Saturday, February 19, 2011


I've spent the last couple days I've had available playing with the idea of a board and counter game.  I've wanted to do this before, but it always gets out of hand, mostly because I won't stand for less than 7.5 LY per hex as I want each system represented, and at that scale the map is easily 8' x 7' in size!

I love counter games, and probably have well over 100,000 counters in my house, most likely over 20,000 just for Federation and Empire!  I also *love* maps, and have lots of those as well!

So instead of trying to model the entire 1st Succession War, I've started smaller, with the Reunification war.  For those of you not familiar it was from 2575 to 2596, so pretty early and nearly 200 years before Amaris!  In this war the SLDF, which was 270 regiments and 500 warships, took on the 4 major periphery powers in a war that lasted all of 20 years!  With this scale and the way the war was divided, I can split up the map into just the periphery nations, making them much smaller.  I can also have far less counters, which helps.  This would help make the game a reality and get a lot of playtesting accomplished before I started tackling a larger war.

This is also the prototype for the computer version, which I'll do after Interstellar Operations comes out, and it will be far more detailed including unique planet maps for all planets as well as realistic system transit!

Here is a snippet of the CBT thread here:

The map is about 40 hexes wide by 20 hexes tall.  The SLDF went in with about 324 battalions and 200 warships (plus perhaps 50 FS battalions and 50 Warships), the Taurians had about 12 mech battalions and maybe 150 warships, plus another 50 or so infantry battalions, so were outnumbered on the ground by about 6:1.  The Taurians had fortifications on every world, essentially multiplying their defensive abilities by 2 to 6, plus with the guerilla ability of mechs and infantry they can draw out true conquering of planets for many months or perhaps even years.  The SLDF has some reinforcements from the 1st and 2nd Reserve Corps on Terra, and eventually can get the entire elite Star Guard Corps to help out, this would be probably about 40 replacement battalions of green quality and 80 new elite Star Guard battalions that really make the difference.  Flannagan's Nebula also has serious defenses against space attacks, helping keep the SLDF at bay for a few years as they penetrate the defenses.  Probably a total of around 1000 counters.  Historically the game would last about 1000 turns (woah!), but many of those turns could last all of a minute as only 1-2 die rolls may be required.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I post on the classicbattletech forums a lot, and I'm kind of getting sick of all the trolls on there.  Just making a comment in a thread like "I am not posting anymore" is just childish, then to follow it up later with "I'm still not posting here" without any intervening messages is, well, pathetic and the very definition of troll.  Heck, some are even moderators!

I have actually seen a lot of very childish postings on there, which is weird as I thought most CBT players were in their late 20s to mid 40s (I'm 38 myself).  It is really starting to make me wonder why I give a crap about the community at all when so many are such babies and so few good communicators without an ego.  

It is like people don't understand if a thread goes where you don't want to follow, you STOP reading the thread, its simple, couldn't be any easier, yet somehow they just can't do that, and these people with well over 1000 posts since the forum has been back up, well, get out more, sheesh.

I wish I was a bit more creative so I could just write up my own game universe and system that was similar in many ways to BT :(

/end rant

As for other news, the answers to my infantry questions finally got answered on the forums, thanks Joel!  Now I gotta go back into the infantry builder and fix it all.  I may end up rewriting the interface too, I'm extremely unhappy with it, but interfaces are not my strong suite :(

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Player Finder!

It took me a few hours, but I think I made the ugliest web page in existence.

Basically a place to go to find opponents, zero frills, probably filled full of errors, but its all the time I wanted to dedicate to it at this point.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Federation & Empire

I move between games a lot, and after releasing the infantry builder a few weeks back I moved on to all sorts of other things.

The last few days I started working, yet again, on a easy to use hex map solution.  I've been close before, and even release one on a few years back.  This time I used GDI+, and created some of my own algorithms.  I ended up with a working Federation and Empire map board, complete with outlines of regions, mouse overs, zooming at to any level, scroll bars, background tiles, textured/colored/empty hexagons, borders, hexagon numbers, and other text within each hex.  It seems to work pretty well.  The only thing I don't have yet is hexagon A* pathfinding, but I think I can implement that with enough time.  This hex mapping control also lets me make any kind of hex based game much easier.

I'll probably spend a bit of time in the near future playing with that, hoping to get fleet deployment and movement down before I think about moving on.

My next BT project will be started, and hopefully completed this weekend, it'll be a player finder.  See the thread here if you want to know more.

After that maybe a vehicle builder for BT, though it really seems like mechs are what everybody wants.  HMP is woefully outdated, and IMO a new version won't be out for *years*.  SSW has done an ok job at filling in, but it is far from complete and has a few errors I noticed last time I used it.  Since it was being actively worked on I decided that a mech builder was somewhat low priority, and indeed it is the most complex construction possible.  I've since started rethinking that, mostly based on how few people it seems like are interested in anything I'm doing, not to mention the significant portion of any input I tend to put on the BT site ends up being completely shot down, or people just don't want to discuss it.  I'm not a very average BT gamer and have never really "fit in" playing games since I as 16 (22 years ago now), but somehow I still love it.