Monday, August 02, 2010

Progress in Art and Ranting...


More good work to report:

- Ian Stead is working on the Tomahawk tank, a cheap design with an internal combustion engine and a big gun; intended for garrisons and militias in the outlying provinces. He has had some computer issues but has resolved them. After taking a vacation next week, he should be back on the job.

- I have sent Paul three more writeups. He will take them on as time permits. Apparently I just keep sending them until he’s had enough. Hey, works for me.

- Our alternate layout man (Eric) has responded. It is my sad duty to announce that Josh will not be able to perform the layout tasks due to illness. He simply has too many other things to think about and his situation is not really improving. I have asked Adam Jury for a lead on a fellow who could perform the task – as some of you may know, Adam originally worked for Catalyst Game Labs as their layout artist. I haven’t a hope in hell of hiring the man – he does this for a living, after all - but perhaps he can steer me in the right direction.

- Chris Seymour’s Mongomery II is complete – some of you might already have caught a glimpse of it on the forums or over at deviantArt.

Here is the evolution of this design's artwork:

- Karl Olson has completed the Panzer X – look below for the final version.

He is now at work on the San-Ku-Chu, a moderately armed Capellan troop carrier.

- I have pinged Mike Sullivan, who originally promised something by the weekend. No mention of anything so far – I have assigned him the Urugan atmospheric fighter as he has a proven track record of really nice aircraft. [Update: Mike has begged off this one due to other commitments - I am currently fishing for other artists as you read this.]

- Daniel Cherng has done a wonderful Katana; there were a few issues I would like to clear up, but if it is in final form (and I hope not), then I may have to work the writeup instead.

- David Eugene (daveCrypt) has rejected the changes I requested as part of the Nemera commission for a price of $30. He does great work but wants $200 and this is well out of my range financially. I will be shopping this commission out to another artist in the meanwhile. Too rich for my budget.

- The artist (Chris Duke) who was to do the Urugan has been switched over to do another tank, the Panzerfaust. I have seen his work and it is suitable for this particular commission. A pity I have no room for starships, because he does a very good job on them as well!

- Eric Ou has completed the Isometrus, featured at the top of this blog entry and probably the last piece we will get from him. He is very close to going back to school again. Some of you may have spotted his work in the official TRO:3085 which just hit the streets. Well, the internet, anyway, as it is only in PDF format for now.


I got my Glock AEP back from the repair shop on Friday. The technician does not know what is wrong with it, but he replaced several broken gaskets and lubed the gun; it appears to work fine in full auto, so I guess it will have to do for now. We are scheduled for another woodsy combat on the 14th of August, same location as last time. Maybe this time I will be able to work with my friend Bill instead of finding him in my sights over and over. He has a lot to teach me, and his G-36K is working again

Catalyst Games

August 9th approaches. What more can I say? Let’s see what happens. [What happens is that the sneaky bastards get it pushed back some more, to October 12th. Let's hope it was the prosecution and not the defense which requested that...]

The TRO:3085 is okay. Very big (bigger than our TRO:3063 by seventy pages, in fact), covers a lot of ground, but as it is a jump of ten years from the previous major TRO (3075) I expected no less. This is the first time I have seen a TRO appear that is ahead of the current events in the game (we are in the year 3078, I think). A lot of art is by David White (yay!) and a couple of pieces are by Eric Ou (double yay!) and of course, there are pieces by Alex Iglesias (dude!).

This jump is accompanied by a rumor (I have no exact source) that when the Jihad winds down, the… wonderful people at CGL are going to jump past Devlin Stone’s ‘peace’ and land in the 3130s. I think it’s because they just can’t make a good story around IndustrialMechs, and that may very well be the reason. It would have been nice if they’d published a Record Sheet Annex for the TRO:3085, however. Eh, maybe they will save that for GenCon. [Actually, it appears they did publish the record sheets for this TRO in a separate PDF. Good move, guys!]


I know why I dropped MechWarrior:Dark age. I became aware of it only in 2002, mind you. Never could figure out what the hell we were supposed to do with the AgroMechs, even the upgunned versions.

