What to do?

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02/12/03 12:28 PM

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I've played D&D/Mage the Ascension/Vampire the masquerade/Magic

But i'm fairly new to the Battletech world here. What is the most up-to-date things out there? I dont want to get a start off on somethign that happened 30 years ago =)
Why have huge mechs with tons of armor? When you can have multiple small and fast mechs instead!
02/12/03 03:07 PM

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You have a few options, depending on where your interests lie.

If you like miniature wargaming, you've got two options: 1) Classic BattleTech and 2) MechWarrior: Dark Ages. The latter is produced by Wizkids, and is similar to their Mage Knight and HeroClix games. The former is the original BattleTech system that was produced by FASA, is now owned by Wizkids, but I believe in print through FanPro LLC. Classic BattleTech is more involved (very detailed record sheets and rules system, on the line of Star Fleet Battles if you're familiar with that) than MW:DA, but I'd argue much more rewarding to play.

If you're instead interested in role-playing in the BattleTech universe, the 3rd ed MechWarrior rpg book is also in print through FanPro. And in case you're a D20 fan, I'm in the process of working up my own house rules for converting it to Traveller20. I'll be posting a link to it once I'm done with the draft.

02/12/03 06:06 PM

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As zensunni said already, Classic BattleTech is now being produced by FanPro, who also took over ShadowRun,, Crimson Skies etc from FASA. If you are returning to the game, the easiest thing would be to buy the BattleTech Master Rules, Revised, as this contains all the items introduced in the Field Manuals as well as rules for all the Battle Armour Suits and ProtoMechs. If you are taking up the game, perhaps it may be better to wait for the new BattleTech Boxed Set to come out, as this will contain 'Mech counters and Level 1 Rules System which is easier to understand and learn at first than the Master Rules. If you are interested in BT history, there are a number of novels but the best buy would probably be the Federated Commonwealth Civil War sourcebook as this contains all the updates for the Inner Sphere. The Field Manuals for each affiliation are also good buys, especially if you are Clan as you will get information about 7 other Clans as well.

If you are playing MechWarrior, then you can wait for zensunni to do his Traveller thing, or buy MechWarrior RPG, 3rd Edition. The rules expansions for MW3, however, are hard to come by; to remedy this, FanPro will be releasing the CBT Companion at some near stage in the future which will contain all the most important information from the previous books and will contain new information as well. It seems, however, that publishing has been delayed. I believe it was to be released this month.

Finally, there is MechWarrior: Dark Age. However, MW:DA is the spawn of Satan and will not be discussed
Yea, verily. Let it be known far and wide that Nightward loathes MW: DA. Indeed, it is with the BURNING ANIMUS OF A THOUSAND SUNS that he doth rage against it with.
02/13/03 02:51 AM

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In reply to:

the best buy would probably be the Federated Commonwealth Civil War sourcebook as this contains all the updates for the Inner Sphere.

I'm aware of The Inner Sphere sourcebook (and thinking of picking it up), which I thought covers exactly this, but haven't heard of the Federated Commonwealth Civil War sourcebook, nor can I find info about it on the web.

Maybe you're referring to the Federated Commonwealth Civil War series of novels? If not, how does it compare to The Inner Sphere sourcebook, and any idea where I can find it?
02/13/03 03:55 AM

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Supposedly, the place to go for all of your Classic BattleTech stuff is www.classicbattletech.com. However, the people on the Forums there are incredibly condescending and combative (and hey, you thought we were bad here ) It should have a link to a synopsis of the FedCom Civil War sourcebok in its "Products" section and I believe there may also be a link to an on-line store as well. I'm guessing on the last part because the CBT Website is a mess to navigate :S

The FedCom Civil War book details the Civil War, and also talks about the Ghost Bear/DCMS war.

