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Rat13

Robotech RPG Tactics

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After some interesting plumbing adventures the family and I are out of the house for the next couple weeks while repairs are made. Knowing that I'd need something to do in the evenings I had to make a tough call. I could gather up my painting supplies or I could grab one box, a knife, glue, and clippers. I obviously chose the easier route. So during our little forced vacation I'll be assembling the Robotech RPG Tactics starter box and giving you my thoughts on it. Not that I think anyone particularly wants to hear my thoughts on it, but if I'm going to build all this I'm going to talk about it.

 

Before we jump into it I do want to mention that if you've ever heard anyone talk about this set I'm probably going to say a lot of the same things. I do however think I bring at least one new idea that somewhat redeems this box or at least changes the way you think about it.

 

Right off the bat I've got to say it does have a nice box. It's fairly solid and the art not only on the outside but on the inside is a nice little addition. 20200321_215433.thumb.jpg.73beb3d059b32101b6c65dd6737f66c6.jpg

 

When I first bought the box it was my intention to build the three configurations of a Veritech and stop. I already have too many projects and this was to be the reward after completing everything else. You better take a look at them before I start ranting.

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It was during the build of these first three models that I couldn't help but notice problems, you know the very ones we'd all already been warned about. The instructions are not always clear, all you get for each model is a deconstructed picture that can leave you guessing. Then to make it just a little more fun some components that are shown as being multiple parts just aren't. There is nothing like searching a sprue for a piece needed to complete a part before you realize its already attached.

 

Then of course when it comes to "fiddly" bits these may be the fiddliest I've ever seen. There are a ton of parts that are tiny to the point of the simple act of removing them from the sprue breaks them. Remember this because we'll definitely be coming back to it.

 

Even the larger pieces have their problems though. Most of the bigger pieces are multi-piece parts for no real reason. Maybe they're there to lull you into a sense of false comfort right before you start in on the "fiddly" bits.

 

Now we come to the sprues themselves. They're not exactly horrible minus the times when you break a "fiddly" bit trying to remove it but they're not great. 20200314_153042.thumb.jpg.3afc9f39e18172a6b3cc4d7b5576b7ac.jpg

 

After only assembling three I really wondered how they'd stand up to use on the tabletop. Even for display pieces they feel fragile. The detail is there but the construction and contact points are just bad, again we'll get back to that. 

 

Confidence was not high after the first three figures. Then came about our impromptu vacation so I pressed on with the assembly and next up were the other Macross defenders, you know the cannon fodder, the Defenders and the Tomahawks.20200321_131329.thumb.jpg.b33a6d86b08ddbe38694c9e05be9748c.jpg20200321_131431.thumb.jpg.1a1be01acedad42afb7a353e5a688e75.jpg

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This is where I hit my stride. Overall I assembled them quickly, with many of the same complaints, but by then I'd become familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the set. It's also where I had the revelation that completely changed my attitude.

 

You see these aren't miniatures and they really aren't game pieces, they're models. Models complete with all of the "fiddly" bits and needless multi-piece assembly you could expect. Once I started to think of them as models it bacame easier to accept the flaws and oversights. I couldn't exactly forgive or forget them, but at least they made a kind of sense. They're made like a Gundam model where the real accomplishment isn't in building it, it's in the fact that during the assembly you never threw it against the wall.

 

Armed with my new outlook I started work on the special Zentraedi models. Even with the new outlook there were issues. Here are some "fiddly" bits I broke while removing them from the sprue. See just how tiny some of them are?20200321_214748.thumb.jpg.0a91765394acd706e59351e2f1f7269b.jpg

 

 Oh and remember those contact points I mentioned?

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That's how a leg attaches, a leg, you know the thing that is meant to support the whole model.

 

Eventually I did complete the three special models however. 20200321_215724.thumb.jpg.9aab3a5eb3fb4f2a63f353cb21976dfc.jpg20200321_215736.thumb.jpg.0d64b1e5b7b8247f24c6815c16b3d2e5.jpg20200321_215831.thumb.jpg.1f08cc0f00e420fa4f34172e81ba94fa.jpg20200321_215821.thumb.jpg.23798365df2cb7603a392d6514814535.jpg20200321_215843.thumb.jpg.87ba693788553a112f309c509c2017d3.jpg20200321_215641.thumb.jpg.b5474e93b632ed8290bb27098ba90381.jpg20200321_215657.thumb.jpg.6e410f92bfc3a0d911431716cc1a9330.jpg

 

After reading all that it would be easy to think I hate this box. It'd be even easier to think I wouldn't recommend it. Even with all the issues however that isn't the case. I think under the right circumstances, I can recommend this to everyone they just have to meet certain criteria.

