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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

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Mechs vs. Minions

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19 Sep 2016 18:58 #234576 by Feelitmon
Mechs vs. Minions was created by Feelitmon
Today several reviews appeared for a previously unknown board game by Riot Games, the people behind League of Legends. 16 pounds of painted or washed miniatures, programmed actions, co-op, sealed mission packs with new rules and scenarios and components... and it will (only) be available through the Riot merch site for just $75 + shipping ($8 to the USA). Check out this beast: Mechs vs. Minions .

Honestly I don't know how they intend to make money on this. The direct-sale-only helps, but I doubt if that's enough. Maybe it's a loss leader; getting even a tiny fraction of LoL players into board gaming would tilt the hobby financially. Maybe it's just passion. A buddy of mine works at Riot in SoCal and has told me that they're pretty nutball for board games, CCGs, and minis.

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19 Sep 2016 19:11 #234578 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Mechs vs. Minions
I'm listening. It looks like a passion project. Coop programmed actions isn't a bad idea.

And they're rolling in money, so...

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19 Sep 2016 19:12 #234579 by LazarusTNT
Replied by LazarusTNT on topic Mechs vs. Minions
I can see this being the future of games - publishers going direct instead of KS, when they have capital.

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19 Sep 2016 19:16 #234580 by engelstein
Replied by engelstein on topic Mechs vs. Minions
I think this is a very interesting play by Riot. It almost seems like a 'prestige' release, given the component quality.

Cost is definitely in line, or even inexpensive, for what you get in the box.

Really intrigued that they very deliberately are NOT making LoL the board game. This is a clear attempt for them to expand their universe. They have a lot of fluff for their characters, and this may presage an attempt to expand that into different products.

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19 Sep 2016 21:06 #234581 by Frohike
Replied by Frohike on topic Mechs vs. Minions

SuperflyTNT wrote: I can see this being the future of games - publishers going direct instead of KS, when they have capital.


And there will be a definite Early Bird scenario for this one. Limited print run, sold through one outlet, beginning at a publicized time. I'll consider myself lucky if I manage to get a copy.

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19 Sep 2016 21:17 #234582 by Michael Barnes
Replied by Michael Barnes on topic Mechs vs. Minions
I'm not about to stress myself out to have to _attempt_ to buy a copy of a game that the publisher wants to limit access to for no good reason. Lots of other great games that publishers actually WANT you to have access to. I'm thinking this is very much a "fans only" kind of release anyway.
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19 Sep 2016 21:27 #234583 by Grudunza
Replied by Grudunza on topic Mechs vs. Minions
It's a limited print run, of 30 thousand copies. Amazing.

Co-op programmed actions might be good, but not with a timer. I have zero interest upon hearing that.
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19 Sep 2016 23:46 #234587 by Wetworks
Replied by Wetworks on topic Mechs vs. Minions

Grudunza wrote: Co-op programmed actions might be good, but not with a timer. I have zero interest upon hearing that.


Only the card drafting portion is timed, this is to prevent the alpha player from telling everyone what to pick. The actual programming is not timed.

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20 Sep 2016 09:01 #234593 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic Mechs vs. Minions
This is going to be extremely rare. 30K copies is nothing when many of their video game user-base will be interested merely from a collection stand point. It's the most popular video game on the planet I believe. This will sell out in 10 minutes I'm guessing.
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20 Sep 2016 09:09 #234595 by Michael Barnes
Replied by Michael Barnes on topic Mechs vs. Minions
Oh yeah, it won't last ten minutes and it'll probably cause a server crash as aspiring buyers storm the gates as soon as they flip the switch. The vast majority of people buying it will be LOL players, not tabletop gamers. Regardless of how "into" board games the folks at Riot are, I have a feeling this will be more of a collector's item than a notable design.

FOMO had no effect on me here. If it were a game going into normal distribution and not some kind of idiotic, hyped-up exclusive I'd check it out. But this has now moved into the DGAS bracket.

