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BattleTech. Tell me more...

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12 Mar 2011 13:29 #90580 by DeletedUser
stormseeker75 wrote:

I have a lot of interest in this. Is it basically just a minis game? How many people can play out of the starter? Is it strictly 2 on 2?

Yeah, it is basically just a minis game or rather it was. The RPG has also been around for a long time in various editions and I see that now that have the current developers have added rules for greater scale conflicts so that you can play the game at different scales, not just tactical minis. I plan to start with just the Mech on Mech game (tactical minis) and may look into the rest if the group gets really engaged with it.

I'm not sure if the rules are written specifically for 1v1 (or 2v2), but when we used to play, we would play with any number of people who showed up, sometimes as many as eight. Always two sides. Basically, each side gets allocated a set amount of tonnage on which to spend on their Mechs which aims to balance the sides.

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01 Jul 2012 12:50 #129709 by wadenels
I'm going to revive this thread instead of starting a new one, because there's already a lot of good info here. But I've got one question:

Having never played BattleTech, but wanting to give it an honest go, which set of rules should a person start with? I've got the 2nd Edition base game (complete) with the anime-style cardboard standups and two maps, but I have access to a bunch of different rulebook editions. Should I just play the 2nd edition rules or jump straight into something like the WizKid's CBT Quick-Start and Introductory Rules? I'm looking to learn the game in small two-player skirmishes and potentially branch out from there, but I'd like to get into an edition of the rules that's relatively "current".

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01 Jul 2012 13:06 #129710 by SuperflyPete
Classic Battletech.

bg.battletech.com/?page_id=175

That's the starter spot. Now, if you want something a little easier, less paperwork, and are interested in more than big mechs shooting PPCs and SRM-6s at one another, MechWarrior: Age of Destruction is not too shabby an alternative. It's a "Heroclix" game with specialty powers and whatnot.

One of the reasons I am so fucked off at Wizkids for not Trekkifying the Star Trek Tactics game is that they did such a good job with making MW: AOD a true tabletop game rather than just another bastardization of Mage Knight or Heroclix, although it is very similar to Mage Knight in the movement rules.

Note: There are a lot of problems with the Dark Age ruleset, which mostly got fixed with Age of Destruction:
www.warrenborn.com/Rules.html

Note the "SEC" is a far cry from the "PAC" from Heroclix, which I will, again, lament was not modified for Star Trek Tactics.
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01 Jul 2012 14:05 #129714 by word_virus
Start with the Intro rules available for free on the Classic Battletech (now just Battletech, again, by the way) website. Once you have a grasp of how things work and you're ready to move up to the full rules, the current 'tournament-level' version of the rules is a handback book called 'Total War'.
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02 Jul 2012 15:27 #129776 by mjl1783

I've got the 2nd Edition base game (complete) with the anime-style cardboard standups and two maps, but I have access to a bunch of different rulebook editions.


Just play with whatever you have in your box. The core rules from the box set are basically the same across all the different editions. There are some minor changes to the LOS rules, and maybe some tweaks to some modifiers, but they're almost indistinguishable from one another unless you're a hardcore player.

I wouldn't bother with the simplified version of the core rules, either. Mechanically, it's a pretty simple game, and you're going to be dealing with a bunch of modifiers no matter which rules you play, so you'd might as well just start with the actual game.
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02 Jul 2012 18:31 #129794 by jpat
Replied by jpat on topic Re:BattleTech. Tell me more...

wadenels wrote: I'm going to revive this thread instead of starting a new one, because there's already a lot of good info here. But I've got one question:

Having never played BattleTech, but wanting to give it an honest go, which set of rules should a person start with? I've got the 2nd Edition base game (complete) with the anime-style cardboard standups and two maps, but I have access to a bunch of different rulebook editions. Should I just play the 2nd edition rules or jump straight into something like the WizKid's CBT Quick-Start and Introductory Rules? I'm looking to learn the game in small two-player skirmishes and potentially branch out from there, but I'd like to get into an edition of the rules that's relatively "current".


All the responses have some merit.

