21 January 2012

Additions to Wave 2/2012

I decided to go ahead and add 4 more units to Wave 2.

For the Marian Hegemony, a Kanga jump tank and a Pegasus scout tank (for some odd reason, I had just 1 sitting in my box; they're sold in pairs). Technically, Kangas are extinct post-Jihad for everybody; even prior to the Jihad they were pretty much restricted to ComStar and the Word of Blake. Only 50 survived the Battle of Tukayyid. However, Secunda Cohors of IV Legio Comitatensis is made up of fast hover tanks, and I can't resist adding a Kanga to my TO&E. This is not the jump capable Kanga, but is the downgraded AC-10 version that lost its jump capability and is now merely a hover tank. I see it as an old relic kept going by the copious use of spit and bailing wire and used as a "punishment" vehicle. "Keep the primus pilus happy, or you'll be serving on old Bertha in the next assault!"

Lastly, I went ahead and put together the second LRM Carrier for the 4th Mac and the Phoenix Hawk LAM for my ComStar Recon Level II.

So, Wave 2 is big and ambitious and the count is currently at 12 'mechs, 6 vehicles, and 4 squads of battle armor. Woo-Hoo!

17 January 2012

Wave 2/2012 Primed and Assembled!

Well, yesterday I assembled, based, and primed Wave 2 for this year. I made some changes in where the mechs are going, but that's ok. It's mostly because I can't stand House Davion, so I just can't paint up anything for that house.

2nd Com Guard Division
"The ComStar Angels"
Two Unseen: a BattleMaster and a Crusader. 2 Kanga jump tanks, and 12 Inner Sphere Standard Battle Armor for 2 squads. All together this makes a Level II unit. ComStar, unlike the other factions, truly uses combined arms.

Warrior House Ma-Tsu Kai
"The Historian's Challenge"

4th McCarron's Armored Cavalry
"Lord Carson's Cavaliers"
Only a few for Liao this time. A Cataphract and an Unseen Warhammer are the two mechs and they're destined to finish off my House Ma-Tsu Kai lance. The vehicle is a Heavy LRM Carrier. He's headed for the 4th Brigade of McCarron's Armored Cavalry. I realized that between Ma-Tsu Kai and the Death Commandos that I had no way to field Liao vehicles. So, the Big Mac it is. Prior to the Xin Sheng, the Big Mac was a merc unit exclusive to the Capellan Confederation; afterwards, they're a house unit. Problem solved. Problem staying solved. The Big Mac Leads the way. :) 

IV Legio Comitatensis
"The Imperial Legionnaires"
Originally the plan was for these four to be a lance in the 3rd Davion Guards. Now they're an under-strength century in the Marian Hegemony (a century in the Marian legions is 5 vehicles or 'mechs). They're defintely a "dakka-dakka" unit (lots of autocannons). We have an unseen Shadow Hawk (-5M variant), a Victor, a Centurion, and a Hunchback. Not as quick as I see the IV Legio being (only 2 jumpers), but it might make a good strike lance, er, century.

1st Marik Militia
"The Avenging Angels"
The Knights of the Inner Sphere
"Death Before Dishonor"
And now to finish it off. First up, an Unseen Archer and a Longbow to finish off my Marik Militia Fire Lance. The Unseen Marauder is unassigned, although he might take the Orion's place for variety on occasion. That one was a spur of the moment decision. It's one of my plastics from the mid 90's and I've never been able to get rid of the gap where the hull comes together. So, I used Loctite Weld on it this time. And it still had a frelling gap! So, I used some more putty to fill in the gap and we'll go with it as is. I'm also considering this one as a lone Knight of the Inner Sphere, sort of like my Death Commando Atlas. He's definitely the last on the list to get painted, so maybe. To finish it off, 8 Inner Sphere BA (to make 2 squads) in Marik Militia colors.

And that's all for now. Until next time!

08 January 2012

[Battletech] Painting Progress and Schedule

Ok, here's what I have lined up at the moment.

