One thing that’s impressed me is how well the creators have made the game play well at both ends of the progress curve. The way battles unfold becomes totally different, but the play remains engaging throughout.
To me, light mech play feels entirely built around motion - finding ways to dash from mineral field to forest that build evasive pips for your mechs, splitting fire to bleed pips off the second enemy you’re going to target later in the turn while devoting most ordinance to the primary target, position all your units to fire on the same facing.
Assault mech play feels like it’s all about managing visibility. In the same way I try to manage my threat level by only popping one alien pod at a time in xcom, here it’s about positioning my brawler/spotter mech so only enemy can see him, then blasting that unit with missile boats parked across the map.
To me, battletech feels at its best when each side is fielding mechs in the 45-65 tin range. Mobility is still a critical tactical factor, and jump jets are still commonly mounted and useful for evasive boosts. Mechs can mount enough ordinance to knock down enemies if they work together (solo knockdown is still hard), but have to seriously sacrifice armor to do so; similarly, in this weight class the mechs are big enough to survive a headlong charge into an enemy lance for a close-up assault, but not so big that they can safely tank on their own. I’m loving the end game content, but I think I had my most fun with the game toppling thunderbolts and quickdraws with my pack of shadow hawks.
Lastly, I would love to see an update or mod add drop weight limits to missions as another parameter that scales difficulty. This could even be fit into the current game lore, since some worlds are marked as “high-gravity” and presumably the Leopard couldn’t bring as much tonnage down safely in such a world. If I had a drop limit of, say, 200 tines, that would make me seriously reconsider keeping a couple of Jenners or Kintaros in the mech bay through the late game.