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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Invid in Battletech Part 2: More Rides!

Following up here is part two of my Invid designs.

Now I had to REALLY stretch my conversion guidelines from the previous installment.  Palladium both has massive stats inflation (much of it to make it competitive with Rifts, a game infamous for making its already stupidly overpowered machinery in the core rules inferior to the neverending supplement mill..) and is presumably trying to fit into what hard info actually exists for Robotech.  Except when you have the Glaug Officer's Battlepod (what you BT fans know of as the Marauder) running close to 300 kph its just ridiculous and has to be eased up to fit into Battletech's closer to hard sci fi setting and tech levels.

Savvy BT mech designers will also take issue to my designs as most are NOT optimized.  This is both as in the campaign I will use these in the Invid are merely getting used to the idea of not only warfare, but mechanical warfare and my attempts to keep the designs as close to what is written down in the Palladium RPG without making them completely useless designs.



Invid Armored Scout  (First appearance: 3041)

Mass: 25 tons
Tech Base: Clan
Chassis Config: Biped
Rules Level: Tournament Legal
Era: Dark Ages
Tech Rating/Era Availability: X/X-X-D
Production Year: 3132
Cost: 2,619,583 C-Bills
Battle Value: 712

Chassis: Unknown Endo-Steel
Power Plant: Unknown 100 Fusion XL Engine
Walking Speed: 43.2 km/h
Maximum Speed: 64.8 km/h
Jump Jets: Unknown
    Jump Capacity: 180 meters
Armor: Unknown Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
    2  Medium Pulse Lasers
    2  Retractable Blades
Manufacturer: Unknown
    Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown

================================================================================
Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure: Endo-Steel                    43 points                1.50
    Internal Locations: 1 HD, 1 LT, 1 RT, 2 LA, 2 RA
Engine:             XL Fusion Engine             100                       1.50
    Walking MP: 4
    Running MP: 6
    Jumping MP: 6 Improved
    Jump Jet Locations: 3 LT, 3 RT                                         6.00
Heat Sinks:         Single Heat Sink             10                        0.00
    Heat Sink Locations: 2 CT, 1 LT, 1 RT, 1 LL, 1 RL
Gyro:               Standard                                               1.00
Cockpit:            Standard                                               3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H
Armor:              Ferro-Fibrous                AV -  76                  4.00
    Armor Locations: 1 LT, 1 RT, 2 LA, 1 RA, 1 LL, 1 RL

                                                      Internal       Armor    
                                                      Structure      Factor  
                                                Head     3            9      
                                        Center Torso     8            12      
                                 Center Torso (rear)                  3      
                                           L/R Torso     6            9      
                                    L/R Torso (rear)                  3      
                                             L/R Arm     4            7      
                                             L/R Leg     6            7      

================================================================================
Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retractable Blade                            RA        -         3         2.00
Retractable Blade                            LA        -         3         2.00
Medium Pulse Laser                           RT        4         1         2.00
Medium Pulse Laser                           LT        4         1         2.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 3

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      3    Points: 7
4/6j       2       2       0       0      1     0   Structure:  1
Special Abilities: MEL, SAW, ENE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA

The Armored Scout is the primary combat unit of the Invid Mechanized Forces.  Seeing action in both Clan Space and the Inner Sphere this was the first Invid mech with ranged weapons.  Like the Scout, it uses Clan technology recovered during their initial "Invinid" combat forms.  While their bioweapon units had some success against the Clans, their mechs continued to push the Invid back in spite of the Lictor and Genestealer infiltration units.  The Armored Scout was the Invid's first unit to attempt to fight back.



Invid Trooper (First Appearance: 3041)

Mass: 40 tons
Tech Base: Clan
Chassis Config: Biped
Rules Level: Tournament Legal
Era: Dark Ages
Tech Rating/Era Availability: X/X-X-D
Production Year: 3132
Cost: 8,000,160 C-Bills
Battle Value: 729

Chassis: Unknown Standard
Power Plant: Unknown 240 Fusion XL Engine
Walking Speed: 64.8 km/h
Maximum Speed: 97.2 km/h
Jump Jets: Unknown
    Jump Capacity: 270 meters
Armor: Unknown Standard Armor
Armament:
    2  Retractable Blades
Manufacturer: Unknown
    Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown

================================================================================
Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure: Standard                      67 points                4.00
Engine:             XL Fusion Engine             240                       6.00
    Walking MP: 6
    Running MP: 9
    Jumping MP: 9 Improved
    Jump Jet Locations: 1 CT, 3 LT, 3 RT, 1 LL, 1 RL                       9.00
Heat Sinks:         Single Heat Sink             11                        1.00
    Heat Sink Locations: 1 LT, 1 RT
Gyro:               Standard                                               3.00
Cockpit:            Standard                                               3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H
Armor:              Standard Armor               AV - 137                  9.00

                                                      Internal       Armor    
                                                      Structure      Factor  
                                                Head     3            9      
                                        Center Torso     12           18      
                                 Center Torso (rear)                  6      
                                           L/R Torso     10           15      
                                    L/R Torso (rear)                  5      
                                             L/R Arm     6            12      
                                             L/R Leg     10           20      

================================================================================
Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retractable Blade                            RA        -         3         2.50
Retractable Blade                            LA        -         3         2.50
                                            Free Critical Slots: 17

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      5    Points: 7
6/9j       0       0       0       0      2     0   Structure:  2
Special Abilities: MEL, SAW, ENE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA


The second Invid mech after the Scout, the Trooper was designed to be heavier and faster as to be more survivable than the Scout unit.  However much like the Scout, the lack of ranged weapons made the Trooper little more than a fast support unit to their Invinid conventional forces.



