HeavyMetal (usually abbreviated "HMP" after the flagship component, HeavyMetal Pro) is a series of commercial software titles designed to complement the BattleTech boardgame. The software, developed by designer Rick Raisley and published by RCW Enterprises, assists the creation of custom units and maps for use in the game. Owing to its license, it is the only "official" software for this purpose.
The HeavyMetal suite of programs feature superb functionality, high ease of ease, and a comprehensive TRO-accurate library of units. For quite some time they were the only Battletech unit creators worth mentioning. Unfortunately, the licensee eventually struggled to keep up with the evolution of the game over the years. Due to a lack of updates, the program did not include any of the technologies and units featured in sourcebooks published after 2006 or so, which meant that by the early 2010s the program was considerably outdated. Also, several alternate, fan-made unit creation programs eventually became available on the internet. While these programs were often not as well-rounded or as polished as HMP, they were completely free. Most importantly, they included all of the most recent material.
Despite these hindrances, the HMP website boasted a relatively large community that kept HMP relevant for some time. Unfortunately, a forum glitch locked all users out of the official forum in June of 2019, and this was never remedied. The HeavyMetal website itself is still functional, and it is still possible to purchase products on its webstore (albeit for download only).
While Battletech as a game has remained fully recognizable over time, on occasion the rules do change in various ways. Therefore, it is a sad fact that the HeavyMetal programs continue to grow more outdated with every passing year. It is unclear why RCW Enterprises continues to hold the official license if no further updates are forthcoming.
- HeavyMetal Pro, an application for designing BattleMechs, the predominant unit in BattleTech.
- HeavyMetal Vee, for designing ground vehicles and naval units. Also able to create VTOL aircraft (helicopters).
- HeavyMetal Lite, for designing ProtoMechs and printing record sheets for battle armor and infantry units.
- HeavyMetal Aero, for designing spacecraft, aerospace units and conventional aircraft.
- HeavyMetal Battle Armor, for designing battle armor units.
- HeavyMetal Map, for creating printed, hex-based game maps. This was the last HMP program, released in 2011. Since it is solely used to create physical mapsheets, it can still be considered fully "up to date."
An omnibus title, HeavyMetal Plus, includes Pro, Vee, Lite and Random Unit Selector.
Various datafiles and program updates are also freely available for download.