Friday, June 29, 2012

Record Sheets

So I decided to jump back into the design of the record sheets, so I can do the code and we can finally have record sheets for everything, woot right?

Nope, flop.

This is why I got discouraged last time, there simply *are* no blank record sheets for every unit type.

For example, find me a record sheet for a superheavy combat vehicle with 2 turrets.  Nope, none exist I've ever found.  Oh, and technically you'd need one for hover, hydrofoil, naval, submarine, tracked, VTOL, wheeled, and WIGE.  So there is a huge issue.

Next, blank record sheets.  I've been using those from MegaMekLab, but I don't have blank record sheets for Airships, Naval/Submarine, Rail (I guess I can use hover for this) or Satellites.

There are also not blanks for Warships, Jumpships, or Space Stations, though all of these I can actually make myself. 

So frustrating, not sure why they never made record sheets for all superheavies with 2 turrets, oh well.  Guess with all the unanswered rule questions (and all the issues *with* the construction rules that haven't been fixed) it is no surprise.

So here is what I am going to do, just to have *something*:

Since most units have a megamek icon (Buildings, Infantry, and Battle Armor don't, but will use alternate methods).  Excluding support vehicles, about 89% of units have a megamek icon.  The 228 support vehicles have very few, if any of them.  Most of those missing are newer designs.

So I'm going to take those megamek icons, blow them up a few hundred percent so they end up being about 1" on the page (camo optional).  I will then just make zones with big blocks of armor, and in the case of warships that could have 1000 points, I'll include a bunch of blocks (or whatever) that are larger with the number "10" in them.  Those of you who have ever played FASA's Leviathan will know what I mean, and its a great system.  In the case of vehicles that can have up to 2 turrets, I'll leave an area to have their armor blocks as well.

So the only hard part now is all the little blocks like warrior data, criticals, etc, but I already have many of those extracted separately, so its just a matter of figuring out their x,y coordinates on a page, and whammo, I can have record sheets for everything but BA/PM/Infantry, which I'll make last (no major issues on those).

I would like to see a lot more dropship and support vehicle megamek graphics get made, but since that game doesn't really support them, well, why would anybody do them?

I'll also implement the battleforce sheets in addition to the quick-strike ones (which don't really work for things like dropships, jumpships, warships, mobile structures, etc).  All the record sheets will become available in PDF format too.

Also on my thinking of doing next list:

  • Method to track your units in battle, basically a virtual record sheet, usable on phones/tablets/etc
  • User unit listings, with persistence and multiple lists (so you can have a unit list for various games, or the turns of various games), and can print such a list in PDF.
  • Cost calculation
  • BV calculation
  • Construction validation
  • Web interface to input your own designs, validate them, share them, etc

Stay tuned, post me some comments!


  1. Eric, I came across a similar, if minor, problem when laying down the Outworlds Alliance Werewolf VTOL. The existing VTOL sheet provided by MML did not include the option for a second turret. So I made one!

    Your list of machines with no record sheets is actually expected. Think about how often those machines get used in a campaign or even by individuals, and you will have arrived at the prioritization likely used by the manufacturer.

    And I don't blame them. You can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of folks whose last scenario involved a satellite (though to be fair, Dorian over in England would be one of those fingers).

  2. Excuse me, the VTOL sheet did not provide for a turret at all! I borrowed the design from the HMP program's output and with a few tweaks, dropped it into the MML product.

  3. In the back of Tactical Operations there is an advanced VTOL record sheet with a chin turret.

    But based on all the background art on the designs are kinda silly anyway, I'm just going to use megamek icons in the center, x4 or so sized, with camo if desired, and then draw armor in areas around it, kinda like warships. This way I can handle *every* possible configuration, it'll use less page area, and will actually be customized for every design. Even my vehicle record sheets will have the image of the unit on them (they don't currently), so though they aren't "canon", they will be completely legal and hopefully look better.

    But yeah, I can't blame them either for not producing all of them, well, I don't, but I could, as it is an indicator that the core rulebooks simply weren't finished.

    I'm finishing up all the fluff for 3057 now (with the new book), having just finished 3067 (new book again), and once done I'll start working on these record sheets. I also may make them completely dynamic, meaning i draw the little boxes, shadows, labels, etc, and there will be no "blank image" that gets used as the background.