Author Topic: Help me be less dumb  (Read 3774 times)

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Offline Ch3m1kal

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Help me be less dumb
« on: December 19, 2012, 11:40:11 PM »
So as someone who's never played CBT, but does love the BT universe, and has played all the games except for Mech Assault and that Sega Genesis one, i forget the name, i'm thinking i should brush up on my knowledge of big stompy bots.

Background-wise i tend to enjoy Warhammer books and have actually read quite a lot of them and i'm hoping BT books are similar in style if not in tone (i'm thinking more or less same dakka, less grimdark). As for specifics, i loved the Ciaphas Cain series and most of the Horus Heresy series, most notably Fulgrim and the 2 books on the Thousand Sons (A Thousand Sons and Prospero Burns). Despite it's acclaim, i'm less than amazed by they Gaunt's Ghosts series which i find rather predictable though generally decent.

Now poking around the forum for a bit, i see people suggest the Grey Death Saga and The Legend of the Jade Phoenix as good starting points. Given what i've said about my Warhammer preferences, any guesses if those 2 are good for me, and perhaps a suggestion or two preferably with as few clanners in them as possible?

Thanks!
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Offline Xarg Talasko

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Re: Help me be less dumb
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 12:16:08 AM »
Gray Death saga especially, but all of the 3025 books. If you look up the chronological order, you want anything before Lethal Heritage (which is Blood of Kerensky part 1, when the Crans show up). Ideal War is a fantastic novel. Far Country and Star Lord are balls, read only if terminally bored with life.


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Offline Cherno

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Re: Help me be less dumb
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 12:51:43 AM »
I personally don't like the Gray Death Saga. It seems to me that the novels try too hard to introduct BT concepts to a novice reader, and the stories actually read more like a scenario book with some fluff added than a proper adventure story.
I have read all novels up to the Jade Phoenix trilogy, and the Blood of Kerensky one was by far the most interesting, with a good insight into the grander schemes taking place in all Inner Sphere houses, ComStar and the Clans. It's a lot about Politics, but with several interesting sub-plots thrown in and of course a lot of big and small battles. I highly recommend it.
Jade Phoenix was god too, recommended for those who would like to know what life's like for Clan Warriors and Clan Society as a whole.
The Warrior trilogy was mostly boring, the last novel was ok though.
Close Quarters was also pretty cool.

Offline Alexis Kerensky

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Re: Help me be less dumb
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 12:55:15 AM »
So as someone who's never played CBT, but does love the BT universe, and has played all the games except for Mech Assault and that Sega Genesis one, i forget the name, i'm thinking i should brush up on my knowledge of big stompy bots.

Background-wise i tend to enjoy Warhammer books and have actually read quite a lot of them and i'm hoping BT books are similar in style if not in tone (i'm thinking more or less same dakka, less grimdark). As for specifics, i loved the Ciaphas Cain series and most of the Horus Heresy series, most notably Fulgrim and the 2 books on the Thousand Sons (A Thousand Sons and Prospero Burns). Despite it's acclaim, i'm less than amazed by they Gaunt's Ghosts series which i find rather predictable though generally decent.

Now poking around the forum for a bit, i see people suggest the Grey Death Saga and The Legend of the Jade Phoenix as good starting points. Given what i've said about my Warhammer preferences, any guesses if those 2 are good for me, and perhaps a suggestion or two preferably with as few clanners in them as possible?

Thanks!
It was called Battletech on Sega, imagine that. Every single  faction you fought had the same exactlu the same stuff, the only thing different were the enemy mechs you encountered. and I'll be honest mech assault was a poor game it clearly had almost nothing to do with battltech  and I'd be surprised if it was even canon.
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Offline Xarg Talasko

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Re: Help me be less dumb
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 12:55:59 AM »
Yup, but he wants stuff with as little Clan stuff as possible, well, 3025 is a great start. There's a lot of politics, intrigue, and the FedCom retardation hasn't fully happened yet, and there's no Gary Stu Steiner-Davion winning everything because lol he's the prince. Hanse Davion and Takashi Kurita are great characters, even crazy ol' Max Liao. Katherine (:p) and Victor just... aren't the same. 3050 is a different place with the same names. It's almost a pity that the war of 3039 was skipped, because the timeline jumped from 3028 to 3049 and it's like wut.


