OK, now I'm starting to get a little more upset with these changes. One of the things that really drew me into CAV, especially CAV2, was the speed of play. There was little paperwork to do and that was mostly pre-game. All you had to do during the game was track each models damage, done easily with dice displaying how much damage has been inflicted. You could use multiples of the same model and use only one datacard as the damage was tracked on the dice next to the model. This announcement introduces two concepts that are making me cringe: ammunition tracking and individual skill rating for each model. That vitriol is starting to rise...
Back in the day I was big Battletech fan. Well, as much as one could be growing up in the middle of a corn field in northwest Ohio. Didn't have miniatures, but my friend Joshua (Hi Josh!) and I had some epic battles. On a few instances we had all-nighter games that were one-on-one duels and we would end up trying to present our backs to the other 'Mech as that was the only location with a point or two of armor left. Loved the game, especially the Phoenix Hawk and Warhammer (which I later learned came from this show called Robotech...which I then later learned was really from a show called Super Dimension Fortress Macross...and then I became an anime fan). However, I wanted to play BIG games, especially after I joined the Army and really understood how big a company, battalion, etc were and how they operate. I didn't see how this could be done without taking up an entire weekend (not an option after becoming Married With Children). I ended up losing interest in the game as it became difficult to find people I could play with without violating fraternization policies.
Fast forward a couple years to my second tour in South Korea. I stumbled across these mechs on The Warstore called CAVs and they looked Awesome (yes, with a capital A). Downloaded the demo and loved it, no heat tracking, no damage locations, degrading stats as models took damage, and several other things. Unfortunately I only had a couple weeks before returning to the U.S.A. though and couldn't convince anyone to try it in our local group. Though having a guy show up with an awesome Battletech layout didn't help either. Now this was also about the time that CAV started what I call The Long Darkness. CAV2 was supposed to be released "Soon." (Please note that I am using the word in historical context and mean no offense in it's use.) "Soon" ended up being almost three, sometimes rather bitter, years. I may be off on the actual time, but I don't feel like going back and researching the actual length of time, just let it be known that it was a long time for something that was supposed to be right around the corner. When it did finally arrive it had a couple warts (the close combat system before the 2008 errata was crazy stupid, almost a mini game in itself). But overall it was (is) a great game that plays very quickly once you get the hang of it. Three sections (comparable to a platoon) on each side can easily be played in about two hours. Bigger games obviously take longer, but a battalion sized game could probably be done in about six(ish) hours, much faster than Battletech. Not only that, but vehicles and infantry have a purpose other than being a target for the mecha in CAV, something that Battletech never used to be all that good at. Needless to say I've been hooked on CAV2.
With the introduction of ammunition tracking on each model and individual skill levels for each model, it introduces more bookkeeping and apparently a step in the game where you have to compare the firing model's skill to the target model's skill which determines a modifier. CAV2 and the RAGE system are all about streamlined rules that don't allow the rules to get in the way of the game (with a few exceptions, but there will always be difficult cases to deal with). So what we have to look forward to is having to have a datacard for every model instead of every type of model, tracking ammunition for each model, and each model's individual skill level. To quote Mr. Horse, "No sir, I don't like it." While I can see and understand the merits of tracking ammunition and skill levels, they just aren't part of CAV in the interest of fast gameplay.
Now I will say that the introduction of construction rules does lend some favor to the game. I have a couple kitbashes that I've always wanted to see statted up in CAV. This was something I alway felt kind of held CAV2 back, but I can understand Reaper's desire to keep their point formula a secret. I am trying to keep an open mind and waiting to see what's what before passing judgment, but that post on Reaper's board is making me think that I'll be playing CAV2 until somebody calls the Game Police to come and take all my backup copies away. (Note to self, put a copy where no one would think to look...)