I have not seen the Shattered Sphere sourcebook, so I do not know how they compare. I live in Australia, so it takes forever for anything to arrive here. The Warrior Trilogy arrived yesterday
Yea, verily. Let it be known far and wide that Nightward loathes MW: DA. Indeed, it is with the BURNING ANIMUS OF A THOUSAND SUNS that he doth rage against it with.
02/15/03 02:01 AM

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Considering you're posting to the Mechwarrior RPG forum, compare Mechwarrior 2 and Mechwarrior 3, they have different role playing systems and one might make more sense from a role playing perspective. (After reading the two I felt that Mechwarrior 3 was more of a random character generator to create quick role playing situations and not much of a character development game(like D&D)
05/19/03 02:32 AM

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www.classicbattletech.com is always a good place to start, there you can learn the history of the battletech universe and sometimes even recent wars. Though you can probably just play the MechWarrior Game Series which gives you a pretty good idea of what battletech is all about.
Glory To The Clans!
05/06/04 01:03 PM

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I´m beginner in MechWarrior and BattleTech world (I´m familiar with other RPGs). There is tons of books, but I don´t always know which play they belong to. Most of all, I´m interesting in RPGs.
Is the world same in all of them (RPGs, miniatyre games and PC games)?

The one who wants to enter the world of mechs
(I found these pages when I was looking more information)
05/07/04 05:32 PM

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Actually Battletech grew out of the standard tabletop game and as the lore expanded from both additional products and novels it grew into a fairly consistent gameworld. Since the olden days there have been 3 Mechwarrior RPG games that basically add an RPG over the top of the lore and original game. There are many flaws in these systems, though they are great place to begin as they provide background and a introduction to the lore and base game mechanics. Maany players eventually move on to thoroughly customize these system or adopt other RPG systems (for instance recently Cray has been talking about adopting Shadowrun mechanics and someone was talking about a D20 conversion).

The three Mechwarrior RPGs are:
1. Mechwarrior RPG 1st edition - Long out of print, though it occassionally shows up on ebay for reasonable prices. While 2nd edition doesn't change much from first the changes are definately for the better, and most people including myself would tell you to opt for that book before 1 st edition. Still 1st edition has some excellent artwork and interesting lore, especially if you plan on running (or playing) an earlier campaign before 3025-40.

2. Mechwarrior 2nd Edition - This one is basically an improvement on the first edition rules. It contains a number of changes, especially to skills and advantages. The book itself includes a method for converting 1st edition characters, a number of bland character archetypes, and a fairly detailled summery of the lore of the period (3050-3058). The RPG system itself features, pointbased character creation (not like the roll based system prevalent in many DnD 2nd edition or earlier rpgs), multiple attribute skills (helps to balance attributes... so you don't wind up with super characters), rules for personel combat (which borrow heavily from the tabletop game), 2D6 based skill rolls (aka bell curves), and a decent amount of equipment to be used in personel scale (small arms, tents, med kits, lockpicks, etc.). Finally of note is a small section on the feudal trappings of battletech, something virtually dead in the newer lore, this concentrates on inheriting positions and landholds. 2nd edition was out for the longest period and as such has many resources available, unfortunately it is out of print now and new material is being created for 3rd edition. (due to how common it was these are esy to come by even at bookstores occassionally)

3. Mechwarrior 3rd Edition - This system is currently the newest standard, and it diverges sharply from previous editions. Currently you can buy brand new copies from countless bookstores, with material for it being included in most new sourcebooks and supplements (such as the newest of the Field Manuals). The system is primarily D10 based, ie itoften involves linear chance as apposed to the bell curve of 2D6. Also the system uses an innovative character creation method of "lifepaths." This basically a series of paths that includes all the time till the campaign started, with each path having roles that result in changes to your character and restrictions on the possible paths you can take next. Some have criticized the system for being less open than earlier editions and all but forcing them to play characters they aren't thrilled with. Still it is an excellent resource for developing the backstory of a character, and is often steerable enough to provide players with characters they are satisfied with. The system also helps to rebalance the point creation system which could be abused by power gamers and lead to cloned characters, unfortunately as a side effect it introduces much more luck into character creation. Most of the available lore/resources published with rules for this system are newer and as such it is generally set in the 3060+.

In addition to those RPG books it is recommended you familiarize yourself with the actual tabletop game. As the RPG is geared towards leading to it, though a creative GM could certianly make it otherwise. So if you haven't yet check out Battletech Master Rules Revised.

