Do people really hate the clans?

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Aiden Pryde
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Do people really hate the clans?

Post by Aiden Pryde » Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:15 pm

I was introduced to FASA and Battletech through Mech2 and Mercinaries when I was like ten. I got the RPG for Christmas once, but never found anyone willing to play it (I lived on an island), and so I never really looked into it too deeply. But I inhaled the novels and and the other PC games. Recently I've gotten back into the franchise, and come to the conclusion that the Clans are my absolute favorite element of universe. To me they raise a lot of ethical and moral issues, like whether it's really possible to be a superior being (in any sense), and if so how do you relate to so-called inferior beings? I'm also fond of the way they think and the way their society is organized. There's an indeering innocence about it that makes me identify with them. It's alien, in a human way. But A freind of mine insists that it was the clans who bankrupted FASA, who made everyone stop playing. He calls them a "wankfest" of ridiculous characters in unstoppable machines. Anyone have some more to say about this? I'm really curious.

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Re: Do people really hate the clans?

Post by Sir MMPD Radick » Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:56 pm

hmm interesting outlook.
Well, from what I understand the clans concept actually saved FASA for a long time.
It was introduced in order to add onto the universe. The clans were introduced because of the simulator pod franchise in the early 90's if i remember correctly.

I must totally agree with you the clans are the best element of Battletech. There is an innocent element no question, but reading onto the later novels such as the Dark Age series it has been corrupted in general.
Clans in the later books are a shell of their former glory.

Fitting with the old story though, I would argue that they did not have that big of an advantage for two reasons.
A. They are smaller in numbers.
B. Comstar had a cache of Star League era machines which were almost on par with the clan machines.

There is no question there was an initial advantage, but once the IS adapted to the clans it became much easier for the clans to be defeated.
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And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

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Re: Do people really hate the clans?

Post by Aiden Pryde » Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:19 am

His main complaint is that they changed the feel of the game, by which he means the tabletop game, that it removed all the balance, and likewise all the novelty and romance of a neo-fuedel future society plagued with scarcity and concerned more with honor duels than with war. He says it was so bad for him he never payed attention to anything past 3050, and never really played much past 3025. Likewise he says all the sourcebook materials on the clans was very corny and unimaginative. This would be a real tragedy if true, yet it does seem believable. You have to be just right when portraying the clans.

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Re: Do people really hate the clans?

Post by Skyfaller » Sat Dec 20, 2008 3:31 am

Oh, you mean real people :)
Current status and intellectual property

FASA unexpectedly ceased active operations on April 30, 2001,[2] but still exists as a corporation holding intellectual property rights, which it licenses to other publishers. Contrary to popular belief, the company did not go bankrupt. Allegedly the owners decided to quit while the company was still financially sound in a market they perceived as going downhill. Mort Weisman had been talking of retirement for some years and his confidence in the future of the paper-based games business was low. He considered the intellectual property of FASA to be of high value but did not wish to continue working as he had been for the last decade or more. Unwilling to wrestle with the complexities of dividing up the going concern, the owners issued a press release on January 25, 2001 announcing the immediate closure of the business.

(Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FASA)
I started MechWarrior with MW2, and was fascinated with the Clan invasion. In the board game, I can see how things have been simple and playable with 3025 mechs, but the plethora of weapons and special rules introduced by the clans certainly makes the table top game harder to play. So I can see why people would dislike the more complicated table top game, but I think the clans really added to the depth and diversity of the BT universe.

Some materials were not translated in german because some were afraid that certain people would identify with the "Space Nazi" in an unwanted fashion. I don't want offend anyone, but from my perspective, calling a society that wants to rule the universe innocent is dangerous. The clans are a rigidly military organisation where the individual means nothing, carefully hidden behind totem myths. In the BT universe, humankind is caught in eternal struggles, which prevent real progress, as opposed to technological/military progress. I like spending time in that universe, because it allows me to channel some aggressions away, but I hope that humanity will not get caught in similar struggles, if it even survives that long.
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Re: Do people really hate the clans?

Post by Sir MMPD Radick » Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:08 am

well, my primary reference to innocence was the concept of not getting involved in power struggles as much as the IS counterparts as well as the bidding tools used before going down to the planet to minimize casualties, and the initial naiveness of believing that IS forces would stick to what was agreed. That is the good aspect of it, but as you said the other side is definitely not. Their concept of superiority and caste system among them are some of the most hideous examples of humanity in action.

