Because this update was so large, it had to be split into two. Please read Part One here.
Doing Robotech® RPG Tactics™ right
From the very beginning we have tried to do Robotech® right and make Robotech® RPG Tactics™ great. Remember, we are those same fan boys who have been publishing Robotech® products for decades. We have had industry experts like Ninja Division onboard from the start, and we’ve listened to Robotech® fans and our Kickstarter backers while working hard to make everyone happy. We’ve come to understand more about you and what you need and want for this product. We continue to listen to you and we are making the changes and moving forward in the manner we think you will want to see.
You can’t make everyone happy. Everyone has an opinion, and opinions vary. Sometimes a lot. Which voices and opinions do you listen to? Who do you let make the final judgement on decisions? Everyone can’t be right when there are several differing points of view.
Don’t worry, we’re on that too. We’ve learned valuable lessons from the past and we continue to learn about this game market and the specific wants of our backers and gamers. Carmen Bellaire and I will be taking a much more direct hand in future products. We have also developed a network of industry people and trusted fan advisors from our Kickstarter backers.
Let’s face it, we all got what (we thought) we wanted: “highly detailed, 1/285th scale (6mm) game pieces.” That’s what everyone wanted and was shouting from the rafters. Us included!
Well, that’s what we have, and it is not exactly what we all wanted, after all. What none of us realized is that to preserve all that detail and posability there would be a lot of parts and pieces to put together. Ninja Division felt that would be okay. Honestly, I’m not sure what the alternative would be, but we are looking into them for ALL FUTURE game pieces and expansion packs after RRT Wave Two. Heck, we’ve been looking at ways to try to reduce the number of pieces in RRT Wave Two, but that’s taking much longer than we hoped and is yielding minimal results.
We are working on it. The smaller size of future mecha in the later eras of Robotech® will have some impact on that issue. Plus, we now realize – as do many of you – that sacrificing some detail to have fewer pieces and easy ways to build the mecha is the way to go in the future.
Our greatest asset is you, we know that
In the end, you, our Kickstarter backers and Robotech® fans, have been our greatest resource and biggest help in figuring all this out. You, more than anyone, have helped guide us through the last two years. You’ve helped us come to a clearer understanding of what you need and want. Some of you even came to the Palladium warehouse to help us pack and ship to other backers. And boy, do we appreciate everything. It has been you who have helped point us in different directions, shared your knowledge and experiences, suggested painters and manufacturers, and offered up many excellent ideas and suggestions, many of which we intend to run with. We are constantly amazed at your willingness to share your thoughts and help. We have met hundreds of you at conventions, events, and at our office. Many others, even some close and frequent contacts, are faceless voices from the Internet, but just as important as anyone we have met in person. All of you guys have been awesome. Please, keep the suggestions coming! We want your input as we complete RRT Wave Two and move on to other eras and settings for Robotech®. We are listening, we always have. We just have not always been in a position to move as quickly as any of us would like.
We have learned a hell of a lot these past two years, and you have been a big part of that. We continue to fine-tune our knowledge and plans for RRT Wave Two and the Robotech® generations yet to come. We welcome the constructive input and want you to point out things that you think we should consider.
The Future of Robotech® RPG Tactics™
We plan to do it all. Every mecha, combat vehicle, alien, battle setting and avenue of adventure in the Robotech® universe. And that’s from every era: The Macross Saga, The Masters Saga, New Generation, Shadow Chronicles and MORE such as the Malcontent Uprisings, the Unification War, and the Zentraedi vs the Regent’s Invid hordes and the Inorganics. If you saw it in the anime, we want to eventually include it in the expanding universe of Robotech® RPG Tactics™.
And we want your involvement every step of the way!
Size matters. For example, the size of the mecha in other eras of Robotech®. Do we keep the 6mm scale as we original planned and talked about in the Kickstarter and early postings, or do we scale them up a bit, say from 6mm to 15mm?
The knee-jerk reaction from me and the Palladium crew, as well as those of you we have heard from, is to keep the game pieces at the 6mm scale! But is it really a good idea? I want everyone to take a moment and really think about this. Remember, we all thought we wanted lots of details on the game pieces and look at what we have, mecha with a lot of small pieces to build. Some people are not very happy with that. I think we are all figuring things out as we go along, and we need a conversation about whether we really should maintain the 6mm scale for future, smaller mecha and vehicles.
When any of us imagine everything to scale in our heads, it all looks marvelous. But when you see these game pieces in real life, at real 6mm scale – the size difference is shocking and disappointing. The 6mm pieces are tiny and unimpressive. Unless you hold them up close, you can’t make out any details. They might as well be ants glued to a base. You could glue the rump of an ant to a base and you could not tell the difference between it and the actual piece sitting on the table unless you looked really close. I’m completely serious. You could glue little bits of plastic or metal shavings to a base and at the 6mm scale, a Cyclone doesn’t look much different. Even the Invid, when in scale with Macross, are tiny, like the head of an eraser on a pencil.
