Battletech, one of the flagship games by Catalyst Game Labs, has a devoted following. As one of those devoted followers, I’ve written multiple times about the game (and will continue to do so). With a new Kickstarter campaign starting today, I’m here to tell you yet again why Battletech is the best darn tabletop miniature game around, and why you should back it.
Why Battletech Rules
For me, the biggest reason I love Battletech over all other tabletop miniature games is the flexibility and ease of access to play. Currently there are two wholly different options for gameplay: Classic Battletech, or Alpha Strike. Both options are available to every player from the start. Classic Battletech is a little more complex, with hex based movement, a full sheet of paper for each ‘mech, and a ruleset that can range from simple enough to use just a few cardboard reference sheets, to super detailed with special rules for special types of damage. Alpha Strike is even simpler, and plays with small dry erase friendly cards and a couple of rulers. The dry erase cards come with every ‘mech you purchase, so both gameplay styles are available as soon as you have your plastic minis in hand.
Why More ‘Mechs?
Battletech has quite a bit of lore behind it. Over one hundred novels bring flavor to the Battletech universe, which can sound overwhelming at first. Fear not! You can play Battletech without ever reading a single book. One particularly nice thing about the lore is that if you start feeling an affinity to one particular group, you can almost always find at least one book about them.
The Clan Invasion campaign in 2019 was Catalyst’s first step toward expanding the ‘mech lineup to include more of the existing lore, and this new Battletech: Mercenaries Kickstarter will bring us even more groups and ‘mechs to love. When I first alerted you to this campaign a few months ago, I pointed out that the Phoenix Hawk IIC would be coming. I’ve played with that new model a few times since then, and I’m even more excited to back the Kickstarter now.
What the New Release Means
Some of the highlights of the Mercenaries release are more than 50 new or revamped designs, the reintroduction of vehicles, and bringing some of the gazillion mercenary outfits to the forefront. Mercenary groups are often fan favorites, making this Kickstarter campaign even more exciting for longtime and newer fans alike. In addition, a new novel, Double Blind by Loren Coleman, will be released during the campaign and available immediately to most backers.
New lore, new ‘mechs, vehicles coming back to the game, and even an aerospace fighter – there’s something for everyone in this release. Even after Catalyst exploded onto the scene in 2018 with Battletech in its current iteration, our local group has occasionally used the ruleset from the 1980s to include someone who simply prefers to play with tanks. The Mercenaries release is particularly meaningful for him, especially if Alpha Strike rules will include tanks now.
How to Get Started
If you’ve never played Battletech before, you can start easily with a Beginner Box or The Game of Armored Combat, both of which are tailored to new players. The smallest “Recruit” tier of the Kickstarter campaign even includes a Beginner Box with some extras for only $35. Existing players or those interested exclusively in Mercenaries units can go with the Veteran or Company level to get the Mercenaries box and at least one force pack of ‘mechs. One bonus for these two levels is they include a 4″ Mad Cat model, which is absolutely not playing scale, but is ideal for display. Who doesn’t want to protect their house, desk, office, or hobby room with a four inch tall ‘mech? Different mercenary units will also be represented in swag such as pins, challenge coins, and patches.
How to Back Battletech Mercenaries
Battletech Mercenaries is live now! With individual consumer levels between $35 and a whopping $5000, you’re sure to find something that fits your budget. If you’ve played before, I hope you’re as excited as I am to back this campaign. If you’re new, I look forward to you joining a worldwide community of Battletech players young and old.
Disclaimer: the author received samples of the product in advance of the campaign.