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Author Topic: Where is the Marauder’s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?  (Read 766 times)

Akamia

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I’m currently reading Decision at Thunder Rift, and just came across a paragraph where the Marauder’s autocannon was described as being slung along the “‘Mech’s left shoulder”. Now, I’ve been looking at the Marauder for a while now, and in nearly all sources I’ve seen, despite the artwork* depicting that cannon rather obviously as a dorsal gun, which doesn’t exactly sit on either shoulder, the gun has been pretty consistently located in the right torso, not the left. Was it Grayson’s left or the Marauder’s left?

This was from Decision at Thunder Rift chapter 9, by the way. I’d give a page number, but I have an ebook copy, and pages on those tend to be... variable.

* Those who didn’t go with actually putting the gun in the shoulder, anyway; some, like the apocryphal MechWarrior Online and later video games using those designs like HBS BattleTech, did ultimately put the cannon in the shoulder, and I think some Project Phoenix artwork did the same...
« Last Edit: 26 February 2021, 00:38:41 by Akamia »
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DarkISI

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Re: Where is the Marauder’s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #1 on: 26 February 2021, 03:08:51 »
Sounds like errata.
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Akamia

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Re: Where is the Marauder’s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #2 on: 26 February 2021, 03:46:23 »
Maybe, but I suspect it was quite well known among the writing staff at the time that the AC/5 was that top-mounted gun. Some other designs, not just the Marauder and its derivatives, have dorsal guns too, like the Stone Rhino for example. Hang the construction rules, guns can be mounted wherever, apparently! ;D

Which makes this all the more peculiar. In the fiction, I would expect the BattleMechs to be treated as less "gamey" than the games – tabletop or otherwise – portray them, and having read two full novels and a BattleCorps volume before Decision at Thunder Rift, I was not disappointed in that regard. But then I see what is ostensibly a dorsal gun being described as being on the opposite shoulder of where the weapon is actually located on its record sheets, while outside of gameplay terms, the cannon is actually on neither shoulder.
Let's all go to Cargonia, land of stolen things
Obey the quartermaster unless he is a 'ling
Cargo techs guard the station and find more stuff to take
But the boss is never satisfied until the station breaks...

Kit deSummersville

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Re: Where is the Marauder’s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #3 on: 26 February 2021, 08:08:10 »
It's the rare southpaw variant.
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DarkISI

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Re: Where is the Marauder’s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #4 on: 26 February 2021, 11:13:33 »
Maybe, but I suspect it was quite well known among the writing staff at the time that the AC/5 was that top-mounted gun. Some other designs, not just the Marauder and its derivatives, have dorsal guns too, like the Stone Rhino for example. Hang the construction rules, guns can be mounted wherever, apparently! ;D

The "writing staff" where people who had never before heard of Battletech. They did not have internet to communicate.
Well known? Nothing was well known at this time. Especially where Decision at Thunder Rift is concerned. It was the first Battletech novel. Ever!
It suffers from massive Early Installment Weirdness
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Akamia

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Re: Where is the Marauder%u2019s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #5 on: 26 February 2021, 11:28:20 »
Decision at Thunder Rift came out in June of 1986; the original game, and the Marauder 3R with it, released in 1984. Are you telling me the author was not at least given artwork for some of the 'Mechs he wanted to use in his book? :P

I mean, I guess that would explain it, but then... Why wouldn't the author go and check for himself? I would. The Marauder wasn't Unseen at the time...

No matter how you slice it, it just seems weird from an outsider's perspective looking in. Sure, no internet to communicate. I'll grant that. But I find it hard to believe that an author wouldn't seek some method of clarification, whether by asking someone else who worked on the game either in person or by phone, or buying the game themself.
« Last Edit: 26 February 2021, 11:45:39 by Akamia »
Let's all go to Cargonia, land of stolen things
Obey the quartermaster unless he is a 'ling
Cargo techs guard the station and find more stuff to take
But the boss is never satisfied until the station breaks...

Paul

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Re: Where is the Marauder’s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #6 on: 26 February 2021, 11:30:24 »
Its 35 years ago. It is what it is.

Akamia

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Re: Where is the Marauder%u2019s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #7 on: 26 February 2021, 11:54:54 »
Is the author on this board somewhere? I kinda want to hear it from him, if nothing else. It's what this board is for, after all. :P Wouldn't it be something if it turned out one of you was him all along?

Whatever the truth of the matter is regarding this oddity, I'm really enjoying the book. If he's not here, at least feel free to pass that along. lol
« Last Edit: 26 February 2021, 11:58:01 by Akamia »
Let's all go to Cargonia, land of stolen things
Obey the quartermaster unless he is a 'ling
Cargo techs guard the station and find more stuff to take
But the boss is never satisfied until the station breaks...

