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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Review: Battletech –Total Warfare

Battletech Total WarfareTitle:            Battletech -  Total Warfare

Publisher:                           Catalyst Game Labs
ISBN:-10                             0-9792047-0-4

First Look:

With getting back into Battletech using the Starter box, I was well versed in what to expect from the Total Warfare book. I opened the shipping packaging and went WOW!.. now this is a rule book….the weight and thickness, all 312 pages (you could easily kill someone with it , or just bludgeon an annoying opponent into seeing things your way)  A seriously solid book

Cover Art:
I really like this cover,  gives a good sense of the game I thought,  from infantry up to the Mech’s and Aerospace.  And I love the new Classic Battletech logo at the top, nice and crisp and clean looking. The Mech warrior model  on the back cover  is nice and fits with cover art. Being truly critical the fighter  on the back cover however nicely painted, should have had a better photo taken of it.

Book Binding:
This is a hard cover book, with a good solid binding that will last the distance of many hours of thumb through rules in the heat of battle.

The Blurb: Back Cover
Short and to the point, I really like the info about the intended audience. It’s consistent with the Start Box set and also the web site, so pretty hard to mistake what the book is about and who it’s aimed at.( I’ve seen a few other reviews criticize the book for not being able to learn the game from it.…dogh.. they obviously didn’t they back cover) And in saying that I think you could learn the game from this book without to much difficultly if you have experienced other table top war games.

Content & Index Pages:
For a rule book the contents and index pages are the life blood of the book. Nothing worse than half way though a game you come across a scenario that requires you go fishing though a rule book and 15 minutes later your still looking. So far I’ve been able to find everything quickly and easily. After playing a game yesterday and actually having to lookup a couple of rules it was evident that this is by far the best contents page I’ve every had the pleasure of using.(Several of the other lad’s also commented on the same thing)

Page Layout
One of the new things appearing in a lot of book these days is the Chapter labels down the right hand page border. I love this, makes browsing the book nice and quick, especially once your an old hand at the game,  knowing where the rules pages are by section. makes it quick to use. Combine this with the awesome contents page just makes it even better.

The font and text is easily read, the diagrams and photos through out the book are inspiring, shots of well painted Mech’s and all manor of troops, ships and terrain.

The Meat
25 Year of game development and knowledge really shows. The page layout and contents alone stamp this book a step up from most rule books. After 20 years of not playing the game it was easy to pickup and jump back in. With all the info on the base game put into one book, you can’t go wrong getting it.  There is fluff throughout the book that I haven't got to read yet but at a quick glance it looks top notch as you would expect.

Conclusion
This is a great book and well worth the money if your getting into Battletech, This is the best Rulebook I own, of the many and varied game systems I have and still play. Not only does it look fantastic, but it’s practical and useable as a rule book. Having had the book only a week I still give it a 10/10. It’s that good.

A great review with lots more in-depth info go to:

http://wargameguru.weebly.com/in-focus-review---battletech-total-warfare-core-rulebook.html

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