Invid Shock Trooper (First Appearance: 3042) 

Mass: 45 tons
Tech Base: Clan
Chassis Config: Biped
Rules Level: Tournament Legal
Era: Dark Ages
Tech Rating/Era Availability: X/X-X-D
Production Year: 3132
Cost: 9,242,590 C-Bills
Battle Value: 1,842

Chassis: Unknown Endo-Steel
Power Plant: Unknown 225 Fusion XL Engine
Walking Speed: 54.0 km/h
Maximum Speed: 86.4 km/h
Jump Jets: Unknown
    Jump Capacity: 240 meters
Armor: Unknown Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
    2  ER Large Lasers
    1  ER Medium Laser
    2  Retractable Blades
Manufacturer: Unknown
    Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown

================================================================================
Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure: Endo-Steel                    75 points                2.50
    Internal Locations: 2 LT, 1 RT, 2 LA, 2 RA
Engine:             XL Fusion Engine             225                       5.00
    Walking MP: 5
    Running MP: 8
    Jumping MP: 8 Improved
    Jump Jet Locations: 1 CT, 3 LT, 2 RT, 1 LL, 1 RL                       8.00
Heat Sinks:         Double Heat Sink             10(20)                    0.00
    Heat Sink Locations: 1 RT
Gyro:               Standard                                               3.00
Cockpit:            Standard                                               3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H
Armor:              Ferro-Fibrous                AV - 153                  8.00
    Armor Locations: 1 LT, 2 RT, 2 LA, 2 RA

                                                      Internal       Armor    
                                                      Structure      Factor  
                                                Head     3            9      
                                        Center Torso     14           20      
                                 Center Torso (rear)                  8      
                                           L/R Torso     11           16      
                                    L/R Torso (rear)                  6      
                                             L/R Arm     7            14      
                                             L/R Leg     11           22      

================================================================================
Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retractable Blade                            RA        -         4         3.00
Retractable Blade                            LA        -         4         3.00
ER Large Laser                               RT        12        1         4.00
ER Large Laser                               LT        12        1         4.00
ER Medium Laser                              HD        5         1         1.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 0

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      5    Points: 18
5/8j       2       2       2       0      2     1   Structure:  2
Special Abilities: MEL, SAW, ENE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA

The first effective combat mecha of the Invid forces, the Shock Trooper was able to effectively support the Invinid troops with its long range weapons.  Taking what they had learned from the Armored Scout, the Shock Trooper was heavier than its prototype Trooper, and had a more evolved pilot.  However it is also the first Invid unit to suffer from severe heat issues in spite of being slower than the Trooper.  In early actions Clan mechwarriors were able to pick off the Shock Troopers whenever they would overheat.  Later on the Shock Troopers managed to learn from early mistakes and had a rhythmic firing system to stay cool.



Invid Pincer (First Appearance: 3048)

Mass: 60 tons
Tech Base: Clan
Chassis Config: Biped
Rules Level: Tournament Legal
Era: Dark Ages
Tech Rating/Era Availability: F/X-X-D
Production Year: 3132
Cost: 14,677,760 C-Bills
Battle Value: 2,550

Chassis: Unknown Endo-Steel
Power Plant: Unknown 300 Fusion XL Engine
Walking Speed: 54.0 km/h
Maximum Speed: 86.4 km/h
Jump Jets: Unknown
    Jump Capacity: 240 meters
Armor: Unknown Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
    2  ER PPCs
    2  ER Micro Lasers
Manufacturer: Unknown
    Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown

================================================================================
Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure: Endo-Steel                    99 points                3.00
    Internal Locations: 2 RT, 2 LA, 3 RA
Engine:             XL Fusion Engine             300                       9.50
    Walking MP: 5
    Running MP: 8
    Jumping MP: 8 Improved
    Jump Jet Locations: 3 LT, 3 RT, 1 LL, 1 RL                            16.00
Heat Sinks:         Double Heat Sink             13(26)                    3.00
    Heat Sink Locations: 1 LT
Gyro:               Standard                                               3.00
Cockpit:            Standard                                               3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H
Armor:              Ferro-Fibrous                AV - 191                 10.00
    Armor Locations: 4 LA, 3 RA

                                                      Internal       Armor    
                                                      Structure      Factor  
                                                Head     3            9      
                                        Center Torso     20           28      
                                 Center Torso (rear)                  10      
                                           L/R Torso     14           20      
                                    L/R Torso (rear)                  8      
                                             L/R Arm     10           18      
                                             L/R Leg     14           26      

================================================================================
Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ER PPC                                       RT        15        2         6.00
ER PPC                                       LT        15        2         6.00
2 ER Micro Lasers                            CT        2         2         0.50
                                            Free Critical Slots: 5

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      6    Points: 26
5/8j       3       3       3       0      3     0   Structure:  3
Special Abilities: ENE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA

An evolution of the Shock Trooper, the Pincer was both a smarter combatant and more effective at its primary role of infantry support.  With 2 ER PPCs it was seemingly an upgraded Shock Trooper, albeit one that removed the close combat equipment entirely, merely having a pair of ER Micro Lasers to fend off close attacks.  These units are still rare in the Inner Sphere and have not been sighted in Clan Space at all, being the first evidence that the Invid Regent and Regess both had different opinions of how to deal with humanity, but how they treated their own children.  




Invid Royal Commander Prototype (First Appearance: 3050)

Mass: 55 tons
Tech Base: Clan
Chassis Config: Biped
Rules Level: Tournament Legal
Era: Dark Ages
Tech Rating/Era Availability: F/X-D-D
Production Year: 3132
Cost: 13,303,211 C-Bills
Battle Value: 2,382

Chassis: Unknown Endo-Steel
Power Plant: Unknown 385 Fusion XL Engine
Walking Speed: 75.6 km/h
Maximum Speed: 118.8 km/h
Jump Jets: Unknown
    Jump Capacity: 150 meters
Armor: Unknown Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
    6  ER Medium Lasers
    2  LRM-5s
    1  ER Small Laser
Manufacturer: Unknown
    Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown

================================================================================
Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure: Endo-Steel                    91 points                3.00
    Internal Locations: 1 CT, 1 LT, 1 RT, 1 LA, 1 RA, 1 LL, 1 RL
Engine:             XL Fusion Engine             385                      22.00
    Walking MP: 7
    Running MP: 11
    Jumping MP: 5 Standard
    Jump Jet Locations: 2 LT, 1 RT, 1 LL, 1 RL                             2.50
Heat Sinks:         Double Heat Sink             13(26)                    3.00
Gyro:               Standard                                               4.00
Cockpit:            Standard                                               3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H
Armor:              Ferro-Fibrous                AV - 153                  8.00
    Armor Locations: 2 LT, 2 RT, 2 LA, 1 RA
    CASE Locations: CT                                                     0.00

                                                      Internal       Armor    
                                                      Structure      Factor  
                                                Head     3            9      
                                        Center Torso     18           20      
                                 Center Torso (rear)                  8      
                                           L/R Torso     13           18      
                                    L/R Torso (rear)                  8      
                                             L/R Arm     9            15      
                                             L/R Leg     13           17      

================================================================================
Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3 ER Medium Lasers                           RA        15        3         3.00
3 ER Medium Lasers                           LA        15        3         3.00
LRM-5                                        RT        2         1         1.00
LRM-5                                        LT        2         1         1.00
ER Small Laser                               HD        2         1         0.50
@LRM-5 (24)                                  CT        -         1         1.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 14

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      5    Points: 24
7/3j       4       4       1       0      2     0   Structure:  3
Special Abilities: CASE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA, IF 1

Another of the Regess only units, the Royal Commander Prototypes continued to eschew close combat weaponry.  This was also the first unit to use missile weapons, this time a pair of LRM 5s with the ammunition in the main body.  Most surprising to the few units recovered mostly intact, the cockpit was no longer a biological soup with a sluglike Invid creature inside, but a proper cockpit with what looked like biological equivalents of proper Battlemech controls.  No pilots have ever been recovered however.  Given that previous Invid mecha had a creature that seemed to live in the cockpit and would die within minutes of removal, this became worrisome to intelligence units throughout the Inner Sphere.  The Invid showed repeated adaptation and evolution.  What were they evolving INTO?



