Tempers flare as plasma cannons roar through smoke-filled battlefields. BattleMechs tear across the battlefield as pilots look for their enemies. Their mission: to destroy those who would harm the innocent and bring peace to those in need.
BattleTech is a rich and well-developed world, with expansive lore that’s been going strong for over 30 years. The problem is, it can be difficult to get into the game if you don’t know where to start!
There’s a lot to know about the BattleTech universe. There are over 1,000 unique units in the game and they all have their own quirks and strengths. That’s why I’m here – I’ve played BattleTech from the ground up and I want to help new players find their footing in this great setting.
In this review, we’ll look at the newly released Beginners Box, which will give you everything you need to start playing right out of the box. Let’s dive in!
What is in the BattleTech Beginner Box?
BattleTech is a miniature tabletop wargame based on the BattleTech universe and the BattleTech Beginner Box is a great first step into miniature wargaming. It comes with everything you need to play, and its contents are perfect for beginners.
This introductory box set is designed as the entry point into the game for new BattleTech players. The quick-start rules, which you can learn in under an hour, will have you quickly slugging it out in your thirty-foot-tall BattleMechs.
It includes 2 unpainted plastic ‘Mechs, along with eight cardboard ‘Mechs. All the ‘Mechs, plastic and punchboard, include reference sheets that show the weapons, stats, and other characteristics of the ‘Mechs.
This ready-to-play starter set also includes a double-sided map, cardboard terrain tokens for your battlefield, pilot cards with special abilities that let you spice up your gameplay, and two six-sided dice.
As a bonus, it also comes with a map of the Inner Sphere, a brief synopsis of the BattleTech Universe, and the short story “Golden Rule” by William H. Keith, Jr that gives you a glimpse into the lives of a MechWarrior.
- 2 high-quality, unpainted miniatures
- 12-page Quick-Start Rulebook
- 8 wet-erase Record Sheets
- 24 page fiction novella
- 4-page Universe Primer
- 4 Pilot Cards
- One 18” x 22” full-color paper map (double-sided)
- Punchboard of additional BattleMechs and terrain
- 2 dice
Who is the BattleTech Beginner Box for?
The BattleTech Beginner Box was designed with everyone in mind. If you are interested in tabletop gaming, wargaming, or just want to get into the BattleTech universe from another game, this is a great place to start.
You can play as one of eight legendary MechWarriors in their own unique ‘Mechs. Each character has their own special set of skills that they bring into battle – these are represented by cards that allow them to perform amazing feats during gameplay such as punching through armor or disabling an opponent’s weapon systems.
These skills will come in handy when you face off against some truly fearsome foes including vicious Warlords and deadly BattleMechs! It’ll be up to you whether your MechWarrior fights for honor or greed.
The quick-start rules are easy to learn and straightforward, having you playing in less than an hour. Even though they are a simplified version of the full BattleTech rules, the starter box will provide you many hours of fun.
The BattleTech Beginner Box is also a great product for experienced gamers who want an introduction into the world of BattleTech, or just want to get their feet wet with this new format before investing heavily in it.
My experience with the BattleTech Beginner Box
I’ve been playing BattleTech since I was a kid. When the original box set came out, it opened up my imagination to all kinds of possibilities in tabletop gaming.
The Beginner Box is no different – with its easy-to-learn rules and quick battle playtime, this game will have you hooked from your first ‘Mech roll-off. I introduced my son to wargaming with this starter box and we can’t stop playing!
The matches are pretty quick and brutal and the one scenario included in the quick-start rules is fun to play. Plus, with the punchboard Mechs and terrain, you can expand your games to make them more challenging.
The rule book also includes some of the variant rules available in the full version, allowing you to pick and choose how you play the game. And the easy-to-follow charts on the back make it convenient to have on the table, ready to use at a glance.
Now the downsides. Even though this starter box is great, there are a few things that I don’t like about it.
The first is the lack of scenarios. The one included in the rule book is just a basic deathmatch between the Mechs included in the box. While it is fun and can be expanded on with the terrain pieces and other mechs, it can get a little stale after a while. I would have preferred at least a couple of extra scenarios to add a little more variety.
The second is that it only comes with two six-sided dice. While you can play the game with only those dice, it can be a little bit of a pain. Even the rule book suggests have multi-color dice to help track the movement of each Mech, plus the two you would need for shooting.
Lastly, the double-sided map that it comes with is on regular paper. The detail is nice and it is light, but you have to be careful not to rip or tear it. I wish it would have been printed on the heavier paper that the rule book is on.
Even with those little knit-picks, the value you get with this box set is well worth it in my opinion.
Tips and strategy for new BattleTech players
The core of the game is all about rolling six-sided dice. The more you roll, the better your chance to hit or damage an opponent.
For beginners it can be a little cumbersome at first so here are some tips that will help make things easier:
- All Mechs have their own rolls for movement and combat – keep this in mind when planning out what Mechs do each turn. Also consider how far they can move while still being able to fire upon any enemy units in range (mechs don’t walk very fast).
- Keep track of where your ‘Mech’s weapons are pointing! You may think you are firing on an enemy but if you aren’t lined up right, there is no damage done.
- Use cover whenever possible but stay within line of sight. Cover will help protect your Mech from taking damage, but you can’t shoot at something if it is beyond line-of-sight (which means the enemy unit cannot be seen by any unit on your side).
- Keep your units together! Mechs do not function well on their own. In fact, they are much more effective when supporting other friendly units within line of sight and range.
- Try to keep all your weapons pointed towards one opponent until its destroyed! This is called “focus firing” because you take down one enemy before turning to another. Try to concentrate fire on Mechs that pack a lot of firepower but have less armor.
- Your pilots also have their own skills, which affect the rolls for combat related tasks – so keep an eye on them!
Why should you get the BattleTech Beginner Box?
This is a great box set for any gamer looking to get into tabletop wargaming. It has everything you need to play the game, plus it’s easy enough that anyone can learn how to play.
The value of this starter kit cannot be overstated – the Mech miniatures are great quality, the Mechwarrior cards have great artwork, and the novella it comes with definitely makes it worth the small price. And the punchboard Mechs and terrain are added bonuses.
Even if you have the BattleTech: A Game of Armored Combat main box set, the BattleTech Beginner Box would be a nice addition due to getting the two extra Mechs (even though one is a duplicate you already get in the main box) and the Mechwarrior cards. Plus, it can be used with the BattleTech Alpha Strike addon that can make the game easier and faster to play as well!
BattleTech is one of the most popular tabletop wargaming universes in existence and this is a must-buy for anyone looking to get into the hobby. If you’re someone who doesn’t know anything about Battletech or want an intro into what they do, this box set is perfect for your needs.
The price point makes it easy on the wallet and will give you hours’ worth of fun gameplay experience that can be enjoyed solo or with friends! If Alpha Strike piques your interest, check out my supreme guide to BattleTech here.
Check out our link below to get yours today!