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Everything posted by LucByard

  1. LucByard

    [K-A04] In da lab

    Nice incorporation of the spiral stair piece.
  2. LucByard

    AG - Introduction and Discussion

    Yseult Brenneux buys 'Domination for Dummies" please,
  3. LucByard

    [O - G02] Orbital Advertising

    Great action shots. You choreographed the scene really well and brought the story to life.
  4. LucByard

    [M - G02] The Cypher

    Location: G02 - Freegate Tags: Vehicle, Land vehicle, Spying. High above the bright white pearl known as Freegate, tension had been slowly mounting. Octan vessels moved freely while independent and alien presences were monitored, cross-referenced and where appropriate, directed to a boarding station for inspection. The name hung in the air like a stale fog – MANTIS. That knowing feeling… They’re there but always just out of the corner of your eye. It had been only six months since the quarrel had ended; on Donwarr in Aprilin - the execution of a famous Octan pilot, sending a shockwave across the Galaxy… But the dust had barely settled, the borders drawn, when Freegate was retaken. When you’re being too careful, it’s easy to miss little things. Like a small Octancorp pod-like vessel appearing from Freegate’s nearby anomaly, receiving the formal greeting from traffic control and being left to go about its business. It was easy to miss when it assumed a high orbit and detached the GATE drive it had used to get there. It was easy to miss when it relayed the position of all the local traffic back through the anomaly and barely worth noticing when the white, green and red Quadstar descended towards the planet and entered the atmosphere. How the previous owner had ever kept this damn thing level through atmo entry was a mystery to the red-haired pilot of the Quadstar as it was buffeted around by the thickening atmosphere. Quadstars were renowned for their manoeuvrability, clearly this came at a cost to stability. Eventually she was through and gliding towards the surface. Transmitting the traffic data to BigSal had been the easy part; if only that had been her only mission. She hadn’t been told much but that was intentional; at least they’d been honest and told her that her part was high risk. They were looking something thet Octan had, data, co-ordinates maybe but if it were restricted it would be protected by a high-level cypher, and that cypher would be held by R.E.D., Octancorp’s Regulations Enforcement Department. It turned out they had gotten lucky; a source had suggested that R.E.D. were relocating secure data servers to a new facility across Freegate’s icy deserts by heavy speeder. They were well shielded from remote hacking but not impervious… if you can get close enough. To stop anyone getting close enough, each heavy speeder was protected in relay by a fighter escort… a Quadstar. Yseult’s mission was to reach the speeder shortly before a handover, relieve the previous escort, hack the container, then allow the real relief fighter to take over and depart without anyone knowing she was there. It was a short window but that wasn’t all. Quadstars don’t have GATE drives and with the escorts being locally deployed, she’d had to leave the GATE unit that brought her here in orbit; it would be obvious she wasn’t local if she turned up with one. If it’s not there when I go back… I’m stuck here. Her sensors located the speeder… Right where they said it would be. She closed in and contacted the fighter escort, reading its callsign from the transponder telemetry on her screen. “Oscar X-ray One Six Seven, this is Bravo Bravo Four Four Zero. I am here to relieve you.” She waited tentatively… “Copy that Bravo Bravo. You’re earlier than expected.” Yseult relayed the answer that had already been prepared for just that question. “There is a strong tail-wind on the intercept leg. You should return to base at higher altitude or you may not have enough fuel to get back.” Silences of even a second felt like small eternities… “Copy that Bravo Bravo…” the voice finally came back. “I stand relieved”. Through her side-facing canopy, Yseult watched the previous escort begin to climb and bank away. Don’t have long… let’s get this done. She immediately contacted the heavy speeder. “Red box two, this is Bravo Bravo…” She announced. “… I am going to perform a visual inspection, please stand by for close proximity formation.” The speeder acknowledged but she was already closing in; she wasn’t asking for permission. She activated the equipment Ellie had installed on the Quadstar and it automatically went to work, giving Yseult’s HUD progress information. The Quadstar was directly along-side the speeder, as close as she dare get without spooking the drivers. Progress was slow… Painfully slow. She manoeuvred up over the top… Slightly better once the equipment had adjusted to the new position. Before long, the hack was in and was extracting the cypher. A blip appeared on her screen. The telemetry registered it: Charlie Alpha Nine Two Two… the real relief Quadstar. Yseult looked at the progress bar. The extraction was taking too long… too long. “Bravo Bravo…” a voice came over the comm. “… This is Charlie Alpha… Almost didn’t see you there, is everything alright?” Think, quick. The hack was nearly done… just a little longer. “Charlie Alpha, this is Bravo Bravo. I am performing a visual inspection after the driver reported a vibration.” She checked the scanner… closing fast; they’ll be visual soon. The previous pilot was unlikely to have looked at Yseult’s ship in any detail but if this new one were so inclined, it wouldn’t take much to spot Ellie’s modifications and start asking awkward questions. The other fighter was close now, approaching from the rear… I’m an easy target like this. She thought back to Donwarr and how she’d been shot down. She felt her heart beating, her breath shortened, sweat formed on her brow. A nervous twitch in her left index finger as it hovered over the trigger… “Bravo Bravo, this is Charlie Alpha, I’m in position… Don’t stay too long… There’s a strong tailwind on the intercept leg, you don’t want to run out of fuel on your return to base.” Panic set in… He knows, he knows. He must have seen the previous escort and contacted him… I tried to send him higher… hoped they would miss each other… What do I do? What do I… Yseult’s HUD beeped… ‘Package complete’. Get out of here. “Copy that Charlie Alpha.” She tried to say as calmly as she possibly could, cursing every nervous wobble in her voice. “I’ll try a higher altitude.” She cut the communication and didn’t wait around any longer, pulling back on the flight-stick and forward on the throttle, she climbed as fast as she could. Away, away. As she reached low orbit, she checked her scanner… she wasn’t followed. A deep nervous sigh of relief filled her helmet as she tried to convince herself to calm down. She looked about… it was busier. Something was going on but she couldn’t see what. Her Quadstar had automatically encrypted and transmitted the captured cypher to wherever Big Sal was expected to be by now… All she had to do was leave. I took around thirty minutes to inconspicuously manoeuvre the ship around into the high orbit she had left the GATE drive in, now all she had to do w… GONE! It was gone. Yseult frantically checked her scanner. It must be here, it must. She checked and checked and checked again, there was still no sign of it… What do I do? What do I do?
  5. LucByard

