Usually, I post about politics and history on this blog. This post has to do with neither. Instead, it has to do with another, if somewhat geeky love of mine — gaming. I’m a fan of the old “BattleTech” board game and back in the day, loved to play the MSDOS the “MechWarrior” computer game (back when everything looked like blocky polygons and you could have a Locust shooting off a Warhammer’s leg by getting in close — I loved that tactic, saved my butt many a time ).
But then, they introduced the clans, and the great “Prisoner of Zenda” meets “European Great Game” meets “Post-Apocalyptic wasteland” meets “fight for survival” storyline of the Succession Wars was subsumed in the escalating munchkinfest that was the Clan War (where they had to literally write rules binding the Clan players not to use their goodies unless certain conditions were met, because the gear was too overpowered) and then the complete batshit insane world that came after (The collapse of Liao, the Chaos March and then the “Dark Age” reboot attempt), and I just threw up my hands in disgust.
Meanwhile, lawyers also got involved. Oh, I know that Battletech has had a long history of legal headaches, starting with George Lucas threatening a lawsuit if FASA had kept with their first (and more dorky) name for the game, “Battledroids”. However, the real legal meltdown happened in the ’90s, when FASA was told to stop using mecha designs from a number of anime shows that they had licensed legally as far as anyone can tell — its just happened that Harmony Gold (producer of Robotech) had a major toymaker as a sugar daddy and was riding the high of their “We own Macross” campaign (never mind that the let Macross II and Macross Plus slip from their grasp), and got the licenses — made without HG input — cancelled through a legal settlement. The classic machines form the game were suddenly, while not “banned” no longer allowed to be used in game materials.
Already long rant cut short, I happened to pop over to a gaming blog, where I saw this video, and I nearly died on the spot. A real Red Foxx “Elizabeth, I’m comin’ to see you” moment —
I’m in heaven. This video resurrected a little bit of gamer me that had died inside thanks to everything I’d said above. Vet MechWarriors will recognize the “hero” machine as a Warhammer (Macross Fans will recognize it as the Destroid Tomahawk), and the date, 3015, as deep in the Third Succession War, well before the Clans screwed everything up invaded.
What do we have to thank for this blessedly unexpected turn of events?
Jordan Weisman, the original creator of the game and one of the founders of the late lamented FASA, has returned to the helm. And, somehow, the new rightsholder for Battletech, Catalyst Game Labs and Harmony Gold have come to a meeting of the minds late last month allowing the Macross, Dougram and Crusher Joe machine designs to be used again, after almost 13 years of being “UnMechs.”
All I have left to say is — where are my spurs? I’m off to Kittery to defend the honor of our lord Hanse Davion once again!