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An Open Letter to Harmony Gold

Dear Harmony Gold,

So you have reared your ugly, spiteful, malicious head yet again, to "protect" Intellectual Property that quite frankly, should be on the verge of becoming public domain. Because you waited until Harebrained Schemes got their Battletech game into beta testing before asserting your IP lawsuit, it is apparent that you waited for a timing that would cause the most damage to the project. Your demands at this stage puts HBS into into the difficult choice of either paying your extortion, or conducting a major rewrite of the software so as not to infringe on your IP. Either of these choices could force the abandonment of the entire project, thus leaving in the lurch thousands of Battletech fans, deepening their already bottomless hatred of your company.

I have decided to proudly display my collection of Unseen Mechs, most of which I have had since the 1980's. I have also decided to suggest that you take that lawsuit, carefully fold it until it is nothing but sharp corners, then forcefully shove it through and past your rectum and don't stop until it reaches about about halfway through your large intestine. I have a broom handle I am willing to send you as a tool to help you reach that goal.

Sincerely, go screw yourselves.


New games


I had a long-time friend pass away unexpectedly several days ago. I drove the 600+ miles up there to comfort his family and give my final farewells to him.

His family gave me a couple of boxes of his games, because he was (and I am) a big strategy game fan. I have not checked these for completeness yet, once you see the list you'll see why. I have links for all games to BoardGameGeek so you can see exactly what the game is and all that. Let me know if you are interested to buy a game. One marked as such is for sale, the others negotiable. All proceeds will go to his widow. If anyone else would be interested in playing them, please let me know.

Here they are, by publisher:


Stocks & Bonds

Avalon Hill

Panzer Armee Afrika
Up Front
G.I. Anvil of Victory (SL gamette)
Wooden Ships and Iron Men (for sale, I have a copy already)


The Generals (electronic Stratego) Unknown if it works.

Parker Brothers



Dark Shadows

Yaquinto Publications

Battles & Leaders (ACW)

All it takes...

My roster builder spreadsheet is a complex creature, developed over several years, occasionally finding mistakes and frequently adding functionality. Sometimes the "adding functionality" actually "adds mistakes."

In developing a force the other day that had C3 and non-C3 units, I discovered that the C3 bonus was being added to units not partaking of the C3 network. That formula has now been fixed and thus version 5.0.1 now awaits your downloading pleasure.

Mark's Roster Builder

A new direction

I have become weary of the 2D6 method to determine if a weapon hit the target. In my copious free time, I am going to attempt to correct this.



If you look at the 2D6 distribution below, you can see the radically disproportionate drop in the percentage to hit in the 5-6-7-8-9 region. In a linear distribution, the 4-5-6-7 (the middle of the 1D10 curve) the percentage of drop across these four numbers is 30%. Whereas, the 5-6-7-8-9 spread (this is five numbers due to the odd number of possible rolls), the drop in percentage to hit is 55.5%.

To roll % Chance + % Change To roll % Chance + % Change
2 100% 1 100%
3 97.2% 2.8% 2 90% 10.0%
4 91.7% 5.6% 3 80% 10.0%
5 83.3% 8.3% 4 70% 10.0%
6 72.2% 11.1% 5 60% 10.0%
7 58.3% 13.9% 6 50% 10.0%
8 41.7% 16.7% 7 40% 10.0%
9 27.8% 13.9% 8 30% 10.0%
10 16.7% 11.1% 9 20% 10.0%
11 8.3% 8.3% 10 (0) 10% 10.0%
12 2.8% 5.6%


I am not going to change the entire system to D10 because for falls, etc. being a hex-based game, you need a D6. For hit locations, the biggest part of the unit is the center torso, so again the distribution curve of 2D6 is more realistic to this part than a linear D10.

I realize that the gunnery multiplier table to adjust BV based on gunnery may have to be changed. It may also involve the movement modifier table will have some changes to it. I will have to see. I know this will not be an easy undertaking.

Once I have successfully tackled the hit percentage/gunnery issue, I will use that knowledge and experience to take a hard look at the piloting rolls.

The New Hotness

Okay, so I got to messing around with the Battletech Roster Builder spreadsheet and decided to add some more features. The bad news is, I had to start using Macros. As long as this is the only place you get my spreadsheet, you can be reasonably sure the macros contain no malicious code.

So the new features are:

  • You can now field five Units per line item. This means you can use one line item to field up to an entire star of units.
  • Event Macros on the four Battalion tabs that will automatically rename the tab to the Battalion name. So if you put "Erandi Light Horse" into the Battalion name on one of the Battalion tabs, the tab will rename itself "Erandi Light Horse TO&E."
  • Button Macros on the List builder tab. You can sort your list by tonnage then Name, Tonnage and Battalion, Tonnage and Type of Unit (infantry, Vehicle, Battlemech, etc.), by the Type of unit only, and most importantly, Clear All Pilots. This will wipe all of the Pilot Gunnery/Piloting, If C3 is active and any external ordinance (in case of Aerospace) for all Unit groups. My contact email is in the spreadsheet if you want to suggest other sorting methods.
  • On the Print Roster, if you had multiple units from one line item, they would appear in different parts of the list. So with a lot of restructuring of cells, I got everyone together and in order.

