The new release of A Time Of War (The BattleTech RPG) really peaked my interest in BattleTech again. I played BattleTech when I was in my mid teens and it was a blast. I haven't played in over a decade and I feel it is time to finally return to my once beloved hobby (wargaming). So I've already picked up the BattleTech rulebooks I will need to play the wargame portion. I really want to roleplay heavily this time around in order to continue to roleplaying (my favorite hobby) and to add depth and meaning to my wargaming sessions. I am trying to consider my options for the most rewarding experience and possibilities.

Obviously A Time Of War is a logical choice because it is created specifically for roleplaying in the BattleTech universe. However, that is also its downfall, as the system's focus is constrained to vanilla BattleTech. I admit that I am very taken by the idea of another game setting clashing into BattleTech; World Of Darkness / Warhammer 40K / TORG / Rifts / (low powered) Exalted / Mutant Chronicles / etc... meets BattleTech. No such deviation is possible with A Time Of War without enormous house ruling, most likely too complex for me to undertake while preserving mechanical balance.

So I've been thinking my best bet would be to find a system that already has support for multiple genres so game balance, for the most part, won't be an issue. The two alternatives to A Time Of War that I feel are my best candidates are FATE and GURPS 4E. Both have sufficient "toolkit" capabilities, genre books for my estimated needs (fantasy, modern, and sci-fi), and are systems I've wanted to try for quite a while. I am pretty well educated in the possibilities that GURPS can provide. Unfortunately I know little about FATE or A Time Of War.

I was hoping folks who have experience with any of these three systems might post some pro's and con's of each system, specifically their personal opinions vs an objective approach. Even if you aren't familiar with BattleTech, I would still love to hear what you think any or all of these systems get right or wrong. Keep in mind that the BT wargame is completely self contained. I would essentially be running two separate games that are only linked thematically. Any feedback would be most appreciated .