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Happy 2023!

I am making significant progress on the revamp of the Roster Build database. I have been cleaning up the database, and I have a couple thousand new line items, and thankfully I found a website I was able to scrape and acquire detailed data on old and new units alike.

Version 5 of Roster Builder will have some new features, notably a "scale" on how hot a Mech can get, using the assumption of running/jumping and then firing all weapons. I am also considering some cosmetic features and options, they are still early in their "groking" phase, so quite nebulous at this point.

If there is a feature you want to see, now is the time to send it to me.

Big Roster Builder Update

One word: OUCH.

I am slowly moving forward with Roster Builder 5, including its port to Linux/MacOS. With this version I am seriously looking at restructuring the primary database that has all of the data that I scrape from time-to-time off of the Master Unit List web page. Up until now, I had about 6,000 line items that whittled down for various reasons to 4,600 records. Well, I just scraped the MUL and it's now at over 8,000 records.

Well, SHIT.

What this means is I have to now recomb over the database, update the old records, verify the MUL record number didn't change, then I can start working on the new records. Combined with combining the CBT and AS databases, AND coding the changes, with everything else going on in my life, I'm going to say "4th Quarter 2022" as an attainable goal as to when you can see RB5.

If you just can't wait, you can hire me for a contract job and I'll take a leave of absence from my day job. That would let me work non-stop 40 hours a week, for which I would charge $50/hour, which is about what I'm getting from the day job, factoring in overtime and all that. I should get it done in 1-2 months working on it full time.

Roster Builder 4.0.2

Hey, quick bug fix. If you weren't able to print rosters, or the "Non-Org AS Roster" didn't work, the updates are uploaded. Run Roster Builder and it should download what you need by itself.

Thanks to H2CO3 for finding the AS bug!

I finally did it.

I woke up at 4:30 this morning and decided to just sit down and get this done. So I did just that. Pounded out the code, then fixed what I broke by changing things, fixed a few bugs, compiled it, and uploaded it. Enjoy Roster Builder 4.0!

July 12 UPDATE: If you downloaded Roster Builder between Saturday 7-10 and now, you got RB 3.9, and you also now get my apologies. I have fixed it and you will now get RB 4.

Roster Builder 4 is imminent!

Okay Mechwarriors, my Grokking has achieved fullness. I have solved the issue for a TO&E for The Clans. You will have a choice of 3, 4 or 5 Binary Clusters. You can pair vehicles and aerospace into a single Point. I had to get a shoehorn and a rubber mallet to get everything on one screen/sheet of paper, but it's done.

I also managed to get an Alpha Strike option for building rosters. It works just like the CBT version doing things.

The only thing left is to do a through Beta test and add another hundred or so items into the database. Just so you know, if a unit is missing a major point of information (tons, BV/PV, rules, year introduced, etc. it will not appear in this application, as I can't find it at the appropriate time if it's missing one (or more) of the fields I need.

I'm going to set my deadline for three weeks from now. Pray that I make it. ;-)

RosterBuilder 3.9 update

I managed to find a few ways to save code. I also found a couple hundred errors of the rules levels. I updated the main database, then realized that if/when I update the main database it wasn't updating the profiles. So I fixed that too.

I am working on the Mac version, as well as working out the Clan structure and Alpha Strike functions as well. Hopefully by 3rd quarter.

Roster Builder 3.6

Some updates for Roster Builder:

1. 3.6 is out, so you can build rosters without having to do all of the "Organization" work beforehand. It grabs data directly from the primary database that I use.

2. I made it easier to print rosters.

3. Roster Builder 4 will have two new features: Alpha Strike and Clan TO&E's. I have not grokked fully on these, but the grokking has commenced.

4. Yes, I am still working on a Mac/Linux version of Roster Builder. I am still having some technicial issues with one of the modules, but I'm trying to make it work.

5. I am working on a database of an Alpha Strike master database, I am working on how to integrate it with mine so you don't have to change your TO&E's, you will be able to build CBT or AS rosters the same way and using the same data.

As a side note, I will be doing some product reviews in the near future, look for those.

Roster Builder 3.5 is here!

I have busted my butt to get to the point to write this. Roster Builder 3.5 is on-line!

I have managed to get a few improvements into this version:

  • I have added "All/None" buttons for unit types and Organizations to help with the filtering when building a roster.
  • I "externalized" the Gunnery/Pilot matrix so I can update it when (not if) CGL changes it in the future. It was set in the code before and I would have had to release a new application version to update it. This will do it easily for both you and I because the app checks for and auto-downloads updates when it starts.
  • When building a roster, any unit in the pool who's BV is greater than the BV left in the list will turn red, so it's easier to see who will "fit or not."

I also discovered a lot of missing movement values (400+) in the main database. If you have a unit in your inventory with that issue, please delete it from and reload it into your inventory.

The one future feature I want to put in is a capability to build Alpha Strike rosters. What I am still working out is what information to put in the mouseover window. Please, all feedback on what you want to see would be greatly appreciated. I played AS once, at Adeptcon like 5+ years ago, so I don't remember a lot about it.

