Total Warfare

Total Warfare.jpg
Total Warfare
(1st edition cover)
Product information
Type Rulebook
Development Randall Bills
Herb Beas
Primary writing Herb Beas
Randall Bills
Dan Duval
Kevin Killiany
Jason Hardy
David McCulloch
Steve Mohan Jr.
Jason Schmetzer
Phaedra Weldon
Pages 312
Cover artwork Franz Vohwinkel
Illustrations Chris Lewis
Klaus Scherwinski
Publication information
Publisher FanPro
Catalyst Game Labs
Product code 35101 (FanPro)
35001 (CGL)
First published 2006
ISBN-10 1932564772
ISBN-13 978-1932564778
MSRP $39.99 US / PDF $14.99
Content Standard rules
Preceded by BattleTech Master Rules, Revised
New cover image since 2018 reprint.


Total Warfare is the current primary sourcebook for tournament play of the classic boardgame BattleTech. The organization of the book has been significantly altered from the previous twenty-plus years of prior editions (of the core rulebook). The intent of the title is to present all current tournament-level rules for play in one tome. The book is not intended for novices, but for dedicated players and judges.

Collector's Editions[edit]

FanPro produced a limited "Collector's Edition" of 1,000 numbered items of the Total Warfare rulebook with a different cover for regular sale, and another special edition of 250 numbered items with another cover that was handed out to the FanPro Commandos.

From the back cover[edit]

It is the 31st century, a time of endless wars that rage across human-occupied space. As star empires clash, these epic wars are won and lost by BattleMechs, 30-foot-tall humanoid metal titans bristling with lasers, autocannons and dozens of other lethal weapons; enough firepower to level entire city blocks. Your elite force of MechWarriors drives these juggernauts into battle, proudly holding your faction’s flag high, intent on expanding the power and glory of your realm. At their beck and call are the support units of armored vehicles, power armored infantry, aerospace fighters and more, wielded by a MechWarrior’s skillful command to aid him in ultimate victory. Will they become legends, or forgotten casualties? Only your skill and luck will determine their fate!

The product of more than twenty years of gaming experience, Total Warfare presents the rules of the Classic BattleTech game system as never before. For the first time, all the rules for various units that have a direct impact on the deadly battlefields of the thirty-first century appear in a unified rules set: from BattleMechs to ProtoMechs, Combat Vehicles to Support Vehicles, infantry to aerospace fighters and DropShips. Interwoven and meticulously updated, Total Warfare provides the most detailed and comprehensive rules set published to date for BattleTech—the perfect companion for standard tournament play.

Total Warfare is the single-source rulebook for people who play Classic BattleTech. It is not intended to teach new players the game, but rather to serve as a reference work for people who know the game, while introducing more technologies and expansive rules than appear in the basic box set. The introductory game in the BattleTech line is the Classic BattleTech Introductory Box Set. New players should pick up that product before diving into this one.

Construction rules for the various units presented in Total Warfare can be found in Classic BattleTech TechManual.


  • Guardians (short story by Loren L. Coleman)
  • Introduction
    • Fiction vs. Rules and Art (a discussion)
    • 3-D Terrain vs. Paper Maps (a discussion)
    • Standard Vs. Advanced Rules (a discussion)
    • Classic BattleTech (a tour of the basic book types)
    • Where to Order and Other Sources of Gaming Support
  • Playing the Game
    • Sequence of Play
    • Unequal Numbers of Units
    • Warriors
      • Skills and Skill Improvements
      • Damaging a Warrior and Consciousness Rolls
    • Game Terms
  • Trial of Possession (short story by Kevin Killiany)
  • Aerospace Movement
    • Space Movement
    • Thrust Points
    • Facing
    • Special Movement Modes
    • High-G Maneuvers
    • Stacking
    • Atmospheric Movement
    • Matching Mapsheets to Low-Altitude Hexes
    • Control Rolls
  • Mutual Advantage (short story by Steven Mohan, Jr.)
  • Heat
    • Heat Points
    • Effects of Heat
    • Aerospace Units
  • Tables
    • Inner Sphere & Clan Weapons & Equipment
    • Additional Inner Sphere & Clan Weapons & Equipment for Battle Armor
    • Ground Movement
    • Combat
    • ProtoMechs and Vehicles
    • Buildings & Infantry
    • Aerospace


  • Most major sections of the book are preceded by a short story that is relevant to that section. For example, the rules for infantry use are preceded by a story about infantry guarding a checkpoint.
  • The title was originally printed by FanPro with the production code of 35101, then re-printed by CGL with the production code 35001.
  • In 2018, a new printing of Total Warfare was released (the fifth) which replaced the cover art used on the first four printings with the cover art from the 1987 BattleTech Manual.