Invid Royal Commander (First Appearance: 3051)

Mass: 55 tons
Tech Base: Clan
Chassis Config: Biped
Rules Level: Tournament Legal
Era: Dark Ages
Tech Rating/Era Availability: F/X-D-D
Production Year: 3132
Cost: 12,980,811 C-Bills
Battle Value: 2,128

Chassis: Unknown Endo-Steel
Power Plant: Unknown 385 Fusion XL Engine
Walking Speed: 75.6 km/h
Maximum Speed: 118.8 km/h
Jump Jets: Unknown
    Jump Capacity: 150 meters
Armor: Unknown Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
    3  Medium Pulse Lasers
    4  LRM-5s
    1  ER Small Laser
Manufacturer: Unknown
    Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown

================================================================================
Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure: Endo-Steel                    91 points                3.00
    Internal Locations: 1 LT, 1 RT, 1 LA, 2 RA, 1 LL, 1 RL
Engine:             XL Fusion Engine             385                      22.00
    Walking MP: 7
    Running MP: 11
    Jumping MP: 5 Standard
    Jump Jet Locations: 2 LT, 1 RT, 1 LL, 1 RL                             2.50
Heat Sinks:         Double Heat Sink             10(20)                    0.00
Gyro:               Standard                                               4.00
Cockpit:            Standard                                               3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H
Armor:              Ferro-Fibrous                AV - 153                  8.00
    Armor Locations: 2 LT, 2 RT, 2 LA, 1 RA
    CASE Locations: LT, RT                                                 0.00

                                                      Internal       Armor    
                                                      Structure      Factor  
                                                Head     3            9      
                                        Center Torso     18           20      
                                 Center Torso (rear)                  8      
                                           L/R Torso     13           18      
                                    L/R Torso (rear)                  8      
                                             L/R Arm     9            15      
                                             L/R Leg     13           17      

================================================================================
Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3 Medium Pulse Lasers                        RA        12        3         6.00
2 LRM-5s                                     RT        4         2         2.00
2 LRM-5s                                     LT        4         2         2.00
ER Small Laser                               HD        2         1         0.50
@LRM-5 (24)                                  RT        -         1         1.00
@LRM-5 (24)                                  LT        -         1         1.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 14

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      5    Points: 21
7/3j       3       3       0       0      2     0   Structure:  3
Special Abilities: CASE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA, LRM 1/1/1, IF 1

Exceedingly rare compared to the blue and white prototypes, these Royal Commanders removed one of the suites of arm Medium Lasers to turn the other's into a trio of Pulse Mediums.  The missile racks were doubled, and the ammunition was increased and put into the side torsos increasing the unit's pilot safety and durability.  Reports are still sporadic, but some (unreliable) eyewitness reports state these units are piloted by Humans with what looks like a normal cockpit with mechanical controls.  None of these units have ever been recovered, the machines either being removed from the battlefield by other Invid mecha, or self destructing.



Invid Overlord (First Appearance: 3053)

Mass: 65 tons
Tech Base: Clan
Chassis Config: Biped
Rules Level: Tournament Legal
Era: Dark Ages
Tech Rating/Era Availability: F/X-D-D
Production Year: 3132
Cost: 14,806,660 C-Bills
Battle Value: 2,403

Chassis: Unknown Endo-Steel
Power Plant: Unknown 325 Fusion XL Engine
Walking Speed: 54.0 km/h
Maximum Speed: 86.4 km/h
Jump Jets: Unknown
    Jump Capacity: 150 meters
Armor: Unknown Ferro-Fibrous
Armament:
    2  ER Large Lasers
    2  ER Medium Lasers
    2  SRM-4s
Manufacturer: Unknown
    Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown

================================================================================
Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure: Endo-Steel                   104 points                3.50
    Internal Locations: 1 HD, 1 CT, 1 LT, 1 RT, 2 LA, 1 RA
Engine:             XL Fusion Engine             325                      12.00
    Walking MP: 5
    Running MP: 8
    Jumping MP: 5 Standard
    Jump Jet Locations: 1 CT, 2 LL, 2 RL                                   5.00
Heat Sinks:         Double Heat Sink             21(42)                   11.00
    Heat Sink Locations: 3 LT, 3 RT, 1 LA, 1 RA
Gyro:               Standard                                               4.00
Cockpit:            Standard                                               3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H
Armor:              Ferro-Fibrous                AV - 211                 11.00
    Armor Locations: 3 LA, 4 RA
    CASE Locations: LT, RT                                                 0.00

                                                      Internal       Armor    
                                                      Structure      Factor  
                                                Head     3            9      
                                        Center Torso     21           28      
                                 Center Torso (rear)                  14      
                                           L/R Torso     15           20      
                                    L/R Torso (rear)                  10      
                                             L/R Arm     10           20      
                                             L/R Leg     15           30      

================================================================================
Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ER Medium Laser                              RA        5         1         1.00
ER Medium Laser                              LA        5         1         1.00
ER Large Laser                               RT        12        1         4.00
SRM-4                                        RT        3         1         1.00
ER Large Laser                               LT        12        1         4.00
SRM-4                                        LT        3         1         1.00
@SRM-4 (25)                                  RT        -         1         1.00
@SRM-4 (25)                                  LT        -         1         1.00
                                            Free Critical Slots: 0

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      7    Points: 24
5j         4       4       2       0      3     0   Structure:  4
Special Abilities: CASE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA, SRM 1/1/0

The current final evolution of Invid mech forces, the Overlord seems to be a unit that fights in tandem with the Royal Command mechs and like that unit seems more designed to fight mech on mech than to merely support the biological ground forces.  Much like the Royal Command mechs, no pilots have ever been recovered from these mecha, dead or alive.  In 3055 and later there were rumors of a LAM version of this mech weighing 5 tons more but if they do exist they are exceedingly rare.


