BattleTech Mercenaries

BattleTech Mercenaries is a format design both for quick casual games and for multi round events. It is a scenario based format where each player controls 4 Mercenary BattleMechs will do what needs to be done to earn their pay!

This system is based mainly on the BattleTech Championship Circuit (BTCC) Format by the Catalyst Demo Team.

Level oF Play

First start by deciding what level of rules you’d like to use. This will determine the BV and BattleMechs avaliable. The format uses a rough era for game play and does not require the selection of a particular year. All BV costs may be found on the Master Unit List

Level of Rules and EquipmentBVEraMUL Link
Beginners (Level 0) – Beginners Box(No BV – up to 225 Tons)3005-3049MUL
Introductory (Level 1) – BattleTech A Game of Armoured Combat 5000 (OR up to 225 Tons)3005-3049MUL
Standard (Level 2) – Total WarFare/TechManual OR BattleMech Manual OR Clan Invasion Box65003050-3067MUL
Advanced (Level 3) – Tactical Operations (Advanced Units and Equipment).65003067-3152MUL

Construction Rules

BattleTech Mercenaries uses a simple and quick force construction system. You can build forces using the Master Unit List Force Builder.

  • Forces must consist of exactly 4 BattleMechs (No Superheavy ‘Mechs, ProtoMechs, Vehicles or Infantry units).
  • BattleMechs must be selected from the Mercenary Faction Master Unit List, linked in the above table PLUS any unit found in the following documents (note at Level 1 play only Introductory Technology units may be selected. At Standard Level 2 play, any of the units may be selected.
  • BattleTech Force Packs Record Sheets – Wave One
  • BattleTech Force Packs Record Sheets – Wave Two
  • BattleTech Force Pack Record Sheets – Wolf’s Dragoons
  • BattleTech A Game of Armored Combat
  • BattleTech Beginners Box (either version)
  • BattleTech Clan Invasion
  • Each Force may include 1 Force Commander. They may be purchased with a skill of up to Gunnery 2/Piloting 3 – BV cost for the Force Commander can be found by multiplying the base BV cost by the Skill Multiplier in the table below.
  • There should be no more than a difference of 2 between Piloting and Gunnery Skill.
  • All other MechWarriors have a fixed skill of Gunnery 4/Piloting 5 which can’t be changed).
  • Well Rounded Pilots – After all BattleMechs have been purchased, subtract 1 from the Gunnery and Piloting Skill of all 4 MechWarriors. NO ADDITIONAL BV COST IS REQUIRED FOR THIS!
  • The Master Unit List is always the final authority on BV costs overriding any other source
  • (OPTIONAL) If playing Beginner or Introductory Level Games and do not want to use BV, instead each force can be chosen to have a maximum tonnage of 225. In this case the Force Commander has a Gunner 2/Piloting 3 and other MechWarriors a Gunnery 3 and Piloting 4.

Game Rules

These rules are suggested for event style play but can be used in casual as well.

  • At the start of each game players should share their force list, BV calculations and Record Sheets with opponents.
  • Record sheets may be either paper or may be in e-format (e.g. mark up PDF’s on a tablet [Phones are realistically too small], or applications such as the official Tactical Ap or Flechs.). Players must show their record sheets to opponents on request.
  • All dice should always be rolled in matched pairs, multiple dice test can be rolled for but it must be clearly indicated before the roll what each set of dice are for.
  • All games take place on either two 16×17 hex map sheets or one 32×17 Battle Mat
  • At the start of the game players either choose or are assigned (by the event organiser) a scenario. Deployment edges are alway the long (32 hex) map sheet edge. Player roll their first initiative roll. The player who wins initiative chooses the map edge they enter on. Units enter the map sheet using movement points as per normal game play and can enter using any valid movement mode. Only numbered hexes are in use.
  • If a players initiatives actions which result their own unit leaving the play area (e.g. skid, sideslip) then that unit is destroyed.
  • If a player initiates an action which results in the opponents unit being displaced (e.g. Push, Charge, Death from Above) they opponents unit may only me displaced into a valid, numbered hex, and may not be displaced out of game play. (This includes forced displacement due to domino effect/breaking stacking limits)
  • Games are always 8 turns long. If one force is eliminated before turn 8, gameplay continues until the end of turn 8 to allow the opponent to complete objectives.
  • Players should agree between themselves a method of recording attack declarations, which may be notes or verbally.
  • All types of munitions available to units as per the game level being played, but must be record on sheets.
  • Pre-Game Ammo Dumping: players may start the game with less ammo than is listed on their sheet. They must remove all ammo in a bin, or crit slot, if they wish to use this option
  • There is no painting requirement. Units may be proxied as long as the opponent is aware of this. Cardboard stand ins from sets are allowed in place of miniatures.
  • UrbanMech plushies are optional – but may not load Davey Crocket Arrow IV munitions.

