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Author Topic: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?  (Read 5697 times)

Atlas3060

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #30 on: 19 September 2022, 22:36:54 »
Battle of Luthein Centennial: I love the fiction, so these "non-fiction" pieces are always 2nd best to me.  That SAID, they are CONSISTANTLY good.  Also, Shrapnel is the jumping on point for a LOT of new readers, so I'm happy pieces like this exist to flesh out the lore for new readers.  Not everything is for everyone, and that's OK. :-)  (again, that said, i DID like it and found it good)
Glad you liked it, I enjoyed poking fun at how the Luthien scenario book wasn't always a clean source of information for folks. If you have the book, dig around, you'll see one or two references I used there.

Quote
Bullets never stop:  I dig it.  It feels like an authentic write up of a TV show.
Excellent  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: 19 September 2022, 22:53:02 by Atlas3060 »
Stone wasn't cryo frozen. He just got stuck in a freezer Hans Moleman style and we felt bad about it. So we made up this lie.

DarkISI

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #31 on: 20 September 2022, 01:36:04 »
I have one more story idea that will pay it all off, but I won't be writing it for a while.

Looking forward to it. It was really nice getting so much Blackarauder goodness in so short a time, but I also see how giving it some time for people to get to it and have it settle down is a good idea.
So I will wait.
But I am watching you
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five_corparty

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #32 on: 20 September 2022, 09:41:09 »
My intention was that no one would know that this was going to be a Marauder story until that moment. The EI thing must be serendipity. I haven't read your story, but I will check it out. What's the title and where is it? With my portrayal, I wanted to show what about EI was addictive, and why it drove people mad. My bout with the shingles informed the latter, and for the former I went with the more human than human approach. I also wanted to delve into the failings of such a system, and how it could be fooled in ways the eyes can't, and use that to drip feed the reader some information. There's a lot more in this story than I think people will catch on to. I have one more story idea that will pay it all off, but I won't be writing it for a while.

Mine's "A trial most acceptable," I'm the cat that ate up all the room this issue.  ;-)

And what's funny is, I -KNEW- there was a BM story in the issue, but I missed who's story I was on (I was reading it on kindle at the time) so YEAH, I was like AHH!!!!  It was actually really, REALLY cool to be surprised like that, so while I was kiiiinda joking about using a pen name, I'm also kinda not. ;-)

I have the BM anthology on my desk, I'm going to hold off until next month to read it for MAXIMUM SPOOKINESS, and look forward to your return to the fold!

five_corparty

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #33 on: 20 September 2022, 09:42:43 »
Glad you liked it, I enjoyed poking fun at how the Luthien scenario book wasn't always a clean source of information for folks. If you have the book, dig around, you'll see one or two references I used there.
Excellent  :thumbsup:

LUTHIEN?  my friend, have you SEEN the disaster that is "FASA 1693: Coventry"??  Makes Luth look like a doctrinal thesis! hahaha

good stuff, like I said. :-)

Atlas3060

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #34 on: 20 September 2022, 09:58:16 »
LUTHIEN?  my friend, have you SEEN the disaster that is "FASA 1693: Coventry"??  Makes Luth look like a doctrinal thesis! hahaha
Oh it was on my mental list of other topics to tackle.
After all that one can be blamed for the eventual rise of the Second League.
Maybe, one day, when I find a proper way to attack it.  >:D
Stone wasn't cryo frozen. He just got stuck in a freezer Hans Moleman style and we felt bad about it. So we made up this lie.

five_corparty

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #35 on: 20 September 2022, 10:13:04 »
Oh it was on my mental list of other topics to tackle.
After all that one can be blamed for the eventual rise of the Second League.
Maybe, one day, when I find a proper way to attack it.  >:D

Run, Boomers, Run: A Mounted Cavalryman Remembers the Battle of Coventry ;-) hahaha


"Boomers" is slang for 'roos, y'all, I'm not being mean to my elders... ;-) hahaha

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #36 on: 20 September 2022, 11:40:07 »
Chaos Campaign: what a weird, wild, wacky scenario!  can't wait to try it.

The first draft was ludicrous to playtest - using the light gravity rules, 'Mechs and BA were speeding across the cratered moonscape like Dashers, and most of the pursuers failed their control rolls and drifted off into space, out of control. It got more manageable once we switched from light gravity to zero gravity rulesets (given that the chunks of Movl aren't large enough to support an atmosphere or gravitational pull), giving everyone a limited supply of maneuvering fuel, so that missing your aim just slows you down as you reorient, rather than putting you into orbit around the sun.
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #37 on: 21 September 2022, 14:05:33 »
ExoFauna:  These game parts KILL IT.  Every single issue, they add something fun to the table, and this one is no different.  Personally, my fave are the bugs that light your mech up like New York on New Year's, but they are solid across the board.  Well done.