    [M-G02] MANTIS Scissor Truck

    Love the way you worked in that piece for the windscreen. The curvature on the bodywork suits it perfectly. Great job.
  6. LucByard

    Future of AG - It's feedback time!

    I'm sure that's something the game-runners have been or are considering but there would be consequences to putting a fourth corp on the map. Aside form diluting active players which will slow the game down, the Galaxy board was designed on a hex-grid with 3 points of rotational symmetry (i.e. if you rotate the map 120 degrees, the gate links and resources are the same). This is intentional to prevent any corp from having an initial advantage just on account of the map and is a very specific and well executed piece of design by (I presume) Bob. The problem with adding a fourth corp would be where to start it that does not affect this balance. This might be why the game-runners seem to be more focussed on making more of the aliens, like a faction with no homeworld, thereby keeping the balance. What we don't know is if the plan will be to keep the current corps, replace some (the winner or loser perhaps) or even replace them all. After all, it's not unlike large corporations to move in when they think there's money to be made, then just pull out when they think it's not lucrative enough anymore,
  7. LucByard

    [M - C02] Past and Parallel

    Nice build and great storytelling. Is that another MANTIS emblem I see on the wall? Creative approach!
  8. LucByard

    [M - G02] The Cypher

    Thank you everyone (although I left a window open to make it definitely a land vehicle ) Footnote: my original ideas for what became the 'Jade Sun' and 'Fighter escort' chapters was this truck coming out of the anomaly (yes, it would have been a space-truck for that version) and Yseult following it until a fighter approached from the surface and chased her off. Not getting this finished and wanting to join the MANTIS tribute builds caused a rapid rethink of how to present and execute the story differently. The upshot was Vyken Tyros who would have just been 'some pilot' but is now a character with (hopefully) some depth and who will be worth bringing back.
  9. LucByard