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Offline Alexis Kerensky

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Re: Help me be less dumb
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 12:59:29 AM »
Try playing a mech game wher your health bar wasn't  the armor on your mech but your heat  That's the Sega genesis game. IT played more like  desert strike than anything heck i wouldn't be surprised if it was a mod of desert strike

and i think you could charge up the ppc and if you charged it too long you lost your arm or at least the weapon and weapons didn't cause heat i think.
Ferro-Fibrous armor deflecting insults and protecting from damage since 2571.

  I am The wolf Chosen of Kerensky. As a  Warden clansmen i protect those who cannot fight for themselves and seek only to find peace in humanity. The Wolf's Dragoons were the spies of the clan sent by the clan wolf. It was through them that we  both realized that the inner sphere were people just like us.
Runway is the only one who can make it to Khan rank without ever moving.
Do not mess with the runway, runway always wins.

Offline SchnitzlXS

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Re: Help me be less dumb
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2012, 02:24:43 AM »
http://www.stargazerserv.com/csv/btech/battletech_novel_list.htm

The above site gives the chronological order of books. By that I mean chronological in the BT universe, not in publishing order.

Cheers!

Offline Ch3m1kal

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Re: Help me be less dumb
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2012, 08:33:41 AM »
Thanks for the tips, all noted.

Couple more questions: Do the books go into how things got the way they are with lostech and all? Also i'd like to know more about the rise of Comstar since it just seems so out of place in the universe, is that covered anywhere or is it sort of a given by the time the books start?

I'm assuming no, since according to that list SchnitzlXS kindly linked, by the first book it's already the 31st century.
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Offline Kelmola

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Re: Help me be less dumb
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2012, 06:01:17 PM »
My .10 :

The last part of GDL trilogy goes a bit into the background of ComStar (as the plot revolves around a race to find a Star League era memory core). Also, they play a pivotal role in the Warrior trilogy, which is also a good read and introduces you to the concept of "stackpoling" (not to mention the Phantom Mech Ability).

The Sword and the Dagger is nice 100% clan-free (even Dragoons-free) product, except it is the other of the two BT books featuring sentient aliens (the other being that which shall not be named). It also features Mechs doing backflipping ninja somersaults while firing at two separate targets and stuff, plus the most overly complicated supervillain plot ever (granted, the whole scheme was thought out by the certifiably insane Max Liao, but still).

Wolves on the Border and Heir to the Dragon contain obviously Dragoons, otherwise there's quite a lot of Drac stuff and are less boardgamey than GDL books, without being Sword and the Dagger goofy.

Close Quarters, Hearts of Chaos, and Black Dragon are IMO among the best BT books, Clans are only a minor sideline here (only present in a couple of scenes). Actually, most of the action takes place outside 'Mechs and contains many memorable characters. Also manipulative storytelling, but at least they evoked actual feelings which is supposed to be a plus.

Double-Blind has zero Clans, though it is only a passable Lawrence of Arabia meets Dune pastiche.

Binding Force, Threads of Ambition, Killing Fields, lots of Liao stuff plus inner workings of a Warrior House, average on BT scale.

By Blood Betrayed, very pulpy and predictable plot, but takes place in Periphery, where even a single 'Mech still is a force to be reckoned with. OK... if you don't expect too much.

Dagger Point. ELH takes over a planet from the Capellans who wage a brutal guerrilla war. Does not even try to hide that it is a Vietnam War analogy, but is at least a bit less nave than Ideal War which causes much more facepalm, especially when clumsy talking heads start dissecting the Arthurian mythic cycle and then you realize that this is "King Arthur in Vietnam in Space" (except that there is a nice three-way between FWL, Wobbies and rebels featuring tactical nukes in the climax, though).

