BattleTech is a wargaming
A wargame is a strategy game that deals with military operations of various types, real or fictional. Wargaming is the hobby dedicated to the play of such games, which can also be called conflict simulations, or consims for short. When used professionally to study warfare, it is generally known as...

 and science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 franchise launched by FASA Corporation in 1984, acquired by WizKids
WizKids, Inc. is an American New Jersey-based company that first made its mark in the game industry producing collectible miniatures wargames. WizKids was purchased by and is a subsidiary of National Entertainment Collectibles Association. The company was founded in 2000 by Jordan Weisman, a...

 in 2000, and owned since 2003 by Topps
The Topps Company, Inc., manufactures chewing gum, candy and collectibles. Based in New York, New York, Topps is best known as a leading producer of baseball cards, football cards, basketball cards, hockey cards and other sports and non-sports themed trading cards.-Company history:Topps itself was...

. The series began with FASA's debut of the board game BattleTech
Classic BattleTech
Classic BattleTech is a table-top wargame set in the fictional BattleTech universe that simulates combat between futuristic mechanized forces. Originally published by FASA Corporation, the game is now produced by Catalyst Game Labs under license from WizKids...

 (originally named Battledroids) by Jordan Weisman
Jordan Weisman
Jordan Weisman is an American game designer, author, and serial entrepreneur who has founded four major game design companies, each in a different game genre and segment of the industry.-Biography:...

 and L. Ross Babcock III and has since grown to include numerous expansions to the original game, several computer and video games, a collectible card game
Collectible card game
thumb|Players and their decksA collectible card game , also called a trading card game or customizable card game, is a game played using specially designed sets of playing cards...

, a series of more than 100 novels, an animated television series
Television program
A television program , also called television show, is a segment of content which is intended to be broadcast on television. It may be a one-time production or part of a periodically recurring series...

 and more.

Original game

Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

-based FASA Corporation's original, 1984 BattleTech
Classic BattleTech
Classic BattleTech is a table-top wargame set in the fictional BattleTech universe that simulates combat between futuristic mechanized forces. Originally published by FASA Corporation, the game is now produced by Catalyst Game Labs under license from WizKids...

 game focuses on enormous robotic, semi-humanoid battle machines called Battledroids.
Their name was changed to BattleMechs in the second edition because George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

 and Lucasfilm
Lucasfilm Limited is an American film production company founded by George Lucas in 1971, based in San Francisco, California. Lucas is the company's current chairman and CEO, and Micheline Chau is the president and COO....

 claimed the rights to the term "droid". The visual design of the earliest line of BattleMechs were taken from Macross
The Super Dimension Fortress Macross
is an anime television series. According to story creator Shoji Kawamori, it depicts "a love triangle against the backdrop of great battles" during the first Human-alien war....

 and other anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

, including many signature images. In later years FASA abandoned these images, and it was common speculation by fans that the decision was the result of a lawsuit brought against them by Playmates
Playmates Toys
Playmates Toys is a Costa Mesa, California toy manufacturer and a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Playmates Holdings Ltd , which was founded in 1966.-Proprietary brands:*Amazing Dolls*Amazing Pets*Kinder-Garden Babies*R.E.V.s*Waterbabies*WOW Pals...

 and Harmony Gold [USA
Harmony Gold USA
Harmony Gold is a television production and distribution company established in 1983. It is best known as the “creator” and main distributor of the anime series Robotech. It also partially dubbed the Dragon Ball series in the late 1980s....

