So some friends of mine want to start playing Battletech, the table top strategy game that started the franchise spanning countless games, books, and even an animated TV show. As with anything table top related, there's a huge library of source books, expansions, and accessories available. Where does one get started and what's a must have item that no player should be without? Consequently, how much should one be looking to spend to get into it? Experience from 40k has taught me that this stuff gets expensive fast.
I've also heard criticisms regarding the game in that battlemechs are far outclassed by other unit types in terms of effectiveness per point. Not that it should matter because we'd probably play a lot of mechs even if they're horrible in comparison, but I was curious if it's still an issue.
Once I actually learn some things, I'll try to update this into a proper opening post. But for now, any help or advice on getting started would be greatly appreciated.