Battlechat 29.September 2012 (Teil 2) "Comstar's Days are Numbered"

Auch der zweite Battlechat des Tages ist damit gelaufen. Wie gewohnt habe ich ihn ordentlich durchsortiert und mit Überschriften versehen, damit ihr euch zurechtfindet.

Oh und ja, dieser Chat hat einen Titel 😉

Viel Spaß.

Opening:
[02:09] <@Habeas2> Woops. Sorry for the slight delay
[02:10] <@Habeas2> Depeding on which clock in my house I go by, I’m either late by 2 minutes or 20
[02:10] <@Habeas2> That said, to make up for it, this chat will run for at least 1.5 hours.
[02:11] <@Habeas2> All standard rules apply, and logging is on you guys, so…. opening up for questions now.

Technological Advancement:
[02:11] <ANSKamas> Will Inner Sphere weapons and equipment reach an „intermediate“ stage between IS and Clan technology, like the special prototypes in Klondike?  Or will there be a general bootstrapping to Clan tech across the board by 3150?  (Third option, will there be a massive conflict that kicks the Clans back down to the IS levels…?)
[02:15] <@Habeas2> ANSKamas – There will be no intermediate levels. 3150 is the late Dark Age, and still sees a mix of Clan and Inner Sphere/Star league tech.

Weapon Conversion/A Time of War Companion:
[02:13] <MostroJoe> in the AToW companion there are formulas to convert personal weapons in Total Warfare stats
[02:13] <MostroJoe> there’s been some change in the formulas used by the time the formulas „debuted“ in the CombatOps book?
[02:14] <MostroJoe> Archaic and vintage weapons have now a different treatment in terms of rules and in terms of converting them for Total Warfare?
[02:16] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – Yes, there was a slight change between RPG-to-TW small arms conversions in the formulas that debuted in Combat Operations and A Time of War Companion. These changes reflect features that were enacted in the TechManual stats for those weapons.
[02:17] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – The changes were made to allow some degree of effect even for weapons that tachnically hve no effect vs armored BT units, so they may be employed against non-armored units or units with less than BAR 10 armor types.

[02:17] <MostroJoe> the addendum part is going then to just add the new weapons presented in the companion?
[02:21] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – WHat addendum?
[02:22] <MostroJoe> sorry: „Total Warfare Conventional Infantry Construction Addendum“ pag. 195
[02:23] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – Yes, that addendum is for use with TechManual and TacOps rules for infantry construction, so these units can be employed in TW-scale play.

Light Support Vehicles/A Time of War Companion:
[02:18] <MostroJoe> The light support vehicles in the compendium are going to have some use in the TW scale?
[02:22] <@Habeas2> ostroJoe – The light support vehicle stats presented in AToW Companion are compatible with TW-scale rules, yes.

Advanced Creature Creation/A Time of War Companion:
[02:15] <MostroJoe> The „Advanced Creatures“ chapter has new rules for best-mounted infantry? And what is a K-9 infantry unit?
[02:19] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – As noted, the term derived from the operating US police term for canine-assisted police units. Though, of course, in the BT setting, the partner animal could be light yers from any canine we ever saw…

Rules Usability/A Time of War Companion:
[02:21] <MostroJoe> in the roleplaying campaigns chapter I see a lot of interesting hints… can these rules be used even in TW campaigns? Rogues, Black Ops and Mercenaries ones in particular
[02:24] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – Yes. DO remember that a key element of AToW is that it be compatible with TW. The major differences you see merely come from the level of detail the RPG gains over the tabeltop wargame

Interstellar Operations/A Time War Compaion:
[02:28] <MostroJoe> The campaign rules presented in the companion will be reiterated in IntOps or are presented here as their proper place?
[02:30] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – They are primarily RPG-driven, so there is no guarantee they will appear in IO at all.

Free Worlds League:
[02:17] <Scotty> Can we long suffering FWL fans expect the newly-reformed League to get a bit more screen time in a little bit more positive light this incarnation?
[02:19] <@Habeas2> Scotty – In which incarnation?
[02:19] <Scotty> 3150+
[02:19] <Scotty> In which the FWL actually exists as a political entity again.
[02:20] <@Habeas2> Scotty – As we have seen in the latter Dark Age novels, the FWL was approaching a reunification (sans Andurien) in the late 3130s to early 3140s. Whether that continues and in what final form it takes are uncertain at this time.

[02:25] <MrFletch> any chance the FWL will find the remnants of WoB and take them out 3150+?

