A Time of War is Catalyst Game Lab's attempt at bringing the Battletech Universe to an Role Playing Game format.
This product in particular is the "quick start" free rules that give you a mission, some characters, and off you go.
Overall these types of releases (there are three total overall, each with a different mission) give players a small taste of what to expect from the game's rules.
The game's engine runs on simple two (or three) dice with six sides, similar to the Battletech Total Warfare or Alpha Strike ruleset.
The mission is simple. The characters are low power enough to be normal "thug" NPCs for a regular 5,000 XP created character.
The equipment is already assigned to a character, so there's no real "shopping" you need to do.
As a strength, this is where the releases go right. Here's your sheets, a mission, just sit down and play.
Apparently these Quick Start Rules for AToW are missions used as a "starter" mission for bigger campaigns down the road that you make.
They are generic enough for any starting or experienced GM to utilize, plus they are free!
On the weakness of the product, as stated earlier there's not much option to alter the characters.
There's no quick character generation rules, though informally I've been told "just change a skill to something else you want."
Also there's no cost sheet for anything to purchase, thus I can't do something like trade in a weapon for something else.
If people are looking at this for starting a campaign from the go, don't.
Rather get A Time of War AND use this to start a campaign.
If you're just looking for a fun, one-off, easily playable mission to try then this and the other Quick Starts by CGL are useful.
[5 of 5 Stars!]