From Update #154

"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."

Links List

With the slew of new information provided by Bad Syntax as well as the existing material provided by Michael Arnold, it is long past time to have a centralized places for gathering links to useful resources. The new Links module (Links tab) should act as such a resource. To recommend new links, please submit them in the forum.

Project Update #153: And after all that...

The ship carrying the first container of Robotech® RPG Tactics™ pulled into port a few days ago as scheduled, and we’d be looking great for Gen Con except for three little words:

United States Customs

The container was flagged for random inspection. Our customs broker tells us that in his experience, this usually takes 7-14 business days. That means that, unless we get a small miracle, we will NOT have Robotech® RPG Tactics™ product to sell at Gen Con. In fact, it won’t arrive at our warehouse until after we return, and possibly not until the week of August 25, but probably more like August 20. Whenever it is, we’ll likely need a day or two to get things sorted, then we’ll start shipping to backers.

If we DO get a small miracle, we might have product for Saturday and Sunday of Gen Con. We have a contingency plan in case the container is released earlier than expected. If we can get it by next Friday, August 15, we’ll have Jeff and a one-way rental truck standing by to drive some down for the weekend, and the guys back home can start shipping the next week, but all of that is very unlikely.

Needless to say, we were all devastated by the news. We’ll have a few copies with us at Gen Con to display and run demos with, but we know a lot of people were counting on us having it there, and we just weren't able to do it, despite all our efforts. We always knew that this was a possibility, but to have it happen this way just stinks. We’re very sorry to disappoint those who were hoping to pick up the game at Gen Con, and that shipping to backers will be delayed at least a few days, but there’s nothing we can do at this point but hope Customs does their inspection quickly.

We will be taking pre-orders at Gen Con, but of course those won’t be shipped until after the Wave One backer rewards have been shipped.

Wave Two Update

In other news, things have been moving with Wave Two. We had a two hour conference call with Ninja Kai on Tuesday, going over the spec sheet and nailing down some details, and yesterday we got a bunch of renders and tentative sprue layouts. We've begun going over those and making notes for corrections. I’ll try to get some images posted in the next week, but no promises; I’m swamped with pre-convention stuff.

Project Update #151: Thank You!

Hey, everyone. Wayne here.

Thank you so much, guys. Everyone who voted, thank you for making your opinions known. And thank you to those 78% of you who voted yes to allowing us to sell product at Gen Con. We really and truly appreciate it.

Things have been nuts around here the last week, but here are the highlights:

Sorting out BackerKit’s back end, making sure every item is properly set up in preparation for exporting the data and importing it into our shipping system.

Meeting with representatives from UPS, USPS, and Pitney Bowes, getting our shipping system updated and expanded to be able to handle the volume of all those Kickstarter rewards going out.

Buying TONS of boxes for shipping out all your goodies, starting in a couple of weeks. This was more complicated than you might think, since we haven’t even seen all of the products in person yet. Not to mention the variety of shipments we’ll have to deal with. An export of the data from BackerKit that sorts the shipments into groups of like items shows 2,456 different combinations! That’s a lot of things to consider when ordering ten thousand dollars worth of boxes.

And too much more to list. In fact, since it’s 10pm Saturday night and I’m only just now getting time to post this, I’m going to leave it there for now, and let the rest be covered by the following words from Palladium President and Publisher, Kevin Siembieda:

------------

My deep and heartfelt thank you to our Kickstarter backers for voting to let us take Robotech® RPG Tactics™ to sell at Gen Con. The overwhelming majority (78% who actually voted) voted yes. Thank you for your understanding and kindness. You and your support are very appreciated.

I have been showing around the ONE box of Robotech® RPG Tactics™ we have received from China and everyone goes wild over it. The game looks big, beefy and beautiful. We have the one game box, a couple of the expansion packs and a half dozen sprue samples of each mecha. Some of the sprue samples have been sent out to be painted, both as display pieces and for tabletop demos at Gen Con. The bulk of them have been sent out to Blue Table Painting. They are doing most of the painting and we appreciate their efforts. We’re working them like dogs, too, because we did not get the UEDF production samples until last week. Thanks guys, the paint jobs are looking great! Their comment about the sprues: “You can tell somebody put a lot of love into these models.” Yes indeed, a lot of people put a lot of love into them. We’re glad to hear that it shows in the final pieces.

