Ich wünsche viel Spaß.
[02:01] <@Habeas2> Hail and welcome to the last BattleChat of July 2012.
[02:02] <@Habeas2> This chat will run a minimum of one hour, during which time I will be your host, answering any questions I can in the order received
[02:02] * Gravedigger waves
[02:02] <@Habeas2> Be respectful or I’ll kick you
[02:02] * Maverick offers to kiss Herb’s ring
[02:02] <@Habeas2> If you want a log, it’s on you.
[02:02] <@Habeas2> That said, the floor is open to questions
[02:03] * wolflancer4 (Mibbit@cloak-BE49142F.proxy.aol.com) Quit (Quit: wolflancer4)
[02:03] <DarkISI> Log is on me. I accept checks
[02:04] <Maverick> Just make them out to DarkISI?
[02:04] <DarkISI> Yeah
[02:03] <GBL> Hello. So with Palladium and Harmony Gold settling on a license for producing Robotech miniatures, is the fight to get anything resembling unseen back finally over?
[02:04] <JimdiGriz> In spite of all the unseen minis I have, I really won’t miss that art for most of them. Heads and joints could be awfully unrealistic.
[02:05] <@Habeas2> GBL – I never considered it a fight since FASA, to be honest. Excepting that time we all briefly thought we had them back, I really considered the Unseen a lost cause. Proposals for a retcon have been made but the common reaction has devolved into „not worth it“ territory.
[02:07] <GBL> Ah well, at least those who want them will have a legal source of unseen minis. Thanks for answering my question.
Map of Terra:
[02:04] <Nerroth> Hello, Herb. Over in Shadowrun, the relatively recent Sixth World almanac included a map of Terra c. 2072, showing political boundaries, radiated zones, sites of interest, etc. Could any of the upcoming works to look at BT’s Terra include a similar map, with the post-Hegemony provincial borders?
[02:06] <@Habeas2> Nerroth – Not in th cards. We’re already past the point where Terra’s political boundaries have any meaning
[02:04] <Hell-Pony-Princess> Habeas2, which ‚Mech do you use the most in the boardgame?
[02:06] <@Habeas2> Hell-Pony-Princess – TBT-5N Trebuchet
[02:07] <Maverick> Herb – Thank you for not totally neglecting WarShips from now on. I’m just getting into the aerospace combat of BT, and I’m glad that we will still see them in BT’s future, even if they are extremely limited
[02:07] <@Habeas2> Maverick – You’re welcome
[02:07] <JimdiGriz> Do you think that 20 ton mechs that only move about 6/9 are useful on the battlefield anymore?
[03:42] <@Habeas2> JimdiGriz – In an urban battle, even a 30 tonner with 2/3/2 is useful, so yeah
A Time of War Companion:
[02:07] <Taurevanime> The ‚A Time of War Companions‘ is listed among the coming releases. In the write-up for the product one of the inclusions with the companion is the new „Hero-Mode“ gameplay. But nothing explains what this entails. Can you provide more information, or is it still a secret for a reason?
[02:22] <@Habeas2> Taurevanime – Think of „Hero Mode“ as „Reduced Lethality Rules on Crack“. If you want full details, I’m afraid you know exactly what I’m going to say…
[02:37] <Kamas> Gotcha. How big is the Companion looking to be, ballpark page range?
[02:42] <@Habeas2> Kamas – Hmm. ABout 240 pages
[03:32] <Maverick> Thanks again, Herb! Is the AToW Companion likely to release on PDF before/during GenCon if you guys can make it to print by GenCon?
[03:33] <@Habeas2> Maverick – It’s hard to say. Standard practice is that the PDF comes out before print. At this stage, if we see print at GenCon, it’s be samples there and a main print run later. If we BLOW our deadlines, expect a delay
[03:33] <Nerroth> Will the Tokasha stone lion make it into the Companion, or would it have to wait for a later product?
[03:35] <@Habeas2> Nerroth – Yes it will
Year of the Star League:
[02:07] <Hell-Pony-Princess> Has the „Year of the Star League“ also inspired TPTB for other time periods?
[02:10] <@Habeas2> Hell-Pony-Princess – At present, we have now covered all eras relevant to BattleTech in some way, shape or form, except the early Succession Wars, and the „Dark Age-Plus“ periods, through Era Reports, Era Digests, Historicals, and Field Manuals. If we delve into more historical periods, it will likely be to fill in the Early Succession Wars before moving on.
