BATTLETECH,,,,, It's good


I have been playing Ironman mode and I just had the Leopard smash two of my 'mechs when landing for a pick up. Killing my best pilot, and knocking the MC out for like 100+ days. Few things have taken the wind out of my sails as fast as that did.

Turns out there was some sort of red dot when moving according to googling about this issue, I dunno if I missed it because I am colorblind. I certainly wasn’t checking for it though, because I didn’t know the Leopard would show up that round, or kill my peeps.

RIP Saber.



Hi everyone, baby Mechwarrior here that finally picked this game up.

I wanted ask for some tips on tactics during engagements. I’ve finished the the Prison Break mission, so I’m still pretty early in. I’m finding that I’m struggling with juggling the 3-4 mech lances that I’m encountering at this point. My mechs are losing armor and then getting ruthlessly hunted down by this AI. I lost Glitch to a stupid mission last night and I’m bummed.

I’m getting the sense that I’m being too aggressive in many engagements, so I wanted to check in how experienced players are tackling engagements. I understand the mechanics of melting armor to attack components as well as using missiles to stack stability damage to an extent.

Currently, my team is an SRM/M Laser Shadowhawk, a Quickdraw loaded with SRMs, a Vindicator with LRM’s and a PPC, and an SRM Centurion or Blackjack with Lasers and an AC. (I built a lot of these so there’s a really good chance that I’m building these mechs all wrong.)

Thanks in advance!


You’ve got a good stable of mechs (base lance plus a Quickdraw is 100% legit for Prison Break). But it also sounds like you might be advancing too quickly rather than defeating each lance as you encounter it. Taking out (or crippling) foes as quickly as you can is crucial.

That said, 3-4 enemy lances per mission seems a bit high. What skull difficulty are you generally taking, and have you been focusing on any particular mission type?


Sorry, it’s just one lance of 3-4 mechs. The missions are two skulls right now.


My top tip is to really commit to focusing down individual mechs. In games like XCOM and Into the Breach and Fire Emblem, you often do a sort of pairing-off (or at least a splitting of your forces) because there’s generally too many enemies on the board to focus everything you have on a single target.

BattleTech will punish you for that, in a big way, especially early on when you don’t have the heaviest of artillery and armor. So, when that lance pulls up, identify two things: 1. Who can you take out quickest? 2. Who is your biggest threat?

There’s a bit of gutcheck math involved after that, in determining whether it makes sense to crush (for instance) the light weight Panther or to try to focus fire down the larger mech that your real fear is, but in my experience, especially early on, it makes more sense to swat the little flies ASAP. The sooner you can take an enemy off the board, the sooner you have control of the fight’s momentum and the lower the chances of a really unlucky hit (headshot, core punch, knockdown) ruining your day.


Work the angles. Rather than spraying damage all over enemy mechs and letting their armor soak up your shots piecemeal, if you can hit an enemy mech hard from one flank with multiple of your own turns, you can take off it’s main armament/topple it by one leg and cripple it’s mobility/evasion. Similarly, once one of your mechs gets real battered, face the injured side away from the enemy so that your intact flank is still soaking up damage on the fresh armor.

You can wait to choose an enemy flank to focus on, positioning permitting, after first salvos once you see what leg or shoulder torso an AC/5 hit or PPC has opened wide up for an easy target. The math of hitting 11 frontal areas or 4 side areas means… your damage on the side is going to be much more concentrated at stripping those areas of that mech. It’s about finding or making a vulnerable chink in their armor, then levering your chisel into it with as much force as you can muster. There’s no kill like overkill.

Consider activation priority–how many of your mechs will get to go before this enemy target gets to move again and refresh its evasion pips? If one enemy mech overextended, punish that one hard with 5, 6 attacks to take out a leg, or use your called shot to knock it back in initiative order so that it won’t go first when all the other mechs its weight class are going and you can really double-initiative-round pummel it. Don’t burn your sensor lock on someone who’s about to go again. If you don’t have any sensor lockers left on your team and you really need to burn evasion, consider multi-targeting a single extra shot on that evasive mech

Before you let loose with your autocannon or large laser or PPC, remember–every pip of evasion you can remove drastically increases the value proposition of those big-chunk weapons. Also, 50 damage from 2 small lasers might look better weight and heat-wise than 50 damage from a PPC, but a PPC makes much more impactful progress towards stripping a single enemy body part of armor and rendering them vulnerable to real hits than the 2 lasers hitting different body parts.

Have designated roles for your mechs: brawler who runs hot and alternates alpha strikes with punches to cool off? LRM boat? Mid-range, long-range sniper? Stock loadouts are rarely optimal. When you’re building, investing some spare weight in armor is often the safe call, especially on front line mechs–optimizing for “most alpha strike damage output” won’t keep you alive in the grueling attrition matches or keep you from overheating on a lunar map. I tend to run my mechs a little too hot for comfort, but having some decent heat management capabilities and extra armor will really keep your mechs in the longer slugging matches of missions much more sustainable, even if you are sacrificing the chance to max out all of your Hunchback’s laser hardpoints with medium lasers and light up the enemy mechs like they’re at a rave.


It’s also worth noting that if you’re struggling with a SRM/LRM heavy lance you are probably not focusing on flank shots on individual 'Mechs enough. LRMs are barely a damage source - instead, they are a decent source of Stability Damage, which makes 'mechs fall over. This is a tactic that has its place (especially for salvage, or temporary threat mitigation).

I would also worry about ammunition on the longer story missions. I quite like SRMs but I don’t depend on them.

