A BattleMech (often abbreviated 'Mech, although that could technically also refer to Industrial Mechs) is an armored combat vehicle of roughly humanoid shape, standing 8 to 14 meters tall and typically massing from 20 to 100 tons. 'Mechs are best suited for ground combat, although they are also capable of operations underwater, in hazardous environments and in space.
In general, BattleMechs are considered superior to conventional combat vehicles, being faster, better armed and better protected, creating a firepower-to-manpower ratio which also gives them a logistical advantage. 'Mechs replicate many of the movements humans are capable of performing, including acrobatic feats such as shoulder rolls, which allow them to avoid, deflect or otherwise lessen the impact of weapons fire. Their downside is the incredible expense associated with producing and maintaining 'Mechs, even the cheapest 'Mech can cost millions of C-Bills, ensuring cheaper combat vehicles a continued role in warfare. Still, the best way to fight a 'Mech is with another 'Mech, preferably one larger and more powerful: duels between evenly-matched 'Mechs have been known to last for hours.