Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Robotech RPG Tactics Kickstarter

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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While I've mentioned Kickstarter projects in the past this is the first time I write an entire post dedicated to one. I've been wary of backing any and have, as more and more projects sprang up, felt a bit of a "Kickstarter fatigue". There have simply been sooo many launched during the past year! That is not to say there has been a lot of awesome stuff coming out of this new kind of venture; things like Sedition Wars, Mutant Chronicles and Zombicide certainly looks impressive! Still, besides helping fund FATE Core and Mutant: År Noll (a Swedish postapoc rpg) I've stayed away from the whole thing.

Then the Robotech RPG Tactics Kickstarter launched and I simply couldn't help myself. It's kind of weird since I've never actually seen the whole series, in fact I only saw a couple of episodes when I was a kid, as well as the Macross movie as a teenager. Still those Veritechs (together with Robotech Defenders - different thing, same name) cemented my love for giant mecha and I think it's that love that made me pull the trigger more than anything else. While I've got a fledgling Northern Guard force for Heavy Gear and there are games like Battletech still around, the idea of a quick playing, less niche, miniature game that focus on classic anime mecha appeals to me enormously!

I had seen some previews of the models before and they looked good! Among others, the classic Veritech Valkyrie in all three forms, the Tomahawk, the Zaentradi walkers and most recently... the MAC II Monster! So I hurried and got one of the early bird pledges saving me a little bit of cash, thinking I could always change my pledge later. The $140 level is where you get access to free unlocks, but so far I'm not quite sure it's worth it. Then again, give it a few weeks for more stretch goals to be achieved and it might be a different matter entirely. We'll see...

Of course, I'm a gamer at heart and although I love myself some great looking models I'm very curious about the actual gameplay. Luckily Ninja Division put together a quick video about the basics of the game and I think it looks fairly interesting:

Now these are of course only the rule fundamentals, and a work in progress at that, but the basic dice mechanics appeals to me. I like that each unit has a defence stat, something that is missing in most miniature games, and the fact that a single roll of the dice is enough to determine the outcome of an attack unless your opponent spend command points to dodge etc.

I have some concerns about the game bogging down when you play larger battles as there seems to be a decent level of detail, but that might be counteracted by the limitations on command points. If you don't have enough points to spend you simply don't get to try and dodge or use your anti-missile systems. However this also means that even smaller games will likely prove interesting as there are a quite a few special attacks and things like flanking and massed fire are in.

The command point system in general seems like an interesting mechanic. Robotech features an otherwise conventional I-go-you-go system with alternating activations but the command points, that seems similar to the command points of Space Hulk, allow you to use special kind of attacks and maneuvers as well as protecting your troops in the opponents turn. Perhaps similar to the special orders of Dust Warfare but available all the time. Hmm...

Well, those are my initial thoughts on Robotech RPG Tactics. It's been very successfull so far and was funded in less than three hours. As of this writing there are another 27 days to go and the funding is at $311,561 (meaning less than $15,000 to go for the MAC II!) which should mean a number of more stretch goals being unlocked.

40 kommentarer :

  1. I'm really excited for this game! I had some of the original Robotech miniatures made for the RPG but they weren't great. I wish this game came out when I was in middle school though.

  2. Hey. I recognize those tables! ha.

  3. It's the return of the original Battletech ;)

    Just kidding. I was aware that this game was in the works, but I somehow missed original Kickstarter announcement. Thankfully Martin had posted the gameplay video on Twitter.

    Tomorrow is payday, so I'll be pledging most likely the First Contact pledge with some add-ons. The gameplay seems suitably fast and varied enough with smaller forces to give this game a try. Mechanics had a certain Battletech vibe to them, though much less complex. And of course the original iconic Macross mecha designs go a long way for someone who's been playing Battletech since second edition.

    I personally always associate Macross mechas to Battletech as it was my first exposure to the iconic mecha designs featured in the original IP. Even if I've seen most of the Marcoss movies, I always thought Macross as a sort of Top Gun in space. Never watched Robotech, as it was never available here locally during the anime boom but it's essentially the same as Macross.

  4. @Atom Kid - Haha! Yeah, having this as a kid would have been great!

    @Brian - Those are yours? Were yours? Have you seen the game in action?

    @NetDiver - Well, the history of Robotech, Battletech and of course the Japanese originals have all been mixed together enough times that it can be hard telling them apart!