Distinct Unit Numbers:
[02:25] <Scotty> Is there any plan to either expand or reduce the number of distinct types of units available to players at present that don’t really have a widespread use?  Units like satellites and WiGEs, for example.
[02:27] <@Habeas2> Scotty – There aren’t so much plans as considerations. It’s part of the evolution of the story line.

Record Sheets:
[02:25] <Youngblood> Any word from Chunga or the rest of the record sheet team with regards to progress on the PDFs for Prototypes Unabridged or 3067 Unabridged?
[02:27] <@Habeas2> Youngblood – They’re working on it. Recent efforts to further improve our ability to make Record Sheets for greater reliability are ongoing.

Clan Usage of Inner Sphere Tech/Dark Age:
[02:25] <SnakeEyes> Hey Herb….first time……..I’ve never read the DA novels, but will we see the clans using inner sphere tech to bolster their equipment in the late dark age
[02:28] <@Habeas2> SnakeEyes – The Dark Age is a period of much tech mixing, and as we see from TRO: Prototypes and some of the XTRs, the Clans ARE starting to play with mixing Spheroid tech on their machines now, including a few that make use of C3

Villains?:
[02:27] <ANSKamas> In the 3150 and 3250 timeframes, will there be a „villain“ like the Clans and Blakists or will general „politics“ (i.e. free for alls like the 3SW) ensure the future of warfare?
[02:29] <@Habeas2> ANSKamas – Yes

Interstellar Operations:
[02:31] <toad> Speaking of IO Can you give us an update on its status?
[02:35] <@Habeas2> Toad – IO is… coming along. There’s a LOT of work to be done et, and there is talk of relocating the Alternate Eras rules out of the book for space reasons.

[02:31] <MostroJoe> Well, suppose I am going to build a merc command like I did using the old FM: Mercs, to land a contract is still part of the fun having a merc command. In IntOps there will be no rules to find a contract like the ones presented in FM: Mercs? They are on the companion?
[02:36] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – Those rules are being written still, but with an eye toward not just mercs, but House forces as well, so there should be less emphasis on missions and more on basic creation and upkeep of merc units

[02:41] <MostroJoe> YBeing so far IntOps to be completed
[02:41] <MostroJoe> do you still think it will be ready for 2013?
[02:44] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – IO? Yes, we will MAKE it ready for 2013….

[02:44] <ANSKamas> Herb: if it has to, it’ll be out December 32nd, 2013?
[02:46] <@Habeas2> ANSKamas – If it doesn’t make 2013, don’t expect IO to come out at all. How’s that?

[02:45] <MostroJoe> and… yes I want to push it further… do you have any idea/hopes for wich quarter of the 2013 it is going to be ready?
[02:46] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – I cannot say.

3150+ Era:
[02:31] <MrFletch> how many source books do you see being released for the 3150 era?  I am assuming at least a Field Manual and TRO, what else?
[02:37] <@Habeas2> MrFletch – ROughly 8 books are planned to cover the 3150 (Dark Age) period.
[02:37] <@Habeas2> MrFLetch – They include one TRO, one FIeld Manual, and one Era Report book.

Upcoming Products:
[02:32] <Youngblood> Are there any upcoming products you can throw us a name-drop for to round out the end of the Year of the Star League?  We love it when you feed us, much as I’m sure your cats do.
[02:38] <@Habeas2> Youngblood – the final book of the Star League era is going to be Historical: Liberation of Terra Part 2. In addition, there are PDF-exclusive Field Reports for all of the other factions in that era coming soon.

[03:21] <Trboturtle2> WHat are the new few BT products that should be out?
[03:23] <@Habeas2> Trboturtle2 – You mean, apart from A Time of War COmpanion, Field Manual: SLDF, Total Chaos, and so on?
[03:24] <Trboturtle2> the ones after tehm….
[03:26] <@Habeas2> Trboturtle2 – Oh, that would be Interstellar Expditions, Handbook: House Kurita, and Historical: Liberation of Terra, Volume 2

Useless Fun Stuff:
[02:33] <Trboturtle> Miss anything?
[02:33] <DarkISI> Yes. But I’m logging 🙂
[02:33] <ANSKamas> Herb revealed the secret of the Wolverines.
[02:34] <DarkISI> But he made me promise to not include that part in my log
[02:34] <DarkISI> sorry
[02:34] <ANSKamas> it was a Battlechat exclusive

