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Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

"Forget it Jake, it's [China's manufacturing industry]."

   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

Back from the dead, we have news from Mech-Con, which is happening right now. Really all the news is about Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries, the 5th game in the Mechwarrior series (if you ignore Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries, which was a spin-off of Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance) and the third game to be called "Mercenaries". Video games are confusing y'all!

But in table top news, BTech is finally getting new maps for the first time since the Bronze Age I think!





As a lover of all things maps/tiles/board pieces (I think I own between 2 and 4 of every BTech Map, maybe even as high as 6 for some of them) I am super excited by this.

And I confirmed with Catalyst that these are all new maps.

   
Made in gb
Camouflaged Ariadna Scout




United Kingdom

Any news about the starter sets? I believe they were due to be reaching the US distributors this week?

   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






Los Angeles

Those new maps look lovely, but until I see some of this new stuff in person I'll assume it is all vaporware.

   
Made in gb
Devious Space Marine dedicated to Tzeentch




Manchester, England

 OrlandotheTechnicoloured wrote:
I think that once you've given the factory your money (unless you're a big repeat business partner) you pretty much have to lie back and wait,

That's certainly the case when trying to get space on ships too



Which is fine, I get that. Nearly every company has to deal with that aspect of the industry unless they're so massive that they actually own most of their own production and warehousing (like GW). But this is as much about the dire state of the game under CGL and their licensor than the speed at which they're bringing this product to market.

For example, it wouldn't feel quite so disappointing that this game realistically won't be in my hands until early next year if it wasn't for the silly long gap between the availability of the last proper starter set and this one. Moreover, it's not as if that gap has been down to the sort of developmental progression that other games go through; aside from the new, redesigned plastic mechs, the rules are going to be almost identical to the rules found in almost every boxed starter set going back to the 1980s.

CGL simply cannot bring products to market because they lack the capital to properly invest in making competitive products for what is one of the oldest licenses out there. It's embarrassing and silly.

If there's no major changes in content besides the plastic miniatures, no major development, then the delays and the gaps and the lack of products are basically down to the fact that the company in charge can't actually afford to keep their products on shelves.

To me, that's a fundamental failure of an actual games company. They're hobbyists and enthusiasts masquerading as a legitimate games company with just enough capital to be able to apply a glossy sheen over their efforts to fool enough people that nobody important starts asking why the (potentially profitable) Battletech license is being allowed to languish.
   
Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut




From everything I've seen about this company, I think it must actually be made up of 3 guys sitting around in a storage unit playing games and calling themselves a game company. They probably do it in order to be able to buy other companies games at a discount for their club! Why am I so bitter? I am a retailer, and I see these guys every year at the GAMA trade show. Every year they put on a big show about all of the products they are coming out with, but they never produce in quantity. What that looks like in a store is that we get a splash of product. Some of our Alpha gamers or old grognards (the two groups most likely to pick up a game and get others involved) buy the game and start showing it to other players. Demand begins to grow about the time Catalyst runs out of stock. For 6-8 months I can't get any more product. My player base becomes bitter about the game and moves on to the latest GW game. If I am a smart retailer, I am going to allocate my resources to the product with the best turn-over rate. That won't be Catalyst. It's a shame because I actually love BattleTech. It was one of the first miniatures games I began playing and I will always have fond memories of going to conventions and playing giant games of BattleTech. But Catalyst is doing a disservice to the gaming community by holding on to licenses that they cannot adequately deliver on. Either they need to get a business loan or raise enough capital to stock their game properly, or they need to sell it to Asmodeus(who always seem to be looking to acquire game licenses). And while they are at it, they need to sell Shadowrun to someone who can produce that game as well.
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






Los Angeles

Smellingsalts wrote:
Catalyst is doing a disservice to the gaming community by holding on to licenses that they cannot adequately deliver on.


Where is the clapping Orkmoticon? Yes, yes, yes! Topps needs to revoke Battletech and Shadowrun's licenses from Catalyst, no question. I won't go so far as saying the company has damaged those licenses, but they aren't doing them any favors, either. From past bad practices of not paying freelancers, to embezzling funds, to the glacial rate of releases, Catalyst is a problematic company. They should have been dropped by Topps years ago.

