Classic BattleTech is a table-top wargame set in the fictional BattleTech universe that simulates combat between futuristic mechanized forces. Originally published by FASA Corporation, the game is now produced by Catalyst Game Labs under license from WizKids. The term "Classic" is used to differentiate from the original game & other variants that have derived from it, such as MechWarrior: Dark Age.
BattleTech is a turn-based, multiplayer game, typically played on a map divided into hexagonal grids with figurines or counters representing military units. Paper record sheets provide detailed information about each unit, including its armament, armor and equipment, and are used to track damage, heat buildup, ammunition and various other data. Players use two six-sided dice to determine variable results, such as whether a shot strikes its target and the location it hits.
Of the units represented in the game, the most common are BattleMechs known as 'Mechs', large, semi-humanoid fighting machines controlled by human pilots. While pre-designed 'Mechs, vehicles and other military units are provided with the game, a complex system of design rules allows players to create their own custom units even in the introductory boxed set. This engineering facet of the game has remained enduringly popular with players and may explain BattleTech's longevity.
FASA Corporation published the first BattleTech game set in 1984, and throughout the '80s and '90s released a wide range of supplemental books and materials for the series. FASA ceased producing BattleTech in 2001 and sold the franchise to WizKids. FanPro licensed the rights from WizKids and under the new name Classic Battletech continued to release sourcebooks and supplements. In June 2007, Catalyst Game Labs (a subsidiary of InMediaRes Productions, LLC) acquired the license to Classic BattleTech, and has reiterated its commitment to publishing quality products. Catalyst also retained many of the staff members who worked for FanPro.
The latest iteration of the BattleTech rules is Total Warfare (2006), a streamlined compendium intended to integrate the numerous rules sets that have governed the series into a single, comprehensive volume that details the tournament legal and/or standard rules set for game play. Total Warfare is supplemented by six or more other books (some pending):
- TechManual, which presents the design rules for making custom units that comply with the standard game play rules.
- Tactical Operations, offering advanced rules and advanced or experimental equipment beyond those in Total Warfare and TechManual.
- Strategic Operations, updating BattleForce 2 & Aerotech 2 Revised to provide a faster-paced or large-scale version of the game as well as adding advanced rules campaign elements such as repair, customization & salvage to the tactical game.
- Interstellar Operations(pending), advanced rules to allow the player become star lords of Succession State or Khan of their respective Clan. This is similar to previous FASA product named Succession Wars and rules found in FanPro source book named Combat Operations. And according to Technical Readout: 3085 will also have the full updated rules for Land-Air Mechs.
- A Time of War - (the 4th edition of the BattleTech Roleplaying Game)(Paper edition pending), describing how to create characters and run RPG missions
- Universe Book(pending), which provides background and details on the game's fictional universe.
Fantasy Productions (FanPro) intended these six books to be the official core rules set that will govern all gameplay within the BattleTech franchise, be it ground combat, space combat or role-playing. Since 2007, Catalyst Game Labs has assumed control of the franchise. The core rule plans are continuing to be refined as rule books come out.
- MechWarrior, the original role-playing game
- BattleTechnology magazine (1987-1995)
- HeavyMetal design software
- ↑ Catalyst Game Labs » Blog Archive » INMEDIARES PRODUCTIONS, LLC, FORMS IMPRINT: CATALYST GAME LABS