Battletech Beginer Box from Catalyst Games – Review

If you want something to play with a buddy or have some younger teens who want to try the game out this is a great gateway.

Steve Mayne

Meeple Gamers

7.5/10

Theme and What is it?

8/10
It’s the 31st century and humanity is embroiled in war across a vast galaxy. Human empires enter into engagements with thirty foot tall walking tanks called mechs. You are a hotshot pilots who controls one of these massive behemoths. Can you face off against your foes and win for your House and nation.

Battletech is a tactical miniatures combat game where you will take control of a force of mechs. Using this beginner box set you’ll learn the basics of combat and explore using different mechs, terrain types, and configurations to defeat your opponent.

Can you bring defeat your opponent? Will you win the day?

Gameplay Mechanics

7/10
Battletech is a deep game of tactical movement, combat, and resource management. In this beginner box you’ll learn a streamlined version of the rules.

Each play will receive one or more mech record sheets. Each sheet will give you the types of weapons you’ll have at your disposal, the amount of armor in each location, different movement speeds, and gunner skills.

Each round is broken into phases. These are initiative, movement, and shooting. Initiative is a simple matter of each player rolling dice to determine who will go first in each phase. The winner of the roll has initiative and go second. This gives them the ability to see how their opponent is moving or shooting and make adjustments to their plans based on this.

During the movement players move their forces. Movement is a points system based on the type of movement you’re performing. Types of movement are walking, running, and jumping. All mechs can walk and run. Only mechs with jump jets can perform the jump action. Each space you move is one point, turning costs one point per hex facing, different terrains will also affect how many points of movement required to enter the space.

In the shooting phase players will announce how each of their mechs will fire their weapons. You’ll have to pay attention to firing arcs, ammunition, and ranges. After each player has announced all of their shots then you’ll each roll to see what hits. Combat is considered simultaneous, only the target declarations are done in order.

Determining hits in combat is a simple matter of starting with your Gunnery skill and adding modifiers. These will come from how far your target moved, what kind of movement you used, and the types of terrain between your mech and your target. Once you’ve determined the target number you’ll roll to hit. Successful hits are then checked rolled on a hit location chart to determine where on the enemy mech you do damage.

You play until win conditions are met.

Initial Impressions

7.5/10
I’m a huge fan of Battletech. It was the first miniature game I ever played. Because of that I was excited to get into this game. The box felt a little empty for its size but I was happy with some of the things I found inside.

Game Build Quality

5/10
The focus of the box is really built around a couple of things. There are two miniatures in the box that are good quality. They’re made of nice plastic and the level of detail was solid.

There are eight mech record sheets. These are two different configurations for four different mechs. The sheets are nice and clear. They work well for the game though I would have preferred some blank sheets or multiple copies. It would also have been nice to have been directed to a website where you could print out new sheets. There is one but it was hard to find. I’ll include a link in the array above.

There’s a paper map for the battle board. It’s nice but previous sets have used a thick cardstock as a board. There’s nothing wrong with the paper map. I would have just preferred something a bit more durable.

Artistic Direction

8/10
The art in the game is okay. There aren’t a lot of art pictures but the graphic design for the game is pretty good. Everything was very clear and worked quite well. 

Fun Factor

8/10
This is a head to head tactical combat game. You’ll spend a lot of time facing off against one another. With this set it’s all about how you can plan against your opponent and what you can do with that. 

Conclusions

7.5/10
I still like Battletech. If you’re a fan of older version or the PC games then you’ll find somethings missing. There’s no heat build up, death from above, melee combat, or mech customization. If you like those things and want to get into battletech proper I’d skip this and go right to the full game.

However, if you’re trying to find out if you might enjoy this and want a quick way in, then this is a good way to go. It’s a twenty dollar game and it fills a nice niche. If you want something to play with a buddy or have some younger teens who want to try the game out this is a great gateway.

As always, try before you buy. Hit up your local game store or convention. Give the game a go. I think you’ll find the potential for some great afternoons. 

Before I go, just a reminder, you are important. There are people in this world who love you. We need to see your face and hear your words. Take care of yourself because you’re the only you we’ve got and the world just wouldn’t be the same without you.