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Hein Ragas
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A good RPG for an established setting should take the coolest thing about it, and let the players do that thing while being as cool as the characters in the setting. This RPG is not good according to that definition.
To me, the Macross setting operates on three levels. First, there is the level of mind-bogglingly huge spaceships manoevering across star systems. Second, there is the squad level of fighters vying for air (or space!) superiority. Third, there is the level of civilians living in the Macross. This game addresses only the second level. And to be fair, that second level is where all of the cool action is -- but especially that third level is what sets Macross apart from the many generic mecha settings. It's a huge missed chance that this is totally absent from the game.

The chapter on characters gives us some archetypes to play, including bridge officers and even civilian journalists -- but then the game does not provide any kind of reason to actually play anything else than a Veritech Pilot, since there is no guidance or support for the kinds of adventures anybody else than Veritech Pilots would have.
There is enough background information about characters (all fully statted out!) and the history of Space War One to fuel many adventures, if by 'adventure' you mean 'skirmishes between Zentraedi forces and Veritech squads'. There are endless gear lists, all with their stats -- both for UN Spacy and Zentraedi equipment. And that is great to have at hand when playing Savage Worlds as the miniatures game it is. Again, this could be done with any mecha game and glosses over everything that makes Macross a unique setting.

The editing is kinda bad. Typos and run-on sentences abound, which did not give me the feeling that I was reading a polished product. The "brief history of Earth" takes 14 pages, and the "one page adventure" takes actually two pages!
The art is cool, but it shows a very polished, "airbrushed" version of the characters, which took me some time to get used to -- especially if you compare it with the animation of the series, which is kinda bad at today's standards.

This could be a really cool generic mecha game, but it is certainly not what I look for in a Macross game.
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Hans Messersmith
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Hein, did you see the Lancer kickstarter?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/massifpress/lancer?ref=...

I backed it, and the rules seem like something that might interest you. It definitely tries to address what you call the 2nd and 3rd layers pretty well. So far, I'm very excited about it having read through the beta rules.
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Hein Ragas
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skalchemist wrote:
Hein, did you see the Lancer kickstarter?

I backed it, but I haven't ready anything yet.

If I had to GM a Macross game today, I'd use Tachyon Squadron, because that's more polished and plays more cinematic than anything else I've read in the mecha RPG space. (Which is admittedly not everything.)
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fubfubfub wrote:
skalchemist wrote:
Hein, did you see the Lancer kickstarter?

I backed it, but I haven't ready anything yet.

If I had to GM a Macross game today, I'd use Tachyon Squadron, because that's more polished and plays more cinematic than anything else I've read in the mecha RPG space. (Which is admittedly not everything.)
If I hadn't gone off Fate Core in the past few years I would agree with you. Certainly it is one of the best so far, and if you enjoy Fate-based games pretty much perfect.
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Jamie Hardy
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In other words, it gives you a reason to play Rick but not Minmay while technically still allowing you to play either type of character.
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Hein Ragas
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SteamCraft wrote:
In other words, it gives you a reason to play Rick but not Minmay while technically still allowing you to play either type of character.
Precisely that.
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Michael Ink
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Thanks for the review! I admit I was tempted but will save my money now. Can I assume that you have both checked out Mekton Zeta already?
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Inkwan wrote:
Can I assume that you have both checked out Mekton Zeta already?
I own it, yes, but it has been quite a while since I read it.
I recall a focus on the mecha (with budgets for everything) and the combat, and not on the inter-character aspects. Maybe it's up for a re-read.
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Michael Ink
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Have you checked out Beamswords and Bazookas yet?
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Hein Ragas
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Inkwan wrote:
Have you checked out Beamswords and Bazookas yet?
I have not. The description and the table of contents does not suggest it would be a good fit for a Macross RPG. And USD 13 is too much for a trial purchase.
 
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Michael Ink
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I got it from the deal of the day for $5 but have not had a chance to read it yet. It does have a mechanic for relationships outside of the mecha so I thought it might have some potential.
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