The batchall is the ritualistic challenge of combat issued by Clan warriors, often as part of a Trial of Possession. It almost always involves the attacker announcing to the defender their identity and size of their forces, the objective of their challenge, and a request for what forces will oppose them. The defender then responds by identifying what military forces they intend to use to defend the objective and may choose the battlefield the challenge will take place on. The defender is also able to ask for a prize of equal value that the attacker must surrender should they prove victorious. Once the particulars have been agreed upon the challenge is closed with the phrase "well bargained and done" spoken by both participants. With the batchall complete the attackers and defenders then bid amongst themselves for the right to fight in the challenge, with subcommanders bidding away units, individuals or even specific weapons in an effort to win with the fewest forces, thereby preventing waste and earning personal glory.
The batchall is an integral part of the bidding practices of the Clans, a tradition born out of the early days when resources were incredibly scarce. It is seen as a sign of respect for an opponent to issue a batchall and so dishonorable opponents are not given this courtesy. Instead they may be attacked with all forces at the challenger's command without warning. During the Clan Invasion some Inner Sphere commanders used the batchall to deceive the invaders by lying about the forces they planned to use in opposing the challenge, thereby causing heavier Clan casualties or even defeat in some cases. While catching the Clans off-guard at first, it has since made many Clan commanders wary when treating with Inner Sphere forces; many have simply abandoned the batchall completely when fighting against the Inner Sphere.
The batchall is typically begun with a specific phrase unique to each Clan.
- Clan Jade Falcon: "What forces dare defend this world from the steel talons of the Jade Falcon?"
- Clan Wolf: "The Wolves of Kerensky have claimed this world for their own. What tame dogs defend it?"
- Clan Ghost Bear: "We are Clan Ghost Bear. This world is ours. Those who dispute our claim must identify the size and location of their forces for immediate disposal."
- Clan Smoke Jaguar: "The Smoke Jaguar claims this world. Identify the forces that defend it so that we from the mists of space may know on whom we pounce."
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 13
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 15
- Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 24