This game has always fascinated me, and I’ve never played it. However, with the quick-start rules for the latest edition, this is going to change. Battletech: A Time of War advances the timeline to the year 3077 in what is arguably one of the most detailed intellectual properties in the science fiction genre. A cursory search will yield the decades of sourcebooks which came before it and the shelf of novels that you can immerse yourself in (and steal ideas from).
This free PDF offers a fairly in-depth explanation of the basic rules (they take up most of the document) and there are plenty of quick-reference tables for the novice to refer to throughout gameplay. It is clear that Catalyst thought very carefully about this product, and the high production values, catchy art and design layout are all of the quality I’ve come to expect. The character sheets are straightforward and punchy and come with some neat character art for each of the PC’s (of which there are four). The only problem is that scenario provided is only two pages long, but an enterprising GM could easily turn the premise into a few nights of fun. Also, given the amount of rules in here, you could play a few basic games and really get a feel for the game before investing the rulebook (which after reading the quick-start, I’ll be doing).
[4 of 5 Stars!]