There is a lot to cover here ... so I've broken my overview into my thoughts about the Kickstarter, models, terrain and finally the game rules. Before jumping into those sections ... some pictures of the models I've completed painting so far. I've started with the UEDF forces - with a squadron (4) of Valkyries (1 x VF-1J and 3 x VF-1A) - the theme of the squadron is Vermilion squadron from the show - Rick Hunter, Max Sterling and Ben Dixon's Veritechs are all represented - with a standard "brownie" added for the 4th Veritech. I've also added a single VF-1S which is Roy Folkers Veritech. I'll finish off the initial army with 2 x Phalanx destroids. Anyways, I've completed the fighter mode Veritechs and you can see pictures below.
|My Valkyrie squadron with additional VF-1S.|
|My Valkyrie squadron with additional VF-1S.|
|VF-1S - Roy Folker.|
|VF-1S - Roy Folker.|
|VF-1J - Rick Hunter.|
|VF-1J - Rick Hunter.|
|VF-1A - Max Sterling.|
|VF-1A - Max Sterling.|
|VF-1A - Ben Dixon.|
|VF-1A - Ben Dixon.|
|VF-1A - standard brownie.|
|VF-1A - standard brownie.|
Robotech RPG Tactics Kickstarter
I'm sure that in the realm of the internet my opinion here will be the unpopular one ... but I hope that some may see where I'm coming from. I loved the fact that Robotech would finally be getting a miniatures game so I funded the Kickstarter at the Showdown level (2 x boxed set + stretch goals). The Kickstarter funded on May 20, 2013. My wave one rewards got delivered in October of 2014 - so it took 17 months to have product in my hands. Now, Palladium Books I believe was very transparent in their communication ... mostly about the problems they had run into ... and for those familiar with what it takes to produce a miniatures line that was great ... but to the masses that don't know the first thing about producing a miniatures line from scratch it is harder to understand why it takes so long. It is easy to throw up 3D renders on a Kickstarter site to get people excited and the ball rolling ... but as many have come to see that is far from mass production of a miniatures line (and that when production was done in the continental US ... now we have to deal with China and the Pacific Ocean).
My opinion is that many of the backers of the Kickstarter just wanted the models for use with Battletech (backers who just wanted the models ASAP and couldn't give 2 sh!ts about Robotech - probably Voltron lovers ... lol). That is fine, but with every update posted by Palladium about the progress of the project the negativity with each comment just continued to spin out of control until it finally reached a steady rate of biblical proportions of negativity. Personal attacks on people - especially against Kevin Siembieda as if he arrived at work every morning thinking "How can I best screw everyone over?" I'm not saying the source of the negativity was all Battletech backers (more pointing out one potential source for backer frustration) ... I think just about everyone pooed in that direction at one point or another ... and I'm sure the bulk of backers never commented at all (so it is mostly likely just a small percentage of the 5,342 backers - but boy are they loud).
I get it ... we all paid them money and expected product to be delivered. Many like to point out that Kickstarter is more of a donation to see a product produced. That is "letter of the law" true ... however the "spirit of the law" here is that the only reason any Kickstarter is successful is because backers are promised to be given product - and given that product first or at least as a priority. So I land on the side that the honorable thing to do is make sure you take care of your backers - within the reasonable confines of a business that has to continue to operate.
So rather than continue to write a book about the Kickstarter ... here are my bullet point thoughts --- first the negatives and then the positive (based on my experience):
- The first for me was GenCon 2013 - Palladium produced and sold a limited number (500 as I recall) of special edition Max Sterling and Miriya Parina models. Great, except they were only available to GenCon attendees and in no way made available to backers. You could of course get them on Ebay afterwards ... for a significant markup.
- The original delivery date of December, 2013 was overly optimistic for a new miniatures game and accompanying miniatures line. I never had confidence in this date but then again I'm familiar with the work necessary to build a new miniatures game and models from scratch. Just to develop a decent set of miniature rules can take years ... and these guys not only had to create a new set of rules, but a buttload of new miniatures to boot. Because of the success of the Kickstarter (wildly over funded) they had essentially and entire "fully matured" miniatures range to produce from the get go. This just isn't possible to do by any stretch of the imagination in one fell swoop.
- The rules are actually not bad at all, but there are lots of typos and more fundamentally the points system is completely out of whack. The silver lining here is that the internet community behind this is going to sort that out ... and at the end of the day it really only matters for tournament play (which I'm not big on).
