Help support TMP

"the best battlemech rules/game?" Topic

15 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the SF Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest

Science Fiction

655 hits since 23 Dec 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

briansommers23 Dec 2018 4:46 p.m. PST

I'm looking for the most detailed battlemech rules?


I would love rules that would allow me to build the mechs as detailed as I want and then let me put them head to head and duke it out.

but I do want these to be the battlemech series/line of rules.

whitphoto23 Dec 2018 4:56 p.m. PST

Battletech? Aside from SFB they're the constant complex rules I've seen actually work

LaserGrenadier Supporting Member of TMP23 Dec 2018 5:06 p.m. PST

I don't think you can get any more detailed (and official) than Catalyst Games Lab rules in these volumes:
Total Warfare
Tactical Operations
Strategic Operations
Interstellar Operations
Campaign Operations

briansommers23 Dec 2018 5:13 p.m. PST

OK good, thanks.

Lion in the Stars23 Dec 2018 7:39 p.m. PST

If you just want mecha combat, I really prefer DP9's Heavy Gear or Jovian Chronicles rules (no sandblasting through armor!). Not Blitz, the older rules. HG1 or 2 has plenty of detail, nearly as much as Battletech, and has a build-your-own system.

But it is hard to go wrong with Battletech for big stompy robots in general.

shirleys painting23 Dec 2018 7:52 p.m. PST

Heavy Gear is going through yet another rules change and some say the new version is "unplayable". HG is a great concept, but the hacks what run the company are just that. Hacks.

RudyNelson24 Dec 2018 3:33 p.m. PST

I played the original count hits Battlerech system from the 1980s. Still my favorite, though I did not like later revisions.

Lion in the Stars24 Dec 2018 5:37 p.m. PST

@Shirleys: That's why I said the older versions.

Heavy Gear 1, if you can find a copy, is about right for the level of detail where the mechs are the characters (heck, you can end up with things like 'stale smell in the air-conditioning' as a minor Production flaw!)

zircher24 Dec 2018 8:32 p.m. PST

Check out Mekton Zeta and Mekton Zeta Plus, these rules are awesome for building just about any mecha. You might want to break out the calculator or spreadsheet for vehicle design. Yes, it can get that crunchy.



Just for shameless plugging, here is my MZ life path generator is you like that kind of randomness…


zircher24 Dec 2018 8:37 p.m. PST

Oh, MZ and MZ+ are on sale as well. :-)

ancientsgamer25 Dec 2018 2:44 a.m. PST

There is a game coming out called Bot which looks interesting. More towards the Japanese Raiden variety but they are releasing infantry and vehicles. Facebook group is best source of info.

zircher25 Dec 2018 9:29 a.m. PST

While not as detailed in the design department, 5150 No Quarter – Mecha Combat looks like an interesting system with solo play potential (which you might be leaning towards.) It's also on sale. I can also see this being a driver for a more complicated combat system.


Achtung Minen27 Dec 2018 6:56 a.m. PST

Pretty sure DP9 still sells the old rules on their online store: link

Those are the "3rd Edition" of the original miniature rules. The 3rd Edition changed a few things, and was mostly an attempt to get all the various 2e rules (and even some 1e rules) into a single rulebook. The biggest changes were to things like ammo tracking and command points. They also refined the damage tables for auxiliary systems.

Unfortunately, the "Silhouette" edition never received enough support. Blitz came out shortly thereafter as another way to play Heavy Gear which quickly became the ONLY way to play Heavy Gear… DP9 stopped coming out with books and datacards for the original game and RPG. I actually like Silhouette, but for that reason alone, I prefer 2nd Edition. 2e is a complete gaming environment, with tons of books behind it. Silhouette got a single book for the tabletop game and a two or three books for the RPG.

DP9 actually sold 2nd Edition until fairly recently. I am sure they just sold out their last copy (I myself picked up a few books, including the core rulebook). DP9 gets a lot of flak and they don't deserve it… what other company is mature enough to continue to sell its own older editions? I don't know of a single other company that does that… in fact, I am pretty sure that companies like Games Workshop send out stormtroopers to people's houses to burn old rulebooks whenever they come out with a new edition. Slash and burn. DP9 does a great service by keeping these old items for sale, even though it costs them in terms of storage space. And I've never once had a bad experience with their customer service in over 20 years.

DP9 is typically viewed as mismanaging a terrific game (Heavy Gear) and putting out progressively worse editions of the game. For the latter, I think that's a matter of taste… I prefer 2nd edition of the tactical rules and RPG, but I am sure some people prefer Blitz. For the former… I don't know. It's a real mystery, I think… Heavy Gear should have been a lot bigger than it is today. The setting is simply one of the best ever written, the original system was brilliant and dynamic, the (metal) models have always been terrific (if a little expensive)… why isn't it a breakaway hit? That probably falls upon the vicissitudes of history, I think.

But there is still a lifetime of gaming there to be enjoyed in the old rules. I know I am still playing and enjoying Heavy Gear Tactical up in the frigid Northern City Sta… **AHEM**, I mean Canada…

Lion in the Stars27 Dec 2018 1:57 p.m. PST

The problem with DP9 is that they have had some issues with playtesting and/or getting the right version of the rules to the printer.

Heavy Gear came out in … 1993? about a year later, maybe less, HG2 came out, because there were some seriously broken combos you could put together using the build-your-own mechanics. Don't remember when HG3 came out, my FLGS wasn't carrying it. HGBlitz came out in ~2007, then was almost immediately replaced (I'm talking like 6 months later!) by HGBlitz Locked&Loaded. And for the same reason as HG2.

But I still think Silhouette is the best mecha combat rules set written. No sandblasting your way through all the armor!

Achtung Minen27 Dec 2018 2:32 p.m. PST

Yeah, editing was never their strong suit…

Anyway, back on topic, Brian if you are looking for the MOST detailed Battletech rules, those would be the 'Mech duel rules from the Solaris VII box set. There are four dueling turns in a normal Battletech turn, and hexes are only 7.5 meters across. You can tinker with your weapon cool down rates, rewire your weapon circuits, disable minimum safe distances, override weapon delays and do all manner of super-detailed things.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.