MechWarrior Tactics, the turn-based, free-to-play BattleTech brawl from Roadhouse Interactive, is gunning it into closed beta today. Looking to emulate the BattleTech tabletop game that inspired the slew of MechWarrior titles past and present, Tactics includes collectible card game elements, casting you as a mercenary commander in charge of a customizable, four-mech lance. Beginning today, MWT is up for sale; three tiers of buyable beta access (a business model that I critiqued just yesterday) range from $20 all the way up to $120, with scaling rewards.
At the moment MechWarrior Tactics supports only invite-based 1v1 matches where your lance of mechs squares off against an opponent's in asynchronous, turn-based combat. Which is to say, you "send" your moves like, say, Civilization multiplayer, and both players' actions resolve simultaneously. According to game director Chris Cleroux, however, other modes and even eSports features are being explored, and the team is hoping to use player feedback from the beta to help them determine how to move forward.
Your mech lances will be pieced together using a collectible card game-style element where chassis, swappable weapons, and other items found are received through STACs, Tactics' name for buyable booster packs. The game will support an unannounced number of different mech types, ranging from more common "stock" models that come as-is, to rarer and more versatile ones with varying numbers of customization slots. Purchasers of the Founders packages will get a head start building their collection (in addition to the starter set that all new players will get for free) with a stipend of in-game currency. Additionally, Founders will have the bragging rights of being automatically counted among the in-universe Seventh Kommandos faction .
The full benefits of each reward tier are as follows:
Veteran Founder's Package ($20):
Elite Founder's Package ($50):
Legendary Founder's Package ($120):
An additional note from the publisher: "For in-game currency, Founders' accounts will be credited upon Open Beta and will be non-refundable. The in-game currency included in any of the above packages may be used for in-game purchases of virtual items only. The Founder's Program will be supported in North America only. During Closed Beta, additional temporary currency may be granted for testing purposes."
You can sign up for the Founders program starting now , and read more about the game on the official site . Feel free to hold off on throwing money at MWT just to get beta access (a practice we continue to argue about )—we should have some refreshed thoughts on the game soon.