Thanks! I haven't been able to sit down and do anything big but I love being able to offer a few ways to tweak games and make them different without totally changing them.
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ShroudedSciuridae

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #38 on: 28 September 2022, 20:30:05 »
Thanks! I haven't been able to sit down and do anything big but I love being able to offer a few ways to tweak games and make them different without totally changing them.

My very first thought to this second Bainbridge chapter was Shadowrun's Parazoology/botany/geology. I gleefully await Bainbridge's Guide to Impactful Exominerals.

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #39 on: 28 September 2022, 20:57:38 »
Forbidden Lore: I'm of two minds on this one. I -like- the fact Doc wove a brand-new story in and among a tale already told, and once I realized who the bad guys were, I was like smacking my head like an old V-8 commercial and saying, "weeeell, DUH!"  I mean, it's a little scooby-dooish to wear your capes and whites on a secret mission, but I'll let it slide on the "shrapnel is a jumping on point for new readers" and "he didn't have enough words because some arrogant schmuck dropped in a whole novella and ate up all the buffer space." ;-)  seriously, it 100% makes sense in lore, and my biggest gripe is I didn't think of it FIRST.  ;) ;D  that SAID, I have -never- been a fan of "unreliable narrator" stories, and the whole "he got hit with space magic and is spouting prophesies" just... didn't work for me.  Again: that's ok.  A lot of it hit right, and adding a little spooooooky into the issue is something I really dig.  Holiday stuff next issue, and stories full of smooches next year!  8) ;D

 :)

Mendrugo

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #40 on: 29 September 2022, 03:35:52 »
My very first thought to this second Bainbridge chapter was Shadowrun's Parazoology/botany/geology. I gleefully await Bainbridge's Guide to Impactful Exominerals.

There is the synthetic sand surrounding ISF HQ on New Samarkand that can dissolve ‘Mech armor in seconds…
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

CVB

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #41 on: 29 September 2022, 15:57:54 »
Still wondering why the Combine never developed mech-sized sandblasters...
"Wars result when one side either misjudges its chances or wishes to commit suicide; and not even Masada began as a suicide attempt. In general, both warring parties expect to win. In the event, they are wrong more than half the time."
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Mendrugo

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #42 on: 29 September 2022, 16:28:13 »
Still wondering why the Combine never developed mech-sized sandblasters...

Because the sandblasters would also disintegrate in minutes.

Working at that complex, though, you've got to wonder what happens on breezy days...
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.

BrianDavion

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #43 on: 01 October 2022, 22:37:20 »
Because the sandblasters would also disintegrate in minutes.

Working at that complex, though, you've got to wonder what happens on breezy days...

You only wonder if you don't realize the combine doesn't care about people

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #44 on: 04 October 2022, 15:11:06 »
Anyone have thoughts on Last Flight of the Black Condor? It was my first short story that wasn't a technical article.  I'm curious to see what people thought (good and bad, but be nice :) ). 

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #45 on: 04 October 2022, 15:12:53 »
I'll read it, as soon as I remember where I put my hard copy...

five_corparty

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #46 on: 04 October 2022, 21:42:04 »
Jal's post reminded me that I never finished! now, where was I...?

Last Flight of the Black Condor: This story remided me of OTHER stories, which at first, kinda annoyed me for a reason i couldn't put my finger on.  But, as the story went on, it went away and instead, the story felt like putting on an old jacket.  I can't really describe it better than that, so I'm sorry for the bad description.  it just had the flow of fiction I've grown up with in the past- and I'm not saying it's PERFECT, a courgar painted up like a romulan bird of prey is cheesy in an old 1980s sci-fi way and YET, the writer made it WORK.  The characters work, the playlist idea- look, we don't hear enough about music in the BattleTech universe, so anytime we get a glimpse that the arts are still going on, I dig it- i dunno.  This story may not work for everyone, but by the end, I had nodding along with it.  Well done.  (PS: I have loved the tooth of ymir FOREVER because they have such a GREAT name.  good to see them in a story!)

Cutting the competition: another fun little scenario!  man, I said it before, i'll say it again, the writers of the game aids just kill it, every month, and issue 10 feels like a notch above!