[02:10] <Nerroth> When it comes to Field Manuals, will the intent for future releases be to try and follow the print setup for FM:3085; in terms of having colour maps included? For example, will the print edition of FM:SLDF have colour maps, and would it be likely to see that happen once the time comes for FM:3150?
[02:13] <@Habeas2> Nerroth – Yes
XTRO Succession Wars:
[02:12] <Shimmering-Sword> speaking of Sucession Wars, is there a date yet for XTRO Succession Wars? Last this question popped up on the forums you said it was sidelined for other products, is this still the case?
[02:13] <@Habeas2> Shimmering-Sword – No dates known yet, because my latest priorities have effectively shelved ALL PDFs for now.
[02:13] <JimdiGriz> What products do you hope to introduce at Gencon?
[02:14] <@Habeas2> JimdiGriz – A Time of War Companion has a hair’s chance of making it. Otherwise, print versions of BattleCorps Anthology 3, FM: SLDF, and Era Report: 2750 should be the newest produts on our table
[03:33] <Trboturtle> What’s going to be at Gencon, product-wise?
[03:33] <Trboturtle> New that is….
[03:34] <@Habeas2> Trboturtle – Newest books for GenCon are: BattleCorps Anthology 3: Weapons Free; Field Manual: SLDF; Era Report: 2750. A Time of War Companion *may* make it, but odds are getting slimmer by the hour
A Time of War:
[02:14] <Maverick> I seem to recall seeing a poll about this, but I don’t recall the answer off-hand. Are you guys going produce more AToW-specific stuff, or support it the way it has been primarily so far – the core book, the companion, and the rest of the AToW support will come in the standard sourcebooks and PDFs, with character descriptions and notes?
[02:16] <@Habeas2> Maverick – The Era Reports and Era Digests are the current primary venues for AToW support, but the Dossier Lance Packs also feature RPG support as well. As mentioned in the earlier chat today, there are plans for an AToW Adventure series in PDF format.
[02:38] <Nerroth> In terms of the RPG in particular, are you seeing a group of pllayers of that game which would be more likely not to directly overlap with the tactical or strategic combat games? In other gaming IPs with both RPG and on-table editions, there isn’t always a lot of overlap; is something similar developing with A Time of War?
[02:38] <Nerroth> As in, RPGers who would not be into tabletop games making the choice to go with AToW, in its own right.
[02:44] <@Habeas2> Nerroth – Honestly, the RPG has always been a side-game for BattleTech. Many fans see BattleTech as a story-driven war game and thus are not sure how to take role-playing in the setting. This was one reason AToW was built for compatibility with the other core books, and why it features extra tactical combat rules and features. The rules are now meant for a much smoother interaction
[02:46] <Nerroth> So, in terms of where you see AToW’s development going forward, would you say that it would be expected to remain focused on those BT players who want to dabblewith role-playing, and not necessarily for those who may want to use it as the basis for just an RPG campaign?
[02:51] <@Habeas2> Nerroth – I would say that AToW’s development is getting a bit more support than „dabbling“, all things considered. In addition to the Companion –released as another hardcover, full-color product, and thus akin to the RPG equivalent of Tactical Operations–there is also the fact that all Era Reports and Era DIgests are aimed at RPG support (and FM: 3085 was given RPG support because no Era Report for that perio was planned).
[02:51] <@Habeas2> and the Lanc Pack/Dossiers that include an RPG scenario and character sheets, I don;’t think we’re exactly treating AToW as the red-headed stepchild here.
[02:54] <Nerroth> What I was trying to get at was; is the long-term goal to encourage the kind of players who play RPGs and aren’t necessarily into tabletop gamesto consider AToW as their game, or will it always be operated under the assumption that you will reach for the tactical game as and when required?
[02:56] <@Habeas2> Nerroth – Because I happen to *love* the BattleTech RPGs, I really hate to say this, but the fact is, A Time of War just simply lacks the fan base to sustain itself. It is meant to provide the personal perspective of what is ultimately a universe of tactics, maneuver, and conquest. A crafty GM can ALWAYS do more with it, but tryiong to make the ROG standalone was the model MW3rd/CBTRPG used, and after 10 years, it was losing an
[03:00] <Nerroth> I see what you’re saying. I wonder… perhaps the growth of the Quick Strike fanbase could have a benefit for the RPG? As in, to help RPG players who might enjoy the setting, but may feel daunted by the Total Warfare ruleset for combat resolution.
