Lately, there has been a lot of increasingly nasty chatter about Robotech® RPG Tactics™, Wave Two and Palladium Books® coming from some people who are angry about the progress of this Kickstarter.
Despite what some have suggested, I want you to know there has not been any misappropriation of the funds raised by the Kickstarter, nor any wrongdoing of any kind. Not by me or anyone at Palladium Books. There is absolutely NO merit for such conjecture or inferences. If there were ever any type of investigation, Palladium has accurate records, receipts, correspondences and documentation for every expense and transaction we’ve made regarding Robotech® RPG Tactics™. I have not spent the money on a new car or boat, there is no new house, no purchase of stocks and bonds, no salary raise, no luxury vacation (heck, no vacation at all), no parties, or any misuse of Kickstarter money whatsoever. We are all hardworking people dedicated to our fan base.
Furthermore, we have produced and shipped a substantial portion of the Robotech® RPG Tactics™ rewards (Wave One) around the world, and are actively working towards the production and delivery of the rest (Wave Two).
I don’t know what people think when they see a Kickstarter net 1.4 million dollars, but it’s not free money. It’s not hitting the lotto. And it sure as hell is not ours to just take and spend as we may please. It is an obligation to thousands of people. That money is designated to make the shared dream of a new, different Robotech® game line a reality, and it’s a responsibility we take very seriously. The money has gone into making this shared dream of the Robotech® RPG Tactics™ game line. We have poured our hearts and souls into this game.
Our goal from day one has been to create a continuing product line all of us Robotech fans can enjoy for years to come. And the Kickstarter funds have gone into making RRT a reality. It is an ambitious work in progress. In fact, if we are guilty of anything, it is making Robotech® RPG Tactics™ such an ambitious project right out of the gate, the first time around.
We have faced many unexpected challenges and met them head on to the best of our ability. In the process we have learned a lot and produced a damn good product with Ninja Division. As already explained in the past, our biggest stumbling block came right out of the gate, when tooling and engineering issues brought everything to a screeching halt.
When I said the game was 98% done, we honestly thought it was. And in a way, it was. Nearly all the 3D sculpts, the rules, play-testing and artwork were done. There was final layout of the rule book and tweaks to packaging designs, but that was pretty much it. Next step, in our minds, was to manufacture the game pieces and tokens, print the rule book, cards, dice and packaging, put it all together and ship away, right? Wrong. Turned out the digital files and programs used for the 3D sculpts were incompatible with the programs necessary for manufacturing. Long story short, the Chinese have had to recreate all the digital files, virtually from scratch, using the 3D sculpts as references. This process has been complicated by the specifications and limitations of the manufacturing process. Which in turn, has led to long, ponderous periods of discussion, redesigns, changes, corrections and a lot of parts to retain the detailed game pieces everyone wanted. There were many other challenges and issues in other areas that also had to be addressed, all of them taking time and valuable resources.
If you think you are frustrated, there were days when we wanted to cry or rip our hair out. It felt like every time we turned around there was something new to deal with and another delay. It may not have seemed like it from where you sit, but we have been working our tails off and giving Robotech® RPG Tactics™ our all. And we continue to do so.
Behind the scenes, you and our Kickstarter obligations are always on our minds. We continue to work on Robotech® RPG Tactics™ Wave Two. We’ve been exploring ways to reduce piece count, we’ve been discussing and working on expanding and tweaking rules, working on stats and cards, working on things to offer online, as well as organized play and plans for future products.
As I said in Palladium’s August 7, 2015, Weekly Update, we have not been able to show you physical work, because we are exploring different possible solutions to the piece count issue. This should provide a different end result and different number of pieces and a different final look. Until we nail that all down, I’m afraid there is nothing new to physically show. After all, you have seen the 3D sculpts from which we and the manufacturer are working. Note: That said, I have asked Wayne to include images of the 3D sculpts from which China is working, as a reminder of what is coming in Wave Two and how awesome these pieces are.
Lack of physical items to show does not mean there isn’t progress being made. We spoke with our manufacturing rep a week before Gen Con, met with them at Gen Con, and will continue to speak and work with them to find favorable solutions to the piece count issues in the weeks ahead. On other fronts, we have been talking with distributors and others about future aspects of the game, promotion, and organized play. We’ve also been working on RRT advanced rules and scenario books.
We’ll keep the new Breetai, Grell in Male Power Armor and Miriya Super Valkyrie in Guardian Mode convention exclusives (as well as the old Max and Miriya in Female Power Armor) available to our Kickstarter backers online, so you can continue to place orders for yourself and friends. They are of excellent quality and paint up nicely. Much of last week was spent shipping hundreds of these figures out to those of you who had placed pre-orders. The last of them should go out in the next day or two.
