Thursday, July 02, 2015

17 to 01: Tomorrow is Yesterday

This is such a good episode, but it suffers for the fact that America has seen a lot of time travel stories since then.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Battletech Heaps: Future Technology

Whether it's for nostalgia or novelty, Wednesdays are the days that I put up old Battletech house rules I created nigh on 10 years ago. For those of you who aren't familiar with the (in)famous, addictive board game of armored combat, I'll add some context, but know that you should abandon all non-courier fonts, ye who enter here.

Plasma Ball: A slow-moving ball of charged EM energy, it is actually drawn to strong EM signatures. It is a medium-sized weapon that does moderate damage(relative to its size and tech) and is innately difficult to hit with(because of its speed), but it can seek and home in on any 'mech with emitted electronics (ECM in use, BAP, Artemis IV, TAG in use, C3, Lasers in use).

Double-Lock Missiles: Much like the LRMs in Mechwarrior games, they gain a non-cumulative +1 bonus to hit a target on a turn after they've hit that target. Artemis IV and NARC compatible.

Advanced Sensor Packages: Acts as a free BAP on the 'mech. The faction's BAP acts as a Level 1 ECCM, as per Max Tech* ECM levels.

Laser Chaff LBX: Thieved from the Classic Battletech forums-A type of LBX munition that deals no damage, but adds a +1 to hit for all laser weapons on a location hit with a submunition.

High-Reflec Armor: Standard Reflective Armor that requires no criticals, takes an additional 10% damage from physical attacks, is immune to TAG, and can shake off smaller laser weapons fire (4 damage or less) entirely. Interfaces with ECM to act as Stealth Armor.

Weaving Missiles: Weaving missiles are designed to avoid AMS fire. The effect of any AMS system against them is halved (round up). Weaving Missile clusters do 1/2 damage of a normal missile cluster, rounded up.

MEAMS-Multiple-Engagement AMS can engage one incoming missle volley at fulle effectiveness, and a second at -2 effectiveness.

Kinetic Missiles: Kinetic Missiles deal no damage, instead, the missiles add to the total damage dealt to that unit this turn for the purposes of determining piloting skill rolls based on damage.

Liquefaction Mines: Liquefaction Mines burrow into reasonably moist terrain (not desert). When activated (either by vibration or command), they can temporarily make the earth around them undergo a process called Liquefaction, similar to quicksand. This often traps a 'mech, immobilized and waist deep in earth(or swallows vehicles whole). Larger 'mechs are more vulnerable, and 'mechs of any variety can often pull themselves out of the softened earth afterwards. Liquefaction Minefields of 20 points or more may be used to reduce the level of Terrain by 1, provided that there is an adjacent hex with an elevation 2 lower.

Fragment Gauss-Fragment Gauss rifles do about half the damage of a regular gauss rifle. However, when impacting armor, they fragment and reflect back towards the user, sending out thousands of shards that are harmless to armor, but dangerous against unarmored components and units. When a unit is hit, a spray of shrapnel spreads out from the targets hex, hitting all units in the adjacent hex los was traced through and the two hexes adjacent to it and the target. Shrapnel damage is the same damage as the Gauss Rifle, but the damage is rolled on the appropriate missile hits table. Hit locations are rolled normally, but against an armored location, no damage is done. Hits on an unarmored location deal no damage, but still gain the possibility of a critical or motive system hit.  Against infantry units, each cluster does one point of damage. Fragment Gauss rounds allow the ability to 'bank' shots off of one enemy to hit a damaged friendly unit they might be protecting.

Ivan Missiles: Ivan Missiles can be aimed off, only to establish an independent lock and bank and veer towards their target at the last minute. Ivan Missile clusters deal half of the damage of a normal missle cluster, rounded up. Ivan Missiles can either:

Trace their LOS (and targeting modifiers for intervening terrain) through any terrain adjacent to both the second-to-last hex of their normal LOS and the target's hex. This allows, amongst other things, the attacker to decide which hex fire enters through when LOS falls on a line between two hexes adjacent to the attacker.
Ignore partial cover for the target, as the missiles fly high, then bank down.