DarkISI

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Re: Where is the Marauder’s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #8 on: 26 February 2021, 11:56:07 »
He isn't here. If he is, he is hiding very well ;)
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DarkISI

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Re: Where is the Marauder’s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #9 on: 26 February 2021, 11:57:19 »
Also, Frabby just reminded me:
Quote
Just because something appears to be in a given place in the art doesn't mean it's there in the record sheet (cf. Thunderbolt with its off-center cockpit).
In the case of the Marauder, the AC may be depicted with a middle-top mount but the record sheet indeed places it into a side torso. And record sheets beat art on the canon totem pole.

Record Sheets didn't have art back then.
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Akamia

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Re: Where is the Marauder’s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #10 on: 26 February 2021, 12:14:06 »
Yeah, he DM’d me the same message.

So, my takeaway from that is the Marauder probably really does look closer to how MWO and other sources who did what that game did before said game even existed depicted the ‘Mech. You can’t really have a dorsal gun as far as the paper doll is concerned, unless you put said gun in the “head” somewhere, I guess. lol
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Obey the quartermaster unless he is a 'ling
Cargo techs guard the station and find more stuff to take
But the boss is never satisfied until the station breaks...

Adrian Gideon

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Re: Where is the Marauder’s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #11 on: 26 February 2021, 13:10:47 »
Its a dorsal gun. No, it doesn’t look closer to the MWO version.

The Archer and Rifleman have their cockpits jutting out from their chests, even though they do not have torso-mounted cockpits according to the rules. The art, lore, and gameplay do not always align, it’s doesn’t make it wrong, but errors still creep into one, the other, or all three.

What you thought was an “aha!” moment was an error, and one borne from growing pains. They are legion.
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Akamia

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Re: Where is the Marauder’s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #12 on: 26 February 2021, 13:25:54 »
For what it’s worth, I assumed it was always a dorsal gun until I read that paragraph in Decision at Thunder Rift that made me question that assumption; it only was put in the right torso in the record sheet because there’s not enough room in the CT and there’s otherwise no “dorsal gun” location.

Then according to Frabby, record sheets apparently trump art for canon, making the matter even more confusing; you can’t have a dorsal gun in a side torso, sooo...

As for the Archer and Rifleman, well, until recently I didn’t even know there were rules for torso-mounted cockpits; I just kind of assumed the “head” was wherever the cockpit happened to be.

But thanks for clearing that up. Dorsal Gun canon. Hang the construction rules, the gun goes wherever! ;D
Let's all go to Cargonia, land of stolen things
Obey the quartermaster unless he is a 'ling
Cargo techs guard the station and find more stuff to take
But the boss is never satisfied until the station breaks...

Adrian Gideon

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Re: Where is the Marauder’s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #13 on: 26 February 2021, 13:44:37 »
In the game, record sheets and game rules trump everything. Outside of that they take a back seat.
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Akamia

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Re: Where is the Marauder%u2019s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #14 on: 26 February 2021, 13:52:25 »
Well, yeah, of course they do; what is a game without rules? It's just puzzling to me how one could look at the Marauder in its classic depiction - before seeing the record sheet - and determine that the autocannon was in either of the side torsos, let alone the one side torso the record sheet didn't even place it in. Unless the AC/5 really was in the left torso on the record sheet at the time...

In any case, if the author of Decision at Thunder Rift just never saw what the Marauder looked like at the time - and I know artwork existed as far back as the original BattleDroids box set somewhere, even if it wasn't on the record sheet itself - that would explain this error, but I'm left to wonder how that was missed in the first place. lol
« Last Edit: 26 February 2021, 13:54:28 by Akamia »
Let's all go to Cargonia, land of stolen things
Obey the quartermaster unless he is a 'ling
Cargo techs guard the station and find more stuff to take
But the boss is never satisfied until the station breaks...

Adrian Gideon

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Re: Where is the Marauder’s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #15 on: 26 February 2021, 14:05:59 »
My guess? Inserted in editing. The author, William Keith, knew full well what the 'Mechs looked like.
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Akamia

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Re: Where is the Marauder’s AC/5 in Decision at Thunder Rift?
« Reply #16 on: 26 February 2021, 14:23:57 »
Fair enough. ;D
Let's all go to Cargonia, land of stolen things
Obey the quartermaster unless he is a 'ling
Cargo techs guard the station and find more stuff to take
But the boss is never satisfied until the station breaks...