GeekNights Tuesday - Battletech (2018)


You can use a stock PS4 controller on a PC, IIRC Steam lets it run native as do several games. You have to use a USB cord though.


They can plug in or connect via bluetooth.

Many fighting game people prefer the PS4 d-pad because of the explicitness of the button presses. It makes it very obvious which inputs are occurring. That is, of course, in absence of a fight stick.

I was always big on the 360 controller and absolutely hated the PS3 controller, I still do and have a hard time tolerating it for any PS3 game. The Xbox One controller, IMO, took some of the bad parts of the PS3 controller, namely the stick height, and ruined a solid controller. However, going back to a 360 controller is a bit tough after doing PS4. The PS4 controller basically took all good aspects of other controllers and applied them to it’s design. The only thing that is kinda dumb is the trackpad which is almost entirely useless, but it doesn’t get in the way, it’s just kinda a waste of space that no dev uses.

Granted, I really like the Switch Pro controller, and would rather use it over most controllers. It’s insane how they managed to go from shit like the Wii and Wii U pro controllers to this beauty. But they’re really expensive comparatively. Especially when you can find deals like one I saw the other day for a PS4 controller for $40, and Xbox 360 controllers can be found on clearance sometimes.


I’ll need to hunt the archives for why Scott isn’t allowed to play Quartermaster General, but I do wonder what you guys think of the dice rolling in John Company. In brief, all of the most consequential actions that you make in John Company come down to dice checks. Want to send your nephews on campaign? Dice check. Generate company revenue? Dice check. Friggin’ retire? Dice check. Everything but retiring is handled by risk mitigation: you spend more cash to roll more d6s, and your total result is the lowest d6. 1 or 2? Success. 3 or 4? You can try again. 5 or 6? Your family member farted while bowing to the maharajah and must flee in disgrace; do not pass go, do not collect £200.

Usually 4 dice is enough to set you up for success, but during my first full game we had someone set up the “Governor General” which merged all the regions and trade missions to one player. Since he was also the chairman, he put all the company’s money on fulfilling that trade mission. He spent enough money to roll 11d6… and missed. Not a single 1 or 2 across 11 dice. The company went bankrupt, the government had to bail us out, and he lost 6VP worth of stock. And the rest of the table cheered for it.

The designer is very active on BGG, and posted a low-luck variant in his discussion on luck in the game (Any dice check with a strength of 4 automatically succeeds, and your office holders generate tradeable “seniority disks” that can be spent to modify the retirement rolls), but I think you’d lose out on some primo negotiation that way. Plus JC is about the most highbrow “ameritrash” game I can think of, one that aims to be an experience generator rather than a finely tuned puzzle.


With some more playtime, the rough spots in the UI are starting to show. It’s a fun game, but coming right after Into The Breach, the lack of polish is really glaring.

  • can’t buy items in bulk
  • selecting a part of the ship to jump to is fiddly and buttons are needlessly small
  • camera often jumps to the wrong mech during an enemy attack
  • slow battle and travel animations becoming more irritating
  • bars for mech stats. Just the number please.
  • hard to determine what and how many items you have during refitting

Last night after a mission I saved to compare how much a Jenner or Hunchback would sell for. Look at the Jenner in the store, reload the post-mission autosave. I have two Jenners and zero Hunchbacks. Reload my manual save and everything was good, but that is Concerning.


Yeah, the inventory management is shitty. Why not have one entry for a thing, and a number indicating how many of them you have? That’s like UI 101 right there.


They have numbers right above the item in question, but it is tiny as hell.

The overheat messages also do not display very well in light reddish-colored terrain.

It’s not just this game, but also in games that are going for a retro 8 or 16 bit look I’m not a fan of the choice of fonts.


Ah, never noticed it. I play on a projector, so tiny text is hard to read unless I’m magnifying (and I only bother when I know there’s something to read). Thanks for the tip!


I’ve been really diving into the campaign. This weekend the weather’s going to be bad, so let’s for-serious get some multiplayer games going. I’ll message here, tweet, and get on the Discord.

I made a custom light lance that I want to try.


Oh, I didn’t even look at the weather. Goddammit, I have sawing to do. Maybe I’ll move brush and branches back into the woods, and then saw and mow on Sunday afternoon.

That gives more time to make more stupid-ass 'mechs!

I haven’t actually played a skirmish yet - how do they do balancing? I have to imagine that you set a tonnage limit or something.


I can’t unsee it.