After some time off, I’ve returned to editing the Sarna.net wiki and have plenty of ideas for improving the wiki. As usual, there’s the constant need for new articles and article updates, as well as the ever-growing pile of articles that need proofreading. I want to pick up where I left off with the unofficial “project video games”.
‘Mech combat on the planet Cermak
With this project we are aiming to vastly improve our coverage of the various video games in the BattleTech universe. Though these games are not expressly canon, they still are an important part of the ongoing universe and deserve better coverage than they have gotten.
So far, we have quantified and organized all the MechCommander and MechCommander 2 equipment stats, but the ’Mech and vehicle pages for the original MechCommander need work. With more help for those pages and for all the MechWarrior games’ related pages, these video games could be much better covered.
Last week, Techwars Online, a Steam Greenlight success story, that made it through all of the hurdles, was released on Steam for ten dollars. Well that certainly seems like a price worth trying out. So I grabbed a copy of the game, and invested some time into figuring out this turn based tactical game featuring BattleMechs fighting it out.
To begin, you can move each of your units up to three hexes, with a twist of your torso counting as one. And you can fire one weapon. Each weapon has different ranges and firing arcs. You may have short range lasers that can only reach 2-3 hexes away, or long range missiles which won’t fire close in at all, but which can hit with a spread out range. Some weapons require a direct line to hit, like your main cannon, so moving, firing, and more is all important. Also important is turning after firing to protect yourself. It’s all about winning, not about how damaged your unit gets in the process, right?
Sometimes you are just looking for a little ‘Mech on ‘Mech action. Whatever the Intellectual Property, and whatever the style, a quick little online PC action happening can solve that desire. Load up the game, log on, and blast some folks. That’s why a lot of us are playing games like Mechwarrior: Online. This week, another (mostly) online ‘Mech game was released as well. Techwars Online.
Turn-Based Fun Times!
The game is an admitted throwback. Slower, turned-based combat in a time of fast games. It’s actually based on a Russian novel of the same name, set in the future as two mega-corps battle for supremacy with BattleMechs. Starting in Greenlight, it arrived on Steam on May 17th. You can pick it up from the Steam Store Page for $10.
In the game, you start with the same ‘Mech as others, and then can upgrade it or change out ammo over time. Grab the game, try it out with others, and see if it’s your style! Turn-based ‘Mech combat. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Even if it doesn’t evoke BattleTech per se, sometimes you just gotta get your ‘Mech on!
3D printing is growing both in the areas of industry and as a hobby. Many tabletop gaming players dream of getting a 3D printer and printing up all the models they’ve always wanted.
While that may be possible for some, most 3D printing hobbyists can’t afford to by the level of printer that it takes to print models for games like BattleTech. Most of the 3D printers available to consumers are not suited for that kind of detailed printing. That’s not to say that these printers aren’t capable of some amazing things, but usually models in the BattleTech game scale are not something they can handle.
So what kinds of things can consumer level 3D printers do? In the roughly six months that I’ve been into the 3D printing hobby, I’ve printed some pretty cool stuff. Statues, terrain, Pokemon, and more. There are a ton of things to do with a 3D printer if you take the time to learn how they work. I don’t know near everything about 3D printing, and I’m having a great time with it.
This dwarf statue is but one example of what you can make with a 3D printer.
A couple of weeks ago, I was browsing through Thingiverse, which is an amazing website full of free 3D printable files that creators have uploaded to the website to share with the community.
As I was browsing I found the page of creator LordNova2 who had shared a couple of really cool MechWarrior and BattleTech related designs. Among those designs was a Clan Ghost Bear medallion. Being a Ghost Bear at heart, I had to download it right away.
And then, I completely forgot about it, until a few nights ago.
One of my 3D printers (I have two) had just come off a big project I was working on, and I decided to print something fun. I thought I would share the process that followed my decision.
My local group is partaking in a year-long Leader Board for 2016. In cased you missed it, here’s Weeks One, Two, and Three.
