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Author Topic: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition  (Read 82687 times)

Wrangler

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #480 on: 03 August 2018, 22:58:24 »
Won't there be alot designs cut out of the books?  Are they going be all Mech only TROs?  Clan Invasion would include 3050 thru 3058 won't it for example?  Vehicles go to some Vehicle only TRO online only?

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SCC

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #481 on: 03 August 2018, 23:07:23 »
Won't there be alot designs cut out of the books?  Are they going be all Mech only TROs?  Clan Invasion would include 3050 thru 3058 won't it for example?  Vehicles go to some Vehicle only TRO online only?
I wouldn't call this a major problem, see the recent thread on the Talos(?), where someone asked where the RS was only for the answer to be that there is none. As long as the selection is broad and inclusive the absence of any given design, or even a lot of them, isn't a major issue.

sadlerbw

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #482 on: 03 August 2018, 23:16:57 »
Brent did mention that there have been some ideas kicked around regarding the hole the XTRO series left. Well, not really a hole, but the idea of doing a smaller PDF product that focused on equipment more than story events. It wouldn’t be XTRO reincarnated, just something that was meant to focus on playable units like mechs or vehicles or whatever. It appears to still be in the ‘kicking around the idea’ stage though, so it may or may not ever happen. Still, it’s a possibility.

I also asked the obligatory question about record sheets. The answer was still, and I’m paraphrasing here: not right now. they take time and effort that it doesn’t make sense to spend right now.

Wrangler

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #483 on: 03 August 2018, 23:18:00 »
Hopefully Record Sheet issue as a whole will be addressed in coming year.  They will likely redesign the Record Sheets as well.  If "cleaning up" TRO line to be Era only specific, they will need to match record sheet up. 

I hope Shattered Fortress will drop Monday. I figured the CGL need recover from the con by then.
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Wrangler

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #484 on: 03 August 2018, 23:21:52 »
Brent did mention that there have been some ideas kicked around regarding the hole the XTRO series left. Well, not really a hole, but the idea of doing a smaller PDF product that focused on equipment more than story events. It wouldn’t be XTRO reincarnated, just something that was meant to focus on playable units like mechs or vehicles or whatever. It appears to still be in the ‘kicking around the idea’ stage though, so it may or may not ever happen. Still, it’s a possibility.

I also asked the obligatory question about record sheets. The answer was still, and I’m paraphrasing here: not right now. they take time and effort that it doesn’t make sense to spend right now.

Frankly the way to sounds like the Mini-TRO 3145 PDF Series makes more sense even now.  Smaller TROs, Record Sheets ready to go with variants.  Print and run the game.  Do printed Era TROs if that's way they want focus their budget on it.   Not everyone be happy but they get to their target audience.
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"How do you defeat a Dragau? Shoot the damn thing. Lots." - Jellico 
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ColBosch

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #485 on: 03 August 2018, 23:33:37 »
Won't there be alot designs cut out of the books?  Are they going be all Mech only TROs?  Clan Invasion would include 3050 thru 3058 won't it for example?  Vehicles go to some Vehicle only TRO online only?

That would be my suggestion. As I said earlier, keep the in-store focus on the 'Mechs, and anyone who is into the game enough to want vehicles, infantry, etc. would be more willing to go online to find them.
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SteveRestless

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #486 on: 03 August 2018, 23:46:15 »
It'd have to be multiple files in a compressed folder - you do NOT want to deal with 2GB PDFs, trust me - but yeah, I could see that.

Well, a big part of why I would want it, would be searchability. I'm willing to throw computing horsepower at it, but there probably is a sweet spot in there somewhere.
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ColBosch

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #487 on: 03 August 2018, 23:51:40 »
Well, a big part of why I would want it, would be searchability. I'm willing to throw computing horsepower at it, but there probably is a sweet spot in there somewhere.