-- You can download the Quick-start rules for free.
-- You can wade into 2nd edition, which, rules-wise, is quite consistent in most respects with current rules.
-- You could pick up the Introductory Box Set (25th Anniversary edition), which has 24 standard and 2 "high-quality" minis, map boards (not paper maps, a nice rulebook, and some other stuff. It is a simplified version Total Warfare chiefly only by omission--that is, it doesn't change the standard rules so much as leave out what you don't need to play with 'Mechs at "introductory" levels of technology.
-- You could pick up Total Warfare (preferably the most current printing), which has rules for most everything you'd want except construction and various "advanced" rules in other rulebooks.
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03 Jul 2012 19:43 #129923 by wadenels

SuperflyTNT wrote: Classic Battletech.

bg.battletech.com/?page_id=175

That's the starter spot. Now, if you want something a little easier, less paperwork, and are interested in more than big mechs shooting PPCs and SRM-6s at one another, MechWarrior: Age of Destruction is not too shabby an alternative. It's a "Heroclix" game with specialty powers and whatnot.

One of the reasons I am so fucked off at Wizkids for not Trekkifying the Star Trek Tactics game is that they did such a good job with making MW: AOD a true tabletop game rather than just another bastardization of Mage Knight or Heroclix, although it is very similar to Mage Knight in the movement rules.

Note: There are a lot of problems with the Dark Age ruleset, which mostly got fixed with Age of Destruction:
www.warrenborn.com/Rules.html

Note the "SEC" is a far cry from the "PAC" from Heroclix, which I will, again, lament was not modified for Star Trek Tactics.


The Mech 'clix actually look pretty decent, but I like the hex-based (no measuring) setup and simultaneous weapons firing of regular ol' Battletech...

word_virus wrote: Start with the Intro rules available for free on the Classic Battletech (now just Battletech, again, by the way) website. Once you have a grasp of how things work and you're ready to move up to the full rules, the current 'tournament-level' version of the rules is a handback book called 'Total War'.

mjl1783 wrote: Just play with whatever you have in your box. The core rules from the box set are basically the same across all the different editions. There are some minor changes to the LOS rules, and maybe some tweaks to some modifiers, but they're almost indistinguishable from one another unless you're a hardcore player.

I wouldn't bother with the simplified version of the core rules, either. Mechanically, it's a pretty simple game, and you're going to be dealing with a bunch of modifiers no matter which rules you play, so you'd might as well just start with the actual game.


I read the introductory (core?) rulebook from the Classic Battletech box, and it is pretty damn similar to the rulebook that came with my 2nd edition game... Total War is a whole 'nother beast; won't be tackling that for a while yet.

jpat wrote: All the responses have some merit.

-- You can download the Quick-start rules for free.
-- You can wade into 2nd edition, which, rules-wise, is quite consistent in most respects with current rules.
-- You could pick up the Introductory Box Set (25th Anniversary edition), which has 24 standard and 2 "high-quality" minis, map boards (not paper maps, a nice rulebook, and some other stuff. It is a simplified version Total Warfare chiefly only by omission--that is, it doesn't change the standard rules so much as leave out what you don't need to play with 'Mechs at "introductory" levels of technology.
-- You could pick up Total Warfare (preferably the most current printing), which has rules for most everything you'd want except construction and various "advanced" rules in other rulebooks.


What we ended up doing is using the CBT Quick Start rules with some additions from the Introductory rules and 2nd edition rules to make movement a little more interesting (water and such). We did one mech each, and I think we'll try 2v2 tonight or tomorrow. The Quick Start rules are really light, but they're still pretty fun for a quick & dirty game of shoot 'em up. I've been casually looking into Abaddon for some light combat, but the CBT Quick Start rules can fill that role just fine and give you the option to add in things you like from the bigger rulebooks.

I'm a big fan of the old Mechwarrior video games, so I can't wait to get into 'mech design, heat management, jumpjets, etc., but my gaming partner is my wife who's not quite as excited about all that stuff as I am. I think what I'll do is keep adding in rules every time we play until we're comfortable with the Introductory rules. Also hope to pick up the box set for the maps and minis.

Thanks for the help!

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04 Jul 2012 20:07 #129969 by Mr. Bistro
The introductory rules are really well written, so you'll be add to heat and all that stuff with minimal fuss. Don't worry too much about Total Warfare when you're ready to jump into that. You'll already know most of the rules, so it will build off what you know nicely, but it will really give the game some depth. It's broken up into sections that make it easy to ignore stuff you don't need, like infantry, vehicles, and buildings. And pretend that aerospace doesn't even exist. Like ever.
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