One of the things I love about Gen Con is walking the aisles of the Exhibit Hall. There are literally dozens of aisles and up and down each of them is wall to wall games. Some you have never heard of, some you know all too well! But occasionally my eye will catch something that I just have to see! This time at Gen Con 2016, the game that caught my eye was Robotech RPG Tactics by Palladium Books. Alexander and I just had to stop when we walked by their booth and saw all of the beautifully sculpted and painted miniatures.
When I was in school in the 1980’s my brother and I would watch Robotech which was this awesome Japanese anime science fiction television cartoon series about the SDF-1 or Super Dimensional Fortress that was being defended by the UEDF or United Earth Defense Force against an alien invasion by the evil Zentraedi. We loved that show and wanted desperately to be Rick Hunter, Max Sterling or Roy Fokker and fly in one of the Veritech fighter planes. I personally loved the Battloid mode the best and always wanted to get my hands on a GU-11 gun pod and blast one of those damnable Zentraedi invaders.
Well as an adult, Robotech RPG Tactics is about as close as I’m ever going to get to that. Robotech RPG Tactics is a tactical miniatures game set in the Robotech universe. While the 1/285th scale game pieces can be used as a companion to the Robotech RPG, the game system is designed to be played as a tabletop miniatures game. Players build armies of multiple squadrons of mecha to fight it out in scenario-driven, objective-based game play. Players can chose to command the forces of the United Earth Defense Force (UEDF) valiantly defending Earth from alien annihilation or lead the massive clone armies of the Zentraedi Armada to recover an alien artifact of immense power, the SDF-1 and its Robotechnology and protoculture and enslave humankind. Depending on the faction, and their choice of mecha, a player’s army may include from two game pieces to as many as you desire! The rules are scalable from small skirmishes to mass combat with hundreds of units per side.
Robotech RPG Tactics uses a dynamic turn based system. Players trade off activating squadrons during each turn, ensuring that a player never has to sit and wait while his opponent moves and attacks with his entire army. By using alternating activation of squadrons, the game’s action unfolds at a fast and furious pace, allowing large scale battles to be easily carried out in a single evening. Each player receives a number of Command Points each turn based on the number of mecha they have on the field, and the quality of the officers they control. Command Points are spent throughout the turn on maneuvers such as boosted movement, devastating weapon salvos, dodging counterattacks and potent special abilities.
The wide variety of mecha in the boxed game bring to bear the myriad and awesome weapon systems from the Robotech universe to lay waste to your foes. Even the battlefield itself can alter over the course of the game as buildings are leveled by destruction unleashed during the battle.
Alexander and I shared control of the Zentraedi forces while the demoer controlled the UEDF. We enjoyed our demo immensely even though we didn’t play that long and didn’t get to use all of the mecha or experience all of the various abilities of each of our units. The minis were well made and the paint jobs were fantastic! I also loved the dice and the use of special actions in the form of tokens.
All in all, the demo was extremely fun and I was impressed with the quality of the miniatures and the game play itself. We didn’t decide to buy but the price was reasonable at $85 for a lot of minis. I noticed that they had sold nearly half of their inventory by the end of day 1. I’d definitely be interested in giving Robotech RPG Tactics another try in the future.