- GenCon 2014. Now, based on how this was communicated, my perspective was that not only did I get excluded from being able to get the limited edition at GenCon 2013 (sure, I could have spent over a thousand dollars to go there at the last minute ... or paid 4-5x the original cost on Ebay I suppose) ... but as you followed along the updates, the first containers to arrive from China (after many delays) with the wave 1 models was to apparently (this was never clear) be sold at GenCon. No mention of how this would impact shipment to backers was mentioned. The case was "hey - we are a business and this is the largest and most important trade show for us to promote the game - therefore leading to more business and money that will support future growth of the product line." Ok ... I can put my business hat on and say sure, that makes sense from a business perspective. However, Palladium already had the money needed to produce the Macross product line and it will still be another year (at least) before we see the wave 2 models and hopeful conclusion of the Kickstarter obligations. At the time they were >6 months late on the original delivery date and provided no information to backers as to how this would impact delivery of product to the backers (at least I didn't see any). So, for funding the next series of Robotech models, they are years away from that - so there is plenty of time to promote and sell Robotech models to fund that endeavor. Most importantly is (from the perception of a backer) that for the second time in a row GenCon gets Robotech product before backers. If money was tight and they had no other revenue lines to keep the lights on ... go nuts. But they had the option of doing the honorable thing and not propagating the negativity that has built up around this project --- and most importantly, just taking care of the backers who had waited a long time to get Robotech in their hands. At the end of the day it was a moot point ... the product didn't show up in time anyways ... so all that futzing around for noth'in.
- I like the rules - the game is fun and easy to play.
- Although some models have lots of parts ... and in some cases the lack of experience producing smaller sized "vehicle" type miniatures shows in the parts that could have been one piece ... the models are not hard to put together if you are a miniatures gamer. Games Workshop models, Warlord Games models and even Perry plastics have as many if not more parts ... and I have had to build a hell of a lot more of those models for an army than what I have to build for Robotech. I can see where those who are used to metal Battletech miniatures are up in arms ... but they just need to suck it up ... in the bigger picture of the industry the models are not bad at all.
- I actually like the models ... Palladium took the time to make them accurate ... which is important to me and I love the results.
- Wave one (which I knew was inevitable) gives me a ton of stuff to play with (let alone build and paint).
- The inclusion of decals with everything is excellent.
- Unit cards for play and army building is great ... they could be better, but it is a great start.
- I think the delays they encountered are all normal and I appreciated the communication transparency ... even if I think it hurt them more than helped at the end of the day (because of the audience they were communication with).
- Palladium **busted their butts** when the containers showed up to ship to the backers (and are continuing to get it out as fast as they can to overseas backers ... who are currently upset because apparently mass shipping product over ocean's doesn't proceed at Star Trek like transporter speeds). The bulk of the backers are in the US ... so they started there ... can't blame them for that.
- The colour painting guide at the back of the rulebook is awesome.
- And a lot more!
Ok ... I'll stop there ... this has gone longer than I expected. I'm actually happy with Palladium at the end of the day - and most importantly I love that I have my Robotech game/miniatures now ... I've been assembling and painting away and have been enjoying every minute of it. I look forward to the delivery of phase 2, but I'm in no rush at the moment as I have enough to keep me busy for a while.
Robotech RPG Tactics ModelsI'll break this into two separate chunks - one for the UEDF (or RDF as I know it) and one for the Zentraedi.
United Earth Defense Force (UEDF)Wave 1 UEDF models consisted of the Veritech (heads for VF-1A, VF-1J, VF-1S or VF-1R) in battleoid, guardian and fighter mode, Phalanx destroid, Tomahawk destroid, Spartan destroid and finally the Defender destroid (great reference for the mecha here). The summary of the UEDF models is that assembly is harder than the Zentraedi models but painting them is easier (IMO). Assembly is harder than the Zentraedi because there are more parts that are smaller - and the arms for the battleoid and guardian mode Veritechs require some forethought. Painting the UEDF models is easier for me since the details on the models are more defined and deeper (good for black lining). I highly recommend that you get a pot of liquid green stuff from GW to do some minor gap filling on some of the Veritechs in battleoid and guardian modes (and a little on some of the destroids). Liquid green stuff makes this very easy. There are a few options for arms with the Veritechs, but the legs are limited -- but it isn't difficult to do some minor modifications to add some additional dynamic poses to the models. Here are some pictures of various assemblies.
ZentraediWave 1 models for the Zentraedi consist of the Regult Battlepod, Glaug Officers Pod, Quel-Regult Recon Battlepod, Quel-Gulnau Recovery Pod and Artillery Battlepods (either light, heavy or with the heavy particle cannon). Assembly of the Zentraedi models is easier because there are fewer parts and they are larger than the UEDF parts. There are larger flat surface areas and the depth of details on the models are not as good as the UEDF which makes painting a little more challenging. No gap filling is necessary (I've assembled many of them so far and have not had to do it). The recon battlepod has some fiddly bits ... but that is about it. Pictures of some of the models below.