I can’t express how rewarding it is that people go wild over this game and think the pieces look so good. Our China broker and factories are doing an excellent job on the final phase. Carmen Bellaire (co-author of the rules) just got to see it all the other day. He too was impressed. “Kev, I know it has been hell to get this game made, but the end product is really something. You should be really proud.” I think everyone involved can be proud of this finished product. I cannot wait until we can start shipping out product to our Kickstarter backers.

A NEW Robotech® RPG Tactics™ game piece may be made available via the Robotech® Academy Kickstarter!

Yes, you are reading that correctly. There could be one (or two?) NEW Robotech® mecha game pieces for Robotech® RPG Tactics™ made available in the Robotech® Academy Kickstarter! Harmony Gold contacted Palladium Books to see if we would mind if they released one (maybe two) 1/285 scale (6 mm) NEW MECHA from the anticipated Robotech® Academyanimated pilot, as game pieces for Robotech® RPG Tactics™. We gave our blessing because we thought you guys and gals would dig it. This would be an official game piece (we would do up the stats and everything). I do not know if HG is planning to do this for certain or not.

Harmony Gold may announce at Comic Con International in San Diego this weekend, if they are going to add the new piece(s) or not, and if so, which new mecha they will manufacture and offer. They’ll also make the announcement on their Kickstarter page and via other means, as well as post images online.

What is Robotech® Academy? It’s Harmony Gold USA, Inc.’sproposed new venture to expand the Robotech® universe. And they are using Kickstarter to finish the pilot with the hopes of launching it as a new Robotech animated series. It is my understanding that concept work, a script, model sheets, new mecha designs and more are already done. Now they are looking to get the production of the pilot financed, at least in part, by Kickstarter. As a licensee of Harmony Gold, I like what I’m hearing about this new series, so check out this Kickstarter and get some cool, collectible swag in the process.

Gen Con Indy – we leave it up to YOU

First, let me state that all of us at Palladium Books appreciate ourRobotech® RPG Tactics™ Kickstarter backers more than words can ever express. I meant it with all my heart when I wrote that, “we could not have done this product without YOU.” I meant it when I said, “ALL of us at Palladium Books, Ninja Division, Harmony Gold USA, and every Robotech® fan who enjoys this product owes you– our Kickstarter backers – a debt of gratitude, and that you should take a bow.”

I also meant it when I said I hope you stop by the Palladium booth at Gen Con so we can shake your hand and thank you personally for making this outstanding product possible.

We completely understand being frustrated and disappointed about the long time it has taken to make and release Robotech® RPG Tactics™. You want this product so bad you can taste it. You wanted it last year! You want it now!!

Us too.

If we could have made and shipped Robotech® RPG Tactics™last Fall as we originally intended, we most certainly would have done so. I have NEVER lied about anticipated release dates. We were working with the limited knowledge and information we had at each announcement. We honestly and completely believed the release dates ourselves. We spent money advertising them because we believed them. That was our intention.

Time and time again, there have been unavoidable delays we did not anticipate.

As I have stated repeatedly, the creation of a product line such as this is new to us. There has been a lot of new territory to navigate. The learning curve has been steep. As this was a highly publicized and successful Kickstarter, that means all 5,000+ of you have been dragged along with us on that turbulent journey.

You are feeling the agony of the delays, the waiting, the unexpected problems that, normally, only we quietly endure behind the scenes ourselves.

We know how frustrated and upset you feel about everything. We feel the same, many times over. There have been many moments when we have felt like tearing our hair out and screaming to the heavens. We all deal with it as best we can.