Special Rules and Notes:  The Royal Commander Prototype only takes half the normal Invid damage for head hits, while the Royal Commander and Overlord work completely like normal mechs.

For folks with the Palladium Robotech RPG books you will note I had to seriously ignore listed ground speeds to even remotely make for useful mecha at all.  But as this is bringing the Invid into Battletech and not the other way around, some fudging was required.   While the Invid are canonically supposed to have Plasma weaponry I really don't like the BT Plasma rules and went with Laser weapons primarily.  I used Dark Ages tech levels so they could have some legal form of close combat weaponry in the earlier models to keep it as close to their anime designs as possible.  I wanted to give all beam weapon mechs Pulse but the weight restrictions would not always allow it if I wanted to keep the same number of weapon mounts as their originals.

I am not getting into deep explanations of the Invid and how they could fit into Battletech as my play group knows of my blog and I don't want to give away too much too soon.  But should we keep playing I will update with more background information and those mysterious Invinid biotrooper units...





Sunday, September 23, 2012

Invid in Battletech: Making Canon Nerds Cry!

Yes.  I want to make Invid mecha from Robotech in Battletech.
Now I have Palladium's Robotech: Shadow Chronicles RPG, Battletech Total Warfare, and the amazing program Solaris Skunk Werks.

I am going to give you all some rough conversion guides from Palladium to Battletech and some examples.

Tech Level:  To do Invid close enough to their show counterparts, the first thing we need to do is choose a tech level.  For Invid and the way I may use them in my own games, we shall choose Dark Ages Clantech level.  This way we get access to some of the close combat weapons regular BT era Clanners would never touch, while still getting all the fly perks of Clan technology.

Let us start with rough conversions.  To follow along, open your hardback version of Shadow Chronicles to page 14.

Weight:  Robotech has mecha MUCH lighter than Battletech uses.  We can get a rough approximation based on the venerable VF1 series Veritech/Valkyrie.  Or as we know it in Battletech, the LAM Wasp or Stinger.  In Battletech they are 30 tons.  In Robotech they are 15 tons.  Ok our baseline is double all Robotech weights (rounding up) to get to a decent Battletech one.

(Sadly our wee Invid Scout is 4.5 tons.  So doubling it is 9.  Or 10 to make an even 5.  Its not a mech.  However.. Protomechs ARE lighter.  Sweet!  Maximum size of a Protomech is 9 tons.  We can make this work. Given that I don't have the Tech Manual I cannot properly make the Scouts as Protomechs.)

So for alternate takes we can say anything 8 tons or lighter gets quadrupled if you don't want to mess with Protomech tech.

Speed: Another easy one.  Just convert the running speed as close as you can over, with every 11 kph being roughly 1 Running movement factor in Battletech.

(The Invid Scout is said to run in the 60 kph range.  So its a 4/6 movement.)

Given how Robotech mecha are properly supposed to die really fast but hit hard we are gonna assume they all use XL engines.  All Robotech mechs get XLs.

For Jump speed if the mecha can fly or leap just give it maximum Jump Jets to match the engine.  Its not perfect but it will do well enough for our purposes.  Since in Robotech the Invid fly and we are using Dark Age era Clan Tech we will use Improved Jump Jets so they can jump further.

Heat Sinks: This being Robotech mecha are capable of firing generally without worry.  Give em Double Heat Sinks and make sure to try to cover most of the heat costs every turn.

(As some of our Invid mecha don't even have guns they do not need extra Heat Sinks.)

Weaponry:  You kind of have to eyeball these.  Mini Missiles or Short Ranged Missiles are easily SRMs, probably Streaks in most Robotech cases.  LRMs will be your longer ranged missiles unless they are big ones ala Reflex Missiles or similar which would be Arrow 4s.  All our Invid generally have claws so they are integrated Close Combat stuff.

(Our Invid Scout gets Retractable Blades.)

Armor and Structure:  In general Robotech Mecha should have both Endo Steel and Ferro Fibrous but having both of them plus Double Heat Sinks AND XL Engines will generally be impossible.  Try to give all Robotech mecha Endo Steel when possible.

(For our Invid Scout it will have 6 slots left after giving it Endo Steel so no more space is gonna allow for Ferro Fibrous.)

For normal armor points the best bet is to use up all remaining tonnage on armor.  If you want a good rough conversion from Palladium assume 2/3rd the total armor points as the Main Body "Big" Damage in the Robotech rules for bad guy grunt units.  For "Hero" mecha cut the armor points from the first edition Robotech RPG to a third if you have it, or quarter the points from the Shadow Chronicles edition.

(Our Invid Scout has 100 Main Body "Big" Damage in Robotech.  2/3rds of that is 66.  We have 4.5 tons left for armor or 72 armor points.  A 20 ton mech can only carry 69 points of armor so we are wasting 3 points.  Close enough for government work.  Looking at the Veritech, 1st ed RT gave it 250 and 2nd 350.  In Battletech the LAM Wasp and Stinger have 80 Armor.  So roughly 83 points from a 1st ed conversion, or 88 from Shadow Chronicles.  PRETTY CLOSE.)

For amounts just use Solaris Skunk Werks and let it auto allocate most stuff outside of where weapons go based on the information from the Palladium RPG as best you can.  Extra unallocated armor points should probably just go to the main body.

And there you have it!  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezie conversions based on our pal the Veritech.  Or Valkyrie, or Stinger.  Whatever name you like.  You can probably convert everything close based on my formula, or at least close enough for fun purposes.

And if you are using it for RPGs and the like such as I am you can even have special rules.  Like for Invid Eye hits.  Just call that any head hit causes D3 pilot wounds, and if the internal structure of the head is penetrated it is D6 wounds.  On either result even if the pilot makes their check to stay awake they may either walk or fire next turn but not both.  (Also as a GM this would allow for MUCH faster NPC casualties, moving the game along.)

For Gunnery and Piloting just eyeball how good you want your pilots to be.  Since I am using the X-Plorers rules light Sci Fi RPG for my RPG rules we can also generally say the average Invid pilot would be 1st level or a 5/6 with 10-13s in its stats and a Soldier (So a +1 with their chosen weapons, probably the blades for the CC Invid Scouts and Troopers, and their main guns for the Armored Scout and Shock Trooper.) as its class.  The levels should go up for the other 3 Invid Mecha.  3rd level for the Enforcer with all 13-15 stats, probably a 4/5, the Commanders as 5th to 7th levels (Corg and Sera would be the latter) with at least 2 17-19 stats and a 3/4 or 3/3, and Overlords being probably 4-5th levels and somewhere in between Enforcer and Commander pilots.  (So probably 4/4s or 3/4s.)