Illusions of Victory. Set entirely on Solaris VII, featuring the machinations of a black sheep of Hasek and Davion families leading inadvertently to the FedCom Civil War. One secondary character is a Clanner (another mentioned by name but never seen in the narrative), otherwise it's all Spheroids. Entertaining, I'd say.

Initiation to War, Wobbies provoke a civil war on recently independent-declared Epsilon Eridani. Okay-ish.

Of course, then there's the entire FedCom Civil War plotline, which features very little in the way of Clan shenanigans.

Offline Ch3m1kal

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Re: Help me be less dumb
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2013, 10:16:06 PM »
Thank you all again for all the help.

I finally managed to get through a really boring and stupid Warhammer series (The Blood Ravens Omnibus) and got into the Battletech stuff. Currently about 10 chapters into Decision at Thunder Rift and i'm really enjoying it, the writing is actually better than i was expecting and the universe is awesome. I had no ideea there were vibroblades in BT.

Also i found it somewhat funny that pretty much all the mechs in the story so far are unseen. I guess this was back when they though they could just rip off Macross and nobody would ever know :)
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Offline Cherno

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Re: Help me be less dumb
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2013, 10:28:45 PM »
It's a little bit more complicated than "they just ripped off Macross and hoped that nobody would care" :)

Offline Bloodycrow

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Re: Help me be less dumb
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2013, 10:50:31 PM »
Speaking of Blood Ravens, I'm currently stomping ass through the DoW2 campaign. The only Warhammer books I've read are the Horus Heresy; I'm up to book 22.

Forgive me for the off-topic. I have no comments on the MechWarrior books as I haven't read any either.


Offline Kelmola

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Re: Help me be less dumb
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2013, 12:05:56 AM »
I guess this was back when they though they could just rip off Macross and nobody would ever know :)
At the time, FASA was still a small business and they did not have the resources to produce artwork for themselves, so they licenced the images from the Japanese publishers of the original anime series, at the time relatively well-known also in the West. A plus side was that at the time, the toys and/or model kits for said mecha were already being made by others. Having familiar images duking it out on tabletop helped to sell the game, on the other hand those tired of just cardboard standouts could go and throw their cash at the model manufacturers, with the original authors getting royalties either way. So it was a win-win-win situation for everyone involved. FASA did eventually produce their own miniatures, still under licence from original authors. All was fine and well... for a while. (Admittedly, there was one unlicensed thing that FASA did not get away with. You see, the game was originally called "BattleDroids", with brave DroidWarriors piloting their magnificent Assault Droids, but upon learning of this, The Great Flanneled One unleashed his lawyers claiming that "Droid" was a trademark of LucasFilm.)

Years later in the late 1990's, when the mecha hype had died down, Harmony Gold, who had had the exclusive distribution rights to Macross in the US - having butchered and reinterpreted the originals and selling them with the name Robotech - realized that they had no real source of income anymore. Being in the land of the free, they realized they still had one untapped potential source of moolah: litigation against FASA. Being in dire financial straits already, FASA did not put up much of a fight even though they would have had a strong case for them (HG only had the exclusive rights to Macross the series and merchandise, at no point were FASA marketing their 'Mechs as Macross/Robotech, FASA had the proper licence from the original publisher, and the product portfolio did not overlap) but pulled the minis and images instead.

Offline Ch3m1kal

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Re: Help me be less dumb
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2013, 12:27:56 AM »
Wow that was far more information than i was expecting, this thread is really helping me be less dumb.  :)
But seriously i'm impressed with your knowledge of BT. Thank you!

I'm still going to steal that George Lucas joke
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Offline Ch3m1kal

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Re: Help me be less dumb
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2013, 01:59:37 AM »
Just a small update, i'd like to thank everyone again for all the tips.
Despite my sadly far too limited reading time, i managed to get through the first 2 books in the Gray Death saga and i have to say i loved them. The writing is far better than i expected and doesn't feel dated like it does with some older sci-fi stuff.

Reading The Price of Glory now and i'm thinking of skipping a bit forward after it,  to Wolves on the Border since Sarna says it's supposed to be great.

Also just to make sure, Lethal Heritage is the book where the clans show up, right?
Where we're going, we don't need roads.