|Publisher||Infinite Game Publishing|
MechWarrior Tactics is a free-to-play turn-based tactics video game set in the BattleTech universe. It was originally under development by Roadhouse Interactive and ACRONYM Games, but was taken over by Blue Lizard Games and published by Infinite Game Publishing for the Unity Web Player platform. The game is currently in closed beta, allowing players to purchase instant access.
Computer games are explicitly excluded from the list of products that contribute straight Canon to the BattleTech universe while at the same time it was stated that the IP owners are "not in total denial about these sources either"; it has also been stated that fluff from certain official, licensed products (namely certain computer games including those produced by Personae Studios) can be assumed to be part of the shared universe as long as it is not directly contradicted, and makes sense. On this premise, MechWarrior Tactical Commander is considered to be an apocryphal product.
The game pits two players against each other in an online turn-based match. The turn-based combat is presented via an isometric 3D perspective, with the play area divided into a hexagonal grid. Each player has control of four individual BattleMechs, to which they issue separate movement and combat commands which are not seen by their opponent. Moving the 'Mechs into certain tiles that represent forests, hills, or bodies of water grants combat advantages and disadvantages, making the skillful maneuvering of units a major aspect of the game. Likewise, the combat itself offers several tactical options, including the targeting of specific sub-sections of an enemy unit, and balancing overheating of weapons with their cool-down period. Once both players finish inputting their movement and combat orders, the action plays out on both players' screens simultaneously, showing the results of their actions for that turn. The turns continue in this fashion until one player loses all their 'Mechs.
A major inspiration for the game is the BattleTech Collectible Card Game. Most items available to the player are represented in the form of virtual cards, including the 'Mechs themselves, their individual weapons, upgrades, and pilots. These cards can be purchased with real money or acquired through gameplay progression by using in-game currency. Customization performed on a particular 'Mech is carried over into future games, giving players an incentive to invest in their card collections for the long haul rather than building up an arsenal for one specific match.
The entire game is played inside a web browser window and does not require any additional downloads.