Also once you are into the RPG universe you might find some of the following lore oriented books to be great assets:
Classic Battletech Companion (expansion to MW 3rd Edition - In Print)
Field Manuals (these range on topics, but generally concentrate on major powers of the universe. These books often include new technology for the tabletop game, optional rules abilities, and of course great background on the powers)
House Books (These previously were a definative of lore on the various houses and inner sphere powers, unfortunately they are out of print and prices can be quite high. TPTB is working on creating new housebooks and currently has a number of text only .pdfs of these on their site)
Technical Read Outs (These are definately in the grey area between the tabletop game and rpg. These provide stats, though not in the form of record sheets, on types of vehicles and mechs. Also each listing has a good page of lore and artwork. These are often what has corraled players into the game and can be quite fun to look/read through)

The super important webpage where you can do reseach on your own, decide what products are right for you, what products you can afford, and download the sourcebook .pdfs they posted:

good luck!
I find that 'pinpoint' accuracy during a bombing run increases proportionally with the amount of munitions used.
-Commander Nathaniel Klepper,
Avanti's Angels, 3058
06/12/04 05:19 PM

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Thanks for your information. I have played Mechwarrior RPG for a couple months and... hmm...I just fell for it. I cannot explain it. it just happend...

I have been lucky to found people who has BT miniatures and I have friends who want to play with those. So I will get familiar with this side of game too. I may even have my own miniatures someday.

It`s nice to know that there is some many people who want to play in the BT world.

Does anyone of you know a site where I could find a complete list of Mechwarrior and Battletech books (non-fiction) ?

06/13/04 02:41 AM

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Try this link:


Classic BattleTech.com is a mess, I know. From this link:


you can download some of the older sourcebooks for free. Only downside is that they're all .PDF, and my hat of PDF kno no limit!!, however, so IMO it's not worth the time or effort.

Oh. And GO FINLAND! My cousins are Finnish and their grandfather wrote a book called "From the Ice to the Tropics and back again" or something. Ufortunately it was written in Finnish, so I don't understand a word of it. Their surname is Hyytinen, if that means anything.
Yea, verily. Let it be known far and wide that Nightward loathes MW: DA. Indeed, it is with the BURNING ANIMUS OF A THOUSAND SUNS that he doth rage against it with.
06/30/04 04:18 AM

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thanks. I have many PDFs now, I just would like to know what I have missed. Classicbattletech.com is right site for that. I visited there.
I hate PDFs, but use them to get to know BT more.

hmm. Hyytinen doesn`t mean anything directly, but it is very finnish surname.
06/30/04 10:07 PM

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The book's called "Hallaperalta Tropiikkiin & Nelja Kertaa Maailman Ympari."

The back blurb says:

"Kirjailijan kynanjaljissa kuvastuu suomalaiselta pohjalta nouseva peruskasite suhtaumisessa elamankuvihin uusissa olosuhteissa, joihin monien tie on johtanut niin Pohjois-Amerikan, Australian kuin Ruotsinkin siirtosumalaisten keskuudessa. Kokemusperaista realismia keski-pohjalaisen viljelijan osan vaihtumeisesta Pohjois-Queenslandin sokeri-farmariski.

Paivakirjanomainen eteneminen antaa kuvan vahvasta sitoutumisesta kukuun ja juurin antaen tilaa myos molempien sotien vetaanien vaihheista yhteisissa puiteissa. Yli viiden vuosikmmenen kestaneet ystavyyssuhteet ovat sallyneet lujina alna aina "viimeiseen iltahuutoon" asti.

Perusvireena elamanmittaisessa kuvaukessa voidaan kuitenkin nahda noyra asennoituminen kaikkiin tilanteisiin- turvaten Jumaian johdatukseen ja Hanelle kunnian antaen voidaan kokea rikassisaltoinen elama."

At least I think that's what it says. I probably made a few copying errors in there, but I think I sprained my brain trying to follow all that. I'm guessing Finnish is a lot more poetic when spoken than written
Yea, verily. Let it be known far and wide that Nightward loathes MW: DA. Indeed, it is with the BURNING ANIMUS OF A THOUSAND SUNS that he doth rage against it with.
07/01/04 08:34 AM

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So has been said before.
Its a lifetime description about emigration,friendship and changeable happening in life, realism that based on personal experience.
Or something like that. I know what the finnish text means, but its other thing to try write it english, atleast for me (as you can see).
07/02/04 03:22 AM

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I wouldn't worry. You English is far and away better than my Finnish
Yea, verily. Let it be known far and wide that Nightward loathes MW: DA. Indeed, it is with the BURNING ANIMUS OF A THOUSAND SUNS that he doth rage against it with.
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