] over the use of said images. No official broke the silence until 2007, after FASA had sold the BattleTech intellectual property to WizKids Games. Under license from them, the Classic BattleTech line developer for Fantasy Productions, Randall N. Bills explained that FASA had sued Playmates over the use of images owned by FASA, but received no compensation, even though Playmates was ordered to stop using the images in question. After realizing how the use of licensed images made them vulnerable to lawsuits and afraid that such a suit would bankrupt the company, FASA made the decision to only use images owned by them and them alone. The BattleMechs taken from the various anime sources were then considered "Unseen". When Fantasy Productions
Fantasy Productions
Fantasy Productions Medienvertriebsgesellschaft GmbH is a German publishing company based in Erkrath.The company was founded in 1983 by Ulrich Kiesow, Werner Fuchs and Hans Joachim Alpers to produce small metal miniature figures...

 licensed the property, these "Unseen" images were expanded to include all art produced "out-of-house" – that is, whose copyrights resided with the creators, not the company. Catalyst Game Labs has continued this practice. On 24 June 2009, Catalyst Game Labs announced that they had secured the rights to the "unseen"; as a result, art depicting the original 'Mechs absent from publications for over a decade, can be legally used again. An update on 11 Aug. 2009 has placed the unseen restriction on several designs once again. This update affects only the designs whose images originated from Macross. Designs whose images originated from other anime such as Dougram and Crusher Joe
Crusher Joe
is a series of science fiction light novels by Haruka Takachiho and released by Asahi Sonorama from 1979 to 1983. During the late 1970s one of the founding fathers of Studio Nue, Takachiho decided that besides being a designer he would try his hand at penning novels...

 are unaffected by this change and are still no longer considered unseen. By August 2011, the remaining images that were considered to be unseen were returned to unseen status due to continuing problems with license agreements.


At its most basic, the game of BattleTech is played on a map sheet composed of hexagon-shaped terrain tiles. The combat units are 30 feet (9.1 m) humanoid armored combat units called BattleMechs, powered by fusion reactors, armed with lasers, particle projection cannons, autocannons, and both short and long range missiles. Typically these are represented on the game board by two-inch-tall miniature figurines that the players can paint to their own specifications, although older publications such as the 1st edition included small scale plastic models originally created for the Macross TV series, and the 2nd edition boxed set included small cardboard pictures (front and back images) that were set in rubber bases to represent the units. The game is played in turns, with each turn composed of multiple stages. During each stage players alternate back and forth playing the game. The stages are initiative, movement, attack declaration, attacks, physical attacks, and end phase. Winning initiative actually means the winning player moves second, advantageous because the player can react to the movements and attack declarations of the losing player.

Heat buildup is a major limiting factor of the game, and overheating a unit can have many negative affects such as penalties to weapon accuracy, slower movement, or even detonation of any ammunition carried by the Mech.

Armor is tracked by body location of the mech, such as arms, legs, and multiple torso locations. Combat generally involves a slow attrition of damage over multiple turns of the game.


The game's popularity spawned several variants and expansions to the core system, including CityTech
CityTech is a FASA wargame first published in 1986 and set in the BattleTech fictional universe. CityTech was the first official expansion to the Battletech board game and provided additional rules for simulating combat with infantry and vehicles rather than just BattleMechs, which were the focus...

 which fleshed out urban operations, infantry and vehicle combat, AeroTech
AeroTech is a FASA wargame set in the BattleTech universe. It simulates combat between AeroSpace fighters, troop-carrying DropShips, delicate interstellar JumpShip and interstellar WarShips. The name "Aerotech" defines space/air elements of Battletech universe...

 which focused on air- and space-based operations, and BattleSpace
BattleSpace is a FASA Corporation wargame set in the BattleTech universe. It simulates naval warfare in space. This is considered the 2nd edition of the Aerotech rules for Battletech...

 which detailed large spacecraft combat. FASA also published numerous sourcebooks that featured specifications for new combat units that players could select from. However, despite the large number of such pre-designed BattleMechs, vehicles, aerospace units and other military hardware, the creators also established a system of custom design rules, enabling players to generate their own units and field them in combat. This engineering aspect of the game, itself expanded by several design and technology sourcebooks, has proven to be enduringly popular and may explain BattleTechs longevity.

FASA launched two additional systems to complement the core game: BattleTroops
BattleTroops is a FASA wargame set in the BattleTech universe, simulating infantry combat. It was expanded to include Clan Elementals with ClanTroops. It was published in 1989....

