Welcome to my Lair!

Welcome to the Lair of Evil Dr Ganymede! On this site, you’ll find my articles about Battletech, Elite Dangerous, 2300AD and Science as well as more general articles about role-playing games, worldbuilding, and Stellar Mapping that I’ve written or co-authored, along with artwork that I’ve created using 3D modelling software (POVray and Lightwave) over the years. I’ve also put my Ph.D. Thesis and abstracts online on my Science page.

I run a blog here in which I generally talk about RPGs and worldbuilding, and interesting planetary science and astronomy topics, and any other stuff I find interesting too (you can read all the blog entries below this post, so scroll down! To read the full article, just click on the title of the entry in the blog). There’s no fixed schedule, I just post whenever I feel I have something interesting to say :). If you just want to read blog entries about specific subjects (e.g. 2300AD, Battletech, Science, Worldbuilding, Stellar Mapping, etc) you can just click the link in the sidebar on the right under “Categories” (you can use that link as a bookmark too).

I also sometimes post boardgaming and videogame playthrough videos on my my Youtube channel, so please subscribe to that if you’re interested! You can keep up with when I post on my Twitter at https://twitter.com/evildrganymede – again, it’ll very irregular since I post whenever the mood strikes me but there’s a good archive of videos up there now.

You can also subscribe to my blog so you receive an email whenever I update it, comment on the individual blog articles, or send me an email!

Thanks for visiting!

[Battletech] Revisiting the Mech Record Sheets

You hear the distant boom of an Autocannon echoing across the landscape and your mech shudders at the shell impacts against its left torso, blasting off some of the armour plating. It’s not enough to significantly damage your mech, but certainly enough to get your attention as you scan for your attacker and raise your arm-mounted PPC to respond…

And so the player peers at their Mech Record Sheet, and marks off five points of damage on the Left Torso:

five damage marked on the left torso on a normal record sheet

Just your normal everyday record sheet.

But something’s funny here, to me at least. The way I see it, the side marked “Left Torso” is actually shown on the right side of the mech (it’s the player’s left side, but not the mech’s left side)! This has bugged me since I first started playing Battletech back in the 80s, and now I’ve started playing again I was reminded of it once again so I thought I’d dig into this a little further.
Continue reading ‘[Battletech] Revisiting the Mech Record Sheets’

[Battletech] Realistic gravity-based Jump Point Distances

I’ve got back into Battletech recently and I’ve been trying to reverse-engineer how the Proximity Limit is calculated (because I like to know how these things work). First, here’s a little background if you’re unaware of how jump works in Battletech. According to the fluff, Jumpships use a “Kearny-Fuchida drive” to travel over interstellar distances almost instantaneously. Traditionally they arrive at the Zenith/Nadir points – above the north and south poles of a star respectively – at the Proximity Limit, which is (supposedly) determined by the gravitational field of the star. These Jumpships usually carry Dropships, which then detach from the Jumpship with their cargo of mechs and head towards their target planet using normal fusion drives. Meanwhile, the Jumpship (which has little more than a few manoeuvering thrusters) generally sits at the arrival point and unfurls a large solar sail about a kilometre in diameter that it uses to recharge its drive in readiness for the next jump, which usually takes around a week (150-200 hrs).

After looking at the latest version of the stellar data table on pg. 100 of Campaign Ops, and I made an interesting observation: the Proximity Limit is not based on gravity. Given all the fluff says that this distance is determined by gravity (e.g. the notes on pg. 122 of Strategic Ops, summarised as “hyperspace fields don’t like gravity”) this is somewhat surprising. It turns out I’m not actually the first to notice this either – a thread on the battletech forums from over a decade ago discusses this too, but no solution to this is presented there. So I wondered – what would it look like if the Proximity Limit was calculated using gravity?

If you just want to skip to the point – here’s the gravity-based Safe Jump Distance table that you can use in your Battletech games instead of the published ones (this is just intended as a variant to use if you want more realistic values):

Table showing recalculated gravity-based Safe Jump Distance values.

If you want to know the technical details behind how I calculated this then read on…
Continue reading ‘[Battletech] Realistic gravity-based Jump Point Distances’

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture #7 – Stephen & Kate

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture #7 – Stephen & Kate is now up on Youtube and Twitch!

The end has come, and only Stephen and Kate remain. Stephen chooses to face the Pattern on his own terms, while Kate seeks to understands its purpose. Why is it here?

Episode #7 (the finale!) is at 6pm PST on June 10th!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J40eczRzV5o
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/149527323

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture #6 – Lizzie

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture #6 – Lizzie is now up on Youtube and Twitch!

Lizzie comes to terms with her relationship with Stephen as he continues to try to control the spread of the Pattern.

Episode #7 (the finale!) is at 6pm PST on June 10th!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhKYNxhgT3I
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/149514446

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture #5 – Rachel

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture #5 – Rachel is now up on Youtube and Twitch!

Rachel is left to hold the fort at the holiday camp as Lizzie makes a decision about Stephen. But even as the world ends, the show must go on!

Episode #6 is at 6pm PST on June 9th!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=977Fksb9des
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/149469894

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture #4 – Frank

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture #4 – Frank is now up on Youtube and Twitch!

The planes arrive and drop their deadly cargo in a desperate attempt to prevent the Pattern from leaving the valley, and Frank has to come to terms with the loss of his wife before the end.

Episode #5 is at 5pm PST on June 8th! (an hour earlier than usual!).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvrmkQvYeu4
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/149147332

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture #3 – Wendy

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture #3 – Wendy is now up on Youtube and Twitch!

As the mysterious disappearances continue, Wendy tries to rally the survivors and looks for Stephen to find some answers. Meanwhile, the planes are coming…

Episode #4 is at 6pm PST on June 7th!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxJRtiM2d_s
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/149143885

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture #2 – Jeremy

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture #2 – Jeremy is now up on Youtube and Twitch!

As the mysterious disappearances in the village add up, Dr Wade realises that this is not just a flu outbreak, and Father Jeremy tries to comfort his flock – but his faith faces the ultimate test!

Episode #3 is at 6pm PST on June 6th!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NZUfStEIX0
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/149143649

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture #1 – Quarantine

Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture #1 – Quarantine is now up on Youtube and Twitch! If you like what you see then I’d love to hear what you think in the comments, and please do like and subscribe to the channel – subsequent episodes will be out at 6pm PST every evening this week, finishing on Saturday! Tune in and find out what happens to the inhabitants of the sleepy English village of Yaughton as they are visited by an unearthly force far beyond their understanding!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pq7kW7lB8U
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/149087475

[Streaming] Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture is coming soon!

Good news – I have finally finished editing my Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture playthrough! So I will be uploading one episode every day from Sunday 4th June to Saturday 10th June, and the episodes will be going live simultaneously on both my Twitch channel and on my Youtube channel at 6pm PST!

Look out for Episode 1 – Quarantine at 6pm on Sunday 4th June at https://www.twitch.tv/evildrganymede and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRax-yrsstEG_kQDK8X57aw !

I hope you take a look at it, it’s a fantastic story with great characters and a beautiful graphics and soundtrack!