Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Things have changed...

So apparently I haven't written a blog post in almost a year now. I knew it had been a while but didn't realize just how long.

So here's some of the things that are going on with me:
  • Solaris Skunkwerks: I have been a developer on a Java based Open Source project (for those that know me this should be a shock!) which is creating a BattleMech Editor program for Battletech that is using the most current rules from Total Warfare, TechManual, Tactical Operations and beyond. I work mostly on the GUI itself trying to make it as easy to use as possible and add the features that *I* want which hopefully someone else likes too.

  • Battletech Force Balancer: Before starting to help out on SSW I had asked LostInSpace (SSW's Lead Developer) to throw together a program that would let me balance two forces...then I took it over and turned it into my own Open Source project.

  • GenghisCon 2009: I ran a few games at GenghisCon 2009 and had a good turnout, the Fall of Outreach games run by John Tiffany and I reached 25 players which is the most I've seen in years!

  • GenCon 2009: I hadn't planned on going originally but during a discussion regarding volunteer staffing for events I thought I'd take a look at flights and found one for $200 which was much lower then I had anticipated. This made it viable so I will be attending again this year. Aug 12-16 in Indianapolis, IN for anyone interested in checking out LOTS of games!

  • Sharepoint / .Net / MVC: Last year my organization restructured the IT departments and I went from being a Classic ASP Support Developer to a Sharepoint Developer. This was quickly followed by a hold on all training budgets so I haven't received much in the way of knowledge but I've been doing some Sharepoint Master page development and am working through Infopath Forms and Workflows that should be interesting for future stuff.

    I also took it upon myself to work through the .Net MVC NerdDinner tutorial put up by Scott Guthrie. I was amazed at some of the built in abilities of the MVC framework and started to work on my own version of this but ran into a couple of walls and have not put more time into it.

    I have also started up work on a .Net Webforms website to improve my understanding but again have petered out on it...hoping to start that back up soon.

  • JQuery: I am loving this library more and more, I finally wrote my first basic plugin to easily handle FAQ style Question Answer collapsible sections and put it up as an open source project on Google Code @ and am looking at trying to create an ajax content type plugin to do make it easy to insert content into a page.

  • JQuery UI: The newest version of JQuery UI (1.7.2 as of this writing) has really started to reach it's potential. I recently converted a bunch of pages that would take 50s or more because they were loading the content on the server and converted them into using the JQuery UI Tabs with Ajax loading. This means that the page itself loads into the browser in 2s now and the content only gets requested/loaded when the user clicks the tab.
Whew, it's really been a fairly light year even though that looks like a lot. I haven't been as motivated as I normally am but I'm starting to feel better and get excited about projects again so I am expecting to get started working on new ideas so I hope to post more often now!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Starterbook Wolf and Blake: Recon

Starterbook: Wolf and Blake

We started a new campaign last night using Starterbook: Wolf and Blake. One of my players is a Word of Blake fan so he is in charge of the player's group which consists of:

Command Lance Gun Pilot
Precentor Berith C-ANG-O Archangel Berith 1 2 U
Demi-Precentor Morris C-PRT-O Preta Kendali 3 3 U
Adept Tomitaki C-MK-O Malak Mi 3 2 U
Adept Black Bear C-GRG-O Grigori Rufus 4 4 U
Adept Cazer C-SRP-O Seraph Havalah 3 3
Adept St. John C-DVA-O Deva Achillius 4 1 U

Fire Lance
Demi-Precentor Kari Marita KGC-008 King Crab 3 2
Adept Bryn Rivenschild LGH-6W Lightray 2 3
Adept Elizabeth Rodriguez GUR-2G Gurkha 4 2
Adept Portia Thomas BCN-5W Buccaneer 3 1
Adept Cassius Montague MCY-102 Mercury 4 2
Adept Jacqueline Norman RJN-200-N Raijin II 4 4
Last night we played out his first Mission choice; Recon. It was a very quick game as the objective is to Scan/ID all enemy forces which requires that a player 'Mech end it's movement within 4 hexes of an enemy and spend the turn scanning rather then firing. The player group used the terrain to their advantage and hid within 4 hexes as often as possible to get the scanning done. The player's group used the Lightray, Gurkha, and Raijin II for the game and their Opposing Force was a Lightray, Gurkha, and Dragon Fire. So the player's group was definitely outgunned.

It was a great game, just really fast. I look forward to the next mission.