There is so much enthusiasm for Battletech with the popularity of the HBS video game, and MechWarrior Online, and now news of Mechwarrior 5, and yet, no new table top products at all to capitalize on that interest. That is just fething backwards.

   
Made in us
Major General





Florence, KY

 DarkTraveler777 wrote:
Smellingsalts wrote:
Catalyst is doing a disservice to the gaming community by holding on to licenses that they cannot adequately deliver on.


Where is the clapping Orkmoticon? Yes, yes, yes! Topps needs to revoke Battletech and Shadowrun's licenses from Catalyst, no question. I won't go so far as saying the company has damaged those licenses, but they aren't doing them any favors, either. From past bad practices of not paying freelancers, to embezzling funds, to the glacial rate of releases, Catalyst is a problematic company. They should have been dropped by Topps years ago.

There is so much enthusiasm for Battletech with the popularity of the HBS video game, and MechWarrior Online, and now news of Mechwarrior 5, and yet, no new table top products at all to capitalize on that interest. That is just fething backwards.


So you want BattleTech to go out of production altogether? Because there's not a line of companies waiting to pick up the license.

'It is a source of constant consternation that my opponents
cannot correlate their innate inferiority with their inevitable
defeat. It would seem that stupidity is as eternal as war.'

- Nemesor Zahndrekh of the Sautekh Dynasty
Overlord of the Crownworld of Gidrim
 
   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






Los Angeles

 Ghaz wrote:
 DarkTraveler777 wrote:
Smellingsalts wrote:
Catalyst is doing a disservice to the gaming community by holding on to licenses that they cannot adequately deliver on.


Where is the clapping Orkmoticon? Yes, yes, yes! Topps needs to revoke Battletech and Shadowrun's licenses from Catalyst, no question. I won't go so far as saying the company has damaged those licenses, but they aren't doing them any favors, either. From past bad practices of not paying freelancers, to embezzling funds, to the glacial rate of releases, Catalyst is a problematic company. They should have been dropped by Topps years ago.

There is so much enthusiasm for Battletech with the popularity of the HBS video game, and MechWarrior Online, and now news of Mechwarrior 5, and yet, no new table top products at all to capitalize on that interest. That is just fething backwards.


So you want BattleTech to go out of production altogether? Because there's not a line of companies waiting to pick up the license.


Mmm delicious false dichotomy.

Do you work for Topps and have information regarding the license? Because if not, how can you back up your last statement?

Battletech could be a lucrative license in the right hands, why wouldn't companies be interested? It is a property with history, and very popular computer games currently in vogue.

Games without even 1/10 of Battletech's pedigree get licensed all the time when their parent companies fail, or if enough time has lapsed between editions. Why do you think Catalyst is the only company interested in Battletech?

   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

They should license it to FFG.

Then the new BTech edition can have pre-painted minis and more counters than there are worlds in the Inner Sphere!

   
Made in us
Near Golden Daemon Caliber





Affton, MO. USA

 H.B.M.C. wrote:
They should license it to FFG.

Then the new BTech edition can have pre-painted minis and more counters than there are worlds in the Inner Sphere!


Be honest, you just want more FFG tiles

LOL, Theo your mind is an amazing place, never change.-camkierhi 9/19/13
I cant believe theo is right.. damn. -comradepanda 9/26/13
None of the strange ideas we had about you involved your sexual orientation..........-Monkeytroll 12/10/13

I'd put you on ignore for that comment, if I could...Alpharius 2/11/14 
   
Made in us
Major General





Florence, KY

 DarkTraveler777 wrote:
 Ghaz wrote:
 DarkTraveler777 wrote:
Smellingsalts wrote:
Catalyst is doing a disservice to the gaming community by holding on to licenses that they cannot adequately deliver on.


Where is the clapping Orkmoticon? Yes, yes, yes! Topps needs to revoke Battletech and Shadowrun's licenses from Catalyst, no question. I won't go so far as saying the company has damaged those licenses, but they aren't doing them any favors, either. From past bad practices of not paying freelancers, to embezzling funds, to the glacial rate of releases, Catalyst is a problematic company. They should have been dropped by Topps years ago.

