Gen Con Report
Hello, Wayne here. We’re all back from Gen Con. As most of you know, we did not get our miracle, so Robotech® RPG Tactics™ wasn't released from US Customs in time for us to have it for sale at the convention. However, we did have three copies with us to display, and we ran tons of demos. For more details, I’ll let Kevin’s Gen Con Report below fill you in.
The reaction to Robotech® RPG Tactics™ at Gen Con was overwhelmingly positive. People liked what they saw, enjoyed the demos, and liked the game play and the size and detail of the game pieces. Some were positively giddy. I have to admit, so are we. We met many Kickstarter backers who expressed their support and appreciation for the game, and we returned the favor by shaking their hands and expressing our appreciation for them. It has been a long, rough journey, but the end product is sweet. Cannot wait till we can start shipping out product.
And speaking of product, I am happy to report that the first container from China has been released by US Customs and we expect to begin shipping by the end of next week. Meanwhile, Wayne Smith has been working with various out-of-house tech people to set up our new shipping hardware and software. We had technicians and IT people in and out of the office all week as they set up the new systems and customize software to suit our needs.
We have been hesitant to offer completion and shipping dates, because they seem to be constantly shifting and changing. I think the completion and ship dates for Container One changed something like four or five times; one day here, three days there, another two day delay later, then the boat left port a day and a half late, made up that day and a half at sea, only to see the container tagged and held up by US Customs for a random inspection. It seems crazy to us at Palladium Books to subject YOU to that kind of frustration and tension. However, many of you have told us that is exactly what you want to know. We aim to please, so we’ll tell you what we know, when we know it, but you need to realize that timetables and dates are almost certain to change. Shifting schedules in China, shipping schedules and intervention by Customs are beyond our control. Wayne is tentatively scheduled to visit the China factories in September to see the manufacturing process and help build strong communications. Things should start to move more quickly now, with a new container of product shipping every week or two. That said, the schedule has already slipped a bit from what we were told before Gen Con. Containers Two and Three were supposed to have shipped together this past week. However, a manufacturing delay has changed that.
At this time, Container Two is now tentatively scheduled to be packed around the middle to end of next week. We do not yet have a definitive date for when the ship will leave China. Probably between August 28 and September 3. Container Three should ship about one week later, and Container Four a week or so after that. This is the data we have at this time, but as noted, it often changes. By the way, these four containers should allow us to fulfill our Kickstarter obligations for Wave One. That’s everything, prints, accessories, etc.
Oh, and we only recently realized that the plastic blast template is not painted, and it is too late to do anything about it now. This detail slipped past all of us – Palladium, Ninja Division, the factory, everyone. Sorry. It still looks great, is a quality piece of plastic and is easy to use.
Meanwhile, we are working with Harmony Gold to be allowed to provide PDFs of the core rules and other key elements of play and other fun stuff.
Robotech® RPG Tactics™ Wave Two
Everything is in motion and Wave Two is coming. We’re also already thinking about the Masters Saga (Southern Cross), New Generation (Invid), and other eras and battle fronts (like the Zentraedi’s interplanetary war with the Invid!). I think you’ll like the things we are kicking around.
2014 Gen Con Report
Without Robotech® RPG Tactics™ to sell, there was no reason to bring our new, special storefront. We went with the usual rolling shelves and tables. We filled space with specialty items, prints and artwork we would not normally have brought along. Having Robotech® RPG Tactics™ at Gen Con was just not meant to be.
We met a large number of Kickstarter backers, and hundreds upon hundreds of gamers enjoyed demos of Robotech® RPG Tactics™. We had three sample boxes of the main game on display (one completely laid out across a six foot table), and people got to examine the actual box contents, sprues, cards, rule book, etc. Most people were thrilled with what they saw and we got many positive comments about the quality.
We had a bunch of professionally painted Robotech® RPG Tactics™ game pieces in two glass display cases, along with some unpainted ones and a few sprues, so people could see them painted and unpainted. On the two small demo tables – one manned by Palladium’s very own Jeff Burke and the other by volunteer and uber Robotech® fan, Thomas Roache – were more game pieces professionally painted by Blue Table Painting. I think Jeff and Tom were surrounded (and I do mean surrounded) by interested fans non-stop throughout Gen Con, from morning till close of the Exhibit Hall. Unfortunately, that meant many of those passing by could not get a clear look at, or the chance to photograph, these superior painted pieces. Many did, however, get to play with them. Thank you, Tom and Jeff, for your hard work and tireless efforts to demonstrate Robotech® RPG Tactics™. And to Jeff Ruiz (NMI on the Palladium boards), who pitched in and did a good job running demos during breaks.
Carmen Bellaire manned the big Robotech® RPG Tactics™ demo table at the booth. Sadly, Carmen was not his usual flamboyant and fun self. His wallet was stolen two days before we were all to leave for Gen Con. As a Canadian, without his Enhanced Driver’s License, Carmen could not cross the border from Canada into the USA. He applied for an Emergency Passport, which seemed an unlikely turn of events. To everyone’s surprise and joy, Carmen was granted an Emergency Passport, and drove all Wednesday night to arrive at Gen Con by Thursday morning. Unfortunately, the stress of the theft (canceling credit cards and such), not knowing if he would get the passport in time, and very, very little sleep took a heavy toll on him. He looked tired, even a bit sickly, and as a result, his demos lacked the energy and zip that people have come to expect from Carmen. People still had fun, but it was not the rollicking Bellaire experience folks have come to expect. Moreover, Carmen had done a quick, basic painting of the Robotech® RPG Tactics™ game pieces with an unconventional color scheme that some people did not think showed them off in their best light, but we had to make due with what we had.
There were only so many advance game pieces from China to paint and use in demos. Despite having Blue Table Painting do nearly 60 game pieces and two other gents painting up another 10 or so, there were only so many for demonstrations. Carmen’s table used a combination of the actual plastic game pieces and our old demo pieces. As the other two, smaller demo tables were in constant use and usually surrounded by players and spectators, the large table with the unconventional painted game pieces was what many people got to see, especially when just walking by.
Pat Jakubowski ran two or three “official” Robotech® RPG Tactics™ games as part of Palladium’s block of 50+ Gen Con gaming events. From all reports, Pat rocked these games and players had a blast. I had several players come to the Palladium booth the next day specifically to tell me how much fun they had in his games. Awesome. I also had several people who played in demos as well as these games tell me they thought Robotech® RPG Tactics™ was fast, fun and a winner destined to be a big hit. (From your mouths to God’s ears.) Many people also commented on the quality and level of detail, and how much they were looking forward to the game’s release. Fantastic.