Robotech® RPG Tactics™ Update – Jan. 13, 2015
By Wayne Smith
Europe, Australia, and Rest of World Shipping
Europe: As we have mentioned previously, European packages are headed to Battle Foam’s UK warehouse, from whence they will be shipped to European backers from within the EU. It is our understanding this should save those backers VAT, which is why we are shipping by this method. The Wave One packages for all European backers were shipped from our warehouse to Battle Foam on Thursday, December 4. They arrived at Battle Foam’s Arizona warehouse on Thursday, December 11. Battle Foam was expecting to receive the ocean shipping container soon after that, but it didn’t arrive until a week and a half later. The container, with a combination of our backers’ packages and Battle Foam’s own goods, left their warehouse on December 22, headed for the port in Los Angeles.
The ship that will take our container to the UK has experienced delays. It docked in Oakland yesterday after sitting off the coast waiting for almost a week. I know, because I’ve been watching it sit there for the last several days, apparently because the ports are congested (and we understand there’s a strike going on). After Oakland, Los Angeles is its next stop, where it will pick up Battle Foam’s container with the European packages, and head for the Panama Canal.
That ship is NYK Meteor. It just left Oakland today (January 13). As of yesterday, it was scheduled to arrive in LA on January 17, and eventually reach the UK on February 11. This was already a week or two behind schedule. However, I refreshed the shipping line’s web page right before posting this update, and the dates just changed dramatically. Now it shows it being scheduled to reach LA on January 26, a whopping nine days later than it what showed just yesterday.
Here is NYK’s page where you can see the ship’s schedule: http://www2.nykline.com/vesselsearch/displaySchedule.nyk?vesselName=NYK+METEOR
And here’s a story from earlier today that paints a pretty bleak picture of the current situation at the ports: http://www.ihsmaritime360.com/article/16133/war-of-words-escalates-in-us-dockworkers-dispute
I’m sorry, guys. We had no idea it would take this long for your stuff to reach you. When we shipped it out over a month ago, we thought it would be aboard ship and nearly to the UK or even there and shipping by now. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about it at this point. Your rewards are in a sealed container sitting at the port in LA, waiting for the ship to arrive.
Australia: We packed up all of the Australian rewards over the next couple weeks after we shipped the European ones. I’ve been getting quote requests for a container to take them all to Australia, but the holidays interfered with that a lot, so they’re only now coming in. We’re hoping to schedule a container this week, which might take a week or two to be delivered. Then we’ll pack it and ship it out, and hope we don’t run into the kinds of delays the European container’s ship is hitting. Even so, travel time for a container from here to Australia is about a month, and that’s without any possible delays caused by the congestion and strike at the ports. I’m afraid we’re looking at late February or early March as a realistic delivery estimate for Australia. When we know more, we’ll report it here.
Rest of the World: When Australia’s packages have left the warehouse, we’ll begin shipping out the rest of the world. The good news for you guys is that we’ll send these packages directly to you, and you’ll likely receive them much faster, barring any delays in your country. Of course, that also means you’ll need to pay any applicable taxes, customs, fees and duty as normal.
We realize that no one is going to be happy with this news. We’re not either. And that brings me to something I wonder if I should have addressed sooner. Some people seem to believe we don’t care about our backers or fans, and that we have been taking our sweet time sending out product. Nothing could be further from the truth. Outcries of “lies” and “Palladium doesn’t care,” are untrue. I say that as one of the people who has given up a big part of his life the past two years working on every aspect of Robotech® RPG Tactics™. I can assure you that creating a good product and getting it shipped out to our backers, worldwide, have always been our two top priorities.
Every new problem and delay is, as Kevin would say, “a dagger in our hearts.” If it upsets you, it kills us and hurts our reputation. If any of the delays could have been avoided, we most certainly would have done so. This is a big project with many partners and pieces. Palladium simply does not have absolute control over every aspect, as you can see from the long delay with the ship booked to carry EU backer rewards to the warehouse in the UK.
2014 has been a shipping nightmare for everyone. Our experienced broker told us he has never seen anything like the last year in regard to port congestion and work slowdowns due to the threat of a strike by dock workers. 2015 is not starting out any better. We could scream at our broker all day long via emails and telephone calls, but it wouldn’t change a thing. We have to tough it out and wait, just like you.
From the start, we have given you release dates and ship dates as we knew them and as we ourselves believed them to be. As things change, we try to adapt to them as best we can and pass the often unpleasant news to you. Despite the problems and many delays, we choose to try to focus on the positive: that this is a game most of you will be pleased with, and it is just the beginning of something bigger.
Our plan for the future of Robotech® RPG Tactics™ is to make it everything you want it to be. We listen. We learn. And as we do, we get wiser, more efficient and have a greater understanding of what you need and want. We aim to kill with this game and want to make Robotech® RPG Tactics™ everything it can be.
Status of Wave Two Items
Wave Two is coming in 2015. We have not speculated as to when, because we get torn apart when we have to push back release dates. When we feel more comfortable with a projected release schedule, you will be the first to know. It will be this year. I can tell you that three weeks ago, Jeff Burke and I sent China changes and corrections to many of the 3D engineering models used for mold making and we are waiting for a progress report from them. I will try to post images of the 3D renders here as they are finalized and approved.
New and Improved Assembly Instructions
Jeff Burke is working on creating more detailed, clear and user friendly assembly instructions for the Wave One game pieces. This is also something we will probably be posting in small batches as he gets them finished. I will put links to them in the Kickstarter Updates as well as on Palladium’s website under The Cutting Room Floor and on DriveThruRPG.com as free downloads. The first ones should be available by the end of the week.
Adepticon – March 19-22, 2015
Palladium Books will be attending AdeptiCon this year. As it is our first time attending, we will only have two tables and a limited selection of products for sale. We are participating in the swag program and there will be at least one Robotech® RPG Tactics™ tournament. There should also be some demos, too. We’re trying to organize more demo teams. Kevin, Jeff and I should all be present to chat.
We have been working on an FAQ and will probably start posting a small selection and add to it over time. At this point, Megaversal Ambassador coordinator Patrick “Jake” Jakubowski will be running point on this, with input from the Palladium staff, Carmen Bellaire, Thomas Roach, Michael Arnold and others. Meanwhile, Carmen Bellaire, the co-author of the rules, has been discussing and working on advanced rules for the game.
Robotech® RPG Tactics™ should not be available in stores in Europe and Australia
We have heard the reports that one or more stores in Australia and Europe are selling Robotech® RPG Tactics™. What I can tell you is that Palladium has not shipped product to distributors or retailers overseas. We have no intention of shipping them Robotech® RPG Tactics™ product until our overseas backers’ rewards have been shipped. Likewise, we have not authorized a street date for sale overseas by the North American distributors who may sell overseas. We are looking into the matter, and hope it is very isolated. We apologize if these reports have caused our overseas backers more frustration.