HeavyMetal Software

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HeavyMetal Battle Armor

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Program Summary 

HeavyMetal Battle Armor (we like to call it HMBA for short) is the latest in the HeavyMetal program series, and the first to include many new features that will eventually migrate to the other programs. These features include advanced Configurations (like Omnis, only for Battle Armor) that include multiple weapon and equipment loadouts in a single file, provision for running multiple HMBA instances at the same time to compare designs, specialty ammo, print preview and more.

HeavyMetal Battle Armor is the only Official Battle Armor design program, and is capable of designing all battle armor types and sizes, using rules published in the BattleTech Companion. Battle armor ranging from Light (Power Armor) designs weighing less than 400 kg to the largest Assault designs weighing as much as 2 metric tons can be designed, as well as Quad designs.

As you've come to expect from all of the HeavyMetal programs, HeavyMetal Battle Armor gives you all the tools to design, including custom weapon design, manufacturer and model of equipment information, professional quality record sheets and Technical Readouts (both with pictures, if desired). All available weapons and equipment are included, and are updated as more are published. A Selection utility assists in choosing battle armor for games, full mixed arms BattleForce2 printouts and support is included, and much, much more!

With HeavyMetal Battle Armor, you will have available every official design published in all of the tech readout and record sheet books (a total of 55 files, with over double that including various Configurations), which are constantly updated as more are published. In fact, HMBA even includes the designs in the new Classic BattleTech Combat Equipment book! HeavyMetal Battle Armor includes all of them on the CD, along with over 150 more custom designs submitted by HeavyMetal users.

Also included are almost 70 high-resolution pictures of all published designs and almost 120 high-resolution Clan and House logos and other graphics.

Please check out the specific features and screenshots (click on the screen thumbnail) below:

Total Warfare Rules and Equipment Now Included Using Custom Weapons Files

With the rules and equipment used in BattleTech changing, please be sure to check out the Total Warfare A & Q page for information on how this new series of publications affects the HeavyMetal programs, and when/if the new weapons will be included.

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 Programs page.

The CD Package

HeavyMetal Battle Armor has been packaged for sale in out our New Slim DVD case, a high-quality DVD case, which looks better, is much stronger, ships better and has more convenient room for the instructions insert, than standard CD jewel cases. The thumbnail shown below is from a scan of the package; click on it to see an enlarged version.

                Program Requirements 

Designs for Two Different Rulesets

HeavyMetal Battle Armor is also the first such program to actually design using two different sets of rules, with record sheets specific for those rules: BattleTech, and BattleTech RPG (aka MechWarrior). The CBT record sheets look like what we've come to expect for battle armor, but the RPG sheets include all of the Attribute information, RPG weapon names, etc. in a new and very attractive format. You have your choice when printing, or designing, which ruleset you use. An added bonus is that you can print the new AeroTech 2 record sheets, to be used in games based on AeroTech 2.

The Main Screen

HeavyMetal Battle Armor has an interface similar to the Elite screen in HeavyMetal Pro and HeavyMetal Vee, giving all the information needed for design at one time. This means HMBA requires 800x600 resolution on monitors with small fonts, 1024x768 with large fonts. (If you're not sure whether you are using small or large fonts, you are almost definitely using small fonts.)

This Main Screen (at left, below) has almost all the information you need to input and review your battle armor designs. Most everything from the basics like movement and weapons, to armor and manipulator types, is there, as well as calculated and analysis information, such as mass, cost and damage graph. Despite all the changes, the screen should be familiar to anyone who already knows and uses other HeavyMetal software, as the look and general arrangement has been kept as close as possible. Consistency is important when switching between programs, and we try to help out with that.

A slider control is used to vary the armor on the unit, and information is available onscreen for each of the armor types available for battle armor. You can even design and use your own Custom armor!


One of the most important thing for any fighting unit is the weapons loadout, and HeavyMetal Battle Armor includes an enhanced Weapon Selection screen (above right) for that purpose. While similar to those from the other HeavyMetal programs, you will notice the addition of Weapon Mounts, an important feature of battle armor. Having Modular Weapon Mounts allow battle armor to interchange anti-BattleMech weapons in the field. Also, the Special Ammo button hints at the new feature of being able to specify specialty ammo for CBT anti-BattleMech missile launchers and certain other weapons.

HeavyMetal Battle Armor's second tab (left, below) allows you to associate or include a picture of your design, in a variety of formats, with the battle armor data file. It will be displayed on the third tab of the main screen, as shown above on the right. From this tab, you can also enter all the standard "fluff" text, such as Overview, Capabilities, Battle History, etc., even important dates for the design, plus a Personal Notes section where you can place added info about your design (such as source of info or designer) which while saved with the design and visible, does not print along with the normal fluff text. A Damage Graph is also visible, which gives the maximum, probable and heat-limited damage for the 'Mech up to a 30 hex range.


A special RPG tab (above, right) is included, to make fine-tuning settings to your designs. The RPG rules allow for improvement of up to three factors, as long as there are corresponding reductions in three other factors, and this screen lets you do that. It also gives you all the RPG factors for the design, and how it modifies the attributes of the warrior using the suit.

Naturally, a Usage tab is provided, like all the other HeavyMetal programs, but even this has additional features: There is now an "I have this mini" checkbox, which you can use during selection, and the two Clan and Inner Sphere House User checkboxes can now be customized as to what they represent, on the Preferences screen.

Below to the left is shown the Select battle armor screen. You can specify a total based on Battle Value, C-bill cost or Tons, and optionally specify the number or tonnage of battle armor desired as well as many other criteria, and HMBA will select what it feels are the best units. You can even define "best" as the highest Weapon Value (HeavyMetal's special rating, used also on the other programs as well), Short-, Medium- or Long-Range Factors (again, special to HeavyMetal Battle products), BattleForce2 or other ratios. You can even select "Random" to make up listings of random battle armor, but ones which still meet all your criteria. Selecting battle armor for matches and campaigns was never easier!