Some people say there is no way this should have taken so long. Perhaps they could have done all of this faster and without the bumps Palladium has encountered. I don’t know. What I do know is that Palladium Books and Ninja Division could NOT. That is the simple reality. You don’t have to like that answer. I sure don’t. You don’t have to believe it, either. But it is the truth. We have worked tirelessly and diligently to get Robotech® RPG Tactics™manufactured as fast as we could. Robotech® RPG Tactics™has been Palladium’s top priority. We have been doing our best and have learned a lot. Wave One is coming off the production line now and will start shipping soon.

Gen Con Indy

Gen Con Indy is on the horizon. It is the largest gaming convention for this hobby in the country. I announced we are planning to bring some Robotech® RPG Tactics™ product to sell. A few hundred of six items: the main box game, four of the expansion packs (Tomahawk/Defender Destroids, Regult Battlepods, Artillery Battlepods, and Glaug Command) and the rule book. That would mean a few hundred people will get these items before most of the 5,200+ Kickstarter backers, and around the same time as the first backers are receiving theirs in the mail.

That was a tough decision for me to make. Here is how and why I made it:

● We will begin shipping Robotech® RPG Tactics™ to Kickstarter backers before we leave for Gen Con Indy.

● We will have people continuing to prep, package and shipRobotech® RPG Tactics™ to Kickstarter backers while the rest of us are at Gen Con.

● Bringing or not bringing Robotech® RPG Tactics™ to sell at Gen Con will NOT make any difference to shipping to Kickstarter backers. If we were to leave that product at our warehouse instead of taking it to Gen Con, not one single Kickstarter backer would get his or her rewards any sooner.

● Shipping to our Kickstarter backers will take what we estimate to be 3-4 weeks, maybe longer. We are NOT Amazon.com. We can’t ship what we estimate will be 7,000-9,000 packages (those add-ons and exclusives add up) in a few days, even with the upgrades we are making to our shipping system.

● Palladium is NOT shipping to distributors or to retail stores untilafter all the Wave One Kickstarter backer rewards have left our warehouse.

● We are not selling any Kickstarter exclusives, just the basic items listed above. Only a few hundred people will be able to buy them, as quantities will be limited.

● We have been promising for months that we would haveRobotech® RPG Tactics™ product to sell at Gen Con. People have made travel plans, hotel reservations, bought tickets to Gen Con, etc., counting on it being available at Gen Con. We thought we’d have plenty of time to ship to backers before Gen Con, but the product is coming months later than we thought it would. If we could push back Gen Con, we would, but obviously we can’t.

● Gen Con Indy is critical to a successful product launch in the Fall. Having a major game like Robotech® RPG Tactics™ to show, demo and sell is HUGE. It creates buzz, attracts media attention, and is vital to the upcoming big, full scale retail push this Fall. We NEED to do this for the good of the product line. And there is so much more we want to release: more mecha, aircraft and combat vehicles, additional eras of Robotech® and their mecha, and so much more. Isn't this what we all want?

Though I feared making product available to even just a few hundred gamers at Gen Con, I believe the vast majority of you, our backers, will understand why this is a necessity and be okay with it.

Here’s why. The entire purpose of a Kickstarter is to help fund a product that you, yourself, would love to see made and brought to market. It’s about more than getting cool swag before anyone else. It is about funding something YOU want and believe in. To make a shared dream into reality. That’s why it’s called crowdfunding.

Together, we are making the game we have always wanted. And for other people than just ourselves to enjoy. Making and bringingRobotech® RPG Tactics™ to market is the whole point of the Kickstarter, and having it available at Gen Con is a critical part of that effort.

You, our Kickstarter backers, are still getting special rewards for your funding, including those same retail products at below retail prices, plus Kickstarter exclusives that nobody else will ever get, and add-ons that won’t hit retail stores for some time to come. We would only be letting a few hundred people buy (at full retail price) a few items at Gen Con.

I believe we are all working toward the same goal and that most of our Kickstarter backers understand how important Gen Con Indyreally is. That our backers might not be thrilled we’re selling a small selection of Robotech® RPG Tactics™ items at Gen Con Indy – but would understand the importance of doing so, and be okay with that. After all, only a few hundred people will join the ELITE Kickstarter backers in getting the product before it hits store shelves. And none of them are getting the goodies and exclusives going to our backers.

