Wednesday, August 03, 2011

The TRO Marches on....

Feng-niao (Hummingbird) Final
By Stephen Huda

Hello there!

We’ve got some stuff to report:

- Stephen Huda has completed the Feng-niao. It’s a beauty, isn’t it? He really does fine work.

- Dorian Sherratt and Helen Troy playtested the Feng-niao, fielding a lance of them alongside some Savannah Masters (for protection - !). I was going to post the entire battle report, but it’s seven pages and I think you’d run out of patience even though the reading is quite good.

So here is the Feng-niao’s battle report from a Comstar attack on a Word of Blake prison camp:

  • The Feng-niao lance went in and painted three generators that were powering the WoB laser battery base defenses. Demolisher Arrow IV comes in, BOOM! No more laser batteries.
  • The Feng-niao then lit up a pristine Thug and Celestial. Arrow IV comes in, BOOM! No more 'Mechs.
  • Two Fengs go down under a hail of missiles and fire from at least six 'Mechs. Two Fengs depart.
  • At the front of the base, a Celestial jumps over the wall to intercept hovercraft leaving with Important Rescued Prisoners aboard. The remaining Fengs race up, paint the back of the Celestial. Arrow IV comes in. BOOM! The WoB player tips the miniature over, not wanting to waste time counting infinite damage to his rear arc. The rescue hovers slide by.
  • Those same Feng-niao paint the base perimeter wall – it’s just getting in the way, right? Arrow IV comes in... well, you get the picture. There is a brand-new doorway in the wall…
  • …which is key because later on, rather than run a gauntlet of firepower trying for the official exit, the remaining rescue hovers with the VERY Important Rescued Prisoner use that new door to get away safely.
The play test went very well, I think. For a combined BV of about 500, those little Hummingbirds did their part and then some.

- The BARS (Bulldog Autocannon Remote System) is still in progress. I hope. Lee has not responded to my email and his computer may be on the fritz due to the heat.

- Karl Olsen is making progress on the Diomedes and the Hammerhead II. We’ve had to pause on these due to some issues with the Sabra XIII and the Uraltruck.

Uraltruck Debate...

Sabra Debate...


You can weigh in on these if you like, but the upshot is that we will keep the Sabra as is (with some barrel tweaks) due to its being based on a prototype and the Uraltruck gets a bit of a makeover on the front end. However, the Diomedes and the Hammerhead HAVE been getting some love.

Hammerhead II Rough Draft

Diomedes Rough Draft

- Bill and I are waiting on art. We have some more very good color pieces from Jim Lafferty.

Federated Commonwealth Praetorian
Art by Eric Ou, colorized by Jim Lafferty

Meanwhile we are working on another Union Class DropShip. It will look a lot like our other one (the one you see on the back cover of Strategic Ops) but is meant for actual play, so we are concentrating on battery power and a ‘Mech bay. Don’t worry that this will distract us from the TRO – we have five months to get it done, instead of four weeks!

- I am concentrating on paying off artists for their work – there is only one more piece undone and that will be picked up shortly by none other than our very own Mike Sullivan, now in a more secure place and ready to do a tank! Yay!

- If you are in the mood to move things along, donate via the PayPal button – even five bucks will get things going in the right direction. I send the money directly from there to the artists and editor (who is nearly paid off).

As always, comments and suggestions are encouraged. Go to:


and download the TRO Prototype 3 if you have not done so already. We should have another ready in about a week. Meanwhile, Bill and I are saving up the suggestions you sharp-eyed readers have made and will incorporate them this weekend.

- A late-breaking addition to the blog: Dorian has finished the Stingray and it is up on Shapeways for purchase.


There are 2 in the pack and each is 28mm long. Due to the size of those bars on the front and back we're limited to FD and FUD material, but given the new pricing structure it's not too bad.

Price point on them is US$14 in FD and US$17.08 in FUD not including VAT (where applicable).

There is no need for instructions as these are one-piece models. Naturally, if you want to play them you will need the stats; email me for the writeup, stats and record sheet.

Link for them is:

Hit the music bar below - I have some new tunes up. Enjoy the prototype and thanks for stopping by.



Anonymous said...

Okay that hummingbird looks awesome! Believe better then some of his work he has done for official TROs.

Wish I could afford to have some do some work for me on designs I have done.

Again TRO is looking great!!

Capt K

Anonymous said...

I Like what I am seeing!! Makes me anxious to get my copy!!

As for the drawings....I would keep the truck and redraw the SPG. The Sabra is just TOO close.


Anonymous said...

I like hummingbirsd spg is okay way
it looks like it better with muzzle break artillery like that is probaly going to look pertty close to t he way its now anyway. No problem with truck will be truck in future cannot wait till this is released this tro looks bettr than some of offical tro to date

Steven Satak said...

Wow, a lot of Anonymous to respond to!

@Anonymous: Thanks! Stephen always does good work, but the concept has to be good too, and the guy commissioning the art has to know what to ask for. If there is any shortcomings in the official TRO art, it is NOT Stephen's fault!

@Anonymous (thecircus): We are going to tweak the truck. The Sabra will get a barrel tweak, but it is good to go because it is based on a prototype that never made production. I have several good pieces for good designs which are based on one-off prototypes.

@Anonymous: As mentioned above, the two will survive with most of the art intact for various reasons. Glad you like it!

Anonymous said...

While I think it would be interesting to see what other artists could come up with, also because these images feel somewhat uninspired to me, I think they are different enough so they don't require a large rework.

Steven Satak said...

Inspired or uninspired (I tend to agree with you on the Sabra), they are placed in appropriate settings. I would love to hire Stephen Huda to replace them entirely.

Why don't you hit the PayPal button for $60? That would cover the cost of new art and we'd get right on it.

No, really. The artist currently working on them might be disappointed, but hey, he gets paid for the work he already did.

Dan Lassiter said...

Steve, an error notation -

Assault is misspelled on the heading over the Fafnir on the final page of the PDF preview most currently released.

Otherwise, it's looking pretty outstanding. Can't wait to see the final product!


Steven Satak said...

@Dan: Yeah, we caught that on Saturday when I was showing it to the boys in the game up in Everett. Embarrassing, as I thought we'd weeded that out.

Thanks for looking it over!

robunos said...

Re: the Ural and Sabra. NAILED IT! It was the sloping front end that said 'I'm a HEMMT', the new version is way better.
With the Sabra, the new barrels look a lot less weedy, and more like our favourite engine of destruction...

 Ashley said...

Tweaks look good enough to me.

Steven Satak said...

Glad you guys like the change. Gotta send some cash to Karl and we'll have these ready to drop in when Bill comes by Sunday. We should (fingers crossed) be able to get a couple of Houses done if everything goes right.

Then we'll have a chance to get all the fixes in and post a new Prototype!

Anonymous said...

Tweaks look good!!


Kiran said...

Hey Steve, did you know there's an error on the BattleMaster BLR-5R read out. The allocation says the ER Large Laser is located in the center torso, but the description clearly states that it's in the left arm. There's no weapon mount in the CT in the picture either while there is one in the LA, so it makes it look like it has a gun mount with no gun. Other than that your work looks fabulous.

Steven Satak said...

@Kiran: Yes, we have entered that in the Errata database. Thanks for the sharp eye!