Friday, May 27, 2016

17 to 01: The Empath


Derek really likes this one and I only think it's okay! Sound the alarm and alert the villagers! I like an episode less than Derek! Still, it's strange that we tend to like episodes more when they don't have a romance. Funny, that.

Also, I got to mention The Prisoner and Secret Wars, so you know I'm happy anyway.

17 to 01 is available on iTunes. It updates Thursday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT. We're also amazingly on Stitcher.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

TRO: 3087 - Zeus

3087 is a Battletech alternate universe where The Jihad never happened. Instead, political fracturing continues in the wake of the technological and military upheavals of the 3050's. Its history is told through the pages and designs of TRO: 3087. With any luck this series will be the last anyone hears about 3087.

ZEU-10S Zeus
Overview
The ZEU-10S is the latest in the venerable Lyran mech’s long line. In the testing phases during the First Jade Falcon Incursion, prototypes were rushed to the field via mercenary units in an effort to stem the rising tide of Clanners.
The prototypes’ performance gave Defiance Industries exceptional data and the Jade Falcon halt just short of Coventry gave the Commonwealth ample motivation for producing the perfected final version.
This new, more powerful version was initially circulated to politically influential units and individuals. Few were on the front-lines for the resumed Falcon operations in 3079 and units who received Zeuses from their crash redeployment showed marked improvement in repelling the Falcons. Sadly, that improvement was not enough rapid enough to save Coventry, the line the ‘Mech was created to hold.
Despite ever-shorter resources, the Lyran Commonwealth has gone to great pains to keep it in production. This has included incentivizing the relocation of facilities which produce its gauss rifle and advanced structure. These efforts have been kept quiet out of concerns that they would undermine the defiant messages flowing out of Tharkad about the Commonwealth’s inevitable victory over the Falcons.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

TRO: 3087 - Birdeater

3087 is a Battletech alternate universe where The Jihad never happened. Instead, political fracturing continues in the wake of the technological and military upheavals of the 3050's. Its history is told through the pages and designs of TRO: 3087. With any luck this series will be the last anyone hears about 3087.

BRB-5OG Birdeater
Overview 
Offensives from the former Clan Wolf and Draconis Combine had eroded the Ghost Bears’ industrial capacity at the turn of the decade. Civil uprisings and precision deep-raids have caused further damage, but the Ghost Bears still have one of the most powerful industrial bases within the Inner Sphere.
Part of that comes from resilience and flexibility. When the Ursus plant on Alshain was damaged in a terrorist attack, it was rebuilt to create a new, similar OmniMech.
The Birdeater was conceived to fill the second-line role of the Ursus as well as to act as a cheap, reliable design to carry weapons into combat against the Draconis Combine. This is in keeping with the Bears’ new strategic plan to mix lower-cost OmniMechs with high-end BattleMechs instead of exclusively using high-end OmniMech units as their front-line forces.
It’s another stitch in the new fabric the Ghost Bears are weaving to unite the Clan with their Inner Sphere counterparts in the former Free Rasalhague Republic. That fabric has held despite a number of strains, so far.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016

17 to 01: Wink of an Eye (for real)


We try to talk about the bad science in this episode so we can focus on the dumb culture and stupid ways of the roofie rave planet Scalos.

The sexual/power dynamics of this episode are front and center. They're the most substantive part of this conflict. "Wink of an Eye" wasn't made to discuss that, but nothing it was made to discuss is worth discussing. 

Is sex usually a medium to exert power? Are its commensurate emotional bonds the edge of a blade that most balance upon? Will Kirk ever have sex with a woman and become the womanizer he's portrayed as in popular fiction?

17 to 01 is available on iTunes. It updates Thursday mornings at 2:00 AM ET / 1:00 CT. We're also amazingly on Stitcher.

EDIT: The episode from two weeks ago has been updated. It's "The Tholian Web." I'm sincerely sorry for all of the confusion, but hey, at least you don't have to wait for the episodes to come out on VanVelding.com.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

TRO: 3087 - Mat Cat Mk V

I'm back in business after an impromptu visit to New York City last week. Sorry for the interruption in service.

3087 is a Battletech alternate universe where The Jihad never happened. Instead, political fracturing continues in the wake of the technological and military upheavals of the 3050's. Its history is told through the pages and designs of TRO: 3087. With any luck this series will be the last anyone hears about 3087.

Mad Cat Mark V
Overview
Clan Diamond Shark was readying their departure from Clan space early in the ilClan war. The brutal fighting left their small, but valuable holdings in the Clan homeworlds devastated and greater opportunities were available in the Inner Sphere at large. Shortly after the war was over, the Diamond Sharks, like the Snow Ravens, declared their departure and precipitated the collapse of the Grand Council.

The Sharks had a plan: trade advanced technology and parts for holdings throughout the Inner Sphere. This required a stable of ‘Mechs which would appeal to buyers in the Inner Sphere. Time-tested Clan designs had an appeal to potential buyers, but their capabilities--and true worth--were generally known quantities. The Mad Cat Mark V was designed to eliminate that knowledge and establish the Clan’s upper hand in business dealings.

There are, of course, no Mad Cat Mark III's or Mark IV's. The Mark V is purely marketing meant to appeal to the periphery powers, especially the Marian Hegemony. Such powers were the first stops of the Diamond Sharks’ early trade fleet and were the primary targets for the Mad Cat’s marketing.

The Rim Commonality and Marian Hegemony were open to negotiations, but there were no regular buyers until the Sharks’ stop in the Niops Association. It was there that their new model of trade and conquest took hold.