The Print screen, shown above right, provides for several different printout types. The standard record sheet can be printed, in a layout similar to (but better than) FASA's standard sheets, and you can print up to five of the same, or even five different, battle armor on the same, or you can also include the movement grid and special missile hit, which are especially nice for battle armor, with their odd missile configurations (like an LRM 17!). Several versions of the TRO (Technical Readout) can be printed, with optional battle armor picture, fluff text and manufacturing data, in addition to all the technical information. Battle Value calculations may be printed, and a separate movement grid with space for recording movement and other information for up to 5 battle armor is available. Of course, you can enter specify the battle armor pilot's skill, and modify Battle Value accordingly, and even specify special scales for tabletop miniature use, such as 1 hex = 2 inches or 5 cm.

Greatly Enhanced Roster Screen

HeavyMetal Battle Armor includes a greatly enhanced Roster Screen (above). Since Battle Armor groups are printed differently than other BattleTech units, usually 4 to 5 per sheet, this called for a major enhancement to the Roster Screen. While you copy or move units to the Roster Screen in the normal way, they are separated into groups of up to five squads or points per sheet. A shaded division separates each sheet, and you can move units into or out of any sheet, set a default of 1 to 5 groups per sheet, and have different numbers of groups on each sheet.

Record sheets can be printed in color, or in black and white. If in color, you can actually select the base color separately for each group, and color code the record sheet to match the painting or markings of the unit during gameplay. While not a miracle, we consider the new Roster Screen a major accomplishment, that will add greatly to your gaming experience.

Other Screens

HeavyMetal Battle Armor has a Tech Info screen comparable to HMPro, which displays a mini Tech Readout, showing the exact tons and cost of every item on the battle armor, armor distribution and much more, as well as the cost of each item. This is shown on the screen below on the left, and is a great check of the cost and effect of each item of equipment and weapon mounted on the design.


A feature-rich Print Preview (above, right) is provided for record sheets of all types (CBT, RPG and AT2), allowing continuous zooming and panning to view all, or just a magnified area, of the sheet. This is great to be sure that colors and placement are as desired, before committing the design to paper. CBT printouts, and preview, automatically show the hit tables so helpful from HeavyMetal Lite.

The screen at the right above is a Print Preview screen, which gives a snapshot of what the completed printed record sheet will look like for the current battle armor. Although its resolution is much less than the printout will be, it is an excellent method of checking out your design. Of course, optional hit tables, movement grid and other such options that are available during printing are not shown on the preview.

There are many more screens and features in HeavyMetal Battle Armor. Many of the features in the other HeavyMetal programs have been included in HeavyMetal Battle Armor. Great care has been taken to make the programs operate as similarly as possible, even to being able to use the same hot-keys for operation. Once you know the operation and features of HMPro, you can pick up HMBA and go right to work (or play). You already understand the program! If you are unfamiliar with the screens and features in HMPro, please go to the HMPro page and take a look at the screens and features displayed there.

Included Graphics

HeavyMetal Battle Armor includes over 60 high-quality logos graphics of battle armor, mostly in black and white such as the Sylph, but also some in color such as the Fenrir. This includes basically all the pictures from Lostech, the field manuals, and even the new Classic BattleTech Combat Equipment book! The pictures already linked to all the standard battle armor, so you won't have to do that. And a new feature with HMBA is that you can actually embed a picture within the data file itself (no external file is required), to send to others. Almost 120 high-quality logos are included, and over 50 small Symbols are included, which are printed on record sheets in the small boxes representing each battle armor suit.


Naturally, designing battle armor is no fun unless you can print the results of your work. HMBA provides many options for printing, as shown on the screens below. You can specify the pilot's gunnery skill, manually or using the included battle armor roster feature and include picture a picture on the printed Tech Readouts, and even a small one on the record sheets - there isn't much room on them). Samples of the printouts are shown below. The printout to the left below shows an enhanced record sheet, with movement grid and missile hit tables, in color. Notice that each squad or point can be printed in a different color, coordinated to the painting or markings of the unit. This is extremely useful during play, keeping track of your battle armor's operation and provides a ready reference for play. Notice that the example shows three different battle armor, with two each of two of them; you can choose any combination for your sheets, even print them automatically in Batch mode after making up a battle armor roster.


The second printout above is for RPG (aka MechWarrior) use, with additional information included for that game, including attribute modifications to the character. In this case, a single sheet is used for each battle armor suit. Gameplay notes, even notes on custom equipment and weapons, can be included.

The third sample printout is the Tech Readout, giving all the required information on the design. This can also be done in Text format, making posting to Newsgroups especially easy. And if the design has multiple Configurations (like Omnis), then all are included on the same printout.

Finally, at the right above, is the new AeroTech 2 record sheet, with up to five battle armor squads or points.

And Many More...

There are many other screens and features available with HeavyMetal Battle Armor, but I've probably already taken up too much of this page and your valuable time. If you still want to know more, since HMBA has so much in common with HMPro, take a look at the HMPro screenshots page for more information and screens. I hope that this will give you a good idea what HMBA can offer you, in the way of an easy-to-use yet extremely powerful and comprehensive battle armor editor. I can safely say that there's nothing else like it, and feel that once you try it, you will be hooked!

Order HMBA Today!

Heard enough? Order HeavyMetal Battle Armor Now!

Web site and contents Copyright RCW Enterprises. All rights reserved. Last updated 01/02/2019
All HeavyMetal programs are developed by Rick Raisley of RCW Enterprises, and Copyrighted by RCW Enterprises. All rights reserved.
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