Battletech Campaign Guide

Fast Unit Creation

Be Warned: This page is a work in-progress - use at your own peril!

These rules are designed to provide a light-weight framework for constructing a Battletech unit. They can be used either in conjunction with a group of RPG characters to fill out a player-run unit, or can be used on their own as a fast force generation system for for a series of Battletech scenarios, or as the seed for a long term Battletech campaign.

I. Define Campaign

The first step in building a unit is to establish the world which it inhabits, and what place that unit occupies within that world. If this unit is being added as part of a larger campaign, these parameters will be dictated by that campaign. If this system is being used to start a new campaign, then these choices will have to be made and agreed upon by all of the players and the GM, if there is one.

Select Era

The first, and, perhaps, most important choice to be made is: In what time period will the campaign be set? The era chosen will affect the technology available to any unit involved in the campaing. It will determine, to a degree, what sorts of combat units may be selected, and it will dictate which larger nations or factions exist within the setting.

The Battletech Universe is roughly divided into six eras. More will be added, but at the time of this writing, none of them were well enough established to be added to this guide.

Age of War
Star League
Succession Wars
Clan Invasion
FC Civil War

Given the vast span of the Succession Wars, it may be worth splitting the First Succession War into its own category. The technology available during the first war included a huge amount of left over Star League equipment, but the nations involved and the style of war were notably different from most Star League conflicts (the Amaris Civil War not withstanding).

Determine Unit Origins

In a pick-up game or bried series of scenarios, this step may be skipped, but in a larger campaign, especially one which tries to cleave to the established Battletech canon, the origins of a unit will have a significant effect on its composition.

Determine Technology Base

Technology base is a function of era and nationality. The great successor houses exist, in one form or another, in all of the eras mentioned, but their level of technology varies substantially from one time to the next. Other nations and minor players rise and fall over time and may not be available during certain periods. The Battletech Tech Manual provides a wealth of information about technology availability by date. In general, the Star League posessed higher technology than the Great Houses. The Great Houses, in turn, usually rank higher than the Periphery powers. The Clans did not interract much with the Inner Sphere between the late 28th century and the beginning of the Clan invasion in late 3049. By that time, they are nearly universally equipped with modern Clan technology.

Other Factors

II. Set Unit Size

Each unit built using this system is alloted a pool of Construction Points (CP) which will be used to purchase troops for that unit. The size of that pool is determined by the intended size and quality of the units involved in the campaign or scenario. All players should agree on the size of units used within a campaign. That size can be determined based on an organizational unit (company, regiment, cluster, etc), but it could also be an agreement that each unit will simple get an agreed upon number of CP, regardless of in-universe organizational considerations.

III. Purchase Combat Elements

Once the unit's size has been determined, it can spend its construction points on individual combat elements to flesh out and define its composition and organization. In this system, units are constructed one level 2 unit at a time. That is to say, a lance or platoon for an Inner sphere unit, or a star for a clan unit. More complex formations, such as a clan nova, are constructed by building their individual components seprarately and combining them in step V.

Any kind of combat element may be purchased using a unit's CP pool. The only restrictions placed on these purchases are those agreed upon by the players and/or GM based on the results of steps I and II in this process. i.e. In a Clan Invasion campaign, a clan galaxy should not include a lance on Inner Sphere vehicles as a combat element, but in a non-cannon pick-up game the two could, potentially, be mixed and matched freely. The base cost for each element type is given in the table below:

Element TypeCP Cost
IS Battlemech Lance 100
IS Vehicle Lance 60
IS Infantry Platoon
IS Aerospace Lance
Clan Battlemech Star 160
Clan Vehicle Star 100
Clan Battlearmor Star
Clan Aerospace Star

IV. Build Combat Elements

Now that the unit has purchased its combat elements, it is time to flesh out those individual sub-units. By the time this step is complete, you should have a pretty good idea of what your unit looks like, and how it will operate on the battlefield.

This system uses Battle Value to determine the relative costs of combat units. All of the values listed in this section are based on the Battle Value 2 system described in Total Warfare, and listed in the Master Unit List published on

Omni Units

At this stage, Omnimechs must be purchased with a specific chassis and Configuration. An omni unit may, be purchased with the 'Omni' advantage using option points (see below), which will allow the unit to be reconfigured in later game play. Without that advantage, an omni must keep the same configuration for the duration of the campaign. In any case, each omni will be restricted to configurations whose Battle Values are equal to or less than that of the configuration selected at element construction time.