Terrain for Robotech RPG TacticsThere is a lot of terrain available for RRPGT. Although the scale of the models is 1/285 or 6mm, the 10mm buildings available on the market for Dropzone Commander fit excellently with the Robotech models. You can pick up the thick paper tiles and buildings set for Dropzone Commander that will give you a 6'x4' table to play on (or download the buildings from the interweb for free).
|This is a very inexpensive set that will get you up and|
I've gone "full hog" and have purchased the Dropzone Commander Cityscape Battle Board (6'x4') from Games and Gears that you can see below.
|If you have the cash this option is just about the best I've seen.|
For buildings I've purchased the entire range of Urban Zone 10mm buildings from 4Ground. Pictures of those below. They come pre-painted (as you would expect from 4Ground) and are easy to put together ... they also yield amazing detail on the tabletop. Highly recommended.
10mm pre-painted roads and buildings are also available from Sally 4th.
Burn In Designs also does laser cut buildings as well. They have a nice range that includes some city bridges as well.
Of course, this all assumes you want to play in a city setting. You can play in "space" ... although terrain does play a role in the game so a wide open battle doesn't strike me as all that interesting ... but the possibilities are endless ... you can play on the deck of the SDF-1, of a Zentraedi capital ship, Mars Base, within the rings of Saturn ... all of those provide opportunities to play "in space" ... so we'll see what creative things people do for this game. For me, I've invested in the "Macross city" terrain and will continue down that path for now. I'll be doing some trees and vegetation for my city layout once it shows up.
Robotech RPG Tactics Game RulesThis will not be an exhaustive overview of the rules --- just a quick glimpse into what the game is about. I'm hoping to do a GameTime episode for Robotech RPG Tactics in the new year after I get my terrain done and models painted up that will show in more detail a game in action. When you get your models you get cards. Some of those cards are "squadron" cards (Veritech squadron is 1 x VF-1J and 3 x VF-1A for example). Squadron cards may have options for upgrades. After squadron cards you get unit cards that can be used to add on to your core squadrons. Generally you get two unit cards for each squadron card you add into your army. Once you've assemble your forces you can play a game.
The general turn sequence is:
- Command Phase
- Replenish Command Pool
- Determine Initiative
- Pre-Action Effects
- Action Phase
- Initiative Player Activates A Squadron
- Non-Initiative Player Activates A Squadron
- Alternate 1 & 2 until all squadrons have been activated
There are ranged attacks and close combat attacks you can make during combat depending on your proximity to the enemy. Some weapons have limited ammo (missiles and such) and others can operate indefinitely (energy weapons). Mecha have a range of close combat attacks they can do from kicking, punching and so on.
Squadrons and certain units will give you command points that you can use in a variety of ways: firing additional weapon systems, additional close combat attacks and more.
As I mentioned earlier --- there are typos throughout the rulebook (not too bad). The points system is really the primary problem today. I can't really blame them though ... it can takes years to sort this kind of stuff out so for a first edition of the rules I'd say not bad at all ... especially given all the other stuff they had to get done (models, bags, decals, colour guide and so on).
I've written too much here ... so I'll stop for now. Hopefully you've found this stuff useful in some way. Lots more to come so stay tuned.
You know, I am one of the people who play BattleTech that supported this. While I loved the idea of some unseen models, I really got it because..Robotech miniatures game! I have been one of the people who has tried in vain to talk sense to the frothing horde. It is frustrating as heck dealing with people who have no CLUE how things work. My overall response: I like this, and I am looking forward to Wave 2. And thank you for giving a rather balanced look at things. (Also, as a note: the GenCon Max Sterling isn't even able to be used to play with. It does not include a game card, and it is all metal. It really is JUST something to have a shiny con exclusive display piece. No different from the GenCon Exclusives put our by Privateer Press for Warmachine and Hordes. The Miriya Quadlun-rau, however, with what is available, means one could actually field a Malcontents force of all air superiority squadrons.)ReplyDelete
Hey Alex --- thanks for your comment. I felt a little bad grouping all "BattleTech" people together ... I think my main point there was that I think a solid chunk of the success of the Kickstarter was due to BattleTech people who want the miniatures for that game and not necessarily for Robotech. Nice to see more reasonable people out there ... the more I look back at it I think the more it was just a "few bad apples" in the bigger picture. Good to know about the Max Sterling figure.Delete
Great review! I recieved my kickstarter package last November. Have not really done anything with the mini's as the constant delays really lowered my excitment for the game. Working on some blood angels right now but you've fired up my interest. Looks like robotech is next on the hobby block for me.Delete
Thanks! For my part I'm really happy with what I have ...and look forward to finishing up my UEDF forces.Delete
I would point out though, for us here in Aus and other ROW backers... we'll be lucky to see ours in March...