In final painting phase:

Liao/Death Commandos

Liao/House Ma-Tsu Kai

Marik/1st Marik Militia
Marauder II MAD-4S (IWM 20-234)

Comstar/2nd Com Guards

Currently in the process of prepping for Wave 2, I've got the following:

Based, Ready to Prime

Needs Based
Crusader (Unseen)

Old 1990's Stripping
Shadow Hawk (just needs to be glued)

1987 Ral Partha Stripping

I picked this guy up off Ebay. He had a camo scheme similar to Clan Smoke Jaguar.

To Be Assembled
Inner Sphere Standard Battle Armor (1 C* Level I, 6 figures)
Kanga Jump Tank (2)

When Wave Two is done, I'll have the following:

Liao/Death Commandos

When I started Wave One, this one was originally slotted to be part of my Comstar Level II. But I changed my mind after I primed it. I still have 4 more Atlases, so it's not a big deal. :) I do plan on doing up a lance of Death Commandos, so this is a good start.

Liao/House Ma-Tsu Kai

This is a good solid Capellan lance in 3039 or in 3050. The Raven will be the -4X variant in 3039; the ECM equipment was horrible at that time, and the -4X trades it in for more armor, jump jets, and 2 machine guns. It becomes a really nice light mech; not the equal of the Panther but definitely better than the Jenner. Plus, the -4X is intro level; the -1X is experimental. A really good urban fighter. BV is 4471 (3039) or 4845 (3050).

Marik/1st Marik Militia

Marauder II (-4S)

The Marauder II is the one off here. It's such a beast, it is unlikely to be used for anything outside of the Inner Sphere Open Round in a tournament. Again, this lance is built for either 3025 or 3050 by just changing variants. This is definitely a fire lance with the Orion acting as the "command" mech. BV is 5802 (3025) or 6766 (3050).

Comstar/2nd Com Guards

Kanga Jump Tank (2)
IS Standard BA (Laser)

This unit is designed as Level II that fought at Tukayyid. It's designed to go in there and mix it up with the Clan, so all the mechs are Star League era technology: the Battlemaster is the -1Gbc variant and has a command console, the Highlander is the HGN-732, the Crusader is the -3R, and the Kangas, well there they are. I would use the -2R variant on the Crusader, but apparently only the Wobblies get that one. BV is a hefty 7192. I have a nice plan for another Level II to back it up. See below. :)

Davion/3rd Davion Guards

This is definitely a Davion lance: lots of ACs to go "BANG, BANG!"

So, when I'm done (by the end of the month, fingers crossed), I'll have 4 solid lances ready to go: painted, sealed, and flocked. They'll still need unit and faction decals, but I have to wait until I can get them from Fighting Pirannha. Then what will I do for Wave 3?

Well, I have another Level II for my "Tukayyid" Comstar force I'm putting together. Of course, this one falls under the experimental rules, but what the Hell. I have 1 Wasp LAM, 5 Stinger LAMs, and 1 Phoenix Hawk LAM. I also have a lead on a couple of Wasps and another Phonenix Hawk. Preferably, I'd make this Level II 2 of each; otherwise, it'll be 5 Stingers with the Phoenix Hawk as the "command" vehicle. This is not because I see LAMs as "zOMG uber!" They're actually pretty weak as they do neither job well. However, I can see Comstar having them in stockpliles and using them for recon and air support.

3rd Bear Guards
Wave 3 will probably also see the start of my Clan, uh, nova? (Stupid Clanners changing things!) It will be, of course, Clan Ghost Bear and I'm going with the 3rd Bear Guards, Alpha Galaxy for my paint scheme.

IV Legio Comitatensis
And I will finally get to my Periphery units. I should have my Ravager BA and Marian infantry minis by then as well as some more vehicles. That should be more than enough to work on for Wave 3.

1st Royal Guards (Steiner)
Wave four will probably be working on Lyran and Kuritan units. We'll see.

Ryuken-Ni (Kurita)
 Oh, and for those who are keeping score, the current list of minis is: 106 mechs, 7 LAMs, 48 BA (all IS Std.), 44 vehicles and 2 aerospace fighters (mech scale).

