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Currently up to volume 13 of Berserk. Sadly, my collection currently stops with 14, so, I need to pick up a few more volumes here very shortly.
*looks up the volume list* 39 books.....
Off Topic / Re: New Sci Fi Coming to Amazon Prime
« Last post by Dubble_g on Today at 07:46:06 »
Finally everyone will understand where the SpaceX names are coming from.

Oh yeah, Muskie is one of us. ONE OF US. So is Bezos too, apparently, though the irony of a multi-billionaire being a fan of a series about a cashless pseudo-communist utopia is not lost on me.

Aw damn! Sounds good, but I've already got started with another novel series. It's only 6 volumes, so I guess I can read it through in a month or 2 and then start with Banks.

You are in for a treat! As glitterboy2098 says, you can start pretty much anywhere in the series, but the three Kojak mentioned ususally get nominated as the "best" places to start:

- Consider Phlebas (1987): The first one published, kind of sets the scene and tone, one of the most straightforward plotwise
- Player of Games (1988)
- Use of Weapons (1990): My personal choice--like Phlebas, the protagonist is an outsider, so you're not thrown in the deep end immediately

Next to try are the other 'early' Culture books:
- Excessions (1996): Gets a lot of fans because it goes into a lot of detail about the super-AI "Minds" that run society
- Look to Windward (2000): A loose sequel to Phlebas (no returning characters, but events from Phlebas are heavily referenced), but a bit more thinky and less action-filled

The 'late' books (you'll note there is an 8-year gap with no Culture books) tend to be a bit weightier, in both theme and page count:
- Matter (2008): Partly about a guy trying to find his sister, but also about the different levels of existence
- Surface Detail (2010): About virtual hells
- Hydrogen Sonata (2012): About a society planning to do a rapture on itself and transport itself to a heaven-like hyperspace dimension

For the completionist, there is also a short story in the "State of the Art" collection, and "Inversions" (1998) is loosely connected to the series.
Non-Canon Units / The Battle of Rockland: The Sohei’s First Mission
« Last post by Takiro on Today at 07:36:47 »
Rockland was a quiet Draconis world lying near the Periphery before the coming of the Clans. Brutally subjugated by Clan Smoke Jaguar during the first wave of the invasion in 3050 this sleepy backwater was now a key occupied world. As an initial stopover between the InnerSphere and the distant Clan Homeworlds the Jaguars would continue to tighten their hold over the planet establishing a vital supply point.

This made it the ideal target of opportunity that the Order of Five Pillars (O5P) was looking for to prove its newly assembled military unit, the Sohei. Their numerous intelligence assets on world indicated Rockland was garrisoned by a second line unit which could demonstrate their worth to the Dragon. With the approval of the Coordinator these warrior-monks set out on their first anti-Clan operation without any fanfare.

If they succeed they will be hailed as heroes and if they fail no one will ever know they existed. Will this first mission mean victory or death for the Sohei?

Right now I am data mining for all useful material on the planet of Rockland as well as accepting ideas for this setting. I'd really appreciate your help in getting this scenario assembled for my local RPG to play. So please let me know what you think!
Fan Art / Re: Helepolis mech art
« Last post by AldanFerrox on Today at 07:26:16 »
I really like it. It looks a bit skinnier than Brent Evans original art, but maybe thats just because of the perspective. Keep up the good work, and I hope you draw some other mechs in the future.
Fan Art / Re: Helepolis mech art
« Last post by marauder648 on Today at 05:14:26 »
First things first, never sell yourself short! This is bloody superb! :) You really captured it and I like the changes to it and the shift in the looks, it's a mean looking bit of kit.

Great work!
General BattleTech Discussion / Re: Infantry in CBT - the POLL
« Last post by Frabby on Today at 05:00:32 »
I couldn't answer the poll because none of the suggested answers fits my view on the matter.

I'm an old-school player, mostly stuck pre-3050 when it comes to the gameboard. (I like the ongoing fiction, but don't particularly care for the tech creep.)

In my - admittedly heavily role-playing/storytelling-tinged - gameboard experience, infantry and conventional units (the useless, ubiquituous standard tanks of no more than 45 tons) are heavily present as inferior battlefield units for the players to shoot up - OpFor goons to mow down, or Zerg swarm equivalents, only to be feared when you're almost out of the fight yourself. Fits with the early flair of the 'Mech as king of the battlefield, and a lance of 'Mechs enough to conduct a raid or defend a small world.

I don't even want infantry to be anywhere on even footing with the 'Mechs.
For the same reason I feel tanks are becoming less interesting the closer they are to a viable battlefield unit.
Fan Art / Helepolis mech art
« Last post by Juodas Varnas on Today at 04:59:37 »
I originally posted this on the HBS battletech forums, but it seems that those forums are shutting down next week, so i thought i might as well post it here as well.
It probably makes more sense here, since Helepolis isn't a mech that's appearing in the game anyway.
I always liked weird and unusual mech designs, and seeing how Helepolis is really one of a kind mech design, with the 20 ton Sniper Artillery Piece crammed into it.

I know i'm not the greatest artist around, but i felt it came out pretty well.
Never liked the current mechanized infantry conceptually. I’d rather vehicles follow vehicle rules and not be abstracted as another unit type with additional rules to bridge the gap.

This 100%. I don't see why a game so detailed it simulates the effects of damage to individual parts of individual limbs just handwaves a whole vehicle.
Also small arms should not damage mechs, and should not damage armoured vehicles either.
General BattleTech Discussion / Re: Infantry in CBT - the POLL
« Last post by Phobos101 on Today at 03:22:08 »
I dont know, it could be lack of experience but I find that the amount of time I spend in pre-game prep for PBI compared to vehicles or mechs  is disproportionate to their usefulness.
MegaMek games / Re: Campaign Rules: Against the Bot Thread #4
« Last post by Southernskies on Today at 03:17:11 »
Probably just a reminder as part of the setup process would be enough.

"Reminder: You need to choose starting funds in 'GM Mode' and buy starting personnel.  The marketplaces can be used to fill the rest of your roster from this point onwards.  20M C-Bills gives an adequate amount for a 3025 Company-sized unit."
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