This too shall pass:  ooohhh, man.  This is a story that needed to be told, and James Lee did a good job of it.  I've always loved the 21st Centauri Lancers, and seeing them have some face time makes me smile.  Just good stuff here discussing a moment that got about a paragraph in the sourcebooks but was worth so, so much more.

Wolf Howl: what an interesting idea.  At first, i was a little troubled because the points seem like good or bad rolls can make it too easy or too hard.  And then I realized, "hey, that's life at war, kiddo," and was okay with it.  Odds are a player will have a good roll, a bad roll, and the rest should be average.  keeps the game interesting!

Now, NORMALLY, i don't read a multi-part until ALL the parts are published.  i didn't read mike stackpole's till it was done, didn't read Craig till it was done, and I was going to do the same.  but then, since I was breaking them all down I figured what the heck, and the I REMEMBERED WHY I DON'T DO THIS!!
BECAUSE I WANT TO READ THEM ALL NOW!  Not going to lie, I saw this was first person -ugh!!- AND set in Concordant -rolls eyes- AND during the Star league era -rolls eyes so hard the click in head-
Look, a lot of 1st person sci-fi doesn't work, a lot of TC stories are about either them fighting a) the FSs or B) the SLDF.  I deep sighed and figured, "here we go, another 'I'm mad at the invaders grr grr grr' story, Booo-bloody-yah," and was HAPPILY surprised that this subverted my expectations.  I've seen some chatter complaining that this is "too close to real" or "has politics in it" but, HELLO, nearly all of sci-fi DOES?  Complaining about politics in sci-fi is like complaining that the sky is blue: it IS a staple, and like it or else, it is what it is.
And here, the author uses real-life allegories in sci-fi -literally a tradition as old as the genre- to explore both sides, to see each side in a way that people often can't when talking about the "real" world.  It was done WELL, the characters were on POINT, and the 1st person narrative (like "bad and worse" earlier in the issue) NAILS it, hitting the character right and placing them IN the setting without the setting overwhelming the story.

It's a GREAT start to what I'm sure will be a great story, and again, i normally don't read them till they're done so I can read them all at once!! GAH!  why did I do this to myself?

ANYWAYS,
Issue 10 is probably my favorite of them all so far.  truly, every single thing in it is "above average or better," which is a helluva feat.  congrats and well done to all my fellow writers!

not, get off the internet and get back to work! ;-P hahaha

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #47 on: 05 October 2022, 08:17:08 »
Last Flight of the Black Condor: This story remided me of OTHER stories, which at first, kinda annoyed me for a reason i couldn't put my finger on.  But, as the story went on, it went away and instead, the story felt like putting on an old jacket.  I can't really describe it better than that, so I'm sorry for the bad description.  it just had the flow of fiction I've grown up with in the past- and I'm not saying it's PERFECT, a courgar painted up like a romulan bird of prey is cheesy in an old 1980s sci-fi way and YET, the writer made it WORK.  The characters work, the playlist idea- look, we don't hear enough about music in the BattleTech universe, so anytime we get a glimpse that the arts are still going on, I dig it- i dunno.  This story may not work for everyone, but by the end, I had nodding along with it.  Well done.  (PS: I have loved the tooth of ymir FOREVER because they have such a GREAT name.  good to see them in a story!)

I am glad you liked it! I have always had the image of this story in my head for years and years.  Somewhere between the opening of MechWarrior 4 Vengeance and, I kid you not, the rescue scene in Shrek 2.  The music was inspired by the music in that scene in shrek 2 combined with the much more recent Alphabet squadron trilogy of books inspired me on how to write the playlist. This story has been in my head since I was like 15, so maybe that sense hahaha.

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #48 on: 05 October 2022, 12:11:02 »
I'm literally buying this issue because of Kara's Scorchers getting a write-up. This unit has interested me ever since MWDA introduced it to the clicky game, and I'm excited to see it get fleshed out more. Does anyone here have any thoughts on this write-up?
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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #49 on: 05 October 2022, 20:18:00 »
I'm literally buying this issue because of Kara's Scorchers getting a write-up. This unit has interested me ever since MWDA introduced it to the clicky game, and I'm excited to see it get fleshed out more. Does anyone here have any thoughts on this write-up?

