A game that was America's answer to the "giant mecha" craze in Japan. In it's original incarnation, it was a table top game played using painted pewter miniatures, dice, and pencil and paper. MechWarrior, originally, was the Role Playing Game in the same setting. The game and setting were produced by the FASA gaming company, which was later bought out by Microsoft so that they could license the setting for it's "MechWarrior" and "MechCommander" line of computer games. Microsoft promptly let the table top version die as they were unwilling to support anything that didn't involve a computer. The setting has since been licensed to WizKids Games who promptly turned it into a “Collectable/Tradable clicky figure” hobby game.
Battletech used to be fun, but this collectible bullshite is a sad ghost of it's former self.