Wow. Way back in May of 2013, Palladium Games (perhaps best known for RIFTS or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness utilized their Robotech license to create a tactical miniatures game. Now I’ve been a fan of Robotech since I was in single digits and I’ve been playing miniature tactics games like Heroclix and Dungeons & Dragons Minis for a long time while also owning several Warhammer (fantasy and 40K) armies, so pledging to this Kickstarter campaign was a no-brainer for me. 5,341 other people agreed with me and Palladium raised nearly 1.5 MILLION dollars for this thing. It was a guaranteed success. Of course back then, everything looked amazing. No one expected the massive delays, the mold problems, the dividing the product into two waves, the creation of conventions exclusives that weren’t being offered to the backers, the possibility of non-backers like GenCon attendees getting their games first, the bickering between Palladium and Ninja Division, some very angry backers who weren’t expected sprues with as many options/pieces as Games Workshop releases and a whole host of other things that created an uncomfortable atmosphere between backers. Reading the comments of the Kickstarter can be a sobering and somewhat depressing experience. However all that is over! We’re finally starting to get the first wave of Robotech RPG Tactics and oh my god, does it look well worth the wait. Admittedly, I only got the Battle Cry pledge and all of my add-ons are in Wave Two, but the nine pound of miniatures and accessories that arrived at my doorstep today had me going, “Holy crap…that is a big box.” For those who didn’t pledge or haven’t gotten your order yet, feel free to enjoy this photo-heavy unboxing piece. There are forty-six photos showcasing what you get in your Battle Cry pledge and by the time you are done looking at these, your anger towards Palladium might subside a bit…or it might make it worse. Hey, it’s been a roller coaster of a ride. Now, let’s look at Battle Cry!
IMPORTANT NOTE: All photos are shrunk here to save you bandwidth and loading times. Just click on a photo (probably right clicking and opening in a new tab is best) so you can see the full sized detailed picture. What can I say – I know some of you are probably looking at this on a tablet or phone.
Behold! The box Robotech RPG Tactics arrived it. Note the weight on the box is nine pounds. Yeesh.
This is the shipping box immediately upon opening. Yes. All the packing material was a bunch of paper. No cushioning at all.
The box with the top paper removed. Yes, there was no packaging (which is dangerous for such delicate pieces of plastic, even on the sprue), but look how filled to the brim with stuff it is!
The contents of the shipping container laid out. A shrink wrapped bag of Kickstarter bonus pieces, the core Robotech RPG Tactics game and the art print. Note that the core game was not shrinkwrapped at all. This is not a big deal but for those of you trying to purchase this on the third party market, you should probably be wary of any Ebay auctions claimed their copy to be “sealed” or “unopened.”
A close up of the art print.
A close-up of the Kickstarter bonus material bag.
A close up of the box front/top.
A close up of the box back/bottom which gives a synopsis of the contents.
We’re now opening the Kickstarter bonus bag. First up are the miniature assembly instructions. Yes, THESE are the instructions. Sprue parts are not numbered and the instructions assume you are extremely experienced with miniature building, so to say that this game is unfriendly to newcomers or younger/casual gamers is a massive understatement. Hey, I spent Friday putting together twenty-five old metal Tomb Guard figures so this won’t be too bad for me, but I had to grimace at these things. Unfortunately, the core box instructions are EVEN WORSE, as we will see down the line.
Decals and cards. I haven’t read the rulebook so I can’t exactly tell you what the cards are used for except as reference points. Disappointed to see the decals are ones you will have to cut and soak rather than stickers if only because one again this game is extremely newcomer unfriendly assembly-wise and for a lot of backers, this will be their first taste of miniature building and collecting. Yipes.
Here’s a look at some of the smaller cards once I removed them from their shrink wrap.
Here are some of the Earth/Micronian large cards.
Some of the large cards with the Zentraedi forces.
These are faction cards. Again, I’m not sure what these do as I haven’t read the rulebook. I’ve merely skimmed it. As you can see though, these cards refer to specific squadrons. You’ll also see there is a third “Renegade” faction. Whether this is the Earth/Rebel alliance than forms towards the latter have of The Macross Saga or something else, I’ll have to let you know when I do the rulebook review down the road.
These are all the Zentraedi Kickstarter bonus sprues sorted by type. Oh man, are there are lot of them. Double oh man to how tiny some of the pieces are. Remember to go buy lots of glue folks – you’re going to need it.