Unit Creation:
[02:35] <MostroJoe> Work For Hire: Mercenary Life
[02:35] <MostroJoe> Landing a Mission
[02:36] <MostroJoe> Mission Types – Mission Terms – Contract Negotiations – Reputation Gain and Loss
[02:36] <MostroJoe> are all very interesting titles!
[02:36] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – Those rules are being written still, but with an eye toward not just mercs, but House forces as well, so there should be less emphasis on missions and more on basic creation and upkeep of merc units

[02:37] <MostroJoe> ok so for the contract part of FM: Mercs it seems the „new“ rules are these one on the AToW Compendium
[02:39] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – Yes

[02:37] <ANSKamas> So those rules will allow more in-depth creation of house units too, besides „grab a RAT“
[02:37] <ANSKamas> ?
[02:39] <@Habeas2> ANSKamas – That is the plan, yes.

Star League Field Manuals:
[02:39] <ANSKamas> Are any of those Field Reports for the factions in the SL era the PDF-only products you mentioned as being near-completion?
[02:39] <@Habeas2> ANSKamas – Yes

Blitzkrieg Novellas:
[02:43] <Trboturtle3> Herb, any word on the next Blitzkrieg novella to be released?
[02:45] <@Habeas2> Trboturtle3 – I am not certain when the next Blitzkrieg will release. It was in fact-check last I saw of it.

Size of the Community:
[02:46] <MrFletch> Herb, in the last battlechat you noted of the 230 odd responses, the data is not considered all that representative of the community at large.  What is catalysts estimate of the number of BT players worldwide?
[02:47] <@Habeas2> MrFletch – The number varies, but seems to hover somewhere in the neighborhood of about 10K, if that.

Future A Time of War Companions:
[02:48] <SnakeEyes> I know AToW Companion just released, but are there any more books for AToW planned?
[02:50] <@Habeas2> SnakeEyes – Not immediately, no. Aside from Era Reports, to be honest, I’m not sure what we could write for the RPG that would sell.

[02:51] <Trboturtle3> SAo, no AToW adventure modules then?
[02:54] <@Habeas2> Trboturtle3 – Past history has shown that printed adventure modules do not sell well enough to justify the production expenses. PDF-exclusive adventures, on the other hand, are worth considering.

Retcon/Core Books:
[02:48] <MostroJoe> do you think you will have to publish a free-pdf on the website or you guys are going to re-print the core rulebooks?
[02:52] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – IF a major retcon occured, and IF said retcon was far-reaching, we would be forces o reprint the core line entirely. If it’s more minor, a smaller series of products might be necessary instead.

[02:49] <ANSKamas> What kind of retcon is this?
[02:53] <@Habeas2> ANSKamas – The notion that a retcon may occur is entirely hypothetical, and so is the nature of said retcons, if any occur.

[02:53] <MrFletch> what would the catalyst for a retcon be?
[02:59] <@Habeas2> MrFletch – Again, it’s entirely hypothetical. We have, however, dropped the notion of ever retconning the Unseen images by themselves. It was determined to be „more trouble than it’s worth“.

Unseens:
[03:01] <ANSKamas> Herb: aww.  I was hoping to see some new art for old classics.  Has there been any further word on legal statuses, ownership, or any intent to lay claim to the art, or is it simply going to remain forever unseen?
[03:03] <@Habeas2> ANSKamas – As far as I’m concerned, it’s a dead issue. We have no rights to the old images now claimed by Harmony Gold. We therefore cannot use them. Story ends.
[03:04] <@Habeas2> ANSKamas – They are already dying out.

Quirk List/Free PDF:
[02:49] <MostroJoe> Speaking of .pdfs is going to be some sort of free pdf rules addendum on the webiste in the near future? Something like an official quirk list for mechs for an exemple
[02:54] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – It was our plan to eventually begin interoducing Design Quirks for extant units via the MUL, but that’s a low-priority project at this time.
[02:54] <MostroJoe> „low-priority project at this time“ means „not in the next year“?

Battletech Infantry Spin Off:
[02:52] <MostroJoe> The recent years have seen a powerfull boom of miniature games. How do you think you are going to join in (Aside the Leviathans beautiful project)? Do you think there is going to be a quick skirmish infantry game set in the Battletech world?
[02:56] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – No plans for an infantry skirmish game for BT are on the table. We kind of think we’ve produced enough different scales of play as it is…

2013 Schedule:
[02:51] <DarkISI> From the Forums: „So if 3150 products are scheduled for 2014, what is the plan for next year? Has that information been made public?“
[02:58] <@Habeas2> DarkISI – Sorry; missed that one. 3150 (actually more like 3145-3150) products are actually planned to go through 2013 and into the beginning of 2014. After LoT2, we’re done with the Star League setting, and after Kurita, we’ll be completely done with the 3067 period. That leaves few remaining periods of interest to cover.

