Idk if anyone ever answered you on this question and if you din't find out yourself yet so I'll do it. Battletech developed in the mid 80s originally as a table-top turn based tactical science fiction war game. You controlled whatever forces the GM decided you had enough money/battle points to select over various different scenarios that took place on hex game sheets, usually people built massive custom gameboards complete with terrain and cities and whatnot (just like for Warhammer, even interchangeable with warhammer i believe). The original figures were made of pewter but they changed slightly before BT sold out into cheaper metals, you had to paint and construct many of them your self. Anyway, the game design borrowed heavily from Robotech for some of the original mechs (Warhammer, Rifleman, Longbow, Marauder, etc etc.) and it got off to a rocky start but it eventually spawned into a wildly popular science fiction series f over 100 novels, a similar number of sourcebooks and rulebooks for the game, the 9 pc and console games, the AeroTech offshoot game, and the awful MechWarrior: Dark Age/Age of Destruction game developed by WizKids and now Catalyst games. Basically the premise is after the Soviet Union falls, basically around the time we're living right now the nations of Earth unite into a federation of sorts, some scientists (Kearny and Fuchida) develop a technology that becomes applied a century after they die to space travel and communication, and humans begin to explore and settle an area of space known as the Inner Sphere. Eventually it becomes a universe of war and over 1200 years (Between 2000s and 3200) all these wars and crap happen. It's a very interesting series with infinitely more realism, depth, character development, and intricacy than every other 'mecha and science fiction series. Most stuff you'll see on DA is probably classic battletech (The time period up until and including the beginning of the FASA intellectual properties falling into a series of different hands, Microsoft Games, Catalyst GameLabs, WizKids) because they ruined the game almost entirely. I could have linked you to battletech wiki but I love it too much not to explain it personally.