Popular rules for giant robot ("battlemech" or just "mech") combat, playable as both a boardgame or miniatures game. The Currently available as two primary products: the Battletech 4th edition boxed set, which includes basic rules, maps, and cardboard playing pieces; and the Battletech Master Rules, which provides more rules but without the maps and pieces. (There is also a role-playing game, Mechwarrior, a collectible card game, an arcade game system, and several lines of computer games.)
The game centers around battlemechs, which may be designed from scratch or selected from any of several supplements (set in different time periods and factions). At the start of each turn, the players dice for initiative, and then take turns (one mech at a time) through a series of phases: movement, reaction (torso twisting), weapons combat, physical combat, and miscellaneous. Actions such as movement and combat generate heat, and if this surpasses the mech's ability to dissipate heat, gradual overheating occurs resulting in progressive loss of systems.
Weapons are mounted on different parts of the body, resulting in varying arcs of fire. To score a hit, a "to hit" roll is made, modified by speed of target and attacker, weapon range, terrain, and other factors. If a hit is made, a second dieroll determines the hit location (head, leg, arm, or various torso locations). Damage first removes armor, then does internal damage (with a chance of critical hits).
Pilots ("mechwarriors") can improve their skills over time. Additional rules (some provided in supplements) add tanks, aircraft, and infantry to the game system, as well as allow for extra-terrestrial combat environments.
|Period||3025 A.D. and onwards|
|Basing||Individual (except for infantry)|
|Designer||System designed by Jordan K. Weisman, with multiple contributors over the years|
|Publisher||Current version is the fourth edition. Published by FASA|
|The Monosphere (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|This game is definitely one of my favorites. It's fairly easy to get into,
the rules are really well-thought-out, and perhaps most importantly, it has
an ever-expanding universe just brimming with scenario possibilities
(especially with the new novels coming out). The Ral Partha minis look cool
too, and they even have rules for playing with them on "real" terrain
without using the hex maps.
It looks like FASA is doing their best to keep this game from going stale, with new material and sourcebooks appearing all the time. This game is only going to get better.
|Aaron Lewis (email@example.com)|
|Battletech is an excellent game. One of the best Mech style games
I've played. The record sheets that allow for the wearing down of armor are
a welcome trait. (Unlike Warhammer 40k, where it all depends on the luck of
the dice for the penetration of armor.)
The hex maps allow you to play in a variety of different climates and locations, though they take away the fun of making your own terrain. The mech counters supplied in the 4th Edition boxed game are fairly uninteresting, but can be replaced by Ral Partha's line of wonderful pewter figures.
The volumes and volumes of Battletech material allow for the constant release of sourcebooks and campaigns to keep the game interesting and new. This also allows for the creation of new units by players.
I'm not saying it's a perfect game, but it is a very well-thought-out, supported and interesting game.
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|9 August 1999||comments by The Monosphere|
|8 April 1999||comments by Aaron Lewis|
|23 January 1999||added Bad Karma link|
|1 January 1999||page first published|
|Comments or corrections?|