So let's see our little Invid Scout:

Invid Scout

Mass: 20 tons
Tech Base: Clan
Chassis Config: Biped
Rules Level: Tournament Legal
Era: Dark Ages
Tech Rating/Era Availability: X/X-X-D
Production Year: 3132
Cost: 1,952,240 C-Bills
Battle Value: 326

Chassis: Unknown Endo-Steel
Power Plant: Unknown 80 Fusion XL Engine
Walking Speed: 43.2 km/h
Maximum Speed: 64.8 km/h
Jump Jets: Unknown
    Jump Capacity: 180 meters
Armor: Unknown Standard Armor
Armament:
    2  Retractable Blades
Manufacturer: Unknown
    Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown

================================================================================
Equipment           Type                         Rating                   Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Internal Structure: Endo-Steel                    33 points                1.00
    Internal Locations: 1 HD, 2 LT, 1 RT, 2 LA, 1 RA
Engine:             XL Fusion Engine              80                       1.50
    Walking MP: 4
    Running MP: 6
    Jumping MP: 6 Improved
    Jump Jet Locations: 1 CT, 2 LT, 1 RT, 1 LL, 1 RL                       6.00
Heat Sinks:         Double Heat Sink             10(20)                    0.00
    Heat Sink Locations: 2 LT, 2 RT, 2 LA, 1 RA
Gyro:               Standard                                               1.00
Cockpit:            Standard                                               3.00
    Actuators:      L: SH+UA+LA+H    R: SH+UA+LA+H
Armor:              Standard Armor               AV -  69                  4.50

                                                      Internal       Armor    
                                                      Structure      Factor  
                                                Head     3            9      
                                        Center Torso     6            9      
                                 Center Torso (rear)                  3      
                                           L/R Torso     5            8      
                                    L/R Torso (rear)                  2      
                                             L/R Arm     3            6      
                                             L/R Leg     4            8      

================================================================================
Equipment                                 Location    Heat    Critical    Mass
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retractable Blade                            RA        -         2         1.50
Retractable Blade                            LA        -         2         1.50
                                            Free Critical Slots: 6

BattleForce Statistics
MV      S (+0)  M (+2)  L (+4)  E (+6)   Wt.   Ov   Armor:      2    Points: 3
4/6j       0       0       0       0      1     0   Structure:  1
Special Abilities: MEL, SAW, ENE, SRCH, ES, SEAL, SOA


Join me in the next post where I stat out the rest of the main Invid mecha!



Monday, September 17, 2012

The (Stuff)-Tech/Macross/Related Stuff Collection Megapost Part 2: Battletech

Now we continue on with part 2 of this little project, this time covering Battletech, the game of armored combat!

(NOTE: Like most of my posts with pictures, you can usually click on em for larger ones.)

Battletech is a game taking place primarily in the 31st century.  Mankind has gone to the stars and the aristocracy has gone back in control of things.  5 primary powers plot against each other to control the known galaxy, their main weapon being Battlemechs, 20-100 ton robots full of lasers, guns, and missiles.  There has been so much war that much of their technology has been lost and things such as scavenging parts to repair machines whose factories got blown to smithereens decades or more ago is the order of the day.  Its a hard science fiction universe with its own internal logic for why people would fight in silly giant robots packing tons of guns.

The game itself is what I call a "Machine Sheet Game" in which you have a highly detailed sheet of paper covering each combat machine in great detail.  In this genre the details of where your unit is hit, for how much, from what angle, and what it does to multiple systems matter.  Its more about the DETAILS of what happened than the big picture result.

 It all began here for me in 1988.  My Junior High School Graduation and 14th birthday.  The old long gone store "Eric Fuch's Hobbies" in the Crystal Mall.  I was looking for hobby games stuff and I had known of Battletech thanks to a Dragon Magazine review.  While I really wanted the Robotech RPG they did not have it.  However they had Battletech.  So I got it.  And my friend got me Aerotech for my birthday to go alongside it.  Note how that is a Macross Destroid on the cover?  (Aerotech had fightercraft from Crusher Joe.)  See that 21st Century Imports made a deal with FASA to sublet the mechanical designs from various shows so they could sell model kits that they had imported.  The first edition of Battletech came with plastic model kits.

 One good look at the back cover and any doubts I had went away.  All the mecha on the back was from Robotech!  (Well Macross but it was 88.  I didn't know that yet.)

 It even had a little sell sheet for miniatures.  The most expensive mech was an Atlas at 5 bucks.  Most were 3-4.  Wished I had bought up a bunch.  Lovely ad art too.  

 Like Aerotech which was Battletech in SPAACE, Battleforce was the mass scale BT game.   As I foolishly gave away my original BT rulesbook with its excellent tutorials and all I am showing the BForce and Aerotech manuals so you can see what they looked like.  The BT manual had the same Dougram (Now known as the Shadow Hawk) on the cover though sans the aerospace fighter and starfield.

 And this is what the manuals inside looked like.  Decent artwork that was probably all lightboxed off actual Macross and Dougram art.  But Aerotech even made Battletech MORE like Robotech as you could now even have transforming mecha!  

Later on they kept the same box front as 2nd edition but revised it a tad and threw in 14 plastic minis.  Not GOOD plastic but.. beggars cannot be choosers.  

 Once Harmony Gold got into a row with Fasa all the Dougram, Crusher Joe, and Macross designs went bye bye and there was a lame boxed set that went with standee figures.  FASA would die, German company Fanpro would take over, then Catalyst Game Labs would.  This is the first of 2 excellent starter sets Catalyst did, packing them with much higher quality plastic miniatures.  The revised version of this set through in a couple Clan mechs of higher quality.  (I will get into them.)

 See the Battletech universe evolved over time with technology being recovered and a dangling plot thread brought back.  THE CLANS.  A millitary force had left the BT region of space a few hundred years previous and came back with new technology and a desire to take over with their genetic warrior culture.  So many Battletech games and subgames needed a new edition to both keep up with the new game technology and to look more modern.  Battleforce 2 is virtually an entirely seperate game than the original, while Aerotech 2 became a supplemental book.

