Sunday, December 1, 2013

Censorship and Alpha Strike

So I still kinda follow the forums.  Mostly so I can see the massive amounts of errata and when new stuff comes out, but also as fans occasionally have some great new ideas (like AS point values).  Anyway one of these threads one user was asking about Alpha Strike Unit Card Templates.  This is a pretty important question, as right now there is no "official" way to make your own cards, and not everybody is a photoshop (or even mspaint) expert.  It went for quite a while with NO answer, but a lot of views.  One day I noticed an answer, which happily linked back to me.  However, the next day that posting was GONE.  I presume they gave the user that posted it warning under maybe rule #12, though honestly I have no more stuff violating IP on my site than or in many cases MegaMek and/or Skunkworks.  I did do that torrent posting a month or so back, but as nobody has inquired yet I presume most people can use google and get the books themselves, or just don't care (which most of the folks I game with are like, they simply don't care about most of the IP, hard for me to understand!).  Here is the posting if ya don't believe me (you can still get to the topic now.... until they delete it).

Anyway, my point was even as much as every single person on those forums may hate me personally, a link to an application I made is hardly a violation of any rule, and #12 is *really* stretching it.  Hopefully the user just got a warning, and not an outright permanent ban (totally possible based on their stasi style forum rules, created I assume from overwhelming amounts of those in power... kinda like our own US Government).  It was nice to see a reference to something I did, but sad to see some user punished for it.

What really sucks is even if I took my whole encyclopedia site down, and started over with only utilities, I'm positive they would still be asses towards me.  Perhaps that is justified, but as somebody who gives them a lot of money it doesn't seem right (though obviously I am biased in that opinion).  I dunno.  Maybe I'll go to GenCon next year and see if I can get a straight answer to my face, since people can be much larger asses online than they could ever be in person.

My buddy that got banned a while back that I think I mentioned just said "he doesn't care".  I think only 1-2 of the 10 guys I game with ever go to the official forums, which is sad.  If 80% of the players of battletech don't visit the forums, many of which due to the prevailing attitudes there, well, its sad.  I don't want to see Battletech die, but it sure feels some people are making it so.

There are a few things that irk me to now end.  One is hypocrisy, another is secrecy/censorship.  Those 2 things are 2 of 3 of the biggest evils I see in the world (#3 is a lack of empathy).

Anyway, since I'm sure ya'll don't care about my opinions, and maybe just come here as I'm the only relatively frequently updated Battletech blog I know of, I'll talk about battletech!


Played a game today, saw 2 of my WLF-2X wolfhounds (out of 4) go down in a single turn to a Banshee and Atlas.  Wowza, light mechs just can't survive these days.  Still tho, at least my turns are fast with just 1 gun :)

We play games every other weekend, sometimes more.  If folks want me to take pictures and do AAR's let me know and I can do that.

I had another thought.  I don't really have a "website" per se.  I have this blog, my master unit list clone which does have a landing page, but I don't have a website where you can easily just browse what apps I have and their status.  The forum kinda works, and lets people give feedback, but I know many of you simply don't want to log onto it.  Soooo, I'm going to put it in my queue to make a simple little battletech website to host all my apps and stuff.  Nothing dynamic or fancy, just an easy place to go browse without having to go back through 100 posts of me bitching about something to find some download link.

I drew out on paper today the little icons I'll use for the next generation of Alpha Strike cards.  These will be little things you can cross off if critical hits occur.  I will start trying to work on the new version very soon, even though the poll is now tied with an update, and doing my own thing.  Most of the features aren't too hard, so once I start working on it I should have a huge chunk done in a couple days.  One feature I wanted to implement was dynamically getting the AS card data from my site, and I have to write an API for that.  Not *that* hard, but will take me quite a few consecutive hours.

Other stuff:
I went to BGG Con.  It was poorly organized, and as I'm not a big board gamer it was a waste of time.  $110 for 1 hour, and I bought a subscription to the 3 Strategy & Tactics magazines.  Never again.

Kickstarter not only sucks up a lot of my time, but a lot of funds as well.  Some Kickstarters I spent too much money on:
Robotech RPG Tactics (like $5K)
Aliens vs Predator ($500 or so)
CastVR ($1k)
Reaper Bones I and Bones II ($1100 I think)
Zombicide Season 2 ($450)
Heroes of Normandie ($400)
Battletech WOB LAMs ($250)
Sedition Wars ($360)
Ogre ($350) + $50 for the launch party in Austin
Battle Systems ($200+, not done yet)

I spend far too much on KS, and am on there far too often (comments sections).  If you want to see what I'm currently backing (I do sometimes pull out), check it out here.  Hopefully I can find some folks to play some of those games with.  I'll be doing a huge push with Robotech and AVP when they come out here In Dallas.

More to come soon.