Super Heavy ‘Mechs /Dark Age/Unit Types:
[02:57] <ANSKamas> Besides QuadVees will there be any kind of new types of units for CBT play?  Will Superheavies (other than the Tripods) reappear in the IS in the „late Dark Age period?“
[02:59] <@Habeas2> ANSKamas – Yup

Infantry/Unit Types:
[02:59] <MostroJoe> Do you think you will ever introduce things like motorized infantry units: hover or motorized infantry units: VTOL?
[02:59] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – Nope.

Renegade Legion/Off Topic:
[03:00] <MostroJoe> Apologizing for the big OT, is there any plan to bring back the „Renegade Legion“ universe? Sorry for the OT again
[03:02] <@Habeas2> MostroJoe – We have no rights to that line, so…not from CGL.

Rules Level Changes/Equipment Evolution:
[03:00] <Scotty> Will there ever be production versions of equipment found in TacOps/StratOps that don’t have the larger disadvantages and/or are numerous enough to be considered tournament legal?
[03:03] <@Habeas2> Scotty – You truly want even more rules for the same gear?
[03:04] <Scotty> Habeas2: Not exactly.  More like improved versions that enter mass production after the prototype/limited production stage that most of the advanced equipment occupies.  For example, things like Compact Heat Sinks or CASE II, but tournament legal, and with maybe an improvement (in the case of CHSs)
[03:05] <Scotty> Essentially.  There’s a lot of advanced/experimental equipment that would work well in tournament situations, if with a few minor tweaks (if any at all).
[03:06] <@Habeas2> Scotty – Frankly, no. Were they truly prototypical weapons, they would have a major failure rate in the rules. They instead have balancing rules to avoid obsoleting the bulk of extant weapons. I am trying to control the rules creep we’ve been seeing of late.

E-Books:
[03:02] <Spaceman> Herb what are the chances we will see the old Battletech novels released in e-book format again?
[03:04] <@Habeas2> Spaceman – Presently, unknown. I would not expect them through this year or next, however.

[03:07] <DarkISI> Herb, can you go into a bit more detail as to what’s causing the E-Book issues?
[03:12] <@Habeas2> DarkISI – Mainly, time and manpower. We have only so many people who canperform so many tasks for us at one time, so when projects run late or hit hang-ups, they cascade. PDFs were put aside to push out a lot of print books in the run-up to Origins and GenCon, and we simply have not overcome the glut to get the PDFs out.
[03:14] <DarkISI> I meant the novels and the fact that previously released e-book novels seem to have been pulled. Randall said that the issue is being looked at on the forums, but didn’t provide us with any details or a schedule as to when they will be back on sale
[03:15] <@Habeas2> DarkISI – I cannot discuss that issue at this time, I’m sorry.

BV3:
[03:10] <Youngblood> Ah yes, balancing.  Any word on a decision for what to replace BV with, if at all?
[03:13] <@Habeas2> Youngblood – Something other than the current BV system that is a bit more abstract and less hung up on details.

[03:14] <Scotty> Is the new balancing system tentatively going to be called „BV3“ or will it be something more… imaginative?
[03:16] <@Habeas2> Scotty – I’m not sure. CHanging the term means changing a lot of previously published material or risking player confusion.

Tournament Play:
[03:14] <Youngblood> Well, I could go out and ask this other question, too…Do you think BattleTech can be (or is meant to be) played in tournaments, specifically competitive ones a la „tabletop sports“?  It seems there are at least a few people interested in such a thing.
[03:16] <Youngblood> I inquire because it would seem that the game rules themselves lend some sense of victory or defeat, which can be construed as leading to winnings and losses in real life, such as with prizes or…gambling.
[03:17] <@Habeas2> Youngblood – BattleTech is primarily a war game. Wars are rarely fought between two sides that agree to a fair duel, no matter what the Kerenskys would have you believe.
[03:17] <@Habeas2> Youngblood – If you wish for dueling, there is the SOlaris setting.
[03:20] <Youngblood> Thanks for the answers so far Herb, but I believe I need to clarify.  I don’t necessarily mean dueling in-universe as in Solaris.  I was asking about whether or not the rules of the BattleTech tabletop could be used for a duel in real life, i.e. playing chess for money.
[03:20] <@Habeas2> Youngblood – I would never stake money on the outcome of a game of BattleTech

ilClan:
[03:16] <ANSKamas> Since we’re down to 15 minutes left…I’ll ask.  Herb, you once gave us a teaser of „ilClan“ a few chats ago.  Do you have any further bombs to drop on the fandom and little teasers to make us speculate like crazy?
[03:18] <@Habeas2> ANSKamas – Nope. The ilClan stands on its own.