    Considering that the original Battletech contained both the Tomahawk (Atlas) and the Glaug officer pod (Marauder) as well as several of the mecha from Robotech Defenders I think your association is pretty much correct. Don't remember seeing the actual Veritechs in Battletech though.

    I remember the Macross movie (edited down OVA) I saw years ago was very much Top Gun in space and I don't even remember it containing any aliens. It was about two guys fighting over some girl who was a singer(?) and in the end the spaceship turned into Mega-Maid or something. Perhaps I need to see it again.

    Watching the original version of Robotech now (that is to say the American version of The Super Dimension Fortress Macross) is a very different experience. The Zentraedi attacks in the first episode and Rick Hunter is thrown into a Veritech mech even though he's never flown one and... well, you know the drill. It's all fairly entertaining - especially the original voice overs that are often hilarious and/or emotionally dead flat.

    So far I don't think I'll upgrade to the Battle Cry level as I'd only save $30 by it, but things might look different around the 20th next month. Hehe!

  5. By the way, NetDiver, good call on the mechanics - kind of like Battletech but a lot quicker was what I thought as well when I saw the gameplay video and the datacards.

  6. The early editions of Battletech quite liberally "borrowed" the mecha designs from various Japanese animes, mainly from Macross. The Veritech fighter was featured in Battletech. Stinger mech ( was basically Veritech in battroid mode.

    The original film adaptation of the Macross series, Super Dimensional Fortress Macross: Do you Remember Love?, features the Zentradi. Which along with the first civilization Protoculture (only referred to in the movie) are the closest things Macross universe has to aliens. Even the Zentradi being aliens is a little questionable as humanity and the Zentradi were both created by the Protoculture and humans and Zentradi can have children together. The first version of this movie I saw was actually a Swedish dub with Finnish subtitles, this was in the early 90's. The film was very epic. And it still is.

    The movie you're referring to is probably Macross Plus. It features two test pilots competing against each other and against a new unmanned fighter. The film didn't involve any aliens apart from the other test pilot who was halfblooded Zentradi. Then there was the singer who lent her voice and emotions to a digital idol, which in the end achieved consciousness and tried to turn against the singer because it loved the same man as the singer. The creators really tried to make the film like Top Gun spiced with Macross elements (namely music and love drama). The plot was well crafted but in my mind it lacked focus and the epic backdrop of Macross: Do You Remember Love?

    The latest of Macross franchise, I watched was Macross Zero. It was a five part OVA and can be seen as a prequel to Macross series. It featured a notable Macross side character Roy Focker. I think there has been a anime series after Zero called Macross Frontiers, but I haven't looked into it.

    Macross universe has always pulled a lot influence from Erich von Däniken's Chariots of the Gods, which can also be seen in Ridley Scott's latest film Prometheus. Mix that with music, soapy space opera, 80's Top Gun and epic only the Japanese know how craft. Then you have Macross. No wonder FASA decided to borrow a thing or two from Macross ;)

  7. I love Robotech but am a little concerned with how the stretch goals are working. Too many of them seem to be 'spend some money with us and then when you spend more money we will give you a bit extra'. Too many of them are adding things to boxes that I have to pay extra money for rather than adding to the pledge level. IT may just be that we have been spoiled by things like the Zombicide and Ogre KS's but much as i love this i'm holding off for the moment to see what i am actually going to get for the money i pledge.

  8. @NetDiver - Ah, yes! Macross Plus! I saw that as a teenager and then a couple of random episodes of the original series as a kid. It left quite an impression on me though. Haha! I had no idea about the whole Däniken angle and hadn't heard about the protoculture until now. Will chugg away at the original series and then have a look at the different Macross originals I think.

    @Mike - I see where you're coming from Mike and I partly sympathize. However I really do think that the days of spectacles like Zombicide and Sedition Wars are behind us. A lot of us probably have become a bit spoiled when it comes to what to expect of a Kickstarter project. But it seems to me that recent miniature game kickstarters have moved more towards the "cheap pre-order" model where you do get some extra free models tossed in now and then but you should mainly look at it as an opportunity to pre-order and get it for a good price.

    Still, I think Palladium is doing it fairly well, with mixed add-ons and free models. At the moment you get 57 models at the "main" $140 pledge level with four more Destroids pretty much given. And there are still more than three weeks to go. I would really like to see some kind of terrain pieces but so far we haven't heard anything about that.

