BattleTech Intro: A Game Of Armored Combat | Tabletop Board Game

I recently covered the BattleTech Beginner Box, the BattleTech tabletop board game, and compared its contents and rules to the base game. Many viewers have asked for more details on base game, "BattleTech: A Game Of Armored Combat" as a result. Okay! Because YOU requested it, let’s crack open the BattleTech tabletop board game core set, for an official introduction to the game! Let's also compare and contrast this BattleTech to it's Beginner Box.

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The Beginner Box provides a comprehensive-enough experience for a new player to do more than just get their feet wet. But if you really want the FULL tactical BattleTech tabletop board game experience, the base box is definitely worth looking into. The Base Box take the concepts introduced in the Beginner version, and adds in several more technical rules, such as tracking your mech’s heat build up, weapon allocation and critical hit locations, the inner structure of your mech that its armor protects, advanced combat options, additional consequences of damage, and more.

For those who may not be familiar with BattleTech, it’s a tactical wargame in which players command squads giant war machines called Battle Mechs, operated by courageous (some may say foolish) pilots called Mech Warriors. The game system includes details such as varying weapon ranges, heat generation, and specific hit locations - such as torso, head, arms, and leg - each having its own strategic value. The game is typically played on maps featuring pre-printed hex grids, but optional rules for hexless games are also available.

Whereas the Beginner Box included eight cardboard standees and two plastic Mechs, the Base Box include nine cardboard standees and eight plastic Mechs. These being a range of light to heavy mechs, including: BattleMasters, Awesomes, Thunderbolts, Catapults, Wolverines, a Griffin, the iconic Shadow Hawk, Commandos, and my personal all-time favorite, the Locust.

Also included in the tabletop board game are copyable record sheets for each of those Mechs, two two-sided paper hex-based maps, some additional terrain to modify those maps, two six-sided dice, a short story called “Eyestorm”, a fourteen-page Primer booklet full of flavor text about the BattleTech universe, a two-sided cardboard reference sheet listing modifiers - to-hit locations - and other roll results, eight two-sided MechWarrior cards with a different stats on each side for a total of sixteen different characters, eight two-sided Alpha Strike cards - also with different stats on each side, and a full-color 56 page rule book covering setup, movement, combat, damage resolution, heat, piloting, falling, different scenarios, and (one of my personal favorite aspects of the game) rules for constructing your own custom-made Mechs.

It would take quite a while to cover all of the rules that are introduced in the base game. So, here’s a general overview, in case you’re curious about what the base game adds into the mix. First off, the map introduces several new features such as terrain types, elevation and water, each of which will have an affect on the ability of your Mech to travel and survive.

And Mechs will have more options as they move about, such as walking forwards and backwards, running, jumping, submerging underwater, laying prone, and pivoting their torsos to widen their range.

There’s also more considerations when it comes to combat, such as more specific weapon ranges and firing arcs, elevation modifiers, and line of sight restrictions. There’s also many more options for physical combat, like kicking, punching, shoving, and the ever present Death From Above.

This is a game that has captured my imagination for over 30 years. And, thanks to the quality and comprehensiveness of this edition of the game, I suspect the major houses of the Inner Sphere will still be around, piloting giant, mechanized warriors as they battle for control of distant landscapes, thirty years from now.
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