03 January 2012

Castles & Crusades: Multiclassing

Well, I'm toying with the idea of running C&C again. One of its saving graces is that it's a cleaned-up, "modernized" version of AD&D. I especially like how it simplifies the idea of weapon type vs. AC; a bec de corbin, for instance, gains a +2 to hit chain and plate armors. This allows a minimum of fuss while retaining the flavor of specialized weaponry. However, while level limits were eliminated, there is no mechanic for multiclassing. Thus, these are house-rules I intend to use to close up that gap.

"Bob here has always wanted to be a Fighter/Rogue."

There are no level limits, but there are class limits. Humans cannot multiclass; they, however, have the ability to choose any class and they are also the only race that gains three prime attributes. Since demi-humans only have two prime attributes, this is a big advantage and enhances the flexibility of the human race. In addition, since each class has its own mandated prime attribute, multiclass demi-humans are shoehorned into their prime choices.

Note that demi-humans can still play single-class characters. The question of some might have is "Why?" Well, they still have their unique racial abilities and they can also level faster than the multiclassed character (this is an advantage of humans as well).

Classic AD&D PHB illustration.

And now, the list:

Dwarf: Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Assassin, Wizard*, Cleric/Fighter, Fighter/Rogue

Elf: Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Knight, Bard , Rogue, Assassin, Wizard, Cleric/Ranger**, Fighter/Rogue, Fighter/Wizard, Wizard/Rogue

Gnome***: Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Illusionist, Cleric/Illusionist, Cleric/Rogue, Illusionist/Rogue

Half-Elf****: Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Assassin, Knight, Paladin, Bard, Wizard, Cleric/Fighter, Cleric/Ranger, Cleric/Wizard, Druid/Ranger, Fighter/Rogue, Fighter/Wizard, Wizard/Rogue

Halfling: Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Cleric/Ranger**, Fighter/Rogue

Half-Orc: Cleric, Fighter, Barbarian, Rogue, Assassin, Cleric/Fighter, Cleric/Assassin, Fighter/Thief, Fighter/Assassin

* Some might question the inclusion of Dwarvan wizards. However, in the Nordic and Germanic legends dwarves forge "magical" weapons. It can't all be attributed to the use of clerical magic. Note that there are no dwarvan Fighter/Wizards.

Odum Rumblebeard, Dwarf Wizard (Reaper).

** Cleric/Ranger for both elves and halflings as (in my world anyway) as they both tend to follow Ehlonna, the Lady of the Forests. Some halflings follow the Dwarvan deities of Belredd of the Forge and Ulaa of the Earth while others follow the human Pelor of the Sun; these halfling clerics would be single-classed.

"Faster, faster, you fool, you fool!"

*** Gnomes have some interesting choices. They tend to be fey and tricky and thus follow either Ulaa or Olidammara the Laughing Rogue. They are even smaller than halflings, and I have trouble envisioning them with a strong enough martial tradition to produce something along the lines of a Cleric/Fighter or a Fighter/Illusionist.

Gnome from a work of Jim Halloway

**** Half-elves have some of the most varied choices. They have more multiclassed clerics than elves and can even follow the Druidic Old Faith of Obad-Hai, the Shalm (which I envision as more of a human religion).

Half-Elf Fighter/Wizard. Note the lack of armor. 

Experience points are split evenly between the two classes. The player receives the best attributes from each class and bases the appropriate saves and skills off of the appropriate class level. Each class receives half of its hit die per level; if there is a CON bonus (or penalty!) it is received with the faster (higher) level. For example, a level 4 Fighter/level 5 Rogue with E.P. of 16000/16000 and a CON of 16 would have a BtH of +4. Saves based on STR would add +4 (based off of the Fighter level) and DEX-based saves and Rogue skills  would be at +5. Other saves and WIS-based Rogue skills would have a base of 18 and receive a +5 (since Rogue is the highest level). When the character hits 17001 E.P., he'll gain a D5 in HP; however, the +2 CON bonus for 5th level was received when he leveled up to 5th in Rogue and is not received again (nor is it halved--too much paperwork). For those who might say that it is unfair because his STR-based saves are only +4, note that he has the Fighter's better BtH of +4 (as opposed to the Rogue's +2). It's all a balancing game.