Having a single huge file would drastically limit its usability by other people. My own computer is a monster gaming rig, but most folks don't have such powerful machines. My work computer is probably about average for what folks have, and it seriously hates big PDFs. But, the good news is that there are programs out there that can "stitch" together PDFs, so you could just take the extra step of combining the smaller files into one big one for your own use. In my mind's eye, I'm picturing separate files for each size class of 'Mech, plus one for conventional vehicles, one for aerospace fighters, etc.
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SteveRestless

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #488 on: 04 August 2018, 00:12:11 »
By Weight Class would probably be an acceptable way to divide such a theoretical product. I'd say by factions, but that'd require a lot of superfluous duplicate pages across the various volumes.
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<Articus> theres coyotes outside <Articus> i can hear them baying <Steve_Restless>  oh shit it's the homeclans <Steve_Restless>  my milkshakes! *Steve_Restless leaps out the window <Articus> His milkshakes bring all the Clans to the yard <Articus> he could teach you, but you'll have to Batchall | <Articus> keep it up mister, and your next shipment of Inferno IV will be ConfettIV

klarg1

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #489 on: 04 August 2018, 00:15:59 »
Having a single huge file would drastically limit its usability by other people. My own computer is a monster gaming rig, but most folks don't have such powerful machines. My work computer is probably about average for what folks have, and it seriously hates big PDFs. But, the good news is that there are programs out there that can "stitch" together PDFs, so you could just take the extra step of combining the smaller files into one big one for your own use. In my mind's eye, I'm picturing separate files for each size class of 'Mech, plus one for conventional vehicles, one for aerospace fighters, etc.

Indeed. I have a perfectly good computer, but my preferred PDF reading platform is a tablet.

A single-file omnibus would be pretty useless to me. As it is, I use the MUL as an index.
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #490 on: 04 August 2018, 00:18:04 »
Books organized by faction availability goes against BattleTech's soul.  Everyone uses everything.  The Clan Invasion is an outlier, not the norm.

roosterboy

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #491 on: 04 August 2018, 00:29:27 »
Well, a big part of why I would want it, would be searchability.

Pretty much all modern computer systems allow one to search an entire folder full of files, either as part of the OS or as a feature of a PDF reader application, so having everything in one file isn't really necessary for search purposes.

SteelRaven

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #492 on: 04 August 2018, 00:38:36 »
Not sure why some players are obsessed with the idea of some sort of huge BT bible when the trend is quite the opposite. A huge PDF is simply not very optimize for the same reason one huge book is 90%-99% of the time dead weight.   
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ColBosch

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #493 on: 04 August 2018, 00:47:23 »
Books organized by faction availability goes against BattleTech's soul.  Everyone uses everything.  The Clan Invasion is an outlier, not the norm.

Fully agreed. Faction availability is, after all, considered an "advanced" and optional rule. I have no problem pointing people who wish to limit themselves to the Master Unit List.

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ColBosch

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #494 on: 04 August 2018, 00:47:57 »
Not sure why some players are obsessed with the idea of some sort of huge BT bible when the trend is quite the opposite. A huge PDF is simply not very optimize for the same reason one huge book is 90%-99% of the time dead weight.

BIGGER IS BETTER. Just ask the Lyrans.
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klarg1

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #495 on: 04 August 2018, 00:57:30 »
Books organized by faction availability goes against BattleTech's soul.  Everyone uses everything.  The Clan Invasion is an outlier, not the norm.

I'm with you there.

I find it very hard to find anything in the books that are faction-organized. Unit type / tonnage seems to be simplest / most universal to me, although I appreciate that players also want some indication of "recommended" faction for each unit.
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SteveRestless

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #496 on: 04 August 2018, 01:06:59 »
Pretty much all modern computer systems allow one to search an entire folder full of files, either as part of the OS or as a feature of a PDF reader application, so having everything in one file isn't really necessary for search purposes.

my experiences with directory based searching have been less than optimal. I get far better results working directly within the file. That said, I'm well aware that I'll never get what I'm wishing for.
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<Articus> theres coyotes outside <Articus> i can hear them baying <Steve_Restless>  oh shit it's the homeclans <Steve_Restless>  my milkshakes! *Steve_Restless leaps out the window <Articus> His milkshakes bring all the Clans to the yard <Articus> he could teach you, but you'll have to Batchall | <Articus> keep it up mister, and your next shipment of Inferno IV will be ConfettIV

Kitsune413

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #497 on: 04 August 2018, 01:19:41 »
Books organized by faction availability goes against BattleTech's soul.  Everyone uses everything.  The Clan Invasion is an outlier, not the norm.

The 3145 techmanuals are by faction. The only reason that everyone used everything before was because everybody forgot how to make mechs and had been using the same star league tech for centuries.

But you see that stop in the 3000's. Wolfhound, Raven. They show up in Mercenary forces but they are an extreme outlier in another House's army. They're also hard to get parts for I'm sure making them pretty undesirable for a House quartermaster.