, an infantry combat system, and BattleForce
BattleForce was originally created by FASA Corporation, a wargame set in the BattleTech universe designed to allow the simulation of larger-scale actions...

, a large-scale combat simulator governing the actions of grouped BattleTech units. The Succession Wars
The Succession Wars
The Succession Wars is a FASA Corporation wargame set in the BattleTech universe, representing the struggle for power at a strategic level....

, a board game released in 1987, is one of only two purely strategic titles of the series (the other being "The Inner Sphere in Flames" from the Combat Operations book). The Succession Wars is played on a political star map, with players trying to capture regions of space.

Recent years have seen a trend of consolidating the expansions into the core products, beginning under FASA's aegis and continued by both FanPro and Catalyst Game Labs. Of the current set of core rules, Total Warfare includes elements originating in CityTech and AeroTech 2 (itself a consolidation of AeroTech and BattleSpace
BattleSpace is a FASA Corporation wargame set in the BattleTech universe. It simulates naval warfare in space. This is considered the 2nd edition of the Aerotech rules for Battletech...

), while Tactical Operations consolidates Maximum Tech Rules and adds new rules for Advance/Experimental weapons & equipment, Strategic Operations includes advance Aerospace rules which include usage of large aerospace units (Jumpships/Warships/Space Stations/Fighter Squadrons) which is remaining half AeroTech 2 left out of Total Warfare as well revised version of BattleForce
BattleForce was originally created by FASA Corporation, a wargame set in the BattleTech universe designed to allow the simulation of larger-scale actions...

, and Interstellar Operations is slated to introduce rules to control Clans/Succession Houses/Empires to conquer the Inner Sphere or Clan Space.

Spin-off games

The BattleTech franchise first extended beyond the tabletop wargame format with the release of MechWarrior, a role-playing game
Role-playing game
A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making or character development...

 in which players portray BattleMech pilots or other characters in the 31st century. The RPG system has been republished in several editions and expanded by various sourcebooks and supplements. In 1996, FASA also introduced the BattleTech Collectible Card Game
BattleTech CCG
The BattleTech Collectible Card Game is a collectible card game set in the BattleTech universe developed by Wizards of the Coast for FASA using the same style of gameplay and card distribution as WotC's Magic: The Gathering. Its production ran from 1996 through 2001...

, a CCG developed by Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast is an American publisher of games, primarily based on fantasy and science fiction themes, and formerly an operator of retail stores for games...

, creators of the popular Magic: The Gathering
Magic: The Gathering
Magic: The Gathering , also known as Magic, is the first collectible trading card game created by mathematics professor Richard Garfield and introduced in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast. Magic continues to thrive, with approximately twelve million players as of 2011...


WizKids, Inc. is an American New Jersey-based company that first made its mark in the game industry producing collectible miniatures wargames. WizKids was purchased by and is a subsidiary of National Entertainment Collectibles Association. The company was founded in 2000 by Jordan Weisman, a...

, the owners of the BattleTech franchise since 2001, introduced a collectable miniatures-based variant of the classic tabletop game called MechWarrior: Dark Age
MechWarrior: Dark Age
MechWarrior: Dark Age was a tabletop wargame by WizKids set in the BattleTech universe that uses the Clix system...

 in 2002 (later renamed MechWarrior: Age of Destruction). The game incorporates WizKids' "Clix System", a means of tracking the combat statistics and abilities of each figure by turning a dial in its base.

BattleMechs, the hulking flagship units of the franchise, made a natural subject for computer emulation, and so in 1988 Infocom
Infocom was a software company, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that produced numerous works of interactive fiction. They also produced one notable business application, a relational database called Cornerstone....

 released a PC based RPG called BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception
BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception
BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception is a turn-based adventure/RPG game released in 1988 by Westwood Studios and based on the BattleTech franchise...

