YMMV / BattleTech

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Nicholas Kerensky was either a driven visionary or a figure of evil, and there's plenty of evidence for both.
    • The same can also be said for Sara McEveredy and Clan Wolverine. Innocent victims of Nicholas' manipulations, a powder-keg waiting to go off or power-hungry monsters who merely were caught out before they could act?
    • Hanse Davion and Katrina Steiner are awesome leaders if you lived in the states that became the Federated Commonwealth. Not so much if you were in one of the three neighboring states that got curbstomped in the process of them carving out a territorial bridge between their realms.
    • Sun Tzu Liao: Scheming, opportunistic weasel of a ruler, or brilliant political tactician?
  • Arc Fatigue: When the BattleTech license transferred to FanPro a significant number of new material focused on the year 3067, during the end of FedCom Civil War and the start of Jihad. Another arc that has run too long is the Dark Age era, not helped when its development outside of the novels was put on hold until the Jihad arc was finished.
    • Handbook House Kurita, the last sourcebook set in 3067, was finally released in April 2015 meaning that single game year has lasted over 15 years of real time.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Catalyst Game Labs treatment of the Dark Age era, which in early 00' managed to piss off many Battletech fans for various reasons.
  • Broken Base: The Double Heat Sinks. Either you think that they unbalanced the game in favor of energy weapons or you think that they made the energy weapons viable. And whatever group you belong to, it is almost universally agreed that trying to fix Double Heat Sinks would cause more problems than it solves.
    • The Jihad and Dark Age both tend to cause this as well.
    • The Clans and their techbase, either they are the symbol of everything that is wrong with BattleTech outside of the 3025/Succession Wars era, or their arrival is a point when BattleTech has grown the beard.
    • Averted in the case of the ongoing redesigns for the Unseen. While there have been minor constructive criticisms from the fanbase, the reception for the new designs has been almost universally positive. This after a long period of Broken Base between fans who wanted the Unseens back (though they were realistic enough to know that was unlikely) and those who wanted the Phoenix redesigns of the early 2000s to replace them across the board.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Chronologically speaking, first there's Stefan Amaris, the Usurper. He's the lovely bundle of joy who overthrew the Star League, executed everyone in the Star League Court, killed everyone in the Vatican before burning the place down, and a whole laundry list of deeds including genocide and sterilizing planets.
    • Katherine Steiner-Davion was arguably a fine politician when first presented, but a combination of author fiat and other factors led up to the revelation that she'd hired an assassin to kill her own mother, her brother, her other brother's girlfriend, and her own boyfriend. All for political gain. After the rest of humanity started catching on to her game, she became the focal point of a civil war that wrecked both of the nations she ruled, sold out the nation she had the most loyalty with to the Clans (in an attempt to kill her brother and some mercenary outfits that weren't on her team) and finally - after being deposed - escaped with her Clan allies and created a test tube baby with her rival brother's DNA and her own who would hopefully go on to cause more havok in the Inner Sphere at a later date. Even her aforementioned son couldn't take it. He ends up killing her after she advocates murdering an ally, to protect her own position. Especially since maintaining her position may get him and his Clan destroyed.
    • An even earlier example is Star League General Amos Forlough, who helped conquer the Periphery during the Reunification War. While his actions against the Taurian Concordat, which included saturation level orbital bombardment and WMD deployment, may have been justified due to the fact that they were doing the same things; his actions on the Outworlds Alliance front went way too far. The Alliance barely had a regular military and so they used irregular militia to fight back with bombings and sniper attacks against his troops. He responded by killing 10% of the population of every planet that resisted (roughly 12 million people across the Outworlds), left many more without homes or shelter and sentenced his own subordinates to death and hard labor if they refused to carry out these atrocities. Little wonder why he is known as "The Butcher" and "The Baby Killer". The worst part is that he was never brought to justice and received some of the Star League's highest rewards for the victories he achieved.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Looking at the long-term prospects of the setting may plausibly cause this. To be sure, in the short run there are always plenty of sympathetic characters to care about; however, both the game and its fictional universe are, in the long run, built essentially (if mostly implicitly) around the concept of eternal largely meaningless conflict between arbitrary factions because humanity is apparently forever unable to learn from its past mistakes and thus doomed to repeat them, and it becomes increasingly hard to empathize with successive generations of characters (a point the setting has well hit by now) all going through pretty much the same motions over and over again.
  • Designated Hero: When you think about it, Hanse Davion got a few hundred million people killed to impress his hot eighteen year-old Nordic wife. And to get payback from the man who tried to kidnap him and put a doppelganger on his throne.
    • The closer you look at Natasha Kerensky, the less you see a Fiery Redhead who is good at what she does and much more someone who is at best a Blood Knight, and at worst a Sociopathic Soldier (though to be fair, she would have been a type 4 after her lover was killed in cold blood) — the accounts are legion of epic (and lethal) bar fights that The Black Widow and her Black Widow Company engaged in out of sheer boredom and for the fun of it. Another account concerns a member of Wolf's Dragoons admitting that he had leaked information that made its way to House Kurita, information that contributed to the Pyrrhic Victory that the Dragoons endured on Misery. Natasha cold-bloodedly killed him, just as Jamie Wolf was about to slap the man. When Wolf called her on her murder, her response was to quote words used by Nicholas Kerensky to justify the complete annihilation of an entire Clan.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Oddly enough, the Urbanmech seems to be both this and the Butt-Monkey at the same time.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Fans of Battletech's style of mecha vs fans of anime-style mecha (ironic considering some of Battletech's original designs were from Fang of the Sun Dougram and Super Dimension Fortress Macross).
  • Game-Breaker: There are some 'Mech designs that rather tedious to fight against. A most notorious example was the Clan pulse laser/targeting computer combo that practically guaranteed hitting your target. Land-Air-mechs in hybrid mode were practically unhittable. Under Solaris rules (extreme close combat for arena battles), multiple machine guns could reduce a 'Mech into scrap metal in short order, without generating any heat points. In most gaming groups, those things were countered by house rules forbidding the use of such designs.
    • Before the new rules removed the bonus for them, Rotary Autocannons found themselves mated to Targeting Computers quite a bit. The ability to put up to 30 points of damage on a targeted location, or even at a hit bonus, proved to be overwhelming, and as of the Total Warfare rules, rotary and Ultra autocannons at anything beyond single fire mode can no longer make an aimed shot, nor can pulse lasers. They still get the standard fire targeting bonus, though.
