Total Warfare Q & A
Weapon/Equipment Data Files for Total Warfare
While the current HeavyMetal programs do not completely support all of the
new equipment, Leon Shirow has generously supplied custom weapons files for all
of the programs, making it possible to design using all of the latest equipment.
These files are installed using an automated setup program, which can update
all of your HeavyMetal programs at once. Down the setup from the
Data Files for Programs page.
Q: What is Total Warfare?
A: Previously, a new book would introduce new information, equipment and
rules for using that equipment, and each new book would add a few items. As a
result, tournament-legal rules and equipment will be found in literally dozens
of books, scattered around in a manner difficult, or for some, impossible, to
Total Warfare is the first in a series of BattleTech books which changes
the manner in which information is presented. Total Warfare is the rulebook
in this series, and contains the basic rules for playing BattleTech
using all tournament-legal rules. These aren't called Level 1 or Level 2
anymore; as far as rules levels are concerned, there is only standard, or
tournament-legal rules, and advanced rules. Advanced rules will be the subject
of future books in the series.
Notice I stated that Total Warfare is a rulebook, and I used that
wording for a reason: It has rules for using all the tournament-legal
equipment, but not for designing with it. For example, some new
equipment is included in Total Warfare, but the size (crits) and mass (tons) for
that equipment is not given; those will be the subject of the Classic
which was released in 2007.
Q: Are BattleTech rules and equipment changing?
A: Not really. Over 95% of the rules and equipment will be the same as
they've been for a very long time. The main thing that Total Warfare does is to
clarify rules that have been ambiguous, and put all standard rules into a single
publication. However, there are some new or revised rules, some of which have
been adopted from Maximum Tech and other sources. In addition, there are
some new weapons and equipment. Again, some have been adopted from MaxTech,
while others are new to the game. But the vast majority of rules and equipment
are not changing.
Q: When was Total Warfare released?
A: Total Warfare was released in August of 2006 and the
TechManual, was released in March 2007, both first in PDF format, and
later in hardcopy. Tactical Operations and Strategic
Operations came much later.
Q: How will Total Warfare series affect the HeavyMetal programs?
A: In the short term, not much. As most of the rules and equipment are the
same as previous, the HeavyMetal programs, such as HeavyMetal Pro, can be used
as they are. All Level 2 equipment (by the old rules) are still legal as
tournament-legal in Total Warfare. However, starting with HMPro, the programs
will have major upgrades to add a wealth of new features and improvements, and
when doing that, any changes in Total Warfare that affect the programs, such
as new record sheet designs, will be done at that time.
Q: Do the HeavyMetal programs have Total Warfare rules and equipment in them?
A: The programs don't really have rules as such in them, so that isn't very
applicable. But in the short term, the current HeavyMetal programs will not have
the new Total Warfare equipment in them. With the books only recently released, it will take a while for those changes to be included in the programs.
All of the programs will be rewritten to include all the new
equipment, and as applicable, the rules as well. For example, Total Warfare
includes new and updated record sheet designs. Those new record sheets will be a
part of the new series of programs. What with all the other projects I have to
work on, it makes no sense to go back and change the current programs to include
this and some other data; some changes are more radical, and the only way of
doing Total Warfare justice is to have a major rewrite of the programs.
Update: In the meantime, custom weapons data files have been created that
add almost all of the new equipment from not only Total Warfare & the TechManual,
but also the advanced equipment from Tactical Operations. You can download a
single setup program that places all of the custom files in place for all of
your programs from the Data Files for
Will the new programs with Total Warfare rules be free updates to those who
own the programs now?
A: No, they won't. Since the introduction of HeavyMetal Pro in July of 2000,
updates, which often included new features, weapons and equipment, have been
free. However, with the major rewrite required for the new programs, due to both
Total Warfare and the TechManual, in addition to all the new and
improved program features that will be included, I simply cannot provide the new
updates at no cost. A new version of the programs (such as HMPro6, in the case
of HMPro) will be released at a somewhat higher price. However, anyone who
currently owns the a previous version of the program, will be able to purchase
the new one at an upgrade price of approximately one-half the new price. As this
is the first time an upgrade fee has been charged since introduction of the
programs, I think that's fair.
Q: When will the new programs, such as HMPro6,
A: I'm sorry, but I don't have a date. "Real Life" has hit me extremely hard
over the last couple years, and has thrown out every date estimate I've come up
with. But I intend to get back on the project in earnest, shortly (honest!). I
don't believe in vaporware, so won't be giving any new estimated dates at this
time. But HMPro6 will be the first program rewritten to the new rules. Other HeavyMetal programs rewritten to the new
rules and equipment would follow that.
Are you saying that I can't use the
Warfare rules until the new programs come out??
A: No, I'm not. As I stated above, over 95% of the rules and equipment are
the same; you've already got them. Most of the rules don't affect the programs
themselves, but rather how you play the game, so there's no problem there. As to
the new equipment, all of the HeavyMetal programs have custom weapons editors,
making it simple to add the new Total Warfare equipment as information for it
becomes available. The new record sheet designs are not required; the old ones
work just fine, and will be used for quite some time to come. But when the new
programs come out, it will make playing BattleTech according to the new
rules and equipment in Total Warfare even easier, and add a new dimension to
If you have any
other questions concerning how Total Warfare meshes with the HeavyMetal
series of programs, please don't hesitate to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org