    In the end though, Mike, you are not alone. As in any Kickstarter project there are loads of people who are waiting for the last few days before committing. :)

  9. Not sure I agree actually, if you look at the deadzone Kickstarter that has taken off like a rocket while the Robotech one seems (and that is just a perception) to have peaked somewhat. There are very few new backers joining it as it has been at roughly 2170 for a few days now. I fundamentally think that people are being put off by stetch goals that are just 'we will put another spru in a box that you have to pay extra for'. It has taken them 10 days to get to their current $398K. Deadzone did $231K in 2 days with far fewer backers and without the global recognition of Robotech.
    I have set a reminder for the 48 hour point and will keep an eye on it (and really want it to succeed) but if I can't get a MACII for my planned showdown level then i'm not going to bother.

  10. Granted, Mantic has been the company bucking the trend I must say. They seem to be able to go more with the older mode of simply adding new stuff to the basic pledge which is pretty cool.

    Then again, I think it's way to early to talk about which is more successfull as Deadzone has only been active for a couple of days. Compare the numbers over on and they look very similar so far (with Robotech actually having better second and third day numbers). It's pretty normal for interest to wane during the dry mid-season of a project like this and then pick up towards the final week.

    Don't get me wrong, I would love to see more "bundled" stretch goals as well, it's just that I think we'll actually see less and less of them - until a balance is found of course. It would be awesome with a MACII for Battle Cry+ but I'm fairly happy with six regular Destroids. :)

    Having looked more closely at Deadzone though I have to admit that I'm certainly tempted! A quick playing, updated version of Necromunda? Sounds like fun! And the models actually look a lot better than most of Mantics earlier stuff. Hmm...

  11. Oh I agree, and I think we are seeing the evolution of KS that pretty much had to happen. I'm keeping an eye on Robotech certainly as i'm a die hard fan. I just feel like i'll get more bang for my buck from deadzone. Although the backers goal and the next stretch goal for RT have helped.

  12. I think you'll always get more value from an internally owned IP though as the margin is simply better. Every robotech model that is sold will end up giving away a cut of the profits to Harmony Gold as well as be split between the various studios involved in Robotech (Soda, Cypher, Palladium). In the end, I'm ok with that as it means that Palladium is NOT making the rules but rather just approving them. The relative value compared with Mantic KS or the recently ended Myth might be lower but it's still pretty good. 32+ 40k terminator/Warmachine Manowar sized figs for $80 in just the core set pledge? I'm good with that.

  13. agreed, and as i'm just waiting to 48 hrs this actually manages this for me as i'm just going to look at where we are then and decide if its worth it to me. Which of course defeats most of the point of kickstarter :)

  14. Indeed, it does defeat the purpose of stretch goals to wait until the end. If anything, I'd tell you to simply pledge $1 USD so that you can increase the number of pledgers as there are goals for total pledgers in addition to total amount pledged. If you forget to up your pledge or pull out, you'll only be out a single dollar.

  15. ohh and coming back to Martins original comment about the battletech links.

    Rifleman, Warhammer, Archer, Marauder, Phoenix Hawk, Stinger, were all complete copies of the Robotech mecha. And the LAM (LandAirMech) versions of the PH and the Stinger were basically the Guardian mode Veritechs.

    There was another one that was a Copy of the Armoured Veritech but for the life of me I can't remember what BAttleMech that was?

  16. I think my concerns around this project were summed up quite nicely on another forum :)

    'Sorry, don't trust Kevin Siembieda to handle the money and Soda Pop is already horrendously late with their Relic Knight KS. Relic Knight is 6 months behind schedule from what I read from their last update and Siembieda has been shady with making financial claims in the past (claiming Palladium was robbed of $1,000,000 and then it is revealed it was closer to $40,000). I will wait till it comes out. They are booking on our childhood enthusiasm to throw tons of money at them unquestioningly.'

    that sums it up nicely for me..I just don't trust anything with Kevin Siembieda attached to it. :(

  17. The more I think about it, the less I'm on the fence of pledging for this project. This also applies to a lot of other Kickstarter projects of late. And since I have actual holiday trip planned for the summer, I might skip this one and wait for the actual release.

    Given the preorder model that has emerged as trend for Kickstarter projects of late, the more I'm actually inclined to buy the products from a local store. Since most of these projects are crowdfunded to actually get the products in distribution and to get them to game stores shelves, I see little point in pledging if the Kickstarter doesn't offer something really special.

