It followed the adventures of Mason's Marauders, a group of mercenaries under the command of Mason Garrilac. Their story begins in the year 3024, during the Third Succession War, when a series of events bring them to the planet of Zathras, where Garrilac has a tortured history and hatches a plan to save the war-torn planet and find his own redemption in the process.
Season 2 takes place in 3025, and the Marauders are now officially the Zathran Defense Force, under the command of now-Lord Commander Garrilac. But the peace is uneasy on Zathras, with offworld enemies seeking the planet's secrets, diplomatic forces angling for power in the new order, and tensions and instabilities threatening the ZDF itself.
Between Seasons 1 and 2 was an eight-episode miniseries, Death From Above: Renegades, starring members of Zombie Orpheus Entertainment as members of a traveling mech performance troupe who are pulled into the chaos when they learn that one of their own has a secret that connects him to the future of Zathras...
Season 3 began at the end of August 2017, and it's set 25-30 years after seasons 1 and 2.
The series stands out for its Audience Participation and tabletop battles with custom 3D-printed Mechs. When the Mechs take damage in-game, they also get damaged in real life — watch the Mechs get hammered, burned, drilled and more to simulate battle damage! It's also the one show on the channel with perma-death — if a character dies, their actor is off the show.
Has its own wiki.
Seasons 1 and 2 were GMd by Harebrained Schemes game designer Tyler Carpenter. DFA: Renegades was run by ZOE's Chris Ode. ZOE's Matt Shimkus took over as the GM for Season 3.
- Action Girl: Diva and Valravan, especially the latter. Later, Coryphee. Also several opposing NPCs
- The Alcoholic: Lord Commander Garrilac. [[spoiler: Reforms later under pressure from his daughter.
- All Deaths Are Final: There are no resurrections in the Battletech setting, so when a character dies in game their actor is off the show forever.
- Played with in the case of Beta, who was "revived" as a sentient training A.I.
- Changed slightly after the end of Season 2.
- All There in the Manual: The game makes lots of in-universe references to the expansive lore, which can go over the heads of viewers unfamiliar with it.
- And Now For Something Completely Different: Episode 1.17, "Nest of Vipers", has no mech combat and is more of a Tabletop Game/Shadowrun spy mission.
- Anyone Can Die: If the dice don't cooperate...
- Audience Participation: The audience can purchase buffs and consumables to either help or hinder the players.
- Badass Normal: Almost every character who's appeared on the show is a highly competent Battlemech pilot. Even the [NPCs] consist of skilled tank drivers and dropship pilots. Valravan and Talon are also badasses outside their mechs
- The Berserker: Jackal is this even when he's on his meds.
- Black and Grey Morality: It is the Battle Mech universe after all. The Marauders at least have a semblance of morality but in the end they're mercenaries.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Diva, who likes to decorate her mech with glitter and, for a short time, a parrot and pirate hat, until they were destroyed along with her mech at the time. And when she got a new one? Yup.
- Butch Lesbian: Valravan who responds enthusiastically to flirtation from an opposing female commander and whose wiry build, sleeveless t-shirt and jeans and general Tomboy appearance and behavior definitely fit the trope. On the other hand she does have Glad You're Alive Sex with Talon after he defeats his arch enemy so more like Butch Bisexual.
- Chew Toy: Valravan's Griffin ends to take a lot more hits and a lot more damage than the other mechs
- Combat Pragmatist: The Lord Commander, which has lead to clashes with both Valravan and especially Talon.
- Cool Old Lady: Salty Nan
- Dance Battler: Coryphee, both in and out of her mech.
- Drop Ship: The Yojimbo.
- Eyepatch of Power: Garrilac sports one.
- Five-Man Band:
- Funny Background Event: Frequently provided by the second Executioner, Viking Lass.
- Grim Reaper: In the first couple of episodes this is how the Executioner dressed.
- HeelFace Turn: Baroness Lazarov who winds up fighting with the Marauders in the last two episodes of the first season
- Honor Before Reason: Both Talon and Valravan lean towards this which sometimes leads to a clash between them and Garrilac's more "whatever works"style. In one case Valravan walked off the field when she felt the others violated her commitment to a one-on-one battle with an opposing mech-warrior.
- I Have Your Wife: Used on both Garrilac and Valravan. In Garrilac's case it's his daughter, in Valravan's case it's the medicine for her mother.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Both Valravan and Talon use katanas as their Melee weapon of choice. Justified in Talons case since he comes from the Draconis Combine.
- Killed Off for Real: Beta and Diva
- The Mole: Turns out Diva was working for House Steiner as a spy and was responsible for Beta's death. Which is why Garrilac poisoned her
- Noble Demon: Baroness Lazarov. She fought against New Abilene's burgeoning democracy but only because she felt it was best not just for the aristocracy but for the planets society as a whole
- Only Known by Their Nickname: They all have real names but are rarely called by anything but their call signs.
- Psycho for Hire: All of the Benefactor's henchfolk
- The Stoic: Talon who has yet to crack a smile in character.
- Team Chef: Salty Nan, the Yojimbo's cook
- The Teetotaler: Talon, whose Drink Order is chocolate milk.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Valravan and Diva respectively. After Diva's death Coryphee takes the Girly Girl spot