Originating around about 1984, Battletech is a game set between 28th and the 32nd centuries (depending on what era you choose to set your battle in) pitting interstellar powers against each other. The main weapon of choice is the Battlemech: a 6 story tall walking tank ranging in weight from 20 to 100 tons that carry varrying weapons loadouts depending on the mission at hand. Battlemechs come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are built for speed, while others are built for firepower or a combination of both. There are also an assortment of tanks, support vehicles, artillery pieces, battle armor infantry and a myriad of other units that can be used to play as well. At first the game was played by moving pewter mechs (some of the really old ones are made of lead) on a map with the objective of destroying your enemy. Battletech expanded to the Mechwarrior RPG, the Mechwarrior PC and console gaming series, the now-defunct Battletech Collectable Card Game, and the more recent Mechwarrior: The Dark Age, which is similar in concept to Marvel Heroclix.
"I was playin Battletech over at Clint's the other day, and I blew the head off his Atlas with one of my Thunder Hawk's Gauss Rifles. He wasn't very happy, lol."
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.