Monday, June 18, 2012

Total Chaos Review

Well I'm still stupid, and still buying BT stuff instead of the ever so great Torrent, but this book sounded good.

The cover looks great, however, the artwork is looking a bit like "mechwarrior online".  Not that its a bad thing, in fact I like it, and it'd be interesting to see battletech artwork move that way.... just sayin it has a different feel.

258 pages!  Sure some long winded writers over there!

And a disclaimer.  I am NOT a fond of the whole chaos campaign/warchest system.  I loathe dumbed down systems such as that, and *really* loathe generic and non-detailed oriented systems like this.  I sooo preferred books like the original scenario packs or just more campaign rules for battleforce, so with that note.

There are 2 new unit writeups, Gannon's Cannons, not hing too detailed, just 2 lances, but it gives some detail on the unit, background, characters, etc.  Also Grandin's Crusaders.  Total of both units is a reinforced company, so they can easily exist and be added/removed at any point without altering any canon.  There is a page writeup on Interstellar Expeditions, I presume in anticipation of a future IE module to be released.

If you DO like the warchest thing, this  book looks to be a necessary purchase.  It feels like a new version of the original rules, but with a bit more detail and most likely bug fixes.  About 8 pages of this.  Also, the missions seem to have a more custom feel than the old generic ones.  There are more details about the folks and units involved than their used to be.  Kudos to that.  The 40 planet battle thingies mentioned don't give much detail.  A listing of units involved, what chaos tracks and missions took place there, and some fluff about the battle.  They are organized by date from 3067-3081.  Not bad, though I really can't complain about them, there are so many things I'd rather see published.  The scenarios do go through the jihad period, and are a nice completely to the horribly formatted jihad hot spots series, but IMO, all of those books and this one should have that data compiled into perhaps 4 or 6 Jihad War Atlases, much like the original 2 atlases from the 4th SW which were some of the best books ever published IMO.  Pages 21 to 250 are these missions, and are essentially the whole book. 

We then get 3 mech/battle armor/vehicle/aerospace random assignment tables (12 tables total) for the WoB forces (Militia, Line, and Shadow), which I guess would be nice, if the RATs weren't utterly useless for anybody but those  who simply can't choose what mechs they want (as they are in no way canon or representative of their units).  The RATs use that extended thing from a few books back, I seem to recall it having some hole with tech level of some unit types, but couldn't think of them as I perused the list.

We then get 2 record sheets.  The AWS-10KM Cameron Awesome, which has 2 Clan ERPPCs, a TC, C3I, ECM, and a SNPPC with clan DHS.  Not too shabby, armored engine/gyro/cockpit too.  The other mech is an AS7-D-H Atlas II Devlin, I presume this is Devlin Stone's ride (you know, the real leader of the WOB).  This one has 2xERLL (Clan), 2xMPL, LB10X, AMS, MML9, and Angel, plus clan DHS and a HD Gyro, armored head stuff, and XL fusion engine.  Both of these are already entered in the battletech encyclopedia if you want to take a looksie.

I liked most of the artwork throughout.  They had miniature images as well, which were gray scale and fit quite nicely in the book.  The only mechwarrior online type art was the cover.

If you don't care about the warchest system at all, you can skip this book.  If you are even a slight fan of it however, this is a necessary purchase.  I'd recommend not being like me and buying both DTF and PDF.  I hate paying for 1 item twice.  


  1. Good jumping jimminy. Looking at those two machines and all I can see in my mind's eye are legions of undead munchkins, some dating all the way back to 1979, groaning hopefully.


    Boy, they didn't hold back on mixing the Clan Tech with the IS stuff, did they? And folks wonder why some players hate the Clan Invasion so much. Sure, the Inner Sphere absorbed their culture. And their technology is ruining our game.

  2. I've long thought they never should have called clan stuff "Clan".

    Instead, a "Clan Ultra Autocannon/5" should have just been an "Advanced Ultra Autocannon/5". If you look at their april fools product, they may be going that way. Weapons all have a generation, and lasers instead of having 10 different types they have firing modes like "pulse", "beam", or "ER". Makes a lot of sense, unlike naming equipment after a faction.

    Hows about that new Davion ERLL, or the new Word of Blake ER Pulse Heavy Laser? Silly right?