[03:00] <Nerroth> Though that might be more to help players join pre-existing groups rather than for wholly new campaigns.
[03:00] <@Habeas2> Nerroth – There’s really no reason for the role-player not to consider AToW as their primary vector into the game, except for the fact that the universe focuses so much on tactical warfare. For this reason, the RPG will never feel complete to those who want to play MechWarriors, because there are so darn many rules for vehicular combat to be found in the rest of the core rules line. (This is clear in the occasional complaints
[02:14] <Maverick> Will we see anything like LosTech or the MechWarrior’s Guides again?
[02:16] <@Habeas2> Maverick – At the moment, the answer is „no“ to those. LosTech and MechWarrior’s Gudies failed to get quite the level of support we’d hoped for.
[02:16] <Hell-Pony-Princess> What factors are considered for adding new tech (weapons/equipment) to the universe?
[02:17] <@Habeas2> Hell-Pony-Princess – Currently, whether or not it is unique enough to be introduced, useful enough to be selected from among all the other options, and balanced enough not to be the Gauss rifle
[02:18] <Hell-Pony-Princess> To be the Gauss rifle?
[02:20] <@Habeas2> Hell-Pony-Princess – WHen the Gauss Rifle debuted, there was no reason AT ALL to want any other weapon in the game. It beat the PPC and the AC/20 hands-down as a one-shot killer. EVen the explosion factor was not a deterrent. It remains the least balanced weapon from the SL-tech period.
[02:20] <Maverick> Re the Gauss rifle, it was a TH weapon, what else should we expect? 😉
[02:21] <@Habeas2> Maverick – Who knows? The people who created that weapon weren’t human.
Development of the Story:
[02:16] <Nerroth> From a setting development perspective, how would the ratio balance out between conscious decisions to go a certain way, or the in-universe momentum that certain events may have built up? for example, the antispinward side of the Inner Sphere seems to get the most attention by the time of Bonfire; how much of that was intentional, or simply fell out that way?
[02:17] <Nerroth> The most of the Dark Age era, I should say.
[02:18] <@Habeas2> Nerroth – Unerstand that all of the Dark Age books up through Bonfire were largely flowing from WizKids‘ schedule and plan. There was an intention to get to the Davions next, but they stalled out with the novels.
Magistracy of Canopus:
[02:18] <JimdiGriz> In the Majistracy of Canopus, officers have to buy their ranks, as real-life British officers had to do in the past. Will Canopus eventually dump this system just like real-life Britain did?
[02:20] <@Habeas2> JimdiGriz – As soon as they adapt to Xin Sheng, maybe?
3150/Bonfire of Worlds:
[02:21] <Nerroth> So, by the time we get to 3150, would the plan be to give an even focus on events across the Inner Sphere, or would the events culminating in Bonfire still grab the lion’s share of attention?
[02:21] <Nerroth> At least of the events reported through 3144, that is.
[02:23] <@Habeas2> Nerroth – In 3150, something is happening literally everywhere in the setting. The only things off-camera when we hit 3150 are basically Deep Periphery and beyond stuff
Quality of Life in 3090:
[02:23] <Hell-Pony-Princess> Does the average person in 3090 live a better life then a guy in 3150?
[02:23] <@Habeas2> Hell-Pony-Princess – Not sure I follow.
[02:24] <Hell-Pony-Princess> Life-expectancy, wages, etc
[02:27] <@Habeas2> Hell-Pony-Princess – Meh. It’s about the same, really, but they’re in for a shock.
[02:26] <Taurevanime> Speaking of the Deep Periphery, are there any plans (pie in the sky even) to touch upon them a little more in a future product?
[02:27] <@Habeas2> Taurevanime – IP3
[02:28] <JimdiGriz> Are there any plans to do anything with the Green Ghosts?
[02:32] <@Habeas2> JimdiGriz – If you’re asking whether or not we plan to solve the mystery of who they are…. We’ll see
Game Scale/Game Types:
[02:29] <Nerroth> In terms of on-table play, are you seeing a more widespread use of alternate scales or game types, such as the RPG, BattleForce, Quick Strike or AeroSpace combat; or is the driving focus still on the lance/Star/etc level tactical combat?
[02:29] <Nerroth> From a gauging-the-fanbase persepctive, that is.
[02:34] <@Habeas2> Nerroth – Large-scale play, we are finding, is a detriment to getting new players. Smaller games are shown to be less intimidating and faster to play. We have noted that BattleForce/Quick-Strike has gained a following as well, which is very encouraging as a means of introducing new players and enticing them with a game that won’t take an entire evening to resolve
Interstellar Operations 3:
[02:35] <Maverick> Is Interstellar Operations still planned to include the planetary assault rules that were in Battleforce 2?