Maybe I’m wrong. I’m very sorry if our Gen Con announcement upset, angered or made you feel unappreciated in any way.

You are important to us.

We do respect and appreciate you.

So we are asking for YOUR permission.

We humbly ask, may we please sell some Robotech® RPG Tactics™ at Gen Con Indy? It’s only a few hundred of six items: the main box game, four of the expansion packs (Tomahawk/Defender Destroids, Regult Battlepods, Artillery Battlepods, and Glaug Command) and the rule book.

Post your “Yes” or “No” in the comments on this Update byMonday, July 21st. Please try to restrict your comments on this Update to “yes” or “no” votes, so that we can count them more accurately. There are plenty of other places to discuss your opinions about this voting process, the lateness of the rewards, or anything else.

If the majority of you say “no,” we will NOT bring Robotech® RPG Tactics™ to Gen Con Indy, except for the purpose of display and demos.

I implore you to say “yes.” Please give us your permission. We believe it would be disastrous not to have the small selection of items I've listed available for sale. Not having them will hurt the launch of Robotech® RPG Tactics™ and Palladium Books.

Please make your voices heard. If you are totally opposed to us selling Robotech® RPG Tactics™ at Gen Con, tell us. Do NOT sit back and be silent. Spread the word that we want every backer to make their voices heard.

Anyone who does NOT respond by July 21st, we will consider to be a “yes.”

Some may say that it is not fair to count non-responses as “yes” votes. After all, it may well be that more than half of the 5,000+ Kickstarter backers won’t respond at all. But that would say something, too: That the majority of backers aren't that worried or upset about this. If you are, please let us know. We need to know. All the more reason you need to spread the word and make sure every backer reads this Update and makes their opinion known.

But we sincerely want your clear permission, so if it is okay with you, please vote “yes.”

How to vote. Since this really only impacts the Robotech® RPG Tactics™ Kickstarter backers, only you get a say. That means we need YOU to reply via comments on this Update, where only you backers can post.

  • Please vote once.
  • Keep it simple. All you need to say is “Yes.” or “No.” If you have more to say, please put it after your “yes” or “no” vote, but please keep it to a minimum to make counting the votes easier.
  • Robotech® RPG Tactics™ Kickstarter backers only.

DEADLINE: July 21, 2014. We need your response by July 21, 2014, so we can adjust our travel plans accordingly. If we’re not bringing Robotech® RPG Tactics™, we need a smaller truck, fewer people at the booth, fewer hotel rooms, some of our volunteers will need to cancel their travel plans, etc. PLEASE vote pronto. Thank you.

I don’t know what else to say. I am very sorry for the long delays despite our best efforts. I apologize for any anguish our plan to sellRobotech® RPG Tactics™ product at Gen Con may have caused you.

All we have ever wanted is to create a great Robotech® battle game and figures that Robotech fans like ourselves would love. I think you’ll find Robotech® RPG Tactics™ to be that product. It is an honor and a privilege to be in a position to bring you that game line. And we have plans for much more. Getting that great game into your hands has been a challenge. We are almost there. Please vote how you think is best. Thank so very much for your support.

With sincere appreciation,

Kevin Siembieda
Publisher and Fan Boy

Project Update #147: Production in Full Swing

Hey, all. Lots of photos to show you this week, but first a few updates.

The initial test runs for all of the Wave One UEDF game pieces arrived at the Palladium offices on Saturday, and we immediately assembled some of them to check for any issues that needed to be corrected. There were a few minor adjustments to be made, but the factory jumped right on them, and we've been approving their fixes all week.

Just about everything for Wave One is now in manufacturing, with a few exceptions.

Some adjustments were made to the Tomahawk and Defender molds over the last couple of days, we saw photos of the new test runs this morning, and there are one or two more slight fixes still needed. We should be able to approve them tomorrow, so they can start production tomorrow night (Saturday, China time; they’re 12 hours ahead of us).

There was a fix done last night for the Valkyrie Battloid, we saw photos this morning, and it has been approved. It will begin production tonight.

