|Primary writing|| Patrick Larkin (background)|
Steve Peterson/Hero Games (technical background)
|Cover artwork|| Alan Gutierrez (front)|
Dana Knutson (back)
|Illustrations|| Jordan Weisman|
Karen Vander Mey
|MSRP||20,00 US $|
|Era||Succession Wars era|
|Followed by||BattleTech, 2nd Edition|
Published in 1984, the Battledroids board game was the very first incarnation of what was to become BattleTech. The successful game was soon renamed for BattleTech, 2nd Edition (Battledroids being considered the 1st Edition) because of George Lucas' trademark on the term "droid".
Unlike the spelling later established for BattleTech, Battledroids is consistently spelled with a downcase "d".
 From the back cover
|“|| A Dark Age has befallen mankind. Where once reigned the United Star League, five successor states now battle for control. Wars' destruction ravaged the once-flourishing worlds and left them in ruins. The advancement of technology has not only ceased, but the machines and equipment of the past cannot be produced by present-day worlds. Now, the Succession Wars are fought over water, ancient machines and spare-parts factories, for control of these elements will lead to the final victory and domination of all known worlds.
The battlefields of the Succession Wars are dominated by the most awesome war-machines in man's history, the BATTLEDROIDS. These huge man-shaped vehicles are faster, more mobile, better armored, and more destructive than a battalion of 20th Century tanks. Now, you can control the BATTLEDROIDS, infantry, and tanks in this exciting game of warfare in the 30th century Successor States.
Often considered a percursor to or the "prototype" BattleTech game, the Battledroids rules feature some notable differences from the 2nd Edition boxed set which is usually considered the baseline BattleTech product. The differences from BattleTech 2nd Edition include:
 Game levels
Battledroids provided Basic, Advanced and Expert level game rules.
- Basic Battledroids
The basic ruleset does not track heat, nor does it differentiate individual weapons. Instead, it uses unified range brackets (1=contact, 2-3=short, 4-10=medium, 11-21=long) and factors a Battledroid's individual weapon ranges and damage potentials into a single damage value for each range bracket, from zero (Wasp and Stinger at long range) to 16 (Warhammer and Marauder at short and medium, and also the Crusader at medium range). Consequently, weapons are not fired individually; attacks are resolved by rolling a single attack. Base to-hit on 2d6 is 4 for "contact" and 6 for all other ranges. Movement and terrain modifiers apply. Although the Advanced rules claim that both light and heavy woods would block the line-of-sight entirely under Basic rules, the actual Basic rules state this to be the case only for intervening heavy woods.
Armor is similarly summarized into a single Armor rating for each Battledroid (between 5 for a Wasp or Stinger, and 11 for an Archer), which is reduced by 1 for attacks from a (rear) side hex and by 2 for attacks from behind.
Following a successful attack roll, the damage value for the range in question is cross-indexed with the target's armor value, resulting in a target number. Only if a second roll meets or exceeds that target number, damage was caused and a third roll then determines the exact nature of the damage (Battledroid destroyed, Weapons destroyed, no movement or firing for 1 or 2 rounds, or permanent movement restrictions).
For each Battledroid, the Armor value and four Damage values (one for each range) are presented in a table. The numbers are somewhat arbitrary, and no rules are provided to determine these numbers for custom-built designs.
- Advanced Battledroids
The Advanced ruleset introduces heat, torso twists, different and more terrain features, individual weapons (with individual ranges) and physical attacks, hit locations and internal structure, and ammunition expenditure. This ruleset is equivalent to the standard BattleTech rules.
- Expert Battledroids
Expanding upon the Advanced rules, Expert rules add injuries for DroidWarriors, dropping down/falling of Battledroids (piloting skill rolls), critical hits, aimed shots and pushing attacks.
- Optional Rules
These include clearing woods, fires (both accidential and intentional), clubs, variable DroidWarrior skills, infantry (including tanks and jeeps), and design rules for custom Battledroids.
Compared to the later CityTech rules, the rules for tanks and jeeps are much simplified: They can spend 4 MP each turn, or 3 if they intended to fire weapons on that turn (jeeps: 6/5). They can ram like a Battledroid charge for 3 points of damage per hex moved (jeeps: 1 point/hex), taking 1 point for every 10 tons of target mass in turn, and have similar movement restrictions (no water, heavy woods or fire hexes; only 1 level elevation change between two hexes).