Consider this: When we recollect Robotech® images, it is always by the era/Robotech War. In the anime and in comic books, all the figures from that era are in scale with each other. And they work fine that way when contained to just the Macross Saga or just New Generation. But when you combine ALL ERAs at the same scale, and put them together, Southern Cross/Masters Saga, New Generation, and Shadow Chronicles, the mecha are just plain tiny at 6 mm.
Stand them next to the Macross mecha, and the later generations of tiny mecha suck from a purely visual perspective.
We’ve had some ambitious Robotech® RPG Tactics™ fans make, at their own expense, a Logan, Hover Tank, Bioroids, Cyclones and Invid via 3D printing, so we’ve seen them, and they are tiny, especially the mecha from the later Robotech® generations.
More important, I have seen RRT gamers who were absolutely insistent upon keeping the 6mm scale and ready to fight you over it — UNTIL they see the actual figures, in scale, together. Almost immediately and without fail, they suddenly have a change of heart and say, “I don’t know, maybe you should scale them up to 15mm.”
The Palladium crew and I are starting to think the same thing, that to have visually effective game pieces (and pieces that are fun to paint), they need to be 15mm. Here is why:
You need to ask yourself, what is it you want from these future game pieces?
- Are you looking for something fun to paint and pose? If so, you don’t want 6mm figures. There is little to paint and nothing to pose.
- Are you looking for something that looks cool on the battlefield? If so, you don’t want 6mm figures. They are just colored specs on a base.
- Are you looking for something that looks cool to put on your shelf? If so, 6mm figures are most definitely not it. They are just colored specs on a base.
Half the fun is painting these bad boys, and you’ve got virtually nothing or little to paint on many of these 6mm scale figures. This has been driven home to me by several professional and amateur painters who have come up to me and Wayne with increasing frequency to point out that there is nothing to paint on a 6mm figure. Some have even shown us examples.
FYI: At 15mm, the later era Robotech® mecha and vehicles like Cyclones still look proportionately and appropriately small, but offer enough size to have good detail, be fun to paint and look great on terrain or your shelf. Again, a few fans and a couple of our painters have actually gone to the trouble to make and show us how this looks in scale.
So again, I NEED you guys to really think about what you want from these next generations of Robotech® pieces. If you want something fun to paint and have recognizable detail, I think 15mm is the way to go. PLEASE let us know what you think. Ultimately, we will try to provide what the majority (if not all) of you want.
Note: To me, the ideal solution is to offer both scales in each expansion pack or blister pack; a tiny 6mm and a 15mm mecha. HOWEVER, I do NOT know if that would be cost effective or practical depending on the method of manufacturing we use make them. I mean, why provide figures the buyer may not want and may never use, especially if it increases the cost of the pack. So please do NOT decide that is the solution. It’s one possibility Palladium will investigate. Assuming we cannot offer both sizes in the same package at a reasonable price, which ONE size would you most prefer?
Wave Two – by the end of 2015?
We want Wave Two out yesterday. Or even better, last year. That can’t happen. We are shooting for the end of 2015 and will do EVERYTHING we can to make that a reality. But as I hope you are beginning to understand, things are not always under our absolute control.
To be honest, we have been so savaged for the many delays and changing release dates in the past, that we are afraid to offer release dates or certain details until we are sure of them. That has resulted in fewer updates over the past few months. In fact, I have had several advisors tell me not to even say that we are trying hard for an end of 2015 release for Wave Two. But we really are. That’s what I want more than anything. If we can make it happen, we will. Again, going into all the reasons for the delays or why we might not be able to make a release date is excruciating and we are not going to put ourselves or you through that pain. We just aren’t. We will, of course, release what we consider to be reasonable information and data as we get it. And we’ll try to do so more often. PLEASE remember this is all a work in progress. Things change.
We hope that you realize Wave Two and all future releases mean money for Palladium and its partners, as well as a vibrant future for the game line, so if we can get product out faster we most certainly will! End of year is the plan. If we can do it sooner, even better! But no promises. And might it be later? Maybe. We don’t know yet. When we have a much clearer idea for a release date we will post it!
Until then, we have some cool stuff coming your way
We more than anyone know how murderous that wait for RRT Wave Two is for everyone. Well, we hope to soften the wait and keep you energized by doing a number of things that we hope will make it a little less painful and demonstrate Palladium’s commitment to Robotech® RPG Tactics™. In fact, we are dedicating a huge part of our time and focus over the next several months to getting RRT WAVE TWO finished by the end of the year (no promises) as well as the many things we’re listing below!
