highly advanced "Star League" 'mechs are built useing the same rules as Clan Omnimechs, and are to advanced to be manufactured.
Another thing I never cared for, are the blatant historical allusions. Reading the history of the Draconus Combine felt awkward and forced, as the founder was a Otoya Yamaguchi-styled despot, who turned the Combine into galaxy's largest reenactment of Tokugawa dynasty. I dont mind allusions, as long as they are subtle. Forcing a culture to look like a past one dont work, as there are numerous influences that can even supersede even the dreams of a highly charismatic demagogue. I prefer when a setting takes the sprite of what its alluding to, and make something that feels original around it. Plus, after centuries of galactic expansion and cultural developments, there would be whole new civilizations, languages, religions, customs, est. I keep their influences somewhat, but I try to make things feel different and exotic.
OK, so my setting starts out like the old 3025 game, where a prolonged conflict erodes science and technology. Some time in the 3030s, someone found a memory core, which inspired a lot of technological development, but the application was strictly limited. The map changes as usual, but the Federated Commonwealth never formed because the space around the Sol system has been a highly disputed wasteland since the outbreak of the war, and because the Clan invasion never happened, the periphery states are more-or-less still intact.
I have also never been content with the weapon list. It felt like it was held-back from the shortcoming from the original game, so I made some changes (I have made notes, but I cant find them).
- Light Autocannons are more like Machine Guns, but with better range.
- Medium Autocannons are like AC/5s, but can fire off-map as artillery, with a range of 12 maps (as Thumper).
- Heavy Autocannons are like AC/10s, but have the range of LRMs on the map, and as Thumpers off-map.
- Stubcannons are short-barreled Heavy Autocannons, so they have the range of AC-10s.
- Medium Artillery Cannons are like Autocannon/20s and Long Toms.
- Heavy artillery cannons are like the artillery systems from the game, but do more damage (they are like those big-ass guns the Germans like to mount on train cars back in WWII).
- Rotary Autocannons are Light or Medium Autocannons, but weigh more, and have rapid-fire.
- Rail-Guns (MRG, HRG) are like Medium and Heavy Autocannons, but they have greater range and velocity (moves across maps faster), but they produce heat like partial cannons.
- Rail-Cannons (MRC, HRC) are the Rail-Gun equivalents to Medium and Heavy Artillery Cannons.
- Cluster Missiles (CM-5, 10, 15, 20) are like Short Range Missiles, but come in groups of 5s.
- Missiles Launchers (ML-x) are single-shot missiles, that can do 5-points each, and have the range of LRMs on the map, and as Arrow-IVs off-map.
- Melee Weapons comes in all forms: knives, swords, axes, maces, work tools, est.
Other houserules includes:
- Piloting and shooting rolls have static target numbers with normal adjustments, while skill levels are added to the roll. The target numbers are: 6 for piloting; 4, 6, 8 for short, medium and long ranges.
- To-hit penalties from heat build-up now makes a 'mech easier to hit do to increased heat signature.
- With missiles, half damage (round-down) applies to adjacent sections.
- Vehicles have one internal structure box for the main body, with front and rear armor sections (no sides). Turrets have their own internal structure based on its size, and they also have front and rear armor. Rotors have no internal structure.
- Quadmechs have can have turrets. They have 6 slots.
- LAMs in Air-Mech mode cannot run while on the ground, but have a VTOL speed based on Jump speed, plus a bonus based on the Lift Factor of a VTOL.
- Battle Armor have fewer armor points.
- Large cannons impose pilot rolls when fired, to keep the 'mech standing upright.