Battletech Questions

Tremere

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I just bought a Battletech boxed set tonight and am pretty clueless about the game but have been curious enough over the years to finally give it a try. I thought what I bought was the core miniatures game but after looking at the Catalyst Game Labs website it seems to be a boardgame version of the minis game. Is this correct? I have posted an image of the box I purchased below.

Additionally, I am interested in the RPG as well. Can you all give me some opinions on it in here, please? I HATE their rules for Shadowrun and fear that the RPG for BTech might also be extremely complex. I am also stunned that the RPG seems to be out of print. Is it going to be back in print eventually? How am I supposed to get into the game if I cannot buy the book anywhere? I really want a hardcopy and not just the PDF.
 

macd21

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It looks like you’ve bought the Battletech wargame, which is fine, as realistically you’ll need it to run mech combat in the RPG. Be warned: mech combat is fiddly and time consuming.

The RPG generally goes by MechWarrior, and there have been a number of editions over the years. The latest (Battletech A Time of War) is not well regarded. Seeing as how it’s out of print anyway, you might want to look for one of the earlier editions instead. Personally I prefer MechWarrior 2nd ed, but be warned: none of them are particularly good RPGs (the best I would say of them is ‘serviceable.’

The reason the RPG is out of print is because it’s not profitable to keep it in print. It’s not DnD - the vast majority of people who want a copy have a copy.
 

Galadrin

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You can play any RPG and use the board game for mech combats. I prefer Traveller for the RPG side. There is no Battletech "minis" game, unless you mean Alpha Strike?
 

WistfulD

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Is this one the best version of the RPG to get to use with the miniature game I bought?

https://www.amazon.com/Mechwarrior-Battletech-Role-Playing-Game-2nd/dp/1555601294
It is just fine. Here is what you need to know-- The MechWarrior TTRPG let's you play as a mech pilot (or possibly also other people in the mech-fielding business such as repair people, it's been a long time since I read any edition). There is some starting choices which determine what weight category of mech you operate, and then you also can determine your mech piloting and gunning skills. Those are (through some direct calculation, IIRC the Battletech skills are 'twelve minus the mechwarrior skills,' although that might have been 1st edition). Other than that, there is very little rules overlap.

The TTRPG is fine... it's just about people in the Battletech universe doing everything else, other than the one defining and interesting thing the universe sets up. So politics, making friends, life aboard a drop-ship, interstellar travel, maybe even some hand-to-hand combat (if, for some reason, you wanted to know how well Mecha pilots were with knives or guns).

I know I'm not doing a great job of selling the product, I just want you to know before you spend more money that the primary problem with the MechWarrior RPGs (which, as macd21 said, were otherwise serviceable but unimpressive) is the 'exactly who is this for and why do I want to play this?' issue.

As to the miniature wargame... it is fine. Fiddly, unrealistic*, lots of options and each player's turn takes just as long to play 2-3 mechs as it would to play dozens of units in another wargame, but deeply satisfying to right wargame player type (I've always said that no one ever picked up Battletech on accident).
*anthropomorphic tanks in general are unrealistic, but some people get really bent out of shape about 10 meter tall robots which are merely 10-100 tons and/or missiles with ranges shorter than .22 rifles
 

Tremere

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It is just fine. Here is what you need to know-- The MechWarrior TTRPG let's you play as a mech pilot (or possibly also other people in the mech-fielding business such as repair people, it's been a long time since I read any edition). There is some starting choices which determine what weight category of mech you operate, and then you also can determine your mech piloting and gunning skills. Those are (through some direct calculation, IIRC the Battletech skills are 'twelve minus the mechwarrior skills,' although that might have been 1st edition). Other than that, there is very little rules overlap.

The TTRPG is fine... it's just about people in the Battletech universe doing everything else, other than the one defining and interesting thing the universe sets up. So politics, making friends, life aboard a drop-ship, interstellar travel, maybe even some hand-to-hand combat (if, for some reason, you wanted to know how well Mecha pilots were with knives or guns).

I know I'm not doing a great job of selling the product, I just want you to know before you spend more money that the primary problem with the MechWarrior RPGs (which, as macd21 said, were otherwise serviceable but unimpressive) is the 'exactly who is this for and why do I want to play this?' issue.

As to the miniature wargame... it is fine. Fiddly, unrealistic*, lots of options and each player's turn takes just as long to play 2-3 mechs as it would to play dozens of units in another wargame, but deeply satisfying to right wargame player type (I've always said that no one ever picked up Battletech on accident).
*anthropomorphic tanks in general are unrealistic, but some people get really bent out of shape about 10 meter tall robots which are merely 10-100 tons and/or missiles with ranges shorter than .22 rifles
Does it being just fine mean that you recommend Mechwarrior 2nd. edition as the edition to get in order to play the RPG?

Also, if I create a mech pilot in the RPG can I use his stats as my mech pilot in the mini game?
 

ANT Pogo

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Does it being just fine mean that you recommend Mechwarrior 2nd. edition as the edition to get in order to play the RPG?

Also, if I create a mech pilot in the RPG can I use his stats as my mech pilot in the mini game?
MechWarrior 2nd is the best BTech RPG in that it has the least crazy-complex rules of the various editions. And it integrates perfectly with the mini game - your MW2nd character's piloting and gunnery skill ratings map directly to the piloting and gunnery skills in the mini game, so you don't even need to do any conversion.
 

macd21

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MechWarrior 2nd is the best BTech RPG in that it has the least crazy-complex rules of the various editions. And it integrates perfectly with the mini game - your MW2nd character's piloting and gunnery skill ratings map directly to the piloting and gunnery skills in the mini game, so you don't even need to do any conversion.
Yeah, this. It’s got its flaws, but I think it works a lot better than the later editions.
 

ANT Pogo

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I just bought a Battletech boxed set tonight and am pretty clueless about the game but have been curious enough over the years to finally give it a try. I thought what I bought was the core miniatures game but after looking at the Catalyst Game Labs website it seems to be a boardgame version of the minis game. Is this correct? I have posted an image of the box I purchased below.

[...]

Also the box you got is the mini game - Battletech has always had a "core" boxed set which gives the necessary rules, a map, and some cardboard minis to play with. It's how the game was first published, and the image you posted above is of the updated and most recent version of it.

All the other books and things are expansions, adding expanded mech construction details, advanced rules, and miniatures to paint and use instead of the included cardboard ones if you want.

There's also an alternate ruleset called "Alpha Strike", which simplifies how mechs are represented to let you play larger-scale battles. It works with the same maps and cardboard/metal miniatures as the core game, though it doesn't have its own boxed set with maps and miniatures like the core game does.
 

Tremere

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I also own Mekton Zeta. Do you feel Mekton Zeta is less crunchy for mecha RPG rules overall?
 
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