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"Battletech Questions (getting back into the game)" Topic

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705 hits since 7 Apr 2018
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Cold Warrior07 Apr 2018 11:57 p.m. PST

Greetings; am hoping you gents can help me out here. I decided to get back into Battletech after a nearly 20-year absence. Was HEAVILY into the game from the 90's until around 2001, then moved on to other things.

I am starting small, want to do both map based and 3-d tabletop. Just ordered the following items to start:

Several of the plastic mini sets
CBT Map Pack 2
Battlemech Manual
Tech Readout Succession Wars

Now have a number of questions, since I have been away from the game for so long.

I see that the recommended Battletech Total Warfare appears to be OOP? And that the Battlemech Manual only covers Mech rules and no combined arms warfare? Also it seems to be geared only to terrain based, and not map play, any issues converting the rules to maps?

Are there any in-print books to add armor/infantry/aerospace to the Battlemech Manual rules? Any other rule books/supplements I should be looking at?

I assume that this is the beginning of a new rules release cycle, since the Battlemech Manual and Succesion Wars readout have a different logo than the older Total Warfare era books? Are those that are still in print compatible with the Battlemech Manual, or will there be newer versions of the books released?

Anything you can tell me about the current state of the game and near future release plans? How is Catalyst release/support wise? I see that Ral Partha still produces the metal minis, any change in future plans for this (potential loss of license, etc)?

Sorry for all of the questions, but looking at the Catalyst site but it seems a lot of the FAQ info is out of date. Just want to make sure the game is still being actively supported and that I am not investing in a "soon to be dead" horse.



dayglowill08 Apr 2018 2:15 a.m. PST

Disclaimer: While I have been collecting, (or should that be accumulating) Battletech stuff for over 25 years, I've never actually played it.

I have the Battlemech Manual and it seems to be geared to hex map play. It should be totally compatible with the most recent release of Total Warfare. Quoting from the manual:

"The BattleMech Manual is an alternate presentation of the
BattleTech rules as seen in Total Warfare, not a new edition. Most of the rules as published in both books are the same, though the BattleMech Manual rewords many of them for clarity or reduced word count. It also incorporates all relevant errata as of its publishing date."

While printed copies of Battletech Rules do seem to have limited print runs, a high proportion of every book and supplement ever published are available to buy in electronic format from Catalyst themselves, or from Drive Thru RPG which is where I get mine.

Catalyst's coming releases page:


The incredibly useful Battletech wiki:

Hope that helps a bit grin

wolvermonkey08 Apr 2018 6:25 p.m. PST

Every year Catalyst has a very big area in the main game hall at Origins just for Battletech and Alpha Strike. So yeah it's still very supported. Personally I like Alpha Strike better since it plays way faster than classic BT with a lot less record keeping. We've played 1 to 3 lances per side in 1 to 2 hours time. Check Ironwind Metals for the full list of all the Battletech minis.

Wolfshanza08 Apr 2018 10:39 p.m. PST

Another vote for Alpha Strike.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP09 Apr 2018 10:18 a.m. PST

Have played the game off and on since Battledroids first came out, another vote for Alpha Strike as a big improvement on play!

Moonbeast09 Apr 2018 11:47 a.m. PST

Like miniMo I've played the game on and off from Battledroids on up. These days I've got no time for 36 hour BattleTech marathons with my friends anymore. Alpha Strike re-kindled the flame, mainly due to the ease and quickness of play and the great battle reports you can find here on TMP. Alpha Strike.

Akalabeth Inactive Member23 Apr 2018 5:48 p.m. PST

I wouldn't vote for Alpha Strike personally. The game is still far too complicated for what it's trying and the detail is in all the wrong places. It's a glorified Battleforce successor.

Are there any in-print books to add armor/infantry/aerospace to the Battlemech Manual rules?

I suggested on the forums that they do exactly that, release a second book that expands upon the Battle Manual by adding rules for the units that aren't there but the developers claimed the interest wasn't there and also they don't want the Manual to replace Total Warfare, just to be an alternative. Even though Total Warfare is in desperate need of replacing, CGL is too married to their "core rulebook line" idea and the last of those books only just came out after the line was started some 12 years ago with TW.

Also the problem with Total Warfare is that it doesn't have rules for three new unit types: QuadVees (mech/tank transformables), Land-Air Mechs and Superheavy Tripod mechs. So while TW will give you rules for basic units like vehicles, battlearmour, protomechs and infantry if you want to play with all the latest and greatest toys you'll need to buy additional books for those rules.

Anything you can tell me about the current state of the game and near future release plans?

Releases last year have been pathetic. New boxed sets are coming out this year. Both both fail to do the one thing that the game actually needs, which is update the rules. 30-year old rules don't fly with modern gamers and Alpha Strike didn't hit the mark

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