 I never owned the original Citytech which was the Battletech expansion set that added in new mechs, urban combat, infantry, and tanks.  I was however able to get this puppy off ebay a few years back at a fair price. (I did a review of it in more depth.  Feel free to take a look: http://wargamedork.blogspot.com/2010/03/citytech-2nd-edition-unboxing.html )

And three of the FIVE core rulesbooks I have owned for the game.  The Compendium was actually the second one released, covering all that Clan tech era stuff.  I found it on board my ship in the Navy and could never find out who it belonged to.  (But given how antisocial and autistic the Battletech community seems to be this is no surprise.  BT people seem to have very little interest in anything outside their tiny goggles.)  The Master Rules Revised was a mildly tweaked version of the Master Rules, collating all the new tech they kept adding to the game.  Total Warfare is under Catalyst.  It is how they do the game now, breaking it up into a pile of attractive (and expensive of course) hardback books.  Total Warfare actually has LESS rules in it than those other two books.  Mech design?  Gone.  Aerospace rules?  Gone.  They expanded the game into a massive pile of books.  If you have them all you can pretty much do EVERYTHING you could possibly want to do in the Battletech universe.  Except.. you probably don't want to.

 Here are the second and third editions of the BT RPG, known as Mechwarrior.  The second ed isn't too shabby but the third is terrible with an amazingly convoluted lifepath system as befits a company that got its start making stuff for Traveller.  Fourth edition is even more complicated in making characters.  Honestly?  I will just use Basic Roleplaying or X-Plorers and house rule it.  Faster character generation, better rules for RPGing.

 Some supplemental rules books that Catalyst's new book concept have mostly made irrelevant (except as I am cheap and have most of my fun playing Battletech with people who don't play Battletech and are thus generally good and fun people I can get away with using the old books as most of the rules are the same.  Battletech has done little more than tweak its rules since the mid 80s.).  The Miniatures Rules cover playing on tabletop without hex maps, Mercenary's Handbook is full of stuff to run mercenary units (in BT's Aspie Details style), and Maximum Tech is full of even MORE complicated rules for people who didn't think Battletech had enough bloody rules for every little thing.

 Scenario and background books!  They give you info on a Merc unit in the latter two's case, and all 3 give you scenarios and the like to play.  They still make books like First Strike now as a way of easing people into Battletech without having to buy multiple 40-50 dollar hardbacks and mech books.

 These are mostly fluff books that detail the metaplot as of whenever they happen.  20 Year Update covers the status of 25 years after the timeframe listed in the 2nd and 3rd edition box sets.  Shattered Sphere is about the status quo a good 13 years after that.  Fedcom Civil War covers what happens immediately after Shattered Sphere.  Blake Ascending I got super cheap because its the only way I would buy a book covering the current metaplot.  Which involves some crazy religious fanatics who somehow manage to screw up the entire Battletech universe to lead into the collectible Mechwarrior game by Wizkids.  ( I will cover that in another post.)

 And some faction specific rules and fluff books.  Some of the new tech introduced here appeared in the Master Rules Revised book. 

 Record sheet books!  Back before we all had the Internet, scanner/copiers in the home, and glorious programs like Solaris Skunk Werks we had to either laboriously fill in a blank mech sheet, or buy record sheet collections.  I have 3 of them.  

This is an example of a mech sheet printed out with said Skunk Werks.  It has options for a picture of your fly hooptie, some of the piles of charts one uses in the game, and so on.  Note all that detail.  I told you Battletech had a lot of detail.  I WARNED YOU BRO.

There were even magazines covering the game it was so popular.  Battletechnology was a mostly "In universe" magazine and semi official no less.  I keep meaning to buy more back issues as it covers the early timeframe in between the 2nd ed boxed set and 20 Year Update.

Not official at all but quite charming was this little long running fanzine called Future Wars.  I got this in game stores.  Not online as nobody really had it.  They carried this in shops!

And my personal favorite, Mecha Press!  It was an offshoot of the anime magazine that started as the official Robotech magazine Protoculture Addicts.  It covered nothing but mecha anime and mecha games.  The people behind it would later go on to make the "Heavy Gear" mecha game.  Which is basically "Armored Trooper Votoms".  What was the third issue covering?  Votoms!  HMMM...

They had a few cool ideas for Battletech in it, with a Gundam like mech including shield rules many years before Battletech would ever have any official ones.  (Another issue had a Sazabi inspired mech.)

 But the star of the Battletech supplement mill were the "Technical Readouts".  Covering gobs and gobs of robot and tank goodness with all the designs of the timeframe on the cover.  My copies are all the ones with the Macross, Dougram, and Crusher Joe stuff still there.  Many have been revised since to remove that art if not the mechs entirely.

They have gone beyond 3067 with new Tech Readouts but that reaches the Word of Blake thing and I really don't like or care for that timeframe.  Why waste my money?

 I did buy this one which could be the prelude to the Word of Blake.  Project Phoenix took all the old designs Harmony Gold was being their usual douchy selves about and redid them, making them both modern refits of the old designs to bring them up to the in universe modern tech levels, and as new minis to sell and pictures they could show.

 As the Soltic Roundfacer from Dougram is a personal favorite design of mine AND I like the Griffin as a mech in Battletech, I am showing the original 3025 TR with its original design art, and the Project Phoenix one.  You can see the basic look of the books didn't change in 20 or so years but they did a fair job of taking the old design and making it original without removing what people liked from it.  (And many of the Dougram mecha were originally designed by Gundam's mecha designer.  And the main Macross designer?  He did designs for the Japanese version of Battletech!  Its Six Degrees of Mecha in here!)

 Of course you need hex maps to play on.  I have a couple packs of them.  These days I mostly just use Heroscape 3d plastic hex terrain.  But if you don't want to deal with setup time, or carrying it all around, hex maps are your pal.

 I even have the Solaris 7 Map Pack which also came with a supplement book a friend of mine still has.  Why fight in wars when you can fight for entertainment and fat cash broadcast throughout the known galaxy?

And these were the original standees you used on said maps that came in the 2nd edition box set.

But next time?  Let's get three dimensional.  Miniatures!  Toys!  Model kits I actually built!  MERCHANDISING, MERCHANDISING, MERCHANDISING!


(It's where the real money is made.)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The (Stuff)-Tech/Macross/Related Stuff Collection Megapost Part 1!

This one is gonna be a bloody DOOZY.  It will also be a bit of a history lesson and not just my own reminiscing about all the stupid stuff I have bought and hoarded.

Let's begin at.. the beginning!

This ad.  For Revell's Robotech Defenders model kits.  See Revell took kits from Macross, Dougram, and Orguss and made a line of model kits with more realistic military paint jobs as gorgeous photographed box art.  This was 84 when Transformers and Go-Bots were also getting going, making it a glorious 2-4 years of a US robot craze.

