Spotlight– Armored Core™ RTS by Bad Crow Games

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** Please read the first comment in the comment section, about an important update on a name change for the game.**

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Photo Credit: www.emuparadise.me

When it comes to video games, I’ve always stuck to certain genres. I’m a big fan of action adventure, MOBAs, and shooters. This is generally what I have always stuck to, with very little deviation. Only within the last year or so, have I started playing more games outside of those genres. I’ve gotten more into turn based strategy thanks to Civilization V, and I have gone back down the rabbit hole to play the new expansion for World of Warcraft (if I seem out of the loop, this will be why). I have yet to try my hand at an RTS game. If I’m honest, I find them rather intimidating. When I think of games like StarCraft II, I can’t help but think that I wouldn’t stand a chance against its more seasoned players.

When I got the press release for Armored Core™ RTS, I was apprehensive, but excited to see how they incorporated the feel of RTS into a board game (much less intimidating for me). For those who don’t know, Armored Core™ was a third-person shooter, released in 1997, where players controlled large mechs with interchangeable parts. Armored Core™ RTS is essentially a real time tactical version of that, where players will move their Armored Cores through a city, trying to complete missions and take out the other players.

The Path To Domination

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Reverse Jointed Armored Core: Photo Credit: Press release from Bad Crow Games

The world has seen a millennia’s worth of war. Our Earth torn apart by greed and fear. Remnants of the chemicals used for our destruction are only beginning to clear the air. The ancient cities are visible again, laden with tech and wealth from the past. They will send us out to salvage what we can. We will be fitted with Armored Core to protect us from the environs, and to take down anything that stands in our way. I know, that once I have reached the city, I will not be alone. The other factions will send their mercenaries, some for resources, some to make sure we never see them. Tonight I sleep, because tomorrow…

I may not be coming home. 

Armored Core™ RTS  is a 2-6 (base game is only 2-4) player real-time strategy/tactical game where players each control an Armored Core sent out into an ancient city to retrieve technology and goods that have become rare and valuable. The game is designed to be fast to set up, fast to teach, and fast to play. It uses 20 minute missions to keep game times low. To keep with the feel of a real time strategy game, players will take their actions simultaneously, whether that involves moving through the city or attacking the Armored Cores of the other players. To ensure targeting is correct and to avoid fiddliness, the game employs the use of LED lit bases to ensure line of sight. True to the video game, the Armored Core figures can also be upgraded to improve combat ability.  Below is a brief tutorial video, provided by the publisher, to give you a better idea of the basic play style.

What’s In The Box/ Pledge Levels

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Mercenary pledge infographic. Photo Credit: Armored Core RTS campaign page

Since there are a few different bundles that backers can pledge for, I have decided, again, to combine these two sections to make things a little bit easier on everyone. *Note: Shipping will be charged after the campaign has ended.

-Pledge $79: Mercenary Pledge

  • Core set, which will include:
    • 8 Mech models
      • Reverse jointed
      • Tank chassis
      • Bi-pedal heavy
      • Tetrapod
    • 12x Resource collectors
    • 10x Reinforced buildings
    • 4x LED bases & damage dishes
    • 24x Mech boards
    • 50 Jumbo gems
    • 100 Damage blocks
    • Over 100 Weapon, Booster, & equipment cards
    • Mission pack & objective tokens
    • 27″x 33″ folding board
  • Al applicable stretch goals

-Pledge $115: Early Bird- Raven (1 of 500 left)

  • Core set
  • Cooperative Expansion: A.I. Unleashed
  • All applicable stretch goals

-Pledge $125: Raven Bundle

  • Everything in the Early Bird- Raven Bundle

-Pledge $199: Early Bird- Ultimate Bundle (All gone!)

  • Core Set
  • A.I. Unleashed expansion
  • 5-6 Player expansion
  • Advanced Recon Pack- KS Exclusive
  • Tactical Warfare Pack- KS Exclusive
  • All applicable stretch goals

-Pledge $210: Extended Time (limited)- Ultimate Bundle (2 of 500 left)

  • Everything in Early Bird- Ultimate Bundle

-Pledge $217: Extended Time (permanent)- Ultimate Bundle (480 of 500 left)

  • Everything in Early Bird- Ultimate Bundle

Add-Ons

The campaign currently offers these four add-ons:

  • Add $60: A.I. Unleashed Cooperative Expansion, which includes:
    • 4x Additional LED laser miniature bases
    • 4x Automated turret models
    • 6x Seeker Drone models
    • Giant 2D Boss with custom damage stand
    • 60 Card A.I. deck
    • Energy Wall chipboard with stands
    • New mission objectives and tokens
    • Cooperative mission campaign book
    • Additional gems, damage blocks, and tokens
  • Add $45: 5-6 Player Expansion, which includes:
    • 8x Core Set mech models
    • Purple & white LED laser bases
    • Purple & white damage dishes
    • Board extender
    • Additional set of Equipment cards
    • Additional set of Mech boards
    • Additional gems, damage blocks, and tokens
  • Add $27: KS Exclusive Advanced Recon- Stealth Pack, which includes:
    • 2x Elite Stealth models
    • 2x Stealth Mech boards
    • 16 Corrosive damage blocks
    • 16 Ion damage blocks
    • 24 Card Special Equipment Pack
  • Add $30: KS Exclusive Tactical Warfare Pack, which includes:
    • 2x NGNR Elite Medium AC’s & Mech boards
    • 4x  90mm x 90mm Shield Walls with stands
    • 6x Mine tokens
    • 8x Dummy Mine tokens
    • 6x Magnetic Spike and Broken Terrain tiles
    • 6x Seeker Drone tokens
    • 4x Sentry Turret tiles
    • 2x Ammo Depots
    • 2 x Support Bots
    • 28 Special weapon cards

