Solar Halo and BattleTech

I have now three times seen the phenomenon known as the solar halo while having a camera. Unfortunately the pictures have all failed to do justice to the visual effect. The latest one seen today during a hike at the Finger Lakes National Forest with Laura and Oliver.

Solar Halo

The phenomenon is caused by ice crystals high in the atmosphere creating the same effect as rain for a rainbow. In this case there actually were several layers of clouds resulting in some shadow effects as seen with the contrail. Alternatively it is a huge explosion and I’m just covering up the details. One thing I can assure you is that this is not a trick of the camera – look up solar halos if you don’t believe me.

Last night I played BattleTech for the first time. The following will be way too much detail for anyone who does not know or care about BattleTech. It was a 9 player free for all over 4 maps using Clan heavy Mechs. The winner was determined by most damage scored with a 50% bonus going to the last pilot standing. I took 10 medium pulse lasers and a targeting computer because, having not played before, it seemed like a good idea. After 6 turns, I scored 370 points of damage which, it turns out, is enough to vaporize a heavy Mech. On the 6th turn I lost my right leg, right arm, and took an engine and a gyro hit. Crippled in one corner I waited till someone, too far away for me to fire at, finished me off. The last man standing scored 246 damage and with the 50% bonus ended up at 369 – giving me a 1 point margin of victory. Not bad for a first time.

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6 Responses to “Solar Halo and BattleTech”

  1. Brian Says:

    Not bad at all for a first timer. Clan heavies are awfully deadly, and a pulse laser boat even more so.

    I assume you were using customs and not canon mechs? I dont recall any Clan Heavies with 10MPL + TC. But I could be wrong.

  2. muddledblog Says:

    They were all custom mechs using the new Catalyst rule book. I used The Drawing Board software to help design the mech making sure it followed the new rules. I like that Catalyst provided a lot of stuff free online. Still, it is felt right to buy the books.

  3. Brian Says:

    You must not know then about the new open source ‘Mech designer called Solaris Skunk Werks.

    It has almost all of the newest equipment and prints out amazing record sheets. I think it is better than TDB but I’ll leave that to you to decide. Anything that lets you spend more time blowing apart ‘Mechs and less time looking for record sheets is a good thing!

    http://www.solarisskunkwerks.com/

  4. Britt Says:

    I’ve seen more sun-dogs, halos, and sun-pillars in Ithaca than anywhere else before or since. I don’t know if it has something to do with Ithaca weather (lots of high, icy clouds?) or with the fact that I lived west of town, so I was frequently driving east at sunrise or west at sunset.

  5. muddledblog Says:

    I have to admit that Skunk Werks is a better program. However, our group is now having a big argument over whether the medium (pulse) laser is broken in that it is too good in comparison to other weapons.

  6. Brian Says:

    The medium pulse laser? For the tonnage you do much better with the ER Medium laser. If you are winning initiative at least evenly, you can guarantee yourself long range shots from your opponents pulse while you are sitting pretty at medium or even short.

    And when you are in doubt, try a classic for a drive. The 3C Hammer is a beast of a light ‘Mech that’d I take against any pulse laser scrapper any day.

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