Bolt Ons

Bolt ons are extra options you can select for your game:

Alternate Forced Withdrawal

Any unit that has suffered crippling damage (pg. 258, TW) must withdraw from the battlefield and attempt to exit the map on the side nearest its controlling player. A unit must always move towards its controlling player’s board edge and always use the maximum MP possible that is allotted for the chosen movement selection, walking/running/jumping. Units crippled, shut down, or whose pilot is unconscious on the battlefield at the end of the game are counted as crippled/destroyed.

Fire For Effect

Declaration of weapons fire is not separate from firing a unit’s weapons. Using initiative and the unequal number of units rules, as usual, each player chooses a unit or units and then declares and fires all of those unit’s weapons. The next player in initiative order then does the same for one or more of their units. Weapons fire is still considered simultaneous. A unit destroyed during a phase will still be able to declare and use its attacks in that phase before being removed at the end of the phase.

BattleMech Manual Optional Rules

Use some or all of the optional rules in the BattleMech Manual.

  • Sprinting (Optional) [BMM pg 14]
  • Backwards Level Changes (Optional) [BMM pg 15]
  • Partially Occupied Hexes (Optional) [BMM Pg 16]
  • Careful Stand (Optional) [BMM pg 19]
  • Expanded Arm Flipping (Optional) [BMM pg 25]
  • One-Armed Prone Fire (Optional) [BMM pg 30]
  • Floating Criticals (Optional) [BMM pg 45]
  • Engine Explosions (Optional) [BMM pg 47]
  • Expanded Damage Modifiers (Optional) [BMM pg 53]
  • Forced Withdrawal and Broken Morale (Simplified Optional) [BMM pg 81]

Combined Arms

Choose to allow supporting Combat Vehicles and Infantry as per the rules in Total WarFare. Scenarios that reference BattleMechs – still only refer to BattleMechs.

  • Combat Vehicles – Increase BV by 1000. Player may include up to 2 Combat Vehicles.
  • Infantry – Increase BV by 500. Players may include up to 4 Infantry Units (Either Conventional Platoons (no Squads) or Battle Armor Squads. All Battle Armor is taken in Squads of 4. Conventional Infantry are taken with the numbers suggested for standard Inner Sphere organisation.
  • BV cost – as with BattleMechs all units BV are calculated will Gunnery 4 and Drive/Anti-Mech* 5, but then both skills are subtracted by 1 with no additional BV cost (*If infantry have an Anti-Mech skill of 8 due to not having an Anti-Mech kit, it remains at 8 and is not reduced. Units with no valid Anti-Mech skill e.g. Mechanised Infantry still set their skill at 6 for BV calculations)

BattleField Support Points

Either using the BattleField Support Deck or rules in the BattleMech Manual, players may select 3 points of BattleField Support Points.

Force Commander Special Pilot Abilities (SPA)

Players may for the Force Commander only – may use of a Hero card found on Cards in the Force Packs.

Optionally – players may make their own Force Commanders. Veteran Force Commanders residence 1 level 1 SPA. Elite Force Commanders receive 1 x 1 point SPA and 1 x 2 point SPA (or a second 1 point SPA). SPA’s can be taken from any rules supplement (e.g. Campaign Operation, Tamar Rising, Empire Divided or character cards).

Quirks

Players may use the Quirk rules as found in the BattleMech Manual or Campaign Operations.

Formations

Pages 56-68 of Campaign Operations cover the creation and use of Formations using the Total Warfare ruleset. In this optional rule, all units in a player’s force must be organized using the formation rules, and they receive the bonus abilities listed there.

Artillery (Advanced Rules)

Players may select one unit that carriers an Artillery weapon. This unit must be deployed on the table. Alternatively in Stardard Play the Arrow IV simplified rules may be used from the BattleMech Manual.


Scenarios

Roll randomly or choose your scenario.

Roll (1d6)Scenario
1King of the Hill
2Gauntlet
3Control
4No-Mans Land
5Destroy
6Container Rush

Scenario 1 – King of the Hill

”Take that hill and hold!”

Setup

Place a marker on the centre most map hex on the table.

Objectives (Max 500)

50 Points Per Friendly BattleMech which is not Crippled, ShutDown, or MechWarrior Knocked Out within range 6 of the centre marker at the end of turn 8.

50 Points Per Enemy BattleMech which is Crippled at the end of turn 8.

100 Points have more Friendly BattleMechs which I are not Crippled, ShutDown, or MechWarrior Knocked Out within range 6 of the centre marker at the end of turn 8 than the opponent.

Special Rules

Forced Withdrawal on Crippling Damage is in effect.


Scenario 2 – Gauntlet

”Get our special ops teams through the enemy lines!”

Setup

Each player has control of two Heavy Tracked APC’s with Machine Guns.

Objectives (Max 500)

50 Points Per Enemy BattleMech Crippled, ShutDown, or MechWarrior Knocked Out at the end of turn 8.

50 Points per Friendly APC which exits the map via the opponents deployment edge before the end of turn 8.

50 Points per Enemy APC which does not exit the map via the opponents deployment edge before the end of turn 8.

100 Points Have exited the map with more APC’s via the opponents deployment edge that the opponent has.

Special Rules

Forced Withdrawal on Crippling Damage is in effect.