After that ad, and seeing a catalog sheet of all the awesome kits (which I thought all transformed because 9 year old me thought every robot did thanks to Transformers & Gobots) I saw this comic and POUNCED.  Robotech Defenders only uses the mecha from the Dougram series, giving them alien and human pilots with the mecha themselves being sentient.  They have to defend their solar system from the psychic Grelons and their life force draining masters.  The art is really nice but the coloring is rough.  It was late 84-early 85 printing technology.  It went from being a 3 parter to a 2 parter.  People on the net insist it is because the comic sucked.  I... don't see it.  I just reread it upon finding it for this collection post series and its pretty decent.  It is very compressed storytelling to modern eyes but its a complete story in under 70 pages.  If Bendis wrote it the same content would have taken 12 issues.  Not that I would complain as it has some good ideas.  Maybe one day I will do a full review of it...

Now in the TV Guide equivalent that came with the newspaper some of the channels our awful cable company wasn't giving us (for perspective: we didn't get Cartoon Network till like 2007.  When another company bought them out.) had a Robotech cartoon show listed in the mornings.  I thought it was connected to the comic.

 No.  In fact only a handful of the model kits Revell had gotten the rights to release in the US were in this show.  A company called Harmony Gold wanted to just import Super Dimensional Fortress Macross over to the US but with syndication needing 65 episodes they looked at other shows that Tatsunoko had the rights to (sort of... we will get back to that later on) and added in Super Dimensional Cavalry Southern Cross and Genesis Climber Mospeada.  They didn't use Super Dimension Century Orguss which was the third in the Super Dimensional "series" of unconnected shows even though it had some of the same staff as Macross behind it.  When they wanted to sell toys and merchandise for the designs they discovered Revell already had a number of rights already.  (And Hasbro had the deluxe toy rights for Macross' signature craft, the mighty VF-1 Valkyrie.  The 80s were.. funny.)  So they worked with Revell and the show was then to be called Robotech, becoming a generations spanning saga about Earth's wars against alien races.  Given how damned similar the 3 shows they combined were with many of the same basic concepts and themes few of us kids even thought they were different shows even if the look of each was a bit different.

(Shown is my ADV boxed set Robotech collection disks, the complete uncut Japanese versions of Southern Cross and Mospeada, the first 6 episodes of the Japanese Macross, the complete Macross segment of Robotech remastered which I got at Wal Mart for 10 bucks, and an Orguss collection I got off Ebay that is probably a Hong Kong bootleg.)

The Robotech boxed sets also contain Harmony Gold's aborted Sentinels project which was to be a self financed ORIGINAL series that would be both a prequel, sequel, and sidestory to the 3 Japanese shows. They also made a short run and generally considered to be a disaster theatrical movie using footage from a show called Megazone 23.  I have nothing of that series so it won't be part of this massive project.  (Unless someone wants to give me the DVDs and a Garland toy cheap.)    Yet Japan itself would continue with Macross separate from what Harmony Gold did.  Macross is a BAD dub job of one of the most gorgeous animated movies out of Japan, "Macross: Do You Remember Love?" a movie retelling of the Macross TV series that has been retroactively considered to be a movie in the Macross universe telling how the original events went.  (It does not however explain how many things now look like they do in this movie and NOT how they looked on the show...)  I first saw an edited version of this dub when it was called "Clash of the Bionoids".  Japan would continue on with some staff making the now not in continuity Macross 2 miniseries.  Later on more of the original creators would make the amazing Macross Plus as part of canon, along with the dumb Macross 7 and the pretty solid Macross Frontier.  Harmony Gold would try yet AGAIN to continue the Robotech franchise (mainly thanks to the anime boom and the ridiculous deal they had made with Tatsunoko..) and finally get out the Shadow Chronicles, which would tweak, modify, and itself decanonize the novels and comics from Robotech that would fill the nearly 2 decades of no celluloid Robotech...

Before that though we have yet ANOTHER thing connecting all of this doofy stuff together.  Much like Macross 2, there was an Orguss 2.  A sequel that is really standalone to the original work but is still a sequel, albeit one taking place generations later.  If I was the Anime World Order podcast I would go look up if the 2 sequel projects shared any staffers or financiers or anything.  But I am not.  And I don't really care that much.  However this was a pretty cool miniseries.  Or at least I remember it being as such.

The best were the novels by Jack McKinney (who was really two authors writing under a pseudonym).  They would both take the cartoons and fix the continuity and translation errors the shows had due to the insane schedule the show had, and make the whole thing more realistic, intelligent, and mature.  (Though the show was largely a revelation for how mature it already was compared to the silly dross on TV at the time.)  They would also take the notes for the aborted Sentinels sequel project, the failed movie which was only tested, and their own ideas and make an entire series of novels.  Sadly thanks to taking it with me in the Navy I do not have the final novel "End of the Circle" which cleared up and finished the series.  Yet comics were ALSO covering Robotech, and in many cases trying to do the same thing and even working from the same notes and outlines.

There were the Comico comics which were basically retellings of the cartoon show.  I never bought any of them as the art was usually iffy, it was "Direct Market" only comic shops in the days when I had no shops available or parents willing to take me to one, and the fact being in a lower middle class family even as an only child I would only have so much money to spend.

The Waltrip Brothers' ok but not great art would be used to try to cover the entire Sentinels series in a project I am not sure was ever finished but was ongoing from Eternity (later on purchased by Marvel who themselves would get bought by Disney because modern Capitalism IS ASS.. for years and years.

 Like the Del Rey novels they would also try to make stories and miniseries covering things not shown in the show to expand the universe and fill in various plot holes.

 They would even cover the beginnings of the entire Robotech storyline that was otherwise just a couple of lines in the show and books.  (Like the above I have to finish getting the whole series.)

This series was Eternity's best even if the later art not done by Fred Perry (who later on went to some fame doing the "Gold Digger" series) when the 91 Gulf War called him to service is kind of ehh.  Its a pretty decent story and its main protagonist would actually be referenced in other works.  (Plus he would later on be one of the many people to have "relations" with my favorite character in Robotech, Dana Sterling.  The lady got herself a lot of action.   I guess Robotech writers really like crazy semi violent half alien women.  I credit/blame her for letting me know I liked women as a lad hitting puberty.  And the sort of women I go for.)

Yet they would lose the license partially due to Marvel buying them out for properties their parent company Malibu was putting out and a tiny company called Academy would get the rights.

Academy had in most of their series some of the worst artwork.  Eternity's output was getting more and more professional before their contract expired.  But Academy wouldn't hold it for long.  You know that Fred Perry fellow?  Well the company that would publish his Gold Digger series and also the publisher of "Ninja High School" by Ben Dunn which itself had been published by Eternity for many years would get the rights to Robotech.