    Personally I'm really interested in pledging for the Eclipse Phase Player's Guide, but because of the shipping costs to non-US addressed it'll be actually cheaper to wait for the general release and buy the book from a local store. And the Kickstarter doesn't actually offer anything really unique, so there really isn't much point in pledging for the project. I'll get the stuff later anyway.

    I think the Onyx Path's model of releasing deluxe edition World of Darkness books exclusively through Kickstarter is a good one. If you pledge for the actual book, you'll get something unique that won't be available outside of Kickstarter. If you don't pledge, you'll still be able the get the book as PDF or print-on-demand. Even if they're just getting their gears turning in production and are riddled with delays. Yes, almost six months in, and I'm still waiting for my copy of 20th Anniversary Werewolf the Apocalypse book.

    Speaking of Kickstarter estimates, delays from the original estimates are a fact of life. Most of them are just too optimistic. Me and my friends have made several pledges to different projects on Kickstarter and not one of them has been delivered in time. The reward tier model is partly to blame for the delays as really successful projects are bloated with content which in turn leads to delays in production. Which revolves back to Kickstarter projects not including huge additions to the original planned release to prevent six month delays in production.

    But I'll watching this project to the final days. If basic boxed set will seem like a worthwhile invested come 20th of May, I'll be pledging. Otherwise, I'll always be able to get the boxed set through more regular channels.

  18. Whoa! Lots of discussion going on here. Lovely! Sorry I've been absent... busy couple of days at work. Also, hello Sci-fi Sitzkrieg!

    What I'm most curious about is the dealings of mr Kevin Siembieda. Someone reacted negatively to his name when it come up on G+, but I don't know the first thing about him but would love to learn more. It seems like he's a businessman with a reputation...

    I am pretty happy with how the Robotech Kickstarter is going and I'm sure the last stretch we'll see a huge spike in pledges which would likely lead to some more freebies being doshed out. Although those will probably be limited to Battlecry+ which is a shame.

    Of course, I'm still not 100% sure about Robotech, and these news about Kevin Simbieda certainly don't make me any more sure. But the models look pretty neat and the rules seem decent at a first glance, so I'm still in.

    Seems like I might be investing in Deadzone as well though as I have a couple of friends who are interested in splitting a Strike Team pledge. The skirmish nature and quick play touted really has me interested.

    What I really should prioritize is Secret Weapon Miniatures' Tablescape though. I've always wanted to make a nice looking urban terrain board, and here one is, ready for painting! It's not normally what I'd spend on terrain, but considering the more labour intensive nature of building an urban board with roads etc it seems like a pretty good deal!

  19. agreed around the secret weapon tablescapes, that is a really nice set of tiles. The Roads are a little wide from my perspective and i'm not sure that there would be enough space for buildings on a set.

    If you really want the sorid story around KS just go onto RPG.Net and type in palladium financial problems....but don't expect a pretty picture :)

  20. @Mike - I think the roads seem ok for 28mm, although I hope you'll be able to get more foundation tiles for easier placements of buildings. What have me worried is that the way the roads are layed out (ie, straights) will make for battlefields with longish firing lanes even between opposing setup areas. Sure, you can mitigate this through scatter terrain, and I guess even the wall that SW is making might look alright as a "temporary" solution in the middle of the road, but still. They do look pretty though!

    Hmm... perhaps I might be better off not knowing. Haha! Soda Pop being late with their earlier stuff certainly doesn't sound good. Also, I'm a little worried that the $30 shipping and possible import tariffs of ~$35 might kill the whole thing for me. :(

  21. Import taxing... Damn, I forgot about that all together. All the more reason to buy from a local store...

  22. Yepp. My friend just had to pay about $45 tax for a procuct costing less than $100. Makes me scared of what I'd have to pay if I got the Battle Cry level. Makes me a sad mecha fan...

  23. Alright, excellent news for us Europeans! Palladium have arranged for shipping within the EU so we won't have to worry about VAT. This really made my day as I had pretty much decided to pull out because of how much extra this would cost me. :D

  24. yep, that was a good decision for them....of course followed my more bloody useless stretch goals...'have another Valkyrie, heres some more sprus in a box you have to pay for'. BUT it is creeping up in value slowly.

  25. I agree that yet another Valkyrie feels a bit redundant. More Regaults I think is ok, as they are supposed to be swarm enemies. But really, adding some of the Gnerls or power armour troops would be a lot more fun!

    Still keeping my fingers crossed for the monster as a end stretchgoal...