The Clan Invasion is the rule... a century and a half after they stopped being able to make new battlemech factories House's and Clans are all running their own unit list if you ignore Sea Fox Trading.
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #498 on: 04 August 2018, 01:35:20 »
It remains to be seen that the factional mini-TROs were a financial success or that the approach will be repeated.  After all, you can get TROs 3145 and 3150 instead.

Furthermore, the "factional" TROs aren't actually factional.  MaD Cat Mk IVs aren't just used by the Clans.  Ziblers aren't just used by Davion.  SM2s aren't just used by Kurita. Etc.

Sure, each TRO (after 3025) has units that are usually faction-restricted upon immediate invention, but most of the time the MUL says those units become more widely available over time.

And more to my point, by the Jihad the major divide in availability (Clan-tech vs no Clan-tech) is functionally gone in many (most?) cases.

Kitsune413

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #499 on: 04 August 2018, 02:03:46 »
Yeah but even if they aren't, the old TRO's are the same way. TRO 3055. This mech is produced here by this faction.

Even in the succession wars when everybody was using the same tech and been salvaging any mech they could get their hands on you still saw mechs that were faction specific. If you saw a Zeus you knew who was driving it. If you saw a Panther you knew where it was from. Dragons, Cicada's, Assassin's.

I think you'd see lots of salvaged Clan tech in any faction, especially the factions that directly fought the clans because it's worth the expense. But if you're House Davion and you get a Dragon in 3070 save yourself the headache and sell it to some Mercs.

From a gameplay perspective it makes sense too. Base game 3000+ "Everyone uses all these mechs."

advanced game - This Bushwacker is Lyran AF.
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #500 on: 04 August 2018, 02:23:26 »
Yeah but even if they aren't, the old TRO's are the same way. TRO 3055. This mech is produced here by this faction.

Even in the succession wars when everybody was using the same tech and been salvaging any mech they could get their hands on you still saw mechs that were faction specific. If you saw a Zeus you knew who was driving it. If you saw a Panther you knew where it was from. Dragons, Cicada's, Assassin's.

I think you'd see lots of salvaged Clan tech in any faction, especially the factions that directly fought the clans because it's worth the expense. But if you're House Davion and you get a Dragon in 3070 save yourself the headache and sell it to some Mercs.

From a gameplay perspective it makes sense too. Base game 3000+ "Everyone uses all these mechs."

advanced game - This Bushwacker is Lyran AF.

You're dramatically underestimating the importance of cross-pollination from battlefield salvage.  Especially the 3025/3rd SW era that is the soul of BattleTech.  Yes Zeuses are stereotypically Lyran and Dragons are stereotypically Kuritan, but in no way would a Kuritan Zeus or a Davion Dragon be rare or even noteworthy.

Something that makes BattleTech nearly unique among wargames is that it lacks factional availability in a formal way.  In 40K if you're playing Orks, you May Not field models from the Space Marines.  If you're playing Cryx in Warmachine, you May Not field Khador warjacks.   These kinds of games are are fundamentally different from Battletech having non-binding "flavor" for factions.

So, no, a Bushwacker isn't particularly "Lyran AF" even upon introduction in 3053.  According to the MUL, it's "available" to 7 factions immediately. And again if someone wants to play a Draconis or Capellan force with a Bushwacker, it's legal even though those availabilities aren't on the MUL.  (of interest, in looking this up the Bushwacker becomes "hardly Lyran at all, really" as time goes on.  Eventually Lyrans don't even have it available and it's only on the Merc general availability list)

 
« Last Edit: 04 August 2018, 02:27:15 by Tai Dai Cultist »

AldanFerrox

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #501 on: 04 August 2018, 04:02:08 »
(of interest, in looking this up the Bushwacker becomes "hardly Lyran at all, really" as time goes on.  Eventually Lyrans don't even have it available and it's only on the Merc general availability list)

When did this happen? After 3130 it was probably because the Lyrans had largely switched to the Gauntlet, because most Bushwackers either were destroyed during the Jihad or were scrapped after it.
« Last Edit: 04 August 2018, 05:19:49 by AldanFerrox »
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Kitsune413

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #502 on: 04 August 2018, 04:13:29 »
MUL for Bushwacker 1x gives it these factions:

Federated Commonwealth
Federated Suns
Lyran Commonwealth
Lyran Alliance
Kell Hounds
Wolves Dragoon
Mercenary

The first four are essentially the same thing. The Kell Hounds live in the Lyran Commonwealth. The Dragoons live in the Federated Suns at the time.