The Earth Defenders (Micronian Forces) for Robotech® RPG Tactics™
The Earth Defenders blister packs we floated by you are intended to expand the scope of combat with gamers in mind looking to play the Malcontents faction or who want to bring Micronian troops into play on any battlefield.
The idea of making conventional combat vehicles and troops came from a number of Robotech® RPG Tactics™ fans, including super-fan Mike Arnold. We meant well when we offered them. The idea was to give RRT players some other items they could use to expand the range of RRT game play while waiting for Wave Two items to be released. We teamed up with GHQ – industry experts in such combat vehicles – to explore the possibilities, and offer six blister packs for pre-order to test the waters by making them available to our Robotech® RPG Tactics™ Kickstarter backers first. If you want ‘em, we’ll make ‘em. If you don’t, we won’t. There is a minimum production number to make this product viable for release, which is why we are taking pre-orders.
We realize that some of you are waiting for the stats and related rules to these game pieces to see how these and similar pieces may impact and influence game play before you decide whether or not you want such additions. We hope to have those stats and rules available soon.
We did this because we were trying to give you what you – or at least some of you – wanted. Of course, we need sufficient interest and orders to go into manufacturing of these Earth Defenders Packs, which is why we are taking pre-orders. It is crucial to determine the actual level of interest and feasibility of releasing these products. At this time, it’s looking like there may not be enough interest to meet the necessary minimums to produce them. That’s okay. We are just trying to give you something you seemed to want. If there is not enough interest, it is easy enough to strike them from production. PLEASE NOTE: You have not been charged for these blister packs, and you will only be charged if Palladium moves forward with the release of these items. We are still accepting pre-orders.
Please have no doubt that we care about you, Robotech® RPG Tactics™ and fulfilling this Kickstarter. In fact, one of the things that may be tripping us up and slowing us down the past six months, is that we may care too much. I say that because with the past delays, disappointment, and subsequent ire of some, we have tried that much harder to give you, our valued backers/supporters and Robotech® fans, exactly and every thing you want, precisely because we do care so much about you and Robotech®.
We have been trying to listen to all the voices on the web (a full-time job in and of itself), scrutinize every aspect of this game and our plans for it, and have been reexamining everything we’ve done and plan to do. That has led to over-thinking, over-analyzing and overworking many aspects of this game and Wave Two. Simple, straightforward rules and stats have been reworked, over and over again, and we still question ourselves, hesitate and wonder if we need to do another rework before posting them and making them available to you. We’ve been second-guessing ourselves (never a good thing) and hesitant to release anything until it is perfect and exactly what you want. The problem is, you can never please everyone. And true perfection is a rare thing and nearly impossible. There have been too many redos of rules and stats. Too much discussion of, “but what if we do this instead of that ... and that, and that, and that!” All of this has led to a big fat zero to show you. And it has caused Palladium Books to be too quiet while some frustrated and angry backers rail against us and seem to find fault in EVERYTHING we say and do.
It seems like no matter what we say or do, there are going to be angry and upset people who hate it and savage our every word, deed or image. It’s nearly impossible to have an open dialog when it only seems to provide fuel for more attacks. The quality of RRT products is disparaged. Our intentions called into question. Our words and intentions twisted and distorted. We are accused of being liars, incompetent, uncaring, and on and on. It can be emotionally crushing, because we do care so deeply about Robotech® RPG Tactics™. Because we put our hearts and souls into this game and have so many plans for exciting new material in the future.
Yeah, I know you’re not supposed to let that kind of stuff get to you, or even acknowledge it. The thing is, I think all of us at Palladium have let ourselves be silenced for too long by it and we let it knock us off our game. That ends here and now. No, we’re not going to engage in a war of words, but we are going to be ourselves. And you are going to see more from us.
Yes, there have been delays, and we have apologized and tried to explain why.
But you know what? Robotech® RPG Tactics™ is a damn good game. It really is. The rules and game pieces truly capture Robotech®. It’s fast. It’s fun. And it delivers Robotech® in a new way on the table top. A great many people love RRT and want more. And we want to give it to them. To you. A great many people tell us on a regular basis how much they enjoy Robotech® RPG Tactics™. That they play it regularly and they can hardly wait for Wave Two and future expansions. We spoke to at least a hundred of them at Gen Con! And even more when we consider the many emails we get from people expressing their continuing support and happiness with what has been released thus far. We have had industry experts and other manufacturers remark on the excellent manufacturing quality and that the game is solid. Likewise, the majority of people who have picked up the new convention exclusives enjoy them greatly, particularly Breetai in Heavy Armor and Miriya’s Super Valkyrie in Guardian mode. And though Grell is not perfect and requires a bit of work, it is the BEST Zentraedi Male Power Armor ever released at anything like this scale, paints up like a dream, and provides leadership and meat to the Malcontents faction. (Much of this is a testament to the quality workmanship of the 3D sculptors and the quality casting work of GHQ.)