Simplified Vehicle Rules – If playing Beginner or Introductory Rules the ignore all automotive damage and critical hits to vehicles. Vehicles are 1 level tall and use the BattleMech Firing Arcs and facings for taking damage (Left arm becomes Left Side, Right Arm becomes Right Side). Vehicles double the cost of each elevation change e.g. moving up from level 0 to level 1 costs +2MP instead of +1 MP.


Scenario 3 – Control

”Capture and hold the control points”

Setup

Place a control point marker on the centre most map hex on the table. Place a control point marker 8 hexes north, south, east and west of the centre hex.

Objectives (Max 500)

50 Points Per Enemy BattleMech Crippled, ShutDown, or MechWarrior Knocked Out at the end of turn 8.

100 Points for securing the control point closest to the opponents deployment edge.

50 Points per other Control Point Secured at the end of turn 8.

(When using Beginners or Introductory Rules you may use Tonnage in place of BV)

Special Rules

Forced Withdrawal on Crippling Damage is in effect.

Secure Control Point – In the end phase of each turn, add the total BV for all friendly units within range 3 of a control point. If greater than the total BV for all enemy units within range 3 of the control point then remove any secure markers on the objective and place a secure marker for your force.


Scenario 4 – No-Mans Land

”Advance!”

Setup

The map is divided into three zones. For each player, their Friendly Zone is the first 6 hex from the friendly deployment edge. No-mans land is the next 5 hexes. The Enemy zone is the last 6 hexes.

Objectives (Max 500)

50 Points Per Enemy BattleMech Crippled, ShutDown, or MechWarrior Knocked Out at the end of turn 8.

50 At the end of turn 8 have more total BV in the Friendly Zone.

100 At the end of turn 8 have more total BV in the No-mans land Zone.

150 At the end of turn 8 have more total BV in the Enemy Zone.

(When using Beginners or Introductory Rules you may use Tonnage in place of BV)

Special Rules

Forced Withdrawal on Crippling Damage is in effect.


Scenario 5 – Destroy

”Seek-out and destroy the enemy targets”

Setup

Each player places 4 level 1 CF40 Medium buildings anywhere within 6 hexes of their deployment edge, and at least 3 hexes apart.

Objectives (Max 500)

50 Points Per Enemy BattleMech Crippled, ShutDown, or MechWarrior Knocked Out at the end of turn 8.

50 Points Per Enemy objective building destroyed by the end of turn 8.

100 Points have destroyed more objective enemy buildings than the opponent.

Special Rules

Forced Withdrawal on Crippling Damage is in effect.

Objective Buildings – When destroyed the buildings explode causing an area of effect attack causing 40 damage (range 0)/ 30 damage (range 1)/ 20 damage (Range 2)/ 10 damage (range 3). Units in the same hex as the objective take damage to the forward facing. Damage is delivered in 5 point groups. Other units take damage based on the direction of the objective building from the unit. [Beginners/Introductory rules – buildings are treated like basic hills terrain allowing any unit to stand on them, can’t be walked through]


Scenario 6 – Container Rush

”Grab as many containers as possible.”

Setup

Place a container park marker at the centre of the each 16×17 hex map sheets and one at the exact centre of the battlefield.

Place a drop point marker 8 hexes north and south of the central container park.

Objectives (Max 500)

50 Points Per Enemy BattleMech Crippled, ShutDown, or MechWarrior Knocked Out at the end of turn 8.

50 Points per Container which is collected and then dropped at the Drop Point closest to the friendly deployment edge (max 200)

100 Points having more containers at the Drop Point closest to the friendly deployment edge than the opponent has in their Drop Point closest to the enemy deployment edge

Special Rules

Forced Withdrawal on Crippling Damage is in effect.

Container Damage – Containers can take 20 damage points before being destroyed. Containers can’t be targeted directly by enemy attacks.

Pick Up Container – In the Physical Phase a BattleMech standing in either a Container park hex, Drop Point Hex or a hex where a container was dropped, may attempt to pick up a container. Make a Piloting Skill Roll at a -1 modifier, further modified by the number of missing or damage hand, lower, upper or should actuators.

Carry Container – While carrying a Container a BattleMech can’t use any Torso or Arm weapons (except rear facing weapons), or engage in punch or push attacks. Units carrying BattleMechs move at -1 Walking MP (recalculate running MP), and may not jump.

Drop Container – During the Physical Phase a BattleMech may place down a container with it taking no damage. Any BattleMech that fails a Piloting Skill Roll and falls drops the container 1 hex away in the direction that the mech fell.

Container Shield – While carrying a container any hits to the Left, Right or Central Torso instead hit the container (but not hits to the rear).

Container Club – During the Physical Phase, containers can be used as Clubs as per standard club rules. Each time a container does damage to a unit, the container also takes that amount of damage.

Container Toss – During the Physical Phase, Containers may be thrown at enemy BattleMechs. Make a Piloting Skill Roll with a modifier for range (1/2/3) to hit. Containers do damage equal to the amount of damage they have remaining. Containers that are tossed are automatically destroyed.

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