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MocOlympics Round 2 Chris Phipson vs Ian McDonald . . My Round two entry verses Ian McDonald in “Microscale” (You'll have to go with a little "suspension of disbelief" here. The studs are supposed to be people... stick with me.) Welcome game fans, to “The Arena”. In an effort to boost tourism on the Coruscant moon of Suburbscant, a coalition was formed to drum up some business. Emperor Palpatine turned to the LIU as their profit margins have always been a source of inspiration. The coalition (dubbed the “Coruscant LIU Union to Stabilize Tourism and Economics Resulting From Unscrupulous Cash Keeping” amongst the inner circle of politicians that were aware of it.) was mostly a failure. The one bright spot was “The Arena” which has become universally famous for its Gladiatorial Mech Combat Games. Let’s take a look around shall we? The grounds themselves have been known to attract tourists on their own as this is one of the few places near Coruscant that has real trees growing outside. The designers spared no expense (it was tax money paying for it after all) adding little details like multiple fountains and expansive picnic areas. (Note: Picnicking on the grounds is illegal and punishable by immediate execution without trial.) The front entrances are divided into three sections. Front and center is for those patrons rich enough to afford the “good seats” This entrance goes directly to the force shielded/enclosed section in blue near the top. The side entrances are for “normal citizens” that lead to the main bleachers. Most of these citizens still need to take out a second mortgage just to attend, but most say it's well worth it. The far sides are for those who have scrapped just enough credits together to be allowed entrance to these prestigious events. They don't even rate seating and are coraled in these “standing room only troughs” on the sides. We’re expecting Spacetrailerhomes like LoneStarr’s to start showing up around these seats any day now. You can take the NASCAR out of the universe, but you can't take it out of... we'll you get the idea. Let’s move inside where today’s first match is about to get underway. Before we get to the match, let’s take a look around the stadium. On both of the far sides are the “cheap seats”. Note the minimal protection from flying shrapnel. Each spectator is required to sign a waiver before entering exonerating the Empire from any legal repercussions due to injuries and or death sustained at the event. The main bleachers, where the majority of the spectators enjoy the show. There is still some speculation as to which seats are the best. The tiers were designed to give everyone a great view of the action but there are some discrepancies. Some say that the better seats are up near the top as you can easily see over the obstructions placed on the field (which we’ll get to in a moment). The problem is that you are also at a very convenient height for stray rounds, lasers, missiles or chunks of smoldering mech that come flying into the stands. The lower levels are not immune to these dangers of course, but the percentage of spectator fatalities has been lower in the front seats. Of course you lose a bit of visibility in the lower section but you have to decide what’s more important, a good view during or having any kind of view afterwards… The blue area is actually inside and is for the rich, privileged cliental who can afford seats that are equipped with force shields (and air conditioning). This area also has bars, restaurants and souvenir stands hocking overpriced merchandise and t-shirts of the event. The top Penthouse is reserved for the Emperor himself and his personal staff. Although the box is also shielded, the shields have never been tested. Mech Jockies would rather let themselves take a fatal hit than allow a stray shot to go anywhere near the Emperor’s Suite. And now, on to the field. The field itself was designed to combine all the best elements of Mech Combat, Urban and Rural. The Eastern side of the field is the urban combat area, complete with buildings, a landing pad (although anyone crazy enough to land there gets exactly what they have coming) and smooth concrete grounds. All the buildings on the field are designed for quick repair and none are actually suitable to be occupied. The Western side was designed after open field combat. A prefab waterfall feeds into a small river that actually acts as a moat in front of the stands to deter potential morons from running out onto the field during the games like they once did back on Earth during Major League Baseball games. This of course has not stopped those in the “cheap seats” from trying. It has been agreed upon by the mech jockies however, that if some idiot actually makes it onto the field, that they stop fighting (only momentarily) and the mech closest to said fool gets a little target practice before the match resumes. Hey, they signed the waiver. Product placement is still a major part of all sporting events and endorsement deals take care of any salary caps that have been imposed on the Jockies. Today’s match is between Grey and Bley (kind of like Spy vs Spy only in 40 foot tall killing machines). This match is for bragging rights. The Bley team is young, brash and cocky. They think the “old guard” should retire and let the “new kids” take the reigns in this sport. The Grey team however, has experience and cool headedness on their side and they’re not gonna let these young kids push them out just yet. Grey is piloting an older mech that has proven it’s worth time and time again. Two large pulse lasers on the arms and missile launchers on the shoulders are the tried and true weapons on this classic. The missiles themselves are the only “new” part of the mech. The warhead is designed to scramble the opponent’s radar then fragment into thousands of tiny pieces that ignite when released from the warhead, tearing the target to shreds while burning through the hull. Using these “Ripper Incendiary Munitions/Jamming Operational Ballistic” missiles is what the Mech Jockies refer to as “Take a deep breath and just relax” due to the false sense of security before they rip you a new one. The only real drawback to the entire mech design is that the pilot and the gunner sit side by side and have to share an armrest (which has been the reason for more losses in the games than by any superior skills of the opposing teams). Bley has decided to field its newest creation for this fight. Crewed by a pilot, a gunner and an engineer (usually two of these are female due to space issues in the cockpit), the “Mark IV” is equipped with both a large and medium laser on its right arm. The left arm has a dual claw for close quarters combat. The shoulder missiles use the new “Offender Requisition Giggaton Yield” warheads which has been a fantasy come true for the designers. Using satalite targeting technology, once the crew gets a lock, there's sure to be some fireworks (although it usually takes all three crew members working in unison to make the system work properly). The third leg is said to provide extra stability but thus far has only really been used to brag. Oh look, one of those fools we were just talking about earlier… Who will win this epic match up of old vs new? You decide! Fourth Wall Commentary: Alright, let me tell you what hell this little project was. The first week was spent in an indecisive fervor. My first thought for “Microscale” was to do a Venator Class Star Destroyer from Ep3. I actually built most of the frame work and took a half decent stab at the wings before I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to do it justice in two weeks. That, and I am planning on using a Venator in an upcoming MOC and didn’t want to repeat myself didn’t want to repeat myself… wait what? Never mind. My next idea was to do an Intergalactic Colonization ship that would have been big enough to carry a couple of said Venators (in a mini-micro scale of course). I built a bit of that but again decided that two weeks was not long enough to do it right. So, fast forward to Thursday of last week. I was digging through my old trunk of VHS tapes and came across the 80’s classic “Robot Jox”. While I was sitting there melting my brain on 80’s sci-fi, an epiphany came over me and this is the result. I was actually planning on making the entire thing two levels with a complete underground staging area where they get everything ready and then are raised up to the field on elevators like in the movie (I know, the Romans did it first with the lions but it looked cooler in the movie). I said I’d get to that after I built the main level if I had time. Due to heavy rains and 7 inches of standing water in my crawlspace, those plans were shot down pretty quickly. So in short, I’m not 100% satisfied with this build (I would have liked to have redone the mechs as well) but I think it came out pretty nicely over all. Hey, maybe since I’m on the 80’s sci-fi kick, I could do something from The Running Man or Krull next time? Alright, the gauntlet has been thrown. Bring it Ian!

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