My "Brother-from-another-mother" Chris is our local Catalyist Demo Agent, and is worked like a dog by CGL during GenCon. He managed to slip this custom Banshee modeled and painted by Dave Fanjoy off the CSO table this year. This is the "Beat-Yo-Ass Banshee" piloted by Chris "Beatdown" Crews.

Beatdown Banshee

Chris even sent me a snapshot of it on the table:

Beatdown Banshee 2019 CSO tableBecause it obviously has a RAC-5 and an ER PPC, but no canon unit has that loadout, I decided to make my own.

Here is the Banshee BNC-4F. Introduced in 3086, it's very heat balanced, generating one heat on an Alpha Strike, it has 2 tons of ammo for a full 6 turns of maximum RAC fire. It has a slightly lighter armor load, but also has CASE and no XL engine so it doesn't die if there is an ammo explosion. It also has a Medium Pulse Laser in each arm and an ER Small Laser in the head. Since the club is actually an impromptu weapon, it's not part of the official loadout.

I made a record sheet and I am posting it here for you to copy and enjoy. Right-click and "Save As" to get it in full size.

bnc 4f.

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I have finally gotten to the point where I can call the core function of building a roster "complete."** You give Roster Builder a roster size, a variance percent, a year of the battle, rules level, what types of units you want to use and which of your organizations you want to draw from. It will then present a "pool" of up to 120 units to select, and a maximum roster size of 12 units in the final roster.

I am designing this to help with pick-up games. If you're doing something bigger than a company in a fight, you need more than this tool.

** I struck thru "complete" above because as I was trying to generate a screenshot I could show you, I found a rather glaring bug (this is why it's still in "Alpha" and not "Beta") in the code I just finished. Despite that, I did want to keep a running update of my "punch list" of things to complete before I can move on to the "Beta testing" where I turn copies over to volunteers to try and break, then document and return what broke and what they did to break it.

Punch list:

  • Fix Rules level bug
  • Fix BV error
  • Create new profile
  • Open to existing profile
  • Delete profile
  • Create/Edit/Delete organizations
  • Add/Delete units to organizations
  • Print roster to printer
  • Write documentation and help files

And for later versions:

  • Add (multiple) C3 networks
  • Add 5 man/6 man selections for Battle Armor
  • Retrieve, edit and save previous rosters
  • And a few other things I'll think of on the way to here

I'd love to get this done by next week, however the entire programming, project management and administration staff is... just me. I could get it done a lot faster if someone would pay my bills for me so I don't have to do the whole "day job" thing for a month or two. Or three.

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Just to keep all y'all in the loop, I am working on the Roster Builder App in my copious free time. I suffer from the Programmer's Curse, which is I write a section of code, then while writing the second part, I find a better way to do the first part so I go back and rewrite half of the code I've already written. Of course, part of this is because the variables and their parameters change, but such is life and learning a new programming language.

As part of your profile, you can choose a default roster size, variance and year to make choosing your lists easier. Each unit is also color coded so when you have a list you can choose from and you want to use only one organization, you can see what unit belogs to each organization. Other filters are the rules level, types of units and what organizations you want to draw from.

From this point when you mouseiver a unit, you get the popup as you see for the Archer. If you click on a unit (the code I am working on now) it will add it to the final roster. The current limit is a dozen units, the equivalent of an IS company. I might go a bit higher to accomodate Clan units.

This is the hardest code to write, which is why I'm doing it first. The code to add, edit and delete your pool of units will be a lot easier, as half the code I am writing now will be usful later and the base functions are lot easier.

RBupdate

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Yes, it's been ages since I've done anything other than maintenance here. When you're working 50+ hour weeks, house maintenance, high priority projects and stuff like that, gaming in general (and this blog) tend to take the back-back seat.

But I digress because you don't want to hear about my stuff.

You do want to hear that I have started working on the code for a stand-alone Roster Builder app. I'm getting away from Excel and creating it in Python. It will probably be a complied application so you don't have to download the Python interpeter (like you have to do with Java) to run it.

I have written about 10% of the code so far, so here's what I'm asking from you:

1. Use the Contact Me page if you want to help build and verify the data files I am using. Let's just say I have about 4,500 records to go.

2. You can also contact me if you want to be a beta tester when I get the code finished. You will need to work every function and try to break it, then tell me exactly what you did to break it and what it said/did when you broke it.

Those who help out will get shout-outs in the documentation and a full version of the application. This will be a shareware application, limited until you buy the full application. The price has not been set yet, but it will be $10 or less.

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I have managed to update/rewrite some articles and brought two of my units to the page. A 3rd one will follow shortly (I'm editing the pictures now), the 4th will be a while as I'm still assembling and painting them.

I have a possible upheaval in my life soon, which will affect the next project: the Battletech Roster Builder app. I haven't forgotten about it, just had more important things to do.

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