'Mechs have 11 different independent armor locations and the problem with SRM/LRM volleys is that the individual missiles will be randomly allocated between the available armor. If you’re hitting from the rear arc, that’s good, because there’s only 3 armor panels. From the side, also not too bad, with 4 armor panels to hit, and they’re all high-value panels. From the front, it’s pretty bad, because missiles fired at the front arc will chip away at eight armor locations, and one of them is an extremely rare one to hit. This means that instead of making the enemy 'Mech walk into a hail of gunfire, they’re more walking through a sandstorm - if it goes on long enough, they will erode, but it’s better to focus your damage.

As a rule, in BATTLETECH you will always be out-numbered and the way you win is by proceeding cautiously, methodically. Every turn in combat should be an exercise in evaluating “what enemy piece can I remove from the board while taking a minimum amount of risk.” Like Austin said, this often means finding enemy 'Mechs or Combat Vehicles with high threat-to-durability ratios. The SRM Carrier/LRM Carrier vehicle, for example, is a nightmare but has less than 200 armor total so it should always be a high-priority target. The Jaegermech is typically equipped with less than 600 armor points on a platform with 4 autocannons, making it a glass cannon. With practice you’ll learn to evaluate these threads instinctively.

As a starter hint, your highest priority in any given turn should probably be to remove any AC/20s from the enemy.

If there’s no exceptional threat on the board in a given turn your priority should be to attack the weakest available enemy with whatever is available while managing your evasion/cover/armor facing to your best advantage.


Austin, thanks a ton for the response!

I’m realizing that I haven’t been focusing down on weaker/vulnerable enemies. I definitely had missions where I split my 4 mech lance up into two to flank. I had some success flanking when I was running a Locust in the team, but it hasn’t worked without the mobility light mechs have.

I watched a video on this tactic the other day and I’ve been trying to internalize this in my head. I’ve been getting better about attacking from the back or sides when the option is available.

I definitely need to work on this. I have a habit of taking PPC potshots and it doesn’t work really well. During the Grim Sybil mission, I used my other mechs to take down her evasion pips and then cored her Quickdraw with a high percentage PPC shot.

@dogsarecool, my lance is really SRM heavy right now. I’ve been thinking about revamping the weapons on some of them, but of course that takes time out of doing missions, losing money etc. I’ll probably work on adding some lasers or AC’s to the mix.

A Trebuchet missile boat absolutely ruined my mission where I lost Glitch. I didn’t realize how much it was affecting my choices until I was down a mech.

Thanks to everyone for the help! I’m taking a day or two off to mourn Glitch and then diving back in with fresh ideas.


Something else that’s not immediately apparent is realizing when you should just bail on a mission before things go south. Early on if you take a battle mission against 2 fully armored lances and the second one spawns close enough that they’re going to engage before you’ve taken care of the first one, it’s probably better to just bad faith withdraw. Also prioritize getting bulwark and staying in cover if you have survivability issues, it’s the best t1 skill and the only source of damage reduction that scales linearly with mech size and enemy count.


The counterpoint to this, of course, is that when you’ve got armor-stripped locations, the missile swarms have a better chance of getting multiple hits (and therefore multiple crit chances). Crack the shell with your focused damage like ACs and PPCs, and extract the meat using the missile swarms.

That’s one of BTech’s main drivers - sometimes you’re not going to get the win. Know when to fold 'em.

(Although in the situation that @imweasel09 mentions, I’d try to take out one of their lights if possible, to get a good faith withdrawal if I can.)


This is such a wild concept to me. I didn’t know there were good faith withdrawals! I just had to look that up.


It’s definitely one of the things that could be tutorialized better.


Honestly the missions where I realize what hot water I’m in and have to try to achieve one goal to get good faith before pulling the ripcord are some of the most tense and fun missions, I find. I wish that more missions set up “get in, accomplish the goal, and evac” better, so that the entire board was cleared by the time the evac zone spawns.


Just cleared the dropship story mission on Panzyr. Came down to the last turn where I was able to jump my Centurion on a wall to hit an alpha strike on the control room.

After watching some videos and reading the responses here, I’m realizing I also wasn’t using my pilot skills particularly well. Leaving a pilot with bulwark in cover can be better then moving them out into the open for evasion pips sometimes.


I think one pip of evasion is 10%? Cover is 25/50% damage reduction? You’d, generally speaking, need to gain 3 pips of evasion before giving up cover is worth considering. 5 pips would only match a pilot with Bullwark and then get worse after each progressive volley.

I understand that getting hit opens up risks compared to evading them completely, but I found it a good rule of thumb.


Losing bulwark for evasion pops is almost never worth it. Bulwark is a flat 40% reduction in cover that goes to 60 if you also guard. Evasion is 10% miss chance per stack that reduces by 1 stack each time you are shot at. Since it’s based on distance traveled your bigger and better mechs also gain fewer stacks as you progress the campaign. Battletech is a game where you are frequently taking more attacks than you are doing even if it’s from piddly lrm 5s halfway across the map making evasion scale really badly. There just isnt a good other way to cope with the volume of fire you take on some missions besides having your entire lance basically take half damage.


It’s amazing how helpful reading the actual percentages could be. I was just trying to fire and maneuver my way through missions and it really wasn’t working well.

Getting absolutely blasted by SRM carriers has taught me this lesson.

I ran a mission the other day where I basically sat 3 of my 4 mechs in a forest for nearly the entire mission. Took some LRM fire, but I ended up with only one needing any repairs at all. Before, I was ending missions with all 4 mechs taking major damage and losing multiple components.


I haven’t played the game in about six months, and I just started a new career mode game last night. It got me to thinking, "what if all my mechs are damaged and I have no money to fix them?”

Can you go into debt? If all your 'mechs are out of commission and you have no money, is it game over?

Does anyone know?


You have to sortie with them damaged, if your cash hits 0 it’s game over.