As far as rule the universe, I believe that the main goal of the clans is simply domination of Terra. After that is accomplished any possible unity falls apart.

One thing to keep in mind though, there are two types of clanners: Warden and Crusader.
Crusaders want to take over Terra.
Wardens on the other hand want to protect the Innersphere as a whole.
James 3:5-10: My Reminder
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

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Re: Do people really hate the clans?

Post by Skyfaller » Sat Dec 20, 2008 10:24 am

The clans are certainly not alike. Clan Smoke Jaguar bombed Edo Bay from space, and was annihilated by a reformed Star League.

Altough warden, there was never any doubt that Clan Wolf would join the invasion. They were more successful in calming conquered populations by leaving parts of their government intact than other clans.
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Re: Do people really hate the clans?

Post by Aiden Pryde » Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:13 am

By innocence I meant the directness in the way they think. They're like children in a way. I particularly like the wardens. For them I am willing to ignore the caste system, as I've never seen any evidence that it was literally oppressive or lacking a degree of fluidity. Had the wardens become the majority I'm willing to bet the clans would have become a truly superior society, though even with crusaders dominant I'm not inclined to call them much worse than any of the successor states where nobody can ever be quite sure of where they stand, what their niche is, or what they're allowed to do. The hypocrisy, sophistry and corruption that plagues the IS seems to have been mostly avoided by the clans, who are perfectly open with how their society is run, and who even in the lower castes seem to derive a great sense of security knowing they exist for a purpose. And it can't be denied that clan society up until the invasion of the IS was both relatively more stable and peaceful than the IS. It's not the kind of society I would advocate for the real world, but the humans of battletech don't seem to be exactly the same as those of reality. They are more warlike. Political freedom like we enjoy has become essentially obsolete for them. That said, it seems to me the clans are one of the milder tyrannies, at the very least because they are stable and functioning. Mussolinified, maybe, but the trains really do seem to run on time.

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Re: Do people really hate the clans?

Post by Cyril » Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:30 pm

Aiden Pryde wrote: They are more warlike.

this is a time when anyone with a few dropships can come to your planet, your country. and attack a city/base/port/etc take what they want, and leave before you can get reinforcements there. i think i would be more warlike in that situation
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Re: Do people really hate the clans?

Post by Pepsi-Wolf » Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:31 am

Honestly, the Clans are as dysfunctional as their IS counterparts.

Might sound sort of weird for me to say, since I love the clans. They try to keep a uniformed/orderly way of life for all clans to abide by, but yet they seem to bicker amongst each other, and even find loop holes around their own rules. Personally I love the Warden philosophy. Crusaders are too aggressive for their own good -- as seen with the Smoke Jaguars and their end.

An example would be the Crusader clans trying to over-turn their compromise that they would not invade the IS when they lost the Battle of Tukyyiad (spelling is off, i know), because they believed that Ulric Kerensky (I think it was Ulric) was coordinating with Comstar so that the clans would lose at Tukyyiad, etc...

Of course the Clans are Warlike. That is what they are bred for. Which is sort of Ironic because what would happen if peace truly reigned throughout the Inner Sphere? These war hungry clan warriors would be forced to live a boring life.

In regards to the board game. I think people just did not adjust to change (like most people in real life) very well. Especially a radical change like the Clan's weaponry and battlemech/omnimech technologies. It did however save the franchise so to speak, but more so, helped continue the storyline of the battletech universe. I mean, how can over 3/4ths of the Star League's overall military just up and disappear with no continuation with their part of the story? I also like the Minnesota Tribe "sitings" throughout the universe.
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Re: Do people really hate the clans?

Post by Archon » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:44 am

I agree, I think people dislike the Clans because of the new gameplay element they brought. Meanwhile, anyone who started playing -after- their introduction doesn't seem to have a problem with them. I have some friends who hate the Clans simply because they were huge Rasalhague fans.

Conversely, I don't see the Clans as being too different from the IS. They fight, bicker, and fight more. I agree that BT had a sense of decay and feudalism pre-3039, but the Clans added a bit of flavor.

If anything, you kids should be upset about the 4th Succession War. No one ever cares about us Cappies! lol, at least I'm a Clanner now.
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