    • Most Clantech counts, but four of their weapons stand out in particular:
      • Clan ER PPC's not only have the extended range of their Inner Sphere counterparts but also deal an additional five points of damage, meaning they can take an enemy mech's head off in one shot. This effectively makes them a much lighter and smaller Gauss Rifle that doesn't require ammo or explode when shot. Certain Mechs like the Marauder IIC and the Warhawk both in their default configuration are equipped with multitudes of the ER PPC, which can easily ravage other opposing units from afar, with the latter equipped with a Targeting Computer to make it even more frighteningly accurate.
      • Clan LRM's weigh half as much and take up half the space as their Inner Sphere variants and unlike the latter also have no minimum range, making them deadly in any situation and only get meaner with alternate ammo.
      • Clan ER Medium Lasers are basically Inner Sphere Large Lasers that fit in the space of a conventional medium laser and cause 2/3rds of the heat.
      • Clan Large Pulse Lasers have double the range of those fielded by the Inner Sphere and, yet again, also deal more damage. Combined with the enhanced accuracy of Pulse Lasers this turns mechs that mount more than one into long-distance murder machines like the Rifleman IIC. They are also the same size and mass of a clan ER PPC, allowing even non-OmniMechs mounting either to be easily customized for either game-breaker gun.
  • Genre Turning Point: In the mid-1980s, the game popularised science fiction in Wargaming, which had until then been dominated by historical games, and along with ''Warhammer, which did the same for fantasy, brought a new generation into the hobby.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: General Motors is apparently a manufacturer of Battlemechs and, in 2020, will invent the engine that makes BattleMechs possible. Because they're always on the cutting edge of innovation these days.
  • Magnificent Bastard: ULRIC KERENSKY
    • So for starters, as Khan of the Wolves, he decides that if he's stuck participating in an invasion that he and others in the Warden political faction don't want to be part of, he'll give the Crusader clans ''exactly'' what they want. You want to be known as a great hero? Well then try to keep up or have as many victories as he does. You want honor? Then try fighting with this few forces, and the handicaps he applied to his own forces. It led several times to the Crusaders, hell, the Crusader-minded ilKhan of the invasion throwing fits, and claiming "sabotage" on part of the Wolves for... performing extremely well. Yes, Mr. Warden Philosophy managed to make his political rivals act like petulant cry babies because he did what they wanted to do, wage war, better than they ever could! And he and his allies used that to their advantage to shame the Crusaders whenever needed.
    • Additionally, his treatment of captured Inner Sphere Worlds, and personnel. While the Crusader clans were busy making complacent asses of themselves, spouting "Warrior superiority" by oppressing civilian populaces (something which came to a head and he called the Crusading clans out on with the Smoke Jaguars' infamous massacres and city leveling Orbital Bombardments during the Battle of Turtle Bay) eventually leading to uprisings and unrest on their planets, the Wolves largely treated the citizenry with respect, understanding that suddenly having a new force out of nowhere to take over your planet could make transitions hard, trying their best to not interfere with the citizens' regular life during the transitions of power. Additionally, he made Phelan Kell, the son of Morgan Kell of the Kell Hounds mercenary force, who was captured early in the clan's invasion, his personal bondsman, and adviser on Inner Sphere Military matters and culture, grooming him in the ways of the Clans, eventually training Kell to become a full-fledged member (and eventually saKhan) of Clan Wolf. He also willingly accepted Com-Star's offer of working with the Clans in helping with transitional phases.
    • He managed to accidentally put an end to this temporary alliance and eventually discovers that the reason ComStar is so eager to work with the Clans is because they're trying to use the Clans to bring the various Houses under their control, when he ultimately revealed to his ComStar advisers that their goals were not so much the capitals of the various Houses, but rather, Terra itself to reform the old Star League. This eventually led to the Battle of Tukayyid, which was a win-win for Ulric. If the Clans won, they would be granted Terra, and thus achieve a major objective of Operation Revival. If the Clans lost, they would be honor bound to withdraw their forces back a bit, and not attack for 15 years. And the Clans were all too happy to accept these terms, figuring this would be an easy win, and then all decided to make large sacrifices of troops they'd be allowed to deploy, just so that what few forces that would be allowed to fight, would have the "honor" of dropping before Clan Wolf could. ComStar ultimately won overall (though, again, lost to Clan Wolf in particular), stopping the invasion.
    • Then, when he was challenged back in Clan space, by both Crusaders of his own clan, and those of other clans, he decided to have these accusations against him voted upon by the Grand Council. Despite the absolute crazy Conspiracy Theory being soundly defeated by the facts, the Grand Council voted for him to be stripped of ilKhan status, and once demoted, he plays one last truly Magnificent Bastard Move, and declares a Trial of Refusal, bid the entirety of Clan Wolf, Warden and Crusader members alike, against all challengers, and literally was laughing his ass off as he left the Council Chambers. The only thing missing was him giving a double one finger salute on his way out, starting the Refusal War against the Jade Falcons. While he did die, it did also serve to be a Taking You with Me against the Jade Falcons' leaders, helped separate and get a good portion of the Warden Wolves safely to the Inner Sphere, and even earn the respect of the Crusader Wolves.
      • Hanse Davion is basically a fusion of Rommel and Montgomery. With a smidge of Churchill, Julius Caesar and Henry V thrown in for good measure.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Stefan Amaris not only kills off the Cameron family down to the children but also holds hostage and later kills off (and lies about the person being alive and still a hostage) a member of the Kurita family to keep the Draconis Combine from helping Aleksandr Kerensky and his forces which forced the SLDF to take longer to remove the Usurper, and all of this is nothing more than a big game of "King of the Hill" to him.
    • Jinjiro Kurita crosses this line almost as soon as he inherits the title of Coordinator with three words: "Kill them all." Meaning slaughter the entire populace of Kentares IV. And then casually killing a general who dares ask for clarification. And having videos of the massacres made so he could watch.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap / Lethal Joke Character: The faster-playing adaptation Alpha Strike has had this effect on a lot of units that were thought of as useless in normal BattleTech, as their usefulness grows exponentially in the faster-paced play environment.
  • Status Quo Is God: The reason the Federated Commonwealth broke up among other things. When peace starts to settle in the Battletech universe, the writers simply come up with a new war.
  • Tainted by the Preview: Jihad era in the early Dark Age materials.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Many players reactions to the Dark Age period, especially the releated CMG. The reaction was far from universal, however, with the CMG not only bringing in new players, but many older players enjoying it and the changes to the setting. And, in all fairness, this has been a reaction to just about any change to the universe or game.
    • The extreme negativity of the reaction (from some quarters) to the Dark Age came about for a number of reasons.