    [O - H04] - So Many Questions

    I like the arrangement of the sport pieces with the tiles on at the rear, though I would have tried to get the 1x2 vents one plate lower to put them directly in between the sport pieces. Not sure that front end would pass Dr. Long's Health and Safety inspection though.
  10. LucByard

    [O - H04] Gluteus Maximus

    A bizarre and humorous take on science fiction tech that leaves me laughing at the end. Love it.
  11. LucByard

    Lego City Future - Toxic Waste Transporter

    Your designs are so much fun, they have a wonderful aesthetic to them. Great job.
  12. LucByard

    Future of AG - It's feedback time!

    It was just the feeling I got from the actions list. i know it says 'something like' so it's not fixed or final but it looks like it asks us to focus on core corporate activites. If I do a build that focusses on character and story development like 'Rest', none of those things in the list may be happening. Maybe that could be part of AG's style/direction though; if you want to focus on strategy, go corp, if you want story-telling without restrictions, go alien. I don't know... MANTIS is a good corp to play for. No pressure for when or what to build, can go where my story leads and follow corporate plan when I'm not tied down. SpacerSteve knows to how to give Yseult the breathing space she needs. : ) I like the idea of new corps though, would help give AG2 it's own flavour.
  13. LucByard

    Future of AG - It's feedback time!

    That's good news. While the FAQ did say that your character should be involved in the build, it more broadly says first that your build should progress your character's story and I think that it's been shown by many players that it's beneficial to the depth and complexity of AG's stories to allow builds that don't feature their main character, as long as it does progress your character's arc. I think the judges did right not to enforce this too strictly as the stories could become too flat and 'face value' otherwise. Some of the new rules make it look as though corporate players will need to be a bit more 'For the corporation' which makes me wonder where my impulsive civilian freight pilot will fit in. Maybe I should play 'alien alliance' but as a non-corporate Human! (if that's allowed, there must be plenty of them around). I like the switch to controlled planets giving resources regularly but worry the decreasing DP will force a corp's players to spread too thin covering existing territory instead of cracking on with the front line. Maybe the DP loss relating to distance from homeworld or supply base (thematically representing stretched supply lines) and Corps being able to buy/build supply bases on other worlds could work around this. It would also make the world they build it on more strategically important as losing it would affect their nearby planets. I like the idea of discoverable equipment: On the fifth build with a mining tag on a certain world, the player finds a 'diamond drill bit' etc. I like making kit cheaper and easier to get. Maybe a player only being allowed 2 or 3 from each category at once would prevent the 'everyone gets everything' problem. Players have to decide what combination suits their play style. I actually like the form idea, it would make game tags easier to grasp for new players if there are 3 drop-downs from which you pick an available tag (if that's how it works). Overall, I've enjoyed playing AG so much. I've looked at Historica and the Star Wars one and they just don't seem to have that balance of freedom and strategy that AG achieves. As long as it tries to keep that, I'll give any new rules a go. As long as Yseult doesn't have to promise to behave ; ) I'll be there.
  14. LucByard

    Challenge 5 - Space Olympic Games

    This was my first AG challenge and first, I think a big hand to hose who organised it all on top of running the game. I didn't mind at all that the judging took a while and looking back, I think I have enjoyed it more getting all of the building out of the way, then sitting back and watching the judging and the events unfold. The quality and creativity of the entries was also impressive. Well done all.
  15. Strangely, no-one wanted to go first. Guess I'll have to show them how it's done... The vignette spins the athlete and hammer. The link goes to a short video.
  16. LucByard

