I had been thinking of it for a long time already, but had never gotten to play Battletech.
That's probably just because I don't generally like giant robots that are the size of skyscrapers and stuff. Also, the other hobby side of Battletech doesn't really inspire me. The models are really small and somewhat undetailed. Also, the fact that the game is played on a hexagon map is, to me, visually detestable, though it offers rather exact measurements.
Anyway, I was offered a demo game in Ropecon and, well. Why not? Since small bits and bobs I have heard from Battletech here and there are rather interesting. I'm a sucker for detailed rules, for sure. Obviously the demo game didn't use the full potential of terrain rules that are available, but it's so cool not only to have terrain affect about everything, but also the ability for you to affect the terrain.
Also, the fact that there is a pilot inside your huge battlemech is an interesting thing. It's almost like having a model inside a model.
Game mechanics seemed... nice? I like the two six sided dice bell curve that Battletech utilises too. Also, movement (both your and your opponents) gives modifiers to your accuracy when you try to shoot your big guns around.
However, if both players moved even somewhat and weren't nearly standing next to each other, hitting seemed to become difficult indeed. And that's not too cool, as the game seemed to have no real way to sit still and "aim" your shots.
I'm sure the game seemed a little bit boring because, well, I won nearly every initiative roll so there were really few suprises. Except when opponent DID win the initiative, things went crazy. My battlemech got kicked in the back, the kicker being on top of a hill. There was a really good chance I would've been crashed down there and then, but my pilot was skilled enough to pass the required check to stay on both feet.
Also, heat wasn't actually a big problem in the game. Opponent started to get some heat because his cooling system wasn't as good as my mech's, but still.
I could advance a bit every round and shoot every single one of my weapons, gaining heat only very little.
So... a random, newbie thought I had from that fact was that it'd be nice if you could generate a random amount of heat (something like d3+1?) for some kind of an aiming bonus.
But yeah, it was only a demo game with only one battlemech for both players so it's bound to lose something from the real "feel" of the game.
But still... I wasn't totally sold on the system, though it definitely has it's strong points. Maybe I'm more open for a little bit more complex demo game or something in the future, who knows.
(Just in case I start to play and stat around in future: I played Hunchback mech and won the game. Hah.)