, which took place in the canonized BattleTech story universe. It was later followed up with a sequel, BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge
BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge
BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge is a real-time strategy game based in the FASA BattleTech universe. Developed by Westwood Studios for Mediagenic, and produced by Scott Berfield, it is a major milestone in the gaming industry in that the game serves as the prototype for what later became...

 in 1990. Both games were reasonably well received, although aside from storyline continuity the second game held few similarities to its predecessor.

The first pure simulation of BattleMech combat, however, was released for computers in 1989. Entitled MechWarrior and published by Activision
Activision is an American publisher, majority owned by French conglomerate Vivendi SA. Its current CEO is Robert Kotick. It was founded on October 1, 1979 and was the world's first independent developer and distributor of video games for gaming consoles...

, the single-player game gave users the opportunity to pilot a range of 'Mechs and engage in combat against computer-controlled opponents. Sequels MechWarrior 2
MechWarrior 2
MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat is a 1995 video game produced by Activision. It is part of the MechWarrior series of video games. It separates itself from the original board game BattleTech by placing the player inside the cockpit of the BattleMech....

 (1995), MechWarrior 3
MechWarrior 3
MechWarrior 3 is an entry in the MechWarrior series. It featured a new 3D accelerated graphics engine at the time of its release. The game contains over 20 missions, with access to 18 different mechs.-Plot:...

 (1999) and MechWarrior 4 (2000) created simulations of progressively higher technical sophistication. The most recent commercial game is MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries
MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries
Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries is a vehicle simulation video game for the PC released in 2002. It is a standalone expansion of Mechwarrior 4, based on the Battletech Mechwarrior game universe....

 (2002) and the most recent developments have been in fan based modding. 'Mekpaks' for Mechwarrior 4 Mercenaries made by Mektek have been released, adding new Weapons, Mechs and graphics. A high Definition pack has been released for Mekpaks 2 and 3 by Mechstorm. Recently a group has been modding Crysis
Crysis is a science fiction first-person shooter video game developed by Crytek , published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows, and released in November 2007. It is the first game of a trilogy. A separate game entitled Crysis Warhead was released on September 12, 2008, and follows similar...

 for the release of a BattleTech game known as MechWarrior Living Legends
MechWarrior Living Legends
Mechwarrior: Living Legends is an award-winning, fan-created, multiplayer mod, based in the Battletech universe, and using CryEngine 2 as its engine; it is one of the few mods based on the Battletech universe to have been sanctioned by Microsoft - who currently owns the rights to the Mechwarrior...

 and the first public beta was released on December 26, 2009. A possible MechWarrior 5 was being produced, though it lingered in development for about a year and was eventually canceled. Currently Smith & Tinker
Smith & Tinker
Smith & Tinker is an American electronic entertainment company founded in February 2007 by Jordan Weisman, Jeremy Bornstein, Lenny Raymond, and Kev Ray. Weisman later brought in Tim Lebel and Joe Lawandus...

 own the MechWarrior Electronic franchise. As of July 9, 2009, it has been confirmed the franchise will be rebooted. Further trailers of MechWarrior Reboot were released and it was confirmed that the timeline would be reset to around 3015, several years before the start of the Fourth Succession War. Though it seemed that the legal troubles which originally plagued FASA due to the similarities between Battletech mechs and those in Robotech/Macross had returned to cause some troubles for Piranha Games, the company later released a statement noting that their primary troubles had been with finding a publisher, which eventually lead to the announcement of a free-to-play
Free-to-play refers to any video game that has the option of allowing its players to play without paying. The model was first popularly used in early massively multiplayer online games targeted towards casual gamers, before finding wider adoption among games released by major video game...

 reboot called Mechwarrior Online, set around the start of the clan invasions.