More online support with a basic set of the rules available in the PDF format – we just want to make some clarifications to the rules first. This should include paper miniatures to use to try the game out.
Additional factions and mecha cards, Force Cards, charts and other good stuff will be made available for free online in the weeks ahead. Carmen and others have been working on this material for awhile now. Unfortunately, we are all juggling other commitments, but we hope to devote much more time to making them available in the next couple of months.
Three new Convention Exclusives – Debut at Gen Con Indy, 2015 – and available to our Kickstarter backers online
See, we learn from you. We are releasing three new Convention Exclusives at Gen Con Indy, but are also taking measures to make sure YOU, our Kickstarter backers, can also get them without having to go to that particular convention or anywhere. Just a few clicks on the computer will enable you to order these and many other items to expand your RRT gaming experience.
Wayne has spent the last week working out the best way of making the 3 new convention exclusives (and other good stuff) available to our Kickstarter backers ONLINE. That means you do NOT have to make it to Gen Con Indy or whatever other conventions these items may be made available. And Palladium does not do many conventions. These exclusives will ONLY BE OFFERED at conventions AND TO OUR KICKSTARTER BACKERS. They are not being made available to retail stores. So you may want to talk to your friends who aren’t part of the Kickstarter and order some for them if they want any.
For ordering instructions, click here.
You will have to pay for shipping. That’s not much in the USA, probably around $6-12 per group of three (varies with geographic location). Our online shipping calculator will inform you of the cost, but it does start to get a bit pricey to ship to Canada and overseas, and purchasers outside the USA are responsible for any applicable Customs fees, taxes, broker fees and duty.
The manufacturer working with Palladium on these is legendary GHQ, right here in the USA. We’ve been talking with GHQ since March and they have agreed to manufacture our exclusives and help us offer a number of other Robotech® RPG Tactics™ items to our backers long before they are made available to retail outlets. All are cast in 100% Britannia pewter and will have the GHQ stamp of quality.
NEW Convention Exclusives – Must place your order by July 15, 2015
1. Miriya’s Super Valkyrie in Guardian Mode. We thought this was the perfect companion to Miriya in her Female Power Armor offered in 2013. A sleek, dynamic item. $22 plus shipping.
2. Breetai ready for combat. This is Commander Breetai in a suit of Zentraedi Heavy Body Armor. His right hand opened enough to place a weapon, Micronian or the severed head of a Valkyrie or other bit of wreckage. $22 plus shipping.
3. Grell’s Male Power Armor. Includes a Grell character card for use as a Malcontent. $22 plus shipping.
● ALL 3 RRT Convention Exclusives are being manufactured by GHQ in the USA. Most of you should be well acquainted with the quality of GHQ’s Micro Armour and attention to detail.
● All are cast in 100% Britannia Pewter by GHQ and each comes packaged on a Robotech® blister card.
● All 3 will be made to order based on what our Kickstarter backers want, plus 1,500-2,000 more for Palladium’s use as “convention exclusives.” The first convention where they will be offered is the 2015 Gen Con Indy. They may also be available at a couple of trade shows and the 2016 AdeptiCon.
● All pre-orders must be placed by July 15, 2015. Once we have numbers, GHQ will manufacture them and we will ship them as soon as they arrive at the Palladium warehouse, guaranteed. Since GHQ is the manufacturer here in the USA, turnaround should be quick, probably shipping at the end of August. GHQ cannot provide us with an exact date until they know how many they’ll need to make, so please get those orders in soon. These three new Convention Exclusives will be first made available at Gen Con Indy, while supplies last. As a backer, however, you can order them from the comfort of your home.
And because you didn’t get the chance before due to Palladium’s own lack of understanding, and the fact that we continually get requests from our Kickstarter backers for them, we will also be taking orders at the same time for the 2013 Max and Miriya Convention Exclusives. Available only to RRT Kickstarter backers and at select conventions. Orders must be placed by July 15, 2015. Both are 100% pewter.
4. Max Sterling’s VF-1J Valkyrie in Battloid Mode; a couple different poses are possible. $22 plus shipping.
5. Miriya’s Female Power Armor; a couple different poses are possible. $22 plus shipping.
MORE! Something NEW – first for you
Our teaming up with GHQ as a manufacturer in the USA makes all sorts of things suddenly possible, with quick turnarounds and release dates we should be able to hit on target – give or take a week or two, not months. And they require minimal time from Palladium, which means we can remain focused on RRT Wave Two and the big push to do much more AFTER the release of the RRT Wave Two items.
Earth Defenders Blister Packs
We have been working with GHQ and Carmen Bellaire with input from Mike Arnold and Thomas Roache to expand the range of combat on the battlefield. This should help provide more fun and options while we all wait for RRT Wave Two. Plus, these Earth Defenders are the type of vehicles and troops that gamers interested in the Macross Malcontents can also use to develop and play that faction. We have put together what we all agree are six fun Earth Defender Blister Packs.