[02:36] <Kamas> Just got in late, dunno if it was asked earlier – Herb, has there been any successes in addressing the issue of BV and what you’re planning to replace it with?
[02:37] <@Habeas2> Kamas – All options–up to an including elimination–remain on the table, but I have ben grounded to work on AToW Companion ONLY for months now, and so BV has not yet been addressed.
Core Book Future:
[02:39] <GBL> One more question. Do the battletech development team see a place in the future where battletech (at least „rules wise“) is finished. Predictably at the end of the core book series? Or is it expected that after the core books are out for a few years, the development cycle will begin again?
[02:38] <Trboturtle> Did I miss the announcement about the Chicken invasion?
[02:38] <mikecj> TRO:Tetae is due any day now
[02:38] <DarkISI> No, but you ruined the surprise. Shame on you
[02:38] <Maverick> They just have to get through the Wolverines first.
[02:42] <@Habeas2> Trboturtle – 2013.
[02:43] <@Habeas2> Maverick – Turns out the WOlverweenies aren’t even there
[02:43] <Maverick> Did they get lost on their way to fight? Took a left at Polaris instead of right?
[02:43] <Kamas> Habeas2 – that is a clan totem I never want to see
[02:45] <@Habeas2> Maverick – Turns out the WOlverweenies have terible direction sense. Who knew?
[02:49] <JimdiGriz> Will the Inner Sphere armies take prisoners, or just eat them outright?
[02:50] <Maverick> The Chicken invasion will need to a resurgence of demand for the Firestarter ‚Mech, all variants.
[02:50] <Maverick> will *lead to a resurgence of demand
[02:50] <Trboturtle> and chicken walkers…..
[02:53] <@Habeas2> Jimdigriz – What makes you think the Inner Sphere armies will win?
[02:54] <JimdiGriz> Point taken.
Number of Factions post 3150:
[02:44] <Hell-Pony-Princess> Post 3150, will we get a net growth in the number of factions or a net reduction?
[02:45] <@Habeas2> Hell-Pony-Princess – Oh, most definitely a net reduction
[02:44] <Taurevanime> Are there any plans to have a product that looks at dropships once more? I mainly ask as there are very few that have bays for carrying battlearmor, and it seems that BA is only going to be more prevalent in future eras.
[02:47] <@Habeas2> Taurevanime – In all seriousness, I tend to oppose the notion of aerospace-centric products for BattleTech. The BT fanbase is not so large that the spacecraft niche can sustain products unto itself. So anything that has DropSHips in it will also see fighters, Mechs, armor, and such for the foreseeable future
[02:48] <Taurevanime> Yeah I understand that, I meant as in will there be anymore dropships included in future products? Since the last few focused a lot on the ground.
[02:52] <@Habeas2> Taurevanime – Yes, there will be more DropShips. But we have issues generating Record Sheets and verifying stats reliably on anything that exceeds 100 tons. It’s rather aggravating, really.
[02:49] <Maverick> I’m a little disappointed, since TRO: 3057r was one of my favorite TROs. That said, I’ve become a huge fan of the current run of „integrated“ TROs, starting with TRO: 3058 and especially those from 3067 onward. I love getting new armor, battle armor, fighters, and DropShips to play with 🙂
Going all Herb on Terra:
[02:51] <Hell-Pony-Princess> Habeas2, do you ever get tempted to depopulate Terra in the BT setting?
[02:54] <@Habeas2> Hell-Pony-Princess – You have NO idea.
[02:55] <Hell-Pony-Princess> What is holding you back from ‚depopulating‘ Terra?
[03:03] <@Habeas2> Hell-Pony-Princess – Continuity. In all eras we’re currently running in, there still IS a Terra.
[02:46] <mikecj> besides WarShips, are we cleaning any other tech off the board?
[02:52] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – Wait. You’ll see.
[02:49] <Trboturtle> Sorry, was confused for a second. I take it there has been no change in the Novel (or lack of) situation?
[02:53] <@Habeas2> Trboturtle – No change. Blitzkreig novellas are the future for BattleTech fiction, inc onjunction with BattleCorps short fiction and support.
[02:53] <mikecj> Who selects the Bloodname for the annual rite?