Real life travel has delayed the Week Four report until now, and as such much of my memory of the Week 4 games has faded. I do, however, have army lists and the game results, so I will try to fill in the details the best I am able.
Week 4 of the 2016 Leader Board Season was played on Thursday, February 18.
Clan Sea Fox
A wild Clan Sea Fox Star has appeared!
The Mercenary player decided to shake things up a bit and introduce a new force. The rules of the Leader Board do not prevent this, so he took to the field with a Grand Summoner, a Karhu, a Mad Cat Mk III, a Cave Lion, and a Tiburon. All units were at Skill: 3.
I have a serious love/hate relationship with Wikipedia! When I read an article that intrigues me, and it links to something else I want to check out, I will start reading and I don’t realize that an hour and a half has just passed until I come up for air. I can start on something innocent, like reading about reviews of a recent movie that’s released, and wind up finishing in an article about the Treaty of Versailles or String Theory.
Having grown up in West Virginia, everyone around me loved NASCAR. I never got it. You are
Not Solaris VII, But Similar Enough to Inspire Me
driving around in a circle for a few hours. That’s not really something that appeals to me. Why would I want to watch that? Who cares? Even with NASCAR being the second most watched sport in America right now, it’s still not my thing, and I doubt it ever will be. I’m not a NASCAR guy.
So I’ve never really understood the world behind NASCAR. But then I read that wikipedia article, and 77 minutes later, a lot of things changed. I saw just how closely a lot of the NASCAR teams and companies really dovetail with a lot of the fluff on Solaris VII. I grew inspired by it, and now I’m looking to try out a new S7 campaign with some ideas from NASCAR to flesh out the stable system a little more.
My local group is partaking in a year-long Leader Board for 2016. In cased you missed it, here’s Weeks One and Two.
Week Three of the 2016 Leader Board Season was playing on Saturday, February 6. Clans Jade Falcon, Ghost Bear, and Snow Raven were represented, along with Wolf’s Dragoons, Draconis Combine, and Mercenaries.
Yay! I got shots of all of the armies this time!
Clan Snow RavenA carbon copy of the Snow Raven list used in Week 2, the CSR player wanted to gain more understanding of the list in the hopes of mastering the rules and tactics involved in the combined arms force. The Mad Dog and Linebacker were both Skill: 2 with all other units at Skill: 3.
On January 31st, the various electors that are running the current MegaMekNet Campaign announced that it will be concluding soon. The Free Worlds League has won, and a new cycle will begin on March 1st. In the wake of the victory, several major announcements were made to increase the value of the campaign in the future. (MegaMekNet is an online campaign played through various shareware programs, you can download and check out)
The various members of the winning faction, as long as they had enough games to qualify, are going to win units for the next campaign, randomly pulled from a special reward unit list. This is the first time that the winning faction for one campaign gets rewards for the next one, no matter whether they remain Marik or not.
Meanwhile, the way victory is determined will shift in the future. Previously, one faction usually won when they assaulted and captured the capital of an enemy. This has always created an inequity in the game as those states with a smaller path the capital (like the Capellan Confederation) are easier to defeat. Meanwhile, it becomes pretty easy to know when one faction has “virtually” won and it’s hard to fight against that momentum. Sometimes players won’t continue to invest time, sweat, blood, and metal in the campaign if it won’t change the outcome.
So how is the online campaign going to shift? The goal won’t be to take capitals, but a new slate of “Victory Planets” that are placed on the borders. All you have to do is to capture a net of these worlds from various fronts, and once you do, then you win. Not only will this balance the books, not only will it keep the campaign in flux, but it also will allow the campaign to better resemble the main line BattleTech wars. Most wars and conflicts were ended by one side taking some key border planets from the other that were fought over. So the resulting changes will give players the ability to fight for border worlds that makes a campaign more dynamic as well as getting rewards for winning for the next one.
That’s a pretty spicy set of changes. March 1st will be a good time to check it out and try the new campaign. Check out their thread post for more info.