I'm sorry to say that there seems to be a disturbing trend in the area of BattleTech and all of the spinoffs. It seems that instead of trying to reach a new audience with the video games and new miniatures game, that every different manifestation of BattleTech, or whatever you want to call it at this point, has driven the players farther apart. I was first exposed to this game back in either 1988 or 89 when I was only 5 through the box set CityTech, which was BattleTech urban combat, cool stuff. Granted, at that point it was huge freaken robots with rocket launchers blowing crap up, but it was probably the coolest thing I'd ever seen. As I grew up I started to play it more and really get into it, every new suppliment added a lot more depth, made the game a little bit better. I remember the superb graphics of the first MechWarrior game on the PC, and how that was the best thing I'd ever seen. I also remember the two Crescent Hawk games and how tough they were, again remember, I was really young. But every new game made the whole system that much better and got more people interested in BattleTech. Unfortunately, the person who had all the sourcebooks moved away and I stopped playing.

Then MechWarrior 2 hit. When I played that game it was one of the coolest, if not the coolest, thing I'd ever seen. I renewed my interest in BattleTech and caused me to search for the books with a completely renewed interest. Having played the game before, back in the 3025 era, I knew what to expect and The Clans added a whole new world to explore. The problem came when MW2 drew many other fans into the tabletop game and they all wanted to play with omni-mechs. I remember an intense argument between two gamers. One accused the other of cheating because a Large Laser cannot fire at that range, but the shot was from a Mad Cat, or Timber Wolf if you prefer, and thus was a ER Large Laser so, actually, it could. I'd never seen people so mad over a game, at least not when money was not at stake. So then there were the 3025ers, the 3055ers, and those who felt shut up and play the damn game!!

Without going into a detailed history, basically the same thing happened when the other BattleTech computer games came out. Each new one had a new hook to draw in new players. The newbies were interested in the tabletop game too, they just wanted the new toys. So more suppliments came out and new arguments started; the 3055ers needed some group to look down on. The whole time those of us who just want a good game are sitting there watching the other player's argue. The number 1 rule of wargames is that all rules must be agreed upon before the first move is made. The BattleTech System is even set up for this, Level 1 is the "old" tech from 3025, Level 2 is the standard tournament level and has all the goodies from the clans, and Level 3 had all the really new toys from the really new 3067 equipment. They also released new versions of Battleforce, BattleSpace, and AeroTech to make it easier to use this new stuff, but no where does it say that these rules must be used! There are even era-specific tournaments if you really care that much. So if you don't like the new equipment, don't play with it, but don't assault those of us who choose to. The point of the game is to have a good time and blast the hell out of your opponent's units. That is ALL that matters, nothing else.

The same can be said for Wizkids' new version, MechWarrior: Dark Age. A lot of people see the advantage for that new system and I myself will likely buy a set to see what it's like and if it sucks then I at least get some painted and assembled mechs from the deal. I have not yet played it, and I likely won't for a long time. However, I also won't take the attitude that those who do pick it up are inferior to me.

The point is, enjoy BattleTech in the form you enjoy it, if its CBT, or MechWarrior, or MechCommander, or any other of the many games that have been made from it. The flip side is also to respect that others likely enjoy it in a different form, and that's perfectly fine. I'm sorry if I've pissed some of you pureists off, downvote me all you bloody well like, but please let those of us who have grown up beyond caring what everyone else happens to be doing enjoy the game in our own damn way!