I can buy it retail here now...
That's cruddy ... although I saw in the latest update from Palladium that they're not shipped any product to retailers outside of US/Can ... sounds like they found a way ... perhaps they have connections to retailers in the US/Can that sent them product to sell. I hope you get your stuff very soon ... it does suck that it has taken so long to get the stuff out overseas.Delete
it is what it is...Delete
to be honest, I'm not as upset as a lot of people, and having backed a lot of kickstarters am quite aware of how these things happen...
don't forget though that Palladium do ship to distributers and there is nothing to stop those distributers from selling overseas...
hopefully Wave 2 will both come out and they'll take some of these learnings and ship them over here first thus making it so all that everyone gets them around the same time...
btw, awsome article... I hadn't seen those pre-painted buildings before, that was a good find...
Agree 100%. Can't fault them completely given this is their first venture into both Kickstarter and miniatures - I'm sure they've learned a lot. The pre-painted buildings are great --- I've assembled many of them at this point ... even thought they are 10mm they fit well with the RRPGT miniatures.Delete
good review ...... first let me say I am a long time fan of Battletech, a couple guys in my barracks got me into tabletop RPGs, one day after I got out of the service I wandered into a hobby store and found a boxed set for Battletech (around 1994) it had no miniatures and it came with a rulebook, some dice a map and some cardstock counters...but I noticed the store had metal miniatures on hand ....now, I said I was a long time Battletech fan, but I'm also a Robotech fan going all the way back to JR High in the mid 80's and I was keenly aware that the ''Warhammer" on the box cover for Battletech was a Macross 'Tomahawk' Destroid "borrowed" from Robotech ....but hey, there was no miniature based Robotech game around ....over time I grew to love Battletech and it's fictional canon and over the course of 20 years now I've amassed a collection of well over 1000 individual Battletech miniatures ....I've designed a myriad of gameboards and environments .....but I never lost my love for Robotech.....and now I have miniatures ....purchased two starter sets and two phalanx/spartan sets and one artillery battlepod sets ...I can't blame players out there wanting some "unseen" battletech minis .....but I have so many of them that my robotech minis are straight up robotech .....and I've already got tons of terrain, ....anyway long story short ...THANK YOU for backing these as I surely would have had I known they were being made ...but THANK YOUReplyDelete
....by the way,even though it's been probably 10 or more years since I actually played a game ....I'm still buying miniatures and creating 'tabletops', my next project ...a 1/285 scale gameboard/tabletop of the SDF-1 ....it's a good thing I have my own company and my office used to be a store, so I got plenty of floor space ...the terrain piece that I'll build in modules (polystyrene insulation board, cardboard and anything light) will be about 13.96 feet long assembled ...I'll probably never play a game on it but I'll definitely get some pictures
Wow! That sounds awesome!! I'd really love to see some pics of that board.Delete
your mini's look amazing I just have to say .....mine look alright, but yours are sharp ....I started painting the veritechs first, lightly primered them then sprayed 'em all white, then paint the individual details after the fact ...I tried using various washes and they just looked like garbage, so I repainted them and went with the good old micron pen for the black panel lines and such....also no drybrushing, for some reason I think they and the battlepods look better "crisp" ...now the officers battlepods and the destroids look fine with drybrushing and weathering, then I use the micron pen more sparingly ...and I think the ones I've painted look alright ...I've only painted 20 or so and I have about 80-90 or so (got alot of work yet).ReplyDelete
Your minis though look leagues better than mine, kinda envious lol ...you got some talent there man.
as for my SDF1 table, I'm still sketching and doing layout....I have to rely on pictures to extrapolate dimensions and I'm not sure if I should do the classic SDF1 or the recent redesigned, lighter colored SDF1. It became quiclky apparent that this will only be seen from the side and top...no underside...it's just too big. where I got the idea for this SDF1 table was from a Battletech gamer who posted pictures of a jumpship game table which was about 4 or 5 feet long and was mounted to a larger frame on the bow and stern and could be rotated ....his was built of wood and covered with thin sheet metal, then he glued magnets under the miniature bases to simulate zero-G ...my SDF1 will be just under 14 feet and I need to keep it light so it will just be a straight up table top
Wow, thanks for the kind comments. Ironically I tried the same thing - washing them first and I wash similarly unimpressed by the results. I'd love to see pictures of your SDF-1 table when you get it done ... that should look excellent! 14 feet!!! Dang!Delete