  26. My main concern with the stretch goals, while extra stuff is nice, is force balance. At the moment the it seems to favour UN Spacy a bit more. And think the balance would be really dipped on side with the additon of the Monster. I would rather have abit more variation on the Zentradi side.

    Anyway, the Kickstarter is shaping up to be a real success which is a good thing concerning the continued support for the game.

  27. given the comments on points in the rules i have seen, the game as shipping is completely unplayable. The stretch goals have made it even worse from their rules perspective as they have added far more to the UN SPACY side than the Zentradi which was already overbalanced in that direction. This doesn't bother me as i have absolutely no intention of using ANY rule system that Kevin Siembieda has been involved with :)

  28. Yes, the forces don't seem very balanced at all as it stands (at least not at the $140 level). But I have a feeling that they are catering just as much to collectors and general Robotech enthusiasts as they are proper gamers, meaning they'll probably gram more human side as that's what most people like. What I'd like to see is the addition of Zentraedi power armour and Gnerls to the box.

    We'll see how it turns out.

  29. After much pondering and considering, I've decided to pass on the Robotech kickstarter in favor of something which I'll know I'm getting a more "kick" out of :) And that is the Exalted 3rd edition. The kickstarter went live a few hours ago (and got funded in less than 20 minutes!) and I pledged for the deluxe edition book.

    Like I said previous, Onyx Path is offering me something unique through Kickstarter. There won't be a professionally printed print run of 3rd ed Exalted rulebook available outside the kickstarter, and that made the deal for me. With Robotech, the boxed will be made and eventually released. The general release might have slightly different box content than what you get through Kickstarter backing, but in the end you get a game playable out of the box.

    That said. I'm glad to see the Kickstrater doing so well for Robotech, which means the game will most likely be here to stay for the long haul.

  30. I'm in the same boat, with the terrain options on the deadzone KS that are turning up mean i'm spending my money there.

  31. I've almost decided to do the same. I think the Battle Cry level for Robotech looks to be shaping up to be a pretty good bargain, but I'm worried about how it will end up being handled by Ninja Division/Soda Pop miniatures. I simply have more confidence in Mantic.

    To a lesser degree it's also a matter of conveniance as I'm not sure I want to invest in another big battle game. I've always been bad at painting whole armies of stuff, much prefering skirmish games. At first I thought Robotech would be located at the smaller end of the wargame spectrum, but I've come to realize that it's probably somewhere in the middle. I know I could paint a faction or two for Deadzone, and have fun doing it, but I'm not sure I'd have the energy or committment to paint two full armies for Robotech.

    Hmm... still not completely off the fence though.

  32. While the Robotech cartoon was what got me into mecha and scifi, i am not sure the kickstarter looks all that nteresting. The facts arent really there to make me throw money at the game, too much seems u finished and i am worried they wont make the december deadline.

    The only kickstarter unique models only have drawings showing them, so that makes it difficult to know if they are worth it. Also panting all those battlepods and brown veritechs would get boring fast.

    Ill just pick up some model kits instead and get my mecha fix there.

    And deadzone seems to be a much more interesting game.

  33. So, Martin. Now that the Robotech Kickstarter is over, did you stay on board?

  34. Nope! I was torn until the very end, but decided to pull out after all. It was a combination of several reasons - partly financial, partly scepticism and partly me being wary of having to paint all those miniatures!

    Got a bunch of friend interested in Deadzone so that's a go, and I'm feeling extremely attracted to All Quiet on the Martian Front!

  35. same for me, i put my money into Deadzone, just as well as the 2nd Phase of the crossover minitures has just turned up on KS as well :)

  36. @Mike - Yepp, I think Deadzone will get more plays over here. There are six of us invested in it now, so hopfeully the Necromunda campaigning of yore will make a glorious return!

    2nd phase crossover miniatures? What's that now?

  37. Superhero themed minis done by Soapy. Guy in the states ran avery small but successful KS last year to get the first round of figures in production.

    second round is now up;

  38. Nearly a year later, how do you feel about this kickstarter?

    1. Hmm... first off I'm glad I didn't pledge because of the simple fact that I don't have room for another high miniature count game in a different scale. I still think the minis look great, but I really haven't looked any more at the rules or so. I've followed the development from a distance and it seems like it's been delayed for quite a bit, which isn't really something that would bother me personally as it's what I expect from kickstarters.

      Did you pledge? What are your thoughts on the matter?


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