Then I realized these were the equivalent of common cards in Magic: The Gathering and not all of them were going to be good.

That is when I fell away from the game. I can understand dedicating a piece of laminated paper to the mundane purpose of representing a crappy card no one will ever use. But the idea that someone would design a miniature, someone else would manufacture it and still someone else - probably a pretty overworked Chinese girl - would sit there and burn her eyes out slapping paint on it....

Then another guy or gal would assemble the parts and package them. Then it would get to the Yew-nited States where a guy could exercise his God-given right to free trade and plunk down his ten bucks - open the box - and promptly throw that miniature into a landfill because, in the game he plays, it's junk.

I am no tree hugger but really - what a freaking waste from beginning to end. Really torqued me off when I thought about it. No offense to you guys who liked the game, but I am glad it's dead.

I can live with conspicuous consumption - it's mindless consumption I can't stand.

Back to the TRO:3085!

Is it me or does the Heavy PPC seem to be the new gauss rifle?

There are some good machines, some so-so designs and the usual clunkers. The art overall is pretty good – like our TRO, they have the good, the bad and the unmentionable. I think Matthew Plog really tried on this one, and it shows, but the man needs to work on another way to do shading. It spoiled a lot of otherwise-standout pieces. At least he isn’t doing ‘organic’ and ‘blisters’ so much. Brent Evans… his art leaves me feeling ‘meh’ all the way. Hey, at least he got published. He’s pretty good at running a stable of artists from what I have heard.

Here is hoping the artists and writers see a paycheck. They earned it.

Thanks for stopping by.



Karyudo-DS said...

Well the dark age time line's only existed for nearly a decade, if they didn't want to use it they should have written it out of Battletech awhile ago. I wouldn't mind though since Battletech has been around awhile, times change and should. Though the DA novels have already come and gone. I think that was mostly Topps and Jordan's fault.

I'm working on something from that time frame-ish today actually. Good luck with that layout, fun stuff.

Steven Satak said...

I added a Micro Rant in your honor, K. You touched off something I have been thinking about for a long time.

Karyudo-DS said...

Actually a few of those agro's were pretty useful units. Rarely $10 useful though. If they sold them separately or in cheaper packs maybe... I duno. That was one of the game's problems. As far as the game itself went I thought it played great. How they sold it, not so much. Everyone complained about agro mechs till they stopped making them, they at least stopped. Then came Falcon's Prey and the cards...which the cards were a great idea, marketed by morons. I entirely agree with that.

 Ashley said...

I know this is going against everyone's perceived opinions, but I like the agromechs. They may be pants, but they have character, and are justifiably pants because they use inferior tech. Unlike a lot of classic designs that are pants because no one really knew what they were doing, or the current mechs that are pants as a way of artificially adding character.

Steven Satak said...

Pink, perhaps I did not make myself clear in the past - I *like* the AgroMech, even wrote stories around it, but make no mistake.

If you put it up against regular 'Mechs (as happened in the MW:DA game) and issue it in lieu of 'effective' pieces in a collectible miniatures game (as happened with MW:DA), the machine is no longer in a setting where it can be construed as anything but a waste of plastic, time and human energy.

I am sorry to say it. But there it is. I love them, but they have no place outside carefully-organized scenarios where the lack of anything better promotes them to the top - and then, only if their employers hew to the strengths of the BattleMech - MS3F.

(from that story, remember?)


Steven Satak said...

And what the heck is 'pants'?

Xynar said...

The TRO 3085 and the record sheets saw print for GenCon. Also four minis are already out in a special 'Con lance pack.

Unknown said...

Personally I like Dark Age but I wish they had a historical "Wrap up" of what the Jihad did to all the planets they nuked. I run a hybrid Rpg/battletech Dark Age session. I like a lot of what went into it, how the time line progressed along. I just wish that someone (or a group of someones) would get together to finish fleshing it out. I like reading you rants and seeing the awsome drawings.