Hang in there...willing to learn is the important part. Learning is often impatient and frustrating.
"The coil is 12v w/o resistor so, the way I understand it, it needs to have a resistor ahead of it."
What exactly does it say on the coil? The terminology "12 volt w/o resistor" sounds like it could be saying "12 volt no resistor required"
A coil is actually a transformer with one side of the primary and one side of the secondary tied together. A direct 12 volt coil does not have a resistor inside of it. The difference between a 6 volt and a direct 12 volt coil is in the number and ratio of turns of wire.
Also check resistance to ground from the -- (negative) post on the coil to distributor with the points open. If this shows a low resistance check for shorted feed through on side of distributor, short in points connection or a shorted concenser. Also check resistance from + to -- posts on the coil. Should be either about 1.5 ohms (6 volt) or about 3 ohms (12 volt). Either + or -- to the center post of coil should be several thousand ohms.
Owen is "right on" about the alternator. Disconnect alternator as he instructs and get it running before you worry about the charging system. Keep battery charged with external charger.