Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More Art, Changes in the Layout... and No Autoplay!


It has been a while since our last update. As you can see, the art for the new aerospace fighter, the Sounder, has gone through some changes. Our new artist is Jeffrey Agussoekarno and he is quite good at this.

There are several advances on the production of the TRO:

- We have almost finished paying off Stephen Huda for his efforts on the Werefox line.

- We are currently down to about $86 owed to Paul Skowronek for his editing duties.

- Karl Olsen is still hard at work filling in backgrounds for various vehicles – at this point I owe him a lot, about $180, counting the pieces he still has to finish. As you can see from the Sounder, he is doing well. Another vehicle, the Stingray support tank, was completely redone in order to bring it into line with the look of most other vehicles in BattleTech.

- Eric Ou has finished the work on the Nemera and the Sher Khan using vehicles already sitting in his portfolio. Unfortunately, he was not able to work in a special feature of the Sher Khan, so I will be tweaking the writeup to reflect the current warload. Nevertheless, this work was done pro bono and I am very grateful for Eric’s effort. It is quite appealing.

Nemera (above)

Sher Khan

- Jeffrey is also working on a mystery ship for the 109th slot – the Machete.

- The Outworlds Alliance Uragan has gone through a change – it is no longer an atmospheric fighter but a true aerospace machine and as such has been tweaked and trimmed to reflect the changes. The art remains the same, however. Given its previous stats, I believe this is a solid step up. The atmospheric fighter version with turbines was too slow, poorly armed and very lightly armored to be a worthwhile addition to the TRO.

- We are still going over the images for the Werefox miniatures (sorry, Dorian!) and should have any issues nailed down in a week or so.

- Bill is working on the TRO layout – his knee is on the mend. He has already begun new projects in addition to our TRO – taking up several painting commissions is a good start.

TRO Layout Changes

- Bill and I have done quite a bit of talking in the past few weeks. Much of it has been on other topics, but we decided to change the layout of the information presented in the TRO. We don’t want an exact copy of the company’s own books – it will be hard enough for folks to establish this as a fan project by looks alone We don’t want this to rise to the level of confusion. Catalyst Games might not appreciate it.

Here is the new proposed Table of Contents:

- Another issue Bill and I discussed was the idea of adding a page or two of information in the Master Unit List format. That is, listing the TRO entries in terms of their faction availability, BV1 and so on circa 3063. We decided it was a good idea and will insert it in the back of the TRO. Of course this is going to extend the page count a bit, but we felt it would aid players and GMs alike in determining selections for their game.

It will take us a little time to collate the data – I will have to go through every single writeup to get it – but we still have four months to go before we publish. And it is a needful thing, if my own experience with HMP is any indication.

The Music Player...

The Music Player…. thanks to all of you who voted on the issue of the Music Player. I have already disabled AutoPlay. From now on, blessed silence is the default setting for those of you not into dubstep, power pop or occasional flashbacks to earlier decades.

However... if you want to hear what is on the playlist, just click on the button at the bottom of the screen.

An Actual BattleTech Game!
Yes! Someone played one of these over the past weekend! With me!

- I played a game with the regular guys up in Everett this weekend. I was running OpFor with the GM. We sent a lot of Draconis Combine 3025-era ‘Mechs across a fairly rough area trying to get to a rallying point three mapsheets away. We fielded two Panthers, two Griffins, two Shadow Hawks and a Grasshopper. All had about 20% existing damage when they stepped on the map. The Grasshopper made it through the shallow lake to the waiting reinforcements on the other side – the rest were destroyed or captured in a valiant (and successful) attempt to soften up the enemy and buy time for their leader to get away.

The Clanners pursued us with five ‘Mechs. Unfortunately, they jumped as well as we did and hit harder, but we did manage to take down a Kit Fox and beat the stuffing out of a Clan Grizzly. I lost all but one Shadow Hawk, who did his best to stomp that Kit Fox into the dirt before finally surrendering.

I decided the Shadow Hawk pilot would relent and call out an honor duel - despite it being very late in the game, it worked. The prospect of getting another Zell point seemed to please the Clan player immensely. In fact, instead of staying at range and pasting me, he ran right up and slugged it out toe to toe. Of course, this meant I could punch and kick him.

The declaration also kept all his buddies off my back - all I had left was a LRM-5 of Doom! And my fists and feet. Things went well for our Clanner- two Clan Large Pulse lasers will do that for you - until I kicked him in the head after knocking him down.

At that he called to one of the other players to help - apparently, my shot at the Grizzly on Turn 2 had made me fair game for that guy under Zell, so the fellow came over to beat on me.

The game ended with my surviving both 'Mech's fire but unfortunately unable to squash the invader thoroughly enough. Cockroaches! What're ya gonna do?

The Clanners were curiously reluctant to enter the water and pursue the waiting Combine warriors – the GM called it a minor victory for the Clanners due to the five machines they trashed, but the game ended with the Grasshopper and most of its fellow DCMS warriors slipping off the map. The Clanners were supposed to destroy them all. They might have, if they’d braved the water, but by that time they were so beat up, OpFor would have taken another couple of them out on the way over.

Which was the plan all along. We OpFor knew we could not win, but were determined to make the players pay a heavy price for total victory. They declined the offer.

The place we played was a Gamer’s Tavern, the AFK up in Everett. Interesting place – if you are in the area, check it out sometime. I recommend the +2 Tater Tots with chili and cheese.

The Ultrasonic Cleaner - a Wash.

Unfortunately, while the ultrasonic bath works well, it does not work well on plastics, which includes the Shapeways minis. So that idea is a bust. But on the bright side, my wife's jewelry is sparkling and I am currently attempting to make a super stripping bath out of it (acrylic floor stripper + water + ultrasonic mojo = stripped metal miniature).

Thanks for stopping by.