There is so much enthusiasm for Battletech with the popularity of the HBS video game, and MechWarrior Online, and now news of Mechwarrior 5, and yet, no new table top products at all to capitalize on that interest. That is just fething backwards.


So you want BattleTech to go out of production altogether? Because there's not a line of companies waiting to pick up the license.


Mmm delicious false dichotomy.

Do you work for Topps and have information regarding the license? Because if not, how can you back up your last statement?

Battletech could be a lucrative license in the right hands, why wouldn't companies be interested? It is a property with history, and very popular computer games currently in vogue.

Games without even 1/10 of Battletech's pedigree get licensed all the time when their parent companies fail, or if enough time has lapsed between editions. Why do you think Catalyst is the only company interested in Battletech?


If it was so lucrative then why does Catalyst still have the licenses for the board game and RPG after all of these years? Not even WizKids thought the board game was worth further development when they purchased the BattleTech rights from FASA and instead licensed it to FanPro and later Topps licensed it to Catalyst Game Labs after they acquired WizKids. Both FanPro and Catalyst Game Labs had links to BattleTech in the FASA days. If there was other interest in the board game and RPG licenses, there was plenty of opportunity for them to make a bid for those licenses yet none ever materialized. Therefore there's plenty of evidence that those licenses aren't as hot of a commodity as you believe.

'It is a source of constant consternation that my opponents
cannot correlate their innate inferiority with their inevitable
defeat. It would seem that stupidity is as eternal as war.'

- Nemesor Zahndrekh of the Sautekh Dynasty
Overlord of the Crownworld of Gidrim
 
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

 Theophony wrote:
Be honest, you just want more FFG tiles
I'm getting all-new BTech mapsheets. Don't need no FFG tiles.

And really my point was a "Be careful what you wish for!" for wanting BTech to go to someone else.

   
Made in us
Hangin' with Gork & Mork






 H.B.M.C. wrote:
They should license it to FFG.

Then the new BTech edition can have pre-painted minis and more counters than there are worlds in the Inner Sphere!


In other words, actual physical in hand product for the shelves instead of a random phantom product preview pic every 6 months to bump this thread? Sounds good.

   
Made in gb
Highlord of Terra






Adrift within the vortex of my imagination.

CGL should learn from the mantra, "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." Especially because Stackpole uses the phrase a lot on some of the novels.

CGL suffered by being small and trusting to Chinese manufacturing with their last boxset, and received a crap product. They have not learned their lesson.
They will end up like Rackham, unable to service their game because outsourcing means they are essentially reduced down to a design house attached to a Chin ese factory that is actually calling the shots.

This is what happens to smaller companies time and time again.

A Kickstarter works because the money comes in ahead of time there is a plan it gets done and after 2d6 months extra delay it is actioned. plan well enough and you might get 1d6 months delay. CGL are going through the traditional approach to outsourcing production, and the result is the same. "Are you Hasbro or Disney, or maybe Games Workshop? No. So no priority for you. We will do it when we get around to it, meanwhile shut up and pay us."

There are three ways around this. Be bigger, which isn't an option for CGL. Be smarter, which possibly is. A number of small companies make good service of Chinese manufacturing, by playing along on the inside. The best way to do this is gain connexions and work via Hong Kong. This is what Plastic Soldier Company did and is principally why it had no problems. PSc had the advantage of being British nd the British still have good existant business ties to Hong Kong, but these relationships are by no means exclusive. PSC had the wisdom and forsight to have offices in Hong Kong so there is hands on representation.
CGL hasn't learned, twice, Rackham also never learned. At least CGL is primarily a publisher and a licensor of miniatures to IWM, who can be relied upon. So they will not fold unlike Rackham, who were so far in they became the Chinese manufacturers bitch.

the third way is of course to go elsewhere. Plastic manufacturing has been sourced back to the west. There are manufacturers who work for third parties, Renedra being the most well recognised name. Renedra do all the plastics for Fireforge, Perry and Osprey (Frostgrave), they make good stprues at a good price and they make them on time with no BS. If CGL came to its senses and outsourced mech production to Renedra or one of the alternatives in the US the mechs would be out there already and there would be no quality issues either.

n'oublie jamais

It is by tea alone I set my mind in motion. By the juice of the brew my thoughts aquire speed, my mind becomes strained, the strain becomes a warning. It is by tea alone I set my mind in motion.
 
