Does anyone here have experience with the Battletech Pods? I thought I might try it this year, but it doesn't look like any of the events have sold a single ticket. Is it terrible, and everyone finally caught on? Or do people usually use generics?
IIRC the Battletech pods only accept generics which is why they do not show as having any tickets sold.
Yep, you're right! On the event page:
This event only accepts Generic Tickets
in my experience oh heck yeah they are worth it. you are playing something like Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries (somewhat) in a full simulator cockpit. Your joystick has buttons mapped for different weapons groups (that you can configure). It takes a couple rounds to really get a feel for it (especially with torso twisting), but it is really cool.
YES! It's incredibly fun, and being able to sit in an actual cockpit is an experience you can get few other places.
I will echo others above that the Pods are one of those convention only experiences. You may be able to play a Mech type game at home, but not in a pod with controls like you are in an actual mech cockpit.
Being an avid BattleTech player, especially playing in the Tesla Pods, it is amazing. Unlike other BattleTech games (PC games included), you feel as if you are a MechWarrior (an elite Mech pilot) inside a BattleMech. No two games are ever the same. You will want to go back in as soon as possible. So, get enough generic tickets to get your fill of BattleTech. At last count, each session costs 3 generic tickets.
I started playing BattleTech (in the pods) in the early 90s when there was a BattleTech Center in Chicago. When Virtual World opened in Indianapolis in around 1995, I spent a lot of time playing there. Great times.
I echo all the above; if they have the rule book available with a ticket purchase "pack," it shows you how to use the advanced option controls, too!
Don't let the listings fool you. These "events" are walk-ups. All you do is walk up to where they have the check in area, and give them your tickets (4 generic tickets = $8) (The price must have gone up since last I played). Each game is roughly 10 minutes. So, you are most likely going to have to wait until your session is ready to play. Like everyone has said, it is worth it. You may want to "buy" multiple sessions, once you get the feel for playing. Your schedule permitting, of course.
Be aware, they don't really give instructions that I've seen, so it may take a game or two to figure stuff out.
Are the advanced controls able to be turned on at Gencon or is it the simple controls only? I've had fun the few times I've played, but they've never offered to change controls and I haven't spotted the option in the pod.
you can change controls.
What's the average wait time? Every time I go by the pods there appears to be a sizable line.
It all depends on the type of day. I typically play in the morning before the dealer hall opens. At that time, I can typically walk up and be in the next round or two. The wait time gets longer as you get later in the day. I think I have heard as much as a couple hour wait before. Then once you get back to the evening again, the wait time tends to go back down.
Completely worth it. I always run a Thor and I smile through the whole sesssion. lt is old school 90's gaming at its best. A must do on my Gen con list. As mentioned already. There is a bit of a learning curve so don't get discouraged and don't forget to wait for your battle report to print. Nice to see who shot who!
I've always wanted to see a variant OF the B/tech pods for Star-wars. Imagine the fun of doing an Xwing vs tie fighter dog fight but with full on squadron vs squadron!!!!
They are an absolute blast! Highly recommend playing in them at least once while you're at Gen Con.
And for those in the Michigan-area: Big Kidz Games in Grand Rapids has the Battletech Pods and special Battletech events that include the board game and the pods at their store. So, you don't always have to wait for Gen Con to roll around.
Last October, Youmacon in Detroit brought in the Battletech pods as part of their free-to-play arcade event for all attendees.
It's pretty darn fun. I had a great time last year. Yes, it's not cheap, but I felt I got my money's worth.
One last note. In years past when the pods were just in the hall they weren't very busy late at night. Last year they were in the war game hall near where the Battletech players play and they were busy all hours then it seemed. At least when we went to see if we could get in at 1 am-ish they were booked well past 3am and we didn't plan waiting that long so didn't get to do em last year.
Is it really $8 for just one 10 minute game? That seems a little steep, especially if it takes more than one game to get the hang of things.