Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, my cousin Steve in Oklahoma started sending my brother and I all of his Battletech stuff, among other things. He was growing out of it, and knew that we would be totally into it, so he just started sending stuff over. In addition to getting the original version of the Battletech Tabletop game and probably 20-30 of the original 80’s plastic minis, he also sent us a ton of Star Trek TCG cards, the entire Robotech: Macross Saga on about 30 bootleg VHS tapes, and all sorts of other classic 80’s nerdy RPG stuff and PC games (see the video games page for some of the actual disks). I wish I had most of it, and I think some of it still may be in storage at my parents house. It will turn up some day I’m sure. The Star Trek cards I donated to a good friend in my weekly Pathfinder gaming group and her husband since they are huge Trekkies. I still have the CHS tapes in the garage. And the video games are in the storage container my Dad brought me that is full of all my classic 80s and 90s PC games I grew up playing.
Anyway, we grew up trying to play Battletech Tabletop, but never really properly learned the rules. We mostly spread out the hex mat and used the minis to wage all sorts of battles without any rules. We may have also incorporated them into Torpedo Run, Crossfire, Crossbows and Catapults, and Weapons and Warriors among other games. We never did really play the original Mechwarrior (RPG).
Because we were really into Battletech as kids, I always wanted to come back and really learn the game as an adult. It’s kind of been an obsession of mine, and I finally have the means to collect everything and learn the games. I’m now working on learning the rules to run both “Classic Battletech” (Catalyst’s new name for original tabletop Battletech) and “A Time of War” (The new name for the updated “Mechwarrior” RPG). The two games work together, in that your RPG game character can be used in actual tabletop gameplay, and if he’s a Mechwarrior then his bonuses/stats take effect in the game.
The new RPG is called A Time of War. It’s the updated version of the original Battletech RPG which was called “Mechwarrior”.
The tabletop game now has a new version out from Catalyst called the “Introductory Box Set“. It contains the basic rules, maps, 25 plastic minis that are fairly high quality, dice…pretty much everything you need to get started playing a basic game. You can then get the additional sourcebooks to expand the game. I started off my re-entry into the world of Battletech with the Intro Box ordered from Amazon, and picked up the core rulebook “Total Warfare” from Amazon as well, and the “Tech Manual” I lucked out finding a basically brand new copy on Craigslist locally for $20!
I then picked up a set from The Army Painter, the Mega Paint Set III. I’ve been using this to paint my mini’s. Also picked up some ground cover/foliage from Hobby Lobby, and just used a coat of primer on them first. It’s been fun learning to paint minis, but extremely challenging!
I also 3D printed a set of the house sigils from all the major houses. I found the file for this set on Thingiverse, and they printed surprisingly easy. I have them primed and ready for paint as well.
Finally, I lucked out in being able to rebuild and far surpass my original Battletech collection with this one score on Craigslist. I was originally just looking for an original Battletech tabletop game in the box. I had found a few on ebay, but then I discovered SearchTempest.com, and used that to search Craigslist all over the US. I lucked out in finding a guy in Oregon selling a huge lot of original Battletech stuff. The original game box, a few other additional game resources, and tons of other source books and other content. I lucked out on the entire set for $60 shipped! He had apparently come across the entire collection at a local library having a sale of donated stuff, and got it all for like $20. This one score knocked out almost half of the original FASA Battletech content and related source material. I’ve got a checklist running that I cross off everything as I get it, and keep a list of what is left to collect. Take a look at everything I’ve got in the album below, and if you want scans or have any questions, just leave me a comment!
Oh, and one of the coolest things in this entire collection was the notes that were left from the original owner. He had printed out hundreds of pages of Mech Stat sheets on an old line feed printer. There are pages for every single type of mech, some filled out. Lists of Lances, members, mechs, and even a map for a game he was running. I found a name and phone number scrawled in one of the books too, was thinking of trying it out and seeing if I can dig up any history on this awesome collection! See the pics for some of the notes that I found.