The L1 variant is only in the commonwealth. The L2 gets traded to the Republic.

So in the MUL the only time it isn't Lyran is when the Lyrans are in the Federated Commonwealth.

Yeah battletech is great because you can play the Capellans and run a battalion of Timber Wolves. But if I'm gming a game that sticks to canon, we are playing a Canon scenario, or one of us were writing a story that sticks to canon I'm going to expect a really good explanation.
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Kitsune413

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #503 on: 04 August 2018, 04:22:19 »
When did this happen? After 3130 it was probably because the Lyrans had largely switched to the Gauntlet, and because most Bushwackers either were destroyed during the Jihad or were scrapped after it.

The Lyrans stop using the base model. The more advanced variants are only Lyran. Though one of them is traded with the Republican and the Suns.

You are correct. The Gauntlet is only Lyran.

The good thing about this is that it let's them expand on faction flavor. It differentiates the factions and makes their playstyle unique.

It's battletech and it's not far fetched for anybody to have a salvaged anything...

But to have something in any kind of real volume is a different story.

Also keep in mind the defunct combat manuala for Alpha Strike had unit lists.

People like playing with specific units, having units only available to their faction and guidance for what kind of units and formations exist.

There are players that like things more open ended. That's fine. I don't particularly.
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MarikMilitaMan

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #504 on: 04 August 2018, 04:54:31 »
Just delving back into the universe after some time away and have bought TRO:SW and i have to agree that its probably the way to go, it certainly makes it easier to understand where it fits in the universe.

Wrangler

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #505 on: 04 August 2018, 05:49:15 »
I only meant the faction themed mini TRO:3145 PDF is that's format (not because its faction themed itself) would likely be future TROs could be made.  I rather keep ALL my era specific stuff in one package (i rather like year, again this is changing).

At this point, we know something coming aside Shattered Fortress (novels of various shade) but nothing else by name or type.  So there less talk about. 

I'm glad their going to do a map pack, but i'm not sure the large maps Mr. Coleman mentioned would be cost effective.  Has anyone see this sample one at the con?  It sounds its either large paper map of quality or cloth type but i don't it is.
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ColBosch

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #506 on: 04 August 2018, 06:43:53 »
Were Brent to come to me and say, "Bosch, I want you to redo the Technical Readout line," here's what it would look like. All would be 194 pages total, with 92 different 'Mech entries each; no other units would be included in the print volumes.

One major change I'd make right off the bat is to change the stat blocks. Right now the game stats are basically a design spreadsheet, but players don't really need to see the mass of components, and some critical information is missing. I'd replace it with what players need to fill out record sheets: where each item is, and how many spaces it takes up. With that change alone, the need for record sheet volumes is dramatically reduced, freeing up company resources to focus on actually-profitable areas. The in-universe state block would slightly change to list how many tons of ammo is included with each weapon, and OmniMechs would have their Prime loadout listed here along with their available pod tonnage.

Print Books (also in PDF)

Technical Readout: Succession Wars: Revise the entries to the new stat standard, above.
Technical Readout: Clan Invasion: Would contain the rest of the Classic redesigns in their 3050 configs, the 16 original Clan OmniMechs, the new 'Mech designs from Technical Readout 3050 Upgrade, then fill out the remaining pages with a selection of 'Mechs from 3055U and 3058U.
Technical Readout: Civil War: Would contain 92 'Mechs from 3055U, 3058U, 3060, and 3067.
Technical Readout: Jihad: Would contain 92 'Mechs from 3067, 3075, and 3085.
Technical Readout: Dark Age: Would contain 92 'Mechs from Prototypes, 3145, and 3150.

So the in-print and in-stores line would be just five books, 194 pages each, and far easier to keep in print. The new names and 'Mech-only contents would make it far simpler for non-fanatic customers (i.e., not us) to figure out what books they want and keep the focus of the game on the giant robots.

PDF-Only Books (hopefully print on demand, too)

Technical Readout: <era> Supplemental(s): A series of books that include any 'Mechs cut from the old Technical Readouts. Varied lengths, one for each era.
Technical Readout: <other unit type>: A series of books, each collecting a different non-'Mech unit: fighters, WarShips, infantry and battle armor, etc. If any end up excessively long, they'll be split into two volumes in whatever fashion seems convenient.
Technical Readout: Experimental <unit type>: Omnibus editions of the XTRO series, one each for 'Mechs, fighters, and vehicles. Perhaps expanded with new material.