The franchise saw its first online-dedicated game with Multiplayer BattleTech: EGA
Multiplayer BattleTech: EGA
Multiplayer BattleTech was a PC MMORPG BattleTech game developed by Kesmai and featured on the now defunct GEnie online gaming network. It featured a text-based chat component for roleplaying, team development and battle planning and a 3D battle simulator component. The game engine was based on a...

 in 1992, which was followed by Multiplayer Battletech: Solaris
Multiplayer Battletech: Solaris
This version of the multiplayer BattleTech computer game was available on AOL, and on Kesmai's game service between 1996 and 2001. At its height on the AOL server, thousands of players competed simultaneously in arenas of two to eight participants, battling in team games or free-for-alls...

 in 1996. 1994 saw the series' first console original title, the simply titled BattleTech
MechWarrior 3050
Mechwarrior 3050 is the second Battletech based game from Activision for Super NES. This time around its viewed in an isometric view as opposed to the first person view of the previous game...

 for the Sega Genesis. Other notable titles include the MechCommander series for the PC (MechCommander
MechCommander is the second real-time tactics video game based on FASA's BattleTech/MechWarrior franchise , developed by FASA Interactive and distributed by MicroProse. Although it is claimed that MechCommander is the "first Mechwarrior game of tactical command", this is not true...

 in 1998 and MechCommander 2
MechCommander 2
MechCommander 2 is a real-time tactics video game based on the BattleTech/MechWarrior franchise, developed by FASA Interactive and distributed by Microsoft. It is a sequel to MechCommander....

 in 2001) and the MechAssault series (MechAssault
MechAssault was the first BattleMech video game published for the Xbox. Developed by Day 1 Studios and published by Microsoft, MechAssault was initiated when Denny Thorley of Day 1 Studios approached Jon Kimmich of Microsoft about developing an original BattleTech game built from the ground up to...

 and MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf
MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf
MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf is a 2004 video game developed by Day 1 Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios exclusively for the Xbox console. It is the sequel to 2002's MechAssault and is set in the BattleTech universe. Lone Wolf is backward compatible for the Xbox 360.-Plot:There is a new...

 in 2002 and 2004, respectively, for the Xbox
The Xbox is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Microsoft. It was released on November 15, 2001 in North America, February 22, 2002 in Japan, and March 14, 2002 in Australia and Europe and is the predecessor to the Xbox 360. It was Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console...

, and MechAssault: Phantom War
MechAssault: Phantom War
MechAssault: Phantom War is one of the games in the popular MechWarrior series and is part of the BattleTech universe created by FASA...

 in 2006 for the Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS
The is a portable game console produced by Nintendo, first released on November 21, 2004. A distinctive feature of the system is the presence of two separate LCD screens, the lower of which is a touchscreen, encompassed within a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP...


A dedicated fan community also works hard on an online free version of the tabletop game, called MegaMek
MegaMek is an open source, turn-based strategy computer game that simulates the Classic BattleTech board game. MegaMek is not licensed by or affiliated with Topps or Catalyst Game Labs, the owners and publishers of the BattleTech line, but is nonetheless a faithful simulation of the game...

. This project led to follow up projects like MekWars, which aims at making campaigns out of MegaMek games.

Virtual World Entertainment

The BattleTech creators' goal of creating an immersive BattleMech simulation came to fruition in 1990 with the opening of the first BattleTech Center
BattleTech Centers
Battletech Centers are commercial virtual entertainment venues that feature multiplayer virtual combat in the fictional BattleTech universe. The games are played in fully enclosed cockpits with multiple screens, joysticks, and rudder pedals. The centers were initially created and operated by...

 at the North Pier Mall in Chicago. The BattleTech Center featured 16 networked, full-sized cockpits or "pods" that resembled a fully functional BattleMech cockpit with over 80 separate controls. Each player selected a 'Mech to pilot into combat against up to seven other human players in the other cockpits.

Virtual World Entertainment, the company that managed the centers, later opened many other Virtual World centers around the world. It eventually merged with FASA Interactive Technologies (FIT) to form Virtual World Entertainment Group (VWEG) to better capitalize on various FASA properties. In 1999, Microsoft Corporation purchased VWEG to integrate FIT into Microsoft Game Studios and sold VWE. VWE continues to develop and support the current BattleTech VR platform called the Tesla II system, featuring BattleTech: Firestorm.