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20 Sep 2016 09:13 - 20 Sep 2016 09:16 #234596 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Mechs vs. Minions
I watched one of the videos. Looks light, not a bad thing. Basically there are enemies on the board and you have a preprogrammed "instruction" set for your mech (up to 6 actions long). Then you draft actions. So, you might put a move card in action 2 and an attack card in action 4 with the idea that you will move and then attack, but that you can later add in a card in action 3 to do something else between those. The only twist is that your action menu stays. So if you put an action in the menu early in slot 4, it stays there for the rest of the game unless you replace or enhance it. You don't get to rearrange mech actions every turn.

I'd try it if it were around, but not a preorder. And, for better or worse, the LoL setting has zero impact with me so no additional desire to preorder. But LoL is the biggest game in the world so I can see that being a bigger draw than, say, Star Wars on a game, esp. among younger folks. So this is going to be a Big Deal. The art/model style doesn't do anything for me either.
Last edit: 20 Sep 2016 09:16 by Gary Sax.
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20 Sep 2016 09:28 #234601 by charlest
Replied by charlest on topic Mechs vs. Minions

Michael Barnes wrote: Oh yeah, it won't last ten minutes and it'll probably cause a server crash as aspiring buyers storm the gates as soon as they flip the switch. The vast majority of people buying it will be LOL players, not tabletop gamers. Regardless of how "into" board games the folks at Riot are, I have a feeling this will be more of a collector's item than a notable design.

FOMO had no effect on me here. If it were a game going into normal distribution and not some kind of idiotic, hyped-up exclusive I'd check it out. But this has now moved into the DGAS bracket.


According to a Riot team member on reddit (yeah, I know), they plan on printing additional runs if demand is high enough. Not intended as a one and done thing.

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20 Sep 2016 09:37 #234602 by Michael Barnes
Replied by Michael Barnes on topic Mechs vs. Minions
Oh, I'm sure they do. They have the wherewithal to print a million copies up front if they want to.

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20 Sep 2016 12:47 #234617 by Feelitmon
Replied by Feelitmon on topic Mechs vs. Minions

engelstein wrote: Really intrigued that they very deliberately are NOT making LoL the board game. This is a clear attempt for them to expand their universe. They have a lot of fluff for their characters, and this may presage an attempt to expand that into different products.


I agree, and I also think that this is sort of gateway game aimed at their LoL playerbase. The mechanics are simple enough to teach but they allow players to "git gud" as well, and they definitely will show a bunch of people that there's more to board gaming than roll-and-move.


Personally my first impression was that the game was hugely overproduced. Do we really need that many minions, and do they need to be figures instead of chits or cubes? Then I snapped out of it and realized that that way lies madness: by that way of thinking, why do we need minis in any game? Why have anything at all but abstracts?

Incidentally, the timed aspect is kind of overblown, I think. I haven't met a group yet that uses the hourglasses in games that feature them. I do like that Riot put it in there though for those AP-suffering groups so they can keep the game rolling along.

I think I'll let my friends know about this one, and see if it grabs anyone's interest. I would like to give it a try, and I love the idea that Riot might be coming into the hobby with a well designed and well produced game, but I've already bought too many games this year. I know, I know, as if there is such a thing as too many games!
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25 Nov 2018 20:33 #286805 by Scott Rogers
Replied by Scott Rogers on topic Mechs vs. Minions
So I'm acquaintances with the designer of Mechs and Minions and met the producer of the game on a flight to Gen-Con.

Apparently, it was a game the designer (Stone) showed to Riot during his job interview. The team fell in love with it and the designer made making it as a condition to his hiring. (He leads the team up in San Francisco)

The game is indeed a passion project and after it's first and second printing the company said "that's it for now." which seems like a huge mistake give a) Riot really only makes one other game (League of Legends) and b) has more money than God (just shy of $1 billion in profits last year) to make more of these "little projects".

They definitely shook things up with the production quality of the game - if you haven't seen/played it, it has the nicest plastic trays ever seen in a board game - it scared the hell out of several board game publisher friends of mine who immediately had to "up their game" in quality.

Both printings of the game has sold out (45,000 copies is nothing to sneeze at in the board game world) and will they ever make more? Who knows? It would be a shame if they didn't do something else.

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