Here is the link to the article.

Keep trying

On all of the wargaming forums and FB pages I frequent, I see one thread occur over and over again: I suck at painting my miniatures.

When I started painting, my miniatures sucked as well. My first wargaming tournament was at MidSouthCon 22. It was a 1750 point Warhammer 40K tournament and I ended up (I think) with Best General. There were four of us in the tournament, and two were teenagers. I had painted my force in 3 weeks because I spray painted them on the sprue, then clipped them out and assembled them. I used the Citadel Ultramarine Blue (as it was an Ultramarine force). What made the job REALLY bad was that I used to paint-pot (dip your brush in) Ultramarine Blue to touch up where the sprues were attached. They weren't the same color. The paint-pot was several shades darker.

In the years since, I have become a lot better. I can now paint to a "tabletop" standard, which means if you look at my models at arms length they look realistic. I am not the kind of person who wants to devote the time to paint models that look like they will walk off their bases and I am okay with that.

For those of you who think you suck at painting, and will always suck at painting, watch this.


In the works

In my "copious free time" lately, I have been working on a project. In the commission of that project, I saw a need and now have put the first project on hold until I can complete the second project. Both projects will be revealed at the appropriate time, but here is a proof of concept for the second project:

POC 15

Stand up!

Okay, I don't do posts on political, social or activist subjects. I have a whole 'nother blog for that.

But this one is about gaming, by no less than Randall Bills, the main creative driving force at Catalyst Game Labs, the current source for all things Battletech.

Here's what he has to say: I'm standing up.

I love gaming, be it board gaming or miniatures gaming. I personally don't get into RPG's or console gaming at all, and PC gaming very little. If you do, it doesn't hurt or bother me if you do. You are just as much a gamer as I am.

Gaming is a social instrument that is supposed to bring people together for an enjoyable encounter with other like-minded people. No one should have to put up with harassment of any kind, especially sexual harassment because the other gamer is female.

If you want to see my best Gunnery Sergeant Hartman impression, sexually harass a woman, belittle or just pick on someone in or near my presence. I will be on you like a pack of dogs on a three-legged cat.

gs hartman

I promise you, it will take a proctologist and two surgeons to get my foot out of your ass. I have a zero tolerance for things that are not right. Saying someone is "not a real gamer" because they don't game how you game, or being disrespectful to another person, especially one of those rare lady gamers is not right and I will seriously harsh your groove if I see you doing so.

Try me. You will be found wanting.

A Mini-Redesign

No, I'm not dead yet, just very busy with life and other issues. I have had very little time for miniature gaming and zero time to paint my miniatures.

If you take a look a bit lower, you will see that I have introduced new modules to the page.

I have redesigned the module where I have my batreps, all 4 of them, and added "Ouchies Batreps" in another module underneath mine.

My good friend Anthony has been videotaping his games of Battletech, Flames of War and other tabletop miniature games he plays. He then takes the video home, speeds up the video and does voice over work. He started off like a golf announcer, very quiet and sedate because he didn't want to upset his family by being too loud or boisterous. He then started waiting until he was alone because his wife took the kid out and he turned into the Spanish Soccer Announcer From Hell! His commentary is engaging and entertaining at the same time. At this point he has published 76 batreps on YouTube, 41 of which I have below. These are all of his Battletech batreps, plus two Axis & Allies: War at Sea games we played.

Please enjoy them!

Check your links

I have added a SEO component to the blog, so if you have bookmarks to anything in this blog past the front page, you might want to update them. They will probably work the old way, but hey, you never know!

The really latest, greatest, most wonderful.....

After fiddling more and more with the Battletech Roster Builder spreadsheet, I up and redid whole sections. You can now independently select gunnery and piloting skills. It will "lock out" (not display any base BV of a unit if the BV is greater than the balance remaining . Things like that. Feel free to go here and download it so you can play with it to your hearts content!

New Roster Version

I finally got around some difficult problms with some of the features I wanted the Roster spreadsheet. I just uploaded Version 3.1 to the website. You can find it directly here.

Back On-Line!

Okay, after the past couple of months installing Joomla, purchasing a template and converting a few posts, I decided to flip the switch and move away from WordPress.

Enhancing the Play Space

There are two rules to any "Man Project," 1) it will involve at least three trips to the Hardware store and 2) you will have to buy at least one new tool or piece of equipment to complete the project.

Never Again, Wizkids.

Well, I'm done with WizKids (again).

Power Gaming and Why I Hate It

I HATE power gamers. Despise, loathe and another 15 synonyms on top of that.

I need to start doing this...

Dice shaming. I once had two bricks of dice that rolled 6's so often (I was using them in Uncharted Seas at the time) that a fellow gamer bought them from me for $200, just to get them out of my hands. He never played with them.

Dice Shaming


Thought for the Day

"The terrain is half the battle. Never let your opponent choose it."

Feline Battletech

Cats and Miniatures DO NOT mix...

Page Updates

I had an idea the other day when playing with Ernie and Shoulders in the garage.

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