BattleTech: Vintage Rulebooks – a review and a stroll back to my awkward teenage years

I was more than surprised this evening when I received a review copy of five different BattleTech rule sets.  Surprised and insanely happy.  Immediately I was transported to a time when acne was a real issue, Walkman’s were new tech and my revenge fantasies took place in 80 Ton, bad ass, bipedal tanks.  Of course my friends were pummeling me with their 80 ton walking tanks.  What a fun time!

Here it is folks. BattleTech. The core rules from 1987 on through 2001.  155 Megabytes of compressed ‘mech goodness. I am writing this in my office and glancing to the bookshelves on my left, I can see the original BattleTech boxed set and the BattleTech Reinforcements boxed set.

What can I say that hasn’t already been said? This is the good stuff – all scans of the originals which means that they won’t plug in to modern BattleTech. But then, they’re not supposed to.

This is the game that got me into tactical warfare. As a group of teens, we would spend hours customizing ‘mechs and then putting them in to combat against each other. I staged and participated in running campaigns while in college starting in the Spider and ending in the Awesome, which is aptly named. It’s freaking awesome.

The first manual in the series comprises rules for BattleTech, CityTech and AeroTech. Ahhh the memories. The fierce battles on the map, the fights off the map over who came up with these designs first, FASA or the folks behind Robotech.

I don’t really feel the need to review the individual books. If you’re interested, there are 20+ years worth of reviews on some of these which you can find laying about on the net. If you love the elder days of BattleTech you’ll still love it now. If you’re curious about how the game developed between ’87 and ’01 well, here’s your historical record. You can use them to play the game as it was in 1987 or simply add them to your collection.

As a youth, I spent $39.00 I think (in 1987 dollars no less, earned at $4.25/hour) on my first boxed BattleTech set and I still have it. That should tell you how much I’m enjoying these scans.    For $12.00 this easily deserves a 5 out of 5 stars.

[tags]rpg, battletech, tactical war games, mecha, PPC, review[/tags]

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