Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why I Haven't Kicked Recon

Mercs/Megacon, the company that made Myth (which I really liked) have another Kickstarter wrapping up in a few days. Mercs:Recon looks like an interesting game, but there’s a few things holding me back. Really this is the post where I talk myself into it, or out of it.

Okay self, why should I NOT irresponsibly throw oodles of cash at Mercs:Recon?
  • 1) I’ve got too many cooperative minis games right now. For the last week I’ve been posting about Myth, Galaxy Defenders, and the upcoming Shadows of Brimstone. The only way Recon will get any play time at my table is if I retire 2 or 3 of the other games permanently. Much better to save my money for the inevitable Myth Expansions kickstarter. Recon is more of a "one-off" board game, and not campaign-style. That does make it easier to jump into on a off night, but at the cost of some of the fun and investment.
  • 2) It’s not cyberpunky enough for me to use the parts for something other than the game itself. Futuristic mercenaries breaking into a corporate high-rise sounds like it should be right up my alley. I love CP2020… but this game only has about 10% of the CyberPunk aesthetic. The game has minis for modern-day office workers and private security, and for futuristic mercs in MetalGear, but not for anything that represents the core player characters of a CP2020 campaign. If there were cyborgs, or street punks, or even glamorous CEOs in fancy italian suits and evening gowns, it might be worth my kicking in for the minis. I kinda want the office-building map tiles, and the add-on purchase 3D terrain and drones, but at this point there’s better ways for me to spend my $135. While that's not their fault, they aren't making CP2020 the minis game after all, it definitely means the game itself would need to be more compelling because there's nothing else for me to do with the parts.
  • 3) The four playable factions don’t seem different enough. 3 of the 4 are indistinguishable to my eye, all being decked out in basically the same power-armour and armed with the same style of weapons. The sample character sheet was all about bonus dice, instead of more colorful abilities. Character niche seems a little shallow at first glance, though that could just be a marketing failure. If the other elements were compelling enough, I could get past this issue.
  • 4) I’m not so thrilled with the stunt-casting. Remember how Galaxy Defenders has minis that are clearly lifted from Aliens, Predator, MIB, and RoboCop? That’s kinda cool, but very distracting. It undermines immersion, and leaves a weird taste in my mouth about the setting. Now Mercs:Recon also has a mini lifted from RoboCop, not to mention a couple from Die Hard and, of all things, Tango & Cash. What!?! Rambo and Snake Plisken I might have been able to get behind, but Tango & Cash? Really? That's what you thought gamers were dying to play?
Tango & Cash scored 39% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Just sayin'.
  • 5) The Myth pledge level is a bad deal. For a $40 pledge, you can get just the stretch-goals that come with a Myth tie-in. At the time of this writing, that’s 1 figure that comes with 2 cards. By the time you’re reading this (I’ve written so many posts today that I’m scheduling them out to go live one per day), they may have hit the next Myth-related stretch goal. That’d be a second miniature, with about 30-35 cards. Still not a great deal, and not Megacon’s best mini either — it’s hard to get excited about a mini that’s intentionally generic enough to kinda sorta fit both the near future and medieval fantasy europe. If the kickstarter gets another $100,000 past that, it’ll unlock 4 zombie minis that most likely come with a single card.  Are 1 to 6 minis and 2 to 40 cards worth $40? That kind of pricing is what drove me out of WH40K. The original Myth kickstarter was $100 for 150+ minis and 200+ cards, so you know the cost to manufacture any given component can't be very high. I'm a little worried that if people buy into this, it will set some really bad precedents for what Megacon can charge MSRP for a single figure.
Good points, self. You’ve convinced me to stay out of this one. Though there is a little voice over my bad shoulder that tells me objections # 2, 3, and 5 could all be negated if there’s some cooler stretch-goals added in the final days. I wonder how I’ll feel about it a week from now when this post goes live?

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