      The release of the DA wasn't very well planned or presented, from the perspective of long-time BattleTech players. The initial DA synopsis made it feel rather like the rest of the Inner Sphere powers disappeared or fell into obscurity. The various Republic sub-factions seemed to be merely remnants of a by-gone age.

      Because of the seemingly sudden death of FASA and other things, the curators of Classic BattleTech took a long time before they could actually explain the Jihad and therefore justify what seemingly happened to the universe that lead to 3132. The pace of book releases, even for the 3067 period, slowed in the initial years of FASA's demise.

      Compounding this, the main tool for moving the fiction forward, novels, stopped happening for non-Dark Age settings. While a substitute was created on-line, those were primarily short-stories that filled in the gaps, rather than novels that pushed the storyline forward.

      These all combined to give the sense that BattleTech was dead. And therefore, MWDA was blamed for killing it.
  • Ugly Cute: The UrbanMech. Imagine R2-D2... if R2-D2 was equipped with a 12 ton autocannon.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Badass?: Clan society is a strong in-universe example. If you're not badass enough to essentially bite and claw your way to the top and hold your place there against would-be challengers, eventually your fellow Clanners will start to consider you a liability to the Clan and start looking for your replacement. Clan society by and large puts little value on human life as such — it's how much somebody contributes to the Clan that counts, and with the warriors on top and naturally seeing themselves as the ones doing the most important work, it's no surprise that Clan civilians are usually considered second-class citizens and can be deployed, expended, or claimed as spoils of war as the warriors see fit.