Comstar:
[03:18] <Scotty> Does ComStar figure to once again become a legitimate political and military power within the Inner Sphere?  They seem to have… lost a little bit of their luster, since the Jihad.
[03:20] <@Habeas2> Scotty – ComStar’s days are numbered.

Field Report Series:
[03:31] <ANSKamas> Herb: will the „Field Reports“ for the other factions be separate products or bundled into a State Of The Sphere kind of thing?
[03:31] <ANSKamas> (this is re: the Star League era books mentione dabove)
[03:31] <@Habeas2> ANSKamas – No, they won’t be bundled; they’re coming out in PDF-exclusive form only.
[03:32] <ANSKamas> Individual books for individual factions, then.  The same sort of Big Five + Periphery, I take it?
[03:34] <@Habeas2> AMSKamas – yes

Field Report: 2765:
[03:28] <toad> so era report 2765 wont be out till 2013?
[03:29] <@Habeas2> Toad – Era Report: 2750 already published
[03:32] <toad> i mean feild report 2765 sry
[03:34] <@Habeas2> Toad – Field Manual: SLDF is also already published. The remaining STar League-era Field Reports will be PDF-exclusive, and may suffer from our delays in getting PDFs out, but some may emerge before 2013.

Handbook: Deep Periphery:
[03:33] <Scotty> Will there be a handbook for the deep periphery, now that it’s starting to get a little bit more meat to it?
[03:34] <@Habeas2> Scotty – No. Kurita ends the Handbook series

Deep Periphery:
[03:35] <Scotty> Related to the Deep Periphery: is there going to be a product concerned mainly with those regions that offers reliable data (e.g. not ISP3 and the tabloids)?
[03:37] <@Habeas2> Scotty – Not certain at this time, though Interstellar Expeditions aims at a much less tabloid feel.

Box Set:
[03:34] <toad>  In the ealier chat you mentioned an new box set in 2014 perhaps? can you give use any more info on that ?
[03:35] <@Habeas2> Toad – As the new box set is only in discussion phase, not really. It is aimed at being an introductory-level game, however.

[03:39] <Scotty> With the focus of the setting shifting to 3150 and beyond, is there a box set and/or scenario pack set around that time in the works?
[03:41] <@Habeas2> Scotty – It’s being discussed.

Chaos Campaign/Tracks/Scenario Packs:
[03:40] <ANSKamas> How much will the Chaos tracks be used as an „adventure generator“ mechanic in the post-3143 era?
[03:40] <ANSKamas> Are they going to be the new version of „scenario packs“ I should be asking
[03:42] <@Habeas2> ANSKamas – At this moment, I think we have two or three products that will use Tracks in the 3145 and beyond periods

3250 Plans:
[03:41] <Xotl> With the apparent time jump to 3250, are you planning on handling it like the Dark Ages, where a less-interesting period is largely skipped over and then that large period of time backfilled with a product or two down the road once things get going?
[03:43] <@Habeas2> Xotl – The plan is to cover the period with a dedicated sourcebook at this time

[03:43] <Scotty> How would you rate the general activity level of the Inner Sphere in the intervening time between 3150 and 3250?  Either as an average or as a peak.
[03:45] <@Habeas2> Scotty – A lot of violence. Some quite devastating.

[03:45] <Scotty> Follow-up: Is any faction „winning“ at that point?
[03:46] <@Habeas2> Scotty – It’s more like „which faction won?“ to be correct….

[03:45] <ANSKamas> So do you have any new characters for the fluff in the 3250 era that you like, Herb?
[03:46] <@Habeas2> ANSKamas – A few so far; trying to make them all pretty interesting, to be fair.

[03:46] <ANSKamas> Ooh, Herb – I know one you could make a big smash with:  Will the Federated Suns still exist in 3250?
[03:47] <@Habeas2> ANSKamas – Define „exist“…

Future:
[03:41] <Trboturtle5> Herb, want to give a clue about the BT future that will cause as much chatter as the IlClan remark? 😀

Ending:
[03:47] <@Habeas2> Okay, thank you for participating in this Catalyst Game Labs BattleTech Line Developer-aided public relations activity

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