 

Firstly you need to be a fan, because you'll need that love of the source material to keep going. The box needs to be on discount (bought mine for about $50 and that seems fair). It also helps to know exactly what you're getting into; before buying I'd already heard plenty of horror stories (still ended up buying it and I'm glad I did). Finally you need to think differently about the figures themselves, honestly once I started thinking of them as models like Gundams or even highly detailed planes everything bacame easier. If you check all of those boxes this is probably right up your alley. Don't ask me about gameplay however I already know I'll never find someone to play with, I just wanted the models. 

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With all the unique models out of the way it's time to move on to the mooks. Since I've already seen how all the veritech modes are to assemble I decided to start the Zentraedi battlepods.

 

Turns out the regular battlepods are the easiest to assemble by far. With no options whatsoever their instructions are the easiest too. 20200322_194233.thumb.jpg.4c6ecd3ccc3b2fc9fcf8d82a180a3f82.jpg

Versus20200322_194303.thumb.jpg.37616b933f299f9cdeb28c47781b7a02.jpg20200322_194250.thumb.jpg.38fd296a07cfc1b3877a36cd631fc513.jpg

 

Sprue again isn't too bad but there are still tiny bits that get destroyed during removal. Looking at you tiny cannons.20200322_194159.thumb.jpg.75b4e760541a11a9ee5340578f85e16b.jpg

 

One sprue down and only three more to go. 

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The only real complaints I have from tonight that are specific to these models are the legs. Apparently I needed to mix and match the left and middle units legs to get them to stand properly. It also appears that the right one is intended to recieve the support to imply it's movement of leaping into the air instead of the leaning battlepod I ended up with. In both cases the glue was already dry before I realized my mistake. Oh well, I guess I'll just have a few pods with added character.

 

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Fun!

 

I've put together a fair number of them, but still have a lot to do.....sometime.....

Game play is actually not bad.  The ruleset is decent.

You could also use them for a more open ruleset, like Polyversal. I'm planning to do that if I ever get around to reading the Polyversal rules......

 

If you haven't checked out the Kid's Logic Robotech figures, they are quite lovely, resin and usually 3-5 pieces. And they have a bunch of the figures that would have been in Wave 2 if <redacted> :grr:

Mind you, being resin they are pricier.  A Monster costs what you paid for that whole box.....

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1 hour ago, Jasper_the_2nd said:

Game play is actually not bad.  The ruleset is decent.

You could also use them for a more open ruleset, like Polyversal. I'm planning to do that if I ever get around to reading the Polyversal rules......

I figured after everything was built I'd check out the rules. This is mainly because I like reading different systems, I knew before I bought it I'd never find an opponent.

 

How do the miniatures themselves fair on the table? To me they feel quite fragile and a lot of the contact points are way too small. Between transporting them somewhere to play and then actually using them I'd expect a lot of breakage.

 

1 hour ago, Jasper_the_2nd said:

If you haven't checked out the Kid's Logic Robotech figures, they are quite lovely, resin and usually 3-5 pieces. And they have a bunch of the figures that would have been in Wave 2 if <redacted> :grr:

Mind you, being resin they are pricier.  A Monster costs what you paid for that whole box.....

I'll have to check those out, especially if they have such a low piece count. With that price though I expect all I'll do is look though. For me price was the biggest factor in picking up the starter box, especially after seeing everyone else's frustration with the set. 

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8 hours ago, Rat13 said:

How do the miniatures themselves fair on the table? To me they feel quite fragile and a lot of the contact points are way too small. Between transporting them somewhere to play and then actually using them I'd expect a lot of breakage.

 

 

We only played a few times but I had no problems.  Are you using superglue or plastic cement?  I used plastic cement and they seem quite strong.

The only one I've broken was one I accidentally caught on my sleeve and fired it off the shelf and across the study (this was a standard Zentraedi battle pod).  Knocked the base off and one of the little "eye" lasers disappeared into the carpet to never be seen again.  With the "massive" amount of detail on those guns, I figure I can just carve a replacement out of extra sprue.....

