Friday, October 30, 2015

Classic Battletech, Part 3 (How do i get into this game, there's a lot of stuff)

It's time for another post on Battletech, a game have a great deal of affection for.  Battletech as a universe has a lot of potential ways to get involved, and it can be mind boggling to find a starting point.  If you've checked out my piece on the Introductory Box further down the page you've read my thoughts on that product and the upsides to getting it as a starting place.

However, that game has gotten a little stale and you've heard about some other things, like building your own units, or using tanks, and infantry in the game.  All of this sounds awesome, but what books are those in?  How do i build my own units?  Why are there so many books?  What should i buy next?

Well, there are lots of directions you can go with this, but i'm going to recommend a few suggestions for the next couple of steps you should take when getting into the battletech universe, as well as some supplemental material that might be of interest.

The first product you're going to want to consider investing is  Total Warfare

Total Warfare (you can read a more in depth review a little lower, look for the heading Battletech Part 2) contains the basic rules needed to play the game with all of the units you'll commonly encounter in the game.  It's a thick book, but you'll find it essential in building from the introductory rules you found in the intro box.

The next product on the things you should consider getting list is TechManual

Like Total Warfare, I've covered this book in greater detail in a different post, but this book contains all of the construction rules for the units that you will regularly encounter in battletech.  One of the things that i found very interesting about battletech when i picked it up in the winter of 1988 was that they included the construction rules for battlemechs in the core rules for the game.  Being able to build and customize units has been a core of this game from its inception, and i think this book capably covers most situations you will encounter in the construction process.

Between these two books you're looking at the foundation rules for playing the game with your friends.  TW has all of the combat rules, and the TechManual has all the construction rules you'd need for the forseeable future.

These two books retail for $39.99 apiece, and are also available in pdf format from

The next two products don't provide more rules for the game, but provide something even more important, more combat units!  The technical readout series of books span more than a hundred years of in game development, and in some books include units from previous historical eras.

The first book i'll talk about is Technical Readout 3039.

Technical Readout 3039 (TRO3039) contains the most commonly found combat units in battlemechs, combat vehicles, and aerospace fighters that are available in the in-game universe year 3039.  From a player's perspective, this book contains the introductory tech level versions of those commonly available units.  This will greatly expand the available units you have to play the game using your components from the introductory box set without including more advanced weapons and equipment featured in TW or the TechManual.

The second book in this group is the Technical Readout 3050 Upgrade.

The Technical Readout 3050 Upgrade (TRO 3050u) contains new combat units from a new faction, (the clans) and updates almost all of the original units found in in TRO 3039 with advanced technology.  The technology changes can vastly affect how different units interact on the tabletop, and this book holds a wealth of designs to give you even more options to play

Like their core rule cousins, they can be found at .  TRO 3039 retails for $29.99, while its slightly thicker companion TRO 3050u retails at $34.99.

These four books will greatly expand your available options for your battletech games.  Your game's complexity level will climb by increasing the depth of the rules set you're playing with, and in terms of the units available.  Between these four books, you're going to vastly increase the replay ability of your battletech games.

Accesories and other things that might help

There are three things that i'll add as things that will either improve your game experience, or increase your experience with the setting.

Record Sheets: 3039 Unabridged

While this product isn't absolutely necessary to play, it contains pre-filled record sheets for all of the units presented in TRO 3039.  This can speed up your game experience and give you the option to grab a sheet and go, rather than having to spend the time to fill out the sheet manually.

It's available from and is priced at $9.99

Record Sheets: 3050 Upgrade

Like the other Record Sheets product i mentioned above, this product isn't absolutely necessary to play, it can help you speed up your set up time for the game.  It's a handy product to have if you frequently play with units in this era.

It's available from and is priced at $9.99

The last product i'm going to talk about is a little different from the others.  It's not necessary to play the game at all, but you may find that it adds a great deal of information and provides several aids that will help you play games set in a specific time frame.

Era Report: 3052

This book contains a snapshot of the battletech universe leading up to the year 3052 and covers a lot of in-universe details on the major players, major battles and historical information relevant to Battletech at the time.  It contains famous units and personalities from the factions involved and contains resources for the setting from a reader's perspective and a wealth of charts and tables to benefit the player of the tabletop game.  It also serves as a bridge in the technology found in the technical readouts i've mentioned above.

It's available from and is priced at $24.99

So those are the products that i think make a very good starting point in expanding your battletech experience from the introductory box set.  I hope you take a look at them and if you like them, pick em up.  

No comments:

Post a Comment