My first impressions of Battletech – Alpha strike

Good evening all and welcome to a whatever Saturday where I wanted to talk about my first impressions of Battletech – Alpha strike.

Battletech is described as the futuristic space opera which spans thousands of lightyears of space where the conflict between humans is settled in giant mechanised robots each capable of incredible destruction.

The alpha tech variant is no different with the scale being around 6mm so everything feels massive. It’s a non miniature centric game but having them is part of the fun and whats more, the creators (Catalyst Games) don’t care if you use their minis, cardboard, jellybeans or 3rd party miniatures. This is great as you may only have between 1 and 30 miniatures at any one stage and if its $0.20 cents to print one out its a lot different than the $90 boxes of other wargames. For a single unit..

My first impressions of Battletech – Alpha strike..

So I love mechs. Movies like pacific rim and games like mech commander and battletech cemented this attraction to these monstrous weapons of war. The game itself is simple. You have an agreed point limit, agreed scenario and you follow the basic rules… but… The game has both breadth and depth in what’s available and the additional or in advanced rules that it really is something that would suit just about any sci-fi or mech fan.

The dice mechanics are also simple. Roll 2d6 vs the be target number and if you hit you deal damage to the enemy mech, building, infantry or vehicle. The target number to hit is Pilot Skill + Range/distance + Adjusted values + Target Mech Movement+ Other modifiers, or PRATO. Something like that in anyway.

If you roll over the PRATO then you hit and do damage to the targets armour and then internals, of they don’t have any armour left.

Pretty simple really but with certain weapon types, mechs and their special loadouts/special abilities the tactical depth can be quite deep.

The second thing I like about this game is that the turns are taken simultaneously. That is if your mech gets ambushed they still shoot back as they are destroyed. This makes more logical sense as no living being sits there and waits their turn to fight for their life. This works against you too but it makes the games feel like a fair first fight but with lasers, missiles and heavy calibre guns.

The other thing with this is that scenery matters. Puddles of water cool you down quickly, buildings, ruined or otherwise, can block sight or give you some tactical advantage. Movement is key but the right movement is even more so as that patch of forest or debris slows down walking units but not fliers or those with jump-jets.

Whilst simple the complexity is scary with countless types of weapons, thousands of models (think make and model of cars) of mechs, and pages worth of special abilities that will make you want to scrap your army and build around a single ability or combination. Diversity of gameplay is second only to the love and enthusiasm I have experienced from the community with the lore literally being decades old.

Whilst I love D&D and Warhammer profusely, the quick, small and compact battletech is drawing me deeper into its embrace. So if I continue with this game system in the future don’t forget to look out for those updates and, as always, don’t forget to roll with advantage,

The Brazen Wolfe

Arcane aftermath

Hi all and welcome to a special Saturday update here from Brazen Wolfe Tabletop featuring the beginning of my new arcane aftermath terrain.

So as you would be aware of I am not just a Dungeon master I also partake in Warhammer (as often as I can). For those who may not be familiar with the hobby it requires an army (between 4 and 200+ individual miniatures), a 6ft by 4ft table (actually 60″ x 44″) and terrain give a sense of thematic and tactical decision making.

Lately I’ve been going through a bit of a hobby drive and I’ve got some progress to show before I head to a local 2 day tournament next weekend.

So let me know what you think of it. Its slow going process with family life and work but the goal is to have a whole table of this terrain that is both thematic and tactical.


Ground works


Alchemist hut

Taking a smaller base I built it up aggressively. Taking a large, thick foam off cut and then building on top of it to get a flat spot with sloped jagged rocky formations on the edge. The bricks are hand made being hot wire cut, hand textured and then glued down one by one.

Deciding to have a hut and a floating power stone attached to the hut. After getting the general shape and gluing them thinly down to the base I worked my way up until I cut a scrap square of foam thinly then onto two halves of a roof. Using the roof as a brace for the two additional layers of bricks at the back of the hut. Then a carving a mini rock and securing it with wire to the base it’s ready for the next steps.


Shattered Stone

This piece is another easy scatter piece. Using scraps I built up a central spire of stone and using a 5mm clear acrylic rod cut to around 100mms in length I created a floating rocky from one of the original pieces.

The process really is simple. Grab a bit of foam and stick it down where you think it fits best. I let my eyes and fingers guide me on this one just finding a piece of scrap foam, sometimes cutting it more then sticking it down. Nothing too technical or fancy.

Once it was done I carved and picked his of foam out of all the foam used to give it an uneven textured look. This will help with dry brushing and the next few steps in texture.


Shattered monolith

The next one is a bit harder and it’s not just because it’s bigger. I wanted to have a stone monolithic comic out of the groove and leaving a well between.. So I had to cut and shake the monolith and use lots of scraps of xps to build up a well that I’ll add water effects into at some point.

The process was very similar to the last one laying many flat and angled pieces of foam to build a ridged well in the middle. After I had the basic shape I carved and picked at the foam to get uneven and chaotic and natural looking rock textures. Doing the same for the floating stone I also made vines or ropes from wire to both look good and keep the monolith floating.


Group shot so far with a purple sun, everyone’s favourite endless spell for size comparison

Thanks for joining me for a hobby update night. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for content, hopefully in addition you the end off week write-up. Oh and as always don’t forget to roll with advantage,

The Brazen Wolfe