Bradford Walker on “Crusher Joe”

Saturday , 25, February 2017 Leave a comment

Bradford Walker continues to school the internet on the more obscure sources of the classic BattleTech game:

In terms of BattleMechs, you really only get the Locust, so where the Crushers really come in is with the AeroTech and ground vehicle supplementary rules for the game. The primary Lance-scale Dropship is the Joe’s starship. The two fighters it carries, and those fighters they engage in the movie, are all in AeroTech. Going through the early Technical Manuals for the game will reveal other Crusher Joe design, lifted entirely from the OVA and film.

The light novels and their film/OVA adaptations are not as hard as the BattleTech adaptations, but they’re close enough that they do fit; lifting the entire “Crusher” concept would work for a Star League era game, before everything fell apart into the First Succession War, as Crushers are meant to be independent troubleshooter teams- and thus perfect premises for your common group of tabletop gamers to use for role-playing. For you MechWarrior/A Time of War people, this here is very much your huckleberry.

This is quite simply a revelation.

Everyone looks at the old games as being flawed or stupid for being stitched together from a half dozen incompatible inspirations. But this really is awesome. And I had no idea that this even existed. Seeing an entire television series built around the concept of a Leopard class dropship…? WOW!!!

Aside from that, this show is pure gold. Firefly is often credited as being the embodiment of all great Traveller campaigns. This is better.

What does Crusher Joe have that Firefly lacks? Well, the locals needing the help of outside experts is here in full force. And what’s more… the problems that need to be solved are far more science fictional than anything Joss Whedon can imagine bringing to the table. The first episode has a prison comet shot by an energy transmission laser and the Big Damn Heroes™ have to take a break from swinging punches and slinging blasters and lobbing explosives in order to science the hell out a stunningly impossible scenario.

It’s awesome.

Big Men With Screwdrivers™ don’t have to be Poindexters. And they might just have the best set of sideburns this side of the Aramis subsector.

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