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I picked up some of the minis for Battletech. They worked okay, but I would not want them used with clumsy players. It was nice getting LAMs and Warhammers out there again on the table.

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With how easy the regular battlepods turned out to be I decided to clip everything at once instead of one sprue at a time. Since the clipping and cleaning didn't take half as long as expected I figured I'd push on to assembly as well.20200323_224618.thumb.jpg.d2ab4e844b53deebea0122956658ce1f.jpg

As you can see it went pretty well, but I left the worst for last. 

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That's right I've still got to clip and glue all the cannons, I wonder how many I'll break this time.

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On 3/23/2020 at 8:09 AM, Jasper_the_2nd said:

Are you using superglue or plastic cement?  I used plastic cement and they seem quite strong.

I'm using loctite superglue. My friends have been trying for the last year or so to get me to try plastic cement with no luck. For me the real selling point of superglue is how things break if a drop occurs. When I drop a miniature an arm or a leg might come off at the contact point, but when they drop a miniature it doesn't just break at a contact point pieces actually snap off.

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Not too much progress tonight as I decided to take it easy. Plumbers began working today and in the first few hours they found things I wouldn't have believed if I hadn't seen them myself. Somebody definitely took advantage of the previous owner at some point and probably charged an arm and a leg for it too. But enough about that let's get to the models. 

 

The nine battlepods recieved their cannons today, even the really fiddly ones. I even managed to surprise myself by not breaking a single one during the clipping or the cleaning, didn't lose one either come to think of it.

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I even managed to build another Veritech fighter too. 

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Well the family and I are finally back in our house and as I fully expected to have finished this project before returning I'm left with a question. Finish this or get back to all my other unfinished and planned projects? As I'm really only building these for nostalgia's sake I really thought I'd just put the box away as is and get back to everything else. Seeing how little is left to build though changed my mind. So I'm pushing on with the intention to finish the box before getting back to the real projects. 

 

Tonight I assembled the last three Veritech fighters. Build went fine, minus the usual complaints, until I foolishly decided to try attaching the optional components. Talk about "fiddly" bits, they're tiny and each piece only has a small contact point to attach it. Then just for fun each one has multiple pieces for no real reason.20200404_224234.thumb.jpg.1882c0f01e1fec083dcdabc5fcd2648c.jpg

Eventually I got them attached but I'm not optimistic they'll stay attached. Though I could be wrong as somehow none of the previous models had any breakage during transport.20200404_230127.thumb.jpg.5f6336bc716067715f24d7bbd410098e.jpg

They faired great, especially considering I didn't pad the container at all. I wouldn't recommend trying this yourself but maybe these models are more resilient than I first thought. Maybe, just maybe they wont break if you look at them wrong. 

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Now that we're back in the house and on lockdown I've taken all the extra time to start/finish some household projects. With all the supplies bought (that was quite an accomplishment in itself) and a couple finished projects under my belt I figured I could reward myself with a little hobby time.

 

Though I didn't get much done with my time I did manage another Guardian mode Veritech. I'm still not exactly sure how the forearms are supposed to attach and it shows.20200410_220416.thumb.jpg.8fb9fd7c0d05666ba7bc59d13d7690dc.jpg20200410_220432.thumb.jpg.fd7982180ae4a85e752cefe2fb118ca3.jpg

Instructions and art are not very helpful either. On a related note whoever decided the arm should be two pieces, three if you include the hands, should have been fired. Trial and error weren't enough to figure out the proper pieces or arrangements and all that could have been avoided with just a few part's numbers/letters. 

 

As usual this one has a lean too. I just cannot get any of these figures to sit straight on their flight stands.20200410_220445.thumb.jpg.09d17bf47234b0fb15aeae5004a7b722.jpg

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Imagine buying one each of these models on eBay and receiving them without any instructions sheet at all.  I didn't expect the construction guide but neither did I expect them to be a complex and fiddly as they are.

 

I've only built two battle pods, a Veritech Fighter, and a Guardian.  ...and that's where I'm stopping.

 

Enjoyed reading through this.  It felt like a shared experience.

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Do you have the PDF instructions for assembly?

I "think" they were available for free on drivethrurpg but likely aren't available anymore due to Palladium losing the license.

 

I grabbed everything that was available off the site before the license expired. If anyone needs anything, just PM me.

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