TotBWC project update

Made a little more progress, now that I’ve got enough wherewithal to stay focused on one thing for more than 5 minutes. I’m still not even up to standing for more than 5 minutes, let alone the walk to Gabi’s from the bus stop, so live-fire tests at the LGS have been postponed (again..). Going to test out a couple scenarios with my brother while he’s here, though.

Here are the current revised force lists for the scenarios listed below (I’m still writing them up in the new scenario style, which will be coming up shortly. I hope.)
Scenarios with simple map/rule revisions:
“Leave No Survivors”
“Ghost Unit”
“Last Line of Defense”
(Hoff scenario IV)
(The remaining Hoff scenarios are getting repurposed into a Chaos Campaign tree)

“The Lady and the Tiger”
Special Rules: The weather is a Heavy Snowfall, increasing the difficulty of all piloting and gunnery rolls by 1. All ‘Mechs sink an additional point of heat. Starting on Turn 15, piloting skill rolls increase by 1, and all hexes cost +1 MP due to snow buildup; in addition, all units sink an additional point of heat each turn. All Water hexes are solid Ice. Forced Withdrawal is in effect.

Defender: The Black Widow Company (Total BV: Just shy of 16,000)
(Roll 1d6 on turn 4; on a 1-3, the Fire lance arrives: on a 4-6, the Scout lance. The remaining Lance arrives on Turn 7)
The Black Widow Command Lance must deploy within 4 hexes of the center of their Home Edge; all of their reinforcements enter from the opposite edge (flanking units returning to envelop the Killers).

Attacker: Santander’s Killers, Tregarth’s Company (Total BV: 11,726)
Command Lance: Cpt. Tregarth: Untouched WHM-6R*, Veteran Skills. TDR-5S (18 RT armor, 12 sinks, 7 CT(r) armor) (Veteran skills). WVR-6R (15 armor, LT). Warrior Larsen: GRF-1N (costs 2MP/hexside to turn)
Scout Lance: PHX-1 * (Double all movement heat, 5 HD armor, Veteran), STG-3R (gyro hit), STG-3R (Heat sinks reduced to 8), LCT-1V (heat sinks reduced to 6)
Fire Lance: VLK-QA* (Veteran, malfing Medium Laser), GRF-1N (10 LRM-10 ammo left, down to 10 sinks), SHD-2D (Gunnery 6 due to FCS damage), PNT-9R (all rear armor reduced to 2)
The Killers are in a search formation, struggling to overcome the blizzard, and all lance members must deploy within 2 hexes of their lance leader (marked with a * above). All lance leaders must be within 3 hexes of the center hex(es) of the map. Their Home Edge lies opposite to the Widow’s

Playtest notes:
I increased the delay on the reinforcements to give the Killers a little more of a chance; they wind up out-BV’d in the original scenario when half of the Widow’s Scout Lance walks onto the board, and basically outnumbered 2:1 by turn 5. It’s straight-up not enough time to even engage, let alone do any damage, for such a light force. With an objective of “kill everything, accept no substitutes”, it’s disgustingly unfair.
The overall Killers force was drastically increased; I like the paint scheme, so this is an excuse to make a company of pirates with a fairly reasonable force. I’m also going to do a personality model for the Death’s Head Raiders Victor mentioned in 3025.
I’ve run this one twice so far in its current incarnation. Still working on the map layout, but the Widow player can still win handily IF they use the weather to their advantage. While the Killers have more jumping units, the Widows have better gunnery on average and far more close-combat firepower. The cold weather at least partially compensates for the ratty ‘Mechs on the Killer’s side, and it is possible to inflict very serious damage on the Widows very quickly if they get sloppy. In particular, if Nasty K and MacLaren overheat too soon, they can be coursed and slaughtered before the Widow’s reinforcements arrive. The Killers’ player, however, must be extremely careful not to let his faster units string out and allow his defeat in detail. Finally, loading Infernos into the Shadow Hawk or Wolverine can allow some interesting tactics with Mud. Or the iced-over water hexes on the map…