It was good!  i didn't realize they existed in clicky beforehand, so it carries over well enough to stand on it's own two feet

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #50 on: 05 October 2022, 20:19:39 »
I am glad you liked it! I have always had the image of this story in my head for years and years.  Somewhere between the opening of MechWarrior 4 Vengeance and, I kid you not, the rescue scene in Shrek 2.  The music was inspired by the music in that scene in shrek 2 combined with the much more recent Alphabet squadron trilogy of books inspired me on how to write the playlist. This story has been in my head since I was like 15, so maybe that sense hahaha.

I could see the alphabet roots; love those books, so it was a good tribute/vibe

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #51 on: 06 October 2022, 10:32:16 »
Anyone have thoughts on Last Flight of the Black Condor? It was my first short story that wasn't a technical article.  I'm curious to see what people thought (good and bad, but be nice :) ). 

Okay, I read it. It was a good story, a quick, brutal piece that gets across what BattleTech is. War and death, and sometimes there's a reason for it. The story is fine, but I did notice a lot of places where technical improvements could be made to the writing. Lots of first time writer stuff, which is easy to address.

Your narration is excellent, but dialog leaves a lot to be desired. You spend a lot of dialog on exposition, especially in the beginning. People don't talk like that. Give exposition through narration, if you have to give it at all. Playing into that is the "show, don't tell" aspect. For example, don't tell me that a character is obnoxious, show it to me through his words and actions, and especially don't have another character waste dialog telling me! Dialog is the characters interacting with each other. Keep in mind that they already know each other, and will not need to point out things to each other.

There are a lot of other little quick fix things that can help improve your writing by tightening it up. The quality is there, but applying these little fixes will make it shine better.

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #52 on: 11 October 2022, 08:20:14 »
Finally finished the volume. Fast writer, slow reader lol. Won't do a blow by blow of every single story, as quite frankly I don't have anything intelligent to say about most of them, but overall it was a fun issue and it was great to see the range and diversity of stories being published.

Notwithstanding the above, a couple of (fairly unintelligent) thoughts and reactions:

Forbidden Lore: What an interesting tone for a BTech story. Feels almost like a throwback to the mystic ki energy and phantom Mech plotlines of early Stackpole and Charette. Almost Lovecraftian! I know BT is primarily military SF but I'm happy to see writers push those boundaries!

Voices of the Sphere & The Bullets Never Stop: Love more experimental approaches to the fiction, in-universe interviews, reviews, yes! Would love to see an epistolary story set in HPG messages, an oral history composed of interview clips, a recorded transcript, a diary, would love to see writers get creative with the format!

Three Ways Home: I lean more towards applicability than analogy in my own writing (seems to have worked: nobody commented on the real world parallels in Undefeated) but it's refreshing to see writers try other approaches. I'll admit the setup to this one doesn't really resonate with me as it feels geared towards a specifically American sociopolitical issue, but let me also say I found the writing lively, energetic and entertaining.

Last Flight of the Black Condor: Gloriously cheesy. Love it.

This Too Shall Pass: Not really a comment on the story but the trope of "dependents get held hostage" and I just thought, wouldn't it be great to get the viewpoint of one of the people who get taken hostage one of these days. Like maybe they organize a resistance and free themselves rather than waiting for the parent unit to sweep in and save the day.

Oh, completely unofficial writer discord if anyone wants to swap story ideas or beta reads and whatnot.
https://discord.gg/S4GMj5Yn

« Last Edit: 11 October 2022, 08:22:41 by Dubble_g »
Author, "Inverted" (Shrapnel #4) and "Undefeated" (Shrapnel #10)
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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #53 on: 12 October 2022, 04:55:55 »
And not a word about Flying Kites  :'(
German novelist and part time Battletech writer.


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Dubble_g

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #54 on: 12 October 2022, 07:37:06 »
Sorry my dude, fun story, liked it and Trial Most Acceptable and the rest, just don't really have anything to add. Think some interesting discussion already took place upthread!
Author, "Inverted" (Shrapnel #4) and "Undefeated" (Shrapnel #10)
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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #55 on: 12 October 2022, 09:24:43 »
Forbidden Lore: What an interesting tone for a BTech story. Feels almost like a throwback to the mystic ki energy and phantom Mech plotlines of early Stackpole and Charette. Almost Lovecraftian! I know BT is primarily military SF but I'm happy to see writers push those boundaries!

You got my intent down square. This story was my attempt to write a Lovecraftian cosmic horror story in the BT setting.

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #56 on: 05 November 2022, 16:10:44 »
Still working my way through this one but I really liked Bad and Worse. Fun and believable look at how people in this universe end up in rough places.

