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"Don't think, Mechwarrior. Find out."
—Mechcommander 1 Introduction

A pair of Real Time Strategy games, with a heavy focus on tactical gameplay, set in the BattleTech universe.

The first game was released in 1998 and focused on the Inner Sphere assault of the Clan Smoke Jaguar planet Port Arthur. The player is in charge of the Zulu Company of the First Davion Guards, and has to gather their forces (scattered by a forced landing) in order to complete the campaign. An expansion pack, Desperate Measures, continued to follow Zulu Company as they hunted down a renegade Smoke Jaguar commander on the planet Cermak.

The second game was released in 2001 and switches to the perspective of a mercenary unit stationed on the planet Carver V. The campaign is divided into three parts, and the player alternately works for a different faction in each part: Steiner, Liao, and a group of rebels supported by Davion.

The second game also had it's source code released some time ago, and a relatively new overhaul called Omnitech is being worked on.

These games provide examples of:

  • Ace Custom: Making these is an important part of the game.
  • Aggressive Negotiations: About 2/3rds of the way through the second game. Blindingly obvious what will happen, since you have General Ripper meeting with General Failure, they're both riding in Assault Mechs, they both brought a sizable "Honor Guard", and your tactical officer predicted that there wouldn't be any trouble during the mission.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: A variation: You can only bring a certain combined tonnage of 'Mechs into each mission.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The Long Tom long-range artillery gun and Heavy Thunderbolt medium-range missile launcher, which can cause significant amounts of damage (and make the loudest of booms) but are slow-firing, possess low ammunition and take up alot of room in weapon load-outs.
  • Awesome Yet Practical: The PPC (both medium-range and ER long-range variants) and Large X Pulse Laser.
  • Badass Normal: Your weapons' tech from the second game used to be an infantryman in a universe where 20+ ton Humongous Mecha are the norm.
    • And he gets all giggly when he gets his hands on Clan tech.
  • Badass Crew
  • Beam Spam: Still a very viable tactic as with Mechwarrior, especially with Large X Pulse Lasers.
  • Canon Foreigner: 'Mech designs that don't normally have jump jets in the original game get them here. Including Colonel Renard's 100 ton Atlas. Yes, really.
    • The second game's Legion tank.
  • Canon Immigrant: The Hollander II 'mech.
  • Damage Is Fire
  • Disc One Nuke: If you can actually salvage the Mad Cat (see Wake Up Call Boss), it becomes this. If you salvage it perfectly intact, it's closer to a Disc One Nuclear Arsenal.
  • Ejection Seat: Used to preserve Mechwarriors in the event that their Mechs are damaged beyond combat effectiveness. This allows them to save themselves and become available for the next mission, as opposed to just dying outright.
  • Enemy Detecting Radar: Expected in this type of game, but the Inner Sphere Raven (a mech that comes with advanced sensors, electronic countermeasures and probes to detect powered-down mechs right off the bat) stakes its meal ticket on this trope.
  • Energy Weapons
  • Escort Mission
  • Eva Fins: The Inner Sphere Awesome and Mauler mech designs (the former of which had the fins roughly a decade before Neon Genesis Evangelion was released).
  • Exploding Barrels: Massive gas storage tanks are a mech-sized version of this. A few missions in the first game are very difficult unless you lure an enemy into a field of gas tanks and set them off.
  • Finish Him!: MechCommander's intro. The exact phrase is said.
  • Fog of War
  • Fragile Speedster: Mechcommander Gold's Inner Sphere Commando and Stilleto, as well as the Clan Uller (Kit Fox) and Cougar mechs.
  • Game Mod
  • General Failure: Jason Cho in the second game. You never actually see him fight, but in almost every mission briefing the Mandrissa tells you that he lost a battle.
  • General Ripper: Colonel Renard from the second game.
  • Glass Cannon: From Mechcommander Gold, the Inner Sphere Catapult and Hollander II and the Clan Vulture (Mad Dog), though more pronounced with the Catapult (which is basically an LRM carrier in mech form).
  • Hold the Line
  • Heel Face Revolving Door: You, in the second game. Justified due to being Only in It For the Money, and in the case of the rebels, revenge against Steiner and Liao for betraying you.
    • Liao and the Mandrissa begrudgingly admit that they need you at their disposal - because you've trashed so many of their other forces whilst in the employ of House Steiner, and they somewhat-respect your capabilities. You get Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves when Renard demands the death of your unit in exchange for a treaty between Steiner and Liao.
  • Jack of All Stats: The Inner Sphere Bushwacker, designed with flexibility in mind.
  • Koosh Bomb: Surprisingly enough...
  • Lightning Bruiser: Along with the aforementioned Shadow Cat (a very fast medium mech with respectable armaments), the Clan Mad Cat (Timber Wolf) and Thor (Summoner) are no slouches either for a pair of Heavy mechs that frequently come armed with ER PP Cs.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: You'll likely be seeing this alot if you arm your mechs with huge numbers of LR Ms, particularly in the first game where missiles don't arc up like they do in the second.
  • Magic Tool: Repair vehicles.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Heavy and Assault class Mechs tend to qualify, but invoked the most with the Inner Sphere Atlas and Clan Turkina in Mechcommander Gold.
  • Mission Control: Lieutenant Diaz in the second game.
  • Non-Entity General: In both games, but particularly noteworthy in the second game, where you are always referred to as "Commander".
  • Praetorian Guard: Mandrissa Cho's Palace Guards and the Steiner Elite Guard from the second game.
  • Real Time with Pause
  • Risk Style Map
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The last 3rd (Davion supported rebels) of the second game's campaign.
  • RPG Elements: The mechwarriors under your command grow in skill as they see more combat, which is one of the reasons to try to keep them alive.
  • Shows Damage: Mechs taking too much fire to their arms can loose them (and the attached weapon) and crippled mechs limp slowly through the battlefield.
  • Sniping the Cockpit: Your Mechwarriors can be on both the giving and receiving end of this. It's always shocking to see one of your Veteran pilots die (not ejecting) at near full-HP from a lucky shot by an enemy mech, especially on higher difficulties.
  • Subsystem Damage
  • Support Power: In the first game you can call in artillery, sensor probes, and UAVs. In the second, this expands to included fixed artillery emplacements, manned scout helicopters, salvage vehicles capable of restoring an enemy 'Mech and placing it under your control, and repair vehicles.
  • Tank Goodness: The Steiner Legion tank is a 100 ton monster that can match most 'Mechs in a straight up fight. The smaller but more numerous Storm tanks should not be underestimated either.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Colonel Renard's Atlas has jump jets and generates more heat than it has capacity. All other 'Mechs must have less or equal heat generation.
  • Took a Level In Badass: A crappy rookie pilot from the first game, callsign "Rooster", returns near the end of the second game as an elite MechWarrior.
    • Also happens to your Mechwarriors as you progress through the missions, going from lowly Green to Elite by the endgame.
  • Wake Up Call Boss: The third mission of the first game, when your force consists mostly of, and is mostly fighting, light 20-30 ton mechs, suddenly throws a 75-ton Mad Cat at you. (Hint: you're supposed to run from it (or take note of all the fuel tanks it's running past). But if you can salvage it...)
  • We Do the Impossible: Your mercenary company gains this reputation at the end of the second game.
  • Zerg Rush: Many of the missions have you facing off against massed groups of tanks and other vehicles.
    • You may also opt to perform these when the tonnage and your bank account allow. What better way to let the rookies stretch their legs than by purchasing a dozen Wolfhounds and just mobbing things to death?