Option Points

Each level 2 element in the unit is constructed as a separate entity. Each one gets a set of warriors and equipment appropriate to its size along with a small pool of option points. These points may be divided among the combat units within the element and spent on improving warrior skills and equipment. Points may not be shared between elements.

Each section below includes a table of options which can be purchased for each element type and the price of each option for that element type. Not all options are available for all elements, and, in some cases, the the price of an option may vary from one type to another. The complete list of options and what the do is presented here:

+1 Gunnery
Grants a combat unit one additional level of gunnery skill. For example, the gunnery skill of a battlemech pilot could be improved from 4 to 3.
+1 Piloting / +1 Driving
Grants a combat unit one additional level of piloting or driving skill (as appropiate). For example, the driving skill of a vehicle crew could be improved from 5 to 4.
+nnn BV
Increases the allowable Battle Value for a single combat unit inside an element by the amount shown in the table. For example, A Succession War era battlemech is, by default, allowed to be no more than 800BV, by purchasing the +150 BV option, that single battlemech would be allowed to be worth up to 950 BV.
-nnn BV
Reduces the Battle Value limit for a single unit by the amount shown in the table. In this case, the total number of option points for the element will increase. For example, a Green Lance of Inner Sphere, Succession War Era Combat Vehicles could gain an extra option point, raising their total points available from 20 to 21 if one vehicle in the lance was restricted to no more than 300 BV.
Purchasing the 'Omni' option allows an omni to be reconfigured between scenarios. Omnis may be selected without this option. In that case, the omni must use a single configuration throughout the campaign.
Grants the pilot or crew one schtick appropriate to their unit type. Schticks are outlined on the page on this site. Schticks are available only if they are permitted in the current campaign as agreed upon by the players or dictated by the GM. Regardless of points the path of ultimate mastery is disallowed.

As mentioned above, each element's option points may divided up among its constituent combat units. This division is subject to the following restrictions:

  1. No individual unit's gunnery or piloting may be less than two.
  2. The difference between a single unit's piloting and gunnery may not be greater than two.
  3. No more than half of an elements points may be spend on a single individual.

Battlemech Element

TypeCombat UnitsOption Points
IS Lance (Green) 4 Battlemechs20
IS Lance (Regular)4 Battlemechs40
IS Lance (Veteran)4 Battlemechs50
Clan Star (Green) 5 Battlemechs23
Clan Star (Regular)5 Battlemechs46
Clan Star (Veteran)5 Battlemechs58

Inner Sphere pilots start out with Piloting 6 and Gunnery 5. Clan pilots begin with piloting 5 and gunnery 4.

Each pilot comes with a battlemech. The specific model of that 'mech can be any model available within the campaign environment, but must have a Battle value equal to or less than the one given in the table below:

Unit Base Tech LevelInitial Battle Value
Succession Wars 800
Star League 1000
Inner Sphere (Advanced)1250
Clan 1200
Clan (Advanced) 1400

Option Points

+1 Gunnery 3 points
+1 Piloting 2 points
+150 BV 1 point
-200 BV -1 point
'mech schtick 2 points
Omni 2 points

Combat Vehicle Element

TypeCombat UnitsOption Points
IS Lance (Green) 4 Vehicles20
IS Lance (Regular)4 Vehicles40
IS Lance (Veteran)4 Vehicles50
Clan Star (Green) 5 Vehicles23
Clan Star (Regular)5 Vehicles46
Clan Star (Veteran)5 Vehicles58

Inner Sphere crews start out with driving 6 and Gunnery 5. Clan crews begin with driving 5 and gunnery 4.

Each crew comes with a vehicle. The specific model of can be any model available within the campaign environment, but must have a Battle value equal to or less than the one given in the table below:

Unit Base Tech LevelInitial Battle Value
Succession Wars 500
Star League 750
Inner Sphere (Advanced)1000
Clan 1000
Clan (Advanced) 1250

Option Points

+1 Gunnery 3 points
+1 Driving 2 points
+150 BV 1 point
-200 BV -1 point
Omni 2 points

Aerospace Element

TypeCombat UnitsOption Points
Lance/Point (Green) 2 Fighters10
Lance/Point (Regular)2 Fighters20
Lance/Point (Veteran)2 Fighters25

V. Finishing Touches