Everything else is now in production, with final assembly of main box and expansion kit components starting early next week.

More of the UEDF Test Runs

We showed you Ninja John’s photos of these last week, but today we thought we’d show you pics of some assembled figures along with their sprues, showing what’s left after assembling one of each game piece.


Here’s the Valkyrie Battloid. As you may notice, two of these come on one sprue, so after assembling one, there are still parts left over to make one more, plus multiple arm pose and head options.


For the Valkyrie Guardian, the only parts left over are a set of arms in a different pose, a few missiles and MLOPs pods, and the other head options.


The Valkyrie Fighter is much the same, with missile and head options left over.


The Defender, like the Battloid above, comes two per sprue, so there’s a second Defender left to assemble here.


Same for the Tomahawk. Here we've assembled the one with open missile ports in the chest, so there’s one Tomahawk left with closed ports, plus two Destroid Command Modules.


Once again, there’s a second Phalanx left to assemble here, plus the experimental arm options and two Destroid Command Modules.


And finally, the Spartan. In the background are the parts for a second Spartan, plus several extra arm pose options, including another club and two GU-11 gun pods.

I’m hoping to assemble the rest next week, and when I do, more photos will be coming. I actually recorded video of myself assembling the second Phalanx today, but the camera stopped recording just as I was attaching the legs to the pelvis. I’ll keep working on that.

In the meantime, tomorrow is a holiday in the USA, so we wish you all a safe and happy weekend.

Project Update #146: Robotech® RPG Tactics™ is in manufacturing... but what exactly does that mean?

We made the announcement two weeks ago that Robotech® RPG Tactics™ had gone into manufacturing, but some have speculated about just what that means, so I’m hoping to shed some light on that today. 

What it literally meant at the time was that we had placed the order and paid a deposit, which had put things in motion and got the factory started actually making things. But Robotech® RPG Tactics™ is a complex product, made up of many varied components. Everything isn't rolling off of production and assembly lines all at once. Here’s where things stand, in more detail. 

The faction dice are being manufactured and painted.

This is pretty self-explanatory. We approved the dice recently, andyesterday I was told that about 50,000 of them were already done. That’s a good chunk of the total, so these are coming along nicely. 

The decal sheets are being printed, or about to start.

We saw samples of these this week, and approved them pending one minor fix. They should begin printing any time, if they haven’t done so already. 

Packaging and other print items have been approved. 

We got a pile of print items this week, including the main game box, four of the six expansion boxes (and saw photos of the other two today), all the cards from the main box (and again, saw pics of the expansion pack cards today), and the instruction sheets. They have all been approved, and will begin printing any time now, if they haven’t already started.

The rulebook has been approved.

There was a snafu with the cover, but it has been resolved, and the rulebook has been approved to start printing. Should be any time now.

Zentraedi mecha are being made.

All of the Zentraedi game pieces were approved some time ago, and are in manufacturing. In fact, we got a big pile of them a couple days ago with the dice samples. They’re looking great.

UEDF mecha are all done with initial tooling.

We saw some initial test run photos of the UEDF sprues a few days ago, and identified some minor issues. Ninja John jumped right on it and got the factory working on fixing them. Meanwhile, Jeff has been looking them over and coordinating with John to catch everything. John received the test runs today, and we should get them tomorrow. I’ll include some photos of these below.

Final assembly begins next week.

Once all of the above is being made in quantity, the factory can begin final assembly of game boxes. That should start in about a week.

And now, some photos


First off, here are those print materials I told you about.


And here are some Phalanxes, rather hastily assembled by the guys at the factory, but looking good all the same.


These are the Spartan test runs assembled by Ninja John today.


And finally, the Valkyries. As with the others, there are a few adjustments to be made, but otherwise they look pretty good.

More to come soon, everyone. Hang in there.

Project Update #145: UPDATE: Robotech® RPG Tactics™ goes into manufacturing!