The use of armor is as follows. Multiclass wizards generally cannot wear armor when casting arcane spells. The exception to this is the elven Fighter/Wizards. Due to both their magical, fey nature AND their martial training, they may wear armor and still cast as normal. Multiclass rogues and assassins (with the exception of rogue/wizards and rogue/illusionists) may wear any armor when performing rogue skills but suffer the penalties as outlined on pp. 14 and 16 of the C&C PHB.

Elves. Anything you can do, they can do better.

As far as weapons go, elf and half-elf knights quite frequently use long bows outside of siege warfare and tournaments with no stigma attached. Multiclass Wizards are proficient in all the allowed weapons of their additional class. However, when casting arcane spells, they may only have a staff, dagger, or wand/rod in hand. The rationale here is that staves and daggers are "tools" of magic working and are attuned to the wizard and can thus be used to "gesture." Likewise, multiclass clerics or druids may only have the favored weapon of their deity in hand when casting clerical spells. I need to go through and list up the Deities used in 'Toneeze Wurld' (HMA Gareeze Wurld # 162); many are Greyhawk deities but there are some classical ones as well (such as Odhinn and Thoth, for instance).

I think this works out nicely and emulates AD&D with a minimum of fuss. I do not have the C&C CKG, so there might be a similar (or superior) system therein. As stated previously, these are my house rules.

01 January 2012

(Battletech) 2011 Year End Report

Well, I decided to get back into BT after a 14-15 year hiatus in October. So, I have yet to do much. In fact, I haven't done anything really, but I do have a palette in chaos. :)

All are W.I.P. Starting at the bottom left:

Stalker. 1st Marik Militia.

Atlas. Liao Death Commandos.

Highlander. Comstar 2nd Army. A little about him. He's my first Highlander (and mech!) that I bought when I was in the Army....maybe 1989? Anyway, he's been in an ugly green and black camo for years. He's been stripped down and is in the process of repainting to become the command mech (HGN-736) for my C* C3i Level II.

MAD-4S Marauder II. 1st Marik Militia. This one was built using Siberian Troll's "Reseen" mod to make it look hunched over like the Unseen. so simple even I could pull it off. :) Close up below.

IS Standard BA. Just arrived yesterday ( by FedEx at almost 8 P.M.!). This point will probably be C*, maybe 1st MM.

Marauder. Unseen plastic from the 90's. Just sitting on the palette. He was there for comparison to the MAD-4S mod.

Orion. 1st Marik Militia. The classic FWL mech. He's the "command mech" of the lance. Dual-cockpit if using advanced rules.

Vindicator. House Ma-Tsu Kai. I having fun coming up with the paint scheme for this one and the Raven. House Ma-Tsu Kai's colors are "Liao green with ivory and gold highlights." I painted the left arm and leg on this one ivory and his left fist is gold.

Raven. House Ma-Tsu Kai. The beak top is in ivory, the underside is gold. Both legs are ivory with some gold highlighting. Some other trim in gold.

Cataphract. House Ma-Tsu Kai. Assembled and based, ready to prime.

The plastic unseens. All painted back in the 1990's. I'm presently getting the mold lines off that I can see through the paint. Then they'll get stripped and painted for their new lances.

Warhammer. House Ma-Tsu Kai. A Liao "Hot Hammer" of course!

Archer. 1st Marik Militia.

Battlemaster. Unsure. He could end up as Ma-Tsu Kai or 1st Marik Militia. I'm also considering him as the base for my 3rd Davion Guards lance. Of course, I have 3 "Reseen" Battlemasters sitting in my box so I have plenty to assign. :) I want my Unseen BM to "pop" however, so it will most likely be assigned to a favorite unit.

Once I finish them up in a week or two, I'll have a House Ma-Tsu Kai lance, a lone Death Commando, a 1st Marik Militia Assault/Fire lance, and the start of my Comstar C3i Level II (2nd Army).

Oh, and, as promised, a closeup of the MAD-4S mod. Thanks again to Siberian Troll on the classic Battletech Forum for figuring this one out and posting it. I love the hunched over look of the mod. It apes the original Unseen Maruader II posture, and the low angle makes it look more threatening and aggressive, almost like a chained pit bull straining to jump. :)

And here's the link for Siberian Troll's mod post: http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,12991.0.html]http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,12991.0.html