Work continues apace on the Mac/Linux versions. I am now writing the code to be compatible with all enviroments, 90% of which is addressing disk operations, the rest being screen formatting. I am momentarily stuck because I discovered a bug in one module about text alignment on a button. I'm stuck until the author gets the fix through the approval process and releases it into the wild.

The new format for the website is up and ready, I am still grokking on if I want to go through with the last feature, which would be to provide a map of players by Zip Code and gaming stores by address. It's already being done, but (to me) it's clunky and you don't have a way to reach out to the other players. My main hurdle is I would have to buy a dating extension for my website and that will run me about $100. Hit the Contact Me page to arrange send cash if you want it to happen. Either way, I'm putting the new website up on NYE.

Roster Builder 3.0.2

Just a quick note, I found and fixed a couple minor issues. Redownload (it should ask you when you run RosterBuilder the next time) and have fun!

Roster Builder 3.0 released!

It's been 6 months since I released Roster Builder 2. Thinking up new features, writing code for it, cleaning up the interface, cleaning up code and way more. But I've finally got it to a point where I'm happy with everything.

Here is the link to the page with the app: Battletech Roster Builder.

Here's the walkthru videos. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy2ZaRpBoAw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10e2jYL5EGg

Delayed release

Well, I had yesterday scheduled to release Roster Builder 2.5, but my Windows release is not working. I'll have to recompile and try again. I managed to get to full "BattlePaperwork" mode activated as far as TO&E, except for Clans. The Clans can die in a fire for their "this is the way it must be, except on alternate Tuesdays" on their structure. It's giving me a migrane trying to make the programming work.

So you know what's in the pipeline, 3.0 will have the Clan TO&E working and you can build Alpha Strike rosters. Suggestions are welcome as well. If I include your suggestion, you get kudos.

Comings and Goings

I have been quite busy recently. See Mark Paint 3rd edition is going through final review, I'm putting the finishing touches on the World Battletech Leauge, and I am working on bringing about the "BattlePaperwork" of having a real TO&E (Table of Organization and Equipment). This will show the layout and you can move units between the pool (left) and the TO&E to assign units. You can also print it out and Roster Builder will provide a detailed assessment of your Organizations. The final product will be different, but not much.

TOE screen

I have the standard IS Battlaion (with and without Command Lance), Square Battalion (With and without Command Lance) Augmented battalion and Comstar Level III set and ready to go. I still have to Grok on how to do the Clan structure.

Roster Builder 2.0 is live!

ATTENTION EVERYONE! I just oploaded Roster Builder 2.0 to the website. Please feel free (because it is free) to download and enjoy it.

I added the Aircraft external ordinance, standardized the interface among all of the windows and a bunch of stuff behind the scenes.

Video up but bad

My apologies for the poor quality of the help video. Evidently I did not record it at high enough quality. I am rerecording the video and I have no idea how long that will take. Hopefully before Election Day.

In the mean time, the basic flow is this:

  1. Create a profile. PLEASE give a value to default roster size and year of battle. It goes a bit wonky if you don't. Fix is on the punch list.
  2. Create organizations. You can have up to ten orgs.
  3. Create non-Canon units. If you have custom units, enter them.
  4. Add Units to Organizations. This is where you put your combat units into the organizations.
  5. Once all this is done, then you can create rosters until the cows come home.

If my database does not have your unit, I'm getting updates in my copius free time.

Version 1 is here!

I now release my newest creation, seven months in the making. I hope you like it. You can read more about it and watch my walkthru video in the link below.

Battletech Roster Builder Version 1.0.

Next-to-last final update

2/20/2020 UPDATE: Still working on editing the video, it didn't help I was in the hospital for three days.

The "last final update" will be to announce the acutal release of Roster Builder, which should be somewhere in the next 5 days. I am finishing up on the walkthru/help video and once I have that finished and posted, I can release Roster Builder to the wild.

Almost there...

2-12-2020 UPDATE: See the above post, but I thought I would update this punch list too. New accomplishments are highleted and crossed out.

I recently got a new job and had to spend two weeks in another town getting trained for my new job. I spent my time in the evening drinking and finishing the Battle Armor code (you can now select a squad size of 4, 5 or 6) and getting a serious chunk of code written to handle three C3 networks. This past weekend, I squashed the last bug for that.

I also discovered that my windows were too big, so I had to revamp sizes and layouts of multiple windows. I also upgraded the method on how to select your numbers (gunnery/pilot scores, BA squad size and C3 network).

This is the punch list that remains for version 1:

  • Clean up Units to Organizations code (I fixed this Sunday night after writing the post)
  • Update the Gunnery/Pilot BV multiplier (CGL changed it when I wasn't looking)
  • Clean up the "Phone Home" code (the app will ping this website periodically to check for updates to the main database and application itself)
  • Detail which units are part of which C3 networks in the printed paperwork.

The new features to be seen in version 2 are at least these:

  • More units added to the main database
  • Aircraft external ordinance
  • (Possibly) up to 15 units in a roster. I now have the area to handle it, I just have to upgrade the code to count to 15 rather than 12
  • The ability to add custom units to your roster and at your option, share them with the rest of the community (I'm still thinking on that last part)

Features WAY down the line:

  • Full TO&E (you get to have a display that shows every unit in a particular slot in the Organization)

So there you have it. Keep tuned for updates!

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