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Robotech® RPG Tactics™ Wave One has gone into manufacturing. This is one of the reasons we have been so busy the last few weeks, as we double- and triple-checked all aspects of the product: made final tweaks and adjustments to the packaging of the main box, expansion packs and rule book, finished designing the instruction sheets, as well as a number of advertising items, getting final approvals from Harmony Gold, and dealing with all the other aspects related to the product and manufacturing! Whew. Heads spinning. Looks great. Very exciting.

We are proud of the final product and confident you’ll find it exciting, fun and gorgeous. We can't wait to get Robotech® RPG Tactics™ Wave One into your hands. More details to follow as we nail down a shipping schedule.

Project Update #144: The New and Improved Spartan

Hey, gang. Very busy week this week, with conference calls and lots of communication and coordination with the folks at Ninja Division, going over final production quotes and making some final adjustments to the order for Wave One. The last bits of tooling are in process now, and manufacturing is about to begin. In fact, many items will begin manufacturing next week, with the rest to follow quickly after.

You’ll note I said some things are still in tooling. One of those is the Spartan. You see, we took a closer look at the Spartan to see what we could do to bring down the part count, as well as remove some seams where possible. We know some of you were very concerned about those, and you were not ignored. The test runs we’ve been getting of figures like the Glaug have shown that what seams do exist will be tight and barely noticeable, as promised, but we still wanted to reduce the number of them as much as we could. Here are the results:


These are the assembly instructions for the Spartan. As you can see, each leg is now just two pieces, where before it was three, and the upper leg has no seam at all. The wide gaps that appeared in the upper leg of the 3D printed prototype pieces were in part caused by the small piece that connected the leg to the hip/pelvis section, because that piece had to fit in between the two halves of the leg, causing them to spread apart. That’s no longer the case, and that connecting piece is now part of the leg, making the seam on the upper leg unnecessary.

Notice also that the center chest is now one piece instead of two, and the right and left chest sections are now also once piece each, except for the open missile port versions, which are each two pieces (plus the vent detail piece on the back for each).

The forearms are also now one piece each instead of two, and all of the shoulders are molded as round sockets, allowing 360 degree positioning of the arms. The contact points between the hand and forearm, and forearm and upper arm, are now flat, without the previous rectangular or diamond-shaped tabs that would have restricted poseability.

There were a couple of compromises necessary to reduce the part count and number of seams, but we were careful to only do so when it wouldn’t significantly reduce detail or harm the overall look of the Spartan. Believe me, at the size we’re dealing with, the Spartan will look great. And now, it will be a little easier and faster to assemble.

Project Update #143: Box Top and Contents (sort of)

Hey, folks.

Last week, we received the “white box” mockup of the main game box, along with a ton of test run frames, approximately as much as will come in the final product. Here’s a photo of everything that came in the box.


On the right in gray, we see the Zentraedi forces in the main box. That’s four sprues of 3 Regults each, one sprue containing the Glaug and the Quel-Regult, and one containing the Quel-Gulnau Recovery Pod. Those are all as they will appear in the final box, apart from some minor touching up on the Glaug sprue that’s being done now.

On the left are the UEDF forces... sort of. Actually, these in the photo are mostly Regult sprues, molded in the brown plastic that the UEDF forces will be made from, but let’s pretend for the moment. From top right to bottom left, these represent the two Destroid sprues, three Valkyrie Battloid sprues (they’re laid out 2 per sprue, so as things stand, you’ll actually get an extra Battloid in the box), five Guardian sprues, and five Fighter sprues.

Then we’ve got the large Squadron and Faction Cards, medium Mecha and Character Cards, and small Support and Special Cards (all are laminated, and dry erase markers work like a charm). Plus the bases, dice, Command Point tokens, decal sheets, artillery blast template, and a rulebook mockup. Please ignore the spiral binding on the book; that’s just a copy we made up for our own use. The final version will be perfect-bound like all of our softcover books.


And here’s what the final box cover will look like. We've just been putting the finishing touches on this in the last few days.

In other news, we are really getting down to the wire. Just about everything is either done with tooling, or in tooling now. Looks like production will be ready to begin in the next three weeks, and we’re hoping to push that date up a little sooner. That means we should start receiving shipments in July, after which we will begin shipping as quickly as possible. 

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