Originally there were battles. Each of us would take a mech or two, we’d lay down a map, and we’d slug it out, Then we had larger and more complex battles. Then we started designing our own mechs – and found we’d pretty well hit the limits of the system. Battletech really didn’t offer anything in the way of large-scale campaigns, political maneuvering, research and development, unique technologies, economic factors, campaign objectives, or production rules. It was a lot of fun, but there was a certain lack of depth.
As usual, that led to writing more rules – Battletech, Level Four. As time permits, I’ll be posting them here. We had a lot of fun with these a few years ago: hopefully a few other people will have some fun with them as well.
WAR IS NOT FAIR.
It is the job of the military scientists, engineers, strategists, tacticians, and trainers, to make it as unfair as possible.
If your battles keep turning out to be “fair fights”, you need to fire someone.
In concession to the fact that this is a game, the “starting positions” in level four play have been set up to be fairly close to even. On the other hand, you will not find lists of combat or battle “values” here. If someone selects or comes up with better designs, a useful invention, a particularly effective combination of technologies, or simply uses his or her resources more effectively then you do, then he or she has earned that advantage. You will just have to work harder – or copy them next time.
In the same vein, you will often find yourself having to deal with grossly unbalanced battles – or simply trying to salvage what you can.
On the other hand, if you can effectively balance your needs for cash, production, political influence, military power, information, and trade, you may build your own interstellar empire.