Saturday, August 2, 2014

Battletech: How to Manage the Game - Playing with Introductory Set

Hi everyone,

Playing a practice battle with our friend Mr. E last night.  We worked on showing him the basics of the game.  He's taught us a lot about Warhammer 40K -- so we're teaching him about Battletech :)  Interesting to see how Battletech is different.

[Please check out our earlier post where we first opened up our introductory set.]

One big difference is that you have to somehow manage a fair amount of information for each mech through several turns.  Doesn't work to use dice-markers the way people do in 40K.

The game figures you'll use character sheets for that - and mark them up as the battle goes.  Here's how we have been handling that....

Battlegaming one Battletech Introductory Set How to Manage Mechs

In our battle, a good guy Atlas managed to get toe-to-toe with a bad guy Assassin.  Not a good deal for the Assassin!  (Zeus and Whitworth in the background....)

Battlegaming One Battletech Introductory Set Mech Sheet

When we played our first battle a couple of weeks ago, it got really tricky to manage the attacking phases.  In Battletech all attacks are "concurrent" - so you can't just resolve things one by one.  We got mixed up all the time.  "Did the arm get blown off that one this turn?  Or was that last turn?  Can this mech still use weapon XYZ?"

So, we came up with the idea (probably the whole world has been doing this already ??) of putting our mech sheets into plastic sleeves -- and marking off things in different colors for each turn.

Here's how the Atlas sheet looked during Turn 2....  (Orange for Turn 1 stuff; Red for Turn 2 stuff.)  We put "W" (walked); "R" (ran) or "J" (jumped) and then the number of hexes so that we could keep track of what the mech did.  W2 = walked 2.  And, we had marked the heat from the prior turn (notice that 's orange) so that we can remember whether it's updated THIS turn or whether that update is from the PRIOR turn :)

Battlegaming One Battletech Introductory Set Mech Sheet

And, here's how the Assassin's sheet is looking....  In turn 1 it had taken some arm damage (Orange), and in turn 2 it jumped 7 (J7 marked in Red).

Battlegaming One Battletech Introductory Set Mech Sheet

Then, we had some lucky dice rolling for the Atlas....  Hit with its Autocannon 20.  Where did it hit?  Worst case for the Assassin!!!

Battlegaming One Battletech Introductory Set Close Combat

Battlegaming One Battletech Introductory Set Close Combat

With the whiteboard markers + the plastic sleeves, two people had no trouble managing a battle of 26 mechs.  We had about 8 colors of pens.  But, it would probably have been OK if we had only 4 colors - we could have rotated through....

The big question....  Are there even better ways to manage this?  Trying to do it without using a computer - but maybe that's best.  Would appreciate any suggestions or ideas.


  1. I'm just starting out with BT myself and am using dice (D6) to show the movement modifier for the mech by placing the D6 next to the mech with the 1,2 or 3 uppermost when that mech has moved. It's a useful tip I picked up from watching Ouchies BatReps on YouTube.

  2. This is such a cool idea. What really strikes as better about this is that it's visual and on the table. Have heard that some people are using different colors to show Walk vs. Run vs. Jump.

    Thanks for the suggestion of Ouchies BatReps - will check those out. (Also looking for a solution to remember torso twists)