Stretch Goals

d71c44264158d8d96ad85d64f6caefdb_originalThere are a lot of stretch goals for this campaign. I will list them below, and any that have been unlocked will get a purple diamond next to it. If it is a category, I will note how many from the category have been unlocked (I’ll stick the infographic in too, so you can reference it).

  • Double sided board
    • Wasteland map designed by GameMatz
  • Elite Mech Boards- Final Game Chassis (4 of 6 unlocked)
    • Locust
    • Roc
    • PLDIN-UH
    • Rcluse
    • Locked 
    • Locked
  • Multicolored Buildings 
  • 1000 Backers Bonus: 2D Vertical Tile w/ Stand
  • Weapon/ Arm Sets (1 of 4 unlocked)
    • Weapon Set 1
    • Locked  (unlocks at $280K)
    • Locked
    • Locked 
  • 1 x Extra Building
  • 2 x Skyscrapers
  • $250k: Locust Model
  • $265: Extra Building Pack

Bad Crow Games

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Photo Credit: Bad Crow Games Kickstarter profile

Bad Crow Games is collective of designers, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs from Utah. They have been working together on Armored Core™ RTS for the last couple of years and finished the licensing deal with FromSoftware earlier this year. Their goal is to create games that see continuous play, rather than a layer of dust. Some of the team have worked and published games in the past, including titles like Sakura and Serpent’s Toungue.

If you’d like to keep up with what they have going on, you can check them out on Facebook or Twitter.

Final Thoughts

This game has already seen a lot of success in its campaign so far. I think a lot of the people who will back this have been fans of the Armored Core™ franchise, just like with Dark Souls. However, I think that this is offering something a little different. Most real-time board games that I have played, have been things like Escape: The Curse of the Temple– everyone is rolling dice and moving through the chamber simultaneously. The difference here is that Armored Core™ RTS is not inherently cooperative and there are no dice to be rolled for movement. Players work independently here, delegating energy to make movements or perform attacks on enemy players. I’m excited to see how this game performs outside of the tutorial videos. I really want to see how players make their choices when it comes to choosing how to spend their energy.

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Photo Credit: Press release from Bad Crow Games

Another thing I find really appealing, is the idea of having missions. I feel like it will keep the game experience fresh and will add to the choices players have access to. The missions involving support units is something I’d really like to see a video of. Perhaps a mission where the support units have to search out salvage, while the Armored Cores protect them. One thing about the game that I think is a good selling point, is that this will not be overly complex for beginners. They boast that it will be easy to teach and setup, and after watching the basic tutorial, gameplay (for whatever mission type they were using) seemed easy to grasp and perform.

As for concerns, I do think that any lack of complexity this game has, will be a short coming for more serious gamers. I, personally, don’t see anything wrong with lack of complexity, but there are people who want, and need, a lot of that to enjoy a game. The other thing I am not particularly fond of (and as some of the comments on the KS page have pointed out), is the use of Kickstarter exclusive expansions. I feel like the people who can’t afford to spend the $200+ to get them now possibly face missing out on something that could greatly benefit the game now. I mean, I hope that is not the case, but it has happened with other campaigns– the game seems unfinished without those KS exclusives. I’m not saying this is what is happening here, but I’d definitely prefer if they had them available for retail later. For people who can’t spend the money now, there should always be an opportunity to get expansions later. Promos are a different story.

Overall, I’m looking forward to the final product of this game. For now, I’m eagerly awaiting more tutorial videos from the designers, so I can have a better feel of the gameplay.

As I am writing this , the game is 322% funded and there are 21 days left in the campaign.

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Was this helpful to you? What other information would you like to have seen? Have suggestions for future Spotlights? Would you like me to do a review/preview? Please leave a comment below, or head over to my contact page to send me an email, tweet, or Facebook message. Thanks for reading!:)

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One thought on “Spotlight– Armored Core™ RTS by Bad Crow Games

  1. So for those of you who are not yet backers of this, there has been a significant change to the campaign/game. The game is now going under the name Mech Command RTS. Though they already had licensing to use the Armored Core name, issues with obtaining licensing for the stretch goals, may have caused issues for them and backers down the line. This is a disappointing announcement, for sure.

    I will not be going back in and changing every occurrence of the Armored Core RTS name in this spotlight, so I just wanted to leave a little note, so everyone knew what was going on with the game and this update.

    Like

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