Beyond gaming

The popularity of the BattleTech games and the fictional universe they inhabit has led to a number of related projects in other areas. The most active of these is a line of popular science fiction novels, with more than 100 titles published to date. The novels are set in both the Classic BattleTech era (mid-3000s) and the Dark Age era (3130s). The original BattleTech novels were produced between 1986 until 2002; the Dark Age era Novels were produced from 2002 to early 2008. An online writing project named BattleCorps also produces novelettes set in various eras of the BattleTech universe.

In July 2008 it was announced that both the Classic BattleTech and MechWarrior book lines would resume by the end of 2008.

BattleTech: The Animated Series
BattleTech: The Animated Series
BattleTech is an animated television series based on the BattleTech fictional universe, produced for syndication by Saban Entertainment in 1994...

, a 13-episode television show produced by Saban Entertainment, aired on Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

 in late 1994. Plots centered around Major Adam Steiner and his First Somerset Strikers, and their conflict with Clan Jade Falcon.

Electric Entertainment
Electric Entertainment
Electric Entertainment is a full-service film, television and new media production company, established in 2001 by veteran writer/producer Dean Devlin , and led by Devlin along with partners Kearie Peak, Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan.-Company Biography:On December 7, 2008, TNT debuted “Leverage,”...

, a company under contract to Paramount Studios, has leased the rights to produce a motion picture based on the BattleTech universe, but development has been slow and little is known about the project's status.

Comic Strips

While fan fics are a regular part of the Battletech Universe, the game has also spawned two unofficial Web comics. The first of which is All My Hexes, a weekly comedy situation in which mechs are the characters, created by Ezra Mann of Really Pathetic Productions, and the other is Miniature Rules, which was inspired by All My Hexes.


A detailed timeline
A timeline is a way of displaying a list of events in chronological order, sometimes described as a project artifact . It is typically a graphic design showing a long bar labeled with dates alongside itself and events labeled on points where they would have happened.-Uses of timelines:Timelines...

 stretching from the late 20th century to the mid-32nd describes humanity's technological, social and political development and spread through space both in broad historical terms and through accounts of the lives of individuals who experienced and shaped that history. Individual people remain largely unchanged from those of modern times, due in part to stretches of protracted interplanetary warfare during which technological progress slowed or even reversed. Cultural, political and social conventions vary considerably between worlds, but feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 is widespread, with many states ruled by hereditary lord
Lord is a title with various meanings. It can denote a prince or a feudal superior . The title today is mostly used in connection with the peerage of the United Kingdom or its predecessor countries, although some users of the title do not themselves hold peerages, and use it 'by courtesy'...

s and other nobility, below which are numerous social class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...


A key feature of the BattleTech universe is the absence of non-human intelligent life
Extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

. Despite one or two isolated encounters in novels, mankind is the only sentient
Sentience is the ability to feel, perceive or be conscious, or to have subjective experiences. Eighteenth century philosophers used the concept to distinguish the ability to think from the ability to feel . In modern western philosophy, sentience is the ability to have sensations or experiences...

 species, making the incessant warfare among humanity's feudal empires seem a more realistic and direct extension of the past and present.

Above all, the central theme of BattleTech is conflict, something to be expected given the franchise's wargaming
A wargame is a strategy game that deals with military operations of various types, real or fictional. Wargaming is the hobby dedicated to the play of such games, which can also be called conflict simulations, or consims for short. When used professionally to study warfare, it is generally known as...

 core. Interstellar and civil wars, planetary battles, factionalization
Political faction
A political faction is a grouping of individuals, such as a political party, a trade union, or other group with a political purpose. A faction or political party may include fragmented sub-factions, “parties within a party," which may be referred to as power blocs, or voting blocs. The individuals...

 and infighting, as well as institutionalized combat in the shape of arena contests and duel
A duel is an arranged engagement in combat between two individuals, with matched weapons in accordance with agreed-upon rules.Duels in this form were chiefly practised in Early Modern Europe, with precedents in the medieval code of chivalry, and continued into the modern period especially among...

ling, form the grist of both novelized fiction and game backstories.


