Monday, April 9, 2012


First, a warning, if you don't care for my rant skip down by the images...

So the moderators were nice enough over on the BT forums to give me, wait for it...


What for you may ask?  Posting the data on the quirks list out of strategic operations.  Apparently its ok to copy/paste large chunks of text from books, as people do it all the time, so it must have been personal. I never flamed people, and was nearly at 1000 postings, so go figure.

Granted, I could go create a new account in milliseconds, but fuck em, they are Nazi's full of themselves anyway. It is annoying I can't even respond to PMs though, but real Nazi's would be ok with that.

Now that this happened, I can now do the following without remorse:

  • No longer pay for their products or in any way support CGL
  • Freely open and distribute information from their products
  • No longer write software specifically for their products
  • No longer ask people to buy their products or support the IP
  • Release a competing game system without worry I may be negatively impacting BT writers and creators
Now some of you may be thinking I'm full of myself or something, and I rightly deserved to be banned... maybe,I can't argue with their logic, but here are my "infractions":
17th May 2011 - Friendly advice regarding rule 1 (personal attacks)
29th June 2011 - First warning (rule 4, no politics or religion)
18th August 2011 Second warning (rule 10; no selling/trading)
4th September 2011 - Third warning (rule 4, no politics or religion), one week posting ban
22nd September 2011 - Fourth warning (rule 3, confrontational behaviour)
25th September 2011 - Fifth warning (rule 10, no selling/trading); one month posting ban 

The one on 25 sep is valid, that was my bad, the other on 18 Aug I was just letting local folks to head to the game store that weekend, I was bringing my stuff if they wanted any (no prices or anything, just a "make sure you show up" thing, it was in a dedicated thread to their group).  I have yet to find out what the 17th may thing was, I never attack people personally.  The whole politics/religion thing, well, it wasn't a "Go Romney" or some other stupid comment, it was comparing why things could work in the BTU based on our own history, and wasn't even offensive.  The one on 22nd sep I was banned because when asking about system coordinates, I kept saying "TPTB won't release them".  ANYWAY.....

The rest of ya'll may be saying "all shucks, I wanted him to finish something", but here is the great news!  I am no longer bound by the silly BTU.  My MUL ground to a halt the last few days as I find uncorrected error after uncorrected error in record sheet and TRO books.  The BT folks really just don't give a crap about quality when it comes to the crap they release.  Their errata is pathetic, and I've been buying every book that came out in both DTF and PDF in the hopes that when errors were found, they'd update the PDF... .but nooooo, they don't do that, they hate their customers.  I've felt this way a long time, but tried to bite my tongue in the hopes I was just mistaken.

Oh, and btw, I emailed Randall about releasing all my MUL data and got no reply.  So apparently it is ok.  If you don't defend your trademarks, you can loose the trademark on it (and the licensing).  It isn't formatted yet, but if anybody wants a raw excel file email me at bad_syntax  Once I get it formatted I'll toss it into SQL, put it online till I get a C&D, then post it in a country that doesn't care about C&D's... if TPTB don't care about their products, why should I?

Ok, so now what am I doing you ask?  Here is what I've been doing:
  • The MUL.  I've gone through all the buildings, including the castle brian stuff (filled full of errors!).  I also went through all the variants that were only in older products and got them updated.  I still need to cleanup support vehicles, but that shouldn't be too bad.  Then enter in DS/WS/JS/SS, which again shouldn't be too bad.  I need to be motivated to work on it again, which may not happen until they release some new book or something.
  • The Reunification War, the board game.  I've been designing out a game based on the SLDF conquering of the TDF in the reunification war.  I have about 60% of the base rules complete, and was finishing up the map. Sorry that its still in excel, its easier to edit the map in that mode, eventually it'll be hexes.  The movement is the same tho, 4 hexes (er squares) per 30 LY.  The Hyades and Pleiades cluster have additional planets in the open area as there is no way to have a map with only 1 system per hex/square, even at 1 LY per hex!  Also the counters, which may not have accurate #s yet, but the format is pretty final.  If anybody wants the map in excel let me know, it'll print on 6 sheets of standard paper and has .7" square (I think).
  • So, next thing in my list, I'll work on creating an alternate universe to BT, but one with many of the same elements.  Big advance tech faction, breaks up, technology lost, lots of wars, comes back, etc.  I'll create all new units based on things I can find in history.  I don't have to worry about scaling at this point, as this is only a board game (I'll be using it to test out some of the combat/production systems before coding it into the final computer version).  Each faction will have a flavor, everybody won't feel the same.  It will have giant walkers, power armor, tanks, aircraft, gateships (jumpships), warships, and assault ships (dropships).  I can produce all the numbers myself, which has been a pain with the BTU.
  • I setup some PHPBB forum software on my old server recently but decided it was too much work for me to maintain.  If there are any big fans to what I'm doing out there, or even BT fans (hehe) who are familiar enough with it to set it up and mod it, I'd be happy to run the hardware.  Only 1 rule, "don't be an ass", everything else is fine.  I can also give you RDP access to my server, and all the "goodies" that entails ;)
  • One thing for all the folks that think DX and VB don't mix, I completely recreated the DOW2 control panel a while back using it.  The control is fully functional and object based.  Each button has highlights, clicks, mouseovers, different states, scaling, font/text, even animated buttons.Oh, and it'll be fully customizable in anything i write, so you can make your own, move buttons, etc.  Even though it is IDENTICAL to the DOW2 interface, it is 100% created and rendered by me, using images from the DOW2 game.
And this one, which has little animated green 40K hormagaunts moving across the map, which you can shoot at with sound and animated bullets:
Wouldn't take much for me to put mechs on it, add network code, and let you fight lots of friends in real time ;)