Note: Like the Convention Exclusives, we are initially only making these items available to our Kickstarter backers and various conventions. Depending on your level of interest and input from our distributors and retailers, we’ll make these available to retail (probably at a bit higher price) at a later date.
Limited initial availability. We are making numbers to satisfy only what YOU order, plus some small additional percentage as tournament prizes, displays, promotion, some reorders by Kickstarter backers, and similar uses before we decide to also make them available in retail. That means you have a limited window of time to make your acquisitions.
Taking initial orders for Earth Defender Packs NOW through July 15, 2015.
1. Apache Combat Helicopter (1) – Includes flight stand, base and stat card. Cost: $10 per pack plus shipping.
2. A-10 Warthog Jet (1) with big gun for ground attack, plus flight stand, base and stat card. Cost: $10 per pack.
3. T-55MV Tanks (4 per pack), plus 2 stat cards and four bases. Cost: $10.
4. Cougar 6x6 APCs (4 per pack), plus 2 stat cards and four bases. Cost: $10 per pack plus shipping.
5. Convoy Trucks (4 per pack), plus 2 stat cards and four bases. Cost: $10 per pack plus shipping.
6. Infantry Troops (8 troops per base for 24 or 32 total figs; some heavy weapons), 3-4 cards and 3-4 bases. Cost: $10 per pack plus shipping. Note: The packs may cost more in retail.
7. GHQ is champing at the bit to make new Robotech® Macross Saga® vehicles (with their stat cards included in each blister pack), such as the Comanchero Helicopter, Cat’s Eye Recon and others in the months ahead. GHQ and Palladium can start making these available over the next few months, provided it is something you would like to see. Please let us know and we’ll jump on it. Cost of the Comanchero (1 fig) to Kickstarter backers: $12 plus shipping (1 vehicle per blister pack). Other vehicles yet to be determined. Note: The cost of all these packs is likely to be more when we release them in retail stores.
● The Invid could be coming soon to our RRT Backers. If you want us to, we are also considering releasing the Invid, Inorganics and Regent, later this year (or early next year?), along with the stats and a scenario book so that you have the Regent’s Invid as a new faction to battle the Zentraedi. This would be separate from the New Generation/Invid Invasion story line.
Why the Invid? Because it works with the Zentraedi forces already available with Wave One. The Robotech® Masters created the Zentraedi specifically to fight the Invid and to conquer other alien worlds! You already have the Zentraedi war machine, now you’d have the Regent’s Invid forces too as a faction to fight them. And the Zentraedi/Invid Wars predate the Macross Saga events of the First Robotech War in the time-line. It feels like a perfect fit! Like I said, we want to bring Robotech® to life and provide EVERYTHING you could want from this expanding game line. By the way, this was the suggestion of a Kickstarter backer at Gen Con last year, and I loved it. Cost yet to be determined at a later date. We need to know if you are even interested in the first place, before we contract with sculptors. If you are, we’d make the Invid faction available at a later date.
● You get it all first! All of these items are being made available to you, our Kickstarter backers, weeks and in many cases, months before any of it is ever made available at retail. It makes sense since you represent our core audience and most dedicated supporters. We hope you like the ideas as much as we do.
● We thought this would be a GREAT way to keep the excitement for Robotech® RPG Tactics™ strong, give you more to play with, and make sure our most stalwart supporters get first crack at some of the new stuff on the drawing boards.
● The idea to do this is based on conversations with a number of Kickstarter backers at AdeptiCon whom we talked with in confidence. (Thank you, fellas for keeping our secret and for your invaluable input.) And the addition of GHQ to Palladium’s growing range of resources and expertise.
● Best of all, none of this affects or slows down the development or release of RRT Wave Two items whatsoever. GHQ is doing most of the work, costs are comparatively small because we can manufacture to order, and being made in the USA, we can kick them out fast. There’s no waiting months and months for manufacture or shipping. And being made by GHQ, you know the quality will be top-notch.
● Harmony Gold USA has approved all of this. It’s just a matter of whether or not you want any of these Robotech® RPG Tactics™ items. Let us know. Order by July 15, 2015.
What else can you expect?
A lot. We have a great many plans for the future of Robotech® RPG Tactics™. We will reveal them at a later date. Our top priority right now is getting RRT Wave Two into your hands.
Better communication and more support for RRT. We have always listened to you, but I hope we’ll be able to maintain better and more frequent contact on the Kickstarter page. I hope this conversation, news and items make you happy. We would have posted sooner, but we wanted to make sure we could come through with everything we are offering.
We’re listening and aiming to please. We hope you hang in there with us, because Palladium is dedicated to you and Robotech®.
– Kevin Siembieda, Publisher and Game Designer – June 6, 2015