Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Machine Head

Recently I discovered that one of the fellows I game with pretty regularly has developed a brand spanking new Anime/Manga themed Mecha Tabletop RPG and put it up on Kickstarter.

Art from Beamswords and Bazookas
By Jeffery Chen

It's called Beamswords & Bazookas and it is already full funded! Woohoo! That said, if you want to contribute to the coming awesoneness, the Kickstarter has 10 days left to go as of this post date. Click on the game's title. 

I don't participate in Kickstarters very often. First, I don't have that much disposable income. Second, I contributed to a few early on that didn't pan out and I don't like how I end up feeling when that happens. I don't gamble. The thrill of a maybe is not a thrill for me.

I am more than happy to buy a thing I want when it comes out. Heck, if I really love it I might buy a second copy so I don't wear the book out reading it. Asking me to pay the cost (or more) of a game before it comes out, in the hopes that it will, ehhh, not for me.

For me to partake in this kind of endeavor, I have to deeply, sincerely believe in and want to support the concept and/or its creator. 

This is why I absolutely backed Beamswords & Bazookas. 

Even if the guy making it wasn't a cool dude I happen to know personally, the fact is that there just aren't enough great Giant Robot Role Playing Games on the market.

Are there any?

I mean there's Battletech and Mechwarrior but those are to Giant Robots what the AMC Pacer is to automobiles. Yes, a Pacer is a car, but it can only barely do the things you buy a car to do.

Then there's...um...there's...well damn. 

The greats of the genre, Heavy Gear, Jovian Chronicles, and Mekton are all out of print. Mekton being a very special case. Remember that thing about backing Kickstarters that don't come to fruition? Disappointment, thy name is Mekton. 

The Mekton Zero Kickstarter was effectively funded in 2013. In 2018, one year after the last prior update, Mekton creator Mike Pondsmith issued a statement of which this is an excerpt:

"While I still intend to finish Mekton Zero, I have come to the conclusion that it is not fair for me to continue to commit the time and money you have invested in this project any longer, or to make you wait until I wrap Mekton Zero up.

Therefore I'm going to REFUND everyone who has committed money to this project (and who hasn't already taken advantage of our previous buy out offer). We are in the process right now of setting this up (via Paypal) and sending out refunds to all of you. If you no longer have a Paypal account or have changed email addresses, please contact us through this site and let us know to make other arrangements.

We WILL finish Mekton Zero, but since how long that will take is indeterminate (due to all these other commitments), I feel this is the best option for now.

However, when Zero finishes, EVERYONE who has still been committed to the project will still receive their copies of the book, their figures, their t-shirts, their bumper stickers and all the other paraphernalia that we planned. This is the only fair thing to do for our fans who have faithfully stuck with us through the long haul."

It is now 2019 and there is no sign that Mekton Zero is coming anytime soon. Things went from promise and excitement, to stall tactics, to excuses, to an honest but disappointing message of accepting responsibility that I appreciate but still ends in no new Mekton. 

Where does that leave us Japanese Mecha fans who want a good Role Playing Game?

Well, I'm putting my money on Beamswords & Bazookas. Literally. 

Oh, did I mention I am going to get to test it out in a week or so?

Let you guys know how it goes? Will do.

Barking Alien

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