So, no more data entry and data mining of BT stuff, and honestly after entering in over 4500 units and seeing all the errors, its a wonder I even finished (well mostly).  But all the projects I've been working on, even cartographer, will still get finished, but none of them will be specific to battletech anymore, that universe is dead to me unless Jordan Weisman, and only him, wants to ask me for something.


  1. I'd bet my bottom dollar that they got pissed when you pointed out the RAT situation. Personally, I don't see the harm in wanting RATs that are at least a little representative of the universe.

    The mods over there are nuts. These's a meme going around the BT circles: "At least it's not ERPPCs." Referencing the phrase that caught a warning for a certain member of the forums.

    I was really liking your progress on the strategic map program for tiling mapsheets. Very, very cool.

    You will be missed in the forums.

  2. Yeah, oh well, they are the ones without a growing fan base, I just wish I had enough creativity not to need them to give me inspiration to code stuff.

    Banning people is so stupid though, in 2 minutes I could go create a new account and they'd never know (I can change my IP), so they aren't doing anything but, well being childish IMO. They are kinda like the TSA, all about infringing on your rights, but not really doing anything to stop you from being bad.

  3. Come now, this was building for a while. Not like you were surprised, seeing how they deal with everyone else that diverges too much from the party line. The boldest I care to be is to fly my fan flag at the bottom of each post. I have this feeling they are poised, waiting with a C&D the instant the PDF hits the web, but you never know. They might not even know it exists.

    Shya, right.

    Gonna miss your comments on the forums - I lurk mostly, these days, unless I have a question. Still up for that Infantry Primer?

    1. Yep, still up for anything infantry. 7 years tearing up my body for my country (with disability to show for it!) and I'm ready to give some of that knowledge back.

      Rule #1. A large chunk of an infantryman's time when not at combat is spent picking up trash.

  4. I've followed your posts over the last three months and I can honestly say this: You had to know this was coming. You refused to listen to the answers that were given to you, and when they did not fit your viewpoint, you took it upon yourself to insult everyone peripherally involved with whatever got a bee in your bonnett. It went past abrasive until, over a resource you were using in a not-as-intended manner and had it pointed out to you that it was leaving gaps in your theories, then all of a sudden this resource was "broken" and all the people who worked on it were "incompetent".

    So now you come here on your blog (and like a Nazi, I'm sure this will be deleted too) and further insult the people who create the game you've obsessed over, saved it from oblivion when the original company (creative, yet incompetent as it was) collapse in a pyre of retirement and bad business and then state you're going rogue with a plan of criminal activity of IP violations and legal misunderstandings. I imagine you'll frame the inevitable C&D order with pride.

    On the plus side, you got me to create a comic for the first time in months due to your epic descent into ignorance and self denial. So you can hold your head up with pride knowing that you finally accomplished something worthwhile to the CBT community.

    Douglas C. Glendower

    1. No, I will never delete a post as long as its got something to do with the topic at hand, I think censorship is horribly unamerican, from a child saying a "bad word", to somebody dogging our many wars or politicians. To be American means to accept the things you hear, even if you don't like them, and understand they may not like what you say.