    [M - E01] Rendezvous

    Location: E01 - Donwarr. Tags: Vehicle, Land vehicle, Spying. Previous chapters can be read on my website here. Chapter 13: Rendezvous. It had taken 3 days of walking to reach the rendezvous point. Emily’s plan to send a transport to extract Vyken had hit a complication. Since Octan took Freegate, MANTIS had tightened its operations on Donwarr; it was getting nervous and the locals Vyken had been around last few weeks were getting twitchy and nervous. After a long and drawn-out conflict, MANTIS had ‘won’ the quarrel and controlled everything from Jurin II to Freegate, but Octan were on the move again and the residents were worried about the potential turmoil. Vyken wasn’t sure why… Why wouldn’t they want Octancorp to retake the quarrel and bring its people the peace, prosperity and opportunity that Octan stood for. Instead, they lived with the uncertainty of MANTIS… An organisation that probably stole from itself so that it can sell its own goods on the black market at a higher price… He wished the people he had met could see how Farmolis had developed under the guidance of one corporation’s singular vision. Without thinking, his hand reached to his left breast where, in one of his suits inner pockets, he kept his copy of the Corporate Handbook. A ceremonial gift from his Mother when he formally became an employee. It was a paper copy, sentimental more than it was practical but he kept it with him at all times. Over the last few weeks, he’d needed everything of value he could find or earn for food and shelter and eventually, access to the off-world Galnet. Only then had he been able to contact Emily, his protégé, and start the process of getting off this rock, so in the long nights, he had read his handbook… Speeches: 2:14. Without it’s employees, a corporation is but an empty shell. The rendezvous point was a clearing at the foot of the Viirven mountains where the trees thinned as the hard ground turned the lush deciduous forest into a region of flat, shrubby tundra, mixed with patches of damp boggy marsh-land stretching North until the soil changed again and hardy pines signified the next range of mountains. Vyken stood, waiting and inspected his sword to pass the time; a good swordsman knows every knick and scratch on his blade… His fight with Graves had added several more. Eventually, the rustle of leaves and tweeting of the local birds was joined by a low hum and soon, emerging from behind a clutch of trees, a vessel appeared. It approached in a wide arc, the driver clearly gauging the situation before coming too close. Vyken was equally wary and instinctively held his sword behind him, obscured, but ready to used if needed. The vessel was a speeder, a hover-van. Vyken recognised the type immediately – a small 46-B local courier vessel. He had wondered if Emily was serious when he first saw her plan, having informed her of the tightening MANTIS security, she made arrangements for Vyken’s extraction via ‘alterative routes’. Turning up at Donwarr in an official Octan transport was going to get noticed, quickly, so she had used Octan contacts on Donwarr to get Vyken to a spaceport with false documents, a shuttle to orbit and passage on a freighter to Kaalin. There was a lot that could go wrong but he trusted her. After all, it was him that had shown that fresh-faced girl out of the academy how all that theory worked in the real world. If it could be done… She could do it. As the hover-van landed, Vyken noticed the discoloured paintwork – this one had seen better days, probably abandoned after the push to take control of Donwarr earlier in the year has come to a halt. When Octan had decided to move its focus elsewhere, most of the resources it had ploughed into this planet were withdrawn but MANTIS’ reaction had been swift, and vicious, and anything broken or under repair had been left. The local population had been swift to scavenge and repair what they could and transports like these were known as ‘Oc-vans’. In the weeks that he’d been stuck here, he’d learnt that the basic design and cheap parts made them popular and they were now not uncommon. The rear door opened and a man in a white flight-suit emerged. Emily had arranged a pass-phrase; a pre-determined conversation that informed Vyken he was talking to his driver and not a random passer-by by accident… or worse. He couldn’t help but smile when he read the phrase; Emily has nailed her wry sense of humour to it. The man stepped down, his hands visible. The moment before he spoke hung in the air like a fog. “Did you leave something behind?” He asked. The right phrase. “Yes…” Replied Vyken, as he’d been told. “… How to use a sword… apparently.” The man’s face showed a brief moment of surprise. I wasn’t supposed to say apparently. “You should take up fencing”. The man replied after a brief moment of consideration. It was the response Vyken had been waiting for. He stepped towards the man, holding his sword at ease. “I suppose DuPont sent you?” he asked. The man gave a nod. “Doctor Long’s orders. Emily’s plan… I’ll brief you on the way…” He said, climbing back into the van. “… You have a shuttle to catch.” The first spoiler contains additional images. The second spoiler explains the spying tag but also reveals a plot-twist if you haven't noticed it in the images. For clarity. I've realised after posting that I've picked costumes that have similarities to Jebediah O'Reilly's and John Hannibal's: It's a coincidence, it's not them. Thank you for looking, and especially for reading. All comments, feedback and criticism welcome. Luc.
  17. LucByard