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

But they can't. CGL don't get to produce miniatures except in very specific circumstances (starter boxes). Iron Wind are the makers of BTech minis.

   
Made in us
Grizzled MkII Monster Veteran





Mississippi

Good grief, I'd forgotten about the starter set. They STILL aren't available?

Maybe BTech ought to go back to Wizkids. We could at least have some plastic minis available...

It never ends well 
   
Made in au
Owns Whole Set of Skullz Techpriests






Versteckt in den Schatten deines Geistes.

BattleTech under anyone else wouldn't be BattleTech.

You think the rules would survive sale to another company?

   
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut






Los Angeles

 Ghaz wrote:

If it was so lucrative then why does Catalyst still have the licenses for the board game and RPG after all of these years? Not even WizKids thought the board game was worth further development when they purchased the BattleTech rights from FASA and instead licensed it to FanPro and later Topps licensed it to Catalyst Game Labs after they acquired WizKids.


So, yeah, that all was nearly 20 years ago. A lot has changed in the gaming landscape since. When Wizkids was in control Battletech had just become "dead" with the close of FASA and they had focus on their new clix game. The last Mechwarrior computer game was already 2 years old (MW4) and Mech Assault wasn't out yet. That was probably the lowest point for (Classic) Battletech as a property.


 Ghaz wrote:
Both FanPro and Catalyst Game Labs had links to BattleTech in the FASA days. If there was other interest in the board game and RPG licenses, there was plenty of opportunity for them to make a bid for those licenses yet none ever materialized. Therefore there's plenty of evidence that those licenses aren't as hot of a commodity as you believe.


I'd agree with you if I was also basing my assessment of the license on the state of affairs from 16 years ago. But it isn't 2002 and Battletech is in a much stronger position as a license right now due to the success of the various computer games associated with the setting. Battletech has also weathered the demise of FASA, and while some people still think it is a dead game, there are 15 years of product development, a slow trickle though it was, that proves the game is still "alive" with an active fan base behind it.

So, yes, I disagree with your assessment that Battletech isn't a lucrative license. I don't know if Topps has explored other companies taking over or not, but they absolutely should. Catalyst is holding back a potential cash cow. Battletech is one of the original mecha games, and with the right stewardship it could be a hit again. Mecha are popular with gamers, so what is it about Battletech that is so problematic as a table top game that it can't even make it to store shelves? Surely it is the company producing the game that is to blame, not the license itself because the setting of Battletech is as popular as ever in other media.

Truth is Battletech needs a major face lift, revised rules and a leaner model product line. Catalyst is doing the face lift part with this new boxed set, but until the other issues are addressed they are holding the game back by simultaneously trying to keep the mechanics and units from 30+ years viable, while also trying to appeal to a modern audience. I don't think you can do that, and based on Catalyst's output over the last few years they can't juggle those two disparate parts of the fan base. By doing relatively little to modernize Battletech Catalyst isn't going to gain the market share needed to do the game justice.

A larger company with more resources would be a better steward because Battletech can't thrive when it releases a few pieces of new material each year that are difficult to find, or, like in Smellingsalts' case, retailers want to stock the game but know it is a waste of money and space because there won't be much support for the game from Catalyst after product initially drops.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 H.B.M.C. wrote:
BattleTech under anyone else wouldn't be BattleTech.

You think the rules would survive sale to another company?


The rules need changing. They are clunky and way too detail oriented. Which is what I love about them, but they don't appeal to modern players. I know it isn't a popular opinion, but it honestly needs to be done.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/12/04 17:17:26


 
   
Made in us
Hangin' with Gork & Mork






 H.B.M.C. wrote:
BattleTech under anyone else wouldn't be BattleTech.

You think the rules would survive sale to another company?


Exclusively in the form they're in now? No... but I suspect that there will always be in print a "Classic" edition book that will be updated once before printing and then largely stay the same in addition to whatever form the revamped game will end up.

   
 
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