[02:57] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – I do, usually
[02:54] <mikecj> Why the slowdown in fiction at the BC site?
[02:57] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – Lack of quality authors
[02:59] <Taurevanime> Is Battlecorps still looking for people to write short stories?
[02:59] <Trboturtle> If you can write good BT stories, Jason will like you — alot!
[03:04] <@Habeas2> Taurevanime – BC is ALWAYS looking for people to write short fiction. But there’s quality and continuity to consider. If you can’t manage either one well, don’t bother
[03:01] <Maverick> Probably not the place to be asking, but has BattleCorps made the submission requirements easier to find? A quick look around the site doesn’t show them in evidence any where.
[03:02] <Trboturtle> submission@battlecorps,com is the Email….
Superheavy ‘Mechs Future:
[02:55] <JimdiGriz> In the fluff for the Omega superheavy mech, it was stated that they were all accounted for and the factory was destroyed. Is this Catalyst’s way of saying „you will never see these again“?
[03:02] <@Habeas2> JimdiGriz – Yup. The Omegas (and the Spectral LAMs) basically died in the same product they debuted
[03:04] <mikecj> Who fleshed out the hegemony provinces and worlds? I know New Dallas popped up early but it was a nice job they did
[03:10] <@Habeas2> Mikecj – It’s all a collective effort. Depending on which book you read, the details on the TH may be coming from anyone.
Drive Thru RPG:
[03:10] <Maverick> Oh, Herb, one of the participants from June’s BattleChat mentioned something on DriveThru RPG that wasn’t available from the BattleShop, and I think I found it: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/64152/BattleTech%3A-Scenario-Pack%3AThe-Fourth-Succession-War-Volume-1
[03:11] <Maverick> Maybe I just haven’t found the right section in the BattleShop, but I can’t find the scenario book anywhere on BC’s site.
[03:14] <@Habeas2> Maverick – Thanks for the link
Handbook: House Kurita:
[03:15] <Nerroth> When it comes to the development of Handbook: House Kurita, is there a sense that there is more riding on the book relative to the prior Handbooks, in terms of expanding upon the chosen setting? In comparison to, say, the Capellan Confederation, the Combine doesn’t seem to have aged as gracefully, in terms of how the DC as a faction was first portrayed…
[03:16] <@Habeas2> Nerroth – I dunno; the DC is one of the least apologetic of the factions. They’re stated goal is universal conquest, and they never really backed down from that.
[03:17] <Nerroth> I mean in terms of how the fanbase would view the Combine. The Capellan fanbase has been particularly vocal since the onset of Xin Sheng; whereas the DC fambase seems to be less enthused about their chosen faction over the same period.
[03:19] <@Habeas2> Nerroth – Don’t expect surprises. The Handbooks are all being written for the 3067 cutoff, before the Jihad. It’s a conscious decision to avoid power creep. The DC is one of the poorest realms in the Sphere, and one of the most rigid and xenophobic. Those are all key chracteristics of their faction. You won’t suddenly see happy bunnies and J-pop there
[03:18] <Taurevanime> Herb what is your favourite Battletech product cover?
[03:19] <@Habeas2> Taurevanime – Dawn of the Jihad
Impact of the MUL:
[03:23] <Taurevanime> Now with the MUL being in the state it is and some products having been made with it, how much of an effect has it had on the developement of new products like TROs? (All positive I take it)
[03:25] <@Habeas2> Taurevanime – The MUL helps with already published units; while it’s a nice aid for some future products, it really hasn’t had that much impact on future/current TRO design.
[03:23] <Kamas> Will ProtoMechs ever make an appearance in the Inner Sphere militaries?
[03:26] <@Habeas2> Kamas – Maybe
Most Hated ‘Mech:
[03:32] <Hell-Pony-Princess> Which ‚Mech fo you hate to face in the boardgame?
[03:32] <@Habeas2> Hell-Pony-Princess – ThunderHawk
[03:37] <Maverick> Curse me for not thinking of this sooner! Any chance we’ll see small craft with more than 10 tons of fuel?
[03:37] <Maverick> Getting from Vega to its jump point would be difficult for a small craft…
[03:37] <@Habeas2> Maverick – Small craft tend to coast
[03:38] <Maverick> That would explain the quarters, then. And that will make the trip to Vega’s jump point VERY long. 51 days at 1G acceleration, without that *shudder*
[03:39] <@Habeas2> Maverick – Most shuttles re mainly meant to link up with ropShips anyway. But the construction for SMall Craft is rather prohibitive