BattleTech – A Beginner’s Guide

Harebrained Schemes’ recently released BattleTech is an adaptation of Jordan Weisman’s tabletop game and as such has a pretty complex and, some may say, confusing ruleset. This fact is exacerbated by the game’s apparently lackluster tutorial that doesn’t do a particularly stellar job of explaining the mechanics.

And so in order to clear some things up, instead of equipping the game with a detailed manual like in the good old days, the game’s publishers at Paradox Interactive have sponsored this PCGamesN article that does its best to explain some of BattleTech’s intricacies. For example:

Shoot what you see

Line of sight is a key part of BattleTech and is a little more complicated here than in most other tactical games. At its most basic, if you can see an enemy in BattleTech you can shoot at it. This doesn’t just go for the mech with eyes on the target, but every mech on your team.

Say you’ve sent a light mech scouting ahead and they get sight on the enemy. If any of the mechs further back are equipped with long-range missiles (LRMs) and are in range, they can fire at the enemy target, even though they can’t see it themselves.

It’s also handy to know that you might not need to be directly looking at a mech to ‘see’ it. Every mech is kitted out with sensors that can detect enemy units within a wide radius around them – detected mechs appear as red outlines on the battlefield.

If a pilot who has the Sensor Lock skill detects an enemy mech then they can reveal it to the rest of the lance even if they can’t see it with their eyes. Put a pilot with Sensor Lock in a light mech and you have a scout that can sprint ahead and spot targets without even showing themselves to the enemy.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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