All tanks have a uniform armor distribution of F:20, LRS:10, B:8, T:5 (if applicable). Three tanks designs are provided:
- SCR-8N Scorpion - no turret, 3 SRM-6 with 15 shots per lancher installed in the front
- HNT-3R Hunter - no turret, one LRM-20 with 18 shots installed in the front
- VDE-3T Vedette - AC/5 with 40 shots and machine gun with 200 shots, both turret-mounted
Jeeps mount either a SRM-2 (5 shots) or a machine gun (10 shots), and can fire in all directions. They are at a +1 penalty to hit and have no hit locations; instead, they are destroyed by suffering more than 5 damage, with excess damage carrying over to another jeep in the same hex if applicable.
Infantry represent 9-man squads, and up to 10 squads can be stacked into a single hex. Each squad carries either an SRM-2 (12 shots) or a machine gun (25 shots). One point of damage is enough to destroy a squad, but they are at a +2 penalty to hit.
 Battledroid models
- STG-3R Stinger (1 ton overweight; 64 armor points distributed H:9, CT:10/4, LRT:7/2, LRA:6, LRL:8, for a total of 69 points)
- SHD-2H Shadow Hawk (no difference)
- ARC-2R Archer (armor distribution: H:9, CT:35/10, LRT:30/7, LRA:15, LRL:25)
- GRF-1N Griffin (six jump jets, 144 armor points distributed H:8, CT:20/6, LRT:20/6, LRA:13, LRL:16)
- WHM-6R Warhammer (no difference)
- PXH-1K Phoenix Hawk (armor distribution: H:6, CT:25/5, LRT:18/3, LRA:10, LRL:15; stats otherwise identical to later PXH-1)
- MAD-3R Marauder (armor distribution: H:9, CT:35/16, LRT:16/8, LRA:22, LRL:16)
- CRD-3R Crusader (0.5 tons underweight, 184 armor points distributed H:6, CT:30/8, LRT:24/6, LRA:20, LRL:20)
- WSP-1A Wasp (1 ton overweight; 64 armor points distributed H:6, CT:10/4, LRT:7/2, LRA:6, LRL:7)
- RFL-3N Rifleman (oversized VOX 260 fusion engine, no medium lasers)
- The Merlin was used as an example for the construction rules, but the lighter jump jets under Battledroids rules allowed for 12 tons of armor (192 points), distributed H:9, CT:26/13, LRT:19/9, LRA:20, LRL:24.
 Construction rules
The Battledroid construction rules are slightly different from the BattleMech construction rules as they are now known. The older rules, most importantly those pertaining to jump jets, are the reason for some otherwise illegal designs in the Battledroids set as well as the early scenario pack, Tales of the Black Widow Company.
- Jump Jets
While the number of jump jets permissible on BattleMechs is limited by their Walking Movement rate, no such upper limit is mentioned in Battledroids. Thus, the Battledroids Griffin (with 5 MP) could legally mount 6 jump jets and the Super Griffin 8 where BattleTech rules would allow them no more than 5.
Jump jet mass is always only half a ton, irrespective of the Battledroid's mass.
According to the rulebook, they may be mounted in the "feet or back", though it remains unclear whether or not this is meant to indicate a limitation to certain sections (because "back" is not a proper section).
- Heat Sink placement
There are no integral heat sinks in the engine, i.e. each and every heat sink (including the 10 "free" heat sinks on every Battledroid) must be assigned a critical slot.
 Background information
The brief description of the game setting left the impression that virtually no functional Battledroid factories remain. Even the Hesperus II factories are described as gutted and dysfunctional, and valuable only for their spare parts depots.
- 32-page rulebook (+1 page of tables and 7 pages of blank stat sheets) with rules for Basic, Advanced and Expert BattleDroids, stats for 10 different BattleDroids, assembly instructions for the included miniatures and cutout tokens, and six flipsided pages in the back (titled "A Dark Age: The Succession Wars") briefly explaining the setting, technology and timetable of a typical planetary raid
- two 22"x17" full-color mapsheets, identical in terrain layout to the mapsheets used in later editions but with a slightly different artistic style
- two 3" tall plastic Battledroid models (SHD-2H Shadow Hawk & GRF-1N Griffin)
- four sheets of full-color cutout playing markers, including tokens for the various different Battledroids, tanks and jeeps, infantry, fire, extra markers for light woods, heavy woods, rough terrain and water
- two six-sided dice
- Errata leaflet with damage location tables