    [O - F04] Ride the Comet

    That's a nice MANTIS micro ship; well built. You can add whatever forum tags you like but you should include the location and game tags at the start of the post. For example: Location: F04 Illustria Tags: Vehicle, Spaceship. The game tags available are listed in the rules and FAQ thread. Scroll down to 'building for your corporation' and open the spoiler for more information. Basically, the game tags activate equipment, technology and jobs bonuses. Octan have the 'ground tactics' tech so if you build a land vehicle, include the 'land vehicle' tag to get the bonus. There may be some tags that apply to your build but you get nothing for them: you are a pilot, not a scientist, a science tag would earn you nothing so there's no need to include it, even if your build has a science theme. You can only get bonuses for tags you include; miss a tag, miss the bonus. I've never seen a penalty mentioned for 'over tagging' (listing tags that don't exist/don't apply) but in the spirit of helping the judges you should try to apply only tags that have an effect. Right now, an Octan pilot with no equipment can usefully tag as follows: Airplane (I assume Aeroplane would be accepted) or Submarine: Gets you +3 credits because you're a pilot. Spaceship: Gets you +3 credits because you're a pilot and +1 Domination point because Octan have Spaceship Mastery tech. Land vehicle: Gets you +1 Domination point because Octan have 'Ground tactics' tech. In addition to the above, Vehicle: Gets you +10 resource because Octan have 'Awesomnium Alloy' tech. Civil WITH Building: Gets you +10 resource because Octan have 'Awesomnium Foundary' tech. I think that's it, I'm sure someone will point out if I've got it wrong.
  18. LucByard

    [O - F09] The City With No Name

    This little scene brilliantly conveys the idea of ancient ruins. The floor is nice and because the same colour is used as on the walls, suggests moss growing between the paving stones. Very effective design; well done.
  19. LucByard

    Challenge 5 - Space Olympic Games

    They were posted on Wednesday.
  20. LucByard

    [MOC] Firefly Drone

    ... Where all the best designs come from. Does it use technic connectors to hold the curvature?
  21. LucByard

    [M - G02] Fugitives Pt 1

    Your sense of humour is always a winner.
  22. LucByard

    [O-H04] The Pantsuit

    Interesting use of door pieces here. The cage front was well executed and looks great too.
  23. LucByard

    [O - FREEBUILT] - Portable Freezer

    Entertaining, funny story and a nice gun design: I think the trans light blue and trans yellow go together well - good colour choices.
  24. LucByard