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #57 on: 15 November 2022, 17:22:05 »
Okay, now that I finally got my hands on this issue, I'm gonna react to the content that especially interested me.

"A Trial Most Acceptable": This was hands-down not only my favorite story in the issue by a long shot, but it might be my favorite story I've read in BattleTech in years. I'm a sucker for the Hell's Horses, so I was immediately drawn in. I LOVED the dive into ProtoMechWarriors and how they work in practice, something we haven't seen since Randall's "Tears of Blood". As an LGBT player, I appreciated the brief touch on the Clan view of sexuality, and how casual they were not only about sexual relations in general but with *same-sex* relations, something we've all long theorized about but never had many concrete examples of. I really, really enjoyed this story a LOT.

"The Bull Has Turned": I haven't laughed this hard at a BattleTech piece in my life. In fact, I think this was the first humorous BattleTech entry that I thought was actually *funny*. The level of trolling was just off the charts here.

Kara's Scorchers: Awesome to see one of my favorite MWDA units not only get a proper fleshing out, but a continuance into the ilKhan era proper. I did find myself curious if they use any Salamander BAs, because they feel right up this unit's alley. I even thought the modified Spirit Cat insignia wreathed in flames was a great little touch!

Battle of the Belt: I took a gander at this because, again, Hell's Horses... but I gotta say, this is one of the most unique and interesting scenarios I've ever seen, and I can't *wait* to give this one a whirl!

Marine Vulpine Recovery: Not only is this a fantastic set-up for Destiny play, but I'm a big fan of *any* content out in the Chainelane Isles. I would 100% run this if I had an excuse to do so.
« Last Edit: 15 November 2022, 17:48:00 by tassa_kay »
My Personal Unit: Thuggee Warrior House Nagah, Clan Hell's Horses Nightmare Galaxy [WIP]

Favorite Factions: Capellan ConfederationClan Blood SpiritClan Smoke JaguarClan Hell's HorsesDraconis CombineRasalhague DominionRim Worlds RepublicMagistracy of Canopus
Favorite Characters: Malvina Hazen • Kali Liao • Katherine Steiner-Davion • Anastasia Kerensky • Danai Liao-Centrella • Karianna Schmitt • Ki-linn Liao • Tara Campbell • Katana Tormark
Favorite Units: The Golden Ordun • The Wolf Hunters • 1st Horde Cluster • 1st Rasalhague Bears • Warrior House White Tiger • The Hikage • Raptor Keshik • Kara's Scorchers

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #58 on: 15 November 2022, 19:46:53 »
My intention was that no one would know that this was going to be a Marauder story until that moment. The EI thing must be serendipity. I haven't read your story, but I will check it out. What's the title and where is it? With my portrayal, I wanted to show what about EI was addictive, and why it drove people mad. My bout with the shingles informed the latter, and for the former I went with the more human than human approach. I also wanted to delve into the failings of such a system, and how it could be fooled in ways the eyes can't, and use that to drip feed the reader some information. There's a lot more in this story than I think people will catch on to. I have one more story idea that will pay it all off, but I won't be writing it for a while.

Kudos to both of you on your respective stories.  I like the deeper explorations into EI - the benefits and pitfalls.  (Thank you to TPTB for publishing the Black Marauder story collection, btw.)  Looking forward to that final story in the series.  One question though - Lydia Spaatz (nice nod to the WWII USAAF General), the Bloodname list on Sarna says that this one is exclusive to the Cloud Cobras post Reaving?  Am I reading this wrong or are we looking at a line that made it out beforehand?   

Mendrugo

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Re: Shrapnel 10 - Thoughts?
« Reply #59 on: 15 November 2022, 19:50:46 »
Per the Edict of Severance, any Clanner in the Inner Sphere who could make either a matrilineal or patrilineal claim to a Bloodhouse was allowed to form a new Bloodhouse of that name in the Inner Sphere in the late 3090s, without regard to the claims of Kerensky Cluster-based Clans.
"We have made of New Avalon a towering funeral pyre and wiped the Davion scourge from the universe.  Tikonov, Chesterton and Andurien are ours once more, and the cheers of the Capellan people nearly drown out the gnashing of our foes' teeth as they throw down their weapons in despair.  Now I am made First Lord of the Star League, and all shall bow down to me and pay homa...oooooo! Shiny thing!" - Maximillian Liao, "My Triumph", audio dictation, 3030.  Unpublished.