Our distributors remain positive about Robotech® RPG Tactics™, and like everyone else, they want Wave Two and organized play (we’re working on both).
Palladium Books has been in business for 34 years and plans to be around for at least 34 years more! We DO listen to you. We learn, adapt and make changes. We are trying to address YOUR concerns about the many pieces and reduce the piece count, and make this fun game even more fun. Please try to understand, Palladium can not follow everyone’s suggestions or fulfill all requests. Everyone will not always agree on everything or be correct all the time, but we sincerely try to follow the general consensus of what will make the vast majority happy with a quality product. That is what Palladium will continue to push for as we proceed with Robotech® RPG Tactics™.
We care about you, Robotech® RPG Tactics™ and its future. Anyone who says otherwise is mistaken or has an agenda to destroy this game, see the Kickstarter fail or take down Palladium Books. That last part may sound ridiculous, and in fact it IS ridiculous, but it’s true.
Our intention from the very beginning has been to make Robotech® RPG Tactics™ something truly special. Epic. And fun. Of course, as the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We got off to a bumpy start regarding the initial product and the release of Wave 2. But we have NEVER wavered from our intention to give you a quality product and give you Robotech®. Robotech® RPG Tactics™ is Robotech®.
Please keep in mind that Robotech® RPG Tactics™ is not Palladium’s only product line or obligation to our fans. Our other product lines have also suffered long delays and painfully few releases as the demands of RRT keep us from making anybody happy.
We completely understand your frustration with delays and concerns about Wave Two. You supported something special. You were excited. You thought you’d get your awesome game and rewards much, much sooner. We did too. It has not panned out the way any of us imagined. We are all frustrated, disappointed, and some are clearly pissed off.
But none of us at Palladium Books have given up on Robotech® RPG Tactics™. So please, don’t you give up on us.
Some disappointed people would like to paint me and Palladium Books as the uncaring and evil enemy. But the truth is, Palladium Books has always been your advocate to create Robotech® RPG Tactics™ and bring Robotech® to the tabletop. It was our dream to make RRT a reality in the first place. It was Palladium who took the risk. Who convinced Harmony Gold to let us do this. Who put its blood, sweat and tears into this game line along with Ninja Division, Carmen and others. And it is Palladium Books who has EVERYTHING to lose if it fails. Our reputation and our future is at stake with Robotech® RPG Tactics™. RRT was never a money grab, because at the time, nobody believed the RRT Kickstarter would be as big as it was; except for me, Kevin Siembieda. Yeah, even the Palladium crew thought I was crazy. Since that successful Kickstarter, we have done everything in our power to bring you our shared dream of Robotech® RPG Tactics™ and make it great. We do RRT for ALL Robotech® fans because we are uber-fans just like you, and we want this game to be great as much as you do. You can believe it or not, but that is the reality.
A reality that only YOU can help us achieve.
If Robotech® RPG Tactics™ is a dream that you share, please do not doubt the guys who brought this dream to you and continue to work hard at making it a living, growing reality. Help us. Please support Robotech® RPG Tactics™ in every way you can. I mean it. If you enjoy this game, talk up the positive, tell your friends, have them get into the core rules and start building armies and playing. We’ll make that easier by offering the fundamental rules and paper miniatures available online. Purchase the exclusives and have fun with all of this. Don’t get lost on the bumps in the road, be positive about what we have and what IS coming. Know that Palladium intends to get Wave Two out as quickly as we can, and ideally with much fewer pieces to assemble and without sacrificing detail. As stated, we’re shooting to release RRT Wave Two around the end of 2015 or sometime in the first quarter of 2016.
We will be posting the following in the weeks ahead:
- Actual cards for Wave Two game pieces.
- Force Organization Charts.
- Stats for Conventional Combat Vehicles (pre-Robotech).
- Expanded rules, errata, and clarifications.
- A free set of basic rules and paper miniatures will be made available online.
- More photos of painted minis.
- And we’ll try to do more updates.
Ultimately, the fate of Robotech® RPG Tactics™ rests in your hands. It always has. We need you. That’s why we funded RRT via Kickstarter. My thanks to the multitude of you who have supported Palladium on this Kickstarter and over the years. I hope that support for RRT continues. We look forward to getting Wave Two rewards into your hands, and much more for Robotech®.
With Appreciation and an Open Heart,
Kevin SiembiedaPublisher and Owner of Palladium Books
Wave Two Gallery
The following images show just a few of the many sculpts sent to China for engineering and tooling. We include this gallery as a reminder of the good things yet to come in Wave Two.