“The Bounty Hunter”
Stillin the early testing stage; the assassination objectives make this one hilarious, but the Haseks had a dangerous BV advantage in the original scenario. On my first play-through, however, the Haseks literally lost 2 of their lights on turn 1 to breach checks and another to a failed PSR, badly unbalancing the scenario. I’m thinking of making some of the Hasek warriors have at least one Veteran skill, especially the Valk pilots hiding in the pools on his lawn – who will desperately need higher piloting skills with the way water works now compared to the BattleDroids rules. I may also down-weight some of the bodyguard lance.
This requires a custom map, which I’ll upload in its final form; this winds up being a clusterfuck pretty fast on the original 2×1 map. Especially with the walls and other elements restricting mobility.
TRO 3025 notes that the Haseks have “replaced all ‘Mechs in their Light and Fire lances” with Valkyries. With that in mind, the current test force:
The Bounty Hunter: MAD-BH’15 (Elite), SHD-2H, SHD-2H.  (6428 BV assuming elite/vet/vet)
Sixth Syrtis Fusiliers: (Duke Hasek’s personal Guard) [8,947 BV]
Command lance: MAD-3D or WHM-6D (The funnier option is the MAD, since it’s Michael’s personal ride), CRD-3D, RFL-3N, RFL-4D. [5737 BV, assuming 3/3 MAD-3D or WHM-6D – both have essentially identical BVs]
Second Lance: PHX-1, 3x VLK-QA (3,210 BV) or 4x VLK-QA [2892 BV]

This leaves “Lady Sings the Blues”, “Queen’s Gambit”, “Scavenger Hunt”, “Spider Trap”, “Dawn Patrol”, “Fog of War”, and “Lady’s Man”.

Progress update, Tales of the Black Widow project (Battletech)

Well, I had a progress update to post night before last. Then I dislocated my knee again (#17! YAAAAAAY!) and spent posting time in the ER and/or too high to write coherently. So, yeah. ‘Nuff about me.

Three nights ago, I did up a test ‘Mech for Santander’s Killers, an SHD-2D. I’m particularly proud of the cockpit jewelling. The color scheme is based on the old “Medium Lance” box cover; if you look closely, the Shad in the front has an emblem of the Santander V flag with crossed swords behind on a black diamond (Click for embiggitude). In addition, the only canon source on the colors of the Killers is some sidebar fiction where a Griff pilot describes silver and black ‘Mechs (generally, the first color named is the primary, with the other being a prominent detail color).Lisa - Medium Lance CoverCompare to:
IMG_20140608_155125_161

She still needs basing and decals, but I really like this scheme.
Cockpit jeweling is based on an old manga technique, using the “streaks” of brushmarks to get the layering down. First layer was a thin white streak along the lower and right edges and a small dot in the upper left. Next is a dark purple glaze, followed by a fast wet-blend using the dark and medium purples with a small amount of bone white. Took me about a minute, not counting the dry-time for the glaze.
As for the conversion, it’s another salvaged eBay plastic from 3e. The guy I got it from apparently tried the old lighter trick to burn off the excess vinyl flash, but only partially melted the side of the head and damaged the guns. The current arm lasers, LRM drum, and cannon are recast off of one of those Gashapon I picked up last month, while the (damaged) backpack is original, with a sculpted ammo pack on the left side to replace the damage from Bubba the ‘Mech Abuser.

Why did I pick what’s almost universally regarded as one of the shittiest ‘Mechs in BattleTech? Well, it’s a spike damage-dealer used for ambushes (piratical); the leader of the Killers, the pirate-king Halmar Valasek, is from the Federated Suns (who developed the modification); and damnit, it looks kind of cool.

June Fair, or How I Spent My Weekend

Got dragged out to Port Gamble for June Fair this weekend. No photos, since I don’t bring cameras to SCA events – just doesn’t seem right.
Had a lot of fun, although I thoroughly embarrassed myself at the butts – hit a rather large target only once at ten yards. Daddy needs some practice and a decent bow. On the other hand, I managed to cook some absolutely stunning pork chops and pretty good hash.
I also managed to get a young Hebress away from the apprentice scribe (who was illuminating some practice capitols), answer said lady’s questions about script and tools, and got to play with one of the master-scribe’s quills and walnut ink for my troubles. Paper was modern, and a little too thirsty, but her tools were a pleasure to use. Also got an offer of paper for my book-binding; this means I really do have to get on the stick with my press and scribal gear.

Only one of our Society friends was on-site, alas, but we might run into some more at the Honey War this month.

It looks like we might be putting together a house. Brother #3 is going full-on Viking (~6th century), as is a friend of mine from Sakuracon; wife’s brother is undecided, but his woman is very much for the idea of something “flowy and Roman”. Brother #2 is gearing up as a Byzantine of a similar era, which is utterly in keeping with the concept of a Vyking crew. Wife tends toward the 14th century.
Me? I like mid-17th century, which is slightly out-period. Could probably get away with late 16th, however, and Lord knows I’m comfortable in a Norse craftsman’s garb. Regardless, I need to get set up to start competing and maybe even find a master.