    [M - E01] The Engineer

    Location: E01 - Donwarr. Tags: Military, Building, Spaceship. Previous chapters can be read on my website here. Chapter 12: The Engineer. First engineer Elliana Seyka had a buzz about her this morning. She was generally regarded as being spritely but this morning she was particularly excited. While Darksight was undergoing repairs, an opportunity had arisen. The game was afoot and whatever move they were making needed a Quadstar… An Octan Quadstar and by virtue of the unexpected outcome of Yseult's mission in Darksight, they had one. What they didn't have was a means of getting it where it needed to be. The Quadstar was a short-range superiority starfighter; very fast, very maneuverable but at a cost. The fuel tanks were small and they had no GATE drive so they relied on a carrier for trans-anomaly deployment, and an Octan carrier… Well, they're harder to come by. That's where Ellie came in. She had a reputation for her design and engineering skills; Big Sal had identified her potential early on and brought her into MANTIS. She shared his enthusiasm for science, if not quite his approach to it but from the very beginning, she felt that he understood her, her dreams, her ideas, her passion; and she hadn't regretted accepting his invitation. She had risen through MANTIS quickly and now commanded a substantial engineering research and development effort, of which Darksight had been the latest product. What they needed now was different, and she didn't have long to come up with a solution. In the end, she had decided that delivery by carrier was impossible, carriers were as incognito as a slap in the face, no, something else was required… And she had delivered. There was risk involved though. This is MANTIS… She thought to herself as she entered the engineering bay… We eat 'risk' for breakfast! To keep operation details on a need to know basis. Ellie’s brief was very specific and almost impossible… She liked ‘almost impossible’. There was no way to fit a GATE drive and the extra fuel capacity needed into the tight design of a Quadstar, not without modifying it beyond recognition and that wouldn’t do; it had to look legitimate or the plan wouldn’t work. Instead, she put them outside the Quastar in a bolt-on booster… A Jump drive. The unit contained all of the components needed for trans-anomaly flight; simulations had suggested that the Quadstar’s compact design would be very sensitive to the gravitational turbulence that caused so many pre-G.A.T.E. explorers to get lost. To combat this, the drive needed large gravitational stabilisers; they were a little cumbersome and prevented the Quadstar from landing with the drive attached but they did look awesome, she thought. Riddaeon was stood waiting for her, admiring her work while he did. The unit rested on its back, the four protruding stabilisers acting like legs. “I assume the fighter attaches up there.” He stated upon hearing Ellie approach, gesturing upwards. “That will make it a little awkward for the pilot won’t it?” he asked, turning his gaze to Ellie. There goes my carefully planned introduction. She thought. “The unit remains in orbit. The fighter attaches for trans-anomaly and detaches at the other side”. Riddaeon stepped back, taking in a wider view of the jump drive. “What if it’s captured?” He asked. “That’s the risk.” Ellie responded, a hint of stern-ness in her tone. She wasn’t about to let this… administrator tell her she should have done a better job in the ridiculously short time she had to conceive, design and build this thing. “If you want a unit that’s more compact, more secure… Fine, give me six months. If you want a unit now… This is what you get”. Riddaeon thought for a moment. “Any restricted tech?” He asked calmly. “No.” Ellie replied, a flash of confidence in her voice. He’s conceded the point. She realised. Now he’s just making sure he’s I’ve covered the bases. “Fine...” Riddaeon finally said, turning to her. “Walk me through it.” They walked over to the engineering console and Ellie tapped the controls to bring up the file she'd originally prepared for what was left of her introduction. "Quadstar fighters..." She began. "... Are heavily modified versions of an old Space Utility Vessel from the pre-G.A.T.E. era. Basically a multi purpose tug and docking unit, They'd fly out to unmanned cargo carriers, dock with them and take control to pilot them in. That connectivity is still there in every Quadstar so I designed a unit the fighter can dock with." The display showed a simulation of the Octan vessel with the jump drive attached. "What if someone finds it?" Riddaeon asked. "The on-board flight system will try to keep out of sight and avoid proximity to other craft..." Ellie answered. "... But in the event that a vessel other than this Quadstar gets too close, it automatically self-destructs." There was a moment of silence. The reason for this measure was obvious but so were the consequences. "And the pilot?" He finally asked. Ellie knew the answer would be harsh but it had to be said. "They'd be stranded... They'd need to ditch the ship and find another way back". Riddaeon stared at the screen; he knew which pilot he was about to put at risk., and that he'd have to be the one to tell her. "Alright..." He said. "...Test-flight it and let me know when it's ready to deploy." Ellie nodded and Riddaeon proceeded to the exit. "Erm..." Ellie tried to say something but didn't quite know how to start it. Riddaeon stopped and gave her a moment to decide. He soon realised what she wanted to ask. "I saw the transmission too..." He said. His tone had softened, they had both been close to BigSal. "He was a friend. We must remember that... But he is also an enemy of the corporation now... We must remember that too." Thank you for reading. All comments and feedback welcome.
  25. LucByard

    [M - E01] The Engineer

    You're both right about the balancing act. I look to Octan sets which seem to me to follow a 'green bottom, red stripe, white top' motif so I think I like a bit more green, although, like Kodan says, most Octan builds here tend towards white with red/green hints. Personally though, I loved the way Pombe's GARC was all red and played with the scheme. For all my desires, however, it's what bricks I have in stock that is usually the biggest factor. : P The green 2x2 to 4x4 cone booster is from the Gasgano podracer in Watto's Junkyard if memory serves me correct. Thanks for the story feedback everyone. It means a lot that people enjoy it.