*Wow, old reference, right?

This is the last Battletech heap. With any luck, I'll be posting 3087 designs next week.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


So, is chatroulette still at thing?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Folks Wanna Remove Historic Confederate Statues Now


A little background
On June 17th of this year, a domestic terrorist walked into an evening church service in Charleston, South Carolina. After an hour of listening to Americans discuss their devotion to God, he opened fire on the room. Nine people died.

He chose one victim to spare and tell others of his motivation (five others survived). The white, 21-year-old man explicitly stated that he was killing black Americans to start a race war. Photos later surfaced of him bearing the flags of apartheid states, citing quotes from the founder of The American Nazi Party, burning the American flag, and--of course--waving a Confederate flag.

It's that flag that's become this tragedy's Easy Way to Preventing the Next One (TM). We always find something to blame and kick weakly in the shins after a white guy kills a handful of folks, but for once the target is a reasonable one. Making the Confederate flag a less common sight won't change the pervasive racism and cultural cowardice that filled this shitbag with the idea that murdering people would make him vaguely fuckable to women.

And some of that has spread further, to a desire to take down statues of Confederate generals which we apparently have aplenty down here. As a Southerner and a veteran of the US armed forces, screw The Confederacy. Screw their flag. Screw their generals. Screw each and every article of Confederate iconography.

But not the horses they rode in on; I don't think Traveller was racist.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Basket Run: Part 2

This is the first of seven videos that have poor sound quality. 

The video quality is unique to this one. Do not adjust your set.

It'll be better in a month or so.

If you know of any way to crop videos, let me know and I'll start lookin' at it.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

17 to 01: The Alternative Factor

Jesus fried chicken, this fuckin' episode.

I'm mad, bro.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Battletech Heaps: Improved Rocket Launchers

Whether it's for nostalgia or novelty, Wednesdays are the days that I put up old Battletech house rules I created nigh on 10 years ago. For those of you who aren't familiar with the (in)famous, addictive board game of armored combat, I'll add some context, but know that you should abandon all non-courier fonts, ye who enter here.

Improved Rocket Launchers (I-RLs)
What is up with Rocket Launchers? A RL/10 has great range, great damage per ton, and great critical slot efficiency. The RL/15 and 20 both deal less damage per unit weight, have worse range, and take up two to three times as many critical spaces. There is no reason not to take an equivalent number of RL/10's in place of an RL/15 or 20. The heavier platforms save a little heat, but you're only firing them once so who cares?

Name                    Dmg  Heat Min SR MR LR Tons Crits Ammo TH
I-Rocket Launcher 10  10, 5C  3    -   5 11 18 0.5   1    lol! +1
I-Rocket Launcher 20  20, 5C  5    -   5 11 18 1.0   2    lol! +1
I-Rocket Launcher 30  30, 5C  7    -   5 11 18 1.5   3    lol! +1

Why would you not this? Taking big RL pods is now at least as foolish as taking larger LRM racks. At least with a RL/30 if you're wagering everything on one hit, you can go all-in on a target number of "3" or "4" and know they're all going to hit instead of letting fly with a battery of RL/10's and hugging the probability curve. Or it can cut the other way. But it's a choice now, y'know?

And Clan rocket launchers, because why not shoot finely manufactured garbage at someone? Top-tier garbage. Garbage that shines.

Name                     Dmg  Heat Min SR MR LR Tons Crits Ammo TH
CUI-Rocket Launcher 13 13, 5C 3(2)  -   5 11 18 0.5   1    lol! +1
CUI-Rocket Launcher 26 26, 5C 5(3)  -   5 11 18 1.0   2    lol! +1
CUI-Rocket Launcher 40 40, 5C 7(4)  -   5 11 18 1.5   3    lol! +1

Clan RLs can fire any number of rockets when they use the rocket launcher. Used shots are marked off like ammo. When firing half of the RL's total rating or less, the heat generated is equal to half of the launcher's total heat, rounded up (noted in parenthesis, above).