One key feature of the line would be that units that were previously only published in sourcebooks would be given full Technical Readout entries. Most art would be recycled, but some units would have new art produced, such as the remaining Classics, the original Clan and Inner Sphere OmniMechs, and anything that just doesn't seem cool anymore.

Moving forward, I'd push for strict limits on new designs. Let's say the Powers That Be decide to go ahead and do a time jump to 3250. I'd want to limit Technical Readout: Darker Age's totally-new designs to 20-30 maximum, with the rest of the book showing older machines - especially those only found in the Supplementals - with modern upgrades. This allows players to immediately use their miniature collections with the new stats and doesn't overwhelm IWM; with a little lead time (heh), they might even have most or all of the new miniatures ready to release alongside the Technical Readout.

The main challenge would be where to put unit variants. Personally, I'd be okay leaving them in legacy materials, but perhaps the Supplementals could include the new stat blocks for the gazillions of different Marauders. One idea that strikes me is to change the Tech Readouts to portrait format, allowing home printers to more-easily assemble loose leaf binder collections.

Okay, that ran MUCH longer than I anticipated. Sorry.
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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #507 on: 04 August 2018, 06:44:21 »
I'm glad their going to do a map pack, but i'm not sure the large maps Mr. Coleman mentioned would be cost effective.  Has anyone see this sample one at the con?  It sounds its either large paper map of quality or cloth type but i don't it is.

He said it was thin neoprene, which has been used for table mats of that size for some years.  I have a 4x4 one I use for Dropzone Commander and Alpha Strike, and my LGS had a lot of ones around 6x4 for club tables.
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ANS Kamas P81

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #508 on: 04 August 2018, 06:49:17 »
Were Brent to come to me and say, "Bosch, I want you to redo the Technical Readout line," here's what it would look like. All would be 194 pages total, with 92 different 'Mech entries each; no other units would be included in the print volumes.
That would be my suggestion. As I said earlier, keep the in-store focus on the 'Mechs, and anyone who is into the game enough to want vehicles, infantry, etc. would be more willing to go online to find them.
A 'Mech only TRO would be the perfect companion to the BattleMech Manual.  I'd be all for that, and leaving vehicles and infantry to supplemental products.  Some quick numbers...

The "intro" version becomes TRO 3039 BattleMechs, and only 162 pages (120 pages for the regular 'Mechs, and I'm going from 21 pages for the Unseen to 42 pages for the Classics) compared to the 304 page beast it is.  You'd have a little smaller sized document for "Support Forces" at 142 pages, but that covers vehicles and aerospace and could be padded a little with infantry a la 3085.

3050U is mostly 'mechs, but it's also not as big overall.  Pull the fighters and such, add about 40 pages for the Star League stuff and you're back to 178 pages, only a little larger than 3039 (and would include the Clan omnis) in the end.  Though, you'd need to add in the Classics, so you're peaking 220 pages; considering all the new production designs in play (Imp, Annihilator, Caesar, Cataphract et al) it makes some sense.  And is still smaller than 3050U by 26 pages.

Typed this out while you were doing your big post, reading the rest now.
Succession Wars: I count 83 'mechs in 3039, counting the Unseen designs.  Trivia: there's only 34 'Mechs that weren't Unseen that were standard for the era.  Would you pad out extra to reach 92 with common variants?  (Dragon, introtech Grand Dragon for example)
Also re: record sheets, should there be an explanation of how RS crits should be arranged (engines at the top, then weapons, then ammo, then heat sinks, then noncrit locations) or freeform?  In the end it's not like the dice care where an object is, the twelve slots are evenly reached anyway.  As long as all the components are in the right slot, I don't mind myself, but you'd want some sort of 'tournament standard' I think for major events.
« Last Edit: 04 August 2018, 07:02:23 by ANS Kamas P81 »

Cubby

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Re: Upcoming Releases Volume XIII: Unlucky Release Edition
« Reply #509 on: 04 August 2018, 12:24:17 »
The Shattered Fortress PDF is LIVE!

Please note: Because a relatively few customers were able to obtain the print book at Gen Con, we wanted to push the PDF version out as quickly as possible so everyone has a chance to read the latest exciting chapter of the BattleTech saga. As a result, at this time, ONLY the PDF version is available. The usual PDF + Print bundle will not be available on the store until the print book has a street date, later this fall. Likewise, an upgrade to the combo is not available at this time.
« Last Edit: 04 August 2018, 12:36:14 by Cubby »
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