ClickTech, or clicktech, is a slang term that players of tabletop wargames use when referring to the game MechWarrior: Dark Age (often abbreviated as 'MW:DA').
MW:DA is a tabletop wargame based on the Battletech universe property (once owned by FASA), and is produced by WizKids, LLC. The game pieces share several features with other Wizkids game lines such as Major League Baseball, HeroClix and MageKnight. All use plastic miniatures, prepainted, coming in various degrees of rarity. The outstanding feature of these games is that the figure is mounted on a unique base which contains the information needed to play that figure. The bottom of the base rotates, producing changes to the piece's game statistics over time. This reflects the effects of damage, heat or exhaustion in the game itself.
The slang 'clicktech' was originally derogatory. It was a blending of two words - 'click' (from the sound the base made when you rotated it) and 'tech', from the original Battletech this game is based on. Players of Classic Battletech (the original game, often referred to as 'CBT') paint and even modify their own miniatures, which are made of pewter and displayed with considerable pride. These players own and use rulebooks, dice and 'Mech sheets to track the game's progress. CBT was considered by many to be more difficult to learn than MW:DA, and thus, those who chose MW:DA were thought to be 'wimping out' by playing a cheap, watered-down version of the original game.
(It has also been suggested that, as this game has to compete with so many other sources of entertainment, the CBT player's hard feelings are due in no small part to the notion that MW:DA is 'stealing' potential CBT players from an ever-shrinking pool of young wargame recruits.)
The Background and Bad Feelings Behind this Slang Term
Of course, while both games share a common fictional background, they are very different beasts.
* MW:DA miniatures may be made of plastic, but they are inexpensive, relatively immune to rough handling and the paint quality is improving all the time. They are made in a slightly larger scale than CBT miniatures, and so the detail is easier to see. Finally, since they take place in CBT's future, there is no limit to the new miniatures which can be created for this game.
* CBT miniatures have been occasionally re-sculpted, but for the most part, the 'mechs available to the CBT player don't change. And neither does much of the miniature line (although this is changing with the introduction of MW:DA-based miniatures in CBT scale).
* Finally, while individual MW:DA miniatures vary wildly in price (due to collectibility and relative power in the game), CBT miniatures stay at nearly the same price, year after year (although this has changed recently, due to the increase in the cost of tin).
* The MW:DA rules, even after four years, are very much a work in progress. They have become increasingly complex as time passes and new and still newer abilities are added to the existing list. Originally, one of the selling points of this game was that 'you can play Battletech without the steep learning curve'. Sadly, this is no longer true.
* CBT rules have been hammered out by the creators and the players over the past twenty years, and are in their final form. It is true that there is a fair amount of information to absorb. However, most of the difficult rules are learnt 'on the fly', and experience is the best teacher. Once you remember them, and study the optional Level 3 rules, you are done. There are no 'updates' to keep constant track of, lest they upset the balance of your game.
* In short, the MW:DA universe has pretty much put most of the previous Battletech storyline behind it, and gone on to create new factions and reasons for fighting. This has angered some older players. Many older players have invested a lot of time and money in keeping 'current' with the established universe and its related detail. Some had hoped to retain as much of the past as possible. Others had expected some changes - just not ones that were so abrupt and dismissive of the previous source material.
* MW:DA games are turn-based; that is, Player One moves and shoots first, then Player Two moves and shoots. This method is simple to learn and easily understood. It can also result in very unbalanced games, where Player Two may have very few options left on his first turn, because most of his units have either been locked down or destroyed.
* CBT is also turn-based, but with a difference. The players roll Initiative on dice, and the loser moves first. This is because knowing where your opponent is going, and being able to react to it with your own moves, is an advantage. Shooting is simultaneous, so both sides are able to use their weapons, even if a particular unit will be destroyed that turn. This is thought to heighten the need for real strategy (as opposed to abusing a loophole), since it is not often possible to completely wipe out enemy units by the end of the first turn.
In summary, the phrase 'clicktech' was originally used to refer to Mechwarrior: Dark Age, usually in a dismissive tone that suggested the speaker thought MW:DA was inferior to Classic Battletech. More recently, it has become a sort of shorthand phrase among gamers, referring to the same long-named game, but without the rancor.