BattleTechs fictional history covers the approximately 1150 years from the end of the 20th century to the middle of the 32nd. Most works in the series are set during the early to middle decades of the 31st century, though a few publications concern earlier ages, including a technical readout describing 2750s-era technology. MechWarrior: Dark Ages and its related novels take place in the mid 3100s.


The level of technology evident in BattleTech is an unusual blend of the highly futuristic and the nearly modern. Radically advanced tech like faster-than-light
Faster-than-light communications and travel refer to the propagation of information or matter faster than the speed of light....

 interstellar travel
Interstellar travel
Interstellar space travel is manned or unmanned travel between stars. The concept of interstellar travel in starships is a staple of science fiction. Interstellar travel is much more difficult than interplanetary travel. Intergalactic travel, or travel between different galaxies, is even more...

 and superluminal communication mix with seemingly anachronistic technologies as internal combustion engines, projectile weapons and artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

. Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its...

, nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

, androids, and many other staples of future fiction are generally absent or downplayed. Incessant warfare is generally blamed for the uneven advancement, the destruction of industry and institutes of learning over the centuries of warfare having resulted in the loss of much technology and knowledge. As rivalries and conflicts have dragged on, the most common advanced technologies - used to gain military advantage - are redeveloped for the battlefield.
Because the BattleTech universe reached a pinnacle of scientific achievement before it collapsed in strife, there is an element of LosTech that is sometimes used as a tool in fiction and/or gameplay to add new dimensions to the storyline. LosTech represents designs and occasionally implementations of technological advances that were at some point achieved, but believed to have been lost over the ages. LosTech is frequently found in Star League
Star League
Within the fictional BattleTech universe, the Star League was an interstellar empire that united the various states of the Inner Sphere into a single alliance of nations.-The Terran Hegemony:...

-era caches, the locations of which have been forgotten or have been made inaccessible for various reasons. When designs and schematics are found, the most common source are old ComStar locations, as their organization held the majority of the most powerful and best-maintained computer systems.

Political entities

BattleTechs universe is governed by numerous interstellar
Interstellar medium
In astronomy, the interstellar medium is the matter that exists in the space between the star systems in a galaxy. This matter includes gas in ionic, atomic, and molecular form, dust, and cosmic rays. It fills interstellar space and blends smoothly into the surrounding intergalactic space...

Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

s that vie for supremacy. Described below are the major areas into which these factions fall.


Terra is the homeworld of mankind (no longer commonly called Earth, although this name is sometimes used) and former capital of the Star League. Many planets around Terra were rendered uninhabitable during the first two Succession Wars, and surviving planets suffer from the damage even centuries later. Several dozen of these worlds, in what came to be known as the Chaos March, briefly gained their independence between 3057 and 3081. Historically, whichever faction controlled Terra has held more political power than any single Great House. Several groups have held Terra, including the Terran Alliance, Terran Hegemony, ComStar, Word of Blake
Word of Blake
Word of Blake was once part of ComStar, part of the fictional BattleTech universe, but splintered from the order due to a difference in beliefs.-ComStar:...

, and Republic of the Sphere
Republic of the Sphere
In the fictional BattleTech universe, the Republic of the Sphere is a nation that rose from the ashes of the Word of Blake Jihad. Founded by Devlin Stone, it is divided into 10 Prefectures, each of which is designated by a Roman numeral.-Exarch:...

; most of these nations fought bitter struggles upon Terra, scarring the world.

Inner Sphere

The Inner Sphere, heart of the BattleTech Universe, contains all worlds within 500 light-years of Terra. It is dominated by five "Great Houses": House Davion, House Liao, House Marik, House Steiner and House Kurita. (The term "Inner Sphere" sometimes refers to these houses collectively). The leader of each Great House claims to be the rightful successor to the rule of the Star League, and so their nations are known as the Successor States.