      While I'm not real sure why you "followed my posts", I really don't think I'm abrasive. I don't insult people personally (like you just did), and the only things I don't accept about BT canon are the populations, which if you know anything at all about people, you know that no planet can be taken over by a mech company with a billion inhabitants. I also loathe pickup games and try to give people alternatives, but I don't attack people. Populations are the only thing I'm unwaivering on, as its stupid, period, there is no way to spin it where the population sizes line up with the military sizes and the ease of world capture. If you know of a way without creating magic of your own, I'm all ears.

      Sure, we have new products, and Topps saved BT. But you can save a minor stab wound on your hand with a tourniquet too, it doesn't mean it the end result was the best one. As that same fan you just mentioned I am, what kind of person would I be to accept *anything* I see as broken without at least *trying* to fix it? I can't be that complacent and accepting when stuff can be so easy to fix. Things like integrating errata into PDFs isn't hard, neither is having a bit more checking on products before the leave the door.

      I never said I was going to go rogue with criminal activity. I said I wasn't going to be concerned. See, there is not a single thing that I'll have in my MUL you can't get with google already. The difference is I'm making it *easier* to get stuff. I was trying to get official word on if that was ok, but like many other official requests I've made over the years it gets completely ignored, then I get banned. So tell me, why am I so bad for creating a central repository for BT information? Sarna did it, and I'm betting they aren't evil.

      I will simply not be too concerned with what I release, it isn't like I'm going to zip up my PDFs and put them on TPB, I'm simply going to have vehicle stats online, which you can download all over the place.

      But yeah, I probably will keep a C&D (not a big picture person, so real life framing wouldn't happen, it doesn't look cool on the wall) as apparently the only time TPTB care about fans, is when it can impact their dollar.

      But I'm glad I could spark some creativity in your life, even though again you had to insult me and come across, well, as somebody with an agenda. Apparently I'm not so bad though, you did take time out of your life to post a lengthy message to me describing my faults.

    2. My issue with the current nature of the RATs is that they rather easily could be made to coarsely function in the methods Bad Syntax would like to use them in.

      I get it - a force created by RATs won't - and shouldn't, given the random nature - create a force representative of a given unit. But they should at least get you in the ballpark. If they have rough production rates behind-the-scenes, they should be able to generate RATs ROUGHLY representative.

      At the very least, RATs without obvious errors in reasoning should be expected.

      From my point of view, Bad Syntax is simply direct in his view. Unfortunately in our lowest-common-denominator society, directness is often interpreted as rudeness. I claim that this is an erroneous, nigh indefensible stance and should instead be valued.

  5. Heh - Doug *sounds* like a fanboy. But it is true - I have corresponded with a young lady interested in the game who ran afoul of the same thing - taking a stance and defending it and *not* giving in to the pressure brought on by the horde that inhabits the forums.

    Yes, *inhabits* because I get the impression from the post count that a lot - not all - of forum posters are there every single day, for quite a while. I don't see that as reflecting experience in the game, but rather experience on a forum. And that forum, like a lot of others, has its own politics and is a pretty strange place. As a rule of thumb, the more posts a comment giver has to their credit, the less I pay mind to their opinion. There are exceptions, of course. Some folks *have* to be there on a daily basis.

    Ironic how Doug lambasted you for being insulting and abrasive by... being insulting and abrasive. But the screwy politics of fandom will do that to a man.

  6. No, I am actually not a fanboy. In fact, I have left too many sci-fi communities because of it. I apologize for losing my temper, but the points I raised, well, if I had not wanted them heard, I would not have said them.

    I followed your posts because I wanted to help, but my help was derided as being ignorant of your take on things. You may hate pick up games or the small-scale game, but that's where sales are, and that's what the RATs were generated for. I tried to point out that what you were looking for simply did not exist due to the huge gaps in the universe, and my comic, rather than being a direct attack on you actually points out that anything you generate for those holes can be undone by the writers beginning to fill in the backstory, which is just finally happening right now. Who knows where they're going to take the pre-3025 universe? It is, however, and no matter how much you generate or I make fun of, out of our hands.

    My being upset however, is that you turned around and berated those that tried to help you, and then (no matter how you spin it) threw down an open declaration of war against the company that, through extentions, have kept this game alive since 1984, rather than realize that your own abrasiveness and insulting nature in those threads eventually resulted in your expulsion.

