One of my biggest criticisms of Battletech: Total Warfare was that it was huge. At 312 pages, not only was it physically heavy, it was hard to get through. While it contained literally every rule you could imagine, that was also its main problem.
I can appreciate having submarine rules, but I’m not going out and buying minis to build a campaign where I have submarines, tanks, hovercars, and non combat ‘Mechs. Just give me two full lances of big ‘Mechs to smash.
With the BattleMech Manual, it takes the core rules of ‘Mech usage and places them in one easy to read, 147 page book, complete with every table you need, rulesets, faqs, weapon arrays, maneuverability aids, physical weapon stats, flamethrowers, tons of special rules, how to handle Urban Combat, weather conditions, what to do if your leg gets blown off…you know, all the normal things you’d need in a game where two teams of ‘Mech’s take on each other.
Navigating the book is just as simple as Total Warfare, though gone are the narrative sections that introduce each chapter. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as this is meant to be a quick reference.
There’s not much to say about this book that isn’t covered elsewhere, so I’ll make it quick. This is a great supplemental book. The artwork is fantastic, the sections are brief enough to reference and move on, and it’s lighter than every other sourcebook I’ve read for Battletech and other games. I’m also really happy this is a hardcover, because I feel like a softcover would just get damaged. This feels like a book that should be on every Battletech table.
If I were to dig for a negative, I’d say maybe the price point ($40 USD) is a lot for this light book, especially when the core set is twenty dollars more, gives you these rules along with so much more.
Randy is a designer, nerd, and mini painter. He's been painting since 2015, and has learned a lot in his time! Come with him as he continues to push his craft forward, always down to try new techniques, tools, and paints!
BattleTech: Battlemech Manual
The BattleMech Manual is really all you need when looking for a quick reference guide. It’s well written, well designed, and lightweight. Can’t complain.