There are few other significant nations in the Inner Sphere. The St. Ives Compact was a short-lived state that broke away from the Capellan Confederation
Capellan Confederation
The Capellan Confederation is one of the fictional five Successor States within the fictional BattleTech universe.The smallest of the Successor States, The Capellan Confederation is a self-proclaimed socialist meritocracy ruled by House Liao, from whom almost all of the nation's ruling Chancellors...

 after the Fourth Succession War, and was reabsorbed following a brief war in 3062. The Free Rasalhague Republic was created in 3034 by a deal between the Draconis Combine
Draconis Combine
The Draconis Combine is one of the five major factions known as Successor States in the fictional BattleTech universe. It is featured prominently in many BattleTech and MechWarrior products including tabletop games, video games, and novels...

 and the Lyran Commonwealth. It rivaled the Capellan Confederation for size, but by 3052 it had been almost entirely conquered by the Clans; in the 3070s, much of it was incorporated into the Ghost Bear Dominion (which is known as the Rasalhague Dominion
Rasalhague Dominion
The Rasalhague Dominion is a fictional state within the BattleTech universe, largely consisting of former worlds of the Principality of Rasalhague, Free Rasalhague Republic conquered by Clan Ghost Bear.-Brief Overview:...

 by 3130).


The space surrounding the Inner Sphere contains a number of independent nations, known collectively as the Periphery. The largest of these nations (the Outworlds Alliance, Taurian Concordat, Magistracy of Canopus, and Rim Worlds Republic) predate the Star League and rival the Successor States themselves in size, but are inferior economically and militarily. More moderately sized nations, such as the Marian Hegemony or Bandit Kingdoms, also lie near the Inner Sphere.
The Periphery contains countless other independent nations, many consisting of a single star system each and rarely playing a significant role in Inner Sphere politics. The mostly uncharted space beyond the nearby Periphery states is known as the Deep Periphery and contains numerous pirate havens and lost Star League colonies.


During the Fall of the aforementioned Star League, the Star League Defense Force exiled itself and eventually settled in the Deep Periphery. They reformed into the Clans
Clans (BattleTech)
In the BattleTech universe, Clans are fictional peoples.-History:The background fictional story of the Clans begins with the build-up to the 1st Succession War...

, a warrior-centric caste society
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

 relying on genetic manipulation
Genetic engineering
Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct human manipulation of an organism's genome using modern DNA technology. It involves the introduction of foreign DNA or synthetic genes into the organism of interest...

 and artificial birth. The four strongest of these Clans returned to the Inner Sphere as would-be conquerors in 3049, were reinforced by three more Clans a year later, and were joined in the late 3060s by another two. Of the original twenty Clans, by 3067 three were absorbed, two were annihilated, two fragmented, two defected, and one was abjured. The Clan Occupation Zones together occupy a region roughly equivalent to one of the Successor States.


The Inner Sphere is home to many private military companies. Some of them are quite powerful, and their actions have influenced the history of the known universe. Among the most famous mercenary groups are the Wolf's Dragoons, Eridani Light Horse, Kell Hounds, Northwind Highlanders, Gray Death Legion, and McCarron's Armored Cavalry.

See also

  • MechWarrior
    MechWarrior is the title of a series of computer and video games set in the fictional universe of BattleTech-Games:In these games, players take control of a single BattleMech and combat other BattleMechs, tanks, infantry, and more, from within the cockpit of their machine. A third-person alternate...

  • BattleMech
  • Mech Warfare
  • Military organization (BattleTech)
    Military organization (BattleTech)
    Military organization article regarding military formations found in table top gaming Classic Battletech by Catalyst Game Labs.The following is the fictional military organization article for some of the armed forces that exist in the fictional Battletech universe.-Inner Sphere House Unit...

  • BattleTech technology
    BattleTech technology
    This article is an overview of technology found in the fictional universe of BattleTech, a wargaming and science fiction franchise created by FASA and owned by WizKids...

  • List of BattleTech characters
  • List of BattleTech novels
  • List of BattleTech games

Official sites

Animated series

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