Kickstarter bonus bases.
All the Earth based Kickstarter backer bonus sprues sorted. Yes, that’s a lot, but remember each Valkyrie gets three forms and so there are a lot more pieces and sprues than for a Zentraedi pod, which doesn’t transform.
Holy crap! We’re FINALLY into the actual Battle Cry box itself. This picture was taken the second I took the lid off my set. Again, notice a complete and utter lack of packaging for the sprues. I have a feel if other boxes were shipped like this, there are going to be a lot of broken sprues arriving to Kickstarter backers. Can you feel a fresh new wave of anger heading to the Palladium forums and the Kickstarter campaign page? Yeesh.
A close up of the inside of the Robotech RPG Tactics box once I opened it. Look at all that wonderful plastic just waiting to be assembled. The sprues and the pieces are exceptionally sturdy. Of course, they will also be exceptionally time consuming. I’m a little scared of that Bones II box coming my way now. Too many minis!
All the Zentraedi sprues from the core box sorted.
ALMOST all the Earth Sprues from the core box sorted.
Two of my Micronian sprues were shrinkwrapped together. Why just these two? I have no idea.
All the accessories from the box. Dice, counters, artillery blast piece. Stuff like that.
The cards and instructions for the box set. I WARNED YOU that the instructions for the miniature assembly would get even worse. Man, these might be the worst instructions I’ve seen since I started putting minis together. GOOD LUCK newcomers. At least the cards are of a high quality glossy stock.
Same thing but with the instructions for the opposing army.
Some of the larger cards from the core box set.
The smaller cards from the core box set.
Large cards for each of the United Earth Defense Force based miniatures.
Special character cards!
More special character cards. These aren’t name brand Robotech character though. If they are, I sure don’t remember them and I have all the Jack McKinney books and cartoon episodes.
Cards for the box set miniatures from the Zentraedi forces.
Zentraedi character cards!
Non “name brand” Zentraedi character cards.
An advertisement for all of Wave One’s figures.
An advertisement for all of Wave Two’s figures. Between the add-ons and the Kickstarter backer bonuses, the only things I won’t be getting are the VF-1Ds and the Glaug-Eldare. So you will eventually see reviews of the figures on here if you keep tuning into Diehard GameFAN’s Robotech RPG Tactics coverage.
Cover of the Robotech RPG Tactics rules manual.
Blah, blah blah. Mechanics. Yes, lots of tiny type crammed into pages. Oy, this is going to be a fun book to go through.
Here is a look at some of the RDF section of the book. Pretty pictures and easy to read mechanics. Quite a different from the previous picture, eh?
More of the United Earth Defense Force’s side. This time – name characters!
Time to give the Zentraedi some screen time. here’s a look at the pages regarding the pods.
A look at the Zentraedi name characters.
The start of “Fighting a battle section.” The game looks to be pretty rules-heavy. It’s too bad there isn’t a rules lite version with some snap together minis for less experienced wargamers.
Campaign section! I’m really looking forward to reading this part of the rulebook.
I love that Palladium included a painting guide in the core rulebook. Of course, it is in Hex Code, so it’ll be hard to match to brands like Citadel, Vallejo and Reaper paints. So for those of you who already have a preferred paint line but you don’t know the Hex Code that Palladium uses in the core rulebook, go here It’ll make your life so much easier.
Here is my attempt to fit everything from the core box and the Kickstarter bonus bag into the core box in a neat orderly fashion. This is as close as it is going to get.
Finally, here goes my box of Robotech RPG Tactics next to all the other minis I have to cut out and glue. I have a busy few years ahead of me…
Overall, like any game, Robotech RPG Tactics has some good points and some bad points. The sprues are high quality and seem really sturdy but the some parts look really small and flimsy. The game seems incredibly unfriendly to new wargamers but it also seems like it will be a lot of fun for those who want to spend the time and energy who want to really memorize the rulebook. The rulebook also seems like a mixed bag. Of course, this is nothing but first impression blatherscythe and you’ll have to wait for my actual review to get anything substantial or concrete out of me opinion-wise. For now, I’m just excited that the game is finally out and that backers on either side can stop fighting. Well, until the talk of wave two starts up.
Keep checking back with Diehard GameFAN as well give in-depth reviews of the rulebook and each of the different Wave One miniatures. Hopefully you’ll be looking forward to it as much as I am.