    You have my apologies for my above post. It has caused me frictions with some people I do respect a great deal, so I will say, before the naked stars, that I was wrong. You were, pardon the expression, the catalyst for the comic, but I do not believe it was the attack I made it seem, as the point was the previously mentioned vaguarity in the universe, and many people's (my own, in the case of the current Lyran storyline in the DA) reaction. The above post, however, was not. I had hoped to shock you out of the comfort zone being portrayed here, and maybe have you take a look at exactly what you are doing, and what you hope to accomplish. If I went to far, and judging by a unification of opinion from 3CL and CS4A, I may have, you have my apologies.

    My final piece of advice, Mr. Syntax, is to not delve into the realm of IP infringement out of spite. It matters not that you enter the information by hand, distributing the work of the paid authors and artists is, indeed, IP infringment. Most of the official MUL, however, is free data, to use, and I encourage your efforts to make it more usable for larger aspects of the game, since that's where your passion is. Mine is in the absurdity of a universe built on Japanese Fighting Robots laid over the most obvious pastiches of American Grand Science Fiction ever concieved.

    Once again, my apologies.
    D.C. Glendower.

    1. No problem, there is nothing anybody can say with words, or a keyboard, that can anger me. Words are expressions of opinions, mine are usually quite blunt (and often probably do come across poorly, my writing skills suck) and I probably shouldn't expect others not to get so upset over words like I don't.

      Herb said when I asked him about RATs, that often they are used for marketing the latest books and miniatures. Once he said that, it was pretty obvious that these really can't be used to generate units, period. I'm ok with that, and initially wanted to try to use them, but after doing a bit of studying them and what Herb had said, I really wonder how many people really use them in their games, as it really limits your options for no real reason. Guess its easier than making a decision though :)

      Here is a catch 22:
      Part 1. The writers don't put in detail because they don't want to constrict anybody from creating things in the universe.
      Part 2. The writers say do what you want in your own game, and routinely revise information making older stuff obsolete.

      Both sides are defended viciously, which is funny, as they contradict each other. People are like "I hated the wolf's dragoons book, it didn't leave anything to the imagination", but in another post they are like "We have house rules for this, and allow any era of units". That confused me, and I have never gotten a good answer either way. The only thing I can see it as is the extra effort they think is required to create detail. But we have computers now. Lets say I generated full statistics for the 3000 systems and somehow CGL decided to say "yep, that's all right, UNTIL we change it". Who would have a problem with that? I don't think anybody. If you are a writer, and you really want a water world to be a desert one, change it, and we can update the data immediately, all is well. Why is it in a universe so filled with contradictions is the inability to update a number or value so hard? Its like TPTB don't understand how to utilize computers for their business, and not that I can fault them for that, I make great money helping companies automation their environments, though I do somewhat fault them for not recognizing when somebody says they'll assist for free in doing just that.

      I'm not going to go zip up my PDF folder and upload it to the pirate bay, I don't do things out of spite, I don't do things out of revenge, and any significant decision I make is carefully analyzed to see the impact it may have on those around me. I will however say things on the top of my mind, and may recant them later is they turn out to be bad ideas, but sharing ideas or defending a viewpoint should never be anything that should upset anybody else, or get them banned from forums.

      I also don't remember berating anybody, though if you have some forum links I'd be happy to look at them and apologize to anybody I personally attacked. I will however berate ideas, and invite anybody to do the same with mine, nobody should be offended by that, and if you are, you have a very narrow minded approach to life.

      Sorry but I'm not aware of your comic, and haven't seen it, if you made personal attacks on me in it I'm ok with it, not my place to judge your opinion. I'll take a look if you shoot me a URL and give you my opinion if you desire.

      And just FYI, all I ever did was try to help the BTU, I tried to produce useful tools, help find errata, point out holes in rules, find inconsistencies in tables, offer to create missing content details, and hopefully help inspire some ideas to fix things, and all I ever seemed to get on the forums was extreme defensiveness, responses that were only antagonistic, and people personally attacking me, so in hindsight, I never should have posted anything on those forums not in the "Ask the Writers", "Rules Questions", or "Errata" sections.

  7. I'm new to the BT universe, relatively speaking, and have wondered about that question about population and just a few mechs taking over a planet. Look at history and how much can go on in a country across a border with "little" affect to the countries around them.

    2 things - I've swallowed a huge pill of denial and enjoy the stories and universe as is.
    I like the fact that you're pursuing you ideas on ways to change the universe.