Lasers are good, but if the anime has taught me anything, you need a truck-sized knife. Released today, the Flashpoint was the first of three planned expansions for the Stlehybot Schalk paid manager named Battletech. There are three new meches (including the close-range Hatchetman above), a new type of mission directed towards lighter mech, a bright tropical planet, and a large extension to the end of the story. Titular flashpoints are a set of paid mini campaigns with decisions to make, and potentially high prizes. Plus, a very large new patch is coming out.
Accompanying the release of new expansion is a big patch. Version 1.3 adds a new feature plate, the biggest being Career Mode. Skipping the main story, it gives you a ship, a series of random mechs and pilots, then throws you in several remote systems and asks you to make your own luck. If you have a Flashpoint extension, it will include that new scenario too, giving many mercenaries free to do. Oh, and Career mode is set to Ironman mode by default, so you only have to live with expensive errors and bad rolls.
At the top of the new mode, there are new gas contracts offered by the pirate clan, new equipment that can be found (including some LosTech equipment) and reworking into the fraction system. When you increase your reputation with one faction, you will be increasingly hated by their enemies. Potentially limiting, but people who like you will offer more profitable (and difficult) jobs, and sell goods that are better than their new faction shop. There are even some new events to spice up your space travel. This is all separate from Flashpoint and is free for everyone – you can see the complete patch notes here.
Joining the Hatchetman are two more mechs – squat and sturdy middle-class crabs, and the more specialized Cyclops, a heavy but light armored command unit. HBS assumes that there are many things to do at the Flashpoint, and estimates that going through a new scenario will take around thirty hours. If the number is accurate, it's not half bad for the first of three expansions. The second, because in Summer, will be focused on urban fighting. By the time they are done with this game, it will be an impressive package, especially given the scale of free updates.
The flashpoint is out now, and you can find it here on Steam, Humble, and GOG for £ 13.94 / € 17.99 / $ 17.99. Alec is working on a full review, but you just have to be patient – this sounds like a big piece of mech-war to go through.