 Their signature book was an ongoing anthology with stories by Ben Dunn and Fred Perry amongst others.

While in general the art was nice and unlike most of the earlier Robotech comics in full color, the stories were either bad, uninspired, pointless rehashes of concepts the novels and Eternity line already did, or had massive amounts of continuity errors.  The Robotech hardcore weren't very happy about this, especially as Academy had their license terminated in the middle of multiple miniseries one of which was actually quite liked by fans. (And I never got.  And really no point unless I find em in a dollar bin someplace since it was never concluded.)

Eternity had one of the worst drawn and laughably terrible swimsuit comics ever and I include it with the Antarctic Press Robotech miniseries I never got more than the first issue of as a tribute to Epic Robotech Failure.  I don't recall if its because they lost the rights to make Robotech comics that I quit these series, the fact the series themselves were even more amateurish and sad than most of the Academy stuff, or the general canon problems like the Covert Ops series in the lower right hand corner using DYRL designs when that movie and its designs weren't canon in Robotech and were not part of Harmony Gold's deal with Tatsunoko.
(Seriously that Swimsuit Spectacular is only spectacular in how awful and silly it is.  And given that most 90s comic book swimsuit specials are pretty silly, dire, and embarrassing this is saying quite a bit!)

I don't recall if this is the only miniseries they finished, or its the only one I liked enough to complete.  I will probably go back and reread a lot of this stuff and if I do so I may come back and add in more commentary.    Another great part of this collection project is finding old stuff I thought lost or forgot I even owned and getting to experience it again.

When the little indie comic shop that was up by my house got bought out by what was then the expanding Sarge's Comics I got the Robotech Art 1 book.  A mystical thing, an amazing thing, an awesome thing.  Seriously, in 1989-90 this was like gold in those pre internet days when information on stuff was hard to come by.  In Japan things like Macross Perfect Memory and the This is Animation Southern Cross were out there to help fans out but not in the US.  (Macross Design Works is a book full of cool art and designs by Shoji Kawamori who is the main driving force behind Macross these days.  Macross is by Studio Nue.  Tatsunoko just lent it out without any real approval from Nue.  This will be brought up later..) 

(Robotech Art 1 also had a chapter in the back about Anime.  This would lead me to other places as well.  But that is a topic for another time I think..)

However those books were sometimes found by a few people in the west.  And they would use the information to convert an RPG system that itself was a massively house ruled AD&D.

Palladium Books would take their RPG system and make the Robotech RPG!  Full of all sorts of lovely art by Kevin Long as well as some probable tracing or copying of Harmony Gold or those 2 books above's art assets it covered the mecha and world of Robotech with lots of nerdy detail and info as best they could for the era.  I saw these books advertised in comics of the late 80s and wanted them BADLY.  Thankfully for me I would not get them till the early 90s after I had already sort of figured out how to play RPGs thanks to D6 System Star Wars and Frank Mentzer's edition of the D&D Red Box.  The Palladium system isn't very good and it really doesn't do a good job at emulating Robotech at all.  It is where Rift's infamous MEGA DAMAGE would first appear.

Palladium would cover the Sentinels as well.  This would be where I first saw the Sentinels designs I only read about in the McKinney novels.  Even with Long's great artwork much of it.. was underwhelming.  Palladium would later on go to do a Macross 2 RPG with lots of great art from Wayne Breaux that apparently did not please Harmony Gold very much.  It might have also been part of the reason they started paying attention to Robotech again.  And trying to halt the import of ANY Macross product into the US unless they got a cut of it, even though it had nothing to do with the original deal they made.  If it was even LEGAL for them to do so.  (Its certainly not ethical.  Why should a company get money for products made by the original creators and the people they have approved?  Harmony Gold didn't put any financing into Macross 7 or Frontier or anything like that.  Why do they get a piece of the pie?  No.  All they do is help prevent anyone from easily getting these later products, most folks resorting to piracy to experience them in the English language.)


Palladium would later on get back in bed with Harmony Gold and redo the game with more info and art and join in on the Shadow Chronicles train.  They were originally doing them in a smaller manga sized book format to go on the shelves in a bookstore's manga section.  Not that anyone I knew ever SAW them there mind you.  They are now continuing the line in their normal size.  The Deluxe Edition of the game I got as part of Palladium's Grab Bag promotions where you put in a wish list and some money and usually get 2-3 times the value in stuff mailed to you, with signatures and the like if you want.  I kind of guilt tripped them into giving it to me.  It does have some info not in the manga sized one.

Jim Lee's Wildstorm comics would get the rights to Shadow Chronicles for comics and made this 5 part miniseries that sort of messes up the Sentinels' stuff already produced.  It is kind of a twisted retelling/redo of the ending of that series and sets up the Shadow Chronicles movie.  (Also Wildstorm would be bought by DC Comics which is owned by AOL/Time Warner.  Because everything needs to merge because megacorporations are KEWL.  If you are an idiot anyhow.)

 A sampling of my unbuilt Robotech kits.  The Orguss itself now called NEBO, a Japanese rerelease of the Dougram (and also the first thing I ever bought from Hobby Link Japan), and some of the 2 pack mini models that Revell would release later on in the Robotech model line when they tried to connect more with the cartoon show.  (Obviously again these are Japanese rereleases.  Getting Robotech kits in Robotech boxes is VERY expensive and difficult.)
My only Southern Cross model, an ATAC Bowie Emerson (Grant in Robotech) suit, and the only plastic kit of any of the amazing Macross 2 mecha.  Luckily the VF2 SAP Special is one of my favorite mecha period but this kit needs a lot of love and care to look it's best as befits an early 90s model kit.

 And some more Macross kits from both Arii and Bandai.  I believe the VF1-D did get a Robotech release in the states, or at least a kit in that line did.  You will notice they sure do look familliar if you are a Battletech fan...

Well you see.. funny story that.  There was this import company called 21st Century Imports.  They were bringing over model kits and games from various Japanese anime.  Like these 2 Dougram hex wargames with the most adorable little metal miniature robots.  They even had 3D trees to put on the maps, and some awesome periscopes with little cockpit stickers you could use to get a pilot's eye view of the battlefield and check line of sight.  (The 3rd set is an extra I got that's mostly parts from both games.)  They did a very simple translation of the manuals and got a very limited release of them.

Yet.. a little company born out of making Traveller supplements had an idea for a hard sci fi robot combat game...

We will cover that next time.


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