Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Editing Path Clears... and new Art!

Word of Blake Aurora Mobile Flak Battery
Art by Stephen Huda


We did it again.

We added another vehicle.

But this one was worth it. I am putting the finishing touches on the rough draft for the writeup.

Imagine if you will, an anti-aircraft battery in BattleTech that can actually shoot down VTOLs and even aerospace fighters. I mean, actually do it in the game, with no special rules, for real. There are many such designs in the BT universe, but none of them are really all that effective.

Oh, sure. The writeup says they are effective, the design is such that you might think they could do the job, but when it comes to putting metal on the table and rolling the dice, most of them come up short.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not talking about missile launchers. They do a good job – that is, unless the target has an AMS (or in the case of our Outworlds Alliance Sounder, several). Then you’re sort of screwed unless you spam the hell out of them with a bunch of little stuff.

This new machine is called the Aurora, and it started out as a joke. Click on the image for a closer look.

As you can see, pretty cool. I thought ‘what if I send this to our new proofreader and pretended to panic, telling him this was the next project?’ So I sent the pic and some stats I threw together. Instead of a flustered proofreader, I got a comment from John Baker telling me he’d tested it on Mega Mek and thought the new machine was pretty effective. When I told him it was meant as a joke, he shrugged and said words to the effect that it was ‘still damn good, even for a joke’.

I ran it by Bill and he liked it. So much for the joke! I commissioned Stephen Huda to illustrate the machine, using the Claymore’s chassis (they are the same tonnage).

This is a 100-ton machine. It moves 2/3 with nearly ten tons of armor (1/2 for the militia variant and that one carries more armor than an Atlas). There are six LB-5X autocannons supplied with four tons of cluster ammunition. It has a range of 630 meters and a backup battery of five ER small lasers. Oh, and did I mention? It comes equipped with C3i.

With a potential of up to thirty rolls on the motive hits table, this baby will force most other vehicles to grind to a halt if they don’t wind up destroyed completely. Against aerospace fighters, the Aurora has a fair chance of forcing a crash, even on a strafing run.

Recommended for good gunners, and please, don’t do like the boys in the UK did, and try to move it around. The base model moves 2/3 and all they did was drive their targeting modifier up, making it harder to lock on a target. Stick it and its lancemates in a Level One revetment and leave them there.

Word of Blake Claymore (color)

As you can see, the color plates for the Vehicle sections are done. Jim Lafferty did excellent work.

Mercenary Hessian Hovercraft (color)

Good News on the Editing Front

We have a new editor, John Baker. As you can see from the list of errata on the previous blog post’s comment page, there is still a lot of stuff that needs fixing. John is a volunteer with very good writing skills and he has already sent me six pages of corrections. Normally, I would despair because it means I have to make multiple trips to Bill’s house to get these punched in.

However! I now have a copy of InDesign and will install it on my computer tomorrow. Bill will drop by with the files from his computer, and we will get it up and running on my powerful new laptop. That way, I can do the corrections every night instead of once or twice a month!

[We installed it and the fonts it required. Bill brought the TRO files over and installed them. It is up and running for editing, folks! Bill is sick now (imagine that) but will be around in a week to drop the new art in place. By then the remaining introductions should be back.]

- Geoffrey has agreed to look over the new Introductions for the Vehicle sections, as well as the writeup for the Aurora. I will send it to John after that.

- Prototype v6 is still up and ready for download. There are about three days left before I get down to business and start working my way through a fourteen-page Errata list. If you see anything, let me know.

Again, if you want to chip in, please hit the PayPal button if you have five or ten dollars to spare…. I want to get these debts cleared before the end of November and need all the help I can get. I have had several people donate what they can and I have sent it on to my artists.

Also! A new banner for my forum posts!

Thanks for stopping by.