Game Setup
Successful intelligence relies on technology, especially that given to us upon our arrival in this universe. —Precentor Berith A soldier without a target is as useless as a rifle without a bullet or a sword without an edge; each may be dangerous but is not being used as designed. The proper application of reconnaissance is the first key to victory. —Jaime Wolf

The Defender places two mapsheets in any legal position and designates one edge as the Defender’s home edge.

The Attacker consists of a small portion of the player force and may use up to three units. The Attacker chooses his forces first and may choose which map edge to enter on. This edge is then
designated the Attacker’s home edge.

The Defender is a portion of the planetary defender’s force and is determined after the Attacker has chosen his forces. To determine the Defender’s Force Composition and Unit Type, roll 1D6 on the following table. Add +1 to the roll if the previous track engaged a militia force. The Defender’s force enters from their home edge.

Track Cost: 30 WP
Optional Bonuses:
+15 Moderate Gale: Apply a +1 to-hit modifier to all missile weapon attacks.
+25 Tangled Forests: Hexes with Heavy Woods terrain are considered impassable and block line of sight due to the tangled roots and branches of the trees. These hexes are also c onsidered to be three levels in height.

1. ID/Scan all of the Defender’s force. Scanning must be done within 4 hexes of an enemy unit at the end of the Movement phase and in lieu of any attack. Scanning may be completed by either spending one complete turn with the target in the range of an operating probe (any equipment with “probe” in the title) or spending two turns within a four-hex radius of a BattleMech or Vehicle unit. A unit that is scanning without a probe may not fire any weapons during the time it takes to complete a scan; multiple buildings may be scanned at the same time. Line of sight is not required. (Reward: 50)

2. Escape! At least half of the Attacker’s force must survive and exit the Attacker’s home edge after eight turns. (Reward: 25)

The following rules are in effect for this track:

Forced Withdrawal
The Defender’s force is leery of a full-press engagement and follows the Forced Withdrawal rules (see p. 65) during this track.

Recon, Strike, Flank, Supply, Assault, Defend, Withdrawal

Monday, September 15, 2008

Long Time No Update...Brain Dump!

It has been a long time since my last post...I wanted to blog more about GenCon while it happened but when I got there I found out that the Westin hotel charges $10 per day for internet access in the room! What a rip-off for such a nice hotel. Beyond the cost, I was busy enough to not have a lot of time to sit down and write anything...I barely even took any pictures.

GenCon as a whole was a great time, Classic Battletech was hopping the whole weekend, the events were all well attended and I highly suggest that we have more tables going next year! The booth seemed to be busy all the time as well. I look forward to next year!

Since GenCon I've been to a Sharepoint Training that was supposed to be a "Deep Dive" for developers but really felt more like a skim than anything. It was at least a great way for me to learn more about what Sharepoint is and what it can offer. The reason for the training is that my work has restructured the entire IT department and I have moved from supporting the .com website to becoming a Sharepoint developer using .Net and C#. The funniest part of this is that I have not done .Net/C# since 2005 and that was using the 1.1 framework and we are now up to 3.5. So I have a LOT of catching up to do!

I also attended Tacticon up in Denver at the end of August. I ran two Grinder's on Saturday, one Clan and one Inner Sphere. I had ~12 players in each session which was great and we all had a good time. Two of the newer players tied for the win of the first session...AND tied for the overall winner. In fact, if you were one of those two drop me an e-mail @ as I can't find the sheet of paper that you wrote your's down on! One thing I do want to change for next time...I need to paint more Clan 'Mechs!

Last week we got some bad news. My sister has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a lump that was less then 2cm in size but it is cancerous and it has invaded at least one lymph node. She will be getting a port put in this week and will start chemotherapy as soon as they have enough information to know what cocktail of chemicals to use. She is understandably worried. She is still young which is good, and in good health otherwise so I expect her to get better fast! But, please pray for her as every little bit helps.

Coming up soon my family and I will be flying down to Dallas, TX to visit my best friend Jason and his wife Shawna. Jason works for Kinko's HR and moved out to Dallas about a year ago to be in their International HR department. This will be the first time WE have gone to see THEM. They came out to CO the last couple of years to visit so we are glad to finally be able to return the favor. While we are out there my wife is going to attend the MOPs convention which is taking place in town so she is very excited about that.

I'll post up more specific entries while out there as I'm sure I'll have lots to say and lots of pictures to show too!

Whew, there's the update dump!